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Monday, January 24, 2005

FCC: "Indecent, My Ass!"

The FCC just denied an assload of indecency complaints filed against some popular shows by the Parents Television Council.

The annoyingly conservative watchdog group complained because the shows included words like “dick,” “vaginal,” “hell,” “orgasm” and “penis.” (Man, they'd hate dinnertime at my house.)

Here are some examples of what the FCC did not consider indecent:

NYPD Blue, 4/8/2003: a character states: "That dickhead in a wheelchair.”

Fastlane, 9/18/2002: one character threatens another by stating: "…in my next life I'm coming back as a pair of pliers and pull off your nutsack."

girlsclub, 9/28/2002: a female character remarks: "I’m not feeling too sexual these days... Especially here, I’m having a little trouble with one of the power dicks."

Friends, 5/1/2003: a female character and her husband encounter the husband's former girlfriend at a medical office. After a conversation concerning fertility treatment, the female character says that she has to go because she's got "an invasive vaginal exam to get to."

Scrubs, 11/13/2003: a male doctor tells a female resident that he would rather listen to her “go on and on about the joys of dolphin sex.”

Will & Grace, 5/20/2003: a male character studying to become a nurse tells his fellow students that “he can name all the bones in the human penis.”

Tribute: Media Mourns A Fallen King

News outlets nationwide are paying tribute to Johnny Carson, who passed away Sunday.

During his 30 years as host of The Tonight Show, Carson reinvented an entire genre of television, setting the standard for the countless talk shows on television today. I would say he will be missed, but he pretty much had been gone from the public eye since retiring in 1992.

Below are a few touching pieces that remember Johnny far more eloquently than I ever could.

Related Links:
N.Y. Times: Johnny Carson, Low-Key King of Late-Night TV, Dies at 79
N.Y. Times: The Joke-Writing Continued After the Curtain Went Down
AP: Late-Night TV King Johnny Carson Mourned
USA Today: He defined late-night TV and launched careers
N.Y. Daily News: Farewell to Johnny
N.Y. Daily News: King Carson best there will ever be
MSNBC: Carson was everyman, with charisma
Miami Herald: American TV icon Johnny Carson dies
N.Y. Post: Dave and Jay Mourn TV's Original King of Late Night

Trading Jobs

Paige Davis is out as host of TLC's Trading Spaces.

TLC says it's due to a transition to a hostless format. But the N.Y. Post's Page (Paige?) Six hints it may be for far more interesting reasons.

I have no interest in Trading Spaces, but I would love to see a copy of that new "audition tape" of Paige's making the rounds. I'll have my protective goggles and duct tape ready.

Chubby Chaser

Remember the Desperate Housewives/Monday Night Football fiasco? Turns out that the original plan was to have Nicollette Sheridan make her pass at ABC football analyst John Madden, not Terrell Owens.

Oh, gross.

Lame Duck Sheen Prepares His Farewell

As West Wing Commander-In-Chief Martin Sheen prepares for life after his TV presidency, he and several other cast members suggests an interactive or reality style showdown to determine who'll play the new president on the oft-struggling NBC drama.

Honestly, isn't it a foregone conclusion that liberal candidate Matt Santos (played by Jimmy Smits) will win? I mean, this is Hollywood, which last time I checked leans a tad to the left. Also, a Republican POTUS would necessitiate replacing almost the entire cast, alienating what few fans remain.

And, after all, Mr. Smits can still make the ladies hearts go pitter-patter. And isn't that all that matters?

Katie Not Goin' Anywhere?

Looks like NBC is pushing hard for Katie Couric to stay put, possibly quelching plans for CBS to hire her away to replace Dan Rather.

Katie better sign on the dotted line, and quick: ABC's Good Morning America is fast approaching Today in the ratings.

Tonight's Tube

Monday: We've got ourselves a Dirty War on HBO. There's a Widow on the Hill on Lifetime. But for sheer drama, our money is on The WB's 7th Heaven, where Lucy goes into labor on an elevator (are the kids actually allowed to, you know, "do it" on that show?), and wackiness ensues.

Monday Trivia: 1985-1986, Part One

Which of the following did not air on ABC in the 1985-1986 TV season?

A) Glitter
B) Lime Street
C) The Insiders
D) Diff'rent Strokes

Answer tomorrow.

The Geek Files: Right Down To The Toilet

They say life imitates art. Pusher would agree- especially if you consider the classic sitcom Seinfeld "art." Here's this week's Geek Files.

I kick Jerry Seinfeld's ass. OK - not so much in bringing the funny but definitely in the no-vomit streak.

In the chocolate Babka episode of his landmark series, Seinfeld went 14 years (beginning in 1980) without puking his guts out. That's quite a run. If only he didn't "look to the cookie" for racial harmony maybe he wouldn't have tossed his.

So why do I kick his ass? 22 years, my friends. My streak was 22 years. Oh, you caught the "was," did you? Alas, I have no tragic tale of binge-drinking nor comedic story of black and white cookies. I only have Dominoes pizza... ordered in The Bahamas... at 10:30pm... after a day of conch fritters, plantains, ice cream and a beer won in a rousing game of poolside bingo.

22 years "right down the toilet," as Seinfeld would have said. I didn't even know what to do; couldn't decide if I stand or squat in front of the toilet. Actually lifting the seat never even entered my mind; although I did consider puking into the tub instead since it had ample room.

By the end of the night only one thing made the entire experience bearable. While flipping through the channels of the TV awaiting my Milk of Magnesia rescue I came across... (wait for it) the chocolate Babka episode of Seinfeld! No joke.

There is a God and God can bring the funny too.