One half of the former a cappella group DaVinci's Notebook, Paul and Storm is a musical comedy duo consisting of Paul Sabourin and Greg "Storm" Di Costanzo.
They have appeared many times on The Bob & Tom Show
(sometimes as "the Barrytones", a barbershop quartet consisting of "Barry, Barry, Barry, and Barry"), and tour regularly with Jonathan Coulton
, including appearing on his concert DVD and doing a RiffTrax
with him for Tron
. They've also written for other RiffTrax
movies, and they wrote and performed "The Ballad of the Sneak" for Homestar Runner
and the Lil' Guildies
theme for The Guild
's 2010 April Fool's Joke. Along with Wil Wheaton
and Adam Savage
, they are the headliners of the recurring special event-thing "W00tstock
" which often includes special guests like Hard'n'Phirm, Felicia Day
, Bill Corbett, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy
and MC Frontalot.
They host the webshow "Learning Town"
, on Felicia Day
's Geek And Sundry
They received a far bit of press attention in the beginning of August 2010 for starting two joke trends on Twitter: "Wookiee Leaks" and "Kanye New Yorker Tweets".
Paul and Storm's songs have examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: "Live" is an affectionate parody of their friend and frequent collaborator Jonathan Coulton, specifically his songs about mad scientists who are sad and lonely.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: This is a running gag in their live shows. Taken to extremes in the finale of the Chicago w00tstock show.
- Audience Participation: Even if you don't find their songs that funny, it's impossible not to have fun at one of their shows.
- Audience Participation Song: "The Captain's Wife's Lament" and "A Better Version of You", among others.
- If it doesn't take over fifteen minutes to perform "The Captain's Wife's Lament" (which is technically a three minute song), something's wrong.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Three consecutive songs on the album Gumbo Pants are "If James Taylor Were on Fire", "If Bob Dylan Were Hiding at the Bottom of a Well", and "If James Taylor Were on Fire at the Bottom of a Well".
- Brick Joke: The second verse of "Six Guys Ten Teeth" has the narrator's friend, Skeeter get laid out by a stripper after, "diggin' 'round for change for his dollar." The third chorus later informs the listener, "If you can bail Skeeter out then you can join the team."
- Department of Redundancy Department: Frogger: The Frogger Musical
- Double Entendre: "The Captain's Wife's Lament." A three minute song (in recordings - ten minutes plus live, with the pirate jokes added) leading up to an inevitable Incredibly Lame Pun regarding an alternate name for sailors, in conjunction with the name of a particular bodily excretion.
- Ending Fatigue: Invoked on "Shake Machine" (as "Shake Machine, Part II").
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Their song "Opening Band" describes what it's like to be the opening band in exact language.
We are here to do five or six or seven songs
Not go too long, and get the hell off the stage
We are the Opening Band
We're probably not the band you came to see tonight
But it's alright, 'cause soon we'll go away.
- Exact Words: Their podcast is entitled "Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff For Five To Ten Minutes (On Average)". Five to ten minutes is the average time they spend on each subject.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Storm at the end of "That's the News of the Week".
Storm: The other day I killed a hobo with a hammer,
Both: And that's the news of the week!
- Incredibly Lame Pun / Hurricane of Pun: "The Captain's Wife's Lament" is an incredibly long buildup to one of these. In concert, the buildup is the best part.
- Instant Soprano: "Why, Baby, Why?"
- Overly Long Gag: Most of the fun of their live performances of "The Captain's Wife's Lament" is to see how long they can stretch out the first half of the song (the part before the Hurricane of Incredibly Lame Pun). It's not uncommon for their performances of this song to exceed ten minutes as a result. It really is very funny.
- Overly Prepared Gag: "The Captain's Wife's Lament" again - over ten minutes of pirate jokes and Arrs from the audience, leading toward the above-mentioned Hurricane of Pun
- Every Movie Is Better With Randy Newman Music: Especially Lord of the Rings and The Passion of the Christ.
- Now it seems Every Song Is Better Sung By Michael McDonald.
- Rockstar Song: "Opening Band" as mentioned above, as well as "Your Town".
- They also have a "Paul and Storm Theme Song". It's like something out of a Spaghetti Western.
"They are not seeking justice
They've got no wrongs to right
They're just here to sing some dick jokes
And ride off into the night!"
- Refuge in Audacity: Nugget Man is a humorous but straightforward, even truthful, tribute to Robert C. Baker, who had passed away the year prior, and his contributions to the invention of chicken nuggets... until the last verse, in which it's said his will called for him to be made into nuggets and buried in several containers filled with honey-mustard sauce.
- Ripped from the Headlines: Many of their songs for The Bob & Tom Show were topical. Most of these are collected on their album News To Us.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Played with in That's The News Of The Week, which Paul and Storm recorded their lyrics for separately.
Paul: Did you hear that little Sasha Cohen
didn't quite win the gold?
Storm: I guess I could just sing anything
and you would never know.
Paul: Now instead of being the queen of the rink...
Storm: I'm wearing my underwear as a hat
and letting the boys swing free, my friend.
Both: And that's the news of the week!
- Also: "Cruel, Cruel Moon" does this at the end of the chorus, with each new plea to that Cruel, Cruel Moon.
- Running Gag: The podcasts are never 5 to 10 minutes (on average). They do point out the ten-minute mark... often LONG after its passed (for those who only want to listen to five to ten minutes of their podcast).
- They eventually decided that the title of the podcast meant that they discussed each subject for 5 to 10 minutes (on average). This is much more reasonable and accurate, though they still do the running gag about the ten-minute mark.
- Also, as noted above, their A Good Name for a Rock Band jokes during their concerts.
- Siamese Twin Songs: "Shake Machine Parts I & II"
- Translation By Volume: Their song "International Language" has this. "LOVE IS LOUDER THAN WORDS."
- [Trope Name]: Title of the Song, their parody of boy band ballads, is written entirely in this fashion.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Their parody of Coldplay, "I Will Sing a Lullabye", includes the famous key change from "Fix You".
- "Title of the Song" points this out explicitly, as you'd expect, since it's an explicit lampshading of the popular tropes of 1990s boy-band romantic songs.