Tag Archives: Hannah Gutman

Good Christian? How Many Of These Things Are You Giving Up For Lent?

Lent is upon us and for the next six weeks Christians will be giving up anything from chocolate to watching TV. We’ve compiled 52 essential things to quit for lent, see how many you’re giving up and tell your friends how good a Christian you are!

1-3: Fallen Angel; 4-10: Decent Christian; 11-20: Good Christian; 21-30: Altar boy; 31-40: Disciple; 41-51: John The Baptist
52: Pope Francis

  • Flossing
  • Faith in Christ
  • Lean Pockets
  • The type of art where you make paintings out of your vomit
  • Sharing things on Facebook before doing 5 seconds of research to see if it’s made up
  • Telling everyone that the fish jumped out of the water and somehow got its mouth stuck on your penis by itself
  • Roller-blades (but not skates)
  • Making every bun a pretzel bun
  • Using the words “correctomundo” and “fo-sho” — See also: “epic”
  • Alcohol over 18% (ok, maybe 31%)
  • Indulgent chuckling
  • Ironic appropriation of AAVE
  • Having sex with your friends’ boyfriends (I heard Jesus would really appreciate it)
  • Pro-life bumper stickers
  • Complain-a-bragging
  • Eye contact
  • Chocolate flavored prophylactics
  • Asking to speak with your manager immediately
  • Taking all your self-loathing and personal frustrations out on the Kardashian/West family
  • Thinking about the country of Africa to make you feel better about your problems
  • Answering incriminating questions
  • Self-respect
  • The physical limitations of gravity
  • Using coupons
  • Your virginity
  • ALL television (but, like, TV-television. Not computer television. that’s different.)
  • Buzzfeed
  • Über and everything they stand for
  • Instagramming my breakfast
  • The Annual
  • “Wonderwall” by Oasis
  • Plotting revenge
  • Making ‘Fetch’ happen
  • Catching up on Game of Thrones before the next season
  • Having earbuds in for the sole purpose of not talking to your co-workers
  • Dipping triscuits in straight-up frosting
  • Wiping
  • Cleaning the litter boxes
  • Pooping in the litter boxes
  • CRAZY TALK
  • Football
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Ugg boots
  • My Sherpa
  • My Sharona
  • My Giant
  • The Mayan Calendar
  • Mylanta
  • Lionel Ritchie’s Greatest Hits
  • Tickling bystanders
  • Walking up to unsuspected people whispering “I like the way your breath smells in the morning.”
  • Taking selfies of selfies
  • Drinking Jack and milk

Lisa Burl, Kevin ColeIsabel Duarte, Hannah Gutman, Lydia Hadfield,
David Luna, James McGarvey, Christine McQuaid, T.M. Scholtes

Advertisements

Can We Talk?

That question-turned-iconic catchphrase never needed an answer. Audiences knew that roaring laughter, potential incontinence, and moments of, “Am I allowed to laugh at that?” were sure to ensue.

On September 4th, 2014, the world lost an incredible talent. The late, the great, the often-irate Joan Rivers stands among the ranks of Phyllis Diller, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, and other legends who broke through the walls of the Boys’ Club and paved the way for generations of comediennes to come. She hit the stand up circuit and set it on fire. With her rapid-fire wit and dynamic physicality she was plucked up into the world of television. Those in front and behind the camera loved her instantly. She was bold, challenging everything female comedians were expected to be. She addressed things no one else was talking about. She had no fear or shame when told she was taking it too far. If anything, that fueled her on further.

She became the darling of The Tonight Show and Johnny Carson declared that she was destined for stardom. For over twenty years, she wrote for and appeared on the show. She continued to perform her standup, everywhere from closet-sized clubs to major big-city comedy venues. In 1986, the launch of The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, though short-lived, marked her place in history as the first woman with her own late show on a principal network. The rest of her career consisted of more rises and falls than the breasts of a jogging Kim Kardashian. Joan was fiercely dedicated to her career; determined to book work, whether it was working a huge television gig or simply a few days on a cruise ship. She wrote constantly; plays, books, new routines. Every joke she ever wrote was recorded on an index card and stored in a giant filing system. There’s no doubt that she was as sharp as her tongue. Her mind was always ahead of her words, her responses quick and on point, and her performances were just as impressive and affecting in her last years as they were from the start.

