Interview with Bryan Robertson co-author of Bacon Saves The World.

It’s All Kittens & Dildos! 

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 Bryan and I doing our court-ordered public service, handing out condoms to drunk, horny teenagers. October 31, 1995.

M: Where are you located on the planet?

B:  On the top, thankfully, but more specifically, D.C., or at least that’s what I tell people. My “DC” is short for “Danville City.” It’s a small city in South Central VA.

M: I bet South Central VA has some lame-ass rappers.

B: Yeah… see why I shorten it to DC? So I’ll know the touch of a woman. Nobody happily tells their parents they’re porking a dude from Danville City.

M: Don’t worry; your secret is safe with me. I won’t tell anyone.

B:  Thanks, and BTW, I was one of those lame-ass rappers. I use to run a studio with my friend, Aaron. We actually have an album floating around out there. Our second album was about 85% complete when we gave it all up. The fame was just too much.

Here’s a link to one of my songs on YouTube called Fairy Tales: http://youtu.be/tIoFL4tv_b4

M:  HaHa! I’m pretty sure that Aaron gave me your first CD. I think it might be down in my basement somewhere; it would have been circa 2003.

B: The best part of that album was the artwork; I shot all the photos myself.

M: What is it like growing up/living in the South?

B:  I hate it. There are mosquitoes here, but my family is here too, so, you know… I’m surrounded by blood suckers. I hate having a country accent. Your readers probably can’t even understand what I’m saying right now.

M:  Hang on…I’m waiting for the interpreter I hired to finish translating what you just said. I also have someone doing sign language for my blind audience.

B:  I’ll wait…

M:  What do you do for a living?

B:  I’m a warehouse manager. It’s boring as hell, but, it gives me plenty of free time to pay bills, watch porn or write jokes in between paying bills and watching porn.

M:  But when do you find the time to watch more porn?

B:  All things are possible through Jesus.

M:  What are some of your favorite hobbies?

B:  I love playing Xbox or binge watching TV with my wife. We’re into a lot of the same shows, like Flash, Criminal Minds, Brooklyn 99.  Wow… now that I think about it, my hobby is sitting.

M:  Describe in excruciating detail how we became friends. (If it’s not too painful for you.)

B:  Many moons ago, I dated your friend and you dated mine. Not sure which came first. The earliest memory I have of you, was when my friend said something (probably stupid) and you responded with, “Ding ding ding ding! Number one answer!” That’s when I knew we would be best buds for many hours to come.

M:  HaHa! “Friend of mine.” We sound like we are in the mafia. For those of you who don’t speak Cosa Nostra, “friend of mine” is a connected guy and “friend of ours” is a made guy.

B:  I think I dated a girl named Cosa Nostra once.

M: Those were some good times, piling in the back of your bad ass Steve McQueen car. I loved visiting you at around 2 am, when you were finishing up your shift, because you always hooked us up with some cheese fries with all the fixin’s.

B:  Damn it. Now I want cheese fries. Yeah, I forgot I use to wait tables back then. That was a sweet gig. If you poked the cheesecake, they couldn’t sell it. So I ate SO MUCH CHEESECAKE!

M:  Does your family think you are funny?

B:  Funny looking? Yes. Funny haha? Well that depends on just how drunk those assholes get. I am the comedian in the family, but I think most of them tune me out when they’re sober. Thankfully, that is not very often. My wife hates my jokes, regardless of her sobriety level.

M:  You tweet a lot about your penis. Have you thought about taking your penis on the road with you and doing a two man comedy act?

B:  I can’t take that thing out in public. Not anymore. Maybe if we worked out something with Skype. It’s notoriously hard to work with as well. Difficult to keep its attention for more than a minute or two. Talk about funny, though. Always gets a laugh, that one.

M:  Besides your penis, where do you get the inspiration for some of your tweets?

B:  I find inspiration everywhere. The world is ripe with material. Sometimes if I’m stuck, however, I have this little trick I do where I just start writing randomly and call upon The Force to finish the tweet for me. If it’s not funny by the time I reach the end, I replace the final word with “Valtrex” or some other made up word like that. I’ll keep doing it as long as it keeps working. The trick, not the Valtrex.

M:  Who are some of your favorite comedians?

B:  I love comedians so much. It’s hard to narrow it down. The greats, of course. Pryor, Carlin, Murphy. Mitch Hedberg was right up my alley. That dude was amazing. Today I’m into Doug Benson, Hannibal Buress, Amy Schumer even though she’s blocking me on twitter, Ron Funches… The list is huge! The list would be shorter if you asked me who I hate. Yeah, let me give you that list instead. Carrot Top and Hitler. Name one joke he ever did. You can’t. Know why? His material sucked. Figure out which one of those guys I’m talking about? Trick question! Both.

