We’re not going to assume anything here, but we’re pretty sure that if you’ve been keeping up with the Joneses, you have a computer and a bunch of free time on your hands. And, it’s not like we’re tracking your hits to our website or Facebook page or anything (Hi Jim), but we totally know that you like to sit and look at pictures of us sometimes. Maybe you even let your mind wander and try to imagine what was going on in some of the shots? A few of you may have even signed up for a class at the Learning Annex and are working on some short stories based on them. Well, step away from that there imagination, friends, because we are about to give you the true, behind-the scenes story…
Sabrina: All I can say is that this kid is everything I want to be. If I do a decent job with this life, perhaps I will be reincarnated as this kid. Check him out. He has some kind of onesie superhero costume going on, complete with a padded six-pack, a Freddie mask, a Zorro sword, and reasonable shoes. If he is not my hero, his mother sure is. The best thing? The thing you don’t know? This kid was growling when we took this picture. He had this low, consistent, wolf-growl going for about three minutes. We told him that this picture was of him “protecting” us, and he just knew what to do. You can’t make me stop loving this kid. Just try. Just you try. That kid will show up and karate chop you in the balls.
Katharine: Yah, I didn’t want to work with the kid at first. I mean, his mother was standing just out of frame. Such a Stage Mother too! Here she is enjoying a lovely sunny day when three freezing (it was early March) obviously crazy ladies come traipsing by and demand that they take her child. And she said yes! What a demanding diva! The boy? We’ve been dating for six months now.
Alex: All true. But this kind of stuff happens to us all the time: we were just minding our own Weewax, being fabulous in Brooklyn (as we do), when this pocket-sized Jason/ penguin/ Inigo Montoya approaches us, growling. We immediately recognized his high-Q potential and asked if we could pose seductively behind him. I was surprised that his Mom said yes so quickly! I was even more surprised when he said yes to a date with Katharine. When she gets out of jail we’re holding a little reunion at the Outback Steakhouse.
WHERE IS THE FOOD?
THAT’S NOT OUR FOOD, SILLY!
Sabrina: All I can say is that this pizza guy is everything I want to be. If I do a decent job with this life, perhaps I will be reincarnated as this pizza guy. I mean, are you kidding me?? Check him out. This sweet man was trying to deliver a pizza, and three crazy ladies in formal wear show up and assault him verbally. “What’s in that box?” they demand. “It smells like pizza!” they accuse. This Zen warrior is unfazed. His smile is like a butterfly on a raindrop, even when it appears that he has been screwed over by the nerdy guy who didn’t tip him and that strange women are trying to do prop improvisation with his bicycle . His heartbeat murmurs “all will be well,” and, as soon as his detachment kisses the face of the universe, the door immediately pops open and Professor Nerdington remembers to hand him a tip. The butterfly’s wings flutter gently in the wind as the pizza guy reaches over our mugging faces and takes his three dollars. The universe makes sense, especially when it doesn’t make sense, see?
Katharine: Typical New York City. No one blinks an eye at yet another photo shoot being done on top of their bicycle. Another day, another dollar that isn’t worth crazy people running up to you and posing with your transportation. The least we could have done is bridge the gap and hand the dude his tip. Did we? No! Because it would have ruined the shot. Dammit people, you have to understand that when opportunity knocks, only the strong and demented survive.
Alex: The guy in the hoodie is my biological father. I THOUGHT WE AGREED NOT TO USE THIS PICTURE!!
THE AUDITION: A Totally High-Tech Video Shoot
Sabrina: All I can say is that this director is everything I want to be. If I do a decent job with this life, perhaps I will be reincarnated as Lila. Check her out. She has turned a Broom into a BOOM with an exclamation point. And she is able to hold it steady as that hot guy unbuttons his shirt. That’s the way–uh huh, uh huh, I like it!!! Also, who was that hot guy? Did anyone get his number? Ring-a-ding! Soup’s on!!!
Katharine: This is an example of why I love being involved in video production. At no point did anyone sit and cry out “Why couldn’t we find a sound person?!” Ok, well maybe that one person asked. But she was a jerk. The rest of us decided to work as a team! When we realized we could not mic a stripping man, we got to problem solving. We put our heads together and looked at Lila for an answer. Lila, the ukulele playing super director, didn’t sit in her non-existent director’s chair and let everything fall apart. NO! At 4AM, her arm and the friggin broom were going to be the best sound capturer in the history of sound capturing! Hizzah!
