Uh Oh…


Dear Wondering Faithfuls

Word Count: 810

My, how you little kings and queens have been patient. I am, of course, speaking to you as if you really exist. Delusional, I’m aware, but please let me have this, it is kind of the point of this whole enterprise in the first place.

I’ve been so busy doing stand up that I have not had the free time to pay more attention to this little corner of the web I’ve dug out for myself. The balance of both used to be better maintained, due to the irregularity of my chances for stage time. I now get to perform about three or four times a week, and with the rise of one self fulfilling prophecy comes the decline of another. Getting better at it has been priority number one, but the glass ceiling of the world of stand up is very visible to someone in my position. I have every intention to penetrate it with extreme prejudice, but I’ll only be able to shatter through it if I have experience running head first into other seemingly impenetrable surfaces and surviving.

Hence why I’m back.

The Placeholder is still my ‘brand’, if you must call it that. I like to think of it more as the thesis statement for the whole shit-storm of stuff I have made and/or plan to make in the near future. Oh, the near future. So near, it barely seems like the future at all.

The need for The Placeholder in my life is nothing I really feel like having to justify or explain too much anymore, as you’ve probably deduced. I used to, but I’ve learned that there’s no point to that, really. It exists because it has to, and it is what it needs to be. In the past few months it has not needed to be very much, apparently, but that does not mean it has gone anywhere far from my thoughts. All healthy relationships see the couples take some time apart so they can come back together with some interesting stories to share. If they don’t, it always ends the same way. One day the wife just snaps and bashes her husbands head in with the toaster oven. Since I need my toaster oven, a little break was best for both of us.

I produced two shows under the banner of The Placeholder Show in late February and early March. They debuted to minimal crowds and critical obscurity. There have been requests for more by the curious and masochistic, and it will indeed return soon, if only to continue the masturbatory practice of standing on a stage of my own design. Too much fun, I must say. All those who helped me in those shows are saints, or at least as close to saints as bat-shit crazy heathens can be. A sincere thank you to all those who contributed to making it what it was, and who expressed hope in what it could eventually be. You have all been added to the “do resuscitate” list.

POSTER.jpg Poster for the first show picture by ThePlaceholder  POSTER2.jpg picture by ThePlaceholder

Some new videos are on the way. Articles are in the works. New features and salutes are being devised as we speak. A real site and a non-wordpress url is still the ideal goal for the summer. Promises, promises. I’m sure I wouldn’t believe me either at this point, but trust me, all that is coming soon.

Tim is still in Korea. He’ll be in school in Toronto soon, sharpening the knives. He’s been sending me postcards. Most of them disgusting. Some of them nonsensical. All of them gorgeous.

I’m doing alright. I need some dental work done. Undersexed, most likely. I was told I smell by my new employer, and I can’t argue with facts. People are looking at what I’m doing and telling me they like what they see. Not sure if that is just in comparison to what they have seen from me before, so I’m taking it at face value. I find I don’t make eye contact with people very much, and when I do I get the sense that people think I am trying to steal their souls somehow. I do very little to dissuade this belief, I must confess. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Cardiacs lately. For better or worse, that’s where my universe is at right now.

You deserve content, not excuses. This is neither, though I guess it could be confused as both. In order to survive, I know I must be willing to subject myself to elements that could irreversibly damage or mutate my DNA. I am entitled to no better, and you came here for nothing less.

Again, this is assuming you are real. At least I’ve got my wits about me enough to know I’m screaming non-sense into a void, waiting for the black hole to heckle me back.

Oh well, fuck it. Go on singing. Enjoy the show.

– J.D. Renaud

The Picture Radio – Whack Hack

Hey, it’s me. Yeah, I know, shut up.

Sorry for the prolonged silence, folks. Daddy has been busy, however, some good news is on the way. Something very big is brewing that hopefully I’ll be able to talk about here soon. I’m keeping it vague for now, pretty much just to be a dick, but trust me, shit is about to go down.

Meanwhile, to tide you over, here’s this…

Winnipeg Writes a Letter to Conan O’Brien

As some of you may be aware, late night troubadour Conan O’Brien has been getting handed the shitty end of many sticks lately. In solidarity, the cast and audience of Comedy Loser, one of my favourite regular shows in the city, banded together to write him a letter.

You know the old saying about how if you put a thousand monkeys in a room with a thousand typewriters that eventually they will write Shakespeare? Well, I think this video is a shining example of that theory being put to the test. Regardless, it’s from the heart, and proof that all of Winnipeg stands behind our beloved CoCo. 

Ryan McMahon hosted it. I taped it. A crowd of over 120 is responsible for it.

Go Team Conan.

The Picture Radio – Kidz Korner

With sincere apologies to children, the people who make them, Santa Claus, fans of cancelled television shows, the dead, homeless people, and guitar owners.

Vol 1 in HQ is HERE

Vol 2 in HQ is HERE

Dear Body Shop

Word Count – 650

Hello, Body Shop. I am writing to inform you of an idea I had that I am certain will make you guys rich(er).
The holiday season is fast approaching, which means you fine folks are about to get your yearly influx of confused men buying fancy soap and whathaveyous for their wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, and such. You are widely known as the last resort safe haven for men this time of year, because as every stand up comic from the 1980s will tell you, men don’t know shit about women.

