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Partying with Tracy Morgan

Posted by doktakra on November 28, 2011 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Barely 72 hours later, it still feels surreal.


Michelle and I, along with a couple of our friends, had the opportunity to go to a Tracy Morgan charity comedy show in Miami, which was presented by Dolphins tight end Anthony Fasano to benefit Veteran’s Housing. Thanks to the event organizers, Lunar Sports Group, we had invites to the pre-show VIP party, backstage passes and tickets to the after-party at the Shore Club.

We were informed beforehand that several of Fasano’s teammates could come out for the show, and sure enough, Reggie Bush, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Jared Odrick, Clyde Gates, Steve Slaton, and ex-Dolphin Lousaka Polite were among a dozen or so players in attendance. Michelle and I volunteered to check-in the VIP guests, meaning we had to put tiny orange bands around the massive wrists of professional football stars and the tiny wrists of their supermodel girlfriends. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.

Once the pre-show party concluded, the players and VIP guests were ushered down the hall, where Morgan came out to welcome everyone to the show. Well, he didn’t so much welcome them, as much as launch into an impromptu stand-up act, explaining that he’s the sole reason why both the NFL and NBA lockouts had ended. That’s probably the one part that I can repeat with a straight face, much less reprint here.   Let’s just say the majority of his topics had a lot to do with bodily functions and bedroom acts most people would probably never want to try. Morgan walked up and down the hall, cracking everyone up with his unique sense of humor, driving home the point that absolutely nothing and no one was off limits (more on that shortly).

Before he went back to his dressing room, I made sure to shake his hand and tell him how much I enjoy his work, figuring it would be my one chance to speak to him.

The Dolphins walked to another section of the theater to pick up food and beverages before the main act, where beat writer Andy Kent introduced us to Bess, Michelle’s favorite player. Bess was extremely nice and personable, openly talking about Miami’s heartbreaking last-second loss on Thanksgiving, and taking the time out to pose for pictures. Michelle was star-struck and giggling in delight after Bess walked away – pretty much exactly how I’d react if I ever talked to Candace Parker.

As for Morgan’s actual stand-up, he began the routine by pulling no punches about Bush’s relationship with Kim Kardashian and her E! reality show, and continued to spew (heh) unfiltered raunchiness and crudeness for the next hour-and-a-half. I don’t think there’s a person on earth who can get away with anything he said or make such absurd topics so hilarious. My face actually hurt from laughing so much.

Soon afterwards, we walked several blocks to the Shore Club, where none other than Tracy Morgan and a few of his friends sat on a bench outside, with no bodyguards or bouncers in sight. When he saw us, he dove right back into his comedy act, telling us a few jokes he forgot to say during the show.

At one point, he said (I’m paraphrasing for language, clearly) that men can't live with or without women.  Michelle laughed and told him I was learning all about that.

“Nah, he’s a good boy,” said Morgan. “He’s domestically trained, like me. He knows not to pee inside the house.” I can’t argue with this.


He then asked us if we were coming inside (as if we’d miss it for anything), at which point one of his friends told Morgan that I look like Jesus.

“He’s got the long hair, the beard – all he’s missing is the sandals,” he said.

Morgan took it a step further, declaring that I actually look like Moses’ mother. I still have no idea what to make of that, but it was fantastic. He then asked me if I’d seen the original Planet of the Apes, and for whatever reason, I told him I hadn’t. It didn’t matter – he went right into a Charlton Heston impression from some movie none of us knew; regardless, we laughed hysterically.

Inside the club, I spotted one of the comedians who opened for Morgan and had to get a picture with him, obviously because of that amazing mustache. Somewhat disappointingly, his act barely mentions the sweet ‘stache, with just one quick line about Super Mario being on stage.

We hung  around in the back for a while, where some of the guests played pool and hit on scantily-clad women, and went home around one thirty in the morning. After spending some time with him, I can safely say that Morgan basically plays himself in 30 Rock (within the confines of network television, of course) – an outrageous and unpredictable character who’s always on and lives for making others around him laugh.

