An Ode To Becca Grant (and I guess Throut and Neck)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by johnkaryus

The year was 1999. I was winding down on college, a class or two left to go. I didn’t have jack shit left to do except a couple random liberal arts classes. The time was ripe for hanging around with friends at ungodly times like 4am and watching the lowest of trash tv.

And Trash TV we did find. At around 3am, on the Game Show Network, came quite possibly the stupidest television show ever to grace the boob tube: “Throut and Neck“. And there’s a reason I called it “Boob Tube”…because of the hostess with the mostess Rebecca Grant!

Basically, this girl “Becca” would host this show in pig tails and the tightest of tight neon outfits. Her co-hosts were two computer generated monsters named Throut and Neck. These two fucks would crack really crappy jokes and puns while Becca kind of giggled and jiggled. Anyone watching this show was obviously a pervert or a moron or both. I was most definitely in that target audience. Someone so lazy they would lay there and watch this in bed, because they were too lazy to get up and go change the tape in the VCR to a porno and just get the job done. You would eventually be hypnotized by this show and pass out…or if you actually made it through, the informercial after would get you.

Oh, this was on the Game Show Network? Where was the game? Well…viewers would call in and get berated and mocked by these two computer animated dipshits. Often it would be frat type guys calling in and saying some lewd inneuendo for poor Becca, who didn’t seem to care. They would play a video game through the TV with their phone. The numbers on the phone would be the controls. I don’t quite understand how it worked, and I have a theory it actually didn’t.

I miss this show. It had hot babes, truly crappy jokes, a kind of neon surreal quality you can only find when you least expect it…on the Game Show Network at 4 am.

For a taste of this nonsense, and the bubbly Becca, check out this clip where some goon calls in and makes Becca mention his public access show on the air. And I thought my self publicity was bad:

And here is a clip which shows a little more of the show, including the trance inducing games:

I was introduced to this show by a friend of mine, who was pretty darn obsessed. Towards the end of the shows run, they had a write in contest where a viewer won Becca’s Silver Boots!! What would one do with those boots? Given the target audience of this show, probably masturbate with them and then put them on.

Anyway, my friend did his research, found out Becca’s favorite movie was Turk 182, and wrote some sort of essay about it. My friend WON!!! They read his essay on the air and cracked crappy lame jokes at his expense. He waited by his mailbox diligently, but he never got his boots. His fantasies about Becca’s footwear never to be made tangible. In dreams they remain. His poor, poor heart was broken. But I don’t blame Becca. I blame those rascally demonic pieces of shit Throut and Neck. They are probably still filling them with jizz in their demon realm 10 years later!

Rebecca Grant seems to be doing well these days, even without her boots. She has had some guest star roles on some TV shows, hosted a show about football called “Under the Helmut”. She was even in a Dr. Jekyll movie directed by John Carl Buechler!! And she is originally from my hometown of Buffalo, NY…which explains her shout out to the Sabres in one of the above clips!

HERE is her website. She no longer lists “Throut and Neck” on her resume.

Here’s some more if you really can’t get enough:


“Camera” a short film by David Cronenberg

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by johnkaryus

David Cronenberg has always been one of my favorite directors. I think I share similar biological curiosities. I have been a fan of his before I ever even saw one of his films. The showed a commercial for “Videodrome” on TV when I was about 5 or 6. I saw that, didn’t understand it…and my parents told me THAT freaked me out more than anything else had before or since. But I was oddly obsessed with it.

I finally saw that movie when I was about 13 or 14. Still probably too young, but old enough to at least comprehend what the heck I was looking at. And I loved it… Theories of how the media was controlling our mind, forcing us to evolve somehow. All told in a horrific, gruesome biological nightmare. Still one of my all time favorites.

But this isn’t about that. There’s a lot written about Videodrome out there, so I will spare you. This is about “Camera” the short film I placed above.

I love this piece. I, like most others, first saw this as an extra on the Criterion version of “Videodrome”. That is a GREAT DVD by the way…a must for any collection. And one I might add should be in mine, if Mike Dispenza didn’t borrow it about a month before I moved across the whole country and not give it back. Not to drop a hint or anything….

Anyway, this short film perfectly captures a lot of Cronenberg’s themes, all in an under ten minute package. Horrors of technology taking over, fear of our own body destroying itself, and a fear of a new, superior generation taking over. Those kids figured out that old camera lickety-split!

I actually used to do this monologue at auditions. Around 2002 or so I guess. Yup, I memorized the whole damn thing. Did it pretty well too. I didn’t have to do it often, most of my stuff was comedy which I had a different monologue for, and it was pretty rare that they actually asked me to do a monologue anyway.

