Monday, December 27, 2010

Look what was under our tree.

What's that? Back to work? I thought we were off for the holidays? Well, it's still Boxing Day in some parts of Canada, I'd hate to disrespect our Canadian fans by not observing it with the grace and dignity it deserves.

Let's just wait out the more minute...there, okay, back to the daily grind it is.

Our editing team was particularly hard at work this Christmas Eve (and their work didn't involve breaking into the homes of vulnerable young children in the middle of the night, unlike a certain someone I could mention), because our latest episode posted just in time to increase your Christmas cheer.

You're getting it two days later though, because I was busy, ya know, spending time with family and making memories and honoring traditions and blah, blah, blah, let's just make with the funny already:

The Variety Society Episode 2 from Viral Media Network on Vimeo.

The official site for Tyler Macniven's film "Kintaro Walks Japan" can be found here. You can watch the whole thing for free on Google, or you can be totally awesome and buy the DVD. Because people who contribute money to Bay Area-based creative endeavors are indeed totally awesome (hint, hint).

You can also check out Tyler's SF Secrets while you're at it. Its got owls, pugs, Christmas trees, you name it. I'd give you all the details but, well, they're secret. It's part of the name, after all.

Since I assume you have unlimited free time to keep up on all Society-related media, don't neglect Natasha Muse's "A Funny Night for Comedy" either. I know what you're thinking: "What happens if my interest in the Variety Society wanes because I'm busy keeping up on Natasha's show?" It is, indeed, a conundrum, my friend.

The solution is to make sure that never, ever happens. Ever. There's room in your life for two Bay Area comedy shows. There's no reason that this has to come between us. Don't tear this family apart, I beg of you, just don't.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Hannufestikwanzamas to you.

We're in the mood to celebrate these days. Actually, we're the sort of crowd who are in the mood to celebrate most days. You say it's the 400th anniversary of the invention of the hammock? Sounds like a good occasion for margaritas!

Even so, this being the holiday season and we having just finished a great show with another one right around the corner, we're particularly festive right now. By way of spreading the good cheer around (and let it never be said that we don't like to get around), here's a few photos from Saturday's shoot to tide you over until the editing is done:

Here, Dan is rendered temporarily powerless by his own punchline. In fact, he laughed so long we almost had to stop shooting to take him to the emergency room, which would have driven the rates on our laugh insurance through the roof.

Marcus knows if you've been naughty or nice this year. Because he designed a special algorithm that measures the average ratio of naughty to nice in your region over the last twenty years and then calculates the likelihood that you'll fall into one category or another to within three decimal places. The math doesn't lie folks, and more importantly, you can't lie to it.

There was a brief interruption in the taping when an audience member's beloved pet parakeet escaped and roosted in the rafters. Here we see our announcer Erik Braa and executive producer Sam Jack doing their best to lure the little fella back down.

Erik is either congratulating Dan on a job well done, or making his move to get Dan out of the picture and leave that sweet, sweet host's job ripe for the picking. Kind of hard to tell.

Judging from his shirt, we can guess that documentary filmmaker and reality TV star Tyler Macniven is firmly on the pirate side of the ninja/pirate debate.

This picture is not actually at an angle. The fact of the matter is that Natasha Muse was so fabulous that the planet had to briefly alter the tilt of its axis to compensate for her magnetism. I hear she was also behind that lunar eclipse last night.

Happy holidays from everyone at the Variety Society, and remember to please drink responsibly when you celebrate. Because that leaves more for us.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's in the can!

Not that film is stored in actual cans very often these days. I'm not even sure if we're using that sort of camera? What do you say if it's digital? "It's in the hard drive!" or something to that effect? Doesn't really have the same ring to it.

Well, can or drive, that sucker is in, and once again thanks and congratulations are in order for everyone who was involved, especially our much expanded technical crew. As always, the relevant video will be available right here on the blog and over at in the coming week.

Things will be quiet here for the next week or so, as the pending Hannufestikwanzamas holiday festivities will be keeping us busy. But we'll be back in time to start work on our next show, which will be LIVE, JANUARY 15th!

Keep checking back right here for all the information on our first ever first show of 2011 / first ever third show / second ever first show after the first show. I have a feeling this is gonna be our year. Plus these last two months. Yeah, our year has 14 months. It's a tax thing, very complicated.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Three guests walk into a bar. Then, presumably, into our studio.

