Sunday, July 31, 2022

Sounds of Praise: Pride of Man (1964)

 Most of us knew the late Hamilton Camp as a character actor with a resume that included roles on shows as diverse as He & She, The Monkees, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and as the voice of Gizmoduck for Disney.

What we didn't know was that before he landed his first TV acting gig, he was a singer-songwriter who released his debut single, "Pride of Man", all the way back in 1964. "Pride" was covered by Gordon Lightfoot and Quicksilver Messenger Service, among others. While there is no actual video footage of this track, a YouTube poster brought this to the fore, nearly 60 years after its release.

We lost Hamilton back in 2005. Didn't realize he was a part of the British Invasion, too, as he was originally from England.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

You gotta start somewhere: The Jon Stewart Show (1993)

 The year was 1993. David Letterman moved his tack to CBS after a decade plus run at NBC. Arsenio Hall didn't know it at the time, but he was entering his final season. Jay Leno was a year into The Tonight Show and a behind the scenes feud involving his manager and Hall.

Into the fray came MTV and Jon Stewart.

After a handful of appearances on The Half Hour Comedy Hour and similar shows, Stewart was tapped to host MTV's 1st foray into the late night forum. He didn't have a high budget set. He did have a geeky announcer in Howard Feller (billed only as Howard). It was a half hour show on MTV, as opposed to the others being the standard one hour show.

However, Paramount took notice, and after MTV's corporate parent, Viacom, acquired Paramount a year later, Stewart moved from MTV to national syndication, taking Feller with him, and replacing Hall, whose series had come to an end. Somewhere along the way, Stewart lost his audience, and Paramount dropped the axe the following spring.

We know the rest of the story. Four years after his show ended, Stewart returned to the Viacom umbrella, taking over Comedy Central's Daily Show from Craig Kilborn, and turned the satirical faux newscast into a destination for politicians and celebrities alike. Stewart retired from Daily after 14 years in 2013. These days, he's spending more time as an activist for 1st responders & veterans, as demonstrated with a fiery speech in Washington the other day, shredding the GOPers for killing a bill that would've helped vets.

From the MTV era, here's an interview with "Weird" Al Yankovic:

Rating: B.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Forgotten TV: Laugh Trax (1982)

 If you don't remember Laugh Trax, a 1 year syndicated comedy-variety series in 1982, I don't blame you. It was set up to compete with Saturday Night Live, airing in many of the same markets, though some cities opted for a Sunday afternoon berth, but didn't find an audience.

Jim Staahl (ex-Mork & Mindy) was set up as series host, aided by Gail Matthius (ex-Saturday Night Live) and Howie Mandel, who was also appearing on NBC's St. Elsewhere in a more dramatic role. Mandel brought his chicken-man character, which you might've seen on Make Me Laugh during its short revival three years earlier.

Laugh Trax came from Sunn Classic Pictures, their first regular series since The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams, and their last series. Sunn by this time was a sister company to Hanna-Barbera, and one of their top talents, Frank Welker, was a featured performer as well as the show's announcer. Welker & Mandel would reteam two years later for Marvel/CBS' Jim Henson's Muppet Babies.

In this sampler, Fred Willard (ex-Fernwood/America 2Night), Billy Idol, & Kool and the Gang are the guests.

The only thing I remembered about this show was Staahl's News in a Hurry skits as I caught the show one night while channel surfing.

No rating.

The truth hurts: Donald Trump threatens to sue CNN

 Donald Trump, through his lawyers, Eeeny, Meeny, Miney, and Moe, is threatening to file a lawsuit against CNN, demanding that they stop calling him a liar, and to stop using the phrase, "The Big Lie", as if he has exclusive rights to that phrase, which he does not.

Farron Cousins explains:

Roughly translated, it comes out like this:

"WAAAAH! I don't lie! You lie, and you need to stop! WAAAAHHH!"

In a separate case, said lawyers are trying to claim the former president has "absolute immunity". Sorry, but that went out the window when he left office.

More from Farron:

Trump is that afraid of going to jail, and exposed once and for all as what we know him to be now, a pathetic charlatan. The more he cries wolf, the worse it's going to be.

I've heard of mock trials, but this is ridiculous (I've Got a Secret, 1962)

 I've Got a Secret dispensed with its usual format for one night in 1962. The reason was an unofficial crossover, if you will, with The Defenders, as one its stars, E. G. Marshall, served as a de facto co-host for the 2nd half of the show with Garry Moore.

The idea here was to have the panel (Betsy Palmer, Bill Cullen, Bess Myerson, & Henry Morgan) take turns as attorneys addressing the jury, and they did bring some folks in to be in the jury box. If you didn't know already, Cullen was limited due to a past bout with polio that left him unable to walk lengthy distances, or, in this case, back & forth across the jury box.

In a way, some episodes of Secret that had comedy elements like this were like extensions of Moore' self-titled comedy-variety shows.

No rating. Just a public service.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Who really owns NY?

 All of NY was amped up to the nth power the last two nights with part 1 of the 2022 Subway Series at Citi Field, more so than usual due to both the Yankees & Mets being in 1st place in their respective divisions.

The Mets swept the two-set at Citi, needing a walk-off base hit from Starling Marte on Wednesday to defeat the Bombers, 3-2. But what really did the Yankees in was the poor strategy in key points both nights by Yankee manager Aaron Boone.

With the game tied, 2-2, in the 8th, Boone brought in his new closer, Clay Holmes, who retired the side with little resistance. You'd think Boone would stick with Holmes to send the game into extra innings after the Mets' Seth Lugo shut down the Yanks in the visiting 9th.

Nope. Boone pulled Holmes for Wandy Peralta. Eduardo Escobar opened the home 9th with a double. Three batters later, Marte brought home Escobar with the game winner, making Boone look like a chump.

In the course of sweeping the Yankees, the Mets gained ground on 2nd place Atlanta, as the defending champions lost two straight to 3rd place Philadelphia. Buck Showalter's club now leads by 3 heading into a weekend series with 4th place Miami.

During the game, it was announced that the Yanks had acquired outfielder Andrew Benintendi from Kansas City for 3 minor leaguers. Coincidentally, Benintendi was going to be in town anyway, as the Royals open a four game series with the Yankees tonight.

Benintendi was in his 2nd season with KC after leaving Boston after the 2020 season. The Yankees are figuring on an offensive upgrade over the suddenly fading Joey Gallo.

Part 2 of the Subway Series is next month at Yankee Stadium. By then, the Mets are figuring Jacob deGrom will be ready to go, and he is expected to make his season debut next week.

