Pregnant local news anchor’s water breaks live on air and she finishes the segment

“Breaking News!” That’s the opening to the DailyMail’s report of this story and I couldn’t not-repeat it. I cringe at “you go girl!” style posts lauding someone for doing what they’re either supposed to or what someone of another gender or background would not be celebrated for if such were the case of the story – but this is legit. A human person growing inside another person pops the sack that begins the “get me TF outta here” process and the host-body continues the duties of her job – in this case talking about the new character limits on Twitter – and waits until they go to commercial to continue the birthing process? You go girl!


35 Year Old NBC News 4’s Natalie Pasquarella

The new Megyn Kelly and new Megyn Kelly show are both…confusing

Megyn Kelly was a Fox News contributor and sometimes-host for many years before getting her own primetime show on the network titled The Kelly File, which was very good. When she announced she would be leaving Fox News for a new hosting gig at NBC, it annoyed a lot of her fans because they felt abandoned and that Kelly had used Fox and it’s conservative viewer base to gain fame and fortune and then use that popularity as leverage to leave that network and that base and go to a rival mainstream source.

As a media observer, I thought there was definitely an element of “you’re supposed to dance with the one that brung you” to her departure, but also empathized with the move as she seemed to be increasingly out of place at Fox News in the era of Trump and while I personally saw that as an opportunity for her to take her show in more of a personal-story and investigative-reporting angle and less of the “news of the day” interviews and commentary – I could understand her wanting to take another opportunity with another network. While Fox was a good fit for her, I could imagine Kelly breaking big stories and see her bring her center-right feminist anti-Trumpism methodical interrogations to both a wider set of interview targets than would be willing to go on a Fox News show (cowards), and a wider audience than just the type that is willing to tune into the Fox News Channel for news and commentary. Especially of interest to me would be the mirror-image of her previous life she would be displaying at NBC – because at Fox News she was only regarded as conservative because that’s the general slant of the network at large, but Kelly in particular showed no reverence to conservative ideology, Republican party politics, or any such movement beliefs.

In other words: at Fox News, Megyn Kelly was an outsider voice providing the logic and prosecutorial deconstructions of things that don’t make any sense that the networks conservatives loved, while slipping in factual corrections, challenges to right-wing dogma, and a female-centric advocacy angle the networks viewers were open to but not necessarily clamoring for and thus got in their news diet stealth style like a dog eating its medicine wrapped in a slice of cheese.
At NBC, she would be an outsider voice providing the reverse: at a network with typically left-wing reporting choice and editorial coverage bias, Kelly would largely fit in in most thesis’ and tone, while slipping in factual corrections, challenges to those left-wing dogmas, and a female-centric voice for more reason based arguments than is present in the mostly emotionally driven Left. It would be interesting, I thought, to see Megyn deconstruct things like “no, it’s not okay to ‘punch Nazi’s” or gently remind viewers that Trump’s handling of recent hurricanes hasn’t been the neglectful “let them all drown” policy that many of his critics are opportunistically decrying.

Well, anyway – Never got to see any of that, because that’s not what either Megyn Kelly wanted or what NBC wanted for her.

Megyn debuted on NBC on Sunday nights with a show called Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly. It wasn’t very bad, but it wasn’t very good. Mostly it was just nothing. Nothing in the way of “nothing special” and “not a game changer” or even a dial mover in any way. She interviewed Putin. Which was nice for her I guess but the results weren’t anything big for news media consumers and didn’t get any love from news media critics. The observations in this article by John Ziegler were all much more interesting than the actual interview.

The only other interview I saw from this show was a Q&A with comedian Ricky Gervais which just kept had me thinking “why?…”. I like Ricky and I like Megyn and I don’t hate this interview, but… what’s the point? It was good for a podcast, but out-of-place as a Sunday Night news magazine item that appeared to be surrounded by other equally ho-hum items instead of being the moment of relief among other important or heavy toned topics.

Then Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly ended and Today with Megyn Kelly began. Today with Megyn Kelly took everything I expected from Kelly’s next chapter of life and was confused at not seeing in the Sunday Night and tripled down on it in this iteration…

“The truth is, I am kind of done with politics for now,” she declared in the inaugural episode of her Today show. and sure enough, the show was anything-related-to-news free.

I watched a couple clips and quickly thought “I miss the old Megyn Kelly“….

