Everything But The Girl peaked at #2 on the pop chart in 1994 with "Missing". The track, co-written by band members Ben Watt & Tracey Thorn, got tons of airplay on radio as well as on MTV & VH1 back in the day. However, this is the first time I've actually seen the video.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Assignment: Vienna was one of three components of ABC's wheel anthology, The Men, which lasted but one season (1972-3), with each component getting 8 episodes, plus a pilot. Also, the three components were produced by different studios, instead of being under one roof, unlike NBC's anthologies.
For example, MGM produced Assignment: Vienna, which marked the second straight series failure for Robert Conrad (ex-The Wild, Wild West, The DA), and this would be the pattern for the balance of his career going forward.
For the record, WB packaged The Delphi Bureau, and Universal was in charge of James Wainwright's Jigsaw.
The series originally aired on Thursdays, opposite Ironside on NBC, and movies on CBS. ABC, then, moved their wheel to Saturdays, which wasn't much better. It was Carol Burnett who put the final nail in The Men's coffin. Thanks for coming.
Edit, 10/10/21: The video was deleted as the YouTube poster lost his account. In its place is a standard open/close.
Former White House aide Stephanie Grisham (she was a press secretary for a hot minute, then was Melania's Chief of Staff) is the latest to come out with a book that shreds more of the secrecy surrounding former president Donald Trump.
Among the tidbits:
An anonymous staff member was assigned specifically to play Trump's favorite Broadway show tunes to calm him down after a temper tantrum, which must've been pretty regular over the four years America's Oldest Baby ran the country.
Farron Cousins explains:
The voter base bought into the facade, created on The Apprentice, that Trump was this macho tough guy, when in reality he probably can't stand 10 lashes with a wet noodle!! He didn't want to be exposed as weak, but that horse left the barn a long time ago.
Speaking of The Apprentice, a former contestant on the show, Omarosa Maginault-Newman, won a court case against Citizen Pampers, in which a judge in New York ruled that Trump's infamous non-disclosure agreement with Omarosa was too vague & indefinite, and therefore, non-binding. Trump was railing about Omarosa's new book. Now, everyone else who's had those NDA's can go after the former president with impunity.
"WAAAHHHHH! You can't say anything bad about me! WAAAAHHH!"
Guess what, jackass? They can, and your political goose will soon be cooked!
Now, Palmer is returning to The Bachelor as its new host, replacing scandal-scarred Chris Harrison, when the series returns this winter, after Dancing With The Stars finishes its current season. If memory serves me correctly, current Dancing host Tyra Banks (ex-America's Next Top Model, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) was a contestant on Dancing herself, years before taking the MC's job last year.
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Just when you thought Washington was free from narcissistic political clowns, the Congressional Duchess of Dumb demonstrates yet again she has picked up an unhealthy habit from former president Donald Trump, calling attention to herself when she needs to go on the down-low.
I'm referring, of course, to Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, aka Empty-G. She must've woke up on the wrong side of the bed Monday morning for her to go into Congress and call for immediate adjournment before they can even do two traditional things. Recite the Pledge of Allegiance (which some GOPers like Empty-G betray on a daily basis) and hold a morning prayer.
Farron Cousins explains:
Monday, September 27, 2021
History has shown us that when Hollywood decides to remake classic properties with African-American characters, the results have not been good.
1982: ABC commissions The New Odd Couple, with Ron Glass & Demond Wilson in place of Tony Randall & Jack Klugman. However, this lasted one season for the following reasons:
*--Glass was fresh off an 8 year run on Barney Miller, which was readily available in syndication.
*--The original Odd Couple was in syndication as well, as was Wilson's earlier hit, Sanford & Son.
2005: A urban remake of Jackie Gleason's legendary The Honeymooners hits theatres, with Cedric The Entertainer as Ralph. That there hasn't been a sequel in the 16 years since should tell you something. Later that year, Universal decides to reboot Kojak, with Ving Rhames ("Striptease", "Mission: Impossible") filling Telly Savalas' gumshoes. Another bomb.
2013: Undaunted, Universal tries again, and places a new version of Ironside on NBC, with Blair Underwood (ex-L. A. Law) in the wheelchair. It's gone by Thanksgiving.
2021 brings a new perspective to the 1988-93 series, The Wonder Years, with the focus shifting to an African-American family. The new Wonder begins in the spring of 1968, as Dean Williams (newcomer Elisha Williams) is turning 12, and his family---and the entire African-American community, for that matter, comes to grips with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis. The producers were able to acquire archived footage from CBS of Walter Cronkite confirming the reports of Dr. King's death.
Don Cheadle ("Space Jam: A New Legacy", "Avengers: Endgame") narrates as Dean's adult self. The supporting cast also includes Laura Kariuki, fresh from Black Lightning, and Dule Hill (ex-Psych). Original series star Fred Savage is an executive producer, and directed the opener.
Check the trailer:
Sunday, September 26, 2021
The Joey Bishop Show, the 2nd of two spin-offs from The Danny Thomas Show, aka Make Room For Daddy (CBS' Andy Griffith Show had a backdoor pilot on Thomas' show), was part of NBC's experiment in color a few times in the first season. This first color episode was a doozy.
Barbara Stanwyck, who'd fronted her own Desilu-produced anthology series a while earlier, guest stars in "A Windfall For Mom", that mom being Joey's mom (Madge Blake). Series co-creator Louis Edelman served as executive producer for The Barbara Stanwyck Show, and helped develop The Big Valley, in which Stanwyck starred, four years later.
