If you've ever found yourself watching a movie on DVD and deciding to enjoy the special feature known as the commentary track, then perhaps you'd enjoy what Elephant Larry has done here -- incorporate the commentary into the movie! Spoiler alert: It's pretty funny. Roll it.
Elephant Larry performs live this month at The Pit in NYC on the next three Fridays: April 9, 16 and 23, at 9:30 p.m.
You might remember NYC-based sketch group Elephant Larry from their original shorts such as the movie trailer for an adaptation of Minesweeper (which won an ECNY award two years ago; they're up again for best sketch group this year).
With pilot season in full swing, the guys -- Geoff Haggerty, Stefan Lawrence, Chris Principe, Jeff Solomon, Alexander Zalben -- decided to produce and release their own 20-minute presentation. It's called "The WOW," a parody of those "entertainment" programs you see at the cinemas before the coming attractions. So if you want to see their take on Lifetime and Syfy original movies, corporate-sponsored awards and segments, a special behind-the-scenes look at Spider-Man 4, fake ads and more...roll the clip!
I got Elephant Larry member/director Alex Zalben to submit to some serious questioning. You know, like, hey, tell me more about your pilot, please? "We produced and shot The WOW around NYC late last year with a bunch of friends because, honestly, we loved the idea. We have a number of scripts we've written, and ideas we've fleshed out, but this was the first one we not only got excited about, but we also thought, "Hey, we can do this." So we wrote, shot, and edited the thing over the course of a month, on basically no budget."
What were your hopes and dreams for it? "Our plan was always to release the show on the internet in some way, unless it was magically picked up on TV immediately, because we were very proud of it, and also, wanted to show off all the awesome work everyone did. So when it wasn't magically picked up by TV (we may not quite understand how TV works), we put it up on our YouTube channel. Which, we realize, at 21 minutes is a bit longer than most YouTube videos. But so far, we've found that people don't have a problem watching a video that long, and all the feedback has been great!
"Hopefully? We get to do more The WOW. We love the format, and have a bunch more episodes already worked out, as well as some ridiculous ideas of where we'd like to take the show. As is, though, we're putting this pilot episode out there, and want to see what the response is. If people want more The WOW, we'll do it. If they don't, we will kill ourselves. No, just kidding. Maybe."
What do you plan on telling everyone at the ECNYs? "Hello. But only if we see them."
You can see Elephant Larry tonight at Joe's Pub in NYC, as well as Monday, March 8, at the ECNY Awards. In May, they'll be participating in MaxFunCon in California.
Sketch group Elephant Larry has a few new things to share with you. But first, here's G4's Attack of the Show with a quick profile of the fellas:
OK. So now that you're caught up with who they are, here's their latest video for CollegeHumor, in which they explain how, even with the powers of time travel, sometimes you cannot get your five minutes back:
And if you think that's something, then just wait until you see what Elephant Larry does with the 1997 action flick, Con Air. Wait. What? Yes, that's right. Con Air. At 8 p.m. Thursdays in July and August, the group puts on a full show inspired by the Bruckheimer movie that suggested that if you put all of the most dangerous convicts (and one good guy) on an airplane together, then they will escape from that airplane. Catch Elephant Larry does Con Air, at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 20 at The PIT in NYC.
The kids over at CollegeHumor have shot a new promotional advertisement for their upcoming weekly MTV half-hour television program, which debuts Feb. 8. Short, but sweet.
Related: CollegeHumor appears live tonight with Streeter and Jeff hosting stand-up guests Kumail Nanjiani, Roger Hailes, Amy Schumer and Justin Kredible at the UCB Theatre in NYC.
After the jump, a new funny sketch from Elephant Larry that shows how much a little money, technological know-how and production values can really enhance your sketch, plus the CH "Mad Libs" take on Mad Men.
This weekend marks the fourth annual SketchfestNYC. Plenty of videos and interviews on the festival's online home page this week to get you excited about the shows, happening June 12-14 at the UCB Theatre. Tickets: $10 show/$40 night/$100 full pass. Here's a video to pump you up...thanks Dirty Jean & Thunderchief!
The full SketchfestNYC schedule:
Saturday, June 14
2:30pm: The Onion News Network Panel Discussion
4pm: The Sound of Young America Live
6pm: Team Submarine + Hey You Millionaires
7pm: Becky & Noelle + Blitzkrieg
8pm: Summer of Tears
9pm: Elephant Larry
12am: Closing Night Craptacular
Over the years, I've witnessed some of the uglier facets of comedy contests as both a participant and as a judge. Last night, however, I saw the sunnier side at the ECNY Awards (please don't call them the Emerging Comics of New York anymore) ceremony at Comix in New York City. Even before the showcase started, you could see something special happening. Comedians got dressed up. There was a red carpet. Small, to be sure, but still there and still red with correspondents talking to a camera in footage that presumably will wind up on the Internet. A very festive air. And so nice to see a scene -- or at least a distinctly unique scene -- come together in celebration of the art of comedy. Host Jon Friedman said they changed the name of the awards KFC-like to just ECNY to show they were rewarding all sorts of comedy, not just the emerging kind. At the same time, though, it would've been nice to really see all of New York comedy represented in the room. When the ceremony ended, several comedians had to turn around and go back to their table because they didn't have their proper receipts on hand for the door guys. We spent the night in a traditional comedy club with traditional item minimums and rules, and yet we could've used a few more traditional club comedians. Maybe next year?