A coffee whodunit (1971)

 This Taster's Choice ad is also at Saturday Morning Archives due to its star.

That would be the inestimable Paul Frees, who makes a rare appearance in front of the camera, playing a British detective in a sendup of movie whodunits. The voice was used for cartoon characters such as Inspector Fenwick (Dudley Do-Right) and the Chief, Secret Squirrel's boss.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Musical Interlude: Keep The Ball Rollin' (1967)

 The Ed Sullivan Show closed out 1967 with a performance by Jay & The Techniques, but there are some players missing for "Keep The Ball Rollin'". I'll explain after the video.

The band's background singers would later achieve fame themselves. Ashford & Simpson and Melba Moore were heard but not seen. An uninitiated viewer would've thought Mercury's Smash division had struck a deal with Mike Curb to have the Congregation sing backup, it sounded so much like a Curb record.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

One poll doesn't tell the whole story

 As we have noted, former president Donald Trump was the headliner at Turning Point in Florida over the weekend, and a straw poll taken among the sheep in attendance was overwhelmingly in favor of the Archduke of Affluenza.

On Monday, though, reality set in, and Citizen Pampers wasn't having it.

On Fox & Friends, the anchors pointed out that the Turning Point straw poll was, really, an outlier, an unofficial poll, if you will, designed to cater to the narcissistic Trump, to pump up his ego. Every other poll, the Fox hosts said, favored Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Trump clone many say could be even worse.

Farron Cousins explains:

Naturally, Citizen Pampers freaked out, believing that the anchors turned on him. The truth of the matter is, of course, that most of America, save for the brainwashed MAGA army, is tired of his act. Hence, the predictable reaction:

"WAAAHHH! Fox doesn't like me anymore! WAAAAHHH!"

That's because everyone's tired of you whining about the same thing over and over again since November 2020. There's no guarantee you're running in 2024. There's more of a chance you'll be in a padded cell, instead.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Videos of Summer: We Go Together (1978)

 "We Go Together" was one of the few tracks in "Grease" that came from the original stage production in New York. You might've seen the commercials for Broadway productions prior to the movie's release if you had cable back in those days.

"Together" is also the final song in the movie, as the cast gets together, shortly after Danny & Sandy (John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John) did "You're The One That I Want".

As we know, Jeff Conaway segued from "Grease" to Taxi, and Stockard Channing (Rizzo) landed her own self-titled series on CBS the next year. Didi Conn (Frenchy) moved on to Benson, Fonz & The Happy Days Gang, & Shining Time Station. To say this was a springboard for much of the cast would be accurate, aside from Travolta & Newton-John and veterans Eve Arden, Dody Goodman, & Sid Caesar.

Dunce Cap Award: Matt Gaetz

 Florida Misrepresentative Matt Gaetz put his feet in his mouth again over the weekend, this time at a Turning Point conference.

The issue here is Gaetz acting very much like a Donald Trump clone with his remarks toward women protesting the reversal last month of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. He claimed that the protesters were "too ugly", in his warped mind, to even be impregnated. 

Which is kinda funny considering this clown is still being investigated for sex trafficking across state lines involving underage women. Apparently, Gaetz is about as hopeful at a singles bar with adults as Beavis & Butt-Head.

Of course, the audience consisted solely of brainwashed GOPers, so they ate this up like candy. Unfortunately, on behalf of women everywhere, Gaetz gets this:

He probably cleared his speech with the former president, who had to put his facade up as a Christian when he took his turn.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Videos of Summer: Love Will Never Do (Without You)(1990)

 Yeah, I know. It's a desert, not a beach, but it's still a summer setting for Janet Jackson in "Love Will Never Do (Without You), as she's joined by actors Djimon Hounsou and Antonio Sabato, Jr..

Sabato later turned up on General Hospital, and ya wonder if this video wasn't part of the reason why.

If you're a GOP lawyer, you're wasting your time

 On Friday, political strategist Steve Bannon, a former aide to Donald Trump who was not part of Trump's staff during the Capitol riots nearly 19 months ago, was convicted on two counts of contempt of Congress. At first, Bannon and his moronic lawyers decided, predictably, to file an appeal. That itself is a waste of time.

Of course, Bannon went on Fox Shmooze later that night, defiant as ever. Meanwhile, attorney Evan Corcoran, a graduate of the Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe Law School, is trying to claim that maybe, just maybe, Bannon should've testified in his own defense, ignorant of the fact that Bannon, now a right wing podcaster, was celebrating his defiance, as Yahoo! puts it, on social media.

If you're fishing for sympathy, Corcoran, you're wasting your time, just like wasting time filing an appeal that is going nowhere. You tried to gaslight the jury into thinking 1/6 Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson didn't sign documents on this case. That didn't work. You know you've got a losing battle, so just give up.

And, soon, there will be more, as the wall of support surrounding the former president crumbles.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

What Might've Been: The Richard Boone Show (1963)

Ah, the elegance of a community theatre. The hometown has two of them with the Theatre Institute, based out of Russell Sage College, and the Troy Foundry Theatre, which rents more unlikely venues, such as the former Trojan Hotel, for productions.

In 1963, game show legends Mark Goodson & Bill Todman, looking for a non-game show hit in primetime, decided to visit this concept in an anthology format. Unfortunately, The Richard Boone Show lasted just one season, despite a star studded repertory company that included Robert Blake, Lloyd Bochner, Harry Morgan, Bethel Leslie, Guy Stockwell, and Boone himself. Boone, fresh off Have Gun...Will Travel, was more than up to the task, as was the company, but the viewers appeared to be disinterested, likely because of whatever was on the other channels.

Edit, 2/8/24: Had to change the video, and this is the only clip left:

Boone & Morgan would team up again 10 years later in Hec Ramsey for NBC & Universal, and that lasted two seasons. 

No rating.

Friday, July 22, 2022

In WWE, the old order finally changeth

 "When you think you've got all the answers, I change the questions!"---Roddy Piper, sometime in the 80's.

To be fair, no one saw this coming so soon.

Just a few minutes ago, Vincent K. McMahon, 76, announced his retirement from WWE, more than 40 years after buying what was then known as Titan Sports from his father, Vincent J. McMahon. Only a month ago, McMahon stepped down as CEO/Chairman as allegations surfaced that he had had affairs with some company employees, including at least one female wrestler, all of whom were paid "hush money" and signed non-disclosure agreements (NDA's).

File photo courtesy Getty Images/Yahoo!.

