Tuesday, February 28, 2023

America's Oldest Baby wanted Jimmy Kimmel censored. Of course, it didn't happen

 It was President Harry S. Truman who famously said that if you can't take the heat, "get out of the kitchen".

Rolling Stone recently revealed that while Donald Trump was president, the onion-skinned Archduke of Affluenza was so offended by Jimmy Kimmel's nightly monologues, that he pressured members of his staff to contact Disney, ABC's corporate parent, and do something about Kimmel, like, perhaps, forcing him to stop poking fun at the man-child in Washington.

Of course, as Kimmel himself recounted last night, he didn't do that.

As Farron Cousins reveals, Kimmel was the 2nd target of the oldest baby in America, one year after late night rival Stephen Colbert was caught in the man-child's crosshairs.

I can recall when President George H. W. Bush shared the stage with Dana Carvey, showing respect to Carvey's characterization of Bush on Saturday Night Live. Trump, meanwhile, whined and cried whenever Alec Baldwin appeared on SNL to mock him. What a difference, eh?

"WAAAHHHHHH!!! They're making fun of me! WWAAAAHHHH!"

Deal with it, O Sultan of Spray Tan. It comes with the territory!!! Every President since the dawn of television, from Truman all the way to Biden today, has taken the jabs with good humor. Barack Obama had more than one mimic on SNL, most famously the People's Movie Star himself, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Shoot, you didn't like it, Orange Doofus, when Obama skewered you at a Washington dinner.

Bellevue is waiting.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Musical Interlude: Dream Baby (1987-8)

 In the fall of 1987, Roy Orbison, backed by an all-star band that was a who's who of music, filmed "A Black & White Night" for Cinemax. The movie eventually made its way to PBS for use during pledge periods after Orbison passed away in November 1988.

"Dream Baby", originally recorded in 1962, is presented here, as Roy is joined by Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, k. d. lang, Jennifer Warnes, and the TBC Band (Elvis Presley's old backup band in the 60's & 70's).

I really have to find that DVD.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sports this 'n' that

 Jake Paul just got his reality check.

The YouTube star dropped a split decision in Saudi Arabia today to Tommy Fury, the brother of Tyson Fury. It was the first loss of Paul's career, and it comes in the same area where brother Logan lost an opportunity to become WWE champion some time back vs. Roman Reigns.

The next place we may see the Pauls is if Jake seconds Logan vs. Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania in April.
The pitch clock era has arrived in Major League Baseball.

Preseason play began on Friday, and San Diego slugger Manny Machado was the first player assessed an automatic strike because he wasn't ready to bat within the prescribed time frame.

And as for that time frame, the rule breaks down thus:


15 seconds between pitches with the bases empty. 20 seconds with a runner on. 30 seconds between batters.

Batters have to be in the batter's box ready to hit within 8 seconds of the clock expiring.

The latter rule also came into effect in Saturday's draw between Atlanta and Boston, as an Atlanta prospect was called for strike 3 on the final play of the game.

The idea, of course, is to speed up the game, and so far, it's working, with games averaging 2 1/2 hours in length over the first couple of days.
Millionaire Jeffrey Bezos has this habit of irritating self-absorbed, thin skinned adult brats.

We all know about his having been targeted by former president Pecos Pampers (Donald Trump). Now, Bezos' bid to buy the Washington Commanders has hit a snag because current owner Daniel "Napoleon" Snyder barred Bezos from entering a bid.


Photo courtesy Yahoo!.

Seems Snyder, like Trump, has had a problem with the Washington Post's investigative reporting on his team and its scandals. However, I don't think Snyder has a legal right to bar Bezos from making a bid to buy the team. He could be overruled by either a judge or the NFL itself, the latter of which would be more than happy to get rid of Snyder.

Snyder has no real legal or legitimate reason for barring Bezos other than being a petty, vindictive man-child, but I don't think he'd have a problem with Trump making a bid to buy the team. You know what they say about birds of a feather.

Primetime gospel: Aretha Franklin on Room 222 (1972)

 When I wrote an obituary for Aretha Franklin a ways back, I said that her acting debut was in 1980's "The Blues Brothers". I should've amended that to read, "feature film debut", because this was 8 years after her actual acting debut.

You see, Aretha guest starred on Room 222 during season 3, her one and only primetime acting gig. As Inez, Aretha blends right in with the ensemble.

Had they filmed in front of a studio audience, said audience would've just exploded when Aretha first appears.

Rating: A.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

On The Air: Chrisley Knows Best (2014)

 What has happened to Georgia real estate mogul Todd Chrisley and his wife, Julie, should spell the end of their USA network reality series, Chrisley Knows Best, which wraps its current slate of episodes next month.

