Monday, December 29, 2008
I took the family to see "Marley and Me" last night, the somewhat tear-jerking tale of a newspaper columnist and his yellow Labrador retriever. On its surface, the movie is marketed as a "what a crazy dog" sort of film. But once inside, you actually get a story full of heart as this crazy dog worms his way into the lives of the couple who adopts him and the three children they eventually add to their family.
Not to say that this movie should be construed as a dog training film. The characters played by Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston make many, many mistakes in raising a puppy. You bring home a puppy and leave him in a cardboard box in the garage rather than a crate? Your dog has something inappropriate in his mouth, and you chase him rather than luring him with a dog treat to get him to drop what he has in his mouth?
My emotional stake in the film was furthered that I owned a yellow Lab very much of the same temperament as Marley. His name was Macho and he was a wonderful pet. I had to give him up when I got married a year ago. I often think that Macho has been adopted into a loving home that would accept him, warts and all. Macho was adopted a few months before my first wife died, and for the couple of years afterward that I had him, he was probably the only dog I could truly say was mine and mine alone. I have a wonderful puppy now, but I'll always remember Macho and what his companionship meant to me in the months after my wife's passing.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I think I stand a pretty good chance of getting in to see a doctor on Friday. Everyone else will be returning Christmas gifts!
Whatever your health, happy Holidays to all!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Part of our mission at davemackey.com is to provide our readers with an environment free from ads and spyware garbage. Our site has recently been redirected to two sites that I feel do not provide this.
Globat, our hosting provider (and I feel that it's time to name names), has been advised that they must provide me with adequate security for what I pay them to host my sites, or they will no longer be hosting my sites.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I'd like to know what's up with the sax player's shirt.
What's hacking people off his how Drew Carey really underplayed this moment. And whether Mr. Know-It-All belongs in the audience of "Price".
Monday, December 15, 2008
School of Thought 1: Mrs. Schlossberg is worthy of this seat, being the lone survivor of Camelot, and with her uncle Ted clearly not having a lot of time left, this Senate seat, once occupied by her late uncle Bobby, is her birthright.
School of Thought 2: What the hell?
What do I think? I've always admired Caroline for the dignity that she's shown staying out of the Kennedy family circus (like in the 70's, where tabloid headlines regularly screamed about Ted and Joan, and Jackie's activities). She has had a wonderfully happy marriage and three children and a prestigious Park Avenue address. Does all this entitle her for a Senate seat? As much as it entitles me. It sounded like a good idea when I first heard it, but I have to side with School of Thought 2.
Sassone gives all the facts correctly. The program was a concoction of the Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley production company, which had greater successess with stuff like "High Rollers" and "The Hollywood Squares".
At the time of the show, pinball was ruling the arcades, with Gottlieb (Surfer, Bank Shot, Buccaneer), Williams (Space Mission, Aztec), Bally (Black Jack, Night Rider, Old Chicago) and Chicago Coin (Cinema, Sound Stage) putting oustanding product on location. (Of those four companies, only Chicago Coin still is in the pin biz under the name Stern.)
So why didn't this game show work? Because of its size, the machine action is very clunky, and the camera angles favored by director Jerome Shaw did little to enhance the action. Celebrities included the likes of Florence Henderson, Gary Burghoff, Leslie Uggams, Earl Holliman... you know the type. And one wonders if host Art James was aware of the absurdity of the whole exercise and just played along because he was such a pro.
The one thing that was improved about the show since this episode - which I believe was the fourth episode produced - was that music man Mort Garson eventually came up with more cues for the front-game ticker. And I do believe that NBC eventually demanded the show convert to an all-star format, which proved that the network didn't learn their lesson from tinkering with "Baffle" in the same way several years earlier.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Jill's not only a comic fan, but she's also a radio disk jockey for WJLK-FM. She's on from 10pm-2am. And her birthday is coming up soon or has passed (NOTE: it's today - born on 12/14/1982) - so happy birthday Jill and congrats for making the blogroll!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Golden Globes are a total waste of my time! Who has time to go to the movies during the holidays?
Putz should wear the number 20, which Howard Johnson should gladly yield to the setup man.
However, the Mets website is not letting me make a PUTZ 20 jersey, like I did for K-Rod. The website claims it's because of "past and present player names". Or is it because "putz" is a Yiddish word for a part of the male anatomy?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
So do I get the custom jersey, or wait for the production ones to come into the stores?
