Friday, March 15, 2013

DEAL BROKEN:  In other potential Failed Takeover Of A Canadian's Television Institution news, Tina Fey tells HuffPo she does not want to take over SNL from Lorne Michaels when he retires/dies/etc:
I feel like "SNL" is so defined by Lorne's taste and his sensibility. That's why any time people have tried to imitate the format and make their own version of it, you'll notice it never really quite happens. And I think that's because he is the center of that show, and I think it should just -- when he wants to stop, it should just stop.
TTFN:  Slate's Matthew J.X. Malady thinks it's time to get rid of sign-off lines ("Regards," "Best," etc.") in emails.

I generally only include them when it comes to dealing with relative strangers, or in emails that are of a length and structure that they function as letters. Sometimes, I'll do a vestigial "--Adam" at the end of an email, but since each email address I use pretty clearly identifies me as the sender, I recognize it's likely superfluous. You?
I'LL TAKE "TERRIBLE IDEAS" FOR $10 MILLION: It's no real surprise that Alex Trebek wants to hang it up when his current Jeopardy! contract ends in 2016, but the idea of replacing him with Matt Lauer?  Nope.  The alleged other frontrunner, Anderson Cooper, seems like a much better idea.

ETA:  Deadline indicates that Brian Williams and Dan Patrick have also been talked to.  More interestingly, they say that Jeopardy! was the number one program on all of television in NYC last night, outrating even reliable blockbuster Big Bang Theory.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

TO DO BATTLE WITH THE THREE DENNIS MILLERS WHO APPEARED ON SNL:  From last night's Fallon, Three Michael McDonalds sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."
AND THEN THE LIVESTREAM TURNED ITSELF INSIDE OUT: Yo La Tengo is on WFMU today from 9 a.m. -- live from Germany, for crying out loud -- playing requests in exchange for pledges. Yes, they do this annually. Yes, you will be subjected to pledge solicitations and related patter between sets. Yes, if you are at liberty, you should totally be streaming this. ...and yes, if you're rolling in dough, you should totally send them some.

ETA: You may need WinAmp for the livestream, if you don't have iTunes on your comp. I did. Windows Media Player didn't want to play it. WinAmp was a quick install, but there were a ton of seeming bloatware and optional "services" to de-select. So, watch for that.
NOTHING BEATS ROCK:  How to win at rock-paper-scissors.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

BOMB, SHELLED:  NBC is moving Smash to Saturday nights at 9pm, in a slot currently occupied by Chicago Fire reruns in-between something called "American Ninja Warrior" and reruns of NBC's highest-rated show, Saturday Night Live. NBC promises to air all nineteen episodes.

In other Peacock news, Vince Vaughn joins Melissa McCarthy as an April SNL host, and based on the title of an upcoming amateurs v. pros cooking show to be hosted by Adam Richman, Dave Grohl needs to call his lawyer.
WHERE'S ALONZO?  Grantland's tournament to determine the most hated college basketball player of the past thirty years (or rather: the runner-up to Christian Laettner) is missing a few names: only one Fab Five player? no one from Bob Huggins' thuggish Bearcat squads?  No Ostertag?
QUESTION FOR THE ALOTT5MA MAZEL TOV ETIQUETTE DESK:  Recently in through the transom: "Adam, what's the current going rate for Bar and Bat Mitzvah gifts when you're invited as a friend of the parents, not family?"

added: I will find out if it's Jorel's. Or Daniel's.  (This is a thing now? Oy.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Monday, March 11, 2013

IF DAVID BOWIE CAN DO IT, WHY CAN'T I? Granted it hasn't been a decade since my last post here and I apologize for this comeback being so self-serving, but I thought a portion of the audience here would get a kick out of the story I wrote for ChicagoSide today on the The Top Ten Streaks in The History of Chicago Sports. And now that I've recovered my password, hopefully you won't mind if I peak my head out of my shell every now and then. (I can't believe I missed the Bonnie Franklin obit, I used to own deaths of '70s sitcom stars!)
FOLLOW, FOLLOW, FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD: Oz: The Great And Powerful isn't a perfect film by any means, and bits of it will likely scare the bejesus out of the younger portion of the audience, particularly in the surprisingly well-done 3-D version.  Franco is fine, in part because his standard "not caring" persona actually fits the character, Rachel Weisz gets to have some fun as a wicked witch, Joey King does some nice voice work, and it's nice to see Michelle Williams play a character who, for once, doesn't have "long-suffering" as a descriptor.  Mila Kunis, on the other hand, winds up badly miscast.  She's been likable enough when she's called upon to play the "cool chick" in Ted and Friends With Benefits, and she's fine until the script calls on her to make an abrupt character turn about halfway through the film.

Kunis also suffers from the film's toughest tightrope--while the original Baum books and illustrations are in the public domain, the material added for the MGM movie (the ruby slippers, particular character looks, the songs) and other recent derivative works (most notably, Wicked and its adaptation) are not, and Disney's lawyers have done a very careful tap dance there in how the movie has been designed, with much of the evasion directed toward her character (there's also an awkward Munchkin song).

The film's solid opening at least gives me hope that we're finally going to get a Wicked movie, and iconic as those two lead performances were in the original cast, I'm hoping they have the good sense to recast them more age-appropriately so we don't get a Rent with the performers all being way too old for their parts.  Feel free to fantasy-cast away in the comments (Samantha Barks as Elphaba? Victor Garber as the Wizard?).
SEX AT NOON TAXES: A short report from the National Palindrome Championships. Sadly, the winner receives neither a Race Car or A Toyota.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

RESOLVED: THIS HOUSE FAVOURS HOUSTON BABIES BASE BALL: Okay, it's not Houston Babies Base Ball. But it's Base Ball!
THIS JOB WRITING FOR SMASH IS KILLING ME:  That was an absolutely top-tier SNL episode which met impossible expectations, despite basically being packed with recycled concepts and minimal new material. It peaked not with anything Timberlake himself did (or that star-filled Five Timers Club sketch), surprisingly, but with a Stefon impression that left many of us cackling uncontrollably.

About that sketch, last night a few of us were kicking around the following question on Twitter: between Lorne Michaels, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Simon, and Jay-Z, how do the folks inside 30 Rock last night rank in terms of career earnings? what about current wealth?

An initial googling suggests Jay-Z might even surpass Michaels atop the pyramid, with Hanks and Michaels neck-and-neck (bravo on taking a percentage of the gross for Forrest Gump), Martin and Aykroyd being a significant gap behind (don't forget about the latter's money for selling the House of Blues clubs), and Simon shocking trailing even them by a decent amount.  Martin's placement on the list likely depends on which metric you employ, because the value of his art collection is significant. I'm just a bit stunned that Michaels might not be on top.