Needless to say, it was an unforgettable experience with the hands-down funniest person I’d ever met.

Walk This Way

Posted by doktakra on March 31, 2011 at 1:21 PM Comments comments (0)

Living in New York over the last decade, I can't explain why I haven't run into celebrities more frequently.  Sure, I've seen plenty of movies and TV shows filmed on the streets and caught glimpses of Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, and Will Smith filming a few scenes.  During my freshman year of college, I saw Robert DeNiro trip over and then stare down an orange cone on the set of Analyze That.  Signs for Law & Order: SVU and Nurse Jackie filming hours are regularly hanging on street poles in my neighborhood.

But I've hardly ever actually bumped into someone famous outside of a nightclub or at a nice restaurant.  Now, this could, of course, be due to the fact that I rarely go to fancy places (or just out, in general), but just by sheer luck and coincidence, you'd think some celebrity and I would be walking down the same street at the same time.  Until last week, this happened exactly once.

After I graduated college but before I could afford to move into my own apartment in the city, I lived in NYU housing for one summer semester.  As I made the turn on Broadway and Chambers Street on my way home from work, Sam Waterston, better known as District Attorney Jack McCoy on Law & Order, came out of his trailer parked on the side of the road.

I immediately recognized him and told him that I watched the show every week.  He was surprisingly interested in talking to me, and asked if I was still going to school and if I lived in the area.  I told him that I'd recently graduated and worked at an investment bank, but was temporarily staying at a college dorm a few blocks away.  His reply was nothing short of epic.   Now, I don't know if he was still in character or if he just naturally talks like Jack McCoy at all times, but he sharply turned his head towards me as if he was interrogating a hostile witness on the stand and yelled, "a DORM?!" in apparent disbelief.  I started telling him that I had to save money, but by that point, he seemed to have lost interest and went back inside his trailer with a quick good-bye.

This was six years ago, and professional athletes at sporting events aside, I hadn't seen a single celebrity in person since.  Well, some Real Housewives reality TV star once had dinner in the same restaurant as me and my friends, but since I had no idea who he or she even was, I don't really count that.

But after a long drought. it finally happened -- and it wasn't even in New York.  I flew down to Miami for a college buddy's wedding, and we had dinner afterwards at Emeril's Restaurant in South Beach. I went to the bathroom towards the end of the night, and just as I was washing my hands and getting ready to leave, I noticed a familiar face.  It was Zach Gilford, who happened to play one of my favorite TV characters of all-time, Matt Saracen on (the sadly defunct) Friday Night Lights.

I felt a little awkward approaching him in the bathroom -- I'm sure there's some kind of guy code against doing this sort of thing -- but I told him that I was a big fan of FNL.  He thanked me and we talked about the show for a few minutes, at which point I asked if he'd mind taking a picture with me.  He hesitated for a second, and then said, "How about we do that outside?"  Good call, Zach.

We walked out into the hallway, where Michelle had been waiting for me, and Zach asked her if she'd take the photo.  I told him that she was my fiancée, and he asked if we were from Miami and congratulated us on the upcoming wedding.  Afterward, Michelle told me she thought I ran into an old friend by the way Zach and I were chatting on our way out of the bathroom.

Nope, I was only talking to the greatest quarterback in the history of the Dillon Panthers.  Clear Eyes. Full Hearts. Can't Lose!  And no, I didn't actually say that to him. Regrettably.

Fear Not of Man

Posted by doktakra on May 5, 2009 at 3:13 PM Comments comments (3)

Some people are deathly afraid of clowns, and others are scared to fly. A girl I once dated used to check the toilet to make sure there was nothing in there ready jump out at her (I never asked what exactly). I once had a friend who carried a potty in his car trunk just in case he got stuck in traffic and couldn't make it to restroom in time. Once again, I never inquired why or if he ever actually did this. I'm not here to judge, and hell, who am I to say what's normal? I now present to you, some of my own irrational fears.

