Monday, November 30, 2020

Countdown to Christmas: Hard Candy Christmas (1988)

 Carol Hall didn't have the holidays in mind when she wrote "Hard Candy Christmas" for the Broadway production, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas". She has Dolly Parton to thank for making it a hit song.

Parton was cast as Ms. Mona in the movie version of "Whorehouse", which also saw co-star Burt Reynolds climb the country charts with "Let's do Something Cheap & Superficial", which was clearly golden throat territory.

Parton's version of "Hard Candy Christmas" was released to radio & record stores in the fall of 1982. Six years later, she sang the song on Bob Hope's annual Christmas show. Hope does the voiceover intro:



A little of this and a lot of that

 One of the reasons, in fact, probably the biggest one, for President Trump contesting the result of his re-election loss to Joe Biden earlier this month is that Trump knows what awaits when he leaves office in January.

You see, some cities, like El Paso, Texas, for example, are owed money for campaign rallies, money that the Trump campaign has since wasted on frivolous, juvenile lawsuits. Farron Cousins explains.


The last few years have exposed the flaws in Trump's carefully managed public image, built over the last 40 years or so, exposed the fact that he's always been a pampered, coddled man-child riddled with affluenza. We have read about how "Home Alone" director Chris Columbus claimed that Trump bullied him to the point where Trump made a cameo in the movie. The publicity and the accompanying headlines back then gave Trump the impression that he could do whatever he wanted. He's finding out now that the past will come back to haunt, and, oh, will it ever!
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So former boxing champions Mike Tyson & Roy Jones, Jr. fought to a draw on Saturday night. I wonder if Sominex and Absorbine, Jr. sponsored the fight. Just sayin'.
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Tenuous is the hold the Giants have on 1st place in the NFC Least after escaping Cincinnati with a win on Sunday.

Big Blue lost QB Daniel Jones to a hamstring injury, leaving Colt McCoy, the former Texas QB, now a journeyman who has washed out in Cleveland and Washington, to finish the game. 

The Giants won't be in 1st for long. Philadelphia could reclaim the top spot tonight if they beat Seattle. Oh, by the way, the Seahawks are the Giants' next opponent next Sunday. To be honest, I don't see either NFC Least team beating the Seahawks.
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As the calendar changes to December, New England is making a move toward a possible playoff spot.

"Saint" Nick Folk kicked another last second field goal to lift the Patriots past Arizona, bringing the Patriots closer to .500 at 5-6, and could reach .500 if they beat the Los Angeles Chargers next week. The Chargers fell to AFC East leader Buffalo, but the Patriots have to climb past Miami to get within shouting distance of the Bills.

Miami, by the way, kept pace by beating the winless Jests, 20-3. If I'm Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, I'd be happy if the Jests cleaned house after the season by getting rid of not only coach Adam Gase, who should've been gone already, but GM Joe Douglas as well.
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Seeing those State Farm ads with Aaron Rodgers & Patrick Mahomes acting like a couple of egomaniacs around "Jake From State Farm 2.0" is annoying, but it could also mark a transition phase in the ad campaigns for the insurance company. It's just Mahomes' 2nd season as an endorser for State Farm, but the Chiefs star is better off continuing to shill for Head & Shoulders. Rodgers doesn't have a problem playing a tool in these ads, but the bloom fell off the rose for him a while ago.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Classic TV: "James Bond" meets "Darth Vader" (well, not really)(To Tell The Truth, 1977)

 "Star Wars" had become a phenomenon in the 2nd half of 1977, such that David Prowse, the man behind the mask of Darth Vader, appeared on To Tell The Truth, since audiences didn't really know who he was, despite the fact that, as you'll learn, he had a few more movie credits under his belt, including "A Clockwork Orange" and "Jabberwocky".

Barry Nelson was the first actor to play James Bond on screen 23 years earlier on CBS' Climax in the first adaptation of "Casino Royale". He joins regulars Kitty Carlisle, Bill Cullen, & Peggy Cass, while host Joe Garagiola dresses as Vader to start the show, but sheds the costume during the first commercial break.

Also: The first female boxing judge in NY history.


In memory of Prowse, who has passed away at 85.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Countdown to Christmas: Santa Claus does online banking (2020)

 You've probably seen this ad by now.

Edit, 12/29: The short video was deleted and privatized. This longer version allows Santa to do a little "Pulp Fiction" boogie.....


Yes, that's John Travolta under the whiskers, working with Samuel L. Jackson for the first time since "Pulp Fiction" back in the 90's. Jackson's been shilling for Capital One the last few years. staying in the public eye between movie gigs. Travolta making Santa sound hip is a means of keeping the jolly old elf relevant in the 21st century.

Football this 'n' that

 The "Patriot Way" isn't working in Detroit any more than it has of late in Houston.

Matt Patricia, in his 3rd season as head coach of the Lions, and GM Bob Quinn were fired earlier today, 48 hours after the Lions were blown out by the Texans, 41-25, on Thanksgiving Day. The former New England defensive coordinator and RPI graduate led the Lions to a 4-7 ledger this season after the Thursday loss. Overall, Patricia was 13-30 in 2 1/2-plus seasons. Next stop? Maybe a return to New England?
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Pittsburgh & Baltimore will have to wait until Tuesday to play.

That decision was made Friday as more positive tests for COVID-19 were made public in Baltimore, and while Steelers players weren't happy with losing a rare opportunity to play at home on Thanksgiving, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was among the Baltimore players who tested positive. Robert Griffin III, the former Rookie of The Year, will start Tuesday night. Had they been able to play tomorrow, the game would still have aired on NBC, but now, it hasn't been decided if NBC will keep the game.
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For the 2nd straight week, Florida State had a game cancelled due to COVID-19. Last week's 11th hour cancellation of their game with Clemson left some ill feelings with Tigers coach Dabo Swinney. Today, the Seminoles were to play Virginia. We have not yet heard any reactions from Cavaliers coaches.

At least college basketball teams are playing in bubbles, like their NBA brethren.
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For just the 4th time in 20 years, a woman suited up for a college football game.

Vanderbilt senior Sarah Fuller was brought onto the Commodores' roster after they lost their kickers to coronavirus concerns. Fuller made her debut earlier today, and that was the good news. The bad? Vanderbilt, having a horrible season, were blown out, 41-0.

Fuller stepped on the field for the 2nd half kickoff.



Progress for women in college football comes slowly. Bear in mind, too, that soccer star Carli Lloyd had tried out with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles several months back, and could still land on an NFL roster someday. Maybe Fuller, who had finished her soccer season, could, too.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Countdown to Christmas: Classic Concentration's 2nd annual Christmas show (1988)

 For Classic Concentration's 2nd annual Christmas show, host Alex Trebek dressed as Santa. The false beard seemed to give him a problem, so he ditched that after the first commercial.

Bear in mind that we don't know if Concentration continued the Christmas tradition during its syndicated run in the 70's.

Rating: A.

Baby be unhinged, part 3: President Trump declares Twitter a threat to national security

 President Donald Trump is the most visible, if not also most active, Twitter user on the planet. 

But because the social media platform has posted disclaimers on his tweets, suspended a Pennsylvania Republican from the platform for perpetuating Trump's torrent of election fraud lies, and suspended other accounts pro tempore, now America's Oldest Baby is raging, declaring Twitter a threat to national security.


"WAAAHHHHH!!! They're censoring us! WAAAHHHHH!"

