Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Forgottten TV: Number Please (1961)

The late Clayton "Bud" Collyer is remembered as the original radio and cartoon voice of Superman, a role he essayed on Saturday mornings until his passing in 1969. Len Weinrib did a mimic of Collyer for a short bit on Sesame Street that year in the PBS franchise's 1st season. Collyer also was a pitchman for Bulova watches, and helmed the early runs of Beat The Clock and To Tell The Truth.

Like What's My Line? moderator John Daly, who was a news anchor for ABC while Line aired on CBS, Collyer crossed over to the Alphabet Network for a 3rd Goodson-Todman game after Clock ended its run.

Number Please lasted nearly 2 full years, and some might think of it as a spiritual forerunner to today's long-running Wheel of Fortune, as both shows were inspired by the children's word game, Hangman. The only available episode comes from the spring of 1961, and includes commercials from a 1-off airing on Game Show Network.



Rating: A.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Maybe they should've called it Senior Password (1987)

Life With Lucy had already been cancelled by the time Lucille Ball and co-star Ann Dusenberry appeared during an all-star week on Super Password in the winter of 1987. Golden Girls co-stars Betty White & Estelle Getty rounded out the field, with Dusenberry a relative puppy next to the rest of the stars and host Bert Convy.

Ball is the first one introduced by announcer Gene Wood, and gets a standing ovation (rightfully so). Wood also whispers the passwords, something he didn't do on Password Plus.



Ball would return for another all-star show later in the series' run.

Rating: A.

A little of this and a little of that

When Tom Brady left the New England Patriots and signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, taking party boy tight end/detergent salesman Rob Gronkowski with him in the process, the question was whether or not Brady, nearing the end of his career, could prove he was not a system quarterback. We won't know for sure until the season starts, if at all, in the fall.

With the NFL penalizing New England for taping a Cincinnati Bengals practice last season by taking away one draft pick for next year, plus $1.1 million, Bill Belichick, not satisfied with 2nd year pro Jarrett Stidham and career understudy Brian Hoyer as his options at QB, brought in ex-Carolina QB and yogurt salesman Cam Newton on a 1 year, incentive laden contract on Sunday.

Newton, who won a national title at Auburn, and was the league MVP in 2015, is one of those read-option QB's, like Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes, that the Patriots hate to face. The question now becomes, can Newton be adjusted to the Patriot Way? Stay tuned.
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This is just too rich.

Yahoo! reports this morning that Iran has asked Interpol, based in Paris, to issue a warrant to detain President Trump and certain unnamed American officials in connection with the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani back in January. Mind you, this is not an arrest warrant, but intended to detain the President while Interpol investigates the charges being brought forward.

40 years ago, the detention of several Americans as hostages in Iran was in the news every night until Ronald Reagan negotiated the release of the hostages shortly after taking office as President in 1981. Now, it is Iran seeking justice.

Karma can be, well, you know.....!
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Former Impact World & women's champion Tessa Blanchard is drawing fresh interest from WWE.

The 3rd generation star, currently in Mexico with her fiance, Daga, was stripped of the Impact World title last week, as we previously reported, and despite reports of past bullying of other women that surfaced around the time she won the title in January, which would make her toxic to Ring of Honor and AEW, as they're cleaning up on inappropriate behaviors (and AEW employs Tessa's Hall of Fame father, Tully, as a manager), but common sense suggests that since she'd also seemingly burned her bridge with WWE a couple of years ago, given what's been reported, WWE would not be interested.

However, there's this thing about being a daughter of one of the Four Horsemen that appeals to Vince McMahon, who's never shied away from controversy. I think the talk has started because Charlotte Flair (Ashley Fleihr), recovering from recent surgery, is on the shelf for the summer, and Vince wants another high profile name in the women's division. You know what they say. Controversy creates cash.

A few days ago, I figured Tessa would join Tully at AEW, largely for the same reasons (name value in particular), but if Vince is willing to spend more money than Tony Khan to get her....!
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The comics industry lost another legend last week when artist Joe Sinnott passed away at 93.

Sinnott inked pencillers Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Keith Pollard, John Byrne, Rich Bucker, and Bill Sienkiewicz on Fantastic Four during the 60's, 70's, and early 80's, until Byrne returned to pencil and ink the series in the mid-80's. Sinnott also worked on other Marvel titles, and did the occasional pencil job as well. Sinnott became a regular at local conventions in recent years, enabling him to connect with fans past & present.

Rest in peace.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Moron TV: 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee (1969)

The Monkees had been out of production for well over a year, with reruns airing on CBS on Saturday afternoons, when the band was brought back for an NBC primetime special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. which, some might say, would be a spiritual follow-up to the movie, "Head", which came out after the series ended.

British singers Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll are the key players in what amounts to a plot that would've been a better fit for the series, intent on brainwashing the band for whatever.

Shindig creator-producer Jack Good co-wrote & produced the show with director Art Fisher, who would recover from this debacle and spend the 70's working for the Kroffts (i.e. The Krofft Supershow, Donny & Marie), among other gigs. The band's manager, Ward Sylvester, was promoted to executive producer for this offering (he'd been billed as a production executive, which might actually mean the same thing, on the series).



Biz-to-the-A-R-R-E. No rating.


Musical Interlude: Lady in Red (1986)

Chris de Burgh's final American hit was 1986's "Lady in Red", off the CD, "Into The Light". The following video was from a concert in Dublin.



Today, "Lady in Red" still gets fair airplay on adult contemporary and oldies stations, and would be good date music....

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Sometimes, a game can be a family affair, part 2 (Password, 1964)

Back in February, we presented a 1965 episode of Password with Jimmy Stewart and his family. Now, we're moving the clock back by four months, to November 1964, as Lucille Ball and her husband, Gary Morton, play with Lucy's kids, Lucie & Desi Arnaz, Jr., the latter of whom is in the process of forming the pop trio, Dino, Desi, & Billy.



Lucy was a frequent guest on various Goodson-Todman games with both Gary Morton and Desi Arnaz, Jr., and would later play Password Plus with a grown up Desi, Jr. for a week, along with Dick Martin and Betty White. Lucy's final Password bow came during the Super Password era, joined by Life With Lucy co-star Ann Dusenberry and White and her Golden Girls co-star, Estelle Getty.

Rating: A.

Friday, June 26, 2020

What Might've Been: Detective School: One Flight Up (1979)

It started as summer filler. After three episodes, ABC decided that Detective School was doing well enough to warrant being placed on the fall schedule, only to close the school after a grand total of 13 weeks. The first three episodes constitute one season. Don't ask.

James Gregory moved over from a recurring gig on Barney Miller to headline his first series in more than a decade, playing Nick Hannigan, the instructor. The students included La Wanda Page, fresh from Sanford & Son/The Sanford Arms, Randolph Mantooth (ex-Emergency!, Operation Petticoat), and Melinda Naud (ex-Operation Petticoat).

