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Episode 005 — Eye On Theatre with Don DiMello

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Seriously though you guys, where is the picture of Marissa?

 

I, like Falcon, NEED to understand what an upside down muffin shaped girl with weak ankles and extremely long fingers and bald patches looks like...

 

COME ON ARTISTS. I KNOW YOU'RE EVERYWHERE IN THIS PLACE.

 

Jessica St. Clair RTed this about 6 months ago from artist Gregg Schigiel (@StuffSaidShow). Thankfully it doesn't show her nipple pubes.

 

51A1BQC.jpg

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That's pretty great. Someone also drew a bunch of characters for the pool party episode.

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Jessica St. Clair RTed this about 6 months ago from artist Gregg Schigiel (@StuffSaidShow). Thankfully it doesn't show her nipple pubes.

 

51A1BQC.jpg

IT'S.

PERFECT!!

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People complaining about zooks pushing don are NUTZO. Listen to old CBB episodes. The whole reason so many of Andy's characters took dark turns/got so well fleshed out is because Zooks was there to push and challenge Andy. They're great together.

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People complaining about zooks pushing don are NUTZO. Listen to old CBB episodes. The whole reason so many of Andy's characters took dark turns/got so well fleshed out is because Zooks was there to push and challenge Andy. They're great together.

 

I agree. My favorite episodes are, to use a term from Benny Schwaz, "two straightmen". One absurdly crazy character vs Scott+someone else trying to nail them down.

 

Best examples are Adam Scott /Alan Rickman, Benny Schwaz / Werner Hertz, and of course Zouks and Daly.

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Perfectly put. I think it's important to realize that the joke is never ON the "girls" or anyone else treated horribly by Don and Co. No one is actually laughing at the thought of a woman being killed by a wolf (hopefully not, anyway); the joke is how horribly evil these guys are and how casually they discuss the horrible things that they do.

 

Exactly. It's that old case of depiction not constituting endorsement.

 

My favorite example: Ep #200. Don introduces the concept of a 'Chocolate Lady' for his production of Hansel & Gretel-- a nude woman covered in chocolate, leaving footprints on the stage like breadcrumbs, and oh yeah, she has NO IDEA what's going on. That is absolutely awful. While the concept of an interactive performance consisting of a drugged up, nude woman covered in chocolate and wandering around a stage while male audience members (some of them fathers) pay to go up there and attempt to eat the chocolate off of her is novel and avante-garde, it is also an insanely despicable, horrendous way to victimize and dehumanize a person due to the overwhelming lack of consent (not to mention the fact that Don purports there are willing, paying participants).

 

It was this specific joke of Andy-as-Don's that pretty much made me laugh the hardest I laughed at anything in 2013. I was not laughing at that poor woman. In fact I felt overwhelming sympathy for her when I imagined myself in her lack-of-shoes. The joke was not about her tho. It was about Don, and it had quite a bevy of things going for it: its spontaneity due to being improvised, an INSANE visual description (AND it was on VPN, so we actually got to see Andy conjure the scenario up out of nothing), the one-two-punch of shock humor and cautionary tale (the very idea that anyone would be ok with Don's creative decisions, and the sad realization that there are people in the world who do routinely victimize others), and Don's 'scraping-the-bottom-of-the-showbiz-barrel' persona-- the most laid back, casual creep that ever existed and boy oh boy does he have the part for YOU.

 

Andy Daly is able to mine humor in these dark recesses of Don's being. Don never bats an eye, and anyone in there right mind knows he would if he wasn't human garbage. We love it when he says "Bring out the girls," because at first we thought he was just a horny old man, but now we love it because he is TERRIFYING. Don is the GALLOWS in 'gallows humor,' and we are his victims that must laugh in his face. Thankfully, because this is all meant as comedy, Don by design is meant to be laughed at, and for that I am thankful.

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Jesus Christ that was one of the most entertaining podcasts I've ever heard. Clearly Don Dimello's going to end up with his own podcast which will lead to a hit prime time major network series. Looking forward to it.

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Perfectly put. I think it's important to realize that the joke is never ON the "girls" or anyone else treated horribly by Don and Co.

