Moving to Tumblr

I haven’t updated this site in months (no. YEARS! YEARS!)

I now primarily blog at http://drujohnston.tumblr.com/, so please visit there. I’m trying to figure out how to redirect this domain there but I have no fucking idea.

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A roundabout way to live my high school dream

The Chris Gethard Show in the iO’s Del Close Theatre. Part of the Just For Laughs Festival in Chicago. I’m wearing an Eli Manning jersey that is too small for me. The picture was taken by Sarah Maher, and ripped from her twitter feed. (http://twitter.com/#!/smaheraja)

I’ve been meaning to write this sooner… but my work schedule hasn’t been so kind.

Four years ago almost to the day I visited Chicago with the sole purpose of checking it out before I moved there. Not moving there wasn’t an option. I had spent my entire High School existence pouring over the pages of the Second City coffee table book, listening to Scott Adsit and Adam McKay’s sketch “Gump” on the accompanying CD and getting in constant arguments about how the best SNL cast members were also the Chicago SNL cast members. It was my dream to perform comedy in Chicago. And after reading about Second City and, more importantly come college, the Improv Olympic, I knew I needed to perform there.

So four years ago I go to visit. I watched countless shows in the week I was there… I became convinced after watching Bullet Lounge destroy the house that I didn’t have what it takes… I then saw a team do a not so great Harold upstairs and decided “Oh, wait, I can do that” (looking back I think I need to thank that team more than anyone in my comedic pursuits. There’s something to be said about not-so-great-improv)… and I stayed late to do a jam session. And I knew in my 22-year-old-freshly-graduated-brain that if I killed the jam session, I would immediately be asked to join the theatre.

I neither killed nor did I get asked to join the theatre. I think I played a crazy Subway Sandwich employee.

But Chicago was still there. It was my dream, I would find a way to perform at the Improv Olympic.

Well things happened, friends moved, better subway systems became more important to me, and 5 months later I blindly moved to New York City. This was never my dream, but within literally a week all thoughts of the past dissipated and New York became my life.

This last weekend I got to join the cast of the Chris Gethard show in Chicago for the Just for Laughs festival. I got to fail at trivia (really badly fail too) in front of a sold out crowd on the stage of the Del Close Theatre. I got to share that stage with members of that earth shattering group, former iO harold team Bullet Lounge, and I had to wear an Eli Manning jersey. A little bit of New York pride infiltrating an old dream of mine… even though the Giants fucking suck.

It was a very round about way to achieve this dream of mine. But I couldn’t be happier. I was smiling the entire plane flight home.

Thank you iO for being so amazing and accommodating. And thanks to Chris and the guys and gal from the show. It was much better than my crazy Subway Sandwich employee.

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Content should be free. Because I deserve it.

Attention New York Times, Hulu Plus, and Porn:

Sometimes I don’t think you adequately appreciate my contribution to your little enterprise: consuming, appreciating, sharing and masturbating to your content at no charge. News reporting, filmed story-telling, watching other people have sex… historically I’ve never been charged for these services. And I never should.

Content should be free. If for no other reason than that I deserve it. Here’s why:

  • I’ve posted at least 25 comments on random blogs and premium podcasts declaring that content should be free.
  • I once watched 13 episodes of the 4th season of LOST in a single day.
  • I did not eat a burrito yesterday.
  • In the second grade I took care of the class Guinea Pig for the entire week I was supposed to.
  • I live in America.
  • I once created a video on YouTube that was free.
  • I’ve eaten 5 burritos in the past week.
  • I gave $.47 to a homeless man.
  • I work for a living.
  • I still haven’t seen the Wire.
  • I thought about voting the last midterm election.
  • Sometimes I tip my drop-off laundry person.
  • I don’t want to pay.

I think I’ve made my case pretty clear. Now please give me all of the free articles, television and taped sexual intercourse you have. At the end of the day, a reliable business model means that I’ll be happy.

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The Best Black-Out Sketch Ever

INT. REVOLUTIONARY HOME

John Adams is sitting in a room with Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson proudly holds up a piece of paper.

Thomas Jefferson: I’ve completed it! The United States Constitution.

John Adams: Well let’s take a look.

Thomas Jefferson: Just a warning, I was up all night finishing it, so there might be some typos.

John Adams: No need to apologize.
(Clears throat and begins to read.)
We the purple?

