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An individual exhibiting such uniqueness or individuality that he or she will cause a roomful of bar cronies to exclaim, "That's one interesting motherfucker!" Actual sexual relations with one's mother are not required.

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Jack Webb

By John Saleeby

Who are The Worst People In The World? Why, Hippies, of course - Everybody knows that! Luckily there aren't very many of 'em around anymore and, despite what Ronald Reagan said when he was Governor Of California, we didn't need "a bloodbath" to do it (Reagan never bothered with the Lovable Ol' Nice Guy act until he decided to go for the White House.) Me, I'm hoping that, instead of the complicated nationwide Hippie Holocaust every Red Blooded American was praying for in the late sixties, the Government decided on the more subtle plan of allowing the stinking monkeys to think they had been allowed to get away with it all until the year 2010 or so when they're all about to retire in peace and comfort and we tell em "Fuck you, Gramps. You pigs can all starve to death in bloody Death Valley. Quit bitching and get in the railway car or we'll just shoot you." Those of you who were not there in the late sixties can't begin to imagine how terrible it really was. You know all those people who say America deserved what it got on September 11th? Imagine if there were one hundred times more of those assholes and if none of them had taken a bath in two or three years. And if they didn't have the Internet and had to resort to Folk Music. It was a bad time.

Jack Webb hated hippies. He believed they were bad people and wanted to do all he could to insure that they remained a late sixties/early seventies phenomenon. And he knew exactly what he had to do - He had to bring back "Dragnet".

"Dragnet" was no mere TV show and Jack Webb was no run of the mill Hollywood ass kiss. "Dragnet" was nothing less than a full scale covert intelligence operation and Jack Webb its Supreme Commander. I wouldn't be surprised to find out one day that - Hell, I would be damn proud - the whole thing was funded by the FBI, the CIA, the INS - All the good people that the pussies who used to be hippies want you to think are more to blame for the World Trade Center attack than Al Qaeda (They hate Al Capp more than they hate Al Qaeda ). Before Jack Webb called it back into ActiveDuty in the late sixties, "Dragnet" had been a hit black and white series in the fifties and a radio series before that.

Jack Webb got his start as a radio announcer in San Francisco after serving in the United States AirForce. Webb's voice was pretty much all he had going for him as an actor. All he could handle physically was walk in, talk back and forth with somebody else, and then walk back out. Sometimes Webb would be the one who was already in the room and would remain motionless as someone else walked in, talked back and forth with him, and then walked out. But you can still be a big TV star with even as minimal acting skills as that if you have a really cool, deep, manly, tough guy voice like Jack Webb did. Well, of you have a really cool, deep, manly, tough guy voice AND you produce, write, and direct the whole show with your own production company like Jack Webb did.

As for Webb's looks - Yeah, the hippies were right about one thing (And one thing only.), Jack Webb looked a lot like Richard Nixon. Hey, I'm no homo - But compared to Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, and anybody else running for President in 1968 Richard Nixon was A Cool Rockin' Daddy In The USA! Anyway, this was the sixties - Mick Jagger and Ringo Star were Sex Gods in those days and NBC was airing full color close ups of Davey Jones during prime time so they could sure as hell let Jack Webb get away with a few. At least we didn't have to watch JackWebb lip sync while banging a tambourine against his hip.

So yeah, Jack Webb was stiffer than the rhythm on an old Go Go's record but who the hell cares? Where did this notion that everybody has to be "James Brown Live At The Apollo" come from? No wonder the Arabs think they can slap the hell out of us and all we'll do is scream for somebody to get Johnny Cochran on the phone. Who do you want to talk to when some hoodlum breaks into your house, rapes your wife and kids, steals all your stuff, and shoots you in the stomach - Some screaming meemie who's gonna make a big display out of getting ten times more loud and excited over it than your bland white boy ass can or Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday, LAPD?

