Article / New Year Old Friends / RepoComedy

Manti Te’o and Mama — Friends Episode 1-6

The One With the Butt

I Play Al Pacino’s Butt, Alright? He goes into the shower, and then I’m his Butt!’

– Joey

Everyone remembers this episode — the one where Joey gets hired to be Al Pacino’s butt in his newest movie, but ends up butt-acting too much and gets fired? Awesome.

It’s awesome for me, too, because this episode’s focus on Joey ‘acting’ is the perfect excuse to write about exactly what I want to write about, an awesome instance of something masquerading as something it’s not, and one of the most bizarre sports stories in a long time (And, no, I’m not talking about Colin Kaepernick’s face):

This guy!!

Don’t know who that is? It’s Manti Te’o, a star Linebacker for Notre Dame.

All through the college football season, Te’o spoke about his inspiring, long-distance girlfriend who was seriously injured in a car accident, then later died of leukemia. Truly heartbreaking stuff. Seriously. That’s grab-the-tissues-and-a-bucket-of-ice-cream-and-put-on-Garden-State levels of heartbreaking.

That is, if it wasn’t all made up. Nuts, right?

It turns out the girlfriend was fake the whole time, the pictures of her were just some random chick from Facebook, and Te’o suddenly started claiming he had never actually met her and was the victim of a cruel hoax, despite the fact that he previously said he flew to Hawaii to see her!

Mama Te’o: Manti, want to go over to the house of the girl you claim to love and see her face for the first time?

Manti: Nah, I’m cool with texting.

Mama Te’o: But Manti, we flew all the way to Hawaii! Let’s just go say hi.

Manti: TOO MUCH PRESSURE!!! WE HAVEN’T EVEN SKYPED YET! DO YOU THINK IF I PROPOSE A LINKEDIN CONNECTION, SHE’LL SAY YES???!

I get that dating is different in the digital age, but come on. We’re supposed to believe that?

This topic has been written about in excess on the Inter-computer-web already, so I’ll just leave you with a couple thoughts:

  • Regardless of how implicit you personally believe Te’o was in all of this, we should take a second to just bask in the ridiculousness of the situation. Stories with this much of what I like to call the ‘WHAAT?!’ factor are pretty rare. Let’s enjoy it.
  • Also — SILVER LINING, that everyone seems to be neglecting — this means that some young girl somewhere wasn’t in a terrible car accident and didn’t get leukemia. Any other day, that’d be good news.
  • Why are we really so upset? Did Te’o hurt anyone by running with this hoax? Only the news outlets that ran the story (including one expansive CBS halftime segment that I personally saw) were really hurt, and that’s because they didn’t bother to do even the most elementary of fact-checking! Te’o has no real obligation to tell any of us the truth any more than you’d expect the truth from a random stranger on the sidewalk.
  • The real thing we should be upset about is the state of the American media. Sure, this is just a silly famous-athlete-girlfriend fluff piece, but you really think the lack of thoroughness on this story isn’t at all indicative of modern journalism as a whole? TRUE FACT THAT ISN’T ACTUALLY TRUE BUT REALLY SEEMS LIKE IT IS: 90% of all American news stories today are about something someone tweeted. This is scarier than the trailer for Mama:

Which, by the way, I’m not seeing just because the trailer is too freaking spooky.

‘It’s the Exclamation Point in the Title that Scares Me. It’s Not Just ‘Freud’ — It’s ‘FREUD!’

– Phoebe

This episode opens with the gang waiting for one of Joey’s plays to begin. If you’ve attended as much storefront theater as I have (or perhaps really any storefront theater)  you may be familiar with the ‘fear’ and ‘sense of impending doom’ Chandler bemoans. It’s the pit in your stomach when you can tell from lights up that this three-and-a-half hour play your just settled into is going to be crap. And your seat feels like it’s made of a mixture of concrete and Lance Armstrong’s butt cheeks (which must be pretty hard because of all the DOPING HE DID: http://www.miniurl.com/sa/Online_Comedy_Lance_Armstrong_Oprah

Now, don’t get me wrong. Theater can be a beautiful, moving, and unifying experience — when it’s done well. When it’s done poorly, it can be like having to sit and watch someone slowly and methodically sand a piece of wood into nothingness: You know it’ll end sometime but you just can’t know when.

This doesn’t mean we should stop seeing theater. But not every play is going to be a winner (even if it’s not a storefront production at all. See: Spiderman), so here’s some help from your #1 fan (ME!) on how to make it through the stinkers:

  • Talk loudly : Making jokes has helped me through many boring times. Try it now! Make fun of that actor’s German accent! It sounds Swedish! That’s hilarious! Share it with the audience.
  • Read the entire program : There’s a surprisingly large number of words in a playbill. Make it a challenge to find and read every single one of them. That’s right. Make those words your bitch.
  • Don’t look at your watch : This will only make time move slower, and also remind you that you can’t afford a nicer watch
  • Sneak in booze : The drunker you are, the easier talking loudly becomes (But reading the entire program gets harder, so you take the good with the bad)

There you have it! Four easy steps to surviving bad theater! Now get out there, clench your teeth, and support those arts!

‘All You Want is a Dinkle, All You Envy’s a Schwang! A Thing Through Which You Can Tinkle, or Play With or Simply Let Hang!’

– Joey, as Sigmund Freud

Other cool things about this episode:

  • Joey’s play is a musical about Freud. Hilarious concept, hilarious song.
  • Chandler dates a polygamous woman — another instance of Friends being super progressive about sexual stuff.
  • In the scene where Joey is playing Al Pacino’s butt, there is a box behind the director marked ‘Monica’s‘ — which means they shot that in their own sound stage with just their own junk laying around.

Next Article: Season 1, Episode 7 — The One With the Blackout

Previous Articles: Season 1, Episode 5 — The One With the East German Laundry Detergent

Season 1, Episode 4 — The One With George Stephanopoulos

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