History Channel

  1. American basic cable channel created to explain that all historical events were probably caused by aliens
  2. American basic cable channel created to teach history by focusing on the inner workings of a Las Vegas pawn shop

Usage Example: “I would watch the History Channel, but I’d like to learn something about history.”

Background: History Channel programming occasionally focuses on historical events. These historical events include the time Chumlee paid too much for fake Gibson guitar and how aliens were probably involved in Nazi Germany, the works of Leonardo da Vinci and everything else that ever happened.

History Channel investigative reporters dig deep into historical events, to decide how much of an impact aliens had on them. In schools, history textbooks only dedicate two or three chapters (at most) to aliens. The History Channel is doing a great service by dedicating approximately twenty hours each day to the topic.

It is also a very common practice for schools to teach history by studying annoying, family-owned pawn shops. The History Channel perfected this method by choosing a pawn shop run by the most annoying family, placed in the fakest situations.

In spite of all this, the History Channel isn’t all Pawn Stars and Ancient Aliens. It’s also Cajun Pawn Stars, Pawnography, and Hangar 1: The UFO Files… So, I guess the History Channel is all Pawn Stars and Ancient Aliens… with a side of Ax Men and American Pickers.

The Onion was right, the History Channel does repeat itself.

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Superfoods

  1. Heroic, crime fighting fruits and vegetables
  2. Horrendous marketing failure

Usage Example: “Blueberries are a Superfood… Let’s eat them.”

Background: In 2003, Dr. Oz called a group of outcast fruits and vegetables to his secret lair, deep within a dormant volcano in Iceland. These fruits and vegetables were not incredibly popular, but in the mind of Dr. Oz, they possessed super powers. At this Superfood Summit, he commissioned the Superfoods to fight crime and defend truth and justice.

Each newly minted Superfood was issued a cape, mask and tights. They were then dispatched to the far corners of the earth. Among them were: blueberry, kale, spinach and broccoli.

Dr. Oz then began a global marketing campaign, spreading the word about this new group of Superfoods. From the outset, his campaign was a disaster. In a bizarre turn of events, instead of assisting the Superfoods in fighting evil, people decided to eat them. They even created entire diet plans composed primarily of Superfoods.

A dejected Dr. Oz returned to his volcano in defeat. After the Superfood disaster, he turned his efforts to finding a “miracle weight loss food”, which he found approximately 3,795 times.

Fixer Upper

  1. HGTV program dedicated to advancing the cause of distressed furniture everywhere
  2. HGTV program with a hidden agenda to place huge clocks, old bottles/jars, rusty antiques, barn doors and distressed furniture into every house in America

Usage Example: “Did you see Fixer Upper last night? Chip and Joanna renovated an old Texas farmhouse. I love how they used distressed furniture, rusty antiques, barn doors, old bottles and jars, and enormous clocks.”

Background: Fixer Upper is a home renovation program on HGTV starring Chip and Joanna Gaines. Chip and Joanna renovate and decorate homes for their clients.

Joanna’s style is… a tad predictable. Viewers of Fixer Upper are encouraged to construct a bingo board with the following spaces:

  • Distressed Furniture – Distressed furniture is antique furniture that looks like it was dragged behind a pickup truck for 10 miles. Any well-painted antiques need to be heavily scuffed with sandpaper before they can be considered “distressed”. Chip and Joanna have been long-time supporters of the plight of distressed furniture:
  • Rusty Antiques – Beware. Chip and Joanna like placing rusty antiques in their renovations. Do you like riding bikes? You’ll probably end up with a rusty old bike hanging from your ceiling. If you enjoy working on large boats, do not hire Chip and Joanna Gaines.
  • Old Bottles and/or Jars
  • Enormous Clocks – Almost every renovation includes a huge clock somewhere.
  • Barn Doors – Barn doors are cool now. You should know that.
  • Chalkboards – Because… Chalkboards…
  • Huge Letters on the Wall
  • Window Boxes
  • Industrial Pot Faucet

While watching an episode of Fixer Upper, mark off each item that appears in a renovation. It’s an easy game. Everyone wins all the time.

Cable Company

  1. Entertainment delivery company that provides customers with ten channels they want, 200 channels they don’t want, and internet service that kind-of works most of the time
  2. Entertainment delivery company that constantly tells customers that their calls are important to them, but no one actually believes that statement

Usage Example: “The cable company is giving us 32 Starz channels free for three months. If we forget to cancel, it will only cost an addition $250 per month.”

