The road to hell is paved with text messages

Money: It was nice while it lasted.

* Dear Lorne Michaels, please stop stealing my jokes.

As I watched “Saturday Night Live” on TiVo yesterday, I heard this joke during “Weekend Update”:

“A man in New York state pleaded guilty to public lewdness this week after he took his pants off before going into a donut shop. The man said he only did it so he could carry more donuts.”

I direct you to Thursday’s blog entry:

Man pleads guilty after being busted going through a donut shop drive-thru naked from the waist down.  In his defense, his hands were probably full and he just needed some other way to hold the donuts.”

So obviously, some desperate SNL writer was looking for some joke to impress his boss, he stumbled upon my blog and slightly rewrote the exact same line.  This is the second time I’ve had a joke stolen by SNL.  If they want to hire me, they should just get it over with.  Given all the job-slashing shenanigans at NBC corporate, I’ll probably be fired within the month.

* As much as a lengthy Cubs playoff run will make my producing life a living hell, I have to root for them.  I have solidarity with my fellow fans of no-account, mismanaged franchises. 

Go, Cubs, go!  (As long as your game nights don’t coincide with my shows at iO.  Your boorish, drunken fans make the commute impossible.)

* On the other hand, I hope the White Sox flame out.  I am sick of their fans always e-mailing the station about how we don’t pay enough attention to them.  You know what, Sox fans?  YOU don’t pay enough attention to your team.  Sell out a game and we’ll talk.

* I never did get around to addressing Paul Newman’s death.  I wasn’t a fan.  This can be traced back to “Cool Hand Luke.”  I hate that movie.  It’s just two hours of a shirtless Paul Newman betting people he can do stupid things, like get beat up or eat eggs.  Watching Paul Newman eating eggs on screen was about as scintillating as the endless Bruce Willis weightlifting scene in “Unbreakable.”  We get it.  You’re eating eggs/lifting weights.  Can we skip to the part when you’re done?  No?  We need to watch it in real time?  Great.  I’m gonna go draw up a workable Wall Street bailout.  Just call me when you’re finished.  (“The Hustler” didn’t really move me, either.  Sorry, Mr. Newman.)

* Unless you are beautiful and young, you won’t want to read this article about human attraction.

* When searching for your next apartment, be sure to ask the landlord if he plans on trying to evict you with the stench of dead cats.

* The Sun-Times tells us about a website aimed at frugal women 18-30 years old.  Nice.  I’d love to date a thrifty chick.  She’d be totally impressed by a line like, “Hey, baby.  See this couch that’s falling apart?  (whispering) It’s older than you.” 

Seriously, though, my couch is falling apart because I’m cheap.

* Today is Text Tuesday.  I loathe Text Tuesday.  Every week we have to come up with some multiple choice question for the viewers to answer.  Sometimes, there’s just nothing to ask.  Today, my suggested question was, “Which would you rather see come November: Total economic recovery, a Cubs World Series win or a White Sox World Series win?”

The results show just how clinically insane these baseball fans are.  It’s been an even 33% split for each.  What’s crazier, I only suggested that question as a joke.  Rob loved it, so we used it.  And all morning, I’ve been patted on the back for merely suggesting that we gauge how loony these baseball fans are.  Seriously, 66% of Chicagoans would rather be penniless, as long as their team won a few games.

Anyway, my facetious question ended up becoming the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my entire career (if you believe the outpouring of praise).  Observe this computer message conversation with Rob…

Rob: 48 texts so far! nice question. rub it in to (Executive Producer) wendy
Me: No need to gloat.
huh? who is this? let’s gloat!!!! man power bro. man. power.
I’d gloat if I cared. It’s Text Tuesday. Big deal.
listen bro, don’t make me smack some sense in you. you should care deeply. texts=viewers=ratings=money for nbc=job security for me and you. BAM!
Texts have no bearing on how many people watch our show.
use your brain for our benefit
Nobody stops flipping channels just because some TV station wants them to text something.
you don’t think people want to see results?? come on!
I really don’t think people care. And research shows they only stick around for, what, 22 minutes?
blah blah blah

Honestly.  Have you, the viewer, EVER stopped changing channels because some TV station wanted you to text something in?  Has a TV station soliciting your text ever changed your viewing habits?

I mean, Text Tuesday is a nice interactive tool that allows our loyal viewers to interact with us.  But this kind of thing does not shift eyeballs.  Solid journalism, interesting stories, likable anchors, good writing and compelling video draws the viewer.  I will retract this position the day “Frontline” or “60 Minutes” adds a text message segment.

* As of the moment I published this blog, 82 people would most prefer to see a Cubs World Series win, 76 want to see the Sox take the title, and just 73 people would like to see a total economic recovery by November.

I cannot exhale loudly enough.

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2 responses to “The road to hell is paved with text messages

  1. Ben! You didn’t say anything about how you saved that kid yesterday. I was so looking forward to you telling us all about how, once again, you’re a Hero. ;)

  2. Hey, Lorne Michaels —

    hire Ben Bowman now!!!

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