Thursday, July 31, 2008

VIDEO: Ministry of Secret Jokes Instructional Video #2: How To Keep A Secret

The Ministry of Secret Jokes self-help series continues with Instructional Video #2: How To Keep A Secret. This was originally shown at last night's Ministry of Secret Jokes live show at Fergie's Pub, hosted by Doogie Horner.

WARNING: This video is Not Safe For Work and contains some graphic nature, so people with queasy stomachs beware!

Last month at the live show at Fergie's Pub, we learned how to dress mysteriously.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


At tonight's installment of MINISTRY OF SECRET JOKES, Doogie Horner's monthly show at Fergie's (1214 Sansom, FREE, 9PM), famed comic actor Dom DeLuise will be honored by way of a roast. Also, Pete Kuempel, Blake Wexler, Kent Haines, Animosity Pierre, and Amir Gollan are set to perform stand-up comedy and Omniana champ Aaron Hertzog will defend his title against Joey "Barely Legal" Dougherty.

Below are some kind words from Kurt Reynolds about the man, the myth, the legend that is Dom DeLuise.

Rainbows are Memories
In the first scene of the Muppet Movie, Dom DeLuise played a Hollywood agent lost in the bayou, who discovered Kermit the Frog playing the banjo and singing the Rainbow Connection. Dom told Kermit that he could be a big star if he moved to Hollywood. Kermit took his advice, and after many hair-raising adventures finally arrived in Hollywood. Since then Kermit has become a world famous star who has touched the hearts and lives of millions.

More on that story later.

Dom DeLuise is a Golden Globe-nominated television actor, director, and comedian who has starred in such movies as Cannonball Run, Cannonball Run Two, Smokey and the Bandit, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, and of course, All Dogs Go to Heaven.

The list of Dom DeLuise’s many other credits would be too long to fit in this small program, but no list of his accomplishments would convey Mr. DeLuise’s true legacy.

Like a wayward Hollywood agent in the bayou, Dom DeLuise traveled deep into the black, despairing pits of our souls. There were alligators there, and mosquitos, and brackish, rising water that threatened to drown our hopes and dreams. But there was a brave little singing frog in there too. Dom found him and said, “Sing your song so everyone can hear it.” Dom found the Rainbow Connection in each of us: the lovers, the dreamers, and you.

—Burt Reynolds

David Terruso's LIFE OF LETTERS #2

Comic Vs. Audience is proud to present every Wednesday, LIFE OF LETTERS, a new twelve-part comic strip series by David Terruso of the local sketch group Animosity Pierre.
Check back next Wednesday for episode #3!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

THAT GUY, Episode 6

The Sony original web series THAT GUY starring local comedian Kent Haines continues. In this latest episode, That Guy goes to the gym.


Friday, July 25, 2008


The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware will hold a comedy competition on September 19th at 7PM. The first 25 comics/groups that apply by e-mailing will perform.

Secret Pants' web video Bush or Batman is sweeping the globe as we speak, getting linked at a bunch of places and killing it on Digg.

The new National Lampoon Comedy House held the preliminary round of their "Make Us Laugh: Give Us Your Best Joke" open-mike comedy contest this Tuesday the 22nd and the finale is set for October.

Already the new club has already created some fever, be it on the Internet. According to the Philadelphia Magazine blog, "going out to see stand-up just isn’t something that ranks too high on most of our lists." Uh, ok. [Via Shecky Magazine]

The Sixth Borough have been introducing you to the neighborhoods of Philadelphia starting with East Falls and Mount Airy. Info is also up about their Fringe show, "World Crisis".

More Fringe news: on Tuesday, September 9th, Don Montrey will host The Unofficial Late Night Cabaret, a night of comedy and other business at The Khyber. No word on the lineup yet, but we hear it's going to be big time.

The whole Fringe schedule is up here with details on live performances by Illegal Refill, The N Crowd, Rare Bird Show, Meg & Rob, the highly anticipated Walking Fish Theatre 24 Hour Comedy Marathon and more. We'll have our essential and comprehensive guide to comedy at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival up in a few weeks.

Remember: whenever you see someone wearing the Groucho glasses and mustache or anything else funny, let us know at comicvsaudience AT gmail DOT com.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Things just seem to happen to Gregg Gethard. After telling a few stories at comedy shows in New York City, he created his own monthly show in Philly, BEDTIME STORIES, to tell a few more. Over the past year the show has grown in audience and features some of the best comics in the city. The next installment of Bedtime Stories will be August 13th.

When Gregg isn't creating controversies here, he's writing for the Madison Square Garden blog.

Have I earned the title of The Most Controversial Man in Philadelphia Comedy? This was certainly never a goal of mine, being a non-confrontational puss and all that, but I’ll take awards I can get.

So, what makes me so scandalous? Let’s have a recap!

We Want The Airwaves
This is the tale of the impact WFMU 91.1, the coolest radio station in the world, has had on my life. Namely, it’s how I got severely grounded as a high school freshman for a barage of phone calls made to 'Aerial View', a talk show hosted by Chris T. My prank phone call campaign ended when someone from WFMU called my house and told my mom what I had been doing.

Years later, my brother informed me that he was told the phone called was made by none other than Chris T. himself. I thought my brother told me Chris T. revealed this information personally, as my brother is someone who knows someone. And on top of calling my house, it was told to my brother that my mom’s conversation was recorded and played on the air.

I, however, was slightly wrong. My brother was not told by Chris T. in person. Instead, he was told by one of his bosses who thought he heard it from Chris T. So, I heard this information fourth-hand yet still wrote about it in a public forum.

My story prompted a response from Chris T. himself, who denied such actions and cast the blame on Gerard Cosloy, the part-time owner of premier indie rock label Matador Records as well as the man behind the fantastic sports blog Can’t Stop The Bleeding.

“I wish I could say this story is true but it's not. Since Gregg posted this entry I've gotten a few e-mails asking if I have an aircheck of this show and for the life of me couldn't remember EVER calling a listener's mother - even a crank caller's mother.

As much as I'd like to take credit for that, I just confirmed with Ken Freedman, WFMU's General Manager, that it was actually Gerard Cosloy - future record executive - who phoned Gregg's Mom and recorded the call, later playing it on the air. Gerard had filled in for me on "Aerial View" (not "An Aerial View") a bunch of times and I suppose had gotten fed up with the cranks (I just hung up on them and kept going - acknowledging a crank is the worst thing you can do).

Gerard was suspended for that stunt, since it was a big no-no to pull listener phone numbers off the Caller ID and an even BIGGER no-no to tape someone without his or her permission and play it on the air.

According to Ken, it was a great show, the one where Gerard finally came into his own on the air. As Ken says, ‘Too bad it was his last’.”
Cosloy then responded to Chris. T’s statement:
“I hate to take issue with Chris T. -- - a person I greatly admire and one of my own heroes in broadcast (Deborah Norville finishing a close second), but some portions of this story are incorrect.
It is true that I filled in for Chris on "Aerial View" on at least one occasion, and it is also true that I tangled with some prank-y calls on said show.
While I did indeed reveal one of the prankster's numbers (via the auspices of caller ID), I neither called their mother nor tape recorded any phone call. I only gave out said number over the air after warning them that's just what I'd do if they kept calling.
Later, I was told by station management the caller's parents were getting calls from other listeners in the middle of the night, and they'd threatened to contact the FCC (!) over this violation of their privacy.
I was suspended for a month.
Much as I appreciate Ken Freedman's 2nd hand praise, I'll submit that my own program had no shortage of listeners and I had "come into my own" (hands? hat? condom?) several years prior.
My stint subbing for Chris T. was not my last show on WFMU. I did at least 2 more episodes of my own program after my suspension, at which point I quit the station.

