Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gay Marriages in New York CIty!


The old bank-robbery-gone-wrong-now-a-hostage-situation story line is back again. Jeez, we almost finished the year without another hacky premise. We came close when "Life on Mars" had a hostage situation in a hospital earlier this fall.
Some shows wait years before going there ("The Comish"), but "Leverage" on TNT only took 4 episodes before going there. I remember seeing Anthony Michael Hall being interviewed about the "Dead Zone's" bank story line. He said it was an homage to "Dog Day Afternoon." That is a great movie, but between the Al Pacino film and the USA network drama there were tons of "homages" to the movie. Making TDZ a rip off.

Mafia show "Line of Fire" decided that a bank robbery would be a good idea within the first 13 episodes of the show. It didn't last much longer than that.

This is a bad sign for "Leverage." Too bad. I like this show.

Latest Watchmen Trailer*

*Until the nest one.

Watchmen Exclusive

Thursday, December 18, 2008

lies we tell each other to survive in LA

This week's column is an audio one. Since Rob Long of Martini shot decided to take on the subject this week, I thought he should do it.

Take it away Rob...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From Togas to Orange Jumpsuits

From the New York Times:
December 16, 2008
National Lampoon Chief Faces Charges

The chief executive of National Lampoon, Daniel S. Laikin, was charged on Monday with conspiracy and securities fraud in what prosecutors said was an attempt to raise the value of the company’s stock artificially.

The National Lampoon, a media company in Los Angeles with projects in feature films, television programming and interactive entertainment, owns interest in the movies “Animal House” and the “Vacation” series.

Mr. Laikin, who was arrested on Monday in Los Angeles, and five other defendants were indicted by a grand jury in Philadelphia.

Laurie Magid, acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said in a statement, “These schemes were designed to corrupt the market and reap large profits for these defendants at the expense of the average investor.”

Mr. Laikin was accused of promising kickbacks to a stock promoter to raise the value of National Lampoon’s stock.

The investigation was conducted by the Philadelphia offices of the F.B.I., the Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States attorney.

Prosecutors said a seventh defendant, the stock promoter Eduardo Rodriguez, 49, of Livingston, N.J., enlisted other promoters to use insider information provided by the companies and drive up the share price of National Lampoon and two other companies, the Advatech Corporation of Florida, and Swedish Vegas of California. Richard J. Margulies, the chief financial officer of Advatech, is a defendant.

The stock buys were made from March to June and timed to the release of public announcements to avoid suspicion. But a witness in Pennsylvania, not part of the government but using F.B.I. funds, exposed the plan after pretending to cooperate in raising National Lampoon’s stock to $2.50 to $5 a share, from $1.87 in mid-March.

Mr. Laikin, 46, controls about 40 percent of the company’s 8.9 million outstanding shares. Had the plan succeeded, the value of his stake could have increased by up to $15 million, Ms. Magid said.

An assistant United States attorney, Derek A. Cohen, who with Louis D. Lappen will prosecute the case in Philadelphia, said Mr. Laikin was working out the terms of his release.

Mr. Laikin’s assistant, Cora Victoriano, said the company had no immediate comment.

The S.E.C. also filed civil charges against the seven defendants. Daniel Hawke, director of the S.E.C.’s regional office in Philadelphia, said paying illicit kickbacks to arrange manipulative trades “is brazen misconduct and threatens to destroy any sense of fairness that investors expect in the financial markets.”

Mr. Hawke said that trading of National Lampoon shares was halted at 9:30 a.m. on Monday. Shares closed Friday at 73 cents on the American Stock Exchange.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Invest in this movie!*

Do you have lots of bail out money laying around just waiting for something to spend it on? Open up your check books. Here's the movie for you ...
According to their Youtube page they are looking for funding.

More from their page...
The first teaser for Iron Sky - the upcoming scifi comedy from the creators of Star Wreck.

Check out our website at and read more about the film - and how you can get involved in the production.

The film is in pre-production and thus the teaser does not contain any actual footage from the film. It is meant as a demonstration of the style and feeling of Iron Sky.

*or don't. It's none of my business. What do I know. Nothing.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Leno Goes Prime Time

From Broadcast & Cable:

Jay Leno Taking Over 10 P.M. On NBC
Jeff Zucker keeps Leno and O'Brien with Leno strip
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/8/2008 7:19:00 PM

In a surprise move, Jay Leno is taking over the 10 p.m. slot on weeknights on the network.

The move is a huge coup for NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, who has long said he wanted to keep both Leno and his replacement, Conan O’Brien, in the NBC family.

The move would be a cost-effective manner in which to essentially cut down the amount of hours it must program with fare from the entertainment division. Jeff Zucker foreshadowed the move at a UBS media conference Monday, saying that NBC has to look at options including programming less primetime hours.

It would be a much-needed victory for struggling NBC in the wake of a massive round of layoffs and a re-organization of the entire way the network and studio are structured as the network continues to languish in fourth place.

The move would also bring to an end a potentially messy transition in the coming year that had industry speculation centered on Leno potentially moving to ABC, which would set up a three-way brawl for the dwindling late-night dollars between Leno, O’Brien and CBS’s David Letterman.

Leno’s start date is undecided, but expected to be by next fall.

