Tuesday, November 10, 2020


In no order of importance, here are some random thoughts:  

I wish I knew who, but someone from North of the Border compared Canada to the USA.  He said, “Living in Canada is like having an apartment over a meth lab.”  

I never watch movies set in arctic conditions.  I so hate cold weather that even watching others brave brutal sub-zero conditions is uncomfortable for me.  Are there genres you can’t watch for the same reason?   Meanwhile, it was warmer yesterday in Minneapolis than Los Angeles. 

I really miss restaurants.  But not enough.

Months ago there was absolute hysteria over COVID and now people won’t even wear masks.  

So now Trump's Chief of Staff and the advisor overseeing his campaign legal challenges have both contracted the coronavirus.  If Alanis Morissette is reading, that is ironic.

I have a lot of leftover Halloween candy this year.  No, it won’t go to waste.  

Thanksgiving won’t be the same this year without 20,000 college students stranded at O’Hare for two days.  

A lawsuit without provable facts showing a statutory or constitutional violation is just a tweet with a filing fee.” —Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.  

And to that end comes this commentary from Keith Olbermann.  I couldn't have said it any better or more curmudgeonly myself. 

If they keep moving movie release dates back, pretty soon they’re all going to become period pieces.  

When do you think Melania's going to file for divorce?  January 20 or 21st? 

Gee, the NBC pandemic sitcom didn’t fly.  Who the hell wants pandemic entertainment?  Earlier this year networks feverishly snapped up a bunch of pitches for pandemic projects.  I can imagine a meeting taking place now.  “Well, we miscalculated with pandemic pilots.  Let’s turn our attention to something the public really wants to see.  How about “losing health insurance” sitcoms?  Buy seven of ‘em.”  

It’s idiotic for MLB to give Cy Young Awards to pitchers who started like ten games.  

By the way, the World Series is not settled.  Tampa Bay is demanding a recount on Game 7.

I’m not usually star struck but one day in the Paramount commissary Sean Connery walked in.  My jaw hit the ground.   My favorite Sean Connery quote:  "I was the first actor to play James Bond.  I was also the last actor to play James Bond."

Another day in the commissary I was lunching with young writers and Tony Curtis came in.  None of them knew who he was.  And this was twenty years ago.  (Note:  Google him.  He was a big movie star.)

Why do actors get tattoos?  Won’t that limit the parts they can play?  Imagine in GONE WITH THE WIND having to explain why Scarlett O’Hara has a python on her arm. 


Daniel said...

"I never watch movies set in arctic conditions. I so hate cold weather that even watching others brave brutal sub-zero conditions is uncomfortable for me. Are there genres you can’t watch for the same reason? Meanwhile, it was warmer yesterday in Minneapolis than Los Angeles."

For me, it's movies set in the desert. I don't like hot weather, and I have a visceral reaction against desert settings.

Aaron said...

And most make-up does a bad job covering tattoos.

VP81955 said...

I was born and raised in Syracuse, where you learn to like cold weather (or at least tolerate it when things occasionally get brutal), so I'm guessing Ken rarely took part in any Syracuse Chiefs' off-season functions. (Upstate New York is beautiful in summertime, however.)

And regarding TV series and Covid-19, in a recent interview with USA Today, sitcom king Chuck Lorre explains why none of his three present-day series ("Mom," "Bob [Hearts] Abishola" and the new "B Positive") are not doing coronavirus-related episodes, even though the first two have nurses as characters (Wendy on "Mom" and Abishola) and the third's primary theme is a kidney transplant. Lorre also discusses working under these unusual conditions: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2020/11/04/chuck-lorre-adjusts-taping-mom-young-sheldon-during-pandemic/6015337002/

Troy McClure said...

"Are there genres you can’t watch for the same reason?"

Not a genre so much but ever since James Woods revealed himself through his tweets to be a racist, hate filled, ultra right wing, conspiracy theory believing, Trump loving piece of shit, I can no longer watch anything he's in.

"If they keep moving movie release dates back, pretty soon they’re all going to become period pieces."

LOL. Luckily, Wonder Woman 1984, with the heavenly Gal Gadot, is set in 1984 anyway. Though I can imagine lots of rednecks seeing the title and wondering out loud if they need to have seen the other 1,983 Wonder Woman movies.

"I was also the last actor to play James Bond."

Funny but harsh. Timothy Dalton is a Shakespearean actor and I think he was fantastic as Bond.

"Another day in the commissary I was lunching with young writers and Tony Curtis came in. None of them knew who he was."

There's a whole generation who only know Robert Redford as the old bad guy in a Captain America sequel.

Dave Wrighteous said...

