Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Decor-fake-shuns

I have always scoffed at giant, inflatable lawn ornaments and ceramic Nativity scenes, but for some reason, this Christmas, I am interested in transforming my studio. This notion comes at the same time I'm trying to tighten my belt because of the whole not-being-employed-during-the-shopping-season thing.

I spent two hours at Target and had buyer's remorse just looking at stuff. I walked around with a $14 set of glued wooden blocks that spelled, "Merry Christmas". After holding it for a while, I realized the M was upside down. It said, "Werry Christmas." That made me want it more, but I knew at the check-out I would have wanted to haggle for the misspelling. "No one is going to buy this. I'll give you fifty cents for it." Since all Targets of the world could burn down and they'd still have enough money to rebuild them with roller coasters inside, they don't change the price of anything.

I picked up and put down forty more items, and finally left with a red ribbon for my door. On the way home I saw a pile of loose branches by the Christmas trees. Remembering my creative roots (I once made a car for my Barbie out of a Kleenex box), I asked the vendor if I could take some of the branches home. She said yes, if I made a donation. I heard Chris Rock's voice in my head, "How much for a soda? How about if I take a sip for 15 cents? F[orget] the cup, just pour it in my hand for a dime." I said, " about just the brown ones...away from the pile, on the ground?" She sighed and told me I could pick from the pile. Then she offered me a bag to carry them. Then a sandwich.

I put the ribbon on my door and the sack of branches in a corner. My house looks exactly the same, and I am overwhelmed by this pressure. I decide that's good for this year.

So relax. Maybe it's not taste holding you back from decorating, but laziness.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Layoffs R Us

Corporate America. Getting rid of excess waste in style.

I was let go from my work place this morning along with hundreds of folks. My former colleagues were very somber about it, and either chose not to look at me or to give me puppy dog eyes. It's that age-old phrase: the company loves misery. It stinks to feel rejected, but it's not the worst way to go. Imagine the last time you got dumped. If that person helped you get your things together, thanked you for being nice and then gave you some cash, maybe you would have thought twice before putting their number on Craigslist.

I never felt comfortable talking about my job on the blog, but now that I don't work there anymore, I can finally reveal what I did for a living: I wrote descriptions for Sky Mall.

You know that litter box that looks like a space ship? I'm the one who thought to call it "an intimate get-away for your pet". When we tested it, most cats were too afraid to go inside, so I added, "You won't be able to tell they've used it!" Engineers from Sweden would send in their ridiculous inventions, and it was my job to trick people into buying them. The key is to make the impractical seem necessary. The upright hot dog and bun warmer? "An exclusive toaster for exclusive tastes." The giant, wall-sized cross word puzzle? "Hiding punch-holes has never been this fun...or educational." The ice cream maker that needs no ice OR chemicals? "Uh...soup recipes included."

I guess the only thing I would have changed is being let go by an animatronic Elvis bust.

"You ain't nothing but a hound dog!"

But Boss, I can do better.

"...cryin' all the time."

No. I told myself I would not cry. I just wanted to say one thing.

"A little less conversation--"

I know, a little more action. I remember the company slogan. I'll...see myself out.

Some of the staff were very cool. I will miss Victor who always called me Bee-bee and said my Spanish was very good. And if I may have a private word just between the two of us: Hola. Bien gracias y tu? Muy bien. Uh...I don't know that one. Bueno? Okay. Later.

I will miss the weird painting on the wall made of blue blotches that always looked like a screaming face. I will miss my desk by the men's room. I will miss the stale contents of that desk. Namely the packet of dried chicken noodle-flavored soup labeled, "Beat the 3PM Slump!" that always reminded me to go to Starbucks. Especially at this time of year, I will miss the phone call announcing the non-negotiable bonus and the follow-up question, "So how does that sound to you?"