M:  You take that back about Hitler!

B:  Poor Carrot Top. Hitler gets defended over him.

M:  We both share a deep love for Swamp Thing; he is the sex symbol of our generation. Were you just a fan of the movies or were you a comic book fan as well?

B:  Funny, I use to work at a comic book store when I was younger, and I never was into his comic. But the movie was my joint! I was more into Spider-Man, Hulk, Supes and Batman. I think I always thought he was sexiest on film. Plus his love interest (from the neck down) had me sprung.

M:  You don’t love Adrienne Barbeau’s perm?! This interview is over!

B:  I bet it matched the carpet. Gotta love the 80’s. I hear Swamp Thing will be in the Justice League Dark movie. I hope so! Maybe he’ll get a love story arc.

M:  You are the co-author of Bacon Saves the World. (Me being the other one) What do you like about writing with me and what do you think I bring to the story?

B:  The best part about writing with you is that you keep me on track. There is a lot to love about writing with you, but that is most important in my opinion, because I tend to leave projects 85% completed. (See my last rap album & 2013’s kitchen remodel project) Come to think of it, we’re at about 85% now, aren’t we?

M:  It seems like we are about 50% complete, but I’ll let you know as soon as I finish reading it.

B:  Another great thing about our partnership is that we make each other laugh. I look forward to your parts, and more than that, I look forward to sending you mine. Sometimes I’ll write something down and think to myself, M’s gonna LOVE that.

M:  I do the same thing. I know immediately when I’m writing something that you are going to love; same with tweets. One of the things that still makes me laugh every time I think about it, is when you describe Trump’s Death.

“Well as you’re aware, my primary concern during my campaign was illegal immigration. I swore to the American people that I’d finish Trump’s wall. During his visit to my state to oversee the project, I promised Trump himself that I’d finish it as he lie dying in my arms, when that Mexican construction worker fell off the wall and onto him.” – Bacon Saves The World.

B:  Haha… Tons of great stuff like that in there. From both of us. My favorite contribution from you was the Sex and the City and Death film trilogy within the story. A close second would have to be when one of our protagonists, Yukon Catan, dove into The Potomac.

“He always wore a wet suit underneath his clothes, to him it was like a bullet proof vest; you never knew when it might save your life. It had come in handy a few other times as well, but it was a little bit annoying when he was trying to have sex with his wife, because it was a bitch to take off.” – Bacon Saves The World.

B:  You bring a lot of joy to the work. I look forward to doing more. Like the spin-off series we have been spitballing. Is spitballing one word or two?

M:  It’s three words. A spin-off series would be awesome. I have endless pop culture references as you know. I hope Putin can be in this one; I love making jokes about him. I’m hoping that our current story ends Hateful 8 style.

B: I just hope people read it and think to themselves, What the Hell am I reading? Then continue reading. That’s my goal. To write something so off the wall that the reader has to wonder what wrong turn they made in their life that led to our book.

“If the object turns out to be an asteroid, I can promise you; we will not stand idly by like the dinosaurs did. We are Americans and we have much larger brains. As with every other challenge in our nation’s history, we will prevail, unlike that time in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Civil War, depending on which side you were on.” – Bacon Saves The World.

M:  You wrote a story for your daughter that you have read to her frequently. Have you thought about becoming a children’s author?

B:  I would love that. But children’s books are hard. You wouldn’t think they would be, but so much ground has been covered, it’s hard to plant new seeds. Just recently I wrote an entire Christmas book and had an illustrator lined up and everything. Come to find out that the story I was working on was already done. Ouch. Maybe I’ll publish the book I wrote for my daughter one day. That is unless someone else beats me to it.

M:  Is it accurate to say politically, that you are loyal to ideas as opposed to parties?

B:  Very accurate, although, if I had to categorize myself, I fit more with the Libertarian party. I hate Democrats and Republicans equally and for different reasons and for similar reasons.

M:  You are a fellow atheist. When did you arrive at that conclusion and did our mutual friend influence that decision? (He has some brilliant arguments.)

B:  I was atheist before I met him. As far back as I can remember, I was being dragged to church and I remember thinking to myself, even at a young age, Wait… You guys believe this poop? I’ve just always believed it was made up. Like the tooth fairy for adults. I think religion is designed to give hope to the hopeless and keep order. I’ve never felt otherwise, but I did believe Darth Vader was real. So…

M:  What do you think the Church of Darth Vader would be like? Do you think he would choke out people who didn’t tithe?

