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.