Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmakwanzaakuh

Merry Christmas! From me to you and yours, I hope that this holiday will be your most wonderful time of the year, with those holiday greetings, gay happy meetings, and so forth.

(Speaking of that song, I have to ask: why does the singer tell “scary ghost stories” on Christmas Eve? Exactly what faith tradition does this? Tell Uncle Ted to save “The Hitchhiker Axe Murderer” for another night. This is Christmas.)

Feliz Navidad!

Friday, December 19, 2008

In Absentia

If the eponymous member of an entertainment program takes off for a week, you likely wouldn't expect much from the show he left behind. But from the little I heard of the program this week, I thought the cast did an excellent job. It was entertaining in the right places, and informative in the other, uh, righter places.

I'm one of the fans who actually like the show when Imus leaves. If you get x amount of talented funny people together, they will not magically lose their talent and funniness when the boss leaves the room. This isn't Flowers For Algernon. All in all, they did a great show.

What do you think?

Monday, December 15, 2008

The L Word

For the past week, the news has been filled with coverage of the scandalous behavior of Rod Blagojevich. While this is obviously a very important news item, I feel that the media is missing the most important angle of the story.

Remember when the I-Man landed a coveted spot on that all-important list, the Top 25 Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians? Well, as much as I hate to admit this, I believe he has been bumped off the list by Gov. Blagojevich. Out-lesbianed, if you will.

Although this may be difficult to accept, I am afraid that the pictoral evidence does not lie:



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Christmas Mix

It turns out that I can post the Christmas segments after all. A certain Fake Cardinal Egan was kind enough to send me the files that he had downloaded last year. So don't thank me for this - thank him. :-)

Imus Christmas Mix - Part 1

Imus Christmas Mix - Part 2

Imus Christmas Mix - Part 3

Imus Christmas Mix - Part 4

Imus Christmas Mix - Part 5

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Many Christmas Shows That You Cannot Refuse

Here is the schedule of Rob Bartlett's upcoming Christmas shows. Be sure to go, because if the Godfather hears that you haven't attended, you may wake up with a reindeer head in your bed.

Saturday, December 6, Stamford Performance of the Arts, CT: Tickets are here and directions are here. (And it says "Mature Audiences Only," which means I'll have to skip that one)

Sunday, December 7, The Comedy Shoppe at Parsippany, NJ: Tickets and directions are here.

Saturday, December 13, Gotham Comedy Club, New York, NY: Tickets are here and here: and directions are here.

Sunday, December 14, The Brokerage, Bellmore, NY: Reservations can be made here and directions are here.

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 3, 2007

If you were like me, you got up ridiculously early that morning - much earlier than normal people typically wake up for an entertainment program - and headed towards your television or radio or computer.

I urge you to go back and listen to the first ten minutes of that broadcast. In that short span of time, you had their very first aircheck; you had Charles doing the news for the first time, with all of the fans screaming and drowning him out; you had the Imus making his grand entrance; and you had that awesome introduction thing going on ("From {name of hometown}, {name of castmember}.") As great as it was to hear it, I bet it was ten times better to see it.
(Incidentally, if any of you still have the RFD broadcast from that morning, then we may need to talk.)

One thing I tend to forget is the improbability of the entire comeback; how completely unlikely it was, around April 2007, to imagine them celebrating an anniversary of any kind in December 2008. And yet, there they are.

What do you remember from that morning; and what are your thoughts, a year later?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Other News

-Remember that enormous MSNBC studio is Secaucus, NJ? Did you ever wonder what happened to it after Imus and the network moved out? (I know the answer is "no," but please humor me.) That studio is going to be the operating base for the brand-new MLB Network, which is slated to premiere on January 1. I'm sure they'll enjoy the studios, but I pity the poor sports anchor who's attacked by whatever crawled up Chris Matthews' leg.

-Speaking of NBC and such; you likely know by now that David Gregory has been named the heir to "Meet the Press." Almost everyone agrees that he isn't as good of a journalist as Russert; also, he likes to wear comical wigs. My feeling is that it could have been much, much worse. Did you see the other candidates they were bouncing around? Like Gwen Ifill? Or the aforementioned Chris Matthews?

-Also...isn't there some sort of anniversary tomorrow? Hmmm...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

(Insert Witty Post Title With Clever Cultural Reference Here)

Random News and Stuff:

-Gregg "Opie" Hughes, the I-Man's illegitimate son, got married in Philly this weekend. Congrats are in order.

