Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 54: ‘Minutiae’

December 7, 2018

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One thing I learned about Rochester comedy was that all roads lead to comic Woody Battaglia.  The man is a powerhouse, hosting multiple weekly open mics, an FM Variety Show (‘Almost Tuesday’ on 104.3 WAYOFM) and an iTunes podcast with a very peculiar twist (‘My Minute With Andre’).  I’m not sure if he’s okay with being referred to as an alt-comic, but his standup stemmed from his love of ‘90s alt comics Eddie Izzard and Patton Oswalt.  The man is accomplished, and it’s intriguing how the flavors of Rochester comedy are just a little bit different than Buffalo, but equally entertaining.  I was, and am, impressed by the volume and consistency of Woody’s comedy.  It made for an informative show.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Battaglia, returning Co Host Henry Gale and of course to producer Richard Wicka for producing the show.  Big Words already returned, I’m just further behind than usual keeping up with it.

Tom

 

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 52: ‘Luminosity’

September 6, 2018

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The nice thing about having a room full of comedians is that I don’t need to be funny.  I’m not even sure if I was on this episode, but Guest Don Johnson and returning Co Host Jesse Winterhalter Jr. brought their A game.  Between the two, they’ve been entertaining Buffalo audiences no less than three times a week for no less than two years at their open mics, featured gigs, headlining gigs, special engagements, and so on and so forth.  The sense I got researching Don Johnson as well as talking to him is that he’s not only a comedian, he’s also one of the biggest boosters for the scene around.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Don, Jesse and of course to producer Richard Wicka for tying a bow around it.  These are two guys to keep an eye on because they keep getting better and they’re not going anywhere.  Here’s the part where I ask you to SUBSCRIBE to the show.  So do that.

The show goes on,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 50: ‘Licentious’

June 7, 2018

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Before I say anything else, it needs to be said that the above crotch grab was real.  I didn’t think that guest Rick Matthews was really going to go for it during pictures, but it actually happened.  In addition to everything else about the comedian, he is committed to his craft.  He’s in it to win it.

I’m very late in posting this (having just wrapped Episode 51), but I’d been hearing about standup comic Rick Matthews since the first season of the show.  He’s a Comedian’s Comedian: dirty at times, painfully honest and very, very funny.  Having never met him before, I wasn’t sure how he’d interview, and this was one of the shows where the Guest and Co-Host (Kevin Thomas Jr.) took the baton and ran away from me with it.  I didn’t keep up that well, but it doesn’t matter, because it was a great show in spite of the host.  Judge for yourself:

Thanks to Matthews, Kevin Thomas Jr for circling back around to Co Host and, as always, Richard Wicka for housing us, editing and producing the show.  We ran out of time before I got to talk to Rick about his time onstage with Dave Attell (one of my all time favorite comics), but that’s no big deal.  There is no Bonus clip for this episode because one wasn’t supplied.  That’s been a dangerous trend for Season Four, so we’re going to have to work on that.  There’s another show coming up as soon as it posts, so I’ll talk to you all real soon.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 49: ‘Scoville’

March 31, 2018

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Wing King Drew Cerza was originally on the boards all the way back in 2014.  There was a massive scheduling issue though, as Drew had a press conference the same day.  So we finally got around to making it happen this month and Cerza did not disappoint.  The founder of the National Buffalo Wing Festival was a real sport with my line of questioning, he was charming and he was genuinely as interested in chicken wings as I am.  As someone who’s had chicken wings every single week since I was 17, Drew’s Festival is right up my alley.  Co Host Matt Sampson also saved the day by filling the Hot Seat on short notice, so it turned into a pretty damned entertaining episode.  And for those who don’t know, ‘Scoville’ is the official heat scale for spicy foods and peppers named after the man who researched it.  Here it is:

Thanks to Drew, Sampson, and of course producer Richard Wicka for holding it all together.  #BigWordsVideo is taking the month of April off, so have a Happy Easter and we’ll see you in May!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 49.1: WingFest Promo Teaser

March 30, 2018

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This Bonus clip is really just a glorified ad, but it’s a really tantalizing montage for WingFest.  I’m not really sure what else to say about it.  I’ve gone, I’ve eaten and I’ve had a great time.  If you want a sampler platter of WingFest or if you’ve never been, this should answer all of your burning questions:

Henry Gale was originally cast to Co Host for this episode, and we had a really neat idea, but things fell through and thankfully Matt Sampson came through in the interim.  Some day we might still try that idea, although I’m not sure how it would work with a different guest.  At any rate, KINDLY SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel for bonus clips, every single episode in the order it was intended for and other bonus content.

#BigWordsVideo is taking the month of April off, but we’ll see you at the beginning of May.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 48: ‘Certified’

March 3, 2018

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Up until the show, Frank Pusateri was someone I’d travelled in the same circles with (even rubbed elbows with), but never officially met.  During my time writing bar reviews for Night Life Magazine (2000-2009), I’d been to more than my share of Night Life Music & Club Awards.  Simply put, it’s the biggest night in Buffalo for the local music community.  Everybody who’s anybody is under one roof.  This year it’s at The Cove on Thursday, March 8th.

Having just released a book (‘Only Gambling’) about a lucky streak on casino slot machines, Frank popped up on my radar again, so I took the opportunity to book him.  On top of that, he won an Emmy Award and he’s received 25 different Buffalo Music Awards including Top Pop Bassist three times in a row along with an induction into the Buffalo Music Hall Of Fame.  Frank’s written what happens to be a really entertaing read, and I told him as much.

This episode also marks the fourth time Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck has been on the show.  As I told Ed, he’s always welcome.  Between his plugs and Frank’s plugs, we had a tough time fitting them all in and even left some on the table (literally).  Check it out HERE:

Thanks to Frank, Ed and as always, producer Richard Wicka for housing my three ring circus.  Frank whipped up some great Bonus clips, so check those out further down this page.

Don’t adjust your set,

Tom

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Big Words Video 48.1: ‘Only Gambling’ & 48.2: ‘Leaf In A Storm’

March 2, 2018

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I normally ask an upcoming guest for ONE video clip to supplement the show.  Poor Frank got propositioned for two.  He’s promoting his new book ‘Only Gambling’, but I didn’t want to ignore his rich history on the Buffalo music scene.  So there you have it.  Frank’s homework was more complicated than guesting on the show!  He came through with flying colors, though.  Big Words Video 48.1 is a quick forward to Pusateri’s book complete with fancy graphics and a ticker-tape banner along the bottom read by the author.  You can get a taste for the stream-of-consciousness writing style in the book right HERE:

The flip side of the coin is an original song written & performed by Frank’s band Only Humen.  Check that one out right HERE:

A sincere thanks goes out to Only Frank for putting the time in to create two great clips.  A sincere thanks goes out to YOU when you FREE SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel.  I may have said this before, but if you’re not subscribed, you’re missing more than half of what the show has to offer.  Find out what you’re missing by seeing the show in the order it was intended for, bonus clips and other additional SECRET content.

#BigWordsVideo returns in March!

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 47: ‘Maquette’

February 15, 2018

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It’s better to have too many questions and not get to all of them than not enough and too much time left on the show clock.  That’s exactly what happened with this episode.  During show prep, I usually don’t feel ‘comfortable’ going into the studio until I have roughly three pages of questions in a 14 point font including the intro paragraph and the outro plug (which, by the way, I haven’t used for quite a few seasons).  With practical Special Effects producer, writer, actor, director and Craft Services point man John Renna, I’m not sure if we even got through ten questions.

The man was larger than life both in stature and excitability.  I can see why he’s an excellent pitch man for investors and movie distribution companies.  I had to pick my spots to interject and jump in on the conversation, which is just fine by me.  This was former guest Michael O’Hear’s 3rd time in the Co Host Hot Seat, and I found him to be confusingly cordial with me whereas he was a bit prickly and grumpy last time on.  That could have had more to do with a full day on set over the summer, but whatever the case, I still find him fascinating.  See how it all shook out right HERE:

Thanks to Renna, O’Hear, and the ever-ready Richard Wicka for producing the show.   Due to last-minute licensing logistics, there is no Big Words Video Bonus clip to accompany this episode, and that’s all I’ll say on that matter.  What I WILL say is that you should SUBSCRIBE to my Channel (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) to show your free support for the show and to check out all of the other cool bonus content.

#BigWordsVideo shall return this month with author and Emmy-award-winning musician Frank Pusateri along with the Honorable Ed Honeck as Co Pilot.

Don’t you touch that Internet Dial!

Tom

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Big Words Video 46.1: ‘Behind The Scenes’ and 46.2: ‘Spiritus’

December 31, 2017

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I’ll say this about filmmaker, composer and author Sabrina Pena Young.  She came prepared.  Not only did she have two professional Bonus clips to round out the show episode, but she chose to share an exclusive sneak peek at her upcoming virtual opera ‘Spiritus’ with my viewers.  I continue to be surprised and amazed by the variety and the quality of the show’s compendium clips.

Young’s first clip, ‘Behind The Scenes’ is a riveting retrospective of her work with voiceover narration.  It can be seen HERE:

Sabrina’s second clip is the standalone teaser trailer for ‘Spiritus’.  That’s right HERE:

Thanks to Sabrina for putting the time and the work in.  She’s got a very impressive body of work between her films, music and companion novels and she did an awesome job of summarizing all of it in her retrospective.

#BigWordsVideo shall return in January!

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 45: ‘Verisimilitude’

December 2, 2017

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As soon as I saw Arnold Palmer in Rhonda Parker’s uproariously funny speed-dating film gone horribly wrong ‘Lonely Bananas’, I knew I had to get actor Brad Spiotta on the show.  He brought the character to life with his own wardrobe choices, mannerisms and speech patterns, and the results were a riot.  Spiotta was a solid interview: humble, charming and quick with his responses.  I got a little frustrated wth Brad and Rhonda because my usual pop culture references weren’t catching with them, but it still made for a great episode.  Decide for yourself:

Thanks to Spiotta, Parker and of course Richard Wicka for supporting and enduring my nonsense.  We’ve got another stellar line-up for December, so don’t you touch that internet dial!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 44: ‘Tenacity’

October 30, 2017

F9F6E594-4A40-47BD-80F8-952ED04C6DD4As former guest Emil Novak said, author Gary Earl Ross is the real deal.  His bibliography is gigantic and varied, from murder mysteries to courtroom dramas to anthologies to poems to historical ‘speculative fiction’, if he hasn’t done it all, he will by the time he’s done.  While I don’t think we ever officially crossed paths in the last twenty years, we certainly travelled in a lot of the same circles, so it was really nice to finally sit down, meet the man and get into his career in depth.  Here are the results:

Thanks as usual to producer Richard Wicka for putting a bow around it, Gary for coming on and Co Host Lori Lume for making time for us.  Contrarily, I’ve known Lori since the notorious Buffalo Small Press Book Fair of ‘08 (where we got into very real and serious trouble for excessive use of a bike horn).

Hey, do us all a favor and SUBSCRIBE to the show for updates on new shows, bonus clips and other miscellany.  It’s the other red button on the YouTube dashboard.

See you all soon,

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 44.1: Gary Earl Ross-‘Afterward’

October 28, 2017

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I was almost entranced watching Gary Earl Ross read for this Bonus clip.  There are authors who don’t give readings at all in public, authors like me who stammer through their work and don’t rehearse ahead of time, and then there are authors like Gary, who reads in a calm, cool and collected manner, pacing himself, reading for an audience and hammering on the right passages for dramatic impact.  I’m not sure if he picked up that talent during his years as a professor, throughout all of his years at scheduled readings, or if he’s simply at peace with himself and his finished products.  It made for a great clip, though.  Here goes:

To give the man one more plug for good measure, you can find out more about Gary’s books, plays and career at: garyearlross.net

#BigWordsVideo shall return…

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 43: ‘Exuberance’

September 30, 2017

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I stumbled onto Rochester comedienne Madelein Smith’s standup about a year ago.  After seeing her Julie Andrew’s singing Lil’ Kim bit, I knew I had to at least try to get her on the show.  She has a, well, an exuberance on stage that’s outstanding.  Her on-stage persona is strong, theatrical, charismatic and very, very funny.  This was a strong episode, and Mark McElligott is a perennial co-host who can roll with the punches no matter who the guest is.  Check it out:

Thanks to producer Richard Wicka, Madelein and McElligott for helping to make a solid show.  Thanks are also in order to musician Roger Pleasant of UpRise studios for a new show theme rendition that, unfortunately, didn’t come through on the sound boards.  We’ll try harder next time.

See you in a month!

Tom

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Big Words Video 43.1: Madelein Smith-‘Crowd Work’

September 29, 2017

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I can honestly say there’s no Bonus clip quite like this one.  While Madelein has a lot of slick, polished and professional clips from her long, varied and award-winning standup career, this one is something else.  This particular clip is any stand-up comic’s dream.  Madelein has to deal with a heckler at a small bar in Tonawanda who won’t shut up, so what does she do?  She lights the guy up.   For about seven straight minutes.  Check it out here:

 

 

Thanks to Madelein for the unique footage.

#BigWordsVideo returns in October!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 42: ‘Nepotism’

September 7, 2017

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Almost a decade ago (when I was just getting the audio podcast off the ground), I somehow hit stride on the time frame and the level of wrongness by Episode IV lacing into my Uncle Dick.  Out of over 100 shows and clips, Episode IV and V remained as fan favorites because they were brutal, unforgiving and ferocious.  You can still listen to them on the Internet Archive.  There’s also a quick link to the right of this Home Page.

Now that we’re four years into #BigWordsVideo, I’ve been taking some calculated risks with the guests and getting around to guests that I’ve wanted to have on since the planning stages.  Dick was at the top of the list.  I’m always going to be harsher on family and friends than I would ever be out of the gate with people I’ve never met before, or that I don’t have a personal relationship.  My Uncle Dick is the champ.  He didn’t flinch and I didn’t expect him to.  Diabetes Dave has a quiet intensity that lends itself well to the show too.  Feast your eyes on THIS:

HEY!  Kindly SUBSCRIBE, will ya?!

Thanks as always to producer Richard Wicka, ‘The Other Richard’ Dick Lobdell and Diabetes Dave for coming through in a pinch.  Season 4 is off to a good start.  No end in sight.  Yet.

See you at the end of the month!

Tom

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Big Words Video 42.1 & 42.2: Dick Lobdell-‘It’s Hard To Be Humble’ & ‘Angel’s Song’

September 5, 2017

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Growing up with my uncle, we got a lot of campfire concerts on demand, so it wasn’t difficult to throw a few requests out for the Bonus clips for this episode.  ‘It’s Hard To Be Humble’ by Mac Davis is just a really funny song that Dick made his own.  ‘Angel’s Song’ is an original composition of Dick’s that he prefaced with a touching story about his granddaughter’s wedding ceremony.  Check them out right here:

I WISH I could tell you there was more music, but you’d have to be a SUBSCRIBER to the #BigWordsVideo Youtube Channel to figure that out.  I still want to capture one of Dick’s bonfire concerts on video.  There’s always next year.

#BigWordsVideo shall return!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 41: ‘Displacement’

August 12, 2017

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Stand-up comic Daniel McArdle is young, ambitious, eager, and yes, funny in a way that draws from his strengths, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does hosting the Rust Belt Comedy Showcase at Nietzsche’s on Tuesday nights.  When I was doing my prep work for the show, every single comic I talked to had nothing but nice things to say about him, which is rare.  Former guest and Co Host Clayton Williams a.k.a. ‘The Maestro Of Comedy’ is either a natural, a savant or one of the hardest working comics on the scene, because his stand-up kills me.  Having those two in the studio together made for a really entertaining episode.  Find out for yourself:

Thanks of course to McArdle, Williams and obviously producer Richard Wicka for coordinating everything.  Comedians make perfect guests for the show because they’re fast, they’re funny, and they don’t flinch from the questions.  #BigWordsVideo blasts off into Season 4 later this month with a guest who’s been a long time coming.  Tune in to Episode 42 or Free Subscribe to the Show to find out!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 41.1: Daniel McArdle-‘Big Fat Shame’

July 31, 2017

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Helium Comedy Club’s annual ‘Buffalo’s Funniest Person’ contest is a really big deal for local standup comics.  My latest guest, Dan McArdle, did not take home the gold.  That honor was awarded to former guest and co-host Jameel Key, who’s also extremely funny.  McArdle was kind enough to provide his clip from the contest for Big Words Video.  Every comic has their own style and their own approach to the stage.  Dan’s is one part awkwardness, one part awe-shucks and another part that’s nakedly honest.  He’s a very likeable guy.  And yes, funny.  So check out the Bonus clip!:

Thanks to Daniel for providing such a professional clip to bookend the episode.  If you want to, you know you can SUBSCRIBE to the Show channel for updates on new episodes, Bonus clips and other secret content, right?

