Friday, March 31, 2006

No, I'm not a fan of the American version of "The Office." But I do think that (some of) these fake The More You Know ads are amusing.

Here's a very brief but fascinating interview with Mark Grace about the baseball steroids scandal. Throughout his career, Grace was one of the most upstanding players in the game. Didn't have flashy Hall of Fame numbers, but always played hard, led the team, and could be depended on to come through in the clutch (at least until injuries took their toll at the end of his career). Here, he speaks about his first-hand sight of steroid use. The most interesting part is when he discusses Sosa's HOF chance. After saying he would definitely not vote for Palmeiro because he's been caught, but would have to think about voting for Bonds or McGwire because there's no proof, he definitively says he would not vote for Sosa (even though Sosa has never been busted). Leads me to believe he saw Sosa use. And that should come as no surprise to anyone...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I'm a few days late on this, but I want to thank Ricky Gervais for putting some life* back into "The Simpsons." Sunday's episode, which he wrote and appeared in, was the funniest I've seen in years (although still lagging far behind any episode from the show's first 10 seasons). And sadly, it's because it seemed more like an episode of "The Office" than of "The Simpsons." Gervais also deserves credit for writing the perfect summation of himself, when Homer said to his character "You take forever to say nothing!"
If you missed it, here's a clip of a hilarious song Gervais's character sings to Marge while filming a "Wife Swap"-type reality show. Is it as funny as his music video from "The Office Christmas Special"? Hmm, tough call... but for even more laughs, check out part of his actual music video "Bitter Heart" from his real 80s band Seona Dancing.

* Note: No, I still will not be watching this week's, or any future, episode of "The Simpsons" until further notice.

I've come to realize that my dad (on the left) has a striking resemblance to Tony Kornheiser (on the right). Much more so before dad's beard went grey. But give Tony a few years to catch up, and they'll practically be twins.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

2 Quick Music Links
- If this story means that a Replacements reunion is on the way, then I'm a happy man.
- What obscure 90s alternative rock cult figure are you? I am Billy Childish.

Movin' On Up
Early congratulations to VJVanessa. After last year's appearance as #62 on Maxim's Hot 100 List, this year she has made a substantial climb. According to a camera crew following her around last week, she is somewhere in the top 25 on this year's list... although exactly how high will temporarily remain a secret. I'll fill you in as soon as I hear more.

More Fantasy
Had my TRL-league fantasy baseball draft last night, and ended up with (at least in my mind) a pretty good team. Here it is, in the order I picked it (I had the 2nd pick out of 10 teams):
1. A. Pujols (1B)
2. C. Figgins (2B/3B/OF)
3. R. Oswalt (SP)
4. C. Beltrán (OF)
5. G. Sizemore (OF)
6. J. Cantú (2B/3B)
7. J. Peralta (SS)
8. E. Gagne (RP)
9. B. Webb (SP)
10. M. Holliday (OF)
11. Z. Duke (SP)
12. D. Turnbow (RP)
13. M. Mulder (SP)
14. J. Francoeur (OF)
15. J. Giambi (1B)
16. J. Blanton (SP)
17. C. Barmes (SS)
18. B. Molina (C)
19. C. Orvella (RP)
20. M. Jacobs (1B)
21. E. Encarnación (3B)
22. K. Escobar (SP)

I think I'm in good shape. Got speed, power, and pitching depth. Catcher is my weakest position, but that's true for almost everyone. 5 days 'til the start of the season... can't wait!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Well, it seems inevitible now... "Arrested Development" is most likely done and done. I'm not surprised, but it's still sad. No more of Gob's magic tricks, George Michael's double-takes, or Bob Loblaw.
On a brighter note, "The Adventures of Brisco Country, Jr." is heading to DVD. Ditto "Just Say Julie." But I'm probably the only person who's excited about that.

Thank You For Nothing
Q Magazine has named Duran Duran's Thank You the worst album of all time. Although I agree it's pretty terrible, that's a very harsh assessment. There are some tolerable moments: their version of "White Lines" was one of the high points of DD's comeback show at Webster Hall a few years back, and in a video interview on the album's press kit, and Lou Reed said he considered their cover of "Perfect Day" the best cover ever done of one of his songs. I am not really defending it... just saying it's probably not the worst ever. Seriously, would you rather listen to William Hung's album of covers, or DD's?