Did you know you have to book new guests for every show? Seriously, why don't they tell us this stuff in advance?

Not to worry Society fans, we're not about to be caught with our pants down. Because we invested in belts.

For our upcoming show, actor and reality TV star Tyler Macniven will be joining us. Here's a look at his documentary film "Kintaro Walks Japan", which is about that time in 2004 when he walked across Japan. Yes, walked. The whole way. Dude has got foot arches of steel!

In fact, Tyler's appearance on our show is all part of his newest project, "Kintaro Walks Onto Several Late Night Comedy Shows", which should be out sometime next year.

Comedian Natasha Muse will also put in an appearance, assuming that she passes the rigorous background screening that we conduct to ensure that she's not coming on purely to upstage us.

I'm told that Natasha hosts a show of her own, and she may in fact be here to induct Dan into the Mysterious Cryptic Order of Late Night Hosts. Which means he'll be paying double dues, because we're certainly not going to stop shaking him down for his monthly contributions to the Society.

Also joining us will be musical guest Steven Laciak. Will he be able to top PianoFight's bravara performance on our last show? Only time will tell, but be sure to give him a listen.

By now you're all no doubt brimming with excitement, but please, everyone, for liability purposes, try to delay the celebratory rioting until after the show, which of course will be taking place:


All the cool kids will be there. And you want people to think you're a cool kid too, don't you?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bien Venue.

All of a sudden we're just two weeks away from our next show! How could this be? Just a week ago it was three weeks! Why weren't we warned that time would pass at a constant rate?

With just a fortnight left before curtain time, we thought we'd provide a friendly reminder that our second episode will be taped live at the Boxcar Theatre, 125A Hyde Street. Which is actually all of three blocks from where we did the first one, so anyone who showed up to the first show (you're awesome, by the by) is in little danger of getting lost. Conversely, anyone who got lost the first time and ended up three hundred yards or so down Natoma street will this time know exactly where to go.

Why the Boxcar? Well, in their words:

"Boxcar Theatre is dedicated to supporting bold concepts and unique visions of emerging and established directors. Utilizing dynamic imagery, physical movement, and innovative storytelling, Boxcar strives to establish an environment in which audiences are engaged in a visceral sense and an intellectual capacity."

Um, wow. We're uh, we're mainly just about making with the funny here, guys. Not sure where we stand on the visceral sense and intellectual capacity stuff. I mean, we might have some of that, I'd have to check out back. We can definitely do physical movement though, things will physically move during the show, that's a guarantee.

But in all seriousness (take a picture, it won't last), it's a great venue that will allow us to do a lot more technically than we could last time, which will make for a more polished look closer to what we want for the series proper.

Once more for posterity, it'll be:

125A Hyde St, cross street Golden Gate!

Ooh, that was a good one. Felt it in my bones.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And now it's time for: Out of Context Theater.

The first rule of the Variety Society is that the best ideas are born out of collaboration. It used to be the first rule was "You do not talk about the Variety Society," but that made it really hard to promote the show, so we changed it to the collaboration thing.

So sometimes we all just get together in a room and pool ideas. I like to call this a "Frantic Verbal Tilt-a-Whirl of Comedy and Shared Genius!" but everyone else prefers the term "production meeting", which I admit rolls off the tongue a little better.

If you had been a fly on the wall at today's meeting...well, someone would probably have swatted you with a newspaper, so I'm not sure why you'd want that. But before your unceremonious swatting, you would have overheard things like this:

"Silly string is fun until you light it on fire, then it becomes a death trap."

"He'll be wrestling Smokey the Bear as he comes on."

"He's about as chill as a German mathematician."

"That's a good question and it deserves an honest answer. Well, goodbye."

"You can't have the Crusher without California."
"That's where his powers come from, like Superman and the sun."

"Okay, it looks like we may have to put a hit out on someone."

"Dan looked like a magic act with just a floating head and hands."
"I hadn't factored in what would happen if I wore a black outfit in front of a black backdrop."

"Where are we going to get a bear suit?"
"This is San Francisco, you can't throw a rock without hitting one."

"I can only dancefight."

"Wait, was this sewn on? When I ripped it I thought it was just velcro."


