Lately I’ve noticed a disturbing trend about myself: I don’t get as excited about things as I used to. Perhaps it’s a merely function of getting older – I just hit the big 3-0 six months ago, after all – or, maybe, all the years of crushing cynicism and relentless snark has finally caught up to me. Passion, perhaps, is the provenance of the young and the unencumbered, and I’m no longer either of the two. For example, it would have shocked the ten-years-younger version of myself, maybe even the 2009 model, to learn that it took me, a devoted Wes Anderson-ophile, two months to see The Grand Budapest Hotel, especially after making a pilgrimage to see The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic during their respective opening weekends, and attending a screening of The Darjeeling Limited by myself because I just couldn’t wait any longer, even if that meant sitting alone in a small theater on a Tuesday afternoon. Likewise, I’ve yet to see X-Men: Days of Future Past, and that’s already been out for a whole week and is possibly the X-Men movie that I’ve been praying for these last fourteen years. There are spoilers abound and I run the very real risk of having the movie ruined before I get around to seeing it. It’s a danger I’m well aware of, and one, for some reason, I’m at peace with. Perhaps most egregiously – and this something I’m very much ashamed to admit on this blog – I’ve yet to watch last week’s Survivor finale. Yes, I was out-of-town for two weeks, but I’ve been back for four days already. Really, what good excuse could I possibly have for not immediately marathoning the last three episodes, including the two hour-finale and post-show live cast reunion? Heresy, is it not? Not only am I liable to inadvertently stumble upon the final result at any turn, removing any drama upon viewing, but shouldn’t this be tearing me up inside? It’s Survivor, the subject I’ve perhaps committed more space to on this blog than any other, and, yet, I’ll get to it when I get it to it. Urgency, shockingly, I do not feel. It’s not apathy or indifference – that would be truly alarming – but, rather, caring a bit less, being more patient. It’s an odd, peculiar, somewhat concerning notion to not experience the same sense of pressure, immediacy, and life-or-death importance about these shows and films and bands that I always did. Am I depressed? Should I look into Lexapro? But the change is also freeing in a way. There is a flipside to caring a little less. It means that it doesn’t hurt so much when something you love is taken away from you.
Tag Archives: Taxi
Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happdeaned: Five (and Maybe More) Seasons of ‘Community’ and the Truly Jumping the Snark
In keeping with our Saved by the Bell theme to the week, we’re going back to the classroom with Teach: Tony Danza for this week’s Danza Moment. It seems like ages ago that we joined Danza for his journey as an English teacher at Philadelphia’s Northeast High. But we shouldn’t forget those days, and we should never forget that Danza was obsessed with hand sanitizer.
We’re sure that made a great impression on his students. Hygiene is the coolest!
Do you think Marilu Henner remembers every time Danza washed his hands on the set of Taxi?
We never get tired of this either. EVER.
But this is NOT the Danza Moment of the Week. That would be unfair to you and unfair to us.
Keeping with today’s Brooklyn theme (not to be confused with today’s ripping people off theme, or today’s “and speaking of” theme, or yesterday’s robot theme), check out the first few minutes of the Who’s the Boss? pilot, as Tony and Samantha pack up his windowless child molester van old, beat-up blue van and depart the Universal Studios backlot Brooklyn. As a bonus, we’ve included the original opening credits, which feature additional footage of the iconic van’s journey to the Bower home in Connecticut (no footage of the cast? How bold! Perhaps, an homage to the Taxi opening?)Vodpod videos no longer available.
In addition, keeping with today’s snow theme, here’s a short clip of Danza from Taxi that can serve as your go-to video the next time a blizzard rolls through:
And speaking of ripping people off, was this Taxi clip perhaps the inspiration for the Bosom Buddies cabin episode? Makes you think.
