Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Misc. Takes

And now for some random thoughts:

I’m starting with a Natalie Wood photo since I haven’t posted one in a long time, and I particularly like this one.

Way more people watched the NFL Draft than the Oscars.  What does that tell ya? 

Bill Gates' wife filed for divorce.  I wonder if she had a chip implanted in his head and found out something. 

There’s a great article in THE NEW YORKER magazine profiling SIMPSONS’ writer, John Swartzwelder.  He rarely gives interviews so this is a treat.  I don’t know him that well, met him a few times when David Isaacs and I were writing for THE SIMPSONS, but he’s a good guy and one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet.   Check out the article.

Now that baseball stadiums can only be 20% filled, I hear it’s a GREAT time to go to a ballgame.  No crowds, easy in and out parking, no long lines at the concession stands.  Swear at a player and he might actually hear you.

If only the games themselves were better.  Again this year a ridiculous amount of strike outs and home runs.  

When ESPN does a stat cast game, tune in.  Jason Benetti (the next Vin Scully) calls a great game.  And you’re not bludgeoned with stats.  Just enough to enhance the game.  From time to time they slip in a stat cast game on ESPN2 when ESPN has the regular Sunday Night Baseball Game.  Watch the stat cast version.  Oh, and it means no A-Rod.  

Netflix recommendation:  BORGEN.   A political show out of Denmark that is wonderful.  

Goofy recommendation:  (I believe it’s on the YouTube Channel) THE TASKMASTER.   It’s a combination reality competition/comedy show out of the UK.  And it’s so refreshing to hear biting, funny, sarcastic lines without regard to being PC.  

Get both shots.  NOW.   

New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo (he is still governor, right?) said Broadway could reopen May 19th, although it’s more likely they’ll reopen in September.  However, Nevada brothels are reopening now.

And while you’re waiting, two of my Zoom play readings are still available.  I’m very proud of both of them.

AMERICA’S SEXIEST COUPLE —a romantic comedy starring Joely Fisher & Tim Daly.  Here’s where you can watch it.  

And OUR TIME about four young people trying to break into comedy in LA in 1975 starring Eddie Kaye Thomas, Jonah Platt, Laura Schein, and Noah Weisberg.   You can find it here.

Is Liz Cheney the only Republican who hasn’t lost their mind?

Thanks to all my podcast listeners!  I love you guys!  My episode this week centers on things I hate that the rest of the world loves, and I asked if you had any?  I received enough responses that my next episode is your responses.  It’s nice to know there are people out there.  

There will be another LAW & ORDER spin-off.  Between L&O, NCIS, and Chicago-whatever, they must account for 70% of primetime network programming.  Oh, and a CSI sequel is also on tap.  HBO should do that.  SOPRANOS: KANSAS.


Joe said...

Great call on Taskmaster! So easy to go down a rabbit hole. And so stupid, it's smart. Just stay away from the American remake!

Rob Greenberg said...

Would love to hear your thoughts about this: https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-lists/best-tv-sitcoms-1162237/.

Anonymous said...

Is Liz Cheney the only Republican who hasn’t lost their mind?

Is "their"correct in that sentence? The "only Republican" implies one, which would mean "his or her" but this is admittedly cumbersome. Heaven forbid you only use "his" as a collective.
The new grammar rules suggest that it is OK to use "their" as a singular, but it still doesn't sit well.

Mike Barer said...

Anonymous may want to check this post https://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2020/04/before-you-call-out-grammar-police.html

Rays profile said...

Me, I'm waiting for HBO to do "Game of Thrones: Cleveland."

RF Burns said...

"Sopranos: Kansas"...wasn't that more or less the plot of the most recent "Fargo"?

Glenn said...

Regarding the Gates divorce, to paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld..."Will the new trophy wife be from the 'spokesmodel' category?"

Buttermilk Sky said...

Seven inning doubleheaders, free runner on second base to start extra innings...are you sure baseball still exists?

Ere I Saw Elba said...

If Bill Gates's wife is suing for divorce from one of the richest men the world has ever known, is it safe to say that she has a chip on her shoulder? Or a COVID microchip implanted in her shoulder?

Anonymous said...

@Mike Barer
Hey, back off.
No one was calling the grammar police.
We are trying to find out when the grammar police write a ticket.

BD Johnson said...

Mitt Romney?

Michael said...

Actually, Sopranos: Kansas wouldn't be a bad idea. Put them in witness protection. In Las Vegas, we had an Italian hit man from Chicago sent into it, and they sent him to Arkansas. He left witness protection. He said he was in more danger there than on the streets.

BD Johnson mentioned Mitt Rmoney. When Mittens stops voting with members of the republic party on everything Biden is trying to do, I'll think he isn't as bad as the rest.

Anonymous said...

Speaking about losing their minds, California is giving 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat felons, the opportunity to leave prison earlier. At least 20,000 of these felons had been given life sentences.

Rory W. said...

Swartzwelder seems like a kindred spirit, in one way at least:

It seems that writers for “The Simpsons” were left alone to do what they wanted. There was much more freedom than on other shows. Did you find this to be true?

Yes. Thanks to the deal [executive producer] Jim Brooks had, Fox executives couldn’t meddle in “The Simpsons” in any way, though we did get censor notes. The executives weren’t sent advance copies of the scripts, and they couldn’t attend read-throughs, even though they very much wanted to. All we had to do was please ourselves.

This is a very dangerous way to run a television show, leaving the artists in charge of the art, but it worked out all right in the end. It rained money on the Fox lot for thirty years. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.

gottacook said...