I did, however, return several years later and did a number of mid-week fill-in shows for various WFMU dj's.
Finally, I take exception to Chris' description of me as a "future record executive". At the time of my WFMU suspension, my day job at co-owner/moaner of Matador Records was exactly the same as it is today. It's kind of a romantic notion that ratting out Chris' profane listeners was the launching pad to an even bigger gig in the entertainment business, but it simply wasn't the case.
best wishes,
Gerard Cosloy”
My reactions: Holy fucking shit do I rule! First, I knew a response from someone tied to WFMU was possible. But a response from Gerard Cosloy? I would rank Pavement somewhere around 6th or 7th as my all-time favorite band. I spent an entire two years of college (junior and senior years) listening to all of their releases, even Wowee Zowee.

Also, Ken Freedman hearing about this tale also rules. Ken Freedman is a legend for his involvement at WFMU. He also hosts a show with the creator of Monk and former SNL writer Andy Breckman (and wrote the legendary "White Like Me sketch" with Eddy Murphy) called Seven Second Delay which is really awesome. (It is unknown if fellow Monk writer Tom Scharpling, the host of The Best Show on WFMU, aka the funniest thing going on today, has read my story.)

But no, my phone number was NOT given out on the air. If that happened to me, my parents would have forced me into an attic crawlspace for the rest of adolescence. This MAY have happened to my partner-in-bad-prank-phone-calling-crime Justin, but I do not remember for sure. And there’s no way I can confirm this information as Justin, now either 30 or 31, plays in a variety of death metal bands.

My next controversy came from the post entitled “My Top Five Presidents,” done in conjunction with the American History Bedtime Stories. The controversy came when I discussed the life of the likely homosexual Samuel Tilden, the Democratic opponent of Rutherford B. Hayes, who won the presidency via the infamous Compromise of 1877.

This comment was written by author Nikki Oldaker:
“Tilden was NOT a closeted homosexual...just because he never slept with a woman doesn't make him Gay...Nikki Oldaker, Author”
In turn, after doing extensive (and psychotic) research on Ms. Oldaker, I discovered her book was self-published and at one time she ran for Congress. I wrote my own response to Ms. Oldaker, which follows:
“Calling yourself an author when you self-published your book ruins your credibility. I can call myself a writer since I've actually been paid to write on subjects which other people have published. You're not an author. You own a publishing company and published your own material. That's the equivalent of writing a poem, photocopying it a bunch of times, handing it out at a bus station and claiming to be a poet.

Did you have your facts checked by an independent source? Did you even have an editor review your work? How much did you rely on Wikipedia for your research? Do you have any background at all as a historian?

The answer to that is no, according to the biography on your website for your Senate campaign. You worked at a beauty salon, at a hotel, as an auditor (most likely uncertified), a "WEB" publisher and as a "screen writer/producer."

According to the summary of your book on Amazon, you write about how he won by over 264,000 votes. This is true. But so what? We have an electoral college which is what really matters. If you focused solely on the popular vote then you are misrepresenting the facts of the story.

Also, in the summary you cast the blame of The Compromise of 1877 on a NY Times editor and the Republican Party. The Democrats were just as complicit in the affair. Casting blame on one political party shows a gross bias.

Uhm, never sleeping with a woman but not being out probably means he was closeted.

I quote historian James Fisher.

"Samuel Tilden was either asexual, or he was the first gay man to run for president."

Also, "gay" shouldn't be capitalized and you use elipses too much.

I'm guessing you probably hate the modern day Republican party and are using your views of today to criticize an event with happened two centuries ago with an entirely different political climate. That's like comparing apples and oranges and, frankly, anyone writing about history should know better.

Have fun pitching your work to C-Span's "Book TV." And I also wish you luck trying to turn your book into a feature film.

But from the facts I have learned about you (and your awful grammar) and from what little I can ascertain about the book, it seems like it's absolute tripe.

... Gregg Gethard, Comedian.”
And lastly, but most importantly, another controversy came from the epic tale of my appearance on the PBS game show “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?” Google searches done by various people who read the piece indicated my nemesis on the show, Ilan Goldenberg, may actually be a well-known Middle East analyst who works for several think tanks and also writes for the highly influential political website The Huffington Post.

A comment left indicated the speculation was true. However, confirmation of this would come a few weeks later when Ilan Goldenberg himself left a comment confirming it was him. Goldenberg also contacted my via Facebook. When I saw he did, initially, I was very squeamish because of the story I wrote. However, his e-mail proved to me that he has an excellent sense of humor and has taken this all in stride. We’ve exchanged a few e-mails, actually, and he seems like a really good guy.

Also leaving a vaguely threatening comment was Spencer Ackerman, a fairly well-known blogger/journalist whose early work led to the disclosure of the Valerie Plame story. Ackerman is also known for being fired from The New Republic and now writes for The American Prospect.

These are my stories. These are my controversies. This is my life.

To be continued?!?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

David Terruso's LIFE OF LETTERS #1

Comic Vs. Audience is proud to present LIFE OF LETTERS, a new twelve-part comic strip series by David Terruso of the local sketch group Animosity Pierre.

(Click to enlarge)

Check back next Wednesday for episode #2!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SECRET PANTS: Bush or Batman

Over the past few months, sketch group Secret Pants have been playing their crowd-pleasing game "Bush or Batman" live on stage with members of the audience. And now with the success of The Dark Knight, they've filmed it in the historical area of Philadelphia for everyone to enjoy. And maybe you'll learn something?

Secret Pants will be opening for comedian/country singer Neil Hamburger on August 7th at Johnny Brenda's (1201 Frankford Ave).

Monday, July 21, 2008

CHIP CHANTRY: I Messed With Texas

Apparently, the summer is the time for having fun and traveling. We just got back from Chicago and Philadelphia stand-up Chip Chantry performed at the Cap City Comedy Club in Austin, Texas this weekend. Chip won't have any time to relax though, as he's guest-hosting this month's edition of Die, Actor, Die TONIGHT at The Khyber (56 S. 2nd), 8PM, $5. David James, Steve Gerben, Brendan Kennedy, Amir Gollan and Secret Pants are set to perform.

As Chip flies back into our fair city, here he shares with us some of the great things he experienced in Austin.

Oh, to be in Austin- the gorgeous weather, the live music, the snapping turtles. If you think Texas is a state full of fat, stupid, obnoxious, oil-hungry racists, you are only 90% right. Then there is Austin.

Imagine, if you will, that you wander into your grandmother’s living quarters one night when she is in Wilmington visiting my aunt that just had a hysterectomy. You down a mix of her Percocet and thyroid regulating medication- you’re really high. Next thing you know, you accidentally swallow one of her diamond earrings. You freak out. Now you have to wait for the gem to pass through your system and retrieve it.

