Posts Tagged ‘Humor’

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The Fancy Plans Guide to AFI’s Top 100 Films: Volume 8

February 18, 2011

Better “sometime” than “never,” it’s the penultimate edition of our long-running, long-winded guide to the “American Film Institute’s Top 100 Films That Everyone Agrees are Pretty Much Good Films.”

Previous editions available here:
AFI’s Top 100 Films Archive

Chaplin's imaginative use of color was completely lost on the film stock, which refused to be anything other than black and white.

81. Modern Times (1936)
Another Chaplin-esque masterpiece, thanks to its prominent use of Charlie Chaplin in a variety of roles, including actor, director and writer. A searing indictment of industrialism, Modern Times is heavily metaphoric, which generally means it plays well with film school students, who have a tendency to read lots of stuff into other stuff, and stoners, who like all things “heavy” and/or “deep.”

Of course, Chaplin’s exuberant physical comedy also tends to make these same stoners feel “tired” and “not able to make it into work today,” leaving them free to channel-surf away to less tiring entertainments like children’s programming or test patterns.

James Dean poses in his traditional give-a-fuck style, dwarfing a nearby house with his outsized persona.

82. Giant (1956)
The second third (see also: Rebel Without a Cause [#59]) of James Dean’s cigarette-burned body of work, Giant details the inner turmoil of an outwardly successful family of farmers or oil barons or something.

Its sweeping vistas and temperamental glowering illustrate perfectly the truism that “money can’t buy happiness” and, unfortunately, neither can “no money.” Along with it not being able to “buy happiness,” “no money” is unable to buy much else, like comfort or stability.

Critically acclaimed despite its lack of leather jackets and Sal Mineo, Giant continues to pose a haunting “What if…” in regard to Dean’s severely truncated career as well as a “What if…” in regard to Elizabeth Taylor, who in later years would seem to have been better off “not living.”

Oliver Stone would rehash this same haunting imagery for the final scene of "Any Given Sunday."

83. Platoon (1986)
Coke fiend Oliver Stone draws upon his own experiences as a Christ-figure during the Vietnam War to craft this Charlie Sheen vehicle. Despite being the hot new face on the scene (a scene which apparently included a whole lot of hookers), Sheen is regularly out-acted by co-stars Willem Dafoe, Forrest Whittaker and the local flora.

Stone’s message-laden film uses its Vietnam War backdrop to allow the viewers to fill in the blanks of his forgone conclusions resulting in a minorly epic biopic which fearlessly bashes an unpopular war more than a decade after it ended.

North Dakota: nothing but dead bodies and snow.

84. Fargo (1996)
Midwesterners: when they’re not murdering their partners in crime, they’re murdering English with their flatly nasal interjections, am I right? Supposedly based on a true story that never happened, the Coen brothers’ Fargo is a dark comedy of errors with a mile-wide mean streak.

On the bright side, Frances McDormand took home an Oscar for her portrayal of a small-town policewoman, marking the first time that the Academy has recognized a pregnant woman in this fashion. McDormand delivered a cute acceptance speech while barefoot and on her way the kitchen to make finger sandwiches for the Academy members.

Unfortunately, a hairdressing accident forced Chico Marx to perform the film wearing a melted showercap.

85. Duck Soup (1933)
Comedy classic featuring a troupe of stereotypes performing under a revolutionary surname, one which garnered them some unwanted attention during the McCarthy hearings. The so-called “Marx Brothers” included Groucho Marx, a philandering wisacre whose numerous affectations included a moustache and eyebrows, a constant cigar and the low-slung gait of a hernia sufferer; Harpo Marx, a mute manchild whose penchant for upskirt glances was offset by his harp ownership; Chico Marx, whose Italian accent and bad habits were an inspiration for the Mario Bros., one of whom was inexplicably named Luigi; and Zeppo Marx, whose vanilla personality rarely conflicted with the extras who frequently stole his scenes.

Their comedy was a mixture of verbal wit, absurdist physical comedy and the occasional show-offy musical interlude. Duck Soup is one of their most typical efforts, filled with all the elements listed. (“State Room Scene” not included.)

Clark Gable combated baldness by grooming his back hair upward.

86. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
An unflinching look at maritime regulations via the denizens of the HMS Bounty, a seafaring ship (that’s a Cusslerism) whose minor uprising became the stuff of near-legend. This cautionary tale offers a somewhat brutal reminder as to why it’s never a good idea to pick a fight in the middle of the ocean, especially with someone who retains very “old school” ideas about crime and punishment.