I realize that I've made it pretty much impossible to take anything I say in this space seriously, but let me assure you that all of the above are genuine quotes uttered by real people less than twelve hours ago. Yeah, see, this is why I refer to the Variety Society as "my good job."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Concentric Circles FTW.

It's the little things that make the biggest difference in life. Except for the big things that is. I guess the big things really are bigger, now that I think about it...

For example, when pulling together all of the elements of this show, we began to realize that there was one vital thing missing. That thing was of course a floating dirigible of some kind.

But it turns out those are really hard to get your hands on these days, so instead we switched gears and began searching for the perfect, eye-catching logo to grace our title card. For this we turned to freelance graphic designer Todd Donahue (we had also approached him before about the dirigible thing. He was much more receptive this second time).

We had a few definite parameters in mind ("Iconic imagery, yes. Frontal nudity, no. Obscured nudity considered on a case by case basis,") but for the most part we trusted in Todd's instincts, and what he eventually showed us surpassed even our wildest hopes and dreams:

Pretty good, right? But then it turned out someone was already using that one. I know, what are the odds?

Lucky for us, Todd had a backup, and after all was said and done we liked this one even better, and not just because it saved us from a billion-dollar trademark infringement lawsuit:

Couldn't have done it better myself. No, really, I couldn't! Not to save my life. Not to save my life and get a peanut butter sandwich, even. And I loves me some peanut butter, so that's saying something.

Many thanks to Todd from everyone at the Variety Society. As a token of our appreciation, we're all getting it tattooed on our necks.

Okay, not really. But the thank you part was serious.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Introducing our, um, intro. That didn't really come out right...

We'd like to let you see the entire show right now, but we can't. You're just not ready yet.

See, right now you're like Ralph Macchio at the beginning of "The Karate Kid", and we need you more like Ralph Macchio in the middle of "The Karate Kid". Or maybe even "The Karate Kid 2".

If you saw the show right now, it might just blow your mind. And we can't be responsible for that. For one thing, our insurance won't cover it. You'll just have to wait until Friday, by which time we assume your horizons will have expanded to the point that you can safely ingest 21st century comedy.

Don't worry though, you're not going to go away totally empty-handed. Please accept this lovely parting gift, the intro to our show, which will give you a little preview of what's ahead as well as demonstrate the preferred method of keeping your suit from wrinkling if you happen to have fallen asleep in it.

Episode One Intro from Viral Media Network on Vimeo.

Just a quick note, that video and all future releases comes to you courtesy of Vimeo, which is kind of like YouTube but with fewer trolls. Subscribe now and we'll throw in this complimentary tote bag. Assuming you can send tote bags to people through the internet that is. That's totally something that's possible, right?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Eagle has landed!

And they said it couldn't be done!

Okay, admittedly, I don't remember anyone actually saying that, and in fact I'm not even sure who "they" are, but somewhere someone at some point was probably saying it couldn't be done and now that hypothetical anonymous person is eating hypothetical anonymous crow! Burn on you, Hypothetical Guy, burn!

Congratulations to all of our hard-working crew and performers, big thanks to Peter Kim, Joshua Davis, and PianoFight for joining us, and an extra special thanks to the wonderful audience who turned out to see our first show.

Those of you who weren't there can live down your shame and profound regret when we present the replay. It'll be up in a jiffy, just as soon as we edit out the part where the emu went nuts and trashed the place (man, Johnny Carson always made that exotic animals schtick look a LOT easier than it really is!).

Our next taping is scheduled for December 18th, once again at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center. As interest grows and we get more practised we hope to move to a weekly format sometime next year. In the meantime we'll keep you posted on all of the latest developments right here at

You see what I just did there, how I linked to the page that you're already on? That's totally post-modern, that's edgy stuff there people! You just never know what you can expect around here.

Mostly pseudonyms and disinformation.

Here we are less than a day away from our big premiere (once more with feeling: Saturday, November 13th, at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, 145 9th St in San Francisco, at 4:30 PM!) and needless to say everyone is extraordinarily excited. And I'm not just talking about our intern, Extraordinarily Excitable Ed. Although Ed too is, well, you know.

Being as we are just a few scants hours away from show time, it might be appropriate to pay some recognition to just a few of the people who have worked so hard to bring all of the elements of this show together.


Sam Jack: Rogue CIA agent, billionaire playboy, and our esteemed producer. I'm not really sure if those first two things are true, but the producer part certainly is.

