Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Celebrity Rock: Hallelujah (2016)

Kate McKinnon was one of those who left Saturday Night Live at the end of last season. This next clip came up because another SNL alumnus, Rob Schneider, gave an interview recently where he felt the series went down a political rabbit hole six years ago.

Of course, Schneider's a little biased, since he's since been revealed to be a GOPer. His beef? McKinnon, as Hillary Clinton, opened an episode with a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" on the piano.

In case Schneider forgot, SNL has always done political humor, poking fun at every sitting President from Gerald Ford to Joe Bden, and even doing bits on the likes of Richard Nixon. As SNL approaches season 48, Schneider's almost certain not to be brought back as a guest host. Should've known better.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Weasel of The Week: Mark Kirsch

 Study the face of this week's Weasel:

Mark Kirsch is the star of the cable series, Man Vs. Impossible, and has performed some strongman-worthy stunts, like pulling airplanes.

However, over the weekend in Kansas City, Kirsch went from hero to zero in a matter of minutes.

During the Royals-Padres game, San Diego's Juan Soto homered, and his drive landed in an area of the bleachers occupied by teenager Bruce Williams, who was celebrating his birthday. Kirsch, for whatever reason, decided to steal the baseball, and, after being confronted by Williams, refused to return it, opting to try to swap it out for a pair of Royals jerseys (how he acquired those has also been called to question), but Williams wasn't having it.

Kirsch, who tried out for the independent Savannah Bananas earlier this year, left, unrepentant about this ill-advised stunt. Williams, however, was rewarded by the Royals, who were able to have Soto, a visiting superstar, sign a ball for him.

Kirsch, 41, is one of these social media savvy clowns who lives for attention. The Royals initially said he wouldn't be banned from Kaufman Stadium, but now that this case has garnered national attention, he should either make good on his actions, or face banishment. If you can permanently ban a drunken goof for running onto the field (which happens a few times a year), you can also ban a Weasel who puts himself ahead of others. Mark Kirsch has to face the consequences of his actions sooner rather than later.

What Might've Been: The Last Thing at Night (1958)

 This was posted over at Saturday Morning Archives last night because of the star of this picture, Howard Morris (Your Show of Shows).

In the unsold pilot, The Last Thing at Night, co-authored by Your Show of Shows writer Lucille Kallen, Morris is a bachelor who gets into some Walter Mitty-style fantasies.

Of course, Morris would move on to bigger things, including a recurring gig on The Andy Griffith Show, and doing some directing for the balance of his career.

No rating. Just a public service.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Bizarre messages from GOPer lunatics

 Donald John Narcissus Trump, physical age 76, mental age of approximately 2 1/2, now wants certain of the FBI to rebel against their boss, Christopher Wray, appointed by Trump himself, and protect him.


The Nectarine Napoleon is doing everything possible to avoid the inevitable, but he's rapidly losing what little semblance of reality he has left. He's deathly afraid of going to either jail or Bellevue Hospital in New York, so he's trying to subliminally goad the Legion of The Brainwashed to action, in the hope that whatever happens this time can't be traced back to him.


Meanwhile, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Zing-a-Graham is warning that the Legion will riot again if Trump is prosecuted. Please. They're going to nail your wrinkled tuchis to the wall, too, old boy, so don't think you're safe. Just go to Georgia and testify before a grand jury instead of stalling for time.

Texas Senator Raphael "Ted" Cruz went on some right wing podcast and whined about baristas and so-called slackers in what amounts to a thinly veiled shot at the Democrats after President Biden forgave student loan debts last week. He specifically mentioned baristas as a cheap shot at NY Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a former bartender herself. You'd think that after all this time, he'd keep his mouth shut in regard to Alex From The Block.

But, as Farron Cousins explains, the root of the problem is that average working stiffs aren't falling for the GOPer fundraising con, and that bothers ol' Timex.

Maybe Cruz should have an intervention with his brothers, Donatello, Leonardo, & Michelangelo.......!

Joking aside, the GOPers need to realize that they haven't given anyone outside of their base any reason to donate to them because they're too busy propping up their false idol.

More Trump: Now, the Archduke of Affluenza is also railing against the FBI and demanding, after nearly 22 months, that the 2020 election be voided in favor of what amounts to a do-over. If this doesn't convince you the Oldest Baby in the World is permanently out to lunch, what does? Children used to demand a do-over if they lost a game, even if the outcome was honest. That's how far Trump has fallen psychologically.

Maybe Melania should take Dana Carvey's advice after all and book a flight, with Barron, aboard Air Force Done.........

Sunday, August 28, 2022

A little of this and a little of that

 The Mets had not had an Old Timers' Day in more than three decades, due largely to the indifference of former owner Fred Wilpon. Oh, many of the old stars would return for special occasions, but, on Saturday, Old Timers' Day was back. Current owner Steve Cohen, a long time Mets fan, gave the fan base not only the spectacle that was missing, but a huge surprise.

Just weeks after player-turned-broadcaster Keith Hernandez had his #17 retired, Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who finished his career in New York (1972-3), had his #24 raised to the ring of honor in the upper deck, joining Hernandez, Mike Piazza, Casey Stengel, Tom Seaver, and Gil Hodges.

The Old Timers' festivities ran long, so the regularly scheduled game between the Mets & Colorado, a 3-0 Mets win, was delayed by about 20 minutes.

For his next trick, maybe Cohen can bring back Banner Day.
Once upon a time, when MTV actually cared about music, the Video Music Awards were a must-see spectacle.

Not so anymore, not when MTV overloads on blocks of Ridiculousness reruns 7 days a week.

This year's edition, the first live-in-front-of-a-audience event since 2019 due to, of course, COVID-19, takes place tonight in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center, home of the NHL Devils. Rapper-actor LL Cool J (NCIS Los Angeles, Lip Sync Battle), Nicki Minaj, & Jack Harlow co-host. The first two hours will be simulcast for the first time on the CW in an effort to bump up sagging ratings (gee, what a surprise).

Seeing as how the network ignored its own 40th anniversary last year, maybe a make-good is in order.

The Buffalo Bills drafter punter Matt Araiza in the 6th round back in April out of San Diego State, and just a week ago, was given the starting job.

As of yesterday, Araiza is out of a job.

By his own admission last fall, Araiza took part in a gang rape of a 17 year old at a party. The case didn't get as much national attention as, say, the imbroglio involving Deshaun Watson, now with Cleveland and about to serve a 11 game suspension imposed by the league. However, the victim and her attorney decided to file a civil suit against Araiza this week. The timing is suspicious enough that online commenters believe the attorney was looking for an easy payday, even though his client's not looking for money.

Two Aztecs teammates that took part in the rape were subsequently cut from the team, and not yet drafted. Araiza's pro dreams have been smashed. According to those same commenters, police in San Diego investigated the case, but why file a civil suit 10 months later, when the criminal investigation, depending on who you talk to, has or hasn't been completed? In many rape cases, the victim doesn't come forward right away out of fear and/or trauma. We've seen that play out several times in crime dramas such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. According to reports, the victim did report the crime within a day or so, but it's the timing of the case now getting national publicity that is a wee bit questionable.

We're praying this young woman is getting support not only from her family and SDSU, but also counseling from someone other than an ambulance chasing shyster who wants his 15 minutes of fame.

