This is the livestream window for the first-ever Machine of Death Half-Birthday Party and Talent Show. (If you’re reading this in a feed, click through to the post to see the window.) Right now it’s dark, because it’s not showtime! But I wanted to embed it here on the site in advance. It’ll light up when it’s time for the show. Update: Now it’s the recorded show! It’s almost the whole thing, it cuts out near the end due to Ustream recording limits. But we’ll be posting videos online soon!

The show will be on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, beginning at 8pm Pacific time. We’ll probably have the stream running a little in advance, so pop in a bit early in case Ustream makes you watch an ad first.

During the show, please tweet your thoughts using #MachineofDeath — you can also search for #MachineofDeath to see what other folks are saying! As I host the show, I’ll periodically check in on Twitter and read some of my favorite tweets aloud. You’re part of the show too! Tweeting is your talent.

Or, if you’re near Los Angeles, we’d absolutely love to have you attend the show in person. Admission is free! Here’s the details.


The Fake Gallery, 4319 Melrose Ave, Hollywood

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I have been told that street parking is free after 6pm, and fairly abundant. If you have ever been to Hollywood before, I know this is hard to believe.


April 26, 2011
8pm showtime
Doors open at 7:30. Come early to grab free birthday cake and snacks!
Here is a Facebook invite, if you want to RSVP.


I’ve been working very hard on making this a cool show, and while certain things will remain under wraps until showtime, here are a few things you can expect:

• the aforementioned birthday cake
• the opportunity to get your copy of the book signed by at least three contributors
• free death readings (prediction cards you can take home with you)
• first looks at a prototype new product not available anywhere else
• the opportunity to win free stuff by participating in the show
• mass enjoyment, of course!!


The show will feature many performers and performances, among them:

• A live performance of “Boom! And a Bear Comes Out”, by me. I’m perfectly willing to humiliate myself onstage before I ask anyone else to take that plunge.

• A death-prediction-based longform improv set by the famous Mission IMPROVable troupe “The Grind.” I’ve been watching these guys play every week at Westside Comedy Theater for several months now, and they’re just phenomenal.

• A live reading of Jeffrey Wells’ MoD story “TORN APART AND DEVOURED BY LIONS,” by public-radio and comedy-podcast superstar/magnate Jesse Thorn.

• A drawing game that shares everything with Pictionary® except the trademarked name, featuring audience members playing along with L.A. cartoonists Kevin McShane and Keith Knight!

• And of course: the amazing talents of MoD readers. Music, monologues, animation, comedy and more, from performers including Carla Barton, Zachary Bernstein, Matt Bixler, Brett Donnelly, Tim Karplus, Christina Major, Sam McLean, and Cory O’Brien.

• After all that, you’ll be free to go home. IF YOU CAN.


I hope you’ll tune in and watch the show live! But if you’re at all able to, I’d really love for you to come out in person. I know it’s a lot to ask on a weeknight. But a live show is a living thing — it absolutely gets better with a good audience. The energy in the room gets charged in a wonderful way.

I’m super-excited to put on the show, and it’ll be fun for me no matter who shows up, but I want to make it an extra-special time for our performers too, one of whom is coming all the way from Phoenix to attend. Please join me in providing these great folks — who took the time to create something new and special simply because I asked them to! — with the friendly, supportive audience they deserve. I want our stage to be a magical place, a place where someone who took the initiative to make something gets rewarded.

See you at the show!