I wish I knew where the idea for this joke came from. Trust me, kiddies. The original version was much, MUCH worse.

I used to work in a movie theater back when they switched to talkies and I remember quite vividly the gelatinous glob that was the base for the “butter” topping we put on popcorn. It looked like cud or maybe that viscous white gel at the bottom of a can of Spam. It came wrapped in cellophane in gigantic two-pound bricks. We’d toss it into the machine with the pump on it which was basically a crock pot that warmed it up and melted it down. Then, like an oil slick, we’d slather it over the top of each order of corn.

Knowing what I do about this butter product, you’d think I would avoid it when making my purchase at the concession stand. Sadly, I do not. I’ve often imagined if there might be a more natural alternative. Maybe actual butter? But, more likely, it would turn out to be something worse.

I don’t know how many of you had a chance to call in and listen to The Triple Feature talkcast on Monday night, but if you missed it, I would strongly encourage you to download it. I think Gordon, Joe and I had a very good show on Monday talking about Pan’s Labyrinth and the recent MPAA rules change and I’m really looking forward to next Monday’s show where we’ll talk about the recent Oscar nominations – announced today. Join us next Monday at 9:00 pm CST and be sure to participate!

Regarding the Oscar nominations, I guess I’m still kind of digesting it. I think it’s interesting that Dreamgirls could lead the pack with eight nominations, but not garner one for Best Picture, Best Director or Best Screenplay. I think it’s funny that three of it’s eight nominations are in the Best Original Song category and I think it’s REALLY funny that it’s only acting nods went to best Supporting Actor and Actress (Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson, respectively) rather than to the film’s two leads, Jamie Foxx and Beyonce Knowles. It makes me feel justified in the sense that I wasn’t very excited about helping to feed the egos of two high-profile members of the entertainment community who I believe think a little too highly of themselves to begin with.

I find it odd that Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Blood Diamond and not The Departed, but I’m otherwise pleased by the nominations in that category. Giving Ryan Gosling the nod for Half Nelson really came out of nowhere, but it was a welcome surprise.

I was shocked to see Alan Arkin on the list for his performance in Little Miss Sunshine, but was even more surprised to see Mark Wahlberg beat out Jack Nicholson in the same category. Who would have thought I would have ever uttered “Mark Wahlberg” and “Academy Award nominee” in the same sentence. Shame he’ll never live down being Marky Mark.

In the Best Actress category, I think it’s intesting that Meryl Streep is the only American actress in the running. Just goes to show what Hollywood thinks of women performers. Apparently if there is a British accent involved, that adds legitimacy? Look over the last few years of Best Actress nominees and hardly any are American. I think it’s an odd coincidence. Incidentally, at this point, I think it’s Helen Mirren’s race to lose.

Quick sidebar: Did anyone notice that Borat was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay? Wait a minute? So you mean it WASN’T REAL?! DAMN YOU, SACHA BARON COHEN!

That’s a pretty high level look at things. Typically I also like to comment on the technical categories like Best Special Effects and Best Makeup. But I think I’ll leave things be for the moment.

What was your take on the Oscar nominations. Are you excited about this year’s ceremony? Leave your comments below!

↓ Transcript
So give me the scoop, Jimmy. What do you use for your popcorn butter?

When I was a popcorn jockey, we melted down a brick of butter-flavored chemical lard!

Oh, we don't use that anymore!

These days we use an all-natural topping!

Sounds good! Gimme a small popcorn, extra butter then.

S-sure thing!

Oh, I just didn't have the heart to tell him.

The one and only butter alternative made from ostrich sphincters!