Sunday, June 17, 2007

Interview: Jeff the Mannequin

PV: Ah, Jeff the Mannequin from the beloved Nickelodeon show "Today's Special." Pleased to make your acquaintance.

J: The pleasure is all mine. My only request is that you ask your questions quickly, because we don't have much time.

PV: No?

J: As you know if you're familiar with the TV program, my magic hat only allows me come to life when the store is closed. We're opening up again in a few minutes.

PV: That's a heck of a lot of exposition, Jeff. I know all about your hat, how it was given to you by the magician Waldo the Magnificent and how wearing it lets you go off on adventures with the store designer, Jodie.

J: Of course, Phil. I was only giving your readers some background.

PV: What readers?

J: Surely you have readers, do you not?

PV: Not really. I used to have a few, but I guess they sort of got bored with this fake interview concept.

J: Why that's too bad. Would you like Jodie and I to teach you a lesson in how to reach out to new friends?

PV: I'll pass. No offense, but your show wasn't so good at teaching lessons, and that's probably why it got canceled after just a few years.

J: We lasted six years and made international syndication. Not bad for a low-budget Canadian show.

PV: Right, but still, you were no Sesame Street. Most of the things you taught me were completely irrelevant or altogether false.

J: I'm sorry to hear that. Would you kindly elaborate?

PV: Well, like talking mice who interact with robots to fix the store's P.A. system, and the sound boxes that would open up and music would sprout out. Those don't really exist. Also, your show made it look like it was possible for a lonely person to engage in a fulfilling relationship with a mannequin. And let me tell you, from my personal experience with the pointy-nippled dress mannequins at Dillard's, it ain't as easy as you and Jodie made it look.

J: Speak for yourself. I never had any trouble getting those Dillard's mannequins to put out. They were complete whores. They must have found you even below their pathetically low standards.

PV: Be that as it may, I didn't really get much from your show. For me it was like "Darkwing Duck" or "Inspector Gadget" - something I watched more out of habit than enjoyment.

J: Oh really? Sounds like an apt descriptor for my nightly sexual rendezvous with your mother.

PV: Believe me, Jeff. You don't want to get into a yo momma thing with me. I'll lay waste to your inanimate ass.

J: I'm sorry. I didn't mean what I said. It's not me. It's the magic hat.

PV: Sure, blame the hat.

J: OK, it's only partially the hat. I'm also kind of a dick off camera. But let me ask you something - you caught the show on Nickelodeon, right?

PV: Right.

J: Well that explains why you may not have learned much. "Today's Special" was made for commercial-free public TV, and commercial network trimmed a few minutes off so they could squeeze in commercials.

PV: Huh, I never knew that. What kind of stuff did they cut out?

J: Quizzes, explanations of the show's morals, all sorts of great stuff. Believe me, if you had gotten to watch the whole thing, you would have been a much smarter young boy, and in turn a much wiser man.

PV: Be honest, Jeff. They really only trimmed the dopey musical numbers, didn't they?

J: Sorta.

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