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August 28, 2015


Comedy mission accomplished: Newark mayor booked on Conan

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 13th 2009 6:29PM
Newark Mayor Cory Booker booked on The Tonight ShowYou've got to give Cory Booker credit: he could have completely fallen on his face trying to match Conan O'Brien laugh for laugh. I mean, politicians are never the most talented folks in the humor department to begin with; even armed with his speechwriters, the Newark mayor was bringing pop guns to the comedic battle with the dual cannons Conan and his veteran writing staff could bring. But he held his own. Now he can reap his reward: Booker's been booked on The Tonight Show for October 16.

Newark hasn't been in this big of an entertainment spotlight since Howard Stern hosted his New Year's Eve beauty pageant there fifteen years ago. So if Booker had to throw out some semi-lame jokes and suffer some gentle ribbing from Conan in order to get his city some publicity, so be it.

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TV Squad Soap Report: No experience necessary

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 11th 2008 2:02PM
soap logo tvsExecutive experience. We've been hearing an awful lot in the media lately about what constitutes executive experience and how important it is when a person gets the chance at an important position. Well, you know what I've learned while watching soap operas? Experience is overrated. Anyone can be a CEO or mayor or run a company, it's easy.

Take Donna on The Bold and the Beautiful. Until recently, Donna was a model. She used her beautiful body, great features and dazzling smile to show the finest in Forrester Creations. Now, due to her husband's heart attack which resulted in a coma, Donna has taken over the company and appointed herself CEO. It doesn't matter than Donna's never designed a thing or knows how to mass produce, market and distribute a clothing line. Never mind that she couldn't balance her checkbook let alone the bottom line of an international fashion business. Because she had Eric's power of attorney, she took control of the company. Executive leadership was something that she absorbed from Eric, right? Like osmosis or transference. Yeah, right.

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Telemundo reporter suspended

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 3rd 2007 2:02PM

Mirthala Salinas; Antonio VillaraigosaEgad, it's like a real-life telenovela in Los Angeles.

Here's what happened last month: Mirthala Salinas, a reporter for Telemundo station KVEA, Channel 52 in Los Angeles was suspended for two months after an investigation revealed she had been having an affair with Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Salinas herself, previous to the affair being exposed, reported the separation of Villaraigosa and his wife on the air. She was suspended for violating "conflict of interest" policies.

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Town rejects Sopranos filming permit

by Julia Ward, posted Mar 9th 2007 2:24PM
Holstens Ice Cream ParlorPermits have been denied to the producers of The Sopranos to film in the town of Bloomfield, New Jersey on the basis of the show's "offensive depiction" of Italian-Americans. The producers had intended to film the series' final scene at Holsten's Brookdale Confectionery in Bloomfield. The permits for shooting were approved and then revoked after complaints reached Mayor Raymond McCarthy who was quoted as saying, "I don't think The Sopranos depicts the life of a typical Italian-American in a positive way, and I still don't like the way people see New Jersey based upon The Sopranos series." (The way people saw New Jersey pre-Sopranos was apparently downright Utopian.)

The filming permits are being reviewed again next week because of the flood of calls supporting Holsten's, the actual shooting location. As council member Peggy O'Boyle Dunigan said, "If you don't like the show, you can turn it off. It's hard enough to have a small business in town. I don't want to discourage them." If they get the permits, I guess we know where The Sopranos will finally end - in an ice cream parlor - hopefully, not in the freezer.

A loophole has been found because Holsten's is a commercial space. Filming will proceed as planned.

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CBS cancels The Waterfront

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 19th 2006 9:45AM

Joe PantolianoI know, I know, you're saying, Bob, what the hell is Waterfront?

It's (or it was) a new political drama starring Joe Pantoliano as the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island. The network ordered 13 episodes of the Warner Brothers show...but pulled the plug on the show before any of the episodes aired. The reason? CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler said she was "unhappy with the show's creative direction."

Ouch. Since other Warner Brothers shows are doing either poorly or so-so (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Nine, The Class), this hasn't been a great fall for the studio.

I actually have a friend who worked on the show, so I'll try to get some info about it what happened.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Joy's Ex

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 23rd 2006 10:01AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E16) This is an early review.

