Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Grave Digging - sorta...

I just read a blog from my good friend, Markus. In his blog I just learned that a childhood hero had died and I had heard nothing about this at all. I'm speaking of Mr. Wizard. Mr. Wizard was a television personality that taught us the wonders of science with visual experimentation. True magic in the eyes of an adolescent. I learned of the mysteries of static electricity. I learned that if you mix baking soda with vinegar, it will foam up like crazy! I also learned that if I put any alcohol based after shave on my private parts that it will burn like all of holy hell! Ok, maybe I learned that last one on my own - but none the less, a terrible loss for all of us.

With this information, I did a little research to find out who else we've recently lost. I was suprised! In this world of the news keeping us up to date on the goings on with Paris Hilton or the latest of Britney Spears' "white trash" moments, some great entertainers and thinkers have been totally ignored. ----- on this Paris Hilton thing: has there EVER been more press given to someone who has done absolutely nothing??!!?! OK - there was the reality show, but reality shows suck and people who watch them are mindless sheep! I know too many actors who need work!

Here are some of the talented people who have been forgotten in the press because they don't say things like "that's hot".....

Charles Nelson Reilly - Brilliant comedian, Broadway actor, and did countless television shows. Probably most remembered on the game show "Match Game".

Yvonne De Carlo - Actress. She was in the Ten Commandments, but was best known as Lily Munster in The Munsters. I was so hot for Mrs. Munster!!

Sidney Sheldon - gave us television classics like Hart to Hart and I Dream of Jeanie.

Frankie Laine - old crooner styled singer - sang the theme to "Rawhide".

Roscoe Browne - very classy, deep-voiced actor who appeared on The Cosby Show, Good Times, All In The Family, and countless other programs. Look him up - you will know him instantly. A real class act!

Zola Talyor - the female member of The Platters - enough said!

Kurt Vonnegut Jr - I had no idea !!! Writer. Wrote classics such as "The Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle". I know neither of these works can compare to Paris Hilton's "Like Lindsey Lohan is Like Such a Bitch".

These are just a few of what I found. There were many decorated war heroes as well that will go unmentioned here. They deserve a blog all to themselves.

Such a shame!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Grand Canyons and Golden Gates...

I can nearly feel fall in the air. We still have a few hot days, but I can just feel that little hint of cooler days and that tea-like scent of fallen leaves even as I type away. I love the fall. It is the best time of the year. It is at this time where I find myself in deep thought more than any other time of the year. I find myself more melancholy, a little more at ease - yet I worry a little more, pensive if you will. Today I really feel it coming on because of an email I received this morning. I guess that's why I'm writing this now...

Carrie and Eric are friends of mine from Memphis. They are currently on their way to sunny Arizona to start their new lives. I'm quite envious. They purposely decided to take their sweet time and actually "see" the country that lies between West Tennessee and The Grand Canyon State. Now, I have to admit - I don't really know Eric that well. We have met numerous times and I have basically known him as "Carrie's new boyfried" - althought that's been a few years now. I do know that he is a painfully nice guy, he is a damned talented photographer, he is a bit of a Trekkie - (which has fallen victim to many of my childish jokes! There's nothing wrong with it - I just don't understand: kinda like Star Wars, NASCAR, and American Idol), and Eric is the luckiest guy in the world... and he knows it.

Carrie and I have known each other for about 8 or 9 years now. Damn, how time flies. We used to work together at a restaurant in Memphis called The Grove Grill. In fact, she just recently stopped working there. When she started there, she was this timid, little quiet thing with red hair and a big smile. BOY, did that change - the whole timid thing that is. I'll say it here: I love Carrie. Sure, I love her in that lustful way you would love any sexy, hot, little redhead that just oozes sexuality, but it really is much deeper than that. She is a true friend. She listened when you needed to be heard, she helped when you needed help, she laughed at all of my stupid jokes - and I mean ALL of them, when I felt like shit - she was my pooper scooper, and at the same time she could cuss like a sailor when she wanted to! We all love Carrie and I think she knows that too! We will ALL miss her. We really haven't seen much of each other in the past year or so. Unfortunate, but completely my fault. You know, we get wrapped up in our busy, little worlds that we forget the important things. So.... Carrie and Eric: I wish the best in the world for the both of you.