At the time, McMahon was taking a leave from his duties, entrusting them to his daughter, Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon, who now becomes the full-time Chairwoman, and will share the CEO's role with Nick Khan, who had been company president and chief revenue officer. After a 2nd article appeared in the Wall Street Journal appeared, and with reports that HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel was doing a feature piece, both within the last couple of weeks, and despite publicly assuring ESPN's Jeremy Schaap all the way back in March 2009 that he would never retire, McMahon decided now was the time to pull completely out, meaning he will no longer be in charge of creative, either. That role likely, in this writer's opinion, will be turned over to Bruce Prichard.

Earlier today, Paul "Triple H" Levesque, Stephanie's husband, was restored to his former role as VP/Talent Relations, meaning that John Laurinaitis, who was placed on administrative leave last month, is likely gone, this time for good. In Laurinaitis' absence, Prichard, who had been creative director, took on the role of VP/Talent on a temporary basis.

Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that former champion Brock Lesnar, scheduled to appear tonight on Smackdown, has left the venue, throwing his rematch with current champion Roman Reigns, set for next weekend at Summerslam, in doubt.

Update, 7/23, 7:53 am (ET): As you might've seen, Lesnar showed up after all.

But what does this do for Levesque's pride & joy, NXT? After the changes made last fall, certain changes are going to be made, starting in the women's division. Mandy Rose (Andrea Saccomano), a McMahon favorite, is the current champion, but now her title reign is on borrowed time. With Levesque back in as VP/Talent, some absent stars, such as Sasha Banks and Naomi, may soon be returning.

Stay tuned.

What Might've Been: Galactica 1980 (1980)

 Two years after the original Battlestar Galactica had launched, then cancelled, ABC & Universal decided to try again.

Galactica 1980 was a troubled production from the go, however, as certain network suits objected to the pitch made by executive producer Glen Larson that this would be a time travel show. They only used time travel in the opener.

In fact, the only regulars back from the previous series were Lorne Greene and Herbert Jefferson, Jr.. Dirk Benedict was to return, but was limited to a guest appearance in the finale due to scheduling conflicts. Richard Hatch turned down the opportunity to return, resulting in two new leads in Kent McCord (ex-Adam-12) and Barry Van Dyke. You also had Robbie Rist (ex-The Brady Bunch, Big John, Little John) as a teenage prodigy, but his part was recast shortly after the season started.

My folks and I tried watching this when it launched in the winter of 1980. I think they gave up after a week or two.

Following is a sample intro, with a voiceover by Lorne Greene.

Greene had better luck selling Alpo at the time.

Rating: C.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Mets mid-season report

 To say that the Mets exceeded expectations in the 1st half would actually be accurate.

Jacob deGrom has not pitched in a game. A recent shoulder issue is delaying his return just a wee bit longer. However, the Mets usually do have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to pitching. Tylor Megill got the opening day start in place of deGrom, and did his best impression of the 2-time Cy Young winner as an opening act for 3-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

Scherzer himself went down with an oblique strain, and returned a couple of weeks back. He's been lights out since returning, and will start tomorrow vs. San Diego. Despite his contributions, so-called "experts" online are predicting lefty David Peterson, a 2nd year man, would be included in a trade package for disgruntled Washington outfielder Juan Soto.

The Mets do not need to mortgage their future to get Soto, who has a couple more years left on his Washington contract. Period.

The Met outfield is fine as is, as long as Mark Canha, Brandon Nimmo, & Starling Marte remain healthy. Travis Jankowski is a fine backup, has speed, and can be used in the late innings for defense and/or as a pinch runner.

Those same "experts", usually talk radio jabronies with little else to do, are also whining over the lack of production of infielders JD Davis & Dominic Smith, with the latter the subject of trade talks during the All-Star Break involving the Cubs & Boston. They also have ragged on Eduardo Escobar, but he's recently picked up stream as his bat has gotten hot. Then again, they do have two All-Stars on the right side of the infield in Pete Alonso & Jeff McNeil. Luis Guillorme has been for the infield what Jankowski has been in the outfield, a dependable fill-in.

In terms of pitching, the Mets simply need to fix the bridge to closer Edwin Diaz, who has been ridiculous the last few weeks. If it means parting with Seth Lugo, so be it. Diminishing returns have hurt him in the 1st half. They lost Sean Reid-Foley for the season, and they can't wait for Trevor May to return.

Prediction: The Mets still have interleague games with Oakland and the Yankees, with part 1 of the Subway Series on tap next week. Back in the NL, they still have to play Pittsburgh, and finish business with the Cubs, among other things. Barring a collapse, they will own the East, though I suspect Atlanta will still overtake them, but it won't be enough to deny Buck Showalter another trip to the post-season. In other words, they're more likely to be a Wild Card instead of their 1st division title since 2015.

Musical Interlude: Georgy Porgy (1978-9)

 The final single off Toto's self-titled debut pays homage to a classic nursery rhyme.

"Georgy Porgy", sung by Steve Lukather, also includes backing vocals by R & B singer Cheryl Lynn ("Got to be Real"), not seen in the video.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

A Classic Reborn (again): You Bet Your Life (2021)

 In 1993, producers Marcy Carsey & Tom Werner (Roseanne, A Different World, The Cosby Show) coaxed Bill Cosby into hosting a reboot of You Bet Your Life. This version, like the Bob Eubanks-produced, Buddy Hackett-hosted revival 12 years earlier, bombed.

Undaunted, Werner, now working as a solo act, decided to dust off Life one more time, this time reuniting Jay Leno and Kevin Eubanks (ex-The Tonight Show), acting as host and sidekick. Leno, who also hosts a car show on CNBC, is showing his age, but as the season began, he brought along a feature from his Tonight run. Two months into the season, that feature, Headlines, was quietly discontinued, edited off subsequent reruns.

As with the Hackett & Cosby runs, this Life is syndicated, and has already been renewed for a 2nd season, marking the first time since the original series with Groucho Marx that Life goes beyond one season. There were fears that Leno's age would work against him, but that has already been debunked.

Edit, 11/5/23: Had to change the video. Here is a promo:

In response, it seems, Leno's successor after his 2nd Tonight run, Jimmy Fallon, is mounting a revival of Password after it'd been used as a recurring feature on Tonight, and, before that, Late Night.

Rating: B.

Dunce Cap Award: Donald Trump

 Here we are, 20 1/2 months later, and Donald John Narcissus Trump still won't end his crusade to overturn the 2020 Presidential election.

While Trump is mourning the passing of his 1st wife, Ivana, last week (the funeral was today), the lingering stench of his latest exercise in stupidity is still in the news.

