Friday, September 29, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
With so much happening during Spankin Free Music Week, everything is a blur. Could it be James Blunt, discussing with VJStephen the problems with using UK slang in the US, saying that Americans don't understand him when he says he's "going outside for a fag," and VJStephen, not understanding him, looking like his eyes are gonna bulge out of his head? Could it be our webcam interview with Panic at the Disco, when the connection was so bad that the audio was totally choppy and the Panic guys got frustrated and figured that since we couldn't hear them they could just start saying anything they wanted, and then suddenly the audio kicked in and they said "shit" loud and clear on the air? No, my personal favorite was probably prepping our guests for Wednesday's cold open, the lamest we've ever done in the history of TRL. The guests were JoJo (age 15), Vanessa Hudgens (age 17), and Jesse McCartney (age 19). Here's the copy:





JoJo was fine with it. Vanessa, tolerable. But Jesse looked like he'd rather shove his balls in a vice than do the read. But he did it, with a grimace on his face the likes of which I'd never seen before. Later, during a commercial break, I told him that we felt like we hadn't embarrassed him enough yet so he would have to do his acoustic performance in a diaper. He looked at me silently for a moment, then said "I don't doubt you." But at least he was a good sport about it all. That's more than I can say for the many, many guests who have shot down perfectly un-lame creative.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

So what does it take for my hometown of Coral Springs, Florida to make the national news? Apparently a story of death, deception, and itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka-dot bikinis.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Witchy Woman

You'd think that after all the money she spent reconfiguring her face, Ashlee Simpson would've done something to her chin to look less like Witch Hazel.

The perks of working at MTV continue... I can now write my TRL scripts while listening to Q104* on my Prarie Home Companion radio, which came free in the mail today to remind me that it hits DVD on October 10th.
(note: the desk behind the radio is my officemates, not mine... so please don't question the appearance of the Mets bobblehead dolls)

* Speaking of Q104, they're having a presale for Brian Wilson's 40th-Anniversay performance of Pet Sounds (with Al Jardine!). Starts this morning at 10am. Password is SOUNDS.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Some quick links today:
- For those of you with money to spare, buy a real Fem-Bot.
- For those of you without money to spare, get free Cold Stone ice cream.
- For those of you with alcohol to spare, play the Studio 60 drinking game.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Wow, what a great site this is... free streams of every episode of The Simpsons ever made. Watch past season 10 at your own risk.

After watching the first two episodes of this season of Survivor, I'm tired of people saying that the dividing-tribes-by-races angle is racist. It's just not. The producers haven't played into any ethnic stereotypes; it's not like the African-American camp was given fried chicken and collard greens, or the Asian-American camp was filled with math books. They have done nothing to put one race in a better or worse light than another. If anything, they seem to be overcautious, always checking in with the Caucasian tribe last. I think they just tried to put a new spin on a tired formula. Whether this makes the show more interesting or not remains to be seen... I'm leaning towards it being unnecessary. But it's certainly not racist.

(Spoiler alert - don't read if you haven't seen last week's episode but plan to)
And a quick note: Heavy metal Billy's "love at first sight" speech about Candice automatically puts him in the Crazy Reality Star Hall-of-Fame. He can sit at a table right between Omarosa and Brigitte Nielsen. I can't wait to hear Candice's reaction when she hears about this.

