…To Stage…To Stage…To Stage

Ed Bus started as a guest on a Sign Language talk show, many Stephanapoulous jokes later, he had a campaign manager, Jason Challenger, just a collection of jokes that indicate character. What do politicians do? They run against opponents, thus Gretchen Ross-Stephenson. And so on and so forth. I love the humble beginnings of our characters and how the mythologies grow and grow as we grow and grow. This is one such story.

Once upon a time there was a parody of a McDonald’s Manager

Phduie12.jpg

Ed Bus started as a guest on a Sign Language talk show, many Stephanapoulous jokes later, he had a campaign manager, Jason Challenger, just a collection of jokes that indicate character. What do politicians do? They run against opponents, thus Gretchen Ross-Stephenson. And so on and so forth. I love the humble beginnings of our characters and how the mythologies grow and grow as we grow and grow. This is one such story.

Once upon a time there was a parody of a McDonald’s Manager who had never left the 80’s called Brent Wickerman and a parody of a Grocery Store manager named Tony Smalek brought together through being fuckups in a similar vein. We had this sketch that had become this short, which introduced Virginia “Slim” as well (the last name Castellano was later created for the radio show).

We moved from the Heartland to being journeymen…

Phduie12.jpg

Ed Bus started as a guest on a Sign Language talk show, many Stephanapoulous jokes later, he had a campaign manager, Jason Challenger, just a collection of jokes that indicate character. What do politicians do? They run against opponents, thus Gretchen Ross-Stephenson. And so on and so forth. I love the humble beginnings of our characters and how the mythologies grow and grow as we grow and grow. This is one such story.

Once upon a time there was a parody of a McDonald’s Manager who had never left the 80’s called Brent Wickerman and a parody of a Grocery Store manager named Tony Smalek brought together through being fuckups in a similar vein. We had this sketch that had become this short, which introduced Virginia “Slim” as well (the last name Castellano was later created for the radio show).

We moved from the Heartland to being journeymen, playing a couple runs in the Flatiron Building in Bucktown at the former digs of the Wing & Groove Theatre. When tasked with what sketches we should do there, Phudie was fresh on the mind and we created an entire sketch out of characers that only really had one or two lines in the video. Now they needed to breathe.

In the course of the new sketch we discover/reveal some backstory for these video superstars. We revel that Tony and Slim once fooled around at the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration. Hilariously for this bit the stage dims and goes to spotlight as Justin slips on a full head of hair and Kate reaches into his lap to “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” by Elton John. Ultimately this previous sexual history, first joked about in this show plays an important part in our screenplay. In the Wing & Groove show we reveal that Slim has two kids, Zoso and Bonham (a third would be added for the radio show and all three kids make numerous appearances in the screenplay).

We added one new character who plays a very very small part in the script, Sandy’s dopey gangly volleyball playing High School girl, Reyna. Best joke: Reyna and another overly tall volleyball friend: “…are called The Twin Towers…well not anymore, stupid news.” We were doing that joke November of 2001, just so you know. Oh we also added a plain jane main character for them to play off of, the disposeable “Roman.” Who was never heard from again. Of course you have to include Caleb, the neon-vested worker seen in the short, who gets yelled at a lot over the P.A.

The premise is that a young High School worker falls in love with and older woman, Slim, in between taking an overly generous amount of shit from Tony Smalek. That’s about it, if you saw us back then you know we made some successful attempts at being bittersweet and this was one such sketch. Slim and Roman, working their lives out with Tony and Reyna running in and out for comic relief.

Best Line:
-Contrary to popular belief you can get pregnant the first time.
And Sandy miming a blowjob with extra special care to make eye contact with the invisible man.

Wickerman did not appear in the sketch (I was playing Roman), rather The Wick appeared later in the same show in McDonald’s manager mode. The premise this time is that three kids follow Brent home because he says he’ll sell them some weed and the kids get wrapped up into Brent’s insane world, many of these facets of Brent stick with him until our screenplay. Brent’s obsession with Alyssa Milano (we bought that old Devil’s Hockey poster and made that the backdrop), that Brent owns a Fiero and that he only parties with teenagers whom he wishes to impress. Somewhere in there Brent takes a lot of polaroids and Brent dances to Pink’s “I’m Coming Up.”

Best Lines:
-Do you like my decor? It’s Oriental, yes all these little pictures mean something to somebody.
-Mr. Wickerman you’re not even having a conversation you’re just quoting the Breakfast Club.
-What’s all this money doing on the bed?

So there’s the first salvo in creating some history and a supporting cast. After this the Phudie Mart crew would grace the stage two more times, once as an adaptation of a sketch from the radio show, and a third time we’d rather not talk about (though our heart was in the right place).

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