RIP comedian/writer Norm MacDonald, 61, who succumbed to a secret nine-year battle with cancer. There are 51 titles under his name at IMDb, but that figure just skims the surface. Born in Canada, he was in 94 episodes alone of SNL, and was the anchor on the Weekend Update segment from 1994-’97. He starred in his own sitcom, Norm, which did 54 episodes from ‘99–2001, and in 13 of A Minute with Stan Hooper. He also was adept at voice-overs, 38 episodes of Skylanders Academy and 64 of Mike Tyson Mysteries. He wrote for Dennis Miller and Roseanne, as well as for SNL and himself. His off-beat humor was perfect for talk shows. Well done, sir. Thank you.
Some colleges — Texas, Notre Dame, Alabama — have little patience with coaches who are merely successful. They tolerate only the highly successful. USC has fired its head coach, Clay Helton, after the team’s dismal performance in its opening game loss to Stanford, 28–42. Helton’s record with the Trojans is 46–24, 36–13 in the Pac-10. His team won the 2016 Rose Bowl and the conference title in 2017. Those numbers would be the envy of many coaches at any level coast to coast.
Although I disagree with California governor Gavin Newsom’s views across the board, I’m not a fan of recall elections, since there are elections every two to six years across America. Given the amount of mail-in ballots in play, the result should be predictable, and the funds spent will have been for naught. Then again, politicians don’t care about other people’s money.
Last night Movies!, channel 5–2 on ota in NYC, ran Seven Thieves (1960), a talky though interesting heist movie that ends differently than any in the genre I’ve ever seen, and has no violence other than a punch. Directed by Henry Hathaway, adapted from the Michael Catto novel by Sydney Boehm, it features a stellar cast: Edward G. Robinson, Rod Steiger, Eli Wallach, Alexander Scourby, Barry Kroeger, Sebastian Cabot, and Joan Collins in a showcase role featuring two dance numbers. Also in the cast, a goombah from Connecticut, Michael Dante. Born Ralph Ruben Vitti, he was a high school shortstop who signed a $6000 bonus with the Boston Braves. He didn’t make it to big league baseball but did fine in an equally select profession. There are 60 titles under his name at IMDb, his career spanning 1956–2020 when, after a 30-year break, he appeared in Unbelievable!!!!!, a Snoop Dogg vehicle. Most of his work came on the small screen, where he made multiple appearances on many popular prime time series, particularly westerns. He played Chief Crazy Horse in Custer, which shot 17 episodes in 1967. Despite that, he will probably be remembered most for his turn as a Capellan warrior on the original Star Trek, season two, episode eleven, Friday’s Child. Recognized for his work throughout his career in oaters, he received the Golden Boot Award in 2003. He also did radio for twelve years, hosting The Michael Dante Classic Celebrity Talk Show. He did not marry until he was past 60. Given his matinee idol looks, I’m sure he never lacked female companionship. Bravo.
I was hoping to avoid politics for a second straight day, but the following is too rich not to mention. AOC wore a dress with the slogan “tax the rich” at the star-studded Met Gala, where tickets went for at least $30,000 each. No word on whether she paid to attend or on how much the dress, supposedly made from sustainable materials, is worth. (Various sources)
A “What do we do now?” headline from foxnews.com: “Saints face possible COVID-19 outbreak as six vaccinated coaches, staff test positive.”
Not much action at the floating book shop, despite the great weather. My thanks to the woman who bought No Human Involved by Barbara Seranella, and to the one who purchased a Nora Roberts translation in Russian; and to the one who took home a large pictorial in that language; and to the home attendant of the surviving Braniac Brother, who delivered two works of non-fiction on spiritualism.
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