Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ep. 3.09 - James Really Phones It In

Happy Holidays, guys!

As the year comes to a close, Cherry Spitz is back, once again, with another episode for your audio funnels. And this time, The Harbinger's The Dude Von Doom soberly traverses the rainbow bridge and returns to our shores.

Join Erik, a freshly tattoo'd Kat and by way of Skype, James, as we dive into what ruled and sucked about Tron: Legacy.

Also, Black Rob swings by the studio to test our psyches. How much do you love your dog? Your legs? Your areolas? Find out when you enter a world where B-Rob is all powerful!

If that weren't enough, we call out DJ AM for the dead hack that he is!

Episode 3.8 - James Really Phones It In

For more in depth discussion on all things Tron, please check out fellow Thundergoat Studios podcast: The Harbinger! Specifically, the episode posted below.

The Harbinger #615 - Tron: Delineation and Televisions

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ep 3.08 - EPISODE 50!

"This is by far the sexiest podcast we have ever done." - James Stebick

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the internet event over a year-and-a-half in the making. This is the 50th Cherry Spitz Podcast. That's right, 50 episodes! And you better believe we're just getting started...

The Cherry Spitz Podcast: The 50th Episode

{NOTE: There's an audio fuck-up between 7:18-9:25. It's a chiptune issue that we just can't clean up. Sorry guys. Fortunately it's just for 2 minutes. Just tell yourself we meant it to sound like that.}

For this monumental occasion we welcome two esteemed colleagues and friends as our guests: Josh Nicols and Alex Herrera from the Lobby Improv! The Lobby has been a friend of the Spitz for a long time and you can find more about Josh and Alex at The Lobby website. The boys join Spitz legends Lars, James, Tony, Erik, and Ify in some of the funniest stuff you will ever pour in your ear.

"I would rather have a kid than wear a condom." - Josh Nicols

THIS WEEK'S TOPICS: The horror/miracle of childbirth, imaginary dictators, Rule 34, classic beat'em up videogames, fun albums to put in Teddy Ruxpin, and why do the Flinstones celebrate Christmas? All that PLUS Ify has a "Coon Story", Lars explains old-timey currency, Tony has jungle fever, and Erik reads from the Twitter page of a modern poet. This is one killer episode.

We also talk briefly about "One Night in Bangkok," which is one of the most epic songs of all time. If you have never seen nor heard the raw power that is "One Night in Bangkok" then your life has not truly begun until NOW:

"Two things I know about the Irish: They don't like drinking, and they don't like fighting." - Alex Herrera

And since we're seven dudes talking, we inevitably get to the topics of Rocky and sex. We talk a lot of sex on this weeks episode. Where's the best place YOU'VE ever gotten down? We go around the room and share our answers.

"I did not understand anything you just said." - Anthony Najera

Do you wish you could follow Cherry Spitz' own Ifechukwude Ijeoma Nwadiwe on Twitter? Well good news! You can find him at And good luck to you with that. Soon enough you'll be reading such brilliance as "Driving while masturbating should be a sport, because I'm playing it now and winning."

We at Cherry Spitz would like to thank all of you wonderful people for your support. We have had a lot of kicks (both above and below the waistline, sunshine!) making these first 50 podcasts. We've learned a lot. Thank you all for playing along with us. Things are only getting bigger and better from here. Stay tuned amigos. Here's to 50 more.


[Seriously, what deal with pterodactyl?]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ep. 3.07- FreedomCAST Part 2

Sometimes, our brave fighting men and women have to look for a capable individual to look out after them. Sometimes, America needs a hero.

Instead, you get this guy....

But seriously, don't let this man's charming demeanor fool you; Chuck Farrell fights for America and let's just say you're lucky he's on your side. In this installment, James and myself it captivated by Chuck's return and his tales of Naval adventure in the Caribbean. We learn such important skills as: which whorehouse is most classy in Columbia, how to subdue a drunk marine using playground tactics, and how to effectively wreck expensive military equipment. Hell, we're thinking of enlisting right now if we didn't have all those pesky warrants out for us.

In case you haven't heard the previous Freedomcast, Chuck is our good buddy who happens to be a globetrotting, Army-reserve medic. He goes around the world patching up all sorts of exotic people.

In this episode as well, James and I discuss with Chuck how we felt the Improv Cup wrapped up.

