Saturday, August 30, 2008

Obscure SNL Skit of the Week: Iconoclasts with Charles Barkley and Björk

This newie and goodie, featuring the underrated Kenan Thompson and the always hilarious Kristen Wiig, popped up toward the end of one of this most recent season's episodes. I think I watched it about a dozen times in a row when I first saw it on DVR.

"Hahaha! Oh, Bork...."

Related: Obscure SNL Skit 1, Obscure SNL Skit 2.

What a surprise! Another awful Toyota commercial!

I know Toyota is a Japanese car company, but despite the fact that their American commercials are made in the good ol' U.S. of A., there's still something lost in translation with so many of their idiotic ads.

It's a special brand of hate, really. I don't like many car commercials to begin with. At all. They're rarely original, often jam-packed with numbers and percentages and stock footage of vehicles driving in scenic locales. But I've always spewed the most venom at ads for Toyota, which ironically makes really nice cars.

There was the 2007 Camry ad that makes men look spineless and women look insane. And the Tacoma ad that unintentionally praises a competing truck.

And then there's this newer one that I should like because it offers a car with good fuel economy, but loses all credibility at just the 3-second mark with the dopey deejay who asks his supposed listeners about gas prices by asking if they "love 'em (or) hate 'em":

Clearly that radio station has call letters of WTF on the east coast or KRZY on the west. Unless the station is exclusively pumping the show into the ears of ExxonMobil employees on an oil rig, I highly doubt anyone's calling in to celebrate gas prices that make my face melt.

So what's more likely/offensive? That Toyota just got lazy with writing the copy for the deejay? Or that some ad wizard suggested that "love 'em" be added to the line so that the 0.0000000000001 percent of us who actually profit off high oil prices will consider buying a Toyota?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Why you should sing neither "Ice Ice Baby" nor "Under Pressure" at karaoke

Everyone at the bar is going to secretly wish for the other one.

Just think about it. The crowd buzzes upon hearing the "doom doom doom do-do doom-doom" of the bassline and wonders if pressure's going to come down on you or if you're going to stop, collaborate and listen.

And once you reveal your selection, there's the automatic let-down: You're either doing the original, which, while superior, has far inferior goofy ironic value, or the ripoff that every drunk flock of girls or frat boys has bludgeoned to death.

But gun to my head, if I were a tenor, I'd pick "Under Pressure." Straight-up rap songs without some kind of melodic vocals to break up the spoken word just don't work well at karaoke. At that point, it's basically glorified TelePrompTer reading.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Perhaps my favorite Ronald McDonald commercial of all time other than the holiday one when he picks up the sniffly kid who can't ice skate

Back in 1991, America was facing turbulent times. Mired between the neon '80s and the dot-com '90s, we as a society were battling recession, the Rodney King aftermath, huge pants and a whole lotta blah. (Had a whole lotta blah! Nyerrrr!)

But one man had the courage. The courage to transform beatboxing into a 4-year-old's impersonation of exploding bombs. The courage to possibly add "Fuh" as a prefix to the word "cool," making it sound vaguely dirty. The courage to shield himself from the trends of the era -- whether they be flat-tops or mohawks -- and just be himself.

I think Jesus Jones summed it up best that year when they sang, "I was alive and I waited for this."

If Mr. McDonald hadn't already earned the title of "Sir Ronald," then certainly this contribution to Madison Avenue warranted knighthood.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pucker up

An online chat, held moments ago:
Christina: and i had a brownie and a lemon square ...
Me: funny... i had a lemon and a brownie square
Christina: hmmm most people dont eat lemons
Me: well i do. and my mouth hasn't unwound itself from a pucker position since
Me: total strangers think i'm trying to kiss them
Me: and i am, but that's besides the point

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

And the winner for best-chorus/worst-everything-else song of all time is...

Gary Wright's "Dreamweaver."

Seriously, from the spacey, endless clashing intro/outro to the ball-less snoozefest verses, the non-chorus cacophony is pretty much the worst thing ever compared to the catchy, groovy, chewy nougat center:

There's a reason "Wayne's World" only uses the chorus the first time Wayne Campbell sees Cassandra.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Facebook Status Updates: Part I

And now some of my best Facebook Status Updates from the last month, in reverse-chronological order:

- Chris is a 100-meter butterfly that has nothing to do with swimming.

- Chris is torn; China's gymnasts were no older than 16 COMBINED, but they still won the Gold. Technically, isn't that more impressive?

- Chris is dressed to maim.

- Chris thinks gold-medalist Natalie Coughlin is cute but looks better with wet hair.

- Chris is Michael Phelps except for all that swimming.

- Chris just saw one of his old high school yearbook quotes was from "Night Court": "It's so hard to say au revoir, so let's just say au gratin."

- Chris has little to no voice left from last night's Police concert, which at one point also featured actual police on stage playing along to "Message In A Bottle."

- Chris is Synchronicity I ... and II.

- Chris is not your name/He knows what you're up to just the same/He will listen hard to your intuition/He will see it come to its fruition.

- Chris caved and uploaded the "legit" Scrabble application. Ugh.

- Chris fears hygiene and plot issues when it comes to traveling pants.

- Chris shouldn't be surprised that ignorant people hate teachers, but he's disappointed nonetheless.

- Chris has the wussiest injury in the history of everything: A sore left hand from hitting it too hard with a tambourine at post-wedding karaoke.

- Chris now knows that at least 23 of you have iPhones because you've installed the Facebook application to them. And, yes, he's jealous.

- Chris will never not find Steve Carell in "Anchorman" hilarious.

- Chris thinks the words "Spuyten Duyvil" shouldn't exist, let alone be flaunted on a Metro-North sign.

- Chris reminds you that the National League sucks.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vermont hates Michael Phelps

According to today's main SportsNation poll, Vermont is the only state whose majority of Internet voters thinks American swimmer Michael Phelps won't win eight gold medals in the Beijing Olympics:
Even the rest of the WORLD -- except for maybe, well, France -- agrees there's no stopping Phelp Phever. But don't expect Ben & Jerry's to start shipping out mass quantities of Phelpraline Delight anytime soon.

It's probably because Vermonters are voting with their minds instead of their hearts, but part of me wishes that it's because they're all walking around with Mark Spitz mustaches that scream Ron Burgundy.

And in case you're wondering, Spitz is from California, making this voting trend even more baffling.