Monday, April 24, 2017

Steve's Movie Blog: Every (Mad) Dog Has His Day

If you've listened to Mike Francesa's afternoon drive program on Sports Radio 101.9 FM and Sports Radio 66 WFAN in New York for the past 20 or so years, you know he's not the biggest ESPN fan in the universe, so you know something's gotta give when he agrees to participate in an episode of their acclaimed 30 FOR 30 documentary series (originally designed as a series of thirty documentaries to celebrate the Worldwide Leader's 30th Anniversary when it premiered in 2009) detailing his on- and off-air relationship with fellow sports talk personality Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo. This reporter had the pleasure to see MIKE AND THE MAD DOG (also the title of their long-running talk show which was simulcast on YES until just recently when Yankee radio sportscaster Michael Kay took over the simulcast time slot) at the Tribeca Film Festival in Lower Manhattan, (Since Robert deNiro founded the TFF as a means to stimulate the economy of the area after the events of 9/11, let me tell you that there's a scene in this movie about Mike and the Dog's reaction to the attack, and, without giving anything away, their Jewish fans and friends were not too happy.), and if your DVR allows it, set it for ESPN on July 17, because that's when this home run of a movie airs.


Not just a tribute to the titular hosts and the trend that started that has made sports talk an important format not just in the USA, but also in North America, the UK and elsewhere, but also a tribute to New York sports and the fans who love them, MMD relies on interviews with colleagues, competitors, and athletes and obviously copious amounts of research to tell the story of (A) the greatest creative collaboration since Lennon and McCartney and (B) the most explosive sports partnership since George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin. These two men turned a sports station with only one authentic New York voice (its first talk host Suzyn Waldman) into a bonafide voice for sports fans from the Bronx to Newark and everywhere in between. Find out what happened when the man who put them on the air was fired and they had to pinch-hit for him, when the inmates ran the asylum, and the surprise reunion last year at Francesa-con, Mike's annual fan gathering at punk palace Irving Plaza. (I wonder what will happen when Mike's contract with the FAN expires. We shall see what we shall see.)


You don't have to be a sports fan to SEE IT, but hey, it doesn't hurt! Sir Noel Coward once said, "Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun." Change that to "Mad Dog and Francesa", because that's where they shone for two decades, especially in the toughest media market (and sports city) in the world.


As Chris used to say at the end of every show,


Adios!
Steve

Friday, April 21, 2017

Open Letter To The Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Lower East Side Tenement Museum
103 Orchard Street
New York, New York 10002

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I believe a lot of my readers from coast to coast and border to border may have heard of your excellent museum (To call it a "museum" seems like an injustice! I believe "interactive immersive learning experience" would be more accurate.) as a result of a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE bit starring guest host Louis C.K. ("Louie" on FX and his own Netflix comedy specials) and Kate McKinnon (unless I miss my guess), but when I visited the gift shop recently, I was surprised to hear that even with the exposure to a new audience, your attendance has stayed pretty much the same! (Anybody who hasn't seen that bit can visit http://www.nbc.com/snl, download the SNL app on Siri, or view "SNL 04-08-17" on demand from their cable or satellite provider or Hulu.)

In recent years, Colonial Williamsburg has benefited from performances from actors such as Mamie Gummer, ("Manhattan" on WGN America, "Ricki and The Flash" opposite her mother, Meryl Streep, and "Emily Owens,M.D." on The CW) and Isiah Washington ("Grey's Anatomy"), to give but two examples, and not only have these actors felt pleased to make history come alive for guests but these guests have also learned the history of their country from "people who were there" and been pleasantly surprised when they have found out who has been representing these fascinating and very real characters.

I would like to suggest that the Tenement Museum enlist the services of some of the latest crop of "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" to bring the people who made New York the gorgeous mosaic it is today to life for a new generation during the summer months. (I sure hope NYC & Company's campaign to win back European tourists works!) Not only would it provide an excellent opportunity for these talented actors and actresses to hone their craft and maintain their edge but it would also show SNL fans a different side of them as well as make history more accessible, interesting, and, well....COOL! These past few months have shown us that SNL is not just a funny late night show, but also a vital and vibrant commentary on today's world, and employing the services of SNL's cast members would make an already exciting museum even moreso.

Yours very truly,
Steven L. Eisenpreis

copies to:@nbcsnl

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring Has Sprung! The Grass Has Riz! Wonder Where Steve's Blog Is?

You've found it, with a brand new look to boot. You likey?


