Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, July 05, 2021

While dissecting yesterday’s news about how Yahoo’s omg! is now the leading gossip site based on Web traffic, I pretty well rejected the premise that this success was due to a less-snarky “positive” tone in its coverage.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that that was true. Accordingly, if Yahoo! wants to get down-and-dirtier with its celebrity dishing, there’s a simple way to inject an edgier tone:

Go from omg! to omfg!, of course. Because we all know what that “f” stands for, right? Perfect for not-so-nice exposés.

No omfg.yahoo.com exists just yet, but I’m sure it’s forthcoming. Brand extension doesn’t get any easier.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/05/2021 11:56am
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Internet, Media
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Saturday, July 04, 2021

It’s no mean feat to overtake gossip websites that have a television show and a print magazine to supplement them. But that’s what Yahoo’s omg! has done, beating out TMZ.com and People.com combined with 20.6 million unique visitors in May.

The comparison is a bit apples-to-oranges. The chief differentiator is that TMZ and People do primary reporting and break news, while omg! basically aggregates. And of course, there’s the argument that the Yahoo! portal traffic (primarily email, I’d guess) is driving the bulk of omg!’s clickthrus. Of course, that ignores TMZ’s and People’s linkage to AOL.com, all of which are under the Time Warner umbrella anyway; basically, Yahoo! plays the portal game better than TW does.

This also tells me that people still tend to compartmentalize their media intake. The TV and print exposure would, you’d think, help steer more eyeballs to the online versions. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, whereas Yahoo!’s all-online approach generates tons of clickthrus. Might be time to finally abandon the cross-media strategy, because the audience doesn’t seem to want to jump from one medium to the other — they want it all on the one screen (counting paper as a “screen”) they’re currently intaking.

Beyond that, omg!’s photocentric navigation seems to be key in encouraging clickthrus, as I suspected it would be when it launched two years ago:

TMZ’s boob-tube edge could be why omg! is laid out with such heavy emphasis on photos and Flash applets right on the opening home page, with a bare minimum of text. The audience looking for the latest on Lindsay, Paris, Britney, etc. will engage with a site that quickly loads up easily-playable visual content, versus presenting a bunch of reading material.

Visuals click, as it were. Another lesson in how to encourage site drill-down.

And since we can’t get enough celebrity gossip juice, there’ll be no shortage of outlets filling the void, even with only modest economics:

Although the page view count at omg, [Microsoft/MSN's] Wonderwall and other entertainment sites is staggering, revenue is likely to be fairly small (Yahoo doesn’t break out figures for omg).

Companies pay roughly $10 or more for every 1,000 people who look at a Web page with their advertisement displayed. With 321 million pages viewed in May, that’s an estimated $3.2 million in ad revenue — more than enough to cover [omg staff's] five salaries, but peanuts for Yahoo, which averaged about $600 million in monthly revenue last year.

Online entertainment news is also getting more crowded with well-financed players. Along with Wonderwall, February saw the launch of DailyFill from News Corp., though there are no plans so far to link it to the company’s traffic behemoth, MySpace.

Overall, not a bad performance for Yahoo!, which was predicted to flop as a Johnny-come-lately to the online snark game.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/04/2021 01:50pm
Category: Business, Celebrity, Internet, Media, Society
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Friday, July 03, 2021

With the nation still reeling over last week’s celebrity demises, leave it to Sarah Palin to close out the pre-holiday period by dropping her own bombshell: Announcing her resignation as governor of Alaska, effective by end of July.

Where to start? For one, I’ll peg the over/under on the number of monologue jokes for David Letterman on Monday at 6. Plus one more mock-video piece after he gets behind his desk. And what the hell: A whole Top Ten List dedicated to the newly lame-ducked governor, as well.

As for Palin’s motives, I believe her when she cites the harsh media glare, as she never seemed comfortable navigating that treacherous terrain (nor having her family used as a punching bag).

Do I believe that she’s out of politics for good? No. For one, her Political Action Committee (linked above) is still chugging along, so if nothing else, she’ll get to influence issues and voters via that outlet. Shedding political office helps her be more of the “maverick” she’s claimed to be. It also helps her distance herself from direct association with the other GOP govs who’ve lately disgraced themselves (you know who you are, Nevada and South Carolina). More logistically, she can wave bye-bye to Alaska and its fringe-iness, allowing her to move to California or wherever the conservative action is.

