Daily Archives: June 18, 2017

Top Ten TV Dads of All Time

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Happy Father’s Day, 3.5 readers.  Today’s the day to grab the family patriarch a cigar, a beer, and a steak and treat him like a king, to make up for the other 364 days a year where you walk all over him.  Come on.  You know you do.

In honor of this illustrious day, from BQB HQ in fabulous East Randomtown, it’s the Top Ten TV Dads of All Time:

#10 – Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont) “Leave it to Beaver”

The man worked hard and he rested hard.  Came home every day to a clean house and a nice home cooked meal.  June would have his slippers and newspaper waiting for him so he could chill by the fireplace.  He’d dispense some words of wisdom to his sons, Wally and the Beaver, but then June would take care of all the washing their clothes and cleaning behind their ears bullshit.  Yup, you might assume June went out of her way to keep her man happy because it was the 1950s but I submit that maybe, just maybe, Ward’s pimp game was strong and June bent over backwards for Ward because his bedroom game was strong.  (I assume off camera Ward and June pushed their twin beds together and knocked boots.  Where else did Wally and the Beaver come from?)

#9 – Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) – Bonanza

Based on modern standards, you might assume that Ben Cartwright was a very long suffering, put upon, taken advantage of father seeing as how his three adult sons, Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe all stayed on the family ranch well into adulthood and oddly enough, despite coming from a super rich family, none of the boys ever found a long lasting relationship with a woman.

But then you have to remember that the family homestead, “the Ponderosa” was said to have taken up a large chunk of Nevada so…yeah, if your Dad owned Nevada then you can be given a pass for still living at home when you’re forty.

Ben would lead the boys on all sorts of adventures every week – robbers, cattle rustlers, scammers, schemers and the like.  Also, did I mention the Cartwrights were rich?  So literally ever other villain was like, “Those dirty rich ass Cartwrights screwed me over so now I must have my revenge!”

Shit.  Everyone dumped all their problems on the one percent even in the 1800s.

Still.  I feel bad that Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe had such little game with the ladies.  I mean, seriously, if you can’t get your hands on some poon with a pickup line like, “Hey baby, my pops owns Nevada” then you are hopeless.

#8 – Dan Conner (John Goodman) Roseanne 

This show gave the nation a glimpse into how the other half lived, and if Roseanne was the anti-June cleaver, then Dan was the anti-Ward.  Chronically unemployed, audiences got to see the toil that struggling to be a good provider for his family can take on the male ego.  Dan was practically laid off every other week, but after taking a hit to his self-esteem, he’d pick himself up, find a new job, or create one if he couldn’t find one, doing all sorts of menial labor.

Along the way, he’d put up with bickering daughters, a bickering wife and sister-in-law, dopey young men who didn’t seem like they’d amount to much of anything chasing after his daughters, he’d be left unappreciated often but he muddled through.

Most men wish they could be Ward with June fetching the paper and slippers but alas, most men are like Dan, coming home tired after a long day at work only to be chewed out by an angry wife and have to put up with a bunch of nonsense from smart aleck kids.

#7 – Fred G. Sanford (Red Foxx) – Sanford and Son

Sigh.  It’s inevitable.  If parents live long enough, they eventually become the kids and the kids become the parents.

Fred and his son, Lamont own an LA junk dealership in the Watts neighborhood of LA.  Lamont, well into adulthood, dreams of going out into the world on his own and being his own man.  Alas, he’s so worried about his troublemaking father that he sticks around, afraid that the old man will ruin himself with one of us ill advised get rich quick schemes.

And did Fred appreciate his son?  Not outwardly, seeing as how he openly referred to Lamont as “dummy.”  But he loved him, as he loved his long deceased wife Elizabeth, so much so that the slightest symptom of illness would cause him to grab his chest, look to the sky and shout out, “This is the big one!  I’m coming to join you, Elizabeth!”

We have a mother’s day and a father’s day.  There should probably be a “Caretaker of a Very Difficult Elderly Parent Day” to honor people like Lamont.

#6 – Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith)  “The Andy Griffith Show”

That opening scene says it all.  Even though Sheriff Andy Griffith is an officer of the law, he always has time to sneak off of work and take his son Opie (little Ron Howard) fishing.  It probably helped that they lived in a small town where the only criminal was town drunk Otis who would report to the station whenever he had one too many and lock himself in.  Plus, Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) usually had shit on lockdown.

