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[Table] IAmA comedian, Michael Swaim of Cracked.com. Here's the cast and crew of our movie! Ask us stuff.

2012.12.05 20:13 tabledresser [Table] IAmA comedian, Michael Swaim of Cracked.com. Here's the cast and crew of our movie! Ask us stuff.

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Date: 2012-12-04
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Questions Answers
How did you get a movie? Who paid for it? Is this movie any good? It's how I'm spending my birthday. Travis: Ketchup Entertainment paid for it. It will probably just be released through Tugg, then we will quickly move to Video On Demand, iTunes and hopefully direct download through our own site. It IS good. But to set the bar low so you'll be shocked at how good it is, I'll say that it sucks. We'll see you in SD. Wear a shirt that says "It's my Birthday!"
You've already publicly talked about how your coworker, Daniel O'Brien, is more of a mentor figure that really taught you comedy, but is it true that he is also a mentor for handsomeness? ABE: I will burn your little bridge down, tiny troll.
SWAIM: No in the sense that such handsomeness can't really be taught. But he did teach me THAT, through a long series of painful and laborious handsomeness seminars/exercises. Yes in the sense that I plan to cut off and wear his face.
How does it feel to know that your old article about games that should be considered modern art ended up picking almost half of the same ones that the Museum of Modern Art agreed on a week ago? Have you played any since then that you think deserve a nod? SWAIM: AWESOME! I actually had no idea that was the case, because I've had my head stuck in movie mode and also entirely forget things I write a few days after I write them usually. But thanks for letting me know, and the links. That shit cray.
Is it also true he has a receding hairline? SWAIM: I choose to believe his brow is advancing. To what sinister ends, we know not.
Swaim, what's it like to be so hilarious and attractive? SWAIM: Unbearable. Every second is a living hell from which only inevitable death offers resolution. THANKS FOR ASKING.
Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck? Noah: Wow. Good questions. I guess the 100 duck sized horses scare me less than even just 100 ducks. Beaks are creepy, tiny horse teeth seem manageable.
When you get drunk, do you prefer the lampshade-on-the-head route or the pass-out-on-the-floor route? I never remember.
What is your favorite brand of underwear? Old navy sale shitty boxers with dumb cartoons on them.
Who is the one person in the world you would love to bang out a delicious meal for while discussing foreign affairs policy? Bob Dylan.
Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? She dead.
Do you guys have conversations akin to the ones in After Hours? Noah: They talk like that all the time. Seriously.
SWAIM: All the time, but they're infinitely less interesting. After Hours is like a three-hour conversation we might legitimately have, with all the terrible jokes, logical dead-ends, and other bullshit cut out, leaving six minutes of good points. In fact, every episode does begin that way...as a round table conversation on whatever the topic's going to be.
What are the chances of us getting that sequel to Space Jam we've all been waiting for? SWAIM: Okay, fuck the movie, this page is now a SPACE JAM II FUNDRAISING EVENT. Give us enough Reddit gold and we'll get right on it.
ABE: It truly was the best of jams and the space of jams.
Michael, is Soren Bowie really the stud that he seems to be on Cracked.com? SWAIM: He's more like a playful 11-year-old boy trapped in a Stud's body. He's adorable and intimidatingly manly at the same time. Yes, you want him. No, you can't have him. Live with it.
Where do you see Cracked going over the next year or so? How are you competing with more "meta" sites such as Reddit that has anything an internet user could want? Also, I'd just like to say its been fun watching the site grow over the past years and I will continue to enjoy that said growth. ABE: Thanks so much for the kind words. We have an audience that's crazy loyal for some reason and we will keep making stuff until people tell us to stop or everyone on reddit says they hate us. We're kind of vain like that. Cracked video is trying its hardest to get bigger budgets and keep churning out hits.
Will any of the cast attend the screenings this week? I'm asking for assassination purposes. SWAIM: There will be almost a full cast at the LA and San Diego screenings, and our leading lady Kaitlin Large will be running shit in NYC. So yes, wherever you go, peeps to hang out with.
EDIT: I mean, for friend! For a friend! (He's an assassin.) FBI: Who are you and where do you live?
SWAIM: There will be almost a full cast at the LA and San Diego screenings, and our leading lady Kaitlin Large will be running shit in NYC. So yes, wherever you go, peeps to hang out with. FBI: Who are you and where do you live? SWAIM: Or assassinate. Whatever.