A portion of the 2006 NFL schedule has been released, and the Dolphins are both kicking off the season on Thursday September 7th against the champion Pittsburgh Steelers. They are also playing the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Does that make them the new America's Team? Well, seeing as how their roster includes a quarterback charged with 4 misdemeanors from the sex boat incident, a known drug user as their running back, and a tight end who assaulted his pregnant wife, I can see how that would fit. I'm so proud to be a Dol-fan...

Friday, March 24, 2006

TRL Moment of the Week
On Wednesday we did a Spring Break version of TRL Lottery, in which we assign everyone in the audience a number, then pick numbered balls out of a lotto machine and give them prizes... some good, some duds. One of the dud prizes was having to rub sunscreen on the back of a very hairy man we found in Times Square. We picked a girl, brought out her man, and gave her the bottle of lotion, which had been relabeled with a TRL label to avoid any marketing problems. As we're coming back from break, Lauren squeezes the contents of the bottle onto the guy's back and starts rubbing it in, then exclaims "Oh my God, it's bronzer!"
Undeterred, our "winner" continued rubbing the stuff all over his back, claiming "This guy's gonna be tan for days." As we got into the next request, VJDamien pointed out the lotion "smells like vinegar." I'm sure a good time was had by all.

I'm off to Vegas for my dad's 60th birthday, so no post Monday. Hopefully I'll regale you all with tales of my gambling success on Tuesday.

So if you think my taste in music is questionable, at least I didn't pay to have Nena's "99 Luftballoons / Red Balloons" video play alternatingly for an hour straight. However, this person isn't quite as crazy as the article makes him out to be... the cost for an hour was actually $200, not $35,000, which I only know because the TV in my office rarely strays from VH1 Classic.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The other day when I was getting my haircut, I heard 7 of the sweetest words of my life:
"Don't worry, you'll never lose your hair."
This is now the third hair professional who has told me this, which I think makes it official. Going bald has been a legitimate concern of mine. Both my dad's and his brother's heads are quite hairless. And I know most people say that the baldness gene comes from your mother's dad, but when I asked about that in a high school biology class during a lesson on genetics, the teacher looked at me like I was out of my mind and asked how that was possible (to which I had no reply). I don't mean to sound vain... I don't have anything against bald people. I'd just not rather be one of them (really, who would?). And there's also the health concern... I'm fairly pale, and my scalp would burn in the sun quite easily. So here's hoping that those words ring true.
And yes, I realize that I'm probably jinxing myself with this post. So if I start finding lots of hair in my shower drain, I'm pulling the plug on this site.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Two quick links:
- Here's Terrell Owens rapping about how excited he is to be part of the Dallas Cowboys (it will load and run over the main page). And yes, it's as bad as you would expect.
- Here's a recut anecdote from Hulk Hogan's biography, discussing his first homosexual encounter.

Talkin' Baseball
Last night's fantasy draft played out basically as expected. My predicted top-7 went with the first 7 picks, so I reluctantly took Tejada with my first pick and have been kicking myself ever since. However, I'm pretty happy with the team I ended up with:
C: Johjima, Kendall
1B: Thome, Nevin
2B: Utley, Iguchi
SS: Tejada, Crosby
3B: C. Jones, Tiffee
OF: Pierre, Burrell, Lane, Ibanez
SP: C. Zambrano, Schmidt, Pettitte, Morris, Lowe, Wang
RP: Street, Valverde, Timlin
My infield is solid (as long as they are healthy and play to potential), as is my starting rotation. My OF could use some work... I have some speed and some power, but not much average and too many strikeouts. I have 2 solid closers, and Timlin should get plenty of work. And I have a fairly deep middle-infield bench, so not only am I covered in case of injuries, but I prevented other teams from getting those guys. Hopefully I can swing a trade of one of my pitchers to get a better outfielder. But even if I don't, I'm looking forward to playing this season.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

