STEVEBLOG Home on the Range

12Sep/100

The Ridiculous Case of Alan, Steve, and furry animals

I wear many hats. Sometimes I am a poet, other times a philosopher, and sometimes I even wear an autographed George Wendt hat. One I rarely wear is my investigative hat. Usually I am far too busy hogging the glory to worry myself with researching all those little details that support my theatrical expositions (I’m looking at you Matlock… and Perry Mason). Every now and then I feel the urge to don a trench coat and squint out some Columbo. Today was one of those days where the world was just begging me to drop some facts on it. Sure, all of this information is either publicly known or entirely speculation but that’s what makes it so real and so pure. And without pure fact we are just a bunch of non-opposable thumbed anthropoids. (Editor’s Note: Steve has no idea what an anthropoid is.)

So what could possibly distract me from such important work as solving world hunger and saving children from bears? Two words: Steve Coogan.

steve-coogan The man in question.

I recently saw him in the hilariously funny movie, The Other Guys. Yes, it really is funny enough to have two adjectives. I then saw him in the bizarrely funny Hamlet 2. Naturally, I was curious to find out what other movies he has done because obviously they have to be funny as well. I found something browsing through his filmography that turned on that little compact fluorescent bulb in my head. Steve Coogan has a famous character named Alan Partridge. Well, famous if you know British comedy. Since my British comedy knowledge is limited to Monty Python, the Shaun of the Dead crew, and BBC talking animals, this was news to me. What’s that you say about BBC talking animals? I’m talking about the show where British comedians do voiceovers for random nature footage.

The animals are talking and none of us are Doctor Dolittle!!

Did you catch that? I’m guessing no. Basically, the first segment is some animal trying to get Alan’s attention before realizing that the guy he is trying to talk to is Steve. Alan. Steve. British comedy. Put one and one and one together and you get three/seven/one (depending on how nerdy you are). This animal is clearly using the names Alan and Steve precisely because the two together make sense in the context of British humour. It could have easily been Robert and Pete or Thomas and Jake but they choose Alan and Steve. That is why British humour is so much smarter than American humour; they put in the effort to add depth. The poor American viewing audience gets stuck with Bob Saget spouting gibberish to cat videos.

Hey, if I have to watch it, you have to watch it too.

Consider yourself learned.

Your pal,

Steve

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20Jul/103

My Wipeout Adventure – Audition

fsTC23S

It was a short week between my callback and the audition. Being such a well prepared person in general, I had not bothered to get any details about what the audition would entail. I figured I would need to prepare something, so I came up with a brilliant speech that would be accompanied by a cue card sight gag. I procrastinated, of course, and ended up with a speech outline and no cue cards when the time came to leave. So with a full tank of gas and some good friends for company, your hero hit the road to the big city.

The great thing is that what I lack in preparation I make up in genius. I masterfully placed a suggestion that my passengers could make my cue cards for me and they took the bait (Editor’s Note: He asked nicely with an explanation and they obliged). Sadly, I was not able to incorporate them in the actual audition but they were extremely awesome.

cuecards Fridges and magnets were invented for pictures like these.

Registration started at 8AM, so I made sure to arrive at the convention centre by 7AM. In case anyone is curious, I did walk past a hot dog stand that was open at 6:30AM because really, nothing says breakfast like an all beef wiener. The convention centre had 3 main events that day; Wipeout Canada auditions, Miss Teen Canada, and a medicinal marijuana expo. You know you are in Canada when most people do not even notice a beauty contest.

It didn’t take too long for the crowd of hopefuls to fill the lobby. For some reason my Giant Tiger costume did not seem to measure up to the calibre of costumes.

SAM_0009Mmmm, marker fume-ilicious. SAM_0024
Fancy costumes!

