Yesterday, the horror world lost one of the greats. Rest in peace, Mr. Craven, though your handiwork did little to pass on peace to the rest of us. It makes me too sad to know the darkest corners of your mind are now beyond quiet.
You would have been 116 today, and I can only imagine what kind of movies you’d be making today — let alone what you would think of the movies being made today. Thank you for Psycho, Rear Window, The Birds, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents! You’ve made many a lazy afternoon in my life enjoyable.
Three days ago, the entertainment world lost an iconic and memorable actress: Betsy Palmer. Some may like to chuckle at her role in the 1980 campy slasher Friday the 13th, but that was just one light in a whole spectrum of work–said slasher coming 29 years after Palmer debuted on the small screen. Not only has she made several TV appearances since the 1950s, she’s also had major roles in several series, taken spots as a panelist on popular game shows, and has starred in several horror and non-horror films. She’s had a strong and prosperous career, even working up until the last eight years or so. Her most recent addition to the film world was Bell Witch: The Movie from 2007.
May you be peaceful and happy, wherever you are.
Please, feel free to read a more articulate tribute to My Lady Palmer from CNN.com.
Four days ago, the music world lost a great talent and legend in his own right. And, like Ludacris said during the Billboard Music Awards tribute on Sunday, as long as we can listen to the music “Blues Boy” King will never truly be gone. The angels are singing with you now, B.B., while the rest of us are left singing the blues.
May you be peaceful and happy, wherever you are.
In his honor and memory, I present “Lucille” – the song I always think of when I think of Mr. King.
You would have been 48 today, and I can only imagine what the world of music would have been like if you would have stuck around. I can only imagine what the world would have been like. Remembering you today.
To the lead singer of one of my favorite bands of all time, Green Day, Happy Birthday!!! Your voice, your words, and your passion changed my life as a lonely 12-year-old girl in central Iowa over 20 years ago. Tracks like “She”, “When I Come Around”, and “Basket Case” were balms to the wounds in my soul. Thank you and thank you for staying true to yourself. Keep rockin’!
(From Green Day) This was the first single I’d ever heard, and I’ve been smitten ever since!
Two of my favorite comedic actors of all time share the same birthday! Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman were born on the same day 13 years apart, Andy in 1949 and Jim in 1962. Jim was in his early 20s when Andy “departed” this living realm. And I only heard about their shared birthday from Andy Kaufman: The Truth, Finally written by Bob Zmuda and Lynne Margulies–a book I happened upon buried at the bottom of a seemingly unrelated Google alert (as if I should expect anything less from Andy). I can’t believe I didn’t notice this when the biopic was released in 1999. It’s even listed on IMDB under trivia about Andy. But, who knows? If I’d known about their birthdays, I might not have found out about this book. Stranger things have happened, right?
Happy 66th Birthday, Andy! and Happy 53rd Birthday, Jim! All the best to you both (just in case Andy is reading this)!!
What novels scored big with readers this year? Truth is, that’s a tough question to answer, as we all seem to be looking for something a little different. However, we can definitely let you in on the books that really won us over. The following are the 10 best novels released in 2014, as voted on by myself and a number of our contributors!
10 Sergey Kuznetsov – Butterfly Skin
Verdict: Butterfly Skin reads, at times, like a vintage giallo picture… mixed with a little Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest. It’s wonderfully written and about as addictive as I imagine crack being. A stunning story that delivers tons of chills, the novel is about as disturbing as they come. Reviews of the novel seem to be a bit mixed, but lovers of the extreme are going to dig this one quite a bit.
Happy Holidays to everyone out there on this fine Christmas Eve day. Season’s Greetings! May your holidays be warm and the wine flowing! In order to share the joy of the season with my lovely followers, I’m sharing my Top 5 Christmas Carols. These are the songs that get my heart racing and sometimes bring tears to my eyes. Christmas music isn’t always my favorite genre, but these five songs just spell out the reason for the season to me. Enjoy!
I have to say something about this song. I was a first soprano in high school, and I don’t remember a Christmas program that didn’t include this song. I had the option to choose a video created for this song featuring a professional choir, but there’s something about flash mobs that just choke me up!
