It’s Friday, folks. Time to pry our eyes away from the stock market and the President’s poll numbers for a few minutes. And what better way to jumpstart the weekend than to partake of some pop culture jolts of joy.
GEORGE CARLIN’S BASEBALL AND FOOTBALL ROUTINE
I’ve listened to this at least 100 times over the years and it’s always funny. Thanks, George.
MONTY PYTHON’S MINISTRY OF SILLY WALKS
John Cleese is my favorite Python. This is one of his best bits.
THE NICHOLAS BROTHERS FROM ‘STORMY WEATHER’
I love everything about this: the music, the electricity, the dance moves that swirl like tornadoes.
BULLWINKLE J. MOOSE
Before Spongebob and Homer Simpson, there was this guy. Here, he offers a fine parody of the TV cop show.
I’ll always be indebted to Peter Gabriel (and a certain pair of dancing chickens) for this song.
Since everything from “Star Trek” to the Smurfs seems to be getting an upgrade these days, I’d say it’s high time to reboot a few music franchises that have gotten dusty over the years. See what you think of these, for starters:
Following in the food service footsteps of Kenny Rogers’ Roasters, the great Lynyrd Skynyrd is set to open a new restaurant, Lynyrd Skynyrd BBQ & Beer, this fall in Las Vegas. It begs the question: Why aren’t more musical acts getting in on the action? Fans are only too happy to buy their concert T-shirts and download their songs. Why wouldn’t they eat their favorite band’s turkey club sandwich? Here are some music-food combinations just crying out for franchises.
In honor of the new Green Lantern movie, here’s a tip of the cap to 12 people, places and things as cool as their emerald hue. Red and blue may get most of the attention, black may be more sophisticated and green itself may have had its name co-opted by the environmental movement, but these 12 are evergreens.
JOLLY GREEN GIANT
Aside from Mr. Clean, what fictional product spokesman is as ominously cool as the J.G. Giant? He barely speaks, we mainly only see his hands, AND we were willing to buy corn from him for years that didn’t even look like real corn!
For those unfamiliar with “The Godfather,” Moe is a Vegas casino owner who unwisely rebuffs Michael Corleone’s business offer. Not a week goes by among my circle of friends without at least one Moe Green reference. It’s great shorthand for misplaced indignation. Poor Moe.
NEW HAVEN GREEN
There are centuries of history here, but that’s not why I love the Green. I’ve sat here on a blanket with my wife and listened to music; started and finished road races; met friends for bike rides; strolled past before dinners and after bar hopping; attended more rallies than I can count. Life happens on this Green.
God bless Booker T & the MGs, and that Hammond organ.
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY
John Ford’s 1941 film is wonderful, but Richard Llewellyn’s book is a rich, soulful look at family, fate, love and hard work in a coal mining village in Wales. I’m a sucker for that stuff.
So jealous of this kid. Not only is he part of “Family Guy” and “Robot Chicken,” but he’s been in some of my favorite “Austin Powers” scenes.
Don’t know if the new movie is any good, but the Hal Jordan of the 1960s and ’70s was super good. I always got a kick out of the fact that he could manifest near-limitless energy into anything he wanted, and he often chose a huge, green boxing glove. Dumb as it sounds, that’s EXACTLY what most guys would do.
THE BIG GREEN MONSTER
I don’t have a horse in the whole Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, being a National League guy, but I have a healthy respect for any ballpark willing to replicate the exciting ricochets my friends and I experienced playing Wiffle Ball next to my parents’ house. There always has to be a Fenway Park.
Before there was the Kingpin, before there was Jabba the Hutt, there was Sydney Greenstreet. His voice was like molasses poured on sandpaper. Here’s a scene from a relatively minor work, 1948’s “The Woman in White.”
WINNING THE GREEN JACKET AT THE MASTERS
It’s the ugliest jacket everyone wants to have. I can’t think of a better way to honor it than to show the finish of the 1986 Masters.