It's not censorship, dumbass. You're the one who's polluting Twitter and other platforms with your garbage claims of non-existent fraud. You have lawyers in your age group who are in danger of being disbarred for promoting your garbage. Rudy Goofiani and "Silly" Sidney Powell belong in Bellevue, and if you ain't careful, you're joining them. If you're suddenly hating on Twitter so much, why do you still have an account?

What you need is someone to edit and filter your remarks in order to save your account, and those of your moron sons, while we're at it, from being terminated. Twitter ain't harming national security. YOU ARE!

You just can't handle the fact, Mr. President, that all of America, and the entire planet, for that matter, now knows what kind of excessively pampered man-child you really are. And that's the biggest shame of it all.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

A different kind of Thanksgiving

 Coronavirus is still a problem, but it isn't stopping a lot of travelers from defying restrictions in order to keep traditional family gatherings intact for today.

Here in New York, no more than 10 people can gather for a family Thanksgiving dinner, per Governor Andrew Cuomo. However, there are so many people, frustrated by being "penned in" during the pandemic over the last 8 months, who just can't do without the usual tradition.

Personal note: My brother & I are having dinner by ourselves today for the first time in three years. The last two? Relatives from the Catskill area came in, and treated us at a local restaurant.

Despite the defiant claims of certain people, social distancing is really very easy.

One tradition that carries on is Macy's annual Thanksgiving Day parade, now, more than usual, a made-for-TV event, airing on NBC and live-streaming on Yahoo, whose parent company, Verizon, is sponsoring the live-stream. Mario Lopez (Extra, Saved by The Bell) hosts the online coverage, which will be available for replay all day.

Today took a look at preps for today's parade, which includes The Tonight Show's Jimmy Fallon and the Roots doing a musical number.


Happy Thanksgiving.

A Classic Reborn (?): Saved by The Bell (2020)

 Welp, it's finally here.

Nearly 30 years after the original class of Saved by The Bell graduated from Bayside High, the series returns, now on Peacock, with a new generation of students, and addressing real world issues, such as racism.

The basic core plot: Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mixed-ish) is now the governor of California. There's also a reference to one of his earlier post-Bell entries, Franklin & Bash, in the opener, as narrated by Zack himself in the form of a campaign ad. Son Mac is a chip off the old block, a clear cut walking case of affluenza if there ever was one. A. C. Slater (Mario Lopez, Access Hollywood) is now a gym teacher and football coach, though we'd assume he'd also be coaching the wrestling team, too. Jessica "Jessie" Spano (Elizabeth Berkley-Lauren) is a counselor and best selling author. Surprisingly, she married someone other than Slater, who still has the hots for her after all these years.

Due to budget cuts, students from Douglas High, in a lower-income section, are being transferred to Bayside, where Jessie, along with Principal Toddman (John Michael Higgins, America Says), are working to get everyone acclimated, while at the same time dealing with stereotypical parental fears.

Keeping up with the times, Bayside has a transgender cheerleader, Lexi (Josie Totah), who is also one of the mean girls. That is destined to change.

Totah, Berkley-Lauren, Lopez, Gosselaar, & Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly) have all been given producer credits. As is the standard for online series, 10 episodes are already available, but only the opener is available for free, a means of motivating users to upgrade to premium service.

Peacock offers a trailer:


Apparently, on the heels of this reboot, the folks at WarnerMedia are dusting off a high school sitcom of theirs from the same era, Head of The Class. More on that another time.

Rating: B-.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

is there enough room in the Trump suite at Bellevue for another deranged lunatic?

 We know that there's one of two possible destinations for outgoing President Donald Trump come January, and the myriad golf courses he owns aren't on the list. It's either Federal prison or a mental hospital.

We also know that Rudy Giuliani has disgraced himself as a representative for Trump the last couple of years, both as a lawyer and as a GOP shill.

Better make room for another soon-to-be-disbarred legal beagle.

That would be Sidney Powell, who's milking her 15 minutes by insisting on non-existent conspiracies involving the Clintons, the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, and the GOP's favorite scapegoat, George Soros. This is despite the fact that Ms. Powell's claims have, like Giuliani's been debunked over and over again.

Farron Cousins explains:


To award Ms. Powell a Dunce Cap would be too easy. There's only one way to actually describe her behavior, and we'll give you (and her) a visual aid, thanks to a certain brand of breakfast cereal:


Bottom line: The American Bar Association needs to disbar Powell & Giuliani forthwith.

Musical Interlude: Small Town Saturday Night (1991)

 Hal Ketchum's video for 1991's "Small Town Saturday Night" is as generic as it gets.

Hal plays his guitar, does a little boot-scootin' boogie, and sings in front of a screen showing "The Terror of Tiny Town", giving a different context to the song's title.


In memory of Ketchum, a native of the 518 (Greenwich, Washington County), who passed away at 67 on Monday from complications due to dementia.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

A little of this and a little of that

 The Cincinnati Bengals were hoping their recent fortunes would change with the drafting of Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow out of LSU. That hasn't happened. Cincinnati is nowhere close to clinching a playoff spot, and now they've lost Burrow for the season with torn ACL & MCL ligaments in his knee on Sunday. The Bengals have had some issues with their offensive line being unable to properly protect Burrow, and if that sounds remotely familiar, well, that has applied to their week 12 opponent, the suddenly resurgent Giants.

Rookie coach Joe Judge has found an added dimension to his 2nd year QB, Daniel Jones, as evidenced by his leading the team in rushing in a loss to Philadelphia earlier this season, a loss the Giants avenged prior to the bye. Unheralded Ryan Finley will start for the Bengals on Sunday in what originally could've been a winnable game for Cincinnati. Not anymore.
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Most of us knew going into the NFL season that Tampa Bay was not an automatic lock to win the NFC South. New Orleans saw to that by sweeping the season series between the Saints & Buccaneers. 

On Monday, Bucs QB Tom Brady fizzled down the stretch again, throwing a game clinching interception late in the 4th quarter of a loss to the Rams, as Sean McVay gained a measure of revenge on Brady, who led the New England Patriots past the Rams in the Super Bowl a couple of years back. Los Angeles needed the win to stay within shouting distance of division leader Seattle, while Tampa Bay is stuck in 2nd place behind the Saints, who are still the class of the division despite QB Drew Brees being out with cracked ribs and a collapsed lung.

And, oh, yeah, the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are coming in on Sunday. Suddenly, a wild card berth isn't so certain.
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YouTube suspended the account of the far-right-wing One America News Network, a channel dedicated to supporting outgoing President Donald Trump, who has switched to OANN as his favorite network of late. The crime? Promoting false cures for coronavirus. That joke is getting old. OANN is not available locally on cable, unlike another conservative network, Newsmax, which is a premium channel here, at last check. And, yeah, OANN is whining about Spectrum Cable leaving them off the roster. Well, too bad for you. You might not even survive the decade. OANN will get their account back on YouTube, but two more violations, and they're gone-ski.
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Former Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings will be at the podium when the series returns to tapings next month on an interim basis. Jennings' 1st episode as host will be on January 11, as Sony will use various guest hosts until a full time successor to Alex Trebek can be found. As previously noted, Jennings is also attached to ABC & Sony's revival of The Chase.
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The CW network has already announced that the forthcoming 4th season of Black Lightning, set to start in January, will be the last, as it conceivably could be replaced by a spin-off series focusing on villain-turned- anti-hero Painkiller (Jordan Calloway), which has already been green-lit.

