Author Topic: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me  (Read 9272 times)

Greggulator

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Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« on: November 01, 2013, 12:54:51 AM »
The Best Show really did change my life in a lot of ways.  I made so many lifelong friends and had so much fun being part of this wonderful, wonderful community. But I also learned a lot of lessons from Tom and The Best Show over the years. Here are some of them.

) DO THE WORK. 13 years is a long friggin' time. Tom put out on Twitter a few years ago general advice for people who want to do something creative for a living. Just put in the work and then work even harder. Tom said something once about how there's a bottom 10% of people in creative endeavors who are terrible. There's a 10% who are preternatural geniuses. Tom was in the the vast 80% in the middle. But out of that 80%, he could work harder and outhustle everyone. I think 13 years of amazing work (on top of all of his other projects) proves that.

2) USE WHAT YOU DO TO HELP OTHERS. I was listening to the show one day and Tom talked up our podcast. That was great. Then another time, he out of nowhere talked me up as a potential protege. I had never talked w/ Tom before, aside from a few Tweets. He really didn't have to do that. After that, so many wonderful opportunities opened up for me. I've managed to write a few things for The Classical. I don't think that happens without people knowing who I am because of Tom's generous comments.

That taught me a lesson. On top of Holding Court, I produced a comedy show in Philly called Bedtime Stories for a long time. I always made it a point to try and get new people on the show -- people who never tried comedy but wanted to, or newer comics I saw somewhere who I thought had a lot of potential. On HCP, I always tried to talk up people I know who do great work who deserved to have people elsewhere know about them. Anytime I was interviewed by someone about my creative work/comedy, I always tried to talk about other people who I liked a lot, too.

I don't have nearly the pulpit that The Best Show has. But I'll use what little spotlight I do have to try and help other talented people get some attention.

3) THIS DOESN'T JUST HAVE TO BE FOR LAUGHS. We all know about the WFMU fundraisers and how much work Tom puts into those. But it's more than that. Look at the outpouring of love we all have today. A legitimate community has formed because of The Best Show. I've met so many wonderful people from the show and have made some truly special friends. That's a magical thing. Creative work can spawn bigger communities. It might not happen all of the time but it's really possible.

4) CREATE A UNIVERSE. Bedtime Stories was great and a lot of fun. Every month, I came up with a theme and all of the acts -- sketches, videos, stand-up, songs, etc. -- had to connect to that theme.  But I always wanted to take it to another level, where everything existed within it's own weird universe. The Best Show did that better than anything else in comedy, save The Simpsons, w/ the Newbridge bits. I ended up producing two shows like that. I did a lot of sewing together so things flowed and connected. It was such an insane amount of work to figure that out. But I was really, really proud of how it was executed. This was SO DRAINING. I only had two of these shows in me, and they took place three months apart.

Think about that. Tom and Jon have been doing bits like this nearly every week FOR 13 YEARS! There are so many characters and callbacks and references. And this is in radio via a phone interview -- there are no visual cues or a live audience to pick up momentum from or anything like that. It's all about language and vocal delivery. That is completely bonkers to be able to churn out that level of work for that length of time.

But trying to establish a universe like that -- it's something that anyone who works in a creative medium should really try, because it elevates everything up a lot of levels.

5) JUGGALOS. 'Nuff said.

Thanks, Tom and Jon.
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Jason from Huntsville, AL

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2013, 12:53:41 PM »
One the wisest things I've ever heard said:

"You're allowed not to speak." - Tom Scharpling
"A Man Can Make a Dog Break Its Gaze." - Tom

Bryan

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 12:57:06 PM »
1) People like what they like. Don't get mad about other people's tastes. (I probably should have learned that one on my own, much earlier!)

2) ABBA is amazing.

3) Too many others to list.

not that clay

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2013, 06:42:02 PM »
"Not everything has to be homework."

fonpr

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2013, 08:04:47 PM »
Tip!


Technically I did tip in the past but I've bumped it up 5-10%.

Musically the Dirtbombs and Reigning Sound.

Oh, and Zach Galifianakis!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 04:11:07 PM by fonpr »
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MuttonChops

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 10:47:04 AM »
1. Mirth

2. Music

3. Mayhem

Thanks, Tom

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 01:59:49 PM »
Tom introduced or reintroduced me to so much good music: ABBA, Paul McCartney, J Dilla, Jay Reatard, DC Snipers, Spider Bags, GbV, Ted Leo, Wu-Tang Clan, Big Dipper, Love, Volcano Suns.  I knew a lot of it, even most of it, but he made me a fan.

He also made me considerably less pretentious.  Sometimes it's okay to just be entertaining.
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JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 03:51:38 PM »
It can't be all Crunch Berries.
"I'm riding the silence like John Cage up in this piece." -Tom Scharpling

nec13

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2013, 04:58:09 PM »
Yeah, there was a ridiculous amount of artists/bands that I came to love because of the Best Show: Faces/Small Faces, Big Star, GbV, Sabbath, The Monkees, The Clean, The Byrds, Jay Re-uh-tard, Reigning Sound, The Move, 13th Floor Elevators, Macca, Sir Douglas Quintet, Syl Johnson, Wipers, etc. Tom forever changed not only my tastes in humor, but my musical preferences as well.
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cavorting with nudists

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2013, 05:21:49 PM »
I don't remember when, but it was the show that made me a committed listener. Tom was talking to Z-Man, who was working on getting this puppet together. He was testing out Wally Wackiman's voice and was all humble about how his puppetry could never reach the heights of achievement represented by, say, Fozzie Bear.  Tom was all, "Listen, Z-Man, you've gotta get hungry. You've gotta take that puppet out and run laps with it. You stand in front of the mirror every morning and say 'Fozzie Bear is nothing. Fozzie Bear is garbage to us.'"

I have thought of this inspirational speech often in the practice of my painting, and it has helped. Thanks, Tom.
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bigoteetoe

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 10:59:34 PM »
1. Mirth

2. Music

3. Mayhem

Thanks, Tom
Strong first/onlypost
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mike a

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2013, 08:34:31 AM »
"Can't get around it.  Gotta go through it."

This mantra has put so many things in perspective.

nec13

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 10:57:21 AM »
"Can't get around it.  Gotta go through it."

This mantra has put so many things in perspective.

Tom really would be an excellent motivational speaker, if he ever decided to pursue that vocation.
Nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor.

Lothar_Brightblade

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2013, 02:09:16 PM »
"Do It" was the best advice I could have ever gotten at the place my life was at when that was the theme song. Having it pounded into my skull for a full year as a reminder helped get me on track after college.

Also, along the lines of Nec13 -- thanks so much for the music.
Ben from Cincinnati.

TheJimmer

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Re: Things Tom and The Best Show Taught Me
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2013, 05:47:56 PM »
I was given the "heave ho" on the show because I didn't bring it. I have worked on being able to bring it every single day since. Thanks Tom.