DC Comics artist Christopher Jones, improviser Tim Hellendrung, and comedian Anna Weggel join Joseph for a campy yet brooding exploration of Batman. We address such burning bat-questions as: How do you fix a problem like Robin? Is Batman a libertarian? Were the Waynes asking for it? Plus, we invent a new villain called Napping Nancy and discuss why nerds are better at sex. All this and more in this grim podcast about a man who dresses up like a bat.
For the past several months I’ve been doing a series of daily tweets. First tacos, then monkeys, then daily affirmations, then daily etiquette tips, then incorrect quotes, then fake TV shows, horoscopes, horror, and now writing tips! Enjoy!
You can also follow me on Twitter to enjoy December’s series of Tweets!
Day One – It’s important to stick to a schedule. Try to make it through at least 2000 excuses for not writing every day.
Day Two – It’s important to edit. Use violent metaphors. Kill your babies. Murder dolphins. Cut your arm off. Anger horses. EDIT.
Day Three – All novels are better with a ripped, time-traveling Scottish highlander/vampire who will die if he ever puts a shirt on.
Day Four – Remember: A great novel should have a very ambiguous title. Grass of Change. Shaft of Light. Whatever of Bullshit Town.
Day Five – Write at least 2000 words a day. They shouldn’t all be the same word, though. Don’t just write “murder” 2000 times.
Day Six – You must write what you know. That’s why all books are about people sitting at computers trying to decide what to write.
Day Seven – Eventually, a team of monkeys with typewriters will PLAGIARIZE SHAKESPEARE. Don’t be a monkey, write YOUR story.
Day Eight – All poems should rhyme. All fables should have a moral. All novels should have a slash fiction scene with Captain Kirk.
Day Nine – Remember: A deadline is just the day and time you will be MURDERED if you don’t get your writing done.
Day Ten – Always remember: Writing is lying. Fill your book with outrageous bullshit. Like dragons and emotionally stable people.
Day Eleven – It’s okay if your first draft sucks. In fact, it should. If your first draft is good, you’re probably a horrible writer.
Day Twelve – Some helpful, relaxing writing prompts: fear, deadline, blinking cursor, terror, sweating whiskey, life goals, pantsless.
Day Thirteen – Edit out all your unnecessary, enchanting, juicy, sizzling, quixotic, meaty, perfumed, luminous, mighty adjectives.
Day Fourteen – Writing IS rewriting. It took me sixteen drafts to write this fucking tweet.
Day Fifteen – Important questions about your novel: Is it unique? Honest? Does it have enough sexy amish vampires doing wood sculpture?
Day Sixteen – Pro-Tip: Try sending rejection letters back to publishers all marked up with your notes on their prose style.
Day Seventeen – If you’re not writing fast enough put on jazz music and mime hitting the typewriter return carriage after every line.
Day Eighteen – “Ghost written” means literally written by ghosts. That’s why pages flip & blood shoots out of celebrity autobiographies.
Day Nineteen – Writing is a fire in your soul. It’s an aching in your heart. It’s a knife in your brain. Writing murdered your family.
Day Twenty – All stories should have a beginning, a middle, a knife fight, sex in a bathroom at Arby’s, ponies, cake, and an ending.
Day Twenty-One – Here’s a free sentence to start your noir novel: “He had a face like a traffic accident and I was the first responder.”
Day Twenty-Two – Writing is like sex in that it’s like riding a bike. You do it with friends and you wear a helmet. This is a first draft.
Day Twenty-Three – If you’re having a hard time writing, write a time travel story where future you yells at present you for not writing.
Day Twenty-Four – Writing is just order putting words into so sense of the idea makes. Brain magic!
Day Twenty-Five – Pro-tip: Avoid cliches by smashing two cliches together. For example: “Throwing up in my mouth a little for a friend.”
Day Twenty-Six – Writing is like being a GOD. A lazy GOD who writes for 10 minutes then plays Candy Crush all day and calls it research.
