|January 6, 2006
HE NEEDS TO BE A BETTER JUDGE OF CHARACTER
- . . . Former Washington, D.C., mayor and current D.C. councilman Marion Barry does. Something's always happening with that guy. This time he was held up earlier in the week by some young guys who were hanging out in front of his apartment. They helped him up with his groceries and then left. But they came back later and went in and robbed him. Put a cocked gun to his head in the kitchen. Took his wallet with cash and credit cards.
- . . . Barry later said he was "kind of hurt" because he's always been known to root for the underdog. He wants the robbers to come forward but he said he was gonna urge authorities not to prosecute. Can he do that?
- MARIAH CAREY: Va Va Vooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!
- . . . She certainly was decked out on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve show. She rose up out of a trap door wearing feathers and a powder puffy thing and bangles and jangles and strutted and primped herself on the platform stage outside in Times Square. Wasn't she cold?
- . . . And later she came inside and sat with co-host Ryan Seacrest and then with Mr. Clark himself. She was Ryan's first kiss when the clock struck 12. So she was all over the place and practically became a co-co-host herself.
- DICK CLARK WASN'T OUTSIDE. People thought he would be and were hoping to see him in person. But he's never down on the street mingling with the hoardes on that show. He's always been up on a rooftop. They should know that. What, did they expect to go up and touch him?
- . . . So they had him sitting inside a studio with a view of Times Square in the window behind him and the camera was locked on a non-close-up of the long reigning TV host.
- . . . He wasn't up to snuff completely but he did what he said he'd do. He wanted to be on the show that he started. Was he brave, courageous? Was it morbid, as one TV writer called it? Was he arrogant for doing it? These are the questions people asked.
- . . . The next morning on Today, Katie Couric talked to a neurologist, Dr. Orrin Derwinsky, who said that Clark probably would never be back to where he was before he had the stroke. That's nice news to broadcast.
- . . . Regis Philbin was pretty good on Fox. He knows New York and it was a good presence to have him there. He's almost like an ambassador for the city. He sang New York, New York and some tunes (Winter Wonderland with wifey Joy) from his big band Christmas album but sounded a bit off-key. And his roving co-host, a very hoarse-voiced Jillian Barberie (who's she?) was pretty obnoxious.
- . . . Carson Daly hosted on NBC with comedian Wanda Sykes. He was dry as a bone and unfun. They were talking about Times Square and New Year's and togetherness and what a community scene it was down there and Wanda said, "Yeah, I saw a guy and he just dropped his gun." Ha Ha Ha. Melissa Stark of NBC News was their roving reporter and she did a good job. Her professional experience showed through.
- . . . And Anderson Cooper hosted CNN's. They did a lot of split-screen coverage to show various places at the same time. They also featured drag queens up on a float in New Orleans or something. So what?
- "I'm preparing my statement at this time." That's what 16-year-old media savvy high school student Farris Hassan told reporters when he returned home to Ft. Lauderdale from his solo trip to Iraq to immerse himself in journalism and learn more about the country. What a determined young man. And a stupid one. He didn't tell anyone where he was going and everybody was upset because he was missing.
- . . . "I've got a big test to study for (calculus). I've got a lot of things going on." Yeah, guess so, brat boy, after getting the whole world in an uproar.
- Tom Hanks looks better with his new hairstyle. It's seen in the upcoming DaVinci Code movie. Longer in the back. Got some product on it. Gives him a looser, more up-to-date look.
- RAMPING UP THE SEX FACTOR. That's what it looks like CBS's Without a Trace is doing. Viv and Samantha (Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Poppy Montgomery) are visably showing more cleavage by wearing tops that dip lower. It was noticeable on this week's show. Poppy's always been the sexpot but now Viv's come out of her shell since her operation and she's strutting her stuff. Changing her hairstyle too.
- The New York Post featured a picture of "She Bangs" Ricky Martin in a skimpy, Speedo-like bathing suit, scratching his um … well, that area down there. (Well, a man's gotta do what he's gotta do.) But the actual hand contact was pixilated out.
- TO HOWIE MANDEL (Host of NBC's Deal or No Deal): The show's good but grow some head hair and get rid of the little patch under the lower lip. The Mr. Clean/pirate look is a bit extreme.
- Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld fame doesn't want to see Brokeback Mountain because he's afraid he might become gay. "I'm a very susceptible person, easily influenced," he said. He wrote an op-ed piece in last Sunday's New York Times titled Cowboys Are My Weakness.
- Katie Couric danced with star John O'Hurley (a waltz, I think) on the Today show today and interviewed him at the same time. Multi-tasker. Is she really gonna become the next anchor for the CBS Evening News doing those kinds of things?
- That part Diane Keaton played in the CBS TV movie, Surrender Dorothy, was custom-made for her. Quirky, oddball. And she fit right into the role of a mother whose daughter dies in a car crash and who turns to her circle of friends at their shared summer home. A little pretentious but overall, it was alright. At least that's what I thought.
- Ann Curry's hair is flowing down like Rapunzel, for crissakes. Couple that with that low-spoken morning delivery voice and you've got some sex appeal going on, I guess.
- HOW DO THEY DO THAT? Those Fred and Ethel (I Love Lucy) commercials for Medicare drug coverage (PacifiCare)? They use episodes from the 1950's TV show and make it look like they're talking about stuff today and it looks pretty legit. They're funny. Ethel's talking about saving money with the plan and Fred's all ears to that. But if you look closely you can tell not all the words they utter are synched up but they've done a pretty good job.
- POOR DESIGN. The new at&t logo. The old one - AT&T - looked better. On the new one the lower-case a and t look old-fashioned and the ampersand (&) is too big. And the redesigned world globe? Looks like one of those orange Creme Savers but it's blue. Liked the previous one better. So there.,
- So what should MSNBC without the Microsoft affiliation be called? Why not NBCNews.com or something silly like that?
- OH GOODIE. Now I get to look at food packages that I buy to see how much trans fat and allergens they're putting in. That's a new thing that started Jan. 1. What a year it's gonna be.
- In New York on New Year's they dropped the Waterford crystal ball. In Atlanta they dropped a peach. And in Havre de Grace, Md. (where?), my hometown, they dropped a duck. Nephew Timmy took his goose call with him and blew it to raise a ruckus in the huge crowd that showed up. Somebody else had one and they blew theirs. But the calls didn't attrack any live birds, ducks or geese.
- Brad Pitt's hair looks dyed again. This time it's dark brown and long-ish but not as long as it was in Troy. And he's got some stubble growing on his chinny, chin chin. (He likes to dress down you know.)
- Joe Krebs on News4 Washington got his tongue tied this morning and said that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was still in a comma. But he said coma right after.
- COMPLAINT. Those USA Today newspaper boxes-and there are millions-ought to work better. You really have to slowly put those quarters in and they have to register one-by-one before you pull that handle down on the door to reach in and get your paper. One false move and the door won't open. I've lost money doing it. And I'm tired of it.
- . . . I've noisily rocked that whole machine at my subway stop back and forth on the sidewalk many mornings, trying to get my money back and sometimes the money comes back to me and sometimes it doesn't. No wonder people vandalize the damn things.
- HE'S HOME. Weatherman Tony Perkins is back in Washington on the local Fox Morning News in this week after leaving the network (ABC, Good Morning America). Promos ran all last week announcing it. Of course, he does much more than weather. One day he was out in front of Ben's Chili Bowl for a little feature piece. So how many times has that been done?
- On last Friday's World News Tonight they ended the show with a piece about longtime Peter Jennings and it was well done. And the music they used in it was Here's To Life, a slow, jazzy, pensive rendering by Shirley Horn (PolyGram, 1992). Jennings liked jazz. It was a tasteful tribute.
- SHE LIKES TO IMBIBE. Natalie Morales, sitting in for Campbell Brown on last Saturday's weekend Today show, expressed her interest in an upcoming holiday segment's subject matter: "I'm always up for a lesson in champagne." She sounds like a party gal.
- I'm thinking about not renewing my TV Guide subscription like my cousin did. The redesign is too much to deal with. Pictures and mini-articles all over the place. Lacking on listings. It's turned into Us Weekly, People, Star or OK! . Specific TV show information is lacking. It's a dud now.
- "I like to make quesadiddas," said a caller-in to QVC while the talent on the show was hawking and demonstrating the use of Cook's Essentials non-stick 12" pizza griddle pans. It's quesadilla, you idiot!
