Monday, July 29, 2013

The Incredible Shrinking Audience


I know, they're still on the map, but they have all disappeared from the Steve's Blog audience. I sure hope I haven't pirouetted over the sea-dwelling mammal, or, to put it another way, "jumped the shark!"

By the way,  I have more readers in Russia than I do in the good old USA. WHAT IN BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S NAME IS UP WITH THAT?!?!? I DO love my Russian readers, although VERY recent events HAVE made me a little bit concerned, but YOU'RE ALWAYS SUPPOSED TO HAVE MORE FANS IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY! America, TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO GO TO AND READ STEVE'S BLOG! It's your PATRIOTIC DUTY! (BTW, tell Uncle Dudley in  Toronto, Cousin Jerzy in Warsaw, your Cousin Joe from Chicago who moved to Brussels to complete his Smurf collection. and those distant relatives in  Jakarta and in Belgrade that we  want THEM back too!)

IN OTHER NEWS,congratulations to New York Yankee captain Derek Jeter on driving home the winning run in yesterday's  home game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Reports of his professional demise have been greatly exaggerated! Alex "Lightning Rod" Rodriguez? Not so much. Major League Baseball has presented him with two options: Take a bonus and get docked a year, or just plain leave baseball forever. If I were you, A-Rod, I'd  take the latter. But don't think it hasn't been a barrel of laughs. IT HASN'T!

I have had the pleasure to know people in virtually all walks of life, but some of my best friends were once  FAST FOOD WORKERS! I know, about all you do is put on a dorky uniform,slap a patty on the grill, and ask the customers if they'd like fries with that, (Some  of my friends even go so far to compare fast food workers to drug dealers.) but agree or agree to disagree, you have to respect their American right to hit the streets and demand the right  to strike and livable wages. Guess THEY deserve a break! Any walking hash-slingers out there? Tweet me @SEisenpreis #NotLovinIt and if I like your tweet, I'll make a donation in your name to the USO, ( an organization that doesn't just TALK about supporting our troops, but puts its money where its mouth is. Mebbe our troops are more important than fast food workers, but they both SERVE humanity!

Some of the people I've had the pleasure to know have been radio DJ's, and although I never met him personally, many of them had the pleasure to know a veteran gabber from Dallas named David "Kidd" Kraddick. On the air, he had a very irreverent personality and loved to knock the wind from the sails of any celeb named Kardashian, but, off the air, he cared about the people in his community, the little people in particular. As a matter of fact, this past weekend, he was supposed to host a charity golf tournament to benefit his organization, Kidd's Kids, but when people noticed he didn't look well, he was rushed to a hospital where, at the all-too-young age of 53, he was taken from our midst by a brain aneursym and heart trouble. Kidd was heard on more than 100 radio stations coast-to-coast and seen on almost as many TV stations as part of the syndicated DISH NATION. Now those golden tones have gone silent, and Heaven is about to become a funnier place. Adios, amigo, and thank you for the music. (And the laughs.)

That's all for now, but I hope to see you all back here soon! (This means YOU, Canada, Belgium, Serbia, Indonesia and Poland!)

Bye, Buckaroos!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In Praise of George


Let us repeat that name.


Let us sample how it rolls off the tongue.


Sounds musical,  does it?

George, George, George of  the Jungle, (sound of phonograph needle skipping)

ANNNNNND I think that's all we'll do with that without getting sued for copyright infringement.

George was our first President, a Beatle, two Presidents Bush,the pater familias of the Jetsons, an old friend who got me my apartment, and now
George (Louis Alexander Cambridge) is the future King of England.
Congratulations, Your Royal Highness.
I bet you wouldn't trade your new handle for Dweezil or Moon Unit.
I think it's real George.

Should I change the name of the Blog to George's Blog?


Still Steve

Monday, July 22, 2013


First of all, welcome to Planet Earth,  O  Anonymous Baby Boy born to William and Kate! May you be physically and morally strong, a wise leader to your people, and  a fit successor to the Queen Mum, and may you NEVER do a reality show! (Especially for Ryan Seacrest Productions!)

Secondly,Welkom, Belgie! Bienvenue en Belgique! Yes, friends, the newest Steve's Blog country is Belgium, the land of a brand new king and the home of a certain tribe of 100 little blue elves, only three apples tall. If you guessed the Snorks, sorry, bud, you're all wet! (Come to think of it, so were the Snorks, since they lived underwater.) If you guessed the Smurfs,you are correct, O Great One! (Since AMC is  now  rerunning Carson, I figured now would be the perfect time to pull my Ed McMahon impression out of mothballs. I know, you can't hear it, but I'm just sayin'!)

Their last live-action movie, THE SMURFS,  debuted to a chorus of disapproval.  I was one of those movie goers who did his  best Grouchy Smurf, standing outside the theatre arms akimbo and a scowl on my face and shouting, "I HATE this movie!"

