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Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Gryst, Episode 16
This was the first episode we produced after returning from our respective vacations. As a little post-vacation bonus, I came back to a two-week stint on the overnight shift in CNN's feeds department. Without any hint of exaggeration, the primary duty of feeds overnight is to sit in a cold room for ten agonizing hours and hit play/record on two separate beta decks every ninety minutes. Trained chimpanzees must be hard to find.


(That's me on the sofa -- Mike Senzon had to wake me up to shoot the episode.)

Up this week:

Millionaire Fair: I’m a minimalist – I truly hate stuff. So, when I see something like this convention for the uber-rich, rife with silly toys and pointless knick-knacks, I run the risk of throwing up in my mouth a little bit. Later, I did the math and figured out that the price paid for the diamond-encrusted cell phone could also purchase eight million packages of Ramen noodles.

Karaoke Cabbie: Clearly, this was one of those stories that sort of sells itself. I mean, it’s karaoke in a taxi for goodness sake. Having shot two versions of us singing, we chose the Lee Greenwood moment for the final cut, leaving the B-52s for the Easter egg. Love Shack was a shout out to my friend Win who does the world’s greatest Fred Schneider impression.

Astronaut Collapses: There’s nothing innately funny about somebody collapsing… unless it happens to be an astronaut who is readjusting to gravity. So long as that astronaut is unharmed by the incident, I think it has comedic merit. However, much to their credit, CNN’s big brother encouraged us to develop a more tasteful presentation, and we ended up adding a couple lines during post-production. This was accomplished by calling into work on my cell phone from my front porch, and Paul holding the speakerphone at the other end of the line up to a digital recording microphone. The end result sounded like I was communicating from outer space. It was a perfect accident.

Racecar Fight: When one redneck driver feels the need to jump-kick the windshield of another redneck’s stock car, we will always show it. Always.

See for yourself: Download this week's episode or subscribe to the feed.
FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS
Jim Brenneman
A former Marine and current cartoonist who penned this, this, this and this

Jake Novak
CNN producer by day, comedian by night

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