Tag Archives: Superheroes

Underwear That’s Fun To Wear

UnderwearThatsFunToWear

One of the reward levels on my Patreon is suggesting a topic for a blog post. I was thrilled a few months back when a kind patron suggested “Underoos” as a topic. This patron was shocked and amused that the underwear line was being relaunched for adults. He told me he’d like me to address this question: “Why? I mean, just why?”

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Underoos, they were extremely popular character-based underwear sets that were around from the late ’70s to the early ’90s. They featured a t-shirt and tight little underpants depicting superheroes, Star Wars characters, and more. The packaging declared Underoos were “underwear that’s fun to wear.” In the 1980s, it would go without saying that these are for children. Now, not so much.

As a child, I had Superman Underoos and they made me bitter every time I wore them. I desperately wanted Robin, The Boy Wonder, Underoos. I vividly remember standing in the shopping mall, feverishly pawing through the display looking for Robin Underoos. But the city bus was coming to take us home and it was Superman or nothing.

So I settled.

“Well, I won’t have to settle now,” I thought when I heard Underoos for adults were being released by Hot Topic.

Just a few days after the blog suggestion came in, I was out walking with a friend. We happened to pass a Hot Topic so I checked out my Underoos options.

It was my turn to be shocked and amused. It’s always interesting to revisit things from your childhood because you notice stuff you didn’t as a kid.

For example, I tweeted this.

I mean, I understand Skeletor is a self-involved megalomaniac, but he’s just standing there dreaming, “What if there were underwear of my naked, ripped purple chest and dark, foreboding underwear of my loin-cloth area? AND what if they were available in men’s large?”

Every single fucking thing about it was absurd.

I loved it.

I knew I wanted to get a pair when it was time to write the blog post.

A few weeks later, I added a new milestone goal to my patreon. If I reached the goal, I’d add photos of myself wearing Underoos to this blog post. It was unlocked faster than I thought.

I went back to Hot Topic. All the Skeletor Underoos were gone. Most of the Underoos were gone. I asked the cashier about it. She said they hadn’t been selling very well, but suggested I call some other locations.

After I processed my shock, I, an adult man, called a Hot Topic and said, “Hello. I’m wondering if you have any Skeletor Underoos?”

And the voice on the other end of the phone said, “Oh, sir. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry, but we’re all out of Skeletor Underoos.”

She waited a moment. I think to see if I started crying.

Then she continued, “And…and I don’t think we’re getting any more. But I know we still have some superheroes on our online store!”

I couldn’t believe it had happened again. I was truly reliving my childhood in the worst way possible: I COULDN’T GET THE UNDEROOS I WANTED.

It was weird, as an adult geek, to be denied something. I’ve become used to our obsession with nostalgia and the huge popularity of everything I loved as a kid. I can buy an ice cube tray shaped like Han Solo’s face, for fuck’s sake. I can have anything, right?

I was determined not to let the bitterness seep in like it had when I was a kid. I couldn’t have Skeletor, but there would still be other good options.

I went online and picked out two of my favorite superheroes as an adult: Batman and Captain America. Sorry, Superman.

I was excited. I found myself legitimately asking the same question my patron had posed: Why?

Why was I, an adult man, excited to order novelty superhero underwear from the internet?

So many things lose their sense of magic and fun as you grow older. It’s easy to get bitter and complacent. Who cares about underwear? Putting them on is just one more damn thing you have to do in the morning.

As an adult, people only have two feelings about other people seeing their underwear: acceptance or hope.

You’re going to be in a horrible car accident or your date is going to go well. Either way, you just want to feel presentable.

I’m happily married, so for me, every day is a date that goes well.

But I don’t think Underoos are about what other people think. They’re not like wearing a t-shirt that says “I Frakking Love Battlestar Galactica.” They’re not about broadcasting a message to other people.

They’re about trying to make a busy, cranky adult support their secret belief that underneath it all they’re a noble hero.

Eventually, my Underoos arrived. First, I tried them on to see what I had really got myself into. The shirts were awesome and comfortable. The colorful extremely tight underpants were, uh, mildly alarming. I briefly regretted the decision to share photos.

But real heroes don’t feel shame. They strap that ridiculous shit on and own it. And then take pictures to put on the internet.

My wife and I had a fun photo shoot.

I felt very heroic as Captain America.

CapPatriotic

I did some brooding as Batman.

BatBrooding

I reflected on the current state of democracy.

CapReflecting

Eventually, I got sleepy.

BatSleepy

All in all, the packaging was right. They were fun to wear.

Thanks,
Joseph

P.S. I am well aware that I can buy Skeletor Underoos for grossly inflated prices on eBay. There aren’t a lot of lines I won’t cross, but buying used underwear from strangers on the internet is one of them.

Thanks again for reading! If you enjoyed this, you can help make more comedy possible by supporting me on Patreon here!

