January 11, 2009

An SNL MSNBC Spoof Finally Nails It

By Brady Bonk

When Ben Affleck spoofed the almighty Keith Olbermann recently, it wasn’t very good. It had its moments. The exaggerated camera changes, were funny. But it didn’t nail it. It fell flat.

I’m a big Keith fan, but I’m not just being a fanboi here. I think an Olbermann spoof could be very good. Affleck’s just wasn’t. Good satire requires more than a germ of truth. Many say that Olbermann’s Special Comment segment can be “over the top,” sure. However, it does serve to remember that the segment was born in reaction to the Secretary of Defense characterizing people who disagreed with him as “morally” and “intellectually” “confused.” Such an assertion by such a highly-placed government official demands “over the top,” and thank Zeus that somebody had the balls to deliver.

Besides, Olbermann has never done and would never do a Special Comment on a triviality or on a personal matter, as Affleck’s portrayal suggested. He’s never come close to such an ethical infraction. You shouldn’t satirize a strawman. It’s just not funny. No, Affleck should stick to impersonating Alec Baldwin. His Olbermann was an utter failure.

Leave it to Amy Elliott, granddaughter of Bob Elliott, to clean that mess up. Last night, Ms. Elliott did her damndest Rachel Maddow. It was very good. Watch:

Ms. Maddow, I believe you have arrived.

Parenthetically: I am wishing I could find an online embed of the SNL Digital Short from last night, in which Neil Patrick Harris plays the theme from Doogie Howser, M.D. It is, without hyperbole, the funniest thing I have ever seen. I cannot watch it again lest I turn blue and poop on the carpet laughing. I love brilliance. And that was brilliant. (I am guessing SNL couldn’t license the music for the Web, so no Web embed. Damnit Jim.)

Also, can someone please tell the editors of The Huffington Post that it’s not called a “skit,” but a “sketch?” Grrrrr.

November 21, 2008

I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got

By Brady Bonk

Tivo Alert: Rachel Maddow will appear on Conan this evening.

I know that I am one of the few who actually cares about this kind of thing. I tried time and again to set the world on fire with John McWeirdsmile’s bizarre use of the phrase “I’ll follow him to the gates of Hell,” but nobody else seemed to see it nor care. Similarly, I am constantly correcting folks who take the “-ic” out of “Democratic.”

However, I am hearing and reading a lot of people discussing Republigoats in terms of “sour grapes.” No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no NO no no no.

“Sour grapes” is not the same thing as being a sore loser. “Sour grapes” is a specific rationalization, when one denies that he desires something that is unattainable anyway. If John McWeirdsmile now said, “You know, with the financial crisis going on and two wars and everything, and the friggin’ job only pays $400,000 a year anyways! Who in his right mind would want that job? Phooey!” As a matter of fact, I must admit that, had John McWeirdsmile won, I would have been employing a sort of sour grapes arugment. Screw it, they won it, they can have it, I would have written here. Let them run this country further into the ground, then they’ll see; they’ll see this friendly fascism at work, an then, they’ll not only come out to vote, but they’ll pour out into the streets! That’s sour grapes.

One hot summer’s day a Fox was strolling through an orchard till he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine which had been trained over a lofty branch. “Just the things to quench my thirst,” quoth he. Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: “I am sure they are sour.”

The moral: It is easy to despise what you cannot get.

Language is special and important. The phrase in question is from a specific fable and describes a specific foible. To use it in other contexts dulls its efficacy and renders it mundane. You might as well be using it to describe a skin condition or your pants. Besides that, it makes what the Republigoats are discussing seem somehow quaint compared to the actual vitriolic nature of some of the things coming out from over there. They are not engaging in sour grapes. They are being sore losers, bad Americans, and assholes. (And, hey. What’d you expect?)

So. Ixnay on the oursay grapesway. Unless, of course, it is what you actually mean to say. Way.

Another item: For the first time evar, I have nominated this blog to

(my comment is still awaiting approval).

Wish us luck.

Another KIAV Noat: Yes, I took down that big obnoxious Obama banner. It was time. We are pretty again. Yay!