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May 24, 2006

It's The Circle of Awful, Simba

Katharine_mcphee2 After 43 posts consisting of 61 video files that account for a whopping 731.65 MB of our server space, we've come a long way from the January 17th premiere of American Idol. A water cooler show that began with a focus on some of the most horrifying "entertainers" this great nation of ours had to offer, it has been a long, spiritual, nuanced journey to May where we're about to crown . . . one of the most horrifying "entertainers" America has to offer.

So, well done there.

What is there to say? Poor Katharine McPhee suffered an ambushing of the highest order with a tripey, overwrought ballad called "My Destiny" when a more accurate title might have been, "Kat Really Wishes She Had Testicles Right About Now." Way to set the key in the Marianas Trench! Not even a still-touching rendition of "Over the Rainbow" could save her against the most treacly, masturbatory excesses of producers and a music industry hell bent on selling their audience aural sominex.

Taylor_hicksTaylor Hicks. *sighs* What more can be said for this seizing ball of shimmering purple velvet? For the first time in Idol history, the gay male vote will not prevail against this touring Vegas lounge act. Tom Jones is spinning in his grave. Or women's underwear. Spot the difference, eh? Personally, I blame pre-teen girls for this atrocity. Lazy, good for nothing kids today. Can't even be assed to vote en masse. Bring back corporal punishment!

Here are the six performances from last night's finale. Observe that jacket and weep. America picked that jacket. America likes that jacket. America will buy tickets to see that jacket. America is dead to me.

[Watch video – 14:48, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 14:48, WMV format, low bandwidth]

Kevin_spaceyOur Malcovision American Idol Finale Extravaganza continues with these clips from this weekend's Saturday Night Live. Kevin Spacey knows all the right moves to win the hearts of Americans and wandering strangers in parks at 3 AM. Not to be outdone, "Taylor Hicks" appears on Weekend Update, if only to prove the man is beyond parody.

[Watch video – 6:54, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 6:54, WMV format, low bandwidth]

Paula_larrykingAnd finally. We laughed with her, cried with her, attempted to match her shot for shot during every show. Paula Abdul stumbled onto the set of Larry King Live after over-hearing rumors the man will marry anything. She discusses her fellow judges and addresses all those rumors about dominant bitch-top, the Gayken. Could it be we are mere hours away from a world without this simpering psychiatric patient?

As they announce the winner tonight, I will sprinkle a martini laced with vicodin onto a curb in her honor.

[Watch video – 5:44, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:44, WMV format, low bandwidth]

May 15, 2006

SNL Hits It Out of the Park

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With just one episode remaining in the season, "Saturday Night Live" is finishing strong.

Maybe it was the remaining Vlada vodka in my system as I watched it yesterday morning, but I laughed uproariously at several of the sketches.  Hosted by SNL and "Seinfeld" alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus, there was very little to criticize from start to finish.

Al_gore_1 I've included several of the sketches in a meaty highlight reel:

First, during the cold open, we are asked to imagine an alternate universe in which (the real) Al Gore was elected President in 2000 and re-elected in 2004, leading to a comically utopian America.  But President Gore is troubled by a host of new "problems" that he has helped create.  It's a great prelude to the real President's address to the nation tonight.

This sketch was priceless, and Gore's delivery was perfect.

Horatio_sanz Next, Kristin Wiig and Horatio Sanz are hosts of what looks like the worst TV morning show in history.  Everything that can go wrong, does, including Sanz's accidental grab of Julia Louis-Dreyfus's boobs.  It hearkened back to Elaine's own unintentional grope of Teri Hatcher on "Seinfeld."  ("They're real, and they're spectacular!")

I have watched that sketch three times, and I belly-laugh every time.

Andy_samberg Third, Andy Samberg plays a Learning Annex teacher of a class to teach people how to set up their own MySpace page.  Except that the class is filled almost entirely with pervy older men with ulterior motives.

I keep getting distressed when I watch something that proves that pedophilia – or at least the suggestion of it – can be funny.  But in this case, it's true.  Sanz again shines in this sketch.

Julia_louis_dreyfus And finally, while probably the weakest of the four (mainly because it dragged on a bit too long) was a '70s-era gameshow spoof called "Charades," with Chris Parnell as host Bert Convy and a panel of D-list celebrities.  Darrell Hammond was especially great as Rich Little, who incessantly interrupted with daft but hilarious non sequitur impressions.

