Monday, October 31, 2022

Spook Rock: Bark at The Moon (1983)

 "Bark at The Moon" is the title song from Ozzy Osbourne's 1983 CD. Ozzy presents himself as a mad scientist who ingests a formula, turning him into a werewolf, as depicted on the album cover. The makeup was designed by Rick Baker ("An American Werewolf in London", among others). Carmine Appice (ex-Vanilla Fudge), who'd later play on tour with Osbourne, appears in the video, but didn't play on the album.

Yes, the early part of the video was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and that tome also was parodied by Men at Work ("Dr. Hekyll & Mr. Jive") a year earlier.

On The Shelf: Of witch cats, ancient evils, and misconceptions exposed

 Coinciding with the release of "Black Adam" 10 days ago, DC issued a facsimile edition of Marvel Family 1, first published by Fawcett in 1945.

In this first story, Adam arrives in the 20th century to wreak havoc, especially upon discovering the Marvels were his replacements as Shazam's chosen champions. The ending is radically different from subsequent return appearances, as apparently, readers liked Adam, and saw him as a bigger foe than, say, Mr. Mind or Dr. Sivana or his family. Of course, by this point, this was by-the-numbers writing.

Rating: B-.
Archie Comics has experimented in the past with giving some spotlight to Sabrina's familiar, Salem, including a miniseries many moons ago.

This time, it's a 1-shot special, Chilling Adventures of Salem, in which the warlock-turned-cat goes it alone against a deranged mystic calling on demons to possess dogs. Written by the usually reliable Cullen "Hot Cross" Bunn, this is better than some of the more recent short story compilations Archie has released. In other words, it's a book-length tale that leaves room for a possible sequel. If they lost some of the ads in the back for more story, it'd be even better. Worth the trip.

Rating: A.
DC is not only launching a 2nd volume of The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries, but, coming in January will be season 3 of Batman: The Animated  Series: The Adventures Continue.

But, if that isn't enough to quench your thirst for 90's toons-turned-comics, Dynamite may get some readers back with the debut of Gargoyles, written by series creator Greg Weisman, in December, and Darkwing Duck (I kid you not) in January. How Marvel missed the boat on reacquiring the former, I'll never know.
Also in January, Archie is trying another alternate reality with Archie and the gang, this time in a mock-up of films like "Mad Max: Fury Road". Meh.
Ok, so I got deked by DC vs. Vampires scribbler Matt Rosenberg. 

The goof had me thinking he'd killed off Jayna, the surviving half of the Wonder Twins, who'd inherited her brother's water-based powers, but, she's back in issue 10, alive and well. Personally, I'd rather have a sequel to Mark Russell & Stephen Byrne's masterpiece, and have Mark find Jayna a boyfriend who appreciates her for who and what she is. Given the rebooted continuity, I wouldn't discount Jimmy Olsen as a possible suitor, but that's just me.
41 or so years ago, Marvel had decided to kill off Elektra, only to bring her back a ways later, undoing one of Frank Miller's least popular ideas during his 1st run on Daredevil.

In December, the current creative team, after having Elektra stand in for Matt Murdock as DD for a few months, will marry the couple off at last. This after Daredevil turned up on She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law, with Charlie Cox reprising as Matt/DD, and getting busy with the title heroine. Then again, the last part of the season was bonkers, and I don't mean a certain Disney bobcat.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Classic TV: Camera Three (1950's)

 We had a review of this next entry up once before, but the video was deleted, and we deleted the review.

Camera Three started as a regionally produced series from WCBS in NYC in the early 50's before going national in 1956 for what would be a 24 season run (1956-79). CBS cancelled Camera Three, Look up & Live, and Lamp Unto my Feet to make room for Sunday Morning, which is still running today, 43 years later.

As memory serves, the three public affairs series were blacked out in the 518 by the local affiliates in favor of local programming, so there won't be a fair rating. We posted a 1975 episode over at Saturday Morning Archives earlier as it was devoted to the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies crew. Here, we're going back a little further to the late 60's for a half hour devoted to bluesmen Son House and Buddy Guy.

Spook Rock: Godzilla (1977)

 Godzilla was everywhere in the US in the mid-to-late 70's.

Toho Productions had licensed him to Marvel Comics for a comic book series that ran for about 2 years. Toho then struck a deal with Hanna-Barbera for an animated series in 1978, with legendary Doug Wildey, creator of Jonny Quest, assigned as producer. H-B, due to network anti-violence regulations, made Godzilla more of a superhero, with his nephew, Godzooky, on board as comedy relief.

In between, the Blue Oyster Cult paid left handed homage to Godzilla, immortalizing him in song. The video footage is a collection of clips from various movies.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Fox Shmooze has no sympathy for an assault victim-----just because he's a Democrat

 While Republicans & Democrats alike condemned the assault early Friday morning on Paul Pelosi, 82, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the panel on Fox Shmooze's The Five ran in the other direction, and placed the blame on President Biden, for no real reason. To Fox Shmooze, he's a bogeyman to scare their audience.

Paul & Nancy Pelosi. Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

Friday's panel included Kennedy (Lisa Kennedy Montgomery), the former MTV VJ-turned Fox Business anchor, and wrestler George Murdoch, currently working under the name Tyrus in the National Wrestling Alliance. Murdoch had been, and might still be, a contributor to Fox Nation, despite allegations of sexual harassment levied against him a while back. The panel couldn't be more wrong. While early evening host Dirty Watters didn't condone the attack, committed by a 42 year old conspiracy theorist, he did suggest that the perp, predictably, was mentally ill.

Biden is not to blame for any of this, but try telling that to the average GOPer that tunes in to Fox Shmooze, and buys into their alternate reality BS. As usual, Watters and his ilk give the mental health system a bad name by claiming the perp was mentally ill, but we don't know that for sure. The "opinions" that substitute for news on Fox Shmooze is meant to rile up the GOPers, get them angry at the Democrats, a legalized con job that needs to be shut down.

Luckily, Paul Pelosi had successful surgery to repair a fractured skull, and will recover. His assailant will face jail time, via due process of law, something certain high ranking GOPer politicians are so deathly afraid of.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Names making news

 It's Halloween weekend, but for Republicans, every day is another day in a philosophical Twilight Zone.

Take, for example, Senator Cheesehead (Ron Johnson), who, when taking a call from a viewer on a Wisconsin program, said he is "fully aware" that children in Wisconsin schools are using litter boxes in the restrooms. The caller claimed his niece told him this story, but it is total BS.

The whole litter box hoax started with a Michigan parent, Lisa Hansen, a few months ago, so of course, in neighboring Wisconsin, the hoax picked up speed like a pandemic.

It's really a dog whistle to the homophobic bigots to attack the LGTBQ+ community, threatening to undo several decades of progress in social inclusitivity. Johnson, running for re-election, doesn't care if it's a lie. As long as his ill informed voter base buys it, so much the better.

If those same people believe the moon is made of cheese, I'd begin to wonder if some of them substituted cheese balls for brain cells somehow.
Elon Musk closed the deal to acquire Twitter, fired some staffers, and less than 24 hours later, the bigots are back out in full force. Musk is an advocate of free speech, I get that, but you still have to regulate it to the point where you don't have a repeat of the breakdowns in social discourse that got a certain bloviator bounced from the site nearly 2 years ago.

