When I was a kid, my favorite movie was Ghostbusters. Between the ages of 4 and 7, I must’ve watched Ghostbusters 400 times. I watched it so much as a kid, I didn’t appreciate how funny it was until I watched it again when I entered the DVD era in 2001 when I was about 17.
With the benefit of retrospect, rewatching Ghostbusters as an adult (okay, a reasonable facsimile thereof), I realize how funny and brilliant Ghostbusters is. But what really illustrated Harold Ramis’ brilliance to me is Groundhog Day. In addition to being one of the funniest movies ever (this is not up for debate), Groundhog Day has more heart to it than just about any other comedy ever made. It’s It’s A Wonderful Life for the new millenium. The most important message Groundhog Day has to offer (now, I may revisit this, because I’m on my seventh 7 and 7 of the evening) is that the best thing to do in life is to do the good an honorable thing. I try to act out that example, both in my comedy and in my everyday life. The most important thing you can display is your basic humanity. That, in my opinion, is the message Harold Ramis tried to extoll.
As I type this, I’m watching the sixth episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy Fallon is interviewing Fred Armisen. Fred Armisen is the band leader for Late Night with Seth Meyers, carying on in the proud tradition (IMHO) of David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, and (most importantly to me) Conan O’Brieb, If Jimmy or Fred were to deny Harold Ramis’ influence on them, then frankly, they are goddamn liars. There would be no Jimmy Fallon or Fred Armisen without Harold Ramis. And, in all honesty, there would likely be no Bill Murray, Conan O’Brien, Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, or (goddammit) Will Ferrell without Harold Ramis. There sure as shit wouldn’t be a Mick Murtha without Harold Ramis.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I’m very sad about Harold Ramis. He was a brilliant actor, writer, director, producer, and improviser. I miss him greatly, and, frankly, I think I always will.
Man, this weather sucks. It’s cold and wet and snowy and nasty. Why can’t it be warm, and sunny, like we just experienced in Florida?
Oh, wait, we didn’t mention? Of course we didn’t, we haven’t updated the site in months. DBI made it’s triumphant return to the Gainesville Improv Festival this past weekend, where we performed, workshop, and generally amused ourselves alongside some of the finest improvisers in the Sunshine State. Man, was it fun. Thanks to Tom and Skyler for having us back, hopefully it won’t take us four more years to get back down there.
Anyway, we’re well into a New Year, and we’re happy to see we’ve got a bunch of upcoming show dates at the Main Street Theater. Next up is February 21 at 8pm, and then March 14, April 18, May 23, and June 20. Hopefully we’ll have some other dates in other venues to announce soon.
We leave you with these fine white people:
Hey guys, hope you’re all excited, because we’re just two days away from our Second Annual Fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. In addition to DBI’s usual japes and jabs, we’re proud to inform you all our Improv Foundations Class Show is opening up for us! These brave improvisers have gone through Gunnery Sgt. Norek’s Improv Boot Camp, they can tell their rifle from their gun, and may or may not be able to suck a golf ball through a garden hose (most likely not). It’s all only five bucks, and I hope you all come out to support an awesome cause.
Last year, DBI donated all proceeds from our October show at the Main Street Theater to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. We’re thrilled to announce that we are doing the same this year. Our show is October 11 at the Main Street Theatre, doors open 7:30 for an 8:00pm show. Tickets, as usual, are five dollars, but you can feel free to donate more. All of our take on the show is going to the BCRF. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over $440 million to support clinical and translational research at medical institutions across the globe conducting the most advanced and promising breast cancer research that will help lead to prevention and a cure in our lifetime. BCRF support for promising yet untried ideas is a crucial component of this research. Currently, 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs. So please, come on out. If you can’t make it, please consider making a donation by visting bcrfcure.org
We’ve got a bunch of other shows in the pipeline too: September 26 at 7:30pm is our regular monthly show at To Be Continued… Bookstore Boutique in Metuchen. We’re back there for our October show on Halloween Night, which will be a ton of fun. We may just be in costume that night. Also, we’re going to be doing a set at the Rahway Culture Crawl on October 4, which we hope to have more info on soon, but keep your eyes on artsrahway.com in case we continue to be our normal neglectful selves.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve wasted hours upon hours watching Food Network. It’s not a guilty pleasure, it’s a regular pressure. Who doesn’t enjoy watching a fat ginger Italian (I swear I didn’t know they existed) cook for three random strangers? Who hasn’t spent an entire road trip imitating the dubbed over announcer voices on the original (read: good) Iron Chef. Who hasn’t been spellbound by the enormous head yet strange hotness of Giada de Laur…di Laur…Di Lo…that one chick? I’m sure you can agree that an afternoon spent watching the Food Network is not an afternoon wasted.
Unless, of course, you’re like me, and you can’t cook.
Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve just never cooked before. It never was something I thought to do, out of fear that I’d cause a white-hot structure fire and have to chew on a charcoal briquette that was at one time a tender, succulent loin of some grass fed beast, choking down my own deep, bitter tears all the while.
But then I realized that the inverse might be true: it could work out great. I could unearth latent skills I never realized I had, kicking it up to notches heretofore undreamed of my man or Emeril. Why not me? Why can’t I cook?
It started two weeks ago, when I decided I wanted to make chili. I figured it would be hard to screw up. I went to the store and bought myself all the needed ingredients (and why the hell not, I’ll share the recipe, borrowed from that amazing sports blog Deadspin:
This was an afternoon well spent. As this Mexican-inspired nectar of the gods simmered in a pot I bought at Target strictly for this occasion, an aroma not of this earth filled my apartment. This chili was fantastic, and I nearly cried I was so happy. I greedily devoured two bowls of the stuff, and although it could probably have used a bit more heat, I was very happy with my first effort. Heartened by my success, I decided I’d try cooking again very soon.
That brings me to this very day.