Discovery Channel still has it


The Discovery Channel switched over from educational programming to reality shows (except for that one week when they air every shark show ever made) years ago. But, they like to test the audience to see if they still have their old credibility every so often by airing their equivalent of Fox’s Alien Autopsy.

Viewers were taken in once again by Discovery’s “what if?” documentary, Mermaids: The Body Found despite it not being about ghost hunting, crab fishing or pumpkin chunkin’. Despite this repeated success, executives are worried about being called the Network Who Cried Mermaid and have greenlit several new test specials, including:

  • How It’s Made: Crack Coccaine, AIDS and Other Government Inventions
  • Lobstermen: They’re Actually Half-Lobster, Half-Man
  • Gullible: It’s Written On Your Ceiling (No, Really. Look!)

Freedom chickens come home to roost

It took over eight years, but France has finally gotten back at certain Americans’ slights in the build-up to the Iraq War. The French Superior Audiovisual Council (CSA) has banned the terms “Facebook” and “Twitter” from their radio and television broadcasts, except when listed as a source of specific information when their journalists investigate stories as lazily as ours do.

One of CSA’s board members, Christine Kelly, explained their decision:

“Why give preference to Facebook, which is worth billions of dollars, when there are many other social networks that are struggling for recognition? This would be a distortion of competition. If we allow Facebook and Twitter to be cited on air, it’s opening a Pandora’s Box – other social networks will complain to us saying, ‘why not us?'”

Unfortunately, her quote has inadvertently raised the stock of Pandora Radio, where you can listen to free Internet radio, find new music and participate in the Music Genome Project. Ms. Kelly never intended for you to know that it’s a new kind of radio–stations that only play music you like. And she certainly never meant to send you to today!

Today’s Forecast: Cloudy, with a chance of flaming eyeball

To test their new emergency broadcast system without alerting citizens, Hungary’s disaster agency will broadcast warnings today of adverse weather in Middle Earth locations. State radio and television stations will report “floods and catastrophic weather in Gondor, Rohan, Rivendell, Helm’s Deep and other locations inhabited by Hobbits, Orcs, Elves, Ents and Dwarves.”

Unfortunately, it still backfired: New Zealand has already reported receiving aid kits from saddened Hungarians.

(Via Alexis)

The McBournie Minute: History That Happened in the Past (1950-1959)

When I was in school, in history classes they only taught us up until the end of World War II. This was not because I was going to school in the 1940s, but the teachers just ran out of steam or did not want to cover any of the controversial topics of the rest of the 20th century. The Nazis were evil, we beat them, America is a super power, the end. I had one high school American History course that made it to the Marshall Plan.

Still, I feel like something happened in those remaining 55 years that could better explain where we are today. That’s why I, Bryan McBournie, who minored in history, am here to help you learn about what happened through the decades since World War II. If you watch enough television  or listen to enough music ,you should know some of this yourself.

I’m starting with the 1950s. Why? Because nothing happened from 1946 to 1949 and you know it. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: History That Happened in the Past (1950-1959)

The McBournie Minute: Quiet on the tee, please

When I was a kid–wait, where are you going? Stop it. I promise this isn’t some sort of “I remember when” story, despite how the lead sentence sounds. Can we start over again?

When I was a kid, I knew on weekends I could always find my dad watching golf on television. He would eat his lunch, a bologna and cheese sandwich with potato chips mixed in, and sit for hours watching. I tried in earnest several times to watch it with my dad, but my interest always wained.

You see, golf on TV is really, really boring, and this is coming from someone who sits through entire baseball games.

Sure, you can follow along if you know where everyone is and who is leading in the tournament, but the coverage is forced to skip around from one hole to the next after a single shot. This is because nearly every hole has action going on (that’s what she said) and it takes so long for golfers to walk to their next shot. The result is something along the lines of picking up a book, reading page 1, then skipping to page 56, then going to 32, then to page 2 and so on. There’s not much of a story told unless you unscramble it yourself. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Quiet on the tee, please

You Missed It: We interrupt this broadcast edition

It’s not easy writing these things when big, tragic news happens during the week. You see, we can’t just ignore significant happenings, but we can’t make jokes about it either. This week is one of those weeks. I am speaking, of course, about the news that Chastity Bono is getting a sex change. Hope all of you are OK out there. If you were busy checking into rehab for depression and alcoholism–again, Mr. Congressman–odds are you missed it.

