Monday, November 26, 2007

late entry--mark martin, jim woodring, and stuff!


i started off with really nothing much to say and then--wham!--i got, like, lots to say...

none of it very important though...

i'm a big proponent of credit where credit is due and as i write things here i try to be conscious of the things i say, the phrases and lines that i have incorporated into my own personal lexicon that originally came from someplace else. sure, we all pick up catch phrases and toss them around for a month or so. maybe longer. for years back in high school, i WAS steve martin, quoting and imitating him from his first two or three albums, appearances on saturday night live, etc. more recently mike and craig and i would find something funny--from snl or madtv or little britain or any one of our favorite comedians--and proceed to beat it into the ground.

i'm not really talking about that.

i'm talking about a phrase that you yourself have picked up somewhere along the way and internalized it, made it a part of your everyday vocabulary. maybe you can't control it, maybe it's a reflex thing, and maybe, just maybe, you've been using it so long you forgot where it came from.

one of mine is from waaaaay back in the late 80's. shortly after the advent of frank miller's "dark knight returns", while the rest of the (entire) comic book industry decided to make EVERYTHING dark and grim and gritty, one person, cartoonist mark martin (not the racecar driver)--creator of the hilarious strip "20 nude dancers 20" and one of my all-time favorites, "montgomery wart"--decided to take the lighter, more fun approach and parody that seminal work with his own "gnatrat".

it was, to me, a lotta fun and a lotta laughs.

but what i remember really getting me--and the thing that i took away from it and still use to this day--wasn't by mark, but his friend and fellow cartoonist, jim woodring, creator of such books as "jim" and "frank in the river".

see, in mark's book, "gnatrat", jim had done several faux ads for kooky items, one of which was a styro-band operated dream-corder, a new device able to record your dreams! not only was it a cool idea (i'd love to have one of those!!) but in the text, the pitch of the ad, jim had used this phrase, one that now, after several paragraphs of build-up, might be a bit of a let down to you, and i'm sorry--call it thanksgiving hangover. it went like this;

"...if you're like most people (and who isn't?)..."

i dunno. something about that just cracks me up. always. over and over. and i catch myself saying it sometimes and hear it in my head a lot. like those songs we talked about a month or so ago that get stuck in your brain.

check out mark's and jim's other stuff when you get a chance; mark's comics are usually both topical and lyrical, jim's, tend to be a bit more quirky and trippy. great stuff!

so credit where due...thanks, jim woodring, for, what i think is one of the funniest lines i've ever read.

which then begs the question...what about you? what funny lines or phrases, from comics or movies or tv shows--what has become part of YOUR personal lexicon?

i'm dyin' to know.

and here are the answers to the "five for friday"

1. on friends, what was the name of the building super and joey's dance partner?

mr. treeger

2. on seinfeld, who was the fixer who could rid elaine of her yapping-in-the-night dog problems?

kramer brought elaine to see newman

3. what was the name of the short-lived show featuring tony shaloub and neil patrick harris?

stark raving mad

4. on er, what song was playing during mark green's final fade...?

somewhere over the rainbow by isreal kamakawiwo'ole

5. on will and grace, what physical act did jack and karen perform upon meeting to seal their newfound friendship?

they bumped tummies

sorry for the delay--more on wednesday!
smell ya later!


Rich Faber said...

I don't know about favorite catch phrases, Todd, but I don't care for your attitude.

You gunky.

Brian said...

I have I.K.'s version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" on my ipod so I'm crediting myself with a half for that one.

As for phrases, the "most people" one gave me a chuckle but my favorite is actually one I came up with myself. I did something particularly stupid or thoughtless a while back, take your pick they apply to all of us at one time or another, and Carol Ann, who was more amused than upset jokingly said, "You don't love me anymore." To which I replied without missing a beat, "Yes, but I don't love you any less." It has been a standard light hearted exchange for us ever since.

Please note this baby is copyright Brian Mulcahy - unlike my Officer Mulcahy persona which is copyright Todd and Craig - all rights reserved.

Anonymous said...