#5 – Tony Micelli (Tony Danza) – “Who’s the Boss?”

You got to love a man willing to go the extra mile for his daughter.  Down and out ex-baseball player Tony Micelli, a true manly man, takes a job as housekeeper for big shot businesswoman Angela.  You’d think that would be a surefire way for most men to feel like their balls have been snipped off and put in a mason jar, but Tony never lost his manly machismo no matter how many beds he made or meals he cooked.

#4 – Dr. Jason Seaver (Alan Thicke) – “Growing Pains”

Yes, it was the 1980s, the country was getting a little less “traditional” and women were working more.  Thus, Dr. Jason Seaver sets up his psychiatry practice in his house (hopefully he had a separate entrance for all the crazies) thus giving him more time at home to watch over the kids while wife Maggie went to work as a journalist.

Yes, like Tony Micelli, he was another man who pushed through this non-traditional situation while retaining his manliness and keeping his nut sack intact.

RIP Adam Thicke.  You are missed.

#3 – Danny Tanner, Jesse Katsopolis, Joey Gladstone (Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier) – “Full House” 

Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men.  When Danny Tanner’s wife kicks the bucket far too soon, he recruits his brother in law Jesse and friend Joey to move in and help him raise three precocious daughters.  Danny would be epically lame, Jesse would still find time to jam with his rock band, and literally no one thought it was creepy that Joey lived in the basement and talked to his puppets.

“Men can be mothers too!” Hollywood cried and alas, we menfolk have been fetching our own newspapers and our own slippers ever since.  I doubt there will be another Ward every again.  I hope Ward knew how good he had it.

#2 – John Walton, Sr.  (Ralph Waite) – The Waltons

It was depression era Virginia and John Walton Sr. literally had like nine trillion kids.  Seriously.  The family was a big ensemble cast and I can’t count how many kids were living in that house.  The man was severely put upon, running a struggling saw mill and doing other odd jobs just to make ends meet, taking care of his voluminous family as well as his elderly parents.

Somehow, he did it all with a grimace on his face that often turned into a smile.  Plus, even though he and his family were poor as hell, he didn’t give his son John Boy shit about being a writer.  John Boy’s struggles to become a famous writer was the main plot point of the show and if you’re a struggling writer, you know that even in families that aren’t struggling through the depression where everyone’s walking around barefoot because they can’t afford shoes, the family patriarch is usually screaming at the kids to drop ideas about pie-in-the-sky dreams and focus on something practical.

Hell, my Uncle Hardass commands me to stop writing and get a real job every day even now.

But nope.  John Sr. never slapped John Boy upside the head once and told him to drop his stupid books and get a real job.  He didn’t even slap son Jason upside the head and tell him to drop that stupid banjo, stop trying to become a musician and get a real job.

The man just continued to suffer, sawing extra wood and taking extra jobs all the while his dumb sons kept writing and playing music.  If you are a creative person just starting out in the world, pray for a father like John Walton Sr.

#1 – A TIE!

Homer J. Simpson (Dan Castellanetta) “The Simpsons” and Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) – “Married with Children)

Homer J. Simpson is literally dumber than a box of rocks.  He’s also extremely lazy, often found asleep at the switch at his job at the nuclear power plant or enjoying a tasty donut.  “Mmm donut.”

Yet, somehow he always finds the time to make Marge suffer with one of his ridiculous schemes, or to strangle son Bart (yet avoid capture by child protection services) and to be made to feel stupid by brainy daughter Lisa.

He may be bald, but otherwise, he hasn’t aged since 1989.  Oh, the benefits of being a cartoon.

Meanwhile, Al Bundy would come home every night from his job at a Chicago shoe store were obese women would give him shit for not being able to find shoes that would fit their enormous feet.  His wife, Peggy and kids, Bud and Kelly, would treat him like a human ATM machine, fighting over who gets to snatch what little money was left in his wallet.

Yes, the Ward days were gone, as Peggy refused to cook, or clean, or literally do anything to contribute to the family’s well-being other than to sit on the couch and eat bon bons all day.  Meanwhile, Kelly was the town tramp who would bring home a series of idiot boyfriends whose asses Al would have to kick while Bud was something of a boy genius yet shared in his father’s inability to get any respect from anyone.

