Melinda

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drujohnston:

Tonight is the last night of Don Fanelli and my show Sketches from an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show, at the UCB Theatre. I’ve had such an amazing time running this show the past six months and am so proud and so thankful that we got to share this stupid little show with the people of New York.
Last March me and Don were on a tour up at UMass. And like every tour ever we listened to some Billy Joel on the drive back home and all sang along. I think it was Captain Jack, but it honestly could have been Pianoman, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, Allentown… any of his songs. God he is so good.  
When we got back Don and I took the subway home. We were lamenting the fact that we were feeling complacent, that all too common feeling that you’re doing too much to get any sleep but you always should be doing more. Writing a one man show is what we should both be doing, but it just wasn’t as fun… and we both wanted to work on something that both made us remember what we love about comedy in the first place and also pushed us.
The next day I texted him what you see above. Sketches From An Italian Restaurant was a joke title for a show that I was telling people about for a year. “What are you working on Dru?” “Oh Sketches from an Italian Restaurant. It’s my one man show about Billy Joel.” Never in my wildest dreams did I think that show would see the light of day. Don even admits to getting my text and thinking it was a joke. I suspected as much and sent the follow up text: “I’m very serious about this.” 
From there we started getting to work. And we really dove into this show the exact way we wanted. We’d meet for hours listening to Billy Joel songs and pitching the sketch ideas that they inspired (two favorite really dumb ones: You May Be Right I May be Crazy, but it just may be a lunatic your looking for. But the guy saying it is ACTUALLY a crazy person AND We watch the music video for Keeping the Faith and then just look at the audience and say WHAT?!). We’d write shitty first drafts and then just improvise off of them. We’d send sketches back and forth, constantly rewriting them… One of our sketches in the current show is on draft 30-something… we stopped keeping track.
We then went through seven months of rigorously writing and rehearsing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting with the help of our directors Dan Klein and Will Hines. We moved sketches around. We added animations to a powerpoint. We wrote a dance number. We cut a dance number. We sat in a room with Will for four hours pitching black out after black out after black out. We came up with over 20, we cut that down to 9. We cut that down to eight. If it didn’t remain funny after an hour it was out.
It was a brutal machine of Sketch Darwinism at it’s finest. The only thing that stayed constant throughout were three videos about Captain Jack and masturbating. Even after we got the run we spent two more months rewriting. Our current pianoman sketch has maybe one line from our third spank… and that line is “Sing us a song you’re the pianoman”. My favorite thing about working with Don is that he’s never satisfied. It can always be funnier. And working on this show brought that out in me. If you’re bored of the show the common idea is to say let’s fuck around on stage. No. Make it tighter. If we had the balls to title a show Sketches From An Italian Restaurant, we better make it undeniably funny and tight.
We went through one workout and three spanks, not to mention many sketch open mics and variety shows. We had an amazing run of six months. We got to take this show out to Los Angeles. And it’s still so fucking fun to do. I’m genuinely sad that the show is ending… but So It Goes. Let’s end this show with a fucking bang, the way Billy Joel would. Let’s celebrate this god of a man through the long night. 
Thank you to everyone who’s come out to see it. Thanks to everyone who’s told us you enjoyed it and who supported it. It truly means the world to me to hear that people like it. It was just a silly joke title over a year ago, and now it’s the thing I’m the most proud of in my seven years of being here in New York.
And special thanks to Dan Klein and Will Hines, without who’s guidance and advice this project would never come to light. They pushed Don and I to reach a standard we never dreamed possible but something we should all be striving for. I could write for hours on how amazing they both are. And also special thanks to Alex Adan… who for six months has pitched great jokes for us and has NAILED this tech heavy show every single night without fail. 
One last show. Tonight. If you have a girlfriend, tell her about it.
RESERVATIONS

This is a truly awesome show. I know you’re mildly sick of comedy. I know the weather’s weird. But if you haven’t seen this show yet, you really, really should.

drujohnston:

Tonight is the last night of Don Fanelli and my show Sketches from an Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Showat the UCB Theatre. I’ve had such an amazing time running this show the past six months and am so proud and so thankful that we got to share this stupid little show with the people of New York.

