Sunday, September 29, 2013

#67Steve's Movie Blog: A Dustin Hoffman Movie You May Have Missed (Aren't You Glad?)

FULL DISCLOSURE: Although AMC Networks is  owned by Jim Dolan,who also pays the salaries of my good friends at Madison  Square Garden,  including the nice ladies who suggested this fine blog, I DON'T RECALL WATCHING AN EPISODE OF "BREAKING BAD" FROM BEGINNING TO END! I WILL extend my condolences to all Walter White's loyal fans as well as the people  behind the scenes, and I DID  hear that Walt was tortured by forcing to watch the subject of the following movie review  and that the director himself was  no huge fan of his own work. I review, you decide. (Actually, I DECIDE! That's how these things work!) Anywho...

MISTER MAGORIUM'S WONDER EMPORIUM (G) FOX Home Entertainment Starring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman Available from Amazon, Netflix, and many retailers, but, then again, you COULD order a nice new book from  Amazon  or a better movie from Netflix.

Dustin Hoffman is Mister Magorium, (and he keeps reminding us  and reminding us  and REMINDING US that his name isn't Steve, and I don't find that  even one IOTA funny, for obvious reasons)and his Wonder Emporium is a living toy store, which he runs with his stooge, I mean, APPRENTICE, a young Natalie Portman (who has danced her way to better things).He decides to"leave" the store and give it to Portman's character, Molly Mahoney, a young girl who's unsure about her ability to follow in her mentor's footsteps. When  she questions her abilities, the store throws a tantrum (I am NOT making that one up!)and starts throwing merchandise at the customers. He hires an accountant (Bateman) who disputes the magical abilities of the store, and I  can't honestly blame him.We think Magorium wants to retire, as do Mahoney and the accountant, but actually, he checks into a mental hospital because he's afraid he's going to die. This in a fun family movie. Yah-stinkin'-HOO. This movie tries to recapture the magic of Disney at the height of his powers and movies such as "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," but the laughs are few and far between, and I imagine audience members in the unit age block  squirming and asking, nay, DEMANDING
that Mom and  Dad turn the player off NOW. Hoffman has played memorable characters from The Graduate to Rain Man to Tootsie. It goes without saying that Magorium is  NOT one of them. KICK IT, watch BREAKING BAD, and tell me how it all came out, because I got ONCE UPON A TIME on the DVR and I'm watching the football game.

Bye, Buckaroos!
MY name IS Steve.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Stevie In Front of The TV: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Crazy Ones,Mom,It's New To You (Volume 1, Number 6

LETTER HAVE IT! (Or, as I said, way back in STEVE'S BLOG 3, "Let Him Have It!")


RE: "The Best And Worse Of Humanity,"  STEVE'S BLOG 65,  September 22,2013

Nicely stated.

Judy Wilder
via Google +

Hey, Jude, right backatcha!
Remember, folks,  keep  those emails and posts  comin' in! You  can also reach me at my Twitter handle, @SturdySteve, email me directly at, or go to Facebook  and search "Steven Eisenpreis". I  may edit them for space and clarity, or maybe not.

Now, on to the business at hand:


This  feature will spotlight the reruns you've probably never seen before, and our first such rerun comes to us  from "All In The Family," a groundbreaking situation comedy that ran on CBS from 1971 to 1980. Based on the successful British series "Till Death  Us Do Part," it starred Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, an average American working guy living at 704 Hauser Street in Queens with his long-suffering wife Edith,  (the late,great Jean Stapleton) their daughter Gloria, (Sally Struthers) and her radical husband Mike (Rob Reiner.) Recent events in Washington and Nairobi have reminded me of the classic episode,"Archie and the Editorial. "In this episode, Arch settles in for a quiet night of TV, when suddenly, he sees an editorial from the station manager calling for gun control. Being the proud American he is,  Archie angrily turns  off the TV, complains about the liberal who has just "infilterated" his house,recites a page of stats on guns and the decline of crime, and reads the Second Amendment. (Conviently forgetting the part about "A well-regulated militia.")

