Saturday, June 30, 2007
If you're new to this blog or don't remember, Blumberg has been featured in such depressing posts like this, and this, and this. Notice there weren't any glowing posts about all the moves Blumberg was making on my behalf? Exactly.
Here's the history of Blummy and I:
I was fresh off "The Soup" and my friend said he had a guy at CAA. I also met an agent at Broder Webb (a smaller agency that was recently bought out by ICM - a ginormous agency). They both wanted to sign me. In fact, before I met with Blumberg I implied to the Broder guy that I was on board. But a funny thing happened...
Blumberg "wowed" me.
That's right. He said all the right things. Promised me fame and fortune and supermodels and meetings with Will Ferrell. He was good. He has a BA in bullshit, maybe even a masters. Plus, he had "CAA" behind him. And CAA is a monster, and much like the smoke monster on "Lost", I couldn't avoid it's evil glare.
It went well at the beginning. First, was the pride of being represented by CAA. Second, were the meetings. And then the job, "Mind of Mencia". All was right with the world - Blumberg had done his job, and I was employed as a comedy writer.
But after the season ended, there was no work. I had some meetings, submitted for some jobs, but nothing happened. Thus, it was back to Mencia for season 2. After that, there weren't as many meetings, my phone calls took longer to be returned, I'd email him ideas and not hear back. What the fuck? Well, I'm working and he got me the job and I'm with CAA. So I stayed.
Then season 2 ended. Still, no other jobs. I got the "comedy is dead" speech from him - never a good thing to hear from your agent. There were even less meetings. I gave him scripts and he never even admitted to receiving them. He even used the now famous "My blackberry broke" excuse.
Mencia called for season 3 and he was unavailable in New York. They were putting the squeeze on me to come in at a shitty rate and I couldn't get my agent on the phone! I was not happy.
Meanwhile, a lot of people were saying to fire Blumberg. People didn't understand. You see, writers like me are a dime a dozen out here. Every writer I know who is at the same level as me HATES their agent. They have all the same exact complaints I do. Plus, it's difficult to get a new agent. I could fire him, but finding someone else would be difficult and most likely treat me the same way. It didn't seem worth it.
Now, Pamie will tell you that it's easy and life is made of rainbows and unicorns. But she's in fantasy land. Her agent LOVES her, he wants to marry her. He takes her to Maestro's Steakhouse Tuesdays and Thursdays, and gets her meetings from noon to 5 everyday with a different studio Monday through Friday. This is not normal, and she'll never understand it.
Anyway, it's getting to the end of season 3. It's the time when all the writers on our show get antsy. Where will we work next? People start submitting stuff for other shows.
Two friends of mine, both writers, ask me to read their packet for a late night comedy show that is looking for people. They want me to tell them if it's good, offer joke pitches, etc. So I get these packets and I think to myself: Why hasn't Blumberg told me about this job?
It's actually even worse than that - CAA represents the host of this show. Blumberg himself last year told me that he was on the set every fricking day. And yet, he doesn't mention that they're looking for writers?
People, know this about me - I don't get angry. I am a rather laid back fellow. I was PISSED. I ask him about it and he apologizes and quickly sends me the guidelines for the packet, and then acts like he did me a favor.
Then there is another show he tells me about. I start working on the packet over the weekend. I come in Monday and find out from another writer that the show is looking for very specific sketches in the packet. I didn't know this. That means writing the packet was a complete waste of time. It's the last straw.
I call Blumberg. I flat out YELL at him. He tells me I have it all wrong. He tells me he's going to call the show and then get back to me.
He doesn't call back.
Then I found out the packet is DUE ON WEDNESDAY. I didn't know that. Still no call. I e-mail him, "YOU ARE ABOUT TO GET FIRED".
He doesn't call.
Then he e-mails me on Thursday. Once again, he says I have it all wrong. He says he left word for me the day before. Left word for me? What? With the assistant I don't have? That's bullshit.
I call him Friday morning. He doesn't call me back. I email him:
"Thanks for everything, Blumberg, you're fired".
So that's the story.
But fear not, good readers. Behind Blumberg's back I signed on with a manager at a very respectable company. He can submit me for these jobs. He can also hook me up with another agent (hopefully).
So Team Handleman isn't dead. In fact, it's going to get stronger. I'll keep you posted.
Friday, June 29, 2007
KANYE VS. IRWIN
I wrote a music video parody of Kanye West's "Gold Digger" called "Kanye West is a Crazy N---a". The song basically talked about all the crazy shit Kanye was saying at the time, and also about how he grew up middle class and he's so preppy looking. One of the lines was "looking like Theo Huxtable with his money".
