Tuesday, August 31, 2021

As the other shoe drops: Mike Richards leaves Jeopardy! & Wheel of Fortune as executive producer

 Well, that didn't take long.

It has been reported that embattled Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards has stepped down from that position, as well as on Wheel of Fortune, in the wake of some inappropriate remarks made on a podcast as little as seven years ago, and alleged misconduct behind the scenes on Price is Right around the same time.

That means that when Richards closes out his final week as guest host of Jeopardy! (already taped) on September 17, it will mark the end of his time with Sony. Michael Davies (Who Wants to be a Millionaire?) will take over as executive producer of Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy! on an interim basis, likely as of September 20, when Mayim Bialik (Call me Kat) begins a 3 week run as host.

But the drama's not over yet.

Seems that Bialik has had a history of being an anti-vaccine activist, among other alleged sins. A little conflicting, considering she is also a neuroscientist.

There's a pocket of fans still salty over the allegation that actor Levar Burton (ex-Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation) was snubbed after his one week stint, and they want Burton back at the lectern.

Speaking of Millionaire, current host Jimmy Kimmel (ABC) would be a good pick if he wasn't already so busy.

So what's Marc Summers up to these days?

Weasel of The Week: Jason Lefkowitz

 Mr. Lefkowitz is one of those anti-vaccine, anti-mask losers who's bought into all the falsehoods about masks and vaccines in the midst of the COVID pandemic. These anti-vax people don't get it. They have been misled by right wing media to believe that wearing a face mask to protect against COVID takes away their freedom.

I'll just call it for what that is. Total BS.

I think the makers of Kool-Aid would like to have a word with this moron.

These people also buy into bogus conspiracy theories claiming the vaccines will inject some sort of microchip into your body, and you'd be controlled by the government. Again, that's total BS. I've been vaccinated. I'm in charge of what I do, not the government. Not some misinterpretation of George Orwell's 1984. To paraphrase the late Robert Palmer, your mind is your own (referencing "Addicted to Love")..

I'd venture to guess that most of these anti-vaxxers failed science courses when they were in school, or never bothered taking science classes. Lacking the necessary understanding of vaccines and disease research leaves these people vulnerable to the likes of Jason Lefkowitz, who, as seen in the photo above, looks like he's a few fries shy of a happy meal to begin with. This punk is calling for his followers to arm themselves with guns and knives, in the misguided belief, again, pushed by right wing media, that people are going door-to-door to inquire about your vaccination status. That's not a thing that's happening. Lefkowitz is perpetuating a myth, stirring up his brainwashed followers, to get his 15 minutes of infamy.

Guess what, punk? You're a certifiably insane Weasel, and that's all I have to say about that. Enjoy the ears.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Ivermectin is this year's hydroxychloroquine. It's not really safe for humans to take vs. COVID!

 A California psychiatrist suggested to Florida Governor Ron DeStupid that Ivermectin, a parasitic drug used as a deworming agent in horses & cows, could be used as a defense against COVID-19.


Dr. Mark McDonald is the man responsible for GOPer morons like DeStupid, Rand Paul, and Fox Shmooze garbage dispensers such as Tabloid Carlson and Laura Inkblot, pushing this "miracle cure" in recent weeks. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are advising against using it. The FDA, in fact, was very blunt about it the other day, reminding people that they're not horses nor cows.

Paul, a Senator from Kentucky, must've been sniffing the state's blue grass for the wrong reasons when he claimed that the FDA & CDC aren't taking Ivermectin seriously because of blind hatred of former president Donald Trump.


We were able to solicit advice from a known expert on Ivermectin:

"Dooooon't you even think about it! It's not for you!"

Even America's Idiot Savant, Stephen A. Smith, weighed in when he guest hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live last week. Smith advised against Ivermectin, proving there is a brain under all that hot air.

Last year, Trump was touting hydroxychloroquine as an alleged "miracle cure". Of course, being naturally stupid, he also was blamed for people injecting themselves with Clorox bleach. It wouldn't surprise anyone if he's in support of Ivermectin.

What's next? Rat poison?

Sports this 'n' that

 ESPN already has a couple of black corporate eyes for a couple of recent personnel moves, which, you might say, left them vulnerable to a scam.

A Sunday high school football showcase game between IMG Academy of Florida vs. Bishop Sycamore of Ohio was a disaster of epic proportions. IMG rolled, 58-0, in one of these clearly made-for-TV tomato can squashes, since a 3rd party, Paragon Marketing, helped put the game together. However, Paragon and ESPN suits were allegedly bamboozled by Bishop Sycamore, a 2nd year football program out of an online charter school that hasn't won a game yet. Bishop Sycamore claimed they had Division 1 college prospects. By the 2nd quarter, it was obvious to the ESPN announcers that they didn't.

Blowouts happen all the time in high school & college football, especially in mismatches like this. This is why ye scribe tends to use a boxing term like tomato can to describe overmatched opponents like Bishop Sycamore, which wanted the exposure, but paid for it with national embarrassment.

Someone check and see if Ohio Rep. Fibber Jordan had a stake in Bishop Sycamore.
I'm as much a Mets fan as anyone, but passed on yesterday's game vs. Washington. Pre-season football and the Little League World Series had my attention.

Tired of being booed by the fair-weather fans at Citi Field, the Mets decided to give their fans the thumbs down in Sunday's 9-4 win over the Nationals.

This attitude, displayed especially by Javier Baez, might be Baez's ticket out of town as a free agent after the season. Mets fans were happy when he arrived from the Cubs last month, but Baez has found out very quickly how fickle they are, as opposed to Chicago. Generations of artificially entitled, spoiled "fans", most of whom likely spend more time whining on WFAN when the team is losing, have made it hard for superstar players to land with the Mets, or, in other sports, the Knicks (though they're on the rise), Jets, or Giants. These so-called "fans" need to wake up & grow up yesterday.
Speaking of the Little League World Series, this year's all-American tournament wrapped on Sunday with an all-Midwest final, as Michigan defeated Ohio to win the title. Unlike teams from Texas (Ella Bruning), New Jersey (Carson Frazier, nephew of newly retired major leaguer and former LLWS hero Todd Frazier), and South Dakota (the unhittable Gavin Weir), these two teams didn't have any standout stars. It was a fun game, though, and that's what it's all about.
If the preseason is any indication, the NFC Least will again be the punching bags of the NFL.

The four teams in the division had one win between them, belonging to defending champion Washington, and finished the preseason schedule with a collectively unsightly 1-11-1 (Philadelphia tied the Jests on Friday). Dallas, remember, played in the Hall of Fame game, and lost to Pittsburgh.

NFC predictions coming later this week.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Forgotten TV: The Bronx Zoo (1987)

 Think of the Bronx Zoo, and you think of the zoo itself, and the Yankee teams of the late 70's, whose locker room chaos led to sportswriters dubbing the Yankee clubhouse as the Bronx Zoo.

And, then, there is The Bronx Zoo, a 2 season high school drama that aired on NBC, starting off as a mid-season replacement before being granted what was hoped to be a full season commitment the following fall. However, declining ratings resulted in the series being cancelled.

Executive producer Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties) was taking a chance doing a drama, and built an ensemble cast that included future movie stars Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Mykelti Williamson, but at the head of the ensemble was Emmy winner Edward Asner (ex-Lou Grant, The Mary Tyler Moore Show) as the school principal, Joe Danzig.

Following is the 2nd season premiere, co-written by Bruce Helford.

In memory of Asner, 91, who passed away earlier today. No rating out of respect.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

NFL 2021 preview, part 1

 Believe it or else, after the conclusion of play on Sunday, the NFL preseason will be over, and fans will wait 10 days before the season opener on NBC/Peacock (Tampa Bay vs. Dallas). Extending the season to 17 regular season games over 18 weeks means cutting the preseason to three games for most teams, and everyone gets an extended break before the season begins.

