New Video: “Who’s On First” For English Majors! + Analysis
Monday December 21st 2009, 2:35 am
Filed under: Better Than The Machine, NYC, Word Nerd

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for a grammar revolution! This revolution will not be won with guns and aero-planes, but with a spin on a classic comedy routine. English Majors, Word Nerds and Grammar Nazis: this one’s for you. Step right up and watch folks, no need to be afraid; you’ll either feel really smart or really confused–either way, you’ve got nothing to lose!

This sketch was written by me and was directed and edited by Ballard. We shot it one night while I was in NYC earlier this month.

I’m very happy with how it turned out. When I wrote this (with the somewhat confusing title “Vaudeville Grammarians”), I had Matt and myself in mind to play the two characters. I consider the two of us kindred Word Nerd spirits. I don’t know if the term “Word Nerd” already exists–but if it doesn’t, here’s one on me, English language. When I say “Word Nerd,” I mean that, for instance, I really like the “gay bar” line at the end of the sketch. It’s a homosexual homonym. So… yeah. Word Nerd.

Matt plays Lou in this sketch and I play Alex. These names are direct references to Louis “Lou” Costello and William Alexander “Bud” Abbott, respectively. The popular Abbott and Costello Vaudeville duo is probably best known for the routine that this sketch pays homage to: Who’s On First?

We shot this in Ballard’s apartment. It was originally to take place in a bar, but a) we’ve had a lot of bar scenes this year and b) we didn’t have access to a bar. It didn’t really matter anyway. Ballard shot from only two angles, which served the sketch very well. I’m trying to pickup on lessons from Ballard so I can start directing some things again soon. I would’ve covered this thing all over the place. Two shots, up shots, down shots, spinning shots, outside shots, shots galore! We would’ve been there all night. Needless to say, I’m glad I did not direct this sketch.

Like I said, we filmed this when I was out in New York earlier this month. It’s the second of three videos we shot. Unless there’s some unforeseen amazing new video that pops up out of the woodwork this week, the third of these Reid videos will be released next Monday. My biggest regret with these three videos is that I waited to get a haircut until after my trip. My extreme shagginess is most apparent in the next video. I felt like a lion! But I don’t know if lions should necessarily be doing sketch comedy.

Actually, I was showing this and the next video to my dad tonight, and while I was queuing up the next video, the first frame of it appeared in QuickTime. My dad responded to the image on the screen with equal parts revulsion and horror. “What is this all about?” he asked. As my shaggy visage was the only thing on screen at that moment, I could only assume he meant, “You look like the bum that sits outside my office who wears really nice Broncos gear and begs for change.” Except, I don’t have any nice Broncos gear.

Oh well. As my dad put it, I’ll have all week to worry about the next video. So I’ll do my best to prepare for the ruthless taunts of anonymous 14 year old Internet bullies. I just have to keep telling myself that they’ll get their comeuppance soon enough, soon enough. I can’t say how, but soon. The plans are already underway. There’s nothing you can do to stop us from turning the tables! Now you will finally die, Mr. Bond! Mwa ha ha ha! Mwa ha ha!

◦—-◦Later, that same night.◦—-◦

Excuse me, hoooo. I’m sorry, I’ve gotta catch my breath. Now where was I? I think I might have gone a little overly megalomaniacal there; the evil laughter just started and didn’t stop until I passed out. I’m just so damn excited for the upcoming comeuppance giving.

Make sure to check next week for our last video of the decade! It’s another one I wrote, and more so with it than the video this week, Ballard “encouraged me” (with that adorable puppy dog look he knows I can’t resist and also with his brass knuckles) to make some revisions. It’s got a message and it’s very silly. I mean, the message isn’t silly, but the video is. At the very least, you’ll get to see, in beautiful high definition, why I needed a haircut and some beard corralling last week.


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