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
September 5, 2023
MPS: Hello listeners! Welcome to Ted and Michael Read Sketches Into Microphones. You know what show this is. You clicked on it. I’m Michael Paul Smith.
Ted: I’m Ted O’Gorman.
MPS: Werner Herzog is back.
Ted: He’s back. He found himself in prison after kidnapping first, beloved actor Steve Zahn, and then a family because he believed them to be the family…of beloved actor Steve Zahn. Turns out they were not related.
MPS: And now he’s up for parole. Listen to this.
“Werner/Zahn Parole Hearing”
P.O: Hello? Is he on?
Zahn: Uh-no. It’s pronounced Zahn.
P.O: I…yeah, I know who you are. I was asking my colleague here if you were on the call. Which obviously you are. So thanks for joining us, Mr. Zahn. My name is officer Seymour Scagnetti. I’m on the parole board here in West Hollywood.
P.O 2: I’m Deirdre Day. I’m also on the parole board.
P.O 2: And we are of course here with Prisoner 262021, also known as Werner Herzog.
P.O: So obviously, Mr. Zahn, you have been the victim of stalking and kidnapping at the hands of Mr. Herzog. He has, however, been an exemplary prisoner.
P.O 2: He’s helped us out a lot with our security cameras.
P.O: The footage is BEAUTIFUL now.
P.O 2: Beautiful footage. It’s not just the cell blocks you’re looking at now, it’s like a real-time docudrama in cinemascope.
Zahn: Great. Sounds…smart.
P.O: Very. And due to his good behavior, Mr. Herzog is in fact up for parole. And since you seem to be an inadvertent trigger for his criminal behavior in the past, we thought we’d set up a call, just to see if there are any changes to his behavior now that you’re on the line.
P.O 2: Right. Right. In short, can he have a conversation that we’d consider “normal”?
P.O: That’s what matters. Yes.
Zahn: (Chuckles to himself) Ok.
P.O: Great. Mr. Herzog. The floor is yours.
Werner: Hello, Steve.
Zahn: Hey Werner.
Werner: How have you been, Steve?
Zahn: Well that question implies a certain familiarity that frankly I don’t feel, Werner. Cause you know, we’ve never like–hung out for fun or anything.
Werner: A problem that I hope to remedy in the near future, Steve. Just as you remedied the Adam Sandler western “The Ridiculous Six.” The only thing “Ridiculous” about this film, is the blood oath Adam Sandler should have sworn, to devote his entire existence to your happiness, in exchange for your appearance in this gangrenous toe he calls a “film.”
P.O: Werner, why don’t you tell him what we talked about?
Werner: Oh, yes. I’m sorry for kidnapping a family I thought was yours, Steve.
Zahn: Yeah, that sounds like…you’re just sorry you got the wrong family?
Werner: Oh, Steve. I have been caught in the labyrinthian Rubix cube that is your intellect. You’ve foiled me again. I shouldn’t speak this way and expect to be liberated. Just as you single-handedly liberated the movie “Chicken Little” by portraying “Runt of the Litter,” and may I say your character would have much more aptly been named “Giant…of the picture” Sidenote, Steve. Were I ever to hear anyone actually call you a runt; I would barrage them with insults so fierce and soul-crushing that it would shake the very foundation of their humanity. They would be left with a singular option: to go home and cry in the mirror. They would know the bitter taste of shame.
Zahn: Uh…guys? Officers?
P.O’s: Yeah, Mr. Zahn. What’s up?
Zahn: Uh…it doesn’t sound like Werner’s changed. Like at all. And, you know, he’s not even that famous. So maybe you just lock him up again? For a much longer time?
P.O: I’m not so sure, Mr. Zahn. He’s right on point about those movies.
Zahn: Well…I’m not saying they were perfect or anything…but I mean they had their moments.
P.O 2: I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen them. But I do know you from something. You done any TV? Cause I know TV.