What would you say is the most important thing you ever did for your comedy career? Do you do standup, improv, anything else like that or do you strictly do sketch? What is the hardest part about what you do? What does Dan O'Brien smell like? Noah: DOB smells like Hemingway. Woodsmoke, gunpowder, scotch, machismo.
KATIE: Perform everywhere!
SWAIM: Personally, the most important thing I've ever done for my career was realize that it is boundariless. I now think of myself as just "a guy." I do whatever artistic collaboration is in front of me, seems fascinating, and will pay me enough to live until the next thing hits. It's one of the tremendous privileges of being born into an era with the Internet. So far so good!
ABE: Find some like minded friends and put shoulder to an idea. I don't really believe in individual success. Everything I've liked in my career as a consumer was created by a team of people, not just one person type type typing on a typing machine.
Do you get some content from reddit? Noah: No.
ABE: Yes.
I hear Swaim and DOB's characters in Agents of Cracked more reflect the other's personality; any truth to this? SWAIM: Yes! Some amount of truth, ranging from not true at all to the truest thing ever.
Big fan of TAM, you guys are great. Michael, why aren't you on Saturday Night Live? Or whatever it is the kids are watching now a days. SWAIM: Thanks! I have little interest in living permanently in NYC, which is kind of a prerequisite for a live show. As far as the broader question of why I'm not insanely famous and on your TV right now, NO IDEA.
Okay then, how weird is Katie? from 1 to 10. Noah: Katie is one of the weirdest people I've ever met. A 10, for sure. I can't tell you all the stories, but I've gotten into and out of some very dicey LA street situations due solely to her knife work.
Michael, who was your favorite teacher at Ramona High? SWAIM: Probably Mrs. Whittington or Michael Jordan, Jr. Why, who dis?
Oh, I am a senior there now and saw your picture while looking through an old yearbook my English II teacher had. World History with Mr. Jordan II was probably my favorite class through out high school. SWAIM: Does he still play Oingo Boingo music and hold Risk tourneys?
Thanks for all the laughs over the years! I would like to know... ABE: 1) No. Sorry. 2) It happens. I'm pretty sure Mike gets noticed the most because he's tall and you can see him easier. 3) It ain't a party unless its Havarti.
1) Is Agents of Cracked ever coming back? Mike gets recognized a decent amount. Including yesterday, on the streets of Portland, by a very cute girl who then tried to get him to donate to repopulating the Oyster beds of Oregon. But yeah, she was cool.
2) Do any of you guys ever get recognized in public? If so, is it ever creepy? Blue of some kind.
3) Favourite cheese? KATIE: 1) It isn't, and it makes me sad cause I'm a huge fan! 2) I do sometimes. Carlos, the guy who works at the copy place I go to, is very nice and a huge cracked fan! He gave me eight cents off on my last set of copies... That was pretty cool! 3) Brie. Give me a wheel of brie and I will eat it all.
Noah: Oh yeah, you don't drink whiskey. We have uhh...peanut M+M's? I need better bait. KATIE: I didn't know ya'll were hanging out. Will the AMA be over by the time I get there?
How are you so damn sexy, Michael? Seriously, you are one hilarious motherfucker. I always look forward to what you do on Cracked. Question... Does a relative of yours work at Econolite? I know someone there who has the same last name as you. SWAIM: Thank you so much! And hard to say. Not a relative I know, but "Swaim" is supposedly a fabricated, not-real name (so goes family legend), so anyone with that name (as opposed to "Swain," which is much more common) is probably related to me in some way.
Michael, can you tell us a little about your upbringing and what your parents were like? I want to make sure my kids turn out like you. SWAIM: Mom...supportive in the extreme, a child advocacy attorney, daycare sitter, and child psychologist. Huge on Montessori schooling, which I really swear by in retrospect. Dad...fun, cheerful in the extreme, pop culture and music monster, drilled me on jokes, movies and music. They were divorced when I was fairly young, but remain BFFs to this day, something that I really admired and which shaped a lot of my feelings about decency, courtesy, love, friendship, and the world. Together...hippies, lovers, safety. I couldn't ask for better parents or to have had a better upbringing. I'm lousy with privileges over here.
What is a typical day in the life of you or any of the Cracked staff members? ABE: Boring except on Tuesdays where we all get together and have LAN sex parties. Most of the job is editing and phone calls. Or emails. Mike cries a lot and we have to keep him from wrecking the place in an alcoholic rage. Other than that, pretty norms.
Not a question: About time! Definitely a question: How freaking tall are you? SWAIM: 6 foot 4 on a good day. Less on days on which I am dead, pre-born, or have been cut in half for some reason.