This year, to mark the Smurfs' 55th anniversary, (I celebrated MY 55th anniversary two months ago! What a coinkydink!) THE SMURFS 2 is being released with the voices of Katy Perry (Smurfette) George Lopez (Grouchy) Fred Armisen (Brainy),Alan  Cumming (Gutsy),and Anton  Yelchin (Clumsy) reprising their roles,
along with the late great Jonathan Winters performing Papa Smurf for, unfortunately, the last time, along with a tribe of Bizarro Smurfs unleashed upon an unsuspecting world by the Smurfs' deadliest foe, the evil, gold-craving,  Smurf-soup-wanting GARGAMEL (Hank Azaria) called the Naughties, led by an Anti-Smurfette called Vexy, voiced by Christina Ricci. The last time many of us saw Christina Ricci, she could have easily been mistaken for a Smurfette as she wore the world famous blue stewardess uniform of Pan American World Airways on the tragically shortlived TV show PAN AM. I was hoping Christina would reprise her role as Maggie, the Bohemian who once said she identified more with Gatsby than with Daisy,by somehow slipping the CGI Smurfs into a recreation of the Belgian Village at the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair
and having them hide from Gargamel inside the pages of  "Spirou," the Belgian comics weekly that introduced them to the world, BUT, to paraphrase Dick Cheney, you see the movie you've got, not the movie you want. Once I see the Smurf movie "we've got," I promise a full review.

Anyway, welcome aboard, Belgium! I think this is the beginning of a smurfy friendship!

Smurf you later!



I hope SOMEBODY over in the UK, one of the countries that dumped this fine blog (GRUMBLE GRUMBLE), is reading this, because, after weeks and months of speculation, Kate Middleton,the Duchess of Cambridge, is FINALLY in labor. Of course, since this is Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and not Kate Bernstein of Duchess County, we may not know the really MUY IMPORTANTE stuff about the baby for days, such as the gender, the name,or whether (s)he prefers Pampers or Huggies,but at least this baby is NOT going to be a Kardashian, and we can be all happy for that.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ruh-Roh, Raggy! (An in-joke for all you Scooby-Doo fans.)

I just realized, I LOST POLAND! What's up with that? Did you see me make EVEN ONE POLISH JOKE?!?

That's what you get for trusting a country where they stand on long lines to buy bread!

OK, Poland, since you threw me in the Dumpster, you've left me with no other choice:

Why don't Poles have freckles?
They keep falling off their faces!

What do 1492 and 1776 have in common?
They're adjoining rooms at the Warsaw Hilton!

And let this be a lesson to you, Poland! Start reading me again or I'm going to start quoting Archie Bunker!
(Come to think of it, I wash my hands of this whole Poland business! Ann Curry, it seems they'd rather talk to YOU! They're YOUR problem now!)


(All kidding aside, I hope Ann  Curry returns Stateside to the TODAY show. Since she left for Poland, they've gone to You-Know-Where in a handbasket! But I STILL hate being dumped by Poland!)

Good Night, Canada!

What is it with me and CANADA?!? One week I welcome them back, the next week, they dump me again! If you remember the fantasy sequences on "Ally McBeal," when  Ally dumped a guy, they always showed the unlikely fella running for his life before ultimately landing in the dump truck, and it seems that I'm back in the dump truck with the Maple Leaf painted on the side.

What's up with you,Canada?  (Oh, by the way, that title refers to an in-joke from ESPN's PTI: PARDON THE INTERRUPTION when their Canadian affiliate, TSN, cut away from the last five minutes of the show and the hosts, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, started saying nasty, but justifiably nasty, things about Canada. TSN subsequently changed its mind and started broadcasting PTI in all its glory. Now every show ends with Tony waving the Maple Leaf and saying, "Good night, Canada!" Now, back to the rant.) Did you hear me, even ONCE, taking a page from 96.3 WDVD morning jock Blaine Fowler's book and calling you
"America,Jr." or "Britain,Jr.?" I DO and DO and DO for you guys, and THIS is the thanks I get?!?

OK, Canada, if THIS doesn't get you back, nothing else will:


CFL Grey Cup 2013

TORONTO       52

And you can take that to the bank!

Thank you for listening, now PLEASE start reading this blog again!

As for you, my fellow Americans, and the fine folks of Germany,Russia,Poland,Serbia,Indonesia and Holland, keep up the great work and I'll see you back here soon!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Detroit Begins A New Chapter: Chapter 9*

Ladies and gentlemen, the Motor City is bankrupt.

