Tag Archives: Comedy of Doom

CONvergence 2014: Rubber Chicken Lightsaber and Schedule

This weekend, I’m headed back to Minneapolis for my “home convention” CONvergence. I’ll be doing a bunch of comedy panels, an episode of my podcast Obsessed, and a new stand-up show called FUTURE HOLE. You can find my whole schedule here or below.

When I think of CONvergence, I sometimes think of this photo which I call “WORST DALEK INVASION EVER.”


This photo wasn’t even taken at CONvergence, but it sums up a lot of what I love about the convention. It’s got Daleks, absurdity, a sense of excitement, perhaps alcohol was involved, and most importantly it’s a great big party with a sense of humor about it.

I’ve been involved with CONvergence for a long time. Recently, when I moved to Los Angeles, I found this old photo from an early performance on mainstage. It’s from a sketch called POWER OF THE FUNNY in which Jedi Knights had rubber chickens for lightsabers. See above, re: absurdity.


The sketch was a parody of Star Wars which recast Jedi as vaudevillians and Sith as crass stand-up comedians. “Master Yoda,” Luke asked. “Are dick and butt jokes more powerful?”

“No,” responded Yoda. “Quicker, easier, more seductive.”

Years later, I don’t have the same chip on my shoulder about stand-up. I’ve happily turned to the dark side and take pride in trying to create (hopefully) intelligent, fun, pro-social dick and butt jokes.

Last year, I did a stand-up show about superheroes which included the made-up character Professor Ass Lightning. The next day someone dressed up as the character and another awesome person named Stephanie Brown gave me this drawing of the character.

photo (3)

Ass jokes for the win!

This year I’ll be doing a brand new stand-up comedy show called FUTURE HOLE. It’s a show about where we are and where we’re going. Topics include but are not limited to Netflix, jet packs, Benedict Cumberbatch, autocorrect, gender equality, and butts. It’s Friday at 7 pm on Mainstage. I’ll be recording the show for possible release as an album. I HOPE I GET MORE DRAWINGS!

I’m also recording a live episode of my comedy podcast OBSESSED. The topic is a super-important but often overlooked geek obsession–CATS. The animal, not the musical. My cat obsessed guests are Tim Wick and Rebecca Watson.

If you’re a fan of my book Comedy of Doom and my Patreon comedy blog posts on this very site, I’ll be doing a a reading and playing a quick round of my made-up nerd-friendly sport, Competitive Hugging.

I’ll be doing a signing on Sunday afternoon. I’ll have copies of my book Comedy of Doom and my comedy albums, Verbing the Noun and Flaw Fest. PLUS a very few flasks with my squirrel coat of arms.

While I’m in Minneapolis, I’ll also be doing Rebecca Watson’s Quiz-O-Tron at my ancestral comedy home of Bryant-Lake Bowl on Wednesday, July 2nd! Info and tickets are available here!

The rest of my time at the convention will be spent doing more comedy panels, sleeping, drinking, or all three of those things at the same time.

Full schedule here and below as well.

Thanks! My comedy Dalek plunger and rubber chicken lightsaber look forward to seeing you at CONvergence!


Thursday, July 3rd

8:30 pm – Smackdown: A heated, comedy debate about which magic-using character would win in a fight

Friday, July 4th

2 pm – Power Point Karaoke: Joseph is one of the presenters for this Power Point Presentation Smackdown!

3:30 pm – One on One with Amy Berg: Joseph interviews his pal, CONvergence Guest of Honor, Amy Berg

7 pm – FUTURE HOLE! Joseph’s stand-up comedy show about Netflix, jet packs, swearing, and more!

11:30 pm – Killer B’s Improv Movie Show: Funny Make-Em Ups to horrible B movies!

Saturday, July 5th

3:30 pm – Reading! Joseph reads from his book, his blog, and plays a round of Competitive Hugging!

5 pm – Worst of Harry Potter! Lets bitch about the films AND the books!

8:30 pm – Obsessed: A podcast about CATS with Joseph, Tim Wick, and Rebecca Watson!

10 pm – Drinking With Geeks: Exactly what the title says, but even funnier.

11:30 pm – Hypothetical Who: Joseph is a contestant in Paul Cornell’s brutal Doctor Who trivia show!

Sunday, July 6th

12:30 pm – Signing: Joseph signs and sells his book, comedy albums, and a FLASK!


