The Consolidated States of America

This past summer the kids and I took our annual trip to the beach in North Carolina from Connecticut.  We decided to play the old license plate game along the way.  Of course, the kids added a new media twist to it using an app.  As we ventured down the east coast and tracked our states we started to question why there were so many states.  Why was Rhode Island an actual state?  No offense … Read More…

“If a Tweet Falls in the Forest…” Life without Applause-Signs, Laugh-Tracks & Likes

It’s often not so much what happens in our lives—as what we figure ought to happen.  If no one likes this post, did it fail?

I started noticing  camera-angles and how they manipulated the audience far too early in my life–especially for the poor bystanders who were stuck in a living room, basement or movie theater with me.

The Cosby Show, for all of its garish sweaters and too-good-to-be-true charm of a doctor/lawyer upper-middle class family, was a … Read More…

Yucking Up “The Walking Dead” to a Few More Emmys: Comic Tips from Three Great Dramas–“Justified,” “The Wire,” and “Breaking Bad”

Granted it’s a zombie apocalypse; granted it’s exhausting peeking around every corner; granted Atlanta in the summer without air-conditioning is brutal.  But come on, let’s have a little levity.

There’s a fine line between tragedy and comedy.  Shakespeare knew this as he preceded the haunted and soon to be hysterical Hamlet in the graveyard with a pun-contest with a local gravedigger.  Even Mercutio, after he was stabbed, found time to squeeze out a groaner:  “Ask for me tomorrow … Read More…

Mad Magazine’s 1976 Christmas Issue: Still Relevant, Still Memorized–Years Later

*Per a few requests, another omitted ditty was added below.  –Kevin 12/24/14

It was a Christmas party when my wife first called me “The King of Useless Information.” I fell into the trap and correctly answered the question, probably too quickly, “Who played Gopher on Love Boat?” Fred Grandy. Who didn’t know that??

But the title really had its roots in 1976, the year I began collecting Mad magazines as a fifth grader while waiting … Read More…

Former Students, Facebook Afterlife and Heartwarming Gore with “Deadheads”

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It’s not every zombie film that you can share with a12 year-old daughter and 80 year-old mother in-law and have them exclaim they loved it. 

Until Facebook, every June was like a funeral.  The likelihood that I would ever see or hear from the 300 or so graduating seniors was small–aside from an occasional homecoming … Read More…

We Are Still Fans…Somehow

marshall

College football’s Nittany Lions won a thriller this past weekend, a tight game requiring multiple overtimes. I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, in a region teeming with Penn State grads and Nittany Lions fans, and I befriended a few of the rare ones who tolerated someone who went to Notre Dame. After … Read More…

Killing Kids’ Questions: Critical Thinking OR Critical of Thinking?

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autumn

Bad parent!  I could read it in the old woman’s eyes as my eight year-old son let the door shut in front of her. 

“Why do I have to hold the door open for her?” he … Read More…

“Brotherly Love” is Ironic? I’ve Never Heard That.

schmidt in disguise

(Mike Schmidt, arguably the greatest third baseman to ever play the game, a career Phillie and a hometown hero.  In this photo, he’s in comic disguise to hide from Philly fans.)

Look up the phrase “philly fan” in the online “Urban Dictionary” site and you will see adjectives like “obnoxious,” “juvenile,” and … Read More…

The Ring Around the Rosie: Nursery Rhymes & Nightmares

  The ring 

Have you ever wondered why every child under the age of 10 is a sociopath? OK, age 20. Psychologists talk about the years kids spend consumed with themselves, the years spent acknowledging only their own needs. I’ve developed a theory about this after about two hours of moderate research. Here it is: consider … Read More…

1980’s Court-Jesters During Crisis: Airplane, The Blues Brothers and Caddyshack

As Kale Davidoff wrote yesterday of true perspective when looking at movies, I was reminded of the recent success of Argo, this year’s Best Picture, as it brought the paralysis of the Iran-Hostage crisis fully back to our collective frontal lobe.  It was the story of a heroic rescue that Jimmy Carter couldn’t use in his re-election bid . Instead, the ill-fated rescue involving the helicopter-crash was also Carter’s.

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The Power of a Well-Placed Smart-Ass: Roger Sterling, Lord Tyrion and the Dowager Countess of Grantham

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“What’s the definition of a smart-ass?” began one of my dad’s favorite jokes.  

“Someone who could sit on ice cream and tell what flavor it is.”

In 1998, the internet was new in our school and I was doing a demo in class of how cool it was.  We had the projector on … Read More…

SCTV–The Funnier, Less Popular SNL.

At 8:00 pm, a drug deal goes down in a poorly-lit room. There’s a knock at the door. The cops? One of the dealers opens the door, and sees it’s just another anonymous guy trying to score some drugs, except he’s on a horse, with his head too tall for the door frame.  Yes, it’s a new season of…Undercover Mountie! And at 9:00, the next show, Dan Money, is about a police detective who has to … Read More…

DON’T “Reply to All”

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Comedian Nathan Fielder engineered a prank on Twitter recently. You may have heard of it already. He asked his followers to send this text message to a parent: “Got 40 grams for $40.00.”  Then, they were to send this message to the parent right afterwards: “Sorry. Text not for you. LOL.” Fielder asked his followers to submit screen-prints of the parents’ … Read More…

Arrested Development–Pure Genius

The return of Arrested Development on May 26th should be hailed as a triumph, and as a display of the power of intelligence. To briefly catch you up, the show revolves around the exploits of the rich, incredibly shallow Bluth family. As the opening credits explain, they were a wealthy family that lost everything after the family patriarch is arrested for stealing from the company, and now has no choice but to rely on Michael … Read More…

Hold On To Your Friends

Listening to one the more haunting melodies from Morrissey’s solo career, “Hold On To Your Friends,” my thoughts of course turned to Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. (Does listening to Morrissey ever fail to make you think about Brooks and Reiner?) Morrissey gives good advice, but anyone who knows me will know how ironic it is that I would offer such advice. To imagine me with strangers, think of your dog when the mailman arrives. … Read More…

WTF Podcast: Comedians Risking “Not-Funny”

WTF

http://www.wtfpod.com/

At the risk of plugging a particular product, my iph–uh, my cellular phone is everything now. When I drive to and from work, which takes 1-1.5 hours out of my day, it navigates, it accesses IMDB for surfing during red lights, it gives me text messages … Read More…