It's no exaggeration to say that Sam is the guy who has quite definitively made this show happen. See, he "produced" the program, I FINALLY understand what that term means!

The toughest part of Sam's job is that if you compliment him too much it seems like butt-kissing, so a lot of what he does really is a thankless contribution. Yeah, it's tough to be the boss.

Dan Sullivan: Our host, of course! If Sam is the guy who built the show, Dan is definitely the guy he built the show around.

As a writer, it's one of the great comforts in life to know that the material you produce will be in the hands of a very savvy, charismatic, accomplished performer who always knows exactly how to handle it.

Those of you at home can't tell, but I just cued up that sound effect from every episode of Full House where the audience goes "Awwww!"

Justin Lanelutter: Our head writer, plus producer and Music Man (just short of the requisite Seventy-Six Trombones though), and also the guy who brought me onboard, so clearly that's an accomplishment without precedent, right?

While I just got done crediting two other guys as being the guys without whom the show wouldn't exist, you really have to same the same about Justin because, hey, without him, we literally wouldn't have a show, the teleprompter would be empty!

And don't go looking at me, without Justin to answer to I'd have probably spent the last six weeks doodling horsies in my notebook and talking about how I think sloths get a bad rap (they really do, btw).

Nick Comney: Associate producer and contributing writer, the guy who did the very difficult legwork of securing guests and shooting space and all of that other stuff that the rest of us just assume magical elves take care of or something.

Nick, gotta say, great work all around, and just once more for the record, I was not the one who spread the rumor around the production that you are a werewolf.

Although I was the one who put silver shavings into your coffee. But in my defense, I thought I was doing you a favor.

Colin Murray: Our director. And if that right there doesn't sound like just about the bravest thing a guy can do with this crowd already then I don't even know what else to tell you.

Marcus Sams: A guy who was awesome enough to sign on as our newsman when we were in really desperate need, and who was then immediately rewarded by being handed the absolute most difficult to perform material in the entire show.

I haven't gotten to meet Marcus yet but I sure hope he doesn't hold a grudge, otherwise I may have to change my name or play dumb for fear that he'll go straight from handshake to headlock.

Erik Braa: Our phenomenal announcer, who quite honestly has a voice I would totally go gay for who quite honestly has a voice I would totally go gay for who quite honestly has a voice I would totally go gay for (wow, turns out you just can't not write that, crazy).

Erik could have just prerecorded all of his stuff, but he made a point of wanting to be live in the studio for the taping, which shows real dedication.

Brendon Fox: Floor director, B-unit director, and a man with quite a steady editing hand (I tried so hard to make that rhyme but it just didn't shake out).

I can't really tell you much about what Brendon does because, well, it's stuff that's really beyond my feeble mind to even understand, much less explain. If I had his job our camera setup would consist of a monkey with a Polaroid who would just create a very elaborate flipbook. Thank God for Brendon.

Adam L Brinklow: For the most part we've got a good crew here, but this last guy is just plain bad news. He started submitting his material to us via launching great heaps of manuscripts at our producer from a catapult he had set up on the roof.

We told him to stop, but he just wouldn't take no for an answer. And I mean that literally; every time we said "No!" he just repeated back "Yes?" with a kind of deer-in-headlights expression.

Turns out he's on some kind of work release program from San Quentin. We really didn't want to hire him, but we felt a little bad because his only other recourse was a gig in a fireworks factory where he'd have a fifty-fifty chance of being blinded within the first six months.

For the most part now he just pitches jokes that are half unprintable obscenities mingled and half threatening remarks directed at the post office, or as he calls them, "The foot soldiers of the Illuminati!"

I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention our interns, Nick Hanna, Christian Estrada, and Erin Walker. Oh, and Extraordinarily Excitable Ed, of course, but I figured you'd remember him from earlier. He's not a man you easily forget.


We're all on the edges of our seats waiting for the big day, and it had better come soon because the edges of our seats are pointy and uncomfortable (we'll have different seats at the show).

Anyone who can't make it out...should be incredibly ashamed of themselves. But since we're in a magnanimous mood, the show in its entirety will be available through a number of channels online, including right here. Yep, we're just that awesome. Spread the word.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Zero hour.

Holy crap, we're taping a TV show in three days! Why didn't anyone tell me?

