Life has gotten crazy. With the interwebs and all the fake news and whatnot, it’s hard to know WHAT to believe anymore. So I assembled these little-known Fun Facts for your enjoyment They are, without a doubt, 100% made-up and fake, straight outta my twisted little noggin’. But feel free to share them as if they were bona-fide, completely accurate, vetted pieces of knowledge. You’re welcome.
Popeye the Sailor Man was loosely based on Norman Keith Collins, aka “Sailor Jerry.” Hence the anchor tattoo on his forearm and the ever-present pipe.
“Ughugugugug…can ye cover up that portrait of me ex? Olive cants stands that whore, and it’s erfectin me loves life!”
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is dangerously close to bankruptcy and is undergoing a serious financial restructuring of his business enterprises and holdings, including the Cowboys. The alleged reason for these financial troubles is rather recent: Jones was convinced that the “fidget spinner” craze was here to stay, and spent billions acquiring not only eight fidget-spinner manufacturing sites in Southeast Asia, but several inline skate/skateboard bearing manufacturers stateside, hoping to not only corner the spinner market but to be prepared “when rollerblading comes back big-time.”
Like, any second now.
The flavor we humans taste when eating coconut is completely imaginary. The human tongue lacks the receptors required to correctly process the tropical fruit-nut-seed’s taste. Scientists believe this is because coconuts are actually terribly toxic, unless they are mixed with rum or lime/other citrus flavors. (BONUS fun fact: this lime/coconut elixir is the basis for the popular song. Europeans first traveling to Papua/New Guinea became violently ill from eating raw coconut, until the local shaman or “witch doctor” mixed lime juice with coconut milk to create a cure. Then everyone got drunk.)
There are actually only seven planets in our solar system. The rest are simply light reflecting off of asteroids and cosmic dust.
One out of every ten Spree candies is actually a button that fell off someone’s shirt on the assembly line.
If you were to place the cast of Big Bang Theory underwater, without any supply of oxygen, and left them indefinitely, nobody would really have a problem with it.
Well, hi there, Sheldon!
Men over 40 years of age spend up to fifteen minutes out of each day running a finger over the outside of their ear and muttering “…the hell is that? A hair?”
Ancient Greek mathematician and inventor Archimedes would often blurt out “I love cheese!” for seemingly no reason (although many modern scholars believe he suffered from a form of Tourette’s Syndrome). This phrase was incorrectly translated over the years, so that it eventually became widely accepted that his exclamation was actually “Eureka!”
“Goddammit, can’t calculate right now…thinkin’ ’bout dat stanky CHEESE!”
The week of September 23rd-29th marks the one-year anniversary of thisblog postof mine. People have viewed this particular entry almost 8,000 times over the past year. By the end of this anniversary week it will exceed the 8,000 mark and by the end of the year have over 10,000 visits by curious fans and detractors of the popular show. Yay, good for me, right?
Pictured: My biggest fan.
So, the wife and I were sat on our couch watching the Primetime Emmys this past Sunday. TBBT was nominated for several Emmys, including “Outstanding Comedy Series.” It did not win any Emmys this year. (The series has won a couple of trophies over the years, both of which went to Jim Parsons for his portrayal of Dr. Sheldon Cooper.) I decided to go back and revisit my original anti-Big Bang Theory rant and discovered that while I stick by my original assessments and conclusions, I was sort of dickish about it. No, really. Also, while I realize that I have very far to go before I could ever consider doing this as a full-time job, it seems that my writing has gradually increased in quality over the past year. Good for me. Also, good for anyone who reads this stuff. (Thank you, by the way.)
I tend to be a positive person, so just blasting a show and the parties involved with the production of said show is not only shitty, but counter-productive. See, I really WANT to like this show. There are so very few good geek-related television programs on prime-time and most of those are on cable. I therefore decided to dig in and see if this whole mess can be fixed. I think it can. I really do. Here are some suggestions for improvement, in no particular order:
Fixed! Now, on to the economy…
Turn the Whole Thing Over to Joss Whedon
I know it’s a stretch, esp. with a new SHIELD series in development and Avengers 2 and so on, but Mr. Whedon has such a great knack for managing and balancing an ensemble cast that I think this would be a perfect marriage. Plus, considering how much of the interaction of the BBT characters, esp. Sheldon, revolves around sci-fi and fantasy, um…that’s all Whedon friggin DOES, people! Sure he’s capable of more, but this is his strong suit. The banter would be intense, smart, and hilarious. Of course, the current dialogue would be helped tremendously if they’d do this one simple thing…
ZOMG!!! Joss’s Shadow!! That means he’s totally putting THE VISION IN AVENGERS 2!!!
