Kenny vs Spenny

R.I.P. Andre Arruda

2017 has taken another one of our local talents.  If you are a fan of Kenny Vs. Spenny, then you will remember Andre Arruda (episode:  “First One to Laugh Loses”).  You may have seen him in American Pie: Band Camp.  Andre was born and raised right here in Kitchener Ontario.  He was better known for his stand-up comedy and he worked hard to gain a cult following.  At 3’ 4” tall, he had to work to stand out, and he did.

Andre passed away January 28 2017 at age 33, of Morquio’s syndrome.  This is the same genetic disorder that hampered his growth.  His sense of humour was to always poke fun at himself before somebody else could, and it worked.  He made us look at life from his perspective, but let us laugh doing it.

#385: The Epic of the Garlic Sausage Apocalypse

STOPARRETPROCEED WITH CAUTION

SMOKED SAUSAGE

RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#385: The Epic of the Garlic Sausage Apocalypse

I have been sitting on this story for five years. Now, the true tale can finally be told.

Some folks don’t like their mother-in-law. I do! I am very lucky to have a great, generous and fun mother-in-law. She’s also very proper and old fashioned, Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom, so sometimes she will be easily shocked. For example, she refuses to say the word “fart”, considering is as vulgar as another f-word. Instead she prefers the word “puup”. A word she used frequently during the night of the Garlic Sausage Apocalypse.

She had come to spend the weekend, visiting us in our little apartment. It might be small but it’s usually big enough for the three of us. Not on the weekend of the Garlic Sausage Apocalypse.

Jen and her mom went to the Kitchener farmer’s market that morning and picked up some goodies. The apple fritters there are excellent, especially when still warm, so they picked up two boxes of those. Fresh veggies, fresh meat, all natural unpasteurized local apple cider, and four huge links of smoked garlic sausage (about two pounds of meat, garlic and spices). It was, as they say, the proverbial successful trip. Much of the time they are sold out of that garlic sausage. I immediately tucked into a full link and called it lunch. I ate close to half a box of apple fritters and called that dessert.

By the end of the day, I had almost finished two links of delicious smoked kilbassa by myself. Jen and her mom were watching something on TV, but I was feeling a bit gassy to say the least. Given the contents of my stomach, fermenting and being transformed by bacteria into a lovely melange of methane, you could smell me every time I had to let one go. The farts were frequent and supercharged. Whatever pills we had in the house were not helping. And like I said earlier, it’s a small apartment.

The explosions were occurring approximately every five minutes. To me, all I could smell was the fondly remembered scent of garlic, pork and methane. All Jen and her mom could smell was rotting death-like fumes of evil. And they were all coming from my ass! Jen threatened to get on a bus and “buy a cork”. Of the two of them, Jen was definitely the most offended. “This is the last time we are bringing you garlic sausage I swear to God!” There was nothing I could do to stop it. Leaving the room to evacuate my colon of gas didn’t help; the mere act of getting up and moving was enough to squeeze one out. Faced with a lack of options (and starting to feel a little queezy myself) I called it an early night and went to bed.

SAUSAGE LEBRAIN

The next part of this story has been assembled from testimony by Jen and her mother.

Mrs. LeBrain and her mom watched television peacefully after I retired for the evening. I was asleep quickly, but the body continues to digest your food and expel gas even after you fall asleep. Whether your spouses believe you or not, people do fart in their sleep, and my ass quickly turned the bedroom into a chemistry lab gone awry.

A short while later, in the living room, Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom smelled something. Sniffing the air for a clue, she was repelled by the odour.

“Jennifer! Did you just puup?”

“No mom,” replied Jen, but picking up the scent as well. “I thought it was you but I didn’t want to say anything!”

“Then what is that gawd-forsaken smell??” queried her mom.

Jen knew but did not want to face the truth. “Oh God! It’s Mike!”

“Isn’t the bedroom door closed?” asked her mom.

“YES! Oh God. I have to sleep in there!”

Jen and her mom discussed the situation but agreed that there was only one couch large enough to comfortably sleep on. Her mom is very wise, and knew how to deal with the situation. “Just put some perfume on your arm,” she advised. “When you go to bed, just sleep with your arm near your nose, and that will help.” Good advice, but it was not enough to protect her from the stench.

When it was bed time for Jen, she took a deep breath, held it and entered the Den of Death.