The role of public image in Joan’s life was much like my digestive system after a late night Taco Bell run. Sometimes your satisfied stomach adores you, other times that bastard organ betrays you and damns you to wallow in agony and regret. Plastic surgery became her obsession, and after a number of procedures people began likening her to a freak show attraction. One of the most important things a comedian, celebrity, or anyone really, can learn is to develop a thick skin. Joan’s was thicker than the layers of makeup she put on everyday before being seeing anyone. That toughness, that ability to keep her head held high is something I’ve always admired. All physical traits aside, her public image was and remains highly contested. Some people adore her as a queen of comedy or just enjoy hearing a sassy older woman talking about her vagina. Her lack of self-censorship led many people to view her as a terrible person. I never met her. I can’t judge the content of her character. I can’t judge the contents of her closet because they probably cost more than my college education. She did say offensive things (and I mean really) offensive things. She would be the first to admit that. I won’t even try to separate what was belief from what was performance, because I’m not qualified to judge.

The Joan Rivers I will always remember was a huge inspiration to me. As an aspiring comedian/comedienne/I’ll-go-by-whatever-you’ll-pay-me-for, I studied her performances, her stand up, her everything, because her stamina, fast-talking wit, explosive shouting, and exaggerated use of body and face are right up my alley. If she, along with the other leading ladies of laughter, had not dared to break the walls of the boys’ club, I’d likely be too intimidated to pursue a career in comedy. She had a dream, to be a performer, and let nothing stand in her way. She had the tenacity to keep going, going, going until she made it happen. She refused to let the industry change her, though the backlash often cost opportunities or burned bridges. Her strength was undeniable. You wouldn’t believe how much she could bench press (emotionally). I could certainly use a dose of her confidence when it comes to moving past failure and embracing new possibilities. She often mentioned that she wanted to keep working, keep entertaining, and keep performing until she died. It’s a comfort to know she succeeded, but it’s hard not to think there was more she might have done.

I look up to Joan posthumously. She always insisted that she wanted her funeral to be a grand, ridiculously over the top celebration. She hoped that people would laugh. Still working, still entertaining, still caring. A devoted mother and grandmother, she leaves behind a family, of blood but also of love, who still feel the effects of her presence in their lives. For all of the laughter lines you’ve given to the world and times you’ve made me think, “Someday, I want to be up on that stage, talking about my vagina,” I thank you.

Joan Rivers will not be forgotten. I like to think that she won’t let us. I like to think that ghosts exist, even if only for her. Imagine ecto-Joan Fashion Police-ing everywhere she floats. She can finally get close enough to spot all of the panty lines.

Oh, and as for the haters? You’d better watch out. You know she’s going to be haunting ALL OF YOU.

Hannah Gutman

Craigslist

Hannah Gutman

When Craig Newmark started emailing lists of upcoming local events to his friends in 1995 (because he still had a few years before the Hamster Dance would dominate the chain letter circuit), I doubt he imagined the world he would one day create. A world that brings people together, replacing the newspaper classifieds with simple columns chockfull of hyperlinks that make dreams come true. What other site can bring together lonely hearts, renters of unfurnished apartments and a gal who really needs to get rid of a couch? It’s soft, red and free if you come pick it up. Only a few stains. Serious replies only, please.

Craigslist has something for everyone. Online dating? Sure! Looking for something less serious? You’ll find no judgment here. Can’t seem to find a good deal on a used tuba? If you don’t want your son to resent you for crushing his hopes and dreams, you had better click “musical instruments” under the “for sale” column.

I love Craigslist’s simplicity. No fancy formatting. No logo. Not a capital letter to be found. A site this humble appeals to the people. I like visiting a homepage without thinking, “Oh, so you think you’re better than me with your fancy colors and your RSS feed?”

I have a special place in my heart for Craigslist. When I was sixteen, I found a desk on Craigslist. I had never picked out my own furniture, but I wanted that desk more than anything. Stubborn as I was, am, and always will be, I replied to the seller. Before long I had an address and convinced my mother to drive me the forty-five minutes to a small house covered in ivy and surrounded by flowers. My mom stayed in the car as I slowly approached the front door. I knocked. No response. I knocked again, but there was still no response. Dejected, I turned to leave and found myself face-to-face with an old woman covered in dirt. She smiled, missing several teeth and small-talked me all the way around to the backyard. She took me through the back door and into her living room. A part of me expected her to feed me to her parrot, but instead she offered me cookies and helped me carry the desk to the car.

I know, I know. You’ve heard the stories about predators and criminals trying to scam or lure users into bad, bad situations. Sadly, many of them are true, but I refuse to give up when there is good to be found! I recently packed my bags and Oregon-trailed my way to Las Vegas for the summer. Homeless, jobless and far from home I turned to Craigslist for help. I couldn’t believe how many great options there were for me to explore! Some of the posters specified exactly what they wanted in a roommate, which made it so much easier to narrow down my choices. One seeker wrote:

We are 4 guys, students, professional sports betters, even a street performer you would recognize, 20s, 30s, we have Wi-Fi, linens, not enough privacy for a female and if you are over 40 your self-esteem would not permit this. We’d hope you are educated, personable, honest, sense of humor, like us.

