Tuesday, December 1, 2015

155 Santa Steve's Nice List

PREVIOUSLY IN STEVE'S BLOG, we counted down the Top 10 Naughtiest Newsmakers of 2015:

1.   ISIS

And the countdown continues...


This original animated series from NBC Universal's Sprout Channel teaches kids (Sproutlets) about the world around them, adjusting to people of different cultures, and even American Sign Language! Kudos to Nina herself (from the Good Night Show also on Sprout), Michele Lepe, Isabelle Ferriter who plays young Nina, the star of the show (Sorry, Star, Nina's talking pillow and best friend!), Rita Moreno who voices Nina's Abuelita (Granny) Yolie, Mandy Patinkin who plays her papi (I STILL can't shake, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. PREPARE TO DIE."), and Esai Morales who gives voice to her music-making uncle. Visit http://www.sproutonline.com to find out how to make NINA'S WORLD part of your kids' world!


Kermit, Miss Piggy, Dr. Teeth and all your favorite furry and fuzzy friends star on this new ABC comedy for the whole family, and adults who grew up on THE MUPPET SHOW in particular!


Good on ya, Sheila, for winning DANCING WITH THE STARS! I bet Steve, your old man, is smiling down from Heaven!


This West Sider has played an internet billionaire in the Radio City Spring Spectacular and tons of characters on SUPERGIRL, THE GOOD WIFE, LAW & ORDER :SVU, THE PLAYBOY CLUB, and other shows and she STILL finds time to emcee the Lincoln Square Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony! Now THAT'S a Santa's Helper!


The Mets' thunder god was the closest thing New York had to a real life super hero! ( So we didn't win the Series. Hey, we tried!)


The Gambler knows when to walk away, and he leaves behind a winning hand of great music and memories!


The latest in a long line of performers to don the famous Big Red S, not only does she make you believe a girl can fly, she also makes you feel like flying with her uplifting performance!


He may have played a bad guy in the WWE, but he was one of the nicest grunt-and-groaners I have had the pleasure to meet.


LIVE FROM NEW YORK, it's a 40-year old comedy institution that has introduced comedians from Gilda Radner to Adam Sandler and characters from the Coneheads and Wayne and Garth to Opera Man and (one of my all-time favorites, for obvious reasons) nightclub expert Stefon. As long as there are easy targets, and as long as people want to laugh, SNL will never go out of style.

Before we put the crown on the head of this year's nicest newsmaker, a special HONORABLE MENTION
goes to a nice lady who left us this past year, the one and only LISA COLAGROSSI. As mentioned in this blog, she was a broadcast journalist in many important markets, particularly here in New York where she did her best work for ABC 7 EYEWITNESS NEWS. She was a hard-working reporter who never let anything get in her way, until she was felled by a brain anyuerism.She was also a loyal Ranger fan with goalie Henrik Lundquist her special favorite as well as a proud hockey mom. In recognition of everything she did on Earth. this blog donates $7 to Lisa's Legacy.

And now, we're up to the nicest newsmaker of the year, and the story of a man who convinced the world that even the most powerful heroes in the universe are only human. When 16-and-a-half year-old Stanley Martin Lieber went to work for Timely Comics in 1939, he was a fan of Robin Hood and King Arthur and he aspired to write the Great American Novel. He was a jack-of-all-trades performing menial tasks for his boss Joe Simon and publisher Martin Goodman until seventy-five years ago this coming year when he wrote his first original story, "Captain America Foils The Traitor's Revenge," which starred the patriotic super hero
created by Simon and artist Jack Kirby.(CAPTAIN AMERICA v.1 #3, May 1941) and was written under the pen name Stan Lee. Stan also wrote under the names Neel Nats and S.T. Anley because he didn't want Stanley Martin Lieber to squander his reputation on funny books for little kids. Stan would later create HEADLINE HUNTER, ROVING REPORTER and his first super hero creation, THE DESTROYER. When the Second Great War broke out, Stan served in the Signal Corps before writing training films for the Army. Stan returned to what had become Atlas Comics in the 50's where he worked on an adaptation of  the Marie Wilson series MY FRIEND IRMA among others. Stan almost left the business to write the Great American Novel until Julius Schwartz at rival DC Comics created what would be known as the Silver Age of Heroes with revitalized versions of heroes such as the Flash and Green Lantern and a new super hero squad, the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA.

Stan had been dissatisfied with the then-current state of super heroes, perfect people who could do no wrong, often accompanied by painfully cute teenage sidekicks. Inspired by the JLA, he and Jack Kirby created a team of completely different super heroes. The leader, Reed Richards, was the plastic-skinned Mr. Fantastic, his fiance Susan Storm was the Invisible Girl, her hotly-tempered kid brother Johnny was the Human Torch, (the first character to bear that name since the Second Great War when the original Torch fought, and fought alongside, the Sub-Mariner) and Reed's best friend Ben Grimm was the mighty muscled Thing. Together they were the FANTASTIC FOUR, and their new and realistic stories created a following among college audiences. In time, Stan introduced the INCREDIBLE HULK, a green-skinned powerhouse who was actually a brilliant scientist who saved a reckless teenager only to be belted by his own gamma rays, the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, another reckless teenager who learned that with great power there must also come even greater responsibility, the MIGHTY THOR, God of Thunder, and two more legendary super teams, the X-MEN and the AVENGERS. No doubt about it, the Marvel Age of Comics had begun, and wouldn't abate when Stan was promoted from writer/editor to publisher. Stan's unique style had inspired new generations of writers, in the comics and other media. Stan continued to play an active role in the day-to-day operations of Marvel until 1998 when he founded his own company, Stan Lee Media. Unfortunately,
SLM ended in tragedy due to stock manipulation from partners Stan THOUGHT he could trust.

Today, with super heroic strength, Stan continues to work as the co-president of his new company POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment, his new Kids Universe imprint for 1821 Comics, and of course, his cameo appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Through it all, Stan has never forgotten the great responsibility that comes with great power, and he continues to be a fixture at comic cons from Maine to Mexico and an influence on generations to come. It could be said that he, alone, creates more fascinating treasures than Santa and his elves combined. Naturally...(Drumroll, please.)


Stan The Man Lee is our Number One Nicest Newsmaker of the Year in advance commemoration of the 75th anniversary of his first published comics story. Stan, in recognition of your work, this blog will donate $19.41 to The Stan Lee Foundation, and we can think of no better way to end than with the word you helped popularize, a word which means "Onward and Upward":  EXCELSIOR.

And there you have 'em. The 10 Naughtiest and Nicest Newsmakers for the year ending December 1,2015.We would like to thank longtime friends of this blog, Nicole Vranzanian, Chelsea Duffy and Gretchen Muller, OF COURSE, Bettijane L. Eisenpreis, Alice Steinberg, Scott Shannon, Patty Steele,Todd Pettengill, Jayde Donovan, Joe Pardavila, and the cast of SONGBIRD whose "acceptance speech" will be featured prominently in our first WELCOME TO STEVE COUNTRY blog of 2016. Of course, we would be remiss if we didn't thank all our readers around the world, many of whom serve our country in the defense of freedom. Until January 2016, when once again we will cover the world from our own unique perspective, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!


Steve out!

Monday, November 30, 2015

154 Santa Steve's Naughty List

Hello everybody, and welcome to Santa Steve's Naughty List, the first of two year-end specials that count down the best and worst newsmakers of 2015. Last year, ISIS received the lump of coal, retired Yankee skipper Derek Jeter scored a charitable contribution to his Turn 2 Foundation, and we honored the memory, music and magic of the one and only Casey Kasem. Who has a Happy Holiday and who wins the pleasure (?) of a visit from a certain Mr. Krampus (an anthropomorphic horned figure who punishes children during the Christmas season as opposed to old St. Nick) this year? There's only one way to find out: Line 'em up and count 'em down!


Yep, I messed up Big Time again! This time, I forgot the following Stevie Awards for Awesomeness In Country Music from the first annual ceremony at http://www.welcometostevecountry.com :

LEGEND AWARD 650 AM WSM Nashville THE country music radio station!

RADIO STATION OF THE YEAR NASH FM 94.7 WNSH New York  NOW New York has everything!

AIR PERSONALITIES OF THE YEAR AMERICA'S MORNING SHOW NASH FM 94.7 and other stations, with Blair Garner, Charlie Wicks, Erika Grace Powell and Robin Meade If you HAVE to go to work and you WANT to listen to great country music, this is your show!

OK, now that I've recognized EVERYTHING good in Country Nation, it's time to count down the ten worst in the headlines of 2015


My, have the mighty have fallen! Last year, this pioneering educational kidvid show checked in at Number 3 on the Nice List, but this year, Big Bird, Elmo, and the rest of the gang fall all the way down to Number 10 on the Naughty List for moving to HBO effective January 16. This show was originally created to serve the needs of disadvantaged urban kids, but now it's moving to the home of Carrie Bradshaw, Tony Soprano, Jon Snow, and a host of other characters nobody I know would want hanging around their kids. If you hear a rumbling below Sesame Street, it's Mr. Hooper spinning in his grave!


As if the Filthy Animals of Times Square weren't filthy enough, along comes a group of women with everything those showgirls in Vegas have except TOPS! I like sitting in front of the Times Square Studios and watching the world go by as much as the next guy, but, ladies, could you PLEASE put on some clothes?



What would Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, New York's original Little Italy, be without its annual Christmas party, complete with beautiful Christmas tree? They're finding out right now, thanks to increased security over a precipitous spike in the homeless population. The homeless have been using the area as their hotel, and needless to say, the locals ARE not having a holly jolly Christmas.


Will the real Santa Claus please stand up? According to Macy*s, he's actually sitting down in his red velvet seat in Santaland while a soulless impostor demands $5 from disillusioned Yuletide revelers. Not even his fellow Filthy Animals think this St.Nick got the memo about the spirit of giving!


They were too good for the C.C. Sabathia-less New York Yankees who fell to them 3-0 in a one-game playoff. At least the Mets made it as far as the Series!


He only opens his mouth to change feet!


He's also made a lot of gaffes this year, but poking fun at a handicapped New York Times reporter? If you hear a pack of groaning camels, it was because that was the straw that broke ALL their backs!


A wicked bad excuse for a TV drama!


Where to start? Not stepping up to the plate on the homeless problem, flying off to Iowa instead of focusing on New York, closing down Manhattan while Boston got the brunt of January's blizzard, I'm thinking of throwing my hat in the ring next election! (Hey, ANYBODY could do a better job!)



What they did in Paris and to that Egyptian airliner is totally unacceptable. We should go right in and kick their you know whats!