Austin is the diamond earring in the hot feces of Texas. And my grandmother has never looked prettier.

So, what’s so great about Austin?
First of all, people are nice to you when you are in Austin. Like, genuinely nice. Strangers smile at you and say ‘hello’ on the street. The last person in Pennsylvania who smiled at me was my third grade teacher after I spelled the word “barrel” wrong in the first round of the big spelling bee. She followed the smile by whispering to me “It’s two R’s, you little shit. Now sit down. This isn’t 7Up. It takes something the rest of the students call “A-B-I-L-I-T-Y.”

But Austin is not just smiles and Mexicans. There are other great things that you can experience while you are in town. Music festivals like Austin City Limits and SXSW are popular attractions that have become internationally known (more so than Rob Base). But I wanted to dig a little deeper into the heart of Austin. And dig I dug.

So here is some of the local flavor to savor the next time you you’re in the fifth state capital alphabetically. (Time’s up! it’s Albany, Annapolis, Atlanta, and Augusta.)

1. Ryan Adams is So Dreamy Night: Every Tuesday night at Bootleggers Bar on Congress Ave, men and women dressed in plaid shirts and vintage jeans sit around and discuss just how divine this alt-country prodigy really is. They also discuss his new album. Because, as you know, Ryan Adams puts out a new album every week.
($2 Keystone Lights!)

2. Free Kayak Sundays: If you don’t own a kayak, stop by Lady Bird Lake on Sunday mornings between 7-10am. They will just GIVE YOU one. For keeps. Because everyone in Austin owns a kayak. And, quite frankly, they kayak the SHIT out of that town. This is a city where the dispositions are mild, but the sports are extreme.
($2 Keystone Lights!)

3. “Kite Runner Karaeoke” at the Lucky Lizard: This is a real hot spot these days. Locals pack this delightful dive bar during Thursday Happy Hour to alternately sing their favorite 80’s hits, and discuss the haunting, yet evocative tale of betrayal and redemption set in war-torn Afghanistan. I have never, ever seen such a solemn rendition of Jessie’s Girl. Ever.
(Half-price margaritas!)

4. Midget Rodeo at Lake Travis Arena: Midgets, German Shepherds, lots of peanut butter. Get there early- front row seats are a must.

5. Comedy Clubs: Coming from Philadelphia, this was rather foreign to me. Inside Austin’s comedy clubs such as Cap City Comedy Club and the Velveeta Room on 6th Street, large groups of people (they call them “crowds” down there) fill the room, sit and listen attentively. Then, after that, they laugh loudly and clap. And then they continue this cycle of applause and laughter at regular intervals. Then, after the show, they come up to the comedians to THANK them for performing, buy them drinks, and tell them how funny they were. It was really strange.
One thing that was particularly distracting for me though, was that no one in the audience got on their cell phone during my set to make a call or text their boyfriend. And not a single table had a loud conversation with each other in the front row, oblivious to the fact that there was a show going on and that they were being complete assholes. I didn’t know how to react to that. And I guess they were all nerds, because not a single person in the audience was too cool to laugh, like in Philadelphia. Because, we have some really cool people in Philly. Way to cool to laugh. Oh! And here’s something that was really bizarre… bachelorette parties do not consider comedy clubs appropriate venues to display drunken, self-indulged whorish antics. It’s really strange! Audiences just sit there, face forward and laugh- as if they were an audience!

6. Bennigan’s: Right off of exit 241 on Interstate 35 in North Austin, you will find this bar/restaurant that serves up as much fun as is does food. The owners have decorated the walls with rather unorthodox decorations (sporting equipment, musical instruments, photos of comedian Charlie Chaplin for starters!) and make this friendly establishment fun for the whole family. If someone in your party is celebrating a birthday, tell the waitstaff- they’ll come out and sing to the guest of honor!!! Stop by for a truly unique Austin experience. ($2 Keystone Lights!)

7. Shadoe Stevens Sound-alike Sundays at The Bullhorn: Can you make your voice sound like the legendary voiceover artist/DJ turned Hollywood Squares heartthrob? Well, then get your ass down to The Bullhorn (6th and Las Cruces) on Sundays. You might win the weekly grand prize of a coupon for a $2 Keystone Light. ($2 Keystone Lights!)

8. Hipsters in Austin: 6th Street is lined with literally dozens of bars and clubs that feature live, original music every night. Austin is the live music capital of the world, and the epicenter is this blocks-long strip. Hundreds of hipsters crowd this area every night, checking out the bands and local scene.

*It should be noted that Austin hipsters are much different from the Philadelphia specimen. They are much cooler, social, and lack the whiny, faux-intellectual sarcasm of the tight-jeans ones of the northeast. They have more of a rockabilly look, are much more tattooed, and could easily kick the living shit out of any passive-aggressive, square glasses wearing douche bag that hangs out in Northern Liberties. And man, can they kayak!

9. The Number 15 Bus (Red River Line): Ride this bus with the intended destination of AWESOME. Upon boarding, Shanda will promptly ask to use your cell phone, so she can call her dead mother (“It’s a local call”, she insists). Stick around to meet Glen, a slightly overweight man with a well-trimmed blonde beard, curly BLACK hair, and a golf ball sized boil on his right cheek. Ask him, and he will tell you about how if Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley lived in the Stone Age, then Carl Perkins would have been much more popular. (Actually, you don’t have to ask… just sit there, nervously pretending to do a crossword puzzle, without making eye contact, and he will tell you anyway- rather loudly, and in great detail.)
Austin’s motto is “Keep Austin Weird”. There are T-Shirts and signs all over town displaying these instructions. But it’s not really necessary. Because the people on the number 15 bus have that shit on LOCKDOWN.

10. “Hey Is That John Mayer?” Days (July 11th-17th): Austin is known as home to celebrities that are just too cool for Hollywood. Many of these A-Listers (what do you think the “A” stands for?) party it up for a week on Lake Travis. Most of the festivities bounce back and forth between the eco-friendly mansions of Lance Armstrong and Matthew McConaughey. No one is really sure what exactly goes down this week, but two things are for sure: it’s really fucking cool, and Al Gore usually shows up. Other notable guests include Tony Hawk, David Cross, Vince Vaughn, the band Wilco, and Kate Hudson. And there’s always a Wilson brother and at least five people who Dave Navarro has slept with in attendance.

11. University of Texas, Austin: This sprawling campus is one of the largest in the nation. The academics are excellent, the social scene is top-notch, and the football games are legendary. Plus, no one has shot anyone from atop the clock tower in like FORTY YEARS! Bonus!!!

12. South Austin Liberal-Off: Who is the most liberal person in the world? It’s gotta be someone in Austin. Once a week, in front of the capital building, dreadlocked warriors of the left battle to see who is the most socially and politically progressive person in Austin.
These yea-sayers one-up each other with political views that skew so far left, they are almost right. Onlookers vote to determine that week’s most liberal person.
This past week, ideas ranged from “saving the ferrets” to “tax breaks for members of the Polyphonic Spree”. Ultimately, the winner was a shirtless drum circle participant, simply named “Hand”. His proposal to legalize bear sex in the schools outshined all others.

