Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lazy Post Of The Week

John Mulaney. If you haven't heard of this guy, then you have horrible short-term memory. Because I just said his name. Check out his recent bit on Conan, very funny stuff:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Worst Date Ever

*UPDATED BELOW*

Hi friends. Full disclaimer: I am very drunk as I write this.

So, the other night, my friends and I went to a bar in East LA. I had decided that I would transcend my passive-aggressive self and actually approach women in the bar. Of course, this required an unreasonable amount of alcohol, but I got a number and felt pretty good about myself. And then, as I was about to leave, a girl walked in. She was splendid. The type of girl that suspends time and creates unexplainable winds to blow through her hair. The kind of girl that has inspired songs and poems. The girl that you want to wake up next to. She reminded me of Maggie Gyllenhaal, but way hotter. She came in with a short, hot blonde friend and I immediately struck conversation with them. Things were going well, I got her number, and I invited her to a concert the next day at Spaceland, she said yes. Awesome. I went home and even texted "how about dinner beforehand?" to which she responded "yes". Oh, sweet dreams are made of these.

I woke up the next day with a spring in my step, we texted back and forth with a little banter and flirtation, I was excited. I spritzed myself with cologne, and to be frank, I even shaved my balls. I feel like I can be honest with you all.

But half an hour before I was to pick her up, this girl... we'll call her Schmecca... because it reminds with Becca. She calls and asks "Is it okay if my SISTER comes along?"

Now, I understand you bringing along a friend. I'm a stranger, you've watched Hostel, you don't want to get raped, I get it. But your SISTER? I mean, can your parents come along too? Do you want to bring your chastity belt as well?

But I say yes... because I'm a pussy.

I go to pick her and her sister up, and turns out, her sister IS the short blonde friend I had met the night prior, and she was just in town for the weekend. Understandable. Excusable. I breathe a sigh of relief and drive them to the restaurant in which I had planned to charm Schmecca's pants off.

On the way there, Schmecca proceeds to call some people and asks me... "Hey, is it okay that I invited my friend Schmachel, AND that guy we met at the bar last night?" Um.... SERIOUSLY? You mean that guy that was flirting with you all night who looks like Jack White if he spent every afternoon at Krispy Kreme?

But again, I'm a vagina. And I said, "Sure! The more the merrier!"

So, we arrive at this Thai restaurant, which I had called earlier and specifically asked "Hi, can I make a reservation for two?" To which they responded, "For two? You won't need one, we won't be busy 'til 9 pm, and tables for TWO should be fine. Did we mention the number two?" At 7:30 pm, we arrive and I say to the hostess, "Table FOR FIVE please (because my date decided to invite 3 more people along!)" And the hostess replies, "I'm sorry, that won't be possible tonight. A table for five is just too much."

I... am not surprised. Life is good.

Still trying to salvage the night, I try to be jovial and suggest that we go find a restaurant by the concert venue, but clearly, I could not hide my all-around disappointment, as the girl of my affection and her sister seemed concerned. I really was a bit frazzled by all of this, and I had a hard time being entertaining at this point. Thus, from their perspective, I probably didn't seem like the best date ever either. But still, I decided to press onward. I had lived through 8th grade winter formal when Beth Meyers ended up dancing with someone else during "End of the Road"... I felt like I could see this through too.

Eventually, we find a place a block from the concert that is BYOB. I purchase a six-pack from the corner store, so that we can all partake in some alcoholic intake to diffuse a somewhat awkward evening. Things seem to be normalizing, I am starting to engage in some good conversation with Schmecca....

But then, DOUCHEBAG MCGEE arrives. Yes, that is his actual name. Jack White with slight love handles shows up, and he proceeds to polish off two of my beers! But I must admit, he is one charming motherfucker! Like I would actually want to hang out with him under different circumstances. Hell, even under these circumstances, I kind of hope our paths cross again. I mean the dude invented "National High-Five Day". How do I compete with that? He invented high-fives on a national level!! I'm incredibly fucked. High-fives are happening around me at an arousing rate.

So, I literally watch the girl that I had asked out on a date fall in love with this guy. I'm not just talking normal love, but like Notebook love, the kind that you remember even at an old age with Alzheimer's. As in, if they don't have children, I will be deeply offended kind of love. I swallow my pride and try to make the best of the night. Her sister is fun, her friend Schmachel is a little nuts, but in an entertaining way. This could still be good, right?

No. Absolutely not.

