Thursday, June 19, 2008

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor...

I Got Nothin'

Well, actually I have lots of stuff but it's all in progress and I haven't had the time to complete any of it. In the meantime here's a peak at some of my Pop Culture Heroes...

Ernie Kovacs
Television Pioneer and Innovator. He deserves a blog all his own.

Mickey Mouse
Spunky, little wise-ass Mickey (circa 1928) not white bread corporate shill modern Mickey.

Louis Armstrong
If I have to explain the greatness that is Satchmo, you shouldn't be reading this blog.

William M. Gaines
Publisher of Mad Magazine and EC Comics (Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science etc). Back in the day, Mad Magazine was truly funny and clever and it taught me to have a healthy disrespect for authority.

The Three Stooges
Violent? Yes. Childish and unsophisticated? Yes.
Funny as Hell? Why Coitenly!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Moments I Wish I Could Forget, Part 1

July 29, 2007

While on a family vacation at Walt Disney World, the It's A Small World Ride breaks down stranding me inside for approximately 5 or 10 minutes and providing a brief yet vivid glimpse of hell...

I attend church regularly from that point on....

Friday, June 6, 2008

The One-Eyed Hall of Fame

Presenting One-Eyed Wonders Throughout Pop Culture

Sammy Davis Jr.
The Elvis Presley of one-eyed performers (Elvis would have been the Elvis of one-eyed performers but he had two eyes). Let's just say the King of one-eyed performers. Sammy was a triple threat; he could sing, dance and act. An Emmy and Grammy award winning performer, he got to hang out with Frank and Dean and dated Kim Novak, easily one of the hottest women of the mid 20th Century. To top it off, he had a smoking hot wife from Sweden. I guess blondes dig one eyed guys.

Sandy Duncan
Which brings us to our next Hall of Famer. The day that Sammy died (May 16, 1990), I learned of his passing through a phone call from my friend Colin. Instead of telling me that Sammy had died, Colin said "Mike, you want to make a lot of money? Go over to Penn Station and sell Sandy Duncan tee shirts." "Why," I asked, "did she die?" "No," he replied, "She's now America's number 1 0ne-eyed singer, dancer entertainer." Pretty much that's all you need to know about Sandy Duncan.

Peter Falk
Award winning actor (2 Oscars, 5 Emmys, 1 Golden Globe), famous for his portrayal of Los Angeles homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo. In his 2006 autobiography, Falk tells the story of getting into an argument in high school with an umpire during a baseball game. As Falk tells it, he removed his glass eye and handed it to the umpire saying "You'll do better with this one."

Moshe Dayan
Check this dude out, not only does he have one eye - he wears an eye patch! No wonder he was in charge of Israel's Military. He looks like he's ready to kick some Arab ass doesn't he?

That kid in Third Grade with Lazy Eye
Everyone had one in their class. You may not remember the name, but the sight of that boy or girl who wore glasses and an eye patch is something you'll always remember.

Dick Vitale
Easily one of the most famous sportscasters since the Great Cosell (who, unfortunately for the sake of this post, had two eyes) and certainly the most famous basketball commentator in the world. That's right baby, he has one eye!

Jack Elam
Character actor with a long career of playing ornery crazy-ass types in Westerns. He was perfectly cast thanks to that crazy bug-eye.

Art Tatum
Jazz pianist. Although dying at the young age of 47, he influenced and inspired a generation of Jazz musicians. Fortunately he had two good hands.

Claude Rains
Diminutive (5'3") British character actor. Pictured in the role of Lt Renault from Casablanca. Rain's costar in that film, Humphrey Bogart, despite his famous squint, had two good eyes.

Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner. At 42, the youngest person to become President, TR was blinded while taking part in a boxing match at the White House. His injury was kept a secret. He accomplished more with one eye, than many subsequent two-eyed presidents.

James Thurber
American humorist, author and cartoonist most closely associated with The New Yorker magazine. His most famous work, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, was made into a movie starring two-eyed entertainer Danny Kaye.

Tex Avery
Pioneering animator, cartoonist, director and Michael Salzmann look-a-like (that's a private joke). Avery worked for MGM and Warner Brothers where he created Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck among others. Avery is responsible for Bugs' famous catchphrase, "What's Up, Doc?"

The Hathaway Man
Character featured in a series of advertisements for Hathaway shirts in the 1950's. In one of those pieces of irony that we love so much, the model who portrayed him, Baron George Wrangell, was a Russian aristocrat with 20/20 vision.

Popeye the Sailor
Whether or not he really has only one eye, or is just perpetually squinted from looking through a naval telescope is any body's guess.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Great Moments in Pop Culture History

First in a series...

June 26, 1964

The wedding of Broadway star Ethel Merman
to TV and movie actor Ernest Borgnine.

Note: the couple divorced on July 29, 1964
after a mere 32 days of wedded bliss.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Greetings From Lake Taghkanic State Park!

Miscellaneous musings from a day at the lake

No matter how much sand you put around a lake, it's not a beach; it's just a lake with sand around it.

There are black snakes in the water; this is definitely not like the beaches on Long Island.

If AccuWeather says there's a chance of a thunderstorm, take them seriously.

There are probably safer places to be during a thunderstorm than in a metal row boat in the middle of a lake.

No matter how old I get, I never tire of the sight of two 20 year-old women putting suntan lotion on each other.

I realize that the above thought makes me sound like a dirty old man. What's your point?

Sadly, I'm invisible to 20 year-old women.

The only men who should be allowed to wear speedos are competitive swimmers (and then only those new body suit type speedos).

There were no competitive swimmers at the lake today. Unfortunately, there were men in speedos.

Yes (left), GOD NO! (right)

There must be an unalterable law of the universe which states that the people who play their radios the loudest sit next to me.

Fortunately, iPods can drown out the loudest outside music.

iPods need to be charged occasionally.

It's been a while since I charged my iPod.

Wearing a bikini is a privilege not a right.

No matter how old I get, I never tire of building sandcastles.

In my youth I worshiped the sun, baking unprotected for hours until my skin turned brown. Skin cancer? Who worried about skin cancer? When you're 18 you never think of your own mortality. When you're 46 it stares you in the face every time you look in the mirror (reason #1 why I wear a shirt most of the time on the beach).

The tankini, hailed as a clever combination of bikini and one-piece bathing suit, is not the best of both worlds; it's the worst. If your body is good enough for a bikini you should wear a bikini. If it's not, you won't look any better in a tankini.

It is one of life's cruel ironies that as the hair decreases on my head, it increases on my back and shoulders (reason #2 why I wear a shirt most of the time on the beach).

Ever since the original Friday the 13th movie, I'm never completely comfortable in a rowboat in the middle of a lake.

I'd forgotten Kevin Bacon was in the original Friday the 13th movie; is there anything that guy hasn't done?