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humor

Jack Bauer’s Greatest Hits (UPDATED)

Originally published in 2010 prior to the end of 24‘s original broadcast run. Updated to include 2014’s 24: Live Another Day, as well as some additional content.

“Nice work, Jack. Have you noticed that there’s always a body count wherever you go?” — George Mason

“He said you were a born killer. Is that true?” — Jonathan Wallace

During his time on 24, Jack Bauer killed a lot of people. Main characters. Supporting characters. Featured stars. Unnamed Extras. You name it, Jack has probably killed it. As such, it was very difficult to narrow down the list of Jack’s greatest moments. And let’s face it. He also had plenty of badass moments where he didn’t kill anyone – instead relying on his wit, charm, resourcefulness, and powers of persuasion.

So, in honor of one of my favorite shows, I give you “Jack Bauer’s Greatest Hits” (A/K/A “The Moments that Made Amnesty International Cringe”).

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9th Circuit Strikes Copyright Suit Against Madonna

Harry Potter, Hawaii Five-0
Alito teased Biden, Joe.
John Fogerty, CCR,
That suit went very far.
Robert Plant, Jimmy Page
Sued over “Stairway,” despite its age.
Robin Thicke and “Blurred Lines.”
Did Harrison copy “He’s So Fine?”
They had lawyers, they had fight
Accused of violating copyright.
Matrix, Seinfeld, New Girl too.
Don’t forget the 2 Live Crew.
Plaintiffs filing lots of suits,
Defendants argue they are moot
Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it,
Vogue.

Yeah. That lede got rejected. Oh well. I thought it was clever.

Madonna prevails in plagiarism lawsuit.

The Ballad of Clever Tom

(Sung to the tune of “The Ballad of Jed Clampett“)

Come and listen to a story about a man named Tom,
Clever midfielder, thought he was the bomb.
Then one day he was lighting up the grounds,
And Sir Alex came a calling – he was Manchester bound.
(United that is. 20 league titles. 3 European crowns)

Well next thing you know, he’s creating lots of goals,
Starting for United, he’s the next Paul Scholes.
Bossed Arsene’s boys – clinched the Shield at Wembley,
The sky was the limit for that lad Cleverley!
(Tom that is. TC23! Future England superstar!)

But then Clever Tom had some really bad years,
No more forward passes, always stuck in second gear.
Said it wasn’t his fault; sent to Villa on loan,
Now Goodison Park is his brand new home.
(Best of luck at Everton, Tom. But please don’t come back now, ya hear?)

Shaq’s Rap Career: A Retrospective

Call it “The Day The ‘Music’ Died.” Tuesday brought sad news for the dozens of fans who loved Shaq as a rapper (more than few people bought his debut album, which went platinum and cracked the top 40 on the Billboard 200). TMZ reports that Shaq has called time on his rap career. “Would I ever go back [to rapping?]” asked O’Neal. “No man. I’m 45 years old.”

Looks like we’ll just have our memories of MC Shaq. He can rest assured that, compared to other NBA athletes that tried to rap (Allen Iverson, Gary Payton, Ron Artest, Chris Webber, and yes, Kobe Bryant), he has had the most success.

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Major Accomplishment For Your’s Truly

One of my best social media moments. My Tweet about #RejectedGrammyCategories made the Daily Rehash list. I’m there with the likes of John Fugelsang and Denny’s.

This marks the second time one of my Tweets made a Top Ten list. The previous time was in 2012 when Mashable put my Tweet about the “mystery speaker” at the GOP National Convention on its list of “Ten Hilarious Guesses About the GOP Mystery Speaker.”

On the flip side, this could mean that I only have a funny Tweet once every two years. Oh well…

And, of course, this doesn’t include the time I made fun of Right Said Fred in a Tweet, and the band responded to me (or, at least the band’s social media manager did).

Pirates Impressed with Crystal, Sign Comedian to Multi-Year Contract

From the Archives: I wrote this satirical piece in March 2008 after the Yankees signed Billy Crystal and played him in a spring training game against the Pirates. I remembered thinking that Crystal could have made Pittsburgh’s active roster. Considering some of the stiffs they’ve had in the last few years (Jeromy Burnitz, Matt Morris, Derek “Operation Shutdown” Bell), Crystal couldn’t have been any worse.

Bradenton, FL. — The Yankees thought they were giving superfan Billy Crystal a nice gift for his 60th birthday. A one-day contract. A uniform with the number “60″ on it. A spot in the lineup as a Designated Hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates. However what started out as a one-shot publicity stunt has turned into something much more.

Billy Crystal showed that he belonged in the majors. Unfortunately for him, he showed that he belonged with the Pirates, not the Yankees. Pirates officials were so impressed with Crystal’s performance (0-for-2, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 1 reached base on error, 2 runs scored) that they signed him to a 5 year deal worth $25 million. The Pirates’ first-year manager, John Russell, raved about Crystal. “His plate discipline was extraordinary. I was impressed with the way he grinded out that walk. It was like he knew that our pitchers weren’t going to able to hit the strike zone at all. His bat never even left his shoulder. Clearly, he has a great eye.”