The check arrives. And in BIG BOLD RED letters there is a sign that reads "NO CREDIT CARDS ALLOWED. CASH ONLY." There is a bit of confusion as people put down cards for the bill. At this point, I say "fuck it," I'll pay for the dinner since I took out a large amount of cash earlier when I thought I'd be treating ONE lady to a wonderful date out on the town! Thus, I purchase dinner for all the ladies at the table. Surely, they will return the favor with some drinks at the concert... or at the very least, some extended conversation from Schmecca?

Again, no. Absolutely not.

We arrive at the venue, in which the object of my affection enters for free with my +1, and NO ONE even remotely thinks to offer me a drink. Instead, I watch Schmecca fall even more in love with "John Mayer meets Horatio Sanz." At one point, I pretend there is a glimmer of hope, and I end up sitting next to her, conversing and bantering for a little while. God, I'm smitten. She really is a sweet girl, oblivious of the fact that I think she is the best thing since the internet. But I have to go to the bathroom, having drank a lot in the evening thus far to diffuse the nerves. Upon returning from said bladder-relief, I find that Douchebag McGee has taken the seat next to Schmecca! At least your parents had some foresight in naming you, Mr. Douchebag McGee. Even Schmecca's sister seems to feel bad for me now, as she looks at me with eyes of pity and sadness that should only be reserved for people with terminal illnesses. That have no parents. Because they died of terminal illnesses.

So, in summary, I'm sitting here, watching the girl I had asked out gaze longingly into the eyes of a much more charming man, while I sip a Pabst Blue Ribbon a few feet from the group, having basically funded AND chauffered the date between the two.

Finally, after two songs into the main band, and after the urging of many friends via text messages, I decided to use the "emergency excuse" and say that a "friend" needed help and I had to bail. I believe I heard, "Oh, but we're having so much fun." and a "We should do this again." Yes! Clearly, I will be marking this in my calendar for the following Monday, so we can do this exact same scenario again, but maybe with more relatives. Please, I really, really want to re-live this.

I left and met up with friends, got drunk out of my mind and proceeded to tell this story to every table in the bar. At some point in the evening, Schmecca texted with "Hope ur friend's ok. I'm sorry I invited such a random mix of people," which in all honesty, was very sweet of her. I think this fiasco happened not so much because of her, she seems genuinely good, but because of an apparently potent asexual vibe I give off to women, even when I rock out with my cock out.

Normally, being a punani, I'd reply, "Hey! No problem! Friend is totally ok now. Thanks for texting!" But I was very drunk. And very bitter. My pride, which had gone missing for the past 25 years, appeared out of nowhere just to shake its head at me. So, I decided to put my foot down, and I replied, "The friend thing was a lie. It was great going on a date with you, your friend, your sister... and your real date. We should do that again sometime."

OK, that was a little Douchebag McGee of me. But here is the kicker. She replies with one word.

"Trite."

What?!?! That's so deep, I can't even process it at the moment! What about my reaction to any point of this evening is trite??? I didn't expect to sleep with this delightful woman, I didn't even expect a kiss at the end of the night, is it that "trite" of me to be upset after watching this girl flirt with another guy on a date that I had asked her out on... while her sister and her friend also stood by?? After I had paid for dinner... for EVERYONE???

I'm pretty sure I burned a bridge, and I'm sure I could've done a lot of things differently, but what would you have done? I've asked men and women, both friends and strangers, and they all concur that I never should've gone in the first place when she introduced the 'other guy' factor.

So, as I sit here on a Saturday night at 3 am watching A Walk To Remember and clutching a gallon of PCP with one hand and a full body pillow with the other, I wonder... is it me?

Leave a comment with your worst date story!
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ADDENDUM: This morning, I woke up very hung-over, grabbed the only clean t-shirt I could find, and met my writing partner for brunch. We discuss the events above, we eat, we laugh, I'm feeling better. As we're walking to our cars, a girl points at me and says, "National High-Five Day!!" Uh... what?!? I know there were a lot of people on this date last night, but I'm fairly certain she wasn't one of them. I look at her confused and then realize... I'm wearing my "Keep The High-Five Alive" t-shirt. Then, the following exchange takes place.

ME: "You know, it's funny... I actually met the guy who invented that holiday last-"
GIRL: "You mean, Schmichard?? From San Diego?"
ME: (in disbelief) "Um... yeah. I think."
GIRL: "He's so awesome, huh?"

I look at my writing partner, who is also surprised by what is unfolding here. I wanted to look up to the skies, fists clenched and yell "MCGEEEEEEEEE!" Instead...

ME: "Yeah, he's great. You know, I was actually on this date last night..."
I start raising my voice to retell the story. The girl begins to look extremely uncomfortable.
GIRL: "Well, it was nice to meet you. I just wanted to comment on your shirt. That's... all. Bye."

