Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Well, at least it wasn't at Mel's Diner (Vic Tayback for No Pest, 1982)

 Everyone remembers when Shell Oil introduced the No Pest Strips, meant to kill flies, wasps, & hornets.

In 1982, Morton-Norwich introduced an aerosol free No Pest spray, which, like Raid, could be used indoors and outdoors.

Vic Tayback (Alice) did a couple of commercials, including this next item. Michael Bell is the off-camera announcer.

Pinocchio Santos is finally getting a clue, but is it too late?

 Earlier today, freshman NY Rep. George "Pinocchio" Santos recused himself from the committee assignments he had just been given days ago by House Speaker Kevin "The Body Snatcher" McCarthy, in the face of an increasing number of reports of his pathological lying to just about everyone.

One thing Santos won't do-----yet-----is pack it up, admit he essentially cheated his way to Washington, and resign his post, which of course would prompt a special election to fill the remainder of his term.

As everyone knows, even Pinocchio, after trying to run away from his problems, eventually manned up, became a hero and a human. Santos, though, comes off more like Joe Isuzu, or even a notorious scammer who got his 15 minutes here in the 518 many moons ago.

Maybe you've heard of.......Bob John Ray?

The year was 1979. Ye scribe was in high school. Bob John Ray, assuming that was his name on his birth certificate, became an overnight sensation when he drifted, literally, into Mechanicville, offering to buy cars at Jack Byrne Ford & Mercury.

Unfortunately, after nearly a week, BJR never fulfilled his end of the bargain, and was escorted from town by train back to Canada.

File photo courtesy WRGB.

He might actually be old enough to be Pinocchio Santos' dad, for all we know.

Kidding aside, the upside is that Santos either straightens up, flies right, or gets side-barred out of Washington before the Nationals' home opener in April. And he has only himself to blame. He's another Donald Trump wanna-be, a pathological liar, just like the Sultan of Spray Tan himself. And while Citizen Pampers is slowly suffering from mental deterioration in front of the world with his daily, unhinged attacks on perceived "enemies" such as author Bob Woodward, Trump also offers a cautionary tale to clones like Santos, who needs to heed the warning before it's too late.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Two more icons have left us

 As we often note, death often comes in threes with the famous. We wrote on the passing of hockey legend Bobby Hull earlier, and now, we have two iconic actresses that have left us.

It has come across the wires that Cindy Williams, 75, the cuter half of Laverne & Shirley, passed away on January 25 after a brief illness.

Three days later, Lisa Loring, 64, the original Wednesday Addams (The Addams Family) had passed on. Post-Addams, Lisa spent three years on As The World Turns, marking her first series work in several years.

From season 1 of Addams Family, the Addamses meet truant officer Sam Hilliard.

What we're not sure of is if Lisa had had a chance to see the current Wednesday on Netflix, with Jenna Ortega.

Rest in peace.

Sports this 'n' that

 So now, the Super Bowl is set for February 12 in Chandler, Arizona, home of the Cardinals.

The top seeds in both conferences held serve despite trends going in the opposite direction Sunday to set up the "Big Game".

In Philadelphia, the Eagles defense picked up right where they left off a week ago against the Giants, allowing only a touchdown to Christian McCaffrey, and knocked rookie QB Brock Purdy out of the game with an elbow injury, although he did return when his backup, Josh Johnson, was injured, in a 31-7 rout.

It was Purdy's 1st loss as a starter, and a very costly one. It also took some shine off 49ers defensive coordinator Demeco Ryans, who played in Houston and Philadelphia during hsi career, and was being looked at for a possible head coaching position after just two seasons as coordinator, a position he accepted when Robert Saleh left to coach the Jets.

For what it's worth, we mentioned that Philadelphia wrestling icon Paul Heyman cut a heel promo on the "City of Brotherly Love" one week ago, touting Purdy and the Niners to get heat. In terms of kayfabe, the Eagles might want to consider sending Heyman an autographed game ball, since they can say Heyman gave them extra motivation against the Niners.

But we know the truth, of course.
In Kansas City, a bizarre referee's call in the 4th quarter sparked the Chiefs, and denied the Cincinnati Bengals a return trip to the big dance.

In case you missed it, KC was facing 3rd down & 9 yards to go. Patrick Mahomes' pass to Travis Kelce only goes 3 yards, and the Chiefs have to punt. But, wait! An official waved it off, saying the clock started a wee bit prematurely, and the down was thrown out. Given new life, the Chiefs ultimately won the game on a 45 yard field goal by Harrison Butker with 3 seconds left.

More grist for the mill for those that believe the zebras are beholden to the league's media partners.
In the aftermath of Saturday's Royal Rumble, there are some ill-educated fans who believe that Cody Rhodes hasn't won it yet.

You see, Rey Mysterio never entered the match, and it was speculated that estranged son Dominik, now part of the Judgment Day faction, had ambushed his pop and stole one of Rey's signature masks.

In reality, the elder Mysterio was injured in a match Friday on Smackdown in which he beat Karrion Kross. It was posted online that the rules of the Rumble match clearly state that if a competitor doesn't come out when his number is called before the next one is called, then he is ruled out.

Clearly, some fans don't understand how this all works.

True story. I attended the 1992 edition of the Rumble, the 1st PPV at what is now MVP Arena. Coming out of the show, and bound for the bus stop, I had the misfortune of waiting with a disabled fellow who didn't follow the storyline, and claimed Ric Flair, who won the event that year, had "cheated" when it was abundantly clear he hadn't, and that Hulk Hogan, who finished 3rd, was the actual winner.

I never saw that fella again.
Hockey lost one of its icons over the weekend.

Bobby Hull, nicknamed the Golden Jet during his playing days, passed away Saturday at 84.

A 2-time Hart Trophy winner, and a 3-time scoring champion, Hull racked up 610 goals and 1170 points before being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. Hull bolted for the upstart WHA in 1972, and played for Winnipeg (now an NHL team) before jumping back to the NHL to play for Hartford for 9 games in 1980.

Son Brett, who played for St. Louis, surpassed his father in career goals scored, and the Hulls are the only father & son team to win the Hart Trophy.

Off the ice, Bobby became outspoken with some very controversial beliefs at the turn of the century, falling into certain delusions about Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

Rest in peace.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

This promotion comes at a price for listeners

 Following up on an item from earlier in the week.

WROW (Magic 590) began a promotion on January 23 in which they're playing 10 songs in a row without commercial interruption most of the day. The exceptions are during Magic in The Morning between 5:30 and 8:45 am, at which point the first 10 in a row block plays, and The John Tesh Radio Show (7 pm-midnight). As noted previously, the Class Reunion Hour, a segment of Magic in The Morning that was brought over from WGY some time back, is on at least a hiatus.

What we've also discovered is that there are fewer breaks for CBS Radio news, and on Magic in The Morning, the World News Roundup at 8 am has been replaced with a standard news brief to allow more time for music, and that the news seems to disappear after the 8 am briefing. There are no news breaks on the weekends, for however long that lasts.

So what's the point, you might ask. Ratings, of course, and also experimenting with the 10 in a row format. The Friday listener request format ("Free-For-All Friday") has been suspended for the duration, and morning host Ben Patten apparently was told not to say anything about why. The DJ-free Saturday Night at The Oldies, which has been on autoplay since Richie Norris was let go a couple of years back, is also on hiatus. WROW and its parent company, Albany/Pamal Broadcasting, have not done anything in the press to promote the changes, meaning that listeners are left in the dark.

