February 23, 2014

Ten Funny Tweets Derek Has Re-Tweeted In The Past Week

Well, kids...As I haven't recorded a new podcast in a while*, I've decided to put one of my favorite segments from the show into a blog post so you can still enjoy some of the funny.

You see, I like Twitter. A big part of the reason I like it is because of its 140-character limit for posts. Oh, sure, you can cheat that by using platforms such as Long-Tweets or Twit Longer, but I consider that cheating the system. There's a certain amount of thought that has to go into compressing what you want to say into one or two sentences and still making your point.

It also makes Twitter a perfect place to write some one-liners.

I've spent many hours laughing out loud at the people on Twitter that are way funnier than I could ever hope to be. And, as a fan of these folks, I like to share their jokes on my podcast. And now I'm going to share them here, too. Let's have a look, shall we?

In no particular order:
And there we go. If you are already on Twitter, I would definitely recommend that you follow any of these funny folks. (And me, if for no other reason than to make a reasonable comparison of what funny is and what it is not.) If you're not on Twitter, then go. Now. Sign up. And show us your funny.

All the best,
Derek and Bosco

*There actually was a podcast recorded with Larry Sieczynski, but the SD card that it was recorded on is corrupted and the file is lost.

February 21, 2014

Wherefore Art Thou, Weirdness?

Several years ago, in a fit of intense boredom while working at a calling center for a market research firm, I started drawing cartoon superheroes based on my friends. When designing these characters, I made every effort to include personality traits and quirks of the people upon whom they were based. Three of those friends were so infatuated with their alter ego characters that I began writing and drawing a comic based on them.

At first, it was just a few two-panel drawing of the standard setup/joke variety. These were so popular among my coworkers--all of them; not just the people the characters were based on--that I started work on a longer story. The first one (which I can't currently find) was about a villain obsessed with 80's hair metal and his caffeine-addicted co-villain trying to take over the world while keeping their nemesis occupied by feeding him enough cheese to bind up his colon. It ran to about nineteen pages. It was glorious. It was well-written and poorly drawn. And when it came time to name my creation, a title was suggested by the person the main character was based on: The Adventures of Bowel-Movement Man and Pee-Pee Pal.

The main cast (L-to-R): 80's Metal Man (in Bucket Head disguise),
Java Queen (in Bag Lady disguise), Pee-Pee Pal and Bowel-Movement Man

A second story included a new character who called himself Big Pinkie. He had a disturbingly large pinkie on his left hand, which he wielded like a twenty pound sledgehammer in his search for a pair of gloves that fit. A third story told of 80's Metal Man's attempts to raise funds to take over the world by putting together a festival called Monsters of Cock.

This was deep literature, people.

I would have loved to continue these stories so I could incorporate more of the characters I created for people who asked for them. (Such as The Kegger, 9-Iron and Todd...Just Todd.) But, alas, the people who gave me money requested I actually do job-related things, so I had to put the comic aside and work.

Anyway, I was looking at some of those drawings today, and I also ran across a lot of funny comics while poking around Memebase. Some of them come from pages that do that sort of thing for a living, but there were also a number of them that appear to have been done by regular everyday people like you and me.

Well, like you, anyway.

Now, keep in mind that I've never been one for the mainstream, mushy, touchy-feely comics out there. Back when I had my small but much-loved comic book collection, you were more likely to find things like The Tick and Ambush Bug than you were Batman or The Punisher. To this day, the bottom shelf of my bookshelf contains exactly zero GarfieldZiggy, or even Zits collections. You will, however, find collections of The Far Side and Bloom County. Sure, these aren't exactly subversive underground comics, but they still make Doonesbury look like Family Circus.

Now that those comics are gone, their creators retired, you don't get that kind of humor in the comic strips you find in your local paper. At best, you get cheap knock-offs that just don't have the edge the originals did.

Fortunately, there's this whole internet thing. In much the same way that social media has all but taken out traditional news media Old Yeller-style, the comics page been pushed aside by an audience that is increasingly disappointed by the available fare in favor of the kind of weirdness that can only be found at places like Cyanide & Happiness and xkcd.com, for a start.