Friday, September 22, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
It seemed like bras had become the center of attention on our show, as on Wednesday Fergie popped out the bottom part of her breast, which was fortunately covered. Then on Thursday, this girl came by wearing a clear-white shirt and no bra (I know you can't tell from the photo. I'm trying to find a better-quality tape to get the image from. But for now you'll just have to trust me.). She somehow found her way directly behind the VJ's in almost every shot, raising her arms and jumping up and down. If that didn't cause a ratings spike, I don't know what will.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Maxim's list of the least-appealing women on television is completely messed up (although they did get Calamity Jane right... ugh, she makes me shudder). Tina Fey at #3? Um, Rachel Dratch, anyone? And where are Patty and Selma? Chloe from 24? Johnny Sack's wife on The Sopranos? Any daytime talkshow hosts (Oprah / Sally Jesse / Judge Judy)? Any of the contestants on Flavor of Love? Who else am I missing...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm Bringing Truth-y Back
Damn those gossip websites, always stirring up trouble and getting stories wrong. As I hope you've seen, Justin Timberlake loved our animal sex sounds game. No so, according to this site. But you all know the truth.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Yet another reason why I wish I was a multi-millionaire: I could buy the Nightmare on Elm Street house.
Not to live in it. Just because.

Who are those sweaty, tattoo-sporting, leather-pants clad old men?* Why that's Motley Crue (and the guy walking offstage on the far right, with the even weirder pants, is Steven Tyler). Last night VJDamien got me into the private Ambassadors of Rock event at the Hard Rock Cafe, celebrating the Hard Rock's 35th birthday and raising money for the Chris Farley Foundation. What a weird event... it was as if I'd been sucked into my television while watching VH1 Classic. All five members of Aerosmith! Max Weinberg! Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick! Vinnie Paul of Pantera! All four members of Hootie and the Blowfish! 40% of Damnocracy (Ian Scott and Evan Seinfeld)! And Matt Sorum, who I got to talk to briefly until I scared him away. Booze flowed freely (and free), hot waitresses duped suckers (including the two of us) into buying $50 raffle tickets, and the Crue played a 90-minute set of all hits (and one new song). Although the band was tight, Vince Neil simply sings sounds instead of words (for example, the first line of "Dr. Feelgood" now goes "Ha hail Himmy, heconeh woo, de-a Hollywoo"). Quite bizarre.

* And why can my camera only take crappy, out-of-focus photos at concerts? This was by far the best one to come out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

How lame is it to still like Weird Al* at my age (or at any age, for that matter)? And yet, I think his new Chamillionaire parody, "White & Nerdy," is genius. So excuse me for being lame... but as a genius once sang, it's hip to be square.
(Update: here's a link that works)

* Note: Some friends and I went to see Al perform live on his "Bad Hair Day" tour (yes, I know... but he's really quite a showman... more costume changes than Madonna or Mariah). When the concert ended, we were standing outside the venue and there was a huge line of people with backstage passes waiting to meet Al (I think they got the passes from his fan club). Someone who had just come from backstage asked if anyone wanted his pass, and I immediately grabbed it. I waited on line for like 30 minutes, went backstage and met him. He signed my "Bad Hair Day" CD (which I conveniently happened to have with me), and then, trying to be funny and original, I asked him when we can expect UHF 2. He gave me an annoyed look, muttered under his breath that it was highly unlikely, then shooed me away. I guess he's still a little sore that the movie tanked so badly. And now he and I have beef.

Friday, September 15, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
Tuesday's show included the crowning achievement of my tenure at TRL. Here's the set-up: since Justin Timberlake's new album is called "Future Sex / Love Sounds," he must be an expert on love sounds... so we played down actual audio clips of animals having sex and had him identify each animal. It became, in Justin's own words, the "weirdest moment on TRL ever... ever!" Watch for yourself here (the good stuff starts at 1:05, and you can stop watching at 3:55).

Honorable Mention
The Rock made a vast improvement to the cold open to yesterday's show when he changed his line "Shut your piehole, Damien" to "Shut your balloonknot, Damien." Gotta be the first time that word has been used on TRL.
Sorry Rock, any other week the crown would've been yours... but this week the competition was just too fierce.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ridin Dirty
Okay, do the makers of this iGallop machine really think that women will use this machine to exercise and simulate horseback riding? Seriously?
(My favorite part of the video is the cowgirl pretending to shoot pistols as she's riding. That's some hard-core exercising)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Yes, that's me as a Simpsons character. Not a great resemblance, and not as good as my South Park character. You can create your own at the Simpsonmaker.

