August 2 – Blueberry Alias

Altered Egos

I can’t believe that so many characters in the history of media have adopted an alter ego, whether it’s in the form of a superhero, split personality, witness protection, or any other reason to get out of their skin. Here are some of my favourites:

Roger Smith – Numerous (American Dad)

The alien member of the Smith family has a closet full of costumes and wigs and with each wardrobe change, he can be a completely different character. Some of my favourite alter egos for Roger are drummer Krispy Kreme McDonald’s and block captain Roy Rogers McFreely. Having to keep his true identity a secret from the rest of the world, Roger has a different costume for every visitor to the Smith home and keeping them consistent has been an issue.

Roger Costumes

Ron Swanson – Duke Silver / Andy Dwyer – Burt Macklin (Parks & Recreation)

No-nonsense Ron Swanson has another side to him that most of his co-workers don’t know about. He is accomplished saxophonist Duke Silver, a performer who makes women in their 40s and 50s swoon. In contrast, goofy and loveable Andy Dwyer’s tone gets a little more serious when he becomes Burt Macklin, FBI. While he was turned down in his pursuit of joining the police force, Macklin’s tactical skills have kept the Parks and Rec crew safe from trouble on a few occasions.

J.O.B. Bluth – Franklin (Arrested Development)

To make some extra money (as if any of the Bluth’s, other than Michael, care about supporting themselves), J.O.B. turned to a life of pimping. Perhaps looking to be more intimidating, he adopted the persona of a black ventriloquist dummy named Franklin, which provided him with the edge he needed while entering the often dangerous and seedy industry. The two even recorded an album together, hoping to bring racial harmony to the world.

George Castanza – Art Vandalay / Jerry Seinfeld – Kel Varnsen / H.E. Pennypacker – Kosmo Kramer (Seinfeld)

The most famous of these monikers is by far Art Vandalay, but each male character in Seinfeld ended up having an alter ego. A great scene occurred during the banned Seinfeld episode The Puerto Rican Day, where the three alter egos meet up, each viewing an apartment that is being shown by a real estate agent. Each character was in the apartment for ulterior motives, but the three entered into a rivalry bidding war with each other over the space.

Butters Stotch – Professor Chaos / Eric Cartman – The Coon / Kenny McCormick – Mysterion (South Park)

Usually when little boys play superhero, they don’t go to the extent that the South Park crew does. First came Professor Chaos, whose evil designs were intended to destroy the little town. The Coon entered the picture in an attempt to rid South Park of its problems, but Mysterion became a more popular hero, causing The Coon to switch between the light and the dark side, depending on his motives and objectives.

Stefan Urquelle – Steve Urkel (Family Matters)

In many cases, an alter ego can be the result of some sort of experiment gone wrong (or even right, as it is here). Perennial geek, Steve Urkel was hoping to finally shed his thick-rimmed glasses and suspenders for a suave, jockular appearance. The amateur scientist created a machine that turned him from uber-nerd to… I guess you’d say heartthrob Stefan Urquelle, finally landing him his longtime crush Laura Winslow.

Clive Bixby – Phil Dunphy (Modern Family)

When Phil Dunphy has to turn his cool factor up a few notches, he becomes Clive Bixby, executive business man and designer of “high-end electro-acoustic transducers”. Of course, because Phil is a bit of a geek, this often gets himself and his wife, Claire, into trouble, such as their Valentine’s Day role play date, which resulted in a near wardrobe malfunction, as the two tried to spice up their love life with some imagination.

clive bixby

Rusty Shackleford – Dale Gribble (King of the Hill)

Given how paranoid Dale Gribble is of his own government (and really everyone around him), it should come as no surprise that he often operates under a false name. He even fronted and performed in a bluegrass band, using both his names. They were dubbed The Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience, featuring Rusty Shackleford on the keyboard.

Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie

Perhaps the most famous musical alter ego (unless we’re talking about how Garth Brooks ‘Chris Gaines’ personality practically ruined his career – yeah, sure, let’s put a wig on a bald guy… that’ll work), Bowie donned his androgynous Ziggy Stardust outfit and became a wildly popular cult character, along with his Spiders from Mars, putting on amazingly theatrical rock shows and shaking the foundation of the genre at its core.

Drink #214: Blueberry Alias

Aug 2

  • 1.5 oz Blueberry Vodka (I used Smirnoff Blueberry)
  • 0.75 oz Blueberry Liqueur
  • 0.75 oz Lime Juice
  • Garnish with Blueberries

There are a few examples I had to sadly leave off this list, including Fenton Crackshell (wicked name) as GizmoDuck (from DuckTales), Charlie Baileygates as Hank Evans (from Me, Myself and Irene), and Buddy Love from the Nutty Professor movies.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2 Sips out of 5):
There’s a few issues I have with this recipe, including the measurements of ingredients and ingredients choices. It just doesn’t add up to the standards I want to be drinking. I only chose the cocktail for its name and so I had something to go along with this post. On the positive side, it was nice to work with Blueberries as a garnish, but if I had been thinking ahead, I would have frozen some and used them as ice cubes.