As reported on Friday, the Arizona GOP conceded that Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Maricopa County nearly 11 months ago, even acknowledging that the tally for Biden was undercounted by nearly 100 votes, and overcounted for Trump by some 300+ votes.
However, that report was ignored by the oldest baby in the world, as he lied to supporters in Georgia, claiming that he'd won Arizona. He'll say anything that isn't true, and his base of supporters will eat it up like candy. They've been conditioned not to accept the truth.
Here's the problem. Trump is still facing criminal investigations in Georgia and New York, and there could be more to come. He's also facing lawsuits up the wazoo that judges won't throw out, and that includes judges that Trump himself installed. For a man who claims to be a born-again Christian, Trump clearly isn't behaving like one. His lawyers are incompetent, tripping over themselves in court filings.
If you want to put it in Christian terms, all you have to do is refer to the Bible itself. In the Old Testament, any time a King of Israel and/or Judah did bad things, God took his anointing away from those kings, and moved on to the next one. In modern times, it can be assumed, God saw what Trump was doing, blaspheming, if you will, and decided that He had been betrayed and mocked all along, and moved his anointing to Biden, a Catholic. We're all assuming Biden will be a one-term President because of his age & health, and Kamala Harris, if anything were to happen to Biden, would be the first female President in US history.
That, dear friends, is what's really bothering the GOPers. They can't stand how the Democratic Party has made history in the last thirteen years, and have been hailed by the mainstream media. Trump brought out the uglier side of the GOP, the closet racists and bigots, to the forefront, and they believe in him, not realizing that they're walking straight to the abyss. The Democratic kingmakers didn't want Bernie Sanders in 2016 or 2020, opting for name recognition (Biden, Hillary Clinton), but could stand to prepare for the future.
But as long as Trump decides to be this generation's Archie Bunker, and continue to con his base, the GOPers won't be moving forward. Instead, they're likely to get this if things don't go their way next year and beyond.....
Saturday, September 25, 2021
"He", of course, being Reggie Jackson, who helped the Yankees end a decade-plus title drought in 1977 when the Yankees beat the Dodgers in the World Series, and Jackson clinched the title with a three-homer game in the finale.
Right before the 1978 season, Standard Brands, then the makers of Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, and other candies, introduced the Reggie bar, which was really a reconfigured Baby Ruth, shaped like a baseball. Same ingredients as Baby Ruth (chocolate & peanuts), but with caramel subbing for standard chocolate nougat. I think this was before the candies were sold to Nabisco.
Anyway, Jackson appeared in the commercial.
Friday, September 24, 2021
The Arizona GOPers hired a Florida firm run by a conspiracy nut to do an audit of the 2020 election in order to appease America's Oldest Baby, Donald Trump. On Thursday, and earlier today, they finally presented their findings, and, well......
All it was, at the end, was a bag of nothing burgers.
This should've been finished months ago, but Doug Logan and Cyber Ninjas stalled as much as they possibly can until they were put in a position where stalling was no longer an option. They even went so far to reveal that President Joe Biden had actually gained more votes than previously reported 10 months ago.
And, well, you know how well that will play with the defeated, spanked Trump.....
Basically, in Arizona, they were like the Kinks, back in the day, tired of waiting Logan and his posturing, stalling tactics. This should send a message to GOPers across this country who want to copy these tactics.
YOU'RE WASTING YOUR TIME!! GIVE IT UP!! IT'S OVER!!! TRUMP LOST!! GET OVER IT!
But a recent poll shows that more than 40 million brainwashed GOPers still think the election was stolen, and 21 million of them think violence is still a solution. No, it isn't. Get it through your heads. It's over. Stop crying, and rejoin the human race!!
Last Saturday was Batman Day at comics shops, and some libraries, around the country. DC had a trio of specials to mark the occasion.
Batman-Fortnite: Zero Point reprints the first issue of the recent miniseries. If you're into Fortnite, and I know there are a lot of you, this would be a case of testing the waters for a possible spin-off series based more on the game itself, instead of integrating into the DCU. I like the artwork, but the combined efforts of comics & TV vet Christos Gage and Fortnite's Donald Mustard leaves me reaching for the Tums. There was a reason I wasn't interested in this when it came out earlier in the year.
Batman: Knightwatch, which was also released earlier in the year, looks like a pilot for another Bat-book, as if DC needs another. Here, the Dark Knight and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) use networking to help trap Clayface. Yes, this is out of continuity, as Clayface became a hero a few years ago. Knightwatch is the new Bat-network that DC is trying out, but it is uncertain if it'll become canon. Wouldn't mind if it did, now that Alfred has been killed off----for now.
Batman: The World previews a hardcover graphic novel showcasing the talents of artists from around the world, and how they interpret the Caped Crusader. From the same team (Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejo) that kickstarted the Black Label line with the controversial Batman: Damned a couple of years back, plus talent from Germany & South Korea. I think. Worth the investment for hardcore Bat-fans.
Thursday, September 23, 2021
The New Perry Mason tried to recapture the spirit of the original series, but there was a huge problem.
At the time this series aired, reruns of the original were airing in syndication, and, coincidentally, the then-CBS affiliate here, now an ABC affiliate, ran reruns before the 6 pm news. Couple that with Raymond Burr having established another iconic sleuth in NBC's Ironside, and this show was doomed.
