A Talk Show Disaster

My days are filled with the sensation that I am always five minutes away from a terrible mistake.

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The UG! Quarantine Show is one of NYC-based actor/director/stand-up Todd Montesi’s many, many ongoing projects. Live on Instagram, he and his fellow stand-ups discuss life and comedy in our pandemic era. He won me as a fan just because he pronounces the name of the show as it is written: “Ugh! Quarantine,” and not as I had pronounced it in my head when I first saw it: “U. G. Quarantine,” like the name of a long-ago college president.

He also sometimes says, “U. G.,” but it is his show, so he can.

In May, I started to work with a friend, Meghan Jenkins, an actor/comedian/director/creator/writer whose work and personality have started to attract notice from those whose notice might be desired. I assisted others more talented than I am in some of the work required to launch her website, and she has allowed me to publish a couple articles for her there. She also asked me to contribute a monologue to be read each week on her online improv comedy show, The The Ding Wrong Show.

My friend, Ms. Jenkins, landed an appearance on the UG! Quarantine show on October 10, and, not to get all show-bizzy on you, she slayed, as anyone who knows her might expect she would. (Video after the fold.) What was unexpected by your correspondent—me—was the fact that she spoke my name at all during her appearance, more than once. To judge from her discussion, one could be forgiven to think that I might be an individual worth an interview. Thus, I made my own appearance on Mr. Montesi’s program on October 12, and based on the video, it is clear that I am not that individual. (Shakes head vigorously, like a restaurant patron with regrets about that request for “extra parmesan.”)

Here is Ms. Jenkins’ appearance on the UG! Quarantine of October 10 (she makes her appearance at 8:09 into the show):
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30 Years with the Magnificent Glass Pelican

Perhaps the radar that the Magnificent Glass Pelican has flown under for many years had never been turned on. We escaped detection for so long because no one was looking.

My association with the longest-running unknown radio campus comedy show dates back to around this date in 1990. Before I met my friends (now lifelong friends), several had written skits and started to record them in a home recording studio.

One day, the friend with the recording studio (and the home!) asked to play me some of those tapes. I was a graduate student who had just started to study English Lit. and he had just finished his degree and was now an instructor in the English department. This was at SUNY (State University of New York) New Paltz.

I had just experienced a non-triumphant summer in which two college friends and I attracted enough attention to one of our theatrical productions to earn a negative review in the local daily newspaper. Compared to some, that made me an impresario.
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The Mag. Glass Pelican & You

The Magnificent Glass Pelican (MGP) is a live half-hour radio comedy show that my friends and I have written, produced, and acted in for over two decades. Lately, it has been an improvised half-hour, produced by us and scripted live on-air.

It is broadcast from a college FM radio station during the school year, and even though none of us has had any connection with the school as an educational institution for many many years, no one seems to have noticed our graying hair and lack of school books, so the station keeps inviting us back. Or we bribed them when we could not help ourselves. This current season is our twenty-second.

That’s a lot of comedy.

Some of the members, “Pelicans” we call ourselves, have had long careers in the creative arts, some have gone on to careers in technical writing. Myself, I am retired. Among our influences are the usual suspects: Monty Python, Firesign Theater, Del Close. The late Matt Coleman, a beloved friend and eternally a Pelican, once declared to a newspaper interviewer that we “separate the wheat from the chaff and keep the chaff!”

Each Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. (tonight), the MGP half-hour is broadcast on 88.7 FM WFNP (“The Edge”) in the Rosendale-New Paltz, New York, area or is streaming live here at this link. This is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, and the broadcasts are not archived, so if you can check us out live tonight, thank you.

Here are two samples of our work, via my friend John’s SoundCloud stream; he is a founder of the Magnificent Glass Pelican and of the great rock/pop group, the Sweet Clementines. The first skit, “My Mother,” was written for us by our friend Brian Scolaro, who once upon a time shared a studio with us. I play the jury foreman. “We find the defendant guilty.”

And “Radio Pirates” is a personal favorite.

Again and always, thank you for listening.

The Story of The MGP

The Magnificent Glass Pelican (MGP) is a radio comedy, audio theater, live half-hour show that my friends and I have written, produced, and acted in for over two decades. It is broadcast from a college FM radio station during the school year, and even though none of us has had any connection with the school as an educational institution for many many years, no one seems to have noticed our graying hair and lack of school books, so the station keeps inviting us back. Or we bribed them when we weren’t looking. This current season is our 22nd, I believe.

That’s a lot of comedy.

Some of the members, “Pelicans” we call ourselves, have had long careers in the creative arts, some have gone on to careers in technical writing. I am retired. Among our influences are the usual suspects: Monty Python, Firesign Theater, Del Close. The late Matt Coleman, a beloved friend and Pelican, once declared to a newspaper interviewer that we “separate the wheat from the chaff and keep the chaff!”

Each Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m., the MGP half-hour is broadcast on 88.7 FM WFNP (“The Edge”) in the Rosendale-New Paltz, New York, area or live streaming here at this link. This is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, and the broadcasts are not archived, so if you can check us out live tonight, thank you.

Here are two samples of our work, via my friend John’s SoundCloud stream; he is a founder of the Magnificent Glass Pelican and of the great rock/pop group, the Sweet Clementines. The first skit, “My Mother,” was written for us by our friend Brian Scolaro, who once upon a time shared a studio with us. I play the jury foreman. “We find the defendant guilty.”

And “Radio Pirates” is a personal favorite.

Again and always, thank you for listening.