Happy Holidays and welcome to the 3rd annual Sammy Awards. I sincerely hope that everyone in The Manoverse had a lovely & festive Christmas, and I wish you all a very Happy New Year. Before we get on with the imaginary show let me briefly review the ground rules for anyone who may have missed last year’s presentation. I approach this effort with the thought in mind that it could actually be a real, televised awards show. There are dozens of them already, so what’s one more?? Mine would be much different & more entertaining though. It’d be broadcast on HBO, which would allow multiple re-runs, eliminate commercials, and create a sense of freedom that the politically correct broadcast networks stifle. The pace would be brisk because a show longer than two hours drags and loses the interest of the viewer. There would be no acceptance speeches because most of the categories have far too many nominees to have in the audience and alot of them might not think it an honor to be nominated anyway. The Sammys are classier than the idiotic MTV Awards, yet not as pompous as The Academy Awards. They are a lighthearted but thoughtful look back at the past year…the stories, the people, and the events (both happy & not so happy) that made 2012 another fun ride.
This year’s host is legendary actor/director Clint Eastwood. If I have to explain why then you haven’t been paying attention.
After a brief, slightly amusing, somewhat rambling opening monologue by Mr. Eastwood our first award will be presented by late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon and rapper/actor Snoop Dogg. And the nominees are:
The Twitter Award for Most Interesting Water Cooler Topic
Octomom Does Porn
We first met Nadya Suleman a few years ago when she gave birth to octuplets (that’s 8 babies for those of you in MacDowell County, WV). It was quickly discovered that Suleman already had 6 kids and was a succubus on the Big Government teat, so no one could figure out why she was on meds to have even more offspring when she couldn’t even take care of the ones she had. Octomom became one of those 21st century “celebrities” that shows like Extra & Entertainment Tonight like to enable. Flash ahead to 2012 when Suleman figured out that not even the government offers a big enough check to properly provide for 14 children. Her solution?? Pornography and dancing at a strip club…of course. Making matters worse is the fact that this is a woman who, objectively speaking as a man who appreciates lovely women, is just not that attractive and should be paid to keep her clothes on.
81 year old Regis Philbin has spent more time on television than anyone else in history. Seriously…it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records. But not even Regis could suffer through another year with the overly perky Kelly Ripa. Faced with the choice of either gouging his own eyes out with a spoon on national television or retiring he did the smart thing and walked away from the daytime talk show that he’d helmed for nearly 25 years in late 2011. Throughout most of 2012 various guest hosts auditioned for the “honor” of being annoyed by Ripa on a daily basis. Dozens of gentlemen from various genres of entertainment were given the opportunity to take Regis’s spot, although only a handful were ever considered viable contenders. Among those were singer Josh Groban, actors Neil Patrick Harris & Mario Lopez, journalists Dan Abrams & Andy Cohen, fashion expert Carson Kressley, SNL funnyman Seth Myers, meteorologist Sam Champion, and Ripa’s own husband Mark Consuelos (an apparent masochist). This search went on for months. I’ve witnessed entire relationships…from the dating stage to the marriage thru the divorce…that were shorter than the process to find Regis Philbin’s successor. At the end of the day the gig was given to former NY Giants sack king Michael Strahan, proving once & for all that the long term effects of concussions on football players is a real issue.
Prince Harry & Kate Middleton Nekkid
For some reason we Americans are still enamored with the British royal family. I have no idea why. Maybe it is because they always do wacky things that inadvertently entertain the masses. At any rate, this past summer the world was all abuzz after every supermarket rag and low rent website published photos of 28 year old Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles and the late, nearly deified Princess Diana, au naturel in a Vegas hotel room. What happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas when you are a prince. Then this fall Harry’s sister-in-law, Kate, the wife of Prince William, was photographed by paparazzi topless, which of course was all over the same trashy magazines & websites. I’m not sure why anyone cares because I sure as heck don’t.
