Sunday, February 18, 2007

Arts: Three Jerks and a Mic

By Robert Hartmann

Warning: if you are a feminist, black person, avant-garde theater artist, Asian girl, Michael Caine, or someone who is uncomfortable about discussions of whale semen, you may find the humorous ramblings of Eric Hollerbach, Anthony Zuzolo, and Anthony Guerino offensive. If not, then their podcast, Fudge House Rules, is now available for free on iTunes and they want you to listen.

A comedy-talk series that is now ten episodes long, Fudge House Rules is filled with true life stories, like the time Hollerbach, the show's creator and editor, got diarrhea, then broke his ankle, while his girlfriend shopped at Urban Outfitters, and more than a little desecration of dignity between friends.

“The concept is two witty guys antagonizing their friend,” says Hollerbach. Along with Lang ex-patriot Guerino, he spends much of the show prodding sophomore Zuzolo about his social and sexual tension.

In one episode of Fudge House, Zuzolo recounts in agonizing detail his attempts to start conversations with a Korean girl in a dormitory elevator. After attempting a hug one time, she began to flee at the sight of him.

“Well, she’s Asian, so maybe she just saw Godzilla,” says Guerino, capping an otherwise flat joke with an enthusiastic “Hey-O!”

The latest episode sees Fudge House evolving into a more rounded show with the addition of staged commercials, such as one for a chauvinistic gynecologist who authoritatively reveals, “the clitoris is a myth.”

“The show is always changing,” says Hollerbach. “You’ll hear more commercials and other fun stuff. We’re going to do Episode 11 completely nude but make no mention of it.” (RH: Most disposable. Keep it only if there’s room. Might be overkill for quotes.)

The inspiration for Fudge House Rules comes from the trend of awkward comedy, a la Conan O’Brien and Napoleon Dynamite, said Hollerbach. Often the three humorists, who met while performing in the Lang Sketch Comedy Group, will strive for laughs by analyzing their own bad jokes and walking a fine line between social commentary, pure racism, and male chauvinism.

“Zuzolo may be wearing black face and eating a watermelon right now, but we’re not racists,” Guerino assures listeners in the third episode.

“When I edit I try to wait for a high point or until there’s silence after someone says something inappropriate or a joke that flops and then I’ll cut to a music interlude,” says Hollerbach. “Having someone lose their train of thought is funnier than them telling a joke.”

So, why call it Fudge House Rules?

“I was at a cocktail party and Michael Caine came up to me. He asked me to name the podcast after one of his movies, but we called it Fudge House Rules instead of Cider House Rules because Michael Caine can suck it,” Guerino said.

To listen, search for Fudge House Rules at the iTunes store

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