Archive for Articles:Hollywood BS

Rewind: Commercial TV

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the BilgeBucket Gazette. Our first issue was on May 19, 2003 and we’ve been shoveling it to the public, just like the corporate media, ever since. We changed our format to a WordPress blog in 2011 so all of our earlier material was archived. We’ve been reposting many of those archived articles, headlines, photo-toons, BilgeBucket Lists and other content over the past twelve years. In honor of our 20th, and because we’re sick of the current state of affairs in the world, we’ll be reposting more items from 2003 through 2009 throughout this year.

The writers are on strike which means some of our favorite comedy shows have shut down production. This stoppage brings up an old article from our June 26, 2007 issue when we pondered a fall TV season where all the shows featured popular characters from commercials, like the cavemen from the Geico commercials (yes, the cavemen actually had a deservedly short-lived TV show on ABC). Look at the progression: sitcoms, game shows, informercials, reality shows, more reality shows, a reality show President. Everything TV in the 21st century sucks! How many Real Housewife shows do we need? Not even one, if you ask us. Let’s face it, folks; the golden years of Hollywood are very far away in the rear view mirror.

Fall TV Season: All Commercials

Recently, ABC announced that is was going to create a sitcom this fall about the cavemen from the popular Geico commercials. It didn’t take long for the other networks to follow along like lemmings and announce that they too will broadcast shows featuring characters from popular television commercials. As a matter of fact, the whole fall schedule is now devoted to shows based on commercial characters.

“This is an amazing development,” said Brantly A. Burke, assistant programming exec for Fox. “Eight years ago, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire ushered in the era of prime time game shows. Then Survivor started the reality show trend which spawned dozens of copycat shows. Well, the new wave is here and its TV shows about commercial characters! What better way to produce revenue for the network than a half hour or hour long commercial. This will be revolutionary! We already have infomercials, which are quasi-entertainment. Why not take the next step and create entire sitcoms which are not only crowd pleasing but also sell a product. It’s rampant commercialism on steroids.”

Geico struck it rich by not only getting a sitcom about the cavemen but also a sitcom featuring celebrity spokesmen Verne Troyer, Peter Graves and Little Richard as door-to-door insurance salesmen and another sitcom featuring the Geico Gecko and his adventures in modern day London.

“It’s really not all that surprising,” said the Geico Gecko in his trademark British accent. “People like to be entertained and they find me adorable. Why not have me on more frequently? It’s like if someone offers you free pie and chips. You’re not going to turn down free pie and chips. It’s pie…and chips…for free. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.”

Burke expounded more about the shows. “Now the whole show won’t be one big sales pitch. There will be some semblance of a plot. But there will be subtle product placement and discussion of the product sprinkled liberally throughout the show. For instance, here’s a sample of dialog from the show featuring Little Richard and Peter Graves.”

Graves: Wow! I’m wiped out. I’m too old to be a door-to-door insurance salesman.

Little Richard: Wooooooooo! I sure hope you have Geico Life Insurance in case you drop dead. Woooooooooo!

Graves: You bet I do! And boy is it affordable!

“See,” said Burke. “Very subtle.”

Examples of some new shows this fall include:

  • Those five knuckleheads from the Alltel commercials battling each other every week in Sell Phone
  • Those wise-acre stand-up comedians from the Sierra Mist ads working, living and laughing together in Play Sierra Misty for Me
  • The Burger King buys an RV and travels the backroads of America creeping out people from all walks of life in Burger King of the Road
  • The return of the Taco Bell Chihuahua in Yo Quiero Mindless Entertainment
  • The Mentos kids starring as MacGyver-like adventurists, who get in and out of trouble each week in a different location around the world thanks to their unlimited supply of Mentos in Have Mentos, Will Travel

The American viewing public seemed very receptive to the new wave of programming. Robin Weller of Boston, Massachusetts said, “Wow! This promises to be very entertaining! It should keep my interest for at least thirty seconds. Oh look. A fly. Bzzzzzzzz. What were we talking about?”

Peter Johnson of Lake Pleasant, New York said, “What a perfect marriage of entertainment and commerce. Being a typical American consumer, I look forward to buying any product that is pushed in front of my face and placing myself in even more debilitating debt.”

Barry Bealle of Jackson, Kentucky said with a glazed look in his eye, “Can’t talk. Must find TV.”

The Powah of TV

We’re sick of current affairs so here’s another golden oldie article for the weekend…

There is enormous power in television and visual media. All it takes is one appearance on tv or visual media, whether it’s a commercial, local news or even Youtube, and a normal everyday human being becomes a star; a person somehow better than everyone else just because he or she appeared in front of a camera at the right time and place. Yes – we humans are a strange bunch aren’t we.

