Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Winston Kidd

Your Mug of Woe story is about an “interesting” hotel in Washington D.C.  If that hotel was to host a conference, what type of conference would it be?

The World Pimping Convention. ·        

You do a lot of travel.  Tell us another unfortunate travel experience you had. 

I travelled to Superbowl 42 in Phoenix, AZ.  Had seats in the Giants end-zone.  That was really unfortunate.· 

You come home and find an extraterrestrial on your front porch.  What would be the first three questions you asked it?

  1. You can see that I am not a redneck, so you can put that thing away, right?
  2. Where did you park?
  3. Mind posing with me for my Facebook page?·       
The pic is the look on my face 2 seconds before being abducted by aliens.

Where can our readers find the comedy stylings of Winston Kidd? 

Follow me on my Facebook page, Winston Kidd.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Karen Webb

Thanks to contributor Karen Webb, Mug of Woe was in the Hopkinton Patch paper last week!  Stay tuned later on this week for another story about her in the Patch! 

Your Mug of Woe story is about your children.  Tell us a funny thing one of your children did recently. 

I found my son in the middle of the garden last summer standing in the middle of the sugar snap peas.  He’d look over his shoulder to see if anyone was looking and then snap off a few peapods and stuff them in his mouth.  I watched him for a few minutes doing this repetitively.  When I stepped out to catch him in the act, my husband grabbed my arm and asked “What the hell are you doing?”  I looked at him dumbfounded.  “He’s in the garden!”  My husband then pointed out to me: “He’s eating vegetables…and he thinks he’s getting away with it.”   Today, he still doesn’t know he got caught, and so when he’s grabbing cherry tomatoes off the plants or munches on the green beans this summer, I’m turning a blind eye.

You are also an independent filmmaker.  What is the funniest thing that even happened while you were making a film? 

When we were filming “Blazing Needles,” a short Western for the 48 Hour Film Festival Boston, we had the perfect opening:  blue sky with puffy clouds, vast land, a Sheriff in chaps on a beautiful horse riding across the field.  As the Sheriff and horse trotted near the camera, stopping on a small hill to look off into the distance (a perfect shot), the horse raised his tail and crapped.  As a filmmaker, you try to plan for all the contingencies, but that’s one I honestly didn’t think of.  Thankfully it was a comedy, and despite the several takes we took of that opening shot, we used the horse crapping version to rave reviews and hysterical laughter.
You come home and find an extraterrestrial on your front porch.  What would be the first three questions you asked it?  

The first question would be “Where do you want to go?”   The second question would be “What do you want for dinner?,” and the third would be “Where’s your laundry?”  Apparently my kids think all I do is drive them around, clean their clothes, and cook for them.  Why would a four-foot extra-terrestrial be any different than the four-foot monsters that live in my house?

Promote yourself:  Where can our readers find more of Karen Webb? 
I’ve been co-producing a documentary film on the Boston Red Sox and spirituality called “The Joy of Sox:  Weird Science & The Power of Intention.”  The film’s in final editing now, PBS has agreed to list it in its catalog, and we’re building our distribution plan.  I’ve won a few handfuls of screenwriting awards in the past year, and I’ve been working with my agent to try to place these with the right director/production company.  When I’m not doing the “film thing” (or driving my kids, doing laundry, or cooking,) I run a consulting company focused on providing strategic marketing services to high technology companies.  You can read more about my work at 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Seth Brown

What is your secret talent?
I was going to say rapping. People don't expect that from a geeky-looking white guy with a goatee, so when I get on stage and begin freestyling, people are often surprised. But after a lot of local performing, my release of a rap about cheese, and a rap music video about dungeons and dragons, maybe it's not a secret anymore. So perhaps my secret talent is playing the harmonica with my nose? But now I mentioned that too. Okay, I have another secret talent, and I'm not saying what it is.

You are required to move to a deserted island for one year.  You are allowed to take five items.  What do you take?
A long-lasting generator, a wireless modem, a computer, a shelter to protect it all, and someone else's credit card so I can order everything I need off of the Internet. What can I say, I'm a pragmatist.

 If a film studio was to do a movie on your life, what would it be titled?
"Seth's Success Seth's Success Seth's Success" -- Not that I've been very successful, I just like the idea of having a movie that nobody can pronounce.

