Lifelong friends Ted O’Gorman and Michael Paul Smith read their comedy sketches into microphones. Oh...and that's where their talented friends come in.
Ted & Michael Read Sketches Into Microphones
August 28, 2023
MPS: Hello listeners! Welcome to Season freakin’ FOUR of Ted and Michael Read Sketches Into Microphones. I’m Michael Paul Smith.
Ted: I’m Ted freakin’ O’ Gorman.
MPS: Ted, we went a whole season without them. But our favorite magical academy has continued its satellite-campus expansion. Listen to this.
“Hogwarts LA 1”
OG: Are you tired of takin’ the 405 to the 10, working for eight hours, and then taking the 10 back to the 405 every day? Does your thrice daily shot of wheatgrass just not taste quite as earthy anymore? Well maybe muggle pursuits aren’t for you. Baby, it’s time to update that “special skills” section of your acting resume and head on over to Hogwarts LA for some inclusive, yet exclusive, socially conscious and super trendy magical training!
GP: Before Hogwarts, all I knew about the four houses was that you’d be sorted by a magical hat based on your personality. I was so scared. What if I didn’t fit in!? But then I found Hogwarts LA, where the four houses are more like William Morris, CAA, UTA, and ICM. You can’t lose!
Ted: I went to Hogwarts cause I thought if I learned enough magic, I’d finally be able to graduate to level 3 at the Groundlings. But…it didn’t work. I keep asking them. Where’s MY “Yes and…”?
MPS: At Hogwarts LA, our groundskeeper is Bruce Villanch! I…don’t really know if that’s good or bad, but…could be worse, I suppose. And his dog is the dog from “Air Bud 6!”
OG: Hon, Here at Hogwarts, we…um…wait, what was I talkin’ about? Sorry Ari Emannuel was texting me. Its a gif.
JJC: I used to have a prosperous illicit marijuana business, until my grow house was raided by the feds. But with the help of my herbology classes you can now buy indica and sativa gillyweed at below market value! And guess what? If you’re too high to stay on your surfboard, you got fucking gils bitch! Beat that, homes.
GP: I attended Hogwarts LA to get, like, really good at potions. It got super boring, though. But I did learn to ugly cry just like Claire Danes, and that gets me just as much attention.
Ted: My favorite thing about Hogwarts? They still have condom machines in their unisex bathrooms, for penis carriers of all gender identities! That’s right. TERFS NEED NOT APPLY.
OG: Hey Jaden, hey Jaden. Babe! Hey Jaden, yo Jay, Jaden. I saw what you got wife number 5 for her birthday. Hope you also saved up money to buy her a new bra. Those things are fuckin’ huge now! Nice! Ok, right on bro. Call me sometime. We’ll crush some martinis over at Musso’s. (Realizes that he’s recording). Oh. Hey. Look, come to Hogwarts LA. This place is super laid back. Act now and receive some free horrible pizza. No magic in the world can fix that. But we’ll get around to it. Later bro!
GP: I went to Hogwarts
OG: And I got sorted
Ted: And I got sorted
MPS: And I got sorted
Everyone: Get sorted. For life.
OG: Right on, bra. Totally. Look I’m going away for Christmas, but I’m back, Easter sharp. Ok? My wife’s got us going to the Maldives, so it’s just me, her and the kids. But kids like what they like. After that I’m wide open.
“Lines That Gillian Doesn’t Want 1”
GPS: And now we present…lines that I–Gillian Pensavalle…do not want to say.
GPS: Guys, wanna pepper spray that group of toddlers in the park and then blame it on the guy with the ASPCA petition?
GPS: Mikey baby, the things I’d like to do to you border on malfeasance.
GPS: Hey, Y’all.
GPS: When I first met Ted I thought, “He doesn’t really look like a Ted. He looks more like a ferret stool.” So that’s still what I call him, ferret stool.
GPS: Me and Betty White once shared a very eye-opening evening with Dick Van Dyke. The first and last part of his name meant so much more to us after that.
GPS: So when a mohel does it to a baby it’s a religious ritual, but when I do it to a burglar, the judge calls it a “crime against nature.” What gives?
GPS: Hey Mike, let’s book a flight to Australia, conceive a child in the bathroom, and name it Dundee!
GPS: The most alive I ever feel is when I take it to the rack from the doorstep, after going coast to coast, to give my all-podcaster lacrosse team another dubya and complete my hatty. That’s right, ya girl’s a lax rat. I don’t ride the pine, I rip twine. I wear white hats and crush 30 racks.
GPS: Sure let the women do the work. But make sure a man is supervising.
GPS: This has been…lines that I–Gillian Pensavalle…did not want to say.
