Tuesday, February 24, 2009

L.A. Times Minus Sally Forth

First, thank you very much to all the people who have written to the Los Angeles Times and voiced their opinions about the paper's decision to cut Sally Forth. It has been extremely heartening for me to read such wonderful words and see how much the strip means to so many people. I truly do thank you with all my heart.

Second, I want to thank the authors of the blog Franklin Avenue for penning such a supportive and encouraging response to "L.A. Gate" (phrase patent-pending) with The Los Angeles Times' "Sally Forth" Problem. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they all-too-kindly (and incorrectly) refer to me as "hip," "young" and a "comedian."

Thank you all for your support. Please stay tuned as I try to foment an actual revolution that storms the offices of the L.A. Times demanding swift retraction or violent retribution, only for the paper to cede both pages of its comic section to The Yellow Kid.

UPDATE: And a special shout-out to a very special friend for her post Disgruntled L.A. Times Readers Will Cut You.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Want "Sally Forth" to Return to the LA Times? Please Write In!

Recently--by which I mean today--The Los Angeles Times has dropped "Sally Forth" from its comics pages with apparently little heads-up for its readers.

I appreciate the precarious position newspapers find themselves these days and realize very well that this may have been a budget decision. That said, I was always proud to have "Sally Forth" run in the LA Times and wonder if a change of heart on the part of the editors is at all possible.

Fortunately, it seems I'm not the only one who wants to see the Forth family return. Several Times readers have written in to express their surprise and dismay over the paper's decision and I greatly appreciate them taking the time to express their love of the strip and the disproval of its disappearance.

Care to add your voice and hopefully let me continue to mildly entertain the people of the greater Los Angeles area? Then by all means please go here.

Thank you very much for any and all support. Comic strips are nothing without their fans and I very much am thankful for the time you take out of your day to read my little ramblings. It sincerely means the world to me.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Oscars Live Blog

8:32 PM: Hugh wisely scuttles plans for latest Debbie Allen-choreographed number, "Hooray for Celebrating."

8:37 PM: A Kraftwerk reference for The Reader dance number wins over the band's billions of fans watching worldwide.

8:43 PM: Best Supporting Actress category presented by five former winners reviewing each nominee's performance, character and vital stats, giving us a hint at the 47-hour production we are about to endure.

8:46 PM: Goldie Hawn suddenly wakes up to find herself on stage in the Kodak Theater.

8:47 PM: Penelope Cruz is the first winner of the night mentions Harvey Weinstein, preventing him from going on a wild rampage, cutting a swath of destruction through most of downtown Burbank before being taken down by helicopter gunfire and fellow gargantuan Mothra.

8:50 PM: Ms. Cruz ends her speech in Spanish with the code phrase for the Basque Separatists to launch their final attack on Madrid.

8:57 PM: Wall-E loses best original screenplay. I consider switching to NASCAR on Fox.

8:58 PM: I feel bad about the above statement after the original screenplay winner's speech.

9:00 PM: Scandal erupts when it is learned that the nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay were not only inspired by but also liberally borrowed from preexisting material.

9:01 PM: Slumdog Millionaire wins its first nomination as it goes on to win not only every single award it is vying for but also two it isn't—Best Performance by a Rap Duo or Group and the 2009 JD Power Award for Best Sports/Cargo Van.


9:08 PM: Camera cut shows Peter Gabriel to be wearing his Frank Langella costume.

9:10 PM: La maison en petit cubes wins best animated short. Director quotes Styx in his acceptance speech. Everyone over 40 has a slight chuckle.

9:14 PM: Cirque du Soleil commercial reminds me why I ran away from the circus to join a family.

9:16 PM: Awards show continues to tell the story of how a movie is made through the order of its nominations, reminding us once and for all that if you don't know who your supporting actress is then don't even bother writing a screenplay.

9:17 PM: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button wins the first of every technical and art design award it is nominated for, which is English for "The producer and cast of Benjamin Button will not be on stage at the close of the ceremony."

