Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

I crash an urban comedy night with Doug Stanhope

I crash an urban comedy night with Doug Stanhope

Back in November, a friend and I happened to run into Stanhope at Nick’s Comedy Stop and we all promptly decided to ironically attend an urban comedy event.

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January 12, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Angie Frissore appears on The Steve Katsos Show

January 3, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can’t Make The Trip: Five Weekly Parties That Make You Feel Like You’re At A Patriots Game

CBS Boston

On game days when the New England Patriots are away like today, each and every neighborhood has something going on. TVs throughout the city will be tuned in at 1 p.m. for the big game with pitchers of beers flowing and American pub grub being consumed eagerly as fans cheer on their favorite team. If a road trip to Buffalo didn’t happen and you’re looking for a place to watch the Pats amongst other like-minded fans, look no further then these five spots. Perfect for today’s game or really any time the Patriots play and you don’t have tickets, the locations below are sure to beat out your couch.

McGreevy’s
911 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 262-0911
www.mcgreevysboston.com

Located in the Back Bay, McGreevy’s is making football viewing fun with weekly parties. Bartenders are armed with confetti launchers and attendees have the chance to win prizes when the Patriots…

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October 18, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

On heroes and villains.

Tucked away in a corner of the basement, or quietly perched on top of the stairs, I’d sit – virtually unnoticed – watching my older brother expertly play Nintendo like it was his job. He was like that with a lot of things – the second he would attempt something new, he’d have excelled at it in no time. At eighteen months older than me, I naturally looked up to him. Even though I was incessantly being compared to him (and never having a chance of holding my own doing so), he remained my hero for years. Brother could do no wrong.

I wish I knew at what point in life my hero became the villain.

 

September 4, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

So this happened.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the FX network premiere party for “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” last week in NYC. Congrats to Bell on a job well done, as the show is hilarious! Got to hang out with some great people…you may know some of them.

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August 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This is still here?

Wow, I had forgotten all about this little blog thingy since I took on life as a comedy person. It’s crazy to re-read my own thoughts from four years ago as I was in SUCH a different place. Granted, it’s not too different as I’m currently licking my latest ego wounds over a dude I met who didn’t text back, but some things never change.

At least I got the “Coworker” out of my life.

August 13, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SMSC Reader’s Choice

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February 1, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | | Leave a comment

Angie’s Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: Blood Diner (1987)

a20blood20diner20dragon20dvd20This week’s sketch fest is, perhaps, the perfect example of the delicate balance needed to create, what I feel to be, the sketchiest of sketch cinema. So come, laugh with me, cry with me, get nauseous with me, as we sit down to a heaping helping of sketch, Jackie Kong’s 1987 masterpiece, Blood Diner.

A killer is on the loose in anytown, USA, and the latest victims happened to be the local Happy Times All-Girl Glee Club. As young tykes Mikey and Georgie amuse themselves while mom runs to the store for “God-damned tampons”, the front door is suddenly smashed in much to the robot-like, unimpressed children.

Enter Uncle Anwar, covered in blood and wielding a meat cleaver, who is instantly subdued at the sight of his nephews. Knowing he is running out of time (as the sounds of sirens grows closer), he presents the boys with two necklaces which he claims to be ancient ‘Lumarian’ relics, dating back – get this now – 5 million years B.C.

That’s pretty old. At this point, I knew I was in for a cinematic extravaganza.

After the uncle’s predictable demise, we fast forward twenty years.

Our little boys are all grown up now, and long for the company of old Uncle Anwar so badly that they dig him up in his grave, crack open his skull, catch his brain (which was launched from the skull fifteen feet into the air), pickle it, and place a spell on it. This is, of course, after bashing the eyes out of the timid graveyard security guard.

The boys take the skull, which is now alive, has eyes (that’s right – a brain with eyes attached), and has a completely different voice than the previous Uncle Anwar (I suppose twenty years underground will do that to a man), back to their vegetarian diner.

I could go on and on with this in great detail, but I can’t, and I won’t. I cannot spoil the goodness involved in this journey of sketchy wonder. But I can, however, offer a few non-plot-related tidbits that are crawling in sketchy perfection.carlcrew2

Nude Cheerleader Aerobics. I’m not kidding – there is a scene, as random as it may be, where a bunch of cheerleaders are doing aerobics with only bikini bottoms on. See, the only connection to the plot line here is that one girl, Connie, does not attend this little exercise session (which is being taped ‘on cable coast to coast’), making her the target ‘pure’ girl.