Werner: Oh, Officer Day. What a question to ask. Steve played the role of Ronnie in the critical darling “Modern Family.” Steve I’ll be honest. I never did watch this show. But I did save each of your episodes on VHS, and committed your scenes to memory. And what glorious memories they are. Were I Phil Dunphy, I would have last seen my wife Claire in my rearview mirror, as you and I drove off into a world of endless sunrises and Twizzlers. I know how you love them so. Perhaps by now you’ve guessed that yes…of course I’ve seen the show. Oopsie, Steve. I fibbed again.
P.O 2: Ohhhhhh yeah! That’s it! Yeah man. You were good in that! Real good stuff.
Werner: You also may know him as perpetual jokester Buff, on both stage and screen, in the Eric Bogosian ode to boredom and malaise: “Suburbia.” The whole film takes place in the parking lot of a 7-11 convenience store. To which I say: Steve—you were the 5 hour energy drink of this film. You were the single-serve packet of Tylenol to remedy the migraine headache I received each time I was exposed to Parker Posey’s hackneyed and gratingly amateurish performance. You sir, are my 64 ounce Slurpee, on the hot summer’s day…of life. And this one Steve, I had on laserdisc.
P.O: Gotta say Werner, you’re right on the money there, too. I grew up in the ‘burbs. Steve got it exactly right.
Werner: Yes he did, Mr. Scagnetti. He was as precise in his artistic choices as I was, when I put 100 milligrams of Temazepam I made in my prison cell in your coffees, just before this meeting commenced.
P.O’s: Huh, what, no you…, etc.
*They fall into the table.
Werner: That my Steve was the sound of a flimsy government table breaking in two. That’s “Two” as in the Stuart Little movie in which you played Monty, and in doing so, you transformed an ill conceived, shoddily executed sequel, on par with “Son of the Mask”, into a cinematic awakening on par with “The Godfather Part II.” No doubt film students and admirers will be STU-dying the artistic B12 shot that was your performance for many years to come. There was nothing “little” about your performance, Steve. Even your subtle nuances are gargantuan in their impact. It is my personal theory that this performance shaped the moral compass of this country and likely impacted several presidential elections. I weep for those poor souls who have not yet seen this masterpiece. They might as well live in a world without sunshine.
Zahn: You’re breaking out, aren’t you Werner?
Werner: Nothing gets by you, Steve. Not at all like I will easily get by the guards looking at the highly artistic security camera footage.
Zahn: Which you looped.
Werner: Which I looped.
Werner: (Cont.) You know me too well, Steve. We shall meet again, my cherub. There are so many other Zahn-paralleled masterpieces to discuss. Such as when you played Jack Monk Jr in an episode of the USA television series “Monk.” I couldn’t have found your performance more compelling, even if you’d prepared for the role silently over decades in a Himalayan monastery.
Zahn: Wow, that’s a deep cut there, Werner. Glad I installed a panic room.
Werner: Auf Wiedersehen, mein Leipshin!
“The Kinison Technique Pamphlet”
Mom: The holidays are such a tough time. All the running around and last minute shopping really takes a toll. I know I’ll forget someone on my list. And it just breaks me up that people would think I’m being rude. And it’s the worst if it happens to be one of my kids’ teachers. I feel so bad. I want them to know I appreciate everything they do. But I’m never sure what to get them! Such a pickle.
Dad: My son Jeremy would never have passed geometry if not for Ms. Nolan. She’s so attentive and really makes learning fun. I just can’t figure out what to do to say thank you. I’m stumped.
V.O. Hey there, folks. You and thousands of parents across the country face the same struggle. An apple on a teacher’s desk just doesn’t cut it anymore. Sure you could buy a houseplant or get a restaurant gift certificate, but that would make you the same as all the other parents. We at Tyburn Industries have come up with a revolutionary new gift for teachers that parents everywhere can afford. It’s called The Kinison Technique. Give your children’s teachers the gift of excellent classroom behavior by breaking their will to misbehave! This isn’t a kit, and there’s no assembly required. Simply read our short pamphlet on home discipline inspired by the yelliest comedian of the 1980’s, and follow the instructions. Parents and teachers can’t stop raving about what a little “raising of the volume” can do!
