Thursday, January 31, 2008

It Still Floated My Boat

Last night, ABC re-aired the sensational season finale for Lost that originally aired last spring.

This time, however, they included a scroll at the bottom of the screen to help new viewers (and maybe some old viewers) learn more about the plot and characters. With the writer's strike, I don't believe the show's writers had final input into just what finally went into the scroll, and I think this was noticeable.

I found the scroll distracting, and often I wouldn't read it at all. I was too busy closely watching some truly heart-breaking performances.


Here's my original review of the finale from May, and I haven't changed my mind.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

State of the Union

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you."
-- Gomer Pyle

This quote has both nothing and everything to do with a very tired looking George Bush's State of the Union address last night.

Thanks to the folks at Think Progress, here's some fact checking from the address.
SIDE NOTE: I don't believe Gomer ever
opined about being fooled 935 times.
He wouldn't be pleased.

State of the Union, Part II

"It was such a riveting speech, the State of the Union speech. Senator Larry Craig only took two bathroom breaks."

-- David Letterman

Monday, January 28, 2008

Oh Mickey You're So Fine (And Old)

Last night, at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Mickey Rooney presented the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. He has been a SAG member for 74 years and drew applause when mentioning that he is 87 years old.

Then, he introduced the first nominee, Ellyn Burstyn, and the clip from her performance (in Mitch Albom's For One More Day) was a scene in which her character comments that if living a healthier life means adding five years to her life, and those years were between the ages of 85 and 90, then it's simply not worth it. The implication is: Who wants to be a complete old fart and have zero quality of life just for the sake of quantity over quality, if it expands your life to live those awful years between 85 and 90?

I wonder what Rooney was thinking?


Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Man I Voted for Twice

I've been meaning all week to write something about the fairy tales that Bill Clinton has been telling about Barack Obama ... about his flat-out falsehoods and misrepresentations ... about how "the first black president" has astonishingly played the race card ... and how I now kind of take anything that comes out of his face with a grain of salt.

Peggy Noonan writes on this today, among other things, and for the first time in the history of this former Reagan speechwriter's career as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, I agree with every single word.

Every single word.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Obama on Letterman Last Night

His Top 10 campaign promises:

Here's hoping he follows through and does, indeed, put Regis on the nickel.

Passed on, Without Comment (Part I)

New Fox News Channel graphic.

Passed on, Without Comment (Part II)

Henry Kissinger meets Chris Crocker:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stephen Colbert: This Eagle Still Soars

Stephen Colbert has no writers. But have you noticed just how good, I mean GREAT, he has been since his return?

Last night he had on Andrew Young as a guest, and included the below filmed piece just before the interview. Unfortunately this clip doesn't include the clip intro or the interview with Young.

The Young interview included a discussion of the writer's strike and some Colbert family history. It was fascinating.

Here's a snippet from last night's show; here's hoping that Comedy Central doesn't have this pulled off YouTube. That would be a real shame.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Awards Season

Oscar nominations are being announced this morning.

No word yet, however, whether a new award that debuted last year, The Cup of Joe Awards, will return for a second triumphant year of recognizing stunning mediocrity (and a few highlights) in the categories of movies, TV, politics and (yes!) kittens.

We here at TCOJ are a little nervous about crossing the picket lines.

TCOJ Awards 2007. Coming soon. Maybe.

Amazing TV, Not-So-Amazing TV

The Amazing Race finale on Sunday was ... amazing. A fitting cap to a strong season. And dare I say a wee bit touching, too?

A minor quibble: I wish the "old guy" and his grandson (Nicolas and Donald) would have won, but I don't think anybody can complain about the outcome. Though I should point out that a man in his late 60s really isn't that old. We've had plenty of U.S. Presidents and presidential candidates running the free world at this age, so maybe they shouldn't make as big of a deal about a 68-year-old running around the world. Though he was the oldest contestant ever to finish the race.

Survivor needs to sign this guy up for a season.

Considering how bad reality TV has become at times, especially the season premiere of American Idol earlier in the week, this is really an achievement that a show like The Amazing Race can still be fresh and fun and interesting. And touching.

Morning Quick Clips

Bill Clinton sleeps.

Dave Letterman kisses.

Tom Cruise goes cuckoo.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's Getting Old

I don't mind if someone makes a fool of themselves on national television, as long as they are in on the joke, or have the mental capacity to appreciate their own ridiculousness.

This wasn't the case a number of times last night on American Idol, as America was treated to yet more of the cruel and contrived schtick viewers have grown to expect of the show.

It's getting old.

How would I describe last night's season premiere? At times, it was
Jerry Springer-like. Mean-spirited. Manipulative. Shamefully contrived and thus predictable. In short, an amalgam of the worst of American "reality" TV.