 

The joke was often on Marissa. I love Wompler, but I have to admit that I hate when St. Clair goes off about how ugly she is. I like Wompler for being a relentlessly enthusiastic and naive teenager. But unfortunately, most of the Wompler segment was about how weird she looks. It was humor about a woman's looks that brought a further level of hostility to an episode that needed to tread lightly on the topic. Andy and Matt understood this, I think, and they didn't really contribute further to uglifying Marissa. But Jason egged it on, to the point of fourth-wall breaking. This wasn't about laughing at creepy guys thinking a a perfectly attractive woman is ugly; it was about laughing at a woman for being ugly. In the context of this episode, I hated it. Not to mention that it didn't make sense with Don's character, who is done with a woman if she starts to look even a little bit less than perfect.

 

I also didn't like Jason making Don join the Taliban, bronze his penis, etc. Stuff like that is fine for a zany character like Chip Gardner, but not Don Dimello. I just don't think Jason gets the character. The first segment was probably the strongest segment of all the podcast episodes (goddamn, Matt Gourley's Mall was a perfect accompaniment. CHEKOV'S GUN!), but the latter two made me cringe a lot.

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I don't think there's any issue with mysoginy (it's obvious that everyone is making fun of mysoginists, not women) and the only real issue for me with wompler trashing her body is that it kind seemed out of place. Regardless, it was a really really entertaining episode. Maybe I'm just very infkluencible, but in general, the more Inhear people choking with laughter when they're trying to do characters, the more I laugh with them

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The joke was often on Marissa. I love Wompler, but I have to admit that I hate when St. Clair goes off about how ugly she is. I like Wompler for being a relentlessly enthusiastic and naive teenager. But unfortunately, most of the Wompler segment was about how weird she looks. It was humor about a woman's looks that brought a further level of hostility to an episode that needed to tread lightly on the topic. Andy and Matt understood this, I think, and they didn't really contribute further to uglifying Marissa. But Jason egged it on, to the point of fourth-wall breaking. This wasn't about laughing at creepy guys thinking a a perfectly attractive woman is ugly; it was about laughing at a woman for being ugly. In the context of this episode, I hated it. Not to mention that it didn't make sense with Don's character, who is done with a woman if she starts to look even a little bit less than perfect.

 

I also didn't like Jason making Don join the Taliban, bronze his penis, etc. Stuff like that is fine for a zany character like Chip Gardner, but not Don Dimello. I just don't think Jason gets the character. The first segment was probably the strongest segment of all the podcast episodes (goddamn, Matt Gourley's Mall was a perfect accompaniment. CHEKOV'S GUN!), but the latter two made me cringe a lot.

 

I apologize for the length, but I am taking your criticisms seriously, and wish to address them.

 

I acknowledge that you did not like Jason's and Jessica's contributions, and I have no issue with what your comedic sensibilities may be. However, the way you have summarized their roles in the proceedings confounds me. Disclaimer: I am not trying to tell anyone to like this episode. If it was not enjoyed, then that's just how it went for some listeners. I am only attempting to interpret what went down in the performances based on the objections to some of its content, and also to highlight some of the nuances I noticed between these characters. Others could, and did get completely different reads on the episode, which may or may not have hindered their enjoyment.

 

Wompler's role was definitely one of starry-eyed naivety and enthusiasm. Just like on CBB, Wompler wants to be in showbiz and has many body issues, some of which are preventable (stop exclusively eating pizza-and-cream-cheese 'sandwiches' Marissa! You're not invincible!), while others, such as her 'nipple pubes,' are not. These body issues are a comedic commentary on the cosmetic concerns grounded in the reality of the changing, hormonally-imbalanced, raging bodies of teenagers compounded with the pressure women of all ages feel to fit into the mold of society's insane, unobtainable standards of conventional 'beauty,' which is sensitive subject matter for sure, but St. Clair knows where that line is and rides it well.

 

Don, Mal, and Falcon did not express disgust at anything Marissa brought up with her body. If she stressed SHE felt it was a problem, they all were very understanding. They either assured her it was not a huge deal or offered up grooming tips, and recommended things such as where she could get a boob job only after they were prompted.

 

But I feel you missed the point of Don's motivations for taking Marissa under his wing. Yes, due to Andy yes-and'ing Jessica, they established that Don had a very conflicted, muddled, and slight physical attraction to Marissa's unconventional looks (her long fingers, her thin ankles). But Don was in no way looking to turn Marissa into a Rockette. Marissa wants to perform and sees Don as a mentor who will help her achieve this goal. She also knows she has Don's attention-- is not exactly sure why-- and the reasons she craves it and gets it from Don are very messy. Don sees a highly impressionable young lady with father issues who cannot yet be tried as an adult. In her possession are keys to a high school full of many other impressionable young women. She also has a cursory knowledge of stage production and an enthusiasm for the business of show. All of these are things Don can use to further his own agenda. The impression I got was that under Don's tutelage, he would eventually groom Marissa into another willing participant, a la Cactus Tony or Falcon.

