Fish-Flavored Baseball Bat

It's a John Cleese reference.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Out-of-Context Improv Quotes: New and Improved!

Much as I've enjoyed collecting and posting the out-of-context quotes from the improv shows I've attended, I had the feeling they could be even better, but couldn't put my finger on how...then it hit me. Put the quotes in comic characters' mouths! (Obvious, really.)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Three quick comments

I picked up my comics for this week last night, and though I haven't had time to read all of them yet, I just wanted to post some thoughts on three of the ones I have read.

52 #21: (Trying to keep this sufficiently vague and spoiler-free...) At first, I thought it was out of character for Luthor to be so petty that he'd do what he did simply because he'd been insulted. Certainly, he wouldn't let it pass, but he'd have enough sense of perspective to inflict a more appropriate, less severe punishment. (I know there's precedent...I vaguely recall a story where he killed his personal trainer because she whooped his ass during a workout. It struck me as being out of character then, and it still does.) Then I considered that there was ANOTHER reason for his action...the way she kept talking about joining the Teen Titans. That was what did it. Insulting Luthor will get you disciplinary action, but disloyalty...that's a line you don't want to cross.

She-Hulk #12: Aww...Thanos was such an adorable little kid!

Batman #657: This kid, on the other hand, is about as far from adorable as you can get. (Secondary comment: The only other time I've seen The Spook was in his Who's Who entry, but as I recall from that, he was completely bald. Man, that must be one excellent toupee for Damian to be able to hoist up his head that way!)

Monday, September 25, 2006

You Got Your Improv in My Comics!

One of the traditional lightning-round improv exercises is a routine called "Blankman's Daughter," which can be used either as a warm-up to the show or to finish it off. The format is simple: All the improvisers hurry to come up with quick gags to complete an old vaudeville-style joke:

"I knew she was a [occupation]'s daughter because [innuendo-filled punchline]."

(Because they're coming up with the gags off the top of their heads, the lame attempts are often funnier than the viable punchlines. A groan is as good as a laugh.) Actual examples that I can recall from past shows:

"I knew she was a bartender's daughter when she asked me for a stiff one."

"I knew she was a banker's daughter because she showed zero interest."
"I knew she was a flight attendant's daughter because she preferred the upright and locked position."

And my favorite, courtesy of Amber Nash:

"I knew she was a ninja's daughter because I never saw her coming."

Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, I just thought it would be fun to apply this formula to various comics characters, and to open it up to suggestions from all of you. (Yes, this is a blatant attempt to generate a meme of my own, after participating in so many others.)

In the interest of fairness, you can phrase your suggestions as either "I knew she was a [blank]'s daughter..." or "I knew he was a [blank]'s son..."

To start the ball rolling, I'll go with the ever-popular Green Lantern Corps.

"I knew she was a Green Lantern's daughter when she said 'No fear.'"

"I knew she was a Green Lantern's daughter because she made me recite an oath before going into action."

"I knew she was a Green Lantern's daughter because she kept calling out 'Oa! Oa! Oa!'"

I'd love to read some other variations on this gag, either continuing the Green Lantern set-up or using one of your own favorite (or most hated) characters.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

You Got Your Comics in My Improv!

Last night's improv show at Dad's Garage included an incident that I just had to write about in a complete post, rather than just the "Out-of-Context Improv Lines" I jotted down last week.

Now, it's not an unusual occurrence for people to come to the improv shows in wacky outfits...we get our share of bachelor and bachelorette parties, and costumes are occasionally involved. But at last night's show, somebody came in a Spider-Man costume! The emcee pointed out "Spider-Man is in the house!" at the beginning of the show, but for most of the night they made nothing more of it. (Audience members would shout "Spider-Man" almost every time they were asked for a suggestion, but the improvisers passed on it, as it was too obvious.)

Finally, late in the show, as the audience's expectations had been built up to the breaking point, they finally asked Spider-Man to come on stage and join them in a sketch. Spider-Man was initially reluctant, but one of the improvisers pointed out: "Dude, you came dressed as Spider-Man. What did you THINK was going to happen?"

The sketch that developed was a "blind date" scene, with Spider-Man being set up on a date with Amber Nash's character. (Setting up the scene, the team captain even made sure to specify that this scene was taking place before he hooked up with MJ.) Since Lucky Yates was wearing a T-shirt with a picture of a bee on it, he assumed the persona of Spider-Man's stoner roommate, Bumblebee Guy. The scene began with Bumblebee Guy complimenting Spider-Man on his heroic deeds, saying that he hoped to live up to that ideal. The guy in the Spider-Man suit played along with the scene well, accepting the praise.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the stage, a cadre of villains, led by Doctor Octopus (performed by having swimming-pool noodles held to the improviser's torso as "tentacles") devised an evil plan. They would have Electro construct a female robot to take out Spider-Man once and for all.