Co-star Pat Proft might be better known for his work on the creative side of things. For example, he was heard as one of the background voices behind Dan Aykroyd & Tom Hanks on their 1987 novelty hit, "City of Crime". After the series ended, Gregory returned to Barney Miller, Page returned in another ABC dud, Aaron Spelling's B.A.D. Cats, and has that on her resume, as does Jimmie Walker. If memory serves correctly, Randolph Mantooth later resurfaced on an ABC daytime soap. I want to say it might've been All My Children, but I can't be sure.

Here's the intro:



No rating. Never saw the show. It was on during baseball season, you know.

Wrestling this 'n' that

Last week, we reported that manager-turned-podcaster/gadfly Jim Cornette and his wife, Stacy, were supposedly involved in some shady, erotic dealings while Cornette was in charge of Ohio Valley Wrestling.

On one of his podcasts earlier this week, Cornette debunked the issue, which was mostly sour grapes from former OVW talent, but given his history, which includes getting bounced from an announcer's role with the NWA for an unintentional racial faux pas on the air at the start of the year, the podcasts (he has at least 2-3) might be all he has left to keep his hand in the waters of the wrestling business.
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Add former WWE Cruiserweight champion Jamie Noble, now an agent-producer for the company, to the list of personnel who've tested positive for coronavirus. Noble posted the message on social media. Something tells me that's not the end of it with WWE, and I'd not be surprised if some upper-tier talent and/or management might also have contracted the virus. Stay tuned.
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After cutting two wrestlers, and suspending a third, Impact Wrestling decided to cut ties with its World champion, Tessa Blanchard, on Thursday.



Photo courtesy of F4WOnline.com.

Blanchard, the daughter of Hall of Famer Tully Blanchard (now with AEW), was to defend the title, as the first female world champion in the promotion's history, at Slamniversary on July 18 in a 5-way vs. Ace Austin, Michael Elgin, Eddie Edwards, and Trey Miguel. Elgin was suspended earlier this week for suspicion of misconduct. Blanchard's contract was coming due, but after declining to submit a video promo from her current hideaway in Mexico (where she lives with her fiancee, Daga, another Impact wrestler), Impact and its parent company, Anthem Sports, a Canadian company, decided to strip Blanchard of the title. With Elgin out, the main event on July 18 appears to now be a triple threat.

So where does Tessa Blanchard go from here?

No American promotion, even AEW, would be willing to take a chance on her after allegations of bullying surfaced over the winter. Since she's already in Mexico, would AAA or any other promotion there take a flier? We'll have to wait & see. Despite her father working for AEW, that would be a risk for Tessa, considering that the Young Bucks, the stars of Being The Elite, have deleted episodes that featured Joey Ryan, who was let go by Impact earlier this week. Stay tuned.

Update, 2:38 pm (ET): Elgin becomes the 4th wrestler cut by Impact this week.
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Anthem Sports, you'll recall, acquired the AXS network from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban a few months back. After forcing New Japan Pro Wrestling's weekly show off their network, Anthem has done the same with David McLane's revived Women of Wrestling, opting not to renew the contract for that series. Ed Nordholm and the staff there apparently believe Impact is the only wrestling promotion that belongs on AXS. Cuban, a regular on Shark Tank, should've thought better of the deal, don't ya think?

No, Jesus hasn't returned. A homeless man in NYC thinks he's Jesus

During his "Sermon on The Mount" in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus warned us of false prophets who would appear in "sheep's clothing", but secretly are "ravening wolves".

A homeless man in New York City doesn't fit the bill----yet----but when he tells the police and others that his name is Jesus Christ, Son of God, and has declared Washington Square Park a "spiritual zone", well, what would you do?

Washington Square Park squatter Matthew John Mishefski.

Photo courtesy New York Post.

Meet Matthew John Mishefski, originally from Wyoming, whose picture appears on the front page of today's Post. He's already been arrested once, and has a court date pending in September, but according to the article, he's called Washington Square Park his home for about a month now, and it seems Mayor Bill DiBlasio's office is reluctant to formally evict Mishefski from the park. If he's posing no threat to citizens, I can understand, but the city being unwilling to do anything to find this man some housing??

As we've shared in the past, homeless people here in the home district prefer to be homeless to avoid the responsibilities of paying bills, finding jobs, etc.. I'm not entirely sure if Mishefski shares this mindset, but the fact that he identifies himself as Jesus to police and city officials suggests mental illness. That, so far, hasn't been confirmed. Then again, this guy is just average folks compared to a certain delusional fellow in Washington........

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A little bit of this and a little of that

Earlier today, a New York judge dismissed a suit filed by Robert Trump, brother of you-know-who, which clears the way for his niece, Mary Trump, to release her book, due out next month.

Now, it has come to light that Robert Trump had just been released from the hospital when he was presumably persuaded by big brother Donald to file the suit, in the faint hope that whatever secrets might lie in the book would remain concealed.

As we mentioned, Mary Trump's book is from the same folks who brought you John Bolton's The Room Where it Happened, Simon & Schuster.

The score: Simon & Schuster 2, Donald Trump 0.
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Seems a group of good ol' boys got all butt-hurt when NASCAR agreed to ban the Confederate flag at the request of African-American driver Bubba Wallace prior to Monday's race at Talladega.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, based in Columbia, Tennessee, arranged for a banner, which read, "Defund NASCAR", to fly over the track. SCV frontman Paul Gramling, Jr. claims that NASCAR is violating 1st Amendment rights of freedom of speech.

No, they're not.

NASCAR is a privately owned business, and thus reserves the right to ban anything or anyone that goes against their standards. They acted to protect Wallace as they would any of their other drivers.

SCV plans on flying the banner at more NASCAR events this summer, including in their home state of Tennessee, unless someone schools them on the 1st Amendment.

Image result for Dimwit Terrytoons

"Duhh, you think that'll happen?"

I certainly hope so. Unfortunately, Gramling's ignorance of the 1st Amendment gets him a Dunce Cap.
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Earlier, we reported how WWE superstar Alexa Bliss has had to deal with death threats aimed at her musician-boyfriend, Ryan Cabrera. That ain't the only issue plaguing WWE.

Agent-producer Adam Pearce, recently seen on Smackdown in a prominent speaking role for a change, and reporters Kayla Braxton and Renee Young have tested positive for COVID-19. For Braxton, this is the 2nd time she's contracted the virus, the first being back in March. Young, the wife of AEW champion Jon Moxley, made her announcement several hours after Moxley withdrew from last night's episode of AEW Dynamite as a precautionary measure. Once AEW owner Tony Khan made the announcement of Moxley being scratched from the show, I can imagine fans put the pieces together.

Moxley is still scheduled to defend the AEW title vs. Brian Cage on July 8. Cage's spokesman, Taz, cut a promo after Cage's match last night, and, in the context of the storyline, claimed Moxley's excuse was BS. In reality, it's anything but, and Moxley, along with fellow wrestler QT Marshall, who was also scratched for the same reason, erred on the side of caution to protect their fellow performers. We commend them for using caution.
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Actress-turned-fashion designer Lisa Rinna (The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, ex-Another World) hawks her fashion line on QVC in her spare time. However, she took to Twitter to note that the shopping network is caving to complaints from viewers about her political views. Addressing the complainers as "Karens", the internet slang for artificially entitled white women trampling on the rights of minorities for whatever, Rinna agreed to the network's request not to discuss politics.

