Posts Tagged: comedy


-I know I probably watch more Nickelodeon than the average thirty five year old, but I was happy happier than usual to see president’s day come and go this year. Not for the day off, mind you (because my whole life is days off, right?) but for the fact that I won’t have to sit through the seemingly unending ads for “Fred: The Show” any more. I’m no stranger to the ways the various media outlets go about force-feeding you whatever their flavor of the month is; anyone who watched the Super Bowl might as well have had their throats rubbed while a peanut butter coated LMAFO pill was stuffed into their maw, it would’ve gotten it over with quicker than the tidal wave of Party Rocking we had to do over the course of the nearly five hour game. But this fucking Fred, with his Jack-from-30 Rock-gets trapped in a helium chamber-and hit in the face hourly with a brick-smile, this no-talent, Durst-level, idiot ….

Wait where was I? My hate train derailed.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that I just don’t get it.

Fred? Fred the Movie? Fred the Show?

I don’t wish anyone ill…but if Fred got hit by an ice cream truck, I can’t say I wouldn’t be pleased.I might even go out of my way to buy an ice cream from that particular truck every time I saw it.

-I’ve been watching “Shipping Wars” on A&E since it started. It’s nothing groundbreaking. In fact, the only reason I really watch it is because I hate that guy Roy like Mitt Romney hates a woman’s right to choose, so I’m not trying to convince you to check it out. Far from it. But if you do, try to sit there with a straight face through all the different times and double-edged ways they all say the word “load”.

IT. IS. HILARIOUS. Like ‘whoever writes their in-between-scene quips used to write porn dialogue’ level hilarious. I know they are shippers. I know that the word “load” is part of their day to day language. But, still, even knowing that, I bet you wouldn’t be able to keep from laughing past the third or fourth one, and yes, there are well more than three or four per episode. Probably more like seven or eight. Enjoy. Turn it into a drinking game. Or, better yet, have it playing during your next swingers party and play a modified game of simon says along with it.

-Through constant prodding and along with the help of an outside source (merlot), I finally convinced my wife to start watching the Walking Dead with me about three hours before the premiere two Sunday’s ago during AMC’s all day marathon. The exception was that we had to start watching it from the beginning, which I undoubtedly went along with. Seeing it again (Paying closer attention to Shane’s unravel this time and it’s really interesting. I’m blaming Lori for it a lot more this time around.) has only solidified how brilliant I think the show is (and has continued to be during the current third season). I’ll keep you posted on how it plays out with my wife, though. We finished the first season last night, up though the group leaving the CDC and the doctor whispering about the contents of Marcellus Wallace’s briefcase to Rick. And, you know what? Aside from easily setting a “grossed out” faces world record, she’s hanging in there and (I think) enjoying it. Onto Season Two tonight.

-I wrote a joke last week for a television show that I contribute to that didn’t get used and I think it’s hilarious…so I thought I’d share it, lest it live in my notebook with all of the other non-genius, alone, forever.

“Adele went home with five Grammys this past Sunday, but since none of them were her actual grandmother, they were all terrified and thought they had been kidnapped.”


One of the best things about having a brother eight years younger than me was having the opportunity to scare the shit out of him on a semi-regular basis. It didn’t take a whole lot of work on my part. Although just grabbing one of the videos my father had rented for his weekend viewing didn’t always do the trick, which says a lot. Almost every Friday night, just due to the sheer volume of movies he rented and watched, the videos on top of our VCR were terrible, low budget horror movies. I can trace my love of those types of movies back to being a little kid watching Phantasm, Puppet Master II, and Sleepaway Camp in one six hour sitting. And since having a much younger kid (a four year old when I was twelve) never tempered what types of movies he’d watch while we were around, my brother got to see, for better or worse, all the same stuff I did.

To his credit, Chad was (and still is) a thick skinned bad ass and rarely, if ever, did one of the movies stick with him enough that I was sure it freaked him out.

Then came “Child’s Play”, the cult classic about a murderous doll named Chucky that terrorized a single mother and her (I think) mildly retarded son.  At the time, my brother had asked for and received “My Buddy” for his birthday and, as it said in the song on the commercial, it went wherever he went. It was his non-blinking hetero life mate. The Balki to his Cousin Larry. Until he saw “Child’s Play”, that is.

“Buddy”, as uncreative Chad called him, went from being his unquestioned best friend to public enemy number one. We shared a room at the time and I didn’t think anything of Chad putting Buddy in the closet before we went to bed the night we watched “Child’s Play”. But when it didn’t make an appearance the next day, I was sure that he was scared shitless of it…and that I could have some fun with it.

The next night, he put it in the closet before bed again, just as he had done the night before. Like always, he was out a soon as his head hit the pillow. I waited until his breathing slowed down a bit, to make sure he was really asleep, and went to the closet to retrieve the doll. It only took a couple of seconds to put it in the rocking chair in the corner, give it a kick to get it rocking, and dive back into bed as though I had been asleep, too. The creaking rails on the rocking chair woke him up and he screamed like Bieber on fire.

My father came to check on us and, at Chad’s request, put Buddy back in the closet. This went on for a couple of nights: Chad putting Buddy in the closet and getting smarter about making sure he stayed there by bracing chairs and other cumbersome objects in front of the door and me pulling him out in the night and posing him in various spots in our room. It was equal parts terrifying and hilarious. Terrifying for him and hilarious for me, in case you didn’t get the breakdown.

I was losing interest and thinking the fun was coming to an end when I came home to find Chad dismembering Buddy, stuffing Buddy’s stuffing filled body parts into a black trash bag before walking the bag to the curb personally.

I was proud of him for trying to bring his nightly living nightmare to an end, but also glad that he didn’t have the fortitude to stay with the bag until the garbage man came for the pick-up. It gave me the window I needed.

Picture this: you are a little kid who has just seen a movie about a possessed doll that has scared you to the point it ruined your relationship with your favorite toy. When the toy appears to be following the same spooky start as the doll in the movie, you try your best, but eventually you have to dismember the thing for the safety of all in the house. After it’s all done and over with, you take a shower and go to bed….only to find the doll’s head on your pillow, smiling up at you.

Now, I hadn’t yet seen “The Godfather” so I don’t know exactly where I got the idea to put the head in his bed, but I knew it could be a great moment and it was.

The thing that makes me laugh is that, for a stretch of quite a few years, my brother took a job as a bouncer at a few local clubs. I’ve seen “Road House”, I know what being a bouncer entails; it’s a job for tough guys. I wonder how many of the drunks he choked out knew that if they wanted him to turn tail and run in the other direction all they needed was “My Buddy”.

Or, at the very least, “My Buddy’s” head.


I’m running short on time.


The season premiere of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is only a couple of weeks away and, no matter what I try, I can’t convince my wife to watch it with me.


I know that I’m a bit late to the dance, having just jumped onto the “Walking Dead” bandwagon a few weeks ago. But I ate up the first two seasons like the walkers that got Otis (quickly and without proper southern table manners) in just over seven days and have found myself thinking about it frequently during my day to day shuffle, particularly the final scene of the second season. In a lot of ways “The Walking Dead” is one the first shows I’ve watched since “The Wire” that I’ve been this excited about. (Please don’t bring up “Game of Thrones”, nerds, I haven’t seen it yet. I will. After I read the books. Remember those.) I even bought a few of the “Walking Dead” comic books to quench my thirst for the characters; I can’t get enough.


Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I shouldn’t be surprised. She has long held the opinion that horror movies (and any similar sub genre) are terrible and not worth the time. “Why watch a movie just to have it scare the shit out of you?” I’ll save that argument for another day (Because horror movies that scare the shit out of me are few and far between. ‘Watch the evening news if you want some real life fright’ is the joke right? How about Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.) because time is of the essence.


Having been married for close to fifteen years, I have been subjected to a number of movies that I didn’t want to watch for one reason or another that she did. I mean, give it a name: “Father of the Bride”, “Pretty Woman”, “Dirty Dancing” and anything in between in the realm of estro-cinema. I look at those movies (and my watching them) as sacrifices I have made for the greater good. In them, from time to time, I find pieces and parts that I like. Things I can separate from the schlock and identify as good. Like when Baby bails on doing the lift at she and Johnny’s gig at the Sheldrake and instead breaks into a hybrid Elaine Benes/ wonder seizure hitchhike move to cover it up. I laugh out loud every time I see it. Every. Single. Time. And that, to me, makes watching it worthwhile.


But back to “The Walking Dead”.


The story being told is so riveting, from the growing tension between Rick and Shane (and Shane and Dale…and Shane and everyone else, for that matter) to the overriding idea of humanity or what it is to be human, that I find myself driven, compelled even, to share it with people. Anyone who gives me a crease in the conversation where I think I can begin discussing the show is likely to think they’ve mistakenly opened the door to a born again Christian and said, “I wish I knew more about this Jesus fellow.” (Except, I’m spreading the gospel of the other zombie. The one without so much baggage and a far better soundtrack.) In fact, I’d go so far as to say there is so much depth to the story and so many layers in each character that the series has taken on a sort of literary quality, making it so much more than the zombie apocalypse tale I was initially drawn to.


And still, after explaining all that, my wife still won’t watch it.


Here’s where I call bullshit though, friends. This is where I draw my line. My wife got a Kindle for Christmas and has the entire Twilight series downloaded and on deck.


“People say they’re about more than just vampires and that kind of stuff.”


I laughed. Hard.


Inevitably, her reading the books will lead to her (us) watching the “Twilight” movies at some point. Count this as fact because it will be so.


If she can separate the story behind that (which on the surface looks like it was written by RL Stein’s hallucination prone softheaded thirteen year old daughter) from its vampire/werewolf exterior, she can no doubt do the same for zombies, right?


Maybe that’ll be my angle.


Something tells me her answer to that is still going to start with “No” and end with “Way”.


And I’m going to end up watching it alone.





I’m thirty-five.


Not old, like wiry white pubes old, but old enough to remember when there were actually new television shows being made, borne from somewhat original ideas. You know, like “The Fall Guy”. Stuff like that.


Everything that comes out now (EVERYTHING!) seems to be some marketing team’s idea of what we want to watch based on the other things we watch. This is true particularly on cable. TLC, A&E, and all the middling channels like them that are trying to forge an identity and produce their own original programming, seem content to cannibalize other networks’ (and in some cases, their own) shows and either fire off an exact replica of a popular program with a different title or they take a small detail from a popular show and turn it into the focus of its own show.


There is a show on the Food Network about spicy foods and the two hosts’ search for…..wait for it….spicy foods. It’s called “Heat Seekers”. And, aside from the fact that one of said hosts is the ultra-arrogant Aaron Sanchez (whose turn as a judge on the bland “Chopped” makes me want to stab him with a shrimp fork every time he condescends someone. Also, grow a real mustache, dude. This isn’t seventh grade, eleven hairs does not a mustache make.) which would color my judgment of the show anyway, I can’t figure out how it got past the “in-development” stage. It’s the same show every time.


Aaron: “Okay, we’re standing outside of the very trendy “Hungry Yuppie” in NYC right now, waiting our turn in line, because we heard this place has some of the spiciest wings/chili/hot sauce in the city.”


Cohort: “I can’t wait. I love spicy wings/chili/hot sauce!”


They go in.


They watch the chef make the spicy wings/chili/hot sauce.


Aaron: “Are you going to put all that crushed red pepper in it, too? Wow.”


Cohort: “That’s a lot. It’s going to be really spicy.”


They sit and get served the spicy wings/chili/hot sauce.


Aaron: “You go first.”


Cohort: “No, you. I can smell it from over here and it smells super spicy.”


They laugh and Aaron takes a bite.


Aaron: “Damn that’s hot.”


His friend laughs and takes a bite of his own, fanning his mouth seconds later.


Cohort: “You’re right, it is hot. It might be the hottest thing I’ve ever eaten.”


Aaron: “I need a glass of milk. Waiter!”




Awesome, right? I’m sure you’re scrambling to set your DVR’s now. I know some marketing dick watched a few episodes of “Man vs. Food” and thought to himself, “Look at how much the people love watching Adam Richman squirm while he eats those spicy wings/chili/hot sauce. His eyes are sweating and he looks like he’s about to shit a roman candle and they can’t get enough. I think a show about nothing but that might break ratings records.”




It’s like “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” which is another Food Network show that is centered on watching chefs eat things. If you have ever found yourself wondering what Michael Symon’s eyebrows (which probably have their own show in development) look like while he is making his “o” face and eating crab cakes, wonder no more.


Where’s the originality?


There are five shows about hoarding (six if you count TLC’s “Extreme Couponing”, which is just organized hoarding), a half dozen shows about little people and their little lives, and probably close to ten shows about people auctioning/pawning/shipping/picking through mystery junk, each with their own spin on things. It’s almost like they don’t care….and don’t you dare tell me they don’t care. Any network that hasn’t had Dog the Bounty Hunter euthanized after seeing his show (and his human offspring) has got to have a heart of gold, don’t they?


Just come up with something different, please. Anything. Use that old fashioned American creativity for more than figuring out what else we can put on a cheeseburger. Michael Symon’s eyebrows might not thank you for it, but I will.