5 Types of People Who Suck

You’re a good person. I can tell this about you already. You’re kind to your neighbours and the people you work with say nice things about you when you’re not around. At Halloween, you give out the best candy and the local children will attack anyone who tries to throw eggs at your house. It’s obvious that you are not any of the annoying people listed below, who really need to be told just how annoying they really are.

1. “The Book Was Better” Person. This particular jackass appears whenever someone proclaims to have just enjoyed a movie based upon a popular novel. If you happen to be walking out of the local cineplex, whether it be the Harry Potter series or even the latest Stephen King flick, this person will insist on letting you know “the book was better”. This is that person’s way to be pompous and brag about the fact that he probably reads more than you do. If you are that person, here’s a newsflash: the book is almost always better than the movie. We already know. That’s just a given. A book is hundreds of pages and a movie is two hours. Plus, when you read a book, you essentially create a movie in your head. Of course you think your movie is better than the one that was actually made. So, yeah, the book is better. If the movie was always better than the book, there wouldn’t be books. More importantly, please know that no one is impressed with how much you read.

2. Professor “The New Version Sucks”. This special doctor shows up whenever he sees someone enjoying any kind of remake, especially a cover tune by a popular band. You see, he’s cooler than everyone else because he’s aware that there was another band who did the song first, and everyone knows that automatically means the new version is lousy… especially in music. He gets extra snide if the new version sells better than the old version. See, that means it really sucks. Does he ever like a remake? Yes, but only when no one else has ever heard of it. This also includes the person who scolds you for watching an English remake of any movie originally made in another language. He’s seen the original Swahili version of Fast and Furious 6, and the one made in Hollywood pales in comparison.

3. The “That Band Sucks Now That They’re Popular” Fan. This guy wants you to know that bands are never cool once they decide they want to earn a livable wage. If some band finds success, learns to actually write music, and somehow gets a platinum album, this person will turn his back on them completely and call everyone who likes them a “Poseur”. He’ll let you know that the only “True Fans” of that band are the people who illegally downloaded their badly-recorded demo that is awkward and clumsy and has nonexistent production values. If the members of a band want more than to play to 60 people while living in a van, they’re sellouts and have no talent. He’s always a contrarian, and the only Van Halen member he likes is Gary Cherone.

4.”Cell Phone Screamer”. You’re in line at a coffee shop or sitting on a subway. The guy behind you decides to show the people around him how important he is by speaking so loudly to the person on the other end of his cell phone that he probably could have just opened the window and shouted across town. Sure, it’s the 21st century and he’s screaming into a piece of equipment with a button on it that controls the volume. But that technology ignores self-importance. It’s much preferable for him to stand in a quiet area and scream into the receiver as if he were using a tin can with a string attached to it.

5. The “SNL Isn’t Funny Anymore” Critic. At some point while visiting the water cooler, you might hear a co-worker talking about a particularly funny sketch she saw onSaturday Night Live. That’s when this particular nimrod shows up to proclaim to everyone that SNL hasn’t been funny since the original cast. This often-repeated line seems to be said nowadays because, well… you’re just supposed to say it. But here’s the deal: In over 30 years on TV, it most certainly has been as funny. In fact, it’s often been hilarious. And yet still people show up all the time proclaiming “SNL isn’t funny anymore, and it hasn’t been in years.” Moments later, this same person will freely admit that he hasn’t even watched the show since Anthony Michael Hall left the cast. But, you know, he’s decided that it sucks.

It’s highly likely that you’re not any of the aforementioned five annoying people. If you are, there’s still hope for you, my friends. Put down that book, turn off the original version of “The Pina Colada Song”, and go watch The Shawshank Redemption. Then come outside and tell everyone how much better that movie was than the book.

Ward named “Cadillac Achiever of the Year”

Hey, all.

I’m thrilled and honoured to have been named Cadillac’s “Achiever of the Year”, 2013.  The kind people at Cadillac have chosen to give me this award in recognition of the fact that, yeah, I’ve had a good year…!  As part of it, Sharp Magazine will have a two-page profile on me in this November’s issue, and I’ll be appearing at the release party for the new Sharp Book For Men this September.

Needless to say, I’m quite excited about it all.  Thanks to Cadillac, Sharp Magazine, and everyone who made it happen.

Ward

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Going Through a Break-up Doesn’t Make You A “Survivor”

I recently caught an interview with a woman on TV who managed to go from being a broke divorcee to being a self-made millionaire. It was impressive, to say the least, that she accumulated such wealth and success in the first place, but also because she did so while fast approaching 50 years-old. The person doing the interview praised this woman’s success and called her a “survivor.”