I can’t say how this impacts her future aspirations. Frankly, I always foresaw more of a Dan Quayle fate for her: Regular visits to the rotary club meetings, timely sniping from the outskirts, and generally a low-level presence on the political scene. As opposed to, say, Richard Nixon’s deft resurrection after his Presidential loss to JFK in 1960. If I had to bet, I’d still go with the former outcome for Caribou Barbie.

And, if all else fails, she can always embark upon the ultimate hockey-mom dream: Becoming NHL commissioner.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 07/03/2021 07:34pm
Category: Celebrity, Politics
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Wednesday, July 01, 2021

Maybe you heard that the King of Pop died last week. But that doesn’t mean that the music’s died — far from it:

“There are dozens and dozens of songs that did not end up on his albums,” said Tommy Mottola, who from 1998 to 2003 was chairman and CEO of Sony Music, which owns the distribution rights to Jackson’s music. “People will be hearing a lot of that unreleased material for the first time ever. There’s just some genius and brilliance in there.”

The releases, Mottola said, “could go on for years and years — even more than Elvis.”

Since Jackson’s death Thursday, there has been an enormous, almost unprecedented demand for the King of Pop’s music. Nielsen SoundScan said Wednesday that three of his records — “Number Ones,” “Essential Michael Jackson” and “Thriller — were the best-selling albums of the week, and 2.3 million tracks of his have been downloaded in the U.S. alone.

When a music star of Jackson’s stature dies, labels typically comb through their archives to pull out anything they can release. New compilations of recordings by performers such as Elvis, Tupac and Jeff Buckley are still released nearly every year.

Mottola, who has described himself as the “shepherd and gatekeeper” of Jackson’s catalog and is familiar with it better than anyone, said that for every album Jackson made — including classics like 1979’s “Off the Wall” and 1982’s “Thriller” — he recorded several tracks that didn’t make it onto the records.

I subscribe to the theory that unreleased material was put into the vault for a reason, i.e. that the artist didn’t consider it good enough for public consumption. So as much as I’d love to hear “new” music from MJ, I don’t think it’s fair to posthumously expose tracks and song elements that he didn’t see fit to apply a final polish to — in fact, it’s nothing but exploitative.

That said, it appears there was at least one ambitious project that Jackson was ready to release into the wild:

Two weeks before he died, he wrapped up work on an elaborate production dubbed the “Dome Project,” which could be the final finished video piece overseen by Jackson. Two people with knowledge of the project confirmed its existence Monday to The Associated Press on condition they not be identified because they signed confidentiality agreements.

Four sets were constructed for Jackson’s production, including a cemetery recalling his famous “Thriller” video. Shooting for the project lasted from June 1 to June 9. Now in post-production, the project is expected to be completed next month.

It’d be nice if the vultures now picking over his estate stopped with the Dome Project, and let that be Jackson’s final creative legacy. Wishful thinking, I know, especially when there’s years’ worth of residual dollars to be made.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 07/01/2021 11:21pm
Category: Celebrity, Creative, Pop Culture
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Monday, June 29, 2021

Judgement day for Bernie Madoff inspired this little tweet-joke from me, which I gladly reproduce here (any justification to blockquote myself):

At 150 years, I’d say Bernie got the penal equivalent of a run-on sentence.

I could extend this courtroom-grammatical motif by noting that, indeed, the judge threw the book at him. But I digress.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 06/29/2009 09:05pm
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, True Crime, Wordsmithing
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Thursday, June 25, 2021

Flop No. 1: Meet Dave. Flop No. 2: Imagine That. Despite the back-to-back theatrical flameouts, Eddie Murphy is still enough of a name that studios are willing to bank millions in movie production costs behind him — to a point:

Mr. Murphy, 48, is one of a declining number of actors whose name alone can get a movie made. While studios are increasingly balking at paying top dollar for brand-name actors — and Mr. Murphy still asks for $20 million a picture and a cut of the gross — they still want to be in business with them because they believe it lessens their risk.

“The challenge with Eddie is that you have to put his brand on the right tin can,” said the consultant James Ulmer, who compiles the biannual report “The Ulmer Scale,” which rates the global bankability of actors. “His audiences are very straitjacketed in their expectations of him, and by that I mostly mean fat suit, fat suit, fat suit.”

In addition Mr. Murphy’s name is a marketing hook on a DVD, and he remains one of the few American comedians who can deliver results overseas.

This is probably just my bias, but I say that Murphy is worth watching only when he lets it rip with the adult material. The Disneyfication he underwent with Daddy Day Care and the like always seemed like odd fits (the Shrek voiceover work doesn’t really count). His last big hit was Norbit, and while it was pretty horrible (yes, I saw it) and gimmicky with the fat suits and multiple roles, it was an R-rated return to Murphy’s raunchy comedic roots. He needs to focus on more of that.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/25/2009 01:52pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Celebrity, Movies
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Only last month, I took note of Bill Simmons’ vision of the future of sports reporting:

…I see a day when the following sequence will be routine: Player demands trade on blog; team obliges and announces deal on Twitter; player thanks old fans, takes shots at old team and gushes about new team on Facebook. We will not need anyone to report this, just someone to recap it. Preferably with links.

No permalinked trade demand from Shaquille O’Neal, but apparently, he did find out about his just-completed trade from Phoenix to Cleveland via his Twitterstream:

That’s what it looks like after a fan Tweeted the NBA superstar to ask about the trade shortly after the news broke late Wednesday night. Within minutes, Shaq replied “I didn’t hear dat yet” to the fan.

The fact Shaq was apparently out of the loop prompted disbelief and e-laughter from his Twitter followers, and Shaq seemed to grasp the weirdness of the situation.

“I kno right,” he Tweeted back.

So I guess the future is now, at least in the NBA. Or, it’s more like a blast from the past: For years, it was pretty common for sports and show biz folks to first hear about trades, TV show cancellations, etc. involving them, not directly from their bosses or agents, but via news reports. The passive-aggressiveness remains, only the medium has changed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/25/2009 11:16am
Category: Basketball, Celebrity, Media, Social Media Online
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Monday, June 22, 2021

I guess there’s an appropriate improbability in Michael Lewis’ stats-geek bible “Moneyball” getting optioned for adaptation into a big-budget Hollywood movie, helmed by the likes of Brad Pitt and Steven Soderbergh.

And that improbable development shifts into reality-checked probability with news that the $50-million production just had the plug pulled on it, mere days before shooting was to begin. The main reason seems to be doubt from the Sony/Columbia Pictures studio over the profit potential of a baseball movie, particularly in the post-theatrical release phase:

But in keeping with [Oakland A's general manager Billy] Beane’s iconoclasm, look beyond the paper. The key is on-base percentage, and outside Field of Dreams doing $20 million abroad two decades ago — still only 25% of its total gross — what baseball film has ever managed to work overseas? Are we to trust Pitt’s ability to hit for average in foreign territories, or trust the numbers that tell us to bench Moneyball against a notoriously tough curveball pitcher? Considering that the baseball film has struck out more often than Pitt has reached base, is it really that hard a call to make in an economic climate like this?

I assume that the main cratering would occur in the lucrative European market, where baseball doesn’t play. I guess any offset from Japan, Korea, and the Caribbean — the main non-U.S. hotspots for the sport — wouldn’t be enough to make a bases-loaded an international hit. Globalization strikes out!

Actually, that $50-million budget figure has a ring of irony to it, as far as the principles behind “Moneyball” are concerned. Six years ago, when the Oakland A’s were first turning heads with their sabermetrics strategy, Billy Beane himself threw some cold water on the ultimate potential of his penny-pinching teambuilding:

Beane actually said this after [Game 5 of the 2003 American League Division Series, versus Boston]: “I’ll tell you one thing, if you want to give me $50 million more, I’ll promise you we won’t blow the 2-0 lead.”

Since then, the A’s still haven’t gotten particularly close to a World Series, so I guess Beane is still looking for that extra $50 million for his payroll. Hey! Maybe Beane can persuade Sony to fork over that now-unused $50 million to him, and have the money go to some use after all.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 06/22/2009 11:05am
Category: Baseball, Celebrity, Movies, SportsBiz
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Saturday, June 20, 2021

It’s a testament to my lack of insider-ness that I’d never heard of A-listing party blog Guest of a Guest, nor of its highly-visible driving force Rachelle Hruska, until last week. And even then, it was only because both were featured attractions at some Web 2.0/social media mixer in Midtown (which I didn’t attend, but got wind of beforehand and afterward).