The Liz Cheney thing is a conundrum. If you make it grammatically correct by writing "the only Republican who hasn’t lost her mind," you imply that all Republicans are female. You could rewrite as "one of the only Republicans who haven't lost their minds," but that changes the meaning.

This reminds me of something I happened to hear once on C-SPAN Radio: Mitt Romney's wife was giving a speech during one of his failed runs for the Republican nomination, in Iowa right before the caucuses, and she ran smack into this problem in the middle of an extemporized sentence: "The heart of the people of Iowa...are good." There were no better alternatives; how do you finish a sentence like that once you've started it?

Matt said...

Way more people also watched the Kentucky Derby than the Oscars.

Friday Question: How long do you think the networks will continue to air award shows in their current state? Could you see them moving it to on-line productions or simply slimmed-down, 1 hour quick recaps of all the awards? Or do you think it will always be this big production, regardless of how few people are actually watching?

Andrew said...

I wouldn't wish a divorce on anyone, and I hope the best for both of them.

Having said that, some of the online comments are very funny.

"Error: Your marriage ran into a problem that it couldn't handle, and needs to be shut down."

"Did they try unplugging their marriage, and plugging it back in?"

"I'm sure the bugs will be fixed in the next upgrade."

"Now he can Excel, once his Outlook improves. She no longer needs Access. But don't take my Word for it."

"Error404: maritallove.exe not found."

"Hi. I'm Clippy. I see you are writing a division of assets, and service of process."

"This is what happens when you work in the Office365 days a year."

"When God closes a gate, He opens a window."

Douglas Trapasso said...

"The heart of the people of Iowa . . . . beats about eighty times a minute"

Not that I could have come up with that on the spot.

And here's your weekly PSA: DEFUND THE GRAMMAR POLICE!

David Simpson said...

One good thing about Taskmaster is, if you like it, there's lots of it, around ninety episodes.

Philly Cinephile said...

Always happy to see a Natalie Wood photo. I'm currently revisiting her films...

Kabe said...

Taskmaster's humor has nothing to do with (not) being PC. It's just sarcastic brit wit. I've seen all but one seasons, and I'd be hard pressed to name a truly non PC moment. When people start throwing "PC" around like that, they sound positively Trumpian
In a similar vein of humour, I recommend "Would I Lie to You?"

sanford said...

I read the New Yorker article. Really great. My sons do a Simpson's Podcast. https://www.facebook.com/thesimpsonsdidit/ One of them knows an artist and did the cover photo. The sometimes have a guest on. One was an actress (not well known to me) heard of their podcast and wanted to be on. I guess my kids must watch the credits as one of them knew who the writer was. They were teenagers 20 years ago.

As for attendance at baseball games. Maybe some one is doing 20 per cent but I doubt most are. I think they are fudging on how many fans they are letting in. Check out the game cast on the ESPN ap. They give the attendance. (based on ticket sales of course) And what the capacity of the stadium is and what the actual per centage is. We went to see them play the Dodgers this weekend. The per centage was 29 per cent of capacity. Even opening day was 28 per cent. I am pretty sure it was supposed to be 25 per cent of capacity. No one seemed to be enforcing the mask policy either. I was not too upset about that as every one as was sitting at more than social distance. Every other row was empty. I did wear a mask with I went to the bathroom or up to the concession stand.

Liggie said...

Until English comes up with a third person neutral pronoun, like one of the Nordic languages has, "their" is a sufficient compromise. Quicker than "his or her", which by the way is a term that drives grammarians nuts.

Anonymous said...

Mr Levine “Bill Gates' wife filed for divorce. I wonder if she had a chip implanted in his head and found out something.”

No need for a head implant
She already suspected what he was thinking...
the implant would have gone elsewhere,
to find out whom he’d been thinking

Anonymous said...

When in doubt, rewrite:

Are there any Republicans left besides Liz Cheney who haven't lost their minds?

Fred C said...

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times ... bill ... buddy .... pal ... take the viagra!! It'll save your life!

Anonymous said...

With the pitchers getting so much better than the hitters, baseball has turned into a game of absolutes: either strikeouts (up 33% since 2007) or home runs. 25% of at-bats end without involving the non-battery part of the defense. There is talk of moving the pitcher back 1 foot to bring back some balance. Any thoughts?


Saburo said...

Move. The. Mound. Back.

Matt said...

In the early 90s the Crips got chased out of LA and many came to OKC. I think a show about a gang coming to a smaller gun infested city could be compelling.

Alina jones said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Roger Owen Green said...

"their mind", so much better than "his or her mind"
I hate the runner on second in extra innings. Way worse than the DH. (What say you?)

Jim UK said...

Did you meet Bill Gates on the Frasier set? Is there an interesting story behind how he came to guest star?

scottmc said...

I watched OUR TIME and AMERICA'S SEXIEST COUPLE earlier this week. Both were wonderful. The casting in both was perfect. I was unfamiliar with any of the OUR TIME cast, which I think helped the play. Casting recognizable actors in the parts might have worked against it.
Joely Fisher and Tim Daly brought so much to their roles in AMERICA'S SEXIEST COUPLE that familiarity was an asset. One of the characters mentioned LOVE LETTERS and the play reminded me, in a good way, of that A.R.Gurney play. Of all the plays that you have posted this might be my favorite.
The entire cast of OUR TIME was so good that I felt badly for Bobby at the end. Yes, he was a poster child for bad behavior but he reminded me a little bit of Louie from TAXI. (There was an episode where Louie tells Alex what 'super power' -or talent- everyone else in the garage has. Alex then asks Louie what Louie's super power is. Louie says that his power is the ability to know what everyone else's super power was.) 'Bobby' is able to offer critical life-altering advice to at least two of the other characters. He exhibited an empathy that was great to watch and hear.