This Is Where I Alienate All My Non-Sports-Loving Readers*
I've got my first (of two) fantasy baseball drafts tonight, and I've got a bit of a dilemma. I have the 8th pick out of 12, and by my calculations, there are 7 definite #1 draft picks: A-rod, Pujols, Vlad, Teixeira, Ortiz, Manny, and Santana. After that, you get a bunch of players (Tejada, Abreu, Crawford, Bay) who are excellent, but who I know I'll look back on with regret, thinking "I can't believe I took him in the first round!" I'm hoping that somebody above me screws up and allows one of my top-7 to fall to me... but here's also hoping that it's not Manny or Ortiz, as I don't want to be secretly rooting for the BoSox stars all season long.

* I apologize in advance to all these readers, as I will presumably be recapping the draft tomorrow... and then there's next week's draft to write about...

Monday, March 20, 2006

D'ohn't Do It
Proving that Fox no longer has any concept of what's funny and what is not, they have renewed The Simpsons for 2 more seasons. I'm proud to say that I stopped watching it back in September and haven't looked back since, although I may be tempted to tune in Sunday for the episode penned by Ricky Gervais.
Still no word on Fox, Showtime, or anybody else renewing Arrested Development. But it's an absolute crime to keep The Simpsons going while A.D. gets the ax. Please, put them out of their misery!

I check ContactMusic everyday. I don't know where they get their information. I'm sure it's not credible. My bosses refuse to let me reference stories I find on there for TRL. But as long as they keep posting juicy quotes like this and this, I'll keep reading.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Okay, so I knew that the Toto song "Rosanna" was written for Rosanna Arquette. But finding out that she was also the muse for Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" came as a big shock. Is this common knowledge?

TRL Moment of the Week
The one and only Hulk Hogan dropped by on Wednesday to promote the season premiere of "Hogan Knows Best." He did an amazing cold open in with VJDamien broke a bottle over Hulk's head, and Hulk bodyslammed VJDamien through a table. He later demonstrated the correct way to rip open a Hulkamania shirt.
Knowing he would do the shirt rip, I called dibs on the remnants among the staff before the show. After he ripped it and we went to commercial, I trailed behind him, hoping he'd simply leave the shirt backstage. Instead he dropped it in the trash. I didn't want to fish it out in front of everyone, because that would seem too pathetic even for me, so I planned on waiting until the Hogans had left. Instead, Hulk's publicist said "Hulk, maybe somebody wants that" and fished it out herself. She then asked "Does anybody want this shirt?" and VJDamien immediately pounced on it. He then got Hulk to sign it! I tried to guilt VJDamien into giving the shirt to me, saying that I had hoped to get it, had called dibs on it, had planned on fishing it out of the trash myself, but he didn't bite. And now I'll never have a sweaty, tattered, autographed Hulkamania shirt.

Honorable Mention
My Shining cold open idea finally came to fruition almost 2 years after I first pitched it. We taped it on Monday using Aly & AJ instead of the Olsen twins and using Pete from Fall Out Boy instead of VJDamien. But it worked brilliantly nonetheless. Not to brag or anything...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Don't get me wrong... even though he hasn't made a decent movie since Fight Club, I'm a big fan of Ed Norton (he could've taken home Oscars for either Primal Fear or American History X). But I pray that this rumor about him becoming the lead in "24" is truly just a rumor.

The official NCAA website has created an amazing on-demand page for this year's tournament, allowing people to watch up to 3 games at once. Also note the Boss Button on the bottom-left of the page, which when clicked brings up a spreadsheet to prevent mass firings of sports fans around the nation.
Pretty damn clever, I must say.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The 2006 edition of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band has been announced, and it's a doozy:
- Richard Marx
- Billy Squier
- Sheila E
- Rod Argent
- Edgar Winter
Love Argent, don't mind Sheila E, but what the fuck are Marx and Squier doing there? The title "All-Starr" has lost all meaning...