If that's the approach they're taking, then things will revert to normal come spring.

John Tesh, by the way, is doing his part to help the station, which added his program back in October. Tesh has recorded some localized promos for local businesses, the same ones that have been read by Patten otherwise. Tesh makes a point to plug Magic in The Morning in a localized spot on his show, which of course creates the idea that he could bring his show to Albany at some point.

Will that actually happen? Will Magic give up 10 songs in a row? Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Now, we are down to 4.......

 Tomorrow, the NFL's conference championships will decide who heads to the Super Bowl on February 12. Form has held, as the top two seeds in the AFC, and the 1st & 3rd seeds in the NFC, have reached their respective conference title games.

NFC Championship: San Francisco @ Philadelphia (Sunday @ 3, Fox): Six Super Bowl wins between these two teams. A little luck, and the Eagles would've had two already in hand before the beat New England a few years back. Philadelphia rediscovered its dominant defense in blowing out the Giants one week ago. The next day, the 49ers put away ancient rival Dallas for the 2nd straight year. San Francisco's defense will key on Eagle QB Jalen Hurts, and keep him contained. Rookie Brock Purdy is unbeaten as a starter (8-0), and it's gotten to the point where wrestling personality Paul Heyman cut a promo prior to the Dallas game last week because Purdy shares his first name with former WWE & NCAA champion and long-time Heyman friend Brock Lesnar. Then, on Monday, in Philadelphia, where he remains a beloved figure to wrestling fans, Heyman "heeled" on the crowd, and invoked Purdy's name in advance of the pending game.

If it was anyone else, I'd go with the Eagles, but you gotta go with the hot hand here.

Pick: San Francisco.

AFC Championship: Cincinnati @ Kansas City (6:30 pm, CBS):  Since Bengals QB Joe Burrow entered the league out of LSU, he's never lost to the Chiefs (3-0), including last year's playoffs. You have to believe that KC QB Patrick Mahomes and coach Andy Reid took time after filming that ridiculous State Farm commercial to go over film of that game to see if they can find some weakness in the Bengal defense, and also to find weaknesses in Burrow's game. Of the four teams remaining, Cincinnati is the only one that hasn't won a Super Bowl (0-3). That may soon change.

Again, you have to go with the hot hand, and a 3rd meeting, albeit a different generation, with the 49ers awaits.

Pick: Cincinnati.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Donald Trump paid a fine. Now, he wants the money back?!?!

 In May, Donald Trump paid a fine of $110,000 for contempt of court. Eight, nearly nine, months later, he wants the money back.

So, America's Oldest Baby had lawyer Alina Habba-Dabba-Doo and her team draft a nearly thousand page filing with a bunch of hare-brained excuses as to why the money needs to be returned. It's sitting in escrow in NY AG Letitia James' account since it was paid.

It's one more sign that Trump is losing the last remaining shreds of contact with reality. You want your fine money back? Good luck with that!!

It makes me think of this old Meat Loaf track from "Bat Out of Hell II", "Life is a Lemon & I Want My Money Back!":

Of course you know the perception this creates with Trump in the eyes of the public.....

Bellevue is waiting.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Weasel of The Week: Care to take a guess?

 In the 80's, a woman named Rosie Ruiz became infamous for being disqualified at the Boston Marathon, I believe it was, for winning the race despite not competing at the start.

In 1999, as part of an ongoing feud with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble, but stayed outside the ring, even chatting with commentators during the match, just because he could, being the owner of the company, and a corrupt, narcissistic one at that.

Last week, one of McMahon's closest friends took a page out of McMahon's playbook.

Yeah, Donald Trump, Washington's original Baron Munchausen, before George Santos came on the scene.

Now, as we all know, Trump was in North Carolina last Saturday, and, as it turns out,"presided" over the memorial service for Lynette "Diamond" Hardaway, 1/2 of Diamond & Silk, and made the event about him, more than Hardaway. Dare I say it was par for the course for Citizen Pampers? Of course.

Two days earlier, Trump had played a round of golf, and then decided to compete in a tournament at one of his courses, took his Thursday score, and added it to his Sunday total, and declared himself the winner. This shameless, pathetic, pathological, lying jackass makes most weekend players ashamed to have ever shared a course with him.

So, of course, late night talkers like ABC's Jimmy Kimmel roasted Trump. Farron Cousins focuses on Kimmel's lambasting.

Munchausen would be ashamed if he ever met Trump.

Trump's pathological need to be in the spotlight hurts more than helps him, but you can't explain that to him. Besides, how can you play while eating a Whopper and fries on the course? (Just kidding)

Trump, of course, gets yet another nod as our Weasel of The Week. Melania might need to get on the phone with Dr. Vinnie Boom Batz or send Dumb Donald to Bellevue........

Musical Interlude: It Happens In The Same Old Way (1965)

Melinda Marx made her television singing debut at age 8, and had the perfect forum.

You see, Melinda is the daughter of comedy legend Groucho Marx, who brought Melinda on his game show, You Bet Your Life, occasionally. In 1965, while Jerry Lewis' son, Gary, was climbing the charts with his band, the Playboys, Melinda made a modest run of her own, appearing on the syndicated Shivaree to perform "It Happens in The Same Old Way". Ya might want to hit up your local oldies channels to see if they'll play this.

In the discussion of 2nd generation talents like Gary and Melinda, and the sons of Dean Martin and Desi Arnaz, for that matter, it seems Melinda gets dissed by not being in the discussion.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

A little of this and a little of that

 We know the collective sense of humor at Fox No News and its sister channel, Fox Bees Wax, is royally warped.

So, in the wake of Mars Wrigley yanking their CGI spokescandies in favor of actress Maya Rudolph (ex-Saturday Night Live), thanks in large part to Fox No News gasbag Tabloid Carlson, the makers of A & W root beer decided to troll and came up with their own prank.

The company put out a press release earlier this week announcing that their long time mascot, Rooty, would begin wearing pants with his signature sweater.

Of course, the twin Fox nets fell for the joke. All this really did was call attention to A & W, since it's not getting a lot of national attention in recent years.

As for M & M's & Rudolph, it turns out, as many have suspected on social media, Mars Wrigley is pulling an elaborate stunt that will culminate around the Super Bowl on February 12. Beginning today, the M & M's are being rechristened Ma & Ya's, with Rudolph's face on the candies. 

So who gets the last laugh now, Tabloid? It ain't you, that's for sure!!!

Of course, when it comes to conservative media, there's no evidence to support the belief that you have to have your funny bone surgically removed to work at Fox No News, unless you're Greg Gutfeld.....!
After Tony Khan acquired Ring of Honor Wrestling last year, Warner Media (now Warner Bros. Discovery) banned the promotion's most prolific tag team, the Briscoes, from appearing on AEW television, due to-----wait for it-----some homophobic tweets from Jay (Jamin Pugh) dating back a decade, for which Jay had apologized, and gone through sensitivity training. Fellow blogger Sam Wilson speculated it might be because WBD has some LGBTQ employees in the executive offices that are hyper-sensitive.

After Jay Briscoe's death last week in an automobile accident in his home state of Delaware, brother Mark was finally able to appear on AEW's flagship show, Dynamite, winning his debut last night over long time rival and real life friend Jay Lethal in the TV main event. Khan negotiated the deal over the past week, and ROH is releasing a 3 hour-plus tribute to Jay Briscoe, debuting today on YouTube and HonorClub, ROH's streaming service.
So what's the real difference between old school politicos like former VP's Mike Pence and Joe Biden, the latter now the President, and former president Donald Trump when it comes to classified documents being discovered on their properties?

