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Saturday, October 14, 2006
Jake's Take: North Korea sanctions
The U.S. is currently considering several types of sanctions against North Korea in response to its nuclear test. They include freezing bank accounts, banning all non-humanitarian imports, and sending Mark Foley to Pyong-yang.
Friday, October 13, 2006
News in Brief: National Trust For Historic Preservation to pay for Andy Rooney's upkeep
NEW YORK -- The National Trust For Historic Preservation announced Monday that private fundraising efforts will allow the organization to maintain dilapidated, run-down CBS commentator Andy Rooney through 2016. "Although we lack the funds and expertise to rebuild Rooney completely, future generations can come to know this irascible curmudgeon the same way we do," said NTHP president Richard Moe. "It is important that this vital artifact from America's rich past not be left to suffer the same fate as New York's Penn Station or Walter Cronkite." When informed of the $25 million endowment, Rooney made a phlegm-laced three-minute speech on the first ten things that came to his mind for which the money would be far better suited.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006
Jake's Take: Clooney's plan
George Clooney says he will get back at the paparazzi by spending "every single night for three months going out with a different famous actress." Oh the sacrifices some people are willing to make!
American Voices: Google buys YouTube
Google announced Tuesday that it bought YouTube for $1.65 billion. What do you think?

"That's nearly a dollar for every video of a cat falling off a bed."
- Curt Havermeyer, Gardener

"YouTube is worth every penny. Where else are you going to see clips of Saturday Night Live and Family Guy?"
- Jeff Martin, Lens Grinder

"The beauty of YouTube is that it takes entertainment out of the hands of morons in suits and puts it into the hands of morons in sweats."
- Elisa Leonard, Blanket Maker

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006
North Korea nuclear test

Just days after U.S. State Department spokesman Chris Hill told a group at Johns Hopkins University that "We are not going to live with a nuclear North Korea," North Korea claimed a successful nuclear test. Just days after that, cartoonist Jake Morgan sent this send-up of the timing.

I-Report: Send your own cartoon
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Gryst, Episode 16
This was the first episode we produced after returning from our respective vacations. As a little post-vacation bonus, I came back to a two-week stint on the overnight shift in CNN's feeds department. Without any hint of exaggeration, the primary duty of feeds overnight is to sit in a cold room for ten agonizing hours and hit play/record on two separate beta decks every ninety minutes. Trained chimpanzees must be hard to find.

(That's me on the sofa -- Mike Senzon had to wake me up to shoot the episode.)

Up this week:

Millionaire Fair: I’m a minimalist – I truly hate stuff. So, when I see something like this convention for the uber-rich, rife with silly toys and pointless knick-knacks, I run the risk of throwing up in my mouth a little bit. Later, I did the math and figured out that the price paid for the diamond-encrusted cell phone could also purchase eight million packages of Ramen noodles.

Karaoke Cabbie: Clearly, this was one of those stories that sort of sells itself. I mean, it’s karaoke in a taxi for goodness sake. Having shot two versions of us singing, we chose the Lee Greenwood moment for the final cut, leaving the B-52s for the Easter egg. Love Shack was a shout out to my friend Win who does the world’s greatest Fred Schneider impression.

Astronaut Collapses: There’s nothing innately funny about somebody collapsing… unless it happens to be an astronaut who is readjusting to gravity. So long as that astronaut is unharmed by the incident, I think it has comedic merit. However, much to their credit, CNN’s big brother encouraged us to develop a more tasteful presentation, and we ended up adding a couple lines during post-production. This was accomplished by calling into work on my cell phone from my front porch, and Paul holding the speakerphone at the other end of the line up to a digital recording microphone. The end result sounded like I was communicating from outer space. It was a perfect accident.

Racecar Fight: When one redneck driver feels the need to jump-kick the windshield of another redneck’s stock car, we will always show it. Always.

See for yourself: Download this week's episode or subscribe to the feed.
Monday, October 09, 2006
American Voices: More TVs Than People
The average American home now contains more televisions than people. What do you think?

"Does that include the people on the televisions? Because they are just as much a part of my household as my children."
- Danielle Prediger, Systems Analyst

"Are you sure that report wasn't talking about books? I could see that being the case with books. As a nation, we love to read."
- George Riley, Furrier

"As a TV repairman and serial killer, I feel partly to blame for this problem."
- Lionel Kelley, TV Repairman

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News in Brief: Tourist Experiences City By Buying Used CDs
CHARLESTON, SC—Tourist Alex Pratt decided to "get the feel" of the historic South Carolina port city of Charleston by making the rounds of its local used-CD stores Tuesday. "I found a Marshall Crenshaw CD I didn't have, and really lucked out on The Feelies' The Good Earth—I haven't seen that in years," said Pratt, who has also shopped for music in Boston, San Francisco, Gettysburg, PA, and Kansas City. "I like this place. It's a lot like my regular used-CD shop back in Chicago." Foregoing a ferry-ride to nearby Fort Sumter, Pratt said he intended to spend the remainder of the afternoon peeling the protective plastic off the CD cases and enjoying a sandwich from a local Subway restaurant.

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News in Brief: Britney Spears Loses Custody Of Child To In Touch Magazine
LOS ANGELES—Caseworkers from the California Department Of Social Services escorted Sutton Pierce Federline, the newborn second son of singer Britney Spears, to his new home at In Touch Weekly's Los Angeles offices Monday. "In Touch has displayed a concern for, and attention to, Sutton Pierce's health, welfare, development, and wardrobe that is sadly lacking in the child's biological mother," said a CDSS spokesman as the infant was dropped off at the magazine's reception desk. "We are certain that the 16 editors, 417 freelance photographers, and both writers at In Touch will continue to give little Sutton Pierce the attention that a growing child of celebrities requires." Spears' eldest child, 1-year-old Sean Preston, was placed under the legal guardianship of TV entertainment-news program Access Hollywood in May.

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Jim Brenneman
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Jake Novak
CNN producer by day, comedian by night

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