The Cubs off season might be fun. There are rumors flying around about guys like Jake Peavy coming and Derrek Lee going. But the rumor that interests me the most for some reason is the prospect of Cubs’ color commentator Bob Brenly leaving to Milwaukee to manage the Brewers. If you recall, he managed the Diamondbacks to a World Championship in 2001. But with him leaving, a spot in the booth is open. Two of the supposed candidates are Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe. That gives me a gigantic nostalgia nerd boner.
Why are the Grace/Sutcliffe rumors more interesting to me at this point than the trade rumors? Because I’ve lost my hatred for old players by now, whereas the current Cub team’s wound is still fresh. Here are the odds on the other candidates for the job.
I love Sutcliffe, but my vote is for Grace. Plus, I think it’ll be a good PR move for him to come back to Chicago, where he has a chance to get his number retired or get the type of Hall of Fame hype that Ron Santo gets. C’mon, he had the most hits in the Nineties! He’ll be on the ballot for the first time in 2009.
Here’s Mark’s own case for the Hall on his website. They even made this thing…
If nothing else, he should be in the Awesome Hall of Fame for inventing the term “slump buster”.
Kevin Smith has been down on his luck. Judd Apatow hasn’t. So Smith hired a bunch of Apatow regulars to make sure his movie looked as close to an Apatow joint as possible. And its kinda worked.
Here’s his quote on that in the A.V. Club…
“Let me tell you something: If the whole world mistook it for a Judd Apatow movie, I’d be a happy fucking camper. As long as it did that Judd Apatow business, fine, they can call it a Judd Apatow movie all they want. [Laughs.] No, not at all. I like Judd, and I like the movies that Judd has done quite a bit. When I saw 40-Year-Old Virgin, I was like, “Wow, somebody made a movie that I would have made.” Since we did Clerks, I’ve seen many comedies, but nobody was doing that thing that we did where you mix raunch and sweetness and sentimentality. And Judd did it, and he was insanely commercially successful with it. For years, I thought that if you want to make a movie that mixes raunch and sentimentality, you have a $30 million box-office ceiling, because people aren’t interested. You know: “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter.” They want a raunchy comedyor they want a romantic comedy, or they want something serious or something comedic. The blend never seemed to go beyond our highest mark of $30 million. Then 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up and Superbad shattered that completely, and suddenly it turned the type of movie that I love making into something commercially viable. Suddenly I felt like, “My job just got much easier in terms of trying to sell this.” So thank God there’s a Judd Apatow. Not to mention he brought us Seth Rogen. Without Seth Rogen, I’ve got no Zack And Miri.”
“I think that if I released Clerks now, people would say, ‘This rips off Judd Apatow.’ [Laughs.] And I would have to say, “Yeah, I guess it does.” So no, I don’t think so. If we released Clerks today, I doubt it would have been given a second thought by most people. The reason it stuck out is because we did it when nobody was making movies where people spoke that frankly, that candidly, with that many colorful euphemisms, or that much harsh language—and yet were still married to humanity. It wasn’t just foulmouthed people being foulmouthed for the sake of being foulmouthed. There were people that actually had hearts, minds, lived, breathed, weren’t one-dimensional. They just happened to be very frank in their discussions. Nobody else was doing it.”
Yeah, I’ll probably go see it.
I don’t know why, but I got into a conversation about books I read as a kid. Here are the photos from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Click the link, read the Wiki and get into it.
GUITAR HERO RED CARPET EVENT
- Saturday I attended the Guitar Hero World Tour premier at Universal City with Chris Mena, Shannon Hatch and Mike Burns. Burns was our red carpet interviewer. We got interviews with some of the people from 90210 and even got Burns on stage for a performance in front of a ton of people. Sadly, Kevin Sorbo was on the guest list, but never showed up.
COMIC VS. COMIC
- Today, we filmed our first installment with Mike Holmes, Michael Kosta and Kathryn Aagesen, who we cast off of Craigslist. They played tennis at a ridiculous private court in the Hills. Should be good. The casting calls from Craigslist might be their own video as well.
And I’m currently working on another Comic vs. Comic with Brady Novak and Brody Stevens. I’m working on getting us into Dodger Stadium for that one. Stay tuned.
And for more Rob Johnson angering, here’s a Barry Bonds Trifecta…
Dunno if I’ll be sad or not when Derrek Lee is traded.