Day Twenty-Seven – Remember the key to a heartwarming novel is a lot of brief scenes viciously mocking those who have wronged you.
Day Twenty-Eight – Holidays are special times for writers to gather with their families & write down crazy shit they say to put in a novel.
Day Twenty-Nine – It’s okay if your first draft sucks. After all, your whole life is a first draft you can’t revise. Wait. That’s horrible.
Day Thirty – Pro-Tip: If you’re not sure how to end your novel, just stop writing mid-sentence and add THE END???
Your friend in writing,
As you know, James Bond is good at everything.
That includes preparing a turkey for Thanksgiving. Here’s how to prepare the turkey exactly how James Bond would do it.
ONE: Wait until a turkey is about to commit an act of international espionage and/or terrorism.
TWO: Confront the turkey and do battle with it. This must take place somewhere exotic that is also a high place. A skyscraper, moving train, or the Golden Gate bridge are all good options.
THREE: Murder the turkey in self-defense. Don’t make a quip about it. Show the turkey some fucking respect.
FOUR: Put the murdered terrorist turkey in your freezer until right before Thanksgiving.
FIVE: Have passionate, but emotionally distant sex. Not with the turkey, though. With a beautiful, exotic human person.
SIX: Take the turkey out of the freezer. Sit in a chair staring at it while it thaws. Sip vodka and keep one hand on your silenced Walther PPK in case the turkey comes back to life and attacks you. Stare it down with your cold blue-grey eyes.
SEVEN: Stuff the turkey with breading, exotic herbs, spices, and a lemon peel. Put some caviar in there. And a bottle of champagne. And a wrist watch for product placement purposes. Stick a radio in there to track the turkey just in case. Glaze the turkey with eight bottles of vodka to silence the screams of all the men you’ve killed.
EIGHT: Shake the turkey. Do not stir the turkey.
NINE: Put the turkey in the oven. While it cooks, wonder why the fuck you’re doing this since you’re British.
TEN: Pace back and forth like a caged animal while admiring your abs and waiting for the little button thing to pop out so you know the turkey is done.
ELEVEN: Remove the turkey. Set it on your table. Do not carve it. Put on a tuxedo, walk a few steps, then turn suddenly and shoot one of the drumsticks off.
TWELVE: Eat the turkey with an intriguing mixture of brute force and cold ironic humor.
THIRTEEN: When you are finished eating the turkey say out loud to no one, “THIS IS THE END OF EATING A TURKEY, BUT JAMES BOND WILL RETURN.”
FOURTEEN: Undo the top button of your tailored pants, sit down, and hum your theme song to yourself until you fall asleep on your couch.
This past Sunday, November 17th, 2013 was the 7th anniversary of my marriage to Sara Stevenson “Wife Head” Scrimshaw.
If you’re not familiar with my story about kissing a bear (now featured on my comedy album Flaw Fest) you’re probably thinking, “Wow. ‘Wife Head’ is one hell of a weird nickname, and you, Joseph Scrimshaw, might be an asshole.”
And you would be partially right. Like a lot of humans, I live in a quantum state in which I might, at any moment, be an asshole.
I’m happy to report I was not an asshole on our anniversary. We went to a nice restaurant, took pictures of our food, ate our food, and then saw the wonderful romantic comedy, Thor 2. We totally shipped Thor-Loki.
Then we went to Target. Every anniversary we buy ourselves small presents based on what Wikipedia claims the anniversary gifts should be. This year was copper, wool, and desk sets. We bought a copper colored candle, wool socks, and a desk top hour glass. Last year, it was iron and candy so we got an Iron Man Pez Dispenser.
I spent a good chunk of the anniversary thinking about the phrase “Wife Head” and the strange, powerful part it’s played in my life over the last few years. I realized I’ve never really written down the whole chain of events, so here goes.
“Please remember to listen to your Wife Head” is a real phrase my real wife, Sara, really said to me several years ago. She meant that I should imagine there is a tiny, fairy like version of her perched on my shoulder who helpfully reminds me to be safe, careful, and not an asshole. Wife Head does not judge or harp, she just wants to help.