Lose the Goddam LAUGH TRACK
“But you’re WRONG!” the fanboys scream. “There IS NO LAUGH TRACK!! It’s a live studio audience!” Okay, I’ll give you the “studio audience” and raise you “Sweetening.” This is the process of adding canned laughter on top of a studio audience, especially when the jokes are falling flat. See, they go through the trouble of setting, lighting, and performing the episode. Everything goes smoothly, all the marks are hit, there are no line flubs…perfect execution. Except on any particular night the audience just isn’t feeling it. Rather than scrap the whole thing, they just throw in some pre-recorded laffs and bingo! Or should I say “BAZINGA!!” This has been going on since the dawn of television (and, honestly, radio), when shows weren’t recorded in front of a live audience to be aired at a later date; rather, they did that shit LIVE without a net. If Perry Como or Sid Caesar had a listless audience, they’d “sweeten” things with pre-recorded sound effects. The home viewing audience was none the wiser. Read more about it here. And I understand the need for this bit of subterfuge, except when I don’t. Scooby Doo added a laugh track. Because reasons. The Big Bang Theory does it, too, and most of the time it’s WAAAAAYYYYYY too much. Check out the following clip. It’s a scene from the show with the laugh track removed. Because of this, it’s also faster-paced. Watch it, and I’ll tell you what it reminds me of after. Okay, GO!!
Okay, you know what? That scene isn’t terrible. And you know what else it reminds me of? Kevin Fucking Smith. Seriously, that could easily be an outtake from Mallrats or Chasing Amy. Perfect? No. Far from it. But so much better. Which brings up another suggestion…
Back when Stan the Man made cameos in non-Marvel projects.
Turn the Whole Thing Over to Kevin Smith
Hey, if Joss isn’t available, let Kevin try his hand at a mainstream network comedy. Sure, he’s kind of hit-or-miss…but his knowledge (and experience) with the world of comics and sci-fi is pretty damn good. And his dialogue concerning such subjects is rapid-fire brilliant at the best of times and smarmy other times. In other words, a perfect fit.
Pictured: NOT a perfect fit.
Add a Full-time Female Foil
Penny is on the show as the everyman analog. She’s the majority of the viewers: a basic grasp of science and nerdity, but not immersed in it. She also fills the position that Spock and Data filled on Star Trek. She’s an outsider, commenting on the human condition. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch. But the sexual tension-eye candy aspect of her character is wearing a bit thin. How about you cast Felicia Day as a new neighbor? Maybe she’s a librarian or something, adding some more literature-based nerdity to the show? Felicia would have another purpose: a tongue-in-cheek nod to all the REAL geeks out there. Or how about Adrianne Curry as a professional cosplay girl? One that dresses up as video game and comic book characters without a full-on grasp of the source material? Whatever. The point is, make Penny WORK to be the object of affection. Maybe she’d realize how much she really does have in common with the guys? It couldn’t hurt to add a new character or two.
Back when Stan the Man was…he, uh…what were we talking about?
Now, all these are long-term fixes, but I had a few one-off suggestions…
The Mirror Universe
Star Trek has done this several times, never better than the episode Mirror, Mirror form the original series. In that episode, Kirk, Scotty, McCoy, and Uhura travel to a dimension exactly like ours, only in THAT universe the Federation has been replaced by the warlike Terran Federation and everyone is cruel and mean. Spock even has a goatee, so you just KNOW he’s a badass. Why not have some fun and have the Big Bang fellas find their way to Bizzaro World or somesuch. Sheldon could be the captain of the lacrosse team at the local Community College. Penny could be the lesbian astrophysicist astronaut and so on. It would also open the door for full-on sexual relations and stuff. Despite my disdain for the show itself, I have always thought very highly of the cast, and would love to see them really chew the scenery in some new situations that wouldn’t otherwise work.
See? The fanboys are already on this shit!
