Friday, March 26, 2010

The Lighter Side: The Movie

I really don’t know how these people did it. They’ve somehow managed to make Dave Berg’s The Lighter Side less funny. That’s the comedic equivalent to absolute zero. Congratulations people!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Celebrity Look-A-Likes That Depress Me: Don Mincey

On the surface it may seem glamorous or even fun to be a celebrity look-a-like, especially if you resemble Marilyn Monroe or Elvis Presley or Angelina Jolie. But what if you look like Rhea Perlman or Phillip Seymour Hoffman? What happens when the celebrity you resemble falls out of favor with the general public? What happens when the now humbled and affordable celebrity usurps the same corporate gigs, casino openings, and children’s birthday parties that used to pay your bills? I really have no idea. But I’m sure Chevy Chase sort-a-look-a-like Don Mincey knows all too well about the perils of riding the coattails of a once beloved celebrity. Hopefully Chase’s current comeback will reignite interest in the man who vaguely resembles him.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Teenage Fallout Queen

I’m surprised. I thought Sheldon Allman’s Radioactive Mama was the only novelty song ever written about somebody dying slowly from radiation poisoning. Apparently there was another.

Rappin' Ronnie

Without getting too political, I’ve never liked Reagan and I don’t understand this current lionization of his presidency. However, I like Gary Trudeau even less. He’s smug, unfunny and personifies every negative stereotype the right believes about the left. The only time I’ve ever laughed at Doonesbury was when Johnny Ryan was making fun of it. Plus Trudeau’s indirectly responsible for Bloom County and for me that’s reason enough to hate anybody.

At any rate, if you’re not quite sure how to feel about Trudeau, here’s Rappin’ Ronnie a truly excruciating novelty rap number he wrote that features a guy who neither looks nor sounds anything like Reagan stiffly wandering about a clean and well kept ghetto “rappin” about “Nancy sitting on Mr. T’s lap” as a faceless Ed Meese scratches a turntable. I guarantee by the end of it (if you get that far) you’ll be screeching for Trudeau’s shitty head.

Still, I will give Trudeau this much: at least he’s not Bruce Tinsley. That guy can just fuck off to hell.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I hate the Porky’s series. It’s angry, joyless and the characters are hateful stick figures. With that said, I should probably loathe Screwballs being that it’s a cheap Canadian knock-off of Bob Clark’s inexplicably popular trilogy but I don’t. Screwballs is everything that Porky’s should’ve been. It’s silly, weird and so unselfconsciously stupid that it ultimately wins you over.

I love everything about that title sequence (and I wish the full version was on Youtube) from the opening site gag that doesn’t work to the choreographed prancing the cheerleaders perform on their way to school to the fact that the horny fat guy’s bike has four training wheels, Screwballs really was the greatest sex comedy ever made. Not the funniest mind you, but still the greatest.

Oh, and on a vaguely related note, here's Screwballz! the Love Connection parody that ran on an episode of Mr. Show. I'm including this only because I can't think of Screwballs without thinking of Screwballz.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 5

In our current culture, hastily produced parodies of popular and moderately popular films are unavoidable. So The Silence of the Hams was inevitable much in the same way that Avafart (in 1-D!!!!!) will be sadly inevitable. However, The Silence of Hams carries a weird wrinkle; it’s actually a parody of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Sure, Billy Zane plays Jo Dee Foster (ugh) and Dom Deluise plays Hannibal “Cannibal” Pizza (double ugh) but they’re only there to briefly justify the unfunny title. Below you’ll find one of the few Silence scenes in the movie and, of course, it had to be the interrogation scene.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 4

People that know me are well aware of my embarrassing weakness for parody films. No matter how bad or obscure a parody film may be I must track it down and watch it. Because the need to be annoyed and disappointed is a need that can never be fulfilled. At any rate, Der Wixxer isn’t bad but it is pretty obscure. Released shortly after the surprising record breaking success of The Manitou’s Shoe (a parody of the Winnetou and Old Shatterhand movies), Der Wixxer was a German effort that set out to mock Edgar Wallace krimis. It’s uneven but the film is hard to hate mainly because it’s so eager to please.

Like most parody films released in the past 18 years, Der Wixxer takes the path of least resistance by doing yet another Silence of the Lambs spoof. This is another typical take on Jonathan Demme’s film but with two exceptions: (1.) It’s in German, and (2.) The cinematography is surprisingly good. I mean you never see cinematography this beautiful or expressive in a throwaway spoof. (Actual parody begins at 1:29)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hey, You Know What Would Be New? A Silence of the Lambs Parody: Part 3

If you’ve ever seen the Extras Christmas special and wondered just who those two guys were that Ricky Gervais snubbed at the fancy restaurant, wonder no longer. They’re Gareth Hale and Norman Pace a once moderately successful comedy duo whose humor seemed to waver in between surprisingly smart and horribly stupid. This clip below encapsulates everything that worked and didn’t work about Hale and Pace.

Eventually, by the end of the 90s, Hale and Pace finally succumbed to mediocrity. The point of no return happened around the time they recorded the Stonk for Comic Relief. I’ve never been able to sit through the entire video. Try and see if you can.

But before that, Hale and Pace should be honored for the good things they’ve done for comedy such as this “edited for television” bit that anticipated a very similar Mr. Show sketch by at least a decade.

They were even good at putting a new spin on old, worn out concepts. This Silence of the Lambs parody starts out fairly typical (apart from the Multiple Miggs reference. Not many Silence spoofs went down that route) but stick with it. There’s a twist at the end that practically redeems some of the more obvious bits. It’s not a great sketch by any means but stronger than most of the Silence parodies I’ve seen.