02 November 2007

A part of me wishes we dressed as the Bluths for Halloween.

I have arrived at the conclusion that nothing would be more frightening to a non-westernized human than walking through Times Square on Halloween. I’d say I am westernized to the max and it was still a bit scary.

In celebration of Halloween this year, Mike and Sarah dressed as contestants from the early-90's Nickelodeon show GUTS. I dressed at the GUTS referee, “Mo.” There should have been a third contestant to round out the troupe, so we created the
backstory that he/she had been disqualified for illegal doping.

Since I was portraying the ref, Mo, I wanted to make sure to have at least a few of the event names at the top of my mind grapes in order to keep the character believable. So I visited the GUTS page on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GUTS). And printed out all 15 pages of information.

What I found was startling.

I found that someone--whoever authored this page- has not only conscientiously sat down to watch--no...FOCUS on-- every episode multiple times, but also took notes and calculated stats at a level of detail I thought only Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man could achieve. And then he analyzed those notes and stats. And fact checked them.

The first two sentences of the entry alone is full of more information than I could EVER know about GUTS:

“GUTS is a 30-minute "action-sports" game show that aired for four seasons on Nickelodeon from 1992 to 1995. Mike O'Malley presided as host; Moira Quirk (often called Mo) was the referee. The show was taped in Universal Studios Florida on Soundstage 21 which was not part of the Nickelodeon Studios Complex, but was rented by them.”

Here are a few other gems:

----“In 1992, Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean appeared on GUTS, competing against Amanda "The Accelerator" Bulger and Jamie "The Jackal" Mendelsohn, and finishing with the silver medal. He was in blue and referred to on the show as "AJ 'Mean' McLean". He had one event win during his appearance, that being a win in the Slam Dunk event.”

----“The fifth and final event, the Aggro Crag (later renamed to the Mega Crag, and finally the Super Aggro Crag) ultimately decided the winner. All three contestants raced to climb a fabricated mountain, activating a series of lighted targets commonly referred to as "actuators" (six and later seven in the first season; eight from the second season on) on their way to the peak.”

---“It should be noted that the Aggro Crag was not actually made of rock, but out of foam and particle board. Thus, being awarded an actual piece of the rock was intrinsically impossible -- the winning contestant received a trophy like the one seen on-camera.”

I know what you’re thinking: “Did Mike, Leslie and Sarah have a piece of the crag?”

Does this answer your question?

Now, I know what I’m about to say may come as a shock to some of you, but GUTS is not exactly a mainstream costume. It’s certainly no Spiderman. There is a small window of "generation" that experienced GUTS and I'd mark that window around people who are currently ages 20-27.

It was evident that a lot of people did not know what was going on with the elbow pads and Crag. But when someone recognized our theme, they got SOFA KING CISED. We got everything from "OMG! GUTS! I LOVE YOUR COSTUME!" to "FUCK!!! GUT'S WAS MY SHIT, YO!"

And then finally, I got a "Meow!" Has nothing to do with GUTS but it came from a guy who was about 80 years old and was not wearing any costume whatsoever besides the whiskers he scribbled on his face.

And before I get to the truly awesome portion of the evening, the chewy center, if you will, I'll run one more "bad pickup attempt" by you:

Guy in costume walking down Bleeker Street: "Hey, you're cute."

Leslie, to Sarah: "Oh really sir? You are wearing a giant inflatable penis costume."

Then we watched him try to get his giant inflatable dick-self into a cab. Which was AH-MAZING. He had to deflate his head (And I ABSOLUTELY did not intend a pun there) to clear the cab door opening and squeeze into the back seat...WITH TWO OTHER GUYS ALREADY IN THE CAB ALSO DRESSED AS GIANT INFLATABLE PENISES.

God I love Halloween.

Alright, now to the meat of our evening. Sarah had got us on the list for a Halloween party sponsored by The Onion, featuring comedians who voice the Cartoon Network show "Lucy: The Daughter of the Devil" at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

I guess we got there an hour or so into the festivities, and we really had NO IDEA what we were in for at this event, but just as we arrived a gentleman talking in a gruff voice and wearing a paper Jim Leyland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Leyland) mask was ranting on stage.

