Friday, September 26, 2008

What Happens after the Economy Collapses and Civilization Ends

The few survivors break into two warring factions, “The Feral Slashers” and “The Milksop Fops.” The ensuing battle is swift and decisive.

With a new civilization comes a new Creation Myth, one that states, “In the beginning there were canned goods and Lou’s Dodge Dart…”

Despite the absence of any atomic blast and in defiance of the “square-cube law,” the world is overrun with 40-story rabbits.

Out of respect for the worldwide extermination of most of the human race, “The Tonight Show” goes on hiatus for a week.

With 98% of earth’s population gone, people’s requests to be added as one another’s friends on Facebook take a far more desperate tone.

Sensing there is no longer a housing market, Manhattan real estate prices experience a momentary dip.

Stephen King’s The Stand is re-filmed with a live webcast.

In a new world where everyone must now provide a service crucial to the survival of mankind, the humor writers find themselves pretty much fucked.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quotes from a Recently Unemployed Wall Street Senior VP

* "Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god! Our house! Our helipad!...The gryphon!"

* "Of course I don't know what I'm doing! But do you know how much it costs to have a fresco refurbished professionally?!?"

* "I'm sorry, Rubella, but we just can't afford to have you as our maid anymore...Not even on alternating weeks...What?...Yeah, well you just try and scrape up the funds for a DNA test. Until then your little boy still calls me 'Mr. Levinson.'"

* "See?! See?! It said so right on the coupon! 'Two MEDIUM pizzas with one topping, free two-liter soda, $18!' You order two LARGE pizzas and you might as well say, 'Here! Ass-rape our bank account!'"

* "That's five dollars to pet the gryphon, ten to ride it and a hundred to have 15 minutes alone with it."

* "They want more scones and apple butter?! What do all our B&B guests have, tapeworm?!"

* "I rented the main house to something called The Real World. See the girl face down in our hot tub not making any more bubbles? She's the 'fun one.'"

* "You know, I'm really getting sick and tired of everyone saying the word 'arson.'"

* "Hey, Morty. Gimme a Pick 6, two Lucky 7's, a Jersey Jackpot and whatever you got in your cash register."

• "I ate the gryphon."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Where the Company Diversity Day Went Wrong

Handicapped employees’ contributions to office repeatedly referred to as “noble attempts.”

Seminar on gay and lesbian issues ends with “I triple-dog dare you!”

Multiracial employees instructed to “pick one or the other” for sake of discussion.

No mention of Asians until very end, when office experiences IT problem.

Employees encouraged to dress in traditional ethic clothes. Everyone shows up in Old Navy.

Talk on gender politics titled “The Glass Ceiling—A Reflection on So Many Pretty Faces.”

The phrases “If I closed my eyes I couldn’t tell,” “I love your people’s music” and “I don’t blame you, Sahid” are heard more than once.

Christian table only one with bullhorn.

Mailroom staff’s “Hooray for Santy Claus” presentation both highlights and undermines day’s message.

African-American employee’s lecture on being paraplegic seen as “bait and switch.”

Trust exercise results in six broken backs.

Hispanic Awareness lesson clearly cribbed from “Sabado Gigante” skit.

White workers see event as great opportunity to collect recipes.

Blind employee told he addressed a packed room 20 minutes before his lecture begins.

Persian and Arab groups can’t convince management of need for two separate tables.

Elderly employee panel reads newspaper headlines out loud to anyone who will listen.

Interfaith office basketball game ends in first quarter after everyone fouls out.

“Italian Pavilion” actually just banner over sanitation dock.

Event ends with CEO stating, “They have us outnumbered.”

Please Hold for a Special Announcement

First, thank you to everyone who watched What Is Comedy?, helping it achieve almost a whopping 370,000 views in four days. I say "almost," and not "exactly" or "over" 370,000, meaning the enterprise has been a total failure on my part. I'd also like to give a special thanks to the commentator who raved, "That was good. Not great, but good."

Okay, on to the subject at hand. The Medium Large site will always first and foremost be about the the eponymous comic strip. But I'm also expending it to be a full-service, bloated fiasco of a humor hub (since such has always been a dream of mine, beginning when I was nine and had no idea there was an Internet and believed computers would employ simply mathematics to take over the world, much as they did in Colossus: The Forbin Project). New additions such as The Catalog of Unfit Toys and Conversations with Dad have joined ranks with such long-standing (if one could call "a month or so" long-standing) sections as The Sarah Palin Vlogs and Comic Strip Writing 101. In time I hope to redesign the site to better accommodate all such features as well as this blog and a store, featuring the first book collection of Medium Large (tentatively titled, Absalom, Absalom! or On the Origin of Species). Of course, if any of you have ideas on how to go about making such changes to the site--or wish to offer suggestions--by all means please do so. I would greatly appreciate it!

