Boxcutters Episode 79

This week featuring brass big band backing!!

Epsidoe 79 – So fresh and crispy we had to deliver it a full day early.

And what a show. This week we chortle over the new Eddie Izzard comedy The Riches, we reveal who said what to who with Quotes from the upcoming Amazing Race All Stars, we have a bit of a kick of the footy, and we bank some cliches in I Don’t Buy It. Plus we read the news and pork the pork.

More fun than a talking parrot doll.


Now: send us email


  1. markymarc says:

    i want your granola, this week.

  2. The thing that gets me about that Commonwealth bank ad is that after highlighting that there were no “Door Openers” any more, they then show you the guy walking in the Bank… Which as automatic doors. So the door openers didn’t go the bank either.

  3. Altthough not mentioned in this week’s episode, I’m going to continue ranting about South Park versus The Family Guy.

    Part 1: Reasons why The Family Guy is funny.

    There are moments of comedic genius in The Family Guy that South Park has never even come close to. Here are three examples:

    1. That time when Peter gets his own theme music.

    2. That time when Stewie performs a homage to William Shatner performing a homage to David Bowie’s “Rocketman” at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards.

    3. That time when Stewie hassles Brian about the novel he hasn’t written yet:

    How you uh, how you comin’ on that novel you’re working on? Huh? Got a big, uh, big stack of papers there? Got a nice little story you’re working on there? Your big novel you’ve been working on for three years, Huh? Got a compelling protagonist? Yeah? Got a obstacle for him to overcome? Huh? Got a story brewing there? Working on, working on that for quite some time? Huh?Yeah, talking about that three years ago. Been working on that the whole time? Nice little narrative? Beginning, middle, and end? Some friends become enemies, some enemies become friends? At the end your main character is richer from the experience? Yeah? No, no, you deserve some time off.

    4. That time when … what, no clip?

    Stay tuned for our next installment – South Park episodes that suck. Broadcasting next time I have the chance to use working hours inappropriately.

  4. catbrain says:

    More brass! More lies! More granola!

    There was definitely a half-hour version of RocKwiz when it first started; then they went to about 40 minutes of actual program time (not top/tail ads) and included a bit of the selection process at the beginning of each ep; now it’s 50 minutes with ads, a new segment that dissects a single song, and more bits edited out (eg: the Master Blaster round is 5 questions per guest, but it’s often edited to 4 questions these days).

    I knew about the podcast on Sunday night because I subscribe to the email updates and have the lappy on the coffee table in front of the telly. You say sad, I say connected.

    Hey dishy – I reckon if you have to tell someone that something is funny, then perhaps it’s just not?

    *runs away*

    *skips back*

    But seriously, I’ve tried watching Family Guy and I just find it really unfunny, I think perhaps because of the character of Peter who I find to be a mean-spirited idiot that totally ruins it for me. But that’s just me, and it’s not to say that I don’t find South Park pretty ordinary sometimes. And as for The Simpsons…

  5. There was definitely a half-hour version of RocKwiz when it first started…

    Thanks Catbrain. Can’t wait till Brett reads this. He’ll be so like, ‘Man I was wrong…’ (Or more likely he’ll forget ever saying there wasn’t a half hour version.)

    I don’t understand where the Family Guy love comes from, but those affected are pretty smitten and verbal. Yet their arguments for don’t seem to progess much past ‘It’s so random and abstract’.

    Personally I can’t watch it. I guess I have to admit I just don’t get it…

  6. Brett – how about adding preview to comments, so we can fix our munged HTML tags?

    Catbrain – If you find that Peter’s being a mean-spirited idiot turns you off Family Guy, then how do you handle watching South Park? Cartman is about ten times more mean-spirited than Peter. In fact, one of my reasons why South Park is often unenjoyable, is because the writers are so often mean-spirited, while Family Guy is more light-hearted and fun. More on this later.

    Ross – If you don’t watch it, then how can you criticise? Presumably you have managed to sit through such abominable SP episodes like “Manbearpig” and the one about Oprah’s vagina. There isn’t a single Family Guy episode that is as unbearable as those.

    How about you offer some reasons why South Park is so great? I suspect that you wouldn’t be able to articulate it any more clearly than the “random and abstract” explanation you dislike about FG. Humour is something that largely defies explanation. Jokes when explained are not funny any more. It’s like pornography or art – “I know it when I see it.”

    Note that I am not saying that South Park is terrible or unwatchable – just that Family Guy is also a good show, and South Park frequently misses the mark. Yet SP fans seem to enjoy denigrating FG, saying there can be no way it is funny. Yet FG fans are not saying the same about SP. So, who are the more fanatical fans – those who diss FG and are totally willing to overlook SP’s flaws, or those who say that both shows have their strengths and weaknesses?

