Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Leslie Nielsen jokes? Already?

A few odds and ends today…

Thank you all for the nice comments on my 5th anniversary post.  Look, I'm blushing

Wow. I guess the moratorium on Leslie Nielsen jokes is over. This is how the Connecticut Post announced his passing. Check out the box with Nielson’s picture and read the caption. A little too soon, don’tcha think?


In case you can't read the fine print:  Nielsen died in a Florida hospital.  It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.  

Here’s the quote of the year: Disney’s animated feature TANGLED did great last weekend at the boxoffice, and has also received raves from the audience. While taking bows for the higher-than-expected first weekend tally, Chuck Vane, the President of Disney distribution said, “Luckily we had a tool that worked really well for advertising, which is the film itself.” Really?! That must make your job sooo much easier when the movie you’re telling everyone is so great really isn’t a hot steaming piece of shit after all. Once the goal was to produce quality movies that everyone involved could be proud of. Now the aim is to produce useful “tools”.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway are hosting this year’s Oscars. Neither is particularly funny or charismatic. But that’s not important. They’re young. If Justin Beiber didn’t have a homework assignment due the next day, he would have been hosting. Don’t expect Jack Nicholson to get a lot of screen time this year.  Especially if Miley Cyrus is there.

The first season of SHERLOCK is now out on DVD. All three episodes are included!

Get ready for all the perennial Christmas specials and reruns. It’s December, the Netflix time of the year.

Having fun trading tweets with John Hodgman over on Twitter.  He wants to play Radar if they ever re-boot MASH.  I've assured him a role as a Korean.  He's accepted.  He'll need to bring his own kimshee pot however.  

The Rock is over as an action star. You can’t come back from THE TOOTH FAIRY.

If TV comedy is dead, then how come reruns of CBS' Monday night sitcoms beat original programming on all the other networks?  

The Black Eyed Peas will perform at next year’s Super Bowl. What? They couldn't find another boomer act? Gerry & the Pacemakers are still touring.

Heading off today to Maui for a few weeks. I’ll continue to post daily on the blog, but I warn you, I might be a little too cheerful sometimes.  Aloha.

41 comments:

Mike McCann said...

Gotta disagree with you on Anne Hathaway. Monday, a rare day that I had to drive into New York, I caught her being interviewed by NPR's Terry Gross on my ride home. She came off as very bright, bubbly and insightful -- especially in regard to her craft. And we already knew she could read a script. Hearing her in a spontaneous, intelligent conversation -- something we'd never hear in an ET or Access Hollywood soundbite -- hinted that she likely has the stature to pull this off.

Michael said...

I don't think it's too soon for Leslie Nielsen jokes. In fact, I bet he'd think the caption was funny. Or, rather, he'd think of a way to make it funnier.

There's a Nero Wolfe story (I don't call it wonderful because each story is wonderful) in which his best friend Marko is murdered. Afterward, talking with a friend of Marko's, he refers to Marko's faults. She upbraids him. He replies that he won't talk differently about him in death than he would have in life.

LinGin said...

At the risk of being presumptuous I think Mr. Nielsen would have liked that caption. Any man who would carry a fart clicker with him wouldn't be upset with this irreverence.

There was such a outpouring of genuine sadness at the news of his passing. I think that a lot of stars who rank higher than him on all the "lists" won't get nearly as much goodwill and love when they go.

Jon88 said...

"The first season of SHERLOCK is now out on DVD. All three episodes are included!" One can only hope. PBS cut about 10 minutes from each ep. Fingers crossed that these are the BBC versions.

Bob "Melon" Melonosky said...

Too soon for Leslie Nielsen jokes?

Surely you can't be serious.

I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

Whitney said...

I don't think it's too soon to joke- it's more of a testament to how much we've enjoyed his work.

Of course, that wasn't a very original joke on their part- it was being retweeted shortly after his passing was announced.

Anonymous said...

James Franco NOT funny or charismatic? How OLD are you anyway, 96???

Mac said...