I have since realized this was a pretty poor choice. I broke not just one rule about audition monologues, but all of them. For one, the damn thing is like seven minutes long. Somewhere along the line, somebody clued me in that audition monologues are supposed to be under a minute. Two minutes at most. Oops! Second, you aren’t really supposed to get arty and weird with them…aim for the heart not the brain. Doh! Strike two bigtime. And finally, and this is a big one, a tale of a grim, burnt out actor in his 60s or 70s, that was anti-acting and anti-tv and anti-movies, told by someone in their mid-20s? While auditioning for TV and movies? Probably not the best idea I ever had.

But I will say this: I did get a couple roles out of it. Maybe not because I did that in particular, but they used me. I got a lot of “What The?” looks. And no one, not once, cut off my seven minute rant. They probably thought I was crazy. They were probably right.

Greatest Movie Extras of All Time!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2010 by johnkaryus

As a somewhat bogus actor living and working in Los Angeles, I sometimes make a buck or two by doing Background Extra work. You know, all those guys that walk around in the background, fill stadiums, etc. Basically, you fill out some paper work, hang out in a tent with a bunch of other freaks, occasionally walk by camera if they need you, and they pay you minimum wage. A little more if you’re union. Not a bad way to make sixty bucks. Beats panhandling and hooking!

I have always been a fan of weirdoes roaming in the background. Perhaps its my love of the Cantina scene in the original Star Wars, where all these goons hanging out there even got their own action figure! I’m estimating over 100 action figures have come from that scene alone over the years… Another great gathering of creatures is the meeting in Neverending Story. So much so, that I might write a whole blog just on those guys!!

Anyway, I will share my fascination with YOU! Here are some of my favorite movie extras in no particular order…

Catch Me if You Can: The guy who sits behind Tom Hanks on the airplane. Every time they cut back to that plane (its kind of a wrap around sequence for the flashback narrative), I just can’t take my eyes off that guy. This guy is a nerd. A straight up, awkward, dorky, bespectacled nerd from back in the days when nerd used to actually be an insult.

Twin Peaks: The guy who breakdances across the screen when they introduce the high school in the pilot episode. Hilarious…and adds to the dream like feel. His dance is sort of a sideways, slow motion worm. He’s about 14 years old (or maybe 18 to look younger), and I can just imagine him showing up on set and saying “look what I can do!” and then David Lynch saying…”Wow! let’s go for it.” Exceptionally bizarre entertainment.

Terror Firmer: Gotta have Troma in here somewhere! Nobody uses “Actor People” the way Troma does! But my favorite Troma Extra is the guy with a fish mask in “Terror Firmer”. For the life of me I can’t figure it out. Somebody told me it was an unused creature design for Dolphin Man, a character seen in Lloyd Kaufman‘s “Toxic Avenger 4.” Still…a fish man is always standing around in a group of mostly contemporary punk rockers. I cannot think of a more surreal image than that. I laugh every time I see it.

Revenge of the Nerds: That fucking douche that looks like Harpo Marx.

Satyricon: Would you believe excercise guru Richard Simmons is in Fellini‘s Satyricon? Supposedly. More info HERE.

Teen Wolf: This goes without saying…the guy who pulls his pee pee out!! How he got away with it on set, I have no idea. I’ve been on a set where an extra was fired just for looking into the camera too much. This guy somehow got away with ACTUALLY PULLING HIS PENIS OUT!! How they didn’t notice it in the footage when editting, I have no idea. How the movie became a very watched 80s classic, but nobody noticed for 20 years…classic!!

Look closely at the reaction of the woman in front of him…she looks not amused.

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure: Amazing Larry. While I think this is a character and not an extra, the DVD states he was in an edited or possibly never filmed scene. But, in the theatrical version, he has no lines so I’ll through him out there anyway. The guy with the Mohawk who whispers to another guy at the town meeting. Pee-Wee responds with, “Do you have something you’d like to share with the entire group Amazing Larry?” Classic!!

The Mirror Has Two Faces: A Barbara Streisand movie on this list? Well…looks like horror director Eli Roth did some background work around 1996!!! I cannot think of two people more on the opposite sides of the spectrum than Eli Roth and Barbara Streisand. But it is true. Watch the clip below…big honking close-up at about 3:40.

Extreme Movie? Who woulda thunk?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2010 by johnkaryus

I had no interest in seeing “Extreme Movie.”

That was, until a friend sent me this:

An instant classic! Now I have to rent it.