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Harry Potter, Tequila, and Comedy


Last February, I joined Patreon. Patreon is a funny sounding word. It sounds like the spell Harry Potter would use to summon tequila.

I like the idea of magically summoning liquor, but I like the reality of Patreon even more.

If you’re not familiar with it, Patreon is a crowdfunding site that fully embraces the idea of artists surviving on their art. Patrons pledge a specified dollar amount (anywhere from $1 to a gajillion, but $1 is great) per thing the artist creates. I’ve been writing comedy blog posts. I’ve been writing two a month so if you pledge $1 per post, $2 quietly slips out of your bank account every month. Accio Living Funds!

I love Kickstarter. It’s made it possible for me to publish a book and a comedy album, but Kickstarter’s project based model makes it difficult to get to that next step. Patreon is old school patronage that directly helps artist pay for food, rent, and sometimes even tequila for your revisionist Harry Potter parody film.

Patreon and the kind support of my patrons have been a huge help to me as I made the transition from Minneapolis to Los Angeles–both financially and artistically.

I decided to produce comedy blogs on Patreon to encourage myself to do more writing. I’ve been using a lot of the blogs as starting points for my live comedy shows. And I’ve been making money while doing it. One stone. SO MANY DEAD BIRDS. Sorry, metaphorical birds.

Patrons also get rewards like custom poems, suggesting blog topics, and even pint glasses with my coat of arms designed by the very talented Natalie Metzger.


The downside is that since Patreon is ongoing, you don’t have the last minute rush of a campaign ending like you do with Kickstarter. Instead you can set up goals. I’ve unlocked a few. This month, I’m going to write a two part story and readers will get to vote on the conclusion. I’m going to perform some stand-up dressed as a squirrel and release it on YouTube. (Most likely I’ll be doing that at this show in Los Angeles.)

My next goal is to record a holiday comedy album. I’ve got a lot of holiday themed pieces I’d love to record with a live audience–Batman’s Jingle Bells issues, the Super Aggressive Holiday Letter, and new stuff. I’ve always wanted to do a holiday album, but I’m not a musician. Then I said out loud to myself, “Why should they have all the fun?”

We’re about $50 in pledges away from unlocking the holiday album. I have a lot of really generous patrons. I would love to find 50 more people to pledge $1 per blog post to get to the holiday album! All patrons will get a free download of the album. If you’re interested and want to help out, you can check out my Patreon here.

Every patron also gets an LOLScrimshaw. I’ve been having great fun with these so I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites. Thanks for reading and for all your support!













Thanks again! For full info, you can check out my Patreon page here!

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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!


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STAR TREK: Obsessed Ep 35

Actual physicist Dr. Jim Kakalios, improviser Hannah Kuhlmann, and writer Bill Stiteler join Joseph for an intense, absurd examination of all things Star Trek–the value of science, exploration, slash fiction, tachyons, sexy formal wear, and Captain Guy-Who-Was-Played-By-Scott Bakula. Highlights include Data’s podcast, Voyager’s improv troupe, Patrick Stewart as Grumpy Cat PLUS we tackle that old, bitter fan question–Who would win in a fight? Data’s cat Spot or a whale from The Voyage Home? Live long, prosper, and thanks for listening.

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

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ROLE-PLAYING: Obsessed Ep 33

On his birthday, Joseph indulges his obsession with Role-Playing Games by playing “Wizards & Whatever” with funny, charming people who mostly know nothing about RPGs! Join special guests comedian Shanan Custer (who previously appeared on our Jane Austen episode), comedian Jim Robinson (who previously appeared on our Existential Dread episode), singer/actor Dennis Curley, and co-producer of the podcast Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw on an adventure called “The Time Scooper of Bat-Raven Tavern.” Monsters are killed, dice are rolled off the table, the sexual appeal of plumbers is called into question, hilarity/adventure/swearing/senseless violence ensues! Enjoy!

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.


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DOCTOR WHO: Obsessed Ep 31

Doctor Who! One of Joseph’s (and many people’s) greatest obsessions gets a thorough going-over with special guests–novelist and Doctor Who author Paul Cornell, writer/comedian Molly Glover, and screenwriter/novelist/critic, C. Robert Cargill aka Massawyrm. Thrill to tales of the universal appeal of the show, intimate encounters with Doctor Who actors, horrible time travel choices, and a surprisingly detailed examination of the sexual undercurrents of this charming British show for families. This episode was recorded live at CONvergence sci-fi/fantasy convention and thus includes many loud cheers, woos, and the occasional sonic screwdriver noise.

