|October 26, 2005
WHAT ABOUT NAMES THAT BEGIN WITH X, Y OR Z?
- . . . The hurricane naming folks stopped at W with Wilma and now are using the Greek alphabet to run through. So the next tropical depression was named Alpha. That name's hard to relate to. We like our hurricanes personalized with real human names. It means more.
- . . . What about Xavier or Yvonne or Zelda? Granted, you don't hear these names much lately but they're legitimate. I mean, how many people nowadays are named Wilma?
- . . . We need to put those National Hurricane Center people to work.
- . . . ABC's David Muir reported the other day that there was a sign in Key West that said, Wilma, Go Back to Bedrock. Ha Ha Ha.
- FORCED BANTER. That's what's going on with the Early Today show on NBC when the anchor person (Kristine Johnson) throws it to the weather forecaster. It's forced chit chat. Weather person stands up and to the side of anchor desk, faces anchor and the two comment on things. Weather person strolls over to map and delivers weather. Then weather returns to anchor and there's more light or serious talk, depending on what's just been "reported." It's ridiculous.
- Rod Stewart's fourth Great American Songbook album is called Thanks for the Memory. He can't do that. That song was comedian Bob Hope's signature tune, for those around who remember who Bob Hope was. This will be the last of this type of albums for the plaid pants- wearing Stewart. He said so. Didn't want to run the concept into the ground.
- . . . If you ask me, it's six feet under.
- Michael Jackson probably doesn't have to serve on jury duty because now he's a permanent resident of Bahrain. Where's that? (in Arabian Gulf on eastern shore of Saudi Arabia) He likes it there and is "permanently living outside the United States," said his lawyer, Thomas Mesereau. This since his trial on child molestation charges. So it sounds like no more Neverland for him.
- Bono of rock group U2 had on his Frankenstein shoes while visiting President Bush last week. They look like regular sneakers but the soles are very thick, I guess, to give him the height he so desires.
- COUCH POTATO TOO LAZY TO MOVE. Someone in an online chat on washingtonpost.com wrote in to host Lisa de Moraes of TV Column to say that the remote fell off the couch and he/she couldn't reach it so he watched NBC's E.R. That's as good a reason to watch it as any.
- Josh Groban sang the national anthem at the first game of the World Series Friday night in Chicago. That guy's good.
- How come Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers spells her name that way? It's pronounced Myers but it seems like it should be pronounced MEERS if you go by the i before e rule. Bothers me but then again, everything does.
- Now CNN calls their weathermen/women (Chad Myers) Severe Weather Experts when they report hurricane news. I guess they don't call them Extreme because that would wreak of reality show hype.
- CAPOTE. The movie's pretty good. Philip Seymour Hoffman gives an Oscar-buzzing performance as the famous writer (Truman Capote) and the story behind his landmark book, In Cold Blood, about a family of four that was murdered in their home in Kansas in 1959 and the men who committed the crimes.
- . . . They say it was one of the first non-fiction novels that was done back then.
- . . . A friend of mine who went with me to see it asked me if it was about gangsters. She thought it was about Al Capone.
- . . . She needs to get out more.
- Somehow Sumo wrestlers look better if they're Japanese. An American-looking man in that wrapped diaper-thong thing looks pretty stupid. Many were in New York last week for the World S.U.M.O. Challenge. And it's a good thing the weather's been mild because there they were, outside walking across 34th Street into Madison Square Garden.
- WHAT'S TO SMILE ABOUT? Tom DeLay, House majority leader who's been charged with money laundering and conspiracy, smiled broadly for his mug shot. I guess he wants to keep upbeat about everything. Never let 'em see you sweat, so to speak. Jay Leno called it his smug shot. That's right.
- Adam Caskey, ABC7 News meteorologist in Washington, got shorn. That guy had a full head of curly hair like Harpo Marx and now it's been cut down, like a lawn. It looks good though and he seems more fashionable now..
- FROZEN EMBRYO IN NEW YORK. Singer Celine Dion told a French magazine that "It's waiting to be brought to life." So she lives in Las Vegas but deposits her eggs in New York. She sounds like one of those sea turtles who spawns on a beach once a year, digs a hole in the sand and goes plop, plop.
- A colleague of mine got up from her desk after an extremely busy work schedule and announced, "I'm going to take a sanity walk." That's a new one on me. Sounds good. Let the boss deal with it.
- Katie Couric sang (Hey) Big Spender with Bette Midler on the Tuesday. She was actually pretty good. But does this action blur the line between hard news and entertainment? Will she remain credible? Was she ever credible?
- CRAZY SHOW/CRAZY PEOPLE: Kiki & Herb, a faux seasoned lounge act starring Justin Bond as Kiki (in drag) and Kenny Mellman as Herb, that performed their Resurrection Tour at the new Woolly Mammoth theater in downtown Washington last week. Hilarious show. Kiki, who's been around the block a few times, offers her thoughts about life and love and things in the news including Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers and President Bush, religion and everything else under the sun, while she sings on stage, drinking her way through each song. By the end of the performance she's bombed and still jabbering and singing. Off-kilter and very skewed humor. They have a cult following and just played Carnegie Hall in New York.