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SUPERHEROES: Obsessed Ep 60

BAM! BIFF! CHAT! Special guests comic book artist Christopher Jones (Young Justice, Parallel Man) and cartoonist/game designer/human Kickstarter stretch goal John Kovalic (Dork Tower, Apples to Apples) join Joseph for a thrilling discussion of all things superheroes and a surprising amount of Bill Cosby impressions. Recorded live at the wonderful Geek.Kon convention in Madison, Wisconsin.

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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Strong Bat Feelings

Lately, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Batman. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the basic idea that he’s a mature, psychologically complex man who dresses up like an animal to strike fear in the hearts of criminals. This strikes me as noble. I feel like a lot of real life men are animals who dress up like humans so they can strike fear in Starbuck’s employees when they fuck up their lattes. Batman’s way seems better.

Anyway, here’s a collection of some of my recent and future Strong Bat Feelings. I did a superhero themed stand-up comedy show this summer at CONvergence sci-fi fantasy convention. It was really hard not to make the whole show about Batman. Here’s a clip on Why Batman is Awesome. If you enjoy it, you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel and share the video far and wide.

I felt I earned that beer. Thanks, Batman.

You can also read up on my quest to witness a guy dressed up as Batman eating a taco. As many Batmen have shared with me, the cowl makes it difficult to eat a taco, which only makes the quest more difficult and exciting.

Finally, I’m doing a Batman episode of my podcast Obsessed on Saturday, Nov 2nd in Minneapolis. You can buy tickets here. The show features DC Comics artist Christopher Jones, comedian Anna Weggel, and improviser Tim Hellendrung.

UPDATE!!!

Thanks to the efforts of my pal Molly Lewis at Geek Girl Con, a Batman was captured in the wild eating a taco. Thanks to Steve Petrucelli (@wizzer2801) for capturing and sending the picture below:

BatmanEatingATaco

When I saw this, I wept. I would still like to see a Batman eating a taco, in person, with my own two eyes. But that’s a side quest.

Up next, I’ll be looking for the following superheroes eating the following items:

Superman eating a hot dog.
Wonder Woman eating nachos.
Wolverine eating some poutine
and perhaps, most importantly,
Aquaman eating a Filet-O-Fish from McDonald’s.

Thanks, Bat Friends! More to come!

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Professor Ass Lightning: Best of CONvergence 2013

On the last day of CONvergence 2013, I lost my badge. I believe it fell off while I was being a back-up dancer for a karaoke performance of Skyfall. These things happen.

As I entered the main stage for the closing ceremonies, I had my ID out and my schedule of events to prove who I was. When I reached the volunteer at the front of the line, I started saying, “I understand if I can’t get in, I lost my badge and didn’t realize in time to get a new one, but–“

The volunteer stopped me and said, “I know who you are.”

I have a strong sense of constant guilt so I always expect “I know who you are” to be immediately followed by “And I know what you did.”

Instead the volunteer said, “Go ahead, Mr. Scrimshaw. I’ll see if someone can get you a martini.”

This is a short way to say, CONvergence 2013 was a great experience. I saw many great costumes including an adorable pink Dalek and a guy dressed as the Hulk trying to twerk. Some demons accidentally threw one of their prosthetic horns into my wife’s wine cup. They invented demon wine pong. They also agreed to buy my wife a new cup of wine. For demons, they were very reasonable.

I did 15 panels and shows with many awesome friends and collaborators. Highlights include, but are not limited to, recording a Doctor Who episode of my podcast Obsessed with Paul Cornell, Molly Glover, and C. Robert Cargill; the organized chaos of Drinking With Geeks; Comedy on the Internet (I finally got to do a panel with Rebecca Watson of the Skepchicks and as a fan of her work I was thrilled); My Monster (a one act play written and performed by myself and Bill Corbett, you can buy a copy of the script here), and an interview with Paul Cornell. The interview was planned as a One on One about Paul’s career, but Paul has a great policy to always have some amount of gender equity on his panels. So my wife, Sara, joined us for a great Two on One and the conversation was much richer for it.

It would take me another entire four day convention to describe everything that was great about this year’s CONvergence, so I want to focus on this: Professor Ass Lightning.

On Friday night, I recorded a new stand-up comedy show about superheroes called SUPER ISSUES. During the show, I described a new superhero named Professor Ass Lightning–a yoga instructor who developed the strange ability to shoot lightning out of his or her ass. I say “his or her” because both a male and female version of the character are featured in the show.

The character came about because I made a note on my smartphone that “all superhero names are better if you just add lightning.” But autocorrect apparently thinks “add” is a typo for “ass” and thus a hero was born. I used the idea of this ridiculous hero to poke fun at some of the tropes of grim, serious heroes.

I liked the idea and hoped others would, too. The laughs during the show indicated Professor Ass Lightning had made some fans. Indeed, the Professor did.

The next day, after a panel, I was delighted to discover that some industrious cosplayers had taken the time to create a Professor Ass Lightning costume based on the description in the show complete with yoga mat cape.

photo (2)

And here’s the back view with the titular bolt.

photo (1)

That was extremely cool. The panel after that, an artist brought me their awesome interpretation of Professor Ass Lightning.

photo (3)

Beautiful, haunting, and features the correct ass lightning sound effect from the show. ZWAPFFFT!

