Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Stuff Your Dad Likes: Hooters

Posted in Stuff Your Dad Likes by Jacob Zinn on March 8, 2012
Jacob Zinn can’t give you fatherly advice, but he can accidentally delete all your cell phone contacts.

The tight T-shirts. The orange short shorts. The bubbly (but often absent-minded) waitresses putting themselves through college.

Hooters is a white trash paradise built on American values such as freedom and chicken wings. It’s a two-star chain restaurant for the blue-collar working man to unwind after a hard day’s work with a beer in one hand and a burger in the other.

It’s home to both southern flavour and unabashed tastelessness, and if you’re dad’s a NASCAR-watching redneck at heart, he’s likely visited such a classy location.

I don’t think my dad has ever been to Hooters – or if he has, he says it was for the wings. But that doesn’t mean your dad hasn’t enjoyed a titillating Hooters Girl holding jugs in front of her jugs.

Hooters has pretty servers, cold beer on tap, sports on TV 24/7 and greasy, deep-fried U.S. delicacies. It’s the restaurant men escape to when their bachelor pad or man cave isn’t manly enough. (But don’t think it’s a restaurant for men only – every now and then, kids eat free!)

Sure, the food is subpar, but no one really goes there for the food. That would be like reading Hooters Magazine for the articles.

If your dad is like my dad and hasn’t been to Hooters, he’s at least been intrigued by seeing its impact in popular culture. From the running joke in Big Daddy to Lisa Simpson’s Hooters Manhattan Beach T-Shirt from Goodwill, the restaurant is a piece of Americana next to baseball and apple pie.

Even extended franchises aren’t safe from ridicule, like Larry the Cable Guy’s comedy bit on receiving “80,000 frequent boner miles” from Hooters Air, or the sad truth that the Hooters Casino Hotel on the Las Vegas strip has never made money from gambling.

Next year, Hooters will celebrate 30 years as America’s swankiest restaurant with hot pants-clad servers. And after three decades of ziplining orders to the kitchen and precariously carrying them out in front of their cleavage, the Hooters Girls are still orange with pride, and fathers everywhere are tipping them generously for it.

Because, like Hooters, your dad is delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.


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FOX in talks for Simpsons Channel

Posted in Opinion, The Simpsons, TV & Film by Jacob Zinn on September 18, 2011
I

nstead of Itchy & Scratchy, the Simpsons could soon be watching themselves on their outdated, purple rabbit-ear television.

FOX is reportedly considering launching a 24-hour Simpsons network. Non-stop, ’round-the-clock gut-busting, laugh-out-loud, yellow hilarity–but is there enough for an entire channel dedicated to Homer, Marge and the kids?

Adding Up The Simpsons


22 Seasons on FOX (and counting!)
486 Episodes spanning 178 Hours
15 Seasons on DVD
1000+ Springfieldians
337 Guest Stars as of Season 16
$400,000 Salary of Simpsons voice actors–per episode
27 Primetime Emmys
24 video games from NES to iPhone
2,151st Star on the Walk of Fame
12 7-Eleven’s turned into Kwik-E-Marts
8th -Highest Grossing Film worldwide, taking in $527,068,706
#1 TV Series of the Century as named by TIME magazine


The Simpsons is the longest-running sitcom, animated program and primetime scripted television series in America. With 486 episodes spanning 22 seasons and a full-length feature film, they have a lot to choose from.

The Simpsons is one of those shows that you’ll watch on syndication as you flip channels on a Sunday afternoon, even if you’ve seen it before and you know how the episode ends. But a channel based on reruns that have been rerun for 22 years could get tiresome, and quick.

It would be fascinating to learn the viewership for different episodes; classics from the golden era of seasons three through nine may be the most watched while newer episodes from the last several seasons might plummet in ratings.

It seems obvious that the network would run promotions during different months for holiday-themed episodes: October would run Treehouse of Horror marathons, December would air Christmas and Hanukkah episodes, and specific episodes that coincide with other occasions.

B

ut to stay fresh, the network would need to offer some original programming, like Simpsons documentaries or vignettes with writers, producers and voice actors on their favourite episodes, characters, chalkboard and couch gags, guest stars, et cetera. Off the top of my head, the network could run 30-minute to one-hour specials on:

  • Film Homages: Pulp Fiction, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Graduate, A Clockwork Orange, The Godfather and Indiana Jones (to name a few)
  • Musical Guest Stars: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, Metallica, NSYNC, Smashing Pumpkins, Ted Nugent, The White Stripes, blink-182
  • Professional Athletes: Joe Nameth, Dennis Rodman, Ken Griffy Jr., Elvis Stojko, Tom Brady, Michelle Kwan, Oscar De La Hoya, Tony Hawk
  • Perfectly Cromulent Words in Pop Culture: D’oh!, meh, embiggen, kwyjibo, cheese-eating surrender monkeys
  • überfans Worldwide: A collection of interviews with self-proclaimed biggest Simpsons fans from around the world.
  • Religion in The Simpsons: A special that explores Ned Flanders’ fundamentalist Christianity, Lisa’s soul-searching Buddhism, Apu’s faithful Hinduism, Krusty’s Jewish upbringing and other beliefs in The Simpsons.

They already have themed DVD releases for Hollywood tributes and religious beliefs, so they wouldn’t have to look very hard to compile these specials.

Groening and the rest of FOX could further break down the subcultures, sociology and psychology of Springfield, even to go so far as to analyze the use of Pavlov’s Theory or the Infinite Monkey Theorem in the show. Heck, they could run a full hour of Homer’s annoyed grunts and still get ratings.

T

he trick here is to appeal to all fans at once. A casual fan who hasn’t seen every episode might watch anything on a Simpsons channel, but someone with Comic Book Guy-level Simpsons fandom might skip newer episodes in favour of “The Lemon Tree” or “22 Short Films About Springfield.”

The Simpsons might be enough to lure viewers in, but at some point, that collection of episodes could rerun itself out. If FOX seriously intends to launch a Simpsons channel, prepare some documentary-style shows filled with interviews and history that will appeal to Frink-type nerds, Wiggum-type simpletons and the Simpson-type typical American family.


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