Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Humor”

Betas: A Killer New Comedy

BetasJust a couple days ago I discovered a new comedy created by Amazon Studios: Betas. Similar to the significantly less funny Alpha House, Betas is exclusive to Prime Instant Video. The good news is anyone can watch the first three episodes for free, so hop to it. This is an excellent show featuring quirky and endearing characters that have a wonderful chemistry together. And the clever jokes, sharp dialogue and well-paced character development will keep you coming back for more. Take my advice – watch all three episodes, then decide whether or not you like it. Each episode gets progressively better, so you should be in love with it by the end of episode three.

Below is the show’s trailer, and you can check out the free episodes here. Enjoy!

 

Review: You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!

photo (1)While there are great shows to be had in New York, Philadelphia has excellent theaters and productions of its own. For years, local theatergoers have had the Walnut Street Theatre (the nation’s oldest theater), the Academy of Music and the Wilma Theater, among others, to go to for top-notch productions of commercially successful, and sometimes obscure, shows. Well, now we can add another theater to the list. This fall, the Penn’s Landing Playhouse opened in the Independence Seaport Museum on the Philadelphia’s waterfront, and its opening show is You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!

This play is a two-person comedy about a seemingly odd couple celebrating their 10th anniversary. The actors, who have a nice chemistry, effectively pulled the crowd into the story with charming witticisms and believable dialogue. By the end of the play, I could hear audience members getting choked up over the sentimentality of the final scene – a clear sign that the actors did a good job.

YouSayTomato_007Speaking of actors, Robin Abramson, who played Annabelle, was the highlight of the show. She had great stage presence and exuded confidence. And Abramson did an excellent job delivering her lines with gusto. There were countless times when she set the crowd off in a fit of laughter with one of her many emotionally-charged retorts.

If you’re looking for a cute, fun show that’ll make you laugh, You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up! is worth the price of admission. It’s running from September 18 through November 24, and you can pick up your tickets here.

Synopsis

It’s Annabelle & Jeff’s real life love story, zany, hectic and uproariously funny. Whether you have been married forever, thinking about marriage,or still looking for the “perfect” relationship, you will laugh at the hilarious, romantic rollercoaster ride toward Happily Ever After, which proves there is Hope & Happiness for even the most incompatible of Lovers, Husbands & Wives.

After 15+ years of marriage, TV personalities and real-life-married-couple Annabelle Gurwitch (Dinner and a Movie, Fired!) and Jeff Kahn (The Ben Stiller Show, Forty Year Old Virgin) have staged their hilarious and often moving memoir, You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!

This uproariously funny story is sure to strike both laughter and terror into the hearts of any couple (not to mention every single man or woman who is contemplating the connubial state).

The book was developed through sold-out performances at The Comedy Central Theater and at Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles and made its New York premiere at The New York Comedy Festival 2009.

Book Review: Super Smutty Sign Language by Kristin Henson

Super Smutty Sign LanguageKristin Henson, famous for her Dirty Words with Kristin blog and YouTube channel, is coming out with her first book Tuesday, October 8: Super Smutty Sign LanguageBelow is my video review of the book and a couple of Kristin’s most popular Dirty Signs videos. Enjoy!

 

Supermarket Stories: Soap Thief Smackdown

Dove soapTonight, I had my most memorable experience ever during my 12 years working at the supermarket. Watch the video below to learn more:

Supermarket Stories – Creepy Customer

I haven’t posted a supermarket story in quite some time, so I decided to use the webcam on my new Alienware laptop to record one for you. Enjoy!

George Carlin – Fear of Germs

20121114-224514.jpgFive years ago, today, the smartest man I ever met died: George Carlin. No one has made me laugh harder or think more critically. He was a comedic genius and a modern-day philosopher that left an indelible mark on my life. I’ll always smile – and laugh – when I think of George.

The first comedy special of his I saw was You Are All Diseased. Below is a terrific clip from that show about society’s fear of germs. Enjoy!

Arrested Development Season 4 – The Final Countdown

Arrested DevelopmentThis Sunday, after being off the air for seven years, Arrested Development returns for a fourth season exclusively on Netflix. The 15 episodes total 8.5 hours of what’s sure to be comedic gold. To get you pumped for the new season, below you’ll find a trailer for Season 4 and a video compiling 200 of the best quotes from the show’s first three seasons. Enjoy!

George Carlin – Soft Language

George Carlin - Soft LanguageAs a writer, I love words. But as George Carlin pointed out in the brilliant comedy segment below, our language has become softer over the years. Get your Friday off on the right foot with this hysterical piece of comedic gold. You’ll love it!

