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Voice actor Peter Sallis died from wearing the wrong trousers at the spry age of 96.  A nefarious penguin’s involvement is being investigated.

Sallis mainly starred in things that we never heard of because we’re Americans.  But he voiced the cheese-loving Wallace in the “Wallace & Gromit” series.

“Peter’s voice has been described as being as welcome as a pair of warm slippers in an uncertain world,” creator Nick Park said.  “That’s why I wanted to use him. Something about the way he said ‘cheeeese’ gave me the idea that Wallace’s mouth should be wider than his face.”

The younger Mr. Sallis worked as a bank clerk for a weekly salary of one pound, 10 shillings (which does not convert into any type of currency today because it’s too damn confusing).

His filmography includes such classics as “Danger Man,” “The Culture of Vultures,” and “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning,” “The Curse of the Werewolf,” (Not to be confused with “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” which he would lend his voice to later).  “Taste the Blood of Dracula, Wuthering Heights,” and “Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?”

Sallis

Sallis, being creeped out by the most terrifying cosplay ever.

Yeah, real tentpole movies.

In 1983, animator Nick Park asked Sallis to voice his character Wallace, an eccentric, cheese-loving inventor. Sallis agreed to do so for a donation of £50 to his favourite charity.

The work was eventually released in 1989 and Aardman Animations’ “Wallace and Gromit: A Grand Day Out.”  They went on to make shorts such as “The Wrong Trousers,” “A Close Shave,” and “A Matter of Loaf and Death.”

Since than, Aardman has cranked out nothing but quality work.  All of the Wallace & Gromit, The egregiously mis-spelled Shaun the Sheep, “Chicken Run,” and even the most adorable music video about preventing child molestation.

Seriously, click that link and I defy you to not get that song stuck in your head.

W&G were temporarily retired in 1996, but returned in 2005 for the Oscar-winning 2005 motion picture “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.”  A seriously funny movie.

Sallis retired and Ben Whitehead took over the role.  But Ben just doesn’t have the same ring in his voice when he says “Ooooooh, Wensleydale!”

This hit goes to: Nathaniel!  He get’s his first hit this year for ten points in what is sure to be a legendary comeback!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Wes: 140 – (Holly Dunn – 50, John Glenn – 10, Debbie Reynolds – 20, David Penrose Buckson – 10, Erin Moran – 50)

Josh: 120 – (Florence Henderson – 20, Grant Tinker – 10, Gordie Tapp – 10, Terry Edwards – 60, Chuck Barris – 20)

Jami: 100 – (Fidel Castro – 10, Bernard Frost – 20, Zsa Zsa Gabor – 10, George Michael – 50)

Team Sushi: 70 – (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – 30, Roger Moore – 20, Manuel Noriega – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 70 – (Ralph Branca – 10, Craig Sager – 40, Sam Ard – 30)

Lee Kwang Soo!: – 60 (Alice Drummond – 20, Dr. Henry Heimlich – 10, Hashemi Rafsanjani – 20, Lola Albright – 10)

Morrigan’s Mirror: 60 – (William Christopher – 20, Mary Tyler Moore – 20, Moulton “Pete” Marston – 20)

M: 30 – (Sir John Hurt – 30)

Gianna: 20 – (Leonard Cohen – 20)

The Mumblers: 10 – (Don Rickles – 10)

Nathaniel: 10 – (Peter Sallis – 10)

Mary: 10 – (Chuck Berry – 10)

Joanne: 10 – (Judge Joseph Wapner – 10)

Long time NBA reporter, Craig Sager, died at the spry age of 65.

Sager broadcast preseason games during the 1970s for the Chiefs. [“Who are the Chefs?”  “Great googly-moogly”]

He was waiting for Hank Aaron at third base and interviewed him on the way to home plate after Aaron hit his 715th home run.  I’m not sure what he asked Aaron, but I’m pretty sure the answer was “Get the fuck outta my way!”

Sager was co-anchor of the network’s CNN Sports Tonight shows and was honored with a CableAce award in 1985.  Oooohhh… a CableAce award… That’s the big-time right there!

sager

I’m sorry, but did you shower with Easter this morning?

