"Lord Jesus Christ, let the funniness come out of the bottom of our souls and our mouths."
- Group prayer at the Montreal Comedy Festival



HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

  Thanks to all of you who took the time to remember my birthday on July 28th, particularly when it was such a meaningful one. It's not often that one turns 50; in my case, it's only happened twice.
  Most unusual gift? A packet of Bushleague Seed Company's "Texas Homegrown Dope" from the folks at FUNNY TIMES: "Using a silver spoon, plant in a shallow hole. Protect from draft." To get yours send $1 to Funny Times Seeds, PO 18530, Cleveland Hts. OH 44118. They're also seeking homegrown volunteers to pass 'em out at the Demo's Convention.
(Contact ft@funnytimes.com).
  Best gift? A job! I'm playing Colonel Feofanov in several Russian court martial scenes to be shot Tuesday for an episode of "JAG" called "Legacy (Part 2)." My best line?
"We should just let the defendant go, like O.J.? If the 'perchatka' don't fit, we must acquit?"
  And finally, thanks to those of you who lifted a glass to me, like my dear friend Paul Willson, who offered this "Old French Toast":

"Beat slightly 4 eggs; add 1/2 teaspoon salt and one cup milk; flavor with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla or one tablespoon rum; dip 8 slices of bread and brown each side on a well buttered hot griddle; sprinkle with powdered sugar; let stand 60 years."

I wholeheartedly admit that the longer I live, the more I truly appreciate the fellowship of good friends. My love to you all.


"I'm a farm boy, who doesn't mind walking through human shit, and that's a hard quality to find in a person."
- Keith Hames, future L.A. Sanitation worker


OLD IS WHEN...

...you remember when the Dead Sea was only sick.
...your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you're barefoot.
...it takes longer to rest than to get tired.
...you're cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.
...you don't care where your spouse goes, as long as you don't have to go along.
...your mate says, "Let's go upstairs and make love." You say, "I can't do both!"
..."getting a little action" means you don't need to take any fiber today.
..."getting lucky" means you find your car in the parking lot.
...a sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.
...the porn you bring home is "Debby Does Dialysis.
...an "all nighter" means not getting up to pee!
(From Billy Bowles)


"There are times during a movie when the projection shutter covers the film. For a split second, there's no picture on the screen...That's my favorite part of the movie."
-Projectionist Mark Anthony DeBartolo in the Westside Weekly


FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

The Taco Bell Chihuahua has lashed out at the fast-food company and its advertising agency after he was dropped from their advertising campaign. Using often unprintable language, the talking dog told the online Salon magazine Thursday,
"I f***ing knew it, man...Everything's always 'Cool, beautiful, man, we love your work,' but I always knew deep down that I was just a dog to them."
The Chihuahua maintained that the news of his firing caught him by surprise.
"Everybody thinks I'm rich because I'm on TV all the time, but it doesn't really work that way.The money was just starting to come in for real." Bow-wow-ow!
(From Michael Sheehan, with $ympathies to Carlos)


"KMART Shoot In Arizona Kills Two Trained Armadillos"
- The result of hiring non-union stunt drivers,
quoted at the AFTRA/SAG Town Hall Meeting


HOLY ROLLERS

Besides my birthday, Angelenos celebrated the annual "Blessing of the Cars" this week, some of the over 1,500 owners of pre-'68 custom, stock, hot rods and restorations garnered awards for Best Unfinished, Best Flames, Best Hearse and Best Shifter Knob (ouch) while Father Glen splashed holy water on the most "lowered" 'mobiles.
Also, in West Hollywood this week, Councilman Steve "Happy Feet" Martin persuaded the City to change the name of "Clinton Avenue" to "Bill Clinton Avenue", at least for the duration of the Democratic convention.
"Clinton's efforts on behalf of the lesbian and gay community are unprecedented and that means a lot to West Hollywood. But," adds Martin, "If we're snubbed by the president we've got other things in mind for our dedication ceremony...[such as]...a Monica lookalike."