9:20 PM: I am made to retract my above statement as Benjamin Button loses Costume Design to the critical and financial juggernaut that is The Duchess, which I believe played in theaters between 2 and 4 pm some day last March.

9:24 PM: Benjamin Button wins Best Make-Up, putting it back on track to lose Best Picture.

9:25 PM: Despite growing demand, lax security and a clean shot, snipers are unable to pick off Oscar telecast scribe Bruce Vilanch.

9:27 PM: The stars of Twilight and Mamma Mia! present a montage to romance in the movies that for some reason features Zac Efron with girls. But all is saved at the close with Eve and Wall-E touching foreheads.

9:32 PM: Either Natalie Portman is on stilts or Ben Stiller is 3'4" tall.

9:33 PM: Slumdog has now won two Oscars, the PEN/Faulkner Award and Best Cheese (Blue-Veined).

9:39 PM: First camera cut to Jerry Lewis berating a female comic by saying she shouldn't be.

9:45 PM: Oscars fulfill legal obligation to feature Seth Rogen.

9:47 PM: Short Live-Action Film category won by the very low-budget "With the Right Lens and Favorable Lighting I Can See into My Neighbor's Bathroom."

9:53 PM--3:15 AM: A celebration of movie musicals featuring Beyonce and the casts of High School Musical, Mamma Mia and Broadway Golddiggers of 1935.

10:02 PM: The Best Supporting Actor category is introduced with similar fanfare to that of Best Supporting Actress, giving Joel Grey and Cuba Gooding Jr. their best roles in years.

10:08 PM: Right choice. No jokes.

10:12 PM: Documentary category. One nominee is disqualified for thanking numerous militias in the credits. Another for exploring sexual politics in a retirement community. And yet another for proudly stating it was “Inspired by the director’s college thesis on Ayn Rand.”

10:18 PM: Documentary Short Subject category. Winner: Film about one man's quest to write, direct and produce his own sequel to The Passion of the Christ titled The Passion of the Christ: Back in Training.

10:21 PM: Oscar fatigue already setting. Revisit lifelong dream of buying an arena football team. Then buying several charging rhinos. Then creating a new sport with a one-week season.

10:23 PM: Montage of action films fails to reconnect me with awards show. Recall time I suggested renaming magazine Backdoor Babes only to be met by stunned silence from everyone at Newsweek.

10:27 PM: Outstanding Visual Effects award to the Blu-Ray release of Logan's Run.

10:29 PM: Outstanding Sound Editing awarded to the Susan Lucci of the 2009 Oscars, The Dark Knight.

10:30 PM: Just mentioned The Dark Knight and Susan Lucci in one sentence, making me the manliest guy on earth.

10:32 PM: Slumdog wins Outstanding Sound Mixing, the 2009 Betty Crocker Cook-Off and Spike TV Video Game Award.

10:35 PM: Much like one can only watch an elderly person fall off a wheelchair so many times before it stops being hilarious and starts being depressing, one can no longer take any pleasure in watching Benjamin lose to Slumdog. Well, maybe a little more...

10:45 PM: Jerry Lewis is finally recognized for all his charitable work in making certain we never, ever see The Day the Clown Cried. Somewhere up in heaven former comedy partner Dean Martin is celebrating the moment by plowing a beautiful angel.

10:54 PM: Having already given Slumdog 14 awards, the Oscar for Best Original Score is instead awarded to the first person in the audience to reach the podium. A very spry Angela Lansbury thanks the Academy.

11:02 PM: Slumdog proves to be the only film that can defeat Slumdog by besting Slumdog in the Best Song from Slumdog Category at the 2009 Slumdog Oscars Featuring Slumdog.

11:08 PM: Best Foreign Language Film goes to very loud but endearing Japanese man who may or may not have had anything to do with the winning film.

11:11 PM: Montage of those who passed, causing every viewer to utter at least once, "Wait, he/she died?!?" or "Wait, he/she didn't die years ago?!?" or simply "Who?"

11:18 PM: The moment you've all been waiting for--the President of the Academy takes a bow but not his usual 22 minutes from the broadcast.

