Drew Carey’s in Cleveland

A pickin’ and a grinnin’ tribute to an  Oldie but Goodie

Drew Carey’s in Cleveland
With a big mug of beer.
He’s on t.v.
Coming in clear.

With a smile on his face
At the Drew Carey place
Drew’s telling his jokes
For all kind of folks.
He’s getting his yucks
With his “Oh, aw shucks.”
Drew Carey’s in Cleveland
Drinking his beer.

Mimi’s on the prowl
With her clownish scowl
At Winfred-Lauder.
Drew takes a powder
Away from his cube
To avoid their feud.
Drew Carey’s in Cleveland
Drinking his beer.

With Oswald and Lewis
And Kate, they’re the truest
Of friends in a bar
Where the keg is a star
And guzzling it down
Is the Talk of the Town.
Drew Carey’s in Cleveland
Drinking his beer.

Then Mimi bursts in
To the bar with a grin
And throws a big pie
Letting it fly
To splatter Drew’s face
In his drinking place.
Drew Carey’s in Cleveland
Drinking his beer.

Now Kate really pissed.
She puts up her fists.
“You’re ’bout to go down,
You sad little clown,”
Kate says with a frown.
Beats Mimi to the ground.
Drew Carey’s in Cleveland
Drinking his beer.

Now Mimi got wise
After that night’s demise.
She left Drew alone
Till Kate went and gone.
Then Mimi is back
Gives Drew such a whack.
Drew Carey’s in Cleveland
Drinking his beer.

Drew Carey’s in Cleveland
With a big mug of beer.
He’s on t.v.
Coming in clear.

Hire the Bozo

On the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the Global News Network, Stanley Lloyd Spenser III, third generation owner and CEO of GNN, sat at the head of the solid mahogany table in the corporate boardroom. He fumbled for the right words to say, words he knew would change the direction of the network, broadcast journalism, and most likely, the entire world.

“Hire The Bozo,” he said to his underling Kirk Kirfartagain, sitting across the table from him.

“But, sir, The Bozo hasn’t been seen for six months. The last he was seen was in Zwackystan.”

“You’re going to have to dun your duds, dude, and go find him.”

“But, sir, I’m allergic to traveling.”

His boss, The Third, picked up the phone next to him and buzzed his Administrative Assistant. “Miss Pinkhouse, come in here please.”

The door to the boardroom opened and Melicia Pinkhouse, Administrative Assistant to The Big Cheese, Stanley Lloyd 3, came into the room.

“Yes, sir,” Mel came back with.

“Take K. K. with you to the Banana Republic, get him some duds, and go with him to Zwackystan. You have to find The Bozo.”

“But, sir…” she said.

“And get going today. I want to see El Boz by the end of the week. We need him to save The Network. And possibly the whole world.”

“But, sir…” she said again.

“Don’t ‘but, Sir’ me. After all, I am the Commander-in-Chief of this here Network. And what I say goes.”

“But, sir…. she said again some more.

“Look, Britannia rules the waves. So salute the flag and get the hell to Zwacky before you loose your corporate head to someone who is the adventuresome type.”

“But I’m no Morton Stanley,” K. K. said.

“Neither am I,” The Third came back with. “That was my great-great-grandpappy.”

“But, sir…” Miss Pinkhouse interrupted.

“Look, Pinky…” The Third said.

And before you can count one-two-three, she jumped in with, “The Bozo is in my office, sir.”

The Third breathed a sigh of relief.

Three weeks later, The Bozo was the new Anchorman. The Third finally sold the network to TNP, which stands for Take-No-Prisoners, for an undisclosed few billion bucks. Then he retired and went to live on his ranch in Hawaii, called the Big Pineapple. He moved with his actress wife, Playne Rhonda, who had won three Academy Awards for portraying actresses in distress. In her youth, she had protested the War in Grenada, then converted and become a Born-Again Born-Againer. She also had a new line of pregnant wear called Pregs for Pregs, and had a new series of highly successful exercise videos called “Out of body, out of mind.”

Stan and Playne lived happily ever after. That is, until The Third was asked to take over TNP and make it as successful as GNN had been. And he did that too. After he got his divorce.

Binge-worthy

I prefer movies to tv shows. But occasionally I strike gold with a tv series. “Lonesome Dove,” “The Sopranos,” “NYPD Blue,” “Deadwood,” HBO’s “Rome.” And now “Downton Abbey.” And when I watched these, it was like reading a great novel.

For six seasons, PBS gave us an updated version of “Upstairs Downstairs.” Only this one was in a great house in the country. While “Upstairs Downstairs” covered the twenty-seven years from 1903 to 1930, the “Downton Abbey” years are 1912 to 1926. But both series have one thing in common, the tremendous changes in British society and how its people, including the aristocracy, had to adapt. Throughout the series, the devastation of World War One, the changing role for women, and the new job opportunities for the working class will play an important part in the story of Downtown Abbey.

