Saturday, November 13, 2004

THE LADY WILL HAVE THE KNOCKWURST AND I'LL HAVE THE SAME: Alas, tonight somewhere in this great country of ours, a young lady (presumedly) is sitting in a Pizza Hut with that cute boy from her algebra class and trying to dazzle him with a conversation revolving around such pop culture minutiae as how many episodes of "One Day at a Time" aired, Cybil Sheppard's irritable bowels, and, yes, how much Santa's sack looks like an airborne scrotum.

All of us here at ALOTTFMA hope the date went well.

Friday, November 12, 2004

LIKE A B'SULEH: The Forward 50, the Jewish weekly's annual list of the who's who among American Members of the Tribe, is touched for the very first time by a goy this year. Yes, that Meshugeneh Girl Esther, otherwise known as Madonna, shows up on the paper's list (login: ALOTTFMA, pass: Madonna) alongside notables Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Philip Roth, Jon Stewart, Larry David, Natalie Portman, Shawn Green, and a bunch of other rabbis, bankers and lawyers. Actually Esther was something of a borderline pick, as the paper expanded its list to 51 in order to justify its love for the way she expresses herself with Kabbalah, making Judiasm a vogue religion in the process.
PUMP UP THE VOLUME: Eric B. & Rakim's 1987 album "Paid in Full" heads a new list from Entertainment Weekly of the Top 25 Hip-Hop Albums of All-Time. The mag's list, which features names both old and new school, is timed to coincide with the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" hitting the charts 25 years ago. And if you are hungry for some old school beats or just hungry, check this out.
SPEAKING OF SYNDICATION: The San Francisco Chronicle has this interesting article today making the very valid point that just because a show reaches 100 episodes (or even 200 episodes) doesn't actually mean it's any good. Among the examples they cite:

"CHiPS"--139 episodes of pure Erik Estrada goodness.
"Hangin' With Mr. Cooper"--101 episodes.
"Walker, Texas Ranger"--203 episodes from which the Walker Lever can select high-quality clips.
"Empty Nest"--170 episodes.
"Charles in Charge"--126 episodes of Scott Baio.
"Jake and the Fatman"--106 episodes.

Not mentioned, but worthy of snark--there are 195 episodes of "Matlock" out there. Grandpa Simpson must be very happy.
SMALL WONDER: Following in the footsteps of Fresh Prince reruns and The Dr. Phil Show, this blog is now being syndicated at

Mind you, I have no idea what this means, just that someone asked me to enable it, so I did.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

CATCHING MATT NAPPING: In a story one of my co-Bloggers should have been all over, Justin Guarini has been dropped from the cast of the upcoming Beach Boys Broadway musical Good Vibrations.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

YOUR HONOR, DOES THIS LOOK LIKE A MAN WHO HAD ALL HE COULD EAT? Congratulations to Barry "Tink" Giddings of Gassetts, Vt., a "gourmand" who just ate nineteen lobsters in thirty-five minutes, earning the title of 'Lobster Maniac of the Year'.

As a reminder, Wing Bowl XIII is less than three months away. . .
THANK YOU, COPY DESK: I'm so glad this headline made it through in a Philadelphia Daily News article today about actress Cybill Shepherd's pimping for an anti-irritable bowel syndrome drug -- "Cybill lets loose about IBS".

NEXT, GROVER WILL BE TAKING OVER THE ROLE OF TREKKIE MONSTER IN "AVENUE Q:" Ridiculously poor casting decisions are not confined to television and movies. Yes, Harvey Fierstein will be playing Tevye in "Fiddler on the Roof." Yes, this means we'll be going from the guy who played Dr. Octopus in "Spider-Man 2" to a guy whose recent (non-drag) credits include "Duplex," "Death to Smoochy," and "Kull the Conqueror."
HEALING AMERICA'S GREAT DIVIDE: What unites the Dixie Chicks and Jimmy Buffett, who both made appearances for John Kerry, with Brooks and Dunn, who played the RNC? They've both joined this brief (along with Sheryl Crow, the Eagles, and Stevie Nicks) asking for Supreme Court review on the copyright issues raised by file sharing. Perhaps, however, they should look for new counsel, given that the Dixie Chicks' Martie Maguire is called "Martie Maquire," and Jimmy Buffett's name is spelled incorrectly.
DARK DAY FOR DESMOND: The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" has been picked as the In a survey of 1,000 folks from across the pond, the "Life Goes On" theme song beat out a number of novelty hits not heard on these shores, as well as Meatloaf's histrionic comeback single "I Would Do Anything..." and "Ice, Ice Baby."
IN YOUR FACE, EARTH SIMULATOR! USA! USA! IBM's Blue Gene/L tops the list of world's fastest supercomputers, bringing the coveted title back to our shores for the first time in three years. IBM's bad boy can make 70.72 trillion calculations per second, almost twice as many as NEC's girly man Earth Simulator. Meanwhile, my four-year old Dell desktop sadly did not make the list, probably slowed by all the Lindsey Lohan nipple slips shots clogging my Web cache.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