-Here is a nice article from the Daily News about the NewsHour program. The headline, "Wake Up to Don Imus' 'The Imus In The Morning News Hour,'" is sadly lacking in puns and play-on-words, which is pretty much 80% of the reason why I read the Daily News.
Tragically, this article didn't get as many hits as the story about the Queens teacher sleeping with the 17-year-old-male model (Headline: "Teacher and her Pet In Doghouse"); but that's what happens when you get the lesser-talented headline writer at the Daily News.

-If one of your coworkers was publicly fired, and you moved into his old office, could you function in it if it still had all of his decorations and everything? I'm sure there's a great reason behind it, but still, creepy. (The rest of that article, might I add, is very good.)



That's it, I'm outta here for the holidays. Have an excellent Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

News Hours, etc.

The "Imus in the Morning Newshour" is premiering at 5 AM on Monday; you should check it out; it will be awesome.

Speaking of which, today I want to talk about one of my favorite aspects of the program. It's not something that people discuss that often, but I'm hoping that maybe you like it too.

I love the Imus-McCord relationship. I don’t know why, but I do. I love it when the I-Man interrupts Jack Jacobs in the middle of an interview, just to tell him that Charles’ favorite word is “pusillanimous.” I love it when they share random inside jokes from 1978 that are understood by maybe four people on the planet.

I like it when they talk about their hourly phone calls. Sometimes on the air, Imus will tell a seven-minute long story that goes something like this: “Well, last night I called Charles. So we started watching C-SPAN together, and then I said, 'Do you want to watch Fox? Shepard Smith is on.' And then Charles said, ‘OK.’ And then I ate a pretzel.” And that’s the ENTIRE STORY. Yet I love that. It’s hilarious, and it’s kind of endearing.

Smetimes I'll talk to one of my best friends about the program, and one day, after I shared the above, she told me: "You know what? I hope that we have that relationship in 36 years." And so do I - minus the drugs, firings, marrying of siblings, etc.

Surely I'm not the only weird one who loves this...am I?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Remotes and Stuff

This is a great article about the recent remote in Providence, RI.

The station that sponsored the event belongs to the "True Oldies" network, and in accordance with that theme, their website is covered with bright, happy, psychedelic colors. And then you get to their Imus page:



So, OK, the Imus program is not this oldies station's sunshine on a cloudy day. In fact, it isn't even their month of May. A shame, really.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Things That Cannot Be Unseen

A few days ago, there were some rumors going around about Curits Sliwa's show being replaced by Bernard. Maybe it's true, maybe it isn't. Either way, it gives me an excuse to show an old Guardian Angels promotional poster that I found on Facebook (of all places). Let's just say that if they want to recruit the kids today, they may need a little change in graphic design:





It is truly a sight to behold: Sliwa standing on a Latin American Dictator dais, a generic 80s urban graffiti pattern as his backdrop, surrounded by homoerotic male interpretive dancers.

Now, I saw the excellent documentary Escape From New York, so I know that New York was experiencing a tough crime wave during the creation of this poster. But would this poster have ever, at any time, appealed to someone? Even in the 80s? Maybe somewhere, some young person looked at the dancer on the right and went, “That is IT, darn it! I am strapping on my orange cummerbund and heading to the South Bronx RIGHT NOW!”

And what about his chroma-keyed doppelganger on the left? Tom Oliphant called - He wants his S&M gloves back.

As you go about your day today, try to get this image out of your head. Just try.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Life On The Connecticut

The Hartford Courant wrote an article about Larry Kenney and his upcoming show at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT. I thought you'd like to see this article, because I know that a lot of you miss Mr. Kenney and appreciate his talent. (So do I.)

It says that he "will do his interpretation of Twain," so it'll be a straight impersonation of the Father of American Literature. In other words, you won't see General Patton pouring shotgun pellets in a frog's mouth in order to keep it from jumping. And you won't see Greg the Gay Fashion Designer scream at Tom Sawyer for painting the fence "an awful shade of beige." Still, though, it sounds fun.

And if you want to know about the Imus scenario, here it is:

Q: How is Don Imus doing?

A: We don't stay in touch except for a Christmas card and an invitation to his fundraiser at his ranch. As far as him losing his show, I think he got a bum rap and it was a terrible situation. I know that to this day he feels horrible about what happened. I was kind of winding down on the show then and was on vacation when it all happened, which was a good thing because I didn't get tied up in it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Erection Day PSA

Go out and vote. Yes, I know you already had plans to do so; in fact, you may be sporting your "I Voted!" sticker as you read this.

But please do it, because all of you are very bright and informed. And trust me: you are the exceptions.