Monte Markham, a talented actor, had headlined two failed sitcoms for Screen Gems in the late 60's (The Second Hundred Years and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town). Mason was his first attempt as a dramatic lead after having appeared on dramas like The Bold Ones after Deeds was axed. Unfortunately, he had an uphill battle, made worse by the fact that this show had The F. B. I. and The Wonderful World of Disney for competition most weeks.
In this sampler, Richard Anderson (The Six Million Dollar Man), who joined the cast of the original Mason near the end of its run for a few episodes, guest stars, along with Keenan Wynn and Mary Ann Mobley. Not seen is Brett Somers (Match Game), who made a few appearances as Perry's oft-unseen secretary, Gertie.Edit, 11/15/21: The video has again been deleted, as the poster lost his account. We'll wait for a new copy if at all possible.
The ongoing national embarrassment that is Marjorie Taylor Greene struck again on Wednesday.
Empty-G was on the House floor, and tried to sell the idea that the Green New Deal being promoted by Democrats only benefits China. As usual, Empty-G has no evidence to support her claims. Instead, it's just another means for this Georgia airhead to get attention, not realizing anything she does now usually gets mocked in record time on social media. To illustrate her stupid idea, Empty-G used a photoshopped image from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?:
Sorry, Marjorie, but those cartoon sleuths would have more on the ball than you have since taking office 8 months ago. You're proving every day that your election, unopposed as it was, was a fluke in the first place, a product of your hitching your wagon to a certain bloviating man-child.
And, for the 2nd time in as many months, Empty-G, you're getting one of these:
Deal with it.
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Today, Alka-Seltzer is part of Bayer's growing family of products, and was acquired, along with One-a-Day & Flintstones vitamins, from Miles Laboratories.
In the 70's, the ad agency for Miles came up with some iconic ad campaigns, including the jingle, "Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz", written by former Cyrkle frontman Tom Dawes.
Here, a bowling team is lamenting heartburn. Featuring Michael Tucci (later of "Grease") & Morgan Freeman (The Electric Company).
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, is one of several GOPer lawmakers up for re-election in 2022. Citizen Pampers wants her gone, and is endorsing a no-name primary challenger. Then again, Pampers' winning percentage with his acolytes is well below .500. And, then, at least Rep. Cheney has a friend in her corner.
Dick Cheney's old boss, George W. Bush, will be doing some campaigning as the 2022 election season begins. Of course, that set off Dumb Donald....
That's pretty funny, coming from a 1-term political disgrace who makes "Dubya" look more like a Rhodes scholar, considering Bush served two terms. Donald Trump used the White House like it was another of his business holdings, and deceived millions of people, from evangelical Christians to common suburbanites. Bush was often characterized as being a little dim, but Trump makes him look like a genius by comparison.
Meanwhile, Trump is filing another pointless lawsuit against his niece, Mary, and the New York Times over the disclosure of his tax information.
The truth hurts, doesn't it? This lawsuit will likely get thrown out of court. Trump's already destroyed his reputation, as well as those of associates like Mike Whinedell and Rudy Goofiani, just for them hooking their wagons to his. He is deathly afraid of going to jail, even if it's a country club prison (which, if we're lucky, won't happen), or even a more likely destination. Bellevue.
If Trump truly gave his life to Christ, as he supposedly did 5 years ago (and it's looking more likely he faked that), he should be consdering repenting his sins, but he doesn't know the meaning of the word.
Someone should make him sit down and watch "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life" to give him an example.......
Monday, September 20, 2021
"Seven Year Ache" was not only the lead single from Rosanne Cash's 1981 album, but the album title as well.
At the time, Rosanne and father Johnny recorded for the same label, Columbia, though Johnny would leave not too long after, shifting over to Mercury.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Season 3 of Vice's Dark Side of The Ring has resumed, chronicling one of the most controversial events in WWE history.
"The Plane Ride From Hell" took place in the spring of 2002, during the first of two tours of Europe that year. The fallout from this episode was swift and severe for two men.
Chris Jericho, now with All Elite Wrestling, is the series narrator and interviewer.
We're referring, of course, to Donald Trump, Jr., who went on a Twantrum of his own earlier this week, after it was reported that the Department of Health & Human Services is taking over the distribution of COVID-19 treatments, ensuring that these treatments would be equally distributed across all 50 states.
Seems that currently, the distribution is unbalanced, favoring GOP-run states, including Florida & Texas, whose corrupt governors have shown to be even worse tyrants than Dumb Donald II's deranged dad. And, like Papa Pampers, Junior is having this artificially created tantrum to stir up the Legion of The Brainwashed.
Farron Cousins explains:
We're also learning that a group of hackers broke into the Texas GOP's website, and subbed in some fund raising materials for Planned Parenthood, before the GOPers got their site back. This is in answer to Governor Greg "Shakedown the public" Abbott's anti-abortion law, which claims that if you can hear an unborn child's heartbeat within 6 weeks, you can't have an abortion. Preserving life is one thing, but denying the mother a choice is another altogether. No wonder Alex From The Block schooled Abbott online the other day. He must've failed biology in high school.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Ten months after getting smacked down at the polls because of his own incompetence on COVID, Donald Trump still refuses to acknowledge the truth.
On Friday, a letter was released by Citizen Pampers' current press flack, Liz Harrington, to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, asking for decertification of the 2020 election. America's Oldest Baby is still claiming there was widespread voter fraud, despite the fact that there is no evidence of same. He continues to whine and complain about being robbed, unwilling to admit he cost himself the election.
