Monday, June 19, 2017

197 Don't Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

As we go to press, the Staten Island Yankees, the Minor League affiliates of the 28-Time World Champion New York Yankees, have declared their opening night game against the Mets' satellite team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, a rain-out, although it still looks pretty good to me! What would Babe, Lou, Reggie, Catfish, Thurman, Joe D,Derek, and all those who have been proud to wear the pinstriped uniform and the interlocking N-Y baseball cap, think about this unprecedented, and I must say, WIMPY turn of events?!? Suppose the night turns out to be nice and this is all much ado about VERRRRRRRRY little?!?!? If George Steinbrenner were alive today, he'd throw his cigar to the ground and order them to play until they were completely waterlogged. To quote Judge Judy Sheindlin, " don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining!" (Slightly diluted for a family audience.) Rain, shmain, Yankees and Cyclones, LET'S PLAY BALL!

Steve's Blog-Centennial is coming soon! Don't miss it....BE THERE!
Steve

Thursday, June 15, 2017

"My Fathers chair" by Rick Springfield

196 Super-Size Me!

There's so much to talk about in this episode that I have to SUPER-SIZE it, so fasten your seat belts and hold onto your hats, folks, 'cause HERE. WE. GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


FAREWELL TO THE BAT

This past weekend, leukemia succeeded where the Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Scarecrow have failed... IT KILLED THE BATMAN. Actually, it killed the best known interpreter of the Caped Crusader, William West Anderson, or, as he was better known, Adam West. Born on September 19,1928 in Walla Walla, WA, Adam began acting professionally in the 50's and gained renown for his appearances on TV shows from SUGARFOOT and BEWITCHED to PERRY MASON and BOURBON STREET BEAT
and in movies from The Three Stooges' last feature film THE OUTLAWS IS COMING to GERONIMO and THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS. After producer William Dozier saw Adam in a Nestle Quik commercial (as Bondesque spy Captain Q) he immediately cast him as Batman and the Masked Manhunter's  millionaire playboy alter ego, Bruce Wayne, beating out Lyle Waggoner. Despite a shaky professional relationship with his on-air sidekick Burt Ward (Robin/Dick Grayson),the show became a major "Battraction" and after its initial run from 1966 to 1968 on ABC, it cemented its place in pop culture. I had the pleasure to talk to Adam personally at the Comic Art Convention at the Madison Square Garden Exposition Center in 2000 and 2002 and the Big Apple Comic Con a few years later, (I reminded him I saw him at the Garden and, his eyes lighting up like a Christmas tree, asked, "DID I OPEN FOR SPRINGSTEEN?" before attempting to sing "Born To Run." I cried not because it was a beautiful song, but because it was a beautiful song UNTIL HE MURDERED IT!) He remained active in movies (He was mad, and understandably so, at Tim Burton for rejecting him for the 1989 Bat-movie which ultimately starred Michael Keaton.) and television (Not only as the voice of the Dark Knight, who, he said, was more of a Light Knight, but also as the voice of Mayor Adam West on FAMILY GUY, the Ferret on Disney's KIM POSSIBLE, Young Mermaidman on Nick's SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, the Gray Ghost in BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, diverse characters in Disney's CHICKEN LITTLE and MEET THE ROBINSONS,and even Catman on Nick's FAIRLY ODDPARENTS.) through the new millennium, and even engaged in a mock battle with wrestling superstar Jerry "The King" Lawler (who sketched a beautiful portrait of Adam in the cowl which I had the pleasure to obtain at Comic-Con New York last year). He leaves behind four children from two different marriages, and a Batcave full of memories. No matter how turbulent times get, no matter how often our way of life is challenged, whether internally or externally, new generations will always tune in to see Adam West wearing the costume of the world's greatest super hero detective, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

WHAT'S HAPPENED TO U.S.?

One example of how turbulent times have been getting is the shooting at what was originally supposed to be a light-hearted baseball practice in Alexandria, VA on June 14. James T. Hodgkinson, a 66-year-old home inspection business owner from Belleville, IL, who was disappointed with the 2016 Presidential election results, opened fire on GOP lawmakers practicing for a charity event and wounded many, including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise. Hodgkinson was shot and killed by police officers who President Trump congratulated for their bravery despite their own injuries. The game will go on, but, as the saying goes, there is no I in "TEAM." Despite our disagreements, and there are many, we are the UNITED States of America, and an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Our best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to those in hospital, and our condolences go out to the families of those who died.