Getting My Arm Chopped Off By a Helicopter Blade: Yes, it happens. Just look at Dr. Romano on E.R. some years back, damn it! Although I should note that I'm not afraid of a helicopter crashing down and killing me, which is how Romano ironically died, nor do I think there's any chance that a loose seal will bite off my hand. Just in case this needed to be clarified.

"It" Will Fall Off:  I must've been like six or seven years old when I had a nightmare that, um, it fell off while I was peeing, right in my hand. I remember this traumatizing moment nearly 20 years later, and it's always in the back of my mind when I go. Um, let's move on.

Stairs/Escalators: I don't like them and I prefer to avoid them, especially the really thin staircases that twist around and go up really high. I start to get nervous that I'll trip up the stairs (though suprisingly not down) and fall flat on my face -- believe it or not, it's happened before. This is a big problem during the morning rush, when all I have in my head is, "don't fall! don't fall!" while everyone else is hurrying with no regard for my psychological issues. Escalators are even worse if they're shut off, because I get disoriented going up when they're not moving along with me.


Falling in the Tub: I don't know how this began, but I'm afraid of falling in the bathtub and either breaking something or busting my head open. This might sound a bit morbid, but is there a worse way to die that slipping in the tub and having someone find you lying in there, fully naked? I think even Fat Elvis would agree with me. This is why I only shower once a week...and if you don't know, now you know.


Hyperventillaing When Asking Out a Girl...Again: I'm not ready to share this with the world my two dozen readers just yet. Let's just say that it's my most embarrasing moment to date, and that's really saying something.

Baby Don't Cry

Posted by doktakra on January 7, 2009 at 9:33 PM Comments comments (5)

I'll try to keep this short, because it's still a little too painful for me to talk about the whole thing.  It's official -- my dreamgirl is not only married, but knocked up...and no, I'm not the baby daddy.  Sure, it hurts like knives, and the mental image or her and Shelden Williams sexing (Firefox says it's a word) is enough to make a man put a gun to his brain...I shouldn't have to explain.  And as one of 10 living males who follows the WNBA, I can't help but think about the ramifications of the league losing its biggest (only?) star in her prime.  I've seen it compared to Jordan's retirement, but it's really not even close.

All that aside, I'm happy for the two of, really, I am.  Family is a beautiful thing, and well, if Candace is happy, then I'm happy.  And I mean, if this thing with Shelden doesn't work out for some reason, I'll be waiting.  It's like the time when the Max had a dance contest, and Lisa Turtle sprained her ankle and got dumped by her date.  Screech was there to come to her rescue, and if memory serves me right, Lisa called him her "nerd saint."  Well, Candace, I am your nerd saint -- believe that.

And finally, I'd like to extend a sincere thank you to Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio, who cracked me up by telling me that he was sorry and that it shoulda been me.  He also linked to my commenting profile in his post, which in turn brought the most visitors ever to this website.  I bow to your greatness, sir.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I've gotta dance to keep from cryin'.

Fan Mail, Part II

Posted by doktakra on December 6, 2008 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (4)

For my first all-reader mailbag, click here.

It's that time again -- my inbox is full of questions...or you know, has three emails.  I planned on saving some of these for a later date, but the people demand answers!  As always, these are real questions that I've received from people who visited this site.  Please note that this entry is rated PG-13 for mature language and subject matter -- some material may be unsuitable for children under 13 and parental guidance is strongly suggested.

Q:  You're fantastic! Call me.  (Dec 2, 2008)

So apparently, I am the type to send my picture to a complete stranger.  (Dec 4, 2008)

A random admirer of your puns.

[Ed Note:  The first two were privates messages left on my Deadspin profile page; my response to the first one was that I needed to see a picture prior to calling.  The third was the subject line of an email, which included a photo of the sender.]

