Monday, December 12, 2016

"All I Want For Christmas Is World Peace"-Timbuk 3

First of all, I would like to apologize to the spirit of Casey Kasem, For the past two Christmases, I've been keeping his memory alive by counting down the naughtiest and nicest newsmakers of the past year by sharing information about those newsmakers in the good-natured style that was his trademark for nearly five decades, but, as I mentioned in my last blog, the events of the past year have made it impossible. When President-Elect Trump called TODAY after he was named TIME magazine's Person of the Year, he denied any responsibility for the division that has struck this country. Since he won, maybe "stole" is a better word, the Presidential Election of 2016, there have been incidents of protests against our uniformed officers, random shootings, attacks on people trying to stay true to their faith, even people walking up to people who are just doing their job, be it delivering food or packages or reporting news, and whispering something in their ear which is definitely NOT sweet nothings. (It could be something as comparatively benign as "stupid" or an F-bomb.) 

This is supposed to be not only the season to be jolly, but also the season of Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Man. Contrary to popular belief, this is not unique to Christianity, but it is also one of the tenets of ALL religions, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or Humphrey Bogart's birthday. We recently marked the 75th Anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, and the irony of it was that it was so close to those holidays that pray for the day when we all stand together as one. (Even John Lennon, who believed God was a concept by which we measured our pain, sang of the day when we were all united. Personally, I prefer Cee-Lo Green's version, "All religion's true.", but that's just me.) By his actions, Donald Trump is making Peace On Earth an even more unattainable ideal. 

Don't get me wrong, it's still the season to be jolly, so celebrate with those you love, but when you get a minute, use it to pray, whether to Adonai, Jesus, or Allah, for a world where people are not judged by what they wear on their head, their uniform, or profession, but, as Dr. Martin Luther King said, "the content of their character."  Peace On Earth does not have to be only a dream. No one man can truly Make America Great Again. First of all, America is already great because of those who challenge the status quo and share their ideas with the rest of the world, from the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, Secondly, and I know that this point has been made a million times, but hear me out, people are like snowflakes in that no two are 100% alike. (Since 9/11, I have been guilty of sizing up Muslims too quickly, especially when they take notes before boarding a New York City subway. TRUE STORY!) 

Right after 9/11, we proved to the world that we can truly be "one nation under God", but these days we've seemed to forget it. Well, we should remember it a little better. We should stop saying nasty things to people and return to the good old days when we used to say Hi, Hello, or "Nice day, isn't it?" 

Hillary Clinton would have been the right person to guarantee Peace On Earth as our POTUS, and, at this time, we need a motherly presence like that of the late, great Florence Henderson, or, as the world knew her, Carol Brady, so we nominate them the two Nicest Newsmakers of 2016, and we will make a 50-50 donation (Total $100) to the Garden of Dreams Foundation (The Madison Square Garden's non-profit organization benefiting New York City children facing obstacles such as homelessness) in each of their names.

Happy Holidays, and remember, by Peace On Earth, we mean ALL the Earth, and Goodwill Toward ALL Men and Women.

We'll back in 2017 with another pulse-pounding, sense-shattering Steve's Blog, but, in the meantime, stay tuned for the Second Annual Stevie Awards for Awesomeness in Country Music in Welcome To Steve Country and a few surprises in Steve's Book Blog and In The Ring With Steve as well as a Steve Special that will knock you for a loop! (You never know what I'm going to say next! And neither do I!)

I WILL honor Casey by ending this blog the way he ended his many radio and TV shows: "Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars!"

For now, friends, the blog is over! Go in PEACE!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Merry Christmas, Mr. President-Elect, Ya Filthy Animal!

Two movies that have become Christmas traditions are the first two HOME ALONE movies, starring McCauley Caulkin as Kevin McAllister, a resourceful young boy who has this peculiar habit of being left behind on Christmas family vacations. The movie I would like to discuss is HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK (1992). As the movie opens, our Chicago-based hero is about to leave the Windy City for Christmas holiday in (OF ALL PLACES!) Miami with his family. His dad trusts him with his flight bag which includes his credit cards and a lot of cash, but as the plane begins to leave O'Hare International, Kev gets left behind and makes a mad dash for a plane which, like the one his folks and siblings are on, is American Airlines, but UNLIKE the McAllister family plane, is BOUND FOR NEW YORK! Recalling a coattail (a promotional consideration ad) for The Plaza, "New York's Most Exciting Hotel Experience!", he reserves a suite using Dad's credit card and creates the illusion that Dad is in town for a convention. Suffice it to say that Kev goes on to meet up again with the "Wet Bandits" (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) from the first movie, have a beautiful encounter with a bird woman (Brenda Fricker) who tells him of her love for Carnegie Hall, and get a present from a kindly old toymaker played by Eddie Bracken, but he also has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it meeting with the then-owner of the Plaza, a certain Mr. Donald John Trump who gives him directions. IRL (or, In Real Life for the social media challenged), the Donald bought the Plaza in 1988 and installed his wife Ivana as Chief Operating Officer, but in November of the year HOME ALONE 2 was released, he sold half of the hotel to a banking group led by Citibank as a prepackaged bankruptcy. With this bankruptcy, and so many other bankruptcies on his permanent record, it begs the question: How can he run the country successfully if he can't run a business successfully? I AM going to give him a chance for the first one hundred days, but still.

The highlight of HOME ALONE 2 happens when the hotel staff finds out Kevin has paid for his hotel room with a stolen credit card and the family flies to New York to set things right. Kevin has taped the sequel to his favorite (spoof) gangster movie, "Angels With Filthier Souls," and, with the help of his trusty Talkboy, (a tape recorder created by John Hughes and Tiger Electronics for the movie before it was made available to the general public), orders the ready-to-evict-him staff to kneel down and tell him they love him. They comply, and his tape recorder says, "I believe you...BUT MY TOMMY GUN DON'T! YOU BETTER GET YOUR CARCASS OUT OF HERE BEFORE I COUNT TO THREE! ONE...TWO...(BUDDA-BUDDA-BUDDA) THREE! MERRY CHRISTMAS, YA FILTHY ANIMAL!"

That last line could definitely apply to our PEOTUS. I'm sorry if I'm offending of my friends who voted for him, but anyone who boasts of his sexual conquests, insults important trading partners,criticizes everybody from Alec Baldwin to NBC's Hallie (or, as he calls her, Haley) Jackson (no relation to Michael, who called Trump Tower home), AND violates a sacred trust with China, deserves to be called a filthy animal. As he would say, "Believe it."

In a break with a longstanding Steve's Blog holiday tradition (See Naughty Lists for 2013, '14 and '15.) I'm going to cut to the chase and name Donald J. Trump the Naughtiest Newsmaker of 2016.

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal! (BANG-BANG-BANG) And a Happy New Year! (HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK, rated PG, is available from Amazon, Hulu and Netflix and also is scheduled to air on AMC and certain other national networks during the holiday season.)

Steve out!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Steve's Post-Thanksgiving Leftovers


Michael Che, who co-anchors SNL's Weekend Update, says Trump may be right about what the iconic comedy show says about him in an upcoming issue of GQ. Michael, fellow Rangers fan and comedy god, I love you and respect your opinion, but I'm worried your boss Lorne Michaels might use Don's famous catchphrase on you.


Last time, I told all CFL fans in Readerland to put the ranch on the Ottawa Red Blacks over the Edmonton Eskimos at the 104th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. Their correct opponent is the CALGARY STAMPEDERS! My sincerest apologies to the League and both teams involved. (And my apologies to Esky fans for giving you false hopes!)


and to all a good holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Steve's Pre-Thanksgiving All-You-Can-Eat Blog Buffet


I thought Donald Trump was going to be a kinder, gentler President when I heard him saying nice things about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney. Shows you how wrong a guy can be! He has ALSO said some not-so-nice things about HAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL (after the cast politely asked his Veep, Mike Pence, to rethink the administration's platform on issues that affect the cast and certain members of their audience) and Alec "How-Can-I-Possibly-Stay-Away?" Baldwin's impersonation of him on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. (Grow a sense of humor, dude!) As you keep saying, you are about to become President of ALL the people, and one of the major things the job entails is keeping freedom of speech alive, and THAT includes trying to, AT LEAST, mildly chuckle at people who try to make fun of you. I admit, I DID want to choke the life out of people who made fun of me in high school, but (A) that was high school and (B) I wasn't the Commander-Of-Chief of the United States of America and the man people around the world look to for guidance. The bottom line is this: Don, I trust you and want you to succeed (except when it comes to building a wall and keeping people out on religious grounds), but PLEASE, stop being such a grouch! (I LOVED Joe Pesci's portrayal of a real estate mogul named Donald Grump on a SESAME STREET Christmas special. He told Oscar, "This looks like the beginning of a rotten relationship."