#BigWordsVideo shall return in a month,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 40: ‘Transference’

July 14, 2017

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In the midst of all my movie-related research for the past three years on the show, actor Alexander Sloan McBryde has popped up a lot.  The guy’s a natural.  I’m not an actor, so I’m not sure what techniques he employs and I don’t care.  He’s got ‘it’.  Whether it’s a bit part or a feature role, he lights up the screen every time I’ve seen him, so it was only a matter of time before I landed him on the show.  He was a great guest: animated, lively and intelligent.  We were lucky enough to get Jason John Beebe back in the Co Host Hot Seat and master thespian Michael O’Hear scored special guest status.  It made for a solid show.  See for yourself:

A big thanks goes out to Alexander, Jason and Michael for making a phenomenal episode.  And as always, thanks to producer Richard Wicka for orchestrating behind the scenes.  #BigWordsVideo returns in two weeks with comedian Daniel McArdle, so don’t touch that…internet?

Tom

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Big Words Video 40.1: Alexander Sloan McBryde-‘Inside The Actors’

July 7, 2017

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Episode 40 and the companion Bonus clip were exactly what I needed after Episode 39.  Meeting actor Alexander Sloan McBryde and seeing him riff with fellow established actors (who often share the same IMDB credits) was fantastic.  The vibe in the studio was great, the chemistry was perfect and the talent level was off the charts.  I handed over the Sony PJ340 to McBryde literally seconds after the episode was over and he kicked into high gear grilling Co Host Jason John Beebe (pronounced Bee-Bee!) and interviewing Buffalo institution Michael O’Hear.  Here were 3 men who didn’t take themselves too seriously comfortable enough with their level of talent to let that translate on the silver screen, the small screen and all parts in between.  Roll that clip!:

Season 3 of Big Words Video is drawing to a close with one more episode to shoot.  Do us all a favor and SUBSCRIBE to the show for FREE on YouTube.  A few Likes and Shares wouldn’t hurt either.

Seeya soon,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 39: ‘Agrarian’

June 22, 2017

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To be completely honest, this was an episode where I was relieved when it was over and done with.  It’s no fault of the band’s, but the Big Words Poltergeist reared it’s ugly head, we got off to a really rough start on the episode and the chemistry was all wrong.  The two main cameras that I rely on during the show were set on Demo Mode right out of the gate.  My co-host (who had a calm demeanor and would have been terrific paired with anyone else) didn’t really mesh with West Of The Mark.  West Of The Mark didn’t really mesh with me.  I’d rather not dissect and extrapolate what and how many things went wrong, but just about everything went wrong.  At the very least, we got some laughs in and nobody died.  See for yourself:

Thanks to West Of The Mark, Joe and producer Richard Wicka for getting me through this.  There’s a new episode rolling out next week and even by accident, it’s bound to go smoother than the one that preceded it.

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 39.1: ‘My Church’ & 39.2: ‘Wagon Wheel’ w/West Of The Mark

June 8, 2017

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After a lot of misunderstandings, miscommunications and technical difficulties, we filmed the Big Words Video Bonus clips with country supergroup West Of The Mark before the episode of the show as opposed to afterward.  The less said, the better.  They’re a great band and a great group of guys with amazing talent, so please don’t try to read between the lines here.  This is one of those cases where I feel as if the Bonus clips will hold up better over time than the episode itself, though.  Their harmonies are incredible, their timing as a band is really impressive, and to think that they’ve been playing together in one iteration or another for as long as I’ve been a professional writer is miraculous.

Their cover of ‘My Church’ was their pick.  ‘Wagon Wheel’ was a request for my son Benjamin, who loves the Darius Rucker version as well as the original recording by Old Crow Medicine Show.  I was shocked to find out that Bob Dylan co-wrote the song, and that I didn’t know that until I was crediting the clips.  You learn something new every year.  Please enjoy:

 

A big thanks goes out to West Of The Mark for lugging their equipment into the studio, lugging it out and then lugging it in again.  Thanks also to producer Richard Wicka for being patient with the show’s production in the summer when our friendship is strained and we only see each other on the way in and on the way out of each show.  Rich has a strict ‘No Drums, No Bass’ rule that I wasn’t aware of.  I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m crazy enough to shoehorn an entire band into a shoebox.

Do me a favor and SUBSCRIBE to the Channel already, will ya?  Nobody gets paid, we do this for Views.

#BigWordsVideo shall return this month….

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 38: ‘Contingent’

May 4, 2017

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Despite rumors that pop up once in awhile, I have no plans or desires to be a standup comedian.  Writing humor and hosting a comedy talk show are not the same thing.  However, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for standup comics who are good at what they do and I’m always trying to figure out how their thought process works.  Kevin Thomas Jr and Jameel Key are very, very good at what they do but they approach standup from completely different directions.  Kevin has a down-to-earth humility to his delivery and his material paired with the approachability of a college instructor.  Jameel works best when he’s working blue, and his anecdotes and his jokes are so personal that they can’t possibly be anyone else’s.  Getting both of them in the same room for the same show was a case of the stars being in alignment.  This was an episode where I sat back and let these gentleman do what they do best: riff.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Kevin and Jameel for bringing their A game.  Thanks always to producer Richard Wicka for letting us barrel into the studio and hammer out the show.  #BigWordsVideo will be back in 4 weeks with country supergroup West Of The Mark!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 37: ‘Improvisation’

April 10, 2017

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Van Taylor is one of the nicest guests I’ve had on the show.  Like Ed Honeck told me, the guy’s a saint.  He’s been doing good work for the troops for over three decades, volunteering his time and talents for the Food Bank Of WNY, and he’s just a very positive human being.  Admittedly, I went easier on him when he came on than I have been with a lot of guests in the past because it would be comparable to interrogating Mother Theresa.  He’s a super nice guy.  And what’s funny is that he was originally scheduled (and agreed) to come on my audio podcast back in 2012 and…I stopped doing the audio podcast.  So it took us five years to make it work and even that took one last reschedule because he had a major surgery operation.  Van was worth the wait.  See for yourself:

Thanks to Van for being patient, the Mighty Matt Sampson for co-hosting again and the always lovely Richard Wicka for producing the show.

I’m excited to announce that ‘Buffalo’s Funniest Person’ winner Kevin Thomas will be guesting in 2 weeks with veteran comic, former guest and frequent Helium headliner Jameel Key co-piloting.

Seeya then,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 36: ‘Sequence’

March 31, 2017

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I went on the hunt about a month ago to find some good writers to guest on the show.  Italian novelist Gaia B. Amman came highly recommended and made it to the top of my list.  Her writing style is sharp and colorful, she’s not afraid of the camera and she’s got a great sense of humor.  Her Italian Saga series of books have a cult-like following and she’s very positive and nurturing with her fan base.  I was tying up loose ends on my research before the show and my co-host cancelled an hour and a half before taping.  Heh.  The behind-the-scenes anecdotes for the show are almost as good as the show, but I’m not going to start dishing now.  Terry Kimmel shuffled some personal engagements around in order to co host the show at the eleventh hour.  Here’s the end result:

Big thanks go out to Gaia for jumping through all the pre-show hoops and delivering a really professional #BigWordsVideo bonus clip, and for being a truly entertaining guest.  I owe Terry a large debt of gratitude for showing up under duress and bringing his A game. And as always, thanks to Producer Richard Wicka for wrapping it all up and putting a bow on it.

Please FREE SUBSCRIBE to Richard Wicka’s YouTube as well as mine (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) for updates on new episodes, bonus clips and other hidden content!

That’s all, folks.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 35: “Virtuoso”

March 3, 2017

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John Valby really is a living legend.  More specifically, he’s a Clarence legend.  Growing up in Clarence, everyone either knew him, knew of him, or knew about him.  With over 40 albums and 40 years of wildly offensive songs, limericks and ditties, he’s not only talented and funny, but he perserveres.  I was a little worried about him last year when he came on the show, but this year, he had a spring in his step.  It sounds like his career and his life have hit a new crescendo.  As the only guest on the show who gets a return ticket every season, it was good to see him again, and the same goes for my old editor from Night Life magazine Ed Honeck.  There’s a lot of history with those two.  That sort of comfortable dynamic between the three of us made for another (I hope) entertaining episode.  See for yourself:

Thanks as always to producer Richard Wicka for being the glue that holds the show together, Ed for popping in with less than a week before he’s being pulled in 100 different directions for the Night Life Music & Club Awards, and last but not least Mr. Valby.  May your career reach dizzier heights in the next year, and may your health continue to stymy a host who’s no stranger to the dangers of excess.

#BigWordsVideo will return in a month with young adult author and molecular biologist (you read that right) Gaia Amman.  Do yourself a favor and SUBSCRIBE for bonus clips, alerts for new episodes and other additional content.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 34: ‘Cineaste’

January 28, 2017

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Much like previous guest, playwright Donna Hoke, film director and author Greg Lamberson’s list of accomplishments were varied, massive and somewhat intimidating.  He’s written and published around 15 books, he’s either written, produced and/or directed over two dozen films.  And to top it all off, he co-chairs the incredibly popular Buffalo Dreams film festival every year, which draws films and directors from around the world to our fair town.  I can be a little OCD when it comes to prepping for the show, so in a case like Greg’s, I had to get a handle on the broad strokes rather than lose myself in his gargantuan back catalogue.  Lamberson turned out to be much more charming during the interview than I anticipated, and there was a mutual respect between the two of us that I think translated in the episode.  Here it is:

Thanks to Lamberson for taking time out of his insanely busy schedule to sit down with me for a half an hour.  Thanks also to Henry Gale for being a little bit better in the Co Host Hot Seat the second time around.  And of course to producer Richard Wicka for bringing it all together and wrapping a bow around it.  Do us ALL a favor and Like, Share, Favorite, +1 and Heart the episode depending on what social medias you’re actively a part of.

See you again in 2 weeks,

Tom

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Big Words Video 34.1: Greg Lamberson-‘Fun Bags’

January 28, 2017

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Coming hot off the heels of the runaway success of ‘Killer Rack’ and toiling away at post-production on ‘Johnny Gruesome’, I wasn’t sure what kind of Bonus clip guest Greg Lamberson cooked up.  He didn’t disappoint.  What follows is the musical sequence for the song ‘Fun Bags’ from the aforementioned ‘Killer Rack’ featuring Troma legend Lloyd Kauffman.  Fun fact: I interviewed Kauffman while he was on location in Buffalo for the movie ‘Poultrygeist’ for Night Life magazine way, way back in 2004 or 2005.  I’m pretty sure he’s still got the print interview on his web site, and if you can’t find it there, it’s still ricocheting around on Acid Logic.  At any rate, ROLL THAT CLIP!

Thanks again to Lamberson, Co Host Henry Gale and the frequently delightful Richard Wicka for producing our episode.  Oh yeah, and SUBSCRIBE to my channel on YouTube for more bonus clips, more bonus content and a lot of delectable secrets you won’t find any way else.

#BigWordsVideo shall return.  In two weeks.  With Taylor Made Jazz musician Van Taylor!

Seeya soon,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 33: ‘Farcical’

December 31, 2016

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There’s something about stand-up comic Clayton Williams that I’ve liked from the second I saw him hosting at Mr. Goodbar some two years ago for their ‘Uncle Jerry’s Comedy Showcase’.  He’s got a comedic style and a completely off-the-wall delivery that I’ve never seen around here.  I couldn’t wait to get him on the show and I knew he was going to be great, but I had no idea how great.  By contrast, Co Host Becca Barnum has been on my radar for one reason or another for the last year.  When I had someone in film on the show, she just so happened to be in some of the movies, when I had someone with a cosplay background, she just so happened to be in the same cosplay groups, and so on, and so on.

The dynamic was so magical and the conversation was so fluid while we were filming that I barely scratched the surface on my questions, and that’s okay.  We kept on talking after the show and they both got an invite back at a later date and time.  Oh yeah, here’s the show:

Thanks to Clayton and Becca for doing such a great job and thanks as always to Producer Richard Wicka.  We wound up with what I’m sure will go down as one of my favorite show memories, but there’s still a lot more to be made.

Happy New Year!

Tom

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Big Words Video 33.1: Clayton Williams-‘Photogenic’

December 29, 2016

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It’s good to have a backup plan.

I tell every guest about the idea behind having a Bonus clip to complement each episode of the show.  Some bring one, some have a great idea that we do in or outside the studio, sometimes things just fall through or people run out of time.  I asked producer Richard Wicka what he thought of rolling the camera during the post-show photo session and he thought it was a great idea, very “Cinema Verite” (sp?).  In the 3 years that I’ve been doing the show, this was the most fruitful photo session we’ve done to date.  Clayton and co-host Becca Barnum were camera gold, and they came alive during the show as well as before and after it.  If you Instagram, you can see ALL of the photos in the next few days @tomfoolery444.  I’ve been trying to get away from just dumping all of the outtakes in one payload.  Or you can ‘Like’ @bigwordsvideo on FB and see all of the photos there.  Here are the results of the live video feed from the session:

A big thanks to Clayton Williams and Becca Barnum for their enthusiasm, their comedy and the terrific dynamic in the studio.  You’ll see them again soon, but I’m not telling you when.  Here’s the part where I beseech you to SUBSCRIBE to the Channel on YouTube for notifications on new episodes, ALL of the bonus clips and extra incentives that I’m not going to spell out at this juncture.

#BigWordsVideo shall return next month!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 32: ‘Prima Facie’

December 10, 2016

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…which is a legal term for ‘on the face of it.’  I thought it was a good fit for a title because a) Guest Michael Bly is a litigation attorney in addition to being a musician and b) There’s a lot more to him than his party-loving rockstar facade.  This was an episode that was originally scheduled back in November of 2014, but Mike had to cancel at the last minute due to traffic coming home from a Bills game in Michigan or something like that.

I’ve known Michael Bly since somewhere around 2005.  Recollection is hazy because I drank quite a bit back then, but I’m pretty sure longtime pal Gregg Sansone introduced me to him at The Hidden Shamrock (now shuttered) in Depew during a Night Life magazine assignment.  We just keep bumping into each other.  Mike was kind enough to do 2 hours of the Big Words Radio podcast back in its’ heyday and even circled back for the Big Words Radio Finale Roast that was supposed to be a joke but actually came true.  For those of you who want to hear the podcasts, you can click the link to the right on the page here or just search it on the Internet Archive.  Not sure if this is too much backstory, but again, I’m trying to do a bit more than just ‘Here’s the episode, please watch it.’  He’s a charming person, a talented musician and yes, he’s a really, really nice guy.  I met Co Host Jason Garra during a Buffalo News review assignment at Woody’s Pub in Lackawanna when he was with band-in-residence Helicopter Pilot.  It made for a cozy, hopefully entertaining show:

Thanks to Bly, Garra and producer Richard Wicka for another enjoyable outing.  Now that I’m don’t hit the bars anymore, it’s good to find an excuse to catch up with old friends who are still on the circuit.  For the love of God and all that’s holy, SUBSCRIBE for new shows, bonus clips and additional unlockable content!  Comedian Clayton Williams will be joining me at month’s end along with actress/comedienne/cosplayer Becca Barnum.  Don’t adjust your laptops, monitors and tablets!

Tom

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Big Words Video 32.1: ‘This Love’ & 32.2: ‘Buffalo’-Performed by Michael Bly!