Then again, politics on either side of the aisle has no place on a shopping network, unless it's initiated by a network host for an interview.

Musical Interlude: On The Way Down (2004)

Ryan Cabrera peaked at #15 in 2004 with "On The Way Down". Then-girlfriend Ashlee Simpson appears in the video as a waitress who is also Cabrera's love interest.



Cabrera may be finding himself in news headlines for a different reason. He's currently dating WWE superstar Alexa Bliss (Lexi Kaufman), and that has touched off a series of bizarre tweets from an obsessed fan who has threatened to kill Cabrera because Bliss ended her relationship with fellow wrestler Buddy Murphy.

Just what we don't need. Some sorry jabroni trying to dictate other people's lives to suit his. As if WWE needs another head case to deal with.......

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

If you're a Republican running for office, it might be a good idea to refuse the President's help......

Tuesday's Republican Congressional primary in North Carolina provided a shocking result.

After Mark Meadows gave up his seat to become President Trump's current chief of staff (read: future firing), he & Trump tapped a family friend of his, Lynda Bennett, to run in a primary, with the winner advancing to the general election in November against the Democratic candidate.

However, GOP voters in Tar Heel Country, which lost out on August's national convention because Trump threw a tantrum when told he couldn't fill an arena for the event due to coronavirus, could see that Trump, more so than Meadows, had given Bennett, a real estate agent by trade, the kiss of death with his endorsement.

Meet the GOP candidate, Madison Cawthorn, 24, who has survived partial paralysis from an accident at 18....

Madison Cawthorn

25 is the minimum age for running for Congress, and Cawthorn turns 25 in August, just in time for the convention, so that should quell any arguments over eligibility. And, danged if he don't look like a dead ringer for Pat Boone-----70 years ago.

The upside for Cawthorn is great. He doesn't want help from GOP Super PAC's or any lobbyists, relying on his faith. That's the good news. The bad? Trump will give him the kiss of death, sometime around the convention......

Musical Interlude: Poor, Poor Pitiful Me (1996)

Canadian country singer Terri Clark hit the top of the country charts in her native land, and scored a top 5 hit on Billboard's country chart with "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me", written 20 years earlier by Warren Zevon, but most famously covered by Linda Ronstadt.



Given how President Trump continues to sell fake conspiracy theories to try to paint a picture of himself as a victim, like in an interview with CBN News earlier this week, maybe his campaign can petition the Zevon estate for the rights to this song.......

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

If this keeps up, the President's first post-administration appearance will be on Family Feud

Benjamin Franklin famously said that "honesty is the best policy".

Unfortunately, honesty and Donald John Archie Bunker Trump are not friends.

Unable to block the release of John Bolton's memoir, The Room Where it Happened, now on sale, America's Oldest Baby is going after another pending release from Simon & Schuster, this one written by his niece, Mary.

Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days – Infinite ...

"WAAAAAH! She signed a NDA! She can't release the book! Robert! Call my lawyers!"

Robert is Dumb Donald's youngest brother, who is filing an injunction to block the book's release, set for July 28, five weeks after Bolton's book. The Non-Disclosure Agreement President Trump is clinging to dates back nearly 20 years to a settlement over Mary's share of her grandfather's estate. It's different circumstances, but it's what is in the book that has the President hot & bothered.

Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days – Infinite ...

"WAAA! She's blabbed about my taxes! WAAAAAAAHHHH!"

Trying to use the NDA as leverage in this case is another desperate act by Trump to hide the truth about his money and how he made it. If I'm not mistaken, and I probably am, anyway, the NDA would not be binding in this case. The truth is, the President is S-C-A-R-E-D that the contents of the book will sink his re-election chances, as if he hadn't already done a considerable amount of damage himself with his selfish attempts at restarting his rallies in the face of coronavirus.

Step by step, piece by piece, day by day, the facade is crumbling. If Trump fails in his re-election bid on November 3, you know what'll happen:

Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days – Infinite ...

"WAAAAAHHH!"

Remember the Mercury Bobcat? (1976)

Ford, for whatever reason, began to reboot the Pinto into the Mercury Bobcat as early as 1974 for the Canadian market at first, before bringing the Bobcat to the US.

Ford began rolling out the Bobcat for American consumers during the 1976 model year. Character actor Todd Susman (who shared the PA announcer's gig on M*A*S*H with Sal Viscuso before the latter left for Soap) and future star Betty Thomas (later of Hill Street Blues before embarking on a modest directing career) appear. Michael Bell, the mischievous voice of the Parkay margarine tub, narrates.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Rockin' Funnies: A Muppet rendition of Danny Boy (1981)

From season 5 of The Muppet Show:

For broadcasts in the UK & Canada, and later released on DVD here in the US, an additional musical number was added to episodes to fill time. In this case, Animal, Beaker, and the Swedish Chef, billed as the Leprechaun Brothers, attempt to perform "Danny Boy".

You're asking, "attempt"? Well, when it's three of the most incomprehensible Muppets on the roster.....



Well, they do look interesting in Irish caps and sweaters...!

An enterprising soul took half the footage from the above, and dubbed in the first minute or so of the Beastie Boy's "So What'cha Want?", which actually makes these guys sound like real singers. Go figure.

Sports this 'n' that

Seems ESPN/Fox baseball analyst Alex Rodriguez and his honey, singer-actress Jennifer Lopez, are serious about buying the Mets. Mike Repole, better known for owning thoroughbred race horses, as joined Team A-Lo in a bid to acquire the Mets from the Wilpon family. We'll see how far this goes. By throwing his hat in the ring, Repole will likely attract some attention if/when he shows up at Saratoga later this summer.
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NASCAR has just one African-American driver, Bubba Wallace, who races for the legendary Richard Petty. On Sunday, before a scheduled race at Talladega, Alabama was postponed to today due to rain, someone placed a noose in Wallace's garage.

Consider the timing. NASCAR officials have been expressing support for, among other things, the Black Lives Matter movement and calls for the Confederate flag to be, well, retired, because of perceptions of what it represents. Wallace has, of course, gotten support from fellow African-American athletes such as NBA superstar-television producer LeBron James, but the question is who would have the lack of brains to pull a stunt like that in 2020?
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Major League Soccer is looking to restart their season as early as July 5, which would give NASCAR and the PGA tour some company on television, since it's looking like Major League Baseball won't be ready, if at all, before the latter part of July due to the ongoing squabbles over how many games will be played and how much the players will be paid.

Speaking of MLB, teams will be training in their home cities for any possible start to the season. For example, the Mets & Yankees will train at home (Citi Field and Yankee Stadium II, respectively), and the four California teams (Angels, Dodgers, Padres, Giants) would likewise use their home parks. This is despite the fact that California is one of the states experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases in recent days, along with Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida. Some folks think there might not be a season. Stay tuned.
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If the final chapter of the WWE Network miniseries, The Last Ride, is to be believed, the Undertaker may be hanging up his trenchcoat and boots for good.