Now that you know who gets our lump of coal, who gets a special gift? The answer awaits later this week!

Steve out!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

153 MISS The Hunger Games:Mockingjay, Part 2, And The Odds Will Be In Your Favor

Anybody knows me that I respect movies too much to want to SMASH the director in the nose and HIT the entire cast where the sun don't shine, but that's how I felt about the two and a half hours I'll never get back called THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2. (And don't DARE edit this to say I thought it was a SMASH HIT!)

It was too loud, too pretentious, too incoherent to be taken seriously. Jennifer Lawrence is free forever of Katniss Everdeen, the Girl On Fire, the superstar turned rebel, and I can't say I blame her if she's, to borrow a line from Donna Fargo, an all-but forgotten country star of the 70's (Check out our sister blog, WELCOME TO STEVE COUNTRY, for a preview of must-see country TV. PLUG!) the happiest girl in the whole USA. Julianne Moore plays a rebel leader who recruits Katniss and her buds to rub out President Snow. (Donald Sutherland, who MUST miss the days when he had better parts.) SPOILER ALERT: Both the rebel president and Snowman get offed by Katniss. I understand why Sara Stewart of the New York Post gave this sorry excuse for a movie a scathing indictment.

If I were down to my last and I could buy either a ticket to MOCKINGJAY or a sandwich, I'd buy a turkey dinner with all the trimmings! (I know, it's a little bit convoluted, but then, so's this movie!)

See you before the Thanksgiving holiday, buckaroos and buckarettes!

Steve out!

Friday, November 20, 2015

152 Happy Birthday, Elmo!

We interrupt the current 24 hour news cycle to bring you a belated birthday greeting

Elmo Monster first giggled his way into our hearts on November 18,1985 on SESAME STREET. He is both the most beloved and the most controversial of the Muppet Monsters in that his first mouthpiece, Kevin Clash,resigned in 2012 after charges of pedophilia,his habit of referring himself in the third person may promote improper grammar, and his regular features, ELMO'S WORLD and ELMO: THE MUSICAL reduce appearances from the more traditional Sesame Street Muppets. Add to that the Times Square Elmos who have been charged with shaking down tourists for tips, and you may think that Elmo (or as an early incarnation was called in the 1970's, Baby Monster) should be told how to get AWAY FROM Sesame Street... AND FAST.

But, no matter how much controversy swirls around his fuzzy red head, Elmo is still emblematic of the child within all of us, always learning, with a unique spin on the world and a positive outlook.

He's starred in two movies (CINDER-ELMO with Keri Russell as the Princess and ELMO'S ADVENTURES IN GROUCHLAND with Vanessa Williams and Mandy Patinkin, among others), appeared on TODAY, ROSIE, ELLEN and other shows, recorded ELMOPALOOZA for Sesame Street Records (with guests such as Steven Tyler from Aerosmith) and appeared at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA (where yours truly had the pleasure to take a picture with him and even tickled him) and inspired whole lines of toys, (He even recorded a PSA for New York taxis!) but through it all, he remains excited, happy, and a welcome presence, especially in light of recent news events.

Happy Birthday, Elmo! Long may you giggle and give US the giggles!

Elmo...I mean, STEVE out!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

151 The Paris Attack

On November 13,2015, the deadliest attacks since the Second Great War and the deadliest in the European Union since 2004 occurred in Paris and Saint-Denis, France. They came a day after the assassination of ISIS member Jihadi John and are reported by various outlets to be an ISIS retaliation for France's participation in the War On Terror.

France has been on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo and delicatessen attacks. No particular institution or monument was targeted. ISIS targeted an American rock concert and a friendly match between France and Germany's soccer (football) teams and a neighborhood known for its busy night life because of all three countries and their attempts to destroy and degrade ISIS.

Is this an attack on humanity, as US President Barack Obama said, or is it strictly an attack on Europe? Whatever the reason, this cowardly act of terrorism will not go unavenged. As noted in our sister blog, WELCOME TO STEVE COUNTRY, I was there when Al-Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center, and while I don't exactly wholeheartedly agree with candidate Donald Trump's language when answering a reporter's question on ISIS, THEY NEED TO BE STOPPED. FOREVER!

In the meantime, let's continue to pray for our troops, and also pray for the people of Paris, as they strive to again become the vibrant City of Light they have always been.


Steve out!

See you during the work week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

150 The Old Order Changeth...

WOW! Is it our sesquicentennial already? I would like to thank you all for your support for these past two years, and the warm reception for our brand new country blog Welcome To Steve Country, (http://www.welcometostevecountry.com  over most of this same internet) but I've also heard complaints that I've been throwing too many blogs your way.

News flash: I HEAR YOU!

In answer to popular demand: the new schedule for the Steve's Blog family.

STEVE'S BLOG will come your way twice during the work week and once during the weekend.

You'll get a warm WELCOME TO STEVE COUNTRY once during the work week and once during the weekend.

The following blogs will appear occasionally, and don't worry, I don't mean "occasionally every day!"


Hope this new schedule is to your liking, and I hope you stay with us, 'cause we've got goodies comin' out the yin-yang! Over in STEVE COUNTRY we'll countdown the Top 10 Holiday Hits during the Thanksgiving weekend and at year's end, we'll hand out the First Annual Stevie Awards for Awesomeness in Country Music! (No, we're not going to order 100 statuettes, we're going to send links to the site to the Twitter handles of our winning stars. It's kinda like the Marvel Comics No-Prize, only better!) And wait till you see who gets our Lifetime Achievement Award! Don't worry, STEVE'S BLOG fans, we'll still count down the Top 10 Naughties and Nice Guys and Girls of the Year in December! As for STEVE'S BOOK BLOG. we got a review of Stan Lee's AMAZING FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE coming up, and we know you'll find it all of the above!

(By the way, when news breaks out, we'll break in, so consider yourself warned and informed.)

We thank you for your support, and although Shakespeare once said, "We'll strive to please you every day," hope you don't mind if we please you ALMOST every day!

Steve out!

P.S.: On November 18, STEVE COUNTRY will review Radio Disney Country and tell you if it's the best station for your little Mouseketeers and Princesses!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

149 Good Grief! Even Better PEANUTS MOVIE!

Although, technically, it's not the first movie ever based on Charles M. Schulz' beloved Peanuts characters, Blue Sky's THE PEANUTS MOVIE BY SCHULZ is, without question, the very best. For the first time ever, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Peppermint Patty, Linus, and, of course, Snoopy, run, dance, tumble, and fly over motion picture screens around the world in beautiful CGI animation. Other critics complain this movie is so loyal to the original Peanuts strip it loses touch with the modern world. To be honest, THIS critic wouldn't have it any other way.

As the movie begins, our hero has bungled, bumbled, and generally messed up for, what he hopes will be the last time when a moving van pulls up across the street, and out comes The Little Red-Haired Girl, voiced to perfection by Francesca Capaldi. Speaking of which, the charm of the Peanuts TV specials has always been that the characters have always been voiced by actual kids as opposed to adults trying to sound like kids, such as Janet Waldo as Pebbles Flintstone or Julie McWhirter Dees as Sassette, Smurfette's "kid sister." The only voice that has been around since the beginning has been producer Bill Melendez as Snoopy, the star of a movie-within-a-movie in which he battles his perennial nemesis, the bloody Red Baron, and this time, he has a love interest, a cute poodle named Fifi, with vocal effects provided by the Wicked cute Kristin Chenoweth. Of course, it wouldn't be a Peanuts movie without the classic Vince Garuldaldi score made even better by new music from Christophe Beck and a new song ("Better While I'm Dancing") from Meghan Trainor.

Will Charlie Brown finally kick the football to the moon? Will he finally fly a kite? Will he finally pitch a winning game? Will he win the heart of the Red-Haired Girl? Will Marcie stop calling Peppermint Patty "Sir?" Will you see THE PEANUTS MOVIE to find out the answer to these and many other burning questions? Good grief, I hope so! (Also worth the admisssion: an original short starring Scrat from ICE AGE.)

If I was down to my last money and I had to choose between a ticket between THE PEANUTS MOVIE and a sandwich, I'd take PEANUTS. It's WAAAAAAAAY butter!

Over in our new blog, Welcome to Steve Country, celebrate our great country and the accomplishments of our veterans with a countdown of the Top 11 Patriotic Country Songs.

Steve out!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

148 Goodbye, Mutts and Good Riddance!

Remember when I re-wrote "I'm A Believer" to tell the world I love the Mets and I couldn't leave them if I tried?

Well, I didn't have to try very hard. They made leaving VERY easy when they lost Game 4 of the World Series to the Kansas City Royals. In case you missed Sunday night's fiasco, Matt "Dark Knight" Harvey had pitched eight solid innings of shutout baseball when manager Sandy Alderson tried to take the ball from him and tell him gently he did a great job and he could rest. Against his better judgement, Matt decided on one more inning before kissing the Mets 2-0 lead goodbye. The Royals tied it up and then tacked on five extra runs, thus writing a tragic end to the Flushing Avengers' dream season.

I know, I know, I just congratulated them on a job well done, but you know what? The Mets have NOT made a loyal fan out of me!  Au contraire, the Mets have embarrassed this otherwise great city by snatching defeat from the jaws of victory  and totally ruining what could have been the greatest dramatic performance off Broadway.Next year, I'll be back at the House That Ruth Built on 161st Street and River Avenue in The Bronx, New York, cheering on baseball's original class act, the NEW YORK YANKEES! I can't wait to see the Bronx Bombers continue their hunt for their 28th World Championship, and I hope the Mutts, I mean the Mets, get a hole-in-one on the golf course!


Steve out!

147 "When I Make A Mistake, It's A Beaut!"-Yogi Berra

If this blog begins to remind you of MTV in its early years, it's because, as I told a selected few readers,I thought radio personality Rick Dees' 1984 parody of  tearjerking 1970's ballads, "Eat My Shorts," summed up my feelings for the New York Mets after they disappointed me and my fellow New Yorkers by losing the World Series to the Kansas City Royals 3-1.

Unfortunately, two people I really love, Dear Old Mom (Bettijane Eisenpreis) and a guy who used to LOVE to play that song before he changed stations and became a "kinder, gentler DJ", I refer to Scott Shannon, aren't very, as the Donald would say, "HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE" fans of that song, which Mom considers undignified.

In retrospect, that wasn't one of my best decisions, in fact, it borders on cyber-bullying. I would like to apologize to all those I have offended, and to the Mets themselves, and congratulate them, and the Royals, on winning their respective championships, and the Royals on becoming champions of the baseball world.