Unfortunate things are said, most of them “out of line.” Whips are deployed. Everyone gets too much sun. A hierarchy is challenged. Water pretty much everywhere. Someone gazes intently at or through a sextant. Men speak at length in salty, impenetrable sailor lingo.

Nothing pisses off reanimated corpses faster than dimly lit windmills.

87. Frankenstein (1931)
Original film version of Mary Shelley’s beach novel Dr. Frankenstein, which thrilled vacationers with its fast paced mixture of Jewish golem mythology and British Hammer horror. The “Frankenstein” actually refers to the good doctor who earns the ire of both the Homeowner’s Association and the Chamber of Commerce with his affronts to God and outsized electric bill.

The intrusive townsfolk are none too thrilled with the monster either, thanks to a.) it being a monster (and an affront to God) and b.) its habit of tossing things like children into the nearest river to see if they’ll float.

Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper terrorize the middle of nowhere with their brash hairstyles and lack of proper safety gear.

88. Easy Rider (1969)
Single-handedly introduced counterculture to the US via the druggy, two-wheeled antics of Jack “Deviated Septum” Nicholson, Peter “Jane’s Dad” Fonda and Dennis “Naturally Batshit” Hopper. Consummate professionals all, Fonda, Hopper and Nicholson insisted on doing all of their own riding and stunts, especially as it became apparent that the film’s tight budget meant no stuntmen would be hired.

The film itself alternates between cautionary and hallucinatory, proving by the shocking final act that it takes a lot more than a couple of hippies and their Harleys to change the status quo. While its sentiments and clothing may seem dated, its lack of a propulsive storyline and competent editing ushered in a “new wave” of self-consciously artistic films.

Patton was later court-maritaled for "contempt of uniform." The "ridiculous pants" and "galoshes" were specifically sited.

89. Patton (1970)
One of the finest war flicks of all time, bringing home an Oscar for both George C. Scott and his co-star Enormous American Flag, the latter of which drew positive comparisons to the gold standard of dramatic backdrops, Charles Foster Kane’s Enormous Head.

Although they only had one scene together, critics agree that nothing else in the exceedingly long running time comes close to the nuanced interplay of Scott’s gruff scene-chewing and Flag’s stoic but judgmental silence. Elsewhere, people shoot people and Scott emotes gruffly. E.A. Flag is folded respectfully and shipped off to New Jersey for a scheduled appearance on a Springsteen album cover.

Exceedingly gruff/long.

Early poster mockup for "Amos and Andrew Ridgely."

90. The Jazz Singer (1927)
When Al Jolson’s blackfaced lips nearly synched up to the soundtrack and offensively stated “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!,” the world of motion pictures was changed forever. No longer would moviegoers have to suffer in silence as a hack pianist cranked out an improvised soundtrack to images of horses running or heavily made-up leading men macking on heavily made-up leading ladies in between title cards stating “Scene missing” or “I want to fuck you like an animal.”

With the advent of sound recording, “talkies” were born, instantly alienating their male audience, most of whom felt that women should be seen and not heard and the deaf, who felt everything should be seen and not heard. (The title cards were hailed by Deaf Gentleman’s Fortnightly as “Braille for the eyes.”)

Now that actors and writers were freed from the tyranny of a single sense, they began cranking out “talkies” left and right, filled to the brim with loud noises and speedy, incessant chatter.

Movies fans spent the next 20+ years being talked at constantly. During the 50s, the backlash began, led by Ghengis Khan impersonator John Wayne, whose easy drawl ran against the grain of whirlwind chatter. As westerns began to take over the cinema, actors went from being described as “hyperactive” and “fedora-clad” to being referred to as “laconic” or “possibly drunk.”

This backlash reached its peak in 1968 when iconoclast and current dead man Stanley Kubrick released 2001: A Space Odyssey, a movie whose epic running time consists of long shots very lightly peppered with low-key conversations between a space crew and their computer. The “barely there” conversation drops to near zero later in the film after the computer is given the “silent treatment” by the sole non-murdered astronaut.

Skip ahead 13 years and the backlash against backlash has begun. “Talkies” are big again! Spearheaded by the indie film industry, chattery films fill the multiplex. The seminal My Dinner with Andre is the touchstone, being nothing more than a filmed conversation between two actors. This trailblazer is followed by Clerks (My Dinner with Andre with more talking, swearing and Star Wars references) and Reservoir Dogs (My Dinner with Andre with more talking, swearing, pop culture examination and chillingly soundtracked earcapitation).

-CLT

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Buy American! The Benefits of Purchasing a Big 3 Vehicle

October 19, 2010
The 2010 Buick Rhetoric: the finest in American automocars.

