Archive for January, 2010

WHO DAT!

It’s been a few years since there’s a been a Super Bowl that everyone can get behind. Given the history of the Saints franchise and the obvious struggles New Orleans has been through and how tear jerkingly special the bond between the fans and the team is, I’d say it’s right up there if not more profound than the miracle Patriots first Super Bowl run with Tom (Who is this kid?)Brady knocking off the juggernaut Rams of Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk.

Although a team called “The Patriots” in the Super Bowl following 9/11 stands on it’s own, my point is that’s the last time I really cared about a team that wasn’t my own and felt it was a bona-fide national phenomena that went beyond normal regional sports rooting interests. The Saints are a national feel good story, if you can’t get behind Who Dat Nation you have no soul.

And aside from all that it’s the first time since 1993 that the #1 seeds from the NFC and AFC made it to the Super Bowl. Should be a great game…..but The Saints have Jeff Bridges level momentum right now, they’re gonna smash fools at the Soup Bo just like Crazy Heart gon’ snatch dem Oscaz!

The Future, Conan?

Well it’s over, this chapter of Tonight show drama anyhow. Conan O’Brien will be back on another network in the fall, I suspect FOX or perhaps Comedy Central and it will be a much better situation for he and the crew creatively. Conan will be free and grandma will have her Leno back at 11:35, all will be right with the world.

I just watched the final episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and in keeping with Coco’s request, I will not delve into cynicism in this post. Conan in his closing statement as it were, spoke directly to the audience and urged us(the young ones in particular) not to be cynical and thanked NBC for his time on The Tonight Show and employing him for 20 years from his time as a writer on SNL to now. His message was that if you work hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen to you. I cried a little…and also before that when Neil Young played “Long May You Run”, one of my favorite songs ever a and perfect song for the moment.

That is why I love Conan O’Brien. Plenty of the jokes and bits on his show over the years were plenty snarky and poked fun at plenty of folks but I would say for every barb he threw at a Paris Hilton for example, he made himself the butt of the joke on twice as many occasions and it was always done under the umbrella of lighthearted fun. Conan is not a mean or bitter guy, most great comedians have well documented demons that make them who they are but Conan is a rare exception, in the vein of a Jerry Seinfeld I suppose…I can’t think of a better or closer example off the top of my head. Jay Leno is certainly not a happy person, David Letterman is a guy I’d like to have a beer with but that dude has mountains of issues. Conan took the high road on his way out because he is a well adjusted, smart and grateful human being.

I have been a Conan fan since I was about 12 or 13, staying up wicked late whenever possible to catch Conan, Andy, Max, Joel, Abe Vigoda,  La Bamba and Robert Smigel get crazy with the cheeze whiz. When the day finally came and Conan took his seat on The Tonight Show it was unbelievable, finally someone with a connection to my generation who won’t just give the audience what they expect at the premiere slot in late night. I considered it as important to the comedy world as Barack Obama’s election was in American politics and race relations….I was a little excited.

Because I feel so strongly about Conan as a fan of his and the late night genre in general(I’ve seen every episode of The Larry Sanders Show multiple times) I constructed an editorial Illustration to encapsulate what has happened here with Conan and NBC. The sun will rise on a glorious new day for my Coney Island baby,  he’ll be back and most likely better than ever in just a few months but I could not let this time pass without making light of this most heinous blunder NBC has perpetrated here. While also paying homage to Conan’s enduring spirit, soldiering on with perfect hair and plastic smile. Not letting the man get him down but not letting it go unnoted the great injustices that have occurred.

The fine folks at Nakatomi have brought this Illustration to life. Enjoy:

And in other news, I will be back to blogging this week. Working on multiple interviews and new prints, see you back here soon!

WKRP in Cincinnati

I needed something on in the background while working over the weekend, I found WKRP on Hulu and had a weekend long viewing mitzvah. I watched every episode available, all 22 episodes of the first season.

This show was a very hazy memory growing up, it was one of the first shows I remember watching re-runs of as a kid. Night Court and Cheers would follow and I would eventually grow to understand what I was watching but WKRP was so early on that I only remember Loni Anderson’s big Aqua Net hair and big tits and maybe Johnny Fever’s mustache and bug eyes.

After viewing, I can recommend  WKRP in Cincinnati for the following reasons:

It’s a great time capsule for the style, music and general attitude of the late 70’s and early 80’s. The clothing and hair are worth watching for sure.

Unintentional comedy: The character of Andy(Gary Sandy), the station manager is the precursor to Matthew McConaughey. Watch ANY episode, they are the same person…minus the bongo’s. Makes sense I guess, WKRP probably would have been right in McConaughey’s wheelhouse growing up.

Insert Mooseknuckle joke here _________.

The fake music is great too. In the show they’ll be on the air and say “Alright! Here’s Heart of Glass by Blondie..” and then play a song that is definitely not Blondie, just some generic guitar riff that gets faded down pronto. Also at the end of each episode during the credits they play this loud rockin’ fake song that’s somewhere between an up tempo Elton John song and a piano driven Lynyrd Skynyrd tune with completely unintelligible lyrics, why not just have fake lyrics? The lyrics sound like mid-90’s Adam Sandler gibberish.

If you’re interested in the radio industry at all(or what radio stations where like back when radio was a profitable enterprise) WKRP is an interesting watch in that regard. The main Jock, Johnny Thunder was fired from his previous job in Los Angeles for uttering a word far too hot for broadcast, the word? the guess it, “Booger”.

There is a Ginger vs. Mary Anne thing with Loni Anderson(Jennifer) and Jan Smithers(Bailey) where Loni Anderson’s character (like Ginger on Gilligans Island) was the obvious sex object of the show but in hindsight it’s pretty obvious that the real winner is Jan Smithers(just as time proved Mary Ann the obvious choice over Ginger). I mean Loni’s got a better body(debatable) but she has the face of an ewok and that hair is retarded.

Winner winner, chicken dinner.

And as far as the characters and the performances I would put it on par with M*A*S*H. They do go for a little bit of a Hawkeye and Trapper John thing with Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap. If you’re a pop culture junkie like myself and or appreciate classic television, WKRP is a must.

I’m just waiting for Hulu to update to the second season…


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