Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, February 03, 2021

hey now
A note for myself: April 17th is the release date for “Not Just the Best of The Larry Sanders Show”, a new compilation of one of my favorite all-time TV shows.

Of course, I’d rather have the complete seasons. But hopefully, the selected episodes will be gems.

This best-of DVD is the culmination of Garry Shandling’s efforts to resolve personal and professional issues he left lingering from the show:

“It’s very similar to — what is it? — the seven stages of grieving,” he said recently, during the first extended interview he had granted in several years. “First there’s the shock,” he said, at ease in a soft leather chair in his living room. “Now I’m going to head for something funny here. Then there’s denial, acceptance and,” he paused, “masturbation.”…

Other performers might be content to put out such packages with a few sweeteners, maybe some outtakes and running commentary from the star. But Mr. Shandling has never been like other performers. More than a year ago he set out, hand-held camera crew in tow, to interview virtually everyone connected to the show. There are the series regulars, including Jeffrey Tambor, who played Hank Kingsley (“hey now!”), Larry’s eager-to-please yet quick-to-lash-out sidekick, and Rip Torn, who played Artie, Larry’s fiercely protective executive producer. Mr. Shandling’s camera also found many of the A-list guest stars whom he had goaded into cameos on the original show, including Mr. Seinfeld, Mr. Baldwin, Sharon Stone, David Duchovny, Carol Burnett, Jon Stewart and Tom Petty.

Thus the DVD’s title, “Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show,” and its length: four discs, despite containing just 23 episodes.

Can’t wait to get a gander at the final product.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/03/2021 09:00:19 PM
Category: Celebrity, TV
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Wikipedia did a job on the kingdom of facts. Now, it’s fiction’s turn to get wiki’d: A Million Penguins is an attempt by publishing house Penguin Putnam to foster a collaboratively-written novel.

It may or may not ever see the legitimization that comes in a print edition. For now, expectations are modest:

The experimental novel, which Penguin says is the first “wiki novel” to be started from scratch by a major publishing house, will be online for at least six weeks.

But it warns budding artists that the work is not a talent search and insists it expects a variety of tones and abilities.

“In an ideal world we could throw in a sense of plausibility, balance and humor,” Penguin’s blogger, Jon Elek, wrote in an entry earlier this week.

“That’s asking a lot, and in truth I’ll be happy so long as it manages to avoid becoming some sort of ‘robotic-zombie-assassins against African-ninjas-in-space, narrated-by-a-Papal-Tiara’ type of thing.”

Hey, I’d read that! Or catch the movie, anyway. (Can the wikiscreenplay website, sponsored by some Hollywood studio, be far behind?)

Naturally, the theorum about a bunch of typewriting monkeys eventually producing Shakespeare looms large here. I don’t know if Penguin explicitly admits that that’s the inspiration for the “A Million Penguins” title, but it’s pretty obvious to me.

Of course, going with “penguins” instead of “monkeys” fulfills a crucial branding function. Regardless of the end result, Penguin grabs a bit of mindshare with this project. So that by itself makes this a success.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/03/2021 08:08:28 PM
Category: Creative, Internet, Publishing
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Well, I went and did it: Upgraded this site’s guts to WordPress 2.1 (well after my last declaration of intent).

And, for a change, the process didn’t wind up blowing the blog apart. Happy day!

But… There had to be a “but”.

Various things are still out of whack. So the under-the-hood work continues. The immediate challenge: Getting the newly-installed WP-PageNavi 2.10 plugin to work.

Frankly, my main motivation for taking this step now was solely to get Akismet back up (it doesn’t work on pre-2.0 installs). The comment spam has been relentless; even with blacklist and trackback validation, enough crap punched through daily to make me finally want to trade that pain for this. Even that’s not the greatest solution, since I still have to check the spam bucket under Akismet, just in case a false positive gets snagged. I guess that’s something for the Kvetch! file…

Onward. If anyone notices anything askew, let me know.

UPDATE: Well, found something already. Trackbacking is way screwed up, at least when I direct it internally (i.e., back to previous posts on this blog, which I do frequently). The trackback I sent to this post didn’t go through. Instead, somehow the backend sent two different trackbacks, from completely unrelated archive posts, to two other unrelated posts. Suggests a MySQL problem, which means more headaches. Joy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 02/03/2021 07:16:57 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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