Monday, June 30, 2008

"This is a Bicentennial Minute..."

Though a shy, chubby kid who was often the target of bullies, I nonetheless had a fun-filled, almost idyllic childhood thanks to loving, present parents, several friends and the suburban equivalent of Little Rascals adventures. Thus my never-ending fascination with 1970's nostalgia.

All that is my way of announcing that this week's Sally Forth will focus on the Fourth of July to end all Fourth of Julys, the U.S. Bicentennial (with a nod to my childhood best friend Val Bianchini and our dads). So get ready to brush up on your Revolutionary War lessons, break out your Telstar, put on Nadia's Theme and demand that your parents take you to see Logan's Run.

And as a way to help get you in the Spirit of '76 mood, here's the first of five Schoolhouse Rock history lessons...

By the way, what is your favorite Fourth of July childhood memory?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Nickname's True Meaning (According to Urban Dictionary)

1. CES
Close Eye Syndrome:
This strange physiologic feature/disorder, was first diagnosed in 1997 in York, Pennsylvania, by a college student who was not from the region. CES is increasingly common in the Pennsylvania/Maryland area, however, it can appear anywhere else where people do not have enough ocular separation. The symptoms include two very proximate eyes that appear to grow closer together over time. The unlucky carrier of CES does not know they have it, and while not in any way cross-eyed, they look like a fool. It is possibly more prominent in women than men.
Ryan: Dude, did you hear, Melissa got a nose job?
Steven: Why, she has CES, she should've gotten her eyes separated.
Ryan: CES?
Steven: You know, Close Eye Syndrome. She looks like a damn cyclops

2. CES
Stands for "Crazy European Sex"
Ready for some CES, baby?

There are also plenty of definitions for Francesco, some flattering, some not and some, well, prehistoric.

So what does your name mean according to Urban Dictionary?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Your Official "Francesco Explains It All" Summer Horoscope

Aquarius: Sooner or later you are going to have to realize that all the alcohol, all the powerful hallucinogenics, all the anonymous sex with groups of three or four people at a time simply will not bring back Becker.

Pisces: Proclaiming that your new film is a wrenching exploration of existential crisis does not excuse that fact that your main character took a full two-thirds of the movie to decide between Dial and Lever 2000.

Aries: Everything will be going your way both professionally and personally until the fateful day you arrive home to find your dog sitting upright on your favorite chair, drinking your best sherry and stating, “Things are going to be a lot different from here on out. A lot different.”

Taurus: "I sure do like them Latinas" will prove no way to start an out-of-office automatic email reply.

Gemini: Breeding a new race of “lobstermen” will not only earn you the awe of your contemporaries but will more or less make the scientific community’s “publish or perish” credo a moot point in your case.

Cancer: Everything that you have been raised to believe, everything that you have ever held to be true will be completely discredited by a quote from Ali Lohan.

Leo: While the phrase "Your dreams shall shatter when the laughing tree knocks" sounds like a curious proverb, you'll be surprised just how matter-of-fact it truly is.

Virgo: Your insistence on referring to them as "clients" will only further put off the parishioners in your flock.

Libra: The heebie-jeebies, the willies, the screaming meemies and the jimjams will all prove to be just some of the daily drawbacks to accepting a job as the assistant to a clown.

Scorpio: Your suggestion to rename the magazine Backdoor Babes will be met by stunned silence from everyone at The Economist.

Sagittarius: Yelling “Get out of dreams, get into my car!” will not only fail to lessen your nightmares but also confuse the hideous creatures that inhabit within.

Capricorn: Your ongoing belief that “you have to fight for your right to party” will result in one of the most awkward company picnics ever.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Time Magazine: "Japan's Booming Sex Niche: Elder Porn"

Besides his glowing complexion, Shigeo Tokuda looks like any other 74-year-old man in Japan. Despite suffering a heart attack three years ago, the lifelong salaryman now feels healthier, and lives happily with his wife and a daughter in downtown Tokyo. He is, of course, more physically active than most retirees, but that's because he's kept his part-time job — as a porn star.