He also served as Willie the Wildcat, North Western’s school’s mascot.

I think I just heard Nelson Muntz go: Ha Ha!

Sager was also known for the god-awful wardrobe that he wore on the air.  He looked terrible.  Tim Gunn wasn’t concerned, he was apoplectic.

Sager would wear coats that were loud plaid, solid neon colors, one was an orange jacket with flowery hearts all over it and black lapels.  I mean, Herb Tarlek wouldn’t wear this crap.

Sager worked under terrible sweatshop-esque conditions.  Here I am referring to the hours and hours of squeaky sneaker noises that he had to endure.  Plus, he had to watch basketball… and pay attention to it!  Man, this country need more fuckin’ unions.

Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, although he failed to see what was so goddamned cute about it.

This hit goes to: Bean!  Fuck!  I like Bean at the 10 point level where I can make fun of him.  But now he’s beating me.  

Bean is now in 2nd place, only 10 points behind the leader.  Thanks a lot, Obama!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Wes: 60 – (Holly Dunn – 50, John Glenn – 10)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 50 – (Ralph Branca – 10, Craig Sager – 40)

Josh: 30 – (Florence Henderson – 20, Grant Tinker – 10)

Jami: 30 – (Fidel Castro – 10, Bernard Frost – 20)

Lee Kwang Soo!: – 20 (Alice Drummond – 20)

Gianna: 20 – (Leonard Cohen – 20)

OK, something terrible has happened.  I, your fearless Ghoul Pool Administrator let a Douche-bag pick go unnoticed.  I could see why the draftee would see this as a legitimate pick, but I wouldn’t have allowed it.

But I did allow it.

As a quick explanation: this pick was submitted on a spreadsheet and it was clearly stated who the pick was.  I missed it.  I allowed it out of my own error and I cannot let someone lose points because of my error.  Again, I can see why people would see this pick as fair game.  Douche-bag picks are strictly a judgement call.  

The hit was Addie Fausett whose parents started a Facebook campaign to get as many people to write her a Christmas card as they could.  She was 7 with a rare disease.  

Now, this popped up in the news and could be compared to the Star Wars guy that I also got a hit with.  So, I can see how one would think that it passes the douche-bag test.

This hit does give us a new leader.   To be fair, Pirate told me to not give her points for this hit.  Rather, I insisted upon it because the mix-up was on my end.

I will alter the spreadsheet this year so that the explanations attached to the absentee lists will automatically appear next to the names.  This way we will know who the obscure names are without having to run a macro.

SPMI

Current Standings:

Occupy the Casket: 120 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10, Geoffrey Eglinton – 20, Addie Fausett – 100)

Jami: 210 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10, Edward Albee – 20, Chris Sizemore – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Joanne: 130 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20, Buckwheat Zydeco – 40)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

Occupy the Casket: 120 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10, Geoffrey Eglinton – 20)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Gianna: 110 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20, Herschell Gordon Lewis – 20, Pete Burns – 50)

Harmony: 100 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20, Arnold Palmer – 20)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Imaginary Steve: 60 – (King Bhumibol Adulyadej – 20, 谢家麟 – 10, 劉令名 – 30)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

Chinese Physicist, Xie Jialin (谢家麟), died at the spry age of 96.  

He was an expert in accelerator physics and technology and free electron lasers, which means very little to me.  

From 1951 to 1955, he worked at the microwave and high-energy physics laboratory at Stanford University with a spry young Dr. Jonathan Osterman.

In 1955, Prof. XIE decided to return to China where he faced many difficulties including a lack of equipment and up-to-date information, and continuous exposure in a dangerous environment (putting his life in danger at times).  

When asked about this, Xie said, “Yeah, I had the best equipment in Stanford.  Sure we were all cutting-edge with information and technology.  Yeah, there was a McDonald’s within walking distance of the lab… but the real science is done in the stone-age.  You don’t need a… ah, who am I kidding.  They took my wife!  They said that they would kill her unless I invented the microwave oven for them!  Help me!  My penis glows in the dark!”