Yes, Al was miserable but he didn’t take it lying down. With his next door neighbor/friend Jefferson, he established the organization known as “No Ma’am” (the National Organization of Men Against Amazonian Masterhood) where he and likeminded, put upon men would meet and complain about how their wives didn’t appreciate them.  Also, they would drink beer.  Lots of beer.  In my opinion, the No Ma’am episodes were among the best of that show.  Why that organization didn’t get off the ground with a chapter in every city and town I’ll never know.

In retrospect, it seems kind of odd to me that Al was so pissed off every time wife Peggy demanded sex.  I mean, Peggy was no Marilyn Monroe but she was still pretty hot, and if anything, a lack of sex is usually a husband’s burden.  But I assume the joke was that married people find themselves stuck in a rut, putting up with the same ole, same ole, day in and day out.

Sure, Al may have lusted over his copies of “Bigguns” and taken the occasional trip to the nudey bar with Jefferson, but he always came home to Peg.

Plus, you have to hand it to a man who is able to make a single moment last a lifetime.  No matter how bad things got, Al always reminded people of his life’s single greatest accomplishment – he once scored four touchdowns in a single game.

YOUR FAVORITE TV FATHERS

Is your favorite not on the list?  Discuss in the comments.

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Seventeen Weeks of Toilet Gator Sundays

Wow, so much time and so much novel written.  It’s gone by fast.

Cole and Skippy the Toilet Gator are finally locked in their epic battle royal.  I think there’s a strong possibility that I could finish the rough draft this week.  If not this week then by the end of the month for sure.

Finish the rough draft of Zom Fu will be next and that was mostly done except for some final wrap up chapters.

I have other ideas in the works including ideas for long, complicated multi book series but for now I felt like this had to be the year of “one and done” books that are self contained so I can get them off to Amazon.  I think there could be sequels to Zom Fu and Toilet Gator but that will depend on how people respond.

I’ve noticed a lot of people are reading and liking Toilet Gator but I don’t see any comments.  If you have some criticism to share, please do.

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Toilet Gator – Network News One Transcript #11

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KURT MANLEY: We’re sticking with our coverage of the epic showdown between Cole Walker, the ex-police chief from Sitwell, Florida with an allegedly small penis and the toilet gator responsible for a recent spate of bathroom homicides in the Southern Florida. I’d also like to thank infamous rapper Stank Daddy for sticking with me throughout this coverage.

STANK DADDY: Aint no thang.

(Grainy footage plays. It is from Walter’s point of view on top of the hardware store, looking down into the street below).

KURT MANLEY: As if the stakes weren’t high enough, it would appear that Southern Florida is getting pounded by Hurricane Dakota Rothschild harder than a Tijuana street hooker on payday and…I’m sorry. Stank Daddy, is that racist?

STANK DADDY: What?

KURT MANLEY: Is it racist for me to liken the damage done to a community by a hurricane to the damage down to an impoverished Mexican prostitute’s cooter by the old John Thomas of a man reeking of bourbon and bad decisions, willing to spend his hard earned pay on the sexual gratification that so eludes him elsewhere in his sad, tired, pathetic life?

STANK DADDY: Shit, I dunno. Why you asking me that for?

KURT MANLEY: Because…um…you know…

STANK DADDY: I know what?

KURT MANLEY: Come on man. Don’t do this to me on air.

STANK DADDY: What? ‘Cuz I’m black?

KURT MANLEY: Well…

STANK DADDY: What, ‘cuz I’m black that means I’m the grand arbiter and official decider of what is and isn’t racist? Man, you need to get yo’ ass to some sensitivity training or something.

KURT MANLEY: I’m so sorry. I just…

STANK DADDY: (laughs) Nah, I’m just messin’ with you man. Yeah, that’s racist as hell but shit, of all the offenses you cracka have pulled on all the colored peoples of the world, that one’s so low on our priority list it probably won’t even register.

(Kurt breathes a sigh of relief and adjusts his tie.)

KURT MANLEY: Phew! Off the hook. Back to the coverage, we can see on this feed that Cole Walker is paddling his canoe down the street, apparently trying to get away from something…

STANK DADDY: There it is!

KURT MANLEY: Where?

STANK DADDY: You don’t see that alligator’s two eyes and his big ass head poppin’ out of the water?

KURT MANLEY: (squints at monitor) I think so…I…

STANK DADDY: Damn Kurt Manley. You need to get yo ass to an eye doctor or drink some carrot juice or some shit.

