Sunday, May 31, 2009

Failed Late Night Talk Shows Through The Ages

On Friday night, Jay Leno was officially kicked out of his job after 17 years as the host of The Tonight Show. And really, the part that sucks the most is that he was kicked out. Nothing wrong with ratings. Nothing wrong with him. NBC just wanted to move things along, apparently. Move them along where is hard to say. But I guess they know what they're doing. After all, their network has been in last place for the past few years, but maybe this will be the one decision that finally turns things around! (Of course it won't be the magic decision, but there's nothing wrong with spreading a little false hope and empty encouragement.)But here's the thing: Everyone acts like he's going all Johnny Carson on us and will never be seen or heard from again until it's in the form of an obituary. That's not the case. Actually, I'd be willing to bet that more people will be seeing more of him more often because all they're doing with him is moving him to a different time slot. An earlier time slot. Seems that since those hour long dramas which used to fill up the 10pm slot over there at NBC were so expensive to produce, they decided that they'd have Jay do a show that sounds pretty much identical to what he's doing now, just an hour and a half earlier is all.

I happen to think that it's a brilliant move. I enjoy a late night talk show. Jay is a pleasant guy and pretty funny in a predictable/traditional sort of way. I really like Letterman. He's hilarious in an predictable/non-traditional sort of way. (AND on Dave's show, Drew Barrymore once flashed him! Not many opportunities to see a fine pair of perky young breasts on The Tonight Show, that's for sure!) But the thing with Letterman is that the damn thing starts at 12:30am! Who am I? Elvira? I'm always amazed at how many people watch his show because it's on so dang late. It's an hour long, that keeps you up until 1:30am! Do you people not work? Why don't you have jobs? Are you still living in your parents basement? I don't get it.

So having Jay on at 10pm I think is great and I hope it works out for him. And Conan O'Brien is taking over The Tonight Show hosting duties starting tomorrow and I hope that works out well for him too. Because all of it kind of got me thinking about how long it took us to come up with a decent late night talk show line up that has been fairly stable for quite some time now. It wasn't always like this. We didn't always have Jay and Dave and Conan to rely on. There were a bunch of late night talk shows that were just crap and were, thankfully and mercifully cancelled rather quickly. But man, did they suck!

Dateline 1989. "The Pat Sajak Show". Yes. Pat Sajak. Of "R S T L N E" fame. The host of 'Wheel of Fortune.' That Pat Sajak. Pat tried his hand at the late night scene for a while there. And when I say 'for a while' I mean both the length of time that his show was on the air AND the length of each episode. It was 90 minutes long! 90 minutes! Of Pat Sajak! Did anyone not notice that 'Wheel' is a mere 30 minutes? With commercials, we're talking 22-23 minutes. Figure camera time divided three ways between Pat, Vanna and the contestants and you're looking at 7 minutes face time on camera each! But for some inexplicable reason, someone thought that what America needed was almost 13 times more Pat Sajak! Why? Why would we want that?! He talks to each contestant on 'Wheel' for what? 30 seconds? Why would anyone think that he'd be really good at filling up the other 88 1/2 minutes of a 90 minute show where the host interviews people? Maybe if the show had rotating guests that just came through on a conveyor belt and he could say a few words as they glided past his desk, maybe that would have been more comfortable for him. Short of that, it was pretty much doomed from the start.

There was 'The Magic Hour' with host Magic Johnson. That lasted for 40 horrible shows over an unbearably long span of 8 weeks. Naturally, one would think that if someone used to be a remarkable championship NBA player that they would be a natural choice to host a talk show! There's just so much talking and conversational interactions between players on the court throughout an entire NBA game, he should have been a natural, right?

Yeah, not so much. But you know what the problem was, right? Exactly! That not enough black actors and actresses would commit to go on the show and instead preferred to go on Leno or Letterman, that is correct and that is why it failed. Wait. That's not wha....Oooohhhh. That was Magic's reason for the failure. OK. So what I'm really saying is: It just sucked.

40 shows? That's it? Well, even with 40 shows, at least he garnered some ratings! Unlike John McEnroe who, unbeknownst to me or my memory, had a talk show in 2004. While it technically lasted for 6 months, it averaged somewhere right around about 75,000 viewers per night. No, I did not forget a zero. Seventy-five thousand. That's it. His Nielsen Rating number? 0.00. That's pretty sad. Then again, giving him a show in the first place was pretty sad to start with. But I guess there must be something within producers everywhere that just makes them think that if someone used to be a successful athlete that they would be a natural at hosting a late night talk show. Hey! Producers! I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Those journalism degrees and communications degrees that a large percentage of professional athletes (the ones that even bothered to finish college) have? Yeah, they don't mean anything. Those are just the easiest majors for athletes to declare, so they do. They didn't learn anything from it. Obviously! Look at Magic and McEnroe!