Let's take a look at the AFC in part one of our preview.

AFC East:

Defending champion Buffalo hasn't missed a beat, completing a perfect preseason by shutting out Green Bay earlier today, 19-0. Unseating them will be difficult. However, no one expected the Jets to also go unbeaten in the preseason, finishing 2-0-1 after a 31-31 draw with Philadelphia (no overtime) on Friday. Maybe hiring Robert Saleh (San Francisco) as head coach was the right call. Rookie QB Zach Wilson (Brigham Young) has opened some eyes, mostly in an upset over Green Bay last week. New England may have their heir apparent to Tom Brady, albeit a year late, in rookie Mac Jones (Alabama). Cam Newton may have to play over his head to stay in Foxborough, or open a yogurt stand at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots could also finish 3-0 if they beat the Giants tomorrow night. Miami may have just been lapped out of a playoff spot.

Projected order of finish:

1. Buffalo.
2. New England.
3. Miami.
3 (tie). Jets.

AFC North:

Cincinnati has to hope that 2nd year QB Joe Burrow can finally make some waves after injuries cut his rookie season short. Good luck with that, as they're not the best team in their own state anymore, what with Cleveland having improved the last couple of years. Still, the division goes through either Baltimore or Pittsburgh. However, the sands in the hourglass are starting to fade for Ben Roethlisberger, entering his 18th season (!), despite signs of diminishing skills last season The Ravens have Lamar Jackson, but the time is now for him to get them into position for their 3rd Super Bowl.

Projected order of finish:

1. Baltimore.
2. Cleveland.
3. Pittsburgh.
4. Cincinnati.

AFC South:

The buzz in the division surrounds Jacksonville. Drafting Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) in the 1st round made Gardner Minshew expendable, and he was dealt to Philadelphia earlier today. New coach Urban Meyer, coming as he does from television (Fox), tried a publicity stunt by bringing his former quarterback at Florida, Tim Tebow, to camp as a tight end. Remember how they tried convincing Tebow to move to TE when he was with New England, and, I think, Philadelphia, and he balked? Funny how times change. Unfortunately, Tebow lasted one preseason game, and his comeback was over. He's back with ESPN (SEC Network), I do believe.

There are rumors surrounding Houston trading scandal-scarred quarterback DeShaun Watson, but so far, nothing's happened. Color him gone by the trading deadline at the latest, especially if the Texans are out of the postseason picture early. With Philip Rivers now coaching high school football, Indianapolis acquired injury-prone Carson Wentz (Philadelphia), and let Jacoby Brissett walk. Not a good idea, as Wentz is already hurt. That opens the door for Tennessee, as I don't think Meyer & Lawrence will be enough of a difference to allow the Jaguars to win the division.

Projected order of finish:

1. Tennessee.
2. Jacksonville.
3. Indianapolis.
4. Houston.

AFC West:

Everyone's making moves trying to unseat Kansas City. They'd have a better chance of a bucket of Head & Shoulders falling on Patrick Mahomes, with the bucket to follow, before a big game. We'll soon see if he's still doing those silly State Farm ads. If the ads with basketball star Chris Paul of late are any indication, Mahomes might want to stick to the shampoo. Denver, still looking for a veteran to mentor Drew Lock, signed Teddy Bridgewater, and the veteran will start on September 12 vs. the Giants. Well, at least they'll get off to a good start. It's year 2 in Las Vegas, and Jon Gruden is hoping they can finally open the new Black Hole at Allegiant Stadium. Well, maybe Snoop Dogg can hook him up with a couple of cases of Corona to invite the usual crazies. It's also year 2 for Justin Herbert in Los Angeles, and, like Burrow, has to bring the Chargers out of the abyss to at least get to .500 and contend. I don't see it.

Projected order of finish:

1. Kansas City.
2. Las Vegas.
2. (tie) Denver.
4. Los Angeles.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Weasel of The Week: Dan Bauman

 Before a Leon County judge rejected Florida Governor Ron DeStupid's ban on mask mandates, a chronic anti-mask clown got himself in hot water again, and, as of this writing, was still in jail.

Dan Bauman escorted his daughter to school Wednesday morning, refusing to wear a face mask. His daughter claims she can't breathe with a mask on, but hasn't elaborated, suggesting that she's had her father's poison kool-aid spoon-fed to her. We don't know if she has a legitimate medical condition. Her dad, on the other hand, is a different story.

Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

Bauman started recording with his phone. Another student, tired of his chisel-headed antics (Thanks, Chuck Miller!), reached for the phone, but Bauman decided to be a jerk and put the poor girl in a hammerlock, and shoved her into the fence. A school resource officer, who had turned his body camera on, promptly arrested Bauman.

Bauman's been arrested a few times in the last year, including raising a ruckus at a Home Depot, and using women's underwear in place of a face mask. With apologies to singer-television personality Jon Bauman (no relation---we think), Dan Bauman pulled a really Bowzer move from the darker edge of town.

That being said, Dan Bauman gets the Weasel ears this week. He and the rest of the GOPer wimps who think being masked violates their freedom need to seek therapy.

Friday, August 27, 2021

The parents are right: A judge rejects Governor DeStupid's ban on mask mandates

 All along, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has aspired to be a clone of Citizen Pampers (Donald Trump), such that he pulled a power play by banning mask mandates in Florida schools.

A Leon County judge today rejected DeSantis' ban, saying that it violated the state's rules on separation of powers, and that the ban was unconstitutional.

Yeah, my jaw would drop, too, if I were you.

Leon County is one of 10 counties in Florida that opposed the ban. Parents in those counties have been awarded a major victory, as they and the judge could see right through DeSantis' bullying tactics. This also sends a message to the other GOPer governors, including Doug "Acey" Ducey (Arizona) and Greg Abbott (Texas), that the same fate awaits them if parents in their states challenge their bans, too.

DeSantis thought he could be like Trump, and build his political future on the innocent victims of COVID, ignoring guidances from the Centers For Disease Control to bolster his chances at a Presidential run in 2024. By then, his political career could very well be like Trump's. In the trash.

A little of this and a little of that

 To paraphrase Neil Sedaka, growing up is hard to do when you're constantly reminded about your pre-teen past.

That's the opinion of Alana Thompson, formerly known as Honey Boo Boo. Now 16, Thompson wants to embark on a more serious acting career, and put her past behind her.

Like, can you blame her? Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was more than a decade ago, and Thompson wants to move on and earn a fresh 15 minutes her way. Good thinking.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Spencer Elden, 30, who, as a 4 month old, was photographed by a family friend for what would be, after some later photoshopping of a dollar bill, the cover of Nirvana's 1991 debut, "Nevermind".

Image courtesy of the New York Post.

Today, Elden is suing the surviving members of Nirvana, Krist Novaselic and Dave Grohl, the latter now the frontman of Foo Fighters, alleging that the famous photo amounts to child pornography, simply because his genitals are on full display. Supposedly, the band was to cover the private parts with a sticker of some kind, but, as we know, that didn't happen.

As recently as five years ago, Elden had celebrated his early celebrity status, and, dressed in swim trunks as a 25 year old, recreated the picture. So what turned his head?

Promises of a bigger payday, of course. Now, I don't know if Elden is currently gainfully employed (he should be), but he's asking for $150,000 total (maybe) from the band and anyone else connected with the photo, including the family friend who took the picture in the first place. Now, $150,000 is chump change compared to the frivolous lawsuits usually filed on a daily basis. Elden, if he landed the right job, could make $150,000 per year. He's listening to the wrong people.

Maybe Alana should give him a call with the right advice.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Musical Interlude: Undercover of The Night (1983)

 We've known that Rolling Stones vocalist Mick Jagger has done some acting. We didn't think the rest of the band had that same ambition.