Last March me and Don were on a tour up at UMass. And like every tour ever we listened to some Billy Joel on the drive back home and all sang along. I think it was Captain Jack, but it honestly could have been Pianoman, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, Allentown… any of his songs. God he is so good.  

When we got back Don and I took the subway home. We were lamenting the fact that we were feeling complacent, that all too common feeling that you’re doing too much to get any sleep but you always should be doing more. Writing a one man show is what we should both be doing, but it just wasn’t as fun… and we both wanted to work on something that both made us remember what we love about comedy in the first place and also pushed us.

The next day I texted him what you see above. Sketches From An Italian Restaurant was a joke title for a show that I was telling people about for a year. “What are you working on Dru?” “Oh Sketches from an Italian Restaurant. It’s my one man show about Billy Joel.” Never in my wildest dreams did I think that show would see the light of day. Don even admits to getting my text and thinking it was a joke. I suspected as much and sent the follow up text: “I’m very serious about this.” 

From there we started getting to work. And we really dove into this show the exact way we wanted. We’d meet for hours listening to Billy Joel songs and pitching the sketch ideas that they inspired (two favorite really dumb ones: You May Be Right I May be Crazy, but it just may be a lunatic your looking for. But the guy saying it is ACTUALLY a crazy person AND We watch the music video for Keeping the Faith and then just look at the audience and say WHAT?!). We’d write shitty first drafts and then just improvise off of them. We’d send sketches back and forth, constantly rewriting them… One of our sketches in the current show is on draft 30-something… we stopped keeping track.

We then went through seven months of rigorously writing and rehearsing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting with the help of our directors Dan Klein and Will Hines. We moved sketches around. We added animations to a powerpoint. We wrote a dance number. We cut a dance number. We sat in a room with Will for four hours pitching black out after black out after black out. We came up with over 20, we cut that down to 9. We cut that down to eight. If it didn’t remain funny after an hour it was out.

It was a brutal machine of Sketch Darwinism at it’s finest. The only thing that stayed constant throughout were three videos about Captain Jack and masturbating. Even after we got the run we spent two more months rewriting. Our current pianoman sketch has maybe one line from our third spank… and that line is “Sing us a song you’re the pianoman”. My favorite thing about working with Don is that he’s never satisfied. It can always be funnier. And working on this show brought that out in me. If you’re bored of the show the common idea is to say let’s fuck around on stage. No. Make it tighter. If we had the balls to title a show Sketches From An Italian Restaurant, we better make it undeniably funny and tight.

We went through one workout and three spanks, not to mention many sketch open mics and variety shows. We had an amazing run of six months. We got to take this show out to Los Angeles. And it’s still so fucking fun to do. I’m genuinely sad that the show is ending… but So It Goes. Let’s end this show with a fucking bang, the way Billy Joel would. Let’s celebrate this god of a man through the long night. 

Thank you to everyone who’s come out to see it. Thanks to everyone who’s told us you enjoyed it and who supported it. It truly means the world to me to hear that people like it. It was just a silly joke title over a year ago, and now it’s the thing I’m the most proud of in my seven years of being here in New York.

And special thanks to Dan Klein and Will Hines, without who’s guidance and advice this project would never come to light. They pushed Don and I to reach a standard we never dreamed possible but something we should all be striving for. I could write for hours on how amazing they both are. And also special thanks to Alex Adan… who for six months has pitched great jokes for us and has NAILED this tech heavy show every single night without fail. 

One last show. Tonight. If you have a girlfriend, tell her about it.

RESERVATIONS

This is a truly awesome show. I know you’re mildly sick of comedy. I know the weather’s weird. But if you haven’t seen this show yet, you really, really should.

3 notes

Hey, here’s something.

Sometimes, like when I’ve been running a lot, or have too many canker sores to eat my normal quantity of ice cream bars, or when the moon is full, I have what the kids call a thigh gap. And you know what? It hurts. Not a lot, but when I lie down to sleep, I have to put something soft between my knees because they’re a bit knobbly and unpadded by my normally more cushiony thighs.

