July 10, 2005


  1. . . . "We had the notion that Kong's jawbone was smashed in an ancient fight and mended itself at a crooked angle," said Australian director Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) about his next big film, King Kong, which is due in theaters Dec. 14.
  2. . . . They showed a preview of it on NBC a couple weeks ago.
  3. . . . The same guy who did the movement for that Gollum character in Rings does Kong's movements too. He's got on-the-job experience. Oughta be good.
  4. "Can I get a little piece a that?" asked CBS Saturday Early Show anchor Russ Mitchell of Laurent Tourondel during the Chef on a Shoestring segment last weekend. It was garlic and rosemary roasted chicken. So Mitchell took a fork and picked up a piece and tasted it. He's not proud. None of this morning show's anchors are, unlike Matt Lauer or Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer, who barely take a taste of anything when they have a chef on their shows. They're too interested in their waistlines to fully indulge.
  5. . . . Then weatherman Ira Joe Fisher picked up a plate of a tomato and radicchio salad thing and noshed on that while substitute anchor Tracy Smith helped herself to the strawberry bread pudding. They're all not proud. More power to 'em.
  6. I rode the ABC7 News Express Metro train home the other day. There's advertising all wrapped around the outside of two cars and inside there are posters everywhere you look, proclaiming Washington's Channel 7's 5 o'clock news as the Number One newscast in the area. That would be the on-air talent of Leon Harris and Kathleen Matthews and Doug Hill with weather and Tim Brant with sports. And all the rest of the station's anchor talent lineup is on the outside and inside too: Doug McKelway, Alison Starling and Brian van de Graaff from Good Morning Washington and good old partners Maureen Bunyan and Gordon Peterson from the 6 and 11:00 news. So the gang's all there.
  7. . . . But now News4 Washington is fighting back and contending that it has "Washington's Most Watched News at 5." That would be Wendy Rieger and Susan Kidd.
  8. . . . And now it looks like Channel 7 is changing the wording to their on-air promos by now saying that they have "the most watched news team in Washington."
  9. . . . So what's the difference? Are they both right? It all depends on which interpretation of which ratings breakdown somebody's interpreting.
  10. CELEBRITY OP-ED-DOM. The New York Times printed a letter to the editor from Brooke Shields defending herself against charges by Tom Cruise regarding her need for psychiatry and drugs to combat postpartum depression. She called Cruise's comments a "disservice to mothers everywhere."
  11. . . . Do we think anything less of The New York Times for printing her pop culture rant? Have editorial standards gone the way of giving celebrities forums in well-respected newspapers?
  12. MISTAKE. In a previous Random column I mentioned that new NBC4 (Washington) weekend sports anchor was Lindy Czarniak. Her fellow anchors on the show call her that but her formal name-and the one they "matted" on the TV screen to identify her-is Lindsay. So I stand corrected. (She likes big, clunky necklaces, by the way.)
  13. Brad Pitt looked ridiculous as the only golden (blond)-haired warrior in the movie Troy. It was absurd. Was that image what people thought of when he was up on stage talking about aid for Africa during Live 8 or when he was talking seriously to Diane Sawyer a couple weeks ago in her one-on-one interview with him on Primetime Live?
  14. TAKE ME OUT. Richard Greenberg's play about "celebrity and scandal, prejudice and violence" in the world of baseball takes the forefront when a team's star player announces his homosexuality. It's at the Studio Theatre (through July 24) in Washington and it is good. Creatively staged, funny, meaningful, well-acted-and many times the players are in the buff. But I guess it's natural.
  15. Thanks to NBC's Don Teague for mentioning the previous hurricanes that hit Pensacola, Fla., during his report last weekend. People have short memories. He pointed out that Aaron, Opal and Ivan came before Dennis. And now there's Emily.
  16. SICK OF . . . Lance Armstrong and whether he'll win the Tour de France for the 7th time. Will this be his final tour? Will it help sell his new clothing line? (NOTE: Those bike shorts he wears in the Nike adds look ridiculous. Right around the crotch area is stitching that calls attention to his private parts. What's that for, lighter weight webbing that lets your family jewels breathe better?
  17. HE'S BAAACK. Lee Iacocca, 80 now, has returned to making commercials for Chrysler. And Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) does the first one with him. Lee is reading the paper and you hear him say yada, yada, yada and then he turns around to reveal himself. Iacocca's famous line from his previous commercials in the early 80's, "If you can find a better car, buy it," is said, this time, by Alexander.
  18. Sir Robert Geldof's gray hair turned brown just in time for Live 8. I guess he went to his hairdresser and requested a younger look for the concerts.
  19. I'm hearing Connie Francis's V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in ads for Kmart. It might be Connie's version but I can't be totally sure. That was a hit for her back in 1962.