As for why I posted the official music video for "Goodbye To You" by Patty Smyth and her 80's group Scandal, I believe it conveys similar emotions to "Eat My Shorts," but in a less offensive manner. (I noticed I picked up a lot of views around the world for "Shorts." I leave you to draw your own conclusions about the world's taste in comedy.)

Sometimes I fear we've become too politically correct. (And I repeat the words of Raven, a character from DC Entertainment's TEEN TITANS GO!, a comedy-centric reboot of TEEN TITANS, a series which also featured serious episodes, "Yeah, have a laugh every once in a while!") I thought what was funny in the 80's would retain its comic value, but apparently, I was wrong. The joke was on me.

Although this remains STEVE'S Blog, STEVE's platform, STEVE's soapbox, (Thanks for the inspiration, Stan!) and the place where STEVE can share STEVE's views. STEVE, I mean, I promise to maintain the high quality of this blog and not stoop to the level of people such as Howard Stern. (Unfortunately, I used to put that guy on a pedestal! WHAT was I thinking?!?)

Two people who, tragically are no longer with us, talk show king Johnny Carson and New York late night jockette Allison Steele "The Nightbird" each used to say, "If I said what I'm thinking right now, this place would be a parking lot!" I think "Steve's Parking Lot" doesn't have that oomph I'm looking for. I apologize to you, my loyal readers, and, of course, the New York Mets, and I promise, I won't say what I'm thinking when I'm thinking something so tasteless. (BTW, I DON'T apologize to Screen Media Ventures, Inc. for my last blog. SO THERE!)

NEXT: My thoughts on the series, edited so as not to further tread on any feelings.

Steve out!

Patty Smyth, Scandal - Goodbye To You

Saturday, October 31, 2015

144 Halloween...The Mets...The Marathon...A Bad Movie...HELP!

Once upon a time, one of my heroes, the one and only no baloney Stan "The Man" Lee, wrote an edition of his famous Soapbox, the editorial-cum-pitch meeting that appeared in Marvel Comics from the 1960's to the 70's and again in the 80's and 90's, during which he confessed he had nothing to say!

Well, ladies and germs, to borrow from another one of my heroes, Mr. Milton Berle, I'm not going to have that problem in this, the one-hundredth-and-forty-fourth edition of the Blog. I have SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much to talk about, I don't know where to start!

Actually, I do. I would like to wish everybody within the sound of my voice a very happy and safe Halloween, whether you plan to go out trick-or-treating with the princesses and Jedi Knights, put on your own costume and go out clubbing or to an event similar to New York's Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, (Good luck to this year's sponsors, Time Warner Cable News NY 1 and Z100, this year's Grand Marshall, The Most Interesting Man In The World, and all the people marching in their finery.) or just stay at home and avoid the whole thing by popping in a DVD of "White Christmas."

Speaking of Halloween and movies, one of the perks of my job as a blogger is I get to see bad movies so you won't have to. One of those turkeys (OK, I know, that's a month away, but hear me out, alright?) was released in '04 and is one of those Grade Z stinkeroos foisted upon well-meaning local stations looking for content by Screen Media Ventures,Inc., a company that CLAIMS to "acquire the rights to high-quality independent feature films." (If this is the case, I would hate to see their LOW-quality films!) Its name is SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER (an obvious play on "Santa's Little Helper", the greyhound the Simpson family got for Christmas in their very first show) and the plot concerns a 5th-grade boy who's heavily into this terrible video game called (You guessed it!) "Satan's Little Helper", his mom (Amanda Plummer, daughter of Christopher Plummer and a veteran of MUCH better movies), his dad who comes to their small town to visit for Halloween, his hottie big sister who he wants to marry, (Insescstious little rugrat!) her fiance, and this LOVABLE guy who looks a lot like Satan in the game but turns out to be (BIG SURPRISE!) a serial killer. The kid is fascinated by the game, he hates the fiance, he meets up with Satan and wants to be (DUH!) his little helper, the hottie, a drama major, forgets her costume but borrows Mom's (a Renaissance strumpet), Mom is supposed to meet Dad for a big Halloween do, (She's supposed to be Chiquita Banana, he's supposed to be an elf.) the fiance, who our rugrat hero hates to little bitty pieces, takes the brat into town where he meets "Satan" who attempts to kill him and takes the brat under his wing,"Satan" buys a whole lot of unpleasant things to spike the trick-or-treat candy and plays hide-and-seek with  Ye Comely Renaissance Harlot who later gets wise after hearing media reports that a serial killer (Yep, jolly old Satan) has been robbing stores and killing cops like it's going out of style). Giving the kid her headpiece as something to remember her by if she doesn't make it out alive, she hooks up with the fiance and they follow the Bad Guy to the party Mom was supposed to attend with Dad before the B.G. offed him and....

YAWN!!!!!!!!!!!! (I also yawn so you won't have to.)

The bottom line is, this flopperoo doesn't look like anything you haven't seen before from a writer or director clearly capable of something better. The less said about it, the MUCH better!

Just when the Kansas City Royals thought it was safe to go back to New York, the Mets ATTACK! Noah Synegard, the pitching phenom from Norway, showed his loyal fans why he is worthy of the nickname THOR. Like the Thunder God of ancient Asgard, today's Thor humiliated his heartland adversaries with incredible power and led his teammates to a memorable 9-5 victory. Move over Bronx Bombers! It's time for the FLUSHING AVENGERS to assemble! Tonight, the Mets and Royals return to do battle and in my opinion, another victory on enemy turf is NOT out of the question! LET'S GO METS!

Finally, good luck to all runners in the 2015 TCS New York City Marathon tomorrow, ESPECIALLY those who aren't Ethiopian! Do NOT get me wrong, I am NOT a racist, I just think it's time somebody ELSE won, especially an American. May the strongest person win, and get some sleep 'Kay? (Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 AM, so set your clocks accordingly.)

Have a spooktacular Halloween, and I hope the Great Pumpkin gives you everything you want this year! (I know I'm a little mixed-up, but anybody out there excited for the new Peanuts Movie next month?)

Steve out!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Steve's Movie Blog: Some Peter Out, Some Pan Out

The narrator at the beginning of Walt Disney's classic animated adaptation of the beloved children's favorite PETER PAN says, "All this has happened before, and it will happen again."

But why did it have to happen in such a barely watchable mish-mosh as Joe Wright's PAN-worthy version, which turned out to be a monumental em-Barrie's-ment? Levi Miller does his best to provide a believable portrayal of the Boy Who Never Grew Up, but it gets swallowed up by Hugh Jackman's ridiculous Blackbeard, Rooney Mara's all-too-politically-correct Tiger Lily, and Garrett Hedlund as Captain Hook in name only. (He reminds me more of Indiana Jones, and why didn't the Crocodile already bite his hand off? He should be called Captain Hand.) For reasons that defy all logic, this movie, supposedly set during the London Blitz, features Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and New York's own Ramones' classic "Blitzkrieg Bop," as well as some other music which sounds nothing like "I Gotta Crow" from the Broadway, and later, TV show (Joe Wright is the stupidest fellow 'twas never my fortune to know.) or "You Can Fly" from the Disney classic. SPOILER ALERT: That IS a wig Jackman is wearing during most of the movie, and Peter, who starts the movie in an orphanage, IS reunited with his mother (Amanda Seyfried, and her character's named Mary. How's THAT for chutzpah?)

If I had just a few dollars in my pocket and I could either see this movie, or HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, or get a sandwich, I'd head right for the HOTEL.

This CGI animated howl, just in time for Halloween, stars Adam Sandler as Dracula, manager of a hotel for retired monsters which has since started welcoming humans. In the original, Jonathan, the hotel's first human patron (Andy Samberg) fell in love with Drac's daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez, and yes, Selanators, she sings in this one. She tries to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," but ends up singing the vampire version, "Suffer, Suffer Scream In Pain" with Dear Old Dad.) and they threw their doors open to the human population. In this second stanza, Mavis and Jonathan marry and introduce their half-human bundle of joy, Dennis (or as the Count calls him, "Dennisovich"), but Dennis can't turn into a bat and his ideas of what a monster is are informed by a Barney-like creature on the TV. Can Drac and his friends help Dennisovich channel his inner vampire? The answer, along with top quality voices by David Spade, Kevin James, Dana Carvey, the real-life husband and wife team of Nick Offerman ("Parks and Rec") and Megan Mullaley,Key-Michael Keegan ("Key and Peele"), girl group Fifth Harmony, and VERY special guest star Mel Brooks, and some cute monster kid voices from Adam's real-life kids, await you in this family-friendly fright fest that DOESN'T bite or suck. Enjoy your stay, and Happy Halloween!


The Mets swept the Cubs in the National League  Series and await the winner of the Toronto-Kansas City American League Series. LET'S GO METS!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

What Next?!? Giving the Statue of Liberty a Makeover?

New York just wouldn't be the great city it is without the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium, or Taxi TV.


Yes, you heard right. Taxi TV is as much part of New York as Lincoln Center, where ABC 7, which supplies the Creative Media units, or Rockefeller Center, where NBC 4, which supplies the Verifone units, are located. Both the aforementioned companies supply the yellow local and green borough taxis in New York City with miniature monitors which broadcast local news and weather, entertainment shows and service features, and take credit cards as payment for rides. Yeah, I know, there are people on both sides of the wheel who say it's too loud, too boring, too repetitive, too this, too that, well, I say, it's too good to lose!

Some days, the traffic can be worse than impossible, and it could take FOREVER to get from Point A to Point B. That's why, when the driver turns the key, I just turn the volume up a skosh, buckle my seat belt, and get ready to either catch up with the world, laugh at the best of late night TV, or find out what Our Beloved (?) Mayor is up to. And now the Taxi and Limo Commission, in its in(?)finite wisdom wants to remove it from 2000 vehicles and replace it with supposedly more modern technology that would be more compatible with smart phones. To borrow a phrase from that underwater sage, SpongeBob SquarePants, "HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?!?!?!?" Like it or not,Taxi TV has become part of our daily lives,so much so that it has been duplicated in Boston and Philly. Fellow New Yorkers, we can NOT afford to lose Taxi TV! Write Mayor DiBlasio and the TLC and tell them, I WANT MY TAXI TV!

(This blog has NOT been sponsored or approved by NBC, ABC, Verifone, or Creative Media Technologies.)

Steve out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

An Open Letter to Hugh M. Hefner, Editor-In-Chief of Playboy Magazine

Hi, Hef, I'm Bunny Steve!

Actually, although I want us to be business associates, for reasons I will discuss later, I'm not going to stoop that low. I couldn't walk in stiletto heels, and although I would be wearing fishnet stockings, I would still have to shave my legs.