Let me just say -- anyone who compliments me and approaches borderline-stalker level in the process is getting into the mailbag.  Okay, that's not true -- anyone who emails me at all is getting into the mailbag, but you get the point.  I'm not gonna lie to you -- I would've probably definitely called, if you'd left a number, because that's just what I do.  I should also note that when I first saw the email, I thought it said "random admirer of your penis," and I didn't even bat an eyelid...I'm not sure what that says about me...or you.  Anyways, I appreciate the kind words, and thank you for being brave enough to let me know that you think I'm both incredibly sexy and hilarious, as well as sending a photo of yourself.  A little less clothes next time, okay?  (That's NOT her on the right, in case you're not aware -- I just needed an excuse to post a picture of the lovely Adrianne Palicki.)

Q:  FYI, your girl is married now.  Does this change anything?

Damn you for making me face reality!  I will address this subject once and for all, and then we will never speak of it again.  Yes, Candace Parker is now married, presumably to Shelden Williams, though she doesn't actually say who she eloped with in the video.  To answer your question -- this changes nothing!  I guess my chances are now a little less realistic than before (so you're telling me there's a chance?), but I wish Candace all the best and hope that she and Shelden have a long and happy marriage.  You know what, screw it -- take it away D'Angelo...

Q:  I'm looking at you tv show picks and I think you'll really like Dexter.  It's in the third season now but you don't need to watch one and two to get it.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

You know, I saw the first two seasons for $20 each on Black Friday, but I hesitated to pull the trigger (um, pun intended?  He's a killer, right?).  I'm regretting it now, because I've heard good things about it ever since.  See, I can't start watching a show without seeing it from the beginning  -- I've done that before and it ruins a lot of the surprises/twists/jokes.  Thanks for the recommendation though...I'll be on the lookout for a good sale.  If anyone has the DVDs or would like to have a question answered in my next mailbag, you know how to reach me...

Return of the Mack

Posted by doktakra on November 29, 2008 at 4:56 PM Comments comments (4)

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Man, how I used to still love this song.  I'd request it at every middle school dance, Bar Mitzvah, and birthday party, and then sing along and step in the name of love like Elaine Benes.  My high school Project Graduation party had some kind of 'make your own music video' station, but unfortunately, they didn't have my song (shocking, since it was five years old at the time).  My friend and I inexplicably settled for the Backstreet Boys' classic, "As Long as You Love Me," which to this day remains one of my worst decisions of all time...right up there with choosing a career in finance.  I'm praying that all copies of that performance have been destroyed, but I'll bet my parents still have a tape laying around somewhere.  Ah, good times...hold on, this will make more sense in a second.

Okay, so, I talked about "The Pickup Artist" -- a fantastic VH1 reality competition that tries to turn huge losers into studs -- last year, and I can't believe I didn't know there was a second season (see: it's the return of the mack!).  Don't worry, I'm all caught up now and here to give you the breakdown.  First of all, I can't begin to describe the level of unintentional comedy packed into every episode.  These guys are in their mid- to late-20's, and are bigger dorks than me in the 7th grade.  When you feel down about yourself, just remember that Rian is a 28-year-old virgin who's never kissed a girl and sleeps with stuffed animals, and that Brian, well, here ya go.  Oh, and I can't get over the ridiculousness of the host, Mystery, who looks like he's at least seven feet tall, and dresses -- no, excuse me, "peacocks" -- like a cracked-out Andre 3000.

Keeping that in mind, there are the things I need to know:

  1. Mystery is supposedly a 'master pick-up artist' and can get any woman he wants.  Okay, sure...but there's always gonna be some chick that thinks he's creepy and wants nothing to do with him.  So, um, what happens when he tries to impress his students and gets shot down?  It's bound to happen some time, right?  Is there a little behind-the-scenes action?

  2. Sadly, this season is only eight episodes long, and we don't know how much was cut out and how long it actually took to film.  But the guys progress a little too quickly.  How do they go from being too scared to approach a woman, to picking up bikini models with more smooth talk than Hank Moody?  Maybe some of Mystery's tricks work, but I'm just not buying it...