Rather than politics, she explained, her new show would focus on, well, emotions. “Have a laugh with us, a smile, sometimes a tear, and maybe a little hope to start your day,” she said. “Some fun! That’s what we want to be doing. Some fun.”

In one segment, she had a fashion expert convince women that they could, indeed, pull off high-waisted pants. In another, she made roast chicken. When the actor Russell Brand — who, in better days, might have been a worthy political adversary — confessed that he worries that he doesn’t look good enough and that his body isn’t good enough, she interrupted him. “You do. It is.”

It was the antithesis of the woman who was once willing to give up the support of her conservative audience to speak truth to power. The former Megyn Kelly came to slay, whether you liked it or not. The new Megyn Kelly is “so excited — so excited” and “also a little nervous; bear with me, please!” With every gesture, every word, every look, the new Megyn Kelly seems to be trying to convey one thing: Like me.

This was disappointing to me because the Megyn Kelly that was popular was not so because she was so “likeable” definitely not because she cared if you liked her – she was popular because she commanded respect through professional execution of prosecutorial talent. It is what made her goofier lighter moments on Fox so much more endearing and human – because they were coming from a professional. Ironically, this excited and emotion driven persona seems so…less human.

In another post, the previously cited John Ziegler voices the same reactions and concerns as I thought about the new show, although doing so under a harsher headline than I would choose myself that asks “So, Was the Old Megyn Kelly a Fraud, or is this New Version the Phony?“…

I get that humans can sometimes evolve and that as a media personality you have to remold yourself to fit the nature of the target audience. But what has happened with Megyn Kelly makes some of the transformations of Madonna or Lady Gaga’s seem rather tame by comparison.

The promotional lead up to Monday’s first show set a new standard for desperation. Each promo almost literally exuded estrogen in a frantic, obviously focused-grouped, attempt to show stay-at-home moms just how much Kelly is like them. The message seemed to be, “See, she’s rich, beautiful, famous, got attacked by our president, has kids and lady parts… just like you!”

The over-the-top efforts of the rest of the NBC Today Show staff to welcome her to their TV family have been so contrived as to make them appeared provoked by serious threats from the corporate suits who overpaid for Kelly’s services and are now very invested in trying to salvage this possibly doomed maneuver. However, it all feels like they are trying too hard to sell fancy cat food to a public which usually has an uncanny ability to smell inauthenticity, and may very well simply turn up its collective nose.

In fact, lack of genuineness seems to be biggest problem Kelly’s new show has. I doubt many of her old fans from Fox News will find her complete shedding of, and overt disdain for, her former persona and subject manner appealing. Nor will they find her attempt to be the combination of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres (wrapped in the package of a pretty, straight, white woman) appealing. I also doubt the new “MSM” viewers are likely to completely buy this new, super soft, version of her any more than MSNBC loyalists took to Trump supporter Greta Van Susteren (who lasted only a few months there).

Roger Ailes was right about Megyn Kelly, why was Megyn Kelly wrong about Megyn Kelly? From the NY Times piece I quoted earlier:

Even as he was commenting on her bra choices, Roger Ailes himself was giving Ms. Kelly savvy advice that was, in a way, progressive. As she notes in her book, Mr. Ailes told her at the beginning of her career “to not try so hard to be perfect” and to show “who I really am.” Who she really was turned out to be smart, aggressive and impossibly quick. A former lawyer, she developed an adversarial approach that made her something of an anomaly among talk show hosts: Whether she was sparring with Anthony Weiner over President Barack Obama’s tax policy or with Donna Brazile over the Democratic National Committee’s hacked emails, Megyn Kelly was not there to make friends.

The Critic didn’t fail – it was Sabotaged

The Critic was short lived but much beloved-by-me-from-day-one show that originally aired on ABC and I started recording because I had a feeling it would be cancelled. Sure enough – it was. But much to my delight and surprise, the show resurfaced on Fox, only to be cancelled again that same year. Considering the show was everything that is popular today: Family Guy style cut-aways awash in pop-culture references and movie parodies framed by a fat schlubby main character and his friends life adventures – how did this show fail?

This list, “10 Movies Sabotaged by Their Own Creators” (which obviously also includes tv series) revealed to me that the show didn’t fail at all – it was internally loathed and taken down from the inside.

