If you've been watching the new The Sarah Silverman Program, well, you're one up on us; we no havey the cable. But people are either up in arms about the stupidity of the show, or ROFLTAO about the damn thing. We'd like to encourage both sets of viewers to take a closer look, a deeper look, in fact a much more penetrating look at the show. Actually, just look so deeply into your screen that you completely ignore the actors and instead notice the sets behind the actors, specifically the mural in the coffee shop where the "gang" all hangs out.
That mural was painted by underground comic artist (and Vianney grad) Jim Mahfood specifically for the show. How does a comics nerd from St. Louis end up doing scenery for a basic-cable sitcom? Through the intervention of another comics nerd, replied Mahfood via e-mail from his Los Angeles Fortress of Solitude.
"Rob Schrab, who did the comic Scud: The Disposable Assassin, is friends with Sarah, and he directed all the episodes. He got me the gig," Mahfood says. According to IMDB.com, Schrab also has writer and production credits on the show so it really is a matter of "who you know" in Hollywood. Much more interesting is Mahfood's tip that Schrab made the cardboard puppets in the first episode, and that Schrab does a lot of the voiceover work on the program. If Schrab's puppets look familiar, you may be remembering the brainwashing scene from Zoolander, which was also a Schrab creation. (You can thank us later for getting "Relax" stuck in your head again).
Fans of Mahfood's know that this is not the first time he's rubbed shoulders with the glitteratti. OK, make that "working actors." One of Mahfood's first high-profile jobs was the comic-book version of Kevin Smith's Clerks, which resulted in Mahfood doing a little bit of extra work in Smith's film Dogma. If you look closely during the scene in which Linda Fiorentino is in church, you'll see Mahfood sharing a pew with Batman editor Bob Schreck. Or you can just YouTube up Ivan Wong's Buddy Cop/Kilo 7 ) and wait till the 5:40 mark to enjoy Mahfood doing his best Gene Hackman impersonation. The important lesson here is, of course, comic books are awesome and could be your ticket to working in Hollywood.