Where Are They Now? : Trophy Husbands Edition

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Hello out there! This is Jon, the member of Trophy Husbands that isn’t those other two.  Looking over our website recently, I saw it’s been nearly a year since we last posted. And that’s not because we’re lazy or occasionally forget we have a website. No. It’s that we’re all really REALLY busy. So let me take this time to catch you all up with what’s new.

 Just three pals knockin' back some pins!

Just three pals knockin' back some pins!

I’ll start with me. Boy howdy, has it been a year.  2017 began with a bang as I landed a juicy role in the hotly anticipated Lizzie McGuire reboot, Lizzie McGrownup. In the show I play Gordo’s younger brother, Schlomo, who has moved in with Lizzie and Gordo (now married with preteens of their own) and stirs up some trouble between the lovebirds. Did someone say love triangle? I’ll never tell! Anyway, the thing was a blast to shoot and you can look forward to watching me and the rest of the McGrownup gang when the show launches on Disney’s new VR app next fall.

 Such growth!

Such growth!

In perhaps even more important news, Haylie Duff introduced me to TM or Transcendental Meditation for those of you not in the know. Let me tell you, it is SO relaxing and makes you sooooo much better than regular people. In fact I literally just came out of what appears to have been a four month trance right before typing this. I can tell this from the lush facial hair I’ve grown.

Which leads me to our next Husband. Jackson has had his life change in a pretty significant and special way this past year. He’s a dad! That’s right, our favorite Trophy Husband is now a Trophy Father.  As we all know, when a Jackson reaches adulthood, it finds a nice place to roost, settles in, then shakes forth from its beard hundreds of embryos, to and fro. Those that are able to survive the harsh Toronto winter develop into full blown people, and it is my pleasure to announce that three made it through! That’s right, triplets. All three of ‘em with full blown beards, just like their father. The two boys, Heinrich and Gildrum, are gonna grow up to be some real ladykillers, while the girl, Henrietta, has a most promising career in the carnival circuit to look forward to.

 Artist's rendering

Artist's rendering

 When you're here, you're family

When you're here, you're family

All in all, Jackson has really embraced the role of family man, going so far as to open up his own Olive Garden to share the experience with all those with a warm heart and an empty belly. Did someone say unlimited breadsticks? I’ll never tell!

Finally, there’s Mike. Shortly after watching the film Nocturnal Animals in early January of 2017, Mike invested all of his money into a windowless white van and hit the road for good ol’ Hollywood, US of A. Once there, he made it his life’s mission to meet Jake Gyllenhaal and really dissect what makes this acting thing tick. While he never did get to speak with Jake one on one, he did follow him around for most of the year and get some really great candid snapshots like this one.

 Classic Jake.

Classic Jake.

 Not a ditch, but close enough

Not a ditch, but close enough

Unfortunately, Jake (I hope I can call him that, I feel like we’re close) eventually noticed Mike being literally everywhere he went, and before Mike could finish his life size Jake hairdoll (made with 100% genuine Gyllenhaal hair I might add) he was slapped with a restraining order.  Since then, no one has really seen or heard from Mike. Did someone say dead in a ditch? I’ll never tell! (Though that is a very real possibility.)

In real news, starting today our sketches will be available on Amazon Prime, for all you moneybags that have that, cause nothing says Easter and the second coming of Christ like Trophy Husbands. We also have a bunch of other projects we’re working on that we’re really excited and can’t wait to show you, so stay tuned. Did someone say HBO series? No. No one said that. But we gotta lot of other cool shit, so hang onto your butts.

-Jon

Jackson went to the THEATRE

I went to the theatre this weekend. The THEATRE. Say it with any kind of inflection and you immediately seem pretentious. But my experience at the Bishop Marrocco Auditorium wasn’t pandering or pompous, it was real. The play was a traditional adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s 1960’s coming of age story The Outsiders. A story from a different time, a chilling depiction of the class struggle and how it affected young men trying to make their way with little to no adult help. There's loss, there's pain, there's glimpses at a better life and even love. To tackle this story, one that is so specific and dated, the Drama department at Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton

Catholic Secondary School would have to grab the audience from moment one and transport us back to Tulsa, Oklahoma 1965. Ponyboy. Sodapop. Johnny Cade. Cher- ….what? I didn’t mention this was a high school play? 

Yes. I got stoned and went to a high school play by myself. It was awkward. It was hilarious. It was everything I wanted and more.

