80s Movie Rap Revival: End-credit songs that retold the plot

Remember when movies had songs that retold the plot of the movie? A lot of these songs were hip-hop (I think because of the emerging genre’s straight-forward delivery and its ability to retell a narrative without stylizing vocals… but that’s just a guess).

Example: Pretty sure every kid remembers Partners in Kryme’s “Turtle Power” from the first TMNT movie: 

Anyway, four or five years ago, me and my friends Ryen Schlegel and John Schwarz thought it’d be a cool idea to form a band solely devoted to giving 80s songs the end-credit songs they deserved. The project was called 80s Movie Rap Revival and we began with The Three Amigos.

Turns out telling a movie in rap form is really hard. We spent an entire night writing what is essentially the first paragraph of the Three Amigo’s “Plot” section of wiki.

But I went back through thousands of emails and dug up the recording. That’s Schlegel and Schwarz on vocals. Lyrics below. (Still really proud of the telegram jokes)



We are the Three Amigos

We are the Three Aaamigos

We are the Three AAAaaaaaaa…

…aaaaa….

….a…..

– Goldstein Records, baby!

Mexico 1916. Check out the scene – this is where were at. Esta that and esta this. Mexico’s hot, so you better not diss.

Carmen.

He’s talking about Carmen.

Carmen.

He’s talking about Carmen!

 Carmen, yo where she from?

Santa Poco, representin’ po folk on the low-low. El Guapo’s getting loco.

(Arriba!)

 Cantina del barachos (huai!). Looking for muchachos (aye!), to help us fight El Guapo.

MUSTACHE

I’ll help you darling.

 STACHE STACHE.

If you help me first.

 So she’s out, SCRAM, out the door. But she’s gotta have faith… [just give us some more] [scampering sounds]

DING DING.

What’s that from the church?

DING DING.

It’s a silent movie playing. Up on the screen we got three boys now—fighting and riding, pushing, singing and shooting.

They’re loving and dancing, talking, saving the children.

Yo boys! You’ll die like dog[ums]!

 Nah, son. We’ll fight like lions.

Uno, dos. Uno dos tres, Three Amigos all up in your face! [Like that.]

Amigos: Lucky and Dusty.

Amigos: Little Nederlander.

Amigos: They’re phony boloney. They’re out of a job and they’re looking for money.

Amigos: They’re fighting for cash.

Amigos: Lucky chasing that ass.

Amigos: Count em—one for the justice. Two to rock a rhyme. Three to get ready and fight some crime.

Jump to Hollywood, Californ-I-A. Phonies all around, that’s what I say. Back in the time when there were to talkies and the studios were run by a bunch of honkies. [um sir]

Yo boys, you’re great. Your act doesn’t blow.

 Well, that’s fine to hear, but no dough, no show.

I’m Harry Flugleman and that ain’t no mystery. You can’t boss me around. The Amigos are history.

 Damn Dusty, we’re out of luck. We’re stuck in the muck. Like I give a fu—

TELEGRAM!

100,000 pesos [stop.] Come to Santa Poco [stop.] Put on a show [stop.] For the infamous El Guapo [stop.]

Hm. “Infamous,” what’s that mean? [stop stop stop] Nah, I’m asking you, what’s that mean? [stop stop stop]

[Stop st sto st stop stop!]

Yo, shut up with that stopping shit and tell me what the fuck infamous means.

HIT IT!

My little buttercup, has the sweetest smile…

Ryen Schlegel: one year of drunk messages in 10 minutes

Ryen Schlegel has talent for leaving messages. There are times when I wake in the middle of the night to see he’s calling and not answer, hoping that he leaves something good to listen to in the morning.

 It’s his birthday this week, so I’ve edited the last year’s-worth of these messages into a highlights reel. (And to be fair, he’s not drunk in all of these… probably)

To the man who constantly restores my faith in beards and my closest friend for 15 years (!): happy birthday.


Tutorial: How to Make a Flyer for Your Local Stand-Up Comedy Night

Stand-up comedy flyers are complex beasts: how do you convey the level of hilarity at your show while providing the essential information?

Open a new project in Photoshop. I use PS3, but I’ve found that an effective flyer can also be made with MS Paint. Default “web” project will be in 640 x 480 (or landscape). You’ll want to invert those numbers to get a portrait layer. Nothing funny has ever been made in landscape. Or, no fatty flyers, amirite??

Next, find a suitable background. There are plenty of gradients that will give you the option of choosing two simultaneous colors. I’ve picked yellow and orange because they caught my eye first. And that’s key in creating effective marketing: catching the eye is way more important that making it look good. Like a train wreck, your eye is immediately drawn to it.

For this example, I set my stand-up night in Laughlin, NV because it had the built-in joke. You might have to stretch to find puns, word-plays in your own community, but this step is very important. Do not let people think your comedy night is bland, and for the most part, people like a good jab at their city. Off the top of my head, “San Fransciscjoke”, “Butt Lake City”, and “Salad Toss Angeles” are just a couple more examples. Feel free to use them.

“Support the Troupes” is a reference to both the patriotic slogan and the age-old comedy “troupe”. This will tell people that you’re populist and all are welcome. A credential or accolade doesn’t hurt either.

Notice that I’ve used three very hilarious fonts. The first is called “Porky’s” and manipulated into an arch shape. This tells people that I’m bending the rules. Things are going to get wacky. The next font is called “Pizzicato-Swash.” Pizza! Getting hungry already. Finally, the showtunes-looking one is “Budmo Jiggler,” which sounds like how I order a drink when I’m drunk: Hey Bud! Mo jiggler! Feel free to use that too.

General rule of thumb: if you can’t decide on one font, just use all the funny ones. People who tell you that it looks “busy” or “shitty” are idiots.

Next up is finding your “troupe”. Stand-up comedians are a wily bunch, many of whom will not return emails or send you a headshot. In that case, you raid their facebook for the best pictures you can find. I’ve added a picture of myself drinking out of a boot, which is inherently funny. Oi Oi! Give em the boot!

Sometimes you’ll have to crop pictures from larger pictures to effectively highlight your comedian. Sometimes stretching happens. I don’t know how to fix that.

It’s alright if you throw in some local inside jokes here too. I don’t know what or who The Gooch is, but it creates some intrigue. If I had a little more space, I’d add his famous catchline: “Here coma de Gooch!”

Information is key. Make sure people know when and where the thing is happening. “No cover for ladies” shows respect and lets them know that it’s not just a boys club. The string of exclamation points reinforces this fact.

Nearly done! In this case, you may notice some empty space in the upper corners, which screams amateur hour, but nothing that a couple pieces of clip art can’t fix.

And voila!

Hope this was helpful.