OK, now that we got THAT out of the way, let's talk business, shall we? I have considered submitting either fiction or non-fiction to Playboy,but there has always been the matter of friends, family, and just plain fans wading past copious pictures of ladies who aren't exactly DRESSED just to get to the story. While it would have been lucrative, to be honest, I would have felt guilty and like I compromised my principles in the name of Saint Benjamin.

Today, the New York Times reported that after six decades,Playboy, the magazine that, in the eyes of many, fired the opening shot in the sexual revolution, has surrendered and will stop printing photographs of ladies wearing only what they came into the world with. I only believe this could be a positive sign for the Playboy brand, because no distracting nudes would mean more eyeballs for (Drumroll, please.) THE WORLD ACCORDING TO STEVE. It would be a logical extension of MY brand, which I have built with Steve's Blog, which I created in 2013 after I got a suggestion from a friend of mine at Madison Square Garden and is now read in the US, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Israel,Indonesia,the UK, and even Russia AND Ukraine. In the past two years, I have commented on politics, sports,media,entertainment, and I know what millenials like to talk about (OTHER than sex-sex-sex-sex ad infinitum) and I can talk about it in the pages of the all-new, all-different Playboy.

For example, a man with whom you may be familiar, Stanley Martin Lieber, came into the offices of a small company named Timely Comics in 1939 and toiled as an errand boy, and rose through the ranks to become Smiling Stan Lee, the All-Father of the Marvel Universe, which was to comics what the Playboy world was to adult entertainment. However, Marvel has evolved significantly in the past five decades while, despite brand extensions such as Playboy Records, Playboy Productions, Playboy Channel, and, of course, The Playboy Club, both physically and as a TV show featuring such talent as Amber Heard, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Laura Benanti, Nauturi Naughton and Eddie Cibriani,Playboy magazine has remained more, or less, the same, with its best days, such as the Jimmy Carter, John and Yoko, and Mel Brooks interviews and groundbreaking fiction from Tom Wolfe, Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury,(and cartoons from Super-Shel Silverstein) behind it. I only anticipate good things as a result of the new format, and I look forward to working with you. If you're interested, shoot me an email at steveneisenpreis@gmail.com and we'll schmooze. It can only be a win-win.

Hop (a little Bunny humor there) to hear from you,
Steve Eisenpreis

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I'm A Believer

New lyrics to a song by Neil Diamond originally performed by The Monkees

1. I thought that  the Yanks were gonna take it all.
    Win World Series Number Twenty-Eight.
    But C,C, Sabathia told 'em,
    "I don't think I can play."
    Way to ruin a die-hard Yank fan's day!


Then I met the Mets!
Now I'm a believer!
Place your bets!
This year is the year!
I'm in love...LOVE!
I'm a believer, I couldn't leave 'em if I tried!

2.  I thought Joe Girardi had it figured out.
     They did just fine without Derek J.
      Then the Houston Astros
      Flew into the Bronx,
      Shut 'em out three-nothing. Sorry,no thonx!


Sorry, New York Yankees.
Have to say adieu.
Rooting for the Orange and the Blue!


Of course whether I'll STAY with the Amazins depends on what they, and the Yanks, do in 2016.


Steve out!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Meet the Press Australia WAS a completely different show and IS no longer produced.


Despite Seth Meyers' influence, the official title of THE AWESOMES is just that. (THE AWESOMES.)


Isabelle Ferriter plays young Nina on NINA'S WORLD and I forgot to mention the vocal contributions of Mandy Patinkin, (Papi), Esai Morales, (Tio Javier) and, of course, the creator of the Nina character, who plays the voice of Nina's Mami.

My apologies to one and all! (I gotta start sending out Steve-Prizes in the tradition of Marvel No-Prizes to the eagle-eyed reader who notices the biggest blunder first!)

Live From New York, It's Steve's Blog!

But first...


Sunday in America has always meant a day of rest, prayer, and self-examination, putting on the old jersey and heading over to the local sports bar to see if your favorite NFL team can..go,,,all..the...way,and, of course, catching up with the news of the week. Since the glory days of radio, one thing has always remained true: "If it's Sunday, it's MEET THE PRESS."

MTP, as it's known by its loyal fans, premiered on NBC Radio on November 6, 1947 with Martha Roundtree as the moderator, and is still going strong with NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd at the helm. Every US President since John Fitzgerald Kennedy has graced it with his presence, and overseas viewers interested in the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington can watch on CNBC in Europe and Asia, the Seven Network in Australia (which also produces a local MTP) and 9TV in the Philippines. MTP can always be counted on to always be first with the top stories, and, to turn the old song on its head, always on a  Sunday but never on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or  Friday.

Until now.

Welcome to MTP DAILY, weekdays at 5 PM eastern, give or take an hour according to where you live. on MSNBC as part of its brand refresh.(MSNBC is moving away from its previous left-leaning coverage towards a more news-oriented approach.) Don't worry, Charles, I mean, Chuck, is still in charge with many of the NBC News professionals who trade opinions with him on Sunday, but the show also covers more of the news of the day in a faster-paced package.Whether you're a full-on political junkie or you just want to know who stands a better chance of running the country (hopefully not into the ground), this is must-see TV. Don't count on any Foxonian shouting matches, but expect a lot of informed conversation, or, as Chuck himself has been wont to say," If it's a weekday, it's MTP DAILY, but join us on Sunday for the Big Show, cause if it's Sunday...

Turning from Sunday morning to Saturday night, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is back after a star-studded 40th anniversary season at 11:35 pm Eastern,10:35 pm Central (Check local listings if you live out West or in AK or HI.) on NBC and any time on the NBC app and shows no signs of slowing down. Miley Cyrus hosted and sang on the maiden voyage of Volume 41, and although I question her taste in costumes and hairstyles, she's still the consummate professional, as evidenced by an almost-serious reading of "My Way." (I say "almost" because she shared a split-screen with the 2015-2016 iteration of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players impersonating certain newsmakers from the Summer of 2015 such as pervy former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis. the cast of the ENTOURAGE movie, and former GOP Presidential Candidates Rick Santorum and Rick Perry.) Hilary Clinton continued her "I'm A Normal Person" tour by turning in a comic performance as a bartender named Val consoling Kate McKinnon in character as Democratic Presidential Candidate Hilary Clinton, (Yes, you read right!) and Pete Davidson, SNL's Resident Young Person, admitted  ignorance with regard to the world situation. (He asked on camera, "Who's this guy Syria anyway?") Taran Killian also turned in a spot-on impression of Donald Trump, which his Donaldness also loved. How Presidential! Next week, Amy Schumer takes the wheel. Expect her to say something about the recent gun tragedy in Oregon. She takes this thing VERY seriously after a shooting at a screening of her movie, TRAINWRECK.

Before the 41st season kickoff, NBC screened Bao Nugyen's SNL documentary, LIVE FROM NEW YORK!, which also happened to be the opener of this year's Tribeca Film Festival. In many ways it's very good, (A look behind the scenes of a spoof promo for CNN's Don Lemon, an examination of SNL's treatment of women and minorities,a report on how SNL unified New York and America after 9/11, and a look at SNL versions in Korea and Quebec) but the fuss over Leslie Jones' sarcastic ode to slavery (including a sizable chunk of TMZ's coverage) as well as not dedicating the movie to the memory of Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Terry Sweeney, Phil Hartman, and Chris Farley left a bitter taste in my mouth. (There's also a brief look at SNL licensed products. Full disclosure, I gave my trainer, the lovely Julie Leonard, lip balm inspired by a commercial for a spoof of Taco Bell called Taco Town, and their specialty, a Chicago-style pizza taco. She loves it, and she HATES fast food!) The film begins with a chilling retrospective of the 70's in New York set to Gil Scott-Heron's tone poem, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" and does its best to convey the full SNL experience, although at times its best falls short of absolute perfection.If I had just a few dollars to my name and could only buy either a DVD of this movie or a sandwich, I'd buy the DVD but save a little for the sandwich.(On a personal note, if you please: During the mid-90's, it was my pleasure to work for Broadway Video, the producer of SNL, THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON, LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS, SETH MEYERS' THE AWESOMES, and PORTLANDIA. Lorne Michaels is every bit the genius everybody says he is, and although I never got to meet him personally, I was pleased and priveleged to work with and meet, among others, Eddie Murphy, Colin Quinn, Conan O'Brien, Max Weinberg, and even my longtime bud Jim Shooter, who, after revitalizing Marvel Comics, was called upon to create a new line of heroes for what, unfortunately, became the short-lived Broadway Comics, However, all credit has to go to Lorne, because without him, there would be no Letterman, no Law & Order, no super hero movies, in short, I like to think of Lorne as the man who single-handedly revived the motion picture and television industries in New York, and it was an honor to work in his circle, no matter how little time I spent in that family.)

STEVE'S BITS Under NO circumstances whatsoever are you permitted to even THINK about watching DR. KEN starring Ken (COMMUNITY) Jeong! This Dr. NEEDS a Dr.!

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about my critique of The New Yorker's recent article, "Omission!" That's on the agenda for either the next episode of this fine blog or the one after that.

Finally, our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of the Oregon tragedy, the residents of flood-ravaged Charleston, SC,and Carston Charles "C.C." Sabathia, the Yankees' star pitcher, as he begins counseling for his alcohol addiction. We hope C.C. can recover speedily, and join his teammates in wishing him all the best for a speedy recovery. (Tonight, the Yanks welcome the Houston Astros to the House that Ruth Built at 8:05 PM Eastern for the American League Wild Card Game. It's either win or go home, but if I were the Yankees, I would prefer the extra traveling in search of World Championship Number 28. You can catch it on ESPN or the Watch ESPN app, or, if you prefer the thrill of baseball on the radio, you can check out your local ESPN Radio affiliate or MLB.tv Gameday Audio, or if you're in the New York area, listen to every pitch on Sports Radio 66 AM and 101.9 FM, WFAN, with John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.GO YANKS!)

Steve out!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Stevie In Front Of The TV: It's Time To Get Things Started...

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: When I reviewed NINA'S WORLD on Sprout, I forgot to mention Nina's actual relationship to Star: True, he's a very good friend (She calls him her little "Super-Star.") but in both live action and animated iterations, he's also her PILLOW! (Boy, I wish my Snoopy pillow was that friendly with me!)

