Jumping the shark is a colloquialism coined by Jon Hein and used by TV critics and fans to denote the point in a TV show or movie series’ history where the plot veers off into absurd story lines or out-of-the-ordinary characterizations. This usually corresponds to the point where a show with falling ratings apparently becomes more desperate to draw viewers in. In the process of undergoing these changes, the TV or movie series loses its original appeal. Shows that have “jumped the shark” are typically deemed to have passed their peak.
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John C. Dvorak, whose crankiness knows no bounds, is a contributing editor of PC Magazine, for which he has been writing two columns, including the popular Inside Track, since 1986.
The consistently irritated Dvorak has won eight national awards from the Computer Press Association, including Best Columnist and Best Column.
Recent episodes do not seem to be included on the Cranky Geeks YouTube channel, and the videos on crankygeeks.com were not easily available for embedding here. Which makes me cranky. You’ll just have to watch via the website, like the rest of us. Curse you Cranky Geeks!!
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A lightbulb joke is a joke that asks how many people of a certain group are needed to change a light bulb. Generally, the punch line answer highlights a stereotype of the target group. There are numerous versions of the lightbulb joke satirizing a wide range of cultures, beliefs and occupations.
The original formulation of the joke was used to insult the intelligence of the (often ethnically defined) target group:
Q. How many [members of the target group] does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Ten — one to hold the light bulb and nine to turn the ladder around.
Most variations follow this scheme:
Q. How many [insert target group here] does it take to change a light bulb?
A. N — one to replace the light bulb and N-1 to [behave in a fashion generally associated with a negative stereotype of that group].
Often the stereotypical behavior will involve elaborate decision-making processes, and/or Byzantine management and supervision of the bulb-changing. The actual bulb changer may be last in the list for extra punch, especially when following a long recital of various supporting roles, each employing more [members of the target group] than the previous one.
Although lightbulb jokes tend to be derogatory in tone, the people targeted by them may take pride in the stereotypes expressed and are often themselves the jokes’ originators. Lightbulb jokes applied to subgroups can be used to ease tensions.
Adventures of the Road-Runner is an animated film, directed by Chuck Jones and co-directed by Maurice Noble and Tom Ray. It was the intended pilot for a TV series starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, but was never picked up. As a result, it was split into three further shorts. The first one was To Beep or Not to Beep (1963). The other two were assembled by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises in 1965 after they took over the Looney Tunes series.
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Here’s a partial transcript of [a Bill Maher Monologue from a clip now removed]:
According to a recent poll, seven in ten say it’s important to have a president with strong religious beliefs. The other three couldn’t take the poll because it was Friday night and Yahweh wouldn’t let them answer the phone.
But, fair is fair. So, for myself and the other 15-20% of American who the majority call “non-believers,” but who I call “rationalists,” here is our religious test for office: if you believe in Judgment Day, I have to seriously question your judgment.
If you believe you’re in a long-term relationship with an all-powerful space-daddy–who will, after you die, party with your ghost forever–you can’t have my vote, even for Miss Hawaiian Tropic.
I can’t trust you at the levers of government because there’s an electrical fire going on in your head.
Maybe a president who didn’t believe our soldiers were going to Heaven might be a little less willing to get them killed.
And the good news is, a recent poll found 20% of adults under 30 say they are rationalists and have figured out that Santa Claus and Jesus are really the same guy.
Now, 20% is hardly a majority, but it’s a bigger minority than blacks, Jews, homosexuals, NRA members, teachers or seniors. And it’s certainly enough to stop being shy about expressing the opinion that WE’RE NOT THE CRAZY ONES!
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day;
teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime;
give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.”