About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • Get Ready for the Crayola Men!

    By kyle | February 5, 2009

    Department of possibly-alarming-but-probably-fictitious trends: men’s shirts for spring are going to be offered in lilac, pink, orange and cobalt. Color me skeptical: real men don’t wear lilac. These shirts are going to be piling up unsold. I and most guys I know will not be seen pimped out in orange or yellow. (Although cobalt blue doesn’t sound that different from the French blue shirts of the 90s, which I like.)

    Topics: Advertising, Fashion | 12 Comments »

    America Goes Bonkers Over $6 Breakfast

    By kyle | February 3, 2009

    Come on America, are you that hard up? Are you really eager to wait in line for hours to save six bucks on breakfast? More on the wacky Denny’s Super Bowl promotion.

    Topics: Advertising | No Comments »

    The Choice of a New Generation

    By kyle | January 20, 2009

    First order of business for the new administration: maybe suing Pepsi for trademark theft! Weirdly, Pepsi has turned a chunk of its website over to politics.

    Topics: Advertising, Barack Obama | 4 Comments »

    “Mad Men” Master Matthew Making More

    By kyle | January 17, 2009

    After months of dithering, “Mad Men” creator and showrunner Matthew Weiner has re-upped. The show had already been renewed, but Weiner apparently wanted a better deal and now he’s got one. Weiner’s writers are going back to work on Season Three. Onward, Don Draper.

    Topics: Advertising, TV | No Comments »

    Dump Ten Friends, Win a Burger

    By kyle | January 16, 2009

    Inside Burger King’s bizarre campaign, in which it promised to give a hamburger to anyone who unfriended ten people on Facebook. The BK Lounge has pulled the promotion. Looks like we know what their special sauce was, though…hostility.

    Topics: Advertising | 1 Comment »

    Zima Is Dead! Long Live Zima

    By kyle | December 2, 2008

    Did you know Zima is finally dead? Apparently it has been in a coma since about 1996 but MillerCoors finally pulled the plug this fall. I enjoyed the one bottle of it I ever drank, after a trillion-dollar ad blitz back in 1994. It was better than Miller or Coors, not to mention any of those foul Canadian brews or the putrid Rolling Rock. But ultimately it was too girly for its own good.

    Topics: Advertising | 8 Comments »

    I’m Sure It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

    By jic | October 26, 2008

    Dr Pepper are keeping their promise to give everybody in America a free drink if Guns N’ Roses release Chinese Democracy this year. I bet they thought that actual democracy in China was more likely than them having to pay up.

    Topics: Advertising, Music | No Comments »

    Review: “Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story”

    By kyle | September 26, 2008

    Kyle Smith review of BOOGIE MAN: THE LEE ATWATER STORY
    1 star out of four

    Lee Atwater, the wunderkind 1980s political operative who helped get George H.W. Bush elected, was guilty of smearing, fomenting racial antagonism and name-calling. Or so says “Boogie Man,” a documentary that uses against him images of lynch mobs, decades-old racist comments of his onetime boss Strom Thurmond and a clip of Bryant Gumbel calling him “the architect of the evil campaign.” Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: Advertising, Movies, Politics | 4 Comments »

    Mad TV

    By kyle | September 12, 2008

    My essay on “Mad Men” is up at

    Topics: Advertising, History, TV | 4 Comments »

    “Kill Michelle Malkin!”

    By kyle | August 27, 2008

    So screamed an unruly mob of protesters who reportedly swarmed blogger and columnist Michelle Malkin at the Denver convention. I am always puzzled when our liberal friends say to us things along the lines of, “Shut up!” or suggest bumping up our eventual appointment with the Grim Reaper. What exactly is American about suggesting that people who disagree with you be silenced? Why are so many liberals so unhinged at the idea of debate and discussion, and that the most persuasive ideas in the marketplace will win?

    Barack Obama has sicced his lawyers on a group that ran an anti-Obama ad, suggesting that they need to cease and desist but without questioning any assertions of fact in the commercial, which simply highlights Obama’s longstanding ties with ex-Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers, at whose home Obama once launched a political campaign.

    I think the answer is that liberal writers and activists, unlike conservative writers and activists, live in a cocoon in which no opposing views are ever aired. It’s pretty easy to only see the liberal TV newscasts since most TV newscasts are liberal; it’s pretty easy to read only liberal newspapers since most newspapers are liberal; it’s pretty easy to see only liberal-themed movies since most movies with a political message are liberal (and when a conservative one comes along, like “The Dark Knight,” it’s so rare that the liberal tendency is to maintain that calling it what it is is reading too much into it). Because of this comforting, warm, womblike existence, it’s genuinely shocking to realize there are people who disagree completely with your most cherished (and least questioned) assumptions.

    Topics: Advertising, Barack Obama, Blogs, Politics | 6 Comments »

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