Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Dear Robert G. Allen,

I don't know you from Adam. I don't want to know you. Would you PLEASE stop sending me your e-mails? I would like to receive some correspondence just one day without having to wade through other crud. I don't know if it's you, but I am now getting as many as five copies of the same e-mail.

Best regards,
Dave Mackey

Monday, July 28, 2003

Bob Hope 1903-2003

Bob Hope has died.

Now may seem like an appropriate time to say "thanks for the memory", but recently, the memories are all we had of the illustrious Mr. Hope, as old age finally caught up to the man and he retreated into seclusion sometime in his 90's.

Which Bob Hope will I remember? Possibly the 1940's-1950's era model, when he gained his greatest fame to that point in motion pictures. Sure he was a comedian, but for a funny guy he made a terrific leading man! And you know, those "Road" romps weren't too bad either, paired with perennial nemesis/pal Bing Crosby.

But he encompassed the world of entertainment. He did it all. Music hall, radio, theatre, film, television, live performance. Millions of soldiers' tenuous existence was buoyed by a holiday visit by Hope and his USO troupe, with the Les Brown Band Of Renown in tow, from all theatres of war from the Second World War through to the Persian Gulf War.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Kobe's Accuser Named

This column from Chicago Sun-Times columnist and sometimes movie reviewer Richard Roeper, published on Tuesday, made note of the fact that the name of Kobe Bryant's accuser of sexual misdeeds will be brought public in a hurry.

SO, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, whom I shall not name, indeed divulged the identity of the woman allegedly sexually assaulted by Kobe Bryant.

Hey, at least the Blue Dot Lady got her fifteen minutes of anonymity. But, as Roeper correctly admits, that was before people began living their lives in the hyper-public glare of the Internet.

Tom Bergeron Taking Over "Miss America"

It's with a twinge of moroseness (morosity? mority?) that I announce that ABC has let Wayne Brady out of his commitment to host the Miss America pageant (which is a word that ABC prefers not to use).

The replacement, Tom Bergeron, has proven his talent over the years as host of "Fox After Breakfast" and "Hollywood Squares" - but it seems to me that the real reason ABC replaced Bergeron is that Brady is no longer a network personality, with "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" no longer on the schedule, and his "Wayne Brady Show" showing up on stations other than ABC's. Bergeron, however, is an ABC company man for purposes of hosting the pageant, by virtue of his hosting "America's Funniest Home Videos" (on which he has become the best of the procession of hosts the show has had, going all the way back to Bob Saget).

In the old days, Bert Parks, Ron Ely and those who came after him weren't hired for network promotional value. But as the network exerts increasing control over the pageant and its contents, the network seems now to have final approval of hosts, which explains the decreasing calibre of hosts: we regress from Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford (their talk show is from another Disney division), to the likes of John and Eva Callahan ("All My Children"), and Meredith Vieira ("The View"). (Hey, Meredith, I'm still waiting for my date in the Hot Seat.) Pretty soon ABC may get its secret wish and move the pageant out of its 83-year standing Atlantic City home base to Orlando - making it yet another disposable Disney dream-come-true ending.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Production No. 1291... hit it

Nicholas Schager's review of "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over" begins with the words "In the grand tradition of 'Lumber Jack-Rabbit'....'Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over', the 3-D finale of Robert Rodriguez’s cutesy children’s franchise that now stands as frontrunner for 2003’s most mindless and physically offensive moviegoing experience."

I dunno... this look offensive to you?



Some may think so. Happy 50th birthday, 3-D!

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Neat Site

Neat Site of the day is Mets By The Numbers, a neat listing of which Mets wore which uniform numbers over the 41 years the team has been in existence. Neat Fact: until Mark Clark changed from No. 00 to No. 52 on June 5 of this season, no Mets player had ever worn the number 52 in a game (as 52 had been issued primarily to coaches over the years). You long-suffering Mets fans like myself can scan the listings of each number and reacquaint yourself with the names players of the past. (It's like listening to a variation on Dave Frishberg's song "Van Lingle Mungo" at warp speed.)

Monday, July 14, 2003

BB4 Participant Out The House - And It Hasn't Even Been A Week Yet!

CBS needs to get its crap together on the Big Brother 4 website and admit that a contestant has been expelled from the game already for throwing chairs and having hissy fits because his ex-girlfriend is playing the game too. CBS got its money shots out of that one, for sure.

On the other hand, anyone see that mess on Fox last night called "Banzai"? What pushed you over the edge enough to turn the channel? The chicken levitated by a fleet of helium-filled party balloons? The one-legged striker facing off against the one-armed goalie in a battle of soccer amputees? Or the game of "chicken" played by two old ladies in wheelchairs? I think it was the cumulative effect of it all that eventually made me leave the room in disgust.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

LOONEY TUNES DVDS ANNOUNCED

It is official. Warner Bros. has announced a release date of October 28, 2003 for the "Golden Collection" of Looney Tunes on DVD. A 4-DVD box set, it will include 56 classic cartoons plus voluminous bonus material. As soon as it is available from amazon.com, I will make a link available so you may purchase it through this site.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Buy Elizabeth McCracken Books

We now have the books of Elizabeth McCracken in our General Store. While not a personal acquaintance, I have known of Ms. McCracken's work for quite some time through a longtime friendship with her brother, PC World Editor Harry McCracken. Both McCrackens are outstanding writers, but Elizabeth's work is quite thought provoking.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Big Brother: Why Bother?

I could give a flip about CBS's sneaky-peeky hidden camera show this time around. I think the problem with these shows is that the novelty wears off after the first couple. I definitely don't like the ex-SO factor, and someone needs to do something about that Julie Chen. I will pass this season and have more fun this summer.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

"Chief Halftown" Dead

The city of Philadelphia embraces its local television personalities like no other, especially its kids show hosts. Philadelphia was the home of such luminaries as Gene London, Sally Starr, Captain Noah, and one of the originals in the market, Chief Halftown. A full-blooded Seneca born Traynor Ora Halftown, the Chief was a fixture on Channel 6 (variously known over the years as WFIL-TV or WPVI) from 1951 to 1999. He had been seen for the last several decades in a Saturday morning time slot, usually featuring the young talent of the region. The Chief died yesterday near his retirement home in Brigantine, NJ, at the age of 86. Funeral services will be held Tuesday morning at St. Thomas Church in Brigantine. (Image courtesy WPVI)

Saturday, July 05, 2003