Alex: Ah yes, this old chestnut. The old “tape a mic to a broom” sound-recording technique. It’s how I do all my audio surveillance, except that I cleverly disguise the broom handle in the sleeve of a veeeeeeery large trench coat (what? I used to be a Little Rascal we were always getting into hilarious scrapes!) I’m just glad those wacky adventures finally came in handy at the business end of a night shoot, when we were all out of bourbon and good ideas. Let’s hear it for American ingenuity!!
There it is. You’re welcome.
So, now, true believers, it’s YOUR TURN. Come up with a story for this shot and win a prize. You can’t win if you don’t enter! We’ll reveal the true story in next month’s BH blog, so, until then, keep stalking!
Hello and thank you for joining me. I’m Hoyt Bobach and welcome to “Get the Fax!”, the only news show powered exclusively by obsolete technology.
Tonight I have the special pleasure of sharing with you a conversation with the ladies of Booby Hatch, conducted via carrier-pigeon messages, Morse code, and semaphore.
Hoyte Bobach: First things first, who are you? Please try to describe yourselves physically because all women are the same on the inside. Also, try not to talk too much about your feelings, because all women talk too much about their feelings. Oh, and also, if any of you have your periods–
Sabrina: Newt…do you mind if I call you Newt?
HB: Well…my name is Hoyt.
Sabrina: That’s not what I asked. Look, Newt. Little known fact if you haven’t dated me: I ALWAYS have my period. And that, I guess, is how I would describe me. “Sabrina? Oh yeah, the one who ALWAYS has her period.” Oh, and I like raisins. Yep. I think that pretty much sums it up. Sabrina. Period. Raisins. Oh, and since you asked, those things make me feel like my pop-pop didn’t love me enough, and that makes me want to read “To the Lighthouse” again. Out loud.
(Sabrina begins rummaging through a large bag of tampons. She pulls out a tattered book and begins leafing through it. Katharine takes the book out of her hands and tosses it through a window.)
Katharine: Don’t mind Sabrina, she has her period. Who am I, you ask? Whoooo aaaam I? Good question, but irrelevant. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case …a princess…and a criminal. Does that answer your question? If not, I’m the redhead.
Alex: …and I’m the drunk. I mean Judd Nelson. I mean Charles Nelson Reilly. I mean a King Charles Spaniel: loyal, flat-faced, and luxuriously furred.
HB: How did you come together as a group?
Sabrina: Newt, I don’t know if you’ve heard of esteemed guru Mordecai “Gravy Stains” Humunculus, but he has a saying: “All you need to do is make waffles and wait.” Well, I don’t always know what things mean or if they’re good ideas, but that never stops me from blindly committing to them. So for about three years, I just stayed home and made waffles. Sometimes I took a break and watched the TV. Finally, one cold Sunday in the January of 2009, my doorbell rang. It was Alex. She was drunk. Then Katharine showed up with something in a paper bag. I knew that my ship had finally come in.
Kath: I had taken the N train from Queens (I had not moved to Brooklyn yet) and transferred to the G. I then got champagne for mimosa. I believe I was wearing a hat. At Sabrina’s house we had brunch, drinks and wrote five episodes for a sketch television show. Alex was drunk. But don’t tell her that.
Alex: I was drunk. but since no one told me, I went ahead and drove a tractor to Sabrina’s apartment. Thousands were killed, but the poppy fields of Brooklyn have never been so well-tilled. Everything has trade-offs. And can you blame me? I SMELLED WAFFLES. But seriously, I the real truth is that we were assembled by Lou Pearlman like a Lady Menudo. Once our testicles drop we’re out of the band.
HB: Who are your influences and what is your favorite sketch?
Sabrina: The book “A Wrinkle in Time” really stuck with me…um…what else? Mr. Show, Kids in the Hall, Tim and Eric, old SNL stuff. OLD. Favorite sketch? That’s hard. That’s like asking me to pick which of my kids is my favorite. Um. “The Audition” is up there. Oh, I should probably list some women too, huh? Yes, yes, funny women. Maria Bamford makes me laugh a lot. “The Maria Bamford Show” was really great and scary. That’s the kind of thing I go for: funny and disturbing. Oh, I saw this great Murderfist sketch live at UCB. It was about the devil and candy and suicide and was just so disturbing that it was hilarious. That one’s up there. I just don’t know the name of it.
Alex: Hmmm, Kids in the Hall and Mr. Show for me too, plus The Ben Stiller Show…and because of my dark English roots I gotta go with French & Saunders and Benny Hill – yep, there I said it. Kath and Sabrina are always “reminding” me that not every sketch has to end with a Yakety Sax bikini chase. In the event that I was ever kidnapped by Mitchell and Webb or The Mighty Boosh…well let’s just say I wouldn’t struggle. And I’d bring snacks for everyone.