This brings me to Bevan and Christine. Christine was a local news personality that I met through her boyfriend, Bevan. Christine is a sweetheart. She's beautiful and has a heart that is just about the same size as the Death Star (a nerdy Star Wars reference that will make Bevan moist). She introduced me to a cool card game which I'm really thinking about marketing. I guess we'll be talking percentages very soon. This game is so fucking addictive and I don't really play cards.

Bevan and I met while working on a local movie fiasco about 3 or 4 years ago. It took us a while, but we eventually hit it off. We have very similar tastes in movies(except Star Wars), similar tastes in comedy, and - like me - he is a complete music snob. Nice to finally meet someone else who "gets it". Since then, we have worked on several local productions together - "The Visitor", "A Cowboy's Silver Lining", "The Divine Manipulation Of The Threads" just to name a few. Oh yeah, those last two he actually wrote. They good. Damned good!

Well, Christine moved to San Francisco a couple months ago and Bevan will soon be following. Well, this all kinda sucks for me as all of these people are really great folks that I will miss dearly. Great for them because they are getting out of this decaying town and they will all do bigger things. I have no doubt about that at all! Maybe this is a wake up call too! Better start looking.....

Carrie, Eric, and Christine I wish you all the best. Same to you too Bevan, but I think we'll have a chance to knock down a few beers and Irish whiskey before you leave!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Is totally for fags!!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dear Lorne Michaels....

Dear Lorne,

Before I go any further, I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations for over 30 years of producing one of the most ground breaking television programs ever to hit the airwaves. No easy feat considering the huge obstacles you faced in the beginning and the fact that, let's face it, most shows just don't make it that long. You should be proud. To a point.

If my history doesn't fail me, I believe that the idea for Saturday Night (the original name of the program) was to supply an edgy, entertaining television program that would take the place of the reruns of The Tonight Show that had been running on NBC for years. The audience just was not there - they were out drinking, doing blow, having orgies, and a host of other things that were not considered dangerous or taboo in the seventies. You wanted to create a "variety" type program that had similar comedy stylings of Monty Python's Flying Circus but in front of a live studio audience much like the Carol Burnett show that was very popular on prime time - with the exception of the players cracking themselves up during a skit in order to draw cheap laughter. This show was supposed to be fresh, edgy, new, intelligent, and would also have music acts that were targeted toward the viewing audience you were seeking. The young and hip. This would not be a place for Shecky Green, Red Buttons, and the comedians of our parents generation nor would be a place for Shaun Cassidy, The Osmonds, and Barry Manilow that were tearing up the top 40 charts at the time. THIS show was going to be different!!

...and it was!

Your genius brought to us a cast of virtual unknowns that would become some of the brightest comedy minds of our time: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Lorraine Newman, Garrett Morris, & Jane Curtain. No one would have dreamed!! The writers wrote some of the most thought provoking, intellectually brilliant bits that both shocked us and made us piss ourselves laughing: Rosie Shuster, Anne Beatts, Alan Zweibel, Herb Sargent, and Marilyn Suzanne Miller - just to name a few. These writers pushed the envelope of decency and offensiveness to the edge of the cliff and held it the for us to laugh ourselves into oblivion. The memorable sketches: The Killer Bees, The Coneheads, Irvin Mainway, The Greek Diner, The Samurai.... Great stuff!

