January 2011

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Day # 17 - Special Time with Joseph

Monday, January 17, 2011

We're 17 days into the trip and I've already received a stream of criticism.  According to Conan or Bust followers (comprising creditors and telemarketers) I am emotionally unavailable, inscrutable, and downright cold.  Apparently, people want to know about the real me and my take on the trip. Fine.

Well, let me dispel a few myths for you upfront.

Myth # 1"Must be nice!  Leaving everything to hang out in differnt cities drinking, hitting on girls, and telling jokes."

Fact: Let me paint a picture: right now I’m sleeping on couch cushions in the middle of a kitchen floor.  Many things occur to a person when he finds himself at the age of 32 waking up in the middle of the night clinging to the oven drawer that holds pots and pans.  Those things include but are not limited to the following: How did I end up here?  I wonder who will accidentally step on my face first?  At what point will the dog go to the bathroom on me?

Luckily, I don’t have time to worry about such trivial matters as my mind is focused solely on the couch cushions that continually separate about every 30 seconds creating a sort of trap door for my stomach.

Myth # 2"You guys are having so much fun entertaining me, I don't need to be a FB fan of the site."

Fact: If you're not a fan of the site, I can't spam you with information for you to instantly delete or ask to allow me to crash on your kitchen floor.  Remember when I signed up for your boring fb groups or went to your dad's funeral?  It's payback time.

Myth # 3: "You must meet all sorts of interesting characters on the road!"

Fact: Nope.  Except for this guy.  He's a dire warning for us all. This is the face of Bristol, PA.  I put it on a T-Shirt and tried to sell it at the Bristol show.  I sold them all.

Myth # 4: "Why do you always have skits where a minority gets shafted?  Why are you an awful person?!"

Fact: Stop projecting.  I am king of the minorities.  After I write the sketches, we post ads on craigslist for actors.  The only people who show up happen to be minorities.  And we all have a great time.  Or at least that's what I force them to say.

Breaking news update: It was a contractor performing work on the house that stepped on my face.  He later apologized, which was nice, but to be fair I'm not sure what etiquette dictates when it comes to finding someone sleeping on a kitchen floor, who happens to be a houseguest and not a vagrant.  I've already sent in a query to Martha Stewart Living. I'll keep you updated. 


Day # 14 - Mac and Diabetes by Joe Piccirillo

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mac and Diabetes by Joe Piccirillo

In an interview with Piers Morgan, Oprah cites the box office failure of Beloved as the catalyst for her headfirst dive into a pile of Mac and cheese. In a related story, Kraft Mac and cheese cites Oprah as the catalyst for their huge 3rd quarter profits.

According to the talk show host: "When I heard I was beaten by Bride of Chucky, I told my chef to make 30 pounds of Mac and cheese."

This development has led me to really, really like Bride of Chucky. In addition, it sparked my curiosity. Surely, Oprah can't be the only high-powered figure to engage in binge-eating as a coping mechanism. I did some research and found the secrets of other public figures. Take a look.


Public Figure
: Hitler
Food of Choice: Whipped Cream
Catalyst for Binge: lost Battle of the Bulge
Quote: "I lost the battle on the field and in my slacks."

# 2.

Public Figure
: Napoleon Bonaparte
Food of Choice: Lasagna
Catalyst for Binge: Lost at Waterloo

Quote: "A picture is worth a thousand words.  This picture says a thousand yums!"


Public Figure
: God
Food of Choice : Adam's ribs
Catalyst for Binge: stress-eating for upcoming test of Adam and Eve.
Quote: "Adam's ribs are great for creating Eve and taste delicious with barbecue sauce!"


Public Figure
: Rosie O'Donnell
Food of Choice: all of the above
Catalyst for Binge: Tuesday
Quote: "More please."