No, you weren't, Dumb Donald. If there was any evidence, as you insist, why hasn't it been brought to light after all this time? Easy answer. There is none. MyPillow's Mike Lindell is on the verge of bankruptcy if he loses his defamation suits because he cast his lot with you. His reputation has been destroyed as a result, same as yours.
Do yourself a favor, Donald. Grow up, and STFU! No one wants to hear your whining about the election again.
Meanwhile, even some of Dumb Donald's most loyal drones, like DoorMatt Gaetz and Empty-G, are skipping the "Justice For J6 (January 6)" rally today in Washington, whose organizers are promising a peaceful event. Mindful of what happened 8 months ago, Capitol Police have tightened security, and have the National Guard on stand-by. The event organizers have bought into another lie, that the rioters on January 6 are now "political prisoners", or so Gaetz and Foghorn Cawthorn insist. We hear that there are similar rallies planned at 10 state capitals across the country.
Look, folks, hundreds of rioters have been arrested, some facing charges in pending trials, since the riot took place. There is video evidence that kills the whole "political prisoner" debate deader than a nest of roaches in a cloud of Raid.
What should be happening is getting rid of Cawthorn, Gaetz, Empty-G, and anyone else stupid enough to perpetuate this scam even further than it has. Problem is, they're afraid of this:
Citizen Pampers isn't happy unless he gets all the attention focused on him. It'll be big news when he's finally disconnected from public view, and sent to Bellevue, with Silly Sidney, Rudy Goofiani, Looney Woodchips, and the rest of the idiot squad following behind him. Just sayin'.
Friday, September 17, 2021
As embattled, outgoing executive producer Mike Richards finishes his tour of duty on Jeopardy! tonight, Sony is still non-committal to a full-time host.
On Monday, Call me Kat star Mayim Bialik returns to begin what had been originally reported as a three week stint as guest host. One of the show's greatest champions, Ken Jennings, currently rotating with fellow eggheads James Holzhauer & Brad Rutter on The Chase, will take over once Bialik's stint is over, and it seems the two will alternate until the end of 2021, depending on Kat's shooting schedule.
But it doesn't solve the continuing problem of finding a full-time host.
Sony, it seems, remains non-committal, largely because they're afraid of picking someone that will offend the fan base, as the sordid details surrounding Richards taught us. LeVar Burton has taken his name out of consideration for a return gig. Somehow, Sony has passed, to this point anyway, Will Ferrell, who has impersonated the late Alex Trebek on Saturday Night Live, and Capital One pitchman Eugene Levy, who was SCTV's go-to game show host (as Alex Trebel) back in the day, the fear being that neither would be taken seriously because of their having done parodies.
Levy, I'd guess, would be more honored than anything to stand in for fellow Canadian Trebek, and, if you've seen him in movies (i.e. "American Pie"), Schitt's Creek, or in that Capital One ad with his daughter, he looks more like the distinguished type these days.
ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel might need a hall pass from Disney if he were asked, but he cut his teeth on quizzes (Win Ben Stein's Money), and is helming Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, now that Disney put it back on ABC on a seasonal schedule, thinking Kimmel would be the heir to Regis Philbin's throne.
If Sony doesn't make a full commitment, this season might be the last for Jeopardy!, which would mark the 3rd time the series had been cancelled, having been cancelled twice by NBC (1974, 1979) when Art Fleming was the show's original host.
The clock is ticking.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Consider this. A man-child businessman is introduced to the son he didn't know he had in a short, one-week marriage that ended in divorce. Once father & son get to know each other, then things start to come together.
Silver Spoons ran for 5 seasons total, the first four on NBC. Joel Higgins, fresh from the mid-season flop, Best of The West, on ABC, was Edward Stratton III, the divorcee just getting to know his son, Ricky (Ricky Schroeder, "The Champ"). Smith Barney pitchman John Houseman (ex-The Paper Chase) appeared periodically as Edward's father. The show's producers made sure there'd be some romantic tension by having Edward III's personal assistant (Erin Gray, ex-Buck Rogers in The 25th Century) eventually marry him.
The supporting cast became a revolving door over the course of the five seasons. Jason Bateman left after season 2, given his own show, It's Your Move. Broadway star Alfonso Ribiero, before cementing himself in pop culture as Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, became Ricky's new BFF.
If the singer's voice on the theme song sounds familiar, it belongs to 60's pop icon Ron Dante (The Archies, The Cuff-Links), who by this time was tweaking the knobs in the studio for Barry Manilow.
From the 5th season, when the series moved into syndication, Ricky, Alfonso, and friends form a band for a competition. Ricky's on bass. Martika (Kids Incorporated) guest stars.
There's still some blowback from Monday's Met Gala, where NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attended dressed in an Aurora James-designed gown with "Tax The Rich" emblazoned on it.
Seems a conservative watchdog organization calling itself the American Accountability Foundation raised a stink, and filed an ethics complaint against AOC, claiming she shouldn't have been there. Like, hello? She was invited by Vogue's legendary editor, Anna Wintour. The Met Gala benefits the Met's Costume Institute, so that kills the AAF's argument that this was not for charity, because it was.
I'd like to know who's in charge of the AAF, because I've a suspicion certain jealous GOPers put them up to this, and if you follow this blog, you know who I have in mind. In this writer's opinion, the AAF, which no one had heard of until now, wanted to piggy-back their 15 minutes off Alex From The Block. Get right in line to get smacked down, right behind the usual GOPer suspects and actor Michael Rapaport.
