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!

Monday, March 23, 2015

3.8 TOOT TOOT! Or, In Which Our Blogger Blows His Own Horn

It's sad but true...In the 24-hour news cycle, "If it bleeds, it leads." Which makes it even better when you can lead with some good news. Ironically, this good news concerns SB 3.7, wherein I said goodbye to a master of reporting news, good and bad, Lisa Colagrossi. While it was hardly a happy occasion, I AM happy to report that not only can you find a link to the blog in its entirety on http://facebook.com/ScottShannonWCBSFM , (Yes, True Believers, I have been linked by the Man himself, the Broadcasting Hall Of Famer, the rammin' jammin' Michael Scott Shannon, and not only did he apologize for reprinting it without permission, and not only did I forgive him unreservedly, but he also said it was a beautiful post. Do I have great friends or what?!?) but this particular post is (Drumroll,please.) THE MOST-READ POST IN STEVE'S BLOG HISTORY!

Look at the numbers, folks, 345 page views in the United States alone, 4 in the United Kingdom, 2 in Canada, and one each in Germany, Israel, Lebanon,Singapore,Russia AND Ukraine! To be perfectly honest with you, boys and girls, I was worried that readership of this blog would be limited to the US in general and those markets Lisa called home. Thanks for proving me wrong!

You may have heard me say it before, but I'll say it again: Scott Shannon is not just the consummate radio professional having worked his way up from the South to the Big Apple, the world's toughest market, but he is also a guy who truly cares about everybody who listens to him, who works with him, who makes contact with him in one form or another. While Imus and Stern get all the press, Scott has more talent in his little finger than they have COMBINED! His positive reaction to my blog is the greatest vote of confidence a guy can have!

Ladies and gentlemen, I know there are a gazillion blogs on the internet. I just thank you for reading THIS blog and I look forward to your continued support.

For now, friends, this blog is over. Thank you again and GO IN PEACE!

Steve out!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

3.7 BREAKING NEWS: Time Runs Out For A Ranger Fan

The name Lisa Colagrassi may be unfamiliar to many of you outside the USA, but to many of us in New York, Cleveland and Orlando, she was like that next door neighbor who was never afraid to tell you what was happening, looked out for her kids, and took her work seriously, but never herself.

Lisa reported the news on television stations in those markets, but she made a name for herself on WABC-TV's Eyewitness News. She immediately sprang into action right after the tragedy of 9/11/01, and covered everything from the Sandy Hook massacre to financial news. She also filled in for weekend and morning talent on local newscasts and anchored ABC 7's coverage of the 2014 Columbus Day Parade.

Not only was she proud of her Italian roots, but she was also a proud hockey mom and a devoted fan of the New York Rangers. (She even put on the mask and played goalie for her Facebook page!)

Like the Energizer Bunny, Lisa kept going and going until last Thursday when a brain hemorrage ended her career forever.

This blog sends its sincerest condolences to all those who were pleased to work with,know,or be related to Lisa Colagrassi. The clock has run out on one of the biggest fans in "Rangerstown,"and the world is a sadder place now that she's out of the game.

Steve out.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Steve's Mini-Blog: OOPS!

Firstly, welcome back to Steve Nation, Russia!

Secondly, I'm sorry if I offended you guys if I gave you the impression that I didn't give a rat's rump what other countries thought about the blog. Apparently, you do!

Again, welcome back, comrades! Hope you continue to enjoy the blog, and I hope El Presidente enjoys it too! (Just keep your shirt on, Vladdy, K?)

Dosvidanya, buckarooskis!
Steve out!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3.6 A Beloved Disney Princess Returns To The Screen! (Oh,Yeah, Cinderella was pretty good too.)

Any time a Disney movie rakes in the dough during its first week, EVERYBODY'S happy, the bean counters,the execs, the shareholders, and ESPECIALLY Disneyphiles of all ages. This week, fans of a famous Disney Princess didn't spare the applause when she lit up the screen!

Yep, Queen Elsa really killed it when she returned, sister and best friend Anna in tow, for a brand new Disney short called FROZEN FEVER (G), starring the voices of Idina Menzel (Let not Adele Dazeem leave your lips!) as Elsa, Kristen Bell as Anna, Jonathan Groff as Prince Kristoff, and fan fave Josh Gad as the lovable snowman Olaf. In this all-too-short with a great new song by the team who wrote "Let It Go," Elsa tries to lead Anna's friends in a birthday party to end 'em all, but she just HAPPENS to have a cold. As she keeps sneezing, hilarity ensues, and another irresistable song joins the Disney canon! Your FROZEN FEVER will be well satisfied until FROZEN 2 comes to a theatre near you!

