actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

Unique ExperienceIamA, I'm Toby Robyns, father of five who spent 6 weeks in a Turkish prison, AMA!

Apr 10th 2018 by TobyRobyns • 17 Questions • 47 Points

Randy and Jason Sklar have a knack for exploring what makes America’s cities unique and wonderful, whether it’s finding out who in San Diego serves the best burritos, why basketball is so popular among those in Bloomington, or why the people of Portland can't let go of their old airport carpeting.

Randy and Jason Sklar's upcoming long-form audio documentary, Sklars and Stripes, is poised for an April 5, 2018 release on Audible. The docu-comedy captures their experiences on the road and, as a bonus chapter on Audible, all listeners receive a full album of the Sklars' stand-up from the tour: The TourTapes. The 6-hour Sklars and Stripes is exclusively available on Audible and Amazon now, and can be downloaded for free with an Audible 30-day free trial or as a premium Audible credit for members.

Proof:

Q:

This man, father of 5, was in jail for 6 weeks. He had no income in this period i would think. So the fact that he tries to earn a little extra to spread his story, and to make others aware of the state of affairs in other countries, with regard to the criminalization of innocent people, corruption and otherwise inhumane conditions, i fully support. Do you have any regrets? Something you would have done differently?

A:

On your tour, what city did you get into the MOST shenanigans in? What were they?


Q:

Thank you for helping to put my situation in to context. There are many things I would have done differently. Never accepting the coins in the first place would probably be number one though. Everything after my arrest was completely out of my control.

A:

We definitely got into a lot of shenanigans in Denver, when we went to Casa Bonita: the cliff diving Mexican restaurant that everyone told us to go to but not to eat at. We had a blast breaking the law and trespassing in Bloomington, Indiana, trying to go out to the quarries where Breaking Away was shot. And we had a blast going to Houston's oldest gay friendly night club, Numbers, when we were there for the Come and Take it Festival.


Q:

Would you ever go back to Turkey again?

A:

Did you make it to the quarries? Some those cutouts down by Lake Monroe are never patrolled but super hard to find.


Q:

When hell freezes over I might consider it.

A:

We did make it out to the Quarries! We walked past a ton of no trespassing signs and then one hand written sign that said, "Sklars Get Out Of Here!" But we persisted and got to a quarry. We had to go. Breaking Away was a seminal piece of art for us and has become synonymous with Bloomington, Indiana


Q:

At what point did you know you were going to be exonerated?

How much time elapsed between being cleared of the charges and getting home?

What was the best advice/support your consulate gave you while you were under arrest/detained?

A:

Got any personal favorite episodes of Dumb People Town?

There are so many (I listen religiously) but I still go back to listen to the Breckin Meyer episode. "I'm from the future! Yeeeeaaaah!"


Q:

After 42 days I was cleared in court, I then went to a detention centre with 8 Daesh/ISIS terrorists for a further 3 days before travelling home.

Best advice was to not sign anything unless it was in English, however I watched the police forge my signature from my confiscated driving licence.

A:

Time Travelin' Bryan Johnson from ACDC had Jason laughing so hard he almost threw up. Tom Segura as Ronald T. Justice, Tiffany Haddish's story about Will Smith and Jada, and Paul F. Tompkins portrait of a man with a wheelchair full of knives were a few high lights. The show has been a dream to do and Dan Van Kirk is a genius. We love it as much as the fans do and that comes through we think.


Q:

Was it difficult to write about it afterwards?

A:

Hi Randy and Jason! Why'd you choose to partner with Audible to do an audiobook? Do you feel your comedy translates better to spoken word than written text?


Q:

Hell yeah. Over time the process became very cathartic, but in the beginning it highlighted every emotion possible. The book is an accurate narrative, or account, which I recorded on to hours of audio and then had transcribed.

A:

We loved Audible because they gave us the freedom to do the type of documentary we really wanted to do, and the support we needed to get it done and now get it out to everyone. They were amazing throughout the process. Comedy, while visually enjoyable is really enjoyed in audio setting. Think of comedy albums. Think of podcasts. This kind of merges all of that and This American Life as well. Hope you enjoy it.


Q:

What was the scariest experience while in prison?

How long after the arrest before your consulate contacted you?

Were you afraid you might be there for an extended amount of time (years)?