In addition, singer-actress China Anne McLain (Jennifer Pierce, aka Lightning) revealed the other day she was planning on leaving the show after the coming season, and thus will be a recurring regular this season, likely so she can either focus on her music career or other acting opportunities.
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With the success of its summer game show, Beat Shazam, Fox has acquired the rights to a 21st century revival of the show that inspired Shazam, Name That Tune.

Actress Jane Krakowski (ex-30 Rock, Ally McBeal) has been tapped to host, with Randy Jackson (ex-American Idol) as the musical director/bandleader. No start date has been announced as yet.
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General Services Administration head Emily Murphy finally signed off on the transition of power from President Trump to Joe Biden on Monday, despite the fact that America's Oldest Baby still refuses to acknowledge he lost the election.

Whoopi Goldberg and the ladies of The View weigh in. Whoopi starts off with a few bars from the closing theme from The Lawrence Welk Show.......


On the opposite extreme, Trump retweeted some nonsense from disgraced actor Randy Quaid, which isn't worth repeating here. That walk of shame is coming, President Pampers.

Countdown to Christmas: Have I Got a Christmas For You (1977)

 Normally, we'd start our annual Countdown to Christmas around Black Friday, but this is just too good to pass up before then.

From 1952-89, the Hallmark Hall of Fame specials aired on NBC before moving to CBS, and, currently, on the Hallmark Channel. In 1977, the Cates brothers, Joseph & Gilbert, more closely associated with awards & variety specials, assembled an all-star cast for "Have I Got a Christmas For You".

This tale, based on true events, is about a Jewish synagogue's congregation coming together to help their Christian friends during the holiday season. Our cast includes Jack Carter, Herb Edelman (ex-The Good Guys), Harold Gould (ex-The Feather & Father Gang), Alex Cord (a few years away from Airwolf), Steve Allen & Jayne Meadows, and, as our narrator, Milton Berle.


Who says Jews & Christians couldn't get along?

I'm begging Hallmark Channel to pull this one outta the vault for this holiday season.

No rating. Until yesterday, I didn't know about this special.

Monday, November 23, 2020

What Might've Been: The Eddie Capra Mysteries (1978)

 Seems some executives at Universal found some unused scripts that were intended for Ellery Queen in 1975, but shelved when that series was cancelled.

Fast forward three years, and a completely original concept, The Eddie Capra Mysteries, inherited those unused scripts, reworked to fit the new hero.

Capra (Vincent Baggetta) was a practicing lawyer who opted for detective work simply because he didn't like wearing neckties in court. The series was your classic whodunit formatted detective drama, but because it was on ratings-challenged NBC, it was largely ignored by viewers. CBS had taken over Friday nights, and Capra was slotted opposite Dallas. Ballgame over.

"Murder, Murder" features guest stars Tricia O'Neil, Eric Braeden (The Young & The Restless), and Normann Burton (Wonder Woman).


The above video was pulled from a 1990 CBS rebroadcast. The network acquired the series for that summer simply because Capra creator Peter Fischer had hit the jackpot with a Sunday night anchor series for CBS----Murder, She Wrote.

No rating.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Musical Interlude: Viva Las Vegas (1992)

 ZZ Top failed to crack the top 40 on the Hot 100, but hit #16 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in 1992 with their cover of Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas". With apologies to Marc Cohn ("Walking in Memphis"), the boys actually saw the "ghost of Elvis" along the strip.

When the going gets tough, the tough go to the golf course

 As a born again Christian, I have to admit I am bothered by the fact that the congregation at the church I attend are so far in the tank for President Trump, as are most conservative Christians, they don't realize that the spiritual war being fought isn't on behalf of Trump after all.

They are willing to gloss over the lies and misrepresentation. They have bought into the claim that Trump gave his life to Christ in a meeting with Dr. James Dobson of Focus on The Family four years ago. Evangelists have prophesied that Trump would win a second term.

The only way that happens is if Trump, as has been reported, decides to be the first man since Grover Cleveland to run for a 2nd term after being defeated in a re-election bid. That's the only reasonable way that prophecy can be fulfilled.

Trump took part in a G-20 summit of international leaders via remote relay, but when the discussion turned to COVID-19, Trump broke off contact so he could get in a round of golf.

Trump has lied to the evangelicals. Lied to his core base. Lied to everyone. His inaction in relation to COVID cost him the election, and his whining, crying, and litigating will change absolutely nothing.

Speaking of inaction, Farron Cousins tells us about Trump's "bunker mentality":


If Trump were truly born again, and he's clearly not, he'd face adversity not with the pitbull mentality he brought with him from the streets of New York, but with Biblical passages that Vice President Mike Pence could select for him. The five year long shell game is coming to an end, and Trump only has himself to blame. The Bible warned us about people like him in the New Testament. They were called false prophets.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Baby be unhinged, part 2: America's Oldest Baby turns on Pfizer

 You've heard by now how Pfizer, one of America's largest pharmaceutical companies, is preparing a COVID-19 vaccine that should be ready to go within the next few weeks. They're saying as early as next month, after recent tests showed 95% effectiveness. Personally, I'd rather have total, as in 100%, effectiveness, before taking the vaccine. 

President Donald Trump, predictably, is whining, because he now believes Pfizer held back on the vaccine until after the election on purpose to undermine him.


"WAAAAHHHH! I wanted that vaccine ready for the election! WAAAHHH!"

As the Rolling Stones reminded us back in the day, you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.

Or, as Davy Crockett opined years earlier, "be sure you are right, then go ahead". What Trump wanted was to take credit, as usual, for the vaccine, when he didn't do diddly. He'd mistake a test tube for a condom, if you get my drift. Pfizer's staff erred on the side of caution, and were satisfied with 95% effectiveness after testing. Whether or not this actually will work, of course, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, the Duchess of Dumb, Kayleigh McEnany, went on Spam Hannity's show Friday, and told another tall tale, this time claiming, falsely, of course, that it wasn't a smooth transition from Barack Obama to Trump in 2016.

Forget television. She's got a future in creative writing. For the National Enquirer.

It's been documented a number of times recently, especially by the Obamas themselves, they they opened their doors to the Trumps for a transition of power, as tradition dictates, after Donald Trump won the election. Remember, too, that Hillary Clinton conceded the election the day after, and handled the defeat with class & dignity, some things that Trump and his hand puppets, including McEnany, will insist isn't the case.

Let's just say that karma is still paying house calls on the Trump administration, as Dumb Donald II tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, as did some White House staff. Consider that Dumb Donald I has dismissed the virus, given how he allegedly recovered in less than a week, so we'll see if the apple does fall close enough to the tree in this case.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Musical Interlude: A salute to the girl groups of the 60's (2009)

 American Idol graduate Carrie Underwood may be known now for singing the theme from Sunday Night Football, but back in 2009, with a couple of Grammy awards under her belt, she headlined her first television special.

For this clip, Carrie is joined by Tony Award winning actress-singer Kristen Chenoweth and Christina Applegate (ex-Married....With Children), who, as Kristen reminds, earned a Tony nomination for "Sweet Charity", to pay homage to the girl groups of the 60's. The medley includes "Be My Baby" (The Ronettes), "Leader of The Pack" (The Shangri-Las), "Then He Kissed Me" (The Crystals), and "Will You Still Love me Tomorrow" (The Shirelles). The only thing keeping them from being triplets in their beehive wigs and pink dresses is that Kristen is the smallest of the three.


Oh, what fun.

A little of this and a little of that

 It's gotten to the point where the Donald Trump-commissioned law firm of Dumb & Dumber (Rudy Giuliani & Sidney Powell), like their client, are getting called out by Fox Shmooze.

