Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Greg needs to 'Wiggle' out of this

Greg Page, lead singer of The Wiggles, will be leaving the group due to what is being called a "serious illness" according to an AP story. For those that don't recognize Greg by name, he's the one in the yellow shirt, or as I like to call him, the talented one.

Megan has been a big fan of The Wiggles. We first discovered them at the end of one of her Barney tapes. These guys have a musical background, and the kids songs they have written and performed aren't too bad to listen to. It won't drive parents nuts like say, well, like Barney's music does.

Plus, they're from Australia, so they're basically harmless. And it's fun to hear them talk. When Greg would be talking about a "big scary bear", it would come out more like "big scahhee behhh".

The production quality of some of their early videos is certainly high comedy. Of course that has all changed now that they are multi-millionaires. They grossed 39 million dollars last year alone. I'm impressed at their staying power. They're huge hits in Australia, and thanks to a partnership with Barney, and the Disney Channel, they're pretty popular over here, too.

Maybe that's the route for me. Is it too late to start a second career writing children's songs? Kids are pretty easy to please, so the songs don't even have to be that good.

For appearances, all I would need to do would be to wear something colorful and flash a big, bright, silly smile -- you know, like I always do. To cover up the mediocre singing and songwriting, I could just give out candy during the songs for all of the kids. Hey, this has potential. Although, the parents might be a bit hesitant with the whole, "don't take candy from strangers" thing. It's a work in progress.

In the meantime, here's hoping that Greg takes some time off, gets the treatment he needs for whatever he is suffering from, and gets back up on stage where he belongs with the rest of The Wiggles. They need him.

The kids do, too.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Did anyone notice that one of the TBS reruns of Seinfeld on Monday night -- the first weeknight following Michael Richards' onstage fiasco -- was the one where Jerry and Elaine are in the bakery and Jerry is eating the black and white cookie, talking about racial harmony.

At least they didn't run the one where Kramer is dating a black woman, accidentally tans too long, and shows up at her place (with her family there to meet him) looking as if he was pulling an Al Jolson.

I'm not going to try to defend what Richards did on stage in Los Angeles. But, I am interested in trying to understand why it happened. Is he really a racist? Was he trying to be outrageous and shocking and simply went too far? Should he go around town trying to convince everyone that he has many black friends, as George did in a Seinfeld episode?

Anyone who has watched the Seinfeld DVD's, and has seen the bloopers, or interviews, can either tell, or have heard, that Richards was a very intense guy. A perfectionist who always seemed a bit upset when a co-star would blow a line, forcing a retake. Sure, he'd smile and look like it was no big deal, but you get the feeling that inside he wasn't too thrilled. Doesn't he seem a little too calm during his interview segments? As if he's bottling up something? Maybe I'm reading too much into things.

It would be nice to see footage of when the heckler first starts going at Richards. I think the clip that is all over the internet begins in the middle of his rant. My guess is that Richards was being heckled, tried to diffuse it by being outrageous, the crowd started to turn on him, he pushed it further, and lost control.

He has a history of onstage outbursts. This New York Post article talks about some previous episodes he's had. Clearly, the guy has some issues.

For some Seinfeld fans, this may forever tarnish the show, and I've read some comments on various forums that those fans may not watch the show again. Or at least they won't be able to watch it the same way again.

Not me. I love the show too much to just give up. An, I'm able to separate Michael Richards, the person, from Cosmo Kramer, the character.

It's too bad that Richards didn't use Frank Costanza's relaxation technique while he was being heckled. He should have just stood there and said quietly to himself, "Serenity now, serenity now." Of course, Kramer eventually used that technique too much, and his real feelings and anger came out in an explosion of screams of rage.

Okay, bad example.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Upon further review...

Some common sense has seeped into the brains of those that were going to publish a new book by O.J. Simpson, "If I Did It", and the accompanying television interview that was to air on Fox over two nights later this month.