Those guys started out creating something different that they weren't seeing anywhere else. And there are plenty of others out there that deserve more attention because their humor isn't being reigned in by some editor who's worried he'll lose advertisers if he lets them use the word "shit" in their strip. One of the great things about the internet is that advertisers don't generally ask you to change. They just find someone who is creating something that appeals to their demographic and throw an ad on it. The artists continue making their art the way they want to, and the advertiser gets to the audience it wants to. Everybody wins.

Frankie snapped later that afternoon, climbing to the top
bell tower in the town square...

So get out there and support those independent internet comics. Find one that appeals to you and tell people about it. (That's how I found out about Cyanide & Happiness and xkcd.) Share their strips on your Facebook or Twitter (or--*snort*--Google+) pages. You never know whether you'll find the next Berkeley Breathed or Gary Larson. And even if you don't, you might find something you like and the artist will appreciate the attention.

All the best,
Derek and Bosco

February 18, 2014

Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetleju--Really?!

Michael Keaton said in a recent interview that he's been talking with Tim Burton about finally doing a sequel to 1988's Beetlejuice, the documentary about Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis trying to be funny while Wynona Ryder invents the Emo/Goth craze. Keaton spent the better part of the film acting like Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective six years before that film even came out. (Yeah, he's that good.)

I do what now?

There's other stuff, but, really, that's all we need to know to be able to put together a reasonable idea of what would make up a sequel twenty-six years after the original came out.

But the real question here is, as it's been the aforementioned twenty-six years, is it really necessary to make a sequel? Don't get me wrong; if it is done right, it could be a fun film. But, like so many films that were after-the-fact sequels (or prequels) that came out years after they could have been relevant, it could not possibly live up to fans' expectations. (I'm looking at you, The Phantom Menace.) On top of that, didn't the original Beetlejuice say everything that really needed to be said about the subject? Do we really need a sequel to catch up on what's been going on with a dead guy who was funny, sure, but also--let's be honest--kind of an asshole?

For those of you who don't recall the plot, it goes something like this:
Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are a married couple living in a nameless, Stepford Wives-like village, trying to live normal lives while coping with the fact that Geena's character is barren. Alec's character copes by asserting his OCD on a tiny replica of their village. A small dog kills them, and a family of weird people--the mom from Home Alone, the mad scientist from Howard The Duck, and future kleptomaniac Ryder--move into their home. When Baldwin and Davis, now ghosts, hire Keaton to scare the new family away, he tries to force Ryder's character to marry him. (Mind you, this is early teen Wynona Ryder, which makes Keaton's character a pedophile, too. Hilarious.) Wackiness ensues.
 Yep. He wanted to hit that.

Now, admittedly, it's been a while since I've seen the original Beetlejuice (as I'm sure it has been with, I dunno, everybody), but I think it's safe to say that the story was neatly wrapped up by the time the credits rolled. And for those who didn't get their fill, there was also a cartoon series that followed Beetlejuice and a surprisingly forgiving Lydia's adventures, post-attempted forced underage marriage. It was...not very good.

So where will this movie go? Will there be more stop-motion clay worms? Will Michael Keaton, who once played a possessed snowman in Jack Frost, be able to don Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" suit (hopefully washed since Miley Cyrus attempted to grind the ass she doesn't have against it) and reprise the role that somehow managed to get him the role of Batman himself?

Will Geena Davis, star of Cutthroat Island, return? Will she be able to recapture the kind of performance that made critics stand up and say "Earth Girls Are Easy was a film that had Geena Davis in it"?

Will Alec Baldwin, star of angry voicemails, also return? If he does, will he be able to keep from screaming at everyone?

And, most importantly, do I still blame Tim Burton for what he allowed Joel Schumacher to do to the Batman franchise?

Bat-nipples. He gave us Bat-nipples.

(For the record, the answers are as follows: It will "go" all over the previous one; probably; more than likely, but with a bit less energy; is she still alive?; if so, probably; maybe; probably not; and yes...yes I do.)