"Undercover of The Night" is the first and title single from the Stones' 1983 album, "Undercover", and the violence depicted in this video, directed by Julien Temple, is a radical departure from earlier Stones clips. Jagger plays a dual role as a detective hired by a woman to rescue her boyfriend. The difference? Mick wears a fake mustache as the sleuth.

Keith Richards is so convincing going gangsta, he should've landed a movie gig. Keep in mind, this was a year before Miami Vice, and it was one of those rare instances where the band took a political stand, looking at the issues in South America.

Even though bassist Bill Wyman appears in the video, there are two versions of the recorded track. The one with Wyman was left on the cutting room floor, and Robbie Shakespeare was subbed in on the final release.

Sports this 'n' that

 The Jests just can't catch a break.

One of their off-season acquisitions, Vinny Curry, is out for the season due to a blood disorder that led to the removal of his spleen. Curry, who played for Philadelphia and Tampa Bay previously, was signed to a 1 year deal, but won't see the field for the Jests, who lost Carl Lawson for the season a week ago.

Granted, the Jests are 2-0 in the preseason, which means it could be a 4-way dogfight in the AFC East, if first year coach Robert Saleh can sustain the momentum.
Herschel Walker was once a respected football hero coming out of Georgia, first to the USFL (NY-NJ Generals), then, to the NFL (Giants, Dallas, Philadelphia).

File photo courtesy of AP Images/Getty Images/Yahoo!.

Walker, who makes his home in Texas, is making a bid to become a US Senator from Georgia, and is relocating to the Peach State to make a run at Raphael Warnock, the preacher who unseated Kelly Loeffler back in January. Walker already has the endorsement of his former boss with the Generals, Citizen Pampers himself, Donald Trump, but should be aware that 9 out 10 Trumpdorsements usually end in failure.

Beware of divine intervention, Herschel.
It wasn't so long ago that there was a schism between ESPN reporters Maria Taylor, who has since left the network, and Rachel Nichols, a veteran reporter who was bumped from covering the NBA Finals in 2020 to make room for Taylor, who'd otherwise been a sideline reporter for college football & basketball. Nichols, in a leaked interview, alleged that Taylor was given the NBA gig because she's an African-American.

A year later, Nichols has followed Taylor out the door.

ESPN announced earlier this week, after bumping Max Kellerman from First Take to appease the ego of Screamin' A. Cosell (Stephen A. Smith), and giving Kellerman a separate gig, Nichols is being pink-slipped, and her NBA-centric series, The Jump, is being cancelled. Watch. Nichols will land at FS1 in due course.

Kellerman, by the way, fills a void in joining ESPN Radio's morning show, and will keep his ESPN2 series, Max on Boxing, while adding a solo series on ESPN. The decision to bounce him from First Take is not so much fixing something that isn't broken, but, as I suggested above, to make Stephen A. feel better, since he gets taken to school on a daily basis.

Worse, Smith was flown to Los Angeles to fill in for Jimmy Kimmel on the latter's ABC yack-fest Monday, as Kimmel is on Summer vacation. Someone check the ratings, which must've gone in the toilet. Smith flopped with his own primetime yackker a few years ago, in which he came off as an Arsenio Hall rip-off, so what made Disney suits think he'd be a fit in late night?
So the Mets are in another slump, and have already blown their season series vs. the top two teams in the NL West, San Francisco & Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, the fair weather fans online are calling for Luis Rojas' head. There's no satisfying these whiny dweebs, and I'd not be surprised if these jabronies are also calling WFAN and other talk outlets to whine. To these so-called fans, I say, seek therapy, or, otherwise, STFU!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Dunce Cap Award: Silly Sidney Powell & Steve Bannon

Silly Sidney Powell just doesn't get it.

While the ambulance chaser was on Steve Bannon's podcast Tuesday, she touched off a new conspiracy theory, claiming that the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol was an FBI sting aimed at supporters of outgoing president Pecos Pampers (Donald Trump, of course), when it was anything but the sort.

Farron Cousins explains:

I happen to agree with Farron on one salient point. That Powell should be disbarred from practicing law anywhere she has a license, much like Rudy Goofiani's had his license suspended in New York and Washington, DC. Neither Powell nor Goofiani can actually function as a lawyer anymore, not so much because of age, but because their sanity is completely in question.

And the same goes for Bannon, who keeps inviting idiots like Powell, Prince Pillow (Mike Lindell), and Goofiani to continue their peddling misinformation on his show. There's more than enough evidence that shows the rioters were Trump supporters, incited by the likes of Trump and Goofiani at a rally on the morning of January 6, and for Bannon and the rest of these goobers to continue to recast the rioters as "political prisoners" is irrevocable BS. That having been said, Bannon AND Powell get the Dunce Caps this week.

One size fits all. Reality is calling. If you don't answer that, Bellevue will be calling you next.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Musical Interlude: Lover Man (1992)

 Charlie Watts was, well, the quiet man in the Rolling Stones.

In between Stones tours and albums, Watts found time to indulge in his love of jazz, and founded his own quintet. One such instance brought the Charlie Watts Quintet to The Dennis Miller Show in 1992 to perform "Lover Man", with frequent Stones collaborator Bernard Fowler on lead vocals. After a commercial break, Miller interviews Watts.

In memory of Watts, 80, who passed away overnight. We'll discuss The Dennis Miller Show another day.

When To Tell The Truth becomes a family affair (1973)

 There have been occasions over the years on To Tell The Truth where family members of either the panelists or moderator (i.e. Bud Collyer) have gotten in on the fun. This is one of those occasions, and it comes from the Garry Moore era.

NYPD undercover detective Richard Buggy isn't as well known as, say for example, Dave Toma or Frank Serpico, but his story was compelling enough to get him on Truth in the first game of the day. This episode first aired in December 1973. Last shown on BUZZR back in April.

Prepare to have your mind blown.

It wasn't until a few years later that Kitty Carlisle began using her married name professionally as Kitty Carlisle Hart, and has a theatre named for her at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center (The Egg). Joe Garagiola, Jr. currently is a special advisor to the president & CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Jeopardy!'s merry-go-round to spin again

 In the wake of Mike Richards' resignation as host of Jeopardy!, but not as executive producer (yet), it's back to the guest host merry-go-round.

Richards had already recorded a week of episodes, to air September 13-17. Actress-neuroscientist-author Mayim Bialik (Call me Kat, ex-The Big Bang Theory, Blossom) takes over for a 3-week run starting September 20, as Call me Kat is being held to mid-season at Fox.

Image courtesy Sony/Yahoo!.

So what's stopping Sony from completely sacking Richards (ex-The Pyramid)? He'd only been with Jeopardy! as a producer for a couple of years, and the 7-8 year old podcast comments unearthed against him should've been enough to send him packing completely, given how others have been complete victims of "cancel culture". No one knows for sure.

What is sure is that this will lead to renewed calls for LeVar Burton (ex-Star Trek: The Next Generation, Reading Rainbow) to be brought back as well. Considering the lengthy run of Reading Rainbow, Burton has this MC thing down, it would seem. Maybe some other Big Bang alumni, including Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco, could be called on this time, but there are those who believe Ken Jennings, who started this merry-go-round in the first place is the frontrunner for the full-time gig.

If you've got some ideas, I'd love to read them.

More GOPer stupidity: Dumb Donald II compares American teachers to the Taliban

 The GOPers have released a fundraising e-mail (read: phishing scam) representing something called the 1776 Project, which aspires to deny today's children the right to learn about the worst aspects of American history (i.e. slavery).

Predictably, Dumb Donald II (Donald Trump, Jr.) polluted the air by comparing American school teachers to the Taliban.


If it wasn't already suspicious that this dork is on drugs, his rant definitely shows he probably is.