I just saw W. at the Landmark, the best theater in Los Angeles. The A.V. Club gave it a C+. Rolling Stone said it didn’t have balls. I still don’t know quite what I think. The Lady Friend thought it was a little long and got dull. I don’t know. I’m a nerd for history and biographies (not necessarily biopics), so I was entertained throughout. It’s closest movie comparison would be 2006’s The Queen, although this one was a little different. It might be a little closer (as the A.V. Club points out) to Dr. Strangelove.
I don’t know if I’ve just seen too many SNL-type impressions and stand-up bits about Bush, but the movie almost came off like a comedy. Except all the would-be comedy is toned down. Everyone is good, but the best way I can put it is that the acting and makeup are almost caricatures. And Josh Brolin might be the first person to do a non-comedy take on Bush. It’s just that George W. Bush just happens to do dumb, hilarious shit all the time. And this movie was a highlight reel of that stuff through post-9/11 to about the beginning of the War in Iraq.
A few points I found interesting… 1) the part where Bush loses an early election bid and vows to never be “out Texaned or out Christianed again”. 2) the hammering home of Bush’s daddy issues and 3) the fact that W. might have really screwed up his brother Jeb’s prospects as a future President.
Another defining moment is Dick Cheney in a situation room expressing his real reasons for wanting to control Iraq, in terms of the future of oil reserves and Iran. It’s scary.
Stone said he wanted to leave people with the feeling of “How did this guy get elected?” I feel the same way. Bush is the second-favorite son of a disapproving father. He was a manipulated salesman, more so than “the decider”. You’ll almost feel bad for him. But then you’ll constantly remind yourself he left the country a bankrupt, disgraced shithole.
- Paul F. Thompkins is the death of talking heads shows?
And Hall of Fame rookie cards from the ‘80’s.
And Dawson Fleer/Donruss cards of the ‘80’s.
*I have seen some information about you and your comedy…can you tell me anything else about yourself? Like where you went to school, any jobs you have/have had?
Sure. I grew up in Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa in 2003. I started doing stand-up my senior year and that led me to move to Chicago after graduation. My day job in Chicago was in sales. I sold advertising in the Yellow Pages and search engines. After I felt my stand-up was ready, I moved to Los Angeles in 2007.
*When did you start up Blerd and how did you become the “Listmaster” at Comedy.com?
Blerds started in 2006. It was an idea my college roommate, Rob Johnson, had after he started noticing the popularity of blog sites that were popping up at that time. His idea was to get a bunch of the Chicago comics to write for the site. I just kind of helped him pick which comics to bring on board. The site morphed when I met our filmmaker, Jordan Vogt-Roberts. He was a student at Columbia College at the time. He started making the visualized stand-up videos of our bits. People were responding way more to the videos than the blog, so we switched our focus. Eventually that got into doing webisodes, live shows, TV pitches and Online ad campaigns.
I got hired at Comedy.com through Josh Spector and Matt Komen, who are in charge of the content for the site. Josh was a manager/producer for Blerds. He also produced live shows and ran another website I was a columnist for, before it merged with Comedy.com and effectively became the site’s blog. Blerds also did a pilot for Comedy.com, which is how I got to know Komen before I got hired. And then my roll as a writer/producer for the site has gradually increased from there.
Komen started calling me “Listmaster Mike” one day as a play on the Beastie Boys DJ, Mixmaster Mike. I use the title on my blog signature as a kind of mock pretentiousness.
*Why lists? Was there one you read that got you interested or did you just decide to start ranking things? How long does it take you to come up with a list? how much research is needed?
It comes down to web traffic. For various reasons, rankings lists tend to get traffic. So Komen and Spector asked me to start doing lists. Sometimes those guys will give me ideas for a list or I’ll just come up with an idea on my own. It can stem from current events or something that’s being searched for a lot Online or (in the case of the wrestling list you saw) something that just pops into my head.
I do a small-to-medium amount of research for the lists. The thing is, I sacrifice a little bit of being accurate for the sake of making sure the list is as funny as it can be. It’s Comedy.com, not 100% Accurate Definitive List Dot Com. Plus, if I omit someone or something on the list it gives readers a chance to comment and argue about what/who was omitted. And that’s even more traffic.
*I got to your link from Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks…I got in contact with Jimmy Traina and he said that he usually receives thank yous from the people he features on his site…were you aware you were on “Hot Clicks” and does the site see a spike in traffic when you are featured on a site like that?
