September's Disgruntled Employee of the Month: Eddie Memling
Gary Newbrunswick: Since it's September, the time for new tv shows, we thought we'd check in with Amalgamated Humor's representative in the entertainment industry, Eddie Memling. So, what do you do, exactly, Eddie?
Eddie Memling: Well, Gary, I oversee Amalgamated Humor properties in various stages of development as television and film projects out in Los Angeles.
GN: Because our track record hasn't been exactly great in that department.
EM: Right- we had the 1976 Charlton Heston film "Cap'n Wacky: The Movie," but we haven't had great success since then.
GN: Why is that, do you think?
EM: Well, to be frank, just plain bad ideas.
GN: Really? I can remember a few...
EM: Oh come on, Gary. The "Cap'n's Hootenanny-Time Variety Jamboree" in '78? Three weeks on the air. "Cap'n's Critters" went off right after that incident with that child being eaten-
GN: He was an orphan we had rented and we were cleared of all liability.
EM: Whatever. That "Amalgamated Humor Cartoon Showcase Featuring Your Favorite Amalgamated Humor Action Power Toys With Cap'n Sargeant Wacky Hour" cartoon in the 1980s was a disaster. The ridiculously long title was bad enough, but the parent groups were outraged at the amount of violence and out and out commercialism.
GN: Wait- we've done some good projects, too. Wasn't there a kids show awhile back?
EM: Actually, Gary, there was a Cap'n Wacky children's show, in the early sixties. But we had nothing to do with it. Someone was using the name illegally. We sued the host to make him change it. Because of that, he adopted the name Captain Kangaroo.
GN: Wow, I never knew that! We were responsible for creating Captain Kangaroo!
EM: Not really, the producers of the actual Captain Kangaroo program sued him a few months later and he died in a homeless shelter in Philadelphia in 1973.
EM: Face it- this company has had a string of flops selling its wares to Hollywood and they wouldn't approach us for years. That's why I was brought in- to get people in "the industry," as we call it, to think of our properties as saleable in the entertainment world.
GN: And has it worked?
EM: Like gangbusters. We have so many projects in development right now, it's crazy.
GN: Really? Like what?
EM: These reality shows are all the craze right now, so we'll outfit Jimmi of our Jimmicam feature with an entire house of video cameras, then edit the footage down to a half-hour weekly series. People will see him eat, sleep, love, what have you.
GN: Okay... maybe. What else?
EM: We're going to give It Ain't Cool In the Basement's Hairy Knavel his own daily program where he'll review films, dispense Tinseltown gossip and eat various items viewers send in.
GN: You think folks will watch that?
EM: Sure! Out of morbid curiousity, if only to make them feel better about themselves.
GN: Huh. Yeah, I guess that's why we hired him in the first place. So, what about kids?
EM: We have some great animation projects in the works. What's big nowadays? Those Japanese Anime deals. Instead of making our own cartoon, we're going to buy one from across the Pacific on the cheap, redub it with our own dialogue and voila! Amalgamated Humor is on the cutting edge of children's entertainment.
GN: Will that work? Is that going to translate well at all for American audiences?
EM: Well, Cap'n Wacky will be an 80-year old man who turns into a puppy when he sees the color red, but the core of the character remains the same. Oh, we were going to convert one of the comics features into an animated series... the one with the fish, or something?
GN: Oh! "The Adventures of a Guy who Looks Like a Fish, But Other Than That is Just a Regular Guy."
EM: Yeah, that's it. Jesus, your damn titles make it hard to sell this stuff. Anyway, we ran into problems on the pilot. Several of the Korean animators got some kind of severe depression just from working on it, a couple even offed themselves. We figured it wouldn't be too good for the kids.
GN: No, I suppose not. Well, these television projects are all well and good, but what about film? Any ideas there?
EM: Hah- I like you Newbrunswick. Cutting to the chase!
GN: Actually, we're quite a ways into the interview, not really what you'd-
EM: Let me just say that we plan to give a certain smart-ass ailen advice columnist with a tin foil head his own feature film.
GN: Zonar? Ohhh! Right, right, that guy. What's it going to be? Sci-fi epic? Comedy vehicle?
EM: Nope- he wouldn't agree to those. It's going to be a conceptual piece, playing pranks on his celebrity friends for two hours. A series of vignettes. Kind of like the "Jackass" movie, but classy because he has that British accent and seems a bit swishy.
GN: So, when can we start looking for these on our television and movie screens?
EM: What? Are you kidding me? Not for awhile.
GN: But I thought you said they were in development.
EM: That means they'll be bounced around for a couple of years, going from executive to executive, sucking up a great deal of cash in screen tests for actors, set models, script drafts, expensive meals, that sort of thing.
GN: Sounds like a sweet set-up.
EM: Oh, it is.
GN: Huh. Say, can you get me an autographed photo of Pam Dawber? It's, uh, for my nephew.
EM: I'll see what I can do.