Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

Culture, Humor, Sports
Workplace Distraction

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


I had to cleanse my palate of the "Lost" finale last week, so I went to see "MacGruber." I have something shocking to tell you, so please don't be too upset: It wasn't very good.

It could have worked -- it's not that, as some critics have said, the idea of translating the "SNL" sketch into a movie was doomed from the start -- but there just aren't enough laughs.

The movie starts off as a straight parody -- too straight, in fact -- as former CIA agent MacGruber is lured out of retirement to try to foil a terrorist plot. Eventually, the jokes emerge. Here (minus a word or two, perhaps) is a representative snippet of dialogue, as MacGruber recruits a former colleague for his new team:

Recruit: "You and your d*$@ jokes."

MacGruber: "I love to say them."

Recruit: "I love to hear them."

MacGruber: "That's why I say them."

Recruit: "That's why I listen."

Part of the problem with "MacGruber" is that the character is incoherent and all over the map. In the sketch, MacGruber was a hapless loser. In the movie, he's part hapless loser, part badass, and you're not sure from scene to scene which Grubes you're going to get.

There are a handful of good chuckles, such as when MacGruber asks for a partner's gun during a shootout so he can stir a supposedly explosive mixture he's concocting, and there are a few big laughs too. The best parts are a scene in which MacGruber reveals some of his romantic history over beers with the character played by Ryan Phillipe and a sex scene that is even cruder and funnier than the puppet sex in "Team America."

I can't in good conscience suggest anyone see this in the theater, but if you like Forte's twisted humor and/or the MacGruber sketches, it would be worth a DVD rental.

.: posted by hornswaggler 8:10 AM

Salon Articles
The Right Take on Libby?
Hurricane Horror Stories
"Looting" or "Finding"?
Run, Andy, Run!
Newsweek's Grand Inquisitor
Robert Blake
American Idol
Year in Television 2002

Andrew Sullivan
Bigmouth's "Lost" blog
Chris Keating
Hendrik Hertzberg
Matt Yglesias
Paul Krugman
Peter Kinney
Talking Points Memo
Two Glasses


Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com