Saturday, June 08, 2013

Weekend odds and ends...

Fragments of ideas and miscellaneous observations...

Does anyone else think James Taylor looks like Matt Weiner?

The big problem Hollywood has always had with Superman is making him relevant and cool. I don’t think they help their cause by putting him in a fucking Carls Jr. fast food burger commercial.

Went to the Dodgers-Braves game Thursday night. Yasiel Puig, the 20 year-old Dodger sensation from Ricky Ricardo's hometown hit his first grand slam. So many amazing things that night:

1. The kid’s first grand slam.
2. They were already selling his jersey in the gift shop.
3. Paula Abdul lectured the crowd on prostate problems. Maybe she thought she had one.
4. The Dodgers gave out bobbleheads of the Braves radio announcer. (Okay, it was former Dodger pitcher, Don Sutton).

I was hoping Michael Douglas would have been there to tell Dodger fans (and especially Steve Garvey) about the dangers of… you know.

Remind me to call Obama to see if I have any phone messages.

Actual HuffPost Headline:  50 Cent agrees to pee in girl's mouth.   That makes me so proud to be a contributing writer. 

The TV GUIDE channel – TVGN, will begin showing CHEERS this summer. Consult TV Guide to see if (a) TV GUIDE still exists, and (b) what the hell is the TV GUIDE channel? 

Great line from SOPRANOS creator, David Chase: “I was not a super TV watcher since I discovered drinking.”

Great Facebook line from writer Dave Hackel: My DVR is completely filled with episodes of "Hoarders."


R.I.P. Esther Williams at 91. She did all these swimming musicals. Fanny Brice once said: “Wet, she’s a star. Dry, she ain’t.” Those who knew Ms. Williams said she was a sweetheart, wet or dry.

I won’t be reviewing the Tony’s because no one watches the Tony’s. But I’m sure Neil Patrick Harris will be a great host and the first opening number will have a Michael Douglas joke.

Groundling vets/successful writers Robin Schiff & Wendy Goldman are holding another Improv for Writers workshop this summer. Great way to tap into your creativity. Here’s where you go for info.

I saw BODY HEAT again recently. What a sexy, steamy movie. Only thing is – if Kathleen Turner's character was so rich she lived in a big mansion, how come she didn’t spring for air conditioning?

Bill Drake, arguably the most influential man in radio in the '60s and '70s (back when being influential in radio meant something) agreed to a lengthy and totally candid interview with fellow radio genius, Ron Jacobs.   The result is mind blowing (as they said in the '60s and two years of the '70s) and the transcript is now available in ebook form.   Check it out.

TV critics already hate this year’s pilots.

Happy birthday to Sam Simon and my brother Corey. Okay, Sam’s was two days ago. I don’t check Facebook every twelve seconds.

But on a somber note: Sam Simon is very ill. Please join me in passing along prayers and best wishes to this very caring and special man. Just recently he purchased an entire circus so he could set the animals free. How truly remarkable is that?

35 comments:

Sérgio said...

Sam Simon wrote a couple of my favorite Cheers episodes. Feel sad to know that he's not well. I think that he's in many people's hearts. Wish him all the best.

Egmont Scurley said...

I was a teen-ager in the South around the time that BODY HEAT was made, and I can attest that air conditioning, though desperately needed, was relatively rare. Even the places that had it did not have it everywhere--for example, it might be in a doctor's office, but not his waiting room. It was mostly a matter of cost, I suppose; also, the units those days made a tremendous amount of noise, and usually leaked large quantities of water.

So, the oppressive heat that William Hurt is never able to escape in BODY HEAT was generally realistic--though, yes, if anyone in that movie had air conditioning, it should have been Richard Crenna & Kathleen Turner.

Mitchell Hundred said...

I would argue that attempts to make Superman relevant or cool damage the character. His old-fashioned idealism has always been the quality that appeals more to me.

normadesmond said...

jason alexander is more a twin than james.

Johnny Walker said...

I mentioned recently that Simon did a great interview with Marc Maron on WTF (the podcast). Well worth a listen. I hope he's still doing well.

Alex said...

And if it had not been for Esther Williams' autobiography, we might never have known that ultra-macho 1950s star Jeff Chandler was a cross-dresser.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Actually, Melissa Rivers and Steven Tyler are 'twinley.'

Mitchell McLean said...

As someone who was mauled by one of those freed animals, I wish he would've left them in their cages. The lions, anyway.

Just kidding.

Terrence Moss said...

There's a lot to hate about this year's TV pilots.

Max Clarke said...

About "Body Heat," still one of my favorites after a couple of decades:

William Hurt explains why there's no air conditioning when he's at the police station. To hide in plain sight, he leaves the detective's office through the front door, instead of the back door which was offered. He introduces himself to the little girl who was the witness to the oral sex incident between Turner and Hurt. She says something about how hot the town is, and Hurt answers the town is famous for their cooling breezes.

