Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Some random thoughts even though no one asked me.

What’s the difference between the CMA Awards and the ACM Awards?

Whatever happened to Bridget Fonda?

Congratulations to U. Conn for winning the worst NCAA Championship Game in history.  I'd watch 24 and Jack Bauer would be running, dodging thousands of bullets and I'd think -- nobody could shoot that badly.  And then I watched Butler.   

Big controversy: Natalie Portman did very little of her own dancing in BLACK SWAN. So says the ballerina who claims she did all the dancing and they just digitized Natalie’s head on her body. And they wanted her to keep quiet about it so it wouldn’t hurt Natalie’s Oscar chances. The film’s choreographer denies the charge. Of course, he’s the one who knocked up Natalie Portman. But this presents a bigger issue. The digitizing was so skillful that you couldn’t tell the difference. So why not employ that trickery with other movies? Why not remake every Arnold Schwarzenegger movie with Nathan Fillion’s head and performance?

On Saturday, Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lackey lost to the Texas Rangers. This was his postgame quote: "Well, I felt good out there. I really thought I threw the ball well, just a couple of seeing eye singles turned into outs and we're having a different conversation. This game could easily have gone either way". Lackey pitched 3 2/3 innings, gave up nine runs and ten hits including three doubles, two triples, and two home runs. Yeah, those seeing-eye 400 foot home runs can really kill ya.

Rock has Lady Gaga, Country has Lady Antebellum, and joggers have Lady Foot Locker.

I could see Donald Trump as our president. The Israelis want our support. The Palestinians want our support. Okay, a group of six from each side has to sell pizzas for twelve hours one day in Times Square. Whoever sells the most gets our aid and Titan missiles.

On Saturday the Colorado Rockies hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks.  It was 84 degrees.  Sunday's game was snowed out.  

Buy my book. (Notice how my plugs are getting shorter?)

Charlie Sheen got booed off the stage last weekend in Detroit. Largely because he was completely incoherent. Afterwards, of course, he took no responsibility. Chuck Lorre brainwashed the audience and if just a couple of those seeing-eye singles turned into outs it would have been a completely different performance.

Whoever becomes the next American Idol will not sell a third as many downloads as Rebecca Black's “Friday”.

IN TREATMENT might be back for another season on HBO but in a different format. No longer will Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne) be conducting marathon therapy sessions. Without that I’m not sure what the show is. Dr. Weston solves crimes? Dr. Weston becomes the psychiatric advisor for a new Broadway show going up – SHUTTER ISLAND: THE MUSICAL and we get to see a lot of singing and dancing? Dr. Weston replaces Charlie Sheen on TWO AND A HALF MEN?

I’ll be helping out later this month on Phoef Sutton’s CBS pilot. Good luck to all the writer-creators of pilots currently in production. Three years ago a veteran comedy writer (not me, honest) helped out on a pilot, almost single-handedly turning it around – solving the story and providing inspired jokes. The show got picked up to series and the showrunner naturally wanted to hire this veteran writer. The network wouldn’t approve him.

DreamWorks is changing the release date of its animated feature, THE CROODS from March 1, 2013 to March 22, 2013. Damn! I had dinner plans on March 22,2013.

ESPN will be on hand for the Giants’ home opener. They specifically want to show the hoisting of the world championship flag. If I were the Giants I would have my announcer, Jon Miller, do the hoisting. Let ESPN show that. Jon, a spectacular broadcaster, was fired by ESPN after 21 years of service. And, for good measure, they did it the year he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, I'll be up in Seattle for the Mariners' home opener this Friday night.  In honor of the M's beloved announcer Dave Niehaus who passed away last November, I'll be wearing white shoes.  Dave always wore white shoes.  Who the hell sells white shoes?   Is there a Superfly Men's Warehouse in LA anywhere?

Good news! Matthew Weiner has signed to do three more seasons of MAD MEN. That should take them to the early ‘70s when Sally sleeps with weird Glen for killing her mother.

And I'll leave you with this.


MG said...

Apparently, Charlie Sheen needs writers more than he thought he did.

Yossi Mandel said...

"Okay, a group of six from each side has to sell pizzas for twelve hours one day in Times Square. Whoever sells the most gets our aid and Titan missiles."

They already do. The Israelis outsell by far. So Trump is an Israeli lapdog Mossad agent.

But if you pit Palestinian hot dog carts against Israeli pizza/falafel stands...

Sebastian said...

Re: Buy my book


Now shut up already ;-)

Anonymous said...

Ken, ESPN showed Miller in the booth on both the Thursday and Sunday games from Dodger Stadium. It seemed incredibly awkward the first time, though at least it was part of mentioning that there were three Hall Of Fame broadcasters in the house that day including Scully and Jarrin.

dgwPhotography said...

