We all remember where we were when Magic Johnson announced his retirement from the NBA in 1991, and I’m sure you guys feel the same way about when I announced my retirement from blogging in December. It just didn’t seem fair. A legendary career snuffed out while still in its prime.
Well, ever since that announcement, I’ve been mulling over exactly what I wanted to do. Could I really hang up my Macbook Air? Could I really keep quiet over the success of lesser talents? Would The Bachelor even stay on the air without me propping it up for the last 10 years?
These were difficult questions for me to wrestle with, but I’m happy to tell you that I did come up with some answers.
I am in fact done recapping The Bachelor. I’ve said all that could be said. I always feel like I’m making jokes I’ve done before. And it really kills my Monday nights because that’s also when my basketball league is, and let’s face it, my team needs me and needs my laser like focus.
In a related note, I’ve been working on my Dirk Nowitzki one leg step back mid-range jumper, and it is extremely effective. I’m actually starting to feel bad for defenders.
I’ll be honest though, it’s gonna be tough missing out on the Kaitlyn and Britt team up. It’s almost like The Bachelor Gods are fucking with me. That is borderline irresistible. But resist, I will. Of course I’m still gonna watch though. I’ve been watching The Real World since 1992!!! Many of you are younger than how long I’ve been watching The Real World. These ho’s ain’t loyal, but I am! I will stick with The Bachelor ’till the bitter end, when they’re bringing out Juan Pablo for a 2nd and 3rd go around and Brad (or is it Chad?!) for his tenth!
As for non-Bachelor related items, that’s a little tougher. So I’m gonna leave the door open to that. It might mean 1 post a month or 1 post a year, maybe less than that. But if there’s something I just have to get out there, that must be shared, I know I have notes from a hack here to share it.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for your comments. Thanks for 10 great years.
Please, it is not necessary to leave any goodbye comments. You already did that back in December, and I’m not trying to be a drama queen about it. And it isn’t goodbye, it’s a, “maybe I’ll see ya later”.
NOTE: These were posted in August of 2008. Comedy Central had a show with David Alan Grier called “Chocolate News”, it was like a spoof of 60 Minutes but if 60 Minutes only covered black stories. The show was nearing the end of its first season and was looking for another writer. They asked for 3 rant style monologues for David Alan Grier, I guess all taking the form of what David was “flowing on and ending with “have you lost your damn mind?!”
No problem, I thought. What I didn’t know when I wrote them was that I would have to go into a room with David Alan Grier (and a couple other producers), and “perform” these things myself. This never happens. It’s an insane request. I am a writer. If I could perform them, you can be damned sure I’d be on television or a stage and not in a room with David Alan Grier.
I really couldn’t believe it. It was especially annoying because I’m a good fucking writer and wrote them in a black man’s voice. And I don’t know if you know this, but it’s generally not a good idea to do a “black voice” in front of a black guy.
Anyway, I didn’t get the job, but I love my rants so fuck David Alan Grier. Here’s 1 of them:
This is a public service message from me to all my Nubian sisters out there…Stop putting tattoos on your titties! According to research done by me, 87 percent of tattooed titties are African American. You’re always complaining about black men going out with white girls or asian girls, it’s because we like a clean titty! That’s right, sisters, leave that canvas blank for us to paint our own picture.
And that’s what I’m flowing on today: Black women who are always getting down on the black man for dating outside the race. Well I gotta believe that tattooed titties is part of it, but there’s also this: a real study just came out that says that 78% of black women are obese.
I know the stereotype is that we like our women big, but really, the only place we like obesity…is in yo ass. Contain the obesity to your ass area, please. Sir Mix a Lot wasn’t rapping about your thighs!
Seriously, it’s just wrong. I mean, you got the Ray Ray tattoo in 12 point courier new font, two years later it’s lookin’ like 36 point times new roman.
78 percent obesity? That means that 8 in 10 Venus’s will soon turn into super sized Serena’s! It’s gotten so bad that the government has had to step in and ban fast food joints from South Central LA. That’s right, the city of Los Angeles will not allow fast food in South Central because of the obesity problem. Now I don’t know if the Government invented crack or gave us AIDS, but at least they’re trying to save your Type 2 diabetes from the Hamburgler.
And you all wanna get mad at us for dating outside our race? Obese black women with tattooed titties, have you lost your Damn mind!
NOTE: This was first posted on March 31, 2009. The person named “Bob” in this story is actually Super Dave Osborne aka Bob Einstein aka Albert Brooks’ brother, and we were working on a limited run Super Dave special for Spike TV.
One of the “older writers” I refer to is a guy by the name of Pat Proft. He is a legend. His writing credits include “Police Academy”, “Bachelor Party”, “Real Genius”, and “The Naked Gun”. A few times I tried quoting lines from these movies and he had no idea what I was talking about. Then I realized – I’ve seen Police Academy a thousand times, he wrote it in 1983 and probably hasn’t seen it since. I stopped throwing out “Blue Oyster” references after that.