Immediately Archie runs to the studio to demand equal time, and, whaddya know, he becomes a TV star! I'm  not going to give the ending away, but the show is as timely now as it was back then. Check your local listings for "All In The Family" (I believe it's rated TV-PG for language.) and CLICK IT!

Speaking of  equal time,

MOM (Starring Allison Janney and Anna Faris, TV-14, Mondays 9:30 PM ET, CBS)

I say "equal time" because two blogs ago,  I reviewed DADS, which I  hated, and the show I am about to review is one about the other side of the parental equation, and I think it's the best to come out of the mind of Chuck Lorre, who gave the world TWO AND A HALF MEN, GRACE UNDER FIRE, THE BIG BANG THEORY, MIKE AND MOLLY, and the famous end-of-show "vanity cards" which  could be considered mini-blogs.

Anna Faris, whom I've always loved because she plays smart girls who just HAPPEN to be sexy, is Christy, a single mom with a degree in psychology who tries to stay above water as a waitress AND wrestles with her alcoholism. She's doing her dangdest to get her life on track, when who does she meet at an AA meeting but her OWN mom,  the talented Allison Janney. There's an expression  many of use, "OMG, I'm turning into my mom/dad!" This show addresses this problem  in a very funny and often very sophisticated way. CLICK IT!

THE CRAZY ONES,  which airs on the same network on Thursday nights at 10 PM ET and is also rated TV-14? Not so much.  It seemed like a good idea to have Robin Williams return to network television and bring Sarah Michelle Gellar (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, the Scooby-Doo movies) with him and repurpose the working title of the classic 1997 Apple spot that praises "the crazy ones"  such as  Albert Einstein,Jim Henson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,but the execution falls flat. David E. Kelley was at his peak with such shows as "Ally McBeal" ("Felicity" and "Lizzie McGuire"are just two shows inspired by that 90's classic.) and "Boston Legal,"but,  except for Kelly Clarkson's very heartfelt reading of the 1972 classic McDonald's "You Deserve A Break Today" jingle,  (Seriously!) this sitcom about a father-daughter ad agency doesn't have enough "com" to hold my interest. (Note to McCorporate, Scrap that "I'm lovin' it!" campaign and reinstate the classic campaign with that Kelly jingle. My trainer isn't buying how you burger guys are trying to appeal to contemporary sensibilities!) Other than that Kelly song, I deserve a break, David. The rest of you, KICK IT!

And, last, but by no means least...

MARVEL'S  AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. (Starring Clark Gregg TV-14,Tuesdays 8;00 PM, ABC)

As any Marvelite worth his salt knows, S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for Supreme Headquarters of the International Espionage Law-Enforcement Division, but this new ABC effort makes S.H.I.E.L.D. stand for great television.Don't expect Captain America, Thor, Black Widow,  Iron Man, or the Hulk to pop up, even though this story rises from the ashes of the Avengers movie. Gregg reprises his role as Agent Phil Coulson, who faked his own death in the movie, and he creates a new team that James Bond would want to work with. (There is ONE paranormal, but don't expect him to become a full-on super guy.) 9/11 made us  recognize the importance of the ordinary citizen who puts on the blue of the police or the green of the military. S.H.I.E.L.D. makes  us  recognize the importance of ordinary Joes and Janes who can't outrun a speeding bullet, overpower a locomotive, or leap tall buildings at a single bound, but who work in the  shadow of some of the world's most fantastic characters. If you're a Marvel fan or a fan of Bond or U.N.C.L.E., CLICK IT!

Bye, Buckaroos!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Best And Worst of Humanity

1) (tie) CANADA AND SERBIA Welcome back to the Blog!
3) MARIANO RIVERA During his eighteen-year tenure, this 43-year old closing pitcher for the New York Yankees from Panama City,Panama has been as much a part of the 27-Time World Champions as the Pinstripes themselves.Mo, as his friends call him, is the proud recipient of five AL Rolaids Relief  Man Awards and three DHL Express Delivery Man of the Year Awards, as well as five World Series Championships.When the Yankee Stadium DJ plays "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, the other team has to change the game so Mariano won't "put them to sleep." Not only is Mariano part of the Yankees' "Core Four," (also comprised of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, and Jorge Posada) but he is also a major player off the field with his Mariano Rivera Foundation helping kids pursue their diamond dreams. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and today, Mariano was honored by the team, fans, and city he loves as he moves ever closer to retirement.Exit Sandman and cue the applause.You're one of the good ones, Mo, and we'll miss you!


