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October 10, 2015


Tony Bennett on NBC tonight

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 21st 2006 5:17PM

tony bennettBennett? I think I broke it!

Sorry, punchline to an old joke, couldn't help myself. Anyway, Tony Bennett, whose albums have made the charts in every decade since the 1950s, will sing a series of duets this evening with the likes of Barbara Streisand, Elton John, Christina Aguilera, John Legend, Diana Krall, k.d. lang and Michael Buble. Tony Bennett: An American Classic, which celebrates Bennett's 80th birthday, airs tonight at 8:00 on NBC and is directed by Rob Marshall, who also directed Chicago and Memoirs of Geisha. The tribute will include big production numbers and stories about Bennett from folks such as Billy Crystal and John Travolta.

Call me old fashioned, but I'd rather just see Tony on stage by himself singing his hits and a few standards without all the extravagance and folderol, but what the heck, it's good to acknowledge that he's still influencing artists from different generations.

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Muppet Christmas album out next month

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 23rd 2006 12:04PM
muppetsI know, I know, it's a bit early to be thinking about Christmas, but the ever-diligent Muppet News Flash is reporting that a brand new Muppet Christmas album will be out on October 17. The album, titled, "A Green and Red Christmas" will feature twelve holiday songs, and is retailing for about ten bucks, which is a pretty good bargain. I wonder though, what makes them think they'll ever be able to top the Christmas album the Muppets made with John Denver, possibly the greatest Christmas album of all time next to Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas? Not to mention the John Denver album is only $5.98 on Amazon. I'm just sayin'.

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A whole lotta TV themes

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 14th 2006 5:31PM
notesIf you're like me, besides being totally hot, you probably also get television theme songs stuck in your head all the time. I think the theme to Facts of Life is the one that goes through my head at least twenty times a day. I don't know if it's because it's catchy or because it really does get to the core of what life is really all about. You pretty much just take the good, the bad, and that's it. At any rate, Luis from Bunch of Nerds hepped us to a cool Web site with a lousy interface where you can find MP3s of pretty much any theme song you can think of. If you've been longing to hear the theme to Alice after all these years, this is your chance. Now chase that dream, my fellow TV watchers.

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Hee Haw marathon on CMT

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 21st 2006 10:01AM
hee hawIt's time to hike up your overalls, dust off your cornballs, pluck your chicken-ducks, tweedle-dee your slap happy banjo monkey, and come up with other assorted country-fried colloquialisms that don't make any sense because CMT will be hosting a Hee Haw marathon on July 29 that'll air from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. According to Sitcoms Online, this is the first time reruns of the long-running variety show and musical showcase have been on television in nearly a decade. Also, the last two episodes of the marathon will be repeats of episodes shown earlier during the marathon, which is kind of a gyp, considering they only had like eighty-billion episodes to pick from. Future showings of the popular series will cover every episode that aired from 1969 to 1991.

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South Park creators will mock Mormons in song

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 22nd 2006 8:06AM
mormonsThis may come as a shock to many of you, but South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are going to make fun of a group of people. I know, it took me a few moments to adjust to this news, as well. Weren't these the guys who held a press conference and tearfully apologized for attempting to show the prophet Muhammad during one of their episodes? Oh, wait, that was actually Bizzaro Matt and Trey. I make that mistake all the time. The real Matt and Trey are sharpening their satirical swords for a new Broadway musical about Mormons (seriously, what is it with these guys and Mormons?) The currently untitled musical is being developed with Jeff Marx, a writer for the gay-themed musical Avenue Q.

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Short-Lived Shows: Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak

by Adam Finley, posted May 24th 2006 9:08AM
brakYou know how The Brady Bunch was a decent enough show, but then they pushed their luck a little too far with that Brady Bunch Variety Hour nonsense? Even diehard fans had to say, "Okay, seriously people, that's enough." Well, that was sorta my response to Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak, which aired as part of the Adult Swim block and lasted for only two episodes in 2000, placing it chronologically between two much better series featuring Brak: Cartoon Planet and The Brak Show (not to be confused with Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak). The show utilized Brak's singing "talent" quite a bit, just as Cartoon Planet had, but it essentially felt like a gussied up version of Cartoon Planet (although we did get to finally see the lower half of his body, which was always obscured on Cartoon Planet). Of course, I say this as a huge fan of the nonsensical, stream-of-consciousness ramblings that Brak so gleefully delved into, but Brak Presents the Brak Show Starring Brak, much like its title, seemed to cross the line from goofy to just superfluous.