Oh, by the way, said bloviator repeated his claim that he won't return even after Musk has taken over. Then again, his own platform is tanking, and.....!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady made it official today. He & wife Gisele have been divorced after 13 years of marriage.

Actually, it was Gisele who announced an amicable split between the two, amid rumors that she wasn't happy that Brady decided to rescind his retirement to play one more season with the suddenly skidding Bucs, who've lost three straight after falling to Baltimore last night.

Of course, it'll come out before the season is over that there was someone else involved in all this. That's what the overpriced supermarket tabloids will insist on, but I doubt that. It's not helping, either, that Brady reportedly had been in contact via text with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of late.
Two days after rumors of his demise were debunked, music legend Jerry Lee Lewis has passed away at 87.

The last of Sun Records' legendary "Million Dollar Quartet" with Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, & Carl Perkins, Lewis stirred up as much controversy as record sales in the 50's, the shifted gears from pop to country in the 60's. In 1972, my first exposure to Lewis wasn't any of his earlier hits, but, rather, a cover of the Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace", with altered lyrics, airing on WOKO.

Here, though, from 1969 on Hee Haw, is Lewis, at the piano, with "Another Place, Another Time":

I don't think he ever shared the stage with his cousins, country singer Mickey Gilley and evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, and if that never happened, it'd be a missed opportunity.

Rest in peace, Jerry Lee.

Weasel of The Week: Empty-G

 Empty-G, of course, is Georgia Misrepresentative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who can't go a day without saying something controversial to get attention.

For example, she went on jailbird Steve Bannon's podcast, and declared that after the GOPers take back the House of Representatives, barring an epic collapse by GOPers at the polls on November 8, they will haul certain corporate executives into Congress, demanding to know why they stopped making donations after the insurrection on January 6, 2021. For someone who thinks she's following the pathway to fame that worked so well for the likes of Gracie Allen, Suzanne Somers, and Goldie Hawn, to name a few, she doesn't bother with a thesaurus or a dictionary, because, as usual, she mixes in words she's incapable of understanding, like communism.

Farron Cousins explains:

Ya might want to brace yourself, Empty-G. Those corporate barons aren't beholden to you and the rest of the Kool-Aid Brigade. They stopped donating because of 1/6/21, and your complicity in and/or support of same. You have to show them you're willing to put the rhetoric aside, put in the work, and prove you're worthy of their money again.

If you try to follow through on your hollow threat, you may be facing some career-killing litigation.

The message I have comes from the Eagles:

Empty-G gets another set of Weasel ears, and we'll send her a full costume, with Halloween on Monday. I think we'll send the FedEx bill her way, too.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

World Series 2022 preview

 The last time the Houston Astros lost a game, it was 3 1/2 weeks ago, on the final day of the regular season, to the team they'll face in the World Series starting tomorrow. The Philadelphia Phillies. The AL champs are a perfect 7-0 in the post-season, while the Phils have hit some speed bumps in eliminating two division champions (St. Louis & Atlanta) before dumping San Diego.

The case for Houston:

In a word, vindication. The Astros are still being vilified for what happened when they won it all five years ago with the aid of sound effects. Not that many players remain from the 2017 team (i.e. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman), but the goal of the 2022 Astros is the same as it was last year, to get manager Dusty Baker his first title as a manager. Cy Young candidate Justin Verlander has a poor track record in the Series, but that can all be erased over the next few days.

The last time these two teams met in a postseason series with any real meaning, it was all the way back in 1980, in the NLCS, when the Astros were in the NL West. Philadelphia defeated Houston en route to the title.

The case for Philadelphia:

We wrote a week ago that when Bryce Harper left for Philadelphia three years ago, his former team, the Washington Nationals, won it all, and, coincidentally, like this year's Phillies, the Nats were left for dead before turning their season around. Manager Rob Thomson has already announced that Aaron Nola will be his game one starter, with Zack Wheeler going Saturday in game 2. Harper's bat woke up  big time over the last couple of weeks, including the clincher vs. San Diego.

Most folks will root for Philadelphia, still butt-hurt over the 2017 Series. They should get over it.

The bottom line: Houston will finally lose a game. Maybe.

The pick: Houston in 6.

A legal beagle now claims Nancy Pelosi was the mastermind behind the Capitol riot? We're not that gullible or stupid!

 It's clear, more so than ever, that Donald Trump was thinking with his hormones when he hired Alina Habba(-Dabba-Doo) as one of his lawyers, like a high schooler. In that context, he'd be a little further up the evolutionary scale from, say, Beavis & Butt-Head.

We consider this because Alina went on Newsnacks and tried to claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a target of the rioters, was also the mastermind behind it all.


Clearly, she left her brains at home. Farron Cousins explains.

So she's been aboard Trump Force 1. She has a seat on Citizen Pampers' board of advisers for his new PAC. Hmmmmmm. Ya don't suppose he showed her the bedroom compartment, do ya?

As for her false accusations against Pelosi, while Farron says a defamation suit might not be a good idea, slander would work just as fine. We were able to contact a close friend of Alina's......

"No comment."

Gee, what a shock.

Actually, I could picture Alina with Dumb Donald II if he ever gets rid of Screaming Kimi, but that's another story.

Meanwhile, we'd recommend an attorney for Alina, someone she thinks she is emulating.....


Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Sports this 'n' that

 After missing Sunday's loss to the Jets, Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson says he'll be ready to play Sunday in London against Jacksonville.

Denver has underperformed in the first two months of the season, while Wilson's former team the Seattle Seahawks, sit in 1st place for the moment in the NFC West with ex-Jet Geno Smith at QB instead of injured Drew Lock, who was traded by Denver for Wilson. Worse, the Broncos go into this game as the underdog. Go figure.
Even though New York's baseball teams are finished for the season, you can't escape the famous PC Richard whistle, which is used by the NHL's Islanders as well. The whistling jingle could be heard during the Isles' 3-0 win over the Rangers tonight on TNT.
NFC East leader Philadelphia realizes they've got both the Giants & Dallas chasing them, so the Eagles traded to get defensive lineman Robert Quinn from Chicago today. The Eagles are sending some draft picks to the Bears, who may not be within sniffing distance of the playoffs, unlike Philadelphia, which leads the Giants & Cowboys by a 1/2 game entering this week's play.
After getting swept out of the playoffs by Houston, Yankee owner Hal Steinbrenner announced today that manager Aaron Boone will return next season, citing an injury plague in the 2nd half as the biggest reason for the team's failure to reach the World Series. Hal's late father, George, would've gone in the opposite direction, and sent Boone out the door.
After getting embarrassed by Chicago on Monday, the New England Patriots will start Mac Jones again on Sunday vs. the Jets, a decision that probably won't sit well with one particular talking head.

That, of course, is ESPN bloviator Stephen A. Smith, who vented on Tuesday's First Take that coach Bill Belichick shouldn't have started Jones over hot rookie Bailey Zappe. It didn't matter who was at QB, though, as the Bears upset the Patriots.

Of course, Smith vented for the sake of venting like a talk radio idiot, so let me offer some context.

Did Jones return too early? In this writer's opinion, yes. In many cases, a sprained ankle doesn't heal 100% in less than a month. It's happened in baseball, football, and basketball many times over the years. New England, now in the unfamiliar position of being in the AFC East basement after Zappe's 1st bad outing, felt desperate enough to start Jones sooner than they should've. I'd not be surprised if this strategem backfires at the Meadowlands on Sunday, too.