According to the Associated Press, after a firestorm of criticism, News. Corp. said Monday that it has canceled the book and TV special.

"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman. "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."

A dozen Fox affiliates had already said they would not air the two-part sweeps month special, planned for next week before the Nov. 30 publication of the book by ReganBooks. The publishing house is a HarperCollins imprint owned like the Fox network by News Corp.

So, what took them so long?

I'm still up for the pay-per-view ideas I posted here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Lazytown's stunt double

In my halloween post, I had promised you a pic of Megan in her costume. She decided this year to go as Stephanie from Lazytown.

To the right is Megan in our kitchen prior to trick-or-treating. The best part of the costume is the wig. She received plenty of compliments about it while making her way through the neighborhood. It kept bothering her though.

The wig, not the compliments.

It had a hard time staying on her head, and Megan wanted to take it off at least a dozen times in the 90 minutes we were trick-or-treating. The wig was essential to the costume considering she had a coat on over top of the rest of the "Stephanie" ensemble -- remember, it was cold that night -- so she had to leave it on. It would be like going as Steve Irwin, but not leaving the stingray barb in your chest.

Friday, November 17, 2006

O.J. Simpson's unsportsmanlike conduct

UPDATE: Fortunately, both the O.J. book and interview that are discussed in this post, will NOT happen. The Associated Press reported that News. Corp. has canceled the O.J. Simpson book and TV special "If I Did It."

I still can't believe the latest developments with O.J. Simpson. This piece of garbage actually has the nerve to release a book, and a TV interview -- conducted by the publisher of the book -- talking about how he would have killed Ron and Nicole if he had committed the crime.

Of course, we all know that he did it. In fact, everyone but delusional O.J., and those 12 dopes that were on the jury know that he did it. So what exactly is the purpose of this?

Is whatever money that is made from the book, or the interview, going to the Goldman's, or to his children? Possibly. Judith Regan, the publisher and interviewer, has indicated that O.J.'s kids would receive money earned from both the book and television show. I'm sure the kids will be so pleased to receive a check that was made possible by their father detailing for the world just exactly how he would have killed their mother, you know, if he did it.

Maybe this is Simpson's way of getting certain things off his chest, and his conscience. Maybe he just wants to be in the spotlight again. Frankly, I really don't care what his motivation is, and I won't be watching. From what I've read, at one point during the interview, he stops talking, tears up a little, and says something to the effect of, "I can't let my kids hear this". Hey, Orenthal, if you were so concerned about your kids, you shouldn't have killed their mom.

And if you really are innocent, and then go comfort those kids that you're so concerned about, and hold off on the interviews and book releases detailing how you would have murdered Nicole and Ron.

Then you have the poor Goldmans. I watched a little of Fred and Kim on Larry King the other night. Poor Fred. He still looks the same, still has the 'Rollie Fingers' mustache, and he still looks as sad, angry, and as beaten down as he did throughout the trial. Each time he vented his frustraion at this latest O.J. fiasco, I kept waiting for the mustache to straighten from his anger. Didn't happen -- yet.

Here's an idea for "Juice". Now that he's taken a few minutes off from searching for the real killers, let's just make the confession real and legit. I have no idea how the double jeopardy rules apply, but just go for it O.J., confess for real. You want to be loved again by America, you want to be a hero again, do the right thing, confess to the murders.

Ask for the death penalty while you're at it. Throw yourself on the mercy of the courts. Take it like a man. You'rethisclose to actually coming out and saying you did it, anyway. And if Fred Goldman doesn't approve of the form of capital punishment, he can do an interview and release a book saying how he would have done it.

And it still seems you owe the Goldman's roughly 33 million dollars. Why don't we offer your execution on pay-per-view. I'm sure we could muster up at least 4 or 5 million people at $10 apiece. That would cover the civil suit, you'd gain back some dignity, and we would finally accomplish what you've been trying to do for the past 11 years -- find the real killer and bring him to justice.

