Special Relativity

The Day I Sacrificed My Dignity to Get Alex Borstein an Emmy

My #Emmy4Alex costume, v1If you’ve ever visited this blog before, or in any way socially interacted with me in the last two months, or found yourself on my block during the designated 45 minutes a day during which I yell it out of my apartment window, you know that Alex Borstein stars in my radio comedy Special Relativity (which you can listen to here, subscribe to/write a fawning review of in iTunes here or donate $6 for six more episodes here).

I adore Alex’s performance like a groundhog adores ground (as I’ve mentioned before), and if there were some award for it I could help her win, I would. I even signed her name to my proof of the Riemann Hypothesis so that she could be awarded a Fields Medal, but the committee saw through my ploy, possibly because my equations were written on a tray liner from Rally’s. So instead I turned my attention to scoring Alex another prize she most definitely deserves: an Emmy nomination for her performance as nurse Dawn Forchette in the superb HBO comedy Getting On.

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“All Sound and Comedy”

Special Relativity - A Radio Comedy Starring Alex Borstein

I’ve been strangely quiet on these pages about  since it premiered, especially considering that for months I wouldn’t shut up about it. I guess now that it’s out in the world I’ve been too busy being terrified about it — not terrified that people will hate it, but terrified that its existence won’t even register in people’s brains long enough for them to hate it. Because I know that if people take 24 minutes to listen to the first episode, they can’t possibly hate it. I will now tell you how I know.

See, the great irony of being a scriptwriter is that, if you’re lucky enough for your idea to actually become a finished show, it’s almost always kind of disappointing. That’s because the final product can never live up to what you envisioned as you created it. But in my almost 20-year career, the first episode of Special Relativity is the only project I’ve worked on — in radio, TV, games, theater, anything — that came out better than I imagined. It’s better than what I’d been hearing in my head for years.

For that I have to give the credit to the cast, whose performances are so good that I would’ve had to willfully sabotaged the editing to make a bad show. I’m listing their names again here, because every one of them is pitch-perfect: Alex Borstein, Dee Bradley Baker, James Urbaniak, Ted Travelstead, Alyssa Potter, Andréa Moser, and Tom X. Chao. I want people to hear the show because it’s a felony to let those performances go to waste.

There’s a moment in the final scene which I won’t spoil but which when you hear you’ll feel a click in your brain, just like I did. That click comes from Alex Borstein’s effortless performance, suddenly not able to efface itself anymore, reaching over and closing that circuit in your consciousness that only electrifies when you’ve just experienced a tour de force. Don’t you want to hear that?

Well, I guess I like the show, because I just typed four paragraphs when I’d only intended to write a three-sentence set-up for a link to its review in the Los Angeles Times. Remarkably, the paper’s TV critic Robert Lloyd selected Special Relativity as a TV pick last week, despite it not being on TV or even having any pictures. He calls it “all sound and comedy… filled with evocative scenes and memorable characters, and of course praises its “crackerjack cast.” “Please, may I have some more?” he asks. I sure hope so.

Here’s What We’ll be Listening to at Tonight’s Premiere of Special Relativity

No, not the show. I mean, a few dozen people will be listening to the show at the premiere tonight. And it’s better than I ever hoped. But if you don’t know how to sneak through the magic bookcase behind which the premiere is being held, you have to wait until tomorrow to hear it. (Keep an eye on Special Relativity Radio .com).

To tide you over, and to prove that if I could I’d shove you right through that bookcase, here’s the music we’ll be listening to at the party. It’s a Spotify playlist I put together with a pretty obvious theme.

Special Relativity Premieres April 15, 2015

My radio comedy Special Relativity 1Starring Alex Borstein, Dee Bradley Baker, James Urbaniak, and Ted Travlestead! has an official release date: April 15, 2015 at Special Relativity Radio .com. To work yourself into a froth of anticipation while you’re waiting, adorn your phone or computer with one of the show’s beautiful wallpapers perfect for installing on every terminal in your office while your coworkers are at lunch. Previews below, full-size versions available on the official site.

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1. Starring Alex Borstein, Dee Bradley Baker, James Urbaniak, and Ted Travlestead!

Special Relativity Has a New BFF

Special Relativity - A Radio Comedy

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My radio show Special Relativity already has a cast, but now it has a new BFF and mascot, the chrono-weed. What’s the chrono-weed? I’m not telling. But I will tell you that it’s beautifully illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi, whose lovely drawings you’ll soon see on SpecialRelativityRadio.com.

Oh, and since the show now has a logo and web site, it’s now promoting itself. Literally. It made the image below all by itself. I found a print-out of it on my face when I woke up this morning. Please share it, or who knows what I’ll find on my face tomorrow morning.

Meet the Stars of My New Web-Radio Series SPECIAL RELATIVITY

I’ve been hinting for weeks that my web-radio series Special Relativity would have an incredible cast. Today, with my groin all a-tingle, I can introduce the people telling the story of the most evil woman on Earth traveling back in time and kidnapping her younger self to foil her own plan to destroy the Universe. Please meet the stars of Special Relativity:

Alex Borstein Starring as Nox, the most evil woman on Earth,


Alex has spent the last 13 seasons at one of the most continually popular shows on TV, voicing Lois Griffin on Family Guy. She also leads the cast of the truly exceptional HBO comedy Getting On. Despite of all that, she’s of course most famous for the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers episode “Bloom of Doom.”

Vulva Man

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I’m Unemployed, But I Still Pay the Artists Who Work With Me. Why Can’t This Hollywood Mogul?

photo by https://www.flickr.com/people/vagueonthehow/ target="_blank">vagueontheshow
photo © vagueonthehow

The Internet it buzzes this morning about a “bootleg James Bond” video by producer Adi Shankar, creator of other “fan” videos based on copyright properties, including a Power Rangers homage/parody/rip-off that’s garnered 18 million play-presses. The premise for “James Bond: In Service of Nothing” actually sounds fascinating for a committed pan-media Bond-liker such as me: 1I do, after all, even have a 007 tag on my blog. a retired 007 struggles to figure out how to live when he no longer has to kill. I don’t know if the short lives up to the premise, though, because it’s already been yoinked from YouTube due to a (valid) copyright complaint from MGM.

But that doesn’t matter, because I’m less interested in Adi Shankar’s movie than I am in something he said to Deadline Hollywood while promoting it:

[Shankar] said it was done mainly with all volunteer work, favors and an animation collective. He said the costs were minimal. “When people are passionate about something, they just want to do it,” he told Deadline. “These are the same models that these digital artists are doing. They are doing things for the collective good.”

Adi not only didn’t pay the artists who worked on his movie, he also thinks asking people to work for free for his betterment is a legitimate business model.

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1. I do, after all, even have a 007 tag on my blog.