BLACK OUT

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NY Post Headline Predictions: Superbowl Sunday Edition

Some people watch it for the game, some for the rivalry and some for the commercials… but the writers at the New York Post watch the superbowl to come up with horrible headlines for their sports section. Here are a list of possible headlines I’m looking forward to seeing tomorrow on the back of the paper as I ride the subway to work.

If the Steelers Win
Screw Driver! – If Donald Driver drops the game winning catch in the endzone.
Green Bay Feeling Blue – If Aaron Rodgers starts crying in the 4th quarter.
Roethlisberger Rapes Again – If he has an amazing (and probably douchey) game.
Roethlisberger Rapes Again, Also Wins the Superbowl – If he runs into the stands and assaults a girl in the third quarter (probable), then comes back on the field and wins the game.
Steeling the Win – If they have an amazing fourth quarter comeback… or if the writer forgets how to spell ‘Stealing’.

If the Packers Win
Roth-LESS-Berger – Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch.
Anybody Got Any Cheeeeeese? – If Jaleel White is seen on the sideline with a cheese head hat. If that happens though, I guarantee there will be no article about the game, just about Jaleel White in a cheesehead hat.
Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood! – Complete with a huge picture of Aaron Rodgers laughing… and holding several puppets while wearing a sweater
Polamalu-sers – I genuinely don’t want this to be the case because I think he’s charming.
Justice! Roethlisberger Rapes Himself – If Big Ben throws an interception for a Green Bay game winning touchdown. What an ass.

If either team wins
JETS did not win – If the JETS don’t win. I can guarantee we’ll see this one.
Remember when the Giants won that one time? Amazing. – That catch was still fucking epic.

Of course there’s always the possibility Brett Favre texts another dick pic… than all bets are off.

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Noah and Dru’s Novel: The Finale

Noah and Dru’s Novel – Ep. #8 UCBcomedy.com
Watch more comedy videos from the twisted minds of the UCB Theatre at UCBcomedy.com

I’m really proud of all of these. And I really want to thank Nate for letting Noah and I go along on this crazy journey. This episode features a whole bunch of my favorite people in the NYC improv scene (more than half of Sandino!), the entire New Deal and an amazing turn by Rob Cuthill, one of the funniest people I’ve met. Thanks to Todd at UCB Comedy and everyone for watching! I love playing crazy.

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Movie Treatments for the JETS and Patriots game

Yesterday’s rivalry game pitting the Jets against the Patriots gave God the option of making life a feel-good, 1950′s-esque All-American movie like Remember the Titans, or a 1970′s sports comedy about a bunch of quirky misfits beating the ultra-competitive assholes. And on the seventh day God said he’s a bigger fan of the Paul Newman film Slapshot. And it was good.

Sanchez and Brady

Mark Sanchez and Tom Brady, two different protagonists for two very different sports movies. Think SlapShot vs. Remember the Titans. Or The Mighty Ducks vs. D3: The Mighty Ducks.

I have never seen two teams so perfectly fit these movie archetypes… from the key players (Tom Brady’s flowing auburn hair and all-american smile pitted against Sanchez’s ratty beard and prominent eye brows) to the coaching staff (Bill Belichick suspending a key player for discretely mentioning the word “feet” a few too many times juxtaposed with Rex Ryan’s cameo in a foot fetish video) to the fact that I’ve never seen someone more Rudy-esque than Danny Woodhead. But depending on the outcome, both teams would be seen completely differently if this game was the climactic scene in Hollywood. History is decided by the winner. And now I present what the two movies would be. We begin in the land of fantasy where the Patriots took the game and advanced to the next round. Continue reading

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The Marshawn Lynch Video Game Franchise

When you mix an incredible 67-yard run in a playoff upset, a stiff arm that looked more like a scene from Scott Pilgrim than an NFL play and the amazing fact that he casually refers to his football playing as “Going into Beast Mode,” you’ve got all the ingredients for an amazing Marshawn Lynch video game franchise. So I’m saving the video game developers the hassle of brainstorming ideas by giving them the best Marshawn-Lynch-based video games we’ve ever seen. Capcom, EA Sports and (to a lesser extent) LucasArts… you’re welcome.

