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Not even an undercover CIA agent enjoys hearing their alias has to pretend to follow the Calgary Flames

February 9, 2013 Leave a comment

This clip was from the September 30, 2012 season premier episode of “Homeland” on Showtime, so it’s a little old, but still neat to see hockey and an NHL team referenced in this show. Too bad it had to be the Calgary Flames that got the mention. Oh well. Beggars can’t be choosers, right?

UPDATE:

macgyver flamesIt appears that this Flames mentioned in a spy show may not be as random as once thought — MacGyver, perhaps the greatest spy/secret agent of them all, was a Calgary Flames fan, and mentioned the team and often wore their apparel on the show.

It’s odd that Mac was a Flames fan, as his fictional biography notes he was born in Minnesota — which would suggest that he should have aligned with the North Stars. They arrived in Minnesota in 1967, when MacGyver was 16; which is a good age to solidify an allegiance to a team. The Flames didn’t move to Calgary from Atlanta until 1980, when he was 29. And there are no mentions of MacGyver cheering for the Atlanta Flames in the series, only the Calgary version.

Attempts to find the actor that played MacGyver, Richard Dean Anderson, aligned with any particular NHL team have proved inconclusive. Though it is well documented that he used to play as a kid, and continues to be involved in hockey through charity games and such.

But more to the Homeland correlation — the most plausible rabbit trail to follow is that Homeland actors Morena Baccarin (aka Jessica Brody) and Diego Klattenhoff (aka Mike Faber) both acted alongside Richard Dean Anderson (aka MacGyver) on Stargate SG-1 at different periods. Anderson was there as Jack O’Neill from 1997-2007, Baccarin appeared as “Adria” in six episodes from 2006-2007, and Klattenhoff appeared as “Team Leader” in one episode in 2005. Faber is also Canadian (born in Nova Scotia), so there’s that too. It’s believable that MacGyver/hockey/the Flames may have come up in conversation between any combination of the three, and then may have popped into Baccarin or Klattenhoff’s mind at a table read or something when it came time to mention a hockey team in the Homeland episode.

Maybe I should work for the CIA.

Calgary lost again? Some things never change.

(Glove bump to “hocko” on Reddit for picking up on the lead)

Serenity Now Mailbag: On Charlie Sheen and Why Postal Workers Go Crazy.

March 5, 2011 6 comments

Welcome to the latest edition of the SDC Blogs’ mailbag.  Here’s what’s been on people’s minds as of late:

Letter #1:

Dear Dave,

I would suggest charlie sheen needs to be mentioned in the next SDC blogs.

By the time the licorice monacle appeared in the interview, the verdict was already in.

I successfully ignored Charlie Sheen for the better part of my 28 years, mostly because I never found him that interesting or entertaining.  However, with everyone’s latest obsession over him, I actually quite accidentally took in Sheen’s recent 20/20 interview.  It was quite a spectacle.  What I found most interesting was that inbetween the over-bearing insanity, he would stitch in a few really intelligent quotes here and there that were enough to make you think this guy wasn’t completely gone out of his mind.  That in mind, I decided to jot down his quotes from the interview, place them in either a “Crazy”, “Neutral”, or “Intelligent” category, and let the numbers decide his judgment.  Walk with me, as we mull over the results:

Crazy

I am on a drug, it’s called “Charlie Sheen”. It’s not available, because if you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body. Too much?

I woke up and decided that I’ve been kicked around and I’ve been criticized, I’ve been the “aw shucks” guy with this bitchin’ rock star life, and I’m finally just gonna completely embrace it, wrap both arms around it, and love it violently, and defend it violently, through violent hatred.

You’re dealing with a high priest Vatican assassin warlock.

These words come from my grand wizard master.

Stay away from the crack, unless you can manage it socially.

Hey kids, your dad’s a rock star. Look at his experiences. Look at what he survived. There are your lessons.

When you have a highly evolved brain, and you’re trying to roll out your humor… that’s on me.

Last time I took drugs, I probably took more than anyone could survive. I was banging 7 gram rocks and finishing them because that’s how I roll, I have one speed — I have one gear, ‘Go’.

[I survive] because I’m me.  I have a different constitution, a different brain, a different heart — I got tiger blood.

