Regurgitating An Apt Analogy

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In the wee hours of 01/21/21, NBC-TV’s Late Night host, Seth Meyers, via his always-tell-it-like-it-is exposé, A Closer Look, successfully articulated the mixed emotions that most critical thinkers have been experiencing while attempting to assess the nascent, post Trump tableau.

Said Seth…

“Even amid this moment of collective relief, the nation is still in the midst of several unprecedented calamities; none of which will magically disappear anytime soon. It’s a little like getting rid of the last guy at a party; you’ve spent four years yawning and stretching and hinting that he should get out, and, when he finally leaves, it IS a relief; until you remember you still have to clean up all his puke; and he, like, puked everywhere!”

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“Forever in our hearts, always our inspiration.”

Last evening, Alex Trebek’s five, yet to be shown, final Jeopardy! episodes, taped mere days prior to his demise, began playing out. This transcendental episode (originally slated to air on December 21, 2020) began with his opening, impromptu, soul searching, holiday message:

“You’ll recall that about a month ago, I asked all of you to take a moment to give thanks for all of the blessings that you enjoy in your lives. Now, today, a different kind of message. This is the season of giving. I know you want to be generous with your family, your friends, your loved ones. But today, I’d like you to go one step further. I’d like you to open up your hands and open up your hearts to those who are still suffering because of COVID-19. People who are suffering through no fault of their own. We’re trying to build a gentler, kinder society and if we all pitch in, just a little bit, we’re gonna get there.” [Watch Clip/Read More]

Alex Trebek • Air Date: January 4, 2021

If humanity is paying attention, such much needed wisdom will resonate and endure long after Alex’s final Final Jeopardy!, come Friday.

By next Monday, a series of select host candidates will begin auditioning to determine who, amongst the 7.8 billion of us, might come close to filling Trebek’s size infinity shoes.

Let’s hope that his successor will know, instinctively, that Alex is irreplaceable; may sense a momentary “blinding” by the aura / afterimage of his brilliance; perhaps even feel somewhat haunted by him while making each entrance onto the Jeopardy! stage.

Should the eventual new host be lacking such qualities, it’d be fair to suspect that (s)he has been miscast. And, so long as I’m hinting at this, anyway, let me add that the time is ripe for a game show, of this stature, to break the glass ceiling; namely, the Sony Pictures Television production company execs should select a savvy, suave woman to preside over the game.

Returning, now, to the rolling of last night’s closing credits…

For a fleeting moment, I had this wild notion; how great it’d be to rebroadcast the entire 36+ year run of Trebek’s Jeopardy!; perhaps, as an alternative to Pat Sajak’s / Vanna White’s Wheel of Fortune, which on most network schedules, precedes Jeopardy!

I’ve always found playing along with W of F’s contestants far less challenging and educational. Hey, don’t brand me an intellectual snob; my educational background, would rarely, if ever, crown me the Jeopardy! champion. Anyway, that’s not my point.

What is relevant, here, is that each episode of Jeopardy! serves as a teaching moment; can function as motivation for us to discover more about the world we don’t know. After all, we don’t stop learning until the day each of us takes our final breath. And for all we know, it may not end even then!

Of course, my aforementioned wish for that Trebek replay must remain just that. After all, the new host must be afforded the unencumbered opportunity to build upon Alex’s rock solid foundation. Most assuredly, he would’ve wanted it that way!

And that said, the show’s closing credits will sum up everything even better than I; namely, via their dedication to Alex Trebek:

“Forever in our hearts, always our inspiration.”

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“Dancing With The SARS” (SARS-CoV-2)

“A family of coronavirus particles (Timothée Chalamet, Cecily Strong, Beck Bennett, Lauren Holt) have a disagreement during a Christmas reunion.”

Clip and set-up quip courtesy of the Saturday Night Live YouTube Channel
Dec 13, 2020 • 173,658 views • Thumbs Up 10K / Thumbs Down 263

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SNL’s comic genious unmasks coronavirus’ ferociously communicable nature; from the pitiless pathogen’s perspective. View the clip above or, should playback issues ever arise, over @YouTube.

