From 1999 to 2004-ish, I was one of the contributing writers for Garrison Keillor's renowned radio show "A Prairie Companion." I learned a lot of things there, mostly how to spell "prairie." It was a solid gig and I'm proud of my work there. But, like any other job, there were...things...
As summer was approaching, it was time to pull out summertime bits. I had written this piece as a prose article, then converted it into a Cracked magazine submission. It was accepted there, at least. I thought I did a fairly decent job at adapting it for radio, but I didn't make the cut. Perhaps it was a tad cruel and crude for GK, but I always fancied the idea of him reading certain expressions in that tone of his. Nevertheless, we now present the PHC version of...
Happy Easter! And here's my addition to your basket, my Easter piece for Cracked magazine, #343, May 2000!
From 1999 to 2004-ish, I was one of the contributing writers for Garrison Keillor's renowned radio show "A Prairie Home Companion." I learned a lot of things there, mostly how to spell 'prairie." It was a solid gig and I'm proud of my work there. But, like any other job, there were...things...
Oh, look, another pharma parody! This one was a rewrite of an old Cracked magazine piece I did. Also inspired by SNL's Happy Fun Ball. They are fun bits to write, as you can just do a stream-of-consciousness run of the various things that can go wrong. It's a staple of comedy, runs of words that play off each over, sound alike, get worse and worse, or more absurd. It's just weird that I submitted this bit so closely after I submitted the other bit. But, when you're trying to come up with material, you can't get too choosy about what and when you send it. But, unlike the Cracked version, the set up is pretty straight forward. It's the disclaimers that go nuts and completely contradict the commercial. Especially the fact that the first three things side effects are the exact things the commercial copy says it doesn't do. Too subtle?
A Face for Podcasts: Fun Ideas #7
Hey, internet! I'm on a podcast! Mark Arnold, author and curator of pop culture, invited me to be on his Fun Ideas podcast! We talked about many things, but mostly me. We met online years ago when he was working on a book about Cracked magazine. So the podcast starts there and goes far afield. He posted it on Youtube. Also, I talked A LOT, so he broke it into two parts. What can I say, you get me wound up and that's what happens.
#364, Sept '04
The Grand Finale. For me.
This was a quick rewrite of a sketch I had submitted to the Prairie Home Companion radio show earlier that year. They passed on it. Cracked was desperate for material as it was winding down, so I adapted to the magazine and submitted it. I don't remember the "you're fired" ending (and it didn't exist in the original radio version) so I'm wondering how much they pushed me to add it or just edited in after they bought it to work in that "You're fired" catchphrase.
#363, Jul '04
Yeah, the gap between issues is widening.
This may have been the Charity issue. They were so strapped for cash at one point, the editor asked us to donate material so the whole issue wouldn't be reprints.
Dick Kulpa, the editor-in-chief and soon to be owner, was out there hustling, doing a grass-roots campaign to raise awareness. He went to comic conventions chatting up celebrities and looking for new investors.
#362, Apr '04
Things were fading fast. Money was tight. We were losing the team of artists. The covers were getting busier and busier, tabloid style. And the behind the scenes activities that I didn't hear about until much later were more pronounced. The editor quit and was replaced by 2 guys, and they got a write up about it inside the issue!
#360, May '03
Notice they're now "picking the top 10 Simpson episodes." The mag started drifting into prose land. And the assissant editor was pumping out material, writing articles to be drawn up and writing prose pieces and "Letters to the Editor" articles.
#355, May '01
Busy cover, uh?
#354, Apr. '01
Things were getting busy. And by things, I mean the covers.
Oh, and this was the issue I was "granted" a title in the masthead, I was now Roving Editor. This was in lieu of actual cash.
Freelance writer, still hacking away.