I'm not going to be flip the way Keith Olbermann has been known to with his "Worst Person in Sports" on his ESPN show. I was a witness to terrorism on 9/11/01, and, as longtime readers of Ye Olde Blogge know, I'm NOT going to move on. But, yesterday morning, when I was watching NBC 10 (WCAU-TV Philadelphia) on the computer and getting ready for my upcoming trip, I thought the anchor had too many Schmidt's brewskis the night before because she MEANT to talk about a gunman in a mall in Paoli (a Philly suburb) and it came out "Nairobi!" Before I started jumping to conclusions about a mall Santa with issues or a food court worker who wanted to shake his boss up and down until the money fell out, it sank in: SHE MEANT NAIROBI and this was no laughing matter.This was Al-Qaeda's (or rather, one of their splinter group's) doing and they targeted the Israeli-owned high-end Westgate shopping center in Nairobi,Kenya.
This is proof that terrorism is alive and well and we must NOT let our guard down or be lulled into a false sense of security.

You may have heard it before, but you'll hear it from me now, or regret not hearing it later: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. Tell a uniformed Police Officer or call 911 (or any similar number.)
We don't want any more 9/11s, Sandy Hooks, or Westgates. We want to enjoy our God-given freedom and live our lives in peace. (My Canadian readers will be happy to know the CBC reports  most of the hostages are free.)

See you Friday!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Stevie In Front of The TV: Brooklyn Nine-Nine,Dads, and The Great Gatsby

THE GREAT GATSBY, Now Available on DVD, Blu-Ray HDDVD, and On Demand. (Check Your Service Provider)  Starring Leonardo diCaprio, Toby Maguire, Isla Fisher, and Carey Milligan. Based on the novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald, Directed by Baz Luhrman, Rated R

It may sound like plagarism, but at this point, I would like to  recap a review of Peter Bogdanovich's  adaptation of the same book,  as  reported by the legendary film critic Gene Shalit on the TODAY show's Critics' Corner segment.

The review opened with a 20's-inspired title card reading THE GREAT GATSBY. Gene shook his head.

The title card was altered to read THE GOOD GATSBY. Again, Gene shook his  head.

THE FAIR GATSBY? Another head shake.

THE MEDIOCRE GATSBY? Another head shake.

Historical accuracy was eschewed in favor of journalistic accuracy as a  title card inspired by the CinemaScope logo proclaimed:


After which Gene smiled and applauded. Geno, wherever you are, I concur with you, only this time, the object of my objection is the 2013 Jay-Z/Baz Luhrman version. The  lowlight of this movie is a tie between Jay's unabashedly hip-hop autobiography "Izzo/H.O.V.A" and his  otherwise perfect wife Beyonce's roaring 20's version of her own "Crazy In Love." Did I say ROARING 20's? SNORING 20's and BORING 20's are more like it. KICK IT!

And now for something completely different, as in,  better:

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, Tuesday 8:30 PM ET,TV-14 (FOX) Andy Samberg, Stephanie Beatriz, Terry Crews,Andre Braugher

In the world of television, two of the most popular prime-time genres are the workplace comedy and the police procedural. This is  a story of what happens when these two genres collide.

Former SNL cast member is Andy Samberg is Lt. Jake Peralta, a detective working out of the 99th Precinct in Brooklyn. I won't say he's a loose cannon, but he makes such characters as  Columbo,Barretta, and Shadoe Stevens' famous character Max Monroe, who DID say HE was a Loose Cannon, seem absolutely normal by comparison! Peralta's life is OK, until Captain Ray Holt (Braugher) assumes command. Just like the AIRPLANE! movies, everybody plays their characters perfectly straight, although there ARE times when it's up to Andy to carry the show all by himself, but, nine times out of ten, he manages to succeed. No police show sacred cow goes unroasted, and there IS the occasional element of drama just to make things interesting. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE is, far and away, the most arresting sitcom of the young TV season. CLICK IT!

