Pop Culture Blogger of the Year (my acceptance speech)

If I win the “Pop Culture Blogger of the Year” Award (and if such an award exists), I already have my acceptance speech written:

Thank you.  This award isn’t just for me, but for all the dedicated men, women and men-children who keep your pop culture blogs fresh.
I share this award with anyone who’s had to excuse themselves from a dinner-date to step into the bathroom and promote a link that just went live.
To anyone who’s used a celebrity’s death to promote something written 8 months ago. 
To people who’ve been forced to “review” a movie that hasn’t come out yet, or recap a reality show they didn’t see.
This award is dedicated to anyone who’s worked for a blog whose title includes some combination of the words: Buzz, Guy, Pop, Geek, Celeb, Burger, Crazy, Hollywood, X, Cuts, Film, or the suffix “--licious."
To the people who think they’re the first to make a video go viral.
To everyone who spends more time tracking down their overdue paychecks than they do researching an article.
To the writers whose editors tell them “300 words is too long.”
I want to thanks anybody who met a deadline while seated next to an emotional train-wreck at Starbucks.
I share this award with people who ask their Facebook friends to contribute to a list piece, then 2 days later encourage those same friends to read the finished article.
To anyone who’s used a pseudonym to go into the comments section and defend your work against the ugly, hateful, small-minded gorillas who visit your website.
Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to remind every website I’ve ever worked for: you still owe me outstanding payments.

Kevin Maher is a writer-producer with impressive resume credits. (But that's because his resume doesn't include gigs like The Daily Dirt, Celebraddiction, The Horror Hacker, Hollywood Update, Star Vs Star, and Bravo's "Great Things About the Holidays.") 

Visit his website for the good credits, sample writing and videos. 



Dear every teacher I ever had:

Sorry I didn’t do the reading. 

There was a good show on that night.

Oddly my obsessive years of teevee consumption led to many jobs as a “pop culture expert."

In another civilization that title would be a euphemism for “unemployable” – but we live in a society where I can blog about ninja movie villains from the 1980’s and get paid more than a public school teacher.

Just this week I was given real U.S. currency to watch the movie KRULL and write trivia about it.

I don’t know if I’m a success story, a cautionary tale, or a sad commentary on our nation’s values.

You be the judge. 

The tough part of my work is that I’m 37 and it might be too late to learn a practical skill.

Of course I don’t really believe that. 

But I know myself well enough that if I were to make a radical life change and start at a non-profit, I’d eventually say, “Fuck it, this is hard work compared to ranking TV’s top mustaches.”  

(Seriously, this trope ALWAYS comes up at jobs. Like the way TIME Magazine can always do another cover story on cholesterol, bloggers return to the well of “Pop Culture Mustaches." No one actually believes they’re the first to do the story. Editors I’ve worked for encourage writers to steal good ideas from other places. Because the bosses know that the mouth-breathers who read their blogs have no long-term memory or sense of history. If you don't believe me, then how do you explain the countless slideshows of "bad tattoos"?) 

So I’m committed to writing for inevitably short-lived websites and second-rate cable channels owned by corporate entities that hope to gain some street-cred by featuring writings on trashy movies, vintage television and nostalgic trivia.

This field has less of a “corporate ladder” and more of a merry-go-round populated by lonley guys who are one Entertainment Weekly subscription away from Aspergers.

In a way, working a pop culture gig is like a game of chicken. Each writer is waiting for the others to “get a real job” so that more work opens up for the rest of us.

Unless we all get replaced by unpaid interns. 

In my field this inevitability is like global warming melting the ice caps: We know it’s going to happen, but we try not to think about it and hope it occurs after we’re dead.

I resent that my tightwad bosses would replace me with some recent college grad who was born the same year I saw The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III in the theater.

I came into my nerd-dom before the internet turned history into low-hanging fruit. Today anyone can learn the complete chronology of the Planet of the Apes saga in a few minutes.  But I studied it one Saturday Afternoon at a time.

And I dislike that any nimrod can glean those facts (rarely fact-checked) and become an instant expert. 

It really cheapens the work I do.