The 2010 Buick Rhetoric: the finest in American automocars.

[Still not blogging, but actively planning my return. Until then, here’s a piece that has lost a little timeliness, but still contains a laugh or two. Possibly three. Definitely less than five. Originally published May 22, 2009.]

There has never been a better time than now to buy an American car. Apparently. What with your tax dollars all tied up, you’d think they’d be giving them away. But until that point, here are a few of the many reasons to buy American!*

*Exclamation point required by stipulations of federal bailout.
The ! makes it patriotic.
  • Free up the next election day! By purchasing a Big 3 auto, your vote is already cast for Obama in the 2012 election.
  • Kilometer markings still in small, unobtrusive font size.
  • Park without getting towed at your local VFWs.
  • 30% domestic content, which is 15% more than your domestic content.
Vehicles awaiting government-backed warranty service.

Vehicles awaiting government-backed warranty service.

  • Your warranty is backed by the U.S. government, an entity known for its swift action and efficient problem solving.
  • The opportunity to finally use the phrase: “I liked it so much I bought the company!”
  • Guaranteed to contain at least 22% subsidies.
  • Adjustable gun rack option means even your Neon can look manly.
  • Runs on E85, an environmentally-friendly biofuel consisting of good ol’ American corn and bullshit.
  • At 15 MPG, you’ll stimulate the economy plenty.
  • More seating area and larger interior mirrors make rush hour multi-tasking a breeze.
    @asshole: i’m going 70 in the snow stuck behind the orphanage bus.
    @asshole: i’m going to try to pass them on the shoulder.
  • Horn plays latest Toby Keith fight song.
  • Purchase allows you to proudly state that you fought in Vietnam. Purchasing the rust-proofing option adds “…and lost <limb of your choice> fighting for your right to purchase this fine vehicle, with no money down and no payments for 60 months, on approved credit.”
  • Allows your scab ass to safely sneak past union picket lines.
  • Now you can stop saying, “Do you have any Grey Poupon?” and start saying, “That thing got a Hemi?”
  • Avails you to a wide selection of decals featuring Calvin urinating on various vehicle logos.
  • 40% less “You aren’t from around here, are ya?” harassment.
  • If you die in a collision with a foreign-made vehicle, you automatically go to heaven. God bless America!
  • 30% more bumper sticker room than the leading foreign competitor. (Note: VW Bus not included in this comparison.)
  • You’ll earn the undying respect of Donald Mills. (Note: Valid until Mr. Mills dies.)
In an attempt to cut costs, Ford engineers experiment with forced mating.

In an attempt to cut costs, Ford engineers experiment with forced mating.

  • Unsafe at any speed? Sounds like a dare to me!
  • 2010 Humvee features ELF-deflecting crumple zones and a year’s supply of Enzyte.
  • Fewer savage beatings by UAW goons.
  • Receive the Big Three Insider newsletter, featuring real estate deals in Detroit, MI.
  • Buy any full-size truck, receive a complimentary ’85 Cutlass for the yard.
  • Will allow you to continue believing that Born in the U.S.A. is one of the most patriotic songs ever written. (Note: will also allow you to continue believing that R.E.M.’s The One I Love is a beautifully romantic song and should be played at your wedding.)
  • According to J.D. Power and Associates, the Chevrolet Camaro is still the “#1 choice for meth users/dealers.”
  • Buying a German car is like giving money directly to Hitler. Unless you’re cool with that, in which case it’s like giving money directly to the Jews.
  • Korean and Japanese cars contain too many choking hazards.
  • As you struggle through your latest layoff, you can rest assured that your purchase helped keep the real American heroes “working.”
  • A nation of stupid, obese children will benefit from the government’s “Too Big to Fail” program.
  • Do we really need to say the thing about the terrorists winning? You should know this by now.
  • You probably should have read the fine print before signing Gingrich’s “Contract with America.”
  • Bylaw 412.3(b) of Obama’s “Buy American!” policy states that “no fewer than one (1) in three (3) first sexual experiences must take place in a vehicle containing a minimum of 60% domestic fabrication.” The policy goes on to state that “such (American) vehicles are generally roomier and more suited for awkward groping” than their foreign counterparts, as well as being more prone to actually running out of gas.
  • Complimentary CD of Lee Greenwood’s greatest hit.
  • As a result of John C. DeLorean’s consultation, random “bonus” vehicles will ship with 2-4 kilos of cocaine in the door panels.
Lincoln believes that some things never go out of style!

Lincoln believes that some things never go out of style!