11:20 PM: Best Director award goes to Uwe Boll for Xbox 360 Arcade Console with Bonus Game.

11:24 PM: Only three more categories to go. Can the Space Monkeys juggernaut be stopped?!

11:27 PM: Best Actress Award presentation featuring Sophia Loren and four others.

11:28 PM: While being feted by Shirley Maclaine, Anne Hathaway literally has to stop her heart from breaking out of her half-centimeter thick breastplate.

11:30 PM: Sophia Loren appears currently to be involved in an elderly alien hybrid-breeding program.

11:33 PM: Kate Winslet--having previously been scolded by the British press for daring to show emotion during her Golden Globes wins--tries to remain cold and indifferent but then remembers she just won the fucking Oscar.

11:38 PM: Best Actor Category presentation. Michael Douglas reminds us that Frost/Nixon came out last year.

11:39 PM: Robert DeNiro introduces nominee Sean Penn with the usual sense of lighthearted humor and self-effacement for which both men are notorious.

11:40 PM: Anthony Hopkins announces during his nominee speech that he is doing a prequel to the prequel of Silence of the Lambs taking place in elementary school church camp.

11:43 PM: Feel-good moment of the night is missed as Mickey Roarke loses to Sean Penn, who introduces the new catchphrase "Commie-homo-sons of-guns."

11:45 PM: Rourke prepares to answer the same question again and again from the press after the broadcast--"How does it feel to have let down Loki?"

11:52 PM: Slumdog Millionaire wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

Now THAT'S an Acceptance Speech

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tall Tale Radio: My Interview Ostensibly about ComicCon

The podcast's official description:

"The NYC Comic Con ran from February 5th through the 8th, and I got some fun interviews with a couple of good buddies. First off is Francesco Marcuiliano of “Sally Forth” and “Medium Large” fame who worked the Comics Legal Defense Fund table at the ‘Con, out there on the front lines of protecting your First Amendment rights. As usual when I talk to Ces, we are all over the map, but we do get to some good Con-related news here and there."

So if you have a moment please listen here and decide for yourself if my rambling is almost Joycean in its rich stream-of-conscious, associative musings or simply akin to the mental raw feed of a five-year-old after his third bowl of Cookie Crisp.

And make sure to check out the great, mellifluous Tom Racine's other interviews here!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


My girlfriend has oft said that I rarely reveal anything personal online, as if I were deliberately refusing to share a part of myself with readers and the world at large.

So with that in mind I present you this. I hope we all now feel just a little bit closer. I know I do.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Most Confounding, Self-Rationalizing Blog Entry Find of the Week

Note: I'm not providing the link to the blog in question because I wish to address the content, not give opportunity to attack the writer.

Second Note: I did NOT write the following. I found it on the web.

Third Note: One day I will stop typing "the" as "teh." One day.

I am a Seventh-day Adventist who has recently been baptized. I began learning the Biblical creation story shortly after since it is in my signed statement of faith. I am also a Vegetarian in accordance to the health message my church promotes.

I began studying article online, mostly on Answers in Genesis, when I had questions about the Bible and what current scientific explanations are. Answers in Genesis is an excellent place to find scientifically minded data on the Creation theology. They have even put a number of their books online. I believe in a young earth created as described by Moshe (Moses) in the Torah. This also includes the global flood he described involving Noach.

All of that said, I am a liberal Democrat. I am also a Sci-fi geek who loves Star Trek, Dr. Who, etc. I also love video games and plan on discussing evolution in classic video games.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mr. Belvedere Finally Returns

According to The Onion AV Club, Mr. Belvedere is finally making its long-overdue arrival in DVD March 17th, just in time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Bob Uecker. And so to celebrate this momentous occasion I present the latest installment of the fitfully running..


What if a posh British butler showed up at the doorstep of a two-career family in suburban Pittsburgh and they decided to welcome him as one of their own? What if a drunk Russian cosmonaut showed up at the doorstep of a down-on-its-luck sorority in southern California and they decided to welcome him as one of their own? What if amnesiac Harlem Globetrotters Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal showed up at the doorstep of unsupervised geriatric patients in--what the hell?--Jupiter, Florida and they decided to welcome them as one of their own?

