Like anybody who grew up watching Saturday Night Live, Frank Stallone has always been the punchline of one of Norm MacDonald’s jokes that never really made sense. I don’t have anything against the guy, nor am I a fan. To me, he’s simply Sylvester Stallone’s brother, and that’s great because I’ve always been a huge fan of Sly’s mindless action films. So when I was accused by Frank’s manager last week of “SLAMMING” the singer and actor with a post about how his New Year’s Eve concert charity action ended with zero bids, I had a long, hearty belly laugh that this was the final straw that broke the PR handler’s back.
The fact that Frank and his manager Randi Siegel came after me on Twitter and in the comments of that meaningless farce of a post is one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me in this blogging game. Longtime readers of this site know that I rarely take myself seriously, and only on the rarest of occasions am I honestly, sincerely mean to people. Randi thought that this was one of those occasions, because she didn’t get the joke in me calling the failed charity auction the “saddest of 2013.”
Regardless, I’ve had some time to think about this whole stupid ordeal, so I thought that I’d reflect a little on the lessons I’ve learned from pissing off Frank Stallone.
On Pissing Off Randi Levin, Frank’s Manager
There are so many places to go with this, but I want to start with my favorite part of Randi’s longwinded rant about what a terribly unfunny and mean SLAMMER of a SLAMMING SLAM SLAM I am. To call someone out for a broken link on his bio page on what’s supposed to be a well-built website is a very good start for Randi. I respected that counterattack for about 14 seconds before someone linked me to Randi’s “professional” website – Randi’s not the only one who can use quotation marks as an insult – and I immediately thought this was just some kind of practical joke.
Randi’s complaint was that she couldn’t get in touch with me via email to take down my SLAMMY SLAM with even more quotation marks and capital letters, so she left that ridiculous, unintentionally hilarious comment in the post, and eventually two people from something called Storage Hunters came to Frank’s defense. Again, there was nothing to defend, because it was a joke, but apparently this was the worst joke that Frank has ever been the butt of. For that distinction, I am truly honored.
Also, even after I gave her my email address, Randi never reached out to me. With that, I’m just going to assume this was all about some free publicity, so Randi and Frank are welcome for that.
The SLAMMINGEST SLAM of a SLAM SLAM SLIMMY SLAM
The part that set Randi off was how I called it the “Saddest eBay auction of 2013.” See, the difference between someone like me calling a failed charity auction sad and the AV Club making fun of it even more than I did is that calling it sad somehow makes me a villain. However, as I argued with Randi, if a charity auction ending with zero bids isn’t sad – because people in need aren’t getting that money, you see – then I’m afraid I’ve lost the meaning of the word.
There’s Good PR, Bad PR and No PR
In my work with other publications and some very poorly-run companies in the past, I have been witness to some hilariously bad public relations mismanagement. Randi may have taken the cake with her defense of Frank’s charity auction, because there’s a wealth of irony in the fact that if you search “Frank Stallone” on Google news, the only stories that come up are about a sandwich that is named after him and my recent post about Brooke Hogan, in which I made a passing reference to last week’s asinine war. As for that “bash Stallone SEO wave” that Randi referred to in her comment, I’m guessing she means Sylvester, because, again, there’s barely a mention of her client in recent news.
If I hadn’t written that “mean” and SLAMMING post about Frank’s auction, it would have still ended with zero bids and no buyer, just as it’s probably going to do again. But not having a winning bidder and money not going to charity isn’t the biggest problem here. What Frank should actually be upset about is the fact that nobody from his camp is out there promoting this thing with press releases or interviews about why he’s doing it. Instead, Randi and Frank are depending on people to randomly stop by Frank’s website – the one that actually has content – and say, “Hey, I can spend $20,000 to have my own private concert with Frank Stallone on New Year’s!”
That’s not how the Internet works.
We saw something that was ripe for a playful jab – a poorly-promoted private concert with that guy who Norm MacDonald used to make fun of. Perhaps if the joke’s not funny to Frank and Randi, they shouldn’t write it themselves. Perhaps they should take the proactive approach and issue press releases about the auction and actively reach out to and engage media outlets to show off this great deed that Frank is trying to perform. And PERHAPS they should have decided not to write a rant in the comments of a smart ass movie blog about how offended they are over a joke and tried to launch a Twitter feud against a lot more people who thought the joke was pretty damn funny.
But that’s just how I’d approach my client’s and a charity’s best interests.
As For the Wounded Warrior’s Project
Once I saw that Randi was Tweeting nonsense and insults at me over my SLAMMER of a SLAMALAMADINGDONG, I was eagerly awaiting this Tweet from Randi or Frank. After all, if you make a joke about a guy’s unsuccessful eBay auction, you’re making fun of everyone involved. Naturally, Frank himself spun this into me having something against the Wounded Warrior Project, and it was, of course, a cheap shot that almost everyone saw right through. We pick and raise money for charities to help them, not to hide behind them.
Here Come the Crazies
Frank also unleashed his “Frankster’s Gangsters” on me, and that went about as well as anyone could have expected. The majority of responses came from people making fun of Frank, but I did get a few of these Frankster’s Gangsters clogging my Twitter mentions, including this lady who told me that making fun of Frank Stallone is a sin.
Yes, I remember my bible studies more clearly – Thou shalt not murder… Thou shalt not steal… Thou shalt not have fun at Michael Lohan’s friend’s expense.
It’s going to be Norm MacDonald and me burning in hell for all eternity after this one. Should be a blast.
So Am I Sorry?
I didn’t think too much about all of this as it was happening on Thursday – I actually went to see a movie for consideration on the Worst Movies of 2013 list – but Vinnie and some Drunkards wanted to know what I thought about all of it, so I sat down and wrote this. Ultimately, I asked myself several questions:
- Was I really mean?
- Should I have approached this differently and written a fluff piece about Frank Stallone’s failed eBay auction to make his manager happy that someone else is doing her job?
- Did I really SLAM Frank?
- Was I offensive to the Wounded Warrior’s Project?
- Am I sorry?
The answer to all of those questions is no. But I also had one question for Randi and Frank after all of this: Are they going to thank me if and when someone finally forks over the $20,000 or more for this auction? I expect their answer to be “No” as well, even though this was never about anything else other than free publicity. Don’t worry, Frank, you never have to thank me.
(Images via Getty)