ucb theatre east



Last night at The George Lucas Talk Show, I brought a big bag of free stuff to give out but I had no idea what method I was gonna use to distribute the “prizes.”

We’ve done “costume parades” in past shows and given prizes out to people who came dressed up in character, but I brought WAY more prizes than we’ve EVER had people show up in costume. And last night, I think only ONE audience member (my friend and loyal GLTS fan Jon Henry) was dressed up. So I asked Dru Johnston in the middle of the show, “hey Dru, can you think of a fun contest or something, what’s a fun way to give out all these prizes?”

Dru asked for the house lights to be turned up, and Natasha Rothwell IMMEDIATELY noticed something about the back two rows of the theater– a bunch of teenagers were all dressed up in tuxedos and fancy dresses!  


14 teenagers had come from their senior prom to attend The George Lucas Talk Show.

They got almost all the prizes (Jon Henry only got a single Star Wars trading card), including a vintage late 90s Liam Neeson/Qui-Gon Jinn Blow Pop (Qui-Gon is holding a lightsaber while the Blow Pop juts out of Liam Neeson’s head), a book about Shakespeare and a copy of Ocean’s 13 on DVD.

We also brought them up on stage for the great Emilyn Brodsky to play them on final prom night slow dance song (a cover of The Magnetic Fields’ “Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing”) and George Lucas danced with a girl who had gone to the prom without a date (Jar-Jar had previously awarded her with the prize of a Han Solo action figure as a proud and confident acknowledgement of her “solo” prom status) and then we all took a big group photo at the end.

Oh, also: when we were awarding the prizes, one guy’s name was Connor, another kid’s name was Luke and the final guy we gave a prize to was named “Lucas.”

The whole show was a little crazy, and although I was surprised that a bunch of teenagers would want to spend a full hour of their prom night watching me and Shaun Diston pretend to be George Lucas and Jar-Jar interviewing our funny friends, I also think I would have loved it if I could have gone with all my friends to take part in a weird midnight comedy show on my prom night.



The George Lucas Talk Show, Episode XXIV: “Remind Me of The BOWIE”

The pre-show music for last month’s GLTS was the title track from David Bowie’s brand new album, ★.

Two days later, he was gone.

This month’s show is going to be a little different, as we are gonna devote the show entirely to Bowie, star of the Lucas-produced, Jim Henson-produced classic, LABYRINTH!

Brian McCann
Emilyn Brodsky
Mikey Erg
& J.D. Amato

There will be music and fun, and J.D. Amato will perform his 10-minute re-telling of the movie LABYRINTH in its entirety, so if you haven’t seen that movie yet, do it now or else there will be spoilers!




“Why are you doing a show about M&Ms?”

People have been asking me that question a lot lately, and here’s the answer.

Last month, when I was preparing for our Labor Day show, I was desperately trying to find guests who had worked, in any capacity, for George Lucas, or for any project that was connected to Lucas. 

During this time, I stumbled across a surprising item in an antique mall: a plush doll of Boba Fett dressed as a blue M&M. I thought it was a handmade item, some weird thing that somebody had made for themselves, until I notice that the tag indicated that it was an officially licensed Lucasfilm product. 

A quick Google search revealed an area of the Star Wars universe that had somehow escaped my attention: since 2005, M&Ms have been involved in a cross-promotional tie-in called “The Chocolate Mpire.”

I am fascinated by this. It has been a fairly big thing for a decade now, and if you visit the Times Square M&Ms store (which I did, for a video which will premiere at this Friday’s show), you will see that a staggering amount of space is given over to Star Wars-related M&Ms stuff. There may even be a larger percentage of Star Wars merch at the M&Ms store than there is at The Disney Store. And yet, almost every diehard Star Wars fan I’ve mentioned this to has never heard of The Chocolate Mpire.

I e-mailed the M&Ms/Mars corporation via their website, asking them if there was anyone within their organization who could come on the show as a guest and talk about the Star Wars/M&M campaign. They politely declined, and I understood why: there is ZERO upside to them sending an employee to some unknown comedian’s midnight Comedy Talk Show. The odds of it being some kind of embarrassing ambush are fairly high, high enough to make it not worth doing.

However, when I was writing my “oh well, thanks anyway” email in reply, I stopped halfway through when an idea occurred to me, and I found myself typing “ACTUALLY… I think I’m gonna go ahead and do a whole SHOW just about M&Ms. You can be a part of it or not, I’m gonna do one regardless. Even if you wanted to just send along some free M&Ms to give out to the audience, that’d be terrific.”

(They have since sent me three giant boxes of stuff that I’m gonna give away to audience members on Friday.)