For those not in the know, the Chrisleys are currently in prison for bank fraud, among other charges, and their sentences should be a cautionary tale for another wealthy family in the news, whom we don't need to name, but facing the same charges.

Anyway, Todd Chrisley jumped on the reality TV bandwagon nearly a decade ago because he saw this as a means of getting his name out there nationally, instead of just being a regional brand. Because shows like these are cheap and easy to produce, they're still out there, although one suspects that if the Chrisleys lose their appeal of their sentences, this series bites the dust.

Here's a recent sample:

The commercials get shoved down the viewers' collective throats, but they also show us that the Chrisleys overstayed their welcome. Prison is meant to humble the wealthy, and if the Chrisleys lose their appeals, their counterparts, based alternately in NY & Florida, will suffer the same fate. Just sayin'.

Rating, based on the commercials: C.

Notes from around town

 Don't be surprised here in the 518 if Scott Adams' Dilbert suddenly stops appearing in local newspapers like the Albany Times-Union. Seems Adams went on his podcast the other day, and declared that he wanted nothing further to do with African-Americans.

I'm also finding out for the first time that Adams is even more of an idiot for supporting former president Donald Trump.

Realistically, his strip has recycled the same gags over and over the last several years. A TV adaptation lasted one season on UPN (1999). 

All this says is that casting your lot with America's Oldest Baby kills your reputation. 
You might've noticed that as WROW has adopted "Good times, great oldies" as its new slogan (previously used at WTRY), they waved good-bye to traffic reporter Monica Velez, whose last day was February 1. Monica had developed a good rapport and chemistry with morning host Ben Patten after being elevated to co-host following the retirement of Jay Scott in 2020.

However, Velez's departure has been kept quiet in the press. Albany Street host Brian Cady filled in on traffic reports from February 2-6 until ALT 104.9's Flounder returned from hiatus to handle traffic both in morning and afternoon drive. Monica had held down a 2nd job in a different line of work, which would explain the lack of press coverage.

WROW has also scaled back news segments from CBS Radio, and discontinued CBS Rewind in an effort to pack more music per hour, with only 2 commercial blocks per hour. Have to believe ratings are a big reason.
Apparently, there's been a rash of shopliftings at CVS' downtown Troy location of late, such that they began hiring security guards for the first time since the 80's. This began in December, as the store was undergoing extensive renovations, which finally ended earlier this month. CVS had previously closed off the entrance inside the Uncle Sam Atrium at the behest of mall owner David Bryce, so this is the other shoe dropping. Selected items, such as razor blades and laundry detergent, are being kept under lock and key. The blades have been kept locked up for a long while now, anyway, but it seems that the detergents were targeted because of their being priced at $10 or better, and certain people can't afford those prices when they need the detergent.

Similarly, Walmart on Hoosick Road also locks up certain brands of razor blades and shaving cream, as well as baby formula, and this has been a thing since the pandemic. Walmart began locking up the blades & shaving cream last year.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

A "national divorce" and other stupid ideas from Congress' Duchess of Dumb

 That, of course, is Marjorie Taylor Greene, the airheaded (or so it seems) Georgia Misrepresentative whose addiction to attention is second to none.

In the course of the last three days, Empty-G has proposed a "national divorce", dividing red (Republican) & blue (Democratic) states. The problem with this idea is that some of these states are mixed together in a general geographical area. And, lest we forget, Georgia went blue for Joe Biden in 2020, and has two Democratic senators at present. This alone illustrates how some states can flip from red to blue and back again at any given time.

Just because she's going through a divorce doesn't give her the right to demand a "national" one for this country.

And if you think that's a bad idea, try this. Empty-G has also suggested that any voter that moves from a red to blue state should be barred from voting for five years.

What Empty-G is proposing is known as a form of voter suppression. People relocate all the time, but they don't change their political affiliations as often. These are the things that Empty-G doesn't comprehend, but thinks her base is gullible enough to fall for this garbage.

And when you consider that 2024 GOPer candidate Nikki Haley is suggesting mental competency exams for candidates over the age of 75, one of those prospective targets, Citizen Pampers himself, Donald Trump, thought it might be a good idea to expand that to cover all candidates, and then it gets out that Haley was targeting Democrats. Actually, Trump was on the right track for once, considering that people like Empty-G and Lauren Balloon have demonstrated they're not exactly the sharpest tools in the drawer in front of a microphone.

I will expand on it further, and suggest that such competency tests should evaluate candidates for the House, the Senate, and local offices, like Governor. That should eliminate someone like Empty Lake, too.