Bullying isn’t a new topic of discussion. There have been bullies for as long as there have been children. But in 21st century America, where everything is a problem, too many people are hypersensitive, and things that didn’t used to be a big deal have become opportunities for bleeding hearts to become offended, bullying has suddenly become a hot button issue. My stance on the whole thing is, as usual, somewhat politically incorrect. I’ve never been bullied, but at times I have certainly been overlooked, taken for granted, and made to feel invisible. It concerns me that nowadays we have children actually committing suicide due to bullying. This seems like a relatively recent phenomenon, and I think we need to ask ourselves why. If bullying itself isn’t new but our collective hysteria about it is then maybe…just maybe…it should be considered that we are simply raising weaker children unequipped for handling the rigors of childhood. And if a kid can’t handle being a kid then what the heck are they going to face when they grow up?? It’s a tough world full of challenges, disappointment, heartbreak, and yes…mean & nasty people who will walk all over you if they are allowed. I’m no sociologist and I am not even a parent so I certainly don’t have any answers, but I think it’s a discussion worth having.
I’ve always liked Chick-Fil-A. They have tasty sammiches and the whole waffle fries thing is different in a good way. In 2012 the fast food chain found themselves in a bit of a pickle (if you’ve ever eaten one of their sammiches you’ll appreciate the joke) when their CEO publically espoused support for traditional marriage & Christian values. This mightily upset the liberal deviant lifestyle crowd. However, whether they were standing up for Biblical principles or just supporting the executive’s 1st Amendment right to free speech, millions of people mobilized and rallied around the eatery, helping them to post record profits. My friend The Owl and I both enjoy going to our particular local Chick-Fil-As not only because the food is good but also because it is a first class operation whose employs are well trained in the art of customer service and seem to treat every patron with dignity & respect. That is much too rare in 21st century America.
Fifty Shades of Grey
What is the dividing line between erotica and porn?? Is there really a difference?? I think maybe erotica is just a word women who read this kind of crap use to make themselves feel better about their sin. Anyway, this is a trilogy that I will likely never read but that took the world by storm in 2012. To each their own I suppose.
I know people who have lost weight taking the stuff, and I know people who sell it. Since I am on my own weight loss journey I seriously pondered giving it a whirl but when I asked my nutritionist about it she assured me that it was total poppycock. I think the trick is that one is instructed to consume copious amounts of water with the pills, which logically will eliminate hunger. Drink a big ol’ vat of H2O sometime and see if you feel like snacking afterword. I can tell you right now you won’t want to because you’ll be full. So here’s an idea…why not just skip the pills and drink a lot of water?? Seems like a logical solution to me. But hey, if taking these pills legitimately helps a person lose weight…even if it is simply a placebo effect…then go for it. Whatever works, right??
Call Me Maybe
Every once in awhile a song will come along that divides the nation…some people dig it while others absolutely hate it. This is one of those songs. It’s a catchy little bubblegum pop tune about a young lady’s unrequited crush that caught fire last summer and spent the vast majority of it at #1 on the charts. Personally I kind of like the song. Your mileage may vary and that’s okay.
It wasn’t all that long ago…2005 to be exact…that Hollywood wackjob Tom Cruise made a complete ass of himself jumping up & down like a lunatic on the couch of Satan’s favorite talk show host Oprah. He was a man in love. He had apparently been a closet Dawson’s Creek fan just like your humble Potentate of Profundity, but unlike me he had the means to successfully woo innocent little Joey Potter from Capeside and lure her into his cult. He got her knocked up and then they got married (the order in which most relationships seem to go nowadays). Flash ahead to 2012 when apparently Katie Holmes finally woke up and figured out “Hey…I’m Joey freakin’ Potter!! I don’t have to put up with this crap.” So now the two are divorced and vying for the affection of their little daughter Suri, whose gig as the voice of the iPhone has got to keep her pretty busy. Dear Katie: I am available and I am a Methodist…think you can handle that??