Undeterred by his catastrophic failure to somehow "find the votes" in Georgia, Trump has turned his attention to Wisconsin, ignorant of the fact that after 20 1/2 months, there is nothing he can do to reverse the result. It is the spoiled little boy in the body of a 76 year old man driving this bus.

Jesse Dollemore breaks it down:

Legally, there's nothing Trump can do at this point, despite the fact that you have people like Mike Lindell continuing to prop up phony claims of evidence that would salve Trump's damaged ego. At this point, the idea is to deflect attention away from the January 6 committee hearings, which resume tomorrow night. It's not going to work, other than embolden the Legion of The Brainwashed.

One would think that after the death of Ivana, Trump would finally have an epiphany of some sort, and, maybe, he will at some point, but I wouldn't hold my breath on it. They say he wants to run again to avoid criminal prosecution, but the problem with that is if he is brought up on charges, stick a fork in his political career. It'll be over.

He might as well add this to his growing collection:

Because only a fool would continue a losing battle.

NY Yankees mid-season report

 If you're a Yankee fan, it has to feel like 1998 all over again.

At the All Star break, the Yankees are sitting pretty atop the AL East, with a double digit lead on the entire division after taking two of three from Boston over the weekend. After the AL won the All Star Game on Tuesday for the 9th straight year, the Bronx Bombers, should they go all the way, will host this year's World Series.

Let's just break it down:

Offense: Fans and media alike have turned on outfielder Joey Gallo, a trade deadline pickup from Texas last year, ignorant of the fact that Gallo may well be on the back nine of his career. His struggles at the plate have resulted in him being at the bottom of the lineup instead of in the middle, where he's accustomed. Fans were hoping he would be one extra big bat to go along with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Rizzo, & Josh Donaldson.

Instead, that one extra bat was acquired in the form of Matt Carpenter, whom the Rangers gave up on after signing him in the off-season after St. Louis let him go.

Infield defense: Rizzo & Donaldson at the corners. A mixed bag including DJ LeMahieu, Isiah Kiner-Falefa (a distant relative of the late Ralph Kiner), and Gleyber Torres. So far, it works.

Outfield: Stanton's a DH most of the time. Aaron Hicks & Judge are producing at a pre-COVID rate. They've been able to tolerate Gallo's struggles.

Pitching: Start with the bullpen. Aroldis Chapman's injury opened the door for rookie Clay Holmes to take over as the closer, and may have sealed Chapman's fate, ending his 2nd run in the Bronx. Luis Severino is back on the IL, but should be back soon. Gerrit Cole has righted his ship, flirting with a no-hitter at least twice.

Predictions: With the trade deadline less than two weeks away now, Gallo and/or Chapman could be gone if GM Brian Cashman needs to make changes. The last time Chapman left the Bronx, he won a title with the Cubs. If there is a need, it'll be in the bullpen if Chapman is sent away again. The offense would only need a slight upgrade if they get rid of Gallo, who won't sell any whine before his time.

Finish: They'll wrap up the division, barring a collapse, around Labor Day. The only way they can reach the World Series is if they can beat Houston. The West leaders have already beaten the Yankees in 3 of 5, and play a day-night doubleheader in Houston tomorrow.

We'll look at the Mets tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Names making news

 A judge ruled on Monday that charges against members of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert's staff would not be charged for trespassing in the Capitol last month.

Naturally, that didn't sit well with Fox Shmooze's Jesse "Dirty" Watters, who, with guests, whined about it on Monday, and leveled accusations of hypocrisy. The end result, it appears, is that it was a simple misunderstanding, not anything to be concerned about. Small potatoes compared to the ongoing investigation into a very real insurrection nearly 19 months ago. 

Deal with it, Jesse.
It's now official. 3 1/2 months after winning a tag team match at Wrestlemania, boxer and YouTube star Logan Paul will face The Miz at Summerslam on July 30 in Nashville. Paul, in appearing on Monday Night Raw, pointed out how he's built his career proving doubters wrong, and the narcissistic Miz figures to be next on his hit list. Miz, you'll recall, turned on Paul after they won their match, jealous of Paul getting the spotlight over him.

Two nights earlier, in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles, Miz (Mike Mizanin) was named MVP of the Celebrity All-Star Softball Game after clobbering a home run over the fence set up for the game. They don't expect anyone to clear the actual fences at, say, Dodger Stadium, so they have the fences brought in, and set up several feet in front of the real fences. Newly retired Hunter Pence, who hung up his spikes several months ago, hit 2 homers.
12 years after his last match, Ric Flair is lacing up the boots again.

The Hall of Famer, despite a pacemaker in his heart, will team with son-in-law Andrade El Idolo (AEW) vs. Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal July 31 in Nashville, 24 hours after Jarrett officiates a tag team match at Summerslam. Many of Flair's friends, contemporaries, and associates, including Triple H, have tried to convince him not to go through with it, but he clearly wants to go out in a blaze of glory. 

All I have to say is, hope for the best, fear for the worst.
Washington Nationals star Juan Soto isn't set to be a free agent until after the 2024 season, but he and his agent, Scott Boras Badenov, turned down a multi-year contract worth up to $440 million last week. Unsurprisingly, the thought of the last place Nationals offering Soto in a trade, with the deadline two weeks away, has Mets fans salivating at the prospect of bringing him to Flushing. 

Soto, on Monday, ended the Mets' Pete Alonso's run at Home Run Derby champion. Alonso was eliminated by Seattle rookie Julio Rodriguez, while Soto defeated sentimental favorite Albert Pujols (St. Louis) before beating Rodriguez in the finals.

Soto & Alonso in the same lineup, though? Scary. Mets fans on Reddit are so eager to get rid of underachieving Dominic Smith, they'd probably want to donate money to pay Soto's salary. Yeah, right.
America's Oldest Baby is still upset with the Pulitzer Prize committee.

A judge on Monday rejected multiple requests from Donald Narcissus Trump to rescind a 2018 Pulitzer awarded to reporters from the New York Times for their investigative reporting on the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. We managed to contact Trump's new press agent:

"Nothing I can do, man. He tunes out anyone that tries to tell him anything."

Gee, what a surprise.

Monday, July 18, 2022

On The Air: Generation Gap (2022)

 ABC cancelled two of their game show reboots, Card Sharks (ratings and Joel McHale being busy with other stuff, including Stargirl) and Match Game (Alec Baldwin's legal issues), so they went into the archives to see what else they could dig up.

Is this the best they could do?

Generation Gap isn't quite the same as the 1969 version that actually pitted two generational teams against each other. Instead, you have a grandparent and either a grandson or other relative on each team, and they're able to string this out for the full hour.