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Borrowing songs from other shows

by Adam Finley, posted May 9th 2006 3:33PM
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alvin and the chipmunksRecently I mentioned that an episode of Prison Break used the song "Teardrop" by Massive Attack during a montage. It just so happens that "Teardrop" is also the theme to another FOX program, House. Taking this concept to the next level, TVgasm asks what it would be like if segments of other programs began to use songs from other TV shows. They have a hilarious clip featuring a few scenes, including one from 24, and footage of a convoy being attacked in the Sudan which doesn't seem quite as scary with the Alvin and the Chipmunks theme playing over it. Anyway, you should check it out. Meanwhile, I'll be kicking myself for not thinking of this idea first. 

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Rock out to some Strangers with Candy music

by Adam Finley, posted May 6th 2006 4:00PM

jerri blankIf you're looking forward to the Strangers with Candy movie as much as I am, you should check out these three songs from the movie, currently available for your listening pleasure over on CBS' Late Show site. The songs were written by Paul Dinello and Late Show bandleader Paul Shaffer. The first song, "Betrayal," sounds like a slightly modified version of the main theme of the TV series. I also dig the disco-y funk of "She's A Fig Neutron" which nicely describes Jerri's ample frame and her penchant for both the men and the ladies. Of course, "Schizophrenalize" isn't without its charm, either. All in all, the songs are pretty funny, though I wouldn't mind rocking out to a little Buddha Stalin, too. I guess we'll have to wait and see if he shows up in the movie. Not many people can sing the phrase "diarrhea milkshake" with such passion.

[via Best Week Ever]

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Cancel everything and watch Sesame Street the rest of the day

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 24th 2006 2:06PM

kermitI know a lot of people praise YouTube, but it's well-deserved praise. The site has become a depository for just about any old clip from any show, commercial, or video you can think of. In fact, there's a huge amount of Sesame Street clips on there, and one person has taken it upon themselves to provide links to almost one hundred classic and not-so-classic clips from the show. I'd like to say I was the one with that kind of time on my hands, but I wasn't. I mean, I have that much time on my hands, I'm just too lazy to actually compile all those videos. The clips include some favorites of mine, such as the Alligator King, Ladybug Picnic, Mahna Mahna, and Kermit's "News Flash" segments, which I always thought were some of the funniest segments on Sesame Street. No Muppet plays the straight man better than Kermit. Well, maybe Bert. Anyway, enjoy them all.

[via Waxy]

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The Five: Great Simpsons musical moments

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 12th 2006 5:50PM

simpsonsThe Simpsons receives plenty of well-deserved praise, but I think people take for granted the great music in the series, all composed by the great Alf Clausen. Clausen worked on several other TV series as well, including, funny enough, ALF. His contribution adds a great dimension to the show, so I thought it would be cool to use this episode of The Five to talk about our favorite musical moments from The Simpsons. Here's a few I like:

Jasper sings the theme from A Summer Place:  This is possibly my favorite Simpsons moment of all time, or a least in my top five. During the episode when Homer is telling his family how he was once in a popular barber shop quartet, there's a scene where they're auditioning new singers. Jasper chooses to sing the theme from A Summer Place, which doesn't actually have words, so he just keeps singing the words, "theeeeeme, from a suuummer plaaaaaace...." It cracks me up every time, but unfortunately I think that segment is cut out when the episode airs in syndication.

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Sesame Street lyricist dead at 68

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 27th 2006 11:07AM
free to be you and meWhile he's not as well-known as the prolific Joe Raposo, Bruce Hart, who  passed away last Tuesday of lung cancer, also left his musical mark on Sesame Street. Hart and his wife were one of the first writers hired for the children's program when it debuted in 1969. Bruce, along with writer Jon Stone, wrote the lyrics to the theme song. Folks who are around my age and older, however, might remember another contribution of Hart's. He penned the lyrics for the popular album and TV special "Free To Be You And Me" which featured celebrities such as Mel Brooks, Shel Silverstein, Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, and many others. My sister and I listened to that album all the time when we were kids. We used an antiquated device called a "record player."

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Fred Armisen's iTunes playlist

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 9th 2006 9:32AM
Fred Armisen, one of few funny things about Saturday Night Live these days, has a celebrity playlist on iTunes that is about unusual as Fred seems to be. The strangest track has to be "====" by Oval (pronounced o-VAL, according to Fred). I'm not even sure that it's music. It sounds like a sound check with an over-modulated microphone. Second most unusual track: Pocket Calculator by Kraftwerk. It sounds like a video game. Fred says he saw the band recently and "For their encore, they didn't appear on stage. It was robots of them. What is better than that? Seriously, what?" Okay, I have to agree that would be pretty awesome. The rest of the list includes familiar groups like Wilco, Talking Heads, Gorillaz, The Clash and Sleater-Kinney. And, of course, he included a Prince song. After all, Fred does a kick-ass impression of the guy.

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