Limbaugh Slut Controversy
In February a Georgetown law student spoke to members of Congress about health care. In essence she stated that birth control should be free and that during her years at Georgetown Law School she’d spent about $3000 on birth control when it should have been covered under the student health plan. It is my understanding that this student referenced friends that needed contraceptive medication for legitimate health issues, but didn’t say that she herself had been spending thousands of dollars due to medical necessity. My man Rush Limbaugh picked up on the story and pontificated aloud that a woman wanting free contraceptives and spending that much on them must be having a lot of sex, which would make her a slut. He said a bunch of other provocative stuff too, and predictably the liberal drive-by media was all over it. The NOW gang and a posse of other libs started calling for Rush’s head on a platter. Rush lost a few advertisers. Even some so-called Republicans turned on him. The controversy brewed for a few weeks. Eventually Rush apologized, and he weathered the storm like he always does.
iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy SIII
Who rules the cell phone world?? Those little toys have certainly come a long way in a short time, to the point where almost everyone, from grade schoolers to grandparents, has one. And while there is no shortage of carriers and phones, in 2012 the battle for the top spot came down to two contenders. The latest generation iPhone became available in September and sported a slightly bigger screen amongst other improvements. However, four months earlier Samsung had made an impact on the market with the Galaxy SIII, which is a huge phone. A little too big in my opinion. I briefly tried the Samsung, but had owned an iPhone 3GS for three years and was just so used to that format that I returned the Galaxy in favor of the 5. My sister and nephews all have the Galaxy though and really like it. It’s all good. And as long as there is stiff competition then we the customers should ultimately benefit.
This is a song accompanied by some sort of goofy dance. It was done by a Korean dude that no one had ever heard of and who will probably never do anything notable ever again. It’s one of those crazes like The Macarena, Madonna’s Vogue, The Dougie, The Lean Back, and The Hammer Dance that periodically take America by storm for a few months until we get bored and find something new & shiny to entertain us. The Korean dude appeared during a skit on SNL in October and I honestly had no idea why the audience was going wild. I’m old & out of touch like that, which is fine by me.
Up until a couple of years ago I thought bath salts were something that women bought at the chick store at the mall that has all the smelly stuff & candles. Maybe at one time that was the case. However, more recently the most common usage of bath salts is in reference to a synthetic drug that apparently totally wacks people out. In 2012 usage of bath salts seemed to grow exponentially, especially here in West Virginia. Just 5 minutes from my home a “head shop” was busted by the feds last spring after selling hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of the stuff. WV leads the nation in bath salts usage and my city is…was…the epicenter. Wow…what an honor. Personally I am not into drugs. My parents taught me better and I’ve always figured that I’d be the unlucky SOB whose heart would explode if I ever smoked crack, shot heroine, or snorted coke. On top of that I have seen how drugs can wreck lives and slowly kill people. No thank you…not this kid. I’ll stick with skim milk and copious amounts of chocolate.
Is this what The Learning Channel has become?? I’ve never watched this show and likely never will. Reality TV just isn’t my thing. But apparently it’s about some little girl who competes in those hideous child beauty pageants and her redneck family. I’ve heard numerous people say that the show is absolutely hilarious, but personally my standards are higher. Your mileage may vary, but may I suggest turning off the television occasionally and reading a book??
Clint Eastwood at the RNC
Eastwood is a rarity…a Republican in Hollywood. There might be more than we know about but they are so legitimately concerned that they might have their careers derailed by the leftist elite power brokers that they hide their conservative values, like straight men who like Air Supply or how Bruce Wayne doesn’t tell anyone he’s Batman. Anyway, Eastwood was asked to give a speech at the Republican National Convention last summer, and while I personally thought he was amusing the liberal drive-by media immediately jumped all over the performance. They blasted Mr. Eastwood for utilizing an empty chair and pretending like he was interviewing President Obama. Was it unconventional?? Yes. Might it have been better if he’d prepared a speech rather than going off-the-cuff?? Probably. Was it offensive?? Only to those who constantly fellatiate Obama and think he does no wrong.
And the Sammy goes to…..
