To answer the question in the title of our last blog post, yes. Yes, yes that was our last show at the Mary Pickford Studio. It was a great night! Thank you to everyone that came out to help celebrate the wonderful run we had there, as well as the good work of The Mary Pickford Institute. They will carry on at a location to be determined, and we wish them the best of luck in carrying the torch of Mary Pickford’s legacy.
We will carry on, as well, as we always have. We’re looking at several promising locations for our new home. If you know of a performance space on the west side of LA that is interested in having two nights of comedy each month with a big and loyal crowd, as well as interest in community outreach, please email me. We’ll be sure to announce right here once we’ve got a venue finalized.
In the meantime, let’s take a look back at one of our most popular sketch comedy videos from our Magic Meathands Originals series on our YouTube channel. “Fun and Games” was written and directed by Mary Benedict, and features Mary, Nikki Turner, Corey Blake (me) and alum Travis McElroy. Wendy J.N. Lee shot it and the video was edited by Corey.
Change is certainly in the air for the Meathands.
In case you haven’t heard, Indiewire initially broke the story and Deadline Hollywood has the most recent information. The basics is that the Mary Pickford Foundation cut off funding of the Mary Pickford Institute, which owns the Mary Pickford Studio. For those that don’t know, here is the Mary Pickford Institute’s mission statement:
The Mary Pickford Institute (MPI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating awareness of film pioneer Mary Pickford’s life, preserving her work, furthering her philanthropic legacy and honoring her creativity. Our community resources and services provide a bridge from early cinema to modern filmmaking. Our innovative outreach programs ignite an excitement for learning while building participants’ sense of accomplishment and self-esteem by utilizing teaching tools that are immediate, relevant and current.
There’s an online petition set up to ask the Foundation to reconsider. Please join us in adding your voice in support of continuing the legacy of Mary Pickford and the Institute’s (and our) efforts of outreach.
Truthfully, we don’t know much more than what’s been released in those links above, but we know that this Saturday night’s show will almost definitely be the last chance to catch the Magic Meathands in this great venue. We’re crossing our Meaty fingers for a last minute Hollywood ending. But in the meantime, we’re going to give the Mary Pickford Studio one heck of a blow-out for our final show! Please come out and help celebrate the good work the Institute has done. We have given a percentage of the box office from every show we’ve held at the Mary Pickford Studio to the Mary Pickford Institute. Maybe if we completely pack the house, we’ll send the signal to the Foundation that the Studio has value in the community and both the Studio and the Institute deserve to stick around.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
- Come to a special fundraiser at the Mary Pickford Institute tonight at 7:30 PM!
- Come to this Saturday’s Tag Team Comedy Show at the Mary Pickford Studio at 8 PM!
- Sign the online petition to Save the Mary Pickford Institute and the home of the Magic Meathands!
I’m writing about our first post-Bill show and I’m already cartoon swearing. And the show is Family-Friendly! Oh, we’re doomed.
Come on out and see us completely make… stuff up based on your suggestions. (There, is that better?)
Every second Saturday of the month, the Magic Meathands (that’s us!) and Beach Cities’ Jump Start Improv put on a full night of improv comedy appropriate for the whole family. While staying sharp we offer a night for grownups where they can feel comfortable bringing the youngsters along.
A portion of ticket sales is donated to the Mary Pickford Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating awareness of film pioneer Mary Pickford’s life, preserving her work, furthering her philanthropic legacy and honoring her creativity. Part of the organization’s outreach includes the Mobile Film Classroom, which brings cutting edge digital film technology and the opportunity to learn to children throughout Los Angeles.
Tickets: $7 ($3 for kids 12 & under)
Mary Pickford Studio
8885 Venice Blvd. Ste 102
Los Angeles, CA 90034-3242
Plenty of parking in the lot right there at 8885 Venice Blvd. (cross street National Blvd.).
Yesterday’s rehearsal was our final with director Bill Johnson. He was the original founder, teacher and director of the Magic Meathands improv comedy ensemble.
After 8 years of guiding us, he is leaving us behind to let us grow to the next level while he pursues his own opportunities.
Bill taught most of us for years and encouraged us to explore the absurd, the silly and the joyful. Because of that influence, the Magic Meathands have developed a dynamic, high energy that is unique among most improv groups. He also brought his focus to community outreach, making the Magic Meathands the only improv group in Los Angeles that regularly brings live comedy to the very people most in need of joy and laughter. Just this past Saturday, we played to an enthusiastic crowd at the Ocean Park Community Center, a facility in Santa Monica that serves the homeless and mentally ill. Next month, we’ll return to our friends at the Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services facility in Altadena, where they house over 40 boys aged 10 to 18. We first performed for them in early 2008 and continue to visit them several times a year. And finally, because of the variety of our audiences and venues, Bill developed a team of performers comfortable with audiences of different age groups and content preferences. Not too many improv groups have their own rating system for their shows, but the Meathands do to make sure audiences know what they’re getting into.