Brought to you by: The 2010 Lincoln Xenophobe

There’s no better vehicle for your golden age driving than the 2010 Lincoln Xenophobe, featuring ample seating for six and a wheelbase of 38 feet. Relax in the comfort of leather seating (from poached free-range cattle) and genuine ivory highlights. The all-encompassing luxury and silent ride, thanks to Lincoln’s patented “Deathclock V-12,” will whisk you away to a simpler time.

A time when the speed limit was 35 mph. Everywhere. A time when youngsters had their pants pulled up, their eyes down and their mouths shut. A time when enjoying a party line didn’t mean dialling a 900 number. A time when quality products were made by Raybestos, Union Carbide and the Universal Music Group.

A time when heading out to a social event with a live band meant safe, chaperoned dancing and punch, rather than shameless full-contact grinding and a lecture about the trade deficit. A time when women and minorities couldn’t vote. A time when black was the only color for cars and white was the only color that mattered.

The 2010 Lincoln Xenophobe: Speak English or Die!

-CLT

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Branson, Missouri Calendar of Events

September 26, 2010
Birthplace of White Bread and Unflavored Yogurt

Birthplace of White Bread and Unflavored Yogurt

[Hiatus swiftly turning into a sabbatical. Here’s another from the archives to keep the dust from settling… Pay close attention to the botched BTO joke. Originally published May 12, 2009.]

Summer’s on its way and it’s never to early to plan for a visit to garish Branson, Missouri. Birthplace of Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines, Branson offers many varied events for the discriminating traveler. In fact, nothing sums up the Branson experience more than discrimination!

May

  • Jim Nabors Circus and Sideshow
  • Bing Crosby: Fatherhood (6-drink minimum)
  • Planter’s Nut Tasting: Spotlight on Filbert
  • Blue Angels Flyover
  • Branson Young Republicans Present: Beginner Trust Fund Investment
  • UFC! 22
  • American Idol Contestants #344, #12,077 and #61,008
  • Infomercial Taping
  • The Best of the Sanitized Internet: Brought to You by AOL
  • Shat! – The Life and Times of America’s Most Beloved Entertainer. A William Shatner productions featuring William Shatner as himself.

June

  • Andy Rooney: the Original Shock Jock
  • The Hour of Power featuring the Reverend Al Sharpton
  • Cops:Live!
  • Nickelback: 75 Minutes of Your Life That You’ll Never Have Back Tour
  • Annie, Get Your Gun featuring Charlton Heston as himself
  • Robert Fulghum: Tiresome Platitudes for Everyday Situations
  • Estroven Presents: Hot Flashes of Passion featuring Air Supply and Rick Astley
  • It Feels a Little Damp! Might Rain! Better Bring a Coat! – Daily weather brought to you by Up With People!
  • Community Service Theater Presents: The Vagina Monologues featuring Dana Plato and Lisa Bonet
  • Does This Look Done?: Your Guide to Branson’s Early-Bird Buffets
  • Napalm Death – All Ages Show

July

  • Rosie Grier’s Microwave Cookery and EMT Training
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – starring Sinbad! and Carrie Prejean. Spencer Tracy’s role will be played by Brian Dennehy; Katherine Hepburn’s role will be played by C-3PO in a wig.
  • Expired Copyright Film Festival
  • Russell Simmon’s Def Comedy Jam
  • Sansabelt Presents: Pat Boone in the Round
  • David Cross Insults Your Belief System
  • The Minor Chords: Barbershop Quartet Stylings from John Oates, Jim Messina, Art Garfunkel and Andrew Ridgeley
  • Christopher Reeve in President for Life: The FDR Story (cancelled)
  • An Evening with Mr. Donald Mills
  • An Introductory Guide to Black Presidents
  • Tony Robbins: The IMAX Experience

August

  • Some of the Boys Are Back in Town! Three-fifths of Bachman-Turner Overdrive reunite to sing their greatest hit, over and over.
  • Dame Edna’s Ballet of the Transgendered
  • The Strangely Inappropriate Antics of the Stanford Marching Band
  • Agreeing to Disagree: Your VCR and You
  • American Flagg! – A Patriotic Musical
  • Blissfully Unaware Productions Presents: Watersports: Fun pool activities to guaranteed to provide the most “bang” for your “gang!” Also included: Our famous Afternoon Delight Buffet including Ron J.’s famous footlongs, fish tacos, tossed salad, cream pies and the winning entries from our Caribbean Meat Jerk-Off!
  • Who’s On First? starring Bill Buckner and Jack Clark (4-drink minimum)
  • Panthers Can Be White: An introspective look at the MC5 and the revolution that never was
  • Regis and Kathie Lee Together Again! – Now starring in David Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago
  • Bitching About How Things Used to Be: Featuring commentary from Sinbad! (“Women be different than men”) and Yakoff Smirnoff (“Russia be different than America”).