I hope things don't get to the point they were when a certain William Howard Cohen (who the late, great New York sportswriter Jimmy Cannon said,  changed his name to Howard Cosell and bought a toupee so he could "tell it like it is," but, hey, he made money for ABC!) looked over the third base wall of Yankee Stadium and intoned in stentorian tones, "Ladies and gentlemen, THE BRONX IS BURNING," but while New York's Big Bust and what Detroit is  going through, are, in a way, very similar, they are also very different.

Both New York and Detroit are major centers of activity, we are famous for our theatre,our long history in film and television, and our continuing argument with London as to who is truly the world's financial capital,
and Detroit is  the home of the Big Three automakers, and the performers who sang the songs that went down in musical history, but that's where we part company.

Love them or hate them, you've gotta admit, New York mayors GET. THINGS. DONE. Kwame Kilpatrick, the esteemed mayor of Detroit? Not so much.

Through good times and bad, New York theater  has consistently entertained locals and tourists alike,and New York has benefited from motion picture and television production, and despite a well-publicized headline in the Daily News, (FORD TO CITY...DROP DEAD) and the tragic attacks of September 11th, this city has never been one to back away from a fight and has always managed to land on its feet. But Detroit lives and dies with the automotive industry, which has been faced more than ever by challenges from Britain, Germany, even from Detroit's sister city in Japan, Toyota City!

While the Detroit Historical Society, the Detroit Institute of  Art, the Henry Ford Museum, and the Motown Museum may be worth the trip, our museums  pull in more visitors per capita, and it goes without saying that they are more accessible and secure.

I almost followed my fellow Ranger fans to Detroit for the 1990 NHL Booster Club Convention, even to this day, I don't remember why I didn't go, even though the hotel was located right near the town's glittering Renaissance Center, which was named for the Motor City's recovery from the downward spiral that resulted from the 1967 race riots. You know what? Maybe it's just as well.

I'm not saying, go to Travelocity, Hotwire, Expedia, or your local travel pro and book your trip to Detroit today because Heaven knows they need the money, neither am I saying, don't EVER go to Detroit, just wait until their latest models come to an auto show near you or see MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL on Broadway,
(Full Disclosure; This reviewer HAS NOT seen MOTOWN yet, but once he knows what it's like in person, so will you.) Patience, as they say, is a virtue, and, in time, Detroit will be the tourist magnet New York is. Now is not that time.

*Chapter 9 is the highest level of municipal bankruptcy. Chapter 11 is the highest level of corporate bankruptcy.

(OBTW, selamat datang kembali, Indonesia! It's so nice to have you back where you belong!)

Get well soon, Detroit! How did you Detroiters like this New Yorker's side of things?Visit the comment box, leave a message on Facebook, or send me a tweet @SEisenpreis



Friday, July 19, 2013


In my last blog I reviewed Disney's new Mickey Mouse shorts, but it turns out I didn't review ALL  of them. The one that slipped through the cracks was "YODELBERG," a very cute and, of course, very funny flick set in Switzerland wherin our hero, a certain Micky Maus,  must surmount every obstacle that otherwise beautiful country throws at him to get to his beloved Minnie. This particular film was obviously inspired by the chase scenes in 1928's "Plane Crazy" and the beautiful graphics of legendary Disney artist Mary Blair (who worked  on Disney's Latin American projects, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, and "It's a small world."), but the many comic scenes, too many to mention without spoiling it all, give it its own personality, making it a 'toon truly worth yodeling about.

That's all, folks! (Oops! Wrong studio!)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Steve's Third Movie Review Blog: Extreme Makeover: Mickey Mouse Edition

Fourscore and  five years  ago this  November, Walter Elias  Disney of Marcelline,MO  brought upon this world  a  new character  conceived  in  laughter and  dedicated to the proposition that even  the  smallest of   little guys can  make  a big impression. That character  was  the one,  the only M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E,
and he made his  debut at the Roxy Theatre, now  the Broadway Theatre, in the VERY FIRST SOUND CARTOON,  "Steamboat Willie." Since then,  he  has been a sorcerer's apprentice,  a conductor, a ghost buster,the star of five  TV shows, and the official greeter at some  of the world's best known  theme  parks,
but  lately, he has been accused of being so  image-conscious  that he  forgot how to be funny.

Fortunately,Mickey is  funny again, thanks  to a new  series of shorts, which can be seen on Disney Channel and on . These new shorts return Mickey to his roots, while introducing him  to a new generation of fans.

NEW YORK WEENIE Our story opens in beautiful Central Park when Mickey tries to play the gentleman and buy Minnie a hot dog, but the rebellious frankfurter has other ideas as he leads  Our Hero on a wild dog chase throughout the Big Apple!

CROISSANT DE TRIOMPHE: When your croissant absolutely, positively, has to be there today, count on
Cafe Minnie's number one delivery mouse, but can Mickey and his motor scooter survive the tres tough Paris traffic (and the rude Parisians!) and get the croissants delivered in one fresh piece?

