Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dumpster Diving with David Letterman

That didn't take long, did it?

The day after Dave's final show, his set was dismantled and pieces tossed into a waiting dumpster.

There are two entrances to the theater, and BOTH were used to dispose of artifacts and even audience chairs.

I suppose it's "nice" that CBS isn't being crass and offering the stuff at auction. Fans could get Yankee Stadium seats and other things when that place was destroyed (with a fake, a replica, built nearby).

The old NBC Letterman set, last time I checked, was on exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image" in Queens. This one was too big? There wasn't a museum anywhere that would want an iconic miniature set of New York's buildings and bridges??

Monday, April 27, 2015

JAYNE MEADOWS

Funny, you don't think of Jayne Meadows without thinking of her sister or her husband Steve Allen.

Jayne did have solo credits, but as Steve liked to generously say, "she was one of the greatest straight women in the business." Or maybe he said "THE" greatest.

I just heard the news of her passing (September 27, 1919 - April 26, 2015). It was a long, long fifteen years ago that Steve died. He died after being bumped by a car. He was unaware that he had suffered some kind of internal hemorrhage. He'd refused medical attention, and some time later, decided to lie down because he was feeling tired. And he never got up.

So who knows how much longer their 46 year marriage would've continued.

Audrey died back in 1996. While the sisters didn't really work that much together (Steve and Jayne were a Las Vegas act back in the late 50's) they were always linked in the public's mind, and there was always that funny bit of trivia...that they were born in China. The original last name was Cotter ("Meadows" was their father's middle name). Audrey of course was "married" to Jackie Gleason and fans were quick to point out she was far from "frumpy" in real life. Jayne was the glamorous one, always elegant on the arm of Steve Allen. She added comedy and glamour to Steve's favorite pet project, "Meeting of the Minds." That was the show in which he interviewed great names from the past, including Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette.

Theirs, with the usual bumps along the way, was one of Hollywood's great love stories. Does anyone remember that Jayne was previously married? Back in 1949 when she was a hot Hollywood starlet, appearing in such films as "Enchantment,"a guy named Milton Krims. They divorced in 1952, and she married Steve in 1954. I remember one year at the BEA book convention, Steve was attending, having published yet another book. He sat at a table greeting the press, and "Jaynie-Bird" was next to him. Not only that, but when he signed review copies, he handed the book to her, and she signed as well, even though she had nothing to do with the writing. They were, simply, A COUPLE.

You can go to IMDB and find that Jayne has plenty of solo credits. It's just that after the marriage, this loving couple preferred to do things together. Well, except vote along the same lines; she was Republican and he was a Democrat. One of Jayne's last acting roles was, of course, with Steve, in a "Diagnosis Murder." She appeared in a few films after Steve's passing, including "City Slickers II" and "Casino."

People fondly remember Steve as Mr. Late Night in the 50's. Ironically, at the same time, and for more of the 50's, Jayne was a queen of quiz shows. She was a regular panelist on "I've Got a Secret" from 1952-1959 and "To Tell the Truth" (1957-1961). She exuded star quality, to the extent that she was always welcome on these talk and variety show; she had an accessible charm and a beauty that was unique.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ricky Gervais vs Wildlife Murderess Rebecca Francis

What gives it away is the insane gleam in their eyes. Hunters simply LOVE to KILL.

They sometimes pretend, in their hypocrisy, that they're "conservationists" but look at the posed pictures. They never look sad, do they? Never.

Ricky Gervais, a professional comedian who has dabbled in poor taste, doesn't see ANYTHING funny about killing animals.

He's said so on Twitter.

He's said so on Facebook.

An irony today is that the Gervais complaint against Rebecca Francis arrived alongside another news item:

The "inconvenient truth" all over the world is that animals are being hunted to extinction, and other species simply erased by the destruction of their habitat and by climate change. And yet we have psychopathic "hunters" who hide behind the old "thinning the herd" excuse, or who claim that they only shoot animals that, oh, should be dead anyway. Presidential aspirant Mike Huckabee laughs about shooting birds out of the sky, as VP candidate Paul Ryan did. Hey, too many pretty peacocks in the air. What a lot of fun to drop ducks in mid-flight (Mike insists he shoots them because he's hungry).

Organizations promoting hunters, and tourist-kill events, have lined up behind Rebecca Francis, of course. The spin-doctoring always revs up any time there's an accusation about cruelty and the pointless slaughter of an endangered species.

Rebecca the Conservationist? No, Becky the Animal Slayer loves to kill things. She thinks it's cool.

This Mama Grizzly has murdered bears, cats, anything she can get in the sites of her no-miss rifles. Missy Francis is so proud that a little snip like her can destroy a fearsome animal five times her weight. Yep, it's easy when gun technology offers "point and shoot" weapons that are always on target. The hunter is always well out of range of the animal's teeth and claws.