Granted, there were a few hard times in the eighties after the original cast took off and new crew of players walked in to fill the larger than life shoes of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players. You, yourself took off too and the high brass at NBC named Jean Doumanian the show's new producer - well, we all know how that ended up. Next Dick Ebersol came in to save the day. The show became watchable again. Some clever characters, good names, and with it being the New Wave 80's some really good musical acts as well. Then Dick got tired. Then you came back. It was a bit rough at first, but you did have some good names: Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey Jr. - great names, but not for SNL. Then the cast of the late 80's through the mid 90's was banner. I would say probably the best since the original: Adam Sandler, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Chris Farley, Chris Rock.... If I had to take a viewer's opinion poll, I would have to say that the worst time in history for SNL was the second cast under Jean Doumanian..until now.

What in the hell is going on with SNL now??? It has become the most unwatchable show in the history of television. It's horrible!! Lorne, do you even watch it anymore?? No one laughs - until that annoying Tina Fey makes a goofy grin to suck laughter out of the audience. It sucks!! I understand that Tina Fey is now the head writer of SNL. SNL...a show that was once on the cutting edge of thoughtful comedy is now being dissected by some girly twit who wrote a Lindsey Lohan movie!!! No fucking wonder it's full of pee-pee and poo-poo jokes. Lorne, It's not funny anymore!! The cast is awful. It has been for some time. I love watching the new cast do "clever" original bits that me and my fat ass buddies did in the 7th grade!!! When did this show go to such shit. Jesus, fucking Brady Bunch reruns are better than this shit! And how about that really goofy white guy who talks properly and then does a rap song...every fucking week!!! Holy shit!!! It was funny 6 years ago when me and some co-workers were doing it around the water cooler!!

This show has turned into the bad parts of the Carol Burnett show...sorry, but it's true. The material is so bad, that the cast has to break into laughter during the skits to GET laughter. It sucks....and how did this Jimmy Fallon guy get away with doing his Adam Sandler impression for so long??? Am I the only one who fucking noticed this???? And what's with the long skits?? A skit that could be funny for about 2 minutes drrraaaaagggggssssss on with endless, useless blah blah blah for some fucking reason. Are you purposely trying to get me to shoot someone?? Jesus!!!! And what's with the new guests??? Justin fucking Timberlake???? Ashley fucking Simpson??? What, are you going for the baby-sitting dollar here?? IMPORTANT POINT HERE __ ADULT COMEDY, ADULT MUSIC!!!!!

Lorne, all due respect- I know you are one powerful Jew, but it is time to end this shit. It's embarrasing. I have old tapes of Saturday Night that are 30 years old that STILL get laughs when I play them. Maybe it's just time. Maybe it's just time to end it. Maybe it's just time to clean house like Ebersol did and maybe get some funny people on the show - they ARE out there and I really believe that you can find them. Or...maybe it's time to be Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show and start showing the reruns of the old shows every Saturday Night. Really... give it a try. I bet the ratings will be better.

I have always loved this show and it breaks my friggin' heart.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

December 8, 1980

Monday, November 21, 2005

Observation Or Skepticism??