We are Francesco Marciuliano and TODD and we approve this message.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

But What Would Centauri Say?

Ignoring the fact that the art crosses the axis in the third panel (a no-no in filmmaking), I'm quite pleased with today's Sally Forth. That's because over the years I've made and kept numerous friends from years of employment in the corporate world, some who now populate the world of the strip ("Jeff Jowdy," for one) and many who I frequently go with to movies, comedy shows, concerts and dinner. So to me it makes perfect sense that Ted would find a like-minded, likable coworker who grooves to the same Gen X callbacks as himself (speaking of such, for those who can't wait until tomorrow's strip the quote in the second panel--and the reference in this post's title--come from The Last Starfighter which, believe it or not, was also made into an off-Broadway musical.)

Still, others feel that such true friendship is not possible in the dog-eat-dog-eat-eat-Chipolte's-for-lunch-back-to-eating-dog world of Corporate America. Take this quote from Gabacho over at Comics Curmudgeon:

There’s no such thing as an office friend, merely an enemy who has been temporarily neutralized.

Sally knows this and she should tell Ted. Look at Sally’s office friends - Ralph who openly despises her and wants her out of the way and Alice. Yes, Alice.

Remember when Sally laid the blame for a failed project on Alice? Instead of Sally saying, “I did a poor job of managing this.”, she pointed the finger at Alice.

During the faux pregnancy scare, who was it who told the whole damn office - Alice. She was probing to see where Sally was weakest.

Alice is biding her time.

There is only one real way for Ted to make office “friends”. Find a common enemy, play it up, and then crush his friends.

Since Ted is in Strategic Sourcing, the natural enemies are Sales, Accounting and Human Resources. Pick one and then start trash talking them to your coworker. Your coworker will now start to like you.

Then when his guard is down, set him up.

For example, if Sales is pushing Strategic Sourcing hard to get Indonesian made Massage Chair and just doesn’t understand that Strategic Sourcing can’t change scheduling immediately, suggest to your coworker that he propose substituting the Chinese made version.

Coworker will bring that up to Sales as his idea, only to find out that nobody wants the Chinese made chair since furniture made by soon to be executed prisoners is not nearly as comfortable as that made by 8 year olds who still have some illusion of hope.

The coworker will be humiliated and demoralized, but won’t blame you as you sympathize and aren’t even mad that he stole your idea.

Now go to Sales and quietly say, “I’ll handle it.”

Soon you will be the King of Strategic Sourcing and have many, many friends.

More information about corporate careers and backstabbing can be found in books.

On the other side of the coin we have this Curmudgeon comment from one evil_bacteria:

It appears Ted is about to make a friend, but since we can’t hear the mysterious person’s voice, we can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman. Could it be a woman? Could Ted have an affair with someone who, rather than emasculating him, shares his love of things that happened twenty years ago? You might scoff, but if this could happen anywhere in the comics, it would be Sally Forth.

So where do you stand on this, the most volatile issue of our times? Do you think true friendship can be found in the workplace?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Section Headlines from the Latest Lehman Brothers Employee Newsletter

Heads Up from the Head Office: Why Your Paycheck Was Postdated

News Nibbles: Study Proves Crying Won't Change Anything

Getting Technical: E-Mail, Voice Mail to Be Replaced by Carbon Paper, Shouting

FUN-damentals: For the Last Time, Vending Machines Not to Be Restocked

Body English: Healthcare Coverage Phased Out in Favor of Condolence Cards

Fiscally Fit: Your 401(k)--Letting Go

Morale Morsel: Accepting Change (from Strangers)

Recent Announcements: The following employee ID cards are no longer valid...

Want Ads:
For Sale--Human eggs, $6000 per harvest.
For Sale--House, car, gold fillings. Prices negotiable.
For Sale: Healthy infant. Still unnamed. Responds well to affection.
To Buy: Ammunition, firearms, all varieties. Easy money. No questions.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Instant Messaging with My Brother, A Former Corporate Mascot

The following is a transcript of an instant message chat I once had my brother Marcello, who in addition to being a technician for a once powerful Internet search company also portrayed the company's mascot.

Marcello: Ces!

Ces: Cello! How are you?

Marcello: Not bad. Was the (Company) Dog at a museum exhibit.

Ces: Oh...Didn't expect to read that. What did you do?

Marcello: Usual. Waved at school kids. Danced a bit. You know, typical advanced dog tricks.

Ces: Sounds like fun.

Marcello: Yeah, you'd think so. My entire body is covered in black-and-blue marks.

Ces: From what? Wearing the heavy costume?

Marcello: From getting repeatedly punched.

Ces: Punched?!

Marcello: Punched, Ces! The kids punched me! I'm here to tell you that children are bastards. Mean, viscious, wholly evil bastards!

