Archive for the 'TV' Category

Drama! Intrigue! Carpeting!

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

I discovered this new Empire Carpeting website where they’re posting all of their old ads… like this one:

As Eddie says, “These are bringing back memories of pretending to be sick and staying home from school, only to be bored to death by 60′s reruns.”

I found one commercial where I’m sure he says “brand name CRAPeting” instead of carpeting, but when I went to find it again, it was removed from the site.  Are they just realizing 20 years later that maybe they should have shot a second take of that one?

UPDATE: A ha!  YouTube’s on the case.  What do you think?

Save Mystery Cove

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

I work with Arnie, whose blog, “A Year In Pictures of Comedy” is pure genius. I only recently learned that he has a side project as an executive producer on the FOX show “Mystery Cove.” Here’s what he had to say about the third season:

I’d like to remind everyone that the third season of Mystery Cove is currently airing on FOX. We have been told unequivicably by the network that if it doesn’t post better ratings this summer it will be canceled. Steve and I have put a lot of ourselves into this show over the last few years and have fought to use as much Chicago talent as possible at every level of production. I know a great number of you weren’t fans of the second season and have stopped watching the show. But I think as a community, we need to support this show, even those of us who don’t ‘enjoy’ it. As a way of reaching out to our (admittedly smaller) fanbase, Steve and I will be continuing to podcast about the production of the show, answering fan e-mails and teasing upcoming episodes.

I highly recommend the podcast for both fans and non-fans of the show. You can listen to it online or subscribe to it on iTunes. Facebookers can join the show’s Facebook group.

Some Third Party Candidates To Consider

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

I’ve never really been all that into politics. The candidates never seem to talk about anything that really interests me. Maybe I’m not paying attention. Luckily, the Internet has made it possible for some less mainstream candidates to get their message out.

Cobra Commander ’08
While I tend to vote along party lines with G.I. Joe, it hasn’t always been clear cut. Let’s face it, Storm Shadow was awesome and Bazooka was kind of annoying. Cobra Commander has some interesting new ideas, including a 2-trillion dollar weather dominator and his “elderly into food” program. He also has much-needed experience running a complex paramilitary organization without submitting to the demands of special interests. He doesn’t submit to any demands!

Cobra Commander also has amazing support from the celebrity crowd, which might motivate young voters and surprise some pundits in November. It will be interesting to see who joins Cobra Commander as his running mate. Destro would be an obvious choice and could definitely enfranchise the chrome vote, but The Baroness would bring a strong female figure to the ticket as well as much needed experience with foreign intelligence.

Zod 2008
I’ll be honest, I think Zod has an uphill climb to the White House in 2008. It will be hard for him to differentiate himself from Cobra Commander, policy-wise, and he has a weird-looking beard. Still, he has a message that resonates with everyone who thinks Superman is kind of annoying because he has no weaknesses. (Kryptonite? Please. What a crutch!) He also has some experience running the country from Superman II, although he did entrust Lex Luthor with most of the day-to-day operations.

Roslin/Airlock ’08
It’s unclear if this is an official ticket or just an Al Gore-esque grass-roots recruitment campaign staged by loyal fans. Either way, it’s hard to dispute Laura Roslin’s three years of wartime experience. It’s also hard to dispute Airlock’s strict interpretation of justice — impartially evacuating Cylons into the cold expanse of space.

It Really Is A Dollar Menu

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

I’m not usually a very perceptive person but I did notice something weird in a Kentucky Friend Chicken commercial over the weekend. I even had the wherewithal to take a picture of the TV.

Look at that! There’s a tiny little dollar bill stuck in the lettuce! What’s it doing there? And why weren’t there tiny dollar bills in any of the other sandwiches? And, really, what are we supposed to subliminally think when we see this? Maybe it’s just there so big dummies like me talk about it on our websites while KFC basks in the glory of free publicity. Well the joke’s on you, KFC! No one reads this crap.

Oh Those Crazy Days of College Days

Monday, October 29th, 2007

My mom has my entire life (as well as my brothers’ lives) carefully chronicled in an elaborate system of closets, cabinets, boxes and drawers.  When I mentioned the Columbia University Marching Band’s appearance on The Late Show, she disappeared for about thirty seconds before reemerging with a dusty VHS video tape in her hand.

Because Battlestar Galactica Isn’t Nerdy Enough

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

After being told to watch Battlestar Galactica by everyone in the universe, I finally gave in. It’s a good show. A great show, even.

One thing I love about it is the way the ships move. It’s the first time I’ve seen realistic space flight in science fiction. Space vehicles are always depicted as airplanes when in fact they work on very different principles. Air vehicles rely on the presence of air to maintain lift and, thus, counteract gravity. Space vehicles don’t have to deal with gravity, nor is there any need for aerodynamics since there is no air to… um… dynam. I love seeing the Vipers in Battlestar flip about on multiple axes using reaction control thusters while maintaining their forward velocity. I also enjoy the (mostly) silent space shots. Hooray for space realism.

I find it very unrealistic, however, that they have such difficulty figuring out who is and who isn’t a Cylon. They have an MRI machine for pete’s sake! Are we supposed to believe that humans and Cylons are anatomically identical even though Cylons have superior strength and somehow transmit a wireless signal when they die?

The show did get me thinking of what would be involved in building an artificial human that could one day attack and enslave us. Seems like a good project. I think one of the biggest problems (besides, you know, the brain) is power. Humans are supposed to eat about 2000 kilocalories a day. (We call them “calories,” but they’re actually kilocalories.) A TV running 16 hours a day (8 hours of sleep) would require about 2900 kilocalories. A human being uses less power than a TV! And that doesn’t even account for the inefficiencies of converting food to usable energy. I don’t think there is technology today that can do what a human does while consuming so little power. Fiona Apple is right. We are extraordinary machines.

(A toaster, by the way, is very inefficient. If it were toasting 16 hours a day, it would require over 11,000 kilocalories.)


Monday, September 17th, 2007

Amanda collects stories about Jellyvision employees. One of her favorite questions to ask people in interviews is, “What are three things about yourself that would surprise me?” I started working at Jellyvision before Amanda so I never had to answer that question, but I recently told her that I had been on Letterman and she seemed quite surprised. Truth be told, I had kind of forgotten about it, but I’ll tell the story anyway.

It all stems from my year as a member of the Columbia University Marching Band, The Cleverest Band in the World™. Ivy league schools have pretty really pathetic football teams. They also have really pathetic marching bands. To compensate for their lack of musical ability, marching prowess, dedication and size, most Ivy League marching bands are “scramble bands.” That is, instead of marching, they run around the field like idiots while reading jokes over the P.A. Occasionally they play songs too.

I was a member of this crack semi-musical unit for a while. I played clarinet in the marching band in high school and was recruited by a friend: “Wait, you actually play an instrument? We need you.” You see, much of the band is made up of “miscies” who play any miscellaneous thing they can find, be it a beer keg, stadium seat, toilet or even, yes, the kitchen sink.

cumb.jpgSay what you will about the band, and lord knows people have, but it is an organization steeped in amazing, ridiculous traditions. In fact, Columbia’s best tradition is probably the semi-annual “Orgo Night,” when the band invades the library at 11:59 the night before the Organic Chemistry final exam and mayhem ensues. We even had a secret equation (yes, we were nerds): G(tb)2. I’m not allowed to tell you what that means, but rest assured, it’s not that interesting.

Anyway, flashback to 1995. During a “rehearsal” one of the drummers (I think) said, “Hey, let’s go play outside of the Late Show studio and see if they put us on TV.” A couple days later we did exactly that, and amazingly, it worked! We got to go on stage and play one of the Columbia Fight Songs (“Who Owns New York”) as the credits rolled. Letterman’s response sums it up: “Hey, how about that Columbia University Marching Band? (Shrugs.) How about their uniforms? (Shrugs again.)”

A couple weeks later, Letterman sent us a check to “get some real uniforms.”

I couldn’t find a video of the appearance anywhere, but I still have the “real uniform” we got with the money. It still fits! Check me out!

Here’s the official rendition of the story from the CUMB archives.

UPDATAE: As promised, my mom digitized the video. Here it is. I’m a dork.