If Patriots fans only listened to Smith's whining, knowing more than he did, then an old adage rings true.

You can learn a lot from a dummy.

You can call him a turtle. You can call him Pruneface. Mitch McConnell is like a wise owl compared to a man-baby

 Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, aka Senator Pruneface to regular readers of this blog, may not be a beloved figure outside of Blue Grass Country, but in comparison to a certain bloviating baby, he's like the wise old owl that taught kids how to eat Tootsie Pops back in the day.

You see, Donald Trump endorsed Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka in Alaska over incumbent Lisa Murkowski, whose only crime was voting in favor of impeaching the oldest baby in America, and McConnell is throwing his support behind the veteran Murkowski with less than 2 weeks before the mid-term elections.

Trump claimed on Truth Social that McConnell was censured by the state legislature in Alaska. I don't know if that's even possible. Trump would rather the money McConnell has invested in Murkowski be used for Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters. Trump can't go a day without whining about something in order to keep his base inflamed like he supposedly is, but going after McConnell again is a big mistake.

"WAAAAH! The old crow isn't supporting my candidate. WAAAAHHH!"

Maybe it's because McConnell knows something you don't, Diaper Don. You can pout, whine, cry, complain, etc., all you want, but the fact of the matter is that this whining is meant to distract your base from your own myriad of legal issues.

Let's say McConnell decided it was time for him to run for President in 2024. I certainly think he'd take the nomination, because, by then, Diaper Don, you'd be an afterthought, wrapped in a straitjacket in a padded cell, and if you ran against him for said nomination, you'd definitely lose the southern states you won in 2016 & 2020.

The message is this. McConnell is trying to help the GOP win back the House. Trump and his acolytes have no place in Congress, and if there's a civil war, it'll be within the GOP itself, especially if Diaper Don goes ahead with the rumor of nominating an airhead as Vice President in 2024, namely Empty-G. And the more Trumplicans that fail in 2 weeks, the more we're getting this:

Serves them right.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Breakfast with Steve Urkel? (1990)

 I have to say I had never heard nor seen this next item when the product was in stores.

Ralston landed a licensing deal to develop Urkel-O's, spinning out of Family Matters. Unfortunately, despite the burgeoning popularity of Urkel (Jaleel White), the cereal bombed.

Yes, I know this is taken from a Saturday morning airing, but you know.......

Sports this 'n' that

 There now exists a quarterback controversy in New England.

The Patriots' 2nd year QB, Mac Jones, was benched Monday after throwing an interception. Rookie backup Bailey Zappe led the Pats on 2 TD drives to give New England a lead that would soon disappear, as the Patriots were upset by Chicago on Monday Night Football, squandering a chance to pick up a 1/2-game on idle Buffalo.

Seems to me Jones was rushed back three weeks after an ankle injury opened the door for Zappe's star turn.
Jones, though, got away with what might've been an accidental kick to the crotch of a Chicago defender, the same one who picked him off a play or two later. Jones was sliding out of danger on the play, but might've been out of control in doing so. Peyton Manning, on ESPN2, took note of a "kick to the jewels", and the clip has gone viral.

Saw a commercial over the weekend that says Manning will be taking part in this year's CMA Awards on ABC. Stop the pain! Season 2 of the Capital One College Bowl wraps this Friday. Manning was recently a guest picker on College GameDay in the Saturday series' 2nd trip to his alma mater, Tennessee, this season. While he's shillin' for Caesar's SportsBook, at least we're done with his lame ads for Nationwide Insurance.

We got this from his press agent when he was asked about his client taking on too much.

"I don't think so. He's doing fine."

Gee, what a surprise.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay may need to be given a certain book by George Santayana.

It wasn't so long ago that Irsay had convinced Philip Rivers to finish his NFL career with the Colts, which didn't end well. At last check, Rivers is coaching high schoolers.

Having learned nothing, Irsay signed Matt Ryan after Atlanta cut the former #1 draft pick out of Boston College (2008). Ryan's poor play has landed him on the Colts' bench, making room for 2nd year QB Sam Ehrlinger (Texas). I get that Ryan wanted to prove "Matty Ice" could still play, but in his 15th season, stick a fork in him, he's done.
32 years ago, MTV VJ Kevin Seal was given a series in which he tried his hand at various action sports. Sporting Fool lasted just one season, and Seal was gone not too long after that.

Today, ESPN would be wise to see about rebooting the series with a new star, professional bloviating idiot Stephen A. Smith.

We told you about Smith getting an alternate broadcast of selected NBA games this season (God help us all!), but we all know how ignorant he really is about sports other than, and sometimes including, basketball. While Smith has gotten rid of his ill-advised attempts to use vocal inflections similar to that of the late Howard Cosell, putting him on the slopes or in a boxing ring should smarten him up real quick.

It's either that, or he dresses up as a college mascot as a stand-in for Lee Corso.

Monday, October 24, 2022

Artistic expression through Cheetos? (1985)

 Steve Landesberg (ex-Barney Miller) appears to be in a museum, with an open bag of Cheetos cheese balls on display, and he is trying to equate a snack to artistic expression?

Apparently, this ad campaign didn't work as well as Frito-Lay had hoped, and the animated Chester Cheetah came along not too long after.

It's never a good idea to rob Peter to pay Paul........

 But that's exactly what is happening at Hudson Valley Community College.

We have discussed this over at Tri-City SportsBeat in relation to LaSalle Institute's hockey team being displaced from HVCC's Robert Conway Rink, but there's more to this story.

Dr. Roger Ramsammy, in his 5th season as HVCC President, stirred up some controversy when it was announced that he was closing Conway Rink this season, which does three things, actually.

1. LaSalle moves their home games to Frear Park for the 2nd time in 3 seasons.

2. HVCC's club hockey team will be looking for a new home as well.

3. Public skating is being discontinued, which takes away revenue from the college!!!

Dr. Ramsammy isn't much of a hockey guy, but more of a siccer enthusiast. The Vikings are not drawing fans for their games, but then, part of that is because of a lack of press exposure to HVCC athletics as a whole. You'd have to look at the small type on the sports pages to find scores.

Not only that, but a golden opportunity was wasted with the announcement that UAlbany is moving their men's & women's basketball games to the McDonough Field House this season while SEFCU Arena is being renovated on the UAlbany campus. HVCC is like an adopted brother, if you will, to the bigger SUNY schools, and Dr. Ramsammy missed a chance to have HVCC play a pre-season game against UAlbany, a game that would raise the Troy school's profile, just as a pre-season baseball game vs. the Tri-City Valleycats would've and should've served the same purpose back in the spring, but, again, it was ignored by the press.

I suspect that there will be a great deal of blowback from students, alumni, faculty, and the general public, the latter in relation to the loss of public skating, leaving-----wait for it-----Frear Park as the only remaining facility in the city that would have open skating for the public. There's still a chance Dr. Ramsammy might change his mind, and he may have to, if he wants to remain in charge. If the Board of Trustees gets enough complaints, the rink could re-open over Dr. Ramsammy's objections as early as this winter.