Well, in the case of a giraffe, there ARE no teeth and claws.

Rebecca Francis simply gets a huge kick out of killing things. She's always smiling when she does it.

As for being a "conservationist," she's spawned 8 brats to help over-populate the planet.

Just how extreme is her bloodlust? Rebecca Francis probably gets turned on removing her used tampons, and chews on them.

She only wishes she was in Nazi Germany at the time of Dachau. Boy, those Germans missed out on a great way of raising money: bringing in tourists for organized, controlled "shoots." You know, "Shoot the Jew and Win a Prize." Like, take home a lampshade.

Rebecca would be the first to say, "Oh, I only killed the weak, starved Jews that were going to die anyway." She would've posed happily with her kill.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Anti-Semitic, Misogynist Trevor Noah was Hired Because He's BLACK

Let's be FUNNY. As funny as THIS TWEET:

Yo, Ha Ha Ha, y'all.

Now imagine a white comedian saying: "I was hanging my laundry in my back yard and accidentally a black man nearly got strangled by a pair of my pants hanging on the line. What if it had been one of my white sheets?"

Now here's another hilarious Trevor Noah joke. Remember, this is a COMEDIAN and THIS is a JOKE:

Hmmm. What if, after "Blade Runner" shot his girlfriend, or former heavyweight contender Corrie Sanders was killed, a white comedian wrote:

"Israelis know how to recycle like South Africans know not to shoot innocent people."

I think it's pretty obvious that Trevor Noah was picked to replace Jon Stewart because he's black. The demographic is right. We've had a black president for quite a while now, and here's a handsome Barack for the comedy world, right?

Why deny the obvious, child? (I'm quoting Paul Simon, who promoted African music and replaced a Jew named Garfunkel with a multi-racial band of singers and players). There's nothing wrong with the truth. A lot of blacks, gays, women, and even Jews, are hired because people feel sorry or guilty or, now and then, simply think they've hired the best person for the job.

People are always screaming if there aren't enough black nominees for the Oscars, and how every late night host is "LILY WHITE" (not a derogatory expression).

It made sense to hire the black guy. Especially if the alternative was a woman. Named Chelsea Handler.

Noah's a young guy. Maybe, despite the movie "Selma," he doesn't know that Liberal Jews marched with Dr. King, and some didn't come back to Jew York afterward because they were killed. That it was the Liberal Jew writers and directors who made those Sidney Poitier movies and helped everyone from Lena Horne to James Earl Jones. But Trevor Noah does seem to believe the old stereotype that Jews control all the money in America.

"See what I did?" I'm sure Trev would use that cliche that comedians love to use these days. "See what I did?"

Yeah, hacky, I see. You stooped to a pun, "Beats by Dre-del." I know exactly how it worked. You came up with that pun-chline first, then tried to work a straight line in front of it. So you picked an offensive, familiar line about how rich Jews control everything.

Nevermind that Dr. Dre made more money last year than anyone in the music world, with Beyonce second. That with the exception of old fat Harvey Weinstein, most every entertainment company in the world is run by Gentiles now. That the biggest banks are run by Gentiles now. That Muslim terrorist groups can raise billions of dollars a day to fund their murders because, for some reason, Jews don't actually have the money-making savvy people think they do. (Or is it that the Jews do have all the money, but are too cheap to spend it on those orange jumpsuits ISIS prisoners wear? Although the garment district isn't too Jewish these days either).

Jews? Fuck the Jews. Years ago, a very strong percentage of comedians were Jewish. Then things changed.

I remember talking to the late Joan Rivers about our proud Jewish history of humor. "Why are so many comedians Jewish?" I asked Joan, expecting some noble remark about Jewish suffering being turned inside out.

"Jewish comedians?" she asked. "You mean, like Steve Martin and Robin Williams? You mean Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray?"

The Jews were losing their grip, and frankly, Joan didn't give a damn. That Dave and Jimmy and Jimmy aren't Jewish isn't a big deal. That Jews in comedy petered out with Seinfeld and Larry David isn't a big deal. That Jon Stewart changed his name (and isn't, in my opinion, funny) isn't a big deal. That Bill Maher is only half-Jewish and the last angry comic with any vague ties to the old Jews Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce is no big deal.

Being black and anti-Semitic? Is.

It's a big deal because Jews are once again literally under fire. From little Jewish kids terrorized on a bus in Australia to shopkeepers victimized in France, it's bad enough that anything that goes on between Israel and Palestine suddenly creates incidents in far off parts of the world. It's bad enough that right after Charlie Hebdo, the next attack was at a kosher market. Casual put-downs of Jews, especially ones that are insults and not even jokes, can be poisonously lethal.

I've used the defense "It's only a joke" many times. But, as Poe said, and as Steve Allen agreed, "there are subjects of which no jest can be made." Steve amended it. He told me, "Yes, you can joke on any topic, but that doesn't mean you should say it out loud and hurt people."

Comedians work the edge. Inhibiting them is rarely a good idea. Humor is a safety valve. But I think even the late Lenny Bruce and Sam Kinison believed in boundaries. I remember the late Robert Schimmel talking about how his comedy changed after the birth of his child. The twat jokes stopped "because that's the baby place."

I do think that if you want to play rough, let people know ahead of time. Paul Mooney would be a good example of that. A black comedian wants to take it to a white audience and say "nigger till you get a 'nigger headache'" fine. He's not hosting a late night talk show and pretending to be mainstream and inoffensive.

Chris Rock is notorious for opening his yap and being tasteless about most anything, even the death of his friend Richard Jeni. You come to expect that certain comics, including Gilbert Gottfried are going to be asked to be top themselves in crudity every time. Jeff Ross, literally the other day, had a joke censored from a Comedy Central roast. A ROAST. It was too tasteless...but that was his job

Thing is, nobody's suggesting Jeff Ross replace Jon Stewart. Jon Stewart's tweets are not like the racist ones from Trevor Noah. Let's amend that to "specific racist" ones, as I doubt you'll find anything quite so nasty on Asians, Native Americans or Muslims.

Noah has also been accused of being a misogynist. He's certainly played with the stereotype of the black man with a fondness for huge white asses. Call it the Kanye Syndrome. It drew the ire of a formerly fat woman with a huge white butt.

So hopefully as he takes the place of one of the most annoying comedians of our time (I'm talking about Jon's revolting facial expressions and his inability to tell a joke without over-acting), Trevor Noah will pick his shots a little better. Without inhibiting himself too much he should be mindful that aside from blacks, things are not all that swell for women, for gays, for Jews, or for those who have what Warren Zevon simply called "the awful awful diseases." The point of comedy isn't necessarily to blitz and destroy everyone and everything. "Comedian" isn't a synonym for "iconoclast." Sometimes comedy is just a silliness, and escape from the problems of the day, and if it's going for the jugular, then say so on the package. The old Pearl Williams and George Carlin albums had stickers suggesting there was "strong language" or "adults only" content.

No, Comedy Central didn't hire this guy because they thought, "that last name...ah, he's a Jew." They hired Noah because he's black, and it's one of the minority groups that is rising in numbers (isn't NYC now mostly black and Latino, not white?) OK. Fair enough. But with power comes responsibility.

Let's not forget that Jews are a minority as well. Their numbers are not rising. They are being targeted all over the world. Israel is routinely being threatened with extinction by Hamas and by Iran (and most everyone else).

If Comedy Central's top late night shows are no longer about politicians, and if the new direction is anti-Semitism and misogyny, just put up a caveat before the shows begin: "If you're a kike or a cunt, laugh at yourself, because WE are going to be doing just that." It might not be politically correct, or moral, or right, but neither is porn, or violent movies. Mostly this stuff is a safety valve that lets off ugly steam. Maybe there's a place for "redneck" humor, sick jokes, bad-taste ethnic humor and the rest of it, as long as it is so-labeled. People know what they're getting with Rush Limbaugh, too. They don't expect common sense or mainstream comments, any more than they expect Bill Maher to stop promoting pot and atheism.

Trevor Noah may simply be taking Comedy Central in a different direction. It could mean that Jews won't be tuning in. It would be nice if that's out of choice, not out of extinction.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Fun with Christina Freundlich

Aw, these clueless "Millennials."

The other day, the local papers were outraged at people taking selfies at the scene of the East Village explosion/fire.

One of the most glaring examples was an Instagram post from an Iowa Democratic Party worker, Christina Freundlich, who somehow decided to pose at the scene SMILING, and waving the peace symbol.

Huh? Even Ringo, in alcoholic delerium, wouldn't have done that.

But maybe this is her proud hobby. Christina travels the globe to take pix at disaster sites, and to rush to scenes of breaking news.

After snapping the photo at 7th Street...

And other items from her happy photo album...

Barely Remembered Nostalgia

More Photoshop phun.

I happened to see a vintage ad just after reading about the latest salmonella recall from the FDA.

(Blue Bonnet leaped out, and a different phrase leaped in.)

Typo Positive - Sign in the Window

Sign in the Window, 78th and 1st Avenue

I didn't have my camera with me when I first noticed it.

Fortunately, it was still there the next day. A person like this is hard to find.