Friday, March 30, 2007

I've Been Sick

I've had some sort of deathcold this last week, so I haven't been posting anything. But in the meantime, to keep you occupied, here's a picture of a cat shaving.

Mr. Tiddles claimed a brush gave him the closest shave, but his friends all thought it was just an affectation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hey, I'm on Gawker!

No, I wasn't spotted in a heated argument with Milo Ventimiglia outside of DaSilvano or canoodling with Martha Stewart in the secret bottle-service back room of a Duane Reade (bet you didn't know they had them, did you?).

Actually, I wrote something for Gawker's regular Looking at the Look Book feature. Here's the bit (my friend Jack Kukoda also wrote something for this installment). And here's the original New York Magazine Look Book (you might want to read that first).

Thanks to the ever-awesome Ritch Duncan for referring me.

Recycling Center: Jest Edition

Way back during the last gasp of Jest Magazine (at that point, I wrote three installments of what was intended to be a weekly column, called "Dan McCoy's Can't Miss Movie Pitch."

Well, Jest died soon thereafter, but when I was sifting through the archives this morning (because I'm too lazy to write something new) I found this fourth, previously unpublished piece. It's honestly not that great, but for any Jest completists out there-- and I know they don't exist-- it's gold!



To: Big Hollywood Studio Guys

From: Dan McCoy

RE: Beetle Bailey: The Movie

The enormous success of Garfield: The Movie illustrates that newspaper comic properties can mean big bucks, even if said comics were only really popular twenty years ago (or more). With that in mind, I've acquired the rights to Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey, the lighthearted tale of a congenitally lazy army private, and his criminally abusive superior officer.

I believe that a Beetle Bailey movie could provide even better returns than Garfield, for two reasons:

    1. In light of the current conflict in Iraq, more and more Americans are asking themselves, “Hey. What’s Beetle Bailey doing these days?”
    2. As all of the major characters are human, there is no need for the sort of expensive CGI used to bring Garfield to life. Maybe for Miss Buxley’s breasts.

Our story: As we open, the gang is mourning the death of Lt. Flap, Camp Swampy’s only black soldier, who was first to be sent to Iraq. But their grief is cut short, as the rest of the unit is soon ordered to follow. Each reacts to this development in unique and hilarious ways.

    • Plato, who only joined the army to finance his Masters in Philosophy from William and Mary, writes a series of passionate editorials decrying army recruitment techniques, which end up getting cut down to a two-line joke for “Humor in Uniform.”
    • Killer, the ladies man, is detained by the Iraqi police, for trying to peek under a burqa.
    • Country boy Zero loses his faith in both God and men.
    • Lieutenant Peachfuzz, the comical by-the-book suck-up, is fragged by his subordinates.

Meanwhile, back stateside, Miss Buxley takes a lot of showers for no reason.

One thing becomes clear, after nearly sixty years off active duty at Camp Swampy, the gang is woefully unprepared for combat. In a dramatic montage—scored either to Buffalo Springfield’s “For What it’s Worth” or Rick Dees’s “Disco Duck (I haven’t decided)—Beetle is cut down in a hail of gunfire, a human insect crushed for all our sins.

Once home, Sergeant Snorkel falls into alcoholism, tortured by thoughts that his time would’ve been better spent teaching Beetle to operate an automatic weapon, rather than beating him for failing to dig ditches. Beetle’s mother (who, in a surprise reveal, is Mary Worth) stations herself outside General Halftrack’s Texas ranch, refusing to leave until he takes responsibility for the death of her son. In a touching rapprochement, the General embraces Ms. Worth, and—after divorcing his shrewish wife, Martha—the two of them are married, in a symbolic joining of the military and the peace movement.

That is, until General Halftrack gropes Miss Buxley, and the marriage is annulled.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In Which I Blow the Lid Off a Cartoon Industry Secret

In certain rare cases, cartoon children and teens can grow up into human celebrities. For instance, did you know that she...

...became her?

Likewise, this burger enthusiast...

...grew up to be this gentleman:

Last, and perhaps most shockingly, this...

...became this:


Monday, March 19, 2007

Recycling Center: Rejected Jokes Edition

Jokes may come and go, but rejection is eternal...

In an interview, Naomi Campbell says that yoga and anger management classes have helped her calm down, saying, “It’s amazing how calming it can be, to stretch and twist the body of my assistant.”

This year's MTV Movie Awards will feature a new category called "Best Movie Spoof," which will award the best original movie parody by fans, and prove there’s no limit to the things America can put snakes on.

The University of Illinois voted to retire their Indian mascot Chief Illiniwek. His retirement will be spent in a series of ever-smaller closets, until school expansion forces him to be donated to a local casino.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday admitted, "mistakes were made," in the firings of eight top prosecutors, while Democrats threatened to subpoena whomever the passive voice referred to.

The Senate voted 89 to 9 Wednesday to begin its first formal debate on the Iraq war since Democrats took control of Congress in January. And whoever wins gets to go to the national debate team finals in… Washington D.C.? What a rip.

It was reported that Scarlett Johansson may play the lead role in a stage revival of South Pacific, leading thousands of men to volunteer to be washed right out of her hair.

Court TV has announced that it will change its name in January since most of its line-up has little to do with the courtroom. So next year, keep an eye out for its new name, “Reruns of ‘Cops’ TV.”

A man in Montana told police that he was not to blame for crashing his truck into a light post, since a unicorn was driving at the time. The unicorn became distracted after passing motorists encouraged the truck driver to honk his horn.

Angelina Jolie arrived in Vietnam on Wednesday where she is expected to adopt a 3 year-old boy, or, possibly, three one-year-old boys.

France's highest court annulled the country's only same-sex marriage this week, ruling that "under French law, marriage is a union between a man and a woman." Because if anyone’s for protecting the sanctity of marriage, it’s the French.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Of Death, Breasts, and Court TV

So, speaking of bad movies, I host a semi-regular bad movie night for friends. Last year, on Kentucky Derby day (don't look for a reason for the scheduling, because there is none), I screened Hard Ticket to Hawaii, which turned out to be a great favorite of the regular attendees.

Flash forward to this week, when I learned some tragic news. Here's an excerpt from the email I sent to friends:

"I'm sad to inform you all that Andy Sidaris, auteur behind past movie night favorite Hard Ticket to Hawaii, died yesterday at the age of 76. One can only hope that he passed away peacefully, surrounded by busty former Playboy models (brandishing bazookas), and perhaps a giant rubber snake."

Anyway, the news inspired my friend Ritch Duncan, former editor of Jest Magazine and current funny stand-up, to write this piece for the Court TV blog.*

R.I.P. Andy Sidaris. May flights of nipples sing thee to thy rest.

*Raising the obvious question, "Court TV has a blog?"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In Which I Reimagine a Motion Picture Ad Campaign

Last night I was having a drink with friends, after going to see the excellent Korean monster movie The Host. Talk turned (as it usually does, with me) to bad movies. My buddy Simon mentioned that he hated the tag line to the recent non-smash-hit Hannibal Rising. The poster is reproduced below (letters enlarged for readability).

He pointed out that, by definition, something can't start with revenge. So I suggested an alternate tag line:

Or, if they wanted to inject a little bit of comics page whimsy, how about a word balloon:

Then again, with the mask on, it would probably sound more like:

In the end, we decided on brutal honesty:

Oh, with deft Photoshopping skills like this, it's a wonder that I'm still a low-paid temp.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I Respond to a Blog Challenge

So, for the very first time, I have been issued a blog challenge. The lovely Fuse#8, Newbery Medal panelist and children's librarian extraordinare, has tasked me to re-write this (go read) and make it funny.

Oy. I try and limit my bad-mouthing of people to no more than 126 times a month, and Paul Rudnick and I have tangled before (well, insomuch as me attacking him via a one-sided blog post, while he's busy taking a limousine to his second limousine which takes him to his limousine-encrusted mansion, all the while being unaware of my existence counts as "tussling"). However, this seems to me to be a particularly egregious Shouts and Murmurs for two reasons.

1.) It's of that S&M family wherein a writer stumbles upon some soft news item in the back of Newsweek, takes 10 seconds to get the gist of it, then writes 500 completely un-trenchant words on the subject, while giving the impression that we should be grateful that he deigns to focus his Olympian wit on this wrongheaded nook of modern life. Oh the foibles! THE FOIBLES!

2.) He's making the same smutty joke over and over. (a) Find children's book (b) insert dirty word (c) repeat. In effect, he's simply playing the old porn movie title game-- hey everyone! Saving Private Ryan is now Saving Ryan's Privates! Ha Ha! Rudnick is dabbling in the job that hardworking porn screenwriters do everyday, without mainstream respectability or New Yorker cachet. They're the true heroes.

Anyway, considering that this is clearly a one-joke premise, the best strategy is to get in and get out. No point in using 500 words, when brevity is the s of w. With that in mind, I've re-written the piece, focusing only on the titles. Sure that turns my version into a simple list, and lists are the lowest form of comedy writing (although I've certainly done my share). But at least it doesn't belabor things.

Is it funnier? I don't know. I honestly didn't want to spend more than 10 minutes on it. But it's better than Marci X.

* * *

The Barenstein Bares Go to Nudist Camp

The Little Snatch Girl

This One's Pretty Much Porn for Teens, by Judy Blume

Dear Mr. Henshaw 2: Mom Said I Shouldn't Write to Adults on MySpace, but...

Johnny Tremendouscrotum

The Monster at the End of My Pants

Blueballs for Sal

Amelia Bedelia Misunderstands What it Means to "Butter the Muffin"

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

* * *

Okay. I feel dirty now. I promise not to work blue for a year.

I Was on the Internets Radios Last Night

If you missed my appearance on Fist City last night, never fear. You can catch up by subscribing to the podcast. Do it! It's easy! I promise you! Just copy the xml link into iTunes, or your podcasting software of choice.

I appear in the last five minutes of the show. Unfortunately, due to the ever-loose start and end times of East Village Radio shows, and the ever-exact start and end times of their auto-podcasting set up, the last 30 seconds or so of my 4-5 minute appearance gets cut off. Mid-joke, actually.

So if you listen, and you want to hear what you missed, here it is.

(ahem. >spoilers<) * * *

"...because then Muppet land developers come in, and then they wanna build walls all over it, and suddenly Miss Piggy's in a bikini, which is tragic. Personally, I feel this makes Muppets into second-class citizens, but what do I know? Anyway, to sum up, my screenplay for Ghost Rider 2: Wild Hogs Can’t be Broken is finished and ready to be bid on, big-time movie studios. I’ve sent a copy in the mail. I didn’t know the address, so I just wrote Hollywood on the envelope, but I’m sure it’ll get to you. Thanks."

* * *

And if you didn't listen to the show, if the former paragraph isn't intriguing, I don't know what is.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Dan Returns to Fist City TONIGHT

I've not done a lot of live comedy for a long while, as I've been working on a sure-to-be-unseen and unpurchased screenplay, but I'll be making an appearance on popular Internets radios series Fist City tonight, as the "guest essayist." What hijinx will result? Listen to East Village Radio tonight at nine and find out. Or subscribe to the podcast.

Who Wants to See a Video When You Can Hear a Sketch?

Here's something a little different. To celebrate the 131st-and-one-month anniversary of the patenting of the telephone, I present this audio sketch, written/edited/mixed by me (listen to it with headphones, for the full stereo effect), and featuring the vocal talents of Fed Hatoum and myself.

Profiles in History: The First Phone Call (Quicktime file)

Thanks to Fed for hosting the sketch on the Captains in Space site.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

In Which I Address the Board of Directors of My Snack Food Company

Gentlemen, I know that we here at Amalgamated Snack Items, Inc. have had a tough year. I, as your CEO, bear some responsibility for that. Primarily, I apologize for greenlighting Dr. Sodium's Pretzel Twistz, "With the Great Taste of Pure Sodium." I had hoped we could take on Nabisco's hugely popular "Mr. Salty Pretzels," but I failed to take into account that pure chemical sodium is a highly reactive alkali metal-- one which explodes when it comes in contact with water.

Again, I am sorry. The most cursory Internet search could have yielded that information, but I suppose I was caught up in the fever of getting the product to market, before Keebler's "Sgt. Potassium's Carb Bitz." Mea culpa.

However, before the board votes to oust me, I would like to unveil some of the delicious snack items that are in the planning stages for 2007. I feel confident that, once you hear my ideas, the precipitous stock plunge brought on by countless wrongful death suits will be a distant memory. Or, at least, it would be if I hadn't reminded you of it just now.


How many potato chips rehash the same tired flavors? Sour cream and onion. Barbecue. Salt and vinegar. Lately snackmakers have tried to jazz up the humble chip with spicy jalepeno, or buffalo wing flavors. But what about a truly new taste experience-- and I'm not talking a green tea chip for our Japantown franchises. What about a chip that makes you know what it's like to be a single mom trying to "make it" in New York City? It's the toughest job you'll ever love, gentlemen, and now it's the most rewarding chip you'll ever eat-- Ms. Potato'z Unmarried Starch-ums.

I'll let you digest that one for a bit, gentlemen-- although the chips themselves will be loaded with undigestable husband-snagging olestra-- and move on to the next treat.

Corn chips come in all a manner of shapes, from scoops to cones to puffy little footballs. Well, I suggest that the physical qualities of our chips take a quantum leap forward. Literally. And by literally, I mean that our chips will be made entirely of fried corn particles suspended in superposition. Gentlemen, I give you Schrödinger's Phyziks Chipz! The very existence of which are in flux until you open the bag. Are the chips there? Or is the bag empty? Think of the manufacturing savings if the bag is empty! Especially if we don't bother making any, and just claim the very act of having a snack attack caused the consumer to observe the chips, making them disappear.

I can see that the last snack idea might be a little highbrow for you. So what about this one-- Fried Manta Ray Rindz. Now, hear me out. Pork rinds are just flash-fried pork skin, but the skin is a tiny part of the pig's total mass, making for a low ratio of return. However, Manta Rays are almost ALL surface area-- meaning that they're practically made of skin. Thus we can fry a whole manta ray, and feed an entire tailgating party on one lousy marine creature!

So what say you, gentlemen? Do I keep my job here at ASI?


Hmn. How odd that twelve fully-grown men would be able to leave this conference room without me noticing, even though I've been facing them, and speaking to them directly, the entire time.

Oh well, more manta rinds for me!