I know one girl who is voting for McCain because "someone told her" that Obama's a Muslim. Likewise, after the second Presidential debate, I read a local article by a person my age who loves Obama because he "glided around the stage like a supermodel." McCain, she noted disparagingly, "was so stiff and rigid when he walked. I also hated his posture. Why can't he sit up straight? " I know, right? Like, why CAN'T he sit up straight? Or raise his arms above his head? He needs to stop acting like he was tortured, for goshsakes! It's not telegenic!

There is some exciting election news involving the show: Bernard will be covering the election on WABC from 1-5 AM, and may end up announcing the winner. It sounds like it'll be a great program, and I'm happy that he's getting the opportunity to do it. (There's also, dare I say, a very attractive photo of him that comes along with the article.) Unfortunately, I'll be at an election party all night and likely won't hear him, so please post the highlights if you listen. Or post about the election and how you think it will impact the show. Or post if you catch Tom Brokaw drooling. Do not post, however, if you see the chill creeping up Chris Matthews' leg. There are some things that I just don't want to see.

Anyway, I'm excited. I love elections, and today comes only every four years. (Well, two years if you count representatives, but really, who cares.) After tonight, we will finally know if A) we're on the verge of the apocalypse, or B) if we're just merely doomed.

Have a fun night!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An Offer You Can't Refuse

That's the name of Rob Bartlett's new show, which will be this Saturday, November 8th, at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Tickets are Enter away messagEnter away messagehere, and more information about the venue is Enter away messagehere. The website doesn't list any directions, so if you don't know how to drive to New Hampshire, then YOU CAN ACT LIKE A MAN and go to Mapquest.

Have fun!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We Report, You Decide Not To Watch

Just think - in less than a week, this election will be OVER! The obsession has gripped the media since 2006 will subside forever! Or at least until June 2010, when we start talking about Election 2012.

Speaking of nonstop news coverage, I made a very interesting discovery a few months ago about the importance of certain news networks.

I had moved into my new apartment about a week before, and one evening I decided to sit down and explore my new cable channels. The apartment only allows cable from a certain company, and I wanted to see what stations they provided. I scanned though the local channels, then the sports stations, then finally hit the news channels.

I didn’t realize it at first, mostly because I’ve barely watched it in the past year and a half. But there was a certain channel missing in the lineup. My cable company doesn’t provide MSNBC.

Oh, it has all the others. CNN, Fox News, CNN Headline News, two CSPANs, even CNBC. And if I pay extra money for premium channels, I can get Fox Business News. But no MSNBC.

I get everything else. I get 32 stations that play music. I get this bizarre trippy station that shows security camera footage of all the major local highways and overpasses, whilst Muzak plays in the background. (I am hoping that this is an actual channel, and not the hobby of a mass murderer in my building.) I also get the various ESPNs, including one that, in the thick of the pennant races and football, once broadcasted a middle-school Scrabble tournament.

Yet, despite all of this, no MSNBC. When I got my new cable system I was hoping against the odds that I’d get RFD. But even if Imus and Co. had completely behaved themselves, I STILL wouldn’t have been able to watch them.

So, dear reader, you have to keep me posted of all the various goings-on over there on Election Night. Some of us can only afford the "relevant channels" package.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

J-Mac Is Back

And it's about time! The Senator appeared early this morning to talk about his campaign. This article, among others, discusses his appearance.

Thoughts?

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Distinguished Guest

Last night, Senators McCain and Obama participated in the traditional Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner. Their speeches were very humorous and were warmly accepted by the crowd. However, I was distracted by a very important guest at the event. Did you see who was sitting between them?




That would be His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York. I think that as Imus fans, we can agree that he is definitely important enough to sit next to the future President. Note that he has replaced his FedEx mitre, sunglasses, and nice striped shirt with more appropriate vestments.

Both Senators were very funny last night; but we all know that if the Cardinal had spoken, he would have blown them both away.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover...Usually

Jack Jacobs' book comes out tomorrow, and it looks like a great read. I especially like its cover. I assume it was inspired by a publisher who mused, "This is a great book, but I'm afraid that women won't like it - it's very heavy on the military. How can we get them to buy it?" Then another publisher said, "Hey! I know!"

Also: when you search for this book on Amazon, be sure to get the one called "If Not Now, When?" Don't get the one about the doomsday time machine.

-In other news, the show is apparently #5 in New York, which is beyond awesome.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A Controversial New Hire at WABC

New York (AP): In a stunning move, Citadel Broadcasting announced that they would be hiring famous television star Alan Alda to its stable of WABC personalities.

Interestingly enough, the personality in question claims that he is actually not Mr. Alda. When contacting him, the man at the other end said that his name "was really Bob Brinker, host of a money show on WABC," and asked us to "leave me alone, or I'll call the cops."

But Citadel insisted otherwise.