Xie was successful with  prefabrication research on various components of an electron

roony

This is NOT a representation of Steve’s hits.

linear accelerator, such as an electron gun, accelerating tube, high-power pulse modulator, microwave system and high-power klystron, he built a 30-MeV electron linac in 1964.  So, he was doing this shit when “A Hard Day’s Night” was in theaters… and I still have no idea what the fuck it is.

This hit goes to Imaginary Steve!  …oh, wait.  There’s more.

Chinese scientist Liu Lingming (劉令名) died at the spry age of 76… from what I understand.  

It appears that Liu’s existence has been wiped off of the internet.  Either he was working on some really, really, really top secret shit, or he and his family were killed because he never delivered on that microwave oven.

Imaginary Steve said that he died and I think we can take his word for it.

This gives I-Steve a whoipping 60 points for the year!  (assuming China survives until 2:00 AM this Sunday).

[Did anyone get the Watchmen reference?  No?  ..Nathaniel?]

Happy pooling,

SPMI

PS: Draft night is 11/5 – a mere 3 days away!

Current Standings:

Jami: 210 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10, Edward Albee – 20, Chris Sizemore – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Joanne: 130 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20, Buckwheat Zydeco – 40)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Gianna: 110 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20, Herschell Gordon Lewis – 20, Pete Burns – 50)

Harmony: 100 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20, Arnold Palmer – 20)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Imaginary Steve: 60 – (King Bhumibol Adulyadej – 20, 谢家麟 – 10, 劉令名 – 30)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

Ghost Singer Agnes Nixon… no?  She wasn’t a singer?  OK, former 1st Lady, Agne… That was Pat Nixon?  Then who the hell is Angie Nixon?

Angie Nixon who used soap operas as a soap box (Soap Opera Box?  No, I think it’s Soap Box Opera) died at the spry age of 93.

In 1962 she wrote a “Guiding Light” storyline in which a character is diagnosed with uterine cancer after waiting too long to undergo a Pap smear.  She had to do this without using the words “cancer,” “Pap Test” or “uterus.”  I think she called cancer “a bummer,” the Pap test “scrapey-scrapey” and the uterus was just “the baby pocket.”

This was considered the first medical storyline in a daytime drama.  This is pretty significant when you consider that every soap opera has a hospital set that plays a

agnes-nixon-1

Nixon, on her deathbed, confessing to her adopted daughter that she married her twin brother who is now in a coma. 

prominent role.  (Not to mention the comas… So.  Many.  Comas.)

This storyline had a huge impact because it educated women that they needed to undergo the joy that is a Pap smear every so often.  In 2002 she was granted the Pioneer for Health Award by Sentinel for Health (which totally sounds made up)  for raising awareness… back in 1962.  Timely, guys.  Timely.  

In her career, she would tackle child abuse, AIDS, racial segregation, racism, abortion, addiction and the Vietnam War in the two soaps she created: “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”  She would then go on to create NBC’s “The More You Know” segments because people got ass-tired of “A-very-special” episodes.  This shift in opinion came about the time a young Arnold Drummond was inappropriately propositioned by a former Cincinnati radio station manager.

Her shows featured gay characters, transgender characters, characters with AIDS and alcoholism and drug addiction, characters who abused children or were abused as children.  She really went for the laughs.  

She even cast two black actors (or, as they were called at the time “neeegro actors”) in the lead of “One Life to Live.”  A texas station promptly cancelled the show.  Really.  But it being the 60s, I guess I should be surprised that it was only one station.

This hit goes to: Gianna!  Again!  This moves her up to 80 points, a mere 110 behind the leader.

SPMI

PS: Draft night is 11/5 – a mere 37 days away!

Current Standings:

Jami: 190 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10, Edward Albee – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Joanne: 130 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20, Buckwheat Zydeco – 40)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Harmony: 100 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20, Arnold Palmer – 20)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

Gianna: 80 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20, Herschell Gordon Lewis – 20)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

The Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis, died at the spry age of 87.

Filmmakers like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, John Waters and Quentin Tarantino called him “Godfather” as a sign of respect.   Now filmmakers regard that as a very close, a very sacred religious relationship.