On another TV program I saw, a woman was interviewed about her new-found independence after going through a particularly nasty divorce. The show host screamed to the audience that the woman was “A Survivor!” The audience, of course, erupted into applause and cheers. Two days later, a friend of mine who lost half of everything he owns in a divorce told me he was “thankful to have survived it.”

Survived what, exactly? Divorce, I guess. You know, that rare disease that claims the life of untold millions every year for which there is no known cure.

No less than 27 times in the past year have I heard someone coming out of a bad relationship call themselves a “survivor.” As if awful splits are, somehow rare and something a random few people get through without succumbing to the Grim Reaper. Suddenly, going through a bad break-up has become synonymous with PTSD and treatment for Anthrax.

The truth of the matter is something no one wants to hear: You aren’t special because you made it through a bad break-up.

These days it seems we want to convince everyone that every single experience is unique and rare; that no one could possibly understand the hardships that come with the demise of a relationship. In reality, most break-ups are difficult, many divorces can get nasty, and about 99 per cent of all people involved in either (or both) manage to live through them. People go through them all the time. We’ve all been there.

Over half of all marriages end in divorce and a majority of all relationships end. The odds of that relationship ending badly (or depressingly) are pretty high already. After all, these things end for a reason. Something went wrong. It “broke.” It happens a lot. Patting yourself on the back for “surviving” it is just a slap in the face to those who actually deal with life-threatening situations.

You and the ex argued a lot and screamed at each other? That doesn’t make you the victim of domestic violence. That makes you a bad fit with your chosen mate. You lost a lot of money in the divorce? That doesn’t mean you were inches away from death’s door. It actually makes you pretty much just like most people who go through a painful split.

The problem here is not people’s feelings of self-importance; it’s the devaluing of certain words. Pre-9/11, we called a good athlete a “hero.” Calling someone who had a bad break-up a “survivor” is a similar kind of First-World-Problems hyperbole. But it belittles those who actually persevere and overcome true, life-threatening obstacles. Imagine telling the rugby players who resorted to cannibalism in order to survive that plane crash in the Andes Mountains that you’re on a similar level because you married a passive-aggressive jackass.

Originally posted HERE on The Huffington Post. 

Somewhere out there, there are actual “survivors” of awful break-ups. Victims of abuse, marital rape, con-artist spouses, and those who can claim to have lost more than their pride and condo. These are the people who deserve to use the term “survivor,” not the person upset she had a bad relationship with the guy that lived in his parents’ basement until he was 30 and never learned to wash his own clothes. You weren’t on the verge of death; you just have bad taste in men. Same goes for my friend whining about losing his “Man Cave” because he married someone who couldn’t put up with his crap. It’s not like he had to endure four rounds of chemotherapy.

If you come through your break-up with your limbs attached, your skin unbruised, your body unviolated, and your future ahead of you, don’t label yourself a “survivor.” Instead, consider yourself pretty normal. Then consider yourself lucky that you don’t actually deserve that label we so glibly throw around these days. In order to wear it, you’d have to have suffered through something far worse than a jerk who got half your stuff and didn’t like your mother.

Bring Back Real Women On TV

There was a time when women on television — much like in real life — were relegated to the roles of housewives, teachers and secretaries. In an industry that has always put breasts ahead of brains, TV is now thankfully portraying women in realistic careers onscreen. Now if they could only go one step further and start using realistic women in those roles, as well.

In yet another example of the networks continuing to underestimate the intelligence of their audiences, every other show this fall is tossing out more T and A than a Scrabble convention. It’s as if the entire season has been created around winners of America’s Next Top Model. I don’t need to name a few of theses shows, since it’s almost all of them that are guilty of doing it.

Click on the tube on any given night, and we’re treated to shows about tough-as-nails female cops… who just happen to wear crop tops and chase the bad guys while wearing six-inch heels and push-up bras. Change the channel and you will you find a show about a district attorney whose most important disclosure is her cleavage. One more click and you’ll find a hospital drama where the chief of staff looks like she’s barely out of high school and her surgeon’s scrubs double as a g-string.

How have we come so far only to grow so little? We’ve put women on TV into respectable roles, from lawyers to cops to doctors to heads of businesses and government. So why can’t we show women who look… real? And, while we’re at it, why are we still so afraid to admit that women don’t cease to exist once they hit forty?