"We know that Mr. Brinker is really Alan Alda, there's no denying it," their representative said. "Look at his cast picture near the bottom of the WABC Personalities Page:


"He may call himself 'Bob Brinker,' but come on, that's really Hawkeye. My blind grandmother could tell you that."

When asked the reasons behind hiring the M*A*S*H actor, Citadel cited the punditry success of his former costar, Wayne Rogers, now a financial advisor and occasional cable news contributor.

A WABC official recounts, "One night I was watching Your World with Neil Cavuto, and lo and behold, Trapper John came on. And he was giving all this brilliant advice about the stock market. And I figured, if the sidekick on that show is really smart, then wouldn't the main character theoretically be a genius? I called Farid the next day."

Before they made their hiring decision, the WABC executives holed up in their offices and watched all 251 episodes of M*A*S*H. They were duly impressed.

“There’s nothing he can’t do,” gushed a unnamed talent scout. “Like the time when he mailed the camp latrine to North Korea, that was just brilliant. Or when the 4077th had a string of bad luck, and he hired that voodoo priestess to do an exorcism on the camp. We need those problem-solving skills around here."

"I particularly liked when he dressed in a gorilla suit and harassed his bunkmate," said a senior executive. "That was what cinched it for us."

However, there is a limit to his talent.

"When we hire him, we’re hiring the 'early seasons' version of him," said an unnamed source. “We're not hiring the version towards the end of the show, where he stops being funny and just whines constantly about the war. Because those episodes, frankly, kind of sucked.”

Monday, September 29, 2008

Golf Pics!

Rob Bartlett was gracious enough to let me post a few of his pictures from the Golf Tournament last Thursday - tremendous thanks go out to him. Enjoy:




(As for the cute little guy pictured above: There was a brief scary moment during the golf tournament when Bill Murray attacked him with a flamethrower. Fortunately Mr. Murray was subdued, and the event went on as scheduled.)




Monday, September 22, 2008

Golf!

Is anyone going to the Enter away messagegolf event on the 24th? It sounds like a good time, plus it benefits the Ranch.

If you're going and you're planning on playing a round, then have an excellent evening. Unfortunately, my only talents in golfing are A) driving the cart and B) hitting the ball past the windmill, so I decided to skip out.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Country Music

The Ranch Record continues to do well - it's still #2 on Amazon and is a hit on Itunes as well. And according to Itunes, the most popular song from the album is Levon Helm's "You Better Move On," followed closely by Lucinda Williams' version of "Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys."

Speaking of country music: You know that McCain song by John Rich? The one they've played a few times on the show? The other day I asked myself, "'Raising McCain?' What does that even mean?" Yes, I know it's a pun on the famous phrase, but still: how does one "raise" McCain? Is he like a crop? Do we water him and nurture him? Will he ripen in November?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Imus Ranch Record

It comes out today - just a reminder - and it's available at pretty much every major retailer. As of now, it's all the way at #2 on Amazon. (Darn you, Metallica!) Go out and buy a copy or two.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This Will Not End Well...

The pioneering fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken has remained a successful company for decades. Part of KFC's success has stemmed from its delicious "secret recipe," which is one of the best-kept secrets in American business.

Recently, the headquarters wanted to beef up security surrounding the recipe, and they decided to transport it to a different location. Since keeping the secret safe is integral to their livelihood, they naturally chose the most trustworthy man for the job:

The recipe that launched the chicken chain was placed in a lock box that was handcuffed to security expert Bo Dietl, who climbed aboard an armored car that whisked away with an escort from off-duty police officers...

Dietl, a former New York City police detective, assured (the President of KFC) that the iconic recipe would be safe.

"There's no way, shape or form ... that anybody is going to get their hands on this recipe," he said. "And if they get their hands on this recipe, they have to take me with them."


This has "hijinks ensue" written all over it...

Monday, September 8, 2008

"I Had A Pulmonary Embolism And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt"

My dear friends and fans and members of the I-Family,

Two weeks ago today, I suffered a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that travelled through my heart and lodged itself at the junction between my pulmonary artery and both lungs. I passed out, was revived by a bonafide Angel of New York City, (With the abundance of unconscious male bodies strewn about the sidewalks of 32nd street at 5:30 A.M., I am honored he chose me to rescue) and after dragging myself to the Rainbow Studios, wound up being accompanied by Christy Mac via ambulance to St. Vincent's Hospital, where my team of truly gifted doctors, led by Dr. Frederick Rappaport and Dr. Tom Bernik, as well as an amazing nursing staff, virtually saved my life. A clot was removed from my leg, a filter was placed in the artery between my heart and kidney, and will be undergoing blood thinner therapy on an ongoing basis.

