NEW YORK! Del Close Marathon 12

27 07 2010

Zach Ward, Jeremy McDonald, Paula Pazderka and Harrison Brookie head to New York this weekend to represent DSI Comedy Theater at the 12th Annual Del Close Marathon. It has been an incredible honor for MISTER DIPLOMAT to take the stage at the UCB Theatre over the past couple years.

For 2010 MrD performs Sunday 8/1 230PM at the UCB — Are you coming?

For the DCM we are sadly down Andy Lavender (Andy may be off performing some amazing feats of Chemisty or SAVING THE WORLD!)

Both AU JUS and THE 708 are representing the DSI Comedy Theater Harold program in New York, so you should check them out and support HAROLD —  (The 708, Saturday 12pm Hudson Guild and AU JUS, Sunday 1pm Hudson Guild).

New York should get our song ready. Love, Mister Diplomat





Train Station (or Jesus Cuss Log)

13 08 2009

Enjoy our cut away scenes from the platform.

We are not taking the train to New York tomorrow for the 11th Annual DEL CLOSE MARATHON (Twitter Hashtag: #DCM11). We are flying airplanes, not flying, taking them, although some of our North Carolina compatriots would say we’re taking a handbasket, all the way to HELL. Why? Because in this MrD clip Jesus says, “Fuck.”

And it was funny.

Last year, Mister Andy Lavender predicted the potential DCM Schedule fallout with a challenge: Can you survive the 49 and 1/2 hour Improv Gauntlet? For 2009, the marathon got longer by 4 and 1/2 hours! And Diplomat got scheduled on Friday 8/14 (a SWEET Midnight slot on the Hudson Guild stage) so you don’t have a Half-way marker, but you can start the Marathon off right.

See you in New York.

– Mister Zach Ward





Does 7 out of 10 Del Close Marathons make me a comic genius?

8 08 2008

Does 7 out of 10 Del Close Marathons make me a comic genius? Or Does it make me closer to Del? 

I have one true memory of Del Close.  In 1998, my roomie, Tim Mason, brought Del to our apartment after class at IO.  We lived on Buckingham and Clark in Chicago back then.  Del was smoking on our front porch talking about science fiction and improv.  I remember thinking that is one really long beard.

In my attempt to get closer to the man, I am trying to get closer to my Del Close Marathon memories.

My first marathon was 2001 with a group called The Placebo Effect directed by Noah Gregoropoulos seen here playing Del. 

Our show had been running for awhile and we were all super enthused to be a part of this amazing experience.  I tried to remember all the amazing people who went that year:  Jenny Hagel, Joe Brady, Tom Flanigan, Dave Gilley, Shad Kunkle, Erin Davidson, Katherine Gotsick, Scott Recchia, Michael Bertrando, and Pat Gallen.    I think that was the year Horatio Sans gave me elbow titty and Sarah Silverman did the Assssssscat monologues.

From 2002 on,  I’ve had the pleasure of performing at the marathon with an all female group, Cheetarah, who is Erin Davidson, Katherine Gotsick, Amber Tillet, (these three ladies may be familiar to you with their stint on World Series of Pop Culture), and Colleen Murray.  If you are an extreme Del fan, you may remember Katherine from her gripping portrayal of Charna in the night the Harold was concieved.

If you have ever talked to Charna, that is really what happened except Andy Dick watched.

I don’t remember much from those years of Del Marathoning, but here are a few: 

  • Calling Eric Hunnicutt  asking him why he wasn’t at the marathon (this happened every year) 
  • Having the feeling that Matt Besser could look right through me and my improv
  • Drinking at McManus
  • Being trapped in the phone booth at McManus
  • Being asked to leave McManus
  • Watching Ian Roberts  perform improv with this spouse and wondering if I would ever perform improv with my spouse
  • Having Noah Gregoropoulos tell me that the years had been kind to me, except for me eyes 

I am sure Del would have been proud by those memories.  And now in 2008, I get to make some new ones with Cheetarah, and Mr. Diplomat.  I can’t hardly wait.

                                   Mister Paula Pazderka





Escape to New York

5 08 2008

It’s been an AWESOME 2008 SEASON so far… 

Does DSI operate on a Season Schedule? Sure, why not.