*Kinison scream clip
Mom: Before The Kinison Technique, I never knew how to show my daughter’s social studies teacher how much I valued all she did to help Emily learn about the Presidents. But when Emily showed up at school shaking because of how I’d screamed at her in the car that morning… well, Ms. Gleason gave me a subtle thumbs up. I just knew I’d gotten it right. My daughter was so scared she hasn’t looked me in the eye in days! And all she did was spill half a glass of milk before I drove her to school!
V.O. Using our patented methodology you’ll jump on any chance to scream and shout at your children and slowly chisel away at their self esteem. This will make them much more pliable when placed before a trusted educator.
Teacher: I have a class of 23 students. It would take forever to calm them down after recess. Thanks to The Kinison Technique, now I just walk in the room and they’re terrified. I mean absolutely terrified. The presence of any adult, just scares the bejesus out of these kids. It reminds me of why I got into teaching. I’m thinking of having one of my own! I would have so much pent up aggression and pure rage to direct at my own little Jack or Jill! And I’m not the only one using it. Just give a listen. I’ll crack my classroom window…
*Excerpt of Sam Kinison yelling wildly mixed with traffic/playground noises.
Teacher 2: I’ve been an educator for over 30 years. Before this program I dealt with unruly students regularly. But just yesterday I saw a mother dig into her 12 year old with some really personal stuff. She had him on the ropes. She sounded exactly like Sam Kinison for Chirst’s sake! Just right up close yelling AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Into the kid’s face. Pure magic to see the results. He sat in the back of my class and just rocked back and forth for the whole day. Never said a word. That’s a lesson he won’t soon forget.
Dad: Don’t get me wrong. Jeremy is a good kid. But the other day he tripped in public and I just let him have it. Really gave him both barrels. (Laughs) Told him he’d shamed our family by being such a klutz. And as per the pamphlet’s instruction, I did it at a high volume in a public place–the mall! The girl he has a crush on even saw! The best part? I tripped him myself! I’ll always channel my inner Kinison from his “Live From Hell” album to say thanks to all of Jeremy’s teachers. They really seem to love it. But you have to be consistent and accountable. You can’t let yourself slip up. Really press their emotional limits. I’ll tell ya, his Biology teacher hugged me at the last parent-teacher conference. He said Jeremy often spends the entire class biting off what’s left of his fingernails and muttering things that he sees just to keep himself grounded. That’s how you know it works!
*Kinison scream clip as V.O continues
V.O: It’s the “Kinison Technique” educational pamphlet. Your childrens’ teachers will thank you out of gratitude. Your children will thank you out of abject fear. By Tyburn Industries: helpful products for horrible people.
“Ted Unveils Michael Impression”
Ted: Ok, guys, I’ve been working on this for a while now, and I think it’s ready to be debuted.
MPS: Whatcha working on there, bud?
Ted: Please don’t be offended, Mike. But I’ve been working on an impression of you.
MPS: Offended? That’s flattering man! I can’t believe you spent time working on an impression of little ‘ol me. Happy to join the Sam Elliotts and the Werner Herzogs of the world. Let’s hear it!
*Ted does some vocal warmups to prep.
MPS: Ok, you’re keeping me in suspense, man. Let’s go.
Ted: I have to tune the instrument, Mike.
MPS: Oh, sorry. You got a process.
Ted: Here goes. Here we go. Hey guys, it’s me–Mike. Welcome back to another episode of Ted and Michael Read Sketches Into Microphones.
MPS: (Laughs) That’s…I mean, that’s a thing that I say. You really went broad with it there.
Ted: (As MPS) I’d also like to inform everyone that my penis has a toenail! I’ve always kept that a secret from the world, but it’s true.
MPS: Ok. That’s a horrifying image. But I feel like I’m being sort of roasted. That’s fun.