To read more--knowing full well that the first thing you are going to see is DVD cover art for elder porn--go here.

Special Note: This blog post in no way whatsoever has any relation to my previous blog post save for the topic of pornography...Man, when did this site take such a wrong turn?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Belated Father's Day Post

Pornography gets a bad rap these days by parents and politicos alike. But they don’t see the upside to porn. They don’t focus on porn’s positive effects on society. And they don’t realize just how porn brought a father and his six-year-old son that much closer together.

Back in the early to mid-70’s, porn was enjoying a cultural resurgence, thanks in large part to such travelogues as Last Tango in Paris, Debbie Does Dallas and The Wild World of Spurts.

During that time my dad was a graphic package designer best known for designing the logos for Pepsi, American Airlines, Folgers and Winston Chewing Tobacco, a product that once had as its working tagline—“Put a Little Winston in Your Mouth.”

But my dad longed for bigger things. All his life he wanted more than anything to be a cartoonist. Every Saturday morning he and I would sit on the sofa and watch Hong Kong Phooey, Charlie Chan and the Chan Clan and a whole host of Hanna-Barbera cartoons that inexplicably traded on Asian stereotypes, all leading up to our very favorite cartoon…

Bugs Bunny.

Every night my dad would work on his cartoon and comic art submissions, hoping for that day he would be struck by that one grand idea, that one unequivocal moment of creative brilliance.

That moment finally arrived when he drew this…

The Original Orgy Shirt—151 naked people, six dogs and what I thought until the age of 11 was sponge cake at the very top, all engaged in gleeful sexual congress.

Sensing he had hit upon the right drawing for the right decade (and still smarting from the fact that Milton Bradley had refused to buy his party game Pick-a-Dick)…

Dad pulled together the funds and ran an ad (copy written by Screw Magazine and Channel J founder Al Goldstein) for his new shirt in Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Oui, Cheri, Cherry Popper, Beaver Park and New York Magazine.

The Original Orgy Shirt proved an instant hit and soon dad and I were making weekly drop-offs at such “alternative clothing” places as the Pleasure Chest. There dad conducted business while I wandered the store, checking out the zipper masks and ball gags, because when it came to leaving your six-year-old child unattended in a car in Lower Manhattan circa 1974 or bringing him into an establishment that sold actual pee soup, the latter was by far the wiser choice.

The Original Orgy shirt was such a hit that my dad started to draw and sell others, including Tits, Up Yours, FootsieBall, ASL “Fuck You,” and, of course, Cockamania. But it was the Orgy shirt that got the most attention. It won several international design awards, led to three Penthouse models doing a photo shoot on the glass table we still eat Christmas dinner on and inadvertently resulted in me being verbally accosted at age seven… actor Sam Elliot over a bowl of mood rings when my family spent our spring-break vacation at the 1975 Daytona Adult Film and Entertainment Expo (where Mr. Elliot was promoting his film Lifeguard).

Over the next few years my dad started receiving countless orders from U.S. Ambassadors, Bank Presidents, Newspaper magnates…

...and Malcolm Forbes, seen here ordering two Orgy shirts on News Years, 1975…And paying for it on the company dime.

But perhaps the single most important order arrived on July, 1974, which read (click on image to make larger):

Now for those of you who had the sheer gall to be born after 1985, Mel Blanc was the voice--if not the soul--of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, Barney Rubble, Mr. Spacely, and literally hundreds of other cartoon characters that my Dad watched and discussed throughout my childhood. So when dad opened this letter he quickly knew it was more than a simple T-shirt order. It was a chance to provide his son with a keepsake he knew would mean all the world to him. So he immediately mailed several T-shirts, politely asking that in return the man who gave so much joy to him and his son on those Saturday mornings give them one more thing. Less than three months later I received this autograph:

And the following response (click on image to make larger):

And that, my friends, is why pornography works.
Thank you.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Complete Fabrications from My Upcoming Autobiography "Ces: That's Not How It's Pronounced"

"People are always saying, 'Michael Nesmith's mom invented Liquid Paper.' But no one ever asks, 'Who invented Michael Nesmith's mom?' Let me tell you how I did it..."