*Come for the debates, stay for the obvious, cartoonishly abundant supply of free pot.
($2 Keystone Lights!)

Austin, Texas is, in fact, the greatest place on Earth. As a responsible journalist, I need to put that on record. For long-time fans of my writing, you probably have realized that this is in contradiction with an essay that I wrote in 5th grade, entitled “Dorney Park Rulezzz!!!” Let it be noted, that I have officially changed my stance.



Sunday, July 20, 2008

PHOTOS: Chicago!

Here at Comic Vs. Audience we feel that we need to offer you an apology. We didn't post anything last Thursday or Friday, but we have a good reason for it, we were in Chicago and too busy having fun to be bothered!

But now we are back with some photos we took in an effort to regain your trust. We had a great time and Chicago is really an amazing city (seriously!). Enjoy the photos!

The legendary Second City (1616 N Wells St). A breeding ground for improv and sketch comedy, many Saturday Night Live greats have come from here: Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Chris Farley and more.

And near Second City is the Chicago stand-up staple Zanies (1548 N Wells St), which boasts to have featured many comedians before they became famous.

The Jay Pritzker Pavilion (201 E Randolph St). Designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, this pavilion is home to the Grant Park Music Festival and many free concerts throughout the year.

The marvelous Crown Fountain (201 E Randolph St), located in Millennium Park near the Jay Pritzker. The faces of local yokels are projected on two 50-foot glass towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool for the kiddies to play in.

The Cloud Gate (201 E Randolph St), affectionately called "the bean" by locals, is a 110-ton elliptical sculpture with a 12-foot arch for walking through and taking reflective photos of (entertaining photos not included here).

The Boring Store (1331 N Milwaukee Ave), in the heart of the Wicker Park neighborhood (which is the Northern Liberties of Chicago from what we could tell), is a spy store and front for the 826CHI, a Dave Eggers/McSweeney's writing workshop for students ages 6 to 18.

Sad news: the legendary bank robber John Dillinger has been shot at the Biograph Theater (2433 N. Lincoln Ave.) coming out of a movie there.

Even sadder news: the Haymarket Riot happened (151-199 N. Desplaines St). Eight policeman and innumerable civilians died in what was supposed to be a peaceful rally in support of the eight-hour work day (what a silly idea!). This event was an important influence on "May Day", which is now celebrated throughout the world and mostly ignored in the U.S. (crazy foreigners!).

And the worst news of all: a large fire spread throughout downtown Chicago. The fire was so damaging in fact that they are calling it, aptly, "The Chicago Fire". Luckily our hotel was sparred. Plans are in place to name their professional soccer franchise after the tragedy.

Well, we hope you enjoyed our definitive tour of Chicago. We've got a lot of great stuff coming up next week, so strap in and mentally prepare yourself.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

AARON HERTZOG: Future Parents Just Don't Understand

Do your parents not understand modern technology? Do they still use crazy, outdated methods to get things done. Do they still think we are alone in this universe? If you have an example of your parents incompetence, send us a mindfax!

If your parents are like mine, they don't even know how to work a Xegabot!
My mom was trying out my virtual reality helmet and completely forgot she was in the VR world. My dad ended up having to cook us dinner that night (and all he knows how to do is deionize a pro-t-pack) while she was making an entire supper for the virtual family. When she finally realized what was going on and came out of it, she asked us why we just didn't pull the helmet off. I couldn't believe it! Doesn't she know that pulling someone out of virtual reality against their will can result in a complete mind/ body permanent separation. We want her to cook us vegetables, not be one.
From SAM429-X

My mom still hasn't had the interchip installed. She thinks it's a way for the government to spy on her by knowing every single thing she ever thinks about. I mean, it figures, she was born in 1984.
From Z293GO-V

The other day I caught my dad taking a nap. I was like, HELLO, why don't you just get into your re-energizing pod and emerge moments later feeling fresh as a daisy. Hey, I never wondered where that phrase came from until now. Apparently, a "daisy" is a flower that used to grow on Earth (the first one). A "flower" is a plant, considered with reference to its blossom or cultivated for its floral beauty. Thanks Instabrainwaveapedia!
From X7F109-T

Last week I brought home my new boyfriend, Zerg. He's a hybrid, and my dad is very old fashioned. He went off on this rant about how I should date my own kind and he doesn't know why the Crimertonians can't just go back to where they came from and leave us alone. Zerg tried to explain that they are still conducting their genetic experiments but once they are finished everything will be better than it ever was before. Well that just made my dad crazy and he grabbed this old shotgun he keeps hidden under the old eyesore recliner that he just won't get rid of (that's another story on it's own) and points it at Zerg, completely forgetting that hybrids posses the exact same mind control powers as full blood Crimertonians. Zerg just froze my dad right in his tracks. My dad is lucky that hybrids aren't as bad as he thinks they are because Zerg could have made him turn the shotgun on himself, instead he just brought my whole family back to his ship where they harvested our eggs and sperm to further their creation of more hybrid children. I guess it's ironic, my dad tried to stop the hybrids, and he ended up providing enough genetic material to create literally thousands of future hybrid children. As for me and Zerg, things are going great. Sometimes I think maybe it's time we split up, but then he just looks deep into my eyes, and my mind is instantly changed.
From R34XCV-9

Aaron Hertzog will be performing stand-up at Chuckles Comedy Club on Saturday, July 26th.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


SO FAR IN THIS LITERARY ADVENTURE: Doogie built a time machine with the intention of traveling back to 1894 London and watching H.G. Wells write the first page of his science fiction classic, The Time Machine. Instead he ended up in colonial Philadelphia, where he lost a fight with a pygmy farmer and his battle ogre (who hit Doogie with a bathtub). Doogie woke to find himself a captive in the farmer’s basement, where the farmer raised hobos like cattle and fed them to a race of Molemen™, who traded him gold for human flesh.

The queen of the Molemen™, who was being held ransom by the farmer, was locked in the cage next to Doogie. She gave him a sigul along with instructions to find her father, and revealed a secret passage beneath his cell. Doogie broke through the passage, found the king of the Molemen, and told him that his daughter, the Princess, was indeed alive.

The Molemen mounted a massive offensive against the farmer, who was armed with a death ray from the future which he used to kill King Ralph. The farmer and Doogie fought in the basement, where the farmer shot Princess Amidala with the death ray. The Basement People freed themselves from their cages and ate the farmer alive. Doogie rushed to the Princess’s side and discovered that the death ray hadn’t killed her, it had simply burned all the fur off her body, revealing a beautiful woman underneath. The Princess was horrified to find herself disfigured thus, and wailed in shame.

Catch up with past installments: I, II, III, IV, V and VI.

The Basement People’s clacking teeth, as they ate the farmer alive, sounded like Satan tap-dancing on an empty coffin. Amidala’s screams merged with the Farmer’s death throes, creating an atonal melody that reminded me of the Pixies’s early albums, especially Surfer Rosa. In that moment I had an epiphany: I would make a great music critic. I made a mental note to send my resume to Dog Fancier Magazine once I returned home. If I returned. (Dramatic foreshadowing, or red herring? Read on to find out!)

