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Bill Nye the Fire Guy - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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March 3rd, 2008


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12:05 am - Bill Nye the Fire Guy
So a few weeks ago, sophia_helix discovered that B.J. Novak was going to be at Cobb's Comedy Club. So we made plans! And after parallel parking arbitrarium's car, eating thin-crust pizza with tasty chicken and whole mushrooms with little cheese to cling to, and running four blocks to meet harriettheelf and her brother with tickets so we could get in and reserve good seats, it was time!

The host, Kevin Hancock, was hit-or-miss, but he was a good sport about the misses, and in fact, one of his funniest jokes was about a miss, a metajoke referring back to an earlier joke about people who trick out their cars with neon lights (he said he'd take the joke back and put some neon lights on it and show it at the Joke Show, where you could tilt it up and see the undercarriage of that joke). My favorite joke, however, was about the common bumper sticker "NO BLOOD FOR OIL." It began predictably ("It was on an SUV"), but then it went in a more intelligent and hilarious direction: "You can't use blood for oil. It doesn't have the right viscosity. Plus, it starts doing crazy things to your car. 'Hey, man, what's wrong with your car?' 'Sickle-cell anemia.'"

The featured guest, Dan Mintz, was also hit-or-miss, but when he missed, he really missed. His schtick was the whole "Dryly tell one random joke after another" thing like Mitch Hedberg, but he often veered into tasteless and offensive territory. Sometimes, I still laughed even though it wasn't particularly funny, just unexpected. He did have some good jokes mixed in there, though.

Then out came B.J. Novak! Who was expectedly hilarious, although it was weird to hear him curse a few times (and his act was really PG-13 for the most part). I don't want to give away his entire act, of course, but I could give some highlights! A lot of jokes involved puns and wordplay, including a funny domestic violence joke (as opposed to the previous comics' not-so-funny domestic violence jokes) and some political humor that took one audience member a minute to get (B.J. lamented that Barack Obama got "caucus-blockused"). He read from a children's book he'd written called Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Stolen Bike that was kind of like this comic turned into an extended joke, but it somehow became funnier and funnier as he took the conceit further and further.

One thing that was great was that, at 28, he was very much our generation, and he grew up with the same things we did, like, for instance, Encyclopedia Brown. And You Can't Do That on Television! And Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? ("Why has no one caught her yet? Everyone in this room was looking for her. Nice work, gumshoes.") And the Emergency Broadcast System. And Bill Nye!

In the middle of his act, he did the old "Try out jokes on an audience" thing, and he had Kevin bring a trash can onstage in which to throw out jokes that bombed. This led to some great audience interaction, as he commented on this one woman in the front who looked very concerned, like "Don't use that joke; it'll bomb in another city!" Then, later on, he heard her remark that a joke sucked, and he did another impression of her. When one particular joke seemed to get little reaction except from one table, he handed the joke (on an index card) to that table. Hee.

Early in the act, he had a bit on how cute pandas are, and you wouldn't think you could turn "Pandas are so cute!" into a hilarious joke, but he did.

He also brought out Shy Puppet, who was adorable. Aww.

The Office didn't come up a lot. He congratulated us all for resisting the urge to say, "That's what she said" after a particular phrase (I knew from Office Tally that the previous night, someone had attempted to TWSS throughout the show). He said he liked that The Office was being shown on planes so he could elbow his seatmate and be all, "Have you seen this show? Man, it's exactly like the place I work." And he thanked all the Office fans in the audience and told us to give ourselves a round of applause.

Afterward, B.J. came out to meet people and take pictures and such. sophia_helix asked if we wanted to wait around to meet him, and actoplasm commented that it's what I do. And he's right! I meet famous people! It's like my raison d'être. I'm like a serial starfucker, hoping that if I am in proximity to enough famous people, I will become famous myself.

When it was my turn to meet the great B.J. Novak, I gave him the old "Great show" and said that he didn't say anything about Call of Duty.

"Do I know anything about Call of Duty?" he asked.

I said there was something about the Veronica Mars writers and Call of Duty. "You know the Veronica Mars writers?" he asked.

"Yeah," I replied.

He explained that Phil Klemmer plays as "B.J. Novak" on Call of Duty. Heh. So they had a little feud of some sort. Then he was all, "So...you want to take a picture?" Like, "So...are we done with the talking and can I go yet?"


Then I pulled The Office S1 out from my jacket sleeve (it was the easiest one to fit in there, and I hadn't thought of just bringing the sleeve, as someone else had). "Do you want to watch it with me, or do you want me to sign it?" he said. Well...

I opened it up, and he pulled out a big black marker to sign the disc. He asked if I wanted him to sign it to me, or just sign it. So I gave him my name.


And that was how I managed to be a total dork in front of yet another celebrity.
Current Mood: dorkydorky
Current Music: The Lovemakers - Prepare for the Fight

(29 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:electricmonk
Date:March 3rd, 2008 08:52 am (UTC)
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Every now and then I get this feeling like, "Isn't it about time for Sunil to post something? It seems like it's been a while." The last two times I've had this feeling, you've posted something within a few hours.

This could mean:

a) I'm obsessive
b) You're predictable
c) We share some brainwaves
d) Nothing, actually, complete coincidence, magical thinking, etc.
e) I should be working on my work rather than refreshing livejournal, but gosh darn it...

I choose... E.

Anyway, I've actually been watching this show, so I actually recognize this famous person. Cool!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 3rd, 2008 08:56 am (UTC)
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I think it's a combination of A and B.

And yay for you watching The Office!