Background: For most cable customers, the journey begins with a desire to watch ESPN, the Food Network, HGTV, AMC or their favorite politically-affiliated cable news channel. Prospective customers then contact their local monopoly cable company, and a bizarre shopping experience ensues.

If groceries were purchased like cable, the sale would look like this:

Customer: Hi, I’d like to buy this milk.

Salesman: OK, great! We are currently running an incredible promotion! You get the milk, eggs, Slim Jims, Doritos, corn meal, multi-colored mini marshmallows, a Swiffer, and a gallon of peanut oil for only $30 per month for the first 12 months.

Customer: I really only want the milk.

Salesman: We can’t just sell you the milk. We are giving you a great opportunity to get so much more! And you’ll get all of these groceries every month for the duration of your two year contract!

Customer: But… I won’t use the other groceries. And, two years is a long time…

Salesman: We are also willing to throw in six extra-large bags of dog food, free for 3 months.

Customer: But I don’t have a dog. And what happens after 3 months?

Salesman: It’s only an additional $60 per month! When would you like your grocery service to begin?

Customer: Well, I really want the milk, so I guess I’ll sign up.

Salesman: Great! A delivery technician will hopefully bring the groceries to your house sometime between Wednesday at 8:00am and Next Tuesday at 3:00pm.

And, after that exchange, the cable experience begins. Customers are repeatedly told that their calls are important to the cable companies, and the harsh reality of cable quickly sets in: for every ESPN or HBO, there are at least twenty Oxygens.

Food Network

  1. A large, televised recycling plant for infinite re-broadcast of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes
  2. A large, televised recycling plant for ceaseless production of “new” shows featuring Bobby Flay, Alton Brown and/or Guy Fieri
  3. A large, televised recycling plant for cooking competition programs, that are basically just re-branded and slightly tweaked versions of Chopped or Iron Chef

Usage Example: “Did you see that amazing Jamaican restaurant on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives on the Food Network? No? It looked so good. It’s OK, that episode will air again at 10:30pm tonight, 1:30am tomorrow, 8:00pm tomorrow, 12:00am the day after that, 3:00pm on Saturday, 7:30pm on Tuesday and 8:00pm-10:00pm on Wednesday. You should check it out!”

Background: The Food Network is an American cable television network that is entirely dedicated to recycling. Other networks with a similar dedication to recycling include: History, TLC, Travel and A&E. However, the Food Network stands alone as the benchmark for recycling efficiency.

Not only does the Food Network replay its content, but it also develops slightly newish content that is almost indistinguishable from its current programing. They use the following formula to develop new programming:

  1. What type of program are you creating?
    1. Cooking competition
    2. Road trip visiting restaurants
  2. Is Bobby Flay, Alton Brown or Guy Fieri available?

That’s pretty much it. For example: Iron Chef became Iron Chef America, Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, Throwdown, Beat Bobby Flay, Guy’s Grocery Games, and a stunning number of cake and cupcake competitions – including (but certainly not limited to) the Spring Baking Championship.

It is rare to find a corporation so dedicated to recycling. The Food Network and its parent companies: Scripps Networks Interactive and the Tribune Cable Ventures Inc. should be commended.

Boxing

  1. Event in which a couple of guys get together to beat each other up for money, in front of a crowd of onlookers
  2. A sport from the past, comprised of overblown and over-expensive pay-per-view events

Usage Example: “I can’t believe that I actually paid $90 to watch a boxing match that was over in two minutes.”

Background: Boxing was a semi-popular diversion in the past. These days, when people decide that they want to watch a couple of guys hitting each other for a while, they usually turn to MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).

However, once every few years, the sport of boxing hops into its DeLorean, and leaves 1970 to join us in the present. When this happens, boxing fever grips the nation. We suddenly get excited about paying obnoxious amounts of money to watch a couple of guys strip down to their shorts and hit each other for a few minutes.

Celebrities will often visit the fights in person – thus giving them the full boxing experience. The “full boxing experience” involves being trapped in a dark, Las Vegas casino arena with suffocating hordes of spectators, other celebrities and mafia members; while occasionally being showered with the sweat and blood of the two guys beating each other up.

Once the fight is over, boxing returns to the past, only to surface in the present when we least expect it.