If you're one of our international readers, don't let the wacko we made the mistake of electing king keep you away from the Big Apple. There are a LOT of reasons to come over, such as the new Broadway productions AMELIE, PRESENT LAUGHTER, and THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG (Inexpilicably produced by J.J. Abrams!), the Yankees and Mets, the Rangers in the playoffs, (Knicks fans, I'm afraid you're gonna have to wait till next year!) the NYC Football Club and the New York Red Bulls, and the New York International Automobile Show, here until April 23 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on 11th Avenue in Manhattan. This show is chock-a-block with the newest models such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the Nissan Rogue, and the Chevrolet Traverse and Ford EcoSport, AND if you visit on April 18th, you get to see the world famous WABC-TV Eyewitness News van and meet the reporters who have made ABC 7 NY a frequent ratings leader, at no extra charge! For tickets and more information, drive over to http://www.autoshowny.com . There's always VROOM for one more!


For little Stevie Eisenpreis growing up in Manhattan, spring always  meant the arrival of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Greatest Show on Earth and talent such as the animal trainer Gunther Gebel Williams, clowns Emmett Kelly, Jr. and Lou Jacobs, and, OF COURSE, the world famous elephants at Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, RB/BB is folding its tent for the last time this year due to declining ticket sales and increased pressure from PETA and the like, but if you like a good circus at the Garden, take the fam to CIRCUS 1903:THE GOLDEN AGE OF CIRCUS  at The Theatre at MSG until the end of the month. Named for, and set in the year when the Ringlings and P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey merged their respective shows, 1903 unites today's greatest circus performers (Spoiler Alert: Where are the clowns?) and provides an immersive entertainment experience, and don't worry, no animals were harmed in the making of this circus! The show's pachyderm stars, Queenie and Peanut, are played by the puppeteers behind the West End and Broadway sensation WAR HORSE. The magic will live forever, but the show won't, so step right up to http://www.circus1903.com ! It's not the GREATEST Show on Earth, but hey, it will do!


Unfortunately, I can't bid you adieu without acknowledging the passing of rock and roll icons J.Geils and Chuck Berry or Eddie Murphy's brother and fellow comic Charlie as well as Mr. Warmth, Don Rickles.. Heaven is a more entertaining place.


Until next time, have a great holiday season, support the advertisers who DON'T support THE O'REILLY FACTOR, and...


Bye Buckaroos!
Steve



Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That



First of all, the "Good-Luck-You're-Gonna-Need-It!" Award goes to the NYC Mayor's Office for Media and Entertainment for the One Book New York campaign. If you're so inclined (and I'm not,.just so you know) you can go to nyc.gov/onebook and vote for the book you think your fellow New Yorkers should read in March. New Yorkers are very different people and they like to read very different books, and furthermore, there's a document that protects the right to read very different books, and it's called the "Bill of Rights." "One Book North Korea" or "One Book Iran" would be a better name for this fiasco in the making! (I don't think there would be any dis-Putin "One Book Russia" either!)


I HAVEN'T seen "La-La-Land," (And I hope I don't get exiled to Devil's Island!) but I HAVE seen THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, starring the voices of Will Arnett (Batman), Michael Cera (Robin),Ralph Fiennes (Alfred), Zach Galifinakas (Joker) and Rosario Dawson (Batgirl), and Holy Blockbuster, if isn't the perfect parody of/tribute to more than eight decades of the Caped Crusader, I'll eat my Batman mask/cap! (It's too small to fit my head anyways!) About the only bad thing about this otherwise brilliant movie is the credit "Executive Producer: Steven Mnuchin." Now, don't get me wrong, I'm always happy for a fellow Steve if he makes it big in pop culture, but Mr. Mnuchin is a MAJOR exception to the rule since he is the current Administration's Secretary of the Treasury and, like many in this Administration, he has NO political experience whatsoever, but DON'T let THAT get in the way of your enjoyment of this fun two hours at the flicks!

To quote Mr. Reagan, "There you go again," Mr. Trump! He says the "fake news media" should disclose their sources. I have picked up packages from many companies for many companies, and many of those pick-up companies keep insisting I disclose MY sources (i.e. give a contact name and number), so I know where the media is coming from when they attack Trumpy for HIS attack! (I DO disclose my sources after I call the office, but I just hope CNN,the New York Times, the Daily News, and the BBC don't start doing the same!)

Dear SNL: PLEASE hurry back! America and all countries who love freedom need you!

Good luck to all the Oscar nominees, and if you don't  have anything nice to say about El Jefe, GO AHEAD AND SAY IT!

Good luck also to all the Daytona drivers, especially Danica Patrick and Dale,Jr!

Congrats to Judy Collins on knocking another show out of the park, or more accurately, the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Bye, Buckaroos!
Steve

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Art Imitates Life, Love Conquers All, and Goodbye, Mare

Before I go any further, I would like to mourn Mary Tyler Moore. She  turned the world on with her smile, and Mary Richards, her most famous character, inspired many young journalists of both genders. Considering all the hurdles she had to jump, she really made it after all. My condolences to  her family and friends..

