Sup Blog

Ep 94 WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? with hosts Paco Romane and George Chen

Sup Doc Podcast! 2 Doc Dorks recapping reality with great guests

Hosts Paco Romane and George Chen sit down to recap the recently released Mister Rogers documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?  a 2018 American documentary film directed by Morgan Neville about the life and guiding philosophy of Fred Rogers, the host and creator of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Paco and George get into many topics including short attention span, family dynamics, PBS funding, “radical niceness”, Presbyterians, slow editing, Officer Clemmons, Gen X and ask the question “was Mister Rogers Neighborhood the very first podcast”?

The trailer for the film debuted on what would have been Rogers’s 90th birthday, March 20, 2018. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was released in the United States on June 8, 2018. It received acclaim from critics and audiences and has earned more than $20 million making it the highest grossing biographical-documentary of all time.

Ep 93 FREAKS AND GEEKS recorded live at SF DocFest!

With the director Brent Hodge and comedians Kelly Anneken and David Klein

Sup Doc Freaks and Geeks LIVE at SF DocFest

We had a great time recording this LIVE at the SF Docfest. Lots of adoring Freaks and Geeks and Sup Doc fans showed up for the live recording! Hosts Paco Romane and George Chen chatted with the director Brent Hodge and comedians (and uber Freaks and Geeks fans) Kelly Anneken and David Klein! 

Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary is currently playing on A&E. 

The cult classic TV show Freaks and Geeks nailed the sad, hilarious unfairness of teen life. This new doc takes a nostalgic look back with behind-the-scenes tales from this endearing and much-loved series that launched the careers of many of today’s biggest stars (including Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, James Franco and Linda Cardellini, Busy Phillips, John Francis Daley and more).

12 Things You May Have Not Known About Freaks and Geeks

1. James Franco and Jason Segel were cast at the same time

James Franco and Jason Segel, who played two of the “freaks” on Freaks and Geeks, sat in the waiting room of the audition at the same time on the same day. According to Segel in the documentary, Franco went in first, he went in second, and they both walked to their cars that day with the gig. As a young actor, the future Forgetting Sarah Marshall star asked how their chemistry would work: Would he be the goofy one and would Franco be the cool one? Franco’s one-word response was: “Yeah.”

2. Most of the set footage in the doc came from producer Gabe Sachs

Hodge recalls stepping into the home of writer-producer Gabe Sachs and seeing it as a “museum.” He had heard from Feig that there was a lot of “stuff” lying around, but he didn’t realize he still had items like the Parisian night suit worn by John Francis Daley in “Looks and Books” — and again at the finale wrap party.

“He handed me this box of mini DVDs from 1998. He was like, ‘You can have this. No one’s seen this footage,’” Hodge said. “There was hundreds of hours of footage.” That included moments like writer-producer Judd Apatow’s birthday, a time when “Paul didn’t have a suit on,” the graduation party for Seth Rogen (which we’ll get to later) — essentially “all the behind-the-scenes” footage shot on set with a camcorder.

“I didn’t realize you were videotaping some of the stuff,” Feig told Sachs, who was sitting in the audience.

3. About that time NBC wanted Britney Spears on an episode

If you’ve been maintaining a working knowledge of Freaks and Geeks trivia, then you know NBC executives, as a solution to make the show popular, proposed writing a character for Britney Spears. “One of the [network notes] was that they really wanted us to write Britney Spears into an episode,” Feig said with a laugh. “They were like, ‘She’s really popular now. Maybe she can play, like, a waitress or something.’” The series creator doesn’t look back on any of the network’s stunt suggestions and think they could’ve worked.

Feig even slightly defended Garth Ancier, the now former NBC Entertainment president who famously didn’t understand the allure of Freaks and Geeks. “He didn’t get the show and that’s fine, people don’t get stuff all the time,” he said. “In his defense — not in that regard, but just out of canceling us — you saw that thing at the end [of the documentary]. We were the bottom-rated show on NBC for pretty much the second half of the run. It’s show business, and the business side just didn’t hold up.”

4. Getting Garth

Ancier has been vilified by fans in the past for not championing the series while it was on the air. So for better or worse, he was part of the Freaks and Geeks legacy, and Hodge really wanted him for the documentary.

“Everyone was talking about Garth Ancier. He’s this other figure, and I just reached out to him on Twitter, actually,” the director said. “I was just like, ‘Everyone’s talking about you and I feel like you deserve a chance to at least tell your side of the story.’ He said, ‘I’d be happy to.’ Honestly, I really respect him, even though he’s the most evil man — no, I’m kidding.”

5. On the “obligation” to make the quintessential Freaks and Geeks film

Feig knew his brainchild was in good hands with The Documentary when he drove to the shooting location for his interview and found Hodge’s team had recreated the sets, something Hodge said “snowballed.”

“You liked it,” he told Feig, “then Jason Segel really liked his 27-piece drumset. We just kept going. It almost went overboard.”

There were some things, though, he said needed to be in the film — like an interview with Dennis DeYouny from Styx, whose song “Lady” is at the center of Sam’s awkward school dance, and a cover of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” that plays over the credits.

