CNBC Blogs Funny Business with Jane Wells


  Tuesday, 26 Jun 2007 | 9:59 AM ET

Paris Hilton Free At Last: Now What? You Respond

Posted By: Jane Wells
Hilton's check out time: She is free at last. Now we'll see if Paris Hilton has truly changed. Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime. She checked into jail as the most reviled woman in America. While there, her silence bought her some sympathy. What now? Will the "new Paris" become more like Princess Di, less like Anna Nicole? More Angelina, less Britney? Personally, I hope she surprises us all. Meantime, we have not changed, readers. And part of me thanks you for that. »Read more
  Monday, 25 Jun 2007 | 8:53 AM ET

Paris Hilton Released: What Should She Do? (Tell Me)

Posted By: Jane Wells
Paris The Thought: It all starts anew this week. With Ms. Hilton leaving jail, email me with suggestions on how she might effectively rebrand herself. Seeking big money from networks has backfired--especially since she doesn't actually need money. Perhaps she should have said the dough would be donated to programs that help inmates. Yes, it's easy to crack wise (and feel free to!), but, seriously, what should she do now? There's a CNBC coffee mug in it for the most thoughtful reply. »Read more
  Friday, 15 Jun 2007 | 11:53 AM ET

Citigroup's Weill Shows Giving Is "Feel Good Science"

Posted By: Jane Wells
Citigroup Chairman Sandy Weill told our Mary Thompson this week that people should start giving their money away even before they have a lot of it. Ok, that's a great idea, though it's a bit easy for him to say. Weill and his wife have generously donated $250 million to Weill Cornell Medical College, and he feels passionate about it. Now we have the scientific proof behind that passion. »Read more
  Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 | 10:21 AM ET

The Marty Ingel's Memo: His Rebuttal To Me

Posted By: Jane Wells
On Friday I poked some fun at Shirley Jones for sending out a press release when Florence Henderson reportedly called her a nasty name. Well, I got an earful on the phone from Jones’ husband, comedian Marty Ingels, who wanted to know if I’d be willing to print a rebuttal. I said, “Absolutely! Every word!” Oops! Last night in the ol’ email inbox I got a four-page scanned hand-written letter from Ingels. Here it is, the whole thing... »Read more
  Wednesday, 13 Jun 2007 | 2:42 PM ET

Diary of a CTO, Bob Barker, And Talk Like Obama

Posted By: Jane Wells is an online resource for Chief Information Officers, you know, the head IT guys. And whether they live here or in India, they share a common fate: doomed to a maze of pipelines, processes, and Bluetooth earphones. The site recently did a survey over which wireless devices create the most "buzz" around speakers (BlackBerry Pearl is the buzziest). But my favorite recent column (yes, it's true, I occasionally read something called is titled "Dairy of a Tired CTO." »Read more
  Monday, 11 Jun 2007 | 10:38 AM ET

The Happiest Live Shot On Earth

Posted By: Jane Wells
'm a cynical person. But it's hard to be cynical at Disneyland. Today I covered the relaunching of the famed submarine ride after nine years, now rechristened the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. I first went on this ride when I was a preschooler, so I went in knowing I would be nostalgic, but I had to keep up my journalistic guard! Still, I've gotta hand it to the Disneyland folks. They don't miss a beat. »Read more
  Friday, 8 Jun 2007 | 8:38 AM ET

PC Vs. Mac "Wins" And Have You Been Scammed?

Posted By: Jane Wells
“PC versus Mac” ads
“PC versus Mac” ads

The “PC versus Mac” ads are THE BEST. And they have now been recognized as such, given the top prize at the 41st Annual Belding Awards, a Tinseltown nod to the marketing industry. The ads were created by TBWA/Media Arts Lab, based in Los Angeles.

Ellen Gray of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders if the Geico Cavemen can get their own TV show, why not Mac and PC? Apple could underwrite the whole show! Except, of course, people like me love PC more than Mac. PC actually makes me want to go out and buy a PC.

Gray writes that the show is the 21st Century version of “The Odd Couple,” with PC as “Felix,” and Mac as “Oscar.” Here’s her idea, and it ain’t bad:

‘Pitch: After Silicon Valley hits another downturn, the rivals are forced to become roomies.

Hook: While Mac lives the iLife, PC’s nostalgic for the good old days of Windows 98.

Pilot: When a beautiful woman moves in next door, the boys vie to offer support for her operating system - only to discover that she's running (gasp) Linux.”

When you’re Paris Hilton, every move you make is headline news. Really. Paris inhales, it’s on Paris exhales, they’ve got it on CNN. Look, I’ll admit when I see her on the tube, I look up.

On the other hand, when you’re Florence Henderson and Shirley Jones, it’s a little harder to get pub, you know? So in a marketing move that’s straight out of Planet Desperate, I caught the following on the PR newswire: “Shirley Jones Responds to B---- Remark from Florence Henderson.” Except it didn’t have dashes after the “B.” A smackdown between the Partridge and Brady Bunch moms? Apparently Flo called Shirl the “b” word in an interview. Turns out Henderson really wanted to star in “Oklahoma,” about a hundred years ago (a figure referenced, literally, below) except “that b---- Shirley Jones got it.” Here’s the article.

»Read more
  Thursday, 7 Jun 2007 | 8:54 AM ET

Judge Dredd-Ful And His "Reduced" $67M Pants!

Posted By: Jane Wells
Good news! A guy suing a Washington, DC area dry cleaner for $67 million over a pair of pants gone missing two years ago has reduced his damages demand to only $54 million! The guy is a judge. A JUDGE! Administration law judge Roy Pearson is suing under the local Consumer Protection Act (that must be some act), claiming signs posted inside Custom Cleaners were fraudulent by promising "Satisfaction Guaranteed." Pearson wants $54 million to make it right. Talk about being taken to the cleaners. »Read more
  Monday, 4 Jun 2007 | 3:59 PM ET

Dell "Dude" Taking A Bite Of The Apple?

Posted By: Jane Wells
Remember Ben Curtis? He's the actor who played Steven, the "Dell Dude," the only memorable Dell ad campaign ever. Curtis was eventually phased out--he wanted to move on, and there was also the little matter of getting arrested for trying to buy marijuana. Since then, Curtis has done a little of this, a little of that. He was hired to promote Gameznflix, an online game and DVD rental company. »Read more
  Friday, 1 Jun 2007 | 10:39 AM ET

Google Co-Founder Caught "Off Guard"

Posted By: Jane Wells
So here's what you don't see on TV. I covered the first ever web developer conference held by Google, a "coming of age" rite for a company that, well, came of age a while ago. No top executives were supposed to be there. They were all supposed to be at the D5 tech conference near San Diego. So you can imagine my shock when, as I ignorantly sat on my journalistic butt, producer Christine Egy ran up and said, "Sergey Brin just walked in!" »Read more

About Funny Business with Jane Wells

  • If it was up to Jane Wells, she’d spend her entire day combing Mother Earth for stories and observations just for this blog. She has more fun writing Funny Business than anything else she does... professionally, that is. Funny business is whatever Jane considers hilarious, strange, fishy, or ridiculous, which pretty much covers everything on Wall Street. It is her hope this blog makes you smile, even when the news is grim. After all, it's only money.


  • Jane Wells

    Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for