New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.77: Tom Brady’s Falafel City

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“Grab yourself a pita, Fill it fulla meata…” – 
the restaurant’s jingle sung to the tune of The Beach Boy’s “Barbara Ann”
And you thought Tom Brady’s dream was to win another Super Bowl? Ha! It’s actually to open up “a restaurant selling high quality middle eastern cuisine at discount prices.” Who knew the New England Patriots quarterback was as savvy with a falafel ball as he is with a football?

The Giants obviously have no love for the Patriots so Tom Brady was just asking for it when he hosted Saturday Night Live in the middle of New York City in 2005. Rather than letting himself get booed off the studio 8-H stage, he actually showed his fairly humorous side, especially in the sketch where he advertises his very own middle eastern restaurant in South Plainfield, New Jersey, Tom Brady’s Falafel City. This guy is more than just a football launching robot, he actually has a little bit of a personality. And he has a thing for middle eastern food.

Tom explains his rationale in his decision to open Falafel City:

“I’ll be honest with you folks, I was sick and tired of people asking me, ‘Hey Tom, where can I get a good falafel sandwich in the South Plainfield, New Jersey area?’ So sick and tired that I converted an old veterinarian’s office into north/central New Jersey’s finest low cost, high volume middle eastern eatery.”

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“Tom Brady’s Falafel City is without a doubt one of the top five NFL quarterback owned and operated Middle Eastern restaurants in all of the South Plainfield area…”

Setting up shop in a random suburb of central Jersey was a lot funnier than if they chose somewhere in Massachusetts. South Plainfield gets more national attention in this sketch than it ever has since it was incorporated in 1926. It gets mentioned around 5 or 6 times which was funny in itself – funnier than Horatio Sanz botching his lines as he played Dennis DeYoung from the band Styx. Usually it’s immediately piss-your-pants-funny when someone botches a line on SNL and laughs about it, but this time it didn’t work as well. Fortunately, Brady, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler, Kenan Thompson, and Maya Rudolph rescued it. The writing in this sketch was so absurd that it was impossible for it to fail.

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Falafel City isn’t too far away from the other sports related restaurant in New Jersey that I wrote about previously here – Derek Jeter’s Taco Hole. Also promoted at the end of the sketch is Donald Trump’s House of Wings and Reverend Al Sharpton’s Casa De Sushi in Secaucus, NJ, which is now serving Thai Food!

I wish Falafel City actually existed because I’ve been craving falafel for the past couple of months. You’ll think I’m some kind of alien who fell out of the sky early this morning when you read that I finally tried falafel for the first time within the last year or two. Some people thought I was completely nuts for this, but it wasn’t intentional. I am open to trying new things, especially fried legume balls, but I just never got around to it. Now I’m a fan. I just put Falafel City into my GPS to see if by a miracle it would come up. Annnnd yes! I should be there in under 15 minutes. See you guys, I’m getting some falafel.

The NFL season kicks off on September 5th. You can watch the full sketch via Hulu below.

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Toxie, Bret “Hitman” Hart, and Alice Cooper All Walk Into A Bar In New Jersey…


The chances of the title of this post happening is higher than it would usually be. You can catch all 3 of these iconic gentlemen in Jersey real soon. Oh, I forgot to mention that when they get to the bar they also run into Debbie Downer from SNL!

SNL alumni Rachel Dratch will be signing her book Girl Walks Into A Bar on April 2nd at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ.


Next, coming up on April 7th at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, NJ there will be a FREE showing of The Toxic Avenger! The Sexy Armpit will be there to root on Jersey’s first super hero as well. Visit the Count Basie Theatre website for more information.

Also coming soon is the Chiller Theatre pop culture convention at the Hilton in Parsippany, NJ happening April 27th through the 29th. Here you will be able to hob knob with the likes of Alice Cooper, Cathy Moriarty, Robert Loggia, Dean Cain, and perhaps the coolest guest, Dirk Benedict a.k.a Face from the A-Team amongst many others. Tickets are on sale now at the Chiller Theatre site.