Undertaker (real name: Mark Calaway) debuted in the then-World Wrestling Federation in November 1990 at Survivor Series, and almost certainly will be enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame as early as next year. Calaway broke into the wrestling business in the mid-80's, working for Jerry Jarrett in Memphis and for World Class Championship Wrestling under various gimmicks before moving to World Championship Wrestling as Mean Mark Callous in 1989-90. After stints under the management of Teddy Long and Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heyman), Calaway took the Atlanta-to-New York shuttle, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Musical Interlude: I Won't Back Down (1989)

For his 1989 solo album, "Full Moon Fever", Tom Petty, fresh from the Traveling Wilburys' debut, retained the services of Wilbury "brothers" Jeff Lynne & George Harrison, the latter bringing along former Beatles mate Ringo Starr, to join Petty and his regular sidekick, Mike Campbell, for "I Won't Back Down":



"Back" is in the news 31 years later after Petty's family issued a cease & desist letter to President Donald Trump's campaign after the song was used for Trump's rally in Tulsa Saturday night. However, if the Trump campaign followed actual protocols and obtained a license from the music publishers, then the Petty estate, sadly, has no case. Same goes for the Rolling Stones, who've raised a stink over one of their early hits, "You Can't Always Get What You Want", being used as Trump's exit music.

Other artists have similarly raised complaints about their music being used without permission, but the Trump campaign just doesn't seem to care, as long as they're paying licensing fees (if they actually are). Stay tuned.

The truth hurts: President Trump doesn't sell out an arena after all

"You can't handle the truth!"---Jack Nicholson to Tom Cruise, "A Few Good Men".

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So.....

Supporters listen as President Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., Saturday. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump's first campaign rally in 3 1/2 months didn't draw the record crowd Trump himself had claimed. Not even close. As seen above, some wore masks, some didn't, but they didn't fill every seat in the 19,000 seat arena Trump and his sycophants had rented for the occasion, such that an outdoor speech for the anticipated overflow crowd was cancelled because there wasn't as much of an overflow as Trump had hoped.

His campaign shills tried to claim the event was sabotaged by protesters, but a Yahoo! commentator debunked that by having attended the event and stating that the shills doctored some footage (again) to try to spin an excuse for the failure to fill the house.

Correspondent Silverstar said he'd heard rumors that a group of people came together online to buy up a block of tickets with zero intention of attending, just to stick it to America's Oldest Baby. As reported last time, six of Trump's staff members had tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the day, and were not at the rally, forced to quarantine. You would think the real life Annoying Orange would take the hint and cancel, but noooooooo! We'll soon see if there's more new cases of COVID-19 coming out of this debacle.

Apparently, all that orange spray tan has made Trump delusional for good.....

Saturday, June 20, 2020

A little of this & a little of that

This shouldn't surprise anyone at all.

Geoffrey Berman was pretty much forced to resign as a United States Attorney, based out of New York City, by Attorney General William Barr, who was claiming President Trump wanted Berman gone, for the simple reason that Berman is investigating Trump's personal attorney, the brain-addled former NYC Mayor and Attorney General Rudy Giiliani and two of his friends, in relation to the Ukraine-Biden mess.

At first, Berman wasn't going to step down, but after getting assurances from Barr that the case would continue (HA!), Berman agreed to resign, and will swap places with Jay Clayton, who is leaving the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)----we think, or will take another job. Seems Clayton coveted Berman's job out of loyalty to the Oldest Baby in America.

                        Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days – Infinite ...

"Long as you can get Rudy's bridge partners off the hook, fine. Now, get me my Evenflo!"

Now, Giuliani, for his own good, should be in a retirement home, as he is a trainwreck whenever he appears on TV these days.

I can just picture it now in January. Barr gets disbarred. Giuliani gets sent to an adult home. Trump? Bellevue's calling.
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Hours before tonight's ego-stroking rally in Tulsa, six members of Trump's pre-event staff tested positive for COVID-19. One peaceful protester, kneeling in prayer, was arrested for "trespassing" because the crybaby wanted her gone.

                              Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days – Infinite ...

                        "WAAAAAHH!! She is praying. Get her outta here!"

For someone who claims to be a Christian, you'd think Trump would respect the woman's decision to pray right then and there. Nope.
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A Nestle subsidiary is the latest to capitulate to the PC police and will rebrand Eskimo Pie. I guess the long held image of a young boy in a parka eating the ice cream now is being considered derogatory. Do they now want to replace the jacket? I don't get it.

What's next? Replacing the Native American maiden on the Land O'Lakes products with a picture of one of the Great Lakes?
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It started with David Starr, an American wrestler working mostly in the UK, and holding three different titles in as many European promotions. It has spread across the pond back here to the US, with a number of people associated with WWE caught in a web of allegations of sexual abuse and/or misconduct. To wit:

*--Matt Riddle, who competed in high school in Saratoga as an amateur wrestler, and who debuted on Smackdown last night, was accused of sexual assault in a case dating back two years by a former colleague, but it is now a case of he said/she said, as Riddle's wife has come to her husband's defense, claiming the accuser has been hassling Riddle over that same period.

*--British wrestler Jack Gallagher was cut by WWE after taping his final appearance on 205 Live, which also aired last night, albeit on WWE Network, due to allegations of attacking a young woman in a British club some six years ago.

*--Jordan Devlin, the Irish grappler who now shares the NXT Cruiserweight title with Mexico's Santos Escobar, has, like Riddle, retained legal representation to combat allegations against him. The Progress promotion in England has stripped Devlin of their tag titles, and suspended him indefinitely, while also suspending another wrestler, and terminating four other men.

*--Other WWE NXT UK competitors, including 2/3 of the Gallus stable, Joe Coffey & Wolfgang, and Mustache Mountain's Tyler Bate, are also dealing with allegations. NXT UK has been on hiatus from taping due to the coronavirus.

*--Manager-turned-commentator-turned-podcaster/historian Jim Cornette, and his wife, Stacey, have been accused of running some sort of clandestine operation while Cornette worked for Ohio Valley Wrestling. Allegedly, the idea is that Cornette mandated to certain wrestlers there that they had to perform sex acts with Stacey in order to get a push with OVW. Cornette, who started as a photographer before getting his first break in Memphis, could see his reputation completely destroyed as a result. He was fired as a commentator on NWA Powerr late last year for an inadvertent and inappropriate joke while on the air.

*--Velveteen Dream (Patrick Clark), already weathering a storm over allegedly propositioning young boys on social media, has gotten caught in the web again. While his gimmick is considered a cross between The Rock and the late musician Prince, some might think that should be Rock and the late Michael Jackson if these new allegations hold true. Reports had surfaced that Clark would be called up to the main roster after losing to Adam Cole at NXT Takeover: In Your House two weeks ago, but that didn't happen, and apparently, now we know why. Clark has been associated with WWE since 2015, during the last Tough Enough series, the same class that produced two more current stars in Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville.