Anyhow. I was saying how nice the night was, right?
Some highlights: The show opened with a six-minute video montage of the nominees speaking directly to the camera. Well-edited. And made funnier after Joe Mande said it'd be creepy if this montage turned out to be their memorial video. Friedman, not only hosting the show but also an organizer and a nominee for best host, acknowledged the conflict, quipping: "This for me is a lose-lose." Later, when he lost, he immediately asked the other "losers" in his category to play his Rejection Show. Another big laugh line from Friedman: "I was told to be very Seacresty." Scott Bateman provided professional animated videos to list all of the nominees. And most of the award presenters brought it, too. Matt McCarthy, presenting best director, opened the proceedings with a wicked Stanley Kubrick from the set of The Shining. Andres Du Bouchet delivered the opening and closing lines from Act 1 of his upcoming fictional one-man-show (100 and Me Percent?) that went over so well, he almost wasn't joking when he said, "I can tell it's going to be a big hit." The Whitest Kids U'Know went to see a psychic yesterday for help determining the best sketch group winners. Carolyn Castiglia joked: "It's great to see so many comedians get dressed up to get drunk and cry. Usually I do it naked and covered in pizza!"
What else? All of the musical comedy nominees performed during the show. Only Reggie Watts got a standing ovation. And didn't win. Eddie Brill received the first "lifetime achievement award" and really took it to heart, confessing in his speech, "I've never been more nervous." They also debuted a new soap opera parody from A.D. Miles called "Horrible People" that'll begin airing soon online on My Damn Channel. I sat next to Jordan Carlos and Andrew WK. Carlos was nice. WK was nice, but awfully quiet aside from his brief stint as a presenter. The show limited acceptance speeches to 30 seconds, but the show still lasted close to two-and-a-half hours. The afterparty at Comix lasted just as long. At said afterparty, Nate Sloan from The Apiary wanted Todd Jackson from Dead-Frog and I to dish our "hot tips." I'm no Gossip Girl. XOXO.
The winners! Congrats to all, for whatever an ECNY Award is worth, you got one! Hooray!
Best Director: Kurt Braunohler
Best Improv Group: I Eat Pandas
Best One Person Show: Nick Kroll (Fabrice Fabrice)
Best Sketch Comedy Group: Harvard Sailing Team
Outstanding Achievement in Flyer or Postcard Design: The Apple Sisters (Matthew C. Johnson, Keith Huang)
Best Technician: Pat Baer
Best Short Comedic Film: Minesweeper: The Movie (Elephant Larry)
Best Website, Original Content: The Onion News Network
Best Website, News and Commentary: The Apiary
Best Host: Eugene Mirman and Michael Showalter, Tearing the Veil of Maya
Emerging Comic Award: Joe Mande
Best Musical Comedy Act: The Apple Sisters
Best Female Stand-up: Kristen Schaal
Best Male Stand-up: John Mulaney
And for those of you playing the Full Disclosure Home Game, four of the five producers of the ECNY Awards also were up for awards (the exception: Alex Goldberg). Friedman (host) and Carol Hartsell (tech) didn't win. Alex Zalben (sketch) and Nate/The Apiary (website/news) won. I was not nominated. Snub? Jackson joked to me that I was too new to New York City to get a nod and would have to wait my turn, like Barack Obama. I'll take an Obama comparison, so thanks, Todd!
UPDATED/CORRECTED! I cleaned up a couple of things in this post that weren't entirely clear when I first wrote them (thank you, commenters!). Also, if you want to see what I look like, as well as Dead-Frog's Todd Jackson, there is a lovely picture of us taken last night by Rachel Kramer Bussel!
Today is the final day for open voting for the ECNY Awards, which used to stand for Emerging Comics of New York, but now just is ECNY to honor other kinds of comedians, sort of how KFC decided it was much more than merely Kentucky Fried. The awards ceremony is Jan. 28 at Comix. And the show promises to be a hoot. Jon Friedman hosts. Look for live performances and pre-taped magic, and for a sneak peek, I caught up with ECNY's producers as they got some of the nominees on camera. So I got them getting them on camera. Here's a fun snippet with The Apple Sisters...
Who will be getting your votes? Perhaps more importantly, who'll get my votes? I'm on the "Industry Committee," which means not only do I get until Jan. 20 to place my votes, but also that the Industry Committee's votes count for half of the total -- perhaps they got that concept from Dancing With The Stars, in which the judges get 50% of the say, the audience the other 50% through call-in votes. Since I still have some time before I fill out my ballot, perhaps you can help make the case for your favorites or get me to take a second look at someone I may have overlooked.
As it stands, my thoughts are...