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November 19, 1998 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-19

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46 - The Michigan Daily Weeked Magazine - Thursday, November 19, 1998



Ex-Gargoyle writers
bring unique humor
to campus TV

The Michigan Daily Wee
® State of the Arts


"Blast Off to Your imagination" cast members do it without pants - Just ask J.D. Ryznar.


Show's first install-
ment is scheduled to
air this week on WOLV
By Sasha Higgins
Daily Arts Writer
In times of chilling winter weath-
er, stressful study sessions and
shameful Saturday Night Live
episodes, everyone needs a good
laugh. Alas, fear not, humor
deprived, get ready to blast off to a
half hour of Ann Arbor's very own
comedic talent.
"Blast Off to Your Imagination" is
the brand-new television creation of
a group of students most recently
known for their contributions to
Gargoyle Magazine. After a dis-
agreement with the Board of
Student Publications former
Gargoyle staffers left the magazine
to apply their talent elsewhere in the
comedic realm.
At WOLV, the
Michigan a n
S t u d e n t "h t'
Assembly-fund- -
ed student tele- Of numO
vision networke
they were able aspired
to transfer their
humor to resi- sarca
dence hall tele- - ly!
vision screens.'
As with any
shift of artistic Co-creator,
there was an
adjustment peri-
od needed for them to go from writ-
ten to spoken humor. But cast mem-
bers say they are finding the new
video medium very friendly.
"WOLV pretty much bends over
backwards for us," said LSA senior
and writer/performer Andy
Cast members also have to collab-
orate with one another. The program
is to consist of a series of sketches,
written and performed by the eight
cast members.
"The show is really a cooperative
process," said Schlegel. "Everybody
writes the skits, and everybody
J.D. Ryznar, an LSA junior and

writer/performer, explained that the
acts are not always the work of just
one person, but are often the prod-
uct of multiple inputs.
"Sometimes we talk about an idea
together," said Ryznar, "and then
come up with a skit."
There is not a theme to the shows
as of yet, but Schlegel said there has
been talk of giving themes to their
shows as their previous contribu-
tions to the magazine had.
LSA junior and writer/performer
Shek Baker said the show was "sim-
ilar to Saturday Night Live, but
closer to Kids in the Hall."
Schlegel explained the humor to
be "along the lines of Conan
O'Brien and The Simpsons."
"That's the kind of humor we
have aspired to create - sarcastic
and wacky," said Schlegel.
The show includes references to
features of America's ever-humor-

A few of weeks ago, one of my teach-
ers commented on how e-mail is one of
the lowest forms of communication.
At first, I brushed the comment aside;
I didn't consider it much. But in light of
recent events such as the new Nora
Ephron romantic-comedy "You've Got
Mail;' I am beginning to see the absolute
truth in the statement.
The film, which is slated to open Dec.
18, stars that popular movie couple Meg
Ryan and Tom Hanks in a remake of the
"The Shop Around the Corner." Ryan
and Hanks are bookstore owners who
dislike each other in person, but without
knowing it, are having an love affair over
e-mail. Now, isn't that romantic? Close,
but not quite.
I have heard all sorts of stories about
how people have met their mates elec-
tronically, and I've also heard those truly
moving tales of those who have gone so
far as to marry their Net friend, but I'm
sorry, I just don't get it. I have to give
credit to good ol' Ma Bell and the postal
service on this one; at least we can tell
something about someone's voice, or
their penmanship for that matter, that
doesn't quite work on the Pine, AOL or
even Hotmail systems.
With this film, it just takes the classic
romance (even to the point of reuniting

Nora Ephron, Meg Ryan and Tom
Hanks), and crushes it with technologi-
cal innovations - and these innovations
are even digitally enhancing the film.
Now, don't get me wrong here. E-mail
has its definite pluses. There are those
early moments of a potentially romantic
relationship when you and your poten-
tially significant
other send cutesy
little e-mails
about how
<insert some
really trivial
event here> was
just so much fun
you had to send a
one-line com-
ment about it.
You may even
Kristin Long go so far as to
Daily Arts Editor save it in some
little folder or
add it to the 900 messages you save in
your Inbox - that is, until the person is
no longer intriguing to you, and that lit-
tle "D" key becomes all too handy. Yes,
I'm sure you know what I mean.
Granted, this can make a non-roman-
tic (and old-fashioned romantics, too, for
that matter) almost "yak" as a wise indi-
vidual once said to me, but you know so

