Tag Archives: Steve Urkel

Carl Winslow Kills His Whole Family! (Family Splatters)

By Andrew Blumetti

“You can find me on Twitter, @COP4LIFEINEVERYTHINGIAPPEARIN”

To address that seemingly exaggerated title, let’s bust out of the starting gate with an important question.  One simple inquiry that should, no, make that needs to be answered by the end of this article.

“Did he do thaaaaaaaaat?”

..and my dear friends, the answer to that haunting query, beyond a shadow of a doubt will absolutely come back, yes.

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Carl Otis Winslow is an island.

No, that’s not just because the zoftig patriarch of the Chicago household is filled with more coconuts than a Rupert Holmes song, it’s because, despite his penchant for adult hissy-fits and Sears Tower-high cholesterol, this doughy donut factory is still standing on two legs.

…and more importantly, it’s because a good chunk of his family isn’t.  

This is going to get ugly.

Take a few seconds to gander, ganderers.  Above this very sentence is a delightful photo of the Winslow clan mid-series.  Sure, they’re all smiles and bright colors here, but fate would reach its cold, calloused hand down and throw them in a different direction.  You can print that adorable picture out, tape it to your wall, toss a dart at it, and there’s a likely chance the character it lands on quietly disappeared by the series’ unfateful demise in 1999.

Well, of course, unless it landed on Carl.

Carl Winslow

Now, by comparison, here’s a cast photo in the show’s final (nauseatingly bad) season:

urkel 1

That’s some bone-chilling Winslow subtraction.

A few additions, a lot of subtractions.  My, my, my, that is some frighteningly suspicious TGIF math there.   Granted, television is a fickle land, shows do pick up and drop stars at will.  Heck, look no further than the differences between E.R.‘s first and last season casts, there’s nary an Eriq La Salle to be seen for miles around.  What made the cast changeovers on Family Matters unique is how heavy, yet subtle the subtractions came.

A typical 90’s neon-drenched sitcom whose seed was deeply planted in Perfect Strangers, (the Odd Couple for Eurotrash in the 1980’s), Family Matters quickly grabbed the “loving middle class African American family” baton from The Cosby Show, and ran like the Dickens through the following decade.

“Now I am so offended, we do the dance of joy!”

The hilarious irony is that the longer the show lasted, the less family seemed to matter.   Quietly dropping like flies, all while pants-to-his-stupid-nipples next-door nerd neighbor, Steve Urkel, apologetically hijacked the show, dunked it in silly juice, crashed it on the moon and eventually turning it into a grade-A slapstick mess on toast.

If there’s one thing Carl knew well, it was food, and if “you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs” rings true, it’s time to start looking at the last man standing for the remains of those tossed broken eggshells…

THE WINSLOW FAMILY BODY COUNT:

1.  Judy Winslow

judy winslow

I know we’re all thinking it, so I’ll just say it: “Poor Man’s Rudy”.

In real life, Jaimee Foxworth, who portrayed the youngest Winslow kin, took a major league spill down crap mountain so historic, even the world’s most adorable meth-head, Jodi Sweetin, rolled her bloodshot eyes at her in pity.  In the world of Family Matters though, Judy just flat-out disappeared, (although to the viewing audience, she actually disappeared somewhere between episodes 2 and 4).   The best part?  The family blew it off like the girl never existed in the first place.

Or, just what Carl Winslow would have us believe.

THEORY:  Desperate for a ratings bump and with blood-sugar issues driving him up a wall, Carl, infamous for his 28 Days Later-level of rage, turned to cannibalism during a dark, unaired episode.

Let’s begin our meal…

  • 4 quarts of chicken broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 young Winslow child

Annoyingly useless character gone, hunger pains gone?  Sounds like a Win/Winslow situation to me!

“Harriet, my Judy Noodle Soup was too salty.”

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2.  Rachel Baines-Crawford

“I wonder if Hollywood Squares is hiring.”

She wore stupid hats, sang at strange times, opened a restaurant with the most narcissistic name humanly possible, and bizarrely enough, left her weirdo son out of nowhere, only to make periodic returns at the oddest times with no explanation given.

