Pleasingly sour
*special introductory paragraph!
*As Seen On TV
*Beef Flavored Island Adventures EP
*The Yellow Pages
*Action Spectacular DVD
*The Amazing Adventures of Pleaseeasaur CD/DVD
*An Album of Distinction

Because I meet all of my "showbiz" friends through one single person, I was hanging out with my good friend comedian Neil Hamburger in Arizona when he said to me, "I have a new opening act - It's a young man who's got a crazy beat with some words that'll make ya flip, Jack." He didn't say any of those words, but if he had, he would have been talking about Pleaseeasaur (pronounced "Please - E - Ah - Sore"), a one-man band composed of costume maker Thomas Hurley III and JP Hasson, who hails from Seattle, WA, thus implying that he considers himself more talented than Jimi Hendrix and is GLAD that Kurt Cobain killed himself (he's never SAID these things, but they're pretty much implied, I would have to think).

JP writes and performs ridiculous keyboard music that has all the warmth and emotion of morning show theme songs, then simply TALKS over them in a ridiculously smarmy and not quite in-any-key-at-all voice, turning coffee muzak into hilariously stupid ruminations on early 80s icons and outdated male fantasies of hot tubs and Trans Ams cooling you down on those hot Los Angeles nights.

Live, he wears ridiculous costumes and just walks around onstage dressed as a big bunny rabbit or a baby riding on its mothers' shoulders and just willy-nilly things of that nature while slides and projections "make the grade" behind him. But live shows have no bearing on anything, and might as well not exist for all that they add to our lives. Did a live show ever fix you dinner or hold your hand during a frightening lunar eclipse during which the whole world seemed to go dark with despair and longing? Sure it did. Because it was Elton John, friend to all creatures.

As Seen On TV - Imputor? 2000.
Rating = 8

Have you ever recorded a bunch of wonderful little commercial jingles for Ivory Soap and Rice-A-Roni only to have all your tapes stolen by a thirteen-year-old moron who ruins all of them by singing sophomoric songs about "Sexy Lip Hair," "The Dream Barge" and "Paul McCartney's Penis" right on to the master track? Well, I did. And the result was Pleaseeasaur's As Seen On TV, a CD so rich in stupidity and wet with overdramatic synthesizers that its mere existence is an embarrassment to the entire music business.

And that's what's so good about it! What is the point of a logic-defying, seemingly melody-free disco song about a Dad who punches holes through the steel? Why would anyone write a faux-"inspirational" song inscrutably called "You've Got The Tough" in which the listener is excitedly told that "You have the Eagle Eye!" In what context would one feel inclined to write an ode to Silver Spoons focusing on Ricky Schroeder's lip hair? And then to sing it in a Mexican accent? And is there any reason why any human being should be able to remember that Rick's little black friend on the show was named "Alphonso"? NO THERE"S NOTT! (The second "T" is for "Tits").

Nothing on here makes any sense at all! It's just stupidity for the sake of confusing, childish assholishness. But it's nonstop good times! The good times always last - NEVER PAST! Half of the music sounds like JP is just playing the preset "demo" recordings on his keyboard and reading his childhood poems over them, but who gives a crap? I'm all for light-hearted nonsense - the British guy exclaiming, "Bloody! Bloody! They're all bloody!" - the sped-up Limey singing a bubblegum ode to "Tripping On A Psychedelic Daydream" - the two full minutes of moronic laughter plastered onto the end of "Paul McCartney's Penis" - the final track and contender for worst goddamned song ever recorded "I Hate Dog Shit" - all of these things and more are the essence of Pleaseeasaur. It's not "good comedy." It's not even smart really. It's just fourteen full tracks of beautifully immature and increasingly tuneless nothingness. I mean, come on - "Paul McCartney's penis had a built-in stationery store"? Even if true, that's hardly an appropriate theme for a pop song!

In conclusion, if you are willing to return to your youth, when gross things were funny, KISS were awesome even though you didn't know how any of their songs went, and the idea of BIG STADIUM ROCK was just a fantasy reserved for superhuman musical powerhouses like Bill Wyman, As Seen On TV might be just what the Proctor gambled.

Reader Comments

Absolutely breathtaking. My favorite is probably "Paul McCartney's Penis" because it's like a Madlib. What the hell is a "walrus box?"

"Tripping On a Psychedelic Daydream" sounds like early Ween to me if they hadn't gloried so much in shitty sound quality. Like a combination between "Squelch the Little Weasel" and "Don't Get 2 Close 2 My Fantasy." What I'm trying to say is, I love "Tripping On a Psychedelic Daydream."