Amidala wept, knees huddled against her ample, heaving breasts. Holy shit she was hot. Her boobs were big, but not too big, a little more than a handful, which is perfect. Because when you go to grab boobs like that, you’re like “Oh shit, this is more than I can handle!” But it’s not so much that the slack boob meat slips between your fingers and you realize “This really is too much.” With a boob like that, the extra 10% of boob tantalizingly out of reach holds the allure of the unattainable (especially if you only have one arm because your other arm was vaporized by a laser).

I’d like to go on and describe the rest of Amidala’s body, but I’ve already spent a whole paragraph on her boobs, and I don’t want you to think I’m shallow. So all I’ll say is that her personality was incredible, totally bald, and beckoning to me; its silent song wormed its way into the reptilian corridors of my mind.

The Basement People were finishing the last morsels of the Farmer, which wouldn’t take long, since he was a pretty little guy. Perhaps now they would rush over and proclaim me as their savior! Or perhaps they would eat me too, since they had lived their entire lives in cages, like wild animals.

“Princess Amidala,” I said “We have to leave.” She continued to weep, heedless of my words. I pulled her arm, but she wouldn’t budge.

“I’m hideous! Leave me here to die!” She wept.

The clacking of teeth stopped. I looked back over my shoulder and saw nothing but blackness beyond the thin strip of light cast by the open basement door. Then I saw a pair of glowing eyes rise from the floor. Then another. And another. They all turned and stared unblinkingly at Amidala and I.

The Princess followed my gaze to other side of the basement, where the glowing crowd of eyes shuffled closer to us. Amidala shrieked, and the terror in her voice must have awakened some primal hunter instinct within the Basement People, because the pack broke into a run. I could see them appear in the corridor of light and then disappear on its other side: eyes wild, pale arms outstretched, scarlet blood smeared on their pallid lips.

Then a thousand hands were upon me. My stump was still sensitive, and though I swore I wouldn’t scream out, I did as their stubby fingernails scratched my nub. “Stop!” I yelled. “It’s me! The guy who released you all from your cages! Remember?”

They stopped immediately. This was a polite mob. Slowly they released me. One of them, very old, pushed through the crowd and peered into my face.

“You’re the adventurer?”

“Yes, yes, the guy who saved all of you.”

He placed the brass key to the Time Machine in my hand. “This is yours.”

Nervous laughter floated up from the group. One of them spoke. “Geez, sorry we tried to eat you. You know how it can get. Mob mentality and all that.” Everyone apologized profusely.

A thin voice piped up from the back. “I’ll tell you what makes ya’ crazy, it’s the taste of blood.”

At the mention of the word “blood,” all the Basement People stared into space and spoke at once, in a daze: “Blooooooood.”

But Amidala and I were already rushing up the stairs and into the light.

– – –

We were in such a rush to escape the Basement People I didn’t have time to warn Amidala about the carnage she was about to see. Her hands flew to her face, and I put my arms around her. I was looking for any opportunity to put my hands all over her.

The entire house was ruined, a pile of rubble and broken wood.

The carnage was gut wrenching. Fun Fact: Dead Molemen smell awful! Giant worms were squished all over the place, and their segmented halves continued to writhe aimlessly through the rubble. Fran had finally been subdued, held down with thick gold chains and guarded by a dozen Molemen. The precautions were unnecessary, I could see the fight had gone out of her.

Lefty saw Amidala and I and rushed over.

“Is the Princess alright?” he asked.

“Yes, yes, she’s fine, just a little shaken up.”

“Where is she?”

“Well, she’s right here,” I pointed to Amidala.

Lefty looked at the naked, hairless supermodel huddled under my arm. He screwed up his face.

“Ugh, that dog? That’s not the princess. Where is she?”

Fire blazed in the Princess’s eyes. “Insolent swine! Bow before your Princess!”

Lefty recoiled. “Please, hairless wench, be silent.” He turned to me. “Doogie, I don’t know whether to thank you or not. We are free from the farmer, but our victory has come with a terrible price. Are the basement people still alive?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Good. We’re starving.” He gave me a fist bump. “God speed you on your journey, adventurer.”

“Where is my father? He will recognize me,” the Princess said.

It was then we saw the King’s body. Six Molemen carried it on a golden platform studded with burning torches. A procession walked ahead playing what sounded like the theme song to Alf on accordians, while a phalanx of soldiers did the electric slide, shaking golden kooshes.

The Princess tried to rush forward, but I held her back. She watched the funeral procession pass by, tears streaming from her eyes. She turned to me. “Take me with you. There’s nothing for me here.”

I tried to maintain the proper tone of mournful sorrow, but it was difficult.

– – –

Amidala and I got into the time machine and took a quick jaunt to the year 3000, where we spent two weeks vacationing on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. We lived in a little space hut on the shore of Kraken Mare. We spent our days swimming in Titan’s massive hydrocarbon lakes and hiking its breath-taking cryovolcanoes, and our nights (which last 15 days) were occupied . . . in other ways.

One morning Amidala rushed into the bedroom and shook me awake. “Look, look!” she squealed.

I woke up groggily, looked at her face, and screamed in terror. Amidala had a massive grey handlebar mustache, and her bountiful knockers were covered in whispy grey fur.

“It’s growing back!” She leapt on top of me and showered me with kisses. Her mustache tickled my nose. I prayed for the merciful darkness of night, and realized, ruefully, that another chapter in my adventure had come to an end, and the final chapter was about to begin.

The next installment of Doogie's live comedy show, THE MINISTRY OF SECRET JOKES is on Wednesday, July 30th at Fergie's Pub (1214 Sansom St.)


THAT GUY, Episode 5

The Sony original web series THAT GUY starring local comedian Kent Haines continues. In the latest episode, That Guy orders takeout.


Monday, July 14, 2008

MEG & ROB: Fog Of Love

From the minds behind "Dan Henkle, Relationship Expert", "Love Over The Phone" and more comes "Fog Of Love", which was originally shown at the July edition of Bedtime Stories. Sez Meg of Meg & Rob:

We are pleased to present director Errol Morris's little-known short film "Fog of Love." As you might know, Morris is much more famous for creating the documentary Fog of War, which features former US Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara discussing the lessons he learned from the failure of the Vietnam War. What many people do not know, however, is that Mr. Morris only created Fog of War to hide the fact that he, Erroll Morris, actually himself caused the Vietnam War to fail through a combination of voodoo, bad eating habits, and the murder of a butterfly that was about to flap its wings in Africa.

After the Fog of War, Morris's sole desire was to put the war behind him and create a chick flick starring Julia Roberts or, at the very least, Hugh Grant in a Julia-Roberts-style wig. He was unable to find funding for the project, however. Broke, eating poorly, and considering performing voodoo again, Morris instead decided to use discarded footage from the Fog of War to create his opus "Fog of Love." Misunderstood by audiences who expected a chick flick and disdained by critics who were looking for a hard-hitting documentary "Fog of Love" has been mostly forgotten...until now. Enjoy.


Friday, July 11, 2008


The third annual Laughtastic Sketch-o-palooza benefiting the Mike Young fund at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience will be held on Sunday, August 24th at World Cafe Live. ComedySportz Philadelphia, Rowan & Hastings, Doogie Horner, Steve Gerben and Bad Hair are set to perform.