Barring any further legal complications, it'll be a long time before Araiza steps onto a football field again.
We have noted previously how city businessman David Bryce, a graduate of RPI & Troy High, wants to convert the Uncle Sam Atrium into another overpriced apartment complex.

Apparently, Bryce hasn't completely read the room, if you will.

While the Uncle Sam Parking Garage is being torn down, someone should tell Bryce that there's an opportunity to build a sports arena in the Atrium space between 3rd & 4th Streets. As we've noted over at Tri-City SportsBeat, LaSalle Institute, long a rival of Troy High's, has been displaced from its home rink at Hudson Valley Community College. The garage can be used for those apartments, or rebuilt from the ground up. Sure, RPI will want a piece of the pie, since the ancient Houston Field House only seats anywhere from 2-4,000 fans for games, and they can't draw flies for women's hockey. In this writer's opinion, it's on Bryce to give something to downtown that they desperately need, not another apartment building with four figure per month rents.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

What Might've Been: The Engelbert Humperdinck Show (1969)

 ITC, thinking that This is Tom Jones was going to be a long term hit for ABC, complemented Jones with the addition of The Engelbert Humperdinck Show, which launched with a pilot episode the day after Christmas 1969, then began a weekly run three weeks later.

The series episodes would air on ABC on Wednesdays, then air in the UK four nights later, after a simulcast on December 26. Unfortunately, despite Humperdinck's chart success here in the US, the show lasted just one season.

Here is that pilot, with Jose Feliciano, Jones, and Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie), who performs a cover of Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man". Jones & Humperdinck shared the same bandleader, Jack Parnell.

No rating. Just a public service.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Senator Pruneface vs. Fraud Fauntleroy. Who ya got?

 I refer, of course to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and America's Oldest Baby, Donald John Narcissus Trump. See, Fraud Fauntleroy launched a new round of insults toward McConnell and his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, earlier this week, and is calling for the GOP to remove McConnell as Minority Leader.

While Farron Cousins throws out names like Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, and that other Kentucky Klown, Rand Paul, he also points out that the GOPers dumping McConnell would actually kill their chances of retaking the Senate in November.

McConnell is a career politician. Trump is a whiny, self-serving, narcissistic man-child at 76. Let us not underscore the fact that if he wanted to, Trump could've played the race card with Chao, an Asian-American, given his history of disparaging minorities just because. With Trump, as we've known for the last few years, unless you're on his side, he doesn't want to like you. Just the way a child would behave.

"WWWAAHHHHHH! The old crow's gotta go now!! WAAAAHHHAHH!"

There's a better chance of McConnell riding out the storm before he decides on his own to retire. When he does, Trump will likely be in the senior pediatric wing at Bellevue Hospital.

Forgotten TV: The Carpenters' Space Encounters (1978)

 In May 1978, television executives were still looking to cash in on "Star Wars", but no network was more active in this category than ABC.

Four months before Battlestar Galactica & Mork & Mindy hit the air, the alphabet network signed the Carpenters, Richard & Karen, to star in a primetime special, headlined by their cover of Klaatu's "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft". Had they waited, say, another 4-6 months, they could've done a crossover with either of the two freshman series. Robin Williams interacting with the Carpenters would've been priceless.

Of course, I can think of a couple of cartoon heroes that would've filled the bill, too, but that would be too easy.

Anyway, the Carpenters are joined by guests Suzanne Somers (Three's Company), John Davidson, and Charlie Callas, fresh from Switch. Charlie plays the siblings' producer, but also gets to mug for the camera as only he can. Somers & Davidson are aliens who get schooled by the Carpenters.

Like I said, they could've waited a few months to meet Mork.


I didn't see this the first time, didn't even know about it, really. No rating.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Videos of Summer: Cherish (1966)

 From Where The Action Is:

Host-executive producer Dick Clark interviews audience members and The Association before the band performs "Cherish". Seems Clark had the idea for a on-air beach house waaaaaaaaay before MTV did.

Another tree of stupid grows in Florida

 Andy Warhol famously said that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes.

Laura Loomer wants hers now.

Loomer lost a Congressional primary on Tuesday, but, less than 48 hours later, she's claiming she won.

No one had heard of Loomer until this week, and she's playing the sore loser card like other far, far right GOPer idiots before her.

Someone should tell her that the rest of the country's sick of hearing about non-existent voter fraud. It was a close race, and she lost by just a small handful of points, but that's not good enough for Loopy Loomer in her 2nd attempt at the GOP nod in Florida's 21st Congressional district.

To illustrate my point, Prince Pillow (Mike Lindell) had another one of his fund raising scam-a-thons over the weekend. You know the drill by now. Lindell claims repeatedly he has evidence of voter fraud from 2020, but he really doesn't, and instead, with Empty-G among the guests, it's really a telethon for his flailing pillows and new product like coffee. At this point, Whinedell isn't fooling enough people anymore, but it's all he has left, at least until certain authorities shut him down.

In contrast to Loomer, professional losers Marc Molinaro and Tom Golisano were defeated in primaries on Tuesday. Molinaro had the good sense to concede. Media outlets are split on whether or not Golisano extricated his feet from his mouth long enough to actually acknowledge he had lost-----again.

What did Molinaro in was a late attack campaign against Democrat Pat Ryan that reeked of desperation. As Rocky the Flying Squirrel often reminded Bullwinkle, "that trick never works". Not in this modern age, anyway.

Loomer needs to pay attention to other races around the country, and how defeated candidates comport themselves. It's a teaching tool going forward.

Looking ahead to 2023 for the Mets

 Major League Baseball released the 2023 schedules for all 30 teams on Wednesday. As a public service, here's the Mets' schedule:

Beginning in 2023, each team will play all 29 of the other teams, including all 15 AL teams. The Mets will have a 4 game Subway Series with the Yankees, but will have one series of 3 games against the other 14 AL clubs. Consequently, they'll play the remaining teams in the NL East (Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, & Washington 13 times each, down from 19.

In other Mets news, Australian musician Timmy Trumpet will be at Citi Field on Tuesday, and if closer Edwin Diaz gets into the game, fans will be treated to a live performance (with recorded vocals by Blasterjaxx) of Diaz's theme song, "Narco". That's not guaranteed, considering the Mets will host the Los Angeles Dodgers, who split a 4 game series with the Mets earlier this year.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

What Might've Been: Kate McShane (1975)

 Television was starting to turn a corner in the mid-70's. For the first time since the 50's (Decoy), there were women in lead roles in crime dramas (Police Woman and the short-lived Get Christie Love!). However, no one considered the prospect of a female lawyer.

Veteran producer E. Jack Neuman, who was at Paramount in the mid-70's, decided to do something about it with CBS' Kate McShane, whose lead was an Irish-American defense attorney (Anne Meara, ex-The Corner Bar), who was often aided by her father, a retired cop (Sean McClory) and her brother, a priest (Charles Haid).

So why did it fail? Wrong hour, wrong night of the week. CBS put the show on Wednesdays at 10 pm (ET), opposite Starsky & Hutch on ABC. Game over. Had it been on at an earlier hour, maybe it works out for the better.

Here's the pilot movie:

CBS executives must've seen something they liked with Charles Haid, as he returned the next year, acting opposite Judd Hirsch in Delvecchio, but that, too, lasted just one season. Haid would score five years after that with Hill Street Blues.