On December 18, 1997 the tragic death of Chris Farley was reported. To have such a large, energetic personality displaced by something as quiet and sudden as a drug overdose, well, at first, it just didn’t seem physically possible. Not even 40 years of age, just coming into his own fame, and this funny man would dance and jump around no more.
In honor of his big, bright life and quiet passing, here are 10 of the best Farley moments from Saturday Night Live and some of his more popular movies. Rest in peace, you China-shop bull, and just know that you’re still making us laugh.
Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. Though I don’t think she’ll mind too much that I let the entire world know how old she is, I know she would just hate it if I posted a picture of her… So, I’ll be kinda sneaky about it.
That’s one of my favorite shots of her, and I know it’s one of hers (but that’s because you can’t really see her face). Though, if you look at mine, you can get a pretty good idea.
Anyway, yesterday was her birthday, and in her honor I’m going to celebrate it by choosing five of the songs that were on the Billboard Top 100 in the year she was born. The five songs I’ve chosen are some of her favorites to this day, and each one of them has a special meaning for me, as well.
These first two were a couple of the tracks on a cassette my mother would often listen to while we were cleaning the house. It wouldn’t be a rare sight for all three of us (my mom, my sister, and I) to start dancing right there in the middle of the kitchen when either of these two songs came on.
1) Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly & The Crickets (#50 on the Top 100)
The next two are featured in one of my mom’s (and consequently, one of my own) favorite movie musicals: Grease (1978). To see that they were on the Top 100 when she was born is pretty cool. We would, again, have no hesitation in singing along to each and every song from this soundtrack. I was always partial to “Sandy/Stranded at the Drive-In.”
3) At the Hop – Danny & The Juniors (#20 on the Top 100)
This last one reminds me of another movie my mom and I sat down and watched once, the Jerry Lee Lewis biography Great Balls of Fire starring Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder. We were captivated by the compelling (and, then, somewhat strange-seeming) love story and the bold personality Lewis is depicted as having off-stage. It’s still one of my favorite bio-pics.
5) Great Balls of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis (#36 on the Top 100)
Just because they’re animated, doesn’t mean they’re for the kiddies.
I thought I’d take a break from the stand-up this week; mostly and mainly because I haven’t posted anything here since last week and I don’t want these back-to-back posts seeming redundant… or anything…but I’d still like you to meet your LMAO quota for the week.
So, instead, I’m going to look at the world of adult cartoons and the pure bliss they can so often bring me. This is a Top 5, of course, but as per my usual, this is in no particular order, except for that in which they were remembered.
Standing tall as FX’s spy extraordinaire, Sterling Malory Archer is probably one of the most flip, reckless, and charmingly captivating spies on the planet. If only because he always manages to get his guy, and then his girl! H. Jon Benjamin really gives more than a voice to this character; I don’t think he would be as popular without Benjamin’s timing, inflection, and overall tone. But that is saying nothing about the cast: Aisha Taylor, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Jessica Walter, and many more round out this cast nicely and blend so very well together. The main drive of the show is ISIS (which will experience a name change [spoiler alert] in the new season, due to real-world international conflicts), the spy organization run by Sterling’s mother, Malory (voiced by Walter). I think IMDB best summed up the heart of the show, “At ISIS, an international spy agency, global crises are merely opportunities for its highly trained employees to confuse, undermine, betray and royally screw each other.” Catch up on Netflix (Seasons 1-4) and Amazon (Season 5) before the new season premieres on Jan. 8.
America’s first family: Peet-ah, Lois, Chris, Meg, Stewie, and Brian are the perfect satirical version of the American family. Seth MacFarlane has a far-reaching sense of humor that holds nothing sacred, and I love every second of it. He incorporates music, pop culture references, and all the little details of an American life that keep The Griffins just within reach, self-deprecating, and relevant enough to reflect on the issues getting the world’s attention. I hope this show isn’t going anywhere for a while.
