Sunday, December 28, 2014

Kiss today goodbye and point me toward tomorrow

Comedian and author Mike Buzzelli 

As 2015 is upon us, a bunch of year-end retrospectives will be plastered everywhere. Every news show will do their “Year in Review” segment. Even on Facebook you’ll see a “Year in Review” app, which will randomly catalog a bunch of your FB photos and slapdash them into an electronic photo book.

My personal year in review wasn’t tremendously eventful. Mostly, I ran around promoting my book, “Below Average Genius.” I did some standup comedy here and there; more here than there as I didn’t have very many out-of-town gigs.

As a contributing theater critic for ’Burgh Vivant, I saw a bunch of plays. My favorite was called “Tamara,” which sounds like the beginning of an Abbott and Costello routine. At “Tamara,” we had to chase the actors around inside a Jewish temple. If you were too slow you missed key scenes, bits of dialogue or gratuitous nudity. Two weeks after I filmed my review, my friend Cathy came up to me and said, “You didn’t tell me there was a naked man in the show!”

I said, “I’m sorry. Were you offended?”

She replied, “No. I missed it!”

In 2014, I saw a bunch of movies. My favorite one was about a talking raccoon and a walking tree. A movie about a precocious Procyon and the ambling oak sounds ridiculous, but it was the number-one movie in America this year. My theory is that the same 50 nerds saw the movie over and over and over again, accounting for the $770 million in revenue.

The biggest news came at the end of the year when my car was totaled. After three weeks of riding around in a rental car, I am now the proud owner of a used PT Cruiser. The quirkiest thing about the car is the key ring. When the former owner handed over the keys, there was a gem-encrusted silver peacock hanging from the key ring. She said, “It kept falling off, so I super-glued the key ring shut.”

For the rest of the story, go here:

(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:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Bonus: Rudolph

Comedian and author Mike Buzzelli
Since you've all been good little boys and girls, I decided to give you all a Pittsburgh Comedy Bonus column. It's a column from last year's Observer-Reporter  (12/13/13), back by special request.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Christmas music lately. Late last night, I was driving home and Dean Martin’s “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” came on the radio and I had to turn it off. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dean Martin’s music, but I despise his version of “Rudolph.” It’s all kinds of wrong. At one point, Santa starts speaking some sort of English/German hybrid. He’s all, “Rudolph mith your nose so bright … Won’t you guide mein sleigh tonight?” OK. I get it. His name is Santa Claus. He’s German. I just don’t think Kris Kringle should sound like a bad guy from an episode of “Hogan’s Heroes.”

At one point, the velvet-voiced crooner calls him “Rudy, the Red-Beaked Reindeer.” Those aren’t the words! He’s making them up as he goes along.

When did some Italian singer get so cozy with Rudolph that he can start calling him Rudy? And if the other reindeer are laughing and making fun of Rudolph, why is Dean Martin calling him “a red-beaked reindeer” after he’s just saved Christmas! Some bullies just can’t quit mocking their victims. I heard Dean Martin was even sending Rudolph threatening messages on Facebook. They were going to meet after Reindeer Flying School at 3 p.m. and settle it on the playground.

Actually, every version of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” bothers me. Here’s why: Rudolph is a freak. And I am sad for him. “They don’t let him play in any Reindeer Games.” That’s a shame. He was really good at Parcheesi, which is still a really popular game with reindeer, even though most humans now prefer Scattegories.

“They laugh and call him names.” I think those other reindeer need to hear some sort of anti-bullying message.

Those reindeer are vicious. I also hear they make fun of Vixen all the time, too. It’s rumored that Vixen really lives up to her name, if you know what I mean. She’s been with Comet, Cupid and Blitzen. It wasn’t Blitzen’s fault, he was drunk. Blitzen lives up to his name, too.

For the rest of the article, go here:
(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: )

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Peanuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Comedian and author Mike Buzzelli 

Every Christmas, it’s become my tradition to make fun of some Christmas traditions. I love the holiday, but you have to admit there are some wacky things about the season. Every year, I listen to a near-infinite stream of Christmas music on the car radio. It puts me in a joyful mood, even while people are cutting me off in traffic.

Some of the songs are brilliant. I am particularly fond of Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas” and Angela Lansbury’s “We Need Another Christmas.” Some of the tunes are just plain weird. For some reason, every Christmas, the local oldies station whips out this little ditty, “Snoopy’s Christmas,” by the Royal Guardsmen. It’s a song about Charlie Brown’s dog and his fictional fight against a real-life historical figure, Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, AKA the Red Baron. I am here to roast the Royal Guardsmen and the famous Peanuts character.

It’s an unusual choice for a Christmas song. The Royal Guardsmen would have (should have?) faded into obscurity if not for this Christmas ballad.

In the song, Snoopy is a World War I fighter pilot. Apparently, that white doghouse with the candy-apple red roof must be bigger on the inside, because Charlie Brown’s dog seems to be some sort of time traveler. Snoopy and the Red Baron engage in an aerial battle in their WWI fighter planes. The beleaguered beagle is about to be gunned downed by the bloody baron, but, in a rare moment of kindness brought on by the bells in the village below, the baron stays his trigger finger. They call a Christmas truce and share a drink together, toasting to the New Year.

