Quote of the Weekend:
"Pete Rose thought BET was named after him... LeBron, if you'd gone to college you'd be laughing at that right now." Host Jamie Foxx making friends on the ESPY Awards.
The ESPY Awards
The real honors should go to the presumably overworked editors who cobbled together a lengthy stream of flashy, quick-cutting montages that were used for the seven-minute opener and each of the night's categories. I got exhausted just thinking of those poor bastards in dark cutting rooms until, I bet, the wee hours of the morning. As for the rest of the show, host Jamie Foxx, who seemed to be his own biggest fan at times, reprised his heartfelt musical overture to Serena Williams called "I Wanna Be Your Tennis Ball." He had three other guys harmonizing with him, and I, like Samuel L. Jackson in the front row of the audience, found myself unintentionally humming along.
Big winners included the Detroit Pistons for Best Team; Lance Armstrong for Best Male Athlete; and UConn basketball player Diana Taurasi for Best Female Athlete. And Miracle won for Best Sports Movie over, among other films, Dodgeball. Huh? What?
Da Ali G Show
Anyone can ask a dumb question, but it does take some skill and creativity to get a funny answer back. Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's alter ego, Ali G, was best when he was out in the field in this Season 2 premiere. (Never mind the opening interview with a trying-too-hard Sam Donaldson. Eh, it could've been worse, I guess.) In the segment focusing on bomb-sniffing dogs, Ali asks an ATF agent, "Why don't you choose a more intelligent animal, like a dolphin?" to which the exasperated guy replies, "That'd be quite difficult to have a fish tank on a cart." It's hard to argue with that. I mean, I could, but I'm kinda tired right now.
If you weren't touched and inspired by Alice Coles' story of triumph, I don't know what to tell you. Since 1995, this single mother has fought to relocate her community in rural Bayview, Virginia. They literally were all living in shacks in essence, "squalor" as Ed Bradley described it. No running water or indoor plumbing. No insulation of any kind. Dangerous, substandard electrical wiring. All for about $30 a month. Bradley told the saga of how Coles, through sheer will and increasing savvy, pressured government agencies to provide real housing for the area. You could just feel her determination during the interview. That cliché "One person can make a difference" does indeed mean something.
I Love the '90s: 1991
What other show has James Michael Tyler (Gunther from Friends) talking about Clarence Thomas; Venus Williams commenting on Gerardo and his one hit "Rico Suave"; Wendy "the Snapple Lady" Kaufman drooling over Brad Pitt; and ESPN's Stuart Scott pontificating on Urkel? Most importantly and I say this with deep, deep reverence let it be known that Michael Ian Black (formerly of Ed) is the driest SOB out there.
Pepsi Edge Commercial
This spot, featuring Scrubs star Donald Faison, starts with the actor valiantly trying to open a jar of pickles, and ends with him rewarding himself with the soft drink for accomplishing this feat. I'm so gullible that for about 17 seconds I wondered why Faison would shill something as arguably lame as pickles. (No offense to the all-powerful pickle industry, by the way.) That's the point I imagine, but I still felt like an idiot.
Years ago Barbara Walters got an undeserved reputation for asking oddball, pretentious questions like "What type of tree would you be?" This started innocently enough with an interview with Katharine Hepburn that at one point went kinda like this:
Hepburn: "...I'm a very strong I've become a sort of, you know, thing."
Walters: "What [thing]?"
Hepburn: "I don't know what. You know, someone's tree or something."
Walters: "What kind of a tree are you, if you think you're a tree now?"
Hepburn: "...Oh, I'd like everybody would like to be an oak tree. That's very strong and very pretty."
See, Walters was just an innocent interviewer taken out of context. So why do I mention this now? Because on Friday night, Walters, well aware of her previous "slip," asked the newly sentenced Martha Stewart about a fur stole that the domestic diva had been criticized for wearing outside the courthouse. And that inquiry lead to this scintillating exchange:Stewart: "That was faux fur...soft and cuddly, that's all it was." Walters: [confused] "What's soft and cuddly?" Stewart: "Soft and cuddly the little scarf." Walters: "Oh, not you, soft and cuddly." Stewart: "No, the scarf is soft and cuddly." [laughs] Walters: "Are you soft and cuddly?" Stewart: "Sometimes, of course I am." Yes, Babs' hard-hitting follow-up question was "Are you soft and cuddly?" Ahhh, and the legend continues...
Late Show with David Letterman
Three observations that, for better or worse, show that I've been a Letterman fan for a l-o-n-g time:
1. It appears Dave's assistant Stephanie has picked up another nickname. First there was "Monte," then "Smitty" and now finally there's "Kitty."
2. The Hula Hoop Girl who, along with the Grinder Girl, appears in the "Will It Float?" segments, had different hair this time, I think.
3. Whenever comedian Bob Sarlatte, a good friend of Dave's, is on the show I keep asking myself who the hell he reminds me of, but it never comes to me. So of course once again it happened. However, this time Sarlatte's appearance was followed by a commercial for the new film Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. And there was Fred Willard. Fred Willard! That's it! That's who Sarlatte reminds me of! Now I can sleep soundly.