How Donald Trump Can Make ‘SNL’ Great Again

This article was originally published on The Second City Network, and featured The Huffington Post.

After last week’s takedown of the second Presidential Debate, Donald Trump called Saturday Night Live “boring and unfunny” after their jokes went orange once again. Trump even called for the 42-season strong show to be cancelled, which frankly seems unfair to all the conservatives that just hopped on the SNL train when Trump himself hosted last year!

Instead of removing sexy-stack-of-buttered-pancakes Colin Jost from television entirely, let’s consider how Mr. Trump can make SNL great again in ways he’s proven to be comfortable with.

Feature only American hosts

Two of this season’s first three hosts have been foreigners, and we’ve simply got to get those jobs back for our own citizens first. While Margot Robbie and Emily Blunt are undeniably talented, they are personally robbing every American celebrity with a timely movie release of a one-week gig. Sad!

Repeal the free ticket system

Currently, tickets to SNL are free to everyone — it’s a disaster! Instead of constantly taking NBC handouts, SNL should be making its own revenue the American way. Tickets to the live show are a beautiful, piebald cash cow just waiting to be milked; we just need to grab it by the udder.

Launch the *secret* plan to take down CBS

CBS is a real concern for Saturday Night Live’s network, NBC. Trump probably has a foolproof plan to total victory, but he can’t publish it on the internet because he doesn’t want the enemy to know the secret plan. But trust him, he knows an absolute way to get Elementary pushed to Tuesdays at 5:00.

Make sure nobody’s rigging the ratings

Ratings fraud is a huuuuge issue in this country, and we need to make sure we know just how many people arereally tuning in every weekend so that Donald doesn’t cancel it. If you are interested in helping, recruitment is currently underway for “observer observers” to go into American homes and tally SNL viewership. I watch it, you watch it, everybody watches it!

Air at a more convenient time

Preferably between 3 and 5 AM—truly a great time to share awesome video content. Furthermore, it’s demonstrably the best hour to do something if you want people to never forget it.

Coming Out on Social Media for Maximum Likes, Loves and Wows

October 11th marks the 28th annual National Coming Out Day–a day to celebrate pride and to recognize that being true to yourself can be genuinely challenging, even when your mom says she knew all along.

But coming out wasn’t always as difficult as it is now. Three decades ago, LGBTQ people just had to fight for visibility, acceptance, and validity. With the merciless abundance of anonymous judgement, damning immortality and epic clapbacks, today’s queer community is burdened with the arduous struggle for attention on multiple platforms. Here’s what you need to know to come out on *gulp* social media.

Be comfortable with the platform

Social media is fluid and ever-changing, which can make choosing your platform for coming out hard. Do not feel pressured to come out via an Instagram story if you’re still confused by its interface. Use the app that you know well enough to discreetly navigate while at the family dinner table. The most fundamental part of the irreversible reveal of your marginalized sexual orientation is your personal comfort with available filters.

DM a friend

When you’re diving into public outhood, it’s helpful to have somebody already on your side. No longer must you manufacture one-on-one alone time with your bestie confidante to spill your rainbow beans. Instead, you can intimately share the private details of your sexual orientation with a trusted friend by shooting him or her a direct message that may or may not get read.

Find the right time

If you’re going to bare your identity to the world, you certainly want to be sure people will actually see it, right? Know that Facebook engagement peaks from 1-4 pm on weekdays. People retweet like rabbits at lunchtime. And you can forget about all plans to come out with LinkedIn on a Friday!

Additionally, be careful to select a time when your news is the biggest news in order to gain new followers. Don’t come out in the wake of a large-scale tragedy, disaster, or football game. In the end, you’ll find you actually have very limited options for mass exposure, which will make it easier to decide when it feels right tocome out.

The wordier, the better

If there’s one universal truth about social media, it’s that everybody reads everything on their feed. There are so many ways to verbalize your sexuality, so undo all preconceived limits and ramble though at least six of them.

Show and tell

Add a visual aid to your outing to make it feel easier! GIFs, memes or videos can help powerfully express delicate emotions that one perhaps cannot put into simple words. Like the feeling of a cat cautiously slapping a zucchini. Or go for the gold by posting your own YouTube video. If you can wring enough melodrama out of your viral outing, you could even start seeing some hard cash! Welcome to the business of coming out of the closet.

Wait for a reaction

Your followers won’t all react immediately, and that’s OK. “Likes,” “loves” and “wows” take time to accumulate, but you must trust that they will. In extreme cases, some people won’t even react to your announcement for a whole three hours. Be patient, and remember that others may be on an airplane or swimming at the time that you post.

Succumb to outside pressure

Everybody is doing it lately, and they set great examples—especially the successful, conventionally attractive, white male celebrities who have dominated all social media platforms upon coming out. These men bravely came out with the added pressure of having a large fan base to appease, distinguished Hollywood roles to play, and Olympic medals to polish. If these guys can successfully come out in 2016 on scary social media, so can you!

This post was originally published by the Second City Network.

Five Other Times I Temporarily Boycotted Ben & Jerry’s Forever

Ben & Jerry’s just publicly expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, prompting any true American to boycott their products forever! But this isn’t Ben & Jerry’s first time mixing politics into their ice cream, and it’s not my first time boycotting them, either. Here are five other times I temporarily boycotted this delicious duo forever:

5. When they introduced the ECO-Pint

In 2001, Ben & Jerry’s began exclusively using unbleached paperboard for all their packaging. Now, I would never serve my family dinner on an unbleached tabletop, so why would I ever succumb to their hippie ideals by eating Chunky Monkey from an unbleached carton?!

