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Date Posted: 08/ 9/03 7:39pm
Subject: Joke Machine report
I went to the Joke Machine which is a comedy game show Tuesday night. The show was hosted by Chris Hardwick. The premise of the show is that it's basically a game show slam off. There are three rounds. In the first two rounds each contestant is given one minute to say whatever they want about a certain topic. They are given several topics to prepare for in advance but don't know which one the host is going to choose. After that minute the second contestant then insults or slams the first one and the audience decides if the slam is worthy of a point by yelling out point. The score keeper keeps track on a white board behind the contestants. Then the second contestant has a minute to talk about the same topic. When he's done the first contestant slams him for a point. Then the audience votes between them the winner of that topic. Two topics are covered in each round and then they spin a wheel with different topics on it. The topics on the wheel I remember were Slam the Host, Crowd Work, Sheep and Celebrity Impersonation. There were a couple of others, but I don't remember them. The contestants in the first round were Patton Oswalt and Greg Behrendt, and the contestants in the second round were Greg Proops and Kevin Nealon. The winner in each of the first two rounds met in round three to decide the winner.
Round One: Patton Oswald vs Greg Behrendt
Topic 1. Baseball
Patton started talking about how much he hated baseball. That's all I remember about his. After he finished, Greg slammed him and earned a point. I wish I would have been taking notes, because I don't remember most of the slams.
Greg agreed with Patton's dislike of baseball. He said that he'd gone to a Giants game a few years ago, and he couldn't believe some of the horrible things people were yelling at the players, "What ever happened to hey batter batter batter?" He said that in particular Barry Bonds was the subject of much yelling at by a fan in his section. He said the thing is that the fans feel all safe in the stands, but he'd like to see that same fan meet up with Barry Bonds in the parking lot after the game where Barry Bonds would deliver a sound ass kicking. After Greg's turn, Patton slammed him and earned a point. The audience voted and awarded that round to Greg.
Topic 2. Potty Mouth
This round was not really worth mentioning. This is not an area where Greg is in his element. Patton was pretty disgusting, and I didn't find it funny. Greg earned a point slamming Patton and Patton won a point for slamming Greg and a point for that round.
Spin the wheel:
Patton spun first and got crowd work, and he did try and work the crowd. He picked on one guy but the guy would not play a long. Patton asked him what he did and the guy said nothing. Patton told him he had to do something, but the guy insisted that he did nothing. Patton finally told him he was no fun and moved onto someone else. Greg slammed him and earned a point.
Greg spun the wheel and I'm thinking he also got crowd work, but I'm not sure. When Greg was done and it came time for Patton to slam him, he refused saying that he wanted to see a Greg vs Greg final, so Greg won the first round.
Round 2: Greg Proops vs Kevin Nealon
When Greg and Kevin first came on stage, they were just all over the place. Greg insulting the crowd, talking about other shows. The host said he wasn't used to reeling in such minds, but he got a few good shots in. Asking Greg where we'd see him on TV again. Greg responded with, "Guam." Later in the show, Greg was picking on the host again and the host responded with, "Whose Line is it Anyway?" Greg responded with, "Wayne Brady's." Then he started singing the Brady Bunch song. Surprisingly, Greg seemed a little slow and unfocused in the first round but he hit his stride by the second round. I think the crowd's reaction had a lot to do with it. We were there to see insults fly, and instead of embracing that, a lot of the crowd took the insults too seriously. Something Greg reminded the crowd of several times. Greg not only traded insults with the other comics but he insulted the crowd as well. At one point Kevin told Greg that he wasn't winning the crowd over, but Greg said he never would.
Topic 1. Christmas
Greg used Christmas to pick on the Vienna Boy's Choir. It was hilarious. He kind of used his redneck joke but changed it to work for the Vienna Boy's Choir. He also wanted to know why Christmas is a time when you're supposed to love your fellow man when it's a time of year when you hate humanity more than at any other time. Kevin slammed him and I remember it was something about being gay.
Kevin sat down and asked for some soft light to create a cozy atmosphere. He told a Christmas Story about going home for the holidays. He'd get closer to his childhood home and see the lights...red and blue police lights. He'd open the door and find a fire...not in the fireplace. There would be hot chocolate on the stove. Not in a pot but dried on the stove. He said sitting on the table was a fruitcake. Just at that moment the bell rang and his time ran out, so he looked at Greg. It couldn't have been timed more perfectly, or maybe he did plan it that way, but it was too funny. Greg slammed him saying he was so gay that he had two dicks in his ass. Greg won a point for his slam even though the audience seemed to be divided about whether or not he earned it. Kevin won that topic.