Also *hugs*. I still haven't met YOU, for God's sake. Fuck B.J. Novak. You're worth fifteen B.J. Novaks!
[User Picture]
From:catalyst2
Date:March 3rd, 2008 08:53 am (UTC)
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".....hoping that if I am in proximity to enough famous people, I will become famous myself."

Sort of like fame by osmosis? Does that mean that the celebrity will be less famous after meeting you? ;-)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 3rd, 2008 08:56 am (UTC)
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I AM TOTALLY LEECHING FAME FROM PEOPLE OMG.

Except it should be noted that Ellen Page became WAY more famous after meeting me. I'm just saying.

Edited at 2008-03-03 08:57 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:catalyst2
Date:March 4th, 2008 10:06 am (UTC)
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Maybe you have now become an overflowing dam of famousness because you spent so much time with famous people?

YOU HAVE TOO MUCH LATENT FAME!
[User Picture]
From:somethingel
Date:March 3rd, 2008 09:31 am (UTC)
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Ah I am super jealous! B.J. has always seemed intimidating to me, is that how it is in person, too?

Anyway, was the domestic violence joke "battered women" etc.? Because that cracks me up.

[Reading this post made me 0.03% more famous]
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 3rd, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC)
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Ah I am super jealous! B.J. has always seemed intimidating to me, is that how it is in person, too?
Maybe? I couldn't tell.

Anyway, was the domestic violence joke "battered women" etc.?
Yes!

[Reading this post made me 0.03% more famous]
Hee.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 3rd, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
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Ha! No, it was different.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 3rd, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
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Actually, it was exactly like this!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 3rd, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
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I try.
[User Picture]
From:filmtx
Date:March 3rd, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
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You do get to meet all the cool famous people. This sounds like you had fun.

My oldest son LOVED Bill Nye when he was three. I can still hear his little toddler voice singing "Biw Nye... Tience Guy. Biw! Biw! Biw!"
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 3rd, 2008 03:15 pm (UTC)
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Ha, that's adorable.
[User Picture]
From:wiscck
Date:March 3rd, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC)
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I had no idea he was that young. Wow, that's only a few years older than I am.
[User Picture]
From:sophia_helix
Date:March 3rd, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
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We'd been grousing about that until a few minutes into his act when we realized, OK, he actually is crazy-talented and deserves his fame. Damn him.
From:harriettheelf
Date:March 3rd, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
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The featured guest, Dan Mintz, was also hit-or-miss

It's possible to be hit-or-miss without hitting?

G-d, I couldn't stand him. I took out my book and read while he was on.

Thank goodness BJ was so awesome!
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 3rd, 2008 05:18 pm (UTC)
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Ha, I thought he had some good bits. The audience volunteer joke was pretty funny. But the good didn't really outweigh the bad. At least Kevin Hancock seemed to get better as he went along.
[User Picture]
From:maka2000
Date:March 3rd, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
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You do win at meeting the famous people. *thumbs up*
[User Picture]
From:tallisen
Date:March 3rd, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
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I'm really jealous, but happy for you too! It must have been amazing to meet B.J. and to hear his act. Thank you for sharing (your pictures look great!).
[User Picture]
From:towers_of_ivory
Date:March 4th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
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Oooh, he's cute. American version of The Office, I assume?
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 4th, 2008 01:17 am (UTC)
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Yep. He's also one of the writers.
[User Picture]
From:alannaofdoom
Date:March 4th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC)
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And Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? ("Why has no one caught her yet? Everyone in this room was looking for her. Nice work, gumshoes.")

I realized the other week that Lynn Thigpen, who is the voice of the DJ on The Warriors, was also the voice of The Chief on Carmen Sandiego. So now I cannot watch The Warriors without thinking of Carmen Sandiego and humming the theme song and reminiscing about how my sister and my dad and I used to have the computer game and play it for hours.

I am distracted by B.J.'s attire. What is he wearing? Is that a shiny jacket with matte sleeves? Or a shiny vest over a long-sleeved shirt? I am perplexed and this is going to drive me crazy.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 4th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
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I think it's a vest.
[User Picture]
From:missquita
Date:March 4th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
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Sunil, I wanna come along on one of your way cool celebadventures sometime. And I like how someone took a picture of you watching B.J. sign the dealie. The real question here is, does B.J. realize that he met someone famous?
[User Picture]
From:gymble
Date:March 4th, 2008 04:07 pm (UTC)
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It's totally bizarre for me to read about you meeting B.J. Novak. I just keep thinking, "But I went to college with him!" Which is entirely irrelevant to the fact that he's famous now. And, in fact, more than one person I went to college is famous, but I'm fewer degrees separated from him. I know people that he knows! It's probably just as well that I haven't had any contact with him since then, because I'd probably end up saying something dorky, which is fine in front of normal celebrities, but not with someone who knows people that you know.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:March 4th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I forgot about that! Man, I didn't go to high school or college with anyone famous. Except Niels from Beauty and the Geek.
[User Picture]
From:gymble
Date:March 4th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
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It's probably just as well, because I almost guarantee that he wouldn't recognize my name. There's an off-chance that I'd look familiar to him in person.
[User Picture]
From:arbitrarium
Date:March 5th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC)
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"including a funny domestic violence joke"
Those were the funniest four words I have heard in a long time. Hee!

I hope you like my "signing the DVD" action shot.

You are like Mary Poppins with your jacket. How much can you fit in those pockets!?

I forgot about the Emergency Broadcast System joke! So awesome!
[User Picture]
From:soleta_nf
Date:March 7th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
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Oh man. I mentioned You Can't Do That on Television! to some friends last week and they stared at me blankly. Then I remembered they're 10 years younger than I am. So sad that these young'uns know nothing of that show! :(

Like I said on Facebook, SO COOL that you got to meet him! That is such an adorable picture. :)

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