That upfront honesty saved me the embarrassment of admitting that I am a woman and the fear that I wouldn’t meet their standards. Imagine if I were a 42-year-old man without a sense of humor? Yikes.

I also found some Good Samaritans, like this fella:

Are you struggling, having a hard time, living paycheck to paycheck. I am too. Are you homeless or losing your place of residence? Perhaps we can help each other out. Share my 1 bedroom apartment rent-free. This might be only until you’re back on your feet or long term. I cannot help everyone. I have a desire to help a young woman in need of help is all. If you are seeking a sugar daddy please move on. This is only for an honest good gal.

Rent-free? What a deal! Being a relatively honest gal myself, an offer like this was hard to refuse. If only his apartment had been closer to my internship! Just my luck.

Once I’d found a place to live, it was time to find a job.  There were even more postings to peruse! Overwhelmed but excited, I dove right in, ventured first to the “tv/film/video/radio” jobs. Immediately the post titles called to me.

“CASTING BIKERS LOOKING FOR LOVE!”

“Are you in the middle of DRAMA that can be solved by a DNA test?”

“ Need a female who can answer the phone in a pizzeria.”

“ BUSINESSMAN SEEKS HOT DINNER DATE.”

“ Get a COOL job for the HOT summer!”

“Comedian/Actor to Play Rabbi at Live Events.”

“Girls that are new to Vegas & need help making $”

“ WOULD YOU SHAVE YOUR HEAD FOR $1,500 CASH?”

“New girls that have never bartended before to bartend at mansions.”

“Feet.”

There were so many people looking to hire dancers, actors, and models, too! It is so refreshing to find a community that really appreciates the arts. Much to my refrigerator’s disappointment, I am still unemployed. No job means plenty of time on my hands, but a gal can only beat Candy Crush so many times before craving something more. Okay, I still haven’t beaten Candy Crush, but I’ll get there someday, Mom! As I’ve learned from the city-centric sitcoms that raised me, it’s hard getting by without a buddy there for you when the rain starts to fall. I thought I’d be fine, since it never rains in Vegas, but I found myself wanting to go where everybody knows my name. Instead, I made my way back to Craigslist, where nobody knows your name unless you include it in your post. On any other occasion, I would have stayed in a galaxy far, far away from the “personals” category. Desperate for comrades to sharpen up my defunct trivia team, I clicked on the safest of the sketchy selections. As it turned out, “strictly platonic” was harmless. Much like my run-ins with “housing” and “jobs,” these lonely users seemed perfectly genuine in their search for friendship.

“Let’s Have a Fun Monday (Your Place)“

“Nothing Wrong With Being Friends!”

“Why is it hard to find good friends?”

“Tonight 420, Henney and red box movies.”

“Do True Friends Really Exist In Vegas?”

“I can help with your pain.”

“Do any Republican girls want to hang out?”

“What is wrong with everybody?”

“Do You Wanna Build A Snowman?”

“Potluck, anyone?”

Places to live, potential employers, a network of friends just waiting to meet you, and you can get it all for a few clicks on a keyboard? Bring me your men, your women, your young, your socially awkward, your fetishes, your unwanted dressers from IKEA and I will send them to one sacred haven.

The power is in your hands. Craigslist can cause problems. Craigslist can solve problems. Take Robert, a self-titled “Ghost Writer” in Palm Springs.

Want a Novel….Short Story….Auto Biography…?…..I’ll write it for you…your way…give me a call….Robert.”

Now there’s a guy who just wants to help people. Plain and simple, he asks for no recognition. He does good work out of the kindness of his heart. He may be a bit slow when it comes to meeting deadlines, but he has stuff going on. I don’t know, important stuff. Don’t worry about it.

You can’t always get what you want, but if you’re willing to sift through the sketch and the shady, you might just get what you need. Just be sure to tread lightly because a pervert may have written the post you’re reading. Or your grandpa. Or Robert. I should remind you that no part of this was written by Robert, but if you need any writing or you’re ever in Palm Springs, give me a call. Give him a call. Trust me, Craigslist is important. Why else would Weird Al write a song about it? So get yourself on there and post a classified of your own, but do not contact me with unsolicited services or offers. Thanks.

Love,

   Robert

Subscribe to The Annual for only $20 a year!