You borrow my brain for 5 seconds and just be like, “dude! can’t handle it! Unplug this bastard!” because it fires in a way that isn’t from this particular, terrestrial realm.

If there are drugs in this house, you better find them, and give them to me, immediately.

[in reference to his past drug use and resulting actions] I’m proud of what I created, it was radical.

Yes, I drink water through my eyes.

I’m a peaceful man, with bad intentions.

What makes you a good dad?  Everything.  Next question.

What’s not to love? Especially if you saw how I party, it was epic. The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards, all of them, all look like droopy eyed, armless children.

Reporter: “Do you two sit down with your daughters and talk about what’s happening?” Sheen:  “ No, that’s kinda lame. They’ll wake up one day and realize how cool dad is, and that signs the cheques on the front, not the back, and that we need him, and his wisdom and his bitchin-ness.” 

Total Score: 18

Neutral

Dying’s for fools.

We win, so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it’s scary. People say it’s lonely at the top, but I sure like the view.

I’m not interested in what other people believe, I’m interested in what I believe.

As long as you’re not lying to anybody, and there’s no children involved, then it’s ok. People are going to judge it because they’re so jealous.

I expose people to magic.  I expose people to something they’re never otherwise going to see in their boring normal lives.

I’m Bi-winning.

We just win.

They’re the best at what they do, and I’m the best at what I do, and together it’s on.

Total Score: 8

Intelligent

It’s fun, and it’s entertaining, and it sounds different than all the other garbage people are spewing.

Because I’m honest. And I think the honesty shines through in my work and also my personal life. Part of that code is apologizing when you’re wrong.

When you’re people pleasing, your soul is dead.

I don’t care if it’s my dad, or the guy down the street, or someone that fell out of the sky, back off with your judgment.

And then what’s the cure? Medicine? To make me like them? Not going to happen.

Total Score: 5

 

 

I’m sorry Charlie, but the numbers don’t lie.  You’re bonkers, man.

*********************************************** 

Letter #2:

Dear Dave,

Why are all post office workers always so sad?

I’m going to let everyone’s favorite United States Postal Worker, Seinfeld’s Newman, field this one, as he can answer it better than anyone:

I think that about wraps it up.

 

[Revisiting] Time to Go, Leno: The NBC Late Night Lambaste.

November 15, 2010 1 comment

So with the Late Night talk-show scene finally, seemingly, settled down and back in place, I thought I might re-visit an old blog I wrote for another site regarding the whole Leno-Conan thing, and then the subsequent Letterman, Kimmel, Ferguson and Fallon aftermath.  Currently, Conan’s new TBS show is working EVERYone over, but we’ll see what the ratings say once he’s settled into the middle of the season.  He left NBC on top of the ratings, and debuted on TBS on top too, hopefully he can keep up the pace.  As we wait for the numbers to roll in, enjoy this blast from the past (you guys get an extra link and a few new pics in this version): 

**************************

[originally post on Jan 13, 2010 for campusintel.com ]

Wow, NBC really screwed the pooch on the Late Night scene, didn’t they?

How can you shuffle and promote your hosts up the ranks (Fallon to Late Night, Conan out of Late Night and to The Tonight Show, Leno out of The Tonight Show and then to his own show) the same way that has been done since Late Night comedy shows have been on, find out that your ratings weren’t doing what you thought they would, and then expect all the hosts to react peacefully to your suggestion of a shuffle-back like you were taking a mulligan in golf, and not have a problem with it?

That Tonight Show hosting gig has been the crown jewel for late night talk show hosts since the Johnny Carson era; coveted by many, but obtained by few (originally debuted in 1954 with host Steve Allen).  David Letterman was very public about his desire to host the show when Carson was retiring, when he was still hosting the Late Night show that Conan O’Brien inherited sequentially.  When he was not chosen as Carson’s successor and Leno was, Letterman took a hike over to CBS and then became The Tonight Show’s direct and main competition, hosting The Late Show.  For some reason, all indications were that Leno beat Letterman in the ratings for the 17 years he hosted the show; though I always felt The Late Show was way more entertaining.  Which brings me to my next point:

Jay Leno sucks.

