The Star Wars Holiday Special

If you’ve ever done anything in your life that you aren’t proud of or that you simply regret, I have something for you that might help: It’s called the Star Wars Holiday Special.

It’s a horrible bastard-of-a-TV-program that aired only once (in 1978 on CBS) to capitalize on the wave of pop culture mania that followed 1977’s Star Wars. As with all cash cow Hollywood projects, it’s thoroughly terrible and pointless. It’s also unintentionally funny, but perhaps in that way when something is so poorly constructed you might think it was done on purpose. No, this comedy comes with pain. The kind of pain you feel when you know someone actually wrote it down on a piece of paper. That the project was approved by someone. That millions of dollars probably produced it.

If the "Carol Burnett Show" and "Star Wars" had a baby and then aborted it, it would be the Star Wars Holiday Special.

If the “Carol Burnett Show” and “Star Wars” had a baby and then aborted it and mixed it with Hamburger Helper, it would be the Star Wars Holiday Special.

I won’t go into the details too much, but if you watch it you can expect…

  • about 15 minutes of Wookie famly dialogue with no subtitles (or any other language to explain what’s going on)
  • Art Carney, Harvey Korman, and Bea Arthur trying to parlay variety show comedy like a bridal party serving wedding punch from an old toilet bowl
  • Chewbacca’s father basically having a sex dream about a 70’s disco diva while sitting in a “fantasy simulation chair”
  • a musical performance from Jefferson Starship
  • Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) singing a holiday carol about “Life Day” (the Wookies’ version of Christmas).

Trust me, by this point you’ll wish YOU had a cocaine habit.

Anyway, when all is said and done, think back over your life and your mistakes. Watch this televised horror and remember that no matter your guilt about dropping out of school, cheating on your taxes, or raising a kid that turned out to be a deadbeat…at least you had nothing to do with creating the Star Wars Holiday Special.

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The Fine Line Between Friendship & Cannibalism

This past Friday, I had the pleasure of dining with a friend of mine who I had not seen for a hot minute. As we sat enjoying some overly-priced tomato soup, our conversation turned to our respective plans for 2014: overseas trips, personal projects, and potential moves. Somewhere during the chat, we touched on our the duration of our friendship and how it has survived the test of time – largely in part due to our shared love of dark humor and a celebration of human wickedness that is more a parody of human failings than a serious love of evil.

During this segment of the conversation I offered to my friend a hypothetical gift I would grant to few others. “If we ever get trapped in an avalanche on a mountain together – and I die first – you have permission to eat my body if you need to survive.” However, I added a warning to this culinary invitation by telling him, “It will probably taste like disappointment and anger, just so you know.”

He offered a quick retort, “No worries, I have a recipe for a wonderful brown sugar scrub that would do wonders to balance your flavor.”

Somewhere in this macabre and disturbing exchange was an undeniable, universal truth: Only your closest friends possess the recipe to minimize your flaws and compliment your sourness.

"Saturno Devorando a su Hijo" by Francisco de Goya (1823)

“Saturno Devorando a su Hijo” by Francisco de Goya (1823)