When I returned last year from nine months in South America with my family, one thing was clear: I needed a job. Cue “Alternatino,” a Comedy Central project that had already piloted and been greenlit for ten episodes. In some ways, it was a dream situation: I stepped into a show that was already defined, already (by virtue of the amazing pilot) successful. I worked with the star/creator Arturo Castro and the director Nick Jasenovec to hire some of my favorite (available) writers and we were off and running.
White bar patrons try to make their feelings about racism as clear as possible. This was the genesis of my typecasting as a racist bartender. (My part’s at the very end, but the sketch, by Rebecca Drysdale, is well worth sitting through.)
Working on Red Nose Day is always an adventure — you never know when you might be directing Steve Buscemi on a merry-go-round next to the East River.
This small, no-budget film was inspired by post-9/11 craziness and features great performances from Ian Roberts, Jessica St. Clair, Jason Mantzoukas, Zach Woods, Rob Riggle, and many more. It went on to win a Special Jury Prize at the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival and the Audience Award at Cinequest.
I’ve worked with Michael Moore on many projects — why single out this small, unassuming piece? I guess because having the inspiration to turn a bunch of interview footage nobody knew what to do with into a nature mockumentary was one of those exciting moments that makes being a writer worthwhile. And I enjoyed channeling my inner “Masterpiece Theater” host for the voice-over. Also, the piece is even more relevant now than it was two decades ago.
Here’s a small sampling of the roles I played on the Nickelodeon show “Don’t Just Sit There” from 1989-91. I began as an actor in bars, performing sketch comedy for people more interested in drinking and eating. This partly explains a style that could be charitably described as “attention-getting” and less charitably as “scenery chewing.” It only took two decades to tone this down (an ongoing process).
For years I was trying to write a comedy that explored the true motivations behind political power (see the play “Death in a Landslide” in Writing for Pages for another example). This is the VH1 version of that: The story of how the PMRC tried to censor music in the mid-80’s. Starring Griffin Dunne as Frank Zappa, Dee Snider as himself, and Jason Priestly as a lobbyist (for more on Jason, see the cover story I wrote on Beverly Hills 90210 in Writing for Pages).