Yeah, somebody told me yesterday that we were getting a lot of traffic from the link on Hot Clicks. You see big spikes when sites like that and Fark link you. I can see why people thank him.
*What other topics would you want to conquer in a top 10 list?
I’m not sure. I just saw a bunch of blogs mentioning rumors that Will Smith is gay. I might do a gay version of a “Dead Pool” – a Gay Pool – where I list who will/should come out of the closet in the next year. And, just now, our SEO guy handed me a Post-It note that says 2,638 people a day search for “Home Made Ways to Get High”. In other words, real highbrow stuff.
Here are the cards Mike Burns has in the house…
The ‘88 Topps Bo Jackson is a GEM 10 and the ‘83 Fleer Rickey Henderson is a PSA 10. And his PSA 10 ‘84 Donruss Tigers collection is growing with 3 nobodies.
Here are Mike Holmes’ PSA-graded cards (just 1975-1982).
I’d show all his cards, but dude’s out of control. And there wasn’t a good picture of his ‘76 Topps George Brett. And the ‘76 Topps Gary Carter is ungraded.
Purchased cards on the way…
What I have…
Okay, these are from later in the evening. You’ll probably be able to tell.
- EliteXC, that MMA company already folded. Did they just base everything around hoping Kimbo Slice didn’t suck? That also means Gina Carano is out of a job.
- Did you see the Pavlik-Hopkins weigh-in picture? Really bothers me.
Here are some photos from Mike Burns’ b-day.
I just got to my parent’s house. 0-for-1 in my attempt to find my ‘good’ baseball cards.
This has been so weird. And there are still 3 weeks, 1 debate and an Obama 30 minute TV special left.
“In Birmingham, they love the governor, Boo, boo, boo!” - Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
- He was the Democratic Governor of Alabama on and off from 1963-1987. And he ran for President four times.
- He was pro-segregation.
- At first he was moderate on racial issues and didn’t participate in the Southern walkout at the 1948 DNC to protest Truman’s proposal on civil rights.
- In 1958, he lost to a KKK-backed candidate and even had the support of the NAACP. He claimed he was “outniggered.” After this, he took a hard line on segregation.
- In his inauguration speech he said, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” all while standing on the spot Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederacy. The speech was written by a Klansman.
- He ran for President in 1964 on a “law and order” platform.
- When Wallace wasn’t allowed to run for a second term in Alabama in 1966, his wife ran for and won the race. She died in office in 1968.
- He once pledged to run over any demonstrators that got in the way of his limo.
- He is the last third party (Ind.) candidate to win any electoral votes.
- In 1972, Wallace had TV ads with slogans like ”Do you want the black block electing your governor?” and circulated an ad showing a white girl surrounded by seven black boys, with the slogan “Wake Up Alabama! Blacks vow to take over Alabama.” He won the election.
- He ran for President again in 1972 and claimed he was no longer for segregation and had always been a moderate.
- He was shot in Maryland in 1972. He was paralyzed from the waist down. The shooter did it for fame, not politics.
- In the late ‘70’s, Wallace became a born-again Christian and apologized for his segregationist views.
- He died in 1998.
- Recently, Democratic congressman John Lewis, a veteran civil rights leader, accused Republican John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin of “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” and said it reminded him of the segregationist era of Alabama Gov. George Wallace.
The McCain campaign seems like its doomed because of the economic crisis. And what do politicians do when they’re in their death throes? They manufacture controversies. ”Don’t think about the financial crisis. Think about something else.”
Republicans (at least since 2000) do something known as ‘Politics of Fear’. That’s a Karl Rove thing. And it’s worked. George Bush used 9/11 to scare us into going with the invasion of Iraq. He told us they had WMD and they had ties to bin Laden. They didn’t. But we didn’t know. It was all over there in the Middle East. It’s all the same there, isn’t it? You betcha. Sayitaintsojoe.
Bush also did it with John Kerry in 2004. He’s French. And the French are elitists. Kerry isn’t French. But that shit worked too. And Hillary Clinton even did it earlier this year against Obama. She was in the death throes of her campaign when she tried to get all of her dumb-as-fuck PUMA supporters whipped into an angry frenzy. Remember that shit she said about Bobby Kennedy? Hillary, that’s how bitches get hit. Am I right, fellas?