The Leslie Nielsen jokes are done with great affection. It wouldn't seem right to remember the guy with solemnity.
Have a good time in Maui, but go easy on the cheerfulness. It's tough to share when you're battling sunlight deprivation and frostbite.

lucifervandross said...

Yeah, i want to sound off with the people that think Nielson would have liked the caption, thought it probably could have been funnier. It wasn't in bad taste in my opinion.

For some reason this reminded me of the metal detector scene on Airplane 2, where the women walk through and can be seen naked. They were ahead of their time on that one.

I would be James Franco's best friend if he needed a new best friend. That guy is just class all over. I would even be cool with Komiko.

Ian said...

Re: Leslie Nielsen: It's never too early for a joke, except, as Johnny Carson repeatedly found out, for Abraham Lincoln.

Re: Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosting the Oscars: The Academy Awards are no longer about movies...

...they are about fashion - in every sense of the word.

Thus, these two pieces of young eye-candy are just about right.

Jeff Parker said...

Not that Chuck Vane needs anyone to defend him, but there are many wonderful movies that don’t lend themselves easily to advertising.

Aloha.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Speaking as a piece of young eye-candy my own self, I'm looking forward to Franco and Hathaway. Particularly Hathaway, who is welcome to show up on my television screen at any single available moment in time.

BOB said...

At the risk of sounding irrelevant...
I don't think I could have picked James Franco out of a police line-up.

Mike said...

Yes, as someone said elsewhere, if the Oscars go long or the banter is too painful (theoretically, of course), at least we can put it on mute and look at Hathaway and Franco. Young they may be, but pretty and talented excuses the demographic grab in my books. It's not like they've got a Kardashian or a Real Housewife up there.

Hollywoodaholic said...

Saw the first "episode" of the new Sherlock BBC series on Blu-ray last night and was delightfully surprised. Though modern in setting, the characters are respectfully intact. Except, of course, the scene where Sherlock and Amy Winehouse snort cocaine off Watson's bare bum.

Paul said...

Whoa. John Hodgman is kind of the spitting image of Radar, isn't he?

The Black-Eyed Peas haven't been relevant for 7-8 years, so they're qualified to play at the Super Bowl.

YEKIMI said...

Screw John Hodgman,if M*A*S*H* ever gets a reboot, I want to play Radar, dammit! It was bad enough that all through high school that my nickname was "Radar" cause everyone thought I looked like Gary Burghoff [I don't know, he might be offended by that comparison] even though I was 14 years younger than him. Even at my last high school reunion I had someone come up and apologize and ask what my real name was because all he ever knew me as through high school was Radar. Even some of the teachers would call me Radar and than catch themselves and call me by my actual name.

benson said...

Yes, but Fergie is also pretty eye candy.

No problem with the Leslie Nielsen caption. I think he'd consider it a compliment. I mean, the man carried around a fart cushion.

@lucifervandross. I saw the Naked Gun movie last week where the now late great Enrico Palazzo was doing pat downs on the Seattle Mariners and the team formerly know as the California Angels.
Again, timely.

Alex said...

A Friday question that I was just reminded of.

Back in college (early '90s) I had a Korean roommate who hated MASH because, he said, most of the time Koreans on the show were played by Japanese actors.

Once it had been said, I of course noticed it all the time but don't know if that is just confirmation bias.

Was this really the case? If so, was there any particular reason for it?

Matt Patton said...

I want Anne Hathaway to host the Oscars only if she comes in character as a member of the singing-sister act: accompanied by Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig.

Caught the SHERLOCK episodes before they showed up on PBS (muted, embarrassed clearing of throat, much pseudo-casual staring at ceiling) -- only three episodes, but they ran 90 minutes. Without commericals That's like three or four seasons of the average sit-com these days, isn't? (BTW, very funny video of Mark Gatiss, one of the creators of the show, demonstrating Hammer Studios' stage-blood recipe for a special he did about horror movies. A friend of mine made it and says that if you up the ratio of powdered sugar a bit, it makes a very good desert topping . . .)

gwangung said...

Back in college (early '90s) I had a Korean roommate who hated MASH because, he said, most of the time Koreans on the show were played by Japanese actors.