I’m sure he’s a nice dude (well, I’m not really sure from personal experience, but he seems like he’d be nice), but I just never liked his show.  Anyone who’s had a chance to listen to Howard Stern has likely heard Stern rant about how bad Leno is, how he’s ruined NBC, and how Leno stole a lot of his material and used it on The Tonight Show.  The new Jay Leno Show is basically the same show as his Tonight Show routine, just at a different time, and the ratings are tanking; as opposed to when he was on an hour later doing the same material, and ruling the ratings.  So what’s the difference?  Maybe there’s more to that 11:35 pm EST show time slot that we realize…

Now after a 6 year warning of the switch, and only 7 months into the new lineup, for some reason NBC just expects Conan and Fallon to bump themselves back an hour (keeping the names of their shows) so they can rotate Leno back into the fold at the cushy time slot.  Thankfully, Conan balked at the idea, saying in an interview:

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009… I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon is actually really good.

For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Why does NBC insist on milking a dry cow (Leno)? Surely it took Leno longer than 7 months to develop a loyal following and ratings spike; how in the world is 7 months long enough for Conan to do the same, especially after they told him for 6 years that he was going to be “the guy” for that show, and all the previous hosts got from 3-30 years at that slot? 

The only real solution is that Leno needs to walk away.  Look Jay, it’s over.  You had your time in the sun; all 17 years of it. You did good.  You’re not putting up the numbers that you need to, and now it’s time to move on.  Late Night television on NBC is in good hands, and will be fine without you.  You’ve got plenty of money, and lots of cars to drive around.  If you really have the itch, you can always hit the stand-up circuit.  It’s time to pass the torch!  Letterman’s better than all of you anyways.

Letterman weighs in on the NBC debacle.

Jimmy Kimmel works over Leno on The Jay Leno Show.

Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson diffuse their war before it starts.

Death by Skittles, and The Balloon Boy Bungle Blunder.

October 16, 2009 5 comments

 

The plot sure thickened quickly on this “Balloon Boy” story.  To quote from Anchorman, 

“Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast!”
“It jumped up a notch.”
“It did, didn’t it?”

If you’re not up to speed on the tale, I’ll sum it up for you (I don’t think I have ALL the details, but I believe I’ve got enough to piece it together).  Richard Heene, a pseudo-scientist/inventor of sorts and veteran TV star (Wife Swap, and others) from Colorado, decided to build a flying saucer in his backyard.  Albeit a helium craft, Heene may have been using the craft as an attempt to prove his claims of life on Mars, inventing a flying car, or a storm chaser device, depending on what repor you read.  The silver saucer was completed, and then launched from the yard on October 15, 2009, under suspicious circumstances:

Just prior to launch, one of the boys try to get their dad’s attention (tattled), and within seconds of the launch, the parents are screaming in terror.  They did make sure the camera was rolling though.

There’s a 911 call to report that one of their sons is in this “runaway” balloon (it was very purposefully launched).  Shortly after, this story is international news, airports are shutdown, search and rescue teams are dispatched, and “balloon boy” is an internet buzzword as everyone follows the story and fears for the safety of the young passenger.  The balloon eventually lands naturally, 2 counties away from its launch site, without an occupant. Killing speculation that the boy had fallen out, he is found hiding in his attic, scared because his dad had yelled at him, speculatively because he had been tampering with the balloon.

Within the day, Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, and all the major TV networks equipped with lie detection experts get a crack at interviewing the family.  Dad adamantly denied any reports of a hoax or publicity stunt, while his son, perhaps appropriately named “Falcon”, muttered something about it all being a show, and then vomited before he could say much more on film.   

If you didn’t read any background on this story, your first thoughts may have been of the kid saying to himself, “my parents are going to kill me,” or that he was going to be “grounded forever”, and that those seemed to be gross understatements.  But the mad scientist/reality-tv/publicity-stunt rabbit trail just seems to prevalent to ignore, doesn’t it?  I hope beyond anything that this was not a pre-meditated event, but doesn’t it seem just a little too fishy?  I feel like a topper of a Kanye West incident is looming…  

                                                          **************

In lighter news, this is the funniest commercial on TV right now:

I think I’ve made my point.

