Image courtesy of the GCD.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Just wanted to point y'all over to the latest issue of The Comedians, in which four of my friends happen to be featured.
Four completely different styles, four vastly different perspectives, and so funny they make me jealous on a regular basis.
Baron Vaughn: An amazingly energetic and thoughtful performer. He will beatbox his way into your heart.
Ophira Eisenberg: the Vanilla Mistress with a heart of gold. And darkness.
Todd Levin: Finally. A funny Jew.
Tim McIntire: the guy who threw me up onstage for my first stand-up set. After getting me plastered. A real comic's comic.
Go. Read. Learn. Laugh.
Posted by Benari at 11:56 AM
Saturday, December 30, 2006
- Everyone loves babies.
- Everyone wanted a GPS this year, apparently.
- Every radio station in Massachusetts plays some version of Winter Wonderland every third song.
- Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey isn't considered offensive?
- It is actually possible to watch Road House too many times.
Posted by Benari at 7:26 PM
Friday, December 29, 2006
How've you been? You look well. Did you lose weight? Seriously. You look good.
No shows to pimp right now and between real life and some grad school burn out, posting's been light.
But I am alive and well. And I will make with the rambling again.
Posted by Benari at 12:32 AM
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
So, waaaay back in the halcyon days of 2000, a young-ish governor from Texas ran for President. And, as a young up-and-coming stand-up comic in Boston with a penchant for politics, I wrote a good number of jokes about then-candidate Bush.
I still do one of 'em, which likens W to Roscoe P. Coltrane from the Dukes of Hazzard.
Of course, if you do a joke for a lot of years and you never make it onto the TeeVee, well, you run the risk of someone else getting there first with a similar joke.
And after 6 years, it's finally happened. At least it's one of my favorite comics, Patton Oswalt. It's a different joke, but similar enough that I think it's time to retire my bit. It was a good run.
Luckily, Patton's bit is hilarious. Jumping the General Lee over the bill of rights? Awesome.
Below, you'll find the Patton clip from Comedy Central.
And after all these years, I'm finally crossing "Roscoe P. Coltrane" off my set list. Good bye, old friend.
Posted by Benari at 10:35 PM
Tricia Helfer redefines "skinjob" in next month's Playboy!
On a related note, the geekiest thing I did this week was to try to get tickets to tomorrow's free screening of Battlestar Galactica's mid-season finale on the big screen at the Sunshine Cinema in NYC.
I failed. My geek-fu is weak these days.
Posted by Benari at 4:16 PM
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
As the semester draws to a frightening close, here's the latest batch for the ol' joke packet.
Looking at the jokes now, it was kind of a dark week. And it's only Tuesday.
Punchlines in bold. Some restrictions apply. Mileage may vary.
Iran is hosting a two-day international conference dubbed “Study of the Holocaust: A Global Perspective,” an "impartial discussion of whether the Holocaust actually happened." This will be followed by Iran’s international conference on the Sun, entitled “Cancer Raygun of the Jews.”
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was in Iraq to bid farewell to the troops, saying he thought the military should stay in Iraq for the long haul, even though he was going home. The troops thought it might be better the other way around.
Senator Barack Obama made a huge splash in his first visit to New Hampshire and fueled talk of a 2008 Presidential run, with one man gushing, “I think his message of hope and optimism is exciting people.” The man added, “Too bad he’s black.”
An official report has revealed that the U.S. Secret Service was secretly bugging Princess Diana's phone, but that the secretly recorded conversations shed no new light on Diana's death. They do, however, shed light on the fact that Diana liked phone sex. A lot.
Posted by Benari at 10:27 AM
Sunday, December 10, 2006
"When I was in Africa, this voice came to me and said, 'Richard, what do you see?' I said, 'I see all types of people.' The voice said, 'But do you see any n*gg*rs?' I said, 'No.' It said, 'Do you know why? 'Cause there aren't any.'"
Live on the Sunset Strip
*yeah, I used asteriks - I don't feel like getting hits by folks searching for the word.
Posted by Benari at 5:45 PM
Friday, December 08, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Oh. Hello. I didn't see you there.
So much I'd love to rant and rave about, but funny thing about graduate school...it's kind of time consuming.
As things slow down, I'll have more time to ramble. Until then, here are more jokes for the packet. Punchlines in bold. Special bonus visual aide!
Current U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has announced he will step down after his temporary appointment ends this year. Bolton’s supporters fear this now leaves the U.N. without proper porn ‘stache representation.
At a Phoenix airport, security guards are testing a controversial new x-ray device that reveals what people look like underneath all of their clothes. Officials are calling the device “The Britney.”
In a recent interview, Mel Gibson defended Michael Richards’ racial tirade by blaming it all on stress. Stress caused by the Jews.
Faced with public discontent, Wal-Mart has developed a wide-ranging new program intended to show that it appreciates its 1.3 million workers in the United States. As part of the new program, employees who work more than 40 hours a week will be allowed to live.
In Kansas, a gun-toting thief who tried to steal a pair of stereo speakers in broad daylight accidentally shot off one of his testicles. Armed robbery in broad daylight? That crook has ball.
Posted by Benari at 6:17 PM
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I know there's lots of shit going on in the world...
...and I have to keep writing jokes about it.
I know it's lame, but I'm busy. Okay? Stop looking at me like that!
Here's a handful of minty fresh jokes from me:
- Authorities closed down the Lincoln Memorial this morning after discovering a suspicious liquid. An embarrassed Lincoln statue had no comment.
- Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock have filed for divorce. No word yet on who gets to keep the Hepatitis-C.
- Britney Spears spent Thanksgiving weekend club-hopping with Paris Hilton and caused a tabloid frenzy when she flashed the paparazzi her private parts several times. This marks the first friendship where Paris Hilton is known as “the classy one.”
- According to reports, Elton John abruptly left the stage during a weekend concert in Brisbane to throw up in the bathroom. Officials believe the nausea was caused when Elton John found out what his hair is really made of.
And here's one from the "What the frak is wrong with Colorado?!" file:
- A Colorado homeowners association has told one of its residents to take down a Christmas wreath shaped as a peace sign, because it's “divisive.” Association members feel that Christmas is hardly the time to make a volatile statement like "Peace on Earth."
Posted by Benari at 9:45 AM
Friday, November 24, 2006
Need some relief after OD'ing on turkey, stuffing, and family?
Then head on out to the D-Lounge tonight for some late-night laughs.
Friday November 24th @ 10:30 PM
D-Lounge * 101 E. 15th St.
Union Square East * NYC
5 lousy bucks gets you in.
Posted by Benari at 12:27 PM
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Happy Thanksgiving, Americans!
In honor of the holiday, I give you all a special treat. From all the way back in 1987, I give you the insanity of the Marvel Universe float in the Macy's Parade.
A few special notes.
The theme from Back to the Future? Really?
After Dr. Doom gets beat down, is that metal dude supposed to be Ultron? It looks suspiciously like Robocop.
So, Cap frees Luke Cage and chains Dr. Doom? And then he makes Luke Cage clean up his mess? The hell?
What's the nefarious plot that Captain America is foiling here??
And where did Daredevil come from? Or the Green Goblin?! This float makes no sense!!
Thanksgiving, 1987 - Marvel style!
Posted by Benari at 5:56 PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The teacher provides the premise lines, we provide the punchlines.
Obviously, the big news was the election. And of course, Britney and Fed-Ex.
My punchlines in bold.
After last week's election, President Bush told Republicans that the next two weeks are going to be busy ones. "We got a lot of papers to shred."
The Democrats don't take over the House and the Senate until January, so Republicans in the lame duck congress have said they have several weeks to try to get some things done. And by "things," they mean pages.
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline are getting divorced, after their second baby was born only 8 weeks ago. Their third baby is expected to be conceived in a few weeks.
This week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Israel will not accept a nuclear Iran. Israel will, however, accept a peaceful Iran, a cooperative Iran, or the crater formerly known as Iran.
Political experts say that many Republicans are playing the blame game this week to explain their huge election loss. Number one on that list: the Gays.
Political experts say that now that Democrats control Congress President Bush is likely to use his veto pen a lot more. Normally, President Bush uses Mortimer, the Picture Pages Pen.
In a recent press conference, President Bush said he thought the Republicans were going to win so he shouldn't try "punditry." He also said America would have an easy victory in Iraq, so maybe he shouldn't try "Presidentry," either.
This weekend, the gay community was shocked to discover that Carol Channing is devoutly religious and believes that the Bible is very clear about homosexuality being a sin. The straight community was shocked to discover that Carol Channing was still alive.
SPECIAL BONUS - The alternate ending to that last joke:
This weekend, the gay community was shocked to discover that Carol Channing is devoutly religious and believes that the Bible is very clear about homosexuality being a sin. They were even more shocked to discover that Carol Channing has a vagina.
I know. Too soon.
Posted by Benari at 6:56 PM
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Haven't done one of these in a while.
Backstory: I'm taking a Late Night Comedy Writing class for my MFA program at Tisch. Blah blah meef braggity brag.
Last night's assignment, write a Top Ten list.
The subject: Top Ten Signs You Know You Lost the Election. Here are mine. Again, I'm not proud.
Paul Shaffer, banging on the keyboard.
PAUL (singing): Top Ten! Top Ten! Top Ten Signs You Know You Lost the Election!
TOP TEN SIGNS YOU KNOW YOU LOST THE ELECTION:
10. The only person who RSVP’d to your victory party was Donald Rumsfeld
9. Not even your hot teenage page voted for you
8. John Kerry called, asked for his campaign strategy back
7. Black people’s votes were actually counted this time
6. Kevin Federline refused to make a sex tape with you
5. You get a condolence call from Mark Foley
4. Told supporters you thought those Katrina victims “got off easy”
3. Found out about it when you got a text message from Britney Spears
2. Got an invitation to go hunting with Dick Cheney
1. You were just asked to be the next Viagra spokesman
PAUL (singing): Top ten! Top ten! Top ten signs you know you lost the eleeeeeeeeec-tion!
Posted by Benari at 11:00 AM
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Those were heady days. Especially for Hanna-Barbera toons. Throughout the 70s and into the 80s, Hanna-Barbera cartoons were zany, wacky, and made by people who were totally high.
How else can you explain why familiar icons were taken completely out of context and placed in inexplicable situations? As cheaply animated as possible, of course.
Suddenly, Fonzie from Happy Days has a time machine and a talking dog? Named Mr. Cool?! And they travel through history? How could kids not love it?
Laverne & Shirley get drafted into the US Army. And they have a talking pig - voiced by Horseshack - for a drill sergeant. Seriously. That won't completely mess up kids for life.
Gary Coleman's a guardian angel. 'Nuff said.
There are dozens of these cartoons - but one that has always baffled me is the incomprehensible Fred and Barney Meet the Thing.
They never actually meet, by the way. The show was essentially new adventures of the Flintstones jammed together with a solo Thing cartoon. Except, this wasn't the typical Thing kids knew and loved from the Fantastic Four. Nope. This was a teenager named Benjy Grimm. Because when you're a teenaged version, your name must end in a "y". And he would team up and solve mysteries and fight crime with other annoying teenagers! Yes! Who wants to see Dr. Doom and Galactus?
Here's the hook - little Benjy Grimm has these special rings, see? And when he slams them together, he transforms into ...
...the ever-lovin', blue-eyed Thing!
Just a side note, that transformation looks horrifyingly painful.
Why am I remembering this short-lived, bizarre cartoon? Because of the show's catch phrase.
While the Thing had a very recognizable catch phrase of his own - "It's Clobberin' Time!!" - this cartoon had another, even catchier phrase.
Whenever Benjy Grimm slammed his special rings together, he'd shout:
"Thing ring, do your thing!"
And for some reason, I've had this phrase going through my head for the past two months. I know not why. Even stranger, I hear a gruff, gravelly voice with a thick Brooklyn accent saying it.
Catchy, right? Go ahead. Say it. You know you want to. It's fun. And addictive. Try slipping this phrase into every day conversation. It's pretty handy in any situation.
Oh, Hanna-Barbera. You have forever warped my brain.
THING RING, DO YOUR THING!!!
Posted by Benari at 5:52 PM
These guys are like the original Tupac. They just keep putting out new shit. Or re-mixes of the old shit. But with Sir George Martin (and son) producing, at least it won't sound like The Traveling Willburys...it will sound like The Beatles.
With extra Hippy goodness. The "Love mix"...?
THE Beatles are back. Together. And this is your chance to hear new material from the Fab Four....
In an unlikely reunion, songs by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are the centrepiece of a Cirque du Soliel extravaganza.
The idea began when the founder of Cirque du Soliel befriended George Harrison at a Formula 1 event years ago.
He suggested a show around The Beatles' catalogue.
Harrison agreed, with one proviso: "Forget some dodgy house band playing The Beatles songs. It had to be Beatles music.''
Harrison died in 2001, but by then the idea had gained momentum and Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Beatles widows Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison agreed legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin should be brought out of retirement to produce what is a fabulous bookend to the band's career.
Sir George and his son Giles have painstakingly scoured the published and dormant material of The Beatles and put together an amazing 80-minute collage.
Australia will never see the show. It is being staged at a purpose-built $160 million auditorium in Las Vegas and is too expensive and unwieldy to travel.
But the album - like the Vegas show, called Love - releases worldwide on November 18.
Posted by Benari at 11:15 AM
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
If you're anywhere near NYC tonight (ahem, *cough. cough*), swing on by The D-Lounge at 10:30 for some comedy and alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol.
5 bucks gets you in.
D-Lounge * 101 E. 15th St.
Union Square East * NYC
Posted by Benari at 9:55 AM
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stepped down as defense secretary on Wednesday, one day after midterm elections in which opposition to the war in Iraq contributed to heavy Republican losses.
President Bush said he would nominate Robert Gates, a former CIA director, to replace Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.
Asked whether his announcement signaled a new direction in the war that has claimed the lives of more than 2,800 U.S. troops, Bush said, "Well, there's certainly going to be new leadership at the Pentagon."
Bush lavished praise on Rumsfeld, who has spent six stormy years at his post. The president disclosed he met with Gates last Sunday, two days before the elections in which Democrats swept to control of the House and possibly the Senate.
Last week, as he campaigned to save the Republican majority, Bush declared that Rumsfeld would remain at the Pentagon through the end of his term.
Seems more like window dressing to me, but it is a moral victory for the brand new Democratic majority. Appears that the kitchen's getting a little too hot.
Of course, meet the new boss, worse than the old boss?
Robert Gates highlights:
* Served as Director of Central Intelligence from November 6, 1991 until January 20, 1993
* 26-year career in the CIA and the National Security Council.
* Only career officer in the CIA's history (as of 2005) to rise from entry-level employee to Director.
* Interim Dean of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M from 1999 to 2001
* President of Texas A&M University
* During his tenure as a senior-ranking CIA official, Gates was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran/Contra affair and was in a position to have known of their activities. However, the evidence developed by Independent Counsel did not warrant indictment of Gates for his Iran/Contra activities.
And with the Administration moving quickly to replace the divisive Secretary of Defense with a trusted ally and close family friend, Gates can ride out the next two years as a lame duck SecDef, blaming any failures on the last guy while dodging any real responsibility.
Still, Rummy's resignation is a big win for the Democrats, with the GOP conceding that he's too much of a liabiliaty to keep any longer. And it's the first sign of any potential change in the current policy for Iraq.
What's that sound? The sands, they are a'shifting.
Posted by Benari at 2:39 PM
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Maybe it's just me, but the real races to watch?
Right now, 28 states have Republican governors. That includes those bastions of liberalism, those bluest of blue states California, New York, and Massachusetts.
But with this election, it's quite possible that Democrats will reclaim the governors' offices in the majority of states...
...and that's important for the future thrust of shifting the national debate.
Governor's races generally do not get as much attention as the contests for control of the House and Senate.
Yet a state's top politician has a much more immediate impact on a person's day-to-day life than congressional representatives, affecting schools, roads, even the companies that set up shop in a city or town.
Governors also craft domestic policy on health care, welfare, education and more. It was governors, for instance, who led the charge for welfare reform in the mid-1990s.
Political parties see the national implications, with strategists arguing that an effective governor can help organize and promote the state party, which in turn can help deliver votes for Congress and the presidency. And governorships can cultivate future national leaders, with four out of the last five presidents having first served as governor.
Like Tip O'Neill said, "All politics is local." And for the first time in over 10 years, the locals may be tipping to the left.
Posted by Benari at 3:18 PM
Salon's all over the story:
Schmidt isn't the only Ohio Republican suffering voting problems today. Her House colleague Steve Chabot tried to vote this morning but was turned away because his identification didn't comply with the state's voter I.D. law. His driver's license listed his business address. Although poll workers said they recognized the congressman, they told him he'd have to return with something showing his home address.
If elected officials in Missouri and South Carolina and Ohio are having trouble with new rules and new technology, we can only wonder how voters are doing in polling places where poll workers aren't expecting any media scrutiny -- and where voters with day jobs might not have the time to make multiple trips to the voting booth.
I just hope this doesn't become GOP fodder for this scenario...
Posted by Benari at 1:03 PM
Monday, November 06, 2006
Upcoming election making you nervous? Laugh it off, tonight:
Join us for ELECTION EVE ENTERTAINMENT
Monday, November 6th - 8pm
LAUGHING LIBERALLY - Mon 11/06 @ 8pm
Harry Terjanian (MTV)
Benari Poulten (U.S. Army)
Lee Camp (E!)
Costaki Economopoulos (Montreal Just for Laughs Festival)
Jamie Jackson (Town Hall)
Followed by The Laughing Liberally Lab
a workshop of new political comedy at 9:30pm
FREE for audience from the 8pm; $5 for all others
Featuring: Kevin Bartini, Roger Weaver
Rob Driemeyer & Zero Boy
Tickets: $15 / $30
Get your tickets now!
Posted by Benari at 3:13 PM
Ah, the elegant simplicity of evil genius.
Sometimes, all it takes is a clever ploy, a fiendish scheme. Just set the plan into motion, kick back, and enjoy the sinister results.
From Salon, emphasis mine:
We've never been persuaded by a single call, but we've been annoyed by many, many, many of them.
The GOP seems to understand what's happened here. As Josh Marshall has been reporting at Talking Points Memo, the National Republican Campaign Committee appears to be using robo-calls to push voters away from Democrats in races all around the country. The tactic? Record a call that mentions the Democratic candidate right at the beginning, then load the negative stuff about the candidate into the end. If the recipient of the call listens to the full message, he or she hears a dose of negativity about the Democratic candidate. If the recipient hangs up before the message runs its course, the computer dials the same number repeatedly, leaving voters with the impression that the Democrats, not the Republicans, are the ones bombarding them with repeat calls.
Now, if only the GOP could somehow tamper with voting machines...
Posted by Benari at 12:38 PM
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Just in time to apparently have no impact on the US mid-term elections.
So, that's done. One less murderous madman in the world. What's interesting to me is what Saddam Hussein has actually been convicted of:
Saddam Hussein was convicted and sentenced Sunday to hang for crimes against humanity in the 1982 killings of 148 people in a single Shiite town, as the ousted leader, trembling and defiant, shouted "God is great!"
As he, his half brother and another senior official in his regime were convicted and sentenced to death by the Iraqi High Tribunal, Saddam yelled out, "Long live the people and death to their enemies. Long live the glorious nation, and death to its enemies!" Later, his lawyer said the former dictator had called on Iraqis to reject sectarian violence and refrain from revenge against U.S. forces.
The trial brought Saddam and his co-defendants before their accusers in what was one of the most highly publicized and heavily reported trials of its kind since the Nuremberg tribunals for members of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime and its slaughter of 6 million Jews in the World War II Holocaust
"The verdict placed on the heads of the former regime does not represent a verdict for any one person. It is a verdict on a whole dark era that has was unmatched in Iraq's history," said Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's Shiite prime minister.
I'm not going to compare numbers here -
2,831 US servicemembers have died as of 05NOV06,
20,687 US wounded,
44,779 total US casualties,
somewhere between 45,354 and 50,321 Iraqi civilian deaths -
yeah, let's not get into specific numbers here.
What I'm most concerned about is, what were US relations with Iraq like during this time, the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)?
From GWU's National Security Archive:
By mid-1982, Iraq was on the defensive against Iranian human-wave attacks. The U.S., having decided that an Iranian victory would not serve its interests, began supporting Iraq: measures already underway to upgrade U.S.-Iraq relations were accelerated, high-level officials exchanged visits, and in February 1982 the State Department removed Iraq from its list of states supporting international terrorism. (It had been included several years earlier because of ties with several Palestinian nationalist groups, not Islamicists sharing the worldview of al-Qaeda. Activism by Iraq's main Shiite Islamicist opposition group, al-Dawa, was a major factor precipitating the war -- stirred by Iran's Islamic revolution, its endeavors included the attempted assassination of Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz.)
Prolonging the war was phenomenally expensive. Iraq received massive external financial support from the Gulf states, and assistance through loan programs from the U.S. The White House and State Department pressured the Export-Import Bank to provide Iraq with financing, to enhance its credit standing and enable it to obtain loans from other international financial institutions. The U.S. Agriculture Department provided taxpayer-guaranteed loans for purchases of American commodities, to the satisfaction of U.S. grain exporters.
The U.S. restored formal relations with Iraq in November 1984, but the U.S. had begun, several years earlier, to provide it with intelligence and military support (in secret and contrary to this country's official neutrality) in accordance with policy directives from President Ronald Reagan. These were prepared pursuant to his March 1982 National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM 4-82) asking for a review of U.S. policy toward the Middle East.
If some of that was lost on you, let me stress a major point:
By mid-1982...The U.S., having decided that an Iranian victory would not serve its interests, began supporting Iraq...and in February 1982 the State Department removed Iraq from its list of states supporting international terrorism.
During this period of time, The US was normalizing relations with Iraq, throwing its support toward Iraq. So, if Saddam Hussein is guilty of crimes against humanity in 1982, what does that make this guy? The one shaking hands with Saddam in 1983:
Posted by Benari at 11:28 AM
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Unlike many "special edition" and “director’s cut” movies released over the years, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut will essentially be a completely new film. As much as half of the film contains never-before seen material filmed by Donner, including 15 minutes of restored Marlon Brando scenes as Superman's father Jor-El as well as numerous new Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder scenes. There will also be several newly-filmed shots with CGI enhancements. Richard Donner is credited as director of the film instead of Richard Lester—the original credited director of Superman II. More than half of Lester's footage filmed for Superman II will be removed from the film and replaced with Donner footage shot during the original principal photography from 1977-1978. Certain footage filmed by Richard Lester will fill in sequences that were not shot by Donner due to the halt in production for II. The film is dedicated to Christopher Reeve.
Now this is the Superman Returns I want to see!
Posted by Benari at 3:51 PM
Monday, October 30, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Sometimes, the wrong guy gets
`Deputy Shaq' part of botched Va. raid
By TRAVIS REED, Associated Press WriterWed Oct 25, 11:50 AM ET
Shaquille O'Neal was present during a botched child pornography raid last month while working in Virginia as a reserve sheriff's deputy, a Bedford County Sheriff's officer said.
The Miami Heat center, who pursues his interest in law enforcement during the offseason, denied Tuesday taking part in serving the search warrant at the wrong house Sept. 23. However, Bedford County Sheriff's Lt. Michael Harmony confirmed to The Associated Press that O'Neal was there.
O'Neal, in Orlando to play a preseason game Tuesday, was asked about the raid and several times somewhat playfully responded, "It wasn't me."
The 13-time All-Star has expressed an interest in becoming a Bedford deputy or sheriff somewhere else after his NBA career ends. He also works as a firearms-certified reserve police officer in Miami Beach.
"Of course, being sheriff is a seasoned political position, so we're not going to be out there knocking down the wrong doors," he said. "We just have to do the right thing."
A.J. Nuckols, who said his family has filed formal complaints, wrote in a letter published in the Chatham Star-Tribune that the raid at his Gretna, Va., home scared him and his family "beyond description."
He described being "held at gunpoint, taunted and led into the house," and said the home was ransacked by a "paramilitary search-and-seizure team" that took computers, cameras, DVDs and VHS tapes.
Nuckols said in a phone interview that he heard O'Neal was at his home, but didn't specifically see the 7-foot-1, 325-pound All-Star in all the commotion.
Authorities later realized they had been given the wrong IP address, which Internet service providers can use to identify users, leading them to the wrong physical address, Harmony said. It was the Internet company's mistake, he said.
Harmony said the sheriff's office apologized, but Nuckols mischaracterized the incident. Harmony said officers were wearing bulletproof vests and may have been in dark or camouflaged clothing, but were not carrying assault rifles or wearing helmets.
He said the sheriff's office conducted a successful search on the correct home Friday, finding child pornography and securing a statement from a man saying he knowingly distributed it.
The Bedford Sheriff's Office enlisted O'Neal to be the spokesman and public face of its anti-child pornography and child predator campaign, making him a deputy last year.
Harmony said O'Neal had been on previous search warrant executions.
There's something that bothers me about this story.
Nuckols said in a phone interview that he heard O'Neal was at his home, but didn't specifically see the 7-foot-1, 325-pound All-Star in all the commotion.
How can you possibly MISS him?! He's Shaq! And, in my mind, dressed as Kazaam.
This just further proves my theory that nothing is more humiliating than getting busted by Shaq.
"You been warned! Now give up the kiddie porn! Ka-ZAAM!"
Posted by Benari at 4:25 PM
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Actual conversation I had today:
DK: It's what, two weeks until the mid-term elections?
Me: 15's the magic number for the Democrats.
DK: This is the year, this could be the turning point.
Me: I wonder if there's a way the Republicans lose, but don't give up control of the House.
DK: As opposed to just stealing it?
Me: If I were Karl Rove, I'd just fix the machines so that the Democrats win, then cry election fraud. Contest the results. They'd know the machines were rigged - they rigged them! Make every Democratic win look illegitimate.
DK: Hillary Clinton - 100% of the vote.
Me: Choose like 6 of the closest races, then rig it so every Democrat wins in a landslide. Refuse to give up the seats because the system is broken.
DK: Minnesota. The Muslim candidate. "They've infiltrated all levels of government."
DK: This is fun.
Me: Not in two weeks.
DK: When it happens for real.
Posted by Benari at 8:20 PM
Anyone know where I can snag some bootleg copies of this show?
From the NY Times:
Nearly every night here for the past month, Iraqis weary of the tumult around them have been turning on the television to watch a wacky-looking man with a giant Afro wig and star-shaped glasses deliver the grim news of the day.
In a recent episode, the host, Saad Khalifa, reported that Iraq’s Ministry of Water and Sewage had decided to change its name to simply the Ministry of Sewage — because it had given up on the water part.
In another episode, he jubilantly declared that “Rums bin Feld” had announced American troops were leaving the country on 1/1, in other words, on Jan. 1. His face crumpled when he realized he had made a mistake. The troops were not actually departing on any specific date, he clarified, but instead leaving one by one. At that rate, it would take more than 600 years for them to be gone.
The newscast is a parody, of course, that fires barbs at everyone from the American military to the Iraqi government, an Iraqi version of “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” Even the militias wreaking havoc on Iraq are lampooned.
Debuting last month during Ramadan, while families gathered to break their fast after sundown, the show, “Hurry Up, He’s Dead,” became the talk of Baghdad, delighting and shocking audiences with its needling of anyone with a hand in Iraqis’ gloomy predicament today.
The acerbic newscasts, each lasting about 20 minutes, are broadcast on Al Sharqiya, an Iraqi satellite station that has at times run afoul of the government for its regular news coverage. They are continuing through Id al-Fitr, the Muslim celebration for the end of Ramadan this week. Officials at the station are in discussions about turning the show into a weekly program.
The show’s success is a testament to the gallows humor with which many Iraqis now view their lives — still lacking basic services and plagued by unrelenting violence more than three years after the American-led invasion.
Clever irony in the Arab world? Maybe there is hope for the future!
The show’s title appears initially as “The Government,” but the Arabic words split in half to reveal the actual name, another crack at the country’s plight.
Channelling anger and frustration into comedy? I'd say that's the clearest sign of progress I've seen. Like most important art, Sudani's comedy comes from pain.
Mr. Sudani, the writer, said he has lost hope for his country. Iraq’s leaders are incompetent, he said. He fears that services will never be restored. The American experiment in democracy, he said, was born dead.
All anyone can do, he said, is laugh.
Amen, brother. Amen.
Posted by Benari at 10:54 AM
Monday, October 23, 2006
The latest and final joke for this week's assignment.
My deepest condolences to all the Mets fans out there. I feel for ya. I really do.
NY Times article:
Mets Are Called Out; Cards Head to World Series
The Mets failed to make the World Series this year after losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the National League Play-Offs. As a result, next year’s Mets will be updating one of their old slogans from “Catch the Energy” to “Catch the Ball.”
Posted by Benari at 8:36 PM
Friday, October 20, 2006
Here's the latest headline for this week's assignment:
FBI questions someone in NFL threat
I tried to go for pretty standard, straight-up football jokes.
The FBI investigated a threat to attack several NFL stadiums this week. Since the threat depended on throwing a bomb and hitting a target, Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dante Culpepper was immediately ruled out as a suspect.
The FBI made some progress in their investigation of a bogus NFL bomb threat after they intercepted an online message…then ran it up the middle for a gain of ten yards.
Posted by Benari at 10:02 PM
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The NY Times headline story:
Iraq Removes Leaders of Special Police
The Iraqi government removed the leaders of its special police unit on Tuesday, to address mounting American concerns. To further ease tension, Iraq will replace them with Richard Belzer and Ice-T, from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
I imagined this one as having a graphic and the L&O music sting: Dunh. Dunh.
Eh. Not my best joke, but cute image...
As the New York Times has reported, commanding Iraq’s special police force is one of the most dangerous jobs in Iraq. Also on that list: every other job in Iraq.
Big thanks to Ross for the assist on this one!
Posted by Benari at 9:53 AM
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
This week's assignment: write two jokes a day, starting yesterday. All joke premise lines must come from the top, right-hand column story of the New York Times.
This was yesterday's headline story:
Wal-Mart Said to Be Acquiring Chain in China
By DAVID BARBOZA and MICHAEL BARBARO
SHANGHAI, Tuesday, Oct. 17 — Wal-Mart Stores, the largest retailer in the United States, is laying the groundwork to become the biggest foreign chain in China with the $1 billion purchase of a major retailer here, according to people briefed on the deal.
The move represents a large step for Wal-Mart’s strategy in China, allowing the American retailer to more than double its presence in a country that, despite its size and growing middle class, remains largely untapped by foreign retailers.
“China is the only country in the world that offers Wal-Mart the chance to replicate what they have accomplished in the U.S.,” said Bill Dreher, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities.
Here are my two jokes:
Wal-Mart will spend $1 billion to purchase a major chain in China. This is roughly $1 billion more than Wal-Mart will spend to purchase healthcare for their employees.
Pretty straightfoward, matter-of-fact joke.
Referring to Wal-Mart’s expansion in China, one analyst said, “China is the only country in the world that offers Wal-Mart the chance to replicate what they have accomplished in the U.S.” - unprecedented violations of humane labor laws.
I like the idea behind this joke, but it's kind of wordy. I'm sure there's a better, more precise way to say this.
Stay tuned for more hilarity...
Posted by Benari at 9:15 AM
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Last night, we were handed a about three dozen premise lines and had to write punchlines to them. We had an hour.
Of the ten I wrote, three of them were decent. Here they are:
This weekend, former Congressman Mark Foley, who claims to be an alcoholic, was seen inside a bar. Foley’s staff members are just relieved that he wasn’t seen inside a Congressional page.
Sources in Iraq say the verdict in Saddam Hussein’s trial could be announced just days before next month’s US election…unless it’s an innocent verdict, in which case it will be announced after.
This week, Mel Gibson began visiting synagogues across the country to apologize for the Anti-Semitic things he’s said. Gibson said that he was surprised by how humble the synagogue buildings looked, since the Jews have so much money.
Here's one that didn't make the cut, but I like it in a Junior High sort of way:
This week the University of Wisconsin placed its marching band on probation for “inappropriate sex acts.” Apparently, students are no longer allowed to play the skin flute.
Posted by Benari at 9:30 AM
Monday, October 16, 2006
The day of the tragic Lidle plane crash, I'm on the phone with Ross (shocking, I know) and almost by nature, we slide into that morbid world of tasteless jokes and ghoulish fantasy. In an inappropriately callous way, I mention all the possible Law & Order: CI plot lines and conspiracy theories - faked death because of gambling debts, wife kills him for the insurance, disliked by the players because he was a scab during the strike, etc. And naturally, the obvious one: stuck with overpriced contracts and underachieving choke artist players, Steinbrenner takes matters into his own hands, carrying out swift and terrible vengeance.
"A-Rod better watch his back!" I snidely comment.
Saturday morning, I wake up to this story:
A-Rod's plane goes off runway
Oct. 14, 2006. 01:00 AM
A private jet carrying Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and six others overran a runway at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., yesterday and was brought to a halt by an arresting system.
"I spoke to Alex. He's fine," agent Scott Boras said.
None of the seven people aboard the Gulfstream G-II, coming from Las Vegas, were injured, federal officials said.
*That's the Law & Order sting music.
Meanwhile, I provide the Lowell Sun with some local flavor for the tragedy.
A momentary flashback to 9/11 -- then relief
By ROBERT MILLS, Sun Staff
It was a moment that you could see on people's faces.
"It was like, 'Oh my God,' " said Andover native Bernadett Vajda.
Vajda was on a cross-town bus, driving through Manhattan. The news was that a plane crashed into a high-rise. Thoughts of Sept. 11 were automatic.
"When you first hear something like that here, you can immediately see it on people's faces," Vajda said.
In New York City, though, people carry on.
The bus kept rolling, and people went on with their routines.
It was not long at all before word came that the crash was merely an accident, not terrorism.
It was about 3 p.m., and Chelmsford native Benari Poulten got the news when he was in work at New York University, where he is a graduate student in Lower Manhattan.
He learned of the crash from a Google news alert, and within moments his phone was ringing.
"People just started calling to see if I was OK or if I knew anything," he said.
Poulten, who like Vajda used to work for U.S. Rep. Marty Meehan, knew almost immediately that the crash was not an attack, but said it still sent chills down his spine.
"It's definitely on everyone's mind here," he said of terrorism.
It was the same last week when Vajda was in midtown, near 53rd and Lexington, when there was a bomb scare caused by a suspicious package.
"There's always something happening in New York," she said.
The plane crash briefly sparked fears across the entire city, but Poulten praised how quickly officials figured out what had happened and got out word that the city was not under attack.
It turned out that the single-engine plane was carrying New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and another man when it slammed into the side of The Belaire -- a red-brick tower overlooking the East River -- and sent flaming debris onto sidewalks below.
An intense fire raged inside the apartments where the plane had struck. Firefighters put it out within an hour, but at least 21 people were taken to the hospital, most of them firefighters. Their conditions were not immediately available.
A law-enforcement official in Washington said Lidle -- an avid pilot who got his license during last year's off-season -- was aboard the plane when it plowed into the 30th and 31st floors.
He and the other man, who was not identified, were killed.
It was not immediately clear who was piloting the plane at the time. It had taken off from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport barely 15 minutes earlier. It was not immediately known where the plane was headed.
The FAA and NTSB are investigating.
Despite the momentary scare -- which even prompted the launch of fighter jets over several cities, including New York, Washington, Detroit, Los Angeles and Seattle, according to Pentagon officials -- New York City kept moving.
"You can see the reaction on their faces, but they just pick up and go and keep moving," Vajda said of those in her city. "You can't slow down in New York. You'll get run over."
Robert Mills' e-mail address is email@example.com.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Posted by Benari at 9:24 AM
Friday, October 13, 2006
Just received an e-mail that's going to change my life! I know, I know...we've all seen those spam scams, e-mails from some African Prince with a lot of cash. But this one is different. This one is from BURKINAFASO. And the money's from a German crude oil merchant and federal contractor. It's got to be on the up and up!
FROM THE DESK OF ABUMANI IBRU
MANAGER AUDIT AND ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT
BANK BANK INTERNATIONAL DU BURKINAFASO.( B.I.B
I am ABUMANI IBRU Manager Audit Accounting Department Bank International Du Burkina
(B.I.B). I would like to know if this proposal will be worth while for your acceptance. I have a Foreign Customer,Andreas Schranner from Germany who is an Investor, Crude Oil Merchant and Federal Government Contractor that was a victim with Concord Air Line, flight AF4590 killing 113 peole crashed on 25 July 2000 near Paris leaving a closing balance of Twelve Million Eight Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($12.8m in one of his Private US Dollar Account that is been managed by me as the Customer's Account Officer.
Base on my security report, these funds can be claimed without any hitches as no one is aware of the funds and its closing balance except me and the customer (Now Deceased) therefore, I can present you as the Next of Kin and we will work out the modalities for the claiming of the funds in accordance with the law. If you are interested, Please call me to discuss in further details and our sharing ratio will be 60% for me and 30% for you.while 10% will be for the naccasery expenciss that might occur along the line.
N.B.In other for you to beleive me honestly try and go through this
(website)before you start with me.
He says I should call him, but he didn't include his number! In other for me to believe him honestly, I'd like to give him a call. If anyone has Mr. Ibru's number, please let me know. I really want to work out the modalities for the claiming of the funds...taking into account the naccasery expenciss, of course.
Posted by Benari at 10:33 AM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
The story just got weirder.
NEW YORK - A small plane with New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle aboard crashed into a 50-story condominium tower Wednesday on Manhattan's Upper East Side, killing at least four people and raining flaming debris on sidewalks, authorities said.
There was no immediate confirmation Lidle was among the dead.
A law enforcement official in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Lidle was on the plane. And
Federal Aviation Administration records showed the single-engine plane was registered to the athlete.
It's a strange thing, living in New York. When something like this happens, suddenly my phone is buzzing and everyone wants to make sure I'm okay. Which is very sweet. But I don't live on the Upper East Side, I wasn't on a plane or planning to be on a plane today, and I'm not a Yankee.
Also, just because I live here doesn't mean I automatically get the news first. Sometimes, I get a call and THAT'S how I find out!
Anyway, I'm now fascinated by this unfolding story...more news, as it happens!
Posted by Benari at 5:19 PM
To all those people calling and checking on me, I'm totally fine. Thank you for your concern.
Not that anyone had any reason for actual concern - I was not on the plane, near the plane, or even aware of the plane. People just called me - concerned - because I happen to be in New York.
For those who don't know, here's everything I know:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A small aircraft crashed into a building on Manhattan's Upper East Side on Wednesday, but a U.S. official said there was no evidence it was terrorism-related.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it was not clear whether the craft was a helicopter or a small plane, but the New York Fire Department identified it as a helicopter.
The crash occurred at East 72nd St. and York Avenue, near the East River.
"I have no reason to believe at this point that the crash in New York City is terrorism-related," said a U.S. official who declined to be identified.
CNN, citing a police source, said the craft hit a 20-story residential building.
Several helicopters have crashed over the years into or near the rivers flanking Manhattan.
Posted by Benari at 3:47 PM
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
In our latest assignment, we partnered up. We had to read the news and write up 20 premise lines for our partners - the premise lines being the actual set-ups for the jokes. I wrote 20 for my partner, he wrote 20 for me...
Then, based on our partner's premise lines, we had to write up our own punchlines. So, for the following jokes, my partner provided the set-ups, I provided the punchlines. Got it? Good.
Since we had to write up 20, I will spare you the full onslaught of my underwhelming mediocrity and only post the semi-decent ones. For my sake and yours.
Okay, enough of the preamble. Here are some of my jokes this week, based on my partner's premise lines. His premise lines are in italics; my punchlines are in bold.
This week, North Korea issued a statement claiming it needs atomic weapons to stop the United States from attacking.
Pointing to the current war in Iraq, Kim Jong Il observed, “The US only attacks countries that DON’T have atomic weapons.”
Russia announced today that it plans to impose sanctions and crack down on its one million Georgian immigrants working in Russia.
US officials have offered their help, asking “Have you guys thought about building a fence?”
As the New York Times is reporting, President Bush is backing embattled Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who's been criticized for his handling of the Mark Foley sex scandal.
Bush said that considering Foley’s behavior, no one should be surprised that Republicans have a problem with HANDLING things.
US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice visited the Kurds in Iraq, praising their leaders but expressing concern over their desire to have autonomous control of their oil fields.
She stated, “Come on guys, we want the oil. That’s why we’re here. D’uh.”
Last month, Apple announced plans to recall thousands of Sony laptop batteries. This week, Hitachi announced it also plans to recall 16,000 of the Sony batteries.
An Apple spokesman remarked, “Do they have to copy EVERYTHING we do?”
This week, the Bush Administration announced that while job growth has slowed, unemployment has dropped down to 4.6 percent.
Of course, the Administration now defines “looking for a job” as “employment.”
Two American scientists received the Nobel Prize for their work on "space ripples."
Upon presenting the award, the disappointed Nobel committee realized it was mistaken, as the scientists were not working on “Space Nipples.”
Researchers found that Alcoholic drinks made with "diet" beverages make you drunker because Diet drinks pass through your system faster.
It’s a double win for frat guys: it’s cheaper to get their dates drunk…and with fewer calories, it’s South Beach friendly, too.
A new report suggests that there may be no direct link between breast-feeding and intelligence.
But men across the globe insist that they’ll keep on researching, dammit!
And my personal favorite of the bunch:
New research shows that Marijuana may be more effective in combating Alzheimer's than commercial drugs.
Unfortunately, patients can’t remember where they left their stash.
Posted by Benari at 9:13 AM
Sunday, October 08, 2006
An open letter.
TO: The U.S. Congress
RE: Planning to spend $20 Million on an Afghanistan/Iraqi War Victory Party
To Whom It May Concern,
A Concerned Citizen-Soldier
Posted by Benari at 1:33 AM
Friday, October 06, 2006
October 6th? What? How does that happen? How can this be? I'm losing weeks at a time here, folks!
If only it were some sort of alcoholic blackout - at least I'd know I had fun during THOSE lost days. Alas, no. Alack. Does anyone even use the word alack anymore? The answer is, of course, I'm a geek.
Writing's been keeping me pretty busy - funny how one does not feel like updating a blog when one spends every waking hour writing.
So, in lieu of any actual content, I give you:
Pets in Halloween Costumes!!
While I remain morally opposed to dressing up animals for our own delight and amusement, I must admit that pets dressed up as Super Heroes are adorable. And dressed as characters from Star Wars? Too...cute...for words....must not look....
I mean, Doggie Leia, people:
May the Force be with us all.
Posted by Benari at 2:18 PM
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Spiritually cleansed, but buried under an ever-growing pile of work. So here's a fun little link - via Rich Johnston - to the Merry Marching Marvel Society's 1965 raucous record!
Posted by Benari at 12:02 PM
Monday, September 25, 2006
This week's assignment, jokes for the Daily Show. They all needed to be based on one news story from the New York Times. I chose the one about the President speaking before the UN
"Hey! Did you hear the one about the ...?" Ugh.
Here are my 5 attempts.
JOKES – WEEK 2
In his UN address, President Bush told Muslims he is not waging war against Islam, regardless of what they hear ... from him.
During his UN speech, President Bush told Iranians that their country was in danger because “your rulers have chosen to deny you liberty and to use your nation's resources to…fuel extremism and pursue nuclear weapons.” He added, “Wait, sorry. That’s MY country.”
President Bush tried to quell anti-Americanism in the Middle East, stating “My country desires peace.” He emphasized his point, saying: “Any country that doesn’t understand we want peace is gonna get bombed back to the Stone Age!”
The President took a moment to address the Iraqis directly in his UN speech, telling them: “We will not abandon you in your struggle to build a free nation.'' He continued, “No matter how much freedom we need to destroy in THIS nation.”
Speaking before the UN, President Bush assured Muslims he is not waging a war against Islam. “And I don’t care how many Islamic countries we need to bomb to prove it.”
Posted by Benari at 9:29 AM
Friday, September 22, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
This is Rick Jenkins.
For over ten years, he has helped guide the next generation of comics from high atop the Kong at The Comedy Studio in Harvard Square, providing opportunities, advice, and stage time for Boston's brightest future comedy stars.
Last April, Rick celebrated The Comedy Studio's 10th anniversary.
As a comic who started out pretty much started out when the Studio did, I watched that club develop and grow over that 10 year span. And I saw Rick host a lot of shows.
Rick graciously invited me to perform on one of the anniversary shows. I accepted.
Here, now, is that set - my tribute to the Godfather of Boston Comedy, Mr. Rick Jenkins.
Be warned - this clip is only funny if you know and love Rick. It also contains very naughty language.
Very, very naughty language. And some shaky video. Sorry 'bout that.
Posted by Benari at 10:07 AM
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Don't know what made me think of this quote. Wandering around, looking for an ATM. In Chinatown.
"Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
Written by Robert Towne, with an uncredited assist from Roman Polanski.
Rumor has it that Towne had written an upbeat, happy ending but Polanski insisted on a tragic one, sparking many heated arguments. In the end, Towne finally admitted that Polanski probably got it right.
Posted by Benari at 9:02 PM
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Is this thing on?
As we all know, I'm in grad school for dramatic writing and one of my classes this semester is Writing for Late Night.
Every week, we have to write topical jokes and turn them in by Saturday. And hey, it just so happens that joke writing coincides with my other life...and I need content for this blog thingy here, so birds and stones. Am I right, folks?
Anyway, all of this is a long, rambling preamble-y way of saying that every Saturday, I plan to post my humble little jokes for your edification and possible amusement.
Feel free to rip 'em to shreds or bust a gut or whatever it is you kids do these days.
This week's assignment was to write up 5 potential monologue jokes for Conan O'Brien and 1 Emmy monologue joke.
Here's this week's batch:
- Katie Couric had the No. 1 newscast ratings Tuesday until the end of the week on Friday, but, as the New York Post reported, her ratings fell by almost half during that time… when viewers realized they were watching Katie Couric.
- Colin Powell sent a letter urging the administration to put an immediate end to its interrogation program, calling it cruel and inhumane torture. Powell then sent the exact same letter to Fox’s “Celebrity Duets.”
- Pope Benedict XVI sparked controversy the other day when he quoted a medieval Emperor who said that Muhammad was “evil and inhuman” and that he “spread by the sword the faith he preached." The Pope went on to angrily preach against the Islamic faith without any trace of irony whatsoever.
- After Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin’s tragic death at the barb of a stingray, Australians have responded by killing over 20 stingrays in revenge attacks. In keeping with current foreign policy, the US has announced it will also retaliate…by attacking baby seals.
- The Casbah Coffee Club, created in 1959 in the basement of drummer Pete Best’s Liverpool home, has gained protected status by the British government for its important historical significance to the Beatles. Pete Best’s significance to the Beatles remains largely ignored.
- It’s nice to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus nominated for best actress in a comedy series. Of course, all her competitors in that category are from cancelled shows…I hope this isn’t CBS’ way of breaking the news to her.
Posted by Benari at 4:12 PM
Friday, September 15, 2006
According to Mo, I am number 35 on the "Top 40 blogs by and for comedians." Cool. Very, very cool. And I don't even really know Mo, making Mo all the more awesome.
The only thing cooler would be to reach number 9. Or snag an HBO special. Either/Or, really.
If you'd like to see the internet's number 35th-ranked comedian blogger, come on out tonight to Union Square in NYC!
Friday September 15th @ 10:30 PM
D-Lounge * 101 E. 15th St. Union Square East * NYC
5 bucks gets you comedy
Posted by Benari at 1:46 PM
I'm buying my coffee this morning and I very clearly order a medium coffee. A very sweet-looking old lady stands next to me. She walks away from the counter and as our eyes meet, she says to me:
"Are you a latte-lapping liberal?"
And then she cackles.
I reply: "Nope. I'm drinking a regular coffee."
I'm not quite sure what prompted this...attack? Attempt at ironic conversation? Descent into dementia?
Do I look particularly liberal? Maybe she reads my blog.
I'm also not sure how it's exactly an insult...if it even was an insult. Maybe it was code, like how Communists would greet each other with "Fellow traveler."
What would the opposite be? A coal-crunching conservative?
Many questions. Fewer answers. I'm going to drink my coffee now.
Sumatra blend. Cream and sugar. With a sprinkle of cinnamon.
But that doesn't easily lend itself to a concise clever comment, pithy pronouncement, or an alliterative aside.
Posted by Benari at 12:16 PM
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
It's a tabloid fantasia!
Anna Nicole gives birth to a future trailer park mom! But tragedy strikes, as her son mysteriously dies!
Anna Nicole Smith found her 20-year-old son dead three days after she gave birth to a girl.
Authorities have not determined what killed Daniel Wayne Smith, whom Smith discovered unresponsive Sunday in the private Doctor's Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas, reports TMZ.com.
"Anna Nicole is absolutely devastated by the loss of her son. He was her pride and joy and an amazing human being," says a statement on Smith's Web site.
Daniel was in the Bahamas with Smith, 38, when she gave birth to a 6-pound, 9-ounce girl at the hospital Thursday, according to her Web site.
He is the son of Anna Nicole and Billy Smith, whom she married in 1985 when she was 16 and he was 17. They divorced two years later.
She has yet to name the father of her baby girl, though there has been much speculation that it is Louisville native Larry Birkhead, an entertainment journalist.
A note on Birkhead's Web site said he had "absolutely no comment" on the birth.
Let me repeat that last bit:
She has yet to name the father of her baby girl
If I were on Law & Order: SVU, here's what my theory would be:
Anna Nicole's son is the baby's daddy.
Unable to deal with the shame, he drowns his sorrows in booze and pills...leading to his untimely demise.
Anyway, that's my Law & Order theory...
Posted by Benari at 4:37 PM
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Back in school, back in the city, already overwhelmed with work.
Jeez...being in an intense writing program sure does make one less likely to indulge in the whole blogging thing.
Anyway, here's a little birthday gift sent to me via the comments from Randy.
Yes. Lazy post. Meef.
Posted by Benari at 4:30 PM
Monday, September 04, 2006
King Alexander III of Scotland (1241), Wanli, Emperor of China (1563), John Dillon(1851), Paul Harvey (1918), Dick York (1928), Mitzi Gaynor (1931), Damon Wayans (1960), Mike Piazza (1968), Beyoncé Knowles (1981), Beetle Bailey (1950), and the Edsel (1957)!
And, in 1977...
Posted by Benari at 7:25 PM
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Such a busy week, I'm afraid I don't really have time to keep up my cyber presence. But will I let you, my faithful reader* go without new content? I see thee nay!
So, instead of an all-new post, I'm going to try something a little different. I'm putting up a repeat post (from a few weeks ago)...
This one's a special ultra rare collector's item variant edition! Director's Cut! With special features!!
Boy, I sure am getting a whole lot of mileage out of this whole "Mel Gibson hates Jews" thing. As a Jew, it troubles me deeply. As a comic, I am exceedingly grateful.
Wow. Mel Gibson sure was serious when he said he would reach out to the Jewish community and ask for forgiveness. Look what he's sending out to every single Jew in the world, ever**:Dear Jew,
Please accept my sincerest regret that you will spend eternity in Hell.
I got mine this morning. Pretty sweet. Good ol' Mel will have things patched up with the Jews in no time!
**Yes, there is a list of all the Jews in the world, ever. It's for, um...research.
***This was based on Ross' brilliant idea.**
***SPECIAL BONUS MEL GIBSON MATERIAL***
Here's the Mel Gibson bit I've been doing onstage:
What happened with Mel Gibson? He went from zero to crazy in two beers. he wasn't even being pulled over for being Anti-Semetic! The cop pulls him over and Mel just goes nuts. "Do you know who I am? I hate the Jews, that's who I am!!" Guy ruined his career.
...which is exactly as the Jews planned it.
Posted by Benari at 8:08 PM
Monday, August 28, 2006
9:30pm: Laughing With the Enemy - $10
From the Left:
Dean Obeidallah is a Palestinian-Italian-American, the co-founder of the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival, a frequent guest on Air America Radio and the winner of the "Spirit of Bill Hicks Award."
Benari Poulten is a former Congressional Aide, a former almost-child-star, and a former field coordinator for the Kerry campaign, and sometimes, he's a Staff Sgt. in the US Army Reserve.
Katie Halper is a walking stereotype: the female comic who jokes about judicial nomination processes and economic stratification. She's also a native Upper West Sider, where 'liberal' is a conservative word.
From the Right:
Robert George is a Catholic, West Indian black Republican. He's also a stand-up comedian...and an editorial writer for The New York Post.
Julia Gorin has appeared on "Politically Incorrect" and a number of Fox News shows (of course!). She was profiled in the book South Park Conservatives, and her jokes appear in the Complete Idiot's Guide to Jokes.
Dave Rosner: U. S. Marine Veteran (First Gulf War and Iraq), Comedian, Jew. He's been a Commentator on The Comcast Network and acted on MTV, Man Cow Radio Show and on Australian TV in sketch comedy, network drama and commercials.
45th Street Theatre
354 West 45th Street
(Between 8th and 9th Ave)
Click here for tickets:
Make sure you select the 9:30PM show!!
Posted by Benari at 7:38 PM
For anyone following Who Wants To Be A Superhero?...a eulogy.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts:
I am no orator, as Scipio is;
simply click here and choke back the tears
O! now you weep, and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity; these are gracious drops.
Has ever a reality show before inspired such poetry?
Posted by Benari at 6:55 PM
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Lots of writing this weekend.
Which means iPod shuffle! Here are the last 10 songs:
Country House - Blur
I remember hearing this song years and years ago - right when this album came out - late one night on college radio. The song stuck in my head, but no one had heard it or knew what I was talking about. This was long before Google brought every scrap of information ever right to your brain instantly. I had to actually hunt down this song and figure out who the hell this British-band-that-was-not-Oasis was! Using only my weak powers of imitation and near-ability to carry a vague tune. I finally found some music geek who figured out I was talking about Blur. Then the song became kind of a hit. And then Blur had Song #2 and everyone knew Blur. Woo. Hoo. This is still my favorite Blur tune.
Serial Killa - Snoop Dogg
'Sup, fool. I totally dig Snoop Dogg. I just love 'im. This either makes me incredibly cool or incredibly white.
Ain't That A Shame - Fats Domino
Fats Domino - the Snoop Dogg of the 1950s? Discuss.
Fine Again - Seether
One Hit Wonder! Very catchy pseudo-angsty alterna-shite.
Oliver's Army - Elvis Costello
"Oliver's Army is in my head!
Can't get the tune out, it's stuck in my head!"*
*To the tune of "Oliver's Army"...of course.
Valouria - Pixies
Bossanova. Better album than Surfer Rosa? Discuss.
For No One - The Beatles
This is one of the most elegant songs ever written. Heartbreakingly beautiful.
Revolver. Better album than Sgt. Pepper? Discuss.
Funky Fresh Dressed - Missy Elliot
Is there a better, all-around hip-hop artist?
Just having Missy Elliot on my iPod makes me that much hipper. I also realize that the above statement makes me that much less hip.
Truth Doesn't Make a Noise - The White Stripes
This gritty, bluesy, moody, hard-edged song is from De Stijl, the great and underrated album before their breakthrough White Blood Cells album.
Love this album. Love this band. You can say whatever you want about her limited abilities as a drummer - or lack thereof - but this is still a great band. Just admit it already.
Ready To Go - Republica
I feel like I'm in a Gap commercial. Didn't they use this song in a Hyndai ad?
This is the original mix, which starts with a cool soft piano intro before easing into the thumping house beat...wait, I have Republica on my iPod?!
******BONUS SONG PLAYING RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE THIS******
Black Hole Sun - Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé!!!
This fantastic lounge version is from the inconsistent Lounge-A-Palooza album. If you don't innately understand how amazing Steve and Eydie singing Black Hole Sun is, then there's nothing more I can do for you.
It is sublime.
Posted by Benari at 12:23 PM