On Thursday, Tabloid Carlson turned on Powell, and said that he'd invited her to appear on his show, but she turned him down. In turn, Carlson shredded Powell's presser earlier that day, admitting that Dumb & Dumber have zero evidence of voter fraud. He spared Giuliani the embarrassment of piling on after Giuliani's hair dye, which must've been hastily applied prior to the presser, began to run down his cheeks as he spoke.

Give it up. Game's over.
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La Loudmouth (LaVar Ball) may have had hand sanitizer available for a draft night party for son LaMelo on Wednesday, but a crowd of 250 people? 


Hand sanitizer ain't enough protection from COVID-19, but all the elder Ball is interested in is getting a fresh 15 minutes of infamy. He still thinks he could beat Michael Jordan, now LaMelo's boss as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, one-on-one. We'll soon be hearing about a coronavirus super-spreader event coming out of Chino Hills.
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Closer to home, the former Price Chopper location in Lansingburgh, which closed at the end of February, will be the winter home of the Troy Farmers' Market, beginning December 5. The Farmers' Market was forced out of the Uncle Sam Atrium back in March, and while the Atrium itself remains closed to the public, with only certain tenants (i.e. CVS) still open, the folks in charge had to find a space big enough to house the weekly event. Whether or not this is a long-term solution hinges, of course, on whether or not the pandemic finally can be contained. We'll see.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Can we give her a GPS back to reality?

 I am referring to the Duchess of Dumb, White House Press Shill Kayleigh McEnany. This living personification of a stereotype believes President Trump will still be in office come January 20.

Something tells me that if Dumb Donald II has a secret stash of cocaine, she's gotten into it too often.

Farron Cousins explains in Farron Balanced:


Cousins left out a 3rd option for President Trump. There's always psychiatric help. Which Kayleigh may need, too.



Regardless of which right wing media outlet eventually hires her, viewers will see her, and try not to think of an old Don Henley record.

Sports this 'n' that

 Just when you thought it was safe to watch the NBA draft, think again.

La Loudmouth (LaVar Ball) is back.

The Fred Sanford of stage parents resurfaced on the eve of the draft, rambling about giving his sons dating advice. Then, in the first round of the draft, his youngest son, LaMelo, was selected by the Charlotte Hornets, which means that La Loudmouth now has to put his money where his mouth is with his outrageous claims about Michael Jordan, the Hornets' owner. You might recall that La Loudmouth claimed he could beat Jordan one-on-one. How does a bench player beat one of the greatest of all time? Only in his dreams.

And while the La Loudmouth circus moves to Charlotte, eldest son Lonzo was revealed to have been moonlighting, if ya will.

Fox's Masked Singer was taped several weeks in advance, so the timing of Lonzo's elimination last night was just pure coincidence. Well, at least now America knows Lonzo can do something else his dad can't.
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The Ivy League has cancelled its winter sports slate due to coronavirus. Well, at least basketball, anyway. The Ivy League schools make up the bulk of the ECAC in hockey, and with Union & RPI having already cancelled their hockey seasons, the other shoes will drop soon.
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If you thought Mets 2B/DH Robinson Cano had a shot at Comeback Player of The Year, prepare to be disappointed.


Image courtesy of NY Post

Cano was suspended for the 2021 season, and will forfeit his season's salary of $24 million after testing positive for PED's for the 2nd time, which has folks thinking he went back to the PED's to restore his game this past season, when he hit over .300, and was among the team leaders in homers.

Luckily, the Mets have alternatives. They can either move Jeff McNeil to his natural position at 2nd, or move Andres Giminez there, or bring back Jed Lowrie, who apparently doesn't fit into the team's plans for 2021 after being sparingly used due to injury. AL batting champ DJ LeMahieu is a free agent that the Yankees may want to retain, but now the Mets might just be interested in bringing LeMahieu back to the NL, where he previously won a batting title (with Colorado).

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Dunce Cap Award: Charlie Kirk

 This is too easy.

We're 8 days away from Thanksgiving. COVID-19 is making it extra difficult for families to get together this year, because you never know. Any day now, the restrictions currently in place in New York (i.e. no more than 10 people at a gathering) can be amended if they can't get the current surge under control.

And along comes a moron named Charlie Kirk, who is stupidly blaming Democrats for a fictional "war on Thanksgiving", just like there's supposedly a "war on Christmas" because some stores don't want to have their employees say, "Merry Christmas".

BOLLOCKS!

Farron Cousins of Ring of Fire not only shreds Kirk's weak argument, but also rips Dr. Scott Atlas a few new ones.


There's only one thing I can add for Mr. Kirk:


There is dumb, and then, there is you, Mr. Kirk. Get a life.

The dead can't vote, yet Tabloid Carlson insists they did

 We're supposed to believe that Tabloid Carlson's Fox Shmooze garbage hour can't be taken seriously.

So why are other media outlets still reporting on anything this jackass says?


"Hey, I just report what my boss in Washington wants to hear!"

Carlson, you see, has tried to suggest that some of the "fraudulent" votes cast two weeks ago were by dead people. Had Election Day and Halloween fallen on the same day, it would've been just too funny, but Carlson's show is a must-avoid if you want to retain your sanity.

At least three supposedly dead people were either actually alive or just victims of mistaken identity just for sharing the same name as a pre-deceased voter. Carlson says he's not leaving Fox Shmooze, so that for now puts to rest any notions that the GOP would draft him to run in 2024.

Still, he has only apologized for one of his claims, instead of the whole magilla. Fox pays him to say stupid things that the Legion of The Brainwashed will buy into, in the feint hope that America's Oldest Baby can scam his way into a 2nd term. Not happening.

Truth is, Disney would have a job for him if they bought all of the Fox networks. But they already have someone playing Goofy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Baby be unhinged: Trump fires another security head

 It has been two weeks since Election Day. Ten days after media outlets declared former Vice President Joe Biden as the next President.

Predictably, America's Oldest Baby stubbornly refuses to concede, and would rather find scapegoats.


"WAAAAHHHH!! I need to fire someone! WAAAAAHHH!"

The latest scapegoat is Christopher Krebs, who was in charge of a division of the Department of Homeland Security. His crime? Telling the truth. While President Trump continues to mislead the public in a vain attempt to overturn the election results, Krebs confirmed, as others have, that there was no fraud, despite Trump's persistent claims to the contrary.


"WAAAAHHH! I'm right! You're wrong. You're fired! WAAAAHHH!"

All but one of Team Trump's lawsuits contesting the election have been tossed into the garbage bin, where they belong. Still, Trump persists, because convincing his brainwashed base is all he has left. He only has two options come January. Walk like a man, or be dragged out, kicking & screaming, like the deranged lunatic he has exposed himself to be. Nearly 40 years of a carefully cultivated public image, shattered like so much glass. It's either jail or a mental hospital for Trump in 2021. He has been publicly disgraced to the point where even thinking of running again at 78 in 2024 is a pipe dream.

Let me close by saying this. In the video for his 1985 hit, "I Lost on Jeopardy!" (italics mine), "Weird" Al Yankovic lets announcer Don Pardo give him the bad news, including the fact that Yankovic had embarrassed himself on national television, and shamed his family. Of course, it was all in jest and good humor. The same cannot be said for Trump, a walking embarrassment ever since he began a birther crusade against Barack Obama in 2008. This, then, is the image of Trump that will live forever:



What Might've Been: Wordplay (1986)

 Scotti Brothers Records' TV division might be best known for two series in the 80's. The  more successful of the two was America's Top 10, a TV spin-off of American Top 40, which enjoyed a healthy run into the early 90's, even after host/co-executive producer Casey Kasem had left the radio series and Billboard in the late 80's.