Chick-Fil-A. Fast food & sociopolitical commentary don’t usually intertwine, but one’s attitude about Chick-Fil-A in 2012 was an indicator not only of whether or not a person likes a yummy chicken sammich, but where they stand on some very important issues. There are people who have chosen never to give their business to the place ever again, while there are others that proudly stood up not only for the values espoused but the freedom to express them. Whether or not you or I eat at Chick-Fil-A and why we make that choice doesn’t really matter all that much on the surface. It’s a restaurant. There are thousands of them. Three restaurants within a mile of The Bachelor Palace have closed up shop within the past 6 months and it had absolutely no impact on my life. But the reasons for the controversy…our cultural outlook on same sex marriage vs. traditional marriage as it was designed by God and our thought process on Constitutional rights…are extremely important matters that have helped define America and will shape its future for better or worse.
Singer Taylor Swift was originally scheduled to perform in this spot, but she broke up with atleast 3 guys in the past week and canceled on us after suddenly becoming inspired to write her next two albums. So it is our pleasure to welcome, singing two of her top hits Set Fire to the Rain and Rolling in the Deep, British songstress Adele.
To present our next award The Manofesto is proud to welcome back last year’s winner of the Sammy for Assclown of the Year, actor & provocateur Charlie Sheen, and a guy who knows a thing or two about bad movies (he’ll never live down Hudson Hawk), actor Bruce Willis, And the nominees are:
I sincerely wanted to like Ted, a story about a boy who receives a stuffed bear for Christmas and then wishes that the bear would “come to life” ala Frosty the Snowman. The boy’s wish is granted and he grows up with the living stuffed animal as his constant companion until the relationship starts to complicate things in his adult life. Ted has some legitimately funny moments, and anytime Hollywood comes up with a unique idea rather than just another tired old clichéd retread I like to give credit where credit is due. However, I should have known that anything from the mind of Family Guy creator and voice artist Seth McFarlane would take a creative & potentially hilarious concept and infuse it with a plethora of low class, raunchy potty humor. I’m no prude, but honestly this film could have been so entertaining without going in that direction. It’s lazy, classless, and caters to the lowest common denominator. I am stunned that Star Trek: TNG’s Patrick Stewart agreed to “narrate” such crude vulgarity.
Rock of Ages
I have to be honest…I didn’t hate this film. As a child of the 80’s I enjoyed the music immensely. There were pretty good covers of songs by the likes of Night Ranger, Poison, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, REO Speedwagon, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, & Def Leppard, among others. Tom Cruise’s performance as a kind of Axl Rose/Jim Morrison hybrid is actually quite brilliant. However, the movie as a whole leans toward being rather cheesy. The story is forgettable and the rest of the cast, including the normally superb Alec Baldwin & Paul Giamatti, the irritatingly unfunny Russell Brand, and a horribly miscast Catherine Zeta-Jones do nothing to save the calamity.
I enjoyed the original American Pie immensely. It ranks 72nd of my 100 Favorite Movies. American Pie 2 was bland & forgettable, but the franchise rebounded with a third film, 2003’s American Wedding. So here we are 9 years later and the powers-that-be decided to squeeze one last drop from the cash cow. It would have made total sense if it’d happened three years ago. Most high school classes have a 10 year reunion, right?? The fact that this is a 13 year reunion is clumsily taken into account in the course of the story, but unfortunately it is too little too late. There is a distinct lack of creativity here. To a large degree very few of these characters have grown up, changed, or emotionally evolved over the past 13 years. This is especially noticeable with the character of Stifler, who is still just as obnoxious as a 30 year old as he was as a teenager. It isn’t realistic. Couldn’t some talented scribe have written a script where these characters have gone through the natural maturation process but at the same time created a funny story as well?? I guess not. There was one interesting choice that I am still kind of ambivalent about. In the story Jim’s mother has died. I am not sure killing off a character in a rom-com franchise is really wise or necessary, but on the other hand it is realistic (I lost my own Mom in my late 20’s) and it enabled the pairing of Jim’s Dad with Stifler’s Mom, and that is the best part of the movie.