In other words, mind your own business, losers.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
The Repugnants mounted a campaign to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom, whining about how Newsom violated his own mandates 10 months ago by attending a party without a mask.
However, because the Repugnants have decided to sacrifice innocent lives for political gain, their strategy backfired. 46 GOPers, led by radio personality Larry Elder, tried to unseat Newsom. You might as well have been in a virtual battle royal with the late Andre The Giant, because this morning, Newsom was declared the winner.
Prior to Tuesday's vote, Elder tried to play the GOPers' favorite card of late, claiming without evidence that the election was rigged. However, he conceded defeat this morning, acknowledging that while he'd lost a battle, the "war", as he put it, is not yet over. Elder's platform, which included helping the homeless, was undone by having to kowtow to a certain, well, you know............
Thankfully, Elder came to his senses.
Unfortunately, Citizen Pampers has not. I think the last time California had a Republican governor, it was Arnold Schwarzenegger. Even Jerry Brown came back for one last term.
Citizen Pampers can't go a day without making a headline. He has enslaved the GOPers by making them bow to him, even though he has all the strategic acumen of a tree stump. The sooner he gets sent to Bellevue, the better.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
I first discovered Pablo Cruise when I heard their 1981 single, "Cool Love", on the radio at the end of my high school years.
Three years earlier, they had a big hit, just missing the top 10 on the pop chart, with "Love Will Find a Way".
Occasionally, a baseball umpire catches a foul ball upside the head while behind the plate. Until last night, I hadn't seen an ump get beaned on the field by a thrown ball from an infielder.
The case in question is the Mets-Cardinals game. Close Call Sports breaks down what happened to umpire Junior Valentine:
AOC, on the left, wore her "Tax The Rich" gown at the Met Gala Monday. Her "fashion statement", though, wasn't as unique as you'd think, as Empty-G helpfully pointed out, citing singer Joy Villa, a Trump supporter (of course), who wore a MAGA dress at the 2017 Grammys, then followed up with a "Build The Wall" dress at the same event two years later.
If you're trying out for a remake of Fashion Police, Marjorie, it ain't working. Worse, Joan Rivers is turning over in her grave.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Well, that didn't take long.
Walker gave up 5 runs in the second inning, but shut the Yanks down after that, lifted after six innings. The Mets fought back to take a brief lead late before Aaron Judge won it with his second homer of the game off reliever Trevor May.
Last night, the Mets' Francisco Lindor, while admitting he wasn't sure that there was any funny business, took matters into his own hands, slamming three homers of his own to lift the Mets to a 7-6 win. The Mets won the season series between the two teams, 4-2, winning two games at each park.
You might be Ted Cruz.
Apologies to Jeff Foxworthy for adapting his redneck jokes, but it fits.
Cruz, the dimwitted Senator from Texas, got into another social media war last week, this time with actor-comedian and Caesars SportsBook pitchman Patton Oswalt (ex-The King of Queens, Happy!, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD) after Oswalt had to cancel a club date due to---what else?---COVID concerns.
Now, you'd think that after getting routinely flamed on Twitter by Jimmy Kimmel and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz would find something better to do with his time than pick fights he can't win. Unfortunately, he's cribbing from the Donald Trump playbook, and failing.
Farron Cousins explains:
Sunday, September 12, 2021
"Gypsy", the 2nd single from Fleetwood Mac's 1982 entry, "Mirage", is a surreal time trip to the Depression years, as seen through the eyes of singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks and director Russell Mulcahy. Scope the period costumes on the band, not just Nicks. The black & white photography in those segments are sublime. And, then, in full color, is a more ethereal setting with Nicks.
20 years ago, come tomorrow night, WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation, presented the first live event following the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, & suburban Pennsylvania. The company marks the occasion with a 35 minute documentary, Never Forget: WWE Returns After 9/11. If you watched the first live episode of Smackdown on September 13, 2001, as ye scribe did, you'd understand what the men & women of WWE were dealing with emotionally. The key storylines were put aside for a night, and Smackdown, more than usual, became comfort food for its audience, still reeling from the tragedies of two days earlier.
Today's WWE superstars took part in activities to commemorate the 20th anniversary yesterday, including Zelina Vega (Thea Trinidad-Bundgen), who lost her father on 9/11/01. Unfortunately, Zelina was not interviewed for this piece. Former ESPN anchor Trey Wingo joins Vince & Stephanie McMahon, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Edge, Paul "Triple H" Levesque (taped before his recent cardiac surgery), Kane, Sean "X-Pac" Waltman (dressed in nWo colors), Kurt Angle, Bruce Prichard, D-Von Dudley, and the Undertaker.
Fox's Tom Rinaldi narrates:
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Time to catch up on some reading.
Last month's Free Comic Book Day releases were a mixed bag. Your actual mileage may vary. We'll just do some thumbnail analysis to save space.
Marvel, for example, previewed forthcoming storylines for The Avengers and Hulk, coming in November.
In the case of the Avengers, a new iteration of the Masters of Evil, from a bizarre future, and led by Dr. Doom, who's been one busy fellow lately, emerges. Hulk, meanwhile, has decided to leave Earth again, this time by his own choice, declaring himself a,ah, Smashtronaut. Really clever, eh?
Avengers: B-, Hulk A-.
And, then, you have Venom & Spider-Man.
In the wake of the King in Black event, Eddie Brock, the original Venom, has passed his symbiote down to his son, Dylan, which begs to ask where Eddie got the time to actually have a family, unless he had one before he met Venom. Eddie's the new King in Black, but don't think he won't be returning to Earth, because inevitably, he will.
