Monday, February 15, 2010

The Winter Olympics

...So for fun I called NBC Friday outraged that they took off my beloved Jay Leno Show for some ski competition. What the hell is going on over that at that stupid network?!

I got voicemail.

The Winter Olympics are here again! If you’re a U.S. viewer you can watch them live… except on the West Coast. We have the great misfortune of living in the actual time zone they’re being played in. So we see them delayed while folks in Greenland get them live. The opening ceremony got huge ratings for NBC (do I smell a series???) which surprises me just a little. You people in the East and South and Midwest want to see MORE snow and winter?

But it’s the one time in four years that all us closet curling fans have our day. Join me in signing the petition to get our own curling channel on cable. If the NFL has one, why shouldn’t we?

My second favorite sport is ski jumping. If only Glenn Beck would take it up.

Third favorite is the one where people ski with rifles and shoot things. This is a sport originated by Claudine Longet.

Thank goodness for Lindsey Vonn. She’s the U.S. skier who’s also a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED bikini model. Now I can cheer on a hot American athlete and not feel like a pervert. At least once during the ice skating events I see a skater, think “wow, she’s cute” and then realize she’s like 10. Lindsey has a sore shin, by the way. I couldn’t tell you the status of one other athlete.

Some of the skiing events were postponed on Saturday due to bad weather. Uh, there’s ALWAYS bad weather during the Winter Olympics.

Johnny Weir is the Lady Gaga of Men’s Figure Skating. Check out his outfits.

I imagine the best known athelete in the US is Apolo Anton Ohno because he won on DANCING WITH THE STARS. I was always hoping he’d do a Tango on the show wearing blades.

I notice that John Tesh is not among the commentators this year. He must be too busy promoting his piano gospel dance DVD.

The luge always looked silly to me. Now it looks tragic.

Whatever happened to Moira Kelly who starred in that figure skating movie, THE CUTTING EDGE?

Mike Emrick is a great hockey announcer. Nice job by Canada over the weekend beating Slovakia 18-0. I can understand if there were 150 shots on goal. But if there were only 19...

I didn't see the opening ceremony but are these Mounties goose-stepping? When I was a little kid and watched my first Winter Olympics I thought there was some mistake. The United States was losing. In everything. How could that possibly be???

Best of luck to all the athletes, even the “foreigners”, and please – if there’s a God – may Lindsey Vonn’s shin heal.

37 comments:

D. McEwan said...

"Some of the skiing events were postponed on Saturday due to bad weather. Uh, there’s ALWAYS bad weather during the Winter Olympics.

The Winter Olympics take place in Bizarro World, where bad weather is good weather and good weather is bad weather. They have to cancel events when the sun comes out and melts the course.

What's the point of having hot athletes at the Winter Olympics? They have to bundle up. This is why I prefer the summer Olympics. You get to see the hot bods, which-ever gender of them you prefer.

I watched, or rather napped through, the opening ceremonies. Frankly, Fantasmic at Disneyland is more entertaining and spectacular, and features no beat poetry from "First Nation" poets. ("First Nation" A NEW politically-correct term! Oh goodie!)

They kept saying the Olympic pyre would be lit by "The Great One". But Jackie Gleason is DEAD!

I may tune in again for the closing ceremonies, but nothing in between. Wake me for the London Olympics. (Who knew they had "summer" in London?)

Nat G said...

Moira Kelly? After disappearing after a single season of The West Wing, she ended up on One Tree Hill. That's why you don't know what happened to her. The CW - it's like a Federal Witness Relocation Program, for actors!

YEKIMI said...

Hell, move the Winter Olympics to Ohio, we have enough snow here to start our own glacier. The luge could be held on some of our steeper hills, they haven't seen a snowplow since since Mastodons were last roaming the area. The ski jump could take place over some of our bottomless potholes.....that's if they're not filled with snow and wrecked cars. Curling....into a fetal position, that's what the residents of this state do every time the weather service issues a winter storm watch/warning which is about every other day. Skiing and shooting things? Happens every day here and you don't need to be on skis....just anything that gets you away as fast as possible.

TruSlack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TruSlack said...