Anne Meara continued making guest appearances, and joined the cast of Rhoda for its final couple of seasons. After appearing in the feature film version of "Fame", she landed a supporting role on Archie Bunker's Place, but would not headline her own series again until teaming with husband Jerry Stiller in a self-titled sitcom in 1986. Their son, Ben, made one of his first TV appearances in an episode of Kate McShane at age 11.

No rating. Just a public service.

Proof you can't fix stupid: Dumb Donald II thinks it would've been ok for his dad to keep classified documents

 While we've never been able to prove that Dumb Donald II (Donald Trump, Jr.) has any sort of substance abuse issues, despite video evidence that would suggest it, he keeps demonstrating that, to use an old joke, if his brains were dynamite, he wouldn't have enough to blow his nose, much less a certain white powder.

Anyway, Prince Preppy and Screaming Kimi (Kim Guilfoyle) were at a rally on Monday for Florida Misrepresentative Mattress Gaetz, and Prince Preppy decided to play the idiot card once again. Farron Cousins explains:

As Farron notes, no, those documents were not the personal property of Citizen Pampers, no matter how many Daffy Duck tantrums the elder Trump throws. Junior is so dumb, he could probably relate to some of those Dumb Donald questions on Match Game, like this gem about the President's Cabinet.......

I'll bet anything at all Fraud Fauntleroy had access to tapes of a certain NBC relic from the 50's while doing The Apprentice, considering his sons' public speaking ability could only have come from Ding Dong School......

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

A little of this and a little of that

 It's been a couple of weeks since a Russian court found WNBA star Britney Griner guilty (something to do with vaping). The worst case scenario, we thought, was that she would be part of a prisoner exchange with Russia.

Enter Dennis Rodman.

The former NBA star claims he has permission to go to Russia to negotiate Griner's release.

The White House, on the other hand, is disavowing any knowledge of the eccentric Rodman's plans. Toward the end of his career, Rodman seemed to be missing a few screws, both on and off the court, and he claims to be pals with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Right now, that prisoner exchange might be a better option.

Update, 3 pm (ET): Rodman has cancelled his plans for Russia.
Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady was back at Buccaneer camp on Monday, amid wild rumors questioning his whereabouts the last two weeks.

One of those rumors had him appearing on Fox's The Masked Singer, which begins its fall season next month. Stranger things have happened. Like having a certain geriatric screwball from NYC appearing on the show during its winter-spring cycle.

There's also been talk of a split between Brady and wife Gisele Bunchen. Save that stuff for the supermarket tabloids.
It used to be that when the Jests and Giants played their annual preseason game, it was on a Saturday night.

Not this year.

This year's game is set for Sunday afternoon at 1 at Met Life Stadium. The NY Daily News used to hype up the annual game pretty big, and I think charities might've been benefiting. Not so anymore.
No one expected a letdown last night as the Subway Series resumed at Yankee Stadium, but the Mets did have one, coming off a wacky 10-9 win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

Domingo German outdueled Max Scherzer, and the Yankees beat the Mets, 4-2. Tonight's game is on SNY, TBS, and Amazon Prime. Weather permitting.
Fox Shmooze garbage salesman Tabloid Carlson is trying to claim that certain types of milk would turn someone transgender, per his Monday show. Of course, Carlson got flamed on Twitter, as usual.

Here's an idea. Why not change the name of the show to National Enquirer Live!, since Tucker is allergic to real news. Much of the content in today's supermarket tabloids qualifies them for the fiction section at the bookstore, anyway.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Dunce Cap Award: Alina Habba

 This was too easy.

Alina Habba (Dabba-Doo), a miscast attorney representing Citizen Pecos Pampers (Donald Trump, of course) decided to go on Newsnacks to whine about the FBI visit to Mar-a-Lago, which, as I write, took place two weeks ago. However, she proves once again why not even other lawyers representing the Archduke of Affluenza trust her. Farron Cousins explains.

The reason I say she's miscast is because she has no experience in the kind of cases Fraud Fauntleroy has to deal with. None. Nada. Nil. Once he tires of her incompetence, he'll throw her under the nearest bus, unless she does it first, which I doubt will happen.

That said, Alina gets the Dunce Cap for even raising the issue of forcing the revelation of the FBI agents who were at Mar-a-Lago, putting them in danger. You're out of your depth, Alina. Wake up and realize that, then tender your resignation from the Trump Twilight Zone, and go back to law school.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Vin Scully for Continental Airlines (1970's)

 The late baseball icon Vin Scully was hired on by Continental Airlines sometime in the 70's to do some commercials. This is one of them.

On The Air: Albany Street (?)

 For the last several years, Albany Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Pamal Broadcasting, has opened its Sunday morning schedule with a pair of talk shows.

Albany Street airs just before 5:30 am on WROW (Magic 590/100.5 FM). There is no information on when the series premiered, but it is a fixture. As of today, B95.5 afternoon host Jon Reilly has taken over as series host from veteran Joe Condon, weekend host at B95.5. Again, there is no mention of whether or not Condon has retired or simply passed the baton, if you will.

Albany Street is coupled with News, Views, & Interviews for a hour-long public affairs block airing on WROW & WYJB (B95.5). Aaron Mair is now the solo host for the latter as of August 14.

Last year, Albany Mayoral candidate Alicia Purdy appeared on Albany Street, and the complete episode is available on Ms. Purdy's YouTube channel.

There are still public affairs programs airing on local television, but it isn't the same as it was when ye scribe was growing up in the 70's (i.e. The Urban League Speaks Out! comes to mind). Albany Street and News, Views, & Interviews are recorded 4-5 days before broadcast due to the early morning air times.

Rating: A.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Musical Interlude: Just When I Needed You Most (1979)

 The late Randy VanWarmer scored his only #1 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart with 1979's "Just When I Needed You Most". Not in the video: former Lovin' Spoonful frontman John Sebastian on autoharp.

VanWarmer found greater success as a songwriter, as the Oak Ridge Boys, Michael Johnson, and others recorded his songs. 17 years after "Needed" peaked in the top 10 on the Hot 100, Dolly Parton & Alison Krauss covered "Needed", with Sebastian again on autoharp.

Sports this 'n' that

 Last year, it was domestic abuse. This year, busted for DUI.

It's clear Atlanta OF/DH Marcell Ozuna, once a promising superstar in Miami and St. Louis, has some issues that require top priority attention.

File photo courtesy Yahoo!.

Ozuna was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning, after Atlanta had beaten the Mets. He didn't play in the series vs. the NL East leaders, nor was he in the lineup vs. Houston last night, another win for the defending World champs. His defensive play, or lack of it, landed him on the bench, and manager Brian Snitker didn't even bother using him as a DH or a late inning pinch hitter in the Mets series.

Roughly translated, the DUI could be Ozuna's ticket outta town. Stay tuned.
We've seen it happen all season in the major leagues. If you're not vaccinated, you can't get into Canada to play.