The new Generation Gap comes from veteran producer Mark Burnett and MGM, partnered with late night host Jimmy Kimmel's production company. Daytime talker Kelly Ripa returns to primetime to serve as host and as an executive producer (with actor-husband Mark Consuelos). Kelly's father, Joe, is one of the guests in the opener, along with Kelly's daytime partner, ultra-busy Ryan Seacrest (American Idol). The comedy in this show comes from the contestants struggling to answer questions out of their generational range, and it is often hilarious.

After hearing Joe sing, you might wonder why the network also cancelled Celebrity Dating Game.......

This is so saccharine, we'd not be surprised if Colgate, for whom Kelly did some commercials a while back, is a sponsor.

Rating: B.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Weasel of The Week: Ken Paxton

 Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to have a lawsuit dismissed against him by his state's bar association. This is on top of the fact that he has had indictments against him hanging over his head like a sword of Damocles, and for some reason, those indictments haven't led to anything in terms of a trial.

Farron Cousins explains why the lawsuits Paxton filed against other states in relation to----what else?---the 2020 election have gotten him in such hot water that he could be disbarred at last.

The only reason Paxton hasn't been put on trial or forced out of office pro tem to allow the trial to take place is because he's used his standing in the Texas GOP to delay as much as possible. Isn't there a statute of limitations on this sort of garbage?

It should never have come to this point. Once the indictments were handed down, Paxton should've been forced into court to answer those indictments. He gets the Weasel ears this week for abusing his position to protect himself from the indictments and try to bully his way out of the bar association's suit. If Senator Timex Cruz thinks he's got it bad with all the enemies he's accumulated, Paxton may have it worse.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Musical Interlude: Night Moves (1976-94)

 Bob Seger's "Night Moves", the title song from his 1976 album, has been a staple on oldies and adult contemporary channels since its release.

18 years later, Wayne Isham directed a music video that flashes back & forth between the 60's and the present. Johnny Galecki (Roseanne), Daphne Zuniga (Melrose Place) and a pre-Friends Matt LeBlanc star with Seger in the video.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Musical Interlude: Twist of Fate (1983)

 Five years after "Grease", John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John were back together on the big screen, this time in the ill-reviewed rom-com, "Two of a Kind". The soundtrack fared much better than the movie did, producing hits for Newton-John, Journey, and Patti Austin.

The first of Olivia's three soundtrack singles was "Twist of Fate", which peaked at #5. Travolta appears in the video, not just in the movie footage, but in the actual video itself. After Journey's "Ask The Lonely", Travolta & Newton-John dueted for the first time since "Grease" with "Take a Chance".

There are fans that wished John & Olivia would've been a real-life couple following "Grease", but it was not meant to be. The duo would record one more duet, 2012's "I Think You Might Like It".

What Might've Been: The Tortellis (1987)

 Cheers was halfway through its 5th season when it birthed its first spin-off. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong characters for said spin-off.

The Tortellis was a mid-season replacement series when it bowed in the winter of 1987. Network suits must've thought that Nick Tortelli (Dan Hedaya) was popular with viewers despite the routine verbal castration from his ex-wife, Carla (Rhea Perlman) every time he visited Cheers. Nick had remarried, but new bride Loretta (Jean Kasem, in her series debut) was an attempt at modernizing the scatterbrained wife character made famous by Gracie Allen.

As the series begins, Nick & Loretta have already split, with Loretta moving to Las Vegas to move in with her sister. Nick, of course, follows, and so does chaos. There was the inevitable crossovers with the parent show, as Carla showed up in a dream sequence, and Norm (George Wendt) & Cliff (John Ratzenberger) flew to Vegas to visit in one early episode.

However, 13 weeks was all The Tortellis got before NBC swung the axe. Jean Kasem never landed another series gig, and outside of any radio or cartoon gigs with then-husband Casey (American Top 40, Scooby-Doo, etc.), was not heard from again.

Let's take a look at a sampler.

I think what they wanted to do with Loretta was make her a cross between Gracie and Chrissy (Suzanne Somers) from Three's Company, and while Jean Kasem had the deer in the headlights look down, that was about it.

No rating.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Names making news

 In January, Dr. Mehmet Oz ended his syndicated talk show in order to run for US Senate from Pennsylvania, instead of his actual home state of New Jersey. As we noted last week, daughter Daphne was spun off into her own series, The Good Dish, but that tanked, and Sony is not renewing the show for the fall.

Dr. Oz won the GOP primary, but since then, as Farron Cousins reveals, Oz has distanced himself from former president Donald Trump, and the right wing isn't too happy.......

I get that Oz gave himself a reality check by removing any mention of the Archduke of Affluenza from his website and social media. That's good. However, the strategy is not working, and Oz almost certainly will not be elected in November.
Actor-game show host Anthony Anderson (black-ish, To Tell The Truth, Law & Order) is filling in for Jimmy Kimmel this week, and in an opening monologue, defined the nuttiest moment in Trump's administration as when rapper Kanye "Ye" West visited the White House. In this writer's opinion, the only place West & Trump should be seen together is at a mental health clinic. West, by his own admission, has bi-polar disorder. Trump, who turned 76 last month, is being described these days by former associates, without using the exact words, as being this-close to having, maybe, dementia. Which would explain his childish behavior. Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney declared the other day that Trump is responsible for his own actions as it relates to the riot last year, and shouldn't be treated like a child.

Everywhere you turn, there's always some sort of facade with Trump.
Now, for some local news.

Ever since it opened nearly 40 years ago, Joseph's House has been based right here in the hometown. However, very quietly, Joseph's House acquired the former Roxy Cleaners location on Broadway in Menands as a satellite operation within the last year. We wouldn't mind if they also expanded further out, and joined forces with like programs in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, etc., if they haven't already done so.

Just up the road, Northeast Career Planning (formerly The Workshop) sold off its building at 279 Broadway to Kasselman Electric & Solar last year, consolidating all of its Menands operations at 337 Broadway.

Both of these transactions didn't get much play in the local press outside of the Capital District Business Review. Hmmmmmm.
WRGB weekend anchor Heather Kovar has taken some heat lately, but the heat should be directed toward her employers and their corporate parent, Sinclair Broadcasting.

Kovar returned to the air Saturday after being on bereavement leave due to her father's passing, but the station made the mistake of assigning her not only the morning news, but also the evening newscasts at 6 & 11 pm when, according to media reports, she was not 100% physically, and confused weekend meteorologist Craig Gold with Craig Adams.

WRGB's response was to suspend Kovar, a 5 year veteran after coming over from WTEN/WXXA. It's clear the station was shorthanded Saturday, so this is really on them, and, by extension, Sinclair, for not allowing for backup in case of an emergency.