“Monster Truck PSA 1”
V.O: BROS! Are you the baddest badass that ever fucking was? And are you ready to prove it? You sure?! GOOD! Cause all the real All-American tough guys are… LISTENINNNNNG! That’s right!!! Listen to your kids, listen to your partner, just shut the fuck up at the dinner table and only chime in when you’ve carefully CONSIDERRRRRED what you want to add!!! And on Thanksgiving with extended relatives? Just shut the fuck up altogether THE WHOLE TIIIIIMMME! They’ll probably think you’re depressed, but they’ll also be relieved, because you’re the one everyone’s always DREADING TO HAVE TO PUT UP WITH FOR THREE HOURS WITHOUT A BREAKKKKKK!!! Listen, bros. It’s badass.
“Inappropriate Sports Announcer 1”
Bob: Five yards to go here on 3rd down. Reynolds is 14 for 17 today, a hundred and eighty-two yards so far. He’s thrown one interception and he’s looking to make up for it here. Out of the shotgun Reynolds takes the snap. Rolls right looking downfield, (Crowd reacts) Ohhhhhh! Morgan gets past the left tackle and takes Reynolds down from the blind side. Reynolds having a little trouble catching his breath.
Gene: I think he just needs a moment to get his wind back.
Bob: Looks like it. You can see here on the replay that Reynolds is looking right, probably targeting Tyshaun Moore running what looks like a “stop and go”, and Morgan comes seemingly out of nowhere and levels him with a clean hit.
Gene: No question about that. Morgan’s got him squarely lined up and just drives right through. That’s textbook tackling right there. You know it’s during moments like these that one can’t help but wonder what Reynolds was like when he was going through puberty.
Bob: I’m sorry Gene, I don’t follow. Reynolds is rising to his feet now. 4th and 11. Anderson is coming out for his third punt of the day.
Gene: You know after a hit like that, you just get curious about when his voice changed. And did he have to struggle with erections that arrive seemingly out nowhere? Did he have to cover his penis with a textbook while he strode the halls of his high school? Anderson’s last punt sailed 52 yards and backed Miami behind their own 10 yard line. Let’s see if he can repeat that. Cook is back to receive.
Bob: Ummm. Ok, Gene. You’ve given us all a lot to think about. Anderson gets a clean snap. The ball is away. Good contact there. Cook calls for a fair catch and Miami will take over at their own 17 yard line. Surprised by that decision. It looked to me like Cook had enough room to try and make something of that return.
Gene: Yeah, a fair catch as indecisive as that one was seems like the actions of someone who had some confusion growing up about their sexuality. Probably didn’t exactly know where he landed on the Kinsey scale. And now he’s left wondering if he should have done some same- sex experimentation in college–as many of us do. Miami’s offense taking the field. Down by 9 and dealing with this heavy wind. I think they’ll continue to ask Singletary to carry most of the offensive load on the ground. The running back out of Texas A&M is having his best game of this, his rookie season.
Bob: You ok Gene? You seem to be veering off topic a little bit.
Gene: I’m perfectly fine. Indy’s head Coach Brian Muskins was just conferring with a referee and now he’s pacing the sideline. He’s clearly dissatisfied with how that conversation went. Yikes. I’d put coach Muskins on “chair throw watch” if I were the Indy equipment manager. That man is fighting some demons in real time.
Bob: Is that so?
Gene: Absolutely, Bob. You can tell from Muskins’ posture and erratic pace. Perhaps his wife Valerie has taken a younger, more virile, lover and that fact is grinding him ever closer to the metaphorical edge.
Bob: Ty Feeny is motioning to the sideline. Looks like the Miami quarterback may be having some trouble with his head set.
Gene: He may also be struggling with the hauntingly violent urges he’s battled his whole life. Man says he likes hunting in the off season. I know what that’s code for. The blood lust must be satisfied to stop the voices that call him to action. Only a matter of time before people start disappearing in a roughly ten mile radius around his home. Sex workers and the homeless are the group he’ll hone his craft on, that’s my bet. The urban nightscape will be his training ground, a garrote wire his instrument of choice. Feeny seems like the issue with his headset has been resolved. Miami is in an I-Formation and I have a feeling they’re going to the air!
Bob: What the… I don’t know what to say about the… Gene, I think you need a break. Maybe go see a team doctor and make sure your head is ok.
Gene: I’m good thanks, Bob. Feeny takes the snap. As predicted he’s looking downfield…
Bob: And he sends a laser to Kyrie Matthews! Matthews struggles to get yards after the catch and is ruled down at the Indianapolis 35! That’s the kind of play this offense has been looking for all game, and up until this point, it has eluded them.
