Needless to say, the senior staff at Overhead Compartment is a little bit “old school.” We still get the newspaper delivered, we take the bus to work instead of ordering a Lyft, and we don’t necessarily know whether something is “lamestain” or if “cool” is bad or good. We’ve even been cited by The American Conservative. So, it was one of our tech nerd interns who first introduced us to Alan Resnick’s viral memes that have been spreading all over the Net.
Resnick is the inimitable genius behind such late night infomercials as “Live Forever as You Are Now with Alan Resnick” and “Unedited Footage of a Bear.” He’s also responsible for the YouTube series alantutorial and is a founding member of Wham City Comedy.
The Overhead Compartment editors recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Alan for an intimate conversation in our preferred high-tech chat venue, roomchat.co/interview.
Tehseen Hussein: Thanks for joining us Alan. One of our interns tipped us off to your stuff.
Alan Resnick: Thanks for having me.
TH: Where are you joining us from today?
AR: Baltimore, Maryland.
Claudio Rivera: Jack Dorsey, Evan Spiegal, will.i.am, Jonah Peretti…Alan Resnick? Talk to us a little bit about what it means to be a game-changer in today’s disrupt or be-disrupted marketplace.
AR: I don’t know who those people are or what this means.
TH: Has anyone figured it out? What’s up with people?
AR: No, I don’t think so.
TH: As far as people who know you outside of your day-to-day life are concerned, what do people think when they see or hear the words Alan and Resnick together?
AR: It’s impossible to know what people think when they see or hear my name. Some people might think that that name sounds like a dumb name, other people might like the name, but I don’t know. I know when I hear it or read it that it is my name, but I’ve also found other people who are named Alan Resnick, and they are not me at all, and I have no idea how they feel when they hear their/my name. Some of the other Alan Resnicks have Twitter accounts.
Otto Spiedermann: Have you reached out to them to try to form an Alan Resnick Collective?
AR: I’ve added them on Facebook and Twitter and sometimes I interact with them.
TH: Personally, I can’t help but imagine Alan Rickman in his depiction of Hans Gruber every time I hear the words…
AR: That isn’t me. I can see why you would think that.
TH: Yeah. For me, you are a bit him.
AR: THANKS ):
shit i mean (:
TH: Smiling seems to be against the wishes of the programmer who built this chatroom.
AR: Yeah, they keep coming out sad!
TH: It’s a hardship built by a Russian engineer.
OS: I’ve always enjoyed sad winking ;(
TH: Whether it was built on purpose or not, it has taught us to overcome sadness and to create our own happiness with what we have.
CR: Alan, could you talk a little bit about sadness?
AR: Can you be more specific?
CR: Have you ever been sad? Or felt sadness?
AR: Sure! I think everyone has. I’m happy currently.
CR: We’re happy to hear it! ):
TH: Let’s shift gears a little now and talk about your work. What IS the preferred nomenclature for what you do?
AR: I don’t have one. I guess visual art.
TH: When you are visiting your family for the holidays, how do you respond to your uncles’ questions about your work? Does your family understand what’s happening?
AR: I try to talk to my uncles honestly, and they are very nice and supportive, but we both accept that we do very different things and are not going to be on the same page about everything.
TH: Do you feel like your family understands why you do what you do?
OS: That’s very mature of everyone! I don’t think my uncles understand me at all ;(
TH: Uncles especially can be a world of pain.
AR: Yes, I think so, but I’m always worried that I might make something that upsets them. I once drew a naked pregnant woman walking around in tall grass, wearing a big floppy hat that covered her face. On her belly was a big dog mouth and her nipples were the eyes of the dog. The arms were the dog’s ears. And I could tell that this deeply upset my mother and was difficult for her to understand. I explained that the breasts looked like eyes because they were round with two dots, and eventually she became more accepting of the drawing.
I once drew a naked pregnant woman walking around in tall grass, wearing a big floppy hat that covered her face.
TH: That’s beautiful—and quite transformative from the sound of it…to be able to help your own mother see through sexual stigma.
CR: Geometry is a good way to bring about understanding.
AR: She probably still doesn’t like it.
OS: It’s such a happy Dog-Nude-Woman though!
AR: I know! She thought I was comparing women to dog “bitches.” I wasn’t and I’m sorry that it came off that way to her.
