Tag Archives: Zombies

DISNEYLAND: Obsessed Ep 72

Writer, producer, and Disney expert Kristen Rutherford (Attack of the Show, The Nerdist on BBC America) is obsessed with Disneyland. Find out the exciting truth of the hidden mickeys, dapper days, how to best defend the park from zombies, why falling in an elevator is relaxing, and how to blue card Mary Poppins for lying to a child.

Thanks as always to Molly Lewis for our theme song!

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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

GREASE 2: Obsessed Ep 51

Writer and theater professional Kayla Cagan loves Grease 2. A movie featuring songs about sex in nuclear bunkers and a guy named Brad! Learn how the movie taught Kayla to laugh at sex, eat french fries aggressively, and just be yourself. Thrill to discussions of subjective versus objective and the pitch meeting for The Human Centipede! PLUS: A brief song about Joseph’s Patreon!

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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

DRAGON CON 2013: Obsessed Ep 34

Greg Benson of Mediocre Films, Ken Plume of A Site Called Fred, and Bill Corbett of RiffTrax join Joseph Scrimshaw and co-host Molly Lewis live at the 2013 Dragon Con for a rousing discussion of their respective obsessions: Jimmy Stewart, The Muppets, and the obscure movie Billy Jack. Topics include but are not limited to zombie Jimmy Stewart, intense hatred of Gary The Muppet, the value of karate in a young boy’s life, and many improv scenes of Jimmy Stewart eating things. Plus the Obsessed theme song is played live by Molly Lewis!

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.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Obsessed, Podcast

What did you do, Joseph, what did you do?

I suspect I am not alone in feeling as though I am never really getting enough done. While I try not to procrastinate too much, I do make jokes about procrastinating a lot. When I realize I’m procrastinating, I have a lot of little motivational phrases I say out loud to myself. One of them is this:

“Get back to work, you idiot.”

And if I don’t get back to work, I sometimes follow up with:

“You are a bad and stupid person.”

Then I feel guilty that I’m being so mean to myself and I try to make it up to me by allowing myself to make a joke on Twitter about procrastinating. And the cycle continues.

This year, I decided to actually review my calendar and make a list of (almost) everything I did. Please enjoy procrastinating from your work to read about mine!


I worked with John Kovalic on some spec scripts and started writing daily tweets for @DrBlinkShrink.

I did two shows at The San Francisco SketchFest. CineMadness with Bill Corbett and a short version of my geek stand-up/storytelling show, Comedy of Doom.

I performed the role of “Balthazar, D & D Champion” in promotional videos for a company called Awesome Dice.

I co-wrote an internal awards show for General Mills.

I made jokes on Twitter about procrastinating.


I launched the Obsessed podcast as both a live show in Minneapolis and released the first episode online. There have been 10 live shows that have generated 16 podcast episodes.

I wrote a sketch for a magician.

I wrote and performed (with Shanan Custer) a commentary about smartphones for Minnesota Public Radio.

I did a story with the spoken word collective The Rockstar Storytellers.

I was one of the entertainers on JoCoCruiseCrazy II. I performed a full length version of Comedy of Doom. I was thrilled to get a surprise volunteer named Wil Wheaton for my Star Trek bit. I also played the role of “Ed McMahon” on Paul & Storm’s podcast with Paul F. Tompkins.

I gave a talk in a bar about zombies and Minnesota geek culture for the Minnesota Historical Society.

I made jokes on Facebook about procrastinating.


I performed at the Twin Cities convention Mars Con.

I started working as an occasional writer and performer on Wits. Since March, I’ve written for and/or performed with Tim Meadows, Rhett Miller, Andy Richter, Reggie Watts, Fred Willard, Paul F. Tompkins, Wyatt Cenac, Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Sedaris, Dave Foley, Mike Doughty, Maria Bamford, and Brandi Carlile. And of course host John Moe, John Munson and The Witnesses, and other frequent Wits performers Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, and Neil Gaiman.

I went out to eat with my wife on her birthday. She mentioned maybe I should write a book.

I made jokes on Google+ about procrastinating.