Times like this just SCREAM for a feel-good movie like TROLLS (PG), from DreamWorks Animation and inspired by the classic Good Luck Troll dolls. Anna Kendrick is lovable as Princess Poppy, the leader of the Trolls who always sees the glass half-full and is always ready to party, and Justin Timberlake gives her a great straight man, I mean, straight TROLL, in Branch, a Troll who doesn't think life is all "cupcakes and rainbows" and (Horror of horrors!) CAN'T SING! In this movie, the Trolls have nothing better to do than sing and dance until they're discovered by the Bergins, large ogres who are never truly happy unless they eat a Troll, or so goes the legend. Twenty years after the Trolls' great escape from the Bergins, Branch warns Poppy that the loud noise from their celebration will attract the Bergins...and, unfortunately, IT DOES! I'm not going to give the story away, but I WILL tell you that J.T., in his capacity as Executive Music Producer, has lined up a lot of great music to tell the story, from Earth,Wind and Fire's "September" and the peppy original song "Get Back Up Again" to Simon and Garfunkel's moving "The Sound of Silence" and two more tearjerkers, Lionel Richie's "Hello" and Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," and TROLLS, produced by  a company founded by Disney exiles, is the closest thing this company, DreamWorks, has come to a great Disney movie that simultaneously warms the heart and tickles the funny bone at once. If I only had enough money to buy either a ticket to TROLLS or a sandwich, I'd CERTAINLY get the ticket! (I WOULD get a TROLLS Happy Meal IF my trainer and my Jenny Craig consultant let me, but I don't want to get back the ten pounds I have so carefully lost. Oh well!) TROLLS may not solve all of today's problems, but it will certainly help you forget them for a while.


Take the Ottawa Red Blacks and the points over the Edmonton Eskimos! (I may not have any immediate plans to move to Canada no matter WHO won the election, but the Cup IS one of the sports world's greatest spectaculars no matter where you live!)


I still love country music, but the only country fans I know who voted for Hillary are Dixie Chicks fans, and I don't want to alienate those fans who go around wearing those red ball caps! I WILL give out the Stevie Awards for Awesomeness in Country Music at the end of the year! Promise!

IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR... thankful you're not a turkey!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Bye, Buckaroos!

Friday, November 11, 2016

What If?

My name is Uatu, and I am The Watcher, the last of a line of supremely intelligent beings, sworn never to interfere in the occurences on other planets after a tragic accident. For eons I have observed the events not only in your universe, but in myriad alternate universes, and one event that has especially piqued my interest has been the recent campaign for the office of President of the United States that began when Donald John Trump, an outspoken real estate magnate and former television personality, announced his candidacy after making a few racist comments concerning the people of Mexico, continued when he frustrated and stymied the other Republican contenders, and reached its climax when he challenged, and ultimately defeated, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the wife of a former Democratic president and, at various points, a Senator representing the State of New York and the Secretary of State of the United States. From my vantage point on the Blue Area of the Moon, I often ponder what would happen if things didn't turn out the way they eventually did in your reality. What would happen had Clinton won the Presidency is a tale for another time, but, today, I present to you the case of one Steven Long Eisenpreis, who, for three years, has written a series of web logs, or "blogs," as they are more commonly known, on topics from current events to the world of sport. When Eisenpreis visited the city of Philadelphia, known as the Cradle of Liberty because it is where the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, he chanced to encounter an article of clothing that proclaimed, "MOVING TO CANADA! SEE YOU IN FOUR YEARS!" As Trump was a complete blowhard with no political experience, or so he thought, Eisenpreis was fascinated with the idea of moving should he win, and why not? Although America was where he was born and lived, Canada was also dedicated to the same ideas of freedom, a concept he was worried Trump would undermine. To make a long story short, Trump defeated Clinton in a surprise upset, but Eisenpreis changed his mind and decided to remain in America because his friends and the people and things he loved were there and there were many things about America that were better than Canada. But, dear friends, I submit the question, What would happen had Eisenpreis left the Stars and Stripes for the Maple Leaf in an attempt to escape possible tragedy?

WHAT IF...Steve Moved To Canada?  with apologies to Stan Lee who created the Watcher and Roy Thomas who gave him a home in Marvel's WHAT IF?

Steve's First Canadian Blog

HELLO WORLD! BONJOUR MONDE! Welcome to the very first ever Steve's Blog from the Dominion of Canada. I am speaking to you almost live from my palatial estate right across the street from the beautiful Rogers Centre in Toronto, the home of the Blue Jays and Argonauts, and the first retractable roof stadium in North America. Boy, it's a good thing I escaped that hosehead Trump, eh?
I have the pleasure of following a whole lot of excellent expatriates to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), among them Katy Perry, Madonna, Cher, (She originally planned to move to Jupiter, but that wasn't on NASA's immediate to-do list.) Miley Cyrus, (Will she create a new alter ego named Hannah Manitoba?)and a living legend in her own right, Brooklyn's loss, Canada's gain, Barbra Streisand, ready to join such "Canajan" music superstars as Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Anne Murray,  Nickelback, and the one and only, late great Leonard Cohen. (Imagine all THAT talent on the stage at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts!) And the country that gave the world Rich Little, Wayne and Shuster, SCTV, the Royal Canadian Air Farce, the Kids in the Hall, and other comedy legends (including this dude named Lorne Michaels who started a live comedy show that goes on every Saturday night, uh, what's it called?) has become the home of Jon Stewart and Amy Schumer, and I hope the True North, with its reputation for tolerance, is ready for Rev. Al Sharpton! New York may have Broadway, but Tronna has Mirvish Alley, named for Honest Ed Mirvish, the dollar store king, who saved the Royal Alexander Theater from the wrecking ball. Yeah, I know, "Give my regards to Mirvish Alley" doesn't have the same ring, but the Royal Alex, Princess of Wales, and Ford Theaters all have the same star power! Before I continue, I would like to send a shout-out to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who now resides in New Zealand. If it gets too cold here, I might swing over to Pearson International Airport and take Air NZ over to your neighbourhood so we can play catch up! Another shout out goes to my fellow comic fans in the Big Apple. You may have all those Avengers and Justice League dudes, but WE have our very own super guy, Captain Canuck, who's been protecting Canada since 1975 under the creative aegis of Mr. Richard Comely, and X-Men artist John Byrne, a transplanted Brit, who gave us Alpha Flight, Canada's ambassadors to the Marvel Universe. Oh, the immigration process isn't exactly a cakewalk, and I feel some remorse rooting for the Leafs when they play the Rangers, the Jays when they take on the Yanks, or the Raptors when they play the Knicks, but, hey, I'd rather have a Prime Minister like Justin Trudeau than a President like Trump any day. Small price to pay, eh? And no, wise guys, the 90's did NOT wait till 1997 to come to Canada (As HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER claimed in the episode "Slap Bet") and yes, we ARE a real country, (Take that, SOUTH PARK!) and we've got some very talented people here! Matter of fact, I have an audition with TSN (The Sports Network, the Canadian ESPN affiliate) for the position of sideline reporter on Jays telecasts, so, I gotta bid you all adieu, but stop by soon and we'll warm up some bacon for you, eh?

G'day! (I know, it's better known as an Aussie phrase, but Doug and Bob used to say it all the time!)

What the Eisenpreis of this reality failed to take into account was the fact that Americans have never been known to back away from a fight, even if it concerns a man of dubious integrity such as the one they have just elected, as well as the probability of a new Prime Minister of similarly questionable integrity. Where would Eisenpreis go then? Would America welcome him back with open arms? That is also a story for another time. Fortunately, the Eisenpreis of your reality realizes that all he knows and loves is in America, which may not be perfect, but is, in the eyes of many, the greatest country on Earth. I, the Watcher, leave you with this admonition: Donald Trump IS the democratically elected President of the United States of America and deserves a chance. Will he prove worthy of the legacy of Washington, Kennedy and Lincoln? All I can do, all ANYONE can do is wait...and watch.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Strange As It Seems, This Movie Is Just What The Doctor Ordered!