GPS (From kitchen): Mike I don’t think you should tell your listeners about your penis toenail. It’s not something most people will understa—- wait, Ted was that you as Mike? That was spot on! Can you do more?
*Gillian enters the room.
Ted: (As MPS) Sometimes when I’m bored I go to a maternity ward and burst in on women in labor and yell, “Mom it’s me from the future. I always wanted to see my own birth! By the way this is how I turn out!”
GPS: Mike, It’s like there’s two of you in the apartment. Ted, How long have you been working on this?
Ted: About a week.
GPS: Well you nailed it. Honestly one of the best impressions I’ve ever heard. Can you say something else in Mike’s stupid voice?
MPS: What the hell is happening right now? That impression is actually really insulting, and I would never say the things that Ted is saying, because they’re…you know…NOT TRUE!
Ted: (As MPS) Gillian, can you please come over here and slicker me up with vaseline. I wanna crawl through the vents and spy on our neighbors again! I’m a creepy voyeur and I don’t respect privacy!
GPS: It’s like I’m talking to my husband.
MPS: Alright, knock it off! Both of you! Please.
Ted: (Interrupting, as MPS) I like to smother myself in cream cheese and pretend to be a bagel. Also I never learned how to use toilet paper! I just use Q-Tips by the handful!
GPS: I’m like, I don’t know where to look, which one of you is the real Mike?! Is it this guy, or is it this guy? (Laughs) Who did I marry!? Ted, you’re amazing at impressions!
MPS: Fine…Well check this out: Uhhhhhh…(As Ted) I’m Ted, I like Scotch and talking about my numerous health problems, and being generally negative. I have a ginger beard.
GPS: Not quite. Listen to how nuanced Ted’s impression of you is. You have to have fun with it, but the devil is in the details. Watch–Ted, do Mike again.
Ted: Ok. Something Mike would say. Here goes: (As MPS) If I’m not listening to Reagan’s “Tear down this wall” speech, I’m not having sex. It’s that simple!
GPS: See! Now that is an impression! It also helps that what he’s saying is so damn accurate!
MPS: It’s really not…
GPS: Try again Mike, but focus on what makes Ted unique.
MPS: Are you guys fucking with me? Are you mad? Did I do something…? Tell me!
GPS: I get it. It’s like hearing a recording of your own voice. It’s jarring at first. Try and do a Ted impression Mike. I believe in you. You can get there.
MPS: (As Ted) I’m Ted I have a tiny penis, and an irregular heartbeat.
Ted: Over the line man. Way over the line.
GPS: Yeah, Mike, too far man.
MPS: But I was…I was literally doing the same shit that Ted was doing just now!
Ted: Mike, I was doing a researched and thoughtful impression. No harm meant. (Chokes up) And you bring my arrhythmia into this? What’s wrong with you man?
MPS: I’m sorry, man. I guess I just don’t hear what you guys are hearing. Apologies if I hurt your feelings. I just don’t get what is going on right now.
Ted: (Slips back into Mike’s voice): If adulthood had merit badges I’d have one for sneaking into retirement communities and planting drug paraphernalia in the bedside tables of the residents. Watching old people be taken away in cuffs is my favorite! This week I got Mr. Cunningham his third strike!
GPS: HAHAHAHAHA! That is so Mike!
MPS: This has been fun. Super fun, but I need some air. (Starts exiting, to himself) Note to self-Ted knows too much.
Ted: What’s that?
MPS: (Still exiting, protesting too much) Nothing! You…crazy guy! I’m mad at you. (Laughs nervously)
“Morning Show: Savory Cereal”
Kip (Coming back from story, solemn): Special thanks to our brave field reporter Allen Dobbs for your hard work on that glacial movement segment. Now go get yourself a shower and a hot meal, Alan. We’re rooting for a smooth amputation of that big toe. (Tone change to happy) Man that thing was black as coal, am I right Donna?
Donna: You sure are Kip, like obsidian lava glass. I’d hate to be Allen most days, but even more so today.