Our old pal Eliot Glazer recently alerted us to the virtual treasure trove of classic Saturday Night Live episodes that can now be found on Netflix Instant Watch. In fact, they’ve made available nearly every episode of the show from its tumultuous 35 year history (although, it should be noted that episodes only feature “selected” sketches, and the musical performances have been excised for obvious licensing reasons). Upon learning of this bounty, what was of most interest to us were two seasons in particular. The first was the 10th Season, which boasted Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer (and an opening credit sequence that inexplicably contained giant flying hot dogs); basically a group of ringers brought into the save the show after the departure of budding superstar Eddie Murphy (and, to a lesser extent, the exit of soon-to-be-punchline Joe Piscopo). The second season we were most curious about was the subsequent year, in which Lorne Michaels returned to the show after a five year absence and replaced the seasoned veterans with a group comprised mostly of young novices, including Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey, Jr. and Joan Cusack. The show suffered dismal ratings and a critical beating, but since it staved off cancellation and experienced a renaissance the following season with the arrival of Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, Jan Hooks and Kevin Nealon, the 11th Season has become something of a footnote in SNL history. However, after years of darkness, we can finally shed a light on this forgotten season.
And what did we find upon closer inspection? You bet, an episode from April of 1986 hosted Mr. Tony Danza, who was just beginning to earn the greatest praise of his career for his early work in Who’s the Boss?* Clearly though, Danza was not meant for sketch comedy, as his Russian accent in one sketch is just barely perceptible for much of the scene, and absent for the rest of it. Much like in his roles on Taxi and Who’s the Boss?, Tony just can’t help being Tony, and his genuine upbeat, gregarious, often laughable, personality shines through no matter what character he attempts to portray. Which is why inserting Dazna in this boxing sketch was a smart move. Just like the producers of Taxi recognized, it’s best not to let “Tony” stray too far from Tony. And then on top of Danza doing what he does best, and what comes naturally, you have Anthony Michael Hall probably turning in his finest work since The Breakfast Club (until 1988’s Johnny Be Good,** of course).
Hard to believe that scrawny little guy turned out like this.
*We’re making this up and assume it to not be true.
It’s a twofer this week with our Tony Danza Moment coinciding with our suspicions over a recent 30 Rock joke. Take a look at the offending excerpt, and then check out a classic clip from Taxi (featuring Mr. Danza), and you decide:Vodpod videos no longer available.
Homage? Plagiarism? Coincidence? Something from Tina Fey’s subconscious? We’ll likely never know.
But perhaps this calls for Danza to guest star on 30 Rock (they’ve exhausted just about everyone else anyway). Maybe as new “TGS” cast member Tony Gargonzola? A new, older love interest for Liz Lemon? A Kabletown rival executive for Jack? The possibilities are limited!
(we should also note that Danza had nothing to do in that Taxi scene besides stand there quietly and doodle on a piece of paper. But if you watch him closely (as we always do) he’s totally breaking by the end. And do you know why? Because his heart is pure)
Jimmy Fallon, I like you more and more.
Ten years ago you were the object of affection of every girl in my AP European History class, and the envy of every guy (well, not every guy). Then the constant giggling became kinda annoying, and then you went and made Taxi, and then you became sort of a joke. And, to be completely honest, we were pretty skeptical when you were named Conan O’Brien’s Late Night successor. Like the homecoming king who left the hometown only to flame out and return to work in his dad’s hardware store.
But damn if you haven’t gone and totally redeemed yourself. But this isn’t really about you. Rather, this isn’t really about your show. We talked enough about that. This is about you, once again, recognizing something brilliant. In this case it’s the maze of pipes hidden inside of Studio 6B dressing room decorated by Jim Henson and his confederates 40 years ago, before an appearance on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show. Fallon, love him or loathe him, appreciated the genius and made good on his promise to put the installation behind glass, and now the pipe-art is a new stop on the NBC Studio tour, as Fallon, along with Yoda, er, Frank Oz shows us here:Vodpod videos no longer available.
And, just to show that the more things change the more they stay the same, and that everything is cyclical, here’s a 30 year-old video of Henson giving a tour of the pipes to Gene Shalit (!). And look at that mop on Brokaw!Vodpod videos no longer available.