The transition will not be televised
By midnight, every television station has to stop broadcasting its analog signals and switch over to digital. This means that over 2 million people who depend on rabbit ears but don’t have a converter will be without their favorite appliance. On a more serious note, this also means that they will be without important information like emergency broadcast-type stuff. But for everyone else, it means you can watch the lame summer shows the big four air during the summer months sharper than ever before!

Tobacco, why do you make us keep hitting you?
Members of Congress, many of whom smoke or are backed by tobacco companies, passed a bill that gives the Food and Drug Administration regulation powers over tobacco. President Barack Obama, who himself smokes, said he looks forward to signing the bill, much like he looked forward to increasing federal taxes on tobacco products earlier this year. So for those of you playing along at home, yes, smoking is still cool, but it’s even cooler to be dependent on the tobacco industry in some way and slight it every chance you get. Self-loathing is what’s hip. Smoke, then hit yourself until you cry.

And ESPN still plays up the rivalry angle
Finishing up their third series of the 2009 season, the Boston Red Sox are a perfect 8-0 against the New York Yankees, a feat that has never happened in 90 or so years of baseball. Not saying that to gloat, or to point out that the Yankees’ season seems to be one of the most happily frustrating season we’ve seen in a while. I am not about to draw any parity to a perfect Boston-based team going up against a New York team some view as underrated. No, there’s no parallel in any other sport. On an unrelated note, how weird was it that there was no Super Bowl this year?

Israeli television is very serious business

Here at SG, there are few things we don’t find humor in–recent tragedies, rape, the Boston Red Sox–and add to that list assault. Nope, assault is just not funny in the least.

In Israel, a former television star got really upset with executives who shot down his best chance for a big time comeback. He was so upset about it that he hired some thugs to rough them up. Two men and a woman ended up getting beaten up. His lawyer (notice how we’re not making jokes about a story about Jews involving the media and lawyers) of course is denying that anything like that happened.

Why are we telling you all this?

His name is Dudu Topaz. Yes, Dudu. Israel had a huge ratings getter with a first name of Dudu.


Comedy writers prepare for June 8 Palin speech

Comedy writers ranging from The Daily Show to blogs like this and even your mom’s weekly “hee-mail” are cracking their knuckles, getting ready for a return to the good old days before economic reports and Jim Cramer.

For the first time since two weeks ago, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will return to the public eye on June 8 as the keynote speaker at the annual Republican Senate-House Dinner. Writers are licking their chops, already backfiling graphics requests for Palin’s head photoshopped onto various scenes, like on an iceflow or at a klansmeeting.

In some cases, we’ve received reports of Web sites having already written their articles upon the AP news release. They figure Palin will rehash the latest GOP talking points, plus a few “alsos” and “such ases,” and the rest of their stories would only require minor edits from there.

We, here at SG, however, will just file our story now:

Sarah Palin Sarah Palin Sarah Palin Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin Sarah Palin Sarah Palin Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin.

Watching TV from beyond the grave

Some think that death is the end of troubles (not to mention, one’s life). That sentiment is true only for the lucky. Unfortunately, Germany’s Adam Reis is not one of the lucky few.

Some of our nerdier readers may know Reis as a famous mathematician. For everyone else, he was a smart guy who died in 1559. However, that doesn’t mean a deadbeat like him and get out of paying his television bills. A club set up and Reis’ home in his honor received a bill demanding Reis pay for his television and radio usage.

One of the members of the club called the company to inform them that Reis had died over 400 years ago, so there was no way he had ever watched television, has it had not yet been invented. But like cable companies in the U.S., the ones in Germany seem not to care about silly matters like that. A bill reminder was sent to Reis a few days later.

Take it from Snee: Lightning Round 3 (Hard Thunder)

So we just got through an election and the first half of Thanksgristmas, and that means I had to listen to a lot of stupid. This is the third time we’ve gone through this, so I shouldn’t have to explain it to you.

And if you’re new here, welcome and try not to get your ass in my foot’s way. Continue reading Take it from Snee: Lightning Round 3 (Hard Thunder)