Millenials, you may find this hard to believe, but there WAS a time when nobody watched TV, super hero movies weren't the million dollar extravaganzas we know today, and people heard Superman and The Lone Ranger on the radio. A Washington Heights, New York boy named Stanley Martin Lieber grew up in that era, and his special favorite was a show called "Chandu The Magician," or, as it was introduced, "CHANDUUUUUUUUUUUU, THE MAGICIAN!" before a loud GONNNNNNG! sounded.The creation of Harry Earnshaw and Raymond Morgan, Chandu, originally an American named Frank Chandler,  learned secrets of black magic from a yogi in India and pledged to use those secrets for the good of mankind. Although Chandu all but disappeared from the pop culture radar, he stayed in young Lieber's mind, even when he grew up to become Stan Lee, the creator of groundbreaking Marvel Comics characters The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Mighty Thor. Having created four heroes who were JUST LIKE US, a misunderstood man-monster, a web-slinging super-teen, and an invalid doctor who tapped a walking stick to become the living embodiment of the Asgardian God of Thunder, Stan decided the only thing he could do for an encore was a hero who used magic to protect mankind, and that hero was DOCTOR STRANGE: MASTER OF THE MYSTIC ARTS. Steve Ditko may have taken credit for the look and spirit of the character,but the direction and feel of the series is all Stan. Like Chandu, Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange was an American who traveled to Asia and discovered how to control magic, but he was also a gifted neurosurgeon who was more interested in wealth and power than helping people purely for the sake of helping. He lost the use of his hands in an automobile accident and, in a quest to restore his abilities, found the Ancient One, then the Sorcerer Supreme. His pupil Mordo sought to inherit that title, but even he, the fount of all magical knowledge, could not understand Mordo's desire to kill the Ancient One and assume the mantle.After defeating Mordo in a magical battle, Strange impressed the Ancient One enough to inherit the mantle, complete with the Eye of Agomotto, a talisman that looked like an eye and could "see" all, and a Cloak of Levitation.

If you think all that would make one kick-butt movie, you're right! That movie ALMOST happened in 1978 as a CBS movie of the week, but  that movie HAS happened as MARVEL STUDIOS' DOCTOR STRANGE. Benedict Cumberbatch ("Sherlock") plays Doc as a devotee of the finer things and pop culture junkie who not only loses the use of his hands but also the affections of Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). He hears of a paraplegic who gets the magic power to walk again, and meets up with not only the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Mordo (Chlewtel Ejiofor), but also his manservant Wong (Benedict Wong) and Kaciellus (Mads Mikkelsen), a rival Master of the Mystic Arts. The mind-blowing special effects are best enjoyed at IMAX theaters, (Go to for the one nearest you.) and the Michael Giacchino (RATATOUILLE) score is as magical as the visual end of the ledger, but if you think you're going to miss the kind of classic rock staples that made GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and other Marvel movies treats for the ear as well as the eye, nothing can be further from the truth as jazz-funk superstars Earth Wind and Fire and symphonic jazz genius Chuck Mangione ("Land of Make Believe," "Chase The Clouds Away," "Give It All You've Got," and the song that appears in this movie, "Feels So Good"), among others, are represented. Telling you too much about the movie would spoil the magic, but it's safe to say that after seeing this, you'll never look at New York, London, or Hong Kong QUITE the same way again!

If I was down to my last and could only choose between DOCTOR STRANGE and a sandwich, I'd mix myself an ice-cold Meta Appetite Control and then sit back, relax, and enjoy all the Marvelously Strange magic. By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, MISS IT NOT! That's MY prescription!


Friday, September 23, 2016

She's A Pitch! I'm A-Love-Her!

Longtime readers of this blog may recall that I'm a HUGE fan of Nickelodeon's sports-com BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS starring Brec Bassinger as Bella "Awesome" Dawson, a cheerleader at Silverado Middle School who gets promoted to starting quarterback. Just as BELLA shattered the glass ceiling with a forward pass-full of great entertainment and important life lessons, so has another jockette cracked it with her pandemonius pachydermic percussion PITCH. Say hello to Ginny Baker, the first female pitcher for the San Diego Padres, as personified by rising young star Kylie Bunbury who comes from an athletic family herself and she certainly shows it. (Running it is Dan, his last name Fogelman, who also ran a show called GAL-A-VANT! If you want to hear the COMPLETE theme song, click over to and search "Galavant." BUT I digress.) Mark-Paul Gosselar from SAVED BY THE BELL is her manager, Mike Lawson, Ali Larter from HEROES is her agent, Amelia Slater, Mark "Mr. Kelly Ripa: Consuelos is the team's owner, Oscar Arguello, and many actual Major League Baseball superstars and FOX Sports superstars (Colin Cowherd, Katie Nolan, Joe Buck, John Smoltz, and Clarissa Thompson) serve as the Greek chorus chronicling the action. Unlike BELLA, the show tackles very adult topics such as sexism and child abuse, and look forward for members of the Fifth Estate (the electronic media to you) to ask Ginny for her opinion on major topics in what may be a very timely episode. First PITCH is every Thursday on FOX at 8:59/7:59 central, and it knocks it right out of the park, or, as Ms. Dawson would say, "SHA-BOOYAH!" When you're not taking yourself out to the ballgame, bring yourself to watch this homerun of a show!

Play Ball!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

An Open Letter To Tony Schwartz

Dear Sir:

I would like to congratulate you for coming forth and telling it like it really is about The Donald. I believe he is one of the factors that is keeping me from becoming a published author. I enjoy "Media: The Second God" and your other books, because you are one of the few published authors who aren't afraid to tell the truth, warts and all, unlike the celebrity so-called authors (The Donald included) and overrated authors who live to serve the New York Times Best Seller List and not Main Street, USA. It's time to break the European- and British-owned publishers' stranglehold on the American book industry, and I would appreciate your support, moral in particular, for a new movement I am starting called WAR, or, Writers Against Rejection. WAR will be comprised of writers who prefer not to write books for THEM, the Publishers of Europe and Britain, but for WE, the People of the United States. To paraphrase our, um, friend, our mission will be two-fold: To Make America Read Again, and to Make American Literature Great Again. Contrary to what they tell you at the 92nd Street Y, writing is not baseball. It's football and we keep getting tackled no matter how often we try to make it to the goal line. One of our projects will be to petition our representatives (and, eventually, Hillary) to pass legislation that would force the PEB to spin off their American subsidiaries, criminalize rejection, (except, for example, the ISIS equivalent of "Mein Kampf," if they're twisted enough to write such a book) treat the murder of iconic heroes such as Captain America and Superman as if they were actual people by imprisoning the responsible editors, and changing the phrase "self-publishing" to "assisted publishing" when it concerns divisions of publishing companies that specialize in publishing books for a fee (and lowering said fees to prices that people can actually afford).

Once again, I congratulate you on your honesty and courage, and I anticipate your response.

As for myself, I have been blogging since 2013, and I currently keep five blogs (Steve's Book Blog, , A Steve's Blog Special Presentation ( to Steve Country (, and In The Ring With Steve ( as well as the blog you are currently reading. I believe Blogspot has given me more freedom than any book publisher, I have written about sports, music, pop culture, and current events with, IMHO, more intelligence than a lot of the current books on the market,  I have a few celebrity fans (country singer Brandy Clark and DJ Scott Shannon, for example) and my blogs have been read in more than 20 countries including Iran and Cuba. I am telling this because you have a right to know about the author who anticipates your support in the war on Big Book. To reiterate, I look forward to your response.

