Wednesday, December 10, 2014


(Thanks to cracked.com)

In the first season of 30 Rock (which for the uninitiated, is a sitcom set behind-the-scenes of a SNL-style sketch show), Tracy Jordan is having money problems and is advised to come up with a product to put his name on and sell. He comes up with the ridiculous "Tracy Jordan Meat Machine."
The Meat Machine is a dual-press grill that burns three pieces of meat together into a "food ball." Tracy sells this as an alternative to sandwiches, saying that you'll no longer have to "suffer through the bread part of your sandwich." It's classic Tracy: he's a character with ridiculous ideas and grotesquely indulgent appetites. This all-meat sandwich was the product of the writers trying to think of the saddest, most misguided form of excess that a man like Tracy could come up with. That was 2006. Somewhere, a man or woman working at the KFC headquarters saw that and thought, Hmmmm ...
Four years later came the KFC Double Down; a cheese and bacon sandwich with two pieces of fried chicken instead of bread. It looked like this:
 Michael Saechang
That's right; it's actually quite a bit more deadly than what Tracy was suggesting. But the spirit is the same: You no longer have to suffer through the bread part of your sandwich.
Saturday Night Live has been around for 40 years now. When its very first episode aired back in October of 1975, it was considered cutting edge. One of the "fake commercial" sketches in that very first episode was for a ridiculous razor called the "Triple-Trac." Get it? It's a razor with three blades! Ha! What an absurdly surreal idea!

You have to understand that dual-bladed razors were new to the scene at the time, and considered a ridiculous gimmick. So they were just going with the laughable logical extension of that "more blades = better somehow" idea. Of course, if you have bought a razor recently, you know it's hard to find one with just three blades. It was actually 23 years later, in 1998 when the Gillette razor company introduced the MACH3 which had three blades.
A five bladed monster

Then in 2004, the Onion ran a story with the headline "Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades," a supposed commentary by the clearly crazy CEO of Gillette. The real-life version, who I'm assuming was equally insane, said, "Good idea!" and the five-bladed razor appeared 18 months later.
In its fifth season, Seinfeld aired an episode called "The Non-Fat Yogurt". This was in 1993, when frozen yogurt shops were appearing everywhere nationwide, claiming all of the taste of ice cream, and somehow none of the fat.
But in this episode, Jerry and Elaine become regular customers at a non-fat frozen yogurt joint, only to find they're gaining weight at a rapid pace. They begin to suspect that the yogurt may not be as "non-fat" as it claims. As it turns out, they're right. They actually have some of the yogurt tested, and find the secret ingredient of non-fat yogurt is lots and lots of fat.
This plot was a complete invention of the writers, and not based off any real scandal. However, it seems that this episode got some people thinking, and a few months after the episode aired, New York Magazine published a study of various desserts that claimed to be "diet" or "non-fat." As it turned out, the frozen yogurt industry were just as lying and dishonest as we'd always secretly thought them to be. Only one of the 10 frozen desserts tested was as healthy as it claimed to be. The others contained up to 276 more calories and 12.5 grams of fat more than they claimed to.
I'm hoping I don't have to explain who Monty Python are (is?), but I suspect that I probably do for some of you. They were simply the most well-known and respected comedy troupe in the world back in their day.
Their sketches and movies were a unique combination of topical and absurd. So much so that this surreal style is now referred to as "Pythonesque." But not even they could outdo real life.
The second episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, way back in 1969, featured one such "Pythonesque" sketch entitled "The Mouse Problem."
Intended as a satirical view of homosexuality and the controversy surrounding it, the sketch takes the form of a news report, investigating a growing social issue of men dressing up as mice as a sexual fetish. These "mice" go to parties, eat cheese and squeak, and these behaviors have resulted in a public outcry against the lifestyle. The newsreader is joined by two guests: an anonymous "mouse" insider, and a psychologist who poses the question: "Who here can say that they have never been sexually attracted to a mouse?"

This sketch fails to remain "Pythonesque" in the age of the Internet, thanks to "furry fandom," a phenomenon so popular that I'm assuming more of you have heard of it than have heard of Monty Python -- 2008 played host to nearly 40 conventions for furries. And a recent survey shows that while most furries consider themselves entirely human, nearly half admire qualities of other animals, and 3.5 percent truly think of themselves as animals.
If you're under 50 and have no problem with children on your lawn, you could be forgiven for not having heard of Laugh-In. Running from 1968 to 1972, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In was a very successful sketch comedy show that featured a combination of topical satire and sexual innuendo. A recurring feature of Laugh-In was their "News of the Future" segment. They would report made-up news stories to mock current political and social issues. Two such stories can be seen in this clip:

(Sorry, the clip is no longer available,
but its description is below.)

The first "News of the Future" story in the above 1969 clip contains the following line: "There was dancing in the streets today as East Germany finally tore down the Berlin Wall." OK, that's pretty weird, but it's not that amazing- wait a minute, when did he say this story was from? "Berlin, 20 years from now, 1989."
HOLY SHIT!! OK, so they predicted one major world event, right to the year that it happened. Freak coincidence. It's not like they did the same thing again ... oh wait, they totally did it again.
The second clip shows them mocking the idea of former actor Ronald Reagan becoming president. It's true that Reagan was already the governor of California at the time, much like Jesse "The Body" Ventura once was the governor of Minnesota. In other words, he was in politics but the idea of him in the white house was laughable (look at how the audience howled at the words "President Ronald Reagan" in the second "News of the Future" story).
Of course, a little more than a decade later, Reagan did win the presidency, his term ending the very year their "news of the future" segment took place. So, has anyone done a wacky "Donald Trump as president" sketch yet?
 Laugh all you want, it may seem strangely prescient in, say, 2017.
Who knows?

I posted telepathically today, so if you thought of something funny, that was me----fishducky