I laughed ’til it hurt revisiting this one the other day. From the classic Saturday Night Live special on Paul Simon. Anyone who knows how NQC is filmed will get a kick out of this one.
Act I: Paul is disappointed with the opening number but is assured by the producer (Chuck Grodin) that all will be well.
“This is a dynamite opening!”
“That was a dynamite opening?”
“Not what you see here. The elements, the pieces!”
Act II: Paul reacts to the finished product.
“Wait, that’s not even me!”
“It’s a standing ovation. They’re having a tremendous time. A tremendous time.”
“They’re having a tremendous time, but it’s not me that’s providing the time!”
Old friends reunite, when suddenly things go sour:
And then… The Battle of the Schnozzes.
His name is Wally. For more adorableness from Wally, click here to go to his owner’s channel. Here he is trying to retrieve a pecan from a medicine cup:
This ranks right up there with the bacon routine for me. (One mildly crude term.)
American Idol has made a smart choice in adding neo-jazz legend Harry Connick, Jr. to their new judging panel this season. He’s intelligent, honest, funny, and actually (gasp) knows something about music. In fact, he’s so confidently candid that it makes me wonder whether the judges are back to actually making their own choices about who to let through, as opposed to reading their lines from executive producer Nigel Lythgoe off camera. (But I digress. Segue!) Sadly, this clip shows that he’s almost too good for America. Various Idol contestants seem genuinely unsure who he even is.
“I’m actually the biggest celebrity, which is why I’m actually a hologram. I’m at home in my bed right now.”
Notice they ALL seem to know who female judge Jennifer Lopez is, but if this educational clip is any indication (brief mild language note) Connick pretty much PWNS her on the musicianship front, and he also thinks more deeply about the contestants than “Licks and runs! Oooooh, aaaah!” It’s like we got Simon Cowell back, but minus the nasty ego. I’ll take it!
Connick is one of several outspoken Christians who also have a significant presence in the secular entertainment world (Jim Caviezel is another example). Curiously, but perhaps not surprisingly, it seems easier to find Catholic examples of this than Protestant examples. This is definitely a two-sided coin. It gives the Christian entertainer a golden opportunity to be visibly different from the world while also pressuring him to conform. In a couple upcoming posts on Christians in entertainment, I will show how Connick demonstrates both sides of that coin. As many of you know, our own rising star Amber Nelon Thompson declined the opportunity to step into that world. Watching its pressures at work on both sides of the table, even on someone as secure as Connick, reinforces the wisdom of her choice to me. It’s been instructive to watch him try to offer some push-back against that influence, yet simultaneously make concessions to it. To be continued…
Special thanks to Kevin for sending me this footage from the Caribbean Cruise. It features ventriloquist David Pendleton together with Michael Booth, Scott Fowler and Gerald Wolfe. You’ve never seen a southern gospel performance quite like this before!
I think my favorite parts are when Scott Fowler keeps mouthing commonly added words (“I’m in the Lord’s army yes sir“) and Pendleton isn’t keeping up.
Poor Dean Martin. After the cheese dip part he never had a chance.
As some of you might know if you’ve read the blog long enough, I’m a huge fan of the Muppets. To me, it was one of the best TV shows of all time, and you will never convince me otherwise. Happily, the legacy has continued beyond the tragic death of Jim Henson, with a mix of old and new voice actors to bring the Muppets to a new generation. The last reboot film was a major success, and now the gang is back, for an international crime caper of epic proportions. When Kermit is mistaken for his evil doppelganger Constantine, a chaotic comedy of errors ensues. Heading the cast is British comedian Ricky Gervais, plus the usual slew of guest stars including my personal favorite, Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers). The fact that he was going to be in it for maybe three minutes… may or not have been the deciding factor in whether I was seeing the film, but ANYway, moving right along, it looks fantastic.
See also this related spoof on brainless Internet debates, which addresses the question of why the film wasn’t nominated for any awards this year (because the small fact that it isn’t out yet is hardly the sort of thing to stop your average enraged Twitter fan). Sadly it rings all too true:
For more tidbits, see this on-set interview with the cast and crew, in which Kermit shares who’s the biggest diva (take three guesses!) Gervais discloses his secret talent for song-and-dance (“I’m a pretty good singer yeah, I rate myself at singing, and dancing… I’m your dad at a party”), and Miss Piggy fusses about not getting to see Europe because she’s in her dressing room on strike all the time.