Thursday, April 8, 2010

Who Would Be The Guest Stars If They Filmed a New Season of The Muppet Show?

The original The Muppet Show went off the air in 1981, which means that stars like Ethel Mermen, Rich Little, and Sandy Duncan have been without a showcase for their talents for decades. Well, they don’t make them like they used to. Do any of today’s stars have what it takes to fill the shoes of performers like Dom DeLuise? We think we’ve found some candidates who might be up for the challenge.

Host: Neil Patrick Harris
He's funny, he knows his way around a show tune, and as an added bonus, he's a closet vaudevillian. (Did you know Dr. Horrible himself is an amateur magician?) Best of all, he's proven time and again that he's willing to just roll with it, however silly "it" may be. See his image-tweaking performances in Harold & Kumar, his Old Spice commercial, and his dead on impersonation of Doogie Howser (as seen in episodes of both How I Met Your Mother and Celebrity Poker Showdown.)

Episode Highlight: After suffering through willfully bad "Doggie Howser, MD" jokes from the cast of Veterinarians Hospital, Neil leads Rowlf and the dogs through a cover of "Stray Cat Strut" (proving once and for all that Neil's got cat class and he's got cat style.)

Host: Will Smith

He'd be fantastic, no question about it. But since he's arguably the biggest star in the world, he'd probably never do it... Unless his car got a flat and he had to run into the Muppet Theater to use the phone to call for a tow. Then I suppose there's a chance they could trick him onto performing. Or, if things were really desperate, Sweatums could tie him to a chair and hold him hostage.

Episode Highlight: For those of you who have been wondering what a "Jiggy" is, apparently they're purple, furry, and they'll eat anything that isn't nailed down.

Host: Kristin Chenoweth
With a Broadway-level singing voice, SNL-level comic timing, and a clear willingness to sing and act in silly bits, Chenoweth may be the ultimate Muppet host. Given her height, she's practically a Muppet already. Bonus points: appeared with Bill Irwin and Michael Jeter as Miss Noodle in a Sesame Street Elmo video.

Episode Highlight: A touching performance of the ballad "God Bless the Child" marred only by the background vocals being sung by a choir comprised of 6 month old babies.

Host: Alec Baldwin
In addition to being deadly-funny on 30 Rock, Alec Baldwin has shown off his talent for skits on over 8 gagillion episodes of Saturday Night Live. He can also hold a tune. Singing isn't mandatory for guests stars on The Muppet Show (nor is holding a tune), but it helps!

Episode Highlight: After using a series of disguises and Ninja techniques to sneak past his bodyguards, Miss Piggy convinces Alec to sing a dressing room duet of "It Had to Be You."

Host: Ellen DeGeneres
She's one of the funniest people on that planet. That should be enough for anybody, but Ellen also has a unique style--she's warm, fuzzy, and charming as heck on the surface, but she also has a bit of a subversive streak to her material and some of her bits take gleefully absurdist tangents. If that doesn't say "Muppets," what does?

Episode Highlight: Whether she'd be comfortable warbling a tune remains uncertain, but she'll excel at doing "the mashed potato" alongside her new dance partner -- an 8-foot-tall pile of mashed potatoes -- in a sketch called "Dancing With the Spuds."

Host: Steve Martin
He was the all-time best guest star on The Muppet Show and he's still got the talent and the career to merit a repeat visit. When he originally hosted, he was the wild and crazy guy. What would the more eloquent, wry Martin bring to the table?

Episode Highlight: It takes a talented man to deliver an insightful commentary on the lesser-known works of Dostoyevsky while playing the banjo.

Host: Dwayne Johnson
Yeah, that's right. The Rock. The original series featured action stars like Roger Moore and Sylvester Stallone. You could argue that Dwayne is a better actor than both of them, and he's definitely funnier. We can easily imagine him singing "I Feel Pretty" with Gonzo.

Episode Highlight: "Can you smell what the Swedish Chef is cooking?"

