|May 10, 2004
I'LL ALWAYS LOVE MY MAMA
- . . . That song was used by Kmart in its Mothers Day TV ad campaign. It was good to hear The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) again. The Intruders did that song (1973) and the original version is a long cut. All of the group's hits were produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, architects of the Philly Sound.
- . . . And it's good to hear another Philly Sound group on the tube: The Spinners. Their I'll Be Around is played for an Ameriquest - whatever that is - commercial.
- Mr. Big Stuff says Rummy (Donald Rumsfeld) is a dummy.
- So Friends turned out to get the fourth biggest TV audience ever. Largest was M*A*S*H (CBS, 1983) with 106 million viewers), followed by Cheers (NBC, 1993) with 80.4 million) and Seinfeld (NBC, 1998) with 76.3). Were they fourth because of audience backlash due to the over over-hyped promotion or because of the number of other TV choices (cable, etc.)?
- HOWARD DEAN. A talk show? Oh no. Let's not see him fail again. But he's in good hands on this one. Reports say he's been talking with Viacom and Judge Judy's producer about doing something.
- A friend of mine who was at the White House Correspondents Dinner said Ben Affleck was surprised at the number of "Washington Wives" who were all over him. He's used to a younger audience and didn't think people in D.C. would be so impressed. Also, they say he acted like a nice guy.
- Al Gore seems to be aging fast. He's put on weight, his hair's slicked back and he's got an older look now. Looks more and more like Darrell Hammond of Saturday Night Live than he does himself. Will his new cable TV network thing make it?
- NEW FACE. Betty Nguyen, on CNN. She subbed for the Wolf Man (Wolf Blitzer) one day last week and was good. She's Vietnamese and previously worked at KTVT/Channel 11 in Dallas, a CBS affiliate. She visits her homeland once a year on behalf of Help the Hungry, an aid group that helps out flood victims along the Mekong Delta which floods the area during the monsoon season.
- CORRECTION. I said last week that Susan Roberts, former ABC7 News reporter and anchor, had moved to News4 Washington. She's actually with the NBC, the network. Sorry. There is a difference.
- Lionel Richie sang Just For You from his same-titled new album on Jay Leno a week or so ago. I thought it/he was good. But critics aren't liking it. Bad press, but who cares what they say?
- This is a little late but . . . Good Morning America has a new open. It starts cold with video and voiced-over headlines by Charlie Gibson or Diane Sawyer. Then the formal opening shows shots of New York and the show's Times Square studios with a female announcer saying, "Live from Times Square . . . This is Good Morning America . . . with Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer." It's taking me a while to get used to it. (I liked the previous, lower-keyed one myself.)
- Maria Shriver. She didn't leave NBC altogether. She's got a good deal. She's California's first lady AND does special projects for NBC, the network. (She left NBC News but has a an "exclusive" interview with Roy Horn - the one who was mauled - of Siegfried & Roy, coming up in the fall.) So I guess she's a political journalist or something.
- Rosie O'Donnell will star in an upcoming CBS movie, Riding the Bus With My Sister. She'll play a "mentally disabled woman." That shouldn't be hard.
- HAIR EXTENSIONS. Everybody wears ‘em, it seems. Beyonce, Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing, Brad Pitt in Troy. And that Asian girl who is one of the dancers on Soul Train. Her blondish hair goes all the way down her back past her buttocks, for crissakes.
- So how is CSI: New York gonna be different from CSI: Miami or the original CSI? Supposedly the new one, starring Gary Sinise and Melina Kanakaredes, will delve more deeply into the characters' private lives. It'll be introduced next Monday on CSI: Miami when a murder case takes place and Horatio (David Caruso) goes up north. Wonder how the Caruso and Sinise characters will get along? Hmm.
- Is redheaded, ballad-singing former American Idol contestant John Stevens the son of Conan O'Brien? People were asking. And they were asking if he was related to that Carrot Top guy too.
- At the end of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace said Happy Mothers Day to all and also Happy Birthday to his father (Mike, of 60 Minutes). He's in his 80s, believe it or not.
- CURRENT TREND. Layering t-shirts. The Gap is doing it in ads for girls' fashion with tank tops and others are doing it with regular tees. Sorta silly.
- Frito Lay is now selling Rold Gold Heartzels, heart-shaped pretzels that are "certified by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy snack." Now, can they do something about potato chips to make them sound healthy too? I like them better.
- Book publishers Simon & Schuster were pitching Hillary Clinton's Living History as a Mothers Day gift. A sticker on the book cover says it has a new Afterward. Geesh, time for that? The book's not that old yet for things to have changed that much.
- BACK: TEENA MARIE. The soulful R&B singer-songwriter-producer has her first hit single (Still in Love) in 13 years off a new album, La Dona. She took a break to raise her daughter but has kept performing over the years on weekends, etc. She was a protegee of funkster Rick James in their Motown days and still does shows with him. The blue-eyed soul sister has been known to tear the roof off in her concerts. Unbelievable voice and talent.
- Eric Clapton says his "lowest depth of misery" is watching English TV (I thought it was supposed to be good.); what he dislikes most about himself is his eyebrows; and that his greatest extravagance is wristwatches. All this revealed in the current Vanity Fair/Proust Questionnaire, that Q&A thing that appears in the back of the mag.
- It's hard for me to say cicadas right. It usually comes out chi-cadas for me instead of secadas. Sorry.
- They say the decibel levels in Van Helsing are high.
- Now there's Newman's Own Light Balsamic Vinagrette salad dressing. Uh, I'll take a pass on that.
- Can we please take a break from Al Franken? Talk about overexposed.
- Were Steve Tyler (Aerosmith) and Carly Simon separated at birth? (The mouths)
- Hanalie, dog in the neighborhood, went to Atlantic City with owner Sally the other day. Yes, that canine really gets around. Are casinos pet-friendly?
- UH . . . Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye - The Casinos on Fraternity. 1967.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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