Good bye Sky Mall! See you next to the barf bag.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Girls Just Wanna Have Anonymity

My part-time job as a private investigator is finally paying off. I have three rules: I work pro-bono, I only take myself on as a client, and my tool of choice is the Internet. My latest discovery is that Stacy London, the host of Fashionably Late, may have been an extra in the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun video by Cyndi Lauper.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

You may be asking yourself, "What does this mean?" I don't know. I just uncover the facts. You continue, "Well why should I care? Because I don't." Hold on there. Let me try harder to answer your first question. I can't find this credit on her imdb listing, so I take it to mean there are some skeletons in our closet that we choose not to release. Even if those skeletons are involvement in one of the greatest songs of all time, they may also be the kind to reveal that we are 55 years old.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Over-eating

In honor of the holiday, friendly forwards, and the dvd of Follow That Bird that I found at the bottom of a $5 bin, here is a picture of seasonal fellowship.

I was prepared to live-blog the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, but the ridiculous staging sucked all of the comedy out of me. How can I top 23 year old baton twirlers, bored audience members or Willard Scott chattering animatedly to the camera with no audio?

I'm sure it was something about Smuckers.

Most out of place award is a three-way tie among:
pre-packaged boy bands (not extinct, it turns out)
ill-conceived balloons (Ronald McDonald?! The Burger King makes better commercials AND a better Halloween costume)
and floats of blonde-haired, blue-eyed Native Americans smiling and singing in their Navajo language. Loose translation: "Thank you for taking our lands. Thank you for cutting off our hands. Thank you for the Black Friday Sale, and mostly for Ashley Tisdale!"

Then hers truly came out on a float and held up a sign explaining that she is not Ashlee Simpson, despite the same nose job, malnourished frame, blonde extensions and lack of talent.

It's like a knock-off of a knock-off. That was stolen from you and later returned.

I perked up at the hint of a sneak preview of Xanadu. Finally, I get to see what this musical is about! The cast comes out on roller skates, wheels around and sings some Meatloaf ballad, the only intelligible word of which is Xanaduuuu. Apparently it's a giant commercial for Johnny Rockets. Then Tay Zonday burst through my living room singing Chocolate Rain, and everything made perfect sense.

On the bright side, my son made his television lipsynching debut.

I am so proud of you, Cordon Bleu.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Well I'm on my third day in Ocala, FLORIDA, and not California as many mistakenly heard. I'm having a rootin' tootin' high falootin' good time with opening performer Luke Thayer and headliner Mark Evans. I've banged my camera against the laptop several times, but it turns out you need a cable with a USB port to transfer photos. I didn't pack one, so just hold tight, and I'll tell you how the trip went in due time. So far the shows have been tons of fun and I've met some pretty cool audience members.

Ocala Koala Ocala Koala Ocala Koala.

Also, my cat poster in the previous post below has been criticized for not containing misspelled words. First of all, there are three guarantees in life: death, taxes and jealousy when you make a superbly witty comic strip from someone else's photo of a cat. It's a known fact. Secondly, there is no set dictionary demonstrating how to misspell the words. Finally, cats are highly intelligent, and mine have full knowledge of the English language. Quite like another cat I know...

Monday, November 12, 2007

LOL Cats Builder

Inspired by Phaea's actual find on, here is my own homemade comic courtesy of the photo suppliers at LOL Cats Builder. It's Build-A-Bear for people who are approximately as funny as Cathy Guisewite.

DVDs Nuts

The following were described as "A classic game of cat and mouse". It becomes less classic and less accurate the more you read it on the box.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

There are three remaining weeks for you to bang out the world's worst novel!

November is National Novel Writing Month, and I have joined to take part. I'd like to infuse some bootcamp discipline with my writing style, and I'd like you to join me. The whole goal of this program is to encourage people to be enthusiastic and work on their output and follow-through. "The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly."

It's your chance to be like Kobayashi (without the intestinal damage)!

I chose to write the genre I spent my entire youth reading: mystery/suspense. I only have 616 out of 50,000 words finished, but that's because I keep trying to make it funny. Blame it on Clue. It takes place in an Indiana murder mystery theater called the Hoodunnit Hotel, from the point of view of one of their disgruntled performers. Here's the beginning of Three Scary Deaths and A Real One:

A room full of twenty people means the show will go on, even if half of them are teenagers who would rather be caught in the current rain storm than be dragged to a dinner theater performance. Families come to celebrate a forty-seventh birthday, encourage their daughter’s theatrical side or to make up for lack of communication with each other. Couples come to celebrate nuptials, find that spark again or to make up for lack of communication with each other. I look through the dressing room door and down the hallway to where the line of patrons starts. Out of view, it continues down a winding staircase that leads to the lobby bar, where some take their final swigs before the fun begins. I pity the couples with matching sweaters. “Fools,” I mutter as I slip on a pair of overalls and tie a rubber chicken to my head.

