Posts Tagged ‘Brent Pope’

Watch “A Supreme Performance” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 144: “Stop! In the Name of Health Care!”

April 3, 2012

Thinking about how to approach the Supreme Court argument about the health care bill in a comedic way, I thought I could combine it with the other great meme of last week: Megan Draper’s dance at Don’s birthday party on “Mad Men.” Of course, the success of such a conceit depends upon the audience recognizing what’s going on, and I don’t think many folks in our audience got the reference – maybe because “Mad Men” airs at the same time our show goes up! Still, Grasie Mercedes did a great job with the dance.

A SUPREME PERFORMANCE by Michael Hughes

Starring Grasie Mercedes (Megan Draper), Brian Vestal (Chief Justice John Roberts), Jen Cain (Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg), Brent Pope (Justice Antonin Scalia), Mitchel Baldwin (Justice Samuel Alito) and Marco Ragozzino (Justice Anthony Kennedy)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “Soul Campaign” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 134: “Not-So-Good Vibrations!”

January 28, 2012

As we finished up our readthrough Thursday night for Top Story! Weekly, we realized we didn’t have a particularly strong political sketch for that week’s show. Then we saw the video from that night of President Obama singing at the Apollo Theater:

And from there, writing the Republican candidates singing their own versions of 70’s soul hits became pretty easy. All the actors really nailed this one.

SOUL CAMPAIGN by Michael Hughes

Starring Matthew Harris (Barack Obama), Brian Vestal (Mitt Romney), Brent Pope (Newt Gingrich), Phillip Wilburn (Rick Perry) and Sean Cowhig (Announcer)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “How (Not) To Write A Holiday Classic” From Top Story! Weekly Episode 131: “So This Is Christmas”

December 21, 2011

Christmas gave me the chance to write the least topical thing I’ve written in a while, spurred by a comment at our writers’ meeting by Colin Hughes (no relation) about how many Christmas songs are sad. To be honest, I think some of the rewriting done here didn’t help things – Judy and Bing shouldn’t have been singing at either the top or bottom of the sketch, for instance – and the actors weren’t as precise as I would have liked. But Kipleigh Brown’s Judy Garland is a thing of beauty!

HOW (NOT) TO WRITE A HOLIDAY CLASSIC by Michael Hughes

Starring Phillip Wilburn (Bing Crosby), Kipleigh Brown (Judy Garland), Gregg Lopez (Frank Loesser) Brent Pope (Hoagy Carmichael) and Jimmy Guidish (Walter Winchell)

Directed by Kristina Adelmeyer

Watch “The Brett Ratner Acting School” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 127: “Oops!”

November 20, 2011

When Brett Ratner stepped down from producing next year’s Oscars due to some ill-advised comments, I thought that a scene set in the acting class we had done just the week before would be a good venue. And the real highlight of this sketch was the relationship between Phillip Wilburn’s Byron Shelbyford and Brent Pope’s put-upon Lee.

THE BRETT RATNER ACTING SCHOOL by Michael Hughes

Starring Neil Garguilo (Brett Ratner), Phillip Wilburn (Byron Shelbyford), Brent Pope (Lee), Matt Moore (Peter), Kipleigh Brown (Lori) and Jen Cain (Sarah)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “Can’t Occupy This” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 126: “Keeping Up with the Divorcians”

November 11, 2011

If you’re a certain age, when you hear “Oakland” your mind goes to “Hammer”. So when I had to think of an angle on the Occupy Oakland incidents last week. . . that’s where my mind went!

CAN’T OCCUPY THIS by Michael Hughes

Starring Derek Reid (MC Hammer), Deanna Russo (Mayor Jean Quan), Brent Pope (Cop),Jen Cain (Tiffany), Tommy Bechtold (Kevin) and Matt Blitz (Glen)

Directed by Kristina Adelmeyer

Watch “Trick or Literally” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 125: “Top Scary! Weekly”!!

November 1, 2011

I always urge the cast members to be proactive in generating material for themselves. For Top Story! Weekly’s Halloween show, Jimmy Guidish did just that – coming to the writers’ meeting, pitching ideas, and asking me to help him write a sketch showcasing one of his signature bits, Joe Biden. I helped a little with structure and formatting, but most of what you see here is Jimmy’s work. He was nervous about how it would turn out, but it played so well in readthrough that we opened the show with it, and as you’ll see the audience loved it. Good job Jimmy!