About the only major thing wrong with BROOKLYN is its lead-in:

DADS, Tuesday 8:00 PM ET, TV-14

Unlike GATSBY, I won't embarass the cast by naming names, they already embarassed themselves by agreeing to appear in this insensitive, racist, sexist, UNFUNNY excuse for a comedy perpetrated by Seth McFarlane who created the WAY funnier FAMILY GUY,AMERICAN DAD! and THE CLEVELAND SHOW. (I WILL mention Brenda Song, better known as heirhead London Tipton from Disney's THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY and THE SUITE LIFE ON DECK,who totally demeans herself by posing as an anime character.) KICK IT!

TTYL! (Talk To You Later!)

P.S.: I will be in Philadelphia from November 18-November 25, so there either WILL or WON'T be a Blog that week. Stay tuned!

Monday, September 16, 2013

You Say Goodbye, And I Say Hello

GOODBYE, Germany, HELLO, Russia and China, and welcome back.

GOODBYE, ex-Saturday Night Live cast members Bill Hader, Fred Armisen,  and  Jason Sudekis, HELLO new SNL WEEKEND UPDATE anchor Cecily Strong. The anchor desk has long been a launching pad for illustrious  comic careers, (Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Jimmy Fallon,Tina Fey,  Amy Poehler, and outgoing anchor Seth Meyers) and if the Great Gods of Nielsen are willing, this could be the STRONG start of something big!

GOODBYE, New York Yankees playoff hopes, HELLO New York Rangers pre-season. With  new players, a new coach and a newly refurbrished Madison Square Garden, the Broadway Blueshirts  have all the ingredients for a 20th Anniversary celebration of their last Stanley Cup. LET'S GO RANGERS! THIS is OUR YEAR!

GOODBYE,high-profile singing competitions, HELLO, shower  singers doomed to a lifetime of shower singing? The ratings for THE X-FACTOR USA do NOT look good,and Shakira and Usher  as coaches were not exactly the best ideas THE VOICE ever had. With Simon in trouble, could NBC walk up to The Donald and throw  his trademark line back at him? Just sayin'.

GOODBYE, wicked old witches with pointy hats, HELLO, "The Witches Of East End," starring Jenna Dewan-Tatum and coming to Lifetime just in time for Halloween on October 6. A similar series debuted on what is now The CW and developed a cult following for three very Charming ladies! (Including Alyssa Milano, recently seen as lawyer Savannah Davis on ABC's "Mistresses.") Will these Witches get Nielsen under THEIR spell? Stay tuned!

GOODBYE, impending marriage of Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsley, HELLO, sanity.

GOODBYE, potential New York Mayor Bill Thompson, HELLO, potential New York Mayor Bill deBlasio! (This Blog, with a great deal of trepidation, endorses Bill deBlasio for Mayor.)

A melancholy GOODBYE to the victims of the tragic shooting at the Navy Yard in SE Washington. Heaven says HELLO to 12 new angels.

GOODBYE, until Friday!

Friday, September 13, 2013

We've Changed...For The Better?

First of all, I'd like to welcome China back to the festivities.(BTW,the closest thing I found to the "supermarket in Old Peking" was  Carrefour, which is open in a few key shopping and financial districts in Beijing and Shanghai. If you live or work in those cities, or plan to visit, head over to Carrefour's international portal and search for the China button. I think it's safe to say you'll be glad you did, and just for the record, this is NOT a paid testimonial.)

