Friday, September 28, 2007

In Which I Bring You a Blast From the Past

In the course of my normal time-wasting day, I've discovered something interesting. Namely, that my college e-mail address is still active. Other than the morbid curiosity sated by seeing the effects of seven years of spam mail activity, this was exciting because I came across a few old pieces I wrote that I thought were lost to time.

They both appear to have been written to submit to Modern Humorist, back when they actually published material and weren't just two guys on VH1 talking heads shows. I think one of these was partially purchased, but it was just one joke out of a larger piece, and it's not archived anywhere. So I doubt they'll sue me. I hope not. That $60 they sent me wasn't worth it.

Anyway, I've decided to take these pieces out of the metaphorical dusty closet and air them out here. Not all the jokes are good. Most aren't. I wrote these right out of college, before I got into comedy in any serious way (I'm still kind of waiting for that, actually). Also, many of the jokes referencing television are woefully out of date (the jokes referencing Restoration era poetry were intentionally out-of-date). However, there are a few good gags in here. Certainly enough to wile away a boring afternoon at work. So take a look...

First Drafts of Famous Verses

April is in My Mistress’ Face by Thomas Morley

April is in my mistress’ face,
and July in her eyes hath placed;
but her chest is much more interesting in January.

* * *

The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams

So much depends upon
Four teenagers
and their wacky, crime-fighting dog
Beside a Mystery Van

* * *

Holy Sonnets: Batter My Heart, Three Person’d God by John Donne

Batter me good, oh Trisected God, for you
do only kick me in the ass to make me stronger
Oh Lord, to make me good but hit me longer
and I shall love thee till the day I die
Tho’ yet ‘tis hard to explain my black eye
to Milton and the others (thank you, oh Lord, you made him blind)
I know you’re cruel only to be kind
Oh baby, please don’t go. I know you get crazy sometimes. Don’t walk out that door. Can’t you see I love you, sugar? I won’t do you wrong no more.
When you’re in love-- Sometimes a hit feels just like a kiss.

* * *

Names of Horses by Donald Hall

For a hundred and fifty years or something like that,
in the Pasture of dead horses,
roots of pine trees, pushed through the pale curves of your ribs,
yellow blossoms flourished above you in autumn,
and in winter frost heaved your bones in the ground - old toilers, soil makers:
O Dizzy, Daffy, G.K. Chesterton, Lars, Goat-Head, Frenchy, Space Ghost,
Huey, Dewey, Lewie, Screwy, Mooey, Mel,
Fat Albert, “Horse,” Tigger, Mr. Peterson, Moby Dick,
Nico, Mau-Mau, Potlatch, Elvis, Dr. X,
Ivan, Stu, Habakkuk, Rabbi Schulz, Linus,
Ol’ Manure.

* * *

Poem Number 754 Emily Dickenson

My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun --
In Corners -- till a Day
The O--wner passed -- identified --
And ca-- rrie-- d Me away --

A-- nd now We roam in Sovreign Woods --
And no-- w We hunt the Doe --
And now The air is Shattered--
by the Force of Casey’s Blow—

Tonight’s Television Listings


8 - 9 The Inoffensive World of Disney:
Tonight, MOVIE – “The Shaggiest Leprechaun” TV-G Teen singing sensation Brandy stars in this remake of two Disney classics, “Darby O’ Gill and the Little People” and “The Shaggy Dog” as a girl who finds a ring that transforms her into the most hirsute Leprechaun around. But what happens when she brings her hip-hop “flava” to the Emerald Isle? Jason Alexander costars.

9 - 9:30 The Family’s a Bunch, TV-G
The Olsen Twins star in the popular sitcom revolving around the horrifically numerous Smith clan, which requires a cast of 56.

9:30 - 10 Smuggles, TV-G
A sitcom about a talking rat and his imaginary friend, William Burroughs. (Repeat.)

10 - 11 Streets of Pain, TV-14
The latest from Steven Bochco revolves around a group of trauma ward hospital patients who fight crime, despite their numerous, crippling injuries. 12-time Emmy winner. Theme by Mike Post.


8 - 8:30 Phil and Jamie, TV-PG
Romantic sitcom focusing on the travails of on-again, off-again couple Phil and Jamie.

8:30 - 9 Phil and Joe and Jamie, TV-14
Situation comedy focusing on the nutty adventures of gay couple Phil and Joe, and their best shopping buddy, Jamie.

9 - 9:30 Phil and Susan and Joe and Jamie, TV-PG
Episodic comedy about two neighboring couples and their hijinx in suburbia.

9:30 - 10 Phil and Emmon and Jamie and Joe and Susan, TV-14
Comedy series focusing on a group of friends in NYC, and their search for love and sex.

10 - 11 Dateline NBC, TV-14
Tonight, the poorly-researched news-entertainment magazine does its best to polarize and make black-and-white the highly divisive and ambiguous issue of abortion. Then, the first in a 12-part series focusing on strippers. STRIPPERS we tell you! Strippers galore!


8 - 8:30 Bunson! , TV-PG
Michael Gross triumphantly returns to the medium that made him famous in this heartwarming sitcom about a crotchety butler, and his relationship to his twentysomething employer (Andrew McCarthy).

8:30 - 9 Ivins, TV-PG
In the vein of CBS’s early 90's sitcom Dave’s World (based upon the columns of popular humorist Dave Barry) comes this sassy political satire, based on the editorial columns of Molly Ivins. Watch as Molly (Sally Struthers) takes the wind out of her grumpy republican neighbor with her down-home wisdom.

9 - 10 Oh My God They’re Watching Me!, TV-14
CBS’s commitment to the most innovative in reality-based programming continues in this popular show in which camera crews choose two unsuspecting college co-eds and tape them during the course of a normal week. A surprise hit!

10 - 11 Old Man Fuddy’s Crotchety Mystery Hour
An elderly man and his crotchety pal take their rickety Oldsmobile to use all of their wrinkly powers to pontificate in their curmudgeonly way on a series of the most confoundedly dang-blasted conundrums.


8 - 8:30 The Johnstones, TV-14
Satiric animated look at a dysfunctional family and their stupid patriarch.

8:30 - 9 The Patterson Family, TV-14
Satiric animated look at another dysfunctional family and their slightly different stupid patriarch. (Repeat.)

9 - 9:30 I’m the Man, TV-14
Sly social satire in the guise of a cartoon.

9:30 - 10 Ostrich Man, TV-14
Random, meta-humor is the order of the day in this fanciful cartoon series brimming with clever pop-culture references and sly allusions.

10-11 Berkowitz’s Brain, TV-14
In the tradition of Ally McBeal and Herman’s Head comes this lighthearted dramedy that takes us inside the mind of the Son of Sam. Poor David would like to be the model prisoner, but how can he concentrate in front of the parole board, if he keeps seeing disemboweled dancing babies?


8 - 9 Antiques Roadshow, TV-G
See as normal people find out how much money they can get for their treasured family heirlooms.

9 - 10 Masterpiece Theater, TV-PG
Tonight is part one in their adaptation of Edith Wharton’s masterpiece, Ethan Frome. This is her touching tale of a doomed love, set against the backdrop of wintry New England, and including a wholly unexpected sledding accident. Sure to make you want to slit your wrists. Sometimes, for some reason, PBS can get away with showing naked people on these shows; but odds are they won’t be able to work any tasteful nudity into this one.

10 - 10:30 Bob’s Your Uncle, TV-14
Knicker and knacker jokes presented with that incredibly tasteful British flavour.

10:30 - 11 Dad’s Up Your Blimey Brigade, Sod Off!, TV-14
Hilarious hijinx with all the Dad’s crew as they’re forced to dress in drag while fighting the Krauts and insulting those bloody Frogs.


8 - 8:30 Blacker than Black, TV-14
With Bill Bellamy

8:30 - 9 Welcome to the Hood, TV-14
With Shawn Wayans

9 - 9:30 Know What I’m Sayin’?, TV-14
With Marlon Wayans 9:30 - 10

Homeboys Comin’ In, TV-14
With Steve Harvey

10 - 11
Paid Programming


8 - 9 Hell High, TV-14
Young Leslie and her friends are in a bit of a pickle, as all of her teachers are demons. See as they gang together to fight these ungodly menaces, and then see how their flesh is rent and they’re consumed by maggots, regenerating only to have their pain begin anew, as they burn in hellfire, cursing the day that they thought they were strong enough to challenge the Lord of the Flies.

9 - 10 Samson’s Dreams, TV-14
You’ll fall in love with young Samson, and his dreams, as he floats through his last days of youth. You’ll fall in love with young Dee-dee, and Baker, and Piper and Sam too. And they’ll fall in love with each-other. Oh how they’ll fall in love with each other. First Samson will be in love with Piper, but then he’ll be in love with Dee-dee, and then Dee-dee will be in love with Baker, and THEN Sam will be in love with Piper and Dee-dee, and then Samson will turn out to be gay and love Sam. I’m telling you, you won’t be able to keep up with the love. And the screwing! Oh my God the screwing! They’re like crazed weasels these kids. You’ve never seen such screwing!

10 - 11 Xena the Warrior Princess, TV-14
They’ve cut back on the lesbian subtext. Why bother?


8 - 12 One Million Nights of James Bond Continuation of James Bond movie marathon.


8 - 12 An Evening of Blues Brothers and Animal House
Unending replay of John Landis’ early comedy outings.


8 - 9 Walker, Texas Ranger, TV-PG
My God! They’re re-running this already? Who? Who watches this?

9 - 11 MOVIE – “The Malibu Hot Wax Hot Dog Stand”
The classic T&A film from the early 80’s with its every reason for existence lovingly extruded and added to the censor’s outtakes reel, which he plays at parties. A real find for people fascinated by early embarrassments in celebrities’ careers. So John Waters should have a ball.


8 - 8:30 Television for Women

8:30 - 9 Television for Slightly Less Intelligent Women

9 - 9:30 Television for Really God-Awful Dumb Women

9:30 -10 Designing Women

10 - 11 Terminally Ill Knitter’s Nook


8 - 9:30 MOVIE – “Short Circuit 2” “PG,” V, L
Although Steve Guttenberg was too busy to be in the sequel, they did get non- Indian Fisher Stevens back to play lovable Indian stereotype “Ben.”

9:30 - 10 MOVIE – “Mannequin 2: On the Move” “PG,” V, L
Although Andrew McCarthy was too busy to be in the sequel, they did get the lead from Herman’s Head to replace him. Also, the black guy from Designing Women is back to play lovable gay stereotype “Hollywood.”


8 - 9 A History of Exclamation Points in Titles, TV-G
The E! channel explores the history of the use of exclamation points in titles, from Oklahoma! to Damn Yankees! in this fascinating documentary.

9 - 9:30 The Models Wearing Translucent Clothing Fashion Show, TV-14
E!’s popular series continues.

9:30 -10 E! Wild on Amsterdam, TV-14
E!’s wild on series follows a bunch of frisky, attractive young women as they delve deep into the red light district in Amsterdam, going on a pleasure bender and emerging in an opium haze, only able to stay afloat by hawking their bodies in hash bars. Travelogue.

10 - 10:30 Howard Stern, TV-14
Howard’s popular radio show, only somehow more boring.

10:30 - 11 Howard Stern, TV-14
More of the same, only in this episode he’s not even interviewing strippers. Guest: Rob Lowe.


8 - 9 The Real World, TV-14
Despite strong activity on their website, unfortunately no-one has been voted out of the house yet, although America still holds out hope.

9 - 9:30 Road Rules, TV-14
This episode: Road Rules viewers get road rage, kill Road Rules participants. There is much rejoicing.

9:30 - 10 Undressed, TV-14
Soft-core porn for teenagers. Seeks to encourage sexual responsibility through the fearless examination of such issues as threesomes and sleeping with your stepbrother.
NOTE TO VIEWERS: Despite the look, “Undressed” is NOT filmed in Canada.

10 - 11 Loveline, TV-14
MTV’s fearless dedication to distributing sexual information continues with their popular call-in show, where a doctor spars with an idiot. Tonight’s episode in 3-D!


8 - 11 Shark Week 2000 continues.

Animal Planet

8 - 8:30 Crocodile Hunter, TV-PG
Tonight, with the help of his lovely wife Terry, Steve encounters a Mugwalla, subdues a wild Dingly-dang, has some frisky adventures with a Gillawangler, snacks on wild Zagawilla, and has a narrow scrape with a Bazzawuzzler.

8:30 - 9 Ants! Oh My God the ANTS!, TV-PG
Ants cover host Jack Hanna, quickly incapacitating him with millions and millions of tiny bites. The swarming, seething mass... My God but it’s hypnotic. The ants will cover the earth.

9 - 11 MOVIE – “Animal Planet Presents: Animal Planet,” TV-14 In this terrifying, nightmare version of the future, the animals have taken over the world, making this truly an Animal Planet. Don’t miss the horrific climax in which the last human survivors are sacrificed to their goat deity. The film is followed by a short, personal message from Charlton Heston, urging us to kill all the animals before this horrific vision can come to pass. A family pick.

The Food Network

8 - 8:30 Fat Fatty, Fat Fat Fatty, TV-G
Popular food network personality Fat Fatty travels the globe increasing her enormous girth to health-threatening levels, as she samples some of the world’s finest cuisine. CANCELED due to triple-bypass. Rerun scheduled.

8:30 - 9 Lettuce Around the World, TV-G
Join us as we go everywhere, from beantown, where we examine a fine head of Boston Lettuce, to Antarctica, where, frankly, not a leaf of iceberg lettuce is to be found, on this tour of lettuce around the world.

9 -10 Emeril Live, TV-G
The famous cook regales us all with his rallying cry of “Let’s kick it up a notch!” Let's kick it up a notch indeed, fair Emeril. Let’s kick it up a notch indeed.

10 - 11 The Iron Chef, TV-G
Join gen-xers around America in laughing at the Japanese commitment to fine cuisine.

The Cartoon Network

8 - 9 The Wonderful World of Reduced-Cel Animation, TV-G
A delightful tour of reduced cel animation, from the late sixties until today. Watch out for the marvelous scene when Hanna, of Hanna Barbara recounts his moment of epiphany.
QUOTE: “I remember thinking, if this persistence of vision thing works, then maybe we can make it persist a little more. If we show a guy with his arm by his side, then suddenly it’s raised above his head, then everybody’s gonna just assume that he moved it, right? I mean, arms don’t just jump from one place to another.” True enough. They don’t.

9 - 12 Scooby-Doo Marathon, TV-G
A marathon of the popular cartoon series.
SPOILER: It's a guy in a mask.

Comedy Central

8 - 8:30 Win Ben Stein’s Money, TV-PG
For those who thought that his cameo in Ferris Bueller was just too short.

8:30 - 9 Turn Ben Stein On, TV-PG
That charming monotone delivery was tailor-made for a talk show.

9 - 9:30 Tie Ben Stein to a Table and Have Your Way With Him, TV-MA
A new approach to a Stein spin-off. Tonight, Ariana Huffington shows Ben the ancient Greek arts of love.

9:30 - 10 Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush, TV-14
The network that first brought us Mystery Science Theater 3000, and then canceled it, now shows us, in it’s infinite wisdom, why wacky game-shows were the better way to go.

10 - 11 The Same Damn Episode of Saturday Night Live that They’ve Been Showing for Five Years, TV-14


8 - 9 Inside the Actor’s Studio, TV-PG
Tonight, bearded host James Lipton deep-tongue-kisses Jack Lemmon’s ass.

9 - 11 MOVIE – “Les Infants du Fromage,” “R,” L, N
French film, “The Children of Cheese.” A hit at Sundance, this touching coming of age story will make you regret sitting through it due to the promise of bare breasts suggested by the TV Guide description. B&W.


8 - 8:30 Arli$$, TV-14
Oh the beefy charms of Robert Wuhl. Oh, that toothy grin, those glasses! Oh how Batman would have been better if it had more of your completely unnecessary character. A new episode of the show that proved just how good Jerry Maguire was.

8:30 - 9 Sex and the City, TV-MA
Oh, I get it now! These women are PROMISCUOUS! Ha-ha! That IS funny! Emmys for all! This episode: too much city, not enough sex. Next week, more sex than city. Still seeking that perfect sex/city balance. Perhaps if someone were to have sex with the city... no, too arty. The dichotomy is inviolable...

9 - 10, The Sopranos, TV-MA
Although a fine examination of mob life, not one true soprano can be found in this hour of television. At best, some of the cast could be described as being mezzo-sopranos, whereas most of them are downright contraltos. A good program, sullied by false advertising. The movie version is better, with that fine Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro.

10 - 11 Real Sex 92, TV-MA
The popular documentary series exploring people’s un-sexiest practices continues. A scathing expose of tragic people who make sex more difficult than it’s worth. This episode: Midget domination.


8 - 9:30 MOVIE – “The Manure-Cleaner” “PG-13,” L, SS, BN
Rob Schneider stars as a manure cleaner who dreams of being a jockey, and winning the Kentucky Derby. He fails. Yet due to his pluck, he advances to being head of the manure cleaning division. Robin Williams co-stars as his friend, an ex-concentration camp victim and widower who’s undergoing chemotherapy.

9:30 - 11 MOVIE – “The Bikini Voter Registration Booth” “NR” L, SS, SC, N
In this sex romp, three strippers inheret a floundering voter registration booth from one of their long-lost-aunts. Business is slow, and it looks as if an evil land developer might take over until these sex kittens decide on a scheme to inject some of their own special version of “civic activism” into the system. With these ladies on the job, voter turn-out will be at an all time high. Directed by Stanley Kubrick.


8 - 9:30 MOVIE – “Smack’d” “R,” L, V, AS
Martin Lawrence stars in this urban cop comedy as a police detective who’s assigned his own mother as a partner (also Lawrence). They’ve got three days to stop a drug lord from bringing his new shipment of heroin into the city. That is, if momma can stop slapping her son first. The sequel, “Smack’d II: Upside the Dead” premieres on Showtime in December.

9:30 - 11 MOVIE – “Virtual Space Vixens” “AO” SS, SC, N
A group of computer geeks create a program which allows them to interact with sexy space godesses in a virtual reality world. The fact that the characters are thus basically indulging in an overly complex sort of masturbation makes it all strangely unerotic.


9 - 12 Various Collectables For Sale
The white trash stock market continues.

The Weather Channel

9-12 Hard-core pornography.

Arts & Entertainment

8 - 9:30 Arts

9:30 - 11 Entertainment


8 - 8:30 The List, TV-PG
America’s experts on everything-- the celebrities-- expound their opinions on music.

8:30 - 9 Music Videos
VH1 sees a hole in MTV’s broadcasting and cleverly counter-programs by playing music videos.
9 - 10 Behind the Music, TV-PG
Tonight’s Behind the Music examines the stylings of the musical group “The Shaggs.” The trio of sisters who took the music world by storm with such hits as “My Pal Foot-Foot” is explored in all of their innovative genius. A rare chance to truly understand a companion piece to Kant, Nitzche and Hegel: The Shaggs’ “Philosophy of the World.”

10 - 11 VH1 Storytellers, TV-PG
Tonight, Iggy Pop regales with soothing stories of all night bacchanals in which the only thing to assure him that he was not dead, was the steady thrum of his own heart, audible to him due to a cocktail of heroin and cat tranquilizers.


8 - 10 MOVIE - Jimmy Stewart in “U.S. War Propaganda Picture #C3184-f” B&W.

10 -11 Pointy Bras of the 50’s: A Film Journey, TV-14


8 - 11 World’s Strongest Man Competition XII, TV-PG
Very large men compete in a competition to cement who is the very largest. The 12-part contest is made up of events invented by guys talking at a backyard barbecue. Tonight’s new event: Jumping rope with a bag of washers attached to your testicles.


8 - 11 Book Talk, TV-G
Ralph Nader talks about his new book. Al Franken addresses... someone. Uh... I think Orrin Hatch is in there somewhere. There was a big... guy, with... He-- he seemed to be discussing the... environment? All right, we’re going to level with you. We didn’t watch the whole tape.

The Family Channel

8 - 11 MOVIE – “Not Without My Dead Mother’s Daughter in Law... Whom I Suppose Would Then Be My Sister-In-Law,” TV-PG
Merideth Baxter-Beirney and Sally Field star in this heart-rending three-hour tele-drama about a family on vacation in Thailand. Trying to forget the death of their mother and mother in law respectively, they unwisely invest in some hash. Soon one of them has to make the choice of whether to face imprisonment in Thailand or to give up her sister-in-law’s life.

The History Channel

8 - 11 World War II: By God What a Great War, TV-G
Oldsters reminisce about what fun it was shooting down “Nips” over the Pacific. A great way to make history come alive for kids.


8 - 9 CyberWarz, TV-PG
As we all know, computer people aren’t overweight desk jockeys, but are instead leather-clad cyberpunk hackers who don’t kowtow to anyone and are dedicated to bringing the system down via their skillz. Lonely people might enjoy this show.

9 - 10 Space Barbarians, TV-PG
Kevin Sorbo stars as a loincloth-clad, broadsword wielding intergalactic pilot with his sidekick, the magical owl Merlin II. Be sure to buy the playing cards, so you can share his adventures.

10 -11 Some Cheap Crap


8 -10 News

10 - 11 Mexican Cock Fighting

Monday, September 17, 2007

In Which I Bring You Two Bits of Joy, to Improve Your Monday

I think it should be clear, by now, that I enjoy bad movies. However, my enjoyment is not restricted to podcasting about them. Sometimes I just like to get together with my friends Elliott and Erik and watch one.

Well, recently we watched a little film called Hard Rock Zombies, and there was one particular element of the movie that Erik thought needed to be on YouTube, copyright be damned!

And if that doesn't make you happy, then how about...


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Honorable Mention

I'm an honorable mention this week, over at Daniel Radosh's New Yorker Anti-Caption Contest. If this keeps up, the Anti New Yorker will be hiring me any day now.

The Flop House Episode Three is ONLINE!

The Flop House team listens to (and, unfortunately, watches) A Sound of Thunder. Meanwhile, Simon plans a diamond heist, Stu does a little Edward Burns math, and Dan apologizes for things he didn't do... and the entire gang would rather be watching a film about a crime-fighting dinosaur.

Download it here, or paste into iTunes (or your favorite podcatching software) to have new episodes delivered to you directly, as they're released.

0:00 - 0:34 - Introduction and theme music.
0:34 - 2:56 - Synopsis of A Sound of Thunder, courtesy of Wikipedia.
2:57 - 32:06 - What is the sound of one thunder clapping?
32:07 - 35:51- The sad bastards recommend stuff that doesn't suck.
35:52 - 39:49 - Goodbyes, theme music, and outtakes.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Flop House is Getting Its Act Together

Hey all, remember The Flop House, the podcast I started last month? Well, aside from now having released two WILDLY SUCCESSFUL episodes (I now have a money bin that I swim around in, all thanks to podcasting), with a third episode coming early next week, there's more exciting Flop House news:

You can now find The Flop House on iTunes. This should be a huge boon to those of you who are physically unable to cut and paste our RSS feed into your podcatcher, due to a tragic case of ctrl-c/ ctrl-v-specific carpal tunnel (, in case you forgot).

The Flop House now has its own blog (although I'll probably double-post everything here, since this is my clearinghouse site for all of my projects). So you can follow the show and post comments without all this Dan-centric jibber jabber. We all know you're just in it for Simon's sweet dulcet tones.

And lastly, we have an official show email -- specifically "theflophousepodcast (at) gmail (dot) com." So you can e-mail us there with any feedback. Maybe we'll read your letter on the air. Just, y'know, remember to send the email with the proper address format, and without all the spambot-flummoxing "ats" and "dots."

So jump on this bullet train to Podcast Success City (just east of Pittsburgh) and catch the number one Internet audio show hosted by three guys who talk about bad movies after having a few beers!*

*according to no-one.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Flop House: Episode Two - Memory

In the second episode of The Flop House, the team travels deep into unexplored reaches of the Billy Zane catalogue, to unearth a repressed (or at least barely theatrically released) Memory. Meanwhile, Simon contemplates suicide, Stuart can't seem to turn off his phone, and Dan coins a new improv troupe name.

Download it here, or paste into iTunes (or your favorite podcatching software) to have new episodes delivered to you directly, as they're released.

0:00 - 0:34 - Introduction and theme music.
0:34 - 1:40 - Synopsis of Memory courtesy of Wikipedia.
1:40 - 28:19 - Oh, Memory, why can't we forget you?
28:19 - 32:56 - The sad bastards recommend stuff that doesn't suck.
32:56 - 34:30 - Goodbyes, theme music, and outtakes.

The Flop House Theme courtesy of Keith Burgun.