Kath: Kids in the Hall, Monty Python, SCTV and early SNL influenced my desire to do sketch comedy. Television shows like Police Squad, The Young Ones, Mr. Bean, MST3K and later Mr. Show, Arrested Development and Spaced all tickled me in my funny privates. Parodying Jodie Foster in Nell kept me entertained… I quote the movie Anchorman more than any person really should… What was the question?
Sabrina: Did I mention that I want to take Tina Fey to the prom? If she says no, I would consider taking Katharine doing her Nell impersonation.
HB: Speaking of Tina Fey, did any of you see the last episode of 30 Rock? What did you think?
Sabrina: I don’t know what to think. At first I was excited that they were addressing the fact that “The Girly Show” is primarily written by men and only has one female character, which makes it somewhat similar to 30 Rock, but then I wasn’t sure where they went with it. I think Tina Fey was acknowledging something about the situation and making fun of herself, but I’m not sure what thoughts about women in comedy I was supposed to come away with (if any).
Kath: I too had some good hopes for this episode only to be left with a fizzly fart at the end. I feel like NBC decided that the topic of “women” should be lumped into one episode just to get it over with. The writers had to figure out how to smoosh ‘women are not well represented in comedy’, ‘women are judgmental of each other’, ‘men like sexy woman’ and ‘stalking’ all in one bow wrapped 30 minutes. This said, I don’t think 30 Rock is around to be an educational tool for a sociology class. It is just a TV show. However, if they are going to attempt to discuss a hot button topic (at least to some of us gals in comedy), try to at least have a point or an ending. Or hire another woman.
Sabrina: I agree. It was weird and fizzle-farty. And does anyone know why the “girl writer” character has a creepy Eastern European accent? And now she’s gay? Was she always gay? Who is she and why does she hardly ever speak? I am confused.
Alex: I just keep waiting for them to give her some lines besides the occasional “yergen fjurgen?” It is kind of creepy the way she’s always lurking in the background of shots of the writers room. And I thought she was Swedish. I adore 30 Rock though. I still think it’s got the goods. If Tina Fey goes to the prom with Sabrina I’m gonna show up drunk and knock over the punchbowl table.
HB: What animal best represents your personality?
Alex: Bugs Bunny dressed as a girl.
Katharine: Friendly’s Wattamelon Roll.
HB: Name your favorite movie and how many times you have watched it.
Alex: Shit. You’re gonna make me get all sappy and ruin my street cred. Fine. My favorite movies are The Apartment and The Graduate. They both have great hair, snappy dialogue, and I will always be in love with Jack Lemmon in the sixties. I’ve probably watched both of those a hunnerd times or more (yep that’s a number, look it up Poindexter!) Movies without Jack Lemmon or a Simon & Garfunkel soundtrack that I like are Wet Hot American Summer, Young Frankenstein, and The Impostors – which could all be filed under “highlights from the comedy geek cannon.”
Kath: The Star Wars movies and I have no idea how many times I have watched them. However, I do believe they should be watched in this order, please take notes:
IV:A New Hope, (The introduction to our heroes and their plight against the Empire.)
V: The Empire Strikes Back, (love, struggle and revelations…The prrrfect movie.)
After you hear, [SPOILER] “Luke I am your father” go back to the beginning of the saga and learn about the start of the Empire and Vader… but watch in fast forward.
I: The Phantom Menace, (Unless you are a child, only view pod race and fight scene.),
II: Attack of the Clones, (Unless you are a child, only fight scenes, if that),
III: Revenge of the Sith, (I personally like this movie enough to watch the entire thing, but I know I’m in the minority. So have your finger hovering on fast-forward.)
Then jump in time and see Luke and Vader face off (literally)
VI: Return of the Jedi, (Close your eyes at the end during the bonfire if you are watching the special editions.)
Ahhhhhhh….pure magic. For those of you who have heard me rant about this before. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it biznaches! I also like the movie The Notebook. That is a lie.
Sabrina: Have you heard Patton Oswalt’s bit about killing George Lucas with a shovel? Good stuff. Yeah, the Star Wars was big for me too, but “favorite” movie? I would have to say Cocoon. Seen it 67 times, and it just keeps getting funnier. I’m kidding. The Brimley makes me nervous. I guess I would say Groundhog Day. It’s just kind of perfect. I like Royal Tennenbaums too. Bill Murray is, of course, in both. Oh, and how do you not love Ghostbusters? I’ll take “Murray” for 600, please.
