Uptown Magazine! The pause that refreshes! You can read my article for this week here, and I wholly recommend that you do so.
In a fine bit of incidental timing, the CBC chose this very day today to officially launch their stupid contest. And they're attempting to spin a reality-show special out of it, too! I hadn't even considered that possibility -- mostly because that possibility is awful -- but damned if that doesn't fit exactly into what I wrote for this column. Go me!
CTVglobemedia, serving both as makeshift archivists of Canadian pop-cultural history and as contemptible greedhead scumbags, seem as intent on skeletonizing the CBC as the CBC seems intent on skeletonizing itself. Any bets on who or what gets suddenly bought out and transferred to private ownership next? The clear frontrunner right now is Elliotte Friedman, at 3:1 odds; the longshot darkhorse is Rex Murphy at 150:1, mostly because he entertains all discussion on the subject by staring at the negotiator like this.
Ha ha, geez. I almost want to flinch and apologize instinctively every time I look at that picture. His default facial expression always reminds me of Sam the Eagle from the Muppet Show, bless his heart.
I've tried my best so far not to get into this, but let's just go ahead and get it right out -- Just For Laughs: Gags is some amazinglyunfunnybullshit, I tell you what. I don't mean to harp on the subject -- and I'm certainly not the first person to express this opinion -- but lord thunderin' god I want to headbutt whoever keeps putting that on television.
To give you some idea of how the show tends to play out, if the recent Maxime Bernier scandal had been staged by Just For Laughs: Gags, the whole thing would have looked like this:
[SCENE: A Montreal city street, mid-day, with golly-gee wacky-hijinks music playing in the background. Julie COUILLARD, surrounded by five angry-looking BIKERS and showing way more cleavage than is entirely necessary, waves to the camera and overacts shamelessly. The BIKERS stand cross-armed and nod knowingly to the camera, mugging shamelessly.]
[Cut abruptly to a shot of the same spot on the street, now empty. Maxime BERNIER, wearing a dapper suit and appearing lost in thought, comes walking down the street carrying a large manilla folder. He looks an awful lot like Craig T. Nelson, which isn't necessarily relevant to the script but still bears mention.]
[BERNIER, now looking through the papers in the folder, walks into the designated spot on the sidewalk.]
HIJINKS MUSIC: derp de derple de derrp de derrp
[Running into the picture as best she can on high heels, COUILLARD grabs him by the arm and stops him. BERNIER, looking up from his files, appears surprised and puzzled.]
CANNED LAUGHTER: HA HA HA HA
[COUILLARD appears to say something to BERNIER, grabs the folder out of his hands, gives him an affectionate peck on the cheek and runs out of the shot again. BERNIER looks down at his now-empty hand, then around the street in confusion.]
CANNED LAUGHTER: HA HA HA HA HA HA
[BERNIER, still standing in place and looking around, finds himself suddenly surrounded as the five BIKERS emerge from behind a conveniently placed hedge. The BIKERS, scrunching their faces overzealously to appear tough, move their mouths as if questioning BERNIER angrily; BERNIER begins shaking his head and moving his mouth as if explaining the situation, gesticulating dramatically with his hands.]
CANNED LAUGHTER: UWAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
[COUILLARD comes back into the shot, holding the folder, and waves her hands as if to shoo the bikers away.]
CANNED LAUGHTER: HA HA HA HA
[BERNIER, now visibly upset, waves his hands in a questioning motion and appears to ask COUILLARD about the situation. COUILLARD hands BERNIER the folder back, grabs him by the arm and directs his attention to the camera. BERNIER looks stunned for a second, then smiles thinly and nods in resignation.]
CANNED LAUGHTER: HA HA HA HA CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP
[Freeze frame on BERNIER's face. Yellow bars drop down to cover part of the screen, and the Just For Laughs: Gags logo appears. END SCENE.]
In conclusion, Just For Laughs: Gags is repugnant horse pucky and the CBC is staffed by idiots. Those are the main points I want to convey, really.
James Hope Howard is a currently-job-hunting Librarian, a current affairs panelist on 101.5 UMFM's Winnipeg Internet Pundits, a competitive gaming stream commentator for Chip Damage, and the reigning five-time Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown champion of Winnipeg. Plus other duties as assigned.
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