The giant line of applicants and supporters were buzzing. Everyone was telling stories of their applications, their favourite videos, and bonding over our love of big red balls. The mood was happy and supportive, even though we were all in direct competition for a fairly small number of spots. The first step of the process was handing in our forms and getting our audition number. They wisely pre-assigned numbers instead of first come first serve. Ennis and Jessica were mingling with the line to keep us entertained during the wait.

SAM_0013 The cowboy tried twice to lasso Jessica. The word “tried” should tell you how well he did.

I got #76 and proceeded on to an auditorium for some more waiting. This room alone was worth the price of admission. What do you get when you dump a bunch of wild, crazy Canadians with dreams of being on television into a room? Sheer awesomeness. And that was before Ennis was set loose to encourage more zanyness for a chance at winning a T-shirt. There was a costume contest, a victory dance off, and a talent show that evolved into feats of strength. I can now say that I have been enthralled by a push-up contest. Spontaneous adding of claps between push-ups goes a long way for entertainment value.

SAM_0022 Bowser and Sumo Guy had several awesome bouts too.

My #76 turned out to be a great number; it gave me some time to absorb the commotion and get seen before noon. Auditions were fairly brief, but even at a few minutes each you can imagine how long it would take to get through 300+ people. The audition itself was incredibly fun. I showed them my victory dance, shout out, and fielded a couple of questions. I even got to bust out my nerd voice, which totally got us all laughing. It was an amazing experience all around.

There were so many awesome people that I feel I should shamelessly plug some of their videos.

  • Ennis Esmer is a comedic genius and I can’t believe I forgot he was in Billable Hours
  • Bowser’s real name is Steve
  • From what I heard, this guy had the best of the Old Spice style video
  • Sonicbolt was lucky number 1!
  • The Athletic Diabetic had a really cool jersey
  • El Raptor crapped an egg during the costume contest

 

Aside from all of the fun and games there were decorated athletes (national arm wrestling champ!), people with inspiring stories, and the obsessively committed (from shaving body hair into words to getting a Wipeout Canada tattoo). Wipeout Canada is going to be a great show, make sure you tune in. Of course it will be an exceptionally outstanding show if I’m on it.

You pal,

Steve

Filed under: Television 3 Comments
20Jul/100

My Wipeout Adventure – Application

Those who have talked television with me have probably heard that I consider Wipeout to be the greatest and best show in the history of TV, ever. That is not a hyperbole either, I truly mean it. Yes, I also had to look up the definition of hyperbole to make sure it meant what I thought it meant. So naturally I literally pooped my pants when I heard that there was a Canadian version in the works. Wait, I think that should have been figuratively. Or maybe metaphorically. That’s it, I am done with big words. I was double plus excited and decided immediately that I needed to try to get on the show.

The first step was filling out a fairly lengthy application, which included a couple of photos and optionally a video. Obviously, I thought that the video was pretty much mandatory (although Future Steve would later find out the video was optional). Many people might have started with the application but seeing as one of my trademarked catchphrases is “Reading is for chumps”, I decided to start with the video.

I recruited a film crew, that may have been a little two eager to pelt me with projectiles, and set forth producing the most important movie of my life July 2010. Braving physical harm, e. coli, and several children in pirate costumes, we managed to get the footage needed for me to cut together an amazing video.

Youtube, I swear you had a real person pick the still frame for the video preview.

With the video in the can, it was time to fill out the actual application. They probably could have saved themselves some reading if they just asked “Are you Steve?”. Instead they asked things like "If you were a food, what would you be?”, “What would your friends say is the worst thing about you?”, and “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”. Ok, so the last one was not on the application but I would have included it if I wrote chose the questions.

Apparently, my awesomeness shone through because I was called back for an in-person audition. This of course lead to an impromptu road trip, which is probably the best kind of road trip. In your case, any road trip is the best but that would mean you need a car and friends, which you don’t have (It’s a new Google Analytics stat). The audition turned out to be much more epic than I could have imagined and trust me, I can imagine some pretty epic stuff.

one_climb The original plan for Batman Begins never did gather much momentum.