"We are not without accomplishment. We have managed to distribute poverty equally."
- Nguyen Co Thatch, Vietnamese foreign minister


AN OLD ACTOR'S TIPS

1. Compromise your principles early and get it over with.
2. Memorize all of the songs from "Cats."
3. Wear as much spandex as possible to auditions.
4. Wear lots of "comedy and tragedy" accessories.
5. Take your art WAY too seriously.
6. Misquote famous Shakespeare.
7. If you don't get a callback, assume it's a mistake and go anyway.
8. When you get there, ask the director, "Will this take long?"
9. Pause so long after your monologue, they can't tell if you're done.
10. Overemphasize the lines they laugh at.
11. No matter how many conflicts you have, say "none," work it out later.
12. Tip the director.
13. When you get the part, mistreat props. Lose them; take them home.
14. Stay up late power-drinking before early morning call.
15. You can be replaced, but usually not til you've done a LOT of damage.
16. When your character isn't talking, mug.
17. For a touch of realism, upstage yourself.
18. Give fellow actors advice on how to do their characters.
19. If you can't get a grasp of your character, just do Jack Nicholson.
20. Eye contact is for actors afraid to stand on their own.
21. Use your tongue to make stage kisses look "real."
22. Blocking is for amateurs. Change your blocking on opening night.
23. It's not the quality of the role, it's what you get to wear.
24. Remember: frontal nudity gets you noticed faster.
25. Wear all black and hang out in coffee houses.
26. Break a leg. Literally.
(Adapted from a list from Avery Schrieber)


"Don't squeeze the Charmin and don't squeeze the actor."
- SAG strike slogan


"[I]f libraries were a recent invention, wouldn't they be a prime target of copyright infringement lawsuits?"
- Wayne Overbeck, L.A. Times Commentary


[Go to next column to continue reading]


DOCTOR OF PROCTOR?

From Bill Bowles comes this tale of two doctors who combined their practices and put up a sign reading:
"Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Psychiatry and Proctology."
The town's fathers were not too happy with that sign, so they changed it to "Hysterias and Posteriors" but this was rejected, so they made it "Schizoids and Hemorrhoids." No go, so they wrote "Catatonics and High Colonics." Thumbs down again, but "Manic-depressives and Analretentives" was also denied, as well as "Minds and Behinds," so they tried "Lost Souls and Ass-holes."
Still no go. Nor did "Analysis and Anal Cysts," "Queers and Rears," "Nuts and Butts," "Freaks and Cheeks" or "Loons and Moons" get approval. So they finally settled on:
"Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Odds and Ends"


DOWN, IRA, DOWN!

A letter to the head lawyer of the Producers Alliance, Ira Shepard, from a striking member of SAG/AFTRA suggests that "In light of your successful treatment of the commercials contract dispute...[we] wish to inform you that we have sought approval for...a similar 'modernization' of your fee structure and working conditions.
" Hourly billing (residuals) is gone. In its place, a flat fee structure has been instituted. This is payable only when you win your case (get the job). All calls, conversations, meetings, research, pre-case work, actual case work, office expenses, trial expenses, etc (pictures, resumes, classes, auditions, etc.) are now your costs.
"In addition, be advised that once you win a case, you will no longer be able to represent any similar client...(the actor's product conflict) for a period of twenty one months.
" A final note, your flat fee payment for all cases you win will be paid at a rate 40-60% less than you currently enjoy. We trust this won't be an inconvenience to your or your family's lifestyle. Please be assured that our aim in seeking these changes is not to be construed as an attempt to disrupt or 'bust' [you], but is merely our desire to 'modernize' your industry's fee structure to reflect 21st century standards.
" While you contemplate your willingness to continue doing business with us, we wish to inform you that a plethora of para-legals has been retained to replace [you]. They possess neither the skills, attention to detail and vision of your fine work, but until such time as you're willing to align yourself with our most reasonable offers, they'll have to do. "


"The public doesn't give a damn about integrity. A town that won't defend itself deserves no help."
- Martin Howe from "High Noon" (1952)


