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"Let's have fun on television" Jan. 25th, 2010 @ 11:30 pm
"If you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien

The king of late night is dead.  Long live the king.

Conan O'Brien did his final Tonight Show this past Friday, a mere seven months into his tenure as the new host.  This wasn't supposed to happen.  People like me have been waiting for years to see Coco take his rightful throne atop all the other late night clowns.  Seven months.  It's like if Obama got laid off a month after being sworn in so that we could have another term under Bush.

I'm sure at this point everyone has heard what has gone down between Conan, Jay Leno, and NBC.  Personally I really don't wish to re-hash the details again because frankly there's nothing to talk about.  It's happened.  Jay Leno is a pompous shitbag, NBC clearly has no idea what it's doing, and as far as I'm concerned the Tonight Show is over.  If anyone reading this has no idea what I'm talking about, this video will explain it all.  And very clearly.

That's pretty much what happened. Conan turned into the Hulk and apparently Captain America's power comes from the top of his glowing head. It goes without saying that Conan O'Brien deserved better than this. This was supposed to be the dawning of a new renaissance for late-night comedy. After Jay Leno had spent the better part of the past decade making the Tonight Show thoroughly unfunny Conan was finally coming in to return the once great show to Carson-level status. And now, after a mere seven months, it's right back to the old status quo. Goodbye Andy Richter and Masturbating Bear; hello more wacky headlines.

If you have not yet seen Conan's final episode check it out, it's quite a show. Steve Carrell stops by to do Conan's exit interview on behalf of NBC. My professional nemesis Sir Thomas Hanks stopped by and was his usual, charming self. Neil Young performs, and not the song "Hey Hey, My My" as I predicted when I first heard he would be appearing on the final Tonight Show. Plus Beck, Billy Gibbons, and Mister Will Ferrell himself show up for the final close-out. Not to mention all the emotional retrospection and looks back at Conan's epic NBC career. Watch it here: www.hulu.com/watch/122598/the-tonight-show-with-conan-obrien-fri-jan-22-2010#s-p1-so-i0

This got to me:

If anything this whole ordeal with NBC screwing Conan over has made me indeed cynical. Cynical about the whole entertainment business and the process behind it.  It felt like Conan was talking directly to me/the Spitz. I think I can confidently speak on behalf of the whole group when I say that Conan O'Brien has been an inspiration and idol to me for years and if any of us in the Spitz have even half the career he already has then it would be both a fantastic accomplishment and partially due to Conan himself. Thanks for everything Conan O'Brien.  We miss you already, and can't wait to see where you turn up next.

We at Cherry Spitz promise to continue working hard and being kind.  Stay tuned for some amazing things.

[He's as free as a bird now...]

Can you imagine seeing Star Wars for the first time? Jan. 18th, 2010 @ 11:33 pm
I don't know how many of you know my friend/associate Ifechukwude "Ify" Nwadiwe. He is a member of my comedy group and a hugely funny guy. Recently he admitted to the team that he has never seen the original Star Wars trilogy. I sprung into action and got him Empire Strikes Back for Christmas. I know, it seems blasphemous for me to start him on Episode 5 rather than New Hope, but I really wanted to start him on one of [if not what I feel to be] the best of the original trilogy. Plus, lest we forget, every single Star Wars movie opens with all the pertinent information the audience needs to know.

Ify is a good friend despite the fact that we are utter opposites in many ways. For example, I abhor Twitter and other trendy internet fads while Ify Tweets/post more to Facebook than anyone else I know. I stand by my stance that no one on the planet is interesting enough to warrant a constant internet feed of their every unyielding thought, but every so often Twitter offers a unique window into peoples minds while they are at their most honest. The following are Ify's Tweets upon watching Empire for the first time (posted in chronological order):

Oh lando, I don't trust you! - about 3 hours ago from UberTwitter

DAMN YOU LANDO!!!!!!!! - about 3 hours ago from UberTwitter

Don't tell them anything solo! - about 3 hours ago from UberTwitter

R2! Your loud ass alerted boba fett! - about 3 hours ago from UberTwitter

Can someone put C3PO on mute - about 3 hours ago from UberTwitter

Ho shit! His arm got cut off! - about 2 hours ago from UberTwitter

What happened to luke's father? - about 2 hours ago from UberTwitter

No No, not true! That's impossible...NOOOOOOO...NOOOOOOO! - about 2 hours ago from UberTwitter

Thank you for this, Ify. I'm glad you enjoyed your first proper Star War. Now you know how cool Han Solo is, and why I'm having trouble deciding which of his quotes I want to get for my next tattoo. It's between "I know" and "Never tell me the odds!"