Host: Penn & Teller
They need somebody to fill the vaudeville slot previously occupied by Shields and Yarnell, Mumenchantz, Senior Wences, and Doug Henning. If they seem a little to cruel for the Muppets, don't forget that the Muppets were the people who brought you Marvin Suggs.

Episode Highlight:
Sawing Beaker, Animal, and Fozzie in half is the easy part. Getting the right tops reattached to the right bottoms could take the whole show.

Host: Dick Van Dyke
Thanks to Night in the Museum, we know he's still alive and dancing... And the man is a comedy legend. The Muppets excelled at paying tribute to THE GREATS. Who can forget watching the whole Muppet gang gather around to reverently watch George Burns or Gene Kelly? Dick Van Dyke deserves that kind of adulation.

Episode Highlight: Dick and Kermit duet on "The Sadder But Wiser Girl For Me."

Host: Bill O'Reilly
Okay, he'd be a terrible host, not because we disagree with him, but because he's humorless -- especially about himself. And you have to have a sense of humor about yourself to be a good guest star. We're only listing him because we'd love to see him deliver a “Muppet News Flash” so we can fulfill our dream of watching somebody drop anvils on his head.

Episode Highlight: O'Reilly reports on the late-breaking story of an in-flight mechanical error on a cargo plain full of live cows and bowling balls.

Host: Zac Efron (and the Cast of High School Musical)
This would be the modern answer to the original series episode featuring Mark Hamill and the Cast of Star Wars. (Special note to anybody who thinks comparing Star Wars to High School Musical denigrates the memory of the Star Wars films... we say it's too late for that. George Lucas already ruined our memories with the three prequels.)

Episode Highlight: Since we never actually see those kids put on a real high school musical, they finally get their chance when the cast turns the whole episode over to presenting a mangled version of Guys and Dolls.

Host: Weird Al
You may remember him as an 80's icon--sort of the human equivalent of a Rubik's Cube -- but Weird Al was no flash in the pan. He's still at it... and he's still really good! The secret to his success was his ability to make silly songs look easy, but he brought real cleverness and musical talent to the task. Al is a perfect guest star: The manic energy, the colorful clothes, the accordion... it's like he's a vision that came to Gonzo in a fever dream.

Episode Highlight: All of your favorite old-school Muppet songs crammed into a 3 minute polka medley.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Gayest Place on Earth

The Augusta National Golf Club has been named "The Gayest Place on Earth." This honor recognizes the private club's extraordinary achievements in gayness. Judges noted that the Augusta National Golf Club is so gay that it will not allow women, whereas even gay bathhouses in the 1970s would sometimes admit Bette Midler.

The selection process was not without some debate. According to one member of the nominating committee, "On the one hand, we found their 'we-hate-girls' stance to be too militant. Many modern homosexual men find they can enjoy the company of women for social -- but non-sexual -- activities. On the other hand, you certainly have to respect their board members' dedication to keeping anything from distracting them from playing golf and sucking cock."

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Memo to the Texas Board of Education

You don't seem to like books very much. Maybe you'd pay more attention if it was on a t-shirt:

Wear it with pride.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

A Philosophical and Political Question

Do Teabaggers Dream of Demon Sheep?

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Three Things Wrong With Late Night Comedy

While everybody is following the spectacularly terrible job NBC is doing with their late-night line up (stop canceling Jay on the installment plan and leave Conan where he is!), the time is ripe to look at what's wrong with the actual comedy. Here are three things that are consistently troublesome:

1. Jay Leno Steals Jokes

Yep, it's the ultimate sin in comedy and Jay does it all the time. Amazingly, he does it in plain sight. In his recurring "Headlines" segment, Jay reads headlines or the fine print from real newspapers and magazines. This often involves typos or other slip ups that make things sound unintentionally funny. There's nothing wrong with a little found humor, I guess. But not everything in the "Headlines" segment is an accident. Sometimes a headline is funny because an editor at some local paper wanted to write a funny headline. Sometimes those "stupid criminal" stories Jay likes so much only made the paper in the first place because the editors thought they were funny. When Jay reads them on the air, he's using somebody else's material. Just because they wrote it in a deadpan style doesn't mean they weren't trying to be funny. Jay knows that, but he still goes on the air and acts like he's the first person to notice the humor.

