Avengers, Stern and Jennifer Love Hewitt

(For some unknown reason, this didn’t post on Monday. My bad. Hope this is still semi-enjoyable.)


yeah, i'm not looking up any new avengers pictures anymore.

Why stop now? I managed to post something about Avengers for, like, 20 straight posts, so how could I possibly resist when it just sets the record — excuse me, obliterates the record — for opening weekend box office? For all the talk about how box office numbers are going kaput, Avengers is here to tell you differently. It’s the culmination of a meticulous six-year plan from Marvel that started when Marvel broke off from Universal and started making its own movies, and started with the scripting for the original Iron Man movie. So we’re not just talking about one movie that’s made this record. We’re talking about five movies — Iron Man 1 and 2, Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America — that worked in unison to make this record happen. It’s a thing of Hollywood beauty that also shows you the good side of Hollywood business. Somehow, Marvel convinced a bunch of very good actors used to being stars to work together to make a great movie and guarantee the financial success of Disney for a decade to come. Like it needed it, but still. It’s movie-making, planning and marketing perfectly combined. They should teach classes on saga of The Avengers at USC film school or something.

and i'm only a super casual beasties fan, if there is such a thing. real fans took it really hard.

When the news of Adam Yauch’s death came over Friday afternoon, I didn’t have two spare seconds to update the blog post for the day, so all I could do was throw together a quick Facebook post about my favorite Beasties songs. After thinking about it for a weekend, two things I don’t think many people mentioned:

1. I don’t want remaining Beastie Boys Ad Rock and Mike D to ever play any kind of show ever again. Ever. They’re in the Rock and Roll HOF so they don’t have to do that. They’ve already saved Tibet or whatever, so they don’t have to do that. There are only a couple bands ever whose members are so intertwined that you can’t imagine someone being replaced for whatever reason, including death. And this is coming from a huge Springsteen fan that had no problem with Bruce picking up and touring again a couple months after Clarence Clemons died. So the list is pretty small. Beasties are on that list. It wouldn’t sound the same, it wouldn’t feel the same, it wouldn’t be the same. So please, Mike D and Ad Rock, don’t try it. Just let us Pandora you guys to our heart’s content.

2. There are also only a few bands in my lifetime that have been able to survive by adapting. They had about a dozen different styles, all of them incredible. Listen to Fight for your Right. Then listen to Intergalactic. Then listen to Pass the Mic. Then listen to Get It Together. If you never listened to Beasties before, there’s only a 50/50 shot you say those four songs were made by the same group of people. And if you get it, you might only get it because Ad Rock’s voice is so distinct. It’s one thing to experiment with a new sound or style, but another thing completely to be successful with it. Beasties were successful in just about every new style they tried. This is probably a good time to mention my wife and I made sure our wedding closed with Sabotage. That’s how you make everyone remember your wedding, people.

With upfronts only a week away, we’re getting pretty close to finding out whether our favorite TV shows will be back or not. One clearly on the cancellation bubble — Cougar Town. ABC has been jerking the show around all year, clearly not seeing it worthy enough to leave in its powerful Wednesday night comedy lineup, then not bothering to show the new season until February. And that was only when the horrendously unwatchable Work It died the painful death it deserved. These are not the actions of a network with faith in a show, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see it get canned next week. The talk now is that TBS would grab it if it did get canned, which sounds like a pretty good idea on the surface, but why would it bother paying for new episodes of what has to be a pretty expensive series? TBS gets great ratings just paying for the syndication rights to Family Guy and Big Bang Theory, why screw things up? But good for them for realizing that’s not a sustainable business model, and realizing you have to take some chances. Then again, none of this is necessarily true and Cougar Town could be gone for good in a week. So there’s that.

more like this, thanks.

The Client List is coming back on Lifetime no matter what. I actually tried to watch this over the weekend, to no avail. JLH butchering a southern accent is no way to spend an hour. Maybe if she was just, you know, walking around without saying anything, then we’d be talking. But when she tries to do the whole acting thing, it never turns out well. It almost makes you pine for the days of her whining on Party O’ Five.

How dumb can the Parents Television Council be? Seriously, I’m asking! How dumb are they? NBC hasn’t exactly been on its game for the last decade, but does the PTC seriously, honestly think the network would do something as bold, controversial and potentially stupid as hiring Howard Stern for one of its only final, true commodities, america’s Got Talent, without talking to its sponsors to see if it’s OK? Or at least map something out to say, “OK, if we lose all 91 of our sponsors, do we have 100 on reserve to take their place that won’t give a shat what the PTC thinks? We do? Perfect, then pull the trigger.” The plan probably also included, “Let’s scale back the marketing budget, we’ll get free publicity from the PTC for a week or so on this.” Yup, the PTC has become so predictable that people can budget for it. Don’t think differently.

Just to be clear, I’ve never watched a second of The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry RFD and don’t remember seeing George Lindsay on Hee Haw. So why the heck would I be sad about George “Goober” Lindsay being dead? Maybe because I laughed like crazy about his supposed death 15 years ago and still hold this as the only way I’d know George Lindsay:

i still watch this and think, "maybe he'll stop in the middle of it and realize how nuts he sounds."

I’m getting old, I realize this. And there are so many anniversary things of major pop culture moments from the 80s, I’ve kinda become immune to to them making me feel old. But today is a 10-year anniversary that makes me feel old — the 10-year anniversary of the Allen Iverson “practice” press conference. I had been at work all day, and that night my dad asked me, “Did you see that? Did you see that? It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen!!!” And it was. Iverson is one of my three favorite Philadelphia athletes of all time with Mike Schmidt and Randall Cunningham. I still wear his jersey. I’ve never seen a sports season like his 2000-01 season, at least not in Philly sports. Maybe Lenny Dystra’s 1993 season, but that’s it. Anyway, if all you remember about this press conference is the “practice” stuff, take 10 minutes and read the whole transcript. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Done? OK. The signs were there that Iverson was pretty clearly insane, but at least it wasn’t on display for the world to see. Until this press conference. 10 years later, I’m not sure why I didn’t bet $1,000 on the 10,000-1 shot of “Allen Iverson will be out of the NBA, will have played in Turkey for a month and will not have a dime to his name.” It should have been a n0-brainer. What gets me is that everyone remembers the “We’re talkin’ ’bout practice” part, but no one mentions the other half-hour of this masterpiece where he clearly exhibits a textbook cry for help. He was mentally broken and he needed fixing at the ripe old age 26. It never happened, and now he’s a punchline for watching your wealth stories, grouped with the Antoine Walkers of the world. We all should have seen it in this press conference, but we never did. Now, it’s almost like watching a suicide video and laughing. But since I’m not going to change anyone’s minds, and because it is actually funny, enjoy, I guess. My favorite parts are him calling legendary Sixers beat writer Phil Jasner “Phillip.” Favorite as in a, “Cheese and rice, this guy has really lost it!” kinda way.

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