Farron Cousins explains:

There's no way Dumb Donald II could've written any of that himself. He couldn't get off the bong fast enough.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Empty-G needs a dictionary, a thesaurus, and a brain transplant. Not exactly in that order

 "Dumb Dora is really dumb!"---Gene Rayburn, Match Game, many times between 1973-84.

Marjorie Taylor Greene ran unopposed to win her seat on the House of Representatives 9 1/2 months ago, but only got 75% of the vote. The rest of the vote likely went to write in candidates. That 25% must've known something the rest of us have found out since January.

There's a reason she's known here as Empty-G. She thinks rebuilding our infrastructure amounts to communism. Farron Cousins explains:

As Farron asserts, Empty-G probably doesn't really know what communism means, and is throwing it out there as "red meat" for her base.

Time to send her back to school.

Musical Interlude: On The Wings of a Nightingale (1984)

 It was a big surprise when the Everly Brothers returned to the charts in 1984 with the Paul McCartney-penned "On The Wings of a Nightingale". Phil & Don Everly hadn't had a chart hit in several years.

Unfortunately, "Nightingale" missed the top 40 on the pop & country charts, and peaked at #9 on the adult contemporary chart, despite heavy airplay on MTV.

In memory of Don Everly, 84, who passed away on Saturday. Rest in peace.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

A Classic Reborn: Fantasy Island (2021)

 On the heels of a "prequel" movie released last year, Fantasy Island has returned, this time on Fox (the two previous series iterations aired on ABC). 

Elena Roarke (Roselyn Sanchez, ex-Devious Maids) is the new hostess at the island. On her desk is a picture of her uncle, the enigmatic Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban; Malcolm McDowell's version, it seems, has been ret-conned). Where Mr. Roarke would explain each guest's fantasy request, Elena instead interviews her guests, which helps move the story along faster.

Also, as the first episode offers, at least one of the intertwining storylines is introduced to start the show, a modern departure from the original series. The island now has what appears to be a fountain of youth, which is a boon to two guests in the opener.

Let's take a look at the trailer:

Surprisingly, for a show airing on Fox, this isn't as daring as the original, and that's disturbing. Worse, it drew a bad time slot on Tuesdays (the original aired on Saturdays, and the McDowell version aired on a different night, too. Thursdays, IIRC). Genre fans are committed to the CW (Supergirl returns this week, after Island aired opposite Superman & Lois the last two weeks). I don't like this show's chances in 2021.

Rating: B--.

When legends get together: That's What Friends Are For (1985)

 Three years after Rod Stewart had originally recorded the song, Dionne Warwick joined forces with Stevie Wonder, Elton John, & Gladys Knight to cover the Burt Bacharach-Carole Bayer Sager composition, "That's What Friends Are For", as a benefit for AIDS research.

The track raised $3 million for AIDS research, and won Grammy awards the following winter.

The second verse had been rewritten for this version, as opposed to the Stewart single.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Weasels of The Week: Take a guess

 We noted earlier this week that Texas Governor Greg "Shakedown" Abbott had contracted COVID-19. However, Abbott, who's probably imbibed too much Texas tea (oil) to have any rational thought, refused to back down from his ban on mask mandates.

We'll address that later, but Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, not to be confused with the NBC Sports talk host, decided to be stupid and decided to scapegoat African Americans----unvaccinated, mind you----for the surge in COVID cases in the Lone Star State.

Patrick couldn't be more wrong. The vast majority of unvaccinated persons in Texas, and everywhere else, for that matter, are white GOPers. As usual, Texas government is pandering to the low information citizens in the suburbs and rural areas with lies.

The other Patrick used to do commercials for Rolaids back in the day. I'd say, if you have to attend a speech by either of these Texas twits, you might need a roll handy.

For being brazen enough to play the race card, Patrick gets a set of Weasel ears, but he ain't alone.
Back to Abbott for a moment. The ban on mask mandates has been lifted for the nonce while the judicial system in Texas deals with lawsuits brought on by parents and/or school districts unhappy with Abbott's irresponsible approach to the pandemic and refusing to let school faculty members protect students and themselves.
Meanwhile, in Washington, a number of whiny GOPers are again introducing articles of impeachment against President Biden because of the disaster that has been the troop withdraw from Afghanistan as the Taliban have reclaimed control of the country, among other excuses.

Chief among these crybabies, of course, is Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene), the Georgia peach-head, who, like other GOPer idiots, is just throwing it out there because the GOPers' deposed champion, Citizen Pampers, was impeached twice in as many years. Doesn't matter that Pampers was acquitted both times. The GOPers want to play tit-for-tat with Biden.

Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

These articles ain't going anywhere. It's just a bunch of whining, but has it occurred to the GOPers that the Afghanistan debacle has driven Biden's approval rating down? Not as low as Pampers, of course, but you get the idea.

Like her idol Pampers, Empty-G is doing this for attention. This is not what Andy Warhol had in mind when he said that one day, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. Airheads like her should be neither seen nor heard.

That said, she also picks up the Weasel ears.

The search is on again: Jeopardy! starts another host search

 On August 11, Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards (ex-The Pyramid) was named as the new host of the nightly syndicated iteration of the series, with Call Me Kat star Mayim Bialik set to host any spin-offs or specials ticketed for ABC.

This morning, after the Anti-Defamation League began investigating some anti-Semitic remarks attributed to Richards on his now defunct podcast, Richards punted, and decided to step down as MC. As of now, he remains executive producer, but something tells me that won't be enough to satisfy the ADL or anyone else.

The podcast, The Randumb, ran around the same time as GSN's short-lived The Pyramid. Prior to that, Richards had worked as a producer on The Price is Right, and there have been some questions about backstage conduct there, too. The podcast contained a number of sketches of questionable nature, including the anti-Semitism, sexist behavior, and such, but had nothing to do with the cancellation of Pyramid, which later resurfaced under the revived $100,000 Pyramid title in 2016, with Michael Strahan (Good Morning, America, Fox NFL Sunday) as host.

Before Sony can move on and find a new host, the other shoe has to drop. In order to appease fans and advertisers alike, Richards has to go as executive producer, too.

I'm not a fan of people digging into other people's pasts to get dirt, but, unfortunately, it is a thing.

Classic TV: Fantasy Island (1977)

 ABC finally solved their Saturday night ratings problems in the late 70's, thanks to Aaron Spelling.

Fantasy Island anchored the back end of the Saturday block, and was more than just another star studded anthology series. There was an air of mystery surrounding Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalban), the genial host and owner of the island. Fantasy Island was formatted similarly to its lead-in, The Love Boat, in which there were multiple storylines in each episode, although there was just one instance of a singular storyline, in which Roarke was actually planning on getting married. Also, several guest stars made multiple appearances in different roles (i.e. Arte Johnson, Ken Berry, Carol Lynley). This was the formula that Spelling had perfected at Four Star, and would duplicate again in the mid-80's with an adaptation of Hotel.

Fantasy Island launched as an ABC Movie of The Week in January 1977, with a sequel following a year later. The series followed in short order as a mid-season replacement, and ran for seven seasons (1978-84). However, the equally iconic Tattoo (Herve Villachaize, "The Man With The Golden Gun") was long gone before the series ended due to, presumably, a contract dispute. Wendy Schaal joined the show in season 5 as Roarke's niece, but, she, too, departed, and in the final season, Roarke gained a new assistant, Lawrence (Christopher Hewett, who moved on to Mr. Belvedere after the series ended).

The series has been revived twice, including the current iteration airing on Fox, which we'll look at another day, and a supposed prequel movie, which came out last year. Nothing, however, matches the original.

