If there's an upside to the coronavirus (there isn't), it's that Randy Rainbow is stuck inside and has the time to wrote more song parodies than usual. This one is terrific -- not necessarily his best rhymes, but the words are a hoot and some real laughs from the production values. Plus, it has a bit of a different focus than most, this time sort of somewhat on him. If you can't quite put your finger on the song it's parodying, though it sounds familiar, the original is "Go the Distance" from the Disney film, Hercules, with a score by Alan Menken and David Zippel.
Thanks to a heads-up from Eric Boardman, he let me know about a remarkable collection of videos on YouTube from a fellow named Don Giller. Over the decades, Giller recorded pretty much all the episodes of Late Night with David Letterman, and has uploaded about 1,200 clips, comprising full shows, individual appearances, musical numbers and collections that's he's cataloged. I have to believe they're authorized because you don't hide 1,200 video clips.
It's a remarkable archive of TV and cultural history, and I'm going to post a bunch of them. We'll see how long this goes on.
To start with, we'll go with a full show from 1984, this is their 2nd Anniversary Special, since the conglomeration not only gives a wonderful look at the show in its earliest year (after all, being the 2nd anniversary, that means all the clips come from the first season), but also provides a good idea of the talent and lunacy to come.
The NPR quiz show Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! had a seriously-impressive guest lined up for this week’s ‘Not My Job’ segment. They don’t say who, but give enough hints that makes it hilariously obvious. And yes, it would have been impressive. But no doubt because of the news these days, the guest had to cancel. So, instead, host Peter Sagal called their back-up at home – Stephen Colbert. And not surprisingly, it’s absolutely wonderful. Making it fun, too, is that Colbert plays the quiz with the same questions they had planned for their planned guest (something they’d done once before with Colbert when he filled in for another guest who cancelled that time, as well). Today, they call the game – “The Sneaker of the House.” Perhaps you can figure out who the planned guest was supposed to have been, and why that person had to cancel…
For a long while here we've been posted wonderful parody song videos by Randy Rainbow. But as much as we like them, long before they existed we have always loved the Lady Shellington. And posted videos of hers.
Shelly Goldstein is a TV writer and writer of benefit extravaganzas (including that big gala at the beloved Northwestern University a couple years ago, hosted by Stephen Colbert, that I wrote about here) who several years back decided to branch out with a cabaret act. It's a mix of standards, as well as her own parody songs -- along with wonderful material in between, befitting her talent as a comedy writer.
She just put something new together, as she puts it "made only to earn smiles during a global pandemic." As you'll notice, it doesn't quite have the production value of a Randy Rainbow video, but far-better is her purple wardrobe. She also includes the lyrics on the YouTube page, so for those who want to sing along, I'll post them below (helpful too since the acoustics aren't recording-studio quality). To her great credit, she gives credit to the original song and writers. And as she said, this is "wildly unrehearsed" and filmed just today --
"How Lovely When News Was Stupid"
Music by Charles Strouse
New Lyric by Shelly Goldstein (with all respect Lee Adams' original: "How Lovely to Be A Woman" )
Back when the news was a trivial pursuit
We would watch from coast to coast
As all the crazy tabloid anchors chattered.
Then came the virus and the horror
And a nation unprepared
Gasped as headlines made us scared!
Overnight we had to deal with things that -- mattered.
How lovely when news was stupid
And lewd and crude and trite.
When brilliance from South Korea was
Our only Parasite
GOOP selling vagina candles
A Real Housewife’s fake breasts
When CNN hourly updates
Clocked Aunt Becky’s arrests
Madonna’s knee got hurt
Mick Jagger bought a yurt
That day when Taylor Swift
Got real miffed
Said Scooter done her like dirt
When Bieber or Lindsay Lohan
Were known for Page Six brawls
And Patriots from New England
Deflated Brady’s balls
When 24/7 wasn’t pure fear
The days when “Corona” was just -- a beer
Kardashians who cheat
Or Gaga dressed in meat
That time when the wrong flick
Won Best Pic
But Moonlight couldn’t be beat!
When gossip & silly headlines
Were offered to us carte blanche
And politics was a punchline
Served up by Bruce Vilanch!
When all of this crap caused outrage and fuss
How lovely when news was stupid – like us.
In honor of the holiday, here again is a video I particularly like from The Muppet Show.and post each year. So, pull up a beer, grab a shillelagh, and raise your voices high, as once more we join in with The Leprechaun Brothers...
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver had, not shockingly, another story about the coronavirus. But it was very different from the week before -- and all other of their shows. The whole show was only about 20 minutes -- and it was not only done without a studio audience...but without a studio. It was more serious than usual, but still terrific and often very funny.
My friend Bill Goldstein sent me this great political video from Australia about the coronavirus. My favorite part, especially with this being from Australia, was about if you run out of toilet paper you can use.
Note: It is not for those who prefer their material G-rated.
On this week’s Al Franken podcast, he dives largely back into entertainment, though with a detour to politics over health care. His guest is Jimmy Kimmel (on whose TV show Franken was a guest just the week before), and notes that the two “discuss his radio days, Jimmy Kimmel Live’s rough start, then success, bad guests, his emotional appearance after his son’s birth, and his passionate support of universal health care.”
We have a new song parody from Raindy Rainbow, just in time for the coronavirus. It's a pretty good one -- based on a song from Guys & Dolls -- with fun production values, as well.
I thought it would be a good day to laugh -- okay, every day is, but you get the point -- so, here's another episode of Between Two Ferns.with Zach Galifianakis. His guest today is Bradley Cooper.
Robert J. Elisberg is a two-time recipient of the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. He's written for film, TV, the stage, and two best-selling novels, is a regular columnist for the Writers Guild of America and was for the Huffington Post. Among his other writing, he has a long-time column on technology (which he sometimes understands), and co-wrote a book on world travel. As a lyricist, he is a member of ASCAP, and has contributed to numerous publications.
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