Too harsh you say? Fine. Let's keep the pay-per-view idea, but instead, let's put Fred and O.J. in the same room. Tie O.J.'s hands behind his back, and let Fred have at him for an hour. You wouldn't pay $10, $20 to see that? George Bush might even support that one.

I even have the perfect sponsor to help raise a few extra dollars to help pay off that civil suit. What better sponsor could there be for an event with O.J. that involves pain and torture other than...


Whaddya say, O.J.? I know I'm in.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Colin Mochrie

Thanks to Colin Mochrie for calling in Thursday morning to promote his show at the Rialto with fellow Whose Line Is It Anyway alum Brad Sherwood. Both the interview, and show, went very well. Well, I assume the show went well, I wasn't able to make it.

I don't have an audio link for you, but as we did with the Rick Springfield interview, I'm posting the transcript -- the highlights at least -- of our chat.

I've edited it down a bit because I'm too lazy to type out the full 17-minute interview.

Mike Williams: What can fans expect with the show at the Rialto?

Colin Mochrie: Well, we like to say it's sort of a live version of Whose Line Is It Anyway, without the tall guy, the black guy, and the rich guy. The 'deadweight' actually we called them. A lot of games will be familiar to fans of Whose Line, and we have some different games that we play that we didn't have a chance to on the show because of time constraints or whatever.

MW: How did this tour with Brad come about?

CM: It was Brad's idea to go out and test the waters. We'd gone out as a group to Vegas and places like that, and the shows were great and a lot of fun, the only problem was, there were about 10 of us on stage, so you didn't ever really feel like you were able to warm up, or got to be a big part of the show, so Brad asked me and I said yes. That was about three years ago, and we've been having a great time.

It's great, we're both stage hogs so it's really a chance for us to make people watch us. There's nobody else on stage, and we have been having such a great time and the shows have been going very well, and it gives us a chance to experiment with games that we didn't get to do on the show. For example during this stage show we do the World's Most Dangerous Improv Game where we litter the stage with 100 live mousetraps and we walk around the stage barefoot and blindfolded.

MW: While doing an improv game...

CM: Yeah. It's really stupid. We're doing sort of an alphabet opera. We keep adding things to make it more and more stupid.

MW: Audience participation is important in your show, and I read that you and Brad don't really like to bring anyone onstage that seems too eager to be up there. You look for those that may be a bit shy and hesitant.

CM: Exactly. You don't want to bring someone onstage that wants to compete with you. Because improv is such an ensemble artform, you want someone that is going to help the scene. We usually pick couples because they feel a little safer with someone else they know on stage with them, and we try to make the stage the safest place in the world for them. We never try to humiliate them or anything because they are such a big part of the show.

MW: On Whose Line Is It Anyway, what were some of your favorite games, and what were some of the games you thought, "Oh no, not this one again"?

CM: Hoedown I hated, and I don't think that was a secret. I don't think anyone on the show really liked Hoedown, but for some reason, that was always one of the more popular games. We get asked all the time during the stage shows to do a hoedown, and it will never happen.

MW: Irish Drinking Song...

CM: That one was kinda fun, I always enjoyed Greatest Hits because I got a chance to sit down, and it gave Ryan and I a chance to banter and have fun and put it over to the singing guys and watch them perform. Scenes From A Hat was always fun. I like the games where you don't have to move around much.

MW: I always enjoyed Props, and Film Dub...

CM: Props was always a challenge because the props people would be workign in a room in the back that we were never allowed to go into, and they'd come out with these giant foam things and my first thought always was, "this looks like genitalia". And you can't use that. So it was always a little challenging.

MW: What kind of filter do you work with on stage? If a killer line comes into your head but you think that you shouldn't use it, how do you deal with that during a show?