When Herschell was first starting out, he was signed to a contract with this studio head. And as his career got better and better, he wanted to get out of it. But the studio head wouldn’t let him. So he went to see this studio head and offered him $10,000 to let him go, but the studio head said no. So the next day, he went back, only this time with Luca Brasi. Within an hour, he had a signed release for a certified check of $1000.

He made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Hersh went on to invent the splatter genre of horror films.  He was less concerned with plot and more into gross-out special effects of astonishing cheapness.  In once scene, a man wakes up next to a horse’s head.  That was hard-core.

He started out making nudie flicks like “Boin-n-g” (An inexperienced producer and director audition and film naked women for a nudie movie. Everything goes wrong.),

lewis

Lewis, scaring the living shit out of his grandchildren.

“Goldilocks and the Three Bares” (Considered the first nudie-musical (filmed in “Buffocolor” and “Seemorescope”) displays scads of female nudity as folks go about their business in a nudist camp, including a ten-minute horseback (bareback) riding scene.) and “The Adventures of Lucky Pierre” (A man imagines that everybody he sees is naked. He goes to see a psychiatrist to see if he can be cured.”)

The he made “2000 Maniacs,” where 1,000 maniac couples each have four kids each, giving rise to the band 10,000 Maniacs.

Or, it’s about Northerners being killed by Southerners who are still sore over the whole Civil-War-thing.  I don’t know.

Hersh went on to make such horror classics as “Blood Feast,” “Color Me Blood Red,” “A Taste of Blood,”  and “Blood Feast II: All you Can Eat.”  Do you see a theme here?

Herschell was scalped with an electric knife.

Of course this hit goes to Gianna!  I would have been disappointed if it didn’t!  She’s now at 60 points, a mere 130 behind the leader!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

PS: Draft night is 11/5 – a mere 37 days away!

Current Standings:

Jami: 190 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10, Edward Albee – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Joanne: 130 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20, Buckwheat Zydeco – 40)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Harmony: 100 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20, Arnold Palmer – 20)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Gianna: 60 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20, Herschell Gordon Lewis – 20)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

The first superstar of the sport’s television age, improver if iced tea, and one of the best golfers ever, Arnold Palmer, died at the spry age of 87.

Palmer seemed molded to take sports to the next level: from hobby to national marketing machine.

His humble background and plain-spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf as an elite, upper-class pastime to a more populist sport accessible to middle and working classes.

Apparently, he was also a stunning physical specimen.  Time wrote in1960, “with strength in all the right places: massive shoulders and arms, a waist hardly big enough to hold his trousers up, thick wrists, and leather-hard, outsized hands that can crumple a beer can as though it were tissue paper.” Sounds like Time was having a sleepover where they did each other’s hair and talked about who’s dreamy.  

His timing was perfect too.  His rise came during the post war boom when prosperity [and

palmer

“I do believe I have a case of the vay-pahs.” – Time Magazine, 1960

racism… and sexism] prevailed and the American Dream meant living in the suburbs with your 2.5 kids, your white picket fence, your Donna-Reedesque housewife who knew enough to keep her mouth shut and the roast in the oven, driving your giant Ford to work while getting 1.3 miles per gallon of cheap, plentiful gas, inviting the Johnson’s over for a weenie roast, and you had the leisure time to sit and watch golf on Sundays after you mowed the lawn.  

This unprecedented time of leisure made the perfect moment to become a sports superstar because, well, guys needed to be interested in something.  What, they’re gonna talk to their wives?

Palmer could also play.  I mean, that helped.  Being America’s dream-boy with humble beginnings and leather-hard, outsized hands in post-WWII America isn’t all that propelled him to stardom.  He was a pretty good golfer too.

Palmer went to Wake Forest University, where just for laughs he’d sometimes shoot par while standing on one foot.  Maybe that’s been my problem.  I’ve been using two feet this whole damn time.