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April 20 – Liquid Marijuana

Puff, Puff, Pass… Drink, Drink, Done

Mary Jane isn’t my relaxant of choice – hell, she’s not even my favoruite Spider-Man girlfriend – but I don’t frown upon those who love their weed. And since it’s 4/20, a holy day for reefer connoisseurs, I thought we should take a look at the most prolific stoners as boozers and smokers unite to enjoy this shot:

Cheech & Chong – Numerous movies and albums

These two famous overachieving potheads took their stand-up comedy routine and turned it into numerous movies and albums, working together off and on for over 30 years. They are responsible for a number of famous catchphrases, most notably “Dave’s not here, man.” Not only do these two play fictional stoners, but one of them also plays the role in real life. Tommy Chong was sent to prison in October 2003 for selling bongs and other paraphernalia over the internet. This incarceration occurred while he was a cast member of That 70’s Show, playing, you guessed it: a hippie burnout named Leo Chingwake.

Cheech & Chong Parked

Dale Denton & Saul Silver – Pineapple Express

First off, let me say that the pants James Franco wears for the duration of this film are, quite possibly, the greatest wardrobe choice in the history of film. If someone were to ever bequeath these to me, I would honour them with their own special holiday. Dale (Seth Rogen) and Saul (Franco) get stuck in a hilarious set of circumstances thanks to their enjoyment of Pineapple Express, an extremely potent brand of marijuana. Their dealer, Red, (Danny McBride) also joins in on the fun and the three have to triumph over a oppressive drug kingpin.

Jeff Spicoli – Fast Times at Ridgemont High

It’s so hard to believe that this character was played by Sean Penn, given all the serious roles Penn has since gone on to play. Spicoli, a laid back, pot smoking, surfer dude, became so popular that he’s featured on the cover of the movie, despite being a tertiary character. One of the subplots of the movie is teacher Mr. Hand trying to get the best he can out of Spicoli. When Mr. Hand thinks he’s achieved results, he releases Spicoli but eventually comes to the conclusion that everyone at the school is “on dope”. Spicoli meanwhile goes on to save a drowning Brooke Shields, but wastes the reward money hiring Van Halen to perform at his birthday party… sounds about right.

The Gang – That 70’s Show

One of the most enjoyable running gags on That 70’s Show was ‘The Circle’, where any number of the group’s members – Eric, Hyde, Kelso, Fez, Donna, Jackie and any number of their friends – would wax philosophically after enjoying some marijuana, as the camera rotated around the table. Some of the shows funniest lines came out of these scenes. One memorable segment included the kids’ parents sitting in the circle, high from “special” brownies and mimicking their children’s actions.

Harold & Kumar – Go to White Castle, Escape from Guantanamo Bay and A Very 3D Christmas

While not the biggest stoners per se, these two gentlemen enjoy their weed. Their zany adventures to White Castle, from Guantanamo Bay and attempting to save Christmas were often fuelled by the drug in some way. A highlight of all the movies is the performance of Neil Patrick Harris (playing himself), which practically revived his career. In the films, NPH is an even bigger drug user than Rolly and Kumar, who can definitely hold their own.

Norville “Shaggy” Rogers – Scooby-Doo

Although the show never quite comes out and says it, let’s look at the evidence: 1) Shaggy’s constantly searching for munchies 2) his attention span is minimal at best 3) his nerves are always shot and he appears strung out 4) he has conversations and hangs out with a dog… conclusion: Shaggy is your typical pothead. Still, Shaggy is one of the most beloved characters in the history of media, especially when paired with his pal Scooby. The two have teamed together for countless adventures, highlighted by my personal favourite, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers.

shaggy-stoned

Thurgood Jenkins et al – Half Baked

While Dave Chappelle himself was disappointed with how the movie turned out – he wrote the script and starred, but said the movie was dumbed down from being adult-oriented to more of a kids movie – there are still a number of funny moments in this film. Some favourites are when Thurgood describes the different types of pot users, particularly the Scavenger Smoker (Snoop Dogg), who comes into the scene at the first sniff of marijuana and proceeds to smoke the guy’s entire joint before moving on. The scene where Scarface quits his job at the fast food restaurant is also a highlight.

Jay & Silent Bob – Almost every movie by Kevin Smith

It’s hard not to notice that stoners in films often come in pairs or trios (whereas alcoholics are always portrayed as miserable loners, hmmm…). Jay and Silent Bob seem to always pop up in Kevin Smith’s View Askewniverse, and why not? Silent Bob is played by Smith. The duo’s notorious appearances in movies they weren’t the star in led to their own title adventure where they’re on a mission to shut down a movie based on their personas. The pair offer a great lesson too: if you have one loud mouth who never shuts up, then his buddy better be silent to help restore the balance.

Drink #110: Liquid Marijuana

Liquid Marijuana Shot

  • 1/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/4 oz Melon Liqueur
  • 1/4 oz Malibu Rum
  • 1/4 oz Spiced Rum (I used Kraken)
  • Splash Pineapple Juice
  • Splash Sweet & Sour Mix
  • Garnish with Rolling Paper Stir Stick

As we down this shooter, I wish all my pothead brethren a very happy 4/20… enjoy your day!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This shot was sweet, but not overly so. It goes down nice and easy, but isn’t very exciting. Despite all the ingredients it’s relatively effortless to make. It’s not like you have to do layering or anything. Give it a shot (literally!) and see what you think.