Wednesday was September 11,2013,  the twelfth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in the history of the United States, and possibly the world. I was there,my friends.It all started when I made a delivery to a branch office of a major Japanese bank at One World Trade Center at 8:30 AM EST.I got a signature, said thank you, visited the facilities in the concourse and got ready to board the 1 to Houston Street, when BOOM! The first plane hit, and an FBI plainclothes agent ordered the Cortlandt Street station evacuated. We saw the pyrotechnics, and we were  all casual about it, like ANY Noo Yawker, just chatting and saying, "How YOU doin'?" We all thought the pilot was drunk, and this  was an airborne replay of the Exxon Valdez with the poor shnook winning himself an all-expense trip to the Steel Bar Hotel, but another plane hit the second tower, and I bolted from the scene like a deer. It was all too clear...THIS WAS NO ACCIDENT.
Somebody had our number, and I came to the somewhat irrational conclusion that it was a certain Howard Klimberg who used to tease  me in grade school. Back then, I was  worried Howard would be the next Lee Harvey Oswald or worse, the next Adolf Hitler. A web search  revealed he lived in the Orlando suburbs, possibly in a trailer park, nowhere near the base of operations of the actual perpetrator, Osama bin Laden,who had an actual hatred for America and everything it stood for. That day was hardly a day for business as usual. The US flag became more visible,  our airwaves  were saturated with patriotic movies and songs,  and we appreciated our freedom more than any time since World War II.

Every 9/11,  when  we paused to remember the names of the nearly three thousand innocents who lost their lives on that terrible day at the WTC, at the Pentagon, and in a field in Shanksville, PA, a little bit of that day came through.  Morning zoo radio shows toned down the comedy (The morning show at New York's WPLJ was visibly angry at the Today show for interviewing Kris Jenner, the self-described "momager" of Klan Kardashian while its competitors were at the WTC covering the names ceremony.) and played appropriate music such as Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," Daryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten," and Enya's "Only Time." This 9/11,it was almost like nothing happened. The headline on the front page of the New York Post read, "Sleazy come, sleazy go," a reference to the failed respective campaigns of Elliot (Client Number 9) Spitzer and Anthony (Carlos Danger) Weiner, the aforementioned morning show followed suit, almost nobody wore red,white and blue, and a distant relative of one of the victims used the names ceremony as a platform to speak out against a strike on Syria.

Sure, the downtown area, where this tragedy happened, has emerged like a phoenix, and despite the AIG/Lehman hiccup of five years ago, the economy as a whole has improved,but we've become stoic compared to 9/11 and the years directly after. A caller to a TV station in Scranton said it was the same old reading of the same old names over and over again. If this caller were a character on "The Office," it would be funny in a black humor kind of way,but it's all too sad. Remember what George Santayana said? "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." And don't even get me started on a golf course in Wisconsin that commemorated the day by offering a day of golf for $9.11!

I believe we should mark July 4th and September 11th the way Jews around the world, myself include, mark Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the former as a day of celebration, the way Thomas Jefferson intended, and the latter as a day to put aside the normal workaday routine and just reflect quietly on where we are as a nation, where we're going, and all those missed opportunities. THAT, not going about your business like almost nothing happened, is the best way to honor those 3000 people who slipped the surly bonds of Earth.

We've changed...and we haven't changed. Maybe we should treat 9/11 with more of the respect it so richly deserves. It's the American thing to do.

God Bless America, and Happy New Year.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Diamond and the Gridiron

WHAT IS UP WITH ISRAEL?!?! Just as   I welcome them aboard, THEY WALK RIGHT OUT THE DOOR WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A GOODBYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(And those fickle Rooskis decided they didn't want any part of this blog either.Well,they know where they can put their borscht, Nutcracker Suite, and furry hats!) Welcome back, Serbia and Germany, and  I just hope you Serbians  like American football and baseball, because that's what I'm going to talk about today,and a shout-out to our soldiers, sailors,pilots and Marines protecting the peace on our bases in Germany.

This weekend marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of the one-day playoff between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox historians will remember as the Boston Massacre,  because Bucky Dent, not known as a power hitter,knocked out a three-run homer that gave the Pinstripers a 3-2 lead over their Bostonian hosts, and redefined Dent in the eyes of Sox fans everywhere as "Bucky Frickin' Dent." (If I gave you the actual nickname, this place would be a parking lot!) Bucky was the honored guest at Yankees Radio Network FanFest at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on 46th Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan Saturday, and he signed autographs along with other Yankee greats. Corporate sponsors from the Yankees and their network were present, along with a Health and Wellness  Village. (A Health and Wellness Village at a Yankee event? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD?!? My thoughts on America's unhealthy obsession with health in a coming blog.) Unfortunately, despite the outpouring of support for our beloved Yanks at FanFest, they went on to lose to the "Sawx" on  their home turf in the Bronx.