Kip: (Laughing) That’s for sure. And we make more than him! Luckily our next segment is a little more appetizing, because it’s time for Donna’s recurring food segment…“EAT THIS!”
*Quick theme music plays
Donna: Kip, if you’re anything like me, mornings are busy and it can be hard to find the time to make a nutritious breakfast.
Kip: (Still happy tone) We literally have the same job, Donna. Our hellish early-morning schedules are identical. Especially for the makeup. You have a lot of it. On.
Donna: I don’t give you a thought. So when I heard that Tyburn Industries had partnered with Kellogg’s for the first ever line of savory breakfast cereals, I was intrigued. Today we’ll be talking with Stephen Lutz, who is a food chemist at Kellogg’s and helped develop this line of breakfast blockbusters. Stephen, welcome.
Stephen: Thanks for having me, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Kip: So how did this idea come about? Savory cereals? That sounds a bit strange, doesn’t it?
Stephen: It did at first. But we did a little market research and found that men of a certain age are often looking towards things like bacon and eggs, an egg sandwich, or cold pizza as breakfast options. For a portion of the general population, a donut or a sugary cereal just doesn’t hit the mark.
Donna: And how did Tyburn Industries get involved?
Stephen: Well Tyburn has a history of dealing with the particular segment of society that we’re looking to capture. So it was a natural partnership. But hey enough about how we got here, how about we try some of these delicious cereals?!
Donna: Yes indeed!
Kipp: Smells so good, but I just had a crown replaced yesterday. So I have to wait a few more hours before I can eat anything solid. But this all looks fantastic.
Stephen: You’ll have to live vicariously through Donna! First up we have Teriyaki mini wheats.
Donna: Here I go. (Tastes) Hmmmm. Well that’s interesting. It’s regular mini wheats that have been soaked in a warm and thick teriyaki sauce. Boy they really fall apart in your mouth. And yet the mini wheats are still dry in parts, like the sauce is too thick to be fully absorbed. And that teriyaki is very savory indeed.
Stephen: Well, it wouldn’t be savory cereal if it wasn’t high in heart-healthy sodium. Those minis clock in at about 1740 mg of sodium. So roughly 72 percent of your daily sodium need in a one cup portion. About the same salt content you get from 2 cans of corned beef hash. Can you believe it?
Donna: I believe it. Can I get a glass of water?
Stephen: No time. Onto our next delicacy. This is Count Stock-ulla. This is a corn based hot breakfast cereal wherein the corn puffs have been impregnated with an inordinate amount of beef bouillon. But today is your lucky day. Because I’ve got a surprise. This is the spicy chicken bouillon flavor of Count Stock-ulla. Hasn’t even hit shelves yet!
Kip: Now I’m really jealous. I love spicy chicken flavoring. I did six months in Chino when I lived in California. I lived on Cup of Noodles!
Donna: That looks just…Hmmmmmmmm.
Stephen: This one works a little differently. It’s a hot cereal. But it’s meant to be served with hot water or warm milk. Personally, I think the milk is a tastier option. The liquid comes to life and takes on a lovely yellow to brown hue. I have some milk here that’s been simmering. And Donna, allow me to pour and then you can taste.
Donna: Maybe we’ll let that cool and come back to it.
Stephen: Donna. Hi. I’m gonna need you to stomp on the mouth brakes. There’s an order to these things! And we really gotta have our eyes on the clock. Please just do as I ask.
Kip: I’m afraid he’s right, Donna, looks like we’re closing in on another commercial break. So time’s a wastin’.
Donna: Oh, ok. (Tastes) Dear Jesus that is so mind blowingly hot! It is both spicy and the milk has reduced to the consistency of white tar! The spice is so overpowering. Can I please have something to cool off my mouth?
Stephen: Yeah that’s a proprietary blend of chilis you’re tasting. Moving right along. This is just the thing to cool off your mouth. This time, I’d like you to tell me what the flavor is.
Donna: Kip, I’m scared.
