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A TV Miscellany

October 18, 1992|LARRY TRITTEN | Larry Tritten is a San Francisco-based writer

A CHANT FOUND IN THE DESK DRAWER OF A WELL-KNOWN TV PRODUCER WHO BELIEVES IN THE OCCULT

Double, double toil and trouble:

Fire, burn, and cauldron, bubble.

Eye of agent, toe of gaffer,

Nose for news of fan mag staffer.

Hair of lion (MGM)

14-karat used Screen Gem.

Heart of censor, cap of lens,

Ash tray from Mercedes Benz.

Spleen of Shales and jokes of Leno

Wasteland dirt of Newton Minnow.

Nielsen rating, tongue of Rona,

Gram of coke and buds of Kona.

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THREE KINDS OF DOCTORS WHO ARE STILL WAITING TO BE POPULARIZED IN A SERIES

1. Witch doctors

2. Proctologists

3. Gynecologists

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TV STARS YOU'D LEAST WANT TO BE IN AN ENCOUNTER GROUP WITH

1. Geraldo Rivera

2. William F. Buckley

3. John McLaughlin

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HYBRID SHOWS FOR THE '90s

1. "A Streetcar Named Desire Under the Elms"

2. "Dirty Harry and the Hendersons"

3. "In the Heat of the Night of the Living Dead"

4. "Fiddler on a Hot Tin Roof"

SPECIAL SHOWS YOU'D LOVE TO SEE

1. "Let's Make a Deal You Can't Refuse," a Mafia game show

2. "The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Recall Awards Show" in which Oscars in each category are taken back from winners whose subsequent careers or personal lives reflected poorly on the industry.

THE TWO MOST PRIMITIVE FORMS OF TELEVISION

1. Tattoos

2. Picture-window envelopes

TWO TV SHOWS THAT ARE MAGAZINES AND TWO MAGAZINES THAT ARE TELEVISION

1. "60 Minutes"

2. "20/20"

3. People

4. Life

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SUGGESTED AWARDS FOR HEROIC VIEWING

1. The Distinguished Viewing Screen--awarded to television viewers for indiscriminate viewing above and beyond the call of curiosity

2. The Bronze Test Pattern--awarded to television viewers for indefatigable viewing of summer reruns

3. The Purple Brain--awarded to television viewers who have suffered brain damage during prime-time viewing.

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IF TV SETS WERE NAMED LIKE CARS

1. The Zenith Escapist

2. The Sony Mirage

3. The General Electric Conjurer

4. The Sanyo Looksee

5. The RCA Exhibitionist

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CAUTION: EXCESSIVE VIEWING CAN BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH

1. TV Jeebies: a nervous disorder caused by an overdose of the news

2. Documentarrhea: abnormally frequent quotation of facts caused by excessive viewing of public TV

3. Telethonitis: inflammation of the sense of humor caused by watching Jerry Lewis

4. Sitcom: a condition of unconsciousness caused by an overdose of sagacious children

5. TVD: psychosomatic venereal disease induced by prolonged watching of X-rated movies

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FUTURE HYBRIDS

1. Delivision: a channel on which take-out delicatessens display their food to facilitate phone orders

2. Tarentellavision: Italy's answer to MTV

3. Acapellavision: a channel that filters the musical accompaniment out of singers' performances.

*

VIDEO MUTANTS

1. The Couch Potatoes

2. Used-car dealers

3. Dr. Gene Scott

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SOAP OPERAS FOR THE '90s

1. "Uncle Mom's Condo"

2. "Kvetch 22"

3. "Alimony Junction"

*

THE OUTER LIMITS OF TECHNOLOGY

1. A VCR that will enable you to tape your dreams

2. Televisa: short videotaped endorsements by Customs officials that can be played for verification on video passports

3. TV sets that enable you to practice individual colorization, changing the colors of a picture, making a brunette a blonde, a green banana ripe, a yellow tie red, etc.

*

FAUX PAS AND PERVERSIONS

1. Eating pound cake while watching an exercise show

2. Taping the news and watching it a day late

3. Laughing along with a laugh track

4. Changing the channel with a remote-control device more than 30 times a minute.

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SOUR GRAPES

1. "Network" by Paddy Chayefsky

2. "The Glass Teat" by Harlan Ellison

3. "Arguments for the Elimination of TV" by Jerry Mander

4. "Being There" by Jerzy Kosinski

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THREE PROGNOSTICATIONS

1. Situation tragedies with crytracks

2. Game shows with such low ratings that the contestants take IOUs

3. The Yummies: an award show for achievement in the presentation of food on TV, e.g. best use of cold cuts in a dramatic series, best commercial song about a frozen pizza, best on-location buffet sequence, etc.

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SEQUELS AND SPINOFFS

1. "The Divorce Boat"

2. "Little Condo on the Prairie"

3. "I Dream of Genet"

4. "I Love Lucre"

5. "The Alimony of Eddie's Father"

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THREE TV SHOWS OF THE PAST ADAPTED FROM CHINESE FORTUNE COOKIE FORTUNES AND ONE FROM A SIGN ON THE LAWN AT BELLEVUE

1. "Father Knows Best"

2. "Get Smart"

3. "Three's Company"

4. "Please Don't Eat the Daisies"

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SPINOFFS FOR THE '90s

Breakfast at Tiffany's, ergo

1. "Brunch at Bloomingdale's"

2. "Snacks at Saks"

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AND, IF THE ECONOMY DOESN'T IMPROVE:

1. "Bulimia at Bergdorf Goodman"

2. "Fasting at F.A.O. Schwarz"

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THE (TV) PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY

Dick Clark

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WHAT T&A DOES NOT MEAN

Tots and animals

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TWO THINGS TV HAS IN COMMON WITH THE KAMA SUTRA AND ONE WITH A BOTTLE BLONDE

1. Horizontal hold

2. Vertical hold

3. Tint

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NINE NEW CATEGORIES FOR THE EMMYS OF THE FUTURE

1. Best art direction by someone who thinks Botticelli is a kind of pasta

2. Best variety show monopolized by a single star

3. Best comedy series to rely on neither children nor animals for popularity

4. Best soap opera written by a bachelor

5. Best reticent talk-show host

6. Best classical performing arts show interrupted by a laxative or denture cream commercial

7. Best lead actor in a series who obviously should follow

8. Best limited series containing no sex, violence, or ideas

9. Best interminable limited series

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TV SUBSTITUTES FOR THE ASTIGMATIC

1. An aquarium

2. The washing machine window

3. Any neighborhood window not more than a hundred yards away

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