News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
Rare is the Oscars TV moment that forces you out of a state of non-wakefulness to laugh at something surprising or unusual - but not so rare is the post-Oscars TV moment, or in last night's case, Jimmy Kimmel's post-Oscars chat with Kevin Spacey. Spacey is always good on talk shows, and invariably the host asks him to reprise his Johnny Carson, which is very nearly perfect. Check out this portion of the interview (two minutes in) then go here to see a young Jimmy Kimmel perform on "The Tonight Show." Where, oh where have the years gone?
Suddenly, "Full House" is everywhere. Or at least the key cast members, Dave Coulier, Bob Saget and John Stamos. (No Olsen twins, however.) The guys reunited on Wednesday night's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" a few days after the release of their Dannon Super Bowl commercial.
Shall we watch together? Yes, let's!
My critical opinion? The Fallon sketch is funny, but the Dannon ad, released...Read more »
As you may have heard, there's a Super Bowl coming up -- No. 48, or ex-el-vee-triple "i" -- and while there will be football, there will also be commercials: Roughly 60 of them. That's is a big number and potentially represents, as it does every year, the bane of advertisers, notably "clutter." "Clutter" means too many ads, and when there are too many, viewers tend to forget all of them. And that is one reason why Super Bowl commercials tend to be some of the most memorable bits of video you see all year -- thirty second snippets that are designed to make you remember them, long after the game has ended.
With that thought in mind, let's take a tour of the 15 most memorable Super Bowls in history -- beginning with No. 15. The most memorable is No. 1, naturally. The fun thing about these lists is that they are purely subjective: Each of us will come up with a different list, of course. This is mine... And by the way, "best" reflects only that which is "most memorable." Obviously, some of these are aesthetic monstrosities -- ghastly bits of video that curdle the mind and corrupt the senses. But, darn-it, you can't forget 'em.
(App readers, watch the videos here: http://bit.ly/1aY6Axw. Unfortunately, this content is not available on mobile phones.)
15.) Britney Spears 2001: Hey, this could even go at number one; it's unforgettable, even if we want to forget...
14.) Doritos: Ann Richards and Mario Cuomo get crunchy. Once seen, never ever forgotten...
13.) Danica Patrick: There have been so many awful Go Daddy Danica Patrick ads that one hardly knows where to begin -- they all run together in a big unseemly mess in the brain. But this one, from 1999, is a good start:
12.) Betty White and Abe Vigoda, in 2010: Has there ever been a better Super Bowl commercial?
11.) Dave! Jay! Oprah! This one is great -- but I totally forget what the product being sold is. Who cares! It's the ad that counts:
10.) Xerox and the Monks... a most peculiar ad, from 1976, but once seen never forgotten...
9.) Bud Light: From Super Bowl XLII -- so many Bud Light commercials? Where to begin? What to choose? This one...
8.) Budweiser and its foals... So many Bud foals over the years -- but this one from last year sticks; maybe because it's from last year:
7.) Bridgestone's Killer Whale: Bridgestone's killer whale is one of my all-time favorites, and damned if I'm about to forget it...
6.) Michael Jordan, Larry Bird play "HORSE" for a Big Mac: Again, as memorable as they get, and as absurd as they get, too? Multimillionaires playing for a Big Mac? Of course, in the alternate-logic universe of the Super Ad, makes perfect...
5.) Monster.com created some of the most memorable of them all, including this one from 2009:
4.) John Madden and Miller Lite -- 1980: The Super Bowl, as a collective memory predicated largely on commercials as opposed to football, would be unimaginable without this one...
3.) Noxema creams Joe Namath, or Farrah Fawcett does: In 1973 there was an ad so ineffably awful that it would stay with us all forever... This one:
2.) Mean Joe Greene and Coca-Cola: Debates have raged over this ad -- a great one or an awful one? I've long ago settled on the "great" side of the equation here. This ad is largely perfect, as an emblem of everything Coke is or ever wanted to be, and coming as it did when the Steel Curtain really was made of steel, its timeliness was even better. Most of all, it's unforgettable:
1.) Apple: You knew this would be number one, didn't you? Chiat/Day's classic, which launched a brand and till this very day still resonates. Weirdly, otherworldly wonderful...
Which Super Bowl commercial do you think is the most memorable? Tell us in the comments below.
Russell Johnson -- forever and always known for one brief and very beloved role, "The Professor" -- has died. He was 89.
His agent, Mike Eisenstadt, says Johnson died Thursday morning at his home in Washington State of natural causes.
