New Episode and a Press Page

I’ve been a bit remiss in updating our website, but finally got with it today. We’ve got a new episode, “Blame It On the Swedes,” posted, featuring Virgil, Harmon and Mitch Pohunk, so yes, somebody besides just Virgil and Harmon! Go to the Episodes and Extras page to listen, and please leave comments!

I polled our cast members recently, and several of them are willing to come in individually to record, which I’ll schedule as soon as I can track down some Lysol to spray down the pop filters on the mics without having to pay a king’s ransom for it. (Can someone please explain how $36 for one can of Lysol is NOT price-gouging?) I’ve also put together a press kit page with a link to Craig Horleman’s terrific State News article from April, the text from the press release I’m getting ready to send out tomorrow, contact info, and downloadable photos. In that vein, to my actors — if you come in for a recording session and don’t see me with my phone in my hand taking pictures of you, shame me mercilessly! Every recording session I get so wrapped up in hearing the script come to life that I forget to take pics, and I really want to do that!

So yes, I mentioned a press release above — we’re going to try to cast our net a little wider and see if we get any nibbles. I’ll keep you posted.

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Muckey Landing in the Age of Coronavirus

So we were able to get out a trailer and 2 full episodes of our brand-new, first-ever Muckey Landing podcast that I spent 3 years writing just before COVID-19 shut down the whole country. That means we can’t bring in our cast to continue recording the 6 full-length episodes that we have waiting to be birthed. However, we’re soldiering on in spite of it all, and we’re seeing some real positive stuff that we truly didn’t expect. First off, Mike, Bruce and I decided last weekend that we’ve already exposed each other to whatever germs and shit we all have, since we live in each others pockets all the time anyway, so why not record a mini-episode to tide us over in the meantime? Secondly, Craig Horleman of the Delaware State News wrote a FANTASTIC article about us that just came out today. Enjoy both below.

Craig’s article in the State News:

ps://delawarestatenews.net/entertainment/muckey-landing-podcast-takes-aim-at-fictional-delaware-town/?fbclid=IwAR0JcSZ-Ts4JgP0sxSNeX79f0D0M4Gopdlg03Q6dFMX3w76VQmoqjgAbFmE

Our 8-minute mini-episode:

Virgil and Harmon attempt to explain safe shopping at the Muckey Landing Market, Diner, Market and Hardware Emporium in the age of coronavirus.

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Episode 2 Now Available!

Episode 2: The Late, Late Harmon Truesdale is now available! We meet traveling salesman (and Harmon’s mortal enemy) Dickie Butz, and Virgil tries to be cheerful and consequently throws the world’s karma completely off its axis.

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Episode 1 Now Available!

Muckey Landing coffee mug

Episode 1: Virgil Gets A Dog, has been completed and uploaded to our website!

For those of you who haven’t been following along, we’re writing, recording and publishing a scripted comedy podcast about the fictional town of Muckey Landing, Delaware. Our first complete episode is now available at MuckeyLanding.com on the Episodes+Extras page, along with the Muckey Landing promotional trailer we posted several weeks back and the full version of Jim Rezac’s Muckey Landing theme song. This is a sneak peek at this point — it’s not available on iTunes, etc. yet (that will happen once we finish Episode 2: The Late, Late Harmon Truesdale, which has been recorded and is in post-production). Just so you know, I’d put a PG-13 on it for language.

Our website is all brand new and shiny, too, so take a look around while you’re here. If you sign up for our mailing list, we’ll let you know as soon as we drop a new episode and tell you about other important Muckey Landing stuff. We’ll also have some Muckey Landing merch available before long — the coffee mug above is an example.

Please, please, PLEASE do some things for us — go listen to our podcast, then share this post, tell all your friends, family, coworkers and random strangers to listen to our podcast, post links to it on your social media accounts, and help us spread the word. And let us know what you think by posting a comment on the Episodes+Extras page — if you post a really nice one, we might post it on our homepage!