I was introduced to this by a couple of very, very good friends of mine who leaped at the opportunity after I told them I knew what Adult Swim was. “Then have you seen this?” they asked, and my whole world changed. Well, not really, but I have to say that I probably would have never heard of Archer if I hadn’t seen Lucy first–because H. Jon Benjamin provides the voice for Lucy’s father: Satan, that’s right! So cool. Anyway, this cartoon follows what it would be like if Satan had a daughter and she wanted to date Jesus–whoops, was that a spoiler? Sorry. The situations and conversations that occur between Lucy and her father are hilarious in terms of religions, dating between them, and parent/child relationships. Definitely worth checking out!
I’ve only seen a handful of these episodes, but everything I’ve seen I’ve loved. This show follows the antics and adventures of a metal band, Dethklok–touted as the world’s most successful death metal band. Escaping the government’s watchful eye and maintaining their hardcore rock status takes this international quintet into strange and funny situations.
I have loved this show from the first time that I saw it, and sadly enough I cannot recall the details of that first sighting. It’s been years, that much I know, and I haven’t seen enough of this show–that is something else I know. I should go to Netflix and overdose, but that takes actual time. Though I saw The Simpsons first, I like this better because of the humor and story lines it follows. I’m also a huge fan of Katey Sagal (voicing Leela, the purple-haired cyclops).
I found this really cool video where a guy with an interesting accent explores and explains why he chose his Top 10 Best Futurama episodes of all time. I believe you’ll find yourself laughing and nodding along with the commentary, while remembering your own highlights of the episodes you see and the ones you don’t. I completely agree with the narrator’s #1 choice.
While I was doing research for the post “Symphony of Funny” to find Ms. Tenuta, I came across a bunch of female, musically-inclined comics who I’d never heard of before. Well, there was one girl that I recognized from a couple TV shows, but I didn’t know that she did stand-up and that she was the other member of quietly popular folk-comedy duo! There are 5 very funny ladies here, and I can’t wait to introduce them to you. However, I really, really, really hope you already know about them!
Jessica Delfino, I watched just a couple videos of hers, but my favorite is the one I’ve embedded below. When I discovered the humor of Any Kaufman I was paralyzed with awkwardness–and I believe, wholeheartedly, that he would have wanted me to be. We shared a childhood of talking to walls and dolls, and finding the strangeness of human nature hilarious. Jessica Delfino probably spent some time of her own talking to walls and considering the quirks of our nature, because she shares a brand of humor with Andy that tugs at the awkward strings of my heart. Not to mention, she has a melodic voice and great sense of style!
Katie Goodman, A strong, sarcastic woman after my own heart, at least as far as I can tell, and I watched several of her videos–only to land on the one I’ve embedded below, where she applies a very specific usage of my favorite word. It’s a live performance, so she interacts with the audience at very appropriate times–even asking them to sing along. She’s even gone so far as to start a troupe: Broad Comedy. Now, where did she get a name like that, I wonder?
Garfunkel & Oates, A folk-comedy duo comprised of Kate “Oates” Micucci and Riki “Garfunkel” Lindhome poke fun at the ins and outs of contemporary American life–from a sarcastic and witty women’s perspective. They’ve even taken part in a duet with Weird Al, performed live, entitled “Save the Rich”, quite satirical and quite sarcastic. So funny! Official videos can be seen through the rikilind YouTube channel, and more informal videos can be seen through The Grammy’s“Garfunkel and Oates” sub-playlist. But the video I’ve embedded here is a mash-up/medley/pretty good idea of what G&O offer in terms of tone and band chemistry, even though it isn’t any original material. That’s where the girls really shine!
Geraldine Quinn, As if Australia wasn’t attractive enough, I stumbled upon Geraldine Quinn, and now I think I might want to move there. Though, having her YouTube channel and videos keeps me sated so far. She’s witty, accessible, and talented! Listen to her sing her song “Gallipoli” or “No One Cares” and tell me that lovely woman doesn’t have a set of pipes. I’d probably knock you out if you tried. If you get a chance, watch some of her travel diary videos, those are some of her best material [and what made me call her accessible]. She’s real and damn funny; tune in! I’ve embedded a song called “Obsolete Me, Dear”, which has a delightfully warm intro. Enjoy!