In 2015, I was privileged to act as producer for a staged game show called “The Best 3 Questions Ever.” The idea came from my producing partner, Loren Kling. The premise is can you create a game show based on the popular card game, “Cards Against Humanity.” Not having the rights to the game and thinking that no upcoming celebrity will play the game, the idea evolved into this fun game.
The concept is simple. Can three comedians figure out how a complete stranger will answer the 3 Best Questions Ever?
The game show is played on the lived stage. We performed at The Virgil in Los Angeles, Stages in Fullerton and the fanaticSalon in Culver City.
Before the show, we selected two audience members and I asked them to answer 10 simple questions, like “what did your mother do for a living?”
At the start of the show Loren and I would banter a little and then we introduce our three comedians. Next the first audience volunteer enters and Loren interviews them for about 5 minutes. After the interview, we ask the comedians and the audience to secretly write down on a piece of paper what they think the volunteer’s answer is. As an added bonus, we asked the audience to tweet us what they think the answer is and I included it in the responses.
While I’m preparing the responses, Loren asks our comedians how they would answer the question. Then I reveal the answers on a whiteboard and the comedians and audiences guesses the right answer. if any of the comedians get it right, they get a 5-second plug. We repeat the game for the next guest.
The game appeared to be successful for our actual audiences. Our main problem was finding an audience. We had some fantastic venues that allowed us to test the show, but it just never took off. For Loren and I, it was our first shot at producing the show and we took the knowledge from this experience and applying it to our new podcast, The Five Most Important Things.
Well, I’ve finally dipped my toe in the pool of podcasting. For this one, I will not be behind the mic. I’m serving as co-producer and writer. Loren Kling will serve as host. I also didn’t want to be part of a normal interview podcast and after throwing out a million ideas, my co-producer, Loren Kling, came up with this little gem.
Last Wednesday, we recorded our first episode of 5 Things That Changed Your Life with Casey Ruggieri of Young Storytellers in Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE SHOW: Each episode our host, Loren Kling, sits down with a special guest and asks them to share 5 stories, events, or experiences that had an impact on their lives… A person who helped them decide the path to take. A place that completely transformed the way they think. Or perhaps it is a thing, like a family trip or a TV show from their childhood that made them the person they are today.
We’re taping a dozen episodes now and then will start releasing them in the Spring. More details to come as we get closer to the date.
If you have had a unique life experience and would like to talk about your “5 Important Things,” let me know.
My daughter is a big fan of YouTube. So much so, she wants her own YouTube Show. Together we created “The Family Show.” I hate editing videos, so episodes come out real slow. After relentless pestering and an idea I had after watching the first Democratic debate, I wrote my daughter a sketch announcing her candidacy for President of the United States. This is the video and then a little discussion to follow.
The goal here was to write something funny and something that could be performed by an 8-year-old.
After watching the first Democratic Presidential Debate, I was inspired to write a speech for my daughter. Normally shy, when I approached her about the idea, the kid got excited.
Now the speech writing. Keep it simple, she’s only eight. Simple opener and closer and three points.
Point 1 – the wall to keep out spiders. This is an obvious play on the Trump wall at the border. I told the joke to my daughter and with her understanding of spiders and ladybugs, she responded, “That is actually true.”
Point 2 – The cat joke. The kid helped with the premise and I wrote the punchline. She still doesn’t get the fact that there are literally cats everywhere.
Point 3 – The idea was hers. My part was the sad reaction at the end and the sound effect.
Now the hard part — filming the darn thing.
Step 1 – Print large cue cards.
Step 2 – Practice.
Step 3 – Film it.
Filming was hard because I wanted to do it in one take. That didn’t work. There’s a level of exhaustion and attention that can’t last beyond 3 minutes. Two takes for us. The plush cat gag was her idea and not worth the fight to cut. I’m proud the first joke worked. The cat joke not so much. The sound effect was perfect for the third joke.
I wanted perfection so bad, but we were running out of time and patience, we got what we got. She’s my daughter. I love her. And there will always be more videos.
I saw this piece on SNL last week with guest host, Elizabeth Banks. Kyle Mooney is brilliant as Brace Chandling, aspiring comedian. What makes this piece brilliant is the performance. Mooney’s character goes through some drastic emotional changes throughout the desk piece and Mooney pulls it off brilliantly.
It does what I say great comedian must accomplish. Pull the audience in emotionally and screw with them. Then finally give them a clever ending. Watch this now and let me know if you agree.
In an interview with the New York Times, Playboy announced that it will no longer publish nude images of women in the highly popular men’s magazine.
Finally, Playboy figured out what men have been saying for a long time. We only read Playboy for the articles.
What missing in this picture? Another white guy.
In defense of Hillary Clinton, she is married to the first black president.
Without repeating myself, I’m working at becoming a writer. At my age, the road is not going to be easy, nor fast. I was told in order to write one good script, you have to write 100 bad ones.
The 100 Script Challenge is to write 100 bad scripts. I have ideas and now I just need to get it in script form. Here’s the first entry. I actually wrote this a year ago, but I’m calling attention to it now.
Sports Rituals is an exercise in comedic escalation. A young couple attends a football party and are caught up in the strange and somewhat erotic rituals involved in rooting for one’s favorite team. Things are great until the new couple costs the home team a victory.
No one loves America more than me…
Internet pioneers, Wong Fu Productions, took a giant step forward with their first feature film, “Everything Before Us.” The Geek Lab spoke with filmmakers Wesley Chan and Philip Wang, writer Chris Dinh and producer Christine Chen. We spoke about the transition from web video to the big screen and their unique brand of storytelling.