Ooooooookay, now that all THAT'S over, on to today's topic, THE MUPPETS on ABC. (Tuesday nights at 8 Eastern and Pacific, 7 Central and 6 Mountain, to be exact) Everybody's talking about those wholesome, kid-friendly Muppets going all adult on us. Truth be told, they're just going back to the basics. When Joan Ganz Cooney called Jim Henson to tell him she loved his sophisticated puppets and asked if he wanted to do a show for pre-schoolers, he replied emphatically that he was not a kiddie entertainer. He started on a very sophisticated local show on WRC-TV, Washington called "Sam and Friends" and made his name appearing on "Tonight! with Steve Allen" and other late night shows before moving to family entertainment on shows such as "Fanfare with Al Hirt" and "The Jimmy Dean Show," and he also made some very experimental shorts and TV shows such as the NBC Experiment In Television "The Cube," and of course there were those VERY non-cuddly Muppets from the first year of SNL. (John Belushi called them those "Mucking Fuppets" and Michael O' Donoghue HATED writing for them.) Furthermore, what we now know as "The Muppet Show" was originally going to be called "Sex and Violence with the Muppets," so, armed with THAT knowledge, don't be alarmed if they say things you wouldn't want to hear from the mouth that kisses its grandma. In this most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational mockumentary/sitcom, Kermit, the executive producer of ABC's hit late night show UP NIGHT WITH MISS PIGGY, has just broken up with his star and is now seeing a sexy sow named Denise (As he admits to the camera, "I just have a thing for dating pigs".) and Fozzie is caught up in a situation straight out of "Meet the Parents" as his new human girlfriend tries to convince the folks to give her and the Bear their blessing. A representative from the Independent Women's Forum (Name withheld because I want NOTHING to do with her.) wrote in the New York Post to criticize this show for desecrating Jim Henson's legacy.

With all due respect, lady, YOU ARE A WEIRDO. You make Gonzo seem normal.

True, this show isn't 100% fall-down funny all the time, but Jim Henson was one of those creators who was inspired by the Disney classics that made us cry and the Looney Tunes shorts that made us laugh, and like Walt and his many creators and Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, and their Looney Tunes co-conspirators, he always shone when it came to the boo-hoo and the ha-ha and this show continues the tradition in grand style. As for the sex and violence, this show is aimed at viewers who learned from Kermie and Big Bird on SESAME STREET, laughed with THE MUPPET SHOW, and enjoyed movies such as THE DARK CRYSTAL and LABYRINTH. (Did I mention Kermit's bits on SNL with Seth Meyers?) So far, the show has received guest shots from Elizabeth Banks (who Piggy hates, find out why by watching "Pig Girls Don't Cry!" on VOD, Netflix and Hulu) and Imagine Dragons, and, to paraphrase their iconic theme song, they're just getting things started! It may not be easy being green, but now that the Muppets have returned to their adult (Let me clarify: Adult DOES NOT mean using George Carlin's seven dirty words.) roots, it's going to be better than ever!

NEXT: Mister Pope goes to Washington. (and New York, and Philly)
LATER: The sins of "Omission."

Steve out!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Story Behind The OOPS!

First of all, thanks, or should I say, "Gracias," Michele "Nina" Lepe for favoring the link to the review for her terrific new show. Kudos to you and everybody involved!

Now, as for the last episode of Ye Olde Blogge, I prefaced the breaking headline that my trip with my Mom to San Antonio and Austin with OOPS! Sorry if that headline wasn't up to the high standards that made this blog (nearly) famous. I had just received that bit of information and couldn't wrap my head around it, so the best I could do was OOPS!

Anywho, if you tuned in for my report on the birthday party I threw my Mom on August 6, you may remember that she cancelled our trip to Vancouver, BC because she suffered a mild heart attack. Since then, we have been intent on getting ready for a great trip to San Antonio and Austin, calling contacts, looking at sporting events, music events, art exhibits, the whole nine yards. Unfortunately, my Mom has been having trouble with her prescription medicine and stomach, so, that meant, Adios, Texas, at least for now.

For the record, my Mom, Bettijane L. Eisenpreis, is much better, although not 100% travel ready. We WILL make it up come Springtime to a trip to Philly. I know, there a lot of Met,Giant,Ranger, Devil,Islander, Knick and Net fans in the New York area who read this blog and hate Philly, I respect you for being honest and I feel your pain, but (A) we have family (Phamily?) in Philly, and (B) if it weren't for what some very important dudes did in Philly on a hot day in 1776, we'd be singing, "Give my regards to Great George Street!"

Until next time, this is your announcer welcoming Pope Francis to New York and asking, "I don't care WHO you're on a mission from, could you PLEASE not mess up the traffic?"

Steve out!

Saturday, September 19, 2015


This just in, we're NOT going to Austin, sorry about that.

We're Not Snowing You, Summer's Over!

In case you didn't get the memo, Summer is (unofficially) over for 2015. At least there are some highlights of the period surrounding Labor Day such as the new TV season, (Steve's Stone Cold Picks: The Muppets, Life In Pieces, and Heroes Reborn.), the MLB Playoffs, (In the immortal words of NFL coach Jim Mora: "PLAYOFFS?!? PLAYOFFS?!!? IT'S TOO EARLY TO TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS!"), and,  the US Open, the highlight of the tennis calendar.

Ye Blogger had the pleasure to attend the Open this year, and although I couldn't pronounce, let alone remember, the name of the doubles participants (Men at Louis Armstrong Stadium, Women on Court 17), I still had a great time. If you're a real tennis fan, or a sports fan in general, you have to see the US Open in person at least once. The Open is the fourth in a series of annual marquee events called the Grand Slam, (The others are the Australian Open at Rod Laver Stadium in January, the French Open at Roland-Garros Stadium in Paris in May, and Wimbledon at the All-England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, SE 19 London at the end of June and the beginning of July.) For the past twenty years or so, it has been played at the United States Tennis Association's National Tennis Center on the former site of the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, a veritable small town where people eat, breathe and sleep tennis. (Don't talk love here, it means nothing.) There's a veritable plethora of dining options at the Open, from the standard burgers and fries at Pat LaFrieda's Hamburgers to paninis and salads at the American Express Fan Experiences, where you can also play simulated games against Maria Sharapova and see a traveling exhibition from the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and Wilson, Ralph Lauren, the US Open's own boutique for merchandise from Nike, 47 Brand and others, and a bookshop specializing in everything from histories and bios to books teaching the future Martinas and Jimbos of the world everything there is to know about tennis provide retail therapy. Log on to http://www.usopen.org for information on how to get tickets for 2016 and get tickets from fans. Despite her better efforts, defending woman's champion fell to upstart Roberta Vinci who later fell to Flavia Penetta, and Roger Federer was aced by Novak Djokovic. As they used to say in Brooklyn, wait till next year.

Of course, the end of summer also means back to school and back to work. When I'm not fighting a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame for Scott Shannon,
(Hey, Ryan Seacrest and Casey Kasem got theirs, he deserves one of his own!) I'm disguised as a mild mannered messenger for a Great Metropolitan Messenger Service in New York City. Among the various and sundry companies we deliver to are two of the best known media companies in the world, Hearst Corporation and Advanced Magazine Publishers, d/b/a  Conde  Nast, and I have a little beef with them, which is best saved for a future blog, because next week, Yours Truly will fly off to San Antonio and Austin, Texas for a little post-Summer R&R. This could be one of my better vacations. As many of you may recall, last year I decided to visit Albany,NY to get some American history. I DID see the beautiful New York State Museum and Library and get a great tour of the State Capitol, and don't get me started on the Paul McCartney concert at the Times-Union Center, but tourists to that particular area of New York State are likelier to visit Cooperstown for its museums, operas, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame than Albany, for whereas Austin has the LBJ Presidential Library, the Texas Music Museum, Austin City Limits Live (inspired by the hit PBS music show), and tons of comedy clubs and music venues, Albany has the T-U because Procter's Theatre, a staple the silent movie days, is currently closed and other venues, such as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Tanglewood, are a pretty long drive away. (Besides, ACL is one of the best shows to come from San Antonio's KLRN and the most exciting TV show to come out of Albany is highlights of the day's legislative sessions. YAWN!)

Watch this space for complete and comprehensive reports. I promise y'all will not be disappointed!

As for this immediate weekend and how it affects New York baseball, I'm rooting for the Yankees (to beat the Mets) and the Red Sox (to beat Toronto so THEY may fall out of first place and the Yanks have a better shot at the playoffs.)

Until I talk to you from the Heart of Texas,  I hope you take a cue from Humpty Dumpty and HAVE A GREAT FALL! (And all you fellow Jews, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you had a Happy Rosh Hashonah and you had a good time. If you had TOO GOOD a time, you may have to apologize to the Boss on Wednesday!)

Steve out!

Stevie In Front Of The TV: The Best New Show You're Not Watching (But Should)

Once upon a time, or as they say over at the network where the show I'm about to review airs, once a-Sprout a time, when we New York kids came home from school on those rare days (VERY rare days!) when we didn't have a ton of homework we used to turn on either Channel 5 or Channel 11 and watch whatever Hanna-Barbera cartoon had just come down the pike or Channel 9 to watch the Marvel Super Heroes show with its limited animation retellings of Stan Lee's latest hits, (Full disclosure: I was still a heavy DC fan then.) and we almost never checked in with the network affiliates and their local and national newscasts and what one person once described as a "series of catastrophes interrupted by a fashion show." The old folks called it a bunch of mindless pap, but hey, we LOVED it.

On September 26, 2005, PBS,Comcast, HIT Entertainment and Sesame Workshop introduced a new channel with VERY limited commercial interruption called PBS Kids Sprout.Since then, one of the
cornerstones of the channel's programming has been "The Good Night Show," which, like the toons of those glorious days of our misspent youth, provides an alternative to the screaming and shouting on the allegedly grown up news channels, but also promises a more stimulating alternative to the kidvid fare on Disney and Nick with artistic activities, stories, poems, songs (including "The Nightly Cleanup Song" and "The Brusha Brusha Brusha Song", which instructs the younger generation in the proper oral hygiene technique) and off-PBS repeats of "Angelina Ballerina" and "Bob The Builder" as well as British shows such as "Sarah and Duck" and "Sam and Stella." Since then, actress Michele Lepe (as Nina Flores) and puppeteer Stacia Newcombe (as her best friend Star) have welcomed viewers (or "Sproutlets" and "Big Sprouts") into their tree house at the "You and Me Tree". Not only do Nina and Star engage in all the aforementioned activities, but  they also play dress-up, tell stories with sand, and teach Spanish and American Sign Language. Like Mister Rogers in his sweater. kids see Nina in her Dr. Denton's top and lounge pants and immediately know they have a friend, and Star, a chubby little star with a little boy's voice and (Of course!) stars in his eyes, is a character they can easily identify with. With a pair this popular, it was only a matter of time before they got their own show.