The latest stupid idea with Amazing Spider-Man is to bring back Ben Reilly, the clone from the 90's, and put him back in the suit. Like, the next Spider-movie is not too far down the line, so why take Peter Parker out of play, even for a few months? Because it's a cash grab. Period.
Amazing Spider-Man: Beyond: C, Venom: B.
DC's heavy summer push of the Suicide Squad includes spinning off King Shark into his own miniseries, written by Tim Seeley, and illustrated by Scott Kolins. This is not the rumblin', mumblin' comedy relief voiced by Sylvester Stallone in the movie, but rather, a more definitive version. Instead of Ratcatcher II, he gets the Defacer, an old friend of Nightwing's, as a tag along for a homecoming trip. The timing of the 1-shot is a little off, coming as it does a week after the movie, and after a Black Label miniseries, Suicide Squad: Get Joker, had launched. That gets a delayed "preview" in the back-up feature.
Brian Azzarello and Alex Maleev send the Squad after the Clown Prince of Crime, another busy dude, and even with the Black Label format, Azzarello doesn't give up all of his inhibitions, else there'd be more reason to tout the 3-issue mini. He does send Harley Quinn and the Squad to a strip club, which seems to be a personal fetish of Azzarello's.
King Shark: B-, Get Joker: A+.
Valiant recently revived some of their OG heroes from the 90's, but with mixed results.
Ninjak is cover-featured in Valiant 2021, with a beautiful cover by Tyler Kirkham. That's the good news. The bad? Javier Pulido is the series artist, instead of Kirkham, and that is a mistake. Jeff Parker is a proven commodity as a writer (i.e. Batman '66), but a Parker-Kirkham team makes more sense. Pulido is the wrong artist on this book.
X-O Manowar has already relaunched, with Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum, a long time Marvel writer, on board to script the series. Aric isn't the fish out of water he was 30 years ago, which is a good thing.
They've rebooted The Harbinger, this time as a solo act. Nice art by Robbi Rodriguez, but I'm not digging the concept.
X-O Manowar: A, The Harbinger: B-, Ninjak: D.
American Mythology's World of Zorro collects material from recent miniseries, including a preview of the new Zorro: Flights, written by Don McGregor, who scripted the Zorro series for Topps Comics in the 90's. As you'd expect, it's a mixed bag.
With Batman Day next week, DC's other FCBD entry previews John Ridley's I Am Batman, starring Timothy "Jace" Fox, Luke's brother, who hadn't been seen in comics in years. Also, there's a preview of the latest Bat-event, Fear State, which they're hoping to tie to the Future State event from the first part of the year, as if they think that will be a canonical future. It isn't, not in this business. The new villain created by outgoing Bat-scribbler James Tynion IV, Simon Saint, looks like another nerd on the order of Jonathan Crane, aka the Scarecrow, who they're trying to make into more of a major player. Jorge Jiminez's artwork shines, but that's about it. Not digging the concept.
I Am Batman, drawn by Travel Foreman, looks like a better bet. Waiting on the trade paperback on this one.
Ratings: I Am Batman: A-, Fear State: B--. Invest in Fear State at your own risk.
Dynamite Entertainment has pushed some of their licensed properties to the max, overmilking the golden geese because they don't know any better, or that they think their target audience hasn't grown up.
For example, Vampirella, under the guidance of veteran Christopher Priest, is experiencing an identity crisis. And people think this is compelling drama?!? Not to me, it ain't.
Next year, the original movie version of "Blade Runner" turns 40. Titan Books has two series based on the franchise, which was born in a Philip K. Dick novel many moons ago. If you're already belt-deep into the franchise, you're already invested. Blade Runner: 2023 & Blade Runner: Origins stand on their own.
Rating for both: A.
Finally, Ablaze has the license for the comics version of Netflix's Philippines import, Trese. Drawn in noir-style black & white, the preview of a trade volume includes a central player in an episode of the anime miniseries (which we reviewed at Saturday Morning Archives). Meet Alexandra Trese:
The traditional style has held out as the "New Riverdale", introduced six years ago, has hit too many bumps in the road, coupled with corporate issues.
Rating for the issue: B.
Ratings: Superman '78: B-, Batman '89: A-.
Friday, September 10, 2021
What is it going to take for the millions of unvaccinated citizens to realize they're on the wrong side of the COVID pandemic?
With new variants reportedly emerging overseas, and headed here, there are still a large number of adults that are behaving like children, refusing to take the vaccines available to them because they've taken bad advice from right wing media and politicians. Talk show hosts Howard Stern, Jimmy Kimmel, and Dr. Phil McGraw, the latter appearing on James Corden's CBS after hours yack-fest, have shredded the anti-vax crowd.
You have Florida Governor Ron DeSantis lying about the politicization of face masks and the pandemic. He's a poster child for the GOP's ambitions to reclaim control of Congress, and, ultimately, the White House. His counterpart in Texas, Greg Abbott, as we wrote before, was shredded by NY's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for his controversial anti-abortion policy and threats to eliminate rapists.
President Biden is calling on large businesses to enact mandatory vaccine mandates, and Head GOPer Ronna McDaniel is already threatening a lawsuit that has no basis.
