Hey Sandy, you may be a storm to beat all storms, a monster of meteorological proportions, and you may be a theme song whose words are difficult to understand, but you will never, ever, stop Little Pete from celebrating Halloween. Nothing ever will.
Now a hurricane named Hurricane Little Pete, that would be interesting.
We’re big enough to admit when we’re wrong, and we were dead wrong when we suggested earlier this week that Tom Hanks’s breathtaking slam poetry performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was the grand finale to what had been a stellar week of appearances on talk shows and telethons. We don’t want to go out on a limb and say that he saved the best for last – because a) we don’t want to be wrong again, and b) we hope there’s still more to come (a visit to Good Day New York, perhaps? – but the self-proclaimed (and rightly so) living legend may have topped himself again last night, as he stopped by The Colbert Report to suggest a few affordable costumes for some good, old-fashioned Spooky Time Halloween Fun (but no Josh Baskin?).
[In an interesting twist, Colbert appeared earlier that night on the latest Office, as case of someone we adore popping up on one of our favorite shows, only to have the person we adore the most pop up on Colbert’s own show later in the evening. Sort of a Russian nesting doll kinda thing]
When will the government go ahead and declare Tom Hanks a national landmark already? That’s Day One stuff.
…five photos of Alison Brie!
(if you thought we were above this, you were wrong)
Last week we hypothesized that the Halloween episode of SNL hosted by Jon Hamm would either be the best of the season or the laziest. Hamm, making his third hosting appearance, has already proven to be a go-to, top-notch host, one that brings out the best in the cast and crew. But, on the other hand, what often happens when the show is blessed with a skilled host is that they relax, relying too much on the host’s charm and natural comedic talents (see: Galifiankis, Zach). However, what we were treated to this week was something in between, and something, in hindsight, typical of a third hosting go ’round. During a debut performance the material can often be safe, figuring out if the host has what it takes, a bit of a feeling out process. If that host succeeds, then when he or she comes back for a second stint the crew is energized, knowing that they have someone who will deliver. You could see that confidence, motivation and excitement in Hamm’s second hosting job last winter. But when a host comes back for the three-peat, the crew is now so comfortable and at ease that they’re willing to taking more chances, throwing more caution to the wind. So what you receive is not mainstream yuks and recurring sketches, or weary, unmotivated punchlines and recurring sketches, but a sense of adventure laced with apathy for the viewer. This is what happens when you have a host who no longer needs to prove himself, who has tenure, which is why so many of Alec Baldwin’s shows are peppered with offbeat sketches, some that delight (like last season’s bizarre “Timecrowave“) and some that crash and burn (like “Arizona Evenings” from the same episode). Judging from this past weekend’s show, it seems that Hamm is now in that class.
More: Mustaches, kisses, Rihanna, Star Wars & Sam Kinison! Plus, WHOM did they rip off this week?
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A little over a year ago I posted a piece comparing the David Bowie avatar from Lego: Rock Band to his look as Jareth in Labyrinth, noting the obvious discrepancies between the groin-regions. It went on to be one of our most read posts of all time, due in no small part to the frequent search term “Labyrinth David Bowie, ” a group of words that sees its most action during the Halloween season. So, with that in mind, let’s revisit that post one more time:
Lego: Rock Band David Bowie Clearly Not ‘Labyrinth’ David Bowie
The first images and video of the David Bowie avatar from the upcoming Lego: Rock Band game hit the web this week. Vulture posits that “Bowie’s penchant for androgyny makes him a perfect candidate for being immortalized in Lego form.” However, while Ziggy Stardust certainly is the standard for androgyny, the image of David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King in Labyrinth has been burned into my brain, and I can’t help but feel that Lego Bowie is missing something.
(Hint: It’s not the gloves)
On a related note, great Halloween costume idea: Slutty Hoggle.
Just a reminder, Jon Hamm returns to host SNL for the third time in three years (and the second time hosting the Halloween show). At this rate he’ll catch Alec Baldwin in 12 years.
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And since it’s also election season, here’s a relevant sketch from his first hosting stint:
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We look forward to Monday morning when we will once again beg Hamm to focus exclusively on comedy.
Halloween often brings out the best in Dunder Mifflin (and the “best” usually means the worst in the characters), and this year’s entry, “Costume Contest,” joined that distinguished class of strong Office holiday themed episodes. We’ll say that it wasn’t quite as good as last week’s outing, “The Sting,” but we’re also grading “Costume Contest” on the far end of a true bell curve. The holiday episodes immediately have an advantage, especially Halloween eps with their possibilities for outrageous costumes, so we have to give them something of a reverse benefit of the doubt. But, with that in mind, Halloween 2010 continued a bit of a return to form for The Office.
Really, in what has become something of a hallmark of the season, this was an ensemble effort (other great examples from season six are the staff venturing out for Andy’s play and the sex ed discussion moderated by Andy). The series really began to hit in season two when it moved beyond the UK Office paradigm of “obnoxious boss – good-natured salesman – weirdo salesman – shy receptionist” and began to more successfully integrate the rest of the Dunder Mifflin team (you saw this immediately in the season two premiere “The Dundies“), but this episode, with the clever conceit of a costume contest (for a Scranton coupon book), was truly a showcase for the whole cast. This might have led to a somewhat unfocused episode, as Alan Sepinwall argued, but we think it worked, and we’ll take a fun episode with the whole cast as the A story instead of a weak, grating episode that clearly focuses on a weak, grating Michael Scott.
Following a brief sidebar we discuss the rise of Darryl, the eventual showdown between Todd Packer and Danny Cordray, and we give our picks for best costume!
Every morning I wake up to at least one email from Amazon, whether it be recommendations of new mystery novels (because those are what I get my dad for his birthday every year) or the “Top Ten Deals in Electronics” (because sometimes I buy electronics). And almost every morning I think that I should adjust my preferences to discontinue this communication, but I can’t do it, because I’m under the belief that something worthwhile will come along one day.
And I thought today was that day.
Logged into Gmail and saw an email from Amazon with the following subject:
Now available: “The Adventures of Pumpkin Pete” on DVD at Amazon.com
So, naturally, my first thought was “a new Pete & Pete” DVD? Great!” But while I did recall an excellent Halloween episode of Pete & Pete, I didn’t think it was called “Pumpkin Pete.” But what else could it be? I mean I’ve ordered Pete & Pete DVDs from Amazon three times (had to reorder the second season after I lost my original copy), so they know I like it, and, let’s be honest, if Amazon was a person I’d probably trust him (or her) with my life.
But I was wrong.
This is what they thought I’d be interested in:
Sorry, Amazon, wrong Pete. I don’t know what to think of you anymore.
But I did go ahead and order Pumpkin Pete anyway. Needed another item to receive Super Saver Shipping.