It’s not terrible or anything. It’s just… not an experience I particularly recommend. I see people pinteresting about their thigh gap aspirations and it’s like they’re saying “I’d be sexier if my knees were a little more like saran-wrapped pinecones.” Maybe? Look how you want to look and all. I have no aesthetic opinion on thigh gaps. They look fine. But you should know before you become a gym monster that a thigh gap is rather physically uncomfortable.

If you don’t have washboard abs, though, you’re a garbage person.

Filed under thigh gap

39 notes

nicolemarietherese:

This is happening. Please come!
Fun behind the scenes fact: we had to change the running order because there were too many sketches where I cry back to back.
(Poster by Chris Scott)

nicolemarietherese:

This is happening. Please come!

Fun behind the scenes fact: we had to change the running order because there were too many sketches where I cry back to back.

(Poster by Chris Scott)

46,013 notes

themightyglamazon:

gehayi:

queenofeden:

perplexingly:

Daughter of a gun (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧ No idea if such a thing existed but surely there had to be girls born on board in the Age of Sail?

*puts on obnoxious historian hat*
*clears throat*
there were actually tons of women and girls on board ships during the age of sail and it’s really cool history that no one!!! ever!!! talks about!!! 
like captains of merchant ships used to bring their wives and children on board for long voyages all the time (and of course there were plenty of well known female pirate ship captains, and women cross-dressing as men, and prostitutes that more people seem to know of)
there’s actually a really amazing story of one woman, Mary Ann Patten who was the wife of the captain of this ship called Neptune’s Car. Captain Patten decided that he wanted her onboard with him and she was super about this and learned all about navigation and sailing and everything. so this one voyage they’re going around the tip of south america when her husband gets sick and is bed ridden with a fever right as the ship sails into one of the worst storms any of the crew had ever seen and it looks like they might lose the ship or have to stop
so you know who takes over??? the first mate??? 
no.
MARY
she took over the whole crew and sailed that ship through freezing water and pack ice and had it coasting smoothly into the san francisco harbour like it was nothing. and she did this all at age 19. while pregnant.
at one point the first mate tried to get the crew to mutiny against her but they all rallied with her and told him to shut the heck up because she obv knew what she was doing.
there’s a great book about women in the age of sail called ‘female tars’ by suzanne stark that i cannot recommend enough and has way more amazing stories and insights about the myriad roles women and girls played aboard ship during that time period.
(sorry i totally didn’t mean to hijack your post i love all of your art and this is gorgeous i just got over excited sorry sorry sorry)

We need links!
Female Tars: Women Aboard Ship in the Age of Sail by Suzanne Stark
Hen Frigates: Passion and Peril, Nineteenth-Century Women at Sea by Joan Druett
Hen Frigates: Wives of Merchant Captains Under Sail by Joan Druett
Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring in the Atlantic World, 1700-1920 edited by Margaret S. Creighton and Lisa Norling
Petticoat Whalers: Whaling Wives at Sea, 1820-1920 by Joan Druett
Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen
Seafaring Women: Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways and Sailors’ Wives by David Cordingly
The Captain’s Best Mate: The Journal of Mary Chipman Lawrence on the Whaler Addison, 1856-1860 by Mary Chipman Lawrence
Women Sailors and Sailors’ Women: An Untold Maritime History by David Cordingly

I’M GONNA GET A LIBRARY CARD AS SOON AS I GET AN APARTMENT AND READ LITERALLY ALL OF THESE AND WEEP TEARS OF PROUD SISTERHOOD

Dibs

themightyglamazon:

gehayi:

queenofeden:

perplexingly:

Daughter of a gun (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧ No idea if such a thing existed but surely there had to be girls born on board in the Age of Sail?

*puts on obnoxious historian hat*

*clears throat*

there were actually tons of women and girls on board ships during the age of sail and it’s really cool history that no one!!! ever!!! talks about!!! 

like captains of merchant ships used to bring their wives and children on board for long voyages all the time (and of course there were plenty of well known female pirate ship captains, and women cross-dressing as men, and prostitutes that more people seem to know of)

there’s actually a really amazing story of one woman, Mary Ann Patten who was the wife of the captain of this ship called Neptune’s Car. Captain Patten decided that he wanted her onboard with him and she was super about this and learned all about navigation and sailing and everything. so this one voyage they’re going around the tip of south america when her husband gets sick and is bed ridden with a fever right as the ship sails into one of the worst storms any of the crew had ever seen and it looks like they might lose the ship or have to stop

so you know who takes over??? the first mate??? 

no.