B:  I feel like if you’re a member of the Church of Darth Vader and you’re having a lack of faith, you should probably keep it to yourself.

M:  I was mainly ambivalent about it for a number of years, because as a teenager, Jeezus wasn’t really on my radar. I wish we lived in a world without religion; it’s been the number one cause of war since man and religion have been around. I would recommend to people to read Christopher Hitchens’ God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, it’s the most well-rounded argument I’ve heard for atheism.

B:  I would recommend they read our book instead and except Kanye Christ as their savior or their exclamation of choice. Try it next time you stump your toe; it’s refreshing.

M: It is brilliant and so are you, just like me, in that very dumb/genius kind of way.

B:  Yes, you and I are perhaps the greatest people on the planet.

M: We are definitely in the Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and Swamp Thing upper echelon. What does your nickname, “Chyld” mean?

B:  I go by Chyld, because it has been my nickname for so long. I got it, because I was considered “innocent” by all my friends for never drinking, smoking or taking anything illegal. That, and my child-like penis.

M: That’s funny, because I distinctly remember a drunken gathering at Aaron’s house, where everyone was tanked except for you. I was so sick that I had to lie down in Aaron’s bathtub, because the other rooms were full. This would be the infamous tub that Aaron soaked in for like 10 hours a day.

M:  Tell the weirdoes where they can find you on the internet.

B:  I’m at TA.CO all the time. It’s not MY website, it’s Taco Bell’s, but I’m always there. I think that address is brilliant, BTW. I’m constantly on Twitter @Chyld and on Vine under that username as well.

“I’m pretty excited, you know. What if the aliens are all, ‘we’re here to solve the world’s problems, like you know, fatness and what not.’” – Bacon Saves The World.

 

Interview with Beth Argyropoulos (@bourgeoisalien)

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M:  What were some of your favorite books growing up, and who are some of your current favorite authors?

B:  Growing up I had a hard time finding authors I related to- I found most of what I read pretty dull, until 6th grade when I had a sort of rebellious teacher in Catholic school, who made us all read and act out Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare and a host of others. From there, I became a huge fan of Southern Gothic writers- Harry Crews, Flannery O’Connor, John Kennedy Toole and Truman Capote to name a few. Currently I read a huge variety of authors. I just finished Bruce McCulloch’s book, Let’s Start a Riot, which I cannot recommend enough. It was as hysterical, as it was sad at times. I remembered the angst of my first love reading his work, and deeply related to pushing down all feeling about those things- only to find out later it all comes flooding back and you’re helpless in the midst of the chaos you’ve created. I’m also currently reading BJ Novak,  MARIETTA RODGERS (whose book I will be writing about on my blog I love it so much), Joshua Edward Smith’s book, Entropy (which hit close to home in some respects- and it’s beautifully written) and, With a Zero at Its Heart, by Charles Lambert.

M:  You’ve allowed me to have a sneak peek at one of your essays; when are you planning to unveil your genius to the world?

B:  Oh dear….I am a wimp- I started a blog because when someone from, Kids in the Hall,  lights a fire under your ass; you fucking listen! Ha! But, truly- I just want to write- and see what happens. I am going to send more pieces to publishers and hopefully someone won’t hate what I wrote…gulp

M: I wish someone from Kids in the Hall would light a fire under my ass. Not a metaphorical fire either, but an actual fire, just so we can laugh about it and incorporate it into a skit.

M:  What’s it like to be a liberal in Florida?

B:  Just about the same as anywhere I’ve lived in all truthfulness. I know people in the north like to think of the south as morons- and in many cases that’s true, but- I would submit that morons are most of humanity…everywhere. My first week in Chicago, a man said to me, “Whatever you do, don’t live on the south side- that’s where they have the blacks.” Ugh… “THE BLACKS.”  I kid you not. And let’s not forget, historically, the worst race riots in the states were in Boston. So yes, being a liberal in the south has its challenges, but I surround myself with insane creative types and other lefty liberals no matter where I live, so I don’t notice much outside the world I create for myself. Good or bad- it’s how I cope.

M:  We’re both liberals, but we also like to poke fun at the liberal culture. What are some things that you find funny about the culture?