EA Sports Presents: Madden ‘Marshawn Lynch
In the next installment of the popular Madden franchise every player on every team is Marshawn Lynch, and your entire team has the option of going into beast mode. Can running back Marshawn Lynch stiff arm defensive tackle Marshawn Lynch? Only you can find out. Players are also given the ability to create their own player in the new “Create Your Own Marshawn Lynch” feature. And if you beat enough Marshawn Lynch Bowls in franchise mode you’re able to unlock the Marshawn Lynch Stadium, the All-Madden-Marshawn League, and quarter back Warren Moon.

Beast Mode: Soviet Union
In this first person shooter set in the midst of the Cold War, you are U.S. super spy Marshawn Lynch in a quest to assassinate Kruschev. You are quiet, nimble and quick and if you take too much damage or pick up the right golden teeth you automatically go into Beast Mode which lets you run through campsites stiff arming Soviet soldiers and taking no prisoners. It should be noted that this entire video game you are dressed in the blue and blueish green of the Seahawks uniform.

Myst. With Marshawn Lynch.
This is just the game Myst, but every once in a while Marshawn Lynch pops into frame and yells: “Beast Mode!” He also hangs out in the lighthouse.

You’re welcome video game world. I’ve also a strong case for making him a character in Street Fighter, but I won’t go into that here.

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On Naming Improv Teams

With Harold Night shake ups just occurring at the UCB in New York there will be a lot of email threads and late night meetings at bars across the city with a bunch of improvisers yelling at each other about what their name should be. Naming teams is one of my big guilty pleasures. I love the arguing, the debating, the deep seeded feeling and fear that if you don’t get the name perfect your fucked for your run… when in actuality this means absolutely nothing. A names a name.

But here’s the trap I always fall into: there is not a Gene Shalit blogger in the improv community that finds ways to turn your name into a pun if/when you have a bad show.

When Sandino was naming our team we based a lot of decisions on this make-believe blogger. When someone suggested we be called “No. 6″ (pronounced Number Six) we were quick to point out that people could easily say: “Number six? Well they’re certainly not number one.” When it was suggested that we be called “Junk Science” we were quick to jump to “Junk Science? It certainly felt like I was watching garbage!” And when we brought up calling our team “Trinidad” we quickly jumped to: “That’s kinda racist.”

But for some reason we all took these puns as FACT. No one ever questioned that there was a group of bloggers out there who watched improv shows just waiting to write a review of Harold Night and say: “Well I attended Harold Night last night, hoping for a Bastian of good times and mirth, but Sandino, no, no, no was it not good! In fact, it was Bad, Man.” We all knew that if we made it easy enough, those made up bloggers would take our name, make a ridiculous pun out of it, and run us into the ground. So when someone said: “We can’t name ourselves Walkabout! People will say we were just walking about on stage with no direction,” we immediately agreed that that was a good enough reason to throw that name away.

So to present and future improv teams naming yourselves: no one is waiting to pounce on your name. Your name is a badge, you should wear it with honor, and you define your name more than your name defines you. Months later you’ll look back and realize you could have called yourself “Walrus Butt” and things wouldn’t have changed much.

There are no mythical “bloggers” that sit by their typewriters waiting with their stack of puns by there side. And if these bloggers do exist, no one respects them. They’re just fucking puns after all.

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New Years Resolutions – Dreaming Big, Very Okay with Substantial Compromises

For my New Years Resolutions this year I’ve decided to go big. GO BIG OR GO HOME! But I also don’t want to feel bad if I go home. So I’ve made my list of new years resolutions for 2011. And I’ve also made my adjoining list of compromises to my new years resolutions for 2011.

  1. Get more organized in my priorities and my scheduling.
    –OR–
    Make sure to pretend to use your iCal when you’re around human beings, and when you’re on the phone pause long enough to make it seem you’re checking a calendar when you say you’re free.
  2. Be more open with women you’re interested in, and don’t be shy
    –OR–
    Make sure you make eye contact with one attractive girl on the subway for at least .5 seconds, and if you’re really feeling dangerous awkwardly bump into her on the way out of the train.
  3. Read 100 books in 2011.
    –OR–
    Read 100 books, blogs, podcast descriptions and/or take out menus in 2011.
  4. Finish writing that novel!
    –OR–
    Finish writing this blog post!

Happy New Year Everyone! 2010 was truly amazing, and I can only hope 2011 will be just as great if not better.
–OR–
2010 was the year you ate a lot of sourdough bread. Let’s hope 2011 will be the year you eat more sourdough bread. That is delicious bread.

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