We do see the cooling breezes in one part of the film, though. After Hurt has killed the Richard Crenna character and is leaving the scene to meet with Turner, everywhere they drive is socked in with fog.

A great directing debut by Lawrence Kasdan, by the way. I've read a couple of interviews in which he discusses the problem the studio had letting him direct. Fortunately, George Lucas stepped in and said he'd help if the movie ran into problems. That never happened, but the offer relaxed the executives, and Kasdan got to make his movie.

Primigenius said...

Fixing that HuffPo article: "Half Dollar green-lights oral micturation with fan."

emily said...

Re Sam Simon:

http://www.pokernews.com/news/2013/03/the-simpsons-co-creator-sam-simon-diagnosed-with-terminal-ca-14504.htm

Verna said...

Superman is not cool? I didn't get that memo!

YEKIMI said...

I thought that HuffPost headline about 50 cent was just a typo....thought they meant "pea".

I grew up in the South in the late 50/60s and now that it's mentioned, I really don't recall anyplace having air conditioning, certainly not my elementary school. I do seem to remember that in the late 60s when some grocery stores were remodeling they did add air-conditioning and made a big deal out of it. But, then again, when I could pedal my bike [at a time when you could do that without a fear of being kidnapped] to the Gulf of Mexico or Tampa Bay and take a cool, refreshing swim who needed A/C?

Tudor Queen said...

Happy to add my prayers to those for the talented Mr. Simon.

However, as someone who watches the Tony Awards religiously - and thinks it is one of the best produced and most entertaining award shows ever televised - I do take exception to your claim that 'nobody' watches them. Agree that Harris will be great and will make at least one Michael Douglas joke.

Superman, to me, is cool by virtue of his resolute refusal to be 'cool'. And Henry Cavill is yummy.

Cap'n Bob said...

Exactly how does one free circus animals? You can't just turn them loose in the streets, or the woods for that matter. Are there enough zoos who want them? Private reserves? I'm curious how he did this.

Sean Christie said...

Hey Ken,

In your illustrious career as a writer, have you ever come across and befriended a successful Canadian writer who got work (an agent and staffed on a show) and a work permit (visa)?

Just wondering, because that's been my situation this past year in L.A. on a student visa.

Please let me know,
Thanks,
Sean Christie

John said...

You don't want to watch Cheers on the TV Guide Channel, trust me. It would be as much fun as watching Cheers on CNBC or Bloomberg, with all the stock tickers and data spots up on the screen, except that here, a third of the screen is reserved for the channel lineup information (bad enough for a show in HDTV ratio -- for Cheers, if your set automatically stretches the old 4:3 ration to fit the wider screen and combine that with the bottom of the picture showing what's playing on digital channel 702 right now, everyone on the show will probably look roughly the size of Rhea Perlman's husband (well, except for Rhea -- she should look about the size of Mini Me after a few too many trips to the Golden Corral all-you-can eat buffet).

tb said...

I look like James Taylor! I hear it every day. Looking at that photo is like looking in a mirror! I really need to use it somehow, prank him. Like grab my guitar and just walk backstage. Hell, ONSTAGE. Start singing out of tune...something!

Dixon Steele said...

Speaking of Michael Douglas, I just bought tickets to his new Broadway show...I'LL EAT YOU LAST.

Mac said...

Just when I thought baseball couldn't be any more confusing, it's got Paula Abdul delivering a lecture on prostate cancer? That sounds more like a fever dream than a sporting event.

Best wishes to Sam Simon. His attitude to his diagnosis has been inspirational

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

Friends took the steam out of Body Heat for me. Last time I watched it I couldn't help thinking William Hurt was getting it on with Chandler's dad. NTTAWWT.

Paul Duca said...

There's a two-page ad in the new ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY indicating Superman shaves with Gillette.

MisterBrewster said...

I was recently tasked with writing an episode of Cheers that takes place on 9/11 for a possible writing gig. I've gotten pretty good feedback, considering it's my first script, and thought it couldn't hurt to seek out yours.

Roger Owen Green said...

Guess who had a duet with Esther Williams singing Baby, It's Cold Outside?

XJill said...

Cap 'n Bob, as someone who really dislikes circuses, zoos and the like I'm going to assume he releases the animals from the circus to various sanctuaries and animal reserves. So instead of being kept in a cage, carted about on a tour and made to perform the animals get to live in a somewhat natural habitat.

Here's a bit more about another awesome project of his:http://www.samsimonfoundation.com/

In other news I LOVE THE TONYs. So there, Ken. Kinky Boots FTW.

Rex Barney Miller said...

Minutiae to look-up during a 20-inn. ball game...
History of A/C in S. Florida:
Nonetheless, it was not until 1960 that 60% of homes were using the A/C unit and 84% by 1970. I think the movie maker wanted his cast to be sweating throughout Body Heat, thinking maybe that a lot of sweating added to the drama and intensity of the flick.

In 1964, 1968 & 1974, the Mets played games of 23 inn., 24 inn., and 25 inn. They lost all 3 - at home. Remarkably, the same man was the home plate umpire for all 3 of those games.

The longest game was 26 inn., between Brooklyn and Boston, in 1920. It ended in a 1-1 tie. Both starting pitchers went the distance. Game time was 3 hrs., 50 min. That's about the average game time when the Red Sox and Yankees meet.

Miami won today's marathon, 2-1. Neither team had scored since the 4th inning. Once I'd invested 3 or 4 hrs. watching it, I felt obligated to go the distance. Hats off to the announcers of both teams (I switch back and forth between each team's broadcast) who had to dig deep to keep filling the air with vital information, most of which was very interesting, trivially speaking. Rich Waltz, won't you please come home!

Greg Ehrbar said...

• Body Heat was filmed in Miami, where the humidity makes it hot sometimes even with full air conditioning.

• Ricardo Montalbán sang "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Esther Williams (I did not look it up). The song won the Oscar, so I think Eminem wrote it.

• 1978's "Superman The Movie" was chided a bit for product placement, including a box of Cheerios in an early scene. Since Marlon Brando wasn't eating the cereal on Krypton, few remember it being placed in the film.

Pat Reeder said...

To Cap'n Bob: I second your curiosity on how you free circus animals. We take in homeless and handicapped parrots and other exotic birds. I've occasionally come almost to blows with alleged animal lovers who insist that our birds should be "set free." They were raised by people, have no idea how to take of themselves in the wild, and wouldn't last five minutes, especially the ones with physical infirmities. Real nature is not a Disney movie. As Woody Allen said, "It's one big restaurant out there." Right now, I'm trying to coax a parakeet inside that's living in our back yard, probably set free by someone who got tired of taking care of it. It has no flock for company and protection, is totally unequipped to survive the climate, and its coloring makes it a prime target for cats and hawks. Thanks for giving him his freedom to die a horrible death, animal lover!

To Greg Ehrbar: I am shocked to learn there was a box of Cheerios in "Superman" that Marlon Brando didn't eat. I'll bet a box of Cocoa Puffs wouldn't have been so lucky.

Johnny Walker said...

Emily, thanks for the scoop.

Pat, as XJill already pointed out, Simon knows what he's doing. PETA just named their headquarters after him, and he just bought the Sea Shepherds a boat. When you have as much money as Sam Simon, you probably build rescue centres.

LouOCNY said...


In 1964, 1968 & 1974, the Mets played games of 23 inn., 24 inn., and 25 inn. They lost all 3 - at home. Remarkably, the same man was the home plate umpire for all 3 of those games.

It was no coincidence - that umpire, Ed Sudol, long had a rep for having a HUGE strike zone

The longest game was 26 inn., between Brooklyn and Boston, in 1920. It ended in a 1-1 tie. Both starting pitchers went the distance. Game time was 3 hrs., 50 min. That's about the average game time when the Red Sox and Yankees meet.

Miami won today's marathon, 2-1. Neither team had scored since the 4th inning. Once I'd invested 3 or 4 hrs. watching it, I felt obligated to go the distance. Hats off to the announcers of both teams (I switch back and forth between each team's broadcast) who had to dig deep to keep filling the air with vital information, most of which was very interesting, trivially speaking. Rich Waltz, won't you please come home

Home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez faced a staggering 553 pitches in that game. The Rangers and Blue Jays played a measly 18 innings in Toronto also - and that plate ump, Bruce Dreckman, 'only' faced 525 pitches. So between the two games there wer --- 1088 pitches thrown. As a softball ump, just typing that makes me want to pop an Advil!

Ben Z said...

I'm no Dr. Ruth, but if Steve Garvey had taken a page out of Michael Douglas' book, he could have avoided all those paternity suits.

vp19 said...

In 1964, 1968 & 1974, the Mets played games of 23 inn., 24 inn., and 25 inn. They lost all 3 - at home.

Actually, the '68 game was at the Astrodome -- and Houston won 1-0. It was the longest 1-0 game in history, appropriate for 1968, popularly known as "the year of the pitcher."

chuckcd said...

After my local newspaper stopped carrying a television guide, I decided to subscribe to TV Guide.

I am enjoying it and it has helped me discover a lot of shows that I didn't know existed.

Some decent articles in there too.

Devlin Thompson said...

On the subject of the great Mr. Simon-- have you listened to his WTF episode yet? http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_389_-_sam_simon