Recently in Flashbacks Category

flashback 2005: overheard in berkeley

(In Flashbacks, we revisit old unrealized comedic material unearthed from old notebooks and post-it notes. Flashbacks are oldies that never had a chance to become goodies.)

Flashback #1

Flashback #2

Flashback #3

Overheard in Berkeley - March 2005

1. At Cheese & Stuff

"'Wassup, wassup.' Pfft. 'Wassup wassup.' What kind of music is this for a store? Rap? Rrrap? I don't like this 'wassup' business? Pffft."
- Middle-aged woman behind the counter (not in a small town)

2. At the Berkeley College Republicans table

"Look, I'm an easygoing guy. but when you start taking my money? That's when I start naming names."
- Republican douchebag (possibly facing a blacklist?)

3. At the juice-and-snacks recuperation area of a blood drive

"I had to take American Sign Language at a community college for my foreign language requirement."
"Do you remember any of it?"
"A little."
"Like, the alphabet?"
"I fucking hate the alphabet!"

- Two guys devouring single-serving packages of Cheez-its after donating blood

flashback 2000: cheech and chongfeld

(With Flashbacks, we revisit old comedic scribbles unearthed from various notebooks, post-it notes, and 3.5 inch floppy disks that sit in a box on Sean's desk. Flashbacks are like reruns of television shows that never aired, but are syndicated forever in our dreams.)

Flashback #1

Flashback #2

Cheech and Chongfeld - February 2000

Announcer: Now stay tuned for Cheech and Chongfeld, a sitcom about nothing – nothing but smoking weed, that is.

Cheech: Hey Chongfeld, man, what is the deal with the childproof lighter, man?

Chongfeld: Man, I don't know, Cheech.

Cheech: I mean, like, it's so hard to light a joint with one, man. Who are the ad wizards who like, came up with this stuff?


Chongfeld: Hey, man, who's there?

Kramer: It's me, Kramer!

Cheech: Kramer's not here, man.

Kramer: No, this is Kramer. Come on, Cheech! Open the door!

Chongfeld: No, Kramer's not here, man.

(Knocking continues)

Cheech: Hey man, I was thinking, what's the deal with bongs?

Announcer: Stay tuned for scenes from next week’s episode of Cheech and Chongfeld.

Chongfeld: Hey man, we ought to have a contest. Whoever can go the longest without smoking weed wins, man.

Cheech: OK, man.

(two-second pause)

Chongfeld: Man, I'm already out.

flashback 2002: low-ride bond


(Flashbacks are a new feature on Zembla where we revisit old comedic scribbles unearthed from various notebooks and post-it notes that sit in a box on Sean's desk. Flashbacks remind us of jokes we once almost wrote, people we once almost were, stars we once nearly touched.)

Flashback #1

Indeterminate Fall Month, 2002

I didn't see Die Another Day, or the Bond movie that came out before it, but Pierce Brosnan is clearly on his way out as James Bond. It will be a big deal when someone finally gets chosen, and they'll suggest every living British-accented actor as a replacement until then, but who really cares? It might be fun to watch Ewan McGregor's weight fluctuate from scene to scene, or even shot to shot, like in The Phantom Menace.

Instead, I'd like to see them go a completely different direction. A new secret agent who knows the new economic realities of our era. A cut-rate Bond for a cut-rate movie franchise. No more wanton destruction. Bond's secret pen will be really good at paperwork - it never goes dry or scratches the forms. Brilliant, Q!

Scene: Bond struts into an Atlantic City casino, wearing a tuxedo t-shirt. He approaches the bartender:

Bond: Martini. Float some vermouth on top of a bunch of Winner's Cup gin. Serve it in an old jam jar with big chunks of ice and two black olives. Don't bother stirring it.

Bartender: Of course, sir. Can I see some ID?

Bond: Here. This is a Sam's Club card. Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be nursing this drink while playing nickel slots for the next 2-3 hours.


(Flashbacks are a new feature on Zembla where we revisit old comedic scribbles unearthed from various notebooks and post-it notes that sit in a box on Sean's desk. Flashbacks exist simultaneously as historical documents and extremely dated social commentary.)

September 2001

I was watching TV when a commercial came on for Michael Douglas's new movie, Don't Say A Word, known less by its title than it is by Brittany Murphy's creepy "I'll never te-ell" catchphrase. From what I could glean from the preview, Michael Douglas has an young daughter who gets kidnapped, and he has to get Britanny Murphy to tell him something so the kidnappers let his daughter go.

I already think Michael Douglas is gross, but he becomes extra gross when he's paired with young women. The preview got me ready to become outraged and disgusted at Hollywood. Douglas was paired with Famke Janssen, a woman twenty years younger than him, and his daughter was only eight. Could we stop matching old men with young women and children already, Hollywood?

My outrage was checked when I realized that real life was grosser than the movie. Michael Douglas wasn't married to a woman twenty years his junior; Catherine Zeta-Jones is actually 25 years younger. And Michael Douglas didn't have an eight-year-old daughter, he had a one-year-old. These figures are sumamrized below:

Douglas = 57.
Janssen = 36.
Zeta-Jones = 32.
Movie child = 8 years old.
Actual baby = 13 months old.

The conclusion? The makers of Don't Say A Word are not gross. Michael Douglas is.

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