The fact that we didn't ask makes it an even better gift. Thank you.

Regarding Jon Miller, I thought he didn't want to come back, because they fired Joe Morgan.

Stephanie said...

You made my morning with the video.

And yes, Charlie does need Chuck far more than Chuck needs Charlie.

jb said...

When the only thing a losing pitcher can think of to say is "I threw the ball well out there but things just didn't go my way," he really shouldn't say anything at all. (The Cubs once had a high-priced free agent pitcher who said this every five days on his way out of town after one season.)

I'll buy the jersey of the next pitcher who stands up and says "I sucked and you'd have to be blind not to know it."

John said...

I think Miller basically was collateral damage from ESPN finally dumping Joe Morgan from its baseball telecasts, so the network probably wouldn't have a (major) problem with Miller hosting the Giants' celebration.

Charlie Sheen and The Donald share a characteristic in that in modern pop culture, if you're willing to go out and make a total fool of yourself and show absolutely no shame for your actions, a certain segment of the public and X number of media outlets will love you forever, provided you're also willing to up the ante on your foolishness every time. Trump figured that one out about 1978 or so, and it's why someone like Snooki could be in our media lives until we close in on the middle part of the 21st Century.

And Lackey's probably looking ahead to this weekend's series at Fenway against the Yanks, where nine runs in 3 2/3 innings may be considered a stellar performance (especially if Jon is paired against the currently speed-challenged Phil Hughes).

Sean said...

I think the CMA's were first and when they took the show from ABC to CBS, ABC commissioned Dick Clark to create another Country Music award show/showcase. (Sort of similar to the Grammys jumping networks leading to creation of the American Music Awards) It took a few years, but eventually the ACM awards became about equal with the CMAs. (Yes, I spent way too much time doing Country radio.)

Anonymous said...

I love Bridget Fonda. She was great and beautiful. Interesting how she just disappeared from the business.

15-Seconds said...

Contact the Navy in Seattle...if someone can sneak you into the Base Exchange uniform shop they have TONS of white shoes.

Michael said...

The CMA is older and based in Nashville. The ACM is West Coast-oriented and, yes, pretty much a Dick Clark creation, though I think it began before the CMA Awards shifted between networks.

Jean Shepard has been on the Grand Ole Opry for 55 years and is a true pioneer (first woman country singer with a band or concept album, part of the Bakersfield sound associated with Buck Owens and Merle Haggard), and JUST finally got into the CMA's Hall of Fame ... possibly because she once said the letters stood for Country My Ass. Ah, politics.

As to Miller, my impression was that when ESPN decided on a change, he declined an offer to do the radio side--essentially to switch with Shulman. Publicly, he has been nice about it all. Privately, I hope he is just saying to himself, "What a group of morons." He wouldn't say this or necessarily agree, but Morgan should have been gone about 20 years ago. How might Miller have done with a better analyst? I guess we'll never know, though he and Mike Krukow are great on Giants telecasts.

Ken, when I was a kid, Dave Niehaus was the third man (NOT Orson Welles) with Dick Enberg and Don Drysdale on Angels broadcasts. I remember his style being totally different there from Seattle, since in southern California, it has to be a more mellow, less homer-style broadcast. But he was great then and great in Seattle, and I know you and the Pacific Northwest miss him terribly. Here's to white shoes, rye bread, salami, and grandma.

David said...

Fonda has a six-year-old boy, which may help explain her big-screen absence, but I agree, she's missed.

And thanks for the video -- more evidence that good writing matters, dammit.

Charles H. Bryan said...

If Sheen thought that the problem in Detroit was the audience, then I wonder why he didn't do the exact same show for the Chicago crowd?

Phillip B said...

Although Bridget Fonda’s expiration date seemed to have come earlier, I’ve been taken with how the age 46 seems now to be to the breaking point for many show biz careers.

Bridget was born in 1964, making her 47 – but really has not been active for a decade.

However, Charlie Sheen was born in 1965 and is 46. Conan O’Brien was born in 1963 and also got fired at 46 – although he got a better settlement.

Chris Rock (born 1965) recently said the worst thing about Grown Ups was watching The Hangover and realizing that not only was it funnier – everyone in it was 20 years younger than he was. He’s decided the best solution is actually learning to be an actor, and is now on Broadway.

Adam Sandler was born in 1966, and the alarms should be going off shortly….

gottacook said...