“Downton Abbey” is a family story with all the challenges, conflicts and triumphs that families have. Though there is an upstairs and a downstairs, we come to see that downstairs is as much a part of the family as upstairs.

Downton Abbey is the home of Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), and his wife, Cora (Elizabeth McGovern). They live at Downton with their three daughters, Mary (Michelle Dockery), Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Sybil (Sybil). Downstairs are the butler, Carson (Jim Carter), the housekeeper Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan), the cook Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol). Daisy the cook’s maid (Sophie McShera) and the footman Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier). And watching over this household is the Dowager Violet Crawley, Lord Robert’s mother (Maggie Smith), just down the way.

In the opening season, Lord Robert learns that his heir lost his life on the Titanic. Since a woman cannot inherit the estate, Robert must find a distant relative for an heir. And it is preferable that Lady Mary marry this heir. Otherwise she will be out on her own with only small inheritance.

A crippled man, John Bates (Brendan Coyle), joins the household staff as his lordship’s valet. Thomas believes the job should be rightfully his. And he will do everything he can to bring Bates down.

Meanwhile the youngest daughter takes up with the new chauffeur (Allen Leech). Lady Edith, the middle daughter, seems to have trouble bursting out of her wallflower role. And Lady Mary resists all efforts to put her together with Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens).

Then comes World War One and Downton must do its part for King and Country.

As the seasons roll along, we come to care about these people and their problems as much as we would our own families. Then we’re finished with the six seasons and the movie and we’re finding ourselves longing for the good old days of Downton Abbey.

Uncle Bardie in TV Land

I’m not much of a TV guy. Given a choice between a good TV show or a good movie, the movie wins every time. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a television show’s ability to come into my home and make itself at home.

When I do choose a TV show or series, I have one criteria: Do I want to spend that much time with these people? To answer that question, I usually give the show one episode. Sometimes less. Fleabag fits that criteria. Very seldom more. If I watch three episodes that means I find these people worth my time. The Boys broke that rule. One season of it, and I was done.

With that in mind, I thought I would list the top ten TV shows I enjoyed spending time with. And would still spend more time with.

1.Jeopardy (1984-present), syndication. As far as I am concerned, Alex Trebeck and Ken Jennings are the cat’s pajamas. So much so I have a small shrine to St. Alex and St. Ken on the shelf below my television.

2.The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017-present), Amazon Prime. Here’s a comedy that’s actually funny. And more.

3.Newhart (1982-1990), CBS. Dr. Bob moves to Vermont and gets a new wife. He’s running an inn with the help of handyman George and “My name is Larry. And this is my brother Daryl and this is my other brother Daryl.

4.Mom (2013-present), CBS. You don’t have to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous to enjoy this one.

5.Seinfeld (1989-1998), NBC. Who knew nothing could be so funny.

6.Northern Exposure (1990-1995), CBS. If ever there was a show about community, this tale of small town Alaska is it.

7.The Expanse (2015-present), Amazon Prime. One of the best science fiction series on television. Ever.

8.Lonesome Dove (1989), CBS. May be just about the best Western ever.

9.West Wing (1999-2006), NBC. Who knew that politics could be so interesting.

10.The Muppet Show (1976-1981), syndication. Jim Henson was a genius.

There are others like Gilligan’s Island and Dick Cavett which I remember fondly but these are the ones that have held up over the years, for me.

What about Game of Thrones? some might ask. The series was fun while it lasted. But no way am I going to do a re-do and sit through another Winter. Winter has come and gone and I’m ready for Spring.

10 favorite moments in acting

Every so often I watch a movie or tv show and the actor(s) take my breath away with their performance. But it’s more than a performance. The actors have created life on film. This blog post recognizes ten of those incredible moments.

  1. Judd Hirsch and Wallace Shawn as brothers in Season 20, Episode 10 of “Law and Order Special Victims Unit.”
  2. Emma Thompson in the HBO film, “Wit.”
  3. Kate Winslet in the movie, “The Reader.”
  4. Al Pacino in the movie, “The Merchant of Venice.”
  5. Benedict Cumberbatch in “Richard III” of ‘The Hollow Crown” series.
  6. John Hurt as John Merrick in David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man.”
  7. Whoopi Goldberg in the movie, “The Color Purple.”
  8. Donald Sutherland in the movie, “Ordinary People.”
  9. Andy Griffith in the movie, “A Face in the Crowd.”
  10. Geoffrey Rush in the movie, “Final Portrait.”

Perhaps you have a favorite acting performance that moved you. Please feel free to mention it in the comments below.