Gene: Kyrie Matthews is two years out of Notre Dame and settling nicely into his new role as a slot receiver. But one can’t help notice he has the facial structure of a man who creates pornographic imagery using taxidermied squirrels. Just one look at that toothy grin and you just know that sick bastard has a foot locker of stuffed squirrels and a textbook of one line “nut puns” he’s using to get his jollies off. I say we tie an anchor around his legs and feed him to Poseidon! No more shall the squirrels of the world walk in fear that in death they might find themselves in a menagerie of sex dioramas this sicko poses for his own delight, and for the delight of those that subscribe to his biannual newsletter “Smut Squirrels.”
Bob: Jesus fucking Christ Gene. Enough! What the hell is wrong with you today? You’re spouting the most batshit nonsense. I can’t take it anymore! Enough! Do you know the kind of fines the network is looking at already!? Do you ever wanna work again!?!
Gene: Worth noting that whilst Bob was on that diatribe Feeney pulled a QB sneak for 7 yards gaining the first down. Bob, what did you think about that play, or were you preoccupied with your groin irritation, no doubt from the wool from your homemade Ruprecht costume. That’s right–the angry German Santa-sidekick that you dress up as every night before your pre-bed teeth and skincare routine. You’re a lifelong bachelor, Bob. And last night, we both had rooms at the La Quinta Inn. You couldn’t even leave Ruprecht’s traditional staff and whip at home. Not if you planned on getting a full seven hours before today’s broadcast.
Bob: Feeny fails to connect on screen to fullback Mark Swanson out of Perdue. Looks like Miami will have to settle for a field goal.
Gene: Looks like it.
Narrator: This week on “As They Were” we’ll take a look at the sketch comedy podcast Ted and Michael Read Sketches Into Microphones, which dominated internet audio in the 2020’s. The show would see many highs, and some tragic lows. The full three-part series airs tonight on Apple plus plus plus. But a few select clips are already making news. We’d like to play them for you now.
Talking Head: And it’s important to understand that back then they didn’t quite have a term for it, but today we know that Ted’s IQ is classified in the Sean Hannity-percentile. And that played hell on Mike. He had to think for two.
Non-English speaking TH: (In their language, followed by translation by Narrator) Ted could get jealous and when he got that way he’d start throwing snowballs. And nobody understood how this man was making snowballs in June. And how did he make so many? It was like magic. Ginger magic.
Talking Head 2: Mike could only be funny if he was wearing Gillian’s underpants. Of course this caused a rift. Not because he’s wearing his wife’s undergarments, but because he’d leave them on the bathroom floor constantly, much to Gillian’s annoyance. Mike was famously recorded on a hot microphone saying:
MPS: “They’re your underpants! I just borrowed them. Do I expect YOU to clean the seat of MY bike every time YOU ride it to Dunks for an iced coffee? No I do not! (Calmer) No I do not.
Talking Head: It was Gillian that introduced the boys to amphetamines. She thought they were weird European skittles with double the sugar. But no, it was high grade speed from Elizabeth, New Jersey. These were not safe or cautious people.
GPS: Yeah I heard that rumor. Sure, sure I’m dumb enough to confuse French Skittles with Jersey No Doze for my boys. Believe what you want kids. I would never give a bunch of pills to someone in the Hannity percentile to make him productive. I would never do that… now. But it was a simpler time.
Talking Head 2: During season 4 is when they hired the dog as a writer. This was… controversial. They called him Marco and invented a fictional biography for him, then they set the good boy in front of an old Olivetti typewriter and just let him do his thing.
Ted and Michael were adamant that dogs don’t like computers and would get into shouting matches with anyone challenging this “fact.” Worth noting Marco pushed through two very workable scripts and helped edit seven others. So maybe not everything Ted and Michael did was crazy. Now, all these years later you’d be hard pressed to find a comedy writer’s room without a canine in it. And those bastards were right about the typewriters, too. Dogs fucking hate computers.
Talking Head 3: And that’s around the time when Hallie started running around behind Ted’s back. She was having so much rough sex that her doctor later informed her that her vagina had the first known case of Labiatus Cauliforus-known today as “Cauliflower Lips.” Of course back then you wouldn’t have been able to say any of this on a public network. But thankfully… you can fuckin’ say it now.
Narrator: Some say that the turning point for the duo, and the show, came on Michael’s annual Groundhog Day potluck, in 2027.
Talking Head: The headline read, “Comedy Genius falls from 8th story balcony: ends up in coma.” The reality was much darker. Mike tripped off a patio and landed headfirst in a mud puddle. But his skull was so pliable from the Jersey speed that it was enough to put him in a coma for 3 weeks. That’s crazy shit.
Narrator: And Hallie continued to spiral.
