Monday, April 07, 2014

Who will replace David Letterman?

After longtime Late Show host David Letterman publicly announced his plans to retire in 2015 during the taping of last night's show in New York City, there has been rampant speculation regarding who his replacement will be.

The general rules of succession, if the were to ever apply, clearly state that current Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson would inherit the Late Show hosting duties. The only problem is that Ferguson has cultivated a very unique brand of oddball humor for his later time slot and while there is no doubt in my mind that he could adapt to an earlier time and appeal to a wider audience, the general consensus is that he is extremely happy right where he is.

The next logical guess in Jon Stewart, current host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Viacom and CBS used to be corporate siblings so the familial ties are sort of there. Stewart is a phenomenal interviewer and has shown through the years that he is equally comfortable interviewing politicians, athletes and movie stars. He is definitely a strong contender but a Jon Stewart helmed Late Show at CBS would be a virtual carbon copy of what Letterman has cultivated. That's not a bad thing at all but the face of late night television is changing. Jimmy Fallon has brought the wacky to The Tonight Show with skits and games involving his guests. I can't see Jon Stewart bringing anything close to that to the table. And maybe that's a good thing. Not every show needs to be a carbon copy of the others. With that being said, consider Jon Stewart the front runner.

Another interesting name being tossed about is Louis C.K.. On the last season of Louie on FX, the stand-up comedian even went as afar as to pen a multi-part episode in which he was asked to audition to be the replacement for David Letterman in a surreal series of events which included David Lynch directing him and taping the audition. In classic Louie fashion it was awkward as hell and of course the powers at CBS were playing him against Letterman all to be able to get Letterman to agree to a bit less money. Yet another scenario in which Louie came out in the end as the loser. Expect real life to, again, play out like his life on the TV series. Louis C.K. would be an interesting choice and he has the chops to do an amazing monologue (as he proved once again during his second time hosting SNL) but to the best of my knowledge he has never interviewed another celebrity, a politician or an average Joe. Louis C.K. gets placed in the longshot category.

This brings us to another television actor and comedian, Tina Fey. If CBS were to go in the direction of the lovably awkward Tina Fey, it would be a landmark choice. First off, Fey would be the first female late night host and it would also be following somewhat in the footsteps of Letterman in that her career, as well, truly took off at NBC with her role on SNL then her starring role on 30 Rock as well as producing sitcoms at the peacock network. Fey, again, is unproven as an interviewer but is hugely familiar with a live environment from her days behind the Weekend Update desk at SNL and her recent co-hosting gigs on The Golden Globes. I doubt, though, that Fey would go head-to-head against her former counterparts (Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers) as these guys are her friends but a cross-network competition between friends could be far more interesting that the back-biting of days gone by was between Letterman and Jay Leno. One big lovefest is better than a biter rivalry. I'll put Tina Fey in the middle of the pack of contenders.

Next up is Stephen Colbert. His name as a possible successor to David Letterman is a somewhat fresh addition to the list of contenders. Colbert cut his teeth at a satirist under the tutelage of Jon Stewart at The Daily Show and now has his own made up persona at The Colbert Report on Comedy Central. He has a satirical and somewhat dry wit, he can interview, he has had experience with the traditional musical guests that would be an integral part of any network televised late night program and Viacom-owned Comedy Central was once affiliated with CBS. Stephen Colbert may  be less polarizing than Jon Stewart when it comes to political guests as a potential Late Night host because anyone with any common sense realizes that Colbert is playing a character on his current series. It is widely known that he has liberal leanings but I feel that Colbert is capable of asking tough questions when needed as well as doing the typical schmoozing that the job demands. Colbert is a definite front-runner.

We can't forget about Chelsea Handler. She is leaving behind her rather lucrative gig at E! (which she called something along the lines of a cess-pool and a horrible place to work which sort of serves as a way to sever ties with the entire Comcast television universe including NBC). She has hosted Chelsea Lately on E! for seven years with a contract ending in 2015. Her choice, too, would be a landmark move with a female late night host on network television. There are drawbacks, too. Handler is brash and her comedy style can be a bit abrasive to say the least. On the flip side, though, having a brash and unapologetic late night host on network television would be a huge departure from the norm as everyone else seems to be in the business of kissing ass rather than being honest. Chelsea Handler's sometimes profanity-laced comedy would be an interesting companion to that of Late late Show host Craig Ferguson who routinely gets edited and/or bleeped by the CBS censors. Hell, he almost makes a game out of it and I have a feeling that Handler would as well but she has a temper and would likely fail to accept it meaning that she would butt heads with CBS management frequently and her existence would be stressful and her time spent at CBS would probably be short because of her temper. Chelsea Handler is a definite dark horse as a replacement for David Letterman.