Topic 2. Movie Critic
Kevin started by saying to prepare for this topic he'd reviewed three adult films. I don't remember the names he used but for the first two movies basically he started off interested, interested, interested, very interested, very very interested and then no interest at all. The last movie was an all male feature. He started out skeptical, skeptical, skeptical, slightly interested, interested, very interested, very very interested and then no interest at all, then confusion, anger, guilt, depression. Greg slammed him and earned a point.
Greg talked about just about every film known to man. Not really but he just ripped through a bunch of different films with his opinions on all of them. He was going through too many too fast for me to remember them, but it was typical Greg slamming a bunch of the movies out there right now. Kevin slammed him and earned a point and Greg won that round.
Spin the Wheel:
Greg spun first and got crowd work. Let the fun begin! I'm just glad I was sitting in the back of the room. Actually the funniest thing was before Greg started he said he was hoping for sheep and he seemed pretty disappointed that he didn't get it "I had lots for sheep." It made me wonder what he had ready for sheep. Greg jumped off stage and walked into the crowd. He fist saw a woman and asked where she was from. She said Santa Barbara so that's what he called her after that, "Isn't that right, Miss Santa Barbara?" Greg moved on to a guy named Fart. Greg had to ask him his name several times. Greg asked him if he was in the comedy industry because he had to be with a name like that, but the guy said he wasn't. Greg concentrated his efforts on Fart until his time was up.
Kevin wanted crowd work, but he got work the host. He didn't pick on him too much. Kevin asked if Greg could help him, and Chris told him no. Greg piped up with, "Oh I COULD help him." After that he started whispering things to Kevin that made no sense, but it was funny. Kevin finally told Chris that he had the Ryan Seacrest look going for him. Kevin really didn't slam him too badly. After Kevin's time was up he said that he wasn't very good at it, and he didn't know what Chris had done well enough to slam him. Chris said something about working in TV for ten years but no one knew him so why should he be any different. Kevin said that if only he'd known that he'd have used it. Too late to get your slams in Kevin. Greg won that round and the game.
Greg vs Greg, Let the Battle Begin...
In this corner the guru of cake, the king of uncool, trick-or-treat at his house and you win, Greg Behrendt.
In this corner, he uses Rodney Dangerfield's stylist, he has a razor sharp wit, he was born to be snide, Greg Proops.
So ladies and gentlemen, lets get ready to ruuumble!
For the final round, each contestant had three minutes to talk about whatever they wanted then there was a slam off after and the audience voted for the winner.
Greg Behrendt used his routine about wanting to rock his daughter by introducing her to a Black Sabbath jam but what he found out is that babies don't like Black Sabbath. They hate it. Instead he found out that babies love Thumpkin. If the audience was a group of babies, he'd sing, "Where is Thumpkin? Where is Thumpkin?" and we'd all sing, "Here I am. Here I am."
Greg Proops did his routine about Iraq, why our oil is under their sand and how they have weapons of mass destruction but what do we have? Weapons of love and nurturing? He said that Korea is lucky they don't have anything we went. "If our SUV's ran on spicy cabbage, we'd be all over them like white on rice." He talked about how he imagines when Bush meets with other world leaders they ask for his supervisor and about how the Vice President is brought out for appearances and then shot back into the white house where he's kept alive in a chamber with ferret endocrines and a lizard that runs on a wheel to keep his heart going.
Next there was supposed to be a slam off with Greg and Greg trading insults, but I'm disappointed to report there really wasn't much of it. They are good friends and didn't really go after each other. Instead Greg P turned on the crowd and then the host. They did trade a few slams but it was pretty weak. Probably the funniest slam was a note passed up to the stage from an audience member that the host read. The note asked Greg if he'd gotten his shirt from Rodney Dangerfield (He was wearing this white shirt with blue flowers on it.), and I don't think Greg thought it was that funny but it was. Greg B must have asked him something that I couldn't hear, because I did hear Greg P respond that it was too hot to wear his regular clothes. Later just out of the blue he started laughing and said Rodney Dangerfield like the funny just hit him. The crowd voted by a round of applause. It was very close but Greg Proops won.
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