After one of the times Sara mentioned Wife Head, I did not listen to Wife Head. I went and did something stupid in the woods with a bear while filming a commercial.
A few years after the actual bear incident, I decided to do a comedy bit about it. But I couldn’t quite find the right idea to tie it all together.
Then I remembered Wife Head. The inclusion of Wife Head in the bit made it all work.
I did the bit at several shows including a storytelling show at Minnesota Public Radio and w00tstock at the San Diego Comic-Con.
I really liked the Wife Head/bear bit because it was an odd mix of stand-up comedy, storytelling, and horrible confession.
The bit inspired me to do the show that became Flaw Fest–a comedy show about all of my horrible flaws.
When I decided to record the show for a comedy album I also decided (I guess because I hate free time) that it wasn’t enough to just record a comedy album. I also asked a bunch of musicians to write songs inspired by the bits in the show.
I made a big list of cool musicians I know. I had met John Munson when I was doing some writing and performing at Wits and he had recently asked me to be a guest for his holiday show with The New Standards. John is an amazing musician with a wry sense of humor and an all around awesome guy. Not only is he the bandleader for Wits and a current member of The New Standards, he was also a member of these bands you might have heard of called Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic.
I put him at the bottom of my list for “people I should ask but I think they’ll probably be too busy and say no.”
Sara looked at the list and said, “What are you talking about? Send him an email right now.”
I was veering toward being a stupid, self-defeating asshole and Wife Head gently suggested I make a different choice.
To our delight, John said yes right away. Once I had all the musicians lined up, I told them there were a couple of phrases and topics from the show I really wanted covered.
One of them was “Wife Head.” John grabbed “Wife Head” right away.
The song John delivered is one of my favorites on the final album. It’s a bad ass rock song with a killer hook played by amazing musicians and it has a theme anyone in a relationship can relate to–that wise partner who is just trying to look out for you.
But it’s got even more weight for me than that. Sara had been a fan of John’s work with Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic for a long time. She loves the song as much as I do. During some of the hard times, the grueling hours of work we both put in to make the idea of the album a reality, Sara and I would listen to John’s rough demo of “Wife Head” and smile.
There was now a song in the world inspired by my wife by one of her favorite musicians.
Now we have a new anniversary tradition. We’ll still take pictures of our nice meal and eat it. We’ll still buy a bunch of weird shit at Target because Wikipedia said we should. We’ll still see romantic comedies like Guardians of the Galaxy or The Bourne Whatever.
We’ll also spend a few minutes on our anniversary rocking out to “Wife Head.”
Thanks, John. Thanks, Sara. Thanks, supportive fans, friends, and musicians who made the album happen.
Thanks, Wife Head.
If you’d like to check out Flaw Fest you can find it on Bandcamp here. The Wife Head comedy track is called “Stubborn Bears.” And if you just want to listen to the Wife Head song, turn up your speakers real loud and stream the shit out of track 16.
Screenwriter and very funny human Josh A. Cagan joins Joseph for a hard-hitting, car-crashing, William Shatnering discussion of ’80s cop show, T.J. Hooker. The podcast was recorded live outside Josh’s apartment in Hollywood for a great audience of chittering squirrels. Thrill to such phrases as “big swinging Kirk dick,” “Superman leukemia,” “night pizza,” “tragic majesty” and much more!
I’m a huge fan of Kickstarter. It made my book Comedy of Doom possible and more recently it made my comedy album Flaw Fest possible. One of the rewards for Flaw Fest was a short comedy video about any flaw you wanted. My pal, cartoonist and game designer, John Kovalic, suggested the flaw of Kickstarter Addiction. So I made the video below.
After making that video, I worry about my Kickstarter Karma so here are a few projects from friends and awesome humans that I think you should check out.
Singing funny humans, Paul & Storm, (who are featured on the Flaw Fest album) just launched a campaign for their new album Ball Pit!