I arrived five minutes before the show was supposed to start. Got my flimsy paper programme from the ticket booth, found a seat in the 6th row and settled in. A few moments later when I looked up from my phone I realized that the auditorium was big and cavernous, with row after row of seats lying empty. My goal had been to show up late as to not stand out amongst a crowd of family and friends watching their teenage thespian acquaintances. This did not pan out. All preconceived notions of large men with beards alone at high schools aside, I was very high and beginning to get paranoid. To my relief the auditorium began to populate about five minutes later. Families with bouquets of flowers, groups of teens taking snapchats, and, most interesting of all, two young ladies with a dog. A Pomeranian in fact, as I found out by asking the dog’s owners, who sat directly behind me. (Side Note: For sure don’t bring a DOG to a play. Figured that was obvious.) At least there was now a real audience, a boisterous one that only got louder as the play delayed its start by over 15 minutes. I read through the programme, replied to a few emails, and just as my paranoia had ceased, the lights dimmed. A spotlight hit the stage and instead of an actor, the directors come out to introduce us to what we were about to see.

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I am raring to go. The show is late to start and I’ve been in an uncomfortable wooden seat for twenty minutes without entertainment, so as the directors educate us about the history of the school and the arts program, I do my best to pay attention. I came for the entire experience and this is something uniquely high school. Feeling the need to qualify exactly what the hell a play is, and what the cast and crew have been dedicating themselves to, serves as a primer for parents who aren't exactly on board with their kid doing the whole ‘drama’ thing. It’s genuine and nice, but let's go already! It’s 25 minutes after we were told curtain up was happening. The rest of the crowd is as restless as me. People start breaking out in their own conversations, so much so that I fail to notice the directors have left the stage. Suddenly the lights on stage flash on and the set is revealed. A couch and chair surround a small table with a telephone on it. A train track crossing sign is nailed to the wall. It’s gritty and effective. I feel like a greaser would live here. Just as the thought crossed my mind a slick haired young man steps onto stage, sits on the couch, and starts to dial the rotary phone. The show has begun.

One problem: People are still talking. A lot. Three or four separate conversations are happening on the fringes of the audience. One brave parent in front of me turns around and asks loudly for people to “Stop talking please!” and the conversations trickle to an end. All the while the poor actor is dialing the goddamn rotary phone like a champ, not breaking character. I swear he dialed like 14 numbers. It was a good minute of dialing. I won’t break the play down scene by scene or anything but let me supply you with my personal highlights: 

1.) Ponyboy’s opening monologue – Five minutes by himself, exploring the space and even interacting with people in the front row. I liked this Ponyboy kid. He was onstage for almost the entire show and he did a great job. Sure he flubbed a line here and there, but he was the most consistent actor in the whole production. Plus it was documented in the programme that he hoped to pursue a career as an undercover cop after high school. Needless to say, he’s cool.

2.) Two Bit’s movements- The actor playing Two Bit was into it. He flailed around passionately when delivering his lines and then remained perfectly still when it wasn't his turn to speak. He once gestured his hands in a circular motion at another actor to get through their line quicker so that he could get to his. It was charming and hilarious.

3.) The actor playing Darry looked older than me.

4.) At intermission the curtain closed on an actor that was lying down dead and he had to scoot offstage (Classic).

5.) The dog only made noise once. Two separate babies cried. It managed to not detract from the experience.

6.) When the scene called for characters to be driving a car, the actors all just sat together and leaned side to side. Solid pantomime.

7.) The women in the cast were some of the best performers, but they had so little to play with. The directors chose to stick tight to the source material, with the sexism of the 60’s was front and centre multiple times. The actors didn’t flinch when faced with the subject matter. Their professionalism should be commended.

8.) The entire auditorium was used as their stage. The performance spilled out into the audience multiple times and the actors walked, ran and fought their ways through the aisles. It’s a classic high school play trope, but I was nonetheless riveted.

I felt a lot while watching The Outsiders. Most of the time I was cringing or trying to mask laughter, but in my favourite moments I felt appreciative to the actors. They put their hearts into it, and they committed and performed admirably.

The image that I left the theatre with was the entire cast sharing the stage to take a bow at the end. They were all so proud of themselves and their castmates, grinning from ear to ear. Their energy kept me smiling, too. Stay gold, Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School. Stay Gold.

Jon's 5 Favorite Films of 2016 (Starring Steven Seagal)

What a year to have been alive! Everything seems to have worked itself out, everyone is happy, and no one will ever die. Not only that, but a regular cornucopia of great films were bukkaked all over our willing faces in 2016, and you better believe I hunkered down and took all I could get. Problem is there were far too many good flicks to whittle into a top 5 list. So instead, in honor of Trump's favorite action hero and Putin's BFF, I decided to make a list of Steven Seagal's five best movies to come out in 2016 as there's a good chance an executive order will drop any day now decreeing all future films star Seagal. These are all real and I watched all of them. You're welcome.