Avid viewers of Tom Goes to the Mayor know that Tom, no matter how hard he tries, will never be respected by anyone, whether it be his friends, family, or the members of the city council. Of course, it's difficult to blame these people because despite being "full of ideas," the concepts Tom comes up with are usually rather asinine. What I liked the most about this episode is that while Tom still served as the whipping boy, he was actually the voice of reason throughout the entire episode.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Puddins

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 17th 2006 8:01AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E15) This is an early review.

Tragedy strikes Tom and his step-family when his son Brindon dies from a pudding buffet food overdose. The poor kid actually ate so much pudding he literally exploded at his birthday party. Tom is distraught, but he doesn't get much sympathy from the Mayor or anyone else. Whenever Tom brings it up people just laugh at the hilarious way his son died. Tom has trouble letting go and carries a framed picture of his stepson, and also builds a shrine to him in his front yard.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Undercover

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 11th 2006 11:59AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E14) The city of Jefferton has a problem: dangerous levels of starch are plaguing the residents, and Tom Peters is very concerned for his family. He's even purchased an Eez-Zee Stool Strips tester so he can make sure his stepsons don't have too much starch in their system. The machine, as demonstrated in an infomercial, is easy to use. In fact, you can test your stool on a bus in less than ten minutes. All you have to do is lick the tester, stir it around in your stool, enter the number that comes up into the machine, and then hold your thumbs on the special identicators for two minutes (it helps if you have some stool on your thumbs).

It turns out Tom's stepsons do have high levels of starch in their system, which he suspects to be the fault of the food they're eating at school. The Mayor suggests he and Tom go undercover, Tom as a student, and himself as the vice-principal. To fit in with the young crowd, Tom has a special surgery in which his knees and shinbones are removed and his feet are reattached to the bottom of his thighs. Also, his vocal chords are removed and stretched on a tiny rack in order to change his voice. The result is a dwarfish version of Tom with a voice that sounds like he's been inhaling helium.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Glass Eyes

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 4th 2006 11:18AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E14) If you check out the Adult Swim schedule grid, the words "Worst episode ever" are written next to this particular episode. The men and monkeys who run Adult Swim have never been above a bit of self deprecation, but I actually thought this episode was pretty damn hilarious.

The show opens with the Mayor poking Tom in the eye with a sharp metal rod. It's okay, though, because Tom's eye is made of glass. It seems he had an accident while playing with his step-sons. Tom, however, isn't there just to have his eye poked buy the inquisitive Mayor, he's there to sell hoagies for the annual Father/Son Barrel Goat Hunt, in which the father/son teams hunt the dreaded barrel goat, a creature that is driven insane by the scent of pickle barrels. The Mayor has never heard of a hoagie (he pronounces it "hoogie") before, and he can't get enough of the sandwiches. He also takes a liking to Tom's glass eye and buys two for himself, which of course makes it difficult for him to see and move around.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Couple's Therapy

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 25th 2006 7:30PM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E13) This is an early review.

Tom Peters has a less than stellar marriage, and it's been implied, though never blatantly shown, that his wife Joy might be unfaithful. The real question doesn't seem to be why Joy cheats on Tom, but how an ugly screaming whale of a woman like her would be able to find someone willing to make love to her. Of course, plenty of men dig the rotund dames, but Joy manages to make herself unpleasant in so many other ways that seems like a moot point.

Part of enjoying Tom Goes to the Mayor --and I think by this point those who don't enjoy the show have moved on to other things-- is that it exists in a world pretty much void of any adherence to physical or moral laws. Tom has been killed, gone to hell, inexplicably transported both his father and the Mayor to an airplane in mid-flight, and been trapped underwater with a tiny man trapped inside him. He's also married to a woman who hates his guts, and it's never made clear why they're married. If you start asking these kind of questions, though, you really shouldn't be watching the show in the first place.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Layover

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 19th 2006 8:50AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E12) This is an early review.

Bob Balaban plays Tom's father in this episode, and I must say he was the perfect choice. He and Tim Heidecker, who plays Tom, have the same kind of soft-spoken, halted delivery, and it seems perfectly natural they would be father and son, even if Walt doesn't seem to care much for Tom.