Well-written shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men are drawing awards left and right and inspiring viewing marathons. Is it really necessary to draw viewers in by giving them scantily-clad females at every turn? One would expect such gimmicks from a nighttime soap or reality show dreck. But some of the top shows on major networks, priding themselves on excellent writing and great casts are still trying to make us believe that the head of criminology for the FBI just also happens to be a young cover model with an expensive haircut and apparently plenty of time to go to the gym and count her carbs.

It’s almost entirely sexist, as well, which makes it even harder to watch. Men are pretty much left alone when it comes to such casting stunts. Sure, there’s still the bad stereotype of the “Buffoon Dad” or the “Fat Guy with the Hot Wife”. But at least men are allowed to be somewhat normal looking on TV or — gasp — middle aged. Bryan Cranston is a believable as a suburban dad, and Steve Buscemi looks like everyone’s creepy uncle. Isn’t it time we gave the same treatment to the actresses out there? It’s going to take more than one Melissa McCarthy to convince me we’re turning the corner. And every powerful businesswoman can’t be played by Glenn Close.

It used to be that the gorgeous woman with the great figure was cast in the romantic lead, while every other actress found their way into the “best friend” roles or character bits. But now even the best friend is curvy and half-naked, and the crabby landlord is twenty-five years old. What are we saying to young women and girls when literally every single figure they see on television, no matter the role, is a size two? If the bankers and politicians on TV are all stunning and thin, where are all the realistic women going? Where’s the mother of a teen that doesn’t look like a teen mother?

Women used to be realistic on TV. Lucille Ball was 40 years old when she created I Love LucyCagney and Lacey showcased realistic female detectives dealing with middle age. The Golden Girls remains one of the most beloved comedies of all time, and the entire show was about–get this–women growing old. Nowadays, The Golden Girls would be about four platinum blondes who are all skinny doctors forced to deal with the hardships of brain surgery, dating, and how downhill everything goes as they each approach thirty.

Women have been complaining about this sort of thing for years, and apparently no one is listening. This tells me that the networks are still under the belief that this is what men want to see. They think men won’t watch a realistic, middle-aged actress playing a lawyer on television, so they’re putting lawyers in their underwear on the tube instead. That’s not just insulting to women everywhere, guys; it’s insulting to men. It does nothing more than confirms the belief that we’re more interested in style over substance.

No more than I want to see a twenty year-old Abercrombie model playing a professor at MIT do I want to see a twenty year-old Playboy Bunny playing, well, a professor at MIT. But that’s apparently what the networks think of us. We shouldn’t be okay with that. By not speaking out about how unfairly women are portrayed, we’re confirming the negative way men are perceived. Neither should be okay with us. If it is, then we’re no better than the Buffoon Dads we keep insisting we’re not.

The Real Miley Outrage? The Faux Outrage.

Faster than Justin Timberlake can expose a breast on Janet Jackson, the entire world is alive with mock outrage over the Miley Cyrus performance at this week’s MTV Video Music Awards.  Parents locked their kids in their rooms.  Teachers planned special discussion groups to help students to cope with the trauma.  And Disney is reportedly placing a warning sticker on every single copy of Hannah Montana merchandise in existence.  All because Miley Cyrus dared to act…sexy?

But that’s just it: Miley Cyrus wasn’t sexy.  She wasn’t sultry.  She wasn’t shocking, nor was she scandalous.  Miley Cyrus was, simply put, trying too hard. She so wanted to shock us and to show us what a big, sexualized rock star she’s become.  Instead, she just looked like someone who really, really wanted our attention…just not in the way we’re giving it.

You can’t really blame her.  The twenty year-old singer has been living in the shadow of her Disney character for so long, she’s been beating herself senseless trying to be seen as anything other than a pre-teen bubblegum princess. Anyone who has been paying attention for the past few years has seen this coming for a long time.  It seems pretty obvious that–for a teeny-bopper desperate to shed her skin and re-invent herself as a fully-grown, sexualized adult–the VMA’s would be the perfect place.

Scandals always happen at The Video Music Awards.  The fact that we play along at all is amazing at this point, considering we’ve seen it so many times in the past.  Kanye West was an ass who interrupted Taylor Swift.  Madonna pulled the equivalent of drunken spring breaker when she locked lips with Brittany Spears.  And, not for nothing, but she was the first VMA shock artist when she ungracefully rolled around on stage in a wedding gown singing “Like a Virgin”.  At this point, outrageous displays of idiocy, narcissism and vulgarity are more common at the ceremony than actual music videos.  Oh, yeah…remember when MTV had those?  They should have an award ceremony for them or something, if they ever bring them back.