No doubt the creators of Mr. Belvedere arrived at ABC Studios with an armful of such high-concept pitches, only to ultimately settle on the one they lifted wholesale from a 1948 Clifton Webb movie (since nothing connects with the average American viewer like an effete, studio system-era comedy of manners). The resulting series was initially conceived as a star vehicle for Bob Uecker, a one-time godawful baseball player who had found latter-day success as a spokesman for a series of funny 1980's Miller Lite commercials (back when beer commercials made you laugh with them, not make you want to hurl something at them). The theme song was performed by Leon Redbone, a jazz and blues musician who also had found renewed fame in a 1980's Budweiser commercial. In fact, so prevalent were beer commercials in the minds of programmers and viewers alike back in the eighties that one can only imagine what prevented the world from ever witnessing Spuds McKenzie, MD, a sitcom about the new doctor at the veterinarian hospital who--wait for it--is also a former patient.

The basic plot--stranger is taken aback by real or makeshift family only to eventually become a member of said family--is a standard sitcom device, used to great effect in Cheers, Mary Tyler Moore and--most regrettably--Hogan's Heroes. Mr. Belvedere also employed the standard sitcom device of having the main character reflect on what he or she has learned from each episode's events in the form of a diary or confessional. It was a move first popularized by Mork in his reports to Orson, then later revisted when Doogie Howser shared his thoughts on a 12K Commodore computer. But undoubtedly the best use of the "confessional" device came in the final episode of St. Elsewhere, when we learned that not only was the entire series the product of a mentally-handicapped child's imagination, but that the mentally-handicapped child was, in actuality, a character in the alternate-universe diary Roseanne was writing in the final episode of her series, only for Bob Newhart to wake up from that dream next to Suzanne Pleshette...who was, in truth, time traveller Sam Beckett, who sadly just had found out that not only was he never going to leap back into his own body but that he was, in fact, Number One.

In short, Mr. Belvedere was very much a standard sitcom. This is in no way meant to be a slight at the series or those involved. I remember catching an episode or two during my college summers and finding the show humorous enough. I also remember thinking that the actor playing youngest son Wesley could portray the stock wisecracking, conniving child character without me ever wishing any real harm on the character or actor. But Mr. Belvedere was clearly one of those sitcoms that people remember being on the air but don't necessarily remember sitting down to watch, much like Charles in Charge. Sure, whenever you see the name Charles in Charge you involuntarily launch into its theme song ("Charles in Charge of our days and our nights/Charles in Charge of our wrongs and our rights"). But do you ever remember hanging out with your friends only to exclaim, "Holy shit! It's time for Charles in Charge!" ("Charles in Charge of our days and our nights/Charles in Charge of our wrongs and our rights") Do you ever remember saying after your best friend/goofball sidekick did something stupid, "Oh man, you are so like Buddy...from Charles in Charge." ("Charles in Charge of our days and our nights/Charles in Charge of our wrongs and our rights") Do you ever wonder how a person who says he can't recall ever watching Charles in Charge ("Charles in Charge of our days and our nights/Charles in Charge of our wrongs and our rights") not only remembers the name of Willie Aames' character but actually remembers that the character was played by Willie Aaames--without the benefit of Google? Sure, you can understand him fondly recalling fellow cast member Nicole Eggert, but Willie Aaaames?! Perhaps all this is my mind's roundabout way of telling me that this episode of Sitcom Theme Music instead should have been about Charles in Charge ("Charles in Charge of our days and our nights/Charles in Charge of our wrongs and our rights").

But it's about Mr. Belvedere, a pleasant sitcom so standard we wound up discussing everything but Mr. Belvedere...which may be the truest summary of this mid-to-late 8o's show we can give. So sit back and enjoy the opening credits and theme song. Then later ask yourself, "I wonder whatever happened to the actors who portrayed the mom and kids on Mr. Belvedere." Then ask yourself, "I wonder whatever happened to the actress who played the teenage daughter on ALF." Then ask yourself, "I wonder whatever happened to the entire cast of Mama's Family." Keep doing this. Eventually you'll go mad with concern.