On the other hand, that might force Lauren Balloon, Empty-G, and the rest of the performance art department in Washington to stop acting they're on Broadway, and do the work they were elected to do. For better or worse.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Dunce Cap Award: Ron DeStupid

 You'd have to be a total imbecile to go on Fox No News' morning show, Fox & Friends, and forward a limp talking point dismissing Russia as a "third rate military power".

But, that's what Florida Governor and prospective Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis did.

Fox No News will take comments from any dimwitted GOPer as long as they are disrespecting President Biden, who visited Ukraine recently. However, dismissing Russia's military capability wasn't smart at all.

To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, DeStupid took one step up, and 10 steps back on the national stage. We do have to remember that DeStupid is the same idiot who is trying to restrict what kinds of books children should be reading as part of his misguided obsession with "owning the libs". This dimwit is a former teacher himself, and should know better.

Comedian Ron White has often been quoted here as saying, "you can't fix stupid". Oh, in this case, it's the truth.

I think you know what's headed DeStupid's way.....

Fitting, don't you think?

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The return of Silly Sidney's tall tales

 I'm referring to Silly Sidney Powell, of course.

A court filing submitted last week by attorneys for Dominion Voting Systems reveals that Powell got some alleged evidence of voter fraud from a woman who claims to have been an internally decapitated, semi-conscious time traveler. This person sounds like the kind that would call into late night talk radio hosts like Tom Leykis or Art Bell back in the day, a few fries shy of a happy meal. And Powell, who was not well known nationwide until she began spreading falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election, was more than happy to pass the word to Fox No News.

Farron Cousins explains:

To date, the "time traveler" has not come forward to corroborate what she told Powell. This is likely due to the prospect that she eventually had to seek psychiatric help, which Farron was hinting should've been done. Powell is neck deep in trouble as it is, and this isn't helping. And if I'm Maria Bartiromo, I'd be apologizing to the remaining Ramones about betraying their love for her........

Monday, February 20, 2023

Sports this 'n' that

 While the NBA All Star Game abandoned defense years ago in favor of a ratings-friendly, fan-friendly scoring frenzy, they've followed in lockstep with Major League Baseball in adding new attractions prior to the Sunday game.

For example, you have a celebrity game, which took place Friday, and ESPN dutifully repeated the broadcast on Saturday. In the 90's, MTV handled the celebrity game under their Rock 'n' Jock umbrella. This year's edition featured WWE's Michael "The Miz" Mizanin, who nearly won the game for his side with a halfcourt bomb for 3-----if only he had a couple of extra seconds. The clock was already at zero when Miz took the shot, and, being a ring villain trading on vanity, he swears he'll complain about it tonight on Monday Night Raw.

Now, we knew Miz played football in high school in the Cleveland area, but we have to wonder if he also was a baller back then.
Meanwhile, on AEW's Rampage, the Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) & Kenny Omega defended their 6-man titles vs. AR Fox and Top Flight (Dante & Darius Martin). With additional NBA All Star activities forcing Rampage into an earlier air time on Friday, the 6 wrestlers did some stunts with basketballs. You were expecting maybe the Harlem Globetrotters?

We know a lot of wrestlers started by playing either football or basketball before turning to the squared circle. NXT's Veer Mahaan was the subject of a feature film based on his baseball exploits in India ("Million Dollar Arm"). WWE's Bianca Belair was a track star at Tennessee. AEW may have started a new annual tradition.
The XFL relaunched on Saturday with a 4 game slate (only 8 teams in the league), and co-owners Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Dany Garcia managed to make it to all four games over the 2 days.

The People's Movie Star reminds that he played his college ball at Miami.

Week 2 starts on Thursday this week, which would be a first for the league in its 3rd incarnation.
Sunday's Daytona 500 went to double overtime. What in the name of Richard Petty is going on here?

Normally, we wouldn't talk about auto racing, but seeing the result (Ricky Stenhouse won the race) on ESPN's bottom line while watching XFL football, we get that this is about keeping viewers invested in the race, and Fox didn't want to lose viewers to the first half of ESPN's XFL doubleheader.

Next thing ya know, they'll contest the race in a dome. Just sayin'.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Musical Interlude: Believe it or Not (Theme From The Greatest American Hero)(1981)

 The Greatest American Hero had ended its first season before its theme song, "Believe it or Not", was released as a single, days before ye scribe graduated from high school. Joey Scarbury hit #2 on the Hot 100 just 2 months later, and the last we knew, he'd co-written & recorded the theme to the 1983 Ann Jillian fantasy-com, Jennifer Slept Here (co-written by Jillian).

