Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Last Thursday finally marked Army's final regular column, giving him a well-earned rest from the stressful grind of trying to stay vital and topical several decades since he has ceased to be vital and topical, but if consideration is being taken to maintain the franchise with outside support, I'd like to throw my hat into the ring, Goldfinger's Oddjob-style:

GOOD MORNING! First came 'Jeopardy!,' then 'Wheel of Fortune,' and now Merv Griffin has sold another show to King World--this one, 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Who-Cares-Where, Men are Yummy!'--will be hosted by Denny Terrio, now willing to "play ball." Though the title is a little offsetting, a giggling Merv assures, "I'm a billionaire hotelier, suck my nuts!"...News of Pam Dawber's tonsilitis has been on the lips of everyone lately, and our good wishes go out to her at this desperate time, toughing it out and finding out who her friends are...the refracted starpower was blinding in a Culver City Del Taco recently when Mssrs. (Frank) Stallone and (Joey) Travolta arrived together to put the finishing touches on a Ponzi Scheme. Joey's not a pilot like fab bro John, but does look forward to regaining his driver's license in a few short weeks. Joey, a born comedian with expert comic timing, quipped "I don't miss the traffic!" And Frank, currently between Muscular Dystrophy Telethon gigs, is rebounding from bad plastic surgery and looking less grotesque than he has in years--Bea Arthur sure thought so!

GLAD TO BE RECOVERING, Martin Lawrence has a new resolution. "No more exercizing while high on freebase," he says. "It'll give me something to look forward to at the end of my workout." Still, he doesn't understand the toll it took on him. "Bobby Brown said it would be no problem!" And speaking of guys who slap the shit out of their superstar singer wives and make up over cocaine, I spotted Ike Turner parking in the blue spots in front of Gelson's. I asked him. "Hey Ike, I didn't know you were handicapped!" "Shut your fuckin' mouf!" came his rejoinder. I crapped my pants!...Bono, Quincy Jones and that guy from the Fugees who looks like he burns more reefer than the D.E.A. are lobbying for the World Bank to forgive trillions in international debt. What SOME PEOPLE will do for third world pussy!

OUT LUNCHING WITH MRS. GENE RAYBURN AND HARVEY KORMAN when we were suddenly wowed by the magic horn of none other than Chuck Mangione, who was on the sidewalk to hype some cash for rock cocaine...and yes, a "Match Game" movie is in the works, you heard it here first...passed the David Hartmans in traffic the other day--hey, slow down and wave, Dave!...Connie Francis's station wagon, ticketed nearby, brought her raging against the "parking Nazis" in our town when she noticed who else but Alan Thicke, passed out in his own mess, ticketed right beside her. I fell out of my chair when she remarked to him, totally improvised, "Are you OK?"...Warning: when Paul Anka asks you to pull his finger, don't do it...Anyone with a quantity of Darvon to sell should contact me through the paper...Good to see Diana Migliore still in town, who I once observed blowing David Niven in the Trocadero coatroom, David handing out coats the whole time, to anyone who saw one he liked...she's a checker at the same Pacoima Sav-On where one might spot Gary Burghoff buying foot creme and someone closely resembling Ned Beattie buying lottery tickets and Malt liquor..

RIP TAYLOR WAS RIPPED OFF OUTSIDE THE FLAMINGO while distractedly fondling a messenger's bicycle seat. Stolen was a suitcase containing his museum-quality collection of buttplugs. A reward is offered. "I'd recognize them, blindfolded and gagged." Why the gag? "It matches the blindfold, natch!" screamed Rip...Barry Williams, tired of being his own worst enemy in this town, is raising $$ for a Musical-Comedy retelling of 'Masada,' which, depending on funds, will either be performed by live actors or puppets...Day 17 in Loretta Swit's resolution to not to upload naked pix of herself onto the internet; this time she's sticking to it...Jan Michael Vincent and Philip Michael Thomas NOT brothers as previously reported; add Paul Michael Glaser and Anthony Michael Hall as also not in the mix...Is that Ken Berry handing out anti-U.N. literature on Pico blvd.?...The sight of Shelly Winters in a strapless orthopaedic gown at Monty's boosted more limp cocks than viagra, and had me standing as tall and taut as Michael Hutchens's necktie...

