Tag Archives: Sean Spicer

A pretty mediocre Emmys broadcast honors honoring “SNL” and “Big Little Lies” and is saved by Sterling K. Brown. And R.I.P., Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, one of wrestling’s greatest villains

Sunday night was the Emmy Awards, my favorite awards show every year because TV is my favorite entertainment medium.

For the first two hours, I thought the show was … OK. The opening sketch was pretty good, especially when Chance the Rapper said “I like Brooklyn 99, in fact I’m addicted, but where’s the cop show where 1 gets convicted,” the awards were spread out, I was thrilled to see such deserving winners like Kate McKinnon and John Oliver get their kudos, and there were a few moments with iconic TV legends (I’ll get to that in a minute) that were nice.

But it was, you know, a pretty typical awards show. Then, Sterling K. Brown won for “This is Us,” and the entire telecast changed.

You don’t understand how amazing Sterling K. Brown’s speech was unless you saw it (Please, watch it here). The man was like cool jazz, riffing and giving shout-outs to Andre Braugher (the last African-American to win Best Actor in Drama Series), thanking everyone in sight, and just being really damn funny, talking about “repping black love” with his co-star and hitting all the right notes. It was two minutes of absolute perfection.

The best part for me, that had me howling? One of his lines was thanking his co-stars on “This is Us” by saying “You are the best white TV family a brother has ever had!”

And I immediately paused the DVR and said to my wife, “Excuse me, Arnold and Willis Drummond, and Webster would like a word, Mr. Brown!” I then wrote that down and said I’m going to use it in my blog.

Then I un-paused, and Brown said “Better than Mr. Drummond, and better than those white folks who raised Webster.”

So damn good! Of course, because awards shows can’t recognize an amazing moment when they see one, and God forbid the show ends a few minutes late, they played Brown off and we didn’t get to hear the rest of his speech. Happily, he finished it backstage when meeting with the media, you can check it out here.

Seriously, truly, one of the best awards show speeches I’ve ever seen. Also, he totally deserved to win for his role as Randall on “This Is Us.” By far the best part of the show.

OK, on with some other highlights, and as always, the fashion barbs are courtesy of my way-more-fashionable better half:

— Stephen Colbert was fine as host, nothing to write home about, had a good line in the monologue about how unlike with the Presidency, in the Emmys, “the winner of the popular vote actually wins.”

— Boy, lot of people on the Internets were pretty pissed off that disgraced former White House press secretary Sean Spicer got to make a cameo in the monologue and tell a good joke. People were really mad, considering Spicer knowingly stood at the podium and lied throughout his tenure, especially in the beginning talking about crowd size at the inauguration.

I can understand people being upset, but it didn’t bother me that much. He’s a celebrity, and this was a TV show, after all. The historical record will show Spicer was nothing but a stooge and an accomplice for the worst President in American history.

— Did Dolly Parton stand on stage with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda (who my wife says “tried way too hard to look young” with that hairdo) and say the word “vibrators?” Yes, yes she did. And refer to her famous breasts twice. Dolly Parton is a national treasure.

— Carol Burnett and Norman Lear, two people who created so much iconic television, appearing on stage together was perfect.

— Also perfect? Mary Tyler Moore getting “the hammer” in the death montage, and turning off the lights of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” newsroom as the ending. That was freaking beautiful.

— Fashion hits and misses from my wife: Shailene Woodley’s hair and dress were terrible, Allison Janney’s dress was terrific, Jason Bateman looks as good as he did 30 years ago (seriously, dude has not aged), and silver definitely seemed to be the dominant color Sunday.

— Happy to see new winners like Donald Glover get some love, and Lena Waithe winning for co-writing a fantastic episode of “Master of None,” then giving a heartfelt acceptance speech, was a definite highlight.

— My annual gripe: “The Americans” got shut out. As did “Better Call Saul,” two absolutely outstanding shows. Sigh.

Some greatness just isn’t recognized until after it’s gone.

**Finally today, I thought this post would be a strictly Emmys one, but when I heard Sunday night that Bobby Heenan had died, well… I had to acknowledge it somehow.

Pro wrestling was a big part of my 1980s childhood, and of course the WWF was all I knew back then. And of all the great heroes and villains back then, from Hulk Hogan, to Andre the Giant, to Rowdy Roddy Piper, nobody entertained me as much as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.

His real nickname was “The Weasel,” at least that’s what he called him. Heenan very rarely wrestled, he was mostly a manager, and a fantastic talker. He was funny, he was mean, and whether it was him announcing matches with Gorilla Monsoon, appearing in sketches with Gorilla on WWF TV shows (above), or cutting promos and insulting someone, Heenan was the best.

He knew exactly how to play to the crowd, and how to always get the last word.

