Monthly Archives: July 2012
Everyone is reporting on this, so we will too, even though getting emotionally invested in Steven Tyler leaving American Idol to focus on Aerosmith and
kicking ass making no sense is just as silly as getting emotionally invested in Steven Tyler leaving Aerosmith to focus on American Idol and kicking ass making no sense. But Tyler leaves a big, scarf shaped hole to fill, and it will be hard for Idol to find a replacement who looks so much like our mom and dresses so much like our grandma.
But, more importantly, it leaves Randy, once again, without one of his dawgs. He had so much admiration for Steven too.
At this point Fox should just combine Idol with Kids Say the Darndest Things and call it a day.
Today is one of the greatest of all the non-denomination global holidays: 7/11, the self-proclaimed birthday of 7-Eleven, also known to many as Free Slurpee Day. Perhaps other than New Years Eve, no day is celebrated more widely across the globe, from New York City to Singapore, from Toronto to Taipei. Nothing brings the citizens of Earth together like a free 7.11 oz helping of pina colada flavored frozen sugar, especially as we enter the dog days of summer. Many years ago we produced a video of die-hard 7-Eleven fans in cities around the world talking about their love of all things Slurpee, and we present this to you on this day, the day of 7-Eleven’s birthday.
So have fun out there, guys, and enjoy your complimentary somewhat frozen beverages. Just remember: no wheezing the juice, and if you insist on having an all-syrup Slurpee, make sure you pair up with a buddy.
Last night Prince Fielder became only the second player to win the MLB Home Run Derby twice, equaling the feat achieved by Ken Griffey, Jr (whose success in the event can no doubt be attributed to the freedom to wear his Mariners cap in his preferred backwards position, enlivening him and providing optimal comfort in the batter’s box). The derby itself, taking place at the Kansas City ballpark that most of the country just learned is named Kauffman Stadium, was an interminable display that painfully reflected the American ideal of bigger is better, an incessant cacophony of bombastic, intolerable, verging on nauseating home run calls (the half-life on Chris Berman’s “back, back, back, back….GONE!” is exactly two). Three hours into it, and there we still were for some reason, watching Prince Fielder and runner-up Jose Bautista tee-off on meatballs lobbed in by AARP-card carrying batting practice pitchers (or, in Robinson Cano’s case, disappointed fathers). One can only watch baseballs be launched into centerfield fountains so many times before the tweens earnestly but unsuccessfully shagging pop flies quickly become vastly more entertaining. We freely admit that there was a time when we were once highly engaged in the Home Run Derby. But now, what we wouldn’t give for Roger McDowell and a cow in right field.
But it wasn’t just our yearning for something more exciting and less vacant that reminded us of MTV’s Rock N’ Jock Softball. We couldn’t help watch Prince Fielder deposit ball after ball into the right field stands and not remember first seeing him as a young boy accompanying his father Cecil “Big Daddy” Fielder at those true mid-summer classics. Unfortunately, as Grantland notes in its superb primer on the halcyon days of Rock N’ Jock, video of those games is stunningly difficult to find online. You can spot Cecil in the starting lineup during the Star Spangled Banner in one of the earlier match-ups, but that’s about it. Other than that brief appearance, tragically, there’s no video evidence that Cecil was a Salamander or an Aardvark, let alone any footage from those MTV broadcasts that show a young baseball prodigy named Prince, and we’re all losers for it.
However, there is some proof of Prince’s early talent. However, this phenom ability was found in throwing a baseball, not sending it 440 feet with a Louisville Slugger, as illustrated by this 1992 McDonald’s commercial with Cecil.
Although Prince is on the other side of the ball in this commercial he still comes out on top. Burger royalty then, baseball royalty now.
As they say, these things come in thirties, and yesterday Ernest Borgnine joined the ranks of the many actors, celebrities and famous figures to leave us this year, passing away at ninety-five less than a week after Nora Ephron and less than two weeks after Andy Griffith. Borgnine was one of those life-time, living legend actors, sort of a male Betty White, a performer whose career spanned more decades than most marriages, a half-century of a work on his resume. By the time we knew who he was, or at least knew his name, he was already into the golden age of his career, a silver-headed silver back. And we came know him best – for better or worse – as Manny the doorman on NBC’s The Single Guy. Certainly, this is not the crowning achievement of his career, that would be his Oscar for 1955’s Marty, and the NBC sitcom is more of a footnote on his illustrious filmography, but it is the role with which we most associate him. We didn’t choose to be twelve-years-old when The Single Guy came on the air, it choose us. And how were we not supposed to watch the show between Friends and Seinfeld? But that’s where The Single Guy was, 8:30pm on Thursday nights, the cushiest spot for any fledgling sitcom in all of television, and there on that show was an adorable, bushy-haired old man. And that’s how we remember Ernest Borgnine.
In lieu of any choice excerpts from The Single Guy (if such a thing exists), here’s Borgnine talking about that show and its rapid demise. His quiet bemusement over the show’s sudden cancellation and the questionable machinations of showbiz indicates that Borgnine the person was not so unlike the Borgnine characters: upbeat, gentle, and genuine.
Beloved author, screenwriter and New Yorker Nora Ephron passed away suddenly nearly two weeks ago, and we wouldn’t be doing our job here at Jumped the Snark if we didn’t report on it nearly two weeks later. Like with a lot of celebrities and significant figures who left us this year – Richard Dawson excluded – we didn’t have the same deep personal relation to or affection for Nora Ephron that many others did (and still do). Did we respect and appreciate her work? Surely. But did we harbor a rapturous devotion to her romantic comedies? Not quite. When we think of Nora Ephron, we think of You’ve Got Mail. And when we think of You’ve Got Mail, we inevitably think of this scene from Undeclared, when a warm-keg-beer-filled Seth Rogen declares his love for the film.
And this soliloquy can perhaps be applied to Nora Ephron’s body of work, at the least to her film career. Later in life she became synonymous with “romantic comedies” which became synonymous with “rom-coms” which itself became synonymous with “melodramatic, insulting, mindless treacle,” which is not quite an appropriate usage of the transitive property. Yes, some – maybe even most – rom-coms are uninspired and vapid forms of low art designed to appeal to a specific demographic and not necessarily to be good, but not all rectangles are squares, and not all rom-coms are “typical American tripe.” Like with You’ve Got Mail, you may think you’re better than Nora Ephron, but you’re not.
Coincidentally, we just this afternoon read New York magazine’s tribute of sorts to Ephron, a reprinting of her inaugural “Women” column, and we found her writing witty, confident, fun, and, much like Greg Kinnear in You’ve Got Mail, very likable.