Archive for television

It’s Official! The French Admit: “We are Annoying”

Posted in humor, news, news parody, political humor, political satire, politics, satire with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by chandlerswainreviews

by Radley Eckstine- Paris Bureau, Swain News Service

Just walk the streets of Paris and you can sense there is something very different in the air. If you can see through the haze of cigarette smoke hovering over the sidewalk cafes on the Rue de la Grossierete Eternelle, there is an unfamiliar blank stare of malaise which has replaced the more familiar and beloved open sneer of contempt the people of the City of Light are famous for.

Jacques Bidet-Cruller, renowned social anthropologist and pinceur derriere, puts his doigt on the problem. “The lack of a  lack of passion for living is missing. It has been replaced by a palpable absence of lack of lack of passion. I was sitting at Cafe de boutons de manchette Yves Montand, and an American tourist couple walked by to ask directions, and there was not one single single snort of derision to come from the patrons. My world was upended! I wanted to cry.”

“A national identity is how a nation identifies itself nationally, and without this sense of national self, we’ll all be forced to carry photo I.D.s to identify ourselves to a nation struggling for it’s own identity on a national level.” So said an unidentified speaker who claimed to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy at a recent Paris conference of M.E.R.D.E., a national consortium of French intellectuals whose keynote address touched upon a national controversy which has been sweeping the country since last Thursday: “What does it mean to be French?”

ARE THE FRENCH FRIED?: Has the effort of annoying the world been too much for the French who may see their Reign of Taunting at an end?

This sudden and severe national identity crisis seems to have paralyzed the entire nation and  has been publicly emphasized with the publication of the latest edition of  Dictionnaire Francaises in which there was an alteration that stunned an already reeling nation. For centuries, under the word French, the definition has traditionally been listed as the following:

adj. 1. Of relating to, or characteristic of France and it’s people or culture. 2. Of relating to the French language. 3. Of a cumulative rudeness of a high level. 4. Of a selective genetic contemptuousness; being of superior attitude without cause.  n. 1. The Romance language of France. 2. (used with a pl. verb) The people of France.

However, in the controversial new edition, the definition has been updated and now reads as follows:

n. 1. French, Giles (alternately Mr. French) name of character popularized by British actor Sebastian Cabot on the American TV program “Family Affair”. 2. Group of people who Victor Hugo used to write about.. 3. Those who surrender. 4. A yellow mustard.

To add insult to injury, the listing is accompanied by a photo of Sebastian Cabot in his popular television role as the unflappable “gentleman’s gentleman”.

“It’s an outrage,” exclaimed French Minister of Cultural Superiority Jacques Bidet- Moret. “To think that an entire people is subordinate to a television character. I can attest to the fact that many of my fellow countrymen are entirely non-fictional!”

IT TAKES GAUL TO BE FRENCH: Will the Real Mr. French(man) please stand up?

In an effort to understand the growing psychological crisis, the French government, through the facilities of La Poste, sent a survey questionnaire to every household in the nation, attempting to ask the people themselves: What Is It to Be French?

In a stunning 70% mandate, the French voted overwhelmingly to admit they are “annoying”, while 20% voted for “uniformly intolerable”, 6% for “cute as a button”, 1% for “none of your damned business” and a mere .8% for “whatever the Fuhrer says”.

French Minister of Interior Design Jacques Bidet-LeBecque was stunned by the results. “I could not believe that La Poste actually delivered the surveys in a timely fashion and failed to go on strike even once during the process! Oh, what has happened to our national pride?”

Writer Gregarus Flippant, a native of New York City, whose study of the French “The Snort Heard ‘Round the World” takes an optomistic view of what others have termed “a crisis of national identity” but he merely sees as a brief period of fatigue. “They are simply tired,” he said, “individually and as a people. One cannot live of wine, baguettes and Nutella without it having some effect on your system. They’re simply experiencing a national hangover.”

“Historically, the French have always been contrary people, but we’ve always put up with them because Catherine Deneuve is so pretty,” says Prof. Zubin Motzah, Dean of French Studies at St. Probiscis University in Kensington, England. “However, if we closely examine the results of the French National Survey we can see that under the heading ‘What as a Frenchman Do You Dislike Most?’, the top answer is Weekly Baths With Soap, beating out Psoriasis by three to one and Nazis by over five to one. So, happily, traces of the French personality survive.”