Yours truly,
Steven Eisenpreis

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Once upon a time, the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, to be exact, a little boy met a big mouse and fell in love. First of all, this is not another untold story about Michael Jackson. Secondly, the little boy was yours truly, the mouse, or, should I say, the Mouse was Mickey and I also got to rub noses with Minnie, and I fell in love so much that my grandmother got a whole lot of shares of The Walt Disney Company which I held on to even after Walt himself passed. I was present at the meeting when Chief Executive Officer Michael D.Eisner was about to complete the merger with Capital Cities/ABC Inc., formerly the American Broadcasting Companies,Inc. The motion carried despite a few objections, but I found myself with too many Disney shares, but I couldn't just foist them upon anybody. Unlike a certain presumptive Republican nominee for President (with whom I mistakenly compared him,) Walt wasn't born into wealth, but what made him feel rich back in those early days was his love of the Bible and everything American, so I felt that Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York was the best fit for those shares. (And good thing too, for Senior Rabbi David Posner and his wife Sylvia knew people who knew people at the Mouse House.) After the terror attacks of 9/11, Disney was seen as a source of comfort from Disney/Pixar's MONSTERS INC. to the Disney Channel Original Movies HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL and CADET KELLY (among others) to live sports on ABC sister network ESPN, but there was a movement against the Eisnerian policies led by Walt's nephew Roy E. Disney which spawned, among other things, a line of T-shirts and bumper stickers which were proudly displayed by former animators and shareholders alike and proclaimed the owner as "DIS-appointed," in a parody of the Disney logo.

I will go on record as saying that I love Disney, ESPN, Marvel and Star Wars and nothing is going to change that, and I have had a lot of great times at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Resort Paris, as well as the Disney Store at Tanger Outlets Hershey (PA), but I would also like to say that I am extremely DIS-appointed at the management of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort over their lack of action that could have prevented the untimely death of 2-year-old Lane Graves of Elkhorn, NB, who wandered into Seven Seas Lagoon and was attacked not by an Audio-Animatronic alligator, but one that was all too real. I have always admired Disney for the way the care for their guests from offering Big Apples at the front desk at the Hotel New York in Downtown Disney Paris to Mickey's Magical Express at WDW, but this time they fell on their sword with tragic results. They should take to heart Marvel's guiding philosophy: "With great power there must also come great responsibility." I hope Disney pays stronger attention to its guests, remembering that they are not just credit card numbers and that they ARE people. I hope this finds its way to current CEO Bob Iger and that future generations of Disney fans will live happily ever after.

I would be remiss if I did not express my condolences to the survivors of the Pulse night club tragedy which happened not too far away from the Grand Floridian and my support of all the First Responders who stepped up to the plate. #WeAreOrlando

I would also like to express my condolences to the family of Christina Grimmie from THE VOICE who  played a concert in Orlando, just down the road from the Pulse, and was heartlessly and mercilessly gunned down.

Hoping YOUR news is good news (and for better news for all)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Don't Try This At Home!

I don't mean to spoil the Prince pity party, (You've probably either read my tribute or you're about to.) but one possible cause of death is drugs, and if you remember the tragic end of Michael Jackson, you'll remember he was prescribed a lot of painkillers by a well-meaning doctor, and those hastened a tragic ending. That, and his reputation with young boys, did not exactly contribute positively to an otherwise sterling reputation as an artist. Similarly, Prince is also known for his affairs with stars such as Charlize Theron, who, reportedly was working on a new album with His Royal Badness. (Did anybody see that SNL musical number when the entire cast sang that while Charlize can slip out of different accents and play different characters, she COULDN'T sing? What's up with that?)

Many talented people, such as my CWPF Judy Collins, country legend Larry Gatlin, and Paul McCartney, have broken the grip of drugs over their lives. Others such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin weren't as lucky. If only Prince had joined the latter camp and had lived to be as old as Merle Haggard and Sonny James (ATTENTION PEOPLE WHO THINK NASHVILLE IS ONLY THE NAME OF A GREAT TV SHOW AND, THEREFORE, HAVE HEARD THOSE NAMES FOR THE FIRST TIME: Click over to for complete details on their wonderful lives and a few more surprises.), he would truly deserve all the adulation what a certain Ms. Palin calls the "lamestream media" has been giving him lately. (Guilty, your honor!)

So, all you budding musicians out there, it's OK if you want to be the kind of humanitarian/ pop powerhouse Michael Jackson was (Heck, you can be all that PLUS a better dad!) or rock-soul star Prince was sans all the erotic lyrics and don Juan reputation, but do not, and I mean DO NOT, try to emulate the kind of lifestyle they lived when the lights went down and the cheering stopped. I don't mean to trivialize the death of somebody who touched a lot of lives, but it would have been a whole lot better if he improved his own life first!

UP NEXT: Belated congratulations to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (Grumble,grumble.) on winning New York State. As the primaries move to Pennsylvania and Connecticut, I will share my favorite tourist places in the Keystone State and the Nutmeg State. (Hill won when I recommended my faves in NYS. Coincidence? I think not.)


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Long Live The Prince

It's our sad duty to report that Prince Rogers Nelson, better known by his first name,passed away in his Minneapolis, MN-area home and recording studios after dealing with flu-like symptoms for several weeks. He leaves this world at the tender age of 57, born less than  one month after this reporter (Steve=May 19, Prince=June 7) in Minneapolis proper. He released his first album, FOR YOU, in 1978 after several unsuccessful prior attempts.His first hit, "I Wanna Be Your Lover," came the following year, with the albums DIRTY MIND, CONTROVERSY, and 1999 following.

Prince was noted for his unique blend of disco,soul, hip hop and rock, apparently influenced by such diverse sources as George Clinton (Parliament-Funkadelic),John Lennon,Carlos Santana,Jimi Hendrix Little Richard,,and  James Brown, and flavored with sexually suggestive lyrics. He has won seven Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ROLLING STONE placed him at Number 27 on their chart of the Greatest Artists of All Time.

Prince was named for his father (John Lewis) who performed jazz under the stage name Prince Rogers. His most significant music frequently appeared on the Billboard charts in the 1980's, and in 1984, he made his motion picture debut in the Oscar winning PURPLE RAIN, whose soundtrack spawned the title hit, "WHEN DOVES CRY,"and "LET'S GO CRAZY." The "Sgt. Pepper-" inspired AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAY held the Number One position on the album chart, and his "MANIC MONDAY" was a hit for the Bangles, but PARADE had the dubious honor of being the soundtrack album for the Golden Raspberry Award (the Anti-Oscars, presented for the worst movies) winning UNDER THE CHERRY MOON, starring Prince and British actress Kristin Scott Thomas.

In the 1990's Prince changed his name to an unpronouncable symbol and asked to be referred to as  either "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince" or "The Artist." His Royal Badness recorded under his new identity until 2000 when he became Prince again. He played at Super Bowl XLI in Miami and released several albums before his last, HITnRUN Phase One.

Prince's songwriting ran the gamut from the sacred ("4 The Tears In Your Eyes") to the profane ("Erotic City") to the just plain crazy ("Anotherloverholeinyahead"), but he always used that sound which, while a hybrid of different influences, he made his own. In Shakespeare's plays, it always storms when a king dies. Today it rains in our  heart, and it is indeed, a purple rain.

R.I. P, Prince

The blogger presently known as Steve

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

No Way To Treat A Lady!

Michael Strahan, you should be ashamed of yourself for dumping Kelly Ripa! Yeah, I know, you're still working for Disney/ABC and they love you over at GOOD MORNING AMERICA, but YOU JUST JOINED HER! (True, it's been four years, but it seems like only yesterday.) I used to love you when you were a New York Giant, (especially that Snickers commercial when that Cowboys fan teased you and you scared him out of his ten-gallon hat) and I still think you're one of FOX' best pregame reporters, but you and "Pippa" were just made for each other, you kept switching straight man and stooge roles, and you were great morale boosters. I understand why the Kelster missed her show today. If I had a valuable partner who proved himself to be a great host when it came to hosting two shows, I would support him or her unreservedly, and I would understand if you told our national audience you wanted to leave, but Stray, to call you a cold-hearted snake would be an insult not only to Paula Abdul but cold-hearted snakes everywhere! If the circumstances were different, I would have taken a page from the book of GMA's founding anchor and said, "Go out and make it a great day!" BUUUUUUUT, to quote another famous Disney employee, a certain Mr. Thumper, if you can't say somethin' nice....
Steve out!
P.S. Congratulations to Wonder Woman Clinton, well played, Jovial John, and as for Dumb Donald, if you can't say somethin' nice...

Monday, April 18, 2016

Start Spreading The News!