We were standing towards the rear of the crowd, by the bar, and I ordered a PBR can (naturally) and a cup of candy corn (my favorite fall candy, which according to the “Arts & Living” editors of The Washington Post means I am a "Purely deluded” person. I “don't get that candy shouldn't attempt to imitate other food groups, particularly corn." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/source/features/2007/halloween-candy-102807/chart.html?hpid=smartliving)

As we were enjoying our drinks, snacks and comedy, a few of Sarah's co-workers passed by us on their way out and we ended up relocating to spot they vacated in order to get a better view of the stage.


Right after we moved, Mike turns turns to Sarah and I and, in a discreet yet fervent tone says, "Um do you realize that you were standing RIGHT NEXT to David Cross?"

LG: What?!?! Tobias Fucking Funke? Where?!?! Where? [tiptoeing] I don't see him!!

Mike: He was actually standing so close to us that I couldn't whisper "David Cross is standing next to you," because he definitely would have heard.

I maneuvered my way into a position with a decent view of the bar where I had been standing. Sure enough, the spot was now occupied by genius character actor/comedian David Cross.

BITTER! I blew my opportunity to chat up David Cross! My only secret hope and dream at that point was that he would somehow get involved with the show that was underway.

As I made my secret wish and then announced it to Mike and Sarah (I am a bad secret-keeper), “Jim Leyland” welcomed a guy named Todd Barry to the stage. Didn’t recognize the name, but I immediately recognized him as....that guy from....FUCK! WHAT HAVE I SEEN THIS GUY IN? It was killing me. I took a break from racking my brain though once I realized how hysterically funny this guy was. I guess his schtick is total low-energy delivery with a really calm and soothing--borderline creepy—voice.

At one point he told us about how he recently did a show in Alabama, and he always gets asked by New Yorkers: “Alabama? What was THAT like?”

“Oh, well you know. It was at a club. There was a stage. Chairs were made available for audience to sit in…..No. I know what you mean. What was it [whisper] REALLLLLY like? Well, I arrived the Birmingham airport and was immediately greeted at the airport by the grandmaster wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. From there we rode bareback by mule to the comedy club, where I was barely able to deliver my routine over the shouts of “Go home Jewboy!” And then I was paid in pork rinds. Is that the answer you were looking for you narrow-minded liberal assholes?”

After the show I ran into Todd and talked with him a bit. Funny. Nice. Doesn’t talk in that creepy-calm voice in real life. FINALLY realized what I recognized him from…He’s Todd from Flight of the Conchords. TODD! The bongo-playing Todd that achieved massive musical success by forming a rival band with Dimitri Martin and releasing the hit song “Doggie Bounce.” I remember when the episode aired I recognized Dimitri (I’ve posted one of his Daily Show videos on here before—“Video Resumes,” if you recall) and texted Sarah: “Dimitri Martin. Key-tar.” That’s all. She understood completely too, which is why we get along so swimmingly.

Jim Leyland (who I will mention was actually John Glaser) hopped back on stage and was rudely interrupted by a loud skur-kuffle at the bar. Something about Heineken not being available and Red Stripe tasting like piss. It took me a moment to realize that one of the two guys fighting with the bartender was David Cross and this was a staged sketch. David Cross and another guy (who I recognized but still haven’t figured out who he is) took the stage as “The Heiny Brothers,” two rather unrefined guys from Boston that love the Sox and loooooooove Heinekin.

Finally, the last stand-up, Eugene Mirman, took the stage. It started off awkward, to say the least, which immediately indicated that he was going to be AWESOME. By the end, I was doubled over in stomach pain from laughter. I wanted to run into him after the show just to tell him that without a doubt, I have not laughed as hard as I did during his bit than I have in, I’d say a year.

Eventually we did cross paths. Toward the end of the night, in the garden, after he had had (I would guesstimate) around 8 glasses of scotch, he sat down next to me on a bench. He was slurring his words a lot and I'm fairly certain that he had no idea what was going on, but we got a picture of him holding the Crag.

The next day I IMDB’d him. He plays the landlord on Flight of the Conchords. EUGENE THE LANDLORD!! And on a hot tip from a couple we met dressed at Rhymenocerous and Hip-hop-opotamus, he apparently hosts Sunday nights at this bar with Michael Showalter. (Love him!)

If there is one thing I can take away from Wednesday night, it is that you should always believe people who dress as Rhymenocerous and Hip-hop-opotamus. People dressed as giant inflatable penises, not so much.