This is little consolation to Fred and Minnie Carbuncle of Dryer Sheets, Florida, the direction seeking American tourists referred to earlier by Jacques Bidet-Cruller. “We did everything we could to annoy them,” cried Mrs. Carbuncle,”but they wouldn’t insult us. It was so humiliating!”

“Listen dammit, “said Mr. Carbuncle, “we even wore Ed Hardy shirts and nothing, no response. It’s infuriating! You spend a lot of money to come overseas to be insulted by the French and they can’t even spit in your direction? It’s intolerable. This is not what the brochures promised.”

The couple walked away, visibly shaken, but as they left, Mr. Carbuncle yelled to an Eiffel Tower that seemed to take no notice. “One thing you can count on, “he exclaimed in a voice filled with emotion, “Travelocity is going to hear about this!”


Jackson Nose Up in the Air

Posted in humor, news, news parody with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2011 by chandlerswainreviews

by Jaspar Apismo, Swain News Service

As the fourth day of the involuntary manslaughter trial against Michael Jackson’s personal physician Dr. Conrad Murray begins, the media of the world has descended on the “City of Angels” with a ferocity not seen since Sarah Palin last announced that she would not announce any decision about deciding on whether to announce her decision not to decide on anything until further notice.

THE NOSE IN QUESTION: Could it put a new face on the trial?

Despite the respectful Mardi Gras atmosphere outside the courthouse, speculation is on the rise on the streets of Los Angeles,  reaching epic proportions, centered about a surprise witness who may be called in by either the prosecution, the defense, or Geraldo Rivera killing on-air time: Michael Jackson’s former nose.

“Who knows what the nose knows, but it could blow the case wide open,” says trial analyst for Shameless  Hype Investigative Television, Fosdick Pettyman.

Details are uncertain as to what testimony valuable to the case might be extracted from the nose since it seems to have parted ways from the pop icon sometime back in the 1990’s. Extra host Mario Lopez is also uncertain about any aspect of this or any other case but is simply happy to have a paying job.

“There’s a whirlwind of speculation that the nose may may be subpoenaed,” says Fox Channel legal analyst Flaxen Bronzethigh. “But given the tenuous circumstances of their past association, it’s simply unknown whether the nose would run or obey the court order.”

Will ‘Dancing’ Get the Royal Treatment?

Posted in humor, news, news parody, political humor, politics with tags , , , , , , , on September 24, 2011 by chandlerswainreviews

by Hadley Snipes Prawley, Swain News Service

It was supposed to be an upgrade in the image of the program. But for fans of the 13th season of ABC TV’s “Dancing With the Stars”, the expected disappointing line-up of “who’s its?” and wannabe “who’s its?” was business as usual and the question remained: Since when have the contestants all been subjects of the Witness Protection Program? Where are the Stars? Hope Solo? Rob Kardashian??

Over the years there have been competitive appearances by many who drew a national blank when their names were announced, and the concern over the “star” quality of the program has been of considerable concern to the network. The controversy reached it’s peak when two seasons ago, Bevis Lumpkin, a sandwich delivery boy was mistaken for one of the competitors and made it through five rounds before being voted off, mainly due to judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s comment that “you have the finesse of a waddling duck in leg splints” and only gave him a 9 score.

However, in a bold move to reach out to the star gazing audience, the producers of the program are aiming for a novelty far beyond the scope of leg challenged, hearing challenged or gender challenged contestants.

Will a mirrored disco ball be the latest of the Crown Jewels? Only if Queen Elizabeth II can cut a sassy samba.

“We’re aiming at the clue challenged,” boasts production aide Livinia Tutu. “This is it, the big enchilada. We’re aiming for a sitting head of State.”

While an Obama or Putin would be an interesting choice, the ABC program has something more traditional in mind. “A royal figure. A sitting Monarch,” explains Tutu. “Queen Elizabeth.”

The thought of Her Royal Highness kicking her heels up in a tango duel with an oily moonlighting Chippendale dancer might be worth a look, but can the 85-year-old withstand the grueling pressures of rehearsals, performances and wild expulsions by judge Bruno Tonioli?

“Absolutely,” states “Dancing” physical fitness consultant, Embrio Foscatello. “She looks like she is a steady bag of bones, and- hey- that Cloris Leachman didn’t die on us. I just hope the Queen isn’t as handsy.”