RICKY MARTIN LOBBYING FOR THE LEAD IN THE RICHARD RAMIREZ BIOPIC--livin' la vida loca indeed! Picture him with a pentagram on his hand and the effect is uncanny. Also making repeated visits to Soledad Prison and Charles Manson is Joyce DeWitt, shaved bald with an 'X' carved in her forehead. Could be a shrewd career move for an actress; he made Sharon Tate a household name!...Bob Evans says producing remains his greatest passion, other than being pissed on by coked-out whores...If anyone can think of a good reason why Alan Cranston shouldn't make a Presidential run, I'd like to hear it...Congrats to Paul Williams, now a high priest in the Church of Satan...If you make a better stool softener, the world will beat a path to your door...

I ASKED LARRY KING howcum he's gotten so many beautiful brides, despite the fact that he's got a face like a cluster of baboons' assholes--"Who else is gonna pay for Prada kotex?" he replied...seems Vicki Lawrence has thrown herself into the full-time study of Esperanto, and to her I say good luck and "Atente, mi esperis ekvidos da vi gemia sur necesejo--kiu fenestro?"...discussing the relative merits of anal electrocution for animal pelts with America's comic voice, Jimmie Walker...John Davidson stars in a one-man stage show of 'Notes From Underground' running week-to-week in the Quad City area, so if you're in Moline...Was saddened to learn Tom Bosley made anti-Arab (and Black!) remarks in a dispute over change with the cashier at the Woodman Car Wash; also spotted there was big ex-Dodger Mike Marshall...

VERONICA SENDS OUT 'ALWAYS AND FOREVER' to Lil' Sleepy, who in turn dedicates 'Cruisin' to all the homey in La Raza...speaking of cruising, has Axl Rose gone back to his gay hustling roots?...Billy Crystal handed me this scoop, he's selling his washer/dryer for $650 firm and "wouldn't dream of splitting them up," har-har...marked the anniversary of Lorne Greene's death with lunch, as per tradish, when Gabe Kaplan, drinking midday and in top form, accosted me to ask why no mentions. I reminded him that I ran that he was actually considering substitute teaching, and then he launched into a hilarious schtick, snapping off jokes as only he can: "You think you're some kind of journalist? That's a joke. It must take a lot of gin to keep THAT delusion humming. Two things I can't remember hearing in this town are 'You're hired!' and 'You've got to read Army Archerd today! How are you supposed to be a relevant voice in an entertainment daily when you wouldn't recognize an actor you didn't see on the Tonight Show when Johnny was still hosting? Your column is the print equivalent of a Jurassic Park for old Goy has-beens and their quote-unquote activities," and then he spit on me for maximum comic effect. I roared with laughter until it was time for my nap!...Congrats to Bubble Factory on snapping up the movie rights to 'Alf'...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

An Unusual Design Flaw in the Sony DCR-DVD301 Handycam

Philip R. Wiser
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,
Sony Corporation of America
550 Madison Avenue
New York City, NY, 10022

Dear Mr. Wiser:

My name is David Malmsten and I'm the Manager of the Digital Camera counter at Samy's Cameras in Los Angeles. I'm writing to inform you of a persistent problem occurring with customers who have purchased the Sony DCR-DVD301 Handycam for which I can find no rational explanation. I'll start from the beginning.

On Friday, July 22nd, a customer who had recently purchased this model returned to the counter demanding a refund. I was called to help him, and I inquired what the dissatisfaction was, as this model is top-of-the-line and Sony is an excellent manufacturer. He was hesitant to describe the exact circumstances and asked that I look for myself, handing me the camera.
Looking at the LCD screen and pressing play, I saw what appeared to be excellent footage of a Bar Mitzvah, with a young man describing his feelings about the ceremony he had just completed. Suddenly, into the frame stumbles Courtney Love. Ms. Love, in case you’re unaware, is the widow of Kurt Cobain, a musician who fronted the band Nirvana.

'I'm so sober I could fucking puke!' she cries to the camera. Then, noticing the boy, she says belligerently 'Who the fuck are YOU?'
'I'm Mike,' the boy replies, terrified. 'This is my Bar Mitzvah.'
'Better be an open-bar—that would be a Mitzvah, Mikey.' Preening, she puckers to the camera, then turns back to him. 'So you're a man today, huh?' she says mockingly.
'Y-yes..' he stammers.
She then pulls her dress up over her head.
'So do you know what to do with one of these?'
Whether from forgetfulness or personal preference, Ms. Love has on this occasion neglected to put on underwear. That, or the underwear in question is reminiscent of a Commodores LP cover. Young Mike is so terrified at her display that he screams, as the camera disorients and cuts off.