It's going to get worse before it gets better. WWE already cut Gallagher. Expect NXT UK to be gutted before the next tapings if there's any base for the allegations.

A glass garage for a car? (1966-7)

Chevrolet thought they were being clever with this spot to promote the 1967 model Chevy Impala, pretending there was a glass garage. Dave Ketchum (Get Smart, ex-Camp Runamuck) does the shilling here, as we're coming out of a sponsor plug at the start of Bewitched.




Friday, June 19, 2020

Do us all a favor, Twitter. Suspend the President's account!

A year ago, a pair of toddlers met on a New York sidewalk, and embraced. The besties became viral stars, and their meeting was captured on Inside Edition, among other places....



So adorable, isn't it? Well, of course. Unfortunately, a certain 70-something with a massive persecution complex decided to do something about it, and it got him in trouble with Twitter again.


Image result for trump as a baby picture

Yep, America's Oldest Baby is at it again. Donald Trump retweeted an edited video that suggested the boys were chasing each other. However, President Pinocchio used it to try to gain sympathy from his voter base.

Twitter took action, flagging the fake video as "manipulated media". Logan Cook, aka Carpe Donktum, our Weasel of The Week, made the video knowing it'd get the President's attention, which it did. Unfortunately, Trump is taking another bullet from Twitter, which should also locate the originator of the fake video, and penalize him, too.

In Trump's case, since Twitter is his favorite form of communication, the time has long since come, regardless of his standing as a public figure, to suspend his account for abusing his privileges like this. Of course, we know how he'd react to that.....


Image result for trump as a baby picture

Update, 7:24 pm (ET): Facebook & Twitter have both deleted the Trump post of Cook's mock-up. Cook had previously produced some other unfunny memes on behalf of Trump.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Quaker presents a magical breakfast (1964)

For the first three years of its run, Bewitched was sponsored by Quaker Oats, with a then-unknown Gary Owens as the show's announcer.

Gary'll be heard at the end of this video, in which Darrin (Dick York) explains breakfast at the Stephens' house.....

Dunce Cap Award: Brandon Straka

Ladies & gentlemen, I give you the portrait of a 21st century imbecile:

Brandon Straka, founder of the 'WalkAway' movement, attends a rally in support of US President Donald Trump: (Getty Images)

Brandon Straka was booted off an American Airlines bound for Tulsa for refusing to wear a face mask on the flight. His argument is that it's not Federal law.

Technically, he's right. However, Mr. Straka is ignorant of the present conditions. We are still in the middle of a pandemic. He had purchased tickets for President Trump's Saturday rally in Tulsa, where the vain Trump won't wear a mask himself in public, and has insisted on having the rally despite the fact that coronavirus numbers have spiked in recent days in the southern states, and calls from local officials to postpone the event again, as it was originally pencilled in for tomorrow (Juneteenth).

Mr. Straka is putting his life on the line, as are thousands of Trump supporters, by taking the risk of going to the rally unmasked. Oklahoma is one of the states reporting recent increases in coronavirus cases, and there is every reason to believe there will be another spike, not only in Tulsa, but across the country, in the aftermath of the rally.

Andy Warhol once said that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. He never said dying would be a requisite. We'll send Mr. Straka a custom-made Dunce Cap, and yes, it'll have a face mask attached.

When your own party thinks you're not well......(2020)

The Lincoln Project is a conservative group opposed to President Donald Trump. Attorney George Conway, husband of White House bubblehead Kellyanne Conway, is one of its leaders, and is also a known critic of his wife's boss.

Like the rest of us, George Conway and the Lincoln Project realize that Trump is in failing health, though the Oldest Baby in America won't own up. Who else do you know, besides infants, would hold a bottle of Fiji water with two hands? Who did he pay off to get a clean bill of health on a recent physical examination? Would he be willing to submit to being interviewed by Dr. Phil?

While you try to answer those questions, check out this video, released on Tuesday:



And, then, to read that Dumb Donald II would interview his pops for some online show they're doing. Sports columnist Bob Raissman (New York Daily News) has a name for such interviews. Twinkie Munches. Which is appropriate since Dumb Donald I would be the first junk food president since Bill Clinton.

To paraphrase the tag line from Days of Our Lives, like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of the Trump administration......

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Aunt Jemima gets ready to say good-bye

It wasn't enough that Quaker Oats, now a subsidiary of Pepsi, had modernized the image of Aunt Jemima over 30 years ago.

The alterations at that time were for the same reasons that the brand is now being retired. The very name invokes images of racist stereotypes dating back to the post-Civil War 19th century.

Aunt Jemima’s pancake and waffle mix.

Pepsi/Quaker announced earlier this morning that the brand was being retired, and that their line of pancake mixes and syrups was being rebranded, Quaker had licensed the frozen breakfast products, including waffles & French toast, to Pinnacle Foods a number of years back, and so far, there's no word as to whether or not the rebranding extends to the frozen foods.

As we were going to press, M & M-Mars, which acquired Uncle Ben's rice a few years back, announced they were also making some changes. ConAgra, which acquired Mrs. Butterworth's syrup from Pinnacle, which in turn had bought it from Quaker, hasn't yet announced what they'll do with the brand.

Which takes us back to how Quaker will rebrand Aunt Jemima. To me, that's easy. Simply make it Quaker Pancake Mix, and sub the image of William Penn for Aunt Jemima, which would allow the pancake mix to be marketed alongside Quaker oatmeal.

The corporate changes are just the latest in the wake of protests over racial inequalities and police brutality, which has nothing to do with the food brands, mind, over the last couple of weeks.


Forgotten TV: Semi-Tough (1980)

Three years after a feature film based on a novel by Dan Jenkins had been in theatres, someone got the idea to adapt Semi-Tough into a sitcom, ignorant of the fact that sitcoms built around sports usually have short shelf-lives (i.e. Bad News Bears, Ball Four).

The small screen Semi-Tough was no exception. In fact, if IMDB is to be believed, the cast was overhauled after four episodes! Sad to say, there is no Wikipedia entry for the show, just the movie, which starred Burt Reynolds, Kris Kristofferson, and Bert Convy.

The TV version started with Bruce McGill (ex-Delta House) and David Hasselhoff (The Young & The Restless) in the roles originated by Kristofferson & Reynolds, respectively. Erstwhile game show host Jim McKrell (ex-Celebrity Sweepstakes) was one of the few, if not the only one, who crossed over from the movie, which was one of his first acting jobs after Sweepstakes ended its NBC run in 1976. Ed Peck, a recurring antagonist on Happy Days, and Markie Post, in one of her first acting roles, were in the supporting cast.

After a month, McGill & Hasselhoff were gone. Douglas Barr, who'd later work with Post on The Fall Guy opposite Lee Majors, replaced McGill. Per IMDB, it was a quick fix that went nowhere, as ABC cancelled the show after that one week.