The other was the short-lived NBC game, Wordplay, in which contestants were asked to discern a definition of a word based on three options given by a celebrity panel.

The series had the distinction of succeeding Search For Tomorrow, which NBC acquired from CBS via packager Procter & Gamble a few years earlier, at 12:30 (ET). Tom Kennedy was the host for most of the 8 1/2 month run, with actor Jamie Farr (ex-AfterM*A*S*H, The Gong Show) subbing for a week. Pitted against ABC's Loving and CBS' The Young & The Restless, Wordplay was in trouble almost from the get-go, despite being a fun slice of visual comfort food at lunch hour.

This sample features Sally Struthers (ex-All in The Family) and impressionist Fred Travalena (ex-Anything For Money), who pulls out a vintage Daffy Duck mimic...


Fremantle Media owns the series now, and has toyed with the idea of airing reruns on Buzzr, but seemingly keeps backing away. Hmmm.

Rating: A.

A little of this and a little of that

 To the surprise of, well, no one, Troy's annual Victorian Stroll, set for December 6, will be a virtual event, spread out over two weeks (December 6-20), to minimalize the threat of coronavirus, with recent surges in infections across the country in recent days. This will eliminate congestion at certain city businesses, such as Market Block Books, that see boosts in business on what would be the last major event in the city for the year.
=============================
DC Comics will pause their regular monthlies at the start of 2021 for a 2 month event that offers a peek into a prospective future.

Future State will see some new characters emerge, taking over iconic characters. For example, in the Superman line of books, the Man of Steel's son, Jonathan, will become Superman (currently is one of two Superboys). It is speculated that Luke Fox, who had been Batwing in the books, will become Batman. Aquaman and wife Mera's daughter will grow up to be Aquawoman, with Aqualad II, the son of the Sea King's nemesis, Black Manta, taking over the Aquaman handle.

The piece de resistance comes with Wonder Woman, whose Greek heritage is being swapped out for some Latina flava.


Image courtesy DC.

DC, seeing as how the Hispanic market remains underserved, is hitting the ground running with Yara Flor, the new Wonder Woman, such that they've already set plans in motion for a CW series produced by---who else?---Greg Berlanti and his staff, and that a Wonder Girl book will hit stores after Future State to set the stage to follow her career path. Sales, of course, will decide if it's a long term plan. DC has seen how Marvel has used cultural diversity to great effect and success in recent years (i.e. a Muslim Ms. Marvel, a mixed-race Spider-Man), and now they're trying to catch up. Let's hope it works.

The downside, however, is the price scale. If you want the core Bat-books over this two month period, it'll cost you a whopping $8 per issue because of extra pages. I believe Wonder Woman will run around the $6 level for the same reason. The advice from ye scribe is to wait for trade paperbacks.
===============================
Lots of speculation as to whom Sony will choose to succeed the late Alex Trebek as host of Jeopardy! in 2021. Actor LeVar Burton (ex-Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation) is a popular choice among fans, and it would add to the growing list of African-Americans being given iconic game show gigs (i.e. Steve Harvey on Family Feud). One of the series' greatest champions, Ken Jennings, already attached to Sony's reboot of The Chase for ABC, is also a candidate, and became a consultant to Jeopardy! recently.

All we can say is, stay tuned.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Musical Interlude: In a Big Country (1983)

 Scotland's Big Country scored their only American top 40 hit with 1983's "In a Big Country". Bassist Tony Butler might look familiar to some of you, since he'd played with Pete Townshend before joining Big Country, and appeared in a pair of Townshend's videos.


Singer-guitarist Stuart Adamson passed away in 2001, but by then, Big Country had become a footnote in the early years of MTV.

Doubling down on the dumb

 

Image courtesy of fellow blogger Kevin Drum via our friends at Twinsanity Comedy.

What I wanted was the upside-down elephant image, but, well, you take what you can.

Digression over. The Republicans doubled down over and over again on their stupidity and denial over the weekend, continuing to fight a losing battle on behalf of President Trump, fully aware, despite those denials, that the clock is ticking on the Trump administration.

Take for example, the "Million MAGA March" on Saturday. Extremist groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers were represented. The Oath Keepers, getting some rare publicity, went so far as to say they won't recognize Joe Biden as the next President.

Ya might want to check the water you've been drinking the last four years, fellas. Facts are facts. Out of 20 frivolous lawsuits filed since November 4, Team Trump has won just one minor case. And when America's Oldest Baby decides that the dumbest lawyer he's got, fellow geriatric head case Rudy Giuliani, will be his lead attorney going forward. How Goofiani hasn't been disbarred at this point really is a mystery. His office will be moving to a certain New York hospital, albeit permanently, come January if he ain't careful.

And, then, there is the Duchess of Dumb, Kayleigh McEnany, who tried to claim there were really a million people at the march.



Estimates reported suggested 5,000 Trump supporters, and Lord only knows how many counter-protesters. The Siren of Stereotypes should keep her phone handy, in case Game Show Network decides they need a new host for Idiotest, or decides to revive It Pays to be Ignorant, which was the inspiration for Idiotest to begin with!

On Sunday, Trump stopped short of a full concession, and retracted, claiming he conceded nothing.

What this weak-willed man doesn't want to publicly admit is that the image he's cultivated for nearly 40 years of public life has been an illusion, and that his pampered butt will be escorted out of the White House in 2 months via military or Secret Service escort. The Legion of The Brainwashed can deny and/or ignore this all they want, but in this case, the truth will eventually set them free. Trump has lawsuits pending against him, from NY Attorney General Leticia James to E. Jean Carroll to Lord knows who else has gripes against the Vicar of Vulgar. That's what he's trying to avoid by making end-around runs to stay in office. In his case, facing the truth will destroy him and his illusions once and for all.

And for all the talk of Trump starting a new network, Yahoo! is reporting that his flacks are suggesting buying Newsmax, which has only been around a few months, in order to become bigger competition to Fox Shmooze. I don't know how you can run a network from a rubber room, but I guess we'll find out by this time next year.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Keeping it all in the family: Rob Reiner & Penny Marshall on Good Heavens (1976)

 A while back, we took a look at Carl Reiner's short-lived ABC series, Good Heavens, in which Reiner played Mr. Angel, who helped random folks each week. What might've been a bad sign was the fact that it premiered on Leap Year day, February 29, 1976.

Eight nights later, Reiner is joined by son Rob (All in The Family) and daughter-in-law Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley) in "Take me Out to The Ballgame". Tige Andrews (ex-The Mod Squad) & Sandra Gould (ex-Bewitched) also guest star.


The chemistry between father & son in their scenes together speaks volumes of what might've been had ABC actually done a better job promoting the show.

No rating. Just a public service.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

What Might've Been: Apple's Way (1974)

 The success of The Waltons prompted Earl Hamner, Jr., at the request of CBS, to develop a more contemporary family drama.

Apple's Way launched in February 1974 as a mid-season replacement, and managed to survive into a 2nd season despite airing opposite The Wonderful World of Disney. Ronny Cox fronted the ensemble cast, which also included Malcolm Atterbury and Vincent Van Patten. Kristy McNichol joined the show in season 2, which didn't finish out the term, as the series was cancelled during the 1974-5 season.

