Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Birthday Present to Me

It's my birthday, so I get to do whatever I want. Unfortunately I don't make enough money to actually accomplish this in any grand fashion, so I'm relegated to doing whatever I want on my blog instead. And I want to make fun of Nikki Finke because she's a hack with a crappy memory. Recently she goofed on the LA Times for running old news..

She's apparently upset that LAT is trying to copy her, but doing a bad job of it. Only Nikki is allowed to run old news as she did during the Conan/NBC Spat.

True professionals run really old, previously reported news. This year-old shit is for amateurs.


The one other thing I want to do on my birthday is listen to a really fun song. So I pick Faith No More covering "Easy." Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The 2009 Bennie Awards -- Part 2

For those of you who missed Part 1 of the Bennie Awards, click here.

Wow. That was some first day of the Bennies. I haven't had that much fun since recording the Director's Commentary on the Mr. Saturday Night DVD. And did you see the write ups on Movieline and TheWrap? The Bennies are almost as popular as Comic Relief, and twice as funny.

But enough about me. Let's dive right in to the awards before we get yanked off the air. Our first presenter tonight is the other half of the Vamp X and Donnie Show -- the only sitcom about Vampires in Milwaukee -- put your hands together for Donnie.

I'd like to thank The Academy, my lord and savior Jesus Christ and my...wait. Why are you pointing at the cue cards? I don't understand. What are you writing down? You...Didn't...Win...You're... Just...Presenting? Oh, ha. Whoops. Right, I knew that. I'm just a little dim sometimes. So the nominees for Worst Actress are: Jenna Elfman for Accidentally on Purpose, Courtney Cox for Cougar Town, Ellen Pompeo for Grey's Anatomy, Arianna Huffington for The Cleveland Show and Ashlee Simpson for Melrose Place.

And the Golden Trashcan goes to...Ashlee Simpson. Accepting for Ms. Simpson's award is the creator and Executive Producer of Saturday Night Live, Mr. Lorne Michaels.

Thank you so much. This is such an honor to be among...Thank you so much. This is such an honor to be among...Thank you so much. This is such an honor to be among...Hmm. Something must be wrong with backing vocals. I'll dance around now and hope this awkward moment passes.

Thank you Lorne. Remember when SNL was funny. Back in the good old days when it was Chevy and Bill Murray and Belushi and...Wait a second...I was a series regular. Doesn't anyone remember my catch phrase, "You Look Marvelous?" Perhaps a little refresher course as you sit back and enjoy my next musical number? And a one. And a two and a you know what to do...

I really am a triple threat aren't I? Like me, our next presenter is also a triple threat. You might catch a venereal disease from any one of her orifices. Ladies and gentlemen, the star of...well I can't read any of these titles...Ms. Jenna Jameson.

Ni furaha kuwa hapa. Mimi nadhani wewe hawakujua kwamba mimi aliongea Kiswahili. Lakini mimi kufanya. Porn stars si matiti tu na butts. Sisi ni watu akili stahili heshima yako.

What? You look surprised that I speak Swahili. And the nominees for Worst Actor are: Kelsey Grammer for Hank, Charlie Sheen for Two and a Half Men, Chris O'Donnell for NCIS-Los Angeles, Scott Wolf for V and The Jonas Brothers for JONAS.

And the Golden Trashcan goes to...the only three men in the world who haven't seen my naughty bits -- The Jonas Brothers! The Jonas Brothers couldn't be here tonight because it's past their 8 o'clock curfew. So I accept this award on their behalf.

Now I met our final presenter in gym class at Bayview High School in Long Island. She threw a dodge ball faster than Sandy Koufax on Yom Ha'atzmaut. Ladies and gentlemen, the host of Yenta -- the semi-successful website for aspiring filmmakers -- Yenta X.

Oy. I'm verklempt. So nervous. My pupik hasn't felt like this since I ate that rotten lox at the Rosenstein's Break Fast. Anyway, it's been a terrible year in scripted TV. Jenna Elfman is back in Knocked Up: The TV Series. The Beautiful Life: TBL had a most unbeautiful run of two episodes before getting circumcised off The CWs fall line up. And Hank. Gevalt! I've had nail appointments that have lasted longer than that show.

Well, enough of this mishegas, the nominees for Worst Scripted Program are: Accidentally on Purpose, Eastwick, The Forgotten,The Beautiful Life: TBL and Melrose Place.