Another tried-and-true science fiction gimmick that would make sense due to the quantum-physics nature of the discussions and jokes on the show. (Same would hold true for the Mirror Universe storyline.) The fellows either go forward to see how their lives turn out or backwards to see themselves in the 80’s. Again, you could explore the characters themselves and even add some humanity! Romance! Action! Quantum entanglement and string theory! WIN!
Or you could do it THIS way, I suppose…
I mentioned turning the whole thing over to Joss Whedon and/or Kevin Smith earlier. But realistically, this ain’t gonna happen. But what if guys like that did guest spots? What if J.J. Abrams wrote and directed an episode? Quentin Tarantino directed an episode of E.R. once and it was awesome. Why not? There are guest stars on television programs all the time. Throw in some writing and directing superstars and pump some life into this baby.
Sometimes the interwebs align themselves perfectly for the purposes of this blog.
So there you go, Hollywood. Make some of this happen, or even just make a concerted effort to drag what could be a great show up out of the easy-joke, laugh-tracked abyss, and I’ll give it another chance. I’m counting on you. You’re our only hope for this sitcom to live long and prosper. (See what I did there?)
Whew! Been a busy week. I haven’t had a whole lot of time for writing, and honestly wasn’t really inspired to put anything down until I looked at some of my web stats. One of the features that WordPress provides for bloggers is a measure of how many different search terms led people to your page. Sometimes the results are, well…surprising. Sometimes they’re plain ol’ obvious. Take a look at my search engine referrals for the past 30 days…
1. big bang theory isn’t funny
2. fake tan fail
3. tan fail
4. fake tan
5. fake tan orange
6. why the big bang theory isn’t funny
7. carrot top before and after
9. yar yar bins
10. viking rape
11. misfits shirt
12. cynthia gibb
13. skater hair
14. big bang theory not funny anymore
15. 50s flying saucer
16. misfits merch
17. turner watson
18. male second life hair
20. range fake tan
Okay, then. Sure, people are still reading my rant about TBBT. That’s actually very flattering, and a little hopeful. It’s nice to know there are some people who “get it.” Also, notice how many “fake tan” searches landed on my page. Holy crap! People is KRAY-ZEE for that orangey goodness. After all, look how popular “Jersey Shore” is. But then there are other searches. Check out #9: the search(es) for “Yar Yar Bins.” Yes, more than one person searched for “Yar Yar Bins.” The problem, of course, is that THERE’S NO SUCH FUCKING THING! So now I’m confused. Are people looking for Jar Jar Binks? Or Tasha Yar? Or storage bins? What?
Ironically, no searches for "Ronaldinho looks like a slightly-racist stereotype CG douchebag"
It’s also comforting to know that people are going to Google, bing, etc. to look for someone named “Turner Watson.” I’m right up there with ol’ Yar Yar! Of course, I’m way behind “viking rape,” “Cynthia Gibb,” and “Skater hair.” In fact, I barely beat out “male second life hair” and “chaps.” Good company, nonetheless!
But then it gets weird. The following are some of the search terms that didn’t make the top twenty, but deserve a bit of scrutiny, in order that we might discover something about the nature of the interwebs and also a little about ourselves. Dig into these gems:
“spice hair for boys” – Spice Hair is the new Candy Floss
“nazi five races nordic phallic” – this is either a new Papa John’s offering or a spa pedicure treatment that’s sure to be hit! (Paging Mel Gibson, right? Right!)
“cussing sapphire ring” – motherfucker oughtta be fucking OPAL, bitch!
“silly sailors drinking” – Sailors? Drinking? ARE YOU MAD?!?!
“short hair cuts for oddly shaped heads” – The ‘fro. That’s the only possible answer.
“my drunk sister in law passed out naked” – so that’s whothat was.
“candy fromscotlandcalled skittles” – or, as we call them in the USA, “skittles.”
“things about t-rex” – there are some really neat things about t-rex. Unfortunately, I haven’t really covered them in my blog, so don’t ask me how the hell they ended up at my page. Thanks, though! Dinosaurs rule!
Not sure what sort of workout program that is, but it beats P-90X all to hell.
Okay, goddammit…I can’t take it anymore. It’s come to this. Listen to me carefully, people. Listen with your ears, and hear me with your soul. The television show “Big Bang Theory” is bad. Really bad. Like, terrible. And every time I bring that up to someone, they look as if I’ve sodomized their grandma’s cat whilst wearing my Obama t-shirt. I hear responses like “Un-fucking-MURICAN! Fuckin’-A, IT’S FUGGIN HILARIOUS!! EAT SHIT AND DIE, FAG!” And so on.