This video has rarely been seen, such that this was the first time I ran across it.

I think Scarbury was blocked from the top spot by either Kim Carnes ("Bette Davis' Eyes") or Olivia Newton-John ("Physical").

Friday, February 17, 2023

Dunce Cap Award: Ken Paxton

 When will the GOP stop with the frivolous lawsuits lacking foundation and legal standing?

The latest case comes from Texas Attorney General Ken'L Ration Paxton, who filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over some recently passed legislation.

Farron Cousins explains why this is going nowhere.

What Farron doesn't mention is why Paxton filed the suit. In the eyes of this GOPer, it's red meat for his base. Problem is, Paxton, as Farron reminds, is facing some criminal charges of his own, having an indictment hanging over his head.

The fact that Paxton cannot actually file a suit against the President or a member of Congress is beside the point. What the Federal Government could do, if they so chose to retaliate against Paxton, is move his case forward, and bounce him from office for abusing his authority, and if they can do that, imagine what awaits Florida's over-reaching governor, Ron DeStupid.

For wasting everyone's time with another ambulance chasing lawsuit, Paxton deservedly gets this:

The sooner the Federals start cracking down on people like Paxton and DeStupid, abusing their power for political gain, the better off we'll all be.

If you think a broken muffler will keep your mother-in-law away.....! (1982)

 Here's a clever ad from Midas, circa 1982. Ronnie Schell (ex-Gomer Pyle, USMC, Good Morning, World) plays an executive who is so sure his wife won't get their car fixed in time for a dinner date with her mother, he brags about it at work.

James Harder (Big Fig from the Fig Newton ads) is the narrator.

Not sure if this was before or after Harder worked on the Bet'cha Don't Know spots produced for NBC that same year.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

When Icons Meet: Raquel Welch on Mork & Mindy (1979)

 Yes, it was a sweeps stunt. Two generations of pop culture legends sharing the same set in a 2-part season 2 episode of Mork & Mindy. Raquel Welch guest stars as an alien who decides to take Mork (Robin Williams) to her home planet. There's even a dance number with Williams & Welch mixed in.

In memory of Welch, 82, who passed away today. No rating out of respect.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Musical Interlude: No More Words (1984)

 Berlin followed up "The Metro" with 1984's "No More Words", a Depression-era set video which uses Bonnie & Clyde as inspiration.

It would take two more years for Berlin to score their biggest hit ("Take My Breath Away"). Meanwhile, 20 years later, Travis Tritt scored a huge country hit with "Modern Day Bonnie & Clyde", with Billy Bob Thornton starring in the video.

If at first you don't succeed........

 13 is supposed to be a lucky number, if you believe in superstitions.

Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello may think 12 is hers.

Earlier today, Mantello announced she would try again to run for Mayor, as Patrick Madden is being term-limited out after 2 terms. A quick check of Mantello's history, however, shows that the third time might not be the charm after all.

Photo courtesy Albany Times-Union.

Mantello made her first bid in 1999, attempting to unseat then-Mayor Mark Pattison. 12 years later, with Henry Tutunjian having been term-limited out, Mantello challenged Democrat Lou Rosamilia, who essentially ended up swapping places with Tutunjian, who was elected to the Rensselaer County Legislature seat Rosamilia gave up to run for Mayor. An 11th hour attack ad meant to smear Rosamilia backfired, and Mantello was soundly defeated at the polls.

So what makes the City Council President think she can win this time? She wants to unify the city, at a time when Republicans across the country are gradually veering away from the Looney Bin division (and if you don't know what that means, you haven't been paying attention), and looking to restore traditional bi-partisan policies.

On the opposite side of the aisle, Councilwoman Nina Nichols, an ordained pastor, is the lone Democrat who has tossed her hat in the ring so far. The deadline for entries, apparently, is in two weeks, so we may not see any primaries if no one else steps up to the plate. Chris Nolin, an aide to Mayor Madden, has decided not to run.

We must remember, too, that the county GOP screwed themselves over last time by betraying Tom Reale in favor of independent Rodney Wiltshire, effectively handing Madden his 2nd & final term. Such incompetence is the only thing the local GOP has in common with its national brethren. They just have to hope it doesn't cost them again.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Valentine's Day with the Honeymooners (1978)

 In 1976, Jackie Gleason inked a deal with ABC for a series of Honeymooners specials, taped in Miami, much like The Jackie Gleason Show in the final four years of its run on CBS (1966-70). Audrey Meadows returns as Alice, and Jane Kean continues as Trixie.

