Saturday, February 28, 2009

The greatest voice on radio

"Hello, Americans. You know what the news is. In a minute, you're going to hear... the rest... of the story." Up until last week, we were saying those words along with him in the car at 7 pm while we were waiting to hear one of our few, maybe our only, radio appointments, with The Rest of The Story, and try to figure out who he was talking about before he revealed the name at the end. Paul Harvey was an old kook with a very interesting background, with early years including a Section 8 mental illness discharge from the Army Air Corps during World War II and other shenanigans, and up until the end he was the greatest voice on radio. Whenever we were our there in a car somwhere in America, whether we were barreling through Kansas, speeding across Texas or on the road to Vegas, we'd cut the music around noontime and search the dial for his Paul Harvey News & Comment, which was about the most American thing you can ever hear when all you see is sky and the highway ahead of you. His reports were the best-written on radio and television both, witty and economical, with a point of view and full of quirky pauses and internal punchlines. Recently the local ABC affiliate started running Mike in his news spot and it wasn't the same. You know Mike, the radio veteran, the guy who wanted to be president. Only you know him as Mike Huckabee and that's why we changed the station and now you know... the rest... of the story.

Good day!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Dr. Ruehl says ailing Ed McMahon seemed to be "in excellent health" when they worked together

Word that television icon and Jerry Lewis Telethon cohost Ed McMahon is hospitalized near death was a special shock to Tabloid Baby pal and contributor Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D., who co-starred in what could be Ed's last project.

He writes us:

"It is reported that Ed McMahon is suffering pneumonia and bone cancer, and has been hospitalized.

"I am surprised and saddened by this dire news. I worked with Ed on his 'Gangsta Rap' video a few months ago and he appeared to be in excellent health! He was energetic and cordial, shaking hands with everyone on the set, and doing retakes like a pro!

"He only asked, when we were dancing in a motel room, that we try to avoid bumping into him as he did not want another fall.

"I am seen with my repent sign and raccoon hat 38-42 secs into the Ed McMahon 'Gangsta Rap' video (above)."

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Carry on, Wendy Richard!

Our own Sam Peters informs us that the world lost another popular Carry On player this morning when Wendy Richard died after a long battle with breast cancer. Wendy starred in Carry On Girls, Carry On Again Christmas and Carry On Matron, AKA From Here to Maternity or Familiarity Breeds or Womb at the Top or The Preggars Opera. She was only 65.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TMZ uses Octocharade to push another pornsite

The pseudojournos at the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com began the day with a ridiculously concocted story that one of its porn-pushing partners had offered the mother of octuplets $1 million to appear in an x-rated movie, and now end the day with another stunt extropolation that manages to give the Internet address of yet another pornography distributor.

The crass, distasteful, shameless and shameful story, based on a "letter" obtained "exclusively" by the breeder-bashing TMZ, was most obviously a stunt that the AOL Time Warner subsidiary and CNN corporate cousin had cooked up in cahoots with the porn company, whose product TMZ has pushed in the past and, as we showed you this morning, pushed today.

The Seventh Python producer says film festival selections and awards will lead to new screenings

More news from The Seventh Python front: The City of Chicago and The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival are gearing up for the arrival of the acclaimed nonfiction film from our pals at Frozen Pictures, which is being featured in a prime festival showcase on Saturday night, March 7th. Frozen's already got a team on the ground laying down promotion in the Windy City as the film's selection for the prestigious CIMM Fest competition slate has shined an international spotlight on the hilarious and moving flick-- and the man at the center, legendary and still-vital pop satirist and Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes.

And on the heels of the Python's Golden Ace Award from the upcoming Las Vegas International Film Festival, Seventh co-executive producer Keith Walker announced today that film, which also stars Python alums John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, will be screened for the general public as well as distributors during the Las Vegas festival, which runs April 9-12.

"Since we've already been honored with the Golden Ace, we won't be screening the film in competition at the Vegas fest," Walker tells us this morning. "But this prestigious award has gotten a lot of people asking where they can see it in Vegas. We're arranging screenings in a movie theatre. We'll be inviting the cast of the Beatles' Love show from The Mirage, some folks who worked with Spamalot when it was in town-- and a magician or two."

The Atlanta-based Walker, a veteran producer who's the Southern and East Coast emissary for the LA-based Frozen Pictures, says he's also arranging screenings in his hometown.

"Atlanta's been Monty Python country from the beginning. Spamalot, which includes Neil's music, is coming to town next month. Elton John's got a place here. And we've got a great music and film scene. Folks can't wait to see The Seventh Python."

Watch this space for details for announcements about Los Angeles and other cities.

(The Seventh Python will also be shown March 28th at 11 a.m. at the
NY Metro Fest for Beatles Fans, the world’s largest Beatles fans convention. Director Burt Kearns and producer Brett Hudson will be on hand for the screening in the ballroom of the Meadowlands Crowne Plaza Hotel— along with Neil Innes himself, who will be performing and signing autographs throughout the weekend.)

TMZ and porno pals cook up OctoMom story

Can they make it any more obvious? Now the corporate porn-pushing gossip site TMZ.com has gone from promoting and selling pornography to making it up. On a morning when its corporate overlords at Time Warner and AOL might be chuffed to see the sewer site cited as a source by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times, shaved bronzed midget frontman Harvey Levin and his rentboy crew show what really butters their bread, and slathers their misogyny off the edges of the crust with a banner story obviously cooked up with their cohorts at the pornography company.

OctoMom Offered $1 Million to Make A Porno continues the site's sadistic taunting of the woman who may be mentally or emotionally disturbed but is unquestionably the mother of fourteen children. And the TMZ post's lead to the story, while considered the height of Wildeian wit in the steambaths and locker rooms where the TMZ crew gathers, will surely disgust any decent reader and should, one hope, cause at least a twinge of shame to at least one female in the organization who does not equate pregnancy with a pornographic orgy:

"OctoMom is used to having multiple people inside of her at once -- and now one porn company is willing to shell out big bucks to harness that skill on film."

In keeping with TMZ's tradition of leading viewers to the porn site it is pushing, this morning's post contains the website address of the company that is supposedly offering the $1 million (right). It also links to the supposed letter from the porn company, which is little more than an advertisement for a recent release of a pornographic video featuring a former Miss USA.

Expect TMZ's immoral rampage to continue as long as the site is considered to be a serious source by dying mammoths like the New York Times whose precarious staff obviously haven't noticed that Levin's dream is to expand into their Washington political turf. A quick probe of what's behind this latest "exclusive" would surely delay those plans. Meanwhile, TMZ staffers can continue to keep us update here, secure in knowing their tips will remain anonymous and confidential.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Update: New Beatles track comes from bootleg CD

The mysterious Revolution Take 20, the cross between The Beatles' Revolutions 1 and 9, comes from a bootleg CD called "Revolution Take... Your Knickers Off!" from Your Masters Voice. The song begins with someone saying "Revolution, take-- take your knickers off!" and goes on for more than ten minutes.

Though EMI has cleaned out YouTube, you can find a stereo version here.

(Revolution Take... Your Knickers Off is a 2-CD set. CD 1 is 61:56, two versions of Revolution, Across The Universe, three versions of Julia- including one instrumental,and 8 takes of Step Inside Love, one that includes"chat"; Disc 2 is 59:22, 21 versions of Come & Get It, 10 takes of "No Escaping Your Love". No Carnival of Light.)

EMI removes mysterious Beatles song from Web

Whether the 10-minute The Beatles Revolution Take 20 clip that appeared online was actually a lost take from the White Album sessions or the work of modern day mixmasher remains to be seen. But the song that suddenly showed up online was definitely performed by the Beatles and if only because of that, the YouTube version we posted this morning, along with other postings of the audio clip, have been removed, "no longer available due to a copyright claim by EMI Music."

We'll have to wait for the iTune download. Yeah, right.

Revolution Take 20?

Holy Grail or mixer's Shroud of Turin (as in "phony")? This is the allegedly new Beatles track that's popped up this week. Whether it's really the missing link between Revolution #1 and Revolution #9 will probably be determined by how long it takes for Apple Corps to remove it from the Internet. "Dada Mama?"

!UPDATE! You missed it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yes, Cloud 9 is linked to Oscar®'s Best Picture!

Hey, we almost let the Oscars® slip away without mentioning the incredible connection between this year's Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire, and Cloud 9, the hilarious 2006 sports comedy written and produced by our pals at Frozen Pictures. For a couple of years now, we've had an annual list of the eerie one-degree-of-separation between the beach volleyball sex comedy and social satire starring Burt Reynolds and the nominees and eventual holders of the golden statuette ("Michael Clayton star ((and Best Actor nominee)) George Clooney appeared with Cloud 9 costar Paul Rodriguez on the 2003 TV special, Playboy’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. He also appeared as “Joe” in the 1991 TV series Baby Talk, in which Tony Danza, who appears in Cloud 9, supplied the voice of a baby...").

And with our Tabloid Baby research staff has been let loose on other subjects this season, it's been left to our readers to point out the the link between Cloud 9 and Slumdog Millionaire: mainly that Cloud 9 remains a big hit in India! Bollywood giants Shemaroo Entertainment released deluxe DVD and VCD versions of the movie in 2007. Its popularity spread because of favorable comparisons to a Bollywood hit starring Indian superstar Shahrukh Khan (also known as “King Khan”), as a disgraced captain of the Indian hockey team who decides to coach a female hockey team. Wrote Shemaroo:

"The story is much akin to our Bollywood ‘Chak De’. A washed out former star, who is in need of money and an ambition to be fulfilled works towards a get rich plan and starts a volleyball team whose players consist of a group of beautiful athletic strippers. Burt Reynolds efforts in forming the world’s sexiest beach volleyball team with the strippers, is seen as a rib tickling comedy. Eventually though as the girls’ popularity swells, they want to win the crowds with their abilities, and not their bodies where these girls team up and play a match against actual volley ball players."

Cloud 9, of course, was written and produced by Frozen Pictures' Brett Hudson and Burt Kearns, along with Albert S. Ruddy, Oscar®-winning producer of The Godfather and Million Dollar Baby.

And get this: Shahrukh Khan introduced Slumdog at the Golden Globe Awards (where Burt Reynolds took home a Best Actor trophy in 1998) and starred with Amil Kapoor, the Bollywood star who played the TV host in Slumdog, in the 1995 Bollywood classic Trimurti.

We don't make this stuff up...

Last night

"Thank you. Thank you so very much. For most of my life, I've thought that doing good for someone didn't mean you would receive commendation for that act of kindness -- at least until now. This award touches my heart and the very depth of my soul because of who the award is from and those who will benefit. This humility I feel is staggering. And I know it'll stay with me for the rest of my life. I thank you. I thank the Academy. And to all you people in the movie business, it's such a joy being a part of you and everything you do. Thank you and good night."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Liveblogging the Oscars

Jerry's Day

The last time Jerry Lewis appeared on the Academy Awards show was fifty years ago, as one of the hosts. A Facebook friend tells us:

"He's been waiting for this a very long time.....just flew in from somewhere so, wasn't planning on rehearsing his speech.....said it would come from the "heart"......could be a long show!"

Harvey Levin wants to spank Oscar

Remember the corporate porn-pushing gossip site, TMZ.com? In recent months, it's proven to be about as relevant as the late Adam Carolla radio show, despite blowing wads (of money) on acquiring a photo of the allegedly Brown-battered Rihanna and its bizarre misogynist stalking of the "Octo Mom" (a story beyond the sewer site's self-imposed "Twink Male Zone"; a departure equivalent to Entertainment Tonight's obsession with severe anorexics). And today evidence of its irrelevance is displayed as TMZ headmaster Harvey's Hollywood hatred and jealousy-- and particular kinks-- come to a head with a campaign urging readers to send in their own nasty, jealous observations while watching the Academy Awards on TV. Any qualms over showing a black handprint on a female ass while pimping Rihanna's abuse elsewhere on the site? We're told morality was not the reason for debate in the TMZ "jacuze"-room over the decision to give Oscar a sex change in the ads-- or to add covering to the statuette's' usually bare bottom. Spank The Academy? Dream on, sister.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who'd protest an Academy Award for Jerry Lewis?

We at Tabloid Baby are very happy that film genius and total film-maker Jerry Lewis will be receiving a long-overdue Academy Award on Sunday. Some activists for the disabled are not. They plan protests against this man who raised billions of dollars and generations of awareness for their cause.

For Immediate Release: Contact:
February 18, 2009 Lawrence Carter-Long, 917-684-3235


Disability Advocates Protest "Humanitarian" Award Recipient, Jerry Lewis. Learn why:

Los Angeles, CA - Disability community leaders from across disability advocacy will protest the decision of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to grant Jerry Lewis the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at this Sunday's Oscar Awards ceremony. Lewis has described disabled individual is "half a person" and referred to a wheelchair as "a steel imprisonment."

For more than two decades, disability rights advocates have objected to Lewis' portrayal of life with a disability as tragic and pathetic. In response, Lewis snarled, "You don't want to be pitied because you're a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house!"

Dismissing the disability community's objections, the Academy has decided to proceed with the award. In a letter to the activist group The Trouble with Jerry, Academy director Bruce Davis compared Lewis' insulting, outdated attitudes to "some scratches in the paint job... of a Lamborghini."

"To outsiders, Jerry Lewis may be perceived as a humanitarian, but to us Lewis personifies one of the biggest barriers facing people with disabilities: outdated attitudes," said author and activist Laura Hershey, a protest organizer. "While the Motion Picture Academy has chosen to award Lewis the Hersholt award due to the money raised on his MDA Telethons, we counter the cost is too high. Money can't buy respect." Said Hershey, "we experience the side-effects of Lewis' pity-mongering every day, when people see us as victims rather than as contributors, as recipients of handouts rather than equal citizens. Every dime raised has been at cost of our dignity."

Over 30 organizations endorse The Trouble with Jerry campaign, and to date over 2600 individuals have signed a petition protesting the award. The petition states in part, 'Rather than working for equality and social inclusion of disabled people, the MDA Telethon portrays us as hopeless, pathetic, eternal children.

Demonstrations will take place during Oscar weekend in Los Angeles and around the US. Local LA protest schedules and locations are as follows:

Friday, February 20, noon, Motion Picture Academy, 8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills
Saturday, February 21, 12 noon, Kodak Theatre, Highland & Hollywood Blvd
Sunday, February 22, 2:00 p.m., near the Kodak Theatre, Hollywood & Vine

Correspondence between The Trouble with Jerry and the Motion Picture Academy, as well as some history of disability rights protests against Jerry Lewis, and current protest information, can be found at http://TheTroubleWithJerry.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We called it in 2006: CBS Radio cancels Carolla

It's official. Adam Carolla has lost his radio show. Anyone listening this morning to the painful banter and bluster between Carolla and his nails-on-a-blackboard guest David Allen Grier would not be surprised and probably be thankful to read this afternoon's LA Times report:

"Beginning Friday at 5 p.m., ...KLSX (97.1 Free FM) will switch formats... to CBS Radio's latest concept, titled AMP Radio.

"During the last three months of 2008, KLSX averaged a 1.3% audience share among listeners 12 and older, which placed the station at No. 27 in the market. In fact, KLSX never truly recovered in the ratings after losing its major morning lead-in, Howard Stern, to satellite radio. When Stern was still on the air in late 2005 at 97.1, the station enjoyed a 2.2 share...

"...Beginning next week, new episodes of Carolla's show will no longer broadcast in any market, although it is believed that "best of" shows may air in some territories..."

Los Angeles to lose its worst talk radio station

We haven't bothered with Adam Carolla's radio show in the past year or so, as it slid from shockingly amateurish and boorish offensiveness (all the worst because it replaced Howard Stern in Los Angeles) to a bland, neutered version of its droning self after its sole saving grace Danny Bonaduce was jettisoned and the show took on a more feminized demeanour in wake of Carolla's Dancing with The Stars appearance. But attention should be paid as it is rumoured that Friday is the show's last day on the air in L.A. Friday is also apparently the final day on the air for the mirthless, forced laughter of the Frosty, Heidi and Frank team, and for Tom Leykis (who sounds too often like his strained voice needs a rest, anyway), because radio station KLSX is switching from talk to an all-music format-- reportedly Top 40. Note that the imminent departure of these talents does not bring the same bemoaning wails of a month ago, when a format change at 103.1 forced the departure of the singular Jonesy's Jukebox.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's a product placement world, after all

We told you earlier this month last week that the Disney people had gone ahead with their plan to bespoil Disneyland's It's A Small World attraction, a shrine to world peace and tribute to the innocence of children across the globe, with cynical movie-tie in product placement that puts Ben Silverman and 30 Rock to shame. A visit to It's A Small World over the weekend revealed a ride that's quite different in intent and atmosphere from our first trip through 45 years ago at the New York World's Fair-- and not only because of the new, sturdy wide-ass boats that ferry the audience along the animatronic canal. What was once a tribute to world unity is now invaded by jarring Disney movie characters and promotion. Most egregiously, the view of one of the ride's highlights-- the three hula dancers of Hawaii-- is actually blocked by Lilo & Stitch dolls bobbing on a surfboard. Also disturbing and distracting is the new penultimate display, a tribute not to the world but to America, with Hollywood klieg lights standing between tableaus of farmland and Tom Hanks' Toy Story character on the way to the finale room (known to insiders as "Heaven") where the children in white versions of their native garb, sing in unison, in English. The message is lost.

All in all, a mistake. Below are the ones we caught. Apologies to Donald and Pinocchio if they were already there:

Alice in Wonderland





Three Caballeros

The Little Mermaid

Finding Nemo

Lilo & Stitch

Toy Story

Friday, February 13, 2009

Major film festival award for The Seventh Python

The Seventh Python has picked up a major prestigious film festival award as it begins a new round of screenings across the country.

The musical nonfiction film about legendary pop satirist and Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes has been named winner of the 2009 Las Vegas International Film Festival's Golden Ace Award.

The festival judges announced that the film from our pals at Frozen Pictures “demonstrated superior and standout filmmaking and is deserving of special recognition” as one of the best among nearly 2000 films submitted from over 50 countries around the world.

The Las Vegas International Film Festival takes place from April 9th to 12th. The Seventh Python director Burt Kearns and producer Brett Hudson will be featured at the awards ceremony and will soon announce Las Vegas screening dates for the film that weekend.

Fans across the country will also have the chance to see The Seventh Python in coming weeks.

The film, which featured Python alums John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, along with Innes fans and friends like Aimee Mann and Simpsons creator Matt Groening, has been chosen as an official selection of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, and will be screened in competition on March 8th. Director Burt Kearns and producer Brett Hudson will be on hand to discuss the film after the 8 p.m. screening.

The Seventh Python will also be shown March 28th at the NY Metro Fest for Beatles Fans, the world’s largest Beatles fans convention. The screening in the ballroom of the Meadowlands Crowne Plaza Hotel will take place at 11 a.m.—an “early bird special” for festivalgoers, by popular demand after a similar showing at the Chicago Fest drew more than a thousand people and a standing ovation.

Kearns and Hudson will be there— along with the star, Neil Innes himself, who will be performing and signing autographs throughout the weekend.

The Seventh Python was the opening selection of the American Cinematheque's 2008 Mods & Rockers Film Festival. Watch this space for announcements of more screenings leading up to the crowd-pleasing movie's inclusion in the Revelation Perth International Film Festival in July.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dr. Ruehl stars in music video, spins off solo site

Yes! Tabloid Baby pal, contributor, columnist and TV, movie and music video star Dr. Franklin Ruehl, Ph.D. stars in another music video! This one is Shout from the band Black Tide and the doctor writes to tell us:

"I play a teacher trying to stop the band, seen at the end (3:09-3:27). We shot that a few months ago at Fairfax High."

The video's on YouTube but the embedding's been disabled, so you'll have to click here to see it.

Which leads us to another Ruehlian item: You may have noticed we haven't posted many columns or videos from Dr. Ruehl in the few weeks. Well, that's because the Doctor has spun off onto a site of his own! Mysteries from Beyond the Other Dominion is a wild, colorful, bizarre and fascinating collection of Ruehliana that can be found here:

The site is full of Dr. Ruehl's tributes, columns and fascinating minishows-- the main place to find Dr. Ruehl and his pop culture, sci fi, paranormal and cryptozoological updates and musing since his long-running public access television show was canceled along with public access channels in California.

We've linked to Mysteries from Beyond the Other Dominion and will keep you updated when Dr. Ruehl checks in. And may the power of the cosmos be with him! Yes Yes! Yes!