-CLT

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Great Lion Tamers of the Past Vol. 3

September 21, 2010
[And here it is… the last episode of the fakest family tree to ever grace WordPress. Originally published July 7, 2009.]

Time for another dive into the historic dumpster called “Great Lion Tamers of the Past.” As in previous installments (see here, and also, here) we will cast a jaded eye back at the various scoundrels, ne’er-do-wells and boy band managers that secured the Lion Tamers place in history as society’s black eye.

Cartoon-Constit

Jerome Noble Lion Tamer
As the proprietor of upscale strip-mall favorite “Barnes & Noble Heavy-Ass Coffee Table Books,” J.N. gained a reputation for only stocking the most ostentatious titles, each weighing no less that 25 lbs.

He is shown here handling, with disastrous results, Vol. 14 of the U.S. Constitution, on his way to the discount table. Only mildly popular, due to the tremendous amount of revisions, amendments and missing pages, all volumes of the Constitution usually wrapped up the year collecting dust with other deeply discounted tomes.

Older versions were often found placed next to such illustrious and swiftly forgotten favorites, such as The Collected Doodles of Lance Bass, Freight Cars of America, The Collected Nude Portraits of Gertrude Stein, and Booze Broads and Bedlam, the last of which soon became the children’s cherished sketch pad due to its enormous size and completely blank pages.

Cartoon-Situation

Elijah Montegarde Lion Tamer
A former sideshow performer and the 1903 winner of the “Most Ungainly Hairdo: Facial Division” award, E.M. would often “entertain” guests with various feats of daredevilry featuring his indoor cannon.

Named “Congress,” not after the hair-triggered legislative branch, but rather in a very blatant and poorly thought out attempt at subtle innuendo (the other side says “Sexual”). “Congress” was often used as a very frightening form of foreplay in his deviant rumpus room, or “War Office.” E.M. often lamented that no matter how explicit he was about his preferences in his many Craigslist personals, most “War Office Key Parties” tended to be sparsely attended “sausagefests.”

E.M. died alone from a self-inflicted headwound as did “Little Elijah,” who succumbed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound from E.M.’s pistol, “Little Congress.”

Small22Jan1900

Octavius Rockefeller Lion Tamer
The richest man of all time, O.R. amused himself as only the insanely rich can: by doing insane (and insanely expensive) things. He spent a little over $7 million ($380 billion in today’s dollars) on reconstructive surgery in order to become the largest man on the Eastern seaboard.

Once finished with this physical ordeal, O.R. found it easy to “pocket” Congressmen and Senators, forcing them to run the legislative treadmill for years at a time.

With the Capitol building converted to a rib smoker, O.R. headed east to terrorize Europe and Asia. After a minor struggle with the 300-foot Spectre of Fascism, O.R. strode, unchallenged across Asia. His comeuppance finally occurred in downtown Osaka, Japan, where he was defeated by the eight wonder of the world: Mecha-Godzilla.

Though his outsized remains were greeted by thousands of mourners stateside, astute observers of the funeral noticed a disproportionate amount of “Thank god he’s dead,” and “It couldn’t have happened to a bigger prick” comments, leading modern historians to subsequently place mourners in quotes.

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Roderick Arthur Lion Tamer
Another in a long-line of circus and sideshow performers within the Lion Tamer clan, R.A. turned his years of scamming and entertaining rural yokels into a long run as the official Jester to the President.

After various attempts at politically-charged piano tunes and scathing Letters to the Editor, R.A. soon settled on his bread-and-butter, riding around like a idiot on his handcrafted Silver Dollar Unicycle. Having never bothered to learn juggling, R.A. would simply wave his hands about in a somewhat carefree fashion, using a sort of proto-juggling mime. More often than not, his act consisted entirely of his rolling, fake-juggling antics, all set to the “Benny Hill” theme for maximum comic effect.

Universally reviled, R.A. nonetheless lived a successful life. His show ran for 34 consectutive years as government red tape constantly delayed his dismissal and his multiple appearances in tear-jerking melodramas (The Good Doctor Adams Who Made Laughter from Tears; Good Morning, French Indochina!) gained him new fans, while simultaneously alienating his old ones.

cvfixed

Phillip Albertson Lion Tamer
A consummate ladies’ man and clotheshorse, P.A. was often seen gadding about town, gold watch on a chain and rohypnol in his pocket. He is seen in this etching, posing for an etching while asking the artist’s assistant if she would like to come see his etching as soon as it is finished and hanging in his bungalow.