"But seriously, have you got any whores?!?"

The following are actual search engine terms people used to find my strip Medium Large in the last two weeks:

whoreswhoreswhoreswhores shortpacked: Clearly either someone ordered a package of four prostitutes and received a mere three or the characters in the webcomic Shortpacked are currently vacationing in Thailand.

toys in a fight 20 on each team: I don't know how, I don't know when but what I do know is that sooner or later Ted is going to utter this exact phrase in Sally Forth, followed by Sally calmly packing her bags and leaving home for good, refusing to look over her shoulder at a husband who is blissfully unaware that both his marriage and life are in irreparable shambles as he quietly deliberates whether or not Stratego pieces count as "toys."

how big can a dick can be: I would have simply dismissed this as yet another person in search of porn who found their way to my emphatically G-rated comic strip had it not been for its very syntax. "How big can a dick get" is mere Google vulgarity. But "how big can a dick can be" is clearly a lyric from either a Raffi or Wiggles song and I for one eagerly await either act's next appearance at Radio City Music Hall to hear it performed live.

gay dentist: If some parents can demand that their child marry a Jewish doctor no doubt other parents can be just as specific.

lego agents saw arm by himself: First, how cool is the very concept of "lego agents"?!? Just think--little yellow minifigs working under cloak of darkness and behind the scenes of every government through every epoch, pulling the strings of more conspiracies and cabals than the Freemasons and Knights of Templar combined! Second, are we to take the phrase "saw arm" to mean "noticed arm" or "cleaved arm clean off shoulder"? Third, what exactly is the search term's subject, the controlling camarilla of minifgs or the as-yet-unnamed singular "himself"? And fourth--thereby breaking the sacred rule of three--seriously, how fucking cool would it be for a bunch of lethal Lego men hacking off limbs left and right in the name of some grand, geopolitical scheme that even God himself is not privy to?!?

vampire pig: With the exception of "medium large," "meduim lareg" and "Franchesco Marachilianioano," this is the most popular search term leading to the strip, appearing at least once a day in my Wordpress stats. Why this is the case--or why someone or some people are desperately seeking posts about the sow equivalent of Nosferatu--I can't say, but I fear we may be looking at something far, far worse than the avian flu.

homemade mortal combat costume: Just as according to My Cousin Vinny no self-respecting southerner would use store-bought grits, no self-respecting live-action role player would buy a Johnny Cage outfit when they can dress up in blue crepe paper and an upside-down wok and go as Raiden.

right to be learn comics strips: Is this something that's being threatened? Are we in danger of losing the freedom to, if not read the funnies, then at least be educated by them? I guess what I'm trying to say is exactly how will this impact Dick Tracy's Crimestoppers' Textbook? And while we're on the topic, I remember one such Sunday "Crimestopper" tip many moons ago in which we learned that the way to tell a real woman apart from a man pretending to be woman was that the latter had an Adam's Apple. Of course, this tip left unanswered the obvious follow-up question, "Since when is it a crime for a man to go in drag?"

braced rhombus: Can anyone say "band name"? Well, can anyone say, "Francesco's new band name"? Of course, first I'll have to officially quit my old band.

sleeping for job comic strips: Trading sexual favors for a chance to toil in the cartooning industry may be the lowest one person can get without the addition of animals or Dustin Diamond.

the process of inventing the peanut comic: I assume this has more to due with the work of Charles Schulz and not George Washington Carver.

help i've made the wrong career choice: How this one led to a cartoonist's website is all too painfully self-evident.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Set A Course for Adventure, Your Mind on a New Romance

Well, soon it will be Valentine's Day—or as anyone not currently involved in a relationship likes to call it, "The Second Saturday this February." Whether you're hoping to embrace or simply endure the upcoming holiday, here is some helpful advice on how to make the most or least of this big or insignificant day:

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day
• Should you be dining out, select a restaurant where the ambience cannot succinctly be captured by the phrase "Now with Six Large-Screen TVs!" "All-Night Rolling Rock Specials!" or "Free Game Tokens with Every Burger."
• A gift does not have to be expensive to be expressive of your true feelings. That said, any present that prominently features the statement "Cool Ranch" may say little more than that you passed a corner grocer on your way to your date.
• While you're certainly not expected to pen a romantic sonnet for the ages, do remember that a Valentine's Day card is not the proper medium to showcase your ribald sense of humor, your unwillingness to let go of past grievances or your ability to find just the right rhyme for "cameltoe."