What happened to cracked tv? that was my favorite part of cracked. also tell robert brockway to write more stories like the dio tribute and the conan one lol. SWAIM: What ShavingFoam says is true! And as for DNC, it's been quite a while since I had time to put an episode together, but I do want to pick it back up someday. Just not really sure how soon that will be, unfortunately. The good news is that that is because we've got so many new shows in the works over at Cracked.
Are you still accepting writers/submissions for Cracked.com via the forum, or is it just more than the poor servers can handle? I've tried in the past to sign up, (saying I want into the workshop) but nothing ever comes of it. Ever think about updating the submission process? SWAIM: Yes we are! I'm sorry for your technical difficulties, which I am too lazy to personally help you with, but you should look into them, because we do, and that's the only place we do. All outside writers come up through the forums.
What was the most stressful part of filming? SWAIM: All the things. Sleep deprivation was a big part of it, and the fact that due to some extenuating factors we had to purchase all our props and costumes for each shoot day the previous night. There's not a lot more stressful than realizing at 3AM that you HAVE to find a rusty machete in the next few hours or dozens of people will not be able to do their jobs.
ABE: Honestly, it was getting everyone on the same page. The sheer amount of communication necessitated that we all had to be thinking with one mind sometimes. I know that sounds stupid, but if there's a failure of that the position of the lights, where the camera is, what the order of shots are become kind of meaningless.
Noah: Everyone got the flu. Everyone. Also we were isolated in a tiny cabin in Montrose Illinois, where they have two horses, and that's IT. Also, we had to walk the town of Effingham, begging for extras, who all speculated we were shooting a porno. I remember the girl who worked the counter at Little Caesar's being particularly frightened of us.
KATIE: I got to set with the first of the crew a week before we started shooting. On top of acting, I did a fair amount of the on set photography, and I was there to shoot while we location scouted. Pretty much the moment we landed, my throat started killing me. Long story short, I had a severely untreated tonsillar abscess and had to be hospitalized, on an IV, for 3 days. I was released on Wednesday morning and that night, I shot my first scene. For the majority of the filming, my time table was upside down because of the night shooting so I couldn't remember if I had taken my antibiotics 3x a day like I had to. But honestly, what I loved about filming was that everyone came together when it got down to the wire. Nick Mundy (the Breeze), Noah (Doug), and I all drove people the 100 miles from Effingham, IL to the St. Louis airport and back.
It was crazy, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.
MATT: We spent 3 weeks dealing exclusively with the same 20 people, 18 hours a day with very little sleep, sometime sick, and always with the weight of a schedule weighing on us. We had to remember to be actively nice to each other, because all the tiny things added up.
Who are your favorite comedians? Writers? Do they have an influence on the way you preform/write? SWAIM: Louis CK. Groucho. Harlan Ellison. Vonnegut. Hodgman. Colbert. Hannibal Burress. Mitchell & Webb. Tina Fey. Many more. And I can only HOPE those folks influence me. Hard to tell until you're seventy, I think.
By the way, big fan. Love everything you guys do on Cracked. I'll definitely be buying the download when it comes out. Congrats! KATIE: I said this a little farther up, but Gilda Rander and Buster Keaton. Also, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mitchell & Webb!
What porn genre do you watch most? SWAIM: Internet. It's free and vague!
With the exceptions of the Cracked team and BirtaNick, who are the best online comedy group going at the moment, in your opinion? Noah: I absolutely love Dead Pirates Society. They're very young but have a talent for editing/camera work and odd jokes. Also the Dirty Creeps are one of the coolest sketch groups I've ever found. Plus my own, plug here, Horsehead Businessman.
PS: More Does Not Compute would be pretty cool. KATIE: Muddleberry is the UCB video team that I'm on... We're brand new (only two sketches so far), but I love what we're doing! Jacob Reed (who plays Noah in Kill Me Now) is Muddleberry's director! Other online teams that I really like are The Mutiny, Dumbshit Mountain, and The Kids Table!
Weird questions, eh? What kind of underwear are you wearing? Noah: Black+white checkered boxers.
"I rode a triceratops to work today, so don't talk to ME about 'impossible' !!" <--who wrote this genius line from AoC ? SWAIM: Yo.
Word on the street, Adam Justice from horsehead businessman, went home last night around 2am. home to his wife, kid, and homer. So my question is for Noah's Byrne. Noah's Byrne. Is that a real name? Thank you for such an answer that probably is yelled yesterday and the other day. Also, what is katie's willert? SWAIM: Adam, what the hell are you on, man? Email some to me.