THE WONDER OF IT ALL

In times like these, we really need a hero, and while Batman, or at least the best-known portrayer of Batman, is no longer with us, we have a hero in his Justice League team-mate, Diana, princess of Themyscira, or, as she is better known, WONDER WOMAN. The just-released DC/Warner Bros. adaptation of the adventures of the Amazing Amazon (and the first super hero movie directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins), is a welcome departure from what has become the norm. Whereas Batman (in the comics) isn't Batman because he loves being Batman but is Batman because he IS Batman, Diana LOVES being Wonder Woman, champion of the Amazons of Paradise Island, determined to eliminate war from Man's World. (Although THIS man supports kicking ISIS' butt, and I mean the terror group, not the WW knockoff from the 70's, I don't think that's a bad idea!) Gal Gadot, a former Miss Israel and Israeli soldier, continues the tradition Lynda Carter (an advisor to the movie, along with the family of Wondy's creator, Dr. William Moulton Marston and people who have guided her destiny in the comics, including Lively Len Wein and George "Pacesetter" Perez) started on 70's TV by infusing a comic book favorite with humanity, passion, and warmth. Other stellar performers include Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta,Queen of the Amazons and Diana's mother, Robin Wright as Antiope, Diana's trainer and Lyta's top general, and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, the man whose plane crash-landed on Paradise Island and who introduced Diana to the ways of mortals. This is the rare super hero movie for those who love and hate super hero movies, and Allan Heinberg, a comics fan who has written for both page (Marvel's YOUNG AVENGERS) and screen (GREY'S ANATOMY), gives the original Lady Di the respect she deserves. WONDER if I would pick a sandwich over this WOMAN if I only had a few bucks to my name? AS IF!


NOT EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED, BUT THANKS ANYWAY...

...New York Racing Association for a 149th Belmont Stakes that didn't (Triple) Crown a champion or feature any winners from the Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes. I picked Irish War Cry (not just because he was the favorite, but because of what Seth Meyers calls HIS favorite Irish war cry: "WHADDYA MEAN YOU'RE OUT OF GUINNESS?!?"), but I'm happy he came in second with Tapwrit coming in first and Patch coming in third. Still looking forward to the Belmont Stars and Stripes Festival on July 9th! (I got a free voucher. Can't beat the price!)

WHEW!

Well, ladies and chaps, that puts the wraps on a VERY jam-packed edition of Ye Olde Blogge, but a few more things before I get out of here...

Happy Father's Day to all the dads we look up to, especially Scott Shannon, Ross Brittain, Todd Pettengill, Joe Nolan, Steve Kingston, Brad Blanks, and those who have departed this mortal coil, such as my maternal Gramps Clinton M. Long, my paternal Gramps Sigmund Eisenpreis, and the man without whom there wouldn't be a Steve's Blog, let alone a Steve, Alfred Eisenpreis, as well as all the dads out there. Stay tuned for a special musical tribute to Dad!

Good luck to my CWPF, Congregation Emanu-El Rabbi Allison Tick-Brill, as she gets ready to join the fam in Chicago. We're keeping the door WIIIIIDE open for you, Ali! Mazels!

Bye, Buckaroos!
Steve

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

195 We're So Sorry, Cynthia McFadden...

...that we confused you with Kelly O'Donnell in our review of SUNDAY NIGHT WITH MEGYN KELLY (Last blog!) That was STILL a compelling interview, and my apologies also go out to Kelly O, as well as Meg and her talented SN staff.(At least WE own up to our mistakes, unlike King Covfefe! Mebbe we should call him Don Covfefleone after James Comey told the world he said, "I need loyalty. I expect loyalty."


STEVE'S BITS


Another reason to look forward to Friday: Temps in the Northeast warm up to where they should be! Put those parkas back in the closet and get those grills out, folks, Summer ain't giving up without a fight!


On Memorial Day, Mets radio commentator Josh Lewin quipped, "If this is Summer, I'm Brad Pitt!" when his colleague Howie Rose reminded him of the cloudy skies and below-normal temps. Well, Brad, tell Angie and the kids you're going to Disney World. because, as I said, Summer is going to be here to stay!

Hey, Warner Bros., are you ever gonna bring back ANIMANIACS? In case you lived in a cave during the 90's, this was a hilarious Saturday morning/weekday afternoon show which aired on FOX and The WB )Now The CW) revolving around Yakko and Wakko Warner and Dot, the Warner Sister, three fun-loving toons from the early pre-Bugs-and-Daffy days of LOONEY TUNES locked in the Warner water tower who escape and wreak havoc on the modern world through sketches and songs,many of them educational (such as "The Presidents Song" and a little ditty to the tune of "Turkey In The Straw" cataloging all the state capitols in the USA), with the help of their own cast of characters (including the stars of the popular PINKY AND THE BRAIN) and a staff of animation veterans helmed by executive producer Steven Spielberg (Yep, THAT Steven Spielberg!), which can currently be seen on Netflix. No victim was spared, no celebrity went uncaricatured, but it was all good, clean, wholesome fun for the whole family. (We could sure use THAT kind of fun THESE days with a looney tunes President like the one we have now!)

