Monday, November 24, 2014

RECAP: Super Fool IV, the Fourth Annual Pittsburgh Comedians' Football Game

BY JAMES J. HAMILTON (Pittsburgh Comedy Intramural Sports Beat Writer)


PITTSBURGH—Dragging themselves out of bed at the crack of noon wasn't easy, but almost thirty of Pittsburgh's most self-described "comedians" gathered at Steel Valley High School's Campbell Field on Sunday for Super Fool IV, their fourth annual flag football game.

Showing our Bill Cosby influence by not asking for permission
"I'm hungover," said Gio Attisano as he warmed up by drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette. Matt Light's team implemented a mandatory reverse curfew: all players must stay out after 11 PM the night before the game. Brad Ryan drank from a bag of Twisted Tea on the sideline, saying he preferred his hard iced tea in a bag so it could be easily converted to an IV and fed directly into his bloodstream if necessary.

Oops
A four-team tournament-style competition was planned, but had to be scrapped because there weren't enough players due to multiple no-shows. "Their cycles must've all synced up," Mike Sasson said of the six dropouts. "That's no excuse," said Holly Price. "Just wear a different tampon. Super plus." Super Fool IV was converted on the fly to an epic two-team showdown. The remnants of Marky Naas and Ron Renwick's teams were cannibalized in a partial redraft by Zach Funk's Funkvengers and Ray Zawodni's Zawodni & Sons. Aaron Kleiber explained why the Funkvengers took Ed Bailey ahead of Curt Wootton: "You're not Pittsburgh Black Dad." 

FUNKVENGERS
Zach Funk (Captain)
Aaron Kleiber
Dustin Dowling
Mike Sasson
Tom Henry
Ryan Walker
Ed Bailey
Kurt Branagan
Ron Renwick
Holly Price
Marky Naas
PJ Williams
Tyler*

*Last name unknown/Matt Wohlfarth's nephew/ringer

ZAWODNI & SONS
Ray Zawodni (Captain)
Matt Light
Derrick Knopsnyder
T-Robe
Jeff Konkle
Sean Collier
Curt Wooten
Gio Attisano
Ryan Garasich
Brad Ryan
Ed K
Matt Wohlfarth

Each half would have a 30 minute running clock, with three timeouts per team per half. The teams played 7-on-7, allowing for plenty of opportunities to sub out and stay fresh, but also turning the game into an hour of referee Brandon Johnson having to count to seven over and over as the teams struggled to keep track of their substitutions.

Matt Light hurt himself on an attempted punt in pregame warm-ups and Brad Ryan tweaked his back. "I already dislocated my finger," Dustin Dowling said before kickoff. "I got tired carrying water from my car," said Sean Collier. Jeff Konkle showed up drinking cranberry juice: "I have a urinary tract infection." Ryan Walker made a Bon Iver playlist on Spotify to get pumped up for the game. Marky Naas needed two belts to put his flags on. These guys were firing on all cylinders.

"To decide who gets the ball first, we're measuring dicks," announced Ray Zawodni. "Just give me a minute to fluff up." But cooler heads prevailed and possession was decided by laces-or-spaces, after it was explained to team captain Zach Funk what laces-or-spaces meant. The Funkvengers won and elected to take the ball in the second half.

FIRST HALF


Defending champions Zawodni & Sons hit the ground running on their first possession and marched down the field with two completions from quarterback Ray Zawodni to Derrick Knopsnyder before finishing off the drive with a TD catch by Matt Light.

The Funkvengers got off to a slow start, turning the ball over on downs after four straight incompletions by quarterback Aaron Kleiber.  "I thought Ryan Leaf was in prison," Matt Light said.

Zawodni & Sons kept rolling, with catches by Light and T-Robe taking it to the goal line and Sean Collier hauling in a TD pass from Zawodni.

The Funkvengers again failed to keep pace, their drive ending when Aaron Kleiber's pass was intercepted by Curt Wootton. "I'm like Brett Favre on the Jets," said Kleiber.

Matt Light took over at quarterback for Zawodni & Sons and led his team down the field with a long pass to Zawodni and a TD pass to Ryan Garasich. 