  

Jon’s Right, TLC Needs to Subtract “Jon & Kate Plus 8.”

October 3, 2009 10 comments

I can’t believe I wrote a blog about Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Since the introduction of “Reality Shows (circa 1992, with the first instalment of ‘Survivor’),” the definition of “Reality” has nearly been re-written.  At some point, the worldwide viewing audience bought into this new theory that reality no longer meant “things that actually happen”; but instead that it meant shows replacing professional actors with amateurs, dropping them in a forest, house, or some form of abnormal living quarters, making them play stupid games with each other, vote each other out of that place, and networks hoping their cast created enough drama within themselves to captivate an audience for an entire season.  A few good video editors make a difference too.

Eventually, reality shows began to surface that were about real people andGosselin family their real life situations.  Obviously it did help that some of these situations were unique (see: “The Man Whose Arms Exploded”, “World’s Strongest Boy”, etc).  One show that most of us are familiar with now is “Jon & Kate Plus 8.” 

You don’t even have to have watched the show at this point; if you have a TV, the internet (you’re reading this, you have it), eyes and a brain that are capable of interpreting words and images on a magazine cover, or even just functional ears, you’ve caught wind of this show somewhere along the line.  Personally, I blame my wife for my introduction. 

mad kateBesides the fact that the couple bore 8 children, it’s just a show of them getting through their day.  Unfortunately, that’s not why you’ve heard of it.  “Jon & Kate Plus 8” became TLC’s highest rated show upon infidelity allegations, and the aftermath that has entailed.  For whatever reason, people have dug their claws into who cheated on who, who’s right and wrong, who the victim is, who the worse parent is, and generally every available factoid of a 10 year marriage that was dissolved in 4 seasons (despite a vow renewal episode).

From a business standpoint, I’m sure TLC couldn’t be happier.  Ratings = Advertisers = Merchandising = S’s with vertical lines through them.  The Gosselin’s got an outlandishly big home and property, and a probably a life’s financial setup to match.  But isn’t there some clause or fine print in that production contract that is concerned with the PLUS 8 faction of the equation?  Wouldn’t most people normally be put in jail for photographing and videotaping children the way and amount the Gosselin kids are? While these kids didn’t need to see their parents’ marriage collapse in the first place, can someone from that network not make the decision that those kids don’t need the whole world knowing about it, and asking them about it for the rest of their (already young) lives?  Divorce is hard enough on all members of a family without a televised audience.  Should morality not win out over ratings and dollars at some point?

Whether you like him or you hate him, Jon Gosselin said the most intelligentjon_gosselin thing anyone in that camp has said throughout the whole controversy.  The show needs to stop.  Whether you think it was because he was being cut from the title of the show, because of his diminished role in the filming, he wasn’t happy with compensation, or whatever you feel his motivation was; finally someone said what needed to be said.  This show is no longer beneficial or healthy for that family, and it needs to be removed from the air, at least for the good of the kids that both parents claim to be wholly devoted to.  This family’s issues need to be dealt with outside of the limelight, and behind closed doors; and with any luck they won’t turn out as the next Maculay Culkin’s or Dustin Diamond’s of the world. 

The problem with real life reality shows is that the people being filmed have to continue on with their lives after the camera stops rolling.  There’s no characters, scripts, re-shoots, or escape of any kind.  If two adults have chosen to subject their existences to this level of scrutiny, then so be it; but something is wrong when a child still gaining his or her own autonomy, let alone 8 of them, has to participate just because he was born into a family that just so happens to be newsworthy.  A court of law rarely will take a child’s testimony because they can be so easily influenced by others; I am sceptical of the claims by both the network and parents that the kids want the show to go on, or even if they know that they have a choice in the matter.

We are not without guilt either; I mean, someone is buying those tabloids, spiking those ratings, and fuelling a need for more.  There’s about 5 other shows on TV I know I’d rather watch; good, old-fashioned fictional situational comedies with paid professional actors and well written scripts.  Something tells me that if the Gosselin’s had the chance to shut the world out for one night, sit down as a family and watch an episode of “The Office” together instead of themselves, things might be a little different.  Okay, the kids wouldn’t get the humor, but you get the picture.  Bring back fake TV, these reality shows have run their course!