Without further ado, here is this post:
This story is only funny because I have another job.
I got a job writing on a show that was just starting up. It got a 4 episode order. The star of the show – BOB – is also the head writer, and he’s done this character for the last 30 years. Versions of it have been on various networks, and for some reason the powers that be decided to bring it back, even though he’s pretty old at this point. Throughout it’s various incarnations, Bob’s always written it with 2 of his buddies – and all of them are in their 60’s now.
But now that it was coming back and supposed to be younger and hipper, Bob was talked in to hiring 2 new guys to add some “fresh ideas” to the mix. That’s where I come in. I met with him and he liked me, and very begrudgingly he hired me. But keep in mind, it was really against his will. He did not want anyone new, he just wanted to do it with his friends like he always has. So me and the other writer he was forced to hire had a strike against us before we even started.
The writing process was supposed to last 10 weeks.
I go in the first day and I’m put in a very small, windowless office with the other “new” writer – let’s call him, THE DOUCHE. He is an older guy, with some pretty good credits, and some pretty terrible hair plugs. Because we share this office and are the two new guys, we are sort of linked – even though this is the first time we’d ever met. That was entirely unfair, but that’s just how it was.
The way Bob liked to work is that he would sit in his office, with all of us in there, and just talk. He would throw out ideas, tell stories, and dominate the conversation. Our job, as it seemed to me, was to sneak in ideas, help him get to where he was going, add jokes, but also stay out of his way.
In fact, when I initially met Bob (we had a breakfast meeting), I pitched him an idea. He then proceeded to lecture me for 10 minutes on why he would never do an idea like that. By the time I showed up for the first day of work, my idea was incorporated into the show and it was now “his”.
I’ve worked with people like this before and once you figure out the rhythm of it, it’s good. What you absolutely cannot do is be the star. You can’t dominate, you have to let him control things. That way, when you slip in ideas, the star thinks everything is his. He maintains ownership and his ego is intact. All you have to do is not be disruptive.
Well, The Douche didn’t understand that. He thought this was a partnership. He thought it was a democracy. He couldn’t let the star do his thing, he was intent on putting his imprint on the show. He was also bat shit crazy. And on Thursday of that first week, The Douche proceeded to have the worst day in a writer’s room that I have ever seen.
Bob wanted to do a “the joke of the week” every show where he would very theatrically tell an old, classic joke. He came in to our office on Wednesday and told us one he wanted to use. It started off “a guy is at a party and he pukes all over himself. He says, what am I gonna tell my wife, I promised her I wasn’t going to drink…”
Well on Thursday morning, The Douche pipes up, “hey, I’ve got a great joke for joke of the week”. We go, let’s hear it. He says, “a guy is at a party and he pukes all over himself…” All of us (me, Bob, his 2 old friends) are just looking at the guy like he has lost his mind. The Douche goes through the whole joke, we assume he has some twist on it or something. He can’t possibly just be ripping the star off right to his face. But no, he tells the joke the same exact way as if he’d just thought of it.
Bob loses his mind. “I said that joke yesterday!!!” It was just bizarre. But we continue on.
Later, Bob has an idea and he’s talking it out, when all of the sudden The Douche takes out his blackberry and shoves it in Bob’s face “Look at the email I just got!” Bob is taken aback. He takes the blackberry and reads the email, it’s from the Writer’s Guild and completely innocuous and meaningless to what we are doing. But it totally disrupts everything. Bob is thrown off track and completely pissed.
After some terrible pitches from The Douche that are completely not in line with the show, we finally get near the end of the day. Now, this was a “soft” room. In other words, the three old guys do not work blue. They don’t swear, none of the jokes are hard or edgy at all. It was very PG in there.
Bob tells a story about how he had a gun pulled on him one time, and he asks if that’s ever happened to any of us. The Douche says it has. And he proceeds to tell us the story. This is what he said:
“I was out one night and I got completely drunk, and then I started driving home. But I had to piss really bad, so I pulled over and got out and pissed near the sidewalk. Suddenly, a hooker comes out of nowhere, and she’s like, running from the police or something and she jumps in my car.
I was drunk, so I didn’t really care. I get back in and I’m driving and she’s blowing me.
(stunned silence in the room)
I was driving her back to her place, which was in a really bad part of town. So she’s blowing me, but then she stops and picks her head up and says “this is gonna be 50 bucks”. Well, I only had 50 bucks, and at that point in my life it was all the money I had to my name.
I say, no, I’m not giving you 50 bucks. She says, you will if you want me to keep blowing you.
So I take my hand and jerk myself off really quick and come.
At this point in the story, Bob interrupts. He’s completely flabbergasted. But he goes, “you jerked yourself off?” The Douche goes, “yeah. So I wouldn’t have to pay her!” And Bob says, “where did you come?” The Douche replies, “I don’t know. All over my hands”.
But he’s not done…
So I’m all satisfied and I look at her and I say, guess it doesn’t matter now. And this whore reaches into her purse and pulls out a gun. She pulled a gun on me! She says give me the 50 bucks, so I do. And she gets out of the car.