I told the customer that this was a terribly unfortunate event, but that the Sony DCR-DVD301 certainly wasn't to blame. The customer requested that I continue to view the footage he had shot.

Pressing play, the recording resumed in a hospital delivery room. The expectant father can be heard urging his wife to push and to even out her strained breathing, when suddenly the doors swing open and we see Ms. Love again, sitting up on a gurney and using her IV stand to propel herself forward like an oar. 'Fuck you assholes!' she screams. The doctor calls for her removal, citing the sterile nature of the delivery room, but she ignores him. 'What are they giving you for pain?' she asks the mother, who responds with an agonized scream. 'Get a shot of the two of us kissing!' Ms. Love demands as she licks the mother’s face. 'Dave Grohl is a fucking fucker. Don’t let him take your baby’s money, ‘cause he will.' She turns to the camera 'Fuck you Dave, you fuckin’ fucker!' She holds up her middle finger and rotates her hand in a corkscrew motion, and laughs hollowly.

We hear the cries of a baby and the camera swings over to see the Doctor preparing to cut the umbilical cord.

'I missed the shot—my child’s entry into this world--because of that woman!' the customer protested. Again, however, I pointed out that I failed to see where the Sony DCR-DVD301 was in any way at fault.
'Whenever I turn the goddamn thing on, there she is. You try it!' So I did. I would not believe what happened next if I hadn't been there myself. I pointed the camera at him, hit 'record,' and nothing unusual happened.
'Just wait,' he said.
Suddenly behind him appeared Courtney Love.
'Here, camera camera camera,' she slurred as she weaved into frame. At first I didn't recognize her, as her features have altered considerably in the time since her prominence waned. Like Joan Rivers, she looks more and more like a burn victim who has used her face to clean a Cosmetics Counter.
'What did I tell you?' the customer demanded. He looked up at the ceiling. 'God, I take back anything bad I ever said about Yoko Ono!'
'Chill the fuck out,' Ms. Love admonished him, then resumed her play for the camera’s attention. 'Look at me..look at meeeee,' she pleaded. The customer turned angrily towards her.
'You give psychotic whores a bad name!!' he screamed. 'At least Nancy Spungeon had the courtesy to die!!'
'Oh, fuck you..SUCK MY TITS!!' she screamed as she tore her top open. She turned toward me, bleary-eyed. 'Dare me to blow a homeless guy?' she challenged.
I turned the camera off. She was suddenly nowhere to be seen.

I immediately began processing the customer's refund.

In the weeks since this event, we have had several returns of this model camera, all of them with the exact same complaint. She has intruded on a Wedding video, a Guatemalan family reunion, a video of an intensely personal nature shot by a former member of RATT, and most shockingly, footage of a 13-month old's first steps, where Ms. Love pushed the child carelessly into a coffee table to put herself before the lens. There is no rational explanation for any of this, except to say that Ms. Love is evidently drawn to this model camera like starving Nigerians to a Grain Truck. There is at least one instance of her appearing simultaneously in different parts of the city.

Of particular concern is her appearance at a College orientation event last week. When she materialized and demanded of attendees to say who she was, an older man said 'Jocelyn Wildenstein?' Ms. Love then broke a bottle of Pellegrino over the poor man's head, opening a gash that required a dozen stitches to close. I cannot say what Sony's legal liability might be if this event is tied into the ongoing phenomena I would hazard to guess it is a part of.

It is due to this and other concerns that I must inform you Samy's can no longer carry, sell or service the DCR-DVD301, and I urge you to initiate a recall before something tragic results.

David Malmsten
Manager, Digital Camera Dept.
Samy's Cameras, Los Angeles

Get this to Nicole Seligman in the General Counsel office; she has a growing file of this type of letter. I don’t know what the defect is in the product design, but the problem is endemic to the DCR-DVD301. Please re-state my concern that we are heading into class-action territory if this situation is not handled in some way ASAP.


Thursday, April 28, 2005



This is some bullshit, y'all. There ain't no brothers up in this motherfucker! I watched two hours of this shit and didn't see me no brothers, and wasn't nobody singing shit. All these white motherfuckers was jumping and screaming they fool heads off. Band of Brothers my motherfucking ass! They should've called it 'Bunch of White Motherfuckers'.