It was really exciting to get the immediate feedback that the show and the character had a true impact on the audience. SUPER ISSUES (featuring the adventures of Professor Ass Lightning) was recorded and if all went well, we’ll be releasing it as a comedy album a few months from now.

It was all personally gratifying but also a great example of why I love CONvergence. There’s such a spirit of adventure, excitement, and plain old absurdity that an idea can come falling out of someone’s mouth on Friday night and by Saturday afternoon the idea is on a piece of paper and on a human being and literally walking around the convention.

Alas, CONvergence is over, and all that’s left is to go untag photos on Facebook. BUT convention season is in full swing!

Next weekend, I’ll be doing stand-up and recording an episode of Obsessed with Paul and Storm at ConnectiCon. The weekend after that, I’ll be an attending pro at San Diego Comic-Con. Then a few weeks of this strange thing called the real world before heading off to Dragon*Con for a slew of panels and performances.

Until then, here’s a picture of Professor Ass Lightning shooting me in the face. Enjoy! If you can!

photo (5)

ZWAPFFFT!

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.

FULL CONVERGENCE SCHEDULE:

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!

Cheers,
Joseph

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The Avengers’ Guide To Girls

Moviefone kicked up some controversy with its alleged satire article “A Girl’s Guide To The Avengers.” I thought the article was sort of masterful in the way it was tone deaf to both comic book fans and people whose perceptions of gender have evolved since 1972. I posted on twitter that I would be more interested in reading “The Avengers’ Guide To Girls.” So I wrote that.

IRON MAN:

“Look, uh, I like ladies. Kind of a lot. I’ve got this sort of casual, humorous, slightly alcoholic thing going and ladies seem to really like that. I mean, it’s hard to be casual when you wear a giant suit of metal, but I manage to pull it off. I’m a bad boy with a heart of gold that is kept beating by the power of a small arc reactor. So, if you want to have good luck with the ladies, you should follow that age old wisdom: just pretend to be yourself. And pretend yourself is me, Tony Stark. I mean, Iron Man. Whatever. And if anything goes wrong just make a joke. If that doesn’t work, suddenly put on a suit of armor and fly away.”

CAPTAIN AMERICA:

“Um, my last date was during Word War II. I don’t have a lot of really good advice for dating in modern times. I guess, if you have a lady you’re sweet on and your parents are okay with it, take her down to Walgreen’s and buy her a malted at the soda fountain. Also, you should probably purchase a condom. Tony tells me they sell those in Walgreen’s now. Right out in the open. And if you don’t know what a condom is, well, you know how I use my shield to reflect bullets? I’m uncomfortable now. I guess the point is I would rather have Nazis shooting at me than continue this conversation. Do you still have War Bonds? Go buy those and leave me alone please.”

HAWKEYE:

“I don’t even know why I’m in this article.”

THOR:

“In my time on the mortal plane, I have learned that it is quite normal for young men to declare, ‘I’m a god.’ I understand these men are part of a sub-species of human males called ‘douche bags’ and sometimes even ‘douche canoes.’ I do not know if there is a difference between the bags and the canoes. Well, I am not one of these douche things. I am a Norse God. Here are a few things that are important to the ladies both in Asgard and here on Earth: Respect. Honor. Large Mystical Hammers. The ability to summon romantic storms and stuff. They also like clear direct communication. I, Thor, son of Odin, master of Mjolnir, have no problem with clearly and repeatedly saying exactly what I mean in a very loud voice. I really mean that. Thank you for your time. My name is Thor and I am a God. Not a Douche God. An actual God.”

BLACK WIDOW:

“I am a woman. I can’t speak for all women. As a woman, I like to kick people in needlessly complex ways then land in a cool pose. I have to go try to be a spy while hanging out with incredibly loud men who wear bright costumes now.”

NICK FURY:

“It’s all about the foot rub. I got my technique down and everything.”

THE HULK:

“HULK LOVES LADIES! LADIES LOVE HULK! HULK TURN-OFFS! BEING SHOT! TANKS! ATTACKED! DOGS! CONNECTING WORDS!

HULK TURN-ONS! LONG JUMPS THROUGH DESERT! AT NIGHT! SPECIAL SOMEONE! MOVIES! TENDERNESS! HULK LOVE TENDERNESS! TRY LITTLE!

OTHER STUFF HULK LIKE! TREATING PEOPLE LIKE PEOPLE! NOT EVERYTHING ABOUT GENDER! HULK LIKE SMASHING! PLENTY LADIES LIKE SMASHING! HULK SMASH BOX OFFICE DEMOGRAPHICS!

IN CONCLUSION! HULK LIKE LADIES! NO DOGS! TENDERNESS! PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE! HULK LOVE SMASH! THE ACTION! NOT THE SHOW!

THANKS FOR TIME! PEACE OUT!”

There. I hope that helps people in their relationships. If nothing else, I’m super glad to get it out of my system. Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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