Probing insiders at Buckingham Palace reveals further enlightenment. Says disgruntled ex- tureen polisher Emile DeSquat, “Every Monday night is Big Band Night at the Palace, with the Queen and Prince Philip in poodle skirt and zoot suit really going at it on the dance floor. The old bird’s pretty limber for her age if I do say so myself.”

But does the Queen have the stamina for an extended competition?

“Listen,” assures DeSquat,”if you ever saw the way she does a back flip and scissor kick during the Jitterbug, I’d be worried if I were the other contestants.”


Posted in humor, news, news parody, political humor, politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2011 by chandlerswainreviews

by Anna Maria Hepatati, Rome Bureau- Swain News Service

In the biggest mystery since “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”, people all over the world are scratching their heads asking: “Oh, yeah, there’s a Pope. Where is he anyway?” It seems that unlike his predecessor John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI has been keeping a low-profile, and lately he’s been downright invisible.

Pope Benedict XVI as seen at last year's Vatican Christmas Party where he played Secret Santa.

“I think the speculation is overblown”, says Giacomo Putzetti of the Romanesca Poppendasici di Scietta. “Everyone needs a little ‘Miller Time’ and he’s just in a period of rest and relaxation after an exhausting schedule of smiling and waving.”

“I suspect there is a great deal of well deserved internal soul-searching going on concerning the continuing priest molestation crisis,” suggests Sheila Smirka, representative of the advocacy group Lawyers For Settlement Percentages.

“There is no mystery, ” explains Father Arkady Kovolovoskovy, Director of the Vatican on-line store, Miracles in Your Mailbox. “It is simply His Holiness exploring the many new manifestations of the mortal world about him in order to gain a clearer understanding of his mission between the Church and God.”

However, the solution to the mystery may be more mundane than most observers suspect.

“The Pope got cable TV,” states Carlo Leggi, an installation technician for Comcast. “He went for the “Holy Cow!” Premium package and he’s now got over 2800 channels to surf. He’s going to be busy for a while.”

Indeed, Vatican insiders have revealed that there have been radical changes within the Papal Quarters within the past days. “We have witnessed dramatic transformations that may alter the very core of the Church, including episodes of chuckling, spontaneous raucous  commentary and even, one one occasion, a guffaw,” related a visibly shaken Monsignor Rissotoletti, “while His Holiness was watching an admittedly humorous episode of ‘Webster’. Though there was some heated bickering among several bishops over access to the remote control during a weekend ‘Married..With Children’ marathon.”

Is there a Papal favorite in this new flood of Popular Culture? Remarks the Monsignor, “His Holiness seems to find spiritual enlightenment from the American docu-drama “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, often remarking ‘so true to Life!’, though among the College of Cardinals, there seems to be a consensus that the Japanese program “Karaoke Groin Kick” reveals a more important moral message for our times.”


Posted in humor, news, news parody with tags , , , , on September 19, 2011 by chandlerswainreviews

by Betsy Tweeg- Swain News Service

In a move that may revolutionize the television industry and create the biggest new genre in the medium since the “reality” show, sources at ABC have revealed that the network, in it’s “excitement” over it’s new Fall schedule may be considering cancelling their Midseason replacement programming as well as the 2012 Fall line-up.

Could this be next year's Best Drama Series at the Emmys?

“Yeah, well, we’re out of ideas,” admits junior programming exec Winston Twinetower. “But we have something better than ideas…originality.” Twinetower is speaking of a plan that has been ruminating around the network for some time now. “It’s called the snow pattern,” he explains. “There was an incident during ‘Modern Family’ a few months ago,when the picture cut off and was replaced by snow. According to our ratings research, the program actually picked up in audience numbers and interest during that time. So the network was looking into making this a regular program.”

When asked if he felt there would be a continued audience for such a program, Twinetower was optimistic. “Listen, the network is very intrigued by the marketability of such a program. The possibilities of branching out not only into snow spin-offs, but Baby Boomer geared test patterns for the nostalgic set, and even mini-series events featuring Technical Difficulty message cards are staggering. He explained further, “with the snow pattern, there’s a very low production cost, probably a third less than you’re average sitcom. All you have to do is turn the station on and not play anything. Of course, we might have to renegotiate some union contracts.”

