Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sympathy Pains

Author and Comedian Mike Buzzelli 



I have gotten into a bad habit lately. I started feeling sympathy for other people. I remember when I made my first mistake. The other day I asked someone, “How are you?”

Instead of giving me the standard “I’m fine,” this guy unloaded piles of problems at my feet. I suppose he mistook me for “The Undercover Boss.” He must have thought I was capable of giving them $30,000, college tuition and a brand new car to get there. Alas, I am not an undercover boss, and, if I were, I would be more likely to fire him than help him.

Side note: There must be some waiver those secret CEOs sign when they go on that show. They are nice to the most miserable employees.

Meanwhile, I was a little annoyed that I didn’t just get “I’m good” or an “I’m fine” when I asked my seemingly innocuous question. That’s all most of us want with, “How are you?” God forbid, they give you the truth. No one wants that! Unless it’s good news. I’ll take “I got a new job,” “I’m in love” and “I won the lottery” as excellent answers to the question.

It’s mostly context. If I sit down in a restaurant with you, I might actually care about what’s going on in your life, but if we’re just passing each other on the street, I just want an obligatory “I’m fine.”


Mike Buzzelli is an author and comedian. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column at the Observer-Reporter, can be purchused here: 



Socially Awkward with VINNY FASLINE at the Pittsburgh Improv: July 30, 2014


Wednesday, July 30th @8pm
Feauring Shannon Norman, Andy Picarro, Matt Light and VINNY FASLINE...
with some special guests...
Vinny Fasline is a fast up in coming stand up comedian currently based in Los Angeles. He started his comedy career in the Pittsburgh, which also gave its start to such legends as Billy Gardell, Dennis Miller, Steve Byrne, and Eddie Ifft.After being diagnosed with a brain tumor and having surgery in 2000, Vinny found an outlet for his experiences through stand up. He then became the face for Gilda's Club in Pittsburgh, an organization started by Steve Martin for comedy legend Gilda Radner & husband Gene Wilder for people living with cancer, their families and friends. Vinny quickly became a regular at the Pittsburgh Improv, and soon there after, moved to Los Angeles. In 2013 he started the live stand up comedy show "Socially Awkward" that is now featured every month at the famous Hollywood Improv Comedy Club and regularly sells out! The show not only features Vinny, but has also featured some of the biggest names in comedy such as: Bill Burr, Erik Griffin, Chris D'Elia, Anthony Jeselnik, and more. In addition to stand up, Vinny is also an up in coming actor that trained & studied at John Rosenfeld Studios in Los Angeles, as well as Steel City Improv,  Donna Belajac Studios in Pittsburgh, and currently studying at UCB.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fork Full of Noodles with Krish Mohan Ep. 46-Sex in Advertising (again)


Krish takes on the return of sex in advertising and releases new ad campaigns with sexy versions of the show's cast. Bonus: Delroy Camero's Commercial for Shine of the Moon Brand Moonshine Written by: Krish Mohan & Derek Minto (Follow @BringstheRuckus) Starring: Krish Mohan, Day Bracey, Justin Vetter (Follow @Just_Vetter), Derek Minto & Zach Funk (Follow @FunkedPOV) Directed by: Krish Mohan & Mary Stewart Music by: Max Somerville Cinematography by: Mary Stewart

Monday, July 21, 2014

A thrill and a spill

Author and Comedian Mike Buzzelli 

A friend of mine just called me a klutz. It was hard to argue with him from my position on the floor. I was still trying to get up from a treacherous spill at the time. I have fallen down a lot in my life. I always get back up, unharmed. Well, until recently.

I was walking from the patio bar to the inside of the Round Corner Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in hipster-centric Lawrenceville. I missed a step and fell down on the brightly colored tile floor.

On the plus side, I got to admire the tile up close and personal, reddish terra cotta tiles mixed with white tiles in a checkerboard pattern. It would have been really pretty, if one of my fingers wasn’t facing a different direction from the others.

I jammed it. It swelled, but, luckily, it didn’t break. Now would be the perfect time to pick a fight with me. I can’t make a fist.

I decided to look on the bright side. I learned a lot. I learned “stove your finger” is Pennsylvanian slang. It probably comes from the same people who brought you “red up your room,” “yinz” and “n’nat.” I found “Stover,” as in “to jam your finger,” on a Pittsburghese website. Though, the word emigrated as far as Maryland.