I totally get hooked on catch phrases, or quotes from movies... one of the more recent ones is "That's what she said." I've always known that phrase (or at least I think I have) but watching the office, and then bringing it into the work place, it's become second nature to me now.

Other things like quotes from Indiana Jones, Jaws, and Star Wars always pop up... or lyrics from songs. People will say part of a quote, and I'll start into character and then my day's blown cause I'm now saying "you go in the cage, cage goes in the water, sharks in the water... our shark".

Anonymous said...

As a kid, I played out "what-choo- talkin-bout(add name here)?" I couldn't help it...then when Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure came out, everyone was "dude", and everything was "excellent!".
I was relieved when I got stationed out in San Diego...I fit right in...but then I picked up the phrase "bra"...who knows where that came from, but that's what everyone called each other down there...I'll catch myself using it every once in a while now...

Christian D. Leaf said...

I've cribbed some of Dave Attell's schtick for my own personal use—most of it too crude to post here, but it's mostly movie lines.

Such gems from John Carpenter's THE THING as, "Hey (insert name here), you down there! I got sumthin' for ya!" I could go on, but for the sake of brevity call it there.

Luckily, most movie quotes go unnoticed by the wife, so she thinks I'm even funnier than normal. Though now that she's seen TOMBSTONE I've lost some standing..."I'm afraid the strain was more than he could bear."

Anonymous said...

Ha! Leaf... you're a daisy if you do!

Matt Wieringo said...

If you guys get us quoting TOMBSTONE, we'll be here all night. But if you insist, then I'm your Huckleberry.

I quote from movies and and cartoons all the time. When Suzanne finally saw the TOM & JERRY Mousketeers cartoon, she jumped up and yelled, "That's where 'Touche, Pussycat!' comes from!!?" Where it gets annoying is my use of "Whazzaaaaaap?!" or "That's what she said." And the guys I work with have threatened bodily harm if I continue to use "Giggity" or Peter Griffin's laugh at the end of every sentence.

Unknown said...

Mine is one that I've made myself (with the help of me and I). I drop stuff, a lot. I mean that if I'm holding it, there is a better than 50% chance that it will strike the floor soon. So, since this has been happening for years, I usually say something like:
"Nope. Gravity is still working." If asked to explain what I mean by that, I'll tell them that I have to check the status of gravity on a regular basis so that I can take the opportunity to fly if gravity ever is not working.

todd said...


isn't that monsieur pussycat?

Heywood Jablomie said...

I'm always quoting different movies or tv shows all the time, but if I try to think about something I say all the time it's usually 'Crap in a hat'(which my gf says all the time and I picked it up) or 'Who s**t in your cheerios?'(which a guy I work with says all the time). When I was in high school, we used to use 'flog' as a substitute as much as possible where we could put it in a sentence. I also use 'smell ya later' ALOT, or 'Peas out', both of which I've used forever.

renecarol said...

Tombstone? was that good. I saw parts of it at the theater in high school. I don't remember it being very good - but I prolly missed too much to know. my boyfriend and I had an argument and broke up during that movie and I never had any desire to try to watch it again.

I quote Buffy and Angel a lot. "You're supposed to wear that red stuff on the inside" "I have faith in you. There is no one you cannot piss off" and sometimes I quote stuff I just like saying that you just can't ever work into everyday conversation like "personally I kinda wanna slay the dragon"

Brian said...

"Go ahead, skin it! Skin that smokewagon and see what happens"

Adam Hutch said...

My two closest friends and I spent most of high school trying to figure out how to fit quotes from Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness into every sentence. Also whenever one of us would ask nother for something we'd preface it by asking for "Red Bennies, three of um." Which is a quote from a dubbed version of Akira that we watched.

Anonymous said...

I have too many catch phrases in my life these days. having worked in a video store for many a year, too many things have entered my head and I can't evict them to save my life. but a few of my favorites come from Big Trouble In Little China "Hold down the fort, keep the home fires burning, and if we're not back by dawn, the President."
The Tick was also another great source. For a while during my heavy party days, when freelance $$ flowed like water and Jose Cuervo was a member of the family, "Gravity is a harsh mistress." always seemed to be appropriate when picking one's self off the pavement.