KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT GENRE BUSTERS - recap and bonus material

Thanks everybody who came to last week's show, KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT GENRE BUSTERS.  The 92Y Tribeca hosted us in "the big room" and we got a wonderful audience on a cold, wet Wednesday night.

We had a delightful evening with some authors who bring the A-game to disrespected genres.
First up, Ben H. Winters talked about being recruited to write Quirk book's follow-up to someone else's mash-up novel PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES, explaining how he was chosen for the job and what it took to make SENSE & SENSIBILITY & SEA MONSTERS.  When faced with the task of writing a second mash-up novel, Ben realized it wouldn't work if he was revisiting authors who are already funny (say, Charles Dickens), so he chose a man with no sense of humor at all: Tolstoy.  And that led to the science-fiction, robot and UFO masterpiece ANDROID KARENENA  Ben came all the way in from Boston and he did not disappoint!  Follow him online here.


Who owns "They Live"? : a half-assed essay

Author Jonathan Lethem has a boner for the movie They Live (1988).  So much so that he's just written a book about it.  And this week he's hosting a screening of the film, followed by a conversation with John Hodgman. 

It's curious that over 20 years after its release, this B-movie movie has gotten the attention of academic-types.  They Live is an excellent combination of form and content: if you want to make a message-movie for blue-collar audiences (about how they're being systematically screwed) make a sci-fi action movie starring a professional wrestler.  But if you attend Lethem's screening at the  Greenwich Village IFC theater, do you expect the audience to be made up of "haves" or "have-nots"?

John Carpenter's They Live has something in common with George Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978): both feature bit characters that reflect the bearded Lefty intellectuals (they're not wearing leather-elbow patches, but they might as well be.)  In both cases, these talky apparitions appear mostly in TV screens (as if they exist inside the television and not in the same world as the characters, the same way some would criticize academics who live inside the Ivory Tower.) Their ideological ramblings are fragmented throughout each film.  In They Live, a character listed as "bearded man" hacks into network television signals and gives a direct-address about how "They" have created a repressive society that's turning "us" into livestock  (watch a clip here, from 2:01 - 3:55)  Dawn of the Dead's nameless, bearded "TV Commentator" insists on the need for logical behavior, and then calls the studio audience "dummies!" (watch a clip here)


My video series, OLD PEOPLE NEWS: The Tech Report

Remember my video OLD PEOPLE NEWS ?  Comedy Central and Atom.com liked it so much, they wanted more.  Here are the 8 new episodes -- our news team is back and older than ever, with THE TECH REPORT. 

see 7 more after the break....


The trouble with Superman II: The Richard Donner cut

This past week I finally saw SUPERMAN II: The Richard Donner Cut.   Donner directed the first Superman (1978) as well as The Goonies and Lethal Weapon.  During the making of Superman II he was famously fired and replaced by Richard Lester.

I won't list all the differences between the two films, but I will mention one thing that grabbed me. 

Okay, you remember the basic premise of Superman II is that Kal-El gives up his super-powers, so that he can be with Lois Lane.  

And shortly thereafter, Clark Kent and Lois Lane go to a truck stop where a mean sunuvabitch trucker whups Clark's butt.   

Later, Superman gets his powers back, saves the world, erases Lois' memory (keeping his identity a secret) and then he goes back and pounds the asshole trucker. 

In Richard Donner's cut, we get all that, but the ending is very different.  Instead of kissing Lois and erasing her memory of the past week's events, Superman flies into the sky and circles the Earth, making it turn in the opposite direction, causing time to move backwards.  Yes, the same trick he used in the first film -- only here, instead of going one hour back in time, he goes several days back in time, essentially un-doing the events of the movie.  The whole thing is very Donnie Darko. (And by now I would've expected someone to upload the sequence to YouTube complete with the "Mad World" song) It would've been funny if instead of Superman un-doing all the events, it was Richard Lester (ha ha.)  

So by the end of Richard Donner's cut, the three Kryptonian super-criminals never arrived on Earth, Lois  never learns that Clark Kent is Superman, and (presumably) the kid with the negligent parents plummets to his death in Niagra Falls. 

But here's the kicker:  Clark goes back to the truck stop and beats the hell out of the truck driver.  

Even though, by the film's logic, the truck driver never messed with Clark Kent.  Superman hurls that trucker down the countertop and smashes his head into a pinball machine.  

