Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2021

man of letters
I think I must be attuned to David Letterman’s comedic sensibilities.

Or, at least, to his writing staff’s. How else to explain why last night’s “Late Show” referenced subjects that I also blogged about in recent days:

I’d love to take credit for the “McDonald’s Chicken Skin Classic” hairpiece gag, too. But no, that was all Dave. Masterful stroke by him to throw in the “…and bring your wife in, then we’ll dicker” joke, by the way.

Perhaps I should drop by the “Late Show” offices once my move to New York is finalized.

Speaking of that Rubik’s Cube thing, did anyone else find the end of that segment to be odd?

Leyan is working like a madman but doesn’t seem to be any closer. His hands moving a mile a minute. Dave asks if he would like some talc. 52…53…54…55. Leyan seems to be getting frustrated. 60…61…62…. Dave tries to wind it up. A frustrated Leyan sadly admits, “I don’t think I can do it.” And with that he quickly stands and hurls the Rubik’s cube through the window behind Dave and nearly knocks down one of the bridges. Leyan runs off in shame. Poor kid took it hard.

I was dumbfounded while watching it. I figured the whole thing was a planned skit; how else to explain the guy seemingly freaking out and chucking the Cube like that? But then I realized, he probably did really lose it. Once again, I’m blindsided by the intensity involved in modern-day Rubik Cubing.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/18/2006 04:36:13 PM
Category: Bloggin', TV, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Tuesday, January 17, 2021

happily ever after
This early-year Mother Goose and Grimm strip is funny for a couple of reasons. The first is obvious: Jokes about post-matrimonial fizzle for Cinderella, Ariel et al is sure to bring a chuckle.

The second is more subtle, but perhaps richer. Since ABC is owned by Disney anyway, the real joke is that the ladies of Wisteria Lane are just as much the property of the Magic Kingdom as their animated brethren.

And less valuable property, at that; at least for the long term. It’s unlikely the “Desperate Housewives” characters will be iconic commodities decades from now. Whereas the super-sorority of Disney cartoon princesses should still be raking in the cash well into this century.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/17/2006 09:50:26 PM
Category: TV, Pop Culture, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback

Tuesday, January 10, 2021

Ever since the dot-com boom, venture capital firms have strained to cast themselves as loosey-goosey hipsters, the better to put start-up kids at ease. It’s rarely a convincing act.

OVP Venture Partners may be perpetrating an act too, but it’s a damn entertaining one. Any VC shop that points out its missed ground-floor opportunities with Starbucks and Amazon, and does it in such a funny way, gets a thumbs-up from me:

The Internet boom was just beginning. Amazon had sales of $4M a year. We had a handshake on a term sheet with the CEO to put $2M into Amazon for 20% of the company (a $10M post money value). At the eleventh hour, some guy named John Doerr flew up and offered $8M going in for 20% of the company (a $40M post money value). Handshake? What handshake?

To get even, we buy all our books at Barnes & Noble. We don’t think Amazon has noticed.

If that’s not enough, they provide a secret glossary of code phrases commonly used in venture capital circles:

Upgrading the management team - The organization is in complete disarray

Well below plan - An outright, unmitigated disaster

Window of opportunity - Without more money, the company is dead

Work closely with the management - Talk to them on the phone once a month

I’m sure OVP’s braintrust shovels it as much as any financial speculators; pointing out the obvious doesn’t change that. But at least they provide an intentional giggle.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/10/2021 02:58:20 PM
Category: Comedy, Business | Permalink | Feedback

Monday, January 09, 2021

A fundamental rule for pest removal: Kill first, cremate after. Because the other way around can backfire — emphasis on the “fire”:

Luciano Mares, 81, of Fort Sumner, New Mexico, found the mouse in his home and wanted to get rid of it.

“I had some leaves burning outside, so I threw it in the fire, and the mouse was on fire and ran back at the house,” he was quoted as saying by AP.

Though no-one was injured, the house and everything in it was destroyed.

I used to think that karma was a bitch. Now, more properly, I think it’s a rodent.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 01/09/2021 10:01:28 AM
Category: Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (3)

Wednesday, January 04, 2021

burn baby burn
As far as college promotional videos go, I can’t believe that the one for Appalachian State University is any cheesier or more low-budget-looking than the norm.

But that didn’t stop Progressive Boink from carving it up unmercifully, freezeframe-by-freezeframe. I think the Google AdSense banner displaying ASU text ads on the same page is a nice final touch.

(Via YesButNoButYes)

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/04/2021 05:35:22 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy | Permalink | Feedback


the late-night factor
After Bill O’Reilly’s ambush by David Letterman last night, how long do you figure it’ll be before “The Late Show” is added to O’Reilly’s enemies list?

I watched the whole thing last night, meaning I saw the whole “Christmas-under-assault” part that set the acerbic tone for the subsequent Cindy Sheehan/Iraq War semantics argument. To me, seeing only the second portion means you’re catching only half the fun.

From what I saw, O’Reilly went off-script (yes, talkshows like Letterman are pre-set regarding topic areas and such, based on guest pre-interviews). As soon as he sat down, he told Letterman that he had a nice “winter solstice”. Letterman was clearly thrown for a moment. I’m speculating — purely speculating, but suspecting I’m right — that O’Reilly went ahead and launched into his Christmas persecution spiel, despite agreeing to not bring it up on the air. Once that line was crossed, I’m thinking Letterman decided to cut loose and go after O’Reilly.

And for the argument that Letterman was unfair with the “60 percent crap” comment when he admitted he never watched O’Reilly’s show: It’s quid pro quo. O’Reilly’s standard approach is to never inform himself of his guests’ backstory; he really shouldn’t get upset when he gets the same treatment (although I’m sure it more ego than anything else).

I’m sure more will be revealed over the next few days. It did make for an unusually lively “Late Show” segment. Between this and the boost from the much-anticipated Oprah appearance, Letterman might be making a triumphant comeback to the top of the late-night heap.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/04/2021 01:02:50 PM
Category: TV, Political, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Tuesday, January 03, 2021


Scott Adams has thrust himself (or, really, a comic doppelganger) into today’s Dilbert strip, thus claiming to have violated the “third wall”.

Adams should have double-checked his references, because he’s off by a wall:

The Fourth Wall is a term to describe the invisible wall between the audience and the actors on-stage. This is because in proscenium theaters, the set was usually three walls of a room. The audience was therefore “The Fourth Wall,” and ignored by the actors. When an actor addresses the audience directly, it is called “Breaking the Fourth Wall.”

Unless I’m missing some sort of joke here, or a variant of the fourth wall for comic-strip purposes (I guess a two-dimensional medium can’t claim to be staged in a four-wall setting — but if anything, it would be a “second wall”, i.e. the page and the reader’s eyeballs), I’d say there was a slip-up. Therefore, I’d have cartoon Adams stop looking for that third-wall exit…

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 01/03/2021 06:24:15 PM
Category: Publishing, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (3)

Thursday, December 29, 2020

dope rhymin'
Someone must have slipped up — “Saturday Night Live” actually did something funny for a change.

“Lazy Sunday”, aka “The Chronic(What?)les of Narnia” (also available for download via iTunes) is the geekiest whiteboy rap-quest you’re ever likely to see. I particularly liked the “I’m Ghost like Swayze” bit.

This little piece of filmed merriment isn’t enough to reverse a full decade of suckiness by “SNL”. But it’s a start, I suppose.

(Via Lost Remote)

UPDATE: Josh Levin at Slate annoints the clip with a post-modernist oldschool hip-hop video sensibility. I can see where he’s coming from, but I can’t help but think it sounds like grousing for the “good ol’ days” of rap, and how the current lineup doesn’t measure up. And before “SNL” becomes an influencer on the music, it ought to try becoming relevent in a comic vein first.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/29/2005 08:40:56 PM
Category: TV, Movies, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (2)

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