  20. One thing you can say about Kevin Federline, Britney Spears's hubby, is that he's got a nice white set of choppers. Great looking teeth.
  21. Former CBS Saturday Early Show anchor Gretchen Carlson is doing the hourly and half-hourly headline newscasts on Fox News Channel. She'll probably be plugged into more later.
  22. MORE SPAM IN MY E-MAIL. This time I'm getting testimonials from men who have tried Spur-M for increased sperm count and "motility." (Motility means "capable of movement.") The product is called Spur-M Fertility Blend for Men and the letters of endorsement for the product is from men from the U.K. and Bonn, Germany.
  23. Do you think American Idol judge Paula Abdul gained back some credibility by testifying in California about negligent nail salons? Do you admire her for fighting the good fight against unsafe manicurists?
  24. UMA THURMAN HAS CELLULITE. She's the latest victim of the National Enquirer's paparazzi patrol which caught the actress bending over in Capri, Italy. The shot comes from behind and shows her in purple bikini bottoms. The cellulite is ... well, you can guess where. The picture caption says, Thunder Thighs Thurman! Nice.
  25. Queen Elizabeth really needs a makeover. Just a little bit more modern would do.
  26. Johnny Depp looks like a woman in those Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ads/previews for the movie.. It's weird. But so's he.
  27. Many of the morning anchor people stayed on the air after their shows were over last week in order to continue reporting about the London bombings. The O'Briens (Soledad and Miles) at CNN, Katie Couric on NBC and MSNBC (they also brought in big gun Brian Williams), Harry Smith on CBS and Charlie Gibson on ABC. So they earned their pay that day.
  28. . . . They should've changed clothes though. I guess they didn't have time. But I think anchors should always wear something different if they're on another program in the same day. That's what wardrobe's for. Wardrobe? In the news business? You bet.
  29. Do bomb-sniffing dogs get blown up much?
  30. George Bush looked sharp in that brown suit he wore outside in Gleneagles, Scotland, when he came out for a quick press conference to talk about the London bombings. It kind of had a sharkskin sheen to it but it was conservative. But it looked good on him and not everybody looks good in brown.
  31. IF I EVER HEAR IT AGAIN . . . Dancing in the Moonlight by King Harvest (1973, Perception). The little keyboard treacles at the beginning of the song ... They really get to me.
  32. ABC showed Gwyneth (Paltrow) and baby Apple during hubby/daddy Chris Martin's performance (Coldplay) at Live 8. Someone I know called the shots of the family gratuitous.
  33. Good Morning America welcomed a new regular to the program last week: Mike Barz. They had a Barz Cam on him during the ex-military man's road trip from the Midwest to New York City. He'll be telling "the stories of America" for the morning program. (Hey, that sounds like what NBC's Brian Williams says he does.) On Barz's first day, standing outside the Times Square studios with Charlie and Diane and Robin and Tony, he excused himself from the crowd and said he had to "go to the bathroom real quick."
  34. INTERESTING. George Stephanopoulos, in referring to the terrorist cell that might have been responsible for the London bombings, said to Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security chief, that "basically al Qaeda franchises are cropping up" all over the place. That's a good way of putting it. Just like Subways and McDonald's do, I guess.
  35. . . . Chertoff was excellent on TV Sunday. He was on enough: he did This Week, Meet the Press and Face the Nation. He seems like he really knows what he's talking about. ADVICE: Just keep your nose clean and don't get caught up in the politics.
  36. NEW THING, SORT OF. During Al Roker's (Today show) weather segments over the weekend, when he talked about the amount of rain in Florida due to Hurricane Dennis, they showed a full-screen graphic that was labeled RAINFALL AMOUNTS and it was raining right in the graphic. Obviously it was just an effect but it was fun. It came to life.
  37. . . . Talking about life ... You, yourself, oughta get one.
  38. Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, now has to share owner Sally's time with Gidget, the bare-eyed cockatoo. When Sally takes Hanalie out for a walk in the neighborhood, Gidget goes along, perched on Sally's shoulder. What do the neighbors think?
  39. HE'S A REAL MAN. NBC4 sports anchor/reporter Wally Bruckner. Why? Because he says Tour de France like most people say the country name and NOT Tour de FRAHnce. Thank you.
  40. . . . But in a later segment of News4 Today he said it the French way. So I was disappointed. I admired his courage before.
  41. Is Miles O'Brien (CNN) going up in the shuttle? There's been a lot of talk about it. Will he take his wife Soledad? Oh, I'm sorry, she's not his wife.
  42. . . . Lance Armstrong is kissing a lot of pretty girls along the way of the Tour de France but I don't see Sheryl Crow anywhere in sight.
  43. UH . . . Pretty Girls Everywhere-Eugene Church and The Fellows, on Class. 1959. The same label that the original Rock-in Robin was on by Bobby Day. That was 1958. And in 1972 Michael Jackson did a remake of it on Motown.



© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts

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