Another idea that surfaced earlier in the week had Adam Cole (Austin Jenkins), who has since signed with All Elite Wrestling, being called up to manage old nemesis Keith Lee in an attempt to recapture whatever chemistry existed between current WWE champ Bobby Lashley and his former manager, Lio Rush, a couple of years ago. Cole signed with AEW so he could reunite with some old friends, particularly the Young Bucks, and be under the same professional roof as his lady, women's champion Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, who is, in fact, also a practicing dentist in her spare time.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Sarah Palin should've stayed quiet.
The former Governor of Alaska was back in the headlines today, taking aim at NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after Alex From The Block shredded Texas Governor Greg Abbott and his anti-abortion law, not to mention the fact that Abbott demonstrated his own brand of ignorance when he claimed he was going to take rapists off the streets.
Throwing shade at AOC? Not a good idea, but then, news probably travels slower than the mail in Alaska these days. AOC's been turning Repugnants into shredded wheat since she took office. And I do mean shredded.
Palin's 1st mistake was calling AOC a "fake feminist". Them's fighting words, Governor Grizzly.
AOC's response was to mock Palin and jokingly introduce a 800 number, 1-800-CRY-NOW, and open a website that has raised money for a number of pro-choice activists and healthcare workers in the Lone Star State.
When Saturday Night Live begins its new season in a few weeks, they may want to call Tina Fey to reprise her parody of Palin. I don't know who'd play AOC. 'Til then, Palin gets a Dunce Cap for even entertaining the idea---and doing it----of calling out AOC. That never ends well, as a number of male GOPers have already found out.
Sirota's Court might have been ahead of its time.
This short-lived NBC entry arrived as a mid-season replacement in December 1976, but lasted just 13 weeks. Viewers weren't ready for a sitcom set in a small claims night court. Night Court, which is being updated and revived, came a few years later.
Michael Constantine, 2 years removed from an Emmy winning role as principal Seymour Kaufman on Room 222, had the lead as Judge Michael Sirota. The ensemble also included Fred Willard and Ted Ross ("The Wiz"). Willard, of course, would move on to Fernwood 2-Night a few months later.
No episodes are available, and all we have is the intro:
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
The 2nd spin-off from All in The Family (after Maude), The Jeffersons became a Sunday night fixture on CBS toward the end of its run, and would, in turn, beget a spin-off of its own.
George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley) was as much of a bigot as ex-neighbor Archie Bunker (Carroll O'Connor), but unlike Bunker, George moved out the working class neighborhood in Queens in favor of a high rise apartment building in Manhattan. On top of that, George was now in the dry cleaning business. Changing boroughs also brought a new set of issues, particularly neighbors Tom & Helen Willis (Franklin Cover & Roxie Roker), Harry Bentley (Paul Benedict), and George's own tart-tongued maid, Florence (Marla Gibbs), whose zingers became a popular part of the show.
The series began as a mid-season replacement in January 1975, and ran for 11 seasons total, a full decade on the air (1975-85). The iconic theme, "Movin' on Up", was co-written & sung by Ja'net DuBois (Good Times), who co-authored the song with 60's pop songwriter Jeff Barry.
Isabel Sanford (Louise) had gone the guest star route years earlier, with guest appearances on shows such as Bewitched, before landing on Family.
Let's check the intro from the first season, courtesy of Shout! Factory:
By now, I'm sure you've heard that former boxing champion Evander Holyfield is set to come out of retirement Saturday to fight MMA star Viktor Belfort in Florida. It's a PPV bout that will cost you $50. Just make sure you get the actual fight coverage and not some lame alternate take on the bout.
"Alternate take", you ask?
Um, yeah, and it involves this guy:
On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Donald Trump, Sr. & Jr., not exactly experts in boxing or MMA, but fans of both, will be providing "alternate commentary". You may need a bottle of Pepto-Bismol handy because...
WHAT IN THE NAME OF HOWARD COSELL IS GOING ON HERE?
Holyfield is a fan of Trump, and vice versa, and if that wasn't cringeworthy enough, this could go down in history as the worst call of a boxing match this side of that wannabe Cosell clone, Stephen A. Smith.
What Dumb Donald I & II are hoping for, of course, are enough suckers to buy the PPV just for their take on the fight. These two wouldn't know a left jab from a left turn.
All that's needed now is to revive an old game show, like, for example, What's My Line?, and give Burleson the gig (Strahan hosts the current iteration of The $100,000 Pyramid in addition to working on Good Morning, America for ABC).
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
The GOPers are going out of their way to downplay the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, even though some of the rioters have already pled guilty. What this tells us is that the GOPers are deathly afraid the select committee's investigation will reveal some damaging evidence that would ruin certain of these idiots' careers.
To that end, a group of GOPers, mostly the usual suspects, like Empty-G, Lauren Bow-Wow, Foghorn Cawthorn, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, sent a letter to Yahoo!, issuing a blanket threat to a number of telecom companies, as we discussed previously, including Verizon and T-Mobile.
Monday, September 6, 2021
You've probably seen the short-form version of this next item virtually every day for the last few months.
Eugene Levy (Schitt's Creek, ex-SCTV) reinvented himself as a character actor over the years in films such as "American Pie", and in Schitt's Creek, was able to work with his son, Dan (who can be seen shilling for Citi with and without Rashida Jones, and M & M's), and daughter Sarah, who joins Eugene in this bit for Capital One. Following is the long-form version, courtesy of Capital One's YouTube channel:
"Stranger in Town", the 1st single from Toto's 1984 CD, "Isolation", became a radio mainstay through the winter of 1984-5, mostly on adult contemporary channels.
Actor Brad Dourif plays the escaped convict at the center of the video.