For the 2nd time in less than a month, that reality has hit the Tri-City Valleycats, as they are playing the first 7 games of a 10 game road trip in the Great White North, opening with a blowout win last night over Trois-Rivieres. Catcher Austin Elder and pitcher Ryan Hartman, the latter signed earlier this week, and beginning his 2nd tour of duty with Tri-City, are not vaccinated, which could hurt the 'Cats if they make the playoffs next month.
Meanwhile, the WWE also had to make some adjustments to last night's Smackdown card, calling up Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne, 2-time NXT women's tag champs as part of Toxic Attraction, to replace Zoey Stark & Nikkita Lyons in the WWE women's tag tournament. Stark is in the concussion protocol after getting screwed by Jayne & Dolin's partner in crime, Mandy Rose, on Tuesday, and Lyons----wait for it----is not vaccinated.

While the husband & wife team of Karrion Kross & Scarlett appeared via videotape, this was because they, too, are not vaxxed (by choice). Tag team champions Jey & Jimmy Uso were scratched due to their legal issues preventing them from getting into Canada.

With Clash at The Castle coming up in 2 weeks in Cardiff, Wales, one wonders if Kross will even be on the card. Lyons will return to NXT on Tuesday.

Friday, August 19, 2022

A primer on Westinghouse appliances, circa 1959

 This was likely tied to The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.

Fred & Ethel Mertz (William Frawley & Vivian Vance) get schooled on the latest Westinghouse appliances of the day by company spokeswoman Betty Furness, who later became a consumer advocate.

Frawley would move on to My Three Sons the next season. Vivian Vance would return in The Lucy Show in its early years.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Now we know why Citizen Pampers can't get "A'"-list attorneys..........

 These things we know are true about Donald John Narcissus Trump:

1. At 76, the oldest man-child in America.

2. He's such a miser, he makes Jack Benny's long running radio & TV persona look like a philanthropist by comparison!

3. Because of this, he's too cheap to pay his lawyers, despite his supposedly being among the wealthiest people in America.

4. The best lawyers won't take him on as a client because he's SOOOOOOOO cheap, refusing to pay his bills. This explains why he has the likes of Alina Habba (Dabba Doo) and Christina Bobb representing him.

Farron Cousins breaks it down.

In light of this, I thought this might be a perfect anthem, not only for Trump's current legal team, but past their prime clowns like Rudy Goofiani and L. Looney Woodchips, courtesy of Judy Collins and The Muppet Show:

As noted in Farron's video, Trump's ego gets in the way of the responsibility to the lawyers who have gotten stiffed, including Goofiani and John Eastman. This approach only makes his situation worse than it already is. As if we didn't know that already.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

On The Air: Battlebots (2000)

 Battlebots has been on three different networks in 22 years on the air. It kind of sneaks up on you because of it being more of a seasonal entry. Fight night for tech geeks.

The series originally aired on Comedy Central for five years, with comedian Bil Dwyer, joined by former NFL players Sean Salisbury & Tim Green at the mics. After a lengthy break, the series resurfaced at ABC for a couple of years before moving to its current home at Discovery Channel, with episodes repurposed on its sister network, Science. Chris Rose left MLB Network to serve as play-by-play announcer, paired with former UFC star Kenny Florian.

As with other combat sports (i.e. UFC), Battlebots has a dedicated, devoted fan following, judging from the packed crowds for tapings.

Following is a sample clip from the current series, airing on Discovery.

If only they could go on tour, but that would be, as I'm told, expensive.

Rating: A.

Now, they're saying America's Oldest Baby thought he had ownership of the classified documents

 It keeps getting worse and worse for Donald Trump.

It was revealed by Maggie Haberman of CNN and the New York Times that when Trump was told by one of his lawyers that he had to return all those boxes of documents that the FBI subsequently collected a week ago, he told the lawyer, Pat Philbin, that those documents were his to keep. 

No they're not, Fraud Fauntleroy, never were.

Now, you know why Citizen Pampers is having daily meltdowns trying to stir up his rabid base of brainwashed dullards. He has been reluctant to follow protocols of any kind, but this could be what finally swapping his custom suits for a orange adult onesie in prison or at Bellevue, whichever comes first.

What this tells us is that Trump has plenty in common with this cartoon legend:

And, then, Spam Hannity, on his radio show, tried to sell the idea that even if he gets convicted, Trump could still run in 2024. By then, Spam, I doubt it will come to pass.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Musical Interlude: Too Late For Goodbyes (1984)

 "Too Late For Goodbyes" was the 2nd single from Julian Lennon's 1984 debut, "Valotte". Set in the studio, the clip was directed by legendary filmmaker Sam Peckinpah, who also helmed the videos for "Valotte" & "Say You're Wrong".

Monday, August 15, 2022

What Might've Been: Blankety Blanks (1975)

 Up until 1975, producer Bob Stewart's production company had dealt only with CBS & NBC. The Pyramid franchise, remember, moved from CBS to ABC, so Stewart's 1st actual sale to ABC was the short-lived Blankety Blanks, a fill-in-the-blank game with Stewart's go-to MC, Bill Cullen, at the helm.

As memory serves, Blanks aired around lunch time, and at the time, then-ABC affilate WAST (now WNYT) hadn't yet launched its 12 noon news. May be wrong about that point.

Anyway, game play was similar to Pyramid, as celebrities and contestants were partnered on two teams of two. In this case, in the opener, William Shatner and Anne Meara are the guest stars, with Shatner five months away from Barbary Coast:

You know, of course, that there was also a Blankety Blanks over in the UK, albeit a copycat of Match Game, and it lasted way longer than the US Blanks.

Rating: B.

Is Donald Trump that scared of jail? A Kentucky GOPer wants to repeal the law that could put him there

 It's been a week since the FBI paid a visit to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. Donald Trump's been talking out of both sides of his mouth since then, changing his story with more frequency than a Hulk Hogan interview.

After Trump spent the weekend throwing verbal tantrums on Truth Social, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, personal eye doctor to Quincy Magoo and other near-sighted types everywhere, decided to be a moron and declared that he wants to repeal the Espionage Act, which is the law that Trump, per the Department of Justice, had broken after they found classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Now, Trump, of course, is claiming (falsely) that he declassified them, but I doubt very seriously he actually understands what that means, with all the talk of his being politically----and literally----illiterate. He took all those boxes with him in 2021 when he wasn't supposed to, and we have to assume he wanted them for leverage against any future political opponent.

Sorry, Dumb Donald, but you're that predictable.

While we're considering investigating Paul for harvesting crack in the Kentucky blue grass, let's let Farron Cousins break it all down.....

I wonder if Trump has claustrophobia, which would explain his fear of imprisonment...........

Sunday, August 14, 2022

On The Air: Hawkeye (2021)

 In time, virtually all of the major Marvel heroes will get their own Disney+ series.

Hawkeye dropped just in time for the holidays. Watching this show during the summer months will make one think of the first "Die Hard" movie, except that Clint "Hawkeye" Barton (Jeremy Renner) isn't all by himself against impossible odds.

Sending his wife & kids off on vacation, where he'll join them in time for Christmas, Clint faces off with an enemy with a grudge against a former persona of his, Ronin (comics fans will know about this, and there are references to "Avengers: Endgame"). At the same time, he acquires a new partner in college student Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld, "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse"), whom he will train to be his successor (as seen in the comics).

Because of the holiday setting, the soundtrack includes some familiar Christmas classics, including songs from A Charlie Brown Christmas & How The Grinch Stole Christmas. This counter-balances a cheesy Broadway musical exploiting the Avengers (think the similarly campy number in "Captain America: The First Avenger"), something Clint is not a fan of, obviously.

