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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Did Not Used to Be a Pizza Hut

The Tonight Show, in all of its incarnations, wheelings, dealings, and disgruntled former ginger hosts, was never a Pizza Hut.

So why is it on this blog? That is the question that I had, when, a few days ago, I noticed some traffic on the site coming from NBC/Universal HQ.

Things got even stranger when, out of the blue, an email hit my inbox asking me for a few photos of UTBAPHs that could be used on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Now, had this been Jimmy Kimmel, I might have slid the email into my "Wasn't that the guy from the Man Show?" folder and that would have been that.

But this was no Jimmy Kimmel. This was the real deal. The actual Jimmy Fallon's producer's underling's intern's assistant's helper was emailing ME!

So I did what any self-respecting blogger would do. I cleared off the rest of my calendar (there were some Pringles crumbs on it from dinner the night before) and got in my car. There were UTBAPHs to be photographed.

"Why not just use the photos that are on your website already?" you might ask. I mean, the assumption is that they only contacted me in the first place because, in case you didn't notice, I have the world's largest collection of photos of places that used to be Pizza Huts.

It has something to do with rights and lawyers and Google suing the pants off of Jimmy Fallon if he uses Street View screen shots. Fortunately, I am allowed to use these images on my blog because of a little provision of the law called "Fair Use," which, translated from weird legalese mumbo-jumbo, means that nobody actually looks at this blog and I can do whatever the hell I want on it, as long as it keeps me from acting out in real life. Or something. My therapist is not exactly a legal expert.

So here I was, on a road trip photographing UTBAPHs, like some kind of hybrid between a Hunter S. Thompson novel and a Choose Your Own Adventure book where you made all of the worst possible choices. "Ooooh, I will sit in my basement and start a blog!" *turns page* "Awww, now I am fat and unlovable!"

Anyway, I got the photos, sent them off to Jimmy and took a well-deserved nap.

Next thing I knew, the one and only Matt Farley, of Motern Media, was pounding away on a Yamaha singing one of the best songs he has ever written, with my UTBAPH photos showing in the background all the while. And then the Roots joined in going into the commercial break. And then I fell over and died.

Matt, if you are not already aware, is the world's most prolific songwriter. That is not hyperbole. Matt has written and recorded somewhere in the neighborhood of 18,000 songs, under a slew of different band names, each with their own style and back-story. The whole thing, despite being perhaps a little bit insane (this coming from a guy obsessed with former Pizza Huts) is really incredible. 

I got a few tweets and emails claiming that Jimmy Fallon and/or Matt had ripped me off. Au contraire. The blog had inspired the song a few years back, and Jimmy came across the song on Spotify and fell in love with it.

So that is how that happened. I am immensely proud to have, in my own way from my own little corner of the internet, been involved with the whole thing.

Now go do your civic duty and listen to every Motern Media song on Spotify or iTunes!