Once it had been said, I of course noticed it all the time but don't know if that is just confirmation bias.

Was this really the case? If so, was there any particular reason for it?


I dunno about Ken's take, but the big demographic explosion of Korean Americans (the first generation to be born in the US) just started during the late 80s and early 90s. Not nearly enough population to draw upon. (And it was possible to throw a party for all the Korean American actors in town and still have room for the Republican elephant in that phone booth...)

D. McEwan said...

My first thought when I saw the selections of Franco & Hathaway to host the Oscars was: they ran out of comedians? I mean, those two are talented and highly decorative, and do okay guesting on SNL, but for an Oscar host I want someone genuinely funny. Barry Humphries would have been GREAT! Dame Edna and Sir Les Patterson as Oscar hosts. THAT would work for me!

I'll give Anne Hathaway this; for someone who was married to Shakespeare 400 years ago, she looks great. She must have had work done.

You know, whenever I watched M*A*S*H, I was always turning it off in disgust, saying "They think I believe those people are Korean? They're obviously Japanese!" And even when they had actual Koreans in the movie, whom even a blind man can tell at one glance from Koreans, I was equally disgusted seeing an actor from Idaho passed off as being from Ohio, and a character supposed to be from Ohio being played by someone from Montana. It RUINED the show for me! What was wrong with your casting people? Next you'd be having Costa Ricans playing Mexicans!

Clearly Chuck Vane is a useful tool himself.

I had no idea those wonderful Sherlock shows were shown butchered. Now I'll at least have to rent them. As much as I loathed the atrocious Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie, so much the more did I love Sherlock, which I had first tuned into fully prepared to despise. And how do you not love a name like Benedict Cumberbatch. Now "Cumberpatch" I could understand. That would be where you'd grow cucumbers, but Cumberbatch? If only his first name was Englebert.

Aloha.

D. McEwan said...

Man, I gotta proof-read when I'm not stoned. The portion of my post that said: "And even when they had actual Koreans in the movie, whom even a blind man can tell at one glance from Koreans..." should, of course, have said: "And even when they had actual Koreans on the show, whom even a blind man can tell at one glance from Japenese..."

Leigh said...

Echoing what others have said about Leslie Nielsen jokes. When I found out, I was sad, and then immediately made an Airplane joke on Twitter. It just seemed right. It's never to soon to pay tribute to a gifted comedian with a fitting joke.

I just read an article recently about Marlo Thomas, and she said George Burns came up to her mother at her dad, Danny Thomas' funeral, and said, "So...I hear you're single again..." She cracked up.

I also noticed Greg Giraldo's comedian friends lovingly making jokes about him on Twitter after his death, as well. It seems to me there's nothing MORE appropriate, given their, and his, profession.

Janet T said...

you know, as much as I love the blog- I really love the comments page- today was outstanding, you were all really on your game- stoned or not.

Breadbaker said...

This was my Facebook post on Leslie Nielsen's death:

So at the gates of heaven a great crowd gathers and screams, "It's Enrico Palazzo!". RIP Leslie Nielsen

The way to honor Leslie Nielsen is with his humor.

SmartAss said...

D. McEwan said...

Man, I gotta proof-read when I'm not stoned.

That's "proofread" not "proof-read"

and it's "Japanese" not "Japenese"

Yes - do proofread in that brief window of time when you're not stoned!

diane said...

Sounds an awful lot like the debate in the Mary Tyler Moore episode about the death of Chuckles the clown. Experience has taught me that laughter is healing. Thank goodness Leslie Nielsen left us so much material to work with.

Matt Patton said...

I remember reading in an interview somewhere that Benedict Cumberbatch thinks his last name sounds, and I am quoting here, "like someone farting in a bathtub."

And yes, Dame Edna and Sir Les hosting the Oscars would be so funny that maybe they could forget about handing out those silly bowling trophies and everyone could go home early.