A number of other possibilities are being tossed around including Jerry Seinfeld (too rich), Jon Oliver (too green), Neil Patrick Harris (an actual middle of the road contender with strong hosting skills and an existing CBS presence), Ricky Gervais (too abrasive and British), Joel McHale (doubtful unless taping of the sixth season of Community is its last and contingent on the length of his contract at E! - the bonus is that he does stand-up comedy) and then there's Craig Ferguson who stands to win no matter what happens. He gets a $5 million payday if he gets passed over as Letterman's replacement but he likes the low expectations of his later time slot. Ferguson's brand of comedy fits the time period he is currently in and if moved an hour earlier he would likely suffer the same fate as Conan O'Brien did at NBC. However, Ferguson is already in Los Angeles and would beat out NBC who has both of their  late night programs based in New York City.

Truly, the Letterman replacement race boils down to Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Neil Patrick Harris. The next year or so should be very interesting.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Walking Dead season 4 finale

About 15,000,000 million people each week watch AMC's The Walking Dead. That number, coincidentally, is dangerously close to the number of theories swirling around various corners of the internet related to the Season 4 finale of the post-apocalyptic zombie series centered on the lives of a dozen or so Georgians as they struggle to survive and build a steady life with death, the undead and danger around every turn.

The latest twist, "Terminus", hinted at throughout the second half of season 4 of The Walking Dead and unveiled at the end of Sunday's episode, seems to have brought the likes of Glenn, Maggie, Bob and Sasha to the self-proclaimed safe haven only to be welcomed by Mary (pictured at right) who happens to bear an eerie resemblance to a painting uncovered by katana-wielding Michonne earlier in the second half of The Walking Dead's fourth season. The painting, coupled with the lack of other survivors, unlocked gates, inward-facing barbed wire, a huge grill with no signs of animals nearby, a complete lack of walkers and the uber-creepy name of "Terminus" seems to be screaming out to us that Daryl, Rick, Carl, Michonne, Carol, Tyreese and the rest of the gang will be fighting for their own survival once again during Sunday's finale.

Whether Mary and the rest of the unseen residents of Terminus are part of some sort of religious cult (often speculated after someone kidnapped Beth Greene in a previous episode) or a group of cannibalistic survivors (a plot point brought up in The Walking Dead comic books), this Sunday's season finale promises to be action-packed and it's a given that a "major" character or two will be killed off in some fashion.

The truth is that the characters most likely to be killed are Michonne, Carol, Maggie or Glenn. Also likely to die once they meet Rick Grimes' reunited group are most of the members of the group of marauders which Daryl has found himself part of for the past couple episodes. While I doubt that Beth Greene, Maggie's younger blond sister, will be killed in The Walking Dead season finale, I am fairly certain that she will be in great peril at what will be one of the greatest cliffhangers shown during the entirety of the zombie apocalypse series.

How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders photos

After nine seasons of How I Met Your Mother we know that Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders) isn't "The Mother". Hell, that was established in the early seasons of the long and rambling series but that doesn't mean that we can't all enjoy the eye candy that is the smoldering Cobie Smulders. Maybe it's because I have the dark-haired beauty on my "list" or maybe it's because Cobie Smulders is not only talented but also an excellent specimen of eye candy. Check out the sexy and racy photos of Cobie Smulders below:

cobie smulders - robin from how i met your mother - in a see-thru shirt

cobie smulders from how i met your mother showing her brand and panties

cobie smulders showing her bare chest and back in sexy clothing from how i met your mother

cobie smulders from how i met your mother shows off her sexy smooth legs

All images via Esquire

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Jeff Dubay gets fired from his podcast

While very rarely does anyone deserve to be fired, when it does happen at least have the decency to handle the event with some grace. Jeff Dubay, though, obviously never learned that part of how to handle getting fired and with this rant on his now-deleted Facebook page has seemingly managed to blacklist himself in the Twin Cities media.