The truckers and wait-staff must have wondered what the hell promoted this Bernard Goetz-looking mo-fo to come in and assault a patron for NO GOOD REASON.  

As the website says, Superman is a jerk.


Leslie Nielsen (1926 - 2010)

I just heard that Leslie Nielsen died of pneumonia.

On a personal note: I was hired on a basic-cable show, the money was terrible but I'd get to write for Leslie Nielsen.  I wrote a script for his humor and delivery, but then they couldn't get him.  So instead they hired Chris Wilde.

On a broader note: my favorite Leslie Nielsen performance is in the rarely-seen teleplay THE VELVET ALLEY (1959).  Nielsen played Edward Kirkley, the alcoholic TV producer.  Watch as he downs multiple "special" bloody marys and delivers a great monologue (written by Rod Serling.)  I challenge you to find a more expressive strand of bobbing hair than the one in this clip:


Something Old, Something New

ABOVE: The latest video I made for Comedy Central/Atom.com, the first in a webseries called OLD PEOPLE NEWS: THE TECH REPORT  (Note: this is a follow-up to the video Old People News)

BELOW: One of the earliest films I made, just added to YouTube.  "Family Dinner Party" was part of the sketch show TV Head Goes Nutzoid (1999)


Kevin Geeks Out About Genre Busters

Kevin Geeks Out About.... 
Wednesday, December 1st @ 8:00pm
92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, NYC

What's Kevin Geeks Out? 
A live variety show where we dive deep into an obsession-worthy topic. 

But what's a GENRE BUSTER? 
Genre Busters are those brave artists who bring their A-game to a disrespected genre. 

The December 1st show brings together 5 authors doing amazing work in Comic Strips, Young Adult novels, Romance Books, Wrestling magazines and "mash-up" literature.  The multi-media variety show will include mini-lectures, music, readings, video clips, trivia prizes, audience Q&A and more. Here's what you can expect from the 90-minute show:  

Ben H. Winters (author of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Android Karenina) defines and defends the hybrid genre known as the "mash-up novel," and explains why adding robots to Anna Karenina is more like adding smooth chocolate to creamy peanut butter than putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.   The reading will include prizes to those who can correctly identify which passages are his, and which from the original, un-mashed-up books. 


GENRE BUSTERS: part of the Brooklyn Book Festival

Join us for an exciting, literary event like no other....

An evening with GENRE BUSTERS: Writers who refuse to phone it in

Saturday, September 11 @ 8pm

The Studio of Adam Frank Incorporated
203 Columbia Street (between Sackett and DeGraw)  
Brooklyn, NY

F, G trains to Carroll Street (view map)
It's FREE!


You're Gonna Need a Bigger Blog: Shark Show recap and bonus material

(preface: KEVIN GEEKS OUT is a monthly video-variety show which showcased off-beat film and TV clips around a given topic.  The shows featured guest speakers, experts, performances, as well as themed-snacks, trivia and prizes.  This K.G.O. was devoted to the subject of SHARK CINEMA, it was hosted by Kevin Maher and Matthew Glasson, as "Kevin & Matt Geek Out About Sharks")

July's GEEK OUT was a massive success, we crammed dozens of clips into a 2-hour show for a packed house.  It was a great crowd and a fun night.  Thanks to everybody who took part in the evening.  For those of you who couldn't make it, here's what you missed....

MORE AFTER THE JUMP -- a lot more...

I'll Become the Sea: a Romance novel

My wife has written a wonderful novel. It's called I'LL BECOME THE SEA (you can buy it here.)

It's a Romance Novel.  Strike that -- it's being marketed as a Romance Novel.  And while it does have some traditional elements found in a Romance story, please understand, there's a lot going on in this book, including family violence, urban school decay, Jungian psychology and heavy metal.

I love it for the same reason I love David Goodis and Jim Thompson books: they used pulp crime-novels to write deeply personal stories with existential ideas.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who would like I'll Become the Sea, but they wouldn't necessarily read a Romance novel.  Too bad, it's a well-written, deeply personal story that uses the form in a smart way.

It's like my friend Geoff says, it doesn't matter if Alan Moore is a genius, some people just hate comics books. (He said it a lot better, like he's trying to convince someone to read Swamp Thing.)  Or it's like how my friend Brian laments the fact that he has friends who love good ensemble comedy performance but refuse to see Return of the Living Dead because they'd never watch a horror movie.  (Did I just compare my wife to Dan O'Bannon.  You bet I did!)