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

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A Short List of People Who Don’t Have Kickstarters

Okay, that title is a lie. Because everyone has a Kickstarter project these days. I recently finished one for a double album of comedy and music called Flaw Fest. You can read about all the crazed work that went into that in this post about cocaine and unicorns.

As a comedian, one of the hardest things about running a Kickstarter project is taking a short break from making jokes about Kickstarter. So I’m going to relish this short window when I feel comfortable poking fun at it.

That said, I do think it’s a great system to support artists of all kinds.

I appreciate all the insane support I got for both Flaw Fest and my book Comedy of Doom, which was also made possible by Kickstarter. So I want to support other people, not just with money, but also with talking about it.

Here’s some talking about projects!

The Suburbs’ New CD!

This project will wrap up in just a few days. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Chan Poling of the Suburbs a little bit. I performed this comedy piece at a holiday show of The New Standards (another of Chan’s awesome musical endeavors.) It’s awesome to see an established band like the Suburbs eschew the standard label system and go directly to their fans.

Jawbone Radio: Season X.

This is a project by my good pal Len Peralta. Len is the man behind the awesome Geek-A-Week trading card series. Here’s my card and podcast. Len is raising funds to relaunch his podcast. I can confirm that Len is a great conversationalist. We shared a room at Dragon Con last year. We spent many hours sitting in our pajamas and chatting. It was awesome. As this podcast will be.


This is a game about ninjas. Lots and lots of ninjas. It’s made by Brian Wood and Jon Cazares. Brian is also behind Awesome Dice. I filmed these commercials for the company. I drank horrible Canadian whiskey for those commercials, so obviously I’m willing to do a lot for Brian. I play tested the game many moons ago and it’s great. Did I mention it has ninjas? Are you sick of zombies cultural dominance? Strike back by supporting ninjas.

And that’s it. Awesome rock band. Awesome podcast. Awesome ninjas. Overuse of the word awesome.

And now I’m off to work on my Robin Hood Kickstarter in which I raise funds to give to other Kickstarters.


If you enjoy my work, you can sign up for my fan list here and make more comedy possible by buying a book, a comedy album, or a script here.

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CONvergence 2013: Schedules and Plunger Memories

“Uhhh, hi. I’m the guy who bought all your toilet plungers yesterday, but we lost one. And I think we broke another one. Do you have more toilet plungers? In the back? It’s an emergency. I know this sounds weird, but it’s okay. It’s for a comedy show.”

This is just one of the many awkward conversations I had with the employees of the convenience store across from my old apartment.

In this particular case, I was shopping for plungers to do a big comedy sketch about these obscure aliens called Daleks from this British TV show that had been canceled for a while called Doctor Who. I was going to be doing this sketch at the only place people would understand it: a science fiction convention in Minnesota called CONvergence.

Oh, how times have changed.

Doctor Who is back and then some. CONvergence has grown into a massive, fan-run convention. Back then, I couldn’t even attempt to explain Daleks to the guy behind the counter. Now I might be afraid to mention Daleks because I wouldn’t have time to get into a long David Tennant versus Matt Smith debate with the Whovian fanatic who probably works there.

CONvergence has been a big part of my life and my career as a comedy human for many years. I’ve met a lot of friends, fans, creative partners, and unfortunate little plastic vials full of what I was told was vodka with food coloring in it.

I’ve been performing at a lot of conventions in the last few years, but CONvergence will always be my “home convention.” It’s one giant, intelligent party.

Last year, I saw a guy in a really great Captain America costume. He was standing in the bathroom reminding tipsy Boba Fetts and 10th Doctors to wash their hands. I thought, “Wow. That’s some really accurate Captain America cosplay.”

In a strange way, it’s also a nice snapshot of CONvergence: absurd, charming, smart, boozy yet responsible.

Over the years, my career has dovetailed with the growth of geekdom and, as a result, I’ll be busier than ever at this year’s CONvergence.

You can check out my full schedule here or at the bottom of the post. Some highlights include:

I’ll be doing a signing at 2 pm on Friday. In an effort to justify the thousands of dollars I spent on a degree in visual art, I’ve decided to do a free sketch with each purchase or signature. My book Comedy of Doom and my comedy album Verbing The Noun will be for sale both at the signing and all weekend long at the CON’s official merch area on the 2nd floor. I’m particularly excited for people to get their hands on Verbing The Noun since it was recorded live at CONvergence last year.