JDate ads are bad, but they could be worse...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

S for Scooped
In researching Natalie Portman trivia questions for a stunt on today's show (in which the winner gets photos taken with Natalie, the loser gets his head shaven), I came upon these clips of an 11-year-old Natalie in an environmental song-and-dance group called World Patrol Kids. He tried to get permission to air them, but alas couldn't get the rights in time. Then backstage, we find out from Natalie's people that Letterman will be showing the clips tonight. What a gyp. We could've scooped them.
But I will anyway. Check out a very young but still talented Natalie Portman here and here (she raps in that one) and here and here and here and here. They take a while to load, but are worth it the wait.

What Was Up With Last Night's 24?
(Spoiler alerts)

(I'm not kidding about the spoilers)

(Seriously, do not read if you haven't watched it yet but plan to)

(Here goes, don't say I didn't warn you)
Could 24 have been any worse last night? I can't figure out what the writers were thinking. You know things are bad when a show built on tension is stealing lines from The Princess Bride ("My name is Tony Almeida. You killed my wife Michelle. PREPARE TO DIE!!!"). At one point I joked to my roommate that some of the dead bodies at CTU should get up and starting lurching around saying "Brains… brains…" Little did I know that in fact the show would turn into a cheesy horror movie when Henderson, who was in a coma with his neurological system shut down, suddenly came back to life with superhuman strength and killed the person who was about to kill him. Who is he, Michael Myers? (then again, he is played by Robocop). The plotline of Lynn having to sacrifice himself was predictable, Kim's psychologist was cliched and underwritten, and I'm sick of the President acting as a human puppet for anyone who talks to him.
What a letdown, especially after the amazing 2 hours the previous week. Tony deserved a better episode in which to die.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Poor Peter Tomarken landed on a Whammy.
(I'm sure I won't be the only person to use this joke, but maybe I'm one of the first)

A few interesting celebrity news pieces to mention:
- Isaac Hayes has decided that South Park is offensive and no longer wants to be part of it. No more salty chocolate balls for him.
- Who's ready for a My Name Is Earl / Family Guy crossover?
- Dennis Quaid suffers from "Manorexia." I simply thought it was a withering of talent, but I guess I was wrong. (Thanks Joe for pointing this out)

Bonds Away!
I know I'm late weighing in on this topic, but I'm starting to get annoyed with experts backing Bonds as a Hall of Fame candidate. They say that he had HOF numbers before he started taking steroids. Yeah, so? Then he took steroids. If a runner is winning a marathon, then halfway through the race he puts on roller skates to get to the finish line, should he be considered the winner? Of course not. He cheated. And he deserves to be punished. I don't mind people talking about what a great player Bonds was during the first half of his career. Cause he was. Just don't put him in the Hall. And remember to also discuss that he took steroids. (And that he's selfish and racist and a jerk)
And while we're on this subject, Selig needs to get off his ass and step up now. I don't understand the reasoning that they won't take action because this isn't something that Major League Baseball discovered on its own. If somebody reports a crime to the police, do they say "Well, we didn't see the crime happening first-hand, so we're not going to pursue this"? It's ludicrous. Look, Selig, players and fans already can't think any less of you. Show some backbone for once, take a stand, and get this game cleaned up. It may not fix your reputation, but it could fix baseball.

Friday, March 10, 2006

How could I leave for the weekend without posting yet another recut trailer? This one imagines Blue Velvet as a romantic comedy...

TRL Moment of the Week
On Monday we did a stunt in which we found people in the audience with things they needed confess... then had them call up the person they had wronged, admit what they did, and apologe live on the air. For the cut open to the show, I included the following copy:


If you're not familiar with the All-American Rejects video "Dirty Little Secret," it shows people holding up postcards revealing their secrets (from the website PostSecret). There were several appropriate messages to choose from for the shot I wanted, including "I'm only dating her to get to her sister" and "Sometimes I think my fiance isn't the one."
So which one did the editor go with? "I had gay sex at church camp... 3 times."

I knew there had to be a reason why Crash beat Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture... and here it is.

Even with this setting a precendent, I don't think I could get away with naming my child Negra Modelo Greene.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yes, I will still continue to be a fan of Axl, even when I come across pictures like this (which more likely than not was photoshopped).

