Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wanna Come to a Costume BRAWL?

Oh, the "FUN" of Times Square...and its equivalent in Hollywood, where yesterday a brawl took place. A male superhero slammed a costumed female to the ground...as a fake Chewbacca, Waldo and Freddie Krueger tried to prevent further damage to her:

In New York City we've already seen a psychotic Elmo curse and scream anti-semitic slurs, and various costumed cartoon characters get into push-and-shove rages (and worse) if they didn't get the "tip" they expected.

Why is this allowed? Because in this Google-world, nobody believes in intellectual property. Before Google allowed its bloggers to steal all the music and offer free downloads, before Google decided to guide people to every thieving torrent, forum and website, before Google decided it could digitize any book it pleased, before Google felt it could excerpt every newspaper article, and before Google took over YouTube and began allowing everyone to upload music and bootleg concert footage and even the latest TV shows and sports highlights...people respected INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY...and COPYRIGHT...and TRADEMARK.

These terms no longer exist because "it ruins our fun!" Notice a line in the article, which appeared in the Daily News. Costumed cretins have filed lawsuits screaming about their "First Amendment" rights. They do not have ANY right to use trademarked costumes and the intellectual property of others to extort money from tourists. These morons didn't invent Spiderman or Batgirl. They should require licensing agreements.

Thanks to the influence of Google, and such partners in crime as Amazon and of course, Ebay (where duping photos, making unauthorized t-shirts, and even Photoshopping movie star's faces onto hardcore porn images makes money for them), the notion of copyright protection is quaint.

Oh, what charming publicity for Marvel Comics, The Muppets, and the Batman franchise owned by Warner Bros., when unauthorized versions of their characters intimidate tourists and push and shove each other for prime locations to make illegal profits.

The scuffles and the disorderly conduct...haven't led to any meaningful legislation yet. Perhaps the lawmakers are waiting for some tourist to fire a gun at a very mortal Superman, or waiting for Tickle-Me Elmo to punch a child into a coma. As it is, with so many of these costumed characters raging on the streets (you can sometimes get double vision or triple vision when several miscreants wear identical outfits) Times Square is more obnoxious and congested and dangerous than when it was loaded with porn and hookers.

I have nostalgia for the good old days, when the only odd face in Times Square belonged to Joe Franklin. And it wasn't a mask.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Just Slice Away, Renee : Renee Zellwegger Changes her Face

Joan Rivers must be spinning in the air (she was cremated). LOOK at what plastic surgery can do. It can transform a pillowy-faced woman with squinchy eyes and a sour expression on her lips...into...

The exact opposite? What's she going to call herself? She ain't Renee Zellwegger anymore.

Face like a lemon meringue pie? Just slice way, Renee...till you pare down to somebody bearable. And unrecognizable.

Tale a look at some of the past disasters in show biz plastic surgery:

What's the secret, Renee? A ginsu knife? Saran wrap? Stuck your face through a very sharp harp? Total face transplant?

Congratulations to the world's greatest female impersonator. You're a very lovely woman, whoever you are.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

David Letterman Feud: "Big Ink" TONY MENDEZ FIRED FOR ROUGHING UP BILL SCHEFT

The headline of today's NY POST is "The Hate Show." Well, that's Post hyperbole. "Big Ink" Mendez was just "big irked." But when you go after a co-worker, you go. The Post website had this more demure photo:

Isn't it nice to know that EVERY office is the same? Inter-office feuds and rivalries surface and somebody gets fired.

Actually it goes back to EVERY schoolroom, where the classmates scuffle and the teacher doesn't care who started it.

It doesn't surprise me that Tony Mendez finally went too far. He was one of the few people on the "Late Show" staff who didn't treat Dave with kid gloves. I remember being in the infamous "Hello Deli" one afternoon, and some fans were waiting for sandwiches. One of them grumbled that Dave was behind Jay Leno in the ratings: "What can he do about it?"

A voice said, "He could try being funny."

Heads turned. It was Tony Mendez talking. Naughty, naughty! Someone told him he should be careful with remarks like that! Mendez just shrugged and said, "It's true." Apparently Mendez had become so adept at re-ordering the cue cards and sometimes helping to choose which re-write punchline was best, that he could appraise the current quality of Dave's material.

Over the years, Letterman's prickly remarks about "Inky Mendez" the "cue card BOY," gave way to a more respectful nickname of "Big Ink," and running gags about the excitable Cuban throwing down his cards and "cursing" in Spanish and walking out.

