Hopefully This Does Not Mean There Will Be A Show Called “Horse Puncher”

March 15, 2012


If you’ve been trying to find something to be thankful for the last couple of days, be thankful you’re not a horse who’s currently working in the American TV industry.  Pretty specific on the “thankfulness list”, I know – probably somewhere between “I’m thankful that I’m not an aspiring throat-singer who didn’t make the cut for the Moldovan Throat Choir” and “I’m thankful I don’t have an udder,” but trust me.

Coming soon, Public Beheadings and Feeding Christians To Lions!

The first instance involves an apparently real TV show called Full Metal Jousting.  Jousting.  A TV show I’d like to think came into existence during a meeting that went like this:

Ethics-ridden employee, talking to a colleague: My God, look at the crap we’re putting on the air.  Freak-shows, self-humiliation for money… Jesus, what’s next?  Jousting?

Comically bloated, cigar-smoking executive producer:  Jousting!  I love it!

Ethically-liberated employee: Uh, thank you, sir!

Anyway, on the set of the show one of the jousters punched his horse.  Punched him.  His horse.  Punched his horse.  The horse made him made and so he punched him.

Not smacked him instinctively/accidentally like how you hit your shin on the coffee table and so you kick it, which hurts even worse, and you yell, “You stupid coffee table!” or something. He got mad and then hauled off and decked the horse.  This, to be clear, is a dumb thing to do.

Maybe I’ve concerned you.  Maybe you’ve had moments where you’ve thought about resorting to fisticuffs with beasts of burden who could easily kill you.  Here’s a simple quiz to determine if you should punch the horse:

Are you just pawn in big game of life?

1. Are you currently starring as Mongo in a local production of Blazing Saddles?

2. Are you kind of a jerk?

If you answered No to either of those questions, then horse punching is not for you.

The second thing is much worse.  The new HBO series Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman, has just had to put down its third horse in the last several weeks, after it sustained serious injuries (the horse, not Dustin Hoffman).  So the show, which premiered on January 29, has killed three horses.   Think about that.

If the show was run by some pagan cult who were sacrificing horses to their god in hopes of good ratings?  They’d have killed fewer horses than this.  The high priest would have been like, “Listen, the second horse was just, you know, to be sure.  Let’s not go nuts here.”

If during the course of your job, you kill three horses in three months, and your job is anything besides “professional horse assassin,” you are not doing your job well. You need to consider something different.

Aaaaand here comes Nine Days Rain, pulling away from the pack! Nine Days Rain coming in to the final stretch! He's all clear, thundering up the track as he's headed in to the - NINE DAYS RAIN WINS!

The show has said they will cease shooting any scenes with horses until they get this figured out.  What’s to figure out?!  Making sure to add a “Don’t maim or kill the horses” box on the production list?

And what scenes?!  It’s a show about horse-racing!  What, are the horse races going to be implied?  Done with puppets?  Because I would watch that, HBO.  I would watch the hell out of that.

So, in any case, HBO, you suck for the moment. And smug, entitled jerk on the jousting show?  You also suck.  Horses, sorry.  On behalf of everyone, sorry.

And finally, if you, my cherished reader, are in fact a horse in the greater Los Angeles area, this might be a good week to call in sick. Hang around the pasture.  Catch up on some staring into space. And if you’re not a horse, and you see one, give ‘em a smile.  An apple.  Maybe take an extra moment to not punch them.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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24 Comments on “Hopefully This Does Not Mean There Will Be A Show Called “Horse Puncher””

  1. BrainRants Says:

    I agree. I stick to punching farm animals I either outweigh or can outrun.


  2. lexy3587 Says:

    🙂 the horse races are implied! love it. People don’t seem to understand that horses seem to be giant calm gentle creatures, but that what they really are is giant creatures with the equivalent of sharp rocks on their feet, who are putting up with you, for now. Another example of where people don’t get that ‘big and calm’ is really only ‘big and calm for now’ – There’s regularly a moose and her baby that graze near the campground we go to every year. When she comes out into a field nearby, there’s regularly a crowd of people taking pictures from a polite distance. And then there’s that moron urging his small child to go “put your arms around the baby” to get that priceless child bonding with great dane sized baby animal shot. Adult moose feet are bigger than your face. Mom-moose are full of rage and an overload of protective instinct. Wolves won’t hunt a moose unless it is severely injured or already dead. Yes. Go stand between Momma moose and her baby. Do that. Look how calm she is. Maybe you can punch her later.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It’s those stories – the “Go sit on the bison so we can take a picture” stories – that drive home just how removed from nature we’ve become. How do we have cities and Internet and electricity and such when we’re clearly quite dumb?


