IF IT'S TUESDAY, IT'S STEVE'S BLOG
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.
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...
it's MEET THE PRESS."
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!)