For this holiday week, a change of pace to a lighter subject. Most people don’t read the credits at the end of television programs. Even fewer folks have probably noticed what appears to be a screen full of boilerplate language at the end of the CBS programs “Two and a Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory.” The microtype fills the screen and only appears for two seconds. No one can read it, even if they wanted to, unless you can freeze frame that moment on the screen.
While the casual observer may have assumed this was some type of elaborate copyright notice, in fact, the screens of tiny white letters on a black background are called “vanity cards” authored by the show’s executive producer, Chuck Lorre. And they change every week.
Here is the very first one he wrote in 1997 when he produced the show Dharma and Greg:
Mr. Lorre has now authored over 200 of these vanity cards, that range from Seinfeldian rants about nothing, to chiding the brass at CBS for some slight, and everything in between.
Even the Wall Street Journal noticed his two-second treatises and wrote a story about them. For a slide show of a few vanity cards, click here. His entire collection of vanity cards is immortalized on Chuck Lorre’s own website. Enjoy.