C'mon, soldier! Do your duty for your country and listen to this shit!

Ep. 3.07- D-House- FreedomCast Part 2

And stay tuned for the holiday season with your favorite Spitzers! Stay cozy out there kittens.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sloppy Seconds!

[Kevin Stevenson, Blaire Byhower, Erik Wargo, Tim Gale, Kat Shea, Lars Hansen, James Stebick, and Ifechukwude "Ify" Nwadiwe]

Last weekend the first Orange County Improv Cup was held in Fullerton, and Cherry Spitz showed why we are the greatest comedy group of all time. Countless improv matches were held over the two-day event, and in the end over 1400 dollars was raised for the Association of Hole in the Wall Camps. We at Cherry Spitz wanted to thank Josh Nicols and the amazing people at The Lobby Improv and STAGES Theatre for organizing such an epic event. There are hundreds of pictures of the whole two-day tournament posted at the Orange County Improv Cup Facebook page.

Night 1 saw all 16 teams performing before a panel of guest judges from the ACME Comedy Theatre. These judges would be scoring all 64 players based on creativity, teamwork, and the quality of their scenes. The brackets for Night 2 would be determined by how these judges ranked the top 10 teams.

At the end of the night the Broken Seals (sorry Egon!), the Tasty Cocks (still the best team name), the Chocolate Reindeer, the Berlin Wallabies, the Limber Kittens, and the Robo-Raptors were eliminated. The top 10 teams were then seeded based on their rankings by the ACME judges. Here's how that shook out. (Click to enlarge)

Here's how the rest of the tournament went:

The FOUNDING FLOUNDERS (Blaire's team!) defeated the ADJECTIVE ANIMALS to advance to the Elite Eight.

The GASSY COWS defeated the SPARK PUGS to advance to the Elite Eight.


The DAPPER DINGOES defeated the POWERFUL PONIES (Ify and Jeff's team!) to advance to the semifinals.

The SLOPPY BLOWFISH (James and Lars' team!) defeated the FOUNDING FLOUNDERS (sorry Blaire!) to advance to the semifinals.

The OPULENT OCTOPI (Kat, Tim, and Kevin's team!) defeated the GASSY COWS to advance to the semifinals.

The RAINBOW UNICORNS defeated the DEVOLVING APES to advance to the semifinals.

The Final 4 teams


The SLOPPY BLOWFISH defeated the DAPPER DINGOES to advance into the Finals!

The RAINBOW UNICORNS defeated the OPULENT OCTOPI to advance into the Finals.

+The Final Showdown+

In what could easily be the upset of the century the RAINBOW UNICORNS defeated SLOPPY BLOWFISH in the final round of the Orange County Improv Cup. That's right, Apollo Creed beat Rocky.

The Daily Titan (Cal State Fullerton news) did a peace on the Cup, and even got footage of the final results being announced. Check it out.

[it's quick, but you can totally see how crushed me and Lars are at 1:21]

When all was said and done Cherry Spitz teams placed 6th, 5th, 3rd, and 2nd in the Improv Cup. Yes, it would have been nice to bring home the gold but alas that was not our fate this year. The Rainbow Unicorns (Tony Rey, Jill Tsai, Kristen Sanchez, and Staci Pratt, and yes we actually lost to a team called the "Rainbow Unicorns") were a great team and they played some really good improv. We at Cherry Spitz are glad they are the champions no matter how much it physically pains me to even type these sentences. Real blinding pain. Seriously though, great work you guys. We at the Spitz are looking forward to seeing more of you.

The OC Improv Cup was such a success that next year's event has already been booked. That's right, Spitz fans! We will see you back in Fullerton at STAGES Theatre on November 11th-12th 2010 for the Second Annual Orange County Improv Cup! And we all remember what happens in Rocky 2, right?


[Training for next year's Cup has already begun]

Monday, November 1, 2010


64 of Southern California's best and most talented performers will come to play. In the end, 60 will fall. Who will be named Orange County's best?!?

On November 12th and 13th Cherry Spitz will be taking part of an epic event known as the Orange County Improv Cup. The fine gentlemen at The Lobby Improv have organized this two-day tournament to find the best improv players in all of Southern California. All of SoCal's top teams have sent representatives and when all is said and done we will know who is the best of the best.