Shecky Magazine recently reported that the National Lampoon name is opening eight new clubs with one of them being in the Dave & Buster's on Delaware Ave. in Philadelphia. UPDATE: An Open Letter To The Comedy Community

The Del Close Marathon will be held in New York City August 8th-10th and Philadelphia groups The Ninjas, Rare Bird Show, MakeOut Clinic, The Cabal, Men About Town, Illegal Refill, and Industrial.

The next Deep Sleep Comedy Show (54 N. 3rd St.) will be next Monday the 14th. Hosted by Jared Moskowitz, it's free and will include Joe Dougherty, Pat House, Doogie Horner and more.

Performer submissions are now open for the Philly Improv Festival until August 22nd. The fest will take place November 13-15 at the Plays & Players Theatre downtown.

Seen a Philadelphia comedian slip on a banana peel lately? E-mail comicvsaudience AT gmail DOT com with your tips.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


During last night's rowdy American history lesson at Bedtime Stories, your very own Comic Vs. Audience showed a video that we put together.

Written by Aaron Hertzog
Directed by Dave Walk
Starring (in order of appearance):
Kent Haines
Chip Chantry
Pat Barker
Aaron Hertzog
Doogie Horner

And of course, it's not a real video if there isn't a blooper reel!!!!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

MY TOP 5 PRESIDENTS by Gregg Gethard

Things just seem to happen to Gregg Gethard. After telling a few stories at comedy shows in New York City, he created his own monthly show in Philly, BEDTIME STORIES, to tell a few more. Over the past year the show has grown in audience and features some of the best comics in the city. The next installment of Bedtime Stories is TONIGHT, July 9th, 8PM, Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge).

History is my favorite academic subject. In college, I took nine history classes in my final two semesters in order to get a double major in Communication and History. Combined, this means that maybe one day I could intern for Ken Burns but mostly it means low-paying and little-rewarding jobs. At one point in time, I signed up to participate in a re-creation of Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, only to withdraw when I realized it would make it even harder for me to get laid.

That is why I am incredibly excited for the next Bedtime Stories, where the topic will be American History. The best part about Bedtime Stories, I think, is that it gives all the performers a chance to get really specific regarding that month’s topic. If all goes well this month, I’ll keep doing American history topics and make them narrower and narrower. I think a show completely dedicated to the Kansas-Nebraska Act or the Gadsden Purchase would be pretty great.

As such, I will now list the American presidents I find the most fascinating:

1. Rutherford B. Hayes: He ran for president in 1876. Hayes, an Ohio Republican, campaigned against Democrat Samuel Tilden, who once confessed to a friend that he had never slept with a woman. (I find this fascinating. Not that a closeted homosexual nearly became president, but that a closeted gay man didn’t ever sleep with a woman.) Neither Hayes nor Tilden received enough electoral votes to clinch the presidency. And three states had contested ballots with no clear winner. No one knew what to do, so a backroom deal known as the “Compromise of 1877” was made. Southern electors would cast their votes behind Hayes who, in return, had to agree to pull federal troops out of the South, which led to Jim Crow laws and racial segregation until the 1960’s. But while he pulled out federal troops whom were protecting recently freed slaves, he later inserted federal troops into various American cities to prevent railroad workers from striking, killing more than 70 striking workers as a result. George Bush is a pretty awful president but Rutherford B. Hayes is possibly worse. He won an even more sleazy rigged election. He messed up the lives of African-Americans more than Bush did after Katrina. And Bush’s misuse of federal troops has at least been used to kill Iraqis and not his own citizenry. It’s debatable, but both of them have a strong case as the worst president in American history. America rules.

2. William Henry Harrison: Harrison is known primarily for two things; his inaugural address lasted for well over two hours in freezing cold weather and then 30 days later he died of pneumonia, which he most likely developed while reading a speech for over two hours in freezing cold weather. That kind of serves him right. Can you imagine if either Barack or McCain did that to us this January? Fuck that.

3. David Rice Atchison: President James K. Polk left office. His successor, Zachary Taylor, was supposed to be sworn in on a Sunday. But being a devout Christian, Taylor refused to be sworn in on a Sunday. However, the country still needed a president for the day. Atchison was the president-pro tempore of the Senate, which, via a loophole, allowed him to become president for a few hours. That would be pretty cool, I think. But one question: Why didn’t a foreign country invade us on the day this guy was president? They would have had such an advantage as the commander-in-chief couldn’t really make a decision since in a few hours his term was up. Also, there is a big debate amongst history scholars if Atchison actually was president or not due to various readings of the Constitution. These people are dorks.

4. Warren G. Harding: President during the early part of the 1920’s. Considered in his era to be a premier “DILF,” kind of like the dad from The OC. Had many, many mistresses. One of them, scorned by her love of Warren G. Harding’s deep dicking abilities, blackmailed the Republican Party into paying for a trip around the world and an annual check. Another of his mistresses, Nan Britton, was a teenager who was obsessed with him. When she turned 20, Harding popped her cherry and the two had a hot-and-heavy affair for the next few years. Harding allegedly banged her while the two were in an Oval Office closet, a little less degrading than Monica Lewinsky going down on Bill Clinton and then wearing his remains on her clothes. He also fathered an illegitimate child with her.In addition, his affair with Nan Britton has produced one of the most insane websites of all time, a collection of fan-fic written about their relationship. Also, his administration caused the Teapot Dome Scandal which was also pretty fucked up.

5. Gerald Ford: His birth name was actually Leslie Lynch King Junior. His mom’s first husband was a beater so she ditched him and eventually re-married a man named Gerald Ford. She then completely changed her son’s name to Gerald Ford Junior even though he was over three years old and probably slightly cognizant of what his name was. He didn’t legally change his name to Gerald Ford until he was 23 years old. Seriously, what the fuck? I get shit from certain people for spelling my name "Gregg" when my name is actually "Gregory" with one G. I changed it just because I like "Gregg" better and Gregg Jeffries was my favorite New York Met at the time. Why the hell did the members of his college fraternity, or his teammates on the U of Michigan football team, not beat the shit out of him for changing his name a little late in the game?


THIS WEEK: PHIT at the Shubin Theatre

It's time again for the Philly Improv Theater's week at the Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge St). The week actually kicked off Monday with our show (thanks to the comics and everyone that came out, it went swimmingly!), but the meat of the week is still yet to come. For tickets, visit the Philly Improv Theater's website.

Wednesday, July 9

8 p.m. – Bedtime Stories: From Sea To Shining Sea, A Tribute To American History, $10. Sez the host Gregg Gethard:

On July 4, 1776, a new nation was created. A land where anyone could have a dream. A land where anyone could practice the religion of their choice without fear of oppression. A land where Tila Tequilla would one day have caged members of both genders fighting for her consideration. This nation is called AMERICA.
Set to perform are Jon Goff, The Sixth Borough, Secret Pants, Meg and Rob, Chip Chantry, Jamie Fountaine, Charles Rosen and friends, Chris Morganti and friends, Pete Celonia/Chelsea Vidaurri, special music guests Emily and Micah McGraw and a video by us, Comic Vs. Audience!