By the way, I broke my vow yet again and watched Sunday's season premiere of The Simpsons. Big surprise... it sucked. This time I really promise never to watch a new episode again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Again, I am not endorsing the U.S. version of The Office... but since I know there are so many fans out there, you should call 1-800-984-DMPC (3672). You'll probably get a busy signal the first few times, but it goes through eventually.

In Pig Heaven
Over the weekend I happened upon one of the more unusual drink concoctions I've ever had... only available at 2:30am on a Saturday night / Sunday morning at Otto's Shrunken Head... it's a shot of bourbon with a freshly-grilled strip of bacon dropped in. The grease mixes with the bourbon, so when you first drink it, your stomach feels like it's gonna revolt. But then the bacon acts as a chaser, and all is well in the world again... it's quite exquisite. I highly recommend everyone try it at least once.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
Did the show sink to a new low on Friday by introducing a mascot, the TRL Jackass, to randomly give out $1,000 of back-to-school cash to kids in the audience? Or was it an ingenious ploy to gain viewership? Or was it a subtle but brilliant marketing ploy to remind people about the upcoming Jackass: Number Two movie*, in theaters September 22nd and distributed by MTV Films (we certainly didn't call it the TRL Donkey...)? Only time will tell.

* Note: Saw a screening of this about 6 weeks ago, and I honestly can't remember the last time I laughed so hard at a movie. The shit they do is unreal! And I promise, this recommendation has nothing to do with my being employed by MTV.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

For no real reason whatsoever, I've decided to put together a list of 10 celebrities that I wish I could remove any trace of fame from. And not just make them unfamous now... I mean take away the fact that they were ever famous. Erase everything they've ever done. I put them in no particular order, with the exception of the first name:

-Diddy: He has been at the top of my most-hated list for years. It boggles my mind he got as big as he is. As a rapper, all he does is take well-known riffs and go "ugh" and "ah" over them. He's the most unabashed shiller I've ever seen... whenever he comes to TRL, the staff places fake bets on how many times he'll say "in stores now" or hold up the CD he's promoting (the pinnacle of this is when he came to promote his role in Raisin in the Sun on Broadway, and because he was so used to saying it all the time, he said that the play "was in stores now"). He also is ridiculously frivolous with money, which I guess is his prerogative but still annoying when he uses it to rent penguins to roam around his parties, and I hate that he hires people to do stupid shit for him, such as his umbrella-butler Farnsworth and his more-recent question-answerer and drink butler at this year's VMA's.
-Fred Durst: I used to imagine that if I had lots of money, I would offer him a million dollars to record an album without a single curse word, just to see if he could do it (I doubt he could, given his average of a curse every 4.6 words). Now I realize that's a stupid idea, because I wouldn't want him to have another penny. Fortunately the world seems to have moved well past Limp Bizkit... let's hope it stays that way. (And I just found out that apparently
he has herpes - thanks Lindsay)
-Ben Affleck: I once read a review, I think it was of Chasing Amy, which described Ben mouth-breathing his way through the role and wondering if he could ever close his trap. Funny observation. But an even better observation is that the only emotion he can ever portray with any accuracy is smugness, probably because he exudes so much smugness in real life. He's a pompous, arrogant jerk. And how does he still get work? Look at his
resume... bomb after bomb after bomb. (update: was just forwarded this... yet another reason to dislike him)
-Spike Lee: I have no problem with people expressing their opinions. But Spike does his with such venom, no matter what he's trying to say, that you could care less about his point because you have such a problem with his delivery. And when he argues, he never lets other people express their opinions, or at least never acknowledges them. A few weeks ago there was an
article in New York Magazine in which he ranted that we haven't addressed slavery in this country... that kids should know that George Washington owned slaves. Since when are we hiding that fact? I know I learned that in school. But that's besides the point. Is teaching that more important than teaching about the battles he fought or his becoming the first president? Believe me, I don't want to take anything away from the issue of slavery. But what good will it do to make the focal point of all important historical figures who owned slaves the fact that they owned slaves? Yes, make it part of the lesson, but not the only lesson. (I know I'm not explaining myself properly here, and I hope I'm not offending anyone. If you take one thing away from this paragraph, it's that I hate Spike Lee.)
-Sammy Sosa: He's not as big an asshole as Barry Bonds, and has never technically been connected to steroids. But come on... is there any doubt? And at least Bonds showed amazing talent before he started taking steroids. Before Sosa did, he was a puny nothing. Suddenly he hits 60+ homers in 3 out of 4 seasons? I call bullshit. He's also one of the biggest offenders of admiring his homers after he hits them. Run the fucking basepaths, then celebrate once you've crossed home plate.
-J-Lo: She can't sing, can't act, has no personality. And yet she's the ultimate diva. How did that happen?
-Rob Schneider: His "making copies" SNL character was moderately funny... the first time you saw it. After that, I can't think of a single thing he's ever done that has made me laugh (okay, 1 thing: in Big Daddy, when his deliveryman is learning to read and, when he sees "hippopotamus," says "hip... hip-hop... hip-hop anonymous." Although it doesn't seem so funny as I'm writing this). In the U.S. version of Men Behaving Badly, he even made Ron Eldard (star of such side-splitting films as Black Hawk Down, House of Sand and Fog, and Sleepers) seem like a comic genius. His movies aren't just bad... they're some of the worst ever made (my co-worker claims that Benchwarmers is the worst movie he's ever seen). And way to use Mel Gibson's anti-Semetic rant to bring attention to yourself by saying you'll never work with him. Yeah, in your dreams, Deuce.
-Britney Spears: I know this is sort of cliched, but seriously, what is she contributing to the entertainment industry at this point (or to society in general, for that matter)? Not only that, but strip away her celebrity and you get rid of K-Fed too. May as well kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
-Chris Martin: I hate Dave Matthews's voice. Always have. Chris Martin sounds just like him. But I chose Chris over Dave because Chris named his kids Apple and Moses. What's next: Maxwell House? (thanks Seinfeld)
-Joe Simpson: Ashley is bad. Jessica is worse. But Joe takes the cake, if for no other reason than that Rolling Stone article from a few years ago when he discussed Jessica's album, which came out right around 9/11, and said (and this is paraphrased, but only slightly) "When the terrorists crashed the planes, they did more than destroy those buildings; they almost destroyed Jessica's career." He's a creepy slimeball (stop talking about your daughters' breasts!!!), he whines when things don't go his way, and in addition to his daughter, he pushed Ryan Cabrera into the music world. And please stop frosting your tips... you look ridiculous!

Thanks for letting me get all this off my chest. I feel much better now.

Yesterday I came across this article about "telephone telepathy." I've certainly experienced this phenomenon, although finding any scientific proof of its existence seemed highly unlikely to me. But not to Rupert Sheldrake. The subjects of his study correctly guessed callers 45% of the time. Yet I wouldn't say that his results are foolproof... after all he says that the "odds against this being a chance effect are 1,000 billion to one." Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't 1,000 billion the same as a trillion? Would any smart person, let alone a research scientist, say 1,000 billion when they meant a trillion? Not only that, and I admit I'm not amathematiciann, but for a sample of a mere 63 people, the trillion-to-one odds seemsextraordinarilyy high. I don't even think I'd put the odds at that if the subjects had guessed correctly 99% of the time. There must be an equation to show I'm right about this. If I have any math whiz readers out there, can you please prove this for me?