“There’s an opportunity to make the Freaks and Geeks film,” Hodge said. “There’s 100 O.J. documentaries and I’ll watch them, they’re great, but if you get the chance to nail it, you gotta nail it. You have one chance. You have to get Dennis DeYoung from Styx. You have to get that song, you have to get Joan Jett. It’s almost like an obligation to do that.”

6. The wrap party turned into a graduation for Rogen, Samm Levine, and Martin Starr

Rogen didn’t finish high school, but he finally got a graduation during the Freaks and Geeks wrap party. Footage shot by Sachs and given up for the documentary shows Feig and Apatow giving out caps, gowns, and diplomas to Rogen, Samm Levine, and Martin Starr on stage.

7. Revisiting Ken’s controversial girlfriend in “The Little Things”

Feig said everyone in the writer’s room was pretty much in sync, but recalled the biggest battle amongst the team being the 17th episode, “The Little Things.” In it, Ken (Rogen) falls for the school’s tuba player and learns she was born with ambiguous genitalia. What started as a joke between Apatow and and fellow writer-producer Mike White became a more serious look at this topic.

“‘What if his girlfriend ended up having a dick?’ is basically what their joke was,” Feig said, “and then suddenly Judd’s like, ‘Well, wait a minute. Let’s actually look into this thing.’” Jonathan Kasdan wrote the first draft of the episode, which “became very contentious” because everyone “wanted to do a lot more things with it.”

“Everybody tried to get us to stop it, but then we all pitched in and started rewriting it,” Feig recalled, “and then, like it says in the documentary, Judd took Jessica [Campbell] and Seth into his office, and they started improving.”

“You don’t want to back down from these stories, and that’s what the network hated,” he added.

8. The real-life stories behind the episodes

Questionnaires were a big thing among the writers to get to know each other’s stories. The goal was avoid writing about something that had already been done before. As a result, much of their own personal experiences were translated to the screen.

Feig’s fear of asking out the girl to the dance before it was too late is played out in the character of Sam, the titular moment behind “The Garage Door” was lifted from the life of writer-producer Jeff Judah, and Apatow remembers doing exactly what Starr’s Bill does — making grilled cheese, eating Entenmann’s, and watching Garry Shandling on TV.

“When we did those questionnaires, we got the group together before we started writing anything,” Feig recalled. “We locked ourselves in the room for two weeks and would read those questionnaires out loud and elaborate on it and interview each other because it’s a way for everyone to get completely honest and not hold anything back — and that’s where the good stuff comes from.”

9. The moment Feig knew the show was dead

“I was talking to some critic. He loved the show and he had just watched the ‘I’m With the Band’ episode, with Jason Segel auditioning for the band,” Feig explained. “I said, ‘What did you think about the audition scene? It was great, right?’ And he goes, ‘When that scene came on, I had to get up and leave the room. I couldn’t watch it because I knew it was gonna go wrong.’ I was like, ‘Well, that’s not what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to revel in how fun this is.’” This, he said, was the moment he knew “the show was dead.”

10. Why Feig doesn’t go to high school reunions

The same reason Feig thinks Six Feet Under has the greatest series finale ever is the same reason why he doesn’t like going to his own high school reunions. The HBO show had a finite conclusion, without any room to think about what could’ve been for its characters. “I want to remember people as I did,” he said of his own former classmates. “I don’t want to know if something bad happened. So many people relish in [who became] bald and fat. No, I like those people and I like my memories of them.”

11. The episode Feig was “desperate” to tell, but couldn’t

Feig had already mentioned in past interviews the real-life drama teacher he wanted to work into the show for a hypothetical second season, and he detailed his own experience and what he wanted for the character of Sam.

“When I was in school, I was in drama club — a big drama geek — and my teacher, who I credit my entire career [to], Ms. Konrad, she was an amazing drama teacher who shouldn’t have taught high school; everything she taught was much deeper than that, but she was an alcoholic,” he said. “I was the one she would call to bail her out of trouble. So I would be in class and suddenly there would be a knock on the door and they’d be like, ‘Uh, there’s an emergency phone call for Paul.’”

The call would always be something like, “You gotta come pick me up. I left my car at the bar.”

“I was learning amazing things from her about acting and about theater and just about art,” Feig recalled, “but she was just a complete disaster, and I really wanted Sam to have that kind of relationship with a drama teacher.”

12. Feig believes a Freaks and Geeks musical will happen

In the documentary, Hodge asks the cast and crew about a potential revival or reunion episode for Freaks and Geeks, and they all have the same answer: How would that work? Feig, however, wants to do a staged rendition of the show. “I’ve been saying for 15 years I so wanna do the Freaks and Geeks musical,” he said. “I just gotta write the book for it, but I think it will happen one day because it’s just sitting there, waiting to be done. A musical number of a dodgeball game, come on!”



Sup Doc: Couple of Doc Nerds recapping reality

Ep 92 EVIL GENIUS with comedian Chad Opitz

On episode 92 host Paco Romane recaps with the lovely and talented Chad Opitz about Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist! Evil Genius is a 2018 true crime docuseries about the murder of Brian Wells, a high-profile 2003 incident often referred to as the “collar bomb” or “pizza bomber” case. It was released on Netflix as a four-part series on May 11, 2018.

Evil Genius is one of those docs that keeps you saying “no way” and wanting to binge watch the entire series. Seriously. It’s nuts. If the Apple Dumpling gang were MENSA members with a taste for revenge, money and murder you’d have the makings of Evil Genius.

Chad Opitz is a comic whose hilarious and unique perspective is making him an oft booked staple at Bay Area clubs and showcases. Veering between one-liners, short story jokes, and sometimes even song, Opitz’ writing is as well-regarded as his character and performance work.

Chad was a featured performer at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 San Francisco Sketchfests. He hosted an episode of “The Guest List” on Audible Channels in 2017. Chad was the winner of Bay Area legend Jimmy Gunn’s “Best Newcomer” award as well as a finalist in the Rooster T. Feathers Competition, semi-finalist in the San Francisco Comedy Competition, 2nd place finalist at the 2016 Sacramento Comedy Competition and 1st place winner of the Walk the Plank comedy competition.  He’s opened for Michelle Wolf, Scott Thompson, Gad Elmaleh, Neil Hamburger, Greg Behrendt, Ian Bagg, Brooks Wheelan and many more.  He was recently a featured guest on the Doug Loves Movies podcast.

Friend of Sup Doc Zach Noe Towers let us know about a one-off theater screening of this standup special that also features other friends of the show (like Irene Tu, Casey Ley, Janine Brito, and Jonathan Rowell). Details below!

Continue reading

Ep 91 KING OF KONG with comedian Matt Champagne

Sup Doc: Just a couple of Doc Dorks recapping reality

On episode 91 of Sup Doc, we’re talking about the cult classic documentary King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters with comedian and actor Matt ChampagneMatt has performed at the Improv, Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, San Francisco Punchline, and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. He appears with national headliners like Christopher Titus, Tom Rhodes, and Natasha Leggero. You may have seen Matt on TV shows like “Will and Grace,” “Angel,” “Monk,” and “NCIS,” You can catch him at Stir Crazy Comedy Club in Phoenix, July 26 – 28.

KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS is the 2007 documentary that introduced the world to the video game rivalry between Billy Mitchell and everyone else. Directed by Seth Gordon, the film follows a down-on-his-luck family man, Steve Wiebe, who’s only solace from unemployment is the 80s arcade game Donkey Kong. On the path to victory there’s palace intrigue with record keepers, questionable videotape, and twists that unspool a decade later. We get into recent news about Billy Mitchell’s world record scores for “Donkey Kong” and other games finally being stripped away. 

Remember Donkey Kong? This would have been in the early 1980s, and you would have been standing in a video arcade, bar, truck stop or bowling alley, trying to save the damsel in distress from the gorilla. It was voted the third best coin-operated arcade video game of all time. Yes, and now it is 2007 and grown men still pursue each other across the country in pursuit of the world-record Donkey Kong score.

“The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,” a documentary that is beyond strange, follows two arch-enemies in their grim, long-term rivalry, which involves way more time than any human lifetime should devote to Donkey Kong. I am reminded of the butler’s line in “A New Leaf” to Walter Matthau: “You are carrying on in your own lifetime, sir, a way of life that was extinct before you were born.”

In this corner, the man in black, wearing a goatee and looking like a snake-oil pitchman, is Billy Mitchell of Hollywood, Fla., in real life a hot-sauce tycoon (Rickey’s World Famous Sauces), who says he is the man who first retailed chicken wings in their modern culinary form in Florida.

That was not enough for one lifetime. He also achieved the first perfect game in the history of Pac-Man, his high score on Donkey Kong stood unchallenged for 25 years, and in 1999, he was named Video Game Player of the Century.

In the other corner, looking like your average neighbor, is Steve Wiebe of Seattle, who got laid off at Boeing the very day he and his wife bought a new house. He has kids, he’s likable, and he plays Donkey Kong on a machine in his garage, where we gather he spends hours and hours and hours. He’s now working as a high school science teacher. The documentary stares incredulously at the Machiavellian Mitchell, who seems to play the same role in the world of Donkey Kong as masked marauders do in pro wrestling. We hate this guy. Why won’t he play Wiebe? What’s with that tape he sends in, that seems to show him beating Wiebe’s record? Is this little world too heavily invested in Mitchell as its superstar? How long can Wiebe’s wife remain supportive of his lonely quest?

Ep 90 Andre The Giant with comedian Danielle Redford

Sup Doc Podcast: 2 Doc Nerds Recapping Reality

Sup Doc Ep 90 Andre The Giant with comedian Danielle Radford

On episode 90 hosts Paco Romane and George Chen grapple with the subject of wrestling and the HBO documentary Andre the Giant with the very knowledgeable and hilarious Danielle Radford

Did you know a kayfabe (KEI-feib) refers to the portrayal of events within wrestling as real?  We’ve been Kayfabe’ing our listeners for years now. Danielle has a podcast all about the world of wrestling called Tights and Fights on the Maximum Fun network. 

So, it made a lot of sense to talk to her about the 2018 doc Andre The Giant based on the life of professional wrestler and actor André René Roussimoff. The film features professional wrestlers and media personalities such as Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Billy Crystal, as well as family members discussing André’s life and gigantism.

