Archive for May, 2013

Catch the fascinating tale of this caped crusader.

Catch the fascinating tale of this caped crusader.

It’s not on TV, either. It’s on HBO.

The movie is Behind the Candelabra, the story of the rocky 6-year relationship between Liberace and his young lover, Scott Thorson.

Michael Douglas is incredible as the caped crusader, as is Matt Damon playing his prudish (by Liberace’s standards) boyfriend. Steven Soderbergh directed this perfect jeweled biopic, and he says the movie may be his last. Let’s hope not, the guy is a gifted filmmaker.

The story is your typical boy meets boy tale, boy gets boy, boy gets bored by boy, boy finds new boy and chucks old boy to the side and then that boy tries suing his old boy into oblivion. I’ll say no more.

It’s a fascinating account of Liberace, a talented performer who was Mr. show business but lived sequestered in the closet and struggled to be who he was. It’s a tragic tale with memorable performances by Dan Aykroyd as Liberace’s agent and fixer, Scott Bakula as a hanger-on with the drugs, Rob Lowe as the creepy plastic surgeon who was also Dr. feelgood and sweet Debbie Reynolds as the piano player’s overbearing mother.

Check this film out and see some performances for the ages. It’s further proof that sometimes the best movies are simple human stories without a billion dollars of special effects.

The President reacts to viewing TV news channels

The President reacts to viewing TV news channels

Last week, President Obama admitted that he had learned on TV news about the scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service’s systemic targeting of conservative groups. He said he had no prior knowledge, only what was said on the news. When reporters expressed disbelief, White House sources report that Obama vowed to become even more aware of what was going on in the nation. To that end, the President has been consuming a steady diet of nothing but news feeds from FOX, CNN and MSNBC.

Obama has been alarmed to learn the following from these distinguished news sources:
— Barack Obama is not the legitimate President since he was born in Kenya and educated by Al-Qaeda in a Pakistan cave and at any moment a computer chip implanted in his skull may be activated and he will become radicalized and demand all citizens to turn their weapons over to the government and lie on their backs while they are literally taxed to death

— Obama is the greatest president ever and all Republicans are slime-sucking hypocritical racist idiots filling their heads with the insipid drivel of Rush, Hannity and Beck

— The Twitterverse is rockin’ the news and that’s totally awesome!

— Ronald Reagan was the greatest President ever because he cut taxes for the wealthy and the riches have been trickling down ever since and the only thing that ruined Reagan’s economic boom was Bill Clinton’s Satanic immorality and Barack Obama’s determined systematic undermining of the American economy ensuring that future generations will be indentured servants to their Chinese overlords

— Gun background checks are the worst breach of freedom ever enacted on any people anywhere

— Michelle Obama wants to control the diets of our children and turn them all gay so that we will never procreate and humanity will whither away

— A hologram of a seated Obama with his head in his hands is a great way to depict what the President might be going through during the numerous scandals rocking his administration

— The I.R.S. is a Russian spy organization that funds background checks on firearms

— obamasgottago983 thinks that Obama has destroyed the American economy by giving poor people free cars, steak and lobster dinners and free healthcare

— Plans are underway to include Obama’s face on Mt. Rushmore, but Republicans will most likely filibuster its funding

— Our forefathers had it right: every American should be armed to the teeth and missionary is the only position for a God-fearing people

Sources say Obama may try binge watching episodes of “Petticoat Junction” to clear his head.

Making the world more beautiful, one skull at a time.

Making the world beautiful, one skull at a time.

The following is a transcript of the commencement address I gave on Saturday, May 11, 2013 to the graduating class of ClassyKins Beauty School in Eufaula, Alabama.

Webster defines beauty as “one who is hot” or “one who is worthy of receiving a restraining order from seeing.”

You graduates are about to go forward into the world and make it a more beautiful place. You will do it with scissors, brushes, teases, extensions, deep conditioners, relaxers, enhancers, facials, waxings, manis and pedis–– whatever is required. You will draw on the knowledge you have garnered here and the artistry you have developed.