How to Tolerate Valentine's Day
• While you need not avoid restaurants this holiday, it may prevent you from remarking to any celebrants within earshot just how fat people get when they're in a long-term relationship.
• Try to amuse yourself by always preceding the phrase "happy couple" with the word "supposedly."
• Should a coworker ask if you have a date for the big day, quickly yet politely change the topic of conversation to address your fellow employee's remarkably poor taste in fashion, their woeful skin care regimen or just about any failing on their part that immediately catches your eye and ire.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Comedy Career of Fozzie Bear

Age 16: Encouraged by friends who repeatedly say, “You know, you’re really funny” and “Few puppet bears can quote Nichols & May routines verbatim,” Fozzie Bear attends his first open mic night. His jokes about curfews and scatological references to Lincoln Logs fail to engage the hard-drinking 3 A.M. crowd but comedy club owners are quickly taken by his willingness to Simonize their cars in exchange for stage time.

Age 18: Fozzie attends Fordham University to earn a political science degree but soon starts spending more hours in downtown comedy clubs than in class. He hones an extended riff about the time he tried mushrooms and shaved off some his fur, only to realize that fabric rarely, if ever, grows back.

Age 20: Fozzie drops out of college to focus solely on his stand-up career. He begins dabbling in anti-comedy, singing the fine copy of Maytag dryer warranties. What he gains in notoriety he loses in laughs and bookings. Fozzie also starts to DJ at a Lower East Side bar. It’s there that he meets future singer/songwriter Paul Williams, then concertina player for a pre-thrash Husker Du.

Age 22: Fozzie reworks routine yet again, focusing on inability to figure out women, impressions of famous people doing ordinary tasks and the inanities of travel. He immediately lands a slot on The Tonight Show. Emboldened by the fortuitous turn in his career, Fozzie uses his five minutes of airtime to muse on what the mythology of Count Chocula would be like if written by Anne Rice. Carson does not invite him to sit by his side at routine’s end.

Age 24: Destitute and desperate, Fozzie is about to take a real estate agent license test when he receives a callback for a commercial spokesperson gig. His resulting tagline, “I don’t go in the woods, I go in an American Standard toilet” gets him the attention of then-NBC President Fred Silverman, who signs him to a sitcom deal.

Age 25: NBC announces the fall premiere of Fozzie, about a leather-jacketed cool guy who always gets the women, tools around on a motorcycle and turns on appliances by hitting them. Gary Marshall sues for intellectual theft before a single scene is shot.

Age 27: CBS picks up the sitcom Grin & Bear It, starring Fozzie as a happy-go-lucky social worker tending to two children—Rodney Allen Rippy and Mason Reese, playing themselves if only to negate the need to write character backstories. Audience reaction to the test pilot is violent at best. The series is reworked and reconceived several times before eventually airing as Barnaby Jones, starring Buddy Ebsen. Fozzie fires his agent, manager and spiritual advisor.

Age 29: Fearing he has blown any and all opportunities to achieve a career in comedy, Fozzie tries his hand at dramatic acting. His one-person reimagining of Ibsen’s A Doll House not only proves spectacularly ill-conceived but also heavily cribbed from the movie The Deep, down to his repeated mention of actress Jacqueline Bisset.

Age 30: While toiling as a janitor at a Burger Chef, Fozzie is introduced by Paul Williams to Kermit the Frog, a fast-rising comedy star who just landed a deal with a British production company for The Muppet Show (initially pitched as "Laugh-In meets Animal Farm, minus the political screed”) Fozzie auditions for the role of crotchety audience member Statler but instead lands the much larger role of Fozzie Bear, in part thanks to his “almost preternatural understanding” of the character.