"When the first draft of A Brief History of Time arrived it was 1385 pages. I had to make some tough edits. Removed an entire subplot about a magical amulet and 'Robbits.' Stevie was mortified but I think the sales speak for themselves."

"When I can't sleep I rescue people. Usually from burning buildings. Sometimes from awkward conversations."

"But my second-grade teacher just threw my history report right back at me, saying, 'China will never be a geoeconomic powerhouse.'"

"The next morning I awoke in a bathtub of ice with two fresh surgical scars and a note on the floor that read, 'We took your breasts.'"

"When I first pitched Blues Clues I envisioned it in black and white with heavy shadows, a hardboiled narration, double-crossing dames, lost souls rotting in every alleyway and cheap cigarettes dangling from every lip. Blue was suppose to die at the end. Steve was suppose to shoot him."

"I'm an old-school kind of guy. I almost never cry. But when I do the tears make enough gold to pay all my bills."

"Quang Tri, 1972. I was up to my ears in the shit and out of my mind with fear. The water, the trees, the air. None of it seemed real to me anymore. And as the bullets screamed across the swamp, the blood-curdling cries of my unit filled the sky and hope was choked out of all of us with our every short, hollow breath one thought kept coming back to me again and again and again--'For the love of God, I'm only five years old!'"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer 2008 Movie Quotes

"Everyone I told about the cover-up is dead! My supervisor, my wife, my parents, my pharmacist, my mailman, the guy at the deli, the lady who sells me my morning coffee, some woman who was just asking me for directions, that second grade class I chaperoned to the zoo. God, why can’t I ever keep my mouth shut?!?"

"Squash, zucchini, I don’t care what you call it. Either way, it has a gun."

"Artificial intelligence seemed like such a boon to both science and mankind. But then the robots discovered self-pity."

"I have come to your planet to decry man’s foul deeds! Man has destroyed his environment! Man has destroyed his fellow man! Man has destroyed everything and everyone he claims ever to have held dear! That’s why I’m all about the ladies…"

"With a little encouragement and a lot of training that terrier may just take this team to the Super Bowl."

"Maybe you did kill your twin brother. Or maybe you just got confused and stabbed yourself to death instead."

"What do you mean the rabbits have controlling interest of the company?!?"

"We can’t give up now! Not this late in the game! If we give up now we’ll never be known as anything but quitters! You hear me? Quitters!…Oh, and we’ll also be enslaved for all eternity."

"We put a lot on the line to get here, Jenkins. Family, careers, everything. But if this final experiment works as well as I think it will, well then it looks like Mentos is going to have some pretty stiff competition come the fall."

"Of course the aliens knew we were attacking! Why do you think they refused to open the door?!"
"The fate of four billion people and the planet Earth now rests in your hands. Call me when you get this message."

"I know it’s been years but to this day everywhere I go I can still hear her name—‘The.’"

"Okay, I’ll lift the curse. But next time don’t try to pass off Pepsi as Coke."

"Well, it’s down to just you and me, Rodrigo. Mano a mano, just like we always knew it would be. But let me you ask you something, friend. Let me ask you just one thing. Do you really think you have what it takes to go all the way? Do you?! Because I just scored "foursies" and unless you can top that the jacks championship will be all mine."

"Ancient legends say that he who first discovers the lost riches of the kings will be almost impossible to deal with afterwards."

"She broke my heart. First with her cruelty and then with her broadsword."

"Quick, everyone! Out of the water! Now! It’s a private beach."

"The terrorists said that if we don’t give in to all of their demands they will blow up Los Angeles. Frankly, I’m torn."

"The most important thing in the world is to be loved…by millions…of paying customers."

"They say he was a sexual predator. But I’ll always remember him as just a horny mountain lion."

"And thanks to Wal-Mart’s low prices and great selection we’ll all be armed in time for the invasion!"

"Do you want to see the youth center close down forever? Or do you want to join us and help raise the necessary funds by producing the best low-budget, highly lucrative porn films for the direct-to-video market ever?!"