 

Once Marissa joins the show, Don, Mal and Falcon consistently attempt to avoid spilling any details about the farm to Marissa. She still gets the gist (mostly due to Falcon over-sharing, which is understandable, because who does he ever get to talk to about his business? Don himself remains in the dark about the methods in which Falcon runs the farm). Hilariously enough, Marissa only fully understands the scope of depravity once they start innocently describing actual Don DiMello stage productions. She's done after that, she realizes Don is not a good role model, and then to add insult to injury, they attempt to rename her Ass Sparkles as she heads for the door. In my opinion, that's a pretty good arc for Marissa. It was like an after school special for her.

 

Moving on to Jason not 'getting' Don DiMello's character, the unfounded thing about such a statement is that Jason and Andy GET each other. Jason didn't 'make' Don do anything that Andy could not handle. Like the outstanding improvisor he is, Andy expertly and effortlessly folded all of Falcon's recollections into Don's backstory.

 

Additionally, the concern over the examples you mentioned either simplify what actually occurred, or are perfectly acceptable things to happen during an improvised scene between characters (in which they heighten, but do not break the scene). Don did not 'join' the Taliban. He went there for research. They parted when Don did what he does 'best': put on a show full of naked ladies. They do not share the same ideologies. Don is not a Muslim extremist.

 

If Don did in fact decide to bronze his penis one time, AND it is still a functioning penis (albeit with a severe lack of sensitivity), 1) No harm, no foul, and 2) HOW IS THAT A BAD THING? The man is a monster who, in a just world, should not be able to derive pleasure from his penis. If anything, it reinforced that Don likes to get off in all sorts of fucked up ways, which is arguably the thru-line to his ENTIRE character.

 

It reads to me like you had very specific expectations for Don's episode, in which the first segment with Mal fit nicely. But when they moved on to include Jessica and Jason, the podcast jumped the rails away from your preconceived ideas, and so you rejected the remainder, dismissing its attempts at comedy by insisting the whole thing veered full-bore into poor taste which was only exacerbated by a lack of comedic compatibility between the performers. This is my take-away, I disagree with this assessment, and if I've completely misinterpreted your feelings on the episode then I apologize.

 

It behooves no one to be all up in a character's entirely improvised canon and constructing a box of set expectations. It goes against the nature of jokes. Let Andy & Co. show us what his characters are and are not capable of. The performers go into it loose because they know what they're doing. The listener should follow suit.

 

We all know it's been purported that Don is now THE Devil, right? Golly said so...

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Andy's "Closer to Fine" reference around 1:20 is one of the last things I ever expected Don to say and it made me lose my mind.

Loved that bit, too. Daly could barely get it out. "He said he could see through me, I said 'F*** you.' "

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Listening to this one again.... god damnit, I loved how Mantzoukas kept slipping out of character. He plays great straight man to Andy Daly's madness.

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re-listening as well. Yeah, Marissa plays the shock/horror over the monster that Don and the others are perfectly well. She fills thats ame role that Scott and others do on CBB. Gourley was masterful here too.

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Before Wompler jumps out the window I wish she had said 'Yippy-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon!'. Oh well, we can't have everything.

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Seriously though you guys, where is the picture of Marissa?

 

I, like Falcon, NEED to understand what an upside down muffin shaped girl with weak ankles and extremely long fingers and bald patches looks like...

 

COME ON ARTISTS. I KNOW YOU'RE EVERYWHERE IN THIS PLACE.

 

Wompler%201_zpstgfxokf5.jpg

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Guicemann, you've done it again! Everything I've seen from you is incredible.

 

I didn't come here to say that though, I'm here after finishing the episode for the 3rd or 4th time to say that I just realized Don DiMello sounds exactly like a ghoul from Fallout when Don's voice goes low. I'm sure that has been said before, but I only just made the connection. It's actually uncanny.

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Guicemann, you've done it again! Everything I've seen from you is incredible.

 

I didn't come here to say that though, I'm here after finishing the episode for the 3rd or 4th time to say that I just realized Don DiMello sounds exactly like a ghoul from Fallout when Don's voice goes low. I'm sure that has been said before, but I only just made the connection. It's actually uncanny.

 

Hahaha thank youuu! :D

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