Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band - Garden Party
"Just like Rick Nelson, you should do what you want, regardless of what your audience and various celebrities who attend your concert at Madison Square Garden want to hear. “You got to please yourself” as Mr. Nelson says." - Eugene Mirman on Garden Party.
Dan, what country is lucky enough to count Tommy Wiseau as a citizen?
Questions about his country of origin abound but make no mistake, director/actor/philosopher Tommy Wiseau is a citizen of The United States of America. Heck, Tommy Wiseau is America. (The country, not the Ferrera.) He personifies the hopes, dreams and desires of an entire nation. In short, Tommy Wiseau is the American Dream.
The Room possesses the dazzling highs, the crushing lows and the creamy middle paradoxes that encapsulate the American experience. It’s as American as Batman having missionary position sex inside the Liberty Bell! And all of it poured out of the heart of Tommy Wiseau (the man with the passion of Tennessee Williams). The man revolutionized the way we toss/lob the football around, for Goodness sake.
AV Club writer extraordinaire Scott Tobias covered The Room for his “The New Cult Canon” column. His analysis of the film’s insanity is essential reading. Duck and cover, it’s there’s about to be a copy and paste explosion! (Kaboom!)
“I genuinely love The Room. I never have a bad time, which is why I’ve been eight or nine times so far. Oftentimes when I’m feeling down or depressed, I’ll wish I could live forever in the dark space of The Room, where you can say whatever you want, people will laugh, and you never have to worry about the consequences of your actions. Forget booze, the real intoxicant is the film itself. Let the earnest ineptitude wash over you, and submit to the unholy power of The Room.” —Jon Danforth-Appell, The Room superfan
“Hi doggy.” —Tommy Wiseau, The Room
November 8, 1990. That was the day The Rocky Horror Picture Show was finally released on VHS, and for a dwindling audience of cultists, the day the midnight movie was officially declared dead. After a long holdout that managed to outlast the video boom of the 1980s, the film had reached that crucial tipping point where the communal experience of dressing up and yelling at the screen every weekend had lost to the temptations of ownership and private viewing. And with it came a symbolic and perhaps decisive shift of film culture from the movie theater to the living room. Part of the reason I write this column every week is to patch together some of those living-room cultists who catch up with movies on DVD and are looking for a safe space to obsess. Because where else can people like us get together?
But the midnight movie wasn’t entirely laid to rest—its emaciated zombie lives on in the smattering of theaters still hosting midnight shows around the country. You could make an argument for several movies given new life by the witching hour—Donnie Darko, Showgirls, and Troll 2 leap immediately to mind, and Road House seems to be gaining momentum—but Tommy Wiseau’s The Room may be the first true successor to the Rocky Horror throne. Since ending a two-week run at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 theater in Los Angeles in 2003, Wiseau’s self-distributed anti-gem has nurtured a cult following through once-a-month midnight screenings. And in the time since, as devotees continue to plumb the mysteries of its mesmerizing inanity, the audience has taken ownership of it: They throw spoons. They shout a repertoire of canned and spontaneous zingers at the screen. They reenact whole scenes in front of the theater. They toss the ol’ pigskin around.
Thanks mainly to an excellent Entertainment Weekly piece by Clark Collis, what was once a well-kept L.A.-only secret—or as secret as anything promoted by a bizarre billboard could be—has recently been spreading throughout the country, popping up in sold-out shows in New York and other cities, and on a recent episode of Tim And Eric Awesome Show Awesome Show, Great Job! Approaching the film as a Chicago-based outsider, with a healthy skepticism of L.A. phenomena of any stripe, I’m now convinced that it’s the real deal. It may not have the staying power of a Rocky Horror, if only because midnight-movie culture just isn’t as sustainable as it once was, but in the annals of bad cinema, The Room deserves shelf-space next to Ed Wood’s Glen Or Glenda? Both are personal and shockingly amateurish laughers that put their directors in front of the camera and are all too revealing of their odd peccadilloes. Wood has a thing for angora sweaters; Wiseau has a thing for pillow fights, red roses, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Who are we not to luxuriate in their fetishes?