That show is called NINA'S WORLD and it officially premiers on September 26 at 7:30 PM Eastern on Sprout, now 100% owned by NBC Universal and still with VERY limited commercial interruption. Michele is the Executive Producer and Stacia reprises her role as Star in this VERY animated original programming which tells stories from the character Nina's childhood. Unlike certain other shows, (I'm talking to YOU, Sofia the First!) this is a 100% Hispanic character voiced by a 100% Hispanic actress, (NOT Michele, but once I find out who, I'll let you know.) and unlike another animated show centered around a Hispanic character, (Estoy hablando a TI, Dora la Exploradora!) this story portrays children in a more realistic, and positive light. Nina trades in the jammies for jeans as she takes us back to the days when she learned about the power of imagination and friendship with well-written and animated stories from a talented crew including (HEY, YOU GUUUUUUUUUUUUUUYS!) EGOT (Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony) winner Rita Moreno as Nina's very hip Abuelita (Granny) Yolie. This is a program for everybody and a great way to learn Spanish if you haven't already. (People named Trump need not watch.)

As Nina herself says when starting her Sprout Stretches (exercises) on Good Night,
"I'm a little sprout now, but watch me grow,
As up up up I go!"
And up is, DEFINITELY, where NINA'S WORLD is going.

NEXT: A preview of my trip to San Antonio and Austin.

Feliz Hispanic Heratige Month!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Steve's First (And Probably Last) Joke Blog

My last two blogs were sooooooooooo serious, I've decided to lighten the mood with a few jokes. (Don't worry, this blog is rated PG!)

Why does Misty Copeland wear a tutu?
The one-one was too small and the three-three was too big.

What did Taylor Swift say when she passed up the classical music tickets?
We are never, ever, ever, getting Bach together.

If you're American when you go into the bathroom and you're American when you leave the bathroom, what are you when you're in the bathroom?

Why did the dog wear a sweater?
It was a chilli dog.

Why are they pirates?
They just arrrrgh.

Speaking of pirates, this pirate walks into a bar with a paper towel on his head. His old bud looks at him and says, "Yo, Blackbeard, wassup with that towel?" He replied, "Arrrrgh, I've a Bounty on me head!"

This frog needed money and so he took his prized lamp to the bank where he met Loan Officer Patricia Mack. He asked her for a loan and he would gladly use the lamp for collateral. She gave him a long, quizzical look. He replied, "It's a knick-knack, Patty Mack, give a frog a loan!"

Why did the Stupid Guy put his money in a circle?
He wanted to make ends meet!


"Doctor Stupid Doctor, everybody ignores me!"
The Stupid Doctor said, "NEXT!"

"Doctor Stupid Doctor, my ear keeps ringing."
The Stupid Doctor said, "Get an unlisted ear."

Knock Knock!
Who's There?
Jon Stewart.
Jon Stewart who?
How soon they forget!

For now, friends, the Blog is (mercifully) over. Have a happy Labor Day and GO IN PEACE!
Steve out!

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Tale of Three Lives


I know a lot of people are going to diss me for blabbing about this all over the interwebs, but my mother Bettijane L. Eisenpreis, without whom there wouldn't be a Steve, let alone a Steve's Blog, hit the Big Eight-Oh on August 6th. We WERE going to celebrate in Paris, but the brown stuff hit the air conditioner after Charlie Hebdo published those cartoons, so we changed it to Vancouver, BC. Unfortunately, the poop hit the air conditioner AGAIN when she suffered a heart attack, but since we're part of a long line of New York Yankee fans, (Cousin Sarah converted from the Phillies,my Pop used to have me over every weekend to watch the game, my Dad, the late, great Alfred Eisenpreis, helped the then-Principal Owner of the Yanks,Mr. George M. Steinbrenner, turn the crumbling 1926 Yankee Stadium into a more modern facility,and my Mom was born in Wilkes-Barre,PA, currently the home of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders, one of the Yanks' better minor league teams.) I asked her if I could take her out to the ball game on the 6th. After all, it WAS Umbrella Night,and who doesn't need an umbrella? She declined, but I persisted and suggested NYY Steak on 51st and Fifth, one of three such-named Yankee-owned steakhouses. (The other two are at Yankee Stadium and in Florida.) She approved, and at 7:05 PM, which happened to be first pitch of the game, we met at NYY to celebrate her birthday and see the Bronx Bombers clobber their perennial nemesis, the Boston Red Sox. (Reader's Digest report on my Boston trip:, Saw the Sox whoop the Astros, watched a great Boston Pops fireworks show featuring Billy Joel's protege, Michael Cavanaugh, heard a stirring Liberty Address from CBS 4's Lisa Hughes, and saw the USA Women's Soccer Team win the World Cup over Japan in City Hall Plaza and was interviewed by FOX 25. But,as they say, I digress.) I gave her a whole slew of great presents including an OFFICIAL Yankee jersey, (She is now Number 80 on the Yankee roster and Number 1 in your hearts.), and since NYY is a classy place and not your average sports bar, they have the TV on mute and the captions off, which was a problem since I like to read them aloud like a script and impersonate the talent. But, since they were off, I decided to just play it naturally and tell her what was going on with the game (Even the weather!) in my own voice, and I admit it, I'm no Howard Cosell, but she loved my play-by-play almost as much as she loved the steak. I told her that we were going to take this slow, like a traditional game at the House That Ruth Built, but a half-hour later, she decided to visit the room of the miniature maidens, and I asked my server to "call in the closer," in this case, the birthday cake. The  server informed me that although she got my message that my mom was celebrating a big birthday, they had all but suspended birthday parties. BUUUUUUT, the manager decided to make an exception and stick a candle on a chocolate cake. The manager rewarded my efforts by giving us two tickets to the following night's game at Yankee Stadium. Not what I expected, but not too shabby! (Unfortunately, the Yanks went on to lose that game to Toronto, but we had great seats near Monument Park, where plaques honoring the Yanks of the past are located. To summarize: Total Cost of Dinner for Two People=$120. An Unforgettable Evening=Priceless. To list all my Mom's accomplishments would take another blog, but celebrating them all was sooooooooo worth it!


Wednesday, August 26 was just another day in the small city of Roanoke,VA.  WDBJ 7 reporter Allison Parker, renowned as a "rock star" reporter, had just finished interviewing Vicki Gardner, director of the South Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce for the "Mornin'"show with her cameraman, Adam Ward, recording the event for prosperity, when, without warning, a gunman approached and shot Allison and Adam, who died on the scene,as Roanoke watched in horror. (Fortunately, Vicki only sustained minor injuries and she is expected to make a full recovery.) They perished at the hands of fired WDBJ ex-employee Vester Lee Flanagan, who reported under the name Bryce Williams until his unceremonious departure in 2013. "Williams" had frequent encounters with Allison who said she would "swing by." He misconstrued that phrase, which is common, as racist, and as he told ABC News in a rambling confessional which he faxed to the network's New York headquarters, he was influenced by the Charleston tragedy and worshipped the Columbine gunmen. Police were convinced this shooting was just a small part of a larger game plan when they found wigs and costumes in his car some time after he died of accidentally self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Allison, born Allison Bailey Parker, was remembered for her youthful joie de vivre as evidenced by her Facebook page.
She loved dark characters like Don Draper (MAD MEN) and Walter White (BREAKING BAD) and she couldn't wait for the new season of HOUSE OF CARDS. She grew up in Martinsville, VA and attended James Madison University and Patrick Henry Community College. She had just moved in with 11 PM anchor Chris Hurst and they were looking forward to their upcoming marriage, as were Adam and his intended, WDBJ producer Melissa Ott. Adam was a proud Hokie, or alum of Virginia Tech, and like his friend, was Virginia born and raised.It is a shame that these young people, with so much to look forward to, were cut down in their twenties by such a twisted individual. Now, I don't care who you are or whether you are a card-carrying NRA member or not, but I had to be shielded from the horror of that Dark Day in Dallas when John Fitzgerald Kennedy took his last ride and I remember when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy, and John Lennon were similarly cut down and when Ronald Reagan's and Gabrielle Giffords' lives were inextricably altered by a madman who got ahold of a gun.
I have had the pleasure to know journos who run towards disaster while everybody else runs away and put their lives on the line just to tell a story. Needless to say, they are all alright, "Up right and respirating," as my friend Todd Pettengill likes to say. I wish Allison and Adam were so lucky. (Ironically, I also had a friend named Adam, Adam Joseph Beckman to be exact, and although we wanted to be bestest best buds, it didn't always work out that way. Still, we were together for a long time, and he always had an interest in theatre. He tried to make a prop with kerosene, but at the cost of his life. Although he didn't believe in God, I hope he knows peace now.)
Allison and Adam, if you read this all the way up in Heaven, could you say Hi to Lisa Colagrossi and tell her that with the Rangers' hockey season about to start at the Garden, Henrik Lundquist, Sam Rosen and Joe Michelletti, and Margot Robbie, Adam Sandler, and everybody else on Celebrity Row misses her? Also, could you please say Hi to Frank Gifford for me? As far as I'm concerned, once a Giant, always a Giant.
As for you, Bryce Williams or Vestor Flanagan or whatever you call yourself, I hope you burn to a crisp in The Bad Place.
Until next time, this is your announcer reminding you to stop hatin' and start participatin'. After all, we're the only human race we've got!
Steve out..
Allison Parker, and Adam Ward, Rest In Peace.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Selling of Big Bird And How It Could Have Been Prevented (Or, At Least Improved)

After 45 years as a free-to-air public television program initially designed to educate pre-school children in impoverished areas, SESAME STREET, through its producers Sesame Workshop, and HBO have signed a landmark agreement wherin all new episodes of the Street will be initially broadcast on the mostly adult-oriented pay-television channel before appearing on PBS nine months later.