Now, in yet another attempt to pretend the VMAs are at all relevant anymore, we have the faux outrage over Miley Cyrus.  She stumbled around awkwardly, wearing more clothes than the average Hooters Girl, and rubbed up against Alan Thicke’s son.  Frankly, I was more shocked when Christina Aguilera didn’t come out onstage and join them. After all, weren’t we just as outraged back when she pulled this same stunt over a decade ago?

At least Aguilera was sexy that night, all those years ago. And at least she appeared to know what actual sex is. Cyrus, unfortunately, looked more like the girl you knew in high school who constantly bragged about all the sex she was having yet was secretly a virgin. Tongue wagging?  Crotch touching and butt-grinding?  Her moves weren’t sexy as much as the attempts of someone who has no idea what sexy is trying desperately to make us believe she does.  It was kind of like asking an Amish guy to explain digital porn.

Yet all over The Internet and in the media, people are still acting as if what Cyrus did was remotely as shocking or scandalous as what we actually witnessed.  All we really saw was the equivalent of someone getting drunk at the office holiday party and jumping onstage with the band. The kind of thing we’d snicker at and pat her on the back for the next day, while reassuring her the hangover will eventually go away.  Yet we’re tweeting desperately about it as if it was just revealed she’s been cast to play Catwoman in the Man of Steel sequel.

Instead of being shocked at Miley Cyrus and her shenanigans, be shocked by the fact that MTV apparently still has music videos and apparently still gives them awards.  Be shocked that the statuette is still that Moon Man that Miley Cyrus is far too young to remember.  And be shocked that people tune in to cheer for awards to videos they’ll never see…unless Robin Thicke is in it with a bunch of naked women.

Oh, and for the record, the best video of all time is still Thriller.

Award for Ward?

Hey, all!

I’m thrilled to say that Cadillac has named me one of its Top 10 “Achievers of the Year”, and a finalist for THE grand prize of “Cadillac’s Achiever of the Year”.

Although it’s a thrill just to be nominated, I have to admit I’d be all kinds of giddy if I won this thing.  Mostly, because it comes with the opportunity to appear in an actual Cadillac ad and other fun stuff.

So, if you’d like to see yours truly continue to climb the proverbial show biz ladder, please vote for me.  It’s easy to do, and will only take a minute.  Plus I’ll give you a link to make it easy.  Here goes:

CLICK HERE FOR WARD AWARD.

See?  Now you’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside, right?

Thanks and stay tuned!

Keep an eye on summer,

Ward

Ward’s Book…FREE!

Hey, gang!

It won’t be too long before my book, Four Wheels and a Microphone, is no longer available on Amazon.  With my new (and first) novel coming out next summer, much of my old work is going to be taken out of print.  This includes The Ultimate Bachelor’s Guide, which–after 10 profitable years–is being quietly retired.  And Four Wheels, which may return in the future, albeit edited and in print form (Yay!).  Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I’m doing a special promotion for three days.  Starting Wednesday, August 14th (tomorrow), You can get Four Wheels and a Microphone absolutely free on amazon.com.  Yes, free!  It’s available for download right now for the bargain price of $2.99.  But, for three straight days (starting tomorrow) you can save yourself three bucks and get that sucker for nothing.

Pass the word along, tell everyone to check it out, and–if you haven’t done so already–get yourself a copy to read.  Summer isn’t over yet, so put that bad boy on your Kindle or mobile device and give it a read.  You’ll be glad you did.  The reviews have been kind.

So, just CLICK HERE and you can start enjoying the memoir within minutes.

In the meantime, I wish you all the best in the weeks to come.  And, as always, I hope you’ll tune in every Monday through Friday and listen to me LIVE on SiriusXM’s Channel 167.  10am to 12pm EST.  That’s where “Ward and Al” hang out, every weekday!

See you soon,

Ward

Ward Interviewed By The Joke Merchants

Ward Interviewed By The Joke Merchants

Here’s a recent interview with Ward on the podcast “The Joke Merchants” with Martha O’Neil.  This show comes courtesy of everyone at Pod Almighty.  It’s a more subdued, serious interview, with a look at life in show business.  Also, Ward’s mother gets to join in along the way, when host Martha O’Neil calls her to talk about Ward’s childhood as a performer.  Just click above or RIGHT HERE.  ENJOY!