First off, Easy Company is a cool ass name for a group, kind of like Hues Corporation or some shit. I ain't gonna debate on that. So Jeanette, she Mrs. Ike, she says Easy Company wasn't no band, they was elite paratroopers or some shit. I said, where the hell you hear this? Jus' listen, she says, they was like the 506th regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. I said, Bitch, where the fuck did you hear this? That must be ALL she knew about it, 'cause she said she made some catfish and was I was hungry? Goddamn right I'm hungry, I tell her. Look, I know about World War 2, you dig; I seen 'Platoon'. These motherfucker's thing was freeing the Jews from slavery in Germany, what we all know as the Hologram.

Now I try not to have preconclusions, 'cause I know that you can't believe movies, after the way they did me in that bullshit movie about Tina. Disney told me to sign some papers and they'd give me $50,000. I thought they were going to make an Ike Turner cartoon, like Mickey Mouse but funky as a motherfucker. Turns out I signed away my right to sue they asses! So, like I say, I don't believe too much of what I see in movies, 'cause Germany might've been high on crack and not known what they was signing, you dig?

Now from what I understand, Steven Spielberg and Forrest Gump made this motherfucker. Now they got some success and women be pullin' on 'em and people be givin' 'em cocaine. Ike knows this, Ike's been there. But they better get shit straight. On the real, Forrest oughta know, Life's a box that needs some fuckin' chocolate! They gotta get their Ike on! Put me up in that motherfucker! Course I can't handle no guns, though, with my parole. So I'll take them Nazis with Karate or my belt or some shit. Listen up, Steve and Forrest, or you can kiss ALL the black off my ass. This ain't no band of brothers. Earth Wind & Fire. The Commodores, that's a band of brothers, y'all. Even if they don't play they instruments, it'd be a band of brothers if they was related, like the Jackson 5, or the Isley Brothers, or the Doobie Brothers. But hear me, and you best feel me when I tell you--call me, bring Ike out in front of them cameras and handle shit proper. Because otherwise, straight the fuck up, I will give you two thumbs upside your fool heads, and you can believe that.

'Band of Brothers' is now available in a special edition 6-DVD set

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

WGA East vs. West Feud Turns Ugly, Tragic

This transcript of the correspondence between WGA West President Dan Petrie, Jr and WGA East President Herb Sargent illustrates the precipitous decline of goodwill between the two guilds.

Mr. Herb Sargent

Dear Herb:

As you know, Article XIV of both WGA, west and WGA, east contain identical language requiring the automatic membership transfer of east members who live west of the Mississippi for three months or more. This framework was established in the affiliation agreement in 1954, when WGA, west became the successor to the Screen Writers Guild, and hence the bargaining representative for all screenwriters. For years, WGA, west has tried to engage in a dialogue with WGA, east to honor these provisions, but representatives of WGA, east have repeatedly refused.

I want nothing more than to improve relations between WGA, west and WGA, east. Clearing up this situation, and abiding by our constitutions, would be a significant step in that direction.

Dan Petrie, Jr.

Mr. Dan Petrie, Jr.

Dear Dan:

I want to tell you how disappointed I am in the Writers Guild west’s recent claim under the affiliation agreement. This predatory action is justifiably seen by our council as an attempt at dominating us in order to destroy our independence. Please do not underestimate our fierce determination to remain independent and our commitment to our WGAE members.

Or we could get into some gangsta shit.

Herb Sargent

Herb Sargent

Dear Herb:

The reluctance on the part of the WGAe is understandable: based on the available data, East members should be paying Guild west, conservatively, a net figure well over a half million dollars a year.

Please don’t misunderstand. WGA, west is happy to provide services to all writers, be they members of WGA, west or WGA, east, and we would be glad to do even more. But all members must bear their fair share. We are making every effort to come correct; I feel that I cannot overstress how important it is that you check yourself prior to the point at which you wreck yourself.

Stop fronting,
Dan Petrie, Jr.

Dan Petrie, Jr.

Dear Dan:

It is abundantly clear to me and to my WGA, east membership that you’re mad trippin’. I want to make clear that my initial desire to crack you upside your fool head is held in check only by my professional respect for you, and exceeded only my determination to serve the interests of WGA, east members.