And the winner of the Golden Trashcan is...Oy Vey! It's The Beautiful Life: TBL. Accepting the award for The Beautiful Life:TBL is former star turned yesterday's news Mischa Barton.

Where am I? This isn't Hyde, Skybar, Element, Mood or Area, is it? Who are all you people? Can I bum a smoke? Please?

Security. Can you show the lovely lady to her manacles? Yikes. I haven't seen anything go that wrong that quickly since I wrote My Giant -- or as I like to call it -- the highlight of Gheorghe Muresan's acting career.

Well, that's the end of our show. I'd like to thank everyone for coming out tonight -- except Anderson Cooper. Drive home safely.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The 2009 Bennie Awards -- Part 1

Live from a crappy apartment near the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California. it's the 2009 Bennie awards!! And here's your host, Billy Crystal.

Hello and welcome to the 2009 Bennie Awards -- the first award show recognizing the worst in television. My name is Billy Crystal. You might remember me from...hey, I haven't done anything of note since Analyze That. And that was in 2002! Someone get me Jimmy Darmody at CAA.

Wait. I'm being told by the producers I have to wait until after the show to yell at my "agent." Let's speed this along then. You might know our first presenters from the upcoming Fox comedy The Vamp X and Donnie Show and the failed adaption of Youth in Revolt -- Vamp X and Michael Cera.

Hey Michael, now that Vampires are all rage, I've got more opportunities than I can handle. Kinda like you were before Year One tanked.

Just read the card Toothie.

The nominees for Worst Reality/Non-Scripted Personality (Female) are: Daisy for Daisy of Love, Heidi Montag for The Hills, Jillian Michaels for The Biggest Loser, Kim Kardashian for Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Snooki for Jersey Shore.

And the Golden Trashcan goes to...Snooki from Jersey Shore!

I just want to thank like fucking everybody from Jersey, my like Juice Head roommates, all you sluts and like everyone at MTV. Fuck yeah! Jersey bitches! Oh, and to that guy who punched me, I hope you're getting it in the ass right now. Ok! Time for Jägerbombs!

Thank you Snooki. I have a second cousin named Snooki. Snooki Schwartzbaum. Equally classy lady. She's at Rikers serving 25-to-life.

Our next presenter has repeatedly attempted to start a revolution among Hollywood's underclass and is the host of the Joblist -- Che Equis.

Gracias. Escupo en usted perros capitalistas americanos. Y los candidatos para el peor Star de Realidad (Varón) es: Jay Leno para The Jay Leno Show, Jimmy Kimmel para The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Jon Gosselin para Jon y Kate más ocho, Mike "El Situation" para el Shore de Nueva Jersey y Spencer Pratt para Los Hills.

¡Y el ganador del Trashcan de oro es… Jay Leno! El aceptar para Jay Leno es el líder anterior de la venda Tonight Show y Jay Leno Show que ahora es "fruncir otras oportunidades, " Kevin Eubanks.

Jay, I always hated you. Every laugh, every chortle, chuckle or giggle I ever made represented my wanting to stab you with a pitchfork. Branford Marsalis was the smart one. I was the fool. I only wish you pain and misery for the rest of your natural life. And I used to spit in your coffee.

And I always thought Kev was a non-threatening black man like Will Smith, Urkel or Queen Latifah. Well, this is a perfect transition to my favorite part of the evening -- the musical number. No award show is complete without me -- Billy Crystal -- honoring the biggest entertainment story of the year. So, while my SAG card is still valid...

I've still got it! I bet the Oscar producers are wondering why they went with Martin and Baldwin instead of yours truly. Well, there's always next year. Now to wrap up Day One of the Bennies, I'm please to bring out the stars of Point/Counter Point -- Dog X and Sophie.

Hey Sophie, I've got a joke for you. How many executive producers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

I don't know Dog X. How many?

Executive producers don't screw in light bulbs, they screw in hot tubs. Wait, wait. I got one more. How many development executives does it take to screw in a light bulb?

I don't know. Please. Enlighten me.

Two. One to take notes while the other screws it into the faucet.

And with that, the nominees for Worst Reality/Non-Scripted Show are: The Jay Leno Show, The Hills, Jersey Shore, Playboy TV's Sam's Game and The Biggest Loser.