SAUSAGE

I guess the old perfume on the arm trick worked in the long run, because she did fall asleep. Meanwhile, I was oblivious to all of this, happily dreaming of guitars and lightsabers.  When I woke up on Sunday morning, I had no idea that anything was amiss.

It only took me one second to realize something was very wrong.  The bedroom was filled with a heavy, pungent cloud.  It had penetrated every cubic inch of the room; it was inescapable.  It was also immediately identifiable as the scent of garlic, sausage, and my intestines.  And it was still being produced, I discovered, as I tooted once more upon leaving the bed.

I went about my morning business and settled into the computer room to check my email.  I was only appalled further when I ascertained that the entire house smelled of garlic sausage sphincters. It wasn’t as intense as the bedroom, but it was detectable in the air.

It may have been winter, but I cracked the window in the computer room and began the fumigation process.

What of Jen and her mom? They did survive, although neither of them really know how they did it. The inner strength of those two women must have carried them through the night. In the morning, they implemented a two-year ban on buying garlic sausage. I can’t say that I disagreed with their ruling, in light of all the horrible evidence surrounding us!

Kenny Vs. Spenny episode season 4 ep. 2 – “Who Can Blow the Biggest Fart?” – a must see companion piece to my true and horrifying story.

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DVD REVIEW: Kenny vs. Spenny – Season Six (2010)

Dedicated to my best friend Peter who first got me hooked on this show.

KENNY VS. SPENNY – Season Six (2010 Showcase)

With Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice currently doing their Kenny vs. Spenny vs. Canada tour (even hitting Owen Sound, Ontario of all places), there couldn’t be a better time to review the final season of their influential TV show. Influential? Yes. Clone shows such as Ed vs. Spencer (UK), Elton vs. Simon (Germany) and numerous others have proven that the concept had legs. Maclean’s Magazine declared Kenny vs. Spenny #8 in the top 10 Canadian shows of the 2000’s.

What was the concept? Two best friends compete in a grueling challenge. One (Kenny) likes to cheat, while one (Spenny) tries to play the honest game. The loser of the challenge each week has to perform a “humiliation” – a usually disgusting punishment for failure.

As much as I love this show, I think Season Six proved the boys were running out of ideas. After six seasons it gets a little hard to think of fresh things to compete over, not to mention Kenny had all but abandoned the concept of competing.  Instead he focused on novel ways to cheat and offend.

Here are your episodes:

“Who’s The Bigger Idiot?” – Originally a web-only release. I actually preferred it to many of the actual aired episodes this season. Spenny makes some fun retro-style videos, recreating the most idiotic moments of his past. 4/5 stars

KVS_0003“Who Can 69 The Longest?” – Even the crew got bored with this one. A dull season opener. All humiliation, no competition. At least Kenny got it equally bad. 1/5 stars

“Who Can Squeeze More Boobs?” – I found this one to be too similar to past episodes, further proof that the boys were running out of ideas. 2/5 stars

“Who Can Keep His Head In A Chicken Coop The Longest?” – Better than the previous two. However, once again, Kenny got bored and had to change the competition to something else, because let’s face it, you can only watch a guy with a chicken coop on his head for so long. Great punishment, though. 2/5 stars

“Who Can Get Further With The Other Guy’s Mom?” – I knew this one would be a dead-end letdown just by the title, and I was right. 1/5 stars

“Who Can Win a Cockfight?” – This is a little bit better. Taking a cue from shows like Robot Wars, Kenny and Spenny attach all sorts of mechanisms to their mid-sections and do battle! 3/5 stars

KVS_0002“Who’s A Better Basketball Coach?” – A classic case of who can out-think the other. I’m not a basketball fan by any stretch, so I found that aspect boring, but the competition itself keeps you guessing. 3/5 stars

“Who Do Black Guys Like More? Pt. 1 and Pt. 2” – A two-parter. Part one mostly sets up the competition. As you can imagine, Kenny does everything he can to defame Spenny. I thought this one was pretty fun due to some pretty interesting guests. 3/5 stars

“Who Can Have More Fun?” – I loved this episode. Obviously, Kenny’s idea of fun and Spenny’s idea of fun are two diametrically opposed things. Spenny comes up with some pretty strong strategies in this one. Kenny is at his destructive best. 4/5 stars

“Who Can?” – This season really, really came into its own by the end. This episode is the first of four 5-star episodes in a row. Essentially, it starts off as a behind-the-scenes episode. Spenny arrives at the house (offering the first clue that the guys don’t actually live there together) to find that Kenny has declared himself Emperor. The competition was supposed to be about badminton, but Kenny refuses to break his Emperor character. Spenny then spends the episode trying to figure out what the actual competition is! Kenny brings out a cavalcade of characters and costumes with a climax that had me in tears. 5/5 stars

