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FILE UNDER: WRITTEN BY XANDER

Happy 2003! Due to the holidays and an overabundance of reruns, it's been a couple of weeks since my last column. But that doesn't mean your faithful columnist is not hard at work. More on that later. First things first: The big guy spending his Christmas entertaining the troops over in Afghanistan. How cool was that? Bringing along both Paul and Biff, absolute genius.

In the spirit of past reflections (Auld Lang Syne and all that jazz) and the ever present New Years Resolutions, I will be devoting this week's column not to a particular LATE SHOW segment but rather to life lessons gleaned from years of faithful viewing. Some people may get their pearlets of wisdom from noted Oprah ex, Dr. Phil (when ARE they gonna shut down that guy's little dog-and-pony show down anyway?). Personally, I prefer to learn at the foot of the master, our own Dr. Dave.


WORDS OF WISDOM FROM DR. DAVE

I admit it. I'm just an old softie. I'm a sucker for tradition. Come on, it wouldn't be Christmas without a visit from Jay Thomas, a big, splashy Darlene Love production number, or witnessing the ceremonial meatball and pizza combo as it hangs precariously on the top of the LATE SHOW Christmas tree.

With the LATE SHOW on hiatus this week, long standing tradition have finally been broken, namely, the much imitated, never improved upon "Hey! That Ain't Eggnog!!!" spit take and, more importantly, the "Dave with leggy supermodel flashback/Paul interrupting by plaintively asking, 'Dave, is that REALLY how you spent News Years Eve?'" sequence.

Now, obviously, I am not one to disappoint. I will be sharing with you, my loyal readers, how I chose to spend the waning moments of 2002. At the end, you may be asking, "Xander, is that REALLY how you spent New Years Eve?" To which I can say, regretfully, yes and I have the bruises to prove it.

As I rub my chin, the scene becomes blurry, it seems like it happened only last night:

On New Years Eve, I found myself on stage. You see, in college, I was in a band ("Say kids, do you like the Rock and Roll?" asketh Dave.) At the time, we thought we were pretty hot shit but you know the fickle nature of the music biz ("It's important, in show business, to be able to tell the pinheads from the weasels"). I mean who didn't think a happenin' little Ska band wouldn't make it big in 1994? To give you a proper perspective, try to imagine No Doubt but insted of Gwen Stefani, substitute a skinny, Japanese guy, much like myself, out in front ("I AM Mr. Rock And Roll"). Alas, after a handful of dates, Bad Juju goes it separate way.

Fast forward eight years, we suddenly found ourselves back in business...for one night only...and for absolutely no pay ("big time show bidness"). Hey, a gig's a gig. But instead of Ska, I reached into the songbook of one Warren Zevon. The reasoning behind this: the group is missing a few key members and, to be perfectly honest, I haven't so much as sang a note since, I don't know, the mid nineties, so fewer high notes would mean fewer potential screw ups ("He just ain't hooked up right").

I entertained the throngs ("deadbeats and ne'er do wells") with my inimitable covers of "EXCITABLE BOY," "LAWYERS, GUNS, & MONEY," ("just blew the roof off the dump") and for the big finale, I sang what can very well be considered my theme song: "MR. BAD EXAMPLE."

Let me give you a fast visual: For this performance, I have chosen to wear a condom sized shirt from the International Male collection ("I don't like dem pretty boys"). Side note: Jeez, once you're on their mailing list, you're on it for life. I am also wearing a pair of very tight leather pants. Did I stuff and fluff? Yes, but not out of vanity, mind you. It was simply my personal homage to one of my favorite movies THIS IS SPINAL TAP ("America's Favorite Preserved Meat Giveaway"). That may have been too much information ("Paul, I seemed to have frightened the audience again").

For "MR. BAD EXAMPLE," I made a valiant attempt at a Rick James super freaky 'bump and hump' before segueing into a classic James Brown 'electric boogaloo glide and slide'-white boy division ("There's no off position on the genius switch"). For the final chorus, I somehow got in touch with my scary inner Michael Flatley in RIVERDANCE side, tore off my sweaty, condom sized shirt, and sang barechested ("Diggity Dank!")("Zotz!")("Hey Duuuhuude!!!").

Xander's New New Years Resolution: Join a health club ASAP. ("Paul, IS Merv Griffin dead?").

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