However you look at it, we have some awesome theater news! Four shows were selected to appear during the 10th Annual Del Close Marathon in New York City. DSI comedians are being featured at venues all over Gotham, in shows produced by the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. That means your local comedy has made plans to close the Carrboro theater and Escape to New York Friday August 8th for some shows in THE city this weekend.

MISTER DIPLOMAT, Sat 9:00 pm at UCB Theatre
Zach Ward, Jeremy Griffin, Paula Pazderka, John Reitz, Joe Jones, Andy Lavender
** special guest Alum Corey Brown performing with us
** the Mr.D showtime was a huge honor for the theater

Proletariat Princess, Sun 4:00 pm at Hudson Guild
Mano Agapion, Kit FitzSimons, Joe Jones, Remi Treuer, Becky Whittemore, Kelly Tilyard, Jennifer Bell Moxley

TIME OUT, Sun 12:45 pm at Urban Stages
John Loftin, Joe Stanton, Lillith Fallon, Mary Sasson, Bryan Barnes, Colette Henderson, Eitan Lees

St Patrick’s Wake, Sun 2:15 am at UCB Theatre
Zach Ward, Jeremy Griffin, Greg Brainos, John Loftin, Joe Stanton, Kit FitzSimons

Don’t worry. We’re coming back on Sunday…





The Del Close Marathon: Can You Survive the 49 and 1/2 Hour Improv Gauntlet?

25 06 2008

taken from www.delclosemarathon.comThe Del Close Marathon this year runs for 49 and 1/2 hours, including time taken to clean the theater at oh say 5 in the morning. That is a redonkulous amount of comedy over a single weekend. The common man will not stay for all 49 and 1/2 hours, rather he will flit in and out and see the comedy that interests him on the schedule. But the truly redonkulous man will stay for the entire 49 and 1/2 hours, reveling in such an act’s redonkulousity. Before you go the Del Close Marathon, you must ask yourself: am I such a man? Am I truly that redonkulous? Before the answer to that question sails across your lips, read this time-line for an idea of what to expect during this 49 and 1/2 hour improv comedy gauntlet.

Friday, 5:32 pm:

You get really into the march from Union Square to the theater, probably because you know that this will be the only physical activity that you will have for three days. How badly will your muscles atrophy? You do not want to be that guy who could not walk out of the space shuttle.

Friday, 6:32 pm:

You really start to pity that poor fool who volunteered for MySpace. Him and his OkCupid account.

Friday, 11:13 pm:

After watching improv for about five hours, you stop laughing out loud. Feeling self conscious about this, you rationalize that you are now appreciating the improv for the art of it, and though you realize it’s funny, not laughing is a-ok.

Saturday 2:23 am:

After watching Wicked Fuckin’ Queeyah for 23 minutes, you say, “Oh, we’re making fun of Boston!” You are immediately hushed by the librarian-looking dame beside you.

Saturday 4:06 am:

You look down at your watch, whose alarm has gone off. That beep means it’s that time of night when people with a cocaine addiction crash/fall asleep.

Saturday 4:48 am:

You finally snag a front-row seat. From this vantage point, you find it much easier to smell whether or not a performer is drunk or high.

Saturday 4:53 am:

Man, that guy that smells like barbiturates is hilarious!

Saturday 9:32 am:

Someone makes a reference to Dryel bags. You laugh because you have one.

Saturday 11:51 am:

Your face aches, and you think fondly of that specialized ice-pack you used in high school when you had your wisdom teeth taken out.

Saturday 2:13 pm:

Trail mix. Trail mix. All you can think about is trail mix.

Saturday 4:57 pm:

Dryel bag again! Snap!

Saturday 6:01 pm:

You are being mildly deprecated along with the other three people who have stayed for the entire marathon so far by Matt Besser. Or is it Ian Roberts? Or is it Matt Walsh? You realize your brain has devolved its sense of personal recognition into a crude gender-based binary dichotomy. Because it is definitely not Amy Poehler asking you whether or not you’ve had to rub one out in the bathroom at some point during the last twenty-four hours.

Saturday 9:03 pm:

Is that the sound of angels? Is that the blinding light of God’s holy visage? No, that’s just Mister Diplomat!

Saturday 11:11 pm:

Your face is broken. Can faces break? Maybe it’s lockjaw! Did you get the tetanus booster like your mom asked? Your face is totally broken. And you can taste blood on the back of your throat.

Sunday 1:32 am:

Dryel bag = comedy gold.

