Alien Jones vs. The Yeti

I have commissioned artwork of Alien Jones blasting the Yeti with a ray gun because I’m a grown ass man and I do that sort of thing, so tune in next week to see that.  I’m looking forward to it.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Should Oprah Run for President? (Howard Stern Says No)

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I was listening to Howard Stern today (he actually came into work) and he had an interesting take on all the talk about President Oprah.

He said (and I remember this) years ago, he ran for Governor of New York as a goof.  He didn’t want the job and just did it as a promotion, to get his name out there and get some free press.  He didn’t think anyone would take him seriously so got scared when he actually ranked high in the polls.  Political consultants began getting in touch with him, sure he had a good shot at winning.

He backed out of it because he felt he would not do a good job.  He’s a funny radio guy and while he enjoys that and he has been successful as an entertainer, he did not believe he could handle the job of being governor – the tough decisions, the turmoil, the scrutiny, the studying, the non-stop nature of the job, 24/7 and weekends.  Ultimately, people rely on the Governor and he didn’t think he could deliver.

He thought maybe he might have won and who knows, perhaps from there he might have had a shot at the presidency but he didn’t want it.  He did not believe he would do a good job and so bowed out so an actual politician could win.

He likened his situation to Oprah and said that as a celebrity, especially one that came from humble beginnings without much money (as he and Oprah did) it is tempting to want everything, to take every offered opportunity, to do every TV show, movie, book, business venture, everything because no matter how big you get, you fear it might all go away and so it’s easy to see the presidency as the ultimate plaything, to increase your fame and status…but ultimately, you have to think not of yourself but of the country.

I think he has a good point and I’m wondering if we aren’t going down a path where perhaps there should be a mandate that to win the presidency you must hold some kind of prior office first?  Reagan was an actor, but he did go on to run a union and serve as governor of California.  He did his homework and got his government training.

I mean…when we hear of President the Rock….come on.  I don’t care how loved of a celebrity you are, the second you run for office, half the country will hate you.  Why not stay a celebrity and be loved by all?

On the other hand, TV has really screwed politics up, for years now.  Gone are the days when character, knowledge and experience matter.  How photogenic are you?  What’s your social media following like?

Howard said we need a modern day Winston Churchill but I have news for him – Winston could not win office today.  “Who’s that chubby little bald man with froggy voice?  Get him off the stage and put a squared jawed, perfect haired dummy in his place!”

In other words, politics and entertainment are hand in hand now, such that you can’t be an actor if you aren’t a hottie and let’s face it, you can’t be a politician unless you’ve got that super star quality either.

Discuss.

 

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Hitler Reacts to BQB

Hey 3.5 readers.

Did you know that Hitler used to read this blog?  I’m not bragging…I mean, you can’t control who your 3.5 readers are.  I’m just surprised that at the close of World War II, when the allies were closing in on Berlin, he didn’t have anything to do other than to bitch about how shitty my blog was…is?

I don’t know how he read it in 1945.  Time traveling web browser, maybe.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – KodakCoin

Hey 3.5 readers.

Kodak’s stock tripled today based on news that it is launching a new product, “KodakCoin,” getting in on the cryptocurrency phenomenon.

Gotta be honest, I’m surprised Kodak is still in business.  I dabble in the stock market, but I never would have thought to buy shares in Kodak because, I mean, their main claim to fame was built on physical camera film, which is basically like producing Model T fords or dinosaur pants.

Millennials, there was a time when you had to load film into your camera and the little gremlins inside your camera would etch a rough sketch of what you were pointing your camera at.  I’m pretty sure how that works.

Amazingly, Kodak remained in business over the years.  I believe if you ever go to a store and get physical prints of your digital photos, its usual a Kodak machine, so they showed some conversion to modern tech power.  Still, it’s got to be hard on a company when the product they were known for, i.e. Kodak film, becomes obsolete.

Not sure what KodakCoin is but it sounds like they’re devising a way for photographers to get paid when hteir images are used.  If you know more about it, tell me and also will you use it?

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Daily Discussion with BQB – The Accusations Against Stan Lee

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

When I was a kid, I made an effort to start an autograph collection.  I wrote to celebrities, usually to like the network they worked on, the company they worked for, and wrote polite little letters asking for an autograph.

I got a lot of form letters back telling me politely to pound sand…but I also got…a photo signed by the one and only Stan Lee. (Not gonna lie, I have debated for years whether he signed it or if it was a photo with the signature already printed on it, but either way, it was a better response than what I’d received from anyone else.

