(DaRK PaRTY is addicted to Ironic Times – one the funniest fake news sites on the Web. Ironic Times displays headlines of the day and then deadpans with a snide aside as commentary. You get gut-busting humor like: BUSH SAYS IRAQ STRAINING NATION'S PSYCHE (Also, his limited ability to absorb facts) or BUSH POLL RATINGS SOAR AMONG EVANGELICALS (Over 75% approve of how he's leading us toward Armageddon). Ironic Times is the brainchild of three LA-based comedy writers: Larry Arnstein, Matt Neuman and Lane Sarasohn. Matt was kind enough to take time out of his busy day of ridiculing the status quo to answer questions for DaRK PaRTY).
DaRK PaRTY: Ironic Times is one of those rare internet gems -- a site that makes you blow cola out of your mouth because you're laughing so damn hard that your co-workers think you've finally blown a gasket and oh, shit, here comes the boss better minimize the window so only those boring ass spread sheets are on the screen. For those DaRK PaRTY readers unfamiliar with that sensation can you give them a brief origin story?
Matt Neuman: Thanks for the kind words. Ironic Times is really an outgrowth of our previous work and a desire to keep doing what we've done for an awfully long time. To carbon date us, Lane was one of the minds behind Channel One (a video theater presentation he wrote and produced with Ken Shapiro - featuring Chevy Chase - in the sixties!) and the resultant movie, The Groove Tube. Larry and I have worked on a number of comedy shows, including Saturday Night Live. All three of us worked together on Not Necessarily the News on HBO. We've written for a variety of media, but mostly TV, and mostly satire. We've each won numerous Writers Guild awards, been nominated for multiple Emmys, and in 1975 I won an Alan King Comedy Award, the only year it was ever given out. I'm thinking Antiques Road Show.
DP: What do you, Larry and Lane do for day jobs? Do your co-workers read the Ironic Times and how does that go over?
Matt: Sadly, as writers, our day jobs are our night jobs. Writing is too lonely to have co-workers, outside of family, and they don't seem to mind. In fact, Larry's written a couple of very funny books with his son Zack, and they're working on another one. (They're available at the Ironic Times store.)
DP: How does the creative process work at the Ironic Times? Can you give us some insight into how an issue is written, edited and put together?
Matt: We comb the news all week, submit our jokes to each other, exchange notes -- all by email. Lane, the web designer among us, assembles a beta version Sunday and, after tweaking, preening and spell-checking, by Sunday night we've got an issue. We work on the principle that if a joke gets three 'yes' votes it's in. But majority rules in other cases. Consensus works when you trust your partners' instincts. The key to good collaboration is brutal honesty. Anything less allows mediocrity to creep in.
DP: What is irony? And why do Republicans seem to have so much of it?
Matt: I define it as a humorous way of illuminating the hypocrisy and stupidity around us. Republicans seem to have so much because they're in power. But they don't have a monopoly.
DP: The Ironic Times is based in LA. Will there be a movie? What will the cast look like and will there be snakes involved?
Matt: There will be a movie, but we're looking for someone to replace Tom Cruise (who we just brought in to replace Mel Gibson!) as the lead. We think we're set with Courtney Love in the female lead. And no, based on a poll of the ten million most visited blogs, we will not feature snakes.
Read our parody "When Children's Books Go Bad" here
Read 12 Valuable Lessons from Hollywood here
Labels: 5 Questions, Humor, Ironic Times, Matt Neuman