Unscrewed with Martin Sargent

I’ve been meaning to write about this new late-night talk show on TechTV for awhile now. Have you guys seen Unscrewed with Martin Sargent yet? The comedy is about what you’d expect on a late-night show created and put on by geeks and is probably no worse than what Hairboy and I would produce if we had our own show, but after watching the show for a couple of weeks now I’ve realized that it’s a lot smarter than it first looks.

I’m willing to bet that Martin Sargent himself is a skeptic based on his choice of guests and how he treats them. So far he’s managed to have an amazing selection of nutcases on the show to talk about whatever harebrained ideas they are promoting including Rael who’s the leader of the Raelian cult to Dr. Bruce Goldberg who claims to be a time-traveling dentist. The interviews Martin conducts with these guests are probably the best part of the show because if you pay close attention you can tell that Martin doesn’t believe a word of what these people are saying and he walks a very fine line staying just this side of telling these people what whack jobs they are. He can’t afford to directly challenge them because they’d be less likely to come on the show if they thought it was a hostile environment, but he still manages to do a good job of giving these people enough rope to hang themselves with to anyone who has half a working brain and some critical thinking skills.

The only problem I can see with it is the fact that it’s often subtle enough that a lot of viewers of his show probably don’t catch it. There was a beautiful moment in the interview with Dr. Bruce Goldberg in which Martin showed how silly this guy was with a single question. Goldberg had just finished rambling on about how through the use of hypnotherapy he was able to regress through past lives as well as progress through future lives he hasn’t lived yet when Martin asked him about his opinion of the Raelians. Suddenly the good doctor starts ripping the Raelians as being complete kooks like a seasoned skeptic calling their claims nonsense and totally ridiculous. This from a guy who was just claiming to be able to tell us what life is like in the 35th century!!!

As a skeptic I’m very impressed with Unscrewed in this regard and I think it’s providing a great service that unfortunately will be lost on most folks who watch it. The rest of the show could use some work, but it’s a lot smarter than even it thinks it is and is worth watching just to see how loony people can accept their own outrageous beliefs while poo-pooing the equally ridiculous beliefs of others.

14 thoughts on “Unscrewed with Martin Sargent

  1. Keep up the good work, sweetie! And if you need someone to throw a topic atcha, email me. I’m wide awake. Cuz I’m a damn vampire who sleeps all day. wink

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. Cause I’m definitely feeling the call of the pillow at the moment. I think this will be the Hour from Hell and the quality of my entries will suffer until I can get my second wind, but I WILL MAKE IT TO THE END!

    I just hope I don’t end up soiling myself like some of those marathon runners sometimes do…

  3. Soiling oneself is only acceptable blogathon behavior if you have a digital camera to take a picture of it. *lol*

  4. I took a lot of pictures of myself for the Blogathon, but I think if I soiled myself I’d skip that pic. grin

  5. Re: Unscrewed don’t you think the show is also making fun of the audience and their tastes, in addition to the whacko guests?

  6. To some degree, yes. I’m sure that these nutcases they keep inviting on is exactly what his audience wants to see and more than a few of them probably don’t get the joke, but that’s OK.

  7. My mother and I actually used to go to Dr. Goldberg to try and be regressed to past lives. So, I can tell ya first hand that not only is he a nutcase, but he’s an arrogant fucking asshole as well! We actually ended up telling him to go fuck himself and never went back. xo…………..Christina

  8. I also had a bad experience with Dr. Goldberg.  I would like to compare notes off line if possible. Please contact me… by leaving a note here and we’ll find a way to talk.

  9. Sure! If ya don’t wanna email me at iluvtunes@hotmail.com, then you can call me. My home phone number is (858)488-5664. Early evening is the best time to reach me. There’s no answering machine, and the fax comes on after four rings, but if I know when you’re calling I’ll make sure and be there.
    I’m curious to hear about YOUR bad experience with that jackass!


  10. no matter, Unscrewed with Martin Sargeant is gone and so is TechTV for that matter. Comcast sucked it up, merged it with their crappy G4 gaming channel and the G4 identity overwhelmed the other. Comcast sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Hey Christian:

    I was the head writer on Unscrewed and responsible, I’m afraid, for a lot of the content that we threw, often unfinished and raw, out into the world. I realize that most of the times we ended up shoeless and corkscrewed to our waists into the red dirt after missing yet another juicy pitch at the Unscrewed comedy plate. But this is only because when we were at bat, we would without fail, swing for the fences, the upper deck and even the windshield of Ted Benwitter’s new teal PT Cruiser in the left field bleacher parking lot– he was that douche in payroll that always denied my taxi receipts. Point is, we were a writing/producing team of three on a good day and we pumped out four new shows per week that went live to tape before a real studio audience (no laugh track on Unscrewed). Most of the other late night shows that push that much content have, at the least, teams of 12-22 writers not including the host. This is not to even mention the army of shooters, audio techs, boom ops, the platoons of field producers that direct them and the PAs, APs and gaffers, grips and interns that back all of them up each episode. I’m not here to cry that things were unfair for us, because we all knew going in that this was the setup and what that meant for our personal lives, sanity and health, and this was fine with us. In fact, I’ve never been so happy to go to work before the old Unscrewed days. It was the type of work that one dreams of having and doing, raw creativity, total freedom and a haven for those that were not afraid to jump in, take the initiative and just do what needed to be done. I will say that when we were good, we were as good as anybody out there and, these moments, however few and far between, will always be my most cherished and proud professional moments, full stop. OK, my two cents. — Jay Speiden — Gator, Rickey Kang “Don’t Get Ripped…”

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