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Rather than dwell on the crushing plot twist ending from Monday's episodes of 24 (which, I'm not ashamed to admit, nearly brought me to tears), I will instead ask why 24 has become the headquarters to revive washed-up 80s actors? The list is quite impressive:
Kiefer Sutherland (Lost Boys)
Peter Weller (Robocop)
Sean Astin (Goonies)
Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba)
C. Thomas Howell (Outsiders)
JoBeth Williams (Poultergeist)
Jean Smart ("Designing Women")
Ray Wise ("Twin Peaks")
William Devane ("Knots Landing")
Kevin Dillon (Platoon)
Sara Gilbert ("Roseanne")
I'm hoping that next on the list is Willie Aames from "Charles in Charge" or one of the hot daughters from "Just the 10 of Us." Anyone but Jackee from "227"... some careers are better left dead.

Hawthorne Heights has gotten themselves into a bit of trouble. Someone at their label sent out an e-mail to their street team suggesting that they hide record-store copies of Ne-Yo's CD to make it harder for consumers to buy the R&B CD and help the rockers debut at #1 on the Billboard chart. Interesting strategy... which backfired in a big way when Def Jam complained. HH's label sent out another e-mail saying it was all a joke, and Ne-Yo debut at #1 anyway with almost triple HH's sales.

Here is both the original e-mail and the retraction:

I hope you guys all realize that this email was a joke! Some of you got it but for those of you that did not I guess my sense of humor may only seem funny to me. If any of you are confused by any of this call me and don't take things so literally! If I asked you to stand up and do 100 jumping jacks while holding your breath I highly doubt that you would listen! But seriously, call anyway as I do not want anything taken out of context. Shame on my sense of humor!

Thanks guys

Happy Hawthorne Heights day everyone - street date has finally arrived!
It all comes down to the next six days and maximizing our sales at as many stores as possible. We are neck-and-neck with this Ne-yo character on Universal and we need everyone out there tilting the tide in our favor. Our projected numbers for first week sales are about even so we really need to make every unit count if we want to win.
We do this first by selling more Hawthorne Heights, hitting as many stores as possible, making sure Hawthorne Heights stock is in the front and very visible in every store we visit. Get inside, do what you need to do, and move on to the next store. Move Hawthorne Heights into as many key positions as you can. Remember there are two covers so not only put them together, put them in different places. HH should have spots in all the new release racks toward the front of the store but we can always increase our presence by dropping a few in another displays.
If you don't see our product on display at the front of the store, particularly later in the week, then go to the bin and move what you can. There are a lot of stores that are not as on top of this as they should be, especially something as hot as Hawthorne Heights, so we need to give these people all the help they can get.
Also look for HH in the areas where stores keep overstock. Sometimes this is below the bins or on the top of the rack. If you find any CDs, particularly under the bins, try to move those out first to the other areas of the store.
On the off chance you find a store that doesn't have any copies of the new Hawthorne, find a clerk and ask him why they don't have it. If it's sold out, find out when they have more coming in. If it's showing as in stock, let him know that you can't find it so he knows to order more.
Here is a list of the best chain stores to go to:
Best Buy
Wal Mart
Circuit City
Sam's Club
K Mart
Sam Goody
Virgin Borders
Barnes & Noble
Fred Meyer
As for Ne-yo, the name of the game is to decrease the chances of a sale here. If you were to pick up handful of Ne-yo CDs, as if you were about to buy them, but then changed your mind and didn't bother to put them back in the same place, that would work. Even though this record will be heavily stocked and you might not be able to move all the stock, just relocating a handful creates issues: Even though the store will appear to be out of stock, the computer will see it as in stock and not re-order the title once it sells down and then Ne-Yo will lose a few sales later in the week
This is most important in stores were we are competing with Ne-yo, which is in the big chains that sell pop and urban product. The stores listed above are in the order you should hit them up.
The main thing is to keep the pressure up all week. First day sales are important but keeping our sales going and having a strong weekend are equally important to grabbing the #1 slot that belongs to us.
Please be sure to email me this week and let me know which stores you have gone to and worked your magic at.

Thanks everyone,

"Victory at all costs, Victory in spite of all terror, Victory however long and hard the road may be; for without Victory, there is no survival."
-Winston Churchill

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Do you like sudoku but don't want to seem like a math nerd? Here's your answer: a Sopranos version!

I found this old article in a link from a link from a link... don't even remember what I was originally looking for... but this is a great e-mail exchange between Judd Apatow and Mark Brazill. Given how it plays out, it's no wonder Freaks & Geeks (or Undeclared, for that matter) is infinitely more entertaining than That 70's Show (or That 80's Show, for that matter).

The mother load of Brokeback Mountain mash-up trailers is here. I haven't watched them all, but the City Slickers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Scrubs ones are good.
And the Arrested Development one isn't so much a parody as a farewell to the show. I miss it already.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin', & Foolin'
Turns out for once, I was right! According to their official websites, Def Leppard and Journey will be touring together over the summer. That means there's still time for Steve Perry to get over himself and rejoin the band. Keep your fingers crossed.

Oscars Crash and Burn
Just finishing an Oscar telecast that was painfully unsurprising until the Academy lost its mind and gave Best Picture to the least-deserving winner since Shakespeare in Love. At 77%, Crash has the lowest Rotten Tomatoes freshness rating out of the 5 nominees. Still trying to get over the shock.
Anyway, here are some of my random thoughts from the night…

8:00: During a bizarre computer-simulated trip through Hollywood past and present, my roommate says, “Oh good Lord, who came up with this?” Several seconds later, he adds, “This has got to be one of the most uninteresting and stupid things ever.” My sentiments exactly. Not the start I hoped for.

8:03: Based on his performance with Halle Berry in the opening sketch, I’m positive I just witnessed the last time Jon Stewart will act opposite an Oscar winner.

8:06: Referring to the Hollywood stars in the audience mostly being Democrats, Stewart gets off his first great line of the night: “This will be the first time many of you have voted for a winner.”

8:07: We’re informed that the theme of the night is Return to Glamour. The Oscars have themes now? Why isn’t the theme Best Movies of 2005? Oh, right, because Crash is nominated for Best Picture.

8:08: I see that they’ve seated Jack Nicholson next to Keira Knightley. Does he really need the extra help to score with another beautiful actress? Come on, make him put in a little effort.

8:13: The montage of gay scenes in Westerns is very well done. No joke here.

8:17: If Matt Dillon wins, I sure hope he’s wearing his fake teeth from There’s Something About Mary during his speech.

8:19: First award, no surprise here: Clooney. He gives a great speech, but I’m not liking the music playing underneath. I hope this is a mistake that won’t continue throughout the night.

8:21: A GM commercial is using the song “AM Radio.” Which means the members of Everclear will receive a paycheck for the first time since 2000.

8:25: Tom Hanks is still sporting his Meat Loaf haircut. And now he’s doing terrible “comedy” bits with the Academy orchestra. Meat Loaf was funnier in Fight Club.

8:26: Ben Stiller comes out and does his green-screen gag, which goes on way too long. It seems that the theme of the night is actually Jokes Falling Flat.

8:30: Of his green leotard, Stewart remarks that it’s “good to have proof he’s Jewish.” Would the reaction have been the same if last year Chris Rock made the joke that he has proof that a leotarded Eddie Murphy is black? Not that Eddie Murphy would ever stoop so low… he still has some dignity.

8:32: Tim Burton does not seem amused by the Wallace & Gromit clip. I wasn’t very amused by the movie either.

8:33: None of the people shown in the shot are Peter Sallis, the voice of Wallace. Nice going, producers of the telecast.

8:35: Dolly Parton is performing. When asked, my roommate says he would not have sex with her. But yesterday his mom and his ex-girlfriend both told me that my roommate is into girls with big breasts. Yes, I have to deal with these types of conversations regularly.

8:42: Stewart uses the Baldwins as the punchline for his “2 very talented brothers” joke. I’d have gone with “Sam Jackson and Morgan Freeman,” just to see if they'd rush the stage to kick the crap out of me.

8:50: The winner of Best Costume Design thanks Sony for “being brave enough to make a movie about a woman.” I’m sure the studios behind Domino, Dirty Love, Dark Water, Aeon Flux, and Elektra wish they had chickened out.

