Originally created 05/10/04

If only real life came with a blooper reel at the end



The other night I was flipping channels when I came across a program that was showing bloopers and outtakes from a series.

It was a news show about the Friends finale, I believe, but it could have been any number of shows. Bloopers - humorous or messed-up scenes shot but not used in a show - are everywhere these days.

The first ones I remember in a film came at the end of a Jackie Chan movie, and his movies still show them. There, they serve a purpose, showing us how hard his stunts are and how hard he is working to get them right.

Other movies picked up the practice; it's one way to get the audience to hang around for the credits. Even animators have gotten in on the act, drawing extra scenes that are shown as "outtakes" at the end of the cartoon. Pretty ingenious, if you think about it. Or else pretty scary.

What gets me about all this is that Hollywood doesn't seem to mind spending all that extra time and film or tape on flubbed scenes.

Whenever an actor goofs, everyone considers it a joke. The producers don't get mad and charge the actors for all that wasted time and equipment and for not studying their parts better.

All of this set me to wondering why Hollywood should have a monopoly on bloopers.

We've all goofed in our lives, so why don't we get do-overs and not suffer the consequences?

It could go like this:

AT SCHOOL:

Billy: "Well, lets see what's for lunch today." (He turns green, races from the cafeteria.)

Lunchlady: "Cut! Get back in here, Billy; the food doesn't look that bad. Clean yourself up and get in line. Take your time, though; the third-graders can wait."

AT THE OFFICE MEETING:

Boss: "OK, Johnson, let's hear your presentation on the Finkelman account."

Johnson: "It's right here. Oh, no. You're not going to believe this. I've left my report at home." (Groans around the conference table.)

Boss (laughing): "Johnson, I ought to fire you right here."

Johnson (also laughing): "You're absolutely right. Look, let's do this: What if I just pull some papers out of my briefcase and pretend it's the report? Then we can get this meeting over before you bore us all to tears."

Boss: "Sounds good to me. I'd rather be anywhere else but here anyway. Let's continue."

AT HOME:

Dad: "Slow down, Susie. No running in the house. You might break a lamp." (Loud crash.)

Dad: "See, now you've broken the lamp."

Susie: "It's not the lamp, Dad. It was the TV set."

Dad: "My mistake. Keep running. Just consider yourself forewarned."

IN TRAFFIC:

Trucker: "Get out of my way, slowpoke!"

Motorist: "Oh, yeah? What are you going to do about it?"

Trucker (stepping out of his truck): "Rearrange your face, perhaps."

Motorist: "Wow, I didn't realize you were so large. What's say we back up and try this again, and this time I'll pull over into the slow lane and let you by."

Trucker: "Hmmmm, it just might work." (Turning to the gathering crowd of rubberneckers.) "Come on, people, let's do it. I've got onions to deliver."

Reach Glynn Moore at (706) 823-3419 or glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.