The Golden Trashcan goes to...damn if I only had opposable thumbs this would go a lot quicker...The Jay Leno Show! Accepting the award for The Jay Leno Show is NBC-Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker!

As we at NBC have said before, Mr. Leno performed as expected. This performance was all part my desire to be a more profitable No. 2 or 3 than a less-profitable No. 1. And I'm sure with new shows like The Marriage Ref, Minute To Win It and Who Do You Think You Are? we will continue to perform as expected. Now if there was only a way to get back that $40 million from that nogoodnik Conan.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Hulu to cover useless nonsense

The decision to cover this must have come from the NBC portion of Hulu management.

The dude cheated on his wife. He didn't pull an "OJ." He didn't steal. He didn't do steroids. He just schtuped a bunch of hangers on desperate for fame. Big deal. Wake me when real news happens.

The Countdown is on...The Bennies are just three days away

You only have 72 hours to get your face pulled back because the results of the Bennies -- honoring the worst in television for 2009 -- are coming Monday. Get yourself a date, or (if you're Charlie Sheen) rent one. Then hustle over to Trader Joe's and buy the most expensive bottle of 2-buck Chuck you can find. This will be an award show like none other.

Thanks to everyone who voted. I look forward to seeing you on Monday for the bestowing of the Golden Trashcan. For those of you who missed the NY Times coverage of the Bennies, click here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another success story! Hooray in Hollywood!

I just got the following email from one of my loyal readers. Don't give up hope folks. The same could happen to you. Keep trying.
hey man,

just wanted to say thanks for all your good work. i just started a new job that you posted just a week ago. it's been a hard 16 months, but you got me through.

[Name Redacted]

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The economic stimulus plan in action (inaction?)

2009 was the best year ever for Hollywood movies, with a take in the $10 billion range. For Hollywood Temps, it was much less successful with Temp X pulling down an unimpressive $20,998.66. What makes this amount even more pathetic is a chunk of this was courtesy of California Employment Development Department (a.k.a. unemployment). But where there is misery, there is opportunity.

Guess which of the following is a photo of Temp X's 1099G -- the tax form from Cal EDD. (Answer below in tiny red font)


(If you guessed $9,013 you win. Nearly half of my earnings last year were from unemployment. What's sadder is I made more in 2009 than I did in 2008, when I earned a dismal $20,710.88 while actually working.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Computer Ate Today's Posting

Dammit. It was done and something went haywire. This sucks. I'm not kidding.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snooki Done Killed the Video Star

It was with little fan fare that MTV changed their logo, hacking the "Music Television" portion off the iconic image. This should come as no surprise to anyone, as MTV hasn't shown a music video since the second Clinton administration. Their programming today consists of teenage mothers, silly dating shows and, their new programming sensation, The Jersey Shore. But regardless, for those of us who fondly recall going over to Jon Kasem's house and watching Yo! MTV Raps, this was a major event.

The Hollywood Temp Diaries could only think of one way to honor this moment -- with a song. MTV's first video was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." So it only seems appropriate that the song marking this transition to "Youth-Oriented Television" (or whatever the ad sales people call it) offer a wink to the past while looking to the future.

I present to you "Snooki Done Killed the Video Star." (to the tune of "VKTRS")

I saw you on Jersey Shore back in year Aught Nine
Gazing at your weave, your "tan" and big fake boobs
If I wasn't high, I'd have changed the tube

Oh. Uh oh

There's The Situation and whatsherface, J-Woww
Wearing Ed Hardy hats and Affliction skin-tight Tees
And now you've got me, I just have to watch and see

Oh. Uh oh
I want my Nirvana

Oh. Uh oh
I want my Alan Hunter

Snooki done killed the video star
Snooki done killed the video star

That tiny girl came and stole my songs
Uh oh. Uh oh

As you cruise The Boardwalk looking for a drunken fight
I think of Michael Jackson, Pauly Shore and Martha Quinn
And I start to wonder how we're in the mess we're in

Oh. Uh oh
I want my Dr. Dre

Oh. Uh oh
I want my Madonna

Snooki done killed the video star
Snooki done killed the video star

Don't blame DJ Paulie D
He's not macking with a Juice Head

Uh oh, uh oh
Uh oh, uh oh

Snooki done killed the video star
Snooki done killed the video star

On my couch I'll still watch you
'Cause there's nothing else to do
MTV stands for nothing
The "M" is just a Memory

Snooki done killed the video star
Snooki done killed the video star

Snooki done killed the video star
That Guida done killed the video star
Snooki done killed the video star
That Guida done killed the video star

(repeat ad nauseam, then rinse)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What do Self-Plagiarism, Hollywood and Valentine's Day have in common? Me.

