Thursday, May 9, 2019

A Second Chance (For A Third Time)

I like really weird and nonsensical stuff.
I was obsessed with MTV's The State and Mr. Show in the 90s.





Lately I have been watching "I Think You Should Leave" with Tim Robinson. It's fantastic.



So last night I wanted to watch something short that I wouldn't have to invest a lot of emotional time into.

I stumbled across something from 2018 called "Party Monster: Scratching the Surface."



It looked like a stand alone mock-u-mentary starring Jon Hamm. So I started watching it. It was asinine and immature, and quite frankly exactly what I was looking for.

I laughed a ton and wondered, "How in the hell had I never heard of this before?"

And then, about half way through the 30+ minute short, Kimmy Schmidt showed up.



Allow me a moment to talk about, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, for anyone who doesn't know, was a series originally developed for NBC. It would eventually be sold to Netflix in 2015.

It was created by Tiny Fey (creator of 30 Rock) and Robert Carlock (show runner for 30 Rock), and starred Ellie Kempler. Remember when I said, "I was obsessed with The State and Mr. Show?" Yeah, well add 30 Rock to that list! 30 Rock remains one of my top 5 sitcoms of all time. It was both sketch and narrative at the same time. It was able to jump from reoccurring "bit," to almost drama, to biting social commentary, to poop joke all within 2 or 3 lines of dialogue. It is a much smarter show than it is typically given credit. So it would make sense that I would LOVE anything and everything by the creative forces behind it. But then there's Kimmy Schmidt.



I remember the excitement the day that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt debuted. People were praising it left and right on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In (maybe)...So I couldn't wait to check it out! Then I did...

...I hated it. Not hated, but rather was completely bored. I didn't care about any of the characters. I found the first few moments to be laborious. HOLY SHIT! How am I going to get through this episode, let alone the whole season?!?

The short answer, I wouldn't. I used to do a podcast called "You've Got Geek." On it, we'd talk about movies or TV shows that you can "fold your laundry to." It basically meant, you could watch it without "watching it."
Think Cheers.

James Burrows used to equate Cheers (and Frasier, and Wings, and Friends...) to old radio shows. You didn't need to be invested visually to appreciate the show. And while that may be true, I have always had a hard time watching something and NOT being completely invested. I realize that this contradicts what I said earlier about how I, "wanted to watch something...that I wouldn't have to invest a lot of emotion into." But the fact is, I CAN'T!!! Even the dumbest little thing like a sketch or mock-u-mentary, I am all in.

Otherwise, I'm ALL OUT!
So back to Kimmy.

I turned on the first episode. And I couldn't get into it.

I paused it.
I walked away.
I watched while folding laundry.
I even turned it off for a few hours and went grocery shopping.

I just couldn't invest myself.

Finally, at the end of the day, I made it through the first episode!!!

Over the course of the next few days I allowed the next two episodes to play in the background of my life. I would find myself getting pulled away and didn't even bother to pause it.

"Ah, whatever," was my thinking. "I'll figure out what's going on."

And then. I just stopped.

Two and a half, maybe three episodes in, I was done.

Three more seasons would eventually be released much to the pleasure and joyous accolades of many of my friends.

I was happy for them. But I had no interest in the show.

Actually, that's not entirely true. I did attempt again. Somewhere along the way, I rewatched episode one. After all, I remember having a similar reaction to Orange is the New Black's first episode.

Julie and I watched it. She liked it, but I wasn't into it, so we stopped. That was it....until later, when I gave it another chance and ended up loving it! I devoured it, WITHOUT Julie. I have always felt badly about that, which Julie loves to torture me over.

Perhaps I merely wasn't in the right emotional place when I attempted to watch Kimmy Schmidt...or I just had some important goddamn items on my grocery list! So I went back and rewatched episode one. The results were the same.


Cooler version of me bored and apparently wearing a tie while I watch TV.

That brings us back to last night.

I LOVED Party Monster (not to be confused with Party Monster the book by James St. James which I read and loved! OR Party Monster the movie with Macauley Culkin and Seth Green, BASED on the book by James St. James, which I saw and liked).

How could this be so?

It's the same writers.
The same production staff.
Hell, even many of the same characters!

Is it possible that BOTH times I attempted to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I wasn't in the right mindset?