Noah: Hah. That Tyler? Katie's Willert is kind of awesome, but she takes forever to show you.
Were there any pranks or shenanigans taking place while filming in the Illinois backwoods? ABE: Our sound guy Brian would keep yelling "ACTION!" like right after we were rolling, sometimes actors would actually start and we'd all laugh and then he got fired because Travis is vain and doesn't want anyone else calling action. I started calling "CUT" prematurely and our movie is worse for it.
MATT: The cast got into more shenanigans than the crew. But we'd try to scare each other on creepy sets and in the woods with fake blood. We also did keg stands one night!
Travis: Nick Rutherford would periodically go up in the loft of the cabin and yell "Look at me!" If you looked, you saw his ass.
Any on set fights between the cast? And did Dan try to work a vest into his characters wardrobe? ABE: The cast seemed really to hit it off. A lot of them had never even met but had seen each other's videos on the internet. Some of them even hooked up, but for obvious reason, I won't be getting into that. Dan didn't hook up with anyone, for yes, wardobe reasons.
Noah: Dan showed up, bought and grilled burgers for the entire cast and crew, then vanished like a food angel.
SWAIM: It felt a lot like summer camp. Everyone came as relative strangers and left as dear friends. Not a lot of friction, considering the intense conditions we were all working under. Honestly, most of the hellishness came from how hard it is to make a movie, not the amazing people we got to work with, who are the only reason we were able to finish.
Travis: Michael and Abe had a knife fight like in the Michael Jackson "Beat It" video. Michael won. Abe's dead.
What was the best/worst part of filming the movie? Do you ever shudder suddenly after peeing? ABE: Long hours, we had no sleep one day (at least Mike, Travis, Matt Barrs, and I). I do shutter sometimes after peeing! I just read somewhere that science doesn't know why this has happened because no one has ever put together an experiment. Maybe a call to action, okwilder?
TRAVIS: Yes. We would usually shoot for about 12 hours but Abe and I would come home and watch all the footage before going to bed and get up and make a shot list before anybody else got up. I was averaging about 5 hours of sleep per day.
Noah: My bladder quivered the other day, and I felt a pain inside of my groin that almost crippled me. But yeah, I shudder too. What the hell is that about?
Who would you say your biggest comedic inspiration was? KATIE: Gilda Radner and Buster Keaton!
What are some tips outside of the official guides you'd give to writers looking at submitting to Cracked? SWAIM: Read hundreds of articles, then copy that. That's really all I can say. Cracked articles are pretty clear and consistent as far as tone, structure and content goes, so just keep writing until you're a good enough writer to write an article that would go up on Cracked. Then send that in. I'm sorry there's no secret escape hatch back-door way in, but that's really the best answer I've got.
Ever stick your penis in a watermelon before? and if so would you do it agian? Noah: Yes.
SWAIM: Maybe.
Who did the music for the film? And have there been any UK showings of the film set up? I'd do it myself but everything confuses me nowadays. TRAVIS: I did most of the music. Additional music was done by Bryant Bell. He's also a hip hop producer known as "Xcel"
NOAH: Travis! TRAVIS: NOAH!
How do you deal with keeping yourself motivated? Working on so many different projects, it seems like the pull to just spend a few nights sitting around watching old episodes of Darkwing Duck would be impossible to resist. SWAIM: Come back! Shane! Come back Shane, come back!
Noah: We play video games, climb mountains, drink, other boy stuff. There's plenty of cartoon watching, too.
SWAIM: Also, I'm not sure. I've been called a workaholic, but also consider myself profoundly lazy a lot of the time. I think the trick is to find a bunch of people that really excite you to work with, and projects that genuinely sound like the coolest thing you've ever gotten to do. Then you dive in and there are deadlines and everyone's counting on you and it's too late to realize it's a lot more work than you thought it would be. Repeat.
Most big name comedians of the past 20-30 years seemed to come from second city or groundlings -- is this changing? ABE: I'm not sure. It still seems the safe bet. I mean SNL is still doing that. But they've also tried different things. Andy Samberg tried a lot of things, but I'd guess his internet videos got him famous. I mean after he was famous his internet videos got him famous.
LISA: Hey Beck! Will we see you Wednesday? BECK: Hey! Yeah, I'll be there. I'm just not sure if Im gonna be sober. We'll get loose and have a blast.
