Last week a campaign was started to raise money to support fellow comedian Liza Dye. Sadly, Liza was struck by a subway train and is recovering in the hospital right now. I don’t know Liza personally, but as a member of our community I wish her a speedy recovery! My heart goes out to her and her family. It’s going to be a long road, and I can only imagine how difficult the days, weeks, and months ahead are going to be for her.
And to add to all of that, Liza didn’t have health insurance.
Luckily Liza is a member of a supportive, loving community who have all pitched in to donate money to help with her medical expenses. Because of social media and kind friends so far almost $30,000 has been raised, and it’s only been a few days! I pitched in and so can you.
I also want to encourage everyone whether you donate or not to take a look at your own situation. Do you have Health Insurance? Because If not, do yourself a favor and SIGN UP IMMEDIATELY.
Since January 1st every single American became eligible for affordable health insurance. With the Affordable Care Act for the first time, all of us are able to get insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions, gender, employment, or age. And guess what? It’s affordable. If you are a poor, struggling comedian who makes a living off of teaching and coaching you are more likely to find a cheap plan now than someone with a steady job. If you are under the age of 26, call your parents and ask them to add you to their plans. There is no reason to be uninsured. Health insurance is no longer something reserved for the rich, it’s for all of us! We are looking into a future where you won’t go bankrupt just because of a terrible accident or illness. All you have to do is go online and sign up.
It’s not a matter of if you’ll need insurance, but when you’ll need insurance.
Once a month, Whale Thief crams together the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre’s top writers, performers, and students to craft an all-new sketch comedy show from scratch in a single day, featuring writers and performers from The Onion, Late Night With Seth Meyers, and more. Sketch Cram is all the comedy you can cram into a single show, featuring 100% new content every month!
This Saturday at midnight, Sketch Cram presents MAGIC CRAM as the show teams up with some of New York City’s best Magicians to bring you a very special magic-themed show, featuring Ricky Smith and Adam Rubin!
WRITTEN BY: Conner O’Malley, Sam West, Dan Chamberlain, Marina Tempelsman, David Hill, Lana Schwartz, & Max Brand
STARRING: Conner O’Malley, Sam West, Dan Chamberlain, Yoni Lotan, Caroline Cotter, Siobhan Thompson, & Samantha Schecter
WITH ANIMATION BY Matt Weir
VIDEO DIRECTED BY Ryan Hunter
DIRECTED BY Brandon Gulya, Matt Klinman, & Zack Poitras
LIKE WHEN Patti Smith describes being unimpressed by a Doors concert in Just Kids as a lightbulb moment of “That’s it? I could do that,” The Tonight Show with Jay Leno holds the same distinction in my heart because of one joke, one very bad joke that I heard when I was little and said to myself “well I could do that.”
I was fifteen years old and Matt Damon was the show’s first guest, promoting The Legend of Bagger Vance. It remains the worst joke I’ve ever heard on television- almost perfect how terrible it is- failing in concept, context, and punchline. It occupies the same part of my brain as Kevin Federline’s Teen Choice Awards debut, the one with the clumsy audience fakeout. These things stay with me not because I revel in failure, but because I am deeply afraid that I too might one day have a creative miscalculation be so public.
Here’s the joke: its a segment/desk piece about companies merging and buying each other out, the punchlines being a graphic that combines their logos alongside a portmanteau of their names. Jay goes:
"Maybe you’ve seen this, Ben Gay- the muscle rub- Ben Gay has purchased Pokémon."
Okay, so already we’ve our failures of concept and context. A pain cream has bought… a video game? The licensing rights to Pokémon? Cards? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, JAY? Ben Gay the brand- not Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer- has purchased Pokémon. Sure.
"Maybe you’ve seen this, Ben Gay- the muscle rub- Ben Gay has purchased Pokémon. Yeah, they’re going to be an all new company now: Gay Poke."
So the gay joke is bad enough, but THE PORTMANTEAU DOESN’T EVEN WORK, ITS “POKÉ” NOT “POKE.”
Anyways, I think of this joke a lot because it was on actual TV once and somebody in the union wrote it and a man was paid to say it and all of those things are jobs I would like to have. We’ll miss you, Jay.
WHEN MARGOT moved to our town in 7th grade, she told everyone that her best friend from home was Britney Spears. “We came up with the ‘Baby One More Time’ dance together” she said, “because we were the craziest ones at our Catholic school.” Afterschool choir was where she traded on this friendship most, letting us know in no uncertain terms that she too was a music star, fast on the rise. She’d regularly suggest contemporary pieces to our unimpressed director, Mr. Sullivan, and when she wasn’t declared a section leader after auditions, still tacitly commanded recognition through stern looks and finger snaps when the other altos failed to perform to her standards.
Margot wore a lot of Warner Bros. Studio Store clothes and always had this crust around her lips and was not really friends with Britney Spears, but there was a part of me that always hoped Britney would show up one day and prove all her stories true. I understood that she was lying, but she needed it to be true so badly that I needed it to be true for her too, which is really the saddest part of lies. I mean, we asked her to teach us the “Baby” dance once and she couldn’t do it at all, not even the chorus which is the easiest part.