Watch “Downton Marry” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 231: “Rocky Mountain High”!

January 11, 2014

I won’t lie: this episode of “Top Story! Weekly” wasn’t our strongest. But this sketch I wrote, in honor of the premiere of season 4 of “Downton Abbey” that very night, really hit. I guess if only one sketch in a show goes well, it’s nice that it’s the one you wrote!

DOWNTON MARRY by Michael Hughes

Starring Stacy Rumaker (Lady Mary Crawley), Lauren Miller (Lady Edith Crawley), Julia Wackenheim (Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham), Phillip Wilburn (Robert Crawley, Lord Grantam), Bennett Jones (Don Draper), Ashleigh Hairston (Sandra Weiner) and Bennie Arthur (Bennie)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “The Miracle That Saved Obamacare” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 228: “It’s Kind of a Big Deal”!

December 15, 2013

So the December 8 episode of Top Story! Weekly? No big deal. Our guest comedian was only BOB FREAKIN’ ODENKIRK!!!!!

So with a completely sold-out house, and a guest comedian who was one of the reasons I wanted to do sketch comedy, I made sure we brought our A-game. And I came up with an opener that is probably the most UCB-ish game sketch I’ve ever written for TS!W, based upon a suggestion from Phillip Wilburn that the Obamacare website could be a “Christmas miracle.” I went in a different direction, and it ended up opening the show.

Bob was great. And he liked us!

THE MIRACLE THAT SAVED OBAMACARE by Michael Hughes

Starring Artemis Pebdani (Abigail), Bennie Arthur (Charlie), Tammie Smalls (Gwen), Stacy Rumaker (Shoshanna), Jen Cain (Karen), Tommy Bechtold (Young Boy), Derek Reid (Balthazar) and Phillip Wilburn (Boss)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “JFK Remembered” From Top Story! Weekly Episode 227: “Fili-Busted!”

November 27, 2013

I was in the show this week so I went to the writers’ meeting to generate some material. And out of that came this idea for a sketch about the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, which I co-wrote with our director Adam Campbell-Schmitt and one of our top writers, Sean Tierney. I was backstage so I didn’t hear how great the audience response was until I watched the video – and I was really happy with the results!

JFK REMEMBERED by Adam Campbell-Schmitt, Sean Tierney and Michael Hughes

Starring Amy Paffrath (Kayla), Mitchel Baldwin (Caleb) and Jared Nigro (Jared)

Directed by Adam Campbell-Schmitt

Watch “Healthcare.Gov Is A Real Scandal” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 223: “ERROR 404: Healthcare Not Found”

November 2, 2013

This sketch didn’t go quite as well as I hoped – I don’t think the audience was that familiar with “Scandal,” and some of the dialogue wasn’t as precise as it needed to be – but I do love watching Grasie Mercedes play Olivia Pope!

HEALTHCARE.GOV IS A REAL SCANDAL by Michael Hughes

Starring Grasie Mercedes (Olivia Pope), Kipleigh Brown (Kathleen Sebelius),Mitchel Baldwin (Jeff Zients), John Druska (Huck) and Josh Rachford (President Fitzgerald Grant III)

Directed by Adam Campbell-Schmitt

Watch “TS!W 720: Marilyn Hagerty” with Emily Maya Mills from Top Story! Weekly Episode 215: “Twerked Lines”!

September 6, 2013

Back when I directed the old iO West Mainstage Sketch show, I had the great pleasure to work with the wonderful Emily Maya Mills, who the LA Weekly says “could be the next Carol Burnett.” Emily guested in the cast of Top Story! Weekly last Sunday and I got to write a desk piece for her where she played the 87-year old restaurant reviewer Marilyn Hagerty whose glowing review of the Olive Garden went viral last year. She is, of course, wonderful here, as she is in the other sketches she did.

TS!W 720: MARILYN HAGERTY by Michael Hughes

Starring Emily Maya Mills (Marilyn Hagerty) and Phillip Wilburn (Phillip)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “Don’t Stop…Beliebin'” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 208: “8 Is Great!”

July 17, 2013

Justin Bieber peeing in a mop bucket in a restaurant was hilarious enough. Justin Bieber saying “Fuck Bill Clinton!” while squirting a photo of the president with cleanser made it even funnier. And the one way I thought to make it funnier still would be to make Clinton a jilted fangirl. Here’s the results – great work from Phillip and Jen.

DON’T STOP…BELIEBIN’ by Michael Hughes

Starring Phillip Wilburn (Bill Clinton) and Jen Cain (Hillary Clinton)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “Paula’s New Friend” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 206: “Even Butter Can’t Make This Better”

June 27, 2013

The Paula Deen scandal was already headed into self-parody, so I thought that having her co-host the show with a black “friend” she barely knows would be a fun way to mine some comedy. Watching this again I was really happy with the result – it’s a little edgy but doesn’t go too far, and definitely makes the point I wanted to make about what Paula must truly think.

PAULA’S NEW FRIEND by Michael Hughes

Starring Kipleigh Brown (Paula Deen) and Grasie Mercedes (Gretchen)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “Behind the Bachmann-Labra” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 203: “Don’t Come Back, Mann!”

June 8, 2013

With Michele Bachmann retiring from Congress, it seemed appropriate to write another sketch about the Bachmann marriage and see Marcus hanging out with the “boys.” I’m always worried with sketches like this that the jokes about Marcus Bachmann being gay walk a thin line between proper mocking of hypocrisy and just being offensive, but after watching this I’m satisfied this sketch falls on the right side of the line.

BEHIND THE BACHMANN-LABRA by Michael Hughes

Starring Kipleigh Brown (Michele Bachmann), Tommy Bechtold (Marcus Bachmann), Blake Walker (Kevin), Michael Hughes (Terrance) and Derek Reid (Pizza Boy)

Directed by Kristina Adelmeyer

Watch “Arrested Delivery” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 202: “Believe It or Not”!

May 30, 2013

My look at the mania surrounding the premiere of the new episodes of “Arrested Development” on Netflix!

ARRESTED DELIVERY by Michael Hughes

Starring Jimmy Guidish (Matt), and Kipleigh Brown (Caroline)

Directed by Adam Campbell-Schmitt

Watch “Sixth Man” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 198: “It’s OK to Be Gay in the NBA!”

May 8, 2013

This one came out well. Obviously this past Sunday in Top Story! Weekly we had to hit the Jason Collins coming out story. But I wanted to do something more on the reaction, almost uniformly supportive. I thought about making it supportive to a ridiculous degree, and some really good acting all round made it pay off big time!

SIXTH MEN by Michael Hughes

Starring Derek Reid (Jason Collins), Sean Cowhig (Aaron Gray), Mitchel Baldwin (Mike Dunleavy Jr.), Colin Contreary (Jason Segel) and Brian Vestal (Delivery Man)

Directed by Michael Hughes


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