This article is from our March 13, 2005 issue.

Local Man Appears On TV; Suddenly Becomes Stud

Dale Byers, a struggling Cactus Corners actor, is finding that he has become irresistible to women following his appearance in a commercial for Cowboy Tex Bingo’s Used Auto Emporium.

“Well, I’m not sure what’s going on,” said Byers, scratching his scraggly brown hair. “I mean my acting coach, Tina Martin, says that I’m definitely a character actor, not a leading man. People say I’m a cross between Bob Saget and Conan O’Brien. Needless to say, I don’t get a lot of action. But since that commercial came on, I don’t mind saying, I’ve become quite the stud.”

The commercial features Cowboy Tex Bingo stating that he’s got the best deals in Cactus Corners and asks customers for testimonials. Byers steps up and says, “Tex got me a great deal on 1992 Ford Probe. Now I can take my girl out to the finer restaurants in town.” Byers then gives the camera an excited thumbs up.

Kit Dayne, an actress in Byers acting class said, “Like I never really noticed him before. He always did these dorky Bullwinkle impersonations in class. Like, who is Bullwinkle anyway? But like when he appeared in that commercial, it was like he was somebody. It’s like I want to attach myself to his rising star. I’ve been sitting next to him in class the last couple weeks wearing low neck sweaters and mini skirts. Like, I want to be the girl he takes out for dinner in his Probe.”

Sue Briscoe, who works with Byers at TGI Yummys said, “I can’t explain it, but since I saw him on that commercial, it’s like he’s a legitimate human being now. The fact he stood in front of a camera and recited stupid canned words make him seem larger than life. He’s actually met Cowboy Tex Bingo! He’s so much better than me and I want him bad.”

Dr. Cecil Griffin, a sociology professor at Cactus Corners Community College attempted to explain the phenomenon. “You see television represents power in the modern world and it’s no secret that women are attracted to powerful men. So when a man appears on TV, even though he may be a repulsive geek, he is perceived to have power. And like Al Pacino in Scarface said, once you get the power you get the women.”

Byers added excitedly, “I’ve got a commercial coming up next month for a hemorrhoid cream. Just think of the babes I’ll get after that airs.”


And now for something completely different…

Remember when there was a dearth of celebrity worship shows? Neither do we. Here’s an article from our January 4, 2004 issue.

American Crisis: Shortage Of Celebrity Worship Shows

America is facing a huge crisis of gargantuan proportions the likes of which haven’t been seen in some time: the shortage of celebrity worship shows. Entertainment industry experts proclaim this year could be dire for celebrity obsessed Americans.

Hollywood Beat reporter Joel Tinsel said “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! It’s just brutal out there! Currently, the only way to keep track of your favorite celebrities are shows like Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, Celebrity Justice, Cribs, Celebrity Stalker, Celebrity Anus Probe and Entertainment Then there are celebrity talk shows like David Letterman, Conan, Tonight Show, Carson Daly, Craig Kilborn, El Gordo y la Flaca, Sharon Osbourne, Ellen DeGeneres, The View, Ali and Jack, Regis and Kelly, Bumphus and Mortimer, and Toolin’ with Aunt Tootie. And then there are the game shows which really are celebrity worship shows like Hollywood Squares, 10,000 Dollar Pyramid and Tinseltown Airheads. As you can see, this clearly is not enough for the millions of Americans that are clamoring to touch a star!”

Jill Knotts of Brainerd, Minnesota said, “I need to know what Britney Spears is doing morning, noon and night. You see, I don’t have a life of my own, so I need to live through her. If I don’t know what she’s doing I just cower in the corner of my closet and suck my thumb for hours on end.”

Tyler Moore of Eagle Butte, Idaho said, “I’m all about couples news, man. I need to know which couples are together and which have broken up. You know the power couples, like Brad and Jennifer, Will and Jada, Bennifer, Michael and Catherine Zeta Jones, Julia Roberts and whoever, Anne Heche and whatever. If I lose track of this vital information I’d probably kill myself.”

Mary Deacon of Claypitt, Georgia said, “Before I develop my own opinion on any subject, I wait until I hear what the celebrities think on the subject. I mean after all, they’re the most intelligent people on the planet. They’re so much better than I am. If Jessica Simpson says no to world hunger, then that’s all I need to know.”

Industry insiders have mentioned that electronic tracking devices will soon be implanted into all celebrities so that reporting on their activities will be much easier. Trials have already been performed on such top celebs as Anna Nicole Smith, Pauly Shore and Victoria Jackson. Marilu Henner even has a twenty-four hour channel documenting every phase of her life.