I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I wrote and did eight performances of a one person stand-up show about vampires, stand-up, and vampires doing stand-up called The Sad Vampire Comedy Hour.

I wrote and performed a short story as part of a Minnesota Public Radio showcase led by Kevin Kling.

I did three performances and presentations about using comedy to discuss history for the American Alliance of Museums convention.

I did not get around to making any jokes on social media about procrastinating.


I launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book version of Comedy of Doom.

I wrote a lot of new material for the book. I edited the material from the stage version. I took photos for the cover and organized all the illustrations for the book. I hit refresh on the Kickstarter page roughly 700 times a day.

My odd little rock band called Math Emergency (composed of a math professor, a public radio producer, a public radio host, and me) played a gig. I played the drums and made jokes into a microphone.

I appeared on the AON podcast.

I made jokes on Twitter about spending too much time on Twitter.


I went on my friends’ annual bar crawl. I only note this because, while fun, going to 13 bars in 12 hours does feel a bit like work.

I appeared on the Vilification Tennis podcast where I cemented my reputation as an Axl Rose apologist.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I did multiple rounds of proofing and editing on the book and we sent it off to be printed. Comedy of Doom was officially published on June 20, 2012.

I wrote the pilot for an animated series version of the web comic Least I Could Do.

I made mean jokes about Google+ on Twitter.


We sent out all the copies of Comedy of Doom to the kind Kickstarter backers.

I attended the big Twin Cities convention CONvergence. I wrote and performed a one person storytelling and stand-up show about romantic advice for geeks called Verbing The Noun. We’ll be releasing a CD and digital download of the show in time for Valentine’s Day 2013. I did a live Obsessed show with Paul Cornell and Bonnie Burton. I did 10 other comedy panels and a signing for Comedy of Doom.

I went to San Diego Comic-Con. I performed at w00tstock. I had fun meetings, fancy parties, and saw a lot of men dressed as Jedi having a hard time at urinals.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I co-wrote and performed a comedy show called Comedy: The Show with Four Humors Theater on the Centennial Showboat in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I made a quick trip to Los Angeles for a friend’s birthday party. I even wrote something for that.

I made mean jokes about Google+ on Facebook.


I wrote, produced, and performed in an hour long one act play called Nightmare Without Pants for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Here is a three minute live video preview of the show, in which I perform an accidental magic trick with a pair of rip-away pants.

Due to the stubborn forward movement of time I became a year older on August 17th.

I performed and did some comedy panels at Dragon*Con in Atlanta.

I made jokes about Google+ on Google+.


I was still at Dragon*Con. For one panel, I was challenged to sing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” I attempted to do it in the style of Nine Inch Nails. It’s a better song that way.

I did a performance at Space Camp with Marian Call, Molly Lewis, Ken Plume, Phil Plait, and more.

Obsessed was featured on iTunes as “New & Noteworthy” and a “Staff Favorite.”

I co-wrote, helped to organize, and performed in a large awards show for the Minnesota theater community called The Iveys.

I did a podcast with the awesome Len Peralta and became a trading card for his Geek-A-Week series.

I hosted and performed at a viewing of the Doctor Who episode “The Angels Take Manhattan” at The Parkway Theater.

I tried to treat Google+ with a little more respect.


I co-produced, directed, and wrote a piece for a theater event called Thirst. It’s a series of short one-act plays performed in a bar. The show had three performances and it was a benefit to fight for Marriage Equality in Minnesota. Here’s the monologue I wrote about Harry Potter and kindness.

I joined The Ladies of Ragnarok (Molly Lewis, The Doubleclicks, and tour manager Dammit Liz) for a leg of their tour. I performed in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Madison. The Ladies also appeared on Obsessed.

I recorded the audiobook version of Comedy of Doom. We’re still working on editing and mastering the hours of audio.

I did another show with the Rockstar Storytellers.

I wrote and performed a ghost story for Torch Theater in Minneapolis.

I played another gig with Math Emergency.

I started a Tumblr account and wrote a thing about Halloween.


