Tag Archives: SNL

The skinny on pants

Ladies and gentlemen, have you bought your skimmers yet?

For the uninitiated, as I was until yesterday, skimmers are the new pants length. Translation:  too short.

Ladies, skimmers are the spring sequel to jeggings. They’re much longer than last decade’s Capris and slightly longer than last year’s crops, but awkwardly shorter than full length pants.

Gentlemen, a fashion expert on one of the morning news programs did say recently that even men would be wearing the new length this season. I can’t wait to see how you adapt to this.

This early in the season, the new styles look utterly ridiculous. I bought three pairs.

For the benefit of readers who haven’t yet ventured into stores for their spring fashions, I thought it might be helpful to provide a little overview of this year’s pants scene, or at least my observations anyway, so you can approach the stores with a reasonable expectation.

First, the lingo. GAP is pushing something called the Broken-in Skimmer. This means intentionally wrinkled and too short. The first thing I did when I got mine home was iron the dickens out of them.

The pants-centric GAP is also featuring the Skinny Cargo, the Skinny Camo and the Skinny Twill, as well as the Pure Body Foldover Drawstring Pant and the Tapered Boyfriend Pant. (For an early Nymph musing on the boyfriend craze and other fashion nonsense, see Fashion Nonsense.)

J. Crew is pushing us to show off our ankles as well, with the Cammy Pant, the Day-tripper Pant, the Pipette Cargo Pant, the Canteen Pant, the Bistro Pant, the Café Capri and my favorite, the Broken-in Boyfriend Pant. I trust this means last year’s boyfriend is now fully broken in; translation: wrinkled.

Now allow me to desensitize you to a frightening fashion comeback, just so you aren’t visibly shocked when you walk in the store. As I feared would one day happen, Mom pants are back. Remember these?

Well, they’re alive and well at H&M, complete with the nine-inch zipper, ample front pleats and elastic waist, ready to be given a good home on your backside. What’s next, the perm?


Filed under All Things Wordish, Beauty and Fashion, Movies, Television and Radio

Toy commercials

It seems to me that, the older we get, with all the life experiences we’ve accumulated, the less easily shocked we should be, when, in reality, the more easily shocked we actually are.

I was puttering around the house yesterday afternoon and had the television on in the background. The channel was Comedy Central and the movie Coneheads was playing. Fun little film, based on the 1970s Saturday Night Live skit. Star-studded. Light-hearted. PG-rated. My son saw and enjoyed it when he was five. It provided a sweet backdrop for the chores I was doing on my lunch hour.

Then, all of a sudden, thwack. It could have been one of SNL’s commercial parodies. But it was real. It was shocking. It was noon, for heaven’s sake.

The commercial was advertising the Tri-Phoria Massager. “Tri” because it’s three massagers in one. “Massager” because, if you look online, you will see the product name that isn’t permitted on television. I’ll give you two clues that reveal what it is. One, it’s manufactured by Trojan. Two, it’s shaped like a, well, like a Conehead.

I won’t be inserting, uh, er, placing any links in this post to product websites or video commercials because I’m already embarrassed and paranoid about where my research has taken me. You can find these on your own.

Just a word of advice: if Coneheads comes back on over the weekend, don’t watch it with your kids. And, if you do, plan ahead to explain why the Tri-Phoria is different from other toys they see advertised on TV.

Tri-Phoria, Transformer. Could be a frightening mistake.

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Filed under Marketing/Advertising/PR, Movies, Television and Radio, Uncategorized

Edwin Newman

It has been said one can find anything on YouTube. I beg to differ. That is, unless, I am not so adept at searching the ‘net as I thought.

Once the news broke this week of the passing of famed broadcaster, author and grammarian Edwin Newman, I wanted to do a personal tribute, if for no other reason than his devotion to the English language.

This has proven difficult because everything that can be said about Mr. Newman has already been said, by individuals far more knowledgeable and eloquent than I. (If you haven’t read the stories this week, or are too young to have seen him on the air, I encourage you to read about him. Or pick up one of several books he wrote about language.)

I even pulled out my yellowed copy of Strictly Speaking, but even that has already been mined for the best excerpts.

During the earlier half of Edwin Newman’s career as a television journalist, I was too young to appreciate his work. Still, in order to write a meaningful tribute, I wanted to acknowledge his later work as what one paper called him, “a prickly grammarian.”

In poring over volumes of obituaries and tributes, I did come across something I felt illustrated the blend of seriousness and humor for which he was known.

On February 25, 1984, Newman hosted Saturday Night Live. On this show he performed a skit with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in which he manned a suicide hotline; she was the desperate caller. As he heard her plea for help, he interrupted her repeatedly to correct her grammar.

I don’t recall seeing this particular skit, though I would have remembered because I too have been ridiculed for putting grammar ahead of substance, even in serious situations. So I’d really like to see the skit for myself.

For three hours yesterday, I looked for a video clip or transcript, so that I could share it with you. I came up empty.

So I issue this challenge. The first reader who can send in a link to a video clip of this skit—or can produce a transcript—wins a prize. Those of you who participated in and won my Aug. 14 Joint Marketing contest can attest that I make good on my promises.

In the meantime, let us bid farewell to Edwin Newman, a man who served his profession with excellence and integrity, who stood up against the decline and abuse of the English language as he saw it. And who didn’t take himself too seriously to appear on SNL.


Filed under All Things Wordish, Movies, Television and Radio, News, Politics, Reading, Technology and Social Media