Well, it’s been a big week for Growing Pains news. Unfortunately, this latest development is of the sadder variety, as we’ve lost another member of the Growing Pains family. It was announced today that veteran actor, Bill Erwin passed away at his home on December 28th, at the admirable age of 96. You may know him best as Sid Fields from Seinfeld, the old man whom Jerry volunteers to assist, a role for which Erwin was nominated for an Emmy. However, long before Seinfeld, Erwin had already made an indelible mark on us from his many appearances on Growing Pains. Over six seasons Erwin appeared on the sitcom eight different times as seven different characters, from Buzz the plumber to Lloyd the fumigator to the school janitor (he was the go-to old man for thankless blue-collar jobs, evidently). He was like Bruce Willis in North, or Rachel Dratch in the first season of 30 Rock, there whenever the Seavers needed him, in whatever guise was most appropriate. We’ve seen him in many roles since then, some he shot after, some he shot before, but, to us, he’ll always be the old man from Growing Pains.
And here he is as Bubs the mechanic, from the Growing Pains meta-episode “Meet the Seavers:”
And if you watched Home Alone over Christmas (like we did a couple of times) you might also recognize Erwin as the old man in the Scranton airport who refuses to give up his plane tickets to Mrs. McCallister:
TV and film just lost a good one, that’s for sure.
[btw, not to be confused with Bill Irwin]
A relatively broad term today, simply: “muppets.” It’s actually quite interesting, and encouraging, that someone ostensibly found our blog via the term “muppets.” That must mean (we guess) that due to our vast library of Muppet-related posts we’re becoming one of the top results for that search. Which is something to be proud of (right? Please say yes).
Since the search term was so wide open we’re going to give you two clips today, that way everyone goes home happy. First, we have this mash-up of the Muppets performing Kanye West’s “Monster,” which is all the rage today:
[sidebar: Is the Muppet remix becoming something of a tired art? How many times can we see some kind of Muppet mash-up until it feels derivative, devaluing both the Muppets and whatever work they are paired with? Only time will tell.]
And, secondly, we’re happy to counter that “Monster” with the original Muppet Monsters, Little Muppet Monsters, the extremely short-lived series that was briefly paired with Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies in 1985. Shelved after airing just three episodes, it remains when of the great Muppet oddities:
Well take the latter any day of the week.
We recently had the pleasure of viewing Die Hard for the very first time (seriously!) and we were struck by a number of things. For example, it’s really, really good, Bruce Willis had a lot more hair; Alan Rickman is super creepy; you can totally see its influence on Community‘s paintball episode; and the late 80s were a weird time when computer screens only broadcast in two colors, green and black. But perhaps our biggest takeaway was this: Reginald VelJohnson sure does play a lot of cops and other uniformed personnel. And with that small thought, that tiny light bulb, was birthed yet another Jumped the Snark semi-regular feature. So, without anymore hesitation, our first installment of the “Reginald VelJohnson in Uniform Moment of the Week:”
Yes, we did that.
First, we freely admit that Facebook Questions is an asinine feature of a site that is continuously populating itself with unnecessary clutter. But still, unless your sole purpose is to shame Facebook Questions into submission, don’t ask questions like these. “Why do people watch Lost?” That’s like asking a writer “Where do you get your ideas?” Why do we watch Lost? We just do, OKAY?! And the second question, “How did LOST end?,” c’mon! You have enough motivation to post a question on Facebook about the subject, but not enough to just find the last episode online? Or simply Google the answer? That couldn’t take more than twelve seconds.
What is this world coming to? We guess Armageddon is coming.
Whatever you do, DON’T ANSWER! We’ve gone ahead and given this enough legitimacy as it is.
Promos for this weekend’s SNL with Jim Carrey are out! Jason Sudeikis joins him backstage for these spots, which couldn’t have taken more than 5 minutes to shoot (or conceive):
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Nevertheless, we’re still excited. And if these promos are an indication that we’re going to see a fair amount of Carrey-Sudeikis collaboration, then we’ll be in good shape.
Now the question is, does Carrey do any of his classic characters? It’s unlikely he’d reprise anyone from his last hosting stint in ’96, with that entire cast long gone. But perhaps the time is right for a return to Fire Marshall Bill. Or maybe Ace Ventura. Or, as Mark McKinney did in Carrey’s first go ’round, maybe someone else in the cast will impersonate of Carrey (let’s see you do that one, Jay Pharoah). OR none of the above. So many options!