TRICK OR LITERALLY by Jimmy Guidish and Michael Hughes

Starring Jimmy Guidish (Joe Biden), Michael Hughes (Beau Biden), Grasie Mercedes (Mother),Derek Reid (Vampire Kid), Damien Fahey (Bert), Brent Pope (Ernie), Jen Cain (Teen Girl), Jim Nieb (Teen Boy) and Phillip Wilburn (Charlie Sheen)

Directed by Tom Repetto

Watch “A Day Which Will Live in Comedy” from Top Story! Weekly Episode 118: “Are You Ready for Some Jobs Speech?”

September 14, 2011

We do a show every Sunday night at iO West based on the news of the previous seven days. And when I saw that this past Sunday would be September 11, it posed a quandary: we couldn’t just ignore the anniversary, but anything we did would have to be tasteful and respectful while still being funny. And then I hit on it: make the sketch about the very difficulty we were having on doing a comedy show on the anniversary of a tragedy, only set it on the anniversary of another, analogous tragedy. I’m pretty proud of the results; I got more compliments on this sketch than on any I’ve written in a while.

A DATE THAT WILL LIVE IN COMEDY by Michael Hughes

Starring Matthew Harris (Neil), Brent Pope (Larry), Brian Vestal (Gus), Shannon Ayers (Rosie) and Colin Contreary (Pete)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Watch “Last Tango with Beanster” with Andrés du Bouchet from “Conan” – from Top Story! Weekly Episode 115: “Planes, Buses and A Whole Lot of Fusses”

August 25, 2011

I wasn’t going to write last week. But then on Thursday the final push into Tripoli began. And with Phil Ranta back from his five-month sojourn doing improv with Second City on cruise ships in Hawaii, I knew I had to write a Gadhafi sketch that could take us full circle to the first sketch we did back in March that introduced the world to the wonder that is Chuck Beanster!

LAST TANGO WITH BEANSTER by Michael Hughes

Starring Phillip Wilburn (Muammar Qadaffi), Andrés du Bouchet (Larry), Brent Pope (Steve Culpepper) and Phil Ranta (Chuck Beanster)

Directed by Tom Repetto

Watch “Know Your Debt Ceiling” – with Jimmy Pardo and Andrés du Bouchet from “Conan” – from Top Story! Weekly Episode 112: “Dancing on the Debt Ceiling”

August 4, 2011

Phillip Wilburn and Matt Moore went to a taping of “Conan” and chatted with Jimmy Pardo, who was booked as our guest comic for the July 31 show. Jimmy said he’d also do a sketch, and Phillip suggested one where he played a game show host. Since his “Conan” colleague Andrés du Bouchet was also in the cast it was a natural to put him in the sketch along with Matt and Phillip. I did a first pass, Phillip and Tommy Bechtold polished it up, and the result is the six minutes of hilarity you see here.

KNOW YOUR DEBT CEILING by Michael Hughes, Phillip Wilburn and Tommy Bechtold

Starring Jimmy Pardo (Jimmy), Andrés du Bouchet (Dexter Farnsworth), Matt Moore (Woodrow Carter), Phillip Wilburn (Regis Philbin) and Brent Pope (Announcer)

Directed by Michael Hughes

Celebrity Public Service Announcements to Help Japan After the Earthquake and Tsunami – from Top Story Weekly Episode 93: “Shock Wave” – with special guest Deanna Russo!

March 21, 2011

Let’s say you run a comedy show based on the news. Right after you read all the sketches submitted for the week and you’re putting together a running order, you learn about a huge tragedy striking. It’s a big story – you can’t ignore it. But you have to be funny without being disrespectful. What do you do?

If you’re me, and you’re trying to address the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, you ask your friends Matt Blitz and Phillip Wilburn to help write a sketch that uses the event to make fun of celebrities who are deserving of the ridicule. All in all, it turned out pretty well.

HERE TO HELP by Michael Hughes, Matt Blitz and Phillip Wilburn

Starring Christopher Biewer (Matt), Kipleigh Brown (Caroline), Brent Pope (Larry), Deanna Russo (Lindsay Lohan), Sean Cowhig (Christian Bale), Tommy Bechtold (Ricky Gervais) and Phillip Wilburn (Charlie Sheen)

Directed by Michael Hughes


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