Kevin Maher is a writer-producer with impressive resume credits. (But that's because his resume doesn't include gigs like The Daily Dirt, Celebraddiction, The Horror Hacker, Hollywood Update, Star Vs Star, and Bravo's "Great Things About the Holidays.") 

Visit his website for the good credits, sample writing and videos. 


Imaginary conversations about DUNE and THE DOORS

I just learned that in 1983 both Kyle McLachlan and Val Kilmer were up for the lead role of Paul Atredies in David Lynch's movie of DUNE.

And seven years later both Val Kilmer and Kyle McLachlan were both cast in the movie THE DOORS.

So that means at some point the following conversation took place on set.

OLIVER STONE: Val, this is your co-star Kyle McLachlan, he’s playing Ray Manzerick.

VAL: Hey Kyle, we met a few years ago when we were both up for that David Lynch movie. I never saw it, how was it?

KYLE: It was… okay. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but work’s work. Hey, nice wig! 

*  *  *

And then making The Doors they had to shoot scenes where Jim Morrison takes the band out to the desert, where conversations like this must've taken place: 

VAL: Hey Kyle. This is just like in DUNE, right.

The other guys were like “Oh, I forgot you were in DUNE."  "That’s hilarious.” etc. 

KYLE: It’s no big deal, really. 

FRANK WHALEY: Do the line about how the sleeper must awaken.

KYLE: I’m trying to get in character, guys, Ray Manzerick would never say that, you know?

KEVIN DILLON: (teasing) Don’t be afraid, Kyle.  Fear is the mind-killer.

(high fives Val Kilmer) 


Save the Date: Kevin Geeks Out about WRASSLIN'

I'm thrilled to announce that on Wrestlemania weekend, I'll return to the 92Y Tribeca for a supreme Geek Out, the likes of which you've never seen.


With a truly fantastic line-up of guest experts including:

Mike Edison (editor of Wrestling's Main Event, as well as Hustler and High Times)

Brandon Rohwer (film pimp and pop culture enthusiast)

Noah Tarnow (Quizmaster from The Big Quiz Thing and wrasslin' enthusiast)

and Brian Solomon  (WWE, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, the Vault or Horror)

The two-hour variety show will feature a no-holds-barred battle royal including film clips, dramatic readings, guest lectures, true stories, trivia prizes and never-before-told secrets from the squared circle.

SAVE THE DATE: Friday March 30th @ 8pm

at the 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street in New York, NY


Early morning poetry on the C train

On this morning's commute there was a guy named Blue selling CDs and books of his poetry.

I was interested because I have this love-hate relationship with poetry.

I asked the author if he was going to read.

He said "No because he" (a nearby passenger) "might not like it."

So Blue handed me a copy of the book and said I could check it out. 

They were very short pieces, 1 - 2 lines each, a mix of joking and though-provoking.  Kind of like John Lennon's In His Own Write

But there was one that didn't make sense to me. 

Children should never 
accept candy from stranglers

(Except on Halloween) 

At first I didn't notice, the word was stranglers not strangers. 

And then I had to wonder if it was a typo or artistic choice. 

If it's a joke, the first joke trips over the second joke.  (I know about this stuff.  I'm a comedy writer.) 

It was a Wednesday morning commuting mystery. 

Before you read any further, come to your own conclusion. 

Ready?  Okay, continue....

I asked my fellow passengers what they thought. The guy sitting next to me explained it was a pun.  The woman next to me believed it was a typo and said I should not tell him. 

For the next minute we debated whether or not it was intentional, agreeing that "it works both ways."

Then the poet himself showed up, wanting to know what's up. 

I said "We were just discussing the Halloween poem."

"Yeah, there's a typo in there."

"We were just saying it works both ways."

He said "Yeah, somebody told me I should add parentheses around the r."

Meaning it should say  st(r)anglers   or strangle(r)s ? 

Before I could ask, I had to get off the train. 

But it doesn't matter.  What matters is that one guy got three strangers (not a typo) talking about poetry at 9 o'clock in the morning.  And that's wonderful in so many ways.  It makes me grateful to live in New York City where your share space and thoughts with people you'd never normally talk to. 

For more of Blue's poetry, go to his website.