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The 411 Douchebag of the Week: Gene Simmons

June 19, 2017 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.


Do you think a show like The Incredible Hulk could work today? With the comic book superhero genre still rocking the box office at the movies and more and more TV shows in the works across cable, network, and streaming, a Hulk TV reboot would seem like an easy sell. But if you actually look at the old show, it would likely have to be changed so it would “fit in” better with the other superhero shows operating around it.

The Incredible Hulk was never a fun show. The show always had a somber tone to it, and the lead actor, Bill Bixby, gave his drifter scientist character David Banner an integrity that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to see in a “comic book show.” And while the origin of the Hulk is fantastic, the “hulk disease” is treated deadly serious and as a very real thing that people have to run away from because the actual Hulk, played by Lou Ferrigno, is incredibly dangerous. The Hulk also never had to fight monsters or aliens or other equally fantastic creatures. Banner and the Hulk basically dealt with “real world” criminals and other awful people. Would a superhero TV show even try to do that kind of thing today?

I don’t think it would. While I do think that a Hulk TV show would be serious and a tad more somber than other superhero centric TV shows, the Hulk and Banner would likely be fighting monsters and creatures and giant robots and aliens and shit like that. And a new show would definitely have to be more fun than the depressing-but-still-entertaining original show. I doubt we’d see the “sad walking away” end scene at the end of every episode.

But what about the “criminals of the week” type stories? Would we see that aspect in a reboot? Maybe, but, since TV is now all about “serialized storytelling,” I’d imagine there’d be a major focus on the Jack McGee newspaper reporter character as he tries to find the Hulk. We’d probably see guest stars every so often, but not as often as we did.

And would we get two people playing the Hulk? Probably not. The Hulk would likely be a CGI character of some sort, so the Banner actor would do some motion capture work for every episode. There would be no need to have a second Hulk/Banner actor. It wouldn’t be as cool, though, especially the transformation scenes.

Am I wrong about this? Do you think someone would try to do either a reboot of The Incredible Hulk that’s similar to the original, or an original superhero show with the tone and structure of The Incredible Hulk? Something to think about, I guess, if you’re so inclined.

And now onto this week’s Douchebag of the Week.



This week, the 411 Douchebag of the Week goes to hard rock god Gene Simmons, for trying to patent the “devil horns” hand gesture. Simmons, the Demon from KISS, claims in the patent application that he actually filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, that he was the first person to use the gesture “in commerce,” and that, as such, he should be allowed to essentially own it.

Now, if you’re reading that and wondering why someone would try to patent a hand signal that’s used by people proficient in American Sign Language (it means “I love you”) or a hand signal that’s used by hard rock and heavy metal fans all over the world (the music rocks, man, and that’s what we all do when the song or whatever kicks ass. We all make the salute, right?), you’re in the significant majority because the premise of the application is insane. And after doing some research on the hand gesture in music, you’d find out that, despite Gene’s claim that he used the gesture first in 1974, that several people in rock music used that gesture “in commerce” several years before 1974, like the band Coven in 1969. So what the hell is going on here? Did Simmons think no one would notice what he’s trying to do?

He knows. Gene Simmons isn’t stupid. He is, though, a man who just wants to make money. And what better way to try to make more money than patent something that everyone uses? There’s certainly nothing wrong with making money (Simmons has made himself quite the fortune with KISS, and that’s awesome. Sometimes it’s a little tacky with the merchandising, but that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with being tacky), but why not make more music? Or do another tour? Or do another one of those residency gigs in Las Vegas? Why do this hand gesture thing?

Well, it seems that Simmons has a penchant for thinking very highly of himself. You can read this and this and see that plenty of Gene’s colleagues believe that Gene believes he’s the greatest of all time and responsible for rock music in total. If you’re that stuck on yourself, the hand gesture thing isn’t that hard to believe. Because, hey, why wouldn’t Gene Simmons try to do that? He believes he invented it.

So where does this go from here? Will Gene Simmons actually own this hand gesture? This article suggests it’s possible but enforcing his patent/trademark would be difficult. And I’d imagine that the fan backlash would only grow, and that can’t be seen as a good thing.

This whole thing sounds dumb.


And now for this week’s honorable mentions…

-Douchebag Hall of Famer Newt Gingrich, for being one of the first major political commentators to blame the recent attempted massacre in Virginia on “the left”. Once I found out about the politically motivated shooting in Virginia, where a deranged left wing psychopath tried to kill as many Republicans as he could, I just knew that Newt was going to say something along the lines of “This is the left’s fault” because that’s just what he does. But it’s always funny when one of the architects of the current political climate ( you can trace the hate and bile and whatnot to Newt’s “Republican Revolution” in the 1990’s, with the help of fellow Douchebag Hall of Famer Frank Luntz) actually has the nerve to go on television and act like the hate and bile and all the rest is just something that popped up about a year ago and he had nothing to do with any of it. It would be nice if a guy like Newt could be humiliated for being a terrible person and then unofficially banished from TV and influence, but then in order to be humiliated you have to have the ability to be ashamed. Newt has never once shown that ability.

I really need to understand why people anywhere continue to take this douchebag seriously. Please, someone, anyone, explain it to me.

Megyn Kelly, now of NBC News, for for the run-up to her interview with Douchebag Hall of Famer and professional loonbag Alex Jones. It isn’t so much that Kelly interviewed Jones (he’s a newsmaker and his views and whatnot are out there, infecting people left and right, so there’s nothing wrong, in essence, with interviewing him), it’s the way she apparently went about sucking up to Jones in order to get him to participate in the interview in the first place. And we know this from the audio recordings Jones made of his conversations with Kelly in the run-up to the interview. “It isn’t going to be a gotcha hit piece.” Why the fuck not? Alex Jones has said horrible things and spewed total bullshit for several years now, and not to expose him for what he has said in the past is insane. He doesn’t provide “alternate information” or whatever you want to call it. He traffics in ludicrous conspiracies, like the Pizzagate thing and “the Sandy Hook Hoax.” Now, if Kelly just said all of that stuff so she could Jones to talk, I’m fine with that. It may be dishonest but Alex Jones doesn’t deserve that level of courtesy. He deserves to be exposed, nothing more. So why not just come out and say that’s what you’re doing/hope to do?

-Douchebag Hall of Famer and professional loonbag Alex Jones, for continuing to push ludicrous Sandy Hook conspiracy theories. You’d think that after these “theories” have been exposed as outright lies that Jones and people like Jones would stop promoting them. But then, when you traffic in bullshit for a living, it isn’t all that surprising. It’s still disgraceful. When will this nonsense end? When?

-Cable company Spectrum, formerly Time Warner Cable, for removing Chiller from its channel lineup. There was no specific announcement that I’m aware of, nor was I warned that it was going to happen. I didn’t get a channel to replace it. Chiller was just eliminated from my channel lineup. That’s just bullshit. I can’t stand it when any cable company does this kind of thing. What the fuck, man? Come on.


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