Already down 3-0, the Funkvengers needed to get things going if they were going to avoid a blowout. Ed Bailey breathed some life into his team by making perhaps the most acrobatic play in Super Fool history. Kleiber's pass seemed ready to fall incomplete after Bailey tipped it up in the air, but defender Brad Ryan made a play on the ball and tipped it again, then Bailey dove and caught it just before it hit the ground. Dustin Dowling followed up with a first down grab, then Kleiber hit Mike Sasson for the Funkvengers' first score, with Sasson making a one-handed grab while fending off Derrick Knopsnyder with the other hand in the corner of the endzone. 

Pictured: Curt Wootton & some people in the stands who are
probably waiting for the Pittsburgh Dad autograph signing to start
Matt Light struck back for Zawodni & Sons, connecting twice with Knopsnyder then three times with T-Robe, the last for a TD.

The ensuing possession ended quickly for the Funkvengers when Kleiber threw to an open Tom Henry, who tipped the ball and allowed it to be intercepted by Ray Zawodni.

Zawodni & Sons capitalized on the interception with Ryan Garasich catching his second TD of the day from Light.

The Funkvengers' woes continued when Jeff Konkle picked off Kleiber and took it to the house for a score.  With the score 6-1, the game looked to be getting out of hand.

However, things started to turn around for the Funkvengers as the first half drew to a close. For their only play of the day where Kleiber didn't play quarterback, Ron Renwick connected with Kurt Branagan for a TD. With a TD on his only pass attempt, Renwick would finish the game with a perfect passer rating.

The Funkvengers' fortunes continued to rise on the next possession by Zawodni & Sons. After picking off Matt Light's pass, Ed Bailey found himself with a wide open field and only Light to beat. Light said he felt like Ben Roethlisberger against the Colts in the 2006 playoffs when attempting to make the tackle, but unlike Big Ben he failed to get the job done and Bailey went all the way for a TD to close out the first half. 

Halftime Score
Zawodni & Sons 6
Funkvengers 3

SECOND HALF


Asked what his team needed to do to turn things around in the second half, Zach Funk said "Winning isn't everything. Win or lose, no one can take away my 2012 Brad Ryan Spirit Award." Matt Light said his team's strategy for the second half was to "keep letting Aaron Kleiber throw the ball for the other team" and "double cover Ed Bailey."

The Funkvengers began the second half by continuing the momentum they picked up at the end of the first half. Their opening possession resulted in a score when Kleiber threw a TD pass to Dustin Dowling.

On the first play of the next drive, Ed Bailey intercepted Ray Zawodni and took it all the way for his second pick-6 of the day. All of a sudden the game was back on. After a dismal 6-1 start, the Funkvengers had scored four unanswered TDs to make it 6-5. Zach Funk was elated: "Do you believe in miracles? As an agnostic, I do not, but something may be happening here."

Zawodni & Sons responded by installing Jeff Konkle at quarterback. Konkle spread the ball around and hit Knopsnyder for a TD. "The Konkle Express just got here!" said Zawodni. Konkle had a chip on his shoulder going into the game because he was upset about not being drafting until the fourth round: "Ed K got drafted before me? I'm fucking bringing it!"

Aaron Kleiber: "Jeff Konkle looks like Captain America before they did experiments on him."
The Funkvengers' comeback was stymied on their next possession when Kleiber's errant pass was intercepted by Matt Light.

The Konkle Express kept on rolling on the next drive, which culminated in another TD pass from Konkle to Knopsnyder. 

The teams then traded TDs back and forth, with Kleiber connecting with Mike Sasson and Konkle hooking up with Light. Ed Bailey followed up with a TD from Kleiber to pull the Funkvengers back to within two scores.

With time winding down, Zawodni & Sons had the ball and a 9-7 lead. On the first play of the drive, Light appeared to go down with an injury and was helped off the field. But as soon as he got to the sideline, he ran back on the field and revealed he had faked the injury to run time off the clock. Unbeknownst to Light, however, an injury timeout had been called. This type of gamesmanship is nothing new with Light. In Super Fool III, when the teams had no timeouts, he faked an injury to stop the clock and give his team time to score at the end of the first half. Matt Light fakes it almost as much as his girlfriend.


Light's shenanigans aside, Zawodni & Sons continued to run down the clock, but the Funkvengers refused to give up. When Ron Renwick dropped an interception opportunity, Kleiber said "What the fuck, Ron? What a pussy." Konkle castigated himself for his "pussy ass throw." The drive ended with Konkle's pass being intercepted by Tyler, who ran it all the way back for a TD. 

