August 18, 2011

Subliminal Funnies

If you have ever seen The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Mike & Molly, Dharma and Greg, Cybill, and Grace Under Fire, chances are you have seen Chuck Lorre Vanity Cards. Chances are is that you haven't realize that you have seen these vanity cards. You know at the end of shows where producers put their business cards? Don't know what I am talking about? Here are some examples:

"Sit, Ubu, Sit! Good dog"

(This isn't a television production, obviously, I just really like Pixar.)

Well Chuck Lorre's "bussiness cards" are different rants. I discovered this while watching a marathon of The Big Bang Theory Season 3 (which by the way is on sale at Target). I am not really sure what caused me to want to read them in the first place but that is beside the point. If you are watching a Chuck Lorre produced show and have a way to pause your TV, I encourage you to pause and read them because they are only up for two seconds. I think they are hilarious. Aaron doesn't have the attention span to read them, but I will let you judge whether or not it is worth pausing for. Here are some of his business cards:


300. An auspicious card. To me. At the very least it represents my having had a hand in writing and producing three hundred episodes of television. Some of which were pretty good. Some of which were... in color. Additionally, it means that on three hundred separate occasions I tried to turn my one second of network time into a form of entertainment. Or, if you prefer, a form of inflammation. Some of the vanity cards were, like the TV shows preceding them, pretty good. Others were... grammatically correct. But still. 300. That has to count for something, right? That's gotta be worth some kind of attaboy. I'm certainly not being paid to write these things. In fact, there are several people at CBS and Warners who'd probably pay me to not write them. (Mental note: Look into setting up a blind auction predicated on the idea that, for the right price, I would permanently change my written vanity card to a cute picture. Maybe a photo from my most recent colonoscopy. Let's see what the market fetches.) Anyway, this is my three hundredth vanity card. I really wanted to write something that was as important as the number seemed to imply. I'm pretty sure I've failed. Attaboy!



Well, wouldn't ya' know it. Just two episodes back from the strike and I've already managed to write a vanity card that is completely unacceptable to the good folks at CBS. I wasn't trying to offend. Honest. I just saw an opportunity to poke some proverbial fun, to knosh on the hand that feeds, if you will. They were not amused. If you would like to read my latest exercise in poor judgement, I'm sure you can find it somewhere on that thing we writers were striking to claim dominion over. Just to be on the safe side, I apologize in advance. Please know that my aim was only to provoke a bit of gaiety through the judicious use of a little thing I like to call "the truth." Unfortunately, in the television business, the truth rarely sets anyone free. More often than not, it just pisses them off.


This is the official "I have nothing worth writing about" vanity card. It will run whenever I have nothing worth writing about. Don't be surprised to see it quite a bit. From now on, when our schedule requires me to deliver a new card and I'm empty, I'll simply say, "Run one-eleven." A check of the one hundred and ten cards I've already written will quickly demonstrate that I should have written this card a long time ago. Why didn't I? Vanity. I had become vain about my vanity cards. I was determined to write a new one each week because, well... I'm just that kind of guy. But I'm older and wiser now. I know when I have nothing to say. And that knowledge is freedom. Freedom from the constant need to win your approval. And more importantly, freedom from the obsessive and relentless need to end each vanity card on a joke. Glenn Beck is sober.*

Click here for the Chuck Lorre Vanity Cards archive.

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