Saturday, February 26, 2005

We'd Like to Thank the Academy (in Our Own Way) 

Need a drinking game for tomorrow night's Oscar party? Yesterday, during an online chat with Zemblan patriot D.E., a correspondent from Philadelphia suggested tossing back a shot "for every person named during the Necrology who you forgot was dead." And if anyone boos when they flash Reagan's mug on the Dead Screen, go ahead and chug the bottle, because you'll spend the next few weeks hearing about it from every yammering, pop-eyed wingnut with access to a lavalier mike.

Yr. Mst. Bnvlnt. Dspt. is, alas, off the sauce for another week, and until we finish our current course of antibiotics there will be no drinking games for us. We can only sit and watch as our lowlife guests slam back jigger after jigger of 15-year-old Laphroaig (freely offered! freely offered!), and believe us, our bitterness would be great -- were it not for our distinguished colleagues Sam Maser and Jack Lechner. Each year at Oscar time these comic geniuses, longtime disciples of the great Frank Jacobs, crank out superb song parodies in honor of the nominated films; this year's entries, which they have generously allowed us to share with Zemblans everywhere, are so hilarious they actually made us forget (for a time) the grim prospect of enforced sobriety. Ladies and gentlemen, your nominees for Best Picture:

(to the tune of “Fly Me To The Moon”)

Fly me, I’m a loon
About as nuts as I can be
Who says a tycoon
Can’t have a case of OCD?
In other words
Wash my hands
In other words
Just don’t shake them

I’m the fastest guy around
When flying my machine
But when I am on the ground
I run for quarantine
My mother’s words
Fill my brain --
In other words
I’m insane!

©2005 S.A. Maser & Jack Lechner. Reproduced by permission.

(to the tune of “When You Wish Upon A Star”)

When you’re writing Peter Pan
If you are a childlike man
Playing with four schoolboys can
Be fun for you

If your wife is strangely cold
Put that part of life on hold
And a boy who won’t grow old
Will come to you

Though there’s talk
That you’re a chickenhawk
We know you balk
At pedophilia

For unlike your one-gloved fan
(With a ranch called Neverland!)
When you’re writing Peter Pan
That’s all you do

©2005 S.A. Maser & Jack Lechner. Reproduced by permission.

(to the tune of “You’ll Never Walk Alone”)

When you walk in the ring
Keep your gloves up high
And don’t be afraid of a punch
Self-defense is the thing
That you must apply
Or opponents will have you for lunch
Fight on through the blows
Fight on, ‘cause it shows
Women box as well as men
Fight on, fight on
But watch where you land
Or you’ll never walk again
You’ll never walk again!

©2005 S.A. Maser & Jack Lechner. Reproduced by permission.

(to the tune of “All The Way”)

Doubted I could do it
But I managed to sit through it
All of Ray
Through the Nat King Cole years
To the “My arm’s got a hole” years
All of Ray
Plumbing all his paradoxes
Takes hours to explore
But as good as Jamie Foxx is
Twenty minutes less
Would be more

Seemed a long, long way off
But the film ends with a payoff
Ray gets clean
Though he’s still a hothead
And a horndog, and a pothead --
Just off-screen
You might think we’ve seen it all now
But that’s not fair to say
However much the script had
Only women he unzipped had
All of Ray
All of Ray!

©2005 S.A. Maser & Jack Lechner. Reproduced by permission.

(to the tune of “That’ll Be The Day”)

Oh yeah, that’s a Chardonnay
The wine that I quaffed
That’s a Chardonnay
Its tannins are soft
Don’t tell me it’s a Riesling
Or even Merlot, ‘cause
That’s a Chardonnay
And I know

Well, they say that I’m a loser
It’s true that I’m a boozer
But when it comes to wine, I know my stuff
Well, although my life I’m wasting
When I am at a tasting
Don’t you try to call my bluff

No, that’s a Chardonnay
And that’s a Sancerre
That’s a Beaujolais
(A Chermette Pierre!)
Don’t tell me it’s a Pinot
You poured in my glass, ‘cause
That’s a Chardonnay
Bet your ass!

©2005 S.A. Maser & Jack Lechner. Reproduced by permission.

COMING TOMORROW: In addition to the bounty above, Messrs. Maser & Lechner have gifted us with five bonus songs, including one for Alexander, another for Troy, and a red state-blue state call-and-response duet pitting Fahrenheit 9/11 against Passion of the Christ.

UPDATE: This just in, via Zemblan patriot J.M.:
Beating such established Hollywood hunks as Colin Farrell and Vin Diesel, US President George W Bush has won the Golden Raspberry Award for worst actor of the year for his appearance in Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 . . . .

The President not only was named worst male actor in a leading role, he also won for being half of the year's worst screen couple when paired with either US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or My Pet Goat, the book he was reading to schoolchildren on the morning of September 11, 2001 . . . .

Two other Fahrenheit stars were "honoured."

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was named worst supporting actor and pop star Britney Spears won for worst supporting actress for a clip in which she declares blind faith in Mr Bush's policies while popping chewing gum.
UPDATE II (also via Zemblan patriot J.M.): From the Dept. of Shit You Couldn't Make Up If You Tried: ABC executives have demanded that a Robin Williams musical number be dropped from the Oscar broadcast because . . . well, because they didn't get the joke:
Mr. Williams, the presenter of the Academy Award for best animated feature, decided last week that his one minute on stage would be a prime time to lampoon the conservative critic James C. Dobson, whose group Focus on the Family last month criticized the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants for appearing in a video about tolerance that the group called "pro-homosexual" . . . .

Overnight, [composer Marc] Shaiman and his partner, Scott Wittman, dashed off a mock exposé of the dark underbelly of cartoonland for Mr. Williams to deliver, over a gospel-music groove, as if he were a full-throated preacher inveighing against other newly-discovered sinners in the nation's midst:

"Pinocchio's had his nose done! Sleeping Beauty is popping pills!/ The Three Little Pigs ain't kosher! Betty Boop works Beverly Hills!"

The producer of the Oscars telecast, Gil Cates, urged Mr. Shaiman to make the bit "less political," Mr. Shaiman said, so he quickly removed any reference to Mr. Dobson's protests - and turned Mr. Williams into a fabulous, lisping character dishing up the latest juicy gossip:

"Fred Flintstone is dyslexic, Jessica Rabbit is really a man, Olive Oyl is really anorexic, and Casper is in the Ku Klux Klan!"

Officials from ABC's broadcast standards and practices office were not pleased. On Thursday, they detailed their objections.

Some lines were opposed for "sexual tone," as the ABC officials, Susan Futterman and Olivia Cohen Cutler, put it to Mr. Williams, Mr. Shaiman and Mr. Cates. These lines included "Chip 'n Dale are both strippers," "Bugs Bunny's a sexaholic," and "Josie and the Pussycats dance on laps."

In the end, however, the sexual references would have been allowed, a network spokesman said. But they held the line on material that they believed might be seen as glorifying drug use or offending Native Americans or disabled people.

Among other lines, they included "The Road Runner's hooked on speed" and "Pocahontas is addicted to craps."

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