Would the third time be the charm?

I mean, I really liked this mock-u-mentary, but would a 30 minute short be enough to convince me to watch 51 episodes of a show I was rather bored with on a previous attempt?

The answer, yes.

But this time, I'll watch it with Julie. Just on the off chance we have another Orange is the New Black situation on our hands and I can make that up to her!


Otherwise, she can suffer with me as pay back for constantly reminding me I made her stop watching it in the first place.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Millionaire Halloween

Though 176 days away for most of us, yesterday was the celebration of the annual "Millionaire's Halloween." This year's Met Gala, which is a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY, saw an impressive bevy of costumes, but once again failed to have a single participant dressed as a Ghostbuster on the Red Carpet. When will they learn?!?

Up until last year, The Met (the Museum, NOT the Gala) was "pay-what-you-will." Because of this, the concept of the Met Gala event to raise money, seemed almost philanthropic.

Now if you want to visit The Met, it'll cost you $25 for an adult, $17 for a senior, $12 for a student, and FREE if you're under 12. However, if you want to visit the Met Gala, it'll cost you $30,000! Or you can get a table for $275,000. Based on the money, you can mathematically fit 9.16 people per table, which explains why only Jared Leto's head could make it this year.


The theme was allegedly "CAMP." Of course, I didn't see ANYONE dressed in a denim vest, a sun beaten fishing cap, and a tool belt. But I guess "camp" doesn't mean the same to everyone, "know what I mean, Vern?"



So what sui generis costumes did this unique mass don?


Lady Gaga (one of the event's "Hosts") dressed as Silly Puddy. Still a classic!




Gaga also brought extra costumes (a brilliant move to go out and get ADDITIONAL candy).

Here's one of her dresses as Mary Antoinette Poppins. "Let them eat a spoon full of sugar!"



Katy Perry went as Lumiere (again) from Beauty & The Beast. Katy, we get it! Your Mom worked hard on that costume, but seriously, EVERY year?!?




Gal Gadot and Clare Waight Keller dressed as timeless Mad Magazine characters, Spy vs. Spy.




A couple of "almost the same costume" moments with:

Janelle Monae rocking the One-Eyed Jack. Combining the playing card AND the Marlon Brando's character Rio in the film One-Eyed Jacks. Pretty heady stuff!




As well as Gemma Chan going as that thing that Superman uses to talk to his dead father in the Fortress of Solitude.




Both outfits drew heavy inspiration from Marlon Brando.


A near similar set saw Kylie Jenner's Mahna Mahna Music video inspired costume...




... almost get confused with Amber Valletta's "Green Fry Guy" costume.

RuPaul's Tony the Tiger outfit was great, until he lost the head piece.
(Seriously, if anyone found it PLEASE return it! It was rented!!!)


And Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner's couple costume homage to 1980s video games (Q-bert and Tron, respectively) was impressive!

I also appreciated Gwen Stefani's costume as "The Future Mrs. Kevin Regan."


But my favorite costume of the night was hands down Colin Kaepernick as Johnny Lawrence in his Cobra Kai outfit, along with Nessa Diab dressed as the 2nd place trophy Johnny won at the 1984 All-Valley Karate Championship that Sensei John Crease would break in the parking lot afterwards.

A little promotion tie in for Cobra Kai Season 2 now on Youtube Premium.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Blue Jeans (Cover Your Asshole)


I just met a girl named Blue Jean...I didn't. But it popped in my head when I wrote this, so now hopefully it's popped into yours.



I wear blue jeans, almost everyday. I own other pants. Dress pants. Khakis. Cargo pants. Sweat pants. Pajama bottoms. The list goes on...or actually ends just about there. But I rarely wear anything other than blue jeans. Probably because they're easy. Also, they hide dirt well. So you can get away with wearing the same pair for like four days in a row. If I can go four days without having to make a decision, that is a huge win for this indecisive asshole.

Speaking of assholes, in the end (literally) that's all pants are: a covering for your asshole.
Sure they cover your dick, lady parts, or what ever you have, but with few exceptions, we all have assholes. (<--- !!! Seriously, go back and CLICK that link and read about the man who lived 55 years without an anus! SCIENCE!)

You may be thinking, "Hey, I like seeing assholes....on a date...or in a club...or sunbathing in the park..." Okay fine. But I'm talking about in regular places throughout the day, like grocery shopping, or at the mechanic, or in the waiting room of the doctors office...and WHAT park are you hanging out at?!?





Personally, I just like having a reliable pair of pants that are pretty universal for most occasions. As long as they're not covered in mud, jeans are accepted most places you'll go today.

What I HATE, is buying jeans. In fact next to a car and a bed, they are probably the thing I like buying least! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE owning them, but loath the process of actually buying them.

Recently, I blew the knee out of two separate pairs of jeans (same knee...maybe my left knee is extremely sharp or something), forcing me to replace them. I went to Old Navy, as they have had pretty affordable jeans in the past. They were running a sale, but truthfully, it was still more than I wanted to spend. In the end I bought two pairs, but it got me thinking how expensive jeans can be.

I recall a story in which a friend of mine was in a band, and his drummer who would brag about a pair of $600 jeans he had purchased. This is astounding to me. If I spent $600 on jeans, I'd assume it included at least 13 pairs as well as a new dresser in which to hold them! But a single pair? WHY?!?

This dresser is available at Raymour & Flanigan for under $190.00

Obviously, this Old Navy shopper realizes different people want different things, have different styles, and different budgets. But why on earth would anyone spend $600 to cover their asshole?

I Googled "the world's most expensive jeans," and found some real treasures (that I could never afford):

3x1 is a company that start in 2011. Their "made to order" jeans start around $1200. While I admit, made to order is going to come with a slightly higher expense, the idea that they are 30 times more expensive than my most recent jeans purchase is insane. Even if it was "maid to order" in which a maid comes to your house and cleans it from top to bottom while your jeans are being made, I'd still think it's about $800 too expensive.



Note even THEY are wearing denim!

Michael Kors, one of the few names I recognize because of my wife's love of Project Runway, has a pair of Tie-Dye Leather Bell-Bottom Pants that sold for $2000! I swear to God, the three things I hate most in pants listed in no particular order are tie-dye, leather, and bell-bottom. Christ, even Yandy wouldn't have something this gaudy! Michael Kor jeans vary from $1200-$1700. Jesus.

I stand corrected. Yandy! Say it ain't so!

Alexander McQueen jeans go for between $1000 and $2000. I found THIS PAIR of "Steve McQueen" jeans on Ebay for under $30.00.

The man could rock the denim!
Gucci released something called their "Genius Jeans" in 1998. At the time, they were the most expensive jeans in the world with the hefty price tag of $3134!!! They are a distressed pair of jeans (read: washed a shit-ton), that are ripped (read: blown out left knee) adorned with African beads (read: covered with shit from Michael's).

For the record, when Steve McQueen's 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback came off the assembly line, it cost $2712. Meaning you could have McQueen's car, and "his" jeans we previously talked about, and still have almost $400 left over to buy 2 dressers...

Hell yeah!
Finally, this fucking pair of jeans!


Secret Circus' $1.3 millions dollar pair of jeans based on the 15 diamonds encrusted on the back pocket. Look lady, I was already looking at your butt, you didn't need to have the GDP of Thailand on there!

Seriously, you spend this much on jeans we may not see your asshole, but we'll surely see you are an asshole!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Advice to Donald Trump: "Don't Say A Word"

Where's the button that shuts down the government for a month?

While pleading his case, AKA grasping at straws, for his pointless WA11, current US President (under investigation) Donald J. Trump is getting blasted for repeatedly claiming "women have been discovered covered in duct tape" and "prayer rugs had been found by farmers near the Mexican border."

Of course neither of these tidbits were ascertained through the Intelligence Community, but rather through Trumps personal network of information, Netflix. More specifically while watching the 2015 film, Sicario on Netflix.

Ten bucks says he makes someone "sit" on the couch in front of him while he watches.
One hundred and fifty thousand bucks says he has Michael Cohen pay them not to tell his wife!

OK. I admit it, this is FAKE NEWS. Sicario is not actually on Netflix...which honestly, is some bullshit Netflix! After all, if you're going to raise my monthly charge AGAIN (Stranger Things Season 3 better be worth it!) the least you can do is stream the film that basically shut down the government for over a month!
Perhaps Trump has a Blu-Ray, DVD, digital download, or even a VHS. 
*Writer's Note: I checked after writing this, Sicario was never released on VHS. But maybe Trump taped over something he already had...perhaps a certain "Pee Tape."
(*Editor Note: That was typo that was supposed to read "Pee Wee Herman Tape")
(*Editor's Note Part II: Why didn't I just fix the typo you ask? Because it's not my fucking job to fix Kevin's mistakes!)
(*Editor's Note Part III: Oh! That is an editor's actual job? Who knew?)

Regardless of how he viewed it, people are up in arms over Trump dictating policy based on a movie he watched.

Here's the thing...he's not the first President to do this! I mean come on! Ronald Reagan basically had ALL of The Soviet Union standing in food lines when he damn near bankrupted the nation after a late night screening of Star Wars.
*Look it up, it's not entirely untrue.

He would have loved Jar Jar...as long as Jar Jar didn't have AIDS.


On the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, President Barack Obama was unwinding after a long day and he found a VHS tape left over from the Bush Administration. Ironically, the video was also celebrating a 10 year anniversary that month, Don't Say A Word.


The movie starred Michael Douglas and Brittnay Murphy.

President Obama hated it so much, especially the creepy "I'll never tell..." scene with Murphy in the insane asylum, that Obama swore to bring down the movie.

Less than 2 weeks later, on 9/20/2011, Obama signed The Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010 (H.R. 2965, S. 4023)

Also, the VHS tape was recorded over with the final episode of All My Children on 9/23/2011. Most people have since forgotten about this film securing Obama's legacy in perpetuity. 

What a terrible punishment for the Obama girls.


Much to Barbara Bush's chagrin, her moments younger twin sister, Jenna always got to pick the movie night film for the Bush girl's birthday. Though the sisters had a joint Blockbuster account, their tastes in movies varied greatly. Jenna preferred comedies and lighthearted films. While Barbara like much darker, often times boring films. 

Thanksgiving 2003, newly 22 year old Jenna brought a copy of "Dude Where's My Car" to family movie night. 


Hoping to finally be taken seriously, Barbara brought along "Don't Say a Word." Her father President George W. Bush didn't even waste time on "eeny meenying" it. "Dude Where's My Car," went in the VCR, "Don't Say a Word" was discarded to the dustbin of history (along with some crumpled up papers where Dick Chaney was "spitballing" about how to "relieve" Bush of all that work).

What is that I see in the waste basket by the American Flag? Sorry Barbara.

One week later, clearly having "theft" from the fears of "a dude" having their car stolen on his mind, Bush speaks of the Identity Theft Legislation. Legislation which he'd sign into law a short time later (HR 1731). 


"And then..."
And then a whole bunch of war crimes, I guess.



"The truth really IS out there!"
                              - Bill Clinton
President William Jefferson Clinton was a fan of movies. More importantly, he was a fan of an invention his VP Al Gore came up with called The Internet.

After stumbling upon a Gillian Anderson geocities page filled with sexy photos, Clinton was hooked!

However, he needed more, and feared that a computer monopoly might inhibit the free market. Therefore, The United States vs Microsoft Corp. began. Ushering in a new age of the world wide web which includes such things as Pornhub.com. A place to find poorly doctored photographs...also Blogger.com.


And George HW Bush...did things too (more war crimes, maybe)?

Why did they watch TV like this when there were only 3 channels? They knew they didn't need a different TV to watch each channel, right?

The point is...

...Fuck. I forget what my point was.
*(Editor's Note: Ya got me...)

I guess the point is, maybe listen to your Intelligence Agencies as opposed to whipping people into a frenzy over information that is inaccurate, AKA completely fictional.

When in doubt, just don't say a word...but don't WATCH "Don't Say a Word!"

Monday, January 21, 2019

"The Punch Up Podcast, Thanks For Listening"

Every episode begins with Steve (and once Jessie) saying, "Welcome to the Punch Up Podcast, thanks for listening..."

Almost 3 years ago, Steve Roney asked me to be part of The Punch Up Podcast.


Friday night, we performed/recorded our 100th and final episode. It has been an absolute pleasure to be part of this comedic journey.


My sincerest thanks to everyone who has ever agreed to be on the show including Dave Jadico, Alli Soowal, Kevin Dougherty, Mary Carpenter, Don Montrey, Jim Carpenter, Darryl Charles, Sean Curran, Kristin Finger, Sean Roach, Fred Siegel, Brian McCann, Joe Sabatino, Josh Rubinstein, David Dritsas, Danna Young, Chip Chantry, and Olivia Roth.

My undying gratitude to all of the people who lent technical support for live shows: Dave, Kristin, Don, Josh Holober-Ward, Andrea Kellner, Lauren "Blaze" Mehalik, Kathleen Sheehy, Emily Zargan, and especially Tim Scepansky, who hung in there with us for our Facebook live episode.

Also, a huge thanks to each and every person who has ever taken time out of their lives to listen to a single episode. There is so much you could do with your time, so choosing to listen to us talk about everything from making toy guns out of tampons, to selling Mummers albums in the freezing cold, makes us extremely grateful.

Finally, all of my love to my fellow podcasters Eoin O'Shea, Jessie Preisendorfer, and of course the hostest with the mostest, Steve Roney. What an honor to have been part of these 100 episodes with you three amazingly funny human beings. I don't know what's next, but look forward to all the laughs along the way as we figure it out.


"Now ring that bell..."

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

PresiDIDN'Ts

As I write this, the government has been shut down for 17 days, 6 hours, 49 minutes, and 11 seconds. So almost 15 days longer than Britney Spears marriage to Jason Alexander...


Not THAT Jason Alexander!

**********

On Friday January 4th, Donald Trump addressed the flowers in the Rose Garden. Luckily, some reporters were on hand to document his crazed ramblings, including the following in regards to his mythical wall:

This is national security we’re talking about. We’re not talking about games. We’re talking about national security. This should have been done by all of the Presidents that preceded me. And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.

So a few quick things.

First of all, before you think I have misquoted him in anyway. THIS excerpt was taken directly from the White House's own website.

Second, let's not speak so confidentially about there NOT being a "National Security" game. After all, there are a few.

There's Homeland, the board game. For when you have absolutely nothing else in your life.


There's the Homeland Defense: National Security Patrol video games for teens who have yet to discover that there's porn to be found on the computer.


And finally there's the original National Security game, Risk. A game about global domination appropriate for ages 10-Despot.


Third and lastly, the reason I brought you all here, is to discuss the last line in the quote above, in which Mr, Trump says, "Some of them have told me that we should have done it." Referring to the fact that some of "the Presidents that preceded me," have told Trump that their administration should have built a wall.

Here's the issue: When you refer to abstract things IN the abstract, they are pretty hard to fact check "We need a wall, believe me!" But when you refer to concrete things (get it, walls are made of concrete) in the abstract, they are rather easily researchable.

Presidents Carter, W. Bush, Clinton, and Obama have all commented, through spokespeople, that they NEVER discussed the wall with the current President.

President HW Bush couldn't be reached for comment, because he's dead.
Though those close to him revealed that in his failing health during the Trump Presidency ("failing health" and "Trump Presidency" are synonyms.),  HW and Trump never had any substantive conversations.

A few of the former Presidents, including Carter, have also included their opinions regarding the wall in the exact opposite of Trump's claim.

Which leads me to the following...does this man, who cares very little of history or facts at all, think that most people were once the President?

Or, and this is where I'm leaning, did he in fact talk to a man who used to be president, and also a client, Sy Sperling?


I mean...we KNOW they've had at least ONE conversation before. Perhaps in that conversation more than one thing "came to a head."

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

If Your First Name is an Adjective, Watch Your Ass!

Mean Gene Okerlund and Super Dave Osbourne both passed away today.



If your first name happens to be an adjective, watch your ass! 2019 looks to be a spiteful bitch!

Also, someone get Weird Al Yankovic to a secured location!

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EDITED:
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After this blog "went to press," Daryl Dragon, better known as "Captain" in the power duo, Captain and Tennille passed away. Similar to Mean Gene & Super Dave, Captain was 76 years old.

Two questions loom:


1. What is happening to 76 year olds?
2. Why would you drop the name Dragon to be called Captain.

Also, "Captain" isn't typically considered an adjective, unless you're a "captain of industry." Which, of course, Dragon was.