The joke here was that all the charades Louis-Dreyfus's character had to act out were all part of a cruel, common theme.

The period costumes and wigs were terrific, as was Parnell's oversized microphone.

[Watch video – 23:24, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 23:24, WMV format, low bandwidth]

May 09, 2006

Battle of the Religious Wacko Summer Movies

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Seems the Scientologists have had more luck shutting down unflattering portrayals of their cult "religion" lately than have the Catholics.

Tom Cruise got the infamous "South Park" episode yanked, but thus far, the steamroller of PR for The Da Vinci Code rolls on, despite the best efforts of the Catholic hierarchy.

Eight-time host of "Saturday Night Live" Tom Hanks returned to the late-night show this weekend to promote his impending summer blockbuster, and once again he showed his comedic roots.

In these two sketches, he is featured as the world's grossest yoga partner, and also in a group of four tennis snobs who happened to have 13 arms among them.

[Watch video – 9:09, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 9:09, WMV format, low bandwidth]

April 30, 2006

Non-Ambiguously Funny

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It may have been the equivalent of a clip show, but "Saturday Night Live" is always at its best when it features Rob Smigel's "Saturday TV Funhouse," and even better when the old clips are hosted by those ambiguously gay crime-fighters, Ace and Gary.

Two dozen of Smigel's most brilliant cartoons and films were shown on this weekend's SNL, sticking the shiv deep into everybody from Michael Jackson and Tara Reid to Disney, politicians and the Smurfs.

When Ace and Gary are picking the clips, you know there's bound to be some, uh, attention-grabbing content, such as Tom Brady in his underwear in a sexual-harassment training video or a naked Andy Samberg (with unfortunate pixelation).

I didn't bother including the clip with Samberg.  The screen grab is probably all you need to know anyway.

Genre_and_gary A couple of bits of trivia: First, Ace and Gary are voiced by "The Daily Show" alums Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, respectively.  And second, last night I noticed for the first time that the "G" on Gary's chest resembles the "G" from Genre magazine, which is also a play on the "male" symbol: ♂.  Maybe it's coincidence, maybe not.

Enjoy the clips.

[Watch video – 17:04, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 17:04, WMV format, low bandwidth]

April 16, 2006

SNL: Suddenly Not Lame

Malbug_13Lindsay Lohan, of all people, helped bring a spark of energy to the sliding "Saturday Night Live."  Although smoking has made her voice so weak and raspy that she'll probably soon be making movies in sign language, the episode wasn't at all bad, by recent standards.

This week there are a trio of clips:

First, the fake commercial for a rather specific moisturing product.  Then, an excellent "Saturday TV Funhouse" about the sinister truth inside the Disney Vault.  And finally, the SNL Digital Short "Lasercats."

[Watch video – 8:18, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 8:18, WMV format, low bandwidth]

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Fellations

Lasercats

March 07, 2006

Two Kings: Drag and Larry

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Malbug_13Felicity Huffman is probably still wiping away the tears from her plunging Zac Posen neckline, but her Oscar-nominated portrayal of Bree Osbourne nevertheless inspired a clueless "Larry King" on Saturday Night Live to delve into the world of the transgendered.

The sketch was worth watching if for no other reason than to see host Natalie Portman as a drag king and looking more Vulcan than male.

[Watch video – 5:11, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:11, WMV format, low bandwidth]


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And seeing how this is a belated post about Saturday Night Live, it's appropriate that I should also include Rob Smigel's "Belated Black History Moment."

Host Dennis Haysbert takes us back to some of the seminal, if short-lived, moments of empowerment for African-American cartoon characters.

The sketch was worth watching if for no other reason than to hear Haysbert say: "humongous, steaming bowl of elephant piss."

[Watch video – 5:48, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:48, WMV format, low bandwidth]

January 16, 2006

They're Not Dangerous Because They're Cartoons

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Malbug_13Ever since the days of "Davey and Goliath," the religious right has relied on the power of animation to ensure that our kids clean their plates, and keep it in their pants until marriage.

Now, SNL's "Saturday TV Funhouse" has hit upon some new characters to teach children valuable lessons, such as: "Pat Robertson," who sits pontificates from a giant toadstool about why God strikes certain people down with strokes; "Darwin," a dopey evolutionist; and "The Celi-bots," chastity-belted automatons that transform into getaway vehicles whenever they are at risk of forsaking their carnal treasure.

Oh, and Hillary Clinton makes a cameo as an ogre who wants to kill gay stem cells.