Interesting how John's formulation above - "if you're willing to go out and make a total fool of yourself and show absolutely no shame for your actions, a certain segment of the public and X number of media outlets will love you forever, provided you're also willing to up the ante on your foolishness every time" - also applies to the former half-term governor of Alaska. In fact I think Trump must have seen her getting mentioned constantly in the press for such actions and statements, and figured he could do it better (such that now they're both "potential Republican presidential candidates" for the purpose of attracting even more attention; given how weak the other possible candidates are, I can imagine each of them stringing the press along for at least all of 2011...this is one reason for liberal skepticism of the so-called liberal media, of course).

The Jnow said...

My friend was real bummed about that Rockies snow-out in Denver. Had plans for his son's first Rockies game...

Anonymous said...

The answer to the first question is: alphabetical order.

thomas tucker said...

What the heck kind of name is Phoef?

te said...

The Academy of Country Music was founded by a bunch of Southern California people with an interest in country music, who were upset that the Nashville-based Country Music Association paid little or no attention to the flourishing scene (Buck, Merle, etc. etc.) out here.

Essentially, every year they gave awards to each other -- radio stations, clubs (usually the Palomino), sidemen.

Then they wanted to put on a TV show. Dick Clark, always involved in country music (really), tried to get one going, and found out that there was no network interest unless the Nashville acts -- Conway, Loretta, George Jones, whomever -- were in the show.

So the ACM began giving awards to Nashville acts; at which point the border became irrevocably blurred. Well, pretty much nonexistent. Also, the ACMs moved from their long-time home at Knotts Berry Farm to Las Vegas.

Also: fans were allowed to vote in the ACMs; you had to be a country musical professional to vote in the CMAs.

As to why they continue: hell, who wouldn't turn down (a) an opportunity to play on national television, and (b) an award?

As to the initials: I would expect that the ACM took those on in the first place (actually, it was at first the Academy of Country and Western Music) in order to encourage confusion with the better-established and arguably more legit CMAs. And the network is similarly interested in prolonging the confusion.

Not that anybody not directly involved really cares, anyway: it's a show.

benson said...

Ken, please do more of these posts. You are one fine showprep service. (along with Comedy Wire :)


m said...

Re. Black Swan, apparently the same technique was used in "The Social Network" where the Winklevoss Twins were two 'non-twin' actors, with one's face digitally replicated onto the other.
Or someone's lying to me and I fell for it, I dunno.

Mac said...

Re. Black Swan, apparently the same technique was used in "The Social Network" where the Winklevoss Twins were two 'non-twin' actors, with one's face digitally replicated onto the other.
Or someone's lying to me and I fell for it, I dunno.

Mac said...

Excuse the double post, today is not working on so many levels.

B said...

I wondered the same about Bridget Fonda a few months ago. Been almost 9 years since she appeared in anything.

Was wondering the same recently about Helen Hunt, until I saw her in a promo for the movie about the teenager who lost her arm in a shark attack.

Joe said...

Epochs ago I was in front of Bridget Fonda at a certain coffee shop. There was a massive delay as someone placed a polysyllabic order and in the intervening, er, interval I found her to be completely chamrming.

Now you know.

Kyle S said...

Ken- We'd like to get you on Sports to the Max with Mike Max on WCCO radio in Minneapolis to talk about your book, baseball and Cheers with my host Mike Max. I can't find a way to contact you, so can you shoot me an e-mail sometime if you are interested Kyle (dot) shiely ( at ) cbsradio (dot) com


Michael said...

Good luck with the CBS pilot - I heard there may be a opening on their schedule Mondays at 9.

Anonymous said...

Note to Ken: It's Rebecca BLACK who did that horrible song; I only point this out because anyone named Rebecca Lake doesn't deserve to be so wrongly disparaged...

Heidi said...

Wait a minute...a choreographer got Natalie Portman pregnant?

Frank said...

Hey Ken, still snarking on Charlie Sheen?
Wonder why?
You're not Chuck Lorre-so how does he threaten YOU?

Now, you're on to snarking Trump.
Why does he threaten YOU?

What do Sheen and Trump have in common that so threatens YOU?

D. McEwan said...

"Why not remake every Arnold Schwarzenegger movie with Nathan Fillion’s head and performance?

An EXCELLENT suggestion!!! And could you do it to his years as our Governor as well? Richard Castle never line-item-vetoed my dental coverage out of existence.

"Buy my book."

According to Amazon's tracking, my copy of your book is on a plane somewhere between LA and a place called "Hebron, KY." (Is that Kentucky-ish for "Hebe-Run"?)

Sheen's one-man stage debut got his fans, people who arrived wearing T-shirts that said "WINNING!" or "Warlock", or "Fuck Chuck Lorre, the Bastard", to boo him off the stage. He completely antagonized an audience that arrived on his side. That takes talent! It's the one-man show Barry Humphries will do if he ever receives a lobotomy. LOSING!

Rats! March 22 is my late mother's birthday, so I'll be missing THE CROODS opening also. (It's Stephen Sondheim's birthday also) On her deathbed, my Mother made me promise "Never see an animated movie premiere on my birthday!" Of course, on her deathbed, she also thought my name was "Charlie" and that Princess Diana, who was already dead, was the woman in the next bed.

Phillip B, the Hollywood experation dates for actresses is 46. The Hollywood expiration date for actors seems to be closer to 70, and they can still be paired opposite women in their 20s. (See Sir Sean Connery's final decade of film work)

"Heidi said...
Wait a minute...a choreographer got Natalie Portman pregnant?"

It happens. Nancy Sinatra was married for years to Hugh Lambert, the choreographer on Laugh-In>. I spent a year on the Laugh-In set, and saw Lambert at work on the show every week, and how he dressed, including the week Nancy Sinatra guest-starred. When it was announced they were getting married, you could have knocked me over with a tire iron. Is it possible that Nancy is a drag queen? "These Pants are Made for Tucking".

WV: haspate: It literally means either "Possesses a head," or else "Is serving Pâté de Foie Gras"

Johnny Walker said...

Damn. What DID happened to Miss Fonda? Why is has there been no comment from anyone associated with her? So weird.

I found this:
In 2003 Bridget got into a car accident and reportedly injured her back. I don’t know how serious it was and if this is related to the slowdown in her career. But, soon after, she married musician Danny Elfman (of THE SIMPSONS theme). In 2005 they had a child. So, she is now a wife and mom. Her husband says that she still gets sent scripts and she reads them, and if something really grabs her, she might get back into acting again.

Who knows the truth?

l.a.guy said...

Hey don't forget about the ACA's, Fox's contribution to the dearth of country music award shows. (There are actually four shows, you also left out the CMT's) I'm not a huge country fan but I have to say the inaugural ACA show was really good. Very little chatter and a lot of music. (Maybe I'm just burned out on the usual award show crap) Too bad Fox did almost nothing to promote it and nobody watched it.

As a long time Angels fan I am so happy that Boston got Lackey. It couldn't have happened to a better team. Enjoy pissing away millions on Mr. Attitude.

Will Teullive said...

Saw Charlie Sheen in Chicago I laughed, I cried, and I feared for my life. I didn't make the concert I am just talking about the after party

Danielle said...


If you're willing to drive a little bit, I'm sure you'll find a nice pair of white shoes at the Pimps R Us in the Ontario Mills Outlet Mall. You'll find them in between the stack shoes with the goldfish in the heel (fish may or may not be alive) and the display of afro hair pick combs. SOLID!

Matt said...

OMG Ken. Please, please, PLEASE set your DVR right now to record Pregnant in Heels on Bravo. You'd have a field day with this. This couple, for the birth of their third child, are forming a focus group to choose the name, because "we are big into personal branding." OMG. Please.

xjill said...

As someone who used to live in Denver, that craziness is par for the course.

@ Mac said...

Oh, and Mac, Armie Hammer (one guy) did indeed play both Winkelvii. The "other body" was Josh Pence. In fact, Pence and Hammer are both on the commentary track. It's pretty interesting.

Unlike Black Swan this was a very well known thing and in fact Hammer's amazing acting skills at playing both guys sometimes mentally opposite himself is one of the reasons he was given such praise for the film.

Here's an interesting article:

jbryant said...

It truly is a shame that Bridget Fonda married and made a baby with Danny Elfman, when she could have done the same thing with me.

Pat Reeder said...

From my days in country radio, I seem to vaguely recall that one of those country awards shows was invented because the older one was honoring pop-country acts that the fans didn't consider to be real country music performers (anyone recall Charlie Rich reading out the name of John Denver as best male country singer on some awards show, and then drunkenly setting the card on fire with his cigarette lighter? One of TV's greatest moments.)

Now, of course, they all claim to be real country awards shows and give all their trophies to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. Or as we Texas country music fans call that, "crap."

jbryant said...

Since Charlie Rich was on pain meds and booze when he lit that card on fire, there's always been some confusion about what kind of statement he may have been trying to make. He was no country music purist (before his big 70s success, his recorded output encompassed rock 'n' roll, R&B and jazz, and even his country hits tended to be more "countrypolitan" than twang), so it would've been weirdly hypocritical if he were trying to suggest Denver lacked sufficient country cred.

Pete Grossman said...

Haven't you heard? Everything's supposed to wrap up in 2012, what are those Dreamworkers thinking?