Those of us fortunate enough to live near the Mexican border get to see the Olympics live just fine, thank you. :)

Every now and then I show folks what the closing ceremonies in Sydney REALLY looked like (remember the whole "golf cart crashing into the podium followed by a Scooby-Doo chase" routine right before the stadium went dark? No? Oh, that's right, NBC didn't show it) and sounded like (Costas, you're a good guy, but you need to learn that silence can be golden), and they want to know how they too can see all of the countries enter during the opening/closing ceremonies, watch events live, etc... I tell them to move to San Diego and point their antennae south. :)

Sherri Nichols said...

Unfortunately for those of us living near the Canadian border, CBC didn't get the rights to the Winter Olympics in Canada this time, CTV did, and CTV isn't available here. During the Beijing Olympics, we could just watch CBC and avoid NBC.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Oh, that was a beat poet from First Nations? All I could think was, "Maynard G. Krebs has really let himself go."

There has been concern that the luge and ski courses are too fast. I thought speed was the point. It's like complaining that the football field is too level.

Re the torch lighting: Brace yourself for jokes about how they couldn't get it up.

vw: visters. The opponents of the hoam teem.

umbriago said...

A Claudine Longet joke? Who under 60 is going to get that joke? (other than me, sigh)

So wow, no hockey and no Olympics, did the CBC just shut down, or is it two weeks of Mr. Dressup reruns?

(speaking of jokes no one will ever get)

CraigB said...

Ken, Totally off topic but thought of you yesterday. Dinner was at a new style home cooking place, things like pot roast with polenta instead of mashed potatoes, etc. Order the chicken fried steak and they asked how I wanted it cooked. The waiter didn't understand why I laughed and I just couldn't explain it. Thanks for another chuckle from your Mariner broadcasts.
Craig in Seattle

Tim W. said...

As someone who's living smack dab in the middle of these winter olympics, I have to say that I'm glad you're enjoying them, because not many of us here are.

I've never seen so much product placement before. I tried to take the family to some of the free events downtown to give the kids a taste of the Olympics. We didn't see much. Everything half decent had a two hour lineup and the only thing we really ended up seeing was a 15 minute commercial in 3D for Panasonic. Or Samsung, or something like that. Obviously it didn't work very well.

I do find it funny that I watched the NBA All-Star game in Dallas and they had snow. We haven't had any this year, yet Americans think it snows half the year here? Speaking of which, I'm not quite sure why they would hold the Winter Olympics in a city that often has spring in February, and then be shocked when the local mountain has no snow.

And because of the Olympics, I had to take public transit the other day for the first time in years. On the plus side, I stood beside a woman that looked very much like the Sports Illustrated model pictured. I know she wasn't an athlete, though, because they're all being driven around in SUV's with blacked out windows driving in lanes specially reserved for Olympic vehicles.

Yes, I'm incredibly jaded about these Olympics.

XBradTC said...

Johnny Weir really IS the Lady GaGa of the winter Olympics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnUMOrd_ANI

forg/jecoup said...

Another funny recap from you. The ratings for the Winter Olympics have been good, I was expecting lower because it really has no buzz

By the way, I'm a new reader, discovered your blog last Friday. I'm 22 years old from the Philippines and I discovered your blog through the twitter of Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family, he linked your post about the the struggles of actors getting on a TV series.

It was really well written. And then I read your blog and it was engrossing, I read the archives all the way until 2007 (will plan to read the the remaining years as well haha.)

I only became a fan of Frasier two years ago when I rediscovered it on a local channel here that aired the 1st two seasons of the show weeknights at 12 midnight. (it was however aired here in the 90s on a local channel here but I was too young to care then and I think we were like two seasons behind from the US). I love it and now I'm collecting the DVDs :D Niles is my favorite!

I'm so glad to discover your blog and I love the industry stories you share and of course the snarky commentaries and musings. I'm also an aspiring writer and reading your posts, advices and sample scripts are a treat. Well, technically I'm writer but I'm a dubbing writer (writes script in English and/our local language for dubbing of foreign shows) not really a script writer. But your posts inspired me more. Maybe someday I could be a "real" writer too.

I just want to say thank you and let you know that somewhere on a small country on the other side of the world, your writings here left a lasting impact on someone.

forg/jecoup said...

Another funny recap from you. The ratings for the Winter Olympics have been good, I was expecting lower because it really has no buzz

By the way, I'm a new reader, discovered your blog last Friday. I'm 22 years old from the Philippines and I discovered your blog through the twitter of Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family, he linked your post about the the struggles of actors getting on a TV series.

