The unique and extremely popular [citation needed] authority on pop culture since 2008

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written by Sam Greenspan

I respond to emails about my website popping into people’s minds during intimate time, DreamWorks sending me a correction, The Simpsons versus The Critic, and whether I look like Ed Burns.

Got more great e-mails, Twitters, Facebook messages and comments than I could possibly handle this week. It’s really quite amazing.

As always, anyone whose e-mail or photo submission is posted in an Inbox-O-Rama list will get a brand new 11 Points sticker. (Pending three things: (1) The person is patient, because the stickers are still being printed (2) The person e-mails me their address and (3) The person lives in the U.S. because I’m not cut out for international postage.)

Here’s Inbox-O-Rama #3, presented to you now, without any further dick smacking around. (Anyone who’s not close personal friends with me recognize the movie that spawned that figure of speech?)

1 | More Nintendo translation issues

Wanted to get this one in, a response to yesterday’s list about Engrish in Nintendo games

How about Double Dragon 3? Instead of Billy and Jimmy, they list them as Bimmy and Jimmy.

–Peter (@mrdeath)

That’s a great one, I have no idea how it escaped me during my research. I don’t think I ever played Double Dragon 3. If I had a friend named Billy I would totally call him Bimmy. And I’d drive the nickname into the ground until he, and everyone around us, was sick of me doing it. That’s why people like me. Being repetitive is my job. My job. Being repetitive is my job.

2 | Things that I will defend to the death

This was left as a comment on one of my less popular lists, 11 Interesting Facts About Our Presidents and Their Money. In the list I mention Teresa Heinz Kerry’s ketchup fortune and comment on just how much I love ketchup. Which drew this response…

ketchup blows im sorry but it is just not good tasting on anything. mustard for life i would DIE for mustards case


I cannot just stand by and have someone say that about ketchup. It’s the greatest condiment ever. Better than classics like mustard, antiquateds like relish, upstarts like honey mustard, ethnics like salsa and plumpers like mayo. It’s simply the best.

I realized it’s on a very short list of things I will argue for with all of my spirit. That short list:

  • Ketchup over mustard
  • Arrested Development over any other TV show
  • Mario Kart 64 over Super Mario Kart
  • Oreo milkshakes over plain chocolate milkshakes
  • Moving to Los Angeles over moving to New York
  • Not putting album names into mp3 titles over putting album names into mp3 titles
  • Dogs over cats

I almost put “PC over Mac” on that list, but while I can defend it 99 percent, Final Cut Pro makes it impossible for me to defend it “to the death.” I also know that if I wrote something like that it would be the only subject about which I’d receive e-mails and comments for the entire week. (Well, other than the debate that’s been going on over at my 11 Things The Bible Bans But You Do Anyway list… we’ve got folks writing encyclopedias to each other in the comments over there.)

3 | The most ridiculous e-mail I’ve received to date

This came to me from a female reader…

So here’s the thing . . . I thought about you while masturbating the other day. You see, it was getting to be bed time and I was doing my thing so I decided to check youporn for some visual stimulation. I clicked on a seemingly appropriate video – “Sabrina squirts while f****d” – and I started to watch. The video would have been all well and good but it was RUINED BY HARRY CHAPIN SINGING CAT’S IN THE CRADLE. You know, the one about a father-son relationship turned cold and heartless. Decidedly NOT a sexy song. Needless to say [this 11 Points] came to mind – and that, dear stranger who writes funny blogs, is why I thought about you while masturbating.

Please do not include my name on your website. It is a true story.

–Name withheld by request

I don’t even know what to say (although my initial thoughts circulated around how this might be the only female in the world who has her way with herself while watching semi-deviant Internet porn).

But if you Google the title of that video and watch it (warning: you don’t really want to watch it), you do in fact hear “And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man on the moon.”

I’m not sure if there’s a less sexy song that could be playing in the background. That might, in fact, be the worst possible choice. (Although The Wheels on the Bus would also certainly pull you out of the mood.)

4 | Um…

Hi Sam (after reading your 11 points blog for a few weeks now, I feel as if I seem to know you sufficiently to be able to be so informal!)

How about “11 things the world-at-large would be unaware of were it not for the internet” (or possibly something a little snappier!) My suggestion for that list is Squirting. If you don’t know what it is, google it, but stand well back!

–Chris in the U.K.

Nope, Chris — apparently this is even more well known than you ever thought.

5 | Debating The Simpsons episode featuring The Critic

While I agree wholeheartedly with your Simpsons article [11 Best One-Off Simpsons Characters], I am a little surprised that Lovitz’s other character, Jay Sherman, didn’t receive any attention. Granted, he was not an original Simpsons character, but his episode was always one of my favorites…

* Barney’s “Don’t cry for me, I’m already dead.”
* Mr. Burns portraying himself as Jesus
* Hans Moleman’s football to the groin winning an Oscar w/ George C. Scott in the lead role.


–Nicholas on Facebook

My friend Steve (who’s an insanely huge Simpsons fan) and I debate the “Simpsons/Critic” episode all the time.

Here’s the dilemma: Nicholas is right. All in all, this is an incredibly funny episode. And I quote Homer’s line, “Barney’s movie had heart, but Football In the Groin had a football in the groin” almost as much as any other line in Simpsons history. It’s a hilarious episode, and could be a real classic.

BUT… it’s the most impure Simpsons ever. And it’s not me saying that: It’s Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Groening was furious that a Critic crossover was being forced into his show (by some tandem of FOX and the other Simpsons executive producers who were also “Critic” executive producers). In fact, if you watch that episode, you can see that he had them remove his name from the opening credits.

In a Los Angeles Times article from 1995, when the episode aired, Groening told the paper, “The two reasons I am opposed to this crossover is that I don’t want any credit or blame for The Critic and I feel this [character on the show] violates the Simpsons’ universe. [Also, I’m afraid Simpsons fans will] accuse us of making the crossover episode just to advertise The Critic.”

So can it really be a pantheon episode of The Simpsons if it drove the show’s creator to completely dissociate himself from the episode? I say no. Many people say yes.

But anyway, that’s why I didn’t put Jay Sherman on my list of favorite one-off characters.

6 | A message from DreamWorks

Got this e-mail last week and got a real kick out of it…

Sam- Just wanted to let you know that we got a kick out of your piece [11 Hottest Chicks On the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women List] which included our CEO Stacey Snider. “Norbit off more than I could chew” may be my favorite just for shear creativity in making it work in a sentence.

Can we request one tiny change though? Stacey’s 48.

Thanks for the laugh today with the list.

–Kristin Stark
Director of Executive Publicity
DreamWorks Studios

I moved to L.A. eight years ago. Every time I go back to visit my family in Cleveland, my grandma asks me if I’ve met with Steven Spielberg yet.

When I go home in a few weeks for Rosh Hashanah and she asks, I finally have an answer besides, “No, not yet.” This time, I can tell Grandma, “No, but because I put the CEO of his company on a list about hot powerful chicks and got her age wrong by one year, I am now officially in e-mail contact with DreamWorks. And the only next logical step is for me to have a sit-down with Spielberg and pitch him a bunch of movie ideas. Preferably ones where the hero has a sidekick that’s a talking pie.”

7 | A new black person Photoshop

Here’s a new addition to 11 Photos Where Black People Were Awkwardly Photoshopped In or Out.

Got this photo from three readers and two co-workers. Makes me happy that I’m starting to become the go-to guy for awkward corporate racial mistakes.

–Courtesy of Christina in Seattle, Zohar and Callie

So Microsoft put up this great ad showing people of all races getting along in a happy business meeting in the U.S. Then, for their Polish version, they decided to awkwardly replace the black guy with a white guy. People noticed. A lot of people noticed.

Microsoft apologized, and quickly pulled down the images. But I’m happy to report that it will now live here forever. And please keep sending me these photos. I have a strong feeling this isn’t the last time a company’s going to Photoshop a black person in or out of a photo. Because there’s no diversity like fraudulently Photoshopped diversity!

8 | 11 questions with 11 answers

I did a couple of these last week and I like ’em… when someone writes in with a nice list of 11 questions, the least I can do is answer them. From Ryan…


1.) I love the overall devotion to the Simpsons and especially to the older episodes (before they went 3 seasons with hackneyed storylines while putting together the movie), but with such Simpson envy, why is there such a lack of interest in Futurama?

I could never get into Futurama and I’m not sure why. I’ve given it a lot of chances, both during its initial run and on Adult Swim. Here’s my best guess: It looks like The Simpsons… it’s from a lot of the same team that does The Simpsons… but it’s just not The Simpsons.

2.) What’s in spam and why is it so popular in Hawaii?

I asked my co-worker Matty, a Hawaiian native, this question. “I think it’s because it’s so cheap,” he said, “and people in Hawaii used to be really poor when they lived on plantations. We like all kinds of meats that are easy to preserve: Spam, Vienna sausages, corned beef.”

3.) Why are you fanatic about Mario Kart, but can’t get into Smash Bros? The game is all crowd screaming carnage and epic losses between friends using most of the best from Nintendo’s beginnings. (With exception to characters like Sonic and Snake, but we let then slide because they, too, are awesome)

Really, I don’t love Smash Bros. because I’ve never gotten into fighting games. I was never really a big Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat fan, and having the Nintendo characters involved in that genre doesn’t really do it for me. I much prefer platform games (like the real Mario), sports games and puzzle games.

4.) I, like everyone else apparently, read all of the Harry Potter books and enjoyed the series. It seems though you may have better luck preparing a Potter list by beginning with the “11 things _______ _________ about twilight” list. (Hint: the blanks should probably resonate towards negativity)

I would do a Twilight list except that it would mean having to read the Twilight books. If I want to take in some Mormon propaganda I’ll watch old episodes of Donny & Marie on Hulu, thank you very much.

5.) Are “break” and “cracked” related in some way aside from their focus on comical social commentary?

I don’t think Break and Cracked are related, other than both being big time, funny websites. But I’ve worked at Break for quite a while now and helped grow its original content department from a tadpole into a full-fledged production company, which makes it pretty damn cool in my book.

6.) What percentage of your ideas for lists are reached while sober?

Believe it or not, I come up with all of my 11 Points ideas sober. Even ridiculous ones like 11 Occasions To Expose Your Breasts in Public, In Order of Classiness and 11 Things Julia Stiles Hates About Heath Ledger in 10 Things I Hate About You. When I’m drinkin’, I’m not writin’. Or even brainstormin’. But I generally am flippin’ and dancin’.

7.) Have you ever thought (or possibly done and it’s not coming to my mind presently) about doing a list based off what you encounter from participating in one of your list topics? (i.e. join DateCraft and see what happens)

I have thought about doing lists based off my experiences — like joining a dating site or something like that. Just haven’t come up with the right idea yet.

8.) Being a fan, you HAD to have simpsonized yourself when the movie came out, can we see?

Never shared this before…

9.) Being a blogger, how could you not enlighten your audience on your first blog when you did your recent web post?!

I used to blog about my efforts to become a stand-up comedian when I first moved to L.A. I pulled the blog down a while back — it was never very good, and, right now, I get more readers on any given day at 11 Points than I got during an entire year of my old blog.

I also burned out on stand-up comedy… I liked it but didn’t love it, and I’ve found that to succeed in anything in the entertainment world, you MUST have an undying, inextinguishable passion for it.

10.) Where on earth IS Carmen San Diego????

I’m not sure where Carmen Sandiego is, but if she tells you she’ll have beef with you if you don’t relish her clues, she’s probably in Hamburg, Germany.

11.) Forget all the complaints, what was your FAVORITE part of Transformers 2?

My favorite part of Transformers 2 was… well… nothing. I didn’t see it. I also didn’t see the first Transformers. And this may be controversial, but I’m squarely in the camp that believes Megan Fox’s unbelievably obnoxious and not-as-smart-as-she-thinks-she-is personality ruins her physical attractiveness.

9 | Jackass?

I liked this link as a follow-up to my 11 Hilarious (and Very Necessary) Newspaper Corrections list…

Hey Sam,

The other day I stumbled upon your article about newspaper corrections and it occurred to me that I just seen a particularly hilarious one in the LA Times. The link is included below, and unfortunately I could not find the original article, but apparently someone managed to list one of the shows in their TV grid incorrectly. I, on the other hand, am not so sure that someone “accidentally” replaced Countdown with Keith Olbermann with MTV’s Jackass. Mere coincidence? I think not.



No way that’s a coincidence. Half the country thinks Keith Olbermann is a jackass. That was the TV listings editor making his feelings known in the one tiny bit of the newspaper he controls. He probably got fired for it. Or, at the very least, locked in a room with his eyes held open Clockwork Orange-style watching an endless loop of The Rachel Maddow Show.


This sign appeared about a week ago in the women’s restroom where I work. (I work at an airport.)


Just promise me you don’t work at the Sydney airport and that sign’s not in the terminal with planes that fly to Los Angeles.

11 | Twitter Avatar comparison, number two

Two people actually sent this in…

Actually, you look just like Edward Burns in your Twitter avatar.
–Alice in Punderland and Jehad (@heharmjade)

So in the first Inbox-O-Rama, someone compared me to Austin Powers…

And today, it’s Ed Burns…

I like that as an improvement! I got much handsomer in two weeks. At the rate this is going, about 22 Inbox-O-Ramas from now people will be comparing me to Zac Efron or Matt Lauer!