Tinsel reacted tearfully to the new technology. “This is sooooooo fantastic! Americans will never be without knowledge of celebrity whereabouts ever again! OMG! Marilu Henner is cutting her toenails!”

Top Titles And Plots For Future Bourne Movies

The new movie, The Bourne Legacy, is due to open in theaters in August. However, in this movie, the action will revolve around a new character, Aaron Cross and not Jason Bourne, the former CIA assassin, turned rogue agent. This movie will surely be a blockbuster and the Bourne franchise will probably continue well into the future much like the James Bond series. Everybody loves a good spy film, right? Well, the BilgeBucket staff has come up with a list of suggested titles and plots for upcoming movies in the Bourne universe. If Hollywood chooses these gems, the movies are sure to be a smashing success!

  • New Bourne KingBourne gets amnesia and thinks he’s Jesus
  • The Bourne LosersBourne gets amnesia and becomes a member of the Kansas City Royals
  • Bourne on the Fourth of JulyBourne get amnesia and thinks he’s James Cagney
  • Bourne to RunBourne gets amnesia and a chronic case of diarrhea
  • Bourne to be WildBourne gets amnesia and thinks he’s Lady Gaga
  • First BourneBourne regains his memory temporarily and remembers his days as a schoolyard assassin
  • Bourne AgainBourne gets amnesia and thinks he’s a televangelist
  • Water BourneBourne gets amnesia and thinks he’s a dolphin
  • A Star is BourneBourne gets amnesia and becomes the toast of Broadway starring as Eliza Doolittle in a revival of My Fair Lady
  • Bourne FreeBourne gets amnesia and tries to live as a lion on the savannahs of Africa
  • Bourne on the BayouBourne gets amnesia and thinks he’s a Cajun crocodile farmer
  • To the Manor BourneBourne gets amnesia and has bawdy adventures as a well heeled gentleman in merry old England
  • Natural Bourne KillersBourne gets amnesia and confronts a whole slew of people who just want to kill him (Wait…that’s the plot for the first three movies)
  • Bourne YesterdayBourne gets amnesia and time travels back to The Bourne Identity and relives his adventures from his first movie
  • Bourne and BreadBourne gets amnesia and makes lots of dough as a baker


And The Award For Best Faucet Mounting Goes To…

The Academy Awards took place recently to much hype and ceremony. Billy Crystal hosted again for the zillionth time and everybody was riveted to the set to see which starlet would wear the most daring outfit, who would win Best Gaffer and who would make the most insipid acceptance speech. We here at the Bucket have noticed over the years that the entertainment industry sure does like producing awards shows and patting themselves on the back. It seems like there’s an awards show every week. Wouldn’t it be great if other professions like programmers, electricians or dentists staged extravagant, self congratulatory awards shows on a weekly basis, too.

What if the public fawned and drooled over plumbers instead of actors and actresses? Here’s an old article from March 14, 2004 about the glamour that is the Golden Plungers.

Melvin Swazicki Sweeps The Golden Plunger Awards

In a stunning and record setting performance last week, Melvin Swazicki of Toledo, Ohio, swept the top categories in The Golden Plunger Awards which were held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Golden Plungers are considered by most experts to be the top awards show for plumbers ranking ahead of the The Plumbers People’s Choice Awards, The American Plumbing Awards and The Morties, named after legendary Chicago plumber Morty Pawolinski.

“This is an incredible feat!” said show commentator Larry Buttner. “He swept all the top awards: Fastest Snake, Best Showerhead Installation, Best Faucet Mounting, Best Unclogging Of A Shower Drain System, and Best Join Sweating Of An Outdoor Underground Pipe System In Freezing Conditions. This guy does it all!”

When Swazicki came on stage to receive his first award, for Best Faucet Mounting, he exclaimed “You like me! You really like me!” Swazicki, wearing fabulous pinstriped Gucci overalls, displayed tact and modesty in his other acceptance speeches. “I couldn’t have done it without the other plumbers at Rootin’ Tootin’ Plumbing. It’s truly a team effort every time we go to a customer’s house.” The fifty-year old plumber paused, wiped a tear from his eye and continued. “I love you guys!”

Emil Czalewpski, Swazicki’s main competition, had nothing but praise. “Melvin deserves it. He’s been in the biz for a long time now. You know, it’s just an honor to be nominated.”

Joe Tabler, a junior plumber who works with Swazicki, said, “Wow! Melvin is truly an inspiration to the rest of us at Rootin’ Tootin’. I mean he’s a legend. When they asked me to work on Melvin’s team, I had to pinch myself. I’m working with Melvin Swazicki! I mean, it was just an incredible dream come true.”