It was really well written. And then I read your blog and it was engrossing, I read the archives all the way until 2007 (will plan to read the the remaining years as well haha.)

I only became a fan of Frasier two years ago when I rediscovered it on a local channel here that aired the 1st two seasons of the show weeknights at 12 midnight. (it was however aired here in the 90s on a local channel here but I was too young to care then and I think we were like two seasons behind from the US). I love it and now I'm collecting the DVDs :D Niles is my favorite!

I'm so glad to discover your blog and I love the industry stories you share and of course the snarky commentaries and musings. I'm also an aspiring writer and reading your posts, advices and sample scripts are a treat. Well, technically I'm writer but I'm a dubbing writer (writes script in English and/our local language for dubbing of foreign shows) not really a script writer. But your posts inspired me more. Maybe someday I could be a "real" writer too.

I just want to say thank you and let you know that somewhere on a small country on the other side of the world, your writings here left a lasting impact on someone.

forg/jecoup said...

Sorry for the double post earlier. Anyway, I have a question, what's the audition process for casting kids or people under 18? Is it the same with the adults? And how do you tell a kid he or she is rejected?

blogward said...

Is it true they're being held in Washington next year?

Anonymous said...

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Best wishes

Pat Reeder said...

I want to know why, when they had eight great Canadians representing different fields of arts, science and sports carry in the flag at the opening ceremony (and how did they squeeze eight great Canadians into that little bitty flag?), there was nobody to represent Canada's greatest export: comedians? They couldn't get anyone from SCTV, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Michael J. Fox, the Kids in the Hall, Dan Aykroyd, Norm MacDonald, Seth Rogan, etc. etc.? Maybe Lorne Michaels to represent them all? Imagine Leslie Nielsen carrying that giant flag with all those torches nearby? Oh, the humanity, and the hilarity, that would ensue! Or if they really wanted to express national pride, there's always Red Green. Hell, if Anne Murray can represent all of Canadian music, I would've been willing to let Martin Short stand in for John Candy.

Instead we got a whole lot of Cirque du Soleil and no comedians at all. It was like visiting Vegas, 2007.

Anonymous said...

I'm an american living in Norway, and man...are the norwegians ever ticked off at the terrible coverage of their favorite sports. Cross-country for one, they don't even have the right info. They don't know what they are doing with the cameras...the relative times (how much a skier is ahead or behind the current winner) are not shown consistently..and worst of all, they seem to have no sense on what to show.
It would be the equivalent of, a late in the game football drive, that could win the game, and at the crucial play, the camera pans to the spectators...then a hot-dog stand, then comes back in time to see the tight end dancing in the end zone...

SharoneRosen said...

Oh Ken, see if anyone tivo'd the opening ceremony. You just can't miss this year's cringe worthy segment- the clogging biker chicks! No, really. It is second only to the Atlanta Olympics' chrome pick-up trucks stocked with cheerleaders.

Oh, how I love Olympic cheese!

wv:elismis- winter olympic geometric shape?

Sean said...

"A Claudine Longet joke? Who under 60 is going to get that joke?"

True. But somewhere in Branson, MO, Andy Williams is laughing his ass off...

Raymond said...

"First Nation" A NEW politically-correct term!

Well, it's new to you, at least. It's been used in Canada since the 1980's.

Up here near the Canadian border, we already have an all-curling cable channel. It's called CBC. Try curling - it's fun! And one of the few sports (along with darts) you can play without spilling your beer.

Ron Rettig said...

Claudine Longet? Unfortunately I am old enough to know what you are talking about. By the way did VP Biden's drivers train at NASCAR or Destruction Derbies? He seems to have a heck of a lot of motorcade accidents!

Mary Stella said...

A Claudine Longet joke? Who under 60 is going to get that joke? (other than me, sigh) I got the joke although I was SO young when that happened that I barely remember. :-)

I guess when it comes to the Olympics, I'll just have to own my sentimentality. I loved the opening ceremony.

My heart breaks any time a skater falls on their triple axel or wipes out on the turn of a speed race.

Downhill racing makes my heart pound.