Think the writers and editors of all those local papers are getting TV writing credits or compensation from NBC? Yeah, me neither.

2. Everybody Makes Fun of People For Dying

Let's say you're not famous, but you did something that made some sort of cultural impact. Nobody knows your name, but everybody remembers that thing you invented or the company you followed. I've got some bad news for you. When you die, every late-night talk show host is going to make fun of your death. There's a weird, unwritten rule that it's okay to do this if the joke says that you died or will be buried in a manner reminiscent of the thing you would be best known for. This is, for lack of a better phrase, extremely tacky. The subjects of these jokes did not lead public lives, but they are dragged briefly into the spotlight for a cheap joke (a joke that often implies the mutilation of their dead body.) Basically, if somebody merits a small obit in the paper ("The inventor of the Slinky passed away yesterday..."), then they will be mocked on the talk shows. I guarantee that when they inventor of the Slap Chop dies, you'll hear multiple monologue jokes about how his remains are being diced into small pieces and sprinkled over ice-cream.

What makes it worse is that there is an exception to the rule. You will never hear a joke like this about anybody in the entertainment industry. Making a joke about their deceased friends and colleagues would apparently be in poor taste. And predict that when Jay Leno dies, Letterman will make a heartfelt tribute to his former rival. He will most certainly not say "His family says they will miss him, but they are replacing him with an episode of Dateline."

3. The Community Jokes Are Tired (and Often Untrue)

The Community Joke is a joke that's been said so many times that half the country takes the punchline as conventional wisdom. Bush is stupid. Gore is dull. The Harry Potter actors look like they should be in AARP. Angelina Jolie has a million kids. Pavarotti is fat.

These jokes are bad because they're overdone, but more importantly, they're bad because they get accepted as true. And they're not necessarily true. Bush was poorly spoken and uninterested in nuance, but he wasn't stupid. Gore wasn't folksy and he was too interested in nuance, but he can be funny and engaging. People have been joking about the Harry Potter stars since the second film, but when you see them in the last movie, they three actors will be 19, 20, and 21--which is a reasonable age for an actor passing as a high school senior on screen. (The stars of Ferris Bueller's Day Off were around 19, 23, and 29.) Angelina Jolie has six children. That's more than some people, but it's not unusual by any means. She can certainly afford to take care of them and nobody has ever questioned her abilities as a parent... so why do we mock her for doing something that so many people do? Because it's an easy punchline that we can all use. That's the nature of the community joke.

Okay, I grant you, it's true that Pavarotti was a heavyset guy. God rest his soul.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Reflections on "The Rainbow Connection"

Why are there so many songs about rainbows?
Wait--I can only name two.
One of them's this song, so that doesn't really count.
I guess that my theory's not true.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Fun With Your Radio

Call the request line for your local top 40 station. (If you're not sure which station that is, it's the one with a morning show hosted by two guys who go by a name like "Craig-Man and The Biscuit.") When you make it through, follow this script.

YOU: I'd like to request anything by Elvis Costello.

DJ: Sorry, we don't play him.

YOU: Oh. How about something by Dire Straits, Ben Folds, or Joe Jackson?

DJ: Sorry, we don't play them either. We're only play Pop.

YOU: But don't those artists all play Pop music?

DJ: Yes, but it's a different genre of Pop.

YOU: There are different kinds of Pop?

DJ: Exactly, and we only play a certain kind. That's our format.