The show was hosted by Billy Crystal. He got the evening off to a rip-roaring start when he told the audience “Gentlemen start your egos!” He then told them to “pipe down” after the opening number. He also told a model, who mistakenly dropped an award, “Hey don’t sweat it.” He later did a number where he inserted himself into clips of the nominees doing various kinds of plumbing work. Huge laughs came when he bent over to replace a toilet valve and showed large amounts of butt cleavage to the audience.

“That was hilarious!” said Fred Schindler of Des Moines, Iowa. “That happens to me all the time. Hell one time a youngun stuck a pencil in there and I didn’t even know it. I sure knew it when I tried to sit. Ouch! Hee hee hee!”

Of course, one can’t mention the Golden Plungers without mentioning the fashions. Entertainment Tonight’s Jann Carl said, “Melvin Swazicki may have took home the Golden Plungers, but Carl LeMay took home the fashion award with his Ralph Lauren leisure suit. Herman Jablonski also looked sharp in his Yves St. Laurent gold lamé jump suit. His wife Mabel, looked equally stunning in her Bob Mackie moo-moo. The biggest fashion disaster had to be avant-garde plumber, Tina Bjorkinski, who showed up wearing a toilet duck costume. What on earth was she thinking?”

The plumbing industry now looks forward to the next award show, the Morties, which will be held next month in Hoboken, New Jersey, and hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.

After MASH and After Frasier?

Here’s an article from our May 9, 2004 issue.

Frasier Planning Spinoff Show

Friends isn’t the only show getting a spinoff series. NBC announced this week that Frasier supporting characters, Gil Chesterton, Bulldog Briscoe and Noel Shempsky will star in the new sitcom, After Frasier, which will be set in a casino in Laughlin, Nevada.

“This show will be a blockbuster just like Joey,” said NBC executive Biff Jones. “People love seeing characters they’re familiar with, in new, exciting surroundings. After Frasier has everything. Gil, Bulldog and Noel were extremely popular characters and we have no doubt that the show will be a smash hit. Plus you never know what Frasier cast members will drop in for a visit. This also gives Kelsey Grammer the chance to keep the Frasier Crane character going for another ten years, just in case his other projects don’t work out.”

The premise of the show will revolve around Bulldog (Dan Butler) moving to Laughlin to take care of his ailing father (played by Ed Asner), a former cop who got shot and likes to gamble and drink beer. As it turns out, Gil Chesterton (Edward Hibbert) gets a new job as the food critic in a local casino. Noel Shempsky (Patrick Kerr) joins the fun when he pursues his life long dream of performing as a Klingon in the Laughlin production of the Star Trek musical, The Phantom Of The Enterprise. Together, the four bachelors will have many wacky adventures living it up in Sin City Jr.

Frasier fans were ecstatic about the news. “Oh sure. Everyone talked about Fraiser and Niles or Niles and Daphne,” said Beatrice Tilden of Albany, New York. “But for me, it was that spark between Noel and Roz that kept me tuning in week after week.”

Hollywood Beat reporter Joel Tinsel said “Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! I can’t believe it! Gil Chesterton lives on! In a casino! Now this is ‘Must See TV’!
I am so there!”

“We’re so confident that this show will score, we’re putting it in Friends old spot,” said Jones. “Take that reality shows!” Jones then pumped his fist and yelled, “Boo-yaa!”

Rejected Indiana Jones Movie Titles

We saw a blurb online this past week about a possible fifth Indiana Jones movie. Now Harrison Ford is in incredible shape for 69 years old. He’s also still at the top of his game acting wise. But lets face it folks, he is a senior citizen in an action adventure franchise.  It may be time to ride off into the sunset. Which brought to mind one of our favorite BilgeBucket Lists from our September 10, 2007 issue. It names the rejected titles for the fourth Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which of course became a blockbuster when released in 2008.  Maybe they could use one of these titles for the new fifth installment of the series.

  • Indiana Jones and the Raiders of Social Security
  • Indiana Jones Has Fallen and He Can’t Get Up
  • Indiana Jones and the Jewels of the Senile
  • Indiana Jones Adventure at Luby’s Buffet
  • Indiana Jones: Prostate of Fury
  • Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Medicare Form
  • Indiana Jones and the Search for the Lost Car Keys
  • Indiana Jones and the Dentures from Hell
  • Indiana Jones and the Diaper of Doom
  • Indiana Jones: Dude, Where’s My Preparation-H?
  • Indiana Jones and the Quest for Low Cost Health Insurance
  • Indiana Jones and the Treasure of Viagra Madre