A former dancer in Broadway shows, Mendez had long ago learned to snit proudly. He eventually got his own YouTube channel and routines on the "Late Show" website, and while some people faded away (Biff Henderson, and Rupert Jee) there was always room for some byplay with "Big Ink" from time to time.

No question, if you do it right, an irreverent attitude toward The Big Guy can work in your favor. Ask Ricky Gervais, Billy Crystal, Martin Short and Tom Hanks among others. Dave is often "asking for it," enjoying planned bits where Alan Kalter calls him "Duck face," or the Top 10 list somehow is full of jokes about Dave's age. He seemed to be thrilled when Cher called him an asshole.

Mendez seemed to be doing it right. He told the NY Post, “We tell each other ‘Fuck you’ and ‘Hey asshole.’ He doesn’t do that with anybody — but he feels comfortable with me. That brings a bit of normalcy — because everyone else is like, ‘Yes, yes, Mr. Letterman. If you want something impossible, yes, we’ll do it, Mr. Letterman.’"

Tony Mendez never just "inked" cards. He was involved in the last-minute re-shuffling of the monologue and the ever-perfectionist re-writing of punchlines. He claimed, “If I realize one of the jokes needs the setup for the punch line because one of the jokes before it got cut, I have to write something really fast there. Dave doesn’t like to repeat the setup.”

Bill Scheft, the closest thing to an Ed McMahon this Carson wanna-be has, is not just the head writer. He stands off camera giving Dave some security and confidence...that if there's any problem, he's got a back-up wiseguy to throw out a funny line or help salvage a chaotic situation. Dave isn't going to rely on a mere producer that way.

Scheft's ability to ingratiate himself, seem irreplaceable, and to dictate to Mendez and take credit for the way the cards were assembled, got to be too much:

“As Dave is giving me a change, Bill will start yelling the same change — but his own version — because he’ll think it’s funnier. And I have to say, ‘One at a time, I can’t hear anybody...I know what I'm doing. Get off my back."

After an outburst from Tony, Dave had enough. Like the boss he is, and also like any school teacher trying to maintain order between the teacher's pet and one of the wiseguys, Dave called out, "Tony, your sour disposition isn't helping."

Tony fired back, "You're the one who has the sour disposition, motherfucker!"

But THAT didn't get him fired.

Overnight, he couldn't get this latest incident out of his mind. He hated that once again, Scheft "was trying to create a wedge between us so Dave would think I was an asshole.” The following morning, Mendez, though smaller and older, came after Scheft, grabbed him by the shirt and pushed him up against a wall.

"He was very surprised. He didn’t say a word. He was cowering, his eyes were real big, he probably peed a little bit on his pants.”

The potential fight was quickly broken up, and Mendez was ultimately told he was through. With less than half a year till "The Late Show" ends its run, the producers also told Mendez that he could keep his health insurance, and even remain on salary. He simply couldn't return after committing an unacceptable act of violence. And Mendez agreed. He has nothing against Dave, but is irritated that he'd been goaded into a power struggle he couldn't win...not against an Emmy-nominated writer and joke-crony Dave needs like a crutch.

That Letterman even had a cue card guy is rather remarkable...but he's a throwback to Carson. Most everyone else, from talk show hosts to newscasters, rely on a TelePrompter.

Mendez vs Scheft is hardly the first anecdote of "trouble in paradise" at the Letterman show, with its mysterious banishings of beloved on-screen stooges, replaced announcers, and, er, uh, the affair with one of the staffers (didn't we wonder why she was getting so much air-time?)

Ironically, Dave's girlfriend, Stephanie, worked on Tony's website show...suggested by Dave. In a memorable appearance together to promote the show, Tony instantly started attacking Stephanie as unprofessional, and she evenly responded by saying he was a diva. Tony also admitted that Dave stopped doing cameos because he "pissed" Dave off too often.

Ultimately it just tells you that Merman sang a lie. No business like show business? No, it's like every other business...there's backstabbing and power games and sudden problems that couldn't be expected and aren't written and approved beforehand. At 69, it's pretty much over for Mendez, but nobody's exactly lining up at Barnes & Noble for a Scheft book signing, and it's a big question whether Letterman will be like Carson or not, and disappear entirely, rather than make a few stoic guest appearances at award shows or on the set of somebody's sitcom.

Ultimately, as Mr. Mendez has shown, the faults lie not in the cards, but in ourselves.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pardon MEME - Stupidest Hoax of the Day

Halloween is coming (zzzzz) and ooh, look at this fantastic MEME on Facebook!

Stunning.

It's remarkable. Sensational...even mediocre.