Yep, ol' Sonny Lee's still got a way with the ladies.

P.S. For another incredibly hilarious bad-date story, check out my writing partner's past post.

P.P.S. And to thank you all for bearing through my drunken rants above, I want to add a song below. Any other songs you guys associate with bad dates? Let me know in the comments!

"She's A Rejector" - Of Montreal [buy album]

LAST UPDATE: I mentioned above that Douchebag McGee seemed like one charming mofo, who I'd actually want to hang out with. Well, now I know he is one charming mofo, who I'd actually want to hang out with. He recently sent me a very kind email, along with an iTunes gift certificate, thanking me for the beer and the story. He even made me L-O-L by ending the email with "I'm off to go get donuts." So to end this saga, I just want to say, you're a good man, Charlie Brown. Douchebag McGee you will no longer be. Take good care of Mr. Brown, Schmecca. Take good care.

And we all lived happily ever after... the end.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Ms. Holly Wood, Dr. Ken Will See You Now

Judging by the $71 million that Knocked Up has already taken in at the box office, I'm going to assume that most of you know Ken Jeong as "Dr. Kuni" or "That really funny Asian dude who played Heigl's cootie-checker." And if you're like me, you went home after the movie and immediately Wiki-ed this hilarious actor... which sounds a lot dirtier than I had intended.

Anyway, a little online research and you'll find out that not only has he appeared in some of our favorite shows (The Office, Entourage), but he is also a licensed doctor who balances his medical profession with a flourishing acting and stand-up career.

Yet, clearly, there is one thing missing from his resume - a Silly Pipe Dreams interview. Duh. Thus, Dr. Ken has generously taken the time to answer some questions via email.

Of course, it'll be no coincidence when all of Hollywood comes knocking down Ken's door after being interviewed by the beacon of journalism that is this blog. Sure, he's in the #1 comedy in America right now. And yes, he's in the upcoming Apatow-produced movie, The Pineapple Express. But let's look at the facts. Silly Pipe Dreams interviews J.J. Philbin. Boom, she signs a two-year overall deal with NBC and is made Co-EP on Heroes. It's simple arithmetic: person + SPD interview = bags of money. I really should just interview myself -- "Say Sonny, how does it feel to be so awesome?" "Um, almost as awesome as this interview." "Hey, is that Hollywood dropping off bags of money in the middle of this interview?" "Looks that way." "You're welcome."

Wow, got a little sidetracked there. Hopefully, sarcasm isn't lost in print. Alright, back to Dr. Ken, click on "Continue Reading" below for the interview, link to it on all your blogs, and leave your thoughts and/or shout-outs to Dr. Ken in the comments! Thanks for reading!

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First off, congratulations on the success of Knocked Up! You play a doctor in the movie, and you are also a doctor in real life. What is your medical specialty? I have no health insurance.
Internal Medicine (General Practice).


At what point did you start performing comedy? Was it always part of the career-plan growing up?
I was doing theater in college and loved it. I started doing standup in medical school because I no longer had time to act. It was a goal of mine to do comedy, but I didn’t know if I could do it professionally. Eventually, I moved out to L.A. and got on Comedy Central & BET. Now, I’m back to acting again, so everything’s come full circle.


Some traditional Korean parents I know (ahem, mine) disown their kid for at least a few days if the entertainment/comedy route is brought up. How did your family initially react to your comedic pursuits?
I knew I would have their support as long as I was a doctor. :) So, I made sure I kept my grades up and did what was expected of me for them to support me. And it paid off.


What were your first few gigs in the comedy world? Any horror stories?
My very first gig was opening for a Grateful Dead cover band in NC. That pretty much sums it up.


How did The Kims of Comedy come about? Did you, Bobby, Steve and Kevin just decide one night to form an Asian posse of comedic goodness?
We’re all friends who decided to do a DVD together a couple of years ago. We had such a good time doing it, we went on the road for a few dates. It was no master plan. It just happened organically, and we built a following. We still do dates as our schedule allows.


[EDITOR'S NOTE: Check out the trailer for The Kims of Comedy here.]

As a site that also focuses on music, I must mention your “History of Rap” medley. Awesome. In your opinion, what is the best rap song of all-time?
“Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang” - Dr. Dre


What are the last five songs played on your iPod?
John Frusciante, “Time Tonight”
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Can’t Stop”
Loudon Wainwright III, “Daughter”
Obadiah Parker, “Hey Ya”
David Bowie, “Modern Love”


Tupac or Biggie?
Tupac.


Beatles or Rolling Stones?
Beatles.


Cocaine or Crack?
Just say no.