B:  HAHA!! So much! I think, Portlandia has absolutely nailed it. So, I’ll try to be succinct. If I have to put it all into one observation, it’s this: I find liberals to be more interested in being self-important than actually being effective in situations so often; politically this kills us.  But even on a personal level, if liberals would learn to be a little more down to earth and welcoming, I think that would draw more people to a cause, as opposed to having someone shout in your face how stupid you are. At the end of the day: do we want to look good, or have more people come on board through humility and embracing each other to fight the very real issue of global warming for example? It’s like my Nana said: You attract more flies with honey, than you do vinegar…but who wants flies? Now I’m confused…

M:  We grew up on KITH (I feel sorry for those people who don’t know what that abbreviation stands for). Did you and your friends ever reenact some of their sketches? No judging, did you ever crush someone’s head?

B:  ALL THE TIME! I mainly did the Dave Foley bit. I came off as sarcastic and aloof the way he did in many sketches, and I guess I related to that. I still know all the words to his monologue about being bored, about being a serial killer and “I’m a bad doctor.” But my favorite were Bruce’s songs- “Daves I Know” and “Terriers.” They will never leave me.

M:  I am a huge fan of your tweets and I’ve read enough of them to know, that you have a fixation with the sitcom, Full House. Is it Joey’s witty one-liners, Danny Tanner’s cleanliness, or Uncle Jessie’s catch phrase, “have mercy?”

B:  I played both Olsen Twins- don’t tell anyone. Also? That show is comedy genius. Don’t question me.

M:  Is there any one thing on Twitter that bothers you the most, such as stupid @ers, unwanted DM’s, etc.?

B:  Yes- when people explain my own joke to me, or don’t get the joke and tell me how to make it funnier. To them I say: suck my balls- but you know, in a good way.

M:  I read your most recent blog about Thanksgiving. Is there any one particular Thanksgiving or holiday that was memorable for you?

B:  No- they we’re all pretty lame. It was just me, my mom, brother and dad. My brother was a track and field star and ran 20 miles; I would see him for like 10 minutes. My father watched football and my mom and I were bored. THANKSGIVING SUCKED. But now, it’s wonderful. I have a house full of friends, no awful extended family, and it’s beautiful to look down at my son and know that he is growing up with so much joy and festivity around him. This year, they were out in the back playing zombie tag until midnight and the adults were inside drinking wine, listening to Depeche Mode and having a brilliant night. It’s important to create your own happiness. Yuck…was that inspirational? I’m so sorry.

M:  We have discussed films in the past & you recommended I see, Being There, which I did. Peter Sellers was brilliant in it. What are some of your favorite comedic films? Name a few of your favorite comedic actors.

B:  I tend to like dark comedies or things that are unintentionally funny. Christopher Guest and all his mockumentaries kill me. I like Martin Scorsese when he does a funny film- like King of Comedy and After Hours.  Bill Murray, John Cleese, Ricky Gervais, Woody Allen…so many! Ed Wood  and Waiting for Guffman always kills me…

M:  Is there anything you liked or wore during the 80’s or 90’s, that you are now ashamed of, or do you regret nothing?

B:  Um, my love letter to George Michael when I was 12. He’s pretty hard up, what with all the court fees- if he ever finds that mess; he could black mail me.

M:  If you were on Jeopardy, what category would you kick ass in?

B:  Potpourri…but only if it was actually about Potpourri

M:  My final question I stole from, Inside the Actors Studio, just because it’s the lamest question ever. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates?

B:  Beth, you are so thin.

M:  Tell the perverts, pedophiles, and general weirdos, where they can find you on the interwebs, so they can read some of your brilliant comedy.

B: Twitter: @bourgeoisalien

WordPress: https://bethargyropoulos.wordpress.com/

Pornhub: video entitled “Angry woman eats mac and cheese and never takes off clothes”

 

 

Interview with Aaron and James Alvarez of The Obscure Gentlemen

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Today I’m talking with James and Aaron, two brothers and archenemies, of the very funny web comic, The Obscure Gentlemen. James also hosts, 12 For A Penny, a podcast dedicated to his favorite music. Aaron co-hosts, Plain Zero, a podcast where they watch a movie from the past, and discuss whether or not it stands the test of time.

M: What inspired you to start a web comic?

J: My little brother Aaron (The now artist) asked me to help him come up with ideas for a comic he was doing for his blog. So like a good older brother I told him that I was in charge now and we were going to do it on my terms. I also hit him…with my fist.

A: Like James said, I had a blog and from time to time was posting up web comics. They were mostly nonsensical and leaned towards absurdist, but in a bad way. So I asked him if he wanted to make a web comic and, well, here we are today.

M: How much of your background and experiences go into your comics?

J: A lot actually. Almost each comic is based off of an observation or an experience. When we first started it was mostly just snarky three panels. Now I like to go for more things based off of actual human interaction.