I was always turned off by medical shows, MASH excluded of course. Who wants to spend an hour watching sick and dying people? That said, after never watching a full episode of any of them in my life, House, M.D. hooked me. What can I say, I'm a sucker for a curmudgeonly bastard and Hugh Laurie was incredible.

Ben Scripps said...

"By the way, the World Series is not settled. Tampa Bay is demanding a recount on Game 7."

If the Phillies end up winning, maybe I'll start believing the president's claims.

Arlen Peters said...

Ken, once worked on a film called WRONG IS RIGHT, which starred Sean Connery. I had to go to NY for a junket on the film and interview all the cast and director-writer Richard Brooks, and also Sean.
So I'm in a screening room at Warner Bros. and the projectionist comes out and says he was just waiting for one more (since I was sitting there alone!)... no problem. And a few minutes go by and in walks ... Sean Connery! Who proceeds to apologize for being late, then extends his hand and says "Sean", as if I don't know who he is!
We proceed to watch the film (just the 2 of us) which was pretty good ... tell him we'll talk in NY at the junket, and off I went. The junket and interview in NY was another story!
By the way, I interviewed Tony Curtis many years ago for CBS Radio. Lots of good stories and a great character! Always amazed how younger people don't know the "legends" ... once was a guest speaker at a film writing class at UCLA ... and when I mentioned the name Billy Wilder ... crickets! Blew me away.

LinGin said...

Dave Wrighteous - I never wanted anything more than an epic Gregory House rant about covidiots. I hoped they would get the cast together the way THE WEST WING, HAPPY DAYS, et al did and House could let loose for one last glorious time.

Jeff said...

It's typical selfishness and narcissism of actors that they get hideous, gigantic tattoos knowing it's going to be a headache for some poor people to have to cover up in order to make their movie.

Jen said...

The Canada quote was Robin Williams. "You are a big country. You are the kindest country in the world. You are like a really nice apartment above a meth lab."

Alan Christensen said...

The face tattoo is why you don't see Mike Tyson in more movies.

Oliver said...

Watched some THE CONNERS recently, and they handle the pandemic pretty well.

Cowboy Surfer said...

Not really a genre but come at me with opera music in a scene or a commercial and I'm gone.

marka said...

This is actually a serious Friday question, Ken.

When stars come into the commissary do they have to wait in line? If not, how do they cut the line? And, what level of star is able to get away with that.

Maybe "star treatment" could be a full post!!

Joseph Scarbrough said...

I love cold weather, I am so longing for it right now, it's not even funny; as we deal with what we call Indian Summer down here, we just broke a record high of 81 degrees yesterday, and are doing it again today, even though it's November - this is like twenty degrees above average for us right now. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of warm weather. I'm sick of having to wear shorts during the day. I'm sick of having to take longer showers because I get hotter and sweatier during the day. I miss the chilly breezes. I miss my long pants and sweaters. I miss wearing my jammies to bed. I just miss fall.

Andrew said...

My favorite guilty pleasure TV show is Ice Road Truckers. You should check it out sometime.

@Cowboy Surfer,
Really? Even the opera scene in Philadelphia? The Shawshank Redemption? AMADEUS?!

I loved learning that John Mahoney was an opera buff, and actually helped Kelsey and David understand the genre (contrary to their characters).

Viscount Manzeppi said...

Technically, Peter Lorre (!) was the first actor to play James Bond, in a live TV production back in the 1950s.

benson said...

I'm having a fun time visualizing Peter Lorre, in his voice, saying "Bond. James Bond."

BTW, we Michiganders are awaiting the arrival of a powerful cold front, ending a week of 75 degree weather..the gusty winds are still less than half what the Edmund Fitzgerald endured 45 years ago today.

Sue T. said...

@Viscount Manzeppi

Barry Nelson played American-accented special agent "Jimmy" Bond in the 1950s TV adaptation of "Casino Royale." Lorre role played the creepy gambler villain Le Chissre.

Craig Gustafson said...

Peter Lorre played LeChiffre, the villain. Barry Nelson played "Jimmy" Bond, American agent. "Casino Royale."

E. Yarber said...

Peter Lorre didn't play James Bond in the 1954 CLIMAX episode, but Le Chiffe. He was top-billed because he was the biggest star in the cast. Barry Nelson played an American James Bond with a British Felix Leiter. The episode can be found as an extra on the CASINO ROYALE (1967) DVD. Fleming was interested in turning Bond into a TV series before the movies became a possibility, and some of the stories in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY were adapted from story ideas intended for that show. Nelson later played the hotel manager in THE SHINING.

