Hello and Happy New Year, everyone! I really meant to write a blog post for Monday but the day got away from me, we were doing family things and then I had some champagne on New Year’s Eve and, well, you know. Hope you had a great holiday, and that you saw some of that sensational Georgia-Oklahoma college football game Monday night (the great Tommy Tomlinson, a Georgia fan, penned this great, emotional column).
Lots to get to at the start of 2018, but as always I can’t fully put a bow around 2017 without reading the great Dave Barry’s Year in Review. For those of you somehow unaware of this true genius, Dave Barry is a wildly successful author and humorist who has been a longtime Miami Herald columnist. Honestly, I think he’s one of the five funniest people in America. As always, his 2017 Year in Review contains a ton of laughs, including…
In February, The entertainment highlight of the month comes during the Academy Awards, when PricewaterhouseCoopers (motto: “The Fidget Spinner of Consulting Firms”) comes up with a brilliant gambit to enliven the 14-hour broadcast by handing Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope for Best Picture. Hilarity ensues, and PricewaterhouseCoopers is immediately hired by congressional Republican leadership to develop a strategy for repealing Obamacare.
In April, In aviation news, United Airlines (“The Fidget Spinner of Airlines”) breaks new customer-service ground when it decides that a 69-year-old passenger who has already boarded his flight must be “re-accommodated” via a technique similar to the one the Mexican army used to re-accommodate the Texans at the Alamo, leaving him with a concussion, broken teeth and a broken nose. At first United’s CEO defends the airline’s actions on the grounds that, quote, “We have the collective IQ of a starfish.” But after a firestorm of public outrage he apologizes and promises that in the future United will employ a “more humane” re-accommodation policy based on “respect for our customers and, when needed, tranquilizer darts.”
Dave Barry’s the best. Read his whole, hilarious story here.
**Next up, as I think I mentioned a few weeks ago the wife and I were about to go on a movie-watching binge over the holidays, and I actually got to see three quality flicks in the past week. Not to going to review them all today because you and I don’t have that kind of time, but wanted to start by writing about “The Greatest Showman,” which I knew would be a musical but still had way more music than I was expecting.
Couple good things: 1, Hugh Jackman, who played P.T. Barnum, is a superstar. Guy is really, really good at everything he’s in, and he was really good here. 2, The cinematography and visuals of this movie were spectacular. It was gorgeous to look at, definitely a flick I’m glad I saw on the big screen. 3. Michelle Williams, who plays Barnum’s wife, is terrific with what little material she had to work with. Michelle Williams has turned out to be a sensational actor. Who ever would’ve thought that the “other” chick from “Dawson’s Creek” would be the best actor of all of them?
Couple bad things: 1, Zac Efron, one of the big stars of the movie, is no Al Pacino. He’s fine at singing but at acting? Meh. 2, A lot of the storyline presents Barnum was this wonderful, gregarious, big-hearted guy, giving opportunities to those who society has shunned, like a Bearded Lady and a midget. The reality is so, so, so different (though I was about to get mad at the movie for not including Barnum’s famous “There’s a sucker born every minute” quote until I got home and read he never actually said it.).
Would’ve been nice to see some of Barnum’s darker side. 3, And this bothered my wife way more than me: Barnum has two daughters in the film. The film takes place over a period of at least eight years. His daughters never age in the movie. What, they didn’t want to pay two sets of actors to play his kids? It’s just weird.
Anyway, overall I’d say liked “The Greatest Showman.” It’s not great, but if you like musicals and a feel-good story, check it out.
**Finally today, I’m stunned I missed this story from last December, but I’m glad I stumbled upon it over the weekend. Meet Kyle O’Quinn, a backup forward for the New York Knicks. Like most pro basketball players, he’s tall, he’s African-American, and he never had his own bar mitzvah.
But he’s been to a bunch of them now, because Kyle O’Quinn has been going to a ton of them. What started as an invite to his agent’s daughter’s party has turned into a regular side gig.
Says Mr. O’Quinn: “A lot of times, I go and I stay longer than I’m supposed to because it’s so much fun,” O’Quinn said. “The food’s always good. The only thing that gets a little overwhelming is the kids; sometimes they don’t listen to the structure of the party and it just gets loose.
“And the [parents] kind of leave it like, ‘Kyle, you deal with it.’ And it’s kids saying, ‘Selfie, selfie, selfie, snapchat, what’s your snapchat?’ But once you get that out of the way, it’s fun.”
I bet he does a mean hora dance, you know?