"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 11 April 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XXIX


[Click and Clack]

"Click and Clack," the Tom and

Ray Magliozzi "Car Talk" guys,

have endeared themselves to

millions with their candid

commentaries on cars, their

owners, and their various

failings. The pair's allure was

grounded in part on their

advertisement-free spot on

National Public Radio. Now Car

Talk has debuted a website with,

lo and behold, advertisers! The

Boston brothers sidestepped the

inherent conflict questions in a

recent New York Times piece with

the usual bone-headed one-liners.

("Our first challenge is to get

our nephew married off." Like,

yuk.) And why shouldn't they?

Way new editorial integrity, like

a car horn, blows...


[Stand-Up Comedy Bingo]

With its wide appeal and

negligible production costs,

televised stand-up comedy is the

media equivalent of Hamburger

Helper: budget-conscious

programmers everywhere use it to

fill airtime. That such fare

occasionally causes indigestion

seems only predictable; that

viewers thus struck consider

their resulting gas worthy of

public consideration is a matter

of some surprise. Which is

simply to say, in the


department, Stand-Up Comedy

Bingo is a big disappointment.

Certainly it's true that the

majority of gagmeisters pacing

stand-up stages these days are

formulaic hacks, but at least

some of them are familiar with

the dynamics of scorn. This is

more than we can say for Comedy

Bingo's creators, who've

apparently learned little from

their endless hours of research.

Here's a quick tip, guys: when

you choose a target as

tantalizingly vincible as

Carrot Top, be prepared to shred,

not just nibble.


[Mink Coat Barbie]

It's an undeniable rite of

passage: the day each girl

wonders, "What would Barbie look

like with a crew cut?" Shortly

after this experiment in the art

of coiffure, which renders

Barbie uglier than a Hair Club

for Men guinea pig, the next

question - shears still in hand -

is inevitable: "What would

Barbie look like with a hideous

gash down the side of her leg?

With one leg missing?" A

crippled Barbie could interface

nicely with Nurse Barbie...

Alas, Barbie's flesh is

deceptively slippery, and most

girls end up with their own

hideous gash to prove it. So

it's no surprise that, years

later, the (emotionally) scarred

wonder, "What would Barbie look

like in a mink?" The answer?

Sort of like a cat limb. If it's

unclear who would actually slap

down $99 for a Natural

Tourmaline Mink Coat, the

company responsible, Minkella,

describes the coats thus: "They

are fully lined with a silk and

bemberg lining, just like




After a long day of interactive

entertainment, who doesn't want

to unwind with simple

second-wave pap? Over the years,

the Fox network has proven to be

the most reliable in delivering

low-impact television, so

imagine our disappointment when

we discovered a Fox drama whose

subtle pleasures demand more

than the minimum of synapses to

fire. At least there's some

cleavage and not a little bit of

nooky. Profit is Wall Street meets

Models, Inc., a strange

hybrid of Twin Peaks and

Richard III. The show tells

the story of Jim Profit, a young

exec who plays the game of

Corporate Doom with deliciously

amoral glee. Some of the show's

most surreal details take awhile

to appreciate - the fact that

everyone has a cell phone, Jim's

smooth incorporation of


style into a blackmail scheme -

but for the most part,

Profit's deadpan


voiceover delivers lines whose

managerial genius provide more

insight than a stack of Tom

Peters books.

courtesy of the Sucksters