MasterChugs Theater: ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop’

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year and half, you’ve at least heard of The Tonight Show debacle that happened last year. Conan O’Brien‘s short-lived reign as the show’s host only lasted 7 months, but the fallout from his departure lasted significantly longer. Though it was certain O’Brien would land another show with ease, as part of his exit deal with NBC, O’Brien was prohibited from appearing on TV and radio for six months. To fill the gap, O’Brien went on his “Legally Prohibited from being Funny on Television Tour.” But even during this time, O’Brien often found himself in front of a camera, as Rodman Flender filmed a documentary, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, about the trip.

Nearly a year later, that film is out. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop’

The Audacity of Impersonation

In other Obama related news

The Republican Leadership Conference was recently held. While we’ll avoid the reference that old white men love having black guys do things for their entertainment, we will point out that a Barack Obama impersonator was hired for the event. That where the similarity to the first part of the previous sentence ends, as the joke may have been lost on more than a few of the attendees.

The impersonator proceeded to mock many of the GOP members hoping the next president, while also poking fun at the roots of the current president (to keep it fair, after all). But apparently, it was just too much to make fun of Michele Bachmann supporting a bunch of racists crazy people the Tea Party. Enough was enough, the mic was cut and the impersonator was given das boot!

Hey, GOP people: SG recommends that you get the guy from the Jerry’s Subs and Pizzas radio ads and utilize the technology that Conan uses. We’d support it.

The McBournie Minute: There’s a reason network TV is free

Television and I used to be really close friends–especially in the days when I wasn’t paying for it. However, cable prices have been skyrocketing over the years, making it one of the worst possible investments. With that in mind, I’ve tried to keep digital cable, and justify it to myself for a long time.

I’m starting to reconsider all this, because most of what I watch is available online or over the air waves, and I don’t even watch that much television anymore. Recently, I got a 40-inch HDTV, and might I say, it’s pretty sweet. But I don’t feel the need to pay extra to get HD channels. Why? Well, I’m often just listening to shows while I’m doing other things, so the quality doesn’t matter, just as long as I get sport in HD.

I get Netflix, so I’m catching up on a lot of my favorite shows, the few shows I do watch that are currently airing I typically watch online, and the networks all broadcast in HD for free, yes, free. So why do I keep paying for cable? It’s simple, the networks pretty much suck. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: There’s a reason network TV is free

You Missed It: Seeing red edition

I don’t know about you guys, but this part of the winter is the worst for me. The holidays are over, it’s cold and miserable, and it’s not even February. On top of all this, all there is to look forward to now is Valentine’s Day. Then again, I had a long weekend when most people didn’t. So in summary, I feel bad for you, dear reader. If you were busy claiming a bastard as your daughter, odds are you missed it.

Wicked huge stunnah
Republican Massachusetts state Senator Scott Brown defeated state Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat, in a special election to fill the seat once held by Ted Kennedy. The GOP’s stunning win is being hailed as an omen of elections to come later this year and puts obstructionism back in the the Congressional vocabulary where it belongs. Thus ends the longest-running Massachusetts curse since the Boston Red Sox 86-year World Series drought.

Another disappointed Bostonian
The end of the LenO’Brien (TM) battle is over. As expected, Conan O’Brien will be leaving The Tonight Show after signing a deal with NBC. In fact, tonight is his last night hosting the show. As part of the severance package, O’Brien will receive $32 million and will be able to pursue other networks as early as September. However, NBC gets the rides to all of the characters he created. This means we can look forward to watching Jay leno do skits with the Masturbating Bear.

This paragraph is brought to you by the good people at GE
Speaking of corporations getting their way (I’m on fire with the segues this week, aren’t I?), the U.S. Supreme Court loosened restrictions on organizations and corporations to campaign spending. In a 5-4 vote, the justices decided that money is a form of free speech, and though they have lots of it, companies should be allow to spend that free speech like a human being would when endorsing a candidate. This is a good thing, because if there’s one problem with elections in America, it’s that politicians don’t listen to special interests enough.

You Missed It: It does a body good edition

You know how it’s the post-holiday season and it’s January, cold and sucky? Well, it’s also nearly Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Which for some people means a long weekend! This, after all, was one of his most famous speech lines, “I have a dream, that one day, the federal government and stock exchanges of this great nation will have the Monday off that is closest to my birthday. I have a dream!” If you were busy blaming voodoo for the Haitian earthquake, odds are you missed it.

So it wasn’t milk after all
To the surprise of literally no one anywhere, former St. Louis Cardinals (of baseball) slugger Mark McGwire admitted he used steroids during his 1998 run to break Roger Maris’ single-season home run record. He cried on television, probably because he was on the female hormone side of the cycle at that point, and said he wished he was never a part of the steroid era in baseball. Unfortunately, he forgot he was the poster child for it. Because he admitted to using illegal drugs, McGwire was promptly arrested and put in jail.

What’s going to happen to Max Weinberg?
NBC’s late night schedule is in flux, yet again. This time, they are canceling the failure that is the Jay Leno Show and moving him back to the Tonight Show, after Tonight host Conan O’Brien said he would not be willing to move the show to 12:05 a.m. to make room for Leno in his old time slot. The LenO’Brien (TM) situation got worse this week after both hosts made a mockery of NBC for the situation. And every other network’s late night hosts focused their displeasure on Leno, who is medically, a bag of douche.

