My Comedy Central Internship
I know I've only been here a day, and that the guards explicitly warned me not to gush over the celebrities, but I think I may have already experienced the best part of this internship: Meeting Carlos Mencia.
The back of his shirt says "gimmie all your welfare." What a card!
I mean, how do they expect me not to be impressed? Here I am, some 23-year-old Internet comedy writer with an unpaid internship, and I'm standing in front of a comedy god. This is a man who, in less than a season, made a monosyllabic retard noise the hottest catchphrase in America. Even Tim "The Toolman" Taylor couldn't do that, and he was on the air for years. And before you haters tell me it's not funny, let me say this: Fuck you. I know it is. The studio audience wouldn't laugh every single time if it wasn't hilarious.
And, unlike other celebrities I've met in the past, Carlos is a great guy. A little off, maybe, but a genuinely good person. They held a reception for the interns and Carlos was there, shaking hands and chatting it up. My heart nearly stopped when he approached me with his hand outstretched.
"Hi, I'm Carlos," he told me. "I'm a pretty offensive guy. You never know what I'm gonna say! Pay attention, because I'm going to say something really offensive soon!"
I introduced myself and we parted ways but I will treasure that experience with all my heart. I only wish I could have heard him say "DUH DUH DUH" in person – that would have made my day, if not my year.
Comedy Central may be a business, but they love making people laugh. For instance, when you walk into their headquarters, there's a banner across the reception hall that says "show us your funny and we'll show you our money." How can't you love that? I know I personally love to be reminded of Cuba Gooding Jr.'s masterful performance in Jerry McGuire, and topical humor like that really lights a workplace up. There's also a funny drawing of a dog on a skateboard except instead of eyes he has dollar signs and he's jumping over a volcano.
Of course, being unpaid interns, there won't be a lot of money. We're allowed a small daily stipend for food, but lodging is provided. They've converted Dave Chappelle's old penthouse into a number of small apartments with a communal bathroom area. Some of Dave's old personal effects are still there – for instance, the toilets are made of gold and there are still hints of writing on one of the mirrors. We tried to decode it, and we think it says "OH GOD THEY'RE GIVING ME BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND I'M FAMOUS I HATE THIS FUCK THIS SLAVERY BULLSHIT FUCK COMEDY CENTRAL," but that doesn't make a lot of sense to us! We also found a computer with a WoW account on it – it was logged in but the only character was a level 60 forest elf named ImRcKjMsBtcH, and everyone was too tired and excited to start a new account to play.
But now it's time for bed. We've got a full day ahead of us tomorrow, and with any luck we'll get to meet a celebrity or two along the way.
My first task today was to work up new characters for Carlos to use when he shouts those hilarious catchphrases. Here are my ideas so far:
- A submarine captain who shouts retard noises at his crew when they make wacky mistakes
- A catholic priest who makes off-color references to molestation while shouting retard noises at members of his congregation who have sinned
- A Civil War general who screams retard noises while picking musket balls out of a wound in his stomach
I really hope I'm doing the show justice, and I hope I can one day be as funny as those guys – I nearly pissed my pants laughing when he dressed up as Satan and shouted "DUH DUH DUH" from the middle of a pit of flames.
Good news! Even more excitement came during lunch, when Carlos himself came to talk to me again!
"Hey," he said, "you know what's funny?"
"What?" I asked.
"Niggers," he whispered. Then he chuckled quietly and bowed. Unfortunately I was laughing too hard to thank him before he walked off. It's humor like this that really lets me know I'm in the presence of geniuses. I wonder when they're going to roast him? In my humble opinion he is far overdue.
After we ate they gave us a tour of the Comedy Central science lab, where they showed us a few of their upcoming projects. For instance, they are currently designing a machine that will essentially let them bend time, thus allowing them to show 45 minutes' worth of commercials in a half-hour slot. I was excited to hear this, especially when the scientists (who are jokesters themselves) kept saying they would use it to speed up time and get out of work early! I must have heard that line thirty times, and it got funnier each time they repeated it. When the head scientist came in and asked us if we were "working hard or hardly working" I damn near lost my composure – this place is sure full of laughs!
In the early nineties Comedy Central bought out the entire VHS collection of a family-owned video store. Although they only needed the comedy section, they bought the entire lot for $12.99. After burning the other tapes – including six copies of "Return to the Blue Lagoon" – for fuel, they stored the humorous film and thus was born the Comedy Central film vault.
As part of their "Watch the Same Movie Sixteen Times Weekend", they're showing their copy of "BioDome" – it even has a deleted scene! Well, it's really just a blurry close up of a human eye over the last fifteen minutes of the film where the owner's grandson was playing with his new video camera, but fans love those special features!
We chose "Captain Ron," a truly underappreciated gem, to take back to the dormitory with us. I was so excited I couldn't watch it – who knows what tomorrow will bring?