Friday night on the mainstage, I’m doing a brand new stand-up show about superheroes called Joseph Scrimshaw’s SUPER ISSUES. It’s a brooding, action-packed hour of comedy about horrible origin stories, the best super power ever, strong feelings about Batman, life lessons learned from the Hulk’s pants, and more. Truth! Justice! Massive, horrible property damage! We’ll be recording the show and if all goes well, eventually we’ll release it as an album.

Saturday at 5 pm, Bill Corbett and I will be doing our one-act comedy play/lecture thing called My Monster. Bill plays a egomaniacal Hollywood screenwriter and I play the character he creates before the audience’s eyes. It’s Frankenstein’s Monster meets David Mamet, but funnier. We originally wrote the show for the San Francisco SketchFest and then performed it on the first Jonathan Coulton Cruise. We’re thrilled to finally do it at CONvergence!

Saturday at 7 pm, I’ll be doing a very special episode of the Obsessed podcast. The subject is Doctor Who. The guests included Paul Cornell (a Doctor Who writer, a novelist, and a friend I’m happy to have met at CONvergence), Molly Glover (a super funny writer and performer and fan of New Who), and C. Robert Cargill (a film critic, screenwriter of the horror movie Sinister, novelist, and also a friend I’m happy to have met at CONvergence.) The podcast will address burning questions about the show, the fandom, time travel itself, and whether the 10th Doctor cried too much or just enough.

The rest of my time at the convention will be spent doing more comedy panels, sleeping, drinking, or all three of those things at the same time.

And, of course, washing my hands like Captain America told me to.

I hope to see many of you at the convention, but if not you can catch up with my adventures by following me on twitter. The official hashtag for the con is #cvg2013.

Thanks and let me know if you find any plungers in the back I can use for comedy.


Thursday, July 4th

5:30 pm – Rockstar Storytellers: Joseph will read a comedy story from his book Comedy of Doom

9 pm – Super Spy Smackdown: A heated, comedy debate about which spy would win in a fight

Friday, July 5th

2 pm – Signing: Buy a copy of Joseph’s book, CD, or Geek-A-Week card or get a signature. Joseph will also draw a picture for you!

5 pm – Comedy on the Internet: A panel about the joys and perils of making the humor times on the internet

7 pm – You’re Making That Up! Joseph hosts the comedy quiz show developed by Bill Stiteler and Neil Gaiman!

8:30 pm – SUPER ISSUES: Joseph’s brand new stand-up show about superheroes

Saturday, July 6th

11 am – The Worst of Bond: Let’s all bitch about James Bond!

12:30 pm – Kickstart Me Up: A panel on the joys and perils of running a successful Kickstarter project!

2 pm – Power Point Karaoke: Joseph is one of the judges for this Power Point Presentation Smackdown!

5 pm – My Monster: Joseph and Bill Corbett’s one act play about screenwriting, monsters, and sparkling wine!

7 pm – Obsessed: A Doctor Who episode of Joseph’s comedy podcast with Paul Cornell, Cargill, and Molly Glover!

8:30 pm – Drinking With Geeks: Exactly what the title says, but even funnier.

11:30 pm – Killer B’s Improv Movie Show: Funny Make-Em Ups to horrible B movies!

Sunday, July 7th

9:30 am – Hungover With Geeks: Come watch us be punished for having done Drinking With Geeks the night before.

3:30 pm – One on One with Paul Cornell: Joseph interviews Mr. Cornell for the CONvergence DVD!


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PETER PAN: Obsessed Ep 26

Peter Pan in podcast land! Improv artist, Tane Danger, shares his deep thoughts and feelings about J.M. Barries’ timeless creation. Burning Peter Pan questions addressed include: Which version of his story has the most sexual tension? Is it an insult to Peter Pan to put his face on your underwear? Is “codfish” a good insult? Plus, Joseph asks Tane to express his love of Peter Pan by crowing. Enjoy!

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

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A fun conversation about the horror of the universe! Joseph is joined by actors/writers/tortured human beings Jim Robinson and John Middleton. Highlights include a discussion of a new PBS show called The Afterlife Train, a filthy and dangerous tea, and that haunting question “Does it matter where I poop in an uncaring universe?” Listen to the abyss and the abyss will listen back!

AWOOGA! Obsessed is now a part of Feral Audio! Go to Feral now to listen to this episode and subscribe for new ones!

Listen, rate, review, and subscribe to OBSESSED on iTunes.

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