Dr. Ramsammy's short-sighted thinking gets him the dreaded Dunce Cap.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

In Theatres: Black Adam (2022)

 In 1945, Fawcett Comics introduced Black Adam as a villain with the same kind of powers as their Captain Marvel. 32 years later, after the Shazam! franchise had been acquired by DC, Adam was introduced to a new audience, and made his TV debut four years after that in the short-lived Kid Super Power Hour With Shazam!. In each case, it was established that Adam, or, Teth-Adam, had been in ancient Egypt when he'd been chosen by Shazam.

Modern writers have rebooted Adam into the fictional country of Khandaq, and he would eventually transition from villain to anti-hero, joining the JSA and, more recently, the Justice League.

It is the JSA, or, more specifically, an iteration written by Geoff Johns, that factors into Adam's feature film debut. Dwayne Johnson's 2nd DC Comics entry this year has him as Adam, 20 years after Johnson's leading man debut in "The Scorpion King". Both films will make a ton of money despite some negative reviews. 

Adam's emergence in present-day Khandaq gets the attention of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who calls on the JSA, led by Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), who has a standing grudge with Adam that really doesn't have much roots in the comics. In time, Adam will cross paths with Captain Marvel, now known as Shazam in DC continuity to avoid confusion with the other Captain at Marvel (which holds the trademark & copyright to the Captain Marvel name).

Check the trailer:

Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) is a 21st century reboot of Andrea Thomas, the mortal alter ego of Isis, who was integrated into the DCU some years earlier following the end of Secrets of Isis. However, Tomaz has no powers here, as there might not be plans for Isis in the DCEU.

The trailers include "Shazam!: Fury of The Gods", due in March, which might lead to Adam's return. Like the 1st "Shazam!" film, "Black Adam" is a little overboard with the comedy elements, and the use of pop classics by Player and the Rolling Stones is a riff on Marvel's "Guardians of The Galaxy" series.

Could've been better, really.

Rating: B--.

Maybe Empty-G won't have it so easy after all

 The clock is ticking toward Election Day 2022 on November 8. Georgia Misrepresentative Marjorie Taylor Greene is facing a fresh challenge in Marcus Flowers, a military veteran. The two had a debate the other night, in which Empty-G tried to claim 9/11/01 was a hoax, but Flowers knows better, because he was in the military at the time.

Flowers was a guest on The Katie Phang Show on MSNBC, which included clips of the debate:

9/11 most certainly was not a hoax, but Empty-G is expecting voters to forget that horrible day, 21 years later. Assuming Flowers presses forward with an all out, full court press campaign, Empty-G won't have it so easy, and, maybe, she might end up a 1 term disaster after all.

Worse, she's already putting her cart before the horse, demanding House Minority Leader Kevin "The Body Snatcher" McCarthy give her what she wants if the GOPers take back the House next month. Rumors are circulating that if Donald Trump runs and wins in 2024 (increasingly doubtful), he would make Greene, who is not even close to being qualified for the position, attorney general, just to "own the libs".

In this writer's opinion, there is a better chance of Empty-G winding up somewhere more appropriate for her. As a crossing guard at an elementary school. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

What Might've Been: The College Bowl (1950)

 We did a full review of this next item before, but the video was deleted. A new video from Shout! Factory has surfaced of Chico Marx's 1950 series, The College Bowl, not to be confused with the quiz game that came along a few years later, the current iteration of which is in its 2nd season on NBC.

This College Bowl was a sitcom with musical numbers, and introduced viewers to crooner Andy Williams, who doesn't appear in this clip.

I think what scared viewers away was the fact that Chico was going solo, and no sign of brothers Harpo or Groucho. Not enough, if at all, of Chico at the piano, either.

Rating: B.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Names making news

 Well, that didn't take long.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss has resigned after just six weeks on the job. She had been elected over the summer to succeed Boris Johnson, and now, there will be another election to choose her successor.

Liz, we hardly knew ye.

To be fair, the political climate in the UK is relatively tame to the tempestuous political soap opera we have ongoing in Washington, no thanks to a group of 1st term lawmakers who'd rather preen for the camera than actually do anything for their constituents. And if you don't know who I mean, you haven't been paying attention.
Kanye "Ye" West may need to hire a full time medical staff at home.

The controversial rapper-fashion mogul could be facing a cease & desist order from the family of the late George Floyd for claiming that Floyd's death at the knee of then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in 2020 was actually due to a drug overdose. West is also under fire for a series of rants blasting the Jewish faith.

This is what happens when West, who self-diagnosed as bi-polar a ways back, ignores his medication for days on end.

Face facts, "Ye". People would respect you more if you stayed on your medication, and committed yourself to getting better.
Someone might need to have Herschel Walker checked for CTE.

Walker, running for Senate in Georgia, flashed a toy badge during a debate with Rev.-Sen. Raphael Warnock last week, and tried to pass it off as a real badge. The former college & pro football star left school early to sign with Donald Trump's New Jersey Generals in the USFL, then played in the NFL with Philadelphia, Dallas, and the Giants before hanging up the cleats in 1997. 25 years later, his behavior off the field has been called into question, in addition to leaving his home in Texas to run for Senator in Georgia, where he made his first fame, winning a Heisman Trophy and a national title at Georgia. Two decades or better of football, including youth leagues & high school before going to Georgia, may have left his mind in a questionable state. Of course, having gotten the Trump Kool-Aid, he thinks he's telling the truth, but there are so many doubters.

Roughly translated, reality may set in over the next couple of weeks, and his gridiron past won't be enough to save him on November 8.
And speaking of Trump, he sat for a a defamation suit filed by reporter and former cable personality E. Jean Carroll on Wednesday. Trump is trying to weasel his way out of the suit, claiming that his statements against Carroll, calling her a liar and "not my type" were made under the auspices of being president, although the attack that reportedly happened took place years before Trump even thought about a political career. Carroll has the evidence to prove Trump is lying, including some photos taken of the two in the 90's.

Carroll had a talk show on America's Talking (now MSNBC) in the 90's. Back then, she was in fact fairly attractive. Trump is trying to distance himself from her, but going about it the wrong way. If Carroll wins, the first of the legal dominoes against Trump will fall, and the rest will follow in due course.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

It was 45 years ago this week.......

 It used to be that the World Series would end before Halloween. Not today, of course, due to television's obsession with milking the postseason drama for ratings more than ever.

In 1977, the Yankees reached their 2nd straight World Series, having lost to Cincinnati the previous year. The Reds had been dethroned as NL champions by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the 1977 Series would be the first of three match-ups between the Dodgers & Yankees in a 5 year period (1977-81).

Reggie Jackson, acquired from Baltimore in the off-season, locked up World Series MVP honors with a record-tying night. Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, & Tom Seaver, who was pitching for Cincinnati at the time, are on the call of this highlight reel:

The Yankees ended a 13 year title draught with the win, and would repeat the next year, then lose to the Dodgers in '81, which led to another 15 years before their next title.

No rest for the weary: 2022 American League Championship Series preview

 The weary, in this case, being the Yankees, who eliminated Cleveland after enduring two rainouts, both at home, prolonging the ALDS to the point where the Bronx Bombers move straight into the ALCS vs. Houston tonight.