In this sample, George Apple (Cox) gets an unexpected hero's welcome when he ventures into the city....


No rating. We were a Disney house.

On The Shelf: The movies ain't out yet, but we'll put the tie-ins out anyway

 With "Wonder Woman '84" & "Black Widow" both delayed due to coronavirus issues in theatres, DC & Marvel forged ahead with 1-shot specials for each of the heroines.

Wonder Woman '84: Museum Mayhem marks the return of Louise Simonson to DC as co-writer. 80's vet Bret Blevins (haven't seen that name in way too long) draws the lead story in a more cartoony style than we're accustomed to.

The plot: Diana is playing tour guide for a school field trip when things go awry. Barbara Minerva, the soon-to-be Cheetah here, makes a brief appearance. This is meant to be a prologue for the movie, but it comes across as lacking. The unadvertised back-up by Margaurites Bennett & Sauvage (ex-Bombshells) offers up a self-serving scuzz who steals Wonder Woman's magic lasso, but if this moron thinks it'll work for him, well, he is missing a few brain cells.

Rating: C. The movie will be infinitely better.
================================
Meanwhile, Marvel spent October issuing a series of True Believers reprints of some "classic" Black Widow adventures, but made sure to get an all-new one-shot in the marketplace, too.

Veteran writer Ralph Macchio (no, not the original "Karate Kid") authors "Widow's Sting", in which the Widow, in her traditional blue jumpsuit, infiltrates a meeting of the Maggia, and runs afoul of two of Spider-Man's old enemies, Silvermane, and his bodyguard, Man Mountain Marko, who have come into possession of an ancient artifact stolen from Dr. Strange (who doesn't appear, and neither does Spidey). Mobsters & magic don't mix, but an old buzzard like Silvermane wouldn't understand, as all he wants is power, and as much of that as possible.


This is so old school, Macchio writes this like this was back in the 80's, too. Which was the last time he was a major playa as a writer.

Rating: A.
==============================
Halloween was two weeks ago, but there's always a good time to enjoy some Swamp Thing.

However, DC's Legend of The Swamp Thing Halloween Spectacular posits the "Guardian of The Green" as yet another immortal, "tiimeless" character. They're trying to suggest there was a Swamp Thing in ancient Rome, during the time of Julius Caesar?!?! Bad idea.

Berni Wrightson & Len Wein created the character nearly 50 years ago. Alan Moore refined it more than a decade later, and I am not sure if any of them foresaw Swamp Thing as an immortal. Well, Moore, maybe. You're better off watching the reruns of last year's DC Universe series on CW.

Rating: C.
==============================
With Batman: The Adventures Continue expanded to 8 issues (finishing in January), DC continues to reach into the vaults, and produces a trade paperback formatted for the young ladies.

Batman Adventures: Batgirl: In a League of Her Own collects 5 stories from The Batman Adventures and its follow-up series, Batman: Gotham Adventures, mostly from the latter book, plus a preview of the new novel, Shadow of The Batgirl, which would be a good Christmas gift for your little lady. And so is this trade paperback, produced in the same size as the graphic novel. You get doses of Harley Quinn and her bestie, Poison Ivy, very early in their relationship.

All in all, a fun re-read.

Rating: A.
==============================
And speaking of Batgirl, the finale to her current series gives DC an avenue to introduce readers to the new Batwoman, Ryan Wilder, who makes her first comics appearance, before adopting the mantle of Batwoman, for a few pages. Seems editorial was pressured into inserting Ryan somewhere, rather than introduce her with a stand-alone 1-off, which would've been a better choice.

Batwoman will begin season 2 in January, and we're hearing they've come up with a novel way to write off Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) for the duration, perhaps holding out hope that Rose will return, or another actress can be shoehorned to take her place if they realize Ryan's not working.

January-February sees a 2 month event from DC, Future State, which is set in a future timeline that has the DCU under siege from something called the Magistrate. However, as usual, they're expecting you to max out your credit cards and buy as many of these books as possible. Prices range from $4 (i.e. Aquaman, Teen Titans) to $6 (Superman and related books) and $8 (Batman & related titles). Wait for the trade paperbacks.

I don't like the price scale, and I don't like the concept. Your actual mileage may vary. Due to this event, the regular titles are on vacation until March.
==============================
I'm part-Native American on my late father's side of the family, dating back three generations, I think.

It's for this reason that I decided to take a look at Marvel's radical rethink of Werewolf by Night, whose lead lives on a Native American reservation in the Southwest with his grandmother and girlfriend, the only ones he trusts, and they're definitely steering him toward herodom.

There's also a new, 21st century Red Wolf, the Native American hero introduced, like the original Werewolf by Night, Jack Russell, in the 70's. This Red Wolf doesn't wear a costume, and it seems Red Wolf's his actual name this time. Seems Marvel's run out of story ideas for Jack, and has decided to reboot for a new generation. I can dig.

Rating: A.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Musical Interlude: Even The Nights Are Better (1982)

 From Solid Gold:

Actor-singer Rex Smith was one of the show's hosts in 1982, and here, he teams with Marie Osmond for a cover of Air Supply's summer hit, "Even The Nights Are Better". The two-part harmonies are at least equal to the original:


We knew from her solo series two years earlier that Marie could sing with anybody, not just brother Donny, and, of course, three years later, she'd score a huge hit with Dan Seals (formerly of England Dan & John Ford Coley) with "Meet me in Montana".

Did Rex go to Barry Manilow's hairstylist, or what?

America's Oldest Baby says NY needs to wait for a COVID vaccine. Oh, really?

 President Trump came out of his self-imposed exile earlier today to tout the supposed success of "Operation Warp Speed", which is meant to produce a credible coronavirus vaccine. The problem is, Trump is basically telling New Yorkers, screw you. We'll give you a vaccine when we feel like it.


"WAAAAHHHH! New York doesn't deserve a vaccine! WAAAHH!"

Ultimately, it isn't your call to make, O Archduke of Affluenza. By the time it is actually ready, which won't be, they say, until the first half of 2021, you won't be in a position to do anything about it.

Meanwhile, Kayleigh McEnany, in an unofficial capacity as an advisor, claims Trump will have a 2nd term, ignorant of the results of the election. And so the sideshow continues.

By the way, two more states have been declared. Trump wins North Carolina, as he did in 2016, and Joe Biden was declared the winner in Georgia, so, aside from any more frivolous lawsuits from Team Trump, it's game over, with Biden well over 300 electoral votes, to Trump's 232.

Now, if only you could convince Trump and his staff that the game's over.




Sports this 'n' that

 COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the college football landscape.

A number of games on Saturday's schedule, including Maryland-Ohio State and Alabama-LSU, have been cancelled or postponed due to outbreaks of the disease on campuses across the country. The SouthEastern Conference (SEC) is hoping to reschedule the Alabama-LSU game for next month. Ohio State and Maryland, however, have outright cancelled their game due to a tight Big 10 schedule created because of the virus.

Of course, it hurts the leagues and their media partners (i.e. CBS, Fox). In the case of Alabama-LSU, the game was scheduled for a 6 pm (ET) kickoff following CBS' coverage of The Masters golf tournament, and now they don't have a game on tap, ceding the ratings for football, for a week, to ABC/ESPN.
===================================
Just to show how unpredictable the NFL can be from week to week, the Indianapolis Colts overcame a halftime deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans, 34-17, by shutting out the Titans in the 2nd half, 21-0. The resurgent Colts move into first place in the AFC South by virtue of the victory. The two teams will meet again on November 29 in Indianapolis.
===================================
Ex-Colts punter Pat McAfee has returned to NXT, now fronting a stable known as The Kings of NXT, comprised of himself, former UK champion Pete Dunne, and current NXT tag team champions Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch.