First Biden, then Pence, promptly turned over theirs to the National Archives. America's Oldest Baby refused to do that right away, believing he had the right to take some home for "cool keepsakes", as he put it. It took more than 18 months, and the FBI collecting them at Mar-a-Lago, before the National Archives finally closed that case, or so it seems. This is what results when you have someone like Trump, who has the impulse control of a 3 year old, and the behavioral mannerisms of same,  having bamboozled enough people to get him into the White House (should've been Pence all along, in this writer's view).
Pinocchio Santos can't take a joke.

Late last week, all 3 networks' late night talk shows poked fun at Santos, a real life Joe Isuzu, and his constant lies. NBC called on Saturday Night Live alumnus Jon Lovitz, whose resume also includes NewsRadio and the animated The Critic, to impersonate Santos on The Tonight Show. CBS' Late Show With Stephen Colbert brought in Harvey Guillen (What We Do In The Shadows). SNL opened with series regular Bowen Yang as Santos crashing a Fox broadcast.

Santos lambasted Lovitz a few days later, but it's clear that Santos, who thinks Baron Munchausen was real, didn't get the joke. Apparently, he may be the only one.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Musical Interlude: Trouble (1981)

 Lindsey Buckingham peaked at #9 on the Hot 100, and hit #1 in Australia & South Africa with "Trouble", the 1st single from his solo debut, "Law & Order", released in the fall of 1981. Buckingham is joined by Fleetwood Mac bandmate Mick Fleetwood, former bandmate Bob Welch, and guests Dwight Twilley and Walter Egan, among others, in the video.

If anything, this might've led to Twilley getting some premium MTV airplay of his own three years later with "Girls".

DirecTV cuts Newsmax. GOPers in Washington are whining and making empty threats

 We'll start with this video from Farron Cousins:

As of this morning, Newsmax's contract with DirecTV had expired, and, as Farron notes, the network has an active YouTube channel. Locally, the network is a premium service on Spectrum Cable, and were given special dispensation by DirecTV when they launched 9 years ago.

So why are 40+ GOPers making threats? Because it bothers them that in the space of a few months, Fox No News' two biggest competitors would be removed from the satellite service, with One America News having been bounced some time back. These peabrains forget that Fox No News & Fox Business are two separate channels leaning in the same direction. They think "sister networks" count as one entity, it seems.

We've established that in this era, the Republicans may have secretly replaced their elephant mascot with----wait for it---a gopher, and that their holy trinity consists of Pinocchio, Pecos Bill, and Joe Isuzu since the Trump administration, though Joe was a product of the Reagan era of television.

The behavior of these GOPers in the House of Representatives reminds one of this couple from Saturday Night Live back in the day. The Whiners (Robin Duke & Joe Piscopo):

Today, Piscopo is a right wing gasbag working as a morning drive radio host in his native New Jersey. He and alter-ego Doug Whiner fit right in. Seems to me that Newsmax's demands for money from DirecTV sound like extortion. Gee, you don't suppose another world famous whiner convinced them to try this tack?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Charades for coffee? (The Andy Griffith Show, 1962-3)

 From season 3 of The Andy Griffith Show:

Here's an in-show ad for Sanka and General Foods (Now, after a series of mergers, Kraft-Heinz) in which Barney (Don Knotts) is playing charades with Andy, Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier), & Opie (Ronny Howard). Olan Soule, who played choir director John Masters on the show, narrates.

Clever, wasn't it?

Notes from around town

 More changes at WROW (Magic 590 AM/100.5 FM).

The station has discontinued, at least for now, The Class Reunion Hour, which ran from 9-10 am as the last hour of Magic in The Morning Monday-Friday. As of January 23, WROW is doing a promotion where they're playing 10 songs in a row between 8:45-9:30. No idea whether this is just a temporary thing, or if The Class Reunion Hour, which got its start at WGY-AM (810 AM) when they still had music, will return. And it probably will.

The Saturday talk show block has long been decimated. Local businessman Greg Aidala, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Albany in 2021, had launched a weekly show last spring, but with little to no promotion behind it, Aidala was quietly let go over the summer. The Herzog Law Firm, which has had a weekly show discussing estate planning and retirement for years, had the show reduced to 30 minutes on January 14. Magic in The Morning Saturday host John Gabriel is the current moderator, and after the show ends, Gabriel is back to playing music until The Cruise Ship, from Madison Wealth Managers, airs at 10 am, so Gabriel is now on the air from 5-8 and 8:30-10, even getting in some bonus time at 11 am, while also doing afternoon drive (2-7 pm) Monday-Friday. We'll review The Cruise Ship another time.
The Albany Times-Union is reporting that the Smashburger restaurant chain has abruptly closed its 3 locations in the 518 (Colonie, Schenectady, and Saratoga), but while the locations are still on the website, the shops were closed last month without explanation. One likely will be coming soon.
Local comics fans have a new place to hang out.

Newbury Comics opened a ways back at Crossgates Mall, with more of an emphasis on Japanese manga than on the usual fare from American publishers.
It was inevitable.

Calypso, a West Indian eatery occupying the former Troy Kitchen space on Congress Street, was the site of a shooting early Sunday morning. 

Police responded to a report of shots fired during an after-hours party. Police are still investigating. One victim was taken to the hospital.
A while back, we told you about how The Daily Grind was closing its Troy location and remaining open in Albany.

Bard & Baker, a gamers' cafe, if you will, in Troy, is doing the opposite, closing its Albany location and expanding operations in its Troy home in the former home of The Record at 501 Broadway. They've experimented with live entertainment recently, and the response may be such that this could continue. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 23, 2023

When Total needed star power (1980's)

 General Mills' Total cereal gets lost amidst all the variations of Cheerios on the market these days. It was GM's answer to, say, for example, Kellogg's Product 19 and/or Special K, the latter of which is still around.

In the 80's, however, in order to call attention to Total, General Mills consented to having celebrities pitch the product, including Angela Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote), Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons, Amen), and, in this 1989 spot, Richard Mulligan (Empty Nest, ex-Soap).

I'm not entirely sure, but I think they discontinued Total Corn Flakes.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

A sure sign that a former president is showing his age.......

 Is when he whines and lies about a nearly 7 year old controversy over deleted e-mails attributed to 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

That, of course, would be par for the course for America's Oldest Baby, Donald Trump.

Trump is whining and crying, begging special prosecutor Jack Smith to shift his focus to Clinton and former president Barack Obama. The pressure is getting to Trump, that's certain, but he's become more mentally unstable than ever. We've said that Trump's carefully cultivated public image has crumbled the last few years because of his higher profile as president and as an overall pain in the tuchis.

Farron Cousins breaks down Trump's latest breakdown.

All of America is seeing the real Trump now, warts and all, and he can't be bothered to do anything to rehabilitate his image.

Not only that, but he not only attended the funeral for Ineitha Lynette Hardaway, aka Diamond, one half of the Diamond & Silk team of conservative pundits, in North Carolina, but he bigfooted the event to whine about the usual political grievances. He had to make it about him, because he can't go a day without making a headline. His disrespect toward the Hardaway family on a solemn occasion is on brand for Trump. Protocol doesn't mean anything to him. You'd think his followers would finally wake up and realize that.

Bellevue is waiting.

A Classic Reborn: Night Court (2023)

 A 2nd generation judge moves into Night Court, and she has a lot more to learn than her father did in the original series.