Collis’ article covers the story behind The Room pretty thoroughly, so most of that background, I’ll leave to him. But here’s an amazing factoid: It cost $6 million to make. That figure includes marketing, too—no doubt five years’ worth of billboard space takes a toll—but the film looks like it was shot for 1/100th of that budget. Wiseau also apparently shot it on 35mm and HD simultaneously, with both cameras on the same mount, which might explain the problems he has with focus and what could euphemistically be described as “creative” use of offscreen space. The vast majority of the film takes place in one haphazardly decorated room—a room, not the room of the title, which remains tantalizingly enigmatic—and all expense was spared on competent crewmembers and professional actors. I’m imagining Wiseau as Zero Mostel in The Producers, selling 25,000 percent of his movie to a gaggle of little old ladies with the intent of producing a bomb and running off with the losses. Except that Wiseau’s scheme seems to have worked.
(Now would be a good time to refer you to A Viewer’s Guide To The Room, an exhaustive document prepared by Jon Danforth-Appell and his chums, who asked to be credited as “House Of Qwesi.” Since I’d never seen The Room before—and didn’t see it with an audience—I asked Jon to give me some background on the ritual. I’m grateful to him and his friends for going way beyond the call of duty.)
Virtually all the scenes that are interiors were shot in Los Angeles, but make no mistake: The Room is set in San Francisco. How do we know this? Most of the transitions from one scene to the next include a pan across the Golden Gate Bridge, so many that the audience cheers “Go! Go! Go! Go!” as the camera tracks across it. (Cue the deflated sighs when the camera doesn’t make it all the way across.) And in case the Golden Gate Bridge is too obscure a landmark, Wiseau also supplies a shot of Alcatraz and B-roll footage of himself, as spurned loverboy Johnny, hopping on a trolley. Golden Gate and Alcatraz seem to have some sort of symbolic value, but it’s never clear what, exactly; so it goes with the visual metaphors in The Room, where Wiseau makes a point of showing a young man chomping on Eve’s apple without following up with temptation or sin.
Sporting an accent of indeterminate Eastern European origin, Wiseau sounds a little like Peter Stormare as the cable guy in Logjammers, the porn-movie-within-a-movie in The Big Lebowski. (“That’s why they call me, I am expert.”) His Johnny is the noblest of boyfriends and most capable of lovers: He’s a stable provider. He’s faithful. He’s a steadfast supplier of cheesy silk dresses and red roses. And his horrific lovemaking features all the careful stagecraft and R&B grooves of a Three Times One Minus One video. But none of that satisfies his fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle), a wicked Jezebel whose boredom with Johnny manifests in a brazen affair with his best friend Mark, played by the dreamy Greg “Sestosterone” Sestero. Lisa’s seductive powers are clearly too overwhelming for Mark to resist, in spite of his serious misgivings as Johnny’s best friend and all. And did I mention that he’s Johnny’s best friend?
Between the four enervating love scenes that provide The Room with its Skinemax-ready raison d’être, Wiseau introduces a range of other characters who have a stake in Johnny and Lisa’s happiness. There’s Lisa’s scolding mother Claudette (Carolyn Minnott), who drops by for five-minute visits to beg Lisa to hold onto Johnny for financial security alone, because marriage isn’t about love. (Claudette also slips into conversation what may be the funniest non sequitur ever uttered: “I got the results of the test back. I definitely have breast cancer.”) Stopping by as well is Denny (Philip Haldiman), a fresh-faced “kidult” who seems like a voyeuristic creep until it’s revealed that he’s an orphan Johnny has taken under his wing. Johnny’s fatherly relationship to Denny comes into play later when he thwarts a drug dealer who has come to collect from the boy; the details of his drug problem (what he uses, what he owes, the severity of his addiction) are subsequently dropped. Then there are the minor “Who the fuck are these people?!” characters, including a couple who surreptitiously sneak into Johnny and Lisa’s place for a disgusting chocolate-enhanced snog, and another guy who shows up in the third act to castigate Lisa for making him feel like he’s sitting on the “atomic bomb” that is her sabotaged engagement.
