American Idol 2008

Posted on January 1st, 2008 in American Idol by EngineerBoy

1/15/2008 – Season Seven Premiere, Philadelphia, PA

Well, here we go again with another season of American Idol!  Tonight’s premiere got things started in the traditional style, with wildly varying singing skills, as well as a large standard deviation on the sanity scale.  The shtick of putting through painfully untalented contestants for either tragic mockery or pitiable foolishness is growing old.  This is a singing competition and the things that count are voice talent and charisma, period.  It’s also nice to get the backstory for the contestants, such as the young lady tonight whose daughter had a neuromuscular disease – she sang her heart out, made it to Hollywood, and couldn’t have had a brighter or sunnier personality, in spite of the challenges she must face as a young mother.

I’m not sure if I respect or detest the AI producer’s decision to stick so closely to the show’s formula.  On the one hand, it’s nice to see a show that doesn’t have a neurotic need to be “new” and/or “different” and/or “revolutionary”.  AI has a good formula and they stick with it.  On the other hand it is also a bit predictable.  But in the grand scheme of things, given a choice of something “new” (and probably stupid) and “old”, I’ll take the tried and true, even if it is a bit stodgy.

Overall the contestants were what you would expect for the opening tryouts.  A dash of crazies, a handful of pathetically misguided souls, a whole lot of mediocrity, and the tiniest pinch of really good singers.  It’s still too early to spot any great ones, but there was some great potential and we’re looking forward to seeing the rest of the tryouts and getting to freaking Hollywood!

What Does Kenny Say!?!??

Posted on January 1st, 2008 in Celebrities,Television by EngineerBoy

One of the enduring mysteries of the series “South Park” are the muffled lyrics sung by Kenny in the opening theme song. For those unfamiliar, Kenny is a young boy character on the animated show who constantly wears an orange parka that is cinched tightly across his face so that it muffles his voice. The lyrics he sings at the end of the theme song are almost completely unintelligible (and also change every couple of seasons – even if the words are difficult/impossible to make out, you can tell that what he’s saying changes every couple of seasons).

In the Wikipedia entry for the series it is claimed that a FAQ on the South Park Studios site revealed the lyrics, but that FAQ is no longer (or never was??) online. That leaves the lyrics in doubt, from my perspective.

Now to the revelation. I regularly fall asleep watching television wearing headphones (so as not to disturb Mynagirl). We also have a TiVo in the bedroom, which means that through the course of the night it will switch channels to record the things with which we’ve tasked it. One of those things is our Season Pass for South Park, which airs at all hours of the night.

So the other night I fell asleep with the TV playing and my headphones on, and the audio from a South Park episode crossed the ear/sleep barrier and invaded my dreams. In my dream I could understand the line sung by the muffled Kenny in the South Park theme song. This realization was so profound that it woke me up, with the newly understood lyrics clinging to my consciousness. I quickly rewound the TiVo to the opening theme and re-listened to it, and I’ll be damned if I haven’t figured it out, at least for the season in question (Season 2).

The episode in question was Gnomes from 1998. And the specific words that Kenny sings in the opening credits are:

“Alligators eat potatoes, alligators eat potatoes…”

Above is the video/audio evidence for your perusal – Kenny says the line starting about 24 seconds in (right near the end, click the play arrow in the lower-left corner of the video window to play).

The Wikipedia entry claims that the lyrics are “I love girls with big fat titties, I love girls with deep vaginas.” Those are certainly South Park-ian lyrics, but my take is that what was actually sung was the nonsensical and poetic “Alligators eat potatoes” and that the more scatalogical decode was released later as disinformation by the South Park producers to build the mystique of the show.

Play the video, give a listen and decide for yourself. Enjoy!