Random bouncing of the bouncer. The boys are outside of a club, trying to force their way in, when a bouncer tries to stop them. Mikey tosses the bouncer into the street – right into the path of an oncoming car which is bouncing with hydraulics. Long story short, what should be a horrible scene to witness provides laughs for all passers-by.

carlcrew1Running Down the Biker. Georgie is out for a drive in his van, when he happens upon an old, fat biker dude who is in the street after breaking down. Excitedly (and to some mambo song), he plows the van into the biker and takes off. But the biker isn’t dead. Georgie sees this, and proceeds to reverse and hit him again. This process is repeated about a dozen times, as the biker keeps on getting up. Later we find out the biker actually dies from a heart attack.

There’s a wrestling match. An honest-to-goodness wrestling match. Enough said.

Through it all, our townspeople are feasting on the diner’s new menu…which contains the bits of many of the town’s ‘tramps, sluts and whores’.

So with that, I urge you to feast on this Sunday sketch-o-rama and take in the cheesy, oven-baked goodness of Blood Diner. The gratuitous nudity, blood, and lack of seriousness to the acting will have you begging for seconds.

carlcrew4And now, for this week’s Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema quote of the week:

Brain of Uncle Anwar: “The first ingredients we need are two stomachs from a couple of tramps.”

February 1, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | | Leave a comment

Aaron’s Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: Hamlet 2 (2008)

poster-hamlet2-lgSo, for my inaugural contribution to SMSC, I have chosen a comedy (of sorts) by the name of Hamlet 2.

Released in August of 2008, Hamlet 2 tells the tale of Dana Marschz (played by Steve Coogan). He is an effeminate, clueless, naive high school drama teacher who remakes popular movies into plays with disastrous results. After finding out the the drama department is being dropped due to budget cuts, he decides to go out with a bang and produce one last show. This show is a sequel to one of Shakespeare’s best known plays, and appropriately dubbed Hamlet 2.

With a group of students ranging from a young man confused about his sexual identity, a good girl secretly wanting to be bad, and a gang of Latino ruffians who took the course just for the easy credit, Mr. Marschz sets about putting his vision onto the stage. In the process he pisses off more and more people as they object to the content of the play, but continues to push forward despite it all to see his vision realized.

Hamlet 2 starts off pretty slow, and while there are pockets of amusement it’s a mixed bag for much of the film. Coogan’s portrayal of the bizarre teacher is funny at first, but the cluelessness and whininess starts to grate about halfway in. The movie hits a lot of the typical “underdog fighting back against those who wronged him by following his hamlet_2_3dream” notes, and wavers between low-brow comedy and trying to be a bit heartwarming. It plays a bit with racial stereotypes, pokes fun at other “teacher trying to reform the tough kids” movies, plays a bit into the teacher’s messed up personal life, and tries to jump all over the place as it builds up to the unveiling of the play. There are laughs throughout, or at least chuckles, but it never tries to rise above the mediocre level of comedy it hits early on and holds at. With the exception of the teacher and a few students, most characters are just archetypes that aren’t really fleshed out (surly principal, brain-dead roommate, bitchy wife, etc), and it’s obvious early on that your focus is meant to be on Coogan’s character and his small cadre of students.

That is, until towards the end, when the play Hamlet 2 finally hits the stage. While there is a lot going on (an attorney defending the play’s legal right to be shown, townspeople picketing outside), the movie does show a lot of the musical. Featuring such soon-to-be-classic number like “Raped in the Face” (sung by an actor portraying Albert Einstein) and “Rock Me Sexyhamlet2 Jesus”, when you’re watching the play-within-the-movie it all comes together and makes the last hour or so worth the wait. As Jesus and Hamlet go on adventures with their time machine, not only is the play hilarious but the reactions of the audience are funny as well (like a parent who is horrified, but also states that he can’t look away).

Is it worth seeing? Probably, as long as you’re easily amused and aren’t looking for high art. There’s enough funny to keep it moving along, and the play itself (what they show of it) is amazing and entertaining and nonsensical wrong in so many ways. It’s not the greatest comedy in the world, but it’s hardly the worst. It’s a lot like the main character: a bit of lost, but with lofty dreams, and it all comes together in the end.

Hamlet 2‘s sketch cinema quote?

Mr. Marschz (as Jesus in the play Hamlet 2): When my father finds out what I’ve been doing, he’s going to crucify me.

