Archive for Television – Page 2

Sunday Talkers

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Sunday Talkers

Image: Politico

Please read about this week's Sunday talk show talkers here on Politico.

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MSNBC: Preen forward #OhButIKid

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msnbc shows

Oh, but I kid MSNBC. I watch it every single day, and despite it being the only major cable news outlet I can tolerate (or appreciate), there are a few observations that I can no longer keep to myself. Gotta vent. Here's my (satirical) take on MSNBC daytime:

MSNBC Host 1: So welcome to my very own show. So, today's guests are Goldie Taylor, Howard Fineman, David Corn, Joan Walsh, Michael Steele, Jonathan Alter, Michael Eric Dyson, Nicolle Wallace, Mark Halperin, Michael Isikoff, Jonathan Capehart, Kasie Hunt, Eugene Robinson, Ezra Klein, Dave Weigel, Steve Schmidt, and all my fellow MSNBC hosts who are all here to talk about their very own shows! Every single one of them. So have I told you guys what a great job you do? GOD you're good. You all excel at your jobs! To call you stellar doesn't do you justice! I'm so proud to call you "colleagues."

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So, thank you, my friend! So, congratulations to us! So, group hug to Camera Three!

MSNBC Host 2: So when we return, we'll explore why every MSNBC commentator begins each thought with, "So..." We'll be back in 15 minutes after these messages from Cialis, Cymbalta, Lipitor, Abilify, Celebrex, Humira, Nasonex, and Lyrica.

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So you forgot AT&T, BP, Exxon, Citibank, catheters, vaginal dryness meds, and Christian Mingle!

One hour later...

MSNBC Host 2: So here to help us make some sense of our top story is the host of [insert any MSNBC daytime show here]. Thanks for being here, Other Host.

Other MSNBC Host: So I'm honored, my friend. You are awesome.

MSNBC Host 2: So no, YOU are, my friend.

Other MSNBC Host: No, YOU! So.

Luke Russert: Um, hello? So did somebody forget to intro Tim Russert's trying-to-fill-his-father's-big-shoes son over here on the monitor? So I've got an exclusive I'm dying to break right here on your very own show, MSNBC Host 2!

MSNBC Host 2: So we could never forget YOU, Luke, my friend, my brother. What's your scoop? You always have the BEST scoops! GOD you're good.

Luke: So, so are you. You are a FABULOUS host, as are you, Other MSNBC Host. You two are superb at everything you do. Nobody does it better. So I'm in tears. Seriously. So how cool is it that we're all such good friends? So who knew being this incestuous could pay so well?

MSNBC Host 2: So tell us your scoop, Amazingly Adept Luke, my brother, my friend, MSNBC's own Sage of Washington DC, Our Capitol Hill Crusader! So don't you just love these obvious displays of public camaraderie? It's like our own private little club! So whatcha got, my friend?

Luke: Well crap. I forgot.

MSNBC Host 2: So we'll be back right after these words from Cialis, Cymbalta, Lipitor, Abilify, Celebrex, Axiron, Humira, Nasonex, Lyrica,  AT&T, BP, Exxon, Citibank, catheters, vaginal dryness meds, Febreze, Aleve, Verizon, Samsung, Cliffside Malibu Rehab Center, Christian Mingle, GE, financial groups you've never heard of, and endless promos of other MSNBC programming and the new MSNBC website!

One hour later...

MSNBC Host 3: So now for more repetitive analysis, welcome back to the hosts of all of our other fantastic shows. You all do such great work. Nobody does it better than you, my friends. GREAT reporting! You all look GREAT! Our audiences should be tuning into each of your shows every single day and night, no matter what effect that much exposure to redundant political infotainment has on their personal relationships!

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So Rachel has a very special Special coming up! Let's plug it! Over and over and over again!

MSNBC Host 3: I was just about to. But first, may I just say, you guys really set a high bar for journalistic standards. GREAT reporting, guys! But now it's time for the Tweet of the Day from Chris Matthews, MSNBC's very own god. But first: So when is Ezra Klein getting his own show already? He may put us to sleep in seconds, but he does such incredibly GREAT work! GREAT reporting! What a find! Am I right, my friends? Hey Farrow, stop giggling. So I'll get your responses to this and more on the other side of the commercial break. We have a new sponsor: ZzzKlein, er, Quil.

Fade out.

(Laffy Note: I didn't forget to include Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, or Rachel Maddow in the Long Host List. While they do pop in on election nights or to promote a special or a book occasionally, they rarely guest on other shows as commentators/panel members.)