KURT MANLEY: Oh, I see it now! Yes, it would appear the toilet gator’s body is mostly submerged underwater and he is approximately twenty feet away from Walker’s canoe. The alligator is closing in aggressively though.

STANK DADDY: That dude’s about to get his ass ate, Kurt.

KURT MANLEY: Interesting sidenote, Vegas oddsmakers put Cole Walker’s chances of defeating the toilet gator at 100,000 to 1.

STANK DADDY: Those are some whack ass odds, Kurt.

KURT MANLEY: That they are, Stank Daddy. That they are.

(Camera view shifts from the flooded street to the rooftop, where Natalie Brock is standing next Felix, who is aiming his Javelin at the toilet gator. Both individuals are wet, their hair blowing through the vicious winds.)

KURT MANLEY: What in the name of Walter Cronkite’s left nut is going on here?! I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen. This is a disgrace and below the dignity of this fine network. Natalie! Are you there?

(Natalie presses two fingers against her earpiece. The footage cuts in and out and Natalie’s voice is garbled due to weather interference.)

NATALIE BROCK: I’m…bzzzt…here….bssshhht….Kurt.

KURT MANLEY: Natalie, would you care to explain to our loyal viewers why you’re appearing on national television without being hot, or blonde, or having big titties?

NATALIE BROCK: Up…bsshhht….your….butt….bzzzttt….with a….bssskkk…coconut.

KURT MANLEY: I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen. Natalie Brock is truly an incompetent reporter. First she tells lies and doctors up phony recordings of me, America’s favorite anchorman and now she can’t even bring us a quality feed.

STANK DADDY: Man, you ought to lay off the girl. She’s out there bustin’ her ass in a damn hurricane bringing the world footage of a dope ass man vs. toilet gator battle royale.
KURT MANLEY: But look at her! She’s hideous!

STANK DADDY: Eh, she ain’t no Countess Cucamonga or even a Lady Cyanide but shit, slap a little makeup on her and I could probably turn her out on the street and make a few bills off her ass easy.

KURT MANLEY: Whatever. This is ridiculous. Natalie, please, order your cameraman to take the camera off you and don’t appear on screen again until you’ve put a paper bag over your wretched horse face.

STANK DADDY: That’s cold, Kurt.

KURT MANLEY: Seriously. Every time I look at her I don’t know whether to say “hello” or click make a clicking sound and offer her an apple. Now, getting back to…wait…what is happening?

STANK DADDY: Oh shit, she’s giving you the middle finger, Kurt. That Natalie Brock is one feisty ass bitch, I’ll give her that.

KURT MANLEY: No. What is that man doing?

STANK DADDY: Oh. Looks like he’s about to fire off a big ass bazooka or some shit, Kurt.

KURT MANLEY: A bazooka? Where would the average man even find such a weapon?

STANK DADDY: Aw shit, it aint that hard. My boy Darius from back around the way will trade you six bazookas for a carton of cigarettes and a box of old porno mags. He prefers anything circa 1970s, the bushier the better.

KURT MANLEY: This is about to get interesting ladies and gentlemen. Is this the end for the nefarious toilet gator? Drop that remote and stick around because Network News One will be covering this showdown to end all showdowns in its entirety. Man or beast? Who will win?

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Movie Review – Rough Night (2017)

Sex!  Drugs!  Crazy women!

BQB here with a review of Rough Night.

Sigh.  I really wanted this movie to be great.  The commercials made it look like it was going to be an all female version of The Hangover but it just didn’t get there for me.

There were many parts that were mildly humorous and oddly, even amidst all the debauchery there were some touching moments but overall, when I judge a comedy I go with how many times did I laugh?  Laughter, after all, is the most honest emotional reaction.  If something is funny, you can’t help but laugh, whereas you can always feign happiness, sadness, etc.

But honestly, I didn’t laugh that many times and ironically, in a “Women can be funny too!” style movie, the most laughs the movie got out of me involve the parts where ScarJo/Jess’ fiance Peter (Paul W. Downs) goes on a mad cap, cross country trip to investigate what his bride-to-be and her gal pals are up to.

It’s not that I’m saying “Oh, blah blah blah, women aren’t funny and only men can be funny.”  I’m just saying, this movie kind of fizzled for me.  I know women can be funny.  I’ve seen Bridesmaids.  I’ve seen Spy.  Shit.  Now that I think of it, this movie probably could have benefited from a little Melissa McCarthy action.  Oh well, you live and you learn.