[WHO'S scruffy looking?]

The Icarus Project Jan. 7th, 2010 @ 11:54 pm
How does man make the "Ultimate Sandwich"? This is a question that some friends and I have been discussing recently. We seem to keep coming back to a few key factors: Hot meat core, tasty fixins, and a most excellent edible casing for such an affront to God. Since I am the only one of my friends that works in/around a kitchen I took it upon myself to piece together something that could rival the epic "Luther." [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Luther]

After several drafts and debate over components I assembled what we have been referring to as the "Icarus."  Yes, named for the legendary myth of the boy who flew too close to the sun [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus].  See also "Led Zeppelin album covers."  The name is to serve as a warning to those who would challenge it.

Credit for the actual construction goes to Effy, one of the top cooks at my restaurant. The Icarus (Version 1.0) is composed of the following:
- Half pound cheeseburger, with American cheese
- Bacon, roughly 4 pieces in what can only be described as a "bed of bacon"
- One fried egg, over medium
- Two pieces of French Toast, non-sugared of course

Truth be told, I was only able to finish half of it. I'm already toying with other ideas for monstrous challenge entrees. I'm open to suggestions.

[something with chili?...]

McHale vs. Chase, MIB's taco party Oct. 8th, 2009 @ 03:21 pm
I've really been enjoying Community so far. I know a lot of people have been hating on it and trying to find reasons to dislike it, but the show has a solid cast and a setting that's an untapped comedy gold mine. I found this video today featuring the shows two top stars, Joel McHale and Chevy Chase, going back-and-forth trying to out-bastard one another. This made me laugh my ass off; hope you enjoy:

For the record, I love that show where Joe McHale stands in front of a camera and makes fun of black people.

Want some more FoD goodness? You got it! Here is "Elegant Readings with Micaheal Ian Black." I have no idea if the book he is referring to is real or not, but I must read it. Get a taste:

[BYOFB, fucker!]

LB Comic-Con review [or] "Go fuck yourself, San Diego!" Oct. 5th, 2009 @ 01:53 pm
"Love Comics More!" - Printed on the LBCC badges.  Thanks for the suggestion/demand, comic-con badge.

This past weekend I attended the [hopefully] first annual Long Beach Comic Con along with fellow Spitzers "Ify" Nwadiwe and Erik "Egon" Wargo.  We rallied at my 3rd Street hideout on saturday morning and after a tasty diner breakfast down in Belmont Shore the three of us were off to enjoy a kick-ass day of nerd culture.

Special to thanks to Egon and his friend "Z" who were able to get me a free pass for the event.  An "Exhibitor" pass, no less.  I hadn't felt that special since that year we snuck onto the SD Comic-Con floor an hour before it opened.  And having missed this year's SD Comic-Con International for the first time since I started going, it meant a lot for me to go to this con and recharge my geek batteries for the year.  Thanks again.

The thing that immediately set the Long Beach con apart from the big show in San Diego was just the sheer size and volume.  There were plenty of people there yet it didn't feel overcrowded like San Diego has in recent years.  Egon kept remarking how he could twirl his arms openly while walking the aisles and not hit people left-and-right.  The floor itself was maybe one-fifth the size of the floor at SD but their were still plenty of exhibitors, booths, artist alleys, toy vendors, and more.  Old Comic-Con stand-by Lou Ferrigno was there, as always, selling 30-year-old pictures of himelf.  I know I've covered him in Con blogs past.  I couldn't help but notice Anthony Michael Hall had his own booth though I have no idea what he was there promoting.  I regret not getting a picture of the sign above his booth that simply read "Anthony Michael Hall."  And a new Comic-Con all-time highlight occurred when I was able to snap a digital picture of STAN friggin LEE... from a distance.  Yeah the man is a god and all but I just didn't feel like waiting in line for an hour for a minute of facetime with the man.  I'll see him again.  Plus it's not like he's ever going to die.