And now Kanye has a new single out where he says he didn't grow up middle class and there's a line that says "I ain't one of the Cosby's, I didn't go to Hillman".
The feud is on! Or at least according to TMZ. If it's on TMZ, it has to be true, right?
The problem is...this is my first rap war. I'm a rookie. What do I do next? I keep checking my voicemail and I haven't received a single call from TRL or 106 and Park. Maybe I should try to hold a rap summit so we can "squash the beef". Or maybe I should line up rappers on my side - I think I can get David Silver ("I switch it up, I switch it up!") on my street team.
I don't know. But the war continues. And let me just say this...
Kanye West hates black people.
I don't know what it means, but this is war, and war doesn't make sense.
If you're bored, you can check out my original Kanye video here.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Literally 35 minutes of the episode was: The Poo meeting the young girls. And then the Poo eliminating two girls. That was it. Just crappy.
But I'm still hanging in there, and as promised, here are the young girls (who we met for the first time this episode):
Tessa. She's blonde, she has big fake boobs, and she's from Arizona (of course). I'm sure she was the prototype of what the producers were looking for. Oh yeah, she's also a moron. I was getting angry just listening to her talk. She said she's looking for a really smart guy who can actually challenge her, and she said she's "really funny" - sweetie, everything you say is funny to a guy who is staring at your boobs. She also said that she has "great thoughts". One other thing: she claims that her and her dog have the same personality. Why oh why is it taboo to punch women in the face? Sorry, but this chick represents all that is evil in the world, and is actually not even cute when you get past the hair and the boobs.
Megan. She's 21, and claims that her friends are all getting married and she's "feeling the urge to take the plunge herself". I can't make this stuff up, people. I got an idea, try going out on a date with a guy you like first. Who are these people who are just determined to get married without bothering to actually meet someone first? Isn't that the first step? Megan takes a nice photo, but she is rather strange looking. I do admire her willingness to draw attention to her small boobies (when the other girls are fakely endowed). I would choose any of the older women over this girl.
Mary. Oh my God, this fucking girl. She cried the entire episode. She flubbed her introduction to The Poo and couldn't get over it. If he witnesses any of her behavior, it could turn The Poo to the arms of the old chicks right quick.
Lauren. She got eliminated. She was actually cute when she had her hair straightened at the end. We didn't get to know her at all.
Amanda. She's the classic "great from afar, but far from good" girl. She's a member of the really bad fake boob job club along with my friend Tessa. She has all the elements of pretty, but her face/mouth is gigantic. She's a dancer for some hockey team or some such, which makes sense. It's like when they would do those plays in olden times and the actors would wear giant masks, she doesn't need one. It's also interesting to note that the younger girls have more (or just worse) plastic surgery than the older women.
Adelaide. The one "good" young girl. She's cool, cute, and from Manhattan Beach. Why did I never meet her when I lived there? Oh yeah, because I'm not 6'5" with perfect hair, and I'm creepy when trying to meet women. She seems great thus far, we shall see if it holds up. I'd say it's going to be between her, my girl Lynn, and Jen (who had a very strong showing last night, she has to be one of the hottest 48 year olds around). Adelaide is the one young girl who is even close to any of the older women in terms of looks and non-craziness. This is not a fair competition.
Monday, June 25, 2007
I’ve been busy lately. Aside from my duties writing beaner jokes, recapping “The Bachelor”, scouring the internet for theories on the “Lost” finale, and watching reruns of “The Wonder Years” and openly weeping, I’ve been fighing the good union fight for our show.
A lot of shit has gone down, but I haven’t mentioned it because it’s BORING. However, there’s been a resolution and if I don’t tell the story here, my mom will have to tell people and she will fuck it up (no offense, mom, but we’re all well aware of your retelling skills).
So…after that crazy day where they wouldn’t take the cards, there were many meetings about what to do next. We put together a “slow build” strategy, which basically means that we started doing little things – press releases, wearing guild buttons, the stars made phone calls, etc.
This didn’t work.
Time was running out and it became clear that we needed to escalate things. Some shows were unwilling to do this for fear of getting fired or not getting their show renewed. Thus, we formed what was known as “the coalition of the willing”.
Our next step was to go back down to their offices to see if we could talk to their lawyer in person. They did not let us in the building.
Finally, we got sick. All of the writers in the coalition of the willing (including all of the writers on our show) came down with a bad case of explosive diarrhea.
The funniest part about it was that the day we decided to do this was our receptionist's last day of work. She was being replaced by a young kid who literally had never had a job before. So it was his first day and her last day, and she was training him. This poor guy started getting call after call about explosive diarrhea, and then she would get on the line and we would say a teary, diarrhea goodbye. Nice.