About all that’s left to be said…

Sure we can all laugh at the SNL cast’s superbly delivered oneliners and double entendres, BUT, seeing how, just yesterday, the COVID-19, stateside fatalities reached the 300,000 mark AND how that deadly disease has snuffed out over 1.6 million members of our human family, worldwide, we had all better get dead serious about observing the life saving pandemic protocols re good hand hygiene, social distancing / isolating and, last but far from least, MASKING UP every time we go out in public!

“We know that if everyone, or if we could even get 95% of the people let’s say to mask up for a 90-day period, three months, we could cut the death rate by about 200,000 Americans.”

CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida • Quote from Raetta Holdman‘s article posted December 7, 2020 at 2:58 pm • [Read More Here]

No one should even need to point out how saving lives is everyone’s moral and civic duty!

My gawd, we ARE all fully capable of outwitting a mindless microbe!

Let’s all get the last laugh at this nasty pathogen’s expense!

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SNL’s Perfect Comic Coda

“A dad’s (Beck Bennett) Christmas surprise to his family (Timothée Chalamet, Heidi Gardner) isn’t received as he expected.”

Both Clip and set-up quip courtesy of the Saturday Night Live YouTube Channel
• Dec 12, 2020 • 130,174 views • Thumbs Up 8.8K • Thumbs Down 88

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Within a past post, I griped about the crassness of foaming at the mouth, dollar signs flashing in the eyeballs, mad, Madison Avenue admen.

To say the least:

For them to be marketing / huckstering high-end, bloated price-tagged vehicles during an economic downturn is the acme of insensitivity.

To say more:

“This IS 2020 after all! That godforsaken pandemic has been, literally, snuffing out lives and livelihoods. Average Janes and Joes are not making their rent / mortgage payments to keep roofs over their kitchen tables; are having a tough time paying their utility bills to “fire up” the requisite cook tops / ovens to prepare meals for said tables; are purchasing cheapo grub to toss into their cookware that’s being heated up by said contrivances.” [Read Full Post Here]

From my blog: “Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do?” • Nov 25, 2020 (9:33 am) • Likes 7

To say the most:

Watch the clip, above, or over @YouTube! SNL’s creative geniuses say it all!

Mega Thanks to SNL! Somebody, who can reach a vastly larger audience than I can, needed to unmask the tone deafness of that mad, Madison Avenue admen mentality.

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Life’s Simple Pleasures

My cherished recollections of holiday specific, family fun, undoubtedly, have been indelibly time stamped, 9 December 1965, by the radio and television transmissions, airing on that very day. Stepping into the ol’ time machine…

It had been shortly after our Thursday supper, when my Pop and I had driven off to our small town Michigan’s Mom and Pop grocery store. While he took care of the provisioning, I had wandered off to the 45rpm record display; with one and only one goal in mind.

I just had to snag myself a copy of the rock and roll instrumental, No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In) recorded by the T-Bones. This track had first been used within an Alka Seltzer television ad campaign and, next, minus all of the product hoopla, eventually got transmitted over radio stations, nationwide; in my neck of the woods, this (now) classic blasted out over CKLW Windsor / Detroit’s 50,000 watt energized airwaves.

After dad paid for the groceries and I forked over 98¢ for my new record, we headed for home. Once my Zenith monaural record player had spun my new disc (at least a half a dozen times)…

It was time for my family and I to gather in our living room to set up / decorate our Christmas tree. No sooner had our home taken on a far more festive ambience than my favorite comic strip, Peanuts, the brainchild of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, came to life via the CBS network’s debut of A Charlie Brown Christmas; all further enhanced and jazzed up by the Vince Guarldi Trio’s, by and large, instrumental soundtrack.

Returning to the here and now, all of my fond recollections are sure to continue playing out, throughout 9 December 2020, especially after tonight’s supper when, just for the symmetry of it all, I plan to rev up my CD player to track thru that vintage T-Bones track, set up my Christmas tree and, to top off the entire evening, pop into the VCR an ancient VHS tape to re-experience Schulz’s animated Christmas masterpiece.

Considering the past year’s events, which we all wish we could forget, memories of life’s simple pleasures do mean so much.