We spent a bit of time at the Nintendo booth.  I played both the new edition of Punch-Out! for the Wii as well as some of the new Mario Bros Wii game.  I'm disappointed to say that I was able to beat neither.  To be fair, I'm way out of shape and practice on Punch-Out! and the Canadian fighter is a real sonofabitch.  But Mario Bros?  I myself am shocked with that one.  Normally I can run any Mario Bros game blindfolded.  Why do I always have such crappy luck when I plan videogames at con?

Al Snow was the only person at Comic-Con who recognized that my shirt was from a comicbook.  That is so fucking cool to me.

One of the highlights from LB Comic Con for me personally was the wrestling ring they had set up in one corner of the con floor.  SoCal based Mach One Wrestling was their putting on a free show at the convention and promoting their upcoming shows and wrestling academy.  Two of the "Stars" they had at their booth signing autographs were Scotty 2 Hotty (aka Scott Taylor, one half of the team Too Cool) and Al Snow (former WWE wrestler/trainer, Mick Foley friend/nemesis).  Both guys were really cool.  Scotty seemed a bit quiet and subduded at the signing, but it was awesome to see him come alive when he wrestled later that day.  AL Snow was cool as hell and we talked for a few minutes.  I ended up buying a JOB Squad t-shirt and getting an autographed glossy from him.  Oddly enough he was in way better shape then Scott, and he wasn't even wrestling.  It was really cool to see Al Snow later at the wrestling match watching the action intently and enjoying it as much as the fans around him.  When I asked him I could hold Head he said of course not, he's the only one Head allows to handle him.

The only panel we went to was for Robot Chicken, and I honestly couldn't even tell you what else was on the programming schedule.  I don't even think I looked.  The Robot Chicken guys are all great, I've seen them at a few cons previously.  They're always really funny and interact with their fans really well.  Ify had never been to any kind of comic-con before and the Robot Chicken panel ended up being a good crash course for him in both panel etiquette and what to expect from open-mic Q&A sessions.  Some of the lessons covered:  1) You don't all need to individually thank the crerators of the show for makng it.  If you're getting up to ask a question at the Robot Chicken panel at comic-con then it's assumed you're a fan, and you don't need to reiterate that. 2) No one gives a shit that you're a fledgling voice-actor.  No one.  Not a goddamn person in this whole giant conference room.  And certainly not the people onstage whose time you're wasting.  If you honestly thought that the Q&A at the Robot Chicken panel was gonna be your audition for Seth Green then you clearly have no idea how the show is even made.  3) DO NOT PITCH YOUR OWN CRAPPY SKETCH IDEAS.  None of them aren't retarded.  And as it turns out even less people are interested in the fact that you're a fledgling stand-up comic.

The Robot Chicken panel was a fantastic mix of hilarious [thanks to the cast/crew] and irritating [due to lame and unaware fanboys].  We all learned a lot.  After the panel we went across the street to CPK for lunch, where I had a big gay drink and Ify hit on the waitress.  Oh, and we think we saw John Dolmayan(former drummer for SOAD) walk by when we were waiting out front.  Erik spotted him and shouted "System!" out of respect, of course.  The girl he was with was wicked hot.  There was a lot of that at LB Comic-Con actually: a remarkable number of gorgeous, tattooed girls at a comic convention.  I was in heaven.