You say you told me repeatedly? Well why didn't you make sure I was paying attention?

You say I repeated the information back to you and have been telling people about it for weeks now?

Alright, forget that, that's all details, we've got to get our act together here. First thing we need is the final script, whose job is that? You say that's my job? Um, right. Okay. I'm all over it.

Now we need a host. Somebody get Dan out of the cryogenic freezing tube we keep him in between shoots. He needs at least two days to thaw out. If he gets freezer burn you're paying for a new one!

Ah damn, you mean we've gotta have guests on this show too? Geez, it's all coming at me at once! Well who do we have lined up? Joshua Davis from Wired Magazine, you say? Awesome, I've got lots of insightful wire-related questions prepped. I'm personally very interested in hearing his opinion on the brewing controversy regarding solid versus stranded wire and the most efficient method of jacketing.

Okay, turns out Wired Magazine is not about what I think it's about. No problem, I'm rolling with the punches here. In addition to Davis, local sketch comedy group Piano Fight will be performing, and the guys from Endgames will also be stopping by.

See what I did there when I said "stopping by", as though this was just a casual thing they do on the fly instead of a scheduled event worked out weeks ahead of time? That's showbiz talk. See, we're getting the hang of this already!

Now I did some measurements and it turns out my garage has inadequate shooting space. Also there's nowhere to seat the audience. Also, I don't actually have a garage, I've just been parking my car and storing boxes in my neighbors', and they're getting pretty fed up with me as it is.

All things considered, we should probably just move the whole production to the Ninth Street Independent Film Center at 145 9th Street (between Minna and Natoma).

Once again that's the Ninth Street Independent Film Center at 145 9th Street in San Francisco (between Minna and Natoma), where we begin seating at 4:30 PM.

And as long as I'm on the subject, we're going to need an audience too. Now where does one go about finding that? I already checked Amazon and the hardware store down the street, but no luck, so I guess we'll have to do this the old-fashioned way.

You, you, and you, go get three people you know and bring them back here! No, wait, on second thought don't bring them here, I've got nowhere to put them. Instead just bring them to the Ninth Street Independent Film Center at 145 9th Street (between Minna and Natoma) at 4:30 PM this Saturday, November 13th!

Okay, it's all finally coming together! Everyone has been working around the clock for weeks now (okay, it was less of a clock and more one of those old-fashioned egg timers, but still) and we're very excited about the big night. Also, slightly terrified. But it's okay, we've got anti-anxiety meds, we're totally cool. And if we wig out, we'll just edit it later.

See, TV is so much easier than real life.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The creative process in action.

Being a writer is a pretty easy job, right up until the point when you have to actually start writing.

There are other elements of the process of course; putting off writing, pretending that you're writing, making up excuses for why you didn't write, Guitar Hero breaks from not writing, calls from your parents wondering why they bothered to fund your college education, etc. It's a serious grind.

But at some point or another you really do have to bite the bullet and sit down to put words on paper, that is if you don't resort to suicide first. With less than two weeks before our first taping the time has come for us all to buckle down and decide on a final script for the show.

It all happens tomorrow in the writer's room; five men go in, one comes out. To get coffee. Then goes back in again to see how everyone else is doing.

Generally, there are a few things one wants to bring along when undertaking on such a grueling process, some basic necessities that need to be covered so that the creative juices can flow:

1. A blunt object.

Because sometimes it's just the only way to demonstrate how right you are.

2. Wine.

Not because we're drunks mind you, just to appease the cyclops who lives upstairs. Yes, a cyclops rents the apartment over our work space. We'll be honest, it's not an ideal creative environment, but this is the city and you take what you can get.

3. Tranquilizer darts.

Because someone always thinks it's funny to bring a tiger. Yeah, I know, that doesn't even make sense, but I'm telling you, it happens every time!

4. A test audience.

You know, someone with an objective point of view who we can bounce material off of. Provides valuable perspective.

5. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Comedy Writing.

Which quite frankly involves way more reading than we would have expected from a book specifically marketed to idiots.

6. The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Complete Idiot's Guide to Comedy Writing.

For those who found the first book too cerebral.

For the record, and in all seriousness, I didn't know that #5 actually existed. Until I Googled it, I assumed that it was something I had just made up.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Campaign Promises

First of all, we now have a show email:

thevarietysociety [at] gmail [dot] com

Here are the first two promos we put together for SF Sketchfest.