many of you do it - don't even try and
deny it.
Then there are those times when
friends send friends little electronic mes-
sages that make the recipient laugh while
sitting in a practically empty computer
lab, looking like a complete fool, annoy-
ing those paper-writing fiends that are
trying to work so hard.
E-mail is a success then too, of course.
If only to make us laugh hysterically all
by ourselves, that's a gift. I'll give it to its
innovators merely because of this.
And then there are those messages to
friends that aren't within telephone local
calling range. E-mail can be a lifesaver
here, although at times it can fail to cap-
ture the ultimate tone of the message,
and can land one in more trouble than
anything if the sarcasm isn't properly
But let's get to the beef of my problem
here. First of all, Godzilla. While those
not on the University e-mail system may
not have had the pleasure of making the
acquaintance with her, Godzilla is clear-
ly a bitch. Sorry for the use of the color-
ful metaphor, but I know of no other
word to describe this clear disruption in
my electronic mail life. It's frustrating to
know that there is this hidden force that
can block the rite of passage of messages

ous pop culture,
the kind
r we have
to create
estic and

and some current
events. But
cast members
try not to
dwell on such
topics, seeking
more variety
in their off-
beat work.
to current
events tend to
date humor,"
said Baker.
All skits are
scripted, and
the writers

Top 10 videos
(Last week's top videos and
the number of weeks released)


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- Andy Schlegel
"Blast Off to Your


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have been working on them since
"Hopefully we can get about four
shows out this year," said Ryznar.
The first "Blast Off to Your
Imagination" is scheduled to air
sometime this week on WOLV-TV.
The cast members are hoping to
have 15-minute segments before
and after their "season premiere" to
introduce themselves and the nature
of their work and of their humor.
So, they say, sit back. Turn the old
SNL re-runs off for good, and dis-
cover just how funny this university
can be. Go ahead, rediscover how
loud you can laugh - it's good for

1. "The X-Files," FoxVideo
2. "A Perfect Murder," Warner
3. "Deep Impact," Paramount
4. "Hope Floats," FoxVideo
5. "City of Angels," Warner Bros.
6. "Mercury Rising," Universal
7. "Wild Things," Columbia
8. "Lost In Space," New Line
9. "Species II," MGM/UA
10. "Primary Colors," Universal
Source: Billboard Magazine
Top 10 Albums
(Billboard's top albums for the
1. Alanis Morissette, "Supposed
Former Infatuation Junkie"
2. U2, "The Best of 1980-1990/
The B-Sides"
3. Jay-Z, "Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock
4. Celine Dion, "These Are Special
5. Soundtrack, "Belly"
6. 'N Sync, "'N Sync"
7. Mia X, "Mama Drama"
8. Dru Hill, "Enter The Dru"
9. Shania Twain, "Come On Over"
10. Lauryn Hill, "The Miseducation
of Lauryn Hill"
Source: Billboard Magazine

to and from my acc
Granted, she has
year, and I hear it's
graciously receivec
there are acquaint
the not-so-great pk
with her this semes
There are also ti
use e-mail to rant ar
whom they are ang
might as well com
your discontent and
the lines of"uga ug
likely be a greater
Not only do I se
easy route for thos
that whole confront
though there are n1
communication tha
and bam- it's alm
a debate.
I just don't unde
Yes, I'll admit td
my e-mail somewh
day. Yes, 1 am a b
extent, but you w
incredibly nasty me
even if they really i
And this whol
romance has got mi
But, hey, if it work
Top 10 m
(Last week's top gro
1. "The Waterb<
2. "I Still Know
3. "Meet Joe BI
4. "Thege, 20
5. "Antz," Drea
6. "I'll Be Home
7. "Pleasantvilk
8. "The Wizard
9. "Living Out L
10. "Practical M
Top 10 Be
(The week's best-sell
1. "A Man in Ful
2. "When the Wi
3. "The Path of I
4. "The Vampire,
5. "The Poisonw
6. "Bag of Bone
7. "Mirror Image
8. "All Through t
9. "Hammer of D
10. "Memoirs of
Top 10 Si
(Billboard's top song
1. Lauryn Hill, "D
2. Divine, "Lately
3. 98 Degrees, "I
4. Monica, "That
5. Deborah Cox,"
6. Barenaked Lad
7. Dru Hill, "How
8. Jennifer Paige,
9. Faith Hill, "Thi
10. Edwin McCail

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