SURVIVOR: AFGHANISTAN PRONOUNCED RATINGS BONANZA
-- "This Is So Much Harder Than I Thought," Says Perky Contestant --
Fans of the CBS program SURVIVOR, the first breakout hit of the so-called "Reality Programming" movement, were surprised to find that the current series of episodes has been cancelled, only to be replaced by a completely new group of contestants in a different setting entirely; the Taliban-controlled battle front in the middle-Eastern country of Afghanistan.
"Africa, shmafrica," stated the show's executive producer, Mark Burnett. "What's the worst that could happen there, an emu takes a dump? We've seen that sort of thing in the first two Survivors. No, no. Afghanistan is where it's at, baby."
The sixteen lucky contestants were carefully chosen from thousands of taped auditions, sent in by hopefuls across the country. The final contestant, chosen by a council of previously voted-off players, wins a million dollar prize. However, many of the contestants in the new series seemed surprised at the level of hardships they've had to endure.
"I was allowed to bring one luxury item, and I chose a picture of my grandkids. In retrospect, I wish I had chosen some antibiotics," said Sandra, a 58 year grandmother who claims to 'love to raise Hell.' "I guess I really didn't think it through. I guess a shovel for digging foxholes would have been good."
"I debated long and hard about which bathing suit to bring," said the normally-chipper but now lethargic and despondent Taffi, a personal fitness trainer from Tulsa, Oklahoma. "But that turned out to be moot since the moment I disembarked from the plane, I was caned for not wearing a burkha. When we were on the plane, I was flirting with Tomas, thinking maybe he and I could, you know, get together? But once we put the burkhas on, he couldn't tell me from Sandra. I think she was digging it."
Viewers at home are watching the show like never before, perhaps due to the surprising level of drama in what many critics were decrying as a tired formula. "Boy, some of the immunity challenges in the past were pretty tough, but nothing could have prepared me for this!" said 26-year old volleyball player Tomas. "We had to eat those packages of Foreign Aid Rations. The Fig Newton was okay, but the tomato rice...I almost retched. But I thought of Tribe Fatwa and kept it down. Tribe Fatwa Rules! All the way, all the way," said the blue-eyed young man, right before being shelled into oblivion by unknown forces.
"If you're asking me, 'Have we raised the stakes a little bit?' I say, you bet we have!" chuckled the show's popular host, Jeff Probst. "This one's going to stretch the players to their limits! Tonight's challenge is, they have to walk two blocks and return safely. Sounds easy, right? Well, did I mention that they'll be walking across a minefield, and hit by American bombs AND Taliban anti-aircraft fire? And there's no safe water to drink? And the Northern Alliance is advancing? And there are no proper hospitals? This is a long-running Afghan tradition--These people practically invented the survival drama genre!
"War is the entertainment of the new century," said the host, who for the first time performed his duties via closed-circuit link-up from a bunker in France... "And we've got it all right HERE on CBS, followed by a brand-new CSI!"
The way the game is played in Afghanistan reveals a drastic shift in strategy. The first night, at Tribal Council, the JIHAD tribe voted off sweet and outgoing Liz, a 22 year-old college student from Corvallis, Oregon. Her words clearly masked her disappointment, "Oh, thank Christ. Oh, my God. I'm out of here. Thank you, Jesus!" She then threw her extinguished torch at the host's closed-circuit monitor and ran seventy-two miles for the Pakistan border.
ROB LIEFELD STARTING HIS PERIOD, EVIDENTLY
-- Former Writer/Artist Moody, Emotional, Cranky --
Creator of Moonblood, Bloodknight, Blowblood, Badrock, Bloodbad, Moonblow, Deathmoon, Knightdeath, Bloodmoon and Cable, Rob Liefeld, puzzled his fans and detractors both by turning in a rambling, at times tearful edition of his popular ROBSERVATIONS column at Spinnerrack.com, prompting many to deduce that he's in the preliminary days of his monthly cycle.
"I'd say it's fairly certain he's either menstruating, or about to menstruate," said Anthony L, one of Liefeld's biggest fans. "Reading his column this week, it's kind of hard to miss the signs."