NO SERVICE: Mickey and Donald are ready to treat their sweethearts to a double date at their favorite Boardwalk hangout, but Goofy isn't goofin' around when he looks at our heroes and says, "No shirt (Mickey), no shoes (Donald), NO SERVICE!" How do the boys get out of THIS one? (SPOILER ALERT:
Brace yourself for FULL FRONTAL NUDITY in a DISNEY CARTOON!Fortunately,it's NOTHING like the controversial Rupert parodies in the UK underground comic "Oz.")

TOKYO GO: FINALLY, the closest thing to a Mickey anime as Mouse-san takes on the VERY congested Tokyo subway.

How best to rank these new 'toons? All of them recall the spirit of the Mickey shorts of the late 20's and early 30's  when he had a bit of a wacky streak years before Bugs and Woody made their first respective appearances, and as NYC, Paris and Tokyo are key Disney bases of operation, the local scenery is impressively authentic,(TOKYO GO boasts a funny video game-like sequence, recalling the studio's recent well-written,well-animated, well-EVERYTHING hit, "Wreck-It Ralph.") If I had to say one short was THE absolute best of the best, it would have to be NO SERVICE because it pokes gentle fun at what has made Mick and Don the icons they are today.

To borrow a phrase from the late, great Don LaFontaine, IN A WORLD where movies have all but run out of originality, these shorts make the perfect antidote to a bummer summer. (Have you seen the temps these days! They're just...GOOFY!)

See ya real soon!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I Love Summer, But This Is Ridiculous!

Once upon a time, long long ago, OK, December 1992 I asked  my old friend Scott Shannon (heard in the New York area on 95-5 'PLJ and nationally on the True Oldies Channel, one of the original VH-1 VJ's, a music analyst for CNN and Entertainment Tonight, and one of the original anchors on the syndicated DISH NATION) if he got my Christmas card, and he replied, in a VERY surprised tone, "Steve, why are you sending Christmas cards? (I was VERY taken aback that he would reply in that fashion to my token of my esteem, but before I got to defend myself he continued.) YOU'RE JEWISH!" I patiently explained that Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, and Johnny Marks,  none of whom could be mistaken for WASPs,wrote some of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.

True, I AM Jewish, and the Driedel Song and Adam Sandler's many Hanukah hymns may be more logical choices for my holiday playlist, but I've always had a soft spot for New York traditions such as the Christmas tree in Rock Center,the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Lincoln Center's Winter's Eve street fair,and the Knicks' Christmas game, be it on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without all that great music. Take it away and you're left with blistering cold temperatures, blizzards,long nights,putting on everything you own, especially your GLOVES, and (How fun is this?!?) the occasional bout with depression.(At least you've got the Knicks and the Rangers,but lately, they haven't been playing like the world champions I know they can be.) That's why I can't wait for summer, a chance to put all that cumbersome clothing away and enjoy the sunshine. BUT summer is not without ITS occasional drawbacks, and they are those days when the temp hits the 90's, but the Real Feel index hits the 100's, and no matter how much you hate winter, (I spent a few winters in Australia, but that's a topic for another time.)
you keep feeling nostalgic for those visits to Macy*s  when you sat on the Big Guy's lap and gave him your wish list. That's why ever since 1977 (Worst. Summer. Ever. "The Bronx Is Burning,"the ConEd blackout, Bella Abzug trying to be New York's first woman mayor and falling right on her hat, New York trying to rebound from the worst fiscal crisis in its history, and about the only entertainment could be found from the red hot Yankees.) and one TV  station  showed images of frustrated New Yorkers  scraping snow  off their cars  as Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" played merrily away I have relied on  Christmas music to keep cool.
I know, people may call the men in the white suits to take you away to the funny farm, but here is my ideal playlist to help those of you in hot climates deal with excessive heat:

ANYTHING BY TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA (does not apply to "Beethoven's Last Night" album or any track on  "Night Castle" that ISN'T "Nutrocker," a fresh, jazz-influenced take on the oft-covered rock version of Tschaikovskt\y's march from the Nutcracker Suite, although "The Silent Nutcracker," an acoustic medley of the aforementioned march,  the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and "Silent Night" is still their best take on the classic)
MARIAH CAREY Medley of "Brahms' Lullaby" and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"
JACKSON 5 "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"
BUCK OWENS or BRAD PAISLEY "Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy"
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA "Deck The Halls With Boughs Of Holly"
BRENDA LEE "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree"
NAT KING COLE "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire"
BOB RIVERS "Who Put the Stump" (Sung to the tune of "Who Put The Bomp In The Bomp-Bomp-Bomp-Bomp-Bomp-Bomp" and not for kids or the faint of heart!)
THE "I LOVE LUCY" CAST "Jingle Bells"
BING CROSBY "White Christmas"
WILLIE NELSON "Pretty Paper"
JIM CROCE "It Doesn't Have To Be That Way"
BILLY JOEL "She's Right On Time"
ADAM  SANDLER the aforementioned Chanukah Song trilogy, and NEIL DIAMOND's cover ain't too shabby either!
GARTH BROOKS has a beautiful "Silent Night" during which he talks about the famous Christmas Truce soccer (football/futbol) match.