So much more!

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The Obama Book Reading Sketch

Ciip courtesy of the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube Channel
November 20, 2020 • 515,165 views

President Barack Obama, at present, is promoting his new book, A Promised Land. His interview, last night, with late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmell serves as a refreshing reminder of what it’s like to actually have a well-informed, open-minded, good-intentioned, law-abiding, self-effacing, down-to-Earth human being residing within and governing from the White House.

My above portrayal pretty much sums up why, to this very day, I’ve preserved Mr. Obama’s personally delivered, 2008 get-out-the-vote message on my landline’s answering machine; why I did my part to elect and re-elect him; why the election of his VP, Joe Biden, shows much promise. After eight years of working as a team, President-Elect Biden will have a wealth of experience to draw on. And, should additional advice ever be needed, he / we can rest assured that Mr. Obama will always be but a phone call away.

To set up our above clip, cued up to start at 21:49 (if all goes well), we’ll be viewing what I’ve titled “The Obama Book Reading Sketch”. Mr. Kimmel will further explain his novel idea to set the fun in motion.

Obviously, for any of you who’d like to view this positively enlightening and enjoyable interview, in its entirety, its but a rewind away.

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What is Not Final Jeopardy!

This will be my third post following Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek’s 11/08/20 merger with the universe. I’ve been attempting to put such a preoccupation into some sort of perspective. Beyond obviously missing him, here goes.

For 30 minutes, each weekday evening, we’ve found solace in observing this game show legend both displaying and presiding over intellectualism, levelheadedness, even-handedness, decency and normalcy. Alas, such righteous attributes (as vital as love, sustenance, water, oxygen, hearth and home) tend to get upstaged by every negative “ism” found within our shattered, shallow, contemporary society.

Transcending that, on a more personal note, it was during this game show’s early days, that my folks and I would gather around our living room TV to welcome Alex as we would another family member; to play along with the contestants, too. Even now, decades after my folks passed away, whenever I’m playing Jeopardy! in that very room, I can still sense their presence.

But let’s not get too far off topic. Let’s check out the Entertainment Tonight YouTube Channel blurb, to set up our first clip; as presented both above and offsite.

“ET spoke with ‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer Mike Richards on Sunday, following the death of the show’s long time host, Alex Trebek.”

Perhaps, the best tribute to Mr. Trebek is to mention how he would not let his iconic status go to his head. His good nature would prevail even when the inevitable, spare nothing, parodies of Jeopardy! surfaced. Whether he had directly participated in these comedy sketches, or not, he’d delight in, what in essence, was making light of himself. This gets amply showcased in our second clip featuring a Golden Girls episode. To set up this sendup, both below and offsite:

I’ve encoded this presentation to start at 6:01 (for further laughs, rewind to watch the show in it’s entirety). My apology re the technical anomalies. Believe it or not, this was the best of the three available uploads. Even so, our guffaws will rapidly make us forget the flaws. BTW, don’t miss Dorothy’s anti-Trump quip. Enjoy!

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From: Alex / To: Us All

Alex Trebek’s 36-year-long reign, as Jeopardy! host, came to an end, yesterday, when pancreatic cancer claimed his life. He was 80-years-young. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Even though his symptoms had tried to drag him down, he would not allow that. He managed to continue taping episodes up till the very end of October. Ergo, his LAST Jeopardy! is slated to air on December 25, 2020. And whether one is devout or agnostic, I know we’d readily agree that Alex could not have given us a more thoughtful, precious holiday present!

As for Alex’s FIRST Jeopardy!, that gets backdated to September 10, 1984. Seeing how I had been working lots of nights back then, I never got the chance to watch his debut; did not become a regular viewer for the first couple of seasons.

And that’s precisely what made YouTuber Allan Di Real McCoy’s upload of that very first program extra special. In a heartbeat, I knew I had to SHARE IT with you, too!

And I found myself really getting into the spirit of the moment, too; so much so I played along with contestants Frank Selevan, Lois Feinstein and Greg Hopkins; even opted to keep my score on a legal pad. Going into Final Jeopardy! I had amassed $8,300 and with some gutsy wagering and, of course, coming up with the correct answer (in the form of a question), I kinda / sorta wound up the first Jeopardy! champion.

