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Thursday, January 27, 2005

JOHNNY'S LAST INTERVIEW

Esquire has posted the last profile/interview with Johnny Carson, in 2002 by Bill Zehme, at their site. (Not sure how long it will be up so go read it now.)

posted @ 2:46 pm

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I CAN DIG IT

There's a short interview with me in Boston's Weekly Dig.

posted @ 3:58 pm

WHATEVER THAT MEANS

Apparently, Letters To Martha is available via an Atom feed. I don't know what that means, but there it is.

posted @ 9:57 am

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

JOHNNY CARSON, RIP

There are people of a certain age, say under the age of
27 or 28, who will never understand the true brilliance and importance
of Johnny Carson. They'll see him in old footage or read his obituary
or read the tributes from around the country, and they might understand
it in an historical sense, but if you weren't there, you'll never get
it. Not really.

All of the tributes are saying that there will never be
another Carson, and while it's true that this is as much a product of
the times and the number of talk shows there are as it is with Carson's
talent, it's Carson himself that proved he was a one of a kind, the way
he carried himself, his interviewing skills, what he meant to a nation
that had only one place to turn to at 11:30pm to get a wrap of the day
before they went to bed.

The Tonight Show still exists, of course. But the
current program resembles the old show only in some vague, abstract
way. Like replacing the cabinet fronts and knobs in a kitchen and
repainting. We know the shell of the original is there, even if nothing
in the room even remotely resembles what it used to look like. The
Cartoon Network is running a funny yet touching tribute right now,
saying that the real Tonight Show is The Late Show With David Letterman.
I feel the same way. Letterman worshipped Carson, and I don't think
it's a coincidence that it's Letterman's show that feels like the old
Carson shows (not exactly, but again, it's a different time). It's
Letterman who Johnny allowed to use the Tonight Show theme
during various segments. It's Letterman it was revealed last week, who
was getting jokes from Carson himself to use on the show. That tells a
lot.

Leno had a tribute to Carson last night, with Don
Rickles and Bob Newhart, and I thought it was fairly well done. But I'm
really waiting for Letterman to get back from vacation next week to see
what he has to say.

I was an odd kid, I think, so I was watching Carson in
the early 70s, when I was around 8 years old, way before I understood
what they were really talking about but clearly knowing that these
people were entertaining me, and that Carson was a damn good host.
There are some that will say hosting a talk show takes no "talent", but
those are people who are saturated by "talk shows" and "hosts"
nowadays. It's easy to be a talk show host. But it's hard to be a great
one. And there's nothing interesting about it anymore. That's why we'll
never see another Carson again. He dies and it's not just the end of a
great comic, but it's also the end of an era. I felt this way when
Sinatra died. It really is an era that is going away, and soon they'll
all be gone. And all that will be left are the gross comics, the talk
show hosts that encourage people screaming at each other, the Howard
Sterns who go after the lowest common denominator.

On the last show, Carson hinted that if he found
something worth doing again, he would be back, and we hoped we would
welcome him back. Of course we would have, but that time never came.
When he said he was retiring, he meant it. He actually went away
forever (save for a guest voice on The Simpsons and a walk-on
to congratulate Letterman on his new show in '93). How many people in
the public eye can you say that about today?

Class and style and genius and cool are words we throw
around way too easily these days. Once upon a time, they actually meant
something.

posted @ 9:41am


THE BLIZZARD OF 'O5

Yes, it has officially been give that name by the local
weather stations. Except for one that is calling it the "Blizzard of
2005," which just doesn't have the same ring to it. (Side note: you
knew it was a major storm because not only were the regular
Monday-Friday weather forecasters in the studios on the weekend, but they were wearing sweaters.)

Some numbers from the storm:

Total # of inches in my town: 30
# of hours it took to shovel stairs: 2
Number of pizza places open that night: 1
Number of pizza slices (deep dish) consumed while watching the Patriots game: 4

I was actually trapped in my house for a while there.
There was a very large snow drift blocking both doorways out of my
apartment, so we had to take the window glass out of the door and reach
out and shovel the snow away from the door just to get out. We tried
going out one of the back windows, but it hasn't been open in 11 years,
and I'm sure the 5 degree temps didn't help.

In other news, Letters To Martha continues today. Look for some interviews coming up later this week.

posted @ 9:04 am

Monday, January 17, 2005

BAD, BAD COMMERCIALS

There's a new Pop Culture Guy column. I have a feeling it's the first of a never-ending series.

posted @ 6:58 pm

NEXT UP FOR ME: A BEST-SELLING DIET BOOK

I'm not a nutritionist, but I think I might have figured out why I'm so out of shape.

Last night for dinner I had a nice big salad, with skinless chicken, fat free dressing, and a Diet Coke. So far, so good.

Then, around midnight, I was feeling hungry again. So I
ate an entire bag of cheddar and bacon potato chips and 4 Reese's
Nutrageous bars.

WTF?

posted @ 4:29 pm

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

THE BLOG ENTRY THAT STARTS WITH AN EXCUSE FOR NOT UPDATING THAT MUCH LATELY

Sorry for the lack of updates. But I'll have some mega
news next week and I'm busy creating the inevitable web site and
newsletter announcement for said news. Details soon.

In the meantime, have you heard of Ari Hest?
This CD has been in my player for a week straight. I can't stop
listening to it. It's fantastic, that's all I can say about it.

You can go to his site and listen to the first single "They're On To Me" (and the whole song, not just a snippet). "A Fond Farewell" is an amazing tune.

posted @ 8:57 am

Friday, January 7, 2005

THIS JUST IN

Three current headlines. Can you tell which one is fake?

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston split.

FOX Nixes Ad Showing Mickey Rooney's Rear.

Julia Roberts Buys Land From Rumsfeld.

So, which one did I make up? Answer: none! Weird but true. (Here are the links: Brad and Jennifer, Rooney's ass, and Julia meets Rumsfeld.)

posted @ 9:01 pm

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

GENERIC HAPPY NEW YEAR GREETING GOES HERE

I could go on and on and on about what I did for the
holidays and then wish every reader a Happy New Year (which I most
certainly do), but let's just get on with 2005, shall we?

First up: a short little thing about a mouse, in today's Black Table (scroll down).

posted @ 1:04 pm

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