André the Giant is a 2018 TV documentary film based on the life of French professional wrestler and actor André René Roussimoff (better known as André the Giant). The documentary covers André’s life with gigantismThe film features professional wrestlers and media personalities such as Vince McMahonHulk HoganPat PattersonTim WhiteRic FlairDave MeltzerArnold SchwarzeneggerBilly Crystal as well as family members discussing André’s life.

The film was executively produced by Janine Marmot and Bill Simmons, who had been interested in creating a documentary on André previously. The documentary was slated as focusing on his “upbringing in France, his celebrated career in WWE and his forays in the entertainment world.

Ep 89 CENTRAL PARK FIVE with Kaseem Bentley and Lauren Stanton

Part 3 of our True Crime month of MAYhem

We conclude our MAYhem Month of True Crime docs! The Central Park Five doc looks at the wrongful convictions of 5 innocent teens. Did you know Donald J Trump took out a full page ads about the Central Park Five? “Muggers and murderers,” he wrote, “should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.” Though he didn’t refer to the teenagers by name, it was clear to anyone in NYC that he was referring to them.

Paco and George recap CENTRAL PARK FIVE with Kaseem Bentley and Lauren Stanton. We get into Trump, false accusations, and American injustice. Special thanks to The Comedy Store and Mike Schmidt for engineering and recording time.

The Central Park jogger case involved the violent assaultrape, and sodomy of Trisha Meili, a female jogger, in New York City‘s Central Park, on April 19, 1989. The attack left her in a coma for 12 days. Meili was a 28-year-old investment banker at the time, weighing under 100 pounds. The New York Times described the attack as “one of the most widely publicized crimes of the 1980s.”

Sarah Burns, the daughter of documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, worked for a summer as a paralegal in the office of one of the lawyers handling a lawsuit on behalf of those convicted in the case. The documentary was inspired by her undergraduate thesis, which was on the topic of racism in the media coverage of the event.

The documentary provides background, interviews, expert analysis, and details of associated facts related to the case and the conviction of five suspects. It presents analysis to suggest that the police should have connected Matias Reyes, who eventually confessed to the crime, to the case at the time that it happened. DNA evidence identified him as the sole contributor of the semen found in and on the rape victim.

The five convicted juveniles sued New York City in 2003, nine years prior to the release of the documentary, for malicious prosecution, racial discrimination, and emotional distress. Ken Burns said he hoped the film would push the city to settle the case against it. The city settled the case for $41 million in 2014, after Bill de Blasio became mayor. As of December 2014, the five men were pursuing an additional $52 million in damages from New York State in the New York Court of Claims.

Kaseem Bentley‘s no-holds-barred style commands your attention even when the check is dropping. Currently he doesn’t have an agent, manager, or a million Twitter followers, but club bookers still take a chance on him. Kaseem has appeared on Viceland, NBC SeeSo, KQED, and Rooftop Comedy, and was named one of SF Weekly’s Comics To Watch.

Lauren Stanton is a Los Angeles based writer, podcast-crasher & dog mom. Enjoys long snacks on the beach and also, please don’t touch my hair.

MAYhem Month on Sup Doc! 3 Great True Crime Docs the last 3 Mondays in May

Sup Doc A Documentary Podcast: Ep 87 WEST OF MEMPHIS with filmmaker Gavin Michael Booth

Part 1 of our Mayhem True Crime series starts off with West of Memphis. We recap this follow up to the Paradise Lost series with horror filmmaker Gavin Michael Booth. Gavin is shooting a new feature film this summer and make sure to check out his newly released music videos for artist SYML titled “Body” and “The War“!

Canadian born director Gavin Michael Booth’s film, music video and commercial work has been featured around the globe in theatres, on television and online. His work includes collaborations with Third Eye Blind, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Blumhouse, Royal Bank of Canada and more. Currently, LA based, Gavin is available for projects in the U.S. & Canada.

I have followed the West Memphis 3 case since the ’90s and feel this is the decisive documentary on the subject – Gavin Booth

As with the Paradise Lost film and its two sequelsWest of Memphis follows the events of the West Memphis Three, a case in which three teenagers (Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin) were arrested for the murders of three 8-year old children.

The West Memphis Three were subsequently convicted of murder and remained in prison for more than 18 years. West of Memphis focuses on Terry Hobbs, stepfather of Stevie Branch, one of the victims of the 1993 crime, as a potential suspect.  There is physical evidence linking Hobbs to the crime, a history of violent behavior and his lack of an alibi for the time the murders were committed, as well as damaging statements made by his ex-wife, former neighbors, and most recently his own nephew, who claims Hobbs confessed to him. The film reveals that inexplicably Terry Hobbs was not interviewed by police at the time of the murders.

Since the 1996 release of the HBO Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky documentary, Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, supporters protested the innocence of the West Memphis Three. Much like the Paradise Lost films, West of Memphis chronicles the history of the imprisoned men all the way up to the eventual release through interviews conducted with lawyers, judges, journalists, family members, witnesses, and the West Memphis Three themselves. With the January 2012 HBO premiere of the third Paradise Lost film, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, there were two documentary films on the subject within a year.