- Mr. Highfalutin has decided that he's buying an Apple computer for home use. He's had it with PCs. He's going wireless with it too, he said defiantly. "And I'm gonna get Foxfire (as his preferred Internet browser)." Another idiot. It's Firefox.
- THEY ADDED ANOTHER DAY TO THE SIGN-OFF. "I'm Kristine Johnson. Thanks for watching Early Today. This, your first stop of the day. Today on your NBC station. Have a great day." Good God.
- Former network news anchor/host/reporter Giselle Fernandez has gone on to bigger and better things. She's now competing with partner Jonathan Roberts on ABC's Dancing With the Stars which returned this week. Boy, she's come up. She's aged a tad but there she was, gliding across the dance floor.
- "TRANSAMERICA." That Felicity Huffman movie, the one who plays Lynette on Desperate Housewives. In Trans she plays a man who wants to become a woman and is pre-op. But you never see her looking like a man; her appearance is more like a man in drag with the voice lowered. So she's getting ready for the operation but something gets in the way-like a son (Toby, played by Kevin Zegers) she never knew she had who turns up. But she doesn't let him know that he's her father and it's not obvious because she's looking like a woman anyway. It's a sort of road movie. The acting is good, both her and the kid. He might be a star someday.
- . . . But that lowered voice of hers got to me. Too monotone and quiet all the time. The sound of it never varies. Overdone. The delivery should've been re-thought.
- I CAN'T BELIEVE I ATE THAT WHOLE THING. The new Alka-Seltzer commercials that aired before Christmas featured Everybody Loves Raymond's Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts (Frank and Marie Barone on the series). He's sitting on the edge of the bed in his pajamas moaning because he doesn't feel so good and she's lying on the other side trying to get to sleep. It's humorous but not as funny as it could've been, if you ask me. But anyway, didn't the original slogan go, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing"? Why change it?
- DOWNLOADING BODCASTS. That's Playboy's answer to podcasting. The free, PG-rated video clips featuring bunnies and the "wit and wisdom" of magazine founder Hugh Hefner are now being offered for viewing on portable players like Apple's iPod. Sexier content is on the way, reported Sam Gustin of The New York Post.
- DISAPPOINTED. In King Kong's box office. Thought it would hit bigger. Narnia is ahead of it and who woulda thunk? Kong director Peter Jackson shot himself in the foot by making the movie too long. Three hours + is a bit much for people to sit through and this might be the main reason why the film didn't open bigger. Somebody should've told him no on that.
- Are Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric going to be co-anchors on the new CBS Evening News? There was a tabloid report about it in last week.
- Mr. Big Stuff, a movie soundtrack aficionado, points out that composer John Williams has scored four movies this past year: War of the Worlds, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich. That's pretty much unbelievable.
- . . . So do they all sound like Star Wars?
- A unflattering picture of actor Craig T. Nelson on the National Enquirer's Star Flaws page said that his neck looked like a turkey's wattle. (Wattle: A fleshy, dependent process usually about the head or neck as of a bird). So the man's getting a little older.
- CNN morning anchor Daryn Kagan has a three-legged cat. She added this personal touch to a news story she read about another cat which lost one of its legs in a fire. But Kagan doesn't know how her cat lost its leg; it came to her like that.
- Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, is back from her California trip with owner Sally. As mentioned in the last column, she had her portrait done while there and sat on Sally's lap for two hours while the artist painted.
- NO WAY FOR A NETWORK TO ACT. Everybody else had a New Year's Eve show except CBS. They're the #1 TV network and they couldn't come up with something for that special night? Inexcusable. They took themselves out of the running. Why? They're one of the Big Three. I guess you know where Les Moonves's priorities are.
- DONE IN BY TECHNOLOGY. Miscommunication over messages relayed via cell phones by authorities caused the people of West Virginia to think that loved ones trapped in the mines were still alive. But in the fury of searching and relaying information instantaneously so that the whole world, courtesy of modern communication, could be informed, they became misinformed. The miners were not alive. It was like that old telephone game kids play where the original message changes by the time it gets back to the original sender.
- UH . . . The Worst That Could Happen-The Brooklyn Bridge Featuring Johnny Maestro, on Buddah, 1969.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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