Hallie: No I didn’t want to smoke crack. But I had calcified vaginal lips from all the rods I was feeding my gash. At the time crack seemed like the answer. And I’ll be honest, it was. Crack was the answer. If you had to listen to all of Ted’s stories about Marco the wonder dog you’d have needed something, too. Mike sure needed a break.
Ted: Marco likes it!
MPS: You can’t ask him which sketch he likes better if you’re holding a treat! We agreed on that as a fucking rule. One simple fucking rule, okay? Do you even care about this?!
Ted: I used to! And then everything, including your skull, got real soft and doesn’t want to push the envelope. Marco’s the only one who gets me!
MPS: You bastard.
Ted: Go sleep it off in some mud, you schmuck! Or can your skull not take it?!
MPS: Stop waltzing with the dog. You’re freaking me out, man.
Ted: I will waltz with Marco at my leisure, sir. And if you don’t like it, you may kindly leave.
Narrator: Things were going south for the duo fast, and the real victims were their legions of fans.
Ted : I remember one season we recorded in the dark for soundwave quality.
GPS: (Laughing) We made Ted wear blackout glasses and ear plugs. Oh my God, I fucking hated him. I still do, actually.
Narrator: They thought maybe New York was the reason for their ongoing chemistry problem. So they and their wives traveled the world.
MPS: At one point Ted parked a car and scrambled up the walkway of this old English Estate we’d rented in Cornwall. It’s cold out and he’s wearing nothing but a white t-shirt and combat boots. No bottoms. He screams, “They said it’s just sepsis!” He jumped like he was going to leap into my arms. He was off by a good 4 feet to the right. I kid you not. He knocked himself out on a statue of a frog.” I left him there, had a cup of tea. I was on vacation.
Narrator: Things had gotten tense one too many times. So they parted ways. Mike settled in Europe to clear his head and sell his tote bag collection. Ted went out west- uprooting old railroad tracks to scrap metal for cash. Hallie…did not join him.
Hallie: All I ever wanted was a Dr. Pepper bidet. And that sad sack couldn’t make it happen. Deal-breaker.
Narrator: And since it was just a sketch comedy podcast, a nation… ignored it all. This three-part series airs tonight on Apple plus plus plus!
MPS: This episode is dedicated to ME!!! Seriously. I’m fuckin’ great. I’m a multi-talented, handsome-as-fuck, genuinely nice person with no particular interests out of the social norm. If I’m not your friend, you’re missin’ out. Tell ‘em, Ted.
Ted: You’re fantastic. It’s true. If he were still alive, Louis would dedicate an entire verse of “What A Wonderful World” just to you, man. That’s how much better you make things.
MPS: I KNOW!
—Lines That Gillian Doesn’t Want 1–
GP: Sorry, I think I water-burped. Hold on.
MPS: Just give me a sex growl after that line.
GP: What’s a sex growl?
MPS: You tell me.
GP: Oh, God.
–Monster Truck PSA 1–
Luke: Listen bros, it’s badass!
Ted: You did it. There we are.
Luke: I have roommates, by the way.
—As They Were—
MPS: No, let’s go again. I’m gonna try to be less hysterical in our little scene.
Ted: Oh, I think hysterical’s perfect.
MPS: Is it? Ok.
Ted: Yeah, I think that’s…
MPS: Some people build up to that, man. I start there.
Ted: Well, cause we’re in the middle of a fight.
MPS: Yeah. Hell of a job, me.
—Hogwarts LA 1—
Julian: To be or not to be, that is the question. Whether tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune…and that’s all I know. Cause that’s all I had to learn when I pledged Alpha Psi Omega–the gayest fraternity in college. Which was a theatre fraternity. We didn’t have littles and bigs. We had tops and bottoms.
MPS: Most of the time, people just count to ten, Jules. But that’s why we love you so much.
“Ted and Michael Read Sketches Into Microphones” is written and directed by Michael Paul Smith and Ted O’Gorman, with some room for improv because Mike loves jazz, and he’s sad he never learned the trumpet.
This season of Ted and Michael Read Sketches into Microphones was recorded by Chelsey Cohen, with editing, mixing, and sound design by Tom Kelly at Clean Cut Audio. This season was also produced in association with our dear friends over at Mischief Media.
You can find full credits – including all of our incredible voice talent – plus episodes, transcripts, and more at tedandmichael.com. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and we’d really appreciate it if you could rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Those reviews help a lot, and look–I know they’re two straight white guys with a podcast. But they’re two of the good ones. So do us a solid.
Follow the guys on Instagram @tedandmichaelpodcast. and individually @ted_ogorman and @mpsmithnyc
Mike has a TikTok! It’s @mpsmithnyc, there, too!
For feedback of all kinds, use email@example.com. Thanks again for listening, and stay weird, friends!