Ces: What happened?!

Marcello: Remember that Simpsons epsiode when Homer doubles for Krusty at parties and big events? And he tells Lenny what hard, tiring work it is, "But when I see how those little kids' eyes light up...I just know they're getting ready to jab me with something"?

Ces: Oh god.

Marcello: They wouldn't stop, Ces! The little kids wanted hugs, so I gave them hugs. They were actually really adorable. But when the junior high school kids would ask for a hug...

Ces: Oh shit.

Marcello: I would stretch out my arms and then BAM! Straight in the gut!

Ces: Every time?

Marcello: Every fucking time! They were relentless!

Ces: Then why did you keep stretching out your arms?

Marcello: Because I'm a chocolate lab, Ces! I'm supposed to be friendly! Plus, I think I'm monitored.

Ces: Couldn't you do anything?

Marcello: Like what? Wave at kids from behind a pillar? Start swinging wildly at anyone over the age of 12? I'm not even allowed to talk! I'm defenseless, Ces! Defenseless!

Ces: But what about the people who were supposedly with you? You know, monitoring. Couldn't they do anything?

Marcello: They were too busy taking pictures! Every time I got clocked I saw a flash go off. They said it was the best sponsored event they ever had.

Ces: I'm so sorry, Cello.

Marcello: And you know what? It was never the kids from the city. It was never the poor kids from the tough parts of town. It was always these over-privileged white bastards who kept punching me! Every time I got punched it was some grinning white boy. I'm serious, Ces. I think I hate white people now.

Ces: How long did this go on?

Marcello: About an hour. Maybe more. I lost count when I started to pass out.

Ces: From the punching?

Marcello: No, heat stroke.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Remarks That Turn Any First Date into a Last Encounter

“I’m really into ‘anger painting’ now. This one I titled Mother.”

“When’s that Chinaman going to bring us our food?”

“Eyeglasses? Phil didn’t tell me you were handicapped.”

“So then my mom started crying and my dad started yelling and I thought, ‘All right, all right, I’ll give this whole heterosexual dating scene one last try.’”

“I dropped out of school when they switched People’s Court to a noon timeslot.”

The Weekly Standard? That liberal rag?”

“Like the outfit? It’s an exact copy of the one Luke wore when he rescued Han from Jabba.”

“I’ll bet you $3000 those two squirrels are gonna tussle.”

“Uh oh. All the pills in my Thursday compartment are gone. Wait, was yesterday Thursday? Oh well, a few from the Saturday compartment should help me remember…”

“I thought it might save time if I went to the movies before our date.”

“This flask’s gotten me through three marriages and two years at Betty Ford.”

“Jesus! When did vending machine food become so expensive?!?”

“Better wear this or they’ll steal your thoughts, too.”

“Oh crap, they found me. Quick, get in the cab! NOW!!!”

“I used to be into skydiving but now I’m into just leaping.”

“Your eyes. Your beautiful eyes. I must have them.”

“Sometimes I fear I’m losing my mind. But then I just burst out laughing for 45 minutes and eventually forget what I was even worried about.”

Monday, September 8, 2008

How Ted Forth Tries to Make Friends at Work

Asks coworkers which limb they would most like to be on Voltron.

Whenever there's a lull in business conversation says, "Look what I can do with my tongue."

Every Monday morning leaves a candy heart on each person's desk that reads, "U R NICE."

Tries to carefully remove any unsightly strands of hair from men's shoulders.

Always compliments female coworkers' wardrobe choices by exclaiming, "Say goodbye to my eyes' diet because you look de-lish-us!"

Tries to engage in every conversation he passes by suddenly stopping, saying, "I heard that!" and then patiently waiting and smiling until someone fills him in on what exactly they're talking about.

Has tried on more than one occasion to get a game of "telephone" started around the conference table.

Offers free egg creams to the first 80 people who stop by his office each day.

At 4:30 PM every Friday he breaks out the boom box, blares the Pointer Sisters' I'm So Excited and invites everyone to join him in shaking off "those workweek willies!"

Asks point blank, "Will you be my friend?"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Election Night Result Exclamations of the McCain Supporter

On Losing:

• “I’m so angry I could punch an immigrant baby!”

• “How could we fail Saudi Arabia so?!”

• “When will these earthlings realize that caring for your fellow man is but a sign of weakness?”

• “See what happens when you continue to fund education?”

• “It’s just as they predicted in ‘Revelations: The Wal-Mart Edition’!”

• “They can’t take office if there’s no United States to lead.”

• “Tell Fox News they can change their name back to The German Workers Party Network.”

• “Next time we attack them in their dreams.”

• “Well, this is why we have a military. Secure the capital.”

• “Alert Mordor!”

On Winning:

• “Finally, now we can get to work on that death ray.”