In 1914, during the real WWI, a Christmas truce was enacted. So, there is quite a lot of historical fact intermingled with a song about Woodstock’s favorite pooch. Though the aerial battles were called dogfights, no actual dogs participated. According to the history books, Richthofen was shot down by a pilot named Brown, but it was not Snoopy Brown. I am not even sure if dogs take the last name of their owners.

(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:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saying Sayonara to my Honda

Author and comedian Mike Buzzelli 

My car has been in the shop since Black Friday. I was holding out hope I would get it this week. On Monday, the insurance adjuster called. He pronounced it dead on arrival. He used the colorful euphemism, “totaled,” but dead is dead. I’m going to miss that Honda.

I’ve been driving around in a rental. It’s a great car, but I think I mostly like it because it’s clean. Let’s face it; I used my Honda Civic like it was a school locker. It had clothes, notebooks and pens littered throughout. I also kept three different jackets in it. A light hoodie, a heavier hoodie and a raincoat, mostly because of the unpredictable Pittsburgh weather. One day we’re slipping on ice, the next we’re all wearing shorts. Go figure.

The other thing about the rental is it’s a 2015. It’s great to drive something so new. The carpet isn’t stained from that time I was going to a picnic and the lid came off the potato salad when I went around a sharp corner. My car never smelled right after that. I don’t even like potato salad.

The rental does have some weird, little quirks. The turn signal is mind-numbingly loud. TOK. TOK.TOK. I almost don’t want to use it, but there are already far too many people on the road not using theirs. Maybe they all have loud signalers and that’s why they aren’t using them. I will try to remember that next time someone pulls into my lane without any prior notification.

(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:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hamilton's Unfamiliar Quotations

Barlett's Familiar Quotations is a classic reference work that is the longest-lived and most widely distributed collection of quotations. Not wanting to be outdone by John "Look How Many Quotes I Compiled" Barlett, I've started my own collection of lesser-known quotations that are destined to become part of our cultural identity:

"Let them jump out of cake." - Marie Antoinette on rebellious strippers

"Time flies when you're halving fun." - Buzzkills

"Veni, vici." - Blind Julius Caesar

"If you can't handle me at my worst of times, you don't deserve me at my best of times." - Charles Dickens as a 19 year old girl

"Never a bridesmaid, always the bride." - Elizabeth Taylor

"I'm taking my talents to South Beach." - Cuban refugee fleeing Castro's oppression on a raft to Florida

"I'm taking my talents back to a gross Lake Erie beach." - LeBron James on returning to the Cavaliers

"Punt, pass, and kick? More like cunt, ass, and dick." - Vile twelve year old who sucks at punting, passing, and kicking

"Most people who are against gay rights don't even know any actual gay people." - Gun control advocate who's never held a gun

"Most people who want gun control have never even held a gun." - Gay marriage opponent who's never met a gay person
"Show me the Monet!" - Jerry Maguire to art museum tour guide

"It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission." - Date rapists

"Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is white, and so are you." - KKK Valentine's Day Card

"Columbine was fucking awesome!" - Columbine High School class of 2014 referencing the fun, fulfilling experiences they had in high school

"It's Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, not Louis XVI and Mario Antoinette." - French homophobes (1770-1793)

"It's Napoleon and Josephine, not Napoleon and Joseph." - French homophobes (1796-1810)
"Put the lotion in the fucking basket!" - Impatient Bath & Body Works manager training a new employee on how to restock the products

"Do you BELIEVE in love after life?" - Necrophiliac remix of that Cher song

"I'm not a hipster." - Hipsters

"Ax not what your country can do for you, ax what you can for your country." - White trash JFK

"Mace Windu? More like Toby-Wan Kenobi." - White supremacist upset that a black Jedi has such a prominent role on the Jedi Council

"What recession?" - Strippers
"Polls are for strippers." - Sarah Palin, just before making it rain on confused Gallup employees

"When will I be ready for that jelly?" - Beyonce's kid, sick of eating peanut butter sandwiches

"Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be fellated" - Blowey Ramone

"When is the winter of our discontent? Now? Really? Like, right now? Shit." - Richard III realizing he's late

"It's not delivery, it's DiGiorno." - plot of the world's most disappointing porno

"She said yes and!" - improv engagement announcement

"In all honesty, I only did about half of it for the nookie." - bombshell from Fred Durst's memoirs
"Alrighty then alrighty then alrighty then." - Matthew McConaughey as Ace Ventura

"That's what I love about Dorian Grey, man. I get older, he stays the same age." - Matthew McConaughey from Dazed & Confused in an Oscar Wilde novel

"That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get younger, they stay the same age." - Matthew McConaughey from Dazed & Confused as Benjamin Button

"That's what I love about these high school girls, man. They stay the same age because time is a flat circle." - Matthew McConaughey from Dazed & Confused as Matthew McConaughey from True Detective

James J. Hamilton (@jamesjhamilton) is a comedian from Pittsburgh whose awesome genius is matched only by his incredible humility. Check out more of his writing and stand-up HERE on his blog. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Movie Filming Outside Local Man's Apartment Building Presents Unique Opportunity to See How Movies are Made and to Shoot Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson with a Hunting Rifle

PITTSBURGH—Local landscaper and part-time Lyft driver Stephen Gilchrist reported feelings of excitement yesterday as a new big-budget action movie filming outside his apartment building presented him with the unique opportunity to observe how movies are really made and, if he felt like it, to shoot actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson with the Remington pump-action 30-06 hunting rifle he keeps in his closet. 