This weekend also marked the start of the National Football League's regular season, and the second season of the new MetLife Stadium, the only professional sports stadium designed to the specifications of two rival sports teams, in this instance, the New York Football Giants and the New York Jets. From 2000 to 2005,my game day ritual involved walking to the former General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street to watch CBS Sports' THE NFL TODAY, performed outside the CBS News studios. I had fun watching Jim Nantz and his team, Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino, and Mike Ditka (with too many names to mention coming in and going out in later years) preview the day's NFL action. (One year when THE NFL TODAY staged a tie-in with Warner Bros.' live-action/animated movie LOONEY TUNES:BACK IN ACTION, I thought it would be fun to send Jim a souvenir of Warner Bros. Park in Madrid, or,as it was then known, Warner Bros. Movie World, particularly an autograph from his "old friend" Bugs Bunny. One feature of the competing Disney Parks I've always found comforting is that when you shake hands with Mickey Mouse, it's like you've known him all your life, no matter where you meet him, California, Florida, Paris,ANYWHERE! Since Bugs has  been a fan fave for almost as long as Mick, I thought it would be a piece of carrot cake to ask the Madrid version  of Bugs if he could sign an autograph for my amigo Jim, (His handler screamed, "JEEM! JEEM!") but he signed it to  "Chim." Oh well!) There was just one drawback: The weather in late November, all of December, and January, when much of the football action happens, tends to get VERY,VERY COLD, especially here in New York City! Yesterday, I relieved the thrill of Sunday mornings past, minus the late season chill. (FOX plans to return to Times Square for the first New York-New Jersey Super Bowl. Thank you very little, guys.)  It was great seeing the entire FOX announce crew, Curt Menefee, Michael Strahan, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, and NFL Insider Jay Glazer, live and in person, but after the leaked report that Bruno Mars ("Locked Out Of Heaven," "The Lazy Song," "When I Was Your Man," )would be the featured entertainment at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, the build-up to the announcement seemed full of sound and fury, signifying nothing I didn't already know. When  FOX kicks off a season, be it football, FAMILY GUY or AMERICAN IDOL, they don't spare the horses! Interview guests included Robert diNiro, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, and Jets Head Coach  Rex Ryan, who went on to lead his boys to a brilliant last-second (LITERALLY!) upset victory against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ARGH! (That's what they were saying, not because they love to talk like pirates, but because we kicked their you-know-whats!) Unfortunately, our Giants were not so lucky
since they fell to the hometown Dallas Cowboys on the season  opener of NBC'S SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.  Oh well!

By the way, Lord, please forgive me for the sin that I am sinning against my beloved New York Yankees by listening to RG3's triumphant return to FedEx Field in DC as I  write this while listening to the Skins' Monday Night opener! (BTW, the current score is 10-7 Philadelphia as time ticks away in the first quarter. Speaking of Philly, Ye Blogmeister is going there next month. Stay tuned!)

Hope those of you who celebrate are continuing to enjoy your NewYear, and I'll talk to you this weekend!
Bye, Buckaroos!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Who Wants To Watch A Wild New Sports Show?

Once again, I would like to thank Israel for coming aboard and wish everybody in  Jerusalem,  Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, and everywhere in between a very Happy New Year. (I  would also like to  wonder WHY every country except for the Old Red,White and Blue, Israel,  and Russia has left the building! I DO and DO and DO for you, Morocco,  France, China,the Netherlands, Germany,AND THIS  IS THE THANKS I GET?!?!?)

Some of you in the USA may not be aware, but after Rosh Hashanah services in Israel, many people head over to the racetrack or the football field (or pitch, depending on whether it's spelled with "oo"  or "u" ) to see some good old-fashioned sports action. Instead of just getting a few "z's" after a big lunch,  I  decided to head over to the Chelsea Piers to see the latest sports non-event show already gaining in popularity.