[Watch video – 5:40, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:40, WMV format, low bandwidth]

August 28, 2005

A White Paper on Red China

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Back in the days when Saturday Night Live was really unfunny (I know, I'm being redundant), there was this little interlude where an announcer's voice says: "And now we present a white paper on Red China."  Then this hand reaches out and places a sheet of paper on a red plate.  Hi-larious.

HazyMalbug_13It's a triple-H day in Beijing: hazy, hot and humid.  I had the pleasure of teaching the first of those three words to a group of Chinese students who stopped me to chat in a mall.  (That single gesture was more friendly than almost any other country I've visited, by the way.)

One girl in particular wanted to brush up on her English and was engrossed in hearing about what I do, why I am here, and other minutiae.  (I suppose my fabulousness stands out even more here.  If you saw my shirt, you'd understand why.  I look like a paint-spattered gay cowboy.)

Speaking of which, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only gay guy in Beijing.  I saw at least two who were completely fabbed to the hilt, one of whose hair was spiked right up to Jesus.  (Yes, I was being ironic when I said there was only one gay guy in Beijing.)

McdonaldsMalbug_13I got the McDonald's food that I was craving, with a TCBY chaser.  I have to say, it was the cleanest and most fabulous (there's that word again) Mickey D's that I have ever seen  There were intimate little booths in one corer, and a central bar-style eating area that even had a cheaper, mass-produced version of the Lem stool.

My double cheeseburger, fries and Diet Coke came to the equivalent of about $2.  Kind of shocking, especially when you consider they are asking $6 for about 16 ounces of Evian in my hotel room.

After lunch, I took in a little entertainment outside.  [Watch video -- 9.6mb, MOV format]

It's a girl singing, basically.  I just found it amusing.  But I'll understand if you don't want to download 9.6 megs for that.  I have no way of compressing/converting files or anything over here.

Malbug_13Air Conditioning in Chinese hotels, even five-star ones, is a hypothetical construct, at best.

Malbug_13And I have only been at three hotels here so far, but the three mattresses rank No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 in terms of the hardest I have ever slept on in my life.

Malbug_13FcukBeijing residents are fortunate that they also have the opportunity to enjoy the ever-so-subtle humor of French Connection.

Malbug_13I had a great conversation yesterday with a woman who works with Xinhua, the state news agency (basically, the Chinese AP).  We talked a lot about Sino-U.S. relations.  As a former reporter myself, I spent a lot of time quizzing her about the media and press freedom in China.

I asked her where the line is drawn in terms of criticism of the government.  She said that there is actually a lot of such criticism, but mainly it will be at the ministerial or provincial level.  It is a definite no-no to be critical of President Hu or Prime Minister Wen, though.

I asked what would happen if any of those boundaries were breached.  She said the "senior editor" (what I assume is similar to U.S. editors-in-chief or managing editors) could be fired.  I didn't press her on what else might happen.

Malbug_13I'm sorry I haven't been able to post more Engrish.  Apparently, there is much less of it these days in China because authorities have made a conscious effort to have most of their English actually make sense, and be less entertaining -- sort of a face-saving thing.

I hear they were growing weary of tourists stopping on the highways to snap photos of funny signs.  However, I did see a sign admonishing motorists not to drive "tiredly," but I wasn't able to get a picture.

Maybe I'll have a chance to rack up some Engrish when I'm out and about.  I decided to forgo the Great Wall today.  The drive from my hotel is much too long, while the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square (clears throat) are within walking distance.

OK, time to head out.  I can just hear the husband's stinging epithet ringing in my ear now: "Blogger!"

August 16, 2005

Malbug_13

Dailynews The Catholic Church must love the publicity it is getting in the NYC gossip tabs.  Proving that not all priests are homos or pedophiles, the latest scandal involves Eugene Clark, a randy 79-year-old Bronx monsignor who apparently has been performing various rites on his married, Daisy Dukes-wearing secretary.

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Paris Hilton has ditched her bitch: her teacup Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, has become too big an accessory to fit into her designer handbags.  Paris gave the dog to her mom and traded "down" to a smaller pup named Bambi.  (And least she's better than the regular people who throw their kids in a dumpster.)

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Ashlee Simpson says she has "battled demons," or as the rest of us know it, the quite satanic Acid Reflux Syndrome.  And now the non-singer wants another shot on Saturday Night Live.  Let's hope the audience is nicer than the Orange Bowl fans who lustily booed her.



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