"I’m afraid there is now no way back to your dimension. But why would you wish to leave here, to leave paradise, where your every need is met, your every desire is fulfilled and your every orifice is examined hourly for exploding spores?"

"Guess the experts were right. Some things were just never meant to have horns fused onto them."

"Life is funny. But you know what’s funnier? Comedy."

"Only one man can defeat a monster like that. Unfortunately, we’re simply not budgeted for his services."

"I don’t like you and you don’t like me. But unless we overcome our differences and work as a team there is no way we will ever win at doubles tennis."

"Looking back, it was foolish of us to teach the apes both advanced weaponry and parliamentary procedure."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Forgotten Slang of the 1920's

"You’ve got moxie, kid. Unfortunately you’ve also got TB and polio, so beat it."

"Well, if that isn’t the cat’s pajamas! And look on the bathroom sink--the dog’s toothbrush!"

"That dame’s got gams all the way up to her eyeballs, which is disturbing for far more than just aesthetic reasons."

"You’re not just the bee’s knees, old boy. You’re the dung beetle’s thorax!"

"Spy the palooka egg in the breezer? That cake-eaters’s nothing but a rummy rube four-flusher lollygagger on a toot with a tight tomato smarty who…what the fuck am I talking about?!?"

Monday, June 9, 2008

How to Truly, Deeply Enjoy Life on a Severely Restrictive Budget

Can you believe that it's already June? Can you believe we're almost halfway through 2008? Can you believe that in about 70 years we’ll all be dead? All of us. Even the toddlers who somehow managed to access this site. I won't go into exact details about how I know such things but suffice it to say that I had the shit scared out of me last night at dinner when I opened my fortune cookie.

Of course, this should come as a surprise to no. Man has always been acutely aware of his brief sojourn on this earth. Consequently, he has always devised some means to help him face his fear that life is but frivolous and fleeting. Some people look forward to an afterlife. Others look forward to another spin at the wheel. And a few simply look to make the most of their short time here before they go to live on in the minds of friends, family and creditors.

Despite my notorious shyness and crippling fear of the color yellow, I like to think I fall squarely into the last category. I am firmly of the opinion that we were given life for a reason, and that reason is not to see what's behind Door Number Two. That reason is to experience the thrill of life while we still have not just the chance but the cashews to follow our dreams. So with that in mind I created a succinct list of activities everyone should engage in, not only for the amusing anecdotes but also to know what it truly means to be human. And because of a crippling economy, paralyzing oil prices and myelopathic job market I made certain that each of the following life-affirming pursuits would cost no more than five dollars, tops:

*Enjoy the hell out of an apple.
*Swim with ducks.
*Get kidnapped by world travelers.
*Pretend your life is a television show. End each half-hour with a lesson.
*Walk barefoot on the grass, to and from work.
*Inquire about rates at a five-star hotel.
*Fashion a skateboard out of a discarded plank of wood and four similar-sized oranges.
*Pick an enemy. Devise a retaliatory plan of action. Marvel at your cunning brilliance.
*Make own breakfast cereal with your more crunchy or water insoluble leftovers.
*Face your fear of bankruptcy.

Forgotten Toys of the 1970's

* The Bionic Woman’s Dream Kitchen

* Hot Wheels Van Detailing Playset

* Battle of the Network Stars Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots—Cindy Williams Vs. Gary Burghoff

* Meadowlark Lemon’s Metric Converter

* SALT Treaty—The Game of Making Nice

* Bicentennial G.I. Joe with Pewtersmith Grip

* “Star Wars” Action Figure Series 23—Second Unit Director

* Bucket O’ Twinkies

* Steve & Edie’s Key Party

* Escape to Canada—The Killer Bees Preparedness Kit

* Kung Fu Snoopy

* EST Movement Snoopy

* Jonathan Livingston Seagull Snoopy

* The Commodore 6 Computer—Recipe File System of Tomorrow

* Reverend Sun Moon’s “Your Parents Couldn’t Be More Wrong” Board Game

* Mr. Potato Head’s Test Tuber Baby

* Astronaut—The 21st Century Businessman

* “Kramer Vs. Kramer” Atari Videogame

* “Can’t Stop the Music” Ken Doll

* “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” Backgammon Set

* The Deadly Foreign Art of Origami

* Pet Rock Habitrail

* James Bond’s Swinging Bachelor Sno-Cone Maker

* “1997: The Year Soviet Androids Attack” Board Game

A Break from Sally and Ted's Mating Dance

Although the Forths don't necessarily live in New York, that's where I grew up so Hil's school year mirrors what was my own. Hence why her education wraps up in late June as opposed to May like in many other states.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Val Bianchini, James Frazzitta, Bruce Aranow

