April 14, 2006


  1. . . . I thought so.  (In the new one ABC had on earlier this week and not the original one which is on this coming weekend). 
  2. . . . Ramses, the pharaoh’s (Paul Rhys) little boy son, had the eyes of the Today show host.  All the young Egyptian boys wore heavy eye makeup a la Cleopatra in the movie and those eyes spelled K-A-T-I-E to me.   So she’s everywhere.
  3. . . . This miniseries was not the best but I watched all four hours.  I like biblical and it is the season, you know.
  4. . . . Dougray Scott played Moses but he was no Charlton Heston.  And in the end, after 40 years in the desert, when they showed that his hair and beard had turned gray, they only stayed with the scene for a few seconds and then the whole megillah movie was over.  Ended abruptly, in a flash.  I wanted more.
  5. . . . Also, the voice of God in this version wasn’t dramatic enough.  The narrator didn’t go out of his way to emote anything.  I wasn’t satisfied with this aspect of the production either.
  6. “WE’RE HAVING BERLUSCONI (Silvio) …” sang a co-worker of mine to tune of the old Chef Boyardee Beefaroni commercial.  (The Italian prime minister has been in the news because of elections there but it looks like he lost to Romano Prodi.)  What fun we have on the job.
  7. Cheeta, (correct name spelling) Tarzan’s chimp from the movies, just turned 74 years old and they gave him sugar-free cake and Diet Coke to celebrate.  I wonder, is he diabetic?  He starred in the many jungle films of the ‘30s and ‘40s with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan and is in retirement now at a refuge in Palm Springs, Calif., run by his owner Dan Westfall.
  8. . . . “Too Much Monkey Business
  9. FYI:  Mandisa, last week’s American Idol surprise castoff, does have a last name and that would be:  Hundley
  10. Rapper/actor LL Cool J has a new album out called Todd Smith, which is his real name.  Actually his full real name is James Todd Smith and he has used other variations of his birth name:  J.T. Smith, James T. Smith and James Todd Smith.  Got all that?
  11. . . . Mr. Big Stuff reminds us that LL Cool J stands for Ladies Love Cool James.  Do you, ladies?
  12. Looks like Diane Sawyer got a one-on-one with Tom Cruise.  It’s scheduled for this Friday at 9 on ABC’s Primetime, just before 20/20.  The promo shows Diane asking all the important questions and reaction shots from Tom but he doesn’t say anything.  And it looks like the interview was done on a soundstage somewhere with an airplane parked in the background. 
  13. Geena Davis really needs to get off that President of the United States shtick.  In every interview, she and her show, Commander in Chief, are compared to the real P.O.T.U.S. and she feeds into it and I think it’s getting real tiring.  Get another role. 
  14. BEATLES SNAFUThe Capitol Albums, Vol. 2 was released earlier this month but there was a boo-boo.  The CD collection contains four early albums featuring the stereo and mono versions (mixes) of each.  But the original mono masters of two of the albums in the set – Beatles VI and Rubber Soul – didn’t make it on to the initial pressing of the box set.  Instead the cuts were “step-down masters,” said a Capitol Records spokesperson.  People were upset.  But in the end new pressings of the set were made and people who bought the collection will be able to get the correctly mixed albums without spending any more money.
  15. . . . Mono, stereo, master, original master, digitally remastered.  How many versions of a song can there be, for crissakes.  It’s confusing.
  16. Jessica and Ashlee Simpson each had on a pair of those huge Chanel-type sunglasses that are so popular now with the ladies when they arrived last Sunday at Sydney International Airport on their way to the MTV Australia Video Music AwardsJessica’s were the big, round ones.  Ashlee’s pair was a variation that was in the octagonal shape mode.  But the bigness of those things sometimes goes overboard and they look ridiculous.
  17. OH GEEVanity Fair’s up to it again.  Their May edition is a Special Green Issue and deals with global warming.  There’s a green-colored motif going on, on the cover, and sitting down in what looks like a green, mossy forest setting are Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Al Gore and – who else? – George Clooney (he’s everywhere), all dressed in shades of the appropriate green.  And standing up behind them, dwelling in the “forest,” is Julia Roberts, looking like a nymph dressed in some silky green gown complete with an olive branch in her hair.  Good God!
  18. OH … And Elle magazine has a Green Issue coming out too.  So everybody’s getting environmental for the spring.
  19. . . . Can we just not interview George Clooney anymore?  Can somebody put him away for about two years?  I don’t care what he thinks about global warming, politics or anything else. 
  20. Last week the promos for Meet the Press called its interview with John Kerry,Exclusive” again.  Tim Russert interviewed him for almost a whole half-hour segment.  But showing up later that same day on CNN was John Kerry on Wolf Blitzer’s Late Edition.  So how exclusive was it to have Kerry on Press?   These hyper descriptive terms the networks use to promote things are downright inaccurate.  Why, there oughta be a law! 