With all of my heart, I really try to be an observer of things. Sometimes, however; the evil head of skepticism will rear it's ugly head. I find that the older I get, the more this seems to happen. So, with that said, I should get started. It has been some time since I posted anything and apparently I am a Sonofabitch for it - thank you, Bevan!
I have been a lover of music my entire life. I love all types of music - admittedly, I do have my favorites - and there are some things that make me want to puke violently. For instance, to me, there was almost no better singer in the world than Otis Redding. The first four words of this Otis classic: "These...arms...of...mmmiiiiiiinnnnee..." nearly make me weep every time I hear them. BUT - to hear Michael Bolton sing them makes want to pick up an Uzi and wipe out an entire city block of babies and puppies!!
This leads me to last week's CMAs or The Country Music Awards. I am a big fan of country music. Don't laugh - so was Ray Charles! I like "Country Music". George Jones is "country music". Waylon Jennings is "country music". Brad Paisley is "country music". This new age, poser-hillbilly swill that's being fed to us today is insulting. This year's awards were held in that country music Mecca that is...New York City. I can only assume that the country music business, which is basically based in Nashville, Tennessee, was trying to expand it's market in a city that doesn't even have a country music radio station - or maybe this is yet another attempt to further push the envelope of crossover music that seems to be eating up the entire music industry these days. This movement, sadly, is literally producing a flood of artistic mediocrity throughout the business. I specifically remember a performance by Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, and Norah Jones - all of them very respectable artists - masters in their fields - but they literally have nothing to do with each other at all. Willie sang a Paul tune and Paul sang a Willie tune - all I can say is that this should never, ever happen again! It was a total trainwreck. Someone was paid a shitload of money to come up with this stroke of genius too - I'm sure the intention was to meld the genres, but why?? The individual genres are golden on their own, why push the crossover idea? I like the idea of different music genres. To me, each one represents a different color on an artistic palette. Individually, they can produce a beautiful painting, but when they are all mixed together they form a huge, mushy, mess of grey-brown bunk!! I do not need some cornbread, white cracker belting out some cheesy country song to a rap beat - if want rap, I'll listen to someone who is much better at it!!! Then, there are the country groups...I know that they are "cute and all", but someone please stop them from producing any more of that screechy, trailer-love music! Plus, it's way too confusing!! This one particular group I'm speaking of dresses like Green Day, but sounds like Air Supply!! In fact, these guys make Air Supply sound like fucking Motorhead!! You know, I think I actually saw one of these guys on stage with a Black Flag shirt?? This dick couldn't name a Black Flag song if his life depended on it!!!

See where this could all get confusing??

So as an open plea to the music industry...PLEASE stop trying to force feed us your imitation music. There are so many people out there that are much more talented that we, as fans of music, WANT to hear. We are aching for it!! Money in our pockets ready to burn for some good music - NOT pre-packaged junk!!

........and enough with the award shows!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Joe's Delirium Tremens

Joe's Delirium Tremens

OK... So here is the next sniblet into my fascinating blog. I guess I should explain "Delirium Tremens". Delirium Tremens, by definition, is a condition associated with complete Alcohol withdrawal in an individual with a reported history of long-term alcohol consumption - better known as the "DTs". Being that I have lately become one to imbibe in small amounts, I've learned appreciate the finer adult beverages that are available to us. In this case, I refer to a Belgian Beer known as Delirium Tremens. Some call it the best in the world - I would have to agree. Look for the pink elephants on the label. If you like beer, you'll never want anything else. But use caution - it does pack a wallop!

On a warmer than ever Fall Monday evening I sit and watch the New England Patriots play the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. Rumor has it that Monday Night Football will be moved from ABC to ESPN next season. Apparently ABC is losing money on the program and can't seem to figure out why. I have a few ideas. As a lifelong football fan of both NCAA and the NFL, I have seen many changes in the Monday Night program over the last few years. For starters...JOHN MADDEN - for the love of pete, can't we get rid of this guy? Blah-blah-blah-talk-talk-talk through the entire game. I know a bunch of people love this guy, but I have yet to meet one. If this guy was a family member you wouldn't let him eat at the dinner table for the fear of him drooling in the gravy! It's over, John - You were a hell of a coach for a hell of a team, but you've fallen for the bells and whistles of the game rather than the game itself. What a shame. Another thing - when did we have to start doing little skits with the players before the start of the game? Or ten minutes of music videos from Hank Jr and buddies?? Just a tip ABC most people who like football HATE THIS SHIT !! - sidebar - Madden just explained pass rush five times in about forty seconds!! --- And what about the "reporter on the sideline" bit?? I can only remember this when Lynn Swann started doing it. But now, they have some little hottie reporter taking the biz - also the little hottie is sitting in for another female reporter whose voice is deeper that Vin Diesel's. Do we really care about how a particular player feels about his mom and dad being at the game tonight? NO! Especially when there is a play going on the field - get back to the game!!

Another thing hurting the NFL...Millionaire babies like Terrell Owens - sorry, Man - the average working Joe just can't relate to your "problems".