Roni on SNL

February 17, 2011

In some alternate universe, I’ve hosted Saturday Night Live.

Here are some of the photos used therein (as made by Sharon Burian).

Thanks again to @SharonBurian, who has been giving these to me as birthday presents the past few years.

Advertisements

Roni Goes to The Colbert Report

April 20, 2010

The first difference between The Daily Show and Colbert is that you don’t see a huge line outside.  Even the line that wraps around the back isn’t as large as TDS.

The security staff are nicer and you get brought in earlier, with clips of old Colbert playing in the waiting pen.  When I was there, we were delayed for a while, because rehearsal went on longer than usual.

Finally going in, the audience is only on the front, as opposed to front and one side at The Daily Show.  The set looks pretty much like it does on TV, which is rare for a TV show, as the sets usually look a lot smaller in person.

This time, I didn’t know who the warmup guy was.  His big catch phrase was that various people were ‘adorable’.  Standard warmup fare, with the exception that it went on forever.  It was clear that they weren’t ready to start the show and the guy just had to drag on.  He kept saying “What else?” to himself.  I remarked to the woman next to me that I could picture the movie of this, where it keeps fading, with the clock changing positions and we finally hear him asking “Is there anyone in the audience I haven’t talked to yet?”

Right before I was about to lose my mind, Colbert was introduced to the 2001: A Space Odyssey theme.  He came out in usual fashion, waving, running around and such.

Read the rest of this entry »


Roni Goes to The Daily Show

April 15, 2010

Alok, an occasional DWATG contributor, hooked me up with a ticket to The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart.  I got a call from him at 2 PM, telling me to be there by 3 PM.  I confirmed the tickets online, stuffed a few things into my pockets for the night at Joe’s place in Brooklyn and headed to midtown to wait on line.

I don’t want to bore you with every step along the way, so here are the pre-show highlights.

  • Waited on the line for a while, chatting briefly with some Danes behind me, Canadians in front of me, and a few Bostonians.
  • Over the course of the wait, which lasted until around 5:15 PM, various interns and staff came and barked orders, such as no cell phones allowed in the studio, no photography or videoing allowed, info about the metal detector, etc.
  • They handed out the tickets around 4:30 PM, distributing them to us outside, on the line.
  • A woman in charge yelled “Look around you, if there’s any garbage by your feet, I will *not* let you in.”
  • At about 5:15 PM, we started getting shuffled into the studio.

The set itself is gorgeous and fairly spacious for a TV show.  Not much difference from what you see on TV, except you get a sense of where the green screen is (to the audience left of the anchor desk).

Music played for a while, before Paul Mecurio came out to do the warmup.  I was a bit surprised to see him, as I knew him from years prior as a doctor character on the show.

At first, he didn’t do a routine at all, just having the audience yell if they were excited to see Jon Stewart.  It went on so long that I wondered if that was all he was going to do.  I also questioned whether or not it was actually Paul Mecurio.  After a while of commanded screaming, he introduced himself, to which I was the only one that cheered.

I found it a bit odd that I am the only one who actually recognized him (or saw fit to be excited about it).  He asked why I was excited.

“You’ve been on the show before.  You’re good.”

He was flattered.

Read the rest of this entry »


Roni’s Review of NBC’s Thursday Comedy Line-up

September 18, 2009

I went into the night sorting through old papers, ready to stop if something caught my attention.  Took a while.

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday:  While I’m always happy to have new SNL, I felt perfectly content just listening to it in the background.  A good, shallow concept for the “You lie” skit, nothing particularly memorable from the Weekend Update portion.
Parks and Recreation:  They lost me from the beginning, with the lengthy “Parents Just Don’t Understand”.  Didn’t really show that they had much to go off of.  The documentary style works well for “The Office”, but didn’t seem to add anything to P&R.  Amy Poehler was lackluster and there weren’t any breakout people in the cast.
The Office:  A solid episode.  I have watched every episode, after working with obsessives this spring.  This makes it difficult for me to see the episode through the eyes of someone that doesn’t have investment in the characters.  That being said, this was a particularly good episode, breezing by with a bit of funny for the different characters.
Community:  I went in with low expectations.  I like Joel McHale (and have a connection to him.  Go to the bottom of the blog for further explanation.)  I also went to community college and definitely see the potential for comedy therein.  Regardless, I wasn’t sold on concept alone.
All in all, a great show and one that I hope will get better.  It had a great mix of heart and humor.  Chevy Chase wasn’t fantastic, but perhaps his character will develop.  The chemistry between John Oliver and Joel McHale was great.  Even the romantic relationship between Joel McHale and the main chick didn’t annoy me.  I definitely will watch again.
My two cents on Leno:  Didn’t watch this episode, but watched part of the one from the night before.  Here’s my confusion:  Why was it pitched as being different from The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno?  Wouldn’t the attraction be Jay Leno himself and what he was doing before?  Isn’t that what he does well?  Who would buy that the show would be that different or that anyone would really want it to be?  I still don’t understand why any critics or demographics were potentially misled by ads.  Any other situation seems fairly implausible.
My connection to Joel McHale:
Joel McHale was finishing his last year in the UW PATP (graduate acting) program during my first year as an undergrad.  I never met him (that I’m aware of).  It would have been fairly impossible for me to not have passed him in the halls at some point.  I have friends that had him as a TA in their acting classes.
In any case…  During that year, there was a stage show called “Trippin'”.  It was billed as a “live-action stage sitcom parody.”  In said show, Joel McHale played a character in what was the pilot episode.  Later on, Shad Willingham played the character in the middle of the series.  I was aware of Trippin’, seeing ads for it in the Drama building, but never went.  When I successfully auditioned for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, I began to develop friendships with people involved in Trippin’.  I was invited to be in one of their parody commercials, ‘Pirates’, a parody of ‘Aliens’.  Finally, for the Series Finale, I was asked to play Phlebotomy, the character that Joel McHale had played at the beginning.
Years later, I heard Joel McHale on Loveline and tried calling in.  They wouldn’t accept my call based on the ‘Trippin’ story, so I called again to say I was a fan of him on Almost Live!.  They let me on and I said I was a fan, then proceeded to bring up Trippin’.  Briefly, he showed recognition, but seemed a bit thrown off and not really sure.  At the end of the call, he jokingly (?) said “I have no idea what that guy was talking about.

