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The Daily Jim

All the wit that's fit to spit

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Archive for September, 2010

The Dumbest Smart People on TV

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

To continue our Back to School analysis of education on television, now turns its eye to TV’s beloved characters who were actually hurt by their own booksmarts.

UrkelLet’s deal with Urkel right off the bat.  I know that I just used the word “beloved,” but even if you hate the creepy little dork he’s still managed to be a figure of note in our everyday pop-culture world.  That being said, taking AP classes in 2nd grade  and stalking the girl next door throughout high school did not help his social agenda.  If Family Matters was indeed about family, young Urkel exemplified how not to raise your kid.  Yes, yes, we all think a precocious child is somewhat amusing, but he was twenty-two when they squeezed the last laugh out of that show. It’s easy to malign Urkel.  And it should be.

professorThe guy can make a electrical generator from a skinny kid and a bicycle, but he can’t figure out that there’s enough wood and sap to repair the Minnow and get off Gilligan’s Island.   Seriously, Jin, Sawyer, and Michael would have had that thing off the island in like a week. The Professor was no dope though, that’s for sure, he picked Maryann over Ginger every time (well… almost every time).  They say many geniuses can’t make their way through life’s simple challenges, which is why they prefer the laboratory environment.  Fine.  But what the hell was he doing on a day charter in Hawaii?!?!  Knowing his name was actually Roy Hinkley does not help me at all.

quantumFinally, we come to the winner of My Intelligence Screwed Me: Sam Beckett.  Sure the guy found out a way to Quantum Leap, but what did that get him? Four years of having his only friend be a futuristic hologram while leaping into other people’s bodies and eventually winding up dead in a bar.  Way to go Doc.

Sure, we all want to send our kids to college, but don’t forget to run ’em out side once in a while.

(careful readers will note that Carol Seaver from Growing Pains was omitted from this list, because the boys in the office all had crushes on her as kids.


Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

“My lack of education didn’t hurt me none, ’cause I can read the writing on the wall” – Paul Simon ‘Kodachrome’

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010


Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

“Things sure have changed since we got kicked out of high school.” – Johnny Ramone from ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll High School’

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

“I’ve been going to this high school for seven and a half years. I’m no dummy.” – Charles De Mar from ‘Better Off Dead’

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” – Dean Vernon Wormer from ‘Animal House’

This is Why Television Doesn’t Have a Guidance Department

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

To commemorate the beginning of the school year, we at have looked into our collective past to see how lack of education hasn’t affected some of our favorite television characters one bit.

pa IngallsCharles “Pa” Ingalls had little formal education, but he sure could play that fiddle.  In fact less classroom time meant he could learn all the things the bookworms only read about.  The guy built a little house on the prairie, milled wood, served for a time as a dynamite monkey, delivered various mammalian babies, both human and farm animal, taught himself to read, could tie a necktie, drop a rap on the ladies, and was considered a wise Walnut Grove elder while barely 40.  I have no idea why two of his kids became teachers.

bensonLife was pretty nutty for the Tate family, but their butler, Benson DuBois, tried to keep a level head.  Just before Soap was cancelled and the unemployed Tate’s (including Richard Mulligan, Katherine Helmond, and Billy Crystal) were exhalted as comedy royalty, ol’ Benson moved to the Governor’s mansion.  There, he moved quickly from picking up the Governor’s undies to serving as his Lieutenant, then running against him for the big seat in the series cliffhanger.  If only Kraus, the Governor’s German cook, had that kind of luck.

rachelOkay, Rachel Green was kind of whiny, but man, was her soup hot.  Getting a haircut named after you isn’t that hard, ask Darrell Mullet, but for Ms. Green it was only the starting block.  From admittedly horrible barista to Ralph Lauren Polo executive in under a decade is pretty impressive even if you’re working your way through an MBA.  The thing is, she didn’t.  Never once did this Friend go to a leadership seminar or audit a college fashion class.  She just excelled in making bad life choices and karma took the ’90s off.

hurlyHugo Reyes, the man known as Hurley is the television embodiment of slacker.  He’s unmotivated and tree-slothy.  Even his millions turned to misery.  How then, was this vision of moppishness vaulted to the position of last line of defense for humanity?  We have no idea, but Hurley seemed to keep the lid on the eternal battle between good and evil until Lost came to an end last season.  No word on who manning the store now, though.

Now anyone can shoot at some food and hit a pocket of oil making them a millionaire like The Beverly Hillbillies’ Jed Clampet (that’s kind of our country’s motto), but these individuals are proof positive that the world is unjust and that many of us paid too much for college.  I’d like to get a piece of my high school guidance counselor just once and stick his ass on an island with a smoke monster…

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

“Saturday, March 24,1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did ‘was’ wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.” – Brian Johnson from ‘The Breakfast Club’

Lessons in Bad Media Franchising and Merchandising

1) Saw 8: The Reality Television Gameshow 2)Live action movie of Hungry, Hungry Hippos 3)The Tonight Show, starring Chewbacca 4) Deadpool vs. Punisher: The Musical 5) The Human Centipede sleeping bag 6) C-Span Live Action Role Playing Group 7) The new Texas Chainsaw Massacre ride at Six Flags Over Texas 8) Your Parents Basement is Always […]

Where is Our Modern Barney Miller?

The single camera glory that was Barney Miller can probably never be reproduced.  There’s heavy debate in the office whether it should be or not. It was essentially a 22-minute, 3-act play with minimal characters and only one set (after Season One that also featured Barney’s dining room at home).  The thing is, the writing […]

Non-John Hughes High School Movies from the ’80s

Yep. Most of the high school biggies were our man, Hughes. But if you can name the 1980s high school movie quotes listed below, your might have been paying attention to something else in ’88 other than the MTV Beach House and that cute girl with freckles in your 11th grade Chemistry class. 5)”Last night, […]

Mark Your Calendar, Nerds!!!

This Weekend is legendary Indy 500.  Please don’t think geekdom is limited to cosplay and app programming.  Oh no, my friends. Two years ago our Mid-West correspondent, Billy D, and I watched those car dorks jump a humongous Hot Wheels truck  over a bunch of school busses and twice as many drunks while Florence Henderson […]

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Attention lonely geeks! “Drunk” is only a superpower at Red Sox games and ex-girlfriends’ weddings.

Gentleman Jim

  • MONDAY – Movies. Their glory and their hilarious tragedy.  

  • TUESDAY – Television.  Our favorite drug; constant and comforting, but often packaged with regret.  

  • WEDNESDAY – Wildcards! Probably a piece of weird fiction in which Spider-Man has to talk down Laura Ingles from making a bad decision.  

  • THURSDAY – Thesis-level Dorkdom. Jargon, geek terms and weird insight explained for the rest of us.  

  • FRIDAY – Fantasy, Sci-fi, and comics.  Like living in your parents’ basement only without the inherent desperation. Well…