As you can see in this Valentine's Day special, Ed Norton (Art Carney) has put on some weight, considerably heavier than when he & Gleason appeared on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast some time earlier. Gleason, in contrast, had dropped weight. Both had become successful in movies. Carney won an  Oscar for "Harry & Tonto", while Gleason won a new generation of fans in the "Smokey & The Bandit" movies with Burt Reynolds & Jerry Reed.

Here, it's a variation on a common plot, except that it's Alice that raising money covertly to buy Ralph a Valentine's present by taking a night job. The usual chaos follows.

Hoping to find the rest of the ABC Honeymooners. No rating, as I didn't see this the first time.

Video Valentine: Love is in The Air (1978)

 Australia's John Paul Young isn't related to the Young brothers of AC/DC fame, though Malcolm & Angus' older brother, George, produced John Paul's lone American hit, "Love is in The Air", released in 1978.

It was a great game, even with the buzzkill

 "It was one of those great stories, that you can't put down at night. The hero knew what he had to do, and he wasn't afraid to fight."----David Crosby & Phil Collins, "Hero", 1993.

That pretty much sums up the 2nd half of the Super Bowl. NFC Champion Philadelphia, looking for its 2nd title, had dominated the game, and led, 24-14, at halftime. The lead was down to six heading into the 4th quarter.

Then, Patrick Mahomes took over.

Despite a pesky ankle injury that left him hobbled at halftime, Mahomes showed why he was the league's MVP, and, as it happened, won game MVP honors as well. He hit ex-Giant Kadarious Toney for a score, then followed that with a TD toss to Skyy Moore, and the Chiefs had their first lead. However, Philadelphia tied the game as Jalen Hurts scored his 3rd rushing TD, a record for quarterbacks in the "Big Game", and the subsequent 2-point conversion, to tie the game.

Another ex-Giant figured into the final outcome, though there are questions as to whether or not he should've.

Eagles DB James Bradberry was called for defensive holding, and even Fox announcers Kevin Burkhardt & Greg Olsen questioned the call on the field, which was, at least, ticky-tack. This was why people cringed when ref Carl Cheffers was named referee for this game. He has a rep for questionable penalty calls at critical times.

With 8 seconds left, Harrison Butker nailed a 27 yard field goal, and the Chiefs won their 2nd Super Bowl in 4 years, 38-35. Had Philadelphia won, Hurts certainly would've been named MVP.

Now, can we talk about some non-game stuff?

Singer-actress Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary) sang "Lift Every Voice & Sing", commonly referred to as the "Black National Anthem", prior to Babyface performing "America The Beautiful" and Chris Stapleton's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner", the latter of which brought tears to Eagles coach Nick Sirianni. This was, really, the first time I'd heard "Voice", and this was beautiful.

Unfortunately, it doesn't resonate with right wing trash.

Take, for example, Kari "Empty" Lake:

Yep, Kryin' Kari got caught sitting through "Voice", and her flacks claimed "Voice" has no legitimacy as an anthem of any kind. The same goes with Lauren Balloon. The Colorado Misrepresentative had to weigh in with the same bigoted BS. Do us a favor, Lauren. STFU!!!

At halftime, Rihanna served up an entertaining concert, in which she revealed she is expecting her 2nd child with A$AP Rocky. Congratulations, Rihanna. Unfortunately, America's Oldest Baby, ol' Citizen Pampers himself, Donald Trump, just had to hijack the occasion, too, still carrying a grudge because of Rihanna being a critic of his during his administration.

"WWAAHHH!! She sucks!"

Actually, Dumb Donald, she knows a fraud when she sees one, just like most of us.

Regardless of who plays the "Big Game" next year, expect more of the same BS from Republicans, because they've got nothing else to do. If' we're lucky, some of them will be someplace else, like in psychiatric care.........

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Breaking down the Super Bowl

 Less than 12 hours remain as I write before kickoff. This year's Super Bowl matches up two recent champions in Philadelphia and Kansas City. A lot of interest in the fact that the Kelce brothers, KC tight end Travis & Philadelphia lineman Jason, will be on the same field on football's biggest stage. It would be even bigger if Jason was actually a defensive lineman, instead of an offensive lineman. Both have rings from previous Super Bowls. I would submit Fox, which is airing the game, could've brought in Steve Harvey to break things down.

Digression over. The two teams are a mirror of each other, starting at quarterback. Both Patrick Mahomes & Jalen Hurts are recovering from injuries. There are questions that Mahomes might not be 100%, even after the week off following the AFC Championship game.