So yes, Bill created a pretty magnificent thing but the time has come for him to go. So now what?
Always passionate about reaching out to the community and helping children, Bill is pursuing a teaching career at a school in the Coachella Valley where he’s teaching math to struggling kids. Yes, math. We don’t get it either.
Meanwhile, the Magic Meathands have been preparing for this day for some time. Over the last year, we became a self-directed performing group. That means we all share the responsibility of running different parts of the show, instead of Bill serving as sole director and emcee every show. In turn, our shows have been evolving into a completely new format that is bringing out the best in our cast. Simply put, if you haven’t seen the Meathands in the last 4 months or more, you haven’t seen the Meathands!
1 show down, 2 to go for March.
This weekend, we’re performing both Saturday and Sunday nights! That’s two times the funny! Can the universe survive?
Then, on Sunday night, we’re doing a reprise of our Family Friendly Show with Jump Start. Our show with them this past Saturday night went so well, we’re doing it again in their neck of the woods. Yes, the Magic Meathands are hitting Hermosa Beach! So bring the kids, bring the grown-up kids, bring everyone to the 2nd Story Theater. The show is 6:30 to 8:30 PM and tickets are $10 ($5 for 12 and under).
This month there are three – YES THREE – chances to bring some joy into your life with the Magic Meathands!
This Saturday, March 10, it’s our popular Family Friendly Night with Jump Start Comedy Improv! Both of our groups perform an hour each of fully improvised comedy suitable for people of all ages. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for 12 and under. The show starts at 8 PM at the Mary Pickford Studio.
Then next Saturday, March 17, come check out our Tag Team Comedy Show with this month’s special guest, The Callbacks! This is their second time joining forces with us and we’re thrilled to have them back. Once again, tickets are $7 and the show starts at 8 PM at the Mary Pickford Studio.
So there you have it! Three times the funny! All waiting for you!
On Saturday, March 10th, the Magic Meathands and Jump Start Comedy Improv reunite at the Mary Pickford Studio for a Family Friendly Show with fully improvised comedy. Yes, comedy! This is a new feature we’re adding just for YOU! Previous shows of funeral dirges will be postponed until further notice.
The Magic Meathands, in case you didn’t know, is us! We’re a comedy troupe that performs a mixture of short form games and longer scenarios, all completely made up on the spot based on your suggestions and participation. The Magic Meathands are based in West LA and perform in and around Los Angeles County. Our friends Jump Start, based in the South Bay of Los Angeles, also do short form games, along with some scene work.
Every month we put together a show rated Network Television, which means that you can bring people of all ages. The show is priced at $3 for kids 12 and under, and $7 for those over 12.
Who: You! And us!
What: A night of laughter for everyone
Where: Mary Pickford Studio, 8885 Venice Blvd., Ste 103, Los Angeles, 90034
When: 8 PM on Saturday, March 10
Why: To laugh
How: Pay $7 (or $3 for 12 and under) at the door
RSVP on Facebook
Our monthly Tag Team Comedy Show features us pairing with a different improv comedy act. This time, we’re hitting the stage of the Mary Pickford Studio with In Rare Form. Like us, they have been performing at M.i.’s Westside Comedy Theater recently, as well as venues in Burbank, Hollywood and beyond.
The show starts at 8 PM. Tickets are $7. Don’t miss it! RSVP on Facebook.
The Jump Start comedy ensemble from the South Bay of Los Angeles is a fun group of improvisers that joins us monthly for a family friendly show at the Mary Pickford Studio. We’re doing it again this Saturday night at 8 PM. Tickets are only $7 ($3 for children 12 and under).
They’ve been our partners for this show for a couple of years now, and it’s always amazing to watch another group in action. We’ve gotten to see new members join and grow, and the group as a whole get stronger and stronger. I hear tell there’s another Jump Start/Magic Meathands show in the works that will be in their neck of the woods. Details to come!
But in the meantime, get yourself ready for a fun time with our two groups at the Mary Pickford Studio this Saturday night. It’s probably our most popular show. We keep things network TV clean, so you can bring the kids. And we keep things fresh enough for adults.
We’re sad to announce that this Friday night’s show at the Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica has been canceled due to forces beyond our control. But we’ll be back at the Mary Pickford Studio the very next week on Saturday, February 11th, at 8 PM for only $7 ($3 for kids 12 and under). As ever, we’ll be performing a full hour of improvised comedy using a combination of short-form games and long-form scenarios based on your suggestions. Opening for us is the Beach Cities improv group Jump Start.
The show is geared toward people of all ages, so bring your entire family. The Mary Pickford Studio has been a very popular venue for us, where we’re regularly pulling in full houses. Come on out and see what all of the awesome is about!