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Thursday, 18 March
TV Party Tonight

Occasionally on the Travel Channel, I see ads for a show that exudes a certain sense of mystery about it. That show is "Made In America with John Ratzenberger." They show John Ratzenberger--Cliff from "Cheers," who is really falling up here, huh?--driving around in an RV, surveying the sun-dappled terrain of our great land, and occasionally stopping off to see people make crap. The mysterious part of the ads, for me, is: Who on earth wants to watch this fucking thing? Was John Ratzenberger just making a terrible pest of himself around the studio lots? "Come onnn, you guys, I was Cliff! America's favorite ugly, clumsy, virginal, mommy-fixated, alcoholic mailman! That's got to be worth something!" "Jesus Christ. Stick this asshole in an RV and get him the fuck out of here." I cannot imagine watching this show.

But it does give me hope for project development! With the inspiring example of John fucking Ratzenberger in mind, here are some shows I have planned.

The World Crossword Tour. Building on the same audience base as the World Poker Tour, it seems reasonable that people who enjoy watching unattractive, sedentary men sitting around playing cards will also enjoy them sitting around solving crosswords. Breathless play-by-play and color commentary will be given by renowned crossword-maker Will Shortz and hungry D-list actor Ian Ziering. "Look at that! Bill Katz is filling in nine down!" "He sure is, Will." "Over at table two, things aren't going so well for last year's champ Terry Benton. I think he's given up." "You're right, Will. He is no longer solving the puzzle and is instead filling in blanks with dirty words like 'jizz' and 'boob.' "

The Making of The Making of Mona Lisa Smile. This intriguing meta-documentary will feature some of the technical challenges and the creative talents that went into the creation of the short film that told the story of the talented crew and luckless cast who worked on the dismal box office catastrophe, Mona Lisa Smile. Not featured will be interviews with stars Julia Roberts and Maggie Gyllenhall. Don't miss "behind the 'behind the scenes' scenes ", such as where key grip Chuck Haverson uses the rest room, or when this one other guy eats a sandwich!

Omahaw! This weekly series, hosted by Alan Greenspan, will feature routines from many of Omaha's favorite stand-up comedians. Alan Greenspan dourly intones in the opener, "These people are all from Omaha. They are sporadically amusing. I encourage you to try and enjoy this television program." Oh, Alan! You so crazy! With emphasis on prop-based humor, filthy limericks, and plenty of jokes about corn, this program is sure to take off! It tested like gangbusters in Omaha.

The Ears of Laura Mars. A darker, edgier program about a female photographer (Justine Bateman) who realizes that, on the whole, for her age, she has pretty good hearing. The show will follow Laura around her work and home life as she hears things like traffic noises, various ringtones, and corduroy pants. In a nod to the groundbreaking show "The Sopranos," a centerpiece to the series will be regular visits to her ear doctor, "Dr. Melgi," who serves to reassure Laura that her hearing is "still pretty good."

Beach Blanket Boggle. As an homage to the old "beach" movies, which featured attractive young white people frolicking in the surf and sand, septuagenarians (or possibly their reanimated corpses) Annette Funicello and Frankie Valli Avalon* play spirited games of Boggle on a desolate, rocky Oregon beach while tightly wrapped in large, scratchy blankets. Some of these episodes are already in the can, including "PLOTZ is not a word!", "These cubes are too rattly", "It's cold and gritty out here", and the soon-to-be classic "Fuck the Mouseketeers, fuck all the Mouseketeers!"

*Check me out, I suck!

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


Nobel Prize for Literature stuff, this is.

If you'd turn the World Crossword Tour into the World Cryptic Crossword tour, even I'd watch it!

Comment number: 004477   Posted by: Bet on March 18, 2004 07:27 AM from IP:

i would totally watch the crossword puzzle thing.

I think I should hone the 'drive around the country and get paid for it' pitch to the fine edge of a Toledo blade, so that I can be paid to drive around the country in search of, um, uh, the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.

Comment number: 004478   Posted by: mike whybark on March 18, 2004 07:39 AM from IP:

This post would have made milk come out of my nose if I was drinking milk. Way to dabble in the finer comic arts, Skot.

Comment number: 004479   Posted by: Steve on March 18, 2004 09:20 AM from IP:

Way to exhume Justine Bateman upon your unsuspecting readers, man. I don't know if I can make it through the day wondering what the hell happened to her.

Comment number: 004480   Posted by: Shawn on March 18, 2004 09:39 AM from IP:

Personally I feel that John Ratzenberger did his finest work in the classic film Motel Hell.

Comment number: 004481   Posted by: Miss Lis on March 18, 2004 12:08 PM from IP:

What about the World Poke-It Tour, where John Ratzenberger and Justine Bateman drive around in a Winnebago, and tape the hilarious reactions that ensue when people, animals, and inanimate objects are poked with a stick? Oh, but it's been done so many time...

Comment number: 004482   Posted by: Krizzer on March 18, 2004 03:03 PM from IP:

>filthy limericks, and plenty of jokes about corn,

I'd watch that.

I'm pretty sure I'd choose that over a lot of stuff on TV, actually.

Comment number: 004483   Posted by: j on March 18, 2004 05:53 PM from IP:

Have you even watched the Made in America show? This week we learned how coins are minted.

Comment number: 004484   Posted by: spygeek on March 18, 2004 06:05 PM from IP:

Why Boggle? Imagine the excitement with Twister or even better Jenga Truth or Dare! I can envision the monster skeletons in the closets.

Comment number: 004485   Posted by: SH Wong on March 18, 2004 09:20 PM from IP:

They use mint in coins?

Comment number: 004486   Posted by: mike whybark on March 18, 2004 09:28 PM from IP:

What's been missed is the excellent Black Flag reference in the title. Maybe a show where Henry Rollins tours the country in an RV reading angry poetry in small towns. John Ratzenberger could be security.

Comment number: 004487   Posted by: Edward on March 19, 2004 09:30 AM from IP:

I think the Henry Rollins idea would be better addressed by him traveling to random towns and hurting people with his immense trunk-like neck. I know I'd watch that.

Comment number: 004488   Posted by: Shawn on March 19, 2004 09:50 AM from IP:

I'd pay to watch Bebe Neuwirth traveling America on roller skates and talking about stuff that was made in South Korea. I wouldn't pay much though.

Comment number: 004489   Posted by: Frank O'Connor on March 19, 2004 01:21 PM from IP:

Tonight, the show would be "Let's see if she can get to the bathroom to take a piss without forgetting where she is going." *Burp*

Comment number: 004490   Posted by: Stacey on March 19, 2004 05:07 PM from IP:

You misspelled Maggie Gyllenhaal's name.

Otherwise, funny shit.

I have nothing witty or relevant to say.

Comment number: 004491   Posted by: CG on March 20, 2004 01:17 PM from IP:

The is a catalog of the reasons why everything looks the same on TV here:

Good for a few laughs.

Comment number: 004492   Posted by: weremonkey on March 21, 2004 02:03 AM from IP:

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