And merely a few months away, Minor League Baseball team The Lakewood BlueClaws take on The Hickory Crawdads on June 16th and they’ll be getting some guidance from their special guest in their corner, WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hitman” Hart. The Hitman will be signing autographs for fans at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, NJ. Go to the BlueClaws website to see their schedule and purchase tickets.

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.52: Grammy’s Top 10


I’d rather watch someone scrape paint off a garage door than watch The Grammy Awards. Every year they are a complete waste of time. I’m usually against the idea of award shows and I tend to trash all of them, but I actually did enjoy the last American Music Awards. They kept it fresh and attempted to make it entertaining. My problem is that I left my musical taste back in 1988. The Grammy’s lost me at Lady Antebellum. Eminem doesn’t impress me and neither does Rhianna. The Arcade Fire confounded me when they were musical guests on SNL. I’m not going to become a fan of a band just because it gives me street cred or because that’s what the hipsters are doing. Does the fact that I’ve never even heard of Mumford and Sons mean I’ve been living under a rock? Not to sound old, but when I was young if a band named themselves Mumford and Sons they better be a magical troupe of Muppets otherwise they would be made fun of mercilessly.

Fortunately, the producers of The Grammys were wise enough to ask David Letterman to provide one of his classic Top 10 lists for the broadcast. Those few minutes listening to Dave rattle off one liners was the most entertaining part of the show. The number 7 joke even made reference to Trenton, NJ, and even though it wasn’t as funny as some of the other entries it was still cool.

Stan Helsing’s New Jersey Scavenger Hunt

2009’s Stan Helsing should have taken the small world of horror-comedies by storm. Maybe somewhere down the line it will become a cult classic when it gets replayed on every cable channel 600 times during October. Even though it’s from the mind of Bo Zenga, the man who produced Scary Movie, I thought Stan Helsing was funnier and a helluva lot more entertaining than any of the Scary Movie installments, and that’s coming from a big Ana Faris fan. Zenga wrote, directed and appeared in the film as well. Stan Helsing is streaming on Netflix and you can find it dirt cheap on Amazon.

The cast includes Steve Howey as the video store clerk, Stan Helsing, the two smoking hot lead actresses Diora Baird and Desi Lydic, Kenan Thompson from SNL, and a hilarious cameo by Leslie Nielsen. The film takes place on Halloween night and it also features parodies of Freddy, Jason, Mike Myers, Pinhead, Leatherface, and Chucky. Not only will you laugh at some of your favorite horror icons, but you’ll also get to go on scavenger hunt for all the New Jersey references. Why this movie has so many Jersey references is a mystery because it’s never really mentioned outright that they are in New Jersey. The movie was filmed entirely in Canada and Los Angeles. It’s quite apparent that Zenga wanted us to know that this film was set in New Jersaaay! If you can find more clues please go ahead and leave a comment!

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The Linwood Post. A fake newspaper, but a REAL town in southern New Jersey! There’s also a scene where you’ll see a Linwood Special Education bus.

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The Jason Voorhees knockoff has the noticeable letters “NJ” over the logo on his hockey jersey. Check out all the Friday the 13th related posts at The Sexy Armpit RIGHT HERE!!!

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A “Visit Atlantic City” poster on the right AND on the left the famous Palisade’s Park poster is also visible in several scenes of the film.

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Various New Jersey license plates are seen throughout the film.

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“Jersey Boy” Cab Company

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Vintage Atlantic City poster: “America’s Great Seashore Resort”

*His family moved from Boston to New Jersey, and he’s gone from E-Street to The Soprano’s: The soundtrack features a song written by Steven Van Zandt and recorded by Glen Phillips called “I Don’t Want to Go Home.”

*UPDATE* 10/25/10 On the commentary on the bluray, Bo Zenga mentions that he is a “Jersey boy” even though most profiles available on Zenga do not mention where he was born or grew up.

