Martin Luther King Day Read by Donald Bigbelow

@The Groundlings

July 29th ,2014

Jordan Black as Donald Bigbelow

Filmed by: Ron Sarfaty


Imogene was the kind of beautiful that’s not beautiful on the outside. She wondered if she’d be alone forever. Hardly anyone in Bedford County even noticed her. Except for Linus. He’d follow Imogene everywhere she went, filming her, picking her trash outta the garbage and what not.

He wasn’t really right in the head, but Imogene didn’t have any other admirers, so she always gave him a smile when their eyes met. Plus, he wasn’t ugly, just a lil bit off. He’d been one of those kids who couldn’t have pets cause they’d always end up dead and opened up. A few neighbors who’d lost their cats suspected him of foul play, but nothing was ever proven. Imogene didn’t have any pets, so she wasn’t really worried about Linus.

Well, and so it was on most days, Imogene would walk through town nearly invisible with Linus trailing about ten steps behind her. She never knew why he followed her on some days and not on others – and the truth is, she was starting to care. So on the days he wasn’t watching her, she went looking for him. He was easy to find. He was most always smashing on rocks in his front yard with no shirt on. It was a good look for him, thought Imogene. He’d look up from smashing and smile at her and then go right back to smashing.

One day when Linus wasn’t following her, and he wasn’t in his front yard, Imogene went up to the house. Now, that took a lot of courage. Linus’s father was known for yelling and throwing beer cans, though no one had seen him for a while. “Linus,” called Imogene, “you in there?” There was no answer.

Imogene peeked through the window. She could see Linus’s dad sitting on an armchair with a beer in his hand. Looked like he was asleep. She called out again “Linus?” Still no answer. Imogene noticed the door was open, so she let herself in. She took a closer look at Linus’s dad and realized he wasn’t sitting in the chair, he was the chair. He’d been expertly stuffed and positioned. Imogene heard someone grunting behind her. She spun around to find Linus standing right there. “Linus, did you do this?” she asked. Linus nodded slowly. “It’s just beautiful. May I take a seat?” Again, Linus nodded, smiling shyly.

Imogene sat on Linus’s dad and leaned back. The chair rocked a little with her weight. A rocking chair! Imogene had always wanted a rocking chair. Linus took the beer can out of his daddy’s hand and replaced it with a nice cold fresh one for Imogene.

She looked at Linus and it was like she could see into the future. They’d be married. It’d be a simple life, but a nice one. He’d make all the furniture and she’d do the cooking and cleaning and of course she’d read to the kids. She wasn’t sure Linus could even talk, let alone read.

Still, she thought, he sure would make a fine husband.


I Want the Backpack

Dear Stephanie,

Happy Birthday! I’m really sorry your party got cancelled on Saturday. Does Alex really have lice? Eew. My mom said you’re gonna get it too for sure. Are you sad about not getting your party? I am.

Well, I’m writing to cheer you up and tell you I got you a really good gift.

It’s bangles and stickers and lip-gloss and a backpack of Elsa from Frozen. It’s blue with glitter and when you squeeze Elsa’s face it plays “Let It Go.”

Stephanie… I want the backpack.

My mom said it’s not your fault the party got cancelled and I’m not mad at you. But still, I didn’t get to go. We’re coming by later to drop off you your gift and I think you should open it and then say you want me to have the backpack. Because of how much I love Elsa. I know you do too, but not as much as me. And I mean, it’s not even your birthday anymore.

You’re such a good friend. I know you’ll do the right thing.

Love, Olive

P.S. What are you guys going to do with all the party favors?

The Proposal read by Laraine Newman

@The Groundlings

July 29, 2014

Filmed by: Ron Sarfaty

My Dead Body


Thank you for your email. Yes, I do want to marry you. I’m sure. And it’s not because of all your money.  I actually love you. I have no problem signing your prenup. In fact, I have something for you to sign as well. Basically, it says that when the police find my dead body, they should question you first. I don’t think you’re going to kill me, but statistically if someone’s going to kill me, it’s you. And I just want you to be investigated.

