Saturday, May 25, 2013

BORN IN THE D.M.Z.: It's a rare mashup that massively improves on both of the originals. This mash-up certainly does -- Psy, Bruce, and a hint of the Proclaimers.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I'D STILL PREFER THE CRIMSON HAYBAILER: I've occasionally (that is, twice in the last few minutes) wondered if a live action Wacky Racers movie would be worth watching on DVD or maybe cable sometime. I doubt it. But Peugeot gives a hint as to what such a thing would look like.
WHITHER THE LEFTORIUM?  The Universal Orlando theme park is adding one new ride and a variety of eating/shopping locations to bring us all a little closer to Springfield:

It will be the only place in the world where guests can walk the streets of Springfield. It will include a brand-new outdoor attraction, places and foods pulled right from the show and two new Simpsons characters who will make their debut with the new area – Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob.  
And yes – there will be Duff Beer, brewed exclusively for Universal Orlando.  
For the first time ever – anywhere – fans will be able to walk down Fast Food Boulevard and visit the places that helped Springfield stake its claim as “Shelbyville by the Sea.” They will be able to grab a Krusty-certified meat sandwich at Krusty Burger, snatch the catch of the day at the Frying Dutchman, get a slice at Luigi’s Pizza, go nuts for donuts at Lard Lad, enjoy a “Taco Fresho” with Bumblebee Man and imbibe at Moe’s Tavern. 
The new attraction – called Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl – will take “foolish humans” on an intergalactic spin designed to send them into orbit. 
Note: Universal Orlando does not have a monorail.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

IF YOU CAN'T TRUST TGI FRIDAY'S, WHO CAN YOU TRUST?  After a yearlong investigation (awesomely dubbed "Operation Swill"), New Jersey officials have charged 29 restaurants in the state with selling liquor deceptively.  In most cases, it's been substitution of a well brand for a premium, but in some instances, rather than scotch, patrons were served rubbing alcohol with food coloring added, or "liquor" bottles were refilled with dirty water.
BECAUSE IT NEEDED MORE PEOPLE GETTING HIT IN THE FACE: We are generally Bee purists around these parts (recall the uproar when the new vocabulary/usage element was announced), so I hesitate to announce that ABC Family will be airing "Spell-Mageddon" this summer, which "is described as a spelling bee meets Wipeout."  I'm sure we have strong feelings about this, but I'll agree to let this go if ABC Family gives us a second season of Bunheads.
IN JERSEY, ANYTHING'S LEGAL AS LONG AS YOU DON'T GET CAUGHT:  File under "songs I didn't expect to hear again anytime soon, but boy, that's just delightful" -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers covering the Traveling Wilburys' "Tweeter and the Monkey Man," in concert in NYC this week.
ALSO, WHY DID CLUBBER LANG HAVE AN APARTMENT IN PHILADELPHIA?  Peter Chattaway explores some problems with chronology in the Rocky films.  (HT: MZS).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: One of the controversies about Star Trek Into Darkness is a brief scene showing Alice Eve in her underwear, and whether it's exploitative.  In the film itself, I didn't have much of a problem with it (though it's more than a bit gratuitous), but the fact that the shot appeared in basically every trailer and TV spot.  J.J. Abrams was on Conan this week to talk about it, and credit to him, he admits that the scene didn't work the way he'd hoped (more as a Kirk character beat than about Ms. Eve's physique) and show a brief deleted scene in which a shirtless Benedict Cumberbatch takes a shower.
WHY SO FURIOUS?  I've never seen a Fast and/or Furious movie, though I've heard Fast Five is a good deal of ludicrous fun.  That said, I'm fascinated by Vulture's analysis about the physics and mathematics of Five's climax.  (Spoiler--it's perhaps not so realistic.)
A MESS O'CABBAGE:  American Idol is considering bringing in former contestants Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Lambert, and Clay Aiken to serve as its new judging panel. Similarly, EW's Dalton Ross suggests a Fans vs. Favorites season, in which six survivors from the audition process might face Carly Smithson, Bo Bice, and Young David Archuleta and his Dead, Dead Eyes?
CHOOSY MOTHERS CHOOSE:  The creator of the Graphics Interchange Format for computer files (.gif), Steve Wilhite, is wrong, wrong, wrong:
“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Mr. Wilhite said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THANK YOU -- I SAW IT IN THE WINDOW AND JUST COULDN'T RESIST IT:  Two years ago, I gave up on griping about the Kennedy Center's selections for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, having gone with Will Ferrell and Tina Fey in successive years (and then Ellen DeGeneres in 2012) and seemingly abandoning its mandate to be recognition for lifetime achievement in the field of American humor. Instead, it seemed, the mandate was to produce a tv show for PBS stations to air during pledge drives. Feh, I said. Feh. Where was the recognition for Mike Nichols and Elaine May, David Letterman, Norman Lear, Eddie Murphy, Woody Allen, Carol Burnett, Mel Brooks, and the late Nora Ephron?

[Indeed, explains the WaPo: "Would-be winners need to be famous enough to draw a large audience to a PBS telecast of the prize ceremony in the fall. They also have to be popular enough to draw corporate sponsors to a pre-show “rehearsal” dinner in their honor, and to sell tickets to the ceremony itself (all of which raises about $1 million a year for the Kennedy Center)."]

The 2013 honoree for the Mark Twain Prize is Carol Burnett, becoming the first woman to have received both a Kennedy Center Honor and this comedy-only award. Here she is in the late 1950s, with the love song "I Made A Fool Of Myself Over John Foster Dulles."
STRENGTHS: "STRONG AND POWERFUL, LIKE AN OX OR YOUR FATHER":  Baseball Prospectus surveys all the baseball players who posed for Playgirl in the early 1980s. Pictures are SFW, barely, and amusing as hell.
SHOCKINGLY, USAIRWAYS IS NOT INVOLVED IN THIS STORY IN ANY WAY:  A couple recently booked a flight from Los Angeles to Dakar, Senegal (DKR). They wound up in Dhaka, Bangladesh (DAC) instead.

Monday, May 20, 2013

GRANDMA IDA:  I still don't know what to make of last night's Mad Men other than to note that it's really cheating to have Joan magically away for the events of this episode, because there's no way she would have put up with that nonsense.

Also, can we please-please-pretty-please end the Young Dick Whitman flashbacks?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

THIS FAREWELL HAD EVERYTHING: Here's what I counted: a puppet in disguise (Alf in a trenchcoat), Menorah the Explorer, DJ Baby Bok Choy, human traffic cones, Furkels, a human fire extinguisher, Gizblow (the coked-up Gremlin), some guy's mom, Blow-Jay Simpson, and an army of Hobocops. The Armisen farewell was equally great, but otherwise a meh finale. (Okay, I like the ex-porn salesladies.)

Best sketch of the season: Lincoln, Royal Family Doctor, or is there a third nominee?

added: Splitsider with the full annotation.