There's just one thing...Don't expect to go to your local movie palace and get a ticket for FROZEN FEVER. This movie has the somewhat inevitable pleasure of setting the table for the remake of Disney's animated classic CINDERELLA, (PG) and although Lily James from Downton Abbey and the former Mrs. Tim Burton, I refer to Helena Bonham Carter put in admirable performances as, respectively, Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother and Ken Branagh tries his dangdest to do justice to the classic fairy tale and the last three Cinderella animated movies, this movie, while pleasant enough to keep the little ankle biters happy for two hours and two minutes, lacks the (Dare I say it?) magic touch that saved Disney from totally avoiding animation in 1950 and lives on not just as a great kids' movie but also as a classic romance. While everybody tries their best, CINDERELLA is so dependent on slogans such as "Have courage and be kind." and "Where there's goodness, there's magic." that one could be forgiven for confusing this with one of Mattel's straight-to-video Barbie adventures which are built around such deathless (Doesn't Mattel wish!) Barbie-isms such as "You're braver than you think." This CINDERELLA is neither the princess of the original nor the uber-liberated princesses of the post-Ariel era. While she puts on a pretty good show, there is still something lacking. Attention Bob Iger, call your fairy godmother QUICKLY!

Before we sign off, it has come to my attention that I have received 200 pageviews from the US and the US only AND NOT FROM ANY OTHER COUNTRY! I'm going to look at the half-full side of the glass and say that we Americans write better blogs than the rest of the world and we have better taste in blogs than the rest of the world. USA! USA! USA! USA!

You're all Great Americans, Buckaroos!
Steve out!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

3.5 Worth Enduring A Not-So-Wonderful-Winter For!

Last blog, I told you that I was going to see the NEW YORK SPRING SPECTACULAR starring the Rockettes, "Nashville's" Laura Benanti, "Dancing With the Stars' Derek Hough, and Broadway star Lenny Wolpe. Well, guys, if you hurry to Radio City Music Hall on Sixth Avenue (or AOA, as it's known these days), you're going to get a better-than-expected ROI. (That's Return On (your) Investment, for those of you who don't follow Wall Street.)

The plot revolves an angel (Hough) sent to Earth to save a proudly old-fashioned tour guide (Wolpe) from losing his job after a billionaire (Benanti) buys his tour company and turns it into an outfit specializing in 3-D virtual reality tours. Along the way our stars visit such landmarks as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yankee Stadium, MetLife Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and The New York Public Library's Fifth Avenue headquarters on 42nd Street, or as it's officially known, the Stephen H. Schwartzman Building, where they encounter the famous lions, Patience and Fortitude, voiced to comic perfection by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Those are only TWO of the many celebrity cameos that permeate this extravaganza, with others provided by a galaxy ranging from Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan to Donald Trump and Michael Stewart. (Long time Radio City visitors who miss the Disney character appearances during the stage shows will be happy to know that the Minions from Universal's "Despicable Me" movies are on hand to bring happiness to kids of all ages as are Paddington Bear, the Penguins of (DreamWorks') Madagascar, Dora the Explorer and her trusty Backpack, and the Red Power Ranger, all of whom appear in a celebration of all things Broadway and Times Square, and the best part is, they're all housebroken unlike the current tribe of Filthy Animals inhabiting the real Times Square.) Of course, the absolute best thing in the show is the Rockettes, especially a dance number set at the Met, a "Singing In The Rain" in Central Park, and the classic "Bunnies and Chicks" number from the late great Radio City Easter Show, although a montage of New York movies ("Home Alone 2", the aforementioned "Madagascar," "Marvel's The Avengers," and yes,yes,yes,YES, "When Harry Met Sally") and a puppet animation of the Alice In Wonderland statue in Central Park (voiced by Bella Thorne from Disney Channel's "Shake It Up!") come very close.

RUN, don't walk, to http://www.rockettes.com/spring  and make sure you're a part of this tribute to the Greatest City In The World before it dances off into the sunset! This time we DON'T need a little Christmas, but we need a LOT of Spring, and this Spectacular is just the place to get it!

Bye, Buckaroos!
Steve out!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


There. I've said it. I know, I've also said I keep it clean around here, but some times, there are some things that should be said, and this is one of those times and one of those things.

I'm sure I speak for my fellow citizens of the Northeastern United States when I say that I'm tired of the Winter of 2015 and I can't wait for Spring. As a matter of fact, I would like to share some of my plans for the aforesaid Spring and Summer (and some parts of Fall).


This August 6th, my best friend and toughest critic (who happens to be Dear Old Mom) Bettijane L. Eisenpreis hits the Big Eight-Oh, and to celebrate, I will accompany her to Washington State and Vancouver (Canada), where the highlight is Stanley Park, named for the same Lord Stanley who started the practice of awarding a cup to the best professional team in hockey. (I always thought his name WAS Stanley Cup! But that was when I was a COMPLETE hockey newbie!)