Behind the Scenes with Pete

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Behind the Scenes by Pete Jackson

Have you ever seen the movie The Blues Brothers? There is a point in that movie where ex-cons Jay and Elwood Blues finally get the band back together and one of the first gigs they book is at a small-town country/western bar. Let’s be clear: this band sings the blues and they booked one of their first performances at a country/western bar. Upon arrival, the band walks up to a stage where there is a barrier of chicken wire that separates the performers from the audience. (That chicken wire prevents tossed beer bottles from striking the performers when the crowd is displeased.)  This was the very first thought that raced through my mind the minute we walked into our comedy venue in rural New Jersey the other night.

Originally we hadn’t planned on booking any shows while we were in Jersey, but when some local press asked where we were going to be performing, we needed an answer.

Enter: The Landslide Saloon.

In the midst of rushing out of NY, we booked a show at what we later discovered was one of the proudest country/western bars in northwestern New Jersey. To top it off, we would be the only act for the night. Let’s be clear, Joe & I would have to put together our own hour-long comedy show and perform it to length in front of a country/western audience. Up until now, Joe had been performing shorter sets in comedy clubs with a pre-booked list of comedians and I was simply filming it.

The problems:

1.)  I have never performed comedy.

2.)  We needed at least one stand-up comic to warm up the crowd before Joe’s performance.

3.)  Joe needed to tailor his 45-minute ppt act for a country/western bar crowd.

4.)  The thought of the crowd throwing beer bottles at us.

The solutions:

1.)  I would host the show and get the audience started with some mild banter.

2.)  Our intern Torio would be the opening comic and warm the crowd up [In his job interview Torio briefly mentioned that he had performed stand-up a few years earlier. That’s right, we actually listened during your job interview, Torio.]

3.)  Joe would turn his act into a blend of stand-up and powerpoint in an effort to keep the crowd involved.

4.)  ???

How did it go, you ask? Just like Jay and Elwood, we figured it out…

Special thanks to the Landslide Saloon and their patrons for making “Conan Or Bust” an absolute success.


Day # 12 - Dilemma Sequels by Joe Piccirillo

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It seems like every time you turn around James L Brooks is releasing new laugh-riot movies like How Do You Know?  That's why I want to devote some time to the little guys like Kevin James and Vince Vaughn.  Their latest effort, The Dilemma, focuses on the problems that arise when a guy discovers that his best friend's wife is cheating.  Then, hilarity ensues! 

When I heard the premise -- man struggles with whether to tell his friend about his wife's devious ways -- I immediately thought of some sequels showcasing other "hilarious" dilemmas.

The Dilemma 2

Premise: In this sequel to the hilarious 2011 comedy, Kevin James' character now finds himself in a dilemma.  After a boys' weekend getaway in the mountains, Vaughn and James are broadsided by a tanker truck.  With only seconds left before the car explodes, James is faced with a dilemma: pull out Vaughn from beneath the wreckage even though his legs have been severed OR leave him to die -- Vaughn wouldn't want to live without legs (he loves to tread water!) anyway. 

This Dilemma will make you think but then leave you laughing out loud as you leave the theater!

The Dilemma 3

The boys are back.  After evening the dilemma score last time (James' wife was a cheater, Vaughn lost his legs) the guys decide to run a daycare.  But just when things start to settle down, they're thrown a hilarious curve ball.  Turns out the janitor at the daycare is a sex offender.

Should they turn him in or continue to let him read to the kids during the day?  He's a great janitor and is really, really good with kids! 

Fun for the whole family and your court-appointed attorneys!

The Dilemma 4

Simply a recut of the classic film Deer Hunter intercut with a laugh track and shots of Kevin James getting hit in the groin. 

So many comedy bullets in every chamber, you can't lose!

Behind the Scenes with Pete -- Goodbye, Newark Video

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Goodbye video for Newark, NJ by Pete Jackson

Day # 10 -- No Habla Body Language by Joe Piccirillo

Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 10 by Joe Piccirillo

The experts at realsimple.com have spoken: your body language is just as important as your verbal cues. 

According to the Cindi Lepers, author of the article and body language expert: "Every last gesture... tells a story.  Learn what you're telling others with your body language -- and what others are telling you with theirs."  Lepers teaches these techniques to women seeking the "right" man.