Me?  I love comic books, especially ones that play with the genre and introduce subversive ideas.  I love the way bands like Metallica and System of a Down use heavy metal to deal with themes about war, alcoholism and class struggle.  I love watching the movie "Q: THE WINGED SERPENT" and seeing Michael Moriarity deliver an Oscar-worthy method performance, in a cheap movie about a dragon terrorizing Manhattan.  I love the way Joss Whedon used Buffy the Vampire Slayer to get at the horror of high school and adolescence.  Or that Charlie Chaplin made movies like Modern Times and said there wasn't any commentary, it was just slapstick comedy.  And look at this 1959 interview where Rod Serling outright lies to Mike Wallace, claiming that his new show "the Twilight Zone" is not designed for social criticism, it's "strictly for entertainment."  Wallace agrees and says that Serling has given up on writing "anything important for television."

If you like this sort of stuff, then you should check out my wife's book.  Or read her blog.   Or follow her on Facebook.

* RECENTLY ADDED:  You can read the glowing review from Romantic Times.

Lastly, I love that the book has a kick-ass soundtrack.

I love this writer.

Book of the year: another truly geeky thing about me

I never talk about this, but I keep track of everything I read and at the end of each calendar year, I would nominate THE BOOK OF THE YEAR. An imaginary award given to whatever book had the most impract on me.

Here's the thing -- any book ever written could be nominated.  (But I had to read it that year.)

From there it's like any award, there's politics and in-fighting (did I mention I am the only one on the committee, but I will debate myself from time to time.) 

If I were to give an actual award, it would be a sticker made to look like the big foam hand with the extended finger to convey "this is #1"!   The same way books get an "Oprah's book club" sticker, I'd have a BOOK OF THE YEAR sticker with that hand. 

Now let's get to the actual list.  These are the best books I read between the years of 1996 - 2009. (Read the whole thing, or skip ahead to the end for a surprise.)   Lastly, please keep in mind this is not necessarily a list of recommended reading, it's just that the timing was right -- these books spoke to me, because they connected with my then-current situation and where my head was at.   I don't know that "The Best of Temp Slave" would mean as much to me today as it did 11 years ago. 

1996:  THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West 
The best required reading from my junior year of college.  I was totally swept up in this unflinching story of Hollywood in the 1930's.  West is a lean, mean writer and he gets at the loneliness of desperate people.  There's one scene that describes a sad sack sitting naked on the toilet, crying his eyes out waiting for the bathtub to fill-up.  It's a brutal story that doesn't pull any punches and I couldn't put it down.  The John Schlessinger movie is visionary, but I prefer the book's intimacy.  (Does that make sense?  Sorry, I rarely write about literature.)  


Friend, Good!

"'I am alone and miserable: man will not associate with me; but one as deformed and horrible as myself would not deny herself to me. My companion must be of the same species and have the same defects. This being you must create.'"  ~ The Monster, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein


Sex, Love and "Bachelor Party"

As a pre-teen boy with premium movie channels I had access to all the mature-audience entertainment that 1980’s cable had to offer.  I watched everything from Hardbodies to Once Upon a Time In America (the long version). At school my friends would swap stories of seeing late-night nudity, graphic murders and gross-yet-mesmerizing sex scenes. But there was one movie where even the most permissive parents drew the line: Bachelor Party, a raunchy comedy about a bunch of guys having one last blowout before Rick (Tom Hanks) marries Debbie (Tawny Kitaen).

I managed to see this film when I was 12, and it was no wonder Moms and Dads didn’t want their kids seeing it. Bachelor Party features all kinds of debauchery: a girl-on-girl sex show with whips and vibrators, party balloons made from condoms, a donkey snorts cocaine, one party guest mistakenly screws a transvestite, a Hindu pimp threatens to have a man’s testicles cut-off, and a stuffy mother-in-law-to-be mistakes a man’s 13-inch penis for a foot-long hot-dog.  (Not to mention half-a-dozen signature gags shamelessly lifted from National Lampoon’s Animal House, and a gratuitous musical performance by Adrian Zmed!) But the most perplexing


LUCID: a movie I can't wait to see...

Since moving to Brooklyn in 1997 I've met alternative comedians, downtown performance artists, alcoholic poets, content generators, flaky folk-rockers, the list goes on and one.  One of the most slippery of all walks of life is anyone who calls himself an "independent filmmaker."  I could tell you some awful stories, but that's for another post. Today I'm going to share something that's truly exciting and it was made by a writer-director who can deliver.  (Don't take my word for it, just watch this trailer and see for yourself.) 

Jeremy Carr's LUCID is like a David Lynch Batman movie, if Batman weren't in it.

Just think of the money you've spent on seeing bad movies over the years.  Now here's your chance to put ten bucks towards a great movie that needs some help.   The producers are raising funds to finish shooting LUCID, you can join the online fundraiser on Kickstarter.  Every pledge helps -- seriously.

Learn more about the project here and see what you'll get by pledging: you can get an on-screen credit, a copy of Jeremy's short film ICE CREAM ANTS (featuring me as The Drunkard -- pictured above, this is one of my favorite roles), and a few people will get this cool T-shirt:

If you're crazy about movies, help this one get made.  You won't regret it.


Family Photos

When Tobe Hooper revisited the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the 1986 sequel, he said the movie was  the anti-John Hughes movie.  I don't know what the hell that means, but he proved the point with this poster, huh?  


Deleted Sequence from "KEVIN & MATT GEEK OUT ABOUT SHARKS"

Thanks everyone who attended Friday's Kevin & Matt Geek Out About Sharks.  It's amazing that a 2-hour video variety show doesn't have enough time for all the footage we wanted to show.  In talking about JAWS as a pop culture force, we looked at some parodies and rip-offs.  But there was also a series of visual references that came out of the film's success, seen in this dialogue of sorts between two horror film-makers.

We'll start with Wes Craven:  In his 1977 version of The Hills Have Eyes, audiences witnesses brutal violence and carnage on screen.  After a particularly gruesome attack, we see the remains of a trailer, in the background there's a ripped poster of a shark (reportedly a poster of JAWS, but I'm not sure.)

Craven seemed to be saying "That's just a movie.  THIS is real horror."  (View this clip and more after the jump...)



When you come to next Friday's KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT SHARKS  feel free to wear your favorite shark shirt, hat or accessories.

SHARK fashion is always in style:


We're pleased to announce that on Friday July 16th, Matt Glasson and I will present an ENCORE screening of KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT SHARKS.  

To get you psyched for this JAWSOME event, here's a gallery of some great sharks: 



Last Friday (June 21st) was the final Kevin Geeks Out.  (the theme was KEVIN GEEKS OUT ABOUT ALIENS)

Photos, recap and bonus material to come.

In the meantime, here's a nice write-up about K.G.O. from the wonderful Vault of Horror, by a guy who really "got" the show, Brian Solomon.

Also, here's a photo of the alien cupcakes:


LOST Finale: H.W.G.A.S. edition

I think the worst thing you can do with a pop culture phenomenon is to interpret it for people, or tell them why it's successful or (worst of all) tell people why they really like it. That said, I will share *my* thoughts/reactions/observations to the final episode, simply because I haven't seen this interpretation anywhere in the "mainstream media" (granted I only read 2 - 3 articles.) 


Kevin Geeks Out: A look back

Kevin Geeks Out began while I was doing a weekly web series for American Movie Classics, focussing on Science-fiction movies.  The wonderful Erez Ziv (at the Horse Trade Theater Group) suggested I do a monthly show at the Under St. Marks.  He suggested I rent a movie (from Kim's Video, just down the street from the theater), showing a film that I had spotlighted on my web show.

I thought no one would pay to see a movie that they could rent from Netflix or watch on a computer.  So I came up with an idea for a clip-based show.  Lots of clips around a given theme, all leading up to a feature presentation (a short film, TV episode, something like that.)  Then Meg Sweeney Lawless and Jay Stern started producing the show with me.  We added a co-host (a different one each month.)  We brought in guest speakers.  And then we got rid of the feature presentation to make room for more clips.

The show was great fun, with amazing guests and the best audiences I've ever had the pleasure of appearing before.

After the jump, there's a complete list of shows, followed by a complete list of guests:



After 22 shows, great reviews and sold-out houses, Kevin Maher (pictured, with gorilla) is stopping the run following this Friday’s event (Kevin Geeks Out About Aliens ).  Since January 2008 Kevin produced the monthly “pop culture cavalcade”, covering favorite genre topics like Bigfoot , BatmanDummy Deaths,  Visions of the Future and Shark Cinema.  

Here are five internet rumors about why the show is ending:

1.     Kevin suddenly realized he hates low-budget cult movies from the 70’s.

2.     Kevin only started the show to impress a cool girl in “nerd” glasses, but has since learned she has a boyfriend.

3.     Kevin needs more time to write horrible science-fiction novels under the pen name “William Shatner”

4.     Kevin wants to spend more time with his family, specifically: telling his wife and children some long, anecdotes about the critical reception to “Krull”

5.     Kevin developed a rare form of Terminal Diarrhea.


GEEK BINGO: the home edition

At April's installment of KEVIN GEEKS OUT we got everyone in attendance to play GEEK BINGO.  How does it work?  It's exactly like regular Bingo, but instead of using specific numbers, you fill in a square based on geeky things about yourself. 

(for example, if the letter "B" is picked, the announcer reads "BEEN to Comic-Con"  If you have been to Comic-Con, then you get the point.  The object is to be the first person with 5 checks across or 5 checks down.) 

So take a regular BINGO card or make your own using blank boxes under the letters. 

Next, pick bingo balls out of a hopper (again ignore the numbers, just call the letter) the read one of the statements that are labeled "B"  "I"  "N"  "G"  or  "O"

Once you've gotten 5 across or 5 down, you shout "GEEK BINGO!"

The call-out card is attached and was written with the help of Lisa BeebeScott Christian CarrNoah Tarnow and Mike Whalen.  (Thanks guys!) 


Tin Foil Hat Competition at this Friday's KEVIN GEEKS OUT

This Friday (May 21st) is the final installment of KEVIN GEEKS OUT!

It's also our first (and last) annual TIN FOIL HAT Competition.

So come with your own tin foil hat and enter the contest.  You could win a big prize!  Or maybe you'll meet the love of your life.  If nothing else, you will shield your brain from the most electromagnetci psycotronic mind-control carriers.

Our Friday night show will be a 95-minute cavalcade of alien-themed videos, guest speakers, snacks and presentations -- so of course we'd want to celebrate the choice headgear to prevent extra-terrestrial mind control.


Kevin Geeks Out About ALIENS!

This month, Kevin Geeks Out about ALIENS! 

It's a 90-minute cultural cavalcade of trivia, snacks, prizes, and guest speakers presenting rare film footage and TV clips you won’t find on YouTube or Netflix.  Kevin is joined by co-host Philip Shane (editor of the documentary UFOs – Seeing is Believing) and some very special guests: 

·      Emmy Award-winning Daily Show writer Elliott Kalan looks back at his favorite E.T. rip-off.

·      Dr. Justin Weinstein shares insider secrets with his talk “How to Make a UFO Documentary”

·      Anatomy Teacher Kriota Willberg dissects the concept of alien-as-parasite in science fiction films

·      Artist-Baker Sara Reiss serves up home-made Alien snacks

·      Cartoonist Michael Kupperman (Tales Designed to Thrizzle) presents his Martian-themed comic strips.

All this plus a brief history of Project Blue Book, a survey of the galaxy’s sexiest extraterrestrials, a musical retrospective of “Aliens that Rock”, and a field guide on how to identify alien invaders in everyday settings.
All audience-members are encouraged to compete in the TIN FOIL HAT COMPETITION.  (Tin foil will be provided.) 

Arrive early and you can catch our new PRE-SHOW VIDEO, featuring dozens of clips from past shows and original music ("The Haunting Theme from Kevin Geeks Out") by Anne Kadet 

92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street
New York, NY
$10  (click here for tickets) 

ONE SHOW ONLY - Friday May 21, 8:00pm

Now here's the trailer,  edited by the show's co-host, Philip Shane: 


Death of a Geek: John McGarr

This is not a symbolic death, like a comic-book geek has been reformed  or anything.  Rather, it's the actual loss of a really great guy who was killed by a drunk driver.  This is the second obituary I'm writing from Kevin Geeks Out About Werewolves; in December I'd eulogized actor-writer Paul Naschey here.   Today I'm writing about filmmaker John McGarr.

John recently produced House of the Wolfman.  He also played the creepy manservant, Barlow (pictured, right.)  The film re-creates the look and feel of a 1940's monster movie, it even boasts a connection to the original Universal Monsters by casting Ron Chaney (grandson of the original Wolf Man, Lon Chaney Jr.)