CM: Well, Brad works with no filter. I'm the one with the conscience. It usually works out that very rarely does something filthy becomes the first thing that enters my mind. Sometimes things of questionable taste will come in, but I tend to squash those because there's a very fine line between making an audience laugh, and making them uncomfortable and turning against you. We are, basically, just wanting to do a show that's a lot of fun for everyone, so we're pretty good at keeping it that way.

MW: Doing what you do, you have to have a complete open mind, be brave, take chances, be willing to look like a fool just to get that laugh?

CM: It's pretty sad, pathetic really, but we'll do anything for a laugh. I think describing the mousetrap game pretty much shows that. We will go anywhere, anyhow to humiliate each other and ourselves just to get that audience participation.

MW: After all of these years doing improv, the two of you must have an assortment of techniques, or fallbacks so that in case a scene isn't quite going in the direction you want, you can change it up completely by just saying one line?

CM: You'd think so. Usually what happens, one of us just takes off our pants and hope that works.

MW: Or make a poop joke...

CM: Oh yeah.

MW: You were a shy kid, right?

CM: I was shy, I still am. Actually, the success of Whose Line helped get me out of my shell because I had too in order to do promotion and appearances. But as a kid, I was very quiet, very studious, a bit of a bookworm. Then I tried out for the school play, got my first laugh, and that was it, it was a turning point in my life.

MW: We certainly can't relate to what that's like to have an audience that constantly finds you hilarious, and what kind of a thrill that must be to have people laugh at your jokes, and love what you do.

CM: It is the most incredible, legal stimulant you could ever feel to have a whole audience laugh at something that you've done or said. Part of it is because it is so hard to get a laugh from a large group of people. Everyone's sense of tragedy is basically the same, the loss of a loved one, a relationship breaking up. It's hard finding a group with a common sense of humor. Everyone's humor is so personal, so when you actually find some way to make an entire room laugh, it's such a great feeling of power. Of course, I can't really do anything with it, I can't take over the world, but it certainly makes me feel good.

MW: How much do you stay in contact with the other guys from the TV show?

CM: As much as possible, I just saw Drew (Carey) at the Just For Laughs Festival this summer, I just saw Greg Proops who was in Toronto on tour. Ryan (Stiles), the person I'm closest too, oddly is the person that is hardest to stay in contact with. He's always sort of moving around, and changing his number, and I'm trying not to take it personally.

MW: Colin, thanks so much for your time, and have a great show.

CM: Thanks, Mike.

You can find out more about Colin at his website.

There are also hundreds of Whose Line Is It Anyway clips at Youtube.

You're Welcome.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

NFL = No Fun League

Well, that post I made way down the page about watching old Bears clips on Youtube is irrelevant. Thanks to the latest party-pooper move by the No Fun League, the video sharing site was told to remove over 3,000 NFL clips that included game footage, and they complied.

The full story can be found here.

I can understand if the league wants recent clips pulled -- from last Sunday's games for example. But what is the harm in having older clips available to view? Maybe down the line, there will be clips made available on a pay-to-play basis.

The NFL is strange concerning old broadcast footage. Ever notice how on ESPN Classic, or even their own NFL Network, you can't find actual play-by-play coverage of old games? Why is that? You mean you wouldn't plop down in front of the television to watch an old Monday Night Football matchup with Howard Cosell and the gang? I sure would.

The NFL should start up a 2nd channel that does nothing but show classic games of the past 50 years. Or, offer that service online. Click the game you want to see, pay a small fee, and watch a great game from the past as it originally aired.

These classic games need to be made available. I'm telling you, there's a market out there for the old broadcasts, and if the NFL did it wisely, they could make a few bucks, too.

But, for now, all we have as options are games we may have been smart enough to tape ourselves when they first aired, NFL Films produced highlights of games that just aren't as good as the real thing, or the clips that now are available on youtube -- usually some guy with a camcorder filming a touchdown from his upper-deck seat while cheering as the play happens, causing the camera to shake so bad that you have no idea what you're looking at. Not the best choices.

