Friday Fives – that guy from the Brady Bunch movie

 

What movie made you laugh the hardest?

Gosh, not sure. Obviously, I prefer a high degree of absurdity. Funny is good, but I want a big kicker of weird and inappropriate thrown in.  Life is absurd and surreal and wonderful and perfect… so my comedy should be, too.  Can I generalize? Spinal Tap, Princess Bride, and a Fish Called Wanda. LOVE them all. Know them all verbatim. Let’s talk about something bigger and greater in that mix, Spinal Tap. I want you know how insanely and impossibly talented those guys were. The guys in Spinal Tap improved (that is meant to say improved as in ‘improvisation’, not ‘improvement’) the ENTIRE movie. Every single minute. Like ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, they get a broadsheet saying ‘Nigel enters. Is angry about catering’ and then the actors just riff.  the three actors all did ALL the press for the movie in character, and only in character.

PLUS – those three wrote those songs. And performed in them. The ringleader for all of those movies was Chris Guest. Also, these guys wrote ‘a Mighty Wind’. Also improved the entire movie. Listen to this song, it is not at LEAST as good as the stuff it parodies? I am a musicologist… and I can tell you the answer is yes. These guys are amazing. You know Michael McKean for his other many talented rolls. Remember your childhood? He was Lenny, of Lenny & Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley. Now? Now he is a lead in ‘Better Call Saul’. At the end of the day, though, when he sits down with St Peter and God and they ask for his credentials… he drops this bomb; I was in the Brady Bunch.

The talent is sickening. Spinal Tap was so successful they actually released another album, and then toured. I saw them just a couple years ago, on this tour. THEN… these three did a brilliant fake folk album. They also wrote all those songs, and improved the whole movie. So, you know Michael McKean. What about Harry Shearer (Derek Smalls)? Well, you are familiar with Monty Burns and Waylon Smithers, right? What about Ned Flanders, Otto, Smithers, Rev Lovejoy, Kent Brockman. ALL of them are the bass player from Spinal Tap. Watch this; it’s him on Conan. Not just banging out all the characters, but also improving an entire scene with all these characters. Bonus side note: Conan was a writer on the Simpsons.

Shearer has a great podcast called Le Show. Aside from being a great entertainer, he has also done some thoughtful stuff with New Orleans post Katrina. This includes a great documentary critical of the Fed regarding Hurricane Katrina.

Sorry, back to the question.  The hardest I remember laughing recently was this bit on the local comedy radio station.  Wife and I were in tears, and seriously we were disabled.  It was Patton Oswalt doing a bit on John Varvatos clothes.  I can’t find the clip, but I will.

 Who is your favorite cameo in a movie?

You can never go wrong with a Tom Waits acting role. It will always be really weird… and great. Here, watch this. Seriously, whatever you are doing, stop and watch. MUST stay until the end, it’s only like 2 minutes long.

What is your favorite black and white movie?

Easy. Harvey. It is Jimmy Stewart in a great tender movie about his belived 7 foot rabbit best friend. It’s really great. I have a copy and will loan it to you.

 What movie left you asking wtf?

Besides Harvey? Harold and Maude. Just a really great and very strange movie. Super quotable, and a soundtrack done entirely by Cat Stevens.  The story is about a teenage boy given to fake suicides in a wonderfully dramatic way, and he hangs out at funerals… just random stranger funerals.  It’s where he meet an 80 year old Ruth Gordon, who also hangs out at funerals.  They meet via her penchant for stealing cars, and fall in love.  That isn’t even the weird shit, either.  Yet, it is a tender and thoughtful and funny tale.

 What’s the most rewatchable movie?

All of the above. Ultimately, though, it would be Big Fish. I just bought another copy last week. Turns out I didn’t own a copy in BluRay. It isn’t just super duper great storytelling, it may be the most visually beautiful and perfect movie.

 

Friday Fives – inventions

1. What is something you own, but have no idea how to use?

an iron.  I like to look nice, but I have NO idea how to iron.  I have tried, a lot.  Here is what happens, specifically – when I iron out these wrinkles right in front of me I am creating new wrinkles somewhere else.  It is never ending.  Luckily, I have an easy solution.  Everything gets machine washed, except dress shirts.  Those get dry cleaned.  It’s a buck a shirt, and SO worth it.  Plus, my dry cleaner is right on the way to work.  So, even if I knew how to iron, it is still worth a buck to two take two weeks worth of shirts.  bam, done!

2. What movie can you quote the most lines from?

like everyone, Princess Bride.  Bonus – also can do same with ‘Fish Called Wanda’.  I was also this way with ‘harold and maude’ and ‘harvey’.  But, I haven’t seen the former in about ten years.  I did watch Harvey three times last year.  It just came out on blu ray.  What a fantastic movie.  It’s probably 60 years old, but it holds up like crazy.

3. What is something useless that has been stamped to your permanent memory?

the details of every rock band.  every album, every lyric, every back story, i know what setlists are going to be to bands I don’t even follow.  Do you know what Billy Corgan’s middle name is, and why?  Do you know the last time the Dead played ‘Dark Star’?  Do you know Jack White’s real name is?  Do you know what Paul Simon was talking about when he sang about ‘Me and Julio down by the schoolyard’?  I do, and it’s USELESS.  I work in customer service, and not for a record company.

Here is a true story to prove my amazing and nearly useless amazing amount of rock knolwedge.  To say it is ‘complete’ is absurd… but it’s complete.  Again, here is my humble brag example.  I recently bought and read this terrific book.  It looked like stuff I likey knew already.  The wifey even said “why are you reading that, don’t you already know every story?”.  My reply was, “I do, but I want to fact check this guy to see if he does.”