• “Ahhh, another four years to get Jesus on some currency.”

• “Well, now that the election’s over we can release the blacks and women.”

• “Award the NRA ten Senate seats.”

• “At least we’ll never have to bother with another election again.”

• “If only they knew how close we were to releasing small pox.”

• “Back to fighting Oceania…or was it Eurasia?”

• “Next order of business, deciding on a citizen uniform.”


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Cherished Moments from Republican National Convention

• Delegates celebrate sanctity of their marriages by not proposing to any of the 12,000 prostitutes they ass-ram.

• Displays of “party inclusion” include cutaway shots to convention kitchen staff and tanned Bruce Willis.

• President officially introduced to delegates by corporate spokescharacters Pillsbury Doughboy and the Nike “Swoosh.”

• Each day preceded by prayer and removing still-beating heart from small Latino boy.

• Republicans redefine phrases “go die of poverty and pneumonia on your own” and “the will of the stockholders outweighs the will of the people” as “individualism” and “entrepreneurship.”

• During Fox News broadcast of Palin's speech viewers hear Sean Hannity whacking off in press booth.

• When African-American Republican Alan Keyes appears, conventioneers shout drink orders.

• Joe Lieberman converts to Assembly of God.

• McCain proudly displays “B.C.” comic strip in which character celebrates Jesus…10,000 years before birth of Christ. President laments, “If only cavemen actually existed.”

• Iraq is referred to as “a victory,” the economy is referred to as “on the rise” and Abu Ghraib is referred to as “the center for the Detroit Pistons.”

• Constant delegate chanting causes dead to rise, babies to burn and oceans to turn to acid.

• Palin calls for passage of “We Knows What We Likes” Bill. All art funding to go to Hummel figurines, “Do I Look Like A Grandmother?” T-shirts and candles in the shape of fruit.

• BBC review of convention broadcast reads, “Like most American comedies, funny but not ‘ha ha’ funny.”

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Star Wars Original Trilogy Trivia

Inspired by today's Medium Large:

* First Yoda clearly Beaker from The Muppet Show.

* When Darth Vader cuts down Ben Kenobi in Star Wars, actor Alec Guiness can be seen mouthing the words "Thank the fuck God this is over."

* George Lucas was so afraid Princess Leia may come across as sexy that he not only strapped down Carrie Fischer's breasts but also momentarily considered recasting the role with George Segal.

* Original recording of Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme) obviously influenced by Parliament/Funkadelic.

* The Stormtroopers were first conceived as "completely blind" to explain their remarkable inability to kill any of the major characters, even at close range.

* Star Wars was based not only on the fillm The Hidden Fortress by Akira Kurosawa but also on a Gary Marshall-penned Love, American Style episode in which a boy and a girl are about to consumate their love only to realize that they're twins and their father is Josef Stalin.

* Initial FX clip of Death Star sequence left studio wondering why paper airplanes were attacking a spray-painted kickball.

* The working title for Episode VI was not Revenge of the Jedi but rather Kenner Presents the Ewoks.

* Although he kept the olive complexion and hitman occupation, Lucas opted at the last minute to change the name "Guido" to "Greedo." It was the first of his many racially-sensitive decisions.

* When Yoda says, "No, there is another" in The Empire Strikes Back he was referring to R2-D2.

* Due to cost overruns, the Death Star compactor scene almost became the grisly denouement to Star Wars.

* Jabba the Hutt was originally called "Luca Brasi."

* Boba Fett's brief screen time was explained by making the character Orthodox Jewish and stating much of the action occurs on a Saturday.

* In 1998 Lucas considered re-re-releasing Star Wars as A Very Special Episode IV, in which the characters all learn a valuable lesson about drug abuse and the importance of friendship.

* The Cantina band was a last minute replacement for Little Feat.

* Preliminary sketches for the Imperial AT-AT Walkers featured eight tentacles, roller skates and a single cap gun before Lucas settled on a slightly more practical miltary device.

* It wasn't until the premiere of Star Wars that actor David Prowse learned his voice had been dubbed over by James Earl Jones, that Darth Vader was in fact the bad guy and that his big musical number had been cut.

* Lucas's insistence that Lando Calrissian lost the Millenium Falcon in a back alley dice game was resoundingly overruled by studio executives.

* The Star Wars novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye was quickly made into a film in early 1978 and subtitled Episode IVa, but its low-budget, contradictory storyline and almost slavish dependence on Paul Lynde's improv skills ensured it would never be released.

* George Lucas's nickname for Mark Hamill on the set was "Prop 1."

* Lawrence Kasdan's script revelation that Han Solo and Chewbacca were "more than just friends" scared the crap out of everyone at Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox and PETA.

* Actor Anthony Daniels remains in C-3PO's armor to this day, having never known another person's touch.