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Sunday, August 8, 2010

The sexiest of the palsies.

I love Zach Anner, not because his online travel series starts in his hometown and mine, Buffalo, NY, but because he’s funny. If you don’t know him, Zach is an actor slash performer and one of the entrants in Oprah’s contest to award someone their own talk show. Due to some alleged gaming of the voting process though, Zach, who was near the top in terms of votes, was surpassed in the span of 20 minutes as voting wound down. YouTube outrage being what it is though forced a recount, which put his votes back, with John Mayer even offering to come up with a show theme if he wins.

Zach’s theme was a travel show that went all over the country. He was part of a preliminary group, who if picked, would then go on to be part of a larger group of 40 finalists. Confused yet? Me too. What’s not confusing is that Zachs entry is not the typical feel-good pitch you expect from Oprah clones. (If you can make it past :05 seconds of alleged rigged vote getter Dr. Phyllis, aka Oprah The Sequel, I’ll... not sure, but I’ll do something for you.)

This isn’t about gamed votes though, it’s about looking past expectations. Zach basically went out and said here I am, for better or worse. He focused on being the next Zach, not the next Oprah.

Watching his audition tape, or any of them for that matter, and you forget he’s in a wheelchair as his self-effacing humor wins you over soon enough. Now if this were merely about a guy with cerebral palsy, (as he himself says, the sexiest of the palsies), who went around while people stared and felt sorry for him, then this doesn’t work. When you watch him mess with people who don’t have a clue however, then you see that he could be any comic messing with people on the street. The six degrees of Kevin Bacon reference in the episode above is just simply funny shit. Check out his other work like the net series The Wingmen or his riff with Dennis Quaid.

Even if he doesn’t win, I bet someone else gives him a show. He alludes to bigger things in a recent update, so who knows. You can find him on Wiki, Twitter, YouTube and wheelchair willing, a city near you soon.

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