Rachel’s sudden and unexplained disappearance was even more peculiar than Judy’s, as the character played a bigger, more important role (in other words, she had actual lines of dialogue).  Richie basically lost a mom, Harriet lost her sister, Rachel’s Place lost its owner, and Telma Hopkins lost her paycheck.  Tragedy was dinging like a pinball machine all over the Matters universe.

THEORY: During the final season’s Christmas episode, Rachel, after opening her presents, skedaddled and was never to be seen again (although leaving the show at that point really was a present).  To explain her lengthy absences, it’s safe to assume Carl “Buffalo Billed” Rachel, keeping her in an underground pit in her own restaurant’s basement, to fry up glazed donuts/yaks for him upon his request.

“It puts the sprinkles in the basket!”

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3.  Estelle Winslow

THUG LIFE.

SHOWDOWN!  Her new hip is the new hip!  A battle royale of this streetwise granny vs. yours truly

                ESTELLE                 BLUMES

Dates:            MANY                      HAHA!

Social Life:    YES                          HUH?

Hip Factor:   HIGH             PAUL PFEIFFER-ISH

Yet, despite kicking my sorry white kiester in carpe diem-ing, after marrying her main squeeze, Fletcher, the eldest Winslow also mysteriously went POOF! from the show, taking her new baritone hubby and the greater Chicago area’s supply of Ben Gay down the bottomless pit with her.

THEORY:  Let’s just put it this way… you don’t want to know what the secret ingredient in Carl’s “Taco Tuesday” menu is.  Yes, those are bits of support hose in there.

familymatters1

“Carl’s tacos gave me the Urkel squirts.”

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4.  Richie Crawford

“I don’t know why God made me either!”

Mother of all creatures, big and small!  This creepy little troll-faced hobgoblin…

Nowhere near as adorable as they portrayed him, freaky little Richie Crawford somehow managed to pull off the Everest-task of sporting both a terrible Jheri-curl AND a mullet simultaneously.

It’s like this… you know how when viewing photos of Michael Jackson as a child, there’s that wave of shock about how normal he looked in comparison?  Well, Richie is like an adult Michael Jackson, but as a freakin’ kid.  Trying to try to figure how that molestation scenario would play out hurts my brain.*

*too soon.

THEORY:  As if one weirdo youth wasn’t enough, the Winslows adopted the biggest sass-mouthed orphan since Annie.  Enter Jerry Jamal  Jameson, also known as “3J”, in the eighth season.  The powers that be deemed this too many kids, so latchkey Richie vanished with his flaky mom during the final season’s Christmas episode, leaving 3J to take the reigns as the low-Winslow for the show’s final half-season.

Or more likely, Carl paid 3J to poison Richie’s Capri Sun pouches.  The little runt never saw it coming.

urkel 2

No big loss, half of Richie’s paycheck went towards 70’s curl gel anyway.

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5.  Waldo “Geraldo” Faldo

“I just used Harriet’s luffa.  Does that make me less of a man?”

The resident city village idiot and best friend of Eddie Winslow, Carl’s eldest child.  Waldo was the owner of a Forrest Gump-ish lQ, an unexpected culinary flair, and is the single-handed reason I still annoy people to this day by responding, “No prob, Bob”.   But, in typical Matters mystique, he vamoosed during the show’s December years faster than a dirty-footed hippie dodging the draft during the 70’s.

So…

(wait for it…)

(keep waiting…)

Where’s Waldo?

THEORY:  When good-natured simpleton Waldo tried to cook calorie-Carl a healthy, low-carb broccoli dinner, Winslow snapped like a postal worker in the 1990’s.  That’s the number one reason you don’t bring your piece to the dinner table.  (Number two reason?  Buckshot in the rice pudding.)

Well, that’s the wrong Geraldo if I’ve ever seen one.

6.  (original) Harriet Winslow

“Hey Harriet, stop giving us a bad name.”

-Wet Blankets

Close to the series’ close, when it had unceremoniously been dumped on CBS to die a slow and painful, and well-deserving death, Jo Marie Payton, the show’s second-billed actress, left the show, to unseemlessly be replaced by a different Harriet Winslow, played by JudyAnn Elder.  Yes, we all noticed.  It was like a bad toupee.

urkel 3

Nope.