What is best about American Idol is seeing talented performers and otherwise normal people achieving, at least on some small level, their own 15 minutes of greatness. How many of these people were pretty much glossed over last night to show us packages on Sparkle Girl (aka the Second Coming of Joan Jett) or the Bearded Bear who Paula made go get his chest waxed. At least the bearded guy, who sang Don't Cha and wore a bikini, seemed to be in on the joke.

Many people are getting rich off this show. Producers need to stop showcasing people of seeemingly marginal mental abilities who 1) can't really defend themselves, especially in light of devilish editing and 2) won't be getting filthy rich off this show.

Awful. And, from my perspective, a little immoral.

More later. Maybe. Even with the writer's strike, I'm not sure I can stand watching anymore until the talent part of this competition begins.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Idol Repeats

American Idol is poised for perhaps its best season ever, and this season will feature the most talented group of singers in the history of the competition.

Oh, that's not me talking in the first sentence; it's me recalling and summarizing the media hype from Season 6, which featured ... Sanjaya.

Season 7 starts tonight, and once again the hype has producers and judges calling this the best season ever, and a season that will feature the most talented group of singers in the history of the competition.

Tonight is the season premiere, but all this hype sure feels like a repeat, dawg.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Psssssssst. Do Something

What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?

Other celebrity epitaphs:

* I knew if I waited around long enough something like this would happen.
George Bernard Shaw

* Pardon me for not getting up.
— Ernest Hemingway

* That's all folks.
— Mel Blanc

Here was buried Thomas Jefferson
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
Of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom
And Father of the University of Virginia
— Thomas Jefferson

* The Best is yet to come.
— Frank Sinatra


When I reach that great big Coffee Shop in the sky, or down below, I think I want my tombstone to read, "You can finally quit shouting at me now, because I'm already dead."

Not that I'm directing this message to anyone in particular, such as my friend Elgy.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Peggy Noonan: Men in Their 40s Are Complete Drama Queens

Every Saturday morning the first thing I read in the Wall Street Journal is Peggy Noonan's column. I don't agree with her most of the time, but I love the way she writes, and it's fun dissecting the rhetorical devices she employs to make barbarous statements seem reasonable. Really, it's fascinating.

She wrote in a recent column a simple declarative sentence that is so concise you just want to immediately accept that it's true, and reasonable. This is THE key to Peggy Noonan. Writers and columnists can get away with making outrageous statements, as long as they make them quick and simple or employ beautiful language or a deft turn of phrase with just a kiss o' poetry. If they do this, people might not notice what they're actually saying. She employed this a lot while serving as a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

She wrote recently about Barack Obama:
Is he experienced enough? No. He's not old enough either. Men in their 40s love drama too much. (source)
Men in their 40s love drama too much?

Might I remind Peggy that Republican hero Theodore Roosevelt was 42 when he assumed the presidency.

Theodore Roosevelt: Rugged environmentalist, rough rider ... and drama queen?

George W. Bush was in his 40s when he first reached political prominence as governor of Texas. And he was just a few years out of his 40s when the Supreme Court awarded Peggy Noonan's candidate the presidency over Al Gore on Dec. 11, 2000.


Let's take a look at some prominent men in their 40s, all of whom presumably love drama too much and aren't suitable to be president:

Sean Hannity, 46. As a man in his 40s, he can't be president because he is a drama queen. He also can't be president because he is a complete idiot.

Stephen Colbert, 43. He, too, can't be president because he is (like all men in their 40s) a drama queen. He can't even get on the ballot in South Carolina.

Brian Williams, 48. Rock-steady anchor. Killer host of Saturday Night Live. Drama queen. Can't be president.

George Stephanopoulus, 46. Smart. Savvy. Drama-filled. Can't be president.

Roger Clemens, 45.
Recently used 60 Minutes for drama-filled ragings against a man who stuck a needle in his butt. Can't be president.


I'm clueless how 57-year-old Peggy Noonan could come up with or defend a statement so silly as, "Men in their 40s love drama too much."

Maybe it's because women in their 50s love drama too much.

Tickling Ivory and Funny Bones

“With just a single-page outline, a piano and a quick-witted personality, (Steve) Allen and a few friends would create nearly two hours of entertainment every night.”

Just a little something to think about during tonight's Leno monologue. That is, if you *really* are one of those people naive enough to believe that Leno isn't getting joke help from *somewhere.*

More here about the genius of Steve Allen.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Taylor Not Made

We here at TCOJ have a soft spot in our heart for Taylor Hicks. As we approach our 1,000th post, we recall that our second-ever post was about Taylor.

We're sorry to hear that his record deal just went the way of the Titanic, the Dodo and the Ron Paul presidential campaign.

Same State, Different Year

Democratic front-runner Edmund Muskie chokes up, doesn't cry, in New Hampshire, responding to patently false attacks against his wife, attacks later linked to the Nixon Dirty Tricks squad. The resulting media coverage of the "weeping" helps to effectively end the Muskie campaign.