The Improv Cup begins on Friday November 12th at STAGES Theater in Fullerton at 7pm ( There are 16 teams playing and the opening night will see the teams pair up and perform in 30 minute sets. Judges from the ACME Comedy Theater will be judging the teams as they perform and the top 10 will move onto Day 2. It's important to check the schedule and see what matches you want to see live. Tickets for each of the divisions of matches(Green and Blue) in the opening round are only 5 bucks! Plus, 30 VIP passes will be available on Day 1 (and only Day 1) for the entire weekend of the Improv Cup. 25 dollars for a VIP pass will get you more live comedy than you ever though imaginable. Best of all, proceeds from the show will be going to Hole in the Wall Camps, a charity dedicated to children with serious illnesses. Come see Southern California's best comic talents do battle with one another... for charity!

The teams have been randomly drawn and the first round brackets have been posted. Here's how Friday night is going to go:


Here's a more detailed break-down of when you can see your favorite Spitz members during the opening night of the Improv Cup.

TEAM 2: The Opulent Octopi
Kat Shea(Cherry Spitz), Tim Gale (Cherry Spitz Alumni), Kevin Stevenson (Cherry Spitz Alumni), and Eddie Zamora (Safety Safari).
Playing TEAM 9(The Powerful Ponies) on friday November 12th at 7:30pm.

TEAM 5: The Founding Flounders
Blaire Byhower (Cherry Spitz), Lindsay Henkenius (Safety Safari), Linda McDaniel (Comedy Kaze), and Adrian Terborg.
Playing TEAM 8(The Tasty Cocks) on friday November 12th at 8:30pm.

TEAM 7: The Broken Seals
Erik Wargo (Cherry Spitz), Steven Jones (Safety Safari), Sam Forbes, and Blake Keller.
Playing TEAM 12(The Limber Kittens) on friday November 12th at 10:00pm.

TEAM 8: The Tasty Cocks
Anthony Najera (Cherry Spitz), Tyler X. Koontz (Safety Safari), Ryan Herrera (The Fornicators of Comedy, The Fly Zone), and Andy Sharp (Fornicators of Comedy).
Playing TEAM 5(The Founding Flounders) on friday November 12th at 8:30pm.

TEAM 9: The Powerful Ponies
Ify Nwadiwe (Cherry Spitz), Jeff Echegoyan (Comedy Sportz LA College Team, friend of Cherry Spitz), LeShawn Holcomb, and Jeffrey Larson.
Playing TEAM 2(The Opulent Octopi) on friday November 12th at 7:30pm.

TEAM 14: The Sloppy Blowfish
James Stebick (Cherry Spitz), Lars Hansen (Cherry Spitz), Chase Hooper (The Lobby), and DJ O'Hea (The Lobby, The Fornicators of Comedy).
Playing TEAM 13(The Rainbow Unicorns) on friday November 12th at 10:30pm.

We can't wait to see all of our awesome fans there. Cherry Spitz is looking forward to kicking ass and taking names... all for charity, of course. All of us are super excited to be working with all of these different teams from across Southern California. Will Cherry Spitz prove once and for all that they are the best in West? Probably! You'll have to come to the Improv Cup to find out for sure! See y'all there.


[Word is Sloppy Blowfish is the odds-on favorite.]

EDITORS NOTE: If I spelled anybodys name wrong or posted the incorrect group affiliation feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. Or don't. I don't care.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Episode 3.06 - Pretentious Music Critics + HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Hello boys and ghouls! That's right, it's me, James, and I'm doing this post Cryptkeeper style. Happy Halloween to all of you in the Cherry Spitz universe. What kind of treats do we have for you? A brand new podcast! If you listen closely you can hear us eating Halloween candy throughout the whole episode.

In this week's episode Erik, Ify, Kat, and myself talk a whole bunch of music. Everything from awesome break-up albums and killer collaborations to badass songs from cartoons. Horror movie icon Jigsaw stops by to talk about his new movie and how much he loves to use his Slap-Chop. Get ready to write down some recipes. Plus an argument over the awesomeness of "Highway to the Dangerzone" threatens to tear the group apart.

Music by Jay-Z, Jaydiohead, Dangermouse, The Beatles/Wu-Tang, Notorious BIG, Radiohead, Sublime, Nine Inch Nails, Kenny Loggins, NOFX, and the combined efforts of AC/DC and Ray Parker Jr.