Oh right, the plot.  Jess (Scarlett Johansson) is getting married, so her college friends Alice (Jillian Bell of “Workaholics” fame), Frankie (Ilana Glazer of “Broad City” fame), Pippa (Kate McKinnon of SNL fame) and Blair (Zoe Kravitz of Lenny Kravitz’ daughter fame) get together and throw her a bachelorette party in Miami.

Things go south when a freak accident kills a male stripper.  Rather than come clean, the girls proceed to make a series of choices that makes things so much worse.

Overall, the plot is reminiscent Very Bad Things (1998).  As a youngster, I thought that movie was super funny and received less credit than it deserved.  Basically a group of dudes (Christian Slater, Jon Favreau, Jeremy Piven, Leland Orser, and Daniel Stern) throw a wild bachelor party in a hotel suite in Las Vegas, during which a stripper is accidentally killed.  Rather than come clean, the dudes make a series of bad choices that, you guessed it, make things worse.

I was actually thinking about starting this review by channeling David Spade (he was on SNL in the 1990s, millennials) and saying “I liked ‘Rough Night’ better when it was called ‘ Very Bad Things’ but that seemed kind of bitchy.  Plus, I have no way of knowing whether the people behind this film were trying to copy the film.  Hell, maybe I’m the only old bastard who even remembers that movie.  All I know is that the the boys did the “accidental dead stripper during a pre-wedding party” better than the girls.

Again, that’s not me being sexist.  The twist is that I know several of these women are funny.  I have laughed many times at Ilana Glazer’s antics on “Broad City.”  I have guffawed at Kate McKinnon’s SNL sketches and ultimately, I think she and Leslie Jones saved the Ghostbusters reboot from being a crap show.  I have laughed at Jillian Bell’s shenanigans on “Workaholics.”

And yet, somehow, when all these funny women were put in the same room like a comedic dream team, the movie turned out to be a swing and a miss.  Maybe I can’t even blame them.  Maybe it was just bad writing.  Maybe it’s me and I’m becoming like my Uncle Hardass and not laughing as much as I used to.  I don’t know.

I just know that I didn’t laugh that much and you know, you’re supposed to, because it’s a comedy.

I give ScarJo some credit.  This is the first time she stepped out of her comic book/summer blockbuster popcorn movie and attempted to exercise her comedy chops.  She is, for the most part, the film’s straight woman (or in comedy terms, “the straight man” or the person whose normalcy and shocked reactions to the wacky antics of everyone around her are meant to make the film funnier.  Spoiler alert – it doesn’t happen, but ScarJo tried.)

A final thought on the whole female raunchy comedy idea.  My general thought when it comes to movie ideas is this – if it works, then it was a good idea.  I’m not saying a female raunchy comedy where women act just as gross and low class as a bunch of boozed up male perverts at a bachelor party can’t be funny…I’m just saying this movie isn’t it.  Maybe someone else will try that idea and score a win someday.

Aside from film, what about women acting like a bunch of boozed up male perverts in life?  All I can say is, it’s a free country and women’s rights have come a long way, so if women want to do that, then they should.  I know women don’t want a man telling them what to do so this isn’t advice so much as it is a thought but here goes – men aren’t always right about everything.

Know how I know that?  Because I’ve yet to meet a woman who was the slightest bit shy about telling me I’m not right about everything.  When men get boozed up and do wild, crazy, piggish and perverted things at parties…they’re wrong!  Sure, it’s fun in the moment but more often than not that kind of fun can lead to an arrest, or an unbeatable addiction, an STD that can’t be cured by pennicillin or best case scenario, the breaking up of a friendship when someone does something shitty to someone else because they’re drunk.

I guess what I’m trying to say is women, you may look at men doing messed up things at bachelor parties and think that looks fun, but trust me, in the long run, it isn’t.  So if you think you want to do that, then do it because you want to, not because you think that men are great when they act that way, because when you think about it, they aren’t.

Men aren’t always right about everything, and nights fueled with perverted drunken debauchery are one of the ways men aren’t wrong.

We’re always right when it comes to driving though.  Our penises always point true north so we have no need to pull over and ask for directions.

STATUS:  Borderline shelf-worthy.  Don’t bother running out to the theater but it’s worth a rental later.

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