The mumbling you hear in the animation department is everywhere. You can't miss it. It vibrates off the walls as you walk in and grows louder the further back you go. We asked the tour guide about it three or four times – he pretended not to hear us.
Only when we walked by the office of Matt Stone and Trey Parker did we understand. The door was slightly ajar, and when I looked in I saw something that was disgusting, enthralling, and informative all at once: The two men were nude on the floor, giving each other blowjobs and discussing upcoming episodes of South Park.
"Mmmmf GOD we're so fucking FUNNY," Matt said.
"Comedy mmmmmf FUCKING GENIUSES," Trey responded, spitting a mouthful of semen onto a portrait of Tex Avery.
While I can't say I condone such interoffice relationships, I do realize Matt and Trey need creative freedom and I applaud Comedy Central for fostering such a diverse workplace!
I can only equate this feeling to what Noah felt when he was handed down instructions for his Ark.
The next stop on our animation tour was the office complex that houses Drawn Together. I hate to say it but I was not very impressed.
For instance, the main creative room was little more than a frat house rec-room, complete with a busted pool table and an old boombox bumping a mix CD full of Ja Rule and Phish. They sat silently, playing Halo and giving each other noogies when they killed one another.
"GOSH," one of them shouted after a particularly impressive shot, "give me your tots, Tina!"
The room exploded in laughter. After a round of high-fives, another gentleman, this one wearing a Bob Marley t-shirt and one of those big hats with fake dreadlocks coming out of it, put an arm around his killer and looked at me.
"You don't understand," he said, "that this man, like Chuck Norris, has two speeds: Walk and kill."
There are no words to describe the horror I experienced next. The group of men exploded in laughter again, shouting out phrases like "shitcasket," "Hey Kool-Aid," and "Dr. Phil's Labia." After they had compiled a huge list of noun/curseword combos, Eighties pop-culture references, and celebrity genetalia, the one in the red cap stood with his arms raised over his head.
"Gentlemen," he said, "I think we have created the ultimate episode of Drawn Together."
"Nay," the rasta man sad. "Nay. We have created… an entire season!"
The laughter did not end until we left the room, and even then we could still hear it.
Today we had a late lunch and only now do I appreciate the genius environment in which I have been placed.
It came while I was eating my "wacky vegetable soup" (soup with letters that spelled out wacky phrases like "CHEESE" and "TONY LITTLE"), when the walls shook. The blinds opened and sun filled the foyer as the voice of Trey Parker boomed from the intercom.
"Mmmmmf GENTLEMEN, I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT," he said, in a voice that I imagine God handing down commandments in. "IN UPCOMING EPISODES, WE MUST MOCK CURRENT EVENTS BY PUTTING THEM IN A CONTEXT THAT ALSO APES ACTION MOVIE STAPLES."
Before I knew it people were dropping to their knees, bowing to the intercom. I stood and let the genius wash over me.
"WE SHOULD HAVE PEOPLE DOING OVERLY OFFENSIVE THINGS TO SOLVE SMALL EVERYDAY PROBLEMS. PART OF EACH EPISODE SHOULD ALSO MOCK THE NOSTALGIC SENTIMENT MOST MADE FOR TV MOVIES CONTAIN."
The CEO dropped to his knees and put his hands to his face. When he reared back he was laughing – laughing so hard he was crying blood.
"WE SHOULD ACCUSE FAMOUS PEOPLE AND POLITICIANS OF BEING SEXUAL DEVIANTS, AND WE SHOULD HAVE THE LITTLE BOYS SEEM OBLIVIOUS UNTIL AN EPIPHANY AT THE END OF THE EPISODE."
A golden light filled the room and all my troubles were gone. I listened further:
"THESE ARE THE WORDS OF TREY, AND IF YOU TURN YOUR BACK ON MY GLORIOUS KINGDOM, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF TOILING IN THE FIREY PITS OF PREMIUM BLEND."
The employees scrambled to meet his commands while I took it all in. My one wish is that I didn't have to leave.
Our trip is almost over but we got to make one more visit today: Comedy Central News, home of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Again, I hate to sound so overenthusiastic but I really enjoy both shows. I think normal news is too bland and if I didn't have Jon Stewart talking in those funny voices and staring at the camera incredulously after those sound clips, I wouldn't ever know what was going on in the world!
I was actually kind of surprised that we got to meet Jon himself. Even away from the camera he's a hilarious guy! For instance, when his makeup artist accidentally mispronounced a word he stared incredulously at us and made a whimpering dog noise. What a card!
After our brief meet-and-greet with the star we spoke with a producer, who let us in on some of the comedy magic. I only had one question in mind: Where the hell they got those zany Photoshops.
Look at that shirt! Isn't it WACKY?