Blessed with a smooth tongue, a full head of hair and an honorary doctorate from the University of Phoenix Online, P.A. tore through the fairer sex of Upper Illinois, leaving illegitimate children and bounced checks in his wake.

During his declining years, P.A. began to take stock of his life. As the wolves of paternity bayed mercilessly (and metaphorically) outside his window, P.A. suffered a change of heart, when it went from “ticking away normally” to “not really working at all, is it.”

On his deathbed, P.A. asked his numerous bastard offspring and former paramours to gather close, at which point he delivered his final message to the world: “My will has never been proven legal. Good luck dealing with the state of Illinois and my next of kin, whom I alienated years ago.” His body was buried in the St. Mary Hospital parking lot, after being hurled from the 23rd story window.

His legacy lives on, however, as the tougher restrictions and faster moving wage garnishments have been entitled “Phillip’s Law,” which also requires those arrested for child support non-payment to post signs in their yard stating that they steal from children and single mothers and are required to stay at least 500 feet from bars, casinos, hotels and family planning clinics.

-CLT

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Great Lion Tamers of the Past Vol. 2

September 12, 2010
[Thanks to a Dashboard date change, everything old is new again. Just like your virginity, having been restored to its rightful place (presumably near the “swimsuit area”) by a good old fashioned bout of praying. Originally published on June 7, 2009.]

As discussed in the previous installment, the Lion Tamer family history is a rich tapestry of thieves, liars, drunkards and mediocrity. We’ll take a look here at some more Tamers whose contributions to society were quickly nullified by their casually horrific actions.

79-40_4

Jeremiah Murgatroid Lion Tamer
J.M. was best known for his hideous appearance due to a rare case of “boneitis.” This condition caused his skeleton to grow outside of his skin and troubled doctors all the way into the 30th century, when it was rediscovered in a time-travelling Gordon Gekko-esque businessman. He soon died of complications, having previously bought out the company that was working on the cure.

Despite his horrifying appearance, J.M. was a popular man, and was voted “Mr. Communist” three years running. He is pictured here attempting to persuade young Joseph McCarthy and his family to check out the “party.”

His three-year reign as “Mr. Communist” came to an end, when he was photographed shopping at Wal-Mart. He was stripped of his title, ceremonial sash, jaunty ribbons and any remaining skin.

1900_BryanToon52827

Abraham Martin Anjean Lion Tamer
As one of the operators of Massachusetts’ first puppy mills, A.M. was an opponent off all things animal-rights related. He worked tirelessly to ensure animal testing remained in place and fired off a fierce rebuttal to Upton Sinclair for his “reckless contempt for slaughterhouse workers,” encouraging him to retract his statements and say hi to his wife and kids, who we wouldn’t want anything to happen to.

He is shown here tweaking a nascent PETA by altering one of their protest signs, this one referencing their opposition of the Lone Ranger’s domestication of his horse. They also pointed out (somewhere) that they were a little miffed with his stereotyped sidekick.

This particular attempt backfired as the addition of the word “imperialism” caused widespread confusion, much like his unfortunate hairdo and his hand-built ladder, which narrowed inexplicably towards the top.

20080311-early-1900s-crazy-parisian-driver-poster

Wolfram Alpha Lion Tamer
W.A. was a thriving performance artist, whose terrifying portrayal of Santa Claus as a homicidal nudist ruined Christmas for 12 years running. His one-man show, as portrayed in the Billy Bob Thornton docu-drama Bad Santa, did manage to win him the attentions of certain females with a Kris Kringle fetish.

One of his groupies, chanteuse and shoplifter Winona Ryder, is depicted here giving birth to twins during an ill-timed joyride to the hospital.

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Yancy Midcap Lion Tamer
Self-declared “Emperor of America” and amateur inventor, Y.M. is shown here preparing for a test run of his “Self Contained Overland Floating Apparatus.” Behind him is his life-partner Winthrop Danson Bryan, who was his faithful companion of 38 long and closeted years.

Y.M. doted on Bryan, often surprising him with “monogrammed” hats and other accessories. Bryan would return the favor by labelling every item of Y.M.’s clothing with various “hot” phrases, such as “Imperialism,” “Tammany Hall,” “Colonialism,” “Tea Bagging,” and “Too Big to Fail.”

Bryan aided Y.M. with several crackpot ideas and get-rich-quick schemes, including the Auto-Dialer, the Print Your Own Money at Home Movable Press System, the Patent Trolling Work-at-Home Program for the Infirm and Shut-Ins and, of course, Yuri’s Free Viagra, a joint-venture with his Prussian partner.