West of Memphis premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2012, at the Deauville American Film Festival on September 2, 2012, and at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2012

Mayhem Month 2018

Three Great True Crime Docs in May

Our annual Mayhem Month returns! We present 3 great True Crime docs with our great guests: Gavin Booth, Andy Sell, Kaseem Bentley, and Lauren Stanton

Ep 87: West Of Memphis with horror filmmaker Gavin Booth – Monday May 14th

Ep 88: Cropsey with comedian Andy Sell – Monday May 21st

Ep 89: Central Park Five with comedian Kaseem Bentley and Lauren Stanton – Monday May 28th

And if you want to dig into some past True Crime episodes, check out last year’s Mayhem series

Ep 56 Interview With A Serial Killer with comedian Allison Mick

Ep 57 Thin Blue Line with Vince Mancini

Ep 58 Tower with Craig Staggs and Steph Swope 

and check out these other true crime back episodes:

Ep 35 OJ:Made In America with Greg Edwards and Harmon Leon

Ep 23 Making A Murderer with Red Scott

Ep 3 The Imposter with Beth Lisick

Ep 86 THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING with comedian Wayne Federman

Sup Doc Podcast – Doc Nerds having funny conversations with interesting guests about their favorite docs

Sup Doc: The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling with comedian Wayne Federman

Wayne Federman with hosts Paco Romane and George Chen

It’s the return of Wayne Federman! Our first repeat solo interview guest. George and Paco met up with Wayne at his new house in Los Angeles to discuss the new HBO doc The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. Wayne was a co-producer on the film and was a close friend of Garry’s. Wayne reflected on his time playing in Garry’s now infamous Sunday basketball games, his time acting with Garry on The Larry Sanders Show, his first time meeting Judd Apatow when they were both young comedians plus Wayne’s International Film Festival, musical comedians, and much much more.

“It’s a show about people trying to get love, and shit gets in the way.” 

That’s how the late Garry Shandling described his groundbreaking sitcom The Larry Sanders Show, an inside-showbiz series about the office culture surrounding a talk show. But the line also sums up the life of Garry Shandling as described by his friend, collaborator, and showbiz pupil Judd Apatow in his two-part documentary The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, premiering Monday night on HBO.

Apatow’s long (four-and-a-half hour!) tribute to the TV pioneer is the best, most focused thing he’s done since Freaks and Geeks. Zen Diaries is an intimate documentary about the man and his work, drawn from an extraordinary array of personal material, including home movies of Shandling’s childhood and adolescence in Arizona, photographs from every phase of his life, lengthy scenes and behind-the-scenes clips from The Larry Sanders Show and It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, and excerpts from the handwritten diaries he kept from the late 1970s until his death in 2016. The diary entries have a personality all their own. As pictured in tight closeups, one or two phrases at a time, they’re art objects in themselves, as if somebody recorded a lifetime’s worth of muttered comments into bathroom mirrors and transcribed them in cursive.

Shandling, for those less familiar with his work, was part of a wave of 1970s, Los Angeles-based comics who made stand-up more lifelike and less shticky. He created Showtime’s It’s Garry Shandling’s Show(another all-time great) and Larry Sanders, which has been credited with inspiring dozens of other sitcoms, including both versions of The Office. He was the first person to be named permanent guest host of The Tonight Show, then one of the most prestigious gigs in television. His C.V. is impressive enough, but where The Zen Diaries really excels is in its understanding of his psychology. – Vulture

Wayne Federman is an American comedian, actor, author, writer, comedy historian, and musician. He is noted for numerous stand-up comedy appearances in clubs, theaters, and on television; a biography of “Pistol” Pete Maravich; and supporting comedic acting roles in The X-Files, The Larry Sanders Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Crashing, Legally Blonde, 50 First Dates, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Step Brothers. He was the head monologue writer for NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in its first season.

Ep 85 WILD WILD COUNTRY with journalist Richard Parks III

Sup Doc A Documentary Film Podcast with great guests, interesting docs and some horrible impressions

We implore you, have you seen the six-part Netflix docu-series WILD WILD COUNTRY yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

When the Rajneesh movement and their leader the Bhagwan came to rural Oregon in the 1980s was it just a clash of cultures (worldly orange-clad hippies vs. conservative townspeople) or a mafia-style hostile takeover? The directors Maclain and Chapman Way (The Battered Bastards of Baseball) have crafted a twisting drama with unearthed videotape of the Rajneeshpuram saga, plus new interviews with many key players.

Our guest is journalist-podcaster/multi-hyphenate Los Angeles native, Richard Parks III. Richard has written for Lucky Peach, the New York Times, and McSweeney’s. He has created a radio drama with Wayne Coyne, the short doc Music Man Murray, a documentary about Biosphere2, and contributed to Snap Judgement and KCRW’s Lost Notes.

While most of you reading this may not know the name Bhagwan Rajneesh, those who were around to watch the news in the early 1980s can tell you that he was a massive story around the country. That’s because Rajneesh and his followers spent $125 million back in 1981 to build Rajneeshpuram in in the Oregon desert, a 64,000-acre “utopia,” complete with a hospital, schools, restaurants, a shopping mall, and their own airport. What happened there and in the surrounding area is so far-fetched that you won’t believe it’s all true.

