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The Late Movies: Mike Rowe (Host of "Dirty Jobs") on QVC

Here's a shocker: Mike Rowe, the wisecracking host of Discovery's Dirty Jobs, was a host on the home shopping channel QVC in the early 90's. What makes this fun is that Rowe is clearly aware of how absurd QVC is, and spends much of his onscreen time cracking jokes and generally making a mockery of the job. It's awesome. Also, the pricing on all of these items is insane. Behold:

Lava Lamp

"The lamp is a little warm, not unlike lava. [Feigns burn.] Medic! A singular opportunity to not only enjoy the bubbling effects of lava but fuse all your fingers together and create a little webbed appendage for you."

Katsak Cat Toy

"If I were a cat, I'd be loving this. ... The crinkling sound makes cats just crazy. They love it. That's why this is a cat toy. That's a cat on the front, and when a cat sees this, he'll be drawn to it, magically. ... He'll just wrestle with the bag and experience a singular cat thrill."

Noah's Ark Carry Bag

"We got Noah, we got the Ark, dogs and cats, living together, and every other form of beast on here as well, for 27 dollars and 79 cents." He eventually proceeds to remove and play with various animals in the bag's pouches.

Precious Moments Figurine - Boy and Girl on Seesaw

"Like Smurfs, sort of, the Precious Moments." Also an extended mis-remembrance of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. "The little boy, with superior weight, has kept the little girl elevated on the other end of the seesaw."

Lee Sands Flat Front Calfskin Handband (Digression About Attraction to Animated Characters)

"You suddenly find yourself attracted to the animated figure, isn't that terrible? The Little Mermaid? I'm relatively secure in my manhood, I can say that."

Merry 16" Porcelain Carol Anne Doll

"Part of the charm about dolls like this is they don't change, they're very consistent, unlike us flawed human beings."

Much, Much More

Yeah, just go to this YouTube search page and you'll be all set.

Many thanks to Maximumfun.org for pointing this out to the world.

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The Funniest Word in the English Language? 'Booty,' According to New Survey
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Some words, regardless of their meaning, are simply more chuckle-worthy than others. To determine which expressions in the English language are truly the most comical, Smithsonian reports that psychologists at the University of Warwick in the UK conducted a survey in which they asked people to rate the “humor value” of a sampling of chosen words. They recently published their findings in the journal Behavior Research Methods.

The researchers selected nearly 5000 words, and then used Amazon’s online crowdsourcing tool Mechanical Turk to ask more than 800 individuals to rank the humor value of 211 randomly chosen words from the list, on a scale from 1 (humorless) to 5 (humorous). Likely not surprising to anyone with younger siblings, the funniest word ended up being “booty,” with an average ranking of 4.32. In descending order, the remaining top 12 words—which all received a score of 3.9 or higher—were “tit,” “booby,” “hooter,” “nitwit,” “twit,” “waddle,” “tinkle,” “bebop,” “egghead,” “ass,” and “twerp.”

Why these words are so funny remains fuzzy. But when they analyzed their findings according to age and gender, the researchers did find that sexually suggestive words like “orgy” and “bondage” tended to tickle the funny bones of men, as did the words “birthmark,” “brand,” “chauffeur,” “doze,” “buzzard,” “czar,” “weld,” “prod,” “corn,” and “raccoon.”

Meanwhile, women tended to laugh at the words “giggle,” “beast,” “circus,” “grand,” “juju,” “humbug,” “slicker,” “sweat,” “ennui,” “holder,” “momma,” and “sod.” As for people under the age of 32, they were amused by “goatee,” “joint,” and “gangster,” while older participants liked “squint,” “jingle,” “burlesque,” and “pong.” Across the board, all parties were least amused by words like “rape,” “torture,” and “torment.”

Although humor is complex and dependent on elements like syntax and delivery, the study's researchers say that breaking comedy down to single-word units could demystify its essence.

“The research initially came about as a result of our curiosity,” said Tomas Engelthaler, the study’s lead author, in a press release. “We were wondering if certain words are perceived as funnier, even when read on their own. It turns out that indeed is the case. Humor is an everyday aspects of our lives and we hope this publicly available dataset allows future researchers to better understand its foundations.”

[h/t Smithsonian]

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Watch the Original Spinal Tap Short Film
Chris Weeks // Staff // Getty Images
Chris Weeks // Staff // Getty Images

Spinal Tap formed in 1979, five years before the classic film This is Spinal Tap premiered. They performed on TV and began developing their personas as idiotic heavy metal monsters.

When the band, along with director Rob Reiner, went to pitch their mockumentary to production companies, nobody "got it." It wasn't clear what an unscripted comedy pseudo-documentary would feel like. So Reiner asked for the screenplay fee—$60,000—to be paid up front as a budget for a short proof-of-concept film.

That skimpy budget went a very long way, allowing the group to produce The Last Tour, a 20-minute Spinal Tap film exploring some of the plot (and many of the songs) that appeared in the later film This is Spinal Tap. There's a surprising amount of concert footage, as various bits that were repeated in Tap (some interview clips were even used in Tap unaltered).

The Last Tour is delightful because it shows a well-developed idea being implemented on the cheap. The wigs are terrible, the sound is spotty, but the vision is spot-on. The characters and the core story of the group (including a string of dead drummers) is already in place, and we get to see the guys improvise together. Tune in (and be aware there's plenty of salty language here):

(Note: Around 4:38 in the clip above, we see Ed Begley, Jr. as original drummer John "Stumpy" Pepys in the "Gimme Some Money" video. Stumpy died in a gardening accident, of course.)

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