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Ernie Kovacs Invented Television Comedy…

Ernie Kovacs

Ernie Kovacs

Salon did a very nice article on the late Ernie Kovacs this morning because his widow, Edie Adams, has just released a complete set in DVD form of Kovacs’ kinescopes from the fifties and very early sixties (Kovacs died in an automobile accident in January of 1962… something I remember clearly as a prep school student who kept a copy of his obituary tucked into a copy of Show Business Illustrated with an article on the great man. I still have it.)

From the article:
Some of TV’s most innovative people and programs drew inspiration from Kovacs: Rowan and Martin, the Smothers Brothers, Monty Python, Kids in the Hall, SCTV, the “Saturday Night Live” casts, every host of NBC’s “Tonight Show,” and all the talk shows modeled on “Tonight.” Morning shows raided him, too: Kovacs’ 1951 program “Three to Get Ready,” broadcast live on Philadelphia’s WPTV, was the first morning program anywhere, and was supposedly the inspiration for NBC’s “Today.”

Go over and take a look at the whole piece… it is loaded with YouTube videos of Kovacs kinescopes. Meanwhile, here’s one of my favorites (I don’t think it’s in the Salon post) of the Kovacs character, poet Percy Dovetonsils:

Boy, it’s been 50 years and I still miss Ernie Kovacs.

And some Thursday Afternoon Humor: Two Dogs Dining…

Certainly not like my Nestle and Byron

Got a Couple of Hours? Here is the You Tube Symphony 2011…

This is spectacular and combines music and technology with 101 musicians, Michael Tilson Thomas and more. From Australia to you. Put it on Full Screen and Enjoy.

Saturday Afternoon Entertainment… “I Like U” by The Chase

Now doesn’t that make your day better?

Is Your Water at Risk from Fracking?

Here in West Virginia we are very worried as Fracking goes on in the Marcellus Shale.

Here’s some info:


NBC’s temper tantrum over leaked video exposes the network’s thin skin

Seems that NBC has fired an employee for posting a viral “Today” show video… 16 years ago!

This from Salon:

clipped from www.salon.com
Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel were just two of many people who didn’t understand the World Wide Web back in 1994. We know because of a video circulating across that once ill-defined Internet, showing the two — then hosts of the “Today” show — struggling with the complexities of the technology. Gumbel pondered its function (“What, do you write to it like mail?”). Couric turned to an expert, a producer offscreen (“Can you explain what Internet is?”). Neither of them had any idea what the hell that weird letter-A thing was (“@”).
The clip caught fire yesterday. Then suddenly the original poster took it down from YouTube (though others would later repost it). Turns out the guy who originally posted the video was an NBC employee. The network promptly fired him.
blog it

I’ve been reading some posts on Atheism at Humanitarikim…

…and it reminded me of the Atheist Hymn that I put a YouTube cut on this blog last year (Steve Martin and the Stone Canyon Rangers):

And, please, check out Humanitarikim. You’ll enjoy it.

Saturday Morning…

I don’t know why it is, but, standing in the shower this morning, I was overtaken by the score from “Carousel” and started singing Billy Bigelow‘s Soliloquy out loud, persisting until it’s completion as I was getting dressed. Byron, our younger dog, lay on the bedroom floor staring at me.

I hadn’t been thinking about Carousel… I don’t recall thinking about it and I hadn’t dreamed about it. I have been thinking about Candide, however… since I am reviewing the Shepherd University production next week for WSHC radio. I’ll be going to a dress rehearsal in order to get the review on the air timed with the Friday opening on the 4th.

I have been playing a couple of versions of Candide from my iTunes collections… primarily the Harold Prince version from 1974 and the British Royal National Theatre version from 1999 (and somewhere I have the Original Cast album , sometimes known as the Lillian Hellman version, whose story and Richard Wilbur lyrics and Barbara Cook soprano vocals, many prefer over the revisions… but I don’t know where it is right now. On a CD download somewhere (although I have a 33 1/3 rpm record somewhere as well.) That is where the thoughts of Carousel may have come up.

Each of the two musicals have significant overtures which often stand by themselves in legitimate Orchestra performances. Richard Rogers’ Carousel Waltz and Bernstein’s Candide Overture (available on YouTube with Bernstein conducting it shortly before his death) are both splendid, long (4 minutes or so) pieces which are quickly recognized even by people who have not seen either shows. That’s a thought which may have brought Carousel into my mind this morning.