Of course, the qualifying words, “kinda / sorta” must be in play, here. After all, the ONLY way I could’ve ever “won” my $16,300 virtual grand prize was if my reflexes had allowed me to always be the first contestant to buzz in.

Perhaps, you, too, would like to match wits with Jeopardy’s first trio of competitors? Even if you choose not to tally up the virtual bucks, you can still bank on affable Alex Trebek presiding over fun times for all.

We, the vast legions of his forever fans, shall always miss this great man and game show legend.

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Q: Who was Alex Trebek?

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A: This Jeopardy host, since 1984, lost his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer on Sunday, November 8, 2020 at the age of 80.

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Rest in peace Mr. Trebek. Jeopardy will never be the same without you behind the dais. We will always remember and miss your wit, wisdom and warmth; how you enriched our lives and made our troubled world a much better place to live in.

Heartfelt condolences to all, who now mourn the loss of this great man and game show legend; his family, friends and fans, alike.

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4 Acts + 1 Epilog = Must-See Drama

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From September 17, 1963 – August 29, 1967, TV viewers tuned in Tuesday evenings to watch an ABC network offering that, in this man’s opinion, was (still is) the best written and most captivating, crime drama ever aired.

For the first few seasons, its 10 to 11p.m. slot was way past my bedtime. But, eventually, as a teen, I got to join that vast audience; among them, my own mother, who never missed an episode. I could easily understand what inspired such loyalty. Who, among us, could not feel instant empathy for the protagonist; as introduced by the program’s narrator…

“The Fugitive, a QM Production … starring David Janssen as Dr. Richard Kimble, an innocent victim of blind justice. Falsely convicted for the murder of his wife … reprieved by fate when a train wreck freed him en route to the death house … freed him to hide in lonely desperation … to change his identity … to toil at many jobs … freed him to search for a one-armed man he saw leave the scene of the crime … freed him to run before the relentless pursuit of the police lieutenant obsessed with his capture.”

William Conrad

Granted, series creator Roy Huggins’ premise would’ve been rapidly shot down had the program debuted, today. Indeed, the anonymity, so vital to Kimble being able to “fly” beneath Police Lieutenant Philip Gerard’s radar, would’ve been rendered virtually impossible by the speed of light Internet, 24/7 news reportage, social media and, last but not least, post 9-11’s, ubiquitous, intrusive security cams, facial recognition tech, etc.

Additionally, had rail travel been in decline, as it is today, the freight trains would not have been Kimble’s oft chosen mode of travel / means of flight. Indeed, the very train wreck that had granted him a new lease on life, would’ve never happened, in the first place. As for today’s commercial airlines? Forget it! He would’ve never even dared to cross paths with uncompromising TSA personnel.

Beyond that, I must credit The Fugitive’s, innocent-man-sentenced-to-death theme for playing a significant role in establishing my staunch, anti-capital punishment sentiments.

Scant hours ago, the MeTV network aired an episode featuring a classic Kimble / Gerard interaction; one that was so clever, my first reaction was to find it on YouTube and offer you the link.

Considering how most of us are still idled / social isolating, anyway, this clip will provide some welcome relief from the monotony. Once you get wrapped up in Richard Kimble’s world, the 52 minute playback time will fly by. However, there’s a much better reason to watch.

I believe you’ll find the subplots uplifting. They showcase Kimble’s worldliness, which makes it second nature for him to befriend his Apache coworkers. And, in the end, it’ll be these Native Americans’ bilingualism; the utilization of their native tongue that’ll provide an unexpected twist to the storyline.

Also, the good doctor’s compassionate nature, will prove invaluable as he performs some figurative surgery. In the end, he’ll heal a thick-skinned, mean-spirited, tightfisted U.S. Congresswoman; help her reclaim her own heart.

Without further ado, I’ll now bid you, “Adieu” and invite you to click over to YouTube to watch an intriguing installment of The Fugitive, the episode titled: The Iron Maiden.

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