Rather than risk losing another video (because we looked at the original previously) to Sony's copyright patrol, we'll settle for a sample intro/outro video from the 1st season:

Rating: B.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

A little of this and a little of that

 GOPer governors such as Greg "Shakedown" Abbott in Texas, and, of course, Ron DeStupid in Florida, don't want mask mandates in schools in their states, risking thousands of innocent lives by leaving students and teachers vulnerable to the COVID Delta variant.

The Department of Education, under President Biden, may have something to say about that.

Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

Biden has instructed the Department of Education to use oversight, warning Abbott, DeStupid, Doug "Acey" Ducey (Arizona), as well as governors in Utah, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Iowa, & South Carolina not to interfere with local education departments' efforts to protect students, parents, and faculty.

Well, you knew this was going to happen. Biden has accused the GOPers of banning mask mandates for political gain. In DeStupid's case, this is obvious as the day is long.

Stay tuned.
The Jests signed lineman Carl Lawson to a contract earlier this year. Now, he won't play a down, ruled out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon suffered on Wednesday.

It's only the preseason, so it's not the cream of the Jest. Yet.
It was one thing when Wendy's signed ex-NBA star Reggie Miller to do commercials earlier this year as part of their promotion during the NCAA tournament.

Now, they're replicating the ad campaign with former NFL star Reggie Bush.

The Bush ads were playing ad nauseum during ESPN's coverage of the Little League World Series today, and will do so throughout the tournament. And, yeah, it is nauseating.
Topps has produced baseball cards since 1952. Their current contract will expire after the 2025 season, and it's not being renewed.

Fanatics, a fast rising apparel and memorabilia company, will produce their first cards in 2026. Topps lost their deal with the NFL after the 2015 season, and dropped hockey & basketball years earlier. The break with MLB will potentially leave Topps with just WWE & UFC cards, if those contracts hold beyond 2025.
A local law firm known for its creative, imaginative ad campaigns, now is dabbling in......trivia?

Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti, an Albany based firm, has moved its main office into a new building, and to mark the occasion, have partnered with radio station WROW, to sponsor a trivia contest on the the firm's website, leading to a tournament taking place next month with a $10,000 first prize.

Well, Paul Harding, one of the partners, looks telegenic enough to land a gig hosting a localized version of Jeopardy!.....!
Staying on the hometown tip, the Uncle Sam Atrium will soon be saying good-bye, displacing state workers and what few shops remain in the 45 year old complex, now owned by David Bryce, a Troy High & RPI graduate, who intends to demolish the Atrium, leaving CVS Pharmacy, which is housed in an adjacent building with a long closed entrance in the Atrium, as the only retailer left from the mall's inception.

Bryce also owns the Uncle Sam Parking Garage, which was shut down for the 2nd time in as many years earlier this month due to structural issues. The Atrium is now roped off on at least the 3rd street side, but, in speaking with Bryce earlier today, I was given no indication when demolition will start.
Pet peeve of the year: Ever since changing computer recorded voices on their buses, CDTA is taking some heat for how some streets and names are pronounced.

For example, in Troy, RPI is pronounced "R-pee". Tibbets Avenue becomes "Teebits". Hoosick Street or Hoosick Road becomes "Ho-hosick". Latham is pronounced "Lat-am". You get the idea. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Is ESPN tanking one of its morning shows?

 I can't speak to what morning ratings are at ESPN, but the network is risking the centerpiece of its lineup.

Yahoo! is reporting that the network is considering the prospect of having a rotating lineup of guest co-hosts on First Take, which airs from 10-noon (ET), with a replay on ESPN2 or ESPNews to follow. So who's being taken off the table?

Max Kellerman.

Photo courtesy Getty Images/Yahoo!.

Kellerman was plugged in to replace Skip Bayless when the latter fled west to Fox Sports 1 in 2016 after FS1 offered Bayless his own show, Undisputed, which is really a First Take clone.

Kellerman, the original moderator of Around The Horn, has his own boxing show on ESPN2, and since joining First Take, has been one of the best things about the show, largely because he can debate Stephen A. Smith under the table on virtually every subject.

And therein lies the problem.

Smith, a basketball beat reporter when he first came to ESPN, is the network's #1 personality in terms of salary, but is about as knowledgeable about other sports as a blind barfly, and Kellerman routinely takes him to school. Moderator Molly Qerin-Rose will continue in that role (husband Jalen Rose has his own show on ESPN), but if they go through with this, First Take will be dead in the water.

In other words, ESPN is betting on the wrong guy. Smith is obnoxious, annoying, and grating on the nerves, everything Kellerman used to be. Time has allowed Kellerman to mature as a broadcaster, and in the dozen or so years he was away from ESPN, he had his own show on the then-Fox regional networks, and called boxing for HBO. Disney has indulged Smith by giving him an online show of his own, complete with a CGI "baby" alter ego. He isn't as savvy about, say, boxing, as he thinks he is. Football? Fuhgeddaboutit!! His schtick is that of a reactionary armchair QB with about 10% the sports IQ.

Which begs to ask. What's Jason Whitlock doing these days?

Where GOPers roam, trouble follows

 Seems Florida Governor Ron DeStupid has convinced the state Board of Education----he actually conned them into buying into his rhetoric----to enforce his executive order banning mask mandates in the Sunshine State.

Two counties are in danger of being financially penalized for defying DeStupid, who is putting his entire state at risk of COVID. Commentators such as Farron Cousins have said he's pandering to the dumbest of the dumb, the ignorant, low information voter base that's gullible enough to buy into anything he says. However, I don't think this order will last too much longer if the White House has anything to say about it. President Biden has promised financial aid for those districts penalized by DeStupid.

Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott is paying a price for his ban, having contracted COVID himself. However, his drones on the Board of Education there will enforce his orders, again putting children at risk, especially those 12 & under who are ineligible for the vaccines.

Abbott would rather shake down his constituents than do the right thing. Once he recovers, and it's reported he's using the same Regeneron formula given to Donald Trump last year, you have to hope he finally gets the message.
Speaking of Citizen Pampers, he went on Spam Hannity's show on Tuesday, and while he shredded Biden for the troop withdrawls from Afghanistan, the senile former president then praised the Taliban as "smart fighters". 

However, he didn't know the Taliban has only been around for nearly 30 years, not 1,000, as he falsely claimed. 

This is why the rubes and marks flock to him. He doesn't have facts, and makes it up as he goes along, like the con man he is. He's just as low information as they are. I'm willing to bet he's also illiterate, which would explain his not doing a lot of reading.

Well, you know what he gets for that.....

This was just too easy.
Closer to home, the debate over masks in local schools is getting insanely close to violent.

A recent school board meeting in Clifton Park (Shenendehowa) became contentious Monday night, as anti-mask/anti-vaxxers shouted down students, alumni, & parents who support vaccines & masks. Same thing happened in Guilderland last week. I really wish these people would get a few clues and smarten up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

A mini-Laugh-In reunion on Get Christie Love! (1975)

 To suggest that Get Christie Love! had issues would be exaggerating the point.

Series star Teresa Graves had converted to the Jehovah's Witnesses while filming the series pilot, which aired in January 1974. 13 months later, producer David L. Wolper (Biography, The National Geographic Specials, etc.) had given way to Glen Larson as showrunner. In an effort to boost sagging ratings, Larson, and, presumably, ABC, decided to bring a few of Graves' old friends from Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1968-74) as guest stars in "Murder in High-C".

Arte Johnson was the villain of the piece as a mad bomber, whose motives were misplaced. Johnny Brown (Good Times) made a dramatic turn of his own as a forensic scientist. Henry Gibson, who would score some major accolades later in 1975 for "Nashville", Jo Ann Worley (billed as Joanne Worley), Judy Carne, and Gary Owens also appear. Owens has the shortest amount of screen time, but in a familiar role, as a news reporter. Owens played a news anchor on Green Hornet prior to Laugh-In.

It wouldn't be the last time Arte played a bad guy, but in later years, it was usually as a henchman for someone else. The writers made this too obvious from the jump, instead of a more appropriate whodunit.

Rating: B.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Forgotten TV: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1973)

 Four years after an Oscar-nominated movie of the same name, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice was tried out as a sitcom by Screen Gems for ABC. Where the movie featured Robert Culp, Elliott Gould, & Dyan Cannon, the series version marked the TV debut of Robert Urich (who obviously recovered from this bomb), Anne Archer, Anita Gillette (ex-Me & The Chimp), and David Spielberg.

But as often happened in those days, a promising series ends up in gridlock behind one or two established hits. In this case, it was Adam-12 (NBC) & The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (CBS). Thanks for coming. ABC punted after 7 weeks, and the 5 remaining episodes surfaced on USA Network 11 years later.

This sampler is a compact adaptation of the movie. Future Oscar winner Jodie Foster co-stars.

Anita Gillette spent the rest of the decade appearing on game shows before signing on to a supporting role on Quincy. Robert Urich's resume included S. W. A. T., Soap, & Vega$ for the balance of the decade.

No rating. Didn't see the show.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

DeStupid gets DeBunked on national television

 Earlier today on Fox News Sunday. the only Fox News program that people can really trust, Chris Wallace interviewed Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes For Health, in which the two ended up debunking Florida Governor Ron DeStupid's ban on mask mandates in the Sunshine State, as COVID cases continue to rise.

Brian Tyler Cohen sums it up:

COVID cases via the Delta variant are surging across the country, including here in New York, where there's been a debate not too far from the hometown in Guilderland, where one parent suggested creating separate play zones for kids in schools, depending on which ones are vaccinated or not. The ones who aren't would have to be masked and socially distanced. As we discussed over at Tri-City SportsBeat, the state Department of Education is recommending that "high risk" sports such as soccer, volleyball, and football would be postponed to the spring again, but it's not being mandated, leaving each district to decide for themselves.

While DeStupid was the focus of Collins' tirade, it should apply also to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and others like him. Stop making excuses, and embrace reality. Stop prioritizing the state revenues over innocent lives. Preferably yesterday.

The season of the no-hitter continues

 San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove started the wave of no-hitters in Major League Baseball back in April. Four months later, he's on the other side of history.

Musgrove was pounded for six runs in five innings of work at Arizona on Saturday night. His opponent, rookie Tyler Gilbert (no relation to ye scribe), authored the 8th no hitter of the season, needing just 102 pitches to twirl his gem, giving up three walks, all to Tommy Pham, as the Diamondbacks shut down San Diego, 7-0. Another rookie, Drew Ellis, hit his first career homer to help the cause.

Check the video:

Were it not for bad luck late, the Mets' Taijuan Walker, a former D-Back, might've gotten there first.

Walker pitched into the 7th inning with a no-no before the Dodgers' Will Smith homered with one out. Los Angeles won in extras again, 2-1.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Sports this 'n' that

Major League Baseball and Fox began what they're hoping is a new tradition Thursday night.

32 years after "Field of Dreams", MLB brought an actual game to a small town in Iowa, where the movie was set. "Dreams" star Kevin Costner was on hand. Co-star James Earl Jones was heard, but not seen, narrating a video piece before the game started.

When it was over, the homestanding Chicago White Sox, leaders in the AL Central, defeated the Yankees. Here's the highlights. This was insane.

The teams were given Friday off to rest, and will resume the series today in Chicago.
12 years after an anonymous Phillies fan used a laser pointer to distract St. Louis Cardinals batters at Citizens Bank Park, some drunken idiot decided to do the same thing at Citi Field during Mets-Dodgers on Friday.

In the 9th, with the game tied at 4-4, the Dodgers' Max Muncy called timeout after a green laser light shone in his face. The umps couldn't find the peabrained perp any more than they could in Philly in 2009, at least on camera.

Los Angeles went on to win the game in the 10th inning, 6-5.

Just watch. Prior to tonight's game, they'll be checking for laser pointers as fans walk through the turnstiles at Citi Field. With the loss, the Mets fall back to 3rd place, a half game behind Atlanta & Philadelphia, who are tied for first in the NL East.

Don't these morons realize that you're risking harm to the players by doing this? Well, I did say the guy was drunk.......!
With Mets-Dodgers inexplicably not airing locally (more on that in a moment) despite airing on WPIX in NYC, ye scribe wanted to watch the Bills-Lions game. Satellite feed from Detroit to Bills network affiliates fell victim to turbulence back at home. Game was blacked out on NFL Network due to league blackout rules, and, oddly, while the defending AFC East champs are in Western NY, they're considered our team in the 518 (same goes for the NHL Sabres, also owned by the Pegulas). Titans-Falcons didn't interest me, and after picking up a link online to watch Mets-Dodgers via SNY's website, the TV was shut off for the night.
As the regional tournaments in the Little League World Series are winding down, Jonathan Vogel of Hamilton, Ohio, pitched a no-hitter, as West Side Little League, representing Hamilton, crushed a team from Hinsdale, Illinois, 12-0, in a game shortened to 5 innings via mercy rule.

This year's LLWS is an all-American affair, as international teams still cannot play due to COVID. The 16 team field will be split into two divisions named for recently deceased Hall of Famers Tom Seaver & Hank Aaron. World Series play begins Monday at the earliest.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Celebrity Rock: Rock & Roll is Here to Stay (1979)

 From season 5 of Laverne & Shirley:

An annual tradition of the series was the Shotz Brewery's annual talent show, which was an excuse to give Lenny & Squiggy (Michael McKean & David L. Lander) an opportunity to sing. The tradition was terminated when the cast relocated to Los Angeles.

From December 1979, the guys are joined by Laverne & Shirley (Penny Marshall & Cindy Williams), wearing gold lame outfits that look like they were inspired by some of the Sha Na Na crew, for a cover of Danny & The Juniors' "Rock & Roll is Here to Stay". Future Spinal Tap member Christopher Guest, who also appeared with Lenny & The Squigtones on American Bandstand, sits in.

The plot to the episode was that Mr. Shotz wanted a patriotic theme for the talent show, which explains Squiggy dressed as Benjamin Franklin.

Prince Pillow's too stupid to realize he'd been conned, right along with the rest of the Legion of The Brainwashed

 Mike Lindell's 3-day cyber-symposium in Sioux Falls, where he supposedly was going to publicly reveal evidence that the 2020 election was stolen, due in part to hacks from China, ended with a thud on Thursday. Prince Pillow never delivered on his promises, which doesn't surprise anyone, made a bunch of excuses for not delivering (ditto), and, now, we're finding out that it appears Lindell and the rest of the Legion of The Brainwashed were taken in by a con man who has previously duped the CIA & the Pentagon.

Rachel Maddow explains:

Lindell's own cyber-expert admitted that he couldn't find anything to corroborate Lindell's claims. CNN had an expert doing the same. Lindell even ran off the stage on Wednesday upon learning that Dominion Voting Systems' defamation suits against him, Rudy Goofiani, and Silly Sidney Powell are moving forward.

What Lindell fails to realize is that he was an easy mark for con artist Dennis Montgomery, who in the past has run scams past the CIA (2014) and the Pentagon (2009). If anyone hands up Montgomery, then the whole chain of dominoes will fall. And, yeah, Donald Trump and his family got taken in by Montgomery, too. The former president was another easy mark because of his age, fragile ego & mind, and his dimwitted eldest children followed along.

Now, all that's needed is to find Montgomery, and end this for good.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Florida parents are fighting back against Governor DeStupid

 Repugnant governors like Greg "Shakedown" Abbott and Ron DeStupid might want to check their egos at the door going forward.

Let's focus on DeStupid down in Florida.