At the core of all this superfluous nonsense is genuine, unmistakable, nakedly personal pain: Somebody out there hurt Wiseau badly, and The Room is his attempt to come to terms with it. His conclusion? Women are terrible, irrational, manipulative creatures who get off on toying with the hearts of good men. (The film’s runaway misogyny has not gone unnoticed by its devotees, who have turned “’cause you’re a woman” into “the Room equivalent of adding ‘in bed’ to a fortune-cookie fortune.”) Wiseau goes out of his way to excuse Mark from having any culpability in his affair with Lisa, hence the constant “He’s my best friend” recitations and the impression that her quirky, Kristen Schaal-like attractiveness is the feminine equivalent of Rohypnol. When she can’t persuade anyone that Johnny’s affection (and ox-like lovemaking technique) is suffocating her like a hothouse flower, Lisa starts making up stories about him drinking and hitting her, and cooks up a fake pregnancy in the eleventh hour. Even for someone of Johnny’s gentle temperament, it’s enough to tear a guy apart:
For as much trouble as Wiseau has figuring out women, men are just as profoundly baffling. He’s like an alien anthropologist, trying to glean behavior patterns from the teensiest morsels of observation. As he understands it, guys do the following things: 1. Toss a football around from three feet apart. Sometimes in tuxes. 2. End conversations with a complicated series of handshakes and fist-bumps. 3. Taunt each other with “CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP” chicken noises. That’s really all he’s got. Love and friendship in Johnny’s world tends to run one way: He gives and gives and gives, and in return for his endless generosity, he tastes the bitter ash of betrayal.
The sad impression left by The Room—and maybe the whiff of regret that could ultimately short-circuit its potential as a lasting midnight phenomenon—is that Wiseau is a lonely man who can’t comprehend even the most basic forms of human interaction. That’s also, of course, what makes the film so deliriously misguided and funny. In the years since The Room was made, Wiseau has pulled an “I meant to do that” on its perceived shortcomings as drama; “Experience this quirky new black comedy, it’s a riot!” screams the DVD cover. (Nice try, bud.) The average so-bad-it’s-good entertainment can only offer so much mileage, but The Room, like Glen Or Glenda?, is stranger and more revealing than a mere stinker. Through a film as unvarnished and florid as an adolescent’s diary, Wiseau offers himself up to the audience as few have the courage to do. He may get ridiculed in return, but deep down, in our most confused and humbling and vulnerable moments, isn’t there a Tommy Wiseau in all of us?
Just when you thought the Vancouver Olympics couldn’t be any more of a disaster, Johnny Weir gets mugged outright by the judges. I may have to look into flipping a cop car. (Fun Fact: It’s legal if you’re like really mad about sports you watch occasionally)
In the 1990s, Shapiro became controversial for his self-promotional television commercials in which he promised to obtain large financial settlements for accident victims, referred to himself as “the meanest, nastiest S.O.B. in town” and claimed to have “aggressive courtroom prowess”. His ads’ visuals frequently included vehicle crashes, falling bodies, and explosions. He also began selling not-for-profit t-shirts which featured “a vicious beast with blood dripping from its fangs” and the words “Protected by Vicious S.O.B., Jim The Hammer Shapiro.”
Shapiro sold all three law firms and now writes books. He is the author of Victims Rights to Maximum Cash, Sue the Bastards, Million Dollar Lungs, Injury Victims Rights to Maximum Cash, Instant Credit Repair and Get Back All Your Lost Investments!.
In 2002, Christopher Wagner, a former client, sued Shapiro for malpractice. Wagner was injured in a 1995 motor vehicle accident and had responded to Shapiro’s commercials. Wagner claimed he had incurred $USD182,000 in medical bills, but Shapiro’s firm, Shapiro and Shapiro, encouraged him to accept a settlement of $65,000, promising more money could be obtained in a lawsuit against the state of New York. However, the state had no liability and Shapiro never pursued any further action on Wagner’s behalf.
In a video deposition during the trial, Shapiro admitted he had never tried a case in court and had lived in Florida since 1995. Wagner’s lawyer, Robert Williams, claimed Shapiro’s firm in Rochester was staffed by one lawyer who had only taken four cases to trial. The New York Supreme Court jury found Shapiro had engaged in misleading advertising and legal malpractice and awarded a $1.5 million judgment against Shapiro.
Consequently, In 2004 he was suspended from practicing law for one year in New York. In 2005 he was also suspended from practicing law for one year in Florida.
Shapiro said the decision to suspend him from practicing in New York was “unfair and unconstitutional” but claimed the ruling would have little effect because he had sold his Rochester office and was now promoting books.
In December, 2004, four additional former clients sued Shapiro for unspecified damages, alleging he had engaged in misleading advertising and legal malpractice.
Shapiro is known for his philanthropy in Rochester. Since 1996, he has donated $7,500 per year to elementary schools to purchase books. He has indicated that his goal is to put $600,000 worth of books into schools within ten years. In 1996, he donated 86.5 acres of land worth $800,000 to the Rochester YMCA. He has also donated land in Rochester valued at $120,000 to be used as a park for children.
Shapiro, J., Sue the Bastards, Advertising Consultants World Wide Inc., 1997
Shapiro, J., Victims Rights to Maximum Cash,
Shapiro, J., Million Dollar Lungs
Shapiro, J., Injury Victims Rights to Maximum Cash, 1992
Some Thoughts On A Couple Films I've Seen Recently
Cinema! It’s what separates us from the animals. Granted, there are cases in which animals make a film through a tax credit (see Sweden’s famous crow filmmaker: Pelle Crowenberg), but by and large humans make the best films. I’ve seen a few recently and I thought I’d post some review-y blurbs about them. I may do this on a weekly basis. I hope movies still exist in the future.
I love Lil’ Wayne. Holy Cow, do I love Lil’ Wayne. Not a week passes where I don’t listen to something from Da Drought 3. You know who else likes Lil’ Wayne? Popular recording artist Lil’ Wayne. Dude makes King Of Kong's Billy Mitchell look humble.
Throughout the film (shot during Wayne’s 2008 breakthrough into mainstream superstardom) Weezy is constantly recording, smoking weed and drinking enough cough syrup to open a Flaming Moe’s. Director Adam Bhala Lough never interviews Wayne directly, but instead uses footage of press interviews and conjoles some information from those close to Wayne (like Birdman, his manager and the adorable daughter he clearly neglects). Wayne is an absolute asshole, but he’s a driven asshole for whom there is no separation between work and life. Also, he really hates alimony and child support.
One stumbling block for the film, is The Carter's reliance on using lyrics as a window into Weezy's psyche. I mean, For a guy that's recorded thousands of tracks, you'd think they would select some better tunes. Was “I Feel Like Dying” left out for legal reasons? The film zips along fairly quickly, and I couldn't get past the feeling that at least one of these lyrics-n-arty-slow-motion-sequences could be sacrificed for additional coverage of its star. It's a mild quibble for a film that serves as compelling document of an immense talent that seems intent on a particularly messy brand of self-destruction.
Rob Marshall has a very unique talent. One that I’m certain no other director possesses. Marshall has the unheardof ability to extract all the sex appeal out of a lust-mad Penelope Cruz rolling about onscreen. Whatever the opposite of a miracle is, Rob Marshall has performed it. Fuck you, Rob Marshall. You impossibly boring mucus plug masquerading as a director.
Nine is horrendous on a wide variety of levels. It’s soulless. The musical numbers are unbearable (in particular the one featuring Kate Hudson that had me fantasizing about shoving grenades in my ears). Everyone onscreen aside from the darling Marion Cotillard stunk. To call Nine a colossal mess would suggest that there’s something campy or fun to extract from it. There is not.
When I was fifteen, I traveled to Alabama for an extended vacation with my grandparents. I enjoyed the trip and can tell you that there are two things I know for certain about Alabama.
1) Residents are living in a state of catlike readiness for the second Civil War.
2) Alabama is filled with morbidly obese people.
The second truth corresponds with my answer to Dane’s question. The best restaurants in the United States of America are buffet joints in the artery-clogged heart of the South.
These restaurants are absolutely dogshit in terms of quality (Michelin stars would engage in a suicide pact before being affiliated with these places), but the maddening hedonism is fantastic. All the buffet places are the same. Grab your NBA backboard-sized plate, layer it in greasy delights, tell your diabetes to fuck off and eat til your heart’s content. Repeat until you’re too sweaty to get a firm grip on your plate.
I cannot overemphasize the level of excess in play. If you wanted to do rails off the sneeze guard, it’d be a-okay. Holding up the line wouldn’t, but it’d be better to do bumps in this setting anyway. I vaguely remember paramedics always being on hand.
The popularity of these buffets result in constant shifts to meet consumer demand. Cleanliness is shoved aside to accommodate for innovations in chicken frying and fried cheese battering. It’s this commitment to excess that makes buffets they Casablanca Records of the American food service industry.
It’s enough to make you want to hop on your motorized scooter and make a break for Mobile.
Anecdotal Tips For Getting Queens Girls To Fall In Luv (L-U-V)
1) Be identifiable when walking. Consider incorporating motions familiar with listening to music.
2) If you’re uncertain of what eye colour is desirable, consider investing in sunglasses. Or “shades”.
3) Being tall can be a plus. Assistance can be found in styling your thick wavy hair or including lifts in your high button shoes.
4) There’s a level between bad and evil. Being “good bad” means something like stealing a blimp and filling it with orphans to give them an adventure through the sky. Being “evil” means something like stealing a blimp and filling it with orphans and crashing that blimp into another orphanage.
5) Matching your big bulky sweater with the color of your eyes is a nice touch. I’m not sure how Mary Weiss knows the colour of her boyfriend’s eyes if he’s wearing shades. Sometimes a girl just knows, I suppose.
6) Dance close. Very, very close. You’re now the recipient of noisy kisses from a girl in luv.
Tips From Johnny Thunders For Getting Johnny Thunders To Fall In Luv (L-U-V)
A question as relevant today as when it was first asked by Thomas A. Hendricks in 1842.
The popularity of video blogging has already begun to decline and I expect that it will continue to dissolve until it becomes a fringe medium. Sort of like a less smutty version of ham radio.
The exciting news about this decline of use is that the video blogging circuit will ultimately be taken over by forest animals. Owls will feel comfortable to hoot about childhood crushes. Grizzly Bears will struggle to get in frame to gush about their favourite episodes of The Wire. And you haven’t lived until you’ve enjoyed a stream featuring a Raccoon performing hastily written Spoon parodies. “That’s The Way We Get (Acorn) Pie” is a straight banger.
Make a point to stay out of prison because while the popularity of video blogging is going down, the quality of the medium will be going up! Up like a flying squirrel! That sort of up!
Only one more episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien remains. It’s going to be one hell of a wake. Watch it and take notes so that you can be of some use to your grandchildren when they ask about this chapter in Sir Conan’s career. He’ll likely be knighted by the time you tell that story.
Have you ever been to Topshop? My goodness that place is terrible. Absolutely awful. Why do I hate Topshop so much? It’s because the candy they sell there is horrible. I have no idea if their clothes are hip, but they should be banned outright from selling that dully painted poo they pass off as “candy”. Don’t those dicklickers have a conscience? Obviously not. The fucking dicklickers.
I’m passionate about such misguided things because I love candy bars. I love candy bars more than any diabetes-baiting adult should. On my run of expeditions to the Sasquatch! Festival (2006-2008), I would earmark somewhere between $25 and $50 for candy bars. This is money that should have be relayed towards rent, debts or not being a doughy son of a bitch, but I make no apologies for being a pioneer for gluttony.