Another failed attempt at a late night talk show that could last longer than six months was a venture by a one Keenen Ivory Wayans of "In Living Color" and of Now Defunct Talk Show fame. According to the show was "...a party-themed talk show with a hip, urban edge. The set resembled a nightclub and the atmosphere was rowdy. The show wasn't hip enough, as it was canceled within the year." "Within the year" seems pretty generous, as I can only find reference to there being just eleven shows. ELEVEN? I think milk sitting on your counter lasts longer than eleven days. I'm pretty sure that the same milk would last longer than eleven hours, which would be the total amount of time the show spent on the air. If you can't outlast a dairy product, you really need to rethink what you're doing. For reals.

The biggest disaster of the failed late night scene would have to be, hands down, Chevy Chase. Chevy is a likeable enough guy when he's doing the one thing that doesn't make him unlikeable and that is not being himself. Apparently, Chevy as Chevy is not fun and people don't like it and they don't like him. It would seem that even Chevy doesn't like Chevy when he's just being Chevy, as he never seemed comfortable, his hands were noticeably tremoring when he was interviewing (and I use that term loosely) guests and yet somehow, he still managed to make it to 25 shows. No telling how many viewers made it through the same 25 shows, but I'm guessing not many. Oh, wait! Unless the crew working on the show counts as viewers! If that's the case, then them! If you'd like to witness this disaster for yourself, check it out on YouTube, via that link.

So Chevy only made it through 25 shows. Keenen made it through at least 11 shows (possibly more, but I can't verify that. I CAN verify the pathetic 11. 12 and over? No one's talkin'!). Could there be any show that would be worse than those two? Could there have been a late night show that lasted less than 25 or, worse yet, less than 11 shows? Is that possible? That would have had to have been a horrible show! The host would have had to have been less than human or not human at all in order for something to do so poorly that it would get pulled after, say, only seven shows, right? Is there a former late night talk show host who bombed that bad? There is! And my less-than-human assumption/assessment is right on, too! Drum roll, please. (Do I look like I have a budget around here? Of course not. Get two pencils and pound them on your desktop yourself. Wish I could do more, but, I can't because I don't want to.)

The host!

Of the!

Shortest run!

Of a late night talk show!


In the entire world!

In the entire universe!



Wait. ALF? ALF as in 'Alien Life Form'? THAT ALF?



And the really frightening thing about this venture? It wasn't in the late 1980s or right after ALF's 4 year run on network TV ended in 1990. No, this was in 2004! WTF?! Why the 14 year wait? Because the producers thought that every almost fifteen years or so that public get a real hankerin' for some ALF? I don't think we do! Perhaps they were hoping that the folks who actually watched ALF in the 1980s would now be old enough to stay up kind of late and would want to rekindle the warmth of their youth by watching ALF. I don't know what they were thinking, but whatever it was, it was wrong. All wrong.

'ALF's Hit Talk Show' aired its first episode on TV Land on July 7, 2004 and was promptly placed on hiatus until November, 2004, proving that it was not only unpopular, but it also had a misleading name. After the first episode hit the airwaves it was announced that six more episodes would air weekly! But not until November! Why someone thought it was a good idea to let this notion simmer in the brains of anyone who even knew it was on is beyond me. But after those six, it was over. According to, the cameo appearances by 'celebrities' ended after the second show, having only cameo-ed Joan Rivers, Henry Winkler and someone named Jack Sheldon who, as it turns out, was the voice for the "I'm Just a Bill" and "Conjunction Junction" productions of Schoolhouse Rock lore. Go figure.

ALF's guests ranged from Drew Carey and Dennis Franz on his first show to Tom Arnold, a fitting guest for the last show. In between were a bunch of people who just happened to be walking by the studio when they were getting ready to tape and they pulled them in and made them the 'Guest Star'. That's all I can figure. And what talk show host would be complete without a sidekick/announcer guy who has milked that aspect of his career for the better part of 35+ years? And when you think sidekick/announcer guy, that's right, you think of Ed McMahon! Behold!

