Zeke Mahogany combines simple but thorough concepts with stunning visual effects to create hysterical comedy routines. The troupe has developed a wide palette of ideas, from socially satirical sketches to laughs for laughter’s sake. With videos playing on ESPN, Huffington Post, Gawker TV, Failblog and more, I expect big things from the comedy machine that is Zeke Mahogany. Recently, I had a chance to interview the channel’s creators, Travis Kurtz and Matin Atrushi. They answered my questions in their trademark zany style.
Just because the poster says the film is “based on the novel by” doesn’t mean they are contractually obligated to faithfully represent the ideas, themes or even the plot of the book on which it is based. The authors have their checks. The actors and directors have a script to shoot with and even bigger checks in their bank accounts. The studio executives have a huge bundle of cash in their penthouse apartment that they use to line the floor of their equally massive hamster cages for their ultra rare Stolzmann’s fish-eating rats.
The only group that gets screwed is the audience. They faithfully plonk down $10.50 in change for a ticket to see their favorite novel brought to life, only to be more disappointed than the readers of “Weekend at Bernie’s: The Book”. It’s understandable that some small details or characters wouldn’t make it into the final product for the sake of continuity or screen time. Some, however, stray so far away from the source material that they really shouldn’t be allowed to use any of the words from the book’s title in lines of dialogue, let alone on a poster or a movie marquee.
Grant Woolard is one of the more intriguing Youtube artists. The Japan-based, University of Virginia educated user creates videos on a wide range of topics, in a wide range of styles. Whether he’s sending up famous speeches or blending Beatles songs together into a delectable truffle, Woolard always seems to hold the viewers attention, sometimes for as long as 6 minutes. I recently had an opportunity to “sit down” with Grant and ask him about his creative process. His answers to my meddling questions were just as thought-provoking as his videos.
What made you want to start a YouTube channel in the first place?
Back in 2007, when I was supposed to be studying biology, I wrote several pieces for piano and decided to post them on YouTube, but I didn’t start making videos on a regular basis until about a year-and-a-half ago, after watching MysteryGuitarMan’s videos.
Television has grown more and more competitive these days, putting it up to Hollywood to keep their standards high. If you snooze you lose, and right now Hollywood’s threatening to take a long doze into hibernation.
This is due to fantastic shows - Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Wire and The Sopranos – breaking onto the scene in recent years. Sure, HBO dramas are garnering a lot of attention, but do any comedies deserve mention in that same list? Yes, actually. Louie, for one. And Curb Your Enthusiasm. South Park, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Arrested Development. And perhaps my favourite show of them all. Community..
Known for it’s pop culture references and ability to adopt other television shows’ styles and tropes, Community has become a favourite to comedy fans everywhere. After two and a half seasons, however, NBC decided not to include Community in its mid-season line-up, instead opting for the almost-as-funny 30 Rock. The remainder of season three’s episodes will be played after the mid-season line-up, but for now the long-term future of the show is unknown.
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The 80s are fading into myth faster than we, who lived it, could imagine. Let these terrible TV shows someone thought were a good idea, possibly after snorting a shoebox full of cocaine and driving to work in a DeLorean, remind us that we probably shouldn’t try this again. This decade we mean. Yeah. It was worse than the 90s, and bicycle shorts were in style in the 90s. For guys.
Disclaimer: These aren’t all the terrible TV shows the 80s vomited into existence. Rather, we chose to vary our sampling based on the many different types of shows including sitcoms, dramas, and a spinoffs. We also– Seriously though, bicycle shorts! They were basically tights with the pant legs missing. And men wore them! Even when they weren’t going to be bicycling! It’s just wrong. And you know it’s wrong. Dad. Sorry, sorry, we’re getting way off topic here. Please enjoy the article. We’re, uh, going to fix ourselves a stiff drink and pray the nightmares don’t return tonight.
1. Mr. Smith
In the history of TV, there have been many shows about things that talk that shouldn’t: horses, cars, dogs, Snooki, but it turns out America draws the line at monkeys. In 1983, Mr. Smith debuted in September and was cancelled by December, with 13 episodes somehow being made before God intervened and sealed all evidence of its existence into the Ark of the Covenant.
What made Mr. Smith such a piece of excrement? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly. The show featured an orang-utan named ChaCha who first becomes separated from his trainer after a car accident, and then ends up in a research lab. Which he escapes from. Then, probably just for the hell of it, the monkey finds an experimental serum that increases human intelligence.