THEORY: To any readers in Chicago, go to Soldier Field.  Yes, literally on the grass.  Now, start running.  Notice that huge lump bulging out on the 20-yard line?  Courtesy of Harriet Winslow!

“DA HARRS!”

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When would supa-fly homeboy Eddie, goody-two-shoes fussbudget Laura, and massive shark-jumper Urkel have bit the proverbial dust too?  Maybe a tenth season would’ve given “Carl the Calorie Killer” Winslow the chance to work his malevolent magic on those unsuspecting stupid kids, but alas, we’ll just never know what horrors laid ahead at 1516 W. Wrightwood Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.

…or should we call it… HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES?!?

“HAHA! That Urkel sure loves his cheese!”

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Now remember that adorable family photo from earlier?  By comparison, it looks a heck of a lot sweeter than this haunting piece of evidence, found by detectives in Carl’s disturbing bedroom:

family matters

Till next time… no sweat, my pets! 

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Humor, Pop Culture, Retro, Television

Horror Villains Celebrate Halloween!

Illustrated by Andrew Blumetti

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Because hey, they have to celebrate too. 

Happy Halloween you lovable psychos.  Please share some of your Milk Duds with me.

Love,

Andrew 

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JASON VOORHEES (Friday the 13th) as A BUMBLE BEE

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MICHAEL MYERS (Halloween) as SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS

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FRANKENSTEIN as AN ANGRY BIRD

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LEATHERFACE (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) as TOM CRUISE IN RISKY BUSINESS

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PINHEAD (Hellraiser) as ROBIN HOOD

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THE BLOB as SLASH

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GHOSTFACE (Scream) as MIKE DITKA

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REGAN (The Exorcist) as SNOOKI

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THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT STICK FIGURE as DWIGHT SCHRUTE

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FREDDY KRUEGER (A Nightmare on Elm Street) as STEVE URKEL

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CHUCKY (Child’s Play) as A PACK OF SKITTLES

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Halloween, Humor, Movies, Pop Culture, Retro

The Horrors of the McDonald’s Playground: A Walk Down Memory Lane

By Andrew Blumetti

As if writing about Skippy from Family Ties and TGIF hasn’t dated me much so far, I’m certain the following will surely peg me as an ancient McNugget lovin’ dinosaur, cobwebs intact.

(insert semi-horrible Andy Rooney impression here… but without the messy desk)

With the seemingly never-ending onslaught of new-fangled gizmos and gadgets readily available today, every grade-school scamp is virtually a walking Best Buy store with a backpack.  If an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, these tweens will live to be nearly a day short of one-hundred.

You have your fancy I-this and your spiffy I-that.  Geez cheese Louise, they’re so tethered to their modern electronics, the only thing that you don’t see follow the “I” is “played outside after school with my friends“.

(end impression here.)

Now, I may only be a child of the 80’s—  a simpler time of a feathery-haired Tony Danza, infinite cans of Aqua Net, and the gravity-defying locks of A Flock of Seagulls, but rest assured, it’s a cold, cold realization that smacks you square in the jaw when even my generation is starting to sound curmudgeonly.

Even in said decade, growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, there was a wealth of fun activities to occupy a young boy’s time on a sunny summer afternoon–  endless games of stickball in the park, weaving in and out of local traffic on your bike, impressing the schoolgirls with the newest skateboarding tricks (or more specifically, “falling off a skateboard”), or perhaps a refreshing dip in a friend’s heavily-chlorined pool was the ideal way to spend your time.

Amongst all that classic-American fun in the sun, certain days really stood out from the others.  Most specifically, being told that an afternoon trip to McDonald’s was being planned, simple as it sounds, now that was a reason to celebrate.

Sure, the sizzling golden fries were soaked in pure saturated happiness, and the Happy Meal box was filled with LEGO sets that were practically as good as gone by the time we got to the table, but going to Mickey-D’s included one other added attraction, one that wasn’t deep fried or dunked in honey mustard…

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An innocent land of child-like whimsy and wonder… OR IS IT????