What sets the teams apart is the defense. The Eagles' D woke up in the playoffs, shutting down the Giants & San Francisco, holding each team to a mere seven points. If they can get Mahomes trapped in the pocket, he's easy prey.

However, the same holds true with Kansas City's defense. Contain Hurts, and you shut down the Eagles' offense. The Chiefs would like to erase the stigma of losing, badly, to Tampa Bay just a couple of years ago. However, this is going to be a track meet. The defenses will be frustrated, probably by halftime, if Hurts & Mahomes are allowed to run free.

These two teams are so alike, you'd wonder if anyone's been cloned. Just kidding.

The pick: Philadelphia, 48-45.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Dunce Cap Award: Take one good guess

 This is just too easy.

We can't say Marjorie Taylor Greene is an empty-headed Misrepresentative from Georgia. No, not at all. It's just that she gets ideas, only they're all the wrong ones.

Four days after parading around Capitol Hill with a white balloon to mock the recent Chinese "spy balloon" controversy, we're learning that Ms. Moldy Peaches is complaining about the lack of lobbyists for the average white dude. As Farron Cousins explains, that's simply not true.

Hooooooo-boy! Seems to me she's been watching too many Deputy Dawg cartoons lately to be that dim. Her argument is so laughable, it's beyond silly, but it does merit one of these:

Of course, we must also reference the 70's band, the Average White Band, with their signature song, which someone should request for Empty-G, "Pick up The Pieces", as in the remaining pieces of her brain, assuming she actually can find them....

Video Valentine: Kiss Me (1998)

 Sixpence None The Richer broke onto the Hot 100 in 1998-99 with "Kiss Me", the 1st single off their self-titled 3rd CD, peaking at #2 in May 1999. The track was used in the movie, "She's All That", and on the TV series, Dawson's Creek.

Friday, February 10, 2023

Remember Arbor Pharmacy? (1986)

 Today, CVS Pharmacy is the biggest chain of pharmacies in the country. To get there, they merged with a few smaller chains.

In 1998, CVS acquired Arbor Drugs, based out of Michigan, which had done its share of corporate mergers since it opened in 1974. It had been five years since Arbor had been embroiled in a scandal over allegations of price gouging, contrary to this 1986 ad with actor William Schallert (ex-The Patty Duke Show, Dobie Gillis).

Today, CVS only charges more for other items, such as cough medicines, and in its downtown Troy location, it's mostly to help pay the rent on the space it's occupied for decades.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Video Valentine: I'll Never Fall in Love Again (1999)

 After making a cameo appearance with Burt Bacharach in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me", Elvis Costello is at Woodstock to do a cover of one of Bacharach & Hal David's classic ballads, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", getting in a plug for "Shagged" as he goes.

In memory of Bacharach, 94, who passed away on Wednesday.

Another day, another tantrum from America's Oldest Baby

 We're still more than 18 months away from the 2024 GOP convention, and donors are making it increasingly clear they want to move on from former president Donald Trump.

You have the Koch brothers, the influential power brokers within the GOP. You have Club For Growth, which has invited several prospective candidates, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and Nikki Haley, a former Trump aide, basically telling Trump he's not welcome at their bash.

As Farron Cousins points out, however, this could allow Trump to revisit his 2016 strategy.......

I'll let it slide that Farron dissed Jimmy Fallon, the College of St. Rose alumnus currently hosting The Tonight Show, and overseeing two spin-offs, including the revival of Password, and a 3rd unrelated series. The one thing that actually would stop Trump is if he does wind up in jail or in a psych ward in 2024.

Then again, that wouldn't stop any of this.....

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Video Valentine: Earth Angel (1970)

 Now, this is performance art.

Tiny Tim will forever be remembered for "Tiptoe Through The Tulips", but in an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1970, Tim decided to try to change things up by changing his vocal style for a cover of the Penguins' 1955 hit, "Earth Angel", backed by the all-female group, Enchanted Forest. He reverts to his familiar falsetto about halfway, and his breakdown is just funny. Even Sullivan's digging.

Apparently, GOPers are the only ones with a right to entertain. In their own minds, that is

 I doubt very seriously that Republicans and right wing media weasels like Tabloid Carlson actually watched the Grammys on Sunday night. If they did, they'd realize that Pfizer was a sponsor for the entire show, not just a performance by non-binary singer Sam Smith and transgender artist Kim Petras. You've heard, of course, that Smith dressed like a personification of the Devil on stage, and that set off Carlson and the usual GOPer idiots like Empty-G, who falsely (as usual) claimed the Satanic Church was opening abortion clinics somewhere, or some other lame excuse to vent.

