A Literally Apocalyptic Tragedy

Folks, I know I normally don’t do this, but I’d like to get a little serious here. There is an unspeakable tragedy developing in one of the most backwards and impoverished areas of the western hemisphere. I’m speaking, of course, about NBC1.

The quickest rundown I am capable of: NBC, afraid that Conan might leave for another network, offered him The Tonight Show six years ago. Leno, for whatever reason, accepted the arrangement. As the appointed hour drew nearer, Leno started to get antsy and realized he did not, in fact, want to retire. NBC, afraid he might leave for another network, offered him a prime time comedy show, five nights a week at 10pm, effectively obliterating almost a third of their prime time programming. This did not bother NBC because a one hour comedy show is much cheaper to produce than virtually any scripted show. This new (idiotic) and revolutionary (greedy and cynical) move proved a failure as no one tuned in to the new show. Now, NBC afraid to lose either comedian, has proposed that Leno move back to 11:35 for one half hour, Conan be pushed back to 12:052, Jimmy Fallon following suit at 1:05 and Carson Daly learning to embrace the freegan lifestyle. This was not amenable to Conan. And this is where things stand.

NBC, trying to defend its shoddy treatment of O’Brien says its basically Conan’s fault. While it is true that if The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien were a ratings monster none of this would be happening, it is a “specious argument” to say that this is all happening because Conan’s ratings are too low. Fuck Dick Ebersoll in his lying mouth. I’m sorry, that was probably too harsh.

The problem is not The Tonight Show‘s ratings. They were low, but not unreasonably so for a fledgling show. The problem is the horrible ratings for The Jay Leno Show. Actually, that’s not even true. The real problem is the horrible ratings for the local news on NBC affiliates. The real problem is there was one highly coveted show and, at least as far as NBC was concerned, two qualified men who wanted it. And instead of being a man and comitting either way, NBC tried to have an unholy threesome where it fucked everyone else fast and hard and then had to get up early the next morning for a meeting.3 NBC’s solution: create two Tonight Shows.4

Unlike a lot of Conan fans5 who have complained about this debacle and yet didn’t follow him to the 11:35 slot, I stuck around. I missed two episodes in October and possibly one in December, but those few marks against me aside, and of course, taking into account the literally thousands of episodes of Late Night with Conan O’Brien I’ve seen over the years, I think I, an avowed Conhead, possess some expertise on the matter.6 People say that he’s not as funny as he used to be, that he dumbed down his comedy, and I disrespectfully disagree.

Conan on Late Night was clearly in the vain of his predecessor, Letterman, the previous late night scandal holder. Conan on the The Tonight Show was clearly inspired by the man who made that show what it is, Johnny Carson. It was more spontaneous than Leno and less zany than Letterman. It was its own.

Did the show’s tone change in the transition? Absolutely and quite obviously, so again, fuck Dick Ebersoll in his lying mouth. Many of the best parts of Conan’s old show were skits involving a sizeable chunk of the writing staff, notably Brian Stack (Frankenstein Wastes a Minute of Our Time, The Ghost Crooner, The Interrupter), Jon Glaser (Pubes), Brian McCann (Preparation H Raymond, S & M Abe Lincoln), Kevin Dorff (well, everything else) and, of course, Rober Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Clutch Cargo). The idea for the new show was to ease into that and give the audience time to adjust to Conan before they had to deal with the likes of the Fed-Ex Pope and Cactus Chef Playing ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ on the Flute. Can you blame them? But Conan, with Andy Richter’s help, was still up to the task of entertaining us while we fuck and/or brush our teeth.7

While the skits may not have been as funny as in the past, pound for pound Conan is still the best, most quick witted interviewer around. Not as boring as Leno, or as mean as Letterman, or as hard to understand as Ferguson, more charming than Kimmel and funnier than Fallon, Conan is just plain good at his job. Stephen Colbert may one day give him a run for his money, but the constraints of his persona and the kind of of guests best suited to The Colbert Report, ensure CoCo comes out on top.

The important thing to remember here is that Leno didn’t succeed right out of the gate. He consistently lost his time slot to Letterman, because, for a short blessed while, everyone else seemed to realize how cheap and safe and unfunny he was. Until a British actor just had to get a beej from a hooker. But NBC let Leno figure out his own unique flavor of tepid mediocrity. It’s just a shame that Leno and NBC could not afford Conan the same courtesy.