YOU: Oh. I see. One more quick question. If you only play a certain kind of Pop music, how come you spent the entire two months leading up to Christmas playing a rotation that leaned heavily on Big Band, Childrens, Classical, R&B, Smooth Jazz, Spanish Language, American Songbook, Comedy, Classic Rock, Oldies, and Country songs?

At this point the DJ will suddenly sound like he's not reading from a script.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Notable Names on the List of Other Beatles

The 5th Beatle: George Martin
The 6th Beatle: Pete Best
The 11th Beatle: Stuart Sutcliffe
The 39th Beatle: Peter O'Toole
The 153rd Beatle: Shari Lewis
The 207th Beatle: Charles de Gaulle
The 264th Beatle: George Takei
The 441st Beatle: Wilt Chamberlain
The 491st Beatle: Frank Oz
The 522nd Beatle: Jack Lemmon
The 796th Beatle: Truman Capote


Monday, October 12, 2009

Where Do You Stand? The Beatles: Rock Band or Journey?

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Fake Celebrity Death Rumors From Twitter

TheRealNietzsche God is dead! OMDG!

PeteTownsend Rock is dead, they said. :(

SamClemens I heard rumors of Mark Twain's death.

JLennon Luap Deirub I

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F.T.C. Says Bloggers Must Give Full Disclosure

The Federal Trade Commission says that bloggers must give full disclosure. This won't kick in until December, but I thought I'd avoid the Christmas rush and take care of it now:

Full Disclosure:
  • I'm not wearing any pants.
  • I can't be bothered to vote in local elections.
  • I googled the actress who played Vicki on The Love Boat to see how she looks today. Attractive, but not my type.
  • I had a brownie for breakfast.
  • Growing up, I was afraid of the Spider Man segments of the Electric Company.
  • I am afraid of spiders, but this is unrelated to anything on PBS.
  • I own 56 CDs of show tunes, including 4 recordings of Sweeney Todd.
  • Okay, I had TWO brownies for breakfast. There. Are you happy now?
  • I think the original Star Wars movies are just okay. Also, I kind of liked the Ewoks.
  • I've never read The Catcher in the Rye.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Newly Relased Photo of Apollo Mission to the Moon


Truly, he was the Hardest Working Man in NASA.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Warning: Giant Harry Potter Spoiler

We have an exclusive spoiler for the new Harry Potter film. According to our confidential sources, The Half Blood Prince will feature the death of a "major and beloved" character.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Prop 8 Ruling Sounds Oddly Familiar...

The California Supreme Court just plagiarized their ruling on Prop 8 from Shakespeare:

I say, we will have no more marriages:
those that are married already, all but one, shall
live; the rest shall keep as they are.
- Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1

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Monday, May 25, 2009

New Holiday: June 6 is "Fuck You Ann Coulter Day"

To mark the original publication date of her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism, June 6 has been named Fuck You Ann Coulter Day. Ann Coulter has published many books, but Godless has been chosen for this special honor because it contains truly timeless comments on widows who lost their husbands in the attack on the World Trade Center. Highlights of Coulter's text include "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much... How do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies? Now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy." Commentary like that richly deserves a national holiday like this.

Here are some ways that you can celebrate Fuck You Ann Coulter Day.
  • Arrange a bible study group to discuss whether or not it's possible for Ann Coulter to go to Hell if she has no soul.
  • Close your eyes and imagine that you're throwing used tampons at Ann Coulter.
  • Ponder how God and Ann Coulter can co-exist in the same universe.
  • Give people respect and treat them with kindness and know that this increase in decency will cause Ann Coulter to break out in hives.
  • Gather together with friends to play a festive holiday game. Take turns throwing up. Whoever's stomach bile most closely resembles the writings of Ann Coulter wins an apple pie.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Stolen Answers to the Upcoming SAT Exam


All answers are listed alphabetically. For a chronological listing, please send $50.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

How the Recession Affects Sesame Street

After its expenses come under increased government oversight, the number 4 pulls its sponsorship.

