Thursday, November 29, 2007

Activity Of The Day: Ask A Hooker For Gum

(NOTE: This is recommended only for those who carry video phones or video equipment) After you check out the Creek and Cave’s wonderful comedy shows in Long Island City, cruise around the Astoria projects and ask hookers for gum. Make sure your camera phone is on so when the coppers pull you over and accuse you of soliciting prostitution, you can prove that you were innocently asking for a stick of gum. Don’t forget; before you drive off without an appearance ticket, ask the cop for gum.

Then return the next day and give every hooker and cop a stick of gum. Garlic knots will also suffice.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Do This On Thanksgiving And I Will Pay You One Massachusetts

Buy everyone in the family presents. When you get no presents in return, let out an exasperated sigh and say, "Figures."

I will pay you
one Alaska as well if you produce a live turkey to your girlfriend's (or someone else's girlfriend's) father and ask for her hand in marriage

See you (not pay you, see you) Monday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Activity Of The Day: Put Rubbing Alcohol On Your Rubbing Lunch Meat

Remember when a man could commit adultery without no childish biznazz? It’s called adultery, not third-gradery. Now there is this method that more and more partners are using to detect infidelity on their man: smelling the salami to see if it’s been in another sandwich.

So rub alcohol all over your dingelberry and your queen will think you just came back from, like, the hospital or something. For those who may be sensitive to alcohol, try chicken noodle soup so you counter one cheesy rap reference with another one. Plus, it will smell like you just went to the hospital or whatever.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Comedy-Reality? Really?

OK I'll cough up the JuJu Beans: some cool things have come out of this strike. SNL at UCB, Daily Show taking to the YouTube streets. On the flip tip, like a Freedy Johnston song, the sweet is always laced with the bitter. If the WGA does not get their contract soon enough, expect more comedy-reality.

I know, comedy as an adjective with a hyphen, uuugggh.

Though the genre began in earnest with Blind Date, The Surreal Life helped define the genre. Flavor of Love, I Love New York and Rock of Love continue to define the genre.

What genre?

A comedy-reality show is marked by the following characteristics:

music that manipulates viewers to laugh at reality show thespians by playing carnival music in the background

OK that's actually not more than one characteristic. My bust. Much as I hate to envision a future in which such cynical, silicone (CyniCone?) dreck becomes considered the gold standard of TV comedy and scripted comedy goes the way of the Laserdisc ViewMaster, here are some pitches for comedy-reality shows that I would like to pitch in a high pitch drinking a pitcher in a stadium of pitch-black tar:

Smack My Pitch Up: A bunch of hot models pitch reality shows. They pull each other's hair and call each other bitch. Think of the tagline: "These bitches got pitches." At the end of the show, the celebrity judge (Joel Schumacher) says "The End" if you're voted off and "To Be Continued" if you stay.

Municipal Council Of Love: Ten municipal council members get voted off by Pia Zadora until a municipality in the suburbs of Southern California becomes a dictatorship.

She was in that movie.

Love of Love: The hearts of ten different species get systematically punctured by Raquel Welch until one of them is picked as her heart replacement. The black baboon hearts are allegedly represented unfairly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Out Of Network

Thank you all so much for your e-mails and support. Those who don't know, I've been in the ER. I am currently attached to an IV. While I was in the ER I realized that alternative medicine is like alternative comedy and western medicine is like mainstream comedy.

Both mainstream comedy and medicine are overpriced.

Both alternative comedy and medicine are associated with noisome subcultures (hipsters, hippies respectively)

Mainstream: Accused of valuing money over quality
Alternative: Accused of unlawful posession of marijuana

Mainstream: practitioners make money, getting more respect from society
Alternative: practitioners get more bohemian poon than Vince Gallo at SXSW, getting respect from Fleshbot

Mainstream: make loads of money
Alternative: make loads of money at day job

Mainstream: someone somewhere has morphine
Alternative: someone somewhere has morphine

Friday, November 09, 2007

Remembrance Of Videos Past #52: Metallica, “One”

The video for this had footage spliced in from Dalton Trumbo’s early ‘70s anti-war film Johnny Get Your Gun. Imagine if different film/TV clips were mixed in with the footage?

Some “One” Lyrics

I can't remember anything (Christina Applegate looking dazed in Samantha Who?)

Can't tell if this is true or dream (Harold wakes up getting his face licked in Harold and Kumar)

Deep down inside I feel to scream (Macauley Culkin in Home Alone)

This terrible silence stops me (Fatty Arbuckle does a pratfall)

Back in the womb its much too real (Look Who’s Talking Too)

Just like a wartime novelty (“Springtime For Hitler” number, The Producers)

Tied to machines that make me be (Lawnmower Man)

Cut this life off from me (Sklar Bros. on Grey’s Anatomy)

Oh God, help me hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please God help me (Jessica Alba getting date raped by Dane Cook, Good Luck Chuck)

Imprisoning me
All that I see
Absolute horror (Fat chick hugging Norbit)


Has taken my sight
Taken my speech
Taken my hearing
Taken my arms
Taken my legs
Taken my soul
Left me with life in Hell (America’s Funniest Home Videos)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Remembrance Of Videos Past #51: Beach Boys, "Still Cruisin'"

The Beach Boys had a comeback in 1988 when they put “Kokomo” on the Cocktail soundtrack. The Beach Boys were suddenly dripping off every Hollywood shark’s lips in Hollywood. John Stamos was their drummer, after all.