Matt Wohlfarth's nephew, Tyler was a potential ringer whose eligibility was in question. When it was asked whether he was a comedian, Tyler was prompted to tell a joke, which he did: "If God never invented nipples, would titties be useless?" Not great, but pretty much on the same level as most of the actual comedians' jokes, so it was decided to let the question of Tyler's eligibility slide.

Things were coming down to the wire. Tyler's pick-6 made the score 9-8 with two minutes remaining. Zawodni & Sons had the ball though, and all they had to do was run out the clock. Matt Light stepped in as quarterback, but rather than play it safe and protect the ball, he opened the drive with a long bomb to Gio Attisano that resulted in a TD. "Is that enough time for you faggots?" Light said, putting his team up by two and icing the game.

By the time the Funkvengers got the ball back, they only had time for one play before the clock ran out. Kleiber attempted a hail mary to the end zone, but Light came down with the interception as the clock expired.    


Final Score
Zawodni & Sons 10
Funkvengers 8

Super Fool IV ended with a second straight championship victory for Ray Zawodni's Zawodni & Sons. They came out of the box firing and didn't look back. Scoring on the first possession of the game, they remained in control throughout the afternoon and never relinquished the lead. After starting down 6-1, the Funkvengers outscored their opponent 7-4, but it wasn't enough to dig themselves out of the hole. The turning point in the game was Matt Light's interception that broke the Funkvengers' momentum when they were beginning to mount a comeback in the second half, although Light said "the turning point in the game was when Zach Funk drafted Aaron Kleiber in the first round." Kleiber's five interception performance will no doubt haunt him as he tours the country with major headliners and appears on television. For others, Super Fool glory will be the lone bright spot in an otherwise meaningless existence: "Everyone on my team PayPal me $64," Light said, "so I can order our championship rings from Jostens." 


STATISTICS


AWARDS

Awards are voted on by the Pittsburgh Comedy Intramural Sports Writers Association.

Most Valuable Player
Winner - Matt Light
Two-time MVP, all-time asshole
Super Fool IV's MVP award goes to Matt Light, who, in addition to leading the league in taunting and gamesmanship, excelled in all phases of the game. He tied for game highs in three major statistics with 4 passing TDs, 2 receiving TDs, and 2 interceptions. He had the interception that extinguished the Funkvengers' momentum in the second half and put the final nails in their coffin with a TD pass and interception in the final minutes of the game. Light becomes the Super Fool's first two-time MVP, adding this award to the one he earned in Super Fool II. Asked to comment on his win, Light said: "FUCK HER RIGHT IN THE PUSSY!"

Honorable mention - Ed Bailey, Jeff Konkle, Derrick Knopsnyder

Brad Ryan Spirit Award
Winner - Brad Ryan

Brad Ryan celebrates his award win by sucking down a bag of hard iced tea
The Brad Ryan Spirit Award goes to a player who left it all on the field. The award was named in honor of Brad Ryan, who suffered a broken arm in Super Fool I. That injury was once thought to be career-ending, but in Super Fool IV Brad Ryan came out of retirement and returned to the gridiron. Even after tweaking his back in pregame warm-ups, the 47-year-old, fueled by hard iced tea, stuck it out to the end. His bravery in stepping back on the field against the odds has earned him his eponymous award. Ryan said he was flattered and honored to receive the award, although he wished "it would've been named after somebody more significant in Pittsburgh comedy," which is tantamount to wishing someone else had broken an arm instead of him.

James J. Hamilton Award for Excellence in Journalism
Winner - James J. Hamilton

Natalie Portman presenting James J. Hamilton with his award
Let's face it: the best thing about this game is this article. Over the past three years, the Super Fool has received coverage on a level far greater than it deserves. It's like if William Faulkner wrote about the dump you took this morning. All of this is due solely to the ingenuity and brilliance of James J. Hamilton. Hamilton invented the job of Pittsburgh comedy intramural sports beat writer prior to Super Fool II so he could watch the game without being asked to play, but has since turned it into an institution that has garnered literally dozens of likes on Facebook. Because of his efforts, future generations will know that there was once a Pittsburgh comedy scene and that its members were mostly egotistical braggarts who sucked at football. Asked to comment on his much-deserved win, Hamilton said: "Meeting Natalie Portman at the presentation ceremony and having sex with her afterward is its own reward."

