Hurray for Hollywood? As the industry enters its 2nd century, they have a lot of issues to work out. And to see how they're handling it, The Weekly Humorist just posted my comedic piece, "Hollywood Memo: I.P. Daily" over on their website! Movie parodies are better than ever!
From 1999 to 2004-ish, I was one of the contributing writers for Garrison Keillor's renowned radio show "A Prairie Home Companion." I learned a lot of things there, mostly how to spell 'prairie." It was a solid gig and I'm proud of my work there. But, like any other job, there were...things...
PHC did a special live show from the MN State Fair in 2004, two weeks before the season was to begin. State fairs mean foods and contests. While I'm not sure what triggered this sketch specifically, it is a typical "contrarian"-type sketch that I often wrote. Basically, it was take a simple premise, have someone defy it and attempt to act like it's fine. So, having a peach pie without peaches seems a no brainer. Tying the sketch to the season premiere seemed be a way to attract enough attention to get accepted. The show passed on it. It's still a fun little bit. We would try again in two weeks, when the season actually got under way.
Weekly Humorist, a humor magazine I often submit to and occasionally get in, runs these Hashtag Games on Twitter (X), where they name a topic and we submit humorous responses. These games play right into my gag reflex, so I always throw up something. I've taken to setting my calendar to get online every Wednesday to "play" (and by "play" I mean submit content to their website for free--I like to think of it as pun bono work). I always submit a bunch of entries and some of them get selected for inclusion in their online site.
I'll be honest, I almost didn't participate this week. the subject was Fall a Football Team. I am not a sports guy, don't follow the league, nothing. Plus I was dealing with a household issue, so I was not engaged. Then I figured, "I have to," which doesn't make sense, because I don't. So I called up a list of all the pro football teams to see what I could do with them. The conclusion was "not much." The editors had carved out the most logical ones (and since I neglected to check first, I duped a couple of them). When you have only so many football teams and only so many synonyms for "fall," it makes for a limited pallet. I got a couple of off-beat ones in. Some clever folks did soceer and college teams. Then come the afterthoughts; as I write this, I'm still submitting, long after the game has ended. Anyway, let's see which entries make the cut (and sorry it's such a pop-up ad heavy webpage):
Another topical bit swept aside by a non-stop news cycle. Basically, there were threats by the parent corporation to the good folk at TCM, home of the classic movies. The company first screw around with HBO MAX, making it MAX. then they started shelving movies. Then the focus on the unsexy source of steady income, TCM. They fired the executives in charge and started making noises about cut-backs. The one channel they don't have to create new content for and just exists to drawn in and make new movie fans was suddenly under fire. Some big-shot Hollywood directors stepped in to get the parent company to back off, so maybe things will be okay. For now. But it they try it again, I'll have this piece ready to go.
#TCM Party Poopers
Warner Bros. Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav has been poking around Turner Movie Classics to see how he can screw them up or shorten their name. Now that Zaslav has begun firing long-time executives and laying off staff in the name of cutting expenses, we received a memo which goes a little deeper into the plans for TCM. They are cutting back everywhere on everything, based on the movie schedule for next month:
6 Brides for 6 Brothers
20 Seconds over Tokyo
The Rent-Controlled Apartment
2:45 to Yuma
It’s a Mad, Mad World
The Medium Sleep
The Sixth Samurai
10 Angry Men
Some about Eve
The Second Man
The 300 Blows
His Girl Thursday
Around the World in 73 Days
The 32 Steps
North or Northwest
The Adequate Years of our Lives
Miracle on 31st Street
Plan 8 from Outer Space
Weekly Humorist, a humor magazine I often submit to and occasionally get in, runs these Hashtag Games on Twitter (X), where they name a topic and we submit humorous responses. These games play right into my gag reflex, so always throw up something. I've taken to setting my calendar to get online every Wednesday to "play" (and by "play" I mean submit content to their website for free--I like to think of it as pun bono work). I always submit a bunch of entries and some of them get selected for inclusion in their online site.
This one required research. I love movies, but can't often tell you what decade they came out in (especially modern movies). I actually had to call up a list of 1980s movies to remind me which they are and to maybe avoid the obvious ones. I usually read all the WH ones, to avoid duping any but I didn't this time and wound up hitting on one or two of theirs, but they still listed "Mississippi Burning Sensation" as mine, so that's cool. So, let's rev up the way-back machine, pop some aspirin and check out:
Technically, this isn't a "topical" piece, what with it being based on a 40-year old movie. But again, I got log-jammed with submission policies so I'm just posting it here. This started out as a sketch idea, but, as stated before, sketch outlets are few and far between. I thought it was a funny premise, and it filled itself in nicely and couching it as meeting minutes just brought it all together. Enjoy.
