Hooray for Captain Spaulding

Sunday, September 29, 2002

The Batcycle is for sale.

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As promised here, I've sampled Pollo Camperno, the Guatamelan fried chicken chain making a go of it in the US. I hereby declare it delicious. The chicken (Tradicional style) is nicely spiced and the chicken itself is crunchy and not-at-all greasy.

The menu itself is in Spanish but not too hard to figure out since the workings of a fast-food place are somewhat universal. Some of the workers only spoke pidgen English which is also not a problem unless you're a pain-in-the-ass like I was trying to order both a roll and tortillas when the meal comes with one or the other.

A mural on the world told the history of Pollo Campero but I was unable to read it. It also showed the evolution of the wacky Pollito Campero character. Interestingly, the side order of the plate of food he is carrying evolves from an unidentifiable blob to steak fries to French-fried potatoes. No sign of the Camperonix.

While the chicken is good, it's not worth a trip to downtown and potentially waiting in line for it. Is the chicken significantly different from anything you can get in the US? Yes. I don't find it unreasonable for folks to take a mess of it home when visiting Latin America. Hell, my family, when we made our regular trips to NY, used to take home bagels and Entemann's (back when Entemann's was a tri-state-only product). If it was possible to pack for a flight home NY-style pizza, we would have brought home one or two, I'm sure.

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I saw Barbershop yesterday; I suppose I have Reverands Jackson and Sharpton to thank for that. It was a good movie. A few points
  1. The film itself is an African-American It's a Wonderful Life with a consummate dreamer realizing the value of what he has.
  2. The film was written, directed and starred African-Americans. It made good box office and, judging from the theater where I saw it, was embraced by all races. Maybe the good reverands shouldn't be trying to convince studios that African-American movies are more trouble than they're worth.
  3. The character of Eddie is a clown and a blowhard. When he says that Parks wasn't the first black to not get up from the bus, he claims that he sat in the front of a bus and all he got was a day in jail. Before that scene, Eddie bragged about giving Walter Peyton a haircut after a bigtime play and his only proof was a picture of a guy completetly covered by a newspaper he was reading. Clearly, Eddie's boasts aren't to be taken seriously.
  4. The papers say that everyone else in the scene disagreed with Eddie. This description doesn't do that scene justice. An elderly gentlemen, whose only role was to play checkers, be apart of the atmosphere, and occassionally mumble "You right, Eddie", stood up and shouted at Eddie for his disrespect.
  5. The latter scene where Eddie rants about King's philandering was part of a larger epilogue showing things back to normal at the shop. Someone mentions King and the protagonist says "Don't mention Martin Luther King in front of Eddie" Eddie starts ranting and the protagonist walks away, rolling his eyes.
  6. Malcolm X, a movie Sharpton was in, made a similar joke about King's philandering.

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Thursday, September 26, 2002

You may have heard gossip reports like this one about Internet fans protesting a leaked script of Superman because Jimmy Olsen was made gay. That's just the tip of the iceberg, a minor symptom of the sickness that is this script. The gory details here.

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Something bothered me about this news story where Daschle condemns Bush for saying he's soft on security. Slate's Timothy Noah made me realize what: Bush's spin that he was talking about his Homeland Security reorganization is worse than if he had been talking about Iraq.

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Monday, September 23, 2002

Behind-the-scenes of the Emmy accounting joke.

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Do you like wacky, inappropriate captions to pictures? Neither do I. Nonetheless here's a link to a guy who did Krazy, Kooky Captions to those "With You Always" Jesus pictures I posted a link to earlier? Check them out before somebody enforces his copyright.

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Sunday, September 22, 2002

WHAT THE HELL DEPT: So I'm watching today's rerun of Burns and Allen. The plot is that a suicide note was found by Burns's dry cleaner in his suit pocket. Harry Von Zell says "What would make George want to kill himself? Hey, you don't suppose he's been watching that I Love Lucy show?"

Huh? What the hell does that mean?

UPDATE: Reader Tom Curl maybe has an answer:
Perhaps it was thought that the idea of another television show featuring a
ditzy woman might somehow sound the death knell of his own show?
I Love Lucy is also about a show-biz family so that makes some degree of sense. I'm looking at this with the benefit of several seasons of Lucy with its more slapstick-bent than Burns & Allen. But I could see where maybe at its debut, it would be thought to be similar.