A group of parents have decided to file lawsuits against DeStupid for banning mask mandates in the Sunshine State, the epicenter of the current Delta wave of coronavirus. DeStupid, as we explained last week, is more concerned with his state's revenues and his own political aspirations, though which order it actually is prioritized changes from day to day. Same thing with Abbott in Texas and Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas. They're willing to risk innocent lives so they can fill the state's coffers, or enrich themselves en route to a possible run for office at the national level.

Farron Cousins, a parent himself, discusses the suits against DeStupid.

And DeStupid is also crying for extra ventilators? Ya wouldn't be in that fix, bubbelah, if you weren't so selfish in the first place. Ya can't have it both ways, and it's time you figured that out before it's too late.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

A little of this and a little of that

 One wonders if the blue grass of Kentucky comes with some paint chips.

How else to explain how Senator Rand Paul had his YouTube account suspended for a week for---what else??---spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and masks. In other words, Paul was tagged for the same violation that has landed Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene) in hot water with Twitter for the fourth time. Of course, Senator Peabrain will tell you he's a doctor and he's qualified. Nope. He's a doctor alright----an eye doctor!!

I wonder if he's treated Mr. Magoo before going to Washington?
It shouldn't surprise anyone that internet "sleuths" with nothing better to do dug up some old dirt on Jeopardy! showrunner and incoming host Mike Richards (ex-The Pyramid), dating back to his time as a producer on The Price is Right before being hired by Sony.

Just the same, Sony decided to hedge its bets by adding a 2nd MC, one specifically assigned to special episodes produced for ABC.

That would be actress-author-neuroscientist Dr. Mayim Bialik (Call Me Kat, ex-The Big Bang Theory, Blossom), who was named as the 2nd host on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Television via Yahoo!.

Jeopardy! begins season 38 of its current run next month. There will be a pool on how long it takes before Sony is pressured to send Richards packing. Hosting The Pyramid for Sony-owned GSN a few years back wasn't exactly a world-beater.
The CW's live-action reboot of the iconic 90's cartoon, The Powerpuff Girls, has just hit another roadblock with news breaking earlier that actress Chloe Bennett (ex-Marvel's Agents of SHIELD), has decided not to move forward with the project due to "scheduling conflicts".

If I were to venture a guess, I'd say those "scheduling conflicts" may have something to do with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the prospect of Daisy "Quake" Johnson, Bennett's character from SHIELD, being called back to duty for a movie. Stay tuned.
All Elite Wrestling will carry on without wrestler-rapper Max Caster, 1/2 of the tag team The Acclaimed, dropping freestyle raps for a bit.

Seems Caster got in hot water over a rap performed on the August 3 episode of AEW Dark in which he referenced Olympic gymnastics star Simone Biles' well publicized psych issues during the Olympics. AEW has stressed that Caster is not suspended, as of press time. Caster, to this point, has been posited, with the rap gimmick, as AEW's answer to John Cena's old "Dr. of Thuganomics" persona from 2002-5 in WWE, but to my knowledge, Cena never crossed the line the way Caster supposedly did. 

Time will tell if Caster will follow Cena's career trajectory.

On The Shelf: DC does the unthinkable with an iconic character (at least one of them)

 Many years ago, Dr. Frederic Wertham, in his infamous book, Seduction of The Innocent, made the postulation that Batman & Robin (Bruce Wayne & Dick Grayson) were secretly in a gay relationship that couldn't be fully explored in stories in those days. Keep in mind, too, that was way before NAMBLA was a thing.

But Wertham's claims were later debunked, and it goes a long way in explaining why Batman in particular has had a fair number of girlfriends, including, of course, Catwoman, since then. Once Dick came of age, he, too, would have a string of romantic interests. Today, as Nightwing, Dick's heart is split between Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and Princess Koriand'r (Starfire), the alien hottie introduced in Marv Wolfman & George Perez's New Teen Titans stories 41 years ago.

Jason Todd, who now uses the Red Hood handle, is, in a way, DC's answer to Marvel's Winter Soldier (Bucky), but one would guess that in the 2011 series, Red Hood & The Outlaws, Koriand'r got busy with him, too. Otherwise, he's a full-on bachelor. The current Robin, Damian Wayne, was thought to be headed in the same direction as Jason, but in his current series, they're at least teasing his first romance.

That leaves us with Tim Drake, who was introduced in the late 80's, and DC was SO high on him that when it was time for a Robin solo book, Tim starred in three miniseries before the ongoing title, which itself lasted well over 100 issues. During that time, Tim also had a couple of love interests, including Stephanie Brown, aka Spoiler (and today is one of the Batgirls), his on-again-off-again sweetheart.

Which brings us to now, and DC's latest attempt at garnering mainstream attention to boost sales.

In the current Batman: Urban Legends book, Tim broke up with Stephanie, just months after the two were reunited in the pages of Young Justice. In the current issue, out now, an editorial decision (we think) has turned Tim into a bi-sexual.

Image courtesy DC Comics/Yahoo!.


Tim reconnects with an old classmate, and, as I'm sure you've heard already, they are at least teasing his former classmate, Bernard, as his new partner.

This decision isn't so much about adding another established character to the growing list of LGBTQA+ heroes, or DC's glaring inability or unwillingness to create an original LGBTQA+ hero, having only developed two of them from scratch in the last 34 years, but, rather, getting headlines for converting an iconic brand like Robin. Marvel's done it, too, multiple times, and for the same reason. It's all about that dolla-dolla-bill, y'all.

The real question, of course, is, will it stick? That will depend on whether or not this is accepted as canon going forward. Something tells me this story ain't over. By a longshot.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Governor Casanova steps down

 Well, that was quick.

Governor Andrew Cuomo reversed course earlier today, announcing that he will resign as governor, effective August 24. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will at that point become New York's first female governor.

Cuomo's sudden reversal, making the decision to resign, recalls the late President Richard Nixon, who stepped down 47 years ago this month after claiming that he would not in the face of the Watergate scandal. It is also the 2nd time in 13 years that a sitting governor resigned while in office. Eliot Spitzer had been engaged in extra-marital affairs that led to his stepping down as governor in 2008, with David Paterson, legally blind, becoming not only New York's first African American governor, but also the first disabled governor since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Cuomo addresses the press:

                   Video obtained from the website of the Albany Times-Union.

What might've been the tipping point was former executive assistant Brittany Commisso, whose husband ran an unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Albany a few years ago, giving an interview to CBS & the Times-Union over the weekend.

Hochul, a former aide to the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, makes her own history as the first female governor in NY history. Just who will be her lieutenant will be an interesting choice.

But let's look at it from this perspective. Cuomo, like Nixon, decided that discretion was the better part of valor. Rather than further tarnish the legacy of his late father, Mario, who served three terms as governor himself in the 80's, Andrew decided he wasn't going to be like a certain other pervert now hiding out in New Jersey. Resigning may spare him from possible impeachment, although radio reports this morning suggested that impeachment might still be a possibility, albeit a remote one.

Next stop for Governor Casanova? A church confessional.

Dunce Cap Award: Marjorie Taylor Greene

 This was just too easy. Then again, with this week's Dunce Cap winner, that's not a surprise.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, aka Empty-G, aka the Duchess of Dumb in the House of Representatives, had her Twitter account suspended for a week because she insists on spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and mask usage.

It's fitting she has a mask on labeled "censored', because that's the way this political Dumb Dora feels. Unfortunately, she sacrificed her brains at the altar of the real-life Annoying Orange when she swore loyalty to him. Empty-G claims vaccines & masks don't work, continuing to encourage vaccine hesitancy. While she recently turned on fellow crackpot Prince Pillow (Mike Lindell), that doesn't convince Empty-G to finally see the light of truth and reality.