As you can see in the trailer (below), one of the great things about the doc is the way the filmmakers weave footage from the actual events in alongside new interviews with the people involved.

Ep 84 AMERICAN MOVIE with comedian Drew Platt

Sup Doc A Documentary Film Podcast

Sup Doc Podcast: American Movie with comedian Drew Platt

On Episode 84 of Sup Doc host Paco Romane sat down with comedian, writer and cook Drew Platt. Not only is Drew a great comedian, he is equally adept in the kitchen. Drew made some delicious Wiener schnitzel. They ate and drank some tasty brews and watched American Movie. One of the greatest docs ever made and one of Paco’s favorites. Paco and Drew also discuss comedy, small towns, the entertainment biz and so much more! You won’t want to miss this one!

(American Movie Review) If you’ve ever wanted to make a movie, see “American Movie,” a documentary about someone who wants to make a movie more than you do. Mark Borchardt may want to make a movie more than anyone else in the world. He is a 30-year-old, odd-job man from Menomonee Falls, Wis., who has been making movies since he was a teenager and dreams of an epic about his life, which will be
titled “Northwestern,” and be about “rust and decay.” I admire his spirit, and I even admire certain shots in the only Borchardt film I have seen, “Coven.” I saw it at the 1999 Sundance film festival–not because it was invited there, but because after the midnight premiere of “American Movie,” there wasn’t a person in the theater who didn’t want to stay and see Mark’s 35-minute horror film, which we see him making during the course of the documentary.

“American Movie” is a very funny, sometimes very sad documentary directed by Chris Smith and produced by Sarah Price, about Mark’s life, his friends, hisfamily, his films and his dreams. From one point of view, Mark is a loser, a man who has spent his adult life making unreleased and sometimes unfinished movies with titles such as “The More the Scarier III.” He plunders the bank account of his elderly Uncle Bill for funds to continue, he uses his friends and hapless local amateur actors as his cast, he enlists his mother as his cinematographer, and his composer and best friend is a guy named Mike Schank who, after one drug trip too many, seems like the twin of Kevin Smith’s Silent Bob.

Borchardt’s life is a daily cliffhanger involving poverty, desperation, discouragement and diehard ambition. He’s behind on his child support payments, he drinks too much, he can’t even convince his ancient Uncle Bill that he has a future as a moviemaker. Bill lives in a trailer surrounded by piles of magazines that he possibly subscribed to under the impression he would win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. He brightens slightly when Mark shows him the portrait of an actress. “She wants to be in your movie, Bill!” Bill studies the photo: “Oh, my gorsh!”  Some of the scenes could work in a screwball comedy. One involves an actor being thrown headfirst through a kitchen cabinet. To capture the moment, Mark recruits his long-suffering Swedish-American mother, Monica, to operate the camera, even though she complains she has shopping to do. He gets on the floor behind his actor, who finds out belatedly that Mark’s special-effects strategy is simply to ram his head through the door. The first time, the actor’s head bounces off. Mark prepares for take two. One reason to see “Coven” is to appreciate that shot knowing what we know now.He has inspired the loyalty of his friends and crew members, and his girlfriend observes that if he accomplishes 25 percent of what he hopes to do, “that’ll be more than most people do.”


Ep 83 MAN ON WIRE with comedian Alex Hooper

On Ep 83 we sat down with comedian Alex Hooper to talk about the Academy award-winning documentary Man On Wire. Alex has a strong connection to this doc because he recently started slacklining and as we discover there is more than a casual connection between walking on a wire without a net and performing comedy! Alex’s new comedy album Hugs. Drugs. Pugs is currently available on AST Records!

Man on Wire is a 2008 British-American biographical documentary film directed by James Marsh. The film chronicles Philippe Petit‘s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. It is based on Petit’s book, To Reach the Clouds, released in paperback with the title Man on Wire. The title of the film is taken from the police report that led to the arrest (and later release) of Petit, whose performance had lasted for almost one hour. The film is crafted like a heist film, presenting rare footage of the preparations for the event and still photographs of the walk, alongside re-enactments (with Paul McGill as the young Petit) and present-day interviews with the participants, including Barry Greenhouse, an insurance executive who served as the inside man.

“Most of the movie involves figuring out how Philippe and his team will get into the towers to rig the line. The commitment to detail is incredible. I love that they are doing something illegal, but it doesn’t hurt anyone or anything. There isn’t a specific moment as this is most of the film but the pure desire to get it done is more impressive to me than the actual walk.”

-Alex Hooper

Man on Wire competed in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema Documentary and the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary. In February 2009, the film won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Sup Doc LIVE! “THE UNITED STATES OF DETROIT” with comedian Karinda Dobbins and director Tyler Norwood

Join us for what will be a great night of watching “The United States of Detroit” and after the screening join us for a a panel discussion with comedian (Detroit Native) Karinda Dobbins and the director Tylor Norwood. We’re very excited to moderate this panel for a LIVE Sup Doc recording at the amazing The New Parkway Theater in Oakland.

This is what a comeback looks like: grassroots efforts led by the inspiring people of Detroit, MI.

