Sunday, October 19, 2014

What's a "Bono?"

In between the time Sonny Bono wore fur vests and became a US Congressman he owned an Italian restaurant on Melrose Ave. in LA named “Bono’s.” He picked a bad location. Within months it went belly up. Since then, every time I drive by that place it’s something else – Japanese, Indian, American diner, etc.

When we’re in production on a show it seems that every week there is that one nagging joke that doesn’t work. It’s replaced on Tuesday. That joke doesn’t work. Wednesday, same story. On and on throughout the week.

That joke is called a “Bono”. And like I said, there’s ALWAYS one (at least one). The term was coined by Denise Moss, a fabulous writer on MURPHY BROWN.

What it teaches you is to stick with it, never settle, try new areas. And never just go for the easy joke…which is why I’m refraining from any reference to skiing.

This was a re-post from God knows when. 


Scooter Schechtman said...

I believe it was from "Simpsons" commentary tracks I picked up that they called the failed running gag a "Nakomora" referencing the Laverne & Shirley show.

John said...

I remember in Austin for years there used to be one spot along I-35 that was simply the death hole for restaurants, despite it being side-by-side with several other successful ones.

They finally solved that problem 7-8 years ago by turning it into a Hooters knockoff, called Bikinis, with gratuitous T&A and sexual innuendo in the menus and other promotions. Which, in a way, kind of mirrors what TV network executives want most in today's sitcoms.

Canda said...

Sonny Bono had a pretty good career, and more talent than he's given credit for. He wrote or co-wrote several hits, including "Needles and Pins" (with Jack Nitsche), "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On" (both written solo), along with several others. He was a successful producer and entrepreneur (maybe not with that restaurant),and ended up going to Congress.

He's worth more than a cruel, gratuitous slam, which doesn't seem to come from anything Bono actually did, but from the minds of people who are convinced they're "clever".

There were enough joke misses on Murphy Brown to warrant a name from their own ranks. Maybe those jokes just didn't have enough English on them.

Mike Barer said...

I think it's funny that Sonny And Cher both went into politics after their split, Sonny a Republican and Cher, a Democrat. I always liked Sonny better, so I wish it would have been the opposite.
Sonny just seemed like a more down to earth person.
To Canda, Sonny's schtick was to be the butt of jokes. I think he cried all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Same thing. Hollywood and politics are
bed partners. Bono was a genius.


D. McEwan said...

Candra, you may never have had Sonny as your congressman. I had that misfortune, and a more inept (and, frankly, embarrassing)congressman it would be hard to have. After his death, his wife was elected to his office. Her sole qualification for Congress was being Mrs. Sonny Bono.

His show business career has much to admire in it. His political career was a mess.

So would skiing into a tree as a slapstick gag be a Bono?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

for friday question:

What do you think of ABC's new friday multicam sitcom Cristela? I quite liked it, good cast and jokes. Still rough on the edges but this is the new sitcom I enjoyed the most so far 2 episodes. I hope you saw it and give us your thoughts - forg

donald said...

As opposed to Pete Stark? Nancy Pelosi? Maxine Waters?

Unknown said...

Thanks, Ken. It's nice to be remembered. Especially as fabulous. Denise

Mike Barer said...

Mrs. Sonny Bono later married Connie Mack, a decendent of the old baseball manager.

Hamid said...

In answer to "What's a Bono?", I'd say he's the annoying and arrogant lead singer of a shitty band who've outstayed their welcome by about 30 years.

Anonymous said...


How many Courics do you think he's up to now?

Stephen Robinson said...

It occurs to me that from a "rule of comedy" standpoint, it would make more sense to name the term after a *successful* person. Comedy should always aim high. Aiming low isn't funny. It's just being a bully.

It's why referring to someone as the "Ringo" of the group is more amusing than referring to someone as the "Stuart Sutcliffe." Being arguably the less accomplished fourth Beatle is something I'm sure Mr. Starr doesn't bother crying about while counting his money. Being the forgotten member of what would later become a world-changing music group is more flat-out tragedy.

Also, Bono is a funny name... which again only works because he was so successful.

Mike said...

>and a more inept (and, frankly, embarrassing)congressman it would be hard to have.

He was well above the average Congressman.

"What do you think of illegal immigration?"

Sonny:"It's illegal"

donald said...

I saw an interview with him shortly after being elected. When asked about what legislation he was interested in passing, he replied that he was more interested in repealing onerous legislation.

We could use about 500 more like that.

chuckcd said...

He had a restaurant in Palm Springs as well.
Saw Heather Locklear in there once.