If they erred too much on the side of caution, so be it. If they confused and scared flyover country, fine, give them time to fine tune, but don’t tell me they didn’t consider “middle America.” So which is it? Is it too commercial to be good or is it too crazy for your precious Demonites?8 He’s damned if he does and he’s damned if he does thirty minutes later. I guess Conan’s just too beautiful and strange for this world.

You will not find a single professional comedian, with one glaring and half-hearted exception, that will tell you Leno is funnier, or even a better talk show host than O’Brien. Every other late night talk show host, besides those who are scared they might lose their jobs, are on #teamcoco.9 Even his competition, Letterman, is on our side. Granted, there is some bad blood between him and Leno,10 and the cynic in me suspects he’d rather have the weaker competition11, but he’s had some of the best zingers at Leno’s expense these past few days.

In fact, you know what I’d really like to see even though it would be as pointless as it was reckless? Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels, Greg Daniels, Amy Poehler, Jim Gaffigan, Marc Maron, Jeff Garlin, Jack McBrayer, et al., people that (in my head at least) are friends and supporters of Conan, all coming together to at least publicly state how fucked up NBC’s handling of this situation has been.12 How NBC13 is just a shortsighted moron ruining anything it gets too involved in, a giant, backstabbing bully that doesn’t even know what it wants.

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But don’t just take my word for it.

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Also,


Although, I’m pretty sure Conan is polling higher than Barry these days.

So, it looks like tonight might be the last episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.14 If not tonight, then next week will almost certainly be Conan’s last. Who knows what NBC will air until the Winter Olympics, but when that’s over with, Leno will regain control of The Tonight Show.

If Leno, at the height of his powers was perfect and beat Letterman every night, fine. But let’s see how he does after that all that severe brain trauma he mysteriously incurred. How else to explain this.

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I guess Dick Clark’s not the only uncomfortable to watch stroke victim in late night.

And this is what someone has to spell out for me. If Leno had such abysmal ratings at 10, and he admitedly changed absolutely nothing from his version of “The Tonight Show”, why is everyone all of a sudden going to tune in to the exact same show at a later timeslot? Does America just hate Leno while they’re still digesting their dinner?15 Is there some strange alchemy that occurs at 11:35 on NBC that creates ratings gold?

Clearly not.

I love the magical and wishful thinking that leads NBC executives to think that it’s the timeslot and not the comedian that’s the problem. Hey, Jay Leno, we’re done with you. The future is now, old man! I know it’s a lot to hope for, but maybe America outgrew you. Also, does NBC not anticipate some sort of backlash when Leno resumes his duties as The Tonight Show host? Sure, Jay still has his fans, in nursing homes across the country, but even they know a raw deal when they see one.16

What will ultimately befall Conan? Don’t worry about him, he’ll be fine. I see great things just on the horizon.


Is that a FOX I spy?

Although, for purely selfish reasons, I do hope he stays in Los Angeles. I never got to see him in New York and I squandered the scant seven months I had with him. I’m sorry Conan, much like America, I took you for granted. You never really appreciate what you have until it’s gone.

Here’s hoping this was all just an elaborate plot to drive up Conan’s ratings. Where’s Hugh Grant when you need him?17


Fo’ life

  1. Sorry Haitians. Text ‘haiti’ to 90999! []
  2. Effectively making it the first hour of an even longer Today Show. []
  3. Probably with Comcast. []
  4. Fucking King Solomon over here. []
  5. Who still, in theory, have every right to their slightly less informed opinions. []
  6. That’s going right on my resume. []
  7. The next morning. Thank Fuck for DVRs. []
  8. People from Des Moines. Hey, if you have no demonym, you can’t complain. []
  9. Which is pretty unfair, since I’m pretty sure #teamjay is Mavis and whatever NBC intern taught Mavis what a twitter was. []
  10. Double granted, it is warranted bad blood. []
  11. Which assumes Conan is now the weaker of the two. []
  12. C’mon Funny or Die, get on that. []
  13. No Breaks for Conan. []
  14. No Mo Tonight Sho For CoCo? []
  15. Where exactly does Fourth Meal™ fit into this? []
  16. Assuming their glaucoma medication is working. So, if they’re not too high. []
  17. Sarah Palin just wasn’t enough this time. []

I wonder if he needs a drummer?

Looks like Caninus and Hatebeak have some stiff competition.

(via videogum)

A completely not frustrating game to productively spend your time playing

Exactly what I said it was. Go on and play, this should keep you busy while I figure out what the hell else to put up here.

12 Clever Monkey Girls

I’m not trying to start any conspiracies, so feel free to have me institutionalized,1 but if time travel tourism were possible then Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day would be the perfect day to do it.

Oh no, I may have said too much. And just when I was shirtlessly preparing a lovely breakfast for my girlfriend Sloane before we go to the Art Institute of Chicago. If I don’t make it tell Cameron I love him!

  1. Better not make any plans since you’re gonna have to join me after I blow your mind so hard. []

Racist is the new black

In contemporary America, calling someone a “racist” is now the worst insult you can hurl. I suppose this is progress from claiming that someone is black being the worst insult you can hurl1.


A bunch of really good guessers.

I’ve been meaning to write something about irony and humor and what happens when people aren’t quite cunning enough to understand irony and what their reactions are but this is an altogether new wrinkle I had yet to consider: when irony is unintentionally sincere. Is even the most dripping and obvious sarcasm still sarcasm when it is factually accurate?


HAHA, so ridiculous! Hello?!? There’s a black president.2

I seem to recall going on about this at some length. It’s like you guys aren’t even listening or something!

Terrorist may still be a popular bogeyword, what with the Magneto Khalid Sheikh Mohammed trial looming large, but it has a powerful contender in ‘racist’. I long for the day when ‘racist’ will have no more negative connotations than the color of someone’s hair3 not because we have eraced racism, but because we’ve all accepted how universal it is. To call someone a racist is little more than calling them human. We may differ in the degree of our humanity but at the end of the day we are all at least a little bit human4.

Now, don’t think I’m saying we shouldn’t care about racism or ignore it because it’s widespread; I just think we need better insults. If someone is a genuine RacistRacist, then surely that’s no longer an insult, it is simply true. Calling a hateful person hateful hurts them how exactly? And if they’re just racist the way we’re all racist then it is simply trivial. So what to do if a loved one or coworker or neighbor’s toddler tries to pull the sort of warped idiotic tactics in this video? Just call them a queer and see if their head explodes.

  1. If Philip Roth is to believed anyway. []
  2. And to think all these baseless allegations come up today, potentially ruining the anniversary of “intern an oriental day”. []
  3. As long as it’s not red. Can we start a “Hug a ginger day” to make up for any unfortunate ugliness? []
  4. We all have a little human inside us. I call mine Hugo. []

Won’t somebody please think of the children!?!


Wait, so the kids get a lap dance too, right?

While the list of things I’m thankful for is dwindling, I can muster up at least one: I am thankful that white people’s laziness eventually trumped their genocidal impulses. Oh, and strippers.

Also, bitch still stole my fish.

¿Si Me Gusta?

Dan Castellaneta guest starring:

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A midget wrestler named Bumblebee Man:

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This sneakiness:

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too adorable for Bones? What say you? Woo! or Boo!? No, you’re right, Boooo-urns!

Too Soon

ABC is now just toying with my fragile heart, batting it about like some recalcitrant cat and its ill-earned meal, hell bent on prolonging the misery of its prey for as long as felinely possible.

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糟糕 糟糕, young lady, I will certainly not move on!

I can’t quit you, Mal Reynolds!

12-13-02

Never forget.

Laughter: The Deadliest Medicine?


Have you seen this clown? (On the left.)

Ventura, CA – Beloved local clown, Chippy, is officially missing, police report. He was last seen with a Mrs. Megan Maxine Suddeth-Rodriguez, AKA Maggie Suds, AKA Gina Shemensky, last Tuesday. Chippy, apparently of Irish decent, is just the latest in a string of missing and murdered mirth makers.

Authorities are seeking Mrs. Suddeth-Rodriguez for questioning in connection to several of the clown cases.

A teacher by trade, Suddeth-Rodriguez was recently subject to disciplinary review after some trouble with an unruly student.


The class clown, no doubt.

Could this be what finally sent her over the edge she had (probably) been precariously perched over for years?

Delilah McJewstein, a coworker, had this to say. “She was always really quiet, kept to herself. She seemed totally normal. Besides thinking she had a personal relationship with the 2,000 year old corpse of a swarthy carpenter and thinking he would talk to her and tell her how to live her life and appear to her all the time. Like I said, totally normal.”

An anonymous tipster provided us with this exclusive childhood picture. Perhaps it provides a glimpse into the mangled and swollen psyche of a madwoman?

A long time dealer friend acquaintance, who prefers to remain anonymous, worried he might have played a small part in starting this serial clown killing spree. “I hope it has nothing to do with that friend I brought over to her home.”

“Or the birthday present I sent her the other day,” he added.

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Neighbor and self proclaimed “psychic / licensed hair dresser / air conditioning repairwoman to the stars”, Tangina Barrons, had the following cryptic stanza as a comment.

These be just the first of many,
won’t be through ‘til seven ‘n twenty.

Readers will of course remember the first missing clown, George W. Bush Dracula Bubbles, eventually found stung to death1 in nearby Channel Islands National Park.

He will be missed.


Why so serious? Oh, right.

Was that dwarflock right? Is this the beginning of a culling of the clowns? Who will stop this Klown Killer?2

If you have any information, authorities urge you to contact your local police station immediately.


This guy would really like to know about it.

Please, do your part.


Remember kids, you can’t spell slaughter without laughter.

Stay safe, clowns.

  1. What police refer to as “Macaulay Culkin style”. []
  2. We would have also accepted:
    Bozo Butcher
    Red Nose Ripper
    Ringmaster
    Funkiller
    Olivia Newton John Wayne Gacy
    The Lady With Bees In Her Mouth So When She Talks She Shoots Bees At You (TLWBIHMSWSTSSBAY)
    Seltzer Slasher
    Joker Jabber
    Jester Juicer []

So, Body Snatchers are real…

Family Guy has apparently expanded their writing pool to include more of the ocean’s noble critters.

Cymothoa exigua is found in certain species of fish. It sneaks in through their gills, eats and or destroys their tongues, replacing them in the process and then feeding either off the host’s blood or mucus. Let me repeat that. This animal crawls into another animal, destroys one of its organs and then functions as that organ for the rest of its life.


Say hello to the most adorable thing that will ever cause you to vomit in terror.

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Seth McFarlane’s Science Corner

I-Hardly-Know-R!

I know I’m a few months late on this, but I’m about to watch the Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy. I’m not sure what to expect. Well, besides a cheap, fat, lazy, pandering comedian trying to go toe to toe with a panel of his betters.1 But enough about Jeff Foxworthy.

We’re here to talk about this guy.

To be honest, I do appreciate the difficulty of the situation that “Larry” finds himself in. It’s the same problem Stephen Colbert faced when his show first took off, namely whether to ever appear out of character. Despite a few miscalculations like The Love Guru,2 Colbert has been pretty diligent about never straying from his parodic persona. And yet on the rare occasions when he’s interviewed completely out of character, or even more fascinatingly, in a hazy limbo equidistant between fact and fiction, he’s been even more entertaining.

With one exception, I have never seen Dan Whitney perform out of character.


The man has always had style, at least.

There is, however, one other slight, almost negligible difference between the two men: not a single person goes to a “Larry the Cable Guy” comedy show to laugh at the character. Sure, he does self deprecating humor, what comedian doesn’t, and yes, every comedian adopts a persona, but no one is there to enjoy the comedy stylings of Dan Whitney. No one is there ironically. Except maybe David Cross. His audiences, much like the occasional unfortunately out of touch politician on The Colbert Report or The Daily Show are not in on the joke.

Mr. Whitney is not an inept comedian, if nothing else he is savvy as fuck. He figured out out a way to make the most out of his limited skill set. He is even, albeit rarely, capable of some legitimate humor and certainly more so than a Jeff Dunham or a post-success Carlos Mencia.3 This is precisely what I find so offensive about “Larry the Cable Guy”. It pains me to say, but he’s better than this.

Intelligence is a rare enough commodity in this world that pretending you have less than you actually do, unless in the service of some greater good, should be a prosecutable offense. I realize this might be just my axe to grind, but it is sharp and always thirsty. It would be one thing to pretend to be an idiot to make fun of idiots, or to comment on how idiots gain so much attention so easily, or to say something universal about the nature or idiocy. It’s another thing to pretend to be an idiot just to get idiots to line your pockets with (confederate) money. That’s just diabolical.4

The true terror of “Larry the Cable Guy” is not that a fat, unfunny comedian had the balls to try to peddle this sort of mindless, racist, jingoistic, homophobic, xenophobic, smartophobic humor to America, but that America fell for it. The only guy to profit more from 9/11 is Dick Cheney. He really has his finger on the (scrotal) pulse of the nation.5 The true terror of “Larry the Cable Guy” is that we get the comedians we deserve.

I guess I do know what to expect: some of the most savage, smart and innovative mainstream comics to absolutely decimate this buffoon, rip out his heart and piss in his empty skull and then promptly brush up on the history and precise execution of seppuku when they realize he’s more successful than all of them combined will ever be.

So, all in all, good television.

  1. Even the toothless comedians? country music stars? Marcia Bradys? football players? and drug addled madmen that Comedy Central wrangled together can clear that bar. []
  2. Not John Oliver too! []
  3. Hey Dane Cook, want to see what your future looks like? []
  4. The greatest trick Dan Whitney ever played, was convincing the world he doesn’t exist. []
  5. I’m sorry. That was a lazy and offensive joke. Scrotums are marvels of engineering, nature’s adorable little gore-tex thermostats. Scrotums, we salute you. But enough about Lisa Lampanelli. []

We Can’t Be Heroes


HeroesNBC Mondays 8/7c

Season four of Mutant X Heroes begins tonight. I am on the edge of my pants (of indifference).

Everything good about this show has already been covered in the pages of various X-men comics over the last 40 years. Everything bad too.

Can you blame them, though? Comics had a pretty big head start. There are, after all, only so many powers the human mind can conjure up.1 That being said, the following is a ridiculous and non-comprehensive list of X-Men characters that have appeared on this show:

It’s not just characters either, plots and arcs have of course been borrowed from generously. So much so, in fact that in just three abbreviated years, not to mention a slew of web series and graphic novels, the show has pretty much run out of things to steal from the Marvel universe. Hopefully this will prove to be a good thing. Hopefully this will now force the show’s writers to innovate. If I wanted comics I could just read comics. Give me something that only works on my TV, or more realistically, my computer.

The show is not all bad. Exhibit A:

So this character, Spock Sylar, the big bad from season one, can suck out other people’s powers directly from their brains. Conveniently, the first power he gobbled down was telekenesis, so all he has to do now is point a finger, slice off the top of your head and drink….your…brainshake. Drink it up!

Now, Wolverine Claire has the ability to regenerate. She is, by all accounts, immortal. You can see how that would be a highly coveted power to absorb. In fact, that’s something the show has been building towards since the beginning. If Sylar ever gets her power he will become unstoppable.

Despite my language earlier, it’s never been clear exactly what he does with the brains once he scoops them out. Technically, Sylar’s power is the ability to take a complex mechanism apart and intuit how it works. His sin and his blessing is curiosity. Fair enough. Somehow though, understanding how a power works translates to him gaining that power permanently. Fair enough. But what exactly does he have to do to understand a power?

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The show is almost all bad. Exhibit B:


Hijinks Ensue

Hey, no one ever said science fiction was easy.

Such is my faith in Bryan Fuller, creator of three fantastic, fantastical and increasingly morbid television shows, namely Wonderland, Dead Like Me, and Pushing Daisies, that I still hold out hope. Fuller was around in the beginning, when the show was at its best, and left to work on Pushing Daisies, right around when the quality started to dip. He returned at the end of last season, because America wasn’t ready for talking corpses played for laughs. Or should I say such was my faith since I think he has now left the show yet again?

We’ll see tonight if the show can ever live up to its potential and its esteemed predecessors:

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Yu Mo Gwai Gui Fai Di Zao, indeed.

For now though, let’s just hope season four isn’t building up to a climactic showdown between the heroes and Mojo in the Danger Room, which is now on the moon, while the Shi’ar empire watches and their leader, Brett Ratner, masturbates onto a pile of burning money. Oh and Cylons Skrulls. Actually, I wouldn’t mind some Cylon action. Ah, the soft bigotry of mutated expectations.


HeroesNBC Mondays 8/7c

  1. Is that a power? []
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