2005_03_darciratliff.gifThe badics:
Who are you? How old are you? What do you do? Where do you live? Where are you from?
Ha ha— throw in a "God dammit!" and you sound like my Grandpa. I am Darci Ratliff. I am 32. I am the editor of Kittenpants.org, and I also produce movies, television shows, live events, underpants, and CDs, although I do hold down a day job as well. I say "zoinks!" a little too often. I live in the bestapartmentever in the East Village. I am from the United States of America, primarily California and Texas. I guess I consider Denton, TX, my hometown, even though 2/3 of its former residents now live within a five-block radius of one another in Williamsburg.

A few for you:
What's currently rumbling at Kittenpants?
Kittenpants has a lot of buns in a lot of ovens. I just found out today that one of the shorts we made last year got accepted into the Boston Film Festival, so that's kind of exciting. I decided to release a third CD, so that is now in the beginning stages, and I'm producing an animated TV show with three other people. And it's not official yet, but I pitched a book idea to my friend (and musician) Will Johnson, that I think we might do together. I am most excited about that, because it means I'll be rambling around on tour with him for a few weeks.

Are you the type who finds animals in people clothing adorable or unsettling?
Contrary to popular belief (and the name and the logo) Kittenpants has nothing to do with animals wearing trousers. It's just a name. So everyone please stop sending me photos.

Having said that, I think dressing up your pet against his will is hilarious and funny and kind of mean. If the animal doesn't mind wearing the clothes, then what is the point?

Over on KP, you're always finding yourself in position to interrogate underground comedians. How does this happen?
For a while I was attending a lot of comedy shows. Sometimes I choose people that I really want to interview and try to meet or contact them. Other times I unexpectedly run into someone at a show, and just sort of go for it. I don't know – it's always different. My next interview is supposed to be UCB's Ian Roberts. I met him by casting him in two movies.

Who's your favorite comedian you've nabbed?
Well, if by "nabbed" you mean "interviewed" then probably David Cross. I am a fan, so meeting him was cool and the interview was funny. Plus it brought Kittenpants to a whole new audience. I also really liked interviewing Jon Benjamin.

If by "nabbed" you mean "kidnapped" then I'd have to say Joe Lo Truglio. I drove him to Mystic, CT, and just left him there.

L' chaim! Let's pimp To Life!
To Life! is the first feature-length movie I produced and that seems like a good enough reason for you to go see it. Another motivating factor would be the hilarious cast: Joe Lo Truglio, Caitlin Miller, Todd Barry, Jon Benjamin, David Wain, Ian Roberts, Eugene Mirman, and Amy Sedaris (as the voice of an animated penis). But as it is still (and may forever be) in post production, seeing it might not ever be an option.

Is Corn Mo a Kittenpants groupie or is Kittenpants a Corn Mo groupie?
I wouldn't use the word groupie, but we're pretty mutually affectionate, I'd say. We've been friends for 15 years, back when we were just Darci and Jon. He is probably the more talented one, though, as he can write the songs that make the whole world sing about Timecop.

What's up with the KP call to Action?
Agh… It's depressingly sluggish at the moment. During the months before the election, KP took on a decidedly political slant and I created this separate section of the website, so as to allow the magazine to retain its original focus: retarded hilarity. The call to action was supposed to compel me to stay politically involved, but lately I haven't felt very obliged to update it. What's worse is that all the people who signed up to be a part of it seem to lack time/interest as well – they like getting the emails but they aren't much for writing letters or signing petitions, and the workload is a little much for me. It'll be interesting to see how and when it takes shape in the future. Or it won't be interesting at all. Care to vote?

Texas v. New York. Explain.
I suppose you want me to take a side. You know, there are a lot of things I like about Texas, but I live in New York for a reason. It isn't because it's cheaper or easier or more practical to do so. It isn't because I have family here, or because the weather's great. And if I couldn't live in New York, I probably still wouldn't live in Texas. I do, however, like to visit a few times a year, and the food is much better there.

The questionnaire:
Favorite restaurant or bar?
Most of my favorite places are on the LES. For a while I was practically living at Motor City bar on Ludlow—the bartenders there are really great. I also like Welcome to the Johnson's, I guess. Breakfast at the Pink Pony, and Queso Locos at San Loco are two food favorites.

Closer to home, I like drinking at 7B or in the back yard of Neptune. Little Poland is pretty good, and conveniently right across the street from me. I kind of hate a lot of people, so I am starting to avoid crowded places. With the weather getting nicer, I'd prefer getting some takeout and going to the park.

Best celebrity encounter on the streets of New York?
My friend Chris Weber and I play "celebrities" a lot, which is just pointing out people on the street who look like celebrities. So most of the time I am just as excited to see fake celebs as I am to spot the real thing. We were stopped in traffic once and we both looked up and yelled "Jerry Van Dyke!!" simultaneously. That was good.

As for actual encounters, a few years ago I had been trying to reach the Moldy Peaches for an interview, but I never heard back. Then one day I was playing in a poker tournament and I left to get cash at the ATM. I ran into Kimya Dawson waiting at the corner to cross the street. So I introduced myself and told her I had been trying to contact her for Kittenpants. She said, "Kittenpants? Is this you?" and she pulled a Kittenpants button out of her backpack. She said she just found it in her bag and didn't know how it got there. I am magic.

Best bargain to be found in the city?
Well, my roommate (literally) eats garbage, so I don't feel like much of a bargain hunter by comparison. When I first moved here in 1996, my friend Carol and I found a "Ladies Drink Free" night at a different bar in our neighborhood for each night of the week. They were shitty bars, but it was good to have a place you could go if you were broke. Back then I would also ditch the subway on occasion in favor of a bus ride up one of the avenues. It's a cheap tour of the city.

What place or thing would you declare a landmark?
My front stoop. I could hang out there forever. There are a lot of interesting characters that stop by and chat, and I often bump into someone I know. Plus there's a little piece of raised sidewalk just in front of our apartment and somebody trips on it at least once every three minutes or so. It is never not funny.

What law would you pass to improve the city?
I would make it illegal for groups of people to amble down the sidewalk at their own pace while blocking passersby. I would make it okay to give gypsy cab drivers and locksmiths whatever amount of money you felt like paying. I would prosecute people who bring babies to the movies, and guys who use the word "tune" when they mean song. I might also ban all advertising for Miss Congeniality 2.

Midnight, Saturday night, where are you and what are you doing?
Why? Did you want to get a drink or something? Because that would be cool—I don't really have any plans.

This Saturday I'll be at the New York Underground Film Festival. Last Saturday I was at the Mercury Lounge watching bands. The Saturday before, I went to see the midnight screening of The Goonies at the Sunshine Theater. But then, I probably spent the five Saturdays before that ordering in, checking email, and watching “SNL,” so don't think I'm all cool.

Finally, if the world were ending tomorrow, how would you spend your last 24 hours in NYC?
Hopefully fucking. Otherwise I think a rooftop barbecue with a bunch of displaced Texans would be real nice.