TH: Alan, one of our interns is asking if it would be alright if she joined in as a voyeur to our conversation. What do you think?
[Intern has joined.]
AR: Hey Intern.
Intern: Hi Alan! Let me know if you need anything! I’m here.
TH: There’s no reason why that dog shouldn’t be on every lunch box in America. Where Pac-Man and Angry Birds failed, this dog demonstrates success. Does the dog character have a name?
AR: WOW, that’s very nice. Thanks. Yeah, it is called “Momdogman Maul” as in Mondawmin Mall, the name of a local mall in Baltimore.
TH: If anyone understands the appropriation of mall culture, it’s us.
OS: Have you contacted them about using Momdogman Maul as a mascot?
AR: No, but that is a good idea.
OS: I think it would bring really great synergy to the Mondawmin Mall.
AR: I would have to agree with you on that, Otto.
TH: Does this mall hold any significance for you? Did you experience your first kiss here, or hold hands for the first time?
AR: No, I have only been there a few times, it’s not that great.
OS: Also, how is their food court?
AR: I’m not sure, it’s a pretty shitty mall.
OS: Do they have a Ruby Tuesdays? Those are hard to find now.
AR: Not sure, Otto.
TH: As long as we’re on that topic, we want to take a quick break so that we can refill our coffee steins and mention a word or two about Sierra Mist.
AR: Oh, interesting.
TH: Sierra Mist has been one of our fondest partners through the years.
AR: Very interesting.
CR: We at Overhead Compartment are huge fans of the cool, crisp, and refreshing lemon-lime taste of Sierra Mist.
TH: And we like to take every opportunity to pay it forward.
AR: I didn’t know.
AR: Wow there it is.
TH: While we’re on break and off the record, Alan, I’d like to ask you if you’d like to open the second segment up to the public?
AR: In what way?
TH: Typically we encourage the interviewee to share the interview URL on their Twitter or LinkedIn and in the second half the room becomes a public space.
CR: …like a Starbucks or the food court of the Momdogman Mall.
AR: Okay sure, what is the share code?
TH: You can just share out the URL http://roomchat.co/interview. The rooms have a capacity of 25 active members, everyone after that will only be able to watch.
AR: I’m posting the link.
TH: And off we are. Hello Twittersphere!
[PJ has joined.]
[crsven has joined.]
[cooldad has joined.]
[belb has joined.]
PJ: hi Alan!
AR: PJ hello
belb: hey dad
AR: Belb, hi there.
belb: hey there alan. how is it?
AR: Good, belb.
TH: Belb, you called Alan “dad.” What’s the significance there?
belb: yes. he is my father
[human has joined.]
[milpool has joined.]
PJ: Hi Alan’s dad!
[kitten has joined.]
AR: I’m not a father.
PJ: you have made a special boy
Intern: Sorry! I’m not supposed to talk.
belb: yes i am a small alan
AR: I don’t know what belb is talking about.
TH: It’s alright.
[Holly has joined.]
milpool: hi alan
[milpool has left.]
belb: I AM LITTLE ALAN
call me belb
[dimple has joined.]
[milpool has joined.]
kitten: big fan of u alan
AR: Hey, hi.
kitten: will b visint u soon
belb: my dad is alan
AR: Thanks kitten.
belb: you like my dad
kitten: will bring cool gifts
Holly: alan hi!!! Me and my friends love your videos
belb: hey dad guess what
milpool: is this alan
AR: Can I change my screen name color?
milpool: hi alan
TH: Yes Alan, you’d have to refresh and lose your chat history so far. But rest assured, we’ve got a hard copy on our end.
[bonanzaJellybean has joined.]
milpool: hey alan
[cooldad has left.]
[PJ has left.]
[JonPeven has joined.]
JonPeven: thank you
AR: What color should I change my name to?
kitten: alan do you have a spare bedroom
[PJ has joined.]
TH: Try Rainbow.
belb: DAD GUESS WHAT
JonPeveni: picked pink
milpool: dad guess what
crsven: this is chartreuse
JonPeven: hi alan
[Arthur has joined.]
dimple: change it to red
It was shortly thereafter that we lost control of the interview. Alan’s fans overpowered us. If you’re interested in reading the unedited second half of the transcript in full, however, you can download it here: