Tag Archives: Parker Benbow

Justin Roiland [Part 1]

On the first evening our conversation was scheduled for, I was scrambling to get organized. Let’s not make this a pattern, David. This man has created one of the most outstanding and exceptional animated series of the year, so let’s show some respect.

To my luck and disappointment, I discovered I was not alone in my lack of preparedness. The gentleman I was set to speak with needed to reschedule.

A week passed. I was greeted by a familiar voice. Perhaps I had heard it before on Gravity Falls, Adventure Time, or most recently on Rick and Morty, or perhaps it was familiar because he and I are merely aspects of a single, timeless organism made up of all the motion and energy in the multiverse. No matter. The host of this temporary flesh vessel was none other than the great…

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David Luna: How often do you draw?

Justin Roiland: Not as much as I used to. I always say I need to be drawing more than I do. I go through periods where I’ll spend full days drawing for weeks at a time, and then I just won’t draw for months and months and months. When I’m working on Rick and Morty, the drawing is mainly characters or scenarios that I’m drawing on the dry erase board to illustrate or reinforce a pitch or an idea or a character or whatever. The thing I don’t do often enough is comics—just freestyle, freeform, even if they’re bad. I used to keep idea/sketchbooks constantly. It’s kind of sad because the digital world has sort of completely taken over that. Like now I have Evernote on my phone, and then I’ve got my Cintique, and I’ve been just drawing stuff on the dry erase board and then taking pictures of it on my phone.

DL: A lot of people involved with Farscape have had guest appearances on Rick and Morty. Are there people you’ve tried to get on the show but couldn’t? And if you could have absolutely anybody’s voice to your disposal, who would you want on your show?

JR: Season 1, we tried to get David Bowie. It was a very pie in the sky, very unlikely thing, but we were like, “You can never be told no if you don’t ask.” And that didn’t happen, obviously. We got very lucky with Season 1. For the most part, everybody we really wanted ended up coming through and happening. Going into Season 2, again David Bowie; we’re going to try again. I would love to have him do a voice.

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Now that we’ve aired and people are familiar with the show, it’s going to be really interesting to see what kind of leverage that gives us when it comes to casting guest voices in Season 2. The thing that’s always cool to think about is what people am I a fan of that I could get to meet as a result of casting. There’s a lot of musicians that I would love to meet. That world has always been the most distant to me. I don’t go to concerts a lot, so I have all these bands I love, but that musicians’ world just seems so foreign and far away. I’m probably going cast some people from Battlestar; I love the idea of casting people from like awesome sci-fi shows, or just TV shows in general that I love, and, if possible, doing them in pairs. We have an episode coming up with Virginia Hey and Claudia Black, and they literally talk to each other and they’re together as characters in this episode, and it’s just so cool because I’m the biggest Farscape fan.

And in regard to the high school kids, I love casting Degrassi kids. As we continue to expand and develop other high school-centric characters, I’m going to keep going back to Degrassi because I love that show so much. Like, I love it ironically. It’s so bad, but I just love how bad it is. And it’s like one of my favorite things ever. It’s just appalling how one-dimensional some of the shit is on that show. I love that no one is calling them out or giving them notes. They just fucking write their scripts and shoot it—who gives a shit—and it does well, thank God. I want to be 70 years old and still see that show going. If they cancel that show I’m going to be so heartbroken. There’s such a sea of talent that has come out of that—good, bad and otherwise.

Continue reading Justin Roiland [Part 1]

Obama’s New Guidelines for the NSA

Earlier this week it was announced that President Obama had sent a letter to the NSA proposing changes which considered to be “reasonable goals.” In the interest of maintaining transparency The Annual has come into possession of said proposal through a series of wire taps and we would now like to share it with the American public.

Gen. Alexander,

I hope you don’t mind if I call you Keith, perhaps General Keith, I’m not sure which I like best. In the past year, your department has come under increased public scrutiny thanks to noted war criminal Edward Snowden. Still, I believe we must change things to show that we’re doing some good for the nation. Here are my very reasonable goals for NSA in 2014:

  • Give all Americans a courtesy call prior to phone tapping, that way they’re aware that the NSA is listening to their every word.
  • Convert every mirror into two-way mirrors.
  • Consider sending complimentary fruit baskets to unhappy Americans in order to smooth things over.
  • For the love of God, limit the tap time on sex lines. Those bastards are still charging us.
  • Establish a backup plan for the backup plan when lines are down. Cups with string have to be proven ineffective.
  • Remove toilet-cams from all government buildings and fast food restaurants.
  • If you hear a man speaking with a “girly man” voice, it is your duty to inform him. Refer him to the James Earl Jones hotline.
  • The Hills Have Eyes themed decorations for all newly constructed NSA surveillance buildings.
  • Literally installing the eyes of traitors to the US in various hills, that way the public will know we’re serious.
  • Agents need to stop telling people that NSA stands for “Non-Stop America.”
  • Send out ads that correspond to what people have been talking about, people like targeted advertisements.
  • Send out letters detailing out poor grammar and choices, while providing information for local ESL classes.
  • New complimentary Birthday, Engagement, Anniversary, New born, New Job, New car, Pet Birthday, Sympathy For Your Plant Dying, Congrats On Getting That Stye Removed, Congrats For Completing One Year of Therapy; Here’s To The Next Twenty, Yeah That Amazon Customer Service Rep Was A Complete Dick, and I’m Sorry Your Mom Keeps Calling Asking Why The TV Isn’t Working cards.
  • Convert all insects into listening devices. AKA: Bugs

Seems simple enough. Increasingly covert and 100% serious. I’m not talking about reinventing the shoe phone here. Just some simple improvements for 2014.

HAGS (Have A Great Summer)

-President Barack H. Obama

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Letter composed by:

Parker Benbow, Kevin Cole, Lily Fryburg, Briana Haynie, Matt Lee, Andrew Michaels, Emily Perper, Scott Travers

A December to Remember

Andrew Michaels

Artwork: Parker Benbow

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Bathtub Party Day (December 5th)

Grab your bubbles and rubber ducky! It’s Bathtub Party Day! This infamous day in history marks the first time someone had the idea to toss his clothes aside and soak in a tub of water. His name: Sir Bathacus Tubman.

While paddling in his canoe along the shores of Lake Erie, Sir Tubman was preparing to cleanse himself after a hard day’s work. After finding a decent area, he stripped off his clothes and began soaking in the lake. Sir Tubman enjoyed the family of ducks that surrounded him, but dreaded the slimy weeds and mud sliding around his feet. As he climbed back into the canoe, Sir Tubman noticed the clear water that collected on the canoe’s wooden floor. At that moment, he knew what he had to do.

With the help of his brother, Rub Tubman, Sir Tubman built the first prototype of his invention: the bathtub. News of this revolutionary cleansing contraption spread throughout the town and, soon, the country. December 5th marks the anniversary of the completion of Sir Tubman’s first bathtub. So, in the final words of Sir Tubman, “Rub-a-dub-dub, have celebration in my tub.”

*Fun Fact: In the following years, Sir Bathacus Tubman named his new invention, the rubber duck, after his brother, Rub Tubman.

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Put on Your Own Shoes Day (December 6th)

A day treasured by parents, a day despised by children. The following excerpt, titled “Satan’s Shoe Monger,” is from the continuing series, A History of Hellish Teachers.

Billy Tuckerson, age 10, Aces Elementary School

Journal entry #6, Monday, December 5th, 1804

Ms. Elworth sent us home with a bizarre homework assignment. ‘Tomorrow morning, as the sun rises from the depths of the sky, you must all put on your own shoes. Anyone who receives assistance from a parent or guardian will be mocked and criticized for their inferiority.’ I knew she was a blasphemous whore, but I never thought she would steep to this level. We will have to see what happens in the morrow. Until then, journal, goodnight.”

Journal entry #7, Tuesday, December 6th, 1804

“At least I did well. Last night, I spent hours learning how to tie my shoes. Once I managed to get them somewhat tied, I slipped them off, making it easier for myself to put them on in the morning. So, today at school, I realized that I was one of five who came in with a successfully completed homework assignment while the other six in the class did not. Needless to say, it was an amazing class. The five of us shoe-tiers spent the whole day whipping the others with their untied shoelaces and stepping on their uncovered toes. As my mother says, ‘It suckeths to sucketh.’ What a great day!”

If you’re a parent and you actually love your child, do us all a favor and buy him Velcro shoes.

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Take it in the Ear Day (December 8th)

Take it in the Ear Day originated in Lithuania and has slowly made its way to the United States. On this beloved and/or despised national holiday, people of all ages shove unexpected items into others’ ears followed by yelling the phrase, “You just took it in the ear!”

Here are the most common items that have been ear bound:

Pencil erasers: Sometimes accompanied by the words, “Let me erase that earwax for you.”

Licked finger tips: Often utilized by the homeless since they do not have many belongings.

Q-Tips: Done by the one guy who thought it would be absolutely hilarious because, in his words, “No one will see it coming.”

The male sex organ: Followed by the witty one-liner, “Oops, wrong hole.”

For those who do not like to partake in the day’s festivities, be sure to purchase earmuffs. Otherwise, Happy Taking, everyone!

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“Whatever you want to be doing, already do it”: An Interview with Gaby Dunn

I went in to my interview with Gaby Dunn nervous. I hadn’t seriously interviewed anyone—much less someone I fangirled over—in over a year. I went in to my interview planning to talk to Gaby Dunn about Feminism and Double Standards and Issues (all of which I am very passionate about, as is Dunn), but somehow we ended up talking about making dreams realities and following the writers of Fox’s “Sleepy Hollow” on Twitter. I’m not worried, though. Dunn ended our interview with “Talk to you soon!” and although I’m not planning to head out west in the near future, it’s nice to know your humanspirations are only an email away, and if you need to ask a burning question about women in comedy, well, you can. Maybe not now, but sometime.

All’s this to say is that I’ve followed Dunn’s work for a few years now. A journalism major in college, she founded and conducted “100 Interviews,” a series of—you guessed it— 100 interviews with “a porn actor,” “a horror make-up artist,” “someone who left someone else at the altar,” and more. She interned at the Daily Show, has written for basically everyone on the World Wide Web, and studied improv at People’s Improv Theater and sketch at Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Now, Dunn’s living in Los Angeles, pursuing comedy, filming a pilot, and writing for The Daily Dot. She also has a super cute dog.

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Gaby Dunn: What are you trying to write about?

Emily Perper: Well, for this in particular, I was really interested because I just saw your video that you posted a little while ago about the double standard in comedy with regards to women in comedy, which I thought was really interesting —

GD: Oh, thanks.

EP: Because I don’t think it’s addressed as much as it needs to be with what’s been going on, and with the diversity issues that have been brought up lately on “SNL,” it’s kind of like, I’d like to talk to someone about this. Things have gotten better, but there’s still a long way to go.

So I just had some basic questions for you, just about your interest in comedy—and I know you’re also a journalist, and that’s something I admire. I mean, I love your “100 Interviews” thing—

GD: Oh, thank you.

EP: —I was a big fan of that. When did you first realize you were interested in comedy?

GD: In middle school, I started. I had a TV in my room, and I started watching “Comedy Central Presents” on Friday nights. My family were sort-of-religious-Jewish, so I wasn’t really allowed to go out on Friday nights because it’s Shabbat.  But you’re not even supposed to watch TV, but I was allowed to do that. I went to a religious school, too, so me and this other girl who was also home alone on Fridays would be on the phone with each other watching “Comedy Central Presents.” We just loved all the comics, and we would quote them to each other, we would tell jokes and stuff.

EP: Who were some of your favorites—your favorite comics? Do you remember?

GD: In middle school, I was super into Mike Birbiglia, Maria Bamford, and Mitch Hedberg. Demetri Martin was a big one. Those might have been the big ones that I knew. Actually, four years ago, I was 21, I saw Mike Birbiglia in a bar, and I was really excited. I was like, “Oh, my gosh! I’ve loved you since I was a little girl!” and he was like, “Uhhh … I hope someone never says that to me again!” [Laughs.]

When I was a little girl, it never occurred to me how people became a comedian. I didn’t know how they did it. I didn’t know anything about clubs, I didn’t know anything about open mics, nothing. Like, “I guess you’re funny, and they put you on TV!” literally, until when I got to college, and then, “Oh! This is how you do it!”

I auditioned for a sketch troupe, and I got in, and that ended up being my extracurricular all four years. I ended up being vice-president of the troupe my senior year, running an open mic with the president of the troupe—we ran an open mic every semester—so it just started, all of a sudden, “Oh, this might be a thing that we could do.”

EP: What college did you go to?

GD: Emerson, in Boston. Everyone in entertainment went to Emerson. [Laughs] Literally, out here so far, either Emerson or Judaism have opened doors.

EP: Nice! The Judaism aspect—I plan to play that up as I continue to network. [Laughs]

GD: It’s insane how much it works. It’s like a terrible stereotype, but it’s caused so much.

EP: Who would you say your greatest comedic influences are? You love sketch obviously, but early influences were stand-up, and now you’re doing stand-up.

Continue reading “Whatever you want to be doing, already do it”: An Interview with Gaby Dunn