"Tracey Wigfield, Our Close Friend" is the sixtieth episode of Hollywood Handbook.
Earwolf Synopsis Edit
Sean and Hayes get in a very heated discussion about a phenomenon called anti-comedy. Then, close friend TRACEY WIGFIELD is in the studio to talk about being a female writer, what happened behind the scenes at 30 Rock with Judah’s hat, and full mouth kissing her boyfriend. Finally, the Popcorn Gallery is back to ask Tracey about being popular, winning an Emmy, and her joke victory dance.
Notes & Memorable Quotes Edit
Pre-Guest Segment Edit
- Sean over the theme: "So, you know, understandably, I'm disappointed.Uh, and I look at Waka.. Flocka ... Flame, and I go 'Waka... Flocka Flame, is this really what you want? You want her to sing the hook on this track?' and he turns, and he's sort of awkward, and he's lookin' at Skyler and she's lookin' back, and it's just like, and he goes like 'Uh, sorta. Yeah.' And I go 'OK, that's fine.' And I go 'OK, guess I'll just take my Mr. Pibb and be on my way!' And I grab it, and as I'm pulling it away from the soundboard, I pour it all over the soundboard and it electrocutes him.. through the microphone!" "He's so awkward.." "He really is!" "It's like, just be a person!" "Well just tell me, I don't give a shit. You want that shit, on your fuckin' song? You've heard the way she sings..." they imitate her singing in unison, and then discuss how many of the great singers had some gravel in their voices (Dylan, Tom Waits, etc.)
- The boys open with talking about how their discussions of media feels a bit like a school. Or like a salon, where people would get together and have ideas. They'd gather in their parlor, someone would announce their idea, then there would be an intellectual discussion on the topic, and when was the last time you had one of those. They're trying to recreate this environment
- Hayes and Sean want to discuss today a trend they have noticed in the entertainment industry: anti-comedy. They have discussed before Rando comedy, and they love it. Skittles Commercial, Old Spice commercial, Totinos (little pizza) commercial. Sean demonstrates for us the laugh that this kind of comedy evokes, and in order to do that he pictures a guy turning to his friend, the friend is the travelling gnome, and the friend goes "Hey! Quit hoggin' the remote, bub!" causing Sean to laugh "Hoohoohoo-what!? Hahaha-what!?" It reduces you to monkey state, activates your 'lizard brain.' Why do these reflexes exist?
- Rando humor unfortunately has an ugly twin sister, 'anti-comedy.' And the joke is they don't do a joke. Some of these guys like Kimmel. Or the Adult Swim people with a talking milkshake or something called a Squidbilly. And this all dates back to the nefarious and sinister Andy Kaufman, who stole jokes from comedy and made it so people could not do comedy and say that was it.
- Hayes stops Sean-- it sounds like Sean doesn't like this. It's so upsetting to him that people aren't doing something that's not a joke! The stuff Kaufman did, it's like tedium is the humor, it makes him endure the act. Hayes thought when they decided they would talk about this, that they would talk about how it is good and it was being a genius.
- Hayes thinks Kaufman was a genius, and some of the stuff he was doing was earth-shaking and changed the path of comedy forever. Like you look at a show like Louie today, and you're just like anticipating the joke, and the laugh, and the joke is about to come, always about to come, and the joke is coming after the credits! But Sean thinks Louis has got the goods! He's seen him stand there and talk about his dick like it's an old man! And that to him is somebody that is willing to say the things that we're thinking about when we're looking at our dicks.
- Louis is a modern day philosopher, Kaufman never did this! His only joke was to not do the joke. Hayes didn't like when Kaufman was doing Taxi, but Hayes liked when he would just stand on stage and just read a book. Sean goes to comedy shows to escape, and he doesn't want to escape into a question.
- Kaufman is the original troll. Hayes argues that we used to challenge people in our comedy, the way we seek out laughter right now is like eating sugar and fat, but now we reach a point, evolutionarily, sugar and fat is everywhere, we don't need it anymore, but still we eat pizza. Sean agrees with Hayes on the diet stuff, and there is comedy like that-- and sure, he's been guilty of laughing at it sometime-- but if you really want to challenge with people with comedy, give Sean some of the guys on Mt. Truthmore: he's talkin Carlin, he's talkin Hicks, he's talkin Lenny fuckin Bruce, and he'll throw Chris Rock in there, and himself as well! They challenge you by saying this is what's goin on, and this is what I think about it, and this is some of the swear words that people don't want us to say, but we're gonna say them anyway! And also race.