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Beef Flavored Island Adventures EP - Razler 2001.
Rating = 8

OnLy FiVe SoNgS oN tHiS eP, wHiCh Is 17 MiNuTeS lOnG. GONE are the incorrectly-played demo patterns, GONE are the dizzyingly stupid fake accents, GONE are an instrumental trio led by Greg Ginn of Black Flag, famous for their smash hit albums Country Dumb and Gone II - But Never Too Interesting!. I suspect that this EP more accurately captures what JP might possibly say is the Pleaseeasaur aesthetic, which is to say that all the music sounds like the soundtrack to horrid local morning news shows and overdramatic high school sci-fi productions. But without the OBVIOUS senselessness of the debut LP, it just sounds like a guy who can't sing talking off-key through a kind of annoying muffled vocal effects processor over a Mannheim Steamroller demo tape. Luckily, the songs are all pretty great! And the dramatic narrative action break at the conclusion of "The Meat Reef" (the sequel to "Beef Flavored Island") is narrow and hard to master. Out here on the perimeter, there are no stars. Out here, we is stoned. Immaculate.

Perhaps the goodest song on the EP is JP's stirring (pun INTENDED, AS YOU'LL SEE IN A MOMENT - HANG ON!) tribute to Chinese food, "Bowl Noodle Hot." This track, incidentally, was my favorite of the songs he played that time I saw him live at that hotel in Tucson where all the little kids were all fuckin each other and probably taking drugs like underground scenes aren't wont to do. And then I went to talk to JP at the "merch" booth and this little high school whore slut came up and tried to "talk me up" into buying her something. But I wasn't born yesterday. I knew she didn't love me for my mind. She was just after the green. So I gave that dame the ol' heave-ho, Charlie. A man is better off alone than with some nag like a chain around his neck, nice gams or no. Then I went back to doing what I was doing before, taking two band fliers and creating a "Pop-Up" toy in which a hippie's penis can be pulled out longer and longer and longer until it's sticking like a full foot off the side of the flier.

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The Yellow Pages - Imputor? 2003
Rating = 9

JP Hasson has outdone himself. Finally, the lyrics are hilarious AND smart from beginning to end, and the music is so ludicrously smarmy and fake (similar to what you hear when a dentist's operator puts you on hold), you'll wonder how on Earth somebody from our generation (the YOUNGER generation) (not that young though) would be capable of composing it.

But thank Goodness he's capable, because no other type of music would mesh nearly as well with such mind-scratching lyrics as "I'm telling my friends to tell their friends to call my new friends at No Prob Limo right away!" and "Good job! Have an Orange Slice! I'm proud of you - because you are so good at sports!" and "Burned beyond recognition? Slipped on a banana peel? You need a lawyer who knows just how you feel!"

This is JP's brand of humor - focusing obsessively on subjects that no other musician on Earth would bother with (especially bad local TV advertisements), and throwing in strange, nearly meaningless lyrics that just come across as unbelievably witty in the context of a "song". Like the jingle for a new pharmaceutical product called "Paradontex," in which the adman excitedly exclaims, "The difference - is in the DONTEX!" Or the "Pizza Brothers & Sons Incorporated" spot that brags, "We've got Sprite/And extra cheese/We've got a new logo of a pizza tree." Or in "LA Nights 2...Even Hotter" -- perhaps the most memorable song on the record (out of a LOT of good songs) -- when JP anxiously recites the lines, "Here's the song for a new movie - it's called 'LA Nights 2'/It's 'Even Hotter'! 'Cuz it's 'Number 2'/Again, the title is 'LA Nights 2'/It's coming soon to a theater near you!"

I could sit here and quote funny lines for you all night, but I have a dermatology appointment. Besides, you need the background muzak to really appreciate what this oddball is doing. It's a form of entertainment that I'm fairly certain nobody else is doing these days (if they ever did), and it's JP's finest pile of whatever-the-hell-genre-this-is yet! It even has a song on it called "Warning: These Cobras Are Totally Cool."!!!!!

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Action Spectacular DVD - Imputor? 2005
Rating = 8

Have you ever been to a Pleaseeasaur concert? If so, you've likely been a mite confused and concerned about why a tall, thin young man would feel the urge to dance around in front of two screens while dressed in silly costumes and tunelessly belting out songs about limousine companies, pizzerias and law firms. The answer is quite complicated, and rests in the heart and mind of one man. Unfortunately, that man isn't here with me today so I can't ask him. Odds are he just finds it fun, I suppose. But what if there's SOMETHING MORE TO IT!??!

At any rate, it's a stone cold entertainment hoot watching JP Hasson doing his silly schtick while dressed as an outer-space astronaut, a Yeti, a baby on his grandmother's back, three Italian brothers and assorted other beasts as his partner Thomas Hurley III ceaselessly displays laugh-out-violently illustrations on the screens via hidden overhead projectors. I can only say to you this, "If you've never seen one of their concerts and you are afraid of crowds, you MUST buy this DVD." L.A. Weekly calls them "probably the craziest act in America today!" The Onion calls them "a crazed on-man show with amazing costumes and props!" Mark Prindle calls them, "What the hell are they trying to achieve up there? What is this act supposed to be?" There's the karaoke element of a guy singing along to pre-recorded cheesy music, but there's also the NATURE of the music - most of which sounds like background music in a cheap action film or corny infomercial. And those lyrics!? Why so many references to late '70s and early '80s culture? How does he manage to create humor out of mere repetition? (ex: "No Prob Limo, No Prob Limo, No Prob Limo - If you've got a problem, and you happen to need a limo - just dial our toll-free number, 1-800-No-Prob-Limo!" -- I mean, this song HAD ME ON THE FLOOR!) How does he so perfectly capture the mundane idiocies of '70s elementary school films and turn them humorous? And most importantly, why is "I Hate Dog Shit," the WORST SONG HE'S EVER WRITTEN IN HIS LIFE, still on the set list?!

Then there's JP himself, who looks FAR too young and normal to be performing the over-the-top faux-Vegas act he's doing. I've met the guy several times so I know he's a well-adjusted funny guy and not the least bit nerdy, so why on Earth would he start his concert with a song about DROIDS!? Just to ensure that no women in the audience will bother him for sex after the show?

Bottom line is this: Pleaseeasaur's live show is, in my wife's words, "amateurish and charming." And maybe it's this combination of amateurishness, incredibly clever wordplay, and hilarious visuals that make it impossible for an audience to NOT break out laughing in unison hundreds of times during their set. The last time I saw them perform, in a sold-out club in NYC, I was watching their antics with tears of guffawness streaming down my face (especially during the confidence-building self-improvement anthems "You've Got The Tough" and "It's Up To You," both of which are included on this DVD) but thinking, "My God! There is NO WAY that all these 'normal people' are possibly going to find this funny! It's just so STUPID!!!" But I was wrong. Between songs, I could see and hear that probably 75% of the audience was laughing as hard as I was. Granted, this was a Neil Hamburger audience but still -- for better or worse, there is NOBODY IN THE WORLD doing what Pleaseeasaur is doing. And how expensive could this DVD possibly be? Buy it! It's even got a music video for "Johnson & Johnsonstein," old video footage of what I assume was JP and Thomas's pre-Pleaseeasaur band "American Sheriff," and a slideshow of on- and offstage photos that are as ridiculous and funny as the concert itself. Which is what this is. Did I even mention that? This is a concert DVD. I should have mentioned that. FUCK!

If you're asking me my opinion, I'd dump "Droid County," "I Hate Dog Shit," "Beef Flavored Island" and "The Meat Reef" from the set list. They're just not very funny, and there are plenty of better-written numbers on The Yellow Pages that could take their place in the set. But the other nine songs are beyond reproach. Don't reproach them, I swear to God!

Reader Comments (Ben Krieger)
I just saw Neil and Pleasee in NC for the first time a few weeks ago. Loved it...I never paid attention to this page on your site and when i went back it was nice to see you've written about them. I just posted my experience re: the show on my site, including a (dumb) audio description. Feel free to check it out! (Bill Boll, St. Louis)
I saw Pleaseeasaur last year at the Hi-Pointe in St. Louis (also opening for Mr. Hamburger) and I have to say it was the weirdest live act I've ever seen. But it was weird in a very particular way: It was goofy, but goofy BEYOND BELIEF. I don't know how many people in the audience were stoned, but from the reaction, I'd almost want to guess all of them. Honestly, I didn't laugh that much, but the fact is, it's a year later, and I'm online googling "bowl noodle hot" just to see what turns up....

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The Amazing Adventures of Pleaseeasaur CD/DVD - Comedy Central 2006
Rating = 7

This review isn't going to win me any friends in the Pleaseeasaur Camp, but what does a man not have if his honesty, and I can't root-a-toot around the issue and pretend that Amazing Adventures lives up to my deservedly high expectations of this talented duo.