You’ve said in past interviews that Judd has been a comedic idol of yours, what was it like working with him and the rest of the Apatow-crew? Any lessons learned?
It was incredible. I can’t describe how amazing it’s been working with Judd, Seth, and the whole crew. I am a huge fan of Larry Sanders, Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared and Virgin, so it was very surreal meeting all of them. The most important thing I learned was to keep the comedy as honest as possible and extract humor out of real moments rather than forcing it. I am still learning from those guys how to bring out a blend of truth & funny. I am also getting to know myself better as an actor. It’s a never-ending journey for me to improve as an actor, and I’m enjoying every step of it.


Specifically, a lot has been said about his ability to create a great improv environment. What is his process like, and what is your process like as an actor when you’re thrown into this unique directing style?
Judd is the most amazing director I have ever worked with. He gives you freedom to improvise and explore, but he also guides you along the way. He’ll improvise dialogue with you or throw you a great line, and you try to run with that. It’s a very collaborative process. What amazed me was that he devoted as much attention to the small roles and scenes as he did for the big moments with the bigger stars. People have called him the Scorsese of comedy, and I definitely agree with that. If you watch Goodfellas, you not only remember De Niro’s Jimmy, you also remember Billy Bats. It’s so gratifying that working with one of my heroes has turned out to be a more fulfilling experience than I ever imagined.


It’s been said in an interview that Judd went through 1.6 million feet of film for Knocked Up. Any takes you were proud of that didn’t make the cut? I absolutely loved the “Dr. Kuni Gone Wild” delete scene.
Someone said with Judd, the film is the star. I like that description. Cameras keep rolling to find just the right moments. There were times that Judd would let me go wild just for fun, hence the “Kuni Gone Wild” outtake. That’s the coolest thing about Judd. He gives you unprecedented freedom to improvise to eventually find the truth of the character and will allow you do your thing to get there. In the final print, I feel that every line was something I would say in real life. That was the beauty of it: having fun exploring to reach the natural nuances of the scenes.


You’re also going to be in the Apatow-produced, Rogan-penned project, The Pineapple Express. Has shooting begun on that? Could you tell us a little more about the movie and/or your role?
Pineapple Express is part stoner flick, part action comedy. I play a leader of an Asian drug cartel. I can’t believe all the action sequences I was a part of. I felt like a kid again. There was genuine excitement on the set. I could tell Seth was having the time of his life. There are incredible stunts & explosions, and I gained an appreciation of the work that stuntmen do. An actor can do multiple takes to get it right. For some stunts, you only have one shot at it. It has to be done right the first time. I really wanted to do right by the stuntmen and learned a lot from them.


A lot of the guys in the Apatow-crew are also writers (Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, etc), do you have any plans to write your own movie? Any old screenplays you’re dusting off now with your increased exposure?
My writing partner & I have written a treatment based on my life & experiences. We’re working on it as we speak. I don’t know if it will go anywhere, but I want to continue writing. You never know where it will take you.


You’ve done both TV and features now, do you prefer one over the other?
I have to admit it’s quite a rush to do a film. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. There’s something about the process that’s so liberating. I feel your efforts are appreciated a lot more in film and you can take your time with the process, whereas TV has a much tighter schedule and deadline to get things right.


What were some of your favorite experiences in TV? Any crazy stories involving hookers and Charlie Sheen from your Two and a Half Men spot? Seriously though, I imagine The Office must have been a great time.
The Office was far and away my favorite TV experience. I am a huge fan of both the British & American versions. I was in awe of Steve Carell. Ironically, the director of my episode was Paul Feig, co-creator of Freaks & Geeks; and he was great at enhancing the awkward moments that are The Office’s trademark.


Some people are saying that “comedy is dead” on the small screen, what is your take on the sitcom situation?
I don’t think so at all. There are so many great shows on TV: The Office is still going strong, 30 Rock is my favorite new show. My Name is Earl, Scrubs, they are all well-written and hysterical. Just because their ratings may be a little lower than some reality shows doesn’t mean the quality is bad.


You’ve already worked with some of the best comedic minds out there, who’s left on the dream list of people you’d like to work with?
Honestly, I’ve worked with everybody who I ever wanted to work with. I just want to be happy with my everyday life. I want to continue to have fun working and learning from my peers and heroes.


We’ve talked a lot about comedy here, but I also noticed The Shield (one of my favorite dramas on TV) and Crossing Jordan on your resume. Do you plan on pursuing more dramatic opportunities?
Definitely. I enjoy doing dramas. My approach is the same as comedy: commitment to character, serving the script, finding truth in the scenes.