So, that’s part of why I’m doing it: the M&Ms company sent us a ton of free stuff to give away. But I’m also doing it because it’s the month of Halloween, and also because I think there is no way that my version of the “George Lucas” character wouldn’t do the show we’re about to do. I think he thinks the M&Ms are hilarious, and a perfect fit for the Star Wars universe.

Some of the things that will happen at Friday’s show are dumb beyond belief, but I think it will be a really fun show, and I promise you it will be among the funniest M&Ms-related Comedy Shows you see in 2015.

[Next month’s show, incidentally, will be a pre-Force Awakens show entirely devoted to the J.J. Abrams’ TV show, Felicity, which I am currently binge-watching.]


I am certain that the Presidential campaigns are swamped with e-mails from all kinds of people.

However, I am still surprised that I haven’t received a single polite rejection e-mail from even ONE of the 8 campaigns I’ve reached out to in an effort to book guests on my George Lucas Talk Show this Friday at midnight at UCB Theatre East.

(All 7 major campaigns plus one 3rd party candidate whose campaign specifically ASKED me to reach out them and then has failed to actually reply with an answer.)

Now, I’m a realistic person– I know that a midnight show in the East Village where I pretend to be “George Lucas” is not going to be seen as a terrific opportunity. I get it. I wasn’t expecting Hillary Clinton or John Kasich to drop everything to make sure they were in New York City to take part in what could easily be presumed to be some kind of Borat-style ambush to make candidates look foolish. (It ISN’T that, by the way. I have no interest in inviting people to a Comedy theatre in order to humiliate them at midnight. The only thing my show has going for it in terms of booking guests is that the guests themselves will have a good time doing the show.)

But I am somewhat stunned that I haven’t even gotten so much as a “no” from any of these campaigns. I think the e-mails I sent to them were professional and clear, and included links to evidence that this is a “real” show that has been written up nicely in The Village Voice and The Guardian. I also made it clear that we would be happy to receive ANY surrogate they might send us, from an official media spokesperson down to any enthusiastic campaign worker who might be up for doing a weird Comedy show at midnight in NYC.

The ONE reply I have received was an automated e-mail response from the Trump campaign telling me that my message had been received and that “a member of our team will be contacting you soon to discuss your inquiry.” This was almost a week ago, and I’ve heard NOTHING.

There is still time for any of these campaigns to reply to my e-mails. 

If they don’t, I will be on stage this Friday at midnight at UCB Theatre East with a bunch of empty chairs, Shaun Diston as George’s sidekick, Jar-Jar Binks, and a special guest, comedian Josh Gondelman (Last Week Tonight) and we will spend the hour unleashing the untapped rage of a pretend George Lucas who does NOT like being ignored.

It will be a really fun show no matter what.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s a bad idea to provoke any comedian. Better to deal with them respectfully, even if you think they are a waste of your time.

And make no mistake: I am almost certainly a complete waste of these campaigns’ time. I am taking this very seriously, but I know that this is a dumb, dumb thing to be serious about. Still, in a year when “serious campaigning” includes Marco Rubio trying out new material about how Donald Trump might have peed his pants and Donald Trump imitating Rubio trying to use a water bottle, I think my show actually lends a small amount of gravitas to the race for the White House. 

It seems like a minor inconvenience for at least one or two of the obvious losers to take 2 minutes to type an e-mail reply saying “thank you for the invitation, but the campaign is very busy and cannot send anyone to be a guest on your show.”

C’mon, campaigns. Send me a reply. That’s all I’m asking for. Tweet “no thank you” to @connorratliff and I’ll take the hint.


John Wesley Harding: “Man With Two Surnames” (video directed by “George Lucas”)

This Friday’s GEORGE LUCAS TALK SHOW welcomes a very special guest: Singer/Songwriter/Author Wesley Stace, whom you might know by his former stage name “John Wesley Harding.”

Since he is a man known by two different names, here is a brand new music video for a song from early his career “Man With Two Surnames.” The video features multiple characters who have two surnames.

The George Lucas Talk Show • FRIDAY, March 6th at MIDNIGHT 

UCB Theatre East




Come join George and Jar-Jar and their Very Special Guests:



Musical Guest DOUG GILLARD (formerly of Guided By Voices)

What a terrific way to start out 2015! We will be discussing all sorts of things, including the soon-to-be-released feature film “from the mind of George Lucas”, Strange Magic (due in theaters January 23rd!)


Is it a COINCIDENCE that the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly features a FELICITY reunion on its cover? Or could it be that the stars are aligning in anticipation of our November 6th FELICITY-themed episode of The George Lucas Talk Show at UCB Theatre East?