The case for Houston:

Dusty Baker's club has had three days to rest after sweeping away Seattle. They beat the Yankees 5 out of 7 in the regular season, which is one big reason why they're the #1 seed, and the Yankees are #2. After losing to Atlanta last year, the Astros are looking at the NLCS, thinking that if they eliminate the Yanks, they could have an easy path to their 2nd title. Emphasize could, with Philadelphia hot right now. Houston won't see Gerrit Cole right away, probably not until game 3 in the Bronx, and Nester Cortes pitched last night, so he's likely for game 5, if there is one, on Sunday, unless Aaron Boone is willing to risk Cortes on 3 days rest on Saturday in game 4.

The case for the Yankees:

Momentum is on their side, having won last night, thanks to Cortes, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge, whose bat is finally waking up in the post-season. Revenge is also a factor, considering the controversy surrounding the 2017 ALCS, and Houston's subsequent title win, plus the season series this year favoring the Astros. 

The Yanks could bring back OF Andrew Benintendi if they have to replace Aaron Hicks, who left Tuesday's game with an injury. A fresh bat certainly helps. The Yankees have not won a title since 2009, when they thwarted Philadelphia's bid for a repeat. If New York advances, they get a rematch with either the Phillies or Padres, the latter of whom they beat in 1998.

The pick: Yankees in 7.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

2022 National League Championship Series preview

 There are no division winners left in the National League half of the 2022 playoffs. Instead, a 5 vs. 6 matchup sets up the league championship series, starting tonight. Games will be shown on either Fox or FS1 (Spectrum Cable channel 400 for viewers in the upstate NY area).

The case for San Diego:

Three years ago, the Washington Nationals, having allowed All-Star Bryce Harper to walk (Philadelphia), showed they could win without him, and won their first title. Earlier this season, the Padres' biggest star, 2nd generation slugger Fernando Tatis, Jr., was popped for PED's while on the injured list, and even if he had been healthy, wouldn't have been eligible for this year's playoffs. Some believe Tatis may have written his ticket out of town.

San Diego still has Manny Machado. A short-tempered slugger (like Harper) acquired from Baltimore a few years back, Machado has been the offensive leader the Padres have needed, leading a non-descript group into their first LCS since 1998. You might remember that year. San Diego advanced to the World Series that year, and lost to the Yankees.

We've seen what Padre pitching can do in upsetting the Mets and Dodgers. Blake Snell has looked like his old self in his 2nd season since coming over from Tampa Bay. Yu Darvish & Joe Musgrove have been nearly unhittable.

The case for Philadelphia:

No one expected the "Fightin' Phils" to get this far, especially considering the teams ahead of them in the NL East, Atlanta & the Mets, combined to win 26 games in the regular season against Philadelphia. However, here they are, a scrappy bunch looking for their first title since 2008. They actually let ex-Met Noah Syndergaard start game 3 in what amounted to a bullpen game on Saturday after acquiring him from the Angels at the deadline. Slotted behind reunited teammate Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola in the Phillies rotation, "Thor" gives Rob Thomson a formidable third starter, but Thomson would also be wise to get Zach Eflin out of the bullpen and let him start, too.

The critics will complain if Philly wins it all, and whine about buying a title in acquiring Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos to give Harper some protection in the lineup. Still, all three sluggers strike out too much, and there will be a pool on if/when Harper throws a tantrum after a strikeout in a critical situation.

The x-factor: Bob Melvin does have some post-season experience as a manager dating back to his run in Oakland. Rob Thomson does not, and being Joe Girardi's sidekick doesn't count.

The pick: San Diego in 6.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Monday, October 17, 2022

What Might've Been: The New Phil Silvers Show (1963)

 Four years after the end of You'll Never Get Rich, aka The Phil Silvers Show, aka Sgt. Bilko, Phil Silvers was back on TV. That was the good news. The bad? The New Phil Silvers Show was little more than a reprise of Bilko, but in a civilian setting, and while Silvers played a new character, Harry Grafton, it was more of the same.

I was but an infant when this show bowed in the fall of 1963 on CBS. It had been two years since Hanna-Barbera's funny animal knockoff of Bilko, Top Cat, had bowed on ABC, only to end up cancelled after 1 season. Silvers would suffer the same fate, if only because of his self-typecasting.

Grafton was a factory foreman who, like Bilko before him, was more interested in scamming his way to a bigger payday, but always failing. Unlike his contemporaries, Jackie Gleason and Lucille Ball, Silvers wasn't able to duplicate his success with the new series. Producer Rod Amateau made some changes late in the season, turning it into a domestic sitcom, but, by then, it was too late.

The first time I'd actually seen Silvers on screen was in a Disney movie, of all things, "The Boatniks", with Robert Morse, a few years after this series had ended. I would later see reruns of Bilko on the cable, but had not laid eyes on The New Phil Silvers Show, the first series to carry the label of Gladasya Productions, Silvers' production company, until recently.

The best conditioned episode available is "The Tortoise & The Harry". Stafford Repp, who had been on General Hospital earlier in the year, had a recurring gig as Mr. Brink, nearly 2 1/2 years before Batman made him a cultural icon by association.

Silvers' wife, Evelyn Wright, had a recurring gig on the show, too, including this episode.

Rating: B-.

A little of this and a little of that

 Parler, a conservative website that has gotten in some hot water for promoting lies about the 2020 presidential election, has a new owner.

Rapper-business mogul Kanye "Ye" West has bought the site, after getting booted from Instagram and other sites for his dangerous of late rhetoric, which, in reality, is just a case of Ye refusing to take his medication for bi-polar disorder. Rumors are circulating that right wing commentator Candace Owens, whose husband had been in charge of Parler, had a hand in brokering the sale of Parler to West, which Owens is denying.

Parler needed help, sure, considering its problems, but it's still lagging behind other right wing platforms such as Truth Social. We'll see if Ye actually can do anything with it if he ever gets back on his meds.
Republican candidate for governor Lee Zeldin may have just gotten the kiss of death.

Zeldin was endorsed by ol' Pecos Pampers himself, Donald Trump, over the weekend, and while Zeldin's supporters have paid for attack ads against Governor Hochul, it's not going to help. Voters will choose between the previously unheralded Zeldin, who has refused to denounce the Archduke of Affluenza, and Hochul. The attack ads are trying to tie Hochul to her predecessor, Governor Casanova (Andrew Cuomo), by painting her administration as just as corrupt as Cuomo's was.

Upstate NY is largely Democratic. The GOPers have pockets here and there, mostly in, of course, rural and suburban areas, but it's not going to be enough.

Screw the politics. We finally have a female governor, so let's savor it.
A new nightspot in town had a soft opening two months ago that went largely unnoticed.

This past weekend was a different story altogether.

YouniqueU, occupying the former Union National Bank space on 4th Street between Broadway and Fulton Street, had parties shut down by police on back-to-back nights. Owner Ashley Sanders has a webpage which was where all the publicity for the events came from.

Photo courtesy Albany Times-Union.

It is being implied in news reports that the crowds, numbering in the hundreds both nights, might've been over the limit for the building, and that, according to Sanders, the music was too loud. Not the first time that someone has tried to promote an event in the city via social media only, and have it end badly, but it probably won't be the last.

And this was two weeks after a Fulton Street business, Whiskey Pickle, hosted a three night music festival that went largely without incident. Hmmmmmm.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

What Might've Been: The Vin Scully Show (1973)

 The late baseball icon Vin Scully took a swing at talk shows with his self-title CBS half hour in 1973, replacing The Amateur's Guide to Love. Unfortunately, Scully's 2nd daytime series (the original It Takes Two being the 1st) didn't last, either.