A little back story. If you’re not familiar with this particular network television offering, the premise of Big Bang Theory centers around a bunch of physicists and their crew of stereotypically smart-yet-socially-awkward genius friends and the hot whore that lives across the hall. Imagine “Seinfeld” if Jerry happened to work at the JPL and Kramer was a hot blonde actress. Oh, and in order for this comparison to work you’d have to lose all of the funny stuff that made “Seinfeld” watchable and add a big, stupid, obvious LAUGH TRACK OVER EVERY GODDAM JOKE, ASIDE, LEER, SIGH, OR AWKWARD PAUSE. But I digress.
MAKE HIM STOP! I'M PEEING MY PANTS! AGAIN!!
It’s funny to me that most of the people who find it odd that I don’t DVR every episode of “Theory” are not what I’d call “geeks.” In fact, most of them are softball-playing frat boys or golf-addicted pseudo-jocks. It’s like they know I’m a geek and expect me to love this piece of network crap simply because “well…them guys are all nerds like you!” Brilliant. And therein lies the problem. See, this show was created by Chuck Lorre. Remember that guy? He’s the creator of a show you may have heard of called “Two And A Half Men.” Yes, the show with John Cryer and, oh…what was his name…the other guy? Gosh, can’t seem to remember. He kind of disappeared after gracefully exiting the show. Huh. Anyway, “Men” is a huge success, and is based on the same formula that’s been used for television comedies for, well… EVER. The Odd Couple, Three’s Company, Gilligan’s Island, House…the list goes on and on. When it works, it’s comedy gold. When it doesn’t…it’s “Big Bang Theory.” God, even the name of the show pisses me off. See. it’s a physics-related phrase that also has the word “BANG” in it, like “boy, we half-dicked science nerds sure would like to BANG a real female vagina…wait! There’s a hot chick across the hall that would never even look our direction in real life, but now she’s woven into our lives to create sexual tension and give everyone something to masturbate to!” BAZINGA!!
Bazinga. Don’t even…no. Not going there.
Yes. We know.
Comedy. That’s what this show needs. You know what this show has instead? “Jokes” like these. Seriously, here are some honest-to-god quotes from the show. Try not to bust a gut…
“Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, rock crushes scissors.” BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!! GET IT? STAR TREK!!
“A fear of heights is illogical. A fear of falling, on the other hand, is prudent and evolutionary.” WOOOO-HOOOO! HE SAID “EVILOUSHUN!” GEEKS ARE SOOOO FUNNY!!
“I don’t know how, but she is cheating! Nobody can be that attractive and this skilled at a video game.” I KNOW, RITE? CHICKS CAN’T PWN NEWBS ON “NUKETOWN!”
“A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a drink. The bartender replies, ‘For you, no charge.’” Okay, so that one’s actually pretty funny. Damn it.
The point is, these jokes are written, I’m guessing, by non-geeks who lurk on Reddit or have friends who’ve bought t-shirts from J!NX, and then try and write to an audience they don’t really “get.” It’s like Michael Richards writing to the Spike Lee crowd, only with much less hatred. But now the show has become wildly popular with the non-geek crowd, in part, I think, as a response to the fact that geeks are taking over the world. Zuckerberg, Jobs, Gates, the Google guys…they are our new overlords. The Large Hadron Collider makes CNN now and then when the CERN guys make a breakthrough. Movie stars are seen wearing “Portal” shirts. For a non-geek, the paradigm has shifted and maybe they’re just trying to catch up. In which case, maybe I’m over-reacting. Maybe I should welcome the frat boys who have traded in their Hollister shirts for a “Halo” or “Gears of War” t-shirt. It’s a start. (When I see them sporting “Team Fortress 2” or “Deus Ex” shirts, I’ll be impressed.)
SOME of you have got to get this...
In the meantime, me and the rest of the nerd, dorks, geeks, and wonks will be watching OUR shows. Galactica, Dr. Who, Firefly, Mythbusters, and Arrested Development. Some of those shows are obviously no longer on the air. Maybe when the “Affliction” crowd catches up, those shows will be given another chance.