Abby Stone (Melissa Rauch, ex-The Big Bang Theory) arrives in New York, prepared to step into the same courtroom her late father, Harry (Harry Anderson) presided over for several years. After a public defender quits on her first night on the bench, Abby recruits former Assistant DA Dan Fielding (John Larroquette, also a producer) to be on the other side of the aisle this time. Perhaps realizing he owes it to his friend, Harry, to watch over Abby, he finally accepts after a trim of his beard, though the old instincts stubbornly remain.

Rauch doubles as an executive producer for the revival, which leads off NBC's Tuesday block.

We showed you a teaser in a previous post. Now, let's see a trailer.

Rauch, as Abby, is spunky and adorable. I believe it's 10 episodes for this season, as the long form seasons are gradually going the way of old school programming. We'll see just how far things will go, and if it's anything like the original, the ambiance of the courtroom will overcome the relatively unknown supporting cast (outside of Rauch & Larroquette).

Rating: A-.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

What Might've Been: The B. B. Beegle Show (1979)

 After the failure of The Hanna-Barbera Happy Hour on NBC, Hanna-Barbera forged ahead with a 2nd attempt at copying the popular Muppet Show. Unfortunately, The B. B. Beegle Show went unsold, premiering in Canada in November 1979, and in the US a couple of months later.

Beegle (Michael Bell) is a poor man's Kermit the Frog, trying to mount a variety show, but coming across like a con man. Joyce DeWitt (Three's Company) appears as the main guest, while Arte Johnson (ex-Knockout, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) plays a coach working with some monsters.

Taped and produced in Canada.

The budget was sooooooooo bad (how bad was it?), only two other voice actors, Norm Grohmann and Marilyn Schreffler, were used. Not only that, but H-B passed on an opportunity to reboot this into more of a family-friendly kids' show....!

No rating. Just a public service.

America's Oldest Baby throws a tantrum while giving a deposition. What a shock, eh?

 More than three months ago, Donald John Narcissus Pinocchio Trump, physical age 76, mental age of about 3 1/2, sat for a deposition in the defamation lawsuit brought by journalist and former cable personality E. Jean Carroll. Trump was anything but willing to sit in, and whined about it. Farron Cousins explains.

And that ain't all!
It's also come out that when shown a picture of Carroll from her younger days, Trump confused her with ex-wife Marla Maples. Attorney Alina Habba-Dabba-Doo had to steer him back on the right path. Ya knew the job was dangerous when you took it, Alina.

And Trump wants to claim Carroll wasn't his type? BUSTED!!

And it gets worse!

A Florida judge sanctioned Habba & Trump for a grand total of nearly a million dollars for filing a frivolous suit against NY AG Letitia James. Trump withdrew the suit on Friday, clearly afraid of spending money even to pay a penalty for abusing the legal system.

As Farron points out, the video from the deposition will be played at trial. Keep in mind that the deposition was a month before Trump announced a 3rd run for president. When the case goes to trial, and the video is played, Trump can kiss his chances of running again good-bye.

Bellevue is waiting for you, Trump.

Friday, January 20, 2023

To Lie and Lie again: The Liars' Club (1976, 1988)

 While the real life Liars' Club is based in Washington these days, better known as the Republican Party, let's take a look back at the last two iterations of the game show.

Producer Ralph Andrews (You Don't Say, It Takes Two) brought the show back in 1975 as a local series, with Bill Armstrong (the announcer on Celebrity Sweepstakes) as host. When the series went into national syndication the following year, Armstrong came with it, but was let go after the 1976-7 season, replaced by game show icon Allen Ludden, who was in between iterations of Password.

This time, actor Larry Hovis (ex-Hogan's Heroes, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) was on board as a producer as well as a panelist. Once the Club closed again in 1979, Hovis spent more time behind the camera as a producer, working on various other projects.

Let's take a look at a sampler from the Ludden era:

I don't think Peter Haskell (ex-Bracken's World) did too many game shows during his career, as he was a virtual novice here. This Club went through two different syndicators, 20th Century Fox & Sandy Frank, during the 3 year national run.

Nine years after it was cancelled, the Liars' Club returned one final time, as one of the last series under the Four Star umbrella. Andrews was no longer involved, and the show was taped in Canada. Eric Boardman, a relative newcomer, was the new host, and lasted just the one season. In the opener, the panel includes John Barbour (ex-Real People) and Rebecca Arthur (Perfect Strangers).

Didn't see the 1988 show. However, I did see the 1976-9 version. Rating: B.

NFL Divisional playoff preview

 Now we are down to 8.


Jacksonville @ Kansas City (Saturday, NBC): 2nd trip to Kansas City for the red-hot Jaguars this season. The Chiefs won the November meeting, but this isn't the same Jacksonville team that they faced before. The oddsmakers proved how dumb they are, again, installing the Chiefs as a 9 1/2 home favorite, ignoring the fact that the Jags came back from a 27-0 halftime deficit against the Chargers to advance. No, this one's going down to the wire.....

Pick: Kansas City.

Cincinnati @ Buffalo (Sunday, CBS): This one's filed under unfinished business for both teams, as their previous meeting in Cincinnati was called off after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field with 6 1/2 minutes left in the 1st quarter, and the Bengals holding the lead. The Bills & Bengals will light up the sky for sure, but it will come down to who is hungrier. And Buffalo has all that history, unpleasant as it was 30+ years ago, to erase.

Pick: Buffalo.


Giants @ Philadelphia (Saturday, Fox): The Eagles swept the season series between the two teams en route to the #1 seed, and have had the Giants' number in recent years. A reversal, if you will, of the Mets owning the Phillies in baseball. They say Jalen Hurts has been cleared to play, but is he 100%? If not, the Giants will make it closer than the Eagles would like. The way Daniel Jones has been playing of late, this will turn into a track meet between the quarterbacks.

Pick: Philadelphia.

Dallas @ San Francisco (Sunday, Fox): These ancient rivals have been here before many times in the past. The 49ers have a hot young QB in Brock Purdy, the last man selected in the 2022 draft. His emergence may hasten Jimmy Garappolo's departure, as they've been trying to move the vet for a while. The Cowboys, with one fewer day of rest between games, will have to prove Monday's win over Tampa Bay was no fluke. And this is the same place where Dak Prescott made a game ending blunder a while back.

Pick: San Francisco.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Bell Atlantic mashes up Robinson Crusoe with........ (1992)

In a twisted take on Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, James Earl Jones is stranded on an island. His "Friday"? David Leisure (Empty Nest), passed off as a certain cop............

If you didn't get the joke, I'm embarrassed for you.

Weasel of The Week: George Santos

George Santos cannot remain in Congress to even finish out his term. He needs to go. As soon as humanly possible.

A serial liar who makes 80's commercial icon Joe Isuzu (David Leisure) look like a saint by comparison, and a con artist who clearly is an acolyte of former president Pecos Pampers (Donald Trump), Santos, aka Anthony DeVolder, has seen his past sins, both abroad and here in the US, brought to light in recent weeks. He's even lied about his own mother. Who does that?

House Speaker Kevin "The Body Snatcher" McCarthy appointed Santos to two Congressional committees, and handed out committee assignments to other GOPer lunatics like Rusty Gaetz, Lauren Balloon, and Empty-G. However, he's not willing to bow to public pressure to expel Santos. This is the genetic makeup of the GOP ever since Citizen Pampers joined them several years ago.

