Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

Thrown for a loop

January 17, 2014

I’m officially out of it. If there’s still a loop, not only am I not in it, I’m not even near it. I was watching part of the Golden Globes Sunday. The only way I would have made it through the entire show was if I was nominated for something. I’d be sitting with minor celebrities and seat-fillers in the back somewhere, sipping Moet, working on an acceptance speech on a crinkled napkin.

When “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” won, I was shocked; mostly, because I had never even heard of it before. I used to know all new fall shows. I used to care about the network’s lineup.

As I may have mentioned (1,398 times), I used to live in Los Angeles. I would meet friends over at the West Hollywood Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and discuss the new season. We had a lot of conversations about “pilot season.”

I had a lot of friends who were in pilots, doing pilots, writing pilots. Apparently, my pilot light went out.

After I moved, I reined in my interest in entertainment as an industry. My relationship with television has become more distant. I don’t even watch a lot of network stuff anymore. I went BBC. I love “Downton Abbey.” It’s the other reason I could only watch part of the Golden Globes. The award show time slot competed against my favorite show. I knew I could watch Maggie Smith and company on the DVR, but I wanted to watch “live” as it aired, mostly because of Facebook spoilers. I’m glad I did, because the episode shocked me. And not just because the lords and ladies were forced to dine with an opera singer. Imagine the indignity of having to eat with a performer. Oh, the horror! Hey, wait. Actually, I eat a lot of meals with performers. It can be pretty disgusting. Imagine if the Earl of Downton had to eat with comedians. I don’t think the Crawleys could handle it (If you get offended when people say “bloody,” you won’t want to spend five minutes with Lisa Lampanelli).

P.S. There was a bigger shock, but I’m not going to go all spoilery on you guys.

But I digress, like I do. I haven’t been keeping up with pop culture. Comedians and columnists are supposed to go after that prime pop culture demographic. We want the 20-year-olds reading our tweets, following us on Facebook, Snap-chatting and Instagramming. I have a Pinterest, but the last time I pinned someone, it was a corsage on my prom date.

Watching PBS is probably a poor way to connect with 20-somethings. But I like to stay current. I researched “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Then, I realized, “Hey, I watched this show back when they called it, ‘Car 54, Where are you?’” On Nick at Nite (I’m not ancient).

A “Car 54” reference isn’t going to get me back in with that coveted demographic.

I am probably going to have to watch “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” just to see what all the fuss is about. If there are 20-year-olds watching “Downton Abbey,” I’d like to encourage them to follow me on Twitter and stuff. Unlike those people in television, I accept followers/viewers/readers of any age!



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