Check the trailer:

If they ever decide to remake "Die Hard", maybe they should give Jeremy Renner a call.......

Rating: A.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

On The Shelf: Beginnings, endings, and coming distractions

 IDW issued a free preview spotlighting five new titles, one of which is already out.

Dark Spaces: Wildfire, written by Scott Snyder, is a timely series about firefighters battling wildfires, which tend to be an annual thing out west. Only, in this case, there's a murder mystery involved, and it would seem this fire was a backdrop for someone stealing millions of dollars. This is currently in stores. 

Your actual interest may vary. Rating: B.

Trve Kvlt (the spelling is deliberate) deals with a fast food clerk who wants to move up in the world by taking up a life of crime. Seems this was set during the early part of the pandemic, when few businesses actually could have money on hand for a robber.

Rating: B-.

Crashing is set in an emergency room, and dealing with patients who suddenly have powers. Weird.

Rating: C.

Earthdivers: Kill Columbus is set 90 years in the future, or, basically, another alternate future sci-fi fantasy, also involving time travel. Not my speed.

Rating: C.

Dead Seas is a weird one, too. A little girl and a monstrous imaginary friend come to life. And they're saving this for December? Bad timing, yo'.

Rating: C.
After a few months' delay, DC finally resets the former Mary Marvel as The New Champion of Shazam! in a 4 issue miniseries that is meant to pass the baton, if ya will from Billy Batson to Mary Bromfield as Shazam, after the events of last year's Shazam! miniseries, which left Billy trapped on the Rock of Eternity. Josie Campbell and Evan "Doc" Shaner are tasked with this one. No Uncle Marvel, but there is a powerless Hoppy. What fun.

Image courtesy DC Comics.

Rating: A-.
Time to close the books on some recently concluded miniseries.

Captain Carter, spun off, after a fashion, from What If?, sees Peggy Carter wielding a shield of her own, and thrust out of her time. The big surprise was unveiled in issue 4, which was delayed to July for unknown reasons. Baron Blood, though not mentioned by that name, ends up being the big bad. Like, did they really think no one would remember an old Captain America foe from back in the day?

This was fun, but they could've done better.

Final rating: B-.

As Naomi was cancelled by the CW after 1 season, the 2nd miniseries from Brian Bendis, David Walker, & Jamal Campbell reaches its conclusion. What is not certain is whether or not Bendis will leave Naomi McDuffie at DC, or move her adventures to another publisher, despite the establishment of her ties to the Justice League. One wonders if Bendis will even return to DC.

Final rating: B--.

Tom King's Batman: Killing Time has had a mysterious narrator from the go, and he's finally revealed. 

Temple Fugate, the rebooted Clock King from Batman: The Animated Series, becomes the latest to cross over to the DCU. King, I think, has plans for him down the line, but would other Bat-writers have any interest. Fittingly, Batman: The Animated Series marks its 30th anniversary this fall. Seems King is more at home writing miniseries after the Bat-debacle of a couple of years ago.

Final rating: A-.
While the world awaits the next issue, if there is one, of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Salem takes the spotlight in an October 1-shot. Looks promising.

DC has signed actor Paul Dano ("The Batman") to script a 6 issue Riddler: Year One miniseries, out in October, that will serve as a prequel to the spring blockbuster. Also in October is a brand new Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries series that picks up where the last series left off. This does mark 50 years since the two icons first teamed.
In light of Marvel's Mutant Gala in the X-books the last two years, some clever DC fans have come up with some designs for the women of DC in the event DC decides to stage a gala of their own. I'm impressed with what's there, and you have to hope DC takes these folks up on the idea.

Cooking For Dollars: America's Bake-Off, aka The Pillsbury Bake-Off (1949)

 Ah, the days when you could put just about anything on daytime television, including cooking and exercise programs.

For several years, beginning with the first event in 1949, the Pillsbury Bake-Off, alternately known as America's Bake-Off, aired on CBS. Radio icon Arthur Godfrey was the first host, and then, the baton was passed to Art Linkletter, and, in the 70's, Bob Barker (The Price is Right). Since Barker's final Bake-Off in 1984, which he produced himself, the chef's gloves have been passed to Willard Scott (on loan from NBC), Alex Trebek, Phylicia Rashad, Marie Osmond, and, in one of the last televised events, Carla Hall presented the winners on ABC's The Chew.

Pillsbury, now part of General Mills, was the sole sponsor for the majority of these events, and, including the 1984 edition we're going to show you, had Pop'n Fresh (voice of Paul Frees) doing bumpers.

Now, let's take you to February 1984, and San Diego. Johnny Olsen came over with Barker from The Price is Right, which reverted to its original half hour form for the occasion, airing after the contest.

Last year's event was held virtually, and not televised.

Rating: A.

Friday, August 12, 2022

ABC Fall Preview 60 years ago (1962)

 Most of us are accustomed to network fall previews being 30-60 minutes in length. Not in the case of ABC's 1962-3 fall preview, hosted by the cast of The Donna Reed Show. Only new series are featured, with narration by Dick Tufeld. The freshman class of '62:

Stoney Burke, starring Jack Lord.
I'm Dickens, He's Fenster, with John Astin & Marty Ingels.
Going My Way, starring Gene Kelly, Leo G. Carroll, & Dick York.
McHale's Navy, the lone series to be renewed, lasting four seasons total, plus 2 feature films.
Our Man Higgins, with Stanley Holloway.

Clocking in at under 15 minutes, this goes by quickly, which might explain why ABC was so late to the party in extending their previews.

Rating: A.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

What Might've Been: Class of '55 (1972)

 It was 1972. With two hit series thriving-----The Mary Tyler Moore Show was soon to begin season 3, and Room 222 heading into season 4----James L. Brooks returned to 20th Century Fox, home of Room 222, to film a pilot for another series, this one to be for CBS.

Class of '55 was, unfortunately, rejected by CBS after all, but Fox took a shine to one of its leads, Alan Alda. The 2nd generation actor, of course, would move on to M*A*S*H and icon status in short order, but what would've happened had CBS bought Class of '55? We'll never know for sure.

Our cast also includes Gary Conway (ex-Land of The Giants, Burke's Law), and, in smaller parts, Heshimu (Room 222) and Jamie Farr, who appears at the end as a hustling photographer. Louise Lasser was four years away from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman when cast as the female lead, but as a YouTube commenter notes, she'd done a pilot with Alda a few years earlier.

Of course, Jamie Farr would join Alda on M*A*S*H, finally landing a signature role of his own after being a character actor for a few years.

Rating: A-.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

What Might've Been: Scared Stiff (1971)

 Bob Denver was a year removed from The Good Guys when he was cast in a pilot developed by Garry Marshall & Jerry Belson (The Odd Couple). Denver was paired with Broadway star and TV character actor Warren Berlinger in Scared Stiff as a pair of detectives often running afoul of a police detective (Paul Reed, ex-Car 54, Where Are You?), who was the uncle of Berlinger's character.

Plot and title aside, this Scared Stiff has no real connection with a 1953 Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis movie of the same name, which, in turn, was a remake of one of Bob Hope's films, "The Ghost Breakers". Paramount owned the rights to the original "Ghost Breaker", and it'd been 18 years since the Martin-Lewis version of "Stiff".

Linda Kaye Henning (ex-Petticoat Junction), Robert Cornthwaite, and Marie Windsor co-star. Howie Horwitz (ex-Batman) is a producer.

For once, Denver isn't the bumbling half of the team, as Berlinger fills that role. Two years later, Denver was back in Dusty's Trail, Sherwood Schwartz's attempt to remake Gilligan's Island out west, and that lasted just one year. Denver wouldn't get another "smart" character to play until the pilot for The Invisible Woman in the 80's.

No rating. Just a public service.

Herschel Walker's chances of becoming a Senator may have been thrown for a loss

 Less than three months before election day, former college & NFL football star Herschel Walker's chances of unseating Rev. Raphael Warnock as a US Senator from Georgia are diminishing. A GOP accountability group has released an ad showing Walker's darker side, which may be the product of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Farron Cousins explains:

Up until now, I'd believed that some of Walker's darker behavior and attitudes might've been a by-product of years of playing football, first at Georgia, where he won a national title, then in the USFL, and, finally, in the NFL, with Philadelphia, Dallas, and the Giants. Too many blows to the head might've been the cause of his DID, we don't know. A brain scan could reveal CTE, too, for all we know. The ad that Farron presented isn't helping Walker, and having the GOPers gather around like a support group (for all the wrong reasons) would work better if it wasn't about getting him elected. As Farron asserts, Walker, more than 25 years removed from his playing career, needs medical help, preferably yesterday. It would be in his best, long-term interest, to walk away now, and concede the election, with less than three months to go.

However, his GOP enablers won't allow that, and if anything happens to him going forward, it's their fault.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Donald Trump threatens to sue CNN. Even a wolf gets tired of crying some time

 You've heard by now that Donald Trump's latest legal team, Eeeny, Meeny, Miney, & Moe, issued a letter to CNN last week, threatening to sue the cabler for accusing the Human Annoying Orange of lying about the 2020 election. He may claim that he believes the BS he keeps spewing, but he really doesn't. It's all part of an elaborate con to keep grifting on his gullible supporters.

Farron Cousins explains:

Trump, of course, has enough problems after yesterday's FBI visit to Mar-a-Lago. Trump won't spend his own money, but rather scam his marks.

"WAAAAAHHH! I'm too cheap to spend on my own. You need to help me. WAAAAHHH!"

The perp walk of shame, when it happens, will be a big ratings coup. Not the kind Trump wishes he could have, but, y'know.......

Monday, August 8, 2022

The FBI raids Mar-a-Lago. Guess who had a meltdown?

 You'd like to hope this would scare Donald Trump back into reality, but it won't. He can't leave his personal Twlight Zone because then, he'd have to admit to his brainwashed followers how weak he really is.

Y'see, the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago earlier today, and while this was going on, Trump went on Truth Social and tried to spin it the only way he knows how.


I'm not going to go through the laundry list of complaints coming from America's Oldest Baby, as it's mostly the same BS, recycled yet again. What we do know, though, is that the walls are closing in even tighter on the Archduke of Affluenza, and he can't handle it. He whined about Hillary Clinton taking a chair home from the White House after husband Bill's 2nd term ended in 2000, because of course he has to complain about Hillary.

Give it up, Tons of Dumb. You & your buddy, Alex Jones, can spend a lot of time whining about imaginary persecution while on the treadmills at Happy Acres.

Musical Interlude: If Not For You (1971)

 Olivia Newton-John made her first impression on the American music charts in 1971 with her cover of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You";

"You" peaked at #25 on the Hot 100, but it was just the beginning, as the hits would start to flow.

Dedicated to Olivia, who has passed away at 73 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Musical Interlude: Georgy Girl (1967)

 From The Ed Sullivan Show:

Australia's The Seekers open the show with "Georgy Girl":

In memory of singer Judith Durham, 79, who passed away Saturday.

What a difference: WWE makes improvements, and brings back some old friends

 Ever since WWE CEO/Chairman Vince McMahon retired two weeks ago, son-in-law Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, elevated to VP/Talent Relations and head of creative, has given fans plenty to smile about.

For openers, at Summerslam on July 30 in Nashville, Bayley (Pamela Martinez) was finally activated from the injured list after she'd been in training for months for a return from a torn ACL sustained in 2021. She didn't come back alone.

Io Shirai, now known as IYO SKY, was called up from NXT, and was herself recovering from a foot or ankle injury that had sidelined her for 3 months. Dakota Kai, a 2-time NXT women's tag team champion, was re-signed after being released in late April. Together, the trio form to faction reportedly known as Control, which lends itself to plenty of jokes about the 60's spy spoof, Get Smart, in which CONTROL was the name of the agency the title hero, Maxwell Smart, worked for.

Then again, there is a faction known as CHAOS in Japan, and.........., ah skip it.

Two nights later, Tommaso Ciampa (Tom Whitney), more recently known simply as Ciampa, earned a title match, taking place tomorrow, vs. US champion Bobby Lashley. The only downside is that Ciampa currently is being used as a stooge for The Miz (Mike Mizanin), but that shouldn't last too much longer. Ciampa is a 2-time NXT champion and a former NXT tag team champion.

Finally, on Smackdown, 2-time NXT women's champion and 3-time WWE women's tag team champion Shayna Baszler became the next challenger for Smackdown women's titlist Liv Morgan by winning a gauntlet match. Baszler, under McMahon, was treated like an afterthought, which can be blamed on a disconnect between McMahon and NXT. That same night, 2-time NXT champion Karrion Kross, five days removed from appearing at Ric Flair's Last Match (as Killer Kross), made a surprise return, attacking Drew McIntyre. Wife Scarlett placed an hourglass beneath the ropes to signal to WWE champion Roman Reigns that he was, and has been, on borrowed time. Kross was badly misused after being called up to Raw, while Scarlett remained on the sidelines, before being released in November 2021. Scarlett is also a singer, and performs her husband's theme song. It will be a treat if she's allowed to do that live at a Peacock premium live event (i.e. Clash at The Castle).

Fans are giddy with anticipation as to who's next. They're already salivating over the fact that women's tag team champions Sasha Banks (Mercedes Varnado) and Naomi (Trinity Fatu), stripped of the titles in May, could be returning after a tournament is concluded for the vacant titles. McMahon, who will be 77 later this month, has been indifferent about tag teams for years, and proving to be creatively irresponsible, taking advice from his senior advisers, including producer Kevin Dunn, deposed VP/Talent John Laurinaitis, who already has one foot out the door, and Bruce Prichard, instead of listening to what his audience wants. Levesque is going the other way. With wife Stephanie as co-CEO with Nick Khan, Levesque is looking to improve TV ratings by giving the people what they really want to see, instead of the same matches recycled ad nauseum for weeks on end. 

The early returns, of course, have been substantial, but the real test begins next month with the start of football season. There will be more cuts, but this time, Khan, in charge of balancing the books for the benefit of shareholders, will be likely getting pushback if he tries to cut people favored by Levesque.

20 years ago, Levesque, as Triple H, was a base villain. After turning NXT into must-see TV, he's now a savior in the eyes of the fans. What a difference.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Notes from around town

 WROW listeners got a pleasant surprise last weekend when veteran DJ John Gabriel returned to the station after a few years away.