Look, dummies, it was, at best, performance art. Something you geeks don't quite get, and if you actually do, you probably think they're infringing on your space. There is a section of the audience watching the awards show that does get it, after all.

On Monday, with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy taking a vacation day----we think----Empty-G stood in as acting speaker, claiming she "could get used to this". Uh, no. Speaking of performance art, that is what she's all about, so no wonder she was fuming over the Grammys.

Then came the State of The Union address by President Biden on Tuesday. In the hours leading up to the nationally televised speech, Empty-G needed to get attention, so she walked the halls of the House of Representatives carrying a white balloon.

No, she didn't hijack Lauren Boebert's brains.

During the speech, Biden needled McCarthy, saying that he didn't want to ruin the Speaker's reputation, but he was looking forward to working with him. The chamber roared in laughter. McCarthy tried to be diplomatic and keep the GOPers in line, but Empty-G wasn't having it, calling Biden a liar in mid-speech. McCarthy repeatedly tried to shut her down, preferring decorum and protocol over performance art. Ms. Moldy Peaches wasn't having that, either. 2nd year in a row she tried hijacking the speech for attention's sake.

Sorry, Empty-G, but Paris Hilton wants her gimmick back, preferably yesterday.

This, of course, is what Trump wrought. GOPers being elected because they just want to be famous. Andy Warhol is turning over in his grave.

Monday, February 6, 2023

On PPV: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)

 Apparently, there is no Atlantis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In order to introduce Prince Namor, aka the Sub-Mariner (though not referred by that monicker), in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever", Ryan Coogler and company decided to reboot Marvel's first mutant as having some Mayan background linked to the Serpent God, which contrasts some of Namor's adventures in the 60's & 70's where he fought villains who used and/or coveted a Serpent Crown.

But Namor is not the only new face in the movie. A more recently introduced hero, Ironheart, aka teenage genius Riri Williams, makes her debut here, too, and is central to the plot, which links together Wakanda and Talokan, the MCU substitute for Atlantis, the better not to confuse casual fans who might not understand that Atlantis exists in Marvel Comics as well as DC Comics.

Anyway, Coogler notes the passing of Chadwick Boseman, the star of "Black Panther", who passed away in 2020, two years after the first film, by officially killing off King T'Challa, whose sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright). herself a genius, tried to save his life. With Wakanda under attack from Talokan, and framed for an attack on some government troops, Shuri makes a career choice that big brother would've approved....!

Michael B. Jordan appears briefly, reprising as Killmonger. You'd be hard pressed to find Lake Bell (Harley Quinn) in a brief part.

Following is a teaser video from last summer:

For Phase 5, Marvel/Disney would be well served to put more focus on the next generation of heroes, including Shuri and Riri.

Rating: A-.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Celebrity Rock: Sweet Home Chicago (1995)

 We've previously documented that John Goodman had made what was his singing debut in David Byrne's "True Stories" in 1986. Nine years later, in an episode of Roseanne, John warms up for a later gig with the Blues Brothers.

Blues Traveler are the guest stars in the episode, "Of Mice & Dan". Lead singer/harmonica player John Popper plays an old friend of Dan Conner (Goodman), and invites Dan on stage during a concert. The result? Goodman knocks it out of the park again with a rendition of "Sweet Home Chicago".

As someone on YouTube opined, it's a shame Goodman never released a CD. We've seen him do country & blues. What next?

Musical Interlude: Grease (1978)

 Up until now, we all assumed that the only visual for the theme from "Grease", written by Barry Gibb, and sung by Frankie Valli, was in the animated opening credits to the movie (we have that over at Saturday Morning Archives). And, then, along comes this little piece of lost music history........

"Grease" would be Valli's final solo hit on the Hot 100, ending a brief comeback in the 70's.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

On The Shelf: Green Hornet returns, and Ric Flair becomes a secret agent?

 Shannon Eric Denton isn't known as a writer, but, rather, an artist who has worked in both comics and in television (i.e. Cartoon Network). His first real foray into comics writing has him entrusted with a Green Hornet 1-off for Dynamite.

In "One Night in Bangkok", the Hornet, working alone, tries to solve a mystery of revenge that involves some previously undocumented backstory regarding his father. Denton's script is just fine, and so is the artwork.

Three different covers were issued. The one I have, by Dan Panosian, seems to confuse the Hornet with the Spirit because of the style of mask depicted on said cover. That seems to be the only quibble.

Rating: B.
The deconstruction of the MLJ heroes published well before the company changed its name to Archie Comics continues with a Bob Phantom 1-shot.