Per Twitter, Empty-G has four strikes against her. One more, and she's outta there, just like the Annoying Orange. She doesn't want to get the message, apparently. Once her suspension is up, she'll just run the risk of permanent expulsion because she doesn't know any better.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Who's the real villain? A Fox Shmooze interview with Citizen Pampers gets edited on YouTube

 For someone who's been railing against his formerly favorite channel of late, Citizen Pampers (Donald Trump) still gets interview time on Fox Shmooze. This time, he appeared on Unfiltered with host and sycophant Dan Bongino. While the interview aired uncut on the air and on the network website, it was edited on YouTube, which, admittedly, reaches a larger online audience than Fox Shmooze. Guess who's not happy.

"WAAAAHHHH! I've been censored! WAAAHHHH!!!"

Trump issued a statement through his current press drone, Liz Herrington, who posted it on Twitter (which should be shutting this down any day once they realize Citizen Pampers is doing an end around on their ban of his misinformation-filled garbage rants), complaining about how Fox edited the interview.

Welp, it may not be entirely Fox Shmooze. Yes, they're still facing litigation over promoting the man-child's increasingly unhinged whining that the election was stolen from him 9 months ago (it wasn't), and that's why the video was edited on YouTube. Was it their call? Was it YouTube's? Or both?

As long as we're discussing Fox Shmooze, America's Favorite Airhead, Kaylame McEnany, is trying to mislead the public in regards to the Biden administration's handling of COVID, and comparing it to the man-child's lazy approach. All we're going to say is, take whatever Kaylame says with a can of salt. Not just a grain, but the whole can.

Call him Governor Casanova

 The calls are getting louder for NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign.

However, the three term governor, seeking to do what his father could not, and run for a 4th term successfully next year, isn't heeding those calls. Unfortunately, the late Mario Cuomo, a respected statesman during his time as governor, would be turning over in his grave over what's been happening in Albany of late.

As of this morning, two of the eleven women who've accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment have come forward to speak publicly on the subject, the latest being Brittany Commisso, who shared her story with CBS & the Albany Times-Union in an exclusive interview. Reuters offers an excerpt:

It was being reported as of press time that Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul was already making preparations, just in case Cuomo is sent packing, to become New York's first female governor. A wise move, because that could actually become a reality before the year is out. To Cuomo's credit, he tried to apologize for his actions, unlike a certain other serial pervert from NYC, who preferred to brag about his.

Earlier Sunday, the New York Post, which supported that other pervert, gleefully promoted on its front page pictures of Food Network personality Sandra Lee, Cuomo's ex-girlfriend, on holiday with her current steady, as if they thought rubbing salt into Cuomo's political wounds would sell more papers. It's been reported, too, that Cuomo was not faithful to Lee in their relationship, which ended a couple of years ago, and now we know why.

To that end, we hereby christen Andrew Cuomo as Governor Casanova, though I'd think he'd take this Levert song from 1987 out of his iPad.....

And, yeah, there's probably a few more like him across the country, regardless of party affiliation.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

In Theatres: The Suicide Squad (2021)

 In the hands of James Gunn, "The Suicide Squad" has more action, splatter, and drama than its predecessor did five years ago.

Gunn ("Guardians of The Galaxy") has put together a new Squad, still headed up by Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), but now with additional alpha male types in Bloodsport (Idris Elba) and the Peacemaker (John Cena). King Shark, one of Harley Quinn's sidekicks on her animated series, which returns later this year, is repackaged as a mindless brute with a limited vocabulary (voice of Sylvester Stallone). Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) is the only other field member, outside of Quinn & Flag, returning from the last film. And, then, there's also perpetually mean Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who gave up her compassion at a blood drive somewhere in between movies.

I guess in King Shark's case, Gunn wanted a Groot type for this Squad. The cast also includes Peter Capaldi (ex-Doctor Who), Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live), who was about as interesting as jock itch, and Nathan Fillion (The Rookie). A classic Justice League foe, Starro, makes his movie debut, but only talks through his mind-controlled drones. They added some extra eye candy in the daughter of an obscure Batman foe, Ratcatcher, who bonds with King Shark and the tragic Polka Dot Man, another Bat-obscurity from the Silver Age.

Gunn also cast his brother, Sean, in a dual role as Weasel (vocal effects) and another Bat-foe, Calendar Man. There are scenes before and after the credits that will set up the Peacemaker spin-off, starring the ever-busy Cena, due to drop in January.

Was this better than the first "Squad"? Yep. Gunn will try to top himself with Peacemaker (he's directing most of the episodes) and "Guardians of The Galaxy 3", but he's gotta go some to do so.

Rating: A-.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

WWE's season of the Turk continues

 I shan't be surprised if this is eventually referred to as the Friday Night Massacre.

13 people associated with NXT were cut on Friday, as WWE continues to slash salary, leading to a lot of frustration, consternation, and outright apathy toward WWE CEO-Chairman Vince McMahon and President-Chief Financial Officer Nick Khan, the latter of whom was hired a year ago this month.

Albany native, Saratoga resident Bobby Fish was among those cut, having had his last match on NXT on Tuesday night. Former North American champion Leon Ruff, whom some folks, including ye scribe, had pegged for a run in the cruiserweight division, was released before his last match aired on Friday's installment of 205 Live.

In addition to Fish & Ruff, another former North American champion, Bronson Reed, who was thought to be reassigned to the main roster, was also cut. Reed, a burly Australian, was a clear fan favorite thanks to his Tsunami top rope splash, which was his finishing move. Referee Stephon Smith, veteran grappler Mercedes Martinez, and Tyler Rust, part of the fledgling Diamond Mine faction, were also released.

While the general belief on the internet is that Khan, an outsider brought in the balance the books a year ago, was responsible, but industry sources say McMahon, who turns 76 later this month, pulled the trigger while Smackdown was on the air. 

It was reported that morale was down after former champion Bray Wyatt (Windham Rotunda) was let go a week ago. Now, there have to be some sad, pensive, scared faces at the Performance Center in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park. Rival promotions such as Ring of Honor, All Elite Wrestling, Impact, and Major League Wrestling, as well as New Japan, which has a base in the US aside from its business agreements with Impact & AEW, will be looking to sign as many of these talents within the next 30-60 days.

They say one man's trash is another's treasure. It certainly applies in the wrestling business.

The latest word, however, is that WWE is planning on re-tooling NXT, which adopted its current model in 2013, with a new format, and there are those that remember the original reality competition format that ran from 2010-3. starting on SyFy, then moving online. Those folks are hoping they're not going back to that model. That would be tantamount to waving the white flag.

One more reason to force McMahon to retire.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Weasel of The Week: Ron DeSantis

Public & private grade schools in New York begin their seasons after Labor Day, making the Empire State among the last in the country to start the school year.

In contrast, Florida is among the first, and, on August 9, children will be returning to school. Given how the Sunshine State is the current epicenter of the Delta variant of COVID-19, these kids have to mask up if they want to return to live classes.

If Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has his way, they can't.

Governor DeStupid has made it clear he'll cut off funding to any school district in the state that enacts necessary mask mandates. That alone tells you what the motivation is for DeStupid. It has to do with protecting his state's bottom line.

What a surprise. DeStupid is willing to sacrifice thousands of children, parents, et al, because he doesn't want them protecting themselves against the Delta variant. And he thinks that'll help his chances of becoming president in three years? 

Luckily, while DeStupid is suddenly trailing in recent polls, some school districts are fighting back against him. Farron Cousins explains.

Think about the last part of Cousins' message, and all those kids who tested positive last week. Unless DeStupid reverses course, and puts his greed and ego aside, it's going to get worse before it gets better. No one wants to be locked down again, and Dr. Anthony Fauci doesn't think there will be another lockdown at this point. DeStupid's me-first attitude toward the school districts of his state, however, gets him a set of Weasel ears this week.