September 20, 2007

20th Anniversary Party!

First off, lemme say that I'm an idiot... a dolt... a globe spinner... a cabbage hurler of the first order! For some reason (that I can't explain) I took very few pictures at the Live on Tape party! I must have been more interested in interacting with the friends that I hadn't seen in years rather than rushing around to capture Kodak moments. So I guess my lack of digital recording was due to "honorable" reasons... but now I'm really wishing I had grabbed more pictures. Live and never learn I guess... oh well.

A few days before the party, on Friday, Sean Leary did a really nice write-up that ran in the local papers regarding LoT. This was a nice way to lead-in to prepping for the party. There were a couple of days of set-up drama making sure the projector was working properly...

Um... are you sure this plays DVDs?

...and then running around to pick up food and snacks. But it all went smoothly. Thanks especially to Jeff Adamson (manager of ComedySportz) for being a huge help in putting this together with me.

Overall I thought the little reunion was a great success! We were scheduled to open up at 7pm, but when Jim Loula arrived at 6pm (thinking that's when the party started)-- he got roped into helping me and Jeff Adamson set-up. That's what you get for being eager.

The party was held at the ComedySportz theatre in Rock Island IL.

It may look small in the front, but it's big in the back.
Just like most hearty Midwesterners.

About 40 or so people attended, pretty much the number I'd expected - I'd hoped for more, but you don't always get what you want.

Aw CRAP! Looks like we're gonna miss the party.

There were those who had moved away, had job or family commitments - they were missed. All in all it was still a good turn out with most of the important faces present.

Where oh where, has all the hair gone?...
Janos "Arnie" Horvath, Tom "E.J." Hart, and Don "Clive" Abbott

Actually Don still has ALL his hair (damn him) he just shaved
his head for the party so
that he'd fit in... or maybe he's mocking us.

Scott "Bongo" Hoyt and Merlin "Zippy" Nelson

Brandon "Ron Dyne" Lovested and Don "I'll have my hair back in a week" Abbott

Monta "Many Characters" Ponsetto
Jeff Adamson lurks in the back, drinking and plotting...
"Vun day, zee vorld vill be mein!"

Barb "Paula Sanders" Engstrom

Nosey, kickin' back with a brew.

Most, not all, of the cast from Live on Tape - today.
Back Row - Nosey, Tom Hart, Janos Horvath, Brandon Lovested,
Don Abbott, Pat Flaherty, Jim Loula, Scott Hoyt
Front Row - Lora Adams, Patti Flaherty, Barb Engstrom
Monta Ponsetto, and Merlin Nelson Jr.
(Scott Tunnicliff, not pictured, was also present!)

My plan was not to sit and watch old Live on Tape episodes, but to have clips running and then everyone mingling -- however, the nearly two hours of clips I'd prepared kept everyone watching, and thankfully laughing.

Jim Loula, Jennifer Horvath, Janos Horvath, and Lou Naab... not
laughing when this was taken, but they were later, honest!

And that was a wonderful surprise, seeing that (after all these years) what we had done back in the late 80's still made people laugh. It was great. I ran clips, we mingled, we watched bloopers, we drank, we ate, we caught up - it was exactly what I had wanted, and hopefully everyone else had as much fun as I did.

Thanks to everyone, not just the cast members and those who'd contributed to Live on Tape, but also to the friends and family who were there- thanks for making it a great time.

September 13, 2007


I've been woefully behind in keeping up this blog. Over a month has passed since I left my tale of frustration regarding the ever-smiling Care Bears and my attempt to see the movie I wrote... ah, but I've been busy - and aren't we all? For the past several weeks I've been preparing for a modest Live on Tape reunion that will be taking place this Sunday in Rock Island, Illinois. From 7pm to 10pm at The Speak Easy (aka ComedySportz) there will be a little gathering with former cast members, friends, and any fans who might show up. I'm not expecting a big crowd, perhaps 25 to 30 people... mostly it's just a chance to reconnect, visit with old friends, and watch some clips from the show.

Why the hell did we wait 20 years to do this?

So, for the occasion I've cut together a clip reel comprised from all the episodes of Live on Tape. It's taken me weeks to complete, and now I have it done! - nearly two hours of clips and bits from the show. No skit or clip runs past 3 minutes and most them are (thankfully) under a minute - that's the beauty of modern video editing, you can rework, reedit, and rethink. Some of the old skits were painfully long, but no more! I've trimmed, cut, and hacked them down.

Once this was a fine animal with lotsa' extra parts.
Well, I cut 'er down to just the tasty bits!

I went through all the shows (over sixty episodes) and picked not necessarily the
best moments, but moments that were memorable or stood out to me.

Um... this is a lotta crap, you know that, right?

I also tried to find clips that featured some of the people who might be attending the Live on Tape gathering. What I ended up with was a good cross-section of what Live on Tape was, and something that represents the spirit of what we did 20 years ago. Eh, I'm not trying to make it sound like any great thing (it wasn't) but a lot of sweat and innocent love went into putting the show together. It's nice to look back upon it now.

My goal with the party is NOT to have everyone sit around and just watch old clips or episodes...

Oh no... not another episode!

...but to have the video up and running while people wander in and out, catching a few moments here and there as they mingle and converse.

So that's been my plan for this very inauspicious 20 year "reunion". Well, now I'm here, back in the Quad Cities - I flew into Chicago and drove to Moline late tonight. I'm looking forward to Sunday and seeing people I have not seen in a long while. I also have a sense of impending "closure".

I've waited a long time for this...

Now maybe I can put it all to rest and leave Live on Tape as part of my history. It's hard to let go of the most fun I've ever had, however time does march on.

Aw, who am I kidding? I'll continue to update the Live on Tape website n' blog... I'll never let go completely.