There are some people you just think will be around forever. Betty White was one of them. I cannot claim to have watched her first television program, the self-produced “Life with Elizabeth.” I was only one year old when it premiered in 1952. And coming in the days before television programming could be recorded, or prerecorded, there is no record for me to review, or add to my insanely enormous collection of television programming.
But as to the rest of it, the game shows including Password, Match Game, Tattletales, To Tell the Truth, The Hollywood Squares, and the $25,000 Pyramid. Or the soaps and dramas, The Bold and the Beautiful, Boston Legal, and the comedies/variety programs including The Carol Burnett Show. Her biggest roles include Sue Ann Nivens on the CBS sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1973–1977), Rose Nylund on the NBC sitcom The Golden Girls (1985–1992), and Elka Ostrovsky on the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland (2010–2015). She gained renewed popularity after her appearance in the 2009 romantic comedy film The Proposal (2009) and was subsequently the subject of a successful Facebook-based campaign to host Saturday Night Live in 2010, garnering her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Have you ever seen a remake that was better than the original? Or at least as good as the original? Neither have I. So why do they continue to go down this road? Has Hollywood run out of new ideas?
The entertainment business is a land of superlatives. So, let’s get this out of the way. Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest film directors of all time. Stephen Sondheim is one of the greatest composers/lyricists of all time. West Side Story, in its various incarnations, the book of the 1957 Broadway musical the work of Arthur Laurents, is a modern implementation of the outline drawn by William Shakespeare in his drama Romeo and Juliet and as such, one of the greatest romance stories of all time. Leonard Bernstein wrote the music. Jerome Robbins was the choreographer along with Peter Cennaro. More of the greatest.
August 13, 2021 Update
I don’t mean to brag but, well, yes I do. My hometown Chicago White Sox beat the New York Yankees 9-8 in the Field of Dreams game with a dramatic bottom of the ninth inning walk off home run by Tim Anderson. The lead had changed hands several times. There is no hiding the fact that baseball faces some big challenges in the years a ahead. Perhaps this event will help. It was a great game.
August 12, 2021
Tonight the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees will play the first major league baseball game ever in the state of Iowa. There will be eight thousand people in the stands. They will have paid from $1,500 to $5,000 for the privilege. The town of Dyersville, Iowa, the game’s location, has a total population of about four thousand. The game will be telecast on Fox at 7:15 Eastern Time.
I must have been eight years old. My Uncle Alan, my Dad’s older brother, had already established his expertise at “uncling” by introducing me to the Museum of Science and Industry buying me my first model train set, a Lionel Steamer, and showing me where he stashed his bottomless supply of Hershey chocolate bars.
Now he was to open up my world another notch by leading me to his stack of science fiction. The 25¢ pulp magazines of short stories, and the 50¢ paperbacks. On the top of the paperback stack was I Robot by Isaac Asimov. Right then and there began my decades long love for science fiction. Read more
So. Its over. What did you think?
It wasn’t as long as some. And frankly, I didn’t miss the host. Besides, any show that begins with a trialog featuring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph is an instant hit in my book. Why can’t we have these three host every event from this day forward? TV Shows, shareholder meetings, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, etc. You get the idea.
Special recognition must be given to Randy Thomas. “Never seen her,” you say? Probably not. But you’ve heard her. Ms. Thomas is the voice-over talent and announcer who for the last ten years has introduced presenters and vocally escorted winners to the stage with information about previous nominations and wins. For this hostless Oscar ceremony, Ms. Thomas was a star.
Oscar season brings out the annual comparison of favorite movie lists and I figure we may as well play the game together. I’ve become so compulsive on this subject that when asked about my top ten I can quickly produce a list of a couple of hundred films and about fifty television series. The secret is that I’ve built a home server system to hold files from my DVD collection so I don’t have to search through boxes of discs to find a favorite when I’m in the mood.
So click the more button to see my list. This game only works if you play along.