- Kaufman could go on stage and read a book like The Big Gatsby and get across all of those same ideas as the Mt. Truthmore guys
- Sean argues that reading a book on stage is absurd, and yes, absurdity can be comedy, but real absurdity is that a unicorn walks into a room and asks for a couple of eggs! That makes Sean laugh like "Hoohoohoohoo-what!?"
- Hayes wishes someone like Aziz would do boxing like today. He got his ass handed to him on the Letterman show, and someone finally put that little shrimp in his place! If Hicks used boxing gloves to do a bit of comedy, he would have written the n-word on one of them, and hit himself in the face with it! And then he would have wrote Jay Leno on the other, and fill it full of Doritos because he didn't like that he did all of those commercials
- Hayes likes when Kaufman did some little animal noises on stage. Hayes asks since when was comedy being pleasant!? Since when do we have to show at the dinner party, as comedy, and bringing like a nice bottle of wine and a fucking pasta salad. It's so fucking bourgie. It's candy bars!
- Sean summarizes Carlin's bit about how baseball has the 7th inning stretch, and football has the two-minute warning. They like Carlin. And Louis! But Hayes says Louis is Kaufman. Hayes thinks we're all going to end up like Wall-E or David Foster Wallace says. Sean says this has too many footnotes.
- Sean says the parts of Wall-E where everyone is fat in chairs is the good part! He bets Hayes like the beginning, where it's an anti-movie, no words! He's just a garbage robot. Up did make Sean cry though
Guest Segment Edit
- Sean over the theme: "So, thank goodness, someone flips on the lights, right before I strike, and because I have tremendous body control, I'm able to seize my arm, but I have it raised. And I go 'It's not count Dracula, it's Scott Bacula!' And so I did not murder him. I later murdered him at Pictionary thought!" Hayes "I've been sort of down that path with thinking it's Count Dracula, it's actually Blackula, which is the funny version." Sean also did it with Count Duckula. But Dracula is still
afooton the loose. The game is afoot, because he's on the loose.
- Tracey Wigfield is Tracy from 30 Rock. She's the Clown Prince of Comedy (Clark Duke was the Clown Duke of Comedy). Sean and Hayes loved Brian Fellows, and how she was going to put her DUI in her reel.
- Tracey has started writing now, on the Mimby project. While discussing this, Sam takes the microphone and touches it to her lips. She's a lady! Hayes thinks this is vile to watch, and very aggressive. Sam says: "Sorry guys, it wasn't supposed to be that aggressive. I was just trying to mush.. push the mic closer." Sean catches him saying he wanted to mush the mic into her mouth. Tracey says its ok, and that she was skittish about it and overreacted. And Sean gets mad at her
- Tracey corrects Sean for saying "The Mimby Project." Tracey admits that Mindy is a hologram, Sean asks which guy is doing the doctor stuff, to which Tracey replies that she (Mindy) plays the doctor. Sean doesn't know, Tracey challenges him if he doesn't find it credible that a female is a doctor. Sean corrects her, he's having a girl on his show right now! This leads to a bit more about gender
- Hayes wants to talk about female writing, and how Ep. #058 - Dave King, Steve Hely, and Kevin Etten, Our Close Friends was a writer's panel with three men (Sean: and a baby! Engineer Cody!). Tracey has an idea where there is a 5-year freeze on staff writers in Hollywood. Sean wishes that hiring is just based on funniness, and Sean finds it more comfortable when people look like him on TV. Hayes likes it to, that's his friend! Sean and Hayes discuss how they look so similar, and Sean has a writing partner that also looks like him!
- Hayes discusses how liking things that look like you comes down to science books: when you're a caveman in caveman times, you're supposed to know that you're looking into a stream, and trust! It's safe water, we need water to survive. If you see something that looks different, it could be a sabertooth tiger, or a mirage. Then it disappear, and you're eating sand. Thirstier than ever! Water, water, everywhere, but only sand to drink. That's the saying.
- Tracey was at 30 Rock for a long time, working there for six years. It was a thrill, and a challenge, writing for Sean's character in the sandwich day episode, where Judah Friedlander gives him a big kiss on the cheek and throws him into a vending machine. Tracey says how they were thinking mostly about Sean, and the dark haired guys (one bigger, one smaller).