December 9, 2016

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I’m always at a loss for how to present the #BigWordsVideo Bonus clips here above and beyond ‘Here’s the clips.  Click here.’  This time, I’ll share a little story behind the clips.  Unfortunately, Michael Bly’s favorite guitar was stolen a few weeks ago, so he brought a new-ish guitar (make and model already forgotten) to the studio with him.  We were unsure if his acoustic would even work if we plugged it into producer Richard Wicka’s sound board, so we improvised by placing one of the headsets in front of the guitar and Mike kept his headset on his head.  The sound came out incredibly well, but if you watch the videos, you’ll see a foam microphone sticking up from the bottom left corner of the screen.  It all worked out in the end.  Hence we have Big Words Video 32.1 with a very entertaining rendition of Maroon 5’s ‘This Love’ (from their Songs About Jane album over a decade ago) and Big Words Video 32.2 wherein Michael performs his original song ‘Buffalo’ from his second album, Stay True.  

I’m always amazed when we have a musician in the studio and they bring their A game under less-than-ideal conditions, so thank you to Michael for that.  We’ve been friends for a very, very, very long time, and I have to say that his vocals and his guitar-playing have improved by leaps and bounds from our days back at the Hidden Shamrock in the stone ages.  Thanks as always to Richard Wicka and to Jason Garra for bringing his A game in the Co Host Hot Seat.

And please, pretty please, SUBSCRIBE to the CHANNEL for updates on new shows, more bonus content and other miscellany!

#BigWordsVideo is doubling up for December, so I’ll see you in less than 3 weeks!

Happy Holidays,

Tom

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Big Words Video 31.1, 2 & 3: Trilogy of…?

November 28, 2016

I was trying to come up will some alliteration there, but I’m at a loss for words at the diversity and ingenuity of the following 3 Bonus clips.  Guest Jason Yungbluth was kind enough to provide a dark, gritty, gruesome trailer for his incredible 400 page Weapon Brown graphic novel as well as a holiday-themed stop-motion festive pancake clip that’s also wrong on a number of levels.  Check ’em out:

Conversely, perennial Co Host Mark McElligott brought something to show, too.  His lifelong project and character Starchy is almost a reality.  You can check out one of his animated cartoons to promote the project right HERE:

Thanks to Jason and Mark for bringing a level of professionalism with their videos that is heretofore absent from most of my proceedings.  I like the variety and the breadth of their humor showcased in these clips.

#BigWordsVideo shall return.  Sooner than you think.  Please SUBSCRIBE in the meantime.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 30: ‘Grand Guignol’

October 28, 2016

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So here’s how this episode went down.  Last year, when Rhonda Parker was on, she name-dropped Michael O’Hear and Jason John Beebe.  In the heat of the moment (and because I think it’s funny to quip back while we’re rolling) and, to be honest, I said ‘Never heard of ’em.’  I still don’t know much about the film scene, but I felt like and asshole, and afterwards, I figured it would balance out my karma to have them both on down the road.  Michael O’Hear came on back around…January and Jason and I finally coordinated our schedules this month.  He was a great interview: quick, funny, and just a super-nice guy with quite a list of film credits for…whatever age he happens to be.  Here’s the episode:

Fun fact: ‘Grand Guignol’ literally means ‘large puppet’ in French, so I felt that the title worked on two levels.  Thanks to producer Richard Wicka, Beebe for fitting us in during his ‘Crossbreed’ location shoot in Buffalo, and perennial co-host Terry Kimmel for enduring a Herculanean amount of punishment.  SUBSCRIBE, LIKE, SHARE, RT…do whatever you’ve gotta do to get the word out!  We don’t do it for any money, but we do it for your love and admiration, so spread it around!

Tom

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Big Words Video 30.1: Jason John Beebe-‘Uber’ (Rough Cut)

October 27, 2016

The actors and directors who’ve come on the show so far have continued to amaze me with the quality and diversity of their Bonus clips.  ‘Uber’ director Mick O’Donald was kind enough to give us permission to share the web series he’s working on with Beebe.  It is a ‘rough cut’, so it still needs a soundtrack, editing and a lot of other production-type things that are out of my realm of experience, but it looks promising.  The first episode is a fun blend of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ meets ‘Taxicab Confessions’.  Give it a look-see:

Thanks again to Mick O’Donald for the assist and the upcoming series!  For those of you who enjoy the Bonus clips (or #BigWordsVideo in general), there is no Indie Go Go.  We don’t even have a Kickstarter.  It’s not about money.  So do us a solid and SUBSCRIBE to the show for FREE!  You’ll get updates and notifications when new episodes hit!

#BigWordsVideo will return in November with Rochester cartoonist and Buffalo native Jason Yungbluth!

See you in the funny papers,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 29: ‘Aberrant’

October 9, 2016

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Why are we always so cruel to the ones we love?

I’ve got nothing but love for Jesse Winterhalter’s brand of stand-up comedy.  It’s personal, it’s uncomfortable and he forces you to question your deeply held truths.  His podcast (‘Doing Nothing Is Art’) is one of the most professional podcasts I’ve ever heard, his stream-of-consciousness delivery is incredibly honest, and he’s smart.  Can you tell I like the guy?  He made for a great guest.  Roger Pleasant, it turns out, is a lot slicker when he’s behind the camera rather than the front of it.  Give it a watch:

Thanks are in order to producer Richard Wicka, Winterhalter and Pleasant for a solid episode.  I’m rooting for guys like Jesse.  Buffalo needs more of them.

Tom

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Big Words Video 29.1: Jesse Winterhalter-‘This Is A Comedy Show’

October 7, 2016

About a year ago when I was shooting video for Heather Stack’s appearance on #BigWordsVideo at the Tudor Lounge, I saw Jesse’s stand up act for the first time.  He’s got this magic combination of intellect, hilarity and…a very dark place.  His set was fantastic.  With everyone else who was booked, it took a year before he could come on the show.  Thankfully, Jesse got Roger Pleasant, Roger’s four duffle bags of cameras and myself in for his headlining stint at The Tralf for ‘This Is A Comedy Show’.  It made for a great Bonus clip:

This is the part where I beseech you to SUBSCRIBE to the show for more Bonus clips, behind-the-scenes footage and other surprises.  So do that.  #BigWordsVideo will return this month with actor Jason John Beebe!

Seeya soon,

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 28: ‘Oracle’

September 9, 2016

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Lou Fasolino (a.k.a. Lou Forecastolino, a.k.a. WLou) was someone I instantly wanted to book as soon as I saw his weather forecasts.  He’s naturally funny, I could tell he’d be great in an ad lib scenario, and he’s likeable.  He was slated for next March, but after a cancellation for the Season 3 Opener of #BigWordsVideo, I asked and he accepted.  He’s even more likeable in person.  It was a well-rounded show with Brian ‘The House’ Platter returning to the Co Host Hot Seat.  Even with a month’s notice, Lou’s producer failed to supply a bonus clip, so this episode shares the unique distinction of having no complementary or supplemental material.  That’s all I’ll say about that.  Here’s Episode 28:

Please make sure to ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ as if your life depends on it.  Thanks to producer Richard Wicka, Fasolino and Platter for filling in in a pinch.  Even with two years under our belts it feels like I’m just getting warmed up.  Stand-up comic Jesse Winterhalter strikes later this month for Episode 29, so #BigWordsVideo will return…

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 27: ‘Monarch’

August 13, 2016

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It’s been a busy summer!  Between polishing and preparing Travesty and wrapping up Season 2 of #BigWordsVideo, I’ve been remiss in posting this last episode.  I booked ‘Persona’ writer/director Charlie Simmons back around September of 2015 and he rode out from Rochester last month to tape the show.  Actress/model Airy Nikohl came up from Niagara Falls.  To make things even more interesting, I hadn’t met or spoken to either of them until we got in the studio.  The results were pretty cool.  Find out for yourself:

Find the time to SUBSCRIBE to Big Words I Know By Heart on YouTube.  Thanks are in order to Charlie, Airy and, as always, Producer Richard Wicka for indulging us.  Season 3 rolls out at the end of the month and we’re just hitting our stride.

Stay tuned,

Tom

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Big Words Video 27.1: Persona Web Series Teaser

August 6, 2016

This Bonus clip is pretty self explanatory.  Director Charlie Simmons has been working overtime to make his Persona project perfect.  How’s that for alliteration?!  He was kind enough to bring a really slick teaser in with exclusive content for my viewers.  You can see the results below:

#BigWordsVideo will return this month for the Season 3 Home Opener!  We’re just getting warmed up…

Tom

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 26: ‘Matriarch’

July 13, 2016

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This was an episode I looked forward to taping for a very long time.  I saw Heather’s standup back in September (see below) and, from talking to her on and off, knew she’d be a lot of fun in the studio.  She’s a natural comedienne, she’s funny, off-the-cuff and incredibly clever.  After two co-host hopefuls dropped out, I tapped Brian Bogucki at the last minute and it turned out that he had a Buffalo Comedy connection! Six degrees of Buffalo, indeed.  We all had a great rapport right off the bat before the cameras started rolling.  Some shows are painful to watch afterwards and this wasn’t one of them.  I thought the pacing was great, the jokes were organic and the conversation just flowed.  I wish every comic was this ‘on’ when they came on.  There’s a lot more coming down the pike, too.  In the mean time though, see for yourself:

Thanks to Heather, Brian, and of course producer Richard Wicka for allowing all this insanity in his home every single month.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!  #BigWordsVideo will return in roughly two weeks with Rochester director Charlie Simmons!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 25: ‘Dramaturgy’

June 23, 2016

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I’ve been a bad talk show host.

Here we are a week away from the next episode and I’m just posting the previous episode now.  Chalk it up to procrastination, call it the aftermath to my comeuppance, call it whatever you want, but here’s last month’s episode.  I felt ill-prepared and intimidated by my guest Donna Hoke, a playwright, staffer for Buffalo Spree magazine, children’s book author and a lot more.  Maybe I read too far into her personality, maybe not, but it threw me off guard and it was noticeable.  That’s okay, though.  The two questions I ask myself after every show are 1. Was it entertaining? and 2. Was it funny?  I can respond affirmative to both for this show whether it was at my own expense or not.  Justin Karcher was terrific in the Co Host Hot Seat.  See the whole big hot mess for yourself:

 

Thanks are in order to Hoke, Karcher and the always-lovely Richard Wicka.  I’ll see you all back here in approximately one week.  Approximately.

Tom

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Big Words Video 25.1: Donna Hoke & Justin Karcher-‘Hamilton’

June 2, 2016

I got the sense that either Donna and Justin hadn’t seen each other in a long time, or that you could lock them both in a room for three days and they’d still be pontificating and arguing when you opened the door.  Quips and gossip and barbs were flying and they downshifted to a delightful debate about Buffalo theater once the camera started rolling after the episode.  See for yourself:

#BigWordsVideo will return later this month with a long-awaited guest spot from award-winning comedienne Heather Stack!

Don’t you touch that dial.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 24: ‘Ahimsa’

April 13, 2016

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I’m always more ferocious on the show with my friends because I know they can take it.  Longtime pal and one-man-band Gregg Sansone is certainly no exception.  The kid gloves came off and the laughs broke out in the studio for this explosive, no-holds-barred episode.  Gregg knows how I operate.  Diabetes Dave stepped up to the plate for a return trip to the Co Host Hot Seat.  The chemistry between the three of us was near-perfect.  See for yourself:

Thanks are in order to producer Richard Wicka, Sansone and Diabetes Dave for bringing their A game.  If you like what you see, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!  And don’t miss the bonus clips below!

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 24.1: ‘Me & Julio’ & 24.2: ‘Wandering/High Time Again’

April 13, 2016

Musician Gregg Sansone threw me a curveball in the studio when it came time to record the #BigWordsVideo bonus clips after the episode: He brought his Breedlove guitar.  While I know and love the man for his piano-playing, he’s also an incredible guitarist.  So Gregg pulled up a stool, plugged in and performed Paul Simon’s classic hit ‘Me & Julio (Down By The Schoolyard’ for the first clip and a double header of the James Taylor/Charles Grean song ‘Wandering’ and Gregg’s very own country composition ‘High Time Again’.  Feast your eyes and ears right here:

Now I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, but LIKE & SUBSCRIBE for additional episodes, bonus clips and updates!  We’ll see you all in a month!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 23: ‘Schadenfreude’

March 16, 2016

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The Buffalo standup comedy scene is on fire, and Allie Brady is one of the comics who’s right at the center of it.  After interviewing 3 comics so far (with more on the horizon), it’s fascinating to explore each of their individual voices, styles and, by extension, their acts.  Brady has this slight pause before she delivers a brutal politically incorrect punchline that I really admire.  In the studio, she was fast, relentless and hilarious.  To top it off, her website (stilltoosoon.blogspot.com) is one of the funniest projects I’ve read online in a very, very long time.  Britney Hoffman was a little deer-in-the-headlights in the Co Host Hot Seat, but I thought she rounded out the dynamic quite nicely.  Roll that clip!

A big thanks goes out to Brady, Hoffman and the always-lovely Richard Wicka for putting it all together.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE for new shows, bonus clips and other additional content.

Tom

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Big Words Video 23.5: ‘Irish Spring’ & 23.6: ‘Shitty Girl’

March 16, 2016

I’m starting to think it’s a better idea to send someone out into the field to get these Big Words Video Bonus clips.

I don’t enjoy being out in front of a crowd scene anymore.  There was a time where my ego insisted on it, but these days I’d rather hang out in the background and let the star be the star of the show.  Harvesting these clips with a consumer camera demands that the ‘director’ get right up on top of the action.  Music production man Roger Pleasant of Uprise Studios went on location to Magruder’s in Lancaster for Green Gorilla Comedy’s ‘Irish Spring’ showcase a few weeks ago and came back with two really solid clips from standup comic Allie Brady’s act.  See for yourself:

Using the same Sony PJ340 I’ve been using, Pleasant got a great angle, sound and lighting in HD.  Allie’s comedy speaks for itself.  Putting someone else at the helm of the camera does too.  If you like what you see, SUBSCRIBE!  We’ll be back at it next month with longtime pal and journeyman pianist/performer Gregg Sansone.

See you then,

Tom

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Dante’s Double

March 1, 2016

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You could fill Lake Erie with the amount of hot sauce I’ve ingested.

Nothing would live, grow or thrive there, so basically, it would be the same lake. I’ve been eating chicken wings at least once a week since I was around 17. Technically, chicken fingers were my gateway poultry. My buddy Ron and I got together every week to play video games and we commemorated the event with chicken fingers. And hot sauce. When I got my first apartment, I got my first fryer. Shortly thereafter, I gained about 40 pounds. Studies show that those two events were interconnected somehow. With no self control and the understanding that I was too lazy to deal with the mess of making wings at home, a new tradition was born: wings once a week. This is the point where I could say ‘A hero is born.’ or ‘This is the stuff of legend.’, but my artistic license expired yesterday. It’s best in this situation to borrow from the poorly named 1980’s Fred Ward star vehicle Remo Williams and go with ‘The Adventure Begins’. Cinephile Note: The adventure began and ended with that horrible movie. Let’s get back to the wings…

There are a lot of things that Buffalonians lay claim to: losing at football, losing at hockey on a technicality, losing on ‘Best Places To Live’…you get the picture. Chicken wings really did originate in Buffalo though, at the famous Anchor Bar in the city. Chicken wings happen to be the one thing about Buffalo I embrace. In the rest of the country they travel under the nom de plume of ‘Party Wings’ (makes sense), ‘Hot Wings’ (I like to use that one because it drives my boss into a fit of rage) and yes, ‘Buffalo Wings’. Hot Tip: If they’re listed as ‘Buffalo Wings’ on a menu, you’re probably at a chain restaurant that doesn’t have the faintest idea how to make chicken wings and you’ll end up with a soggy, buttery embarrassment in a plastic basket. ‘Buttery Embarrassment’ also happens to be how I refer to the loss of my virginity. Chicken wings are deceptively simple in their execution. Cook until crispy, douse in hot sauce with a fire hose and mix with butter for those with indigestion.

Around here, the base hot sauce is Frank’s Red Hot. I was not paid for that endorsement, but would like to be. Most places use Frank’s. In the rest of the country I’ve seen diners that give you a 2 oz. shooter of Tabasco for 30 chicken wings (I’m not sure how that would even work), Sriracha (which I’ve never had but would like to try) along the southern border and a lot of sad kitchen-made pastes that were more ketchup than anything else. Spoiler Alert: Ketchup does not resemble hot sauce in any way, shape and especially not form. My palate is so accustomed to Frank’s Red Hot that I’ve gone off in search of other strains of sauce. As a hot sauce enthusiast, you build up a tolerance to heat over time. Useful Factoid: A unit of heat with peppers is measured in ‘Scovilles’, whichb were named after the inventor of the system.