"Nobody loves me. You people are my only friends in the world. Sometimes I wonder what the point of everything is. It's like, you do something, and then it's all like, you know, why? Why? And then I'm like, people are dropping BOMBS, man, and what have I got to be sad about? And that just makes me feel worse, plus I'm all bloated. No, it's true. I can barely fit in these pants right now. I'm drawing a doodle. I hate it. Do you think Eric Larsen likes me? Sometimes I think yes, then sometimes he says mean stuff. Marvel is full of stupid-heads, don't you think? I think so, too. They're like, all saying stuff, and it's just...Gaaah! You know? Jeez," began the popular writer's column this week.
Long-time fan, CABLEBOY, responded, "See, what I think is happening here is that the female hormone estrogen is being released, and it's thickening the lining of Rob's uterus, in preparation for a fertilized egg, which, of course, never arrives. So that lining is breaking down, causing ovulation. I feel for Rob. That's got to be a bitch, since he has male plumbing, supposedly."
Rob's column continued to question the meaning of endeavor. "I just feel like smashing something. Maybe I'll call Todd. Do you think Todd ever thinks of me? I'm gonna call him. No, I'm not. I'm such a coward. I got a free lunch at Denny's once. The only time Wolverine was good was when I was on it. Don't you think? That's what I think, too. You've been such a good friend to me, audience! No, I am NOT going to cry. I'm not! Oh, damn it, yes, I am!" He then gave his audience a tearful hug and made brownies, before changing underwear at least three times.
"Hey, didn't you just make fun of Rob's column a few weeks ago?" asked a skeptical audience of BUZZLINE.
"Yes, but this is my last opportunity," cried the beloved online commentator.
MARVEL TO OFFER CHARACTERS FOR UNUSUAL LICENSING
-- "What About Iron Man Sports Bras?" Asks Sincere Marketing Guy --
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
In recent months, Marvel Comics beloved line of characters have received some unusual exposure--On auto billboards, in milk commercials, and magazine fashion layouts. Now, the largest comics company in America would like to build on that momentum with additional licensing relationships with other product and service providers.
"What about Cyclops for LensCrafters? What about Thor for a chain of Smorgasbords? How about Phoenix for funeral homes? What about Wolverine for Nair?" offered one eager young executive.
"Yeah," agreed his associate, "and what about Quicksilver for Nike? And how about Captain America for Microsoft? And how about Spider-Man for the Nashville Network? Or the Punisher for AOL/Time/Warner? Just kidding about that last one. Unless you like it. Then I'm totally not kidding."
"Hey, if your company can't afford Spider-Man or the X-Men, how about something cheaper? D-Man for Thunderbird! Rocket Racer for Top Ramen! For ten bucks, I'll come to your birthday or Christmas party dressed like Silver Sable! You can have the Eternals on YOUR inter-office memos or garage sale posters for less than the cost of meal at Subway! Hey! What about the Hulk for Subway? I'm sick of that Jared bastard. You could have a green sandwich with purple onions. Hey! Don't run away while I'm talking to you!" said the executive, who worked solely on commission.
NEWS IN BRIEF
TEEN BOY NEVER FINISHES LADY DEATH ISSUE
-- "I Get To This Double Page Spread and Oh, Oh, Oh!"--
'CYBER-MODEL' ELEKTRA TO ENTER CYBER-REHAB
--"She's Cyber-Bulimic And Hooked On Cyber-Amphetamines"--
CNN TO CHANGE NAME TO 24 HOUR ANTHRAX CHANNEL
--All Other Deaths Pale In Significance, Are Justly Ignored--
COMPANIES BID ON RIGHT TO LOSE $$ ON ENTERPRISE LICENSE
-- "It's Tradition!" Says Every Company--
WHAT IF STAN LEE CREATED WARREN ELLIS?
--Man, That Would Freak Me Out--
COMICS NOT JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE, SAYS 10000th ARTICLE
-- "Pow! Baff! Wap!" Says Idiot Reporter Before Punching From Me--
MARK WAID'S 'KARAOKE FOR AMERICA' BENEFIT RAISES $8.50
-- "Volare, Woah, Woah," Says RUSE Scribe--
COLUMNIST'S DEPARTURE LEAVES HUGE VOID IN READER'S HEARTS
--For About An Hour And A Half--