Clearly, CBS wanted to try something different, perhaps in answer to Dinah Shore's Dinah's Place, which aired in the morning on NBC.

Despite the cancellation, Scully would return to CBS to call NFL football for a couple of years before moving back to NBC to call baseball for much of the 80's.

The only episode available in its complete form is this nugget of joy with Carroll O'Connor (All in The Family), which includes a brief skit of Scully interviewing Archie Bunker (O'Connor), which leads to some Family footage.

YouTube has one other episode, but audio only.

No rating. Never saw the show, and I'm not even sure it aired in the 518.

America's Disgrace turns in his witness list. He just sank his own ship

Lawyers for America's Disgrace, Rudy Giuliani, submitted a list of witnesses for an ethics probe against the former NYC Mayor in Washington. Unfortunately, they couldn't find anyone with actual credibility.

File photo courtesy Yahoo!.

The lineup includes lawyers Jenna Ellis and Christina Bobb, Doug Mastriano, crackpot GOP candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, former NY police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was pardoned by Donald Trump, former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, former Trump advisors Peter Navarro and Corey Lewandowski, and Phil Waldron, a Texas bar owner and former Army Colonel. Giuliani plans to testify in his own defense, and is on the prosecution's list.

The final meltdown of a man once revered in New York, but now totally out of his depths, will see Giuliani, who already had his license to practice law suspended in Washington, DC, and New York, lose his ability to practice law anywhere. Will he go to jail? No. I think what will happen is his health will be a consideration during this process, mental and physical. The best that Giuliani can hope for is if he is found guilty, and also incapable of recognizing his errors in judgment, given his advanced age, is retirement from public life.

Giuliani killed his son Andrew's chances of becoming governor earlier this year by being out on the campaign trail. Mastriano, in this writer's opinion, will suffer the same fate, and lose the election in a little more than three weeks. Navarro has already been jailed for contempt of Congress in relation to the january 6 committee's investigation. This is what happens when you become addicted to Trump-Aid, where the only cure is denouncing the Archduke of Affluenza. Once these goofs realize that, well.........!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Celebrity Rock: Hey, Jude (1970)

 Ladies & gentlemen, Pat Paulsen & The Fathers.....

This was taken from Pat Paulsen's Half a Comedy Hour. Like, who knew Pat could sing, much less play the piano (or at least pretend to do that much)? Not exactly brunch time at the Senior Citizens Center, but well, that was the joke.

Dunce Cap Award: Spam Hannity

 First things first, we're going to have Farron Cousins set the picture.

Spam Hannity thought he had a sword of Damocles over Joe Biden. Nope. All that voice mail was, as Farron reminds, is a father reminding his wayward son that he loves him no matter what. Hannity tried to tie this into pending charges against Hunter Biden, but there's not a link that actually justifies this. It was just red meat for the Fox Shmooze base, a pathetic attempt at making Joe Biden look bad.

One can only imagine what kind of parent Spam himself is. As it is, he gets this:

Tabloid Carlson must've left some stupid pills for Spam one night, and he took them before going on the air, mistaking them for vitamins.

Friday, October 14, 2022

The Archduke of Affluenza gets subpoenaed. So, of course, he whines

 The January 6 Select Committee held its final hearing on Thursday, and the big news coming out of Washington is the fact that the Committee decided to issue a subpoena to former president Donald John Joseph Isuzu Trump.

This morning, the Archduke of Affluenza issued a 14 page letter to committee chairman Bennie Thompson, whining as usual, ignorant of the fact that the committee has evidence that proves he knew about his supporters showing up armed on that day, and, he also knew he lost the 2020 election, but he'd rather continue to lie about it to keep his base ignorant of details.


23 months later, he still doesn't want to accept the truth. He got spanked at the polls, but would rather continue to grift his base, and ignore the truth. Forever playing the victim card, selling the idea to the evangelicals he's conned that he's been persecuted. Truth is, he is not. He's been caught in a web of lies that he continues to spin, the more he whines and cries.

"WAAAAAHHHH! Don't listen to them! Listen to me! I won! WAAAAAAAHHH!"

George Conway said it best when he said that there is now a short distance between Trump and an orange jumpsuit. May we recommend an adult onesie in that same color?

There is a passage in the Bible that Trump likely has never read.

"Love of money is the root of all evil". Trump is carrying on a family tradition that started with his father to avoid responsibility at all cost. He's going to regret that soon enough.

Spook Rock: I Put a Spell on You (2022)

 More than 65 years after Screamin' Jay Hawkins first recorded "I Put a Spell on You", the song has been covered by a diverse group of artists, including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bryan Ferry, Annie Lennox, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Nina Simone, Bette Midler (in the original "Hocus Pocus"), and, today, WWE's Shotzi (formerly known as Shotzi Blackheart) & Scarlett with Harley Cameron. Not the first time this trio has recorded together, and certainly won't be the last.

Scarlett, the wife of Karrion Kross, had recently returned to WWE, just in time to get back in the studio with her friends.


Thursday, October 13, 2022

Creepy TV redux: Night Stalker (2005)

50 years ago, viewers were introduced to reporter Carl Kolchak in Dan Curtis' adaptation of Jeff Rice's original novel, The Night Stalker, an ABC Movie of The Week. The following year brought the sequel, The Night Strangler, and a year later, Kolchak: The Night Stalker began a one season run on ABC. The difference? The series was produced by Universal, which didn't have anything to do with the movies.

30 years after the original series ended, ABC returned to the nightmare world of Night Stalker, but things were way different this time. Curtis was back as a consultant. ABC, now a unit of Disney, had the rights to key characters such as Kolchak and his boss, Tony Vincenzo, and reworked the concept, which was given to Touchstone Television.

As is the present custom, Kolchak is younger (Stuart Townsend), and has two partners in a fellow reporter and a photographer. ABC slotted this Night Stalker on Thursdays, but pulled the plug after six episodes, with the final four released on iTunes soon after the series was cancelled.

While I get the idea of making Kolchak younger, producer Frank Spotnitz (ex-The X-Files), who was also a writer on the show, misfired with the team concept that today is prevalent in a lot of genre programming. What Spotnitz tried to do was recreate the vibe and concept of X-Files, but viewers voted with their remotes. Gabrielle Union (Mrs. Dwyane Wade) co-stars in this version.

Check the pilot:

This Stalker had a shorter shelf life than the original. 

Rating: C.

Weasel of The Week: Alex Jones

 There is a price to be paid, after all, for spreading lies & misinformation, exacerbating people's suffering in the name of profit.

Alex Jones had his price named on Wednesday, to the tune of $965 million in compensatory damages for his false claims about the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, which happened 10 years ago, come December.

As the verdict was being announced, the defiant Jones was on a livestream, whining, playing the victim card to an audience that doesn't know any better. While legal experts believe the victims' families won't get all the money, a very subtle message was being sent, the same message a certain bloviator in Florida will be getting soon.

They say actions have consequences. When you lie to your audience the way Jones has, there is a price to be paid. Jones' defiance nets him another set of Weasel ears, this time with the tail included.