Oh,by the way, here's an early present for you Twitterers: Follow me @SEisenpreis. The account is new and up and ready for your questions and comments. (If you would like to talk about the blog, use #StevesBlog, and if you want to make a suggestion about said blog, use #ItsMyBlogToo.) You can also find me on Facebook and, of course, you can add me to your circle on good old Google+, but keep it PG or PG-13 if you must, or The Big Guy (or Hannukah Harry for that matter) will put you on the naughty list!

Merry Early Christmas!
Santa Steve

Sunday, July 14, 2013

O, Yeah, Canada!

Welcome back, Canada!

I was worried you hosers would never come back, eh?

Keep enjoying this fine blog, and if you ever swing by the Big Apple, look me up and we'll split a box of Timbits at Horton's!

Bye, Buckaroos!

The New Kids On The Block (or should I say, the New Kids FROM the Bloc)

Witamy, Polska! (Welcome, Poland!)
Dobrodosli, Srbija! (Welcome,  Serbia!)

Welcome to Steve's Blog! I know there are other blogs on the net, but I just thank you for stopping by!

Also, thank you to The Great Gretchen Muller from the Rangers front office for that nice letter.Without you, there's no Blog! (Actually, technically, by "you"  I mean "all of you" and there's no Steve's Blog without Steve, but you get the idea!)

Bye Buckaroos!


I have a confession to make: I have NEVER,EVER,EVER watched "Glee" from opening tease to closing credits.

Everything I know about the show I know from secondary sources.

I watched its inspiration, Disney's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL trilogy, and since I knew "Glee" was intended as a very unsentimental satire, I avoided it like the plague.

Nevertheless, I was still shocked to hear that one of its stars, Cory Montieth, was taken from us yesterday.

Vancouver police suspect no foul play. A complete autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.

According to sources at ABC News,Cory checked into the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in  Vancouver on the 6th, and was supposed to check out yesterday. When he didn't, the staff went to his room and found his body.

What makes this all the more shocking is that 31-year-old Cory was just getting his life back on track after dealing with addiction.

My thoughts and prayers go out to my "Gleek" friends, as well as to those who have worked with him these past years, especially Jane Lynch, better known on the show as Sue Sylvester and currently playing Miss Hannigan in the Broadway revival of "Annie" at the Palace Theatre.

The "Cheerios" may have lost a voice, but the Heavenly Choir is about to welcome a new addition.

Happy Trails, Buckaroo.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Why did you ignore the best advice of your allies and grant asylum to Edward Snowden? Why did you hang on to your Don-Corleone-esque  line of thinking and make him an offer he couldn't refuse? As longtime readers of this blog are no doubt aware, I am willing to look past the Cold War years and thank the Russian people for their  contributions to the worlds of science, music and sports,but when your President, (I repeat, YOUR President!) who refused to let this man in as long as he kept spouting his anti-American propaganda,
goes back  on his word,it's enough to make this freedom-loving American question our friendship. When  the people overthrew the Soviet Union, I was thinking of visiting Moscow and seeing both its iconic landmarks and the fruits of glasnost.  I   begin to question the logic of this plan.

A very disappointed Steven Eisenpreis

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It's Your Blog Too!

It has come to my attention that while many of you out there in Readerland love this blog, some of you would like to see shorter blogs, and country shout-outs that don't involve the rest of the world. (You can blame Casey Kasem for the current country shout-outs.One of his traditions on AMERICAN TOP 40 was plugging the stations that broadcast the show, for example,"AT-40 comes to you from Hollywood on great radio stations around the world like Most Music Power 95, WPLJ, New York." Some of those taglines were tailored for the listeners in their respective markets and intended to say, "Thank you for listening to US and not THEM," and they just wound up on an international program of the magnitude of an AT-40. You can also blame CNN and their "national local news" concept. Oh,by the way, Wilkommen back, Germany!)

Well, it has been said,the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,so, in the interest of fairness, I'm putting the ball in your court. Shoot me an email at with your name and country
and "It's My Blog Too!" in the subject line along with what you would like to see more and less of. If your idea is one of the three best, I'll make a donation in your name to The Garden of Dreams Foundation, established by Madison  Square Garden to provide educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged children, (For more info, log on to .) No purchase necessary, void where prohibited, and PUH-LEEZ! Nothing of a violent,pornographic,racist,or Anti-American nature.

We here in the US just celebrated our independence,  so, come on, You,The People! Help me form a more perfect blog!

Bye, Buckaroos!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

This Just In!

Russia is back as the country outside the USA with the most views of this blog, while Germany has left the building. Spasiba for your support!

Steve's Second Movie Review Blog: The Great Chocolate Factory Mystery In 4D

There are two advantages THE GREAT CHOCOLATE FACTORY MYSTERY IN 4D has over many of this summer's blockbusters:1) You can only see it at Hershey's Chocolate World, right across the street from Hersheypark, and 2)It's a completely immersive 4D extravaganza.

Sometime ago, I told you that unlike M&M's whose characters have distinctive voices and personalities, (For example, Billy West of "Ren & Stimpy," "Woody Woodpecker," and "Futurama,"  among others, plays the Red M&M and Vanessa Williams plays Ms. Brown.) Hershey characters have no distinctive voices. Although the Hershey characters do not currently appear in any TV advertising, Hershey (Bar,  the leader),  Reese (as in the Peanut Butter Cup, sidekick and comic relief) and Kiss (the cute-but-tough female) carry the movie, (The fourth dimension is provided by special effects such as bubbles and strobe lighting.)  which,truth to tell, is no DESPICABLE ME 2,  but, fortunately, is  no THE LONE RANGER either.

After a briefing in the lobby, guests are shown into a theatre where they are told that there's  something amiss  in the Hershey factory. The chocolate IS edible, but it doesn't really taste the same, and after Kiss, also played via live interactive animation by a hostess,  presses audience members into service, it's up to the audience to control the rest of the action up to the ending. There are cute supporting characters and a villain who reminds you of the old Warner Bros. title card, "Don't hiss the villain. (NOT MUCH)", but they are just for show. The stars are clearly the product characters, but don't think, even for one minute, that Your Humble Reviewer is trying to scare you away. It IS a great way to meet fellow Hershey fans  and get involved in a movie unlike other productions that want you to, as Larry David would say, curb your enthusiasm.

The best part is,  if you want to just see this movie AND the free "Great American Chocolate Tour" ride, it will only cost you eight bucks, AND you get free Hershey's chocolate on your way out. TICKET!

Hope you had a Happy 4th of July!

Bye Buckaroos!

How I Spent My Vacation

Welcome back to the Blog! Hope all of you who celebrated in North America enjoyed your holidays! I'm here to tell you I did, FOR THE MOST PART! The one part I didn't happened in Harrisburg, PA when I was just taking my evening constitutional, and a man who, let's just say, didn't look like Brad Pitt any more than I look like Lindsay Vonn (I think I look a little more like a slightly older Leo DiCaprio, but I digress.)
asked me, out of the blue, if I could help him get on a bus to Wilkes-Barre, which, for those of you non-US
readers,especially those who haven't seen our version of THE OFFICE, is, like  Scranton, an anchor of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area and one of the top twenty cities in Pennsylvania. Now,  like my namesake Stefon on SNL,  I  like to help people find great New York restaurants,  even if some of them are at Citi Field, home of the last-place New York Mets, (For example, Shake Shack, but there are a LOT of 'em all over NYC and even in a few international spots!) but, although my Mom and a lot of my relatives hail from Wilkes-Barre (which, for all you high-rollers, now has its own Mohegan Sun race-ino at the Pocono Downs track), I don't believe in funding the escape plans of strangers, particularly those who are unlikely to own  residences.

Despite running into that particular gentleman (?),  and  passing others who looked like they were about to confuse me  with the Ford Foundation and ask me to fund their important expeditions in search of the elusive "something-to-eat,"(But they didn't ask in so  many words.), and ANOTHER unfortunate incident, it was smooth sailing all the way. My time in Central Pennsylvania, comprised of Lancaster, York, Lebanon, Harrisburg, and surrounding areas, began on July 1 when I  visited the State Capitol and saw a veritable plethora of exhibits on Pennsylvania state history and the inner workings of Pennsylvania state government., all for the amazing low price of FREE! It wasn't the Smithsonian, but, hey, it was fun and informative. (The closest thing Harrisburg has to the Smithsonian is the State Museum, but I didn't get to see it this trip.)

The following day I visited the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, which is kinda like a cross between the American Museum of Natural History and Lincoln Center. One of the current exhibits on display is the Carnival of Health presented by Capital Blue Cross, featuring rides and games of chance (and even a fun house mirror) all themed around health and nutrition. (Interested? Visited Also at the Whitaker is Dino Adventure, the closest thing to Jurassic Park, only the animatronic dinosaurs have no appetite for humans, thank goodness! What Dino Adventure DOES have, in addition to the animatronic dinos, is a game that lets you channel your inner dinosaur.(How would Tempe Brennan handle THIS one? Hmmmm.) There's also a hurricane simulator, and about the only thing wrong with THAT, and this is a VERY big "only", is that it brings back memories of a certain Sandy. But at least it gives you incentive to prepare for the next big one! I also saw not one, but TWO IMAX 3D documentaries, DINOSAURS ALIVE, produced by my hometown American Museum of Natural History and narrated by Michael Douglas, and a very beautiful Canada-Mexico-UK coproduction, FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES. (Dinosaurs and butterflies. Now THAT'S an odd couple!)

After a workout at an impressive local gym, I returned to the Whitaker for a very special jazz concert performed by the US Army Field Band, which ran the gamut from Dixieland to big band, but the highlight of the evening was a stunning performance of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA," followed by "America The Beautiful" as arranged by Ray Charles. If that wouldn't make you proud to be an American, I don't know what would!

However, the other unfortunate incident I referred to earlier happened when I returned to my room. I told the desk, in no uncertain terms, that I wanted Housekeeping to make up my room, but when I returned, the first things I said were, and I quote...

"OH,     MY.      GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

My abode looked like a tsunami hit it! Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, came in and did anything about it! The manager sent me a goodbye basket, along with a note asking me to call her if I had any problems. I  told her that not even PIGS would want to stay in a room like that, but other than that, I had a great time. (At least my hotel was in the same neighborhood as WGAL News 8,the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate.)

The next day I boarded the Capitol Area Transit bus, or the CAT for short,for Hershey. Only problem was, the bus stopped in the Cast Member  (Walt Disney liked to think of his theme park employees as members of a cast of a live show, and the term has stuck, not just at Disney parks, but at many others.) Entrance to Hersheypark and much as I loved it, I didn't plan on going there until the Fourth of July when I was all settle in, so I got the number of Sweet Ride, (Sweet? Chocolate? Get it?) a local taxi service, and within a half-hour, a driver came and took me to Hershey Lodge, a beautiful country estate which has everything from a sports bar to live appearances from Hershey Candy Ambassadors,  which is what they're now calling their product characters. I then visited the all-new Butterfly House at Hershey Gardens, which started as M.S. Hershey's personal rose garden and has become a full-on tourist attraction, and Tanger Outlets, which includes such prestigious brands as Famous Footwear, Reebok, Champion, Starbucks Coffee, and, although
they are in a town famous for its own world-class theme park, DISNEY. (I know what you're thinking, coals
to Newcastle, right? Actually, they love Mickey and company. The Giant Center,formerly the Hersheypark Arena,hosts "Disney Junior Live!," starring Sofia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and other beloved characters, including, of course, the Mouse himself later this month. All the details await on )

July 4th came around, and my celebration of America's birthday began at Hersheypark Place, formerly the Tudor Inn, now a family-oriented restaurant in Tudor Square, outside the Main Gate area of Hersheypark.
I met the three most-popular Ambassadors, Hershey, Reese, and Kiss, posed for photos, and even got a rubdown from Reese!(A giant package of two peanut butter cups giving me a rubdown. I can die now.KIDDING!) There was also a strolling troubador and jugglers, and, of course,a breakfast buffet. (I opted for Cheerios,skim  milk, Equal, OJ, Yoplait, and watermelon slices.) I proceeded to go on the rides, but I'm more of an "It's a small world" guy, so I stuck with low-thrill rides such as the carousel, the monorail,and the Hersheypark Two-Lane Turnpike.(One lane is for classic cars, the other is for sports cars.)
I also saw a lot of live shows, both around the park and at their Chevrolet Music Box Theatre.

I also  had fun on Hersheypark's own Boardwalk,a  faithful tribute to the great beaches on Coney Island, in Atlantic City, and at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware which boasts a public pool and water rides for all ages, and the largest Nathan's  Famous outside Coney Island, which happens to be the only Nathan's my trainer will let me eat at, EVER! My trainer's name is Julie, I love her like the sister I wish I had, but she CAN be tough!

Then, I went to Hershey's Chocolate World, one of many such worldwide attractions,(Another one is on Times Square.)and saw the new 4-D spectacular, "The Great Chocolate Factory Mystery!" (A complete review coming up in the next blog.)

A few hours and a meeting with Hershey Candy Ambassadors P.D. (short for Pay Day),Symphony,and Pattie (as in York Peppermint Pattie, originally made by the York Candy Company in nearby York,PA)later,
we (as in everybody in the park, not just in the editorial sense) headed out to the parking lot for the fireworks
show, which wasn't as big as Macy*s extravaganza, but it was still a great way to end a Fourth of July.

