Brave New World

Greetings, boys and girls.  I'm Ben Bowman, 4:30 a.m. producer for NBC Chicago.

"They have news on at 4:30 a.m.?" you ask.

Yes.  They do.  And someone actually spends his morning writing it.  That'd be me.  I'm the one making life hell for Rob and Zoraida.

The mandate of the hip, edgy is that we avoid all mention of the fact that we're actually related to a TV station.  So that may be the last time I mention my job.

In addition to presiding over my news kingdom, I also improvise with the iO Theater's Whiskey Rebellion. 

Until now, I've been blogging over yonder.  'Tis a treasure trove of wit and wisdom.  (If your attention span has dwindled to the size of a mitochondria, I also Twitter.)

That's enough introduction.  Now I must prove my worth with a Blog Storm!™  Batten the hatches, y'all...

* When your boyfriend suggests affixing a sex toy to a saber saw blade, it might be time to find a new boyfriend.  And if you let him fire it up and shove it in... well... God have mercy on your va-jay-jay.

* Great news!  Old age begins at 27.  That's when your brain starts slowing down.  When I was 27, I worked for Fox.  My brain shut off entirely.

* The attention whores over at PETA are working on George Clooney-flavored tofu.  Does it taste like smarm?  (I remember you on "The Facts of Life," Clooney.  You will never outrun that.  Never.)

Whenever I give any sort of publicity to PETA, I make it a point to eat several animals that day, just to offset my contribution to their goofiness.  And upon viewing this story about a contestant for PETA's sexiest vegetarian, I have committed to eating an entire herd of endagered something-or-other.

The cure for peanut allergies is... feeding people small doses of peanuts?!?  I'm allergic to cats.  But I guess if I eat really tiny bits of them...

* Woman buys 2004 Saturn, paints it up as an Obama-mobile, now might get her ride repossessed.  Do you think she just painted it up like that to get the Prez to bail her out?  Is there anyone we haven't bailed out yet?  The upcoming federal budget apparently has a line about "a chicken in every pot and a pony in every backyard."

* Chicago's original Olympic slogan: "Stir Your Soul."
The translation in some languages? "Stir Your Insides."  (Yeah!  Suck it, other languages!)

42% of Americans have tried marijuana at least once, 16% have tried cocaine.  But enough about City Hall...

* There's hope for all of you using penis extenders.  Some of them actually work.  In my day, if you wanted a longer member, you'd tie a minature noose around it, attach the rope to a cinder block and chuck it off a freeway overpass.  (In the snow.  Uphill both ways.)

* The biggest mistake you can make at a restaurant on your first date is snapping your fingers at the waiter.  My go-to move - trying to get my date to choke so I can cop a feel during the Heimlich - doesn't even make the top ten.

A boy's finger length can determine how fast he is, how aggressive he might be and how smart he is.  That's bad news for me.  I once lost a thumb-wrestling match to Billy Barty.

North Korea finally has its first pizza joint.  It was ten years in the making and required x-rays, brain scans and blood and urine samples.  (Coincidentally the same process it took for me to get hired here.)

* From the Hollywood Is Out of Ideas File: "MacGyver: The Movie."  Really?  Start the clock on the big-screen adaptation of the ShamWow commercial.

* You might think you're a genius by bolting antlers to a dead doe carcass, but you're not.  That's the equivalent of giving your dead friend's corpse a boob job.

* On September 11th, most WTC workers spent 5-8 minutes before leaving their desks.  Uhhhh....

* You are hereby encouraged to vote for iO in the "Golden Local" awards.

I have to take issue with our video about the competition.  Regarding Zanie's, some doofus says, "How many times are you gonna see a bad comedian?  Not very often."  Allow me to direct you to Comedy Central, where the best of stand-up runs on an endless loop.  How many times do you even chuckle?  In my case, twice a year, tops.  Stand-up is notoriously difficult, even for the pros.  And if you land on someone awful, you have to wait at least five minutes before someone else takes the stage.

At iO, even the worst scene only lasts three minutes.  And there's always the potential for something unexpected to happen.  When you hit a clunker of a comedian, you just have to sit there as he continues to bomb.  There is no rescue.

In Anthony's video, he says, "With improv, there's sometimes a reason (a scene) never happens again."  True, Anthony.  True.  And in stand-up, there's no guarantee that a comedian will bag a joke that bombs.  Sometimes he'll continue inflicting it on an audience for months on end.

Vote for iO or my next scene will involve hurtful comments about your pets.

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