Whether the plan will succeed ultimately depends on audience viewership, but Twinetower is not worried. “Just wait until you see how we plan on kicking off the new year, with the spectacular Test of the Emergency Broadcast System! It’ll get bigger ratings than ‘Roots’!”

Ferguson Sidekick Arrested At Strip Club

Posted in humor, news, news parody, political humor with tags , , , , on September 19, 2011 by chandlerswainreviews

by Betsy Tweeg, Entertainment Reporter, Swain News Service

Sid the Bunny, a favorite personality frequently seen on the CBS late night program “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” was arrested early Sunday morning at 3:23 A.M. outside of  a popular “gentleman’s club” in Hollywood, The Fickle Pickle  on Hollywood Boulevard. The arrest occurred after officers responded to a 911 call of a “melee” taking place in the front of the adult nightspot in which four individuals including the diminutive albino were handcuffed and arrested.

Says responding Officer Galvin Oggman, “it’s a bit of a rough neighborhood at that time of night. But we took the call very seriously as hardly anyone uses the word ‘melee’ anymore.”


Sid the Bunny Days Before His Arrest

Witnesses say that at approximately 2:45 A.M.  Sid the Bunny was seen in the company of what some described as a “creepy old guy”. “They were really cussing up a storm,” said Apples Aplenty, one of the club performers who was hanging upside down at the time. “But I saw everything real good,” she explains, “the creepy old guy left the room for a minute and the bunny just lay on the bar and didn’t move. I figured he was passed out.”

“He looked completely wasted,” said Florian DelMar, one of the bouncers at the club. “So I go over to pick him up and throw him out when that old guy came back and started yelling something about ‘at the door’, and then in rides this really thin, pale guy on a horse that was doing some kind of jerk kicks. I didn’t know what the hell was going on.”

“It was a really thin guy on a horse,” affirmed Pastel LaPlunge, one of the dancers at the club. “It got all very confused after that.”

Police reports indicate a chaotic fight between several people breaking out and moving into the street, reportedly involving the then-awakened Sid the Bunny. “I guess he woke up sometime during the disturbance, says Officer Oggman, ” because he was pried off one of the girls trying to bite her top off.”

Five police cars responded to the club and it took eight different police officers to gain control of the chaotic scene, with the television personality being dragged to one of the cars. “I wouldn’t necessarily say he was dragged to the car,” said Officer Harris Neck, the one who subdued the little mammal, ” but he was difficult to handcuff as we don’t really have restraints to fit little bunny paws. And besides, his arms didn’t seem too rigid and he kept slipping out of them. We finally had to scotch tape him to the inside of the windshield.  All the time he kept mumbling something about ‘gonna get that ******* old guy if it’s the last thing I do.’ I think he might be referring to the guy who was supposedly with him earlier.”

The mysterious, disappearing man described as “creepy” and “old” was no where to be found when the police arrived. But there may be a clue to his identity, witnesses say he spoke with a pronounced accent. “It seemed like he might have been a German, a Limey or a Swede,” suggested club bouncer Florian DelMar, “or maybe from Lithuania.” Dancer Pastel LaPlunge disagrees.

“I think he was from Burma,” she said.

Bouncer DelMar disagrees. “On reflection, he definitely might have been Pan-Asian, ” he explains, “but not from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. It was almost if you had a Liza Minnelli from Cambodia, you know?”

In the meantime, there is also the matter of the thin man on the horse, a mystery to which the police show little interest in. “It’s a matter of what goes on at these clubs,” explains Officer Oggman. “Everyone in there is hyped up on liquor and sex and God knows what kind of drugs, and you take these stories very lightly.”

So the question remains, what will the future hold for Sid the Bunny? CBS, already immersed in last season’s Charlie Sheen scandal can ill afford more negative publicity with one of their stars, or can they?

“I don’t think it’s such a big deal,” says entertainment industry insider Gavin Touloose. “These things go in cycles and they’ll just wait out the six hours of rehab and he’ll be back on the tube as bright eyed and bushy tailed as before. And if not, the network will distract everyone by making a big scene and cutting John Cryer loose. Sid is too valuable a commodity. Just wait and see.”

Wait and see indeed, as Sid’s arraignment is scheduled for this morning at 10 A.M. Neither CBS, “The Late Late Show” nor former astronaut John Glenn could be reached for comment.