Heenan died Sunday at age  73. He will be missed, but I thank him for giving me so many laughs (and reasons to shout) when I was a kid.

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A sorority in Michigan puts out a horrific anti-Semitic V-day card. “SNL” and Melissa McCarthy score again. And thoughts on a politically-charged Grammys dominated by Adele

There is so much going on in America right now, politically and socially, that sometimes I feel like we can’t process at all.

There’s so much wrong, and so many lies and such deep hatred emanating from the White House and those who support it, that sometimes I feel like things slide and don’t get the attention it deserves.

So in my tiny corner of the Internet today, I wanted to say how absolutely revolted I am by this story, and how it’s just a mere pebble to a larger boulder of a trend: Anti-Semitism is getting worse and worse in America.

The Central Michigan University College Republicans hosted a Valentine’s Day party last Wednesday night; at the party, they distributed gift bags to all attendees.

In those gift bags was a Valentine’s Day card so hideous, so horrendous… Just look at it.

centralmichigan-vday

Words fail me. That is 14,000 kinds of wrong.

Of course the College Republicans of CMU apologized profusely, claimed that it was some “unauthorized” person who unbeknownst to them put those cards i people’s bags, yada yada yada. Maybe they’re telling the truth, but it smells like bullshit to me.

Anti-Semitism has always been around, you don’t have to tell any Jewish person that. But over the past year, ever since a certain bigoted a-hole began running for President and doing stuff like running ads with pictures of Hillary Clinton and talking about money and putting a Jewish star on the ad (real subtle, Donald), things seem to be getting worse.

There were many, many stories around Hanukkah time of menorahs being destroyed, synagogues being vandalized, and blatant anti-Semitism in many forms. You going to tell me it’s just a coincidence that all this is getting worse since a man who actually became President has a white supremicist and anti-Semite running his campaign and now, his White House?

It is disgusting, it is scary, and it needs to be called out every single time it happens.

Shame on the Central Michigan College Republicans, and shame on the millions of Americans who excused the anti-Semitism of the current administration.

Sadly, this shit doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

**And now, on a lighter note… “Saturday Night Live” did a pretty sexist and awful KellyAnne Conway sketch this week (I’m not going to link to it and give it more clicks, you can find it if you want to), but they absolutely hit a home run again with Melissa McCarthy as White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “The People’s Court” bit is hilarious, and the last 30 seconds are my favorite part, but her saying the word “Orlan-ta.” had me burst out laughing.

Melissa McCarthy may have to become a permanent cast member, she’s too damn good in this role…

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**Finally today, every year I spend 364 or so days ignoring popular music of all genres, stuck in the 1980s and ’90s that I am, then spend one night watching the Grammys and catching up and asking my much-cooler, hipper wife to explain stuff to me (Hey, it works for us.)

Some thoughts from what was a pretty powerful and politically-charged, but sometimes boring, Grammys:

— So Adele won everything and she was absolutely charming as always, whether it was when she stopped her tribute performance to George Michael to start it over because there was a screwup (and then she cursed on live TV which is always fun), or when she basically bowed down to Beyonce and apologized for winning Record and Album of the Year. As I’ve said, I know nothing about current music but it seems the Internet lost its mind that Adele beat Beyonce.

— Beyonce was pretty stunning in her visual and artistic performance; pregnant with twins, she still put on an amazing show.
Seriously, I know she’s called Queen Bey and all that, but can we actually elect her Queen of America?

— The political protests from the stage were expected, because music has always been such an important way to spread messages of resistance. A Tribe Called Quest was pretty on point, calling the President “President Agent Orange” and then parading to the stage a variety of regular people from all different faiths and nationalities. Katy Perry, who I’m not usually a fan of, dropped a fantastic performance as well, and Jennifer Lopez quoting Toni Morrison? Didn’t see that one coming.

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— The Prince tribute was the highlight of the whole show for me, which I knew it would be. Bruno Mars doing “Let’s Go Crazy?” Well done, sir.

— Speaking of J-Lo, she looked great but she’s coming dangerously close to John Boehner’s skin color. There is such a thing as TOO much bronzing and tanning.

— Literally nothing can get me to change the channel faster than “An All-Star Tribute to the Bee Gees!”

— For old fogies like me, seeing the James Corden “Carpool Karaoke” bit with so many artists singing “Sweet Caroline” along with Neil Diamond was pretty fun.

— Also, I had no idea who they were before Sunday night, but Twenty One Pilots coming up to accept their Grammy award with no pants on was pretty fabulous.

— Finally, Lady Gaga and Metallica was a glorious train wreck. As my wife astutely put it, “Gaga looked like she was a Metallica groupie.”

