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SUNDAY YOU TUBING
One of my favorite TV comics was Redd Foxx, raunchy nightclub comic and star of Sanford and Son. Here he is from a Dean Martin Roast of Frank Sinatra.

Was there anything funnier than Redd's battles with 'Aunt Ester' aka LaWanda Page? Not for me. The funniest episode at all for me was the one where Fred introduces his bride to be to his family. Recognize the fellow playing Reverend Trimble? It's Alvin Childress who played Amos on Amos 'n' Andy who had something of a comeback in the 1970s playing small roles in movies and on sitcoms like Good Times and The Jeffersons.

As you may know, Redd passed way on the set of his comeback sitcom, The Royal Family. Here's footage shot moments before his tragic death in 1991.

Sunday, August 12, 2007 - 10:04am
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NEW
Two cable dramas have been picked-up for a second season - USA's Burn Notice for an additional 13 episodes and TNT's Saving Grace with Holly Hunter for 15 new episodes.

You should shoot over to this page and read L. Wayne Hick's new interview with Pamelyn Ferdin. Don't know who she is? Sure you do, she was the voice of Lucy in the first, best Charlie Brown specials. She played the character even after the other voices were recast because the kids grew out of the roles. She also appeared on dozens of sitcoms and TV dramas during the 1960s and '70s.

You'll also enjoy his interview with one a TV legend, Steve Allen, it's one of the last interview's he gave before his death in 2000. What a massive talent Steve Allen was, I just watched his and his wife Jayne Meadows' 1998 appearance on Homecide: Life on the Street and they were both wonderful in their serio-comic roles.

One of my personal favorite TV stars Merv Griffin is said to be in grave condition suffering from cancer.

Friday, August 10, 2007 - 10:54am
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TOOL
Here's a funny bit from The Daily Show about that Florida legislator that was busted propositioning a cop for sex in a public bathroom. Too bad this clip doesn't have the portion where Jon Oliver offers the excuse that should have been offered to the cops, "I'm bulimic but I hate shoving my finger down my throat."

Thursday, August 9, 2007 - 12:34pm
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WHEEL
Since I'm probably the only person in the USA who didn't know Wheel of Fortune has a weekend edition (in all fairness I hate that program) Richard Tolleson clues me in: "Yes, there is a weekend Wheel of Fortune. It's reruns of the Monday-Friday version. It started years ago when first-run syndicated programming (think Star Trek Next Gen) was taking off. This locked up another half hour for the Wheel syndicator and made stations happy because there was a built-in audience for the show (i.e., it wasn't Small Wonder). There's also a weekend version of Jeopardy - same set-up. Hope this cleared that important matter up!"

Thursday, August 9, 2007 - 11:38pm
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RATINGS
Top 10 rated programs in syndication - week of July 23, 2007:
Wheel of Fortune: 6.4 rating
Jeopardy: 5.4
Judge Judy: 4.6
Entertainment Tonight & Oprah: 4.4
Everybody Loves Raymond: 4.1
CSI: Miami: 4.0 Seinfeld: 3.7
Dr. Phil: 3.6
Wheel of Fortune - Weekend: 3.3

There's a weekend version of Wheel of Fortune?!?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 - 12:04pm
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IN THE NEWS
Scary - kids think food tastes better if it comes wrapped in a McDonalds wrapper. Advertising works!

For heaven's sake, how many times have we heard this story?!? Van Halen & David Lee Roth are reuniting. Not that I care...

Shout! Factory has announced a new CD is coming from Darlene Love this Christmas. This is great news, I love Darlene Love. In fact, I went to a taping of an hour-long intimate concert video shot in 1982 (or '83) and we talked about doing a project together. I assume you can see me in that video, at one of the front tables, but I never saw the finished product or know what happened to the fantastic footage. She was wonderful that night. And now she's currently starring in Hairspray on Broadway, what a great choice she is for the role made famous by Ruth Brown in the original movie!

Like Brown, Love's a titanic talent that never really got the recognition she deserved. When I met her she was singing backup for Dionne Warwick and anxious to move away from that long-standing but unsatisfying gig. You can hear her in the background of Warwick's brilliant out-of-print LP 'Live and More,' it's one of my favorite albums of all time. The CD is occasionally available for a king's ransom on Ebay.

She also was half of the backing duo for Sonny Bono when he went out on tour after his breakup with Cher, Bono and Love had worked together back in their Phil Spector days.

From the press release: On October 2nd Shout! Factory will release Darlene Love's first Christmas album, It's Christmas, Of Course, which is sure to start a holiday tradition of its own! For the album, Darlene gives us her take on 12 tastefully selected holiday neo-classics of the '70s and '80s from a diverse array of artists like The Pretenders, The Band, James Brown, Tom Petty, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and more.