A: I’m like Daniel Day Lewis. Before each web comic, I’ll spend a year living out the life of the strip before drawing it. The logistics are a nightmare since we do one a week. It’s worth it though.

M: I noticed you have a slight obsession with Juggalos. Did one of them ever inappropriately touch you?

J: No! You were a Juggalo! Actually I love metal and took a short detour into the realm of the Insane Clown Posse. I liked their music and thought it was funny. Then I learned about other Juggalos and the culture and I felt like a I fell for a ruse. Now I lash out at this cult.

A: I was a 10 year old Juggalo. Those were dark times.

M: I was a Gigolo not a Juggalo, so stop trying to drag me down to your level!

M: Did you read a lot of comics growing up and what were some of your favorites?

J: Like most kids I liked super heroes and comics. It wasn’t until I got older that I really appreciated books like the Preacher, Watchmen, and Sandman. From there I really got into main stream Marvel comics and I’ve been a “Marvel Zombie” ever since. Wolverine makes me cry sometimes.

A: Thanks to my brother I grew up in a world of comic books. Green Lantern (The Kyle Rayer era) was really what got me hooked. I used to be a big DC Comics reader and I’m still obsessed with Superman. The Nu52 happened and now I’ve made mine Marvel. As for favorites, probably Preacher, Starman, Hitman and anything with the Fantastic Four. I still keep up with Green Lantern and Superman though. I could go on for hours with this question.

M: If you could have any super power what would it be?

J: The power cosmic, because I would wield it like a mother fucker. Not a literal one. Really there is nothing better than that power so suck my nuts flying because I could do that and everything else.

A: Matter manipulation. To control matter is the control the building blocks of the universe. I’d put it to good use though… I think.

M: Aaron is a co-host and James has been a guest a number of times on the podcast, Plain Zero, a podcast dedicated to movies and whether or not they hold up over time. I hate movies as you know, but I did notice there wasn’t a single episode dedicated to Stanley Kubrick movies. I would like to hear your thoughts on why they hate Stanley Kubrick and America.

J: I think they have failed to cover Stanley Kubrik because there are no ninja turtles or Bruce Campbell’s in Kubrik movies.

A: I’m actually a huge fan of Kubrick. One day we’ll get to him. Dr. Strangelove is at the top of my list. I just hope the other guys find it as hilarious as I do.

M: As a passionate hater of movies, I have to ask why is the podcast called, Plain Zero and there is not an episode devoted to, The Running Man. Is it because Jesse Ventura does aerobics?

J: I see what you’re doing with that sarcasm and “I don’t do requests”.

A: I could have sworn we did. Hmm. I’ll have to look into that.

M: No need Aaron; I’m right. I do the kind of meticulous research, that Pulitzer Prize winning journalists do. (entered Running Man on your podcast search and came up with no results)

M: James is a host of the podcast, 12 For A Penny, a podcast that discusses music. I also hate music as you know, but I think it’s safe to say you like heavy metal music. What are some of your favorite heavy metal bands?

J: Metal is a music I hold near and dear to my heart. My favorite bands range from having Glenn Danzig with a skull t-shirt to Glenn Danzig wearing mesh shirts. What I’m trying to say is that if you have a song sung by a tiny man then I’m all in.

M: I noticed there were not any episodes devoted to Michael Bolton. Why are you not celebrating his entire catalog?

J: That’s because we are all Michael Bolton in our own little way. Michael Bolton is what gives a person their power. He’s an energy field created by all living things. He surrounds us and penetrates us. He binds the galaxy together.

M: I will accept that answer; I also would have accepted no comment.

M: Out of all the concerts you’ve been to, which one was your favorite?

J: They are all my babies is what some jerk would say. My favorite has to be the first time I saw Danzig back in 93. It was the first time I truly understood music and tiny crooners.

M: Which heavy metal group would you have most wanted to be a roadie for?

J: None, because I assume that the hazing that goes on would be an HR nightmare and who has time for that. Really it would be Iron Maiden because they look like they have fun and aren’t too serious.

 M: Now for the big question all of my readers want to know. (There are none)  Do you have many groupies?

J: We have amazing Gent fans from all over the world. We have had a few weirdos that we have had to block but for the most part just great people who read the comic every week. I love our fans and I’m blown away when people buy our shirts or support us on Patreon. People spending their hard earned money on what we do is something that makes me smile.

M: Please tell the hill folk where they can find your comics and podcasts on the interwebs.

Comic and Podcast site: http://theobscuregentlemen.com/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theobscuregentlemen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheObscureGents

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theobscuregentlemen