Palmer won 62 titles on the PGA Tour.  I mean, Jack Nicklaus won more, but Jack wasn’t the dream-boat that Arnie was.  He didn’t evoke the same homo-eroticism that Arnie did as he gripped his shaft with those leather-hard, outsized hands while looking down at his balls.

Palmer will always be known as one of the greatest golfers ever, but he’s also the guy that turned sports into the major marketing and endorsement machine that it is today.  In the end, his name was attached to a golf-course design outfit, auto dealerships, a golf-equipment company, two golf clubs, an aviation company and a clothing contract with Sears (on their softer side).

Oh, and once he ordered an iced tea mixed with lemonade and the lady at the next table overheard this and ordered what she called an Arnold Palmer.  So there’s that too.

This hit goes to Harmony!  Harmony breaks the triple digit barrier on her first time out!  Well done, rookie!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

PS: Draft night is 11/5 – a mere 39 days away!

Current Standings:

Jami: 190 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10, Edward Albee – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Joanne: 130 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20, Buckwheat Zydeco – 40)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Harmony: 100 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20, Arnold Palmer – 20)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

Gianna: 40 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20)

Buckwheat Zydeco, a man named after the music he played… or is it the other way around…., and proved that the accordion isn’t just for white people, died at the spry age of 68.

For those not familiar with Zydeco music, it’s that upbeat, New Orleans, French Creole sound with accordions and washboards that sounds fantastic.

For the first two and a half minutes.

Then it grates on you.  

The name Zydeco comes from a French phrase that translates to “the snap beans aren’t salty.”  No, really.   [Buckwheat The-Snap-Beans-Aren’t-Salty]

While Zydeco music is mostly a local, Louisiana phenomenon, Buckwheat broke out with a little (a very little) mainstream success.  Most say that he traded on this “Little Rascals” fame.

He became known for his classic covers like, “Wookin’ Pa Nub,” and “Fee Tines a Naday.”

buckwheat

He was Oh-Tay!

While he never set the charts on fire (see: great-for-2.5-minutes comment above) he became an internationally respected musician.  He opened for Clapton, he recorded with Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Mavis Staples, Paul Simon, and the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies.

There were more on the list, but I either didn’t care about them or, worse, they were country acts.

Buckwheat was shot in front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza during the recording of Saturday Night Live in footage that will surely become iconic in the pop-culture lexicon.

This hit goes to: Joanne!  She breaks the triple-digit mark and is tied with me in 3rd place!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

PS: Draft night is 11/5 – a mere 40 days away!

Current Standings:

Jami: 190 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10, Edward Albee – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Joanne: 130 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20, Buckwheat Zydeco – 40)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

Harmony: 80 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

Gianna: 40 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20)

Hack playwright, Edward Albee died at the spry age of 88.

In 1959, his first produced play, “The Zoo Story,” opened in Berlin.  The play zeroed in on the existential terror at the heart of Eisenhower-era complacency, presenting the increasingly menacing intrusion of a probing, querying stranger on a man reading on a Central Park bench.

The play was famously re-made into the unforgettable smash 2001 movie “We Bought a Zoo” with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.  Cameron Crown may have missed the point on that one…

His 1962 Broadway debut was “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”  It was the happy-go-lucky, laugh-riot, feel-good-play-of -the-year, about couple whose relationship has been corroded by dashed hopes, wounding recriminations and drink.  (Frankly, I took away that the drinking made their horrible existence easier to endure… but I’m Irish)

The play won him a Tony for Best Musical.  …I think it was best musical…    I suppose I could Google that…. Nah, I’m, like, 79.2% sure it was Best Musical.

The 1966 film adaptation, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, turned the play

Albee.jpg

Albee also won the Nobel Prize for shadow puppets.

into Mr. Albee’s most famous work; it had, he wrote,“hung about my neck like a shining medal of some sort — really nice but a trifle onerous.”  …he said all the way to the bank.

In 1985, Albee was inducted into the American Theater Hall of fame.  Wait-  That’s a thing?

Albee’s adoptive parents kicked him out when he refused to become a “corporate thug” and did not approve of his aspirations to become a writer.  Three Nobel Prizes later, Eddy’s annual Christmas card to his parents just read: Suck it!