EDIT 12/14/2008 - Majestic Athletic has indeed released two T-shirts for Rodriguez, a black one that reads RODRIGUEZ across the back, and a light blue (?) one that reads K-ROD instead, both bearing his uniform number of 75.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
I can think of four performers who were on both shows. George Clooney is the only one who was in the regular cast of both, and Mary McDonnell (who is now on "Grey's Anatomy") was a cast member on slashy "E/R" and a guest star on no slashy "ER". Luis Avalos (always best remembered to me as a cast member from "The Electric Company") and Conchata Ferrell were cast members on the comedy and each did one episode of the drama.
Warner Bros., if they really want to mess with Sasquatch, should bring as many of the old "E/R" cast as they can to one of the final episodes of "ER", which is ending up its 15-year-run in March.
Good show, Minaya. But you got to get to Rodriguez first. What's your plan then? The same panoply of tired arms that ruined our 2008 chances? Heilman? Schoeneweiss? Parnell? Smith (arguably the Mets' best arm right now, outside of K-Rod)? Or you still got a little money left for a good set up man?
Monday, December 08, 2008
Needless to say, this is a good plan for NBC, which hasn't exactly set the 10 p.m. timeslot on fire in recent years. Acknowledging that basic cable and premium cable now seem to have the edge in producing quality TV drama, the network is going to put Jay Leno in a new 10 p.m. time slot, still doing his show from Studio 3 in Burbank.
Television has gone through many changes, but I really think we're going to see a sea change in how TV is programmed in the next decade, particularly if Jay Leno takes hold at 10:00 p.m.
My only problem with the whole Leno deal is that really undercuts and devalues Conan O'Brien taking over Leno's old time slot. What's the point of going on at 11:37 p.m. when you're still playing second fiddle to Leno?
NOTE: I posted this before I read this - Mark Evanier makes many of the same points, and even uses some of the same phraseology, including "sea change".
Dennis' biggest hit with the group was "Traces", a video for which appears below. It was one of the biggest records of 1969. The group is also noted for such songs as "Spooky", "Everyday With You Girl" and "Stormy", recently adapted by R&B singer John Legend as "Save Room".
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Check out the page here. filmographic stuff that I don't quite have will be entertained via comments to this blog post, or via e-mail if you are one of my regular correspondents. We have a good cross-section of Popeyes and Krazy Kats, most of the Snuffy Smith and all the Beetle Bailey cartoons.
Here's what we need on the Popeyes:
- a smattering of the Jack Kinney and Paramount credits - these cartoons all carried episode-specific credits
- directors on the Gerry Ray cartoons - all other credits are the same - the director is either Tom McDonald or Bob Bemiller
- which Rembrandt Films (Gene Deitch) titles were subcontracted to Halas & Batchelor - these cartoons had no other credits
- all the Larry Harmon cartoons carried the same credits so we have them all by default - yes, I know some of them did not carry Gordon Zahler's music credit
- I also need confirmation that there was a total of 219 cartoons. The contract with Al Brodax was for 220 shorts.
We need two Snuffy Smith credits - "The Hat" and "The Method and Maw", both of which were Paramount theatrical releases. Beetle Bailey is complete, thanks to that series' recent DVD release.
The Krazy Kats are a mess. We're not even sure if the credits we have are correct, as there was great variation in the title cards as shown on the "Advantage Collection" DVD that is my source for this information. We did find some Gerry Ray titles in the mix and even one from Jack Kinney which may have been the first pilot.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I'll give the parade a try again today and let you know how long I last through it. (NOTE: I did make it to the end this year. The NBC pluggery was confined to the earliest part of the parade, when nothing much was actually happening in Herald Square.)
You can't, however, mention the NBC parade coverage with at least making note that its musical director is the legendary bandleader and composer Milton Delugg, who will mark his 90th birthday next Tuesday. Although he's mostly retired now, Delugg still provides musical backing for one or two new production numbers and has built up a library of background music cues for the parade, some of which date back to the 1970's. He has been aided in this task over the years by associates such as his wife Anne, George Brackman, and more recently John Rodby.
Born in Los Angeles on December 2, 1918, Milton Delugg was one of TV's first bandleaders on the landmark late-night show "Broadway Open House" beginning in 1950, acted as comedic foil to Paul Winchell on many of his programs, and was bandleader immediately before Doc Severinsen on "The Tonight Show". But he is probably best remembered as the leader of the "Band With A Thug" on "The Gong Show" from 1976-1980. On top of all that he wrote a few songs that have become standards such as "Hoop-Dee-Doo" (a collaboration with Frank Loesser) and "Orange Colored Sky" (with lyrics by Willie Stein).
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Last year, Emru was diagnosed with leukemia and a complicating condition called monosomy-7. Emru appealed through the internet for a bone marrow transplant - donors matching Emru's blood type and ethnicity are scarce. Although a match was eventually found and Emru did have the bone marrow transplant, it was pretty much too late for Emru.
Please read what Harry has to say on his blog about Emru. Then, consider signing up with a donor registry. You never know whose life you may save someday.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
At first glance, this looks like any other garbage can in Atlantic City, in the middle of the city's new shopping district.
However, if you look carefully, you will see that it is actually sitting in an indented part of the sidewalk, alongside the plaque honoring Miss America 1946, Marilyn Buferd. If you walk back a couple of yards, you will find Venus Ramey, Miss America 1944.
The garbage can is sitting exactly where the plaque for Miss America 1945 would be.
You might have heard of her. Bess Myerson.
You might remember her from a little show she did called "I've Got A Secret", or perhaps as a ranking New York City official, who had to resign her positions when her lover was convicted of buying off a judge so her daughter could go work for Myerson in the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.
I'm outraged, I tell you.
I'll have to investigate further, if time permits.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
What is interesting to me is that President-Elect Obama is the first President who is younger than me (by just a few months)... he's the youngest chief executive we've had in some time.
Now, about McCain... Yes, he is an American Hero. Presidential material? Maybe in any other non-Obama year. But I think what really dragged him down was the Sarah Palin sideshow. Gubernatorial? Yes. Vice-presidential? Not quite yet.
(Personal to Pres.-Elect Obama - you're going to get that puppy for your girls - have you considered a Cavatese? They are such wonderful, loving doggies... if my seven-month-old Cavatese is any indication.)
2. Negative campaigning will bite you right in the butt. Right, former Senator Elizabeth Dole? The Dole Family's service to Washington has come to a sad end, as Libby shot herself in the foot with this negative campaign ad and allowed Kay Hagen to pretty much slide into her Senate seat. It's presented by CNN reporter Campbell Brown.
3. Al Franken's in flux. The Democrat, a former air personality on left-leaning "Air America" and former apprentice writer for "Saturday Night Live" (sharing a salary with Tom Davis), ran for Senate in Minnesota, the state that has given us such political paragons as former governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Al is less than half a percentage point behind his opponent, incumbent Norm Coleman, so a recount will become necessary by rule of law. Neither man has conceded the election to his opponent, and the presence of a third candidate in the race (Dean Barkley) may changed the chemistry somewhat. Some pundit websites were actually calling this race in Franken's favor when I went to bed last night shortly after the Obama love-fest in Chicago ended. This one won't be over for some time, so why not grab some snacks and rent a movie? Perhaps "Stuart Saves His Family"...
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Roger's been taking a lot of heat lately for reviewing a film he only saw eight minutes of (he since saw the entire movie and revised his review). I did the same thing some 30 years ago, and if you look for the post where Ebert says he's done talking about the controversy, you can see for himself what he said.
I now vow I will never see "Last Year at Marienbad". Ever.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Did these two titans ever occupy the same space on our mortal coil? Well, they now have something in common: an October 15, 2008 death date.
Alphabetically, Edie Adams is first. She was an actress, model, singer, comedienne, and trustee of the Ernie Kovacs video library. Edie wasn't Ernie's first wife, but she was his most beloved partner. Edythe often showed up on Ernie's television productions, including his early 1960's ABC specials which capped his career (and were for the most part preserved on black-and-white videotape). She continued her career after the horrible car accident in January 1962 that took Ernie's life. (Ernie spun out his Corvair station wagon, which didn't exactly prolong the life of the car that eventually became a Ralph Nader target.)
Jack Narz, from Louisville, Kentucky, was an influential early television announcer on shows like "Space Patrol" and "Life with Elizabeth", then branched out into game and quiz show hosting. His "Dotto" daytime show was the show that blew open the quiz show scandals, when a standby contestant was spotted studying a list of answers. There were a lot of people whose careers were either ruined or curtailed by the scandal, but Jack Narz was one of the few who continued his successes uninterruped, with shows like "Seven Keys" and "Video Village".
In 1969, Narz began a series of assignments for Goodson-Todman, including the newly-syndicated "Beat The Clock", then a syndicated version of "Concentration" (Gene Wood took over "BTC" for its final seasons), and a CBS network show, "Now You See It". Additionally, Narz still worked as an announcer, working such shows as "Card Sharks" and another CBS network version of "Beat The Clock" hosted by Monty Hall. He often appeared on other G-T shows' panels like "Tattletales" (with wife Doe, who was one of the first women to serve as a flight attendant), and "Match Game". Jack also did a lot of appearances with brother Tom Kennedy on shows both men hosted. Tom would pop in on Jack on "Beat The Clock" one week, then Jack would visit Tom on "It's Your Bet" the next.
Jack had been in extremely ill health, suffering two massive strokes in the last three weeks of his life, and suffering renal failure. But Jack fought to the end, and even with his glory days behind him, enjoyed telling stories of his successes and meeting fans enthralled by the GSN reruns of his 70's shows.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Presumably, the tapes were found a few years ago for "Spin-Off"'s 55 or so episodes (the show only ran for 11 weeks) at WCBS in New York, but no one is jumping at the chance to air them again, presuming the tapes are in airable condition.
When "The Joker's Wild" went off the air in June 1975, "Spin-Off" was its replacement. One of the very few network game shows from the New York-based packager Nicholson-Muir Productions, it was said to be an early TV adaptation of "Yahtzee". Married couples competed, answering questions to win the right to spin five displays in front of them. The displays flashed numbers at the rate of 17 different numbers from 1-6 per second; I'm presuming that the displays weren't totally random, like "Press Your Luck"'s patterns on its game board which in one case were studied and conquered, but the faster flash rate of 17 per second probably thwarted any attempts at memorization. Whichever couple made the best hand won the game and cash, with two out of three earning the couple the chance to play the Super Spin-Off for $10,000.
"Spin-Off"'s pilot was shot at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York, with veteran game show producer Willie Stein as showrunner and veteran soap opera director Bob Schwarz at the helm. The series was produced at Television City, and Jim Lange hosted, fresh off his stint hosting "The Dating Game". However, the show was not able to overcome NBC's "Celebrity Sweepstakes" in the ratings, and after just a few weeks on the air, "Spin-Off" spun off into TV oblivion, to be replaced by a newer, more exciting show from Bill Carruthers Productions called "Give n Take", hosted by - surprise - Jim Lange.
While Nick Nicholson and Roger Muir blew their chance at network TV game shows, they had plenty of minor successes in syndication, with shows like "The Money Makers", "Pay Cards", "Super Pay Cards", "The Shopping Game" (perhaps their rarest show, hosted by Art James and produced for a little-carried early cable network named SPN that also aired public-domain movies from Poverty Row studios, reruns of "I Married Joan" and auction programming), and the later version of "Howdy Doody" (Muir was a producer of the show when it was an NBC property, and Nicholson briefly played Clarabell). Nicholson and Muir also were the credited creators of Chuck Barris' "Newlywed Game". Another hallmark of these N-M-P shows was their reluctance to tape in Hollywood or New York - "Pay Cards" was done in Cincinnati, "Super Pay Cards" in Canada, and "The Shopping Game" in Nashville.
Here are the promos - if you listen carefully at the very end of the "Spin-Off" promo you'll faintly hear the first few bars of Nicholson's appropriately whirling-dervish-like electronic theme for the show.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
It also benefits from the three regular performers of Popeye, Bluto and Olive - Jack Mercer, Jackson Beck and Mae Questel - at a time when various other performers were temporarily doing the Popeye voice like Harry Welch and even Mae Questel.
We haven't the foggiest idea what they're making in this factory, all full of dangerous gadgets which could kill any character at any time. The various scenes of Olive walking on suspended girders (and what are they doing in an already built factory?) call to mind one of the earliest Popeye cartoons, "A Dream Walking" (which was animated in part by Seymour Kneitel).
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
LA Times obit
Saturday, October 04, 2008
We have to grow from every time that we get as close as we get and don't make it, and we have to review and kind of marinate on why we didn't make it.
See? He's already steeped (or marinated) in Mets tradition. He's talking like freaking Casey Stengel.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
As joyful as the fall can be, the month of October always comes in melancholy for me. It was three years ago today - October 1, 2005 - that I lost one of the most amazing ladies who ever found her way into my life, my first wife Nancy, to complications from breast cancer that metastasized into bone cancer, then brain cancer, over a period of several weeks. Nancy, who had been a teacher at DHS Regional School - Ocean Campus in Toms River, devoted her life to the mentally handicapped, as a teacher, respite care provider, and sponsor. Nancy eventually lost both breasts to cancer, and later her life.
In some cruel irony, Nancy passed away on the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is therefore recommended that you find out more about breast cancer and its insidious ways by reading up on the latest medical information at your favorite medical provider, then making a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. It is also recommended that you get yourself checked. Men too!
(The picture above was one of the last pictures I ever took of Nancy, at the very first Toms River Fest in late July 2005.)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
For the second straight year the Florida Marlenes have been the ones to deny the Mets what is rightly theirs. Imagine. A team playing for NOTHING taking away from a team playing for SOMETHING.
The only thing I'm going to care about from now until pitchers and catchers report in February is who is going to take the fall for this.
And with that, good night.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
If both the Mets and Brewers win OR Lose tomorrow, there will be a playoff at Shea to determine the wild card. Should one team win and the other lose tomorrow, the winning team will be the wild card.