In World War Two the troops in the Pacific had a rule for new kids going into combat for the first time - Keep A Tight Asshole. Does that require any explanation? Probably so, because twenty years later the hippies thought that was the funniest thing in the world, man! That sums up the squares and their whole trip right there, man - Keep A Tight Asshole! Ha ha ha!!! And that's why every time a hippy or anybody else since then has had anything bad happen to 'em the very first thing they do is shit all over themselves. Like the cops on that old show "Hill Street Blues". Jesus, remember the episode of that show where the poor old cop with no wife, no kids, no girlfriend, nothing but a dog got so lonesome he was hugging that dumb mutt up to his chest and wailing "I LOVE YOU!!! OH GOD, I LOOOOOVE YOOOOOUUUUU!!"? Yikes!

That would have been a perfect moment for Joe Friday to step in, hand the guy a beer, and tell him "Hey, Keep A Tight Asshole, pal - You're shittin' all over yourself!!" And "NYPD Blue" - Hey, great show - But if you're too classy for "Shittin' all over yourself", here is how to say it Polish - "Siskowitz".

Everybody remembers the basic elements of "Dragnet" - It's "The story you are about to see is true . . . " intro, Webb's grim narration ("My name's Friday. I carry a badge."), the classic musical theme (Written by Walter Schumann, although Webb owned the rights. Schumann musta had the same attorney as those blues singers who got ripped off by Led Zeppelin.), the finale in which that episode's bad guy stood convicted before us all while the announcer read the Judge's sentence (How quaint to hear about some guy actually being sent to prison for mugging somebody or holding up a store. I do not imagine Phil Donahue is a "Dragnet" fan), the Shoe Phone, the Cone Of Silence . . . No, wait a minute - That wasn't "Dragnet", that was "Get Smart"! Yeah, the "Get Smart" reruns came on right after I got home from school and the "Dragnet" reruns came on right after I ate dinner. I get 'em mixed up because sitting around the table with my Mom and Dad and my sister felt as long as eight hours sitting in class.

Friday's comic relief sidekick Bill Gannon was played by Harry Morgan whose Colonel Potter replaced McClean Stevenson's Henry Blake on "M*A*S*H". Here is the entire history of "M*A*S*H" in one fell swoop - Henry Blake = Good "M*A*S*H", Colonel Potter = Shitty "M*A*S*H". What was I talking about? Oh, Harry Morgan. Screw Harry Morgan. You know what I really hate about Harry Morgan? Sometimes his name is "Harry Morgan" and sometimes his name is "Henry Morgan". What kinda shit is that? That's more suspicious than R. Kelly picking up a case of blank video cassettes at The Whiz (Steve Harvey-style joke).

Every episode of "Dragnet" began in LAPD headquarters with Joe trying to keep his mind on all that important paperwork while Harry, or Henry or whatever that chatty bastard was calling himself that day, got on his nerves with some nonsense like "You know, Joe - They say that in about thirty years there will be a computer in every home."

"Is that so?"

"That's right, Joe. And if they connect every one of those computers to each other in a network they'll be able to pass information back and forth between every one of those computers."

"Oh, yeah? You know what will happen next, don't you?"

"No Joe, what's that?"

"Pornography, Bill. A relentless flow of smut into every American home corrupting the minds of millions of once pure boys and girls."

Well, somehow there would be a cute lil' "Punchline" to these exchanges - Hey, if I had the mentality to write like Jack Webb would I have anything to do with an operation like Acid Logic? - and then a phone call would mercifully break up all this Abbott and Costello insanity to involve our heroes in This Week's Big Case. And with millions of once pure boys and girls "Dropping Out" and "Turning On" to "Come To California With A Flower In Their Hair" (And you thought "Going To Alabama With A Banjo On My Knee" sounded stupid) there was no telling what kind of unwashed longhaired love bead wearing trouble was abarefoot.