Age 31: The Muppet Show airs and immediately becomes a worldwide sensation. While less than thrilled with the vaudevillian-style jokes he is required to cite, Fozzie is ecstatic to finally be able to afford his own car, home and mescaline.

Age 32: Worried that the show’s family-friendly content could have a negative impact on his grittier stand-up career, Fozzie pushes for more experimental humor. He and Kermit eventually come to blows over a proposed skit about ursine gynecologists. Fozzie is dropped from two episodes. The skit is retooled as “Veterinarian’s Hospital.”

Age 34: Fozzie starts bad-mouthing Kermit in the press, calling him a “sell out” and “slave to mass market needs.” The acrimony spills over to the filming of The Muppet Movie, during which Fozzie takes a nasty swipe at Kermit only to inadvertently maul Paul Williams, resulting in six less songs on the soundtrack.

Age 36: The Great Muppet Caper goes way over budget when Fozzie demands and gets an extended musical number featuring then-girlfriend Pia Zadora and a song by Meatloaf lyricist Jim Steinman. The 23-minute tune, “I Want to Give You My Heart but That Would Take Away My Life” is eventually cut and the footage burned.

Age 39: Strung out on mescaline and bitterness, Fozzie requires multiple takes during the shooting of The Muppets Take Manhattan. His startling lack of professionalism raises the ire of first-time director/screenwriter David Mamet who, unhappy with the final product, opts for credit under an assumed name.

Age 42: Fozzie checks himself into rehab, mostly for the industry contacts. The Muppets momentarily break up while Kermit and first wife Miss Piggy try to start a family much to the horror of animal geneticists.

Age 43: Fozzie stars in Mannequin 4 with then-girlfriend Judy Tenuta. The movie is never run, broadcast or mentioned by film historians.

Age 44: Fozzie returns to his stand-up roots, longing to try out material deemed far too risqué under Jim Henson’s management. The years, however, have been unkind to Fozzie’s comedic stylings as he finds his once-taboo material is now best suited for children’s parties.

Age 45: In dire need for cash but unable to work with Kermit, Fozzie sells all rights to his name to Walt Disney Company. Another puppet bear assumes the role of “Fozzie” in The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz and Muppet Medea.

Age 46—51: Whereabouts unknown. Rumors swirl of death by drug overdose, autoerotic asphyxiation or hunter.

Age 52: Reappears with one-man show about missing years and critical backlash titled, “Lost and Frowned.” Show garners huge audiences, great acclaim and top honors at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A critical darling, Fozzie can once more pursue his artistic ambitions.

Age 53: Fozzie signs to play the absent-minded dad in the new ABC Family sitcom With Three You Get Triplets .

Monday, February 2, 2009

Going to NY ComicCon This Weekend? Would You Like to Say "Hi" to Me? I'd Sure Like to Say "Hi" to You

I will be manning the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund table at the New York ComicCon this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 1-4 PM each day.

So come on by and tell me how I've ruined "Sally Forth" by focusing too much on the strip's psychosexual undercurrents. Or how I'm the worst thing to happen to comedy since The Three Stooges did that slapstick one-reeler of Atlas Shrugged. Or to funnel whatever "creative" skills I may have into something far more suitable for a man of my talents, such as "coma victim."

But whatever you may have to say, come on by if you're in attendance this weekend. Hope to see you!

What the Groundhog Saw

The unreleased David Lynch-directed version of Return of the Jedi, featuring Ewok fetuses.

The almost incomprehensible Schoolhouse Rock cartoon about the imaginary number "i."

Apes assuming global control through wealth management.

An actual bottle of Diet Rite.

The "It was all a dream" ending to Battlestar Galactica.

The 1986 McDonald's commercial in which Ronald McDonald appears in a little girl's bedroom only for her to scream for a full 45 minutes.

Nothing, if he knows what's good for him.