Funny Money: Dwarves, Donuts, Cheap Scotch

In his debut column, comedian Jeff Kreisler examines the lighter side of business news.
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Editor's Note: Welcome to the debut of "Funny Money," a new feature written by New York-based comedian Jeff Kreisler. Lest there be any confusion, please note that this column is a work of satire and intended for entertainment purposes only. Enjoy the weekend.

Jeffrey Katzenberg was criticized for his promotional promises at



. Analysts have forgotten that this is what Hollywood studios do, they tell stories. Enthusiasm about David Schwimmer doesn't mean you should invest the county pension fund in



You're as likely to get honesty from Hollywood as you are a healthy diet from


(MCD) - Get Report

. It's just not in their nature, no matter how many salads Mickey D's sells. The only guidance Wall Street should get from Hollywood execs is how to write off the cost of dwarves for a son-in-law's bachelor party.

Speaking of Hollywood,

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

unit NBC's take of upfront advertising sales has slumped, so they're trying to copy

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

unit Fox's young, rich and sexy

The O.C.

with production of


, for the poor, broken-down and shiftless. NBC is also building on the success of its gay-oriented shows like

Will & Grace


Queer Eye

with new programs:

CSI San Francisco


Law & Order: S & M


The Queen of Queens




Loves Raymond


Closer to middle America,


(GM) - Get Report



(F) - Get Report

have been trying to win back customers with the employee discount program, claiming "You pay what we pay." Less popular gimmicks include the employee health care plan ("You hurt where we hurt"), and the employee insider-information program ("You didn't hear it from us, we didn't hear it from you.")

In another old-line industry searching for creative solutions to intractable problems,


(DAL) - Get Report


Northwest Airlines


are both facing bankruptcy. Analysts say the carriers could be saved by new policies, including charging for safe landings, using the Hooters Air business "models" and requiring pilots to drink cheaper Scotch.

Krispy Kreme

(KKR) - Get Report

is also facing bankruptcy, brought about by supply-chain problems, the Atkins diet and sales of "No Fatties" T-shirts. Though the national love affair with Krispy Kreme is over,

Dunkin Donuts

says she and the kids are going to stay with her mother for a while longer.

On the M&A front,



agreed to a $7.4 billion buyout offer from

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

(TEVA) - Get Report

. Although the acquirer is not affiliated with the manufacturer of sandals for slackers, the deal was nevertheless endorsed by Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams.

In other corporate news,


(IBM) - Get Report

introduced a new mainframe computer system this week, twice as powerful, with easier encryption and a kick-ass version of


. The new line was developed in three years, by 5,000 engineers at a cost of $1.2 billion, or $1.1 billion if you don't count pocket-protectors.

A property group has joined with

Morgan Stanley


to develop a dozen shopping malls in China. According to national security experts, the aim is to dumb down the Chinese workforce, which explains why the deal includes a demonstration of skateboarding and pot-smoking.


Groupe Danone's

shares tumbled this week when


(PEP) - Get Report

indicated that it is not preparing a bid for the French food company because "yogurt is too healthy for Pepsi."

How Much for Your Women?

The House passed a new energy bill that encourages conservation through tax breaks, ethanol, wind, geothermal and solar power and asking everyone to "just chill out."

Christopher Cox's nomination to the head of the


was going smoothly after he reassured Congress that he would enforce securities laws, prosecute frauds and personally examine the $11 million estate of former WorldCom CFO Scott Sullivan.

The re-election of John Sweeney as president of the AFL-CIO went smoothly this week, except for a piece of falling foam debris in the shape of the Teamsters. The Teamsters, the SEIU and other unions left the AFL-CIO, and though the breakup was originally blamed on Angelina Jolie, it's clear that the real victim is the acronym industry.

While visiting Kenya, former President Clinton was offered 40 goats and 20 cows for his daughter, Chelsea, which just shows how far the dollar has fallen, especially against African livestock.

A graduate of Princeton, Virginia Law School, and the fictitious College of Asparagus Lovers, Jeff Kreisler ( is an accomplished comedian, writer, producer and person. In the past year, Jeff has worked with Dick Gregory, on Air America and Sirius Radio, and in the 'Comedy Against Evil' tour. He's hosted a dating show, worked on a cooking program, and developed comedies for MTV Networks. Jeff's a regular on Satire for Sanity, and was featured at the Edinburgh Fringe, Freedom Cinema, and San Francisco Comedy Festivals. He lives in New York City with his pet microphone, plays blues saxophone, speaks French and Russian, was a sports broadcaster, taught English in Russia, helped start a non-profit dedicated to at-risk youth, played college football, and is available for birthdays, circumcisions and bachelorette parties. Kreisler appreciates your feedback;

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