And it is therefore on their behalf that I am compelled to give your no-diggity pitch a big-ass ‘pass’, homeboy. So bring it.

Straight the fuck up,
Herb Sargent

Herb Sargent

Check it:

You best look here, Cuzz. In the interest of professional solidarity, I implore you to back the fuck up before you get smacked the fuck up. I offer you my gravest assurances that this is indeed on the real.

Serious as a heart attack,
Dan Petrie, Jr.

Dan Petrie, JUNIOR

Look here, Junior:

I strenuously recommend that you mark-ass bitches refrain from going toe-up with real Gs. I’m coming to you real as penitentiary steel.

You best believe that,
Herb Sargent

Herb Sargent

Dear Herb:

Is this about me fucking your wife?

Letting it be known,
Dan Petrie, Jr.

Editor’s Note: On February 9, 2005, following this last message from WGA east and a subsequent request for mediation by WGA west, there was a drive-by on WGA west’s offices on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. While no one was injured, considerable damage was done to the building and a clear message was sent.


Dear Junior:

See what happens when fool motherfuckers go ex parte to mediators behind our motherfucking backs?

I am hopeful that from here on out all communications with the mediator of our choosing prior to the mediation will be joint, with no precluded bullshit on your part.

Lootin’, shootin’ and pollutin’ your block,
Herb Sargent

Punk Ass Bitch

Dear Punk Ass Bitch:

At this point I am inescapably duty-bound to notify you that it, in point of fact, is on. There comes a time, after all the best-intentioned efforts at diplomacy have been ungraciously rebuffed, that real killaz have to drive the fake-ass G’s to their knees. We have reached such a time.

Now when this began, I told you it was about abiding by our respective constitutions. Now various indicators—your rhetoric, your obstinance, a profusion of bullet holes in the walls and shattered glass surrounding our offices—color a sensible resolution unlikely. Accordingly, this is how we’re going to proceed: Fuck Herb Sargent. Fuck Warren Leight. Fuck Budd Schulberg. Fuck WGA, east as a guild, council and as a motherfucking crew. And if you want to be down with WGA, east, fuck you too. Jerome Coopersmith, fuck you too. All you motherfuckers, fuck you too. All y’all, fuck you, die slow motherfuckers. My 4-4 makes sure all your kids don’t grow.

You’re bringing comedy; we’re bringing drama. Fuck you and your motherfucking mama.

West side ‘till we die,
Dan Petrie, Jr.

Editor’s note: After this final email from WGA, west, rapper/screenwriter Snoop Dog extended a hand to both sides in an attempt to resolve the dispute and act as mediator. His email, sent to both guilds, read as follows:

From: Snoop
Sent: Tuesday, February 12, 2005 9:38 AM

I am disappizzled ta hear of yo difficizzle. I would gladly kizzay dizzle some diplomizzle to negotizzle a suitable resolizzle.
I am free tha week of May 9. Let me knizzow, homies.

Unfortunately, nothing was made of this last opportunity. On February 19, both Guilds simultaneously held the 57th Annual Writers Guild Awards. Although security was very tight, an individual later identified as a writers assistant on the show ‘Hope & Faith’ managed to smuggle in a knife. He stabbed Daniel Petrie, Jr. three times before he could be restrained, and screamed “Sic Semper Tyrannis, Bee-otch” as Mr. Petrie’s entourage and bodyguards kicked him to the floor, putting him into a coma from which he has not emerged. Mr. Petrie’s wounds were fatal.

This was obviously not the first instance of violence at a Writers Guild Award ceremony, but due to the fact that ‘Hope & Faith’ is a sitcom produced in New York, suspicion was naturally aroused that the young man’s actions were not unguided. It was also taken as unsympathetic that WGA east took out a full page ad in Variety saying only ‘HA HA’, and openly disrespectful that WGA east officers attended Mr. Petrie’s funeral wearing clown outfits.

Herb Sargent was shot to death on the evening of February 28th, as he left a Brooklyn recording studio. A manual for Final Draft vers. 7 was rolled up and left in his mouth, intended as a calling card marking the murder as an act of retribution.

For now, it seems that an uneasy truce has been struck. However, further difficulty brews on the horizon, as each Guild has sold screenplays based on these events: WGA west to Paramount, and WGA east to Miramax in New York. Both projects are currently in development.