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Fox News Doesn't Understand Reality From Satire

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Howard Kurtz

It seems that even fake newscasters like Ted Baxter (Mary Tyler Moore Show) and Muppet Reporter (The Muppets) must have credibility standards -- that according to Fox New's resident bozo, Howard Kurtz.  Unbelievably, Mr. Kurtz doesn't know the meaning of satire nor comedy nor reality for that matter. He can't distinguish what's a send-up from whats real. Perhaps if you look at the content of Fox News, you can understand why. They don't know sh*t from Shinola at the Murdoch news fun factory.

The other night Stephen Colbert, on COMEDY CENTRAL, (note to Kurtz-- the first word of this cable outlet is "COMEDY") made fun of Fox's criticism and attack on Hillary Clinton as being too old to run for president.

HuffPo:

Fox News has already sounded the alarm over Hillary Clinton's age, telling viewers that the possible Democratic presidential nominee is too old to run. Sure, Ronald Reagan may have been the same age as Clinton (and John McCain was older), but as Stephen Colbert points out: "Remember, those were man years."

Man years? What's the matter, Howard? You can't see the humor there? You really think there's something known as man years?

So, it seems that Mr. Kurtz feels that even satirists like Colbert or actor-portrayed characters must have standards of "truthiness" (a Colbert word). I bet Kurtz thought Archie Bunker was a real guy who lived at 704 Hauser Street in Queens, NY.

Sorry to burst your bubble over at Fox, Howard, but Colbert's character is not real. Maybe by Fox News standards he is, but even the slightest educated boob out there can tell the difference. You go to Comedy Central for comedy. You go to Fox News for... come to think of it, why do people go to Fox News? Perhaps its for comedy as well. It certainly isn't for news if Howard Kurtz is any indication.

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Academy Awards sequel: "Gravity: #Christie stars as huge disintigrating space station."

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academyawards

It's Academy Awards Day! Yippee! Welcome to my vice, my chocolate, my drug of choice, and my food binge all wrapped up in one self-congratulatory, gaudy, narcissistic, glitzy, decadent, glamorous, self-indulgent crazy fun package during which nobody is allowed to call, text, email, or interrupt me in any way whatsoever.

Yes, I'm a twelve-year-old fan girl. But what else would you expect from a former TV/stage actress/writer/director? I live for this stuff, despite the embarrassing amount of money and attention spent on stars who regularly receive an embarrassing amount of money and attention.

I am a Red Carpet addict in search of a meeting:

"I am Laffy and I am an Academy Awards-aholic."

"Hi Laffy!"

I gobble this stuff up the way the media eats up Hillary Clinton 2016 speculation. However, I don't give one damn about who is wearing whom, and I resent every swag bag handed out to 1%ers who need freebies the way John Boehner needs another drink.

I do find myself ogling, admiring, and critiquing the Botoxed, lifted, tucked stars morphing into mere shadows of their pre-altered selves; and I have no problem snarking about every minute of the festivities-- including the embarrassingly groveling interviewers-- with Mr. Laffy while guzzling wine from my Sippy Cup.

Did I mention how grateful I am for high def Tee Vee Machines? Say it with me now: I am an equal opportunity Academy Awards reveler in the good, the bad, the ugly, the glammy, and the inevitably awkward.

I laugh, I groan, I get misty-eyed, frustrated, angry, and triumphant for three-plus seemingly endless hours of long-winded self-promotion by the glitterati and ABC alike.

So I admit it, this is my one Very Special night to be as superficial, catty, annoyed, and appreciative as I want, and often bored. I own it without reservation. So there.

Which brings me to this excellent series of images by Steve Brodner. He calls the collection "This Year's Oscar Nominees Kickstart Next Year's Sequels." The following is but a taste of how beautifully he combined the world of politics with 2014's Best Picture nominees, so please go here for the rest:

Oscars and politics cartoon Academy Awards Chris Christie, Koch Brothers via Steve Brodner

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"Dating Game" host Jim Lange dies at 81

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jim lange dating game

Who doesn't know and love The Dating Game, whether from countless spoofs of host Jim Lange, the campy matchmaking TV program itself, or from personal pop art-infused memories of the groundbreaking "reality show's" impact on pop culture in the Swinging Sixties and Seventies? Those were the days.

Here are but two of many, many examples of what TV was like back then, starring Lange, a young Michael Jackson, and pre-Charlie's Angels Farrah Fawcett.

R.I.P. Jim Lange.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

Jim Lange was the original and best-known host of a television show that has come to be identified with the swinging late 1960s and 1970s: "The Dating Game."

"We were really the first reality show," he said in a 2002 Times interview, "paving the way for Howard Stern, Jerry Springer, 'Big Brother.'"

Not that Lange, who graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota, was so proud of those offspring. He spent more than 50 years in radio and television and hoped to one day have a TV talk show. But Lange felt his association with "The Dating Game" stymied loftier ambitions, and he knew it would be his legacy.

"It'll be on my tombstone," he said in a 1991 San Francisco Chronicle interview.

More on Jim Lange's life and career at the link.

 jim lange dating game with Farrah Fawcett

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Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers & Pregnant Women - New Hosts

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Fallon Meyers Hosts

New hosts are popping up all over the place recently. Last week it was Jimmy Fallon taking over hosting chores on The Tonight Show. This week it was Seth Meyers taking over the Late Night Show on NBC.

Oh, and there was another new "host" which you may not have hear about. The new hosts are the women carrying a fetus or fetuses in the case of twins or triplets. Pregnant women are no longer mothers-to-be. They are, according to Steve Martin, "hosts."

No, not the famous Steve Martin, comic actor and writer and many times host of Saturday Night Live. If he had said that, we'd be laughing. This new designation as "hosts" comes from an elected official. What he's posted on Facebook indicates that he too is a wild and crazy guy -- only for real, and with the emphasis on crazy.

Huffpo:

A pregnant woman is just a "host" that should not have the right to end her pregnancy, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin (R) wrote in a Facebook rant defending his anti-abortion views.

"However, once a child does exist in your womb, I'm not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child's host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn't want it."

Why not just call pregnant women a "uterus UPS?" 

It's one thing to be against abortions, as Senator Martin has vociferously made clear. He voted for Virginia's mandatory ultrasound bill and supported a fetal personhood bill, which would ban all abortions and could affect the legality of some forms of contraception.

Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told The Huffington Post in an email that Martin's rant reveals the "contempt" that anti-abortion lawmakers have for women.

"Sen. Steve Martin obviously has zero understanding of the reality of reproductive choice and what it means for women to have control over their bodies, families, and lives," Keene said. "His remarks demonstrate what exactly these extreme lawmakers mean when they talk about 'personhood' - that pregnant women are no more than vessels.

Now what was it RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was saying about the GOP reaching out to women? Maybe he meant to have them pick up and deliver some bundles of joy -- babies -- that have been left under a cabbage leaf, or that the stork was too tired to deliver himself. That's the Republican outlook on science and women's reproduction. Women are simply a host. Well, I hope they're as successful at it as Jimmy Fallon.

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R.I.P. Sid Caesar

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sid caesar, carl reiner, imogene cocaSid Caesar with Carl Reiner, Imogene Coca

 

Damn. I had a few personal connections to Mr. Sid Caesar, someone I was lucky enough to meet once upon a time. I even taught about him and his amazingly talented cohorts in my comedy class.

He was a pioneer, a brilliant man. What a loss. Via Variety:

Sid Caesar, one of the first stars created by television via his weekly live comedy program “Your Show of Shows,” has died at 91. TV host Larry King announced the news on Twitter.

Caesar, partnered with Imogene Coca, is credited with breaking ripe comedic ground with the 90-minute live program: It didn’t rely on vaudeville or standup-inspired material but rather on long skits and sketches written by an impressive roster of comedy writers including Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Lucille Kallen and Mel Tolkin.

They omitted Tony Webster, another of his amazing writers who was a dear friend of ours.

But his addiction took its toll, and until he came out of it in the late ’70s, Caesar gradually disappeared from the scene. In the early ’80s, he hosted “Saturday Night Live” and toured with Coca in a stage show recalling some of the better “Show of Shows” material.

He also did a considerable amount of work in supporting and guest turns on film and TV. He was in “Grease” and “The Cheap Detective” in 1978, in Brooks’ “History of the World: Part I” in 1981 and he made two appearances on “Love Boat,” to name just a few of his credits from the period... In 1985 he was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. In 2011 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Television Critics Assn.

Mr. Laffy worked on "Love Boat" for years, and many of our writer friends (some mentioned in this article) worked with Sid Caesar and would share some great stories with us. He will be missed.

More on his life and career at the link.

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