We’ve made a lot of absurd films in our time; loaded up with non sequiturs, heaps of unabashed silliness and a great abundance of nonsense. But Steve Gadlin takes absurdity to bold, daring new heights. If you’re not in Chicago, you should consider yourself unfortunate for not having been privy to any number of the shows he’s produced, from Impress These Apes, where a handful of contestants return with new material each week for eight straight weeks, trying to entertain three Earth-conquering apes, or their long-running Don’t Spit the Watershow, wherein audience members are invited on stage, given a gulp of water to hold in their mouth, then taunted by stand-up comedians who attempt to make them laugh, thus making them spit said water. It truly is a thing to behold. And does it make it any more unusual that Gadlin often appears alongside his comedy partner, Paul Luikart, as the “International Comedy Sensation,” Sasha & The Noob, two men of vague Eastern European origin, one of whom doesn’t speak. It’s our kind of deliciously weird comedy, and being longtime friends with Steve, we were thrilled when he e-mailed us and said, “Hey, I just ordered some Jewelboxing cases!” To which we responded, “So tell us about it!” Here’s his response:
“The Timekeeper Willis Boot Camp DVD features one of the regular cast members from the stage show, Timekeeper Willis (Bryan Bowden), a shirtless, egotistical tough guy who always wears a wrestler’s mask and a giant clock around his neck. I decided that he needed to have a workout video, showing how he gets into shape. We hired real fitness models, developed whole exercise routines and shot it all in a gym. We also included a few of the unusual characters from the show, so it walks that confusing line between, ‘Is this for real?’ and ‘No, this can’t be for real, can it?’ which we kinda live for.”
“It was just one of those ridiculous projects that just wouldn’t leave me alone. I was still in the process of putting the whole thing together when my Jewelboxing kit arrived, so I kicked everything into high gear. I was so happy with how beautiful the packaging turned out, that I rushed to finish the editing. I just couldn’t wait to burn my first copy, slap on the label, and show off a beautiful product.”
“The system itself is just so complete. It’s a wonderful idea to sell it all as a package. The templates were exact, and everything snapped together so perfectly. After the printing was done, my wife and I spent a happy hour at the dinner table putting it all together. The packaging gets more compliments than the DVD…but that’s fine by me.”
Here’s to hoping there are equally as bizarre things getting packaged as beautifully in Plymouth, Atlanta, Aarhus, Toronto, Louisville, West Drayton, Irvine, Dallas, Portland, Philadelphia, El Paso, Grove City, Seattle, New York, Grand Rapids, Manhattan, Mountain View, Austin, Ithaca, Missouri City, North York, Galway, Middlesbrough, Pittsford, Mitchell, London, Minneapolis, Kirkwall, Vancouver and Emsworth.