MARY

she took over the whole crew and sailed that ship through freezing water and pack ice and had it coasting smoothly into the san francisco harbour like it was nothing. and she did this all at age 19. while pregnant.

at one point the first mate tried to get the crew to mutiny against her but they all rallied with her and told him to shut the heck up because she obv knew what she was doing.

there’s a great book about women in the age of sail called ‘female tars’ by suzanne stark that i cannot recommend enough and has way more amazing stories and insights about the myriad roles women and girls played aboard ship during that time period.

(sorry i totally didn’t mean to hijack your post i love all of your art and this is gorgeous i just got over excited sorry sorry sorry)

We need links!

Female Tars: Women Aboard Ship in the Age of Sail by Suzanne Stark

Hen Frigates: Passion and Peril, Nineteenth-Century Women at Sea by Joan Druett

Hen Frigates: Wives of Merchant Captains Under Sail by Joan Druett

Iron Men, Wooden Women: Gender and Seafaring in the Atlantic World, 1700-1920 edited by Margaret S. Creighton and Lisa Norling

Petticoat Whalers: Whaling Wives at Sea, 1820-1920 by Joan Druett

Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World by Jane Yolen

Seafaring Women: Pirate Queens, Female Stowaways and Sailors’ Wives by David Cordingly

The Captain’s Best Mate: The Journal of Mary Chipman Lawrence on the Whaler Addison, 1856-1860 by Mary Chipman Lawrence

Women Sailors and Sailors’ Women: An Untold Maritime History by David Cordingly

I’M GONNA GET A LIBRARY CARD AS SOON AS I GET AN APARTMENT AND READ LITERALLY ALL OF THESE AND WEEP TEARS OF PROUD SISTERHOOD

Dibs

(via khealywu)

89 notes

drujohnston:

OPERATION: GET BILLY JOEL TO SEE OUR SHOW
Don Fanelli and I have written a sketch comedy show about the Pianoman himself called Sketches From An Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show that is currently running at the UCB Theatre in NYC. Let me rephrase that: Two grown adult men have spent months of their lives writing thirty minutes of sketch comedy completely devoted to how great Billy Joel is and how he is the greatest recording artist of all time.
And now we want Billy Joel to come see it.
We’ve tweeted at him. We’ve tweeted at his daughter. We’ve posted in his message boards about it. We screamed it from the stands while his sax player Richie Cannata was playing the national anthem at the Giants/Seahawks game. Our friend Geoff Garlock told his longtime drummer Liberty Devitto about it on his podcast. We’ve even go so far as to try to get in touch with his agent and let HIM know about the show. And as of now we have continuously struck out.
But we KNOW this is a show that he will love. And we KNOW that he’s constantly in town playing at MSG, mere blocks away from the UCB.
So we’re taking it to the internet. Let’s get Billy Joel to come see our Sketch Comedy show about how great he is. We have two shows in March, one on March 6th, one on March 19th… two prime opportunities for him to see it. And hopefully more in the coming months. But THIS IS THE TIME. LET’S GET HIM TO SEE IT! #BILLYJOELSKETCHSHOW: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/3686
My dream? Best case scenario? He comes to see the show, we introduce him at the end, he gets a thirty minute standing ovation, then he performs an impromptu concert for the 200 or so people in the UCB that night and it goes down in history as the fucking coolest Billy Joel concert since Leningrad. Worst case scenario? He hears about this show, but he’s too busy being the fucking best ever to make it out to see it. I CONSIDER BOTH OF THESE SCENARIOS WINS.
So we’re going to do everything in our power to make it happen. And we would love any help we can get. Let’s tweet about it until we get #BillyJoelSketchShow trending. Let’s get up on that tumblr radar. Let’s get it written up in the fucking New York Times so he HAS to see it. And rest assured this is not a snarky show making fun of the man. We legitimately love the man and we LOVE his music. Need proof? I’ll show you my iTunes. I’ll show you my most played list. I’ll tell you that at college parties I lead line dances to River of Dreams, or that there was a period in high school when I couldn’t fall asleep unless I listened to Captain Jack. THESE ARE ALL TRUE FACTS.
So Billy Joel, here is my plea… please come see our sketch show about you. Don’t be The Stranger.
The show is $5. I’ll pay for your ticket, Billy.