And I have to ask these two questions before we end this. They’re from my friend, Katie, who is a big fan of yours, and they are very random. 1) How big are your nuts – walnuts or blueberries? And 2) Can someone specialize in geriatric gynecology?

Katie is 28.

1. That’s an incredibly personal question, but blueberries.
2. No.


I’d like to personally apologize for those questions. Also, my racist friend, Chris, thinks we look alike. Do you concur?
No, you’re better looking and taller.



[EDITOR'S NOTE: Why, thank you Dr. Ken.]

[EDITOR'S NOTE TO CHRIS: See dude, you're a horrible person. And stop clubbing baby seals. So wrong.]


How delicious is Korean bbq?
Very.


Any words of wisdom for aspiring comedians and writers out there?
Persistence is the key; hanging out in the prison yard long enough to get noticed.


Lastly, anything you’d like to say to your current and future fans?
Thanks for all your support. You have already made my dreams come true.

Monday, June 11, 2007

iPod Roulette

I'm still sort of on a blogging hiatus, so in the meantime, let's play our favorite game. Just like last time, hit shuffle on your iPod or iTunes and jot down the first ten songs in the comments! Here we go...

"Paper Doll" - Rosie Thomas [buy album]
Not a song you'd want to kick off a party with, but it is a great way to kick off those Saturday nights alone with your ex's picture by your side. And a 40 of Olde English Malt Liquor in one hand. While The Lake House blares in the background. Not that I do that on Saturday nights. Wednesdays sometimes, but not Saturday.

"The Power Of Love" - Huey Lewis & The News [buy album]
Oh, hells yes. Remember the music video? Ah, simpler times, when all I wanted out of life was a Hoverboard. Technology, why haven't you made this a reality yet? It's the 21st century for heaven's sake, we should be able to make a skateboard hover. It would make everyone incredibly happy, probably solving all tensions in the Middle East, so let's get our best minds on this.

One of my favorite scenes in Knocked Up is when Paul Rudd and Seth Rogan reference Back to the Future: "Where we're going, we don't need roads."

"From Blown Speakers" - The New Pornographers [buy album]
I think their last two albums are absolute perfection, thus I am really looking forward to Challengers, which "drops" August 11th. Check out one of the new songs, "My Rights Versus Yours", on their myspace.

"Pet Rock" - Teenage Fanclub [buy album]
I have to give credit to my writing partner for introducing me to this band last year. I somehow never game them a listen in the 90's. So, if you are like me from a year ago, then purchase Bandwagonesque right now, and you can in turn credit me on your blogs for bettering your life.

"That's When I'll Stop Loving U" - *NSYNC [buy album]
I sometimes DJ 8th grade formals? I have no good excuse for this. I'm sorry, I know I've disappointed you all.

"Y Control (Faint Remix)" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs [buy album]
A great remix to a great song.

"Stagger Lee" - Lloyd Price [buy album]
I forgot I had this song. Just read up on the history behind it on good ole Wikipedia. Interesting.

"You're A Wolf" - Sea Wolf [buy album]
This song is one of my favorites this year. The word "wolf" seems to be all the rage in indie-land lately. Wolf Parade, Wolfmother, Wolf Eyes... just remember guys, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart did it first.

*EDIT: Credit to Michelle Rudolph for sending me this song. Happy now, Michelle?

"Give Judy My Notice" - Ben Folds [buy album]
Ben Folds really knows how to write great break-up songs. I hope he never finds true love just so he continues to write these wonderfully depressing tunes. Just kidding, I don't mean that. True love doesn't exist.

"Crush" - Gavin DeGraw [buy album]
Another guilty pleasure, at least you know I'm not cheating. Seriously, if you need me to DJ a middle school dance, holler.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Get Knocked Up THIS WEEKEND!

Hey friends. Again, thanks for patiently waiting through my blog-hiatus. I'm moving to a new apartment today, tv-writing career's up in the air, excuses, excuses, blahblahbloobleebloo. So, for the time being, I'd like to point you to an old post where I reviewed Knocked Up, which opens in theaters today: "Get Knocked Up".

But I won't just recycle an old post here, I've also collected all relevant "Knocked Up" video clips in one place below. Don't forget to click on the little down arrow towards the bottom-right for more clips.



Ok you've watched all those clips, and now you totally think you're ready to get Knocked Up. Not so fast, make some more room in that baby-maker, 'cause here are some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews as well:



Sweet. Now, buy your tickets online and let me know what you think of the movie later in the comments. And then make me a sandwich and rub my feet. Now find me a girlfriend. Another one. Alright, pretty good. We're done. For now.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. In the near future, I'll be doing an interview with Ken Jeong, who is hilarious in the movie as an insensitive gynecologist, so stay tuned...