The plan appears to be to posit the "Kings" against the Undisputed Era at NXT Takeover: War Games, set for December 6. It'll be McAfee's 2nd pro wrestling match, and everyone's expecting him to take a beating, despite the fact that he hung tough with TUE captain Adam Cole at an earlier PPV before losing. In order to keep the story going, Team McAfee likely wins.

Then again, he's showing more grit in the ring than Tampa Bay tight end/party boy Rob Gronkowski.....
===================================
Speaking of NXT, on Wednesday's broadcast, Johnny Gargano, who won the North American title two weeks earlier, had a jury-rigged wheel set up so he could have a very easy opponent for his first title defense, the story being that, like current Smackdown women's champion Sasha Banks, Gargano has had trouble holding onto championships.

Well, the wheel landed on jobber Leon Ruff, who signed a formal contract over the summer, leaving the Evolve promotion, after playing rent-a-jobber since his TV debut in March. Former champion Damien Priest, from whom Gargano won the title two weeks earlier, was in the audience to taunt his enemy. Gargano took his eyes off Ruff, and it cost him the title, in the biggest upset in NXT history.

Backstage, after the match, Ruff gets a little help in getting out of Dodge.....


Later in the show, Gargano tried to deny he lost the title, but admitted he rigged the wheel, which to some people might seem like a subtle jab at a certain WWE Hall of Famer who recently suffered a huge loss.
==================================
No post-season hardware for the Mets this year. Jacob deGrom finished 3rd in the balloting for the National League Cy Young Award, which went to pending free agent Trevor Bauer (Cincinnati), while Shane Bieber won the AL version. Rookie infielder Andres Giminez landed one 3rd place vote while finishing 7th in the Rookie of The Year balloting in the NL (Milwaukee reliever Devin Williams won the award).

But for Mets fans, there is solace, especially with Steve Cohen as the team's new majority owner. Pitcher Marcus Stroman, who opted out of 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19, accepted a qualifying offer to return for next season, rather than become a free agent. The Mets are among the suitors for Bauer, as are the Yankees, but Mets fans are already looking at a possible rotation that would include Bauer. Let's not put the cart before the horse, ok?

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Celebrity Rock: MacArthur Park (1967-8)

 Actor Richard Harris had come off a run on stage in "Camelot" when he recorded Jimmy Webb's epic "MacArthur Park", which was released in 1967, and peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 in 1968, edged out of the #1 position by Herb Alpert and "This Guy's in Love With You".

Radio stations today play both Harris' version and a disco-tinged #1 cover released a decade later by Donna Summer. Other artists that have recorded "MacArthur" have included The Four Tops, Waylon Jennings, Andy Williams, and Webb's most famous collaborator, Glen Campbell.


What Might've Been: This Man Dawson (1959)

This Man Dawson was a syndicated crime drama that lasted just 1 season (1959-60), caught up in an increasing glut of dramas, not just crime drama, mind, but also Westerns and adventure series.

Character actor Keith Andes essayed the title role as Colonel Dawson, now a detective, using his military training to track and capture criminals.

In "The Hard Way", Dawson must locate the blind daughter of an investigative reporter being held for ransom. Series producer William Conrad is also the narrator, and had the same duties, of course on Rocky & His Friends beginning that same year.


Seems a common theme in some of these shows back in the day was that some, if not all, villains were motivated more by greed than revenge over a perceived slight.

Rating: B.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Weasel of The Week: Mike Pompeo

 Before we get started, let's just let Brian Tyler Cohen break down the brainless musings of this week's Weasel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:


Who does Pompeo think he's fooling? He's embarrassed himself before the world time and again in service to America's Oldest Baby. President Trump is refusing to concede the election, largely because his disinformation campaign blew up right in his face, and his constant lying will be his legacy, overriding the few good things he actually accomplished. Trump claimed Joe Biden wasn't in good mental health, but the truth is, he was deflecting the reality that it is he, and not Biden, who has questionable mental issues. Biden may have the most famous stutter this side of Mel Tillis or Jimmy Stewart, but he's much more relatable to the American public than a self-serving charlatan with no grip on reality.

Pompeo is just afraid he'll lose his job in January (DUH!), and fade into obscurity. The buffet circuit certainly won't miss him or Trump.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Musical Interlude: Hurting Each Other (1972)

 From The Carol Burnett Show, via Richard Carpenter's YouTube channel:

The Carpenters perform "Hurting Each Other", which was first recorded by Jimmy Clanton ("Sugar Shack") in 1965, but failed to hit the Top 40. The future Guess Who recorded "Hurting" that same year, but the Carpenters' version draws more comparisons to a cover recorded by Ruby & The Romantics in 1969.

Sports this 'n' that

 Tiger Woods will defend his Masters title later this week, but, suprisingly, he's not the prohibitive favorite.

No, that would be Bryson DeChambeau, who has become golf's latest superstar.

DeChambeau, who packed on 20 pounds of muscle in the off-season, and 20 more during a coronavirus-enforced break earlier this year by doing some weightlifting, is considered by experts to be the favorite for the green jacket, just on his drives alone.

Check out this video compilation from Golf Opinion's YouTube channel:


Because of the pandemic, this year's tournament is taking place seven months later than normal, and that means CBS had to persuade the suits at Augusta National to move the start times for the 3rd & 4th rounds Saturday & Sunday into the morning, with coverage set to end on CBS around 3-4 pm (ET) each day due to football. The first two rounds air on ESPN, and I'm begging them to have Karl Ravech at Augusta. One of his signature home run calls in baseball would fit DeChambeau to a tee. To wit:

"Swing and a drive!"

Or:

"Liftoff!"

This will be fun to watch.
===================================
Leave it to the Jests to help New England end a 4 game losing streak Monday.

The Jests squandered a 10 point 4th quarter lead, and barely had the ball during the frame. After Joe Flacco was intercepted by the Patriots' J. C. Jackson, Cam Newton calmly led the Pats down the field on three 4th quarter drives, culminating in ex-Jet Nick Folk hitting a game winning field goal on the last play of the game, giving New England a hard earned 30-27 victory.

Seems to me that the Jets were mentally fried after the pick. Actually, they've been mentally fried all season.
=====================================
Mets infielder Andres Giminez finished 3rd in the voting for the National League Rookie of The Year, won by Milwaukee reliever Devin Williams. I'll have to check the final numbers to see if Shen grad Ian Anderson (Atlanta) picked up any votes. Had the Mets been a playoff team, which Milwaukee was, maybe Giminez has a better chance.
=====================================
Are you ready for the Hudson Valley Yankees?

While the NY-Penn League is no more, the Bombers are moving their franchise in that league out of Staten Island (WHAT?) and heading up to Wappingers Falls for next season. The Hudson Valley Renegades, who could eventually end up becoming the HV Yankees, were aligned with Tampa Bay previously.

Meanwhile, new Mets owner Steve Cohen is in the process of purchasing each of the Mets' minor league teams, including the Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) and Brooklyn Cylclones (A-ex-NYPL), according to reports. If he can add SNY, he'd have the whole magilla under one roof, and that would be a good thing.

Monday, November 9, 2020

And, now, the scapegoats are being lined up......