Announcing The Annual 11

It’s very possible that many of you have begun speculating whether or not The Annual would go on, it had been a while since issue 10. It even seemed as though the month of September had been skipped in it’s entirety. However, The Annual is back baby!

Annual11cover

Coming October 21st, our Oct/Nov spectacular hits virtual store shelves and will then be mailed straight to your physical door! This issue features fall fashion tips, halloween costume ideas, an interview with Emily Heller, tributes to Joan Rivers and Robin Williams and so much more. It’s a bimonthly comedic extravaganza that you won’t want to miss! Click here to preorder your copy!

This issue features material from:

Parker Benbow, Isabel Duarte, Amber George, Hannah Gutman, Briana Haynie, David Luna, Andrew Michaels, Buddy Purucker, and Steve Younkins!

Editor-In-Chief:

Kevin Cole

Editor-At-Large:

Emily Perper

12 – Celebrating Jim Henson (Feat. Brian Jay Jones)

Poster

 

Episode 12 of The Last Hurrah is now online! You can click the picture above to listen!

This weekend came to a close celebrating Jim Henson, with special guest Brian Jay Jones. Mr. Jones is the president of the Biographers International Organization; most recently, he wrote the New York Times bestseller “Jim Henson: The Biography”. Joined by host and Muppet fanatic Kevin Cole, as well as panelists Hannah Gutman and Andrew Michaels, the four sat down to discuss the life of Jim Henson.

[NOTE: This episode is listed as explicit on iTunes by default, Brian tells one story where the f-bomb is used, outside of that the episode is primarily clean]

ByqmayFCYAALg5R

Please support the show by subscribing and reviewing the show on itunes and join us Sundays at 7pm at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre.

 

Stellar Guy

Hannah Gutman

Charles Franklin had a headache. Not one of those annoying-Mary-I-can’t possibly-make-it-for-squash-today headaches, but a deep tension-behind-your-eyes-while-your-mother-asks-when-you’re-going-to-give-her-grandchildren kind of headache. As he sipped his lukewarm excuse for coffee, he tried to think of anything but the ever-increasing stack of forms, files, and memos overtaking his desk. Instead, he mulled over the previous night’s events.

There was heavy silence amidst the darkness, a rare occurrence for any time of day or night in Callahan City. He scanned the rooftop for signs of hidden wrongdoers. Exhaling slowly, he began to relax, until a sudden flash of gold and scarlet took him by surprise…

“Charlie? Hello?” Rupert Beadle was a smallish man who worked in the adjoining cubicle and spoke with a voice of someone who still lived with his mother and her younger boyfriend, Larry.

“The boss wants to, um, to see you right away.” He turned to go to the men’s room.  As if he’d forgotten something, Beadle turned and darted back. “Charlie? I almost forgot. The boss wants to see you.”

“Yes, Rupert, I believe you covered that one.”

“So, you’re heading to the boss’s office?”

“That does seem to be a logical plan of action.”

“Maybe you should go to the boss’s office.”

“Are you suffering from short term memory loss?” Charles asked.

“Not today, but I still think you should go to the boss’s office,” Beadle said. He flicked his eyes across the room and lowered his voice. “The boss’s office.”

He scurried away to the solitude of his cubicle.

Charles at last understood the mad ravings of Beadle, a great feat in itself. He tidied his mess of papers into an orderly stack. Impressed by his own neatness, he grinned as he walked down the hall to the elevator.

He stopped just short of colliding with an attractive twentysomething waiting for the buttons to light up. Flirting shamelessly, she practically begged him to follow her down to brunch. Alas, when the doors opened, she entered the lift alone. Charles wanted nothing more than to take her down to more than brunch, but he turned his attention to a distasteful ficus.

He moved the ficus aside and lifted a square of tile, revealing a keypad. He punched several digits, replaced the ficus and once again waited for the elevator. When it arrived, the Charles the telemarketer stepped inside, whistling the tune he hoped would one day be his theme song.

Charles Franklin seemed a quite unremarkable man. He was tall, but there were taller. He was a handsome man, but some were more so. The only peculiar thing about his appearance was his attire. His clothes always seemed to be too tight; sweating was a constant concern; and his glasses didn’t quite fit his face.

When the elevator stopped, Charles entered a cavernous room containing a single chair. The boss’s chair. A nice chair. Probably high-end IKEA. The boss was not merely the manager of the telemarketing office, but also an important official in international affairs or something impressive like that. The scent of wisdom, leadership and a hint of cat urine filled the air.

Before Charles could approach the chair, a voice snickered, “You’re late.”

“It’s hard getting anywhere on time with tights on under my slacks. And the Spandex? It’s killer,” said Charles.

“You don’t like the spandex? I picked it out especially for you.”