ALSO! Check back tomorrow for information about the upcoming Orange County Improv Cup. We will have the first round brackets posted as well as all the different teams posted. The Improv Cup will be November 12-13th at STAGES Theater in Fullerton. The Lobby (friends of the Spitz) are hosting this epic event and the proceeds are going to a great charity, Hole in the Wall Camps.

Well that's all I got for now. Be sure to check back tomorrow for all you need to know about the Improv Cup, including when your favorite Spitz members will be performing. It's gonna be rad. Until then, y'all have a great Halloween. Stay classy and safe.

Master of SCAREmonies,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Episode 3.05 - Lithgow Strength

Look alive!

Good to see you, amigos. James here and do I have some good news for you: Brand. New. Podcast. Super radness just for you. This week's podcast isn't just good, it's LITHGOW STRENGTH good! And that's just the beginning...

We at Cherry Spitz are happy to welcome our newest member Kat Shea to the podcast! That's right, a G-G-G-GIRL (no to be confused with a g-g-g-ghost).

We also continue to display what awesome dudes we are by proving we know a second female. On this episode of the podcast we get to know our newest member by openly mocking her past and how she found her way to the Spitz. Welcome aboard, Kat!

She knows what she's doing.

You may be asking yourself "What does John Lithgow, one of America's finest and most talented actors, have to do with this week's episode of the Cherry Spitz podcast?" You'll have to listen to find out.

He clearly likes it. Plus Erik is gay for his phone, we talk about our Halloween show, and Lars and I do some schtick. Give it a whirl:

Music by Raffi, Cee-Lo, and Mr. T. This is one of the weirder soundtracks we've had in awhile.

And here's a little something for those of you who missed our recent Halloween show.

From L to R: Guest host Kevin Setevenson, Matt (as Spiderman), Ify (as Kratos in a suit), Blaire (as Marty McFly), Tony (as a ghostbuster), Lars (as a wizard), James (as Han Solo), Kat (as Velma), and DJ Poptart.

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Happy Halloween! Stay tuned for more upcoming live show dates. Now you can get back to working on that costume of your favorite member of Cherry Spitz.

Seasons blessings,

[My "Ify" costume is going to be amazing.]

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cherry Spitz Comedy: Ep. 3.04.5 - Blorange! (Part 2)

Hey gang! It's time for part two of our epic journey into the mouth of madness: Blorange!

We debate which is manlier: A Jamboree or a Camporee. Then Lars decides to relieve himself in the middle of the show and then Erik loses his shit on mic.

Also! Find out how you can make it to the VIP section of our next show at the Art Theatre on October 14th!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ep. 3.04 - Blorange! (Part 1)

Who's ready for a piping hot bowl of awesome?

Not only do we have a new podcast for you, but it's part 1 of a massive two-part rockstravaganza. Join Lars, Erik, and James (aka the guy typing this) as we create "Blorange," the greatest invention ever. What the hell is Blorange? You'll have to tune in to find out! Fans of Lars and bleeps will be very happy with this episode.

Since we haven't podcast in two months we have a lot of ground to cover. Lars regales us with stories of his recent travels: Fighting 'round the world, rescuing Canada, and getting engaged at Burning Man. Erik sheds some light on some of the twisted shit he was forced to do in Boy Scouts. Plus Black Rob stops by and tells us about a record-setting suicide he concocted recently. What could that mean? Check out Part 1 of Blorange:

And how exactly did Lars trick his girl Kelly into agreeing to marry him? With Erik and my help, of course! Check out this video we all put together as part of Lars' grand proposal scheme. It's romantic AND a cautionary tale. Enjoy.

You're probably saying to yourself "Wow! These guys are awesome! Where can I see them perform live?" Well good news!

Saturday October 2nd, Long Beach: Come see Cherry Spitz stars Blaire Byhower and James Stebick at the All American Melodrama Theater in Long Beach as they join Laughing Stock Development for their Special Guest Show! Blaire and myself will be doing improv along with LSD (friends of the Spitz!) and several other distinguished guests. Show starts at 10pm and the theater is located in Long Beach's lovely Shoreline Village. It's gonna be great. Check out Laughing Stock Development at their website.

