Monkey Talks
February 19, 2009 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Monkey Talks
I have a new animated comedy talk show. It's called Monkey Talks and features host Julius Larsen and permanent guest Collette Taj, both robot monkeys. In episode 1, Collette discusses the woes of being a sex symbol. Episode 2 focuses on the long shelf life but inferior taste of cavendish bananas. And in episode 3, Julius waxes poetic about the majestic proportions of his penis. If you like the show, please help spread the word far and wide! And please subscribe -- I'll add episodes roughly every two weeks.

If you think the show has potential, but have constructive criticism, please leave comments here. The look and feel of it is pretty much set in stone, but the writing is evolving. My hope is that over time, it will become more clear that these are both smart characters, but that Collette has more to offer than most will think at first glance, while Julius has less -- he is wrapped up in his ornate word choices but underneath all that he is mostly just a sex-obsessed juvenile. But beyond all that, the biggest hope is that the show will entertain and find at least a small audience. I'm planning to do 12 episodes and see if anyone cares by then. Thanks for taking the time to check it out.
posted by edlundart (9 comments total)

I'm having a really hard time dealing with weird sort of reverb that the voices have. I find it annoying to the point of it causing actual pain, which is keeping me from wanting to watch long enough to access any content. I would probably try watching again if that were removed.
posted by Caduceus at 9:12 PM on February 21, 2009

Thanks for your comment, Caduceus. One friend had a similar complaint, while others don't have any trouble with it. I wish I had a better idea of what the percentages are -- I'll certainly take this on board as a data point.
posted by edlundart at 10:17 PM on February 21, 2009

Sure thing. You sold me with "robot monkeys," so I was disappointed by how distracting I found the voice modulation.
posted by Caduceus at 11:00 PM on February 21, 2009

Funny! Keep doing these. I agree that the vocoding thing was a little heavy in ep.1 and combined with the crowd ambient noise it made it a real strain to follow. The ambient seemed turned down in Ep.2 and the dialogue was much easier to follow. It works but it just needs to be tweaked.

If I could ask for one thing, it would be a way to give the listener some respite after every couple of jokes. I kept imagining that it would be nice to cut away to some other bit of business in the cafe for a second. It could be something really mundane and abstract featuring robot coffee and pie, some visual to introduce the clatter of dishes, steaming of milk, anything to break the monotony of the ambient crowd noise. Just long enough to hit our reset button before focusing on the conversation again. I know it adds more work but maybe an AskMefi could drum up some good easy-to-pull-off ideas.

Again, funny. Keep going.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:31 AM on February 23, 2009

Thanks! Yes, I toned down the crowd noise after episode 1. Maybe I'll tone down the vocoding slightly as well as I go along, so it's just a subtle adjustment as opposed to a sudden change.

The respite idea is a good one. I had a plan for one such thing, but some of your ideas are better. It does represent a lot more work, so I'm not likely to add something like that for a while, but if I get some traction down the line with this thing I'll definitely consider it. I am gradually adding more varied gestural shots into the mix, so that the animation gets slightly more interesting as we go along.
posted by edlundart at 6:26 PM on February 23, 2009

Another thought...

Maybe in future you could feature the little inset joke illustrations a bit more prominently than the small screen on the table. I thought the GW monument joke would have sold better if the chicklet panels in the background had flipped around to reveal the picture. That way it would be bigger and wouldn't have to during cutaways, since pertinent parts of the image could still be visible in the closer shots. It could look really attractive, having them flip around in a mosaic wipe fashion, revealing different stock shots or gag photos. Then they could flip back or maybe fade back to the standard backdrop.

Boy, I have no trouble at all thinking up work for other people.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:06 PM on February 23, 2009

...and wouldn't have to disappear during cutaways, ...
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:08 PM on February 23, 2009

Heheh. I'm taking notes of all of this. Production-wise I think this latest idea is not so viable, but I really appreciate the input. Even if I don't act on your particular ideas, they are helping me understand what things might be improved upon. Thanks again!
posted by edlundart at 1:28 PM on February 24, 2009

Very creative. I'd tend agree that the robot vocals are distracting. It's clear from the antennas and and the red squiggle mouth that they are robots, so you can give just a wisp of robot speak.

You might find some comedic inspiration from monkey tatoos. Compare and contrast trends in human vs monkey body mods.
posted by forrestal at 6:26 AM on March 5, 2009

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