Cookie Monster being replaced by his cousin, Ramen Noodle Monster.

Elmo's World downsized to Elmo's Corner.

Bob finally forced into retirement.

Zoe replaced with an orange sock from the Dollar Store.

Grover teaches Abby Cadabby about last and first. Specifically, "Last In, First Out."

Hoopers Store out-sources its operations to workers living on Galli Galli Sim Sim.

Thanks to a 50% off liquidation sale, all Double-U's are now U's.

As more residents move into garbage cans, Oscar complains about gentrification.

Count Von Count indicted on charges of counting some bats twice.

After being laid off, Baby Bear just sits around watching the Telly all day... which makes Telly even more nervous than usual.

In order to pay the bills, Grover forced to take on 8th job.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

New Tag Lines for SyFy (The TV Network Formally Known as SciFi)

SyFy: We're Lame Like That
SyFy: Our Fans Embarrass Us
SyFy: Isn't Our Name Cute?
SyFy: From the Makers of Furby
SyFy: Our Target Viewer is Sarah From The Movie Labyrinth
SyFy: Because SyGoldberg Was Already Taken
SyFy: Sponsored By New Coke

SyFy: It's Like Lifetime With More Temporal Paradoxes
SyFy: Please Don't Think About Syphilis

SyFy: We Didn't Stop To Think That It Looks Like It's Pronounced Siffy (Rhymes With Iffy)

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Simple Program to Make the World a Better Place

10: Search for musical that could co-star Brent Spiner and Neil Patrick Harris.
20: If musical exists that meets stated parameters, go to 40.
30: If musical that meets stated parameters does not exist, write musical that could co-star Brent Spiner and Neil Patrick Harris.
40: Produce musical.
50: Cast Brent Spiner and Neil Patrick Harris.
60: Bask in the glory of it all.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Theory: I Am A Cast Member on 30 Rock

Evidence: I have never appeared in an episode of 30 Rock.
Conclusion: I very well may be a core cast member.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Archetypical Twitter Posts

What Am I Doing?

Contemplating my navel
10:41 AM

Worrying about the erosion of privacy in the digital age
10:47 AM

Noticing the irony of last Twitter post
10:48 AM

Wishing I had the discipline to write one of those long, complicated blog posts
10:52 AM

Wishing I had some friends who didn't block my instant messages
10:55 AM

Crying out for attention for others
10:57 AM

Look at me!
10:58 AM

Look at me now!
10:59 AM

Now, now, now!
11:00 AM

Re-reading my own twitter posts and marveling at how fascinating I am
11:07 AM


Monday, January 26, 2009

Get MAD and Get Even (More MAD)

When you were a kid, did you love MAD Magazine? If you read this blog, I'm guessing the answer is "Heck, yeah!" Well, I have some bad news for you: After their 500th issue, MAD will be switching from a monthly format to a quarterly format. This is, no doubt, a sad outcome of the general decline in magazine circulation across the publishing industry. I fear that MAD will only have a harder time staying afloat as a quarterly since it depends on topical humor.

Well, I think if we (and by "we" I mean "the internet") all pull together, we can do something about it. Now is the time to stop being nostalgic for our childhoods and start buying subscriptions. If not for ourselves, then perhaps as a gift for our kids (or our friends kids, or our nieces and nephews...) Subscriptions are cheap at only $19.99 for 14 issues. Look, you don't even need a checkbook--you can do it online:


If we can't reach the critical mass necessary to reverse the fortunes of the magazine that helped shape (and by "shape" I mean "warp") our sensibilities, then at the very least we'll be teaching kids the unique joys of reading MAD:
  • Wasting hours looking at all of the little details
  • Learning how to be world weary without being cynical, learning how to question authority without being a jerk about it
  • Re-reading old issues to get all the dirty jokes that went over your head the first time around
  • Yelling at your mom when she throws out your old -- and surely priceless -- issues when you went to college
I'm counting on you, blogospher. If we can make "Talk Like a Pirate Day" a real holiday, if we can redefine the meaning of Rick Santorum's last name, if we can make Perez Hilton gainfully employed... then surely we can pull together and help our old friends at MAD keep the satire coming.