Stay tuned for a bonus promo in the near future!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Photos from our latest shoot!

Man, talk about your demanding work schedules! No sooner am I done with the IAQ than production sends over a batch of photos from our latest shoot.

I guess I could put off doing another update until tomorrow...but I need to be constantly writing to keep the invisible hobgoblins from stealing my thoughts, so this actually works out pretty well for me.

Here our host Dan Sullivan demonstrates his special superpower; the power to make anything he's holding look more delicious.

Might not sound like much at first, but if you've ever see him play a game of pickup where everyone on the other team is falling over each other trying to get a bite of the ball you'll realize just how potent a talent it really is.

Damn it Dan, we only had room in the budget for one slice! That's coming out of your weekly cufflink allowance!

And this lantern-jawed fellow is Justin Lanelutter, our head writer and the guy I answer directly to. As such, I'm going to forgo any clever quips and instead just shamelessly kiss his ass by praising his wit, intelligence, acumen, and taste.

Hey, don't look at me like that! Integrity is all well and good but it doesn't pay my bills!

And here we see Justin auditioning for our other upcoming project, a reality show entitled: "So You Think You Can...Do Whatever the Hell It Is You're Doing Right Here?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Welcome, everyone, to our IAQ!

Q: Wait, so what is this thing?

A: Well, this is a website, a series of related words and images compiled and made available to the public via a global computer network.

Q: No smartass, what's THIS website?

A: Oh, this is the production blog for Variety Society, bringing you news and commentary about our new Bay Area late night comedy show. And right now you're reading our IAQ.

Q: Shouldn't it be "FAQ"?

A: The F in "FAQ" stands for "frequently," but so far no one has asked any questions at all, so we can't very well call them "Frequently Asked Questions" now can we? If anyone out there wants to get to asking questions then I'll be happy to change it later.

Q: So this is, what, like a show you guys are doing?

A: Hey, look at that, you're catching on fast!

Variety Society is a new hour-long late night show that will soon be showcasing the talents of comedians and musicians from all over the Bay Area. In fact, we're scheduled to shoot our pilot episode on November 13th, 4:30 PM, at the 9th Street Independent Film Center in San Francisco.

Q: What are you wearing?

A: Um, jeans, a tshirt, and Wonder Woman underoos. Why do you ask?

Q: So what's going to be on this show?

A: Adventure, excitement, and danger! Thrills, spills, chills, and more two-fisted action than one publication can legally contain!

Come marvel at the skill and grace of our specially trained team of synchronized swimming squids! And we're serving quiche!

Q: No, seriously, what's on the show?

A: Well personally I think the squid thing would be awesome but no one else is on board with it so far.

In non-squid related entertainment, you'll get comedy from our host Dan Sullivan, satirical news from our staff anchors Nicole Gonzalez and Marcus Sams, sketch comedy from the guys at PianoFight, plus special guests and musical acts.

And quiche! I'm really, really going to work on getting the quiche in there. Quiche is a winner.

Q: So I should watch?

A: Well it's your call, but you should know that we've consulted top physicians and they all agree that anyone who doesn't attend a taping of Variety Society or watch the show later will DIE eventually!

Q: Are you alone in the house?

A: Man I hope so. We keep getting trouble from this homeless guy who comes in here thinking we're Glide and asking us how long the line for soup is. I guess it would help if we stopped actually giving him soup, but he's very persistent.

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Oh no, we're not falling for that. See, you want us to start in on that bit from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", but that's not what we're about here, we're not just going to sit around recycling decades-old jokes for cheap laughs.

Except maybe for our New Year's episode when we'll all probably be so hammered that we may very well fall over while already laying down. Once it gets to that point, anything that ends up on the page and looks like it was written in English is probably going in.


Okay, that's it! You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here, so get on out and don't forget to close the door behind you. Keep watching this spot for news, updates, and witticisms. And quiche!

Seriously, I've got quiche on the brain. Anyone know where I can get a good one at this time of night? Something with cheese would be awesome.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We're sketchy.

We won't rest until we score free World Series tickets through blackmail and intimidation

We won't rest until we harness the power of the sun to fuel our earthquake machine

We won't rest until we steal every left sock in America

We won't rest until we reshape the face of the Bay Area comedy scene!