You will make every skull your block of marble from which you shall sculpt enduring art. Art that will last four to five weeks, maybe six or seven but never, ever eight or more.

On the floor beneath your chairs will be the evidence of your artistry. The remnants of what was once disgusting, hideous, unimaginable and vomit-inducing.

Your mirrors will bear witness to amazing transformations and reflect beauty enough to make Michelangelo break out in envious flop sweat.

Your chairs will act as thrones for those who adorn them. Those who are grotesque gargoyles when seated, glamorous royalty when exited.

You, dear graduates, will leave your mark on this world. You will cut, color, condition and enhance all of humanity with your deft skill and amazing artistry.

I wish you all the very best in your future calling of beauty enhancement and I make but one humble request–– might I get a trim, just a little shape-up?

Thank you.

It takes some digging to find the right people.

It takes some digging to find the right people.

Having been involved with the production of well over four commercials, I believe success starts by casting the right talent. In order to do so, it is up for the creators of the spot to create “casting specs” (or “casting specifications” for those not in the industry).

What makes good casting specs? A clear knowledge of the character, his/her backstory, dreams and aspirations, food allergies and the like. What follows are some casting specs I wrote for a commercial shoot a few years back. I think you’ll see what I mean…

The Professor:

His name is Charles Humbecker, but his friends call him “Charles” and his enemies call him “that no good bastard prick, Charles.”

He’s the sort of guy you might meet standing in a long line, or at a pot luck supper at your sister-in-law’s. You might see him seated in a crowded stadium watching a baseball game eating a hot dog as if it were a braut, or you might not see him at all if he were hiding in a tree. The point is, he’s that kind of guy.

He is an intellectual of sorts. Bookwormy. Nebbish. Comfortably tweedy. If he smoked a pipe, his jacket would probably smell of tobacco and have some burn holes in it.

He’s the kind of guy who looks good wearing a belt.

As a youngster he probably had some jocks hold him by his feet and invert his head into a toilet bowl for a swirly rinse. He is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and higher education. He pursued his dream and became a tenured professor at a prestigious college where he has the unique ability to make every minute in his classroom feel like fifteen minutes. His students hate him with a passion only matched by mine for the Air Supply catalog.

He fancies himself a font of invaluable arcane knowledge and will drone on and on about any and every subject. He has a thirst of knowledge coupled with uncontrollable diarrhea of the mouth–– a deadly combination.

He is a pompous, officious bore. His age is fifty-plus, metric. He can be tall or he can be short. He could even be two very short people stacked beneath a large overcoat. He can be like Ben Stein, he can be like James Cromwell, he can be like Wally Cox, too. His manner is stilted, his monotone is slow and stiff.

He likes antiques and hordes cotton candy. His favorite number is 8, but sometimes it’s 3. You know the type, right? He’s that kind of joe who eats green apples and complains that they’re not red delicious.

The Smart Shopper:

She is every woman, except much prettier. And her name is Amy Gattersnort.

She’s thirty-something and conveys bewilderment and confusion as she hears the professor blather on about eating nutritiously. When she leaves the classroom, she has a relieved and comfortable smile. She operates her smile with her lips. Life is suddenly easy thanks to her leaning about how to eat better. Now her cheating husband will be true to her and stop his daylong drinking binges and obnoxious habit of scattering broken glass on the floor. Now her estranged sister will call and apologize for the awful “Cheez Nip Incident.” Now she will finally feel like a natural woman, only more humble and contrite.

Our Smart Shopper is a woman who can convey the range of emotion from rage to smugness to aggressive ambivalence to total satisfaction. Ain’t she something?!

Bruiser “The Wonder Dog”:

Should be a dog, or maybe even cat, of some sort. If the animal could do something wonderful, like talk, juggle or calculate annuities, all the better.

Have you heard or seen this turd in the bathwater from Mountain Dew? Click and catch it from Ad Age.

This is yet another example of what happens when brands try to be edgy by giving themselves over to popular figures and hoping to ride a social media wave.

Well, Mountain Dew, sometimes that wave drowns you. And you deserve every bit of the bad press and ill will it created.