The Critic
1994–1995

The Sabotage:
This cartoon from Simpsons show-runners Al Jean and Mike Reiss ran on ABC for one season before being picked up by Fox in 1995. It had done poorly on ABC (running against the Winter Olympics) but it seemed to have fresh promise on its new network. There was just one problem: The president of Fox hated it.

When he and his colleagues previewed two episodes, he allegedly asked those there why they were laughing. When they replied that the show was funny, he yelled, “NO IT’S NOT!”

The president moved the The Critic‘s time slot to make it harder for viewers to know when to tune in. The network didn’t advertise it. Mike Reiss called this a perfect example of a network “actively killing [its] own show.”

Did They Succeed?
Yes. An initially successful and highly rated show on Fox quickly lost its audience and didn’t receive another season. Still, at least the show has a cult following decades later.

This made me dig further and I found this article from March 1995 in the LA Times that details a further, deeper, and very personal rift between the creator of the Simpsons, Matt Groening (who insists his name is pronounced “Grain-ing”), groaning over The Critic entering The Simpsons world in a crossover episode that was often quoted from by my best friend and fellow Critic fan Johnny and I. Groening was reportedly so angry with James L. Brooks, who executive produced both shows, for “cross-promoting” The Critic in that Simpsons episode that Groening had his name removed from the credits.

At issue is whether Brooks is basically shoving one of his productions that failed elsewhere down the throat of a successful one to launch it on Fox.

This greatly taints my memory of that episode, which I was extremely excited about at the time and remember fondly. The degree to which Groening allegedly sabotaged The Critic runs deep and ran personal. From the 1995 article:

Hurt by the allegation, Brooks said that Groening is acting like an “ingrate” and characterizes Groening’s actions as a public slap in the face to the creators of “The Critic,” Al Jean and Mike Reiss–whose previous work as writers and executive producers of “The Simpsons,” he notes, helped make Groening a wealthy man.

“I am furious with Matt,” Brooks said. “He’s been going to everybody who wears a suit at Fox and complaining about this. When he voiced his concerns about how to draw ‘The Critic’ into the Simpsons’ universe he was right and we agreed to his changes. Certainly he’s allowed his opinion, but airing this publicly in the press is going too far.

“This has been my worst fear . . . that the Matt we know privately is going public,” Brooks added. “He is a gifted, adorable, cuddly ingrate. But his behavior right now is rotten. And it’s not pretty when a rich man acts like this.”

Groening said his decision has nothing to do with Reiss or Jean. His dispute is with Brooks and the cross-promotion, or crossover.

“The two reasons I am opposed to this crossover is that I don’t want any credit or blame for ‘The Critic’ and I feel this (encroachment of another cartoon character) violates the Simpsons’ universe,” Groening said. ” ‘The Critic’ has nothing to do with the Simpsons’ world.”

He fears that fans of “The Simpsons” will “accuse us of making the crossover episode just to advertise ‘The Critic.’ That’s why I’ve had my name removed on this episode.”

The angle about the alleged purity of The Simpsons seems silly. As the article recaps exactly the meta reference to exactly that accusation made in the episode:

In this Sunday’s “Simpsons” episode, Marge Simpson comes up with the idea of a Springfield film festival to boost tourism. Movie critic Jay Sherman, the lead character in “The Critic” (with the voice of Jon Lovitz), is invited to judge the event. (In typical “Simpsons” style, however, the producers acknowledge what is going on. When Bart Simpson meets Sherman, he says, “Hey man, I really love your show. I think all kids should watch it.” Then he turns away and cringes and says under his breath, “I suddenly feel so dirty.”)

19 years later, another show that Groening and The Simpsons have swiped at for copying them – Family Guy – another Fox animated show about a schlubby selfish middle aged man with a smarter hotter wife, an unappreciated daughter, anti-social son, infant baby and a dog in suburbia – did a 45 minute long crossover episode, this time airing on the crossers-show (Family Guy) and I found no mention of Groening having any problem with it.

Further, I noticed the 2016 Simpsons Halloween Special contained a jab at The Critic, including it in a list of short lived shows that The Simpsons had to serve as a lead-in for despite being “bad. really bad” as the song overlay stated. While it’s true that The Critic was short lived on Fox, it’s a crime to include it in the “bad show” company of other short-lived shows like House of Buggin, Hermans Head (the precursor to Pixar’s Inside Out), and a comedy called Whoops about a post-nuclear earth.