HB: What else do you like?
Kath: CHEESE! Sorry, cheese. I like cheese.
Alex: Kittens, vodka, and judging people based on their subway etiquette.
Sabrina: I believe I answered this one already, Newt. It starts with a famous blind singer who is not Stevie Wonder, subtract the “new boy in the neighborhood” who is “in Charge,” and end with the reason that people go to hell.
Kath: I think Sabrina is having a stroke…
Sabrina: Is someone making toast? Oof. Hand me Newt’s wallet, Kath. I need something to bite down on.
HB: Do you mind if I call you later?
Sabrina: No way, Newt. That’s not my name.
Kath: Are you threatening me?
Alex: Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you’re trying to tell me?
Kath: That’s not what I asked.
On this day of chocolate-fueled hysteria, mylar burn, and obligation sex, I’d like to shift the focus away from the man who was clubbed, stoned and beheaded for marrying people against the state’s will (which maybe accounts for all the red?) to lavish praise on a man who is perhaps less obsessed with labeling relationships, but whose unique talents are criminally undervalued in our age. That man is Andy Richter.
Let me begin by saying…we’re all married here. St. Valentine would be proud. Andy’s spoken for; so am I. And happily so. No one’s going to show up on anyone’s doorstep with a batch of homemade Roofycakes iced to represent the milestones of an Illinois boyhood. Nope; I’ve learned my lesson where antics like that are concerned (plus buttercream doesn’t travel well.)
But Richter deserves serious props. The guy is really, really funny. Let me count the ways:
First, he’s versatile. His funny can be stingingly acerbic or sweetly self-deprecating, cerebral or completely silly. Andy is as comfortable on Conan’s couch as he is helming a (sadly short-lived) comedy series. He can play a tough, ladykilling private eye named Andy or an adorably unassuming short story writer named Andy That’s range, people!
Second, he’s an assured, nimble improviser, the true litmus test of which is his ability to support Conan and get laughs of his own, night after night. It was a crabby college acting teacher who once remarked that it’s a much harder job to be Ethel than Lucy. And he wasn’t just talking about ego. The second banana on a talk show needs to have a razor instinct about when to interject, when to spar, and when to rescue the host by changing the subject, all while never stealing focus or making it look contrived. Lucy wouldn’t be Lucy without Ethel. And Coco wouldn’t be Coco without…his…Nut? Crap. Failed metaphor. Cut to a bullet list!!
Facts that I enjoy about Andy:
- May look pocket-size next to Conan but is actually a brawny 6’2”
- Played Mike Brady on stage opposite Jane Lynch in The Real Live Brady Bunch
- Does a voice on the Amy Poehler-written/ produced animated series The Mighty B!
- Was on the wishlist to play Mitchell in the original cast breakdown for Modern Family
It was another, slightly less-crabby college acting teacher who once dropped this nugget of truth: “If you look at the puppet, the audience will look at the puppet.” While you could argue that many of the celeb guests on Conan have one or more parts of themselves shoved WAY up their own sock-holes, that’s not the comparison I’m going for. My point is this: Andy’s attention never leaves the guests. After some brief camera-time during the monologue, and some banter after the first commercial break, he cedes the couch and the spotlight to every sports thug or model-actress-hyphenate who struts through the curtains. And for the rest of the show he listens. Pays total attention to whatever banality they’re plugging. And as a result? They become the most interesting people in the room.
Third, he’s fucking adorable. I mean, look at his face. LOOK AT IT – how could you not fall for that picture-day hair, that impish smile? That’s a smile that helps you pick up your groceries when you trip over a sleeping Schnauzer double-parked in front of the Whole Foods. It’s a smile that listens to all your Dad’s golf stories and then makes an insightful comment about them later that makes you tear up juuuust a little. But most importantly, it’s a smile that’s ready and willing to marinate in a bathtub of coffee for a 30-second gag – IN A SUIT MIND YOU. (“Sure”, you’re probably thinking, “I’d lower myself into a piranha bubble bath if the price was right.” So would I! But COULD YOU CONVINCE US YOU ENJOYED IT? Yeah. That’s what I thought.)
According to Andy’s Wikipedia page he was voted prom king in high school. I would KILL to have heard his acceptance speech and watched his ceremonial cry-walk through the gym, because I’ll bet it was funny, humble, and probably made everybody there feel like the most interesting person in the room.
Happy V’Day y’all.