What I learned at the LA Comedy Shorts Festival.
Thing I learned #1: There's an LA Comedy Shorts Festival. It lets filmmakers who like fart jokes and fake accents submit their short films without worrying they'll be up against a short documentary about wildlife conservation or the harrowing journey in which one man embarks to find his long lost mother and finds a cure for cancer along the way.
There's no fat guy in a little coat or talking cat funny enough to compete against that. It's just science.
So last weekend was the 2nd annual four-day fest devoted to the art of comedic short filmmaking, and Festival Artistic Director Gary Anthony Williams said the goal was, "To make it OK for America to laugh their butts off at things that are short and funny."
Well mission accomplished, I did laugh. But I laughed most after-hours at the evening events.
Thing I learned #2: It's amazing what people will do to out-funny each other to impress girls/agents/people they hope are agents.
A few shorts stood out, but since I write about/live for sex, I figured I'd highlight one such film called, "Sex Ed." Appropriate.
Never before have I seen a more accurate representation of the nation's sexual education curriculum - teenagers around the country are begging to learn the truth about sex, and thankfully director Ryan Gould put it all into one easy-to-swallow short.
A 30-year-old virgin gets stuck teaching a class of high school hornballs the ways of the birds and bees, and after a bit of fumbling and bumbling, "professor" William Sheridan decides to launch into an epic tale of penises going into vaginas and the horrific/intriguing/miraculous events that follow.
The reactions of the kids made the movie.
Thing I learned #3: I make men nervous.
I got to the screening of "Sex Ed" just as it was starting, so the theater was pitch black and I had to duck in and sit in the way-front so as not to disturb my fellow shortie lovers. This meant I used the glow from the movie screen to navigate my way into the second-from-the-front row and plop next to a dude wearing ironic glasses.
Thing I learned #4: Glasses that ordinarily would've attracted swirlies and at least one bruise at recess are now not only acceptable but expected on people who deem themselves funny. I'm headed to the eye doctor now, and luckily my colleague Ross Joey has it already covered. He beats the ladies off with a stick.
But back to Thing #3: As the topic of sex was discussed and parodied on the screen, I noticed ironic dude on my left shifting and squirming as if he were listening to his parents 69.
Well maybe I'm flattering myself and he's just uncomfortable regardless of whether a hot tattooed blond is sitting next to him during "The Talk." But whatever, flattery gets me everywhere.
Thing I learned #5: Large men wearing small shorts are funny, especially when they dance.
Among the famous funny people roaming the closing awards ceremony were Aisha Tyler, Dave Koechner; Jason and Randy Sklar (they hosted); Cedric Yarbrough, Thomas Lennon and Carlos Alazraqui from wish-it-weren't-canceled "Reno 911!"; and a bunch of others whom I recognized from VH1 recap shows.
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Missi Pyle was bestowed the coveted Commie Award.
Thing I learned #6: It IS possible to be beautiful, tall, funny, famous and female...even if it means you play a tranny in most of your movie roles.
Thing my friend Tanya learned #73 1/2: Chat up to the dude sitting alone in a corner. You never know who he might be and whether or not he's gonna post a flattering photo of yourself with a link to your website.
Congrats to all the wieners!