The Franks and Beans…uh…half year in review.

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2013 has come and gone, and hey!  Franks and Beans, despite all evidence to the contrary, is still around.  The band has not dissolved.  Larry and I do not have creative differences.  There are still stories to be told.  The cat’s in the cradle.

I don’t know if it’s fair to say that Franks and Beans went on hiatus for the second half of 2013, but the fact is I haven’t posted anything new on this site since, what, June?  That’s kind of dumb.  I suppose that there are a few reasons for this, but the prevailing one stemmed from some uncertainty about the F&B domain name and branding.  It’s a long story, and it’s not something that I’ll get into in any great detail, but after some long discussions and some stressful weeks, I needed to take a break, and a few days stretched into a big part of last year.  It was never my intention to let the site go unmanned for so long, but the start of 2014 seems as good a time as any to wind the machine back up and start posting again.  So, you know, tell all of your friends.

In the meantime, let’s talk about the weird stats package that WordPress puts together at the end of each year!  As with last year’s presentation, this one brought out some information that is, at the very least, mildly interesting.  And if there’s any way to describe Franks and Beans, it’s “mildly interesting”, so let’s see some of the highlights!ImageThis particular screen made me laugh (well, not out loud, just that kind of Internet laughing where you breath slightly harder out of your nose), because our most popular posts for the whole year are not our videos, and four of the five aren’t even ABOUT our videos.  More people come to this site, apparently, to read about comics than they do to watch our HILARIOUS AND INVENTIVE comedy.  So the plan is working.  Perhaps I need to work on my tagging…I’m sure that’s it.

According to WordPress’s highly personal evaluation, my writing has staying power.  I am not going to argue with this.ImageIt’s a relief that a number of people find this site by doing an Internet search for the phrase “Franks and Beans”.  Perhaps they are searching for the canned hot dog accessory, but I’ll take what I can get.  It’s less of a relief that some people come to this site by searching for the phrase “jetgil caton porno”.  Our Jet Boy/Jet Girl Comic-Con photos probably caught a few stragglers (who were immediately disappointed, I’m assuming).  This information makes me want to do a similar search, because I have no idea what “jetgil caton” mean, but I’m fairly certain that I would be scarred and saddened if I took the leap, because whatever the terms mean, I probably don’t want to see the porno version, though I’m willing to admit that there’s a chance I could be wrong.  Some folks also found this site while searching for “Bronson Pinchot shirtless”, and really, haven’t we all done this at some point?

Also, many thanks to Lauren of “Gregarious Girdler” fame, who is our number four referencer, beating out the all-powerful Facebook in that regard.  She didn’t do as well as the Pittsburgh Comicon website, though.  So step it up, Girdler.

2013 was an interesting year for Franks and Beans.  2014, though, should bring bigger and better things.  And also some posts.  Let’s make it happen.

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2012 in review

Blog Stats 01

WordPress put together an annual report for this blog.  Because it is full of fun animations and pretty-looking text, I’ll put a link here in this post.

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Here’s the rundown, for those short on time: NO ONE READS THIS BLOG!  One of the search term phrases most used to find this blog was “Bronson Pinchot shirtless”.  Who is searching for that?  Come on.

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So here’s my Franks and Beans New Years resolution: to find a bigger audience for Franks and Beans in 2013.  We can beat 1400 page views with no problem.  At least, we SHOULD beat 1400 page views in a year.  I think it can happen.  In the meantime, if you enjoy looking at pictures of and involving me, check out the automatically generated WordPress information below!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Blog 02 – Perfect

Originally posted 12.09.08

One of the reasons that Franks and Beans was created was to air episode two, “Perfect”.  Its inception was born out of distance and a longing to reconnect with friends through visual expression, something that both Larry and I have been involved with, in different capacities, for much of the last decade.

This isn’t to say that either of us necessarily felt like we were missing something.  Sometimes the world looks perfect – nothing to rearrange.  But that doesn’t mean that Franks and Beans hasn’t become a welcome outlet for our creative energies.  It doesn’t mean that it hasn’t allowed us to take what we had and add something new to the mix.  I mean, after all, sometimes you just get a feeling like you need some kind of change.