This Tuesday, New York State goes to the polls to pick a choice for President of these United States. (Stevie the Geek's Lead Pipe Picks: Hillary R. Clinton for the Dems, and John Kasich for the GOP. The less said about the guy with the weird hair and loud mouth, the better!) and we've been given some decent weather in which to head to our local polling station. (If you're over 18 and registered, VOTE! If you're over 18 and NOT registered, PLEASE rectify that oversight.)

However, of primary concern to this fine blog as spring finally makes its presence felt and summer grows ever closer is the pulse-pounding potpourri of sights to see in this justly named Empire State.
For example, in June, the eyes of the sports world focus on the normally peaceful small town of Elmont in Nassau County, Long Island as Belmont Park hosts the concluding race in the Visa Triple Crown Challenge, the Belmont Stakes, and although it's too early to predict a winner on the track, you're in for a winning time at Beautiful Belmont itself. There's food to satisfy every palate, (Bring your appetite, but leave your diet at home!) personal appearances from winning jockeys from past years, supervised play for the little ones, and this year, a special post-race concert from American Idol Top 10 artist Chris Daughtry and his eponymous band. (You can also visit Yonkers Raceway and Aqueduct. One major advantage THEY have over Belmont is casinos, but THAT may change. Stay tuned!) Tickets have been known to fly out the door, so log on to PRONTISSIMO!

With all the headlines about all those crazy people in Albany, (our state capital) one may be tempted to hop on Amtrak (from Penn Station, 7th and 8th Avenues from 31st to 34th Street) or Go Greyhound (from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, 8th between 40th and 42nd) to check it out, and while it  DOES have plenty to see, from Empire State Plaza to the New York State Museum and Library, Washington Park, the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Times-Union Center,(home of the Albany Devils), Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, (home of the Houston Astros' affiliate, the Tri-City Valleycats, and BTW, Schenectady is the third of the Tri-Cities) and, of course, the New York State Capitol, (The guided tour is recommended.) it's best to start in Albany and take a trip out to Saratoga to either see the horses at the racetrack or  Saratoga Performing Arts Center, summer home of the New York City Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra,Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (and ironically, more like New York City than Albany if only because of the large community of Yankees and Mets fans that either call it home or visit to see highlights of each team's respective history) Glimmerglass Opera and museums, or the Berkshires, where you can see Pittsfield,MA, "the Brooklyn of the Berkshires" and home of the Berkshire Museum and Arrowhead, Herman Melville's residence, the beautiful small towns of Great Barrington and Lenox, and Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Norman Rockwell Museum, where you can not only see his iconic Saturday Evening Post covers but you can also see a veritable plethora of other exciting exhibits. If you DO have this great need to visit Albany and NOWHERE ELSE, please be careful out there!

No,Jessica Simpson, buffalo don't have wings! The reason they're called "Buffalo Wings" is because Teressa Bellissimo first served these uniquely spicy chicken wings at the famous Anchor Bar in our second largest city, Buffalo, in 1964. (There are ONLY three Buffalo Wild Wings stores in the Buffalo area, and none of them are in Buffalo proper! INNNNTERESTING!) Since man does not live on wings alone, Buffalo is also the home of its own unique style of pizza, food from all over the world, and the birthplace of non-dairy whipped topping and General Mills cereals. (All silly rabbits are hereby reminded that Trix are still for kids!) Buffalo is also home to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Shea's Performing Arts Center,a diverse theater community, the Buffalo Philarmonic Orchestra (performing at Kleinhans Music Hall), music stars Rick James, Ani deFranco, the Goo Goo Dolls, the third oldest zoo in the United States, parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux (also known for Central Park), the NHL Buffalo Sabres, the NFL Buffalo Bills, the Blue Jays-affiliated Buffalo Bisons, women's hockey's Buffalo Beauts, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, and, in case anybody's forgotten, it's THISCLOSE to Niagara Falls. The famous Maid of the Mist boat tour takes guests around the famous river from the American Falls to the Canadian Falls and back. Spring and Summer are the BEST times to shuffle off to Buffalo. Take it from a sports fan who knows, if you want to see your favorite team play the Sabres at First Niagara Center or the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium, either take a LOT of cold winter clothing or stay at home and watch it on TV! (So easy, even Jessica Simpson can do it!)

Everybody talks about "the end of Broadway," but if you REALLY want to see the end of Broadway...go north of Sleepy Hollow (as in Washington Irving's "The Legend of...) in Westchester County, That's where the road we all know as Broadway terminates! Seriously! "The Golden Apple" is also the home of one of America's few government-owned amusement parks, Playland, New Roc City in New Rochelle (home of an indoor amusement park, Westchester's first IMAX theater, and Monroe College's athletic complex), the Westchester County Center and the D-League Knicks, (They lost in the playoffs to Sioux Falls in the First Round. Typical Knicks!), the Neuberger Museum of Art, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, the Westchester Philharmonic, the Yonkers Public Library and other such fine literary institutions, and the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford. (Broadway the road may end in Westchester, but Broadway, and Westchester are forever!)

BTW, elsewhere in the Hudson Valley, from August to late September, the New York Renaissance Festival turns the ski resort of Sterling Forest in Tuxedo into the Shire of Sterling where men are men and women are lucky! Buy your ticket WAY early, get your Middle Age finery ready, and prepare for folk songs, jousting, living history, and food portions bigger than you can imagine...or stomach if you're smart!

As the great Vanessa Williams once sang, I've saved the best for last...NEW YORK CITY, the Big Apple, the City That Never Sleeps,the largest city in New York State and America, and the city where Huey Lewis once sang, "You can do half a million things, all at a quarter to three!" The home of the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers and Islanders. New York Public Library, New York Philharmonic, hip-hop industry, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, Central Park....WHEW! Where else can you take a ferry to a small city where you can find a modern shopping mall, an authentic restoration of an American Revolutionary town, AND the home of the Yanks' minor league club? Brooklyn ain't too shabby either, what with the Mets' affiliates, the Cyclones, a revitalized Coney Island, Barclays Center, Jay-Z's gift to the people of Brooklyn which is seeing its first NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs thanks to the Isles, and a new and improved Yankee Stadium is drawing more fans than ever before, either because of or despite comedian John Oliver's campaign against premium-priced seating. BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT, my FAVORITE part of New York City is 31st to 34th Street in Manhattan, starting with NYU Langone Medical Center on First Avenue, continuing through the Empire State Building (the second largest building in Manhattan, after One World Trade Center, which is also worth a visit) on Fifth Avenue, Koreatown and Manhattan Mall on Broadway, and ending at Pennsylvania Plaza on Seventh and Eighth Avenues. It starts with Pennsylvania Station which is a great place to not only catch a train but also do some last minute shopping and grab a bite, (Be careful with the natives! If they get a little too out-of-control, PLEASE notify an Amtrak, MTA, or NY police officer immediately.) continues through 2 Penn Plaza (Don't miss the new Pennsy Food Court featuring top quality restaurants owned by Pat LaFrieda, Mario Battali, and Mary Giuliani, to name but a few!) and ends at Madison Square Garden, The World's Most Famous Arena! After the New York Rangers win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 22 years, (Hey, it COULD happen!) the women take over as the New York Liberty challenge the best in women's basketball. (And for the record, Broadway is by no means over! Check out Andrew Lloyd Webber's SCHOOL OF ROCK and THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Disney's THE LION KING and ALADDIN,FIDDLER ON THE ROOF,WICKED,CHICAGO,FINDING NEVERLAND, the Radio City NEW YORK CITY SPECTACULAR from early June to early August, and leave the kids at home before you boldly go to AMERICAN PSYCHO: THE MUSICAL!)
REMEMBER, after you've voted for the candidate of your choice, elect to visit the Empire State! (First, visit THESE sites:

Steve out!

Monday, April 11, 2016

An Unbearable Passing

It was reported by The New York Times during this past weekend that Margaret Emily Noel "Peggy" Fortnum, best known for illustrating the adventures of Paddington, a Peruvian bear found by a British family at the railroad station that gave him his name, passed away on March 28. She was born on December 23,1919 in Harrow, Middlesex, UK and attended Turnbridge Wells School of Art (1939) and Central School of Arts and Crafts after recovering from wartime injuries.She illustrated eighty books including the first Paddington book and the basis for the recent movie, "A BEAR CALLED PADDINGTON" by Michael Bond. Our sincerest condolences to those fortunate to have known her, and the Paddington fans who can't bear to part with her beautiful illustrations.