It made me happy because I used to watch the “Spider-Man” cartoon on Saturday mornings, narrated in his cool voice.

Sigh.  Excelsior, true believers.

He’s denied the accusations through his lawyers.  I think I’ll wait and see how the story develops before I say anything.

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Binge Watching Marathon

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” put out a new season recently after a six year hiatus.  It made me so happy to see Larry David back in action that I ended up watching the whole series, a few episodes a day, for the past month.  I’ve seen them all before and remembered the gist of the best ones but it’s been so long it was like watching them all for the first time.

If you’ve never seen it, the quick rundown of the show is that Larry David was the co-creator and producer behind the popular 1990s sitcom Seinfeld.  While he only appeared on that show in the occasional bit part, he was largely a behind the scenes man.  Fun fact: the character of George Costanza is based on Larry.

On “Curb,” Larry plays a fictional version of himself though I can only assume there is a grain of truth in any form of comedy.  As you might recall, George Costanza was a bald loser, fully aware of his unattractiveness and shortcomings, yet often angry over the fact that he couldn’t form a decent relationship with a woman because he’d always freak out over the most trivial of flaws (even though they usually pale in comparison to George’s problems.)

Larry is essentially the same way.  For most of the series, he is married to hot, younger wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) who suffers Larry’s douchebaggery with grace and dignity.  In later seasons, Larry and Cheryl divorce, though she remains a returning character.  Larry dates a variety of hot babes, women so attractive who have so much going for them that you want to shout out that clearly Larry would never be getting them if not for his vast “Seinfeld” fortune and Hollywood connections…and yet he usually screws things up over a trivial flaw.  (In one episode, he dates a ridiculously hot restaurant hostess only to ruin it all when she borrows $40 only to forget to pay it back.  Before you take Larry’s side, keep in mind that a quick Google search of Larry’s net worth puts it at $900 million so yeah, let the hottie keep the $40 Larry.)

Frankly, I’m impressed by how much money Larry made. The number of people who became near billionaires off of being funny must be few and far between.

My other random observations, in no particular order:

#1 – The first three seasons take place in the early 2000s, the first season in 2000.  The experience is surreal.  Flip phones.  Tube TVs and computer monitors.  No GPS.  In a first season episode, Larry and Cheryl get lost on the way to a dinner party, with nothing but a friend’s handwritten directions to guide them.  Anyone else remember trying to find a place with nothing but a friend’s shitty directions and no GPS, having to drive around, hope to find a landmark, stop for directions and hope to find someone who can help you?  If you’ve never done that, you have no idea how lucky we all are to have cell phones that can tell us how to get where we want to go today.

#2 – Larry self-deprecates the crap out of himself.  It’s a big man who is willing to make himself look like a schmuck.  It would be one thing if Larry called himself a different name, i.e. Gary Schmavid but here, he’s saying this is me, playing myself and I hate to get into his head but I can only assume that somehow he feels comfortable portraying himself as a goofball, a man who constantly bucks societal norms, schemes to get out of social conventions only to make things so much worse.

# 3 – It’s “Seinfeld” with swearing.  If you liked “Seinfeld,” and don’t care about swearing, you’ll like this.  The characters rarely grow or improve or better themselves.  No special episodes where a character gets sick.  No morals or lessons.  Just humor for humor’s sake.  The goal is to make you laugh and nothing more.

#4 – It made me feel bad to see how time screws us all in the looks department.  Not to knock Larry but he more or less looks like he does at the beginning as he does 17 years later.  Larry is bald with gray side hair for as long as I can remember.  He does appear a bit younger looking and more spry in the beginning episodes.  He’s early 50s when it starts and 70 now.

Richard Lewis, veteran neurotic comedian of the 1980s, plays himself and appears handsome at the start of the series.  Black hair, strong features, looks like he belongs in movies.  In later seasons, he looks old, gray, balding and decrepit.  Still has his wit but makes me sad what time does to us.

Not dumping on anyone but you can see it in all the recurring characters, how youthful they all long in the earliest seasons.

#5 – So much political incorrectness.  Many of the jokes from past seasons would not fly today.  The irony is that Larry does and says many shitty things, but if you get offended too early and walk away, you’ll miss the part where Larry gets his comeuppance for saying and doing such shitty things.  Never assume Larry gets away with anything.  He never does.  Cue ending scene where the theme music plays with closeup of his eyes as he realizes how much shittier he just made a shitty situation.