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Warning: Giant Watchmen Spoiler

Billy Crudup -- the guy who plays Dr. Manhattan -- also does the voice-overs for all of the MasterCard "Priceless" commercials. We dare you to try not to think about that when you're watching the movie.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Good News for Star Trek Actors: David E. Kelley Has a New Series!

(678) 943-9711If you ever watched any David E. Kelley shows like Boston Legal, The Practice, Boston Public, or Ally McBeal, then you know he's a special kind of Trekkie. While most super fans collect autographed photos, this producer collects actors. He seems to be on a personal mission to give former Star Trek actors regular paychecks. Mr. Kelley, as a public service to help you in this endeavor, we've put together a convenient checklist. Simply check off the actors names when you've given them a guest spot or a regular role on your new show Legally Mad.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Don't Forget: Valentine's Day Starts on December 17th This Year


This holiday is sponsored by the retailers, advertisers, and radio stations who decided to start celebrating Christmas 201-218-8360

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Finalists for the Best Patent Award

The nominees are:
  • The Heisenberg Compensator, patent by Dr. Emory Erickson
  • The Positron Collider, patent by Dr. Egon Spengler
  • The Flux Capacitor, patent by Dr. Emmett Brown
  • Focused Erasure Procedure, patent by Dr. Howard Mierzwiak
  • Earth, patent by Deep Thought

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Based on in sitings of Christmas tree displays at Borders Books, posters for Vince Vaughn's annual Christmas movie on the street, and Bruce Springsteen's "Santa Clause is Coming to Town" at the corner deli, Christmas officially started on October 27th this year. That gives us a glorious 59 days to celebrate the Christmas before the day I thought Christmas started on. Adjust your calendars accordingly to reflect the new start dates for holidays:

Christmas: October 27th
New Year's: November 3rd
Valentine's Day: December 17th
Memorial Day: March 27th
The 4th of July:
May 6th
Halloween: September 2nd
Thanksgiving: September 28th

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Friday, November 7, 2008

You Cannot Escape From Madagascar to Africa

Coming soon from the producers of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa:

  • Chicago 2: Escape to America
  • Manhattan 2: Escape to New York
  • Escape From New York 2: Escape to the Eastern Standard Time Zone


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In an Early Draft of the Watchmen Script, Alan Moore Explored Other Character Concepts for the Comedian

It's late at night. New York City. 1985.

A grappling hook shoots through the air and catches on a window frame. We see Rorschach perched in the window, about to enter the empty apartment apartment. His grappling hook is still hooked to the frame.

Breaking away from the panels, we reveal the title of the first issue in bold, black letters: "Why Is There Air?"

Back in the Comedian's apartment, Rorschach looks around the room and notices a photograph of the victim. He's a handsome African-American male, dressed to play tennis. He's posing with a white male. Both are smiling. From the clothes and the hair, the photo appears to have been taken in the 1960s.

Rorschach goes to the closet. Opening the door, the closet seems to be empty except for a few overly colorful, heavily checkered sweaters. He pushes the sweaters aside and notices a small button on the back of the closet wall. He presses it. The back of the closet slides open to reveal a hidden space.

The centerpiece of the hidden alcove is a superhero costume. There is a pair of yellow spandex shorts and a matching shirt. The shirt has a light orange "B" logo on it. There is a matching cape and a pair of yellow boots. The costume is completed by a pair of white boots and a black eye mask.

Rorschach lays the costume on the floor to study it. He says "Hurm."

Rorschach notices there is a picture hanging next to the costume. He picks it up. It's a photograph of the masked adventurer Brown Hornet and his two sidekicks Stinger and Tweeterbell.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who Doesn't Love a Good Angry Mob?

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