TV Shirts That Would Never Sell

Kevin Nguyen presents his line of failed message television referencing shirts.

Nick was smart enough to quit the game after our failed attempts at selling indie rock t-shirts, but I was too stubborn to give up my love for tacky apparel. Clearly, we were trying to attract an audience that found our crude, low-brow humor too, uh, crude and low-brow. Instead, I went after the lowest common denominator of customers: television viewers.

Naturally, this second endeavor was an utter disaster.


The Wire has been hailed as the best television show to ever exist. Unfortunately, this HBO series never found an audience as deserving in number. My thinking was that David Simon’s look at Baltimore could single-handedly solve all issues of race in America if everyone took the time to watch seasons one through five of The Wire.

Not everyone agreed with me, judging from the several lawsuits I received citing discrimination. Oddly enough, I did receive a handful of orders from readers of Stuff White People Like.


If you’re cool, you watch Battlestar Galactica.

As you cool kids know, the show’s premise hinges around revealing the identities of the cylons, who look identical to humans. Why would a cylon wear a shirt pronouncing him/herself so? It’s kind of like those shirts that say “I work for the CIA.” I swear, nine times out of ten, they’re lying.

Also, one of the trends in Battlestar is that the attractive cast members tend to be cylons. No one wearing this shirt will ever be remotely attractive.


Too many people returned this shirt. Apparently, it guarantees you an ass kicking, unless you’re in middle school.


Everyone that would want this shirt already owns one that reads, “That’s What She Said.”


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Oddly enough, this shirt was a little bit too close to the truth. According to ProgressiveU.org, in 2005, American Idol received over 500 million contestant votes, whereas the 2004 presidential election pulled 122 million.

It’d be nice if we could vote via text message in this year’s presidential election.


I discontinued this shirt after receiving letters from fans of Arrested Development, Futurama, Titus, Wonderfalls, Millennium, and Firefly. The most compelling letters were those upset about the cancelation of Dark Angel. They weren’t fans, just people who wish Jessica Alba had been contained on television.

Kevin Nguyen is a founding editor of The Bygone Bureau. His only marketable skill is an above-average knowledge of European geography. He has been useless since the introduction of the atlas in 1477. Reach him by email or follow his Twitter account.