And one thing about today's game... THANK YOU JOHAN SANTANA for fulfilling your commitment to perform for this team throughout the season. It seems that the last two years we've gotten a pitching gem on the next to last day of the season... last year with John Maine's almost no-hitter (what you bet he goes tomorrow in a shocker move?), and today with Santana's 3-hit performance... just what the tired arms in the Mets pen needed. Good luck tomorrow guys!
Just a note regarding the No-Hitter count... any playoff game between the Brewers and the Mets scheduled for tomorrow WILL count as a regular season game and will be reflected in our No-Hitter Count.
"The Sting" was Newman at his best with Robert Redford, then two of the three most bankable box office stars in the movies (the third being Burt Reynolds). It would be like putting Brad Pitt and Will Smith in the same movie today. "The Color Of Money" with Newman reprising his role in "The Hustler" (which would probably rank third on my listing) as Fast Eddie Felson, simply great acting.
Newman will also be remembered whenever I shop, as his Newman's Own brand permeates many supermarket aisles. With his pal A.E. Hotchner, Newman founded the Newman's Own brand in 1982 and daughter Nell will keep the brand viable after her dad's passing. And all the profits go to charity. Sweet deal.
We promised not to blog about the Mets after the last pitch of the last game was recorded, but I want to let everyone know that the Mets still have a chance, albeit a small one, to win the division in a tie with the Phillies and make the playoffs.
The Mets cannot go to the post season if they lose both games Saturday and Sunday, so let's take this one game at a time.
The Mets have already won their game.
Phils Win (91-70), Brewers Win (90-71) - Phils win division; Brewers ahead in WC by 1 game. On Sunday, Mets would need to win and Brewers would need to lose to force a one-game playoff on Monday.
Phils Win (91-70), Brewers Lose (89-72) - Phils win division; Mets and Brewers tied for WC. If Mets and Brewers both win or both lose on Monday, there will be a one-game playoff on Monday. Sunday win-lose scenarios between Mets and Brewers will result in the winner going to the WC.
A Phillies loss sets up a myriad of possibilities for Sunday, including the possibility of a three-way tie; we will address those as needed.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
When you give up a grand slam home run to the opposing pitcher, that is a sign that something's wrong.
I'm not gonna wait until the end of the season to say this. Should the Mets not make the playoffs, Omar's gotta go. Jerry's gotta go. Dan's gotta go. Unload the talent not able to perform to standard anymore - that means you, Pedro. Shake up the bullpen. Is K-Rod available?
I promise you (as blogging only makes it more painful) - no more Mets talk (other than the no-hitter count) until the last game is in the books of the regular season. Then we'll talk more.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Hey, Rudy, you going to be at Shea next Sunday? I hope the hell so.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Cinematography by Mrs. Mackey.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
How did Vanna White's singing debut on last night's pre-taped "Merv Griffin's New Year's Eve" go? To me, it was underwhelming. She sang "You Do Something To Me" from the roof of some hotel in Beverly Hills, then we found out who she was singing about: her son Nicholas.
More exciting than Vanna's singing was what came before it: Mort Lindsey and the band played the new version of the "Wheel Of Fortune" theme, "Changing Keys". It was the exact same arrangement used on the TV show beginning this season.Certainly someone has this on tape somewhere.... if so, YOUTUBE the damn thing. I'm particularly interested in the WOF theme music rendition, which is not only my favorite version of all those of the Merv Griffin "Changing Keys" theme, it's also the rarest. The complete theme is not available. Just a 30-second loop of part of it taken from a video game or something like that.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Bonus points for finding you-know-who.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The ballpark organist is a dying occupation. There are some ballparks that still have them, most notably Nancy Faust for the Chicago White Sox and Ed Alstrom for the New York Yankees (who replaced the legendary Eddie Layton). But now it's all deejay work, at-bat songs, and wacky sound clips. Too bad.
Friday, September 12, 2008
UPDATE: It has been fixed and the pages are all still there. Whew.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Part of me thinks this became a hit because of that last word in the title, much like Lorne Greene's "Ringo" did at the height of Beatlemania. Bear in mind, that in the strict British usage, a "batman" was kind of like your right-hand man in the military. The guy you sent in to do your dirty work...