The Beach Boys’ answer? “Still Cruisin’.”

This song reminds me of Mel Gibson copping a feel on Teutonic (word of the day?) blonde femme fatale Patsy Kensit in Lethal Weapon 2; the film it was featured in.

The first Lethal with Joe Pesci.

Kensit eventually moved on to frolic with Liam Gallagher of Oasis. Mel Gibson was arrested for a DWI. During his arrest he made anti-Semitic remarks.

Is it possible that Gibson looks back on the arrest and sings this tune while driving?

Short Story: The Improvisers

It’s been a minute and a mile since I’ve written a short story. This work of flash fiction is inspired by the WGA strike

Barton Chesterpiro’s jaw dropped when he saw the TV set.

When he first looked at the wall of TVs, he gave a warm, knowing smile while drawing from his Chesterfield.

All smoke breaks from writer’s guild strikes should be so poignant.

The knowing smile evinced his beatific understanding of how vital television was; of how TV would never be replaced by the ugly, deformed twin of TV that was YouTube.

But when he focused his eyes on the news story, his jaw dropped.

The Improvisers had taken over.


Every good-looking improv student was cast on every narrative show on television. What’s more, networks did not conceal the automatic, unconscious nature of the programming. There was CSI: Improv. Lost: Improv Island. 24: A Day For Improv was a runaway success; callers would give Lower East Side celebrity Reefer Mutherland improv suggestions. One week, he wrestled a crestfallen, morbidly obese dingo nestled in a sequoia.

People loved this more than reality TV.

Reality TV had confessionals, which were a relatively distancing device. I Love New York looked more and more like a cold, Teutonic, Brechtian drama.

Who's the mack tonight?

Improv involved the audience. It meant spontaneity; being in the moment; audience control.

There was even American Idol Improv, where singers had to sing whatever callers requested. Or even make up songs based on viewer suggestions. Like the one time Amber Bambrella sang an impromptu ditty about cancer cells metastasizing. So awkward (the camera cut to an 8-year-old chemo victim with a “Tommy, Can You Hear Me?” sign), yet so addicting.

Hellfire and damnation, I am sick of writing for free; I’m going on strike.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hey John Cusack…

Did you blow your coolness wad on High Fidelity? Of course I don’t expect you to do something as resplendent again, but you’ve let yourself go more than Mo’Nique at a BBW party held at a Chinese buffet in Paramus.

Let’s look at your recent works:

America’s Sweethearts (2001): Wow, this was a Category-5 hurricane of a disaster. Julia Roberts barely recovered from this with Ocean’s Eleven. Billy Crystal hid his face in shame and did voiceover work for Monster’s Inc. Whatever, one flop is forgivable.

Serendipity (2001): IMDB synopsis—“A couple reunite years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they'd end up together.” A movie about a Craig’s List Missed Connection coming to fruition. Ouch.

Max (2002): OK, not a rom-com. So far, so good. Synopsis? “A film studying the depiction of a friendship between an art dealer named Rothman and his student, Adolf Hitler.” You played Hitler's art dealer. You’re not getting this: you played the most incompetent art dealer in recorded history. Let me put this in High Fidelity terms: it’s as if you played the guy who signed The Eagles to Epic Records.

Johnny Suck Lately

Must Love Dogs (2005): Original title: Must Hate Good Scripts

The Ice Harvest (2005): A movie about Christmas crooks? What’s the sequel? The Ramadan Robber?

Martian Child (2007): It’s not about a kid from Mars. It’s about a kid who thinks he’s from Mars.

So let’s look back at the past five years: you’ve played a romantic cornball; an art dealer for a fascist dictator; an attorney for Christmas criminals; the adopted father of a would-be Martian son.

All this from the man who was in Say Anything, Being John Malkovich and Grosse Point Blank. Your film career is “better off dead.”

Nothing Funny About Comedy: David: Seinfeld/Lennon: McCartney

This section is where I give serious essays on comedy.

This past weekend’s mixed reviews of Bee Movie confirm what seemed obvious to anyone who’s watched Seinfeld reruns in the post-Curb Your Enthusiasm-era: Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David were like Paul McCartney and John Lennon—they worked best as a team, but as solo artists, David and Lennon would prove the better artists while McCartney and Seinfeld were panned as the Tin Pan Alley pop hacks.

Seinfeld was obviously their Sgt. Pepper’s: most of it was attributable to Seinfeld, just like Pepper’s was ultimately McCartney’s triumph. Still, McCartney’s peppy “Getting Better” chorus was grounded by Lennon’s weary “can’t get much worse” back-up vocals. Respectively, Seinfeld’s safe, quotidian observations of everyday life were stale without David’s bile and vinegar.

As Lennon’s solo work became more introspective and stripped-down in his solo years, David offered a darker, personal vision. If Seinfeld prided itself on observations that all of us can relate to (understanding low talkers, scratching your nose in front of a lover), Curb Your Enthusiasm was an unapologetic look through David’s wire-rimmed glasses (another similarity between Lennon and David).

Though I have not seen Bee Movie, the words used to malign it have been identical to the ones used to denigrate McCartney’s output in the ‘70s: “ho-hum;” “bland;” “middle of the road.” The short of it is, no one has been outraged enough to give it a scathing review, which paradoxically makes the film seem worse.

This does not mean I agree with the McCartney/Seinfeld haters. I will still watch Bee Movie and I will still post this Wings classic: