Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Couple of Goodbyes...

Some people who helped define the cartoon-filled Saturday mornings of old have passed away.

Mark Evanier has come out from behind his can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup (which, as we all know, is the symbol of being too busy to update your blog (he was actually having gastric bypass surgery - good luck with that, Mark!)) to tell us that Alex Toth died on Saturday at the age of 78. Toth was an extrememly prolific animation designer and comics artist who designed things like "Herculoids" and "Space Ghost" and the "Hot Wheels" comic book and animated series.

Also, puppeteer Mary Ritts died on May 14 at the age of 95, reports the LA Times. The Ritts puppets were featured in the first TV incarnation of Pink Panther cartoons for NBC (1969) and their only child, Mark Ritts, played Lester the lab rat on "Beakman's World" for CBS.

We also lost ska artist Desmond Dekker over the last week; he recorded the hit song "The Israelites" in 1968 with his group The Aces. He was 63-ish and had a heart attack in London.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Gwen Stefani Baby News!

The kid's already hooked on Red Bulls.

Thanks be to Robair for the tip

Drink Up, You Losers

From MediaWeek:
Bravo will belly up to the bar for the eighth season of Celebrity Poker Showdown, signing a deal with Brown-Forman that will see its Southern Comfort brand integrated into the fabric of the show.

As part of the deal, departing contestants will be interviewed in a specially branded area called the SoCo Lime Lounge immediately following their elimination. The Southern Comfort logo also will be featured prominently throughout the show as well as on the Celebrity Poker Showdown Web site.

I guess the tacit message here is that when you're a losing gambler, you drink to excess.

Great attitude, Bravo.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Stella's Out Of "Jeopardy!"

Well, Stella Daily's stint on "Jeopardy!" has come and gone. Our favorite pajama-wearing crossword solver finished third with an answer of "Who is Maragaret Mitchell?" on a question that practially screamed "Who is Harper Lee?" (rare interview, Alabama).

Saturday, May 20, 2006


To: The NBC Graphic Arts Department
From: Dave Mackey
Re: The Capital Letter "A"

It is not an upside down "V".

Thank you very much.

Friday, May 19, 2006

NASCAR Leaving XM? You Can't Be Sirius!

Sirius Satellite Radio announced today that radio coverage of NASCAR races is moving to its service after several years on rival XM Radio.

As someone who has invested rather heavily in XM (in more ways than one - I bought a car with the XM already installed), I feel that my XM subscription has been sadly devalued. If you feel the same way, drop a line to and let em know you'll be contacting their customer service department seeking redress. (Like I did - I'll let you know if it worked!)

EDIT: We had to change this post. It came to my attention that Sirius and NASCAR made this big announcement during Speedweeks at Daytona back in February. And where were we?

A Sure Sign of Late Spring

FOX Network is already running promos for its Fall programming. There was one last night during the finale of "That '70s Show". As a teacher, I can only say, knock it the hell off, Fox. Let us enjoy our summer.

And What Of The "That '70s Show" Finale?

Great finale. Tied up all the loose ends and brought some stasis back to Point Place. It ended just as I thought it was going to, with the countdown to midnight. And it was really odd seeing those license plates at the very end of the show with an "80" sticker on them! Thanks to the Turners and Mark Brazill and the skilled direction of David Trainer for bringing these people to life for the last eight years!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tommy Oliver 1932-2006

Bandleader Tommy Oliver, who was perhaps best known for being the musical director of "Name That Tune" during the 70's and 80's, died yesterday in California at the age of 73.

Tommy was a noted record producer and bandleader in the 1960's, working with such acts as Joannie Sommers ("Johnny Get Angry"), and later branched into television. He was the musical director for the late 70's "Laugh-In" revival that featured, among others, Robin Williams. He also became musical director of "Name That Tune" later in the 1970's, succeeding Bob Alberti, sharing the stage with a young singer named Kathie Lee Johnson (Gifford). Among the players in his band were the lead trombonist from the Tonight Show orchestra, Gil Falco, pianist Bill Mays, and drummer Frank Capp.

After his replacement on "Name That Tune" by the late Stan Worth, Oliver joined Sandy Frank Productions for a pale carbon of "Name That Tune" called "Face The Music", hosted by Ron Ely. But when Frank finally acquired the rights to "Name That Tune" and successfully mounted a revival in 1984, Oliver was again at the podium. That, however, was Oliver's last TV gig.

Survivors include five children and two grandchildren.

LA Times death notice

Back to Battleground, and Holy Spirit Ringers

The Manalapan Battleground Symphony will be presenting its Spring Concert next Saturday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Freehold. I have been performing on and off with this group for the past six years and I'm thrilled to be back to join an expanded brass section for the Gershwin Concerto in F. More information here.

Also, I will once again be performing with the Holy Spirit Ringers handbell choir at the Manahawkin United Methodist Church. I had taken some time off from this group after Nancy passed away, and I'm thrilled to be back there as well. I will be performing at a service on June 25 which will end their season.