Improv-ing The Travel Experience


I thought I’d share this video from a Face2Face Improv show a few years ago that was recently posted online:

This game harkens back to the ‘old days’ when slides and slide projectors were common fare when visiting relatives. More often than not … they tended to be boring.

Here, the show moderator receives from an audience member a description of their recent trip. After a basic, uneventful interview, the moderator chooses an actor to pose as the audience member, who then proceeds to show everyone the slides from the trip.

In this clip, Jen Lohrman Britton narrates a trip to Haiti. Thus the benign description, thanks to Jen, transforms into a much larger calamity of laughs.

We do shows every Tuesday night at Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria/Gelateria on the square in downtown Huntsville at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; children 8 and under are free. I’m there almost every week, usually hosting the show. Come check us out.

Happy Birthday, John Glenn


In honor of John Glenn’s 90th birthday, a comic strip Lain, Jesse and I did many years ago before his return to space. For more comics, go here.


And in other space-related news:

— Here’s pretty awesome gallery of recent launches that a friend shared with me.

— I may write more about this later, but a flag flown on the first shuttle mission was left on the International Space Station by the last shuttle mission, and will be awarded to the first U.S. company to fly astronauts to the station. That’s pretty cool.

— Joy of Tech did a final undocking comic that’s not bad.

— Did you know astronauts can’t whistle on spacewalks? Learn something knew every day.

Classic Lines From Face2Face


For years now, I’ve been saving great lines I’ve loved from shows and rehearsals of the improv troupe I’m part of, Face2Face Improv. For the longest time, I’ve had the idea that I would design a t-shirt with some of the best of them. And now I have. I thought I’d share the results here.

A lot of stuff we do really has to be in context, and, with the nature of improv, if you’ve missed the context once, you’ve missed it forever. But these were some that I thought were amusing even without context. (Or that really make you wonder what the context was.)

(By the way, you should totally come see us. You can check the Web site for our schedule, or you can just come to Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria and Gelateria in downtown Huntsville on any Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for that 40-minute show are only $5, and kids 8 and under are free.)

Here are a few more that I didn’t have room for:

Continue reading

Dear Starbucks Marketing Folks


Dear Starbucks Marketing Folks,

I doubt I could be the only person in the world who sees your new coffee and thinks, “This is not the greatest coffee in the world.”

Just wanted to make sure that’s the message you’re wanting to send.

Love,

David

Low-Carb Snowstorm Survival


I Feel Funny … And Contagious


This is the latest in my series of blog entries taking a fresh look at a variety of topics. I’ve set up a page on the blog explaining the project and linking to my entries. This post’s topic is “Your Sense Of Humor.”


Caden:
“Three hundred ninjas walk into a coffee shop.
The breester says we don’t serve your kind here.
And the ninja says, maybe we should destroy your whole building!”

David:
“That’s kinda extreme.”

Caden:
“And the ninja says, maybe we should destroy your whole building …
And make a better building for the coffee shop.”

David:
“Oh, that’s nice!”

I’ve always been proud of my sense of humor.

Even if I couldn’t tell a joke to save my life.

For me, a good sense of humor is not really about being funny.

It’s about not taking things too seriously.

I’ve always been proud of the fact that, no matter how bad things may be, I can always laugh about it.

The truth is, there’s humor all around us. Life is funny, you know?

But most of the time, we take it too seriously to notice that.

When we stop, we started seeing the humor in things that we’ve been missing.

To the extent that I can be funny — and by now, I can be funny — it’s not so much because I can come up with funny things, it’s that I see the funniness already in things. Or see how to defy the expectations that we have in order to make things funny.

That’s the secret to a lot of improv we do. Sure, sometimes we’re funny because someone says something clever. But frequently we’re funny because the scene shows funny truths about life, and, because they’re pretend and on stage, it’s easy to let them be funny. Sometimes we’re funny because in our day to day lives, things happen in a consistent and logical pattern, and we find it funny when a scene deviates from that pattern.

If you can recognize those same things when they’re not on stage, the world becomes a happier place.

I enjoy laughing. I enjoy making people laugh. I do like being funny, because I like funny things.

I love sharing them with others.

Humor is one place I’ve been able to see that Finn and Caden are picking things up from being around me. They’ve come to several improv shows, and enjoy watching them, but they also want to do it themselves. They love giving suggestions during the show, but then they’ll want to play the games themselves afterward.

Finn was the first, completely on his own, to start telling the “101” jokes we do in the shows. When Finn started, Caden had to as well. Finn understands why my pun punchlines are funny, but struggles to make his own. Caden doesn’t get it at all, but finds the whole conceit of the joke funny. But it really doesn’t matter. Whether it’s because they came up with a good punchline or because their joke was totally random, the results are funny. And it’s fun to see them wanting to share that with me.

I hope that I can also teach them the truth in some wise words from A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

“The only way to cope with something deadly serious is to try to treat it a little lightly.”

The Demise of the Newspaper – Unintended Consequences (via Idle Ramblings)


I wrote a post a few days ago about the future of newspapers. My good friend Joe Gurner has taken the issue and gone in a very important direction with it — the impact of the potential death of the industry on superheroes.

If you’re still in the newspaper industry today and you take a long, hard look around, things don’t necessarily look good. The hard economic times of the past few years have taken their toll. They come on top of the fact that the industry as a whole has been slow to adapt to changing technology, changing readership and changing business models. In many ways newspapers have become dinosaurs, but the industry itself played its own role in keeping t … Read More

via Idle Ramblings