If you're stopping by the Big Apple this Summer, check out GULLIVER'S GATE in the Times Square neighborhood (216 West 44th Street, to be exact) and prepare to have your MIND BLOWN. Open every day at 8 AM, the Gate opens on a world in miniature, with beautifully accurate reproductions of London, Tokyo, New England, and other international destinations. (It even pays tribute to its inspiration, the immortal "Gulliver's Travels", with an airport served by Swift Airlines, an obvious tribute to author Jonathan Swift, and let THAT be the only spoiler!) For information, tickets, and links to social media platforms, visit http://www.gulliversgate.com and hashtags #gulliversgate and #miniaturemarvels . It IS a Small World after all, and it never looked better!

That's all the covfefe I have for now, covfefes and covfefettes, but y'all covfefe back now, y'hear?
Steve

Monday, June 5, 2017

194 Almost Live From New York, It's Sunday Night!

Say goodbye to Megyn Kelly, FOX News mouthpiece and conservative troublemaker.

Say hello to Megyn Kelly, TRULY fair and balanced NBC News anchor, about to take the reins of the third hour of TODAY, but, during the summer and after the 2017-2018 NFL season, anchor of SUNDAY NIGHT WITH MEGYN KELLY, airing on the Peacock Network Sunday nights (DUH!) at 8 ET and PT/ 7 CT.

Sometimes the title of a show can tell you what it ISN'T. Just as the TODAY show, the original early morning news and information program isn't THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON, the latest iteration of an iconic talk/variety show, SUNDAY NIGHT is by no means the irreverent current events parody SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is (And, no doubt, it has enlisted either Kate McKinnon or a bewigged Cecily Strong to lambaste Ms. Megyn during her FOX days!) or a jockfest like NFL SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL. What it IS is a return to traditional Sunday news magazine storytelling as opposed to the true-crime mysteries on its stablemate DATELINE and the celebrity puff pieces on ABC's 20/20. For her keynote address, the Megynatrix talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he told her through an interpreter that it doesn't matter to him who currently resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and introduced a compelling Kelly O'Donnell story on a former employee of a fast-rising drug company and a Harry Smith story on a one-woman army fighting for truth, justice, and Kenyan elephants, and from the looks of things, she's ready to leave the past behind and become a Barbara Walters for the new millennium. (My only complaint is a trailer for an upcoming interview with FOX Sports reporter/ former ESPNer Erin Andrews wherein she reminds Ms. A that she's found happiness with an "NFL hockey player." Fortunately, Erin corrects her with "NHL."

No, King Covfefe, Megyn doesn't have "blood coming out of her whatever," but, America, give her a chance because it DOES sound like she has a lot of fascinating stories coming out of her little corner of 30 Rock. (I just hope this new show isn't like the early iteration of the aforementioned 20/20 which was so low-rated that ABC fired its anchors Harold Hayes and Robert Hughes right after the first episode!)

No, she's not Chevy Chase, but then, she doesn't have to be.

Bye, Buckaroos!
Steve

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Covfefe Wars Episode 2: The Covfefe Strikes Back

Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Covfefe and all the covfefes at sea, let's go to covfefe!

My last blog on President Donald J. Covfefe and his contribution to the literary world (ANYBODY can make a spelling missteak! For covfefing out loud, why didn't this son of a covfefe just delete the word and talk about the negative press COVERAGE!) elicited so many positive responses, I've decided to imagine what would happen if other important people had used that word in lieu of more coherent language. (In a somewhat related development, I'm still trying to figure out who put the bomp in the bomp-bomp-bomp-bomp-bomp!)

Suppose the Beatles' first movie, regarded by many as the first longform music video, was called "A Hard Day's Covfefe" and the group's leader, John Covfefe, went on to challenge us to "Imagine no covfefe!"

Suppose Winston Churchill told the allies, "We have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and covfefe!"

Once upon a time, I made the mistake of comparing Sir Goofs-A-Lot to Walt Disney. I know it MAY be a bit painful, but imagine if Unca Walt wasn't the avuncular father figure we all knew and loved, but a little more Trumpish: "To those who come to this happy covfefe, we just built a big, beautiful wall around it and you're gonna pay to maintain it!"

Remember Elvis' first hit song, "You Ain't Nothing But A Covfefe?"

In another related development, Darth Covfefe has made a more insegrievious (Thank you, Gary Owens!) mistake by pulling America out of the Paris Treaty. You keep this up, Buddy, and there WON'T be an America anymore, or a world for that matter! (And all you conservative bloggers out there making remarks about CEO's who strongly disagree with Donald Dork's environmental policies, would you PLEASE...



SHUT THE COVFEFE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

A tip of the covfefe to Disney's Bob Iger, Virgin's Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk,Exxon Mobil, Vice-President Al Gore, and everybody else placing the needs of the Earth over the wants of one orange-skinned butt head.

I leave you with a classic benediction from a way smarter and funnier guy than Mr. Drumpf, the MARVELous Stan Lee: "Let's take care of ourselves. After all, we're the only human race we've got!"


Bye Buckaroos!
Steve