As part of a group of tourists who embarked on an ill-fated three-hour boat tour from Hawaii -- always a bit unclear why a professor needed to take a three-hour tour, but no matter -- he along with passengers and crew were marooned on a desert island. Sherwood Schwartz's camp classic would last but a few seasons, yet the show -- and theme song -- have become among the most indelible memories of an entire decade, and (indeed) an entire medium: Television.
Johnson's professor was an essential part of the show: Serious, forever cooking up ideas to get off the island, some that even worked,he was the resident genius who seemed to know something about everything.
For example, this quote from the episode entitled "Ghost-a-Go-Go:" "Fortunately I happen to know something about the construction of mannequins."
Johnson was - as fans will attest - perfect in the role...
Johnson was a World War 2 flyboy in the Pacific theater and flew dozens of missions in a B-25. This from a website devoted to the show: "...his plane was shot down in the Philippines and he had to crash land on the island of Mindanao. In this mission, he broke his ankles and earned his Purple Heart. He was also awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf cluster, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of War ribbon with four battle stars, and the Philippine Liberation Medal. He was honorably discharged with the rank of first Lieutenant on November 22, 1945."
ABCNews.com has some more details: "...the actor's wife, Constance, [said] the 89-year-old TV star died early this morning of kidney failure. "He died at home, peaceful, in his sleep at 5:21 am today," she said. "[He was] a very brave guy who knew what he wanted, and he wanted to be at home." Originally from northeastern Pennsylvania, Johnson served in World War II before pursuing an acting career. He acted in several TV programs in the 1950s and '60s, including "The Adventures of Superman," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Twilight Zone." However, his most famous role came along in 1964..."
Meanwhile, watch (Newsday app readers go to Newsday.com/tvzone) below.
With reporting by The Associated Press.
Every year at this time Barbara Walters' "Most Fascinating" list arrives, and - on a vastly more modest scale - so does my list, of TVs most fascinating....
It's a modest little list, this list, but what it does offer - in my humble opinion - is a quick shout-out to a few who have done something genuinely interesting and not some who have just mastered the twerk...
We...Read more »
"Necessary Roughness," starring Callie Thorne as the sports therapist who screws back on the heads of sports stars after they've come undone, is ending. USA confirmed the cancellation Tuesday night, but -- to remind those who are not familiar with this show -- it's based on the life and times of Dr. Donna Dannenfelser, formerly of Commack.
Check out Newsday's Neil Best brief profile...Read more »
The Internet woods were full of reports Tuesday morning that Monty Python on Thursday will announce a reunion... but... but... but... but... why?
Surviving members of the most influential comedy troupe since whatever troupe put on Shakespeare are in their mid-70s, have distinguished careers of their own, certainly couldn't need the money (could they?), have nothing left to prove and...Read more »
To anyone who thought John Oliver's substitute host gig on "The Daily Show" felt less like a stand-in for Jon Stewart and more like the beginning of a beautiful new career opportunity, then congratulations. ... You were right! HBO has hired Oliver to do his own weekly show, starting next year.
Surprised? I was, a bit, plus slightly disappointed. I figured this future show would be on Comedy Central, but with Stewart at 11 and "The Colbert Report" at 11:30, real estate was starting to get a little tight there. Plus, Oliver's HBO series is now probably going to be more along the lines of Bill Maher's "Real Time" -- once a week, Fridays at 10 -- and I guess the instant assumption would be that Oliver's will be paired with Maher's too ... except that it won't. HBO says this show will go Sundays.
The disappointment? Only that Oliver established that he could easily handle the daily grind, and could have continued to handle it at CC. A weekly show isn't on "top" of the news as much as below it -- more reflective, slightly removed. Maher has certainly found a comfort zone as a once-a-week fixture, but "Real Time" has hardly the impact of a "TDS" or "Colbert Report."
“We weren’t otherwise searching for another weekly talk show, but when we saw John Oliver handling host duties on ‘The Daily Show,’ we knew that his singular perspective and distinct voice belonged on HBO,” said HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo. “We are extremely excited that John has agreed to make HBO his home.”
Oliver: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining HBO, especially as I presume this means I get free HBO now. I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at ‘The Daily Show’ for the best seven-and-a-half years of my life. But most of all, I’d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it’s entirely his fault.”
I like reasons on this blog, I like lists of reasons, and — despite the general carping that seems to have soured the once-loved now-loathed "Homeland" in various corners of the TV-watching cognoscenti world — I still very much like "Homeland."
In fact, I like it better this season than all of the inferior second season, and here, to combine all my "likes," are...Read more »