On September 11 last year, the Mets enjoyed a 6-game lead over the Phillies - and we all know what happened in the ensuing three weeks. The Mets simply cannot let it happen again, and with no guarantee that the second-place NL East team will have the wild card, every game is crucial from this point out. It's pennant race baseball, kids. Hope the Mets are playing somewhere in October.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
It's gonna sound just like his old WMCA show... just him and the masses. No Francesa to keep him in check.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
LaFontaine had recently gotten some face recognition, thanks to commercials for GEICO Insurance (standing in a lady's kitchen describing her experiences with auto insurance) and the New York Lottery, where he's sitting in a diner having coffee with fellow voice guys Ed McMahon and Johnny Gilbert. (LaFontaine's speaking part is sometimes edited out of the commercials to promote specific lottery games, but you can definitely see him sitting in the booth.) He was also part of an all-star team of trailer announcers (which also included Al Chalk, Nick Tate, John Leader and Mark Elliott) who made a short film shown at the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards. This is actually funny stuff and you don't have to know all that much about the guys - if you know the kind of schtick they do, then you'll laugh at them all poking fun at their image. Note LaFontaine's hair. I don't know if that is LaFontaine's real hair or a rug.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
On our Paramount Cartoon Studios 1960's page, we have a major update on the Al Brodax-produced Beetle Bailey cartoons. We got our hands on the DVD release that came out last year and have the credits now for all but two cartoons. Paramount produced 30 of the 50 Beetle cartoons (all directed by Seymour Kneitel), with Gerry Ray/Geoff Pike's unit based in England doing 18 cartoons, one from Gerry Ray made in Hollywood in 1961, and one from Joe Oriolo, the first pilot from 1960 (as noted earlier on this blog).
On our page, we also now have all the titles listed for the "Barney Google and Snuffy Smith" cartoons, all 50 of which were produced at Paramount and again directed by the indefatigable Kneitel.
A lot of the English crew from the Ray/Pike version of Beetle Bailey were involved with the 1965 "Beatles" cartoon series, which was also produced by Al Brodax, such as Peter Gardiner, Cam Ford, Lief Gram, and Aubrey Stapleton. However, even the "Beatles" series had some oddball moments. A few of the early cartoons were produced in Hollywood and directed by a man more remembered as a cartoon writer, John W. Dunn (with help from Tom McDonald, on loan from Format Films). Animators included Dale Case, an acquaintance of John Dunn from the DePatie-Freleng studio (and Dale is the son of Disney animator Brad Case, who also later wound up at DePatie-Freleng). Here's an example of a US Beatles cartoon, "I'll Follow The Sun".
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
We wonder if Dave Freeman himself had a similar list, and how much of it he accomplished, now that we've gotten this shocking and tragic news.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
My initial reaction was, "You're already in Canton, Michael. Don't push it." But, I think squeezing another year out of Strahan would be a great move for the Giants, who really need star power back on their team, now that the balance of power in the Meadowlands has shifted over to the Jets with their acquisition of Brett Favre (there are already #4 jerseys for $80 in the Sports Authority). And Strahan knows the position, knows the Giants system... it's their best bet.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
For the uninitiated, jingle production companies like JAM Creative Productions, Inc. would create new packages of jingles to syndicate to radio stations, usually piloted at a certain station. In 1978, JAM created its first custom package for WLS in Chicago called "Class Action", featuring its star deejay of the time, John "Records" Landecker. JAM's owner and founder, Jon Wolfert, created one of the most entertaining demos ever made, mixing the cuts in with phone calls purportedly from listeners. Much of it was adlibbed, and one of those callers was Ken Levine. He's the guy who's asking what the jingles would sound like for stations whose call letters began with "K" (usually indicating a station west of the Mississippi, but there are exceptions like KYW in Philadelphia). There's a great bit at the end with "your local announcer" (actually WABC's Dan Ingram!), crafted entirely from outtakes and cut number calls taken from other packages (perhaps Pro Mod?)
Anyway, here is the link to more info on the Class Action demo, including a link for download
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
If the China team members are stripped of their medals, the USA would be bumped to team gold. Individually, so would Nastia Liukin, who technically tied with He Kexin (one of those under scrutiny) on the uneven bars, but was awarded the silver medal on the basis of a tiebreaker.
Makes a doping scandal seem quaint, now, doesn't it?
Also, Monday is the day that Shea Stadium seats go on sale for $895 the pair. It's been speculated that Yankee Stadium seats will go for at least double that, if not more.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Perhaps the last high-profile celebrity to have had similar surgery was Ann Jillian, who had appeared in sitcoms like "It's A Living" and "Jennifer Slept Here". I don't think Ann underwent reconstruction surgery like Christina plans to, which meant less daring waitress costumes for her when she returned to "It's A Living" after her surgery.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
However, here's what I won't miss about the Mike and The Mad Dog Show.
1. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYBODY!" This opening made it seem like it was Chris' show and Mike was just along for the ride. At least they could have taken turns opening the show.
2. The Giants. Not the New York Giants, but the San Francisco Giants, which Chris was so enamored of. Yeah, that plays really well on a NEW YORK sports station. If you're going to work in a market, get behind that market's teams, "will ya please?" (to borrow a Russo catch phrase).
