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Saturday, January 09, 2021

key of springfield
Long-time fans of “The Simpsons” know this Homer-scripted jingle by heart:

Call Mr. Plow
That’s my name
That name again
Is Mr. Plow

Why mess with that simple perfection? Ask Moby, who feels compelled to apply his own spin(s) to that animated ditty:

If that song wound its way into your brain and parked itself there for nearly two decades, you’re not alone. In the documentary “The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!”, which runs on Fox this Sunday, the musician Moby tells the filmmaker Morgan Spurlock he is so obsessed with the song that he created six different remixes of it.

And here’s one of those reworkings, the old-school hip-hop version, with clipped-up video:

The other mixes: Bossa nova, electro, Latin lounge, psychedelic and punk rock. The best I can say about them is that they’re all mercifully short. And while Moby is entitled to play around all he wants, I think he should find a different target for his musical obsessions. Maybe do a new, fresh-fly remix of “Do The Bartman”!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 01/09/2021 02:54pm
Category: Comedy, Creative, Pop Culture, TV
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Thursday, January 07, 2021

Looks like NBC’s bold cheap 10PM experiment with “The Jay Leno Show” has crashed and burned, with a scramble-back plan about to take effect:

The network has a plan in the works to restore Jay Leno to his old spot at 11:35 each weeknight for a half-hour, while pushing the man who replaced him, Conan O’Brien, to a starting time of 12:05 a.m. Mr. O’Brien would then have a full hour…

The moves are being driven by pressure from NBC’s affiliated stations, which have seen ratings for their late-night local newscasts plummet since September. That was when NBC began “The Jay Leno Show,” a prime-time version of Mr. Leno’s old late-night show. Mr. O’Brien succeeded Mr. Leno as host of “The Tonight Show” in June.

Though Mr. Leno’s prime-time show has not fallen below the ratings guarantees that NBC gave to advertisers, it has averaged only about five million viewers a night. The NBC station managers have blamed consistently low lead-in audiences for much of the falloff in their news ratings — and local stations rely on news programs for the majority of their revenue. The affiliates are due to meet with NBC on Jan. 21.

Good luck keeping that configuration in place. Chances are good that Leno will instantly start lobbying for a full hour, which will entice O’Brien to ultimately jump ship to a competing offer from FOX. Unless NBC discovers a power to add an extra hour to the clock, there’s simply not enough room to accommodate both personalities.

As for the notion of transforming 10PM into the new gateway for late-night, that was doomed from the start during this era of the DVR:

The upshot of this is that, of course, the 10PM slot and most/all of Friday primetime is a challenge for original network programming. It makes you wonder why NBC is so big on “The Jay Leno Show” to occupy five days’ worth of late-primetime slots. Could they not have seen this viewer-habits trending forming a year ago? Or did they see it, and still gambled on the combination of Leno’s appeal and lower production costs carrying the day?

Obviously, the gamble crapped out. The fallout will follow.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 01/07/2021 11:51pm
Category: Business, Celebrity, TV
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Wednesday, January 06, 2021

It’s a little sad that, with a new active front opening in the War on Terror, the only thing most Americans know about Yemen is that Chandler Bing once fled there to avoid breaking up with a girl.

Leading to… “Friends” as a proto-al Qaeda sleeper cell? It’s not like those Central-Perky twits had anything else to occupy their fictional lives with. Discuss. Or, better yet, don’t.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/06/2021 09:39am
Category: Political, Pop Culture, TV
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Friday, January 01, 2021

Along with catching a corker of a Winter Classic today — a thriller in which the Bruins rallied with two sweet tic-tac-toe passes to beat Philadelphia 2-1 in OT at Fenway Park — I noticed a distinct improvement in the quality of the game’s televised commercials this year. Instead of endless replays of generic national ads, sponsors like GEICO and Verizon Wireless created customized hockey-themed spots that actually looked good. A couple of those spots even feature star players like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, thus highlighting the league’s most marketable assets.

Why the sudden boost in dedicated advertising for a hockey game? Because, improbably enough, the WC really has become the NHL’s showcase event:

In the past three years, the league’s corporate advertising revenue has jumped 66 percent and the Winter Classic is at the heart of that leap. Sports Business Daily recently reported that sports business executives ranked the Winter Classic fifth among major sporting events they were looking forward to in 2010, ahead of sporting staples like the BCS National Championship, the World Series, the Masters and the Daytona 500. The survey was taken in December and included reports from more than 1,100 senior-level sports professionals.