In this book, I found a story that I wrote and discovered.  After  I ead that story, I told the wifey “this is MY scoop.  I am the one who found this”  She thought I was nuts, and maybe I was.  Then, I get to the end of the book and I am cited in the credits.  Seriously, check for yourself.  I am cited as reference material for a book on rock history and I didn’t even know about it.  That is pretty bad ass, and an honor.  You can check yourself.  My acknowledgement is on page 214, top line, of the paperback version.  I discovered my name in the book in the bathtub, and came running out to show the wifey.  naked and wet and old and fat.  That’s right, ladies.  Too bad I am taken!

By the way, if any of you are interested in setlist, this site is AWESOME.  It knows everything.  You can also search by venue, band, or even song.  Plus, they are freeHere is why you do, and don’t, want to check that site before your next rock concert.  The band you are going to see plays the exact same set each night.  It’s just a logistics thing, for lighting queues and instrument changes.  So, you can see what you missed, but I never check before I show, I want to be surprised by the song choices.

I do use my music knowledge to write, though.  It’s my two passions smooshed together all on this site.  Like this site, the content there is 100% original and my own.  It’s right over here.

4. What is something you feel is a pointless invention and why?

pointless?  Considering we still haven’t cured aids or cancer, not sure how much R&D we needed for the electic can opener.  Is this too complex for you?  Actually, I shouldn’t complain.  That can opener in the link above is AWESOME.  it isn’t what I grew up with, though.  We had these, and they are a piece of shit.  So, I guess I should praise can opener R&D so that we aren’t still stuck using this.

So since I kinda changed my vote mid- answer, do I have to re-answer the question?  I don’t wanna.  I love innovation, and I work in the tech field.  So, the wishy washy answer above will have to do.

5. What TV show has the best theme song?

can’t think of a catchier or better song than ‘friends’.  OOOHHH, wait.  THIS song.  I was so enamored with this song I took the bus all the way to the ball (two buses, actually, and then a 2 mile walk in the Phoenix sun) to buy the 33 rpm record.  that is how much I loved this song.  Joey Scarbury’s ‘Beleive it or Not’.  In fact, I will do more than hotlink it.  Let’s embed that shit!

Know what?  That wasn’t a very fulfilling Fives.  Normally, I would give you some bonus content – and you deserve my best.  But, the laptop battery is about 3 minutes away from dying.  So, we better wrap this up.  Have a great week, and know that we all love you.

*** update – as promised, the iPod fives game.  I am going to cross post this over to my other site.  Couple reasons for that.  One is, this post is plenty long.  The other is, I want to get y’all familiar with my other site.  It’s pretty good, if you know music.  It’s a few hours later and the laptop is charged.  Been writing for a couple hours now, which is pretty nice of me. I don’t get paid for this, and I am off to bed.

Friday Fives – movie edition

1. What’s the one movie you’ve seen more times than any other?

well, either Fish Called Wanda, or Princess Bride.  I can play both movies pretty much without the volume and recite the dialogue.  Oh, and Spinal Tap, too.

2. If you could turn one book, comic book or other print story into a feature-length movie, what story would you pick and why?

ooh, good question.  A Few Seconds of Panic, from Stefan Fatsis.  I wrote about it over on the ‘what I am reading’ tab.  It’s a fascinating inside look, from a player, of the NFL.

3. Whom would you cast?

Giovanni Ribisi.  I would cast him for almost everything.  He is funny and creepy and a great actor, even though he is a Scientologist > which totally creeps me out.

4. What one movie would you like to see “updated for the year 2005”? (Ie, a remake)

I honestly never tire of iterations of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.  Every version brings me entertainment.  It’s the best book ever written.  Also cool would be ‘Harold and Maude’ which is just an amazing amazing movie.  Wait, scratch that.  That movie was cast and acted so well, it shan’t be touched.

5. What one movie are you most looking forward to this year?

seeing the Rum Diary.  It was already out in theaters, but I missed it since it closed after about 2 days.  I love Johnny, and I really love Hunter.  The Rum Diary was Hunter’s first book, long before all that “fear and loathing” stuff.

Friday Fives

1. What is the  first song you remember hearing?

West Virginia, Mountain Mama… that John Denver song.  Don’t remember where I was, but I was a kid and we were somewhere in the woods.  It seemed I was living that song, and it was a transcendent moment.  I think it is a moment I try to relive every day living here in beautiful and amazing Colorado.

2. What is the first movie you remember seeing?

Star Wars, vaguely.  Movies haven’t really shaped me like books and music have.  I mean, a few have rocked me to the foundation:  Harold and Maude, and Forrest Gump to name a couple.

3. What is the first book you remember reading?

five were missing, or mouse on a motorcycle.  Though it has been 30 years, I have found those books as an adult and am super proud to own them.  A couple of years ago, when I finally found a copy of ‘Five were Missing‘ i read it in the tub in an hour or two.  It did not age well.  It was a revolutionary piece of literary awesomeness… at the time.  Today, it reads as something shit out in 90 minutes for 10 year olds.

4. When did you first realize the world around you?

I remember feeling profoundly different and seperated from the world at a young age.  Not alienated, mind you.  I had an awesome and fun and perfect childhood.  I just remember wondering why i thought so different from everyone.  In retrospect, I turned out mostly normal.  So, maybe everyone has those thoughts.  I don’t know, I was afraid to talk about it.   Plus, I think I may have saw a space ship when I was really young.  Problem is, I can’t be sure if it was an actual occurance or maybe a show I saw.   true story.  You are the first person I have EVER told that to.   So, don’t tell anyone.

5.  How should Carl Kipper  celebrate his AIG rewards?

Carl was a hard worker.  Carl bust his ass every single day why you sat in your cubile and played solitare.  Carl is the reason any of us still have a job.  So, let’s just quit the blame game and put his stapler in jello again.