To any Delawareans reading this, we’re the same team that brought you Delaware Unleashed way back when — we’re not gonna do that again no matter how many times you ask us, but we ARE doing this, and we think it’s even better. This is the next chapter in our comedic journey, and we’d love to have you on board. So c’mon, Delaware, REPRESENT!

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Take a Sneak Peek at Muckey Landing!

Mike has labored long and hard, and has brought forth our FIRST PROMOTIONAL TRAILER for Muckey Landing! Best of all, it features the fabulous new theme song by Jim Rezac that we CANNOT get out of our heads! Give the Muckey Landing trailer a listen here (NSFW: contains “adult” language), and hear the entire amazing theme song on Jim’s site!

Note: the web host for the current Muckey Landing website doesn’t allow audio (who knew there was such a thing?), so the trailer is on a new site. We’re in the process of moving the Muckey Landing website over there, but it’s not ready for prime time at all, so don’t go poking around expecting anything other than the trailer in there.

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director in podcast

Voice Work Completed for First Two Episodes of Muckey Landing

Our homegrown sound booth has taken over the Polo family room

Hit a milestone: after getting in several recording sessions today, we’ve now completed all voice work for the first two episodes of Season 1, Virgil Gets a Dog and The Late, Late Harmon Truesdale! We’re in awe over the extremely talented actors who have come in to work with us over the last three weeks: Will McVay, Claude Warnick, Dick Pack, Gina Shuck, Charles Keenan, Jeff Bellon, Patti Gatto, Kevin Smith, Austin Topper, the amazing Darin Dell as Virgil’s dog Aloysius, who had us in stitches with an incredible panoply of doggie groans, sighs, barks and whines, and Mike Polo and Bruce Leister, who are carrying the bulk of the show as business partners and best friends Virgil Slatter and Harmon Truesdale. All of these folks are bringing our Muckey Landing characters to life in ways that I never thought possible.

Mike is actually doing triple duty as actor, sound engineer and editor, and what he’s turned out so far is incredible. There’s not a lot yet — it takes a lot of time and effort to produce just a minute or two of audio — but once he tightens things up and adds sound effects, it’s wonderful.

We’re getting very close to being able to produce an audio promo that we’ll post anywhere we can — keep an eye out for it!

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Season 1 Completed

This one is long, but if you make it all the way to the end, there’s a reward.

After laboring mightily, I have finally — FINALLY — birthed the final episode of Season 1 of Muckey Landing. Although this is the last episode I’ve written for the first season, it’s actually going into the show as Episode 3.

This one done kicked my ass. The idea for episode 3, “The Swine Dinner,” as well as the title, was the direct result of one of Roma/Sul Tempo’s terrific monthly wine dinners, which Mike, Bruce and I attended with some friends probably a year or more ago. I’m not sure exactly when I started actually writing the episode, but I know the weather was warm, the trees were green, and the birds were singing. The plot quickly got very complicated, with lots of scenes and new characters, and getting from point A to point B turned out to be unexpectedly difficult. What’s worse, after I completed each scene, writer’s block set in like a big ol’ case of constipation, slowing down the whole process.

The biggest problem was that I knew exactly where I wanted to go, but it was taking me a whole lot of words to get there. Every other episode I’ve written runs about 30 pages, which at approximately a minute a page, translates roughly to 30 minutes per episode. But this one kept running on and on, and I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out how I could get to the end while keeping it to 30 minutes. I was getting pretty discouraged with it, and worse, I couldn’t find the funny.

Then the weekend after Thanksgiving, Mike, Bruce and I were up at the cabin. We were all in various stages of either coming down with (Bruce), in the throes of (Mike) or recovering from (me) the flu, but I explained the problem I was having, and we all gamely sat down and did a read-through of what I had so far. I got laughs out of both of them, which was encouraging. Then Mike finally pointed out to me that it’s a podcast — there’s no set time limit, so why didn’t I just write it, stop worrying about the length, and if I need to, go back and cut out the chaff? That was exactly what I needed to hear to break the logjam.