Judging by the meteoric ascent of GofG and Hruska, it would have been only a matter of time before they became culturally ubiquitous anyway:

Ms. Hruska arrived in Manhattan in 2005 to work as a nanny, after graduating from Creighton University, a Jesuit school in Omaha, and ended up an Internet entrepreneur — a small-town-girl-makes-good tale, with a New Media gloss.

Guest of a Guest chronicles night life from the city and the Hamptons through dozens of daily posts and photographs. For followers of such coverage, the coin of the realm has traditionally been exclusivity, a sneering velvet-roped rejection. But GofG, as it calls itself, gives civilian readers the illusion that they can attend these parties, too, as virtual guests. Who would believe that the effusiveness of Nebraska Nice could sell? But in bad-news times, maybe that’s precisely why it does: the site, Ms. Hruska said, which began on April 1, 2008, broke even just this month.

The main draw of Guest of a Guest is its interactive show, not tell. Ms. Hruska invites visitors to identify themselves in the party photos, automatically setting up their own page — or “gallery”— on the site. Venues and events also have their own pages. By capitalizing on the bottomless self-regard of the city’s young partygoers, Ms. Hruska generates waves of buzz, as well as the branding, bartering and back-scratching that attracts readers, party sponsors and advertisers.

“Inside the Web world, there’s a healthy respect for anyone who gets attention and traffic,” said Lockhart Steele, the founder of Curbed.com, a network of urban blogs, and a former editorial director of Gawker Media. “And she’s definitely done that.”

Internet Famous via big-city club-scene schmoozing. Can’t do that in Nebraska.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/20/2009 11:52am
Category: Celebrity, Internet, New Yorkin'
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Saturday, June 06, 2021

I don’t know if this cover art for Britney Spears‘ single “Kill the Lights” came out at the same time as when the track was “leaked” online, back in November. Possibly it’s much newer than that, having come out after the “Circus” album was released in December.

Either way, it’s new to me. And while the song is pretty weak, I’m enchanted with its accompanying visual. I particularly like the arm-length leather gloves, and how they provide a strong contrasting frame for Britney’s hair and face. Simple composition overall, but well done.

Too bad the song doesn’t live up to its title. I like “kill the lights” as a lyrical hook. Something to remix, maybe…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/06/2021 07:05pm
Category: Celebrity, Photography, Pop Culture, Women
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Tuesday, June 02, 2021

Since I’m still too bleary-eyed this morning from staying up late to watch Conan O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” debut, I’ll appropriate Tom Shales’ deft prose in way of assessment:

By the time he finally appeared, many viewers may already have had their fills of O’Brien, who has gone from being the proprietor of an endearingly zany curiosity shop — “Late Night,” airing at 12:35 — to being the impresario at the center of a gleaming circus maximus, resplendent on a gorgeous new set in a huge refurbished studio on the Universal lot in Los Angeles.

I definitely felt there was too much Conan-centric content, particularly with those prolonged taped segements. Probably because of that, there was too little interaction with his supporting cast, namely Andy Richter and Max Weinberg, both of whom provided solid comedic contributions on the 12:30 slot. Overall, there seemed to be too much emulation of the previous Leno regime’s style.

But then again, this is to be expected. One show isn’t enough to pass judgment, and especially not the premiere, when it makes sense to overemphasize the new guy in charge. I don’t expect O’Brien and company to hit their stride until after this week’s overblown rollout concludes. After that, the show will settle into a regular pace that hopefully reintroduces elements from “Late Night”.

Oh, and as for the picture above these words: A leftover from last year’s WGA strike effort. Just happens to be the only photo of O’Brien I have stored, but aside from that, I like it. And I still think he looks like a guest-starring warlock from “Bewitched”, and should play off that in a skit (provided he ever goes back to that playoff-beard look).

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/02/2021 10:59am
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, TV
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Sunday, May 31, 2021

There was a moment during the final episode of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” that’s really bugged me, and confirms what a douchebag Leno really is:

In the final minutes, as he was doing the customary thank-yous to everyone involved in his 17-year run on the show, Leno mentioned all the camera operators, production workers, and other behind-the-scene workers. He then put special emphasis on how all those folks are union employees, and that “Tonight” was a union-produced show, and that he was “very proud of that”.

