Entries tagged with “Conan O’Brien”.

Not your ordinary road trip movie.

Not your ordinary road trip movie.

I gave Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa my virgin eyes. Yes, it’s true–– I’d never been on the Jackass bus before. What can I say, I’m not an intellectual.

Well, I had great expectations for this movie and it was an enjoyable enough ride. Some good laughs, nice cringe moments and awkwardness abounds.

But what hurt the film was the story’s linear structure: the conceit of a narrative storyline of Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) taking his eight year-old grandson, Billy (Jackson Nicoll) on a car ride from Nebraska to Raleigh so that the kid’s deadbeat dad can get the bounty of $600/month government dole.

Yes, Knoxville and Nicoll can act and have great chemistry, but why have the artifice of them not knowing they’re both shills to unsuspecting bystanders and playing their characters in character against one another? It didn’t make any sense. Were they trying for poignant emotion in a movie where scrotal humor plays large?

Having this artificial narrative played straight seemed odd. Perhaps the Jackass crew should consider the eternal wisdom of Conan O’Brien who keeps the following advice posted in his office: “Funny man, be funny.”

Oh well, the movie’s making big bucks at the box office, so I’ll just keep my big gob shut.

Jay's in a vulnerable place; emotionally combustible even!

Comedian and NBC Tonight Show host Jay Leno is tired of being played for the heavy.

Following Howard Stern’s recent admission to chat show host Piers Morgan that he did not like Leno “personally or professionally,” Jay began to cry like a child who is saddened by harsh criticism from Howard Stern.

“You’ve got to understand this about Jay Leno,” said a spokesman for the star, “he is a mega-talent who wants unconditional love from everyone. If he stabbed you in the back, he still wants you to love him for being a stepping stone for his ego and admit that you’ve been stabbed by the absolute best ever.”

To combat his negative perceptions, Leno plans to become “friends” with many of his adversaries. The spokesman reports that Leno has joined a new website on the internet called Facebook that allows people to openly pledge their friendships by requesting to “friend” one another. Leno has sent friend requests to Howard Stern, Conan O’Brien and David Letterman.

“Jay is confident that he can weasel his way back into the public’s heart by becoming friendly with his so-called enemies. It’s brilliant, really, when you think about it. But, you can’t expect anything less from a superstar like Jay Leno!”

President Jay Leno promises to get higher ratings and more sponsor support-- while having a blast!

In a surprising move, President Barack Obama will soon be replaced by comedian Jay Leno.

Obama has been contending with declining approval ratings recently, and it is hoped Leno can bring back some viewers and sponsor support.

“Jay’s a dynamo,” said Phil Westerkin, an avid TV viewer, “he’s just so funny you can’t help but like him to see what sort of wacky shenanigans he might get into. I about bust a gut every time I see him!”

Obama spokespeople expressed disappointment in the decision. “We were promised four years when we got the presidency,” said a high ranking cabinet official, “we just needed a little more time to build our audience. Our lawyers are checking the contract. We may fight it.”

Obama takes the news hard.

Leno is elated at the news of his appointment. “I’m a pretty lucky guy. I never thought I’d grow up to host the Tonight Show, and shazam, I’m hosting. I never thought I’d become president, but, here I am, President! It’s been a wild, wild ride and I think I can give the people what they want. My first week in office I’m going to book Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Larry the Cable Guy, Senator Harry Reid and musical guest, James Blunt. It’ll be great.”

Obama is rumored to be talking to both Fox and ABC about new shows, possibly being teamed with Conan O’Brien.

Our first child, Matt Scullin was born December 10, 1989. A week later, on December 17, the most important show ever on TV was born– The Simpsons.

Our family (yes, even the babies) has always watched The Simpsons. We’ve had spirited debates on picking a favorite episode (mine is “Boy-Scoutz ‘n the Hood” from season eight in which Bart joins the Junior Campers and hilarity ensues), we quote Simpsons lines chapter and verse (and recite favorites), discuss couch gags, and are torn when asked to pick our favorite characters (don’t ask, it hurts too much ).

If loving you is wrong, we don't wanna be right...

If loving you is wrong, we don't wanna be right...

While other families were shielding their precious children’s innocent eyes from this irreverent show, we were glued to it. For 20 years, it has been an animated encyclopedia of pop culture. Yes, it’s an educational cartoon, so there all you parents who refused your kiddies the intellectual stimulation of Springfield. Hope you’re happy with your dimwitted goody two-shoes.

The early episodes, like most sitcoms, were not that funny. The show’s executive producers, James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and Sam Simon were working to establish the characters, both their look and the sound of their voices. But soon the show hit its stride.

Great writers like John Swartzwelder, (who amazingly has written 60 episodes), George Meyer, Jon Vitti, Conan O’Brien, Dan Garth, Al Jean, Mike Reiss and many more brought The Simpson family and Springfield to life. A population of hilarious characters became the perfect canvas for social commentary, satire, wacky hijinks and laughs galore.

Has the show jumped the shark? Sure, some seasons more than others. Everything grows stale after 20 years (which is why we gave our 20-year old son Matt to a band of traveling gypsies).

But still, it’s been a hell of a run for Homer & Co., and our family is eternally thankful and grateful to theirs for two decades of fun.

Since it’s good for any essay to have a nicely rounded wrap-up, I’ll leave you with this– a letter written by Matt Scullin to Matt Groening, Simpsons creator, a few years back when Matt S. felt the show was seeing a shark in the rear view mirror.

February 19, 2006

Mr. Matt Groening
Executive Producer
The Simpsons
FOX Broadcasting Network
P.O. Box 900
Beverly Hills, CA 90213

Dear Matt Groening:

I am a huge fan of your show, “The Simpsons” and I have seen every episode. I am sixteen years old and I have been on your train ever since the show started. I am one week older than your show, to be exact. I have laughed to the point of no return over the early years and you are truly a god for creating these characters. When I say “characters” I don’t just mean the Simpsons; I am talking about Moe, Krusty, Ned Flanders, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, and the many other citizens of Springfield.

Man do I love a lot of your episodes. Seasons four, five, six, and seven are gold. Last Exit To Springfield, Homer The Heretic, Mr. Plow, Rosebud, Deep Space Homer, Homer Loves Flanders, Secrets Of A Successful Marriage, Homer The Great, Homer Badman, And Maggie Makes Three, A Star Is Burns, The Springfield Connection, and 22 Short Films About Springfield are all classic episodes.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the next five seasons too. But you began to slip along the way of oh, season thirteen or so. I realized that the show would probably never be as good as it was, and I was right. The episodes lost its spark and even lost the laughs. The stories became too much involved with Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. You buried the secondary characters alive in a cold dusty coffin. They slowly died and went to “forgotten characters heaven.” The stories became uninteresting and filled with too many unfunny 1-liner gags. I put up with these episodes and told my friends how the show was slowly fading into nothingness. I still gave you a chance on January 29, 2006. But this was simply the last straw.

This episode was terribly awful and my teeth cringed at the episode’s every attempt to make me laugh. I didn’t even come close to laughing once. I was disgusted at the fact that the animation was completely different. Everything looked too well drawn and had too much detail. It lost its once vibrant, warm, fuzzy animation of the earlier years. The episode was filled with a large surplus of unfunny 1-liner gags. The episode was lame, hateful, unfunny, and visually displeasing. While I watched it, I just repeated to myself, “This is not happening.” That episode single handedly crushed my hope for “The Simpsons”.

I beg of you: Fire all your writers, bring back the “old school” animation, and bring back the secondary characters. If you refuse, simply stop making episodes of the “The Simpsons” because I died a little inside on January 29, 2006.

Please write back or I will keep mailing you this letter.

Matt Scullin

P.S. Take notes from “Family Guy”.

Cc: James L. Brooks, Mike Scully, Al Jean

In case you were wondering, Matt never heard from Mr. Groening, but the show has gotten better since then. Maybe he listened.