Self-plagiarism is a much disputed concept. Can you copy yourself? Or is it just being lazy. John Fogerty got sued for writing the same song twice...but the Supreme Court sided with the former CCR frontman. Bioethicist Dr. David Resnick, on the other hand, believes this idea to be "dishonest" as he wrote in The Ethics of Science: An Introduction.

All that is a preamble to today's posting. It's the Season of Love. And while there's currently no love in my life, I have the next best thing -- a job in Hollywood. Inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet 43 (and last year's posting), I offer the following poem -- Sonnet 43 1/3.

Be prepared to be wooed. Ladies, you have my email...

How do I love Hollywood? Let me count the ways.
I love Hollywood from dawn's first light to the first twinkle of night,
Which also happen to be my work hours.
I love Hollywood for every gloriously tedious task
And needless double work...just to be safe.
I love Hollywood faxing, especially the sonic bliss of a dial tone.
I love Hollywood copying, marveling at the ridges of a massive paper jam.
I love Hollywood with an unwavering passion
Until I spot the misplaced decimal on my paycheck.
I love Hollywood with a nostalgia
For my youth - or at least the part in front of the TV.
Smiles, tears of those days! But if the fates shine on me,
I shall love Hollywood a hell of a lot more upon the purchase of my script.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Bennie Awards -- Call for Nominations


Welcome to first annual Bennie Awards nominations. The Bennies is the only competition honoring the worst in TV programming. Think of it as the Razzies for the small screen.

There were at least 365* prime time series in 2009 -- many of these were glorified high school talent competitions, people getting hit in the groin for cash or product placements disguised as dramas. The Bennies are your chance to express your gratitude for these shows.

From January 11 - February 12, you - the viewing public -- will nominate your choices for Worst Prime Time Show and Worst Actor/Actress/Reality Personality from 2009. Once you've determined your choice(s), write the name on the designated line (see below) and hit "SUBMIT." I'll take it from there. The Bennies uses American Idol-style voting, so stuffing the ballot box is completely legal. On February 22, I will announce the winners of the Golden Trash Can in a gala online event.

The Bennies pay homage to Hollywood's king of bad programming decisions -- former NBC Head Ben Silverman -- the architect of the failed Jay Leno prime time experiment as well as Knight Rider, Kath & Kim and countless others. It's also no small coincidence that "Bennies" is slang for Benzedrine (a drug I believe some Hollywood execs were on when they greenlit shows like Eastwick and The Beautiful Life: TBL).

I look forward to your entries. And please note, they are all anonymous. There is no way for me to know who entered what unless you write your name after it.


* I'm sure some shows are missing. Blame my bogarted Studio Systems account. For a reasonably complete list of 2009 prime time shows, see the attached documents below labeled "Scripted" and Reality." I've excluded syndicated, soaps and news. If you need help with actors' names, check out

Reality -- Bennies 2009

Scripted -- Bennies 2009

Monday, February 8, 2010

Must See Product Placement TV

I've done a lot of things for you while running this blog. I've gotten drunk watching the Golden Globes. I've documented my failures in Hollywood intentionally Temped for two years. But Thursday was my worst assignment yet -- or at least since I voluntarily watched Knight Rider. During a 12-hour span, I watched the same product placement-filled episode of The Office FOUR times. And for that, I deserve your eternal gratitude.

I used to like The Office. I liked it so much I wrote a spec script for it. The episode revolves around Dunder-Mifflin going casual Friday, but they have to take a test first to verify their understanding of "casual." In the B-story, Jim gets addicted to taking smoke breaks (Not actually smoking. Just taking the smoke breaks.) I can't remember the C-story. But all this aside, the one thing I never incorporated into my script were blatant product placements -- like the ones in Thursday's episode "Sabre."

While I don't like it, in fact I despise it, I've come to expect a certain amount of product placement in today's programming. But the piston-whip commercialism of Thursday's episode merited further investigation.

