Saturday, November 06, 2010

Smarties Cereal

NBC chairman Ben Silverman was kind when he said the pilot for the US version of the IT Crowd "didn't quite spark.". It stunk. This despite having the show's writer/director/creator Graham Lineham executive produce, despite using the same script, the same sets, the same direction, even the same actor in one case (Moss, arguably the funniest character of the show).

Why? Casting? The Jen character was too beautiful. The Roy character too angry. The boss character not sufficiently over the top. Timing. Lots of things.

The real question is, why recast and reshoot a British sitcom in America with Americans? We speak English over here. Why not just rerun episodes over here? I have the answer. Smarties Cereal.

In one episode of the original series, Jen, the IT geek's "relationship manager" suggests that their odd behavior may be due to their sugary diet. She asks Moss, the alpha geek, what he had for breakfast that morning. Here is his response:

Moss: (matter of factly) Smarties Cereal
Jen: !?I didn't realize Smarties MADE a cereal.
Moss: They don't. It's just Smarties and milk.

Cue the yuks. Moss eats candy as breakfast. But wait. In England, Smarties is Nestle's version of M&Ms. In America, Smarties are little chalky candy tablets made by compressing candy dust. An American watching The IT Crowd would wrongly think Moss is eating the wrong kind of candy. M&Ms in milk for breakfast is childlike and funny. Candy dust buttons in milk is just weird.

I volunteer to write and dub in American variations of British comedy so uninitiated Americans can get every last yuk and guffaw out of the IT Crowd. It would kind of be like dubbing clean alternatives to the F word into The Big Lebowski when it's shown on TBS ("this is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps"). I'd try the jokes with test audiences. Milk Duds in milk? Nillla Wafers? Reese's peanut butter cups is already a cereal. Let's take it from the top:

Jen: Moss, what did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Moss: Sweet Tarts and milk
Jen: !? I didn't even know Sweet Tarts made a cereal!
Moss. They don't. It's Sweet Tarts and milk.

End scene.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Offensive, then retarded, then hilarious - the trifecta

The guys at Red State Update are geniuses. I have to highlight just one clip of theirs when they broke with their usual format a little bit after Bill Richardson announced he would endorse Obama over Clinton. Just watch it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Overall, I'd say I get very little respect

I laughed out loud at Letterman last night. The bit was Rodney Dangerfield's act in the style of a Mark Twain one man show - a comedy mash-up. Too short. My favorite was this line: "I remember the first time I made love to my wife, she started crying. I said, 'Are you going to hate yourself in the morning?' She said, 'No, I hate myself now.'"

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wieners and wet buns

I'm embarrassed by how much I care about and know about the Nathan's hot dog eating contest. For the sake of brevity, I'll keep this to a single link.

Only the New York Times would use words like "hyperbolic", "gravitas" and "effluvia" in reviewing a hot dog eating contest. I love it. The article refers to the contest as...

17 contestants jamming wieners and wet buns down their eager yaps for the greater glory of gross intemperance

New York Times, you had me at "jamming wieners"

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'd buy that for a dollar

The snack machine on my floor never takes my dollar bills, but I outsmarted it. I put my dollar into the Coke machine, then press the "reject" button. Tada! Four shiny quarters. Sorry, Coke machine, helloooo Bugles! Today I put my dollar into the Coke machine, pressed the reset button and it gave me change in Nickels! Clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink clink. The bastard's on to me.

Thanks for reading about my exciting day. To get your mind off of it, read these quotes from Married...with Children. I actually laughed out loud.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Another brilliant google suggest poem

How do you

How do you solve a problem like maria
how do you tie a tie
how do you know if your pregnant
how do you know if you are pregnant
how do you like them apples
how do you get aids
how do you talk to an angel
how do you do
how do you make out
how do you say merry christmas in german

Best photo ever

Apparently, high school student Michael Carmichael accidentally dropped a baseball in paint in the mid 1960's. He then painted it and dipped it in paint over and over again until it was the size of a football. He donated it to the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home Museum. They wouldn't give it back so he started with a fresh baseball in 1977. It now has over 20,000 coats of paint and weighs 1800 pounds. Michael's wife Glenda has painted thousands of coats herself. You can read about it here or see Mike's own page here, but you only need to look at that picture to get the whole story. Look how sad Glenda is in that "my husband's been painting a baseball for almost 30 years" way. See how the disembodied clowns with dental problems mock her and not him. It's almost too heartbreaking to look at. That's life right there. Mike is Sisyphus voluntarily and happily rolling a giant ball. Glenda is his long-suffering wife who sees life as it is: a pointless endless series of coats of paint. This couple illustrates your two choices: paint and be happy, or don't and be unhappy. A brilliant unintended piece of photojournalism.

New content and my balls

Okay, internet, here's something that you don't know because I overheard it on the subway out there in meatspace. On the 2 train, I overheard one guy say totally without irony:

The tyranny of children is having to watch their entertainment.
Dude! Tyranny? I admit that you give up a certain amount of liberty when you become a parent, but there's worse stuff out there than watching Bob the Builder. I, for one, get smacked in the balls much more frequently since I became a father. The shortness plus flailing around is a bad combination. Some days I expect to hear Bob Saget's voice-over narrating the experience.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A piece of useless crap that is more important to me because I read it in print before I saw it online

Dan Savage is a sex advice columnist. In his Feb 28 2007 "Savage Love" column in the Village Voice (I'm too lazy to find the online version), he chastised a reader for fantasizing about Anna Nicole Simpson now that she's dead. I think he was wrong to fantasize about her before she was dead, but that's just me. In doing so, Savage listed some random dead people. Whenever I think of a random dead person I think of Abraham Lincoln - just a lazy habit from my youth. Dan's list made me laugh out loud. Here it is out of context 'cause I'm blogging, not writing for the New York Times:
Which is why no one beats off to James Dean or River Phoenix or Marilyn Monroe or Mary Todd Lincoln without feeling a little creepy, a little hopeless, and a little closer to the grave himself.
First of all, he broke the "three things" comedy rule by mentioning four things. Secondly, Mary Todd Lincoln. IITL!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another Google Suggest Poem

why do

why do cats purr
why do we have christmas trees
why do we celebrate christmas
why do people smoke
why do men cheat
why do fools fall in love
why do we yawn
why do we dream
why do birds suddenly appear
why do all good things come to an end

Monday, January 29, 2007

How could anyone possibly...derive pleasure from that?

Have some fun with Google's suggest feature. Google tries to predict what you'll type next based on what a gajillion people have searched for before you. It's kind of like The Interrupter, but more useful. You're supposed to use it to search with less typing, but I think it's useful for other stuff. Like this: "The murderer is" gives one result: "The murderer is my wife". Uh Oh.

I also wrote some poetry with the help of suggest. I wrote the title, and google wrote the poem. I love google. I hate poetry.

Fatty Fat
fatty fatty
fatty fatty two by four
fatty fatty boom boom
fatty fat fat
fatty fatty mcfatpants
fatty fatty bum bum
fatty fat fat fat
fatty fatty fat fat
fatty fatty 2x4
fatty fatty 2 by 4

Where can
where can i buy a wii
where can i buy a nintendo wii
where can i get a wii
where can i find a wii
where can i buy nintendo wii
where can i get a nintendo wii
where can i buy wii
where can i find a nintendo wii
where can i buy a ps3
where can i buy the wii

My Brother is
my brother is a soldier
my brother is a marine
my brother is dead
my brother is stupid
my brother is a dog
my brother is a quarterback
my brother is an asshole
my brother is annoying
my brother is getting married

My Husband D
my husband doesnt love me
my husbank doesnt love me anymore
my husband doesnt talk to me
my husbank doesnt work
my husband doesnt appreciate me
my husband doesnt want kids
my husband doesnt want me
my husband drinks too much
my husband died

God An
god and goddesses
god and goddess
god and science
god and jesus
god and devil show
god and the devil are raging inside me
god and me
god and country
god and marriage
good and evil

Friday, January 12, 2007

Password as mantra

I had a coworker, let's call him 'Michael' (that was his name) who disliked another coworker 'Ted' (the other guy's name). Michael's password was "killted". It must have been cathartic to type "killted" multiple times a day, every day, for months. I wondered if that was a cause or effect of Michael's mean spiritedness.

Your password is a kind of mantra, one that you type rather than say over and over. I tried changing my password to a more life-affirming one.

There is a benefit of an angry password. When someone wants to use your account this happens:

  • sloppy fat jerk: What's your password?
  • you: Just type "I'm a sloppy fat jerk"
If they're not willing to type it, they can't use your computer, jerk.