Leno, Fallon, Kimmel and the new Late Night War
3/18/2013 10:36:00 AM
NBC appears to be looking for ways to get rid of Jay Leno. They might be able to do it this time.
The Hollywood Reporter, uh, reports that NBC is quietly exploring ways to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon as host of the Tonight Show. I know this sounds familiar. After all, NBC just went through an embarrassing episode in which Jay Leno was removed as host of the Tonight Show, only to restore him to his old job 9 months later.
Everyone is joking that Leno will be back behind the Tonight Show desk in 2016. Not so this time around. The circumstances that led to the Leno/Conan fiasco don’t exist.
Bill Carter’s book “The War for Late Night” does a fantastic job of chronicling the years-long drama that led to the Leno/Conan feud of 2009-2010 (The drama laid out in his first book, “The Late Shift,” was ...
William Shatner is the John Wayne of our time.
3/11/2013 9:29:00 AM
William Shatner is an American Icon. Quite an accomplishment for a Canadian.
John Wayne has been dead for nearly 34 years, but the Duke still casts a large shadow. He’s the archetype of the rugged American; the lonesome hero who always fought on the side of right. By the 1960′s, you didn’t have to explain John Wayne to anyone. He just was. Seemingly every human on the planet knew who John Wayne was and what he was all about.
Thanks to the fragmentation of media, there are few actors and actresses who have achieved John Wayne-style immortality.
William Shatner is on that list.
Shatner is Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the Starship Enterprise. He was Captain Kirk in 1966. He was Captain Kirk in 1979. He was Captain Kirk in 1991. He is Captain Kirk today. He will be Captain Kirk 100 years from now. John Wayne ...
Titanic II is a Terrible Idea
3/4/2013 10:26:00 AM
If cocaine is God’s way of saying you have too much money…building a replica of the Titanic is a close second.
Ever since the movie “Titanic” became the most popular movie of all time, millionaires and billionaires have drawn up plans to build a new version of the ship that struck and iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912. Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is the latest to step up to the plate.
The new Titanic will have enough lifeboats…and all sorts of modern electronic gear that keep it away from icebergs.
The new Titanic, if it were to be built, will be doomed the moment it leaves the dock. Not because of icebergs, but because the economic model that made theTitanic possible in the first place disappeared shortly after the ship sank.
When work started on the Titanic in March of 1909, people crossed the Atlantic for two reasons and ...
Lemme Hear 'Ya!
2/25/2013 9:45:00 AM
The Cubs want to revamp the ballpark experience at Wrigley Field. The team wants to make sure the people who sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” actually know something about the Cubs or Harry Caray. It’s about time.
I’m a White Sox fan. But I am a Chicagoan and a baseball fan. The modern tradition of singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” started in at Comiskey Park in 1976. Haray Caray was the announcer for the White Sox back then, and he had a tendency to warble the old baseball standard during the Seventh Inning Stretch. At one point during the ’76 season, Bill Veeck stuck a ballpark mic in Harry’s broadcast booth.
Harry did not have much of a singing voice, but Veeck encouraged Harry to sing loud and proud. Veeck thought the fans would be encouraged to sing along with Harry, because they knew they could ...
The Worst Sci-Fi Ways to Die
2/19/2013 10:00:00 AM
It’s no secret that I’m a big “Star Trek” fan. The “Trek” universe is chock full of lofty ideals. We humans put aside our petty differences to explore the stars. We don’t solve our problems through violence! We work together to achieve common solutions.
Despite that, people…and aliens…and other entities tend to die horrible deaths. I’ve been kicking them around in my head. Science Fiction presents infinite possibilities…for characters to reach a bad end. With that in mind, here’s my list of the worst sci-fi ways to die.
Eaten by the Visitors
The miniseries “V,” and its sequel “V: The Final Battle” will forever be known for the scene where the human gives birth to the alien baby. I was four years old when it originally ran on NBC, and I do remember having the daylights scared out of me.
“V” is an allegory for the Nazi conquest of Europe. ...