As fellow blogger Chuck Miller reported earlier today, the only support Kovar has gotten through all of this isn't from WRGB itself, but from her former colleagues at WTEN, including Anya Tucker & Lydia Kulbida. Curious.

On an unrelated note, it's going to be very curious to see what happens when Nexstar Media, which owns WTEN/WXXA, completes its majority purchase of the CW, broadcast on Sinclair-owned WCWN. I suspect Nexstar may have to divest itself of local stations such as the ones they have here, but we'll wait and see.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

When GOPers bring the stupid

"You can't fix stupid."--Ron White.

This would describe GOPer idiots like podcaster Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Donald Trump, who claimed Trump waived his right to executive privilege, allowing Bannon to testify before the January 6 committee.

Unfortunately for both Bannon and the Archduke of Affluenza, Trump lost his executive privilege the second he left the White House for Mar-a-Lago 18 months ago. Critics are calling for the committee to interview Bannon behind closed doors, to avoid the media circus the War Room garbage dispenser so wants to have.

The fading facade of Trump and his delusional grip on the GOP remind me of an old rerun of Batman from back in the day. In this particular instance, a 1-shot villain, the Minstrel (Van Johnson), who had foiled the hero's efforts in the first half of the story, tried using his flares in a desperate attempt to escape, but it availed him naught, as we all knew it would.

Trump is the Minstrel in this case, but he's not being hounded by Batman & Robin. He might soon wish he was.

Meanwhile, former financial adviser Peter Navarro, with a book to push, is accusing former VP Mike Pence of treason against Trump (at least).

Bollocks & balderdash! Navarro is getting a forum to spew his BS in order to sell books, because GOPers have to grift as often as possible, but the last I checked, he wasn't being booked on Good Morning, America, The View, Today, CBS Mornings, or Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Just the usual right wing outlets like Newsnacks, Fox Shmooze, and the fading One America News, which is bleeding viewers after being pulled by DirecTV earlier this year.

We had a chance to get a comment from Navarro's literary agent:

"Sorry, no comment."

This clown also represents Trump, by the way.

For their blatant efforts to continue to bamboozle the public, Navarro & Bannon both get Dunce Caps.

Videos of Summer: Misunderstanding (1980)

 After "Follow You, Follow Me" peaked at #23 two years earlier, Genesis returned to the Hot 100 with 1980's "Misunderstanding", the 1st single off the "Duke" album. For ye scribe, this was my introduction to the band, as I wouldn't hear any of their earlier material for a while to come.

Shot on location in Los Angeles.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Empty-G for President? Someone thinks it could happen

 In 1940, Gracie Allen, who parlayed the role of a scatterbrained housewife into a lucrative career in vaudeville, radio, movies, and, later, television, announced intentions to run for President as a 3rd party candidate under the umbrella of the Surprise Party. The surprise, of course, was that Allen wasn't really going to make a serious run, as this was just a publicity stunt for her radio show with then-husband George Burns. This was before Presidents were term-limited, and, as we know, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a unprecedented third term.

82 years later, another radio personality is touting a candidate for president that might not be taken too seriously.

That radio personality is conspiracy addict Alex Jones, and the candidate he's stumping for is Georgia Misrepresentative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was already wealthy when she decided to run for Congress two years ago, unopposed, and only garnered 3/4 of the vote, which was still good enough for election.

We know Empty-G's penchant for saying stupid things for attention is an act, but way more extreme than the carefully crafted persona Allen developed decades prior. Goldie Hawn parlayed the "dumb blonde" stereotype into an Academy Award and reinvented herself as a serious actress. Greene? Her whole act is a turnoff because she panders to the low information base in her district, and that, according to Farron Cousins, might not translate so well at the national level in 2024.

Of course, nothing will come of anything between Jones & Greene, whose public personas suggest a combined IQ of below 50.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Another Donald Trump rally tour, but this time, it'll cost ya

 A shady promoter with questionable background is bankrolling Donald Trump's latest speaking tour. Unfortunately, Trump supporters have to pay through the nose to get really close to the former president.

Farron Cousins explains:

By comparison, $55 gets you a decent ampitheatre seat, depending on the headline act, for a concert at, say, MVP Arena, the Palace, or SPAC. $4000, more than what would be the max price for legacy acts like Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, or the Rolling Stones combined? That's asking for trouble. Trump is getting paid by the promoter, and you can bet he gets a cut of what you will pay for tickets.

Save yourself a trip to bankruptcy court. Wait for the inevitable DVD, if there is one.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Musical Interlude: Tenderness (1985)

 Here's a song that could be taught to preschoolers at day care or to kids at summer camp.

Start with the collection of children on screen at the beginning. The innocence of youth is the theme of General Public's 1-hit wonder, "Tenderness", in 1985. Singers Dave Wakeling & Ranking Roger's message is about protecting that innocence.

General Public was a side gig from the duo's regular band, the English Beat.

Friday, July 8, 2022

The last man at Fort Courage: Larry Storch (1923-2022)

 It has come over the wires that Larry Storch, the last surviving cast member of F-Troop, has passed away at 99.

More than 60 years in show business, and a resume of comic and dramatic roles worthy of the Hall of Fame. In addition to F-Troop, Storch was a recurring guest on Car 54, Where Are You?, and appeared on shows as diverse as Gomer Pyle, USMC, Kraft Suspense Theatre, The Hollywood Palace, Mannix, & Love, American Style, just to name a few. He headlined a short-lived sitcom, The Queen & I, for CBS, and even recorded some novelty covers of songs such as Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'".

To millions of kids, Larry lent his voice to Phineas J. Whoopee, the man with all the answers as an invaluable aide to Tennessee Tuxedo, then, after F-Troop ended, he extended his stay at WB by doing the Cool Cat and Merlin the Magic Mouse shorts, the latter succeeding Daws Butler. He was also the original cartoon voice of Batman's arch-enemy, the Joker, in the first Filmation series, reprising in a pair of guest appearances on The New Scooby-Doo Movies in 1972. He also spent two seasons voicing Marlon, a mynah bird with magic powers, on The Brady Kids.

From 1966, here's Larry with Andy Williams, from the latter's 2nd NBC variety show.

Rest in peace, Larry. Fort Courage is now closed.

Videos of Summer: 26 Miles (1958)

The Four Preps' 1958 hit, "26 Miles", is a robust summer song that will get a ton of play until the end of the season, and maybe beyond.

The following video has a mix of vintage footage and a compilation of memorabilia.

