the show with zefrank
- Main article: Sports Racer
Ze calls his loyal listeners "sports racers."
"What does sports racer actually mean? Can someone explain it for foreign viewers?"
Why Ze chose the term to refer to his viewers is, in all honesty, a mystery. (Besides, of course, the fact that it is fucking wicked.) It is likely based on "sports fan" which is a more common nickname for radio hosts to greet listeners with. It may also be a play off of the character of Speed Racer.
- Main article: Hard Charger
Hard Chargers are enemies of Sports Racers. Although the term originated with political overtones, the true meaning continues to emerge.
Ze often refers to his presentation of the news (or just life as he knows it) as "knowledge", which some hard chargers presume to be a parody of the media's tendency to overhype its own value. (e.g., Bill O'Reilly often refers to "Talking points" in the segment of the same title on his show, The O'Reilly Factor. "Talking points disagrees," for example). In early episodes, knowledge was a buzzword interchangeable with truth, but the latter has seemed to drop out of usage.
The League of Awesomeness
- Main article: The League of Awesomeness
Ze is an enthusiastic evangelist of the mysterious The League of Awesomeness, a group that strives to "make the world more awesome".
- Main article: Power Move
Sports Racers are encouraged to develop and submit Power Moves (often, but not necessarily, a short martial arts-like movement), some of which Ze will occasionally showcase during the show. A sports racer with an awesome power move is sometimes given a "sports racer name" which - presumably - means induction into The League of Awesomeness. Ze's own Power Move, Thunderclaw, is a simple but graceful maneuver that he demonstrated in his April 6, 2006 episode.
Ze continues to showcase power moves submitted by viewers, betraying an underlying feeling of compassion for those brave enough to subject themselves to international ridicule.
Comment King of the Hill
- Main article: King of the Comments
The week of May 22, 2006, Ze introduced Comment King of the Hill. In this game, users rated other user's comments; the winning comments were rewarded with a crowned ducky. The game was notable in that the rules changed each day. During the week variations allowed participants to vote an unlimited number of times, color code posts, and send posts to the "magic dumpster" where other users could undump them, if so compelled.
- Main article: Earth Sandwich
On the May 16, 2006 episode (read transcript | watch movie) Ze issued a challenge to create an Earth Sandwich. The goal was to place two pieces of bread on the ground simultaneously at points directly opposite each other on the globe. Thus, if a piece of bread were placed on the ground in a specific location, while at the same time another piece of bread is placed on the ground at the exact opposite coordinates, a giant Earth Sandwich would be formed.
Ride the Fire Eagle Danger Day
- Main article: Ride the Fire Eagle Danger Day
...Because "In Case You Missed It" day was already taken. Ride the Fire Eagle Danger Day always seems to occur on Fridays.
Are the New Viewers Gone Yet?
Ze sometimes tries to turn away new viewers by beginning the show with a boring or inane segment, in hopes that shorter attention spans will tune out. After a short time, he interrupts himself with the question "Are the new viewers gone yet?", and the show begins in earnest.
- Using the random contents of my pockets to reenact the subtext of an Arthur Miller play
- Those Brooklyn Stairs!
- New German Viewers
- The Process; Roll Call
- Fingers in Food - Fruit
"Fingers in Food" is unusual in being a "new viewers" gag which takes up the entire day's episode. Ze doesn't actually say "Are the new viewers gone yet?" in this episode, but the show is tagged "are the NV's gone yet?", and the familiar phrase occurs as the very first words of the following day's show.
"Fingers in Food" uses the same theme tune as "Those Brooklyn Stairs".
There is no part one of two, nor is there a series of two...there is only one, "Fingers in Food"; (Why, Ze? Why?)
S-s-s-somethin' From the Comments
Ze often reads one or more comments from viewers of the previous show, a segment he calls "S-s-s-somethin' from the comments".
A Note About "First"
"Any individual entity that presumes to understand the rules that guide this space is under an illusion." Ze has little to say about viewers who post comments that say nothing but "First", but he did say something, on May 12, 2006.
Ze quotes a viewer comment, and summarizes it: "...I bet you think 'Comments are to be used in a particular way and that particular way is not when people post comments like First.' " His response? "Sports racers don't follow artificially imposed rules on conversation spaces!" The result, of course, was Comment King of the Hill.
Solamente is Spanish for "only," so this occasionally repeated phrase means "only gags," or "just kidding."