10 p.m. – Why Am I Not Famous?!?: A Comedy Talk Show w/ Kent Haines, $5. Kent welcomes guests comedian Doogie Horner and musican Look Alike in the inaugural installment of his new talk show. His plan for the show: "I'll have an opening segment where I win the crowd over. I call it my 'making fans' segment. Usually I'll let the people get to know me a little better, or I'll do a song and dance number. Then I'll interview some guests and ask them to perform their little bits or whatever."

Thursday, July 10

8 p.m. - TROIKA 2008 ROUND THREE Presented by, in cooperation with the Philly Improv Theater, TROIKA pits three groups of three improvisers against each other. The groups choose their own format and the audience determines the winner. The winner of each of the three preliminary rounds goes on to battle in the Grand Championship in August. This month brings three new groups that will vie for the opportunity to join previous winners Auditorium and Velvet Helmet in the finals next month. $10.

10 p.m. - CAGEMATCH: Angry People Building Things vs. TOP SECRET. CAGEMATCH brings more competitive improv by pitting two groups against each other for 25-minute sets that can only use one audience suggestion. The audience decides the winner by secret ballot. Angry People Building Things have been demolishing all challengers for a while now, will they ever be stopped?!? $5.

Friday, July 11

8 p.m. – Cubed with Angry People Building Things, $10. They share hopes. They share dreams. They share fears. They share a common 4 x 5 walled partition. CUBED is workplace-comedy improv relying on YOU, the audience, for ongoing suggestions and participation. You give us our company name. You write a memo or two. You will be an active part of the show, so pull up a cubicle and enjoy! CUBED. Thinking inside the box.

10 p.m. – Dr. Fantastic with Bark Wharf. $10. With an emphasis on speed, parody, and the absurd, Dr. Fantastic abandons cherished improv concepts such as character, truth, and coherence. Be prepared for a wild ride through people and places that can only exist on stage. No doubt you have many questions. But these are not the questions we had agreed upon earlier, so they will not be answered. Bark Wharf is three-man improv from some of the most talented alumni of Haverford (and improv!): Matt Klinman, Ali King, and Jesse Paulsen.

Saturday, July 12
8 p.m. – Dr. Fantastic with Cubed, $10.

10 p.m. – Meg & Rob with Bark Wharf, $10. Local sketch comedy heroes Meg and Rob return to perform of their best stuff before they head off to the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

- Our past Bedtime Stories coverage including video, photos and interviews
- Interview with PHIT's founder Greg Maughan
- The wildly popular Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? tale by Bedtime Stories host Gregg Gethard
- Kent's web series THAT GUY: I, II, III, and IV

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

THAT GUY, Episode 4

The Sony original web series THAT GUY starring local comedian Kent Haines continues. In the latest episode, That Guy takes his turn at charades.

Don't forget: Kent's new talk show premieres TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 9th at 10PM at the Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge).

Monday, July 7, 2008


Ladies and gentlemen, the day has finally comedy for our own comedy show! Come on out TONIGHT for stand-up comedy by four stand-up comedians. Here, once again, are the details:

The Comic Vs. Audience Comedy Show
Monday, July 7th, 2008
at the Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge St.)
$5 (you can buy tickets here)
Joey Dougherty (young, scrappy upstart)
Josh Bennett (quick & deadly)
Aaron Hertzog (Big Man about town)
Steve Gerben (2007 Philly's Phunniest Person, pretty funny guy)

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Paul T. of Secret Pants recently talked to about his website And, Secret Pants will be opening for comedian turned country singer Neil Hamburger August 7th at Johnny Brenda's.

Elsewhere, music and comedy collide. We can't believe we slept on it for so long, but the Fuck Yeah Fest is coming to the Starlight Ballroom on July 11th with Matt & Kim, Circle Jerks, Philadelphia's own Paint It Black, punk rock heroes Dillinger Four and stand-up comedians. Details are murky on who at this point, but it appears that Reggie Watts has been performing at some on the dates. Hannibal Buress and Josh Fadem will be performing. Check out the trailer for the tour.

Philadelphia-area improv groups Cubed and Rare Bird Show will be performing in Baltimore Improv Festival next month. Rare Bird Show will also be holding workshops.

The Ministry of Secret Jokes is going on the road. They'll be performing at the Fuel House Coffee Co. in Vineland, New Jersey on August 9th. Host Doogie Horner was also recently interviewed by

Photos from Die, Actor, Die's Dirtiest Sketch in Philadelphia are up courtesy of Vincent Brown.

Improv group Tongue & Groove will be performing at a First Person Arts salon at the Gershman Y (401 South Broad St.) on July 9th. Troupe member Adam Gertler is on the Food Network's The Next Food Network Food Star this season and was recently profiled in the South Philly Review.

Know of something funny happening that doesn't involve lip-syncing on Youtube? E-mail comicvsaudience AT gmail DOT com with your tips.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

AARON HERTZOG: Same Band, Different Fans

Pearl Jam
True Fan: They incorporate so many styles, there's classic rock, punk, post-punk. They are socially and politically relevant. And you can tell they just love to play music, man, without getting caught up in all the corporate BS.

Frat Boy Fan: Dude, just, dude, bro, shut up and put on Black. You know I friggin' rock that song! I sound just like Eddie Vedder, listen bro, listen.

The Shins
Long-Time Fan: This is great pop music. They are almost a throwback to '60s rock. Catchy and melodic, it's fun music but is also really relatable.

Fan Who Saw Garden State: I totally saw Garden State.

Your Parents: This music speaks to me and my entire generation. It's just about livin' and lovin' baby. Livin' and lovin' in a little place called America.

You: Everybody! Get in here, stand around. Seriously, no, seriously, everybody get in here. You know a party is not a party until...Just a small town girl!

Hip Hop Fan: Nobody can mess with his flow, even when he's experimenting he's on another level. He's got crazy interior rhyme schemes and his wordplay and metaphors are sick!

14-Year-Old Girl: Look at him, he's so cute! Look at his eyes, baby blue, baby just like myself.

Miley Cyrus
14-Year-Old Girl: You know she's my age, right? She would, like, totally hang out with us. We should go to her concert and find her, we'll be besties for-ev.

45-Year-Old-Man: Mmmm, yeah Miley, look over that shoulder at me. You naughty girl, you. I bet I came in and you were doing something you shouldn't have been doing. Did I catch you being bad? Do you need a spanking?

Old Weezer Fan: Their songs are just so truthful, they speak to me. That's me, in my garage with the stuff that I love just day-dreaming away.

New Weezer Fan: I do not exist.

Aaron Hertzog will be performing tonight at Helium's Philly All-Stars show and at our show next Monday the 7th.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008


SO FAR IN THIS LITERARY ADVENTURE: Doogie built a time machine with the intention of traveling back to 1894 London and watching H.G. Wells write the first page of his science fiction classic, The Time Machine. Instead he ended up in colonial in Philadelphia, where he lost a fight with a pygmy farmer and his battle ogre (who hit Doogie with a bathtub). Doogie woke to find himself a captive in the farmer’s basement, where the farmer raised hobos like cattle and fed them to a race of Molemen™, who traded him gold for human flesh.

The farmer knew about the time machine, but hadn’t discovered it’s true use. The queen of the Molemen™, who was being held ransom by the farmer, was locked in the cage next to Doogie. She gave him a sigul along with instructions to find her father, and revealed a secret passage beneath his cell. Doogie broke through the passage, found the king of the Molemen, and told him that his daughter, the Princess, was indeed alive.