Didn't see the movie or the show, so there won't be a rating. Gilmore Box serves up the intro, when McGill & Hasselhoff were the stars:

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Another frivolous lawsuit from America's Oldest Baby

A former member of the Trump Cabinet has written a book, and, due to the sensitive nature of its content, and how it could paint a very negative, but truthful, picture of the President, another frivolous lawsuit was filed earlier today.

FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2020, file photo, former national security adviser John Bolton takes part in a discussion on global leadership at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. An attorney for Bolton said Wednesday, June 10, that President Donald Trump is trying to put on ice publication of the former top administration official’s forthcoming memoir after White House lawyers again this week raised concerns that the book contains classified material that presents a national security threat. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

John Bolton was ousted in January, and his response is what amounts to a tell-all. Predictably, Trump and his legal shills are seeking to block the book's publication. I'm sorry, but Bolton's memoir is filed under freedom of speech under the 1st Amendment. Trump's niece is also writing a tell-all, so she'll be hearing from Uncle Manchild real soon, too.

The perception is that Trump has a lot to hide, and will sue to ensure that it stays hidden.

The truth hurts, doesn't it, Mr. President?

Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days – Infinite ...

A little of this and a little of that

Now, things are getting weird in Washington.

Congressman Ted Cruz, now a Stepford Republican after a failed bid for the GOP nomination four years ago, got into it via social media with actor Ron Perlman (ex-Sons of Anarchy, Beauty & The Beast, etc.), who had begun a beef with another Stepford Republican, Jim Jordan (no relation to the star of Fibber McGee & Molly, we should point out), to the point where Cruz is trying to play promoter and set up a wrestling match between Jordan & Perlman for a purse of $10,000.



Yeah, I know, it's cray-cray, but I doubt anything will come of it.
==============================
As we've been reporting, COVID-19 cases are sparking anew in the southern states, including Texas, where Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott had recently tested positive for the virus, along with other players from the Cowboys & Houston Texans.

None of this registers with the tone-deaf President Trump, who still plans on having a rally in Tulsa on Saturday, and claims that over 1 million ticket requests have been received since the event was announced last week. We've previously noted that Trump is not afraid to trade lives for stroking his ego.

However, there is cause for concern for Trump, who turned 74 on Sunday, after he'd been seen holding a cup of water with two hands at West Point the day before. It's not the first time that's happened, but no self-respecting adult would hold a cup of water with two hands. Infants hold bottles and cups with two hands, then graduate, if you will, to doing so with one hand. Let the speculation begin about the truth regarding Trump's physical health, as well as his mental health.
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The Major League Baseball Players Association has essentially told Commissioner Rob (Not-so-Mighty) Manfred to let them know when he's ready to start the season. The impasse, of course, is all about the dolla-dolla bill, y'all, and whether or not players can be paid for a full season. They need only look to the NBA's "kid sister", the WNBA, for inspiration.

ESPN reported Monday that the WNBA will cut their schedule to just 22 games this season, down from the usual 36, but players are still getting paid for a full season. Why can't baseball do that? Because too many owners are more concerned about their personal and corporate profit margins, and can't be bothered to do the right thing for business.

For the WNBA, you're looking at a 6-7 week season before the playoffs, as opposed to 9-10, and, if the NBA does restart, the two leagues will be playing regular season games concurrently for the first time. Stay tuned.
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WWE's ratings haven't turned around as quickly as CEO/Chairman Vince McMahon would like, so he removed Raw executive director Paul Heyman from the creative team at the end of last week, and decided that Bruce Prichard, who replaced Eric Bischoff on Smackdown last fall, would oversee both main roster shows.

It's not the fault of either Heyman or Prichard that ratings are still down. Viewers don't want to watch if there's no crowds, and a micro-managed "audience" of trainees and NXT talents isn't helping matters. Prichard, however, shares the same mindset as McMahon, as they're experimenting with storylines that belong in the Attitude Era (1997-2002), such as Japanese wrestler Akira Tozawa suddenly turning heel and leading a group of motorcycle riding ninjas onto the grounds of the WWE Performance Center at Backlash on Sunday, disrupting a hastily planned tag title match between the Street Profits and former champions the Viking Raiders, which now has been postponed to whenever McMahon feels like rescheduling it.

I'm less on board with former champion Seth Rollins as a false prophet, and that's all I'll say about that.

I smell the influence of a former head writer, Vince Russo, known for some outlandish ideas, behind the scenes and not on the payroll. Stranger things have happened.
==============================
Add MLB. Manfred said on Monday he has his doubts about a 2020 season. Try telling that to sports card hoarders, who've played panic buyers and stripped the shelves bare of baseball, basketball, & football cards at at least one Walmart. Save some cards for the rest of us!
=============================
And because some people don't have anything better to do than be stupid, that brings us to Donald Trump, Jr., proving once again that he's just as off-center as his dad.

Dumb Donald II decided to pull up an old, old Howard Stern sketch that had Stern mocking actors Ted Danson & Whoopi Goldberg, who were a couple for about 15 minutes after Whoopi had split with Frank Langella back in the day, and post it on social media because Stern, who, unlike Dumb Donald II, has actually grown up and owned his mistakes from the past, severed his ties with the President. Petty? Yep. Vindictive? Nope. Stupid? You bet. Just because Stern disagrees with the elder Trump's policies shouldn't make him a target for Dumb Donald II and any of the Stepford Children who follow the Trumps.

Memo to Ted Cruz: Maybe you should book Dumb Donald II into a match. With the Big Show.

Monday, June 15, 2020

What Might've Been: Three For The Road (1975)

Three For The Road was one of three freshman series from Mary Tyler Moore's production company for CBS in 1975, and the first drama to come from the studio. The other newbies were, of course, sitcoms--Phyllis (a spinoff from Moore's series) and Doc, with Barnard Hughes as a neighborhood doctor.

Phyllis, because it was a pre-sold product, was the only one renewed.

Three For The Road was placed on Sundays, a gentle family drama about a single dad (Alex Rocco) and his two sons traveling across the country. Future pop star Leif Garrett and second generation actor Vincent Van Patten (papa Dick was on ABC's When Things Were Rotten) were the sons. Unfortunately, CBS was no longer leading the ratings on Sundays by this point, and the Road was closed around Christmas.

I never saw the show, so there isn't going to be a rating. Here's the intro:



Vincent Van Patten actually played tennis in his spare time, so this was art imitating life. He & Garrett attracted the attention of the teen magazines of the period, hoping young girls would watch. Not enough did.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

America's Oldest Spoiled Brat says he'll boycott soccer & football because they don't see things his way......

Today is President Donald John Archie Bunker Trump's 74th birthday, which puts him 10 months & 10 days younger than one of his best known celebrity friends, Vince McMahon. And while McMahon, who'll be 75 in August, has cut back on his television appearances in recent years, a rather wise decision at that, Trump can't go a day without making headlines. And his birthday is just another day.

Trump has long maintained the delusion that football players and other athletes kneeling during the national anthem is considered disrespect toward the American flag, it really isn't, but you can't convince him of that. The faux tough guy pose he's maintained for so long is meant for his primary voter base, but the general perception of the President is that of a spoiled child who was never weaned off the habits of his youth.

A retired Marine had been the one to convince then-San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick to take a stand against racial inequality four years ago. That's the part of the story Trump is ignoring. So after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had decided to reverse field on the league's stand toward players kneeling, and when a soccer commissioner followed suit a week later, Trump's reaction was predictable.

Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days – Infinite ...

And this clown has a degree from an Ivy League university?? Now he wants to "boycott" the NFL & MLS?!? This nut spends more time on Twitter being a bully than actually doing his job. I hear he wants to put Bibles back in public schools, but you don't hear about that on the evening news. No, instead, we hear daily about how he is the Ugly American President, and he's likely continuing his shell game with evangelical ministers across the country in order to ensure their votes.

Meanwhile, after an Atlanta police officer shot and killed an African-American who'd been passed out in his car, the Wendy's where the incident took place was torched in retaliation. Wrong answer to the incident, in this writer's view. However, we have a modern day Nero who is fiddling instead of looking for the right solutions to this problem. You really don't want to know where this goes from here.

When icons meet (1974)

Jack Benny had returned to NBC for a series of specials after The Jack Benny Program had ended its run on CBS. Coupled with Bob Hope, NBC had two of the biggest names in comedy on their roster.

In January 1974, Benny presented his "Second Farewell Special", which would also be his last NBC special. Oh, he'd make a few more appearances before his passing later that year, but, with his old series now in syndication, airing in New York on WNEW, for example, Benny at the time was still in demand.

This appears to be an excerpt from his opening monologue for the show, in which he's first interrupted by Johnny Carson, and, then, a Dragnet reunion of Jack Webb & Harry Morgan. The latter was also working on Disney's "The Apple Dumpling Gang" at the time of the taping, hence the mustache.



It'll never beat the "Copper Clappers" skit Webb did with Carson a few years earlier, but it would also end up being the last case for Webb as Joe Friday.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

YouTube Theatre: Look, up in The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman (2006)

Timed to coincide with Bryan Singer's "Superman Returns" in 2006, "Look, up in The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman" actually had slipped under the radar. WB reissued it in a live-stream last month.

"Amazing Story" traces the Man of Steel's roots from the development by Cleveland natives Jerome "Jerry" Siegel & Joe Shuster, to comics, radio, movies, and television. "Returns" co-star Kevin Spacey is the narrator:



1966's "It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Superman!", adapted for television in 1975, is largely considered a flop since it closed after over 100 performances on Broadway, and you'd be hard pressed to find the TV production, which was part of ABC's Wide World of Entertainment late night anthology package.

Kiss bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons opened some eyes when he opined that Siegel & Shuster had actually used the Biblical story of Moses as part of the inspiration, which I didn't know about before, but should've.

If it's still available on DVD, get it. You'll be glad you did, and you'll be educated, too.

Rating: A-.

One step forward, two steps back for President Trump

"One step up, and two steps back."--Bruce Springsteen, 1984.

There was a rare moment of clairity for President Trump when he decided to delay his Tulsa rally to June 20th, after someone----well, several someones, including this blog-----pointed out the significance of June 19, aka Juneteenth.

Problem is, attendees at the rally still have to deal with the Oldest Baby in America insisting they sign a waiver so he can avoid being held liable in case they contract coronavirus.

But, then comes word that now, Trump wants to blame Mexico (!!!!) for the new surge of coronavirus cases across the south. Travel restrictions between the US and Mexico, and the US and other countries, for that matter, have been in effect since March.

How do you explain that one, Mr. President?

Donald Trump.

He's only looking for excuses to avoid accepting responsibility. Spoiled, pampered rich men are usually like that. He just doesn't get it.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Dunce Cap Award: Larry Kudlow and Universal Studios executives

Former CNBC host Larry Kudlow, now a sycophant for President Trump as a member of his Cabinet of Clowns, went on Fox News yesterday, and claimed there wouldn't be a second wave of coronavirus.

Uh, Larry, that horse already left the barn in the southern half of the country.

Image result for Dimwit Terrytoons

"Duhhhh, what was he thinking?"

Your guess is as good as mine, Dimwit. As I noted earlier today, COVID-19 cases have spiked anew in Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, & Texas, and with Trump planning a rally in Tulsa next week, that would be another new wave.

The Trump strategy, it seems, is to con prospective voters into thinking everything's okay. As noted earlier, Trump wants attendees in Tulsa to sign a waiver that would prevent them from suing Trump if they get sick.

Apparently, to be appointed by Trump, you have to give up all of your brain cells, not just a portion. He wants to take away your dignity, too.

Enjoy the Dunce Cap, Larry.
================================
"The King of Staten Island", a semi-autobiographical comedy drama starring Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live), became available On Demand today. It's been advertised to debut online in commercials for weeks.

Unfortunately, some suits at Universal made a mistake, and promised the movie to some drive-ins.

Image result for Dimwit Terrytoons

"They weren't paying attention to their own promos?"

Exactly. The drive-ins had to pull "King" at the last minute from Thursday screenings, leaving some movie-goers upset, as apparently, they didn't pay attention, either. I've seen the commercial, and it clearly says that it was to be available On Demand, not in theatres.

Take heart, folks. It'll be out on DVD before the end of the summer. The Universal suits will have their Dunce Caps before then.

Dennis O'Neil (1939-2020)

For comics fans who grew up in the 60's, 70's, or 80's, this hurts.

Word has come over the wires of the passing of iconic writer-editor Dennis J. "Denny" O'Neil, who began his career at Charlton Comics in the late 60's, then began his first run at DC, where he joined forces with Neal Adams to create some legendary stories featuring Batman, Green Lantern, & Green Arrow, then brought his own creation, martial arts ace Richard Dragon, to comics after a series of paperbacks written under the pen name, Jim Dennis.

During his first tour at DC, O'Neil also was the principal writer for the company's 1st adaptation of the pulp/radio hero, The Shadow, working with artists Mike Kaluta and Frank Robbins for most of the run. Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter debuted around 1976, but didn't last very long. Dragon, as with other characters, has passed through many creative hands since.

While at Marvel, O'Neil wrote Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man, & Daredevil, the latter in between runs by another legend, Frank Miller, and also is credited with naming one of the most iconic Transformers characters of all time, Optimus Prime. O'Neil also served as an editor during Miller's 1st run on Daredevil.

In 1987, O'Neil returned to DC, and served as writer-editor for their adaptation of the former Charlton hero, The Question, with artist Denys Cowan.

At Charlton, O'Neil created the pen name Sergius O'Shaughnessy, which he would resurrect at DC to write a pair of fill-in issues of Super Friends during 1979. Insofar as I can gather, that might've been his final gig at DC during that 1st run.

I met Denny at the Book House at Stuyvesant Plaza more than 20 years ago, and wrote a short piece for the now-defunct Collectors' Network magazine.

Dennis O'Neil was 81. Rest in peace.

President Trump decides to resume campaign rallies. He's picked the worst date and place to start

"How do I know you're not sick? You could be some deranged lunatic!"--Will "Fresh Prince" Smith, 1987.