Hanson live performing MMMBop in 1997 and 2017


Above, a live version on MTV’s Oddville because I remember watching it at home.
Below: Celebrating the songs 25th anniversary on Good Morning America.

I like this report from NewsOK focusing on the bands Oklahoma origin just because it has an old timey “big hollywood from hometown” newspaper feel to it:

Oklahoma band of brothers Hanson celebrated their 25th anniversary making music with a performance of their breakout hit “MMMBop” today on “Good Morning America.”

The Tulsa trio – Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson – still have those great sibling harmonies going for them.

As previously reported, the band also showed off those harmonies Wednesday night at a star-studded Carnegie Hall concert honoring fellow Oklahoman Jimmy Webb. Surprisingly, Hanson performed the legendary songwriter’s “Highwayman,” known as the inspiration for the name of the country supergroup featuring Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.

Founded in 1992, the trio of brothers began performing classic rock ‘n roll and soul music, and writing original material, crafting a distinctive blend of harmonies and organic soulful pop-rock. Besides Hanson’s 25th anniversary, 2017 also marks the 20th anniversary of the band’s debut release “Middle Of Nowhere,” led by the iconic single “MMMBop,” which introduced the group to the world.

5 American Crime Stories from the 90s that should be dramatized

I don’t care if they’re in mini-series or movies but as I’ve become unexpectedly enthralled in this dopey “American Crime Stories” first season covering The People vs O.J. Simpson, it has made me hungry for more dramatizations of 1990s real life crime dramas. I choose the 90s not just because I lived through them and desire a similar “look at new angles” depiction of the stories I remember seeing in bits and pieces as a kid but also because of the historical significance of the time for such cases. The advent of more extensive nightly news segments, news talk shows, investigative news shows, talk radio, and cable news channels all popped in the 90s like never before and the stories that captured the attention of all these outlets, feeding on each other as those stories among all the other crazy crap going on in the world retained the tv box-office leaderboard status is a story in itself.

These are my top 5 picks I want to see done anywhere, anyhow, in a similar approach to the American Crime Story series, which stupidly is wasting their 2nd season on “Hurricane Katrina”… Maybe it will shock me and be not-garbage, but doing a season about American Crime Stories on bad weather (and presumably the alleged “criminal” malpractice of poor evacuation and aid by the inept local government) sounds like a massively squandered opportunity. These would have been infinitely better choices. I will include the Wikipedia entries for each case afterward but won’t be reading any of them beforehand and instead will be presenting my list from memory only, since that is what is fueling my desire to see them dramatized.

1- JonBenét Ramsey

What I remember about the story: A 6 year old beauty pageant contestant no one had ever heard of before is mentioned in a bizarre ransom letter and while the parents seemingly arrange to pay it, police are involved but find no evidence of a break-in or kidnapping. Then the girls body turns out to be in the friggin basement of the house, covered but not exactly hidden, and the physical trauma suggested horrors from sexual abuse to brutal beating in the poor child’s last hours. Speculation was on one of the parents but I forget which one while I got the impression that the other parent was oblivious. The crazy extent of the sexualizing of a 5 and 6 year old that took place in the doll dressing that went into these pageants (that evidently isn’t uncommon for such pageants) creeped everyone out, adding fuel to the weird details of the story. What I can’t decide if I’m weirded out by or if I glowingly approve of is the girls name… It sounds like perhaps its an homage to a French aunt or something but its her parents names: John Bennet Ramsey marries a woman named Patricia and they name their daughter = JonBenét Patricia Ramsey. lol.
What I want to see in a dramatization: What in the eff was going on with these parents? And who the hell did it? Does the evidence suggest it was one of them or was it really a random hit by a wandering psychopath that they were just oblivious to?

Wikipedia entry.