Your pal,

Steve

Filed under: Television No Comments
13Jul/100

Fame, Fortune, and Steve … less the fortune

I got my first taste of celebrity today, which is to say I received recognition for not really doing anything… yet. I know this may come as a shock to you, being that I am Steve (of Steveblog fame) but even though you spend half your day re-reading my posts looking for secret meaning in the vain hope of a satisfying conclusion, the reality is that it is pretty much only you who does that. You happen to be so obsessed that you probably would not even call me out for writing such a horrible run-on sentence. Just kidding, I always toss in pseudo-scientific subtext intentionally and will not swap it out for some hokey dokey “just believe” mumbo jumbo.

Anyhoo, back to me being important and special. I applied to be a participant on a very popular and amazing TV show. My success so far is that I have a callback for an audition in person. The TV show in question is irrelevant (for now, only because my application deserves a post of its own). My point is that merely having a callback has turned me into such a minor celebrity that even people I don’t know have been impressed. I learned two very valuable lessons from this that I thought I would share with you. Not because you will ever be recognized, which you won’t, but more that I like the sound of my interior monologue.

Firstly, it taught me the important lesson that even the coolest cat on the internet is a dweeb. Well, except for maybe lolcats because they’re so cute. It takes such a marginal amount of connection to television to impress people but an immense amount of e-cred. Wow, even I feel dirty saying e-cred.

More importantly however, I learned that fame does not have to change who you are…. dweeb! Obviously fame changes you. There is a reason why other people care more about your frivolous actions than theirs, and that is because you are more important. Once again, the you here is not actually referring to you, but actually to me in a manner that makes you (that one is you) feel like part of the team. Congrats, skippy, you get to warm the bench!

Your pal,

Steve

PS The hokey dokey stuff was referencing Lost. Or was it…

Filed under: Television No Comments
19Feb/101

How not to draw an audience: Titles

Now I may not be a huge fan of television, I don’t even have cable, but I do know a thing or two about drawing audiences to new shows. Regardless of what the show is about, it always helps to toss in cleavage and violence, however I want to talk about another critical decision; titles (no, not titties, you depraved sociopaths). Far too often a title is chosen trying to be witty, edgy, or cool while forgetting the most important part; it needs to convey the basics of the show. I saw a bus ad for one of these new shows with a crappy name and figured I would help the networks like I have been helping Hollywood.

thebridge The show under discussion.

Let’s run through the problems with this show.

  1. The name is generic and common that you are sabotaging your search results. The only way I was able to find an image of the show was the I had already knew the station it was on. If I was the average person, or sub-average in your case, I would be busy staring at pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge thinking this was a spin-off of Monk.
  2. The name and guy paint a very vague picture of the show. Does this man work on a toll bridge? He seems a bit dressy for that, maybe he’s an architect that specializes on bridges? He seems a tad serious for that, maybe he’s an accountant who gets stuck on a bridge for days and decides to toss the tie and pull a Falling Down? Nah, they’d never be able to stretch that to 13 episodes. What if they are talking about a figurative bridge? He could be a counsellor, divorce lawyer, corporate negotiator, or even a primary school teacher. Maybe his name is Bridge? Guess what? He’s a cop. Yeah, that’s obvious.
  3. Why should I tune in to this show? The slightly dirtied words? The guy who I’ve never seen in anything else before? Exactly. The least they could do is toss in a snappy tagline.

With all of these issues you might think the show is doomed. Well it is. Unless they decide to shake things up and rebrand the show. I’m thinking something along the lines of the following.

thebridgebetter I’d watch this.

There we go. Now we know the show is about a union and cops but there is just enough mystery to make us want to see how it fits together. We also no longer care that we don’t know who this guy is because we know he is bad ass. The show is now an instant hit with cop show fans and courtroom drama fans. You’re welcome TV.

Your pal,

Steve

Filed under: Television 1 Comment