Before that is my annual Independence Day vaycay, which has been rescheduled to a four-day long weekend (7-3 to 7-6) so as not to take anything away from our trip in the Pacific Northwest. This year I will be celebrating our country's birthday in one of the cities that made it possible, Boston,MA.
If you've known me a long time, you know I love New York and its teams, many of whom have a hate-hate relationship with the Boston teams, and you may be asking, "Steve, why are you going to the home of the Red Sox, who didn't catch that final out in the 1986 World Series, and the New England Patriots, who will stop at nothing to win?" First of all, that trait worked to their advantage and won them Super Bowl XLIX just as I hoped it would, and second of all,Beantown suffered probably one of its greatest tragedies when it was snowed in this year and I just thought I'd come over and provide a little moral support. After all, this is the first city where Babe Ruth played, the home of Cheers, (NORM!),the home of Gillette Blue Blades, the home of Julia Child, and the home of the musical Zip Code. (Remember the PBS show ZOOM? "Box Three-Five-Oh, Boston, Mass, OH-TWO-ONE-THREE-FOUR!"Oh,to be young again!) And, OF COURSE, there's the Freedom Road where Boston, and American, history come alive. I will be leaving Amtrak's Penn Station on the Third and arriving at South Station before pitching my tent at the beautiful Ames Boston Hotel on Court Street. (I KNOW what you're thinking. Rest assured that I AM saving for the Sixth, which is when I'll pay for my room.) Boston has been through a Depression, two World Wars, an American Revolution, a Marathon tragedy, and a killer blizzard. Such a city could not go unvisited! (And besides, this year marks the fifth anniversary of my trip to nearby Salem, home of the Witch Trials.
When I went there, I was CHARMED by the bewitching history. How can you NOT be under Salem's spell when you visit?)

When the temps cool down a bit, Mom and I will fly off to beautiful San Antonio, and OF COURSE, we will remember the Alamo! (And NOT just the car rental company!)


One of the things about Spring I'm looking forward to the most is BASEBALL! Gen Y may be more partial to soccer, but for me, nothing can match the crack of a bat hitting a ball right down Broadway.No matter how much the "geniuses" responsible for the rules try to change the game, it still has a magic all its own. This year, it's going to be strange seeing my beloved Yankees without Derek Jeter, but at least Alex Rodriguez is back, and I'm sure he's serious about turning over a new leaf. Also planning to turn over a new leaf are the they-hope-soon-to-be-amazin'-again Mets. It should be interesting to see how the minor improvements to Citi Field and the major improvements to the Metsies' starting lineup will affect their quest for their first World Series trophy in twenty-nine years!

Not only do I plan on checking out the Yanks and the Mets, but I also intend to take my annual daycation to Long Island for the Belmont Stakes. Perhaps THIS year a Triple Crown Champion will rise? One can only hope! (Of course, I will see the Sawx in a July 4th matinee against the Houston Astros!)


It may not be until May 19th, which just so happens to be  my birthday, but ALREADY I'm excited about seeing Bartlett Sher's new production of THE KING AND I at Lincoln Center! Before that, I'm going to Radio City Music Hall to see THE NEW YORK SPRING SPECTACULAR, starring the Rockettes, DANCING WITH THE STARS' Derek Hough, and Laura Benanti, who may be remembered as the Bunny Mother on the short-lived TV series THE PLAYBOY CLUB. (The NY Spectacular follows in the footsteps of the Music Hall's late great Easter Show. Is it a coinkydink that an Ex-Bunny is one of the headliners of the new show? I DON'T THINK SO!)

I also plan on visiting the Big Apple Comic Con this March 7 at Penn Plaza Pavillion (in the Hotel Pennnsylvania across the street from MSG) and Book Con on May 31st at the Jacob K. Javits Center on 11th Avenue. Perhaps I will find a publisher for my upcoming masterpiece, STEVE's BOOK! (No,it's not going to be a Best-Of-STEVE's BLOG. You can find the best of the blog ON the blog.It's going to be an all-new collection of random observations, which has nothing to do with Random House.)


A final "Ahead Warp Speed!" to Leonard "Mr. Spock" Nimoy as he takes a final voyage to the roost of the Great Bird of the Galaxy. May the memories Live Long And Prosper.

One highlight of the aforementioned Super Bowl was the Toyota commercial when a proud Dad saw his daughter off as she began her tour of duty as a soldier. This past Saturday, this ad was spoofed in an SNL sketch when a nervous, but proud Dad, dropped his daughter, played by 50 Shades star Dakota Johnson, off at the airport, but this time she was welcomed by ISIS terrorists. (The tagline was ISIS:We'll take it from here,Dad!) I think the haters are missing the point. This was not intended to make light of ISIS or recruit for ISIS. This was intended to illustrate the stupidity of ISIS if they think they can provide the love and support disaffected youth need the way their parents or adult caregivers can. Grow a sense of humor, people!

That's it for now from the Frozen North...east, but I will keep you posted of all the warm weather events I have just previewed as soon as they occur, but until then, this is your announcer saying, Stay warm, drive carefully, and...

Bye, Buckaroos!

Steve out!