2- The Menendez Brothers

What I remember about the story: Adult brothers conspire to shotgun murder their parents, do it, and then have a lengthy trial for some reason. To my knowledge, the parents were wealthy, but not famous, so I didn’t and don’t know why this was such a big story that lasted so long in the news cycles. I remember allegations of abuse from the parents being used to unconvincing degrees on why they deserved to get surprise-murdered (it wasn’t even over a dispute or argument or any crime of passion from what I remember) in their living room. The boys tried to make it look like a home invasion or something and then went to go see a movie as an alibi. The movie they saw? The James Bond film License to Kill (because Batman was sold out).
What I want to see in a dramatization: Why did they hate their parents so much? Even if it was a money grab, I remember the reporting of the murders sounding very personal and not the kind of “just doing business mumzy and dadzy. nothing personal” coldness you might expect.
Wikipedia entry

3- Amy Fisher & Joey Buttafuoco

What I remember about the story: Dubbed “the Long Island Lolita” after the book and films about a 12 year old nymphomaniac who successfully seduces a 40something year old man, Amy Fisher had an affair with a central-casting style Long Island Italian male stereotype named Joey Buttafuoco when when she was 17. She became obsessive and attempted to murder his wife by ringing the doorbell in broad daylight and just shooting her right in the face when she answered, giving rise to the knock-knock joke we told at the time whose punchline to the “who’s there?” question was “AMY FISHER – BOOM” as you finger-gun the joke recipient in the face. Mary Joe Buttafuoco survived, now with limited facial mobility, and stayed with Joey for at least a decade afterward before coming to her senses in a series of crazy details that kept cycling. 

What I want to see in a dramatization: The sleeziness from Fisher and Joey under the nose of the oblivious Mary Jo. Evidently Fisher was fame-whoring for awhile and that contributed to the reasoning for the attempted murder in such a way. She pursued getting her name in the headlines at the time and when she got out of jail, doing tv specials and a few porn films afterward. Seeing the start of this lost soul going all wrong mentally and using her sexuality to “make it” would be fascinating to see unfold.

Wikipedia entry for AmyFor Joey.

4- Michael Jackson’s Molestation Allegations

What I remember about the story: In the early 90s Michael Jackson was at the peak of his sensation levels as a rockstar personality and everyone loved his weirdness in a David Bowie style way where his androgyny was considered cool. Then in 1993 he was accused of diddling a kid and that androgyny turned into “proof that he’s a fag” and the tide of public opinion turned from a weird mixture of everyone still liking him as a performer and weirdo tv figure but now no longer respecting his eccentricities the way they used to.
What I want to see in a dramatization: Michaels story. Which is that he was railroaded and witch-hunted for being bizarre and effeminate but was innocent of the crimes he was accused of. I maintain that the truth is that Jackson suffered from arrested development and saw himself as a child, which led to potentially inappropriate conduct an adult might have with children – but not molestation, not sexual abuse, and not the predatory arrangements accused. I wanna see the fake “see how adult and heterosexual he is??” publicity stunt marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, his interactions with Macaulay Culkin (who always denied any harm or inappropriate activity to him or in his presence) and the media circus around the whole ordeal (which is the secondary character in all these stories).

Wikipedia entry

5- Tanya Harding & Nancy Karigan

What I remember about the story: I’m afraid to search this story and find out that details I had grown up with where somehow not true. This is my original “too good to check” news item that just seemed so crazy that it not only actually happened in real life but in such a public way. As far as I know: Figure skater Tanya Harding and her boyfriend or husband or something, hired some dude to break the leg of her main competitor Nancy Kerrigan and it actually went down. Meaning, some guy stalked a figure skater and hit her in the leg intending to break it so she couldn’t compete. He failed and only bruised her thigh or something but Kerrigan didn’t go on to the Olympic heights she was on track to anyway because of it and Harding finished in poor placing anyway.
What I want to see in a dramatization: The white trash conspiracies involved in this hit, the execution of it, the aftermath and the cultural spike in figure skating interest that ensued is all ripe for interesting characters and situations to be acted out.

Wikipedia entry

5 Stupid Moments from the Oscars 2016

Let the countdown begin for when Chris Rock will win the award for “most eyeroll worthy comment” when he inevitably makes the most obvious joke of the night about being “the only black person you’ll see on stage tonight”.

I will be watching it later in the night or tomorrow or never. Will update this post accordingly with the reactions you desperately crave from me.

UPDATE: I still haven’t watched the whole thing and doubt I will, given the snippets I viewed in order to comment on. Here are those highlights…

Jokes on the Blackout (black activists calling for boycotts of the Award ceremony)

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Stupid “Acceptance Speech”
Nothing says “out of touch millionaire elitist” quite like calling warm weather the “most urgent” problem humans currently face.

Stacy Dash
Poor Stacy Dash lets herself be the butt of a joke at the Oscars and then the reactions to it bash her anyway because they’re too dumb to understand the joke or whose fault it was that it didn’t land.

