We haven't had piece from the "Don Giller Collection" for much too long so let's head back. This is Viewer Mail from July 17, 1987.
Here's the latest song parody from Randy Rainbow, and it's a wonderful one. The song itself is great fun -- a bit repetitive, but it's repeated with effusive and scathing joy. The production is well-done, too, more from the use of video than, but there are very funny touches. My favorite are the fish...
This is an oddity and great fun. It was made in 2014 as a teaser for the upcoming Emmy Awards, but it's not your normal teaser, which is usually fairly short. This is over six minutes. And all the better, it teams up the stars of Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, in a parody of sorts of "reality" pawnshop shows, playing seedy owners. And to make things all the better, it also features Julia Louis-Dreyfus as herself. And stick around to the very end, because there's a wonderful payoff for fans of Breaking Bad. But then, I only watched a handful of episode, and even I got the joke.
Let's head back into the crosswalk for another "Crosswalk the Musical" extravaganza from The Late, Late Show with James Corden. For this production, they do The Sound of Music. And they end up using a lot more celebrities than usual in the cast. That's because this was part of a prime time Corden special, and all the stars are in CBS shows. They include Allison Janney, Anna Faris, Kunal Nayyar (of The Big Bang Theory), and Iain Armitage (from Young Sheldon)/
For those who missed Last Week Tonight with John Oliver last night, his Main Story was about plastics. More specifically, it was about how recycling plastics isn't the great and easy panacea it appears to be on the surface. The report is very interesting, and includes some wonderful humor...most notably one joke that relates to the blob fish which they carry out to its wonderful fullness. And I should add that there is a joke at the very end which might pass by most people, who'll think it's about Spring Break -- and while that might be what prompted the joke, it's actually an allusion to the sign-off Jackie Gleason used on his TV variety show in the 1960s. I really admire people who make jokes that they know not everyone will get. Fun Fact: everyone doesn't have to get every single joke.
We'll end the fest with a bit of a wonderful oddity. It comes from Ray Jessel, a fellow I knew slightly and have posted several of his songs here. Ray had a very successful career as a TV sitcom writer and even collaborated on several Broadway musicals, including one with Richard Rodgers (I Remember Mama, that starred Liv Ullmann) and most notably Baker Street, about Sherlock Holmes that had a bona fide hit recorded by, of all people, Richard Burton, "A Married Man." Late in his life, he had a second career as a cabaret performer, singing and playing his own songs.
This is an Irish song from Ray's album, The First Seventy Years. But being Ray Jessel, it's an Irish song with a twist.
Well, it's that time o' year -- or more accurately for the day, "o'year -- when we have our St. Patrick's Fest of songs throughout the day. Most I've posted before, but I do have a new treat that we'll to later..
But for now, in honor of the holiday, here again to start things off is a video I particularly like from The Muppet Show. So, pull up a beer, grab a shillelagh, and raise your voices high, as once more we join in with The Leprechaun Brothers...
Randy Rainbow has a new video -- and the opening conversation he has with Joe Biden is almost funnier than the song parody. The song itself has wonderful lyrics (often overlapping on themselves), and though the production starts out pretty basic, it eventually ratchets up and is terrifically done.
In case you missed it, here is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver from Sunday. The Main Story was on unemployment. It was well-done and interesting, focusing on the inequities of the system, handled differently in all 50 states. And yes, they made it fun, as well.
I did find it more statistic-laden than usual, so the numbers tended to pile up on one another. I also had one quibble that bothered me -- at one point, they show video of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear making a mistake in talking about a case of fraud, and then having to come back the next day the correct it. The takeaway from the show was to ridicule Beshear for the mistake. But not only was it a reason mistake to make -- though, yes, one that should have been fact-checked first -- but to me, the thing of far more note was that Gov. Beshear actually apologized in public, took full blame...and even called the person himself to apologize directly! People make mistakes, but to correct the mistake the very next day and apologize as well as he did is deserving of praise, not ridicule.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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