The next step? The FCC shuts him down for good.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Notes from around town

 A while back, we reported, acting on an assumption, that Calypso, a West Indian restaurant in downtown Troy, had been shuttered. In the words of ESPN's Lee Corso, not so fast, my friends, not so fast.

Calypso management has settled the issues that forced a sudden closure in June, and are operating on a 6 days a week schedule, closed on Sundays. Hours are 4:30-midnight Monday-Saturday. 

Calypso will also be hosting the Troy Foundry Theatre for performances beginning next Wednesday, October 19, for a 2 week stint. If that doesn't get things percolating along Congress Street, I don't know what will!
Further up the road, Breugger's Bagel Bakery shut down its flagship location in town back in March after a fire, and has chosen to remain closed for good, a year shy of the chain's 40th anniversary. Ye scribe spent a lot of weekends having breakfast and shooting the breeze with friends during the 80's. As Don Henley sang, those days are gone forever.
They are clearing the debris from the former Uncle Sam Parking Garage on 4th Street, and the city has reopened Fulton Street between 3rd & 4th Streets to traffic. I think property owner David Bryce realizes he needs to clear the decks, and quickly, before the return of the Victorian Stroll on December 4. Here's a thought, genius. Why not give the city something they've been waiting for, like, a movie theatre?
 The Albany Times-Union is reporting today that Albany School Superintendent Kaweeda Adams is leaving her post in January to take a statewide job as an advocate for students.

Ms. Adams is joining the Conference of Big 5 Schools, which represents districts in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers, & NYC. Best of luck on the new venture. Albany is, ah, "affiliated" with the Conference. I guess Troy is considered small potatoes by comparison.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The hole is getting deeper, the more he talks

 We're referring, of course, to Donald Trump, who spoke at a rally in Arizona over the weekend, and, of course, deviated from the intent of the rally, supporting a GOP candidate for Senator opposite incumbent Mark Kelly, in order to put the spotlight on himself.

Proving once again he is totally incapable of avoiding self-incrimination in public, America's Oldest Baby acknowledged that he had possession of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, but he, again, is demanding they be returned, because, in true Daffy Duck fashion, the Archduke of Affluenza thinks they're his to keep.

Monday, on MSNBC's Last Word, Lawrence O'Donnell broke it down, and noted that attorney Christina Bobb may have saved herself from perjury. Scope.

So let us remind everyone of Trump's favorite cartoon character:

That perp walk is getting closer and closer.........

Monday, October 10, 2022

There is no defense for stupidity

 As I'm sure you've read by now, Kanye "Ye" West got himself in hot water yet again last week after making some anti-semitic remarks that got him suspended pro tempore from Instagram and Twitter.

Wrestler Maxwell J. Friedman of All Elite Wrestling took exception to West's remarks, and responded on Twitter, only to later delete his posts. However, right wing media is trying to defend the indefensible, in this case, trying to cover for Kanye, which runs counter to a bi-partisan rebuke to Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar last year for similar remarks.

Well, the fact that conservatives are defending West, who has self-diagnosed himself as having bi-polar disorder, shouldn't be too surprising, considering they've been coddling and protecting an older fellow with similar mental issues that have not been publicly diagnosed. If you don't know who I mean, you haven't been paying attention.

Meanwhile, after Colorado Misrepresentative Lauren Bow-Wow used a GOPer rally to take cheap shots at President Biden, actor Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Organized Crime, Harley Quinn), took offense to the Mile High Airhead's antics, which got the attention of Trump shill Stephen Miller, who claimed Organized Crime is "unwatchable". As if he's actually bothered to watch the show!

Photo courtesy NBC/Yahoo!.

What Miller wasn't counting on was Meloni throwing some shade his way, suggesting that Miller should "stick to writing fascist speeches". Wouldn't be at all surprised if either Miller, Boebert, or event Kanye is depicted as a suspect in a future Law & Order episode........!

In baseball, familiarity breeds ratings (?): Division series preview

 In New York, they're venting all hours on talk radio today after the Mets were eliminated by San Diego Sunday night. Former Tri-City Valleycat Joe Musgrove and the Padres' bullpen held the Mets to 1 hit in a 6-0 win. It's safe to assume the Mets peaked too soon, but there are other factors involved.

In game 1, it was clear that co-ace Max Scherzer was not all the way back from an oblique injury that had landed him on the injured list twice this season. San Diego touched him up for 7 runs, all via the home run, and Yu Darvish beat the Mets for the 3rd time this season.

Sunday, the Mets sent Chris Bassitt to the mound. His former manager, Bob Melvin, was part of the exodus out of Oakland after last season, and it can be argued that he had the ultimate scouting report not only on Bassitt, but also Mark Canha and Starling Marte, who also played for Melvin in Oakland last year.

Fatigue had to be a factor, too, but the situation was so dire that Mets manager Buck Showalter, out of desperation, tried having Musgrove checked for foreign substances. That didn't work.

Fortunately for baseball fans in New York, the Yankees are back in action after almost a week off, as the Division Series begin tomorrow.

American League:

Cleveland @ Yankees: The Guardians will have had just two days rest after bouncing Tampa Bay in 15 innings on Saturday. The Bombers have been idle since the regular season ended October 5 with a loss to Texas. Gerrit Cole takes the mound for the Yankees in the opener on Tuesday (all games on TBS), looking to end a 2 game season ending losing streak. With Aaron Judge having rewritten the team & AL home run records, the focus can get back to winning a World Series for the first time in 13 years. Yes, the media obsession with Judge, who could be a free agent after the playoffs, proved costly to the Yanks last week.

The Yankees won 5 of 6 from Cleveland during the season, and the last time Terry Francona's club was in the Bronx, six months ago, a few idiots in the stands caused some issues with the Guardians' outfielders. MLB will need to keep an eye for a possible repeat. Game 2 is Thursday instead of Wednesday, which will benefit fans of All Elite Wrestling, as Dynamite will not be pre-empted on Wednesday.

Prediction: Yankees in 5.

Seattle @ Houston: The resurgent Mariners swept Toronto out, one of three road teams to advance into this round. Houston won the season series, 12-7, and will be well rested for this series. Seattle has momentum, but with the first two games in Houston, this could be over in a hurry. MLB decided to give the AL teams Wednesday off instead of the traditional travel day between games 2 & 3. That won't help the Mariners at all.

Prediction: Houston in 3.

National League:

Philadelphia @ Atlanta: The Phillies shocked the experts by upsetting St. Louis and spoiling the retirement tour for Albert Pujols, who will return to the Angels to fulfill a personal services contract which was stopped when he was sent to the Dodgers last year. Atlanta dominated Philadelphia in the regular season, but not as much as the Mets did. Max Fried will pitch game 1 for the Braves. Philly has used Zach Eflin, normally a starter, out of the bullpen in the playoffs, but they may need him in the rotation during this series. Not that it would do them any good.......!

Prediction: Atlanta in 4.

San Diego @ Los Angeles:

For the Padres, there is little rest, as the NLDS also begin tomorrow, with Fox and FS1 carrying the games, meaning Darvish would pitch game 2, followed by Blake Snell in game 3, and Musgrove in game 4 if needed. This will be the only series that goes the full five games. The Dodgers will be looking for their 2nd title in 3 years, and this will be the first step. If anything, these games will not be boring.

Prediction: Los Angeles in 5.