Thanks, NFL. Now it stands for Nostalgia Forever Lost.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Britney has filed for divorce from K-Fed, Fed-Ex, Fed-Up, F'd-Up, whatever you want to call him now. It's bad enough that you get dumped by the now thin and sexy again Britney Spears via text message, as has been reported, but to have it apparently captured on tape for the whole world to see? Priceless.

The video above may very well be showing Fed-Ex as he gets the text message from Britney saying that it's over. He's either looking at that, or his first-week album sales (6,500 -- by the way, not good).

Fed-Ex is going to try to get custody of their two kids. I give him credit for wanting to take some responsibility, especially after reading about the various adventures involving Britney and her parenting skills over the last year. However, I'm not sure how eager a judge will be to hand over these kids to Fed-Ex after hearing how much he's been partying lately. According to People magazine, he took a trip to Vegas to do just that, a mere three weeks after their 2nd child was born. This was reportedly one of the final straws for Britney in deciding that she was K-Fed-up.

At least he has an aspiring music career to now fall back on. Oops. He played at the House of Blues in Chicago Wednesday night, and they had to actually give away tickets. No joke. Amidst the musical genius that is a K-Fed koncert, fans were treated to shout-outs to the crowd like, "You know I'm a free man, right, ladies? You wanna dance with a pimp?"

"Ladies if you're drunk, let me hear you scream!"

"All my ladies, I love you to death!"

I guess you get what you pay for.

Meanwhile, Britney is ready to take over the world again. She's working on a new album, she's lost some excess weight (about 180 lbs. worth, or whatever Kev weighs these days), and she's back to looking hot. And judging by this picture, just a tad happy.

I may just have to put her poster back up in the studio.

I like how behind her is a scrolling marquee that apparently is announcing that she has filed for divorce from K-Fed. She fled-K.

Let's just hope those kids are given good daycare. And a good psychiatrist down the line.

Meanwhile, what's next for Kevin Federline? Well, the music career is over before it even started. He also said he won't go back to being a dancer (he was a background dancer with Justin Timberlake). He might just have to get a regular job.

With the holidays approaching, I bet Fed Ex is hiring.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

That's one Hill of a reaction

Faith Hill's honest reaction after losing out to Carrie Underwood for a CMA award Monday night.

You know the other nominees were thinking the same thing. At least they didn't lose to Kellie Pickler.

UPDATE: Okay, so now, Faith Hill is saying that her reaction was just a joke. In a statement, Hill said, "The idea that I would act disrespectful towards a fellow musician is unimaginable to me. For this to become a focus of attention given the talent gathered is utterly ridiculous. Carrie is a talented and deserving Female Vocalist of The Year."

Maybe she's doing an about face after getting some bad press today -- or maybe she really was joking around.

I guess we'll have to go all the way back to last week for a more believable meltdown after Kanye West didn't receive an MTV Europe Award.

Although, now I'm hearing that even that was an act to keep up his cocky image. Whatever.

My head hurts.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Colin will be callin'

The great Colin Mochrie is scheduled to join me next week on the show. Mochrie, along with Brad Sherwood, will be performing improv Friday night at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet.

Colin and Brad were part of the cast of the succesful Whose Line Is It Anyway show that ran from 1998-2004 on ABC. Reruns can be seen on ABC Family at 9:00pm weeknights.

There are literally hundreds of clips from the show available to view at YouTube. Get comfy and prepare to laugh. This was one of my favorite shows when it aired, and when those guys were on their game, it was top notch. Mochrie and Sherwood are excellent, and if you stumble across any Mochrie clips that also feature Ryan Stiles, sit back and enjoy -- the two of them together are as good as it gets on that show.

The clip I've included is part of the show that Colin and Brad are bringing to the Rialto. If you're going to the show, and don't want to be spoiled, then don't step in the trap.

If you have any questions you want me to ask Colin, post them here.