The big, lonely Oval Office
In a recent interview with CBS News, President Barack Obama said he’s very lonely serving as president, because he is alone in his responsibilities and he is separated from regular people because of his office. Loneliness? This man needs some tips from a certain former president.

Take it from Snee: Try not giving a s#%t

The past couple of weeks, I’ve examined the news, looking for topics for this column. There are certain subjects I’ve bypassed, not because I haven’t heard about them or couldn’t think of any quips, but the stories themselves were obvious bait.

I will argue (long after my identity is stolen, my friends’ profiles have devolved into mafia dens and virtual pastures and PayPal wipes out the human race to collect our debts) that the Internet is the greatest thing to happen to communication since the printing press. However, there is a seedier element that has spread from the online community into the established news media: trolling.

“Trolling,” for those of you who are just now joining Facebook, is the act of posting an intentionally inflammatory post in order to elicit a purely negative response. This is different from satire or parody because, when successful, the reader “sees what you did there.”

The latest top news items are trolling. Well, except Haiti …. Unless you’re Pat Robertson, but he’s God’s troll.

I fully realize that, by discussing these stories below, I’m officially not not writing about them. Just bear with me; there will be a point at the end.

Continue reading Take it from Snee: Try not giving a s#%t

You Missed It: Judicial reactivism edition

Kind of seems like Friday rolled around a little earlier this week, doesn’t it? Well, technically it did, since we were all off on Monday. However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t news happening. OK, well that’s not technically true. It was a pretty dull week overall, but nonetheless, important things happened. If you were busy launching a new search engine this week, odds are you missed it.

¿Quien es mas racist?
President Barack Obama nominated federal appellate Judge Sonia Motomayor to replace retiring Justice David Souter for the U.S. Supreme Court. Sotomayor, who is both a woman and of Hispanic ethnicity, got flak from Republicans this week for being a racist pick. On top of that a statement she made a couple years ago where she said a Latina woman would be wiser making some decisions than a white man, has been labeled as racist itself. Yes, because who knows the plight of Hispanics in America better than a 60-year old white guy?

New term: Leno’brien!
Jay Leno steps down from the Tonight Show tonight, bringing an end to 17 years of comedic somethingerother and head bobbles. Conan O’Brien will be given the reins of the show in June. Leno’s not going anywhere though, he’s just moving up a time slot. And because he’s not going anywhere, he’s not getting any fanfare with his exit. So Jay, I personally would like to say goodbye and thank you for all you have done. Your aging audience will miss you, but they will be OK once they figure out they can watch you and go to sleep earlier.

Wait a minute, there’s no lecturing in this online course
National American University is suing porn site Naughty American University this week, for trademark violations, along with having the same acronym and a similar name. National American has been in existence since 1997 and has several campuses, Naught American has been around since 2003 and leads the academic world in sexual puns. In other news, I am no longer excited about starting with the NAU graduate program this fall.

You Missed It: Pay to play edition

Yeah yeah, so You Missed It has been gone for a while, but you should know that your favorite Friday early-afternoon feature just can’t quit you. In fact, you could even say that You Missed It missed you. (So does that mean that you missed you as well? Forget it.)

Moving right along, we’re backfor this week and next, then we’ll see you in 2009. If you were busy telling humans that they are going to destroy the planet, odds are you missed it.

Corruption? In illinois? Go on!
Illinois Gov. Rod “The Rod” Blagojevich was arrested by the FBI this week in connection with corruption charges, the most notable of which was the alleged attempt to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s vacated seat in the U.S. Senate. Just a day prior to his arrest, Blagojevich told local media he was aware of people listening in on his phone calls, including the Chicago Tribune, and challenged them to listen away. It’s nice to see that 2008 has marked a return to scandals we can understand, you know, sex and corruption.

Buy American, that way we don’t have to just take your money from you
The Big Three auto makers (we call them auto makers because it’s the only time we use the word “auto” anymore) plead their cases to Congress, and the message was received–in the House, anyway. A measure to approve the bailout was pretty much derailed in the Senate on Friday, leading the White House to say it would consider funding the bailout. No one has had the heart to tell President George Bush he doesn’t control the money.

Stay tuned for The Late Show
It was announced this week that retiring Late Show host Jay Leno will be starting up a new show on NBC in the 10 p.m. slot. The show would likely be along the lines of his current show, which a topical talk show format. This move is being seen as bold, because it assumes anyone is still watching NBC at 10 p.m. on week nights. In other news Conan O’Brien will be on at 11 when the change is made, which is fine, but that means the nation is in danger of ending its days with Carson Daly.

First new Late Show failure coming up

It happens every time the annointed King of Late Night announces his retirement: the courtiers battle for the not-yet-vacant throne.  This post isn’t about that: we already know that Conan will be the new Leno king … but that is another story.

No, this is about the scurry to fill the other late night slots once the hosts shift around.  For every Craig Ferguson, there is an ill-fated Magic Johnson or Chevy Chase.  They’re the virgin sacrifice to the Safe Comedy Gods, getting some TV time for a week or less, then slaughtered to ensure a solid ten years of unchallenging celebrity jokes.

The first sacrifice has been announced: Jimmy Fallon will most likely take over Conan’s Late Show.  May the Gods be sated with his blood.