I used National Novel Writing Month as a motivation to work on some screenplays. I finished plotting and scripting the first drafts of two feature length films. Now working on second drafts.

My wife and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. The traditional gift is iron. The contemporary gift is candy. We gave one another Iron Man Pez dispensers.

I tried to make fun of Google+ on Tumblr, but I felt like I was kicking a puppy.


I wrote and performed the short story Adult Santa for The New Standards holiday show at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I did another story with the Rockstar Storytellers.

We (and by “we” I really mean my wife Sara and my graphic designer, Matthew Foster) made Comedy of Doom available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and many stores in the Twin Cities.

I wrote a story about the grim superhero The Leaping Lord for Paul Cornell’s 12 Blogs of Christmas.

I started writing a new stand-up/storytelling show that I’ll be performing on JoCoCruiseCrazy III.

I started writing another stand-up/storytelling show that I’ll be performing at the Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis in March of 2013.

I booked guests for Obsessed through March of 2013.

I wrote some stuff that I’ll perform for my annual New Year’s Eve show at the Bryant Lake Bowl.

I made fun of LinkedIn on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr.

I debated whether or not I should write this. I stared off into space and screwed around on social media. I beat myself up about procrastinating. I forced myself to write this. I read it. I thought about all the amazing creative people I got to meet and work with this year. I ran the post by my wife and business partner without whom none of the above would be remotely possible.

Later tonight, I’ll watch some TV, drink a martini, and think about ways to get even more done in 2013.

I’m going to start by coming up with some new motivational phrases.

I think I’ll try:

“Come on, you idiot, get stuff done so you have something to blog about next year.”


“Stop calling yourself an idiot, you jackass.”

And then I’ll hug myself and move on.

Happy New Year’s,



Filed under Comedy Real Life

Preparing (Emotionally) for the Zombie Apocalypse

If wishing makes it so, there is little doubt we will soon face the horror of a zombie apocalypse.

Many people consider themselves well prepared. We all have our preferred zombie hunting weapons: shotguns, cricket bats, golf clubs, longbows, a replica of a broadsword from any one of the Highlander films or television series. Basically, anything that is long and hard and/or fires a projectile. That’s normal and healthy. More on that later.

We all know where we would hole up to make our stand against the undead horde: Wal-Mart, K-Mart, The Big K, Target, Super Target, CostCo. Basically, any place that has a lot of food and would also be a depressing place to die. That’s just common sense. More on that later.

We all know who we would try to rescue and/or protect: our spouses, significant others, our children, quiet neighbors who keep to themselves because they probably have a lot of weapons in their basement. Basically, all of the important people in our lives who are still mobile or have tactical value. Grandparents are pretty much out of luck. That’s just good strategy. More on that later.

Say what you will about the lazy human beings of the 21st Century, we are physically prepared for the zombie apocalypse. But at the risk of sounding unmanly, what about our feelings?

Are we, as a people, EMOTIONALLY PREPARED for a zombie apocalypse?

Let’s start by reconsidering some of our cold, cruel, and emotionally distant physical preparations.

Do we have to slaughter zombies with phallic objects? What if we imagine hitting them with something soft and beautiful? A tulip? A handwritten letter? An unframed Monet print from a college dorm room? Would that be effective? Probably not. Does it make you sad that beauty is useless against zombies?

What if we didn’t make our final stand in a soulless big box store? What if we went to a happy place? A used bookstore? A locally owned homeopathic day spa? A patch of shade under our favorite tree? Would these be good fortresses? Probably not. Does it upset you to know your happy places make for great zombie feeding grounds?

What if we didn’t just rescue helpful people we love? What if we went out of our way to help a stranger? Or someone we know to be a jerk? What if we raced to a nursing home to protect the older generation from certain doom? Would a cranky wizened old man with a catheter and a penchant for racist slurs be a cheerful and valiant comrade for our desperate final stand? Of course not. Does it agitate you to think zombies might force you to die in the company of annoying people?

Zombies limit our options, don’t they? And it makes us angry. It makes us want to kill them viciously in a large well-lit retail environment.

Picture it: A reanimated heathen monstrosity shambles through Super Target. It’s Doug. Doug from that yellow house down the street. He gives out full size Snickers bars on Halloween, not just the misleadingly named fun-size. Doug is following you down the cleaning supplies aisle. His grisly arms outstretched as if asking for a reassuring hug. You savagely beat him about the head with a metal toilet plunger designed by Michael Graves until his skull caves in like a rotten melon.

Achievement Unlocked! You just killed (or re-killed) Doug, the full sized Snickers man, from down the street.

How do you feel about murdering Doug? He made you do it, right? But, still.

Those are Doug’s brains you splattered on the floor. You’ll be thinking about that when you get out that pole with the tennis ball on the end to rub the streaks off the cold unforgiving tile. And as you stare at your reflection in the Super Target floor, the horrifying truth wrestles its way into your conscious mind: ZOMBIES ARE US.

On some level, we are the undead and the undead are us.

And so we have to ask, “Why are we hitting ourselves? Why are we hitting ourselves? Why are we hitting ourselves in a Super Target with a metal toilet plunger designed by Michael Graves?”

Yes, the zombies make us do it. Yes, it’s us or them. Yes, zombies are murderous mockeries of our former selves–mindless, unreasonable symbols of death and decay. But they do have one thing going for them:

Zombies are goal oriented.

Zombies want to eat the brains of the living and that is all. No excuses, no bullshit.

Zombies don’t stand around at cocktail parties claiming they’re going to eat brains after they go back to school and get their MFA in theoretical brain eating.

Zombies don’t DVR episodes of The View to get step by step brain eating tips from a panel of experts.

Zombies don’t drop everything and move across the country because they think they’ll have better luck eating brains in Portland, Oregon.

Zombies don’t start arguments on the internet about whether or not they are eating brains ironically.

They just fucking eat brains.

And maybe that’s why we fantasize about killing them so much.  The shambling bastards make us feel lazy.

Perhaps we should stop thinking about how successful we will be in slaughtering our reanimated friends and neighbors in the inevitable zombie apocalypse and spend more time with ourselves.

What if we all focused on our own inner zombies? What if we pursued our life passions with the indomitable ferocity of a zombie who wants to eat brains?

What is your eating brains? Is it climbing a mountain? Playing the tuba? Becoming fluent in modern conversational French?

Set your sights on your goal and let your inner zombie go! Stumble-walk as fast as you can! Smash through the glass! Rattle the fence until it falls over! If someone chops your legs off with a heavily discounted wood axe from Wal-Mart, then dig your fingers into the very ground and drag, drag, drag your chomping unyielding jaws to victory!

Because the only way to truly EMOTIONALLY PREPARE for the zombie apocalypse is to lead a life that is worth fighting to keep.

When you have achieved this goal, you can happily look forward to the zombie apocalypse–fully prepared to bash the heads of the undead with a toilet plunger in your hand and a bounce in your step!

But until that happy day, all you can do is get out there in our pre-apocalypse world and chase down your dreams.

Now, go, my friends, go out there and eat the metaphorical hell out of some jerk’s brains–like only you can.

A version of this story is also available in my book COMEDY OF DOOM.
Thanks for reading.

1 Comment

Filed under Comedy Story, Uncategorized


I wanted to surprise people with my best of list so I decided to applaud stuff that is not real. At least, I assume this stuff is not real. Anything is possible, because the internet.


The Bacon Bowl Hat.

It’s just like the old school beer hat but with bacon. You put this bowl hat on your head, then put a bunch of chopped up bacon bits in the bowl, then suck them through the attached straw until your heart hurts. Yes, it’s dangerous to suck chunks of bacon through straws, but really you should only wear The Bacon Bowl Hat at parties. And at any party where The Bacon Bowl Hat is welcome there will be at least one jackass who thinks he knows the Heimlich Maneuver.


Errybody Be Tired (From F*ckin’)

It’s a wonder it took someone this long to come up with a good post party anthem, but singer/songwriter LaJohnson really knocked this one out of the park. And his partner, MC Proper, did an amazing job with the family friendly radio edit Errybody Be Tired (Of Auto Tunin’).  All the power of the original in half the time.


Going Postal.

In this riveting murder/post office procedural, brilliant but misanthropic Post Officer, Kenny Hammer, discovers a body part in the mail. This leads him to team up with sexy but smart FBI agent, Amber Bradley, who is also a world champion kickboxer. After they solve that first case in record time, the government assigns the unlikely couple to work together on ALL Post Office related murders. Tensions rise as Hammer and Bradley begin to flirt, investigate the decades old unsolved postal related murder of Bradley’s favorite uncle, and break all the rules by going out of their jurisdiction to investigate a Fed Ex related serial killer. A gripping show with plots ripped straight out of the headlines and not a bad advertisement for the endangered USPS.


Ren Fest Talkie Guy.

He’s at his office job, dressed normally, but he’s still yelling really loud like he was doing his shtick out at the Renaissance Festival. It is hilarious. I could go on and on about this bit for twenty minutes and I still couldn’t go on about it for as long as the sketch lasted.



As in “that shit is used!” If something’s really sick or tight you can go the extra mile and say, “that shit is gently used.”


Senator Bob Sanderson accidentally masturbating during the Republican debate on PBS.

This was a groundbreaking twist on the inevitable revelation of inappropriate sexual conduct and the inspiration for the most politically damaging animated gif ever. While the strange display did give him a brief jump in the polls, the revelation of the underlying psychological condition ultimately tanked his candidacy. One prominent political analyst said, “America is looking for a team player.” Personally, I saw the candidate Republicans claim they want: a no-nonsense guy who takes what he wants.





This innovative program scans your e-mails, g-chats,  Google+ status updates, etc. for trigger words or phrases like stress, alcohol, chocolate, in-laws, and CGI additions to original Star Wars trilogy. When a danger level is detected, GoogleYourMom checks in with you to make sure you’re okay and that you’re not fucking up your life. Messages include–“Are you hungry? Should we order a pizza?”, “Do you feel safe? Should we call a cab?”, “Do you want me to look on ebay for the unaltered 2006 DVDs?” Under particularly harsh circumstances you will get this message: “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” Having received that message more than once, let me tell you, it is effective. When something that exists on the internet is disappointed in you, that is a wake up call.


British Man Alarmed By Cat.

“Oh, bugger me, a pussy!” will be in our cultural lexicon for some time to come.


Zombie of the Zombies.

In this brilliant meta mash-up, a group of attractive young twentysomethings are infected with a mysterious zombie plague while locked in a movie theater watching a marathon of zombie movies. The massive variety of types of zombies, I mean, like, there’s both fast and slow, makes this film totally used.


The AIDS Dolphin.

Is AIDS Dolphin tasteless? Oh my, yes. Is there a possibility that the omnipresence of this promiscuous marine mammal is helping to raise awareness of a horrible disease? You bet.



This exciting new site allows you to post all the angry, bitter, ugly things you don’t want to share on all your public accounts. KeepIt2Yourself.com features an intricate connection system in which all friendship requests are auto blocked giving you the satisfaction of saying no without all the social risk. Warning: This one is a real time suck. Almost more than TymeSuckr.com.


The Salad Burger.

The Jiffy Burger franchise’s game changing idea of constructing an entire heart healthy salad (with lettuce, ham, cheese, jerk chicken, and Low Fat BBQ Chipotle Honey Mustard Dressing) then serving it between two massive quarter pound Angus Beef Burgers on a Butter Injected Bun was only missing one thing: bacon. Luckily, the company recognized this embarrassing gaffe, called a press conference, made a public apology, and immediately released The Salad Burger 2.0: Bacon Harder.


This one.

And that’s 2011! I look forward to writing my Best of 2012 which should include only one item: Best Apocalypse.

If you feel I missed any really, really great things that didn’t happen in 2011, feel free to add yours to the comments section.

Happy New Year and all the best (real or fake) in 2012!


Filed under Uncategorized