February 1, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | | Leave a comment

Pickin’ Brains: A Moment Inside the Head of Frank Conniff

I will never forget my older brother exposing me to the wonderful world of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in my younger days, and to this day I still credit him with my long-running addiction to the show’s utter hilarity.Like many fans of the show, I can think of nothing more thrilling than the possibility of sitting in that dark little theater on the Satellite of Love, alongside Joel or Mike and the ‘bots, laughing uncontrollably at the clever, little well-timed comments and jokes being made.

Fortunately for those of you lucky enough to be in certain geographic areas, you just may get that chance…or just about as close as you can come, as Cinematic Titanic sets sail on a raucous, cheese-filled, B-movie voyage through five major US cities this winter.

In honor of the event, which provides audiences from San Francisco to Boston the opportunity to experience the original cast of MST3K as they riff the best of the worst in film, I recently took advantage of the opportunity to have a virtual fire-side chat with Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Frank Conniff.

Lovingly known by many as TV’s Frank, Conniff took on the role of side-kick to the mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester in 1990, shortly after meeting Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu and Bridget Jones while working the Minneapolis/Twin Cities comedy scene as a stand-up comic.Conniff naturally evolved into the role, adding his brand of burlesque comedy to the show both in his writing contributions and his performance.

But Conniff wasn’t just a pretty face.While he portrayed TV’s Frank for five years during the 1990s, he was also an integral part of the MST3K writing crew and was responsible for selecting the various bad movies 1showcased in the series.Tempted as one might be, in such a position, to seek revenge here and there with a particularly unsettling hunk of movie cheese, Conniff insists he never abused his power.

“Any passive-aggression on my part was probably subconscious,” Conniff explains.“I would just look for the films that would be appropriate for the show.There are millions of bad movies, but not every bad movie is really good to be riffed, for various reasons.”

Citing issues like the overuse of dialog, Conniff struggles to pinpoint the exact process of riff-worthy selection.He may not be able to describe it, but he certainly knows it when he sees it.

“Kind of like the Supreme Court’s definition on pornography,” he chimes.

Conniff was exposed to comedy at an early age, having spent his childhood in Manhattan during the 1960’s.Influenced by comedy legends such as the Marx Brothers, WC Fields, Laurel & Hardy, and Abbott & Costello, the concept of making a living with comedy was not an outlandish idea.

“It was an intimidating idea, but it didn’t seem as out of ordinary as it would to someone growing up in a small town that was far away from that,” Conniff recalls.“I grew up in a family that was very tuned in to the media…My father was a journalist, and so the worlds of politics and show biz and the arts were kind of in the air and something I had a lot of exposure to.”

One of Conniff’s latest projects, Cartoon Dump, stems from some of his New York childhood influences; locally-produced, low budget cartoon shows hosted by live action characters such as Captain Jack McCarthy and Officer Joe Bolton.Together with noted animation historian Jerry Beck, Conniff created the live, theatrical show that was a take-off of those old local cartoon shows.Satirically geared towards a childhood audience, however, Cartoon Dump is not your average cartoon show.

“It’s that kind of show but much darker, with really emotionally disturbed characters and not appropriate for children at all,” Conniff details, “but it’s presented as a children’s show.”

frankconniff-101Cartoon Dump can be seen live, monthly at The Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles, and Conniff and his team are currently in talks to potentially create a television pilot for the show.

“We did shows in New York last year, and doing it as a live show in other cities is a big goal of ours…one thing that would help that, I think, is if we end up doing it on TV.That will build up a bigger audience for it and…would make it more viable for us to do in different cities.”

While we outside of the general Los Angeles area must wait, patiently and hopefully, for Cartoon Dump to come to our hometowns, Conniff’s latest masterpiece is making a triumphant stop in Boston on February 20th and 21st.

Cinematic Titanic, which is probably the greatest concept for a live show – ever, brings the original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 back together to do what they do best.Riff really, really bad movies.

Shortly after Joel Hodgson took in a performance of Cartoon Dump, he approached Conniff with the idea of getting the old cast back together again.The spark of genius that might have graced us with an MST3K reprisal, however, was quickly smothered and extinguished by Jim Mallon’s lack of interest in the project.

“Jim Mallon ultimately wasn’t interested in it,” Conniff explains,” and he went on and was more interested in doing these flash cartoons for the MST3K website…he just had no interest in it ultimately.”

Unwavering in his drive, Hodgson quickly came up with the idea for Cinematic Titanic, a project in which the crew invested their own funds and maintained ownership of the rights.The first Cinematic Titanic DVDs were released in late 2007, soon followed by a live performance at Industrial Light and Magic in San Francisco in February 2008.Before long, Conniff and crew were taking their project to Minneapolis, St. Louis and Chicago.