Just wanted some old childhood friends to Google their name and perhaps see this strip. (Click on image to expand from patented Eyestrain-O-Vision.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Where Do YOU Stand on The Forths Having Child Numeros Dos?

Which side do you support?

Put a Bun in the Oven
I for one (who has been reading Sally Forth for 20+ years) would LOVE it if they had a baby. It happened to Blondie & Dagwood and Charlie Brown's parents. And maybe Hillary could turn 11.--Pam


The Forths Already Have Enough Bread
We HATE the current storyline but do like Ted and Sally...We don't want baby blues to have more kids - they have 3 and that is great - dagwood and blondie don't have more, foxtrot has the 3 and they didn't grow up and move away, Dennis the menace stays the same age as does family life or whatever that is called...Sally Forth is cute but get off this line. Thanks.--The Five Star Blogs

Let me know in the comment section. After all, your votes may just play a factor in thefinal outcome.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Ted Forth Responds to One Reader's Dismay

What is wrong with some people who the minute they start thinking about reproduction, they have to talk to every goshdarn person they know about it?

Sally/Ted/Ces, here’s how it works. Other than your family doctor, your surrogate baby mama, your therapist and your partner, telling people about your reproductive plans and/or difficulties is boorish. It makes the listener uncomfortable and it whittles away any affection the friend might feel for you. You can tell by the forced looks of interest and sympathy.

I am very annoyed that a strip I like is doing this to me.

What I like about this message is that the author chose to address not just me but also the two comic strip characters. Not only that, but I actually place third on the list, as if to the writer were saying, "Judging by your less than deft handling of the current story arc, Ces, I believe I have a better chance of reasoning with your fictional counterparts than with you."

And you know, they're right. So without further ado I've decided to let Ted Forth respond to the above message. Take it away, Ted.

Dear Fan:

Please know, I completely appreciate your frustration when confronted with someone prattling on about their plans for reproduction, as if their parturition is in any way of paramount concern to you.

But please note, often by discussing things with others do we gain the necessary understanding to do not only what we want but also, more importantly, achieve what we truly need. Take that great 20th century character, Benson. When we first met Benson he was the butler for the wealthy Tate family in "Soap." But despite his clear affection for materfamilias Jessica Tate, not doubt Benson spoke to friends and family about his desire to do more with his life, see more of this great world of ours. And unquestionably it was through these heart-to-hearts that he chose to leave his former employer in Connecticut and become the Head of Household Affairs for Governor Eugene Gatling (a career move no doubt facilitated by the fact that Eugene was the cousin of Jessica Tate).

Yet even though the job was not without its rewards, Benson still yearned for more. So one can presume that he engaged in another long series of conversations with his compeers, and it was thanks to their advice that he almost certainly acquired the confidence and commitment to steadily climb up the ladder until he became State Budget Director and then ultimately to the very esteemed and enviable position of Lieutenant Governor.

But as we all know, no matter how much you have, you dream of something more. And so it was with Benson when he--we can assuredly guess--once more sought the audience and counseling of workmates, classmates and soulmates to debate the viability of a run for the governorship. And so the series "Benson" ended on an unresolved cliffhanger, as the title character and best friend and new opponent Eugene sat together, watching the election returns.

I guess in the end what I'm trying to say is that I, Ted Forth, have after much deliberation and discussion with my still confused family decided to run as Governor of the Great State of Where I Reside.