On this album of modern day classics, the Wall of Sound that surrounded her voice on her Phil Spector-produced hits has been stripped away, leaving her beautiful voice front and center. "We had a rule on this album: no oldies. We wanted to leave the '50s and '60s behind," says Shawn Amos, Shout! Factory's Vice President of A & R.

Darlene Love is a woman of many talents. She's primarily recognized for her vocal contribution to some of Phil Spector's biggest hits like 'He's A Rebel' and 'He's Sure The Boy I'm Gonna Marry' (The Crystals), and her unmistakable backing vocals for such luminaries as Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, The Mamas and Papas, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys, and Cher. Love has recently been seen lighting up Broadway with her performances in Grease, the Tony-Award nominated 'Leader of the Pack', and her current 2-year run as Motormouth Maybelle in Tony-Award winning 'Hairspray'.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 - 8:27am
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LINKS & LOVE
Want to read an amazing story? 'My Hellish Triangle with George and Eric' details the lady that inspired George Harrison's 'Something' and Eric Clapton's 'Layla' and the tumultuous events that followed:

'That whole period was insane. Friar Park was a madhouse. Our lives were fueled by alcohol and cocaine, and so it was with everyone who came into our sphere. We were all as drunk, stoned and single-minded as each other. Nobody seemed to have appointments, deadlines or anything pressing in their lives, no structure and no responsibilities.'

Thanks to Jay Blotcher for sending us this link - lunch boxes for adults.

There's a web site devoted to writer Thorne Smith, he created Topper.

Remember that jerk of a judge who sued a dry cleaning establishment for $54 million dollars for his lost pants? He even tried to squeeze this poor immigrant family for $15,000 to rent a car every weekend to drive to another dry cleaners! Looks like that bum is going to lose his job. Justice?

As our President constantly reminds us, this is a different kind of war we're fighting today. He's right. From the BBC:

The US military cannot account for 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles and pistols given to the Iraqi security forces, an official US report says.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the Pentagon cannot track about 30% of the weapons distributed in Iraq over the past three years.
We arm the enemy, we train the enemy, then we fight the enemy. Hell of a strategy - unless you want to win, of course.

What in the heck is this all about? This MSNBC reporter completely loses it on the air while talking about the market. Should I be worried that a bunch of idiots went out and bought houses with adjustable interest rate mortgages and the lenders are now going out of business?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 - 8:29am
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Route 66 season 1 on DVDCOMING TO DVD
One of the greatest TV dramas of all time is coming to DVD finally in season sets. Route 66 Season 1 Volume 1 is now available for pre-order from Amazon and this one's going to be fantastic.

From the very first episode where Tod and Buz meet and almost get lynched in Mississippi the series consistently maintained a high level of quality. The scripts (mostly by Stirling Silliphant), the direction (by Arthur Hiller and others) and the acting are superior and lots of seminal guests stars turning up in the first half of season 1 - E. G. Marshall, Joey Heatherton, Inger Stevens, Edgar Buchanan, Anne Francis, Jack Lord, Barbara Bostock and Harold J. Stone are a few familiar faces discovered along the road.

This DVD collection will be a huge seller and, no doubt, one of the top releases of the year based purely on the strength of the show itself, whether or not there are any extras.

Prison Break season 2 on DVDAnother terrific series coming to DVD that changes locales almost as often as Route 66 is the second season of Prison Break.

Fox sent me a screener of the 6th disc in the DVD collection of this riveting drama, the season finale, which I hadn't seen yet. I've only seen a handful of episodes of season 2 but it's every bit as good as the freshman year. I can't wait to soak in the entire season, it's a show filled with surprises, with more shocking twists and turns than a mountain road.

Prison Break Season 2 arrives on September 4th - don't let it escape your clutches, pre-order now.

Monday, August 6, 2007 - 9:49am
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SUNDAY YOU TUBING
Here's the amazing Harry Shearer imitating Dick Cheney as a lounge singer.

Harry Shearer in a scene from For Your Consideration, a marvelous mockumentary by Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap) that you really should check out now that it's on DVD.

Shearer was a writer on one of my favorite shows of all time, Fernwood 2night. Martin Mull and Fred Willard starred. Willard can be seen in the new sitcom on Fox this fall, Back To You with Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton.

The Stu Osborn Show, a parody short directed by Christopher Guest starring Fred Willard and Michael Hitchcock. This is a web viral video advertisement for Microsoft.

Sunday, August 5, 2007 - 11:15am
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