I’ve been writing furiously since then, and last night, I was finally able to type #END#. It’s nearly 50 pages, and I don’t care, because it’s good. Mike still has a bad cough left over from his bout of the crud, and last night when I had him read it, he laughed so hard in places that he subjected himself to several horrendous coughing jags. I felt bad for him, but not really, because his not being able to breathe meant it was funny.

So, we’ll start recording after the holidays, in January. There are seven episodes total, running 224 pages total currently — several later episodes will actually be a bit longer than they are now, because I want to add some new scenes with characters who really hit me in the funny bone, like Doral and the Yoders. All told, I anticipate having 4 to 5 hours’ worth of podcast material when completed — that’s 2 or 3 full-length movies, wow!

Now, because you’ve been so patient and read this whole freakin’ thing, I’m finally gonna fulfill a promise I made several blog posts ago, and give you a sneak peak. Here are the titles and brief synopses for all the episodes in Season 1:

  • Episode 1 – Virgil Gets A Dog: We meet Virgil Slatter and Harmon Truesdale, proprietors of the Muckey Landing Market, Diner and Hardware Emporium. Virgil adopts Aloysius, the world’s ugliest dog. Local artist Myrtle Myrkle invites Harmon to dinner, and Police Chief Neville Chief shares conspiracy theories about the fire at the DuPlant chicken nugget plant.
  • Episode 2 – The Late, Late Harmon Truesdale: Virgil tries not to lose his temper about Harmon being late for work every morning, to disastrous effect. Salesman Dickie Butz stops in and sells Virgil some highly effective miniature spotlights from Japan.
  • Episode 3 – The One that Kicked My Ass — no, scratch that — The Swine Dinner: Harmon and Virgil head up to Bighead City for a free barbecue dinner and get a shock. We meet Muslim limo driver Ashley Hachache, stuffy maître d’ Frederick Tweed, his wife Rita, and plain old Rodney. Nuff said. (This one will run nearly an hour. I think it’s hilarious. Time will tell.)
  • Episode 4 – Harmon’s Dilemma: Newt Newberger interviews Myrtle about her upcoming art show. Virgil is shocked when Harmon shares the details of his relationship with Myrtle. Police Lieutenant Jenny Pilsner thinks Harmon is depressed, and chides Virgil for not being a better friend.
  • Episode 5 – Blindfolds, Please: Harmon explains that Myrtle never gave him the painting she’d promised him. Virgil figures out Myrtle’s plans and convinces Harmon they need to stop her. Mabel Sprout stops by with shocking news, forcing Virgil and Harmon to make plans of their own.
  • Episode 6 – Stranger Things In The Night: Virgil explains the law and his family tree to Harmon. Harmon has second thoughts and freaks out. There’s a fire at the Fuzzy Duck Gallery, and Police Lieutenant Jenny Pilsner shows up at an inopportune time.
  • Episode 7 – A Thong of Fire and Ice: Harmon and Virgil get into a fight. Jenny Pilsner and Virgil’s niece Bunny discuss the night’s events, and Bunny and Chief Cheefe consider theories involving Muslim terrorists and spontaneous combustion.

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First Table Read Tonight

Big excitement for us here at Muckey Landing tonight — cast members announced so far for roles in Muckey Landing Season 1 are coming together tonight to go over Episodes 1 and 2 — “Virgil Gets A Dog,” and “The Late, Late Harmon Truesdale”! This will be the first time everybody’s been together in the same room — while only actors appearing in the first two episodes will be reading, everyone in the cast has been invited to show up to get to know each other and get a better idea of how Muckey Landing will sound. We’ll also be answering questions about the production process and timeline to the best of our ability, giving a few notes on character, timing and other actorly things, and if time permits, get info from Mike about working a Mike — er, mic.

Punch and cookies to follow. Just kidding — we don’t have any cookies. Or punch. So we’ll probably have to break out the sodas, wine, beer, adult libations and snacks when we’re done.

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director in podcast

We Have a Cast!