Strange hearing that, considering that Leno prominently disregarded the picket lines during 2008’s Writers Guild of America television and film industry strike by performing scripted material on his show. As a WGA member, he was expressly forbidden from doing that, and the fact that the other late-night talkshow hosts (including his successor, Conan O’Brien) adhered to the strike rules made Leno’s actions that much more objectionable. No two ways about it, he was a scab.

So basically, Leno supports a union shop — except as it might apply to him personally.

Like I said, a douchebag, and a hypocritical one at that. Either his memory is short, or he assumes the audience’s is. I guess everyone else’s recall is just that short-term, because I’ve seen no one else call out Leno on this. All the media reports on his 11:30 swansong have focused on the schmaltzy sendoff he gave himself, including that cloyingly-sweet group picture with a bunch of children at the end.

Appropriate actually, because it really emphasizes how predictably lowest-common-denominator Leno’s schtick is, and how exploitative he really is. He can rot on his new 10PM gig.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/31/2009 06:18pm
Category: Business, Celebrity, TV
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Friday, May 29, 2021

one turntable and no microphone
The chief reason why I never sought out to play “Guitar Hero” or “Rock Band” was because, frankly, I considered gyrating with that plastic guitar controller to be extremely dorky, no better than air-guitaring.

But a videogame-enabled plastic oldstyle vinyl-record turntable, hearkening back to the golden age of rap? That I’ll gladly indulge in, via the musical fantasy-fulfillment spin-off (pun!) “DJ Hero”. No, nothing at all dorky about simulated needle-scratchin’…

I’m actually not running out to buy this game kit, along with a current-generation gaming console on which to play it. But plenty of other wannabe DJs will, which is what’s prompting Jay-Z, Eminem, and other musicians to contribute their work into this outlet:

The complete list of tracks the rappers are providing is still being worked out. Jay-Z plans on including Izzo (H.O.V.A.) and Dirt Off Your Shoulder for sure. Also possible: tracks from his in-the-works Blueprint 3 album. “I have a ton of content, I just need the pipeline,” he says. “I love the freedom of (DJ Hero). I could wake up tomorrow morning with the idea for a song and call the guys at Activision and start working on getting it out.”

Jay-Z has certainly gotten the religion about videogames as an effective and lucrative channel for delivering music. That pipeline seems like a goldmine, despite a recent slump in the genre’s sales.

What I find most amusing: That a good chunk of the fans playing “DJ Hero” will never have come in contact with a turntable in any other context, given the demise of mass-market vinyl. I’m sure the youngest of tykes will assume that it was never anything else but a videogames controller.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 05/29/2009 07:42pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, Videogames
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Wednesday, May 27, 2021

My casual skimming on an article about the auctioning off Marilyn Monroe’s and Elvis Presley’s more obscure personal effects was stopped cold by this detail:

Medical paraphernalia from Elvis Presley’s doctor is also listed in the Julien’s Auctions catalogue, including a nasal douche and his leather bag.

A nasal douche? Seriously? Was the King snorting such a huge quantity of foreign substances toward the end, that an ordinary tissue didn’t suffice in clearing out the sinus passages?

Suddenly, the fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches don’t seem nearly as bizarre.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/27/2009 10:09pm
Category: Celebrity, Science
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Monday, May 25, 2021

I had absolutely no intention of Twitter-following Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor.

But that was before I saw that he was using a Robotron: 2084 graphic for his @trent_reznor avatar. Since I’m rather fond of that game myself, and like to use the above screenshot image detail as a default glyph for this blog’s Videogames category, that was enough for me to click on the Follow button.

I don’t know how often Reznor switches out his avatar. I suppose as soon as he does, I’ll have an excuse to unfollow him. Wouldn’t be the first time I determined what appears in my Twitter-stream content on the basis of those little pictures.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/25/2009 02:55pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, Social Media Online, Videogames
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Celebrity stalking, 140 characters at a time? That seems to be the premise behind a planned Twitter-based television show:

The social-networking service has teamed with Reveille productions and Brillstein Entertainment to develop an unscripted series based on the site, which invites brief, 140-character postings from members all over the world.

The show would harness Twitter to put players on the trail of celebrities in a competitive format.

The producers call their planned series the first to bring the immediacy of Twitter to the TV screen.

“Competitive format” tweeting? Sounds a bit shaky to me. And I’m sure it’ll piss off the hardcore Twitterati by deflecting focus away from regular folks, in favor of the likes of @THE_REAL_SHAQ, @oprah, and @britneyspears.

