Kevin O'Brien on the These Things Matter podcast and Mile High Sci Fi
How did meet up with Harrison and get dragooned into Mile High Sci Fi?
I met Harrison about a year and half ago, at Comedy Works, performing at New Talent Night. I met him through that and he saw me perform a few times and said he he liked my style. I would assume he liked my sarcastic nature, probably. He mentioned something about a year ago to do Mile High Sci Fi, but it's a monthly show and they have different guests on so it took a little while. He kept me in the back of his mind and [finally] asked me to do it about a month and half ago.
So since then you've spent the past month and half watching and rewatching Raw Deal?
As soon as they finished doing the last show -- they finished doing Independence Day at the end of June -- he took three days off, then we started at the beginning of July. We watched the movie I think six times now, six and half times, and we're probably going to watch it one more time before the show. The entire month of July has been dedicated to watching this terrible movie over and over again.
In this course of half a dozen viewings of Raw Deal, did you have any great insights into it, or Schwarzenegger, or movies in general?
The biggest insight I got from watching it over and over again is how insanely complex the plot of the movie is. We watched it a bunch of times and it took me until the fourth viewing to even piece together what the movie was trying to be. The thing I find really interesting from watching it is Schwarzenegger's performance. This movie was right before he became a real action star. There's these weird moments where you can tell he's really not comfortable being an actor.
It's funny, because if you watch Conan the Barbarian, he's really not a very good actor, but that movie is kind of campy. This movie takes itself so seriously, and you can tell he was in acting classes while he was shooting it. He's just so stiff, and there's this terrible scene where he tries to part his hair back after fighting, and it's just so hilarious. The main thing I took away from it is that Arnold Schwarzenegger was so much worse of an actor than we even remember from even something like Commando. He's just terrible. He's just the stiffest actor. It's mind-blowing that anybody would ever give him the opportunity to be in a movie.
Are you looking forward to your Mile High Sci Fi debut? Any nervousness?
No. The only thing I'm worried about is making sure I hit the jokes at the right time. I've been watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 since I was like seven or eight years old, so I think a big part of my humor or my taste in humor, just the way I developed as a comedian has been influenced by stuff like that. I mean, like a lot people, I've spent a large majority of my life just watching bad movies and making fun of it on the couch. The concept of the show, I'm pretty comfortable with it from the get go. The only thing I'd be worried about for this weekend is screwing up a joke, or just the biggest fear I get with anything in comedy -- not being funny. Aside from that, I'm really excited. i think it's going to be great. I've wanted to do the show for years so this is going to be great.
Anything else you want to say?
I'm incredibly privileged and fortunate to be a comedian and performer in Denver. The fact that I can do a show like [Mile High Sci Fi], that I've been dreaming about doing since i was a little kid, is incredible. And the fact that I am constantly surrounded by peers and friends who are way funnier than I am has forced me to be funnier and be harder so I can get opportunities like [this] has just been really really great couple of years for me.
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