Jackie Vernon and Merv Go to an Afro-American Studies Class

What kind of world do we live in that still has SNL but not SCTV?

I was working up a public plea to keep Kate Gosselin on TV forever and wanted to cite how back in the heyday of real talk shows, people who were famous for being themselves became regular and welcomed guests on shows like Jack Paar and Merv Griffin. Googling Merv brought me to this list of SCTV episodes spoofing on the Merv Griffin Show.

Some of the regular real-show guests are included as characters: Jackie Vernon, Virginia Graham, Phyllis Newman – regretfully, no Totie Fields. :(  Just reading the episode guide is enough to knock you out. Example: on the show with guest stars Arafat and Liberace, the segments are described as “coat linings; terrorism”. Sometimes the concepts were much more amusing than the execution, but most times, viewing the skits took your breath away.

Among the Merv episodes on that list is “The Merv Griffith Show: Return to Mayberry”, and insane rendition of The Merv Griffin Show done as an episode of the Andy Griffith show. Reading the description doesn’t get you the dueling oooooo’s of Merv vs. Floyd the barber, or prepare you for Fred Travelina as the operatic Jim Nabors/ Gomer Pyle character. Behold:


SCTV captured the nuances without beating you over the head with the reference. You had to be tuned in to whatever it was they were spoofing to get how brilliant it was. I could spend all day on YouTube cracking up over the clips. Just one more. You either get it or you don’t.


Yes, We’re Desperate. We’re ALL Desperate.



Just give me a minute to process this…

From our department of Jaysus Gawd:

“An elderly Long Island husband and wife were busted yesterday for tampering with boxes of Jell-O pudding — replacing the contents with sand and salt and then returning them to stores for the $1.40-a-pop refund, officials said.”

And so it begins.

God help us all. Try to survive until decent people can staunch the avalanche and  undo the damage that’s been done this week.

Greetings From Asbury Park

Dancing upstairs in a fancy supper club that used to be a Howard Johnson's

The live band was fabulous and they played all the top hits that you would expect to hear at a high school prom in the late 50s-early 60s. I was willing to take the hit to my knee if only I could dance one modest and physically non-demanding dance.

And so I did.

The tune was “Somewhere Beyond the Sea” and if I was in better shape, I might have bopped a little more but while I was out there, it became obvious even to a dolt like me that perhaps this wasn’t the most well-thought out move in my recovery plan. Still, the moment was so marvelous that I was willing to pay the price for it.

The next day, my knee suffered no ill effects. In fact, I would almost say it’s better than it has been in a while. And today, it’s stupid damp and rainy outside and my knee still feels pretty damn good.

It’s a miracle. The miracle of Howard Johnson’s. Or maybe the Miracle of Bobby Darin.

I just jinxed it, didn’t I?

back in the day

cocktails upstairs

random photographs pulled from the internet

The Dish

Here is the scenario:

  • I’m home alone
  • It’s too cold to do yard work
  • Nothing much to watch on TV/DVD/DVR
  • The computer senses that I am about to sit down in front of it and automatically brings up the eBay sign-in page.

Here is the obsession:

"Brunch" pattern designed by Ben Seibel for Mikasa. Early 70s.

This is a dinner plate that is making me hyperventilate. I don’t need it, it doesn’t match anything I have and I don’t have money to just fling around.  As if any of that mattered. Look at it. Ben Seibel. He was a contemporary of Russel Wright, you know. If you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, then I just don’t know ABOUT YOU.

Mercifully, the auction will end soon and if I can just hold out for a few more hours, the agony will be over.

Here is the question:

What do you think is the threat level for me regarding this dish?

To Each According To Her Need

Ok, now that we have the  health care thing out of the way, I say it’s time we started focusing on subsidizing brassieres.

You might not have thought about it much, but there’s a great inequality in this country when it comes to bra sizes. And like other segments of women’s garments, larger sizes cost more money.  I can understand it – after all, the bigger sizes require more engineering to get the lift and shape than the small ones do. But is it right that the DD women  must pay more for a bra than the AA women? Is it fair?

For too long, America has turned a blind eye to the plight of the well-endowed woman. If we’re all about redistributing the wealth in this country now, this is a great place to start. I know that those “littlest angels” who’ve been used to paying the least amount for their feminine undergarments will need to adjust to the notion that they will be required to pay for hoisting  up someone else’s boobs, but come on –  the ones we’ve been waiting for are here now and it’s a new day.

Once the revenue source is secured for this grand step forward, women of all boob sizes will have their bras provided to them in the same fashion. This means that millions of  Americans who are currently without boob coverage will have access to the basic support . After all, it’s their right.  Sure, some may need a more costly model that lifts, separates, minimizes or supports but we could put a system of approvers in place to make that decision …  say, a panel of government appointees. Every application for high-priced brassierire will be reviewed, evaluated and a decision based on not only what is right for the individual, but what is right for the greater good.

Something tells me though, that this idea might get get off the ground. Influential people who are small-boobed may not appreciate being put to this economic disadvantage and the idea might be squelched before it even sees the light of day.

Amidst the Blooms

Three things happened today that made me think that it was warm enough to sit on the deck after work tonight:

  • The last person I saw before I left work came back into the building after a smoke break and said “You know, I think it’s nicer out there now that it’s been all day long.”  Now that I think about it, he was wearing a puffy winter coat.
  • The Shrub Truck must have come through NJ today because all of the nurseries and garden stands that I passed on the way home suddenly had yards full of shrubs and bushes.
  • When I got home, Sami was already parked in front of the TV enjoying the hell out of the evening news.

Turns out it was more spring-like than spring. Although the evening news these days can drive me out of the house in any weather. When I got home, it took me 10 minutes flat to throw off the corporate wardrobe and assemble the martini ingredients on a tray. I guess when I had to put on a fleece jacket and zip it up to my neck , that would have been the time to give up on the idea. Or maybe when my nose and forehead went numb.

But I stuck it out. Who knows – next week they might socialize the gin so I’m taking it while I can still get it.