8:53: Will Jesus Christ be in this montage of prominent people portrayed on film? And if so, will he be from The Passion of the Christ, The Last Temptation of Christ, or Jesus Christ Superstar? We'll never know, since unsurprisngly he doesn't make the cut.

8:58: The comedy torch as been officially passed from Will Ferrell to Steve Carell. And I’m glad.

9:04: Best Supporting Actress, toughest category of the night. Man I hope it goes to Amy Adams or Michelle Williams.

9:06: Damn, it does not. It goes to Rachel Weisz, who I thought was decent in an underwhelming movie. No upsets yet.

9:12: Lauren Bacall is bombing worse than the assassins in Munich (ba dum dum - thank you, I'll be here all night). To make it even more painful, it’s to introduce a completely unnecessary tribute to Film Noir. This would be like Tom Brady blowing out his arm demonstrating how to throw during a halftime Punt, Pass & Kick contest.

9:16: The fake Best Actress campaign ads are genius. Describing the nominees’ names as “crazy letters that make no sense” gets my biggest laugh of the night so far.

9:20: Is Best Documentary Short nominee Mushroom Club anything like The Breakfast Club? After the bomb goes off, does someone barge demanding an explanation for the ruckus? Jeez, I must be bored.

9:21: The winner of Best Documentary Short just thanked the Academy for seating her next to Clooney at the Award Lunch. Cut to a reaction shot of Clooney. I bet he banged her. He probably didn’t want to, but did it anyway. Just working his way through all of Hollywood.

9:22: My favorite doc, Murderball, loses to March of the Penguins. I hope security thoroughly searched those stuffed animal penguins for weapons. We all know how much the French hate the U.S. Actually, it seems they’re trying to hurt us with their attempts at humor. If they truly think they’re being funny, it’s no wonder Jerry Lewis is their God.

9:25: The performance of Crash’s song “In the Deep” has turned into R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Oscars.” It’s like watching Dawn of the Dead set to a sappy ballad. Utterly creepy.

9:28: The Diet Coke commercial where the woman spontaneously gets a man’s haircut is on. Except they’ve replaced the music. It used to be “Goody 2 Shoes.” Now it’s not. I can’t believe they figured our a way to make that ad worse. But it least they don't call their drink "brown and bubbly."

9:37: The award for Best In-Joke by the Oscar Telecast goes to the person who put The Day After Tomorrow into the montage about movies that changed the world. Bravo!

9:40: Yes, it’s the time we’ve all been waiting for… the pee break! I mean, the President of the Academy!

9:55: I want at least the last 34 minutes of my life back.

9:57: If there’s no place to see epics except on the big screen, then why are they paying tribute to them on the small screen? And who decreed The Fifth Element an epic? This show makes no sense!

10:00: Jon Stewart cracks that there will soon be a tribute to montages. I assume he’s kidding, but given the past 2 hours I can’t be sure.

10:09: After an entertaining back-and-forth between Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep and a montage of Robert Altman’s films, my roommate asks “Is [Altman] dead?” “No,” I reply. Then when I see Altman step forward, I change my answer to “Well, maybe.”

10:12: Who knew that the real Kramer is part of Altman’s family? (This observation would work better if I could find a picture of Altman’s family, but I cannot)

10:19: Three 6 Mafia is performing “Trapped in the Oscars, Chapter 2.”

10:24: “Hard Out Here for a Pimp” wins best song. Finally an upset!

10:27: Jennifer Garner tripping during her entrance would’ve redeemed this show. Alas, she regains her footing. I can’t catch a break.

10:33: Holy crap! One of the In Memoriam guys, Robert Schiffer, did make-up on both Wizard of Oz and Splash. His career is almost as long as this show feels.

10:38: When Will Smith comes out, I realize that the stars of the following TV shows have either won or been nominated for Oscars: Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Facts of Life, Welcome Back Kotter, and Dawson’s Creek. That blows my mind.

10:41: Jon Stewart cracks a joke that Three 6 Mafia has more Oscars than Martin Scorsese. Funny… when I heard it 3 years ago after Eminem won for “Lose Yourself.”