Above: Bruce Leister reads with Gina Shuck at auditions

We’re extremely proud to announce the cast of Muckey Landing! Working with Mike Polo as professional grouch Virgil Slatter and Bruce Leister as hapless best friend Harmon Truesdale will be:

  • Darin Dell as Aloysius, Virgil’s dog
  • Dick Pack as Chief Neville Cheefe, Chief of the Muckey Landing/Ditchwater Lesser Metropolitan Police Force
  • Cat Timko as Jenny Pilsner, the smart young police recruit working under Chief Cheefe
  • Gina Shuck as both oversexed artist Myrtle Myrkle and retired Tasty Queen manager Mabel Sprout
  • Patti Gatto as Doral Bernstein, customer service representative extraordinaire at every company in the area that needs someone to answer the phone
  • Charles Keenan as Bunny Slatter, Virgil’s former nephew, now niece, who’s also chief of the volunteer fire company
  • Kevin Smith as radio station owner Mitch Pohunk, who doesn’t give a flying f*** about the FCC. Note from C. Polo: I only used *** because this is appearing on Facebook and I don’t want a mass unfriending by everybody I knew in high school back in Texas. Mitch lets it all hang out in the podcast. Yes, living on the east coast has corrupted me. Or maybe it’s just hanging out with all these theater people.
  • Austin Topper as Newt Newberger, recent community college graduate and tongue-tied DJ at RMUK, the local radio station
  • Will McVay as traveling salesman and unlikely Lothario Dickie Butz, and also as Luke Yoder, taciturn Amish farmer
  • Claude Warnick as Uncle Yoder, Luke’s even more taciturn (and sometimes confused) uncle
  • John Hulse as Floyd Grimes, octogenarian head of the neighborhood watch out in Bucolic Estates
  • Mike Barko as Ruger Codger, late-night talk show host at RMUK
  • Jill Lewandowski as Ashley Hachache, an American Muslim limo driver who knows every kebab shop and strip club in the tri-state area
  • John Levine as Frederick Tweed, snooty restaurant owner
  • Maureen Levine as Rita Tweed, Frederick’s hot-tempered wife and restaurant co-owner

A huge thanks to everyone who auditioned for us, many of whom we’ll be calling as more characters get written and need to be voiced. Onward and upward!

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director in podcast

Live Auditions Begin Next Weekend!

We have 7 audition slots left for next Saturday, October 10, and just a couple of openings available on Saturday, October 19. Visit MuckeyLanding.com/Auditions to find out how to schedule your audition or how to submit a digital audition, if you’re so inclined. You’ll also find audition monologues on that page, including three new ones that I just uploaded — more on that below. If you’d like to try out for a part but are not available on the 12th or the 19th, use the Contact Us link at MuckeyLanding.com to email us about the possibility of setting up a separate audition just for you.

Now, about those new audition monologues — here are the characters and a little bit about them:

Dickie Butz — Self-effacing, nerdy traveling salesman with an immense vocabulary and a sunny disposition who periodically stops by the store to sell Virgil useless/dysfunctional merchandise. Everybody in town but Harmon agrees that Dickie Butz is “the nicest guy ever.” He’s also inexplicably popular with the ladies, the main reason for Harmon’s undying hatred.

Doral Bernstein — Doral seems to work at every company Virgil ever calls on the phone. Doral is a local guy or gal, a go-getter, smart with a smart mouth. This role is not written for a specific gender, and despite the last name, Doral is decidedly NOT a New Yorker/Annie-Potts-in-Ghostbusters type.

Luke Yoder — A man of few words, Luke is a taciturn Amish farmer who drops by the Muckey Landing Market, Diner and Hardware Emporium to sell cheese and other Amish goods to Virgil. He knows the value of a buck, has no sense of humor and rarely smiles, except when he manages to fool Virgil into overpaying for his merchandise.

Coming down to the wire, and I’m excited! Remember, folks, we’re casting a podcast here, so no memorizing lines, no blocking, minimal rehearsals, and recording dates that we can set up at your convenience. Plus maybe you’ll get famous when we release the wonders of Muckey Landing onto the interwebs! I got a whole town full of people I need to cast here, so you got no damn excuse for not getting your butt to a live audition or submitting an audition online.

That is all.

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director in podcast
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