Again, if you find yourself sitting on a stage with a 1980s B-List puppet creature that isn't even human who is hosting a talk show, you really need to take some time alone and think really hard about the choices you've made to get you on the other side of the desk from ALF. Especially if you find yourself saying, "Heeeeerrrrreeeee's AAALF!!"

But you know, when I asked a friend if she knew of this phenomenon, she absolutely did! She knew about Ed! She knew ALF had a coffee cup and a desk! I didn't ask her how she knew this, as some things between friends are better left unsaid. But when I said that, had I known it was on when it was on, I'm pretty sure I would have thought the end of civilization as we know it was near. She explained to me in all seriousness that the reason that ALF didn't last more than 7 episodes is because "he was ahead of his time" and "people weren't ready for him." ::: blink ::: ::: blink ::: (She has been under the weather lately. Perhaps the fever got to her!)

But maybe she's right. Maybe humans just aren't to the point where they can process an alien puppet (that has a penchant for ingesting cats) as taking them through the late hours once a week. Maybe (God willing) we never will be. But we don't have to have any cerebral transformation at all in order to continue to enjoy Jay Leno AND get to bed a little bit earlier. We just won't be able to do it until September when his new show hits the air. Until then, well, just be glad it isn't ALF filling the time slot for three months.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stabby Joe and the Mangled Manhood

The Swedes are an interesting bunch. They have a legal system that is a bit more subjective and left up to a bit more interpretation that ours here in the US. And my favorite source of all news that is Swedish but in English, The Local, has an example of just that. It involves a man, a woman, a dog, a stabbing, a biting and, of course, a scrotum.

It would seem that a 32-year old man had been found "...guilty of stabbing his ex-girlfriend twice from behind with a knife." (This was on or about March 31st, so it would seem that the whole processing of the criminally accused is quite rapid in Sweden.) At some apartment somewhere in southern Sweden, the man attacked the woman with a knife. After Stabby Joe had burst into action, the woman's Rottweiler burst into his own bit of action. 'Bit' being the key word there as that's just what the dog did. Bit. Bit ol' Stabby Joe there right in the groin and "...succeeded in inflicting serious damage on the 32-year-old's scrotum." Yay, Fido!

Now that's the kind of dog that you want! One that won't be messing around when it's time to defend its owner. And one that won't be trying to work its way up to becoming violent by starting off with a sternly worded growl. Nope, you want one that springs into action immediately by savagely gnawing at the attackers nether region as if it had been dipped in au jus. Way to go sharp-toothed dog!

So what's the downside here? Well, if you're the guy who just got his grundle ground, that's a serious downside! But if you're not him, well, it sounds like an upside to me. (And really, if you knew that there was a pretty good chance that you'd get your penis pulverized if you were to stab someone, wouldn't that be reason enough to double think all of the stabbing? It sounds like a marvelous deterrent if you're asking me. It's so unfortunate our legal system doesn't allow 'retaliation' to be included as part of a 'punishment'. It really is quite a shame.) But there is another downside.

The fact that genitalia gnawing occurred was reason enough for the judge in this case to find him guilty of "...stabbing his ex-girlfriend twice from behind with a knife" and then "...sentenced the man to one and a half years in jail for aggravated assault" and added that "...he would have received a longer sentence had he not been severely bitten in course of the melee." Um, what?

Correct. Because the guy who initiated the stabbing of the ex-girlfriend in the back also ended up with his schlong in shreds, that meant that he should receive a lesser sentence than if he had done all of the stabbing and not had a large and angry dog maul his manhood. Mind you, the dog got stabbed twice also! What in the hell is wrong with that judge?! Seriously. Even if you were inclined to give someone a lesser sentence because they had been Bobbitt-ed, you're only going to go with a year and half? For someone who stabbed his ex-girlfriend in the back?! That seems awfully lenient, below the belt biting or not.

The article even states that "The court rejected both the self-defence claim and the assertion that he had not attacked the woman with a knife." So, the court knows he didn't act in self defense. The court knows that he did attack the woman. And yet he only sentences the asshat to a year and a half in jail because the victims dog went, well...went all dog on the guy?! UN-believable.

If you're in the act of committing a crime and you happen to get injured during said crime, I have zero to less than zero sympathy for you. Don't want to get hurt? Don't commit a crime! Pretty simple that way. But if you do get hurt, don't expect any sort of leniency due to your injuries suffered due to your own jackassery. Oh, unless you're in Sweden. And in that case, wear a cup!

