Monday, April 5, 2010

BEHIND THE SCENES: Rob Lathan and Crazy Legs Conti

Now that we’ve launched the brand new UCBCOMEDY.COM we are going to make a huge effort to reach out to our community and provide a little insight into what goes on behind the scenes at UCB COMEDY. That said, from now until the end of time we are going to start providing frequent behind the scenes blog-posts will do the following:

-tell the stories about when things went right
-tell the better stories about when things went horribly wrong
how or why we did something
-respond to questions or curiosities
-weave casual meanderings on the topic of the zeitgeist of our culture

To start things off today I am going to tell some of the tales behind the first episode of one our newest series “Rob Lathan’s Impossible Challenge”:

When I was first tasked with the job of producing Rob’s series I was submerged into a world of ridiculous characters and silly business deals. Our first episode was slated to be about competitive eating so I zeroed my efforts in on connecting with the International Federation of Competitive Eaters. Initially the IFOCE was hesitant to agree to put me in contact with their eaters. They didn’t want the eaters to look bad and I had to assure them over and over again that the only one who would look bad would be our own Rob Lathan.

Days turned into weeks and eventually our window for shooting the episode narrowed. I had assumed that the IFOCE wasn’t interested in being a part of the video and I started looking to move on to a new concept. That is, until I received the super friendly and super awesome voicemail from world famous competitive speed eater Crazy Legs Conti. His voice-mail began with him explaining that he just, "finished off a trough of oatmeal" and then he proceeded to give me a quick tutorial on how to eat French fries plain versus French fries with gravy ("they work different quadrants of the jaw")--- all on my voicemail. He left me with his contact information for the Penthouse Executive Club and was extremely open to any of our ideas.

When it came to the actual shoot, Crazy Legs was such and easy going guy and was so comfortable that while we were conducting the post-eating interview he dug around the table of half eaten food and resurfaced with two pieces of wheat bread surrounding a powdered doughnut (the essential ingredients of a doughnut sandwich). As he chomped into his casual doughnut sandwich he decided to wash it down with an entire pitcher of water sitting on the table (as Rob talked Matt Fisher stared in awe as this all took place). This was genuinely one of my favorite moments of the shoot (you can see said doughnut sandwich at the end of the video) and Crazy Legs treated it like an everyday snack-- which it may have been.

The shoot was crazy and fun and everyone involved had a good time. That said, we want to extend a special thanks to the folks at the IFOCE for helping to make this happen, to Crazy Legs Conti for being so awesome, and to the Triple Crown for letting us shoot there. We hope you enjoy the video and definitely stay tuned because we have some new Impossible Challenges lined up.

If you have any questions about this video or any others please feel free to post it on the message boards and we will respond there or if it’s awesome we might respond here!

“Eat all you can” – Crazy Legs Conti