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Sadly, most current McDonald’s locations don’t feature these outlandish relics anymore–  A 4,000 square foot outdoor play-area, not much different than any standard cookie-cutter park playground, but decked-out in classic McDonald’s decor, all topped off with all the behavioral calmness of Lord of the Flies (or Fries?) on speed.

It was a barbarous marriage of the trippy universe of Willy Wonka and the happy-go-lucky freak show that was the advertising campaign of the Golden Arches…   Metal slides, swings, and spinning rides that would get hotter than John Travolta’s spoon in Pulp Fiction on a summer day.  A fantasy playland, covered in french fry smudge marks and more-than-occasional bratty kids in Bum Equipment t-shirts hogging every ride in sight.  This madness was such a blast, it’d require multiple requests from exhausted parents to finally drag their surly kids to finally leave for home.

Fast forward to 2013, and finding a classic McDonald’s outdoor playground is quite the challenging task.   Try as I might, I just can’t place my finger on the reason though…

Perhaps they became too costly to maintain?  The cancellation of the McDonaldland promotion?  Maybe McDonald’s brass considered any kind of exercise offensive?

….or perhaps the real reason McDonaldland Playgrounds ultimately went the way of the dodo is because sunshine-y nostalgic hindsight is clouding our vision of how Rob Zombie-ish that freaky place really was.

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CHAPTER I:  THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER

Your kids were better off hanging out in real bars instead.

Remember Grimace?

A giant characterless purple blob that pre-dated Barney the Dinosaur.  Yes, he literally pre-dated a freakin’ dinosaur.

The aptly-named Grimace was initially introduced as a nemesis to main clown mascot, Ronald McDonald.  Fast food head-hanchos realized that’s just the most incredibly stupid thing, and went with the slightly less stupid story that he has no story.  Luckily his character was so crappy, no one seemed to care… but much like Freddy Krueger, he would eventually have his revenge… ON YOUR CHILDREN.

In this ominous Buffalo Bill-esque prison, Grimace forced many innocent kiddies to put the lotion in the basket.  How this thing is better than a real jail is beyond me.

“Thanks for eating our cheeseburgers, kids.  Now get inside this weird purple thing’s torso.”

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CHAPTER II:  JAILHOUSE CROCK

No amount of bathtubs could make you feel clean after this.

Apparently, the McDonald’s brain-trust figured nothing struck a chord with kids like jails, cause here was another one–  “Officer Big Mac”, a big giant novelty cheeseburger decked out in a nifty constable uniform who would one day be destined to become a torture pit for youths.

His main job was to pursue the Hamburglar, a ground beef-thief who decided it was wise to wear his prison stripes outside of prison and pilfer your cholesterol away from you.

After looking at this ominous death trap, one wouldn’t have to scratch their head too long to wonder why Officer Big Mac isn’t flashing his once-famous buns around anymore.  Speaking as someone who isn’t crazy about heights or tight, enclosed spaces (the dirty, slippery, kid-crowded ladder inside this godforsaken thing was nothing short of a living nightmare straight out of Jacob’s Ladder), I avoided this hepatitis-covered abyss the way Neil Patrick Harris avoids women.

Jokes on you, smiling Caucasian children— this time the burger eats you!

 

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CHAPTER III: DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

At least Calista Flockhart found work somewhere.

Rumor has it there’s a deleted scene in the special edition of Saw IV that features this pupil-less Hamburglar’s rusted swings of death, but the MPAA deemed it was too disturbing to achieve an R-rating.

He’s got a Jack Skellington-ish suit, a Jack Skellington-ish body, and contains just the right amount of uneasy to make Tim Burton smile, but don’t be fooled, this boney burger boob simply ain’t any fun.  Just make sure to pour out your Dr. Pepper on the sidewalk as a tribute to all the fallen suburban homies who tragically faceplanted while getting off of this wretched thing.

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CHAPTER IV:  SOMETHING’S FISHY…

For hippies, this was known as the “Fillet ‘O Phish”.

This underwater treasure was the thing you were forced to play on when everything more fun was being occupied.  Yes, when standing inside the Grimace jail was too exciting, this became the last resort of the desperate fast food playgrounder.