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Don't Throw Rocks And Keep Your Clothes On, Too

I've professed many times before that there is someone for everyone out there. The unfortunate part of that reality is that if you're an idiot, that means there's someone out there who is just as dense as you are. The tricky part is going to be for the two of you to somehow overcome your stupidity in order to bump into each other and live numbly and dumbly ever after.

Unfortunately, these two morons here, Joshua Sizemore and Amanda Madison, did manage to find each other. They also managed to find one of the stupidest ways to get each other to take their clothes off. That would be by playing a "stripping" game called (according to Joshua Sizemore, age old enough to know better, 23) "Sex Me" that involved looking for cars with a headlight out. The first person to see a car with only one headlight would blurt out "Sex me" and the other person would have to take off an article of clothing. There does not appear to be anything in the rules which say that this type of game needs to be played from an overpass and nor does it say anything about throwing rocks off of the overpass as simply an "on the side" aspect of the game.

Aside from it sounding like a stupid game in the first place (have they never heard of strip poker? It's overpass free!), what in the hell does seeing a car without a headlight have to do with yelling "Sex me!"? I am failing to see the connection between one headlight and sex. Is only one headlight sexy? Is having one headlight the international symbol for 'take off your clothes'? One has nothing to do with the other. I mean, take Slug Bug for instance. First person who sees a VW bug yells "Slug Bug!" and then they slug the other person (preferably as hard as they can, with little to no regard for the rule that says you're not supposed to hit that hard) in the arm. (Or the face. It usually depended on how closely Mom or Dad was watching us on our torturously long drives on whatever family kidnappingvacation we were shuttled off on.) Now THAT makes sense. One headlight? An overpass? Yelling "Sex me!"? Taking off an article of clothing? (Which, I'll point out again, doesn't have anything to do with the instruction "sex me". If you wanted to be "sexed" that badly, you'd just take off all of your clothes for no reason whatsoever and yell it. Sure, it sounds extremely slutty, but at least THAT would make sense!) Yeah, none of that makes sense.

Fortunately, they were arrested, but unfortunately it was not before this pair of geniuii (plural of genius, that is correct) managed to hit FOURTEEN cars with their rocks. Now, Amanda claims that they weren't trying to hit cars, so I guess that would mean that we're just supposed to believe that they got really unlucky that they DID hit that many cars while also getting really lucky that they didn't kill anyone. Y'all might want to claim you weren't trying to hit any cars, but considering fourteen of them got hit, you certainly weren't trying to NOT hit any of them either.

And by the way, when they were arrested, little snowflake Amanda there was in her underwear. Aside from her partner obviously being one with a keen eye, my God, Washington. How many of y'all are driving around with only one headlight in order for this chick to end up mostly unclad?

Somehow some of the local news channels, one being King5 News managed to get these two to do an on camera interview with them. Some of the questions posed to Amanda were things like: Could you tell that you had hit cars? (Why yes! Yes they could! And for someone who claims that they weren't trying to do that, I guess you two just thought of that as an added bonus to the late night, freeway overpass stripping game you were so engrossed in at the time?)

As far as how she felt about everything that had happened, she said, ""It was just a dumb little prank I did. It's not funny at all. Fourteen people got injured because of me. And it shouldn't have been that way." What way should it have been, cupcake? Are you unaware that you had complete control over how this turned out? You should be! But I see you sitting there all red eyed and teary, and you don't strike me as being nearly the box of rocks that your boyfriend is and I have the feeling you are and you were very well aware of what you were doing. Those tears don't seem to be remorseful for what you've done as much as they seem to be regretful that you got caught.

But back to the fourteen cars with the fourteen rocks that were the size of fourteen baseballs. Where does one get that many rocks (or pieces of concrete, cement, whatever it was that might make it a member of the rock family) up on an overpass? It's not like it was some mountainside tunnel or anything. It was just an overpass. Is it crumbling so badly that you can just rip off chunks of it and launch them off the side into oncoming traffic? One would hope not, but the rocks came from somewhere.

In an interview with another local news station, this time
KOMO News, Joshua does not strike me as the brightest bulb on the tree. And while he doesn't strike me as a complete moron, he definitely does strike me as someone who has lost a few hundred thousand brain cells over the course of his existence and who is definitely closer to "complete moron" than not.

"I didn't think it would kill, COULD kill somebody. I wasn't aiming for...death."