Walter Whitney used to be a credible reporter, now working for a small time tabloid in New York. With Valerie (Josie & The Pussycats) in town to act & sing in a production of "Phantom of The Opera", Walt is assigned to cover the show, and his attempt to save Valerie from a would-be attacker fail miserably.

So where does Bob Phantom fit? How about as a figment of Whitney's imagination?

What they've done here is reboot the character as a Walter Mitty fantasy of Whitney's. With predictable results. Seems Archie's editors commissioned this story to retain the copyright, nothing more, with references to other Archie characters.

A better writer references the original source material, and works from there, instead of taking a tangent to the twilight zone.

Rating: C.
When it was announced that Scout Comics had signed Hall of Fame wrestler Ric Flair to star in his own comic book, I figured, this just won't work unless it's set in the past.

Well, it is.

The Flair book debuts in April from Scout, and purports that the "Nature Boy" moonlighted as a secret agent early in his career, dating back to the mid-70's at the least. Ok, so Flair's being presented as an American James Bond.

To borrow from Shania Twain, that don't impress me much.

The whole concept sounds like it was lifted from the late Chuck Barris' memoir, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, which was later adapted into a movie. I may be a wrestling fan, but I'm more of the discriminating type. Pass.

Video Valentine: Keep on Loving You (1980)

 I was a senior in high school when REO Speedwagon released what would be their signature album, 'Hi-Infidelity", at the end of 1980. The first single, "Keep on Loving You", raced all the way to #1 on the Hot 100 as the calendar shifted to 1981.

The following video debuted on MTV's opening day in August of '81, but subsequently, the network began using a concert clip instead when the channel arrived in the home town in February 1982.

Friday, February 3, 2023

A test film for You Bet Your Life (1949)

 What you're about to see is not a pilot episode in the traditional sense.

At the end of 1949, the producers of You Bet Your Life decided to record a radio episode on film in order to make a deal for a TV version of the series. As we know the TV version launched in October 1950, and ran for 11 seasons, ending in 1961. The radio version aired on ABC, CBS, & NBC radio for 13 years (1947-60).

Not included is a commercial with a voiceover by Myron Wallace, aka Mike Wallace.

Ah, the unpredictability of a live broadcast.

Rating: A.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Remember Ivory Liquid? (1968)

 Ivory Liquid dish detergent was promoted for other things, too, in the 60's and early 70's.

Like its namesake bar soap, Ivory Liquid could smooth your hands while you wash dishes.

Take this commercial for example. A reporter (William Boyett, Adam-12) is with a trio of stewardesses (we call them flight attendants today), and challenges the viewer to guess which one has given herself younger hands thanks to Ivory Liquid.

Back in those days, Procter & Gamble also had a television division which produced soap operas, and this ad most certainly ran during those soaps (i.e. Search For Tomorrow, As The World Turns). To be honest, I'm not even sure P & G still makes Ivory Liquid. The bar soap is still around, of course, but the company has scaled back its soap and detergent lines in recent years.

Weasel of The Week: Rochelle Richardson

 It's been a couple of weeks since the passing of Lynette Hathaway, aka Diamond, 1/2 of Diamond & Silk. Her sister, Silk (Rochelle Richardson), returned to the air Wednesday, and promptly threw cold water on the grave, if you will.

How, you might ask.

Instead of taking the time to count the memories, if you will, Richardson opted to use her first solo show to do another anti-vaccine rant, claiming her sister died because of a "bioweapon". As usual with these right wing talking heads, Richardson has no evidence to support her claims.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo! via Lindell TV via Rumble.

Yes, her show is on Mike Whinedell's channel, because of course. Instead of having what would be an epiphany after her sister's passing (she did admit Hathaway's death was "God's will"), it was business as usual for Richardson, who also said she doesn't want any co-hosts at the moment, and that actually might be the best thing.

Given the fact that her main patron, Citizen Pampers, had a senior moment at Hathaway's memorial service, claiming he didn't know Richardson when he certainly did, Richardson would rather stay the course, and follow the orange brick road to professional oblivion.

Rochelle Richardson figured the time for mourning is over, which is true. However, she doesn't realize she crapped all over her sister and broadcast partner with her nonsense. You said it was God's will that Hathaway was called home. Then, you turn around and diss God by going back to being a fool because that is your brand. Only a Weasel would take that road, and Silk, that's definitely you.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Musical Interlude: Pump up The Jam (1989)

 If you've been to any sports venue anywhere in the last 30+ years, you've doubtlessly heard the opening bars of Technotronic's 1989 hit, "Pump up The Jam", which peaked at #2 in the US, and hit #1 in the group's native Belgium.