Last week John attended the HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis.  According to a convention organizer, John and his brother Eben were there working on a documentary.  On Thursday morning, he was walking to breakfast when a car swerved out of the traffic lane, hitting and killing John.

When we did Kevin Geeks Out About Werewolves, I'd emailed John requesting clips.  He sent us the trailer (below).  We closed the show with his footage, it played beautifully and brought the night full circle.  Afterwards a lot of people wanted to know how they could see the whole movie.

He also sent me this video, shot in the style of a 1970's MEGO commercial.  John was a guy who clearly loved what he loved and was making stuff for fans like me.

We never met in person, but I was glad to know him by phone and by email.  When I'd suggested he talk to people at the 92Y Tribeca to arrange a screening, he refused.  John said he wanted to his New York premiere to take place at a Drive-In.  He'd already started researching it, and I hope the filmmakers make it happen.  In March, House of the Wolf Man had been picked up for world-wide distribution by Taurus Entertainment.  (They're planning an October release, naturally.)  We lost a good geek, but his labor of love lives on...


Kevin Geeks Out About Monkeys (a recap)

Kevin Geeks Out is a monthly video variety/comedy show I host at the 92Y Tribeca.  This is a recap of the February 2010 installment: Kevin Geeks Out About Monkeys.

We kicked off the show with a hot-mix of some favorite monkey movies and TV shows, including clips from The Mighty Gorga, Trog, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, and an actual film called FUNKY MONKEY which stars Matthew Modine as a guy who travels around the country with a super-talented chimp.  Apparently they're just about to leave town when they are roped into helping a kid win the big game.  (I'll admit, I didn't watch the entire movie, just the football stuff.)

Then I did a lengthy study about the legacy of King Kong, from the sequels to the Toho reboots, the remakes, the knock-offs, the universal studios ride, the video games, and so on.  [Fun-Fact: the 1933 original was followed by a quickie sequel called Son of Kong.  Now the first film came out in April of '33, the sequel premiered that December.  This is probably the quickest turn-around is sequel-making.  But 50 years later that record was beat when a 1984 blockbuster attempted to quickly cash in on a sequel before the fad ended.  Can you guess the movie?  It was Breakin' (released in May of '84) immediately followed by Breakin' 2 (which was released in December, presumably to be eligible for the '84 Academy Awards.)]  We also covered the Toho reboot, including King Kong Vs. Godzilla and the film where Kong fights his robot doppleganger, Mechani-Kong (below King Kong Escapes) All this, plus: King Kong Bundy, Donkey Kong, King Kong cocktails, and profiles of 1970's knock-offs including Queen KongA*P*E, and King Kung-Fu. We showed bits from Universal studios' "King Kong Experience" ride and commercials for Nebraska's King Kong fast-food restaurant. (don't worry, they don't eat gorilla meat.) For the sake of keeping this a family show, we did not screen anything from Kinky Kong or Babes of Kong Island.
Next up, a Kevin Geeks Out favorite -- Professor Geoff Klock did a close-reading on a single issue of the Justice League Comic Book that centered around Gorilla Grodd. Klock argued that the adventured celebrated the weirdness of his adventures -- the kind of stuff Christopher Nolan would never put in a movie -- like Batman taking his space-ship to a distant planet where he kicks a gorilla in the nut-sack.  Viva Comics!
This was followed by another video block, celebrating REAL monkeys in film, including Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp, old movies of a monkey wedding and this classic by Tom Stern (a film which is said to be a favorite of Ethan Coen.)
Carrie McLaren (producer of Brooklyn's Adult Ed Lecture Series) delivered an eye-opening lecture about the history of Bob and Mae Noell's "Gorilla's Ark", a mid-century traveling side-show where audience members were invited to win money by boxing chimpanzees. (Not surprisingly, a lot of the volunteers were drunk.  Some things never change.) We do not have footage of Carrie's lecture, but you can see some of her other primate lectures here, including "Why You Want a Monkey" and "How to Raise a Chimp in Your Home.")

After that, KGO super-producer Meg Sweeney Lawless introduced "The Kindest Cut" a recurring segment at Kevin Geeks Out, where Meg and her husband Jay cut-down a feature-film into an abridged version with the best (or the worst) parts of genre movie.  This month Meg shared KONGA -- a bizarre British Kong-like story that featured flesh-eating plants, dummy-deaths and the guy who played Alfred the Butler in Tim Burton's Batman.  (NOTE: Less than a month later, an audience member hosted her own KONGA screening party in Boston, where people dressed up for the film.)