My self-abuse is about to come in handy (expect this sentence to be recycled into a masturbation pun in a future post), for I have compiled a list that will change your life dramatically. Or make for a mildly distracting skim-through. Both are wonderful options, really. It’s available in eye braille below.
Five Wildly Overrated Candy Bars
Kinder Surprise: A terrible chore hidden inside something beautiful? Meet candy’s answer to Angelina Jolie. The egg itself is alright (because it tastes nothing like a regular egg), but there’s a dull obligation waiting at its core. Why would I willfully agree to be locked into a contract to assemble some three cent toy? I would prefer to just eat a synthetic yolk composed of sugar and sloth.
Preferred Alternative Candy: Cadbury Creme Egg. I’m not sure if I like the sickening sweet sugar plasma in the middle, but I sure am seasonally addicted to it. I’d freebase it if I could. It’s not that hard to picture myself heating icing sugar and with the Counting Crows song A Long December playing in the background.
Smarties: Remember the intergalactic space war that wiped out M&Ms? Of course not. It never happened (or if it did, the US-based Church Of Scientology has our back). So why are we settling for these inferior chocolate spheroids? Canada should consider succeeding from the Commonwealth to escape absurd biases such as these. Do green Smarties work like Spanish Fly? No? Revolt!
Preferred Alternative Candy: M&Ms. Mars Inc. should be applauded for a good track record of gambling and winning with M&Ms. Peanut, almond and peanut butter have been welcome additions to the M&M family. There have been missteps (peanut butter and strawberry jelly was horrible but at least ambitious), but remember when the blue M&M outsmarted Stephen Baldwin? Heartwarming stuff.
Nestlé Crunch: There is a place for rice and cereal based candy bars. That place is Europe. England was like all buckwild and shit about putting rice and cereal in their chocolate bars. There are so many other exciting fillings that can be used. Caramel, nougat, peanuts, bacon, Oxycontin. The list is endless.
Preferred Alternative Candy: Mr. Big. Cadbury has managed to create a candy bar that includes rice and marries it some excellent companions. Peanuts and vanilla fudge care to the subtle needs of rice like the gentle attentive lovers they are.
Pal-O-Mine: A regional hit masquarading as something better than it is. Basically, it’s the Shout Out Out Out of chocolate bars. The packaging promises some sort of plucky challenger to Oh Henry! but the taste is more akin with with dogshit lodged against the bottom of a boot. It’s the sort of switcheroo that leads to blind rage toward New Brunswick for having such horrible candy tastes. Also, why did Ganong split this underwhelming bar into a two portion set? You aren’t even in the same league as Twix you Maritime palate-rapists!
Preferred Alternative Candy: Big Turk. In the regional candy game, Big Turk is the real badass motherfucker. There are a lot of lunatics in Canada that will slag off the Big Turk as tasting “soapy”, “gross” or “like a mutated cockroach spunked in my mouth”. These people are to be ignored. Some Turkish Delight based chocolates merit criticism, but Big Turk is beyond reproach. Big Turk tastes like an angel’s kiss. I’m talking about a kiss from a halo and wings angel. Not David Borenaz who played the character Angel on Buffy and it’s subsequent spinoff. He tastes like cottage cheese left in an overheated car.
Snickers Charged: Not so much overrated as simply terrible, Snickers Charged appears to take the minotaur energy drink from Role Models very seriously. Candy bars are no place for Taurine or B-Vitamins. They are for deliciousness and hedonistic calorie levels. Mars Inc. will hopefully be haunted by this failure for decades to come. Snickers Charged is a candy bar so richly filled with failure that it could easily be mistaken for a Giant Tiger location.
Preferred Alternative Candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter And Banana Creme Cups. A limited edition tribute to Elvis that bravely delved into the underdeveloped milieu of bananas in chocolate treats. You were too beautiful for this world, Reese’s Peanut Butter And Banana Creme Cups!
I like Beth Jeans Houghton, but I think I’d like her a lot more if the NME didn’t keep telling me about how HOWLING MAD she is.
Pretend NME Blurb: “Hold on to your poppers, you doss-pop knaves! Beth Jeans Houghton is about to crush your perceptions of reality like Frank Carter’s fist through a BNP member’s nose. Armed with a guitar and a suitcase of tunes that would have Noel Gallagher sewing his dickhole shut, this courageous nutter will have the world at her bootheels. On the days that she elects to wear boots! Conflicted Kasabian comment capper!”
As someone that abuses hyperbole regularly, I feel my criticism of NME is valid. In fact, it’s the most valid thing in the history of the time.
I’m not particularly convinced of Beth’s craziness, but I am daffy about “I Will Return, I Promise”. Magical stuff.
Conan O’Brien has released a statement regarding his current status at NBC.
People of Earth:
In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.
Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.
But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.
Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.
So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.
There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.
Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.
I adore Conan and am baffled by the poor treatment he’s received at the network that was once so keen on him. When Conan was officially announced to be the future host of The Tonight Show, it felt like a victory for nerds like me. As a result, this attempted relegation feels remarkably cruel. I’m sure I’m not the only viewer taking this misguided shuffle on a strangely personal level.
I’ve never looted out of anger before. If you want to keep that trend alive NBC, please keep Conan at the 11:35 Eastern time slot. If you do so, I will loot out of joy and triumph. I will also agree to buy and not loot anything advertised during The Tonight Show.
Here’s hoping Conan keeps his slot and is allowed to do the program he was promised in 2004.
Ottimo Massimo of Fleshbot is decidedly underwhelmed with This Ain’t Saved By The Bell XXX. The sharpest criticism is directed at porno parody stalwart Eric John:
Remember back when the Seinfeld porn came out? He was great in that (I thought)! He wasn’t necessarily funny, but he at least tried to embody the role of Kramer, er, “Crammer” in his cadence and spastic entrances. But since then, he’s consistently played the same sleepy stand-in with a big cock. His Principal Belding isn’t awful, but it’s saddening. As Sir Laurence Olivier said: acting is overacting, and Mr. Belding sounds like this.
It’s Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria all over again.
Kristen Is A Fuckmachine appears on a happening Fluxblog “Lost 00s” compilation that you can pilfer here.
If you were to cast a Mini Mights movie for Owl Magazine, as well as write an original adaptation, who would star in it, and what would the plot be? What sort of tone would you use to color the story?
I’m embarrassed to report that I didn’t read Owl Magazine while growing up. I’m filled with a type of shame known only to Japanese investment bankers during the bear market crisis of the 1990s.
I did find this image of the Mites at work on AOL that I find remarkably amusing, though.
This does nothing to dissuade my belief that science is terrifying and animals are gross looking up close.
My lack of Owl Magazine experience has not kept me out of the “children’s magazine to film adaptation” game. I’ve been working with Legendary Pictures on an exciting new project: Getting the Highlights For Children staple “Goofus & Gallant” up on the big screen.
Michael Cera has been in talks to play the manners-obsessed “Gallant”, but Warner Bros. have been quietly arranging a handshake deal with Jesse Eisenberg to fill in if Cera drops out. My initial recommendation that Jason Bateman be cast was rejected in an attempt to court a younger audience.
"Goofus" has several candidates jockeying for position, with a CGI party animal (voiced by Mickey Rourke) scoring ahead of the proper human actors.
Zooey Deschanel has been cemented by the studio as the woman they both love. I still envision Mindy Kaling in the role, of course.
Originally the film was meant to be an unflinching analysis of the cruelty of American social norms with Lars Von Trier attached to direct. Von Trier dropped out of the project when the studio asked the Danish director to “step it back on all the sexual assault stuff”.
The current film has Goofus & Gallant as estranged brothers that have inherited Mount Rushmore from their great grandfather Allister Rushmore. The brothers agree to live inside the monument (in Jefferson’s head, specifically), but drive each other up the wall. G&G will have to put their differences aside to prevent a South Dakota separatist militia from blowing up their new home.
Through a confusing contract error, Richard Linklater is penciled in to direct. Both parties are baffled as to how this happened, but are look forward to seeing this lighthearted action romp reverse the trend of big budget comedy misfires. An amusement park ride is also in play (Goofus & Gallant’s Lincoln Monument Washing Adventure), but which Six Flags location it will appear at is still to be determined.
Heavy physical lifting? Not likely, unless you work at St. Jumbo’s Funeral Home For Fat Dead Guys. It’s a completely insensitive name for that sort of a funeral home, no matter how accurate the business name is.
1) You are a kindhearted person enabling my ego-tripping. Enablers get a bad rap.
2) To draw attention toward the musical you’re writing about Phillip K Dick’s life (Working Title: Dicky!). Word is that you’re casting Phllip Seymour Hoffman as the lead. This will completely derail the musical I was attempting to launch about Harlan Ellison’s life starring Kristen Chenoweth.
3) To flatter me on the off-chance I work A&R at Moshi Moshi.
4) By asking a question using your own fingers, it sort-of proves that you haven’t switched bodies with a neighbourhood pet. It’s a fear we all have to deal with every day.
5) To alleviate the guilt you feel over the discontinuation of Pepsi Blue. Don’t feel glum, you were right to shut down that division.
The much loved, much eulogized over Stylus Magazine has been briefly reanimated for an end-of-the-decade special event. When you take a break from looking at the most exciting pornography the internet can provide, visit The Stylus Decade to bask in its genius. You’re welcome to go back to the sex on computers stuff afterwards.
Stylus was ridiculously nice to me during its run. Editor Todd Burns was kind enough to let me do an album review (I gave Roisin Murphy’s Overpowered a B+ and tossed exclamation points like penny candy from a parade float, it exists here) and Stylus Jukebox guru William B Swygart was kind enough to let me blurb for his section. The Jukebox has since sprung legs and spun off into its own separate website (The Singles Jukebox), and I’m lucky enough to have weaseled my nose into contributing in its current incarnation as well.
It’s nice to have Stylus back, even if it’s just for a brief stay. Now if only we could get Chickadee magazine to return to its fiery counter-cultural roots.
A few years ago I used to work at Roots, the Canadian clothing company that revolutionized how obnoxious berets could be. During my employ with the company, it was expected that all retail employees wear Roots-brand clothing. It’s not an unreasonable request, but the only thing available for men to wear on their legs were sweatpants. The pants renowned the world over for being both relaxing and unforgiving in showing some outline of your penis.
I’m not a member of Pretty Ricky, so the prospect of asking to help people with a clearly visible penis bump is a troubling proposition. I’m a terrible salesperson in the first place, and navigating that world with an outline of greeting-card superstar Ziggy beneath my drawstring made me miserable. I tried to gently nudge the idea of “alternate pants” in to the uniform rotation, but that dream was quickly dismissed. I wasn’t trying to be a rebel, I was asking to wear pants that would mask my penis from pressing out of cotton like Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
I was a disaster for being any sort of help to customers. I’d like to chalk this up to the outline (and antisemitism based on the evaluation of the outline), but in reality I’m just a terrible salesman. I knew nothing about sizes, appropriate fabrics or giving people advice. Can a man in sweatpants warn against an item of clothing because it is something resembling what a child prostitute might wear? He can, but he certainly shouldn’t.
Every hour clocked was agony. I used to work for a company that dealt with money transfers between family members and state penitentiaries in the US, but I never felt as uncomfortable there as I did trying to assist someone buying yoga pants. I promptly found another job and ended my relationship with Roots. The sweatpants are now for home use only, retired until I attempt to run for political office. Sweatpants and You: Partners In Freedom.
Bobby Brown: Behind The Music is only an hour? Isn’t there a way we could expand it into a twelve part mini series? I’ll have to speak with the Chubb Group to try and secure funding for such an endeavor.