  3. What do the guys do with the numbers they get from girls?  I mean, the point is to actually date them, no?  And do the producers tell the club-goers about the show after they're done shooting, or do the girls not even know until they see themselves on TV?  That would be priceless...

I will leave you with the winner's favorite pickup line, which needs to be delivered in a whiny and overly excited tone:  "Girls, what movie is this from?  Nobody puts baby in a corner!"  Good God, if I hear that crap one more time...

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You

Posted by doktakra on May 27, 2008 at 12:39 PM Comments comments (3)

I've never hidden my appreciation for bad television....often times, really bad television.  When it comes to reality shows, my rule of thumb is, whatever clips Joel McHale plays on The Soup are more than enough for the week.  But the combination of boredom and attractive women got the best of me this weekend.  I stooped to a new low and watched not one, but at least three or four full episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians....and another couple of the surprisingly entertaining A Shot of Love II With Tila Tequila (right) for good measure.  I'm not proud of this, but I'll admit that each one has its moments.  I'm all but certain that portions, if not the entire shows, are scripted...but it seems to work just fine for fans of The Hills.  In either case, I'm not watching for the drama and I could could care less about who wins and who does what stupid thing -- I'm only aboard for the unintentional comedy....and, um, partial nudity doesn't hurt.

And now for my questions.  On Tila, is it mandatory for guys to to rip off their shirts for no reason and whenever possible?  Are you guaranteed a shout out in Jose Canseco's next book after headbutting and then punching another contestant in a bout of roid rage, leaving the guy with a busted mouth and stitches in his chin?  On a scale of 1-10, how thrilled is New Orleans Saints management that their biggest (marketing) star's sex life is being openly discussed on a trashy E! reality show?  Am I a hypocrite for dissing on Kim Kardashian in my previous entry and now blogging about how I find her sexy as hell (as long as we agree that Ray J doesn't exist)?  How crazy do you have to be to to "fall in love" with someone you don't even know?  Wait....that reminds reminds me....

UPDATEKardashians and Tila now top my Guilty Pleasures's a sad day for all of us.

Revenge of the Nerds??

Posted by doktakra on October 30, 2007 at 11:58 PM Comments comments (4)

My roommate watches Saved by the Bell every morning, and I'm not judging or's actually semi-entertaining at times. I'm only mentioning it here because it's got me thinking about some important things.  Like, does Tiffani (Amber) Thiessen belong on my Ladies list, or is she too far past her prime?  I'm leaning towards "yes" after examining a few pictures, but I'll let my readers decide...and by that, I mean I'll have to conduct some more, um, research. 

Anyways, on to the more thought-provoking topic:  the state of the TV nerd.  A quick disclaimer:  I don't watch any shows starring nerds, like The Big Bang Theory (which I've heard is awful), nor do I care for any boring plot lines on quasi-sci-fi shows (Heroes, I'm looking at you).  With that out of the way, we can begin.  Now, Screech defined the stereotypical geek, and in true form, wasn't too popular with the ladies (read: got no booty).  Unfortunately, two of my current favorites (in relative terms) have been pushing the boundaries of nerd reality.  On Grey's, Izzie is literally fighting George's wife for the guy.  Um, George? Seriously?  And over on Friday Night Lights, Tyra and Landry are now longer just friends, but have started dating and...wait for it....sleeping together.  Come on!  I'm sorry to say it, but he is one ugly dude.  Just try to disagree with me on that.  So what gives?  Yes, there are marginally plausiple but unmistakably BS reasons in both case, and I won't bore or blame you if you haven't been watching.  But honestly, since when does one of the hottest girls in school go for a dude who's nowhere near her level by any stretch of the imagination?  Sticking with the opening SBTB theme, that would be like Kelly going out with Screech, or something.   It's just wrong somehow, isn't it?

