Time to Start Thinking About How We’ll Say Good-Bye

Been pretty busy this week, sorry I missed the mid-week blog. Let’s see if I can make up for it:

you love me. you know it. now tell me why!

you love me. you know it. now tell me why!

Thinking of doing something special for Michael Scott’s last episode on The Office, just like NBC is doing. So here’s my idea, and I need your help with it. In the April 24 Sunday PopRox column that goes in the paper, I’m going to write a love letter to Michael Scott. Or something like that. Just a show of appreciation for one of the most enjoyable sitcom characters I’ve ever experienced. I know there are others out there that feel just like me, so here’s my offer. If you send me an email with your own love letter to Michael Scott, I’ll publish it along with mine in the weekly column spot. Just give me some reasons why you loved Michael Scott, why you’ll miss him and why your Thursday nights were better with him around. I’ll publish the best four or five I get, and if I get more, I’ll make up a whole blog about it. Just try to keep it to about 100 words or so. Maybe I’ll even be able to shake out a prize for the best letter. Can’t promise anything, but I’ll see if we have any tickets hanging around for anything. You never know what I might find!

Tomorrow is Record Store Day across the country, and Main Street Jukebox as usual is having a big-time day of events. To get you primed and ready for albums to invest in, take note of this list. I can’t guide you through one bit of it since of these 30 albums, I’ve heard exactly zero of the albums and only 19 of the artists. The whole list looks like it belongs on Stuff White People Like, but for some reason, I now want to listen to just about every one of these albums.

So long, soap operas. If there wasn’t a death knell before, there is now. I’ve come up with three reasons soap operas are done for:

–Women work now. The reason so many women watched them for so long was because they needed something to do during the day. My mom watched her stories while she was folding laundry. We weren’t allowed to bother her while she was watching, ever. It was her time of the day to relax from watching four crazy kids. But now she works, and so do most women. In the 50s and 60s, that wasn’t the case. Who would have thought equal opportunity for women would put hundreds of actors out of work?

–Even women (or men, for that matter) that don’t work have a zillion things to do during a day since their kids are so much more involved. No one has time to be in front of the TV at the same time for an hour during the day. And if you do, you feel bad. The days of Peggy Bundy and her bon bons are over.

–Primetime soap operas. It started with shows like Dallas in the 70s, and kept pushing the boundaries into the 80s and 90s until now. Now, no one wants to watch a poorly acted hour of TV when they have a dozen other things they need to do. They can just wait til 10 when the kids are asleep, watch Grey’s Anatomy once a week and they’ve got their fix. The bottom line is, enjoy your soap operas while you’ve got them. They’ll all be gone in 10 years.

This is the funniest thing you’ll see and read today. I promise. I don’t know know why Celebrity Jeopardy cracks me up so much, I just know it does. Maybe it’s because when the actual original Celebrity Jeopardy was airing I would watch and think, “Holy s— these questions are easy and these actors are complete nimrods!” It really made me physically angry. I didn’t take the next logical step and predict it was perfect fodder for an SNL spoof, but man am I glad someone did. In the early days of Napster, I used to download the audio for as many Celebrity Jeopardy skits as I could find and listen to them at work over and over and over again. They’re hysterical. They’ve gotten a little stale at the end of its run when Will Ferrell comes back to host, you know exactly how they’re going. But they’re still really, really funny. Take a few minutes and watch a couple in particular that are true comedy classics:

Sean Connery, Jeff Goldblum, Minnie Driver. Probably my favorite. “It’s a freaking hammer!”

Connery, Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler. Ben Stiller going back to the well for his signature Cruise impersonation that he’s mastered over the last 20 years, and perhaps never doing it better. “Five!”

Connery, Keanu Reeves and Hillary Swank. Tobey Maguire is second only to Ben Stiller in hosts doing celebrity impersonations in these sketches. “I know kung fu!”

Connery, Burt Reynolds, Kathy Lee Gifford and Tom Hanks. This is the last one they’ve done, but it’s one of the best because it’s the bread-and-butter. Kristen Wiig’s Gifford has always been spot-on, Darrell Hammond as Connery and Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds speak for themselves and the addition of Tom Hanks — probably the most underrated comedic actor of the last 30 years — as Tom Hanks was genius. The writing is somewhat bland by Celebrity Jeopardy standards, but the acting is probably the best in the skit’s history.

This shouldn’t be the first time I’ve ever seen anyone interview Stephen Root about his 8 trillion roles. His 8 trillion awesome roles, I might add. It’s gotten to the point where I throw up my hands and shake my head every time I randomly find him in a movie. But it’s still fun when I do find him. The guy’s been in everything. It’s a little disappointing to me that he counts King of the Hill higher than NewsRadio, since I think Jimmy James is probably one of my 10 or 15 favorite TV characters of all time. But he likes what he likes.

One of the things I try to do in this blog on a daily basis is to get beyond the spin of PR. I’ve dealt with hundreds of PR people, and can basically tell you exactly what they’re going to say before they say it — even though I know it’s 100 percent BS. Right now, my PR BS meter has gone past red and is probably going to break when it comes to Green Lantern. A couple weeks ago and about three months before the movie was scheduled to hit theaters, the production team announced that Geoffrey Rush would voice a character in the movie and said something along the lines of, “We know it’s late, but this happens all the time in voice-over work, people come on late.” If it’s so common, how come we never heard about it happening before? Anyway, I let it go because his voice then showed up in the four-minute extended trailer the studio put out. So I thought it was just something they never got around to announcing, but figured they should when his voice was in the trailer. Now the latest news that Michael Clarke Duncan is going to be a voice in it too and has been negotiating for the last couple weeks on it. Now that’s a red flag. The movie opens June 17 and they’re still bringing in actors? I’m not letting this one go. This movie is in trouble and I’m getting to the point where I will not be paying for it.

Before the trailer for the Planet of the Apes prequel premiered this week, it wasn’t even close to my radar. I never even remotely enjoyed any of the previous Planet of the Apes movies and thought James Franco was miscast as a scientist trying to prevent the end of the world or something like that. But after the trailer, I’m way more into it than I’m into Green Lantern. It’s probably the same way I’m really into the planned I Am Legend prequel. I thought the movie was OK, but love the idea of a prequel because I thought those were the best parts of the movie, the aftermath flashbacks with Will Smith trying to get out of Manhattan. I want to know how that happened — I don’t necessarily want to see him fighting zombies. That’s now my feeling about Planet of the Apes. I don’t care about apes ruling the world, but I do want to know how it happened. And the trailer is a perfect set-up to that. TRAILER GRADE: A-.

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