Supermarket Stories: The Great Glass Elevator

Great Glass ElevatorDuring my nearly 12 years as a cashier, I’ve been asked many interesting questions by customers, including:

“Have you gained weight?”

“Are you married?”

“So, do you want my number?”

“Do you carry milk?”

“I need condoms now! Where are your condoms?”

Some have been flattering, some have been insulting, but they’ve always been entertaining. This is especially true when it comes to the illogical questions. Speaking of which, I had two customers ask me what I classify as the most perplexing question of all time. But before I reveal this astoundingly bizarre question, let me provide some context.

I work in what most would call a “traditional” supermarket, and directly across the street is an organic food store. For many customers – and employees – having these two stores next to each other is extremely convenient. Many of them shop at both stores and those who drive park in our lot or the other store’s garage. However, sometimes people leave their cars in the organic store’s parking lot when they’re shopping in our store and don’t come to this realization until after they’ve bought an absurd amount of groceries.

This brings us to the strangest question that’s ever been uttered: “Do your elevators go to the other food store’s parking lot?”

The first time I was asked this question, I was stunned. The person that asked it seemed intelligent, and as far as I could tell the individual wasn’t drunk or high. The same goes for the second person. Let’s think about this from a physics perspective. For our elevators to reach the organic food store’s parking lot they’d have to do the following:

  • Propel the customers upward
  • Disconnect from our elevator shaft and turn in mid-air
  • Burst through the cement and brick wall of our building
  • Float across the street
  • Smash through the organic food store’s edifice
  • Somehow connect to the other store’s elevator shaft
  • Arrive at the floor where the customer parked his or her car

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound feasible to me. And even if it was, that seems like an awfully dangerous way to travel. This isn’t Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. While I would love to take a ride on the Great Glass Elevator, I’m fairly certain it’s not at the local supermarket.

Come On Baby, Light My Fire

Come On Baby Light My FireOn my lunch break, especially when the weather is nice, I like to take a walk and listen to a chapter or two from an audiobook. This allows me to decompress and exercise at the same time. My usual destination is Rittenhouse Square, the epicenter of social activity in center city Philadelphia. Little did I know that I’d run into one of the most bizarre individuals in the City of Brotherly Love during one of my daily treks last week.

Last Friday I stared at my computer screen, realized it was lunch time and headed for the door. With my earbuds popped in and my iPhone at the ready, I picked up where I left off in the audiobook version of The Da Vinci Code as I took the elevator to the ground floor of the building. I’m revisiting the book in anticipation of Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno, and it’s just as good now as it was 10 years ago.

The steel doors opened, I passed the security guard and burst through the front doors onto Broad Street. Passing by a motley crew of University of the Arts students, I approached the corner of Broad and Walnut Streets and gazed up at City Hall – the world’s tallest masonry building. To this day, it still impresses me every time I see it.

Weaving in and out of human traffic, I made my way to Rittenhouse Square in record time. Upon my arrival I turned left and searched for a bench where I could unwind and focus on the story being piped into my ears. As I traversed the curved path I noticed to the right a crazy-looking woman with frizzy hair. I walked forward several benches and found an empty one, seemingly waiting for my behind to rest on it.

I sat down and within two minutes the aforementioned crazy woman left her bench to join me. I ignored her but she started to speak, so I took out my headphones and said, “What?” As I turned toward her I noticed that her skin was weathered and laden with deep-set wrinkles. Her unwieldy mane of hair blew in the air as she said to me with a two-toothed grin, “Can you light this for me? They don’t let me light them.” Bemused and wondering who “they” were, I looked down and saw in her outstretched hands a cigarette and a lighter. Hoping this would convince her to leave me alone, I said, “Sure.”

Assuming everything was done and over with, I put my headphones back in and continued to play my audiobook. Then I realized Frizzy Frannie was still talking to me. I took out my earbuds again and she said, “You’ve got the power! Come on baby, light my fire. Come on baby, light my fire. Try to set the night on fire.” While I’m a fan of classic rock, having a gravely-voiced senior citizen who looks like she could give Lindsay Lohan a run for her money isn’t my idea of a good time. Thinking quickly, I acted like I received a phone call I had to take and said, “Excuse me.” To make it convincing, I stood several feet from the bench and said to no one on the other line, “Where are you? I’m in Rittenhouse Square. Yeah, I know where that is. I’ll be there in five minutes.” Then I swiftly walked away, leaving Frizzy Frannie by her lonesome.

Rittenhouse Square is a beautiful park that’s regularly inhabited by street musicians, people having picnics and doormen walking dogs. It’s a great place to unwind and soak in a beautiful day in the city. But like any urban oasis, you never know who you’re going to find on the other side of the bench…so have an exit strategy in mind.

 

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