These are my final jokes from the final week of TMI: Daily. The group is taking the summer off and then plans to relaunch the show under a different title and/or format, adjusting for post-pandemic life. And hopefully the group will be back onstage in their sketch-comedy format, too.
I am glad to be a part of it, in the background. Writing for this day after day kept the pandemic at bay and let my vent a lot of my fears, anger and frustration. I was one of the lucky ones, I was able to work from home the whole time and didn't have money woes or eviction fears. But many of the cast members did. They got to share and vent and make the pandemic person for us. And hopefully brought some laughter with the insights.
It was a short week, 3 shows. I missed the first show because I was away. Nothing got in the Wednesday show, but then I managed to score 2 jokes in the season finale, which underwent the usual re-wording. So, take it away, TMI: Daily...
Things are winding down here in Pandemic land, so the Amazing Maskoroni has a couple of final tricks to pull!
Weird week for me. The show is only 3 days a week now, and I got nothing in Tuesday and Thursday, but got 4 jokes in on Wednesday, so my average remains intact.
The FBI joke punchline was a much wordier version of my punchline, "So, not jovial tourists?". And the Texas power grid joke; I don't know what they was going on there. The whole joke turns on the word "power" and it got altered. The same premise and tag, but the logic that gets you there has been removed.
So, the TMI: Daily summer season is 3 days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for June, so check the TMI: Hollywood Facebook Page for details. And here's my contributions for last week:
As the crew settles into its summer schedule for June, I had a pretty good week for them just doing 3 shows a week. Some of the jokes got a little extra padding here and there but some were as written. It's funny how a couple of jokes I wrote I just knew that it would get picked. The cruise ship joke was one. The Christine remake joke too, to the point that when the punchline was said, they should show a photo of the female car from "Cars." But I forgot to write that in...and they did exactly that anyway! Sometimes we're all the same page creatively. It feels so good. Maybe why that's why I get bummed out when a joke doesn't make it or gets rewritten, I miss that rush.
So, TMI: Daily is going into summer hours for now, 3 days a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for June, so check the TMI: Hollywood Facebook Page for details. And here's my contributions for last week:
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...
Man, I just wouldn't give up. The season was winding down and I was pulling stuff out of the trunk, big time. Again, despite the lack of success of my Storeman's Pet Place or Storeman's Travel Agency, I submitted yet another store sketch. This one has a slightly more interesting life. It's one of my early sketches, when I was deep in my Monty Python phase. I was really trying to come up with a replacement for my Pet Store sketch, something solid I could use as a sample. The storekeeper was becoming a more unhinged Groucho, or a less tall John Cleese. The character does ricochet all over the place, personality-wise. But it was a contest to see how many absurd lines l could come up with for some of the straightest lines I could dole out. It's a litany of puns, absurdity, wisecracks and darkness.
Years after I wrote it, I submitted to a group of young adults who were doing a sketch comedy show on Manhattan Public Access TV. They liked the bit and took me and a couple of friends on as writers. That will be a tale for another day. But, they did produce the Plant Store and I included that version at the end. Excuse the bad picture ratio, this was one of the first videos I attempted to transfer from a VHS tape to digital and I never quite got control of the aspect ratio.
So, as I attempted to keep my presence felt at PHC, I submitted this to them, after re-fitting it to kinda fit the format of the show. It, too, was rejected but only in the sense they didn't use it. It's not like anyone was writing back to me saying, "no thank you."
The horror/comedy film, STEAMED!, co-written by Beverly Bonner and Dan Fiorella, is making the rounds on the film festival circuit. How did it come together?
Okay, slight detour... back when she was readying for her birthday fundraiser in 2017, she decided to put together a sample of the movie by filming a scene. Frankly, this made me nervous. They took the cops scene in Beverly's apartment and turned it into an interrogation room scene. Technically, it worked fine. It's just that the actors were in street cloths and not the actors we would be using. They were friends doing Beverly a favor. But now it was something tangible, something that made the movie seem real and it did the job.
This scene contain one bit of business that I loved, but Beverly didn't. When the cops come in, they ask if Beverly knew the landlord:
Comedy is so subjective and random. I wouldn't get a joke in one day and the next I get 4 in. Jokes I think are clever get passed by while a mediocre joke is in. Basically, it was a good week for me, in total. I know they used a number of my topics and set-ups, but the punchlines were totally different in tone and style. Even the ones that made it in had some changes made:
The FEMA joke was "sharpies and paper towels" and got changed to "sharpies and plastic maps." The Texas joke reworked my "but masks" take a bit. The muffin bit was a real re-wording of my punchline, but the punchline logic remained. The Milli-Vanilli joke got altered a bit, but again, the premise was intact. The 1/6 commission joke got a real workout to have the punchline come back on itself as opposed to my simple "They're ok with 4 recounts but not 1 investigation." I was very happy my "Quid Pro Coop" line hit. I liked that line a lot. And I was proud of my "full contact" airline joke was well.
TMI: Daily is going into summer hours after Memorial day, so check the TMI: Hollywood Facebook Page for days and times. And here's my contributions for last week (the video is fine, the thumbnail got pulled from a dissolve frame):
A light week for me, all in all.
Frankly, I wasn't feeling it much this week. I hit the usual places for news to mock, but much nothing was inspiring me. And my tweets have been mostly lecture-y rather than funn-y.
I included the one joke as a example of some comedic re-writing. Okay, so idiot Congressman comes out and says "For the most part the insurrection was peaceful. Immediately, I thought of comparing it to the Titanic, "for the most part the cruise was great." But when I submitted it I changed it to the Hindenburg, because my logic was its trip was just about finished, up until the last few minutes, it was fine. TMI changed it back to Titanic. Did I over think it? I just found that an odd/interesting choice. But mostly odd.
There are going to be changes to the show come summer, especially as things open up in L.A. and the troupe gets the theater up and running again. But, until that time, TMI: Daily is on the TMI: Hollywood Facebook Page weeknights at 6pm on (Hollywood time), if you want to see the jokes that got away. And here's my contributions for last week:
It was an odd week. The show from May 10 dropped off the web. No video, no audio from the podcast. It just doesn't exist, I didn't see the show when it was webcast and I don't know if they used anything and no one has gotten back to me about what happened. We had Emma Lieberman and Cameron Weir alternating the anchor chair for Tonya Harris, so each tried to make the spot their own with the jokes selected.
Wednesday's show, I'm taking credit for the Chik-fa-A. My punchline was simply "Thanks, Joe Biden," a throw back to the old "Thanks, Obama" trope. It got re-worked into a much longer punchline that nonetheless references Joe Biden. And, oddly, my Rock and Rock Hall of Fame tag went from "better luck next year" to a longer punchline about an office pool. Got nothing in Thursday's show, and got one last joke in Friday.
There may be changes to the show in the coming weeks, especially as things open up in L.A. and the troupe gets the theater up and running again. But, until that time, TMI: Daily is on the TMI: Hollywood Facebook Page weeknights at 6pm on (Hollywood time), if you want to see the jokes that got away. And here's my contributions for last week:
Freelance writer, still hacking away.