Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ON TILT

Here's a weird symptom on WebMD's "Symptom Checker."

"Yeah, Doc, I'm having difficulty swallowing... 
and I've noticed it gets worse every time I drink a big glass of poison."

Monday, December 8, 2008

LENO AT 10: CONAN'S WORST NIGHTMARE

Nikki Finke is reporting (and all the other trades are re-reporting without any original sources) that Jay Leno has accepted an offer from NBC to host an hour-long nightly talk show from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m.

At first blush, this seems like good news for Conan O'Brien
Leno won't go to ABC or Fox where he would compete in the same time slot as Conan (a battle that Conan would likely lose). But, in fact, Leno at 10 on NBC is Conan's worst nightmare, and I wonder how long it will be until people in the Mainstream Media (and Conan himself) begin to realize this. Here's why.

First off, there's the Legitimacy Factor. Leno's Tonight Show lead-in is the local news preceded by scripted dramas or comedies (or scripted reality shows). Conan's Tonight Show lead-in will be the local news preceded by Jay Leno's 10 o'clock Tonight Show. As long as Jay Leno is on the air in a time slot earlier than Conan, Conan will never legitimately be the Tonight Show host.

Second, with Leno in prime time, Conan has just lost his A-guest five nights a week. If Jessica Alba is out promoting a movie, ordinarily she'd head to the Tonight Show first — Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show. But Leno's 10 o'clock show will have a lot more eyeballs because it's in prime time, so Alba will go to Leno first.

That means Leno gets Alba on Monday night...



...but Conan won't have her on the couch until Tuesday.








But the whole arrangement is set up mostly to benefit NBC. It's ingenious and insidious — one year from now, NBC will have the top late night show plus they'll have destroyed any possible competition. This is the part that no one seems to realize yet. I see two scenarios for NBC.

(1) Leno's a hit in prime time and Conan fails at 11:30. The succession plan goes horribly, viewers flee NBC late night, and it's Panic City in Burbank. What do they do? They fire Conan and bring back Jay — who's still at the network. At that point, ABC and Fox won't want Conan for the 11:30 slot because he'll be a proven failure in that hour.

(2) Leno bombs in prime time and Conan's a success at 11:30. NBC cancels Jay's 10:00 show and he's effectively burnt for late night at ABC and Fox because he'll have the stink of failure on him.

Now, it's also possible that both hosts will do well in their newer, earlier time slots... (and it's possible that they'll both fail), but it seems that NBC has sneakily figured out not only how to end up with a late night winner... but how to neutralize one of the monsters it's created. And they got both Leno and Conan to agree to this plan!

UPDATE TUESDAY 12-09: The media is just starting to figure this out.
.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

BABY IN A BOX

Here's a warning label that was affixed to a plastic storage box I bought at Target. When gifting a baby this Christmas, don't put it in a box — be responsible and wrap it in a festive mylar bag.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

VARIETY OF USES

I bought a box of Q-Tips today. And for the first time I actually looked at what's on the box. Not exactly instructions per se, but a list of the "Variety Of Uses" for Q-Tips. First of all, none of those uses are what one actually uses Q-Tips for (cleaning one's ears).



Take a look at the Variety Of Uses -

apparently one is for applying First Aid ointment to eyebrows,

the second is for cleaning your computer keyboard,

and the fourth is scrubbing your shower.





But what caught my eye was the third use...
Just what exactly is that person doing with that baby and the Q-Tip? Poking its eye out?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

PLEASE DON'T LOOK AT THE ART

We went to the Laguna Art Festival today. It was a lot of fun, but I can't post any photos of the artwork or the Pageant Of The Masters because at every festival there were signs all over the place declaring that photography was prohibited.

It is beyond me why artists wouldn't want people displaying their artwork on the internet to a worldwide audience. Essentially, they're saying "I'm an artist, and I want the smallest number of people to see my work."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

RETURN TO FOREVER

Chris had an extra seat to the reunion tour of Chick Corea's band Return To Forever. The lineup was legendary: Lenny White, Al Di Meola and Stanley Clarke.

So what's the biggest difference between seeing any random show at the Universal Amphitheater versus going to a concert by the seminal jazz fusion band of the 1970s? Well, at intermission, the line for the men's room was 20 deep.

By contrast, here's a shot of the line for the ladies' room:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ESPERANZA SPALDING AT THE CATALINA BAR & GRILL

Cell phone photo. (My cell phone provider's service is pretty much on par with the camera quality.)

Friday, June 6, 2008

TIVO LOGLINES

I went looking though the TiVo program guide to see if there was anything on TV worth recording. There's not, but I did find some amusing loglines.

Spoiler alert!










Ah, it's the age-old story. On Lifetime.











Be careful not to confuse the ASSraelis with the POLEstinians.








Their appetites... for sausage pizza?







Finally — a Henny Yougman reference in a porn title!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SEACREST OUT

On this day in 2004, I walked out the door of the live daily talk show On Air With Ryan Seacrest and never returned.

I spent my first few weeks writing material that was rejected by one of the EPs as being "too funny." I still have memos from him with that comment. (I imagined the viewer sitting in front of the TV set laughing... and then saying "Christ, this is too funny - I gotta change the channel!")



The relentless schedule was brutal. It wasn't long before many good people started going insane — this is supervising producer Michael Weinberg at the precise moment he lost his mind.


Reena took this — one of my all-time favorite photos.

Monday, April 28, 2008

SEATTLE 200


Virgin America differs from other airlines in that the aircraft is bathed in hip, violet lighting. And they pump high-energy electronica music into the bathroom. When you're peeing, you sort of feel like you're in the world's most exclusive disco..
The walls of hot dog restaurant Diggity Dog are covered with drawings by children of dogs. This is my favorite — a barking hot dog. I wonder what this child thinks is in his Diggity Dog.






Here are a few shots from Jen's houseboat — she lives on a boat! (Well, sometimes.)





I chose not to find out what an "Ichiroll" tastes like.

Friday, April 25, 2008

PINK AND GLISTENING


My friend Andrew Borakove alerted me to an article in the New York Times that described Bill Clinton with some unsettling adjectives:

"Then out came Chelsea and a pink and glistening Bill Clinton, fresh from that peculiar radio interview in which he referred to a mysterious memo that he said proved the Obama campaign played the "race card" in South Carolina." (click on the phrase in question to go to the original article)

Bill Clinton... "pink and glistening"? Ick. Why those words? I wondered if it was some common phrase that I didn't know about, so I Googled it. Below are some of the other uses of the phrase "pink and glistening." (article links are in color)

"The uterus is dark pink and glistening and the shape of a soft, small watermelon."

"Pale pink and glistening, the tuna lay draped over vinegared sushi rice like a loose coverlet..."

"...I got a wonderful glimpse of Sandra's pink and glistening lips pressed tight together between the cleft just below her hot ass."

"My pastrami sandwich, or "The Holy Grail" as Splint calls it, is pink and glistening and stands about eight inches tall."

I'll never look at a pastrami sandwich quite the same way again.