I support this wholeheartedly.  Ladies, I've applied these realsimple.com techniques to some people you may come in contact with on a daily basis to help you cut through their verbal BS.  The body doesn't lie.

What he's really thinking: 

#1. Your boss


According to Cindi Lepers, body language expert:

"He is standing with an "open" stance, which indicates warmth and happiness.  Now is the perfect time to ask for time off, a raise, or that overtime he keeps promising to give you."

# 2. That guy who's trying to get your attention at the bank

According to Cindi Lepers, body language expert:

"If you look closely (behind the glasses), the corners of his eyes are scrunched up, revealing his wrinkles, which is the only real way to tell if someone is genuinely smiling.  His close-handed fist around the other gentlemen reflects his fierce protectiveness.  He's a keeper.  Now is the time to make your move.  Approach confidently and ask for his number!"

# 3. The calm, cool and collected guy at a family function

According to Cindi Lepers, body language expert:

"Look at his crossed arms.  That indicates insecurity -- he's shy and won't approach you.  I suggest you move in and open strong with some playful banter like, "What brings you here?!"

Also, we're leaving NYC and heading to New Jersey.

Day # 7 - New Movie Reviews by Joe Piccirillo

Friday, January 7, 2011

Movie Reviews by Joe Piccirillo

Season of the Witch -- 1 out of 7 Golden Slacks

Synopsis(from IMDB.com): Crusader Behmen (Cage) and his comrade-in-arms Felson (Perlman) return from years of battle to find their homeland decimated by the Plague. To appease members of the church, the duo agree to transport an accused witch (Foy) to a remote abbey, where monks hope that a ritual will end the pestilence.

Joe's Take:  This movie is amazing; it contains nothing people want to watch.  It has plague, witches, and Nicholas Cage.  The only way it could be worse is if it featured a cameo by the cast of Little Fockers.  Here's the breakdown: The guys fight over the love of the witch (who is not so evil after all!).  Then, they make up and realize that the plague is probably more important than love.  Then, they all go see James Brooks' laughfest How Do You Know?  End credits.

Unexpected Scene: In order to attract more viewers, two minutes into the film, Cage's character has a vision of the future -- it's the movie Avatar, which is then shown in its entirety.

Yogi Bear -- -19990 out of 7 Golden Slacks

Synopsis (from IMDB.com): A documentary filmmaker (Faris) travels to Jellystone Park to shoot a project and soon crosses paths with Yogi Bear (voice of Aykroyd) and his sidekick Boo-Boo (voice of Timberlake).

Joe's Take: People talk of the future with hope in their voice, thoughts, and heart.  A time when they will be happier, fitter, better educated or better adjusted.  No one, however, has ever grabbed their loved one during a sleepless night, looked deep into their eyes and confessed that they wanted a future in which animated bears crack wise about farts.  Except for my Dad.  This is the movie I want to play in a loop at my funeral/execution so that observers and waitresses will wish they could trade places with me.

Unexpected Scene: A family tries to take a photo with Yogi, and the flash from the camera sends him into a rage.  He mauls the family and is shot dead.  Boo Boo gets caught in a bear trap and has to gnaw his own foot off to survive.  Plus, a new song When You Steal My Picnic Basket, You Steal My Heart by Justin Bieber!


Behind the Scenes with Pete

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Blog post by Pete Jackson

             (Pictured Above: View from the hotel rooms in Newark)

In case anyone is religiously following us, we’re currently staying at a hotel in Newark, NJ that sits right by the airport. I know what you're thinking, “Newark? Why on earth would you stay in Newark?” The simple reason is that all the hotels in NYC were priced outside of our production budget and the rate here is $30 per night. But I must say, the hotel has actually proved to be quite amazing for many reasons:

First of all, the people who work here have wonderful jobs. Apparently sleeping on the job is standard and we all know that more sleep means more productivity. The only thing you need to be careful of is to not call down to the hotel attendant during his/her times of rest (between the hours of 9AM – 7AM). They can be very finicky when aroused from their slumber just because you want to know why the lights in your bathroom don’t work. And I totally get that…

The hotel is also nice enough to allow multiple guests in the same room without charging extra. Torio was allowed to have 2 bedbugs stay with him on the first night at no extra cost to the production, which was a relief. He did submit a request to change rooms after those party animals decided not to leave due to hangover – they drink a lot. Unfortunately he called down during a hotel attendant’s period of rest, so there was a mild (yet reasonable) delay.