He was also honored by New Zealand’s fourth-most-popular folk duo, Flight of the Conchords, in their song “Albee the Racist Dragon.”  According to the duo, the song ended racism in New Zealand.

This hit goes to Jami!  She extends her lead, making it much tougher for anyone to overtake her (with only 47 days left to die).  But who knows?  Maybe we’ll have a Chris Farley come-from-behind win this year!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

PS: Draft night is 11/5 – a mere 47 days away (as alluded to above)!

Current Standings:

Jami: 190 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10, Edward Albee – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

Joanne: 90 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20)

Harmony: 80 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

Gianna: 40 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20)

There’s no earthly way of knowing which direction he his going.  There’s no knowing where he’s rowing or which way the river Styx is flowing.

Star of “Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx” and owner of the worst hair ever, Gene Wilder (no relation to Van Wilder), died at the spry age of 83.

Gene’s first major movie role was in Mel Brook’s 1967 classic “The Producers” as the straight man to Zero Mostel’s… Zero Mostel.

This role got him an oscar nomination for best supporting actor which he list to that hack, George Kennedy, who was in “Cool Hand Luke.”

Gene Wilder

Wilder shown here indicating that something is “O-K.”

But four years later, Wilder will make the movie that he will be remembered for.  “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” was a flop that pulled in $2.1 million on it’s opening weekend.  Apparently, parents avoided it because they thought that it portrayed cruelty to children.

Well, parents need to get over themselves.

Over the years, the movie popped up on TV.  Mostly during Easter.  Cuz, while there are little to no children’s movies about Easter, there is one about candy!  The movie gained popularity in the 80s and soon became a classic.  

Wilder was hesitant to take the roll but the took it under one condition.  One, very specific condition.  He said (actual quote):

When I make my first entrance, I’d like to come out of the door carrying a cane and then walk toward the crowd with a limp. After the crowd sees Willy Wonka is a cripple, they all whisper to themselves and then become deathly quiet. As I walk toward them, my cane sinks into one of the cobblestones I’m walking on and stands straight up, by itself… but I keep on walking, until I realize that I no longer have my cane. I start to fall forward, and just before I hit the ground, I do a beautiful forward somersault and bounce back up, to great applause.

He had this idea so that for the rest of the film, you didn’t know if Wonka was telling the truth or not.

Wilder will always be remembered best as Willy Wonka… or more accurately, a meme of Willy Wonka that drips of sarcasm.

WonkaThree Years after that, Wilder teamed up with Mel Brooks again for two… no, not one, but two of their greatest movies ever.

“Blazing Saddles,” one of the fucking funniest movies ever made, spoofed westerns, but more so, spoofed racism in movies.  Ever since then, there has been absolutely zero racism in movies.  It’s really quite astounding.  

Wilder played “The Waco Kid,” (Jim, to his friends) who was the fastest and apparently the least racist gun in the west.  (“What’s a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?”)

That year also saw the release of “Young Frankenstein.”  Jesus Christ, this movie is funny.  If you have not seen these movies, stop reading and go see them.  Right now.  I’ll wait.

I will always be indebted to Gene Wilder because he was insistent on including the “Puttin’ on the Ritz” number in “Young Frankenstein.”  I am literally laughing about this scene as I type.

Brooks was resistant to the number as a mere “conceit” and felt it would detract from the fidelity to Universal horror films. Wilder recalls being “close to rage and tears” and argued for the scene before Brooks stopped him and said, “It’s in!”. When Wilder asked why he had changed his mind, Brooks said that since Wilder had fought for it then it would be the right thing to do.

When the filmed the scene, nobody was really sure what the monster would say until Peter Boyle, without any direction, belted out “Puiinin on da reeez!”

I have this on my Ipod.

This hit goes to: Harmony!  The rookie has a strong 80 points… although, that is less than half of the leader’s score…

Happy pooling,

SPMI

PS: Draft night is 11/5 – a mere 66 days away!

Current Standings:

Jami: 170 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

Joanne: 90 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20)

Harmony: 80 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

Gianna: 40 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20)