Hey, if skill, research and dignity are holding you back, I think there's a book you need to look into.

They don't even have opposable thumbs to hold a brush.


People Haters! Mount up!

It was a clear black night, a clear white moon
Abbi C was checkin’ mail, trying to make room
For booking requests, but none comin’ in…
I turns to the ‘Net and reads the MSN.

(Nate Dogg)
Hit the Lower East Side of the NYC
On a mission trying to find Ms. Abbi C
Stoppin’ off at the Sunshine Bakery.
For some smooth butter cream cupcakery.

So I took a listen to the man named Chapman.
His show is off the air and I said "What happened?”
He slurs on the phone—it’s all messed up
Enquirer caught it all and he said, "I'm stuck."

See these girls peepin’ me all skinny and white
Askin’ would I like to see a funny show tonight.
My girl Abbi’s on the phone talking bout some racists.
Got a blue-red decision like I’m in the Matrix.

I'm gettin mad, I'm on my cell phone
I can't believe Nate is takin’ this long.
Another celeb hates my race and my sex.
I grabbed my computer, said, "Damn, who’s next?"

I like live comedy but it’s starting to sour
Cuz it’s twenty-two people on the Amateur Hour.
I gotta get to Brooklyn before Abbi’s mean
Plus all the jokes tonight are “Girls and Halloween.”

Bounty Hunter’s callin’ blacks
The “F’n N-word”
Letting it loose like a dog lays turds.
But I shouldn’t be surprised
That there’s a race he hates.
I glanced in the cut and I see my homey Nate.

I’m here in the Slope tryin to get the news
But I’m interrupted by some Jesus-lovin’ Jews.
I knock ‘em out and realize just a tad bit late:
Nate Dogg and Bounty H both discrimi-hate.

We share the same name!
It makes my head explode...
Now I'm switching my mind back into peace mode.
If you want to make amends sit back and observe
I just left evangelists over there on the curb.

Now Nate’s collecting pamphlets
And shaking their hands
And dusting off their vests and corduroy pants.

Own up, own up, cause it's wrong...
N-A-T-E and me
the Abbi to the C.

Just like I thought
they were in the same spot
still spreading the word.
the Nate Dogg and the A-child
don’t judge what we heard.
We went to grab dinner at Willie’s Dawgs
I said "Challah bun for me."
And then Abbi said "that’s a Jewish bread”
We can live in harmony.

I got a belly full of food and I’m feelin all right
I wonder what Michael Richards is doing tonight...

I'm speaking
about a whole new era:
loving folks.
I dare ya.
on a whole new level...

the rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble!

We tired of
Shut up
When your job is your life
your life’s on Access Hollywood.

If you know like I know
you don't wanna talk like this.
In the information era
you’ll get caught for your thoughts like this.
if you joke like she jokes
then you laugh like everyday.
but if you hate behind closed doors
then soon it’s gon’ be caught on tape.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Todd Barry's 20th Anniversary of Stand-up

Luke's birthday is this week, so last Thursday I took him to see Todd Barry Celebrating 20 Years of Stand-up Comedy at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Sign at Union Hall
The lineup included
Tom Shillue
Heather Lawless
Tom Ryan
Sarah Silverman
Michael Showalter
H. Jon Benjamin
David Cross
Slovin and Allen
John Glaser
and Andy Blitz,

but my camera battery died at the top of the show, so I only got a couple of shots. Not only was it a great time, but all proceeds from the tickets went to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Todd Barry

Tom Shillue came out and interviewed Todd with questions he had gathered from the audience.

Newly married Heather Lawless of Variety Shac scored with her deadpan delivery.

Tom Ryan had a great set and reminisced about Todd.

Sarah Silverman asked if anyone had any questions about Todd and then worked into material about wholesome family bonding. Like showers with mom.
Sarah Silverman

Michael Showalter showed us recorded screen shots of him winning Online Scrabble. Never challenge a writer.
Michael Showalter

H. Jon Benjamin showed a short film as a tribute to his buddy Todd. It included a guided tour into his apartment and ended in his bedroom. And he was in the bedroom. And he was nude.

