Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Gun For A Leg: Grindhouse

The new movie Grindhouse is already built on an interesting idea, an homage to B-movie "grindhouse" movies with two short horror movies combined into one movie. Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, about a homicidal stuntman running people over with his car, sounds interesting, but Robert Rodriguez is topping it with a zombie movie called Planet Terror. The poster has a woman with a machine gun for a leg. I assumed it was a metaphor, but it's not. In the movie, a woman gets her leg ripped off and literally replaced by a machine gun. It sounds silly, but in the trailer, that gun-leg rocks. And it's…dare I say it…kinda sexy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Phoenix Comedy Scene

Of course, we all know the stories of the big comedians like Seinfeld and Leno. But what about the every day working comedian struggling to make it? What about the comedians who aren't in the hub of comedy like Los Angeles, but in the gritty mean streets of Phoenix, Arizona? The Phoenix New Times has the answer.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Jokebook: Vow of Silence

There's a monastery where the monks have taken a vow of silence, but once a year at a special dinner, one monk can stand up and say one thing.

So one year a monk stands up and says, "I really enjoy the mashed potatoes we serve here at the monastery." And he sits down.

The next year, another monk stands up and says, "I hate the mashed potatoes served here at the monastery." And he sits down.

The following year, the abbott of the monastery stands up and says, "I'm sick and tired of the constant bickering."

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Game That Plays You: My Games Fever

MyNetworkTV continues to be a pioneer in bizarre programming. First it was English-language telenovelas, and now it's My Games Fever. On the surface, it looks good - a game show where the viewers are the contestants. The host presents puzzles and the viewers call in to play. First time I saw it, I immediately thought something was strange. There's no phone number to call to participate. You can only text message, but you can't even text your answer. You can only send in a notice that you want to play. I figured out why when I read the fine-print: you get charged 99-cents for every text message you send in, and one contact is selected at random to call in and answer the puzzle on the air. So of the thousands of people who text in for a dollar each, only one gets to play, and that's not even a guarantee that you'll win. They've created a game that charges the contestant to play. A contestant could actually lose money playing the game. Stupid. Some of the female hosts are pretty cute, though.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cold Snap: Winter Comes To Phoenix

They've had a "cold snap" here in Phoenix over the last few days, in the twenties at night. On Saturday, the local news literally gave advice on how to deal with the cold spell. The advice? Take your dogs and cats in, and use an extra blanket at night. Thanks. Like I'd be lying in bed and going, "Oh, the newswoman just said to put on an extra blanket! Because my plan on dealing with the cold was to strip naked and dive into a bathtub full of ice cubes. What a relief to have such wise advice." I'll take advice on dealing with weather from a Phoenix native when I see one carrying an umbrella in the rain. Don't get me started on that.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Flashback Friday: Robotman

I remember watching the Robotman animated special years before I read the Robotman cartoons. It was called Robotman and Friends and portrayed Robotman as a loveable little robot with a heart on his chest, flying through the clouds with his little propeller on his head. Sort of like R2-D2 meets the Care Bears. Looking back, I imagined that must have been the creator of the comic strip's worst nightmare - his edgy, funny comic strip being transformed into a sappy, silly, cutesy special. But it turns out it wasn't. When I did the research for this flashback, I discovered it was the other way around. The character of Robotman was created for the toys and the animated special, and the comic strip was just supposed to be a part of the media blitz. That explains where the heart on his chest came from. It turned out that the comic strip survived while the stuffed doll vanished into obscurity.

* The original special was called Robotman and Friends, aired in October of 1984.
* Robotman had sidekicks - Stellar, Oops, and Lint. They fought an evil robot Toberon who tried to eliminate all the love in the world.
* After one other TV special, the Robotman character lived only in the comic strip.
* In the comic strip, Robotman lived with a family in suburbia for several years. He never fought an evil robot or tried to spread love in the world.
* Several years later, Robotman switched to living with a nerd named Monty.
* In 1999, Jim Meddick permanently phased out Robotman from the comic strip, changing it into Monty.

The best website, hands-down, for Robotman is the Robotman Library. There's a good interview that explains the origin of the comic strip, as well as info on the related Robotman paraphenalia. That's about it.

Flashback Friday: Out of This World
Flashback Friday: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Flashback Friday: Herb

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fox Versus Al Franken

Once upon a time, before Al Franken got a radio show, he had to annoy Republicans by writing books. At that time, Franken wrote Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them : A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. FOX sued, saying that the book violated copyright with its use of their slogan "fair and balanced." The lawsuit was thrown out before it went to trial, literally laughed out of court. Al Franken posted a transcript of the proceedings, minus the laughter. Feel free to insert your own.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Jokebook: Hell Has The Wrong One

One day, God is going through his records and realizes that Mother Theresa was accidentally sent to Hell. So he calls up Satan and says, "There's been a mix-up. You've got Mother Teresa down there."

Satan says, "Yeah, I know, it's great. She's re-decorated the place, she's always bright and sunny, and she even helps out every now and then. I'm keeping her."

God says, "You can't do that. You send her back up to Heaven or I'll sue you."

Satan says, "Fat chance. I've got all the lawyers."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Dragon Feathers: Eragon

I was watching the commercial for the new movie Eragon, which I don't plan to see...I don't understand the fascination with dragon-riding. If I had a dragon, I'd just send it around to destroy my enemies and report back. I don't need to ride on its back while it's doing it. And if there are other people riding dragons against me, even worse. I might get burned...and I noticed a weird thing. The dragons in the movie have feathers on their wings! That's just so wrong. Ever since the dawn of time, dragons have had bat-like wings. Why would they have feathers? They're not birds. I figure they did that to make their dragons seem more majestic. Maybe it's a chick-thing. Next thing, they'll have unicorns with scales.

Update From The New Yuk Times

Breaking news from the New Yuk Times: New Animated Movie Doesn't Include Robin Williams

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2006: Big Things That Went Bust

TIME Magazine lists the "5 Things That Went From Buzz to Bust" in 2006. I wasn't surprised about Snakes on a Plane, but the PS3? Glad I didn't get one. I feel better knowing that the success of the Nintendo Wii over the Sony Playstation3 took everyone by surprise, including game makers who are now scrambling to make games for a system they didn't think they would need to.