Thursday October 7th, Santa Monica: Cherry Spitz will be opening for Orange County's own Knights of Comedy at the Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica. The Knights have been doing comedy for (almost) as long as the Spitz and we are excited to be getting a chance to do our thing in their theater. Check out the Westside Comedy Theater here. Come see Cherry Spitz performing with the Knights of Comedy in Santa Monica at 8pm.

Thursday October 14th, Long Beach: Once again back it's the incredible Cherry Spitz at The Art Theatre in Long Beach! We are all stoked to be returning to our amazing new homebase, The Art. On Thursday October 14th we will be presenting "Improv on Cherry Street," a Halloween based show to celebrate this awesome time of year. Those of you who were at our last show at the Art know how awesome Cherry Spitz can be live and in full effect. And we promise this show will be even better than the last one! So come on down to the Art Theatre of Long Beach at 9pm to see the best damn live comedy you will find anywhere. Yeah I said it.

Well I'm spent. Come back later this week and we will have part 2 of "Blorange!" all ready for you. In that episode we reveal a super cool contest for all of you beautiful people coming to the show on Oct 14th. Spoiler Alert: You totally want to win this contest. Until then, y'all stay classy.


["Clowns are just transvestites who don't stop."- Patton Oswalt]

Monday, September 13, 2010

This is What We Do

Hey Spitz fans,

Giant-sized thank you to everyone that came out to see us at the Art Theatre in Long Beach. We had a blast and would like to thank the Art Theatre for having us (now that we finally realized we had been spelling 'Theatre' wrong). Big sloppy hugs and kisses go out to our guest performers Josh Nicols of The Lobby and Jeff Echegoyen of the Comedy Sportz LA College Team. Excellent work guys. And how could I not thank our incredible musical guests Bonafide Audio? They rocked the party like you wouldn't believe. Gentlemen, it was an honor and a pleasure. But most importantly THANK YOU. Yes, you. You beautiful wonderful people who support this comedy thing we do. We're only the best because you make us the best.

Yes, high fives all around.

For those of you weren't there to witness the face-melting awesomeness of the show in person, here's the video we used to open the show. Please to enjoy...

For the freshest hip hop straight out of Venice California you gots to check out Bonafide Audio. The brilliant music of MC Goofie and Dr. Miles Arnold can be found on their Facebook and Myspace pages. Yes, Myspace still exists. Bonafide Audio has the dopest rhymes and can rock a show straight a capella if they gotta. They are welcome to kick it with us anytime.

This November friend of the Spitz Josh Nicols and his crew The Lobby are putting on a great improv event for charity. The Orange County Improv Cup is a two-day shortform improv tournament that will be happening November 12-13 at STAGES Theater in Fullerton (Cherry Spitz' old stomping grounds). It's going to be great. The Lobby has got performers coming from all of Southern California's various improv groups and organizations, including Cherry Spitz. Plus the money raised will be going toward Hole in the Wall Camps, an organization that provides summer camps for terminally ill children completely free of charge to the kids and their families. It's going to be a great show and all to support a great cause. More information about the Improv Cup can be found at The Lobby website. Come see Cherry Spitz take home the gold this November 12-13 in Fullerton. That's right, we're in it to win it. Just because it's for charity doesn't mean it's not on like Donkey Kong.

And finally, a bit of sad news. Comedy Sportz Los Angeles is facing closure at the end of October. For those of you who aren't familiar with CSzLA, they are an improv comedy Theater in Hollywood that has been putting on the longest running production in all of Los Angeles with their weekly improv shows. It's a great organization and actually where a lot of us in the Spitz first learned improv (myself included). They are trying to raise enough money to stay open. It would be a real shame to have a great improv organization like Comedy Sportz LA disappear. For tickets and information please check out We at Cherry Spitz are damn sure going to do our part to try and save this truly great part of the LA comedy community. We hope you do the same.

Well I think that about wraps it up, amigos. Thanks again to everyone who came out to the Art Theatre to see us do what we do. We hope to see you all again at our next show. We will be back at the Art on Thursday October 14th, so mark your calenders now. Our next show will be even more kickass than the last, I promise. Until then, y'all stay classy.

Rock on,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ep. 3.03- Clubber Dang!

Yeaaaaaah boi! Dropping this fresh podcast a little bit earlier in the week cause I know ya gotta jam. Dig it!

Why am I typing like a bad strip club DJ? Because in this podcast, Ify takes us through some of his misadventures in the LA club scene. In this installment, James, Tony, Matt, Ify and myself get together to talk pod after a long improv practice at the D House. After we cover Ify's club stories with a reluctant Matt and a spastic Jeff, the podcast degenerates into our usual rantings over crappy summer movies, non-masculine leading men, and the odd natures of McDonald's characters.

Check it yo! You gotta get this funky fresh set right here- Ep. 3.03- Clubber Dang!



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ep 3.2 - Thundergoat - Trippin' on Hos

It’s the first Thundergoat session of the new season and we kick things off with a bang as Erik welcomes OC-based indie rap superstar Rocom and legendary Death Row Records founder and all around scary motherfucker Suge Knight.

Music Buffers:
XOXO by Rocom
Too Cold by Vanilla Ice
Bloody Drunk by Closed Heart Surgery

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I like to hold members of Cherry Spitz and The Harbinger against their will and make them do horrible things on camera.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ep. 3.1- D-House- Queensbury Rules!

Welcome to Season Three of the Cherry Spitz Podcast. In this auspicious event, James, Erik and I banter on over my very special list. No, not my enemies list- that’s would take at least three podcasts to get through (Die in a fire, Kevin Pereira). This is my Top 10 Most Important Fight Scenes list. Take a download, have a listen.

Download- Ep. 3.1 Queensbury Rules!.

10. Cool Hand Luke- Luke vs. Dragline

In an age before sports science gone awry and personal trainers turning our Hollywood elite into yoked-out freakbeasts for the silver screen, there were real men. The new trend in making Hollywood leading men is to put them on the fast track to looking as ripped and big as possible. I cite Ryan Reynolds, Gerard Bulter, and Jake Gyllenhaal just to name a few. These guys look good on camera, but I feel like we’re not buying it as much as an audience anymore when they look too perfect. We’re not looking at King Leonidas on screen, but rather thinking to ourselves, “Jeezus, Gerard Bulter got fucking ripped for this role.”
Therefore, dear reader, I present to you something a little more grounded. This classic fight between Paul Newman and George Kennedy illustrates that visceral realism of a fist fight between two believable combatants. Dragline, the biggest, meanest guy in a Georgia prison dukes it out with Luke, the smaller yet fiery upstart. Luke is outmatched, but he refuses to back down up to the point where Dragline has respect for his indomitable spirit. These two fighters also look how they should look: sweaty, built physiques that are products of hard labor in the Southern sun. This detail really helps draw you into believing this fight.
I pray to the gods above that this movie is never remade. I picture the remade version of this fight featuring Matthew McConaughey fresh off a six-week program with some top personal trainer fighting the current MMA sensation of the time. Jump cut to an extended ground and pound, octagon-esque, mulit-angled choreographed sequence all pulsing to the beat of whatever Nickelback is producing nowadays. That’s were I think Hollywood and us as an audience are missing the point in fight scenes: the spirit of Luke is gone.

9. Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome- Max vs. Blaster in the Thunderdome

“Two men enter, one man leave.” How can it get any better than this? Admittidly, the third installment of the Mad Max series does take a much crappier turn once we actually get beyond Thunderdome into the world of Never Never Land full of tiny blonde-haired littluns. Seriously, where were the adults in the secod half of that movie? Someone had to fuck to make all those little toe-headed toddlers and judging by the sheer maginitude of Aussie lost boys, there was a whole lot of fucking going on before Max stumbled into that lost vale of box office poison. Why would you ever want to get beyond this wonderful place of post-apocalyptia where men can settle their disputes in a gladiator pit on bungee cords? It’s the American Dream realized (by Australians no less) with all the pizzazz of “fill in the blank of current hit game show”. I have to give this fight scene mad props just based on the innovation of the time. If I had seen this in the theatre when I was a little lad of twelve, I’d be out on the jungle gym the next day with bungee cords hooked into my armpits and a baseball bat in my hands waiting to settle some scores with anyone who looked at me sideways. Yeah, I didn’t have too many friends when I was twelve. Bottom line: its a stylized (but not Crouching Tiger stylized), gladiator fight with action that seems actually plausible which just leaves the viewer wishing that we could just hurry up already and get to the actual post-apocalypse before we’re too old to pick up a chainsaw.

