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Fun With Cable: An EARWACS Public Service July 6, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in TV.

In these trying financial times, we as Americans must pull up our bootstraps and suck it up. Gone are the coke-fueled greed of the eighties and the “Everybody and their sister is making money off the Internet” nineties. We are responding by limiting our entertainment dollars. Movie ticket sales are down, not necessarily because of a bad product (Come on, who doesn’t want to see another Rob Schneider movie on the big screen?) but because the movie theatres have stopped accepting food stamps as payment. People are investing in massive satellite cable networks with five thousand channels and huge sound systems that make their episodes of Good Times pop. Every Dy-NO-Mite is ball shockingly accurate.

But even that can drain your entertainment factor. So we here at EARWACS, as is our sworn and reluctant duty, are providing you with fun little games you can play free with your cable remote.

1. If your cable system has the Starz networks, tune into Starz In Black. This game is usually a crap shoot, but I like to call it “Find the Black Guy that is the Star.” When they show any of the flood of gangster movies from the nineties, it’s easy. Any Denzel pick from the mid 90’s is an lay-up. But when they’re showing Mercury Rising (Bruce Willis, playing his famous beleaguered cop who redeems himself, which incidentally he owns a patent on), the late nineties autistic buddy cop film, you have to wonder. Could they not find any other film in their vast library where their so-called “Star in Black” is a fifth billed Chi McBride? I mean, if the network is trying to do their part for equality, surely they can make a better statement with something other than Pauly Shore’s “In the Army Now” (David Alan Grier’s work is masterful, however.)

2. This game is difficult. It’s called “Find the Videos on MTV.” For those who don’t know, the station used to be all about showing visual representations of hit songs. Now, finding a whole un-cut video is a long mind numbing process that has, in recent studies, taken up to six whole years or coincidentally, the amount of time left in Carson Daly’s career (Cyclical, ain’t it?) Now you can cheat and turn on MTV2 and watch one of umpteen thousand emo bands all dressed in outfits that make Ducky from Pretty in Pink look relevant, but be warned. These has been known to cause in some rare cases, a desire to flick off your parents and whine about the state of political activism at the local Dairy Queen.

3. Turn on TBS (Long the network associated with things that were cool in the nineties: Everybody Loves Raymond, Wesley Snipes movies, the Atlanta Braves). This game involves a little recollection Watch an episode of Friends. Odds are, you’ve seen it before, but this game is called “Remember what you were up to when the episode first aired.” Everybody watched Friends in the nineties, unless you had no TV, were Amish and lost the use of your sight in a freak solar eclipse incident. Now, think back to that Thursday of the mid nineties. Were you still in high school? Maybe Friends night was a lovely time where you and all your fraternity brothers got together, had coffee and talked about Rachel’s hair. Then realize that back then you had money, which unlike every thing else on the show Friends, is still cool. This game is not recommended for anyone battling clinical depression, alcoholism or people who invested in Zima (Clear malt liquor, how can I lose?)

4. Turn on any of the many news networks currently running one of those tickers across the bottom of the screen. If you can ignore the main news on the screen (FUN FACT: 95% of the time, it’s a car chase in LA.), you can play “Spot the Typographical Error that Makes a News Story Funnier”. Just a few gems you may be lucky enough to spot…BUSH TO INVADE IMAN (Oooh, bet that makes David Bowie mad!) CINDY SHEEHAN TO PROTECT THE WAR BY GOING ON HUNGER STRIKE (Oooh, that makes her sound silly!) Sadly, beware though! Every once in a while, something like “NATION MOURNS THE DEATH OF KEN LAY” may make you laugh, but really somebody thought that was true. That game isn’t called “Spot the Typo” but instead “Rupert Murdoch signs my paycheck!”

5. And finally, try to find an episode of the Louie Anderson hosted Family Feud. Once there, you are guaranteed one of two games. The first one is usually prevalent in every show. It’s called “Watch for the Contestant Who Reacts in Horror to Louie’s Sweat Induced Odor First.” It’s subtle and your best bet is usually the grandma who the families shove at the end of the team so she doesn’t have to answer the tough questions. The second game is much more rare, but equally as fun. It’s called “Watch as Louie Get Drunker Throughout the Show.” We all know hosting a game show where the contestants coil in fear at the very sight of you can be trying, so every once in a while Mr. Anderson spices up the ennui of his existence by knocking back a few between the double and triple rounds. You can actually pinpoint the moment in every Louie drinking show where he is struggling with remembering facts that every host should remember: guest’s names, the question, the ability to maintain one’s balance. All in all, reward yourself with a view into the soul crushing world of a man whose entire act was once based on self-deprecation and is now forced to live it every day for a paycheck. And some fabulous parting gifts.

These games are not easy and have no winners or losers, but it does sure beat watching nothing. Become involved with your television and she’ll give back to you. Every once in a while, we do get a Full House marathon!! I don’t love those for the show itself, but because it usually means a suicide somewhere in the neighborhood and my family is in the mortuary business…




1. fundeebee - July 12, 2006

Oooh! Oooh! Do you get extra points for having witnessed the endrunkening of Mr. Anderson first hand? Because if you do, that may be the only good thing to come out of that fiasco.
I’m enjoying the blog…keep up the wittiness.

2. doctorolove - July 12, 2006

I saw that one…Though maybe I get points too for being drunk when watching it..

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