"Thou shalt not have other gods before Me"--Exodus 20:3.

"Dare to be Stupid!"--"Weird" Al Yankovic, 1985.

As new cases of coronavirus are emerging in southern states including South Carolina and Arizona, President Trump is running the risk of starting a new wave of the virus in Tulsa one week from today.

June 19, or, Juneteenth, is the day where slavery was officially abolished in the United States. Tulsa, however, was the site of a massacre nearly a century ago, as NBC News reminds:



None of that matters to Trump. He sees his poll numbers have been slipping, so he has to rally his base of suburbanites by starting a new tour of rallies. The caveat for people attending the rally next week, and all subsequent rallies thereafter, is that they have to sign a waiver stating they would not hold the Oldest Baby in America liable if they end up contracting the virus.

"Gag me with a spoon!"---Moon Unit Zappa, "Valley Girl", 1982.

If you practice social distancing and wear a mask, it won't be a problem, but there's a lot of people that see Trump refuses to wear a mask in public, because of his vanity, so they won't, either, and then they're putting themselves at risk. Trump would rather trade lives for adulation and ego stroking than do the right thing, and hold virtual rallies.

Speaking of ego stroking, it's been reported that Trump has found a landing spot for the Republican National Convention in August, and it's Jacksonville. Jaguars owner Shad Khan probably decided to rent some space for President Narcissus, far as I know.

It's just further proof that the incumbent President just doesn't want to get it. As we've seen with the NFL & MLB drafts, a virtual convention is possible, but Trump doesn't want to take that step, like the fool he is. He wants people to put their lives at risk by bowing down to the Altar of Me. He's led the evangelicals to think he was anointed by God Himself, but come on. They've been conned right from the start. God probably wanted Mike Pence, but after Pence dropped out of the primary race in 2016, he was tapped as Vice President, likely in an effort to scare Trump into actually embracing Christian values. Unfortunately, Trump would sooner embrace a mannequin designed in his image.

As far as the rally in Tulsa goes, masks are required, and that includes the human hot air machine.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

On The Shelf: New releases worth the wait

Things are starting to get back to normal at comics shops, as new books are trickling in 2-3 months after original release dates due to COVID-19, and we've got a trio to look through:
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DC's trying to have it both ways with books based on Batman: The Animated Series.

On one side, you have reprints of the original Batman Adventures series, which ran concurrently with the Fox cartoon dating back to 1992. On the other is the digital-first Batman: The Adventures Continue, which sees print starting this week after digital issues first were released in April.

The first issue is set after the events of the 1997 World's Finest TV-movie, as Batman encounters Lex Luthor in Gotham. As the series progresses, we will see Tim Drake eventually become Robin, no spoiler there, as it's pretty obvious where Paul Dini & Alan Burnett are going with that subplot. Ty Templeton hasn't lost a step in capturing the toon noir style of the series.

Issue 2 will be out in 2 weeks, and then it'll be monthly going forward, with the final issue out in November.

Rating: A+. (What else?)
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Kelly Thompson and the brother-sister team of Andy & Veronica Fish (to reverse the billing) return with the second volume (mini-series) starring Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. "Something Wicked" continues the plot threads from last year's miniseries, but now, it seems Sabrina has some trust issues with her own aunts, in addition to a growing love triangle, which, if my hunch is right, will eventually see Sabrina with her canonical honey, Harvey (even though she'd been dating Archie in recent continuity). This will be fun.

Rating: A.
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Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it.---George Santayana

I've used that phrase so often, it's become a fall back on occasion. It applies to Dynamite's latest Nancy Drew miniseries, which has zero to do (thank God!) with the CW series.

"The Death of Nancy Drew" co-stars the Hardy Boys, but if you think the creative team on this one is serious about killing off an iconic character, all doubts are eased in the first issue, unlike four years ago, when Dynamite published a Shadow miniseries that purported to kill off Margo Lane. There's a larger plot at work here, so we'll wait it out for a final rating.
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Finally, DC has gone back to the vaults, only to retread ground previously covered, (nothing new) but with some extras.

Super Friends: Saturday Morning Comics Volume 1, originally promised for December 2019, was delayed six months for reasons unknown. Issues 1-26 of the original Super Friends (1976-81) book are reprinted, plus material from Limited Collectors' Edition, drawn by Alex Toth, who did the now-familiar cover and the material reprinted. Plus, there's a rarity seeing reprinting for the first time.

The Aquateers debuted in a giveaway that came with some swimming goggles back around 1976-7. Yes, there was merchandise attached to the show. Nick Cardy, it appears, drew this shortie, co-starring Aquaman.

A few years ago, DC had reprinted Super Friends 1-24 in the black & white Showcase trade paperback format. It looks so much better in color. Ramona Fradon wrote the foreward for the new volume, and had taken over as series artist with issue 3, relieved on a few occasions by Kurt Schaffenberger before inker Romeo Tanghal took over as series artist for the final six issues (42-47).

Now, the question is whether or not they'll get around to reprinting the rest of the series....



Rating: A.

President Trump sues CNN----over poll numbers?!?

For someone who has convinced his voter base that he's a tough guy, President Donald Trump keeps demonstrating that he's about as tough as a cheap paper towel.

The latest example of the delusion dissolving came Wednesday, when Trump, upset that he is trailing Joe Biden in virtually every poll known to man, decided to file a frivolous lawsuit against CNN, just because he trails by 14 points in their recent poll.

Our daughter vs Donald Trump: The First 100 Days – Infinite ...

"WAAAAHHH!! I'm losing! Sue CNN!"

14 points. Two touchdowns and two extra points in football, folks. Most polls have him down by 10 points or so, but not as much as 14. What Trump fails to comprehend is that the people being polled are tired of his act. They're finally seeing past the delusions and illusions. The more people turn away from this sideshow president, the worse it's going to get for Trump heading into November.

Of course, four years ago, similar polls had Hillary Clinton up by double digits, too, but the electoral college saved Trump, so there is history on his side. However, the real world scenario is much worse in 2020. COVID-19. Racial unrest over the last 2 1/2 weeks after the murder of George Floyd on Memorial Day. Trump's mishandling of both situations might just override his suburban voter base.

Remember, too, that he threatened to contest the results four years ago, and might play that card again this year, because he's just SO insecure. There are questions about his mental health, obviously, given his age, much more so than Biden, who is four years Trump's senior, and has conserved his energy by doing the right thing and remaining in quarantine during the pandemic. The lawsuits and threats of lawsuits and other bad ideas tell us that at his core, Donald John Trump is not only insecure, but spoiled. He's like the little kid who wants everything, and will complain if he doesn't get it all. Retired military leaders have started pushing back over the last week over his grandstand play on June 1. A bishop at St. John's Church, where Trump had his self-serving photo op that same night, rebuked him for that. Trump's been shredded over false accusations against a 75 year old peace activist, as we discussed yesterday.

Right now, what he needs is an audience with Dr. Phil, so that we can all see the truth about the Oldest Baby in America.