DavenportGladstone

Gladstone Rickenbacker Lion Tamer
Being only 5’3″ with a size 6 neck, G.R. had trouble finding properly fitting clothes, in particular accessories such as bow ties, neckties and cravats.

G.R.’s early success as a restaurateurincluded his chain of “Mississippi Fried Badger” restaurants, which thrilled the locals with its selection of fried foods and side dishes. Unfortunately, G.R.’s expansion plans bankrupted the business, as the rest of America was not ready for a fried selection of “critters,” no matter how tasty or secret the recipe.

G.R.’s insistence of appearing in all of the chain’s advertising was also an issue, due to his generally disheveled look, early onset Tourette’s outbursts and bowtie-muffled speech.

Political_cartoon-BB

Winstone Zephyr Lion Tamer
Referred to by his contemporaries as a “towering, blimp-like metaphor of a man,” W.Z. was known less for his perfectly competent drumming than his eternal struggle with his greatest nemeses: earth and gravity.

Regarded as “harmful crackpot,” W.Z. was often ridiculed and/or burned at the stake for espousing such views as: the earth revolves around the sun, solar eclipses are God’s punishment for Y.M. and Bryan’s relationship, women be different than men, double-coupon days lead to anarchy and Nickelback write subtle, nuanced music.

His unfinished 3,500-page diatribe, Fuck You Science, went with him to his grave, many of the pages badly singed from his multiple trips to the stake.

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Eleanor Genovese “Ma” Lion Tamer
A prodigious drinker and early proponent of women’s rights, E.G. ran a successful lunch stand, which was an intregal part of Kansas City’s cattle industry. Hailed by local food critics, her lunch stand was named “Stall of the Year” a record eight times. Among the praise showered on her:

  • “If you can get past the overwhelming smell of cow dung, you shan’t be disappointed…” – Kansas City Star
  • “You’ll return again and again for this selection of voluptuous sandwiches, and the view is nothing to thumb your nose at either…” – Midwestern “Events”
  • “After a heaping selection of breast meat, you’ll certainly want to wash it all down with Ma’s milkshake, which brings all the boys to the stockyard…” – FHM Magazine

-CLT

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Great Lion Tamers of the Past

September 6, 2010
[Oh, look! It’s some history! With pictures! Originally published May 24, 2009.]

In an effort to prove that not all Lion Tamers are insubordinate wastrels, here’s a brief history of just a few of the many great Lion Tamers of the past.

capitalistWilliam Danforth Lion Tamer
A noted robber baron and all-around good guy, William’s distinctive look came about after a long night of booze and opium. After chasing women and “the dragon” for several hours, he made an ill-fated visit to an underqualified plastic surgeon and tattooist, in that order.

W.D.’s penchant for mind-altering substances often caused him to appear in public with lewd phrases written on them. His long dormant patent for “Printing of Lewd Messages On or About the Buttocks of Garments” was snatched up by several clothing manufacturers around the turn of the century (21st, that is), including Aeropostale, whose slogan is “Drawing Attention to Your Daughter’s Ass Since 2005”.

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Ishmael Rimbaud Lion Tamer
Noted Detroit slum lord and general villain. Pictured here counting the monthly take with the highly-touted “scenic view” of “Eminent Domain Terrace” in the background.

Although he was one of the first landlords to provide tap water to his tenants (“Cold” and “Colder”), he was also known to mislead potential customers with promises of “breathable air” and “minimal silverfish infestations.” His last brochure promised “easy access to hundreds of limb-threatening jobs” and highlighted their proximity to “several leading schools, from which to draw your workforce.”

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Henry Monteblanc Pickwick Lion Tamer
H.M. Lion Tamer was a well-known raconteur and ladies’ man, due to his unnaturally large trust fund. He is shown here perusing an early issue of the self-published Daily Word Preƒƒ, featuring such diversions as:

Other popular features included 19-year-old Donald Mill’s fiery articles condemning the actions of his peers and Craigƒliƒt’s Miƒƒed Connectionƒ, which featured invitations to all sorts of debauchery and fisticuffs.

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Maude Beachcomber Lion Tamer
Maude, the protagonist of David Bowie’s Suffragette City, was a BDSM enthusiast who often showed “special treatment” to those in power. This portrait depicts her displeasure with “Silent” Cal Coolidge’s refusal to provide a safety word.

A 45-minute session ran around $12 and culminated in some affectionate bussing and a shocking glimpse of ankle.