Now McCain and dumb-as-fuck Sarah Palin are trying some last-ditch shit on Obama to scare people away from thinking about the economy and associating McCain with the failed policies of George Bush.
“Obama isn’t one of us. He has a hidden agenda. It’s in his blood. His Arab blood. His middle name is Hussein. Just like that Iraq guy. He palls around with terrorists. He’s dangerous. He’s dishonorable. He’s risky. He thinks our soldiers just air raid villages in Afghanistan.”
This miserable McCain campaign accused Obama of using the race card earlier in the campaign. What the fuck is this shit? Let’s get all the retards in the country riled up about a black guy with a foreign-sounding name. Race baiting is totally putting country first.
I understand that character attacks and shit are fair game when you’re losing the campaign. But this shit is scary. People in your rallies are horrifying. They’re yelling out “terrorist” or “kill him” or “bomb Obama” or “traitor” or “off with his head”. Good job, dipshits. You totally convinced the people who are easy to convince that Obama is a terrorist. What the fuck is wrong with you? You want to win a Presidential race by exciting the worst people in our country? You want them to become violent? You want to incite violence to get what you want? Fuck you.
McCain looked embarrassed when he took the microphone away from that crazy old bitch who said Obama was an Arab. Then he got booed for taking the high road. He should look embarrassed.
By the way, those two pictures have been deemed “sexist” by the McCain campaign.
Just when I was starting to feel bad for McCain and Sarah Palin. No way. Fuck both of them.
Bill Ayres blew up a statue in 1968. George Bush ruined the country slowly over 8 years. Good job, America. You are dumb as fuck.
The McCain campaign is a big flopping fish on a boat.
Who is Barack Obama? He’s the guy kicking your ass.
This Obama-is-a-Terrorist shit is getting way too crazy. Today, when McCain pulled the microphone away from that crazy-haired old broad, was one of the few redeeming, quality things I’ve seen him do during the campaign.
I stole this photo of Mike O’Connell from Elizabeth McQuern’s blog.
After lunch, a woman in my office walked by me who’d gotten her hair done.
I said, “Did you get your hair did?”
Now, that’s me trying to ironically paraphrase a Missy Elliott song from 6 years ago.
And I don’t know if the woman got it. I’m guessing she didn’t.
Now a woman I work with thinks I have hillbilly grammar. ”You done got yer hair did.”
I’m fighting the urge to say something to her to clarify, but I know it would make it worse. So now my only option is to use unnecessarily formal grammar and large words around her.
- 1960’s anti-war activist.
- Associated with the Weather Underground, which was active in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s.
- Currently an elementary education theorist and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
- His father was the former Chairman and CEO of Comm/Ed (from 1973-1980).
- In 1970, his girlfriend died in a bomb-making accident.
- Leader of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1968 and ‘69. The Weatherman came to be because of a schism in SDS.
- In 1969, Ayers participated in planting a bomb at a statue honoring riot police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket Riot. The statue was rebuilt and blown up again in 1970.
- In 1970, Ayers participated in the NYPD headquarters bombing. He also participated in the bombings of the U.S. Capitol building in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972. Because of the water leak in the Pentagon, aerial bombing in Vietman was halted for several days. Nobody was harmed in any of the bombings.
- He turned himself in to authorities in 1980.
- Ayers gave a controversial interview to the New York Times in 2001 saying he didn’t regret setting the bombs, felt he didn’t do enough and wouldn’t rule out doing it all over again. He claims his words were deliberately distorted. He was only speaking about stopping the war in Vietnam.
- He was quoted in the Tribune in 2001 saying, ”We weren’t terrorists. The reason we weren’t terrorists is because we did not commit random acts of terror against people. Terrorism was what was being practiced in the countryside of Vietnam by the United States.”
- Former SDS members have said the Weathermen were “failed terrorists”.
- In a letter to the editor of the Tribune in 2001, Ayers condemned all forms of terrorism.
- Ayers has admitted to being communist.
- Lived in the same neighborhood as Barack Obama and worked together on education reform in Illinois. Ayers hosted a gathering for Obama’s first run for office in 1995. There has been little linking the two since 2002.
- An Obama spokesman issued the statement, ”Senator Obama strongly condemns the violent actions of the Weathermen group, as he does all acts of violence. But he was an eight-year-old child when Ayers and the Weathermen were active, and any attempt to connect Obama with events of almost forty years ago is ridiculous.”