Steve out!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

In The Ring With Steve

Since Mixed Martial Arts could FINALLY arrive in New York as early as this summer and WWE WrestleMania, "The Showcase Of The Immortals," is about to invade the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, I thought it would be cool to try this special blog focusing on all things boxing, wrestling, and MMA. On the card, the new play "THE ROYALE" and a look at Ronda Rousey's attempt at a return to greatness. So, for the millions and millions reading around the world, ladies and gentlemen...



Boxing at Lincoln Center? Sounds as ridiculous as the Julliard String Quartet at OzzFest, (Mr. Osborne's erstwhile annual hoedown at Madison Square Garden, among other venues), but believe it or not, the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater is the best place for boxing North of The World's Most Famous Arena, and no, friends,it doesn't cost anymore for a good ringside seat than a good front row orchestra seat. As a matter of fact, it's not for any established titles for any established boxing federation. It's a staged play, and an excellent staged play at that, called THE ROYALE. Set in 1905, a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time before Manny Pacquiao, Oscar de la Hoya, and Muhammad Ali, (ANACHRONISM ALERT! The dialogue refers to radio coverage, but commercial radio wasn't available until 1923.), the play is less focused on the sweet science itself than on Jay "The Sport" Jackson, a stranger in his own land in the middle of Jim Crow, and his relationships with his trainer, his opponent, and his sister, as well as a still-segregated America. The reason why there are no EMTs at the ready with gurneys is that no actual punches are thrown (although Technicolor blood IS used in one scene). Khris Davis delivers a championship performance as Jay "The Sport" Jackson, a young man hellbent on becoming the HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORRRRRRRLD (Apologies for the Michael Buffer allusion, but I just COULDN'T resist.), Montego Glover from the hit musical MEMPHIS is equally hard-hitting as his sister Nina,and the book by Marco Ramirez fails to disappoint. This play has brought houses down and audiences to their feet in London, Chicago. Los Angeles and San Diego, and it's not hard to see why. This play packs a stronger punch pound for pound, but the final bell is scheduled to ring in May, so let your fingers do the shuffling to for ticket information! THE ROYALE is a royal KNOCKOUT!


THE surprise of the thirty-second renewal of WrestleMania, the Showcase of the Immortals, has to be....SHAQUILLE O'NEAL! Yep, you read right, Shaq Man himself entered the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and clobbered the Big Show and the demonic Kane before realizing he should have kept his day job as an NBA analyst with TNT. (BTW, Baron Corbin won the Battle Royal.)


Roman Reigns beat Triple H to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

Kalisto beat Ryback to retain the United States Championship.

The Usos beat the Dudley Boyz via pinfall.

Total Divas beat Bad & Blonde. (Brie Bella via submission)

Zach Ryder won the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match over Kevin Owens, Dolph Ziggler, the Miz, Sami Zayn, Stardust, and Sin Cara.

Chris Jericho beat A.J. Styles via pinfall.

League of Nations beat New Day via pinfall.

Brock Lesnar beat Dean Ambrose via pinfall.

Charlotte (Flair) beat Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks to win the Women's Championship.

The Undertaker beat Shane McMahon in Hell of a Cell via pinfall.

The Rock beat Erick Rowan via pinfall.

Shawn Michaels
Stone Cold Steve Austin
John Cena
Mick Foley

While not exactly the best Mania of all time, this one was offered free on WWE Network. It's like they say, you get what you pay for! (Or not.)


Have you noticed lately that all WWE documentaries begin with a disclaimer that the WWE Superstars are fictional characters and that you should not confuse them with the performers who play them? NOW they tell us!


Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley, HBO PPV , Live from Las Vegas, April 9 (Check with your service provider.)
Charles Martin vs. Anthony Joshua, Showtime, Live from London, April 9
UFC FIGHT NIGHT Rothwell vs. Dos Santos April 12, 2 PM (Check with your service provider.)
WWE THURSDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN! Card to be announced USA April 7, 8 PM EST
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW For card information, visit USA, April 10, 8 PM EST

That's the bell! This preliminary IN THE RING WITH STEVE card is now over. Until next time, see you at the matches!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Welcome Back,Tracy Morgan. Now, Clean Up Your Act

On August 2, 1983 at 6:08 AM, a young disc jockey from Tampa named Michael Scott Shannon took the helm of what had been an easy listening station that had seen WAY better days (WVNJ, or as it called itself, WVNJoy by day and WVNJazz by night at 100.3 on the FM dial) and turned it into a hit radio juggernaut that not only filled the shoes of WABC Musicradio 77, but also created its own legacy. He called it WHTZ, pronounced "Hits," and nicknamed it Z100 as a tribute to  Stan Z. Burns, the legendary New York air personality. It was a shoestring operation consisting of Scott and his production manager J.R. Nelson, (Scott read the news directly from the Daily News.) but the highlight became the Z-Morning Zoo, an irreverent look at the news of the day featuring Scott, J.R., New York radio veteran Ross Brittain, (Scott's first official New York radio sidekick) professional journalist (and den mother/resident Rangers fan) Claire Stevens,public service director and sports reporter Jonathan B.Bell, and assistant public director Mr. Leonard, which catapulted Z100 into the hearts and minds not just of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, but also of America (thanks to Scott's ROCKIN' AMERICA TOP 30 COUNTDOWN) and the world (thanks to CNN). Yesterday, Scott and Ross reunited on WCBS-FM, Scott's current employer, for "Flashing Back To The 80's: A Morning Zoo Reunion," and the results were near perfection. Everybody at CBS-FM as well as Scott and Ross themselves are to be congratulated for the closest thing to time travel without a DeLorean.

Four years later, a programmer named Joel Salkowitz took the helm of a Z100 copycat called WAPP,or "The Apple," and turned it into HOT 103 FM, a dance-leaning CHR station which specialized in remixes and its own "Hot Mixes," using a format that made KPWR in LA a success because, as it boldly claimed, "New York Won't Stand Still For The Same Old Music!" Not too long after, HOT 103 and country station 97.1 WYNY switched frequencies, with HOT 97 continuing to duke it out with Z100 and 95.5 PLJ before eventually ditching the CHR format for a Hip-Hop based sound. Unfortunately (for them, mostly) they became better known for other things than music, such as racist comments against Asian-Americans and gunfights between rival posses, which earned them the nickname "Shot 97." (Fortunately, Scott has NEVER worked at a radio station where anybody has been shot.) One of HOT 97's many traditions has been the April Fool's Day Comedy Show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, this year made even more interesting than the return to the New York stage of SNL veteran Tracy Morgan, who almost lost his life in a tragic traffic accident. The good news is that he's back and his timing has never been better. The bad news is he told so many blue so-called "jokes" that I almost thought he was a Smurf. The same applied to the rest of the comics on the bill, and co-headliner (and Atlanta DJ) Rickey Smiley was better...up to a point when he turned blue. But he DID bring me to my feet...and outside the theater, and onto the escalator, and onto the street.


CBS-FM 101.1 (on a scale of 10)
Shot 97           0

Bye Buckaroos!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hoffs and Hopps

Is this a review of Disney's ZOOTOPIA? Yes, yes it is, but it's also an appreciation (I've been writing a lot of THOSE lately!) of the character that inspired the hero of the Mouse House's latest and greatest animated feature. Needless to say, Lt. Judy Hopps, an optimistic young rabbit who wants to join the predator-dominated police force of Zootopia, the city "where anyone can be anything," wouldn't be the same without Ginnifer Goodwin, better known as Snow White on ONCE UPON A TIME, to provide her voice, but there wouldn't be a character at all were it not for Sgt. Judy Hoffs, the lone woman on the squad on one of the FOX Network's first series, 21 JUMP STREET (1987-1991.) Like her long-eared, cotton-tailed offshoot, Hoffs, played by Holly Robinson (Peete), was also optimistic and innocent to a degree, although she was embroiled in decidedly different cases than Hopps, whose mission in ZOOTOPIA is to find many missing animals. Both ZOOTOPIA and JUMP STREET address the issues of stereotypes and racism (with ZOOTOPIA being timelier considering the current Presidential election season) and both Hoffs and Hopps have to prove themselves day-to-day to gain full acceptance.

