You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lunchtime Capsules

No, I'm not eating some sort of space-age nosh shaped like One-A-Days(TM). Rather, I'm sitting here on a frigid day, bundled up like a Sontaran, reviewing the news of the week.

Well, the news I'm interested in, at least.

  • Ricardo Montalban has passed on. Whether you knew him as a frequent cast member of MGM musicals, Mr. Rourke from ABC's Fantasy Island, the impossibly charming pitch artist who sold millions of Americans on the virtues of Corinthian leather (and to a lesser extent, the Chrysler Cordoba), Senor Senor from Kim Possible, the really cool villian (Vincent Ludwig) from the funniest of the The Naked Gun movies, or "Khhhhhhan!" from Star Trek (series and film), he left a stylish, indelible mark on whatever he did. He radiated class the way plutonium radiates... well, radiation. Even when he was playing a villian, you couldn't help but admire the graceful and congenial way in which he had things blown to bits.

    Also, let's face it, if the muscles he dispalyed in his sixties in Wrath of Khan were real, and from all reports they were, the bloke was ripped. ...Hope for us all in our golden years, eh? Well, maybe you.

    He will be missed.
  • Football/Soccer officials are concerned that some Brasilian clubs will be using Viagra to improve their players performance on the field. One consolation for sports officials is that the violators will be quite easy to spot.
  • The mayor of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania has offered proof that he is totally mental for the Steelers by officially changing his name from "Luke R. Ravenstahl" to "Luke R. Steelerstahl." The change is only temporary, while the Steelers are playing the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL playoffs. Get it? "Raven"stahl to "Steeler"stahl? I'm just as amused as you are, perhaps even less so.

    Apparently, he has a history of sudden, whimsical nom de plume alterations. In 1977, he changed his name to "Luke R. Skywalker" in honor of Star Wars. Then, in 1979, he was taken with the CBS programme The Dukes of Hazzard and changed his name to Bo and Luke R. Dukenstahl. In the eighties he fell in love with the programme The A-Team and changed his name to Luke R. Baracusstahl. This particular change was accompanied by a sudden scarcity of chains and neck jewelry in the Pittsburg area as the future mayor bought up everything in sight.

    The nineties was a quiet period where he simply went by the moniker "the artist previously known as Luke," but he welcomed the Millenium with a sudden change to "Luke R. Y2Kenstahl" and then, on January 2, 2000, "Luke R. Veryrelievedenstahl."

    Now this. Well, given the man's apparent loathing for the Baltimore NFL franchise, he can't very well go back to "Ravenstahl" if Pittsburgh loses. Luke R. "Loserstahl" has a nice ring to it, don't you think? least until next season.
  • The U.S. Academy of Motion Pictures and Science has decided to spice up the awards by not revealing in advance which A-list celebrities will be the awards presenters at the Oscars. This now guarantees that 100% of viewers will have no clue as to who is presenting, which is a drastic increase from the 97.4% who couldn't give a flip in previous years. (That's an average by the way.) The suspense is not exactly killing us.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Okay, So the Speeches Weren't Golden

As anyone who watched the big awards ceremony last night can tell you, there were plenty of Golden Globes on display ...and that was just on the runway, along with botoxed foreheads, tucked tummies, liposuctioned derrieres, and according to one rumour, a toupee' (say it ain't so Oprah!)

There were also many speeches to go with those little Daily Planet awards. The most talked about speech was Kate Winslet's in which she managed to accomplish the following all at once:

  • Mistakenly pronounce Angelina Jolie's name as "Fred Flintstone"
  • Thank twelve people who didn't actually work on the film, including two tourists who crashed her trailer and drank her stash of Carlsberg
  • Cry on three separate occasions in the same speech
  • Start a rumour that she is married to both Sam Mendes and Leo DiCaprio
  • Speak longer than Obama did at the convention

To be fair to Kate, hers was not the strangest speech of the evening. No, they don't let those speeches air on telly. Even the Foreign Entertainment Layabout Press Association thingy has enough class to keep these details off the air. There's a reason (besides Vice President Cheney's itchy trigger finger) that they run these shows on a fifteen-second delay and cut to adverts faster than X-Files: I Want to Believe went to DVD*:


Danny Boyle (accepting Best Director for Slumdog Millionaire): "I really don't know anything about directing a Bollywood film. They told me to pretend everyone was Scots and stoned out of their minds. It was originally going to be a musical."

Matthew Weiner (accepting Best Television Drama for Mad Men): "I'd like to thank the voters for this award, and the people at my table if they'd stop making fun of my name. It's pronounced "WINE-er!"

Mickey Rourke (accepting Best Actor for The Wrestler): "This is for all those people who said that Wild Orchid was a bad career move! Up yours, you [four minutes deleted]!!! And from the bottom of my heart, thank you! Now, I need a smoke."

Alec Baldwin (accepting Best Television Comedy Actor for 30 Rock): "I would just like to offer my deep thanks to Tina Fey, for allowing me to be on the show and for not killing me on several occasions, when she had every reason to. [kisses Ms. Fey several times on the buttocks... does the 'we're not worthy' pose... whips self with a bamboo cane as he slowly grovels his way offstage]"

Laura Dern (accepting Best Supporting Actress for a Series, Miniseries, or Television Movie for Recount): "I just want to thank you for rewarding me for this opportunity to prove myself politically committed enough to get back to work in big time, mainstream feature films. Please people, I promise I hate Bush! I need a blockbuster. I'm tired of telling my family they'll have to get the DVD!"

Bruce Springsteen (accepting Best Song for The Wrestler): "I just [grunt] wanna [grunt] the [grunt] [grunt] for [lengthy grunting sounds] and say [several grunts] and [grunt] [possibly the word 'Obama']! [Grunt] You Very [grunt]!!! [leaves stage to massive cheers]

Sasha Baron Cohen (accepting for ?): "I haven't actually won an award this year, but the producers enjoyed my speech about wrestling naked in Borat so much that they asked me to come back. The problem is that I made a personal vow never to do such a scene again. That crossed a line, even for me. I'm still scrubbing myself, people."

Tina Fey (accepting Best Television Comedy Actress for 30 Rock): "I am sick and tired of these bloggers criticizing and harrassing creative people all the time. Weaselbottom, Tina-stalker, Leopardhearts, Gingkospawn, Jimmyfallonsdoppelganger, Johanngambolputty, Bronx_Sleestak, Frodo Baggins of the Shire, artistwhowasformerlyknownasprince, and, this is for you! [makes obscene gesture]...oh yeah, [offstage] Alec, you can stop now!"

* Of course this is all based on rumour, so we could be completely mistaken. The chances of this increase proportionally to the likelihood that someone will sue. Sometimes, the fact that no one reads this blog is a relief.

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