“Ah that’s just drunk talk…sweet beautiful drunk talk.” – Barney from the Simpsons
One thing I miss about not hanging out at bars until 2 a.m. anymore is drunk talk. You know the conversations you get into that range from “Is there a God?” to “Betty or Wilma?”. No matter how inane or important, all topics are discussed with equal conviction. I hope this post temporaly fills the void of drunk talk. And no… I am not drunk while I am writing this.
I noticed something about myself while watching “This Movie is Not Yet Rated”. It’s a documentary, where there is an interview with Matt Stone of South Park. I notice behind him was a Stone pint glass. Was this an attempt at product placement? I hope so. I would like to think of Matt Stone as a craft beer drinker. Noticing the glass really tells more about me than him which is that I pay attention to anything beer in what I am watching TV or movies. A good example of this is when I watched “The Boys From Brazil.” I noticed that one scene had Germans in South America at a restaurant drinking Warsteiner. This is a great example of accuracy in the depiction of what an expatriate German would drink. It is also true that the beer that he was drinking is all I remember of the scene. This made me think: What is my favorite beer moment in tv or movies? .
I appreciate anytime that Hollywood gets the right beer for the situation. Some good examples of this areThe Deer Hunter (Rolling Rock), Deathproof (Shiner Bock) and a stout in The Key (a William Powell Irish revolution movie). One of the most famous quotes involving beer is from Frank Booth in Blue Velvet and his love of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Naturally Frank would love PBR, he lives in Lumberton, Wisconsin.
Blue Velvet also stars Isabella Rossellini which brings me to our next movie, “The Saddest Music in the World” which has one of the most unique uses of beer I have seen in a movie. The movie takes place in a Canadian Brewery in 1933. Isabella’s character is holding a contest to find the saddest music in the world. The important part of this story is her legs. Lady Port-Huntly(Isabella) lost her legs in a bizarre accident. Her replacement legs are these glass legs that are filled with the finest Canadian Pilsner and is oddly sexy. I don’t want to give too much away but unfortunately her legs don’t make it through the whole film. In a scene that is both sadly upsetting, yet funny (imagine a Disney mother-death-scene combined with Ned Beaty running up a hill in his underwear… you’ll understand what I mean) We find out legs should not be made of glass. You will think of Lady Port-Huntly everytime you hear that a beer has legs.
Some of my favorite TV beer moments are from Futurama. Besides the great beer names like “Pabst Blue Robot”, “Lobrau” and “Olde Fortran,” alcohol is similar to a fuel for robots in the future. This leads to some great beer moments throughout the series. Home brewing in Futurama’s offices led to turning Bender into a carboy in the episode “the Route of All Evil”. When a decision on what beer to buy becomes to rough, Leela recommends brewing their own beer. The inaccuracy of the brewing process in this episode is most likely due to the need for Bender pregnancy jokes. I wish they would have substituted Bender’s antenna for a bubbler but then Bender’s belly would have not swollen. There are some great lines from both Bender and Leela about beer in this episode. Some of them I have already used to introduce past posts. Also, this episode inspired Simon Jansen to build his own brewing Bender. Drew Carey also had some good episodes involving brewing his Buzz beer.
My favorite “bockumentary” is “American Beer”. It features Michigan’s own Larry Bell in a stellar performance. A crew of five people go across the U.S. and visit 38 breweries in forty days. When I first watched this I thought, “What cry babies…Oh, I have to visit another brewery. Boo hoo.” However, after trying this kind of trip just in Michigan I have a greater appreciation for what they pulled off. I couldn’t do it. If it wasn’t for the great people at Schmoz I might not have made it past a week. I know that I am probably preaching to the choir but, if you haven’t seen it, rent this movie. It is a great inside look at what makes a brewery work.
One of the strangest beer moments in movies I have enjoyed was on a Sunday morning. Every once in a while I will turn on TCM and use it as background noise while I work around the house. One day I turned it on and the movie “Torch Song” was on. It’s a terrible movie with Joan Crawford. I don’t understand why she was a star and why she was considered attractive so I went over to turn the movie off. Just then Marjorie Rambeau started to speak. She was playing Joan Crawford’s beer drinking mom. I couldn’t find the exact quote but I will get as close as possible. “Beer is not as good as when your father was drinking it. You could taste the hops and the malt would hit you right in the back of the head.” I think Marjorie would be happy to know that beer is back and tasting better than ever.
In my opinion, the greatest show in entertainment involving beer is The Simpsons’ “Homer vs. The 18th Amendment.” The first segment deals with a St. Patrick’s Day parade and gives us the line, “All this drinking, violence, destruction of property… are these the things that we think of when we think of the Irish?” Even if you are like me and have Irish ancestry and hate the Notre Dame mascot, you still have to admit that line is funny. At the parade, Bart gets accidentally drunk. In typical Simpsons mob mentality overreaction, Springfield decides to bring back an old law and prohibition is back in Springfield. Homer steps in to fill the void and becomes the Beer Baron and sells illegal hooch. Top it off with an Eliot Ness type and a narrator that sounds like Walter Winchell and you have one of the funniest episodes they have done. Let’s not forget the quotes from the episode like…
Homer: To alcohol, the cause of—and solution to—all life’s problems.
I left out some of my favorites. My favorite classic comedy “The Thin Man” has great drinking moments and quotes. I also left out great shows like “The Thirsty Traveler” or “Three Sheets”. Zane Lamprey’s trip to Belgium is a classic episode. Then there are the some good comedies like “Beer Fest” and “Strange Brew”. What are some of your favorite beer moments in entertainment?