MARCH DATES:
March 6th. 8PMMarch 19th. 8PMUCB CHELSEA - 307 W. 26th Street. NYC

Sincerely,
Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli

drujohnston:

OPERATION: GET BILLY JOEL TO SEE OUR SHOW

Don Fanelli and I have written a sketch comedy show about the Pianoman himself called Sketches From An Italian Restaurant: A Billy Joel Sketch Show that is currently running at the UCB Theatre in NYC. Let me rephrase that: Two grown adult men have spent months of their lives writing thirty minutes of sketch comedy completely devoted to how great Billy Joel is and how he is the greatest recording artist of all time.

And now we want Billy Joel to come see it.

We’ve tweeted at him. We’ve tweeted at his daughter. We’ve posted in his message boards about it. We screamed it from the stands while his sax player Richie Cannata was playing the national anthem at the Giants/Seahawks game. Our friend Geoff Garlock told his longtime drummer Liberty Devitto about it on his podcast. We’ve even go so far as to try to get in touch with his agent and let HIM know about the show. And as of now we have continuously struck out.

But we KNOW this is a show that he will love. And we KNOW that he’s constantly in town playing at MSG, mere blocks away from the UCB.

So we’re taking it to the internet. Let’s get Billy Joel to come see our Sketch Comedy show about how great he is. We have two shows in March, one on March 6th, one on March 19th… two prime opportunities for him to see it. And hopefully more in the coming months. But THIS IS THE TIME. LET’S GET HIM TO SEE IT! #BILLYJOELSKETCHSHOW: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/3686

My dream? Best case scenario? He comes to see the show, we introduce him at the end, he gets a thirty minute standing ovation, then he performs an impromptu concert for the 200 or so people in the UCB that night and it goes down in history as the fucking coolest Billy Joel concert since Leningrad. Worst case scenario? He hears about this show, but he’s too busy being the fucking best ever to make it out to see it. I CONSIDER BOTH OF THESE SCENARIOS WINS.

So we’re going to do everything in our power to make it happen. And we would love any help we can get. Let’s tweet about it until we get #BillyJoelSketchShow trending. Let’s get up on that tumblr radar. Let’s get it written up in the fucking New York Times so he HAS to see it. And rest assured this is not a snarky show making fun of the man. We legitimately love the man and we LOVE his music. Need proof? I’ll show you my iTunes. I’ll show you my most played list. I’ll tell you that at college parties I lead line dances to River of Dreams, or that there was a period in high school when I couldn’t fall asleep unless I listened to Captain Jack. THESE ARE ALL TRUE FACTS.

So Billy Joel, here is my plea… please come see our sketch show about you. Don’t be The Stranger.

The show is $5. I’ll pay for your ticket, Billy.

MARCH DATES:

March 6th. 8PM
March 19th. 8PM
UCB CHELSEA - 307 W. 26th Street. NYC

Sincerely,

Dru Johnston & Don Fanelli

140 notes

michaelhartney:

In early December, Dan Chamberlain and I shot a Christmas music video for Funny or Die starring R. Kelly. No. Really. While we sat in holding for hours and hours (“Hey, guys. Thanks for sitting tight. R. Kelly was supposed to be here at 4. Now apparently he’ll be here at 6, but when he gets here, he’ll be having a lobster dinner first.”), we got a little loopy and started singing “I’m Like A Bird”, except with real bird specifics in the chorus. Like idiots. After shooting the video, we pitched it to our Maude Team, Legs for Days. Matt Starr wrote it up. So even though the R. Kelly video will apparently never see the light of day, it wasn’t for nothing.

I heard them rehearsing this in the back hall before the show. It was instantly my favorite sketch.

(via chamberlain)