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"Billionaire Bill" Sherman lists the many potential problems of John Doe, the show about an amnesiac who knows everything but his own identity. A problem he doesn't list occurs in a scene where various folk ask Doe questions in an attempt to stump him. He answers "Willie" to the question "What is Gilligan's first name?" The correct answer is that Gilligan has no other name. Mr. "Knows-Everything-but-His-Own-Identity" has fallen for an urban legend.

Although perhaps that is a clue to his identity. If next week, he repeats the microwave poodle story, I think it'll prove to be significant.

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I enjoyed Firefly, Joss Whedon's new show, very much. I had feared trouble upon hearing that Fox had shelved the original pilot. But pilots tend to be tricky, especially for sci-fi shows (Star Trek spin-offs have the advantage of not having to explain "it's the 24th century; the pointy-eared guys are Vulcans, etc."). Better to just see the characters in action and let things unfold naturally, with maybe a little omniscient narration at the beginning. The show itself is reminiscent of the "Wagon Train to the stars" description that was used to pitch Star Trek but more so as the ships and the planets are dirty and slightly unpleasant. And it pokes fun at a cliched villain origin. Also Ben Edlund, creator of the Tick, is a producer.

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An obituary(login:cptspaulding/cptspaulding) for Necdet Kent, a Turkish diplomat who helped saved numerous Jews while posted in Nazi-occupied France.

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TV's Chris Marcil, in response to my tale of MTV and the Super Adventure Team, emails an interesting story of another interaction between MTV and the Thunderbirds:
When my writing partner Sam Johnson and I worked at MTV in 1995, we wrote and coproduced a short pilot actually using old Thunderbirds episodes but with new dialogue so that they were all futuristic fashion designers: "In the future, the leaders of fashion are the guardians of world peace," was our opening.
MTV was, when approving the pilot, under the impression it had the rights to the Thunderbirds. When about to commit to the show, MTV found either they didn't have those rights or that they didn't have the rights to wipe the audio as the show called for.

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Saturday, September 21, 2002

Max Power writes about how Pollo Camperno, a Guatemalen fried chicken chain, is finding success in the US, especially with homesick immigrants who were flying the stuff in. I mention this article because in response to his question about is it that different from American fried chicken, I offered to visit the downtown LA chain (that this reviewer liked). I will post a review next week (Don't expect anything more sophisticated though than "Man, that's tasty" or "Ehhh...")

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Thursday, September 19, 2002

Comedy Central picked up an animated show based on the life of Robert Evans (story here).

You gotta figure this show will need writers. Right? Who has his voice down better than me? Here's proof. Here's more proof.

I dunno. Write your congressman.

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"Marvelous Max" Power sends this link of Bob Odenkirk online answering your questions at 2 PM EST today.

UPDATE: Like "Jolly Jim" Treacher, Bob and David are also none too fond of "Run, Ronnie, Run" (and their website confirms this). There's a book on sale at the tour. And supposedly a lot of new material.

Also Bob Odenkirk digs Bob and Ray.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2002

FUN SITKA FACTS: Judging from this page, Harry Von Zell had at least a four-to-five-year career starring in Columbia short films.
Sitka was in The Blackboard Jungle and Pulp Fiction (see this page). The Pulp Fiction appearance was that the drug dealer was watching Sitka say "Hold hands, you lovebirds." when Travolta calls with an overdosed Uma Thurman (See the script here and search for "Hold hands"). His role on The Blackboard Jungle is "uncredited".

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MORE ON THE FOURTH STOOGE: As you recollect (if not look at this entry), the question of whether Emil Sitka was the Fourth Stooge partly rested on whether Sitka appeared in either film that both Curly and Shemp appeared in. Here's the results of my research.
  1. "Billionaire Bill" Sherman wrote asking why I only described the gag from "Hold that Lion".
  2. My recollection is that there were two films, both of which used the same gag.
  3. Moe Howard, in his book, lists "Hold that Lion" as the only film "in which all us three Hurwitz brothers appeared."
  4. imdb.com lists Curly as appearing in "Booty and the Beast". On the other hand, imdb.com is not 100% reliable. Especially since Curly died in 1952.
  5. This page confirms the existence of two films. Not only was I right that they used the same joke, but they also used the same footage.
  6. Sitka was indeed in "Hold That Lion" as this page states and imdb.com confirms as does Sitka's own site.
So what conclusion do we draw from this? I would say this: Sitka was just starting his career with the Stooges when "Hold that Lion" was released as we can see from his filmography page. So he hadn't quite qualified then as the Fourth Stooge. But arguably his work with the Stooges subsequently more than qualified him as a Fourth Stooge by the standards I already gave (Only three Stooges appear in a film at a time and Emil appears with them; hence Fourth Stooge).

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Tuesday, September 17, 2002

FOURTH STOOGE CONTROVERY: Emil Sitka's website labels him as the Fourth Stooge (I discuss his career here). Monkeyboy (who sent us that link to the Spanish Stooge site) wants to know how that can be if Shemp is the fourth Stooge.

While there have been six Stooges, only three at a time appear in a particular film (with an exception to be noted in a minute). So since Emil appears frequently with three Stooges, he is arguably the fourth Stooge.

Now the exception to only-three-Stooges-per-film is that there are two Shemp films where Curly makes a quick guest appearance (The Stooges see a guy asleep with his hat covering his face; they lift the hat and Curly does his patented Curly snore). The key question is: was Emil Sitka in those films? I will endeavor to find out because I care about you, the loyal reader.

UPDATE: In fact, I give the answer here.

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Monday, September 16, 2002

Today was the 100th anniversary of the first double play of Tinkers to Evers to Chance. Article here (with the poem that made them famous).

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Speaking of the Stooges, here's a link to a Spanish fan-site for Los Tres Chiflados.

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An LA Times article(cptspaulding/cptspaulding) about how Emil Sitka's kid is preserving his legacy. Emil Sitka was a frequently-used straight man of the Three Stooges. He also was, at one point, going to replace Larry (publicity photo).

Here's how to join the fan club. According to the article, a benefit when Sitka was alive was that he'd show up at your wedding and shout "Hold hands, you love birds."

UPDATE: Perusing the article a little more carefully, I notice that an Emil Sitka book is in the works. And yes, I do want a copy if it comes out near Chanukah or my birthday.

UPDATE 2: Is Emil Sitka the Fourth Stooge? I say more on this important controversy here.

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Sunday, September 15, 2002

Last Friday, I went to the Other Network, a show which shows failed pilots and has the creators talk about the show's creation.

The first show was episode six of the Super Adventure Team which, although broadcast, qualified snce MTV buried the show. The show is a funny parody of Thunderbirds. Co-creators Dana Gould and Robert Cohen told of pitching the show as a goof and getting it picked up. They also told of getting very talented people like Adam West and Mike Meyers to do teh voices but MTV nixed it saying the kids wouldn't care about them (One note said Adam West sounded too old). Vodkapundit (a Dana Gould fan) might be interested in knowing that they were going to get the show on DVD with audio commentary. However they discovered at the last minute that MTV, when threatened with litigation by Gerry Anderson (creator of Thunderbirds), simply gave him the rights to the show. They are now in litigation with MTV.

Next was comedian Robert Schimmel's sitcom, hosted by co-creator Mike Scully of Simpsons fame. Schimmel's show was actually picked up by Fox. The problem was the titular star was diagnosed with cancer before production. That obviously delayed things. Schimmel went into remission but just as they were to go into production, Fox cancelled the show. A shame. The show is a fairly typical three-camera-sitcom about a family. But the jokes have the decency to be funny.

The third show and the reason I was there was Next!, Bob Odenkirk's sketch show. Odenkirk did a videotaped introduction explaining that he created the show for Fox and Fox executives didn't like it. He then said "If you like the show, please get a job as the head of Fox and put the show on the air." The show was decently funny. The format was to cut to a sketch, cut to other sketchs and then cut back to the first and so on. Zach Galifinakis played a guy at a piano bar making bad pickup lines to women while he played.

There were two funny commercial parodies, both for Essey Bros. Used Cars. The first was from an Essey brother who admitted that he wasn't very bright or knowledgeable about cars or money. For example, he sold a car valued at $15,000 for $200. So hurry up before his brother's back in town. The second was from the other brother who said he told his brother not to sell cars or make commercials. He's asking people to bring the cars back. For example, one car was valued at $15,000 and sold for $200, Monopoly money. Another car wasn't valued at anything becuase it was his car and not for sale. Both commercials did the wacky car commercial font.

And TV's Matthew Perry brushed past me on his way back from the men's room.

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Saturday, September 14, 2002

Equal Time with Jewish Kitsch?: Here's a dopey comic book called Mendy and the Golem designed to teach Jewish kids lessons about Judaism. Someone bought me a subscription to this funny book when I was a kid. Another childhood artifact I foolishly got rid of.

UPDATE: I'm an idiot. I put the link in. Sorry.

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As we've established earlier, everybody loves kitschy pictures of Jesus. So here's some more. As his story reveals, this gentleman woke up with the revelation that the Lord wanted him to draw special drawings of Jesus involved with the tasks of everyday people. I see no picture of Jesus with a comedian but that's probably appropriate. Even Jesus doesn't care for flop sweat.

UPDATE: Not everybody loves kitschy pictures of Jesus. I posted the two kitschy pictures of Jesus links on an email list I'm on. Someone (who was originally just trying to start a fight between me and someone else but has now convinced himself that he's offended) asked if I posted these links "because only Christians do silly things like that, right Daniel?"

I hadn't really thought about it but let's see...In Islam, pictures of Mohammed are considered blasphemous. Judaism, to my knowledge, doesn't really have a human face to the Good Lord and probably considers pictures of Him blasphemous also. In terms of kitschy pictures of that which one worships, I suspect maybe it is a Christian phenomenom, yes. I would love to see counter-examples if anyone has any.

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Friday, September 13, 2002

Talking of Popeye, here's a funnyish Popeye site. Here's an Israeli site plugging Popeye & Son with other Popeye related stuff. And here's a site about six-count-'em-six Popeye statues in America.

This page states that Popeye first appeared in a Betty Boop cartoon. Having Betty Boop meet comic strip characters was apparently a common practise of the Fleisher Brothers to test the popularity of the comic strip stars in their own cartoons. Kind of like how popular sitcoms used to have episodes that were essentially pilots of new shows (Hell, Star Trek did it).

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Combustible Boy (aka the Blazing Blogger) wants me to answer this question: "How exactly was it that grizzled, pipe-chomping old salts came to be typecast as avuncular grownup playmates for little kids?" He expresses skepticism that it's because of Popeye.

I would suggest that Popeye is, in fact, the origin of the archetype. I say this, for one reason. Thimble Theater, the comic strip Popeye debuted in, was not a comic strip for kids. Nor was Popeye intended for kids. He swore (or comix-swore) and punched people with little to no provocation. I remember a book about the history of Popeye which showed a strip of Popeye punching a horse (to its death) for being too slow. So anyhoo, E.C. Segar gets an emergency telegram that kids love Popeye. This is unexpected and Popeye's rougher edges are softened (He only hits when provoked).

So given that nobody expected a grizzled sailor like Popeye to be popular with the yung'uns, I would suspect that Popeye was the birth of that archetype.

Regarding kiddie show hosts as sea captains, my suspicion is the origin is partially due to many of these hosts showing Popeye cartoons (like this dude). Perhaps, I'll get a copy of this book and look into the matter (after I obtain that history of Popeye book from my childhood that I foolishly ditched at some point in my life).

Combustible is under the misimpression that Captain Spaulding is a gruff-but-loveable sea captain. He is, of course, as the song lyrics on the left say, an African explorer.

UPDATE: Conbustible Boy got an email suggesting that the captain from the Katzenjammer Kids is a precursor. I dunno. He doesn't seem the archetype. Of course, I'm only familiar with the Kids Katzenjammer through MAD parodies and the Warner Brothers Christmas cartoon, so what do I know?

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I'm on this email list and 9/11 is being discussed. The usual oil pipeline myth was stated and a couple of people pointed out that such a pipeline is idiotic (Afghanistan is unstable and Russia won't want to give up control of such anything). I posted this article about how Unocal didn't want the pipeline. Two folk replied with essentially "See what an idiot Bush is. He's making a pipeline no one wants."

When one of those two also said that the WTC and the Pentagon were justifiable targets, I had to stop participating in the discussion before I flew a plane for the purpose of punching somebody. Grr! Hulk Smash Puny Liberal!