10:48: Hey, isn’t Philip Seymour Hoffman supposed to be barking?

10:56: I think that John Travolta just announced the winner of Best Cinematography as "Marmars of a Geisha."

10:58: The clip from Mrs. Henderson Presents has something to do with suggesting to see naked ladies. I’m on board with that. As long as it’s not Judi Dench.

11:00: The announcer informs us that Reese Witherspoon is familiar with country music, having grown up in Tennessee, and that she played a Cash in a 4th grade play. Why is he saying this? I haven’t a clue.

11:01: Man, Reese is so cute… I just want to pick her up and put her in my pocket.

11:08: I saw Dustin Hoffman on the street in my neighborhood a couple weeks ago, and his hair was much grayer than it is tonight. He is the epitome of Hollywood vanity.

11:11: Diana Ossana, one of the writers of Brokeback Mountain, just said that “the duty of art is to send light into the darkness of men’s hearts.” My roommate responds by saying “Argh, I want to rip my face off!” I know just how he feels.

11:18: Jon Stewart reminds us he’s funny by saying he didn’t know he could wear jeans tonight. Good line.

11:20: Okay, Ang Lee KNEW he was going to win Best Director. He’s known for months. So how could he start his speech by saying to his statuette “I wish I knew how to quit you”?!?!? James Cameron is officially off the hook for his “King of the World” debacle.

11:24: Crash wins Best Picture, and I am speechless. The producers are not, but they get cut off mid-speech to cut to commercial. Way to go, ABC.

11:29: The show is over, and like in the clip they showed during the overlong telecast, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore." For shame, Academy!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Quick Notes Before the Oscars:
- I'm on the Brokeback bandwagon. Hoping it takes home Best Picture and Director. But if it doesn't, I'd like Good Night & Good Luck to win.
- I don't understand people's love of Crash. I knew the movie wasn't great in the first 5 minutes, when Ludacris gives the speech about people profiling all African-Americans as crooks, then turns around and steals the car. It had its moments, and the cast was good, but it's hardly one of the best movies of the year.
- Best Actor is such a tough call. Ledger and Hoffman are both great, but I have to give it to Heath. In my mind, it's harder to create a memorable original character than to do a memorable imitation.
- Reese should win, hands down.
- Supporting Actress is the hardest choice of the night. I didn't think I'd want anyone to beat Michelle Williams, but then I saw Junebug and fell in love with Amy Adams. Too tough to call. And as bad as the movie was, Frances McDormand earned her nod.
- I'd give Supporting Actor to Paul Giamatti, but wouldn't be upset with any of them except for Gyllenhaal.
- How did the director of Capote get nominated? What happened to David Cronenberg? And Maria Bello for Supporting Actress, while we're at it?
- Where is Grizzly Man for Best Doc? I'd love for Murderball to win. But it'll probably lose to the penguins, and I'll be okay with that.
- Did anyone else think Wallace & Gromit was overrated? And I'm even a fan of their short films. But I'm rooting for Corpse Bride.
- Here's hoping Jon Stewart does a good job. I think he will. But when will they hire Conan? He's tailor-made for this gig.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Last week I posted about the possible revival of one of rock's greatest feuds. Now comes the revival of one of the 80s music's biggest catfights: Tiffany vs. Debbie Gibson. March 11, in New York City, both former pop princesses are playing live concerts: Debbie (now Deborah) at the Canal Room, Tiffany at the Culture Club. Whose side are you on?
(Personally I'd go with Debbie... although I refuse to call her Deborah)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

TRL Pet Semetary
Here's another entry in the TRL Graveyard. When I found out Seth Green was coming to TRL in March to promote the DVD release of Robot Chicken, I suggested having their production team create a cold open for the show. My boss asked me to write up some concepts. It turns out it would cost us a boatload of money for them to shoot a 30-second segment, so that's out the window. But this was my favorite of my pitches:






















Gods Walk Among Us Now
The Flaming Lips are playing 2 shows at Webster Hall, March 31 and April 1. Tickets go on sale today at noon. New Yorkers with good music taste, unite!