#5 - Code of Honor

As soon as the Premeire Entertainment logo came up accompanied by 80's hair metal, I knew I was in for something special. Executive Produced by the man himself, Code of Honor follows Colonel Robert Sikes (Seagal), an AWOL soldier turned 'Super Vigilante' (a term that gets repeated upwards of 50 times), cleaning the streets of crime after his wife and son were killed in a drive-by while he was in Afghanistan. If the blood weren't all CGI'd, there'd be gallons of it. Sikes is a one many wrecking ball, taking out the most random assortment of thugs a Craigslist casting call has to offer with pinpoint accuracy. What looks like Seagal shaking a prop gun up and down is actually the precision of an actor who knows his craft. We're told by the authorities that Sikes is a shadow that can blend into any city, which is all the more impressive considering his mahogany spray tan, walrus build, and all black attire (blending in involves removing his scarf and bandanna). Yet that doesn't stop his old protégé William Porter (Craig Sheffer, a Mickey Rourke lookalike who looks like he could use a nap) from being hot on his heels. Then again...maybe they're the same person? This is a film that refuses to hold your hand and give out easy answers. It all culminates in a glorified slap fight/knife ballet that has to be seen to be believed. Shot and performed like a third-rate porno, while substituting gratuitous violence for fucking, Code of Honor is just the kind of in-your-face, genre defying film that appeals to both the art crowd and the masses. See it. 

#4 - Sniper: Special Ops

Bradley Cooper? More like Badly Pooper! At least that's what everyone will be saying after watching Sniper: Special Ops, Seagal's answer to American Sniper. There's even an obviously fake baby! Seagal plays Sergeant Jake Chandler, the titular sniper of the film, despite using the weapon only once, during the movie's intro. While on a mission to rescue a kidnapped congressman, Chandler and his ragtag group of soldiers (a healthy mix of bouncer, biker, and male model types) are ambushed by terrorists. Our soldiers retreat, leaving Chandler and his injured spotter behind enemy lines. I can only imagine how excited Seagal got when he read this in the script, as it gives him the excuse to sit in a chair for the majority of the movie. The few times he is in motion, he leisurely strolls through the streets, despite, you know, being in a goddamn war zone. I'm fairly certain no running is a stipulation in his contract. No walking up and down stairs definitely is as, I shit you not, a stunt double covers that task every time. Anyway, the majority of the movie is spent on Chandler's fellow soldiers figuring out how to rescue him. There's also a lady war photographer that joins them who ends up killing a lot more dudes than taking photos. She adds nothing to the plot, but she's attractive and we see her boobs at one point, so I guess that's what they were going for. The climactic rescue mission is action packed, using the best stock footage explosions money can buy. Also, Seagal wears sunglasses the entire film just so he can dramatically remove them for the last line of the movie. This the closest cinema has ever come to capturing the horrors of war, in that it is hell to watch, somehow making an hour and a half feel like forever. An impressive feat. Five stars!

#3 - The Perfect Weapon

Our old pal Stevey does sci-fi, as if there weren't enough reasons to fear for the future. Set in 'America 2029', Seagal plays The Director, the supreme leader of a future where any opposition to his rule is suppressed by superhuman assassins. The best of these assassins is a bald guy named Condor (Johnny Messner, proud owner of the greatest headshot photo on IMDb), who begins to question murdering people all the time when he succumbs to what poet laureate Huey Lewis would refer to as 'the power of love'. Seagal's screentime amounts to a glorified cameo, save for the holographic billboards of him throughout the city with the word 'INTELLIGENCE' hilariously plastered above him in all caps. And I almost forgot the flashback where a young Seagal's face is CGI'd onto a physically fit body. It feels good to know the majority of the budget was probably spent on this scene just so Seagal could relive his glory days. The bulk of the film follows Condor on his quest for freedom, and it's like watching someone shittily play a Hitman video game for an hour and a half. I spent most of the time on my phone enjoying animal gifs and looking up Seagal fun facts. For example, did you know during a "private audition" for Under Siege 2, Seagal made Jenny McCarthy strip naked, despite there being no nudity in the film? Or that he once drove a tank through a suspect's house for his reality show Lawman, euthanizing all 115 chickens in the man's alleged cock fighting ring as well as killing his puppy? What a guy! The Perfect Weapon is worth slogging through for it's twist ending, in which its revealed Seagal's character has an identical twin who swears to avenge his wounded brother before killing him with a katana. Do I smell a sequel? Or is that just a musty Seagal fart? Either way, more please!  