A:

Re: Cheap Seats: Your fave memories of that show, and what did you think of the MST3K cameo in one of your eps? :D


Q:

My scariest experience was probably when I had 12 guards surround me. It was my son's 10th birthday and I was promised a phone call which never happened. I got extremely angry and the guards took me in to a room for a good kicking, fortunately one of the senior guards realised what was going on and stopped it. Never got my phone call.

It took 8 days from arrest to consulate contact.

I was told my jail sentence could be a maximum of 13 years so I was terrified at the prospect.

A:

Favorite moments on Cheap Seats included, the on the road ep where we tried to pitch a combo old/new Busch Stadium, every spelling be episode that featured Wendy Guey (cutest little speller ever), Johnny Damon in the Elephant Soccer Drills Video ("This is the Elephant Drills Video that gets results"), anything Evil Knevil related, and working with the hilarious Jon Glaser and all the amazing guest stars on the show including, Nick Kroll, Chelsea Peretti, Kristen Schaal, Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, David Wain, Scott Aukerman, Stephanie Courtney, Zach Galifianakis, David Cross, Paul Rudd and on and on and on. That show is very near and dear to us and don't think that we aren't trying to find a way to reboot it


Q:

What kind of food do they serve in Turkish prisons? I'm legitimately curious. EDIT: Spelling

A:

Did you ever get to meet Wendy Guey? Is she even aware of how she became a meme on an expanded cable television show?


Q:

I'm assuming you meant food. We had rice and beans pretty much permanently. I lost 27lbs in 6 weeks! EDIT: "food" previously read "good"

A:

We never met Wendy Guey! We often wonder if she's like an adult mogwai? Wendy we are not worried about meeting. Sealfon is a another story.


Q:

Are Turkish prisons like the US prison stereotypes with lots of fighting, race stuff, etc?

A:

Did Ozzie Smith ever bring that basket of bread that your father asked for at his restaurant?


Q:

Not really any race issues, I was held in the foreign wing so everyone except two of us were Arab in origin. But fights all day long, I had to defend myself on numerous occasions.

A:

Ozzie did, and you have to listen to our special which will be out on STARZ on demand in May, there's a great ending to that story. Also, this week on View From The Cheap Seats tomorrow is a full length hour and 20 min interview with the Wizard himself!!! Ozzie appears in the STL ep of Sklars and Stripes as well.


Q:

Can you describe what happened when you had to defend yourself? How did the incidents start?

A:

How many Henderson’s worth of hype would we need to get a new Comedy Special for you two?


Q:

I was locked in a room with a man dubbed "The Executioner" (Georgian maffia), I go in to greater detail in the book but fortunately I left the room in one piece, it was either him or me.

A:

Not many. We have a new special that we shot last year that was supposed to premiere on SeeSo this past Sept. that now will be on STARZ on demand and their app and STARZ.com. We are trying to see if it will air on the STARZ network proper, finding that out now. But this will drop in May. We are really proud of it. It's called Hipster Ghosts. And we are now working on the next hour. Not sure where that will go


Q:

I can't fully relate to how your head must of been at that time, within that environment, im sure their are things you want to just draw a line and forget from that time. Thank you for replying and wish you all the best

A:

Judd Apatow just came out with The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling to rave reviews. Did you have any cool stories/encounters with him?


Q:

Thanks for your kind words, all the best.

A:

We have been watching the documentary and loving it. We got the honor to meet Garry on the set of Larry Sanders when we visited Tommy Schlamme, who had directed our MTV pilot and was directing Sanders that week. We saw Jon Stewart on the set, this was right before he took over the Daily Show. And Randy got to hang with Garry at a Collin Hay's birthday party in Malibu about 10 years ago. Garry was a hero to us. His stand up was inspiring and hilarious and his TV work was unparalleled. He inspires us still. It's such a shame that he is gone and that he was so sad so often when he was here. He's definitely on our comedy Mount Rushmore


Q:

did you or didn't you take gold coins?

Did you or didn't you "forgot to declare them" while flying out?

A:

The San Diego bit got me so hungry! Serious question, how many tacos/burritos did you try during that trip??


Q:

The coins were valued at between £5-£10 in total, made of bronze. I declared them at customs and they where in a clear plastic bag, the type you put your fluids in, in my carry-on.

A:

We ate so many tacos that Trump tried to deport us through DACA. We ate at 6 different taco spots and all of it was amazing.


Q:

are things made of bronze not artefacts?

A:

NOM.

I had a California Burrito (hyped up by my Uber driver in SD) and I wasn't a fan. Maybe because I went to Rutgers University in NJ and Fat Sandwiches are pretty much the same thing in bread form.

I just started listening to Sklars and Stripes and only up to the Wisconson part... do you go to New Jersey? If not, you should. Think of the joke inspiration!


Q:

The captain of the boat told my boys they where "pirate treasure", and he'd bought them from an online website. This was to promote tourism for his "pirate boat". Artefacts or not, a fine should have sufficed if I had done anything wrong. 6 weeks in a maximum security prison was a tad over the top.

A:

season 2 -- Jersey Shore! We'd love it. We didn't get there on this round. But the Madison chapter might be our favorite one!! enjoy!!!


Q:

isn't "blaming your kids" a risky strategy to them while being confronted by Turkish authorities?

A:

who inSan Diego serves the best burritos?


Q:

I accepted all responsibility at all times and didn't say anything to the Turkish authorities until my wife and children had left the country and until I had spoken to the British consul.

A:

We ate more tacos than burritos in San Diego. Our favorite was the rolled tacos at Las Quatro Milpas. So authentic each taco came with a crying baby. Abuelitas in the back rolling tacos. Unreal so good.


Q:

Do you try to eat healthy on the road or do you indulge in local junk food?

A:

We try to eat healthy, but it's one of the hardest things to do... ever. The clubs give you free food, and it's always fried and horrible for you. We try to avoid that when we can. But most cities also have delicious local delicacies which are rarely healthy, and it's hard to avoid that. Because it's part of the culture and we want to soak it all in.


Q:

As someone who's only familiar with your work from Cheap Seats but looking to get into more of your stuff, where would you recommend I start?

A:

We would say, start with this audio doc on Audible. Sklars and Stripes. Then hit up our podcast Dumb People Town. You may also like our Netflix comedy special Sklar Brothers: What Are We Talking About? That's a good start. We also have a sports/comedy podcast called View From The Cheap Seats that you might enjoy. Let us know what you think!!!!


Q:

Konichiwa Sklars. How big is Brandon these days?

A:

Konichiwa!

Brandon has really gotten so big. He uses Mazda Miatas as roller skates. He's also playing pee wee hockey, Jon Dore. You gotta see him! He's so big he has two Audible accounts.


Q:

Who ya got in the Coney Island Hot Dog contest this year?

A:

Joey Chestnut is to Coney Island hot dog eating contests what Morris Chestnut is to urban romantic comedies. Ubiquitous and dominant. He could win again. Although it's time for a woman to win. Maybe Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Although as she's winning she would deny being in the contest at all or knowing anything about it.


Q:

Randy and Jason huge fan of you guys. I got 3 questions 1.Was any of the things on Cheap Seats that you guys watch ever make you feel uncomfortable like the US Open Of competitive eating? Or just flat out am I really watching this and how is this even considered a sport?

2.Was there any unseen or unreleased footage of the show or any episodes you had planned on doing?

2.5How were you able to get in some of the episode such stage ESPN talent like John Saunders,Stephen A Smith or Brian Kenny? I mean it’s ESPN and all but such a cult classic like this. I thought that was pretty cool

3.I have people disagree with me on this but you guys being Cardinals fans does Scott Rolen deserve a place in the Baseball Hall Of Fame? I mean the stats are there

Just saw you guys with Adam Carolla and it was pretty exciting seeing 3 of my favorite comedians in the same room.

Keep on going guys. Hope you guys come to Orlando soon.

A:

Great Questions all the way around.
1) Uh, the Beard and Mustache championships made us uncomfortable, also, when at the cat show, a woman put make up on her cat, that seemed to cross many lines for us, but it was always funny. We simply asked Sanders, Stephen A and Brian to do the show for us and they obliged because we wrote funny stuff for them to do and we think they were fans of ours and the show so it was an easy ask. Not sure if Rolen belongs in the hall. We put him in the Dale Murphy category. You can make a case but it's not a slam dunk. He was great for the Cards in those years, we loved having him as our guy on the hot corner. We could be persuaded though.