Boycotted forever for 5 years: Until this packaging decision was reversed in 2006 for cost and production purposes. Heck yeah, Capitalism!

4. When they didn’t use cloned milk

On April 1st, 2009, Ben and Jerry’s announced that they operated CyClone Dairy, a supplier of milk exclusively from bovine clones. Turns out it was all just one wild, tasteless April Fool’s gag… that they used as an outlet to criticize the lactate of honest, hardworking, American-grown cow clones.

Boycotted forever for 2 years: One for getting up in arms about cloned milk, and an extra penalty year for tricking the wits out of me.

3. When they put a woman on their packaging

In 2012, the famous ice cream manufacturer launched a line of frozen yogurts. As an open-minded individual, I can understand the value of including trendy frozen yogurt in the ice cream aisle. But when they made their “Liz Lemon” flavor dedicated to a brunette woman, I was livid. That’s an entire flavor I couldn’t try without surrendering my manhood!

Boycotted forever for 5 months: Until I inadvertently watched an episode of 30 Rock and realized Liz Lemon wasn’t so womanly after all.

2. When they protested oil drilling

On Earth Day (inherently a red flag!) in 2005, Ben & Jerry’s took part in a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, showing off by making the world’s largest Baked Alaska. I guess B & J’s forgot that they need oil to keep their mixers slick!

Boycotted forever for 45 minutes: Until they invited everyone to eat the Baked Alaska, and it actually tasted as grand as it looked!

1. When I found out “Cherry Garcia” was a lazy pun on “Jerry Garcia”

This was just last week. I was about to eat some Cherry Garcia, and I suddenly realized it was a lazy, childish pun on the name Jerry Garcia. These brainiacs just changed the “Juh” to a “Chuh,” and now they have a dessert dynasty! What’s worse, Jerry Garcia is a bohemian musician from San Francisco who fronted a 1960s counterculture jam band. As soon as I landed that mental somersault, I instantly boycotted all Ben & Jerry’s products.

Boycotted forever for 20 seconds: Until the microwave thawed my ice cream to *just* the right temperature.

This post was originally published on the Second City Network.

 

Praise for “Mandalas: An Adult Coloring Book”

“[Author Scooter] Weiss holds an unflinching stare upon India’s religious cultures and the result is disturbingly good. A remarkable first coloring book.”
—Mark St. Louis, Daily Telegraph

“Admirable… Weiss is an emotional matador. Not since Color Therapy: Spring Blooms have I seen such redolent Hershey Kiss shapes.”
—Carrie Dixon, Literary Review

“Weiss transcends his medium… This is not to be seen merely as a book, but as a tool of cerebral sanctity… I used mostly cool colors.”
—Wyatt Moor, Independent

“Ambitiously nuanced circles.”
Guardian

“A spirited artistic shift from his 2015 Easy Fast ‘N’ Fun Word Search… Weiss demonstrates insubordinate courage on the page… My Meemaw nearly finished it.”
—Rosalind Cloutier, Time

Mom Makes This the Summer to Remember With Beach-Themed Soap

This piece was originally published on Robot Butt.

Summer is finally here, and Americans everywhere are diving into their favorite seasonal rituals. New Jersey mom Teresa Doyle, 49, is among those who are thrilled for long days and warm weather, and she in particular knows how to give this summer a truly righteous legacy. Her epic summertime kick off? Integrating beach-themed soap in her house bathrooms. Killer!

Walk, skate or surf into any of Doyle’s two-and-a-half bathrooms in her Cherry Hill home between June and September and you will see a 12-ounce pump bottle of Dove hand soap in Ocean Mist or Tahitian Coconut boldly banging the summer gong. The wild new scents replace the mundane Lilac that was once standard no matter the time or year. According to Doyle, a thorough palm lather with beach-themed soap after using the restroom will turn anyone’s summer knob to eleven. Rad!

“I’m a summer woman through and through. I was born in the summer, so I think there’s an astrological connection there for me,” Doyle, a dangerous Gemini/Cancer cusp noted. “Using this pastel blue soap with the assorted shells on the label does more than just amp me up. It’s transcendental. It’s escapism.”

Relentlessly, Doyle even goes so far as to supply beach-themed shampoos and conditioners in both of her suburban tudor’s showers to align her family and houseguests with summer’s breezy attitude. Doyle’s homestead is stocked with Island Kiwi shampoo for all bathers to enjoy throughout the season. The pricier Aegean Trove conditioner, however, is reserved for her exclusive turn-upping.

There are many varieties, but trust that Doyle knows which beach-themed soaps are hot and which beach-themed soaps are not.

“Crystal Cove, Yucatan Sandbar, Boardwalk Gull…I have my grounds covered to impress any guest,” she says. “Personally, the subtle scent of brackish on my scalp is all I need to get unchained.”

Doyle sees supplying the bathrooms with beachy toiletries not only as an unforgettable roar of seasonal spirit, but also as a new tradition in the making.

“I can’t imagine ever going back. It just wouldn’t feel like summer for my family without the soaps,” Doyle elaborated. “Just as it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without my red and green M&Ms in the foyer.” Gnarly!