Notes on other awards

The Tombstone Badass Award was given to John Winters in 2012 for taking his pants off and sexually molesting a teammate on the field. The Tombstone had no winner in 2013 and, once again this year, no one met the requirements for this award. Winters's performance set the bar pretty high. To win, you basically need to do something so extreme that when it gets written about by award-winning sports writer James J. Hamilton* and his article pops up on a Google search of your name by potential future employers, you will be disqualified from ever holding a job. 

Ray Zawodni expressed a desire that Ryan Walker be given an award for "best package exposure," but this is not an official award category. Since he will not receive a trophy, Ryan will have to be content with the knowledge that Ray loved his package and is definitely thinking about it right now.

*Winner, James J. Hamilton Award for Excellence in Journalism (2014)  

_________________________________
James J. Hamilton (@jamesjhamilton) is a comedian from Pittsburgh whose awesome genius is matched only by his incredible humility. Hailed as "brilliantly funny," "a fantastic comic," and "a disgusting excuse for a person," he has performed at the DVE Comedy Festival, Pittsburgh Improv, Arcade Comedy Theater, and many other illustrious places including dive bars, bowling alleys, yogurt shops, wedding rehearsal dinner afterparties, Easter egg hunts, and Juggalo coffeehouses. He is the first Pittsburgh comedy intramural sports beat writer, the head writer of James J. Hamilton's Blog, and the founder and president emeritus of the James J. Hamilton Fan Club. The first open mic he ever hosted was filmed by a Norwegian television crew and was subject to a violent protest against something he posted on Facebook nine months earlier. He can recite Shakespearean speeches by heart and his two favorite novels are the one that inspired the guys who shot John Lennon and Ronald Reagan and the one with dead babies hanging from a tree. He can name all the U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents in order and also knows a lot about Natalie Portman, including her home address. Finally, he is the author of this bio, which has been described as a "masterpiece."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's Cold for Christmas's Sake!


Author and Stand Up Comedian Mike Buzzelli

My friend Wendy believes that the earlier Christmas season begins, the earlier winter begins. Her theory is holding true. Let’s blame the people who put up their decorations for this latest Arctic blast. Come on, you secretly want to smack that friend who announces, “I’m done with my Christmas shopping,” especially the ones who make their proclamation in mid-August.

I was just about to string my neighbor up by his Christmas lights when I learned about the Omega Block. It sounds like a sci-fi movie I saw on the “Late, Late Show,” back when they had a “Late, Late Show.” I am pretty sure Charlton Heston played a weatherman who predicted the Polar Vortex. Either that, or he was the last man on Earth or something. I’m not completely sure. I was really young and it was on really, really late.

Many of you may ask, “What the heck is the Omega Block?” The rest of you might be asking, “Why am I reading this?” I may not know the answer to the latter question, but I might be able to handle the former.

Here’s the Miller’s Analogy Test: “Orange is the New Black” as the Omega Block is the new Polar Vortex.

Last year, we were blaming the Polar Vortex. This year, we’re blaming the Omega Block. Apparently, they are different weather phenomena that have the same effect. Either way, I’ve got bright red earlobes and frozen fingertips.

Now, you’re asking, “So, why the change, guy-who-isn’t-a-meteorologist?”

According to the guys and gals at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “A jet stream that looks like the Greek letter Omega may be to blame for the cold weather this early.” I hope that simplifies things. It’s all Greek to me. Those of you not currently in a fraternity or sorority might not remember the shape of this particular letter. Here’s a helpful hint: It sorta looks like a horseshoe.


Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here: http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20141024/COLUMN0701/141029659










Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PREVIEW: Super Fool IV, the Fourth Annual Pittsburgh Comedians' Football Game

BY JAMES J. HAMILTON (Pittsburgh Comedy Intramural Sports Beat Writer)*

PITTSBURGH—On Sunday, November 23, Pittsburgh comedians will gather at Steel Valley High School to participate in Super Fool IV, the fourth annual comedians' flag football game. After a two-team showdown last year, the Super Fool will return to the four-team tournament format of two years ago, assuming enough of the people who said they're playing actually show up.

Last night, League Commissioner Matt Light and four team captains conducted the draft via Facebook messaging:

He meant cock
Last year's draft board featured a wealth of legitimate college and high school football talent, but this year's Super Fool may be getting back to its roots as an embarrassing contest of unathleticism. "These are some slim pickens," said captain Ron Renwick as he surveyed the list of participants. "Aren't there more black players?"