Or at least that is the commonly held belief. The truth of the matter is nobody knows shit about anybody, men and women included. The grand majority of the population are self-centered pricks, and feel obligated to buy our other self-centered pricky friends something at christmas to avoid those awkward, cold stares at new years parties.

I personally have received some of the worst gifts in my life from women, all of whom bought me things from Spencer’s Gifts, the go-to destination for women buying bullshit presents for the men in their lives they barely know and could care less about. Your male-oriented doppelganger, essentially. I have befriended a few women in my life who knew so little about me that they assumed I would be overjoyed at the thought of getting a Scarface throw pillow or a Family Guy beer cozy.

My friends are dicks, I guess is what I’m trying to say. As I’m sure most other peoples are, too. If any of them actually gave a shit about me, they would have asked what I wanted, instead of panicking at the last minute and guessing what I’d like.

Well, let me give you a little news flash, Body Shop. You want to know something I actually like? Baths.

That’s right. I am a man, I am straight, and I like to bathe. Stop the fucking presses.

I don’t know when it suddenly became “gay” to not want to smell like a pile of dead racoons covered in malt vinegar, but I happen to think that good hygiene should transcend gender boundaries. I would gladly accept one of your last minute emergency baskets as a gift, rather than a bottle of boner pills or a blacklite Insane Clown Posse poster. However, not once in my life has a woman ever put bath salts and satsuma hand wash in my stocking. I have never opened a neatly wrapped box from a lady friend to find coconut soap and body butter. I’ve checked your website, and you only have nine products in your “Men’s” bath section. One of them being a unisex toiletry bag (which does not count), and four others being hemp products. Why do you assume the only men who like to be clean are hippies, Body Shop? I am offended at the insinuation.

My idea, therefore, is for you folks to start marketing yourself as the last ditch shopping destination for both men and women alike. Or hey, go balls out and start producing products just for men. Perhaps something like bubble bath that smells like hickory barbeque sauce, and bars of soap shaped like power tools and tits. Call yourselves “The Man Bath Specialists”, and watch as flocks of frustrated last minute female shoppers line up to buy dual-action body wash that comes in Quaker State bottles.

If I have to get gifts with absolutely no thought put into them, I’d appreciate it if they were things I could actually put to use. That has been your business model for years, and I can’t see why you would not want to maximize your profit potential by branching out to both sexes. You provide quality products that everyone can enjoy, so why not expand your horizons a bit and make christmas a little better for guys like me?

We all like to feel clean, but none of us have a use for a plush electric pig that sings “All The Single Ladies” and farts when you punch it.

– J.D. Renaud


Writers Meeting – “The Moon, Part 2”

Word Count – 450

J.D. says: So, turns out they found 24 gallons of water on the moon. To put that in perspective, it normally costs $50,000 to bring one pound of ANYTHING to the moon. Now that they have all that money saved, this means irrigation, possible hydrogen fuel, terraforming, the whole bunch. With proper funding, there may be sustainable colonies on the moon by 2100.

Tim says: Shit, and I was seething with schadenfreude when this was going on. Fuck me.

J.D. says: Yeah, turns out that NASA, that institute comprised entirely of rocket scientists, knew what they were doing. Go figure.

Tim says: There’s the new answer to why I don’t drink too much. When you were out getting drunk this weekend, NASA found water on the fucking moon and now we can look at terraforming inside of the century. So yeah, maybe that extra Jager-bomb isn’t going to help anything.

J.D. says: While you were throwing up black Jager vomit, some guy in a lab coat was figuring out a way for you to live, and perhaps even get drunk and throw up on the moon someday. I suppose them finding water means we are one step closer to the possibility of moon booze.

Tim says: MOON BOOZE! Finally! What kind of hops do you think they’ll brew it with? Astral-Hops?

J.D. says: Dirt? Dirty moon booze? Mooze?

Tim says: That’s another thing that’s always good to think about. Somewhere in the world, some dude is going to drop a few million dollars for a bottle of Moon Water. Just the same as the US Flag currently on the moon has a good chance of ending up in a Beijing Museum some day. Hum… hold up, story idea… crime drama, the future, China steals the Moon Flag, and a rag tag band of American ex-cons are forced to steal it back.

J.D. says: “Old Glory”, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Kanye West.

Tim says: You can post this on The Placeholder if you want, but only if you correctly spelled “Jake Gyllenhaal”. If you didn’t, just say Tom Cruise. And if you do post it, sweet Jesus, clean it up first. I feel it makes us both look overweight. I don’t have a neck beard. I can’t even grow a normal beard.

J.D. says: I’ll write it up again to make it seem less like we’re having this conversation in our underwear.

Tim says: Though now you also have to include this bit where we announce the self-awareness of how pathetic this sounds.

J.D says: It will be this odd mobius strip of stupidity, the piece itself commenting on how nerdy it is.

Tim says: Like a self-loathing MC Escher painting.