If this TMZ-patterned concept tanks, maybe they can repurpose it by selling it to C-SPAN as a Congressional online reality show.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/25/2009 01:05pm
Category: Celebrity, Politics, Social Media Online, TV
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Friday, May 22, 2021

tweet tweet biiitch
Perhaps only Andy Milonakis could have crafted this white-boy rap shout-out called “Let Me Twitter Dat”:

Nicely captures tweet-compulsive disorder. @andymilonakis himself doesn’t really suffer from it, nor does his collaborator @KooolKojak (is KK also Greek like Andy — is “Kojak” a clue?).

I miss Andy’s old show

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 05/22/2009 12:04pm
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Internet, Social Media Online
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Thursday, May 21, 2021

Just a thought:

If I were Princess Superstar, I’d be mighty pissed about Lady Gaga not only stealing my bad-girl rapper/dancehall queen schtick, but also riding it to big-time mainstream success.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/21/2009 04:07pm
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture, Women
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Monday, May 18, 2021

If you’re the type that still clings to a TV news anchorman as some sort of authoritative voice to deliver you the news, then the idea of that same talking-head grooving as a music blogger is probably jarring. But that’s the incongruity you’re stuck with, should you come across BriTunes or Amplified, the pop-culture side projects of the two frontmen at NBC News and ABC News:

[ABC's Dan] Harris, 37, anchors ABC’s “World News” on Sundays and is a general assignment reporter who spent six months in Iraq. He has a “Nightline” piece coming this week on children in the Congo being accused of witchcraft and subjected to abusive exorcisms. [NBC's Brian] Williams, who turned 50 last month, is a news traditionalist with such a formal manner on “Nightly News” that his bosses once worried that viewers would have a hard time relating to him.

Their musical credentials were met with some suspicion in the rock world. “There is sort of a feeling of ‘What are these interlopers doing in our special little space?’” Harris said.

If the hard news business ever goes soft, I suppose Harris and Williams could apply for jobs at Pitchfork

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/18/2009 11:07am
Category: Bloggin', Celebrity, Pop Culture, TV
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Saturday, May 16, 2021

Whenever an old episode of “Good Times” pops up that includes the bit character Lenny, I can’t help but wonder whatever happened to Dap Sugar Willie. Who, as you can see from the album cover above, was from north Philadelphia.

The online record is pretty thin. While he made a handful of movie and TV appearances in the ’70s and ’80s, his bigger claim to fame was as a local standup comic who released a couple of Redd Foxx-style adults-only comedy albums. In fact, it appears that he and Foxx were compatriots, which led to Willie’s first television gigs on “Sanford and Son”. But there’s scant information about Willie after his heyday. There’s an unconfirmed report of his death a few years back; if he is still alive, he’s dropped well out of sight.

Not that Willie was a remarkable onscreen presence. But there was something about him that was memorable: The cadence in the way he delivered his lines, that weird longhair-moustache facial combo, and especially that handbrush he would pull out to brush himself off after getting dissed. One of a kind, if nothing else.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/16/2009 07:10pm
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, TV
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Sunday, May 10, 2021

When criticism hit over a Yanni concert in Pittsburgh forcing the scheduling of uncommon (but not unheard of) back-to-back playoff games this weekend for the Penguins and Capitals in their National Hockey League playoff series, I highly doubt that anyone expected the singer musician himself to weigh in on the situation:

Yanni didn’t express apologies or regrets. He instead cited his experience “as a former national champion swimmer” for native country Greece.

“I empathize with the athletes competing in the NHL playoffs and understand the pressures under which they perform,” the statement said.

Early in the series, Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said it was “a shame” that the teams were forced to play back-to-back games, calling it “bad for the league, both fan bases and for the players.”

Of special note: Ted Leonsis just happens to be Greek American (as am I, incidentally). So I don’t know if his team getting bumped by a fellow Hellene had anything to do with Leonsis’ carping.

As for Yanni, any chance of my ability to take his feta-cheesiness at all seriously ended when one of his videos appeared on “Beavis and Butt-head” long ago. The killing stroke: During a tender scene when Yanni’s lover is walking away from him down a sunset-lit beach as he looks on longingly, Butt-head quips, “She’s leaving him because he sucks, huh-huh.”

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/10/2021 10:56pm
Category: Celebrity, Hockey, Pop Culture
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