Am I annoyed because this would never happen in real life, or because it's never happened in my life?  Not that I'm...nevermind.  No matter what, I'm just not buying it.  At least the Grey's writers were smart enough to point out the absurdity of their show through Alex's displeasure and coldness.  It's a slippery slope when it comes to implausible storylines, so is it a coincidence that all of these shows are now slipping?

He Got Game...I Don't

Posted by doktakra on August 17, 2007 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (2)

You had to have known that I'd love this show -- The Pickup Artist.  I gotta give the folks at VH1 a lot of credit for consistently putting out quality television...and by quality, I mean absolute trash I feel worthless for watching.  The premise here is straightforward: a renowned master, who goes only by "Mystery" -- and could double Tommy Lee, by the way -- will teach a dozen underachievers how to play the game.  The contestants go through challenges -- or actually, one challenge, since the only goal is...pause for effect...talking to a woman (!).  Look, anytime I get the chance to see guys who might be bigger losers than me, I'm hooked.  And I'll admit that I see parts of myself in some of their problems, like "talks too much," "freezes up in the presence of a female," or "prematurely ejaculates with the slightest touch."  Okay, I made up the last one...and I doubt even Mystery could help me -- er, I mean, someone who has such a problem.

My friend actually recommended the book to me a few months ago -- I don't remember if I ever finished it.  It's an interesting read, filled with its own vocabulary, semi-impressive success stories, and its share of helpful pointers and advice for the 'AFC' (average frustrated chump).  But the big message is really to just have confidence and say something interesting to engage in conversation.  And that's exactly why I never got into it.  I mean, I don't see myself using any of the set conversation openers, like asking a girl to settle some fictional bet, nor would I dress up like an a**hole just to attract attention.  Now, I realize I'm not really in a position to judge , but is it that difficult to talk to someone?  What did people do before "experts" like Mystery and Style taught classes and lectures on how to be cool? 

Anyways, let's just hope that I don't get inspired to hit up some packed night-club and desperately try to pick up random girls just for the thrill of it.  That would be bad...perhaps not even VH1 worthy.

What I'm Feelin' Right Now

Posted by doktakra on June 26, 2007 at 1:16 PM Comments comments (7)

1)  Flight of the Conchords -- The funniest show of the summer has now become my new reason to look forward to Sunday night.  The old reason (Entourage) has slowly become stale and mundane, going on and on with no direction and recycling the same ideas.  It pales in comparison to the unpredictability and ridiculousness of Conchords, which follows a down-on-their-luck duo known as the "fourth most popular folk pardody band in New Zealand."  The best part is that half of the show is actually crazy, '80's-style music videos, packed with random, stream of consciousness lyrics.  If you haven't seen it, trust me, you won't be disappointed.

2)  This engaged chick at my volunteer kitchen -- I probably shouldn't write this, since there's a semi-realistic (read: not bloody likely) chance this could get back to me, but whatever.  If you're keeping track, it's not this one (although she was there last week and we warmly ignored each other), and definitely not that one (although I've had my Brian McKnight moments -- "do I ever cross your mind, anytime?").  Anyways, the problem is even if something were to happen between me and her -- a big if, of course, since I'm a los -- um, good person -- her fiancee is actually a cool dude. But I still can't help feeling the way I do.  What is it about falling for women I can't have?  Or is it that all of the good ones are taken, since I don't actually know they're taken when I first realize how much I like them?  I know, I should really get out more. 

3)  The NBA Draft -- It's sports, but keep reading even if you care less about this than the previous two sections.  The draft has been one of my top five favorite non-holiday nights of the year since I was a kid.  In addition to the big trade rumors and unintential comedy of the ESPN annoucers, my team has a high pick for the first time in nearly a decade.  I'm desperately hoping they nab Chinese sensation Yi Jianlian, not just because he's an intriguing prospect, but because it guarantees at least a little national coverage for the porous Sacramento franchise.  And yet, the pessimist in me is a  little too prepared for dissappointment all around.  Ah, we're back to safe territory for me.