The chair whirled around to reveal a woman with long, fiery hair. A real knockout. I mean, wowza.

“Very funny. Let’s get down to business. What’s the deal?”

“Well, with increased police patrol and a stronger international military presence (thanks, Obama!), we’re having a slow week in the emergency department.”

“Why did you call me in?”

“55th and Park Street. Code Black.”

“Oh. Great.”

Charles nodded and left the way he came. Once he’d made his way to the street, he walked quickly, muttering to himself. “Come on, come on, there has to be one somewhere!” He became more frustrated with each passing block. Finally he found what he had searched for. A portable restroom. “Johnny Blue.” (What? Were you thinking of a telephone booth? Come on, that is so cliché.)

Once inside, he proceeded to take off his clothes, carefully fold them, and leave them on the floor of the stall. An ally, following at a distance, would pick them up after his departure. Okay, Beadle. Beadle would pick them up. Charles had a spectacular costume. Well, spectacular if your only exposure to costumes came from the garments your aunt fashioned for you every childhood Halloween: bright green tights he found at the aerobics store, one of his mother’s old white leotards and a mask, the only piece truly worthy of a superhero. The mask was made by none other than Rupert—telemarketer by day, master tailor by night. Why, Rupert was probably working on Charles’ new costume, which would be a huge improvement. His delicate fingers worked slowly, so the hand-me-downs would have to do for now.

When our hero stepped out of the hot, stinking blue box (no, not that blue box) he was no longer Charles Franklin. He was…Captain Stellar-Guy(guy,guy,guy…)! Okay, so the name was a little weak, but hey, all the good ones were taken. Having shed his secret identity, Captain Stellar-Guy ran and took off with a giant leap. Yes, he could really fly. Of course he could fly! What kind of superhero can’t? (Posers like the “Incredible” Hulk, that’s who. Oh, you’re strong! Congratulations!)

As he was flying, Captain Stellar-Guy slipped into a daze…

It was a fair fight. The two individuals were equal in power. Neither seemed to be winning or losing. With a blast of his Stellar-Breath (a hit with birthday cakes), he brought the scarlet and gold fiend down, hard. His opponent fought back with laser vision. “Psh, laser vision? That’s a cool power. Too bad it won’t work!” Captain Stellar-Guy shouted, ducking behind a rooftop wishing well. (If he could’ve stepped out of battle for a moment, he would have found the fifteenth-story garden quite lovely). He stepped back into the open and found himself face to face with his nemesis.

“You think you can beat me, Captain Stellar-Guy? Well, I have news for you,” hissed his antagonist, a pathetic villain currently involved in a celebrity lawsuit over his name—Lieutenant Super-Bad.

“As a matter of fact…Look! Is that Steve Carrel?”

“Where? ‘The Office’ is my favorite…” The so-called villain turned his head for just a second, but that was long enough for our hero to tackle Lt. Super-Bad into the aforementioned wishing well. There he remained until the authorities arrived. The man not worthy of being called a villain cursed as he was led away in handcuffs, “I’ll get you, Captain Stellar-Guy! And your little dog, too!”

Captain Stellar-Guy snapped out of his daydream as a wet and slimy missile struck him from above. “I hate these birds. I just washed this leotard!” (That was a lie.) He soon reached his destination, 55th and Park Street. He stopped just feet away from the crowd of three, maybe four people standing at the corner. “No need to fear, good citizens, for Captain Stellar-Guy is here!”

The crowd muttered in apathetic confusion.  “Captain who?” “What’s he saying?” “Who is this guy?”

“What seems to be the problem? I was told there was a Code Black,” Captain Stellar-Guy said, trying not to seem like he had no idea what Code Black actually meant.

A man stepped forward.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about. All I know is that Mrs. Oldman’s cat is stuck in that tree.”

Support the Annual and receive humor every bimonth for only $20 a year!

The Annual #10 Arrives in One Week!

 

Annual10cover

On July 31st The Annual #10 will (finally) arrive, just in time for it to still be considered a July/August issue. This issue is jam packed with material from your favorite Annual writers and a new interview with Sara Benincasa. This issue contains (but is not limited to) up to the minute Bill Murray tracking, a glimpse at an upcoming Pixar movie*, a look into Craigslist, an in-depth breakdown of mystery Doritos flavors, illustrated Campfire stories and so much more! Side effects may include stubbed toes, broken hearts and a realization of one’s own mortality, so preorder The Annual #10 today!

*Upcomins pixar movie in the satirical sense. Pixar movie detailed is in no way being produced by Pixar. We mention this, because Disney is known to be sticklers for their copyrights.