Here is a preview of the teams:

Zawodni & Sons (Captain: Ray Zawodni)
1. Matt Light
2. Derrick Knopsnyder
3. T-Robe
4. Jeff Konkle
5. Sean Collier
6. Krish Mohan

Ray Zawodni's Zawodni & Sons are the defending champions and return four players from their Super Fool III winning team. Their notable addition is former MVP and current League Commissioner, first overall pick Matt Light.

Exclusive footage of Matt Light reacting to being picked first overall

With Light joining Zawodni and Derrick Knopsnyder, who unofficially finished second and third in MVP voting last year, this team has the most proven talent and, on paper, must be considered the favorite.

Its depth players include Jeff Konkle, who plans to have a big game this Sunday, at least until his pregnant wife finds out about it and tells him he can't go. Seriously, Jeff? You know damn well you haven't finished painting the baby's room. No, it's not "fine the way it is." It needs another coat. We've been through this.  

The Zawodni & Sons roster also features Krish Mohan, despite Light's efforts to get Zawodni to forfeit his last pick to avoid taking the Indian Sensation. While Mohan would probably have been picked much higher if this were a cricket match or a snake-charming tournament, he'll have a chance this Sunday to prove whether he has any aptitude for American football.

We Are Groot (Captain: Marky Naas)
1. Ed Bailey
2. Alex Stypula
3. Andy Picarro
4. Holly Price
5. Solomon
6. Shannon Norman
7. Brad Ryan

Marky Naas, who was selected as a captain on the merit-based system of being first to comment on a Facebook post, named his team We Are Groot. When asked to comment on his draft strategy, he said "I am Groot." 

The star of We Are Groot is obviously reigning MVP Ed Bailey. He could be the most talented player on any team, but the question will be whether he has the supporting cast around him for this team to be competitive.

Alex Stypula, who missed Super Fool III recovering from a heart attack, will attempt to regain the form he showed in Super Fool II, where he stood out as a wide receiver/"wide receiver":

John Pridmore looks on, jealous
Andy Picarro said of his third round selection: "Wow. Fucking taken too early again." If Andy wants people to stop thinking he's athletic, maybe he should stop wearing sports jerseys all the time.

Though not the first female to be drafted in Super Fool history, fourth round pick Holly Price is set to be the first female to actually play. Holly was ecstatic about her selection: "Woo hoo! 4th Round! Just call me Martavis!" The ten guys who were (deservedly) picked after the girl need to take a hard look in the mirror and ask themselves where it all went wrong.

Black enough?
Like Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson, fifth round pick Solomon is having his blackness called into question leading up to this game. Some have suggested that he's not black enough because it took him all the way to age 28 before he accidentally impregnated a white woman, but he'll have a chance to prove his blackness by performing well this Sunday, or to prove it even more powerfully by not showing up for the game.

Another major storyline is the anticipated return to the gridiron of Brad Ryan, who suffered a broken forearm in Super Fool I and is the reason this game is now flag football and not full contact. Ryan said that after he was injured by a devastating hit from Terry Jones on that fateful day in 2011, he was "helped off the field by all the supporting comedians who genuinely cared about me. Which basically meant that I walked off the field by myself." The injury was once thought to be career-ending, but Ryan will get back on the field this Sunday and attempt to take revenge on all those who wronged him. He is easily the overwhelming favorite to win the Brad Ryan Spirit Award.   

The Funkvengers (Captain: Zach Funk)
1. Aaron Kleiber
2. Dustin Dowling
3. Mike Sasson
4. Tom Henry
5. Ryan Walker
6. Corey Carr

Zach Funk, the second cloying nerd to name his team after comic book characters, said of his captaincy: "I'm honored to have gone from Brad Ryan Spirit Award winner to inconsequential player to team captain. It just goes to show what can happen when you believe in yourself and no one else wants to do something."

Funk's team will be led by veteran quarterback Aaron Kleiber (Gotham Comedy Live, Big Sky Comedy Festival Top 5 Finalist). Matt Light compared Kleiber's first round selection to that of Ryan Leaf and suggested that he was only picked first so Funk could "get work at the Improv," but Light is sorely mistaken. Unlike Leaf, Kleiber is a proven talent at quarterback who has already led a team to a Super Fool championship, and Zach Funk will never work at the Improv.

The Funkvengers' roster has some solid receivers for Kleiber to throw to, including Dustin Dowling and Ryan Walker. It also features Mike Sasson, former Division I offensive lineman for UConn. Sasson faces the challenge of finding a niche in a format that does not include an offensive or defensive line, but his high football IQ and Incredible Hulk physique should make him a factor in the game.

POVs (Captain: Ron Renwick)
1. Gio Attisano
2. Kurt Branagan
3. Ryan Garasich
4. Ed K (last name redacted by request, because it would hurt his career to be publicly associated with these people, but you all know him as the more successful, Jewish version of Vincent Didiano)
5. Matt Wohlfarth
6. PJ Williams

Ron Renwick named his team the POVs, after the kind of porn he likes, where it's from the guy's point of view, looking down at the other guy. Before the draft, Renwick said: "My picks will be based solely on who might bring cocaine or get me high afterwards." By that measure, he probably drafted a terrible team. By any other measure, however, he also probably drafted a terrible team.

Gio Attisano played great in Super Fool II and Kurt Branagan has been described as "big time," but wear and tear could be a factor with Matt Wohlfarth and PJ Williams, who have a combined age of 178. 

Rookie Ryan Garasich was picked because he "looks like he played intramurals." It was also said that he "looks like a Wes Welker type dude," meaning he's likely get multiple concussions, test positive for molly, and drop a critical pass on the final drive of the game.

Player Conduct Policies

In light of the recent controversies plaguing the NFL, League Commissioner Matt Light has announced that the Super Fool will adhere to strict player conduct policies designed to protect the integrity and public image of the game. Players who engage in inappropriate conduct could face a suspension of up to four open mics.

"Domestic abuse is a hot topic," Commissioner Light said, "but most of these guys can't beat women. Some because they are weak, others because they can't get a woman." Nevertheless, woman-beating will not be tolerated. Keep the abuse of women where it belongs, fellas: in your jokes.

If you don't at least have some weed in your system, you might not be allowed to play
The Super Fool also has a strict substance abuse policy: substance abuse is strongly encouraged. Players drank Colt 45 on the sidelines at Super Fool II, but everyone at Super Fool III just drank water like a bunch of pussies. Players need to step it up this year and ignore the enhanced criminal penalties associated with drug and alcohol use on public school property. "There may be random drug testing," Commissioner Light said. "Just to see who we can get the best shit from."

Commissioner Matt Light's league rule book
Despite his adoption of Hitler's Mein Kampf as the league rule book, Commissioner Light said "the Pittsburgh comedy scene respects retards, and welcomes retards of all chromosome levels to the game." Hear that, Roger Goodell? That's how you protect the shield.

Super Fool IV
Sunday, November 23, 2014
11 AM
Steel Valley High School
3113 Main Street
Munhall, PA 15120

*2-time winner of the James J. Hamilton's Blog Award for Best Sports Reporting On James J. Hamilton's Blog (2012 & 2013)

UPDATES/CORRECTIONS:

Solomon is 26, not 28 as stated above.

Holly Price will be the second female to play in a Super Fool, as Amber Schiefer played in Super Fool II.

_________________________________
James J. Hamilton (@jamesjhamilton) is a comedian from Pittsburgh whose awesome genius is matched only by his incredible humility. Hailed as "brilliantly funny," "a fantastic comic," and "a disgusting excuse for a person," he has performed at the DVE Comedy Festival, Pittsburgh Improv, Arcade Comedy Theater, and many other illustrious places including dive bars, bowling alleys, yogurt shops, wedding rehearsal dinner afterparties, Easter egg hunts, and Juggalo coffeehouses. He is the first Pittsburgh comedy intramural sports beat writer, the head writer of James J. Hamilton's Blog, and the founder and president emeritus of the James J. Hamilton Fan Club. The first open mic he ever hosted was filmed by a Norwegian television crew and was subject to a violent protest against something he posted on Facebook nine months earlier. He can recite Shakespearean speeches by heart and his two favorite novels are the one that inspired the guys who shot John Lennon and Ronald Reagan and the one with dead babies hanging from a tree. He can name all the U.S. Presidents and Vice Presidents in order and also knows a lot about Natalie Portman, including her home address. Finally, he is the author of this bio, which has been described as a "masterpiece."

Monday, November 17, 2014

ERICK WILLIAMS "I Have a Bad Idea" Comedy Album Recording at Arcade Comedy Theater: Friday, November, 21 2014


"I Have a Bad Idea" Comedy Album Recording
LIVE at ARCADE COMEDY THEATER


Come out and laugh as Erick Williams records his first comedy album. This is going to be a really fun show in a terrific venue. Come enjoy some laughter.
Hosted by Scott Patton with sets by Ray Zawodni and Ed Bailey. BYOB, do something downtown at night and come have a laugh. Did I mention laughing yet? Oh yeah, I'm Erick Williams


at 10:00pm

Arcade Comedy Theater
811 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Terror, Fear and Mayhem (Popcorn Included)

Author and Comedian Mike Buzzelli 

I hadn’t been to the movies in a while. I should have continued my streak. Let’s just say I was talked into going to the movies. I went to see “Ouija.” It’s a story about an evil Ouija board. For the record, there are no movies about good Ouija boards.

I don’t like horror films. I’m not knocking people who love them. It’s just not my thing. I am very skittish. I’ve been known to jump when the phone rings. I’ve flown upward at the beep of the microwave. I find the doorbell terrifying. To be fair, that doorbell thing has more to do with my fear of buying Thin Mints and Tagalongs.

In grade school, I was standing at the pencil sharpener when this kid, Danny, tapped me on the shoulder. I grabbed his arm, spun around and judo tossed him over my back. Flattened and splayed on the ground, he muttered, “I just wanted you to pass Elmer’s glue.”

I suggest that you don’t sneak up on me.

But it seems to be the season for thrills and scares. I guess I was trying to extend my Halloween a few weeks past its expiration date.

There I was sitting in the dark watching the gruesome actions of a demonically possessed spirit trying to kill teenagers. They always go after the teenagers. I don’t know why serial killers and monsters hate teenagers so much. Maybe the monsters are reading the teens’ Facebook pages. A few more status updates about Taylor Swift’s new album and I might take a few out myself.

I sat in the middle of the theater, terrified. I knew what was coming, but I still jumped and shrieked.


Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor columns culled from the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here: http://www.observer-reporter.com/article/20141024/COLUMN0701/141029659



Monday, November 10, 2014

I am NOT the Pumpkin King

 
Comedian and Author Mike Buzzelli


Halloween is over, and it seems like we’re skipping straight to Christmas. Thanksgiving is being overlooked. Except for the long weekend in late November, that’s almost OK with me. I am not a fan of Thanksgiving.

It’s nice to set aside a day of gratitude, and I do love being surrounded by friends and loved ones. Plus we get two days off! Two! The thing is, I could skip the holiday meal and be perfectly fine.

Also, I have a secret I’ve never told you guys. I hate pumpkin-flavored food. I don’t like pumpkin beer, pumpkin muffins or even pumpkin pie. I never understood the autumnal pumpkin worship. I’m the Anti-Linus.

Side note: Does it bother anyone else that Linus Van Pelt goes from pagan pumpkin-worshipper in October to full-on, Bible-quoting Christian by December? Lucy must have had quite a few therapy sessions with her little bro. I’m guessing it was a whole dollar’s worth! They were five-cent sessions, after all.

But I digress, like I do. November is this weird time of year everyone is pushing pumpkin on you. I don’t even think pumpkins have a flavor! Otherwise you wouldn’t need to put in so much cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in the mix.

Don’t even get me started on allspice. If it’s called allspice, why do you need other spices? It should taste like salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, rosemary, onion and thyme. Of course, that would be one nasty spice, like an Everything Bagel that was in the same bag with the Cinnamon Raisin ones. Yuck-o.
 
 
Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and a sit down author. His book, "Below Average Genius," a collection of humor essays culled from his weekly column at the Observer-Reporter, can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Below-Average-Genius-Michael-Buzzelli/dp/1605949310/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415626186&sr=1-1&keywords=below+average+genius
 
 
 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

PITTSBURGH STANDUP COMEDIANS: "Super Fool IV" Flag Football Game: Sunday, November 23rd, 2014


PITTSBURGH STANDUP COMEDIANS:
"Super Fool IV" Flag Football Game at Steel Valley High School 
Sunday, November 23rd at NOON.


If you have performed at an open mic at least once, you're eligible to play.
DRAFT is MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17th at the Pleasure Bar in Bloomfield, 8pm before Steelers Monday night game.
If you want to be on the draft board - COMMENT/MESSAGE before Sunday, November 16th with what mics you have done: https://www.facebook.com/PghComedy