The Three Stooges
Is it funny?? Kinda sorta. But instead of just being a new Stooges movie it kind of feels like three dudes doing impressions of the original Stooges. Some things simply cannot or should not be remade, revived, or reinvented. The Three Stooges were legends of a certain era, and thankfully we can pop in a DVD and see their stuff anytime we like. To transport the concept to modern times with new actors just doesn’t quite work despite a solid & spirited effort.
That’s My Boy
Long time citizens of The Manoverse may have noticed that the category of Worst Movie is new to The Sammy Awards. Your humble Potentate of Profundity has never seen a reason for it because I have been blessed with good taste and am normally smart enough to not shell out money for a bad movie. Part of me wants to believe that there isn’t any such thing as a bad movie. You go to the theater, buy a ticket, grab some popcorn, a vat of cola, & a box of Goobers, and escape from reality for a couple of hours. That is inherently a good thing. In hindsight maybe the movie wasn’t as funny as it could have been or didn’t live up to lofty expectations & preconceived notions, but at the end of the day there were certainly a lot worse things you could have spent a chunk of your day doing. However, in 2012 Adam Sandler singlehandedly destroyed this lifelong sanguine notion within 2 hours. My friend The Owl had tried to warn me that there was nothing funny about rape, statutory or otherwise. What he doesn’t know is that this piece of garbage throws in some incest for good measure. In 40 years on the planet I have never left the theater in the middle of a movie, mostly because if I’ve paid for something I’m going to see it thru to the end (I don’t leave a ball game in the 3rd quarter or the 7th inning, and I don’t leave a concert early to beat the traffic), but honestly I came very very close to ditching this crapfest. Sandler’s movies have never been accused of being refined or artistic, but atleast flicks like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, & The Waterboy were funny and had a heart. That’s My Boy has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
The Five Year Engagement
I am a big fan of How I Met Your Mother’s Jason Segal, star of last year’s Sammy Award winning film The Muppet Movie. I also enjoy a good rom-com. Those things combined with the fetching charm of British siren Emily Blunt should have been ingredients for a pleasant little escape. Sadly though the writers took a fine premise and tried to squeeze a bit too much out of it. It’s certainly not a horrible film, but it’s like a great steak that is left under the broiler just a wee bit too long and comes out somewhat flavorful but also a bit overdone. On the bright side there is a standout supporting performance by the lovely Alison Brie, who should become a big star any day now.
A Christmas Story 2
We all watch the 1983 original every Christmas. It’s a beloved holiday classic. Making a direct-to-video sequel three decades later was just not a good idea. It’s not creative and it’s not funny.
I had high hopes. Logically the combined comedic talents of Will Ferrell (Anchorman, Old School, Elf) & Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover Trilogy) should have been a no-brainer. But this tale of a long time Congressman being challenged by a dimwitted milquetoast just fell flat. Ferrell has perfected his vain, misogynistic, offensively cocky doofus shtick over the years, but he has done it so much better in other films. This time it felt like he kind of mailed it in. The Galifianakis character is irritating at best. I will give kudos to Dylan McDermott (the guy who used to be in ABC’s The Practice and starred in the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street) because he is surprisingly amusing in a supporting role. It’s like the producers of the movie couldn’t decide if they wanted to do a traditional comedy or a piercing political satire, and at the end of the day the result is tepid on both ends.
And the Sammy goes to…..
That’s My Boy. This movie was not only the worst movie of 2012, but should receive strong consideration for the worst movie in the history of movies. I seriously do not know what in the world Adam Sandler was thinking. I don’t know how this steaming pile of dung ever got greenlit in the first place. No one expects Oscar caliber Shakespearean gravitas from Sandler, and that’s okay. The world needs some frivolity on occasion, but even mindless entertainment should have some standards.
This seems like the appropriate place to take a break. Please join us this weekend for Part II of the 2012 Sammy Awards!!