The Beer Barons
2/11/2013 9:46:00 AM
Giving Republicans a reason to like Jimmy Carter.
If you walk down Lincoln Avenue on Chicago’s north side on Saturday morning, you come across a strange sight. People are lined up outside the Half Acre Brewery at Lincoln and Cullom. They hold cups of coffee in one hand, and a Growler in another (a Growler is a glass jug that carries about a half gallon of draft beer).
They are in line for the latest concoction from the Half Acre Brewing tanks; beers that are not available in their gift shop or at the local liquor store.
Half Acre recently opened a tasting room, which is a sophisticated name for “a bar that serves only beer.” I’ve been there twice, and chances are I will be there again before too long. But the tasting room is not the same as the bars you find up and down Lincoln Avenue. There ...
2/4/2013 10:29:00 AM
Just because I’m from Chicago doesn’t mean I have to like the cold.
For the first time this winter, we had a halfway decent snowstorm. For some reason (I’m sure a weather guy or gal can explain this) the snow tends to come in the middle of the night. Good for people who go to work at a normal time – the roads are clear. Bad for guys like me who have to get up at 3:30 AM. The plows have yet to be deployed, so it’s just me and the trucks on the expressway – trying to improvise the lane lines.
Here is the point in my winter rant where you say YOU LIVE IN CHICAGO IN THE WINTER WHAT DO YOU EXPECT IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT YOU SHOULD MOVE BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM.
Well, I’m from Chicago. I guess if I have to move “back ...
The Facebook Blues
1/28/2013 11:31:00 AM
There’s a study that’s been making the rounds that says social media – and Facebook in particular – is driving people crazy. It makes users feel frustrated and depressed. The theory goes like this: you see the fabulous lives of your old friends and acquaintances – and then you feel bad about your own shortcomings.
I first heard of Facebook in 2004. My sister was a student at Marquette, and it was the way everyone stayed connected. I remember saying “I’m glad this wasn’t around when I was in college because it would drive me crazy.” After all, you got to hear about all the parties other people were enjoying. You could easily fall into a funk thinking the rest of the world is having more fun.
Facebook jumped from college campuses to the real world sometime in 2006. I jumped onto the Facebook train in early 2008. Instead of ...
Why are there Packers fans in Chicago?
1/22/2013 9:02:00 AM
Are they non-conformists? Maybe. Wisconsin ex-pats? Absolutely. Or maybe they are living reminders of Chicago’s long-dead football rivalry.
The Cardinals were Chicago’s first football team. They can trace their origins to the Morgan Athletic Club, which was founded in 1898…22 years before George Halas was hired to run the Decatur Staleys.
The Cardinals played off and on during the first two decades of the 20th Century, disbanding for various reasons: lack of competition, World War I, the Influenza Oubreak of 1918, and the like. By 1921, Chicago was a two-team town in both baseball and football. Halas bought the Staleys outright in 1920 and moved the team to Chicago. The following year, he renamed his ballclub the Bears and moved to “new” Wrigley Field. The Cardinals moved to Comiskey Park in 1922. Both were members of the brand new National Football League.
The north side/south side divide ran just as ...
1/14/2013 9:50:00 AM
I’ know I’m a little late to the party…but I finally got around to seeing “Argo,” Ben Affleck’s treatment of the “Canadian Caper,” in which 6 members of the US Embassy staff in Iran were smuggled out through the Canadian Embassy. It was the sliver of good news in the Hostage Crisis that would last 444 days and end the presidency of Jimmy Carter.
I’ve read many books about Carter’s presidency, as well as the Iran Hostage Crisis. When you work in talk radio, you hear the one dimensional version.
Carter weak/Reagan strong/hostages released before Ronnie dropped the bomb.
It wasn’t true, but complexity doesn’t fly in talk radio, and that version does a better job of fitting on a bumper sticker than “The Iranians were so pissed at Carter for taking in the Shah that they kept the hostages to embarrass him politically.”
The Hostage Crisis was also a ...