Detroiters today fight for survival and growth in a city with an uncertain future, and work tirelessly to improve their communities in spite of the lack of resources. Like many cities in the US, the legacy of broken infrastructure has made Detroit an unstable metro area, yet these characters find ways to succeed and thrive by activating the power of their community and make progress in the struggle to take back their neighborhoods from the forces of economic decline and mismanagement.


When: Showing on Tuesday April 17 2018
Time: 7:00 PM (screening first then panel discussion)
General Admittance 


Trailer – The United States of Detroit from Tylor Norwood on Vimeo.

Motor City native Karinda Dobbins was born into a politically active family of skilled storytellers and sharp wits. Her worldview was shaped by their accounts of protest, civil rights and empowerment, weighty subjects that were always leavened with humor. Whenever she heard the grownups laughing long past her bedtime, she took that as her cue to sneak out of her room and eavesdrop while they entertained themselves with Richard Pryor records. She not only listened, she learned, and grew up to hold her own as a keen comedic commentator.

To date, she has appeared at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival; featured at Bay Area comedy clubs the Punch Line and Cobb’s; opened for Hari Kondabolu, Trevor Noah and toured with W. Kamau Bell. Karinda made her primetime national television debut on Coast-to-Coast Episode 1 on NickMom Night Out.

Ep 82 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH with writer Tony Dushane

Sup Doc A Documentary Podcast celebrating the good, bad and ugly of all things docs with insightful interviews, unscripted humor, games and the occasional horrible impressions.

On Episode 82 Paco and George welcome guest and author Tony Dushane to talk about 20,000 Days On Earth the film that examines a day in the life of music icon Nick Cave. We get into music, religion, creativity and even writing tips from Tony, who teaches novel writing at UCLA Extension.

Tony DuShane is the author and screenwriter of Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk, published by Soft Skull Press and directed by Eric Stoltz.

His journalism and essays has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, Penthouse, The Rumpus, The Believer, and other media outlets. He was a music columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle and wrote 100s of articles covering books, film, and music for the newspaper between 2006 – 2015. His radio show and podcast Drinks with Tony ran from 2002 – 2015 and included many guests including Steve Buscemi, Nick Cave, Richard Hell, Chelsea Handler, Miranda July, and more.

20,000 Days on Earth is a 2014 British musical documentary drama film co-written and directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. Nick Cave also co-wrote the script with Forsyth and Pollard. The film premiered in-competition in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on 20 January 2014. It won two Awards at the festival.

After its premiere at Sundance Film Festival, Drafthouse Films acquired distribution rights of the film. The film released on 17 September 2014 in United States.

Ep 81 CITY OF GOLD with comedian Karl Hess

Sup Doc Podcast: Documentaries. Comedy and God Knows What Else

City Of Gold with comedian Karl Hess

This episode is sponsored by Hoppin Hot Sauce!

On today’s episode, George talks Los Angeles and food adventures with comedian and foodie Karl Hess.

(We also have Bonus conversation on Patreon by Karl and George about specific LA restaurants, living in Spain, comedy, and working catering.)

Jonathan Gold is an American food critic who currently writes for the Los Angeles Times and has previously written for LA Weekly and Gourmet. He is also a regular on KCRW’s Good Food radio program. Gold often chooses small, ethnic restaurants for his reviews, although he covers all types of cuisine. CITY OF GOLD also explores the rigor, knowledge and compassion that makes Jonathan’s style of criticism stand apart. Jonathan Gold maps Los Angeles through his Odyssey-like quests for new food experiences so that we too can discover and understand our city.

Featured in the film are Roy Choi, David Chang and Peter Meehan (of Lucky Peach and Ugly Delicious), and Ludo Lefebvre, as well as the chefs and owners behind some of Gold’s favorites: Jitlada (Southern Thai), Guelaguetza (Oaxacan), Meals by Genet (Ethiopian), and Chengdu Taste (Sichuan).

Karl Hess is a person & stand-up comedian, writer, host and actor who lives in Los Angeles. He is the only person ever to do all of those things. He also enjoys tacos and leisure.

Karl has performed at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, SXSW, San Francisco Sketchfest, The Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival in Atlanta at which he was a finalist, HellYes Fest in Austin & New Orleans, the High Plains Comedy Festival in Denver and numerous others whose inclusion might render this biographical blurb unwieldy and verbose, which, let’s be honest, nobody here has time for. He has been featured on TruTV’s “World’s Dumbest..”, FUSE, AXS TV, numerous national commercials, written for MTV, contributed to VICE, is a host of The Elite Daily Show on the go90 network, and he plays regularly at the top shows in LA, as well as all across this great nation.

Karl is also co-host of the comedy food podcast Yelling About Pâté along with Executive Chef Joel Miller. Rolling Stone called Yelling About Pâté “your new favorite show,” and The A.V. Club hailed it as “a great listen.”

Jonathan Gold and George

George makes Jonathan Gold sign his Human Hands LP

Ep 80 I AM SAM KINISON with director Adrian Buitenhuis

Sup Doc Podcast A Documentary Film/Comedy Podcast

On today’s episode we spoke with the Director of I AM SAM KINISON, Adrian Buitenhuis. We learn about his start in documentary filmmaking, and why the legacy of Sam Kinison is worth revisiting decades after his cultural peak  and his untimely death.