By signing my agreement you’re saying “I’m on board with that!” There’s a lot of fine print here and I don’t think you need to read it all. It just gets into the specifics of different ways my body might be found and some sample questions the police should ask. Like, “Oh so we’re supposed to believe that your wife hit herself on the head with a bat?” Obviously I’m just ball-parking it. No one really knows what’s going to happen. I just have this feeling. You know?

Shawna thinks I’m nuts for marrying you, but I told her I love you. You don’t choose who you fall in love with, right?

I wrote down as many scenarios of my murder as I could think of and I added a suggested response from you for each. Most are obvious like: if I’m shot, you should ask the police to test your hands for gunpowder residue. Some are less about you being tried and convicted and more about you feeling my pain. Like if I’m drowned, I suggested you have Pierre hold your head under water for two minutes so you know what I went through.

Let me know if you have any suggestions – I may have gotten a bit “Romeo and Juliet” on a few. Like, you don’t actually have to drink the poison, but I think we should have some just in case you can’t live without me. Please have the papers signed and get them back to my lawyers by Friday.

Your loving fiancé, Joanne

Sex Questions

I already know my parents do it.

I was supposed to be home at eight last night, but I got back early because James’s mom was too tired to cook. She got us a bucket of crispy chicken instead and we ate it way faster than regular food. She dropped me off at like 7:30. Anyway, I said “hey” when I walked in the door, but nobody answered, so I went upstairs and that’s when I heard ‘em. I thought it would be cool to watch. It wasn’t.

The worst part is, my mom saw me. She didn’t say anything last night, but this morning after my dad got up from breakfast to go poop, mom said “hey Donny you know you can ask me anything right?”

And I was like “Aww, man.”

And she was like “I mean it Donny. Anything. Your dad too.”

And I was just thinking please stop talking, please stop talking, but she just had to keep talking. She said, “you know, like all your sex questions.”

Then dad shouted from the bathroom “hey what are you guys talking about?”

I yelled “nothing,” but then mom yelled, “Donny has questions about sex!”

Then it got quiet and dad said “Cheryl do we really have to do this now? I mean the boy’s only nine.”

So I said “I’m ten.”

And he said “okay so what do you want to know?” and then he flushed the toilet.

I said “nothing,” and then mom said, “honey, Donny was watching us make love last night.”

So anyway, that’s why I’m here. So I don’t get traumatized. The thing is, I don’t feel bad. I could barely see anything, that’s why I was at the door for so long. And I really don’t have any sex questions. I mean, not for them. What they were doing didn’t look anything like the porn I watch at James’s house. We figured out the code to unlock all the good channels. I have questions for some of those people.

There’s a lot of weird shit out there. You know?

Welcome Back

Yo Harold!

You’re moving back to LA? That’s great man! What’s it been like twelve and a half years?! Wow. I just want you to know you can come stay with me if you want. I promise my kids won’t get in our way. If you’re the guy I remember, my kids will never be as important to me as you are.

I’ve missed you a lot. Every time I see a good bromance I think about you.  I feel like that’s what we had, but we didn’t get to call it that! Are you still honest and trustworthy? Enough with all the secrets, right? I want us to be friends for life, so I hope you’re still in good shape. I’d prefer you to be off drugs, but I’m willing to hear your side of the story.

The only deal breaker for me is if you’ve turned into an overeater. I kind of have a weight problem now. If you’re eating all the time, I know I will too. Also, I’m not supposed to have salt, so you’ll want to try and stop me from having any. I really should be working out, but I need some motivation. I like swimming and jogging, so if I were you I’d try to get me to do those first. People tell me I’m depressed, but the truth is I’m up for pretty much anything. It’s just that it can be hard to get me out of bed. (You remember.)

Sometimes with me it’s all about how you ask. You’ll figure it out.

I have two weekly commitments you should know about. One is my fantasy football league on Thursday evenings and the other is a private thing I do all day on Saturday. The football league is really exciting and I wish you could come with me, but… someone has to look after Richie (my youngest) while I’m gone. So…

I’ll need that on Saturdays as well. You should clear your schedule because it really is all day every Saturday.

Well, that’s pretty much it. How are you doing? If you want to grab a couple six packs and some Tide on your way over that’d be great. I can’t wait to see you man.


The Mud Pit

(Originally posted on the Body Joy Project blog.)

They dug it out past the crops, not far from the field of sunflowers. It was only a few feet deep, but it was big. About the size of a public pool. We watched, mesmerized as the water and dirt swirled together. Two hoses on full blast and still, it was taking forever. We’d been watching them dig all week and they promised it would be ready today. We’d been in our swimsuits since the morning.

Reluctantly, we left to eat lunch and do our afternoon chores. I remember standing on a step stool in the kitchen kneading dough in my swimsuit and tennis shoes. I would have worn that outfit anywhere. I was ten years old and confident. The idea of hating my body had not yet entered my world. I hadn’t even spent much time thinking about my body other than seeing what it could do. I was too busy living in it.

Eventually, someone ran into the kitchen screaming, “It’s ready! It’s ready!” So was I. This wasn’t my first time at camp, but it was my first mud pit and I couldn’t wait to get in.

The mud was thick, and warmer than I thought it would be. I could feel tiny bits of dried grass and rocks between my toes. I walked around a bit with it up to my thighs, dragging my fingers through the surface of the mud as I walked. Slowly, I lowered my whole body into the mud. I lay on my back and was instantly floating. With my head back and my ears under the mud, everything was silent. I was looking up at the clouds slowly drifting all alone in a warm sea. It felt like the whole mud pit had been made just for me.

At the same time, I felt so connected to the people around me. I saw my friends and camp counselors in a completely new way. They were beautiful. Alive and free and messy and perfect. My interest in everyone around me grew. They liked this just as much as I did. What else did we have in common? What else were they capable of?

I remember all of us looking at each other in awe, laughing, and trying different things. One person would shout out “hey you guys – try running” and we’d all fall over trying to run. We’d get out and hose each other off, squealing in delight as our skin beneath the mud was revealed. I would get as clean as I could just so I could see myself transform again as I got back into the mud.

That experience opened something up inside of me. I saw the work it took to make it possible. I saw my counselors and the owners of the camp spend days digging that pit. They had made a special place for all of us to get messy. The possibilities of what I believed a person could be were changing. Lying in bed that night, falling asleep, my breaths were deeper and I felt bigger on the inside.

Liam Nissan part 2

Dear Nissan,

I have new idea for the Liam Nissan. I still think you should make all my other ideas, but make this one for sure.

Introducing: The Liam Nissan Run All Night.


Seriously it doesn’t even sound like a movie- it sounds like a car! I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but it kind of feels like me and the movie people are doing all the work for you. I’m just trying to help you. I feel like… I don’t know. Maybe your cars are safe and maybe they aren’t. That’s not the point. The point is the Liam Nissan feels like the safest car on the road.

Because Taken.

Still waiting for your call,


The Liam Nissan

Dear Nissan,

I’ve come up with your next campaign. I don’t know who has been doing your other campaigns, and I don’t want to step on any toes, but when a great idea hits you, sometimes you gotta just roll with it. So without further ado, I present:

The Liam Nissan

As you will soon see, the possibilities are infinite and the results are epic.

Here we have the Liam Knows Bestliamknowsbest2

Followed by the always classy Liam Pensativoliampensativo2

Next is the I’m So Taken With Liamdontmess2

And of course, let’s not forget, A Whole Lotta Liam.alotofliam2

Obviously this is just the beginning. Call me.


Charlotte Dean