Written by Gee Pee
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Monday, 5 August 2013

Although not as expensive to produce and not usually considered as "good" as motion pictures, television (TV) shows are still, by everyone's standards except, perhaps, those of Bill Gates, costly and, therefore, even their goofs, flubs, fuckups, boners, and bloopers, as mistakes by cast and crew are called (except when they're called outtakes or, in England, "a comedy of errors"), are often preserved for posterity (and profit).

Because TV stars are less coordinated, less articulate, less talented, less intelligent, and, in general, less-everything than their motion picture counterparts, working, as they do, in an inferior entertainment medium, they tend to suffer from low self-esteem, which makes them screw up a lot while taping their shows.

However, in an industry in which alcoholism (think Mel Gibson), divorce (think Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe) drug addiction (think Morton Downey, Jr.), homosexuality (think Ellen Degeneres), and even murder (think O. J. Simpson or Robert Blake) and pedophilia (think Michael Jackson or Pee Wee Herman) are fair game for entertainment, it's a given that bloopers, especially by actors and actresses, will be considered entertainment worth the time of millions of ordinary men and women (and millions of dollars) and, as such, will be recycled rather than discarded.

One of the first Hollywood moguls to make money by airing the mistakes of others in "The Business", as the freaks and geeks in Tinsel Town presumptuously and arrogantly refer to the film industry, was Kermit ("The Frog") Schaefer, who also makes the ballpoint pen of that name. His shows, Pardon My Blooper, Your Bloopers Are Showing, and Bloop This!, which aired in the 1950's and 1960's, before reality shows made TV worth watching, re-created (some critics contend, created) movie, TV, and even radio blunders.(For those born after 1976, radio is a form of wireless telegraphy that is used to broadcast words or, sometimes, music or sound effects, without pictures. As one might suspect, no one listens to this passé medium anymore, now that TV and motion pictures are available.)

From 1984-1988, Dick Clark produced bloopers for NBC, a network that appears to be perennially starving for material of any kind, polluting American airwaves with this inane "entertainment," until even God lost patience with the drivel and gave Clark a stroke.

However, motion picture producers continue, even in the face of divine wrath, to keep blooper reels of their cast's and crew's asinine mistakes. These compilations are also known as gag reels, because they are so banal that they make both their producers and their audiences gag. In addition, blooper reels slow production time and add to the cost of filming movies because stars are asked to make ridiculous "mistakes" on purpose so as to compile at least 30 minutes of apparently natural and spontaneous blunders.

Some celebrities object to bloopers on the grounds that the flubs make them look incompetent as actors or actresses, to which one producer replied, "Are you afraid of being typecast?" Often, screenwriters will be instructed to make action sequences unnecessarily complex, because it is well known that, as Wikipedia, the Online Encyclopedia For Idiots, points out, "Where actors need to memorize large numbers of lines or perform a series of actions in quick succession, out-takes can be expected." (Wikipedia makes no mention of actresses, apparently assuming that they are immune from making asses of themselves). By today's standards, a movie whose blooper reel contains less than 30 minutes' worth of fuckups is an artistic failure.

Examples of bloopers that have been aired as much ad infinitum as ad nauseum include:

  • uncontrolled laughter
  • accidents
  • equipment failure
  • stumbling or falling
  • forgetting lines
  • missed cues
  • sabotage by a fellow actor pretending to be playing a practical joke rather than trying to sink a competitor's acting career
  • cast and crew idiocy


Newscasters enjoy creating bloopers by making insensitive, even cruel, jokes about the news that they read from monitors. Toronto newscaster Gourd Martineau, for example, thinks it is funny, during reports concerning cancer, to include "jokes" about transplant recipients, organ donors, and children with cancer. He also enjoys making what he considers to be witty remarks about gay musicians, regardless of the topic about which he is reading teletype at the time.

Wikipedia provides several extended examples of bloopers, mostly because its readers have a puerile sense of humor that finds accidents and mistakes to be the height of comedy. For normal people over the age of six, bloopers are boring, and descriptions of them are even more tedious, dull, and tiresome. Here's an example, from Wikipedia, of an extended example of such a tedious, dull, and tiresome blooper:

"A much-bootlegged recording of Bing Crosby has him singing to a recording of a band playing Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, when he realizes that the master tape had not been fully rewound, and he ad-libs vocals to the truncated music. He begins, "Castles may tumble; that's fate after all/ Life's really funny that way." Realizing that the music has been shortened, he ad-libs, "Sang the wrong melody; let's play it back/ See what it sounds like, Hey, Hey!/ They cut out eight bars, the dirty bastards,/ And I didn't know which eight bars they were going to cut/ Why doesn't somebody tell me things around here?/ Holy Christ, I'm going' off my nut!"

Now, that's entertainment!

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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