I AM SAM KINISON is available on iTunes and The Paramount Network, the recent rebrand of Spike TV.

I Am Sam Kinison is a feature-length documentary film exploring the life and legacy of shock comic Sam Kinison, a former Pentecostal preacher turned stand-up comic who repurposed his pulpit-honed chops to the brazen rock ‘n roll world of MTV-era comedy. Following a steep trajectory to fame, excess, despair and near-redemption, Sam meets a sudden and early death when struck by a drunk driver in 1992. Using extensive clips from his comedy specials that cover some of his favorite topics including marriage, women, homosexuality, God, religion and world hunger Sam tells much of his story himself in a barrage of comedic feints and blows, shrieking and misanthropic riffing. Added perspective is provided by a dynamic cast of friends, family, fellow comics and celebrity party-mates, augmented by animated sequences that illustrate and add color to energetic and often hilarious interviews. Key interviews include the inspired storytelling of Jay Leno, Bill Burr, Ted Nugent, Charlie Sheen, Joe Rogan, Corey Feldman, Bob Saget, Tommy Chong, Ron Jeremy, and others.

Starting with a childhood head injury, Sam’s story plots a course of failure, from his time as a Pentecostal preacher, culminating in a humiliating marriage. Finally stepping onto a comedy club stage in Houston, he finds his voice and true calling but it takes years of struggle before mainstream audiences are ready to hear his message. Yet with all the unbridled profligacy of his eventual fame and fortune, Sam never loses his faith in God and his raucous story is replete with biblical themes fueled by sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. I Am Sam Kinison shocks, shticks and screams its way through a life and a wild career that shattered the status quo and changed comedy forever.

Samuel Burl Kinison (December 8, 1953 – April 10, 1992) was an American stand-up comedian and actor. He was known for his intense, harsh and politically incorrect humor. A former Pentecostal preacher, he performed stand-up routines that were most often characterized by an intense style, similar to charismatic preachers, and punctuated by his trademark scream.

Adrian Buitenhuis‘s ability to engage with people and convey their personal stories has created an intimate body of documentary work that continues to grow. Adrian has directed and produced documentaries for Sony Pictures, CBS and Vice Media among others. Since joining forces with Network Entertainment, he has directed documentaries on Pablo Escobar & Suge Knight as part of the seven-part series, Facing, for National Geographic. I Am Heath Ledger is the first of two feature-length documentaries he is directing in the I AM series this year.

Ep 79 KUMARE with comedian Krista Fatka

Sup Doc A Documentary Podcast with comedians Paco Romane and George Chen

We sat down with comedian Krista Fatka. Krista recently won first place in The Sacramento Comedy Competition and along with Paco Romane produces The Charm Offensive at the San Francisco Punch Line. With over a decade of performance experience in circus and theater, she’s as comfortable on stage as she is in a room full of clowns. Which is to say, pretty comfy.

Krista wanted to discuss Vikram Gandhi’s 2012 documentary KUMARE. Gandhi, a lapsed Hindu, conducts an experiment posing as a guru named Kumare. Kumare/Gandhi attracts a number of followers in Arizona and is surprised to find they are getting genuine benefits from his deception. The question is when and how he’ll reveal the truth behind Kumare?

To record the documentary, American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi transformed himself into Sri Kumaré, an enlightened guru from a fictional village in India, by adopting a fake Indian accent and growing out his hair and beard. In the film, Kumaré travels to Arizona to spread his made-up philosophy and gain sincere followers.

Kumaré premiered at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW), where it received the festival’s Feature Film Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. Gandhi came up with the idea of a fictional guru while recording another documentary film about yogis and their followers.

We discuss a lot in this episode: comparing this film to prank-based non-fiction like Nathan For You and Borat, Cafe Gratitude, past scams we’ve been victim to, and spiritual seeking for cynics.

Ep 78 Jim and Andy The Great Beyond with comedian Molly Sanchez

Sup Doc A Documentary Film Podcast with funny interviews, games and discourse

On Ep 78 host Paco Romane sits down with comedian/writer Molly Sanchez to talk, dissect and deconstruct the doc Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond.
Due to technical difficulties host George Chen couldn’t attend so Paco and Molly talk hella smack about George but also get into comedy, movies, writing and much more! Using 100 hours of footage from the set of “Man on the Moon,” filmmaker Chris Smith documents Jim Carrey’s transformation into legendary performance artist and comedian Andy Kaufman.

Molly Sanchez is a writer, comedian and lover of burritos everywhere. As a standup she has performed at the San Francisco Punchline, Cobbs Comedy Club, The Comedy Store LA, and various hives of scum and villainy around the world. She’s been featured in The She Devil Comedy Fest in New York, The She Devil Fest in Toronto and once Margaret Cho said her dress was pretty. Her improv “career” started at San Francisco State with Improv Nation and now proudly continues with Group Text. Molly also hosts the one season only TV show podcast “Failure To Launch“.

Show Notes:
After Mash: Potter, Mulcahy and Klinger reunite after the Korean War on the staff at a Missouri hospital.

First episode date: September 26, 1983

Final episode date: May 31, 1985

No. of episodes: 31 (1 unaired in America)

Molly on Twitter: @SeriousMolly