Isn’t it interesting how music I learned at age 14 persists at age 64.

How Glenn Beck And Fox News Successfully Painted AZ Shooter As Hitler, Marx Devotee

clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
Within hours of the shooting spree in Arizona, conservative blogs lit up with the news that the suspect, Jared Loughner, was an aficionado of Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto. A Hitler/Marx devotee, the logic went, is someone too idiosyncratic or crazy to be part of any mainstream political movement. Some went further, and cited the information as proof that Loughner was the sort of big-government liberal they had nightmares about.
As with so many of these fast-propagating conservative memes, this one got its start on Fox News.
Simultaneously, reporters across the country discovered his YouTube page, which listed both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto among his favorite books. It also listed Ayn Rand‘s first novel We the Living, though there’s no viral online meme depicting Loughner as an Objectivist.
That’s in large part because Glenn Beck framed it in his own inimitable way on his Fox News show Saturday evening.

The next morning, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) took the same tack in defense of the Tea Party.

“What we know about this individual, for example, is that he was reading Karl Marx, and reading Hitler, and burning the American flag,” Alexander said. “That’s not the profile of a typical Tea Party member if that’s the inference that’s being made,” he said.

And thus a talking point was born.

blog it

The Digital Story of the Nativity

I got a kick out of this (a new way to view an old fiction):

This has got to stop… TSA Strip Searches A Young Boy… On Video!

This gets harder to justify every day. Somewhere, the terrorists are laughing their heads off.

I will no longer fly ANYWHERE!

Juan Cole points out the amazing changes that will happen in Congressional Committees…

Rep. John Shimkus

Shimkus of Illinois

… in particular the Energy and Commerce Committee where John Shimkus (R – IL) is seeking the Chairmanship:

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who will seek the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship maintains that we do not have to worry about climate change because God promised in the Bible not to destroy the world again after Noah’s flood.

The video I posted got pulled by YouTube as ‘spam’, which it isn’t, so I presume Google was successfully trolled; but I found another one; unfortunately it has added expletive subtitles for which I apologize.

YouTube has the video:

About half the newly elected Congressmen are climate deniers (and if past experience is any guide, about a third of them are criminals).

You know how climate change deniers are always saying that in past geological ages carbon dioxide reached 1000 parts per million or more in the atmosphere, with no dramatic effect on the world’s temperatures? Yeah, just an increase of 2.5 to 5 degrees.

– Juan Cole

I know we’ll be much more secure knowing that God will protect us from Global Warming (I wonder if God was trying to protect the Dinosaurs… just like I wonder how Jonah survived being dissolved by stomach acid in the Whale’s digestive tract.) How did America vote these idiots into power?

I am so happy that we have Juan Cole to keep our focus on what’s happening here… he is a major star in the blogosphere.

Some McCain Fun for a Sunday Night…

I found this animation while toodling around YouTube. I can’t help but think if this were spread around more in 2008 when it came out, McCain might have attracted a whole different crowd.

Or maybe not.

Hard to believe… interviews of Beck Rally attendees and why they were there.

An appropriate quote on You Tube where I found this revealing video of interviews on the Mall:

“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

– Sinclair Lewis

Ricky Gervais on Atheism…

I found this when I was searching YouTube for Mosque comments, of all things.

Now I know why I like Ricky Gervais so much…

Best quote:


“if there is a God, why did He make me an atheist?”

SpongeBob Does “Sweeney Todd”

These are 2 years old, but I just found them on YouTube. Very neat (partial) version of one of my favorite Sondheim Musicals.

What does Simon Cowell daydream about…

… as he watches Idol contestants perform in front of him?

Just part of your Sunday entertainment (thanks to the BBC and YouTube).

Mousavi has called for another mass rally today…

… called a “Mourning” rally for the now over 30 killed by government soldiers in the ongoing protests over the Iranian elections.

And these rallies are getting bigger every day, despite the Iranian government’s attempts to block International press coverage and even Twitter.

There will be more leaks, I’m sure… I’m going to check in with Nico Pitney’s updates at HuffPo as the day goes on.

Another way to stay on top of what’s going on in Iran is through Citizentube which is lining up the YouTube videos coming out of that country (and note that the government has managed to block about 90% of those videos already)… the last video reports available since the broadcast networks were cut off.

Between Twitter and YouTube we are seeing a tremendous influence of the Internet on this ongoing protest activity… not something governments have had to consider in the past.