Back in March Gallagher suffered three separate heart attacks and it seemed like the very appropriate time to post a long-gestating Gallagher piece we had been planning to write. Well, obviously, two months have passed, but during that interim we kept this tab open in our browser, a reminder that, eventually, we needed to get to it, to talk about Gallagher, to try to make some sense of this fallen from grace comedian in the twilight of career, and possibly of his life.
We should preface this by detailing our own personal history with Gallagher. We very clearly recall watching his cable specials as a child, filling time slots in the early years of Comedy Central and possibly even on VH1, before they had Celebrity Rehab to occupy the bulk of their schedule. Of course we remember the watermelon smashing – the Sledge-O-Matic – but we also vividly remember a giant couch, outfitted with a trampoline under the giant cushions, and as an eight year-old that seemed like the coolest thing ever. It was like Lily Tomlin’s Edith Ann, but crossed with a playground, with a purpose. We wanted one. The stage, with its oversized props, was quite literally a giant toy store, and Gallagher was the wily proprietor, with a sparkle in his eye and a mischievous grin. We’re not sure at the time that we really understood “comedy,” but we liked whatever he was doing. It may not have been comedy, but it sure as fuck was entertaining to a kid still five-years shy of his Bar Mitzvah.
Read on: Our journey with Gallagher continues and we look back at one of those early specials…
Jumped the Snark presents, with pleasure, the latest thoughts from Mr. Kieran Walsh:
They were shiny. They were round. After breaking the dorm room mirror I used one to comb my hair for an entire semester of college (true!)
And, now, suffice to say, they’re pretty much dead.
I’m referring, of course, to the Compact Disc.
Oh, you can still find them. Most of the big music stores are closed, of course. No more Tower Records. Alas, Sam Goody. Whither Virgin…
Yes, strictly speaking, CDs are still out there and, as long as what little I understand of economics still holds true in our increasingly bizarre post-TARP universe, they should be for a while.
But in terms of the popular imagination—in terms of being the de facto medium for pre-recorded music—the Compact Disc is history.
Read on: Kieran mourns the Compact Disc by mining thrift stores to put together the list of the Top Ten Used CDs.
Even before we finished our analysis of last weekend’s Dana Carvey hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ we had no doubt that this particular episode, this particular crossroads, required additional insight. Perhaps, more than ever, a Kieran’s Korner was needed. As you know, we consider Kieran our elder statesmen when it comes to ‘SNL’ knowledge and personal experience, our very own living, breathing, sweater vest-wearing ‘Live From New York.’ To some degree, the Carvey years, ’86-’93, were always nostalgia to us; we were practically an infant when Carvey debuted, and thus only began to appreciate his talent towards the end of his tenure, largely because of the runaway success of ‘Wayne’s World.’ Our first time seeing the show live came just after Carvey’s exit, the final seasons of Farley and Sandler, and indeed we didn’t become regular viewers until the great cast turnover of 1995 (and, to be fair, like Kieran, we initially didn’t care for that group funny). So while the Will Ferrell era was the first cast we became intimately familiar with, watched week in and week out, the Carvey period came during Kieran’s formative years. We knew then that any effect the last episode had on us, there was a good chance that feeling would only be amplified for Kieran. So we turned to Kieran for his special brand of wisdom, to discover his reaction considering his similar but much more personal relationship with ’86-’93 . And, as usual, he obliged.
Speaking of the death of childhood, let me tell you about the flood of negative emotions I experienced watching the first episode of the 21st season of Saturday Night Live.
The date was September 30, 1995 and I was twenty-three years old. Mariel Hemingway was the host. There was an interminable sketch where Will Ferrell yelled at some kids who were, evidently, on a shed. Filmed pieces included a rather pallid spoof commercial for a “morning” beer named AM Ale. Against better judgment, Mark McKinney tried to import his Chicken Lady character from The Kids in the Hall.
I didn’t laugh.
Continue: Kieran’s Korner or: How Kieran Learned to Stop Worrying and Love ’95-’01. And a hindsight look back at Carvey’s auspicious beginnings…
It’s been five days and yet we still have a bad taste in our mouth after last week’s ‘SNL’ hosted by Paul McCartney with a special appearance by Paul Rudd. We understand that Paul McCartney is special, even the British monarchy has acknowledged that. There are stars, and there are mega-stars, and then there are supernovas. McCartney is the latter. However, we still believe that ‘SNL’ shouldn’t have been so much about him, and his presence struck us a somewhat selfish booking, designed to provide more pleasure for the cast and crew than the audience at home. This sentiment was only driven home when Paul Rudd remarked on ‘Live! With Regis and Kelly’ that (no surprise) after the show McCartney stuck around to play an impromptu private concert. Rudd was obviously still in awe of the moment, noting that he’s “a massive Beatles fan, like everyone.” But we’re not massive Beatles fans, and even if we were, we wonder if we’d be interested in McCartney’s other works, like the songs he played for his first two ‘SNL’ sets. So that got us thinking, do people really care about hearing Paul McCartney play anything but Beatles songs? Do they just tolerate McCartney in hopes that he’ll break out the Beatles catalog? Or do they genuinely enjoy the cuts from Wings and his solo stuff? So to get more clarity on this question, we turned to our guest blogger-in-residence and Beatles aficionado Kieran Walsh, in our latest Kieran’s Korner:
Wow. Lead me into a minefield, why don’t you?
It’s not an easy question. It’s not an easy answer. Gosh… Well, let’s do this.
After the jump: Kieran does this.
I initially resisted including this video in our Hanukkah clipdown, but since it’s really the be-all, end-all of Hanukkah faire in pop culture, really the only viable Festival of Lights carol. Plus, I needed something to wash out the taste of “Kosher Face.” And, you know what, when I watch it, I am overcome with a wave of warm Hanukkah cheer (followed quickly by the requisite Jewish Guilt).
Vodpod videos no longer available.
However, if you like your Jewish-related content a little more series (and a little more depressing) I cannot recommend A Serious Man enough. Just make sure you study your Torah portion beforehand.
Hope you had a great Hanukkah and got all the socks your heart desired! Next year in Jerusalem!
Off to Disney on Ice.
Is it me or has using the world “penultimate” really come into fashion lately? I know it’s not really relevant, but I felt like I had to say it. Anyway…
My mom was recently laid off from her part-time job, and consequently her internet productivity has spiked considerably. A major part of this increased output is a rise in the number of email forwards she sends my way. Whereas I might receive one a week, now I’m looking at two, maybe three, a day. Perhaps it’s just the holiday season, but it seems that, in lieu of having a job, mom is really working it (internet-wise).
And thus today brought us this fantastic little Judaic gem: “Kosher Face”
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It’s like “The Hanukkah Song,” except that it’s set to the tune of Poker Face, makes almost no sense, and references Adam Sandler as a Jew (which is soooo meta).
But bonus points for including one of the less revered Nicktoons, Hey Arnold.
However, infinite negative bonus points for including Bernie Madoff. At that point let’s just show Rob Schneider for a fourth time. Even that would be preferable.
In retrospect, not sure if this video is for or against Jews.
Anyway, L’Chaim! Penultimate!