Sunday, September 5, 2021
In a sense, there's a certain amount of kinship between fast food icon Ronald McDonald and ye scribe. We were both "born" the same year, 1963, thousands of miles apart.
Ronald made his debut in a 3 minute video produced in 1963 in Washington, DC. Local TV personality Willard Scott, later of The Today Show, was a year removed from a stint as Bozo the Clown in the DC market, and, after seeing how there was some sort of connection between "The World's Most Famous Clown", as Bozo was billed, and fast food, Scott, so the story goes, developed the Ronald McDonald character. What you're about to see is that 3 minute video with a prototype costume.
Saturday, September 4, 2021
Nearly 50 years ago, Marvel Comics, inspired in part by the David Carradine series, Kung Fu, came up with a looser than loose adaptation of Sax Rohmer's legendary villain, Dr. Fu Manchu. The Hands of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu, which featured Dr. Manchu as a primary villain for a good chunk of the run, was a Marvel mainstay in the 70's & 80's.
But, as time wore on, Marvel lost the rights to the Manchu story and its cast, and had to repackage Shang-Chi. At first, they attempt to link Shang to their own Manchu knock-off, the Yellow Claw, but that didn't work.
As Marvel fans know, the "Ten Rings" in the new movie, "Shang Chi & The Legend of The Ten Rings", are associated to a long time Iron Man foe, the Mandarin. Now, you'll recall how they parodied the Mandarin in "Iron Man 3" by using an out of work actor to pretend to be the villain. Said actor (Ben Kingsley) returns in "Ten Rings" in more of a sympathetic, supporting role as an ally of Shang (Simu Liu) and his presumptive girlfriend (Awkwafina) in their quest to stop Shang's father from unleashing some unholy hell, all because he thinks he can save his dead wife.
Magic & mysticism were not part of Shang's story back in the day, but Marvel Studios & Disney want to spend money like it was water on special effects. 21st century movies, folks.
Let's check this teaser:
"Dune": Delayed a year due to COVID, Denis Villaneuve reimagines Frank Herbert's sci-fi classic.with an all-star cast including Oscar Isaac and current Disney+ pitchman Dave Bautista.
Friday, September 3, 2021
Everyone seems to think the road to the Super Bowl will run through Tampa Bay. But, as ESPN's Lee Corso is wont to remind, not so fast, my friends.
Let's take a look at the NFC.
Since Napoleon Snyder decided to make his team's name as plain as possible for a 2nd season after winning the division last year, we've decided to christen them the Washington Generics. However, there's no way they can win the division again. Sure, they had the only win in the division during the pre-season, but things could start changing quickly. The Giants couldn't close out the Jets or the Patriots. It's a mental problem for Big Blue, as they're waiting for Saquon Barkley to return from injury. Wayne Gallman was let go, and the former Clemson standout landed in Atlanta after being cut by San Francisco earlier this week. Apparently, talent evaluation is not a priority.
The big news in Dallas is, of course, the return of Dak Prescott. Andy Dalton left for Chicago, but this may be Prescott's last chance in Big D. Now that he's the starter in Philadelphia, Jalen Hurts will hope to recapture his mojo from his one season at Oklahoma in 2019.
Projected order of finish:
On Wednesday, Max Kellerman ended a 5 year run as co-host of ESPN's First Take. Rather than find a singular replacement for Kellerman, who picks up a solo series in the afternoon on ESPN to complement Max on Boxing on ESPN2, and joins Jay Williams and Keyshawn Johnson on their ESPN Radio morning show (heard locally on WTMM), ESPN suits catered to the growing ego of Stephen A. Smith, opting for a potpurri of co-hosts.
Sources say that behind the scenes, Smith wasn't too fond of Kellerman, thinking they did not mesh well together. Well, of course. Max is more knowledgeable about, say for example, boxing, which he has done commentary for on ESPN & HBO in his career. Stephen wouldn't know a right jab from a right cross or the Red Cross. Smith, who was a basketball beat reporter when he came to ESPN in the first place, is now the network's highest paid personality, sports' answer to Fox Shmooze's Tabloid Carlson. His elocution sometimes borders on a homage or a bad mimic of the late Howard Cosell, a former lawyer who swapped legal briefs for a microphone and an ABC blazer.
As for who has the daunting task of succeeding Kellerman?
Michael Irvin, the former Dallas Cowboys star, moves over from NFL Network, where he was a studio analyst the last few years, and will dicker with Smith on Mondays.
On Fridays, Smith had better bring his Bible. Tim Tebow slides over from SEC Network after his failed comeback in Jacksonville with the Jaguars. Remember, football is another sport that Smith has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of smarts in, and he's getting bombarded by these bookends.
In between, ESPN's Mina Kimes and former NBA star Kendrick Perkins are among the candidates to fill the void Tuesday-Thursday, as is ex-NFL lineman Damian Woody, who ESPN heisted from SNY a ways back after he retired from the Jets.
We attempted to get a statement from Smith's agent:
I'll believe it when I see it.
The decision to remove Kellerman speaks to ESPN suits placating Smith, whose controversial comments on various subjects (especially the ones he knows nothing about) drive the ratings. They want controversy, and found Kellerman to be a little too bland, even though he's the more experienced "broadcast journalist", to use a phrase coined by the late wrestling personality Bobby Heenan.
Let's see how long it takes before Screamin' A. Cosell starts whining again, and gets either Irvin, Tebow, or, say, Woody, dumped. The clock is ticking.