300px-NBC_logo.svg

I went into the night sorting through old papers, ready to stop if something caught my attention.  Took a while.

Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday:  While I’m always happy to have new SNL, I felt perfectly content just listening to it in the background.  A good, shallow concept for the “You lie” skit, nothing particularly memorable from the Weekend Update portion.  Hopefully Megan Fox will pull of the season premiere.

Parks and Recreation:  They lost me from the beginning, with the lengthy Parents Just Don’t Understand.  Didn’t really show that they had much to go off of.  The documentary style works well for “The Office”, but didn’t seem to add anything to P&R.  Amy Poehler was lackluster and there weren’t any breakout people in the cast.  Don’t think I laughed out loud once.

The Office:  Solid all around.  I have watched every episode, after working with obsessives this spring.  This makes it difficult for me to see the episode through the eyes of someone that doesn’t have investment in the characters.  That being said, this was particularly good, breezing by with a bit of funny for many different characters.

Community:  I went in with low expectations.  I like Joel McHale (and have a connection to him.  Go to the bottom of the blog for further explanation.)  I also went to community college and definitely see the potential for comedy therein.  Regardless, I wasn’t sold on concept alone.

All in all, a great show and one that I hope will get better.  It had a great mix of heart and humor.  Chevy Chase wasn’t fantastic, but perhaps his character will develop.  The chemistry between John Oliver and Joel McHale was great.  Even the romantic relationship between Joel McHale and the main chick didn’t annoy me.  I don’t always like pop culture references, but I felt like all of the John Hughes stuff was done well.  I definitely will watch again.  In fact, as it’s DVRed, I’ll put it on again.

The Jay Leno Show:  Didn’t watch this episode, but watched part of the one from the night before.  Here’s my confusion:  Why was it pitched as being different from The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno?  Wouldn’t the attraction be Jay Leno himself and what he was doing before?  Isn’t that what he does well?  Who would buy that the show would be that different or that anyone would really want it to be?  I still don’t understand why any critics or demographics were potentially misled by ads.  Any other situation seems fairly implausible.

My connection to Joel McHale:

Read the rest of this entry »


“Camera Funny”

July 19, 2009
Flag of Ukraine

Ukrainian Flag

Whenever I am walking around and I see a camera crew, I have the vague suspicion that they will ask me to be in their show.  I had that feeling in Lima, Peru when they were filming what looked like a TV high school drama.  But they didn’t ask me.  And when I walked past the film crew in Odessa, Ukraine, they didn’t ask me either.  In fact, Valeria and I walked to the center, I walked around and I was nowhere near their filming when the story begins…

Read the rest of this entry »


Roni’s Top 10 South Park Episodes

January 16, 2009

I’ve gotten a lot of flack for posting so much stuff on The OC.  Well, don’t worry.  I have said what I had to.  Let’s move onto a show that’s generally better respected.

I talk to a lot of people that cite various South Park episodes.  But few and far between are those that have seen every episode.  Well, I have.  Just so you know, my preference for South Park episodes tends toward the epic.  Other people prefer topical episodes, or those making fun of certain groups (such as “All About the Mormons?”).  I enjoy the topical ones, as well, when they are grand in scale.

Are you aware that you can watch every episode of South Park legally and for free,  streaming at southparkstudios.com?  They also use fake commercials from the show itself to split up the parts of an episode.  Another cool thing is that if you click the envelope logo while watching the episode, you can get the episode link to share with others without interrupting the stream, allowing you to spread the joy instantly and conveniently.

Here are the episodes that I think you have to watch:

10) Pre-School – Episode 810
9)  My Future Self n’ Me – Episode 616
8)  Imaginationland Part I, Part II and Part III – Episodes 1110, 1111 and 1112
7)  Scott Tenorman Must Die – Episode 501
6)  Super Fun Time – Episode 1207
5)  Cartoon Wars (Part I and Part II) – Episode 1003 and 1004
4)  Asspen – Episode 603
3)  Chinpokomon – Episode 310
2)  The Return of Chef – Episode 1001
1)  The Death of Eric Cartman – Episode 906
If you just want to be surprised by the episodes, don’t read the summaries that are below.  Just go to the links. If you need to be convinced, read on.

Read the rest of this entry »


Roni’s Reviews of The OC’s Season 3 Finale and Series Finale

January 15, 2009

The biggest spoilers of the series below.

Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: