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Ooze at Los Angeles (area)Film Festival
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|The LA WEEKLY calls it "unconventional humor." The Ventura Star says, "major success is right around the corner for Ooze." And now Ooze presents a NEW SHOW!
Ooze.com in "SEX"
final show WEDS. Nov. 28!
@8:00 PM (no show Nov. 21)
MJ Loheed, Matt Patterson, Eddie Schmidt & Joe Wagner of ooze.com horrify Hollywood with their Evening of Scandalous Sketches and Pranks!
NOTE: There will be NO show on Wed. Oct. 31 AND Nov. 21
|REVIEW of Ooze in CELEBRITY- from the Ventura Star
It should come as no surprise that it’s nearly impossible to get a straight answer from Ooze. After all, this foursome is best known for pulling outrageous pranks that have incited near riots while garnering worldwide press.
TV writers, Web celebrities and literary authors of sorts, Ooze (M.J. Loheed, Matt Patterson, Eddie Schmidt and Joe Wagner) has developed a stage show called “Celebrity” that incorporates sketch comedy with video from some of the group’s most outrageous stunts (think intelligent Tom Green meets Michael Moore).
But sitting backstage at The Complex in Los Angeles, it takes some cajoling to get the real story. “We met in the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia. 1991. Scuds were dropping all around us,” says Patterson with a straight face when asked how the group met. Of course the answer is a bit less dramaticthey met as college students at Vassar and found that each had the same twisted sense of humor, but each with his own distinct personality.
Matt, who built the Ooze website, is the spokesman. Eddie is the brain. M.J. is the quiet one and Joe is the wild card, which means in the midst of a philosophical conversation about comedy he is liable to jump up and begin screaming.
After college, Ooze moved to Los Angeles where they performed at various comedy clubs. The group’s first break came not on stage but in a book. about a certain obscene gesture. “The Finger” became a Top-75 seller
Perhaps Ooze is best known for public displays of insanity, most notably its protest of the latest Star Wars film. “We went to the opening of Phantom Menace at Mann’s Chinese Theatre dressed as conservative Christians,” Patterson recalls. “We held signs and handed out fliers explaining that “The Force” [a special power that some characters in the movie use] is a tool of Satan.”
The reactions from people in line, some of whom had been there for days, was less than positive. “A few people threatened us,” Loheed says. “What seemed like a harmless bit of fun actually revealed an ugly side to a movie we all know and love, which is that some people take Star Wars too seriously. The average Star Wars fanatic was genuinely threatened by two nuts on the sidewalk with signs.”
Video of the protest made several TV newscasts in America, Europe and Asia. The video, which is still on the group’s website, receives daily hate mail, Patterson said.
Since then, Wagner has been seen in episodes of MTV’s The Andy Dick Show, and he and Loheed have written for the Comedy Central network game show Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush.
But Ooze still wants to do its own brand of humor. This current show was developed as a live pilot for a TV show they are pitching to various networks.
The one-hour performance is not for children and certainly not for anyone who doesn’t enjoy intelligent, yet tasteless, humor. Celebrity’s theme is that famous actors are better than the rest of us and that they deserve special treatment.
In one video segment, Ooze portrays the Celebrity Rights Association. The group posted “Celebrity Parking Only” signs at a local supermarket and waved away cars driven by the non-famous. And they attempted to persuade various businesses to give celebrities free merchandise.
Ooze videos often end with the police arriving or with quizzical bystanders wondering if what they are witnessing is real.
The videos are interspersed with sketches. The most notable scene concerns a man who gets to meet his idol Jimmy Stewart, who, unfortunately has become a menacing zombie.
Ooze’s humor stems from its willingness to do anything for a laugh. But the group takes itself seriously, as witnessed by a post-show session to discuss how to sharpen a couple of the scenes and to brainstorm other pranks.
Does Ooze fear ever taking a prank too far?
“The day we do is the day M.J. gets shot in the face” said Wagner. “And that day is next Wednesday, here at The Complex.”
Another straight answer looks far in the future, but if this show is any indication, major success is right around the corner.