Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

Your moment of Zen

February 11, 2015

Ah, Jonny, we hardly knew ye. Even after 16 years.

I saw this coming a while back. His was a fine line to walk with an impossible burden to bear — being both a comedian and a newsman at the same time. He knew it was wrong, but he did it anyway.

And Jon Stewart was very good at it, for a very long time.

But it had become clear that he’d lost his enthusiasm for professional multiple-personality disorder — Am I a comedian? A newsman? Something else entirely? — and the nightly performance anxiety must have been withering, with acolytes and assholes alike hanging on his every word.

The targets of his barbs will be cackling with glee and flinging a few feeble darts of their own in his direction as he departs. That will be irksome, but not as irksome as wondering who — if anyone — can follow Jon Stewart’s act.

What, now we have to start paying attention to the real news? That shit don’t be funny, yo.

• Editor’s note: The video up top may be Jon Stewart’s first interview. It’s a clip from the special “George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy,” which first aired in February 1997. If you’ve never seen it, check Kindly Old Doc Google. You probably won’t find the entire thing in one place, but there are bits here and here and here.

R.I.P., Robin Williams

August 11, 2014

There should be a law against really funny people doing themselves in.

I’m talking the harshest possible punishment here: Bring them back to life and make them be funny some more.

That’ll teach ’em.

June bugged

June 1, 2014
The Old Guy got a radical kit makeover for the Giro.

The Old Guy got a radical kit makeover for the Giro.

You ever get the feeling someone hit the fast-forward button on your own personal reality? Lately it seems as though I’m stuck in a high-speed loop — wake up, snag a cup of mud, plunk down before the iMac, and then suddenly it’s bedtime. Repeat ad infinitum.

For instance, how the hell did it get to be June already? The Giro just wrapped, and the Dauphiné starts next Sunday? What is it, racing season or something? Next you’ll be telling me the Tour’s just around the corner.

Consigliere Pelkey and I had a high ol’ time calling the Giro over at Live Update Guy. He solved the never-ending software problem by getting a colleague to build him some, and it worked just swell. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but you don’t need many of those for the sort of one-ring circus we run.

That tent folded this morning. Tomorrow I have an Adventure Cyclist deadline, and Thursday my Bicycle Retailer contributions are due. In between we have Herself’s mother and sisters in residence at The House Back East™, so, yes, my dance card is all filled up for a while yet, thanks for asking.

Also tomorrow, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off in San Francisco, and the usual oracles are predicting bits of this, that and the other.

I’m hoping the elves of Cupertino have been busy stomping bugs in Mavericks, because the old iBeast has been acting out now and then since I pulled the trigger on the OS upgrade (our fourth, after Herself’s MacBook Pro, the Mac Mini we use to stream video, and my MacBook Air). Those newish machines are all ticking along without incident, but with the 2009 iToad I’ve seen hard crashes that can’t be force-quit away; mystery reboots not ordered by Your Humble Narrator; and other oddball ailments that have me spending way too much off-the-clock time discussing diagnoses with kindly old Doc Google.

Right this moment all is well, but boy, does Mavericks ever use a metric shit-ton of whatever memory you have installed. I have 12 GB in the iThing, and more than once over the weekend Activity Monitor reported that 11 of it was in use.

Meanwhile, the 2006 MacBook limps along just fine with Snow Leopard and 2 GB of memory. Go figure.

Wave dynamics redux

June 18, 2013
Five reasons you should wave back.

Five reasons you should return a friendly wave.

Editor’s note: The Twitterati are abuzz with references to various wave/not wave essays, which goes to show you that the times, they are not a-changin’, no matter what Mr. Dylan said. I wrote this piece for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News back in 1995.

I swear to Eddy Merckx, the next time I wave cheerily at a passing cyclist and he just gives me The Look, I’m gonna chase his arrogant ass down, knock him off his bike, drag him back to my house and chain him to a wind trainer in front of the television, where a steady diet of anaerobic-threshold intervals and “Full House” reruns — coupled with a chamois full of red ants and occasional encouragement from a Bull Buster cattle prod — should drive home the argument that courtesy is the grease which keeps society’s bottom bracket spinning freely.

What is with these guys? Unlike passing motorists, I generally wave with all five fingers on a given hand, and there are no pentagrams tattooed on my palms. Has the mousse that grips their so-carefully coiffed ’dos soaked through their scalps to enmire the already-sluggish machinations of their brains? Are their Oakleys so dark that they simply can’t see my friendly salutation? Have they heard the ugly rumors about me, their sisters and the Sonoran donkey?