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.46: Derek Jeter’s Taco Hole


Derek Jeter promoted his imaginary restaurant when he hosted a December 2001 episode of Saturday Night Live. The hysterical commercial jingle was sung to the tune of The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo.”


“I think you’ll agree that we’re one of the top 5 Mexican Restaurants in all of Northern New Jersey. It’s Derek Jeter’s Taco Hole off Route 3 in Nutley, New Jersey next to the Kinko’s and El Duqe’s Shoe Repair.”

“Thaaaat’s where I wanna go…Derek Jeter’s Taco Hole!”

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.42: When In Rome


BETH: “Is this your Euro?”
ANTONIO: “that’s weird…”
BETH: “Antonio?”
ANTONIO: “It’s Anthony actually.”
BETH: “From Nunzio?”
ANTONIO: “No. Newark…New Jersey”
BETH: “Are you really a tortured artist?”
ANTONIO: “Tortured. Been in retail shoe sales for the last 9 years. As far as being an artist, I don’t know I guess I figured going to Italy would make me one.”
Thankfully, I’ve never been in the situation but watching When In Rome gave me the same feeling that a passenger on a plane might experience seconds before they realize they are about to crash. Imagine how serene the land below looks when gazing out the window thousands of feet in the air, and then your thoughts suddenly turn sour as the plane begins to take a nose dive. At least your captain makes you aware that you all need to put on your masks and take note of the exits. In contrast, a DVD does not supply that type of warning, so heed the one I’m about to bestow on you: When In Rome is a pretty stupid movie.

The crazy thing about When In Rome is that I’ve actually seen movies with lower budgets and Z-list actors that are actually better than this. As a fan of Kristen Bell I had high hopes for her big starring role. Her comedic sharpness and sly sarcasm has lent itself superbly to Veronica Mars, and even her recent role on Party Down, which you should watch if you haven’t yet. As the main character of the film she maintains those qualities, but in a very subtle way in comparison to her other roles. Her curator, Beth, is more likable than Sarah Marshall, but Bell flourishes more as the latter. She’s at her best when playing saucy, self absorbed characters full of idiosyncrasies.

The cliched, silly plot involves a fountain of love from which Beth takes back coins just like Mouth did in The Goonies. Meanwhile, the owners who originally threw those coins into the fountain all wind up falling in love with Beth, although she already has eyes for Nick, played by Josh Duhamel. The role of Nick is not too much different than the numbskull Duhamel probably is in real life. Nick is a former football player who got struck by lightning during a game and soon meets Beth at her sisters wedding in Rome.

Much like that plane that I mentioned earlier, you can probably imagine how the movie plummets from there. There’s a Napolean Dynamite connection, a kick ass performance by SNL’s Bobby Moynihan, and cameos by Newark NJ born Shaquille O’Neal and former Giant Lawrence Taylor. When in Rome also stars Don Johnson as Beth’s father, Danny DeVito as a Sausage King, Angelica Huston as Beth’s boss, Will Arnett as wannabe artist, Jon Heder doing a parody of Criss Angel, and Kristen Bell’s real life dude, Dax Shepard, who as much as I hate to admit it, is pretty funny. Even with this outstanding cast and a Jersey mention, when in Rome, do as The Sexy Armpit says and don’t bother.

Brittany Murphy is December’s Garden State Playmate

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The Sexy Armpit was extremely saddened by the recent death of actress Brittany Murphy. Although she was born in Georgia, she grew up in Edison, New Jersey. Murphy attended Herbert Hoover School in Edison, NJ and the Verne Fowler School of Dance in Colonia, NJ. At only 32 years old, Murphy was too young to die, but thankfully she left us with many memorable performances which may only receive the credit they deserve now that she’s not with us anymore. Life is kind of f-cked up isn’t it?

