You know, I've lost track of how many times I've visited this forum over the years (Hint: it's definitely more than 27!). I've never taken the plunge and created an account to join in the fun, although I've always wanted to. Ultimately, meeting Al recently (aka The Greatest Day of My Life, aka OMG, Did This Really Happen?!, aka Yes, It Really Happened!, aka A Lifetime Dream Fulfilled, etc.), along with other things in my life, has given me the kick in the butt to finally create an account here. I clicked "Register" and thought, "Look, the front door's open! It's a friendly place."
So, here I am. And from what I've seen, this is a great community with some fantastic people here. I apologize in advance should I make any mistakes, be a bother, or just bring anything other than good stuff to the community (please let me know if I ever do; one thing about me is that I appreciate honesty above everything else, no matter what), and should I ever wear out my welcome... all I request is that could you use rubber-tipped pitchforks and instead of torches, maybe something really, really cold instead? The heat is horrible during the summer, after all.
So, is anybody still reading this, which just may end up being the worst introductory post of all time (sorry about that!)? Thank you, if so. I don't know how long or short to make this post, so I'll just keep talking for now. I guess you can call me Punk, Yankopunk, or if you have any better idea for a nickname, feel free to use that. I've been called pretty much everything, after all, including some names that we can't say here.
(Another note: I might use emojis fairly often, but that's to help with the meaning of my messages. Text can be very tricky to interpret, especially on the internet, so I use them so you can tell if I'm joking and such. I can be serious, and I can also joke around a lot, too.)
I live in one of the southernmost states in the United States. I do apologize for being a bit secretive in some personal details, but all I can say is that it's for very good reasons. Perhaps over time, I can share a bit more about myself. Just trust me, if I ever do share more with any of you, a lot of things will make sense. And hopefully that makes sense, what I just said.
As I said before, I met Al on the current tour, and it was by far the greatest day (or night, more like it) of my life. All the stars and planets aligned, I was able to make the trip to his concert with the Mandatory Czar VIP package, and... I'm still in disbelief that I met him. I'm even more in disbelief that he, touched by some of the things I told him, interrupted what I was saying briefly because he wanted to hug me before I continued talking. Yes... I got a hug from the man himself... and he wanted to hug me! And it's the best hug I've ever received from anyone (the amount of hugs I've received in my life, I can count on my hands, and the amount of genuine ones where someone wanted to hug me is even fewer... and of course, Al's was one of the latter... all genuine, wonderful, and all other sorts of adjectives I can't think of at the moment because it's early in the morning)! I even saw Al's eyes tear up a bit as I shared something else with him, and what he told me during our conversation are wonderful words I'll carry with me forever. I'm not sure if we have a thread about our experiences meeting Al, attending his shows, or the like... or if my experience (which would no doubt be very long, detailed, and such... I'm a writer, among other things) would be at all interesting to hear about.
The concert itself was also the greatest concert I've ever attended. The icing on the cake was that my seat was front row, dead center, so Al was right in front of me all evening long. The only other time I've been fortunate enough to attend an Al show was when he magically found himself playing in my city, which was just incredibly hard to believe. This was back in 2007. So, naturally, I would've sold blood or anything else I needed to in order to get tickets. Luckily, I did end up with tickets (front row, but all the way to the right, which still allowed for an amazing view and experience, of course) and until the recent concert, that was the best concert I've ever attended. Sadly, Al didn't meet with anyone at all after the show. I later found out (through this forum, I believe) that this was during a 1-2 week stretch where Al was sick with the flu. Other than Al sweating a lot more than usual, you never would've known anything was wrong with him. Such an incredible man and a true professional! I have plenty of great and funny memories from that concert, too.
Anyway, I've been a lifelong fan of Al, and other than maybe one or two people I've known, I've never known anyone in person who was into him... and definitely nobody where I live that was as big a fan as I was / am. He's been such an irreplaceable part of my entire life. He's saved my life and inspired me more times than I can count, he's never failed even once to make me smile or laugh, and I just have so much love and admiration for him. He's truly one of my greatest heroes, and ultimately showed me that my lifelong dream was something worth fighting for, always. That dream is to make others happy however I can, help others however I can, and just try to bring something wonderful into other lives. Al has been a constant in my (usually incredibly difficult) life, and even though I attempted to thank him for everything when I met him and talked to him... I never can truly thank him enough for everything he's brought into my life.
So, what else can I say about myself? Let's see. First of all, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me and I'll answer whatever I can. I'd love to talk with people who can understand my love and appreciation for Al, which is why I'm here, of course. And depending on various factors, I can happily talk a lot, or I can remain more quiet, whichever you'd personally prefer. I know some don't really like to talk or interact much, and I get it. I can be quite shy or guarded at times, but I also open up around good people. Whenever I'm performing, though, I'm a completely different person and totally at home / at ease. No matter what, though, I'm always genuine. So...
As you can imagine, I love comedy and anything to do with it... all kinds and from all over the world. As I said, I just want to make others happy, and I had always hoped to do that through creating things. I've written things, directed and edited things, made short films / sketch programs / etc., sang, performed improv / sketch / stand-up / various styles of comedy... and really just performed and created anything in hopes of making someone laugh, moving someone emotionally, or even just getting someone to forget about their troubles for a brief moment. Luckily, people usually enjoyed anything I did, but I would've considered it a victory if they hated it but it made them forget about the bad stuff in their life for a while. I'd rather them have thought, "Yankopunk's show sucked! I'm going to kick his butt in the parking lot after school!" than be thinking, "I'm failing History class this semester," "My parents are probably getting divorced," or so on. Know what I mean? I also had my own comedy troupe with a few friends, and we had it going throughout the bulk of high school. We performed sketches, made short films, and whatnot. We even ventured into drama and made a short film for English class that was apparently so moving that many of the students and the teacher cried and wanted copies for themselves. And unfortunately, real-life drama got in the way and my friends ended up just becoming rotten people near the end of school and I was left alone yet again. (sigh) That's one thing about my life's story: it's filled with a lot of pain, sadness, and downright horrifying things, which is why I'm always nervous about sharing it. Ironic, I suppose: many comedians and such seem to have lives like that. Anyway...
Another little bit about how Al's inspired me actually happened in high school and made my time there a bit brighter: I used UHF as an inspiration to improve the school TV news program. To put it lightly, it sucked. Usually, students would crave any chance to not do schoolwork, but the school show was so lame that they'd tell the teachers not to put it on in the mornings. Yikes! I told the instructors that there shouldn't be any reason why we can't make things funny and enjoyable as long as we reported the news and created some interesting stories. And so, I would often bring some comedy into my segments, whether I was hosting or reporting. I also gave the other students ideas and pointers on how to make things funnier and more enjoyable as well. Best of all, they had fun and looked forward to class, and instead of being bored about learning how to direct, shoot, edit, etc. they loved learning these things because there were new techniques we could add to our programs!
It got to where the students would beg the teachers to turn on the TV to watch the school news show, and everyone loved it. We'd get praise from students, teachers, staff... you name it. They even loved how we revamped it so much that they even threw a giant pizza party for the media / television class to say thank you and that they were proud of what we did. On a side note, I don't know why they ordered several dozen pizzas for a class with no more than 20 students at a time in it. But hey, everyone took home several pizzas, so the family had food for a long time after that. Yay! On another side note, I showed some of the others UHF and they loved it! I ended up wearing out several copies and the clerk at the video store would know that I would need another VHS special-ordered for me. Before that glorious DVD was released, my last UHF copy had to be spliced back together with Scotch tape. Told you I watched it a lot!
I also ended up being known as "the guy who does the funny stuff on the school TV show," kinda like how Al was known as "the Eat It guy."
When I was no longer in the media / television class during certain semesters, I would have people telling me, "Why aren't you on the show anymore? It's not as funny! You need to be on it again!" It felt kinda nice that I was doing something people enjoyed. It was also a nice change from "You suck, Yankopunk!" and the other nasty comments I would get on a daily basis throughout my school years. I still got those even during those years, but they were mixed with the positive stuff. So, yay, I guess.
Also, I learned that right after I graduated, shows from my seasons were used as part of a reel to get the media department more funding, and that those shows were also used as teaching tools for students in that class. A bit embarrassing, but hey... maybe some good came out of it.
So, yes, I'm really, really, really into comedy. I love a lot of different things, so many things that I would probably forget to list them all. But, let me see what pops into my head at the moment. I love all things cinema and TV (I enjoy all genres and things from all over the world; a good thing is a good thing), comic books, video games, reading, writing, collectibles (speaking of which, we finally got an awesome Al action figure, but can someone get on making an Al Funko Pop figure?! There's one for everyone!), music, some sports, pro wrestling, martial arts, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Wars, tons of nerdy / geeky stuff, and honestly... like I said, way too much stuff to mention. At my core, though, I'm just into making others happy and making people laugh. I'm just a big comedy nerd (you can expect dumb jokes galore, and hopefully some good ones, too), and also just a soft-hearted person, I guess. I only want to bring good things into other lives.
Oh, yeah, and all things "Weird Al" Yankovic are good, too, of course.
As Ellie from "The Last of Us" would say after reading a few cheesy jokes, "That's all I got." I really can't think of anything else to say about myself at the moment, and apologies for such a long post. (looks back at post) Wow... I literally think I don't have anything else left to talk about... maybe ever. Yikes! So, I'll leave while once again quoting the wonderful George Newman:
"Gee! Look at the time! Gotta go! Keep in touch..."
The greatest thing a human being can do is make another person happy. If I can ever help do that for you, just let me know!