television


Comedian George Carlin Dies at 71

Comedian George Carlin Dies at 71 | The Underwire from Wired.com

Just after I hit the publish button, I saw this page and I nearly cried. And then I laughed. Please click the link for the quick bio and a YouTube performance clip of “Seven Words” which holds up to this day (except that fart and turd are now OK to say on TV).

My parents gave me the FM/AM and Class Clown LPs when I was 16. I was going through a profanity phase at the time and they listened to these albums with me and said that if I wanted to use this language, I have to be as creative and interesting as George Carlin. I wasn’t up to it.

George, I love you and I hope you get to say everything you want to the big guy (if he exists and we know he probably doesn’t).

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Judi Dench, Living Quietly in ‘Cranford’ : NPR

Another great NPR podcast – this one is an interview with Judi Dench one of the finest actresses alive. I particularly loved her in Mrs. Brown, A Room with a View and in two BBC comedies A Fine Romance (with her husband Michael Williams) and As Time Goes By.

Masterpiece Theatre will be broadcasting the dramatization of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford next Sunday and she plays Matty Jenkyns. I’ve been waiting very patiently for this production. I’m in the middle of reading the book and it’s delightful. The link has an excerpt from Cranford.

Gaskell was a fascinating author, probably best known in this country for North and South and Wives and Daughters and both were beautifully dramatized by the BBC.

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The Show Must Go On

Check out this great spot on Woods Tea Co (my brother is on the left) from WCAX-TV in Burlington, VT. They talk about the loss of member Chip Chase and founding member Rusty Jacobs. The page has a link to a video spot so you can hear some of the interview as well as some performing.

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Wipe Away a Tear For Mr. Whipple, And 2-Ply Times – washingtonpost.com

Dick Wilson, the actor who played Mr. Whipple in more than 500 Charmin commercials from 1964 to 1985, died Monday at age 91, at a hospital for ailing movie and television actors, way out in the San Fernando Valley. He’d done other parts, in sitcoms, but showbiz can only be counted on to give a guy one sure thing, if he’s lucky, and Wilson got to be Mr. Whipple, forever.

Wilson died on what just happened to be World Toilet Day, in which global health advocates and public bathroom accessibility proponents annually remind us that not even 20 percent of the planet’s population enjoys daily access to a clean, working toilet — to say nothing of “squeezably soft” rolls of tissue.

This just made me smile.

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Screenwriters Picket as Strike Begins – New York Times

More than 12,000 movie and television writers represented by the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East walked out today, after three months of acrimonious negotiations proved fruitless. It is the first industrywide strike by writers since 1988; that strike lasted five months and cost the entertainment industry an estimated $500 million.The sides have been at odds over, among other things, writers’ demands for a large increase in pay for movies and television shows released on DVD, and for a bigger share of the revenue from such work delivered over the Internet.

A federal mediator, who joined the talks last week, asked the sides to continue talking in a Sunday session, but neither a deal nor an agreement to keep talking was reached.

Writers in Los Angeles have also begun picketing more than a dozen studios and production sites in four-hour shifts, one beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific time, the other at 1 p.m.

Yes, I think the creative types (writers) should get more dough. The internet issue should be addressed even though I expect it will mean that YouTube and other sites will be devastated of their content.

I will miss you, Jon Stewart!

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Taking a Whack Against Comcast – washingtonpost.com

Fear not, fellow Americans! In these dark days of war, pestilence and Paris Hilton, a new hero has arisen. She is none other than 75-year-old Mona “The Hammer” Shaw, who took the aforementioned implement to her local Comcast office in Manassas to settle a score, and boy, did she!

This was after the company had scheduled installation of its much ballyhooed “Triple Play” service, which combines phone, cable and Internet services, in Shaw’s brick home in nearby Bristow. But Shaw said they failed to show up on the appointed day, Monday, Aug. 13. They came two days later but left with the job half done. On Friday morning, they cut off all service.

This was the company that has had consumer service problems serious enough to prompt the trade magazine Advertising Age to editorialize that Comcast and other cable providers should spend less on advertising and more on customer service. And has spawned a blog called ComcastMustDie.com that’s filled with posts from angry customers.

So on that Friday, Mona Shaw and her husband, Don, went to the local call center office to complain.

Click the link to read about what happened. Yes, the hammer does play a role in the events.

I’m not a fan of Comcast and I would never order the “Triple Play”. My channels have been freezing up for the past several months and I think it’s because I’m on basic (non-digital) cable and they want to pressure me into upgrading my service.

I don’t condone violence but I love this lady. She’s just done what we all have dreamed of doing to some company at one point or another.

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Offensive, angry and ginger – Simpsons’ Willie defines US image of the Scot – Times Online

Despite all the money, the glossy adverts and the brand marketing, Scotland’s international image is personified by the execrable Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons cartoon series.

Groundskeeper Willie, should you be unfamilar with him, is possibly the most offensive, angry, feral, fictional Scotsman ever invented. Think of the worst possible stereotype of the Scot; double it, and you have got Willie — a red-haired, bearded, foul-tempered, incompetent, haggis-eating, testosterone-filled boor who spends his private time secretly videotaping couples in their cars.

Lighten up. It’s a cartoon, for cryin’ out loud!

I think most American’s look to Sean Connery or Star Trek‘s Scotty for their Scottish image. Personally, I favor Craig Ferguson who hosts The Late Late Show.

Click the link for the full article

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