All the best,
Derek and Bosco

February 16, 2014

Please Welcome Our New Sponsor: Safari Steve!

We here at The Ugly Couchcast pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of snack food technology. We also like stuff with all-natural ingredients. (You can tell by the healthy sheen of Derek's magical beard and the way Bosco's mohawk stands so proudly and majestically.) We also like it when people give us money.

With this in mind, we have taken on a new sponsor: Safari Steve's Exotic Snacks! Check out the two new commercials below:

Safari Steve's Exotic Four-Skins


Safari Steve's Salty Nut Sack

And don't forget: Safari Steve's Snacks are SO good, you're gonna want to put his whole sack in your mouth!

All the best,
Derek and Bosco

Episode 15: Hello, Larry!

Right-click and choose "Save link as..." to download!

Guest: Larry Sieczynski

Avoiding seeing Paulie Shore movies, explain your nickname, MTV has zero "M" and barely any "TV", Miley Cyrus has questionable talent, Larry is let out of the closet, the vast Disney conspiracy, "These kids today!", what happened to The Paddle, a tearful Thanksgiving with Billy Ray, let's not blow up Syria, if a puppy was president (SPOILER: It's WACKY!), Ten-ish Funny Tweets Derek Has Re-Tweeted This Week, woefully unprepared for this show, a brief look at #KeithMonday, the Weird Old Guy and the Illuminati Conspiracy, telegram sexting, breaking the news to Larry about Khan, the Wolverine goes shopping, about the new Evil Dead flick, C.H.U.D.: Mission to Moscow, Anthony Hopkins is just plain awesome, Larry brings up Ben Affleck and Derek defends him (but can't defend his HUGE forehead), Christian Bale's horrible voice and fun situations where you can use it, The Boston Batman, the joy of a simple pogo stick, pre-Internet Spank Bank, Cylons and firecrackers, Derek knows stuff about Star Wars (he got Red Three wrong; it was Biggs Darklighter, not Wedge Antilles), Jimmy Smits Does Push-ups, more fun with #KeithMonday, busted for finding the Christmas stash, The Tiny Little Drive-In for Remote Control Cars, Rod Serling frightens children (with a little help from Mom and Dad), Larry's childhood hallucinations, Boston Batman Returns, I'M MATT DAMON!!!, Leonard Nimoy and the Shitty Game Console, kidnapper pirates, "Do celebrities Google themselves?", dueling thoughts and how the brain works, Derek talks about his experience at the very first Southside Music Festival.

BONUS: Run DMC! Macklemore! And the Beastie Boys! Just because!

Running Time: 1:42:05

February 15, 2014

Welcome to Our New Home on the Interwebs!

Welcome to the shiny new home of The Ugly Couchcast!

We're just getting the plastic off the furniture and repainting the place, so we may be a bit before we can start posting new shows. (I tend to post them on a "whenever-I-feel-like-it" basis, so please be patient.) However, we're going to be adding the old shows here so you can snag them if you want to. Or, if you're new to the show, you can listen to a previous episode or two...you know...just to get an idea of what we're all about and stuff.

And if you ARE new to the Couchcast, allow me to introduce myself and my co-host.

I'm Derek, and this is what I look like:

I don't normally look this constipated.

Yes, I play guitar. No, I'm not currently in a band. Thank you for your interest. I'll probably post a new tune or two from time to time, just to keep folks interested.

Anyway, I am the host of The Ugly Couchcast. I'm the guy who does most of the talking and asks the guests all the questions.

My co-host is Bosco. He looks like this:


Bosco is the quiet partner of the show. He helps put guests at ease by begging for belly rubs and licking their faces. A lot. He has a lot of energy, this guy.

The premise of the show itself is pretty simple: I invite my friends to my house, park them on the Ugly Couch (its ugliness demands the capital letters), and just talk to them about whatever comes to mind. Usually, it involves comics, movies, TV, childhood toys, and funny stories from our lives. Sometimes there's even music!

Anyway, welcome to The Ugly Couchcast. And I hope you'll stick around. If you dig the show, maybe you could possibly share it with your friends?

All the best,
Derek and Bosco