#6 – On the other hand, it’s not always Larry.  Sometimes it’s Larry as a victim of circumstance.  People are so tied to social norms that a minor deviation makes them go ballistic.  He’ll accidentally do or not do something, through no fault of his own, and despite apologies, people will go ape shit on him.  Perhaps we can give people a break if they don’t always act 100 percent of the way we want them to.

#7 – Jeff Garland (Larry’s manager Jeff Greene) and Susie Essman (Jeff’s she-devil wife Susie Greene) are great.  Susie goes ballistic over the littlest things, though often she sniffs out when Larry and Jeff have joined forces in a joint scheme and exposes them.  “Fat fuck” and “bald fuck” or “four eye fuck” are her names of choice for the duo.

#8 – Larry has Peter Pan syndrome.  It’s surreal to see a man with gray hair acting like a youngster, but he has so many young-ish habits.  Throughout the series, he’ll meet old, gray haired people and talk to them as one would a grandparent and it leaves me wondering if he’s aware that he’s old himself.  Then again, he’s got mad cash, so that keeps you young.

Conclusions – It’s an awesome show.  If you need something to binge watch, I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

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Whoever Shared Me on Facebook…

Thank you.  It got me a lot of views.  If you feel like sharing, I’d like to see your post.  If not, that’s cool too.  Thank you so much.

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – The Producers (2005)

Springtime…for Hitler…in Germany!

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BQB here with a review of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.”  FYI, there was a 1960s movie that I haven’t seen yet (starring Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel), a 2005 movie version starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick I did see and of course, a Broadway play I was never lucky enough to see.

In short, this story has been around forever, but if you want to avoid spoilers, then look away.

Mel Brooks is the funniest man in show business and he parodies everything.  “Blazing Saddles” was a sendup of Western flicks that were very popular up until like the late 1970s.  “Spaceballs” poked fun of “Star Wars” so naturally, when Brooks had the chance to produce a Broadway play, he made fun of Broadway.

Max Bialystock was once, as he song goes, “The King of Old Broadway.”  He laments that he used to have the best of everything, but now he’s a bum who hasn’t had a hit in years.  The critics rip him apart, pointing out that at the end of his musical version of Hamlet, “everyone is dead and they were the lucky ones.”

Bialystock meets uptight, super anxious accountant Leopold Bloom (Matthew Broderick)who poses a hypothesis, namely, that a producer could make more money with a flop than a hit.  In other words, Max has had a long history of swindling little old ladies out of their money, convincing them to invest in his plays that always tank.  However, if the show was so awful that it tanked on opening night, he could just walk away with the money.

Uma Thurman rounds out the cast as Ulla, the super hot Swedish babe who just knocks on Bialystock’s door one day, hoping to become a star.

The duo sets out to find the worst play ever written and find “Springtime for Hitler” penned by a Nazi enthusiast (Will Ferrell).  The boys hope the play will be so offensive that it will close opening night but alas, when the audience sees a flamboyantly gay Hitler mincing about stage, they take it as a hilarious parody and the show becomes a blockbuster smash.

As Bialystock laments, “Where did we go right?”

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Is Comedy Dying? Dave Chapelle’s Angry Fan in His New Netflix Special

Hey 3.5 readers.

Dave Chapelle’s latest Netflix special just dropped and as usual, it’s funny as hell.  This man is one of my longtime favorites, and he’s actually getting better with age, bringing a lot of experience and wisdom to his comedy.

I’ve been keeping track of the death of comedy for awhile now.  It’s unfortunate, but the masses are losing their sense of humor, opting to adopt the outrage culture instead.

In his special, Dave talks about his own concerns that people are just getting too sensitive and that’s having a negative impact on comedy.  He talks about one show he did where an Asian woman and her Mexican husband attended.  The woman was pregnant, he said “the baby will be the hardest working baby ever” – ironically, a complimentary joke saying Asians and Mexicans work hard, yet the woman stormed off and later wrote stern letter to his promoter asking that he stop promoting Chapelle.

Sigh.  Even the great Dave Chapelle is worried about the future of comedy.  The next generation of comedians is going to have it tough.

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Buy My Book!

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

Just a regularly scheduled begging session, asking you, my beloved 3.5 readers, to buy my book, “BQB’s Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts.”

It’s 99 cents.  Honestly, other than a trip to the nudey bar, this is the best value you’ll ever get for a dollar.

I mean I don’t want to spell it out, but if you walk up to a nudey bar and wave a single dollar bill around, a stripper will show you her hey-nanner-nanner.  At least, they usually do.  I can’t guarantee they will.

But you’re upstanding citizens who don’t frequent such terrible places.  So check out my fine book.  You know you want it.

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