Although Hopps is assigned to parking duty, she arrests a bandit named Duke Weaselton and is nearly fired until Mrs. Emmett Otterton produces a picture of her lost husband. Hopps convinces Chief Bogo (a water buffalo voiced by Idris Elba) to let her take the case, and he reluctantly agrees on the condition that if she can't solve the case in 48 hours, she'll have to surrender her badge. With her unlikely partner, a fox named  Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman), she is involved in an exciting chase set in what is, without a doubt, the most beautiful of Disney's many fantasy universes, and also the best planned, as it resembles an actual large metropolitan area more than those other universes. Some of the best performances include J.K. Simmons as Mayor Leodore Lionheart, Josh Dallas (Prince Charming on ONCE and in Ginny Goodwin's real life) as a frantic pig, Canadian news anchor Peter Mansbridge as Zootopia news anchor Peter Moosebridge,Jenny Slate as Assistant Mayor Bellwether, and pop star Shakira as pop star Gazelle. This movie also manages to send up cherished pop culture icons, many of them from Disney itself such as the movies FLOATSEN and MANGLED.

JUMP STREET also spoofed a lot of pop culture icons during its tenure on FOX, particularly in its funniest episode, "How I Saved The Senator." (If you have TiVO, put 21 JUMP STREET on your wish list or check it out on the Fourth Season box set!) A Senator is rescued from an assassination attempt at a high school lunch and a crusading reporter wants to know how the rescue was pulled off. In an episode reminiscent of the classic Japanese drama "Rashomon," each of the Jump Streeters has their own version of events, but the best one comes from Hoffs, who imagines herself as a Billie Holidayesque saloon singer who retrieves an accordion that was set to explode. (Appropos of ZOOTOPIA, one of her bandmates says ,"Hey, Doll, how's tricks?" She replies with a laugh, "TRIX ARE FOR KIDS!" How's THAT for a coinkydink?

The bottom line is, hop, skip, or JUMP down the STREET to a theatre near you to see ZOOTOPIA, and DON'T be vewwy vewwy quiet when everybody's laughing at THIS lovable wabbit! (Listen to the allusion to Disney's super hit "Let It Go!")

Speaking of goofing on contemporary topics, especially the current Presidential election season and the Republican front-runner in particular, good luck to the thespians at Congregation Emanu-El in NYC on their VERY contemporary Purim play. Break a leg, people! I hear it's gonna be YUGE!

Steve out!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Nancy Reagan: An Appreciation

Nancy Davis Reagan came into this world on the 5th of July, 1921, in Flushing, Queens, New York as Anne Francis Robbins.She moved to Maryland after her parents separated, but moved to Chicago when her mother remarried. Her Hollywood CV included THE NEXT VOICE YOU HEAR, DONOVAN'S BRAIN, and her first movie with her future husband Ronald Reagan, HELLCATS OF THE NAVY. They had two children together and she was the First Lady of California when her husband was the Governor from 1967 to 1975.

However, it will be for her work as the First Lady of the Nation during her husband's Presidential administration from 1981 to 1989 that she will be best remembered. She told children to "Just Say No" to drugs and yes to life and brought a certain sophistication back to the White House that had been missing when Jackie Kennedy Onassis moved out. During the current battle for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, it will also be remembered that she conducted herself with intelligence, wit, and decorum, three qualities which, unfortunately, are missing from both sides of the aisle.

In 1989, Nancy and Ron retired to their home in Bel Air, CA where she spent most of her later days caring for her husband, diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, until his passing in 2004. She continued to support the Reagan Library until Sunday, March 6, when she died of breast cancer. She leaves behind Patti and Ron Reagan and a gaping hole in the Nation's heart. We will always Just Say Yes to Nancy Reagan, and no biography, no matter how far-fetched its allegations, can make us feel otherwise.

I was going to end this with a promo for my upcoming serial, THIS HAPPY PLACE, but Nancy's departure making this world a less happy place makes it seem totally inappropriate.

Happy Trails, Nancy.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Steve Goes To The Movies: Move Over, Michael Keaton!

Never before were such an actor and such a character made for each other. Wade Winston Wilson a/k/a Deadpool, The Merc With A Mouth, and Ryan Reynolds, the actor who plays him for a second time (after X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE) in the appropriately titled DEADPOOL, bring out the best in each other,and while 'pool himself explains in the best line in the entire movie, "I may be super, but I ain't no hero," everybody involved in this decidedly mature outing from producers Simon Kinberg, Reynolds, and Lauren Shuler Donner, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, director Tim Miller, and executive producer Stan (The Man) Lee (who has a bit part as an MC at an adult nightclub, much to the likely chagrin of his compadres at Disney) has combined to produce a very heroic combination of physical comedy and supercharged fantasy drama, decidedly NOT for the young 'uns. (THEY can check out MARVEL ULTIMATE DEADPOOL, a special ALL AGES adaptation of his recently storyline on the ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN animated TV series.) 'Pool made his stellar debut in a NEW MUTANTS story by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefield as a villain and was remade into an antihero for his own book. It will be an even LONGER time before they drop the "anti-," believe me!

As our story opens, Wade is a merc dedicated to protecting teenage girls from stalkers. He meets escort Vanessa Carlysle (Morena Baccarin) at a local bar and they spend a year together until Wade proposes. After he collapses, Wade is diagnosed with terminal cancer and fears losing his love. He is recruited to join a special super hero squad and is injected with a special serum that renders him immortal. (That's "IMMORTAL," although his dialogue may prove otherwise.) Eventually, he becomes the masked vigilante Deadpool and moves into the hut of a blind woman named Al (Leslie Uggams), the Robin to his Batman, although the Caped Crusader, no matter how unorthodox Jim Gordon may find his methods, has never kicked posterior quite like this.

Some images may be gruesome and some dialogue may be offensive, (I tolerated it.) but, trust me on this, if this doesn't become the first Marvel-oriented movie to get at least one of the major Oscar nominations in 2017, there is absolutely no justice left in this world.

If I were down to my last and had to choose between this movie or a sandwich, I'd take DEADPOOL with an ice-cold can of whoopin'!

Steve out!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Beezow Doo-Doo Zoppity Bop Bop Bop

Believe it or not, that's the name of a real person charged with two counts of first degree assault, third degree assault, third degree malicious mischief, and malicious harassment. Mr. Bop Bop Bop, born Jefferey Drew Wilschke, changed his name to reflect "the explosion of awareness of the interconnectedness of the infinite love in the universe" and "the struggle of our daily lives with that awareness, that with love comes chaos." (Wait,what?) In the past, the Bopmeister has been reported as homeless and schizophrenic. (No shitake, Sherlock!) An officer at Evergreen State College responded to a report that someone was tearing down fliers at the entrance to the school library when His Zoppityship led the officer on a chase.The officer was about to get The Beez' Knees to the ground but he tried to take the officer's gun. (Ruh-roh!) A Thurston County sheriff's deputy eventually tackled and apprehended Much Doo Doo About Nothing (Sorry,couldn't resist!) who now resides in Washington County Jail and awaits trial on September 17.

Boy, when the Bard asked, "What's in a name?', he never counted on THIS dude!

On a TOTALLY unrelated note, Stevie the Geek's Peerless Pigskin Prediction for Super Bowl 50: (So they didn't use the Roman number. So what the L!) CAROLINA by 20!

Have a Zupertiy Bop Bop Bop Super Bowl Sunday! (I STILL couldn't resist! Sorry!)

That will do it for now, friends, the blog is over. GO IN PEACE!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

162 Hey, Didn't You Used To Be...

A funny thing (Funny odd, not funny ha-ha.) happened today as I was crossing 36th Street in Manhattan disguised as a mild-mannered messenger for a Great Metropolitan Messenger Company. I noticed a gentleman who looked VERY much like David Gregory, the former anchor of NBC's Meet The Press (Insert "If it's Wednesday..." joke here.), fill in for Don Imus after MSNBC and CBS Radio dumped him over the notorious comment concerning the Rutgers University women's basketball team, (This is a family blog.) White House correspondent, and source of controversy (interviews with Wayne LaPierre, President of the National Rifle Association, and independent journalist Glenn Greenwald) and I shouted, "David?" He smiled, "Hi." Don't know what he was doing on THIS side of the Amtrak to Newport News with stops in Secaucus, Newark, Princeton Junction, Philadelphia, Wilmington, and of course, Washington, but I'm sure it was something important. (Hope it was either mounting an independent presidential campaign or announcing that he was running as Mike Bloomberg's Vice President. What a ticket THAT would be!)