-Here’s the background: She recently said that segregation is bad and that the Black Entertainment Television network (BET) and Black History Month should not exist.

-Here’s how the bit was supposed to work: She walks out and everyone laughs at her presence because they know of her comment.

-Here’s what happened: The crowd didn’t know who she was, the ones who did didn’t know her recent comments to get the joke, and the small percentage that knew her and her comments don’t have a sense of humor about the topic so it was a guaranteed no-laugh-moment.

Joe Biden’s Very Special Rape Message…
Let’s have the Vice President come out to give a Special PSA about not having sex with drunk people. WTF? The actual sitting Vice President of the United States walked onto the Oscars stage and asked everyone to take a pledge that says they will intervene “when consent has not or can not be given”, adding “let’s change the culture”… What culture?

Watch the Real Videos reenacted on The People vs OJ Simpson

On account of me being an American, I am following my patriotic duty to closely follow the FX series American Crime Story and its maiden voyage: The People vs O.J. Simpson. The drama and pacing as a piece of media is surprisingly not bad at all (I originally tuned in to see a shitshow of bad soap-opera ridiculousness but was shocked to actually enjoy it) but my real interest is in seeing how real-life events from the not-too-distant-past are being re-created. Aside from David Schwimmer taking me out of all suspension of disbelief, I have enjoyed the casting and comparing each actors portrayal to their real life counterpart. Cuba Gooding Jr actually captures OJ’s mannerisms and expressions pretty well a lot of the time but unfortunately his much smaller stature than the football player constantly brings it down.

If you too are doing your duty as a patriot, or interested foreign-national, you may find these news clips that were re-enacted on the show of interest.
I will do my duty to the nation like the unflappable hero that I am and update this post accordingly as new episodes come out and new clips are found.

Here’s what I’ve gotz so farz:

1- “He’s back again”…the 911 call
Nicole Brown calls for help as an enraged OJ Simpson is heard screaming threats in the background. Takeaway quote: (When the operator asks her to stay on the line) “I don’t wanna stay on the line, he’s gonna beat the shit out of me”…

2- The Awkward Attorney Press Conference
Here is John Travolta (played in real-life by Robert Shapiro) and Ross-from-Friends (played in real-life by Robert Kardashian) on the afternoon of Friday, 17 June 1994 giving a press conference in response to O.J. Simpson vanishing from his house and failing to show up at Parker Center to be charged with murder. Shapiro explains to the press and Robert Kardashian reads a letter O.J. wrote that day before disappearing, commonly interpreted as a suicide note.

3- Bronco Chase
A little under 2 minutes into the clip you hear A.C. (driving the Bronco) on the phone with police delivering the “you know who I am goddammit!” line along with other details shown in the show about the chase:

[Episode 4]:

4- O.J. pleads “Absolutely 100% Not Guilty”.

But not the way the show showed it… Unlike the show depicted: it wasn’t Judge Ito presiding, O.J. had to be tapped to stand after he is addressed by name (he didn’t just pop up with his attorneys following), and he delivers his plea in a defensive manner instead of the smug way Cuba Gooding Jr says it in the show…

5- Bailey vs Shapiro…
Attorney F. Lee Bailey on Larry King, passive-aggressively smack talking Robert Shapiro: This may not exist but I’m still looking… Instead I found this:
Not depicted in the series (yet?), Robert Shapiro in a Larry King interview responding to a recording from F. Lee Bailey 11 minutes and talks about the rift between them as well as denies that he made the suggestion for a man-slaughter plea depicted in Episode 4:

6- Faye Resnick Tell-All Book Interview

Nicole Browns friend Faye Resnick talks about her tell-all book with Larry King, covering Faye’s cocaine rehab 3 days before the murder and other tidbits mentioned in the mini-series…

In real life, Faye was on a tv and Larry’s set was not the iconic map pointillism that is more recognizable to his shows history but the show changed the set and made the backdrop the more familiar one. & Larry King plays his 1995 self in the show.

For lots more bits, this 20/20 episode covers all the main beats excellently:

Voice of Plucky Duck, Joe Alaskey, dead at 63

My childhood hero, Plucky Duck has fallen.

Joe Alaskey, who also voiced Grandpa from Rugrats and – to paraphrase the words of a line from the theme of the Plucky Duck Show – “Lots of other characters, but who cares who they are“. Plucky is all that matters and todays loss of his vocal provider is a day of mourning.