Fellow blogger Chuck Miller first brought this next item to my attention on his blog yesterday, and, within hours, it went national. Using the DeVolder alias, Santos scammed a homeless, disabled veteran and his service dog a few years ago.

Farron Cousins picks up the story.

As a world famous dog would say, "Ruh-roh!".

Santos scammed the voters who elected him. McCarthy should be ashamed of himself and the GOP for allowing this Weasel to remain in office when he really isn't qualified under traditional circumstances. Forget about protocols. I honestly think there is some sort of emergency measure in place to toss Santos out on his tuchis over McCarthy's objections. All the GOPers really did was swap out one liar (Foghorn Cawthorn was defeated in November) for an even worse one. Santos is this week's Weasel, but we'll send McCarthy the Weasel ears, too, for catering to Santos and the rest of the idiot squad.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Truth is a stranger to a serial liar

 That "serial liar", of course, being one Donald John Pinocchio Narcissus Trump. He sat for a deposition in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case in October, and recently, parts of the deposition were unsealed, revealing, that, of course, Trump lied his head off.

The simple fact is, Trump can't stop with the lies, regardless of the case, because telling the truth would make him weak before his base of brainwashed, low-information yokels. Farron Cousins explains.

Since the Washington Liars' Club has a new president in George Santos, Dumb Donald is the chairman of the National Association of Liars. It's just too bad the Liars' Club & To Tell The Truth are off the air. Trump would've fit right in.

When you're desperate for attention, mistakes happen

 Today's supermarket tabloids are costing roughly about $7 per copy. Small wonder, then, that long running rags like the National Enquirer, which has been sued in the past, most famously by Carol Burnett, for fabricating stories, are still inventing stories in order to goose sales. Publisher David Pecker's American Media needs to be sent a case of copies of the works of George Santayana after this latest gaffe.

Turns out the Enquirer was barking up the wrong tree in trying to claim there were issues between Law & Order: Special Victims Unit co-star Ice-T and Law & Order: Organized Crime star Christopher Meloni. Both actors stepped forward to debunk the rumors of a non-existent feud.

File photo courtesy Yahoo! via NBC-Universal.

Ice-T, a NAACP Image winner for SVU and a Grammy winning rapper, basically referred to the tabloid as clowns. Can't say that I'd blame him. The success of news parodies like The Daily Show, and "opinion" hosts on Fox No News like Tucker Carlson, have made the tabloids all but obsolete. And certain right wing bloviators want to defame legitimate news outlets such as NBC & CNN as "fake"? At least they do actual reporting and research. Something the Enquirer and its ilk stopped doing a while ago.

So far, American Media hasn't come forward to retract their claims. Their loss.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Football this 'n' that

 Is your NFL playoff bracket busted?

Three weeks after losing a heartbreaker to Minnesota, the Giants returned to Minneapolis on Sunday, and stunned the 2nd seed in the NFC, 31-24.

Daniel Jones not only threw two TD passes, but he also ran for nearly 80 yards himself, while Saquon Barkley scored twice. Vikings fans are 2nd guessing 1st year coach Kevin O'Connell's play call on the final play, as Kirk Cousins' pass came up short of 1st down as time expired.

Up next for the Giants is a 3rd match with East rival Philadelphia. Date & time to be determined after tonight's game.
For the first time, the Pro Bowl's pre-game skills competition will be shown live on ESPN on February 2-3. Well, it's a ratings sweeps period, and now Disney wants to give the game the same kind of build they would if they had the Super Bowl this year.

Ok, that's all well and good, but coaching the teams this year are the seemingly omnipresent Manning brothers, Peyton (AFC) & Eli (NFC), who have TV deals with ESPN and NBC, and are seemingly everywhere in advertising, too (i.e. Caesar's SportsBook, the Pepsi/Frito Lay ads leading to the Super Bowl). I can't picture Tom Brady, with all his off-field issues, in this year's Pro Bowl, being coached by his old nemesis, Eli, can you?

Worse, and this is so ironic in terms of player safety after the Damar Hamlin cardiac event two weeks ago, is that the Pro Bowl is now a flag football game. Pass the Pepto.
Speaking of Brady, he & the Tampa Bay Buccaneers know where they will be next weekend if they beat Dallas tonight.

Thanks to the Giants' upsetting Minnesota, the Bucs-Cowboys winner heads to San Francisco to play the 3rd seeded 49ers, who routed Seattle on Saturday night. At last check the NFC South champions are a 2 1/2 point home underdog. If Brady makes one more run for a ring, it may be more because he's got something to prove, plus avoiding being surrounded by the Mannings....!
And if Dallas should lose, renowned Cowboy hater and professional bloviating moron Screamin' A. Cosell (Stephen A. Smith) will be crowing all morning on First Take tomorrow. Listen, Screamin' A., you don't know as much about football as you think you do. I'd like to see you challenged to go to the scouting combine before the NFL Draft. If that doesn't expose you as a nothing happening clown, well......!
The AFC Divisional round is now set.

Cincinnati will get a rematch with Buffalo, while Jacksonville visits Kansas City. The #4 seeded Jaguars pulled off a miracle comeback Saturday night to eliminate the Los Angeles Chargers, leading to questions about coach Brandon Staley's future in Los Angeles.

The bad news for the Bengals, of course, is that they will play in Buffalo after business was left unfinished in Cincinnati two weeks ago. Maybe the Bills will give Bengals fans some tickets as compensation. Who knows?

We do know they'll light up the scoreboard, though.

Picks on Friday.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Advertising For Dummies: The Tin Man sells Brioschi (1976)

 Like, this was a cute idea, but only because Brioschi, an antacid with its roots in Italy, was running far, far behind Alka-Seltzer, Tums, et al, in sales.

Actor Bill Fiore, Chuck McCann's foil in those Right Guard spots, is under the silver makeup as the Tin Man for this spot.

The American Brioschi company went out of business a few years ago, which is why it's not on shelves anymore.

This week in conservative idiocy

 It might've been the cold weather. It might be that the event organizer is already closing in on being irrelevant.

For whatever reason, an anti-trans rally hosted by Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene) drew just 12 people the other day. Joe & Jane Average are tired of seeing Empty-G's mug on television virtually every day, and in the newspapers and/or online just as often. The basic message being sent to Empty-G and friends is, please go away.

Here's Farron Cousins' take:

Yeah, I'd chalk it up to the cold weather.
We talked about this over at Saturday Morning Archives earlier this week, but let's bring this forward.

It was a slow news day at Fox No News, so Tabloid Carlson took issue with Mars Wrigley's decision to issue special wrappers of M & M's candies with the brand's three female mascots, Brown, Green, and newcomer Purple. This is a short-term promotion to help introduce America to Purple, but it triggered a fresh tantrum from not only Tabloid, but also other conservative peabrains accusing Mars Wrigley of being "woke". Insofar as this writer is concerned, it's just a nothing burger, the product of a slow news cycle. Purple debuted in October, and is a peanut M & M.

We solicited this:

"What's all the fuss about?"

Just some humans being short on brains, Grape Ape. There's also been a report of some redneck nitwit making a video of him and some friends buying M & M's and destroying them, a clear overreaction after listening to Tabloid's whining.

And, there's this:

"I don't eat sweets, not even M & M's, but I do take offense to someone having an issue with the color purple."

Oh, I know. It looks good on you.

If I were you, Tabloid, I'd worry about hearing a talking cat in your bedroom around 2 am..........
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has gotten himself into another needless culture war, this time with the NHL.

The league was hosting a job fair open to women, minorities, LGBTQ+, etc., and DeStupid had the gall to call it discriminatory. Veterans were also invited. DeStupid's office took issue with the wording of a statement issued by the league on LinkedIn, which has since been deleted. 10 teams, including the two Florida based clubs, the Panthers & Lightning, were being represented.

As usual, DeStupid is being a bully, calling out the NHL for "discrimination" when his own policies reek of legitimate discrimination. The league, then, is basically telling DeStupid, screw you.

When was the last time DeStupid took in a hockey game, anyway?

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Of Recent Vintage: Relic Hunter (1999)

 An easy way to describe Relic Hunter, which lasted three seasons in syndication, is to take note of the title character, Sydney Fox (Tia Carrere, "Wayne's World"), as a female version of Indiana Jones.

Both characters were college professors who also spent time traveling the world in search of specific artifacts. While there hasn't been a movie spun off from Relic Hunter, the opportunity was there if the series had attracted more viewers, but perhaps the producers were cognizant of the fact that the comparisons to the Indiana Jones movies would also be there.

Locally, Relic Hunter aired on Saturday afternoons and at night. Unfortunately, no one has seen fit to bring the series back since it ended, absent a stint on El Rey Network a while back.

Following is the 1st season intro. The theme music is so cool.

Rating: B.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Night Court reopens. The potential is there

 40 years ago, The A-Team kickstarted NBC's ratings turnaround in primetime. A year later, another mid-season replacement, Night Court, found the jackpot as well, and actually outlasted A-Team by 5 years.

31 years after the original series' conclusion, Night Court is reopening for business.

Melissa Rauch (ex-The Big Bang Theory) has the lead as Abby Stone, daughter of the late Judge Harry Stone (Harry Anderson, who passed away well after the original series ended). This will call into question whether or not Harry finally settled down with public defender Christine Sullivan (Markie Post, ex-The Fall Guy, Hearts Afire). That will certainly be addressed when the series returns next Tuesday.

So far, the only cast member from the original series to return is John Larroquette, reprising as attorney Dan Fielding, now filling the public defender role. Seems as though he'll also be asked to be a sort of mentor to Abby after she arrives on his doorstep, as we'll see in this teaser.

Markie Post and Charles Robinson (Mac) both passed away within the last couple of years. What we don't know is if Richard Moll (Bull) will return. Moll segued into a cartoon voice over career after the original series ended, and was back in front of the camera for the Nickelodeon series, 100 Deeds For Eddie McDowd. Fans are hoping that Brent Spiner, who was a frequent guest before Star Trek: The Next Generation made him a genre icon, will make an appearance or two.

This should be a fun trip.

Football's silly season begins: 2023 NFL Wild Card preview

 And so it begins. Six games over three days. The first steps toward the Super Bowl on February 12. Your actual mileage will vary.


Los Angeles @ Jacksonville (Saturday, NBC): Jacksonville has gone worst to first, claiming the AFC South title, and are one of the hottest teams in the entire league. 2nd year QB Trevor Lawrence has thrived under coach Doug Pederson. The Chargers have a young star QB of their own in Justin Herbert, but have been hot & cold this season. Gotta play the hot hand.

The pick: Jacksonville.

Miami @ Buffalo (Sunday, CBS): Round 3 between these AFC East rivals. The Bills & Dolphins split the two regular season meetings, and Miami travels north to Buffalo for the 2nd time in as many months. Their QB situation is in flux due to injuries. That will prove costly against an opportunistic Buffalo defense. There is no reason to get rid of 1st year coach Mike McDaniel because of circumstances beyond his control. Buffalo's Josh Allen will make his share of highlight reel plays to lead the offense.

The pick: Buffalo.

Baltimore @ Cincinnati (Sunday, NBC): These two teams closed the regular season five days ago, and now comes the sequel, right back in Cincinnati. No Lamar Jackson means the Ravens must rely more on their defense, which has gotten picked apart this season.

The pick: Cincinnati.


Seattle @ San Francisco (Saturday, Fox):  Still another divisional rematch. Seattle was the upstart at the start of the season behind resurgent QB Geno Smith. San Francisco is on its 3rd QB, rookie Brock Purdy, and surged to the top of the division in the NFC West. This could go down to the wire.

Pick: San Francisco.

Giants @ Minnesota (Sunday, Fox): It was just a couple of weeks ago that these two met, with the Vikings escaping with a win, holding off a Giants rally in the 4th quarter. No mercy this time, methinks, and Big Blue will be sent home.

Pick: Minnesota.

Dallas @ Tampa Bay (Monday, ABC/ESPN): People complain about the current system allowing division winners to have the top seeds, despite a sub .500 record, such as Tampa Bay, which has been up & down all season. Tom Brady is showing his age at QB, and also going through a divorce, which isn't helping. Dallas, however, has a history of choking in the postseason under Jerry Jones after the Super Bowl years of the 90s. This will be the last home game for Tampa Bay this season, and Brady will play like he's got something to prove. Something has to give.

The pick: Dallas.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

The last iteration: Siskel & Ebert & The Movies (1986)

The growing fame of Chicago-based movie critics Roger Ebert & Gene Siskel had led them to leave PBS' Sneak Previews after 5 years, and Tribune's At The Movies after four. Disney provided them their final destination with Siskel & Ebert & The Movies (the title was cut in half halfway through season 2), which continued unabated with guest co-hosts after Siskel's passing in 1999.

As with the other series, the two critics discuss the new releases du jour, and also special episodes dedicated to specific actors or directors, in this case, future Oscar winner Robin Williams, who earned his 2nd nomination for "Good Morning, Vietnam".

By the time this episode aired in the winter of 1988, "Vietnam" had just gone into general release, and I'd seen it at a local theatre. It would remain Williams' best work until topped by his Oscar winning effort in "Good Will Hunting". Fittingly, "Vietnam" was released by Disney's Touchstone division.

Rating: A.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Musical Interlude: People Get Ready (1985)

 In 1965, Curtis Mayfield wrote & recorded "People Get Ready" with the Impressions. Mayfield sang and played guitar, and "People", with its gospel themes, was a huge hit.

20 years later, guitar icon Jeff Beck covered "People", with vocals by long time friend Rod Stewart, who had played with the Jeff Beck Group before going solo.

In memory of Beck, 78, who passed away on Tuesday.

One thing politicians on both sides tend to forget

 We get that most politicians are also music lovers. However, regardless of which side of the aisle they're on, they tend to forget that if you want to play your favorite songs at a campaign event or in a commercial to promote yourself, you still have to go through certain, specific protocols with the artists and/or their reps.

This comes back into focus after rapper Dr. Dre (Andre Young) had his attorney, Howard King, issue a cease & desist letter to Empty-G (Marjorie Taylor Greene, of course) to stop using Dre's 1999 hit "Still D. R.E." in her ads. She deleted a tweet that included a snippet of the song after getting the letter, but that may only be a temporary deterrent.

Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

How many times did we see this happen during Donald Trump's campaigns and administration? While it's been mostly Republicans who've been flagged for copyright infringement (Trump, the Bushes, John McCain), Democrats Al Gore & Barack Obama have also been cited.

Former Alaska Governor and failed Senate candidate Sarah Palin was issued a cease & desist by reps for the band, Heart, over the use of their song, "Barracuda", which was a high school nickname of Palin's. Governor Grizzly ignored the order, and maybe that's why she ended up losing back in November. Karma, you know?