“We’re actually going on an official tour and have been working with this theatrical production company who’s producing and booking it,” Conniff states enthusiastically.“We’re doing five cities and then, hopefully if that goes well, we’re going to do more live shows, do more touring later in the year. It’s something we’re all very excited about.”

And we, the masses, are just as excited.

Conniff openly attributes a lot of his early successes to sheer luck, citing the opportunities he had while performing stand-up in Minneapolis as well as his upbringing in Manhattan.But what advice does he have for those of us who may not happen to be in the right place at the right time?news-mst3k-frank-conniff

“The best advice is to just write as much as you can,” Conniff encourages.“Write, write, write, write, write…really devote yourself to that, because…that’s how you learn how to do it, is the process of doing it.Develop some kind of community, some kind of creative community, of like-minded people…then you can kind of support each other.”

Conniff also suggests taking a class – not particularly to learn something new, but to take advantage of the structure a class offers in terms of deadlines and critical feedback.He also stresses the importance of getting your work out there.

“If you’re just in your apartment writing, and nobody ever sees what you’re writing, then nothing is gonna happen,” Conniff advises.“That’s the great thing about the internet…of course, a gazillion people are putting stuff up on the internet, so it’s not like if you put a video out that you’ll necessarily become, like, the ‘Leave Britney Alone’ guy, become a sensation.But other people will see it and you will get feedback, and it will go out into the world, and that is a very valuable thing.”

picture1 So to those of you whose friends refuse to watch movies with you anymore, those who still make sarcastic comments at the movie screen, and those of you who just love a good, belly-busting laugh fest, you don’t want to miss Conniff and the gang as Cinematic Titanic makes its way across five major cities in the next two months. I will certainly be anxiously waiting for the day when I can witness Conniff’s comedic genius live and in-person.



http://www.cartoondump.com/

 

http://www.cinematictitanic.com/


http://www.mst3kinfo.com/


January 30, 2009 Posted by | Pickin' Brains | , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Pulitzer-winning author John Updike

John Updike

John Updike, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction  died Tuesday. He was 76.  Updike’s death from lung cancer was announced by Nicholas Latimer of Alfred A. Knopf, his publisher. Updike lived in Beverly Farms, Mass.

January 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema: The Backwoods (2006)

backwoods_243x347This week’s voyage into the realm of sketchiness takes us to an unknown, rural part of Spain, as we venture along with Gary Oldman into The Backwoods.

Koldo Serra’s 2006 thriller follows the story of  young English couple Norman and Lucy (Paddy Considin, Virginie Ledoyen) as they travel to the Spanish house of friend Paul (Oldman) and his wife Isabel (Aitana Sánchez-Gijón).

Norman and Paul stumble upon a deformed child, who has been locked away in a deserted house in the forest.  Naturally, they decide to remove the girl from the house and attempt to bring her to the local authorities.  That’s when the fun starts.

Raw, brutal and unsettling, The Backwoods seems to exist somewhere between Deliverance and Hostel.  As the group tries to hide the child, the townsfolk are none too happy to find her missing and begging searching for her.

While Gary Oldman kicks a considerable amount of ass in just about any movie he’s in, there seemed to be a lot of missed ass-kicking opportunities in this movie.  Promising scenes were rampant with Oldman’s trademark look, offering the false hope that at the end of the day, all would be saved by your hero and mine.

Instead, there were underdeveloped characters and a very weak storyline.  Not only do we not find out the cause of the child’s deformities, but we never even find out just why she was locked away to begin with.  It’s a shame, really, because the movie could’ve made something of itself.

the_backwoods_movie_image_gary_oldman__1_While I don’t want to give away the ‘surprise’ ending of the film, I must say that this ending made No Country For Old Men seem like a neat, tidy, happy-ending fairy tale.

But I love Gary, I do.  And just for him, I’m going to imagine the various ways in which this movie could have ended, in order to trick my mind into having a much higher opinion of it:

  • They discover that the child is essentially the devil himself, and end up returning spawn of Satan to her house of confinement.
  • Gary Oldman kills just about everyone, good guys and bad.
  • Norman decides to just shoot Lucy instead, considering she’s been such a degrading bitch during the whole trip.
  • Gary Oldman just stands there, being Gary Oldman.

And I leave you with this week’s Sketch Cinema quote of the week:

Paul: “There are hunters and prey, Norman. That’s the only fucking truth in this world.”