Noah Tarnow was up next with a primate-themed edition of his Big Quiz Thing -- three audience members were brought up to compete (including one guy in a gorilla suit!)  Noah occasionally stumped his contestants with questions about monkey-music, movies and history.
The contestants won some deluxe prizes, including: passes to the Congo Gorilla Forest at the Bronx Zoo, passes to the upcoming Curious George art exhibit at the Jewish Museum, and a signed DVD of the movie KONGA.  (signed by me.)

Then it was time for a snack break!  Our audience was treated to Envirokidz Organic cereal: GORILLA MUNCH.  The gluten-free treat was provided by Nature's Path Organic foods.

While the audience was crunching and munching, M. Sweeney Lawless returned to do a bit with me about the theory behind putting gorillas on comic-book covers.  You can see the cover art and read the bit HERE  (or just scroll down to the next blog entry.)  It's worth noting, I discovered that my favorite cover, was in fact a reprint. Check it out and compare the two covers side-by-side.
Keeping with our comic-book chimps, we brought up one of my all-time favorite cartoonists, Michael Kupperman (of Snake n' Bacon, Tales Designed to Thrizzle).  Kupperman shared a brand-new story about a jungle princess. It will be included in the upcoming issue of his Tales Designed to Thrizzle.
Following Kupperman's classy comic book art, we continued with the high-brow, showing one of the best TV comedy bits I've ever seen.  Ernie Kovacs' rendition of Swan Lake:

The evening was packed with videos of guys in gorilla suits, cartoon chimps and real-live monkeys.  Animal Lawyer (but not an actual animal who is a lawyer) Cori Herbig stepped up and told some true tales of monkeys in movies.  I'd noted after the Lancelot Link clips that the male chimps in that series had been castrated before production began, to keep them from humping people and females.  Well, that's just the tip (ahem) of the iceberg.  Cori talked about some actions being taken to protect performing animals -- or to keep them out of film and tv entirely.

I love to showcase "spoken nerd" poetry whenver possible -- and initially Ernie Cline was scheduled to be part of the show.  Being a hot-shot screenwriter, he was called to L.A. and could not attend, but he did share this video favorite:

Then it was time for the surprise gift of the evening.  Proceeds from Kevin Geeks Out About Monkeys were used to adopt this little darling -- Ubwuzu.  He's a two-and-a-half year old male, the only child of Mitimblili and one of the youngest in his group of mountain gorillas being studied and protected by the Dian Fosey Gorilla Fund's Kaisoke Research Center.  I have to admit, I'd wanted to change his name to baby Milo (like the infant chimpanzee in Escape From the Planet of the Apes -- but just look at him!  He's such a Ubwuzu.  Right?
Following the adoption announcement, we showed a video of Jane Goodall wishing happy 75th birthday to the chimp who played Cheeta in the Tarzan movies.  And then we handed out copies of the adoption notice to audience members -- because we are all Ubwuzu's parents now.

And no show would be complete without a teaser for the next month's show:  (note: this trailer was edited by Matthew Glasson, a longtime KGO favorite who is co-hosting this very show!)
KEVIN GEEKS OUT - BONUS MATERIAL: (stuff not actually seen in the show)

Gorilla at Large Trailer. Note: the actor in the monkey-suit also played the title role in ROBOT-MONSTER and the “MUGATO” (white horned ape) in Star Trek

I CREATED LANCELOT LINK  a short documentary from the maker of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot"

Infrequently Asked Questions about King Kong

Another one of Tom Stern's Mokeyed Movie: Planet of the Humans 

Here's a hilarious short by Steve Martin. (Sometimes I forget how funny he is. It's understandable.) 

From the TRAILERS FROM HELL website, here's John Landis on Mighty Joe Young and director Mick Garris on Son of Kong.

Enough talking – here’s Chimp Karate!

Two weeks after the show, I found this old bootleg DVD of mine with 1960's Superman cartoons. Here's the Man of Steel taking on the Ape Army of the Amazon


News report about this Japanese monkey waiter

A link to the trailer for LINK (a 1986 horror movie that pre-dates Monkey Shines) 

King Klunk Walter Lantz's 1933 cartoon that parodies of the Kong myth.