Sunday, January 31, 2016

That's the way the wind breaks - by Michael Buzzelli

I wish I was in Park City, Utah, right now. It’s the annual Sundance Film Festival, named by Robert Redford after his half of the infamous gunslinging duo he played in a movie this one time.

At the film festival, there are a bunch of independent movies playing all over town.

They are not your typical Hollywood blockbusters; most have fewer car crashes and more character development.

One movie seems to be standing out from the crowd this year. It’s a little indie called “Swiss Army Man.”

It’s about a depressed young man (Paul Dano) who befriends a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) on a deserted island. Imagine “Castaway” but replace Wilson the soccer ball with dead Harry Potter. It sounds like “Gilligan has a weekend at Bernie’s.”

But wait! There’s more! The deceased young man’s body exudes profound gas. “Profound gas” was actually in the description. Hank (Dano) uses the flatulence to his advantage and rides the toot-powered corpse back to civilization, like a fart-powered jet ski.

I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s say Hank might not be really seeing the world the way it really is.

The film is the brainchild of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The duo directed the music video “Turn Down for What,” a hard-partying anthem by DJ Snake and Lil Jon.

Seriously, I’m not making any of this up.

This movie sounds like a gas. I can’t help myself. Sorry.

The film is getting mixed reviews. It’s also a lot deeper and more nuanced than how I’ve described it, but it still sounds like a very expensive practical joke. The boy who lived is now the man who didn’t. Radcliffe is supposed to be sensational in the role. Though I seem to remember Whoopi Goldberg in the movie “Soap Dish” saying, “Actors don’t like to play coma. They feel it limits their range.” Playing dead has to be worse.

I think about all those actors who have had to play corpses on “CSI,” “CSI: Miami,” “CSI: NY,” “CSI: Cyber.” All the CSI shows, really. It’s got to be tough to just lie there. I would imagine your nose starts to itch the moment the director yells, “Action!”

Bravo, Radcliffe. It must take a true talent to pass gas on cue.

Unlike most guys, I’ve never found farts funny. When my book “Below Average Genius” came out, it was the top-selling book in humor on Amazon for two weeks in a row.

On the third week, I got beaten by a fart joke book. That book boasted it contained 500 funny fart jokes. I can’t imagine there are 500 jokes on this subject. It’s tough to lose out to a fart joke book.

For the rest of this story, click 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!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Ron has Matt Stanton over and they talk about traveling, comedy, and good old family values.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Nice work if you can get it - by Mike Buzzelli

On my recent trip to Los Angeles, I stayed in a hotel that was having a Hollywood Show. In the main ballroom, people were selling stuff from television shows and movies, and there were a ton of celebrities signing autographs. It was a veritable who’s who of ’60s television and movie actors.

For the record, I didn’t go to the show. It’s not my thing. People think it would be my thing, but it’s not. I love television and movies, but I don’t necessarily care about the people in them. I can’t even watch talk shows. After the monologue, I’m bored silly.

I don’t care where Julia Roberts went on vacation. I don’t care that George Clooney pulled a prank on Matt Damon. I don’t want to know the color of Jennifer Lawrence’s couch. I don’t read People, US, Hello or any of those tabloid papers, unless I’m stuck in a Jiffy Lube waiting room.

However, lots of people love it. I don’t begrudge them their hobby. People stood in lines at the hotel to get autographs of Dick Van Dyke, Valerie Harper, Ed Asner and … wait for it … Butch Patrick, TV’s Eddie Munster.

My friend was telling me Dawn Wells was there. I said, “Who’s he?” In my defense, I heard “Don” not “Dawn.” Apparently, she was one of the seven castaways on “Gilligan’s Island.” She was Mary Ann. For the first season she was the “and the rest” part, but got bumped up to full-fledged cast member in the later seasons. There were just two people in the “and the rest” part. Seems to me, “and the rest” should be more than two people.

But I digress, like I do. I was not caught up in the autograph-seeking crowd at my hotel. I’ve always said, “The only signature I want from a celebrity should be on a check.” I’ve met a few famous people in my life, but it was usually at a social gathering. It seems weird to pay an admission fee to talk to someone. It’s extra money if you want to have your picture taken with one. Maybe I’m just cheap.

Honestly, I did get a little thrill when I saw Barbara Eden come out of the ladies room. It was Jeannie, for Heaven’s sake.

No wonder she had to go, there was no bathroom in that bottle, just lots and lots of pillows.

For the rest of the story, click 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, January 17, 2016

From palm trees to Purgatory - by Mike Buzzelli

I went away for a few days. I was in my old stomping grounds, Los Angeles. Of course, I was afraid to stomp too much; they just had an earthquake a few days before I arrived. They also had floods. I’m sure you’re wondering why I would go somewhere when the ground is shaking and the water is overflowing. The flight was cheap. I hadn’t been back to LA since I left in 2009. I was overdue for a visit. By the way, I didn’t feel any earthquakes or experience any floods, pestilence or plagues. All in all, it was a great trip.

When I got there, it was sunny and 60 degrees. Not beach weather, but certainly good enough to stroll around in.

The funny thing is, all the Californians were complaining about the weather. Some of them even wore mittens. Mittens! It was 60! I forgot how hearty we Pennsylvanians are.

