Obama Man Goes Viral (Part II)

Today, someone left a comment on my blog that said…

…that was terrific, where did you get the idea? I mean did you just wake up one morning and started humming the lyrics….c’mon every great idea has an inspiration. Tell us what triggered it.

Karl Williams

I thought, this might be a great opportunity to talk about where the inspiration for Obama Man came from.

I think it was a Thursday night in April  of 2009.  The night before I was about to appear on the Bob and Tom Radio Show.  I usually stay up the whole night obsessing over what material I’m going to do on the show.  I’m like a kid cramming for a test the next day.

I had just finished working with comedian Glen Jensen at Crackers Comedy Club and we were discussing Obama.  We work together quite a bit and we’re always trying out new material on each other.  He said to me, “Obama’s like Sammy Davis Jr.  He can do anything!”  When he said that, it felt like the a lightning rod of inspiration shot through my body.

Glen and I are huge fans of the old school entertainers like Sammy, Dean, Jerry and Frank.  but we always considered Sammy the best.  He could sing, dance, act, do impressions, play the trumpet and drums!

I said, “Hey, that’s a song!”  and started singing…

Who can fix your mortgage, General Motors too,

A bail out check for me and a bail out check for you. Obama Man.

By the time we were back to the hotel, I had the first verse written.  I dashed upstairs and started writing and Glen tried to find a karaoke version of Candy man.  We bounced ideas back and forth over the phone and had the whole thing written in less than an hour.

I burned the karaoke version to a blank CD and went out to my car at 4:00 in the morning and started practicing the song.  I didn’t want to disturb any of the guest at the hotel by singing in my room so I thought the car was the most private place to practice.  I’m belting the song out like I’m in the shower with a Mr. Microphone and this guy walking his dog gives me a WTF look.  Certainly not my most embarrassing moment but still memorable.

And that’s how the Obama Man song was born.  Thanks Karl!

NUIT BLANCHE TORONTO / 2009 REVIEW

CN Tower pulsates to electronic music on Nuit Blanche, 2009
CN Tower pulsates to electronic music on Nuit Blanche, 2009

This past Saturday, I attended Toronto’s 4th annual Nuit Blanche sponsored by Scotiabank.  A  celebration of contemporary art in the heart of the city.  This year, the event was attended by over 130,000 people!  (Some of them blotto) The event ran from 7PM Sat. to 7AM Sun.

I said to my wife, “I’m up for the challenge.  132 installations provided by 550 artist, spread out over three different sectors of downtown Toronto.  (God knows how many square miles)  Hell, we LIVE downtown!  All we need do is to step outside our door, and partake in the festivities.  Let’s do this.  Let’s pull an all-nighter!”

After seeing only a handful  exhibits, we sheepishly retired to our home at 3:00 AM.  (Someone should have had a nappy-poo.)

Frankly, I’m not sure anyone could see everything unless it were carefully planned.  Fortunately, the organizers provided an online digital guide.  A paperless brochure, filled with artist names, statements, pictures and information.

Let’s say you’re looking at a work of contemporary art, but you have no idea who the artist is, the title of the piece or what the piece represents, or even if  it’s art. WTF???  (The lines between contemporary art and reality are often blurred.) Simply take a digital snapshot of the icon next to the piece with your BlackBerry or iPhone camera, and all pertinent information will appear on screen.

If you want to locate that particular installation,  you can use the GPS function on your portable smart phone device.  Wow!  I LIVE IN THE  F@#$% FUTURE!  People were excitedly texting and tweeting each other, voting for their favorite installations.  It was very cool!

Here’s my final assessment of the evening…  WE LOVED IT!

I would strongly encourage anyone thinking of visiting Toronto next fall, to include Nuit Blanche as part of their schedule.  Hell, you’re going to see a lot of these landmarks anyway.  Why not see them with drunk people?

Aside from a few novice art critics and some amateur drinkers who left behind their own versions of Jackson Pollock, I thoroughly enjoyed this all-night contemporary art thing.

You know what the best thing about it was?  The price.  Absolutely FREE!

“Hey honey, let’s go get pissed up and look at some modern art.

I will be posting more digital pictures and videos once they’re developed.

*Hats off to all the organizers and volunteers who helped the night run smoothly.

BOB AND THE SHOWGRAM

If you’re not from the Raleigh/Durham area, you’re probably thinking, what in the hell is BOB AND THE SHOWGRAM?  Who the hell is Bob?  What’s a Showgram and can I use the word ‘showgram’ in Scrabble?

I don’t think you’ll find ‘showgram’ in the Scrabble dictionary, but you will find BOB AND THE SHOWGRAM, weekday mornings, from 6:00 to 10:00 am on G105 and 105.7   The show originates from WDGC in Raleigh-Durham.

Bob Dumas, self professed redneck, host the show along with comedy junky, Mike Morse and Kentucky Kristin.  Every morning, they parade a plethora of political incorrectness in front of their listeners.  You won’t find better bunch of morning misfits than this F-ed up crew.  If you don’t believe me, listen for yourself on their weekly podcast or check out Showgram on Demand.

I performed OBAMA MAN and my two minute STAR WARS, in front of their live studio audience of Showgram fans,

BOB AND THE SHOWGRAM
BOB AND THE SHOWGRAM

while the smell of Bojangles and freshly cut watermelon wafted through the studio. (Bojangles Chicken ‘n Biscuits, the cornerstone of every southern breakfast)

When I walked into the studio they offered me Bojangles.  I’m sorry but I can’t eat that shit THAT early in the morning!  I just got my Wii weight down to 176 and I ain’t changing that for nobody!