If you’re a fan of Paul & Storm, you probably know about JoCoCruiseCrazy. Here’s a Kickstarter campaign to create a high-end animated trailer for the cruise.
My friend and partner-in-comedy-crime in Rockstar Storytellers, Courtney McLean, just launched a cool project for a 12 night tour that never leaves the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul!
Finally, Mary Jo Pehl, of MST3K and Cinematic Titanic and general awesomeness, wants to sing to you AND give you a recipe for tater tot hotdish.
My recipe for tater tot hotdish is take 2 or more ingredients of any kind then add enough CREAM to kill a small moose. Lovingly cover this gastronomical death trap with tater tots and enough SALT to make sure the dead moose’s body will never decay. That recipe is free, but I should probably do a Kickstarter campaign for a cookbook on how to murder friends and loved ones with food stuffs.
Thanks for all the support you Kickstarting sons of bitches!
Podcast fans, creators, and super-funny comedy humans Levi Weinhagen and Paul de Cordova join Joseph for a very meta-podcast about podcasts. Plus, we grill our random audience volunteer Sarah in various podcast styles and Sarah says some lovely things about Netflix, rabbits, having ham for hands, and “super deep fun.”
For the past several months I’ve been doing a series of daily tweets. First tacos, then monkeys, then daily affirmations, then daily etiquette tips, then incorrect quotes, then fake TV shows, horoscopes, and now blood-curdling HORROR! Enjoy!
You can also follow me on Twitter to enjoy November 2013′s helpful series of Daily Writing Tweets. But first, THE HORROR!
Day One – The call is coming from inside your pants.
Day Two – You are what you eat. Many of you are human donut holes. You monsters.
Day Three – I worked at Kinko’s for three years of my life.
Day Four – Every night in their sleep, the average person swallows 8 spiders, 5 Arby’s Beef N’ Cheddars, and 6 rolls of toilet paper.
Day Five – Today is the twenty year anniversary of twenty years ago today.
Day Six – Don’t add an extra space after a period. Monsters live in every extra space. Every extra space. Monsters.
Day Seven – A vengeful spirit that lives inside your DVR and only records commercials for dentures and computer animation degrees.
Day Eight – The word moist is almost exclusively used to describe cake or underpants.
Day Nine – Monster ideas: A bear-penguin. Ocelot-beaver. Tiger-Duck. Otter-pus. Whale-cat. Dog-spider. Look, animals are scary.
Day Ten – You will die after reading this tweet. It may take up to 80 or 90 years, but, still.
Day Eleven – There are still some pictures on the Internet that don’t have cats in them.
Day Twelve – Tentacles.
Day Thirteen – You die. Your obituary is just a link redirecting people to your LinkedIn profile.
Day Fourteen – Actually, the best trick the devil ever pulled is convincing people it’s okay to begin sentences with the word “actually.”
Day Fifteen – Maybe zombies don’t want to eat brains. Maybe their arms are outstretched like that because they want a hug.
Day Sixteen – A plague washes over the world causing all retweets on twitter to be BLATANT ENDORSEMENTS. Chilling.
Day Seventeen – A killer article: The Top Million Facts About Whatever That You’ll Start Reading Then Sit There Until You Wither And Die.
Day Eighteen – Dial-up modems made that noise ’cause they were haunted by future humans who knew all the time we’d waste on smartphones.
Day Nineteen – Nun Clown. Half nun. Half clown. All terror.
Day Twenty – You are a werewolf. Except instead of turning into a wolf during the full moon you become an asshole at random times.
Day Twenty-One – You die. You see a bright light. Then the words 404 Not Found.
Day Twenty-Two – You are haunted by the ghost of a tech guru who TED Talks the shit out of you every time you try to relax
Day Twenty-Three – Vampires can’t enter without an invitation but Facebook invites count. Lots of vampires at baby showers and poetry slams.
Day Twenty-Four – The guy at the cafe makes a design in your latte. It is Anthony Weiner. The design in the latte is a picture of his penis.