#2 - End of a Gun

The IMDb synopsis for this film states that Seagal plays a mall security guard, so you can imagine my immense disappointment when that turned out to not be the case. Instead, Seagal plays Michael Decker, an ex-DEA agent living in an alternate reality version of Paris where everyone speaks broken English. One night he happens upon a man slapping around his girlfriend and decides to get involved, breaking the guys arm twelve times to the same sound effect before shooting him in the head. Justice is served. Except it turns out the guy was a drug dealer and his now police impounded vehicle has $2 million in the trunk. The abused woman, Lisa, offers to split the money with Decker if he can steal it back. She also implies she'll fuck him. The heist is on! Things get even more convoluted when drug kingpin Mr. Vargas (a man with the look of Tommy Wiseau and the voice of Mr. Moviefone) sends his goons to collect the money. I'm honestly not sure what I watched. Decker is supposed to be the embodiment of cool, but played by Seagal he comes off as a cartoon pimp, dropping an endless string of mo'fuckas, fa shos, bitches, and hoes. It's cringy. The heist centerpiece involves Seagal walking his way up a parking garage to Ocean's Eleven-esque music, beating up two guards in sped up footage so he looks agile, grabbing the money, and walking back down. That's it. Capping off this lamest of heists, he delivers the $2 million to Lisa and says, "Now you owe me some good pussy," to which I then proceeded to vomit. In the end Lisa gets captured by Mr. Vargas' goons, cause of course. Seagal rescues her and kills the lot of them as he's prone to do, when Lisa pulls a gun on him and demands all of the money. So he shoots her in the head and the movie comes full circle. Packed to the brim with the kind of old timey sexism that'll help make America great again, End of a Gun is an action throwback that'll have you saying they don't make 'em like they used to. And with good reason!

#1 - The Asian Connection

Seagal steps out of the spotlight to play the big bad in this one, and boy is it a thing that happens. He plays Gan Sirankiri, a Cambodian crime lord who rocks a du-rag, gold medallian, and black kung fu ensemble. He even attempts an accent for all of the opening scene before realizing he is not up to the task, abandoning it the rest of the film. The plot involves some ferret faced young hotshot named Jack (John Edward Lee, who hopefully finds a different calling in life) robbing banks for his cigarette saleswoman girlfriend, so they can one day live on an island together like they always talked about. For the love of God, someone please make this madness end. Anyway, Jack ends up robbing a bank that has Gan Sirankiri's money and is now on the run for his life and what not. Who cares. We're here for Seagal dammit, and that's what we're gonna talk about. His scenes are so disconnected from the rest of the film, I began to wonder if they were stitched in from an entirely different movie or if they happened to be home videos of his vacation in Phnom Penh. When he's not meeting up with his evil council of actual Cambodians, he's seen eating meals, practicing martial arts, and waxing philosophical with a silent young asian woman who I assume is an escort. AND THESE SCENES ARE FASCINATING. None of this could have been scripted, it's too bizarre and pure. I felt like I was watching Seagal's own version of Before Sunrise, and I desperately wished it was the entire film. After one scene of boring bullshit with Jack, we're dropped mid-conversation into a fish dinner between Seagal and his lady where he mumbles his way through this profound non sequitur: "They way I look at it, it's like this fish. People saying I shouldn't eat the fish because the fish, ya know, is an important sentient being. And it's true." I have no idea what he's talking about, but I feel like I'm seeing the real Seagal for the first time, and for that this film gets my highest recommendation. Also Black Dynamite himself, Michael Jae White, makes an appearance as a character named Greedy Greg. So there's that.

Well we did it. We reached the end. And if we can make it through these films together we can make it through anything, including a similarly bloated, sexist, egomaniacal spray-tan leading one of the most powerful countries in the world. Bring on 2017. As a reward for powering through, here's a clip of Seagal dancing in Chechnya, putting in more effort than he did into all of these films combined. 

Honorable Mentions (or the Seagal movies I didn't watch because I couldn't take it anymore): Killing SalazarContract to Kill

Introductory Bullshit

Oh hey, I didn't see you there. My name's Jon. In case you aren't familiar, I'm the one that looks like the lead in a daytime movie about the life and times of Screech from Saved by the Bell. Anyway, I'm here to say that this space on our website will be dedicated to us coming in and writing funny little articles about whatever pops into our heads. What's that you say? Can I be a little more specific? All right, but let me just say that I don't like your tone.

I'm a big fan of movies, new and old, so I'll probably be stopping by once in awhile to give my two cents on those (they'll be funny, relax). Also, I'm living in Trump's America now, so it's a safe bet that I'll have plenty to say about that as well. Jackson is our certified sports guy and a genuine WWE connoisseur, so prepare yourself for the SmackDown as he takes it all on one keyboard clickity-clack at a time (I don't know if he will actually do this as I wrote this without telling him). And finally, Mike loves dog fights, so get ready to be constantly bombarded with articles about those. We may even write behind-the-scenes tidbits involving our sketches if they happen to be particularly eventful. Who knows! The possibilities are endless.

So, like calling your mother, check back in with us every now and then, and we'll have new words for your eyes to read and laughs for your soul to sing. I don't know. That sounded better in my head. I promise we will never have a sentence as terrible as that one again. Until next time.

-Jon