1. An inexplicably popular, somewhat dead but not really dead, fictional character
  2. Focus of an unlikely global con carried out by AMC

Usage Example: “Did you catch last night’s episode of that zombie show? A few humans fought a bunch of zombies. It was great.”

Background: Approximately five years ago, the world lost its collective brains, and decided that it loved zombies. The cable network AMC somehow convinced large numbers of seemingly normal adults that zombies are interesting. This caused highly-functioning people to dress up like zombies at parties and 5K races, for some reason.

Experts often debate whether dressing up like zombies or Star Wars characters is more depressing. So far, Star Wars has a small lead, but the zombies are beginning to catch up. When they finally do catch up to Star Wars, the zombies plan to eat the brains of Jar Jar Binks and Lando Calrissian first.

Curious George

  1. The world’s least successful helper monkey
  2. The high maintenance pet of a mentally imbalanced man
  3. A monkey obsessed with seeking revenge on his captor

Usage Example: “Why did the man with the yellow hat leave Curious George alone in a chocolate factory? Is he crazy? Hasn’t he ever seen I Love Lucy?”

Background: Curious George is the potty-trained, ex-con monkey pet of a mentally imbalanced man. This man, known only as “the man with the yellow hat,” always wears an all-yellow safari outfit, complete with a yellow tie and hat. He wears this outfit every day. The man’s choice of wardrobe is a symptom of his delusional belief that he is some kind of monkey-catching super hero in yellow.

The history of Curious George and his mentally imbalanced friend is meticulously recorded in multiple picture books, television shows and movies. A normal person might keep a journal of such events, but the flamboyant man in the yellow hat insisted that all records of his dealings with George be inscribed in picture books.

The man with the yellow hat captured George in a bag during an expedition to Africa. He promptly brought George back to America to serve as his pet/slave/surrogate child (as anyone would). Upon coming to the U.S., George quickly found himself in prison. However, his incarceration was short lived, as he promptly broke out, and began his campaign of revenge against his captor, as a fugitive.

George continued to get into trouble, but the man with the yellow hat is a patient crazy person. He never learns. He will often leave George alone (while he pretends to be a super hero) and ask him to stay out of trouble. However, the vengeful monkey will always cause trouble. He has single-handedly demolished stores, hospitals, restaurants, sporting events, zoos, etc. George commits massive acts of vandalism, grand theft and destruction of property, but since he makes Betsy smile, he avoids any charges. This is disturbing to George. He desperately wants to get the man in trouble for enslaving him, but he always manages to make some kid happy, so all trouble is avoided.

The man’s mental shortcomings are also exhibited in that he insists on treating George like a child. He buys him toys, has him sleep in a child’s bed, and even sends him to school. At one point, he even allowed his primate pet to take on a paper route.

The actions of Curious George and the man with the yellow hat are difficult to understand, unless you have a firm grasp on their history and mental condition.

ESPY Awards

  1. The only known way for professional athletes to gain public recognition and win awards
  2. A long-form commercial for a cable sports network

Usage Example: “Well, it came down to watching the ESPY Awards or an episode of Murder, She Wrote… I made the right choice. It was a good episode. Who would have thought that Jessica would catch Robert Culp by snooping around? ”

Background: Finally, the unappreciated toil of professional athletes can be rewarded. These rewards are distributed during an awkward, long-form ESPN commercial known as the ESPY Awards.

The ESPYs were created by ESPN executives who were working to find an effective way to use the egos of professional athletes to help propel their cable sports brand. The result of this work is a depressingly awful awards show.

Athletes had long lamented that they never had an opportunity to walk a red carpet at a self-congratulatory awards show. They also complained that the Manning brothers didn’t have nearly enough trophies.

ESPN executives shrewdly capitalized on these complaints. They gave athletes a red carpet, the Manning brothers a bunch of ridiculous trophies, and created a way for the athletes to get on stage and give semi-coherent, highly rehearsed, yet stunningly awkward speeches. Athletes loved it. Everyone else hated it. But since people love athletes, the public continues to pretend that the ESPYs are watchable and important.