We lost co-author Glen Larson a while back. After the band split, Larson became a successful television producer, at first at Universal, then at 20th Century Fox, in the 70's & 80's, with a resume that includes Battlestar Galactica (1978), Quincy, Switch, & The Hardy Boys-Nancy Drew Mysteries. Larson also co-wrote the themes for each show, usually with Stu Phillips.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Names making news

 Facing a great deal of political pressure from his own party, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation earlier today.

Johnson would rather wait for his successor to be named, so he can facilitate a peaceful transition of power, unlike a certain bloviating man-child here in the US who needs not be named.

Johnson, who looks like Bill Clinton's British cousin, is hoping to leave with his dignity intact. Something certain of today's American Republicans should study.
Fox Shmooze garbage dispenser Tabloid Carlson gave an interview claiming he doesn't lie on purpose, but tends to overstate things if he gets riled up on certain topics.

Sure, and he's got a bridge to sell you.
A grand jury in Georgia investigating allegations of election tampering and/or fraud (let's be fair about it) against Donald Trump issued a subpoena to South Carolina Senator Moldy Graham. Unfortunately, Graham has retained the services of two lawyers from the firm of Dumb & Dumber, LLC, who are arguing that Graham is refusing to answer the subpoena because it has nothing to do with him, or some other convoluted excuse.

All that does is show that Graham is digging a deeper hole for himself. Forcing him out of the Senate would be a good start.
Staying in the Peach State, Misrepresentative Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene) is trying to claim that Monday's mass shooting in Highland Park, outside of Chicago, was a false flag operation to force GOPers to agree to gun control legislation.

As usual, Greene has no evidence to support her claims, and just puts garbage like that out there as red meat for her small-minded base. They already have the suspect in custody, Dumb Dora, so STFU. Robert Crimo has already confessed. 

Greene has won so many Dunce Caps in the last 18 months, including this week, that we're recommending something else. Audio torture. Someone should strap her down and make her listen to "Weird" Al Yankovic's 1985 masterpiece, "Dare to be Stupid", in a continual loop for a month. That should make her understand what the public really thinks of her outside of Georgia.

Forgotten TV: On Stage America (1984)

 Here's one that slipped through the cracks of the timestream.

On Stage America is so obscure, IMDB only has credits for a grand total of four episodes that aired in the spring and summer of 1984. This 2 hour syndicated series had to be a monthly series of specials, then, instead of a weekly series.

Among the hosts were actress Randi Oakes (ex-CHiPs), LA TV personality Steve Edwards, and NFL star Todd Christiansen, who'd segue from On Stage to a color analyst's role on the original American Gladiators.

This sample clip includes an intro by Todd, featuring fellow Utah natives, the Osmonds. From an Osmond fan channel.

No rating. Didn't see this the 1st time around, even though the show aired on WNEW (now WNYW) in New York.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Musical Interlude: Intergalactic (1998)

 You may never look at Japanese science fiction the same way again after the Beastie Boys' video for "Intergalactic",  a homage and satire of the genre, shot on location in Tokyo.

"Intergalactic" ended up winning a Grammy the following winter.

Sports this 'n' that

 While it's clear Baker Mayfield had a lot to do with the resurgence of the Cleveland Browns as a playoff contender, he couldn't get them too deep into the postseason, if at all.

It's been reported that Mayfield, the former 1st round draft pick, has been traded to Carolina for a draft pick. That means Sam Darnold's days in Charlotte are numbered, if they weren't already.

File photo courtesy Yahoo!.

It may also mean the end of those silly commercials Mayfield did for Cleveland-based Progressive Insurance. At Home With Baker Mayfield was a little too campy at times in its run, so now what does Progressive do, other than have Jon Hamm (ex-Mad Men) hang out with Flo and friends?

However, the trade could come back to bite the Browns, assuming the NFL decides to suspend Deshaun Watson for his off-field sexual harassment allegations. They got Jacoby Brissett as the backup, and he's proven to be a quality starter, so......!

Stay tuned.
Fox has already said that the USFL will return next year, and they're talking expansion already. Birmingham won the league title on Sunday. At least XFL 3.0, under the direction of Dwayne Johnson, will provide some company.
We are so not digging the greed coming from Panini as it relates to certain of their sports card brands.

Their Diamond Kings baseball cards, for example, not licensed by Major League Baseball, are being priced at roughly $15 per pack at Walmart. It's greed, plain & simple. They're asking retailers like Walmart and Walgreens to overcharge for their cards at 5 times the basic price for rival Topps. Imagine what will happen once Topps falls under the Fanatics banner in a couple of years.

Who loses? The kids do. So do veteran collectors (like ye scribe). Panini has licenses with the NFL & NBA, Topps/Fanatics has the MLB license.
Following Saturday's Money in The Bank event on Peacock, WWE's Shotzi (formerly Shotzi Blackheart) was poking fun in a good way toward AEW star and musician Chris Jericho. Unfortunately, online trolls and modern Jericholics forced Shotzi to close her Twitter account, leading fans to be concerned about her mental health. She says she's fine. Wrestling trolls are a sensitive and cowardly lot, perhaps too much of the former, which leads ye scribe to think they don't spend too much time doing anything other than being online during the day when the rest of us are working. Just sayin'.

Monday, July 4, 2022

What Might've Been: The Good Dish (2022)

 When Dr. Mehmet Oz decided to end his syndicated talk show in January in order to pursue a run for US Senate from Pennsylvania, Sony needed to fill the hour for its network of affiliates.

The end result was Oz's daughter, Daphne, a regular contributor to her father's show, being spun off into her own series, The Good Dish, which is playing out the string in summer reruns after being cancelled in March.

Locally, Dr. Oz had changed affiliations, from WNYT/WNYA to WTEN, prior to the start of the 2021-2 season, so Dish filled the 9-10 am (ET) berth upon its launch. WTEN now has 2 hours to fill in the fall between Good Morning America and The View, with The Doctors also ending. Sony's choice, nationally, is actress-singer Jennifer Hudson, who recently completed a career grand slam by winning a Tony Award last month. However, her show won't air on WTEN, but another station in the market.

Let's take a look at a sample of The Good Dish, courtesy of Sony:

With The Doctors ending, along with The Real, airing on Fox affiliates, it seems multi-person talk shows in syndication are dying off, with ABC's View and CBS' The Talk the only round-table shows left.

Rating: B.

Musical Interlude: Living in The Promiseland (1986)

 I heard this next track for the first time today on the radio, and thought it was appropriate enough for the 4th of July, as the programmers at WROW did.

"Living in The Promiseland" was the first single off Willie Nelson's 1986 CD, "Promiseland", and hit #1 on the country charts in both the US & Canada. Its author, David Lynn Jones, would release it himself the very next year.