8. Evil Dead 2- Ash vs. his hand

Before Sam Raimi directed slobberknocking super-hero battles in the Spiderman movies, he honed his skillful craft in the horror/comedy masterpieces known as Evil Dead. Here, the immortal Bruce Campbell demonstrates that you don’t necessarily need another person to make a totally bitchin’ fight scene. In the scene, our hero Ash fights his own possessed right hand as it relentlessly bashes, punches, and even judo-flips him into submission. Or does it? You feel a strange sense of retribution as Ash gets the upper, well, hand on his adversary at the end. It’s a perfect blend of the Exorcist meets The Three Stooges.

7. Raising Arizona- H.I. McDounagh vs. Gale

I’d say this particular fight is a Rosetta Stone of sorts for other fight scenes to come. The Cohen Brothers are most definitely the masters of off beat storytelling and in this scene between H.I. and Gale, we see a very unique sort of melee. H.I. is scrappy, but essentially harmless. Only when he realizes that he’s going to have to stop the much bigger Gale from stealing his rightfully stolen baby, he clumsily charges into the fray. Gale is big, clumsy, and not too bright, but John Goodman in any Cohen Brothers always portrays an unstoppable force. One could argue that the trailer where the fight takes place in acts as a third opponent. I still crack up every time I see Nicholas Cage scrape his knuckles on the low ceiling as he goes for the ol’ hammer blow. I like to think that Tarantino gives homage to this scene in Kill Bil Vol. 2 where Elle Driver and Beatrix Kiddo square off in Bud’s trailer. My only complaint with this fight is I feel its over too quick. The Cohen’s had given us something new to work with and in my number six choice, I think you’ll see its progression.

6. Pineapple Express- Dale and Saul vs. Red

In this epic and chaotic brawl, Dale and Saul attempt to keep their friend Red from calling the drug kingpin who’s out to kill them. What is particularly enjoyable about this scene is a sense of objective besides just beating up the other guy. All Dale and Saul want to do is get the phone away from Red by any means necessary. Watch this video back to back with the Raising Arizona one and you’ll start to see parallels. First, we have the massive amount of collateral damage in a relatively tight space. My two favorite sick bumps are Red’s breaking of the toilet with his flying head and Saul’s incredible Jedi-esque coup de grace with the bong. Even the interior colors are close to that of H.I.’s trailer. The second Arizonian factor to watch for is, again, we have some unskilled and clumsy people really giving it their all to kick the shit out of one another. Lastly, this fight has the prize- the winning objective. In Raising Arizona, Gale’s dopey sidekick Evelle hides with the baby in the bathroom. Also in Pineapple Express, Dale attempts to lock down the prize, this time it’s a phone, in a bathroom.
One other thing I’ll mention is the wild dialogue in this scene. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase “Holy cock!” yelled with such urgency in, well, any movie.

5. Kill Bill Vol. 1- Bride vs. O-ren Ishii

I tried hard to not put any Hong Kong cinema pieces on my list. While, I like a good chop socky sequence as much as the next ninja, I don’t think they have the same memorable or meaningful power as the ones on my list. In my opinion, however, Tarantino is a master at taking genre and molding it into the mainstream. This duel uses the power of tension to keep us engaged. It takes several minutes before O-ren or the Bride even attacks, yet the sweeping horns jam in the soundtrack and their gazes lock on each other like true samurai. There’s a real blend of Spaghetti Western and Kurosawa film in this piece. Our minds our going wild as we imagine what must be going through these characters’ heads.
On a deeper level, this fight exemplifies the quality of respect and honor. Both of these fighters are locked in a duel to the death, but they still carry the decorum of Bushido. O-ren gives the slightest of bows to her opponent and at the point where she thinks she has won, she offers the Bride the chance to commit seppuku and kill herself with honor. When O-ren is cut by the Bride, she realizes she was acting too egotistical and makes a sincere apology for mocking her. It’s hard to find a scene like this that so ingeniously mixes style, action, character development, and theme so eloquently.

4. Aliens- Ripley vs. Queen

I figured this list needed a little bit of sci-fi added to it to round it out. However, out of all the fights on this list, I believe this one exemplifies the idea of “raising the stakes.” In the world of Aliens its “game over man” if a human tries to go hand to hand with a regular alien let alone the Queen. They all got mouths on top of mouths, sharp claws, acid blood, and no want or need for diplomacy. So what do you do when you got the mad mammajamma of all aliens crawling around your starship and about to devour your young, plucky child sidekick? Simple. You put on a power lifter suit and bitch slap her into the unforgiving vacuum of space.