I was originally going to start with a recommendation to any and all Superman fans in the audience, and I know there are a lot. As you may (or may not) recall, when DC Comics rebuilt its universe from the ground up to celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 1986, it returned Clark Kent to the Daily Planet newsroom and changed his deadliest enemy, Lex Luthor, from a mad scientist to a power-mad billionaire who owned half of Metropolis and would later become POTUS. (Sound like anybody you know?) If you NEVER read "Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography," a prestige format graphic novel with a cover that so cleverly parodies that of "Trump: The Art Of The Deal", fly faster than a speeding bullet to Amazon or Comixology and search to see that they still have it. Jocular Johnny Byrne and Marvelous Marv Wolfman, who brought The Man Of Steel into modern times, wrote a pulse-pounding, sense-shattering, and more often than not, wickedly funny look at one of the notorious bad guys in comicdom while respecting the Super-mythos created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and it deserves a look, if, as they said on THE A-TEAM, you can find it.

If you want ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Trump or Luthor, check out A CINDERELLA STORY:IF THE SHOE FITS, a chick flick that even guys can enjoy with their favorite princess on Valentine's Day. Sofia Carson (DISNEY'S DESCENDANTS and its spin-off, WICKED WORLD) plays Tessa, a teen who aspires to a career as a pop sensation, but who labors as an "indentured servant" to her wicked stepmother Athena (Jennifer Tilly) and ugly stepsisters (Amy Louise Wilson and Jazzara Jaslyn) as the sisters audition for a Cinderella musical in Vegas. They do their dangdest to impress handsome Brit superstar Reed West (Thomas Law), but with the help of her "fairy godmother" Georgie, (Nicole Fortuin), Tessa captures his heart disguised as budding pop princess Bella Swan, (I originally thought this was going to be Hannah Montana with a British accent, but this movie, and Bella, surpass my expectations.) and much hilarity and pathos ensue.
This modern fairy tale, the fourth in a series, is brought to you by Warner Home Video (Log on to http://www.disneychannel.com or http://www.freeformtv.com for broadcast times.) and available from Amazon and all other major providers. No matter if you're 8 or 80, it's a "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo-"tiful way to spend a Valentine's Day!
On a personal note, best wishes to my buddy Patty Steele of WCBS-FM in NYC as she recovers from surgery. Hope you're back in the Air Chair soon, Pat!
See you soon with another mind-boggling, zero-defect, alternative-fact-free edition of this fine blog!


Bye, Buckaroos!
Steve


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

True Blue To The End

I may get in trouble for saying it, but it IS true: Blue Lives Matter. I would like to talk about one of those lives, that of NYPD Officer Steven McDonald, who famously forgave the cowardly gunman who left him paralyzed from the neck down. He had been on life support since mucus clogged his respirator,sending him into cardiac arrest on Friday, January 6, and last Tuesday, he died at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island. We had many things in common, other than the obvious first name: We were born roughly around the same time, (He was born in 1957 and I was born in 1958.) we loved New York, and we loved the New York Rangers, who, like the NYPD, are famous for their distinctive blue uniforms. He inspired the Rangers' "Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award," and asked nothing less than extra effort from children when it came to saying no to drugs and other bad influences.

Steven was a real life super hero, overcoming his handicap to serve New York's Finest as a detective, travel to Bosnia and the Middle East, and meet with South African President Nelson Mandela and the late Pope John Paul II, among others. He represented everything good about the NYPD, and, to a larger extent, New York City and America. As a loyal Blueshirt fan, I can imagine Officer McDonald is having a nice talk up in Heaven with another long-suffering Ranger supporter, my friend Ceil Saidel, a past president and long-time member of the Rangers Fan Club, who, tragically, was shot by a robber in her apartment building. No doubt they have a LOT of catching up to do!

Officer Steven McDonald leaves behind a wife, Patti Ann, a son, Conor,thousands of police officers and school children who looked to him as a role model, and two cities, the Big Apple, and a city-within-a-city called Rangerstown, all of which are paralyzed by sadness. Heart attacks do not discriminate, they can take any life, regardless of race, religion or national origin. What made  this one even more terrible was that it decided to take Officer McDonald, who, unlike another famous Ranger, did not wear a mask or ride a great silver stallion, but was as committed to justice as that one. (Like another famous Ranger,goalie Henrik Lundquist, he DID make a lot of saves for New York, and for that we are all grateful.)

A wake will be held Wednesday and Thursday at St. Agnes Church, Rockville Center, Long Island, and a funeral mass will be held Friday at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue in New York at 9:30 AM EST.

Happy Trails, Buckaroo.
Steve

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016, You're Fired!

Happy New Year to all my readers around the world, and my apologies for forgetting the Naughty and Nice Lists and the Stevie Awards (our recognition of the best in country music), but I do hereby resolve to make it up to you as I see fit. (I know, I know, New Year's resolutions are made to be broken, but THIS one will definitely stick!)

At least I didn't make a fool out of myself on worldwide TV like Mariah Carey. You guys see this? If not, you didn't miss a thing. Anywho, she was the headliner on ABC's DICK CLARK'S NEW YEAR'S ROCKIN' EVE STARRING RYAN SEACREST, and she was supposed to lip sync to her classic "Emotions," but instead, she made small talk with the "himbos" who were supposed to escort her while she was lip syncing, messing with her hair and jewelry, and calling out the production team who she would later claim diabolically sabotaged her performance. Here she was, the mistress of the seven octave range, standing in Times Square, the Crossroads of the World, looking like the world's biggest dork in a see-through outfit. She once said she had a certain DJ in mind when she wrote her first ever Top 40 hit, "Vision of Love," and then asked jokingly, "Or was that 'Vision of Food Poisoning?" At first I thought Mimi (as she calls herself) was the former, but this travesty of a performance made her seem more like the latter.

On a more positive note...

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF NEWS!

One of the President-Elect's many frenemies, the lovely and talented Megyn Kelly, is jumping the sinking S.S. FOX NEWS for the good ship NBC NEWS, where she will host a Sunday evening news program that will give 60 MINUTES  the competition it so desperately needs, anchor a daytime talk show similar to THE KELLY FILES, and cover breaking news, and by "news," I mean REAL NEWS, not the Trump-boosting rabble rousing that has become a trademark of the so-called "Fair and Balanced" network. She reports, she decided, and 2017 is looking better already!

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SPORTS!

As many of you may remember, I started a blog dedicated to all things boxing, wrestling, and MMA, and I PROMISE, I will get back to it in the year to come, but for now, I would like to address the World Series of Fighting's maiden voyage at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on New Year's Eve 2016. While WSOF doesn't have the big names like Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk or Conor MacGregor, it DOES live up to its name by boasting a stable of fighters from all over, but, to be perfectly honest, it COULD have benefited from the over-the-top theatrics of WWE, for while there were a lot of Broadway-caliber performances, there were also a lot of boring matches that would look better in MMA's version of the straw hat circuit. Also, the St. Knicks played their first Christmas game in a year, but the Celtics left a YUGE lump of coal in their stocking, and on the official New Year's day off, the Magic made them disappear! (Any bets that the (National Basketball) Association will revoke their Christmas game NEXT year?)

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SHOWBIZ!

What on Earth were one of the stars and two of the creators of the funny (and edgy) IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA thinking when they decided to foist the very UN-funny (and over-the-edgy, if that's a thing) THE MICK on an unsuspecting public? For those of you fortunate to have missed the first two episodes on FOX, the series concerns Mackenzie "Mickey" Murphy (Kaitlin Olsen, who should know better), who, pardon my language, is a slut, for want of a better word, who moves to Greenwich, CT to care for the spoiled kids of her sister who flees to Mexico to avoid indictment. Flee to another network, and DON'T M-I-C THIS mickey-mouse show AT ALL! In other showbiz news, Disney's(I love THEIR Mick!) MOANA, with its Lin-Manuel Miranda score, great voices, and empowering story, and Illumination's SING, with its own powerhouse cast led by Matthew McConaghey as all-but-washed-up theatrical producer Buster Moon and a musical menu from Sinatra to Swift, are VERY animated hits for the young and young at heart alike and WAY better than watching the sick MICK!

NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF STEVE!

Before I talk about my progress with my diet, I would like to stress that it doesn't REALLY matter how much you weigh, as long as you have a pleasing personality...that's 26 pounds thinner, which is exactly how much I've lost since I started Jenny Craig back in October! A few pounds from now, I officially go on maintainence, and I have the option to lose a few more Elby's (That used to be a Big Boy franchise I had the pleasure of visiting in Wilkes-Barre, PA when I was a little baby blogger.) if I so choose. I even told Santa Claus about it, and I just hope Mrs. C doesn't own a computer or other device because he told me he was trying to work off all that milk and cookies! Goodbye, old fat me! We WON'T meet again!

FINALLY...

Farewell, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. I hope you wow them with your mother-daughter act up in Heaven.

That's all for now, but, once again, have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year, pray for the brave men and women protecting our freedom overseas and on our streets at home, keep the Founding Fathers' dream of freedom alive, AND...

Bye,Buckaroos!
Steve