But what will I miss? The unique chemistry these two brought to the air. The best radio partnerships have some yin and yang to them. Mike Francesa was all about connections (right, Bill Parcells?) and knowledge. Chris Russo was all about noise. But in more civil times, these two really clicked and made for listenable radio.
We will try to locate missing graphics and videos, but in some cases where a video is unavailable due to a rights issue, we will insert a comment so saying, rather than leaving the carcass of the YouTube player up on the post. Some of the replaced graphics may not match the original graphics but will be in the same spirit as those replaced.
Thank you and happy reading!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
However, scroll down the page, where a user comment rings truer than anything else on the page:
The coverage of the Olympics on NBC is a disgrace. Whole swathes of sports are ignored while primetime NBC shows almost 24 hour old footage of women's gymnastics qualifying.
Swimming is billed as live despite it happening 5 hours ago. The Chinese have already arranged the swimming finals to co-incide with U.S. prime time viewing. At least show them live.
As for the little "heart warming" stories go, who cares? Save them for when there is no live sport to show.
It would have been nice to have watched the opening ceremony with the rest of the world too.
Thank heavens for the BBC and their excellent, jingo free, live Olympics service on their sports website.
The Olympics are meant to be a celebration of the world coming together in the spirit of competition and peace. NBC manage to change it into another "America against the world" event instead.
Also, you may notice some funky formatting on some old posts - we're trying to catch as many of those as possible. More tweaks to come!
Monday, August 11, 2008
YOU CAN NOW COMMUNICATE WITH DAVE THROUGH COMMENTS! Huzzah! Be advised that you have to be a registered Google/Blogger user, you may have to type in some nonsense words like DYSKJDS and I will sift through your comments. If it is cogent, even if I don't agree with your opinions, I will post it. But be concise. "Your blog sucks" just doesn't cut it with me.
We are going to be tarping up some of our other pages as well to bring them up to standard. And we are going over our old pages and fixing broken links and maybe including some updates as comments! Keep watching.
And yes, Earl, I took pity on you and added you back to my blogroll.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Sunday, I volunteered at Toms River Fest, working the north gate. Believe it or not, the gate is a pretty good place to hear the music. Avril Lavigne was pretty good but only gave her fans 40 minutes of music instead of the advertised 85. Daughtry is a true talent and he and his band gave a very well received performance.
When TR Fest premiered three years ago, in 2005, it was four days, all day, and just a bloated presentation. The 2006 version slimmed each day down somewhat, but the new streamlined two-day format is much better. I think the ticketing aspect was much better managed this time out, and processing people into the festival was a lot easier with barcoded tickets and hand scanners. Only those people wishing to come back needed to be wristbanded. It was a pleasure working the North Gate with my new boss at North Dover Elementary, Ed Keller, and other volunteers from my school as well as High School South. Can't wait to do this again next year - and please don't make us wait until 2010!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
That means you, Earl Kress, aren't going to be that far up on the blogroll unless you get off your butt and start posting a little more.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
And we have learned that Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher John Lackey is no better than any pitcher who ever played for the Mets, as he failed to convert his no-no against Boston with one out in the ninth.
Weird, because on Sunday I passed by the closest unit of theirs to my house - a Steak and Ale in Middletown - and remarked to my wife how I've never in my life eaten at a Steak and Ale. Now, I never will.
I blame Applebees and that damn apple voiced by Wanda Sykes that sounds like Gary Coleman 30 years ago.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Somehow, Pat Sullivan's name is also on the credits. As the elder Pat Sullivan died in 1933, I'm guessing it's probably his son.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
"You're still going to try to go to the game?" Not wanting to eat the tickets, I said, "Yes."
Weathercasters on channels 11 and 5 were predicting a total washout. Boomer Esiason on WFAN was talking in terms of "if the game were to be played today", and were even predicting an early call to the game due to the swarm of day campers due to take advantage of the 12:10 first pitch. Nevertheless, Robair and I boarded the 8:28 train out of Long Branch. We shared a lot of our experiences today with a wonderful mother-daughter duo, both Mets fans. The daughter impressed me with her Tidewater Tides commemorative shirt.
We got to Shea roughly an hour before Oliver Perez threw the first pitch. With Citi Field rising majestically beyond the outfield fences, we took our loge seats.
The game was a very tight pitcher's duel, with few big bombs from the bats of either team. The Mets only got four hits, but the last of those four mattered the most - a massive double by Carlos Delgado, which turned out to be the Mets' last AB, as Delgado was thrown out trying to go to third on the play. Billy Wagner shut the door, getting out the final batter - pinch-hitter Jimmy Rollins, pulled from the lineup just 15 minutes before game time.