Beauty Pageant

  1. Crazy plan hatched by drunken frat boys that somehow worked
  2. Annual event that somehow missed the whole “feminism” thing

Usage Example: “The Miss US American beauty pageant will air at 12:35am on the Spike3 channel.”

Background: It should have never worked. After a night of drinking, a group of frat boys decided that they wanted to hold an event in which they could gawk at beautiful women. They called this event a “beauty pageant”.

The beauty pageant would contain the following steps:

  1. Open with an awkwardly choreographed musical number. During this opening: -Each participant must wear a sash containing the name of her home state -Each participant must confidently strut to the front of the stage and frighteningly shout her name and home town, at the top of her lungs -Each participant must smile with an unnaturally enormous smile the entire time.
  2. Immediately after the opening number, heartlessly cut at least ½ of the participants.
  3. Force the remaining participants to individually walk around the stage in swimsuits and evening gowns.
  4. Heartlessly cut more participants.
  5. Some pageants contain a hilarious talent portion at this time.
  6. In order to add some legitimacy to the event, participants are forced to talk for a few seconds. If the participants fail to do well at the talking portion, they will be mocked forever on YouTube.
  7. The final two or three participants nervously hold hands, while the host calls out the name of the winner.
  8. The losers then act like they are happy for the winner, while the winner cries.
  9. A tiara is placed on the winner’s head. This tiara is later pawned for scholarship money.

There may be easier ways to obtain scholarship money, but no one knows about them.

In spite of the insanity of these events, beauty pageants have somehow survived for many years. Beauty pageants are held on an annual basis in such glamorous locations as Atlantic City, Shreveport and Reno.

Prescription Drug Ads

  1. Proof that people would rather take a risk on nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stroke, heart attack, coma and death – than deal with restless legs
  2. Ads presenting an alternate reality, in which scenes of people enjoying life are accompanied by a voice-over warning of the disgusting and terrible things that could happen if a product is actually used
  3. Discriminatory ads failing to offer products to people with liver or kidney problems, and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant
  4. Ads attempting to get men to ask their doctors questions

Usage Example: “Hey doctor, I saw a prescription drug ad for a drug that could help clear up my skin. Is it right for me? I’m cool with all of the diarrhea and death stuff.”

Background: Prescription drug ads seek to do the impossible. They are attempting to get people to buy a product while verbally communicating a list of at least twenty horrible things that could happen if the product is used.

Normally, if a person is approached with the option of dealing with an annoying physical problem or rolling the dice on coma, death, paralysis or permanent muscle spasms – the decision is simple. But tell them all of this while showing people picking apples, playing with grand-kids, or sitting in bathtubs, and people lose their minds.

Prescription drug ads also visually communicate the following:

  • If you have psoriasis and take a drug, you will jump and swim in pools.
  • If you have ED and take a drug, you will suddenly place two bathtubs outside and sit in them.
  • If you are bipolar and take a drug, you will take creepy pictures of kids in sandboxes and walk along the beach.
  • If you have fibromyalgia and take a drug, you will handle potted plants and look at documents on a table… instead of grabbing your shoulder.

Local Television News

  1. A televised method of communicating the possibility that everyone is having fun at the county fair
  2. A televised method of alerting the public that road work on highway 12 could cause traffic slowdowns in front of the feed store
  3. A televised method of sharing heart-warming local stories that really have no impact on your life whatsoever

Usage Example: “Thanks to the local television news, I know that the community center is buying twelve new folding chairs.”

Background: If you don’t live in or around a major city, your local news is coming from places like Bismarck, ND; Bangor, ME or Lynchburg, VA. These local television newscasts include hard-hitting local news and information.

The following is a sample small-town newscast. They all function the exact same way.