HELLOOOOO, Sesame Workshop, anybody at home in those brains which were supposed to be enhanced by the trail-blazing program from whence comes your name? You guys are on cable right now. In case you've forgotten, off-network SS repeats are currently aired on Comcast NBC Universal's Sprout, which recently beat Disney, Nick and Cartoon Network to be voted THE NUMBER ONE KIDS' BRAND, and they did it thanks to programming dedicated to basically the same concepts as the Street. (BTW, check out "Nina's World," featuring a character from Sprout's "Good Night Show" depicted as a girl growing up in El Barrio. The voice cast includes my CWPF Rita Moreno as Nina's abuela (grandma), and Michele Lepe, the actress-singer who plays Nina on the Good Night Show, is the creator and executive producer.  Sounds like must see TV for kids (or as the network calls 'em, Sproutlets) of all ages! Stay tuned for more details as they become available!) Sprout would be a better fit for SESAME STREET on so many levels: Not only would it continue to run on Sprout, but there would also be a reunion with Sprout's corporate sibling, NBC, where "This Way to Sesame Street," a preview special, aired in the weeks leading up to the Street's November 1969 debut. On weekends, Sprout airs many of its popular shows in the NBC Kids block, and SESAME STREET would be a natural choice for an anchor show. Talentwise, many SNLers have dropped by the Street, but it would be fun if a lot more NBC prime time stars stopped by to poke a little good clean fun at themselves while teaching the important things. (How about Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie interviewing the Cookie Monster, for example?) Also, such great comedy writers for the grown-up comedy shows on NBC, including Colin Jost, Fred Arminsen, and, OF COURSE, Seth Meyers, could contribute bits.

And it doesn't end there. Universal Pictures could produce more family-friendly movies in the tradition of "Follow That Bird," "Cinderelmo," and "Elmo in Grouchland," and Universal Theme Parks could run Sesame Place (in Langhorne, PA) and produce Sesame Street-related entertainment for its parks in Hollywood and Orlando and add a special attraction to the NBC Studio Tour at Rockefeller Center. (Since Disney is now the owner of Marvel, a complete move for Spidey, Cap and the other characters who currently "live" on Marvel Super Hero Island at Uni in Florida away from the Uni parks isn't out of the question. New Sesame Places in those parks would be a no-brainer!)

So, Sesame Workshop, the bottom line is, YOUR bottom line could have been improved without complaints about how you joined the one percent, and everybody, including your loyal PBS viewers, (who would probably receive your original episodes in weeks, not months) would be the richer for it.

This blog has been brought to you by the letters S,L, and E (as in Steven Long Eisenpreis, your humble servant) and the number 30. (as in, That's it! I'm out!)

P.S.: I am a proud shareholder of Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal, including Sprout and related entities.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Last Bell for Hot Rod

On July 31,2015, Roderick George Toombs, better known as WWE superstar Rowdy Roddy Piper, died in his sleep after a heart attack at his Los Angeles residence.. He leaves behind a wife, Kitty, four children, four grandchildren, and four decades of memories. The rest of the world knew him as the villain you loved to hate, I knew him as one heck of a nice guy. I had the pleasure to meet him at "the mecca of professional wrestling," Madison Square Garden, but not in the squared circle, (I wouldn't have lasted five minutes against him! LOL) but, instead, at the Comic Art Convention, which was staged in 2000 and 2002 at the World's Most Famous Arena's Exposition Rotunda. He began his stellar wrestling career in 1973 with Verne Gagne's legendary American Wrestling Association before joining the National Wrestling Alliance ("The Major Leagues of Professional Wrestling!") in 1975  where he fought Mexican lucha libre legend Chavo Guerrero and his family, and  eventually moving on to Jim Crockett's Georgia Chamipionship Wrestling where he went mano-a-mano against legends such as Bob Backlund, ,Sgt.Slaughter,Nature Boy Ric Flair,Playboy Buddy Rose, and Gregg "The Hammer" Valentine.

When the mid-80's reared their Mullet-wearing head, Vince McMahon coaxed Piper back into the squared circle where he faced his greatest battle in a tag team match with Cowboy Bob Orton against the team of Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. After a few years as an antagonist, both in the ring and on his own show, Piper's Pit,Piper left to pursue an acting career which resulted in a string of cult favorites, including John Carpenter's "They Live!" ("I came here to kick butt and chew gum. AND I'M ALL OUT OF GUM.") Eventually, Piper returned to the ring to settle the score with "The Million Dollar Man," Ted diBiasi,Jerry "The King" Lawler,and Dustin "Gold Dust" Runnels, among others.

Piper worked with the now-defunct Xcitement (sic) Wrestling Federation as well as WCW, where he caught up with his old nemesis, Hulk Hogan, who turned from "baby face" (good guy) to "heel" (bad guy) and started his own clique, the nWo (New World Order) with fellow ex-WWE-ites Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. To counter the nWo's influence, Piper started a clique of HIS own, ICON, short for I Cower Over Nothing.

In 2003, Hulk had been banned from wrestling in the WWE under his own name, and Piper returned to fall victim to the Hulkster's masked alter ego, Mr. America.After a period of self-examination, during which he questioned everything including his involvement with drugs, Piper joined Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 and continued to wrestle and provide color commentary on a regular basis until just this year. (Fans of Cartoon Network's irreverent Adult Swim show "Robot Chicken" are sure to recognize his inimitable voice in a few bits.)

Even in death, Piper managed to steal the spotlight from his longtime rivals. The Mid-Atlantic Wrestling League was supposed to have dedicated its annual dinner to the memory of "The American Dream," Dusty Rhodes, but as news of his passing broke, they changed their focus to Piper and his own extraordinary career.

Love him or hate him, we will miss him.


Steve out.

Monday, June 29, 2015

3.15 BREAKING NEWS: NBC To Trump: You're Fired!

For years. I thought Donald Trump was the closest thing New York had to Walt Disney. Both guys had their names on real estate even though they didn't plan it that way at first (Walt wanted to name his Anaheim park after Mickey and the Donald wanted to name his tower after Tiffany's.),and took us to places beyond our wildest dreams (Walt told us stories of Fairy Tale Land, worlds under the sea years before Ariel swam across movie screens worldwide, and South America, through the dazzling cartoons that resulted from his goodwill visits, and the Don took us to his opulent casino-hotels.) every week on TV, but while Walt came across as the favorite uncle with a gentle sense of humor, the Don, despite his love of America and all things New York, comes across as a big baby who keeps crying every time he doesn't get his way, the latest example being the comments he made as  he announced his Presidential candidacy. (ICYMI, he made some comments about Mexico, his fellow Republicans, and his objection to the upcoming Girl-Powerful remake of GHOSTBUSTERS.)

NBC, which has served as a broadcast home to both Walt and the Donald, and in particular, has been a partner in the Donald's Miss Universe Organization and the network carrying Donald's THE APPRENTICE, today severed all ties to the Donald. Even though I have supported the Donald (So sue me!) for the past few years, I'm seriously beginning to question my respect of him as a person. If my employer tells me to do something involving the Donald, I WILL do it, no question about that, but I might have to limit my personal visits to Trump properties such as Trump Tower. I know I have friends who still respect the Donald, and I respect THEM, but as far as I'm concerned, Donnie, old pal, YOU'RE FIRED! (Or, as Walt's best known creation would say, "See you real never!")

Coming up: Info on my trip to Boston (including a side-by-side comparison with Albany, NY) and an original story: THE MAN WHO WROTE FICTION! (Unlike Walt, I can't promise a happy ending!)

Have a glorious Fourth of July, my fellow Americans!

Steve out!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

3.14 Top of the World, Ma!

Coming to New York this Summer? There are three things you must remember:

1. Contrary to what guidebooks tell you, New Yorkers are VERY busy people, so if you want to know where such and such a place is or which train goes to such and such, call the person you want to meet, Google Search the place you want to visit for directions, or, my personal favorite, ASK A COP! (Seriously! Contrary to popular belief, our officers really care about their public and they'll be happy to help you. Heck, they know this city better than we do! We just live here!

2. Metrocards and taxis are ideal for getting around.

3. (AND THIS IS CRUCIAL!) Do NOT miss the One World Observatory on West Plaza at One World Trade Center (285 Fulton Street) at the corner of West and Vesey Streets in Lower Manhattan.This amazing attraction (brought to you by Legends, a joint venture of the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys) JUST opened, and tickets are going like hotcakes! (Your best bet is http://www.oneworldobservatory.com .) After you brave the LOOOOOONG lines, you take an escalator to the lower level where you hear personal testimonies from people who helped rebuild Tower One, as One WTC is officially known in a beautiful multi-media presentation. After a walk through an underground tunnel, a Sky Pod takes you up to the 102nd Floor IN ONLY ONE MINUTE! After witnessing the growth of New York before your very eyes, (Thank you,time lapse photography!) you move into the three floor observatory (101,102 and 103) and get a widescreen view of the Greatest City of the World as never before. (For a better experience, pick up a One World Explorer iPad. It'll set you back a few extra bucks, but it's so worth it! You can get an even closer view of the city, and little Pop-Up balloons identify certain important landmarks. If a certain balloon is in red and is decorated with an arrow, such as the Empire State Building, touch the arrow and watch an informative multimedia presentation. Although the Yankees co-own the Observatory, the Yankee Stadium and Citi Field presentations are equally informative. There's a dining area specializing in everything from fast-casual to a more relaxed experience, although nothing like the late, great Windows on the World, and helpful guides who are well-versed in everything from the Bronx to the Battery. (If you want to spend more time finding out the events of that tragic day in American and world history, I recommend the 9/11 Memorial in that same neck of the woods. For more info on THAT, visit http://www.911memorial.org . My favorite part is the video from Saturday Night Live's first show after the tragedy when then-Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani spoke about SNL's importance as a cultural institution and executive producer Lorne Michaels asked, "But can we be funny again?" Rudy did a double take and replied, "Why start now?" Whether you remember Tower One in its original glory, like I do, or you just want to find out what all the fuss is all about, One World Observatory is one place worth visiting.

Speaking of SNL, if you want to relive the history of that wild,crazy, and cherished comedy institution, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE: THE EXHIBITION is the closest thing to a time machine. Located on 39th and Fifth (417 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, to be exact) this pulse-pounding presentation of Premier Exhibitions and SNL Studios takes you through a week at  NBC Studio 8H from writing to rehearsal to the finished product. Look at the costumes, relive classic sketches, and even sit on Wayne and Garth's couch, and try to tell me you're not worthy! (The highlight of the show is a special SNL show hosted by Tina Fey with musical guest Bruno Mars.) George S. Kaufman said, "Satire is what closes on Saturday night." These talented people said,"NOT!" The memories are unlimited, but the show's run isn't, so get your tickets at http://www.premierexhibitions.com ASAP!

On a more serious note, I would like to say goodbye to Beau Biden. the son of Vice-President Joe Biden who left us too soon after falling victim to brain cancer after only forty-five years on the planet.. Our sincerest condolences to the Vice-President, Dr.Jill Biden, and Beau's widow Hallie.

Also gone from Earth, but fortunately, having had a better run, is Anne Meara, who some remember as Jerry Stiller's wife, others as Ben Stiller's mom, still others as Dorothy, the wise gal neighbor on ALF. I saw her at a special function in Lower Manhattan in honor of Jerry and I told her I loved her in ALF. She replied in her own unique style, "GET A LIFE!" She may not have been proud of her work on that show but we were all proud of the laughter she left us with.


