Hello, and welcome to this week's 'From The Mouth Of The Mouse!'
Each week, we spotlight a different Cast Member story to give you more insight into some of your favorite attractions, resorts, and movies from all over the Walt Disney Company.
How many of you out there enjoy standup comedy? How could you not? It's a great way to kick back and, if the comedian is good, laugh hysterically for awhile.
Since you're here, you obviously love Disney, too. So what happens when you combine standup comedy and the magic of Disney?
You get the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, of course!
Continuing the plot of the Pixar film, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor opened in April 2007 as a comedy club, where folks from the human world could go to help power Monstropolis through the power of their laughter. The show is interactive, having some of the monster comics converse with people in the audience, adding a layer of realism to the show.
This week, we're lucky to have with us the ironically named Mike (no relation to Wazowski!), who formerly provided some of the live voices for the show.
JEFF: What was your role in the show?
MIKE: Well, it differed from day to day. I always provided the voices for some of the comedians, but we usually changed it up every show. One show, I would be voicing Buddy Boil, other times I'd be doing Wazowski's bit. We didn't want to get bored, so we traded them around. Since we all knew each other's acts, it was easy to do.
JEFF: How many other voices were there?
MIKE: Overall, we had quite a few. I don't really remember the number. But daily, we'd have about six people. The show would run about once an hour, so we'd have shift changes and breaks thrown in there, but throughout the course of a normal day, there were six of us.JEFF: Was it more fun doing the interactive bits than the scripted routines?
MIKE: Well, everyone had a layer of interactivity within their acts, except for the pre-recorded stuff. So, we all got to take turns to play with the audience... especially 'that guy.' (laughs)
But yeah, we all got to talk to them a bit. The ones that were more interactive than the others were always more fun, absolutely. That goes without saying! But overall, there wasn't a bad role in the show to play. They were all great, and had some great, if not cheesy, jokes.
JEFF: Do you have a favorite character you liked to play?
MIKE: The two headed monster. There were about five different heads for that one, and we changed them around every show. They all had different names. I loved playing Sam, or Mac, or Jeeves, whatever his name was during that show.JEFF: Because of the nature of the show, I would assume you have a background in standup?
Re-telling the plot of Monster's, Inc. with people from the audience is always a favorite. That's honestly my favorite bit in the show. I always tried to do that bit together with Jon, who also worked on the show, each of us as one of the heads. We used to go so fast and mess up some of the story. And we'd jump around the story, really confusing the guy at the switch board. He'd put the wrong person on camera, and we'd call him out on it.
It was very funny stuff!
MIKE: Ironically enough, no! Most of the other people did, but I never did it before in my life. I was just naturally funny, I guess! (laughs)
I was good at improv, and even better at reading from their script, so that's where they placed me!
JEFF: The Laugh Floor is one of the few attractions in the parks where digital characters onscreen interact with guests. How limited were you in what you could do?
MIKE: Well, that depends. We were allowed to say whatever you wanted, within the context of the show, obviously, and the programs would match the character's mouth on stage as best it could to our words.
But each character had a very specific range of motions that they could and couldn't do. For instance, Crush can swim around over at Epcot, but there really is no reason for our monsters to be able to do that! It wasn't just a 'type in what you wanted and they'd do it' kind of thing. Every motion has to be animated beforehand.
That's not to say there wasn't a lot we could do with them. The boards for these characters were huge, and had everything from simple things like walking all the way to a complex, physical comedy routine. And most actions could be combined, which added some extra stuff that was new even to the programmers!
JEFF: I think it's also a pretty neat thrill when kids text in their jokes and then hear them in the show.
MIKE: I love that. You can always see what kids sent in the jokes by the looks on their faces when you tell them. You say their names, and where they are from, and they just light up.JEFF: I would guess you get a lot you CAN'T use, too!
It's so funny. And some of the jokes are pretty good, too! We've used them in other shows as well!
MIKE: You would be correct. I'd say about 30% of the jokes we get sent are usable. The rest are either inappropriate, don't make sense, or involve one of us playing a trick on the control guys. I'll tell you what, though - there are quite a few of those jokes that I used at parties afterward!JEFF: I've always wanted to be 'that guy.' What can I do to increase my chances?
MIKE: Be in the right place at the right time! Try to sit more towards the middle of the room, not in the front or back. People making fairly serious faces during the pre-show are usually the ones we pick on the most, so look serious, like maybe you're not having a great time, and one day, I assure you, you can be 'that guy!'Thank you, Mike, for sharing with us, and helping to power Monstropolis!
Don't forget come back each week to hear more of the magic directly From the Mouth of the Mouse.
Tickets are now on sale for the
COMMUNICORE WEEKLY 38TH WEEKAVERSARY
EPCOT 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION!
Come celebrate EPCOT's 30th Anniversary in style with a live taping of MiceChat's Communicore Weekly! Join co-hosts Jeff Heimbuch & George Taylor, along with MiceChat's Dusty Sage, Kevin Yee, and the Communicore Weekly Orchestra, for a fun-filled night of fandom and frivolity as they tape a special hour long episode of the hit show, Communicore Weekly.
Join us on the evening of Saturday, September 29th 2912 in the Norway Pavilion Special Events Lounge in EPCOT's World Showcase for this one of a kind event!
Your ticket includes:
- Admission into the live taping of CW in the Norway Pavilion of EPCOT (note: admission into the park is NOT included)!
- Meet special guest, Ron Schneider, the original Dreamfinder!
- Decadent dessert reception!
- Short scavenger hunt hosted by Kevin Yee before the show will be available to those who would like to participate (prizes will be awarded)!
- Prizes, giveaways and more!
- The chance to be a part of EPCOT and Communicore Weekly history!
- Endless Five Legged Goats and perhaps even a real life Bathroom Break!
- Exclusive late night ride after park closing on a selected EPCOT attraction to cap off the evening!
For more tickets and more information, be sure to visit MiceChat.com/store!
By Jeff Heimbuch
If you are, or know, a Cast Member who would like to share some of their stories and possibly be featured right here on MiceChat, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!
Jeff can help you plan your perfect Disney vacation with Fairy Godmother Travel! Call him at 732-278-7404 or email him at Jeff@FairyGodmotherTravel.com for a free, no-obligation quote for Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Aulani or Adventures By Disney.
Jeff also writes a MiceChat column titled The 626. We invite you to check it out!
Jeff also co-hosts the VidCast Communicore Weekly on MiceTube.
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