I accidentally spoke to Sean Connery when an industry friend told me he needed an assistant. Never expected him to answer the phone himself, but the minute I heard his brusque "Yes?" I knew who it was. I managed to ask about the job and got a prompt, "The POSITION has been FILLED," at which he hung up. Discerning readers can probably think of six Bond-euphamisms that could fit.

thomas tucker said...

No, Barry Nelson played Bond in that TV production. Lorre played Le Chiffre.

Buttermilk Sky said...

When did you meet Sir Sean? Was it during the Roger Moore era? Because then I see his point.

With me it's confined spaces -- tunnels, disabled elevators, submarines -- I had to turn off a CSI episode about one of the team buried alive. (The baddie had thoughtfully placed a camera in the "grave." I assume he survived.) Also, I don't find torture entertaining, so I never watch CRIMINAL MINDS.

Bernie Schwartz said...

Just happened to watch a Tony Curtis flick over the weekend, one my favorite "war" pictures: Operation Petticoat. Cary Grant had a part in it, too. And who would've guessed that Seaman Hunkle would become the captain of the Love Boat?

Since it's almost Veterans Day, Curtis served in the Navy in WWII and was supposedly aboard a submarine in Tokyo Bay in Sept. 1945 and could see the surrender ceremony taking place aboard the Missouri.

Andrew said...

@Buttermilk Sky,
Whatever you do, don't Google "Nutty Putty Cave."

I'm Outraged! said...

Roger Moore studied acting at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, he was a better actor than Connery, when he wasn't hamming it up.

Cap'n Bob said...

It's not a genre, but I can't stand watching childbirth scenes in a movie or TV show.

Mike Bloodworth said...

Political correctness prevents me from mentioning which genres I won't watch. But I can say this. I'm not too racist to watch things with black people in them, but I am too antisemitic to watch "The Flintstones."
Speaking of "The Flintstones," you saw "Stoney" Curtis?! Cool.

I know several Native Americans that had to quit taking parts because of their tattoos. Some of them were able to switch over to playing bikers. Not much work there either.

I've always thought of Canada as someone in a bully's entourage. Nobody is going to mess with that guy because they have to deal with the bully first.

Once again I disagree with your useage of the word "ironic." When people associated with Trump catch the COVID it's more tragically inevitable. What would be ironic is if Dr. Fauci caught coronavirus despite doing everything right.

I too hate the cold. My fantasy is to be rich enough to have homes in each hemisphere. When it's winter up here go down there and vice versa. Although, soon enough there will be palm trees in Newfoundland, so the point will be moot. Hey! Canada again!


Troy McClure said...

"When people associated with Trump catch the COVID it's more tragically inevitable."

When sociopathic scumbags associated with Trump catch COVID19, it's delicious karma.

Fixed it for you.

David P said...


Inside Canada, we're more likely to quote Newfoundland comic Rick Mercer who looked at a map of Canada and the US and observed:

We're bigger, and we're on top. If this was prison, they would be our bitch.

Philly Cinephile said...

Three Friday Questions

1. I'm currently enjoying the reruns of CHEERS on Decades TV. Something that has really surprised me this time around (I watched the show during its original run) is just how abrasive and unappealing the characters can be. I don't mean this as a criticism -- I think that, from a creative standpoint, the characters are some of the best ever to appear on television -- but it's startling to see how unafraid the writers were to sacrifice warmth and likability in favor of creating a believable fictional universe. (I had also forgotten how adeptly the creative team could transition from comedy to drama.) Did NBC ever try to convince the writers to inject more "warmth" into the series?

2. What was David Hyde Pierce's process when playing Niles? I think his portrayal of Niles might be the greatest work ever done in a sitcom. I'm revisiting the series via Cozi TV (again, I watched it during its original run) and I am so impressed with the depth of his work. He could get huge laughs with both the broadest of physical comedy and the most subtle of reactions, and yet he could also break your heart when portraying his unrequited yearning for Daphne. (I sobbed loudly recently in reaction to his reading of the line, "Cherry bark and almonds.")

3. Will television ever be this good again?

Mike Doran said...

Just noticed something on my shelves.

Two years ago, Vintage Books put out a trade paperback edition of a novel Fletcher Knebel (Seven Days In May) published in 1965.
This novel was Night Of Camp David; it got some notice at the time because the story was so unlikely, so downright preposterous, so fantasticated - well, there was no way anyone could believe it ...

The 2018 paperback had a special cover in front of the regular one; maybe you remember it:


I'd include the jacket copy from the back cover, but that might be laying it on just a bit ...

So, Ken, let's call this a Friday Question:
- Are you familiar with Night Of Camp David - then, now, or ever?
- Since it wasn't made into a movie back then, do you suppose somebody might make it into a movie now?
(OK, that's two questions ...)

Anyway, think about it, OK?

Mark Solomon said...

Just wondering, why would President-Elect Biden even want an invitation to The White House, certainly not before a complete fumigation?

Even then, there’s the issue of lingering Corona Virus.

Mark Solomon

David said...

British people here might be amused to know that Bob Holness was the first British actor to play Bond, in a South African radio version of Moonraker in the fifties.

For non-British readers, Holness is best known for hosting the long-running British version of the quiz show Blockbusters.

LinGin said...

Mike Doran - I was a fan of Fletcher Knebel (his sometimes co-author Charles W. Bailey II) when I was a kid in the '60's and devoured his political thrillers. One of his solo efforts, VANISHED, became either a mini-series or TV movie.

NIGHT OF CAMP DAVID was one of my favorites but I haven't read it in a long time and I assume my paperback is long gone. But from what I remember the president's insanity is much more subtle and pretty much hidden (the title comes from the late night meeting the senatorial protagonist has with the president at Camp David when the senator realizes the president is nuts). I think if Knebel had written the character the way Trump is behaving his editor would have laughed him out of the office.

RMK said...

As someone who works in post production, tattoos on actors are a pain in the butt. What happens now Ken, is they expect post to just paint out their tats from every frame/ every shot where you can see it. A huge time suck.

D McEwan said...

On Falcon Crest, every time Lorenzo Lamas had a shirtless scene, which was most episodes, he had to spend hours in make-up getting make-up slathered all over his multitudinous tattoos, until a few seasons in, someone finally had the brains to give his character, "Lance Cumson" (Talk about a phallic name), an emotional crisis he dealt with by getting all the same tattoos that Lamas actually had, so he could stop making up for every beefcake shot.

One of the earliest pieces of actorly advice I was given while still a kid was "Don't get tattoos; they limit your roles or else are a pain in the ass."

"I was also the last actor to play James Bond."

I do not believe Connery said that. He was a close friend of Roger Moore, and would never gratuitously insult him publicly like that.

"Jen said...
The Canada quote was Robin Williams. "You are a big country. You are the kindest country in the world. You are like a really nice apartment above a meth lab."

Then we can be 90% sure it's not Robin's line. He was a lovely guy and I was very fond of him, but he was also a notorious "borrower" of other comics' lines.

"Anonymous Alan Christensen said...
The face tattoo is why you don't see Mike Tyson in more movies"

Well that, and the fact that he can't act.

Mike Doran said...

Thanx to LinGin for his comments.
I gave Night Of Camp David a quick skim after I posted last night, and I'd ask you all to remember that 1965 was (as they say) A Different Time.
Back then, our Presidents were on Mount Olympus, so to speak; saturation coverage on all media wasn't possible until a few years down the road.
The Presidents of that earlier time were actually able to keep secrets - and as we've learned in the years since, many did so to a fare-thee-well.
Even as astute a novelist as Knebel could scarcely have anticipated a Donald Trump, who would "do it all in Macy's window" as he does.

I suppose that Night Of Camp David, like most political fiction of that period, probably qualifies as a "period piece", like an artifact from another century - which, come to think of it, is exactly what it is!

As Bert Freed said about Baby Jane:
Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy ...

Unknown said...

"I never watch movies set in arctic conditions" - That's why when I lived in Canada, watching the Aloha Bowl was the highlight of Christmas. I could never watch a GreyCup game from Edmonton.

Bradley said...

Firday question: I fell into a YouTube rabbit hole, watching random episodes from one season sitcoms. Among them was an episode of "Pearl" that you directed. It's certainly not a beloved series, but I remember enjoying it at the time. It was a good episode that still made me laugh. Does any one memory from the set while you were there come to mind?

Pamela Jaye said...

I can't watch hostage crises.
It's not movie related it's television, somebody did a comparison of ER and Grey's Anatomy, number of children born number of weddings, main character deaths and I knew them all, okay I just knew the main character death but when it came to hostage crisis, it was four or five to one, and I knew it. There's only one episode of Grey's Anatomy I can't watch because of that. ER has several.

I've also discovered that every romance-based episode on The Wonder Years makes me cringe. Darn it! I really wanted to watch it but I just can't get past those stupid rejections. Can't we just talk about childhood? There's some really good episodes about that.

Pamela Jaye said...

There's a chance that the Facebook internal browser ate both of my comments because it didn't think I was logged in even though I did log in. If that happened I'm going to be really annoyed. If you see them, I really did try. The last one errored out after I hit the login button, saying that I had to log in. next time I won't try to get here from Facebook

Pamela Jaye said...

Short versions, hostage crises, I can't watch them. Teen romantic angst on The Wonder years. And I've only heard garnered head Armstrong speak once. Whatever, voice to text. I'm not correcting it