The episode opens at the airport with Tom waiting for his father's flight to arrive. We assume he's visiting his son, but actually it's just an eleven minute layover (which is, funny enough, also the length of the episode). Tom doesn't let his father's lack of time keep him from making a minute by minute itinerary, which includes a father/son embrace (tentative). Tom's father sells fish coolers called "Coldinizers" and he doesn't want to miss his flight, else he lose all his sales on the Eastern seaboard. Tom insists they have time to do everything on the list, however.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Friendship Alliance

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 5th 2006 9:03AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E10) One of the things that has made this season of Tom Goes to the Mayor so great is the guest stars. They haven't just used comedians with the same knack for irreverence as Tim and Eric, such as Tom Kenny and Michael Ian Black, but also actors like Judd Hirsch and Robert Loggia who aren't necessarily strangers to comedic acting, but simply have a different approach. Watching Black act like a goofball is fun and all, but it's not surprising. Seeing Hirsch behave in a similar fashion is surprising because we're not used to seeing him that way, and it makes the show all the more fun to watch.

John C. Reilly, a man known for dramatic, albeit quirky, roles in film, shows off his comedic chops in this episode as a mentally-unbalanced man who befriends Tom through a MySpace-like site called "Friendship Alliance." Tom hasn't even been on the site for more than a minute when John sends him a message to meet at Sauceman's, a "house-style saucehouse restaurant" where you can dip your food into over 3,000 different sauces. Tom was only logging onto the site to add his profile (he's the step-grandpop of a baby wolf-child), but since he's the easy-going sort he accepts John's invitation.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: CNE

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 29th 2006 12:01PM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E09) This is an early review courtesy of Adult Swim Fix, so don't read if you want to wait until Sunday night to see the episode.

I love Michael Ian Black, but I'm not in love with him. You know what I mean? A person can have everything you want in a comedian, but somehow he just can't turn you on the way you need. You end up having to sneak out at night to get your comedy satisfaction elsewhere, or even worse, you sneak off to the bathroom after he's finished his routine and he walks in and catches you reading a joke book. With a look of mortification and deep personal shame he shouts, "What, I'm not enough for you?!"

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Spray a Carpet or Rug

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 17th 2006 12:35AM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E07) This episode begins with Tom sitting in a jail cell with another prisoner (Judd Hirsch) who's in jail because he locked his fifteen year old nephew in the cellar over the weekend for pooping and peeing all over his house. Tom, on the other hand, is in jail for killing about four thousand people. His cell mate reacts to this news with, "people are too sensitive these days."

Tom's tale of woe begins when he becomes a salesman for a new device called "Spray a Carpet or Rug," a gigantic machine that emits a foam that turns into carpet instantaneously. The Mayor loves the device because he can carpet all of Jefferton and not have to pay the "lawn mower man" who takes care of the grass and has been pestering the Mayor about a raise. The city council allows Tom to do a test run on Memorial Park, so Tom dons his chemical suit (the foam causes him seizures) and carpets the whole park.

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Tom Goes to the Mayor: Saxman

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 8th 2006 12:31PM

tom goes to the mayor(S02E06) This is an early review, courtesy of Adult Swim Fix. The actually episode will air Sunday evening, as usual.

I never would have thought Robert Loggia and Tom Goes to the Mayor would be a good match, but his role in this episode as the owner of a waterbed store was just one of the things that made this episode probably the best one of the season so far. Loggia plays Lew, the owner of Lew's Waterbed Galleria, a store that's actually on the lake, so people don't pay local taxes. While Tom is hanging out on the boardwalk where the store is located, he runs into a street musician he calls "Saxman" (Tom Kenny). Saxman not only plays soprano saxophone, but he also plays a "digital chime box" with his feet. Tom loves the Saxman's music, and when he finds out the Saxman is going to be kicked off the boardwalk by Lew the waterbed man, Tom decides to let him stay in his front yard in a pup tent, even though his wife is out of town visiting her ex-husband and doesn't like Tom to have men over when she's away.

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