Now, I understand that after 18 long months of electioneering the last thing any of you want to hear is further debates and disputes over the economy, the Iraq War, oil prices, the environment and the like. That is why I have built my campaign on a solid platform of personal and unique interests that can once more engage and enliven the electorate. To wit:

* Round-the-clock airing of the 1983 Saturday morning cartoon "Rubik: The Amazing Cube." I, for one, have never seen this cartoon but its very premise--a magical cube that fell off an evil stagecoach and can only come alive when properly solved--practically screams delicious entertainment.

* Immediate availability of Astro Pops in all retail venues, not just retro candy outlets.

* Universal healthcare as practiced by Canada, Europe and I believe President Koopa in the film "Super Mario Bros."

* The triumphant return of Funny Face Juice Packs, minus such less than ideal characters as Chinese Cherry and Injun Orange.

* After decades of broken promises and outright lies concerning the future of transportation, I will finally make all our dreams come true by giving everyone a jetpack.

Thank you for listening. My name is Ted Forth and I will put the past back into our future!

Good night and God speed.
Ted Forth

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sitcom Theme Music: The Return

A few years ago in a different life I had an irregular habit of reviewing famous--and infamous--television theme songs online. As a way of reintroducing the concept I repeat my initial entry in the series (complete with MP3s for those who wish to have a more than eclectic iPod library). With any luck more such entries will follow.

The Brady Brides

MP3: The Brady Brides Theme Song
Today if you miss more than one airing of 24, Lost or Desperate Housewives--and are not in possession of a DVR--you might as well take up reading or conversing with loved ones because you will never be able to make heads or tails of the shows' narratives. But back in the 70's and 80's--back before the prevalence of multi-episode plots and diligent story editors--you could easily skip one, two, twelve of your favorite show's broadcasts and still never miss a beat. That's because back then each episode was its own little world, without any connection to or reflection on future or past developments. Characters never evolved. Motives were never questioned. Premises were left unaltered until late in the series' run and only then by way of a live-in cousin or new restaurant lease. It was television for people who liked to watch but not necessarily recall television. Sensing this, the producers of the 1981 series The Brady Brides opted to do their contemporaries one better by playing a theme song so rich in exposition that one need not watch the rest of the program. Ever. Yes, over the course of one familiar-sounding tune you got the premise, the set-up of the premise, how the premise unfolded and how said premise would affect each and every character. In fact, the only thing you didn't get was the eventual time and date of Jan and Marcia's deaths. Small wonder the series lasted a mere ten epsiodes. They used up the plots of at least 40 shows in the opening title sequence alone.


MP3: Angie Theme Song
Before Doris Roberts played an Italian mother on Everybody Loves Raymond she played an Italian mother on Angie, a sitcom about a waitress (Donna Pescow, hot off her success as the mistreated "Annette" in Saturday Night Fever) who meets and marries a doctor and scion of Philadelphia high society (Robert Hays, hot off the success of Airplane! and only beginning his long, slow descent into "Gee, that's a shame" professional obscurity). The title tune "Different Worlds" (sung by Maureen McGovern at a time when the phrase "We got Maureen McGovern to sing the title tune!" ensured radio play) cracked the Top 20, alas achieving greater success than the short-lived Angie ever would. In all honestly not only do I remember this program but I remember actually liking both it and--adding to my ever-growing "secret shame" music list--the theme song. However, what I don't remember is the almost pornographic food fetishism in the opening credit sequence. Popcorn, hot dogs, apples, whipped cream, ice cream, whole turkeys, salt--these people never stop eating! This is true love truly in need of counseling. Still, it makes me curiously happy to know that someone thought to save this 1979-1980 oddity on the Net if not for posterity then for me.