Thinking about this is annnoying the hell out of me. I'm going to talk about Popeye now.

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A Palestinian stabs his mother because he thought she was dating a Jewish man. Story here.

You know, this is the sort of thing that gets counted as a Palestinian casualty when people make the "Palestinian casualties are greater than Israeli casualties" argument.

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A map showing the distribution between calling carbonated beverages sodas or calling them pops. All I learned was that there's a huge swatch of the country in the west that could give a rat's ass. I notice that "two cents plain" isn't listed. Anti-Semites.

The other term listed is "coke". I had a friend who kept ruining takes of a TV show he was in by referring to sodas as cokes. Coca-Cola doesn't want coke to be a generic term; look what happen to Duncan when yo-yos were considered part of the language.

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To calrify my post below, obviously Hal Douglas is the guy in the Comedian trailer. I'm not denying that. I'm just not convinced that Hal Douglas is the in-the-world guy.

I wonder if, of LaFontaine and Douglas, one is the guy you get when the other is booked. Like how if Paul Lynde was booked, you'd get Charles Nelson Reilly.

Speaking of Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly, I used to convince people that casting directors would have Charles Nelson Reilly's number scribbled on Paul Lynde's Rolodex card because they only called Reilly when Lynde was unavailable.

Almost as good as my tall tale that Edgar Bergen was blackballed from TV for doing the "You should talk; you have your hand in my ass" joke.

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Thursday, September 12, 2002

So Roger Ebert identifies the guy in the Comedian trailer (scroll down) as Hal Douglas who Miramax identifies as "perhaps the most recognizable trailer voice in the business."

So who the hell is the "in a world" guy? This site has voice samples of both. It also has numerous samples of LaFontaine's other voiceover work.

This is why you have to trademark cool phrases you come up with.

UPDATE: The file of Hal Douglas doesn't work on the page I gave. So try the file on this one.

I swear I can't tell the difference between the two. I wonder if they have some sort of animosity towards each other; I imagine there's enough work for the both of them.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Eric Mulkowsky and Max Power and others rightfully compliment this funny trailer for Comedian.

Here's an article about Don La Fontaine, the real-life "in-a-world" guy. It's a shame he didn't think to trademark "in a world" like Michael Buffer trademarked "Let's get ready to rumble".

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Neilsen Hayden quotes this passage from a New York Times Book Review review of 9/11 books:
Harlan Ellison, the science-fiction novelist, [...]tells a story in September 11: West Coast Writers Approach Ground Zero(Hawthorne, paper, $16.95) of being invited to appear on the TV show ''Politically Incorrect'' just weeks after the attacks. Ellison accepts, eager to promote his name, but then realizes shortly before the taping that he has nothing to say, and begs off. The producers go ape, but Ellison stands fast. There is such a thing as heroic modesty.
This is similar to why I've been yapping about Buzz Aldrin punching people rather than today's anniversary. What the hell do I know or can I say that hasn't been said better by others.

I will recommend the CBS 9/11 documentary tonight and the HBO "In Memorium". How one can walk away from either and say "Americans should examine what they did to deserve that" is a mystery to me.

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The website of Bart Sibrel, the guy Aldrin punched. He sells a video with "smoking-gun" footage.This site saves you money by debunking him and his dopey footage.

Meanwhile it turns out the page my pal Monkey Boy sent me (discussed here) was by Sibrel. This page specifically debunks that page.

As you might guess, Bart Sibrel has a history of bothering people involved with the Apollo mission as this guy says (pre-Aldrin-decking).

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BUZZ ALDRIN DECKING A GUY UPDATE: Aldrin releases a statement.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2002

A good article debunking astrology. Included amongst arguments I had heard before (astrology did not discover the existence of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto; because of precission of the equinoxes, your star sign is actually the one before), is a new one to me: Why is your star sign based on your birthday and not on your conception day? Shouldn't the stars have had influence on you while you were in the womb?

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Update on a post months ago about whether the lunar landing was faked: Buzz Aldrin punched a lunar landing "skeptic".

Now the next step is to get some astronomers to beat the crap out of some astrologers.

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Monday, September 09, 2002

Do ya like kitschy pictures of Jesus? Sure, we all do! This site has more than one man can take of Jesus pictures and more every week! (Thanks again to Eric Mulkowsky.) Here's puppet Jesus.