Gabriel, whose resume also includes a long stint at WTRY, and doing traffic reports for Spectrum News 1, as well as the This Day in NY History interstitals, worked the midday shift on July 30, and this morning is filling in for morning host Ben Patten, though it sounds like this could be a regular thing going forward, at a time when WROW used automated programming most of the time on weekends after dismissing DJ's Kevin Richards & Richie Norris in the last couple of years.

Welcome back to radio, John.
Yesterday, we talked about how there are plans to convert the Uncle Sam Atrium into an apartment complex. Those plans won't take effect until after production concludes on season 2 of HBO's The Gilded Age, but long term, it means the indoor farmer's market may be moving again.

You'll recall that the 2020-1 winter season had the market relocated to the former Price Chopper in North Troy, and that was not a popular place for some folks, even though it is accessible on the bus line, resulting in the indoor market returning to the Atrium in November 2021. I honestly don't think Atrium owner David Bryce thought this one out completely.
As television stations are putting younger talent on the air, older veterans are walking away, a few at a time.

In the last 2 years, WNYT has said goodbye to anchors Jim Kambrich, Jerry Groetzinger, and Benita Zahn. On Friday, meteorologist Bob Kovachick became the latest to announce his retirement.

From WNYT's YouTube channel:

Kovachick signed with WNYT in 1988 after a stint at WTEN and other stations. In the early 90's, Kovachick would contribute to WFLY's morning show with Todd Pettengill, I believe, and at one point, they heralded Bob in a chorus parody of the "Hallelujah Chorus", just a sample of the goofy comedy on the air at the time. Kovachick's final day will be Monday, October 3, at which point Paul Caiano will likely be named senior meteorologist. Kovachick will be a part-time contributor, mostly as a mentor to the rest of the staff.

Friday, August 5, 2022

A little of this and a little of that

 Following up on a story from earlier this week, it's being reported that when Days of Our Lives leaves NBC for an exclusive streaming space on Peacock, NBC will fill the hour with-----what else?----news.

The network plans to mount the first network afternoon news program in its history (ABC tried a PM version of Good Morning, America), and, locally, it appears it'll follow the lunch hour news on WNYT.

Stay tuned.
It was strange on Thursday, as I was walking to the bus stop, to find a "For Sale" sign at Jimmy's Lunch, a long time Congress Street landmark. Aside from that, it's still open, as the diner is not well lit to start. The eatery is open 6 days a week, 7 am-1 pm, but I suspect the owner wants to retire soon. We'll be watching.
While the Uncle Sam Parking Garage is being razed in typical Troy fashion, that is to say, very slowly, Troy High & RPI alumnus David Bryce plans to turn the Uncle Sam Atrium into apartments. The Atrium has been linked to the Frear Building, home to CVS Pharmacy and other businesses, since the late 70's, but now is mostly home to state workers. The idea is to try to freshen up the space, but another overpriced apartment complex ain't the answer. 
Head InfoWimp Alex Jones, after being ordered to pay the parents of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis $4.11 million, went on the air on his show, and started shilling his line of nutritional supplements in order to raise money not only to pay off the debt, but to keep his garbage show on the air.

Photo courtesy Associated Press via Spectrum News 1.

On the air, he's been whining and crying all week, begging for sympathy. Hastily scheduled pressers were attacks on the judge, which didn't help at all. Not too surprisingly, he's gotten support from fellow conspiracy advocate and national pain in the neck Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene). Well, you know what they say. Birds of a feather flock together.

Lose the act on the air, Jumbo. You're only making things worse. For yourself.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Weasel of The Week: David Zaslav

 David Zaslav is CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, and, if you go by recent reports, a self-appointed hatchet man who has further alienated DC Comics fans.

How, you might ask?

On Tuesday, it was announced that "Batgirl", starring Leslie Grace & Michael Keaton, in post-production at the time of the announcement, was being cancelled. A holiday themed sequel to last year's CGI "SCOOB!" movie was also cancelled.

Or, as Scooby-Doo would say, "Ruh-roh!".

There are reports that Zaslav intends to take the $80-90 million budget for "Batgirl" as a tax write-off. The initial reactions from fans are, of course, predictable, with one wag going so far as to say that Zaslav was a villain for cancelling "Batgirl", amid rumors that the production wasn't exactly what DC & WBD were hoping for. Keep in mind, too, that Zaslav, back in May, scrubbed a live-action "Wonder Twins" movie, a week after the leads had been cast.

"And I was ready for my closeup, too!"

I know what you mean, Jayna. I feel your pain.

The decisions Zaslav has made, and will continue to make, will cast him in a similar light to WWE co-CEO Nick Khan, who has been with WWE 2 years as of this month, and has been miscast as a villain for all the budget cuts since then, though one cut was reversed recently. I went so far as to opine on Reddit that Zaslav has probably never read a comic book as a youth, and, others have said he's basing his decisions on personal opinions. Not a good look from a business standpoint for consumers.

The merger of Discovery+ and HBO Max will soon be finalized with staff from both streamers being cut. Given what Zaslav has already done, DC Comics fans should be very afraid.

Zaslav's reckless decision making makes him this week's Weasel of The Week.

What Might've Been: Celebrity Charades (1979)

 Celebrity Charades, when it launched in the winter of 1979, was a spiritual successor to Mike Stokey's legendary Pantomime Quiz and its follow-up, Stump The Stars. Unfortunately, Charades lasted just the one season, co-produced by Columbia Pictures Television.

Jay Johnson (Soap) serves as the series host, aided by his puppet, Squeaky. In the series opener, our 8 stars include Caren Kaye (ex-Blansky's Beauties), Debra Clinger (The American Girls, ex-The Krofft Supershow), Richard Paul (Carter Country), Ted Lange (The Love Boat), Rip Taylor (The $1.98 Beauty Show), Johnny Brown (ex-Good Times, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In), and Bowzer (Sha Na Na).

Hmmm, a decided ABC vibe, no?

Inexplicably, Charades was revived a few years ago, under the guidance of husband & wife actors Chad Lowe & Hilary Swank for AMC. It, too, lasted one season.

Locally, the 1979 Charades aired on the same channel that had the rights to Sha Na Na. All this did was reinforce the fact that Bowzer (Jon Bauman) was also enough of a game show fanatic, such that he'd also appear on Match Game & Password Plus before losing the grease for a few years and landing a couple of hosting gigs of his own, which we've previously discussed (The Pop 'N' Rocker Game & The Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, both in 1983). He'd later appear without the grease on Super Password.

Rating: B.

Videos of Summer: Our Lips Are Sealed (1981)

 The Go-Go's made a big splash----literally----with their debut hit, "Our Lips Are Sealed", co-written by guitarist-vocalist Jane Weidlin and Fun Boy Three vocalist Terry Hall. "Lips" peaked at #20 on the Hot 100.

Hall and Fun Boy Three would release their own version of "Lips" as a stand-alone single two years later.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The hourglass breaks: Days of Our Lives to leave NBC

 After 57 years, and a few cancellation scares, Days of Our Lives is shifting from NBC and broadcast television to online streaming. The series is set to move to Peacock as an online exclusive.

A pair of miniseries tied to the series have already aired on Peacock, and must've made enough of a positive impression on NBC-Universal-Comcast suits to convince them to move Days permanently to Peacock.