 A little more than 48 hours after the election had been called in favor of Joe Biden over Donald Trump, the President is now looking for scapegoats to take the heat, since he won't concede and won't accept the reality that America has rejected him and his shell game politics.


"WAAAAAHHH! Get Esper on the phone! I wanna dump him!"

That would be Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who was let go just moments ago, replaced by Christopher Miller, for however long that lasts. And, if media projections are accurate, he won't be the last one to go.

Trump is looking to dismiss CIA director Gina Haspel and FBI director Christopher Wray as well. In reality, the firings are a waste of time, because once Biden is sworn in January 20, he will look to bring in his own people, as is normal practice. There are reports suggesting Trump wants to get rid of Dr. Anthony Fauci, simply because the good doctor is way more popular than America's Oldest Baby. However, Trump does not have the authority to fire Fauci, despite convincing the Legion of The Brainwashed to chant for that very thing at a recent rally.

Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, is hinting that Trump's wife, Melania, may be looking to divorce the man-child after 15 years of marriage, per an article on Yahoo!. Trump and his frivolous lawsuits to challenge the election will end in abject failure, as 10 suits have already been tossed out due to zero evidence. There are rumors that Trump might actually flee the country to avoid litigation and/or prosecution.

The fact of the matter is, Trump's public image took a beating these last 5 years, changing from a respected New York business mogul to a self-serving, misogynistic, vulgar, immature bully who is in the midst of his second childhood (or is that his third?), certainly worse than his first. Perhaps some time in a private space, like a mental hospital, could cure his ills. But don't count on it.

Dunce Cap Award: College football fans

 Ya can't say I didn't warn you.

Yesterday, I had local sports fans in mind when I wrote that there would be some negative reaction to ABC & NBC cutting away from their primetime NCAA games to cover a far more newsworthy event, that being President-elect Joe Biden's acceptance speech in Delaware, which started shortly after 8 pm (ET), and ended around 9.

Unfortunately, as Yahoo! confirms, NBC viewers in particular, paying no attention to Mike Tirico's warnings during the 1st quarter of Notre Dame-Clemson, wigged out on social media. USA Network was also affected as their headline feature movie du jour, "Guardians of The Galaxy, Volume 2", was interrupted. USA will reschedule it, of course, and it's likely available On Demand if you check your cable system.

To these likely inebriated folks, we have this message from one Bart Simpson:



Instead, there's only one thing appropriate for these chuckleheads, and the ones in South Bend who decided to risk a super spreader event after the game:


This is just too easy.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. gets served & swerved (1980)

 Here's a classic Anheuser-Busch Natural Light spot from 1980, in which pitchmen Norm Crosby and Raymond J. Johnson, Jr. (Bill Saluga) are joined by Knicks icon Walt "Clyde" Frazier, who shows he has some comic chops of his own.


Poor Ray has his schtick used against him.

In memory of Crosby, 93, who passed away Saturday.

A little of this and a little of that

 There is a morbid history involving the Giants and Washington quarterbacks.

The most famous case, of course, was in the mid-80's, when, on Monday Night Football, Joe Theismann suffered a broken leg after being sacked by Lawrence Taylor. The injury ended Theismann's playing career, and sent him to the broadcast booth.

Today, current Washington QB Kyle Allen had his ankle broken, so they're reporting, when he was tackled by New York's Gibril Peppers, who was flagged for unnecessary roughness. However, the Giants completed the season sweep with a 23-20 win. Alex Smith, who had lost his starting job earlier in the season, is now the starter by default, with Dwayne Haskins stuck carrying a clipboard due to poor performance. For the Giants, it washes away the sour taste of 4th quarter chokes vs. Tampa Bay & Philadelphia the last two weeks.
===============================
I've often quoted George Santayana in this space when citing the irresponsibility and stupidity of some folks.

It would certainly fit at Notre Dame right about now.

After the Irish upset Clemson in double overtime, fans stormed the field, ignorant of the fact that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Most, if not all, of the fans are students, likely drunk by the time the game ended, and just as ignorant of the fact that there was a recent spike in coronavirus cases on campus right before the game!!!

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High", this ain't.

We'll be hearing about new cases before long.
===================================
I can imagine that, despite the fact that ABC & NBC promoted the fact that their primetime games (Clemson-Notre Dame, Stanford-Oregon) would be interrupted for speeches by President-elect Joe Biden & Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, with the games moving to cable (ESPNews & USA Network), local fans were reaching for their phones to whine to the affiliates if they were still among the few that don't have cable. More fool you, then.
==================================
I don't know about you, but maybe Biden should call for the opening of deprogramming centers for Republicans?

I mean, claiming Trump is a cult leader makes him worse than Scientology, doesn't it?
===================================
Syndicated programs like Jeopardy! usually tape weeks, if not months, in advance. We're barely into the new season, and now the long running quiz game will be looking for a new host.

Earlier this morning, Alex Trebek, 80, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Trebek, originally from Canada, made his American TV debut in 1973 with the short-lived Wizard of Odds, which was probably doomed by Alan Thicke's cheesy theme song. Merrill Heatter saw something he liked, and hired Trebek for 2 tours each of High Rollers & Battlestars between 1974-83. He also helmed Goodson-Todman's Double Dare (not to be confused with the later Nickelodeon series), and was the 3rd & final host of To Tell The Truth's ill-fated NBC run, concurrent with Classic Concentration, the two airing concurrently with Jeopardy! during 1991. The revival of Jeopardy! began in 1984, and thus had just started season 37.

While production was suspended due to COVID-19, Sony and CBS reached into the vaults and pulled up reruns from 1984, then had Trebek record new opens, like this one:


So who collects Trebek's Colonial Life policy? Just kidding. Someone will pick up that baton, too.

Rest in peace.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

The election's over, but the crying continues......

A little more than an hour ago, I walked into a local laundromat to do my weekly wash. On the flat screen TV above the counter, the set was on the ABC affiliate. The headline at the bottom of the screen told the whole story.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has ascended to the presidency, unseating Donald Trump. In so doing, history has also been made, with California Senator Kamala Harris becoming the first female Vice President.

Well, you know what they say. The third time's the charm. After Geraldine Ferraro (1984) and Sarah Palin (2008) had tried and failed to take that historic step, Harris, and her multi-ethnic background, broke the gender barrier.

To the surprise of no one, this was the response from the Trump camp:


America had had enough of Trump's juvenile approach to things. The schoolyard taunts and insults, especially to women. The lies. All those lies. While television networks have Biden at 273 electoral votes, Yahoo!'s projections place him closer to 300. Trump, of course, remains in denial.


Come January 20, when Biden & Harris are sworn in, Trump will be on his way to either Mar-a-Lago in Florida, or the nearest mental hospital. There are lawsuits awaiting Trump, and unlike the frivolous suits he and his lackeys have filed the last few days, challenging the legitimacy of the vote and alleging, sans evidence, fraud, Trump will go from the White House to the penthouse to the outhouse.

Yahoo! is reporting that Trump has considered, serious or not, another run in 2024. It wouldn't be unprecedented. Grover Cleveland lost his re-election bid, then came back and won a second term after all a few years later. Trump? Fuhgeddaboutit. He'll be so tied up in litigation for the better part of 2021-22, he might not be in any position to run for even dog catcher.

And, yeah, Postmaster General Louis DeJoyless is the next to go. Biden will likely dump him and William "Corner" Barr within a month of his administration.

A great day for democracy in the midst of Indian Summer.