Minutes From the Last SkyNet Meeting
This was a tough one to lose. The window for this was very short as it turned out. And it got hung up because the one place I really wanted to submit it to was undecided on an earlier submission and they refuse to look at new submissions until they pass on the previous. And I'm still waiting for a response to that one. Thanks, Mac. So, just think back to the glorious rebellion that just a few weeks ago looked to overthrow Russia...
Russian Civil War Letters
Everybody, sing along! The Weekly Humorist just posted my comedic piece, "Depressing Karaoke Night" over on their website! You don't even have to know all the words to enjoy!
Weekly Humorist, a humor magazine I often submit to but rarely get in, runs these Hashtag Games on Twitter (X), where they name a topic and we submit humorous responses. These games play right into my pun zone, so always jump in. I've taken to setting my calendar to get online every Wednesday to "play" (and by "play" I mean submit content to their website for free--I like to think of it as pun bono work). I always submit a bunch of entries and they many times get selection.
Actually, this one was tricky. Rotten Robots. Here's the thing, the number of well-know robots is pretty low. I went online to find a list of "Top 100 Robots in Movies" and there were two issues; 1) I hadn't heard of most of these robots. 2) Most of the robots' names were "Robot" which makes coming up with puns really tricky. Naturally, Weekly Humorist posts the most logical ones, so the rest of us have to scramble.
Nonetheless, I managed to get four out of 12 on their website. Not even my favorites. They even picked one I messed up (Gigant-bore, it should have been. Autocorrect made it Gigantic-bore. Luckily I found a gif which explained it) and one I barely liked (Johnny-5-0? What does that even mean? How is it rotten?). You can see all the entries on X (Twitter) and the WK link is below:
Another topical bit that couldn't make the rounds in time. I made an online joke about this news item when it first hit the news cycle and a friend said I should write a sketch on that. Since the outlet for sketches is limited at this time, I decided to try it as a prose piece. I like the way it came out. Editors did not. So, here it is:
As has been reported, the country of Vietnam has banned the “Barbie” movie over an alleged map shown in the alleged movie that shows the so-called “nine-dash line” border claim. This border, a U-shaped dotted line showing territory in the South China Sea that both China and Vietnam claim as their own. How did this happen over what is supposed to be a glitzy, vapid product placement movie?
In a bombshell report, the Barbie group is claiming that The Bratz Dolls altered the map on the set of the movie, which was then filmed and, remarkably, included in the trailer for this alleged summer blockbuster.
Representatives for the “Barbie” movie claim they have surveillance video showing Bratz leader Cloe, and two of her under-bratz, Sasha and Yasmin, making their way to a Barbie RV containing the map and adding the dashes to it on set.
“Causing an international incident just to embarrass Barbie? That’s totally a Bratz move,” said Barbie spokesperson Ken. “I’ve known Barbie for a long time and there’s no way she would disrespect the Vietnamese like this! Some of our best accessories come from Vietnam!” he added.
While there has been no official word from the Bratz community, long-time Bratz-phile, Cameron, did post a message on his Instagram account which read, “Typically, Barbie and her friends cannot be trusted to tell the truth. The so-called ‘video’ is obviously a stop-motion film using some Bratz dolls. Bratz do not engage in boring things like international politics. They are too cool. Way cooler than Barbie, even Astronaut Barbie.”
There has always been tension between the two groups. “The Bratz have always been undermining us,” Barbie was quoted as saying in a recent magazine article. “Since my break-out role in ‘Toy Story 2’ these Bratz have been jealous. The trolling has been nonstop. And I mean, online vicious remarks, not my cute buddies, the Russ Trolls.”
During a recent press junket, Barbie’s sister, Skipper, responded to taunts on social media by saying, “Of course we think it’s the Bratz. I mean, why would you even call yourselves ‘Bratz’ if you weren’t brats? I mean, it’s right there in their name!”
“Look, we’re sorry Barbie came close to starting World War III,” Big Bratz Meygan told us. “It’s obvious she isn’t ready for the big time and the scrutiny it involves. And she can’t keep blaming the Bratz for all her woes. Hey, Barbie, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the toy box.”
The US State Department has simply issued a statement saying they want the dolls to work it out for themselves. Although an announced trip to Taiwan by G.I. Joe has the administration very concerned.
Freelance writer, still hacking away.