But first, some background:Many of you in Israel (and some of you in Russia) may be familiar with SKY Sports, one of Europe's two answers to our ESPN, and,as you may know, one of the most popular channels on the tier is SKY Sports News,which doesn't cover any events per se, but brings its viewers comprehensive non-stop coverage 24/7/365.

ESPN, as you may know,  is 80%-owned by The Walt Disney Company and a sister network to ABC, and
the other major American nets have been jealous of ESPN's reach and portfolio of sporting events. As a result, Comcast, the owner of NBC, has rebranded Outdoor Life Network as NBC Sports Network and CBS Corporation has repurposed CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) as CBS Sports Network. Like SKY, FOX, the network that turned television upside down,  is owned by Rupert Murdoch and operated by 21st Century Fox, Inc., formerly the entertainment unit of News Corporation, and has just begun to fight the Worldwide Leader In Sports with a new American version of SKY Sports, FOX Sports 1. Much of the new network's programming originates from the 20th Century Fox studios in Hollywood, but a highlight of the programming is  produced right here in New York City, and it stars somebody you wouldn't normally otherwise associate with sports, iconic American entertainer Regis Philbin, well known as Joey Bishop's sidekick, the "work husband" of Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa, and best known as the host of the American version of WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE, or, as erstwhile Radio Disney DJ (and my Facebook friend) Kara Edwards once called it, "Which One of You Craves to Have a Dollar Bill with Six Zeroes?"). The program, entitled CROWD  GOES WILD airs weekdays on FS1 from 5-6 PM (except on  Wednesdays, when the PM programming is  handed over to Ultimate Fighting Championship) live from Pier 60 of New York's famous Chelsea Piers and Reege is joined by former SKY Sports presenter Georgie Thompson, Wall Street Journal sports reporter Jason Gay, New York Jet Trevor Pryce, tennis pro-turned-comedian Michael Kosta,and You Tube wisegal Katie Nolan.

I attended Wednesday's broadcast, which welcomed FOX NFL SUNDAY co-anchor Terry Bradshaw in a preview of the upcoming NFL season (STEVIE THE GEEK'S PIGSKIN PREDICTIONS FOR 2013-14:AFC: Pittsburgh NFC:Giants SUPER BOWL: Giants Bank on it!) and 40 other uninhibited audience members to a live discussion of sports, pop culture, and the continuing adventures of Regis' equine  namesake,  who has  been  demonstrating his harness racing prowess.

My absolute favorite segment of the new show is "Pardon the Contradiction," a take off on ESPN's  popular "Pardon the Interruption," during which  Katie and Michael debate themselves about the top issues in the sports world. I believe the original PTI hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon would be flattered, when they're not suing them for this totally humorless rip-off which happens to be side-splittingly funny and a total waste of time as well as the highlight of CGW.

If any of you sports fans from  Israel, Russia, and Anyburg, USA are planning to visit Manhattan and want to see a great live show  that doesn't set you back a gazillion dollars, CROWD GOES WILD is it. For tickets and show  info, go to Just a few words of warning: GET THERE EARLY,
T-shirts with large logos and ball caps are VERBOTEN,at least ONE member of your party has to be 18 or over and have the papers to prove it,  and they reserve the right to deny admission,  so lay off the Cosmos at least one hour before you get there! Of course, if you'd rather NOT make the trip all the way to Manhattan, CROWD GOES WILD airs daily from 5 to 6 pm Eastern on FOX Sports 1 (except for special days when UFC fight cards are scheduled) which is available on all major US providers,(Visit the aforementioned site for the channel number in your area.) and on  YouTube.

While ESPN is still The Worldwide Leader In Sports, FS1 is a formidable competitor, and CROWD  GOES WILD is an impressive weapon in its arsenal, which also includes, among others, FOX SPORTS LIVE, its signature late night news show and FOX FOOTBALL DAILY, which features the announce crew from FOX NFL SUNDAY. Both FS1 and CGW are worth a look, even from avowed sport-o-phobes, and, as Regis used to say once long ago, is my final answer.