Monday, December 27, 2010

JOYLESS

I think this might be a cry for help from the folks over at the Almond Joy division of Hershey:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

FOUND COMEDY: SNOOPY JAW HARP INSTRUCTIONS

These are the actual instructions that came with the Snoopy Jaw Harp I purchased 25 years ago (click to make larger):

Saturday, December 25, 2010

BETTER LATE

In 1998, I submitted for the Late Show with David Letterman. My comedy packet caught the eye of an executive at Worldwide Pants named Kate Adler. She invited me to CBS for a meeting — it remains the best meeting of my career. Adler was supportive, knowledgeable and funny.


Adler sent my submission to the head writer of the Late Show, Tim Long. He liked my stuff enough to want to do a phone interview. We spoke for a while, and he finished the call by saying "Your submission is really funny — all you'll have to do is meet [executive producer] Rob Burnett and you're probably good to go." It looked like my lifelong dream of writing for David Letterman would be coming true.

Then Tim Long quit the Late Show.

Long became a writer on some cartoon show. A great career move for him, but it had a butterfly effect on mine.

For a while, I ended up in limbo. At some point, Adler from Worldwide Pants called and assured me that I'd be hearing from them again.


Months went by, and I didn't hear from anyone. It took so long, I forgot about the whole thing, drowning my sorrow in question writing for Win Ben Stein's Money and then Singled Out. But I finally got the call — the Late Show's new head writer would like to interview me. In person. Shortly after, I received a plane ticket in the mail. I flew out to Manhattan where the show had booked me a room at Le Parker Meridien. With a view of Central Park.

The interview with the new head writer was the polar opposite of my meetings with Kate Adler and Tim Long. To say it went poorly is an understatement. I won't go into the details, but it wasn't really my fault. (One of the first questions was "So [the head writer of the show I worked for] is sleeping with [the female star], huh?" which is kind of an unanswerable question at a job interview.) I dodged the question, and that didn't seem to sit well with my interviewer. The brass ring had slipped away.

Years later when I read that the head writer with whom I'd interviewed left the show, I called my then-agent at William Morris. "The people at Worldwide Pants liked me, Tim Long liked me... the only one who didn't like me is the guy who isn't there any more. Can I get another interview?" I asked him. My agent responded by saying, "I don't really know anyone over at the Late Show." I blinked a few times and responded, "You should get an agent. I hear they're helpful at opening doors."

I'm not bitter that I missed my shot at writing for Dave. I think about it this way: When I was 12 or so and living in Parsippany, New Jersey, I used to wait until my parents went to sleep and then sneak downstairs into the living room to watch Late Night with David Letterman. I'd turn the volume way down so my parents wouldn't hear the TV. Consequently, in order to hear the jokes, I'd have to sit with my face right up against the television. Years of watching Late Night centimeters away from the TV has probably made me sterile.

So the idea that someday I'd actually have a legitimate shot at that dream job is astounding. To be invited in to the upstairs offices of the Ed Sullivan Theater is enough.

Well, maybe almost enough.

I still enter the Late Show's online Top Ten Contest from time to time. It's sort of like scratching my phantom comedy limb. Prior to this week, I'd made it on the list three times.
I forget the first one.

Top Ten Rejected Titles For "Brokeback Mountain" (01/01/2006)


Top Ten Least Popular New TV Shows (10/11/2008)


My rewards for winning were a Late Show cap, a Late Show t-shirt and a Late Show mousepad.

On April 25, 2009, I won a fourth time. I was lucky enough to be picked for #1 and this time I gave a shout out to my old home city of Parsippany:


On Christmas 2010, I made it onto the list for the 5th time.


I wish I were being offered The Job instead of a t-shirt.
But I'll settle for knowing that I can still make the list.

----------

NOTE:
This post has been updated several more times as I continued to be lucky enough to make it onto more Top Ten Lists.
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

Thursday, December 9, 2010

LABELED

How could I not label my labelmaker?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

HEARST CASTLE TOUR #2

San Simeon, August 2010


The outdoor pool. It looks cool and all, but it's not even heated.

The interiors are as nice as the exterior.

And the view's pretty good too.

The indoor pool. 
Some of the tiles contain flakes of actual gold, which if you ask me, is almost a little gaudy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

ONE LITTLE INDIAN

Gandhi has an entry in IMDB.com. Not the movie Gandhi, the person Gandhi:




Apparently IMDB was unable to dig up a photo of the five-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee known as India's "Father Of The Nation."

Also — his "STARmeter" popularity is down 9% this week.
.

Monday, September 6, 2010

MURINAL: 20 POINTS

A game of Fake Word Scrabble played by Doug Shaffer and me:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

WINGS: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM


A Gulf Fritillary

A Cloudless Sulphur

A Spicebush Swallowtail

A Mourning Cloak

When the sun finally poked through at noon, the butterflies got more fiesty.
A Mourning Cloak landed on my shoulder and remained there for nearly the rest of the visit.

A Monarch

A Pipe-vine Swallowtail
(if you know what I mean)

Unidentified Butterfly

Zebra Longtails

Friday, July 30, 2010

I AM WHITE AND VERY AFFECTIONATE

I recently found a bunch of online dating profiles I'd saved for pure enjoyment.

Here is the profile of "candycute1."

Highlights:

"My Body looks Good and I am white and very Affectionate."


"I like going to church but not that i am nonely i am sad to go to church with no man with me."


"Well i am Dropped out of School but i wish to go more sooner."


"...like gisting with my lover but not yet found"



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BLIGHTY 2012

Recently, the London Olympic Committee revealed their mascots that go by the names of Wanker and Blinkered (or something like that).



I'm not sure what these things are -- they look like two metallic butt plugs -- but I am certain that they're the worst Olympic mascots of all time.

They're a particularly big letdown when compared to Vancouver 2010's Quatchi, the greatest Olympic mascot in history.



The official London 2012 Olympic online store has already started selling collectable pins with the zig heiling Wanker and Blinkered.

In fact, they're selling lots of different types of pins. Pins for Olympic events, a pin with a double decker bus on it, a pin with a Buckingham Palace guard.

And then there's tea.

If you like tea, you've got eight choices of Olympic tea pins:



But if you want to know that the chaps on the London 2012 Olympic committee really think of their city, consider that they've manufactured no less than seven pins celebrating Blighty's inclement weather:



Even the sunny day pin has an umbrella on it!
.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

SHOW ME THE LOVE AND THE FEELINGS

I recently found a bunch of online dating profiles I'd saved for pure enjoyment.

Here is the profile of "Neski."

Highlights:

"I wait for you love washing come and make me the happiest girl on light, show me the love and the feelings!!!"

"I adore to happen on the nature."

"I very much like green color as it is the color of love, and I very romantic person. When it is raining outside my beloved would be would be desirable me that nearby, but it while is not present, but I am assured, that soon it I will find."



Friday, July 16, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

BOSTON POWERS

I knew President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan looked familiar...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

WE'LL HAVE A GAELIC OLD TIME

To celebrate Angie's Irish heritage (about... let's say... a fifth), 
we headed over to the Irish Fair in Irvine.

The Irish cuisine was well-represented:




And there were many Irish items for sale...
...like this Irish Pride flag (on a German Iron Cross).

Plus -- all-you-can-eat sheep!

Mutton, Honey

A Ruminant of My Own

Because the DeLorean DMC-12 was manufactured in Northern Ireland,
there were about seven or eight on display.

Brightly-colored-yet-unhappy young step dancers

One clogs; the others wait angrily.

Those Irish step dancing skirts are so starched, they require a special carrying case (on the right).

Martin Luther King, Jr's Dream, Irish-style

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS

My office's parking garage offers a car wash service. The name of the company is "Dr. Detail."

The card Dr. Detail left on my car window is below.

Whether it's the "plolymer" sealant or the "profecional" restoration, you can count on the Doctor to take care of all the details.
.

Monday, June 7, 2010

MONTEREY

Small Fish, Big Aquarium
These orange jellyfish are not actually fish; they're gelatinous zooplankton. 
Also, they're not jelly; they're jam.

The Black Sea Nettle: No Vertebrate, No Problem


Leafy sea dragon

Be adorable. Be very adorable.