Ward’s Album is OUT NOW!

Hey, gang.
I’ve got a new comedy album that was just released today, and I’m telling everyone about it.  Because of my new radio gig, I won’t be touring this summer, but I figured the album will be a good substitute for live appearances, until I get back into clubs later this year.
So, if you’d like to hear more Ward (and who wouldn’t, I say?) you can check out my new album, Born to Run-On.  It’s available on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/born-to-run-on/id648105174

and it’s available on Amazon:
Thanks for letting me bug you today with a little bit of me.
Hope you dig the album!
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40 at 40

I turn 40 this weekend.  Someone gave me the idea to sit down and come up with 40 things I’ve learned over the past 40 years.  So, with no grand fanfare, I present that list.

  1. Marry the person you want to sit on the sofa with while you’re reading.
  2. At 20, you get drunk and laugh.  At 30, you get drunk and you cry.  At 40, you have a drink and listen to Sinatra.
  3. I’d be lying if I said I still don’t hold the occasional grudge.
  4.  Anger isn’t nearly as impressive as patience.  Nor is it as effective.
  5. My parents were wrong a lot, but at least they were consistent.
  6. Everyone who teased me for what I wanted to be when I grew up now emails me and tells me they’re impressed I actually did it.
  7. Those people who teased you when you were 10 will be your biggest cheerleaders when you are 40.
  8. People think it is difficult to be an entertainer.  It’s more difficult to be married to one.
  9. All the times I begged and pleaded and cried and beat my fists never got me my way.  But it did make a lot of my girlfriends lose respect for me.

10. People told me that, as I got older, I’d become less liberal.  Hasn’t happened yet.  Stay tuned.

11. People care way too much about appearing smarter than they are.  You’ll enjoy life more if you let people see you as silly.  And you’ll wind up looking smarter after all.

12. My friends say I have bad taste in music, but I bet I have more fun singing in the shower than they do.

13. I don’t care what you think, “Call Me Maybe” is a great song.

14.  At 20, you long to be rich and famous.  At 30, you long to be famous and make good money.  At 40, you long for a decent living and selective anonymity.

15. Of all the drugs I ever tried, sugar is the most addictive.

16. It’s a good thing my brothers both went into computers and give me free advice when I need it.  Otherwise, I’d probably have written this in crayon.

17. I rarely think about ex-girlfriends, but I constantly miss every dog I ever had.

18. We really make too big a deal over language.

19. That said, I hope I don’t have those kids who say “Fuck this” in front of my in-laws.

20. I probably wouldn’t have liked the 20 year-old me.

21. I’ve been called “cocky”, “arrogant”, and full of myself…but never by anyone more successful than me.

22. That last point was arrogant as hell.

23. Over the years, my belief in religion has waned, but I still find myself talking to God.

24. Just the right song or TV commercial can make me cry.  That and a very old couple holding hands.

25. At 20, people ask you to name your heroes and you have a huge list of celebrities and historical figures. At 30, the list becomes shorter.  At 40, you just say “my parents”.

26. Don’t ever tell a teenager that a break-up doesn’t matter because he is just a kid.  Heartbreak feels ten times worse when you’re 15 than any other time in your life.

27. People rarely notice when you’re having a bad hair day.  You look the same as you did yesterday to almost everyone at the office.

28. Most knots aren’t important. Just learn to tie a four-in-hand and you’ll be fine.

29. If had become rich and famous like I wanted when I was 20, I’d probably be dead now.

30. Money doesn’t give you character.  Failure does.

31. People should probably remember Ebeneezer Scrooge was the bad guy in that story, and act less like him the other eleven months before December.

32. My father busted his ass  for decades, raised a family, paid mortgages and did yard work and fixed things and taught us math and owned businesses and spent every day being a husband and father and role model.  I talk about my penis to strangers.  Somehow, we’re both impressed with one another.

33. My wife sometimes looks like her father, and that scares the hell out of me.

34. People say we don’t appreciate teachers and firefighters enough.  That’s true, but we really don’t appreciate garbage collectors.

35. Call me a momma’s boy and I swear to God my mother will beat the shit out of you.

36. My wife is gorgeous when she dresses to the nines and is all dolled up.  But, to me, she’s always the most beautiful when she’s wearing flannel pajamas and playing Scrabble.

37. As I get older, I find myself being more honest with people and caring a lot less about whether or not people like me.

38. That’s a lie.

39. It’s an amazing feeling when you realize that you’ve become friends with your parents.

40. I don’t feel old.