Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


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The best insult I’ve heard in ages

MuppetBabies-BabyAnimalIn his 2012 standup special “Dangerously Delicious,” Aziz Ansari of PARKS AND REC, tells a story about an exchange he had with a mean border control agent he came across in Toronto, Canada. Not nice things were said by both parties, but things really escalated when Ansari said* the greatest thing I’ve heard in a long time:

“Your English is slightly better than Animal from The Muppet Babies.”

As with many things, it’s the specificity that takes this from a schoolyard insult to a serious burn. According to the Muppet Wiki, Animal from THE MUPPET SHOW “speaks in a guttural shout, often repeating a few simple phrases¹,” which would be enough to belittle most people. But this poor woman was less articulate than that. Compare classic Animal with some of his younger work and see if you agree.

On a personal note, I hope you all appreciate this joke because after researching this post, my childhood was rocked by the information that Baby Animal, as he’s officially known, was initially voiced by Howie Mandel (who did Gizmo in GREMLINS) and then Dave Coulier (the annoying uncle on FULL HOUSE). I have seen behind the Muppet Babies curtain and can never go back.

I was laughing, now I'm not.

I was laughing, now I’m not.

*He surely didn’t say this and the comment was most likely an esprit de l’escalier thing but it’s still funny as hell. I am going to picture this the next time I deal with people whose speech I don’t understand.

Animal Muppet Babies


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Captain CAAAAAVEMAAAAAAANNNN. . . and Kristin Stewart?

Captain CavemanI grew up in the 80s, back when you could only watch cartoons on Saturday mornings and before and after school on weekdays. “Captain Caveman and Son” is a show I have seen because it was a show that existed and was on TV during one of those times.

I remember three things about the program

  1. The character would yell “Captain CAAAAAVEMAAAAAAANNNN!”
  2. He had a son.
  3. His catch phrase was “unga-bunga.”

Bunga 1These things came to mind when I was flipping through the free movie magazine provided by UGC, a big French cinema chain. A regular feature (right) connects two seemingly unrelated people through a series of past relationships, former co-stars or some well known incident. (Here it’s actor Benoît Poelvoorde and Osama Ben Laden since they’re both famous “Bens.”)

And here is what triggered my memoryBunga 2 Kristin StewartYou may be a person who reads the front pages of newspapers, so you might know that bunga bunga became a popular phrase in 2010 after former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi used it to describe what he and an underage nightclub dancer did together in private. I don’t read the front pages but I know too much about what happened between KStew and her director because I read all the other pages of the paper. I was amused by the phrasing but admit to being really disappointed that the mag wasn’t making a really weird Captain Caveman joke.

Another caveman

caveman

He’s frightened and confused.

I suspect that the legendary Phil Hartman‘s great “Unfrozen Cave Man Lawyer” was inspired by Captain Caveman. He had to have been, right?