Wouldn't be the first time.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Friend and fellow comic Dean Obeidallah has a new show on Comedy Central's website that's worth checking out.
Dean explains what it's all about in a recent interview:
I created the show with my friend Max Brooks, who is an Emmy Award-winning award winning comedy writer, in the hopes of showing our fellow Americans a funny, positive side of Middle Eastern-Americans. Also, many of the comedians in the show are not only Middle Eastern, but Muslim as well, and I especially think its important that people see Muslim-Americans not playing terrorists like on "24" or "Sleeper Cell". We want to prove to everyone who watches it that Arabs, Iranians, (and Arab/Iranian Muslims) can be funny.
At this point, Comedy Central is very happy with the content and the media attention. (The show was featured in Newsweek, AP and Reuters, to name a few.) They are actually considering a TV pilot for The Watch List so I hope everyone goes to comedycentral.com, or our My Space page, and downloads the show – a lot!
You may recognize some other folks involved like Maz Jobrani from ABC's new sit-com The Knights of Prosperity.
So, nu? Go watch The Watch List now.
Posted by Benari at 8:18 PM
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
One thing jumped out at me in the President's 2007 State of the Union...
"A second task we can take on together is to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps. Such a corps would function much like our military reserve. It would ease the burden on the Armed Forces by allowing us to hire civilians with critical skills to serve on missions abroad when America needs them. And it would give people across America who do not wear the uniform a chance to serve in the defining struggle of our time."
I'm pretty sure there's a term for "civilians with critical skills" serving "on missions abroad when America needs them." They're called SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE.
Mercenaries, carrying out military objectives without being subject to military law, military regulations, military oversight, or UCMJ - the uniform code of military justice.
Or "quaint" documents like the Geneva Conventions.
Of course, they'd probably be dudes convicted of a crime they didn't commit.
I half expected the President to continue his speech with:
"We need a corps of civilians with critical skills to serve on special missions. Like, a special team. Of A-list quality...an A-Team, if you will. And, say, one of 'em could be real gruff and maybe smoke a cigar. And another guy , he'd be real good with the ladies, real smooth, he can getcha stuff. And the other guy, he'd be like, just a crazy fella...but he can fly choppers. And the other guy is black. With a Mohawk and chains. And he's mean. And he hates flyin'. Hates it! And they'd drive around in a van. And then, if America had a problem, and no one else could help, and we could find them, we could call...the A-Team."
So there you have it. The President's real plan for Iraq. He's going to call in the A-Team.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
On Friday, I was thrown up onstage at the last minute for a stand-up set. I was just hanging out at the show, had no intention of doing a set, but when asked if I would take the bullet, I said, "Yeah." Forget the fact that I had blown out my vocal chords two days earlier and sounded like Froggy from Our Gang.
And what happened?
I had a great set. Loose, relaxed, fun...
Probably one of the best recent sets I've had since...well, since the last time I was unexpectedly thrown up onstage. For some reason, when I'm not prepared for it, I'm totally in the zone. Buddy Ross reminded me that the first time I ever did stand-up, I was thrown up unexpectedly. Props to the man responsible, who despite his faulty recollection, DID indeed liquor me up.
Maybe that has a lot to do with it. But for whatever reason, I seem to have an excellent track record with unexpected spots. So, in the future, I'm just going to act as if all my sets are unscheduled and unplanned. We'll see how that goes.
An adorable, hot blonde sat at one of the tables. After the show, as she left, she stopped, looked me up and down, and then bluntly stated:
"You're not that short."
Best. Non-flattering, almost-backhanded compliment. EVER.
I'm gonna marry that girl. Now I just need to find out what her name is.
A rather tame week for jokes from me, but as someone once told me, never apologize for your work. So I'm not. These are my jokes and I'm stickin' by 'em.
He said, apologetically...
I'm even giving you four this time, instead of the usual three. Oooooooh....
- OJ Simpson is saying that the chapter from his unpublished book "If I Did It," in which he hypothesizes on how he would have killed his ex-wife and her friend, was created mostly from a ghostwriter's research and is not a confession. It’s more like a memoir.
- In an interview on PBS, President Bush commented Tuesday on the Iraqi government's botched hangings of Saddam Hussein and two of his top aides saying, “It just goes to show that this is a government that has still got some maturation to do.” He added, “This doesn’t make the Iraqi government look so great, either.”
- DEA agents said Tuesday that they have dismantled a Colombian heroin ring by arresting several couriers who stitched packets of drugs into their pants and then took cruise ships to the US. Stitched pants? Cruise ships? Back in my day, we had it tough, shoving heroin-filled balloons up our asses, sneaking across the border in the back of sweltering, cramped trucks, fighting off the militia! Lazy kids…
- A Manhattan antiques dealer is suing three homeless men and a woman for 1 million dollars for sleeping, drinking and "performing bodily functions" outside his posh Madison Ave. store. He would have sued their pants off, had they been wearing any.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Oh, yes. Life Day. When Art Carney goofs around with Imperial commanders, Bea Arthur belts out tunes in the Cantina, and Harvey Korman in drag teaches Wookies how to cook.