- Hayes brings back the question from Dave King et al. about which character a writer is given to write, and what that says about that person. Tracey was given Judah's hat (Judah's hat also discussed heavily in Ep. #45 - Johnny Pemberton, Our Close Friend). She would submit her hat list from home, fax them in. Random words. Tracey did have a fax machine! They're like $200. When you have to have it maintenanced, you have to have the maitenance guy come in. This is why Sean won't drive a Jaguar. You have to get British parts. The one fax machine repair guy is British too, Cedric. He flies in. On an umbrella.
- Judah's hat is the original twitter. If this were true, the monetary ramifications for Tracey would be huge. But they'd have to make them admit it
- Some of Tracey's favorite hats: "Unicorn Posse" - this hits everyone right in that rando spot. Thinking of them as a posse, Sean maybe imagines the group of them wearing a cowboy hat! Like rounding up a posse. Tracey did not do "Karate Mama." She only got one hat on the show. RejectedHats.com. "It's Not Abortion If She Wanted It." Judah said this was too long, and you can't talk about abortion, and it's confusing. You get the benefit of Judah's experience, he's worn hats for so long. Tracey also wrote one that was way too short, which was just a thumbs up symbol (👍). Tracey submitted "This is my fuckin' Halloween costume."
- Hayes wants to discuss how Hollywood is this big city but it seems like a small town. Hayes works with Tracey's boyfriend Adam! Adam and Hayes talk all the time, and he's told Hayes about all the different kissies they've done. Little sweet kissies! Some of them are amazing, and Hayes wonders if they actually did those! Like the one where they were dancing really fast at a party and did a kissy. To Sean, these two things are very disparate. Like hummingbirds! That brain of Tracey's. This is how Sean realizes some of the things she had him doing on the show. Adam told Hayes that the kissy at the party was during the 'big drop' of the song, and Tracey admits that they got a big cheer.
- Hayes described one of the kissies to Sean, and he's just going to flat out say it: he doesn't understand it. He says she uses her whole mouth! And all the parts! She says yeah, tonsils, tongue skin, back of the mouth, undergum, tooth inside / tooth root. Those are the four he said! In that order! Tracey and Adam are trying to get their love life out there a little more. People are skeptical. It seems convenient. They think the two of them might be vying for a show. They both work on the boat. Sean pitches the title "T and A" (Tracey and Adam). They're both nudists who work on a boat, but the boat isn't for nudists. Everyone else is deep sea fishermen.
- Sean asks Tracey about her four main rules of writing:
- Do it on a computer.
- Some of the letters Hayes and Sean get, they seem like they just have mud, and a stick. The guys think that this rule is encouraging theft among their listeners. Sean wishes he had a choice growing up, it was be a Hollywood big shot, or the loony bin! If he didn't have some way to express these twisted thoughts that are in his mind, or some of the wild characters that are chattering away. If he couldn't get them down on the page, he thinks he'd resort to.. stealing computers! Hayes faced the choice between writing and grifting, mostly short-cons: find the lady, three-card monty, snake oil sales, making change in a deceptive way. Lots of sleight of hand. Writing saved him. This leads to a discussion on the library and the availability of computers therein.
- There are many problems with the various Emmy statues (extremely big/small, cheap, burying and growing the StubHub tree/scary metal bug that shoots Sean's dad because he looks like Bin Laden)
Recurring Segments Edit
- Popcorn Gallery - (segment included in the Best-Of Clip Show Ep. #084 - Moments of Greatness, Our Constant Companions)
- Bozos - "Tracey, what's it like to be popular? How do you choose which people to like?"
- She says she's going to everything, but then never goes. She makes people so happy when she says she'll go. Tracey is a Glamor Gal. She could have done any number of things, modelling in Milan, London, all the great cities in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, France (anywhere but America). When Hayes and some of us were reading math, Tracey was partying, listening to the sounds of the city and dancing, went shopping at the mall, buying beautiful things for herself, the finest stores. She got her ears pierced at a kiosk.
- Anastasia Vigo - "How did it feel to win your Emmy?"