David Cross was Luke's favorite of the night, ripping into global warming via its affect on fully-clothed Hasidic Jews. And then ripping into Hasidic Jews.

Slovin and Allen came out and riffed on headlines, but it turns out it's still too soon to talk about the Hindenburg.

John Glaser performed as Wackadoo, a famous Australian comic whose unique laser light show couldn't be shipped to Union Hall.

Andy Blitz was the last performer of the night and sang a spectacular song in angst towards an animal that's "just a cat".

Todd closed the show by passing out sweets! Cupcakes with his face on them.
Todd Barry Cupcakes and Gourds

Todd Barry Cupcake

Halloween Hangover

All the pumpkins are soggy, and the fake cobwebs have been rained on so they look like pillow stuffing. Halloween is Nos Finitu. Relive the excitement of these shows on!

The Living Room at Posmark Cafe
Oct. 26

Abbi Crutchfield and Neil Charles as Crystal and Trevor Valentino
Crystal Valentino decided to change her name to Crystal Halloweeno for the evening and invited her brother Trevor on stage (played by Neil Charles). Together they pondered perfume, candy corn and monster movies in a musical segment called, "Y'all Feel Me". For a full re-cap of this Halloween Scare-avaganza, go to the Living Room website.

Delusions of Spandex at Parkside Lounge
Oct. 27

Abbi Cruthfield as Betty the Cat Lady
Betty the Cat Lady was introduced as Cat Woman in the spirit of costumes and tomfoolery. She shared real audio of Senor Don Gato wooing Lake Kitty Cha-cha and reminded us of how many cat toys to gather in case of emergency evacuation.

Chicks and Giggles at Comix (Ochi's Lounge)
Oct. 30

Dr. Eric Newberry (Abbi Crutchfield)
This fabulous lounge is not pronounced "Oakeys" like the Italians would have you believe, but "Oh-Cheese" and you know there's plenty of that when it's time for a sketch show! The night featured nothing but characters for this HOWL-oween special. AB Carney as Aunt Flo, Becky Yamamoto, The Oh-Debra Twins, Livia and Biz from Meat, and more. I came in as Dr. Erick Newberry, feminist motivational speaker. Check your local listings for her self defense class using every day items, like a mascara wand for a shiv. Maybe it's time to run, and maybe it's Maybelline.

Poetry Vs. Comedy at Bowery Poetry Club
Oct. 31
Luke Thayer and Abbi Crutchfield
Luke performed at Cheryl B's fantastic poetry-comedy throw down. Maurice the Landlord lamented that he didn't know "good Leno's Headlines", and then went into a tirade against Bit-O-Honey. I joined in solidarity as a Cabbage Patch. Carolyn Castiglia hosted as a bee in solidarity with Jerry Seinfeld. Matt McCarthy read as Bad Ass Larry, Elon James White as Care Bear X, Katina Corrao was Strawberry Shortcake...have you checked out the pictures yet?!

Village Ma
Nov. 2
This was neither Halloween-themed nor did it take place on a holiday, but it was foreboding for each comedian, as there was a full house...of hecklers. Mike Ennis, Barry Rothbart and Jeff Cerulli produce a great show that is always a great time for the comics and the crowd. For a table of unsuspecting Spaniards, however, making people laugh for a living proved to be muy mal. I'm thinking of having my funeral in Spain by the way. Check me back there again Nov. 30!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Because It's Friday

I am planning on having lunch at Grimaldi’s pizzeria in Brooklyn this afternoon.

I don’t have a publicist, so I don’t know any other way to alert the paparazzi.

I’ll also be at the Village Ma tonight (107 MacDougal, 10012) at 10:00PM for Friday Night Special brought to you by Jeff Cerulli, Mike Ennis and Barry Rothbart. The last two are members of the sketch troupe The Straight Men.

Saturday I am doing a twenty-minute set at Blaggard’s Pub (45 W. 39th, btwn 5th & 6th ave, 10018). I should have passed a flier around like it’s my one-woman show, because it’s a unique opportunity in the town of 7-min performances. I will call it: Broad Humor: The Abbi Crutchfield Story