We caught up with The Paper Machete's latest victim, Ken Barnard. Barnard is a comedian and a Machete veteran, but he's also moving to Los Angeles, so this might be the last time we see him for awhile.
4:06 PM Kate: Hi Ken, are you around?
Ken: i am here!
me: Excellent...no android can keep you down.
Ken: i was worried that you'd be trapped on my phone.
4:07 PM safely on the desktop, no worries.
this is my first gchat interview, so i'll try to keep my use of emoticons to a MAXIMUM!
Kate: I see you've run away with caps already though, so we're all good
4:08 PM So before we get down to discussing The Paper Machete
I hear you have some sad sad news for Chicago?
Ken: Sad news for Chicago, yes. I am leaving. Good news for other Chicago comics, I am leaving.
4:09 PM Kate: Whywhywhywhywhyyy
Tell us of your future.
4:10 PM Ken: I've been here for 8 years and I'm gonna ditch the day job and try to make a living as a working entertainer.
It's cylical for Chicago comedians, really. Evey 3 to 4 years a large swath moves east or west. It's just my time. Circle of life and all that.
4:11 PM No concrete plans, exactly, I'm just assuming the talent scouts have been waiting for me.
Kate: That seems like a safe assumption.
4:12 PM So for your last ever Paper Machete as an insider, what do you have planned for us?
4:14 PM Ken: Well, I'm planning on speaking about the first double-leg transplant operation that was recenty completed in Spain. Although, honestly, I sometimes go down to the wire with my choice. I work as a news analyst, so I'm constantly gathering news and such. that'll probably be the one, though. the doctor is an interesting character.
4:15 PM Kate: How down to the wire do you mean?
Like, take a shot before you go on and wing it down to the wire?
4:16 PM Ken: well, i always prepare something. I've done the PM probably a half-dozen times and a few I've been a last-minute fill-in.
4:17 PM procrastination is my friend. Christopher might not like to hear it, but I often write my piece the morning of. The audience hasn't been able to tell, so far, so I think i'm in the clear.
I think that's a side-effect of oversaturation of the news, there's so much funny stuff happening in the world
4:18 PM Kate: That you want to decide at the last minute because there's just too much?
4:20 PM Ken: Yeah, I usually make my decision on Friday on the story and then think about it for a day or so. By the time I time down to my typewriter to bang it out on Saturday, I've usually got all the bits that I want to include. After that, it's cut and paste time. Which is quite laborious on an Underwood Five.
Kate: Yea I'm sorry...typewriter?
4:21 PM Ken: Well, it's an electric typewriter. Made by Apple. (I don't think my absurdity is translating here. I use a computer).
4:22 PM Kate: No no it is...I'm just super gullible
and this IS the internet
so we need to be explicit without being explicit, nawhatImean?
4:23 PM Ken: Absolutely! However, in all seriousness, I think i've got my writing system down for the PM. It took me a few times to realize that the Machete was podcasted. I was doing very visual bits and characters for a while that would get a good response from the crowd, but would never work with just audio.
4:25 PM Kate: I think that's a really good point.
Ken: My comedy tends to be very visual, so the show is a good opportunity for me to concentrate on the words.
4:26 PM Kate: Definitely.
4:27 PM Ken: I always like to mix in a little fiction with the facts. It's technically a "news" show, but I like to put an editorialy spin on it, which often turns absurd.
My last piece was about atrocities at a zoo in the Ukraine and ended with a talking giraffe. If i convey the spirit of the story, I feel fine taking liberties with the details.
But giraffes CAN talk.
4:29 PM Kate: Well..perhaps that's a conversation for another time.
So what are you doing this weekend? Packing? Crying your eyes out?
4:31 PM Ken: I'm in a constant state of packing, or at least procrastinating when I should be packing. I'm also going to Terra Haute, Indiana this weekend to shoot a short scene for a film.
Kate: What kind of film?
4:33 PM Ken: It's about a campaign to rescind blue laws in Indiana. A comedy, naturally. I just have a small part, but it should be fun. All my lines are improvised, so if it isn't funny, it's all my fault.
4:34 PM I'm just happy to be working on a funny project and in such a beautiful location.
4:35 PM I'm gonna put the Haute in Terra Haute!
Kate: Ooo la la.
4:36 PM Well thanks for talking to us, and good luck Saturday. We hope you don't invoke the wrath of Christopher Piatt with your procrastination, which has been seen to be fearsome and fiery.
Ken: He's a big kitty cat. Puts on a heck of a show, though.
Thanks so much, Kate!
4:37 PM It's been a pleasure :^)
Only one emoticon!
4:38 PM Kate: Thank you for holding back.
And thank you!
Ken: My pleasure. Cheers.