Sunday 3:34 am:

As you flit in and out of consciousness, you have twenty-three of those dream-within-a-dream dreams. One of those involved the head of your prized racing horse. Argh!

Sunday 6:03 am:

You are woken up during the theater cleaning and asked to go outside. You feel the need to profusely apologize to everyone, especially the girl who was selling beer for the last three hours.

Sunday 11:23 am:

You can totally see the bones in your hands. And the floor is lava.

Sunday 3:12 pm:

You can see the improv through your eyelids.

Sunday 5:09 pm:

You remember the sun. Oh, precious life-giving orb!

Sunday 7:32 pm:

You’ve survived! But then you realize that, yes, you are the astronaut who cannot leave the ship. The paramedic that responds to the call mumbles something about that scene in Se7en with all those car air-fresheners hanging from the ceiling.

– Mister Andy Lavender





Excited to play with Mother at the Del Close Marathon

24 06 2008

It’s been 3 whirlwind (AWESOME) years since Mother, from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, won the 2005 International Super CageMatch at the Chicago Improv Festival, beating Dual Exhaust (my first comedy duo) after two rounds of improv competition. We had won the previous two years, after coming in second to The Improv Bandits from New Zealand in 2002. Dual Exhaust had been retired to the Chicago CageMatch Hall-of-Fame and we hoped to retire after completing the Super CageMatch improv hat trick (not The Improv Trick with Bill Chott) but a hat trick of Super CageMatch wins. You get it. Anyway…

Mother put on an amazing set that year in Chicago. Tara Copeland (teaching genius), Jason Mantzoukas (interview), James Eason (imdb) and Christine Walter (cast page) absolutely destroyed the stage at ImprovOlympic. Was there another Mother there? Can’t remember. We all went out drinking at a latenight biker bar afterwards, but that’s a different story.

On Saturday August 9th Mother and MISTER DIPLOMAT share the stage in New York. I am REAL excited. It’s going to be an amazing opportunity for Diplomat fans to see some mind-blowing groups during the Del Close Marathon. 7:00PM Improvised Shakespeare, 8:00PM I Eat Pandas, 8:30PM Mother, 9:00PM MISTER DIPLOMAT – I suggest spending sometime in the Stand-by line before the Theater Cleaning at 6:30PM so you can check out this entire block.

Dual Exhaust

Before I end this post, I am going to put a personal goal down on the books. In 2003 Dual Exhaust was named by the Chicago Tribune as one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Comedy Duos of the Past Decade” – Beth Melewski and Zach Ward (that’s me!) WILL submit a reunion show for the DCM or the Chicago Improv Festival next year to be THAT funny, again. Maybe we could share the stage with Mother, again… I should call Beth.

– Mister Zach Ward





5 Most Bizarre and Hilarious Commercials

20 06 2008

I’ve seen a lot of things here on the Internet that I would deem unsettling but there are others that just leave you saying Double-Ew Tea Eff? I’ve found 5 of the most bizarre and hilarious commercials out on the web, and I hope you’ll enjoy gawking at them as much as I do. Cheers.

Thailand Ghosts – This is a Thai ad for light bulbs. Honestly, it has to be one of the more strange things I’ve seen put to film. I wonder what twisted marketing company thought it would be a novel thing to use hideous ghosts and transvestites to sell light bulbs. Found on Boing Boing.

Learn English – I honestly, truly laughed out loud on this one. One simple joke can go a long way. ***WARNING*** The audio on this one might not be too safe for work, so I suggest you plug in some headphones or wait until you get home to check it out. It’s worth it, though. That family has no idea… From Funvids.

Japanese McDonald’s – Oh, the Japanese… When will I get a chance to come and experience your culture first hand? Is it all like this over there? Here’s a cadre of commercials, dripping with Japanesiness. Read the subtitles on these.

Sensual Stretching – OK, so this one might not so much be a commercial as an educational film, but it stars DSI friend Chris Gethard, who does comedy at UCBT in New York. (You can check out Chris’s Blog here, or even go catch him performing at the Del Close Marathon in August.) ***WARNING*** Video may include dryhumping.

The Ayds Diet – This one’s quite real. People sure weren’t sensitive back in the seventies. But look how thin and happy they look!

FrankenMeat – And as an added bonus, check out this video on YourWeek about Frankenmeat. It’ll make you want a cheeseburger hot out of the test tube! Thanks to DSI-NY friend, Erik Martin.








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