Tag Archives: good-commitment

Thoughts on Comedy Influence and Style

Last night I went to the State Theatre Indie Film Showcase. It was really cool to see films made by Mississippi filmmakers. Three Good Commitment shorts were shown. One of them was Disborderlies. This is one we made by tremendous effort in a single weekend for a sketch competition. The other two were parodies.

Someone asked me afterward if we were influenced by Stella. I had never thought about it before, but there is a Stella feel to Disborderlies if you look for it. I’ve seen a bit of Stella’s work and I’m not sure if James and Gabe (co-writers on Disborderlies) have been exposed to Stella at all. The sketch was about the exploits of three oblivious, self-entitled Americans. I think the absurd, Stella tone of the sketch grew organically as we pieced it together. Overall, we are very proud of what we were able to do in two and a half days, though a few weak places show through from the lack of dedicated director/script supervisor.

Having someone ask me about being influenced by another comedy source got me thinking about what makes me laugh and what kind of comedy I tend to make. Confident, idiot characters that lead to awkward, tension-filled situations make me laugh. People who do this well are Steven Colbert, Danny McBride, and Zach Galifianakis. Of course, dick jokes and kicks to the groin also have been known to make me laugh too. But the classic set up (build tension) and punchline (relieve tension) are not usually what I come up with when I have an idea.

I generally don’t analyze too much when an idea hits me and it makes me laugh. But I got to thinking about why I find something funny when a lot of times people aren’t sure if it’s supposed to be funny or not. For example, this last video, My Today Song doesn’t really have a punchline. It builds tension and never relieves it in a satisfactory way. Who does this sound like?

Steve Martin.

Honestly, I’m not familiar with Martin’s ground-breaking comedy routines of the 70’s except for the arrow-through-the-head and happy feet. It was all a bit before my time, but I read his memoirs when they came out and he talks about building tension and not relieving it to let the audience figure out on their own where to laugh. I imagine countless comedians were influenced by Martin and I have been indirectly influenced by him.

So that was an interesting realization to make. I’m influenced by lots of comedians. Certain styles and sensibilities rub off on me when I find them funny. I try not to ape other people’s material or routines but take it all in and sometimes it’s interesting to see what comes out.

4.18.08 Comedy Extravaganza


Tonight is the show. ON THE MAIN STAGE IN MCCOMAS. Improv, sketch, stand up, a new Good Commitment video sketch and more. You won’t get more laugh for your buck anywhere else. 7:30pm. One Show. $5 tickets. Due to construction, the balcony will be closed. Get there early.

With the Good Commitment video, we’ve already filmed parts of it and we’ll film the audience doing certain things before the show. Then Graham will edit it together during the show and we’ll debut it at the end.

The Lab Rats haven’t had a main stage show in over a year so tonight promises to be special. Be there.

Good Commitment Wins Award at the Magnolia Film Festival

I just posted this over on the Good Commitment blog


I’m proud to announce that the The Peripook took home the Best Home Grown award at the 2008 Magnolia Independent Film Festival. This award is given to the film the judges deem as best among the ones submitted by Mississippi filmmakers. Good Commitment is honored and excited to receive this award as there were some fantastic entries by other Mississippi filmmakers.

Magnolia Film Festival

Speed Date and Meebo

I was contacted by meebo to take part in a speed date with some other blogger types. It was to promote a new partnership between meebo and speeddate.com. Before you call me a cad, realize it was for promotional purposes only, you all know I’m taken. Plus, nobody wanted to hook up, so…

Well, it turns out it’s being marketed as “celebrity bloggers do speed dating” and for the most part the people who did it are well known in internetdom…except me. I’m terribly flattered that meebo asked Good Commitment to take part in the fun. And it was fun. Unfortunately, I tried too hard to have “material” prepared and didn’t get the opportunity to use much of it because in a live webcam chat it’s kind of hard to get a rhythm going and do “bits.” I’m not exactly an outgoing, gregarious guy so I found it hard to connect in the three minute window that we had. Now, put me on a stage in front of an audience, and it’s a different story…I’ll make a lot more than just 2 people feel awkward and uncomfortable.

So, yeah, web celebrities…many people may not know about Good Commitment yet, but I guaran-damn-tee you we’re the best known Mississippi-based web comedy team in the world. And I have a big announcement coming soon that we will be on the local big screen and the nationwide small screen. Shhhhh more later.

Anyway, here’s the video they put together.

To Do

In no particular order:

  • Figure out next week’s Good Commitment episode.
  • Figure out how to work Vlog Fight
    • Figure out how to pull videos off of facebook
    • Figure out the platform (a blog?)
    • Post current videos
  • Make new vlog that I’ve had planned for a few months but haven’t had time
  • Figure out new direction for Good Commitment
    • How to run a contest
    • How to pull off a live show
  • Push current GC content to more sites
  • Enter sketches into the Daily Motion contest.
  • Re-design GC look and site
  • Update resume and start job hunt
  • Renew passport
  • Plan Europe trip
  • Work on blip facebook app
  • Get tux measurements for a friend’s wedding
  • Figure out the problem with the head unit in my jeep
  • Build trunk for jeep
  • Quit being a fat ass (I did well for about 4 weeks and not well for the next 4 weeks. Thus, I’m still a fat ass)