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Sunday Morning Sketch Cinema | , | Leave a comment

The Blind Faithfulness of Creationism.

creationist01Years ago, I hastily jumped into a relationship with a guy I barely knew. I rolled with the punches though, as little details and realizations emerged over a span of two months – he was severely in debt, he wasn’t the cleanest person around, and his work ethic left much to be desired.

But I was young and not particularly looking for something terribly lasting in a relationship. I overlooked things.

The day came, however, when a chance conversation changed the course of the relationship, leaving me with little to no respect for him whatsoever. We had been discussing deep and heavy topics, most likely due to slight inebriation, when we happened upon the subject of how we all got here in the first place.

And then it happened.

He was a creationist.

As I presented my argument for evolution, I realized quickly that I was wasting my time. The unifying trait of creationists is the tendency to figuratively put one’s fingers in one’s ears and babble loudly to block out the sound of logic and reason.

I had fought similar battles before. Having moved on to a college-educated, historic and sociological view on religion, I had many times found myself arguing theology with my mother. With utter futility, I had tried to offer my opinions on figurative biblical interpretations, which were met with vehemently supported notions that a man, quite literally, parted a sea so his people could cross.

But nothing worked. No argument I could make could shake the creationist from his narrow-minded and uneducated views on life. Soon, I found myself standing in defense of God (or other deities held high by other religions), whom I could only assume would be pretty darned offended by these views.

Creationists believe that God created the world and everything in it.

Evolutionists believe in scientific evidence that supports the notion that the world and everything in it evolved over millions of years.

Would it not be far off to assume that God is quite befuddled by the fact that many of his creations see him as a glorified magician, who essentially tossed together some dirt and muck and – BOOM! – here we are? If God did create the universe and such, wouldn’t it go without saying that he’s responsible for evolution?

But no – rather than gain the understanding that there is simply no logic in the instant creation of mankind and the world (how would mankind be equipped to live without experience or any sort of knowledge of the world surrounding them?), creationists have turned a blind eye and ignored the evidence their creator has provided them.

We have dinosaur fossils. Evidence. Solid proof that they were here. I can only imagine God, standing frustrated, shaking his hands in the air and shouting, “What more do I have to do to get you idiots to understand how it happened? I did this amazing thing and left clues for you as to how I did it!”

But the creationists will continue to believe in the magical superpowers of their God. Their God can breathe in some mud and make a man, but he would never, ever create the universe in a logical, almost well-thought out and experimental fashion. That would be too far-fetched, for sure.

So laugh at the ancients with their many deities and sun gods and their ‘mythologies’ if you will. The bible was the only one that got it right, and there can apparently be no arguing that. When I die, I will stand at the gates of heaven, laughing at the creationists and their hubris that are routinely turned away for pissing God off with their offensive and narrow-minded opinions.

January 24, 2009 Posted by | Randomness | , , | 1 Comment

In line.

If they ask

(Should they happen to notice)

You simply smile

And you say that you’re okay

(Since that’s really all they

Wanted to hear in the end)

No soul is without its weight

And the world has its fair share

Of scars and sorrows and tears

And yours are not unique

You’ll attempt to brush it aside

And pretend it’s not there

Though it steals from you

And cheats you

And lies to you

And knows you.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Poetry | | Leave a comment

“Hands up….shakin’…..”

The boys kick so much ass, even I have bruises on my backside.

The boys kick so much ass, even I have bruises on my backside.

Last week I encouraged you to brave the cold and head to The Paradise in Boston for rockin’ good time with Dear Leader.

If you took my advice, I don’t need to go on further, since you already know just how ridiculously awesome the evening was.

But in case you missed it, let me give you a quick run-down.

New stuff. The boys unleashed a small handful of new tracks that they’ve been recording recently. I was particularly mesmerized by ‘Heart Hangs Low’ – Infectious, melodic….what fans have become used to from DL, just a bit more invigorating. I, for one, am already having trouble keeping myself adequately occupied until I can get another fix.

I was a bit sad that there was no random medley during ‘Raging Red’, but to be quite honest, I soon was over my disappointment as the band marched on in a new direction (I suppose all good things must come to an end, though I will miss Perrino’s renditions of Snoop Dogg). The gents did close the pre-encore set with ‘Wrimgp0144estler’, a tried and true crowd (and personal) favorite.

The night was not complete, however, until Perrino treated the crowd to a rousing demonstration of his iPhone’s iToot – blasting little iPhone generated sounds of flatulence to a packed crowd.

If you missed the show, never fear. The band’s drummer (and Lunch Records owner) Paul Buckley assures me that 2009 “is all about Dear Leader and Lunch Records”.

And thank heavens for that.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment