Monday, March 30, 2009

Top 8 Things About Can't Hardly Wait

Because you loved it then. Because you love it now.

8. The legitimately phenomenal soundtrack.

Ms. Becky Abrams (a dear friend-of-the-blog) directed me to the following review of the Can’t Hardly Wait soundtrack. It’s an exhaustive compendium of all songs featured in the movie. Somewhere, Ethan Embry is grinning an impossibly large grin. You’ve got 90’s staples (your Eve 6’s, your Third Eye Blind’s), classic movie songs (“Romeo and Juliet” and “Paradise City” are in like, every movie ever), and to top it all off, the title comes from a Replacements song. YES. (Also, Yaz. There is a Yaz song. Remember Yaz? Yaz does.)

7. The “Holy shit, she/he’s in this!?!!?” factor.

You’re watching the movie, minding your nostalgia, when all of a sudden, baby Jason Segel is eating a watermelon and talking about Velma from Scooby Doo. Later on, “Oh, hello, Selma Blair. Gee, you have no lines in this movie.” Later still, “Eric Balfour and Freddy Rodriguez!? You guys don’t even get names! Lucky for you, you’ll both be on Six Feet Under.”

6. The feeling of “Wow, so people were okay with the word ‘fag’ in 1998?”

Seriously, they drop it like, six times. We don’t use that word in this house, frankly. Except when Tommy puts on Caitlin’s makeup.

5. Trip McNeely.

Jerry O’Connell has basically the best career of all-time. We can just admit that, right? Someone go write it down, so it’s true. He starts out as the fat kid in Stand By Me, then between the years of ’96 and ’99, he does Sliders, Scream 2, Jerry Maguire, Can’t Hardly Wait, and The muthafuckin’ 60’s! And NOW, he’s married to Rebecca Romijn and shows up on when he wants to.

4. The eternally quotable script.

I’d give you a top ten of my favorite lines, but as you may have noticed… list ideas are lean these days and I need all the material I can get. This should get you started, though. And I swear to God, if they ever make a t-shirt that says “Scott Baio: We All Have Our Things”, I’d buy it.

3. The goofy-ass scene transitions.

Here’s an example. Nerd’s last line in scene A: “People may even be having sex tonight!” Seth Green’s first line in scene B: “Yo, I gots to have sex tonight!” That feels like such a high school film production club thing to geek out on, but I still dig it. I dig it like a pony.

2. The little things that stick with you.

This is just one of those movies that spawns inside jokes. Ethan Embry’s garbled delivery of “harnessing my chi”… Erik Palladino’s ridiculous “Uh, it’s okay, baby!” after he tries to mack on his cousin… I could go on, but you get the point. I’ve seen this movie a million times and at this point, these are the reasons I keep watching it.

1. The fact that by the end, you genuinely don’t care if Preston and Amanda get together.

I mean, right? Don’t get me wrong, Ethan Embry is totally my boy—and I’m still shocked that Jennifer Love Hewitt didn’t get the Oscar for this—but this is one of those films whose payoff comes from the journey and not the destination.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Top 8 Fictional Princetonians

Hi guys. So... I'm gonna go to Princeton for grad school. As per usual, I will celebrate with fictions.

8. Joe Cable (South Pacific)

How I am like him: My mom used to sing You’ve Got to Be Taught to me! (Because my mom decided I should learn about racism/musical theater at an early age.)

How I am not like him: I did not die in World War Two…

7. Osborne Cox (Burn After Reading)

How I am like him: I, too, am deadly with an axe!

How I am not like him: I have never been blackmailed by gym employees…

6. Carlton Banks (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)

How I am like him: I have a deeply abiding love of argyle!

How I am not like him: I am white…

5. Bruce Wayne (Batman Begins)

How I am like him: I can do that fall-straight-to-the-ground-and-do-push-ups thing!

How I am not like him: Ugh, as much as this sucks to admit, I am not Batman…

4. Amory Blaine (This Side of Paradise)

How I am like him: I sometimes feel defined by the women in my life!

How I am not like him: Amory’s last words are, “I know myself and that is all”—I totes know more than that! I think…

3. Doogie Howser (Doogie Howser, MD)

How I am like him: At the end of the day, I like to write my thoughts on a computer!

How I am not like him: I don’t have an Italian-stereotype of a friend who enters my house through the window—or an MD… 

2. Jack Donaghy (30 Rock)

How I am like him: I am a lion and I take what’s mine!

How I am not like him: Tonight, I ate dinner that came out of a microwaveable plastic bag…

1. Sam Seaborn (The West Wing)

How I am like him: According to the Facebook quiz I took tonight, we’re both “quick thinking, young intelligent and hot-headed, but maybe with a bit more to learn… a team player, [we] get along with everyone… [we also] have political ambitions that reach beyond [speechwriting and/or neuroscience] though.” Nice!

How I am not like him: Actually, nothing comes to mind!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top 124 Sorta-Racist Questions People Are Asking on the Internet

A friend discovered this recently, so I can't take the credit for it, but it sure is a fun game.  Go to (the actual main site), and type in "Why do ____"--filling in the blank with whatever nationality or ethnicity pleases you.  Google will be nice enough to provide you with a list of suggested searches--the most common questions asked of the internet about the group of people you picked.  It's like a trip inside the collective racist unconscious.  And boy, is it wacky!

We'll kick it off with the least likely to offend and go downhill from there.

124-115. Why do American...

Why do Americans drive on the right side of the road?
Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving?
Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?
Why do Americans call football soccer?
Why do Americans act like that?
Why do Americans speak English?
Why do Americans drive on the right?
Why do Americans?
Why do Americans work more than Europeans?
Why do Americans eat fast food?

114-105. Why do white...

Why do white people smell like wet dogs?
Why do white women like black men?
Why do white guys like Asian girls?
Why do white men like black women?
Why do white people rule the world?
Why do white women love black men?
Why do white men like Asian women?
Why do white girls date black guys?
Why do white people tan?
Why do white women want black men?

104-101. Why do French...

Why do French people smell?
Why do French fries taste so good?
Why do French women not get fat?
Why do French people stink?

100-91. Why do British...

Why do British people have bad teeth?
Why do British drive on the left?
Why do British lawyers wear wigs?
Why do British people have such bad teeth?
Why do British people say bloody?
Why do British drive on the left side?
Why do British people have crooked teeth?
Why do British people say zed?
Why do British people?
Why do British people say Happy Christmas?

90-81. Why do German...

Why do Germans like David Hasselhoff?
Why do Germans love David Hasselhoff?
Why do German shepherds whine?
Why do German shepherds howl?
Why do German women like black men?
Why do German women love black men?
Why do German beer steins have lids?
Why do Germans celebrate Oktoberfest?
Why do Germans call New Year Sylvester?
Why do Germans hide a pickle in the Christmas tree?

80-75. Why do Russian...

Why do Russians drink vodka?
Why do Russian women want American men?
Why do Russians celebrate Christmas?
Why do Russians look Asian?
Why do Russian women want to leave Russia?
Why do Russians like vodka?

74-65. Why do Asian...

Why do Asians have slanted eyes?
Why do Asian girls like white guys?
Why do Asians turn red when they drink?
Why do Asians have squinty eyes?
Why do Asians look the same?
Why do Asians have flat faces?
Why do Asians have different eyes?
Why do Asians have slanted eyes?
Why do Asians have slanty eyes?
Why do Asians wear surgical masks?

64-55. Why do Chinese...

Why do Chinese have slanted eyes?
Why do Chinese people have small eyes?
Why do Chinese people celebrate Chinese New Year?
Why do Chinese use chopsticks?
Why do Chinese eat dogs?
Why do Chinese people smell?
Why do Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year?
Why do Chinese men eat more rice than Japanese men?
Why do Chinese women stay so thin?
Why do Chinese people have bad breath?

54-45. Why do Japanese...

Why do Japanese hunt whales?
Why do Japanese wear masks?
Why do Japanese have bad teeth?
Why do Japanese people have bad teeth?
Why do Japanese live longer?
Why do Japanese live so long?
Why do Japanese bow?
Why do Japanese people wear face masks?
Why do Japanese have slanted eyes?
Why do Japanese girls have bad teeth?

44-37. Why do Korean...

Why do Koreans say fighting?
Why do Koreans use metal chopsticks?
Why do Koreans love Starcraft?
Why do Koreans eat dog?
Why do Koreans have big heads?
Why do Koreans have good skin?
Why do Koreans bow?
Why do Koreans have small eyes?

36-31. Why do Latino...

Why do Latinos immigrate to the United States?
Why do Latinos join gangs?
Why do Latino men cheat?
Why do Latino immigrants come to America?
Why do Latinos drop out of school?

40-31. Why do Mexican...

Why do Mexicans come to America?
Why do Mexicans have so many kids?
Why do Mexican jumping beans jump?
Why do Mexicans speak Spanish?
Why do Mexicans?
Why do Mexicans come to the United States?
Why do Mexicans stare?
Why do Mexicans park their cars on the front lawn?
Why do Mexicans leave Mexico?
Why do Mexicans immigrate?

30-21. Why do black...

Why do black people have big lips?
Why do black men like white women?
Why do black people say aks?
Why do black women have big bums?
Why do black guys like white girls?
Why do black men love white women?
Why do black people have nappy hair?
Why do black people like watermelon?
Why do black people have white palms?
Why do black men like fat women?

20-11. Why do Indian...

Why do Indians smell?
Why do Indians smell bad?
Why do Indians stink?
Why do Indian people smell?
Why do Indians have red dots?
Why do Indians eat with their hands?
Why do Indians wear turbans?
Why do Indians smell like curry?
Why do Indians have dots on their heads?
Why do Indian people stink?

10-1. Why do Arab...

Why do Arabs smell bad?
Why do Arabs and Jews fight?
Why do Arabs throw shoes?
Why do Arabs throw rocks?
Why do Arabs wear turbans?
Why do Arab women wear veils?
Why do Arabs lose wars?
Why do Arabs smell?
Why do Arabs have big noses?
Why do Arabs and Israelis fight?

WELL, if there's anything I've learned from all this, it's that no matter what race or nationality you are, someone thinks you smell!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

GUEST LIST: Top 5 Reasons Not to Do Hardcore Drugs in London

Friend of the blog (and mortal enemy of Rob Trump) Michael Marlin weighs in from London with a list.  This is straight from the horse's mouth, unedited and possibly drug-fueled:

5. you end up buying terribly worse drugs than the ones you started out with

4. you buy "chicken cottage" which is like kfc mixed with crack and homeless

3. every homeless person wants to deal you crack and/or eat your chicken cottage

2. you take a taxi to home, which is very very expensive

1. you come back home at 5 am and just wish you were on more drugs/had more chicken cottage

I've read this like 10 times, and I still can't figure out whether "Chicken Cottage" is actual food or some edible drug.  Hope you learned your lesson, kids--and that's "Don't eat things with weird as hell names, and don't take taxis to home!"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Top 9 Differences Between New York and L.A.

As Peter mentioned, I was in L.A. for a week and only got back recently, hence my lack of lists.  But my trip has inspired a list of its own--the biggest differences between New York and Los Angeles.  Hopefully this will help you learn a little if you have only been to one of them, or if you have never been to either!

9. They are in different states

New York City is in New York State.  L.A. is in California.

8. They are on different coasts

New York is on the east coast of the United States of America.  L.A. is on the west coast.

7. Their spelling is different

New York is spelled N-e-w Y-o-r-k.  L.A. is spelled L-A.

6. They have different populations

New York has 8,274,587 people. L.A. has 3,849,378 people.

5. Not only are the numerical populations different, but the people are different, too

Not one of the 8,274,587 million people who lives in New York is also one of the 3,849,378 people who live in L.A.  That is to say, there is no overlap between these groups of people (at least for census purposes).

4. Given only their name, their statuses as geographical entities are somewhat different

"New York" may refer to either the city or the state.  "Los Angeles" must only refer to the city.

3. Not only are they on different coasts, but they are also on different latitudes

New York is at 40 latitudinal degrees North of the equator. Los Angeles is only at 33 latitudinal degrees North (of the equator).

2. The roots of their names are in different languages

"New York" an English name.  "Los Angeles" is a Spanish name.

1. Their names mean different things

"New York" means "New York."  "Los Angeles" means "Los Angeles."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Top 10 People on "Flight of the Conchords" Season One Who Are Not Bret or Jemaine

Hey, guys. Rob and I have been slacking and we are so very, very sorry. Here is the deal. He is in LA and I am gearing up for a conference in SF, so things are VB. (Very... Brachiosaurus?! No, busy. Very busy.)

Anyway, though... you all probably love the HBO series Flight of the Conchords. We do, too. And the thing is, as great as Bret and Jemaine are, they also have the BEST guest stars and supporting cast in all of television. All of these people will be your favorite people eventually.

(PS: This is just season one guest stars/supporting cast... THAT WAY WE CAN DO ANOTHER LIST LATER, PROBS!)

10. Demetri Martin

Plays Demetri in "The Third Conchord".
You've seen him: on The Daily Show, Comedy Central Presents
You can see him now: on Important Things with Demetri Martin

9. Will Forte

Plays Ben in "The Actor".
You've seen him: On SNL, in a great guest spot on How I Met Your Mother, and maybe in The Brothers Solomon if you are like, a friggin' huge Will Forte fan.
You can see him soon: in the John Krasinski directed Brief Interviews With Hideous Men!

Appears as Coco in several episodes.
You've seen her: on Broadway in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Young Frankenstein
You can see her now: in Shrek! The musical! Because there needed to a Shrek musical!

Plays Sanjay in "Drive-By".
You've seen him: on Human Giant, at the UCB
You can see him soon: in Funny People, in Observe and Report, and on Parks and Recreation, the next sitcom from the makers of The Office!

Appears as Mel throughout the series.
You've seen her: in Adam & Steve (Caitlin's favorite movie), on The Daily Show, in The Believer (the magazine, not the Ryan Gosling flick)
You can see her soon: in Cirque de Freak, written and directed by Paul Weitz!

Appears as Murray throughout the series.
You've seen him: various stand-up, and unfortunately in Yes Man
You can see him soon: in The Boat That Rocked, written and directed by Richard Curtis!

Plays Todd in "The Third Conchord".
You've seen him: Comedy Central Presents, but also in The Wrestler!?!!? Wasn't that awesome, though? You're sitting there, minding your own business, loving The Wrestler, and then all of a sudden, bam! Todd Barry!
You can see him soon: in all of Rob's sexy-time dreams!

Appears as Eugene throughout the series.
You've seen him: touring with The Comedians of Comedy, Comedy Central Presents
You can see him now: on Adult Swim's Delocated, or read his new book The Will to Whatevs!

Plays David Armstrong in "Bowie".
You've seen him: in the Mac/PC commercials, on The Daily Show, in his many fantastic appearances on This American Life, or perhaps you've read either of his books The Areas of My Expertise or More Information Than You Require
You can see him soon: in the upcoming Ricky Gervais vehicle This Side of Truth!

Appears as Dave throughout the series.
You've seen him: in The Marijuana-logues, on Last Comic Standing, his Flash series "Arj and Poopy", Comedy Central Presents
You can see him soon: in his upcoming role as my best friend, in a play called "Life", in which Arj Barker and I hang out, talk about things we enjoy, and basically have the best time!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Top 6 Answers to Life's Greatest Questions

6. Q. How can evil exist in a world with a benevolent God?

A. God defines benevolence as "a desire to eat Cheez-its."  And He eats a lot of Cheez-its.

5. Q. What was there before the beginning of the universe?

A. A palate of paints to paint the universe, and a brush with which to dab the colors of the stars.

4. Q. Can God make a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it?

A. Yes, but God actually cannot lift any rocks as He is allergic to rocks.

3. Q. Why are we here?

A. We are here to ask the question, "Why are we here?"

2. Q. How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

A. Three hundred, as long as they are doing the best dance.

1. Q. What is the best dance?

A. The best dance is this dance (at 0:43):

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Top 8 Scientific Feuds

Science! It's full of controversy! Like this one, which happens to be important to me! But guess what. Scientists have found things to argue about since, like, forever.

For instance!

8. Telsa v. Edison

Basically, these two guys had a game where they shot electricity at each other. It got out of hand once and they became superhuman… with Edison as the hero and Tesla as the villain. This is all just to say, you could make a friggin’ sweet comic book out of Tesla and Edison.

7. Galileo v. Kepler

It’s not what you think. This was basically a “Kepler ate the last Christmas cookie, Galileo never got over it” kind of thing. Sad, really. Scientists can be so cruel.

6. Feynman v. Schrodinger

It all started when Feynman and Schrodinger were pounding some shots at a bar and this blonde pretty-young-thing sidled up to the pair and was all, “What’s up, Dick?” Feynman left the bar with the girl and the bartender commented to Schrodinger, “He’s totally going to bang her,” to which Schrodinger responded, “He is… and he isn’t.” Feynman was later heard yelling mid-coitus, “No uncertainty here, Erwin!”

5. Turing v. Erdos

These two brilliant mathematicians were locked in a lifelong battle to see who could be the most batshit brilliant/insane mind of his time. Erdos did pretty well for himself—regularly taking amphetamines, referring to children as “epsilons” and God as “the Supreme Facist”—but Turing wins the belt for killing himself with a cyanide-laced apple, death by reenactment of his favorite fairy tale, Snow White.

4. Mendeleev v. Mendel

Mendel and Mendeleev had no scientific quibble, but both were known to complain bitterly, “Why won’t he change his fucking name!? No one will ever remember me if that fucker won’t go by something else.”

3. Bohr v. Thompson

Though Thompson admitted that the Bohr model of the atom “totes made more sense,” he refused to concede that it was a “tastier” possibility than the Plum Pudding Model.

2. Cajal v. Golgi

The dispute between these two (EDIT: it used to say "Italian" here, but now it doesn't thanks to brilliant commenter Anna) neuroscientists arose when Ramon y Cajal used Camillo Golgi’s technique of silver chromate staining to disprove the accepted theory that the nervous system was a reticular meshwork, and instead, that it was made up of discrete cells, later called neurons. Rumor has it that after Cajal and Golgi co-accepted the 1906 Nobel Prize in Medecine, Golgi shoved it in Cajal’s mouth and punched him in the nuts like, five times. “Stain this, motherfucker!” he yelled, presumably in Italian.

1. Watson v. Crick

Renowned for their discovery of the structure of DNA, these two science-bros spent most of their non-science time competing for the affections of Rosalind Franklin, the biophysicist/hottie who, let’s face it, did most of their work. Their passionate collaborations—both in the lab and in the bedroom—were later adapted into the film, Y tu mama tambien

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Top 10 Fictional Entries

10. Goblu and Beatosu

Two fictional Michigan towns inserted into a state map by an overzealous UMichigan alum, who happened to chair the State Highway Commission. For some (bullshit) reason, Michigan got mad about this and made him get rid of the towns. They later recanted, when it turned out that the cartographical lobby was just the extra push the Wolverines needed to beat OSU. (That last part is false. It is my own version of a fictional entry.)

9. Trap Streets

Nonexistent or radically misrepresented streets depicted on maps to dissuade copyright infringement... y'know, because map-fraud is a billion-dollar industry. These are all over the UK, in fact, I would hazard a guess that 85% of streets in London are fake. (Also, there's one on a German map that's called "Gallows Pathway". STOP BEING CREEPY, THE GERMANS.)

8. The Stone Louse

A small insect found in Germany that eats stone... almost 30kg a day, apparently. First documented in 1976 on the German television show A Place for Animals. Later on, Germans found HILARIOUS application for their made up bug, when they claimed that it played a huge role in the fall of the Berlin Wall. Y'know, it was bugs that killed Communism, not... um... economics.

7. Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography

The motherlode of fictitious entries. Apparently, some dudes decided to write an encylopedia of famous Americans, and halfway through, they were just like, "Fuck it, let's make up some peeps." Kinda like Wikipedia. OH SNAP YOU KNEW THAT WAS COMING.

6. The words that show up on the white board of my lab

Okay, do you guys remember this list? Of course you do, because you are loyal PaRMLotters. (A thought: Parmloteers?! Like, Mousketeers?! Yeah, maybe?!) Well, the same handwriting has returned. Today, on the same whiteboard, totally unconnected to anything else, were these two words: "orientated" and "bilateralizationism". They're too cleverly wrong to just be the work of some misguided idiot!!! Someone is trying to tell us something.

5. Agloe, New York

A small town in Upstate New York. First documented in the 1930s as a copyright trap, this town then began to show up on Rand McNally and Esso maps, because someone named a general store after it. (Classic example of life imitating the ridiculous.) The town was later popularized by a young adult novel entitled Paper Towns. And let's face it, how many things have really been popularized by young adult novels, aside from angst and finding out that you have a lot left to learn.

4. Apopudobalia

A Greco-Roman sport resembling soccer, enjoyed by Roman legions and later revived in 19th century Britain. This sport was documented in the German Encyclopeida of Antiquities, yet another great example of that dry, near-nonexistent German wit. I kid, I kid. Honestly though, if you're going to write a bald-faced lie in a respected (I assume?) publication, why wouldn't you make it huge and ridiculous? Roman soccer? At least give me Mayan hockey, guys.

3. Zzxjoanw

A Maori word meaning "drum", "fife", or "conclusion". First documented in 1903, in a dictionary of musical terms entitled The Musical Guide. According to the guide, it's pronounced "shaw". Aside from being a potentially bad-ass scrabble play, this word is batshit insane, as is the fact that it was basically accepted for 70 or so years, until someone said, "Hmm, the Maori language doesn't have z's or x's or j's." Not to mention that fact that words don't just mean three totally different things (aside from "smurf")... "Hey, I invented a word that means 'dentist', 'testicle', and 'Gary'!" You know what happened to the guy who said that? He's dead, that's what happened.

2. Esquivalience

Defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as "the willful avoidance of one's official responsibilities". No one would have found this word, had the NOAD not leaked the fact that they put a fake e-word in, presumably because the folks at the NOAD are really, really desperate for attention, since e'rbody knows that the NOAD ain't no OED. Later publicized in this excellent New Yorker piece.

1. Lillian Virginia Mountweazel

The queen mum of all fictitious entries, possibly deserving of her own movie/Pynchon novel. Here's her dossier: born in Bangs, Ohio... worked as a fountain designer and a photographer... best known for her collection of rural American mailboxes entitled "Flags Up!"... died in an explosion while on assignment for Combustibles, a magazine presumably about combustion and combustible items. You cannot make this stuff up, and by that I mean, you cannot make up the fact that someone made up Lillian Virginia Mountweazel and put her in the New Columbia Encyclopedia. The world is too much with us.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Top 12 Versions of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" that I Would Still Like to See on YouTube

The internet has given us much.  Mostly, it has given us a massive amount of versions of YouTube users dancing to Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)."  There's a little-girl version, a big-girl version, an anorexic-man-in-a-Speedo version, and even an entirely reworded world-traveling version.  But this craze is not exhausted yet.  There are still so many more directions that the internet could take it.

12. "Single Ladies (50-year-old male lawyers carrying briefcases version)"

This version has 50-year-old male lawyers carrying briefcases.  They hold the briefcases in their right hands, so when they flip their hands back and forth, amicus curae briefs fly everywhere.

11. "Single Ladies (upside-down naked hermaphrodite version)"

In this version, the performer is completely upside down, imitating using only arms the movements that Beyonce does with her legs, and with legs the movement that Beyonce does with her arms.  Also, he/she is a naked hermaphrodite.

10. "Ladies With Husbands (Shouldn't Have Put a Ring On It)"

In this one, the women are physically tied to their no-good husbands via chains.  They struggle to break them, but they cannot.   Their movements are impaired and their dancing sucks.

9. "Single Ladies (unborn fetus version)"

This version is performed by unborn fetuses.  At the end the camera zooms up and out and there are a ton of fetuses that form the words "RIGHT TO LIFE! I AM A PERSON TOO!"  It is a powerful anti-abortion statement.

8. "Single Ladies (Beyonce dances to Beyonce version)"

This is like the one where that skinny scantily clad dude dances and the video of Beyonce is next to him, but it's Beyonce dancing, and Beyonce is next to her.  She fucks up all the moves because she is on hard drugs.

7. "Shingle Ladies"

In this version, all the women have shingles.

6. "Single Ladies (TLC version)"

This is just straight up re-enacted by TLC, minus Left-Eye Lopez but with a Left-Eye impersonator.  Then TLC claims they wrote the song and a massive copyright battle ensues.  TLC actually wins, but not for the reason you'd think.

5. "Single Ladies (Gary Busey version)"

Just an episode of I'm with Busey, with "Single Ladies" on loop in the background for the entire episode.  Faint loop.  You can barely hear it.

4. "Single Ladies (coffeemaker dance version)"

Three coffeemakers reenact the dance with astounding precision.

3. "Bindle Ladies (Put a Polka-Dotted Sack On It)"

All three women are hobos and/or running away from home.  The altered lyrics teach you how to ride the rails and offer your work services to farms.

2. "Menstruating Ladies (Don't Put Anything On It)"

In this one, all three women are menstruating everywhere, all the time.  It is beautiful because the period is beautiful.  It is a powerful feminist statement.

1. "Dingleberries (Put a...oh God, fuck this)"

I hate myself.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Top 8 Fictional Musicals

Also, if you're into musical things of the parody variety, check this out, performed and conceived by our dear friend Laura Kleinbaum!

8. Fuzz: The Musical (from Mr. Show)

Mr. Show did a few great musical sketches--in fact, there are a whopping TWO on this list. I think what made them so brilliant was the perfect blend of loving geekiness and mocking derision. These guys have clearly walked the boards a few times before, and you get the sense that they're simultaneously glad to be free from obnoxious musical theater types, but that they still sing songs from Into the Woods in the shower. (BTW, the best part of this clip is far and away David Cross' rendition of "How High the Mountain (Ronnie's Theme)" at about 3:40... if you prefer Patinkin to Cross, check this clip.)

7. Oh, Streetcar! (from The Simpsons)

I mean, come on... "The Kindness of Strangers" re-imagined as a big-budget, kick-line closer. Sign me up, The Simpsons.

6. Lease: The Musical (from Team America: World Police)

Consider yourself skewered, Rent! YOU WERE ASKIN' FOR IT! (Also, I'm sure glad we can all laugh at AIDS now.)

5. Red Ships of Spain (from Saturday Night Live)

Oh my gosh, does anyone remember this? Friggin' Goulet and his two brothers (Parnell and Baldwin)!!! AND I MANAGED TO FIND THE VIDEO!!!

4. Bye, Bye, Greasy (from Home Movies)

I think I have watched this episode of Home Movies more than any other one... thanks, Tom. This Grease/Bye, Bye, Birdie mash-up is a sublime catastrophe. (Coach McGuirk's song, around 4:15 in the video, is probably the highlight.)

3. Springtime for Hitler (from The Producers)

I mean, I can't not mention this. (The original, obviously...)

2. The Joke: The Musical (also from Mr. Show)

This has everything... a salesman selling leather pants in the Ozarks, pre-fame Jack Black as a farmer/devil, some holes in the wall, and best of all, a hated milk machine. This is the perfect end to the best Mr. Show episode EVER. (I CALLED IT JUST NOW.) Also, I love the looks on Bob and David's faces at the end, as the credits roll. They look positively giddy and thrilled... like they can't believe they actually got to pull that shit on National TV.

Part 1:

Part 2 (The Milk Machine Song!):

1. Red, White, and Blaine (from Waiting for Guffman)
Guffman is pretty much a perfect film. There are like, five Oscar-worthy performances in this film. Yes, actually, exactly five. And I think the icing on the cake (or the dressing on the salad?) is the musical itself. It's terrible, to be sure... but impeccably terrible. The songs are more than catchy, they're occasionally beautiful. (For instance, the one in this clip at about 1:00 in.) The whole production--like the town it tributes--is so sad and small, but these performers genuinely care about every note, every line... so even as an outside observer, you care can help but care, too.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Top 15 Tips For Beating the Recession

Hi, Parmlotters. Hi, other people who are just reading this for the first time. Hi, the 2,000 people who wandered over here on a hot tip from, the foremost Bob Dylan site on the net. We're glad to have ALL of you here.

Today's list is a guest-list of sorts... friend of the blog Ron Shortsweather decided to drop by and give you all some financial tips. This guy knows what he's talking about; he's the CEO of more than 15 different (and potentially fictional) companies. You may have read about him here or here.

Ol' Ron is a typo-machine, so be aware that this was editted after submission... that being said, it's still basically nonsense.

16. Invent something that everyone suddenly needs
Question: Did the Pilgrims know they needed computers? Answer: Hell no! And if they had, they probably wouldn't have gone extinct. You can be the guy who stands up in the crowded marketplace and says, "Hey there, fellow consumers! I've got just the ticket! It's your once-in-a-lifetime chance to win big on your investment!" Why, just this morning, I was waking up and I thought to myself, "How come the covers don't reach over my feet?" Maybe you can use that for inspiration... just give me a cut o' the profits, won't ya!?

15. Finally write that novel
You've been meaning to finish it for years now, Grandma. Now that Uncle Sam's red-white-and-blue boots have kicked you out on your rump, why don't you buckle down and put pen to paper? Now the whole world can see what a shitty writer you are.

14. Copyright the phrase "In this economy?"
Never mind, I just did it!

13. A street fair!
I love these! You can just walk up and down on a place where there used to be cars, and NO CARS WILL HIT YOU. In fact, people will reward you with food for it! If you really want to win the money-makin' game, you could be the guy who makes that food. Fry it, slap it up, slap it down, sprinkle on a cheese, and you're in business!

12. Blogging
Listen, ma'am. It's the 90s. People will pay e-dollars to e-hear your e-opinions. There's a serious niche market for you telling other people what you think!!! The secret of my success is that I have never, ever, ever shut up about my feelings. All of a sudden, one day, everyone just started caring. And they cared with their wallets. Maybe the same will happen to you, Senator Feinstein!

11. Charge your spouse to sleep with you
Here's! The! Thing! What's fun about this idea is that it combines the two most American pursuits: money and sex. You can work out a contract, too... with incentive-based pay and bonuses tied to performance! Just like in the football leagues! Plus, it will be like you are a prostitute, and that will probably liven up your sexual life, which, let's face it, has been hurting since your Depression-related depression.

10. Prayer
That's a thing, right?

9. Become a mercenary or bounty hunter
There are plenty of fugitives from justice and truth who are out there just begging to be captured for cold, hard cash. Well, not literally begging--they probably will hate you and resist arrest with guns/knives. But you can still do it! Dress yourself in black, strap on those brass knuckles, and get ready to put your foot in the mouth of a white-collar criminal! Act fast or face the facts: no member down, apartment for share or rent, 5.55% under PAR, and you gotta believe me!

8. Grow a beard for charity
I did this once, and even though nobody paid me jacques-squates, I can totally imagine someone making some serious bank for it! Heckfire, maybe you should just pose as a fake charity--get your head out of your ass, you'd be great at that!!! The Foundation for Exciting (Christian?) Opportunity! Go for it, don't let go, and call me in the morning!

7. A Faustian bargain
Sell your timeshare/soul to me for sack full of dollars! I'll maybe even throw in Ultimate Knowledge, to boot! (Two boots!? You drive a hard bargain, Horatio Sanz...) Just watch out when I come a-callin'. And don't think you can weasel your way out by offering me your daughter's hand. Ew, gross! I'd need at least a shoulder!

6. A return to yesteryear
Remember the days of bootlegging and gunrunning? When men were men and knives were sharp? When the only thing sharper than those knives was the suits they cut holes in? When women were dames and secret words got you into back rooms? When the cops were coppers and the San Diego Chargers were only a possibility? You CAN go back to Narnia. All you have to do to recapture the glory of the last Depression is get a knife, a suit, and an accent! You'll be shot and killed and made into a movie in no time!

5. A street fare!
I love these! This is when you make people pay you for walking, running, or driving in your general direction. The government does it, so why can't you? If you said, "Because I am not the Government!" then that's the FIRST of your problems. The way I made my millions was by convincing myself and my parents that I am, in fact, a government!

4. Get inside this box
Ssh, ssh! Suck it in and tuck it under, don't wake the neighbors! You're now part of the Ron Shortsweather Employee-in-a-Box Overseas Foreign Labor Exchange Program! Don't cry or sass back... those Turks aren't kidding around!

3. Make your dollars work for you
I shouldn't be telling you this, but you're a preferred customer! I have a farm in western Utah where over seventy-thousand dollar bills are currently working in semi-bondage. We grow soybeans, wheatbeans, and plain old American beans! Don't tell me it's slavery, because I ain't listening! When Ron Shortsweather gets an idea, he gives the finger to the law and steals from the poor. And that's a little game I like to call bringing the stock market TO the farmer's market.

2. Have you ever seen Cats?

1. Exciting Opportunities!
Listen. You can go to any Big Business Man in town and he'll try to sell you a boat and a goat. I am simply standing in front of you, yelling at you with truth. I want to double your money, triple your self-confidence, and eat whatever's in your fridge. Buy my software and you'll understand. Buy my phonebook and you'll have over a million numbers at your fingertips. Buy my insider tips and you'll be asking yourself, "What is this... heaven?" You can call me overrated, you can call me underweight, JUST DON'T CALL MY WIFE (?) PHYLLIS AND TELL HER WHERE I AM... BECAUSE AIN'T NO LEASH THAT CAN HOLD THIS DOG!

Monday, March 2, 2009

6 Screenwriting Tips from Judd Apatow

Hey guys, it's Judd Apatow here to write a guest list!  That's right, I'm the critically-acclaimed, box-office-dominating writer/director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, as well as the executive producer of Superbad and Pineapple Express.  I'm here to make your screenplay stop suckin' a big chode and start boning some chicks way out of your attractiveness range.  Ready--go!

6. Meaningful relationships are between dudes!!!

Here is the first thing to check to see if you wrote a good movie--is the main story arc about friendship between two or more dudes?  If so--nice!  If not--don't worry!  Before I talked to the writers, Superbad was just some dumb teen sex comedy and Pineapple Express some dumb stoner/action comedy.  But with my help, Superbad became a teen sex comedy about the friendship between two dudes!!!  And Pineapple Express became a stoner/action comedy about the friendship between two dudes!!!  Seriously, I didn't even have to give Rogan and Goldberg different dialogue for those two movies.  Just, like, add in one scene where the guys are bein' cool friends, then one scene where they get angry at each other and separate for a bit, then a scene near the end where their friendship is all awesome again!  You don't even need to change the rest of the script!  Tight!

5. ...but be sure to laugh at them if it gets too gay

Friendship is cool, but sometimes when you're bein' all friendly it seems kinda gay.  That's okay--don't remove those parts of the script, just play up the funny, because haha, gays!  Like in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, when they call each other gay, it's funny because who would want to be gay?  NO ONE.  Also, you can thank me for that Pineapple Express scene where they were trying to untie each other's hands and it looked really, really gay.  Haha, oh God, I'm just remembering how gay they looked.

4. Dick jokes!!!!

Shit yeah, bread and butter.  Make sure that there are a lot of dudes who like droppin' joke-bombs about gross stuff like dicks and buttholes.  Here is some dialogue that I have layin' around that you can use if you want:

Dude 1: "My dick is as big as the Eiffel Tower." (This is funny because the Eiffel Tower is BIG!)
Dude 2: "Yeah right, your dick is as big as a snail but smells funnier."  (This is funny because a snail is SMALL and smells BAD!!!  Another thing that is funny is the second level because they eat snails in France (where the Eiffel Tower is also!)!)!

Also note that this dialogue is between two dudes, which can be your main two dudes like in tip #6 if you want!  Nice!!!  I've like, half-written your screenplay already!

3. ...but then make it awkward and it goes from, like, low comedy to high comedy

Okay, so the dick jokes will win over all the chill bros, but we have to make sure that everyone will laugh at this!  The way you do that is have some chick hear their conversation and be all like, "Ugh gross stop talking about your dicks," or just make an uncomfortable face at them or some other dumb shit.  Then it's like, any girl or snob or whatever who is watching the movie will be all, "Oh man it was really about the awkwardness of social interactions and I really like The Office and the British one is better and shit!" or whatever annoying things they say.  Anyway, this way the prudes and movie reviewers will think you're funny, too.

2. On that note, comedy is fun!!!

Seriously, let's keep it real, we're making a movie that's gonna make people laugh.  Then they will tell their friends how much they laughed and stuff and that way you can't criticize them because anyone else can be like, "But did you laugh!" and they'll be all "Shit yeah son!  I love Judd Apatow!" and then everyone in the city will come carry me on my back like some sort of populist film hero or some crap and award me with 10,000,000 awards that they made out of paper and love for me and I'd rather have that than a fucking Oscar anyway because Oscars are shit.

1. ...but drama is fuckin' deep

Really, though, if it makes them laugh but also tugs them where it hurts (the heart and the dick), then you know you have made a great movie.  Like, check the trailer for my new movie, Funny People.

Holy balls, did you see what happened at 0:54?!?!?!  It was all fun and shit but all the sudden ADAM SANDLER IS DYING??!?!?!  MOTHERSHIT!!!  Then the music gets serious and stuff so you know this is the serious part because you're all "Adam Sandler don't die!!!"!

Note that he is NOT going to die but it lets us get at the serious shit about his friendship with Seth Rogen.  Which is a friendship...BETWEEN TWO DUDES TELLING DICK JOKES THAT SOME GIRLS ARE KINDA AWKWARD ABOUT!!! I AM A BRILLIANT GOD OF CINEMA!!!

(Also please make sure to laugh at how they are kinda gay at 2:14)

Top 5 Pre-1950 Movies I Would Watch Anytime

I love old movies. Whenever I visit my Uncle Bob and Aunt Amy, I always look forward to figuring out what we're going to watch on TCM or AMC after dinner. Sometimes it'll be some ridiculous monster movie, sometimes it'll be a lost classic I've never heard of... whatever we end up deciding on, it usually just serves as yet another reminder that people have been making great films for a long, long time.

Anyway. Here are five of my favorites.

The Maltese Falcon (1942)
Okay, so... I'm going to come right out and explain while Casablanca isn't on this list. I couldn't have two movies featuring the trio of Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet. And as much as I love Casablanca, it's not like it needs me to champion it. This is OG film-noir... this is John Huston and Dashiell Hammett at their double-crossing best... this is like, the best MacGuffin of all time. Also, one time, sophomore year of college, I went to see Maltese Falcon at Film Forum with my then-girlfriend and I felt like a guy in a Woody Allen movie. (Y'know, in one of those rare moments when that's like, a good thing.)

4. The Rules of the Game (1939)
This is a nearly perfect film, plain and simple, borrowing the tried-and-true frame of the comedy of manners and transplanting it into the self-absorbed anxiety of pre-WWII France. You might not think that I'm the kind of guy who likes watching wealthy folks running from bedroom to bedroom, tripping over their egos and neuroses, hunting rabbits, and accidentally killing each other. Well, I do. That's actually my favorite genre of drama. I'm not saying that this is the feel-good movie of the year--not in 1939, and certainly not in 2009. That being said, it's still a timeless work of art.

3. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Forget Godfather II or Two Towers. (Although that part in Godfather II where Diane Keaton screams, "It was an ABORTION, Michael!" is on my list of the Top Whatever Most Intense/Most Unintentionally Funny Moments ever.) THIS is the greatest sequel ever made. It has a) Frankenstein's Monster learning to talk and smoke, b) more Colin Clive running around and screaming, c) a crazy new scientist named Dr. Pretorious, d) Dr. Pretorious' tiny people that he keeps in glass jars, e) an old blind man who plays the violin and becomes BFF with The Monster, f) TONS of thinly-veiled homosexual themes, g) certified Hottie-McHotterson Elsa Lanchester as The Bride, and h) the truest line ever spoken: "Alone, bad... friend, good!" This movie has something for everybody.

2. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
When I was a kid, I had a few trusty VHS tapes that I returned to over and over again. Dr. Doolittle, The Monster Squad, Star Wars--these were the stand-bys. But nothing can compare to The Adventures of Robin Hood, or as a five-year old me dubbed it, "The Flynn Robin Hood", on account of its star, Ol' Swashbuckles himself, Errol Flynn. This is the Robin Hood film... from Flynn tossing that poached deer's carcass onto Prince John's banquet table to the split arrow in the archery contest to the greatest swordfight in cinema history to that goofy-ass grin on Flynn's face when King Richard tells him to go marry Maid Marian. "May I obey all your commands with equal pleasure, sire!" he snarks... oh, Robin Hood, you rascal. You're going to go sleep with Olivia de Havilland, aren't you! Well, as long as the king says it's okay... (Also, the score by Erich Korngold is probably the first truly great film score.)

1. The Third Man (1949)
I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love The Third Man. It's a commentary on morality, on friendship, on foreign-ness, on heroism. It's a case study on how to imbue a film with atmosphere. It showcases some of the finest dialogue spoken by some of the finest actors in film history. (Best line: "I'm just a hack writer who drinks too much and falls in love with girls.") And, oh-by-the-way, speaking of amazing film scores... Anton Karas and his friggin' zither. "What if we made a film noir that was entirely accompanied by zither music?" "Oh, I bet that'd be the best movie ever?" "Do ya?" "I sure do!" And that last shot... Alida Valli walking past Joseph Cotten--later paid homage to in The Departed--absolutely chilling. Yeah, I'm totally going to end up watching this tonight... oh well, luckily, I love it.

Top 3 Reasons to Come to the Calgary Whalers SIX MONTH ANNIVERSARY!!!!

Hey guys, I know that I said I would stop gumming this up with plugs but I was FILLED WITH LIES!!!!  Because I think you should really go to this show (8:30 at Broadway Comedy Club, 318 W. 53rd St.), and here's why:

3. The following people are performing: Sam Grittner, Joe Cocozzello, Brandon Gulya, John Knefel, Julie Notwicz, Michael Grinspan

These people are all great!  I have seen half of them and they are great, and I have not seem half of them and they are great, too!!!

2. I will be doing 10 new minutes of stand-up

I was just looking through my shit and realized that I can actually do a completely new 10 minutes, and not just the new 6-7/10 that I usually try to do at these.  Actually, I think I will overlap 1 minute just because I'm incorporating something I did before into a larger bit.  But anyway, you already know I'm hilarious, so see ten more NEW!!! minutes of my hilarity!


I love Justin Grace and Mike Pullan, and I love the show they've been hosting for the past several months.  They're getting the big room at Broadway Comedy Club this time, which will be a way sweeter venue than they usually get, but they've gotta FILL IT UP with YOUR BUTTS if they want to keep doing this (and they do and they should)!!!  SO GET OFF YOUR FUCKING ASS AND COME.  YOU HAVE NEVER DONE ANYTHING FOR ANYONE IN YOUR LIFE AND I HATE YOU JUST KIDDING BUT SERIOUSLY COME.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Top 8 Bob Dylan Impressions/Parodies by Other Musicians/Celebrities

8. Joan Baez in "Mary Hamilton (Bob Dylan version)"

7. Paul Simon in "A Simple Desultory Philippic" by Simon and Garfunkel

[no embedding on this one, sorry]

6. Weird Al Yankovic in "Bob" by Weird Al Yankovic

5. Hugh Laurie in A Bit of Fry and Laurie

[no embedding on this one either]

4. Ed Mann in "Flakes" by Frank Zappa

(At 1:19 in the video)
Note: the studio version of this one was done by Adrian Belew, an impression I would have ranked slightly higher than Mann's.  This one's great, too, though.

3. John C. Reilly in Walk Hard

2. John Lennon in an unreleased solo track

1. Mark Knopfler in his entire life