The views are amazing, too.  You can see the skyline of New York City from the rooms facing the east and on the west you get an intimate view of the Northern State Prison. Nothing says “New Jersey Welcomes You” better than a prison with faulty barbed wire and a train station right next door. With the hope of escape a reality for these prisoners, it’s evident: everyone gets carte blanche here in Newark.

So if you’re looking for a great place to stay in Newark, NJ, look no further. ADDED BONUS: If you stay here they’ll throw in a genuine car break-in for free.

 - Pete

Day # 5: Black Lies by Joe Piccirillo

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hello.  Did you have a nice day?  Oh, that's great.  Here's the thing, though.  While Pete, Torio (our intern) and I were running around NYC filming videos, bribing hotdog vendors, and avoiding the Spiderman musical for your benefit, you apparently were watching youtube videos about a homeless guy who landed his dream job in radio.  uh-hm. Let's focus on the task at hand, America.



(Your article is below.)

Most experts agree that parenting is a full-time job. Unfortunately, it has become apparent that people are taking the same half-hearted approach to parenting that they do at their day jobs at Chilis. But how can one really be sure?

Luckily, CNN has compiled a list of "white lies" that parents tell their children. Take a look at a few examples from real people.

White Lie told by Christine Stevens: "When I don't feel like playing with the toy that my toddler chooses, I tell her that it is out of batteries, even if the toy doesn't take batteries. It works with TV shows, too."


White Lie told by Rebecca Schorr: "I pretend fortune-cookie fortunes say things like "Your bedtime tonight will be 15 minutes earlier."

White Lie told by Henry Corbett: "When I'm getting ready in the bathroom and the kids start banging on the door, I pretend that it's stuck when I really have it locked."

I can understand the necessity of telling white lies that will benefit the child, but these are simply bald-faced lies lazy parents tell their children to avoid serious conversations.

Luckily, I've arranged for key people in these parents' lives to tell them with "white lies." Let's see if they think the lies are just as harmless.

White Lie told TO Christine Stevens: "I tell my wife Christine that I still find her attractive even though I am repulsed by her." - Mark Stevens, Christine's Husband

White Lie told TO Rebecca Schorr: "I told my wife not to get a haircut because I love it when her hair is longer instead of telling her that I lost our savings at the dog track." Ed Schurr, Rebecca's Husband

White Lie told TO Henry Corbett: "I recently told Henry that his cancer isn't terminal because I had dinner plans later that evening and didn't want to deal with all of that drama." -- Dr. Paul McKinley, Mayo Clinic


Behind the Scenes with Pete

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

                             Pictured above: car is ready to go

Update by Pete

Anyone who thinks they can shoot a feature film with only the help of one other person is an idiot - take it from idiot #1. We’ve spent the past week ramping up to our January 1 sendoff working around the clock filming comedy shows, cutting web videos, writing new material, learning about who talks in their sleep, surviving on terrible sandwiches, oh, and shooting material for the film in between. It’s ironic that I took some time off from my actual job working 10-15 hour days to work 16 – 20 hour days instead, but that’s production for you. I remember the days when I could actually do this kind of stuff with ease - when I was young and eager to learn, but now I’m just old, bitter, and my back hurts a lot from lugging all of that damn camera gear around.

I must say that the new intern has really come through, though. Torio is helping us basically do, um…pretty much everything for the tour. He told us that he had applied for an IT job one time and they turned him down due to the fact that he had absolutely no IT experience. So naturally, we threw him into the web design process and had him changing code for all of our website material that needed to go live by Jan. 1. We here at COB believe in opportunity… or again, maybe it’s just idiocy. Either way, we’re live.

- Pete