MP3: Alice Theme Song
Most sitcom theme songs of yore tried to immediately grab the ever-fickle viewer by being upbeat and uptempo, whether by way of chirpy horns, corny lyrics or copying BJ Thomas. But the theme song to Alice practically dared you to stick it out for the long haul with a slow funk/cabaret groove that didn't say "merriment" so much as "malaise." That is until we hit the triumphant call of lyric line five, when suddenly the song embodied the self-esteem and self-stylized feminism of an Enjoli perfume commercial. But just as we were ready to join that EST class and sleep with that swinger the tune once more switched gears and closed out on an almost muted note, not so much born of regret but relief. Highs, lows, nap time. This song had it all! Clearly this was one woman's story worth getting to know! And clearly viewers agreed. Based on the Academy Award-winning Martin Scorsese movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (which also featured Vic Tayback as crusty Mel), Alice ran a whopping nine seasons, easily outlasting the only other sitcom derived from a Scorsese film--1977's Taxi Driver, starring Tom Poston and a pre-Love Boat Jill Whelan, which ABC pulled the plug on after only one epsiode.

Joanie Loves Chachi

MP3: Joanie Loves Chachi Theme Song
For a certain generation Joanie Loves Chachi--like Hello, Larry--defined deplorable television. But while I sadly remember the plot of the latter (pre-Frasier Frasier minus the Noel Cowardesque wit, stellar casting and any possible reason for existence), I couldn't quite recollect the former's premise. I knew that the principal characters left Milwalkee. I knew that diner owner Al married Chachi's mom for reasons necessary for the spin-off. I knew that the show's portrayal of Italian-Americans made Moonstruck look like a Ken Burns documentary on ethnic heritage by comparison. And I knew that Erin Moran looked like Scott Baio's aunt.. But I couldn't call to mind anything else. The theme song--a Christopher Cross knock-off minus the "rawk"--did little to evoke any memories. But then I watched the opening credit sequence and oh my god oh my god oh my god OH MY GOD! Never before has an era and an error been so perfectly captured in under two minutes. Never before has something so earnest been so deserving of the phrase "gloriously tragic." Never before has a programming mistake been so obvious from the initial frame. To say anything more would spoil the fun. Just click on the video and watch. Watch, reflect and recoil.

Another Reader Speaks Out Against Forth Procreation

Ah jeeze, SF isn't going to morph in Baby Blues is it? I mean, I like BB, but we don't need another one. Can't they adopt Faye??

Not only will Sally Forth be about babies each day every day until the end of time (or 2012, if you believe the Mayan Long Count calendar) but also Ted is now trying to pen a beautiful/commercial bedtime story for his potential offspring. So with that awkward segue I bring you...

Opening Lines from Ted Forth-Authored Children's Books

“At Hogwarts School for Wizards, the ‘special ed’ kids were the most inadvertently dangerous of them all.”

“This is the story of seven little elves…well, five little elves…no, wait, four little…two…this is the story of one little elf with a repeat-action pistol.”

“Sleeping Beauty awoke from her long slumber to find that, crap, she was still drunk.”

“Bobby was an orphan. Tommy was the reason why.”

“For an eight-year-old boy, Arnie had made some very powerful enemies indeed. The following is the story of his last known hours.”

“Tugboats don’t usually drown…unless they are very, very depressed.”

“Puddles was no ordinary adorable puppy. For starters, he robbed banks.”

“Because he kept kosher, many believed Petey to be a self-hating pig.”

“For an enchanted sprite, Louie was having a heck of a time graduating from air conditioning and refrigeration school.”

“One fine spring day Jenny awoke to realize that she could fly…but only up to 1000 feet, whereupon she lost instantly lost her newfound power forever.”

“It was the day of the teddy bear picnic, and shame was once more to walk hand-in-hand with alcoholism.”

“Once upon a time there lived a very poor farmer. His crops were dying. His loved ones were starving. His future looked oh so bleak. Then one day, only hours before the bank was to foreclose on his property and the government was to put his children to work in the coal mines to repay the family debt, the lowly farmer spied a leprechaun struggling against the swift currents in the river that ran alongside the farm. The farmer quickly ran to the leprechaun’s aid and without hesitation rescued him from certain doom. The leprechaun was so taken with the farmer’s bravery that he said unto his rescuer, ‘For saving my life, I shall grant you one wish. Name it and it shall be instantly yours.’ And since that fateful time that poor farmer has never gone a single day without scoring some sweet, sweet pussy.”

“For small, defenseless and apparently edible beings, gnomes have a tendency to shoot of their mouth to the wrong creatures.”