Unlike the rest of my family, I have the constitution of a billy goat. My older brother gets an upset stomach after oatmeal and my younger brother chews on Tums like they’re Tic Tacs. I was not paid for either of those endorsements, but would begrudgingly accept payment in the form of check, money order or chicken wings. By the time I was 25 or so, I’d worked my way up from Medium wings (half butter, half hot sauce) to hot wings (all hot sauce) to more explosive options. Sauces that incorporated jalepeno peppers (they deliver that extra mule kick to your mouth at the end of every bite) habanero peppers (which add a very distinct flavor to the sauce while incinerating your insides) and eventually, ghost peppers. Ghost peppers are no joke. On the Scoville scale, ghost peppers reside somewhere in the vicinity of Dante’s final circle of hell, if that circle included screaming, crying and praying on the toilet all at the same time.

Many argue that the hotter wings that are available aren’t enjoyable. While there is a small subsection of guys who feel the need to prove their masculinity by devouring wings they normally can’t handle, often can’t handle during their demonstration, and definitely won’t handle ever again without a medical staff on standby, some of us have worked our way up to it. Crying is a factor. It’s more of a chemical reaction than an emotional catharsis. It also takes place if you happen to wipe your eyes with the same napkin you used to wipe your sauce-spotted hands with. Or if you don’t wash your hands and scratch your eye hours later. Don’t do this with ghost peppers. Ghost pepper sauces will make you their bitch. Plain and simple.

I hate to say it, but I may have reached an age where I have to start traveling down the heat index. My endurance with the hotter sauces may have reached its apex. For every cause there is an effect. That, and I can’t imagine carrying an IV of blue cheese around with a stainless steel diaper when I’m 50. It’s time to put on the brakes a bit. Blue cheese is for punks. It’s an easy way out of the heat that serves to mask or neutralize it. Milk neutralizes the pain, too. I prefer soda. My Buffalo brethren insist it is called pop. They’re wrong. That’s neither here nor there, though. I like a nice cold glass of Diet Dr. Pepper with my wings. I was not paid or coerced by the good people at the Diet Dr. Pepper bottling plant, but would feign refusal and quickly accept large monetary gifts in the form of gold doubloons or solid ingots stacked in a triangular fashion.

Nowadays, I order a double (20) of wings every Thursday because you get a price break per wing at 20 and I can always finish them off for an additional meal time. The additional meal time may take place before I get up from the table the first time. There’s a great debate between drums (drumsticks) or flats (the actual wings) with solid arguments for both. Drums are easy to eat in public and they tend to crisp up better if you prefer yours crispy. I’m a flats man. My dad was a flats man and his father before him. We’re flats people. Honestly though, I like flats because they’re more tender, they soak up more sauce, they taste better on the reheat and they don’t have as much gristle as the drums. Believe me, I’ve done the research.

By a stroke of luck (and the one good genetic card dealt to me), my severe height has cancelled out any blood pressure issues that might accompany someone who eats a double of wings every week. It’s right on par. If I were a superhero, that would be my super power: Slightly Average Blood Pressure. Villains everywhere would tremble at the sight of my triage. I’ve been training for this all my life. Now I just need an outfit that’s stain resistant to the corrosive concoctions I crave.

Fired up,
Tom Waters

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 22: ‘Balladeer’

February 24, 2016

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John ‘Dr. Dirty’ Valby is pretty close to my heart.  His sense of humor and his career are ideal for the show.  The man really is a living legend, and I’m pretty honored that he promised to come back on the show every year for the long haul.  So far, I’ve tried to avoid a ‘swinging door’ policy for guests, opting instead to let former guests circle back to co-host or welcoming good co-hosts back.  John Valby is the only exception.  He’s funny, he’s talented and he’s the opposite of politically correct.  Again, he’s perfect for the show.  With a last-minute drop-out in the Co Host Hot Seat, Night Life Publisher (and longtime pal) Ed Honeck came through in a pinch.  They have some shared history together which helped with the overall dynamic and comfort level.  You can watch Episode 22 of #BigWordsVideo right HERE:

Thanks are in order to Valby, Honeck and Richard Wicka for being so accomodating.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on Youtube for bonus clips, new episodes and other associated buffoonery.  This was a fun episode to shoot.  I look forward to having John back on next February.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 21: ‘Anthropomorphic’

February 5, 2016

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This may be the funniest episode we’ve done so far.

I’ve been tracking creator Stephen Nawotniak and artist Jeff Perdziak’s Mubu The Morph children’s series since the release of the first book last spring.  I went to Clarence High School with Stephen over 20 years ago and (up until shortly before the episode) hadn’t seen him since.  The books have a positive message and when I ran into them, told them I’d love to have them on the show but wasn’t sure if it’d be a good fit considering their source material.  Boy was I wrong.  We had a rip-roaring good time filming this episode and returning co-host Mark McElligott rounded out an inspired cast.  Once we got moving, I had a tough time keeping it together when I’m normally pretty good at projecting a starchy talk-show-host-like persona.  Episode 21 was a lot of fun, and very, very funny thanks to everybody involved.  See for yourself:

Many thanks to producer Richard Wicka, Mark McElligott for the never-ending abuse, and especially Stephen and Jeff for rolling with the punches.  This is proof positive that children’s book authors (and illustrators) have a good sense of humor.  The heavy show rotation is coming to an end, so I’ll give you all some time to get caught up on the backlog.  Stay tuned to the website because I’ve still got a few tricks up my sleeve this month.

Tom

 

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Big Words Video 21.1 & 21.2: Jeff Perdziak’s ‘The Menagerie’

February 5, 2016

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These two Big Words Video bonus clips were a cinch.  I was really pleased with the over-the-shoulder artist’s perspective we got with Graham Nolan for 18.5.  Let’s face it: It’s cool to watch an artist at work.  This time (to avoid shaky-cam), I posted a tripod behind artist Jeff Perdziak while he fleshed out two of the central characters from his upcoming creator-owned graphic novel ‘The Menagerie’ (which is coming out this fall from the Visions Comic Art Group).  See both installments for yourself:

You know, if you like this sort of thing, it’s twice as nice to ‘Like’ it on YouTube.  You can also take it one step further and PLEASE SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on YouTube.  Just putting that out there.  #BigWordsVideo will return on February 23rd along with ‘Dr. Dirty’ John Valby!  We’ll see you then!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 20: ‘Cognitive Dissonance’

January 27, 2016

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Alan Bedenko is a great writer.  As I said in the intro, I might not always agree with his political leanings, but I love the way that he gets his point across and I usually learn more about topical issues by reading his columns in The Public or his posts on BuffaloPundit.com.  As a guest on the show, he had a well-thought-out response to every curveball we threw at him, he was funny, witty and most importantly, he doesn’t take himself too seriously.  This was a great chance to pull out all the stops and work in some political jokes that wouldn’t have landed on any other episode.  Everybody involved did a great job including my co-host, ‘The Mighty’ Matt Sampson.  The two questions I ask after every show are 1) Was it entertaining? and 2) Was it funny?  We fired on both cylinders and more in this one.

Please make sure to ‘Like’ and ‘Subscribe’.  Thanks are in order to Alan, Matt and producer Richard Wicka for knocking it out of the park on this episode.  We had a lot of leftover questions at the end of the show, so there’s a distinct possibility that Alan could return down the line.

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Big Words Video 20.5: Alan Bedenko & Matt Sampson-‘Rogue’s Gallery’

January 27, 2016

After twenty episodes, I can honestly say that Matt Sampson came to the table as a co-host with more preparation than anyone who’s filled the Hot Seat thus far.  He had a full page of typewritten, double-spaced questions, a genuine enthusiasm for politics locally and globally, and when he chimed in he was intelligent, entertaining and inquisitive.  He still had a lot of questions left after the episode, so I gave him free reign for the Big Words Video Bonus Clip.  See for yourself.  Oh, and before I forget, Like, Share & Subscribe while you’re at it, eh?

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 19: ‘Recluse’

January 18, 2016

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I’ll let you in on a little secret: I have a bucket list of guests in my head for the show.  While I’ve been apprehensive about doing two shows a month this winter for fear of the law of diminishing returns in terms of viewership, three is absolutely out of the question.  In spite of this, forces converged on the Home Of The Future studios this afternoon and I ran into my old pal Jim Pray.  He’s not a celebrity per se, he doesn’t have anything to promote, and he’s sworn off doing any radio or video spots for the last four years.  He’s in my Top Ten on the bucket list.  I’ve been wearing him down and it took a lot of coaxing to get him to sit down and do a show with me.  It was worth it.  I’ve met a few people in my life who are hilarious because they’re being hilarious when they don’t know it.  Jim’s one of those people.  I’m glad to count him as one of my friends.  We did a show with no script, no co-host…no net.  Give it a watch right HERE:

 

 

So yep, three shows this month.  Just like that.  Buffalo Pundit and Daily Public commentator Alan Bedenko is coming on in about a week.  Do you know at the end of the movie credits how they say ‘007 Will Return In’?  That.  That all over.  Tom Waters will return in #BigWordsVideo 20!  Subscribe and Share, folks, Subscribe and Share.

See you soon.

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Big Words Video 19.5: Jim Pray-Spock & David Bowie

January 18, 2016

The above title is 100% clickbait.  It’s also relevant to the discussion we had after the episode, so it’s justified.  And funny.  And topical.  So there.  Jim Pray remains a fascinating specimen and a really interesting guy to me.  I’m glad that he broke his four year media blackout and made an exception for me.  You won’t regret watching him in action.  Here’s the Bonus clip:

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 18: ‘Mythos’

January 14, 2016

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Graham Nolan has been on my bucket list since I started Big Words Video.

He’s a phenomenal artist, a veteran from DC Comics and the man co-created Batman’s Bane, for god’s sakes.  Delving into the research and prep for the episode, I gained an even greater appreciation for his career.  A 6 year run on Detective Comics, 6 on ‘The Phantom’ comic strip, 12 years on ‘Rex Morgan: M.D.’, a creator-owned web comics (‘Sunshine State’)…the list goes on and on and on.  I saw this a lot, but it was an honor to sit down at the same table with Nolan.  We take for granted that we have such an artistic visionary in our own back yard.  Michael Hoffert Jr. was a natural fit for the Co Host Hot Seat on this one because he knows more about chapter and verse in the comic industry than I ever will.  Just watch the episode for yourself, will ya?

A huge thanks goes out to Mr. Nolan for not only making the time to do the show, but braving some pretty gnarly ‘Lake-Enhanced’ (the new buzz term the meteorologists are using this year) snow on the drive out and back.  Thanks are also in order to producer Richard Wicka and Michael Hoffert for knowing the biz back to front.  If you want, did you know that you can SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on YouTube?  For FREE?  Well you can.  I’ve also heard that it’s possible to LIKE & SHARE these clips on the YouTube interface.  You should try it.  You really should.  There’s another episode en route in less than two weeks, so we’ll all see you soon!

Tom

 

 

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Big Words Video 18.5: Graham Nolan-Batman

January 14, 2016

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Okay, so this was really, really cool.  As a Big Words Video bonus clip, this is something that was in the back of my mind for a long time.  We did an over-the-shoulder shot with Graham Nolan while he went from a blank slate on his IPad Pro to a rough finished sketch.  The entire process took about seven minutes while we peppered the clip with some follow-up questions.  Just a really, really cool way to complement Episode 18.  Check it out right HERE:

Thanks again to Nolan for doing the show!  And for those of you reading, SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on YouTube already, will ya?

 

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 17: ‘Thespian’

December 24, 2015

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Back in September, I found out just how much I don’t know about the Buffalo film community after a few short questions with Rhonda Parker.  In that time, I’ve discovered that Michael O’Hear is the soft candy center to the entire scene.  He’s had an astounding career that’s reaching another crest with all of the festival hoopla surrounding Killer Rack.  And that’s just one feather in an already-crowded cap.

O’Hear was a genuine delight to research, watch on screen (he’s a scene stealer to be sure) and interview.  He has a quiet intensity that’s very arresting and charming all at once.  He made for a fantastic guest.  And we must have done something right in the studio, because most of the people involved in the Buffalo Film Community have been kind enough to tell us how much they liked the show!  Thank you for ‘getting’ it.  Enough gushing, though.  Here’s the episode:

Thanks are due to Mr. O’Hear, Buffalo Charlie for making it through the spanking machine not once, but twice, producer Richard Wicka and also Rhonda Parker for the great recommendation.  I book primarily on guest referrals, because who’s a better judge as to who can handle the format or not?  Don’t forget to LIKE & SUBSCRIBE on YouTube!  I feel like I may have said that before…

Tom

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Big Words Video 17.5: Outlaw-The Living Comic Book (Teaser)

December 24, 2015

Guest Michael O’Hear was kind enough to supply me with a really sharp looking teaser trailer for the Outlaw web and DVD series that’s currently in production.  Again, if it were up to me I would never shoot another Bonus clip at the Home Of The Future again, so this was an extremely inventive case of my guest thinking outside the box.  Check out the sharp black and white trailer right HERE:

As always, you can SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel to see all of the Big Words Video bonuses as soon as they’re posted, get updates on new shows and other related nonsense.  Please take the extra second to Like the show on YouTube!  We’re ramping up production for the next two months, so stay tuned!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 16: ‘Convoluted’

December 6, 2015

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Sterlace and I have been pals since sometime in 2008.  He just happened to be at The Home Of The Future while an episode of Big Words Radio was recording.  I didn’t know who was in the Green Room while we were doing the show, but I could certainly hear the uproarious laughter.  The rest is history.  I’ve been on his show, he’s been on mine, and this is his first appearance on Big Words Video.  Producer Richard Wicka was a natural choice for the Co Host Hot Seat because of his innate ability to frustrate and stymy Sterlace at will.  This show was a rollicking good time and I hope you enjoy watching it.  Here’s the link:

Thanks are in order to Sterlace, Wicka and guest board operator Tom Windsor.  As always, if you haven’t yet, please SUBSCRIBE for FREE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on YouTube for upcoming episodes, bonus clips and other additional content.  Actor Michael O’Hear will be joining us in the studio in two weeks as we’re doubling down for December.  See you then!

Tom

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Big Words Video 16.5: Greg Sterlace-‘Exploitation’

December 6, 2015

We shot this clip all the way back in August in the library portion of the Home Of The Future when I did a guest spot on The Real Greg Sterlace Show.  It was originally titled ‘The Big Beatles Heist’, but (in an effort to be consistent with the Big Words theme), we retitled it as ‘Exploitation’ right after the studio show.  Greg discusses his master plan to bilk Beatlemaniacs out of their hard-earned money.  Check it out right here:

Please take a moment to ‘Like’ the clip on YouTube.  Kindly SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on YouTube for updates on new episodes, bonus clips and other original content!

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The Real Greg Sterlace Show #102

November 22, 2015

 

imageBeing out of the hosting seat can be a lot of fun sometimes.

I had another cameo on ‘The Real Greg Sterlace Show’ last night and being on the show was a riot, as per usual.  Producer Richard Wicka told me afterwards that I was ‘on fire’ for the taping.  Truth be told, I try to play myself for ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’, only moreso.  The handful of times that I’ve been on Greg’s show, I can be whoever I want to be that day.  Co-Host Tim Saracki christened me as ‘Tony Garlic’ when we started taping, so I ran with that.  See for yourself:

 

 

Thanks are in order to Greg, producer Richard Wicka for the show and the lovely meal beforehand and the rest of the cast and crew that added to the chaos and general insanity of the program.  Greg’s coming on my show December 5th, so the shoe will be on the other foot in two weeks!

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 15: ‘Siren’

November 6, 2015
Publicity Still by producer Richard Wicka

Publicity Still by producer Richard Wicka

As far as bucket lists for Buffalo celebrities guests go, Alison Pipitone was at the top of the pops.  She’s incredibly talented, she’s got ten albums under her belt and she’s never compromised her artistic integrity.  Her talents as a songwriter/lyricist are inspiring, she’s amazingly humble for someone so accomplished and her ear for production in the studio is the best I’ve ever heard around here.  Enough gushing, though.  Here’s the episode:

Don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe!