- Where in the World is Matt Lauer? begins on Monday, Nov. 7. Bet that's good for the marriage. COMMENT: We could do without the strained voice whininess of the rock singer-style announcer on those promos.
- HURRICANE LOOTERS: Book 'em.
- I think Wolf Blitzer should take off his tie and be a little more comfortable on casual Fridays in The Situation Room.
- Mr. Big Stuff said this last week about the baby panda at the National Zoo: "I'm sick of that panda. This is his ninth exam. I wish he would just grow up and let that be it. I don't know why people go into a frenzy over it. It's only a fri_ _in' panda." So I guess he has strong feelings about the issue.
- Someone asked in an online chat whether Dakota Fanning is the only actress currently allowed to play a young female in the movies. This is a legitimate question. How much of a brat will she grow up to be?
- Rosie O'Donnell was Inside the Actors Studio Sunday night. People wondered about the choice on that. Anyway, she did say this about her other talent: "As a singer, I have minimal skills. As a dancer, I have even 'minimaller' skills."
- A member of the Black Eyed Peas spells his name Will.I.Am. Something like an e-mail address. He's also a record producer and is currently represented with cuts he did for the new Earth, Wind & Fire album (Illumination) and Ricky Martin (Life). So he's hot now.
- A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. Kathy Wixted, 56, a longtime ABC News and entertainment production manager, director of sports operations for Cablevision in Long Island and recent logistics editor at C-SPAN, died Oct. 8, after a battle with cancer. An Irish girl from a big family, she was quite the organizer and took care of all things in her work and in her life down to every last detail. She had a great laugh and positive outlook. In the days of the Washington anchorship of ABC's Weekend News programming, Katrina-we'd often call her that-took care of all the many requests the producers made in order to get the shows on the air, like ordering up satellites, maintaining and changing crew schedules, ordering facilities and making sure everything ran smoothly. Plus, she'd order food for the production and engineering crews, when necessary, which she and the operations producer "affectionately" called Kibbles 'n' Bits. If they weren't fed, they weren't happy. Amen on that.
- That guy who played the Russian president last week on Commander in Chief was not convincing. He hardly had an accent, seemed American and looked it. And we caught a glimpse of him glaring down at Geena Davis's presidential décolletage. Ahem.
- GRIPE: About the Sunday talk shows. Now they're getting out of hand with the quoting of newspaper articles and then asking the guests about them. It used to be short quotes that the host would point out and read but now it's like half the newspaper. Tim Russert might read three panels of an article that shows up on the TV screen. It's endless and loses the audience. The producers ought to think about that. And they're doing it sometimes on This Week too. I haven't noticed it so much on Face the Nation or Fox News Sunday. Keep it short or you lose me.
- Who do you like better as a Larry King sub? Bob Costas (who's very picky) or American Idol's Ryan Seacrest? (I think Costas has the credentials but brings baggage. Seacrest just doesn't seem right for the job to me-too young and too much of a deejay.)
- Somebody ought to tell the engineering staff on the Charlie Rose show how to mike (hook up a microphone ) a guest. David Strathairn, the guy who plays former CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow in Good Night, and Good Luck, was on one night last week and every time he moved you heard this annoying sound of it rubbing up against his shirt. It sounded like a storm brewing up or something. Where'd they pin the mike? On his stomach? And it went on for the entire show. Nobody decided to fix it. That show's bare bones. It looks it and now it sounds it.
- Mr. Highfalutin went to see the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Corcoran in Washington. He thought it was a little too serious and intellectual but that it did convey a sense of the time. The art that was shown was good and representative of the artist. What, Campbell's soup cans?
- IN ONE YEAR: Actor/director George Clooney had a brain operation, his brother-in-law died of a heart attack at age 45 and his grandmother fell, broke her hip and then died. And you thought you had problems.
- Carol Burnett's hawking Medicare prescription drug coverage on TV now. Is that legit? It's hard to tell and I'm sure that's deliberate to confuse older people. Her mouth looks funny the way it goes over her teeth on the top row. (She's had plastic surgery) She's obviously reading the teleprompter and yes, she does pull her ear at the end of it like she used to do on her TV show.
- For the past two weeks ABC has been known as A-BOO-C because it's Halloween time. The announcer says it at the end of their primetime sitcom promos.
- I just dialed the phone dyslexically. Happens more than once to me these days.
- Nicole Kidman's was in my neighborhood yesterday shooting a movie (The Visiting). The production trailer was parked right on my street, for crissakes. I left work and thought I'd ask her over for drinks but they were all gone. So I'm a loser.
- Cuchi Cuchi gal Charo was on Fox & Friends and her nose looked like Michael Jackson's. And the cheek bones too. So she looks like she's been plasticized too.
- The voice of the Jolly Green Giant, Elmer "Len" Dresslar Jr. , has been stilled. He was 80 and died October 16. In the TV ads for General Mills's Green Giant vegetables the jingle went like this: The chorus voices sang, "In the valley of the Jolly"-Then the giant would go, "Ho, Ho, Ho"-and the chorus finished with, "Green Giant." According to AP, Dresslar recorded the refrain many times over the years and most recently, ten years ago.
- UH . . . The Jolly Green Giant-The Kingsmen (of Louie, Louie fame) on Wand. 1965.
© Rocci Fisch/Random Thoughts
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