Today I finally return home to my family, where I will be recuperating for the next couple of weeks, until I get the go ahead to go back to work live in the studio. I'll continue to phone in each morning, from my fortress of solitude on Long Island, and should be back doing stand up shows beginning in October.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you who kept me in your thoughts and prayers, sent cards, and made donations to the ranch during this very frightening and challenging time in my life. I was deeply moved by the enormous outpouring of love and support from in you all, and I want you to know that, in the darkest moments over the past couple of weeks, the blessing of your kind thoughtfulness was instrumental in aiding my recovery.

I am honored to know, and continue to be amazed by, the devotion and loyalty of the special group of people known as the fans and supporters of the Imus in the Morning Program. You are, indeed, the best of the best, and I truly appreciate the support.

I know I am a very lucky man today, as I certainly dodged a bullet here, but I vow to use that gift for good, and not evil.

Hopefully, the removal of the clots will make me funnier than I was before. It certainly didn't do anything to improve the size of my penis.

Love always
The Robio

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Good Night, and Have A Pleasant Tomorrow

Let's see what's going on with the Google News search...

-Line of the week, so far, was Rob Bartlett's observation that Sarah Palin has named her children "after Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors."

-Some guy reviews the Ranch Album, and loves it; however, he spends half the article hand-wringing about how horribly guilty he feels for approving something that Imus created. It's like the Sophie's Choice of album reviews. If reviewing Ranch Album caused him that much mental trauma, I hope he never has to listen to Frank Sinatra: Live At Sun City, or Gary Glitter: Young at Heart.

-In what is otherwise a very heartfelt article, a woman writes that female suffragettes have been called names throughout the years "that would make Jay-Z and Howard Imus blush today." I wholeheartedly agree: Howard Imus is a piece of trash. I'm glad he's off the air.

-Apparently, this week is the anniversary of something called the "Battle of Imus." I have absolutely no idea what this is, but it sounds, um, amazing.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Behind the Times

Finally, an update!

-There are a couple of new affiliates: KCAA (which was the station embroiled in that controversy last year), and WINZ in Miami. When I heard that he was on a station called "WINZ," I wondered if it was like a "hip" urban version of WINS, the famous NYC news station, and thought that maybe Imus was trying to get down with the kids. Sadly, that is not the case.

-As for John McCain's VP pick: Well-played, Senator. Well-played.

It also appears that McCain has an SNL obsession. Several people have mentioned that McCain's wife, Cindy, looks a lot like Amy Poehler, a cast member of Saturday Night Live. Yesterday, we learned that his VP candidate looks a lot like Tina Fey, a former member of the same show. Many pundits consider his VP choice a daring move; most politicians would’ve played it safe and chosen a more "experienced" and “seasoned” ex-cast member, like a Jan Hooks, or an Ana Gasteyer, or even a Cheri Oteri. This is why McCain is considered a maverick.

Incidentally, I noticed an interesting music selection at yesterday’s press conference. When McCain announced his VP choice, the loudspeakers began to blast a great inspirational song, one of those famous movie themes that stir the heart...the theme from Rudy. You'd think that a staff member would've caught that...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rob Bartlett Hospitalized

Yesterday morning, Rob Bartlett was hospitalized with a serious medical condition. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Biden My Time

Joe Biden has been the Democratic running-mate for less than 48 hours, and already he's making verbal gaffes. The media will be trailing him constantly until November, so there's some serious potential for more. Translation? This will be an awesome two months.

My suggestion to Joe: Follow the advice of this man, and you'll be just fine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Veep Watch

McCain and Obama will soon be announcing their VPs.

Who do you think they will be?

Friday, August 15, 2008

On Breakups

In the wake if the Mike and the Mad Dog breakup, I was reminded of this excellent profile of the duo from a 2004 issue of the New Yorker. (Thanks, Esme.) My favorite part:

A few years ago, circumstances (Knicks-Pacers, conference finals in Indianapolis, Francesa’s hotel room not ready) placed the two of them for an hour or so in a hotel room together—a rare occurrence. (When they are on the road, they often stay in separate hotels. “I always stay in the best hotel,” Francesa told me.) Chris Carlin, their producer at the time, who now has a show of his own on WFAN, walked in to find them watching “The Horse Whisperer.” Carlin started to speak, but they shushed him; on the TV screen Robert Redford was breaking up with Kristin Scott Thomas. When the scene was over, Russo said, solemnly, “Mikey, he had to do it, he had to do it.”

“It was the right move, Dog,” Francesa replied. “The right move.”