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Tom Jackson Shoots Chris Berman

From the Archives: I wrote this satirical piece in December 2007, back when I was writing for a website that was kind of like Onion Sports Network – only we had tens of fans and visitors. I think it still holds up well, even today. Watch this week’s “NFL Blitz” and tell me Berman doesn’t do the same schtick he’s done for decades.

Bristol, CT — ESPN Headquarters is reeling over a stunning tragedy that occurred today. Longtime commentator and ESPN personality, Chris Berman, was gunned down in a bizarre and senseless act of violence. The culprit was his broadcast partner and on-air sidekick, Tom Jackson. Former NFL linebacker Jackson, better known as “TJ,” opened fire at approximately 1:00 this morning, right after doing a live NFL-recap segment known as the “NFL Blitz.”

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TOP SECRET! The Lebron Announcement Script

The biggest soap-opera of the NBA offseason will be resolved on Thursday night as Lebron James plans on announcing his decision during a one-hour infomercial on ESPN.  There are many questions that should be answered, not the least of which is how the hell is Lebron going to fill an hour of time?  Well, luckily for us, I’ve gotten my hands on a top secret advance script for Lebron’s big special.

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Slate Will Either Love or Hate This…

Part of Slate’s application was to write a critique of Daniel Smith’s Why I Hate Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I decided to have some fun with it. Not sure if this will help me get the job, but it should make me stand out, right?

“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is iconic.

But Daniel B. Smith thinks it’s moronic.

The pictures are nice, but the text is bland,

How it has sold 29 million copies, Smith doesn’t understand.

The text is hackneyed and the plot is formulaic,

Smith considers this book to be boring and prosaic.

Eric Carle is the man who’s caused all this pain,

His inane prose has nearly driven Smith insane.

You see, all of Carle’s books are written the same,

You have insects eating things or bears playing a game.

With different species of bears, he has Mother Nature to thank,

Carle can write a new series and laugh all the way to the bank.

Smith says children’s books are supposed to teach,

And it’s not just children that they’re supposed to reach.

Children’s books are for parents, too,

After hundreds of readings, he’s ready to sue.

For emotional distress and the tort of assault,

Cause after reading this drivel, the author’s at fault.

Smith craves metaphors and symbols that Carle’s books lack,

Especially when compared to the works of one, Maurice Sendak.

His books have political symbolism and historical context,

And keep children and parents enthralled from one page to the next.

Of course, if it’s complicated subtext he wants and not banal gobbledygook,

It’s surprising he doesn’t consider “The Butter Battle Book.”

Dr. Seuss’ Cold War tome has everything Smith could hope for,

There’s complexity, moral ambiguity, and even the threat of blood and gore.

With rhymes that challenge any cynical, analytical, tough-tufted mind,

Kids will love it for the pictures and story, and leave “Caterpillar” behind.

But ultimately, this article is notable, not for what he leaves out,

Rather, it’s conventional wisdom that he looks to flout.

While parents will likely appreciate Smith’s rant,

Stop reading this book, they most likely can’t.

After all, bedtime reading is where the kids are strong,

And 29 million kids can’t be wrong.

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Philip Rivers Grants Wish

From the Archives: In honor of my least favorite quarterback in the NFL, I thought I’d recycle this article I wrote for a sports humor website a couple of years ago. I was inspired to write it after Philip Rivers taunted a bunch of Indy fans during the 2008 NFL Playoffs. Since the Colts and Chargers are the top two seeds in the AFC, maybe history will repeat itself this year?

Eight-year old Timmy McCormick was suffering from cancer and was told he had about year to live. He was in terrible pain and could barely muster the energy to get out of bed, let alone go outside to play with his friends. The only time he spent out of bed was to go to the bathroom to throw up, a side-effect of his chemotherapy. Timmy was depressed and in low spirits. He had lost all of his hair. He had no friends to play with. He had almost no shot at survival. Timmy did not have much to live for and both he and his family knew it.

The only time he seemed to be able to forget his pain and be happy was when he watched his beloved San Diego Chargers play football. His parents signed him up with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Timmy, a loyal San Diego Chargers fan, only had one wish. He wanted to spend a day with the quarterback of the Chargers – his idol, Drew Brees.

Unfortunately, because of a long waiting list, as well as a backlog of wishes, Brees had signed with New Orleans by the time that Timmy’s wish request was processed. Timmy, still wanted to hang out with San Diego’s quarterback. So he readily agreed when the Make-A-Wish Foundation offered to send Philip Rivers. The Chargers quarterback met up with Timmy a few weeks ago in order to fulfill the boy’s wish. He came to Timmy’s house and gave Timmy some autographed balls, helmets, and jerseys. He also posed for some pictures with Timmy and threw the ball around with him in the backyard. However, what started as a joyous meeting between a young boy and his football role model quickly turned sour.

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