Ze frequently composes and performs songs, complete with instrumental accompaniment, to emphasize a point or concept.
For a complete list, see the songs category
Say the Opposite!
After quoting a Hard Charger in the news who has directly contradicted himself/herself, Ze responds in a singsong voice: "Say the opposite, say the opposite! Say the same thing, say the same thing!," the implication being that Hard Chargers tend to commandeer an argument or issue by creating their own version of "the truth" which is exactly the opposite of reality.
Something I Like That's Gay!
Occasionally Ze points out something he likes that's "gay"; that is, something that is associated with homosexuals. ("Gay" is also often used in the U.S. to mean something patently kitschy, a usage that Ze may be employing in an ironic way.) He announces these with a brief jingle, as above. It started when a comment asked if he was gay. He replied that he is not gay, but he likes gay things (see first example below).
Ze sometimes illustrates news stories with seemingly unrelated photographs as he narrates, leaving viewers to determine their actual connection to the topic. Very often the photos are viewer-submitted pictures or short clips of sports racer logos, power moves, t-shirt designs, etc. He also sometimes affectionately includes references to duckies and "the little duckies in the pond" whenever he finds the opportunity. When he includes related photos (e.g., a photo of the person/subject he is speaking about), he often includes humorous "captions" in the form of "[blank], as seen here [doing blank]".
Frequent viewers may notice that Ze prefers very close proximity with the camera. In early shows (March-April 2006) he blinked, as ordinary people do. Then he stopped blinking.
In response to a user comment on May 10, 2006, he noted that his left nostril tends to flare every time he blinks "which looks weird." If you don't believe him, watch a few of the early shows. He now seems to reserve blinking only for special occasions.
Ze's usual signoff is "This is Ze Frank — thinking so you don't have to."
You may notice that many of these recurring themes no longer recur after having been posted on this page.
Ze likes duckies. He has said so on many occasions. This affinity may be better understood in the context of his general affinity for things thought to be gay (see definition above).
Our Dear and Glorious Leader
On 03/28/06, Ze spoke of Our Dear and Glorious Leader which referred to Google (then the sole supplier of advertising on the site).
Yes No I This Is
Ze often creates his memes from real news and press releases (see, e.g., Hard Charger). This meme was presented on the Show: 04-11-2006 and came from an address George W. Bush gave to Johns Hopkins University. In response to a pointed question from the audience, Bush stammers:
- Yes…no…I… this is…there’s an ongoing legal proceeding which precludes me from talking a lot about the case
- Summer Jamz song, where he rapidly introduces the "new viewer" to many popular memes.
- Yes-no-I ... This-is Ze Frank, wishing I had been thinking, so you wouldn't have to... have been... thinking. For me.
- Personally I think that candidates who run for office should pass a public speaking test. Yes no I this is.
Will the show really end this March?
On "the show" section of the webite, it states "the show began with the march 17, 2006 episode and will end exactly one year later."
Please tell me this is not so. --220.127.116.11 12:37, 28 January 2007 (PST)
- Yeah, it's true. 18.104.22.168 19:18, 10 March 2007 (PST)
What's up with Ze's eyes/pupils?
Back in his older journal he wrote the following:
Originally Posted by ZeFrank
Sunday, July 28, 2002
My pupils are two different sizes at the moment. They get that way when I get very tired or when I'm ill. I've been told that its a hereditary trait. My father has the same thing. Most people don't have pupils that do this. In fact there is a very ancient part of the brain, by ancient I mean evolutionarily ancient, that controls your pupils and makes them dilate together as a unit. Normally having eyes that dilate differently is a sign of having a sever injury to the brain. I was told that David Bowie had mismatched pupils but that he developed the trait after being hit in the head. In college I received three concussions (only one was related to alcohol consumption, the other two were Ultimate Frisbee incidents) and each time the pupils thing freaked the crap out of the nurse in the school infirmary. Having a concussion is pretty wild. I didn't go directly to the doctor the first time around. The next morning I tried to read a chapter that was assigned for homework. I read the same sentence over and over again, completely unable to process the information. It was a very bizarre feeling.
Ze now includes a link on each show page to a transcript wiki page. However, many of those transcript pages are empty and in need of fulfillment. They are not created by Ze himself, just well-meaning viewers who want them to be there. Feel free to contribute! You might want to use an existing one as a style guide.
To see the transcripts so far, look at Category:the show transcripts.
See Ze Frank