Being a fish is a wild ride.  It’s freedom personified… something we as humans will never be able to fully appreciate or relate to.  You spend your entire life in the magnificent deep blue sea, travel in schools, and gracefully glide your vibrant scaly body amongst the endless coral, the flowing greenery, and the vivid rainbows that compose your fellow sea-brethren–  it’s stunning peace and Studio-54-ish chaos all in one felt aquatic swoop. 

Then one random day, you spy a tasty worm just ripe for the picking…  the next thing you know, there’s a hook in your stupid cheek, and you end up a processed square patty with a slice of room-temperature kinda-cheese on you, stuck on a bun at McDonald’s to be sold in a pair for three bucks.

True, it’s not necessarily the most dignified fate, but man, imagine being the ride based on that sandwich?

Fish, burger… heck, they all look the same in McDonaldland.

Meet the “Filet-o-Fish” ride, a humdrum bouncy piece of junk that didn’t even bounce properly.

Look familiar?  You may remember this weirdo as the chestbuster that burst out of Ripley’s stomach while your were nodding off at the end of Alien 3. 

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CHAPTER V:  HOW BIZARRRRRRRRRRRE

Don’t laugh. The Burger King’s corpse is buried under this thing.

No list of forgotten McDonald’s mascots would be complete without nefarious swashbuckler, Captain Crook, the one Mc-imbecile who actually wanted to ride the bouncy fish seat.

A two-bit pirate with a soft spot for both thievery and seafood, this seafaring counterpart to the Hamburglar was yet another immoral advertising idea who wanted to snag your salty food while your back was turned.  That’s so absurd, even the Oakland Raiders mascot is pointing and laughing,

Of course, since the McDonaldland Playground was missing a slide, they kindly threw Crook a bone.  If avoiding the child Mcvomit at the bottom wasn’t taxing enough, battling the derelicts walking up the slide the wrong way was nothing short of the final battle in 300. 

Look at his face.  That tells you everything you need to know about this thing.  Raise your hand if you’d have rather walked the plank into a sea of blood-thirsty sharks instead.

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CHAPTER VI:  “I BELIEVE I CAN FRY”

This was known as “The ride you sat on while you waited for some greasy porker to get off the swings.”

There’s a point when it’s painfully clear you’re just flat out of original ideas.

When Steve Urkel began endlessly cloning himself, we knew Family Matters was ready to mercifully be put down, or when Home Alone 3 hit theaters with an entire new cast, the planet shifted off axis as a nation simultaneously rolled their eyes at the offensive shark-jumping.

…and on that dubious note, I present to you, The Fry Guys.

Originally named “The Goblins” (cause they’re “gobblin’ up” your fries- hey, good one!), these are basically cheerleader pom-poms with volleyball-sized eyes that stare straight into your soul.  So, basically all of the aspects of cheerleading and volleyball that don’t involve the attractive women.

Yes, this is starting to sound like a quite obvious pattern.  Between the Hamburglar, Crook, and these walking Koosh balls, McDonald’s figured the most effective marketing method was to make you believe your recently-purchased food for would be stolen away from you by moronic mascots.  Diagnosis:  Mc-agita.

To McDonald’s credit, they created a playground ride that aptly matched the excitement of The Fry Guys.

Blumes noteNo hands, yet they purchased shoes with laces instead of Velcro.  Poor shopping choice, Fry Guys.

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CHAPTER VII:  SEE, I’M NOT A MONSTER, I’M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE

WHITEST. GUY. EVER.

RONALD McDONALD’S CONFESSION LETTER:

To Whom It May Concern,

I, Ronald McDonald, or “Ron” as I wish to be called, hereby admit to the number of charges of being a colossal creep, even by clown standards. 

First off, I am not even Scottish, it just rhymes with “Ronald”.  Secondly, this is not my natural hair color, I have been hoping to score the part of Little Orphan Annie in an off-Broadway theatrical run of Annie. 