So with my trusty Hulu account and the aide of I can reveal the following about the episode:
  • Total product placements for either the Apple logo or the product name -- 18
  • Total Apple products that received screen time -- 3 (iPhone, MacBook, MacBook Pro)
  • Total screen time for these logos -- 1 minutes and 2 seconds.
  • Total screen time for Stanley -- 21 seconds
  • Total value for 60 second ad during The Office -- $382,472 (source: AdAge)
Oh, and that doesn't even include the four HP or three JVC placements. If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was watching an episode of Chuck.

Brought to you by the Use Stanley More Foundation.

Too many movies were nominated for Best Picture Oscar (including two I'd not even heard of). Which is the least deserving of being on this list?


Avatar -- 9%

The Blind Side -- 32% (WINNER or is it LOSER?)

District 9 -- 8%

An Education -- 7%

The Hurt Locker -- 1%

Inglorious Basterds -- 4%

Precious -- 1%

A Serious Man -- 3%

Up -- 3%

Up in the Air -- 26%

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How else to celebrate my 500th posting? A Nikki Finke Fuck Up Retrospective...

It seems like just yesterday I was a wee Temp making wee money and starting a wee website to help entertain those like me. Well, that was 500 postings ago. I've since grown into a full-fledged assistant making wee money. And as for the website, we'll I'm the purveyor of such new Hollywood institutions and The Brown List, Celebs: They're just like us only better looking and dumber and the upcoming Bennie Awards. For all of these fun things, there's one feature that always draws a crowd, when I mock Nikki Finke.

So what better way to celebrate my 500th posting than to document my favorite Darling Nikki Fuck Ups. I hope you enjoy re-living these moments because that's all I've got for today...

-- The Temp Diaries scoops Nikki thrice in eight days. That's right. I used the word "thrice." And better yet, I used it correctly.

-- Nikki sends me hate mail. Big mistake. [Tip: Never send an under-employed Temp hate mail. This is a battle you have no chance of winning. Not because I'm smarter, but because you're dumber.]

-- Nikki Finke believes the WWE announcement that they're selling one of their shows to Donald Trump. No word on whether Hollywood's Grand Dame understands that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus don't really exist.

-- Nikki forgets Katie Couric's high-profile departure from NBC in 2006, runs a picture of Katie as an NBC family member in 2009. If form holds, Darling Nikki will figure out Conan O'Brien got the boot sometime in 2013...assuming the world is around that long. Thanks Mayans.

-- Nikki "confirms" a Financial Times report that Paramount, Sony and Fox were discussing something about home video. It's doubtful that the FT was seeking your blessing on their content. And then someone got to her said you better not call this stuff "collusion" unless you can prove it.

...and finally, the best Nikki Finke Fuck Up...

-- Nikki gets scooped by most of the Internet on Ben Silverman's ousting. In what was only the biggest entertainment industry story of 2009, the $14 Million Woman was no where to be found. Her excuse, "I was fast asleep," choosing to ignore her frequently ringing phone.
Well, that concludes the first 500 from the Temp Diaries. I appreciate all of your support over the past two years. You've been a wonderful audience. Don't forget to tip your waitress. And more importantly...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Renew. Reuse. Throw out.

Every once in a while, I'm reminded of something from my Temp days of yore. These are moments I'd rather forget and/or attempt to suppress. But for whatever subconscious reason, I can't. Today I'd like to share one of these quintessential Hollywood moments with you.

About six months ago I was working at the TV production arm of a major studio when my boss asked me to make multiple copies of a script they were sending over to FOX.

"No big deal," I thought to myself. After nearly four years of Temping, a former career in marketing and 16 years of schooling, I had a pretty firm grasp of how to make copies. Just point me in the direction of the Xerox machine and I'm all set.

So for maybe 10 minutes I watched as the machine flawlessly did its thing. Twelve copies of a 60+ page script, warm to the touch and as pretty as they'll ever be. Mission accomplished.

I drop the scripts off with my boss and return to the sightly more interesting task of editing my script or writing my blog or reading Entertainment Weekly. After no more than a few minutes, she arrives at my desk.

"I need you to do these over again," she says matter-of-factly.

"Was there something wrong them?" I reply.

"Yes. Well, no. We can't use these." She proceeded to explain that FOX only accepts scripts with print on both sides. It's part of their effort to be more eco-friendly. She'd thrown out the first copies and asked me to make a new, double-sided batch.

I considered suggesting this wastes even more paper. But in Hollywood you learn that sometimes it's just easier to go along with the inanity.