Beats me. I have no answers. But, as you might expect, I have a few theories. And here they are:

• Me Cool, You Lame — You, the non-waver, may think that your bike and/or cycling attire is way neater than mine, and that to wave would be to compromise your coolness. But I’m a Media Dude, see, and that means my bike is so much cooler than anybody else’s that I have to let it get all grunged up and filthy-looking just to keep wanna-bes like Claudia Schiffer and Tom Hanks from trying to steal it. Should anyone make off with this bike, of course, I can track them by the hideous shrieking of its 4-year-old, unlubed Dura-Ace chain. But I won’t bother, because I’ve got three or four even cooler ones at home that I never, ever ride, and I didn’t pay a nickel for any of them. Hahahahah.

• I Have a Goatee and You Do Not. This is a corollary to Me Cool, You Lame. It’s also on a par with thinking a Murray preferable to a Merlin. I sport a full salt-and-pepper beard and a sizable bald spot because of a nagging case of testosterone poisoning picked up in Vietnam when I was teaching Chuck Norris all about karate. You, on the other hand, wear a straggly soup-strainer named for a smelly barnyard animal fond of eating garbage, and it doesn’t even cover your zits all that well. As my daddy was fond of saying, if you can’t grow more hair on your face than you can on your butt, you should shave.

• I’m Too Scared to Take One Hand Off the Bars. This is a theory with potential, since most velo-snobs seem to spend all their free time rifling Mom’s purse for the cash to buy purple chainrings and trying to trials-ride the tables at Espresso Yourself instead of practicing basic cycling skills, like waving to other cyclists, riding a straight line, and and blowing your nose without getting boogers all over your Banesto jersey.

• I’m Dumber Than a Food Stamp Office Full of Suntour Executives. Also a theory with potential, this assumes big lag time between the eyes registering an occurrence — a friendly wave, a big smile, the development of trouble-free indexed shifting — and the brain processing the information: “Duhhh … hand up; smile on face; duhhhh … he was WAVING, George! Yuh, yuh, that’s right … he was WAVING, George! Can I pet the rabbits now, George?” That’s a Steinbeck reference, dude. Jeez, four years in grammar school and four years of reform school, and you didn’t learn nothing in either place.

• Don’t Bother Me, I Am a Racer. “Look, Marlin, it’s a USCF licensee! And here we thought they were extinct! We’ve got to move quickly — I’ll get the tranquilizer rifle and the ear tags; you call the Smithsonian and National Geographic!

• Exercise is Serious Business. Sure it is. So is getting chained to a wind trainer by an irate stranger with a sound-proofed basement, an ant farm and a cattle prod. Think about it … then wave.

Everyone’s a winner, bargains galore

June 1, 2013

wiggo-pythonToday is the neighborhood’s biennial yard sale, an event during which one hopes against all reason that strangers will cart off one’s useless bullshit and leave money in its place. This makes the tooth-fairy tale seem reasonable by comparison.

And now for something completely different: There is no truth to the rumor that Bradley Wiggins is skipping the 2013 Tour de France in order to stand in for the late Graham Chapman in a revival of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

After Oprah, what?

January 12, 2013

From the creators of “Jersey Shore” comes “Redneck Riviera.” Conceived by Ron White (“They Call Me Tater Salad”), it stars Lone Star Staters Lance Armstrong, former President George W. Bush, Gov. Rick “Goodhair” Perry, Jessica Simpson, Randy Quaid, Meat Loaf, Vanilla Ice and Gary Busey as a potted palm.

In the first episode, Randy Quaid Skypes from Canada to bet Meat Loaf that Jessica Simpson can’t suck a golf ball through a garden hose from Mustang Island to Port Aransas. Meanwhile, Gov. Perry challenges President Bush to a tongue-wrestling contest, and Lance Armstrong wonders over a succession of Shiner Bocks how Oprah would look in a blonde wig and whether Club Fed-Three Rivers has a runway long enough to accommodate his private jet.

How does this make you feel?

January 8, 2013

Guess who’s going on Oprah?

I really should avoid redistributing shit like this, but it sure beats trying to write your own comedy while recovering from the Masque of the Red Death. As the NYVelocity crowd noted via Twitter, “Oh fer chrissakes there’s another Toto outrun by reality.”

Joe Lindsey has tweeted a call for questions to be posed to TCWSNBN, and some of the offerings are worth a look. If you are of the Twitterati, look for hashtag #questionsforlance. Hell, kick in a few yourselves. Everybody dance.

Not-so-wise crack

October 22, 2012

This just in: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has recalled Mitt Romney’s magic underwear as defective. Apparently it shows too much asshole and not enough balls.

Cancer Jesus gets nailed

October 22, 2012

The old sheriff is a ni. …

August 30, 2012

Shorter GOP convention.

Shorter Democratic response.

That is all.