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

News, Minimalist Style

-The ranch record will be coming out next month ...and there's also a track list.

-Somehow, Imus in the Morning is mentioned in this this AP article about Hee-Haw reruns returning to TV. One would think that with the Olympics, the energy crisis, the election, the conventions, the ethnic cleansing in Georgia, and the deaths of Nobel laureates and comedians and singers...the AP would be too busy to dedicate an article to Hee-Haw reruns coming back to TV. But for all I know, Hee-Haw could've been this totally bodacious show, and I'm just not aware of it.

-Two new bodacious affiliates:

KJLL 1330-AM The Jolt - Tuscon, Arizona

690 WSPZ The Sports Animal - Birmingham, Alabama

Friday, August 8, 2008

Go See...Pretty Much Everyone

Tough economic times call for tough measures. You may have read the earlier posts about Imus performers doing shows, and you may have said to yourself, "Self, that DOES sound like it would be a lot of fun. But I've been busy and gas is expensive and I don't want to drive. Besides, Tommy Boy will be on, and they never show that on TV."

But...what if THREE performers would be there, as opposed to one? It would be like a buy one, get two free kind of deal!

Rob Bartlett Featuring Tony Powell & Karith Foster will be at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT on Saturday, August 16th at 8 PM. Tickets are here and directions are here. (On the website, they give directions for car, bus, train, limo, and ferry travel. They REALLY want you to go; you should humor them and heed their wishes.)

The website also claims that only those 21 or older will be allowed entry. If you are under 21, then I suppose you'll have to use a fake ID - just try not to be too obvious.

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Imus Na Parte Da Manhã

I found a fascinating tidbit on RFD's website. They claim to have "cable systems in all 50 states, serving over 31 million U.S. homes, with another 19 million homes in Brazil."

Think about that. There are 19 million households in Brazil who could be watching Imus in the Morning. Consider the implications.

Let's pretend that you are a Brazilian who doesn't know much about America. One night you fall asleep while watching your favorite program, Little Britches Rodeo. "Dear me, what a calm, soothing television station! This is truly a gem!", you think to yourself (in Portuguese).

Then, around 6 in the morning, you awake with a start. Gone are the polka shows and cattle auctions. They've been replaced by men in bizarre, nightmarish costumes who scream and rant at each other, while homeless vagrants watch them through a window.You can't understand a word of it, of course, because you don't speak English. To top things off, you start to see people that you've vaguely heard about in international news, like "Sen. John McCain" or "Sen. John Kerry."

If you were said Brazilian, and you saw this, would you think that America A) was full of crazy people; or B) was the greatest country in the whole world?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

BMc vs. Luda in da Hizzouze


So Bernard challenged Ludacris to a fight. Awesome. For those unfamiliar, Ludacris is a rapper whose songs have inspired the greatest map of all time.

I just wish Bernie had challenged him before that damned "Yeah!" song with Lil John came out, the one that played 366000 times at every club and on every radio station in 2004. Even today.

Hip-hop artists often write epic songs about their rivalries, and in this conflict I expect nothing less from Mr. Ludacris. Nothing is more gangsta than cruisin' down to WABC studios, sippin' gin and Bigelow Tea, shoutouts to RFD, rap battles over Arbitron versus PPM, Curtis Sliwa disses, etc.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Commercial Appeal

1) If you happen to be watching TV this week, pay close attention if you see a Staples ad. It features a gas station attendant who looks very, very similar to Rob Bartlett...perhaps because he IS Rob Bartlett. (Isn't it creepy how those things work out?) Anyway, it's on a bunch of stations, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.

2) Speaking of commercials: During the Warner/ESPN controversy of last week, I kept asking myself if I'd seen the Mike and Mike cast somewhere. Oh, I've never listened to their show, but I knew I'd seen one of them on television. Then I remembered that Golic used to co-star in this opt-repeated commercial that MSNBC would air during Imus.

The commercial was for a diet pill (Nutrisystem? Maybe?), and it featured a zillion ex-athletes. The gist was that 15 of these guys had gotten together and made a weight-loss pact. (A question: Do guys actually do this? It sounded very Oprah to me.)

Anyway, the commercial was very "informative," by which I mean "it was forty-five minutes long." They'd all get up there, and they'd drone on and on, and time would tick by...and nothing would actually happen. It was The Brothers Karamazov of celebrity diet commercials.

Anyway, the best part by far was towards the end, when everyone was bragging about the results. The point was to make the audience chuckle. "Thanks to this pill, I fit into my old uniform!" Or, "Thanks to this pill, I won't be embarrassed to go to my Super Bowl reunion!" Then one guy got up there and proudly declared, "Thanks to this pill, my wife no longer thinks that I look disgusting!" The joke being, "Ha ha! His marriage is in shambles!"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

You Chose...Wisely

Wait, what just happened?