Trump, in particular, has been cited for using music by Queen, Survivor, and Adele, among others. Adele eventually endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016.

You know what the likely excuse is from these politicos. They don't have time to go through all the paperwork. Yes, you do. All it takes in this era is doing a quick Google search to find out who holds the rights and/or licenses, and go from there. In Trump's case, it reinforces the notion that he thinks he's above such rules and protocols. Plus the fact that he's cheap. Jack Benny is likely turning over in his grave 10 times a day the way Trump co-opts his act. Empty-G can't be bothered with it, either, and will likely stick her ex-husband with the bill once their divorce is finalized.

Do yourselves a favor, folks. Look for something in the public domain. It's not that hard.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Sports this 'n' that

 Contrary to an old radio & TV staple from back in the day, father doesn't always know best, but when that father is Vince McMahon, too stubborn to accept change for the better, well.......!

Daughter Stephanie stepped down as co-CEO of WWE today, leaving the position solely in the hands of Nick Khan, who has been with the company since August 2020. The elder McMahon plans to sell the company, with rumors linking Disney, NBC-Universal-Comcast, Fox, and even a Saudi Arabian group, to the prospective sale.

Photo courtesy Yahoo!

Despite the fact that his departure was the result of allegations of sexual misconduct dating back to the 80's when he stepped down in July, Vince might've been feeling a little twinge of jealousy over how well Khan, Stephanie, and Paul "Triple H" Levesque were running things, and after a plan to return in December was shot down by the Board of Directors, McMahon returned last week, bringing with him former officers George Berrios & Michele Wilson to join the Board, with Vince McMahon formally named Executive Chairman.

Fans are already afraid that the work of the last 6-plus months could be undone. Stay tuned.
Conservative scum like Charlie Kirk & Tabloid Carlson tried linking the cardiac event that sidelined Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin a week ago with vaccines to combat COVID-19.

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar isn't having it.

In an article on Substack, Abdul-Jabbar referenced Kirk & Carlson as two of the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", and put them on blast for their baseless, unsubstantiated claims.

I wouldn't mind seeing him hang those two dweebs and some anti-vaccine proponents out to dry in a public forum.
In the end, both the Mets and San Francisco were played for fools.

After questions about a 2014 injury derailed contracts with the Mets & Giants, Carlos Correa will return to Minnesota, and who knows? Maybe that was Scott Boras Badenov's plan all along, to string everyone else along while convincing the small market Twins to pony up to keep Correa in Minneapolis.

And with the new schedule taking effect this season, Correa will be booed out of the building if the Twins visit San Francisco or Citi Field.
On Saturday, the NFL playoffs begin, and, as was the case last year, the Wild Card round is now spread over three days. The schedule:


Seattle @ San Francisco (Fox, 4:30).

LA Chargers @ Jacksonville (NBC, 8:15).


Miami @ Buffalo (CBS, 1 pm).

Giants @ Minnesota (Fox, 4:30 pm)

Baltimore @ Cincinnati (NBC, 8:15 pm).


Dallas @ Tampa Bay (ESPN/ABC, 8:15 pm).

Picks coming on Friday.

Weasels of The Week: Loy, Lloyd, & Raland Brunson

 Three morons from Utah, totally drunk on Trump-ade, filed a frivolous lawsuit claiming, of course, the 2020 election was stolen, and demanded that President Biden, VP Kamala Harris, and 387 members of Congress be removed, and the Oldest Baby in America reinstated as president, sans VP Mike Pence.

Raland, Loy, & Lloyd Brunson had their case dismissed, of course, despite the support of former presidential candidate-turned-right wing yakker Mike Huckabee, who falsely claimed the Supreme Court would hear their case.

Farron Cousins breaks it down:

Until now, the state of Utah is best known for the NBA Jazz, the Osmonds, BYU, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Who'd have ever thought three redneck Weasels would be looking for their 15 minutes of fame? Someone needs to swap out whatever it is they've been imbibing these last few years in favor of some sugar free Hawaiian Punch, yesterday.

When are these goofs going to get the message? It's been over 2 years now since Biden took office. Get over it. Trump got his butt whupped, and you whiny losers can't deal with it. I recommend a padded cell lined with posters of Marie Osmond, circa the 70's, to get the Brunsons back in line with the rest of the human race.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

On The Air: Ms. Marvel (2022)

Ever since T'Challa, the Black Panther, debuted in the pages of Fantastic Four in the 60's, Marvel has continued to grow its roster of superheroes on an international level. In addition to the fictional African nation of Wakanda, Marvel has heroes representing the following countries:

Canada: Wolverine, Alpha Flight.
Japan: Sunfire.
China: The Collective Man.
Ireland: Shamrock joined the reformed mutant Banshee during the first Contest of Champions in the 80's.
Africa: Storm became the 2nd hero from the continent upon joining the X-Men.
Russia: Colossus, Magik, Soviet Super Soldiers.
Saudi Arabia: The Arabian Knight (debuted in Incredible Hulk(2nd series).
Israel: Sabra.
Germany: Nightcrawler.
England: Captain Britain.

Kamala Khan, the current Ms. Marvel, is a Pakistani-American, and the first Muslim to headline both her own comic book and Marvel Studios series on Disney+.

Kamala (Iman Vellani) is 16, and appears to be an innocent high schooler from New Jersey, until she finds a strange bauble with extraordinary powers. Her best friend and prospective boyfriend, Bruno (Matt Lintz, ex-The Walking Dead) acts as her conscience, after a sort, helping Kamala learn the extent of the powers she now possesses. Unfortunately, they run afoul of a villainized version of another British group, the Clandestine, rebooted for this series, and the Department of Damage Control, which has also been rebooted from the books, in this case as Marvel's warped version of Homeland Security, a little too aggressive for their own good.

Check the trailer:

Ms. Marvel will return later this year in "The Marvels", alongside her idol, Carol Danvers (Brie Larsen), aka Captain Marvel.

This is the sort of breezy comedy-drama that Marvel has specialized in of late (Hawkeye, She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law), in this case a mix of juvenile slapstick comedy, teen drama, and a coming of age tale with Kamala discovering and learning her powers, which have been altered from the books so casual fans won't somehow confuse her with Reed "Mr. Fantastic" Richards due to having similar stretching abilities in the comics.

Rating: A-.

A change long overdue

 The Albany Times-Union reports that local law firm Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti is making a cosmetic change, but the long running ad campaign won't be too adversely affected.

The firm is changing its name to Harding Mazzotti, reflecting the two remaining partners, Paul Harding & Vic Mazzotti. Bruce Martin, the 3rd partner, retired some years back, and junior partner Rosemarie Bogdan became the 3rd face of the firm in advertising. Their familiar jingle is being reworked to reflect the change.

Well known not only as a respected law firm, but also for their imaginative commercials, often using CGI technology or going on location.

Let's take you back to an earlier period, with Martin joining his partners in front of the camera.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Names making news

 It took 15 votes over 4 days, but California Misrepresentative Kevin "The Body Snatcher" McCarthy was finally elected Speaker of The House after midnight (ET).

So what did it take to get McCarthy over the top? Empty-G and Donald Trump.

The Georgia bubblehead got on the phone with the former president, and he personally persuaded, via long distance, each member of the opposition, including Lauren Balloon and Rusty Gaetz (who actually nominated Trump, as he had said he would, one day this week), to finally, as Trump had pleaded earlier in the week, to get behind McCarthy.

For once, Trump did something valuable for the sake of the party. Unfortunately, it also negates some of his earlier nonsense.

And what would that be, you might ask?

Well, after Rep. Adam Kinzinger's term officially ended on Monday, Kinzinger signed with CNN as a commentator. To Citizen Pampers, that's like sleeping with the enemy.

File photo courtesy Yahoo!.

Actually, Trump, ignorant of facts as per normal, claimed Kinzinger broke the law by taking the CNN gig. No, he didn't, dumbass. You were buggin' because you know sooner or later, he'll shred you like a classified document for doing or saying something stupid.

And as for Empty-G, she's taking some heat from right wing jobroni Ali Alexander, the geek behind the 1/6/21 "Stop The Steal" rally, claiming she's broken the law, but won't specify. Oh, please. Farron Cousins explains.

Do us all a favor, Ali. Go away.
Closer to home, CVS Pharmacy is closing a location on Central Avenue, which, according to the Albany Times-Union, isn't sitting well with seniors living in an apartment complex across the street. I've shopped at this location many times over the years, and it's one of the bigger, fresher shops in the chain. Corporate just isn't thinking this through.
To update on Damar Hamlin, he's had the breathing tube removed, and is able to talk to family, Bills teammates, and friends. His season's likely over as a precaution, but all of America will be watching if he does return to the field.
It was disturbing to read of a 6 year old 1st grader shooting his teacher at school on Friday in Virginia, worse to learn the kid supposedly planned it, as he told police it wasn't an accident.

I shared a Yahoo! piece on the incident with my aunt, who's a retired teacher, and a couple of friends. They're all in shock. We rarely see this in the 518 (Columbia High comes to mind a bunch of years ago), if at all, but for this 1st grader to have been taught how to use and shoot a gun says there's some issues between his parents and the teacher. As soon as we learn more about this case, we'll keep you updated.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Forgotten TV: Room For One More (1962)

 If you've wondered why Warner Bros. had so much trouble with sitcoms in the 60's, such that the only comedy series that lasted, The Bugs Bunny Show, was moved to Saturday mornings after a few years in primetime, well, it's one of life's great mysteries. WB was cranking out Westerns and crime dramas, but the occasional sitcom just didn't connect. F-Troop, of course, lasted two seasons (1965-7), but there was a mid-season replacement in the winter of 1962 that deserved a better fate.

Room For One More was based on a novel, and the premise was a couple adopting a couple of children to expand their family. Radio & TV vet Peggy McCay teamed with Andrew Duggan (ex-Bourbon Street Beat) as the parents. Tim Rooney, son of Mickey, was one of the children.

Room lasted exactly six months, absent late summer repeats, from late January to late July. Following is a sample open/close. Dick Tufeld is the announcer.

No rating.

Sports this 'n' that

 Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is awake and alert, three days after suffering cardiac arrest on the field in Cincinnati during the Bills' game vs. the Bengals.

While Hamlin can't speak due to a breathing tube, he can communicate, and his doctors assured him he'd "won the game of life" when he inquired about Monday's game, which now has been declared no contest, and will not be resumed.

In order to resolve the issue of playoff seedings, if any combination of the Bills, Bengals, and/or Kansas City Chiefs reach the AFC title game on January 29, the game will be played at a neutral site, to make things fair for all parties. And you know NFL suits are praying this will not happen again.
UFC frontman Dana White had a public spat with his wife in Las Vegas on New Year's Eve, in which they slapped each other. While White says everything's cool, and it's just a case of letting off steam, if you will, the incident has prompted TBS to delay the launch of White's new series, Power Slap, from January 11 to January 18.

There's also talk that the two month series could be scrapped altogether. All White is trying to do is bring a niche regional competition national. There's also calls for White to step down from UFC.

Stay tuned.
We should've known retirement just doesn't suit Vince McMahon.

5 1/2 months after retiring from WWE, the 77 year old has bulled his way back in, electing himself and former officers George Berrios & Michele Wilson to the WWE Board of Directors with the express purpose, ostensibly, of facilitating the sale of the company.

Why do that, when WWE has experienced a creative resurgence in McMahon's absence?

For that, we have to ask McMahon this. Jealous much?

Son-in-law Paul Levesque (Triple H) has had a big hand in improving the television ratings, as well as bringing back a number of talents that McMahon cut between 2020-21 under the guise of "budget cuts". Morale is at a level not seen in some time. There are fears that McMahon could undermine everything if he takes too active a role.

On top of that, his former hatchet man, John Laurinaitis, had his first post-WWE booking rescinded Thursday when the organizers of a trade show removed him from the schedule. Laurinaitis, who was let go in August, and is the stepfather of the Bella Twins, was cut loose in connection with the same sexual misconduct case that got McMahon in very hot water.

In other words, five months later, the scandal is still fresh within the industry, and either man is still a risk.
The Yankees are building  a front office braintrust that conceivably could open an avenue by which they can cut loose long time GM Brian Cashman.

Former GM's Brian Sabean (San Francisco) and Omar Minaya (Mets, Montreal, Cleveland) have been hired by the team in recent days, giving Hal Steinbrenner options in case things go south on the Bombers in the coming season. But, you know what they say about too many chefs spoiling the sauce.....!

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Howww-dy! Minnie Pearl for Spic 'n' Span (1978)

 While Spic 'n' Span was still part of the Procter & Gamble family, the company hired comedienne Minnie Pearl (Hee Haw) to do some ads for the product. Check this:

Oddly, I don't recall this airing during Hee Haw, though.....

More examples of GOPer stupidity

 Remember when Republicans threatened civil war not too long ago? Well, it's happening-------within the GOP itself!

California Misrepresentative Kevin "The Body Snatcher" McCarthy is being blocked from his dream job as Speaker of the House by 20 peabrained GOPers who want anyone but McCarthy. Former president Pecos Pampers (Donald Trump) is trying to rally the party behind McCarthy, but none of the 20 holdouts, which include Goofy Gosar, Rusty Gaetz, and Lauren Balloon, are listening, as the debate rages into a 3rd day.

And the longer this goes on, the longer it'll be before incoming members of Congress, including Pinocchio Santos, will be officially sworn in and seated. It's just too bad ABC cancelled To Tell The Truth. Santos would be a perfect fit.

Another 1st term member of Congress is facing a different kind of battle, though.

Anna Paulina Luna, who previously spent 5 years in the Air Force, filled the seat vacated by Charlie Crist in his failed bid to unseat Governor Ron DeSantis. However, in another case of GOPers attacking their own kind, Luna is being accused of being a witch. By a pathetic excuse of a man named Matt Tito, a friend of GOPer strategist Roger (Blood From a) Stone.

Tito went on The Bubba The Love Sponge Show, and made his false claims that 1) Luna is a practicing witch, and 2) has has an affair with Florida Misrepresentative Rusty Gaetz, which both Luna & Gaetz have denied. Luna is happily married. Farron Cousins explains where Tito got his dollar store gossip from...

Now, why would Tito disparage a fellow GOPer like that? The easy answer is this jackanapes is looking for his 15 minutes of fame, and doesn't care how he gets it.

And while we hate to give Citizen Pampers any credit, he ends up negating his attempt at being the voice of reason by once again ragging on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife, Elaine Chao, and blaming McConnell for the GOP's "red wave" fizzling like flat soda two months ago. As usual, the Archduke of Affluenza is deflecting blame away from himself, because he can't deal with it. That act has gotten so old, it makes one pine for the return of The Liars Club.