Noah: Band Tour is my favorite internet video of all time. What was the inspiration for it? We had a bread truck. That's how it started. We rode around the back of a bread truck for about two hours singing, "sleepin on a night train, chewing on a jelly roll". (kids in the hall classic) Adam wouldn't let us out of the truck until we had a solid sketch idea, but he also had errands to run so we just kept rolling around the back of the thing until we started bitching about the fact that it had no seats. Everything else was improvised scene to scene. No script. Just, "what do we do now?" this...ok. Shoot it. It's probably the most fun I've had filming anything, because we didn't worry too hard about how it looked, just speed. Thanks for the question, means a lot to me.
SWAIM: He's more like a playful 11-year-old boy trapped in a Stud's body. He's adorable and intimidatingly manly at the same time. Yes, you want him. No, you can't have him. Live with it. KATIE: TRUTH.
Finally, an AMA with people I have watched or read for years. Alas, I have no question though. All of you all just keep up the great work! On a side note, best of Muskets... House of the Future or IPN - Nomenclature. Hard to say which is better. ABE: Thanks cgrant! I also love those sketches! Does the c stand for Cary? That'd be a cool name to have. I'd go to all the parties with that name...
Cracked TV stayed funny even after it turned into Does Not Compute. Your new video content is consistently getting funnier, and I don't have any questions. Carry on. SWAIM: Thank you. You have no idea what that means to me, really. Any comedian's greatest fear is that they're becoming rabidly unfunny without realizing it, or that everyone is tiring of their schtick. I'm sure some out there are, or have always hated my shizz, but it's always a thrill to hear from someone who's followed us for a long time and is still along for the ride.
Noah: Katie, I love you too! Come here, we have whiskey. Noah: Oh yeah, you don't drink whiskey. We have uhh...peanut M+M's? I need better bait.
Noah: Black+white checkered boxers. SWAIM: That was a disappointingly non-weird answer, Noah.
BECK: this is beck bennett from the sketch group, Good Neighbor. Hey everybody. Just popping in for a second to say hi. hi. LISA: Hey Beck! Will we see you Wednesday?
BECK: Hey! Yeah, I'll be there. I'm just not sure if Im gonna be sober. We'll get loose and have a blast. Noah: Beck kills it in this movie.
Noah: Jacob, looking forward to seeing you again. Don't get Tetanus. JACOB: Hi! How does this work! Also, strangers have told me I should not be where I am right now because it's not safe. FUN!
JACOB: Hi! How does this work! Also, strangers have told me I should not be where I am right now because it's not safe. FUN! SWAIM: Answer anything you want all the time starting now! But be safe first, friend.
KATIE: Muddleberry is the UCB video team that I'm on... We're brand new (only two sketches so far), but I love what we're doing! Jacob Reed (who plays Noah in Kill Me Now) is Muddleberry's director! Other online teams that I really like are The Mutiny, Dumbshit Mountain, and The Kids Table! Ooooh! Also Interrobang Ltd!
BECK: This was the best experience I've ever had in my life. I have to go back to playing a rock and roll show that I was in the middle of. Everybody go see Kill Me Now. If you don't, you'll have a bad time. Thanks guys, BYE! Bye Beck!
I scared up about a dozen asses for seats at the San Diego and Pasadena screenings. Please thank me. Noah: you're the man, or woman, or blumpkin. Doesn't matter. thank you thank you.
That doesn't sound healthy... Noah: I looked it up, it's either a bladder spasm, an STD of some kind (I'm a virgin), a kidney stone or a UTI. Only happened once, so I'm not sure. Any doctor's here? I can't afford medical care due to my current financial struggle.
Travis: Michael and Abe had a knife fight like in the Michael Jackson "Beat It" video. Michael won. Abe's dead. KATIE: Abe's ghost is doing the AMA.
Noah: Dan showed up, bought and grilled burgers for the entire cast and crew, then vanished like a food angel. Katie: Those were really good burgers.
Katie: Those were really good burgers. Noah: Totally, even veggie burgers.
Travis: I got a burnt hot dog.
Travis: I got a burnt hot dog. JACOB: Yeah, it was a blast. We shot all night, and went to bed in the morning. So, our last meal of the day was the contintental breakfast at the hotel (whose employees referred to us as 'the daysleepers')
Noah: Yes. SWAIM: Maybe. ABE: No.
TRAVIS: I did most of the music. Additional music was done by Bryant Bell. He's also a hip hop producer known as "Xcel" NOAH: Travis!
TRAVIS: NOAH! ABE: ABE!
Last updated: 2012-12-09 13:37 UTC
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