Warner Wolf, who since December has been doing sports reports for both 1050 ESPN and Don Imus on WABC, has left 1050 on weekday mornings effective Monday after being asked by ESPN to choose between the jobs...

1050 ESPN program director Aaron Spielberg said Friday the decision was made in the wake of on-air remarks by Imus Thursday in which he ripped the ESPN morning show, "Mike and Mike," in terms ESPN believed crossed a line from legitimate criticism to "off-color" personal attacks.

Read more...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Day Is Mine

This week, a very famous media personality turned 68. This man is the host of a long-running, influential program which has gained fame throughout America and has developed a following of millions. While his program is scorned by many for its "elite subject matter," as well as the host's sometimes-abrasive personality, it's obviously a classic. Many fans dream of appearing on this man's show, and a scant few have made it - and unfortunately, most of those lucky few have been humiliated in front of millions. In short, it's one of the best shows out there, and the host should be respected for the institution that he's built.

Of course, I could only be speaking of one man:

Alex Trebek.




Mr. Trebek turned 68 this Tuesday, July 22nd. There were a few other celebrity birthdays this week, but none of any importance.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Secret Lives of Farmers

The Imus show is back from vacation! And they have a new affiliate in Richmond!

Also, I somehow missed this excellent article about RFD-TV and their expansion. It's all very interesting, but the best part is when an "agriculture media executive" criticizes Mr. Gottsch. He claims that all of RFD's program has "trended towards the cheap and cheerful," and then delivers the ultimate bitchslap: "Patrick's seen as a dilettante in the industry." A dilettante? Oh no he DIDN'T!

So here's what these quotes apparently mean: in the Agriculture Media World, RFD-TV is apparently considered a "sellout to the Man" and "a corporation spoonfeeding the masses." This raises several important questions:

-Is there a vast, agricultural media that we know nothing about?

-If so, does this mean that RFD is like the Parade magazine of the media, but with slightly less tackier ads?

-Who is the New York Times of the agricultural media? Do they have a bunch of Maureen Dowds and Tom Friedmans, who parody Department of Agriculture figures and write about how "the plain is flat?" Is there a Frank Rich who writes savage reviews of the crops at the county fair?

-Is there a cult of personality among famous agriculture journalists? Was there ever a lunatic who beat up a Dan Rather doppelganger while yelling, "What's the crop rotation, Kenneth?" (Which would later be a song by Rascal Flatts.) Does everyone remember when a Walter Cronkite figure reported on massive crop failures, and subsequently started crying on-camera?


It's also unsettling that Mr. Gottsch is being accused of belonging to the famous Dilettante Society of Cambridge. When someone belongs to a society that intends to "correct and purify" the cultural preferences of the nation, you get worried when that someone happens to program I Love Toy Trains.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

If It's Summer Vacation, Then Why Am I Working?

-Bernard will be subbing for Bob Grant tonight from 8-10 PM EST, while Mr. Grant goes on vacation. So if you want to hear this program, hopefully you'll read this blog between now and 10 PM. If you didn't, then, well, my bad.

-A political humor question: Is this JibJab cartoon the best we can hope for in the next 4 years? Oh, man. Now, granted, I only saw 30 seconds of it, so maybe the remaining two minutes are the Sistine Chapel of political comedy. If so, I will stand corrected. But the talking heads are acting like George Carlin just rerose from the dead. Actually, all the praise for it makes me feel a little happier, because if that's the best kind of humor out there, then I'll have an easier time getting stuff published in the next few years. The bar will be lower.

On a sort-of-related note, Maureen Dowd has a column about this subject. It's a great piece, and I know we have some Mo Dowd fans in the house.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Uh-oh...


Have you ever laughed at something, not because it was funny, but because it was so insanely over-the-top that you couldn't believe it actually existed?

That was my reaction to the cover of this week's New Yorker, which will probably be considered their equivalent of the "Smell the Glove" album cover:





The magazine claims that that the cover art "satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign.” OK, I see where you're going - the cover is so over-the-top that it's obviously sarcasm. (And this is from the New Yorker, of all places. Your average New Yorker reader gets offended as often as Joe Pesci says the F-word.) However, Obama's campaign has already denounced it; so has McCain's.

Now, I am pro-satire and pro-free speech, so in my opinion they can do whatever they want. Editor David Remnick says that "if you can't tell it's a joke by the flag burning in the Oval Office, I don't know what more to say." Very true. But if the New Yorker can get away with this kind of satire, then the Imus folks (and anyone, really) should be allowed greater leeway with their own humor. Just saying.

