Vernon Chatman is best known as the co-creator of the of the short-lived wonderfully bizarre comedy series Wonder Showzen on MTV and the recently pick-up-for-season-2 hopefully not short-lived wonderfully bizarre Patton Oswalt series on [adult swim] The Heart, She Holler. He’s also a staff writer on South Park and a Producer on the third season of Louie.
He also wrote a book. Entitled Mindsploitation: Asinine Assignments for the Online Homework Cheating Industry, it’s a compilation of essays he commissioned from a series of online companies you can pay to write various term papers, poems and even eulogies. We recently spoke with Mr. Chatman via email about the book and if the answers to his questions are any indication, you’re in for a “wild ride.”
Louis C.K. wrote the introduction. Can you tell people how he got involved and why you decided to include him?
Mr. C.K. and I are very much in love and have been in a committed relationship for 25 years. The honor was all his.
Were you ever turned down on any of your requests for essays?
I’ve never been turned down for anything in my life. Except for anything that I have ever wanted. That I never got.
In regards to your chat with Angela, did the authorities ever contact you about your emails?
All I know is one minute I was asleep in bed and the next thing I remember is being violently stomped awake by several gentlemen draped in ornate crimson cloaks. They pounded me with their boots until I was mashed into a sort of beef stew (the kind with a lot of carrots – yum!). Come to think of it, the stomping has never stopped. It continues even now, but I’ve grown used to it, and have managed to carry on with my life without much disturbance. I am able to do most things you “normals” can – I’m even able to Dougie!
Did you ever feel bad for the people writing the essays during the process of making the book?
If I had feelings, I would feel awful for ALL of the evil that I have committed in this old world. Alas, the menacing stain I’ve inflicted on this poor planet won’t ever scrub off, no matter how vigorously I scour my soapy body.
If you had to do it over again, in college would you have gotten your papers written by these people?
If I had it to do over in college I would never have teased that dog who chewed off three of my fingers. In fact, I woulda bit HIS fingers off.
What was your reaction to the black yogurt ad story? I personally was treading the line of “this is offensive but it’s also kind of funny.”
If you found it only “treading the line” and not “utterly irredeemably vile”, then you are without question the Most Racist Person On Earth. Congratulations, Jew!
Can you tell readers of this interview about the story of the Bible being different if it starred the spider from Kafka’s Metamorphosis?
I don’t want to ruin it, so I’d prefer to let the readers steal the book and find out for themselves.
Did you get any responses to your requests for the essays that you had to leave out?
A few of the angrier companies sent me a lot of dead animals in the mail. I assume these were all “playful teasings” and “silly goofabouts”, but I decided not to include them in the book, as they would rot.
Have you thought of turning this into a video or phone series at any point?
I am excited to announce that the book has been optioned by The Duraflame Corporation.
There’s definitely an art to some of these people’s work. For example, the Priapism story, you wrote about four sentences and they came up with a page. Can you talk about that a little?
My priapism is my business. And these are very HARD times for business, folks! You know?! ROCK hard! GET IT? Like a dick!
How did you come up with the idea for a story about having a pet that was just dust? And on that note, what’s the process behind any of your work?
I was out walking my pet pile of dust when the idea occurred to me. I got so excited I dropped the leash and my pile of dust scurried into traffic where it was creamed by a dump truck. The memory of this event is excruciating, so THANKS A LOT! Luckily I still have some of that cream in which to drown my sorrows.
I always wanted to ask if I ever had the opportunity to interview you, how did you get Dick Gregory involved when you were making Wonder Showzen?
Mr. Gregory and I are very much in love and have been in a committed relationship for the past 25 years. The honor was all his.
And speaking of Wonder Showzen, which is one of the best shows ever created; will it or anything similar come out again from PFFR?
The CIA has ordered us to refrain from any more of that activity. So yes and soon.
What can fans expect from the upcoming season of The Heart She Holler? Which by the way, is one of the best shows on television.
Watch and get wet, from the inside out and back again.
And finally, what’s next for you?
A lukewarm Schweppes.
Minsdspoitation is in stores April 23rd and you can visit www.mindsploitation.com. Official pub date is April 23rd
Photo: Aaron Farley