Most importantly, I apologize for my maniacal thousand-yard stare, constant serial killer smile, and the fact you’ll see me in your sleep the way you heard creaks and squeaks for weeks following a viewing of Paranormal Activity.  When the borderline psychotic Burger King king was still the second-most terrifying fast-food corporate spokesman, I know I did something wrong.

Oh yeah, I also killed Waldo and stole his shirt.  He’s buried and decaying under the Hamburglar swing. 

See you in your nightmares,

Ronald McDonald

P.S.–  I also peed in the all the McFlurry machines in Michigan. 
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mcdonalds dreams

Hey kid-  If this is true, your dreams stink. 

 

The preceding is a work of parody, and I do not own any of the photos used.  Except for the Fry Guy ones… I’m making a t-shirt out of that bad boy.  

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Filed under Advertising, Animation, Comedy, Food, Humor, Pop Culture, Retro, Television

T.G.I.F. COURT

By Andrew Blumetti

It’s been said that even God rested one day.

Well, back in the early 1990’s, network channel ABC pretty much worked only one day, and that was Friday.

Sandwiched right between NBC’s “Must See TV” Thursdays, and Nickelodeon’s Saturday night party known as “SNICK”, was ABC’s Friday night family-oriented sitcom-o-rama known as “TGIF”.

Standing for “Thank Goodness it’s Funny”, it is a virtual hall of fame for any feel-good, canned-laughter 90’s show that ended on an incredibly schmultzy ending.  Fun to watch, and great for a laugh or three, TGIF was a must for any tween sportin’ new Reebok Pumps and neon slap bracelets.

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Catch-22 (kach-twen-te-too)  n: a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem or by a rule.

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Shows based around families work on many levels.  They appeal to a spectrum of ages, they’re safe to watch so parents love ‘em, they usually include some heartfelt life lesson, and without fail, feature lots of adorable kids along for the ride.

Though that’s where the problem occurs.

The beauty and charm of animated classics, The Simpsons and South Park. is that the adorable characters don’t age, causing their golden years to last that much longer.

Unfortunately that stroke of fortune eludes the TGIF bunch.  Shows that lean so heavily on kids are chock full o’ cuteness, but cuteness also fades as once cherub-faced kiddies hit that butt-ugly brick wall of puberty, subsequently turning into gawky, awkward teenagers, killing the show’s original chemistry. Somehow, hearing Urkel’s trademark squeaky voice go sour and seeing Stephanie Tanner hanging out with the troublemakers in the girls’ room didn’t really go over so seamlessly as network execs hoped.

Now, not to say all the TGIF kids are to blame, but when they grew up, well the house got fuller and family seemed to matter a little less on Friday night television.

Well, when you want justice, you go to People’s Court or Judge Judy… but they were busy.  So it’s time to bring these sitcom juvies to justice…  it’s time for:
TGIF COURT:

DEFENDANT #1:  Cory Matthews (played by Ben Savage)

SHOW:  Boy Meets World

CHARGES:  Being a Savage brother who wasn’t Fred, numerous counts of acting like a teenage version of an crotchety old Jewish man stereotype, teen melodrama up the wazoo, continued fudging of the origins of relationship with main squeeze, Topanga

VERDICT:  GUILTY

PUNISHMENT:  Life sentence of Brillo hair

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DEFENDANT #2:  Steven Q. Urkel (played by Jaleel White)

SHOW:  Family Matters

CHARGES:  Jumping every shark possible:  (going into space, turning into a MAD FREAKIN’ SCIENTIST, pretending to be Elvis Presley, giving the world the yuck… “Urkel Dance“, continued obsession with uppity Laura Winslow, and two unforgivable words:  Stefan Urquelle)

VERDICT:  GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!!

PUNISHMENT:  Having to look like Stefan Urquelle for the rest of his life.

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DEFENDANT #3:  Brendan Lambert (played by Josh Byrne)

SHOW:  Step By Step

CHARGES:  Forgettable doughy schlub

VERDICT:  GUILTY

PUNISHMENT:  Being unceremoniously written off show.  Plus, he turned into this:

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DEFENDANT #4:  Stephanie Tanner (played by Jodie Sweetin)

SHOW: Full House

CHARGES:  Major case of sass mouth- How rude!