If you read IDOL TALK 1 in our sister blog Welcome To Steve Country, ( ), you'll know that Kanye West and his unindicted Ko-Konspirator (whose name I will not mention because I know people are sick of her and her family,and I don't blame 'em) infiltrated the AMERICAN IDOL auditions. Well, he claims his new album, WAVES, will be the greatest album in the history of music. What about this thing called "Thriller" by a guy named Jackson? What about "Please Please Me" by four guys from Liverpool including this guy I saw in Albany?  What about "Tapestry" by this gal who has a musical at the Stephen Sondheim Theater?What about John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" and Dave Brubeck's "Time Out?" What about "Born To Run" by this guy from Jersey or "Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash?" What about "Pet Sounds" by The Beach Boys or "Come Dance With Me" by Frank Sinatra? This group operating on 65th Street called the Metropolitan Opera has also turned out some decent albums, what about them, or my CWPF Judy Collins who has knocked a few out of the park? Kanye, old buddy, old pal, you are NOT Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Pablo Picasso, or Beethoven, so, PLEASE keep that ego in check, OK?

I love country music, but I have a trainer, who I also love and who won't let me near Kentucky Fried Chicken, so, if there's anybody out there who's had their new Nashville Hot Chicken, shoot me an email at and I'll use the best review. (The best one will win a special custom made Steve's Blog No-Prize, retail value, PRICELESS!)

Speaking of food and country music, my new favorite country singer Tara Thompson, during her first professional visit to NYC, told a funny story about her first EVER visit here. She was here with her sister, and they couldn't leave without pizza, so they had pizza EVERY day, until she looked at the box...and recoiled in horror. She screamed, "WE HAVE SBARRO IN NASHVILLE!"
I would like to recommend a REAL New York pizzeria, which happens to be in my nabe of Murray Hill (25th and Third to be exact) called Rocky Slims. Zagat says it's a "welcome addition," but I'm sure you'll be too busy trying to talk with your mouth full to say anything. Visit or call 212-889-4663, and mangia!

As a great rodent once said, "Seeya REAL soon!"
Steve out!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

161 The Snow, The Garden, And Other Things

First of all, I would like to say Howdy to the many Steve Country fans joining this fine blog, and I would like to address the issue of "New York Values."

As the Blizzard of '16 showed, the values New Yorkers exemplify most are persistence, respect (such as the kind we showed Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo when they told us in no uncertain terms to stay inside), charity (towards motorists stranded on the road and the 130 homeless who agreed to be sheltered) and resillience. (We're not going to let a silly little thing like a blizzard stop US from going back to work and school, are we?) BTW, in 1973, New York Mayor John Lindsay proclaimed Country Music Day in New York and praised the music for its patriotism, beauty, and realism, so don't let anybody, politician or pundit, tell you otherwise about New York Values, and, PLEASE, let that sleeping dog lie.

Speaking of the Blizzard of '16, although Washington got the brunt of it, Nashville and New York were equally walloped. Although the pictures of the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry House covered in snow were undeniably beautiful, they were also the undeniable result of one of the worst storms since Hurricane Sandy's reign (rain?) of terror in 2012, which turned out to be the second biggest blizzard in New York history. NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, if you're reading, could you PLEASE arrest Queen Elsa of Arendelle for crimes against the City of New York? (The reader is referred to the Disney movie FROZEN.) If it's any consolation, Spring is almost two months away.

Returning to the "New York Values" political football, (Almost speaking of which, congrats to the Alabama Crimson Tide for rolling over the Clemson Tigers and winning the College Football Playoffs (presented by AT&T) National Championship, and good luck to the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots. Hope to see you guys at Super Bowl 50!) contrary to popular belief, we are NOT too jaded to enjoy a rootin' tootin' rip-snortin' time at the rodeo, such as the Professional Bull Riders' recent appearance at Madison Square Garden. If you haven't seen these guys, (First of all, WHY?) these are the most daring athletes on four hooves (each belonging to a bull), and each show has more excitement and danger than TEN Hollywood blockbusters put together.It's a little bit country ,a WHOLE lot of rock n'roll,and DEFINETLY NOT boring! Get ready, Nashville, 'cause these dudes are riding towards the Bridgestone Arena where they'll be on August 19-20. For tickets and live streams, lasso your mouse and click over to . You can also check out the action on CBS Sports Network and the CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR on your local CBS station.(Before that, the NHL All-Star Game skates into the same arena next week, and you can get tix for THAT one at or check it out on NBC.)

I'd like to welcome new Steve Country citizens Brandy Clark (who co-wrote Miranda Lambert's megahit "Mama's Broken Heart" and has more than a few hits of her own) and Tara Thompson (a self-described "hillbilly" from Nashville who's getting her own career off the ground), both of whom were recently in the Big Apple as part of CMT's "Next Women of Country" tour. Thanks for your support, ladies, and welcome aboard! (I'm STILL waiting to hear from Kenny Rogers and Hillary and Charlie from Lady Antebellum. I know you're out there somewhere!)

Good luck to Blake Shelton as he hosts Nickelodeon's 2016 Kids' Choice Awards in March! Any friend of SpongeBob' know the rest.

Hate to end this on a downer, but my thoughts and prayers go out to Maite D., one of 190 Hollywood-bound American Idol contestants, who has a day job as a DJ in Anchorage, AK, which has been devastated by a 7.1 earthquake which has destroyed at least one home. Sing up a storm and stay safe,girlfriend!

I realize I haven't gotten around to my 2016 predictions, but you WILL get them, one way or the other, as well as another edition of IDOL TALK in the Steve Country blog, convienently located at .

Steve out!

Friday, January 1, 2016

156 Welcome Back, My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends...

Happy 2016, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome back to the flagship of the Steve's Blog line. Hope you had a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Good Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, or a Wonderful Whatever. Our next pulse-pounding pulse will present my peerless predictions for the year to come, but first, how did you enjoy your holiday?

After I left you by naming Smiling Stan Lee, the nicest guy in comics, the nicest newsmaker of 2015 and ISIS the naughtiest, (and foisting a review of Judy Collins' excellent Metropolitan Museum concert upon an unsuspecting, but grateful, I hope,) populace I received a lot of great books for the holidays (and many of them will be reviewed in Steve's Book Blog within the coming weeks) and saw three of the new holiday movies that were NOT set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. (I WILL get to that one while it's still new, trust me.)

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP Jason Lee returns as Alvin, Simon, and Theodore's manager David Seville and informs the boys that he's been seeing a cute doctor (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and that they (he and the doc) are flying to Miami and he's taking a ring with him. Don't put a ring on this one, stick with either DVD's of the original 60's cartoon or DVD's of the 80's reboot. (SPOILER ALERT: In a sappy effort to keep the franchise relevant, Dave adopts the boys.)

CREED To get ready for my upcoming trip to Philadelphia (for America's Big Two-Four-Oh on July 4th, natch.), I saw this absorbing drama continuing the adventures of a Philly institution, Rocky Balboa, played by the one and only Sylvester Stallone. In this knockout, Rock befriends the son of his friend and one-time opponent, Apollo Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan (no relation to His Airness, although he wears Emjay's logo on his hoodie), and accompanies him to Liverpool as they face their greatest possible challenge, and no, no surviving Beatles were harmed in the making of this motion picture! Phylicia Rashad also delivers a heavyweight performance as young (Adonis) Creed's mom. Look for cameos from ESPN's PTI guys Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser. (Lovin' you, boys, but don't quit your day jobs!)

DADDY'S HOME Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a dad. Without giving any of the story away, that's the moral of this heartwarming, hilarious, and just a LITTLE raunchy dramedy starring Will Ferrell as a step-dad to two kids who barely tolerate him and Mark Wahlberg as their natural dad. Linda Cardellini does a great job as the mom/referee in this duel of the dads, and Hamilton Burress also turns in a great comic performance as an Angie's List handyman who gets caught up in this intra-family feud. Will Ferrell stays classy in this one!

Join us next time for our peerless predictions, and DO stop by Steve Country for the acceptance speeches for the Stevie Awards and some other great stuff.

Happy New Year!

Steve out!