Dreamland Tonight

batslapI don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here yet, but I’m planning on hosting a little talk show at Ypsilanti’s Dreamland Theater on the evening of Friday, February 26… Actually, technically speaking, I won’t be hosting. My puppet will. As I’m painfully shy, I’ll be offsite somewhere, watching on close-circuit television, and speaking into a microphone. Right now, it’s still kind of taking shape, but, at a high level, I’m kind of imagining it to be something like Fernwood Tonight, if it were real, and done with puppets — a quirky, hyper-local talk show with a dash of Pewee’s Playhouse and a little bit of early David Letterman thrown in for good measure. There’s probably a greater than 50% chance that it’ll be a colossal failure, but, even if it is, it should at least be interesting to watch. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can tell you that our first guest is going to be Ypsilanti’s Mayor, Paul Schreiber. Oh, and if you’ve got any kind of skills what-so-ever, you can expect a call from me in the near future. If this first episode goes even remotely well, and we decide to make this a regular thing, we’re going to need sets built, costumes made, and material written. OK, so put the 26th on your calendar, alright?

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  1. Steve
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    I just asked this in another thread by accident, but are there plans to have bands? And will you be airing the shows online afterward?

  2. Gene Kim
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I’ll be there! And as you’re already aware from our January crafternoon (Linette’s awesome word invention!) – there is an army of crafters willing to provide sets, costumes, etc. My guess is that big, fleshy Mark would not do drag (the corsette would be too hard on his healing ribs) – but I’m itching to make Pinocchio-Mark a Carmen Miranda outfit!! We can call the segment: Life’s a drag, and so am I! And for a commercial: Carmen’s headdress is brought to you by Growing Hope – eat good, feel good, look fabulous!

  3. Ted
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I’d like to see a sitcom inside a talk show. You could be a single parent with bratty, wise-cracking kids who falls in love with a hooker with a heart of gold (and a meth addiction). There would be laughter, and tears. And, you’d be able to address topical issues.

  4. Ted
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    This would also be a great venue to interview Iggy Pop in. That should be your primary longterm objective.

  5. Ed
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    You need to get hooked up to some of the production companies shooting films here in Michigan. It would be cool to get Deniro or someone of his ilk to sit down. (And thanks for the link to that Fernwood Tonight piece with the very young Tom Waits. It was great.)

  6. Sarah Klein
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Have you looked into airing it on Community Access Television?

  7. Tim
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Can you have puppets fight to the death? Have abortions?

  8. Kevin T
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    You should have Steve Pierce on at some point to discuss those white Kentuckians who were kidnapped and brought here to Ypsi as slaves. That would be fascinating.

  9. Paul Schreiber
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Permalink


    I want to talk to your puppet about my favorite TV show when I was 7 years old — Supercar! Supercar and the characters are Marionettes.


    Paul Schreiber

  10. Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    That would be cool, Paul. I could ask you questions about city government, and you could respond with anecdotes about Supercar.

  11. Posted February 10, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    And I agree with most of your suggestions. I hadn’t thought about doing a sitcom within the show, but it had crossed my mind that we could have a fake show on either right before or right after Dreamland Tonight. And I’d love it if Steve would come on and talk about the white slaves of Ypsilanti. I think he’s trying to focus on other things now, though. And, yeah, we’ll have bands. Live puppet abortion isn’t something that we’ve discussed, as we’re hoping to make an all-ages kind of program, but I’ll definitely add it to the list of ideas, as I will this Carmen Miranda outfit that Mr. Kim has so graciously offered to help with. Basically, I just want to see if we can get this first one done, though, before we start getting too ambitious. If this works as a platform, though, there’s all kinds of cool stuff that we can do.

  12. Posted February 10, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    And, yes, we have talked about airing it on A2 Community Access, but we haven’t figured out how that would work yet. Unless the rules have changed, I believe we’d have to have an Ann Arbor resident, submit it. I don’t suspect that would be too difficult, though.

  13. Kevin T
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    You should interview one of the white slaves for the show. I’m sure Steve could help you find some even if he doesn’t want to appear on the show.

  14. Posted February 11, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Maybe we could claim in the credits that the show was produced by the white slaves of Ypsilanti.

4 Trackbacks

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    […] Dreamland Tonight isn’t on your schedule yet, you’d better add it. It’s shaping up to be one hell […]

  2. By A note to Sarah Vowell on April 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    […] to accompany me back to the Dreamland Theater after the reading to shoot an interview segment for Dreamland Tonight. It didn’t occur to me until I got there, standing beside her, but there’s really not a […]

  3. By Behind the scenes of Dreamland Tonight on June 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    […] spent the morning with the Dreamland Tonight crew, filming a fight scene between professional wrestler Bash Boulder and Puppet Mark in Riverside […]

  4. […] done an absolutely terrible job of promoting it, but we’ve got another episode of Dreamland Tonight coming up. This one, which we’re aiming to make a lot more kid-friendly, will be on Saturday, […]

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