>Bizarro is brought to you today by Poolside Parking.
Before I contracted Howard Hughes Syndrome and became a hermit, I used to go to a lot of comedy shows and small theater events in NYC. I saw some amazingly strange stage acts, some good, most terrible, but a few tremendously memorable.
One favorite along these lines is the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, a married couple and their young daughter who show slides they’ve collected from garage and estate sales while playing songs they’ve written about them. The kid plays the drums and sings while the dad sings, plays guitar or piano, and the mom operates the slide projector. They are not to be missed if you ever have the chance.
Another highlight is Corn Mo, a guy who plays accordian and other various keyboards and sings odd songs. His demeanor is outrageously sincere for a guy in an old tux with an accordian, like Jimi Hendrix with a squeeze box. Don’t miss a chance to see him, either, he really rocks.
CHNW and I used to regularly go to various variety shows and comedy showcases with these kinds of acts and we also got to see a few of the SNL stars as they were coming up. We saw Fred Armisen do a hilarious sketch about self-defense back in ’02 or ’03 and chatted him up after. We sort of became friends (that is to say that we still chat when we run into each other and he knows my cartoon), before we knew he would be a famous comedy genius on TV. I love that about NYC. (We also saw an early stand-up routine by Tracy Morgan but it was standard stand-up, nothing in the category of the bell-ringer above.)
There are plenty of strange musical and comedy acts like this around NYC and that’s why this cartoon appealed to me. The idea was sent by my friend, Derek Malo, and is, in my opinion, one of his better efforts. Because I use ideas by other people on occasion, one commentator on this blog accused Bizarro of becoming like Pluggers, which is a syndicated feature that uses suggestions from readers every day and prints their name and location in a box in the cartoon. The difference between what I do and Pluggers, I think, is that the jokes I choose by other people are actually good. I imagine that readers want a good cartoon, regardless of who wrote it, as opposed to a cartoon by me, whether it is any good or not. Maybe my ego just isn’t lopsided enough.