Promote yourself:  Where can our readers find more of your writing and comedy?
I am at There you can find links to my humor column ("The Pun Also Rises"), my most recent book ("From God To Verse" -- a line-by-line translation of the Torah into rhyming couplets), my rap persona (Ham-STAR), and various other random things.

But all you have to remember is

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Charlie Hatton

You once lived in a house that had 30+ steps on the outside.  Did you receive regular death threats from delivery people?
Death threats would imply that the delivery folks actually bothered to lug packages all the way up our "Staircase O' Doom". Instead, we'd find parcels hucked halfway up the hill, or piled at the bottom. Often burned. Presumably in effigy.
As it happens, there were exactly 39 steps from street level to front door, which was kind of a cool literary reference. Though to be honest, I never read the book. Maybe if the house had been on the way to Mulberry Street or there was some kid with a giant peach living in the basement, I could have managed it.
On the bright side, I now Stairmaster at an eighth grade level. So that's something.

If there was a deity that handed out superpowers, what power would he/she give you? 
I've always assumed that any gods out there in the aether would only interact with us mortals to get a kick out of screwing with our heads. Either Greek mythology made a lasting impression on my childhood, or I've repressed much more bullying from the older kids than I care to consider.
Either way, I'd expect a superpower that seems tremendously helpful at first, but actually leads to the sort of hubristic hijinks that make Zeus upsnort his ambrosia in a fit of giggles. Like invisibility that doesn't include hair, or turning everything you touch into Wal-Mart store credit vouchers.
For me specifically, I think I'd be given the ability to read peoples' minds -- but only if I'm physically in contact with their heads. So unless I became a hairdresser or dental assistant or professional earlobe masseuse, it'd be essentially useless. Other than finding out what my wife's really thinking about while she's kissing me. And I do not want to go there. Because it's probably Wal-Mart store credit vouchers. Yow.

You mentioned in your bio that you do “smart, sophisticated comedy about life, language and the size of your naughty bits – not necessarily in that order.”  What daily factors control the order of those humor goldmines?
I think it's important to engage the audience on their terms. If I can use my personal experience to make a connection with a listener or reader or parole board member, that's a very genuine sort of interaction. So I share what I've known in 'life' to bond with people who've had similar experiences: clueless husbands, office doormats, incontinent pet owners, the socially hopeless. Cynics. Smartasses. Idiots.
My aim is to provide what the folks around me may relate with. This being Boston, there are an awful lot of bookish academic sorts who may appreciate a clever turn of phrase or amusing bit of wordplay between arguing over Neitzsche and building Lego robots on Saturday nights in their mothers' basements. Thus, 'language'.
To your actual question, it's pretty clear by now that none of those people I just mentioned are actually paying any attention to me. So if I want to wax poetic about the size of my enormous... ego, I'm free to do so. These days, I just flip a coin and go -- heads, it's gerunds; tails, it's genitals. If it rolls under the couch again, it's slice of life time. Simple.
(Of course, the 'naughty bits' angle does have its downside when you're playing your own crowd. My audience gets to laugh and point at me standing naked in the bathroom mirror. That'll suck the nuggets right up the old humor goldmine, let me tell you.)

Pimp yourself:  Where else can our readers find your work? 
I write regularly on my own personal site, Where the Hell Was I?, and mostly irregularly anywhere else I can get away with it.  At the moment, that includes a staff gig at Bugs & Cranks, where baseball humor rounds third and heads for home, and the Zolton Does Amazon prank article series over at If you're quick enough, you might also catch me Twitterpating.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Woeful Spotlight: Ben Lard

What exactly is fish water?

Something that is very hard to find on a Saturday morning.
We hear you just finished a novel. Can you tell us a tiny bit about it?

It's about the modeling industry in New York. I worked there as a model agent for several years, where I both saw and experienced a lot of interesting things. Some good and some otherwise. This novel was my way to get some of those experiences down on paper in a compelling way. My hope is that this book will pull back the curtain a little bit on an industry that is usually defined by its myths and misunderstandings.

What is the best compliment you have ever received?

Perhaps it was a little backhanded, but it was that I was honest.

If a genie suddenly said he'd grant you three wishes. What would they be?

Am I allowed to wish for more wishes?