(Note to self: See about getting the delete button on this keyboard fixed...).

With that in mind, we're implementing our comprehensive 900-step master plan starting today. Yes, 900 steps. Why so many? Because it's comprehensive of course!

Step one was this blog, so we're moving right along. What's step two? If I told you that, you would be shocked to the very core of your being and might potentially never recover.

So instead on to step three: SKETCH FEST!

That's right, we're applying to Sketch Fest, San Francisco's annual comedy festival, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in January. Will we be a part of the action? Well, only if the people evaluating these applications know a good joke from a sharp stick in the eye.

Although if stick in the eye is what they're looking for, we can provide that too. We're flexible about that kind of thing. It's all about breaking down boundaries around here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

As you can see that's our own Dan Sullivan beside San Francisco's famous Sutro Tower (also known as "That big antenna on the hill that nobody can remember the name of,").

You may be surprised to learn that Dan's proportions compared to the tower are not a perspective trick; he is in fact 400 feet tall. That rumbling you felt this morning wasn't an earthquake, it was just Dan taking his morning constitutional up Twin Peaks.

This towering mountain of a man walks astride the world as though we were all just ants in his wake, but fear not! He is a gentle giant, who seeks only to bring mirth and comedy into the lives of we little people.

And now we continue our search for a studio that he can comfortably fit into...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Please do not fact check this, just take our word for it.

What is Variety Society you may ask?

Well, the story of our humble enterprise is a fascinating tale steeped in mystery, loaded with intrigue, and featuring possibly at least one alligator attack. Seriously, keep reading, there may be an alligator attack at some point. You won't know unless you check!

It all began in 1849, the year of the Gold Rush, when an enterprising Scotsman by the name of Angus McElroy Huckleberry (of the famous North Blairlogie Huckleberrys) came to San Francisco to make his fortune.

Unfortunately old Angus' plan to develop a cheap and easy way to manufacture women's stockings using sheep's milk went awry, and he died a penniless vagabond. Truly this one flew too close to the sun.

In his last will and testament, he expressed but one wish: that someone would create a new late night show featuring the best of comedy, music, and improv from all over the Bay Area. This being the 19th century and neither television nor the internet yet having been invented, it was actually quite a remarkable request.

Confused by his stories of magical talking picture boxes and angry at inheriting his debts to the sheep farmers, Angus' family locked his will away in a safety deposit box and resolved never to speak of "the old coot" again. When the 1906 earthquake buried the box under several tons of rubble, it seemed that his dream would go forever unfulfilled.

Fast forward to the year 2010, when our ragtag group of rebel pirate freedom fighters (or at least, that's what it says on our team jerseys) discovered Angus' lost will!

Although to be honest, at the time we were actually looking for another lost safe deposit box that supposedly contains the forever unread script for Jay Leno's last verifiably good monologue dating back to 1992, but an unscrupulous rival beat us to it (curse you Belloq!).

Once we'd consoled ourselves about the loss (and recovered from the trauma of inhaling the odor of 150-year-old sheep's milk-stained parchment), we resolved to honor old Angus Huckleberry's dying request, and Variety Society was born.

Once it was just a few men and a dream. Now it's a slightly larger group of men and a dream. Plus several women, and I think we also have a pool table coming.

But soon it will be so much more than that! And as we prepare for our big premier in November, we like to think that Angus' benevolent spirit will be watching over us. And we mean that in the least creepy way possible, so please don't be afraid to come out.

And also don't be mad that there was no alligator. I tried as best I could to work it in.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The beginning of the beginning of the start.

Have you ever wondered what it's like behind the scenes of the Bay Area's newest Late Night show?

No? Really? Not even once? Um, wow...

Well, could you at least feign an interest? Because we started this blog to tell you all about it. Seems like you could meet us halfway here.

Remember, Variety Society will go live on the interwebs November 13th! Your doctor recommends that you watch.

Alright, so he's really our doctor, not yours. At least, we think he was a doctor. He had a white lab coat and a very impressive beard, but now that you mention it it was kind of odd that he examined us in that dark alley and that we had never actually made an appointment.

But he was very enthusiastic about prescribing the show, and that's really what matters.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Photos from our first shoot ever

Crusher and Dan Sullivan working on the intro.

We finally decided on a name. Welcome to the Variety Society.

From Variety Society