Let me give you an idea of how crazy things can get on the show.  On this particular morning, one of the interns licked the toes of one of their Showgram fans!  I’m sorry but I cannot eat that shit THAT early in the morning!  I’d rather have Bojangles!

No wonder they have an want ad for interns on their Facebook page.

Toronto Zombie Walk 2009

P9120008.JPG (Screening of Night of the Living Dead in Dundas SQ.)

I love zombies.

I mean, I hate zombies!

And yet, I’m drawn to them.  I guess I love to hate zombies.

If you moan around me like a zombie, it irritates me.  Please,  don’t do that!

That’s why, this past Saturday, Sept. 12th, I had to attend the  7th annual Toronto Zombie Walk.

Highlights included a zombie walk through downtown Toronto, a screening of the 1968 zombie hit, Night of the Living Dead, and the presentation of an honorary Canadian citizenship to director George A. Romero.

There were several people dressed as zombies.  One woman was dressed as Uma Thurman from Kill Bill Volume 1 ??? WTF?  What does Kill Bill have to do with zombies?  Can someone explain this to me?

Next time you watch Night of the Living Dead, listen to the music score.  Doesn’t it sound a lot like the theatrical score of the Werewolf movie in the music video, Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

URRRRRRRRRRGH!

Greg Morton attacked by Zombies in Dundas Square in Toronto
Greg Morton attacked by Zombies in Dundas Square in Toronto

Top 5 favorite Zombie Movies!

1) Night of the Living Dead (My first. I Saw this with my Dad at a late night screening in my hometown)

2) Dawn of the Dead (I love both the original and the remake shot in Toronto)

3) Shaun of the Dead (Hilarious!  Although I would never throw my records at zombies.)

4) Return of the Living Dead (Brrrrrrrrraaaaaaaains!  Hilarious!)

5) Resident Evil (Sorry Roger Ebert, but I love this Trilogy)  (The second one was shot in Toronto!)

Top 5 Zombie Video Games!

1) Resident Evil (All Games on Multiple Platforms)

2) Left 4 Dead (Xbox 360)

3) The House of the Dead OVERKILL (Wii)

4)  House of the Dead 2 / Typing of the Dead (Sega Dreamcast)

5)Dead Rising (XBOX 360)

Greg Morton Homecoming

They say you can never go home but on March 7th of this year, I returned to my hometown of Woodstock, Ontario to perform at a special fundraiser for the Woodstock Big Sisters and College Avenue Secondary School.

I will always remember the great teachers and staff at my former high school. (C.A.S.S.) Some of whom were a great inspiration to me.

I would like to extend a special thanks to my dear friend, Sandra Brown who made the whole thing possible.

In what seems like a previous life, Sandra and I first met at one of my teen dances. I was a mobile disc jockey back in the 80’s. I called myself, Greg Morton, that crazy DJ, and I used to put on costumes. (Kind of like now.) Sandra and a mutual friend of ours, Jeff Patterson, won first prize in a dance contest!

Here’s a copy of the online article I found from the local paper…

COMEDY NIGHT 2009

Comedy night brings cause $19,000
Posted By Hugo Rodrigues, STAFF WRITER – Sentinel ReviewMarch 9 2009
The March 7 Comedy Night in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Woodstock and District and the College Avenue gym floor raised almost $20,000.
Big Brothers Big Sisters board member, CASS grad and comedy night organizer Sandra Brown said the event held at the Oxford Auditorium and featuring Greg Morton and Deb DiGiovanni raised approximately $19,000. The amount will be evenly split between the service agency and the high school’s gym floor fundraising campaign.

“We had close to 1,000 people there, which is more than the 750 we had out the last time,” Brown said Thursday. “Having two groups behind it helped us a lot– it was a bigger volunteer base to draw from and use to spread the word.”

Brown said e-mail and social networks also played a huge part in promoting the event.

DiGiovanni opened the night with an approximately 40-minute set, touching on her Tillsonburg roots and her experiences living and working in Toronto.

Morton followed, opening his set asking who’d moved the Springbank Snow Countess. He performed for over an hour, peppering his routine with local references and memories of his days living in the FriendlyCity. He capped off the routine with a string of impersonations, including Mick Jagger, James Brown, Prince and Tina Turner

Special shout out to my favorite comedian, Debra DiGiovanni

If anyone has any special photos of the event or memories they’d like to share, please send them to me at mrmorton2u@aol.com.

Obama Man Goes Viral! 2 Million Views on YouTube!

Well, it’s happened. Obama Man, the song parody about President Obama performed on The Bob and Tom Show just two months ago has reached over 2 million views. It’s simply mind boggling!

I have a few other clips that have been posted on YouTube like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Hurricane MOFO, but none of them have surpassed 100,000 views.

2 weeks ago, I got a call from Tom of the Bob and Tom Show telling me the clip had gone viral. “Have you seen this thing?” I don’t know if you’re aware, but this clip has a million hits on YouTube.” Now, it’s a week later and it has reached over 2 MILLION. I’m simply gob smacked.

Since then, I’ve performed the song live at numerous venues across the county to a very positive response.

So what’s next? Well, there’s talk of a more visually elaborate version with revamped lyrics. I guess I’ll just ride the train and see where it takes me. I just hope I don’t have some kind of Susan Boyle breakdown!

Special thanks to everyone at the Bob and Tom Show! Without them, this wouldn’t be possible.