Willie's version includes some archived video, and Jones' lyrics reference the poem, "The Huddled Masses".

Yes, Columbia Records, Willie's label at the time, was still the property of CBS at that time. Today, it's part of Sony.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

In Theatres: Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness (2022)

 20 years after bringing "Spider-Man" to the big screen, Sam Raimi returns to Marvel Comics, this time helming "Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness".

The opening act introduces moviegoers to one of Marvel's latest heroes, America Chavez, who debuted in print just a few short years ago. Seems that the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) thinks absorbing America's powers, particularly the ability to travel across universes, would help her with her self-created children (80's comics readers and fans of WandaVision will understand what I mean). It might feel like something from Image Comics, which used to start some stories in the middle instead of the beginning.

Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has to deal with the backlash caused by some of his counterparts on other earths while at the same time thwarting the rogue Avenger. There are guests galore, including one world's Illuminati, consisting of Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: Picard), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell, reprising from What If...? & Agent Carter), and Reed Richards (John Krasinski, ex-The Office). Clocking in at just over 2 hours, "Multiverse of Madness" doesn't overdo things, instead trying to simplify the story.

Check the trailer:

There is a pre-credits scene with a certain, ah, consort of Strange's, and the post-credits scene involves long-time Raimi collaborator Bruce Campbell. That's all I'm going to say.

Rating: B.

Musical Interlude: I'm Every Woman (1992)

 Whitney Houston's cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" was still atop the Hot 100 when the 2nd single from the soundtrack to "The Bodyguard" was released to radio stations. And it was another cover.

This time, Whitney covered Chaka Khan's 1978 hit, "I'm Every Woman". Khan appears in the video, along with Whitney's mom, Cissy Houston, Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson), Martha Wash (The Weather Girls, and, technically, Black Box and C & C Music Factory), and Arista labelmates TLC. The C & C boys (Robert Civillies and David Cole) co-produced the track with Narada Michael Walden.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

On The Shelf: DC gives Black Adam the heavy pre-movie push

 With a feature film starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson due in a few months, DC is giving Black Adam a promotional push similar to other films of recent years, including "Justice League", "The Suicide Squad", and, of course, "Shazam!", the sequel of which is due next year.

Teth-Adam of Egypt was the wizard's original champion, or so it seems, but as the old saying goes, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. DC has gone out of its way in recent years to make Adam a hero again, appearing JSA and Justice League, prior to the current 12 issue series. 

Image courtesy DC.

As Christopher Priest sees it, Adam is dying, and needs to pass his powers to a worthy successor. He finds one, who turns out to be a descendant of his. Oh, this is going to get interesting.

Rating: A-.
Marvel has experienced some unforeseen delays with the concluding chapters to their Captain Carter miniseries. Issue 4, now overdue, should hit stores July 13, with the 5th and final issue to follow August 10. A large number of books solicited for August have been pushed back to September, but Marvel won't offer any sort of logical explanation as to why. About all we can figure is it has to do with supply chain issues at this point.

Archie Comics is marking a 60th anniversary of its own, specifically, Sabrina, who debuted in 1962 in the pages of Archie's Mad House, and was spun off into her own solo series nine years later, or, right around the time Filmation split her off from her made-for-TV cousins, the Groovie Goolies.

A 1-shot special marking the occasion hits stores in September, and artists Dan Parent and Mike DeCarlo have recreated the cover to that first Sabrina issue, but updating Sabrina's wardrobe. She's sipping on a cup of what we must assume is juice, laying on the sofa. The original cover had her wearing go-go boots, but, the 2022 version sees a pair of sneakers on the floor, and Sabrina now in a modest red top & blue skirt with black tights. If you've seen one of these $3 specials from Archie, you know what to expect. A new story, and 2 reprints to fill out the issue.

Filmmaker, comics shop owner, and all around geek Kevin Smith is back, this time at Dark Horse, which is launching a new imprint that bears the name of Smith's old New Jersey store.

Maskerade, out in September, launches Smith's Secret Stash imprint. The plot is rather simple. A social media star is seeking to avenge the murder of her brother. To do it, though, she has to adopt a secret identity with the ability to impersonate others, using today's technology. Andy McElfresh and artist John Spengelmeyer join Smith on this quest.

40 years ago, George Romero's "Creepshow" hit theatres, and led to a graphic novel adaptation that likely is now a collector's item. More recently, it was adapted into a TV series for the Shudder channel, and now, Image is adapting that into a 5 issue miniseries, out in September. Creative personnel working on the series include Paul Dini, John McCrea, and Chris Burnham. Romero & Stephen King's original movie should be available on DVD, and if you don't have it, you may need it.

David Duchovny (ex-The X-Files) is moving into comics. 

Instead of writing a miniseries or a fill-in of a monthly, Duchovny's going for the downs with a graphic novel, Kepler, out in November from Dark Horse. Previews is hyping this as being in the tradition of sci-fi classics such as "Planet of The Apes". Judge for yourselves, as Kepler arrives a week before Thanksgiving.

Last item has to do with Archie, which is revisiting its short lived 1999 series, Archie's Weird Mysteries, with a 1-shot from their horror line in September. Weirder Mysteries likely will have the same one new story, two reprints format as the Sabrina anniversary volume, but for a dollar more.

The comics version of Weird Mysteries lost the "weird" and became Archie's Mysteries toward the end of the run. It has been collected in trade paperback before, but that's not being resolicited this time.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Celebrity Rock: You Don't Own Me (1996)

 If you've seen "The First Wives' Club", you've probably seen this next track at the end of the movie.

Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, & Bette Midler join forces to cover Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me". Of the three, Midler was the only one who'd previously climbed the charts, scoring with "The Rose", from the movie of the same name, and "Wind Beneath My Wings", from "Beaches". Goldie had, I think, done some musical numbers on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

Found: Donald Trump's favorite cartoon character

 Let's consider the following:

Former president Donald Trump is reportedly overweight (something ye scribe has in common with him, and it's the only thing). He also throws a lot of childish tantrums when things don't go his way, which has increased in frequency of late.

Because of his love of fast food, I used to think Citizen Pampers would've been taking after Popeye's buddy, J. Wellington Wimpy, but that would insult Wimpy, a more humble, though just as devious as Trump can be, fellow.

Instead, we turn to South Park, and........

This kid'll never see the White House. We think.

Eric Cartman is a short-tempered grade schooler who is one of the central characters of the long running Comedy Central series. I wonder if someone's ever photoshopped Trump's face on Cartman's body........