I had no idea I was using a slang word. I’ve jammed my finger before. Two years ago, I jammed my middle finger tapping a fast-moving volleyball back across the net. Not long ago, I nearly broke a knuckle trying to catch a Frisbee. At least, I can claim they were sports-related injuries. Yes, volleyball and Frisbee aren’t the manliest sports around, but, still, it was tangentially athletic. Walking inside from the outside of a restaurant could not be considered a sports-related injury. I wasn’t even drinking margaritas yet.

You know, you meet the nicest people when you fall down. Several people rushed to my aid. Don’t think I didn’t notice the people who hid behind their guacamole. I know who you are.


Mike Buzzelli is an author and stand up comedian. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor essays from his weekly column in the Observer-Reporter can be purchased here; http://www.amazon.com/Below-Average-Genius-Michael-Buzzelli-ebook/dp/B008Y2RDW4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405915760&sr=1-1&keywords=below+average+genius


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fork Full of Noodles with Krish Mohan Ep. 45-Protest! Protest! Protest!

Krish talks about what freedom of speech really means after the Supreme Court's decisions for Hobby Lobby over past few weeks. Written by: Krish Mohan & Zach Funk (Follow @FunkedPOV) Starring: Krish Mohan, Zach Funk & Mary Stewart Directed by: Krish Mohan Music by: Max Somerville Cinematography by: Alex Murphy

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Hunger Babies


Author and Comedian Mike Buzzelli

I didn’t know I’d be an adult reading young-adult novels, but I really like the genre. Most of them are sci-fi/fantasy mixed with angst. I love those things. I didn’t plan on liking “The Hunger Games.”

I was skeptical at first. I heard “The Hunger Games” was a young-adult novel about a girl and assumed from the title it was about anorexia. Anorexia is a serious issue, but then so is murder.

Side note: When I first heard the scientific term anorexia nervosa, I thought it was a diet spell in Harry Potter. Think about it. There were no fat wizards in Hogwarts, so they must have had something.

I found out that “The Hunger Games” was really about a girl who had to fight for her supper, like coupon day at Old Town Buffet.

After reading the book, I learned that it was really a fictional treatise on our fascination with reality television. It’s “Survivor” kicked up a notch. The only difference was when you’re voted off, you’re voted WAY off. I am not sure I have to spell it out for the two or three of you who have never read the books or watched the movies, but I will. The losers are pushing up daisies. They’re dead. Deceased. Kaput. No more.

I was really taken with the characters in “The Hunger Games,” especially the book’s heroine, Katniss Everdeen. Katniss carried a bow and arrow, and I thought that was cool. She’s like Hawkeye from “The Avengers,” but without all the purple. I only had one problem with my new hero. It was her name. I must be the only one to think it’s hideous. According to the website Nameberry, Katniss is among the top 10 most popular baby names. It’s kind of hard to believe that there are little Katnisses (Katnii?) crawling around.

For the rest of the story, click here: http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20140711/COLUMN0701/140719908#.U8Pud9hOXIU

Mike Buzzelli is a comedian and author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of his humor essays culled from the Observer-Reporter can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Below-Average-Genius-Michael-Buzzelli/dp/1605949310/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405349909&sr=1-1&keywords=below+average+genius


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Man vs. Spider

Author and comedian, Mike Buzzelli 

Once again, it was time to mow the grass. I opened the toolshed to find a large spider, about the size of my fist, hanging on the door. It was the biggest spider I’ve ever seen, outside of a glass case in a museum or zoo. My options were limited to swearing or screaming at it. I took the more masculine approach and swore at it.

I was determined to kill the spider, but before I attacked, I took a picture of the terrifying creature. If he was poisonous, I wanted people to see the face of my killer. I grabbed a broom from the shed and tried to kill it. After I swatted at it with the bristles of the broom, it fled to parts unknown. I should have just left him alone; because, once again, not knowing where the spider went was worse than knowing where he was. Now, I angered him.

A friend of mine saw the picture of the spider and told me it was a brown recluse, a frighteningly powerful purveyor of poison. I couldn't rest until I determined the spider species.

I consulted spider expert Jonathan Pruitt, assistant professor of behavioral ecology at the University of Pittsburgh. I met up with my spider specialist over a game of bingo. Where else would you expect to find an expert on arachnids? I wasn't going to go visit the biologist in Costa Rica, where he studied aggressive spider species. Heck, I wasn't even going to go see him at the university. Parking in Oakland is atrocious.

Pruitt whipped out his iPhone and showed me pictures of Western Pennsylvania spiders. It was a lot like identifying a suspect in a police lineup.


Mike Buzzelli is an author and stand up comedian. His book, "Below Average Genius," is a collection of essays garnered from his humor column  at the Observer-Reporter. For more information go to