Plucky of course was a character born out of the magnificent show, Tiny Toon Adventures, which was the one and only valid product of the early 90s “younger version of familiar characters boom” after networks scrambled recycle their intellectual property and ride the Muppet Babies success wave. In Tin Toons, the characters weren’t younger versions of their counterparts (in this case, the WB lineup), but rather toons-in-training seeking to be the next crop of such characters. As far as I was concerned, however, the show was merely a vehicle to showcase Plucky: a green tank top wearing mallard who idolized Daffy Duck and likewise was constantly hatching schemes revolving around his greed and egotistical pursuit of personal glorification.

From the Tiny Toons opening theme:
Plucky Duck typing at typewriter: “The Scripts were rejected…”
Giant Plucky head popping out of typewriter: “Expect the unexpected!”
-Fkking brilliant….

Here is Alaskey announcing the Plucky Duck show (my favorite cartoon of all time) spinoff from Tiny Toons that only lasted a few episodes but was glorious (I still listen to the mp3 rip of the theme song fairly regularly) and explaining how he came up with Plucky’s voice. The deconstruction that he did a Daffy Duck inflection and switched the frontal lisp to be a lateral lisp is simple yet brilliant.

Here’s the original Tiny Toons theme (one of the best in the history of cartoons):

On the Tiny Toons Christmas Special I remember jumping out of my skin with excitement during the “It’s a Wonderful Life” parody in where Buster Bunny was shown an alternate reality where Plucky was the star of Tiny Toons. Buster (and presumably the audience) is supposed to be horrified by this but I was so excited and inspired that it could well be said that the real birth of Richardland was born at that very moment…

This spawned the pre-mentioned spinoff in where that gag was turned into an actual 13 episode show with this brilliant stupendous awesome opening:

It is with a heavy heart that I vow to carry on the Plucky legacy…

Holly Holm won double by being a genuine Class Act

When did Ronda Rousey become the villain? I don’t follow any kind of televised sport and that includes the the “people beating each other up” sports of MMA and UFC [those two are different things, right?], but I know Rousey as a figure and I thought I liked her (as a character, representing an image, of course. Not as a person). Thought, that is, until this Holly Holm stuff flooded the news. At first I thought everyone was being a schadenfreude-y jerk by being all “OMGZ! Bish got BEAT LOL!” about a seemingly invincible figure making the ridicule-worthy error of revealing that they are human by losing their first competition. I hate that stuff. I don’t like watching these

However… Upon further research, I am disappointed at what Ronda did to her public image and while I remain apathetic about the sport or the people involved – merely as an observer of media personality types – I am glad Holly Holm won the match and now like her both as a media figure and [what I know of her as] a person.

I’m scoring the figures by their pre-game and post-game personas.
Video of the weigh-in announcement thing that happens after the fight is decided but before it actually is set to happen sums up the 2 personality types really perfectly. Holly Holm is calm, casual, humorous (saying how she’s just hanging out and having beers beforehand) and steady in sharp contrast to Ronda Rousey’s angry, aggressive, speech-making, overly serious attitude (rushing Holm with a raised fist and poorly trash talking her with no respect and eye-roll worthy machismo).

Rousey claimed that Holm’s respectful attitude was a phony act and that she would get pummeled for it. I see no basis for that whatsoever and thus felt an approving goodness at knowing the reverse happened. The hate gushing toward Holm seems completely unmerited and born out of pure desperation. I wish Ronda didn’t go that direction purely out of media-tactic, not to mention the morality of such a path.

Holm’s respect was consistent. As soon as the fight was called in her favor after her knockout kick to Ronda’s jaw, Holm didn’t drop any kind of veneer and start screaming at the unconscious Rousey yelling variations of “WHO’S THE CHAMP NOW BITCH??” and so on. Quite the opposite – she giddily pranced for a maximum of 2.1 seconds in a manner of “OMG OMG I’m so happy at what I just accomplished!” and then immediately walked over to Rousey to check her condition in a genuine gesture and then continued to be gracious, kind and upbeat throughout the cleanup, post-interviews and press meetings for the ensuing days.

Much respect to Holly Holm for all of this. Her demeanor was role-modely in sharp contrast to Ronda Rousey’s shamefully unmerited lack of sportsmanship.
As Lady Gaga put it:

Highlights: