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)

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

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

"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 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday Night Live Standup Showcase at the Pittsburgh Improv with Aaron Kleiber, Derrick Knopsnyder and more: October 29, 2014

WEDNESDAY NIGHT LIVE at the Pittsburgh Improv
Showcasing the BEST upcoming comics in Pittsburgh!!
Hosted by Aaron Kleiber (2012 & 2013 "Best Comic" Pittsburgh Magazine, Gotham Comedy Live & Nickelodeon)

Rob Speer
Ryan Thompson
Nicholas Solomon
Collin Chamberlin
Gio Attisano
John Ralich
Arron R. Howard
Derrick Knopsnyder

Doors open at 7pm - show starts at 8pm!
*2 item minimum per person (drink or food item)*


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The discussion of the name of one of the greatest Internet Games Teams in the history of the Internet games!

Written by: Krish Mohan Starring: Krish Mohan, Zach Funk (Follow @FunkedPOV), Kat Caringola (Follow @Pink_Katillac), Brett Goodnack (Follow @BrettMyPeopleGo) and Mike Buzzelli
Directed by: Krish Mohan
Music by: Max Somerville
Cinematography by: Mary Stewart