    This condescending tone comes through strongly on boxcutters, where it seems to be considered a crime that Brett enjoys Family Guy. Have those of you who say you can’t watch FG even seen the scenes/episodes I cited above?

    To be continued…

  7. Part 2 – Why some South Park episodes suck.

    South Park is generally fun, but the problem arises when what appear to be the writers’ true beliefs start to intrude on the parody and humour. For example:

    Parody: Cartman making fun of Kyle being Jewish. It’s obviously not meant to be taken seriously, and is a parody of bigoted idiots.

    Serious beliefs: The episode making fun of Al Gore. This appears not to be parody. It seems that Matt and Trey actually believe that global warming is not real, and that Al Gore is just creating a scare campaign to draw attention to himself, because he’s unpopular.

    There doesn’t appear to be any decent parody there. It would be easy to make fun of Al Gore in ways that are actually funny, and reflect the man and his politics. But instead they chose to go with a bizarre smear campaign that doesn’t actually have any bearing on reality, or Al Gore.

    For example: Gore saying, with a lisp: “I’m totally serial, guys!”

    When would Gore say anything like that? He may have many flaws, but he is a very educated and articulate person. I seriously doubt he would ever mispronounce the word “serious,” and I have never heard him speak with a lisp.

    And the allegation that he just wants attention is also absurd – Gore has been talking about environmental issues for years before he was Vice President. He also didn’t decide to make a movie about himself. A film-maker came up with the idea and approached Gore about it.


    Anyway, that’s just an example of South Park going off into crazy land, and not in a funny way. You can see this in other episodes about the environment. It seems that Matt and Trey seriously believe it’s “all a bunch of tree-hugging hippy crap” – it’s not just joking around.

    I can laugh at these issues just as much anyone else, especially when the parody is insightful and incisive. I thought “tree hugging hippy crap” was hilarious when Cartman said it, I thought it was just a joke. But I increasingly get the feeling that it’s not really a joke.

    And it’s not really a left/right thing – it’s a propaganda thing, and a good humour thing. When they try to push their politics, it just isn’t funny anymore.

    Contrast this with The Family Guy. They push all the same taboos and political correctness that South Park does – but it’s just entertainment. It’s light-hearted, it doesn’t have these cruel and serious overtones that South Park does at times. They don’t take themselves seriously. Plus they make better pop-culture references than SP – whose cultural references seem to be solely aimed at 13 year-olds, while FG has much more obscure and mature references (as well as ones that a 13 year-old could understand).

    Long story short – Family Guy can show misogyny, ignorance and homophobia for a laugh – but when it’s on South Park it probably isn’t a joke.

    Which brings us to the next part of our saga…

  8. Gee, I try and be all diplomatic and suggest maybe it’s just not for me and I still get caned!!

    What do you mean how can I criticise it? The fact that I can’t sit through Family Guy is because I find it unwatchable.

    Manbearpig was a great ep. So much so I rewatched it on Monday night.

    I think I have put forward my liking South Park reasons numerous times on the show, but I will happily do it again here. We’ll create a big new Family Guy Vs South Park topic and I will go to town.

    Why have I got Al Gore’s voice in my head saying “Family Guy is really funny guys. I’m totally serial”?

    Keep it coming Dishy.

  9. Manbearpig was a great ep. So much so I rewatched it on Monday night.

    Ahhhh … why?

  10. It was a funny ep. It was funny when they were lost in the cave, especially Cartman finding the gold. I wasn’t expecting it to be a prop from the tour.

    And I liked the portrayal of Al Gore as a deluded, friendless loser. I don’t instantly believe that is what he is like or that global warming is not real and he is drumming up a completely ridiculous, self promoting scare campaign. Or that he has difficulty with words such as ‘serious’.

    I also don’t believe Barbra Steisand in a giant metal monster, or that Ben Affleck has butt cheeks where his face should be or that Angelina Jolie has multi generational lice colony in her pubic hair or any of the countless things South Park has suggested about different celebs.

    (Although it is possible Paris Hilton has questionable morals)

    How are they going to parody Gore? Just say he’s boring? It’s been done.

    There is a difference between parody and agenda. I don’t feel there is any subtextual agenda there to discredit him and global warming to the South Park audience. They are just parodying that perception of him.

    *I should add I have always liked Al Gore and think he should have been president in place of Bush and don’t doubt for a moment he would have been had he used Bill Clinton more on the campaiugn trail in the run up to the election.

  11. It was funny when they were lost in the cave, especially Cartman finding the gold.

    Yes. That was the only funny thing in the episode. But one funny thing doesn’t make it a good episode. Despite that one funny bit, the taint of political propaganda reduces the enjoyability of that bit.

    Basically, it seems as this episode was designed to indoctrinate South Park’s young viewers to see global warming as some kind of fairy-tale gimmick that Al gore made up.

    I don’t instantly believe that is what he is like or that global warming is not real and he is drumming up a completely ridiculous, self promoting scare campaign.

    But many of South Park’s viewers would believe this. Remember, this is an American show. And many Americans seriously believe that environmentalism is some kind of communist plot.

    How are they going to parody Gore? Just say he’s boring? It’s been done.

    The question is – why parody Gore at that time, at all? It’s not like it was election time. Heck, at the time this episode was made, President Bush made “human-animal hybrids” a key point of his State of the Union address.

    Surely, Manbearpig is more appropriate as a parody of Bush, who actually spoke of his opposition to Manbearpigs in a national address?

    There is a difference between parody and agenda. I don’t feel there is any subtextual agenda there to discredit him and global warming to the South Park audience. They are just parodying that perception of him.

    Really? Wow. South Park has been consistently trashing any concept of environmentalism. And, as I said before, Americans seriously hate environmentalism. They don’t have the same perspective on the environment as Australians do.

    I think you are giving them too much benefit of the doubt. That episode was obviously designed to trash An Inconvenient Truth, and I don’t think they were joking.

    They aren’t using a percpetion of him – they are creating an entirely new one. For example – where did the “I’m serial” stuff come from? When was the perception of Gore one of someone who had a lisp and couldn’t pronounce simple words?

    Moreover – how is it funny in any way? Parody works when it reflects something well, or when it is so over-the-top that it is funny in itself.

    Now tell me – what’s funny about “I’m serial” in itself. Especially – what’s funny about using it again and again and again and again in that episode? It wasn’t funny the first time.

    Aside from any political taint, the episode sucks from being a one-joke episode. Al Gore is a loser and says “I’m serial.” Now, how is that joke enough to sustain a whole episode?

    At least that’s something you won’t see on Family Guy – they have lots of different jokes in an episode. But South Park seems to think it can get away with using the one tired joke repeatedly throughout an episode.

    Cartman is funny. Adding a Cartman joke to an otherwise dull and stupid episode does not make the episode worthy. Why don’t they just stick to the Cartman humour?

    For example:

    Cartman’s “hippie” episode was hilarious. Firstly, it showed Cartman’s indefatigable intolerance, and the measures he goes to achieve it. But, most importantly, the observations about hippies had more than a grain of truth to them, and were keenly observed.

    The drum circle hippies, the college know-it-all hippies, the giggling stoner hippies. We all know somebody close to these archetypes. Even if hippies are our beloved friends, that’s still funny.

    But the Gore episode just didn’t have any resonance like this. It was pure political posturing, without any actual humour.

  12. Ross, if you doubt that Matt and Trey are serious about their hatred of Gore, here’s a quote from Matt Stone himself:

    “I hate conservatives, but I really [expletive] hate liberals.”

    Surely you are aware that Trey Parker is actually a member of the Libertarian Party? That there’s been a book written called South Park Republicans?

    One needs only look at South Park messageboards and blogs after the Manbearpig, to see dozens of posts from youngsters expressing their hatred for Al Gore. Not in jest. There is a growing body of youth who take South Park’s political messages very seriously.

    And you’re very mistaken in thinking they aren’t serious when they attack public figures. In your own example – sure Barbara Streisand is not a mechanoid monster. But she pretty much is in Matt and Trey’s mind. They fucking hate her. Just like they hate Ben Affleck and Angelina Jolie.

    Do you think they were joking when they showed how insane Scientologists are? When they portrayed Mel Gibson as a psycho? When they called Mormons dumb?

    Of course they weren’t. South Park is consistently deadly serious in their attacks. If you haven’t noticed by now, you aren’t watching closely enough. Do you think the things they portray don’t mean anything, that they’re just randomly chosen for a laugh?

    It is funny, when the attacks are on target. Scientologists do believe some crazy shit, and don’t deserve much sympathy. Hippies do tend to form drum circles, and go on about “the corporations” when they hit college.

    That’s what makes it funny. But when they attack people without that grain of truth, and cross over into misinformation and propaganda, it’s not that funny. Sure, they can throw in some Cartman antics to keep people watching, but the aim is to rally their political base and create new memes for them to parrot.

    Ross, I really think you are missing out by not stepping back and analysing the show. It’s a really fascinating study in American politics. And there are definitely strong agendas there amidst the humour. I think there’s much more to be enjoyed by taking a deeper look at the show, rather than just laughing along with the jokes and dismissing it as meaningless fun.

    Next up in dishy’s South Park saga: Misogyny in South Park.

  13. I know nothing about Family Guy, but I admit, as bizarre as it sounds, that I share Brett’s fascination with Janeane Garofolo’s West Wing eyebrows.

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