- Great! Really wonderful, her family was there. It was a very nice experience. She asks Hayes and Sean about when they won an Emmy. Art's not a competition. Hayes turned his Emmy into gold coins to distribute. She asks if they thought the Emmy was much smaller than they thought it would be? Sean's was very small. So small he doesn't know where it is! Hayes thinks it's interesting that they got the small ones; Tracey can fit her's in her mouth. Sean thinks this could be a new kissy! Trading an Emmy from one lips to the other. Hayes considers his too big. He had to drive with his trunk open on the way home, strapped it down with a bungee. It was very dangerous, you can't see out the back. Sean asks "Did your guys' fall apart?" When he went to touch it, the friggin arm fell off, and there was like copper wire in there and it was all stickin out jagged. Hayes's was holding up an orange pool ball instead of a globe (a 4). Tracey thinks they may have cheaped out, but this is more fun. Tracey asked if any of them tried to bury theirs in the yard? If you bury it, apparently a tree will grow. Hayes did and it ended up being the StubHub tree. Sean: "Mine.. what came out of the ground, that was not a tree." Tracey: "What was it!?" "It was like.. it was like.. ok, so I'm just going to describe, what I saw: OK, there's a beam of light. And then there's some sorta metal bug. And he shoots my dad with a laser! ('Was he ok!?') Thank God, he is. But only because it just shot him in the bulletproof vest that he was already wearing (Is he a cop?) Not anymore.. ('After this incident, or just unrelated?') No.. he hasn't been one for a while..." "But anyway, so I don't know exactly what it was, but I would not call that a tree, that metal bug. And then it took of into the sky. And then! I'm readin' the news, coupla weeks later, and uh, bin Laden's dead. I dunno. I dunno! (T: 'You think he did it?' H: 'Well, and your dad has that.. big scraggly beard.' T: 'So you think that was a misfire on your dad, thinking it was Bin Laden?' H: 'What did the bug say, what did the bug say when he shot your dad with the laser beam?') Take that?" Hayes "OK, so it sounds like he could have been talking to Osama bin Laden." "It's pretty open-ended! It's definitely within your rights to say that. You wouldn't be way out of line if you said 'take that!' to Osama."
- Jacob C - "Tracey, how would you describe your infamous 'I just wrote a funny joke' victory dance?"
- First, Tracey recounts a joke she wrote for her show: Mindy walks into a room, and trips and falls face first into a garbage can, and when her head comes up, there's a big eggshell over her whole head. It's an Easter episode, too! Got a big reaction in the room. Then Tracey gets upset that Sean seems to have something against Easter. Tracey sees the reader on the line 'Great!' after saying it's an Easter as 'jack-off,' yet Hayes sees it as 'loving her shit, gonna watch.
- Bozos - "Tracey, what's it like to be popular? How do you choose which people to like?"
- Pro Version - SaladJesseRaphael. Tracey describes her joke dance as the prize for the Pro Version: "When I tell a good joke, I go 'Fuck you, motherfuckers, I told the best joke!' And they I stand very, very erect and I kick myself in the butt."
Recurring Jokes Edit
- Rando - Sean and Hayes love rando humor. Skittles Commercial, Old Spice commercial, Totinos (little pizza) commercial. Sean demonstrates for us the laugh that this kind of comedy evokes, and in order to do that he pictures a guy turning to his friend, the friend is the travelling gnome, and the friend goes "Hey! Quit hoggin' the remote, bub!" causing Sean to laugh "Hoohoohoo-what!? Hahaha-what!?" It reduces you to monkey state, activates your 'lizard brain.' Why do these reflexes exist? They have signed off on it, and it's great.
- One of Tracey's favorite hats that the wrote for Judah Friedlander is "Unicorn Posse." This hits the boys right in that rando spot.
- Wife and Kids -Sean doesn't read a book on stage because he has kids to raise!
- The Mimby Project - Tracey writes for the show
- Talking to the Engineer - While Tracey begins talking about her writing on the Mimby Project, Sam takes the microphone and presses it against her mouth. They also command Sam for the sound cord so they can play the popcorn gallery theme. Computer sound!
- Mark - Mark is making the choice between a life in entertainment or a life in the seedy underbelly of the criminal world. The second drop has Mark finding a gun and a pencil in the popcorn bag, and is forced to make a choice: he snaps the pencil and says 'let's do this'
- Nerds - So many of us today come from nerdish backgrounds (reading a science book, reading a comic), but Tracey is a classic Glamor Gal
- Sean's Dad - Sean's dad gets shot in the bullet proof vest by a metal bug's laser that grew from Sean's buried Emmy. The bug thought his dad was Osama bin Laden, saying "Take that!" upon firing
- Comic Books - Mark, upon choosing the gun over the pencil, claims that his only friends are the friggin' Green Arrow and the Monster thing
- None :(