3. Chronicles of Riddick- Riddick vs. Lord Marshall

Okay, I know dear reader, you probably are going to fight me on this one. You’re going to tell me that Vin Diesel is a hack actor. You’re going to tell me that Chronicles of Riddick was a shit movie. And to that I will ask the simple question- what part of “balls to the wall action” do you not understand? Alright, let’s pose it to you this way. Remember when you were in middle school and you were bored as fuck in math class so you started doodling machine guns and starships in the margins of your college ruled paper? Remember the crazy scenarios you would imagine in your head as explosions rang out in your head in a desperate attempt to drown out whatever the hell Mr. Morrison was droning on about (what the hell is a hypotenuse anyway)? That’s what Riddick is, but brought to life in a movie that never blinks in how ridiculous the action is.
I can’t for the life of me fid a clip online of this epic fight between Riddick and the last boss of this epic game, er, movie. The Lord Marshall has crazy Donnie Darko warping powers with the ability to teleport all around the cunning Riddick. Luckily for Riddick, he is a badass. Picture Conan the Barbarian in space combined with elements of Street Fighter (the game not the abortion of a movie) but played as straight faced as possible. Oh snap!

2. They Live- Nada vs. Frank

I sincerely hope this movie makes it into the National Archives so that when the bombs drop, we’ll have this treasure of a movie saved for our radiated mutant children to watch and be astonished. For the first awesome factor, let’s start with the actors. Rowdy Roddy Piper is bat-shit crazy and a total real life badass; Keith David is tough as nails and is the voice of motherfucking Goliath of Disney’s Gargoyles fame. In this scene, the entire movie comes to a grinding halt as Piper’s character Nada tries to convince his buddy Frank that there are aliens in disguise all around them and only his special sunglasses can make them visible. Seems like a simple request. I mean, Nada’s not trying to stuff a magical suppository up Frank’s ass to make the aliens appear. However, it might as well be a suppository because what follows is one of the longest, knock-down, drag-out, back alley, bare-knuckled brawls in movie history. It drags out for a solid six minutes of pure head trauma on both combatants. I’ve hear rumor that because of Roddy’s pro-wrestling background, much of this fight is improvised and the actors aren’t pulling their punches much which makes this fight even more special. And how can you not like Roddy’s finishing suplex on the hard concrete?

1. Old Boy- Oh Dae-su vs. everyone in a hallway

I can’t even really tell you why this fight breaks out in this complex Hong Kong story of revenge, mystery, and psychodrama. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. My number one choice is so powerful, so hypnotic, it’ll burn into your memory forever. Oh Dae-su battles a whole gang of baddies in a long, narrow hallway with nothing but a claw hammer and a hell of a lot of fury. This scene is genius. Despite being outnumbered about fifteen to one, the narrow hallway makes it so Oh Dae-su fight only two to three opponents at a time. This factor adds a frightening realism to the fight. It’s a cliché in Hong Kong cinema to watch one guy fight a whole gang of people that inexplicably come at him one at a time. Secondly, this fight is brutal. Oh Dae-su is a badass, but he’s got his limits. He get beat down several times but keeps swinging even to the point where he’s up with a knife sticking out of his back. The slow side-scroll brings a feeling of a classic side-scrolling beat ‘em up video game like Final Fight. Then, you realize that as the camera pans, you’ve been watching this brutal scene all in one take!

Well folks, there’s my list. Like what you read? Have comments? Want to settle a dispute with me in Thunderdome? Leave a comment here then you candyass. Be sure to keep coming back to our little corner of the internet too for some tasty podcasts and articles.

[Kick ass. Chew bubblegum]


Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ep. 2.11- Catbus Show Part 2

Hot damn! It's time now for the second half of our epically lazy Sunday broadcast from last week. It's a good one for sure. There are ninjas AND vikings involved in this one and all hell breaks loose over: Disney princesses, Black Rob's apparent lack of posing good arguments, and a masterful George Takei chorus.

Get all your warm fuzzies right here- Ep. 2.11 Cat Bus Show Part 2

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