It must be sweeps

Here's Sophie Monk in "Sex and Death 101."
Check out the site meter. the hit will go from 2 to over 1,000 all looking for this video. as a joke once I put "Sharon Osbourne nude" as a label and got tons of hits. ooof.
It takes all kinds. Anyway, I will return to bad spelling and snide comments later. Sorry to both of you. Meanwhile, enjoy a naked lady.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

NBC promises more ER

With the long running medical drama coming to an end this season, NBC wants fans to be reassured that things will be ok.
ER will be back. "Look, we are out of original ideas," said a source at the network, "We brought back 'Bionic Woman' and that failed. That didn't stop us. Then we followed that up with 'American Gladiator' and 'Night Rider' - they also failed."
"We haven't had an original idea since 'Heroes.' When that show took off, we just copied that." said another exec,"Coming up with original ideas is too expensive."
Look for a new revamped nostalgic version of "er" within 5 years.

More "Lies we tell each other to survive in LA"

We call that creepy strip of water going through LA and the Valley the "LA River." As Wayne Federman points out in his stand up act - It's not a river at all. He has a funny punch line, But I don't want to fumble it. Just go see him perform.Also last night in his funny show " A Very Federman Christmas" he brought up that we have a team named the "LAkers" in a city with no lakes. Or "clips" for that matter.

Also - people from out of town love to complain about our traffic. But I never hear about traffic. When I lived in Jersey, the radio always told us of horrid "Traffic Jams" - which are jams make of traffic. In LA the radio talks of "Sig Alerts." It's not a jam yet, it's still an alert. When I moved here I was waiting for it to be upgraded to a jam - never happened. And the silly word "Sig" not only makes no sense, but has nothing to do with traffic.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Producer Job opens at MSNBC

Get your resumes and cover sheets ready. After this guy went on a curse filled rant, HR might be looking for a replacement. Must have five years news experience and a swear jar.

Friday, December 05, 2008

How to see the Osbournes Live!

Rosie did not completely kill the variety show. The Osbourne's are continuing their plan to stay relevant by singing and dancing. To see see the show live, they are practically begging you to go. Remember, no Hannah Montana Tickets. They ain't that desperate.

Just in time for the holidays we have a very special promotion! Attend a show of our choice and you can get tickets to any show of your choice in 2009! Please read on for more details...
The Osbournes are back on primetime TV with a new show on FOX and from the producers of American Idol and America’s Got Talent! The show features huge celebrity guests, music performances, and comedy sketches, blended with game shows and studio audience participation, giving it a similar feel to classic variety shows with the exception that it will feature the Osbournes and their unique…tastes.
Can you think of a better way to bond with family and friends then by spending a couple of hours together in close quarters with the Osbournes?? Just in time for the holidays, we'll give you a chance to realize that there are indeed families more dysfunctional than your own. The show tapes early evenings in Hollywood on December 10th, 12th, 16th, and 19th and the minimum age to attend is 18.
SPECIAL PROMOTION: If you attend the taping of The Osbournes on Wednesday, December 10th or Tuesday, December 16th we will reward you with a priority ticket to ANY show of your choice in 2009 that we provide tickets to!!! To redeem this offer, print a ticket for the 10th or the 16th and write ‘OCA 2009’ on the top left corner. Then, when you attend the taping of The Osbournes we will collect your ticket and mark how many people are in your party. The number of priority tickets you receive will be the same as the number of people in your party when you attend The Osbournes! You will then receive an email from us the first week of 2009 with a priority code and instructions on how to redeem your priority tickets. This offer is valid for any show on our calendar throughout 2009 EXCEPT Hannah Montana.
For more information and to print free tickets please use the following link:
And if you need one last reason to convince you to be part of the primetime show; with today's economy, how many fun events filled with live music, performance, and comedy can you name that are FREE...?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lies we tell each other to survive in LA

People who don't live in LA love to complain about it. The pizza stinks, the traffic sucks and everyone is phony. "I don't know if I could take all the phoniness. At least in New York, if you don't like someone you tell them to 'fuck off.'" That sounds lovely. People slinging f bombs at you all day - only because they mean it.

IN LA we are super nice to each other. Some would even say we lie. But after 9 years (yikes), I've become used to it and actually enjoy the LA way of acting.
LA can be a tough town. Lots of rejection and holding onto hope.

Here are some of the lies we tell each other to survive LA.
(More to follow, as I think of them.)

"We will think about it and get back to you." - They will not and won't. If the person wanted to say yes, they would. This way they can avoid your calls of reject you over the phone and not have to deal with your pleading face to face.
"I'm not suggesting this, I'm just letting you know its an option." Too late, you already suggested it.
"Yes." - No or at best maybe.
"The audience seemed to love it" Means "I hated it, but I guess there's hope?" Why not say something nice. No one wants to know they suck.

Recycle everything?

A new podcast obsession of mine it the "The Moth" podcast. The Moth is like the "The Sit and Spin" or any other essay show. Well established people tell stories to a very accepting audience. An audience who is syked to be there and ready to laugh and have a good time.

In LA, a lot of the time the stories are about some show biz misadventure. The rules of the Moth is a person tells a story without notes.

The first week I listened to the "The Moth" podcast, it was a well known snarky writer talking about his misadventures as a writer for "Facts of Life." In fact he sounds like he was a really bad one. IT turns out all his snottiness hurt his bottom line there. Good. Fuck him. You can't walk into job and say, "This show is below me, I'm going to be half ass." That's like when a comedian threatens the audience, "Do I have to go to my A material??!?" Yes, dick. You should've started with it.

THis week a writer tells a very funny and compelling story about dating a fireman and then wondering if he survived 9/11.
While looking up Katherine Russell Rich (mainly to see what see looks like), I discovered an article she wrote for the New York Times. It was a story about her dating a fireman and then wondering if he survived 9/11. If you want to know you'll have to read it.

You can't just say, "Hey let me tell all you new friends a story off the top of my head" and then retell something any fan would have read in a small local paper like the New York Times! How dare you!

Ok, I'm not that mad.