I was at LAX at the crack of dawn. I looked out the window to a beautiful sunrise of turquoise, fiery orange, magenta and purple with silhouettes of palm trees swaying in the breeze. LAX also has these columns of light that change color every few minutes. It was a breathtaking sight. Everyone was lining up to the window and snapping photos with their phones.

Side note: Do we still snap? When you’re taking a picture with your cell is it considered snapping a picture or just taking a picture? I hate to think we lost a much more colorful verb through upgraded technology.

But I digress, like I do. I descended into Pittsburgh Monday night. I woke up to snow Tuesday. I forgot how I’m not as hearty as other Pennsylvanians. At 6 a.m., I was out shoveling the driveway, cursing under my breath like Muttley, “Rassa frassa razzamatazz.”

More snow fell by the time I left to leave the house, and it looked like I didn’t do anything. “Extra rassa frassa razzamatazz.”

It should be noted that I don’t hate snow. I just don’t want to drive in it. It’s lovely when you’re at a ski lodge looking out the window at it. I’d rather slide down the hill in an inner tube than in a PT Cruiser.

For the rest of this story, click 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!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mr. Buzz's Wild Ride - By Mike Buzzelli

I didn’t realize I was going 80 mph when I heard the flashing lights and saw the siren. Strike that. Reverse it.

I was taking my mom and nephew Nick to Ohio to see my brother Rick and his wife, Vickie.

Yes, there’s a Ricky, Vickie and Nicky in this story. Who needs to write comedy when it comes naturally like this?

But I digress, like I do. The copper was on my tail. I went about a mile before I could find a safe place to pull over.

I’m sure it looked like a police chase from the bird’s-eye view.

Not that any birds were actually watching.

You don’t want to be pulled over by the cops when your mom is in the back seat.

Trust me.

It took him a long time to get out of the squad car. Occasionally, someone would slow down to see who was pulled over. Like they’re going to know me?! You can see them smirk as they roll by. I put my hand over my face, in case they actually did know me.

He still was sitting there. I kept thinking he probably didn’t have enough space to walk over to me because cars were whizzing by. I thought I should pull over a little more to give him some room, but I was afraid if I started the engine and moved the car even an inch, he’d just shoot me.

You never know these days.

He must have been running the license plates. I was driving my mom’s new car. She hasn’t had a traffic ticket in years, so I knew the plates were clean. I wish my driving record was as spotless. It is not. Quelle surprise.

After a few, long moments, he finally came over to the car. I rolled down the window and he said, “It’s your lucky day. I have to go out on another call. Just watch your speed.”

I apologized and thanked him and he was gone. I make dark jokes to my passengers. Much like, “Hey, thanks for killing your husband, lady. You just saved me a hundred bucks!”

For the rest of the story, click 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, January 5, 2016

TODD GLASS (Comedy Central, Louie) at ARCADE COMEDY THEATER: January 7, 8, 9, 2015


Jan 7 at 8pm

Jan 8 at 8pm & 10pm
Jan 9 at 8pm & 10pm

Todd Glass' comedy is often satirical, sometimes irreverent but always funny. His television appearances include performances "Tosh.0," "Louie," "Mr. Show," "Conan," "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn," and "Last Comic Standing." Comedy Central recognized his unique delivery and explosive divergent style of witticisms, giving Todd his half-hour standup special "Comedy Central Presents: Todd Glass." You can listen to him weekly on his podcast: "The Todd Glass Show."

Featuring Pittsburgh Favorite Aaron Kleiber

Get tickets NOW - shows WILL sell out:

Tickets $20/person. Advance tickets include free BYOB!
18+ and over

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Beware the Artful Codger - by Mike Buzzelli

Last year, I won a gift basket silent auction at a gala. The basket was provided by a local casino. I got two $50 slot play cards, $100 dining at the casino restaurants, two T-shirts, mugs and a fancy Polo shirt that makes me look like a high-stakes gambler because it reads “Poker Club” on it. If they knew I only play the penny slots, they’d probably take it away from me.

I went through the two $50 slot play cards pretty quickly. I’ve worn the shirts a few times and even drank out of the coffee mug. After holding on to the restaurant card for a year, I finally started to eat at the casino. I went down Sunday for a portobello sandwich and some onion rings.

It was my lucky night because I won money. Forty bucks! OK. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I left with a hundred-dollar bill. When I walked in, I only had around $60. Walking out with Benjamin Franklin was good enough for me. Ben joined my party after I got to spin the wheel on an Ellen DeGeneres-themed slot machine. When Ellen dances, you get bonus play. When you get three red couches, you get to spin the big wheel (I wish I was making this part up, because it’s hilarious).

On the way out, I noticed a slot machine that looked like fun. I walked toward it, but a Little Old Man also walked toward it. I was nice and gave him the seat at the game. It took him 10 minutes to walk to the chair. I kept thinking about that Tim Conway character on “The Carol Burnett Show.” I stayed to watch him play. If he was going to win, I was going to be angry because I gave him the spot. He sat in the chair for several minutes and got up. It didn’t even look like he pressed any buttons.

In my wallet, Ben had been keeping company with Abraham Lincoln. I decided to play with the five-dollar bill. There was three cents on the machine when I sat down. I slid Abe into the slot. The Little Old Man came back and said, “I forgot to cash out.”

I thought, “I guess he really needs those three pennies.”

For the rest of the story, click 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!