2007: Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton chokes up, doesn't cry, in New Hampshire, responding to reports about her spiraling candidacy and the demands of campaigning. Soccer moms love it, and she pulls off a strong victory in the primary. If she wins the nomination, "The Cry" will be remembered and characterized by the media (ad nauseum, like Howard Dean's "The Scream," which wasn't a scream) as the moment that helped catapult her to the nomination.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Spoiler Alert: Predictions for 2008

There's still a little egg on my face from my shocking predictions for 2007 post from Dec. 31, 2006.

For example, I predicted that viewership of Internet porn in 2007 would rise at a rate 2 points higher than inflation. I was wrong. It was 3 points higher.

On most of my other predictions, however, I was alarmingly prescient!

So now, a few days late, I offer again my shocking predictions for 2008. (SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading now if you want to be surprised.)

Here goes:

* The American Love Affair with the hot dog ends. Oscar Mayer reports a sales reduction of 17 percent. Government subsidies follow.

* Mike Huckabee wins the Republican nomination for president and picks Sherri Shepherd from The View as his running mate.

* Viewership of Internet porn rises at a rate 3 1/4 times the rate of inflation.

* Six months after a night of partying at several LA hot spots involving various over-the-counter cold medicines and pain relievers, Lindsay Lohan wins the Nobel Prize for chemistry.

* Karl Rove writes his autobiography and earns kudos as a finalist for the National Book Award. In the fiction category.

* As the writer's strike enters its ninth month, a man claiming to be the second coming of Christ gets his own reality show on Fox. The show is canceled after the man unsuccessfully attempts to turn urine into wine.

* Joe from The Cup of Joe wins a spot as a contestant on Top Chef and in the season premiere wins the Quick Fire challenge with his special dish: Cheerios in a medium serving bowl, served with a 2% milk complement.

* The Biggest Loser: Couples, currently airing on NBC, gets a surprise addition following the California Primary: Bill and Hillary Clinton.

* U.S. Sen. Larry Craig is found wandering the Minneapolis airport wearing only a pair of Ginch Gonch underwear. He is unable to explain why he is wearing the underwear, nor is he able to explain why he can't seem to stop grinning.

* American Idol's Simon Cowell apologizes to the world after calling a contestant a spear-chucker. He later apologizes, claiming that he intended to call the contestant a porch-monkey.

* The ghost of Charles Nelson Riley shows up for a brief (but hilarious) appearance on Ghost Hunters.

* Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild takes on his biggest challenge: a weekend in Camden, N.J. Ratings soar. At Grylls' funeral, Tom Shales from the Washington Post calls the stunt brilliant.

* The celebrity version of The Apprentice gets canceled before its final airing. NBC officials declare the big winner as the American viewing public.

* Our country's love affair with the Big Cheez-It, American's favorite baked snack cracker, continues, as sales rise 37 percent.

* The Big Cheez-It re-ups as a sponsor of The Cup of Joe!

* Ryan Seacrest finally gets married. Although we here at TCOJ don't have a clear picture yet of who exactly he marries, we do know that the ceremony will take place in Massachusetts.

* Larry Craig is seen in Provincetown on the Fourth of July dancing at the A-House with Lance Bass.

* Ann Coulter joins the cast of Dr. 90210 as a regular patient. First surgery: enhancing her adam's apple.

* The ghost of Kitty Carlyle joins the cast of The View and wins over America's heart!

Please keep hope alive in 2008, and please enjoy the new year by eating lots of Big Cheez-Its.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Spoiler Alert

Coming tonight or tomorrow: Predictions for 2008.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Romney Bumbles

According to lore, it's been said that the laws of aerodynamics prove that the bumblebee shouldn't technically be capable of flight.

According to other lore, Mitt Romney is the perfect presidential candidate: good looking, well spoken, and with a proven track record of attracting Democratic and independent votes.

So technically, we should be looking at President Mitt Romney around one year from today.

Mitt Romney: A bumblebee who just won't fly.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

You've Got To Be Kidding Me, Part II

Last week, Parade magazine published perhaps the most asinine cover in the magazine's history. It was so asinine, I didn't write anything about it; I just let the cover speak for itself.

Now, for the second week in a row, Parade has outdone itself.

This is dated Jan. 6, 2008, 10 days after Bhutto's assassination. It was obviously printed before Dec. 27, 2007. But for such an egregious error, isn't a reprint in order?

Just awful.

I wonder how Marilyn vos Savant is going to explain this one.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Hope and The Dope

Mike Huckabee, with Chuck Norris in the background, just accepted victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Barack Obama, my candidate, won on the democratic side.

So the big winners tonight are The Hope and The Dope.