It was pretty scary. There aren't many jobs writing comedy in the world right now, so to risk the one you were lucky enough to get was a pretty dicey proposition. But we held strong.
The first day of the sick out got us nothing. But the second day brought a phone call from the President of the network. In good faith, the diarrhea went away and we went back to work. We made a few concessions, then they made a few concessions. And then this happened:
WGA writes comedy deal
Guild pacts with Comedy net
By DAVE MCNARY
The Writers Guild of America has reached deals to rep writers on four Comedy Central skeins.
Guild announced Tuesday it will rep about 30 scribes on "Mind of Mencia," "The Sarah Silverman Program," "The Showbiz Show With David Spade" and the upcoming series "American Body Shop." The pacts include WGA compensation levels, pension and health benefits, credits and a residual formula for reuse (including DVD, basic cable and Internet).
"This is an important and historic achievement coming only weeks before our industrywide negotiations begin," said WGA West prexy Patric Verrone. "I'm sure all writers share my gratitude for the fortitude and tenacity of our Comedy Central colleagues, which resulted in an excellent agreement. This success only increases our commitment to win a contract for the writers of Comedy Central's newest hit, 'Lil Bush,' and 'Reno 911.'"
The WGA announced six weeks ago that about 35 writers from the series plus two other Comedy Central shows had asked to be repped by the guild. At that point, the WGA had demanded a single contract for all shows, but has now reached separate agreements on each show.
"From the beginning of our discussions with the WGA, we expressed a willingness to enter into negotiations on a show-by-show basis," Comedy Central said. "We are pleased to have concluded agreements for these live action shows."
The WGA was able to make deals earlier this year for Comedy Central's New York-based "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report." It noted Tuesday that the WGA now covers every live action show currently in production on Comedy Central.
"These contracts show what's possible when the companies come to the table and are willing to negotiate," said Chris Albers, president of the WGA East. "We hope this is a sign of things to come."
Verrone and Albers have made organizing nonunion shows a priority during their two-year tenures. The guild tried for several months last year to organize "America's Next Top Model" through support for a strike by the dozen writers via dozens of demonstrations and rallies, but was unsuccessful; those writer slots were eliminated.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
How can you go wrong with "Cougars vs. Kittens!"? If you missed it, here's basically how the show went:
Mark P. didn't know he was coming on a show like this, so when he met all the old women he was shocked, but rolled with it. The rest of the episode was him with the older women, leading him to believe that this was the entire show.
Meanwhile, the youngsters were hidden away and then revealed at the very end, to everyone's (except for America's) shock. So we didn't really get to see the youngsters, only briefly.
A couple problems jumped out though as soon as the show got going:
1. If you're going to do an honest show, you can't find the hottest, most intelligent 40 something women, and then have semi-cute, dumb 20 something women. You have to find the best of both or else the show is bogus - I'm not saying that's what they did, I'm just saying there's potential for it.
2. You can't have the bachelor be too good. And I don't mean this as an insult to the older ladies, cause they deserve the best that they can find. However, if you're a 30 year old professional tennis player with a amazing hair, you can pretty much have your pick of whoever you want (and he has - he's gone out with Anna Kournikova for Christ Sakes). And what you want isn't going to be someone who is going through menopause.
So you need to find a bachelor who doesn't have sex with 20 year olds all the time. Somebody who likes older women. Now that's a test. They obviously didn't tell Mark what the show was, but I'm sure in the pre-interviews he's like "I don't care about age!" with no idea that this was going to happen. He seems to care. We'll see.
As for the women, I didn't think the youngsters were all that hot. And a few of the older ladies were hotter. However, I did laugh my ass off when I realized 10 minutes in that I was watching the show on NBC HD, but it wasn't in HD. The old bags must have had "no HD" in their contract.
Here's my opinion of the older ladies on the hotness scale:
I WOULD DATE THEM (ASSUMING THEY'RE NOT CRAZY)
Lynn (40) - I think she is easily the cutest of the bunch. And is definitely hotter than several of the younger girls. Seems not insane thus far, which is always a plus. However, she is a makeup artist, and you always have to be careful of girls who are good with makeup.
Maria (42) - Please note, this is a very good picture. She's borderline, but not too shabby.
I MIGHT HAVE SEX WITH THEM (ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE CRAZY)
Jen (48!!!) - She is a damn fine 48 year old, but that 25 year old son of hers would creep me out. But she's Jerry Buss' (the owner of the Lakers) assistant, which equals a lot of perks. I picture myself at shootarounds with Kobe, and he'd be like "are you the dude banging the 48 year old?" And I'd be like, "hell yeah, Kobe, but I'm also the dude shooting around with Kobe!"
Jayanna (39) - They have pictures of these girls from 20 years ago, and Jayanna was easily the most beautiful. I think she could be other people's favorties, but for some reason she's not really my style.
WOMEN I MIGHT HAVE DATED OR HAD SEX WITH 20 YEARS AGO (THOUGH I'D BE 11)
Kelli (40) - A former Raiderette, you gotta respect that. She has that Marg Helgenberger vibe, which I like, but she's sorta strange looking now.
NO, THANKS...AT ANY AGE (THOUGH YOUR BREASTS ARE INDEED LARGE)
Angela (40) - Just goofy.
Jodie (46) - Jodie was eliminated this episode. She was way too eager and gave him the crazy eyes.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
I'm not surprised by his success though. For at least 10 solid years, Nate Dogg was the ONLY guy singing the hooks on rapper's songs. He had no competition! If I could sing hooks I would've been a millionaire, unfortunately I'm white and I can only sing like Jamie Walters aka Ray Pruit (How Do You Talk to an Angel?!).
But finally, someone came along to give him a run for his money. Actually, 3 someones. Akon was the first, and then NeYo. And in a bizarre turn of events, the third - T-Pain - was discovered by...Akon. They've cornered the market. So now it's a 3 man race for hooks, and T-Pain is edging out Akon by a voice box.
And just to show you how smart Fabolous is: tracks 2-4 on his new album feature, in order, Akon, NeYo, and T-Pain. If we would've just had Nate Dogg on track 5 he'd have accomplished the rare golden sombrero.
Another interesting note about the black man's music this summer: 4 songs with the word "shawty" in the title. And T-Pain is on 2 of them! This guy is truly everywhere, or at least every place there are shawty's.
Anyway, here's my black man's mix for summer 2007:
"Bartender" - T-Pain
"Betterman" - Musiq *
"U Make Me Better" - Fabolous with NeYo
"Like This" - Kelly Rowland with Eve (I hated this song when I first heard it, and I was all "oh kelly, the long hair isn't fooling us, you're still no Beyonce. But then I heard it again and I was singing it the rest of the day)*
"Out of My System" - Bow Wow featuring T-Pain
"Double Up" - R. Kelly with Snoop
"Go On Girl" - NeYo *
"Back Like That (remix)" - Ghostface Killa with NeYo and Kanye West
"I'm a Flirt (remix) - R. Kelly with T.I. and T-Pain
(The keen eye will note that Rihanna's "Umbrella" is not on here, and that is for a very simple reason: I fucking hate that song)
* Denotes songs my mom should download immediately
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Carmela - skinny!
AJ - fat!
Tony - skinny!!! It's like over the years, all of AJ's baby fat went into Tony's gut.
But the thing that stood out the most is Jamie Lynn Sigler's nose. Holy shit! How do people not talk about this? She used to have an out and out schnoz! It was major surgery. Of course she's not in Ashlee Simpson's league, but still, it's a pretty big transformation. I was surprised since I hadn't heard anyone talk about this before. But I urge all of you to rent the pilot and check it out because you will be stunned.
Anyway, people have been e-mailing me theories about the finale. Was it a dream? Was Tony wearing a different shirt all of the sudden? Was Phil's cousin in the restaurant? Did the blackness mean that Tony got whacked?
Some people think it was a cop out ending because the show left things up to this kind of interpretation, but I think that's why it was a great ending. It stirred debate. Here's my favorite theory:
When the screen went black, it was us, the audience that got whacked. These people's lives are just like the song, they go on and on and on...but the show is ending so we no longer get to watch. When Tony and Bobby talked about how when you get killed you probably don't hear a thing. That's what happened to us - it was unexpected and we didn't hear a thing. We're dead, but the Sopranos lives on.
It's cheesy, but I like it and I'm sticking to it.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
As the ending was drawing near this year, a bunch of stuff started happening. Suddenly, there was action. It seemed like they should've just had more shit go down the last 2 years and evened it out. Although you can't have every episode be like last week's, or else no one would be alive.
It's a great show for the many reasons you've probably read about in the countdown to the finale. It's well written, surprising, funny, and fun. But it's also strange.
No one talks about how confusing it is. For example, I always look for Vinny from Doogie Howser. When Tony went to the house last week with his boys, Vinnie wasn't there. But then at the start of the finale, there he was! But if he wasn't Vinnie from Doogie Howser, I would have no idea who the hell he was. These guys appear and disappear, and can suddenly become really important. But if they didn't play a hilarious friend in an underrated '90's sitcom, you'd have no fucking clue who they are.