A funny comedian and cartoonist by the name of Joey Waldon (unfortunately no website) once said he was going to illustrate his joke: "As embarassing as the crown of thorns were, I think a balloon hat would have been more humiliating."

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Aaron Sorkin admits that the last-minute, post-9/11 season premiere episode of West Wing last year wasn't very good.

Josh Marshall said the funniest thing about that episode:
I'm really glad The West Wing has all those ex-Clintonites on hand as consultants to give the show that seamless verisimilitude. Otherwise I never would have known that, in cases of a terrorist incursion into the White House, policy dictates that the Chief of Staff is in charge of interrogating the suspect.

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Sunday, September 08, 2002

A happy Rosh Hashanah, L'shanah Tovah, and happy new year to my Jewish readers. It is the Jewish year 5763. I keep writing "The Year of the Snake" on my checks.

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Saturday, September 07, 2002

Matt Welch, editor of the LA Examiner, debunks the myth of the stifling of dissent since 9/11.

On a similar note, if one more person does a joke of the structure of "If we don't do X, then the terrorists have won", then the terrorists really have won. Yes, the phrase grew old. But so has the mockery. Which is why I now mock the mockery.

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While discussing a Larry King appearance with Sylvia Browne, James Randi gives an example of why psychics are scum of the earth:
Larry asked me, as I expected, what's the harm in what Sylvia does? Let me give you an example, sent to me by a viewer. Many months ago, on another show that featured Sylvia as a guest, the grandmother of a local missing child was also on the program. The child was a six-year-old named Opal Jo Jennings, from north Texas. She had been in the news a lot because of her disappearance. On national TV, Sylvia said that the child was still alive but had been sold into white slavery and was currently in Japan! She even gave a city name. But there is no city in Japan by that name. Currently, there is a man sitting in prison in Texas who has confessed to Opal Jo's abduction. "What's the harm?" How about false hope? To tell such a far-out and freaky tale just for TV ratings....?
Meanwhile that appearance took place on September 3, 2001. It's a shame she or other psychics didn't predict a big event on the way.

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A few days back, an LA Times columnist wrote this article about the mess o' TV shows with psychics. Although he does, in the best traditions of media both-sides-ing, say "believers in psychics cling passionately to that view, and I wouldn't expect or wish to shake their faith even if I could" (Gosh, I thought it was skeptics who were close-minded!), he illustrates how Wesley Snipes was fooled by James Van Praagh using the "Who's Jimmy" method (You ask "Who's Jimmy" More likely than not, they know a guy named James. Otherwise you move quickly along.)

So anyhoo, James Randi wrote this letter to the editor about why he can't get a show on the air.
Inevitably, the marketing reps have insisted that for them to support such a project, "at least 20% of it must be shown to be true." This is simply not so, and the foundation has refused to promote or support that fiction.

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Friday, September 06, 2002

Eric Mulkowsky (who you can, on occassion, see on Max Power's site) gave me a link to a NY Times article about a show which shows failed pilots. Schedule info can be found here. (Warning: Link contains really obnoxious music.) I wanna check out next week's showing of Next!, Bob Odenkirk's sketch show.

The article discusses about why the shows don't get picked up. It only strengthens my argument that whether or not The Simpsons is as good as it used to be, it's not very probable that anything as good is going to replace it.

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Thursday, September 05, 2002

Using Amazon's free shipping, books I ordered on Labor day arrived this morning despite their warnings that the free shipping takes longer. It may be that the Nevada shipping place which got the package to me quickly may be where they ship it from across country. I dunno.

In addition to the book about the Six Days War eveyone's taking about, I bought both the trade paperback and the audiobook of The Kid Stays in the Picture. You know what that means...more Robert Evans impressions! Wooh!

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As we've been talking about both stand-up comedy and Jerry's telethon, I'm reminded of comedian Andy Kindler's goofing on Comic Relief thanking comics for doing the show for free
Yes, thank you for sacrificing your $200 show at KooKoo's Comedy Shack to appear on television in front of an audience of millions.

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I discovered a nifty blog by Jay Zilber which I'll permalink to when I get around to it. (Anyone who has a bouncing picture of Bouncing Boy in his blog can't be all bad.)