The first case that came to mind when Acid Logic Editor Wil Forbis and I had the initial meetings laying out the groundwork for a possible article about "Dragnet" was the infamous "Blue Boy" episode - The Big Premiere Episode of "Dragnet", Written and Directed By Jack Webb, and chosen in a recent TV Guide - Nick At Nite poll as the 85th Greatest Episode Of Television History. Only 85th!? Screw TV Guide - Nick At Nite! We had an Acid Logic - Nicole Kidman poll and "Blue Boy" came in second after some weird ass Australian soap opera that didn't even have kangaroos ( Is there any way to blame that one on Steve Harvey? ). "Blue Boy" is the identity eighteen year old Benjie Carver assumes when he corrupts his once pure White Man's mind and body with a spirit killing drug the FDA has since identified as "LSD". When first seen Blue Boy has his head stuck in the ground like an ostrich which might be cute if only an ostrich did not have it's family's good name to uphold. Then he tries to eat the bark off of a tree leading Sergeant Joe Friday to observe "You are pretty high and far out. What kind of kick are you on, son?". They try to talk a little sense into the boy, but you know how it is with these LSD addicts, he just paints one side of his face blue and the other side yellow and continues shooting up or snorting or whatever those poor souls do with that LSD poison until he drops dead. The End. And YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH, we KNOW that there's no way that you're ever gonna die from . . . uh, taking LSD, okay? Jack Webb coulda given a rat's ass about the correct technicalities of the greasy commie drugs those little faggots were wasting their lives on, okay? "Dragnet" was set in the very recent past, if they were going to have an accurate demonstration of the negative effects of LSD on Blue Boy they would have had to go about thirty five years into the future to show the poor burnt out wreck writing articles about James Ellroy and David Alan Grier for some crap-o web site called "LSD Thinking" and that didn't fit into the show's format. Me, I think Blue Boy had a psychedelic sci fi vision of a world torn apart in a genocidal race war between the people who's left side of their face was yellow and the right side of their face was blue and the other people who's left side of their face is blue and the right of their face is yellow, had the revelation that Frank Gorshin is GOD, and died. Benji "Blue Boy" was played by Michael Burns, a member of Webb's elite repertory troupe ( Although I'm sure Jack would have spelled it "troop" ). Burns later starred in another very disturbing "Dragnet" as a juvenile delinquent who's insatiable Lust For Kicks leads him from joy riding around LAin stolen cars to walking up to a man waiting at a bus stop and blowing his head off with a shotgun. Try pinning that one on Frank Gorshin, punk!

But far as "Dragnet" goes, "Blue Boy" is the whole enchilada in a nut shell - Good clean American kids fall under the psychedelic spell of those hippie creeps and are ruined for life. Maybe it sounds hokey now, but in the late sixties when many in the media were presenting those slobs as nothing less than America's Best And Brightest, it took more guts than Jane Fonda's small intestine, Tommy Smother's liver, Joan Baez's lungs, and Allen Ginsburg's ass fat all ground up into a big slimey blob and dropped onto the young Bill Clinton's head from a fifteenth story window.

So it should come as no surprise that Jack Webb wasn't exactly the most popular boy in Hollywood. In fact, until Bryant Gumble finally came along he was probably the most hated man in all of television. But Webb didn't give a crap about Hollywood - He called The Emmy Awards "High School Amateur Night" and, get a loada this, he never even hired a publicist! In Hollywood not having a publicist is the most self destructive thing you can do next to bankrolling a Jean Claude Van Damme movie! I mean, Geez - Not only was Jack Webb an internationally notorious Fascist White Supremist Nazi Ku Klux Klansman, he was also a heavy juicer who had all kinds of woman problems. I bet his ghost appears to Tommy Lee every night - "Eh, don't worry about it kid! Regular guys don't read that garbage. Forget about it! Oh . . . And don't forget to check the pool before ya crash."

Now here we are in 2002. Give a moment's thought to our country's current challenge and just imagine the international bitchfest that would erupt if anyone in television even thought about responding to Muslim terrorism as decisively as Jack Webb did against the sixties counter culture. Why, it is absolutely unthinkable. Hey . . . Wait a minute . . . Maybe the hippies won after all!!


What do you think America? Leave your comments on the Guestbook

John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email -

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Additional Jack Webb Material:

Jack Webb, The Musician

Dragnet Episode Guide
As Jack would say, "this is the shiznit, y'all." relive past moments of televised greatness.

Photo of Webb's grave
Stare at it long enough and you see his discombobulated corpse rise up and grab you.

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