After lunch it was back to the con floor for the wrestling show.  It was a great little live event with several dozen people around the ring watching and cheering.  Egon noted all the crowd interaction and how much fun it was to just yell at and jeer the wrestlers you don't like.  It seems M1 Wrestling has absorbed a lot of the remaining UPW talent in the area, as I recognized several names on the card.  It was cool seeing guys like Under Pressure, "Hardcore Kidd" Aaron Aguilera, and Scott Lost.  Lost's tag-team "Philipino Fight Club" had a great tag match.  There was a women's match that featured a girl named Candace LaRae who was dressed in Ghostbusters-based ring attire.  It was undeniably sexy.  She won the match, and in a way we all won.  The show had booked a double main event, the first of which was Magnum PI-themed [seriously] Joey Ryan versus Scotty 2 Hotty.  Scotty got the crowd to straight blow up.  Yet despite a good showing by S2H, Ryan was able to steal the victory by using the ropes in the pinfall.  The final match [and big draw for me] was M1 Wrestling Champion "Red Tornado" James Morgan going one-on-one with former WWE tag champ Paul London.  London is a speedy, aerial-based wrestler and in my opinion one of the most talented guys working today.  The two of them put on a great match; we even got to see London go for his shooting star press/"London Calling" from the top rope.  The match itself had a quick and somewhat confused ending which saw Morgan get the pin and retain his title.  It was one of those situations where it wasn't clear if the ref meant to call the 3-count or not.  Despite the sudden ending the entire wrestling show itself was awesome and everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

The day was pretty much over after the wrestling show.  Though as we were leaving a group of girls (featuring a costumed Dr. Girlfriend and Leela) stopped me and asked for a picture "Because I look like Seth Rogen."  How could I say no?  That tiny piece of nerd-celebrity status is enough to feed my mighty ego for some time.  Plus... Suck on that, Man-Fay!!!

LB Comic Con was not only rad, but super rad.  I hope it becomes an annual event.

[Go Team Glasses!]

Other entries
» On second thought, I can't let this one slide
"I'm gonna make you a mixtape. You like Phil Collins?"
"I've got two ears and a heart, don't I?" - Tracy Jordan and Jack Donaghy, on 30 Rock. Congrats on the Emmys guys.

I first saw this video sunday morning, and in 3 days the song still has a vice grip on my brain. So now I am effectively making my problem your problem. Seriously let this video play through; it is indeed a classic 80s gem if nothing else. Drink it, drink all of it:

I'll try and keep my thoughts on this one streamlined and on-point.  Here we go!

1.  If you're going to take a helicopter tour of anywhere I highly recommend beautiful, scenic London.  Also, helicopter is by far the best way of getting from an interview to your video shoot.  It's my favorite at least.

2.  The song itself, "Easy Lover", has several implications.  By nature of it being a duet, the song suggests that Philip and Phil are singing about a girl that they've both banged.  And yet they were still able to come together afterwards in salt-and-pepper-toned metallic shimmer suits and sing about it.  True friendship.

3.  Nice vest, Collins.  God you're white.

4.  I love all the footage of the two of them just hanging out being buddies.  Duets are that much better when you know the two people singing together are actually friends.  You're sure as hell not gonna see any of today's pop stars reviewing lines with eachother while getting their hair cut, or going over dance steps in front of a crowd.  Bailey and Collins are clearly BFFs.

5.  My absolute favorite moment in the video happens at 3:20 when Collins is pitching the weird glittery vest-and-headband costume to Bailey who just rolls his eyes.  "Oh Phil..." *cue sitcom laughtrack*

6.  HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE WORKING ON THIS SET?  They have an entire control room working just for a video shoot.  Obviously so as not to miss a second of the creative glory that is the combined musical efforts of Philip Bailey and Phil mothafuckin Collins.  It takes less people to keep Iron Man running for Christ's sake.

7.  People can say what they will about Phil Collins [and believe me, I do], but his music is straight-up awesome.

["Rockin good stuff"]

» Remember how vampires used to be cool?
I just watched the trailer for New Moon, the upcoming Twilight sequel. There goes two minutes I'll never get back.

It kills me that the Twilight series has become as big as it has. As I was watching the preview I kept thinking to myself "Wow, this looks like One Tree Hill except with more vampires and shirtless boys." At least all these kids are great actors, and I know we'll be talking about Robert Pattinson's onscreen talent for years to come. [I actually laughed out loud while typing that last sentence.]