Bad Press, Jackass: The Kanye West and Taylor Swift Swindle.

September 24, 2009 4 comments

Since September 13, the most talked about entertainment news story has been the drama of Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. While hearing the same repeated sentiments of what a sorry excuse for a human being Kayne is, I decided to do a little deeper research into the matter. Without a doubt, it was a dickard move, on Kanye’s part. However, while doing a little digging, there are a few small nuggets of information that I haven’t heard brought to the public’s attention. Let me present a couple of different angles on the incident that you may not have considered.

Kanye West raps and produces under the Roc-A-Fella Records (founded by Jay-Z) label, which is owned by Def Jam Records, which is in turn owned by Universal Music Group. Taylor Swift makes music for Big Machine Records, which has its records distributed by the same Universal Music Group. Intrinsically, Kanye West are “label-mates.”

While I don’t put controversy schemes past Kanye, don’t write off Swift as the innocent victim quite yet, this isn’t her t-pain swiftfirst encounter with hip-hop. She collaborated with rapper T-Pain on a remix of her own song at the CMT Music Awards in June 2009, called “Thug Story.” [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L52emsayp1o ] T-Pain has appeared on more than one song with Kanye, collaborating on songs like “Good Life” (which won a Grammy in 2007), and “Go Hard” (2008). I doubt very much that Kanye hadn’t heard of Taylor Swift before this night. T-Pain raps for Jive Records, who are owned by Sony Music Entertainment, who also happen to house Beyonce via Columbia Records. More on her later…

Everyone talked about how that night at the MVA’s was Taylor Swift’s “moment”, but lets be honest, she only won “Best FEMALE Video”, not “Video of the Year” (which is open to BOTH genders). I mean, sure it’s an accomplishment, but it’s not like she was taking home the award of the night by at any rate. And when did the trophies from an MTV Awards show become so career-altering anyways?

Beyonce “saved face” after Kanye proclaimed her as the deserving winner of the award; and had Taylor come on stage and say her thank-you’s during Beyonce’s own acceptance speech; a classy move [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOIOanr3JOo ].  Oddly, Beyonce and Swift seemed to be wearing the same dress.   Anyone who knows much about music gossip knows that Beyonce is (allegedly) married to Kanye West’s boss, Jay-Z, who just so happens to have just released and touring with his latest album, “Blueprint 3.” Also, Kanye did produce Beyonce’s 2003 album “Dangerously in Love,” as well as 6 Jay-Z albums. Coincidence?

I thought Jay would have been cursing the day that he ever let Kanye West out of the production studio and into thekanye drunk public eye when he heard about the incident at the VMA’s. But while Donald Trump called for a boycott of all things Kanye West, every musician and every news show on TV and radio wrote off Kanye and labeled him as an alcoholic and spotlight nympho, and even The President of the F’n United States of America, Barack Obama, called ‘Ye “a jackass” [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=078BGtKNL1o ], Jigga stepped up to defend Kanye, saying, “He didn’t kill anybody…” agreeing that the outburst was “inappropriate at the time.” He also added Kanye’s “just a super-passionate person… Of course it was rude because it was (Taylor’s) moment but that’s the way he really felt…..I think it was rude but the way they’re treating him… He’s on the cover of every paper…He didn’t kill anybody. No one got harmed.” [http://www.mtv.ca/vma/2009/article.jhtml?id=20490] The only other person I know who has mentioned anything in Kanye’s defence is my friend, Andy Smith, over at “Smithy Blogs,” who wrote this blog http://tinyurl.com/smithkanyeblog that you can read on your own time.

Kanye has since apologized publicly numerous times, and Swift “eventually” accepted the “sorry.” So, how long, would you say, will we have to wait for the duets and album collaborations and guest apperances between them? My guess is that Universal and Sony Music are way ahead of us. In a time where record companies are losing piles of money in CD sales, learning how to profit off of digital downloads, and throwing lawsuits at people who download illegally, is it that crazy to think that two record companies would thrust a few very marketable individuals into the spotlight to generate an enormous media buzz to, in turn, boost sales? Bad press for Kanye, good press for Swift; and everyone’s talking and writing about them both. No press is bad press, right?

Kanye is a jackass though.

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