Tag Archives: Paul Ruud

Use your words

When the first trailer for “Dinner for Schmucks” popped up in theaters, I thought the premise was ridiculous.

A guy can only get promoted if he brings the biggest idiot to a secret corporate dinner?  I mean, seriously — what were they smoking at the pitch for that movie?

But then,  they assembled a dream cast.  Paul Ruud. Steve Carell. Zach Galifianakis.  And the clips look pretty hilarious.

I’ll bite.

But before I go to the movie this weekend, at least one of the morning or late night talk hosts promoting the film this week has to get the name right.

It’s “Dinner for Schmucks.”  Not Smucks.  Or Shucks.  Or whatever the heck it is you guys are saying.

It’s schmucks.

Hearing everyone mispronounce this very common Yiddish insult is driving me insane.  Is it a network conspiracy?  Like the new show “—- My Dad Says” based on the Twitter account, where they have replaced the very common curse word with hash marks.

Is “schmuck” such a bad word that everyone has agreed to say it wrong?  That’s even more ridiculous than the plot of the movie!

And it makes me want to go see it even more.

Take the heat

Sometimes, you just need someone to blame.

And this week…that someone is LeBron James.

A guy in Michigan told the policeman who pulled him over for DUI that LeBron’s decision to go to the Miami Heat was the reason he was drunk.  No lie.

Of course, since he was drunk, he kinda got the facts wrong.  He thought LeBron was with the Boston Celtics — instead of the Cleveland Cavaliers — but it was still upsetting, so that was why he drank too much.

It was clearly LeBron’s fault.

Which got me to thinking — we can all milk this situation for a couple of more weeks.

I mean, LeBron milked his announcement — which should have taken all of 30 seconds — into an hour television special.  And the ESPY Awards were able to milk it yet again into a hilarious sketch on Wednesday night’s show.

Why shouldn’t we all blame LeBron for something this week?

Can’t pay your rent?  It’s LeBron’s fault.  Miss a work deadline?  LeBron made me do it.  Cheat on your wife?  Did you see what LeBron did?  I had to, man.

Use your brain.  Throw the blame.

It’s LeBron’s fault.

La la la…ha ha ha

So, I’ve had this theory for a while.

I think episodes of “Saturday Night Live” tend to be funnier when the guest host is a male celebrity in his mid-20’s to early 30’s.  The SNL writing staff is predominantly male and around this age (at least in their minds) and just writes better stuff for a host that is more like themselves.

Case in point:  Justin Timberlake.  Zac Efron.  Neil Patrick Harris.  Paul Ruud.  Anna Faris.  (She counts as a guy.)  Shia LaBeouf.  Jake Gyllenhaal. They have all had incredible shows — really funny stuff.

Of course, even I look at that list and think — that’s a pretty impressive group of talent.  But we’ve seen really funny people appear on SNL and suck wind.  So, that’s not always a given.

And then someone like Taylor Swift appears on SNL as both the musical guest and the host.  Now, I personally felt this was a huge risk.  Obviously, she can sing.  But who thought Taylor Swift was going to be able to hold her own as host? Has she done any kind of acting up to this point?

But she did.  I thought Saturday’s show was hilarious. But a big part of that was the writing.

Taylor got the writers on her side.  And she’s not a male celebrity of the appropriate age.  She falls outside my hypothesis.  How did she do it?

Here’s my new theory:  Taylor let ’em ‘have at her.’  Gave them her personal life and let them play. No topics were off limit.  And it worked.

So, then I went back and looked at the other shows that I liked from the past.  Zac Efron poked fun at his own success on “High School Musical.”  Neil Patrick Harris did an inspired salute to “Doogie Howser.”  Jake Gyllenhaal did his opening monologue in drag.

Maybe they all were successful for the same reason: no holds barred comedy.  I just didn’t notice until Saturday.

Go bunny business!