Catch up with past installments: I, II, III, IV, and V.

– – –

The farmer was sitting in his kitchen, I could see him through the windows. The kitchen’s overhead gas lamps flickered brightly and spilled out onto the dark lawn where the Molemen and I crouched in hiding.

The farmer was whittling a stick and sitting in front of an empty plate. My time machine’s key hung around his neck, the lanterns’ flames glinting off its brass.

The farmer hollered and a moment later Fran came lumbering into the room. I crept closer, careful to stay in the shadows, and tried to hear what they were saying.

“What do you mean we’re out of pork?” the farmer screamed. Fran just shrugged. Her big, dumb face elicited unexpected pity in me as she stooped to fit in the room and stoically took his shit. The farmer yelled at her for a couple minutes, then finally said “Alright, well go down and get that furry girl then, we’ll eat her. Make sure you pull off all the hair though.”

The Princess! I stood up and screamed over my shoulder. “Attack!”

Riding giant worms the size of elephants and swinging golden swords, the Molemen broke through the kitchen’s wall. Glass and wood flew everywhere. The farmer scurried under the table. Fran picked up the kitchen icebox and swung it like Thor’s hammer, squashing the Elephant Worms like . . . worms. (I’m sorry, but that’s the best way to describe it.) Fran was quickly overwhelmed and buried beneath a squirming pink mound while the Molemen beat her with rocks.

I was reveling in what I thought was our moment of victory, until the farmer’s eyes met mine, and I could see he wasn’t scared. Two little flames danced in his eyes, and a puckish smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.

My heart sank.

“I figured out what your machine does, queer!” The farmer reached into his overalls and pulled out a nasty looking laser. “It travels through time.” He pointed the gun at me, and a green flame shot out of its nozzle.

I dodged left, but too slowly. My right arm and shoulder disintegrated in a burst of green fireworks. It didn’t hurt at all, and I didn’t even realize my arm was missing until a second later, when I tried to catch my fall and fell flat on my face. I rolled on the ground dumbly searching for my former extremity, and barely noticed as the Molemen King leapt over me and rushed towards the farmer. Lifting his sword overhead he screamed “Die foul dirt tiller!”

The farmer didn’t waste time on a witty retort, he just pulled the trigger and blasted a cantaloupe size hole through King Ralph’s chest. My missing arm was immediately put into perspective for me. The King’s sword fell to the ground. The farmer whirled to shoot me, but a giant worm’s tail knocked him to the ground. He swept his ray across the frontline of the Molemen army, and their bodies blew away like dandelions in a strong wind.

I picked up the King’s sword and ran towards the basement. The farmer’s death ray swept after me, disintegrating the floor behind me and chopping great whacks out of everything in its path, Molemen, worms, and all.

I made it to the cellar door and tumbled down the stairs. I could hear the screams of dying Molemen and the sizzle of the farmer’s laser behind me as I rushed towards the Princess’s cage. I saw her huddled in the corner, hairy and disgusting as ever.

“Thank the Great Mole you’ve come to save me! Where’s my father?”

“Stand back!” I yelled, and swung the sword against the lock on her cage. I missed completely and the sword rang dully off the stone wall. “Shit. I’m having trouble wielding this, since I’m not left handed.”

“Use your right hand,” she suggested.

I pointed to the stub where my right arm used to be.

She looked at my stub. An awkward silence descended over the cellar. “Is that a new shirt?” she asked.

“Fool, you’re trapped!” I spun and saw the farmer rushing down the stairs.

I gave my sword to the Princess. “Here, break your lock and run!” I ran into the maze of cages just as the death ray scorched holes in the stone all around me. The farmer shot wildly into the darkness, but couldn’t see me. Was the laser’s beam dimmer than it had been before? I thought it was, perhaps it was running low of energy.

I scurried in the shadows. In cages piled high as the ceiling, the Basement People cowered and stared at me with desperate eyes. From a crack between two cages I looked out and saw the farmer standing very still, listening.

“Heeeeeere piggy piggy piggy! C’mon out! I promise I won’t shoot your pecker off and feed it to my baby. C’mon.” He advanced into the maze of cages, his laser drawn. “That’s a beautiful time machine you have thar. I bet you’re gonna’ take it back in time and have anal sex with Julius Caesar, right? Disgusting. I bet you’re going to lick his pecker and hold his hand and then settle down and adopt a few children from Asia, ain’t ya?”

I had no such scheme in mind.

“And then your parents, Roy and Zoey Bailey, youse gonna’ go and tell them ‘I’m in love with Julius Caesar, and we have sex! And I am NOT a troll, I’m a midget! And I never wanted to be a farmer, and why’d you make me marry that gigantic bitch?!’”

I leapt at the farmer like a panther, and immediately regretted not choosing to leap like a more nimble jungle cat, such as the puma, because he easily parried my blow and tossed me to the floor. I struggled to stand and he planted his wicked sharp knee under my chin. The basement toppled end over end, and when it stopped I looked up into the black nozzle of his death ray.

“I’m gonna’ go back in time and make out with Judas Iscariot,” the farmer said.

“No you’re not.” Princess Amidala stood outside her cage, brandishing her father’s sword.

Before I could stop him, the farmer shot Amidala with his death ray. The green flames licked across her body, enveloping her. I knocked the laser from the farmer’s hand and pushed him as hard as I could with one arm (remember, my other arm was vaporized; a lot of guys would bitch and whine, make a big deal out of it, but not me) into the wall of cages. A multitude of Basement People shot their scabby arms between the bars and held him fast. Terror welled in his eyes.

“Dear sweet lord Jesus! I never meant I was gonna’ swap spit with Judas!” he pleaded.

I wasted no time gloating. I picked up King Ralph’s sword and tossed it to the Basement People. They chopped off the farmer’s arms and legs. Then they broke the locks on their cages, and swarming over the farmer’s screaming torso, devoured him alive.

I rushed to Amidala’s body, which lay smoking on the cellar floor. All the hair had been burned off her body. I could see that underneath the grey fur, she actually was an incredibly beautiful woman. The kind of woman I could love. The kind of woman I would have given my life for. I cradled her sexy, smoking (literally and metaphorically), supple body to my weeping breast, and immediately got a small, sinful erection. How much longer would the Basement People be occupied devouring the farmer’s body, I wondered.

I kissed Amidala deep and hard, and a single tear rolled from her eye and splashed onto her cheek.

Amidala’s eyelids fluttered, then opened. She stared into my eyes. An eternity passed between us. Then she looked down at her body.

“Holy fuck, where’d my fur go?!” Her blood-curdling scream bounced off the cellar walls.

Check back in two weeks for the thrilling conclusion to Doogie's LITERARY ADVENTURE: The Time Machine series. The next installment of Doogie's live show, THE MINISTRY OF SECRET JOKES, is July 30th.


THAT GUY, Episode 3

The Sony original web series THAT GUY starring local comedian Kent Haines continues. In the latest episode, that guy gets a little too competitive with charades.

Don't forget: Kent's new talk show premieres Wednesday, July 9th at 10PM at the Shubin Theatre (407 Bainbridge).