THE HARRIS POLL

My friend, Bob Harris, is a political humorist who's in Philadelphia to "cover" the convention. His morning radio show can be heard online from 8-11 am EST at http://www.radioforchange.com
Here's some of his early impressions as gleaned from his latest e-missives:

"On arrival, I received a GOP convention tote bag stuffed with the following goodies:
* Dale Carnegie's 'Golden Book' on How to Win Friends And Influence People. I can only imagine how helpful this will be when the police break out the pepper spray.
* A pocket first aid kit -- consisting of four aspirins, six band-aids, and two antiseptic towelettes -- presumably for when the Dale Carnegie book fails.
* A box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (manufactured by tobacco giant Philip Morris), with the pasta specially crafted into little GOP elephants and stars. The stars are enclosed in circles, making them strongly resemble Satanic pentagrams.
"My press credential is labeled 'Limited Access.' Yeah, me and about 280 million other Americans. The thin white cords from which our credentials hang from our necks have been sold for advertising space.
"There are 15,000 journalists in town, which works out to a ratio of three reporters per actual GOP delegate. Celebrities here to endorse George W. Bush include Ricky Schroeder and Bo Derek, two of the most thoughtful fighters for justice and civil rights America has ever produced. I swear to you this is the truth: the people at the Courtesy Desk were incredibly rude.
"The convention, not surprisingly, is almost entirely white. With strikingly few exceptions, almost the only black faces present are the hired help. (To be fair, so was the Green convention, which cheered anything about conservation and the environment with not a single recycling bin in sight, leaving the hall after Nader's acceptance speech in an inchhigh layer of confetti, popped balloons, and used beverage containers.)
"The Lieutenant Governor of Michigan has arrived with a fleet of white vans emblazoned with a star-spangled elephant logo and his name in large print: 'Dick Posthumus'.  Gee, I thought that was Bob Dole's medical condition."
( 2000 Bob Harris -  http://www.bobharris.com)


"The dead have risen, and they're voting Republican!"
- Bart Simpson in The Simpsons


DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL

The King of Sweden is doing some moose-hunting on the royal estate, when a peasant suddenly burst from the bushes and cries: "Don't shoot! I'm not a moose!"
The King of Sweden then lifts his rifle and fires, dropping the chap where he stands.
"Your Highness," says his shocked aide when the smoke has cleared, "Why did you shoot that peasant? He said he wasn't a moose!"
"Oh, I'm sorry," the King replied, "I thought he said I AM a moose!"
(From Jack "Stu Pickles" Riley)


"Not even a whole 'universe' such as the one depicted on the 'Pokemon' Saturday morning TV series can withstand the effect of being chewed and swallowed by a far more omnipresent universe of media-saturation and fly-speck attention spans."
-"Pokemon 2000" review by L.A. Times' Gene Seymour


IN SHORT...

Pythagorean Theorem: 24 words
The Lord's Prayer: 66 words
Archimedes' Principle: 67 words
The 10 Commandments: 179 words
The Gettysburg Address: 286 words
The Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words
The US Government regulations on the sale of cabbage: 26,911 words
(From Vanna Bonta)


"It's amazing how, in this part of the world, history has been part of its past."
- David Duffy, Eurosport


CLOSURE

Maria is a devout Catholic. She gets married and has 17 children. Then her husband dies. She remarries two weeks later, and has 22 children by her next husband. Then he dies. A while later, she dies.
At the funeral, the priest looks skyward and says, "At least they're finally together."
A guy sitting in the front row says, "Excuse me, father, but you do mean her and her FIRST husband, or her and her SECOND husband?"
The priest says, "I mean her legs."
(From Garry Margolis)


"Her legs are kept tightly together: she's giving nothing away"
- BBC1 Gymnastics commentator


7/31/00

Phil's "Signs of the Times"

Canary Chicken House

"Eat lite, and no karaoke"
captioned by
Tiny Dr. Tim

 

PLANET PROCTOR
2000 by Phil Proctor

Published 8/05/00