“Who Can Produce The Best Commercial?” – Best episode of the season. “Frommagio Al Forno! Good thinkin’, Mama!” It’s episodes like this that make me wonder if Spenny really is as stupid as he appears, because he sure comes off as stupid in this one. Look for a cameo in this one by Federico Castelluccio (Furio) from the Sopranos. 5/5 stars

“Who Can Put On The Best Play?” – Kenny’s play was offensive as ever. Spenny’s made me cringe. I’m shocked he actually thought he could act. 5/5 stars

“Who Can Stay On An Island The Longest?” – What a great Kenny dupe. What a way to end the season. The boys take a trip to the Caribbean, to see who can stay on an island the longest. If you think this is just a simple remake of “Who Can Stay In The Woods The Longest?” think again! 5/5 stars

After Season Six, the boys decided to make one final (absolutely terrible) Christmas special, and that was it. Kenny Vs. Spenny really peaked in the third and fourth seasons. Season Six got off to a pretty slow start, only coming into its own towards the end, making it the weakest season of the series. The competitions were getting more and more ridiculous and far removed from the original premise. Kenny’s absurd sense of humour kept the series watchable, but it was no longer about “Who is the best” at something. It became Kenny humiliating Spenny for 22 minutes.

Hopefully, the boys release some kind of DVD from the Kenny vs. Spenny vs. Canada tour.  This DVD, unfortunately, is woefully short on bonus features.  A photo gallery and a few outtakes are all you’ll get.  No behind the scenes features as on previous seasons.

3/5 stars. Good thinkin’ Mama.

REVIEW: The Tom Green Show – The Complete Series – Inside & Outside the Box (2005)

Thanks Dave FM for the chance to meet Tom Green!

GREENTOM GREEN – Inside & Outside the Box – The Tom Green Show: The Complete Series (2005 VSC)

As longtime LeBrain readers know, I was named King of the 4-O’clock 4-Play by Craig Fee on Dave FM.  I won a lot of stuff on that show.  One of the best things I won was a pair of tickets to see Tom Green at Crysalids Theatre, 9/22/11 with my best buddy Peter.  Tom was great, it was a celebration of the true spirit of stand-up comedy and he stuck around to take photos and sign stuff with everybody afterward.  I don’t think Tom Green gets enough respect for being an innovator as a comedian.  That’s why I felt inspired enough to write this review.

The most important thing to know about Tom Green:  MTV ruined Tom Green!  The MTV years, although peppered with some genius sketches such as “Undercutter’s Pizza”, was not at all what the original Tom Green Show was about.

This 3 disc set comprises Tom Green’s entire Comedy Network shows. In other words, the good stuff.  The weird stuff.  The offensive stuff.  The stuff that Jackass ended up ripping off (particularly Bam Margera).  Best of all though, this is the pre-fame stuff.  Tom Green could still run around downtown Ottawa without people knowing it was for a TV show.

You will see herein:

* Tom throwing all of Glenn Humplik’s clothes out of a plane in an evil double-cross.
* Tom burning Glenn’s shirt.
* Will Ferrell proclaiming that he hates Glenn and wants to punch him.
* Tom turning grape juice into pee (for science)!
* The dead raccoon.
* Tom demonstrating how a bus cannot move if you place your face on the bus.
* Repainting his dad’s car with a huge portrait of two naked women (the “slutmobile”).
* “Scuba Hood”.  He robs from the poor (fountains in malls, apparently) and gives to the rich (banks).
* Hanging his painting, “Tiger Zebra”, in the Ottawa Art Gallery, and then defacing it.
* and much, much more….

What you won’t see:

* You won’t see any bums on Swedishes.  That’s MTV stuff and not even half as good as this earlier stuff.

What I still like about the Tom Green show is that it is seldom mean spirited.  He picks on his friend Glenn a lot, which I can’t help but think that Kenny Hotz ripped off later on.  Everything else was done in this pseudo-naive childish fashion, and that is why I can watch The Tom Green Show over a decade later and laugh like the first time I saw it. This DVD for me has rendered obselete all of his old VHS tapes that I collected religiously. That stuff is on here, and it’s as fresh as ever.

I wonder whatever happened to Glenn’s clothes?

5/5 stars