Days' departure from NBC leaves the broadcast networks with just 3 soaps left: ABC's General Hospital, the eldest of the group, as it predated Days by 2 years, and CBS' 1-2 punch of Young & The Restless and The Bold & The Beautiful, which, it should be noted, share the same production company as Days, as both are also from Corday Productions & Sony.

What does it do for NBC affiliates? Locally, WNYT now has another hour to fill weekday afternoons. Days has been airing after the station's hour-long lunch hour newscast. We'll all find out together next month.

Sports this 'n' that

 The NFL Hall of Fame game takes place tomorrow, with Las Vegas and Jacksonville meeting in Canton. It is the 2nd year for the game as a mid-week attraction, airing on NBC.

The big news, though, is that the Jaguars will sit QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne for the game. The former Clemson stars will likely begin to see action the following week. I get that the Khan family, which owns the Jaguars, wants to protect their investments, but this game will be seen by more people across the country than the rest of their pre-season games combined, plus the weekly ratings for AEW on cable. Unless the Jaguars show some improvement, they're not getting any games flexed into primetime during the season.
The Mets welcomed back 2-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom Tuesday. That was the good news. The bad? Washington ambushed the Mets' bullpen to pick up a 5-1 win, ending the Mets' 7 game winning streak.

DeGrom was his normal self. 5 innings, 1 run, but got a no decision. He's expected to pitch vs. Atlanta on Sunday.

Earlier Tuesday, the Nationals parted with 1B Josh Bell & OF Juan Soto, sending both to San Diego. Eric Hosmer would've gone the other way, but he invoked his no trade clause (the Nationals are on his list of teams he doesn't want to play for), and went instead to Boston.

The Mets, in turn, shipped ex-Tri-City Valleycat JD Davis to San Francisco  for 1B-OF Darin Ruf.
The Miami Dolphins were forced to give their 2023 #1 draft pick and a 2024 3rd rounder up as a penalty for tampering with Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady and former New Orleans coach Sean Payton. Owner Stephen Ross was suspended by the league for the first 6 weeks of the regular season.

Ross must think he could've filled a void created by the passing of Al Davis, but he's too inept for even that.
We close on a sad note.

Vin Scully, the long time voice of the Dodgers, passed away Tuesday at 94.

Scully began his career with the Dodgers while they were in Brooklyn under the tutelage of another legend in Red Barber, was became the lead voice after Barber moved across town to call Yankee games. In all, Scully spent 67 seasons with the Dodgers, retiring after the 2016 season.

In addition, Scully called football and golf for CBS, and the NBC Game of The Week and postseason coverage during the 80's. Two of his most iconic calls were in the World Series in 1986 (Mets' comebacks vs. Boston in games 6-7) and 1988 (Kirk Gibson's pinch hit walk-off homer for the Dodgers vs. Oakland in game 1). 

Scully also dabbled in other areas of television. In 1965, 20th Century Fox hired Scully to narrate Jan & Dean: On The Run, an unsold pilot. The next year, Screen Gems brought Sully in as the announcer for the short-lived NBC series, Occasional Wife. Three years later, NBC took a chance on Scully hosting Ralph Andrews' game show, It Takes Two, which lasted a shade over a year. A couple of years later, Scully was given a daytime talk show for CBS that didn't fare too well, and as far as ye scribe knows, it never played in this market.

File photo courtesy of Yahoo!.

X-Files creator Chris Carter was a huge Dodgers fan, such that he named agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) after Vin. Who knew?

Rest in peace, Vin. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Dunce Cap Award: Lauren Boebert

 There are better ways of gaining attention from the masses than what we've seen for the last 19 months, since airheads like Colorado Misrepresentative Lauren Boebert were sworn into the House of Representatives. Ms. Clouds For Brains came up with a real tall tale, claiming that if you don't have a gun, you're more likely, to go all cannibal on the family dog, something this mile high airhead claims actually happens in Venezuela. It doesn't.

Farron Cousins explains:

It's all about staying relevant in the news cycle with Boebert and other GOPer morons like Empty-G, Fibber Jordan, and, of course, the head screwball, Citizen Pampers. I don't think Boebert has ever been to Venezuela, much less find it on a map. The GOPers are obsessed with "owning the libs", instead of actually doing what they're paid to do. They'd rather betray the Constitution and their constituents for personal glory. Foghorn Cawthorn is already packing his bags to head back to North Carolina in January after losing a primary. Boebert and Empty-G are behaving like the long lost sisters of Beavis & Butt-Head, if Mike Judge ever explored the boys' families outside of "Beavis & Butt-Head Do America".

Of course, Boebert, aka Lauren Bow-Wow, gets another Dunce Cap.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Some GOPers don't know the Bible.......

 "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly, they are ravening wolves."---Matthew 7:15.

"Did you ever dance with the devil in pale moonlight?"--The Joker (Jack Nicholson), "Batman", 1989.

A pastor in Oregon, in speaking to his flock a week ago, said that "Christian nationalism", the movement supported by the likes of Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene) and other GOPers, is not true Christian doctrine. Rev. Chuck Currie says that "Christian nationalism" is racist at its core. Well, there's a shock for ya.

Farron Cousins explains:

Empty-G and her ilk pander to their low information base with such falsehoods, knowing that the base won't research their claims to gather the truth. But how many GOP voters would actually reference the Bible, something GOPers seemingly are allergic to? As a result, while Currie accuses Empty-G of dancing with the devil (hence the "Batman" reference), Empty-G and other GOPers fall into the category of the false prophets Jesus spoke of in The Gospel According to St. Matthew (to use the official title of the book in the New Testament).

Kinda makes one wonder if the Antichrist Jesus also warned us about is already among us as an overstuffed, spray-tanned man-child.........

Death has been busy

 It seems not a day goes by now without reading of a celebrity or athlete's death. On Sunday, the celebrity trifecta came within hours.

Pat Carroll, 95, may be remembered more by today's generation having resurrected her career as the voice of Ursula, the villain of Disney's musical adaptation of "The Little Mermaid". Students of classic television, of course, know better. Carroll joined the cast of Make Room For Daddy, aka The Danny Thomas Show, in 1961 as Bunny, the wife of Charlie Halper (Sid Melton, ex-Captain Midnight), the manager of Danny Williams (Thomas).

Carroll became a frequent guest on game shows such as To Tell The Truth, I've Got a Secret, Password, and, for 1 week in the 70's, Match Game, before venturing into animation.

Nichelle Nichols, 89, smashed science-fiction's color barrier as Lt. Uhura on Star Trek, and, after the series ended its original run, did this recruitment video for NASA:

NBA icon Bill Russell, 88, led the Boston Celtics to 11 titles, won 5 MVP awards, and was the 1st African-American head coach in the league before a brief stint in broadcasting. I can't remember if it was for CBS or NBC. To the end, Russell remained an ambassador for the league.

And we'd be remiss if we didn't include Tony Dow, 77, who passed away at mid-week. 

Dow won the role of Wally Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver after the 1st choice was turned aside and the producers went back to auditions. Dow would reprise in a reunion movie that led to the 80's revival, Still The Beaver, which was later rechristened, The New Leave it to Beaver when it left Disney Channel for TBS. Dow took up sculpting as his acting career came to a close.

From season 2 of The New Leave it to Beaver, here's the season (& TBS) opener:

Rest in peace.