VERDICT:  GUILTY AS ALL HECK

PUNISHMENT:  Forever to be known as “The Full House girl with the meth addiction”.

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DEFENDANT #5:  Nicole Lee  (played by Raven Symone)

SHOW:  Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper

CHARGES:  Being on Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper

VERDICT:  GUILTY

PUNISHMENT:  Charges dropped, career still intact

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DEFENDANT # 6:  Baby Sinclair (voiced by Kevin Clash)

SHOW: Dinosaurs

CHARGES:  Assault with a frying pan… or something, I forget the show.

VERDICT:  GUILTY

PUNISHMENT:  Jurassic Park taking over America’s dino love causing everyone to remember this show as a prehistoric ALF.  Clash spent years with his hand up Elmo’s fuzzy red butt, and that doesn’t even crack the top ten in reasons why he’s now an unemployed creep.

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DEFENDANT #7:  Judy Winslow (played by  Jamiee Foxworth)

SHOW:  Family Matters

CHARGE:  Disappearing from series while her family acted like she never existed (the writers corrected guessed no one would notice).  Her one token line per show wasn’t helping things either.

VERDICT:  GUILTY

PUNISHMENT:  Ouch.  We have a nice heap of lemons not being made into lemonade for Jamiee.  Take your pick- years of substance abuse or becoming an adult film star known as “Crave”.

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DEFENDANT #8:  Kimmy Gibbler (Played by Andrea Barber)

SHOW:  Full House

CHARGES:  Boney, annoying neighbor. plus annoying actress happens to have the same initials as me.

VERDICT:  GUILTY

PUNISHMENT:  While researching, this headline was found:  “ANDREA BARBER HOSTS DRAG QUEEN BINGO”.  That is punishment enough.

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DEFENDANT # 9:  Al Lamber (played by Christine Lakin)

SHOW: Step By Step

CHARGES:  TV didn’t need more tomboys

VERDICT:  GUILTY

PUNISHMENT:  Community service working on movies with train-wrecks, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

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DEFENDANT #10:  Eddie Winslow (played by Darius McCary)

SHOW:  Family Matters

CHARGES:  Notice the clothes in that picture?  That’s a mild example of Ed’s mustard-y early 90’s wardrobe.  Homeboy perpetually dressed like the Minnesota Vikings in a blender.

VERDICT:  GUILTY

PUNISHMENT:  The way he died in Saw VI pretty much covers it.

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The Charmin Bears: Can We Stop Pretending This is Cute?

By Andrew Blumetti

Yogi.  Berenstain.  Winnie.  Jim McMahon.

Like it or lump it, that’s pretty much it when it comes to bears in popular culture.  The quota has been filled up faster than Wynonna Judd’s dinner plate at a Sizzler salad bar.  Yet, for a head-scratchingly high number of years, we’ve been subjected to a number of two-plyed commercials oddly dreamt up by the head honchos at toilet paper company, Charmin, featuring, well bears with questionable bathroom procedures.

Advice:   Turning missed toilet paper wads into sparkles isn’t making it any cuter.

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“The Call of Nature”, a marketing idea first envisioned back in the year 2000 by Charmin.  Apparently they felt like a post-Y2K fear-struck world needed an outlet to laugh and clean backsides to sit on.

Let’s face it, when you’re a bear in the woods, you pretty much have the reign of the whole joint.  Gentle-eyed deer wisely run in the opposite direction, tasty river trout are your delicious dinner, and the birds- well let’s just say they know who’s territory the ground is.  If you’re a bear, the wooded-world is your honey-covered oyster.  You can eat campers, garbage, more campers, heck… anything your little heart desires.

Sadly though, there’s one thing you don’t have control of in the mean streets of the forests, and that’s missed toilet paper bunches in a not-so friendly area.

The Chicago Bears crappy play caused them to miss the playoffs this year.

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As a people, we’re a lot more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for.  Much like how the living human race grew accustomed to an undead world in Zombieland, we too, grow used to change pretty fast.

I’m slowly accepting that Donald Glover is leaving Community this season, that Blockbuster Video is quickly becoming a prehistoric term, and finally come to terms that the creepy Burger King king has hung up his flame-broiled crown for good.  So why for a decade now, have we so easily seemed to accept that a bunch of dingleberried-cartoon bears pushing toilet paper in commercials during dinner time is an adorable idea?

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“Let’s Meet The Bears”

This grizzly group isn’t just a bunch of no-names though.  In fact, they’re a furry family- a really clean-bummed bunch of bears.   Let’s reach out our collective paw and give them the ‘ol Charmin squeeze:

(From L to R)

Dylan:  The obvious nerd son, an overachieving bookworm bear who ruins the curve in class.  He’s slightly cooler than the Steve Urkel bear, but not as cool as the Paul Pfeiffer Bear.  He will go through an awkward goth phase when he discovers contact lenses and Bauhaus.

Amy:  The only female cub in this clan truly is Daddy’s little girl.  She spends a good portion of her day sobbing to Adele songs, and shopping at ABEARcrombie and Fitch.  Her planned sweet sixteen party will cause the family to switch to a cheap off-brand toilet paper to save cash.  Bear bums will be paper covered for weeks.

Molly:  The fuzzy matriarch of the family, this momma bear keeps a swift eye on her cubs’ keisters.  She cooks, she cleans, she enjoys a sip of good honey wine every so often, and won’t apologize for it.  Back in her wild days in the 80’s, she was once a dancer in a Skid Row video.  She also inexcusably hangs the toilet paper so the part to grab hangs underneath.

Leonard:  Bumbling dad is the Homer Simpson of the forest.  He loves to get in a quick nine at the Pitch and Putt, trot over to the Home Depot, and spends a good portion of his day avoiding his wife’s incessant Charmin nagging.  He’s not really a good toilet paper user, as his rump often looks like a tissue-patched-up job of a blind man shaving.

Bill:  Older jock brother who would’ve had a football scholarship to Michigan State if it weren’t for a salmon-catching injury that sprained his left paw (or southpaw).  His gym playlist on his iPod consists of the following:

– Between the BEARied and Me

– InCUBus

– Linkin PAWk

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This will be our Cloverfield one day.

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Lord knows if sales have actually increased due to this absurd butt-oriented furry campaign.  You’d figure toilet paper is one of the few products out there that doesn’t need to be pushed hard (not literally).  Nature calls, and everyone’s gotta answer, whether we like it or not, even if it’s the two-minute warning.  We all gotta go, so it’s not like not buying it is an option, so all this cute on-a-roll absurdity might all be for naught.

When you gotta go that bad, it’s UNBEARABLE. 

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Really, why the fancy bathroom decorum when you’re in the woods?  Can’t bears just go anywhere they want?  I thought that was one of the great things about being a bear, you dookie near any tree, brook, or campsite, and if anyone gives you crap about it, you eat them.

On an invasive scale of 1 to 10, this ranks at “Facebook newsfeed ads”.  Where does that vacuum plug in anyway?

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Charmin, in their infinite toiletry wisdom, even promoted a line of public restrooms in Times Square back in 2006 looking to push a rare clean public lavatory in a city of millions.  It replaced the classic popular bathrooms of Jamba Juice or any random sidewalk in Manhattan.  The dream was short-lived though, as the location is now the home of a Disney Store.  (Rumor has it that Pluto requires the world’s largest pooper-scooper.)  When the idea was fresh, they sure went all out for the promotion, including a special appearance by the queen of the ample derriere herself, Ms. Kim Kardashian.

That left bear’s paw is a little too close for comfort. 

The bears don’t get out much.  This one thought this guy was the Japanese Fonz.   “KONNICHIWAAAAAAA”

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So, my friends, I guess nearly thirteen years in, there’s not much we can do.

No matter how annoying, even in the age of DVR, insipid commercial schtick is something we just another thing we will have to learn to live with.  We’ve been shackled with the Geico gecko, Flo the over-lipsticked insurance woman and snobby people receiving red-bowed Lexuses for Christmas.  So, until these woodsy weisenheimers learn to wipe better, it looks like we’re stuck with these bad bathroom behaving bears who are inevitably stuck to their TP.

They may be number one in toilet tissue ads, but they’ll always be number two in our hearts.

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