Monday, September 17, 2007

Hit Singles - Spector, Somers, Spears, Sphere and Shiksa

California: No Verdict in Spector Case - Jury deliberations continue for a sixth day with no verdict in the murder trial of Phil Spector (pictured above with victim Lana Clarkson), rock producer, armed druggie and serial assailant. First, why is it news when a jury decides nothing? Second, where was this picture yesterday when I needed something for a male baby boomer whose brain was fried on drugs involved in violent crimes? Third, based on this picture and the trial testimony, a spector should be a Harry Potter species, someone to whom dementors report.

G.O.P.'s Dirty Tricks Begin- Bob Herbert editorializes on Republican efforts to change California's electoral college vote from the traditional "winner take all" to a vote that is proportional to the results of the popular vote. More importantly, in attacking the motives of the GOP, who are evilly trying to win the 2008 election, not promote civic reform and good government - Mr. Herbert takes a gratuitous swipe at Britney Spears - " This crowd [the GOP] is no more interested in genuine electoral reform than Britney Spears is." Bob, it's time to stop piling on poor Britney. If we all just ignore her for a few months maybe she will go away. The quoted sentence was inserted as a stand alone paragraph that repeated a point already made and added nothing to the column. Bob, you are writing editorials for the NY Times, you do not need to throw Britney's name around like you are competing for ad revenues with something you read covertly while waiting in line at the grocery store. By the way, Bob, did you ask Britney for her views on electoral college reform before you went to press? What kind of jounalist are you? From now on, leave the snide, superfluous, unsupported pop culture references to As Good As News.

Bret Somers, 83, 'Match Game' Wit - As Good As News will miss Ms Somers. Her obit reminded me of some old game shows, What's My Line, the early years of Match Game, Hollywood Squares. On their good days, these were actually the first reality shows -the panels, including luminaries like Ms Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Larry Dawson, were free wheeling ad libbers, loose, quick, witty and adept at encoding some really smutty material with double entendre. The game show format was camouflage, these shows were essentially a writers room for a comedy show (the reality version of Dick Van Dyke, where Maury and Sallie were doing some pretty good ad libbing on their own) or a gang of friends dissing each other at a bar (the reality Cheers). If only we could see Charles Nelson Reilly stuck in the house with the gang from Last Comic Standing.

The Mystery of Hitler's Globe Goes Round and Round - Wolfram Pobanz, retired cartographer and globe collector, searches fanatically for the Fuhrer Globe, and he knows the real thing is not in any museum yet. Hitler had several large globes custom made, but the one from his New Reich Chancellery office is missing. I believe you Herr Pobanz, the real Fuhrer Globe hasn't turned up yet, but it will be hard to miss - not only is the thing the size of a Volkswagen, every country is named Deutschland.

Ira & Abby -will play soon at a theater near you. This romantic comedy addresses broad themes of love and marriage, but shines when it just has fun with witty dialog throughout and broad comic premises that work. Jennifer Westfeldt writes and stars. Comparisons to Woody Allen are inevitable - it's a romantic comedy set in NYC involving a neurotic Jew and a blond schiksa. Ira & Abby is definitely worth seeing. Watch for it, distribution and advertising may be limited - this is an independent film - but cast and production values are not low budget.

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