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Many of us remember Brittany Murphy as Tai in 1995’s Clueless, but prior to that she appeared in Drexell’s Class, an episode of Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, as well as an appearance on Kids Incorporated among many other shows. Standout performances in Don’t Say a Word, 8 Mile, and Sin City finally helped garner Brittany Murphy some much deserved credit. You can say what you will about Just Married, but I saw it in the theater when it came out just based on her starring in it and I actually enjoyed it. She was dating her co-star Ashton Kutcher at the time and it definitely showed on screen. (Upon learning of her death, Kutcher tweeted “2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine…” and “see you on the other side kid.”) Since then Murphy continued acting in addition to lending her voice to Happy Feet, King of the Hill, and Futurama.


If you happened to see Abby Elliot do an impression of her on Saturday Night Live about a week before she passed away, then you know that Murphy was one of a kind and quirky. In many of her roles, Murphy evoked an innocent, loveable quality similar to Drew Barrymore’s demeanor while still being undeniably sexy. What’s most disappointing about her death, is that she won’t be able to celebrate the premiere of The Expendables, one of the most anticipated films of 2010, starring a who’s who of action stars. If the film is a success, her stock in Hollywood may have went up.


Back in 2005, everyone I knew was buzzing about how Brittany Murphy came back to Edison for the tree lighting ceremony and was given the key to the town. The article reporting her death also mentions this event.


New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol. 28: Dennis Miller on WWE Raw

WWE Monday Night Raw has taken a nose dive ever since they started with this special guest host garbage. Grabbing low tier celebs in attempts to surge ratings is a piss poor stunt. Whatever happened to improving storylines, actually training talent instead of just throwing them on TV, and instead of bragging about being the “longest running weekly episodic television show in history,” a factoid they announce ad nauseum, why not prove it on the show? Monday Night Raw used to have literally epic stuff happening. When WWF was ailing in the mid ’90s, before Stone Cold and The Rock brought a big boom back to the wrestling biz, WWF Monday Night Raw was revolutionary wrestling programming. The last few years Raw has plummeted and last Monday’s episode did not help to raise the bar.

You too can be guest host of Monday Night Raw, but only if you have something to promote. Dennis Miller was promoting USA Cares, the non profit group that provides financial assistance to military families, which he’s the spokesperson for. From a programming standpoint, there was no better time to feature Miller on the show since WWE’s Tribute to the Troops airs this week. Also, many viewers watching may be more apt to donate money during the holidays. While I’m on the subject of things unrelated to wrestling, Dennis Miller’s weak shtick was chock full of random, forced pop references. Name dropping Amy Winehouse, Courtney Love, and MTV’s Jersey Shore all in the same joke was kind of a stretch. Half of the fans in the arena in Corpus Christi, Texas that night weren’t even alive when Hole was popular. Now Jersey Shore on the other hand really grabs people.

Miller also made another reference to New Jersey as he sent a dig to Mr. McMahon. Miller said “Vince will be at The Chuckle House this Friday, Route 67 in Paramus New Jersey.” The best thing about New Jersey is that no matter whether it’s Saturday Night Live or WWE Raw, New Jersey almost always provides a winning punchline. I don’t care if we are the brunt of all the jokes because it provides me with more fodder.

If you Google “The Chuckle House Paramus New Jersey,” you won’t find any info on a comedy club in New Jersey. As much the NJ connoisseur that I am, I could not find any info on The Chuckle House. This may have been a comedy club back in the day, or it still operates with absolutely no web presence whatsoever, which is unheard of. Of course, there’s the other possibility that Miller just made this joint up out of thin air. Although, in case you were wondering, Route 67 is a real road in NJ.

Instead of being relevant to the wrestling industry, the guest hosts have been B-list celebs and people who aren’t even connected with the Raw audience. Wouldn’t logic dictate that they should feature WWE HOF wrestlers, managers, valets, and former commentators as guest hosts? I can understand if a celebrity plays into a storyline, but asking a guest host to be on the show just for the hell of it or to get onto more headlines on the Internet is a good ploy, but really f-cking stupid. Since Miller has veered toward politics rather than making people laugh, he seems like an odd choice for guest host. I’m happy they teased the upcoming appearance of Bret “The Hitman” Hart hosting Raw since he’s an icon in the business. That leaves me with only one question: Where the f-ck is Craig DeGeorge?!?!?! Now he’s my choice for guest host!

“May 1983,” written in English Class, 11th grade

The hysteria for George Lucas’ 3rd installment of his Star Wars epic was to hit screens on Friday May 25th. Many days passed as I joyfully played with my Star Wars action figures, as if Lucas was Santa and watching my every move. Figures were spread all over the floor of my rec room where many galactic battles took place. I begged my older sister to play, after all, I needed a Princess Leia. It was a time when she actually came in handy, but a little brother would have done a better job at playing with action figures.
After waiting anxiously, Friday finally came. “We’re going to see Return of the Jedi!!” my dad announced to me with great enthusiasm. He seemed just as excited as I was. Before jumping around uncontrollably like Mr. Peepers, I froze for a second, puzzled. Did he mean that we were going to see the real thing and go up in a space ship and watch the rebellion get revenge over the dark forces of the evil Empire? I was perplexed. I actually wasn’t sure what was going to happen. You see, this was the first Star Wars film I would be experiencing in the theater.
When we pulled up at the old Menlo Park General Cinema, it all came together. As we walked through the glass doors, I was immediately consumed at the sight of the huge, lush lobby complete with video games and adorned with posters. The aroma of popcorn filled the air and invaded my nostrils. Naturally, it was imperative what came next, “Mommy, I want popcorn!” My dad bought the tickets and as we slowly made our way to the theater I took in every last detail of my surroundings.

My sister held my tiny hand and directed me to look at the Return of the Jedi poster on the wall. I became mesmerized. It was a beautiful collage with Luke Skywalker looking heroic, grasping his trusty lightsaber, Han Solo pointing his blaster at me, the beautiful Princess Leia, cuddly Ewoks, and lurking in the background, the sinister Darth Vader. Just as any other normal kid at the time, I was petrified of the Dark Lord of the Sith. The bottom of the poster, sealed in silver, read RETURN OF THE JEDI.
We made our way through the doors and down the aisle of the theater. It was very dark except for the glow of the previews which projected onto the enormous screen. I didn’t care what was on the screen, it was all a blur. I was in awe of the cavernous room filled with what looked to be a thousand seats. There were so many people, it was packed to the rafters. I stood in the aisle staring upward, mouth open, marveling at how high the ceiling was. Finally, I focused on the screen and remembered what I wanted to do. I jetted in light speed to the front row. The entire row was empty and thinking I hit the jackpot, I plopped myself down in the center seat. With popcorn in lap and feet crossed dangling off the seat, I was ready, but I realized I was missing something. MY FAMILY was a few rows back filing into a patch of 4 seats. My sister must’ve alerted my parents to the fact that I was nowhere to be found. As I looked back I saw my dad waving me back to sit with them. In classic stubborn child mode, I swung my head back and forth in an “absolutely not” fashion. They realized that I would not be giving up my seat.
I won out and my parents and my sister left their seats and sat with me in the first row. That wouldn’t have flown in any other instance, but since it was Return of the Jedi and they were there so I could see the movie, they gave in. Within minutes, the screen went black and John Williams’ score blasted like an ion cannon throughout the theater while the scroll brought us up to speed. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi:

This experience left a lasting impression on me because it made me a lifelong Star Wars fan, and it began my obsession with movies. At that point in time, going to the movies was still a big deal. Sure there are “event” movies, but not many of them can come close to the magic that the original Star Wars trilogy brought to the screen. More and more younger kids are becoming Star Wars fans and I’m lucky to be able to tell them that I saw my favorite installment of the trilogy in its original theatrical release.