JUST A HUNCH, MIND YOU: When Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks were getting set to read the first-day reviews of The Polar Express, I have a feeling they weren't expecting to see the phrase 'airborne scrotum' anywhere.

Manohla Dargis' NYT review touches on some interesting issues on the limits of computer animation and the artistic divide between imaginative animation v. that which seeks heightened realism, and is worth a minute of your time.
THIS DATE IN NBA HISTORY: Twenty years ago today, Dr. J and Larry Bird had a little to-do.
CELEBRATE DEMOCRACY with a brand new ALLOTTFMA-approved Bi-Partisan Party Game (or ALLOTTFMAABPPG for short), inspired by the news today of the Attorney General's resignation. To play, complete the following lead-in for an article from a 2007 edition of your favorite Infortainment Periodical (revealing if it's E!, The Economist, CNN, TNN or whatever):

"According to the 5-4 decision handed down by the Supreme Court today, _______ will _________ or _______. Mr. Justice Ashcroft, writing for the majority, noted that '_________________________'."

Democracy works. Let the healing, and the expenditure of political capital begin.
WE DON'T NEED ANY CHARACTERS AROUND TO GIVE THE JOINT MORE ATMOSPHERE: Bravo takes a page out of the VH1 playbook with an upcoming five-night countdown of the Top 100 TV Characters of All Time. I can't find the list online anywhere (the link, to a USA Today article reveals some of the picks), but no doubt closer to the Nov. 22 air date it will pop up. The top 10 is under wraps, but here, off the top of my head, is my biased suggestion:
1. George Costanza
2. Homer Simpson
3. Ted Baxter
4. Marcia Brady
5. Archie Bunker
6. Barney Fife
7. The Fonz
8. Larry Sanders
9. Fox Mulder
10. B.A. Baracus (I used to edit A-Team episodes into best of Mr. T highlight tapes in the pre-driver's license/girlfriend days).
Of course, you, gentle reader, can come up with a better list, and for that we have the comments section.

Monday, November 8, 2004

DENNYCRANE: I have not had a ton of time this fall to check out the new tv shows -- no Lost, only occasional Desperate Housewifery, but I have been around a tv most Sunday nights to watch Boston Legal.

It is by no means great television -- it is neither gripping as drama nor as funny as other David E. Kelley works. But it burrows nicely into the ethical dilemmas of contemporary legal practice, and James Spader and William Shatner eat so much scenery you'd think they were at the Bellagio Buffet.

Also, the show marks the return to network series tv of Rene Auberjonois, so good as a pissy little douchebag in Benson twenty years ago, and in the same role today as the firm's managing partner.

It's all good. While never being compelling, it sure manages to hold your attention for an hour. Worth watching when the football game's bad.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

HEY, IT'S THAT BALD, NOT PARTICULARLY LIKABLE GUY! Reviewing this week's TV, I have a H!ITG! submission. With appearances on "Jack and Bobby," in a recurring role as Pres. McAllister's James Carville, "Joan of Arcadia," as a manipulative litigator representing the Girardi family, and "Without a Trace," as a skeevy photogapher, this week, Evan Handler has been that guy. You've assuredly seen him in something, be it his work as millionaire Shrug on the underrated 90s comedy "It's Like, You Know", or his work as Charlotte's unlikely divorce lawyer/Prince Charming on "Sex & The City." He's also shown up on "The West Wing" (as a political consultant working with Ron Silver) and on the late, lamented, "Ed" as Stuckeyville institution "Dr. Crazy," or maybe in the 2000 "Three Stooges" telemovie as Larry.

Handler almost always plays a variant on the same character--a brash and not particularly likable (at least at first) fellow who's smarter than you and he knows it. However, usually, although not always, Handler's character turns out to have a heart of gold and is willing to use that brain to help, and there are few actors that do comic intellectual exasperation as well as him. Unlike a true "H!ITG!," Handler hasn't shown up in a ton of movies, but his ubiquity on television makes him worthy of the title.

So for this week, Evan Handler, you are that guy.