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Reginald Nordstrom Lion Tamer
Noted early plastics innovator. His untimely death came about during a heated argument about the “future” between two of his employees, Benjamin Braddock and Lloyd Dobler. As he tried to break up the squabble, he was knocked into the pressure molder. Several hours later, R.N. has become the world’s first bobblehead doll, doomed to be given away at St. Paul Saints games for years to come.

He was eulogized with: “He threw his life into his work, inadvertently. Go Saints!”

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Jackson “Jack” Charles Lion Tamer
One of the few British Lion Tamers, J.C. travelled the world over, faithful umbrella at his side. A man of few words and fewer thoughts, J.C. never left the British Isles without his bandoleer, sword, chip on his shoulder and Union Jack shoved jauntily into his skull.

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Artemis Xerxes Lion Tamer
Cursed with gigantism, due to a thyroid condition and a vengeful God, A.X. enjoyed the rare privilege of being able to ride a roller coaster at the age of 18 months. Guiness declared him the “World’s Tallest Man,” a title he would hold from 1850-1899.

He, and other helpful but smaller giants, were a boon to the bustling railroad industry. His success was short-lived, however. Union Pacific heads soon discovered that he was not a “Chinaman,” and therefore, would be requiring real wages and full meal rations.

After this layoff, he travelled from town to town, terrorizing buffet owners and schoolchildren alike, offering “Sideburn Rides” for a nickel.

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Pierre Zimmerman Hilton Lion Tamer
Founder of the United States Magazine (or US Magazine), which lit the fire for such powderkegs as “Brad Cheats on Angie,” “Lindsay Lohan in Lesbian Love Triangle,” and “Kevin Federline Masturbates Furiously.”

Pictured here sitting literally on a powderkeg.

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Michael (Michelle) Nesbitt Lion Tamer
The first transgendered Lion Tamer, Michael left the country in 1901, fed up with the pressure of semi-regular voting and providing for a family due to his “breadwinner” status.

He returned from Sweden in 1902 as a woman, and immediately jumped into the Women’s Suffrage movement, leading protests for the right to vote and higher wages for women.

-CLT

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Note to Self:

August 31, 2010
Drawing "Internal Dialogue" = Instant Pictionary FAIL

Drawing "Internal Dialogue" = Instant Pictionary FAIL

[I honestly don’t know why I can’t bang out lists like this anymore. I’m hoping that means I’m “honing my craft.” Somehow I doubt it. Thanks for your patience and re-reading. Orignally published 08/12/2009.]

The bear cub was happier playing by itself.

Nothing goes to “11.” Not even my lovemaking.

RIAA lawyers do not have a sense of humor.

Neither does the Border Patrol.

A killing spree becomes a lot less forgivable once the phrase “multi-state” is attached to it.

Professional bodybuilders are incredibly sensitive about the size of their penises.

Personal phone calls probably do not need to be recorded for “quality assurance.”

The phrase “Only you can start forest fires” would seem to be a hell of a lot more accurate.

Describing your bedroom as being “where the magic happens” is not accurate on several levels. Plus, it makes family gatherings awkward.

A magician could probably say that about their bedroom. It would work on, like, all levels.

It would be awesome to be a magician!

The boss has begun to use the south entrance, which is a blind spot, especially when digging through his desk.

Those warning labels on industrial adhesives aren’t fucking around.

Man, these casts really make your legs itch. On a related note, the Wu-Tang Clan really ain’t nothing to fuck with.

Stop assuming everyone is just “impersonating” a police officer.

“Load bearing” and “extraneous” are not synonymous.

Using the phrase “You can have x when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers” in prison is less of a threat and more of an invitation.

There is a time and place for everything, except possibly your impression of Christopher Reeve as a lifeguard.

Hookers will never agree with the phrase “It all pays the same.”

Try to be more specific about “casual dress” in the future.

Bar managers and owners would prefer to be the ones to decide when drinks are “on the house.”

Take the blue pill.

Whoever said “That which does not kill you makes you stronger,” obviously wasn’t considering suicide attempts. Or muscular dystrophy.

Apparently, a “multi-state killing spree” is not a “victimless crime.” Also, remember to set aside more income for legal defense as these public defenders are bullshit.

Also complete bullshit: Dear Abby’s legal advice.

Your scuffle with two African-American youths at the nightclub was probably not the “tipping point” in American race relations. So you can probably stop writing angry letters to the editors of Jet Magazine.

Lefty knew what he was talking about. Don’t stick your hand in there.

“It’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets any better” has been describing way too many life events lately.

You don’t have to publish every half-ass idea you have.

-CLT