On an unrelated note, here's a really creepy website my friend sent me.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Last night I was supposed to go to Shea Stadium to see the Mets battle the Braves, but due to a rainout I found myself at home watching Hype!, the documentary about the Seattle music scene during the rise of the grunge era. I've gotten a bunch of musical docs over the past few months from Netflix, and this film doesn't compete with ones like Hated: GG Allin & the Murder Junkies or Punk: Attitude. Not much new insight. But it does give equal interview time to members of famous bands (like Pearl Jam, The Melvins, Soundgarden, and Supersuckers) and to ones who didn't gain mainstream success (like 7 Year Bitch and Coffin Stain - the non-famous bands had much better names, dontcha think?). Interesting to listen to their different viewpoints. It also shows the first ever live performance of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," featuring different lyrics than the Nevermind version.
But the best part of the movie was when Megan Jasper, a sales rep for Sub Pop discusses the 1992 article in the New York Times about grunge. During her interview with the paper, they asked her for grunge slang terms. She told them to give her words, and she would translate them into grunge-speak... but basically she just made shit up, and the Times published them all. You can read the article here, but I think you need to log in... so here's her infamous, ingenious list.
Lexicon of Grunge: Breaking the Code
WACK SLACKS: Old ripped jeans
FUZZ: Heavy wool sweaters
PLATS: Platform shoes
KICKERS: Heavy boots
BOUND-AND-HAGGED: Staying home on Friday or Saturday night
SCORE: Great
DISH: Desirable guy
LAMESTAIN: Uncool person
TOM-TOM CLUB: Uncool outsiders
ROCK ON: A happy goodbye

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

This post is in no way meant to convey that I think that Suchin Pak is ugly. In fact, I'm quite fond of her. Yet when I first saw this billboard over Times Square, I thought it was Suchin. Upon closer inspection, I don't at all. But for that first instant...

Open note to anyone collecting "money to feed the homeless"
I appreciate you giving your time to a charitable cause. However, if you're conducting your business on the street, and you see a scruffy, dirty-looking man walk past, don't simply assume he is homeless and ask if he would like something to eat. From my eye-witness account of this situation happening this morning on 44th & Broadway, it will lead to that man screaming at you, "What the fuck is your problem? You think I'm fucking homeless? Why don't you go fuck yourself!"
Just a heads-up.

Friday, September 01, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
The All-American Rejects dropped by on Monday. During a commercial break, I overhead VJVanessa ask the guys to name five words that begin with the letter x (I missed the beginning of the conversation, so I'm not sure what prompted the question). The first three words I heard out of the guys' mouths:
- xylophone
- xenophobe
- zebra
Zebra? Really? And these guys have already made more money than I will ever see in my entire life. So depressing.

Honorable Mention: Jessica Simpson during her visit on Tuesday. Battling a case of laryngitis, she cancelled her performance but came to the show anyway to show off her croaky voice*. Listen to her here... at about the 1:25 mark she imitates a donkey, then makes an unintentionally funny remark about not being able to open her mouth at parties.

* Editor's note: sounds to me like she was faking. I've made that same voice when trying to get out of giving an oral presentation in high school. Not to mention the fact that her voice gets better as the interview progresses, then when VJDamien points it out it suddenly gets much worse again. Somebody maybe have sudden stage fright?

I Shook Axl's Hand!
Yes, towards the end of an interminable day floor-producing last night's VMA Live: Backstage Uncensored (a.k.a. the behind-the-scenes show streaming live on MTV Overdrive during the VMA's), the one and only Axl came down to my position in the basement to practice his teleprompter read and to do an interview with John Norris*. And although he was whisked back to the talent holding room before I could ask for a photo with him, I did manage to shake his hand while gushing like a pathetic fanboy about how excited I was to meet him. He couldn't have been nicer about my nerdiness, so I will forgive the fact that his hair looks like yarn and that his shirt had about four too many buttons undone.

* That interview contained my favorite exchange of the night (of the online portion). As his last question, John asked about the status of Chinese Democracy, and Axl assured him it's coming this year. When pressed for something more specific, Axl hesitated.
John: But it'll happen before democracy comes to China.
Axl: (rolling his eyes) Unfortunately.