Pop Culture Odds and Ends – Stop the Music Edition

This week has been a little heavy on the concert news front – and there is more to come tomorrow – so for those of you that don’t give a hoot about that, here’s your mid-week reprise from the world of music. Take a seat, kick your feet up and enjoy your biweekly round up of random pop culture stories and observations.

  • I was so very sad to hear about the passing of Phyllis Diller. Comedy icon. Every female comedienne working today should get down on her hands and knees to thank Diller for blazing the trail. Phyllis Diller was a class act and always seemed very true to herself. And she had an amazing laugh, which is always the sign of a good person. Even as a kid, I thought her references to her husband “Fang” were pretty funny, even if I may not have really understood the jokes until I got older. Of course, most people my age were first introduced to Diller in her guest appearance on The Muppet Show and Scooby Doo, which at time I considered the height of celebrity:

I honestly thought that she would live forever. Rest in Peace Phyllis and thanks for the memories.

  • Monday was a weird day in celebrity news; not only did Diller pass away, but Top Gun director Tony Scott jumped to his death from a bridge in Los Angeles and Rosie O’Donnell revealed that she had a heart attack.
  • I was also bummed to hear about the death of Ron Palillo, who was most famous for playing Horshack on Welcome Back, Kotter. I watched that show growing up and he was always my favorite Sweathog.


  • ABC has decided to move Jimmy Kimmel Live to 11:35 pm starting in January, so it will now compete head to head with Letterman and Leno. This is going to be fun to watch – and this move can only benefit my pal Jimmy Fallon at 12:35. There is nothing I love more than a good late night war, especially one that may hurt Leno. Man, I hate that guy.
  • LL Cool J took down a criminal in his home this morning. I guess he took “Mama said knock you out” literally. Glad LL is OK.
  • When I was a college instructor, I always used to read “The Mindset List” that provides cultural touchstones for incoming college freshmen. It helped understand their point of reference, since you know I was dropping some pop culture knowledge on them in between discussing the Constitution and the American Presidency. This year’s list was especially depressing; for the class of 2016, Kurt Cobain has been dead their entire life. I feel old.
  • I stopped watching Survivor a few years ago – it got old and once Boston Rob finally won I was happy – but the news that Lisa Whelchel (Blair from The Facts of Life) is going to be a contestant in the next season might be enough to get me to tune back in. I loved that show growing up. In fact, I think Survivor should do an all 80s TV star cast. Who wouldn’t tune in for that?
  • Jon Hamm is going to make a guest appearance on Bob’s Burgers this season, which is awesome in and of itself, but he’ll be the voice of a toilet. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds. The greatest guest voice appearance ever goes to George Clooney for his work on South Park as Stan’s gay dog Sparky. All he did is bark. But this m, ight be some worthy competition. If Jon Hamm isn’t enough for you, here are 15 more pretty cool people that will be stopping by Bob’s Burgers this season. Watch this show!
  • Hard to believe that the Tom Hardy in this video would grow up to play Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. He was just a skinny thing back then!


  • This article about Adam Scott and his storage locker (not a euphemism) makes me like him even more. He’s just adorable. Long live Party Down!
  • I’m still not 100% on board on the idea of an Oldboy re-make, but the addition of Samuel L. Jackson may make the bitter pill easier to swallow. If you’ve never seen the original, Oldboy was a South Korean revenge movie that was awesome and that no one should be touching.
  • Last year the police arrested a man named Omar Little in Baltimore, much to the amusement of  The Wire fans. This year, police are looking for a man named Walter White on suspicion of cooking meth. Perhaps next year police will be on the lookout for a Tony Sopranao.
  • This article about Liam being the better Hemsworth brother is just straight up heresy. Not only is Chris clearly the better brother, but Liam should automatically be disqualified for planning to marry Miley Cyrus.
  • Speaking of Chris, it appears that the follow up to Snow White and the Huntsman will possibly focus more on the Huntsman and less on Snow White. Reports are muddy as to Kristin Stewart’s role in the project. I’m no Stewart fan, but I don’t really think it is fair that she’s taking the brunt of the blame and fallout for the affair.
  • Ron Howard and Jay-Z teaming up? Makes perfect sense to me.
  • For Simpsons fans, Vulture asks the show’s writers to pick their top ten obscure characters that have been featured. I no longer watch the show regularly, but I knew most of them.
  • I was very happy about the news that Michael J. Fox is returning to television for two reasons: I loved him as a kid (no joke – I wrote my grad school application essay about how my love of MJF and his portrayal of Alex P. Keaton got me interested in politics. And not one, but two, doctoral programs still accepted me.) and I’m glad that he is feeling healthy enough to take this one. Let’s see how NBC manages to mess this up.
  • The more we hear about Prince Harry and his exploits, the more I kind of wish he was going to be King over more responsible brother William. Seriously – you’re telling me King Harry wouldn’t be much more fun to watch?
  • I watched my first episode of Hotel Hell this week – one of Gordon Ramsey’s shows – as it featured a property that I have been to, The Cambridge Hotel. I don’t normally watch these types of shows and I find Ramsey to be especially annoying, but I made an exception because of the local connection. I have a very hard time believing that a lot of that show wasn’t staged and found the premise a little disingenuous. Of course you are going to have more people showing up when there is a chance for them to be on TV. I won’t be tuning in again.
  • I saw Kelly Clarkson perform last weekend (more on that to come) and I’m kind of bummed that our fan request number wasn’t this:


  • For fans of the genre, someone has super-cut clips from 163 horror movies into a 2 ½ minute video. How many can you name?


  • Entertainment Weekly has a slideshow of the 26 best cult TV shows ever. I’d argue with their definition of “cult” – wasn’t Lost pretty mainstream? – and I assume they are not ranked, but I’m not at all surprise that I’ve watched 16 of them in some capacity.
  • I thought this interview with Tiffany about her musical career was interesting – I always preferred her to Debbie Gibson (who, when I saw her at a free concert, got all upset people weren’t calling her Deborah).
  • I’ve been enjoying two parody twitter accounts: @PaulRyanGosling (a mash up of the Ryan Gosling “hey girl” meme and the Republican Vice Presidential candidate) and @sarcasticrover (the alleged musings of the Mars rover)
  • They have released a teaser trailer for American Horror Story: Asylum

What does it mean????

  • I’m not sure anyone was asking for a The Rocketeer reboot.
  • And finally, for those of you who can’t get enough of The Avengers, here is the film’s gag reel:

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