The next day, I visited The Hershey Story, a museum honoring Milton S. Hershey, a man of few words who
let his actions speak for him, and his long road from failed businessman to chocolate king and the beginnings of The Hershey Company and the town that bears his name, which, by the way, is still very much an idyllic small town where people look out for you and say Hello instead of "Excuse me," and where there are no people like the  guy in Harrisburg who wanted me to help him skip town. But, I digress. The Hershey Story is also the story of  Milton Hershey School,his way of giving back to the community in that it helps disadvantaged children of all grade levels, and the Hershey Theatre, (which I visited on my last trip) a showcase for traveling Broadway shows such as DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT, and the Blue Man Group, to name but a few of the many things that set Hershey apart.

After a light, but satisfying lunch, the next stop was the AACA (American Antique Car Association) Museum,  where I took a trip from the Big Apple to San Francisco without ever leaving Hershey thanks to the best of an automotive century, then off to City Island where I saw the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals Eastern League Affiliates) sweep the visiting Bowie BaySox (Baltimore Orioles Affiliates) in a doubleheader.

Even now, I'm trying to think of a way to top this particular vacation, but before I return to the real world, don't touch that "off" button, 'cause a review of "The Great Chocolate Factory Mystery" starts RIGHT NOW!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Almost forgot...

...Danke, Deutschland! You have bumped Russia down to the THIRD country outside the USA with the most views of this fine blog!

Auf Wiedersehn!

We Interrupt This Holiday...

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the news never takes the holiday off, so, it is against my better judgement that I report to you live from Hershey Lodge in beautiful Hershey,PA and present this post-Silver Anniversary (No.26) edition of Steve's Blog.


The tribe has spoken, Egyptian President Morsi has been kicked out by the Military. And, honestly, who can blame them? The economy over there stinks, tourism (a key industry) is down, he wants the Egyptians to take radical Islam more seriously,they should have remembered the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!" At least he didn't change his title from President to Pharoah, I remember the last time they had one of those...Oy! I just hope the Egyptian people choose their next leader a BIT more wisely!


I don't know whether it's because he read my Open Letter to the Russian People or because he's just a smart guy, but Russian President Vladimir Putin would only grant Edward Snowbum...I mean, SNOWDEN, citizenship IF he ceased his anti-American, make that, anti-LOGICAL HUMAN BEINGS activity. Well played, Comrade Putin!

And now, it's time for a new feature I like to call...


Here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, they're famous for town names like Intercourse and Blue Ball,but Lancaster County took that to somewhat oderifierous extremes when they unintentionally changed the spelling of the town of Ephrata to (Wait for it, wait for it) EPHARTA! PennDOT (the Department of Transportation) DID change it before they got into any more deep doo-doo! (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Well, that's enough Number 2 from me, I'll just close this, and let you go back to having the Happiest of Fourth of Julies, and remember all those brave folks who gave their lives so we could live ours in freedom.

See you on the 6th!

Bye, Buckaroos!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Just One More Thing (Actually Three)

I KNOW I was going to hang up the old blogger's hat for a week, but there are three things I couldn't let go:

1) WHY have I lost the UK,Mexico,Denmark,  Indonesia AND  South Korea? Was it my last post? I didn't know the UK was so danged sensitive about the Fourth of July. I thought we were bestest best buds! Wo'  hoppen? Mexico, lo siento for that thing about Montezuma's revenge, I was trying to be FUNNY, get a sensahumor for Pete's sake! And you, Denmark,did you leave the blog because I called the originally generic Little Mermaid Ariel? I thought you'd appreciate the influx of visitors to the Mermaid statue in Copenhagen! We do and do and do for you guys, and THIS is how you pay us back?!? And as for YOU, Indonesia, did you even HEAR me ask, "Where's Donesia? If it's IN Donesia, where's Donesia?" And,South Korea, what did I ever do to YOU?!? I LOVE Psy, even if his fame clock IS at 14:59!(In a somewhat related development, I've found out China was reading this blog for some of the past month. I WAS going to complement them on giving me incentive to walk through the streets of Manhattan when they were closed to traffic the same week of the Olympic Marathon when everybody was running through the streets of Beijing.
Oh,well, that ship has sailed.) I'm still worried about Canada, if that Canada Day tribute didn't get them back, (sigh) nothing else will.

2) Speaking of things I should know, I know  I should be sensitive to the good people of Phoenix, AZ who are dealing with those wildfires, but YOU LIVE IN ARIZONA! IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE HOT! IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT, MOVE TO GREENLAND!

3) If anybody finds the REAL New York Yankees, could they please return them to One East 161st Street in the Bronx? The impostors playing there dropped another game to Baltimore and are dangerously close to LAST PLACE!

NOW I can go on my merry way! See you on July 6, barring any MORE unseen circumstances!

Have a Glorious Fourth!