Reporter: "You didn't realize you could have killed somebody?"

Joshua: "I could?"

Reporter: "Yeah. You didn't realize that?"

Joshua: "I didn't realize it was deadly."

When asked what he would say to the people who had their cars damaged by the rocks dropped from the overpass by these two incredibly asinine individuals, Joshua indicated that he wished he could go back in time and just stay at his home and drink his beer as opposed to drink his beer and then go out to the bridge and participate in all of the shenanigans that followed. (Oh, what was that? Alcohol was involved? Shocking!) He also said that he wished that he could tell the people that he "was sorry and have them believe me." That sounds to me like Joshua has had to apologize to others for things that he's done BEFORE this little incident. He also said that he wanted them to know that he "...just wanted to go and have some fun with Amanda. I didn't mean for rocks to get involved." :::: sigh ::::

I'll give them that, even though I'm questioning their overall reason for appearing remorseful, both do seem to be apologetic. And they don't seem to be making excuses for their behavior either, which is quite stunning, really. So do I still think they need to go to jail? Yeah. They do. And they both seem rather resigned to the fact that they're likely going to end up in jail for at least a while. They've each been charged with 14 felonies. And Amanda just turned 18 last month. Welcome to adulthood! Here are your felonies.

I guess I wish all idiots could be as seemingly remorseful as these two are and I guess I wish that all idiots could at least learn something from their stupidity. Hopefully it won't be learning through the inadvertent death of an innocent motorist who just happened to be driving by when two drunk, half-naked halfwits decide to launch rocks off of an overpass. But sadly, the only way that most idiots ever learn anything is by acting idiotic (it is of their nature; it's right their in the name: Idiot) and then getting in trouble, at which point they learn why what they were doing was, in fact, idiotic.

But as far as these two idiots go? I'm just glad they didn't kill anyone. (Video of Amanda's interview below.)

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Top 50 Comedy Catchphrases With Ridiculous Bonus Categories

As promised and/or teased, here is the complete list of the 'Top 50 Funniest TV Catchphrases", some of which are not funny and some of which are not catchphrases. But it IS a list, so they got at least one out of three right.

Top 50 comedy catchphrases

50. “Hello, Newman” from “Seinfeld”

49. “Missed it by that much” from “Get Smart”

48. “Yeah, that’s the ticket” from “Saturday Night Live”

47. “God’ll get you for that” from “Maude”

46. “Hey, Hey, Hey!” from “What’s Happening”

45. “Holy crap!” from “Everybody Loves Raymond”

44. “Let me show you something” from “In Living Color”

43. “Nip it” from “The Andy Griffith Show”

42. “Thank you beddy much” from “Taxi”

41. “Do you wanna hug it out” from “Entourage”

40. “Watch it sucka” from “Sanford and Son”

39. “Jane you ignorant slut” from “Saturday Night Live”

38. “Mom liked you best” from “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”

37. “Sit on it” from “Happy Days”

36. “Now cut that out” from “The Jack Benny Comedy Program”

35. “I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl…” from “Newhart”

34. “What you see is what you get” from “The Flip Wilson Show”

33. “I’ve made a huge mistake” from “Arrested Development”

32. “I know nothing” from “Hogan’s Heroes”

31. “Here come de judge” from “Laugh In”

30. “You look marvelous” from “Saturday Night Live”

29. “I’m comin’ to join ya Elizabeth” from “Sanford and Son”

28. “Would you believe” from “Get Smart”

27. “Up your nose with a rubber hose” from “Welcome Back Kotter”

26. “Ohhhh Rob” from “The Dick Van Dyke Show”

25. “Kiss my grits” from “Alice"

24. “Nanu, Nanu” from “Mork and Mindy”

23. “Don’t be ridiculous” from “Perfect Strangers”

22. “I’m Gumby, damn it” from “Saturday Night Live”

21. “No soup for you” from “Seinfeld”

20. “One of these days, pow right in the kisser!” from “The Honeymooners”

19. “Did I do that?” from “Family Matters”

18. “Will you stifle” from “All in the Family”

17. “Eat my shorts” from “The Simpsons”

16. “Hated it” from “In Living Color”

15. “Well isn’t that special” from “Saturday Night Live”

14. “Sock it to me” from “Laugh In”

13. “We were on a break” from “Friends”

12. “That’s what she said” from “The Office”

11. “It’s going to be legendary” from “How I Met Your Mother”

10. “Homey don’t play dat” from “In Living Color”

9. “Excuuse me” from “Saturday Night Live”

8. “Lucy, you’ve got some splainin’ to do” from “I Love Lucy” (even though he never said it quite that way – the closest he came was “Lucy, splain” and “All right, start splainin’”)

7. “Oh my god! They killed Kenny” from “South Park”

6. “Burn” from “That ‘70s Show”

5. “We are two wild and crazy guys” from “Saturday Night Live”

4. “Ayyyy” from “Happy Days”

3. “How you doin’” from “Friends”

2. “D’oh” from “The Simpsons”

1. “Yada, yada, yada” from “Seinfeld”

Top 3 reality TV catchphrases

3. “The tribe has spoken” from “Survivor”
2. “That’s hot” from “The Simple Life"
1. “You’re fired” from “The Apprentice”

I suppose those three are just fine. After all, how many reality shows are there to choose from? Wait. Never mind. There just aren't that many with catchphrases that we'd have to choose from is what I think I'm saying. Seriously, when was the last time The Simple Life was on the air?

Top 3 game shows catchphrases

3. “Come on down” from “The Price is Right”
2. “Deal or no deal” from “Deal or No Deal”
1. “Is that your final answer” from “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”

But this list is all wrong! Anything from Deal or No Deal does not belong in the Top Three of this category. Somewhere on the list? Sure, I suppose. Top Three? I don't know, you tell me. Are you willing to bump "Survey says!" for "Deal or no deal?" Of course you're not. And to not have something from either Wheel of Fortune ("R S T L N E") or Jeopardy! ("This is Jeopardy!") seems like an abomination.

Top 3 science fiction catchphrases

3. “You’ve just crossed over into ‘The Twilight Zone’” from “The Twilight Zone”
2. “Trust no one” from “X-Files”
1. “Scotty, beam us up” from “Star Trek”

Again, leaving off something as iconic as "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!" is just wrong.

Top 3 action adventure catchphrases

3. “One other thing…” from “Columbo”
2. “De plane! De plane!” from “Fantasy Island”
1. “Who loves ya, baby” from “Kojak”

Let me get this straight. You're going to include "Da plane! Da plane!" as uttered weekly by the vertically impaired Tattoo, but you're going to omit "Let's be careful out there" from Hill Street Blues? Are you kidding me? Who are you people?

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They're Not All Funny & They're Not All Catchphrases

I hate it when there is an article, particularly a list, the purports to give you a compilation of the X-number of Best/Funniest/Worst/Saddest/etc. blank of All Time/X-Year/Decade/Century/etc., but then gets it horribly, horribly wrong all the way through. It's even worse when the error riddled and poorly conceived list really had potential to be an excellent piece of journalistic brilliance. Instead it ends up being pretty crappy and really disappointing. The list of TVs 50 Funniest Catchphrases is an example of that sort of abomination.

Compiled by The Paley Center and NBC, "TV's 50 Funniest Phrases" aired on Wednesday and what you got was a list of catchphrases that are a) not always funny, and b) not always catchphrases. As you can expect (as is the case with any crappy list), the collection seemed to be heavily weighed down by NBC shows. Shocking, I know!

First of all, the list gets one of the 'catchphrases' completely wrong when it lists number 8 as "Lucy, you've got some splainin' to do" from I Love Lucy as supposedly said by Ricky Ricardo. Ricky never said, "Lucy, you've got some splainin' to do." Ricky said, "Lucy! Splain!" Or "All right...start splainin!" (For those of you unversed in Ricardo-ese, 'splain' is Ricardo-ese for 'explain'.) And really...number eight? For reals? It's funny, I'll totally give it that, but I don't know if it's Number Eight funny. At Number TWO they have "D'oh!" from The Simpsons. Again, while funny, I'm not sure it's Number Two funny.

The other Simpsons catchphrase that made it on the list is "Eat my shorts" at Number 17. Noticeably absent from the list was "Don't have a cow, man." I think I'd rank "Don't have a cow, man" instead of "Eat my shorts." This list IS titled Funniest catchphrases. "Don't have a cow" is funnier than eating ones shorts. And for that matter, so is "Aye, caramba!" But if you're going to leave out Mr. Burns sneering, "Excellent", you're going to have some splainin' to do. (Speaking of Mr. Burns (who looks strikingly like Prince Philip), "Release the hounds!" is one that I'd love to be able to say should be included in the Top 50, but for some reason, I know that it can't be. I don't know why that is, but I do know it to be true...funny as it may be and it certainly is!)

They've got "Nanu-nanu" from Mork and Mindy clocking in at Number 24. I don't know that "Nanu-nanu" is funny. I watched Mork and Mindy! I thought it was quite funny! (But even as a child, I knew that when they brought in Jonathan Winters to play Mork and Mindy's baby that hatched out of a giant egg (the laying of which was never fully explained) and then aged backwards, that was the time that the show had jumped the yet-to-be proverbial shark.) But what I don't understand is why-oh-why, as kids, that nanu-nanu handshake was so damn hard to do!! Are children's small little hands unable to easily part fingers between the F-U finger and the ring finger due to lack of full development or what? When we finally mastered that, we thought we were the coolest! (You find lots of things to do when growing up without the Internet, lemme tell ya.)

"I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl" from Newhart came in at Number 35, which is a shame because just reading that made me laugh! Granted, that might be because my Dad had a stepbrother and both of their names were Larry, so the humor I find in it might have something to do with that, but I still find it funnier than Number-35-funny.

"Sock it to me" from Laugh In was Number Fourteen. I'll give that one catchphrase status, but I don't know if it qualifies for 'funny catchphrase' status. If you're going to include Laugh In (and you have to when talking about the 'Funniest' of something. It's right there in the name: LAUGH In! Its name denotes the funny!), why not go with Artie Johnson as a one German soldier Wolfgang, from behind some object, usually foliage, saying, "Veeeerrrrryyyyy interesting."? Why not that one?!

There were seven, yes seven, SEVEN 'funny catchphrases' from Saturday Night Live origins. Ahem...

48. "Yeah, that's the ticket."
39. "Jane, you ignorant slut."
30. "You look mah-velous."
22. "I'm Gumby, dammit."
15. "Well isn't that special?!"
9. "Excuuuuuuse me!"
5. "We are two wild and crazy guys!"

Now, I'm not too sure how I feel about having SNL quotes included in this list in the first place. I mean, it's a TV show, but it's a variety show. I differentiate between SNL and Laugh In because with the Laugh In phrase "Sock it to me", it was heard by a variety of people on various episodes. With SNL, the phrases were gone when the characters were gone. NOT that they're not funny. "Jane, you ignorant slut" is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. But I just don't know if they go in this list. (But if you are going to include SNL quotes, I would have chosen "Could it be...Satan?!" over the other Church Lady saying, "Well isn't that special?!") And I would not have included the Gumby quote on this list at all.)

But left out of the already questionable SNL section would be "Schwing!" and "Not!" "Not!" really caught on in mainstream dialog and is still popular to this day. "Schwing!" really caught on too, but then our parents figured out what it meant and that sort of hampered it from getting deeply embedded in culture-speak (though it is loosely embedded and will continue to be so).

There are some that are noticeably and inexcusably absent from this list. Where, may I ask, is "Dy-no-mite!"? Huh?! "Dy-no-mite!" is nowhere to be found. That was, for some inexplicable reason, extremely funny. Nope. Not there. Another noticeably absent catchphrase is "Whachoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" Gone! Not there! Not included! IM-possible! How can you leave that one out?? And you're going to have "Hello, Newman" come in at Number Fifty, but you're not going to include "Hello!" as said by Squiggy on Laverne and Shirley?! Oh, the humanity! Someone has some splainin' to do.

But seriously, how on earth can you be talking 'catchphrases' and the funniest ones at that, and leave out Janice Litman. Actually, Janice Litman Goralnik (née Hosenstein). Are you asking who? Trust me. You know who she is. And her catchphrase was actually that. A catchphrase. And every episode that she was on, you could count on her saying it in her high pitched, nasally, oh-so-annoying way that she did and it would make you laugh EVERY TIME. Come on! Janice! From 'Friends'! "Oh. My. God." EVERY. Time. Still funny. Still. Funny. I am glad that they did get the other catchphrases from 'Friends' right, those being Ross and his constant bemoaning that "We were on a break!" And Joey's timeless pickup line (which would work on me) of "How YOU doin'?" Both excellent. Both funny. Very. Funny.

