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.
08

Oct 2017

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Wet, hot indigenous people of America summer

Indigenous People of America summer

Early last week, I noticed my cheeks were a healthy shade of red. I didn’t expect to get color this late in the year, especially since I was in Pittsburgh the whole time. It was 80 degrees! In October! In Pittsburgh! That’s both weird and wonderful.

If this is global warming, it’s just the tip of the iceberg, literally and figuratively. Don’t tell Al Gore, but I was having a great time.

It wasn’t such great weather for my grass, which went from verdant green to a toasty brown. It was, however, great weather for “sitting on the porch, gabbing to friends and drinking a cold one.”

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24

Sep 2017

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Playing with the minors

Playing with the minors

When people find out I worked for the Walt Disney Co., their eyes light up. It’s generally followed by the exclamation, “Oh cool!” Then, I go on to tell them that I worked in business planning and development. It’s like shooting off a firecracker and following it up with a lecture on “The Science of Pyrotechnics.” The elaborate, gated entrance to Yawnville.

Every job is still a job. Even while working at Disney, I hit the snooze button in the morning. I still had to get up and go to the office every morning like every other working schlub in America. The only difference is that I worked in a building that had a sculpture of the seven dwarves carved into it, like a Mount Rushmore for Dopey, Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy and Bashful (everyone always forgets Bashful).

Ironically, I did not sing, “Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It’s off to work I go!”

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10

Sep 2017

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Nutshell reviews by an actual movie nut

Nutshell reviews by actual movie nut

At the tail end of summer, the weather turned chilly, and I went to the movies.

I saw a bunch of films, some good, some bad. So many movies, in fact, that I’m officially sick of popcorn. I never want to touch the stuff again. That’s not completely true, but there’s a kernel of truth to it (popcorn joke).

But I digress, like I do. I enjoy sitting in the dark, watching movies on a rainy evening. In fact, I was one of only two people at a 10:20 p.m. showing of “Tulip Fever.” It was two people too many. The movie is not good. I can’t tell you what it’s about, because I’m really not sure. I’m not sure the director knew, either. In it, Dame Judi Dench, dressed like a nun, sold orphans and flowers to rich people to keep her convent from being overrun by rats. I know it sounds like plot to a horror movie, but it isn’t. Let’s just say it’s weird to see Matthew Morrison and Zach Galifianakis in a period piece. Galifianakis and Dench should probably never be in the same movie. I would watch them “Between Two Ferns.”

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27

Aug 2017

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A blog by any other name

A blog by any other name

The English language is full of cringe-worthy words. If you squirm when Dorothy Zbornak says, “My cupcakes are moist and delicious,” while watching a late night “Golden Girls” marathon, you have a word aversion (you also need a hobby). The word “moist” usually sets it off.

Word aversion is a thing. In 2007, a linguistics professor, Mark Yoffe Liberman, wrote about this phenomenon. He used moist as a prime example. The contentious word continues to top the list of the “Most Hated Words.” Yes. There’s a list of “Most Hated Words.” Who knew?

We have a list for everything. We even have a name for articles that are about lists. They’re called listicles (added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2014). No wonder there’s a list of “Most Hated Words.” Can someone put “listicles” on it for me, please?

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