"I never thought I would get to see how a real Hollywood movie set worked, much less hold The Rock's life in the palm of my hand like a candle I could blow out at any moment," Gilchrist said. "It was awesome. When I opened my window, I heard the director yell 'cut,' saw the actors milling around on the set between takes, and realized that I could easily put a bullet in The Rock's head from here if I wanted." 

"I would never actually do that," he added. "That's messed up. I love The Rock. I'm just saying I could."

Gilchrist said he didn't know what the movie was about but that he would definitely go see it when it comes out. "It'll be so cool to go to the movies and see the place where I live," he said. "I saw some places I know in Pittsburgh in The Dark Knight Rises and Jack Reacher, but I bet it'll be even cooler to see my own apartment building up on the big screen and be the only person in the theater to know that those same frames of film stock that captured the take that ended up being used in the movie could’ve been the very frames to hold the images of The Rock’s skull exploding, had I chosen that path for him."

Gilchrist also observed Dwayne Johnson's co-star Nicole Kidman on the set, which reportedly led to one of the most satisfying masturbation sessions of his life. "I've masturbated to Nicole Kidman before," he said. "She was naked in Eyes Wide Shut. Very hot. But this was different. Somehow it was so much hotter knowing I literally had the power to murder her at the time and that she was only still alive because I allowed it."

James J. Hamilton (@jamesjhamilton) is a comedian from Pittsburgh whose awesome genius is matched only by his incredible humility. Check out more of his writing and stand-up HERE on his blog. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Look Ma, I'm on the Radio!

Comedian and author Mike Buzzelli 

Monday, I was on KDKA radio discussing my book, “Below Average Genius,” with guest host John McIntire. I was with my mom when McIntire called me. He asked, “Can you come down to the studio tonight? I’ll ask you questions about you and the book.”

Promote my book? Talk about myself for an hour? I jumped at the chance. When I hung up my cellphone, I turned to my mom and said, “I’m going to be on the radio tonight!”

She said, “Someone must have canceled.”

Deflated. Nothing is more humbling than family.

I walked into KDKA’s offices. They have a sports station, a talk station and a country station all going at once over there. All I know about radio is from sitcoms like “News Radio,” “Sports Night” and “Frasier.” Imagine all three shows happening on the same floor of an office building (put Kelsey Grammer in a cowboy hat) and you have KDKA.

McIntire introduced me around and took me to the booth. It was a table with areas for standing and sitting around a gaggle of microphones. It looked a lot like the fishbowls you see on those aforementioned shows, but with more microphones. McIntire was a convivial host. He asked me questions and quizzed me about the book. He’d name random chapters and I had to provide a synopsis for each. I was afraid he’d come across a chapter I didn’t remember. I don’t tend to look at the book much. Every time I do, I find a typo I missed after rereading it 10 times before it went to the printer. It pinches every time I find something I missed.

(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:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


We are a group of Local Pittsburgh Comedians who are looking to support a great cause and have a great time doing so. Please help us support the Special Olympics. Any donation is welcomed, we truly appreciate it!


Also: Post polar party is going to be held at THE BEERHIVE right after we go plunging 

Monday, December 1, 2014

London Philharmonic Orchestra Disbands After Yoko Ono Starts Dating 8th-chair Violinist


LONDON—Eighty-two years after it was founded by Sir Thomas Beecham, the London Philharmonic Orchestra is calling it quits. Sources say the cause of the 100-member orchestra's breakup is tension over the relationship between 8th-chair violinist Andrew Thurgood and John Lennon's widow, artist Yoko Ono. 

The orchestra's problems reportedly arose soon after the couple started dating in October. Percussionist Keith Millar expressed the frustration of Thurgood's fellow musicians: "They've only been dating a couple months, and now she's sitting in on rehearsals and insisting we add cow mooing sounds to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. This is bullshit." Principal Conductor Vladimir Jurowski opposed the changes, saying "That bitch doesn't know dick about classical music." 

The orchestra plans to cancel the remainder of its 2014-15 season, citing irreconcilable creative differences. Cellist Gregory Walmsley said: "I'm not playing Brahms in the nude. I don't care what anyone says."

James J. Hamilton (@jamesjhamilton) is a comedian from Pittsburgh whose awesome genius is matched only by his incredible humility. You can read more of his writing HERE on his blog.