But here's the main problem with I have with this list: The Number One Funniest Catchphrase is "Yada, yada, yada" from Seinfeld. I watched Seinfeld. I loved Seinfeld. "Yada, yada, yada" was NOT, repeat, NOT a catchphrase. It made an appearance ONCE! ONE time! In ONE show! It wasn't said on any other episodes (with the possible exception of the final episode in which they brought back every character that ever stepped foot on Seinfeld set, so it's possible they brought back every one liner that managed to catch on in pop culture as well). You can't call something a "catchphrase" if it's only said in ONE episode! That's NOT a catchphrase! It's FUNNY, but not a catchphrase! You know what it IS?! That's right! A PHRASE! Just a phrase!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Seinfeld-ism, what are you? Living under a rock? Basically, it's an off shoot or a synonym for blah-blah-blah, a phrase used to indicate that someone said something, but the content of what they said is unimportant to the story being told, so blah-blah-blah is inserted where the insignificant dialogue would have been. Personally, I prefer wah-wah-wah over blah-blah-blah and yada, yada, yada. (And no, I don't know why I hyphenate two of those and comma-ize the other, so just hold your emails, people.)

You know, what I find hilarious about the phrase "yada, yada, yada" is that people will shorten it to "yada, yada" when talking ABOUT the phrase, but when actually USING the phrase, the third "yada" is necessary. How weird is that? Like in the ONE Seinfeld episode which showcased "yada, yada, yada", George said, "You can't yada yada sex." To which Elaine replied, "I've yada yada'ed sex." I just find it odd, is all. Very odd.

And they had a 2-hour 'special' on NBC to fill air time with this crap? The list itself was painful enough just reading, I can't imagine having to watch this atrocity take shape. To watch it would have been akin to waterboarding! (All right, maybe not THAT bad. Oh, FINE! It's not even CLOSE to waterboarding! It's nothing like it! There! Happy?!) I don't know who the tool was who came up with this list, but you can't have the Number One thing on a list not even be one of the things the list is about! Everyone knows THAT!!

Well, almost everyone.

The entire list can be viewed in the post following this one. I'm sure that I left out some of the ones that were noticeably left out, so feel free to let me know which ones those were. Also included, as a completely idiotic bonus, will be the other inane lists (which consist of THREE each) of top reality TV, game show, science-fiction and action-adventure catchphrases. They got those wrong too.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Move Over, Aretha's Hat. Kate's Hair is Here!

Sometime within the last three weeks, another reality star debacle was born. This time in the form of Jon and Kate Gosselin from TLC's Jon & Kate Plus Eight. Jon & Kate are the parents of twin girls and a set of sextuplets. Naturally, that sounds so fascinating to no one that TLC decided to make it into a reality series and have cameras film their every move. And 'every move' for Kate would consist of her being a harpy shrew and talking to Jon like he's a mildly retarded four year old. And if you believe the tabloids, 'every move' for Jon would include having an affair with a 23-year old school teacher, an allegation which he half heartedly denies, but does so with firm wording.

I don't know if he's cheating on her. I don't know if she's cheating on him. But I do know that when parents don't get along, it's hard on the kids. VERY hard. You can have a child with a perfectly pleasant disposition with married parents and then one day, when the wife decides she doesn't want to be married anymore and does the divorce thing, the child's pleasant disposition will vanish and it will be replaced with an oft crying small child. And that's just in the private sector. I'd have to imagine that it's even harder on kids who are in the public eye (and not by choice) to go through it.

And that whole sentiment really has nothing to do with this post, but it had to be said. What also has to be said is "What is with Kate's hair?" It's like she couldn't make up her mind what she wanted so she just chose a little of each. It's as if there was a buffet at Supercuts. A little bit of long. A little bit of short. A little bit of bangs. A little bit of spikey. Kind of Flock of Seagulls meets Pete Wentz.

I thought it was possible that it was just me thinking that the hair was...well...kinda different, but not so much in a great way. So I thought I'd see how the hair looked on some other folks. You know....just to try it out and see.

Here's Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair with Kate's hair.

One massive, overpopulated family deserves another, so here's Octomom Nadya Suleman with Kate's hair.

Might as well go overseas too. Here's Susan Boyle with Kate's hair.

The yellow M&M being delicious with Kate's hair!

Brad Pitt being not as delicious with Kate's hair.

For those running in political circles, Aretha Franklin and her hat with Kate's hair!

Michelle Obama with Kate's hair meeting the Queen.

Michelle Obama with Kate's hair meeting the Queen with Kate's hair.

President Barry saving the country with Kate's hair.

Look for the same people that got their hair cut like Jennifer Aniston's during the first and second seasons of 'Friends' to be rushing out to get 'the Kate'. Soon.

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