Thanks (as always) to producer Richard Wicka for being the man behind the curtain, longtime pal (and one-time employee) Brian Platter for co-hosting, and Alison Pipitone for earning another lifetime fan.  She was a great interview and I can’t wait to buy the rest of her ten albums!

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Big Words Video 15.1-15.5: The Pipitone Sessions!

November 6, 2015

I had the good fortune (and foresight) last month to take a road trip with co-host Brian Platter to see The Alison Pipitone Band perform at Mulconry’s Irish Pub in Fairport, NY.  The video clips resulting from that show were really great audio-wise (I’m tinkering, and will most likely continue to tinker with the video), and there were a lot of them.  Brian Platter even filled in between sets with a cover (‘No Diggity’ by Blackstreet, which NO ONE could have predicted) as well as an original from his newest album in production.  So long story short, you have a super-sized cavalcade of Big Words Video Bonus clips to watch and choose from this month.  I will also say (hint, hint) that there has NEVER been a better time to SUBSCRIBE FREE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on YouTube.  Being a member has special and secret-handshake like advantages.  Here are the FIRST 5 (hint, hint) clips:

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 14: ‘Facetious’

October 24, 2015
Publicity Still for Episode 14 by producer Richard Wicka.

Publicity Still for Episode 14 by producer Richard Wicka.

Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, we had to do a last-minute guest shuffle for Episode 14.  Luckily, veteran Buffalo comedian Tyrone Maclin was already on the boards for June and he was available.  He’s a consumate professional, evidenced by the fact that he agreed to come on the show the day before the studio taping after getting a tooth root pulled and going something like 3 days with no sleep.  I was impressed!  He was a great guy to meet, really funny, and he’s at the heart of the entire comedy scene that’s in full swing right now in the region.  Co-host Henry Gale was our wild card, and he did a great job with that role.  Enough yakking though, here’s the episode:

Thanks are in order to Tyrone, Henry and producer Richard Wicka for inviting this insanity into his home and his studio on a monthly basis.  Please take the time to Like and Subscribe to The Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on Youtube for updates on new shows, bonus clips and other exclusive content!  I’ve got a rigorous shooting schedule for the next month, so you’ll hear from me a lot sooner than you think.  Musical legend Alison Pipitone is coming up in less than two weeks!

Excelsior!

Tom

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Big Words Video 14.5: ‘Unrequited’

October 24, 2015

If it were up to me, I would never film another Bonus clip at The Home Of The Future again.  It wasn’t my intention to buy a $400 camera just to film more footage from the same location.  That being said, guest Tyrone Maclin and I were both behind the 8-ball, so I went with a behind-the-scenes conversation we had at the round table right before Episode 14 started rolling.  Tyrone shows his softer, more vulnerable side as he talks about a fresh breakup at the end of one of the worst days of his life.  Please take a moment (ON YOUTUBE) to Like and Subscribe to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel (ON YOUTUBE) for notifications on new shows, bonus clips and anything else I can fill the channel with!

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Frank Miller Can Blow Me! (from Mockery, 2011 Doubt It Publishing)

October 6, 2015
Miller takes another payday from DC Comics for this fall's upcoming mini-series The Dark Knight III: The Master Race.

Miller takes another payday from DC Comics for this fall’s upcoming mini-series The Dark Knight III: The Master Race.

Author’s Note: ‘*Fill-In-The-Blank* Can Blow Me’ was a regular column (and for all I know, still is) at Acid Logic, the site I’ve written and contributed to since the early 2000’s.  So I was trying to write for that format. With the pre-release controversy machine already gearing up for The Dark Knight III: Master Race, I figured this’d be a good time to post the following click-bait.  First-time visitor to the site?  Then please feel free to Like, Subscribe and stick around for awhile!  -Tom

Originally appeared on AcidLogic.com on August 1st, 2008.

Frank Miller can toss my salad and gargle with the creamed corn. Every one of his ‘great works’ is going downhill at the speed of sound the longer he keeps coming out with new projects. And by projects, I mean the realm of film that he’s somehow blown his own way into.

I love Batman, but I’m not touching the new All Star Batman compilation by Miller with a ten foot pole. My comics retailer told me to buy it and that I’d hate it. Why in the fuck would I buy some piece of garbage for thirty dollars knowing full well that it was going to upset me? Apparently, Miller takes his disgust for the franchise that made him the overly-compromised whore he is today and ‘turns the series on it’s ear’ by ‘shifting the paradigm’. Those phrases are about as original as anything he’s done in the last fifteen years, so they felt warranted.

Frank Miller has lost his motherfucking mind. The Dark Knight Strikes Back had an uninspired title, poor computer generated artwork and a storyline that was more brass balls than character arc. It was a sad, pale imitation of it’s predecessor. I’ve explained these books in full detail many times over, so you’re not getting a synopsis here because I’m too fired up.

In his old age, he’s become a paranoid delusional maniac with a full tilt delusion of grandeur. Sin City the ‘film’ may be a wet dream for frat boys and tough guys, but it didn’t carry over well onto celluloid. 300 was such an obnoxious case study in slow-motion overuse that I wanted to drive out to Hollywood and smack the director in the face with my dick. After giving him the ‘mushroom bruce’, I’d walk over to Frank Miller’s house, where he could commence to blowing my ‘soup can’ of a cock.

Sin City (the black and white graphic novel series) wasn’t really that hot, either. Take every pathetic dime store novel stereotype you’ve ever read, suck the ingenuity that a great crime novelist like Chandler or Hammett would infuse the story with, fuck that story in the ass, water it down some more, give it some ‘hardcore’ balls-out abstract artistic leanings in the panels, take a steaming shot between seven or so perfect bound collections, smear your taint-cheese right at the anti-climactic stupidity of each interconnected ‘story’ in this city, and you have something that resembles a grade school-serial-killer in training’s circle jerk session with a cat he just tortured and drowned in a barrel of lye. Over-rated tripe.

And now, this Christmas, Miller takes the director’s chair a second time to torture the world by fucking up the very spirit of Will Eisner’s Spirit. How fucking dare you, Frank. Climb a chair, slip through a noose and take your own life. Is that too harsh? Too goddamned bad. You’re embarrassing yourself and the rest of the comic enthusiast macrocosm in tinsel town. The last ten years of your artistic life have been a pathetic, flaccid facsimile of your former glory.

You’ve peaked. Call it day. Hang up your hat, kick off your shoes and go home. I don’t like you anymore. My friend doesn’t like you either. Rip that line from Star Wars and work it into the next sequel that you whore yourself out for with DC, you little bitch! Ooh, but you make me mad!

Many writers write their best work before they become financially successful. You’re obviously on the other end of that spectrum. Trust me, I’m not jealous. I make decent money doing what I do, I have leverage where it matters and at the end of the day I sleep on a bed of residual and commission cash (from freelancing and books) with a woman who has (and always will have) the ass of a 16 year old cheerleading captain in Catholic school. Both of these factors give me enough werewithal and gumption to write another twenty books, each one successively better than the next.

Dark Knight Returns is looked upon as one of the most important comic legends in the history of the medium right up there with Alan Moore’s The Watchmen. Alan Moore continues to break every mold and genre he’s compared to while ever-striving to grow the collective audience for the artistic field. Miller continues to back himself into a corner like a half-wit obsessively slapping his own flimsy prick up against a corner.

Batman: Year One is the template upon which Batman Begins was drawn from, and for good reason. Daredevil: Elektra changed my life and the lives of many others with it’s gritty artwork (also drawn by Miller) and it’s haunting ruminations on unrequited love and the prospect of one-time resurrection. After that, Miller has been going downhill faster than Barrack Obama in a soap box derby cotton gin on wheels. He’s done. Finished. Washed up, whored out and stretched to the point of being worse than a contract soap opera writer. If you could travel back in time and see how inspiring and original and ground-breaking you were, you’d climb a clock tower, install a diving board and then jack-knife onto the concrete fifty feet below.

Listen, Frank. If you can’t strive to improve with each literary or cinematic outing, then you’re done. Throw in the towel. Drop your pencils, your word processor, your agent, and then I’ll drop my pants and stuff all seven and a half inches of my ‘babie’s arm holding an apple’ into the back of your tonsils. What’s the smartest thing that ever came out of Frank Miller’s mouth? My dick.

-Yeah, I stole that joke. Just writing about Miller makes me a derivative hack, too, so I’m stopping now to invest my creative energies into something infinitely more satisfying than meditations on a nobody. You fucked up, Miller. Now wipe the spunk of your chin and go away.

Tom ‘Brazilian wax’ Waters

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Like A Yo-Yo-ing Hole In The Head

October 1, 2015

I lose what little sanity I have left every time I’m behind the wheel.

Ten years ago I got a speeding ticket for going 55 in a 30 past a police station. My bad. I’m thankful for that though, because I learned in the mandated driver safety course that police only target motorists who speed in excess of 11 miles over the limit. From that point forward I’ve driven ten miles over the posted limit, no more, no less. Life is too short to go 30 miles an hour and I really wish everyone would incorporate this philosophy into their subroutine. As a result, I’ve become more aggressive when driving than I was to begin with, and I was pretty angry before that particular ticket (which is not to be confused with the citation
I got for going 50 through a 30 mph school zone in the summer).

I scream at people in front of me knowing full well that they can’t hear me. I have entire one-sided dialogues with them whether they know it or not. I get that from my mother, who (fortunately for everyone else on the road including passing deer) retired from driving fifteen years ago after a long and illustrious career of vehicle-totaling mishaps that were usually her fault. If I’m stuck behind a slowpoke for five minutes I will pass them out of spite and give them the ‘Thumbs Up’ gesture when we make eye contact. Giving people the middle finger when driving is now officially passe’. It is no longer fashionable. I was a passenger in someone’s car when they gave a neighboring driver the Thumbs Up and loved it instantaneously. It’s insulting, sarcastic and really conveys your dissatisfaction in the quality of their ability to operate a motor vehicle. Shaking your head at people in disgust is good too, but you have to make sure that they see you doing it. I usually pair my Thumbs Up by verbally telling them (or mouthing the words) ‘You’re doing a great job!’ I don’t have road rage. I have road psychosis. I am not a patient man, even less so when I’m trying to get somewhere in an expedient manner, which just so happens to be all of the time.

We’ve all taken the same permit test when we were kids so we’re all on the same page with the notion that the fast lane is located in the left hand lane. That’s an established rule of infrastructure, right? As a result, I am infuriated by anyone’s flagrant violation of this rule. Same thing with turning signals. We all have them. We all know what they do. So fucking USE them. And try using them for longer than a quick blink right before you turn. I blow my top when people are going under the speed limit and cars to the right of me are lapping us. I don’t have any desire to street race or show off my car’s ability (or inability) to go from 0-60 in five seconds, but again, ten miles over the speed limit is legally acceptable, so why wouldn’t you do THAT? These three things short circuit my brain. I flip my shit. I lose my mind.

What’s really challenging for me these days is self-censoring my automotive hate speech in real time for my son. He’s at an age now where he repeats everything he hears and that’s no bueno. All it took was one blasphemous obscenity parroted from the back baby seat before I started making a concerted effort to alter my snappy insults for an All Ages Audience.

‘Move it, F&$K-face!’

-has turned into:

‘Move it, Yo-Yo!’

and:

‘Real nice, you @$%&*!#ing c*&%$#-s#%&ing m@#$%er-@#$%!’

-has been replaced with:

‘I need to get to work, Yo-Yo!’

That is my new go-to when Little Pitcher is strapped into his miniature regulation seat behind me. The last thing I need is reports from Day Care or (even worse) his mother that he’s demonstrating and reciting a College-Level swearing proficiency. I need that like a yo-yo-ing hole in the head.
There’s a small risk that what I’m about to say is controversial, but I’m going to say it anyway. If you’re over the age of 60 and you can’t drive the speed limit, use your blinker or remain within the clearly marked boundaries of any one lane while puttering forward in a straight line, do the rest of us a favor in three easy steps:

1. Pull over to the side of the road.
2. Dig a shallow hole.
3. Climb into it.

Again, that may not be the most politically correct viewpoint, but it’s mine and I’m going to own it. Old people should get the Ever-Loving Yo-Yo off the road. Most of them. And stay off. Furthermore, if you’re going to buy a Buick, be the one person who doesn’t perfectly illustrate the stereotype. Drive faster than 32 miles an hour during rush hour traffic. Use your turning signal to tip fellow travelers off to the fact that you’re going to cut through three separate lanes because you forgot where your poop doctor was located until the last minute. Buy some sunglasses that don’t make you look like Cyclops from the X-Men. That’d be a good start. Or if you don’t fit this demographic, buy a Buick and prove me wrong.

Navigating traffic is a combination of simple math and prejudgement for me. If one lane out of two has forty cars to my immediate front, I glide into the other lane. Statistically, more cars equals more people driving slower than Mr. Magoo on Quaaludes, so the lane with the least cars is least likely to contain idiots. Or more likely to contain less idiots. The fast lane isn’t always fast, and it’s less likely to be fast if there are forty cars ahead of you. If I see a school bus, a garbage truck, a Buick with a miniature mummified corpse operating it, an F150 truck with a short bald guy driving it or especially a minivan (a vehicle and subculture of driver I’ve written about at great length elsewhere) I get into the other lane.

Does everyone with an F150 truck have a quarter inch cock or just the guys? Why does every gargantuan ginormous truck owner have to be a four foot bald man packing a shriveled and flaccid Vienna sausage? Why is that? The simple answer is overcompensation, and the simplest solution is typically the correct one. I see more F150s in Buffalo than you would reasonably expect and it makes no sense. I have never seen anyone in Buffalo using their oversized truck to scale the side of a majestic mountain like they do in the commercials. I have never seen anyone in Buffalo hauling half a forest full of logs in their sterling silver flatbed. I have never spotted a ‘Hemi’-powered vehicle maneuvering through a mud-caked field in some grand off-roading excursion adventure getaway.

What purpose does it serve to drive a gas guzzling behemoth? Is your pee-pee so small that you can’t bear to leave the house unless you negotiate a step-stool or repel into the cavernous cab of a truck? Do you have so much disposable income that you need a higher monthly payment on the vehicle that gets you from Point A to Point B? Do you enjoy hanging out at the gas pump so much that you need an excuse to be there more often because your motorized carriage flash-fries fossil fuels? I’m not a carbon footprint worry wart, but show me any practicality behind that buying decision because I can’t find it. Why is it always a tiny bald guy with a chip on his shoulder driving a truck or a silver-haired septuagenarian hunched over the wheel of a Buick? That’s either brilliant marketing on the part of automotive manufacturers in targeting their core demographic or a case of life imitating stereotypes.

I’m not a ‘car’ guy at all. I have a visual deficiency whereby they all look like boxes to me. Literally. I couldn’t tell you a make or model by looking at it to save my life. They are mostly steel carriages that transport us from one spot to another in my mind, no more, no less. They are holes that we dump money into until they reach the point where they’re more expensive to repair than they are to replace. That’s it. I don’t even wash my car anymore. I used to take it to the car wash once a year when I got my tax return, but I don’t even do that anymore. It’s not that important. Passengers have pointed out that I need to clean the inside of my windshield due to excessive tar buildup and I quit smoking a year ago. I cannot change my own engine oil. I have no interest in learning how. I’ve seen the steps leading up to changing a tire, their sequence and the reasons behind them, but probably couldn’t do that either if the scenario presented itself.

The last time I popped a flat, my girlfriend came over and changed it for me. This is how inconsequential cars are to me. So I don’t grasp how many grown men have created a culture out of classic cars, muscle cars, souping up their cars, souping up their sound systems, racing their cars, working on their cars in their garages and so on and so forth. One of my best friends is a car guy. He even works at a car dealership. We never talk about it. On the occasions that it crops up in conversation, my brain glazes over or taps out until he pulls me back into it. I cannot identify a piston, a carburetor or a flux capacitor in a lineup. I don’t know what they do, nor do I care. We’re from two different worlds, but we still get along. It would probably make for a good sitcom pilot that no one would ever watch.