Another strange thing: for being such an "amazing" show, there's certainly a lot of bad acting on it. No one really talks about that either.
A strange but cool part of the show is that they don't tie things up neatly. It's nice not to have an ending to everything. Storylines can just fade out or simply go away. It's great, and also a tad annoying. Like, if you were really into Furio, you'd be pretty bummed out when you never, ever saw him again. Or if you were waiting to see what would happen with the piece of shirt that Bobby B left at the laundrymat, you'd be waiting a long time. It's kind of like real life in a way, and it's different than most things on TV.
But the "real life" thing can also be an excuse for bad story telling. Sometimes I wonder if it's "real", or if they just don't know what they're doing. It's cool to not tie up stuff, but it's not cool to not have a plan. I hate when shows get to a point where you can tell that they're just making it up as they go along. There should be a plan...and I'm not so sure David Chase had a plan after season 4.
The last two seasons were so slow, and now the ending is coming and suddenly there's action. Would there be that much action if it wasn't the last season? Probably not.
But anyway, I loved Tony getting revenge on Coco, the AJ in the pool thing, I loved "Cleaver", I loved the Tony in Vegas thing, and I really loved the girl Tony loved in Vegas. The Christopher thing was interesting, although how many car accidents are there on this show?
It was weird how they gave so much to AJ in these last couple of episodes. That's not a kid you want to give a bunch of lines to. And does any college dropout really start studying Arabic and quoting Yeats?
The ending to Tony and Melfi's relationship seemed slight, considering it was the jumping off point for the whole series.
And lastly, I loved the sense of humor in the last couple of episodes. The writers always knew how to put in jokes without putting a big spotlight on them. They never tell you when to laugh.
It will be interesting to see the response to the ending. I thought it fit perfectly with the show. Cool, a little unsatisfying, and different. And that's the Sopranos.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Everyone loves “Knocked Up”, and I’m glad. I’m always happy when comedies do well. I went and saw it yesterday: it was funny and well acted, there was just one thing wrong with it:
IT WAS COMPLETELY IMPLAUSIBLE IN EVERY
Let me ask you something: why does she like him? Why? Does he do one thing that’s likeable ? Would any girl go out with this guy, especially any girl like her? Of course not. She’s hot, she has a successful career, she’s hot. He’s not good looking, he doesn’t have a job, he gets high all the time, he’s fat, he has no prospects, he has loser friends…oh, but he’s funny. It’s the ultimate nerd fantasy. Women like guys with a sense of humor! Bullshit. Believe it or not, there are guys with a sense of humor…who also have jobs.
As the movie went on, I was less and less amused by the jokes. They were good jokes, but the story was based around such crap that I had no investment in it. Plus, the fact that there was virtually no story, just random “funny” scenes.
These two people are supposed to fall in love, right? And yet we never see that. He never wins her over in anyway, all he does is smoke weed, watch porn, and act like a dick. Where are the “falling in love” scenes?
She finds out that he doesn’t have a job, but he’s trying to start a website that tells people what films they can see naked celebrities in. He hasn’t worked his entire life. He smokes weed everyday. He lives in a house with a bunch of stoners. And did I mention he looks exactly like Seth Rogen? It doesn’t matter because suddenly, they’re holding hands and about to have sex. Later, she tells him she loves him. Why?
I think the low point for me was when Katherine Heigl was telling Seth Rogen that she didn’t want to be like her sister and her brother in law, who weren’t meant for each other and were “just forcing it”. Uh, isn’t that exactly what Heigl was doing with Rogen?! It’s the exact same thing. These two weren’t meant for each other, they were only together because she got pregnant. We saw no moments between these two where they made sense as a couple. It was a romantic comedy with no romance, where the couple “in love” had nothing to offer each other.
This girl would have good looking, successful men hitting on her every single day. We did not see one of those guys. She worked at E!, I used to work at E! I know about a million girls like her, and not one of them would do any of the things that she did.
And I would never criticize a movie just to be the contrarian. The fact is I just didn’t really enjoy the movie. Most people probably will, but it happened to hit on a real sore spot for me.
But, with that being said, it’s fairly entertaining and funny. And the critics are going overboard with their praise. However, I found one critic, one, who agreed with me, and I think she put it best:
"'Knocked Up" is so enamored of Ben and his insouciant charm that it fails to wonder what it must feel like for the girl. It's one thing to go with the idea that Ben and Alison dwell in different leagues, which after all is the point of the movie. It's another thing altogether for the heroine, who in true girl-on-pedestal form is beautiful, smart, successful, nice and pretty much cool with everything, never to get even the tiniest chance to wonder if maybe she might have done a little better."