Author (#2)July 2008 Archives

This is another guy that doesn't get nearly the press that he should. Sure, his work isn't exactly Wes Anderson films and he's pretty much got to rely on Adam Sandler for work, but people should recognize him as a good actor because he is a good actor. And he wrote creative, smart, funny sketches for Saturday Night Live. Take a look at his resume.

Forget about Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (although I'd argue that DB: EG is still better than 75% of the crap released weekly these days) for a second. Rob Schneider was the glue that held the early 90s cast of Saturday Night Live together. Think about Sensitive Naked Man. Who else could have pulled that character off? David Spade? Not the king of sarcasm. Adam Sandler? No, he was a less easily thrown off version of Jimmy Fallon. No, Rob Schneider was the only one who could have pulled it off. He was by far the most versatile member of that cast (save for the late, great Phil Hartman, but he's more closely aligned with the prior cast). How about Tracy, the girl that worked at the Donut Hut in the "Gap Girls" sketches? Or one of the "Bellisima" waiters? The "You Like-a The Juice" guy?

If you're thinking, "Come on! He was that Richard guy with the 'Making Copies' sketch. That was so lame," it might be a good idea take a trip into the wayback machine and look at yourself from 15 years ago because I\it's a pretty sure bet you were one of the millions of people doing a lousy impression of him. It's OK. Come to terms with it. Own it. Because it was funny as fuck. And it still holds up today.

Here's another thing: This guy never broke character on SNL, unlike today's cast, which giggles and guffaws with every minor slip up. Hey, newsflash 2007-8 SNL cast: The material isn't that funny. We're not laughing, so why the hell are you? It's all Jimmy Fallon, who opened the door to laughing like an idiot in every sketch. He could barely hold it together in a scene. Rob Schneider was and is a professional, and that should count for something. UR: -17.5

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

In his SNL prime, Jon Lovitz seemed destined to slip into the type of character actor persona that Phil Hartman so ably filled when he left the show, but it never seemed to click for him. But if there was a role that Jon Lovitz was destined to play, that role was Jay Sherman, the rotund New York film critic with a revulsion for every contemporary Hollywood movie and a love of anything edible. It was the perfect vehicle for a pre-High School High Lovitz. He was the perfect comic foil: goofy but serious, sarcastic but earnest and harsh but sensitive.

The beauty of the show was that it basically held nothing sacred. Every horribly made, fictional film sequel that got an emphatic "It stinks!" from Jay Sherman was an indictment of the current pabulum that Hollywood churned out. Jay's boss was a corporate megalomaniac (ala the Trumpster), who turned his house of chicken and waffles into a major broadcasting network.

In an effort to keep the show afloat and a genuine stroke of genius, James L. Brooks (executive producer of both the Critic and the Simpsons), engineered a crossover for the two shows. This resulted in the classic "A Star is Burns" Simpsons episode, when Springfield hosts a film festival and Jay Sherman is the guest judge.

It didn't help. The show was canceled after a mere 23 episodes, despite critical acclaim and a loyal (but modest) fanbase. UR: -32

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)

If you know Mark Mothersbaugh at all, you know him as one of the founders and lead singer of Devo. Devo's one of those bands that everyone always talks about as being ahead of its time, but never really quite gets. They were doing synth when the rest of the nation was doing the hustle and the 1980s were just a gleam in Ivan Boesky's eyes. And like every other band like them, Devo's worst song ("Whip It") became their most popular song.

In addition to being just about the strangest guy you'll ever meet, he's prolific as hell. Mark Mothersbaugh is credited on just about every song that Devo produced (excluding their covers). He has also contributed or fully written over 100 movie, TV and video game soundtracks, including just about every Wes Anderson flick. Evidently, really fucking weird people like to collaborate with other really fucking weird people. And oddly enough, he also hosts a painting/drawing segment on a children's show on PBS called Yo Gabba Gabba!.

You've been listening to (and loving) his music for years, without even knowing it. And even worse, you don't even know his name.

Shame on you.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

It's pretty much common knowledge around New York that the best stadium resides in the Bronx. It's got the history, the championships, the retired numbers, Monument Park, and countless other attributes that suggest that this is (or should be) true. The general consensus about Shea Stadium is that it's got the charm of a monkey whorehouse. And the majority of Mets fans can't wait to see the thing imploded, so that they'll have a place to park next year when they visit the Mets' brand new home, Citi Field.

But here's a bold statement: since the 1974-5 renovation of Yankee Stadium, the best place to watch a baseball game (without rooting interest) is in Queens.

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

Everyone knows him when they see him: hanging bulldog jowls, troll-like stature, male pattern shiny bald head. Not a whole lot of people know him by name. He's Wallace Shawn, and while he was busy lisping his way through The Princess Bride, he was "incon-theeve-ably" putting together a career as one of Hollywood's most recognizable character actors.

He played Diane Keaton's ex-husband in Manhattan (arguably Woody Allen's best film), the sarcastic debate teacher Mr. Hall in 1995's Clueless, and the diabolical Vizzini in The Princess Bride. His voice over career includes both Toy Stories, Monsters, Inc and The Incredibles. Wherever there's work to be done, Wally Shawn pops up. He's like a smaller, not quite as sweaty Meat Loaf.

But his piece-de-resistance was 1981's My Dinner With Andre, a semi-autobiographical piece written with Andre Gregory and directed by Louis Malle, that features him and Gregory dining and discussing the latter's recent exploits around the world. It's a film snob's wet dream, thought-provoking and smart without pretense. UR: -22

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

The Book


The Yankee Pot Roast Book of Awesome Underappreciated Stuff
by Geoff Wolinetz,
Nick Jezarian,
and Josh Abraham

Published by
Citadel/Kensington Books.
On sale June 24, 2008.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by Author (#2) in July 2008.

Author (#2)August 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.