The challenges of creating a new program are many in any circumstance, and Larry and I have our share – from having to do most everything ourselves to our obvious budgetary restraints – but I’m happy to say that we’ve taken these challenges and have made most of them work to our advantage.  It’s as if we looked at this daunting task and said that no matter what the odds are this time, nothing’s gonna stand in our way – and we’ve certainly reaped the rewards that have come as a result.  By this I’m not just talking about spreading our particular brand of humor to the far reaches of the globe (though that does have its own appeal to it) or in hearing from people who have seen the show and have enjoyed it.

No, the show has taken on its own life with the two of us, as if it is its own person.  And that’s encouraging, because we each have a great deal of passion for it – a flame in our hearts, if you will, like a long lost friend.  And because of this, we both can take solace in the fact that while we are of course the custodians behind this Internet program, Franks and Beans can resonate to people who have never met us – each vignette can mean something different to someone else, but even so, there’s interpretation, there’s understanding, there’s enjoyment at different levels with each view an episode of ours gets, and I’m comforted by that.  It’s like, from a metaphorical standpoint, every dark street has a light at the end!

…STANDING TAAAAAAALL!!!

A-hem.

While the above follows an obvious pattern, everything that I wrote it true – episode two, “Perfect”, IS one of the reasons that Franks and Beans was created.  In fact, it’s one of the first thoughts I had in mind when I contacted Larry with the idea of creating some skits for online viewing more than a year ago.  And if one of your friends (you have friends, right?) called you up and asked you, “I’ve been hearing a lot about this ‘Franks and Beans’ thing lately…what’s it all about?”, I think that this episode would be the perfect answer.

Larry and were both born in the early years of the 1980s, and as anyone from that particular period can attest, one thing that connects us is the TGIF television lineup.  Regardless of race, gender or religious preferences, if you grew up in the 1980s you inevitably watched shows like Family Matters or Step-By-Step (which was Patrick Dufferific).  If you are anything like me, you not only watched shows such as these, but you also grew to hate them and their cookie-cutter plotlines and asinine humor over time.  But even with these obvious flaws, I still relate to them, still feel an attachment to Bob Sagat’s sugar-sweet “aw shucks” humor or Urkel’s litany of catch phrases.  One show, airing a little earlier than many of the TGIF mainstays, has stuck with me more than many, though, and that is without a doubt Perfect Strangers.

I don’t know what exactly did it for me, but Perfect Strangers has either enriched my upbringing or scarred me for the rest of my existence, because I couldn’t forget its particular brand of sitcom-ness if my life depended on it.  Looking back on the show, I wonder if the humor was as simple as it seems now – are we really just laughing at Balki because of his foreign, eastern European antics?  Is Perfect Strangers a reflection of American perception in the 1980s?  Surely, it had to be more than that, but at age seven, I was probably just taken in by lines like “Get out of the city!” even though I didn’t even understand that there was a proper phrase that the character just couldn’t grasp.

No matter what mark Perfect Strangers has left on society, it has indelibly left its mark on me, and episode two of Franks and Beans is nothing more than a love note in regards to that fact.  Yes, Larry catches me singing and I display embarrassment both for being caught and for being caught signing THAT song.  But the catch, the subtle nod, is that Larry remembers, Larry sings, Larry can’t escape Perfect Strangers any more than I can.  It’s something that we all have to live with.

Plus, Larry’s character was totally named after Larry Appleton, not Larry Franks, as he would lead you to believe.  How did he get his hair to curl like that?!

(This final paragraph makes absolutely no sense anymore, but I’m leaving it is originally was…for…uh…posterity.  It’s like an archaeological dig – you don’t always understand everything you find at first.  I’ll probably just delete paragraphs like these in the future, like when you’re on an archaeological dig but some of the stuff you find gets lost in a moment of shortsighted rage. – JM)  As you’ve noticed, there are some new episodes of Franks and Beans online.  You may be wondering why there aren’t any blogs for those particular episodes.  Firstly, get off my back!  Secondly, I’m working on them.  We’ll catch up in the next few days.  So keep an eye out for those, and check back next Monday for another new episode!  We’re hoping to put together a nice long run.