Coming soon to THIS fine blog, a report on the Belmont Stakes. Can American Pharoah be a king with three crowns? Find out soon!

Until then, keep that chin up and stay good lookin'!

Steve out!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

3.13 BREAKING NEWS: Requiem For A Peacock

Alas, poor NBC. I knew it, Steve Nation, a network of infinite possibilities.

As I will chronicle in my upcoming book, I had the pleasure to craft a 92-page ode(term paper,to be exact) to the National Broadcasting Company during my tenure as a Media Arts major at Long Island University. I honored the legacy of founder David Sarnoff who clearly believed in the hard work ethic and, employing the resources of the New York Public Library, NBC, its then-parent company, RCA, Disney, and various competitors and international broadcasters, retraced its steps from radio pioneer to "The Full Color Network." As time went on, I became an investor in NBC through GE Capital and its current owner. Comcast/NBC Universal, and I continued to respect NBC's ouevre, from TODAY and NBC NIGHTLY NEWS (before Brian Williams) to SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and SEINFELD. NBC's cable networks MSNBC and CNBC each represented a different side of the political aisle, but they both continued the tradition of Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Tom Brokaw, and many others.

This year, Comcast/NBC was getting ready to acquire Time Warner Cable, spun off from its famous communications giant namesake. and explore the unlimited horizons of the digital age. Today, I was shocked to hear that after much opposition on Capitol Hill, the NBC/Time Warner merger has been tabled indefinitely, and with it, an NBC compatible with this brave new world aborning. There's another earthquake about to hit DC, and it will be caused by Sarnoff spinning in his grave. How will NBC's far-flung family, from its news networks to regional and national sports channels to its award-winning Sprout kids' channel even survive now that it has been told that it, and TWC, star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet, can never live together?

Granted, they have existed as separate entities up till this point and they will continue to do well in the future, but the future of communications has been changed forever, and NOT for the good. The  NBC/Time Warner merger should not be allowed to die! It can only HELP people! The NBC Peacock's feathers deserve to shine brightly over TV screens around the world, regardless of what a few backward-thinking know-nothings have to say.


Steve out!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Ladies and gentlemen, Winter has left the building.


For those of us in the US,and Canada,  and our brave men and women who can only follow the game on Armed Services Radio as they protect our rights and liberties overseas, baseball is back, and with it, the promise of spring and a glad goodbye to the dismal weather and ill feeling of the past six months.

Already in New York, the Yankees have risen like the legendary phoenix from the ashes of a dismal season made even sadder by the departure of team captain Derek Jeter and avenged a 19-inning defeat at the hands of the Red Sox by defeating them in the rubber game of an exciting homestand at Baseball's Home Office in the Bronx and swept the Tampa Bay Rays at their home park, Tropicana Field, (HOME OF MUSIC FOR THE HEARING IMPAIRED!), and the Mets have returned to Citi Field in Flushing, Queens after scalping the Braves in Atlanta while cultivating a winning streak unlike any in their history. Would a Subway Series be too much to ask? Hope not!

In other news, it's time to send a long-overdue shout-out to Todd Pettengill, who many of you may remember from his ads for Cabin Fever Entertainment, his TV shows WWF (now WWE) Mania, Dish Nation, and Come Dine With Me, and, of course, the many phone scams he perpetrated on WPLJ Radio here in New York. I had the pleasure to see the Toddster at 'PLJ and NASH FM 94.7's "Best of the Tri-State" show at the Affinia Manhattan hotel across the street from Madison Square Garden, and since I followed his former partner Scott Shannon from 'PLJ to WCBS-FM, I was worried that he would call me every dirty name in the book, but, quite the contrary, he was genuinely happy to see me. His new partner, Jayde Donovan, is also a very nice person, and it was also fun catching up with Executive Producer Joe Pardavila, also known as the Monkey Boy. (LOOOOONG story.) Of course, it was fun meeting all the various event participants, although there are some I'll never patronize, (Best Pizza?!? Best Gym?!? Best Cupcakes?!? My trainer would kill me!) but meeting Todd and Jayde was definitely the highlight of the evening. (And the fact that he loves this blog doesn't hurt either!)

Time to close the door on this edition, but check out http://www,steveonbooks.blogspot.com for the first episode of the greatest blog since, well, this blog, STEVE'S BOOK BLOG! It will change the way you read books forever! (Or, at least, get you ready for Steve's Book, coming soon to a bookstore, library, or website near you!)

Steve out!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

3.10 Fooling Around Just Before April

Two years ago, the Garden of Dreams Foundation, the non-profit educational division of The Madison Square Garden Company that unites government and educational figures with members of the MSG family, staged "Garden of Laughs," a benefit comedy concert hosted by sportscaster Bob Costas and featuring athletes and entertainers introducing the greats of the comedy game.

Last night, the new Garden tradition was renewed, as longtime Ranger fan Steve Schirrippa (A Ranger fan, a  fellow Steve, a proud New Yorker, and a funny guy. I LOVE HIM!) took the reins and introduced another all-star comedy card featuring HBO star Bill Burr, DAILY SHOW alum John Oliver,the "Mike" of MIKE & MOLLY, Billy Gardell, the former Mr. Jessica Simpson, I refer to Dane Cook,and one of the voice actors of the upcoming Disney/Pixar feature "Inside Out" (a major emotion picture) as well as an author and playwright, Lewis Black. (The star of MSG's talk show 4 COURSES WITH J.B. SMOOVE was originally scheduled, but he had to cancel at the last minute due to a death in the family.) On hand to introduce the various acts were Whoopi Goldberg, Daryl McDaniels (the DMC of RUN-DMC, the famous rap act from the 80's), former New York Rangers Rod Gilbert and Adam Graves, comic actors Michael J. Fox and Will Arnett (the former Mr. Amy Poehler), and the voice of MSG Networks, Al Trautwig, who, in one of the evening's rare serious moments, introduced the real stars of the evening, a few of the kids who benefit from the Garden of Dreams' after-school programs. Longtime readers of this fine blog will know that it was suggested by Nicole Vranzanian who worked for the Garden at the time, and I have seen footage of the Foundation's talent show at Radio City Music Hall as well as kids fulfilling their dreams of interviewing actual athletes (in basketball and tennis) for special programming on MSG and on the Gardenvision video monitor. These guys do a great job and they truly deserve your support. For information and to donate, visit http://www.gardenofdreamsfoundation.org. You (and the kids!) will be very glad you did.

As for last night's "Garden of Laughs,"it was truly a group effort, as usual competitors such as Sports Radio 66 AM/ 101.9 FM WFAN and ESPN Sports Radio 98.7 FM and the New York Post and Newsday teamed up as principal sponsors along with Garden sponsors Chase and Delta and Turner Construction Company as well as in-kind donors Time Warner Cable, AMC Networks, Showtime Networks, (where you'll be able to see the finished product, for the exact date and time, log on to http://www.sho.com ) and the Prudential Center, including the New Jersey Devils. (The Rock stepped up to the plate and let MSG's WNBA Liberty play on their home court while the Garden was being transformed.)

The best bits of  the evening were Lewis Black's comprehensive description of his trip to Copenhagen, John Oliver's ruminations on Superstorm Sandy, (He was watching NY1 and saw a guy waterskiing while NY1's reporter kept imploring the viewers to stay indoors.) Australia (founded by the UK as a penal colony. He thinks Britain should have built a barbed wire fence around the coast.) and US stick-to-itivity. (Nothing says F.U. like a spike in Halloween dog costumes while Europe is drowning in debt.) I had to go out for air when I heard Dane Clark talk about porn, and Billy's argument against Walt Disney World (He agrees with their claims it makes adults feel like kids because his grandpa said, "Gotta pee." and his kid said "Gotta pee.") didn't sit well with me, but other than that, I had a great time laughing my troubles away in the knowledge that I was also making kids happy by helping the Garden of Dreams Foundation.

Laughter is indeed the best medicine, and this evening was the strongest relief for depression you could get without a prescription!

Until next time,  remember the immortal words of the legendary Bozo T. Clown and...Just. Keep. Laughing! AND....

Steve out!

Friday, March 27, 2015

3.9 Hey, Steve, Why A Book? (An Excerpt from the Soon-to-be-Published "Steve's Book")

Before we go any further, I would like to address the questions that, no doubt, are on most of your minds:

Why are you calling this book "Steve's Book?"

First of all, "Gone With The Wind" was already taken, and second of all, it's all about brand extension.

Some of the greatest businessmen in American history, Henry Ford, Walt Disney, M.S. Hershey, and the New York Yankees organization, established themselves with a successful product, or, "built their brand," and extended it to other products and services that would keep them in the public eye. In the space of two years, Steve's Blog has been read in more than twenty countries and territories, and it ain't over until I (or you) say it is. "Steve's Podcast," "Steve's TV Show," "Steve's Radio Show," and even "Steve's Movie" are even more possible brand extensions.

Everybody's writing a novel. Why don't you?

If everybody jumped off a cliff, would you?

Seriously, there are a lot of great novels and I've read a lot of them, but there's a VERY good reason why I've written this book and not a novel:

I can't be a fictional character.

Lord knows I've tried. I tried to be an award-winning newsman from Buffalo who moved to New York only to be busted down to the mailroom, but I was rejected.

I tried to be a beauty queen (through the miracle of fiction) who tried to carry out her royal duties only to be demoted to messenger by the owner of the pageant,but the so-called friend I gave the manuscript for her summer reading pleasure lost it.

I tried to be Archie Andrews in a story concerning Betty and Veronica trying to snare our hero by dropping a dollar bill on the ground and shouting, "HEY, YOU DROPPED SOMETHING!" but guess what Archie Comics did to my story. Yep, they dropped it.

I tried to be a super hero and save the world from the evil Howard Klimberg, but I kept getting sent to detention. (I didn't have a great power and I was greatly irresponsible.)

The truth is, I feel too comfortable in my own skin.

Let the other writers hide behind their creations. You paid for "Steve's Book," you GOT "Steve's Book," made from Steve's 100% natural opinions with no artificial characters. If you want a stimulating plot and larger-than-life characters, buy somebody else's book. If you want comments about movies, TV, sports, politics, and, of course, books from somebody like you who knows what you've been going through, welcome aboard.

Just strap yourself in, make sure your tray tables are in the upright and locked position, and get ready for a trip to SteveWorld. It may not be Disney World, but, hey, it's not WestWorld.

Hope you enjoy the trip!