Cut back to Spider-Man and Bumblebee Guy still making chit-chat in their apartment. Outside, one of the villains is standing with Amber, declaring "Electro couldn't be bothered to make the robot girl, so I did it. You are the creation of Kraven the Hunter...and Spider-Man is YOUR prey!" With that, he sent her in.

As soon as she entered, Bumblebee Guy shouted "Hey, some chick just walked into our apartment!" Spider-Man punched out the intruder (since super-heroes ALWAYS beat up people that they're meeting for the first time). She got up and explained that she was his date, and he apologized (in keeping with the "fight-then-team-up" tradition). (I'll say this for the guy in the Spider-Man suit...I have no idea who he was, but he did seem to have some knowledge of stage combat, since he stomped his foot to simulate the sound of a punch while being careful to avoid actually making contact with his fist.)

Amber and Spider-Man then went out to dinner at Applebee's. A waiter stopped by and offered them some beignets with lots of powdered sugar: "With great powder comes great responsibility." Spider-Man kneed the waiter in the gut. (Again, effective stage fighting.) Staggering off, the waiter gasped "That was justified."

After some conversation, Amber admitted that she was a robot sent to destroy him, but she couldn't bring herself to do it because she admired his heroism too much. "I don't deserve you. You're too good for me...but Bumblebee Man is just my speed." Spider-Man accepted the break-up in stride.

Watching Spider-Man's casual indifference to being dumped, Electro told the other villains: "See, I told you he was gay. That's why I didn't bother with the robot girl." End of scene.

This recap can't capture the experience of actually seeing the scene, but I hope you can envision the comedy magic.

A bizarre coda: As I was leaving the theater after the show, there was a commotion in the parking seems that, during the show, somebody broke into the Spider-Man guy's car and grabbed some of his stuff. (Some of the other theater staff were helping the guy out while waiting for the police to arrive.) Of all the people for this to happen to, it WOULD have to be the guy in the Spider-Man outfit...

And, to wrap up this post, here are this week's Out-of-Context Improv Lines:

"Have a croissant; it's filled with poison."

"Your eyes are like two ports waiting to be filled with ether."

"It felt real good to oralize an oracle."

"I see everything three seconds in the past. It's freaking me out!"

"Shattering the hatter!"

"Don't be a a LIFE detective!"
(That last one sounds like it could be The Question's motto, doesn't it?)

Who Dares Caption Doom?

My answer to the question that Scott at Polite Dissent recently posed: What did Victor Von Doom REALLY say while his mask was being applied?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Like Your Alligator Underoos

I just got back from a concert by one of my favorite local bands, AnnaNicoleMiner's Daughter...and I'm not just saying they're a favorite because lead singer Jen Caldwell is a friend of mine from the theater, but because they seriously rock. Their set included a couple of covers of familiar tunes ("Gigantic" by The Pixies and "I Wanna Get High" by Cypress Hill), but consisted primarily of original compositions...all of which I really enjoyed. Among my favorite tunes were "Gatsby," "Freaky Little Woman," "I'm Wearing an Orange Tank Top," and the joyfully catchy "Alligator" (from whence the title of this post).

Equally rockin' was the preceding act, Attractive Eighties Women, a band fronted by Mack Williams, an animator from 70-30 Productions (source of several Cartoon Network programs).

Not much else to say, but I just wanted to give a shout-out and contribute whatever minuscule publicity boost I can.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Out-of-Context Improv Lines #1

I just got back from volunteering at a TheatreSports improv show at Dad's Garage Theatre, and I was suddenly struck with an idea for a new feature for the blog. Every weekend, I'll try to post some of my favorite lines from the various improv sketches I've seen that week...with no explanation as to what the scene was about. Let your imaginations run wild as to what prompted these lines:

"Not everything is a conspiracy of monsters...or women."

"Everyone in my village was destroyed except me. I was wearing safety goggles."

"Once again, the villain is defeated with a simple 'No means no.'"

"What say we get on the #58 bus and make it squeak?"

"They still haven't pulled all the bodies from the sea of balls."

"Everything was all right until Tom Hanks became an undead zombie."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

An awful pun I couldn't resist...

(My apologies in advance...and I'm sure I'm not the first person to make this joke...but I can't help myself.)

So, this week, I was finally able to go to the comics shop and pick up the books that were waiting for me (there was a backlog of several weeks, due to transportation issues). Anyway, among the books I picked up were Gail Simone's Atom #2 and #3. As usual for Simone, great stuff all around, but the part that really thrilled me was the return of...






Doot-doo-de-doo-doo, de-doo-doo, de-doo-doo, de-doo-doo-de-de-doot-doot-doot-doo!

Monday, September 11, 2006

What's Distracting Patricia?

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. When I have a bit more time to put my thoughts together, I'd like to post about going to DragonCon last week (not to mention getting back to scanning & uploading my sketch collection).

But for right now, it's meme time again! Here's my contribution to the "What's Distracting Patricia?" fill-in-the-blank from Dave Ex Machina:

I know the size of the image doesn't make it too clear what's on her mind, but it's something that's definitely been running through MY head non-stop since I first saw it...