That’s the money people talking, which explains why extra marketing dollars went into today’s TV ads. Doubtless they’ve noticed the rising viewership:

The Classic has become a surprise TV hit, occupying the 1 p.m. Eastern time slot against three college bowl games (the Outback at 11 a.m. and the Gator and the Capital One at 1 p.m.). In 2008, an average of 3.75 million viewers watched on NBC, which was exceeded last New Year’s Day with a 17 percent jump to 4.4 million, the most-viewed regular-season N.H.L. game in 34 years. Nearly 1.3 million more watched it in Canada.

Pucks beating out baseball, college football, and NASCAR? I’m an unabashed hockey fan, and even I can’t believe it. A lot of this is due to the novelty of the New Year’s Day game, which is only in its third year; will the mindshare still be there ten years from now? Still, the success of the Winter Classic rightly stands out as a rare marketing homerun for a league that traditionally can’t promote its way out of a paper bag.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 01/01/2021 06:32pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Hockey, SportsBiz, TV
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Friday, December 25, 2020

i find tinsel distracting
I’ve hardly made a habit of mentioning Festivus around here. But maybe I should. Because more than a decade after the airing of the famed Seinfeld episode that ushered the fake holiday into popular consciousness, Festivus has taken on a real-life life of its own:

The Festivus faithful have gathered across the globe and have come together in places as various as seedy bars, campus squares and corporate boardrooms. Citizens, with varied degrees of success, have petitioned to raise Festivus poles beside public nativity scenes. Social networking sites and holiday-specific venues — like festivusbook.com and festivusweb.com — are go-to places for those who want to share the cheer, or jeers.

For at least eight years, Julianne Donovan, 35, has been hosting Festivus parties in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. The graphic designer and illustrator said she was drawn to the holiday when her then-company department, which included people of various faiths, decided to trade in the traditional Christmas party for something more inclusive.

“It went over well except for one person who thought it was blasphemous and tried to knock over our Festivus pole,” she said. “He refused to come to the potluck, was forced to, came, ate all the food and left without saying thank you. Grievances were aired about him.”

Chances are good that Ms. Donovan was employed at either Vandelay Industries or Kramerica. Because if any companies out there are going to observe Festivus, those would be the locks.

Frank Costanza would be proud of the spread of his brainchild. He even would have challenged that recalcitrant employee to the Feats of Strength, just to instill the true Festivus-for-the-rest-of-us spirit into the non-believer.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/25/2009 09:27am
Category: Comedy, Pop Culture, TV
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Friday, December 18, 2021

Matisyahu is getting a lot of mileage out of this customized dreidel-shaped disco ball. I stayed up late enough last night to catch this funky ornament shining brightly on “Late Show with David Letterman”, during the singer’s performance. I guess the dance club installations of this signature prop have been a success, and it’s now a built-in part of his stage show.

Alas, no accompanying rendition of the Dreidel Song. I’m still waiting for Matisyahu to put his own unique spin (yes, pun!) on that old traditional number.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 12/18/2009 09:01am
Category: Celebrity, Creative, Pop Culture, TV
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Saturday, December 12, 2021

The marketing war-of-words between AT&T and Verizon Wireless has been notably high-profile, thanks to the litigious route it took. More recently, I’ve noticed the beginnings of another aggressively-competitive campaign between big brands:

A case in point is a company that has been the object of a competitor’s recent less-than “on-brand” marketing behavior. For several years, Lexus has used an iconic big red bow to help promote its “December to Remember” campaign, created to make it easier for those with the means to surprise a loved one with the perfect gift, purchased at a merrily lower than usual price…

Feeling the intense pressure wrought by the economy, BMW, the competitor of note, is taking some sardonic swipes at its automotive colleague through an advertising campaign not quite in keeping with its cool and cordial brand character. Long known and recognized as a car brand of good breeding and exceptional engineering, BMW, from my point of view, is allowing the economic pinch to get the better of its good manners. While many consumers may find the Lexus big red bow annoying given the size of the average wallet, my belief is that BMW’s holiday campaign tactics are uncharacteristically below the belt, even one less tightened.

Additionally, it seems like Target is going “off-brand” from its traditional brand messaging, apparently in response to market-share loss to competitors like Kohl’s and Walmart.

All’s fair in love and retail, and it seems silly to criticize businesses for going after customers with added brio. But these are highly-polished brands that are supposedly operating on a perceptional plateau that obviates the need for bad-mouthing Brand X. That they’re engaging in a race to the bottom hints that the Great Recession has really taken a toll.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/12/2021 07:34pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, TV
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Monday, December 07, 2021

From the looks of the previews, “Men of a Certain Age” is a television series demographically-tuned to appeal the 40-to-55-year-old male crowd.

It’s curious, then, to see that TNT is debuting the show tonight at 10 pm — right in the middle of Monday Night Football on ESPN. That’s opposite National Football League action, which is just about the only TV programming that the sitcom’s intended audience is devoted to.

Is TNT intentionally setting up “Men” to fail? Or is it somehow counting on football viewers to stray away from the Ravens-Packers game, reasoning that middle-aged male eyeballs that are already glued to the screen will stumble upon the new show? Have the cable networks abandoned marketing efforts to get people to set “appointment watching” dates with their TV sets, and instead are just banking on those who already happen to be watching (albeit on a different channel)?

I just can’t think of any other reasons for this attempt at counter-programming versus football. If it’s a new strategy for launching targeted programming, I wouldn’t bet on it working. Not even if the MNF game is an early blowout.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/07/2021 09:09am
Category: Football, Society, TV
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Wednesday, December 02, 2021

It was only three years ago that the number of televisions per average U.S. household surpassed the number of people occupying said household. This year’s update from Nielsen shows that metric still favoring the TVs: 2.86 screens versus 2.5 humans.

And then there’s my godsister Joanne’s house, which I hear hosts eight TV sets. With four people living there — her, her husband Rich, and their two school-aged children — that 2:1 ratio curves well ahead of the national average. From my recollection on my last visit there (probably a year ago, but I doubt much has changed), at least a couple of those sets were primarily gaming/Web monitors, but with hooked up with at least bare-bones cable service.

I don’t think this count of screens under one modest-sized roof is too far out of the norm. I think having a set in places like the bathroom is overdoing it, especially when you can get the same always-on experience with your ever-present smartphone and other devices. Still, this preponderance of multiple boob-tubes shows that the medium is still alive and well, and fairly far-off from any Web-delivered demise.

That number 8 is causing a bit of scandal/chatter among our parents, who are of a disconnected generation that still considers the TV set to be a singular, central furniture-like item in a dwelling, with maybe a tiny supplemental set in the bedroom. I could try to diagram the new-media landscape for that bunch and explain why so many screens aren’t such a big deal. But I find the luddite-like outrage to be comical when viewed from a distance. Besides, it’ll burn itself out before long.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/02/2021 09:01am
Category: Society, TV, Tech
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Sunday, November 29, 2021

A big selling point for pitching digital video recorders is the time-shifting option they offer for watching more TV shows. The thing is, that viewing time ultimately has to be shifted somewhere, and that “somewhere” increasingly ends up being at the end of the day/week:

With one-third of American TV households now equipped with DVRs like TiVo, the 10 p.m. hour is emerging as a popular time for people to catch up on what they missed earlier in the evening, or earlier in the week.

Here’s some math: NBC has lost an average of 1.8 household ratings points at the 10 p.m. hour compared to fall 2008, according to the Nielsen Co. At the same time, DVR usage — which is also measured by Nielsen — is up by 1.4 points in that hour.

“The DVR phenomenon is a little bit higher than we thought,” said David Poltrack, CBS’ chief research executive.

For example, many people watch CBS’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” Thursdays at 9, tape ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” at the same time, then watch the medical soap an hour later, he said. They may tape “The Mentalist” (Thursday at 10) for later viewing. One casualty of growing DVR usage is that Friday nights, home of “Medium” and “Ugly Betty,” are becoming a TV wasteland because so many people are catching up on programs they missed during the week.

Anecdotally, I’ll buy this breakdown. From what I observe from my modest Twitter following group of 500 and change, I notice recurring tweets during late night and the weekend from people obviously filling up on a week’s worth of DVR recordings.

I’m not on this television catch-up ride, because not only don’t I have a DVR, but I also watch nothing in the way of original series programming. My main onscreen consumption is sports, and while I could record the week’s hockey and football for more convenient viewing, I’m old-fashioned enough to shortchanged if I’m not watching a game live. Plus, any backlog of recordings smacks of a sort of homework assignment to me, so I’d rather pass up the original broadcast window rather than be compelled to watch something in my spare time.

But I’m fascinated by the trending on display. This was what was supposed to happen when the VCR hit the market 25 years ago. The difference this time around is as simple as the hardware: No fumbling with tape cassettes (sidenote: I’m amused by the AP reporter above still referring to DVR recordings as “taping”). DVRs have automated the process more-or-less completely, so that casual users only ever have to work the remote control.

The upshot of this is that, of course, the 10PM slot and most/all of Friday primetime is a challenge for original network programming. It makes you wonder why NBC is so big on “The Jay Leno Show” to occupy five days’ worth of late-primetime slots. Could they not have seen this viewer-habits trending forming a year ago? Or did they see it, and still gambled on the combination of Leno’s appeal and lower production costs carrying the day? Either way, at this rate, the Peacock Network might as well consolidate the losses by making Fridays “Jay Leno Day”: Run marathon five-hour episodes of the show from 6-11PM. Since everyone is playbacking their DVRs at that time anyway, nobody will notice the resultant sucking sound of that broadcasting black hole…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/29/2009 03:48pm
Category: Society, TV
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Live (make that “posthumously”), from Baghdad (make that “Europe”, or more likely “location undetermined”), it’s the Saddam Channel, satellite-beaming into Iraq:

The Saddam Channel debuted on Friday, the first day of this year’s Eid for Sunnis. The holiday started Saturday for Shiites. The station’s official name alternates between “Al-Lafeta” (“the banner”) and “Al-Arabi” (“the Arab”).

It is mostly a montage of flattering, still images of Saddam - some of him dressed in military uniform, others in a suit, even one astride a white horse. One image shows his sons Odai and Qusai smiling with their father, and another their bodies after they and Saddam’s grandson, Mustafa, were killed in a July 2003 gunfight with U.S. troops…

All the pictures are set against audio recordings of Saddam making speeches and reciting poetry. Patriotic songs urge listeners to “liberate our country.” None of the pictures appear to be recent, and no announcers or commentators appear or speak.

The motive appears to be to influence the upcoming national parliamentary elections. If so, it’s hamhanded propaganda on the cheap. I’m guessing the all-Saddam all-the-time audiovisual is intended to conjure up the “good old days” of Hussein’s dictatorship, along with whatever martyrdom he now holds among segment of Iraqi society. But without some original commentary to drive home that concept, the old photos and recordings amount to soft messaging, and less chance at any measurable electoral/political result. For all this lack of production values, the mystery backers might as well have tossed this up online — except, of course, that even a boring TV feed like this still has more reach and impact than an even more anonymous website.

Can’t wait to see what becomes of Saddam TV after the election-time blitz blows over. If it’s anything like the typical American single-purpose cable channel, it’ll soon abandon the one-note format in an attempt at broadening the audience (and attracting more advertisers, natch). Think in terms of MTV no longer playing its signature music videos — along with about a jillion other cable TV examples. So Iraqi tube-watchers can look forward to The Saddam Channel morphing into TSC, with a slate of reality shows, classic made-for-TV movies, and maybe a half-hour of Saddam retrospectives per day…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/29/2009 02:55pm
Category: Politics, Society, TV
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Monday, November 23, 2021

Apparently, it’s open season on redheaded kids in Los Angeles County.

Naturally, the Internet and TV play a role:

The students who participated in the attack may have been motivated by a Facebook message telling them that Friday was “Kick a Ginger Day,” according to [LA County Sheriff officer] Lt. Richard Erickson. “Ginger” is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin.

[Department spokesperson Steve] Whitmore confirmed that all four victims in the investigation have red hair.

The Facebook message may have been inspired by an episode of the television show “South Park.” An episode in 2005 focused on prejudice against “gingers” after one of the characters said people with red hair, light skin and freckles have no souls and suffered from a disease called “Gingervitis.”

Those “may haves” are big qualifiers, of course. But it won’t be a shocker to have these suspicions confirmed. Nobody ever said media saturation instilled a kinder and gentler human nature.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/23/2009 11:02pm
Category: Social Media Online, Society, TV
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Thursday, November 19, 2021

bowled over
To the extent that the National Football League is an economic barometer, the early land-grab on Super Bowl XLIV adspace suggests a recovery is well-underway:

Months away from the biggest football game of the year, CBS is already nearing a 90% sellout for advertising spots during the game. The network expects to close enough deals to hit that mark before Thanksgiving, said John Bogusz, CBS’s vice president of sports sales and marketing…

For last season’s big match, NBC didn’t reach the 90% benchmark for sales until January, just a month ahead of the telecast.

The pricetag for a 30-second spot hasn’t hit the previous high of $3-million yet, so maybe the relative bargain is prompting the big buy-in. Also, all those consumer-goods producers doubtless have loads of inventory to move, after the Great Recession chilled most folks’ discretionary spending. The confluence makes for a desperate situation, which I’m sure the NFL is glad to remedy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/19/2009 11:57pm
Category: Football, SportsBiz, TV
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Sunday, November 15, 2021

He used it during last week’s Football Night in America highlights, and now Keith Olbermann dropped it again tonight: The “boom goes the dynamite!” quip.

It’s a curious revival for an on-air catchphrase that had a 15-minutes-of-fame tenure some four years ago. I, for one, liked the silly sound of this SportsCenter-esque soundbite when I first heard it, so I’m glad it’s been resurrected on network TV.

I wonder if the original phrase-coiner, one Brian Collins, is feeling ripped off. Olbermann did infuse his enunciation of the “boom” with his trademark dripping-irony, so I’m thinking any legal claims are null and void.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/15/2009 08:01pm
Category: Pop Culture, Sports, TV
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even odds
I must have been too busy ducking paraskevidekatriaphobia on Friday, or else I would have been all over this year’s November 13th observance of Odd Couple Day.

Lamentably, I was unaware of this dubious holiday, even though years of rerun-watching should have ingrained the show’s opening narration into my brain:

On November 13, Felix Unger was asked to remove himself from his place of residence; that request came from his wife. Deep down, he knew she was right, but he also knew that some day he would return to her. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his friend, Oscar Madison. Several years earlier, Madison’s wife had thrown HIM out, requesting that HE never return. Can two divorced men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?

I’ll have to remember for next year. Hopefully, local TV station and traditional “Odd Couple” repository WPIX Channel 11 will repeat the marathon of episodes it ran late-night Friday/Saturday; or better yet, start showing reruns on a regular basis, and at saner hours. While they’re at it, they should come up with a better lineup of episodes than what they chose this time around. I’d love to see the Howard Cosell guest-spots again, so I could relive Cosell’s “inane drone” insult to Felix:

When Oscar asks Felix to explain the term, Felix searches for a meaning and says, “Well, it’s a dull bee.” Oscar agrees.

Drone on, dull bee, drone on. And you too, Oscar Madisoy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/15/2009 02:00pm
Category: New Yorkin', Pop Culture, TV
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Tuesday, November 10, 2021

lights, camera, action
Proving that there can be an upside to moving back in with your parents, Twitterer Justin Halpern has parlayed his Shit My Dad Says tweetstream into a television deal with CBS.

“Will & Grace” creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick are on board to executive produce and supervise the writing for the multicamera family comedy, which Halpern will co-pen with Patrick Schumacker. Halpern and Schumacker will also co-exec produce the Warner Bros. TV-produced project, which has received a script commitment.

The comedy’s title will change if it gets on the air.

Halpern, 29, had moved back in with his parents in San Diego, and on Aug. 3 he launched “Shit My Dad Says,” a Twitter feed featuring colorful — often profane — comments and pearls of wisdom made by his 73-year-old father during their daily conversations.

Dibs on the title being sanitized to “Stuff My Dad Says”…

Something doesn’t add up here. To date, Halpern has posted 73 tweets in total. That meager output merits a TV development deal? Granted, a dev deal doesn’t guarantee anything — this project could easily disappear into a black hole. Still, CBS is committing resources on a seemingly thin foundation. Supposedly, the network is buying in on the strength of SMDS’s 733,000 followers, banking on those online eyeballs migrating offline.

Call me crackpot, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that SMDS was a false front from the start. Frankly, I’ve been suspicious of its authenticity all along — some of those quips come off as totally made-up. Maybe CBS launched the Twitter account months ahead of time to build a Web audience for a supposedly-real screwball family, as pre-marketing for developing the series that they were going to produce all along. Crazier things have happened.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/10/2021 11:26pm
Category: Social Media Online, TV
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Does anyone else look at this logo for “The Dr. Oz Show”, and mentally transpose (and rotate) the letters so it spells “Dr. No”?

Just me, I guess. I’m no fan of Oprah’s pal Doc Oz — nor, for that matter, of Dr. No. But I’ve seen enough advertising for “Oz” over the past few weeks that this logo is playing tricks with my eyes. It has to do with its fearful-symmetry design: An almost-perfect square with sans-serif font, lending itself to subliminal visual reorientation. Rotate it 90 degrees to the left, and you have an up-and-down negatory moniker.

Then again, you could tip it 90 degrees in the other direction, and get “Dr. On”. Either way, we’re not in Kansas anymore, right?

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/10/2021 05:17pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, TV
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Wednesday, November 04, 2021

I’d be remiss in not mentioning today’s 40th anniversary of “Sesame Street”.

And I’d be even more remiss in not serving up this mock-psychological profile of everyone’s favorite blue-furred obsessive-compulsive, Cookie Monster:

The most monstrous of Sesame Street’s monsters, he is desire turned comic-grotesque. In an important sign of his derangement, Cookie Monster is the only core character to sport bobbling pupils in his eyes. His signature song, “C Is for Cookie,” is a pub song invested with rousing grandeur, an anthem to monomania. “Let’s think of other things that starts with C,” he growls, before entertaining second thoughts. “Ah, who cares about the other things!” His lack of interest in much other than eating extends even to grammar. Him wants proper declension.

As noted in a 1972 profile in The New Yorker, Cookie is reported to have declared on-air to a fellow Muppet: “To me, your nose is a cookie”. Just about says it all. Nietzsche would be proud, hyper-gluttony aside.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/04/2021 11:58pm
Category: Comedy, Pop Culture, TV
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Tuesday, November 03, 2021

On “30 Rock”, main character Liz Lemon has hit the big-time by penning a dating-advice book for women. This girls’ guide expands upon the show’s popular catchphrase, “That’s a dealbreaker, ladies!” — to wit:

If your man is over thirty and still wears a nametag to work… that’s a dealbreaker, ladies!

Picky, picky.

I, on the other hand, have been known to hedge on what should be dealbreaking traits/flaws from the opposite sex, as illustrated thusly:

Me: …but, y’know, it’s not a dealbreaker.
Fellow Traveller: Is that like your favorite word or something?
Me: What, “dealbreaker”?
FT: Yeah! You use it every time you talk about a girl.
Me: Get outta here.
FT: You do! You’re like, “she’s blonde, but it’s not a dealbreaker”, or “she smokes a lot, but that’s not a dealbreaker”.
Me: Just keeping my options open. Everybody says I’m too picky.
FT: So what is a dealbreaker for you?
Me: I dunno; I guess a crack habit would be hard for me to go along with.
FT: Only crack? What about other drugs?
Me: Hey, there’s a reason why they called it heroin chic!
FT: Anything else?
Me: A sloppy drunk is a turnoff. Or if she outweighs me. There’s my dealbreakers, okay?
FT: At least you have standards.

I have a feeling this plot device signals “30 Rock’s” jump-the-shark moment. Just as my own equivocating selection criteria is, lamentably, becoming untenable as time goes on.

Are women more likely to break the relationship deal than men? Chalk this up to the classic he-said-she-said difference of perception. Disregarding that Liz Lemon is fictional, and I am not (or, no more so than anyone else).

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/03/2021 11:29pm
Category: Comedy, Pop Culture, TV, Women
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Saturday, October 31, 2021

I don’t know why this joke from an old episode of “The Honeymooners” came to mind today, as it’s been months since I’ve seen a rerun. Regardless, it’s still funny, more than 50 years after the telling:

Norton: Ralph?

Ralph: What?!

Norton: You mind if I smoke?

Ralph: [acidly] I don’t care if you burn.

I suppose that’s an apt retort to the smokers in your life. At least, for the ones who bother to ask for permission before lighting up.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/31/2009 03:45pm
Category: Comedy, TV
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Monday, October 26, 2021

just effin' and essin'
In many ways, the above screenshot represents the quintessential Simpsonsesque type of humor: A visual that lingers only for the few seconds necessary to implant itself in your mind’s eye, later to explode like a mental timebomb and blow your little mind.

I’m assuming that’s what happened to Chaz:

I remember watching the episode of The Simpsons in which it appeared, staring in disbelief, rewinding the tape just a smidgen, and staring in disbelief again, followed by “Oh. My. GOD.” It was another ten minutes before I could resume viewing.

Like Lileks, I’m not going to spell out the joke for you, either. But if this post’s title isn’t enough to clue you in, here’s another tip: Like Sneed, Chuck also ran an F&S storefront in this same location. But no, it was neither feed nor seed that the former rural-store proprietor was peddling.

Got it now? Good.

Definitely a classic. Although for my money, it doesn’t compare to this spoken exchange from the “Treehouse of Horror III” episode:

Mr. Burns: [Taking Marge on an expedition] What do you think, Smithers?
Smithers: I think women and sea-men don’t mix.
Mr. Burns: We know what you think.

Good thing the television censors are immune to subtlety.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/26/2009 11:36pm
Category: Comedy, TV, Wordsmithing
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