Kip: Donna, that’s just what you said about that ballroom dancing piece we did a year ago. Remember how much fun you had? This is no different.
Donna: I got to dance with Colin Farrel. This is VERY different! He’s Ireland’s James Dean!
Stephen: This is a cold cereal, with milk. I promise, it’s not spicy.
Donna: Mmmmmmkay. (Tastes) Wow, that is terrible. I didn’t love the others, but I can’t eat this. This is vile. You can’t feed that to the general public. They’ll revolt and kill everyone who works with you. The heads of everyone at Kellogg’s will be on pikes. Your bodies will be hung in public spaces so no man would ever turn loose something so disgusting on the fine taxpaying American public again. May god have mercy on your soul Stephen, for I know I cannot!
Stephen: Just the reaction I’d expected. That one was just good old fashioned Grape Nuts. Been around since 1897. Proving once more why we need a savory breakfast alternative.
Kip: Amazing, just amazing. A masterclass in marketing. Tell us about your other flavors that we didn’t get to here today.
*Donna starts screaming off-mic and continues throughout.
Stephen: At your local grocery store right now, in the cereal aisle, you’ll find the flavors mentioned here, as well as: Beef and garlic corn flakes, Calamari Loops, Goulash Chex, Tomato Krispies with golden grilled cheese grahams, Lobster bisque Trix, Avocado Toast Crunch–for the millennials–and Lucky Lamb Shanks!
Donna: (Interrupting) Jim, I asked for a glass of cold water and the beginning of this God-forsaken segment, and I still don’t have one! There should have been one right here on this side table! There’s nothing on it. It’s an empty table on camera for p’s s! What, is there a water shortage in this studio or are you all just too flippin’ stupid to fetch somethin’ for your talent that makes up 60% of us, and 71% of the flippin’ earth! Someone get me a LaBatt!
Kip: Stephen, thank you for being here. We’ll head to that commercial now. When we return, Donna is in a state, how can you tell when someone is really horny? Just ask them? I wouldn’t risk that kind of rejection. Our experts weigh in with solutions. Don’t touch that dial! This is Top ‘O The Mornin’
MPS: This episode goes out to landlords. There’s nothing like paying a small fortune in rent every month to live in a shoebox-sized apartment in the greatest city in the world. Especially when your landlord ignores your every request to fix things that are broken while never forgetting to cash your check each month. And I pay my rent on time, always. And yet I have to ask Ted to help me fix things. Listeners, Ted is not a handyman and it shows… clear as day. He once tried to fix a broken doorknob with a rubberband and a paper wrapper from a straw.
Ted: I still think it would have worked if you’d just given time for the glue to set. But we all know how impatient Mike can be. “Ted, that won’t work. Ted, please go home. Ted, stop rummaging through my garbage for snacks.”
MPS: So if you’re a landlord enjoy the advantage you have here on earth. You haven’t earned it.
—Ted Unveils Michael Impression—
Ted: If adulthood had merit badges, I’d have one for sneaking into retirement communities and having sex with the meatloaf.
Ted: Did I do this voice before on this? I feel like we have pictures of that somewhere. Cause I can’t do it without doing that stupid face.
GP: The face is what does it. If the face wasn’t part of it, then I don’t care. And yes I know this is for a podcast.
Ted: That’s encouraging!
Ted: I like to smother myself in cream cheese and pretend to be a bagel. Also I never…(laughs)
This is gonna be a tough one.
—Morning Show: Savory Cereal—
Ted: Today we’ll be talking with Stephen Lutz-a food chemist at Kellogg’s, and helped develop this line of breakfast…(laughs) Are you laughing?
MPS: Don’t change a thing about Kellogg’s. Are you kidding me?
Mike O’G: This is the spicy…(laughs). This is the spicy chicken bouillon flavor of Count Stockula (laughs). Sorry. Alright. Sorry.
Mike O’G: This is Count Stockula. This is a corn…(laughs). Fuck! Why is this so funny?
“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.
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For feedback of all kinds, use firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for listening, and stay weird, friends!