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I was doing a little research today for an upcoming interview with new Crunch Fitness CEO Tim Miller when I stumbled upon something pretty unique on the Crunch Web site. (And if you know about Crunch, you know that Crunch is all about being unique.)

First of all, the Crunch home page has two claymation characters, Steven and Nancy, who appear in one of four Crunch claymation films here. Most of the films are rather nice and cute, but the one with Steven and Nancy goes to the brink of bizarre. In the film, Nancy, a small, feisty boxer, ambushes Steven, a tall, skinny guy, for trying to take gym towels home with him. Nancy doesn't just beat Steven up, she literally rips the arms and legs off him.

This reminded me of the Phil Hartman sketch on Saturday Night Live when he was in the "all-drug Olympics." As an overly-pumped-up Russian weightlifter, Hartman rips his arms off trying to deadlift a barbell. With blood squirting from Hartman's shoulders, I remember Kevin Nealon, the commentator in the sketch, saying something like, "That's gotta hurt," or, "That's gonna hurt his chances at a medal."

I have some basic questions for Mr. Miller about topics such as Crunch's future and the state of the industry. But I simply have to ask him about Steven, Nancy and the other claymation characters. I hope they stick around the Crunch Web site--and I hope Steven gets stuck back together again.

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