Of course, I could be wrong. 

Wild card result: 2-2.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

On The Air: Werewolf by Night (2022)

 In its first special presentation for Disney+, Marvel Studios takes viewers into a darker corner of the Marvel Universe.

Werewolf by Night is a homage to the horror movies of the golden age that we saw as youth on cable, including the original "Wolf-Man", with Lon Chaney, Jr., and "Werewolf of London", with Warren Hull & Warner Oland. Filmed in black & white as a tribute to that era, the story takes Jack Russell (Gael Garcia Bernal) into a bizarre variation on The Most Dangerous Game, which has Russell and other monster hunters, including 2nd generation hunter Elsa Bloodstone (Laura Donnelly, The Nevers), locating the bloodstone gem, currently bonded to the Man-Thing.

Check the trailer:

The CGI rendering of Man-Thing blows away the cheap DTV model released in 2005, having aired at least once on SyFy (when it was still Sci-Fi). I think the decision was made to reboot Russell as being of Hispanic descent in order to mash up Russell with Jake Gomez, the Hispanic/Native American Werewolf introduced last year at Marvel, when the producers decided not to use Gomez as a stand-alone character. Maybe another day.

This does, however, open the door for other Marvel horror properties, including their adaptations of Frankenstein & Dracula, to be added to the expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Rating: A-.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

It's just a story, but........! A Texas mom raises alarms about the sequel to Hocus Pocus

 One week ago, Disney+ dropped the sequel to the 1993 fantasy, "Hocus Pocus", which starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, & Kathy Najimy. The film was a bomb at the box office, but became a cult classic after viewings on cable on Disney Channel & Freeform.

"Hocus Pocus 2", however, has come under fire from a conservative Texas parent, Jamie Gooch, who thinks that the plot of the two movies is actually something that happens in real life, in that witches, such as the trio of sisters in the movies, can actually drain the lifeforces of their youthful victims to regain their own youth.

Photo courtesy Disney+/Yahoo!.

Gooch, and others like her, are ignorant of the fact that this is a work of fiction, and, as such, nothing in the movie would actually happen in real life. This is no different than Tennessee pastor Greg Locke organizing a book burning of various fantasy literature, in particular JK Rowling's Harry Potter novels, because of the exact same misguided belief that the spells written by Rowling in her scripts are real.

This kind of pathetic protest is grist for the mill for conservative media, particularly Fox Shmooze garbage dispensers Tabloid Carlson, Dirty Watters, and Laura Inkblot. Get a clue. There are disclaimers in movies like "Hocus Pocus" that remind viewers that the films are works of fiction.  

Unfortunately, the collective IQ of conservatives keeps going down instead of up, and this lame whining is an example of why.

What Might've Been: Cher (1975)

 In the winter of 1975, Sonny & Cher were no more, as the duo had divorced. Sonny Bono shifted from CBS to ABC for the short-lived Sonny Comedy Revue, but it was already gone by the time Cher's solo series bowed on CBS.

Cher had already scored a monster solo hit with "Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves", and the hits would just keep on coming. At the time of this series, Cher had been in a relationship with record producer David Geffen, the subject of Joni Mitchell's "Free Man in Paris". Geffen served as a producer for this series, which lasted almost a full calendar year before ending, leading to a revival of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour after Sonny & Cher reconciled.

Never saw the show (the folks were into Disney and other fare), so there won't be a rating. We'll leave you with a medley, including "Chattanooga Choo-Choo", "Well, All Right", and "Opus One", as Cher is joined by the Pointer Sisters, Teri Garr, and Freddie Prinze (Chico & The Man).

Thursday, October 6, 2022

And, so, the silly season begins........

 Major League Baseball's radically revamped post-season starts tomorrow, with the Wild Card round. This year, it's a best of 3 series to advance to the league division series, in a concerted effort to add more excitement and drive television ratings.

Let's take a look at the National League first:

#5 San Diego @ #4 Mets (all games on ESPN): The Padres were one of the few teams in the National League that gave the Mets fits this season. They've played the whole season without tarnished star Fernando Tatis, Jr. (injuries, PED suspension), leaning more on Manny Machado to rein in his temper and lead the offense. Manager Bob Melvin has chosen Yu Darvish to open the series. The Mets will counter, per Yahoo!, with co-ace Max Scherzer.

New York erased the stench of getting swept by East division champion Atlanta by sweeping out Washington in dominating fashion. They have the NL batting champion in Jeff McNeil, and the RBI king in Pete Alonso, leading a potent offense that will still be without injured outfielder Starling Marte. However, as we saw in the last two days, the Mets will do just fine, thanks, if everyone steps up.

Game 2 figures to have ex-Valleycat Joe Musgrove vs. Jacob deGrom, leaving Blake Snell vs. Chris Bassitt in a possible game 3 on Sunday. Recall that the Cubs swept the Mets in the regular season 7 years ago, only for the Mets to collect a receipt in the NLCS that year.

Pick: Mets in 3.
#6 Philadelphia @ #3 St. Louis.

The good news for the Phillies is that they made a late run to earn a Wild Card berth. The bad news? If they past St. Louis, they'll play Atlanta. Thanks for coming. The Braves & Mets, the top two in the East, dominated the Phillies in the regular season, and the only reason Phladelphia made it this far is because Milwaukee not only choked away the Central division lead, but their post-season as well. NL HR champ Kyle Schwarber needs to step back into the spotlight, since Bryce Harper is only a DH if he's able to play.

St. Louis has added an extra few days to the retirement tour for catcher Yadier Molina, 1B-DH Albert Pujols, and pitcher Adam Wainwright, who are all bidding farewell after their playoff run ends. One last World Series run is possible, and a division series match with Atlanta would be a rematch of the 1982 NLCS, which St. Louis won en route to a Series title. The Cardinals marked the 40th anniversary of that title run earlier this year. Wainwright vs. either Aaron Nola or Zack Wheeler figures to be the Friday matchup. Philadelphia has the thunder with Schwarber, Harper, and, if he finds his stroke, Nick Castellanos. It won't be enough.

Pick: St. Louis in 3.
Now, on to the American League:

#5 Seattle @ #4 Toronto:

As is the case in the NL, the AL East placed three teams in the playoff tournament. The Yankees, the #2 seed, await the winner of the Tampa Bay-Cleveland series. The winner of this series gets top-seeded Houston. No fun either way.

Seattle snapped a 2 decade-plus playoff draught, but they can't just be happy to be there. Toronto chased the Yankees all season, and slid into 2nd place in the East as Tampa Bay & Baltimore faded. It's all about who's hungrier, and Seattle's willing to give Houston a battle. The Mariners have made a decent starting pitcher out of ex-Met Chris Flexen, and another ex-Met, Paul Sewald, is their closer. How crazy would it be if Seattle ran the table, and upset the Astros & Yankees? Crazy, but possible.

Pick: Seattle in 3.
#5 Tampa Bay @ #4 Cleveland:

When the NFL's Washington Commanders went by the more generic "Washington Football Team" two years ago, they won a division title. Cleveland morphed from the Indians to the Guardians with plenty of advance notice, and, like Washington, won a division title, despite the whining and crying from certain bloviating geeks with no real interest. Tampa closed the regular season losing to Boston. This one should be easy.

Pick: Cleveland in 2.

Of course, I could be wrong.