I'm even entertained by curling, but that's probably because it makes me think of the scene in the movie HELP. "I am turning the top. I am moving my right foot. I am moving my left foot."

Beware of smoking thingies.

A. Buck hort said...

Another sign we will never be out of Afghanistan:

A friend of our family finished 77th in the 7.5K biathlon – and that still placed her second on the US team. See in the biathlon, when you miss a target you have to do an additional loop using umbrella steps and that can wreak havoc on your carbon footprint. Is it just me or does everyone want to say biath-a-lon, instead of biathlon? It’s like some people say “jewel-er-y” or “fil-im.” It’s not “fil-im” it’s jewelry. (Thank you very much. The late great Stanley Myron Handelman on the Merv Griffin Show, 1968.)

You want pervert? Try blurting out, “OK now I’m having impure thoughts” in a room full of people – more than half a dozen times…during the opening ceremony. “Oh excuse me, did I say that out loud?”

Of course there was that time in ’76 when my wife called me into the den asking if I wanted to see Franz Klammer’s giant slalom, and I thought it was some kind of locker room interview. Of course, to be fair, she also thought the luge was a Special Olympics contraption for crippled downhill skiing.

But back to the subject of nubility and pre-nubility. Watching that parade of Olympians, it’s hard to believe anybody looks like that when they wake up in the morning. Am I wrong in guessing with HD, at least half of the young women had to be “sporting” TV makeup? How many trailers come with an Olympics? Seriously, I’d like a discourse sometime on situations that we wouldn’t otherwise suspect when professional athletes (M or F) appear in makeup. And how they feel about it.

RE: opening ceremony. Being somewhat involved in Native-Americana, I’d have to say I was surprised, moved, and pleased with the First Nations involvement in the opening ceremony –a stretch though it may have been at times. In 2008 we produced a documentary, “Our Spirits Don’t Speak English,” on something most of us still don’t know much about -- the 100,000 Native American children who, right up through the 1960s, were yanked from their homes and everything they knew, and placed in far away federally operated residential boarding schools to educate the “Indian” out of them. That year the Canadian prime minister you saw in the opening ceremony issued a formal apology to their own aboriginal peoples, for that same experience, with a substantial financial settlement, for the humiliation and PTSD associated with that. Barak Obama signed our more generalized Native American Apology Resolution in December. The reason you may not have heard, is that it was buried in a defense appropriations bill. Which sort of begs the question as we say up north, if an excusez moi falls in the forest and there’s nobody there to hear it…. I think the Olympic ceremony is more of not only recognition of the Canadian heritage, but that they’ve got some making up to do.

That said, I still think Betty White did a hell of a job in “The Proposal.” (Has everybody voted in the campaign to have Betty host SNL? She’s 88. My suggestion was maybe a Saturday Early Bird Special Live.)

Finally, CraigB said “Dinner was at a new style home cooking place, things like pot roast with polenta instead of mashed potatoes, etc. Order the chicken fried steak and they asked how I wanted it cooked.”

We could use more of those in our Lone Star state. Once took a shot at a spot for the Black Eyed Pea chain down here. For some reason, “Our food is so close to home cookin’, you might as well have stayed there,” didn’t win the bid. But then neither did the name I’d recommended to Ocean Spray to try to move product by combining cranberry juice with apple – Crapple.

Mary Stella said...

Is it just me or does everyone want to say biath-a-lon, instead of biathlon?

Blame it on the l. Thl is not a natural sound to speak. A long foot race is a marathon, not a marathlon. Take out the unnecessary l and al wil be wel.

We'll pronounce it biathon (buy-a-thon).

If I saw biathon as a wv, I'd think it meant a weekend of non-stop sex with a couple.

A. Buck Short said...

Thanks for clearing that up MS.
Now, when I do go out to buy a thong, I guess that would be for the summer olympics?

And speaking of that, why the hell doesn't somebody finally bite the bullet and make wire work an official olympic event?

Mike in SLO said...

Oh my God, can NBC possibly provide shittier coverage? I mean, a 4 hour prime time show with nothing but "feature" stories and non-stop blather over their pre-determined story lines that they stick to no matter what actually happens. After showing a Canadian ice skating pair stumble through their 4 minute routine they went to commercial, came back and NEVER showed or announced the score the pair had received. This seems to be very common for them. I guess they can't afford Chyron operators anymore because you never know who is who or what the scores are, but the announcer can blab till the cows come home about things that interest them and them alone. And Costas is just embarrassingly bad. And who is that big ol' Dyke they have on the late night wrap up, anyway? There must be a special place in hell for NBC and its horrible coverage. When does their damn contract for the Olympics run out anyway??? I've been bitching about their coverage the last 4 Olympics...

