Category Archives: Work For Hire

Scott’s jobby bits

Cross roads: An interview with comedian David Cross

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Diehard comedy fans and mainstream entertainment consumers alike have seen plenty of David Cross in recent years.

In IFC’s out-there comedy The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. Reunited with collaborators from cult-fave HBO sketch series Mr. Show with Bob and David for Netflix’s spiritually kindred new W/Bob and David. In small roles in big shows like Modern FamilyLaw & Order: Criminal Intent and Community. In the Alvin & The Chipmunks movies.

And, of course, as Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development.

One place we haven’t seen Cross in a while, however, is on tour, delivering the alternately absurd and cuttingly provocative stand-up that made him one of the late ’90s/early aughts alternative comedy scene’s most visible and polarizing figures. Those familiar with the more politically charged bits from timely, visceral live albums like Shut Up You Fucking Baby! and It’s Not Funnymight’ve been tempted to think there wasn’t enough wrong with Obama’s Generation of Hope to inspire the ire of a comic who once suggested George W. Bush might go down in history as America’s worst president ever. But the truth is much simpler — Cross has had his plate full handling the jobs mentioned above, and many more besides.

“I have not heard that perception, but if that is the perception that’s false,” said Cross during a phone conversation with CL. “First of all, I’m not a political comic, I never was … but I also have been doing stand-up, and plenty of it, during the Obama administration, I just haven’t gone on tour, because I’ve been busy, you know?

“I didn’t stop doing stand-up once a black Democrat got into office. That’s crazy.”

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Retro futuro: A Q&A with Intergalactic Nemesis creator Jason Neulander

Intergalactic Nemesis

It’s a comic! It’s a radio play! It’s an old-school adventure serial!

Actually, The Intergalactic Nemesis: Target Earth is all of that and more. Originally conceived as an audio experience, this tale of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan’s adventures criss-crossing the planet and even traveling to outer space in order to stop the invasion of the Sludge Monsters from the planet Zygon (yep) is coming to Tampa as a unique hybrid entertainment: the story is performed onstage by voice actors accompanied by a pianist and foley artist creating music and sound effects live in the moment, all of it staged in front of giant, vibrant comic-book panel-style artwork that follows the plot.

The show stops at the Straz for one night only this Thursday, and promises a visual and aural spectacle unlike anything else hitting the stage this season. CL spoke via telephone with co-creator, co-writer and artistic director Jason Neulander about how the whole unlikely thing came together.

The Intergalactic Nemesis began as radio-style audio experience, right?
[Laughs] That’s a very fancy way of putting it. Yeah, it was originally done as a radio drama, recorded on a four-track recorder to cassette tapes 20 years ago this year.

How did you become interested in adventure serials?
I wasn’t a radio serial listener, but the idea of an adventure serial was straight-up in my wheelhouse when my buddy Ray [Colgan, co-writer] came to me with the idea of making a sci-fi radio play. I was 7 years old when Star Wars came out, and I was 11 or 12 when Raiders [of the Lost Ark] came out. But also with my dad, I have a very clear memory of being 9 or 10, watching Flash Gordon on Saturday mornings with him. I always loved the kind of mid-20th century … American sci-fi short stories. Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, any number of those guys.

Just a couple of years prior, I had founded this little theater Salvage Vanguard Theatre in Austin, and that company’s mission was to produce new plays that were sort of redefining what theater could be. Our first couple of years were produced in a rock club here in town called Electric Lounge. So the idea of trying this new old medium in an environment that made no sense, [recording it] in a coffee shop in Austin, made perfect sense to me, so I jumped on it, and here we are.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Life As We Blow It #90: The outrage factory

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Everything is outrageous. Outrage has become our default setting.

It’s exhausting, really, being outraged all the time. What’s worse, it blunts the impact of outrage. These days, that shit’s like the dollar in 1930: barely valuable enough to be worth churning out.

Of course, there are things by which we should rightly be outraged. Many of them, in fact.

Shark Week? Not so much.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing

Life As We Blow It #89: Straight man’s party

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KEVIN MCCOY VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

(This one was written for CL’s Pride Issue, which comes out every year the week of St. Pete Pride, the largest annual LGBT celebration in the southeast.)

It’s hot. It’s humid. There’s an 80 percent chance of weekend thunderstorms, and a 100 percent chance of uninhibited 
weekend revelry.

St. Pete Pride must be upon us.

Longtime CL readers might recognize this as the time and space in which I traditionally wax rhapsodic about how fun, exciting and inspiring is the ’Burg’s LGBT pride festival, before going on to entreat straight people everywhere to take part in this annual celebration of both unity and self.

Meh. Not this year, thanks.

Continue reading at Creative Loafing…

In which I review Joe Dante’s Burying The Ex

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Yeah, more movie reviews than average just now. I really enjoy doing them when I have the time.

If you don’t know who Joe Dante is, he’s a director who cut his teeth working for cult-iconic ’50s & ’60s B-movie director and producer Roger Corman before becoming a horror hero himself by making flicks like Piranha and The Howling. Dante went on to do great, successful Big Hollywood flicks (Gremlins, Twilight Zone: The Movie, and many more). Now he’s returned to his roots with a cheaper horror-comedy that retains his penchant for fun and cute romance amid the chaos. It’s definitely a better-than-average flick, especially if you’re a horror-flick omnivore who likes Return of the Living Dead as much as you like old Hammer films and Shaun of the Dead.

The review is here.