BoyCott No Cussing Week!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2010 by johnkaryus

If there’s one thing I love in this life, its cussing. I love using words like “fuck”, “motherfucker”, “cuntrag”, and “shithead” in my daily dialogues.

But, according to THIS article, this week is no cussing week in California. Seriously…fuck that.

I’m not even going to get into issues of censorship. I don’t want to write a political blog. But seriously, who the fuck doesn’t love swearing…especially in Southern California?

Well…A kid who would say this:

“I want to bring awareness to people about how we speak to each other,” he said. “Your words become your actions, your actions become your behavior, your behavior becomes your character and your character becomes your destiny.”

The motherfucker sounds like Yoda. Thats all I gotta say.

And a No Cussing Club at his school? Seriously? We had extracurricular activities in my school back in the day. Football, Key Club, Yearbook Committee, all sorts of crap. There was even Model United Nations or Chess Club if you were so inclined. And we cussed while we did ’em. And we fucking loved it!

I bet there are only two members of the No Cussing Club. The Founder and some other kid who is also a dink. Neither of them have any friends, not even each other. Why don’t they just staple a post it note to their foreheads which reads, “I’m Not Cool” and get it over with.

Oh wait…that actually might be kind of cool in a weird “I like to torture myself” goth/emo kind of way. Nope. These kids aren’t even that cool.

So this week, I am swearing more than I ever have before. On the bus, at work, at church and at the motherfucking library. I know, it’s pretty low to swear at the Library, but I’m going to do it God Dammit!!!

Check Out Roomates

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by johnkaryus

Check out my friends Dian and Sam‘s new video, “Roomates”.

They did a few of these a few years ago, but this one is by far the best.

More to come at!

We Are SIL’s Only Hope!!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by johnkaryus

Yes, only we can save Sil!!!

Who’s Sil? Sil is a wacky and weird villain from the Colin Baker era of “Doctor Who“. He is a little, slimy lizardish dude, who rattles his tongue when he laughs. If Jabba The Hutt was a Giant Frog, than this guy is the Tadpole.

Anyway, Sil was a villain in the story “Vengeance on Varos“. He was a money grubbing little sucker trying to nickel and dime the good people of Varos, all while making a television show which was part reality-TV, part snuff film. This episode caused all kind of trouble in Britain back in the day, causing an uproar about violence in the media and whatnot.

“Vengeance on Varos” of my favorite episodes. Due in no small part to the villain Sil, and the guy who played him, Nabil Shaban. He is a wheelchairbound actor, with little or no use of his legs. He played this role with perverse gusto. Quite possibly the sleaziest villain the Doctor has ever faced, and judging from the commentary on that episode…he loved every second of it! Watch this clip…when that weirdo Sil is onscreen…it just lights up:

Sil had one more appearance on the show, as part of the “Trial of a Timelord” series. Another was to be made, with Sil and the Ice Warriors, but it never came to be. It exists as a novel.

Anyway, I was screwing around on Facebook the other day, and misunderstood a friend of mine’s post. She said “Had a great time with SIL last night”. I’m not up on the internet/txt slang, and had no clue SIL was “Sister in Law” or “Son in Law” or something like that… No! The only Sil I knew was this miserly little pollywog! Something I honestly couldn’t see this person knowing anything about. She’s, you know, not a nerd.

But, seeing her post reminded me of Sil. Oh, those times we had! All those laughs! I decided to Google Sil for old times sake. And low and behold…what did I find?

A Facebook Group, entitled “Steven Moffat: Bring back Nabil Shaban as SIL from Doctor Who“. Well, my sentiments exactly! Bring him back with modern special effects and make-up. An awesome and tighter written story. Maybe with some other creatures, or maybe on his own. I think the world needs this little puss-bucket back in a big way.

As for Nabil Shaban, he seems to be keeping busy. He’s in “Children of Men” and some other interesting things. He has done a lot of live theater, including Shakespear. He has his own YouTube channel, which showcases his video art, political rants, reworkings of his Dr. Who stuff into avant-guarde music videos and all other manner of eccentric things. In other words…this is EXACTLY the type of character I want to see on TV.

I don’t know if anyone is paying attention to that FaceBook group. I don’t think Steven Moffat has time to care. He’s a busy fellow making that show. But, if the millions of people who read this blog join this group, maybe WE can make a difference!

Wait, did I say millions? I meant the 12 people who read this blog. Yeah, we can make a difference. If you too love Sil, than what are you waiting for? Join that group!! Don’t like Dr. Who? Never saw it? Don’t care? Even Better! What have you got to loose? Let’s put SIL back on TV whether we want him or not!!!

Shaban in “Born of Fire“, 1983. Looks Jodorowsky-esque!!