Mary Stella said...

Now, when I do go out to buy a thong, I guess that would be for the summer olympics?

I believe there's a track and field event in between the javelin toss, the shot put and the hammer throw called the banana hammock sling.

wv=saladis. Man, romaine just can't get an respect

Buttermilk Sky said...

I looked at the opening again and the Mounties definitely were not goose-stepping. Or was that a joke about Canada geese? If so, it needs work.

Maybe there will be comedians in the closing ceremony. I'm hoping for Andrea Martin as Edith Prickly.

te said...

A day after the event, Bob Costas is still waxing rhapsodic over Apolo Ohno -- who came in second, only because two other skaters pretty much tripped over one another (though Ohno is a fine athlete -- while barely conceding that someone else actually skated fast enough to win the 1500m short-track event, and not naming him (it's Lee Jung-Su),at all.

Costas ever named Lee during the actual event, nor was he -- the WINNER -- named during KNBC's late news after the show.

The only time non-Americans receive any coverage is when the U.S. athletes don't stand a chance of winning a medal. Or at least so it seems.



re: Canadian Comedy

They'll book Lorne Michaels, who'll make sure that the coverage goes on too long and isn't funny. And he'll try to compensate by featuring Kristen Wiig

D. McEwan said...

"Raymond said...
"First Nation" A NEW politically-correct term!
Well, it's new to you, at least. It's been used in Canada since the 1980's."


Well I haven't set muckluck in Canada since 1965. I keep meaning to go back except that, when I get the chance to travel, there are so many more interesting and fun places to go instead. And yes, here in Los Angeles, an area that has changed ownership several times over the centuries, the term "First Nation" is not yet in our already-way-too-long lexicon of pollitically correct, please-don't-let-us-offend-anyone-on-earth terms.

"A Claudine Longet joke? Who under 60 is going to get that joke? (other than me, sigh)"

Well I got it, and I am under 60, and will continue to be for three and a half more months!!!! But who's counting?

"Mike in SLO said...
Oh my God, can NBC possibly provide shittier coverage?"


Mike, please be careful. NBC might take that as a challenge to indeed do an even worse job, and if anyone can, they're the ones to do it.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

True. But somewhere in Branson, MO, Andy Williams is laughing his ass off...

He's also thinking, relieved, "Geez, barely dodged that one."

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

"The luge always looked silly to me. Now it looks tragic."

The two man luge always looked gay to me. Now it looks tragically gay.

Anonymous said...

Ken, comparing Johnny Weir to Lady Gaga is a cliche at this point. Although I do give you credit for not using the word "flamboyant", which is inevitably included with his name in every press story.

AlaskaRay said...

>>You people in the East and South and Midwest want to see MORE snow and winter?<<

Actually we've been tuning into the Olympics to get away from the snow and winter.

Ray

David K. M. Klaus said...

umbriago said...

> A Claudine Longet joke? Who
> under 60 is going to get that
> joke? (other than me, sigh)

I'm 54 and I got it. I remember when the shooting happened.

And not only did I get it, I'm tired of it. It's not funny because of over-repetition, and it's not funny because she hasn't done anything to keep herself in the spotlight, but instead has quietly tried to live down what happened ever since. I think the one person in public life today who actually seems to have a sense of shame over shameful behavior should be allowed to live in peace, and have what happened quietly forgotten.

She doesn't drive drunk, she lives quietly with her husband, she not only avoids the press, she avoids behavior which would draw the press. Speaking ex-cathedra from my belly-button, I think she's done her penance.

And since Andy Williams and she are still friends, despite the conflict and the years, I suspect he thinks that, too.

Rob N. said...

I appreciated the slam poet from Youtube that represented pretty much anyone that posts videos on Youtube.

Apparently, saying "please" and "thank you" is something that gets into the Canadian craw when not used with regularity. Sage words I suppose but saying "please" has netted me jack shit on getting my car repaired properly.