Day Twenty-Five – Monster idea: A mummy but wrapped entirely in Hello Kitty duct tape.
Day Twenty-Six – For no particular reason this phrase popped into my head: emotional dentistry.
Day Twenty-Seven – You give your soul to Satan. He acts like he really likes it but immediately regifts it at his cousin’s wedding shower.
Day Twenty-Eight – If you feel like you’re constantly being watched and judged it means you’re being haunted by a Ghost Cat.
Day Twenty-Nine – All your autocorrects come true in real life. Now you are a taco while shitting on the corner wailing for your taxidermy.
Day Thirty – You die at Arby’s. You are the Ghost of That One Arby’s. All the other asshole ghosts call you Boo N’ Cheddar. Assholes.
Day Thirty-One (HALLOWEEN!) – Your childhood dream finally comes true when you find candy hidden inside a razor blade.
Your friend in HORROR,
Halloween is my favorite holiday for one very specific reason:
No one tries to tell you how you should feel on Halloween.
Sure, there are plenty of emotions one could associate with it: horror, gluttony, glee, sexy feelings, and whatever emotions are brought up by the sense memory of trying to see and breathe through a latex mask of Batman’s face.
But that’s it. Every other major U.S. Holiday is an endless barrage of the world telling you what to feel.
Thanksgiving. You’re supposed to be grateful. Even if you hate Turkey and football. You should be grateful it’s only one day a year.
Christmas. You are supposed to feel an endless string of emotions. Joy, peace, good will, guilt, massive (yet hidden) pride in the raw power of consumerism.
New Year’s. Optimism, lies about exercise, hangovers, guilt.
Valentine’s Day. Love, sexy feelings, ironic dislike of the Hallmark card you just purchased, guilt.
St. Patrick’s Day. Alcohol poisoning, guilt.
Easter. Joy, renewal, fertility, confusion about why the hell a giant bunny left perishable food items all over your house, guilt.
Fourth of July. Patriotism, a desire to eat meat outside, fear of blowing your hand off, guilt.
Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Arbor Day, National Pancake Day, National Think About Clowns Day, National Eat Pancakes Shaped Like A Clown’s Head Day: GUILT.
But not Halloween. Halloween is an honest holiday. We all like monsters. We’re all intrigued by dark and scary things. We all like candy. We get to put on masks, go to other people’s homes, and take things from them.
Halloween is basically a huge group of otherwise normal people role-playing an elaborate heist film.
The only difference is that at the end no one has to feel guilty.
We just get to have fun.
Happy Halloween, you monsters.
My new comedy and music album FLAW FEST is available for pre-order now on Bandcamp and will “drop” or “fall down” or “scrape its knee” on Tuesday, November 5th!
“I am glad that Joseph Scrimshaw has the power of thought and audible speech, or else this very funny album would not exist.”
ALBUM RELEASES TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 5th ON:
(physical and digital)
and streaming on
FLAW FEST is a live comedy album full of fun comedy jokes about horrible human flaws PLUS a bonus album of awesome songs inspired by the comedy show.
The comedy album details my horrible flaws: a sloth driven obsession to play bad James Bond video games, a stubborn need to fight with large animals, the idiocy to drink something called a Watermelon Shooter, the hubris to write a rock n’ roll song about a helium balloon, and much more. Plus a cameo by Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy of RiffTrax!
A BRIEF HISTORY OF FLAW FEST
I first did the show in February of 2013 on Jonathan Coulton’s JoCoCruiseCrazy.
The show went well so I decided to use Kickstarter to raise funds to record the show for a comedy album. The show deals with themes of music and I have a lot of amazing musician friends. So I asked a bunch of them to write an album of songs inspired by the show. So basically, it will be a comedy album with its own soundtrack. To my knowledge, no one has ever done that before.
The comedy show was recorded live at the Bryant Lake Bowl Cabaret Theater in Minneapolis in late September.
Now that the album is out in the world, we’re accepting submissions for your very own flaw songs!
Thanks for all your support!
Your flawed friend,