You wonder what's the matter with people who make MEMEs like this. Are they idiots who don't know what they're doing? Imbeciles who think they're pulling a clever hoax? Or morons who pass this crap along to annoy even more people?

Who doesn't know that Halloween is on the 31st, not on the 13th??

Is that supposed to be a hilarious practical joke? Fact is, all of us know gullible idiots who are constantly sending us dimwit e-mails and posting jackass memes that makes us scream SNOPES!

Some of them are, sadly, friends whose lapses in intelligence and common sense we must tolerate. After all, it allows us to make fools of them when WE have the evil urge to prove that most people walk around with their eyes at half-mast and their brain cells resembling and acting like small curd cottage cheese.

"And those quotes from George Carlin aren't really George Carlin..." (Weird Al Yankovic, "Stop Forwarding that Crap To Me")

John Brown's Body Gets Out of Jail - Stringbean Molders On

John Brown's body's no longer moldering in prison.

After 40 years, people have forgotten about a pair of Stringbeans.

What...you ask, am I talking about?

The couple on the left, David Akeman (aka "Stringbean") and his wife, and the guy who just got paroled:

Since my book, "Who's Who in Comedy," is about the only reference work that tells the tale, I'll quote from it:

After joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1942 he began to record tunes such as "I Wonder Where Wanda Went" along with albums that mostly featured his straight banjo picking. He developed into a memorable comedian. He looked the part -- tall and thin with a sadsack expression -- but accentuated it by wearing a pair of pants that couldn't go up past his thighs. That's where he belted them -- his long shirt dragging down to his thighs and tucked into the dwarfed pants.

He developed a nationwide audience on "Hee-Haw." Then Stringbean's career was cut short in one night of brutality. Following a performance at The Grand Ole Opry, he and his 59 year-old wife Estelle came home to discover two burglars in the house. They had been waiting for them. They had even listened to WSM and heard Stringbean perform that evening on the radio. What they were after was the thousands in cash they heard he kept at home instead of the bank. In the struggle that followed, the comedian was shot dead. Estelle ran but was caught before she could even get past the lawn of her own home. On her hands and knees, pleading for her life, Estelle was shot three times and left face down in the grass.

The killers, a pair of young cousins named Brown, fled with whatever they could carry. They didn't find the money in the house. They also missed the $3,000 Stringbean had in a pocket of his pants and a packet containing $2,000 Estelle had tucked away in her brassiere.

That was 1973. And now? "Never say never" on a prison sentence. (Hear that, Mark David Chapman? Son of Sam?) Who knows, maybe John Brown's been a model prisoner and is now deemed too old (64) to cause a lot of ruckus. Set him loose so some young wild animal can have a longer stay.

Country singer Jean Shepard (not late comedian Jean Shepherd) complained, "Why should they turn him loose? He cold-bloodedly killed two friends of ours." With no surviving children to appear in front of a parole board, the case for Stringbean's killer to remain in jail was left to a dwindling group of old friends. In 2011, it was Jan Howard who made a successful plea to keep Brown behind bars. But this time? The parole board voted 4-3 for his release, and it doesn't look like any letter-writing campaign (which some of Stringbean's old friends are suggesting) will do much. "I'm sure the Lord will forgive him," Jean Shepard says. "I don't think any of us will."

These days, we know "Mr. Bean" and Orson Bean...and it's only some comedy collectors and elderly country music fans who remember Stringbean.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ice the Bucket...it's CROTCH GRABBING FOR CHARITY

Every time I hear "Hugh Jackman" I think, "Huge Jackass." Or "Huge Jackoff."

That's just his stupid name; nothing personal. I never paid him much attention since I don't like childish "action" movies, Broadway musical crap, or actors that the average housewife will watch no matter how lousy the script.

Now he's calling attention to himself with the "crotch grab," which as we all remember, was pioneered by psychotic child-molester and pedophile Michael Jackson. It was then stolen and re-used by the foul Bieber, the snottiest brat on the planet.

Should we be happy it's being rescued by handsome Hugh? And Ricky Eversmirk Gervais? And some other absolutely vain, self-promoting dickheads?

Oh, no no no NO NO NO, NO, Mr. Sense, Ms. Decorum, Mrs. Taste, you hush yo' mouths.

You see, this vulgarity is for A GOOD CAUSE. It's in the rule book. Julian Assange would tell you. It's embroidered in the panties that the CEO of Google wears. It's this: "Vulgarity, Pornography, Copyright Abuse, Shameless Self-Promotion and Prurient Interest are ALL ACCEPTABLE if IT'S FOR CHARITY." PS, it's also acceptable if it makes money.

Nevermind that testicular cancer often turns up too late for anything to be done. But as long as you're all as rich as Hugh Jackman, go in and get tested every month. If you're on a government plan...well, who wouldn't want a Pakistani with a diploma grinded out of an HP printer groping your privates? Who wouldn't be confident that he knows what he's doing?

The point isn't really "awareness" of testicular cancer, as much as it is...pictures of self-promoting morons grabbing their crotches as an easy way to get publicity for themselves.

OK, Mom and Dad, explain to your kids why THIS picture is being cheered all over the Internet, but why they shouldn't duplicate it in school...

Fasten your seat belts...a bunch of obnoxious male celebrities, mostly D-listers, will be dropping their pants, even their underwear, to try and compete for prime newspaper and Internet web page space.

THEY WILL ALL be smiling, or sexily glaring, or otherwise wearing the opposite expression to one diagnosed with testicular cancer. Hey, it's ALL good. Now wait for "Menstrual Awareness Month," "Bulemia Is Bad," and "It Might Not Just be Diarrhea." In other words, you'll be seeing a whole lot more of Kim Kardashian.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The "Andy Kaufman Alive" Story that Won't DIE

DIE already. DIE. Leave it to the New York Post to huckster a new book with this provocative headline:

We're supposed to forgive Bob Zmuda for this tasteless game-playing because hoaxing is in the spirit of Andy Kaufman?

Right, so is not being funny.

Andy Kaufman was a great comedian...if you didn't have to see him. It's hilarious to hear how he did his laundry on stage. Stood there and spoke gibberish. Got into rages and ended up getting wrestled to the ground by women who were too big for him to handle. Yeah, he was loaded with "zany" antics.

Let's not forget the Tony Clifton bit. He'd act like a crappy lounge singer and insist he WAS a crappy lounge singer. He'd never break character. Wow, what a vision the man had.

Let's remember he had a bit of the Steve Martin "wild and crazy guy" vibe...there was anti-comedy in the air. It's just that nobody fouled the air quite like Kaufman.

If you were paying to sit in a dirty nightclub where you were being pestered by a waitress to drink up the minimum and keep going...you would've walked out on this guy 10 seconds after be began to lip-sync to the theme for "Mighty Mouse" cartoons.

He was, in a word, an asshole.

OK, a vulnerable, lovable asshole. Maybe. But still an asshole. A mutation on the world of the neurotic Jewish desperate-for-attention comic. But really, enough is enough.

Not too long ago, some idiot relative of Kaufman had the nerve to float the "Andy is Alive" stuff again, and eventually apologized. Now?

Now there's a BOOK. So let's flog this over again.

Toward the end of the New York Post;s happy shilling for the book, we come to the real deal.

The book does include the "alternate" theory is that Kaufman is dead. Well, yes. Because he is. You don't fool the L.A. coroner. A comedian/asshole is not going to have the skills to find a "similar body" and make it seem like his. There's such a thing as fingerprints and dental records.

Space is given to the proposal that Kaufman is dead...BUT...and here's another selling point...he was bi-sexual.

Oooh! The gays can claim ANOTHER celebrity! Come on gays, go out there and buy the book! You're an affluent lot. Read all about it.

Andy was a weirdo and a misogynist, so nobody would be surprised he paid for whores whenever he was in Vegas. He lacked the skills to have a decent relationship with a woman, and probably preferred throwing down money to do what he wanted and leave.

The story here is he was also prone to picking up men (not that there's anything wrong with that). We're told the public hasn't heard this before, because Andy never wanted his parents to find out his secret. Now that they're dead, this fact could be included in the book. Ok.

The big deal in this latest attempt at keeping the great Andy Kaufman legacy in front of us, (aside from the silly "he's not dead" stuff) is that if he died, it was of AIDS, and not cancer. So now he can be a martyr that gays can get behind.

The fact is, nobody dies of AIDS. Right? They die of symptoms caused by the AIDS virus, which affects the immune system. I've unfortunately seen quite a few AIDS patients sitting in hospital beds with carcinomas and hideous skin conditions. So yes, it's entirely possible that Kaufman died of cancer, at a very young age, not because he smoked, but because he had unprotected gay sex.

I suppose another bit of spin-doctoring would be to call him a "performance artist" now, and not a comedian. It's trendier, and it's more truthful. A "performance artist" doesn't necessarily have to get laughs. And if he doesn't, he has an excuse. He's not a comedian.

Bottom line and bitter end: Andy Kauffman is still dead.

And that's tragic.

So were his attempts at being funny.