This is just the way I want to remember Shea. Next time we get to a Mets game, we will most likely do it at Citi Field, which is a ball park that is going to truly rock.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Directed by Jack Hannah, who was responsible for Disney's best short cartoons of the 1950's, when Donald Duck pretty much supplanted Mickey Mouse as the studio's star character (Hannah would later work his same magic for the Walter Lantz studios). But Chip and Dale came a pretty close second.
I think Disney would be best served by hiring A.O. Scott, the film critic for the New York Times, to soldier on in Ebert's absence.
Speaking of film critics, has Peter Travers ever seen a movie he didn't like?
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Oh, it's EVAN Longoria. Sorry.
But how about this Josh Hamilton guy and his septugenarian pitcher? He could have wound up hitting more home runs last night than in his entire career (40 so far)! And some of those shots were massive. But he used up all his dingers in the first round, it seems, and was runner up to Justin Morneau. It was most impressive to see those moon shots of his trying to make it over the famed Yankee Stadium facade.
My money (figuratively) was on Dan Uggla and Grady Sizemore, both of whom hit six home runs but didn't make it out of the first round.
Personal to RG: You really need one of these on top of that balding head of yours.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Maybe I'll get over it enough to keep from cancelling.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Jerry Beck and Will Friedwald, in the "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies" guidebook published some 20 years ago (really!), took special note of the girl cat in the closing title, saying "So Long Folks" with what was described as "grotesque" mouth action. It's not all that bad, actually, and she does pose quite cutely at the end of her brief recitation. Thanks to Matthew Hunter, one of the Net's flamekeepers of WB cartoons, for posting this one.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Prior to her taking this show over, Rivers acted quite frequently as Johnny Carson's guest host, and I believe the two never spoke again when Rivers basically double-crossed the King of Late Night and decided to compete against him. Alas, Joan Rivers and Fox parted ways a few years later, and after a succession of guest hosts (including Howie Mandel), the time slot eventually went to Ross Shafer and eventually Arsenio Hall, who spun off into his own syndicated offering for Paramount. Fox floundered in late night with garbage such as "The Wilton North Report" and "The Chevy Chase Show" and finally gave up on the daypart altogether.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Among his many accomplishments in the comedy field were this "Baseball vs. Football" routine - very funny, and 100% devoid of those "seven dirty words" that brought him such notoriety. This clip is from 1990; George had been doing this routine for many years and in fact did it on the very first episode of "Saturday Night Live" in October 1975.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I'm glad Rick Peterson is gone too. When you have no idea that your starting pitchers can actually go 8 or 9 innings and take some pressure off the bullpen once in a while, then it's time to go.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Congrats to David Cook - the "word nerd" did it!
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Lest you think that the resignation from Harry McCracken from PC World Magazine is becoming an annual event, this time he means it. Last year, Harry (my very good friend of almost two decades) resigned in a dispute with upper management at the magazine, but later recanted the decision after powwwows. Now he's about to launch his own venture - we're not quite sure exactly what it's going to be but we know that Harry knows his way around HTML. We'll let you know when it launches! Good luck, Harry.
Friday, May 16, 2008
And, Lighthouse's "One Fine Morning", played off the vinyl as it should be. Warning: Do not play any version of this song from a CD, as the remastered version is horrible. All you kiddies, this was like Canada's answer to Chicago, and it even had Howard Shore in the sax section.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Come on, dude. We need that no-hitter.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The Mayfair was a machine I picked up last October intending it to be a surprise Christmas gift for my wife and stepdaughters, but lack of suitable space in the house nixed that idea, so the machine is currently in storage. I won it on an eBay auction for $200, priced low because it wasn't working. (It turns out the guy I bought it from is employed by the same school system I teach in, as a bus driver.) Within a day or two of bringing it to my old house, I had the thing running again. I put about $200 worth of new parts on it, including new rubbers and some new lane guides, and it looks and plays like a champ. The playfield on this one is in outstanding shape. Roller Coaster and Spin Out were purchased in the late 1980's-early 1990's and were on location in arcades near me - the Roller Coaster was at the old Palace Amusements in Asbury Park, while the Spin Out was purchased from Buccaneer Bill's arcade in Lavalette. They haven't been set up lately, so I'm just wondering what they're going to do once under power again.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I had Carly to win. Really. The more I saw her, the more I liked of her performances and her feisty and fun Irish attitude. (If they ever decide to remake "The Commitments", here's your girl.)
UPDATE: The Idol Tour Dates have been announced. Carly and the gang will be rolling into Atlantic City on Saturday, August 2nd, with an on-sale date of Saturday, May 17 at 10:00 a.m.