I start driving off, but in my drunken mind I start getting pissed. I think “I can’t let this bitch steal my money!” So I turn the car around and I decide that I’m going to run this whore down.
(he said that, “run this whore down”)
I point the car at her and I start driving, and I’m just gonna take her out. But she pulls the gun out and aims at the car. And at the last second I swerve away and drive off. But I swear, I was gonna kill her.”
The next day we were not allowed in Bob’s office. He told us to stay in our office and come up with ideas while he and his friends came up with their own. On Sunday I got the call…he didn’t want either of us to come back. It was over.
My new job lasted a week.
NOTE: I wrote this after Robin Williams died, and then everyone else was writing dumb Robin Williams stuff and it made me depressed and I didn’t want to add to the nonsense. So I didn’t publish it.
Ugh. Seems everybody is talking about that one time they met Robin Williams. Is that relevant? I don’t know. Is it just making his death about them? Maybe, maybe not. But I got one, so I guess now would be the time.
I remember being really, really little and somehow finding out that Robin Williams, aka Mork from Orc, was going to do a stand up show near us. I told my parents I wanted to go. My Dad dismissed the idea, saying “He’s not actually Mork, you know”. Damn, killing my dreams, Dad. I’m the rose that grew from concrete, you guys.
Anyway, I think Good Morning, Vietnam was the first time his talents were you used correctly in movies. I loved that. And it was the last time Robert Wuhl wasn’t horrible. And then Mrs. Doubtfire (“it was a run by fruiting!”), and my favorite, Good Will Hunting. (Has anyone watched Dead Poets Society recently? I liked it at the time, but man, that ending was weak. Like, really weak. Almost like they forgot a scene or two)
I don’t know if Robin Williams was an influence on me, probably not, but when I grew up I carpe diemed my way into writing comedy for a living.
So I was writing for a show and I was put in charge of a field piece called, “Is Gay the New Black?” We were gonna go out and ask gay people and black people if gays were now discriminated against more than black folks. In the morning, we went to West Hollywood to talk to people. In a crazy bit of luck, we were able to find some homosexuals there. They were all happy to talk and quite welcoming.
After lunch, we went to motherfucking Watts aka the hood. The black people weren’t quite as accommodating, especially when they heard our question. I thought I might get reverse Rodney Kinged, but I made it out alive.
Wait, isn’t a reverse Rodney King just a Reginald Denney? Or was Rodney King a reverse Reginald Denny? Okay, I could do this for hours.
Anyway, we got a bunch of stuff that only I thought was funny. Then I went into the editing bay and churned out a 4 minute piece that much to everyone’s surprise, was pretty good. I was hailed as a genius. Irwin Scissorhands, they called me. Not really. But really, way funnier stuff happened than they remembered because they were just traumatized by how angry the black people we spoke to were. But cut together, it worked.
Side note: there’s always this crazy pressure to throw more and more stuff at field pieces like this, and the same goes for certain reality shows. I just read this article about how much Pimp My Ride was faked. Calm down, idiots! The real stuff you get is more than fine. No one needs your dumb ideas to spruce things up.
So I was feeling pretty good about myself when I got summoned to the boss’ office. Great news! Robin Williams is coming on the show! “Awesome”, I said. “What’s he gonna do?” “Well, we thought we could put him into the gay thing”.
WHAT? That made absolutely no sense. He had nothing to do with anything that was going on in the “the gay thing”. It was stupid. It was crowbarring a “star” into something that didn’t need it.
Didn’t matter. Stars rule. Or so the thought went.
And the only way we could get him was to go to an airport in Van Nuys and interview him before he jumped on a private plane back to San Francisco. So I went out there with a camera to talk to Robin Williams aka Aladdin aka Popeye aka Mrs. Doubtfire aka O Captain, My Captain about the dumbest shit ever. This sucked.
This dude was telling Matt Damon “it’s not your fault” and now he was going to have to riff on gay being the new black. I wanted to tell him it wasn’t my fault.
Luckily, he was very nice and cool about it. We put a camera in his face for about a half hour and he did his Robin Williams shtick. We all laughed and enjoyed ourselves.
It was kinda sad though. Robin Williams should not have been on this show. And he really shouldn’t have been doing that bit. What was the point? He should’ve been enjoying a normal life somewhere. Instead, he was being forced to “turn it on” for a whatever show.
Well, I got the footage back to the edit and…it was awful. Nothing he said made any sense. They were just wacky sounds. I must’ve watched it 25 times and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. He just knew the rhythms of comedy, or thought he did, and could mumble things and get laughs. Which, I guess, is a talent. But looking at it on tape, it was sort of amazing in its nonsensicalness.
We ended up scraping together about 10 seconds and sticking it in. The audience enjoyed the piece and then Robin Williams popped up and by the time their cheering ended they missed what he said, which was a good thing.
And that’s the time I worked with Robin Williams.