"Sean Barnard informed me today that he was terminating the agreement for me to be part of the Tom Barnard network. When pressed on the matter Sean said if I passed a drug test he would allow me to continue. This was as insulting as it was unw...arranted.Nonetheless I went to Walgreen's and purchased a test at my own expense, knowing I had nothing to hide. I returned home and phoned Sean to tell him I have met his demands and was ready to take the test and would wait for him if he wanted to witness it. He then went into a new set of conditions that included me going to a clinic and getting an expensive test at my own expense and missing my show on the evening of 4/18. A shouting match ensued as I now saw that I was being given a run around and the rules were changing all the time. Sean hung up and refused my calls, referring me to his attorney."

As a bit of background, Dubay had been fired from his dream gig on KFAN-AM 1130 in 2008 after an arrest for possession of Crack Cocaine. Following his conviction and time served in jail, he entered treatment and bounced around  in different treatment programs before announcing that he had kicked his addiction in his own way and was now clean. Dubay resurfaced at KSTP-AM 1500 as co-host of another sports talk show in 2013 but was let go due to budgetary issues early in 2014. He again managed to land on his feet with his own podcast bankrolled by KQRS-FM morning drive personality Tom Barnard.

As you can see from the above excerpt, Dubay seems to have a grudge against Tom Bernard's nephew, Sean Bernard. While nobody will likely ever know the full truth of the reasons behind the demands made by Sean Bernard, the way in which Jeff Dubay handled his exit from the Tom Bernard network  makes me feel that Dubay has other issues that go deeper than simply a grudge. His previous drug use and addiction sends up immediate warning flags that he may have again slipped back into using drugs. The other possibility is mental illness. Dubay has a history of anger issues and while anger itself isn't a mental illness, his history of drug addiction and sometimes bizarre on-air behavior seems to somewhat fall in line with the bahavior of someone struggling with mental illness.

I hope that he has a support system -- mainly family who cares about him -- because a string of bad luck like Jeff Dubay has experienced this year could easily trigger a relapse into the world of drug abuse if he hasn't already relapsed. Or maybe Dubay is telling the honest truth in the only way he know how. We'll probably never know.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

32 Questions

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being self-sufficient. In terms of employment that means being self-employed. Never having to worry that a boss, supervisor or manager will cut you loose in an effort to save their own ass. It also means truly controlling your own destiny and likely working harder than you have ever worked in your life.

What is your greatest fear?
Disappointing those around me – mainly my family.

Which living person do you most admire?
My wife. She has done so much that goes unappreciated or under-appreciated and unnoticed.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Having a short fuse.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What is your greatest extravagance?
Dining out.

What is your favorite journey?
My first job after moving to the Twin Cities. I stayed on for nearly ten years and while I struggled to make myself valuable those struggles taught me most of everything I know today and opened the doors to a new career path with, I hope, more job security.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
The ability to multi-task. That just means that you are distracted.

On what occasions do you lie?
To keep from hurting a family member.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
My nose. Or maybe my wirey arms.

Which living person do you most despise?
People who refuse to take responsibility for their failures. Embrace them and learn from them.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

What is your greatest regret?
Holding a grudge too long and never fully repairing that damaged relationship before it was too late.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife and kids.

When and where were you happiest?
During a trip we won to Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Being more mechanically skilled.

What is your current state of mind?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Be a couple inches taller. In today’s world, height is very important.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Convincing my wife to marry me.

If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
A cloud. Just imagine the view.

What is your most treasured possession?
My family. They are healthy and that’s good.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Losing a loved one.

Where would you like to live?
A place in “the country” fairly close to a small town overlooking a river or creek where I have space to roam, solitude when I want it and a close replication to the on-the-farm environment I was lucky enough to grow up in.

What is your favorite occupation?
Toiling away in the garden.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I can say most anything, true or not, and get away with it by following it up with a laugh.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
A good father.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
A good mother.

What do you most value in your friends?

What are your favorite television shows?
Recently I can’t miss “The Walking Dead”, I am sad to see “How I Met Your Mother” coming to an end, the comedy of “30 Rock” is as close to genius as there is and “Fringe” was vastly underappreciated and managed to combine elements of family and loss into a sprawling and fantastic sci-fi drama that topped anything that “The X-Files” ever achieved.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My parents.

How would you like to die?
I’d like to know when so I can delete my browser history. Kidding.

What is your motto?
Pants are too restricting.