Life Day. When a heavily make-up'ed Mark Hamill sends season's greeting via an old TV and a heavily drugged-out Carrie Fischer sings.
You can tell how early in Harrison Ford's career this was, since he actually agreed to do this. He was probably paid in pot.
I remember being utterly confused by this as a kid. How could I be watching Wookies and it wasn't awesome? And why was Chewbacca's family obviously on welfare?
Thanks to YouTube, here's a 5-minute highlight reel.
And here's possibly the geekiest first appearance ever, in its entirety. Just remember, he's the BEST bounty hunter in the galaxy. Full disclosure, I kind of like this cartoon. There's something soothingly nostalgic about it. In all the right ways.
Interestingly enough, nothing in the cartoon actually nullifies or contradicts the continuity of the original trilogy. A feat the prequels couldn't manage to pull off...
Posted by Benari at 3:42 PM
Monday, January 15, 2007
Yet another example of TV producers transforming popular shows into nearly incomprehensible cartoon versions.
EXEC 1: How can we make Gilligan's Island more annoying?
EXEC 2: Let's make 'em cartoon characters.
EXEC 3: But we need a hook! Something that'll really grab kids!
EXEC 2: Kids love Star Wars...
EXEC 3: That's it! We'll shoot 'em into outer space!
EXEC 1: That's so crazy, it just...might...work.
If the creators had given it any thought, I'm sure they would have called the unnamed space ship that carried the castaways from the uncharted island to an uncharted planet the Star Ship Minnow.
Posted by Benari at 8:39 PM
3 a week. I'll post 'em Sunday or Monday.
Premise lines provided to me. Punchlines provided by me.
According to a new study, 74 percent of kids aged 13 to 18 say that money makes them happy. The remaining 26 percent were labeled Commies and shipped off to Guantanamo for further study.
In a prime-time address to the nation Wednesday, President Bush warned that although he is sending over 21,000 more American troops to Iraq, the insurgents will make this coming year “bloody and violent.” He added, “And if they don’t, we sure as heck will.”
After Britney Spears landed at the top of Mr. Blackwell’s Worst-Dressed List, Britney’s stylist has been telling people that she's not responsible for the pop star’s current look. She suggested Britney just get it trimmed.
Posted by Benari at 1:34 PM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Below are conversations real people actually had with me.
*Names have been changed to protect me.
Guy: Have I got the perfect girl for you. She's fantastic. (to his wife) Honey, isn't Suzie Suzeman* perfect for Benari?
Wife: Too tall.
Guy: Oh, yeah. She's much taller than you.
Wife: Never work.
Lady: Why don't you just use rogaine?
Why no, I don't have a complex. Why do you ask?
Posted by Benari at 4:41 PM
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
An intimate encounter with intelligent and alternative comedy.
Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, between Bleecker and West 4th.
A,C,E,B,D,F & V trains to West 4th. 1 train to Christopher St.
(212) 989-9319 for reservations. 8:30 pm. $5 cover, $6 drink minimum.
Todd Barry, Allison Castillo, Susan Prekel, Pat Dixon, Grant Cooper, Pat Galante
Trekkie hearts across the galaxy just stopped.
If you’re looking for a space-age way to propose marriage, a black-diamond ring might be the way to go.
Long baffled by their origin, scientists now have evidence that these charcoal-colored gems formed in outer space.
Can green, red, gold, and blue kryptonite be far behind?
Posted by Benari at 1:49 PM
Monday, January 08, 2007
Capeless Crusader Kevin Church wants you to stop primate discrimination. Now.
Super Spy Rex Mantooth gently reminds you:
Posted by Benari at 11:27 AM
Friday, January 05, 2007
Although, it does freak me out a bit that it records things that it thinks I might like. It doesn't really know me that well yet, so the machine just guesses. I'm kind of nervous about what it's going to think of me when it actually knows my viewing habits.
Yes. The machine thinks.
And it tapes shows for me as suggestions.
But why would it think I'd like Girlfriends? Maybe it's because my sister got me the TiVo.
It's like it knows.
Posted by Benari at 7:28 PM
Thursday, January 04, 2007
It's A Wonderful Life is one of my all-time favorite movies. Love it. I can't get enough of its jingoistic propaganda, its spirited populism, its earnest faith, and its sentimental charm.
I just adore the film.
But. The thing that always pulls me out of the movie - albeit briefly - is the unintentional hilarity of George discovering Mary's fate. Like she wouldn't have just married Sam "Hee Haw" Wainwright and lived unhappily ever after as a housewife while Sam banged a lot of underage secretaries on business trips to Europe...
After being shown how badly everything's gone without him, after seeing the despair and hopelessness, after discovering that his brother's dead and that every man on the transport died - a transport filled with men that may have very well won World War II itself! - we learn that the worst thing that could possibly happen, the one thing that finally convinces George to live: it's Mary's fate. Mary has become...
an old maid.
She's working as a mannish-looking librarian. Noooooo! Women are reading! Take me back, Clarence! I need to save Mary from a life of books and lesbianism! Take me back! I want to live!
And then I'm back to weeping like a child at the triumph and generosity of the human spirit. Well played, Capra. Well played.
I also noticed something this past Christmas...
At the beginning of the movie.
When the Heavenly hosts are discussing who they should send to help poor George Bailey, they decide to send Clarence, an Angel: Second Class trying to earn his wings. And why hasn't ol' Clarence gotten his wings yet?
"Because, you know, sir, he's got the I.Q. of a rabbit..."
"Yes, but he's got the faith of a child..."
Of course, Clarence has faith - he lives in Heaven. With God and angels and twinkly stars. Even someone with the I.Q. of a rabbit would have faith -
Wait. I.Q. of a rabbit? Clarence has the I.Q. of a rabbit?! THIS is going to be George's guardian angel?! As if George's life hasn't been insulting enough, Heaven is sending JoJo the Half-Wit to save him?
See, people - Capra was more cynical than you thought. Why was George's life so miserable? Simple.
God hates him.
Why else would the Almighty send an idiot clockmaker as George Bailey's last hope?
One could make the argument that George - with the help of Clarence - overcomes the cruelty of a wicked God to discover the innate goodness of humanity.
Either that, or Capra was just being a dick.
No wonder the FBI thought it was subversive.
Posted by Benari at 11:36 AM
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
A Good Samaritan jumped onto the tracks at a Manhattanville subway station at 137th Street and Broadway Tuesday afternoon to save the life of a stranger who had fallen after having an apparent seizure.
The man stumbled off the platform onto the tracks, where he could have been killed if not for the heroic efforts of 50-year-old Wesley Autrey who did the unthinkable, jumping onto the tracks with a train approaching.
"He was stuck and I was like, 'Wow. Do I struggle here?' If I got him up, then I would have to go for the ground. And I didn't have that much time. So I just went for the gutter thing," said Autrey. "I just dove on top of him and held him down, cause I knew there would be enough clearance for us."
Autrey, a construction worker who lives in the neighborhood, grabbed the man and pinned him down in the gutter between the running rails while a downtown Number 1 train passed overhead, miraculously leaving both men without a scratch.
"I had to have the guy pinned down, because like I said, he was in a seizure," said Autrey. "He was incoherent. He was fighting, pushing and pushing against me. So I had to lock myself down, so he wouldn't push me back, and possibly my head get hit."
Autrey's two young daughters, ages four and six, who were with him at the time of the incident, watched in horror while the situation unfolded. When the train finally came to a stop, Autrey called out to them to let them know he was alive.
Autrey guessed there was maybe an inch or inch and a half clearance between his head and the underside of the train.
"Remember, the gutter maybe got like a 12-inch drop. So his body fitted in there perfectly. And I just laid on top of him, and had to pin him down," he said.
The man Autrey saved, 20-year-old film student Cameron Hollopeter, was taken to St. Luke's hospital as a precautionary measure, where he is listed in stable condition. He is expected to be recover.
When asked if he considers himself a hero, Autrey said absolutely not. He said he was just doing what he thinks anyone else would do.
"No, I don't consider myself a hero," he said. "I just went to someone's aid. Someone who was in need of help."
Posted by Benari at 10:39 AM
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
One gift I got that's kept on giving: The Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition.
14 discs of Super awesomeness, jam packed with movies, pilots, cartoons, documentaries, interviews, deleted scenes and so much more.
Included on one of the 14 discs: the rarely-seen, never-sold pilot for The Adventures of Super Pup! Intended as a potential kids' series, it stars midgets wearing dog costumes dressed up as characters from Superman. It's shot on The Adventures of Superman set and it incorporates ample amounts of stock studio footage - including film of the Atomic bomb test at Alamogordo!
It's a brilliant curiosity, not even a finished product: half-way through, the show switches from color to black-and-white. I'm guessing that when it was pitched to sponsors, no one even noticed...I'd be surprised if they made it past the opening credits.
Inexplicably, Jimmy Olsen is replaced by a sock puppet mouse who narrates the thing, adding - ahem - comic relief, I guess. At one point, as the villains race away in a get-away car totally different from the one in the previous scene, the scratchy-voiced rat pops up to provide an explanation for the discrepancy. How meta. How very Stan Lee....hmmm. Come to think of it, the newspaper Bark Bent works for is called the Daily Bugle. I wonder...
Most interesting, it seems to anticipate one of my favorite cartoons, Underdog, proving that things that are creepy and surreal work perfectly fine in a cartoon. It also shows how poorly the producers dealt with the untimely death of George Reeves.
Here's a clip from a recent documentary - also included in this DVD collection - narrated by Kevin Spacey.
Posted by Benari at 2:57 PM
Monday, January 01, 2007
George Lucas, the mastermind behind the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" sagas, can add another credit to his illustrious resume: Rose Parade grand marshal.
For a man accustomed to working behind the camera lens, Lucas embraces his latest challenge as the public face of the 118th annual Tournament of Roses on New Year's Day.
"There's nothing like being a grand marshal. It's a completely unique experience," said Lucas.
Posted by Benari at 3:53 PM