 

 

That was the greatest comeback in sports history. I hate you but I salute you, New England Patriots. There were a few good Super Bowl commercials that stood out. And “SNL” gets a hilarious Melissa McCarthy appearance.

julian-edelman-catch-super-bowl-51

Yeah, I got nothin.’

As the Atlanta Falcons bullied, pummeled, and bludgeoned the New England Patriots all over the field for the first 2 1/2 quarters of Super Bowl 51, I was so, so tempted to gloat. So much was I enjoying seeing my hated nemesis and their two-headed monster, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick get their butts kicked, I wanted to get excited. I want to taunt my Pats fans friends (of which I have many). I wanted to make sarcastic remarks about Bob Kraft and Trump and Brady and so much of the New England mystique getting smushed on Sunday night… but I didn’t.

Because deep, deep, deep down, I knew that even at 28-3, this game wasn’t over. I have seen this movie, this incredible Patriots movie, too many times before. Too many times has No. 12 come down and broken hearts, splintered hopes, destroyed dreams.

And so with an enormous assist from their opponents, the Patriots and their robot quarterback did it again. In the biggest Super Bowl comeback ever (biggest by 14 points!), New England won a 34-28 overtime thriller.

And I’m … spent. In disbelief at how it happened, even as I feared it might. After looking so awful for so long, the Patriots woke up. Stopped dropping passes, stopped letting Brady get hit every time he threw, and actually played a little defense of their own.

And because they did, I have to finally say it: Tom Brady is the greatest QB in NFL history. And his coach is probably the best in NFL history, too (though Lombardi and Paul Brown have some pretty good arguments).

A horrible game. An amazing final quarter. A win that will last forever. A few semi-coherent thoughts from my notes…

— I mean, there have been sports collapses before, and choke jobs, and gag jobs, and just terrible play by teams that are way ahead… but oh my goodness, the 2017 Atlanta Falcons 2nd-half Super Bowl performance will be the standard all other collapses will be judged by. For eternity. you’re up 28-3! So many times they could’ve put this game away, but the two biggest screw-ups have to be throwing the ball on 3rd and 1, when you’re inside field goal range up 28-20 and a FG pretty much wins it in the fourth quarter, and then Matt Ryan’s sack/fumble that gave the Pats life a few minutes earlier.

Just an unbelievable collapse. The Falcons’ D surrendered but it was exhausted by overtime. This loss is just as much on the offense; how do you only throw the ball to Julio Jones FOUR times??? (and on one of those he made one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history). Just a complete and total meltdown that will forever stain all those involved.

— Somewhere Rodney Harrison, victimized by the David Tyree catch nine years ago in the Super Bowl, was smiling Sunday night. Because that Julian Edelman catch (above) was some kind of Spiderman shit, too. If there was any doubt at that point that the Pats would win, that unreal catch was it.

— Kind of amazing that after dropping so many balls the first three quarters the Pats receivers caught every freaking ball in the fourth quarter and OT. (No, I’m not bitter.)

— Is there anyone in America, except maybe Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who thought once the game went into overtime Atlanta had a chance? Nope. There was no hope, especially after Atlanta lost the OT coin toss. Those defensive players’ legs were rubber.

Lady Gaga performs during the Pepsi Zero Sugar Super Bowl LI Halftime Show held at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, TX. (Photo by Anthony Behar) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***(Sipa via AP Images)

— Lady Gaga’s halftime performance was stellar and pitch-perfect. Not overly political but certainly inclusive, she performed her hits, had outstanding choreography, and a pretty fantastic finish. Well done.

— A lot of otherwise-bright people will tell you today that this was the “best Super Bowl ever.” Nonsense. It was a one-sided rout for three quarters. It was the best comeback ever, maybe the most dramatic game ever. But it was a snoozefest for a long time.

— I am so, so glad I didn’t have to cover that game and write a coherent story on deadline.

**So, the commercials. I thought they were pretty decent this year, actually. I loved the Turbo Tax Humpty Dumpty one, and I thought the Christopher Walken/Justin Timberlake ad was really clever. But the two I liked the best were the Honda ad with quotes from celebrity high school yearbooks (above) and this one, from Budweiser, about how their two founders met: Really smart and well-done.

**Finally today, this was about the only thing that could cheer me up after the Super Bowl: “Saturday Night Live” hit it out of the park again over the weekend, as Melissa McCarthy did her best Sean Spicer (White House Press secretary) impression.

Again, these things are hilarious but the real-life stuff is just so scary; Trump saying on the Super Bowl pre-game that sure, Putin’s a killer but we’ve got killers in America, too is pretty horrendous, but this passage, from this tremendous NYT story, is what will scare the hell out of me for weeks:

Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council,…

The President of the United States had NO IDEA what he was signing!!!!!!!!!!

Ugh. OK. I think I need to take some pills. Have a wonderful day.