Here, he talks some more about the Jackie Mason brouhaha. He quotes from some written material by the Palestinian guy, notes that the guy is actually American-born, and gives the scoop that the guy was scheduled to feature that weekend when Mason wasn't performing but went ahead and cancelled that (either in protest or to get more sympathy).

Zilber further asks
Now, I don't know the business from the inside -- so it's entirely possible that Zanies actually does have a clause in their contracts that forbids their acts from doing their own promotion of a specific Zanies appearance
I have to admit that this claim that opening acts are forbidden from promoting themselves sort of doesn't pass the smell test. Comedy clubs don't exactly get packed. It seems to me an opening act who brings people to a show through publicity would be a dream to a club as you get someone who fills seats at opener prices (with the exception of, say, opener appears on radio station A when club has a deal with radio station B). Granted this doesn't apply to Jackie Mason who very well may have stipulations that he is the star of the show and the opener shouldn't try to overshadow him.

Mark Evanier (who introduced me to this nifty site) pipes up to say that Jackie Mason has a history of playing the victim whenever he has a career setback and should know how the game is played.

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Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Mark Evanier reports that the Triumph VMA segment will be broadcast tonight. It will also be rerun on Comedy Central tomorrow and on NBC around 3:30ish next week.

UPDATE:Conan O'Brien confirms on last night's show that they'll be running Triumph tonight.

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An article by a wheelchaired gentleman explaining why much of the handicapped community objects to the Jerry Lewis telethon. He also wonders if a recent Larry King interview where his daughter said she felt sad about his condition perhaps taught Jerry what it feels like to be pitied.

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Monday, September 02, 2002

So while looking for this transcript of Larry King's interview with Jerry Lewis, I learn that Larry King is doing his old USA Today column on the web, complete with ellipsis (the "..."'s). Click here and click on "King's Things". Potential highlights:
I know this is controversial in these politically-correct times but I like pudding...Here it is, a Larry King exclusive: the new Harry Potter movie will make a lot of money...How come the kids don't play Space Invaders anymore?...I just read Crime & Punishment by Dosteovosky. It's a must-read!...I think Peter Scolari has the potential to be the new William Powell...

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Has Jerry Lewis when talking about how long he's done the telethon always divided it into "52 years, 37 coast-to-coast" and I'm just now noticing it?

Speaking of telethons, my telethon shtick on Saturday went decentlyish. My concern is now whether Jerry will outlive my doing the one-man show concept.

I'm leaning towards a one-man show which incorporates all my dopey interesting-for-five-minutes one-man show concepts. Do it as an alleged career-retrospective or a vote-for-the-one-you like-best concept or even a keep-starting-over-because-I-realize-the-show's-no-good. Or something.

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I meant to do this a while back but here's an article where stars of yesteryear complain that they can't get booked on late-night talk shows. Mark Evanier notes that most of the people quoted in the article weren't getting booked on Carson either (the last booking was '86 for Charles Nelson Reilly).

I will further add that Evanier gets Carson booking info from Johnny Carson's website which is referred to in the original article. Which shows either the writer's inability to use info easily available on the web or his willingness to ignore inconvenient information.

Basically this is the business we've chosen. Don Rickles can fill a room in Vegas and Yaakov Smirnoff can't. Consequently Rickles gets talk show bookings and Smirnoff doesn't. (I saw Yaakov Smirnoff do some stand-up on the Telethon. It took him less than 90 seconds to say "What a country." I wouldn't book him in a coffeehouse show, much less a talk show (except for novelty value).)

Here's a great quote from the article:
Tiny Tim, whose greatest triumph was his 1969 wedding on "Tonight," spent the last years of his life trying to get rebooked. He died in 1996, without returning.
I think he was having trouble getting booked in 1971. That ain't the fault of a youth-obsessed advertising culture.

Fans of my blog will recall an article I wrote about Jay and Dave getting heat for not doing enough for up-and-coming performers. They get it from both ends.

UPDATE: Mark Evanier agrees with me that Yaakov Smirnoff stinks. In that same article, "Billionaire Bill" Sherman gets a plug. Mazel tov.

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Sunday, September 01, 2002

The official Triumph the Insult Comic Dog web site! Not much there now but there's another statement re VMAs.

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