The 'Kathy' Effect

The 'Kathy' producers reveal that they are behind the resurgence of Hot Pockets.

I’m just going to come right out and say it -- the Kathy staff is officially responsible for bringing Hot Pockets back into the American (and, presumably, Norwegian) zeitgeist. I don’t need to sit here and tell you that Hot Pockets are delicious. You’re no idiot. But I think you may find it interesting that, although they have remained an easily accessible treat since 1983, there has been an explosive resurgence in their popularity in the last month. And Mr. and Mrs. Pocket -- presumably the proprietors of the company -- can thank us at Kathy for that. Suddenly, you’re not “cool” unless you’re eating a Hot Pocket...or talking about a Hot Pocket, or making a historical Hot Pocket reference, or making an inappropriate Hot Pocket metaphor. I suggest you get on the train.

Our obsession with Hot Pockets began simply. We producers were working very diligently one day when, only for a moment, we took a five hour tangent into singing commercial jingles. We covered all the classics -- Stanley Steamer (“...tough on dirt, eeeasy on carpettt”), Empire Flooring (“...eiiight-hundred-five-eeeight-eeeeight-two-three-hundrrred!”), Kay Jewelers (“Every kiss begins with Kaaaay”), 1-800 Mattress (“...M-A-T-T-R-EEEEEE-EHSSSS”), etc. Inevitably we got around to four-part harmonizing, “Whaddaya gonna pick?! [snap] Hot Pockets!” And the rest is extraordinary history. Any mundane information we wanted to relay at work was then in the tune of the Hot Pockets jingle. Deciding how to keep track of our field piece ideas? “Whaddaya gonna pick?! [snap] Google Doc it!” What in the hell are they talking about on The View right now? “Whaddaya gonna pick?! [snap] Hot Topics!” Not sure what we want for lunch? “Whaddaya gonna pick?! [snap] ...” Well, in that case, we would just suggest eating a Hot Pocket. Day after day, more and more Hot Pocket references would sneak into our conversations, often making no sense at all. “Hey, Shep? Can you please hand me the Post Its?” To which he would reply, “Hot pockets!” We enjoy weirdness. It was just about this time we decided, for our own amusement, we would try and swindle a Hot Pocket reference into that week’s show script. We had to place it someplace inconspicuous, and it had to be done with surgical precision so as to not throw a wrench into the show’s or, obviously, Kathy’s flow. It also had to be placed in a quick, stand-alone sentence in the teleprompter so that Kathy would definitely read it. She sometimes paraphrases lengthier prompter text in her own more hilarious words, so we had to make it concise. We decided to stick it in right after a commercial break. Sure enough, Kathy looked into camera and said, “Welcome back. I’m a little high on Hot Pockets.” Oh, glorious day! Kathy nailed it. Of course she nailed it. The audience laughed, and a warm sense of satisfaction washed over us. I want you kids to know something: dreams do come true. Don’t you dare give up.  

T’was only days later when we began noticing Hot Pocket references outside the office in sudden abundance. Holy ballnuts, Hot Pockets were seriously everywhere. And it wasn’t just because we were more aware of people talking about them -- or maybe it was, but just...let us believe. We first noticed when daytime’s television masterpiece, The Talk, was on in the office, and they were doing a cooking segment where they, you guessed it, were making homemade Hot Pockets. Of course, we all had to make a big f-ing deal about it. Then, one of us saw a tweet from a fan who watched our show that week that read, “Is it weird that I’m watching @kathygriffin show & she says, ‘I’m a little high on hot pockets’ as I’m eating a hot pocket?!’” Obviously, we printed the tweet and taped it to Kathy’s office door. Then...THEN, within the next few days, Richard III’s body being found under a grocery store parking lot was a headline being discussed on The Colbert Report, and the punch line was, “...which explains why his famous last words were, ‘My kingdom for a Hot Pocket!’” It was then it became abundantly clear. The Kathy staff is solely responsible for the explosion of Hot Pocket discussions worldwide. No doubt in hell, and we are now rightfully drunk with power. The influence we have is unimaginable, so just beware: we’ve been singing the Pizza Bagels jingle all afternoon. (“Pizza in the mo’nin’, pizza in the evenin’, pizza at suppatime! When pizza’s on a bagel, you can have piiizzza anytiiime!”) 

P.S. Try Lean Pockets, too.

Kathy Appreciates Her Staff

See why everybody wants a bite of Kathy’s taco.

I feel pretty lucky to work at Kathy. The hours are great, the staff is friendly and it pays enough to support my online shopping addiction. Sometimes we get perks that throw it over the top. Last week, an Evite landed in my inbox from Miss Kathy and it read like a dream that could only live in my mind -- Kathy was going to spoil us on Friday with a party for Employee Appreciation Day! But even better -- there would be tacos. Delicious, authentic taco truck tacos. There’s nothing I love more than a real taco. Well, maybe a Taco Bell Doritos Loco Taco.

Now, last week out of nowhere a nasty cold hit me real hard. I had the sniffles, I had a tickle in my throat, and I had a fever that wouldn’t quit. Was it viral sabotage? I was forced to miss work on Thursday, which means I missed my one (maybe only!) opportunity to meet Carmen Electra. I might have missed Carmen’s taco, but I’d rather die than miss Kathy’s.

I think the divine Lord intervened on Thursday night, waving his magic wand and fanning a cool breeze towards my fever. I felt better! But I woke up Friday morning struck with a new illness! I had taco fever.

Would there be corn tortillas? Flour? Carnitas? Barbacoa? Perhaps a lovely fried fish? WOULD THERE BE A SALSA BAR LIKE AT BAJA FRESH?! Would they put that cabbage slaw on top with a tart crema? Would there be a nacho cheese fountain? Who knows! The possibilities were endless.I got through Friday at work by daydreaming and arrived home to get ready for the taco party. Now, do you dress up or down for tacos? Is a flamenco dress with a rose in my hair too much? Do I go full chola with winged eyeliner, a red bandana, and a concealed weapon? Would red lipstick work with the inevitable mix of Cholula and meat juice dripping down my face? I left the house looking like a mix between the Chiquita banana lady and Carmen Sandiego.

Now, my mama always said you don’t show up to a party empty handed, so I fried up a batch of churro donut holes. I showed up to Kathy Griffin’s house with my holes and a smile. I smelled like a frycook. She took the box and didn’t judge me for my odor, and for that, I love her.

Finally, Ms. Griffin yelled the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard, “The tacos are ready!” The Kathy staff created a stampede towards the taco cart. I’m pretty sure I heard someone screaming Spanish curse words and a couple ‘bows were thrown. There was no need to fight. Everyone got tacos!

And these tacos were all I wanted and more. There were many options of meats and salsas and lovely grilled vegetables. And they used corn tortillas and that’s my favorite. They even had roasted jalapenos. Are you kidding me? I ate one of them because I heard it would be good for my cold and it was really good at helping my nose leak profusely. They didn’t give you a taco limit and some people exploited it. I think Kathy’s boyfriend Randy had 11. (He’s always bragging about having a very high metabolism.) It was such a lovely evening and it was very generous for Kathy to throw this party for us. We’re lucky to have such a nice boss and just to say “thank you” wouldn’t be enough. I think I can speak for everyone in saying the taco party was a night we’ll never forget. I don’t know what else to say except we also love pizza parties and I prefer a thick crust.

P.S. I’d like to clarify that I am a staunch supporter of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign towards healthy eating, portion control, and exercise. I just can’t resist good Mexican. And you shouldn’t either.