Look at These Damn Shorts !

Every now and then I like to sweep out the attic and cough up old dust bunnies of shorts from over ten years ago. Some people are wise enough to bury their old work. I have to remind myself to get back onto the horse and make more fresh content. Also, to overcome a sense of demoralization. Sometimes you need a kick in the back of the pants.
The original short from 2007 generated for Daryl Gold’s Hard Liquor and Porn Comedy Festival was originally uploaded on my personal youtube account which has mostly home movies. It has over sixty thousand views. It would be great to import those views into this upload, were it possible. But frankly I look at many of these hastily made shorts and see only the flaws. Even though I have observed the laughs coming across.
In 2008 we cobbled together a simple false documentary in the style of Zeitgeist, called Shitegeist, using simple narration and slightly doctored stock images to create the mythology of Porno the Clown. Much of it was too lo-res. It was taken down at one point because it must have ruffled someone’s feathers. In hindsight, more shorts should have been made right away. Most of the videos were done in 2009. The stile of this 2008 experiment might have led to regular update videos using audio and a simple file graphic of Porno the Clown as if he is a foreign corespondant so that timely videos could easily be done. But this was resisted by Jay Ould who played Porno the Clown. It would have kept the charactrer active. Also, initially Jay had mentioned a potential investor in a series of shorts so I had generated a number of outlines. About half of those actually got shot. The investor did not pan out, but I still wrote out full scripts for most of them and we shot what we could for fun. But Shitegeist was an interesting minimalist experiment.
My intention had been to do a seasonal short for each holiday. We did get one done for Father’s Day, in which Jay’s own son Cai plays someone claiming to be the offspring of Porno the Clown. It ends with a kind of PSA that Jay was skeptical about but he had to admit once it was executed it worked out. Unfortunately a number of other holiday videos did not come to fruition.
This is an example of one of the monologues I wrote for Porno the Clown. Production wise, very simple. It may not be satisfying for Jay. But for the writer it is fun. I had pitched a one man show for Jay to do at the Fringe Festival but he was not interested. I think the idea of memorizing a high volume of my writing is a pain in the butt. There may yet be a Porno the Clown play, or more likely the play and eventual feature (already written and refined) may become a varient that salvages much of what I wrote and keeps PTC off screen. That is a back up plan if Jay doesn’t want to do something as written. A 2017 tentative approach to a feature was cancelled by me after it turned out that much of the support was for an improvisation cluster f**k version that I had no interest in. I’d want to shoot only my script with every problematic joke intact.
There were a few segments generated for an interview skit I wrote which might be the best attempt at a Porno the Clown short, in terms of getting through jokes. I recall having cue cards. When the exterior sidewalk shots were being done, an allusion to the strut of Saturday Night Fever, a little girl approached Jay who was in full PTC costume and she asked his name. He came up with, “Uh, Joe-Joe the Clown.”
This video is kind of a curiousity. I wrote a short called Orgy Etiquette as part of the collection for PTC based on a couple of other stabs I had taken at the concept, a monologue and some other iteration. I remmeber being at a party and mentioning it to the late Tony Rosato of SCTV who said it was a great premise. Eventually the written versions had quite a few guidelines listed for getting through an orgy, pulled out of thin air because I would never have the slightest idea of that world. Like any Porno the Clown thing I had written it was the abomination of speculation coming from a repressed Catholic. Then I believe Jay had a meeting with Dave McKay and they adapted those writings into a two-hander live audience participation skit that I recorded with a camcorder at the Comedy Bar. This might be the one grey area or room for confusion about my feature where someone might get the idea that I was open to that being improvised. Nope. But this short piece is fun and most likely the other full versions of the premise might not have been done.
There is a short that might be buried somewhere in the hard-to-access Facebook videos of my private account, Porno the Clown meets Bad Babysitter. That one was based on an idea from Jay. It somewhat follows the format of other scenes and has an okay structure but was thrown together under time pressure. It is not on this channel because months after shooting it the actress stated she wanted to go out for modeling or other parts and was concerned that her name turned up in searche engines for this short and she needed to shake it. Unfortunately she was not straight with us and initially claimed her release form was not valid because she was under age. I initially was filled with dread, until I fact checked it and discovered she had lied and was actually not under age at all. Still, I deleted whatever I could and removed tags with her name and so on. The short played at a Salon Du Refuses off shoot of Daryl Gold’s Hard Liquor and Porn Comedy Festival. I recall the actress was an outstanding illustrator. I wish her well. This link likely won’t work unless you are logged into Facebook.
Those are just a few of the Porno the Clown videos that had been generated, basically highlights. I’d like to see them get a new life and some attention. The feature that is built around him will in one form or another be brought to life, even if I have to resort to substituting a new character so the name Porno the Clown doesn’t spook too many people. It is an uphill battle for an idea that I had thought was just crass enough to be commercial. Also, much depends on whether I can cast people who get on with learning dialogue or whether there is push back from people who insist on improvisation. I have no love of Theater Sports as they call it and keeping myself off balance with an influx of chaos. I mean, I’d rather not even call it a comedy if it comes to that. Too many experts on comedy. I wouldn’t want performances that seem like they are aware it is comedy. I guess we’ll see.

Published by


Filmmaker, from North Bay, Ontario, currently in Toronto. Graduated from Humber Film and TV Production in the Nineties. Made countless short films.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s