It’s 3 p.m.! Let The A.V. Club briefly make use of the waning hours of your productivity with some pop culture ephemera pulled from the depths of the internet.
Ambien is back in the news, ever since the beloved sleeping aid accidentally turned otherwise-normal person Roseanne Barr into a racist for several years. Whoops! This is why you read the fine print.
Another TV show that has documented the dangers of Ambien is MSNBC’s Morning Joe, whose hosts Mika Brezinski and Joe Scarborough seem positively obsessed with the pill. The above montage, created by Buzzfeed’s Dorsey Shaw in 2013, forms a classic narrative arc, first establishing the saga’s primary characters (Mika, Joe, Ambien); gradually introducing conflict (Mika’s haziness and unpredictability under the drug’s influence); then leading to a stunning turning point and resolution (no spoilers). Bill Murray shows up holding a raccoon at one point. The nadir, Brezinski says, came when she ate a large jar of Nutella in the dead of night, which is in fact one of the primary side effects of the drug, along with sleepwalking and hallucinations. She also says she had to dial back her dosage from 10 milligrams, which is a good call; in 2013, the drug’s manufacturer found that that very dosage lead to impaired driving and motor skills in women, and began recommending just half that.
Anyway, look. It’s tough being on TV at 6 a.m. every morning. It’s hard to blame the Morning Joe crew for relying on some pharmaceutical help in resetting their circadian rhythms, even if it was help that comes with some serious-ass side effects. No such excuse exists for Roseanne Barr, however, who may just actually be a racist crazy person that should not be on TV.