  21. . . . You wanna snooze?  Just listen to John Kerry sometime.
  22. Chris Matthews likened Katie Couric to Hillary Clinton on his Sunday morning talk show last week.  Is Katie’s move to CBS as important and on a similar plane as is Hillary’s potential run for the White House?  Guess so.
  23. . . . Couldn’t the blabbermouth broadcaster have thought of another topic to end his show on?
  24. Bernadette Peters was on This Week With George Stephanopoulos last Sunday talking about dogs and the ASPCA.
  25. LUCKY NUMBER SLEVEN.  Crime movie starring Josh Harnett as Slevin – not Seven – as a victim of mistaken identity who is drawn into the underworld of rival mobsters and crime bosses.   Everybody’s in it:  Lucy Liu, Bruce Willis, Sir Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Stanley Tucci.  Pretty good, I thought.  Like a junior Quentin Tarantino movie – this one directed by Paul McGuigan -- but physically not as dark and lurky.  Lots of twists and turns and things to figure out.
  26. . . . Ben Kingsley and the Sir thing.  Apparently he insists on the British title being used.  It sounds a bit much.  He oughta get over that.
  27. Well, Bucky (Covington) got the ax on American Idol Wednesday night.  I thought he might get it.  So now it’s down to seven.  Next week:  “the top seven take on the American songbook with the sage advice of the legendary Rod Stewart,” says the A.I. Web site
  28. . . . IF YOU ASK ME . . .  I don’t think the show’s that good this year.  No standout talent.  They’re all just sort of okay.  No Kelly Clarksons, Ruben Studdards, Clay Aikens.  Even last year’s winner, Carrie Underwood, didn’t do it for me.  I think the show’s talent’s going downhill. 
  29. . . . Someone wrote in to an online discussion on washingtonpost.com to say that he/she loathed Kellie Pickler.  “I would dial the phone until my fingers bled if I cold vote her off,” complained the person.
  30. KATIE COURIC.  Two days after she announced she was leaving the Today show for the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes, there she was, sitting at the anchor desk with a monkey on her lap.  Obviously, the Today show does lighter fare than a standard hard news broadcast.
  31. Wolf Blitzer wasn’t in The Situation Room on Wednesday or Thursday.  What gives?  Is something going on?  The indefatigable newsman is never not there.  Subbing was Heidi Collins but she’s no Wolf.
  32. FOR THE RECORD.  As mentioned in a previous Random Thoughts column – and it still bugs me every time I hear it -- the original announce copy for the classic Alka-Seltzer commercial said, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”  The new version of it, which “stars” Peter Boyle, Ray Romano’s father in Everybody Loves Ray, and his wife (Doris Roberts, who you don’t’ really see; she’s in the bed lying on her side away from the camera), has the “indigested” Boyle saying,  “I can’t believe I ate that whole thing.”  Nobody would say that.  They’d say the.  So why did some jerk decide to change it? 
  33. GREAT VOICE STILLEDGene Pitney, 65.  The Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa man.  Last Wednesday, died in a hotel room in Cardiff, Wales where he was performing.  People who attended the concert said he was terrific that night.  Americans have not heard much from the ‘60s hitmaker for many, many decades.  He left the scene in this country and went to live abroad.  (Many say he was squelched out of the pop music scene because of the British Invasion.)
  34. . . . He was a songwriter and wrote that great hit single, He’s a Rebel (1962), which was recorded by The Crystals and produced by Phil Spector.  And he wrote some other top hit songs too.  Some have compared his voice to that of Roy Orbison.  He often double-tracked himself on his recordings: (I Wanna) Love My Life Away, Only Love Can Break A Heart, It Hurts To Be In Love.  He had great material from some of the best pop songwriters of the day but he didn’t write most of his own hit records.  In the mid-‘60s his hit streak waned but he retained his audience following in England and Europe and had many chart-toppers there.
  35. Meredith Vieira’s already telling tabloid tales, giving a personal story to More magazine about an abusive relationship she once had at the beginning of her career.  “He would slap me and then make up.  It escalated to the point where he actually threw me out of the apartment  naked.  I sat out all night in the stairwell, and the next morning he let me in,” she recounts. 
  36. . . . I don’t know whether I want to know this about my future Today show co-anchor/host.
  37. GIMME A BREAK!  A pharmacist for CVS cries in a TV commercial that’s running now.  Treacly music, the whole choked-up thing.  Crying because she cares so much about the people she serves.  Not the one I go to.
  38. FROM “THE CURMUDGEON’S CORNER.”  A co-worker of mine, in response to hearing me talk about Matt Lauer’s re-up with the Today show for five more years and all the money he’s gonna make ($13-15 million a year), said, “I wouldn’t know him if he walked in the front door.” 
  39. UH . . . She Came In Through the Bathroom WindowJoe Cocker, on A&M Records, 1969.




© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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