by Mira Ptacin
October 1, 2012
Myq Kaplan and Micah Sherman. Myq and Micah, M & M. We like these two. We like them a lot. They’re silly, they’re smarties, and they’re successful. Kaplan, a Freerange Nonfiction alum, was the 2010 Last Comic Standing. His Vegan Mind Meld was one of the top comedy albums on iTunes and was chosen as one of Laughspin‘s top 10 albums in that same year. He’s also a vegan with a Masters degree in Linguistics from Boston University. And the other half of the duo, Micah Sherman, is a dedicated philosopher of improvisational comedy who teaches at The People’s Improv Theater in Manhattan. He’s also a skilled improv actor with a growing list of roles in major studio flicks, plus, he can sing. Recently, Freerange shot the breeze with Myq and Micah about their debut album that captures their cunning tones in a way you might not expect: through music. The 22-track album “Please Be Seated” is 61 minutes of cerebral, goofy, irreverent, improvisational, ridiculous musical comedy that makes you wish they were your childhood choir teachers.
1. What was going through your head(s) when you met Micah (or Micah met Myq)?
Micah: I hope I don’t wake this guy up, having just broken into his house late at night.
Myq: Zzzzzzzzzzzz… hey, who are you? Wait, aren’t you a comedian I saw at an open mic? You were hilarious, nice to meet you!
Micah: Same here! Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…
Myq: Did you just fall asleep?
Micah: Zzzzzz.. hmm? No! You?
Myq: Nope. Zzzzzzzz. Good night, Micah. Zzzzzzzz.
Micah: Night, Myq! Zzzzzzzzz
2. Where along the way did you decide to do this album together?
Zzzzzzzzz. Gotcha! Real answer this time. We’ve been working together for several years, and a number of fans and friends had consistently been asking when we would have an album, and we decided to give them an answer one year ago. And the answer from one year ago was “September 25, 2012.” (We were good planners. Nailed it.)
3. Walk me through the first fifteen minutes of a rehearsal/practice with the two of you.
Myq: Knock knock.
Micah: Who’s there?
Myq: It’s Myq at your door.
Micah: Myq at your door who?
Myq: Seriously, it’s raining out here. Let me in! We need to write a song!
Micah: I don’t get it.
Myq: I hate you!
Micah: Oh, I get it!
Micah: Did you just fall asleep in the rain?
Myq: Zzz.. Hmm? No! Let me in!
4. Proudest moments as a duo?
We’re happy with the album. We had a great time hosting a weekly show at the Comedy Studio, which is where we debuted a lot of our songs. We love going on the podcast “Keith and the Girl.” Any time we come up with something together that makes both of us and hopefully other people happy, we’re proud. Like people with a baby when it’s not pooping.
6. How did you choose the name of your album?
Baby naming book. It’s a Native American phrase that means “Please Be Seated.” Just kidding, we actually threw a lot of silverware down the stairs, donated to some Asian charities, and then chose the phrase “Please Be Seated” because we ended up saying it a lot on the album (spoiler alert).
7. Who is in charge of what?
The judicial branch is in charge of interpreting and applying the laws. The legislative branch is in charge of creating them. And the executive branch is in charge of enforcement (in other words, they breathe fire into the laws–otherwise it’s just a toothless zzzzzzzzz…). And Myq plays the guitar.
8. I am in love with the Bop song on your album (and am thrilled there will be a video.) Please tell me the story of the birth your bop and its evolution.
The song “My Humps” by the Black-Eyed Peas was all over the radio, and it was fun and simple. So we felt something even simpler could be even more fun, and thus the first version of “Bop” was conceived, which didn’t have any other words, or maybe even music. Then we filled it out a bit, expanding on the idea that to be on the radio, songs had to be a certain way, and thus the song was born. And now it’s a toddler with a bridge. (Then we went into the studio and made a mutant clone of it, with auto-tune and self-censorship so that we could get it on the radio. Help us! Go to a website. Make demands!)
9. Where will you be touring this year, and do you have anything special planned for the shows?
Well, if you’re reading these words in October and have a time machine, you can go back to our CD release shows in NYC, Boston, and LA. But if you want to keep following time linearly (boring), check out myqkaplan.com and/or micahsherman.com for tour dates in the future (exciting).
10. What comes next?
Re-election of Barack Obama, the re-taking of the House by the Democrats, an energy-friendly solution to the oil crisis, a sincere relaxation of marijuana laws, the nationwide legalization and acceptance (or at least tolerance) of gay marriage, a paring down of the military and prison-industrial complexes, and ultimately, the singularity? Because as the Black-Eyed Peas would say, where is the love? (Answer: my humps.) PS Also we will put out some more videos.
Mira Ptacin is a creative nonfiction and children’s book author, New York Times bestselling ghostwriter, and the founder and executive director of Freerange Nonfiction. She currently teaches writing at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. www.miraptacin.com Twitter: MiraPtacin.