Still, I would love to see the look on a Tribeca resident's face when they open the mailbox and see this...

Another One Gone

Bad news comes in...fours? I took another break this weekend, only to find that I-guest Tony Snow had passed away at the ridiculously young age of 53. RIP.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jesse Jackson Hates My Favorite Shows

We’ve all heard about Jesse Jackson and his recent faux pas. Since I didn't know a great deal about the man, I randomly decided to look him up on Wikipedia. I'm glad I did, because I found out some very, very disturbing news. It turns out Jesse Jackson has claimed that one of my favorite shows is racist.

No, not Imus in the Morning. Why would you ever think that? I’m talking about a show that I used to watch as a small child and haven't seen in almost 15 years: the Power Rangers.

The Power Rangers, if my memory serves me correctly, was widely known as "the greatest show of all time, or at least the summer of 1994." There was a lot of hubbub in the media about how boys shouldn't watch the show because it was too violent. But I was a girl, and everyone knows that girls aren't affected by TV violence, so I could watch as much as I wanted.

Each episode had the same basic story:

A) There was a group of evil people and aliens who orbited around the moon. These people wanted to conquer the planet Earth. They didn't want to stay in space and keep living in their moon kingdom, like God intended.

B) Then the Power Rangers would step in and karate-chop them back to space, where they would remain forever, or at least until 8:30 on the next weekday morning.

C) And there was much rejoicing.

Now I know some of you are scratching your heads and wondering, “How could any of this be racist? Surely the universal theme of beating up aliens would unite everybody.” Here’s how it went down:

Each Power Ranger was a different color - the Red Ranger, the Blue Ranger, etc. Sometimes in the heat of battle, the Rangers would yell out battle cries like “Blue Power!” or “Green is rockin’!” or what have you. It was one of those outbursts that prompted Mr. Jackson to complain. See, there happened to be a "White Ranger" in the cast. And apparently during one reckless moment in 1995, the White Ranger took pride in his color and yelled out in the heat of battle, "White Power!"

Well. You can imagine what happened next. The Right Rev. sent a complaint letter to the network, concerned that the Power Rangers were being influenced by the Klan. Wikipedia claims that Jackson "later retracted his statement," probably realizing that hey, when you're giving roundhouse kicks to an evil outer-space lizard set on conquering Earth, you're likely to yell out things you'll later regret.

Meanwhile, I don't know what will happen if Jesse goes after my other favorite shows. He had better not mess with South Park or House Hunters.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Vacation!

I'm going to be out of town for a little while, and I'll be returning sometime next week. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves.

Have a happy Fourth!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

RFD News

According to this article, Verizon's FiOS cable network will soon be carrying RFD-TV. FiOS is in "more than 6.5 million homes in 13 states, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Oregon, Texas and Virginia."

Also, you should check out the car sponsored by RFD that will be in this Friday's NASCAR race. It looks pretty sharp, and it features the names of several RFD programs. Tragically, it does not mention the Big Joe Polka Show.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Return to Sender

Yesterday evening was, by all accounts, very normal and tranquil. I was going about my routine and checking my email. As I scanned my inbox, I noticed that my Spam Folder had a new message. Usually I just flat-out delete them, but unfortunately a well-intended email will sometimes get trapped in there. So I decided to take a peek.

Spam has several defining traits. It often contains a sketchy subject line ("FREE Money and Viagra"), and it's usually sent by a person with an ethnically gibberish name ("Gabaxzafr Maragollelele").This message's subject line was "Warning! This letter contains a virus", so I knew that it was a piece of junk.

But then I saw the name of the email sender: Sliwa.

Yes, Sliwa. So apparently I'm getting spam viruses from a WABC personality. Great.

Why is this happening? I've always shown respect towards him on this website. I've never mocked his 80s wardrobe choices. And this is what I get in return.

The text of the message made no sense either. It went, and I quote: "Go to thy own city. I shall proceed to pay a visit russians, and hungarians, remember, a man is a battle, thy soldiers, o king, filled with joy."

Now, if you're going to send someone a spam message rife with viruses, at least offer them something nice. He could have promised me free Viagra. (I don't biologically need it, but hey, it's the thought that counts.) He could have offered me $13 million from a Nigerian prince, which would translate into 1 million red berets. But no. Instead, I get the Iron Curtain Lord of the Rings.

As soon as I finish posting this, I'm going to check my email again. And if I get any offers of free Viagra and painkillers from a WABC host, I just hope that they won't be from Mr. Sliwa. With any luck, they'll be from Rush Limbaugh instead.