I don't even want to repost the video. It's that bad, and I want no part in helping to promote the Twilight product. I thought that's what the VMAs the other night were for. High school kids will truly buy any bullshit that MTV pitches them. And PS, if you are a Twilight fan who's older than 18 then you are obviously emotionally and/or mentally crippled in some way.

Vampire movies used to be a viable and beloved sub-genre of horror cinema. Now they've devolved to the point where we're basically taking scripts from episodes of The Hills and slapping a coat of vampire on them. It makes me indescribably sad and I pray that zombie movies are never [and I mean NEVER] bastardized in such a way. In fact, let's take this opportunity to reflect on some of the good vampire movies from years past, before children took over the whole scene. What are some of your favorite vampire flicks? Who are your top vampire heroes and villains? Preferred vampire-slaying weapon? Discuss!

Here's a great example of a vamp classic: From Dusk till Dawn. Now I know the franchise itself spiraled into madness due to the many subsequent sequels/prequels, but the first one is definitely on the Vampire Movie Top Ten. Plus it features the onscreen team of George Clooney and Quentin Tarrentino[!], some awesome weapon improvization, and a Mexican stripclub full of hot vampires! This movie rules. Plus it reminds us all of how good vampire movies used to be: Full of actual sexuality and graphic killing, not BS high school drama and kids hanging out in the woods.

You've all been so kind to read my ridiculous little vampire rant so I figure y'all deserve a treat. Here's the original trailer for the abovementioned "good" vampire movie. Pay attention, kids. This is how a motherfucking vampire movie is supposed to be:

[Now accepting your hate mail.]

» Let me show you my Happy Place
"It is difficult to hold the world's interest for more than a half hour at a time. I myself have done so successfully every day for twenty years." - Salvador Dali.

Salvador Dali is one of my all time favorite artists and considered a master of the surrealist style. His most famous piece "The Persistence of Memory" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Persistence_of_Memory.jpg) is a classic in both an aesthetic sense and as a piece of art history.  In the early 1940s Dali was trying his hand at film in America, doing screen tests and working with such classic talents as Jean Gabin and Alfred Hitchcock.  In 1946 Dali teamed up with Walt Disney to create an animated short entitled "Destino," based on a song by Mexican songwriter Armando Dominguez.  Eight months into production, however, the project ran into financial troubles and eventually fell apart.  It was not until 2003 that the piece was actually completed by Baker Bloodworth and Roy Disney.  Over the past few years it has been exhibited at various film festivals worldwide.

This isn't a joke [as most of my video postings are].  This is simply a beautiful piece of animation/film from the mind of an artistic visionary.  I absolutely love "Destino" and watch it whenever I'm down and need a quick boost of pure beauty in my life.  I've always found it to be very soothing and serene; my own happy place if you will.  Hope you enjoy it:

[For more information on Salvador Dali consult your local library.]

» I love you, Dalton
Patrick Swayze

Today we lost an American hero. A hero who fought for his country when it was being invaded by the Soviets. A hero who made a name for himself cleaning up middle America's roadside bars. A hero who danced... dirtily...

Patrick Swayze was an unforgettable performer and his movies will be treasured forever. Few other leading men in Hollywood have ever been badass like Swayze; he could knock your ass out with a spin kick and then ballroom dance the night away with your girl. Truly one of a kind.

To celebrate the memory of a man I have several times referred to as "The greatest actor to ever walk God's green earth," I'd like to share with you my favorite piece of Swayze history. Most of you probably know where I'm going with this. Anyways, please to enjoy (apologies for less than ideal video quality, it was the best i could find):

"Nobody puts baby in a corner." -One of the stupidest movie lines ever.

[I'll be watching "Road House" for the next four months.]

» Am I gay if...
... I find Seth Green posing as Daisy de la Hoya way more attractive than the actual Daisy de la Hoya?

God help me that magic little man looks good in a wig and fake titties. And all of his Daisy jokes are really well written. Plus, watch Seth climb Joel McHale like a tree:

"Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he'd put on a dress and play a girl bunny?" - Garth Algar, hero of public access television.

[Faker than an episode of "The Hills"]

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