Friday, November 28, 2008

Supercollider Problems

Hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving Day. How about that Macy's parade? Wasn't that something? Al Roker did a great job, as usual. And how about that professional football game? That one play really blew me away.

Okay, I confess. I wrote this earlier in the week so I could eat and drink myself into a stupor yesterday without worrying about getting this done.

See you on Monday.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Deadpan Inc. isn't just about sharing my semi-funny videos with you. Well, mostly it is. But sometimes it provides an important public service function. If you're going to deep fry your turkey this year, please check out this video from Underwriters Laboratories first.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quitter Doctors

Hey, Deadpan Inc. fans -- notice anything different? The officemates are in a new location. They're not where they seem to be, however. You'll see.

I try not to let the quirks of the authoring program drive the humor. These characters will never comment on their robotic voices or how there's no one else in the office, and there's a fart noise I could use that I promise I never will. (If I ever use the fart noise, you'll know I jumped the shark.) Their comments on this location come dangerously close to breaking my rule. Oh well. I am a rule breaker. A maverick, if you will.

I wouldn't blame you if you didn't turn on your computer tomorrow. There'll probably be turkey to eat, football to watch and family members to alienate. But if you do sneak away get your DI fix, it'll be here for you.

Travel safely.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cardboard Baby Cribs

I just realized this title could be misleading. It's about cribs that are made out of cardboard, not cribs for cardboard babies. Just wanted to clarify.

As tacky as these may be, they must be safer than conventional cribs. Every time I check the news, there's another recall of baby cribs. It seems that all conventional cribs are designed by mad baby-haters so that they will fall apart and strangle your child. Can't something be done to keep baby haters out of the crib business?

Mucho thanks to my new BFF Dan Piraro of Bizarro fame for featuring Deadpan Inc. on his highly enertaining blog. At the risk of embarrassing Dan, I have to say that he has been one of my comedy heroes for years, so hearing he liked my work was quite a treat.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Speaking of technology, a lot of people have been asking how I do these. The application is available in beta at I'm not thrilled about giving up my secret sauce, but it couldn't be avoided for much longer. They're starting to slap their logo on the end of each clip.

I can't complain -- it is free.

You start by choosing from a small library of locations and characters; then you type in your script. The software handles the mouth movements, and then you insert pauses, body movements and different camera angles wherever you like. You can also let the progam choose your camera angles for you, but I could never give up that control.

Hopefully, before long, people will stop asking "How do you do that?" and start asking "How to you keep bringing the semi-funny?" (Assuming I can keep bringing the semi-funny...) Keep watching this week for special Thanksgiving and Black Friday episodes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Double Arm Transplant

I don't really have anything to add to this clip, so I'll just remind you that I welcome your feedback on these postings, or any aspect of my life for that matter. Of course, adoring, even fawning, feedback is preferable to the "constructive" kind. You can show me some love with a comment below or by emailing me at david dot stratton at sbcglobal dot en ee tee.

Despite what I said about "constructive" feedback, if you have an alternate punchline to any of my posts that you think will make me laugh, please send it. I like to laugh.

What do you think the German farmer is looking forward to most? Put your answer in the phrase "dressing himself, riding his motorcycle and (blank)." Whoever sends me the funniest answer will have his or her name featured in an upcoming Deadpan Inc. episode. What a treat that will be.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lucid Dreaming

Since I first heard of it, I have been fascinated by the idea of lucid dreaming. I usually have a good time in my dreams, and the ability to take control of them sure is appealing. Apparently, some people can put themselves into the lucid dreaming state at will, every night. That would be awesome.

I know I have had at least one prolonged lucid dream that I could remember. It involved flying around like Superman. Holly Hunter did not make an appearance.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Plain Old Stick

I didn't even know there was a Toy Hall of Fame. I wonder if they have an Adult section. You know, for things like that doodad executives have on their desks with the five steel balls that swing back and forth, clicking and clacking. Or the minature zen garden. What...? What were you thinking?

When I was five, I ran around the neighborhood playing Zorro all the time, with a cape and a stick as a sword. I did this every day for awhile. Then I got my first taste of true injustice. Our next door neighbor had a piece of furniture she was refinishing in her garage and someone (NOT me) scratched a zee in it. Of course, I was blamed for it and nothing I could say would convince anyone I didn't do it. Life sucks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Avian Genital Tongues

The premise of this episode sounds far-fetched, but it's true. I made a rule for myself that any news item mentioned here would be real. While there wouldn't be anything wrong with making stuff up, it's just more fun for me to use actual items for inspiration.

My favorite part of this one is her little smile while she thinks about it. It was the director's idea, but she executed it perfectly.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hubble Repairs

Every time the economy goes south and there's concern about our growing national debt, people question the money we're spending on NASA. I'm really not sure how I feel about it.

On the one hand, I hate to see critical social programs being cut while we're spending billions to dig around on the surface of Mars. On the other hand, technological advancement is key to our future, and it would be a shame to cede such a powerful engine of innovation to India or China. On yet another hand, should we be putting all this scientific and engineering talent to work on space missions when our most pressing technology need is energy independence? You have to be a three-armed freak to talk about this.

Coming tomorrow, the eagerly awaited Avian Genital Tongues episode.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is This the Right Level?

Surprise! A special weekend episode of Deadpan Inc.

Normally we'd be closed on the weekend, but I had an extra episode laying around so I thought I'd share it with you. Why? Because I like you.

Hey, if you're enjoying Deadpan Inc., be sure to tell everyone you know about it. They'll thank you for it, and they'll consider you way cooler than they previously did. See you on Monday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Google Flu Tracking

I suspect Google knows more about me than any living being on earth. It probably knows more about me than I do. I find that oddly comforting.

Deadpan Inc. will be closed for the weekend, but come back next week for episodes about the Hubble telescope, double arm transplants and genital tongues. Yes, that's right, genital tongues.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Proposition 8

The issue of gay marriage doesn't affect me personally -- so I'm all for it. I guess that's because I grew up in a time when everyone said "hey, it's a free country" and I took that to actually mean something.

Keith Olbermann did a great Special Comment about this on Countdown the other night, though he didn't get into the transexual complications like I did. You can probably find it on YouTube. Highly recommended. See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Watermelon Research

Uh-oh. Here we go. Fun with racial stereotypes. I guess I'd better brace myself for the flood of indignant comments. Actually, there's nothing very dangerous here.

This is just a beta version of the software I'm using to create these, so the background and character choices are very limited. Hopefully, as they build out the application more choices will become available. If David Rees can build the whole "Get Your War On" empire out of five pieces of clip art, this is good enough for me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yes I Can!

Welcome to the first posting of my new blog. I've been thinking about starting one of these for some time, but couldn't think of a concept that would motivate me to keep it up. I knew I wanted to do more than just a new block of text each day. Yawn. A vlog? No thanks. Not into the idea of getting myself broadcast-ready every day -- if that's even possible. But then I ran across this technology that enables me to quickly and easily do a daily dialog-driven animation. So Deadpan Inc. was born.

I think the deadpan robotic speech actually accentuates the writing. Let me know what you think. 'Later.