I’m trying to become a better person, but my driving persona will be the last aspect of my psyche to get an overhaul. All of my worst character defects are on full display like a dashboard hula girl with Tourette’s. Presently, I’ll take a partial progress grade of Thumbs Up.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode 13: ‘Auteur’

September 24, 2015
Big Words Video 13 Publicity Still by Producer Richard Wicka.

Big Words Video 13 Publicity Still by Producer Richard Wicka.

At the end of Season One, I came to the shocking conclusion that (out of 12 episodes), I only had one female guest on.  That didn’t make sense, because there are a lot of talented women in and around Buffalo. We’re going to make up for that in the next three months starting with writer/director Rhonda Parker, whose first feature length film Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends really won me over with its wit, wisdom and pure heart.  Co-Host Terry Kimmel got a return ticket into the Co Host Hot Seat and all was right with the world.  I’ve done away with the roman numerals for the second year of the show not because I can’t count past twelve, but in order  make it easier to find on YouTube.  Here’s the new show:

Thanks are in order to Rhonda, Mark, Terry and as always producer Richard Wicka.  As always, please take the time to Like, Share, Favorite, Retweet, +1, etc. for the show.  Entertainment does not exist in a vacuum.  I’ll see you next week, right here with a brand new rant!

Don’t you dare touch that dial.

Tom

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Big Words Video 13.5: ‘Amalgamation’

September 24, 2015

Terry Kimmel helmed the camera for this particular Big Words Video bonus.  The resulting clip is a kinder, gentler interview with Rhonda Parker and her husband Mark about their filmmaking process, the balance between work and art and everything in between.  Please take a moment to SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart CHANNEL on YouTube for updates on new shows, bonus clips and other assorted silliness!

Special thanks to Terry for enduring my abuse not once, not twice, but thrice thus far.  Say that five times fast.

-Tom

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Big Words Video @Wing Fest 2015

September 7, 2015

The show has a brief history of poor camerawork in the field.  These two clips are further illustration of same.  I spent the day at Buffalo Wing Fest with two of the Mikes that I know.  While my Sony PJ340 is so easy a child could operate it, unfortunately, I did not have a small child on hand to operate the camera.  Two of the four clips we staged were salvaged while the other two clips, were, technically speaking, never recorded.  We did have a great time at Wing Fest.  One of these days I’ll have a series of pretty, competent clips for an event I’m at in a Press-Like capacity.  Today wasn’t the day.  Thanks are in order to Wing King Drew Cerza for the comp passes.  We’ll do better next time.  Possibly.

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Broken Toys

September 1, 2015

If you could somehow corral all my exes into a small stadium, you’d have enough crazy to power the Eastern Seaboard. Realistically, you wouldn’t even need a small stadium. I’m not that much of a stud. You could shoehorn all the participants of my romantic career into a small kitchen. Too sexist? Okay, a studio apartment. It would be a dangerous endeavor, because odds are that if you threw them all into one room, they’d eviscerate each other by lunchtime. My love life has been a lightning rod for psychosis, rage, irrational behavior and flat-out silliness. No less than four of the women I’ve been with had diagnosed mental illnesses either before, during or after our relationship. Someone told me once that ‘Hurt people hurt people’. I prefer to say that the damaged manage to find the damaged. I actually never said that until the previous sentence. I have a profound appreciation for the female race, but somehow I always draw whack jobs.

I firmly believe that there’s a wide chasm between the people you attract and the people you’re attracted to. Occasionally both categories converge, but that’s a statistical rarity. Admittedly, I am attracted to the erratic, the illogical and those who have simply gone around the bend a long time ago. My little brother likes to say “Crazy in the head, crazy in bed.” He’s right. Sex is seldom mechanical or clinical when you spend your time with women who are “a little off.” That’s being too generous. Let’s go with “totally fucking nuts.”

In my 39 years, I’ve dated a stripper, a massage therapist, no less than two former Catholic schoolgirls (who, to my great regret, did NOT hang onto their uniforms), an actress, a deejay, two nurses, a former Playboy Club employee, a marathon runner, a witch, two poets, at least two women with daddy issues, two women with mommy issues, a self-styled hippie, a philosophy instructor and a girl who had a collection of porcelain fairies. No less than three of the aforementioned were bisexuals. I will also gladly go on the record by saying that I will never date a poetess again because their brand of crazy far exceeds any other classification, genus or subspecies of the female race. I can’t really tell you approximately how many women I’ve been with because I stopped counting after eight, which was around the turn of the century. I suppose I was grateful that eight separate women took their clothes off for me and let me do things to them, and assumed that anyone else who wound up with me henceforth was gravy. So let’s just say that I’m in the low double digits for those of you keeping score at home.

To their defense, I freely admit that I have issues. I’m bipolar, I’m a Scorpio and I’m actively enrolled in recovery. Any one of those red flags would fall effortlessly into the category of ‘high maintenance’. The upside to this is that most of my subjects graduate to Muses (or, depending on your point of view or the girlfriend, comic relief) during our time together, so they reap the unintentional benefit of being written about. The downside to this is that (long after the pairing is terminated by either party) I will continue to write about the aforementioned subject long after we’re together, and it probably won’t be in a positive light depending on the conclusion or loose end we left off on. With my objective point of view, I can assure you that the end of every relationship has been the other person’s fault. Moving on, then. Not all women are attracted to me, but the ones who are tend to fall pretty hard. I had to break up with one in therapy and yet another sought inpatient treatment after our relationship concluded. Still another (rumor has it) became a lesbian after I broke up with her. I am neither proud nor ashamed of that. Good for her, though!

I’m not very good in a relationship. It’s safe to say that there’s plenty of room for improvement. Like, well, ALL men, I expend an inordinate amount of energy into the initial chase and capture and lose momentum and/or interest on the follow through. Guys (at least every guy I’ve ever known) are all about the conquest and after that, they lose interest. It could be a biological imperative, genetic encoding, Nature V. Nurture, or it could just be that most men are assholes. I will not dispute that I’m an asshole. It’s fortunate that women fall for assholes.

I wasn’t always an asshole. Like most assholes, I began life as a nice guy, and morphed into an asshole after slowly and systematically having my soul and spirit crushed by women in something that resembled a co-dependent particle collider. I do have a deeply rooted sense of romanticism and chivalry but there are multiple tectonic surface layers of assholery that have to be excavated before reaching that soft candy center.

Most of the women that I’ve been with are not the types of women that you bring home to mom. Quite the opposite, in point of fact. They have been a special breed of wrong, being impulsive, pierced, experimental, daring, exhibitionistic, well-outfitted and highly sexual. All of these traits harvest large net gains in the bedroom. Using an investment portfolio as a metaphor, there is no profit to be had over the long term, though. However, life was never boring with the majority of these girls. Thunderous sex and calamitous fights I can work with. The aforementioned is much more interesting than, say, a stable, healthy relationship with minimum peaks and valleys.

Now that I’m coming out of a five year marriage which was part and parcel of a ten year relationship, I wonder if I will sustain the same classification of woman not if but when I get involved with someone again. I’ve changed and grown emotionally in the last ten years, so perhaps the sort of girl that I wind up with next will be different. Perhaps not. I married the woman I married because she was an exact opposite of virtually every woman I’d ever been with. On the surface, she appeared to be sensible, logical and practical. This translated into an incredibly boring human being and an even more boring partner. Trust me when I say I’m not speaking out of bitterness but rather as an assessment in relation to my other subjects. In the end, it turned out that she was crazier than almost all of them after the relationship rather than during it.

Unfortunately, I am back on the meat market after ten years with no experience in the field. Times have changed, women have changed with those times and dating rituals may be different. As I approach forty, I’m faced with two options: 1.) Date someone younger in an effort to deliberately pick up where I left off emotionally ten years ago and also to avoid very real baggage or 2.) Date someone my own age and get used to dealing with, carrying and encountering great goddamned airports full of very real, very dog-eared, demolished and weathered baggage. I’m bringing quite a bit of my own to the table. I am now a proud single dad, divorcee and actively enrolled in recovery. And there’s that pesky Scorpio thing, if you actually subscribe to astrology.

By some quirk of fate, I’ve leap-frogged into a stratus of women (based on a cursory glance at *Popular Dating App*) that contains cat lovers (possibly multiple cats) who have never been married, early adopters to the stereotypical old maid (also rumored to be cat lovers), women who put their careers first before worrying about starting a family who missed the deadline, bible nuts who can’t find a date in their flock, soccer moms, angry divorcees, women who have something seriously wrong with them under the surface and as a result have never had a long-term interaction with the opposite sex and the dangerously young who are obviously supplementing their steady diet of daddy issues.

Full Discloser: I own one cat.

Fuller Disclosure: He’s also an asshole.

These are dangerous demographics, to be sure, but if history is any indicator, I should be able to cull the crazy out of that flock with relative ease and grace. Do I still pine for a dysfunctional pairing? I suppose on some level I do. Would I like to find out or am I even capable of a healthy, fulfilling, meaningful relationship? The Magic 8 Ball informs me that it’s ‘Highly Unlikely’. I’m drawn to interesting women, and to some extent (as a creative person), I’ve always gravitated towards creative partners.

Today is the first day of the rest of my love life. Note to self: buy a new pair of handcuffs.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode XI: ‘Mulligan’

August 28, 2015
Big Words Video XI Publicity Still by Producer Richard Wicka.

Big Words Video XI Publicity Still by Producer Richard Wicka.

Buffalo’s a small city, and when you’re an artistic type, you tend to bump into the same people over and over as the years shuffle onward.  Public Editor-In-Chief Geoff Kelly and I have been friends for going on fifteen years now, and I’m glad we keep seeing each other.  He was a solid guest, he’s a great journalist and this episode was one year and two shoots into the making.  We originally shot the show in June only to find out that we lost it because of a sound problem.  Geoff was good enough to circle back yesterday for another attempt.  Producer Richard Wicka implemented a new lighting system to his Home Of The Future that gives the show a very crisp look rolling into the second season, Mike P. brought a dry sensibility in the Co Host Hot Seat, and of course, there’s the moustache.  Thanks are in order to Geoff, Richard, Mike and also Brian Platter for recording a new rendition of Jay Desiderio’s original theme music for the show.  Please be kind enough to Like, Share, Subscribe, Favorite, Retweet, +1 or whatever the hell else it is that the kids are doing on their social medias these days!  I’ll see you next week with a brand new rant right here!

Tom

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Big Words Video 11.5: ‘Subversive’

August 28, 2015

This was a clip I spent an entire day grappling with.  Geoff and I had the idea to turn the camera around and aim a few questions at the wise-cracking host who relentlessly roasts all of his guests.  The results were less than flattering, but in the interest of fairness, I ran with it.  See for yourself.  And while you’re at it, please SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on Youtube for new shows, updates and other miscellany as it develops.  The show’s got a really strong roster this year.  I hope you’ll join me on the journey.

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‘Genetically Mortified’ from the upcoming book Travesty

August 3, 2015

I have lost the will to cook.

Now that I’m single again, I don’t have the initiative to prepare, cook and serve full meals. It doesn’t really make sense to me. I used to watch cooking shows morning, noon and night, research recipes and conjure up my own concoctions. There’s no point now. It’s very tough to cook for just one person, so I don’t. When I have my son, I somehow summon the willpower to make one of the four foods that he’s willing to eat (he’s difficult to please, which he subsequently gets from his mother), but the rest of the time my dinner could either be starch and grease out of a bag or a handful of potato chips and half of a flat diet soda.
I’m not sure if I was ever a ‘Foodie’ because I don’t know what that term means, aside from being a pleasant euphemism for ‘Morbidly Obese People Who Can Afford Rich & Exotic Foodstuffs’. ‘Foodie’ is a popular identifier for many, and I think it implies that someone is well-traveled when it comes to cuisine, or that they take extra care and caution to select only the finest ingredients for their palate. Everyone I know who identifies with the term Foodie is 347 pounds, with the singular exception of Food Network Host Giada Delaurentis, who looks like either a lit Jack-O-Lantern or a grinning jackal depending on the quality of the lighting.

I can identify more with being a glutton, which is an extrapolation of being a middle child. I grew up during dinner time with the knowledge that if I didn’t eat quickly, the food might be gone. As a result of this, I usually eat as if there’s a timed countdown and/or a gun to my head. Sometimes I chew. I remember reading a biography about John Lennon and learning that he went through a phase of chewing everything 37 or 38 times before swallowing in an effort to metabolize and fully taste the food while he was eating. I don’t have time for that nonsense.

These days my diet (like most of my life) has been oversimplified. I eat supermarket muffins every morning because that’s one less choice to make when I get up in the morning. For lunch, I consume two pounds of cold cuts making man-sized sandwiches with half a bottle of mustard per sandwich and a slice of cheese for each side of white bread. The guys at work make fun of me for preparing sandwiches of Dagwood proportions, but this is what I feel sandwiches should be. Dinner is my wild card. A great majority of the time I buy bagged rice meals (which contain 3000% of my weekly sodium intake, which is a relief because the salt licks I was relying on have really skyrocketed in recent years due to salt lick speculation in the stock market). The bagged rice meals are often on sale 10 for $10. So that’s about a dollar a week for dinner and a dollar per breakfast by my calculations (carrying the one squared and cubed).

Once a week (minimum), I eat 20 chicken wings for dinner. I’ve been doing that since I was 17. Every week. Depending on what part of the country you live in, they’re known as either ‘Buffalo Wings’ (which isn’t even a thing that exists in reality), ‘Party Wings’ (not sure how that term originated) or ‘Hot Wings’ (which at least makes sense). I typically order wings that are termed ‘Suicide’, ‘Death’, ‘Extra Extra Extra Hot’, or wings accompanied by an asterisked disclaimer advising you to stock toilet paper in your freezer for later that day as well as a silver bullet, Do Not Resuscitate paperwork and a crucifix over the toilet. I’m very fortunate in that I have a digestive system akin to a Billy goat, meaning that I can gnaw on tin cans for fun and profit in my spare time. Actually, it just means that I’ve been grazing on ‘Hot Wings’ for over twenty years now and I still don’t know what heartburn feels like. Trust me when I say that that’s the one positive gene trait I inherited.

I’m at the point with fast food and genetically modified foods where I don’t want to know more than I already do. If I read one more thing about pink goo being injected into reconstituted chicken tenders or wheat that’s sprayed with cancer in a test tube, I feel like I’ll reach a tipping point where I’ll be forced to make a major lifestyle change, and I’m entirely too lazy for that. After stumbling onto a few articles about the organic food movement and about how many non-food stuffs go into a to-go bag, I really don’t want to learn any more. Perhaps my hamburger is hosed off with aborted fetuses before sitting under a heat lamp for a month and then being passed through the drive-through window by a teenager who rinsed his hands in the slop bucket where E. Coli was born and originated from, but ignorance is bliss as far as I’m concerned. And from what I’ve learned about diet sodas, I could be dead before I finish writing this essay.

My diet is deplorable, but that’s an upgrade from downright godawful. I suppose I’m old enough to accept that moderation is not even moderately anywhere near or on my dinner table and that I tried the whole meat vs. carbs Battle For The Belt and I like them too much to root for just one. At my current rate of progress, I should be growing my own bean sprouts and filtering my drinking water through an old gym sock in approximately 128 more years. Fortunately, I practice a habanero hot sauce cleanse once a week. Rectally.

You’re welcome for the visual,
Tom Waters

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The Real Greg Sterlace Show #86

August 2, 2015
Publicity still by producer Richard Wicka.

Publicity still by producer Richard Wicka.

Since Greg and I haven’t had a heated verbal quarry in quite some time (last August, to be precise) and since Greg is coming out with a book about Beatles books (Having Read The Book), it seemed like a good excuse to circle back and spend some time with my pal.  While Big Words Video is more of an exercise in controlled comedy, Greg’s show culture is decidedly more…chaotic.  Every episode feels like there’s a party going on and you’ve got a bird’s eye view of the crucial cocktail scene where someone makes a pivotal faux pas.  I was chewing on a really horrible topical joke that I was going to save for my own show later this month and decided to just drop the bomb on Greg’s lap.  Watch the show for yourself and you can decide which joke that might be:

I’ve been chasing my own deadline all week writing a new rant for this Monday (tomorrow) and making my rounds around town, so it was a hectic few days.  Thanks to Greg for never disappointing, producer Richard Wicka for enabling and supporting the both of us and the rest of the supporting cast of characters (old and new) who round out the party.  I’m sure you’ll see the both of us pair up again real soon…

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Milkie’s On Elmwood: ‘Pull The Other One’

July 30, 2015

Since it’s been awhile (and since I’m at the halfway point where it’s been 3 months since my last reading and 3 months out from the next one), I decided to upload a clip from the Reading & Signing I did last April at Milkie’s On Elmwood in Buffalo on YouTube.  It’s a short rant (‘Pull The Other One’) from my upcoming book Travesty about the Mayan Apocolypse that was supposed to happen in 2012.  We had so much fun that I booked another reading this Fall.  So, without further adeau, let’s roll that clip!:

You may be tired of hearing me say this, but please to Like & Share on YouTube!

I’ll have a brand new essay right here this Monday, so don’t touch that dial!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode XII: ‘Prodigal’ w/Tom Sartori

July 24, 2015
Publicity still for Big Words Video XII by producer Richard Wicka

Publicity still for Big Words Video XII by producer Richard Wicka

Now that we’re eleven (technically twelve, although one never aired) episodes out, the future for Big Words I Know By Heart looks pretty bright and I can honestly say that I’m really proud of the guests and the shows we did for Season One.  Episode XII with Tom Sartori was a sterling example of the quality, comedy and out-of-the-box interview format I’ve been striving toward.  There was only one problem: Sartori is a really, really nice guy, so I had to go a little easy on him.  This episode signals a new record for the show, having garnished over 100 unique Views in less than 24 hours!  Thanks are in order to Tom Sartori for taking a blind leap of faith and coming onto the show, co-host Brian Faulise for handling his co-hosting duties like a champ and (as always), a heartfelt thank you to producer Richard Wicka for allowing me to barrel into his studio like a bull in a china shop once a month rearranging everything, almost setting the house on fire occassionally, spilling drinks and not putting things back where I found them.  This was a really great episode in a long line of them.  I can’t wait to show you what we have in store for Year Two, but my lips are sealed.

Please take the time to ‘Like’ & ‘Share’ this episode on Youtube and don’t forget to Subscribe for FREE to The Big Words I Know By Heart Channel!

Enjoy,

Tom

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Big Words Video Bonus 12.5: ‘Resonance’ and 12.6: ‘Harmonious

July 24, 2015

We were very fortunate to have producer Richard Wicka’s sound board to plug into for these bonus clips.  The sound that resulted from these sessions is far better than what I could have pulled off with my Sony PJ340.  Sartori’s rendition of Joshua Kadison’s ‘Jessie’ as well as his performance of his own composition ‘This Dream Is On Me’ (previously unreleased!) wer a one-two punch that will give me chills for the foreseeable future.  It was a great way to close out Season One of #BigWordsVideo.  There’s a lot in store for next year, so stay tuned and if you want to receive regular updates when new shows and Bonus clips hit the official Big Words I Know By Heart Channel, then for godsakes SUBSCRIBE for free right now!  I’ll see you all in about a week right here for a brand spanking new essay!

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‘Wardrobe Malfunction’ goes live on BuffaloComedy.com!

June 4, 2015
The artist as a very poorly dressed child.

The artist as a very poorly dressed child.

I’m not going to lie to you, my writing in sobriety has been challenging.  That, or I’ve written about such a variety of topics from so many different angles that I tend to overthink a theme to death while I’m writing it now.  I really want Travesty to be as close to perfect as it can be before it’s out.  ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’, however, was a fast ditty that was written off the top of my head in one sitting and it was a lot of fun.  There’s plenty to add on to, and in this case I’ll probably noodle around with it before it finds its place inside the book.  This essay is a quick burst intended to make you laugh.  That’s it.  I hope it serves its purpose.  Check it out right here:

Wardrobe Malfunction

I hope you like it.  Between Big Words Video and then chasing deadline a week later with Buffalo Comedy, I could use a break.  Talk to you all next month.

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart X: ‘The Hot Dog Dance’

June 2, 2015

Before producer Richard Wicka and I even started filming the webisodes last August, I booked all of my guests for the first season of the show in an effort to keep the guests balanced and ensure that the show got off to a strong start.  Jon Elston (Episode I) recommended poet and playwright Justin Karcher as someone who would work as a guest for the show and Karcher certainly didn’t disappoint.

Publicity still for Big Words Video X by Richard Wicka.  Pictured (clockwise): Waters, Justin Karcher and co-host Pete.

Publicity still for Big Words Video X by Richard Wicka. Pictured (clockwise): Waters, Justin Karcher and co-host Pete.

Having never met Karcher before, I had no idea what to expect.  While researching the show I was struck by the amount of published work he’d amassed and the distinctive voice he’d forged as a poet.  He’s a very genuine person in a world where sincerity is in short supply.  We had a great time during the filming and a few long discussions before and after the show.  This episode marks a slight departure from the early format of blindsiding guests without giving them much of a breather between questions.  The show is evolving into a goofy comedy show with some very candid responses and a very real organic back and forth.  So ten episodes in, Big Words Video is beginning to grow up a little.  I have a four year plan for this show and I’m very proud of how it’s gone so far.  I hope you feel the same way after watching a few episodes.  You can view Episode X: ‘The Hot Dog Dance’ right HERE:

Please take the time to ‘Like’ the show on YouTube as well as ‘Sharing’ it on any of your various social networking platforms and apps.  Thanks are in order to Justin for delivering on his mystique, Pete for coming to the table with some research of his own and of course producer Richard Wicka for letting me run around his studio like a bull in a china shop.

I’ve been excited about next month’s guest since August, but why spoil the surprise now?

We’ll see you on the other side of the screen in a month,

Tom

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‘Aqua Vita’ goes live on BuffaloComedy.com

May 6, 2015

Aqua Vita

This was more of a traditional rant that just flew out onto the page when I was writing it.  After the small, silly controversy that ‘Cosmopolitan Cop Out’ caused last month on BuffaloComedy.com, I decided to follow up with a harmless, silly little ditty about a time-honored subject that I’ve covered dozens of times: dentistry.

Check out the new essay here:  Aqua Vita

Please give it a Read, give it a ‘Like’, ‘Favorite’, ‘Retweet’ or any other number of sharing and liking functionality on whichever social media you’re navigating at the time.

As part of a larger whole, Travesty is well on the way to completion as a book clocking in at around 170 pages.  The body of work that the book represents thus far is well-rounded, concise and should be a pretty damned entertaining read if I do say so myself.  I’m not going to put this book out until it’s just about perfect, but we’re on target for April of 2016.  It’s been a long wait for this book, but it’ll be worth it.

Talk to you soon.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode IX: ‘Woman Of Many Hats’

April 10, 2015

Publicity Still for Episode IX by Richard Wicka

This is really shaping up to be a solid first season!  I had novelist and longtime pal Diane Meholick (Switch In Time, Painting Katherine, Buffalo Stories) booked for Episode IX and she did not disappoint.  She’s charming, charismatic, funny and extremely talented and she made for a dynamite guest on the show.  Our banter was natural, the flow of the show was spot on and Co-Host Diabetes Dave’s deadpan cynical sense of humor rounded out this installment nicely.  Here is your synopsis:

Tom and novelist Diane Meholick discuss time travel, tossed salads and the federal deficit.  Diabetes Dave takes the brunt of Tom’s abuse.

Thanks are in order to producer Richard Wicka, the lovely and talented Diane Meholick and Diabetes Dave for another solid episode.  Kindly SUBSCRIBE to the show to receive free updates when new episodes hit and dont forget to ‘Like’ the video and ‘Share’ on all of your social media platforms and devices!  There are a lot of laughs packed into this episode, so don’t miss out!

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Thoughts On The Big Words Video Bonus

April 10, 2015

Before producer Richard Wicka and I even started filming the video installments for Big Words I Know By Heart for YouTube and Time Warner Cable, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do with each show and even for the next four years with the show.  I thought it would be neat to have a companion clip for every studio episode to showcase each guest’s talents and balance out the comedic insanity of each episode with a bonus clip.  For the first eight episodes I really didn’t have the technology (or the equipment) to implement something like that outside of the studio.  Now I do.

Before we filmed the studio show (a week before Episode IX) novelist Diane Meholick and I met at her home in Niagara Falls to film some super-sized compendium clips with exerpts from all of her books.  As a result, there are not one, not two, but THREE segments that compliment Episode IX.  You can view them all below.  As always, please take a second to ‘Like’ & ‘Share’ the videos.  If you’d like to receive updates when new episodes come out you can SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube account and even SUBSCRIBE to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel.  Enjoy!

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‘Cosmopolitan Cop Out’ appearing on BuffaloComedy.com!

April 6, 2015

Cosmopolitan Cop OutMy writing process is changing.  That, or I’m raising my expectations for what I demand from myself as a writer.  Between the challenge of writing new material and editor Kristy Rock’s criteria that all submissions remain positive, it’s been a new kind of endurance contest.  ‘Cosmopolitan Cop Out’ is a perfect example of this.  I actually started writing this essay from scratch….three different times.  I think another component of this is that I’ve written so many essays for so many years that I can picture about a thousand different directions, slants or angles to every theme before I start writing it.  Whatever the case may be, I’m pretty happy with the way ‘Cosmo’ turned out.  It’s a rumination on spending time in the ACTUAL city of Buffalo, along with a recognition that those of us in the suburbs identify with the city even though we don’t actually live in the city.  I’ll shut up and let you read it for yourself, though:

Cosmopolitan Cop Out

As per usual, kindly take an extra minute to ‘Like’, ‘Share’, ‘Retweet’, ‘+1’ or whatever the preferred mode is for the 42 different social networking platforms for sharing and liking what you see.

It’s a damned busy week for this guy!  The new rant dropped today, there’s a new webisode of Big Words I Know By Heart rolling out this Wednesday on ‘the YouTubes’, The Clarence Sun will be running an interview with Yours Truly that editor Alicia Greco conducted and on Sunday I’ll be doing a Reading & Signing at Milkie’s On Elmwood from 2-4 p.m.  Whew!  You’ll hear more from me as the week plays out.  I hope you like the new rant!

Excelsior!

Tom

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VIII: ‘Tomahonky’

March 24, 2015

image

Just when I think we’ve pushed the envelope as far as it can go, we manage to go that little bit further.  This episode of Big Words I Know By Heart was an absolute delight and easily the most offensive show yet.  While I try to home in on one topical joke for every show, there was a glaring hot button issue that was screaming to be made fun of.  If you’re a Buffalonian (or perhaps, even on a national level), you know what I’m talking about.  We went there and we kept going there.  Standup comic Jameel Key was a great guest to have and Rob B. rounded out the trifecta nicely.  Enough gabbing though, here’s the show:

Please take the time to ‘Like’ the show on YouTube and if you want, you can Subscribe to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel for free and get updates whenever a new show hits!

Thanks are in order to Jameel Key, Rob B. and producer Richard Wicka for another great show.  Science Fiction author Diane Meholick is on deck for the next thrilling installment in April!

Seeya soon,

Tom

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Big Words Video 8.5: ‘Deconstruction’

March 24, 2015

Before we shot the Bonus Clip as a companion for the show episode, Jameel and I talked about the evolution of a joke in relation to doing standup; where it starts, how it opens on stage and where it ends up. For the video, Co-Host Rob B. delivers the probing question and Jameel Key does a damn good job of explaining his process:

Please take the time to Subscribe to the Big Words I Know By Heart Channel on Youtube and take an extra moment to give it a Like or Share on all of your 58 social networking apparatus.  I will be phasing out my multimedia blitz going into Season Two of the show in August, so if you would like automatic updates a free subscription is the way to do it.

Thanks again to Jameel and Rob for blocking out the time in the studio.  You’ll be seeing me very soon for Episode IX!

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‘It’s All About The Benjamin’ goes live on BuffaloComedy.com

March 2, 2015

It's All About The Benjamin

Writing Travesty has been entirely too much fun so far!  And the more I think about it, the more I would prefer to let the book’s release slip to 2016 rather than rush publication.  We’ll see how the year plays out, though.  I’ve been approaching my writing and, by extension, the release of any future books from an entirely different perspective.  I don’t want to rush books anymore.  I don’t want to cut corners or shove a second draft out.

Anyway, the latest essay (‘It’s All About The Benjamin’) went live on BuffaloComedy.com this morning.  It’s a categorical humor essay about early parenting.  It went through about four different drafts and re-writes before I was happy with it, but I’m pretty proud of the finished product.  If you’re a parent, you’ll really enjoy this one.  Even if you’re not, there are a lot of laughs per sentence here:

It’s All About The Benjamin

I was reluctant to go back to the well so soon where being a single dad was concerned, but after putting some thought into it, I reached the decision that ‘Write What You Know’ overrides any other factors in play.  This essay was originally 6 or 7 rules and kept building until it reached 10.  There’s not a lot of fat on this piece.  I tried to write (and re-write) it efficiently without a lot of extraneous exposition.  I hope you like it.

Please take an extra minute to give it a FB Like, a Retweet or a ‘Share’ on any of your various social networking.  I’m happy to share some of my works in progress for free and this is a small way that you can return the kindness.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VII: ‘Lady Business’

February 4, 2015
The one and only 'Dr. Dirty', John Valby.

The one and only ‘Dr. Dirty’, John Valby.

It’s no surprise that John Valby was the perfect guest for my show format.  He’s a talented man with a foul mouth who’s never compromised his art and he’s always given the public what they want: more dirt!  Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VII was a joy to do.  Valby was on the Big Words Radio podcast back in ’09 and this was a nice extension of that interview.  What amazed me about Valby was just how much everyone in Buffalo loves him.  Across the board.  Leading up to the show, every single person that I talked to had a positive Valby story to impart.  He’s one of a kind and we’re lucky to have him.  Enough yakking though, here’s the episode:

If you like the show, please take an extra second to ‘Like’ it on YouTube and feel free to Share the link with your friends.  Going one step further, I now have a ‘Big Words I Know By Heart’ CHANNEL on my account (Tom Waters) with the entire history of the show (Bonuses and all) in chronological order.  If you enjoy the show, why not subscribe?

Thanks are in order to Mr. Valby, co-host Lee-Lee and as always, producer Richard Wicka at the Home Of The Future studios.  Season One of Big Words Video is now over halfway complete and it’s just going to get better from here!  Thanks for watching, thanks for sharing and stay tuned, folks!

Tom Waters

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Big Words Video 7.5: ‘Parody’

February 4, 2015

I’ve worked very hard to make the Big Words Video bonus segments more like bookends or complementary segments to the interview shows.  Now that the technology has been upgraded, Big Words Video 7.5 may be the last segment to be filmed on location at The Home Of The Future studios in Buffalo.  At any rate, this clip was a very special one.  Seeing John Valby at ease behind a keyboard and warming up before he launches into a litany of obscenities was really something special.  Here it is:

Please take the time to ‘Like’ the clip and ‘Share’ with all your friend.  In addition, I would encourage you to Subscribe to my YouTube page, where I’ve set up a Big Words I Know By Heart channel in chronological order for everyone’s convenience with all of the episodes thus far along with their matching Bonus clips.  Enjoy!

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‘Time Served’ Goes Live on BuffaloComedy.com

February 2, 2015

Time ServedAs you can probably guess from the accompanying picture, it was finally time to write about my divorce.  Sometimes I write to vent, sometimes I write just to laugh and once in awhile, I write as the only cathartic and therapeutic way to process a turbulent life event that I’ve gone through emotionally.  I’m sure you can guess which category this essay falls into.

There were a lot of avenues I could have taken when writing about my divorce and in the end I decided to touch down on all of them instead of dwelling on any aspect specifically.  With all of the Buffalo Comedy pieces I’ve fallen into a routine of giving each essay one last look-through and one more edit before it’s ready for prime time, so to speak.  You can be the judge, jury and executioner on the final product:

http://buffalocomedy.com/2015/02/time-served/

If you read it and like it, please take an extra minute to ‘Like’ it on the dashboard at the bottom OR ‘Share’ on your networking platforms.  This was a really important writing exercise that I had to work through and while I’m never positive that any edit is perfect, I’m pretty happy with the finished product.