Gloria Anchor: Good evening and thanks for joining us on Action 17 News at 5 – I’m Gloria Anchor. Our top story tonight – everyone is having fun at the county fair. For more, Chad Reporter is at the fairgrounds. It looks like everyone is having a great time, Chad!

Chad Reporter: Gloria, you couldn’t be more right. This is the 98th year of the county fair, and everyone is having a great time.

Woman in a flag shirt: We just love the fair. We’re having a great time.

Old Woman: I am ninety-three years old. I’ve been coming to the fair since I was a young girl. I just love the fair.

Chad Reporter (now holding cotton candy): Gloria, everyone is having such a great time here at the fair. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, come on down to the fairgrounds. The fair runs through Sunday. I’d love to stay and chat, but I’m going to head on over to the rickety old Ferris wheel and go to work on this cotton candy!

Gloria Anchor: Mmmm. Save some of that cotton candy for me, Chad!

Chad Reporter: Will do Gloria!

Gloria Anchor: Thanks Chad. And now for a first look at the weather, we turn to Chip Weatherman in our News 17 Weather Center with your First Look Forecast. Chip – How does the weather look for all those fairgoers?

Chip Weatherman: Gloria, for everyone heading out to the fairgrounds, it looks like we’ll have a 60% chance of some light shower activity moving in this afternoon, but don’t let that keep you away from the fair. If some of those showers move in, you can always head indoors to the livestock pavilion until they pass. But, even though we have a 60% chance of rain, everyone at the fair has a 100% chance of fun! And it looks like we can expect some bright sunshine for all the folks heading to the speedway this weekend! I’ll have more at 6:00, including your AccuDoppler17 weekend outlook. Gloria – back to you.

Gloria Anchor: Thanks Chip. And now – Joe Sportsguy with the big game results from Friday night.

Joe Sportsguy: Thanks Gloria. On the high school gridiron, Central beat Regional 17-9, and Westside beat Kennedy 24-21. Join me at 6:00 for updates on the field hockey tournament, a race day preview, and the touching story of a young boy who beat the odds by making his little league team, in spite of suffering from celiac disease.

Gloria Anchor: Thanks Joe. Last week, you may remember the story we brought you about the theft of twelve folding chairs at the Dirtville Community Center. Coming up at six, we have the story about how the Dirtville community banded together to raise the $200 that they needed to replace the folding chairs. That’s all for now – but be sure to join us at six for much more, including a recap of the heated Spitsburg town meeting that resulted in the controversial decision to purchase two wheels of cheese for every town meeting. See you at six!

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.


  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.

American Idol

  1. A long-running televised singing competition that has cycled through approximately 238,420 judges over its 379 year run
  2. The crazy uncle of the television world

Usage Example: “Isn’t Larry the Cable Guy a judge on American Idol this season?”

Background:  Fox has announced that 2016 will be the final year for the televised singing competition, American Idol. This announcement sent massive shock waves throughout the American public, who had no idea that American Idol was still on the air.  After checking the internet to confirm that American Idol was indeed still on the air, they resumed their normal activities.

Over its long, tedious run, American idol solidified its role as the crazy uncle of the television world. Throughout its first few years, American Idol was cool and different – like when your childish, unemployed uncle first came to crash on your parents couch for a few days. However, as time went on, it became increasingly pathetic. After its first few seasons, American Idol had lowered itself to eating Spaghetti-O’s out of the can and sleeping on the futon until 2:00 pm every day. It kept saying it was looking for work, but no one believed it. It started leaving laundry on the floor and clipping its toenails at the kitchen table. Everyone knew it was time for American Idol to go, but it just kept hanging around.

Eventually, everyone in the house started ignoring it. Feeling the cold shoulder, American Idol retreated to the basement where it played “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!” all day long and subsisted on a diet of Funyuns and Rock Star energy drinks. Everyone forgot it was still there. Then, many years later, American Idol finally moves out, and hardly anyone notices.

We wish you the best American Idol. We hope your new job at Shoney’s helps you find yourself.