  3. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    Punching a horse takes brains….I bet he pokes rotweilers with sticks as well. They also finally put an end to horse diving at the boardwalk…..its as if the “we love animal” people got caught up on smaller animals and someone noticed horses this week. Though I’m surprised horses don’t realize they are stronger than us! Hopefully horses do not watch TV, we could have a full on stampede on our hands!
    Why couldnt HBO use film from “real” horse races, why did they feel they needed horse actors ? Why are idiots allowed to work with animals?


  4. angeliquejamail Says:

    I heard on NPR this morning that LUCK is canceling the show because of this. GOOD! By the way, may I share this post on my blog please?


  5. crubin Says:

    Just read about this in the news this am, so aren’t you the topical one?! Given your prescience, perhaps you could share the next winning Powerball numbers with me? I’ll toss a Benjamin or two your way when I win. 🙂

    Am really enjoying your blog. Glad to have found it!


  6. ghfool Says:

    I heard that there’s a new show in production called “Mr. Ed.” It’s about a talking horse, of course, of course, and if the horse can speak then he’s probably the Union of Celebrity Talking Animals President (UCTA). So he likely won’t get punched, but someone might choose to bury him 12 feet under.


  7. gojulesgo Says:

    Oh my. This is news to me. (No pressure, but you and Greatsby are my top news sources.)

    I mean, horses and I have never really gotten along, but, yeesh. Even I wouldn’t sacrifice more than two for my pagan god. I agree with Lexy – they are just tolerating us for now. Let’s not push the envelope. I don’t want to read Planet of the Horses in ten years.


  8. susielindau Says:

    What’s next, gladiators?


  9. joehoover Says:

    The puppet idea is genius, lets see these method actors try and act around that.

    Three horses in a few weeks is nothing, the Grand National is coming up next month over here and there’s usally half a dozen that have to be put down after the race, I’m good at picking the winner though so I’m selfishly not against it.


  10. sj Says:

    I would love a serious drama that featured puppet horse races. Seriously, someone needs to make that show!


  11. Audrey Says:

    I used to ride horses and I’ve got to say they sure found ways to get their hits in when they could. Close-quarters kicks, too many bites to remember, stepping on me, and getting bucked off more times than I care to admit. Maybe Karma was acting in expectation of this whole horse punching thing that would happen 10 years down the road… Just takin’ one for the team!


  12. tomwisk Says:

    My relationship with horses began when a shady friend of mine, we’ll call him Shady, introduced me to parimutual betting. During that time horses held high and low places in my list of things I appreciated. I even saw Secretariat win the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes. After departing the betting world I viewed horses as an exploited breed and comforted myself watching them from afar. No more does the thought of riding a horse cross my mind. I’d rather walk.


  13. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    I would just like to wholeheartedly second and endorse the below:
    If during the course of your job, you kill three horses in three months, and your job is anything besides “professional horse assassin,” you are not doing your job well. You need to consider something different.

    Yes. This. With a side of, “WTF?”


  14. every record tells a story Says:

    Horses – still the only animal it’s legal to bang a nail into. Maybe someone just misunderstood how…


  15. kvennarad Says:

    ‘They Punch Horses, Don’t They?’

    I have never yet come to terms with the term ‘cowpuncher’. Nor yet with the term ‘coxswain’ (given that if ‘swain’ means a lover, by extension ‘boatswain’ means a lover of boats).

    I would follow this line of reasoning to the end but for the reason that it’s useless to dog a fled horse.

    Marie Marshall



  1. UPDATE: HBO Cancels Luck, And The Byronic Man Is Incredibly Powerful | The Byronic Man - March 15, 2012

    […] So a few hours ago I wrote about the rampant horse abuse lately on TV shows, including the death of the third horse involved with the production of HBO’s Luck.  And now HBO […]

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