‘Time Served’ will eventually appear in my upcoming book Travesty.  The book is already halfway done, but I’m making a concerted effort not to rush it so the publication date might just slip to 2016.  Thanks are in order to Buffalo Comedy editor Kristy Rock for navigating through my neurotic emails and appeasing my silly whims throughout each submission process.  Now it’s time to go to work on the next one.

Tom Waters

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Big Words Video @The 2014 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards!

January 24, 2015

On Wednesday this week (January 21st), Night Life Publisher Ed Honeck celebrated his birthday.  The Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards also took place at The Cove in Depew, having been rescheduled due to the Winter Blast or whatever the hell you want to call it that took place last November.  Thanks entirely to Ed (and our long, long, very long history together), Big Words Video had the exclusive rights to the Music & Club Awards.  I was less than happy with the results.

The ceremony and the shows were fantastic.  The artists, performers and bands who volunteered their time so that we could interview them were great.  My co-host Timmy C. was on point as I expected him to be.  The lighting was deplorable, though.  This month I upgraded to a new camera for the new and improved Big Words One Man Mobile Unit (a term you might remember from the podcasting days of yore).  I didn’t get familiar or comfortable with the camera before we started shooting with it.  So in the final analysis, the blame rests on my shoulders.  What we’re left with here is a shoddy end product.  Clips 1-3 are passable by amateur video standards and 4 and 5 are just downright awful where lighting is concerned.

I spent the better part of a day uploading, tagging and scripting the clips and grappled with whether or not I should post them for the public at all and the decision I came to was this: post the videos warts and all.  Big Words Radio went through the same growing pains in 2008 so it shouldn’t have come as any surprise that I went through the same thing again.  I didn’t learn from history so I was doomed to repeat it, end of story.  I’ll do better next time, sound good?

Here’s your breakdown for the clips which were uploaded in chronological order:

Clip 1: Lana from Black Widow

Clip 2: Jack McArdle from 12 Pack Jack

Clip 3: Vid from Nerds Gone Wild

Clip 4: Busted Stuff

Clip 5: Tommy Z. & Damone Johnson

I owe a huge debt of thanks to Ed Honeck, all of the artists who participated and the staff and proprietors of The Cove for giving us free reign throughout the building.  If there’s one thing I realized at the awards it was that I’ve been out of the game for so long that I don’t recognize most (if any) of the newer players in the Buffalo music industry.  Black Widow is an institution.  Tommy Z. is an institution.  Busted Stuff just took home their 6th award in a row and I’ve loved 12 Pack Jack since the first time I saw them at Double D’s Queen City Grill some 7 years ago.  Get the picture?

Big Words Video will be back for the next ceremony for more clips, more guests and a better battle plan.  As for these five videos, please take the time to Like & Share as always.  If you really want to be my best friend, ‘Subscribe’ and keep yourself up to date with all things #BigWordsVideo.  And yes, we came for the buffet.

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Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VI: Reanimating Dead Flesh

January 14, 2015

Publicity still courtesy of Richard WickaThese sessions are getting to be TOO much fun!  As I told guest Emil Novak after taping the show, I can tell my guest was great when there are still a handful of questions left on the table.  Emil was a real prize fighter; a good sport with a great sense of humor who rolled with the punches.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode VI: ‘Reanimating Dead Flesh’

Tom talks to Buffalo producer and jack of all trades Emil Novak Sr. (Buffalo Nickel Productions, Queen City Books) about the impending release of his film ‘Frankenstein’s Patchwork Monster’, a new idea for a syndicated strip and the technological probability of resuscitating dead flesh.  Mark McElligott gets the works in the Co-Host Hot Seat.

You can view Episode VI right HERE:

Please take a moment to Like the video & Share it!

Thanks are in order to producer Richard Wicka, Emil, actor Bill Kennedy for bringing Big Words Video 6.5 (below) to life and returning champion Mark McElligott for being on the receiving end of all my abuse.

#BigWordsVideo will be at the Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards next week, so I’ll talk to you all real soon!

Tom

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2015 Reading & Signing Announced April 12th @Milkie’s On Elmwood!

January 7, 2015

In the midst of implementing my overall plan for 2015, I’ve spent a few weeks working with Ed Becher, the booking agent for Milkie’s On Elmwood.  After a volley of emails and phone calls, we finally scheduled, booked and confirmed a date and time for my first reading and signing of the year.  Here are the details:

Book Reading & Signing w/local humor author Tom Waters Sunday, April 12th 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Milkie’s On Elmwood 522 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo

(716)882-5881 Admission is free.

Signed first edition books available from $15.

I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about Milkie’s lately.  It’s refreshing to discover so many new businesses in the city who are open to ‘out of the box’ promotions as well as supporting local artists.  This is an event that I’m really looking forward to.  With a four month lead time, I hope you all have time to join me!

As far as Icarus On The Mend: Memoirs Of A Manic Depressive goes, I am over the tipping point on the limited print run of special edition hardcovers sold.  There are now less than 25 copies available for sale.  Hopefully I will still have some copies on hand for the Milkie’s reading.  If you are interested in a signed hardcover and would like one beforehand, I can be reached at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

That’s all for today.  I’m sure I’ll be booking some other readings this year, but Milkie’s may be the only reading I commit to before autumn arrives.

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New Year, New Deal

January 1, 2015

2015 is going to be an exciting year for me as well as my company, Doubt It Publishing. For the first time in my life I have a solid battle plan as well as the means to implement it. My vision for the next year in a nutshell is this: Expanding the legacy I have and preserving it at the same time. While some of you may argue that ‘legacy’ is too strong a word, let me proactively counter by saying that every one of us leaves a legacy in our wake either intentionally or unintentionally. If I’m being optimistic, I’ve still got half of a lifetime left. I’d like to make it count. What follows is a specific outline of my plans for the radio show, the video show, my own bibliography and a possible catalog for Doubt It Publishing in the coming year:

I don’t want to lose what I’ve already accomplished. Discovering that The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour had gone offline and off the grid on iTunes (as a direct result of the website Mevio closing their doors) really stung. To date, I’ve ported the 100+ episodes of Big Words Radio twice to two different websites. The process is arduous and time intensive. I really didn’t want to see the show disappear forever from public view. Thankfully (as a result of my renewed passion for reading), I stumbled onto a website that will hopefully never go away. It’s a non-profit project to preserve the best of the internet for generations to come encompassing audio, text and video. Think of it as a PBS for the information age.

The website I’m referring to is the Internet Archive. I’ve been secretly and quietly uploading episodes of The Big Words I Know By Heart Radio Hour chronologically and placing them there in what I hope is their final resting place. They’ve been uploaded under a Public Domain license, which means that anyone who reaches my shows can listen if they like, share with whomever they like or download the shows for free. Episode V was just uploaded yesterday, and I’ll continue to post the entire catalog as the year plays out. You can view, listen and download the current shows available here:

The Big Words I Know By Heart RadioHour

For your convenience, I’m also posting a Quick Link on my website here to the RIGHT of this article. If you listen or download, please take the time to write a brief review of the episodes you peruse.

As for Big Words Video, there are some amazing shows in store for you all and they are all confirmed and booked through to the very end of 2015. Filmmaker and comic book proprietor Emil Novak (Queen City Bookstore) will be my guest in two weeks. Who else is coming on? ‘Dr. Dirty’ himself John Valby, Graham Nolan (the comic creator of Batman’s Bane), Public publisher Geoff Kelly and possibly Tom Sartori, to name just a few. I’ve learned from producing four years of the radio show that it’s a smart move to plan ahead, always have a backup plan and always be prepared. Filming the show (as opposed to interviewing guests over the phone or via Skype) has forced me to give the content more of a local focus. There is a wellspring of talented writers, comedians, musicians and other entertainers with no sign of drying out, and I will continue to help celebrate the homegrown talent we have on hand locally and regionally until further notice.

Big Words Video Episode I: ‘Hang In There, Baby!’ has already passed the 400 view mark on YouTube and from what I’m seeing, it looks like the show keeps picking up new viewers with every episode. Not only that, but the people who watch appear to be cycling back through the other shows as well. Later this month I’ll be exclusively filming on location at the 2014 Buffalo Night Life Music & Club Awards, and with more equipment and a looser leash on Youtube just around the corner, you can expect to see a marked increase in show production in late August when Big Words Video kicks off Season Two. In the meantime, you can support the show by ‘Liking’ and ‘Sharing’ it on Youtube as well as Subscribing to my YouTube Videos (bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com) for the Bonus Episodes as well as my producer’s (Richard Wicka). It’s been a great deal of fun so far and it’s just going to get better.

As for my books, I own all publishing rights to the last 8 out of the 12 books that I’ve penned since 2002. There’s a larger plan for that too, but I don’t know if I’ll have the time or the resources to get around to that particular wrinkle. As a reluctant and late adopter to the digital revolution, I am hard at work designing multi-format ebooks for my entire catalog. I can’t give you an exact date because I want to make sure that it’s done right (and some editing may be applied to each individual title before they go live), but I can promise you that by year’s end, Mockery and no less than one other title from the Doubt It Publishing roster will be available on iBooks, Kindle format and all other ebook devices.

As far as BuffaloComedy.com, my alliance with editor Kristy Rock will continue until at least October of this year. The freedom I’ve been allowed on the site to write, do and say as I please has been much-needed, and it’s a comfort to know that my sense of humor is still intact after weathering one of the most tumultuous times in my life. Her only request was one for positivity, and that single instruction has helped to drastically change my writing, which is directly coloring the content to Travesty, my next book.

Regarding Travesty’s completion, there is less than a third of the book left to pen. That being said, I am in no hurry, and it will not be released until it is near-perfect. After writing 12 books and releasing 15 in the short span of 11 years, I sincerely feel that I don’t have anything to prove anymore, and should subsequently relax and take my time with any future endeavors. Travesty may come out later this year or early next year. Unfortunately I can’t be any more specific than that. It will come out when it’s ready.

With Doubt It Publishing, I’m reminded of the near-inescapable fate that many independent music and book publishers eventually reach. If history is any indicator, I may be doomed to a catalog that largely shares my last name. I wish this wasn’t so, and will try to do what I can to combat it. The doors are still wide open for local or regional authors looking to find a home for their work. I am going to put on my thinking cap this year and try to find some viable writing talents with fresh and subversive voices fighting for the chance to be heard. If you or someone you know has written a great manuscript that has a fighting chance in a competitive marketplace, queries and sample chapters can be sent to my attention at:

bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com

Where readings and signings are concerned there will be more, plain and simple. The last two readings were successful financially, so it would be foolish not to continue. Once the winter months recede, you can count on me hitting the road with a PA system, a few boxes full of books and a bicycle horn. Now that I’m older I don’t see the benefit of booking three and four appearances a week for three month campaigns anymore, but I’ll be picking and choosing some select venues and peppering them throughout the summer and fall.

This is a remarkable time in my life and I’m grateful for the cornucopia of opportunities (and mediums) I have to channel all of my creative needs. As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the trip with me.

Starting 2015 with a bang,
Tom

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Big Words Video Episode V: ‘Love Stocking’

December 19, 2014

Big Words Video V Publicity Shot

Yikes!

Some times when I finish a show I wonder if I’ve gone too far for the sake of envelope-pushing comedy.  I try to create a microcosm where political correctness not only doesn’t exist, but a world where it never happened in the first place.  I come from the school of Don Rickles, Lenny Bruce and yes, Andrew Dice Clay, where you should be able to make fun of anyone at any time for any thing for the sake of a good laugh.  So in the end, I hope the answer is that I’ve gone ‘just far enough’.

With that out of the way, Big Words Video V was a rollicking riot with dynamic duo Busted Stuff and old pal Buffalo Charlie in the co-host hot seat.  Here is your synopsis:

Big Words I Know By Heart Episode V: ‘Love Stocking’Tom talks to 4-time Buffalo Music Award-Winning Duo Busted Stuff about the gift of divorce, Harvey Weinstein, Kwanza and the square root of a bucket of ass.

Here is Episode V:

 

I would like to think by this point that most viewers are indoctrinated into this brand of humor.  If not, too bad.  Thanks are in order to Dave and Cynthia for dodging all of the interview shrapnel laid at their feet, Buffalo Charlie for weathering out the Big Words Poltergeist and to Producer Richard Wicka for tolerating my never-ending seat rearrangements in the studio.

As always, please take the time to Watch, Like & Share on YouTube.  Also, please take the time to watch Busted Stuff’s amazing performance in the bonus episode, Big Words Video 5.5 (link right below this post).

I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday no matter what that holiday may be!  I’ll talk to you all in a month, maybe sooner…

Merry Xmas,

Tom

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Striking Gold At The WNY Book & Arts Center

December 7, 2014

The Book Reading & Signing today at the WNY Book & Arts Center was something of a fourth quarter Hail Mary.  Is that an appropriate sports metaphor?  I certainly don’t know.  At any rate, attendance wasn’t looking too good from the outset, but a really nice crowd showed up from Amherst, Depew, Lancaster and Buffalo proper, and not only that, they showed up with money!  I’m very grateful to have readers who know that the best way to support local, living authors is with their wallets.  I’m a happy camper after this particular reading, and I certainly wouldn’t mind circling back to WNYBAC again some day.  After two readings in two months, though, this old dog is tired.  That’s it for the live promotions for a little while, at least.  Maybe I’ll see you all on the front lines sometime in the spring.  In the meantime, here’s a clip from today’s 2 hour marathon reading.  Thanks are in order to Rosemarie Williams at WNYBAC as well as all of you who came near and far to see me.  As far as the YouTubes go, you’ll see me (not the other way around) in less than two weeks!

Sharing the Buffalove (ugh…),

Tom Waters

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‘Unplugged’ (an excerpt from the upcoming book Travesty) is up on BuffaloComedy.Com!

December 2, 2014

Three months ago, when Buffalo Comedy Editor Kristy Rock and I were in discussions about my coming on board, she told me that she wanted positive material. For those of you who have followed my writing for any length of time, this is a tall order. So far I’m enjoying the challenge, and it’s actually changing the content for the back half of Travesty, the collection I’m working on right now. My partnership with Buffalo Comedy is something I’m committing to for at least a year, and so at least on my end, I’ve been very pleased with our relationship.  I’ve had good experiences with Buffalo publications as well as bad ones and so far this one falls under the ‘Good’ heading.  Kristy has been professional, helpful and she’s always followed through with her end of the bargain, so she’s aces in my book.

This month starts off with ‘Unplugged’, an essay about willfully reducing my exposure to television. I was concerned that the piece wasn’t funny enough to fit the parameters of the site, but Kristy passed it with flying colors. I often approach writing an essay from two different angles; sometimes I focus on the message primarily, and other times I focus on the humor. In rewrites, I work on finding a balance between the two, but occasionally humor doesn’t ‘fit’ with the overall theme. None of this is here or there, though, and I abhor those who spend more time explaining what their work is about than the elapsed time it takes to appreciate it, so I’ll let you judge for yourself. Feel free to read ‘Unplugged’ right here:

http://buffalocomedy.com/2014/12/unplugged

Please take the time to ‘Like’ ‘Unplugged’ on Facebook, ‘Share’ and of course ‘Retweet’ on Twitter as well as your five dozen other social media outlets. Like Buffalo Comedy says, ‘Sharing Is Caring’. My hope is that you’ll be able to see a bigger picture at the end of these twelve essays. I’ve changed, and so has my writing along with it. That’s enough naval gazing for one day, though. Enjoy!

Thanks,
Tom

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Polar Vortex! ‘McKinley’s & Mad Hamburgers’ from Slapstick & Superego (2009, Doubt It Publishing

November 18, 2014

For those of you who braved the elements last night and made it out to Hot Mama’s Canteen for the book reading and signing, a great time was had by all.  A big thanks goes out to everyone at Hot Mama’s for making it happen.  I will definitely do another one down the road.  Their ‘Navajo’ wings alone are reason enough for a return trip, and it was one of the friendliest venues I’ve ever dealt with in terms of bookings.

For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a rant from last night.  Please take the time to Watch, Like & Share!  Enjoy:

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