"There's a little Web site some of us visit called Fark," the producer told us. "We get some of our content there, and we hire a lot of their forums members to do our Photoshop work for us. Last week was Jon's birthday so we had one of the artists make a shirt for him that was a picture of a monkey, except they replaced its head and put George W. Bush's picture there instead."
I didn't think I could laugh any harder when he showed us the shirt… and the monkey was smoking a joint! I'm smiling just thinking about it.
I know the Comedy Central guidebook tells us to avoid any cliché use when writing comedy, so I hate to use one here, but I'm going to anyway. There is no such thing as too much of a good thing.
If you don't believe me take a look at The Colbert Report. I'll admit, I had my doubts when I first heard about it, but just look at the facts: Jon Stewart makes fun of conservatives while Steven Colbert acts like a conservative to make fun of them. There's a difference between homage and plagiarism, guys, and I think a lot of you haters need to learn that lesson.
And, I mean, he does things different, you know? Like, when they have a guest, they don't walk to him – he walks to them! Taking little staples like that and using them backwards over and over is really a funny way to show how different you are. I also like it when they do the "district profile" thing – I don't think they'll ever run out of ways to say "this town is boring"!
Unfortunately, we did not get to meet Steven because he was too busy planning for his upcoming show. We did get to sit in during the meeting, though. Steven himself spent a lot of time asking questions like "Would Jon do that" and "Do you think Jon would think that's funny." You have to respect something like that – he may be fresh and original but he knows his roots.
Before we went to bed we had a surprise run-in with David Spade. David, as you know, has had an up-and-down relationship with Comedy Central and right now they're not sure exactly where to put him. As of this writing he is holed up in a closet office in the news department.
Some people were kind of put off by the way David acted but in my opinion he was being a true comedian, getting out there and looking for laughs. We approached him in the hallway and he immediately went into a routine, giving us material that could easily be reproduced on his show.
"My god Oprah is FAT," he said. "And how about Brokeback Mountain? That movie sure is about gay cowboys! And my hair? Every time I look at myself in the mirror I just want to smugly tell it 'buh-bye.'"
However, the humor turned sour when the tour guide, who had obviously seen this before, shouted "Chris Farley." David ran off crying and we didn't see him again.
I am sad to be leaving Comedy Central but even sadder because I had to watch the world lose of one of our nation's greatest comics, Carlos Mencia.
Carlos was one of the few celebrities who came down to tell us goodbye. Matt and Trey were there, too, but for some reason they were sitting behind a desk and we never saw them from the waist up. Come to think of it, I never saw Matt's right arm move out from under there, either. Strange stuff.
Carlos was out shaking hands, being energetic. He came to me, put his hand on mine, and looked me in the eye.
"Just wait! I'm gonna say something real offensive soon, holmes," he said. "I might even make fun of my own race. Wouldn't that be refreshingly un-PC?"
Something in the tour guide changed at that moment. He let go of the door he was holding open and turned to Carlos.
"Then fucking SAY it," he shouted, "You obviously don't have time to be offensive since all you do is congratulate yourself over how offensive you are! The next time you say 'I had to say it because nobody else would' I'm gonna smash your unfunny face in!"
Goodbye, Carlos. You were just too funny for this mortal world.
The room grew silent. Matt's arm stiffened up for a brief moment. Carlos swelled like a balloon – his face and eyes were as red as the evening sun. He jumped on the desk and grabbed a small metal statue of Dave Chappelle.
In that moment, I knew the world had changed. Before we could speak, or even breathe, Carlos let out in one breath the most horrible, yet strangely hilarious thing I've ever heard:
"DUH DUH DUH," he screamed.
He crashed the statuette down on his crotch with shattering force.
"NIGGERS!" He shouted. "BEANERS! RETARDS! DUH DUH DUH!"
He brought the statue down on his genitals again. The force was so severe blood flew from his mouth and splattered the walls.
"WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE BULLSHIT! NEW ORLEANS, AND I DON'T GIVE A FUCK IF IT'S TOO SOON! CHINKS! DUH DUH DUH!"
He pulled his bloody, erect penis from his pants and laid it on the desk. We could only watch as he brought the statuette down with tremendous force, severing it and spraying blood directly in the receptionist's face.
"HOPE YOU THINK AIDS IS FUNNY BECAUSE YOU GOT IT NOW YOU FAT BITCH! HA HA! DUH DUH DUH!"
Then, just like that, he was gone into that great blue comedy abyss in the sky.
Goodnight, sweet latino prince. You will be missed.
If you've read this and haven't read CTS' article from yesterday, scroll down now and give it a read. After looking at my update I'm sure you're really looking to read something funny. After that you can read this Daily Dirt. We didn't intentionally mean to rag on Adult Swim and Comedy Central in the same weekend, but they both suck, so no harm, no foul.