First of all, Comedy Central Records is a heck of a record label. Look at all the hilarious comedians they've brought to the world since 2002 -- Lewis Black, Norm McDonald, Demetri Martin, Todd Barry, Bobcat Goldthwaite, Dave Attell, Mike Birbiglia, Michael Ian Black, Kyle Cease, Greg Giraldo, Mitch Hedberg - they even brought Steven Wright out of retirement for I Still Have A Pony! So I demand you stop knocking Comedy Central Records, if that is indeed what you were doing.

If you were knocking their Marijuana-Logues release in particular, I guess that's okay. But here's the problem with this particular Pleaseeasaur product, insofar as my enjoyment of it is concerned - and please note that this may not apply to you at all:

I turn to Paul McCartney for cheery melodic pop and humorously boring love songs - not classical music or sound collage. As such, it's no surprise that I don't enjoy his releases in those areas.

I turn to Roger Waters for pessimistic jazz-tinged rock and inappropriate sound effects - not opera. As such, I haven't even bothered to pick up Ca Ira, even though I totally know this guy named Ira.

And finally, my point. I turn to Pleaseeasaur for absurdly humorous lyrics tied to slick "hold music"-style synthesizer bombast - not cartoons. In fact, I don't turn to anybody for cartoons.

Except Disney, with their fine Brother Bear franchise, of course. But aside from that, cartoons are for nerds and little people.

And that's my problem. The Amazing Adventures of Pleaseeasaur, though trumpeted as a full album/music video/cartoon extravaganza, is at heart a cartoon -- a 30-minute action/adventure cartoon (parody) created by some popular animator people. The negligible music CD is less than half an hour long and features a mix of non-comedic new material and unnecessary re-recordings of classic hits like "No Prob Limo" and "You've Got The Tough" (all of which are already featured on the DVD anyway). And the DVD's music videos are occasionally entertaining (those of the two songs I just named are particularly entertaining - specifically the "YGTT" shot of JP benchpressing a gigantic shard of granite), but can't really improve upon the disappointing new material.

And what is UP with this new material? I'm not saying that JP has to be "Bob Clown" all the time, but there isn't a single new lyric on here that even seems designed to elicit a chuckle. "We've got a pizza helmet for our special patrons" has given way to "The other day I got a call from my friend Steve yeah/He said Randy I made a mess in my jeans yeah/I said Steve you did the right thing/You need a friend you need a friend in jeans." "If you've got a problem and you happen to need a limo/Just call our toll-free number 1-800-No-Prob-Limo/No Prob Limo! No Prob Limo! No Prob Limo!/No Prob Limo! No Prob Limo!/No Prob! No Prob Limo!/etc" has been replaced by "That's Action City News/With Dane Rexroth and Cindy Debbie/Action City News/Sports with Razz Rally/And your pinpoint forecast with meteorologist Roger Featherdoppler." Even "Their hot taste is something I have always enjoyed/But I don't know - maybe you won't like it/But I bet you ten bucks that you do!/Because I know EVERYBODY loves Bowl Noodle Hot!" has edged over on the curb to make way for "The estates of Regalwood, quiet and exclusive neighborhood/Two worlds collide when love's misunderstood/Within the royal gates of the estates of Regalwood/In a world where a man is forced to choose between his family's jewels, a certain fortune and a girl...Denise." What is the point of these lyrics? Where is the Comedy(TM) Gold(R) that we've come to rely upon receiving from JP Hasson and Thomas Hurley III?

So why a grade of "7" after this endless stream of constant bitching and moaning? Because the old material is still excellent, and the cartoon honestly does have a lot of great gags if you're into cartoons. Examples:

- The plot itself: Dr. Laser (fantastic name, and totally Pleaseeasaur) steals a gigantic Flavor-Eliminating Crystal with the help of his Ninja, Cowboy and Crook - all of whom dress and behave exactly as you'd expect

- When the Ninja first bursts onto the scene, Dr. Laser instructs him, "Shoot out the lights! Cameras!..... Action!"

- The main protagonist, a TV news reporter, is never seen without a microphone in his hand

- Sight gags like the TV news motto "Channel 11... We're Number One - TWICE!"

- Exchanges like this one:
"I must warn you - that's a very dangerous area."
"You want to come along?"
"Yeah, that sounds like great fun!"

Basically, if you grew up watching serious action cartoons of the superhero/Speed Racer variety (I didn't; I hated them) and are now a big fan of Adult Swim (I'm not; I don't watch TV), then you will shit a golden brick of joy at this CD/DVD combination. The clever cliche'-demolishing script will have your funny bone in stitches, and you'll likely just view the dull new songs as plot-furthering devices. But my goodness, what a strange way to begin a new record label contract. What's next - a Pop-Up Book?

If so, make it a Scratch N' Sniff Pop-Up Book - so when you bend over to sniff it, something pops out and shoves your nose into your brain.

Hurry! Before U2 steals my idea!

Too late. Random House just announced Bono's The Brain-Stabbing Stench of Africa.

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* An Album Of Distinction - Comedy Central 2009 *
Rating = 10

Just when you thought it had been six years since the last time he wrote a song, JP Hasson hits the gold dust trail with his GREATEST ALBUM EVER! Now going by the name "JP Incorporated," Mr. Hasson has herein withforth found the perfect concept to complement his bizarre sense of humor and warped-muzak songwriting style: an album full of fake TV theme songs!

As Hasson explains in the introductory track, when television conglomerate JP Incorporated previewed its new Fall line-up for a focus group, feedback indicated that "what the shows were lacking, among other things, was a good old-fashioned TV theme song!" Completely disregarding the "other things," Hasson decided to put the zest back in zing and write a whole bunch of lusty, hooky theme songs... for the strangest and most misconceived television programs this simple Earth has ever known.

Examples range from the groaningly generic....

1) Family Comedy - "Now this is Dean ('I fix vending machines!'), his wife Cynthia ('I prefer to keep things clean!'), their daughter Cynthia Jr. ('Hold on, I'm on the phone!'), their son Dario ('Leave me alone!')"
2) Situations - "I'm Joe and I'm a student!" "I'm Jay, and I have a job!" "We're roommates, and we're always getting into crazy situations!" "Like this one time -" "Oh yeah, I remember that!" the misguided and poorly thought-out....

1) Gymnastics Dad - "Thank you daughter for using your computer to help me with my gymnastics!"
2) The Internet - "Hey! The Web's worldwide! Hey! Online web site! Hey! You're on our domain - the Internet!"
3) The Steves - "If it's an emergency, dial 911. And when you're done, call The Steves!" the absolutely drop-your-pants insane:

1) Jazzbot Extreme - "You want a cool new TV show. But that's not all! It's gotta have a monster truck -- that robotically transforms.... Into a Jazz Machine!"
2) Panther In Lace - "Science calls her half-panther, but man calls her half-beautiful."
3) Jacuzzi Air - "It's not just a plane; it's a Jacuzzi! We're drinking soft drinks in a Jacuzzi!"
4) Dumpster & Mahoney - "The year? 1972. The city? It's full of crime." "Mahoney, meet your new partner -- it's a robot police dumpster!"

But that's not all! You also get screwballed commercials like:

1) "Things We Know" - "Just log onto and we'll send you a list of things we know!"
2) "World's Greatest Police Chases Music" - "If you only get in one high-speed police chase this year, then make sure you have 'The World's Greatest Police Chases Music CD' in your glove box! Includes such hits as 'I Didn't Do It,' 'Driving Really Fast' and "The Drugs Belong To My Friend'."
3) "Common Scents Aerosol Systems" - "Do you have a problem?" "Yes I do! What can I do?" "Oh, about your smell?" "Yeah, how'd you know?" "It STINKS!" "It stinks?" "It SMELLS it stinks!"
4) "Crap Factory" - "Putting the 'Hard' back in 'Fucking Hard Rock!'"

But that's not all!

You also get "LA Nights 2... Even Hotter" for the 400 thousandth time.

Mr. Hasson approaches each program and commercial as a unique brand, bringing it to life through such dynamic synthesized genres as macho aerobics beat, Cheers piano warmth, Peter Cetera-style balladry, forward-looking 'technology' nerd '80s music, gentle comedy lightness, groovy soul, super-happy adventure music, Zappa zanalry, thick-headed modern metal, white hip-hop, crime action vice (with sirens and tires screeching), sexy piano jazz, sultry sax sensuality and tuff synth rock. It's all perfectly appropriate and a scream of laughter to be had for all.

My kudos go out to Mr. JP Hasson for this fine new development. I like to find fault with an idea or two here or there ("Teammates" is bland, the one-line "Miami Advice" seems a waste of a good idea, and I'm almost certain that no TV theme song would ever use the rhyme "Used to ball for Carolina/They still talk about my vagina"), but when there's so much to enjoy -- including guest appearances by Rodney Anonymous, Joe Jack Talcum and Gregg Turkington -- complaining about a couple of 47-second songs seems a bit like whining. And if it's whining you want, go listen to Trent Reznor, asshole!

Huh? No no, I wasn't calling you an asshole. That's his title.

24 tracks, 30 minutes - get it or get fucked! (or both)

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