An alternate suggestion; make the Oscars into a pot-luck supper and assign all of the nominees and guests to bring a dish to share. After all, as Bette Midler once remarked, the Oscars were the world's "biggest, weirdest Kiwanis Club picnic."

Isaac Lin said...

As one of Leslie Neilsen's funny lines from the movie Airplane!, it seems to be a a fitting quote to put in the caption.

Anonymous said...

Part of the WikiPedia entry on James Franco:
"Franco reportedly has "an unusually high metabolism for productivity...a superhuman ability to focus".[2] Dissatisfied with his career's direction,[2] Franco reenrolled at UCLA in the fall of 2006 as an English major with a creative writing concentration. Having received permission to take as many as 62 course credits per quarter compared to the normal limit of 19[55] while continuing to act, he received his undergraduate degree in June 2008 with a GPA over 3.5.[55][2][56] For his degree, Franco prepared his departmental honors thesis as a novel under the supervision of Mona Simpson.[2][57] He moved to New York to simultaneously attend graduate school at Columbia University's MFA writing program, New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for filmmaking,[58][59][60][61] and Brooklyn College for fiction writing,[55] while occasionally commuting to North Carolina's Warren Wilson College for poetry.[2] Franco is currently a PhD student in English at Yale University[62] and will also attend the Rhode Island School of Design.[2]"

If the kid could only focus...

KEN LEVINE said...

I know what you're all saying and I agree Leslie would probably find it amusing. I just felt it was a little soon. There's a fine line between humorous homage and disrespect.

Would Leslie's family find it amusing?

That's all I'm saying. Maybe they would.

By the way, the line itself is hilarious.

xjill said...

@Jon88 - I have the Sherlock DVDs and can confirm they have the BBC versions + commentaries, original pilot and a featurette thing that's pretty interesting.

Leigh said...

Ken--I think the family would probably recognize that it's meant as a loving homage, and that, given what we know about Leslie's sense of humor, he'd have probably gotten a kick out of it.

cadavra said...

Being a bit of a pedant, I must point out that the fellow's name is Chuck Viane, not Vane.

benson said...

Carol Burnett said "Comedy is tragedy plus time". I guess in the instantaneous age of the internet, that time is the caption in the next day's newspaper.

wv: inedny. For those who don't "heart" NY

Chris Anton said...

Very inappropriate caption!

Leslie Nielsen should be honored. I love this Chilean newspaper's front page (as reported on Huffington Post)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/29/leslie-nielsen-newspaper_n_789191.html

D. McEwan said...

"SmartAss said...
Yes - do proofread in that brief window of time when you're not stoned!"


Thanks, Mom. I could have sworn I saw you into your grave 13 years ago.

Sadly, some weeks that window is not nearly brief enough.

" xjill said...
@Jon88 - I have the Sherlock DVDs and can confirm they have the BBC versions + commentaries, original pilot and a featurette thing that's pretty interesting."


Thanks! Into my Netflix queue, leap-frogged (Or"leptfrogged" for "Smart ass's" benefit.) to the top, it has gone! Now if I can just finish forcing myself through the Spartacus: Blood & Sand series, which has the worst-written dialogue of any series in (or about history.

Nick Christopher said...

Ken, you are cool, I like you and I like your blog. Yet, the back handed slap at Christmas was thinly veiled and sorta beneath you. Christmas specials are cool, and the season is a time for people to adhere to traditions and celebrate with family. Some people have no family, yet can remember a simpler time, and in my case the specials bring those happier times back. I am kind of tired of the assault on christmas and I get the feeling many others are as well. Let's remember to live and let live and not be cynical about some things that may be precious to others.

Thanks. You can carry on. I am through defending my traditions.

Have a happy holiday. I hear Hawaii is great this time of year.

bevo said...

"Don’t expect Jack Nicholson to get a lot of screen time this year. Especially if Miley Cyrus is there. "

If Jack does not have Miley on the business end of his dong by the end of the evening, then I will be really disappointed because it means an era has come to an end.

Lou H. said...

It seems when comedians or talk show hosts host the Oscars, they bring their own writing staff along. Who'll write the Hathaway/Franco dialogue?