Betty White was great on Saturday Night Live

Even though Saturday Night Live is not as good as it used to be, I still have it on my TiVo’s Season Pass. This was the first episode in a very long time that I did not fast forward by a single skit. The “music”, on the other hand, was a different story. Here are the clips:

1. The opening skit: The Lawrence Welk Show.
It’s not too often that the host appears in the opening skit, but Betty White appears here. I’m not a big fan of Kristen Wiig. I like her Target lady, and her Kathie Lee. This is also a great character she plays.

2. Opening Monologue. Her opening monologue was better than most:

3. MacGruber skits. I can’t believe they are actually making a full length movie of this sketch. But these are really funny. These were played throughout the episode:

4. “The Delicious Dish”. This is an instant classic. Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon returned this week, and were just awesome in this skit. This sketch goes into great details about Betty White’s “muffin”.

5. The Manuel Ortiz Show. This would normally be a skit I would go by, but even this was pretty good. Check out Betty’s moves! Sorry for the bad video quality:

6. Gingey. All the ladies of Saturday Night Live were in this skit, where Betty White was trying to open everybody’s eyes and let them know that Amy Poelher is a lesbian. Amy Poelher is awesome in this sketch. I love that old fasioned voice she does:

7. Weekend Update. There are way too many skits during Weekend Update these days, and I end up scanning through most of them. But Molly Shannon and Betty White are hilarious here:

8. Scared Straight. This and “What Up With That” are two of my favorite Kenan Thompson sketches.

Click here to view the sketch.

9. Digital Short – Thank You for being a Friend. Awww, this starts off so sweet! Then your mind gets blown away!! If you thought the rapping granny in The Wedding Singer was cool, check out Betty White’s Death Metal!!

10. Census. The last sketch of the night is usually the worst sketch of the night, and the show is pretty much over by the time you get to this point. But this sketch could be one of the first sketches in any other SNL episode. Betty White is wacky and awesome with poor census taker Tina Fey.

Click here to view the clip.

Where Are They Now? – Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster)

Soleil Moon Frye is best known for playing Punky Brewster, which ran from 1984-1988. Penelope “Punky” Brewster was abandoned by her mother after her father walked out on the family. Punky and her dog and loyal companion, Brandon found a vacant apartment in a local building. The building was managed by photographer Henry Warnimont (George Gaynes, who was also in the movie Police Academy), an old and grumpy widower. Henry found Punky in the apartment, and took her in after he heard her story. She also became good friends with a girl named Cherie Johnson, who lived with her grandmother, Betty Johnson, in the apartment above Henry’s.
Punky was forced by the state to stay at Fenster Hall, a shelter for orphaned and abandoned children, which made her realize all the more how close she had grown to Henry. Finally, their day arrived, and the court approved Henry to become Punky’s foster father.
Punky’s other friends are geeky Allen and snobby rich girl Margaux.
One other note about the show: Gary Portnoy, who wrote and performed the theme song, also wrote and performed the theme from Cheers.

In 1999, Soleil appeared on an episode of Friends. She played a girl Joey was dating, and liked to punch him around.

From 2000 to 2003, Frye portrayed the character of Roxie King in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

She also did the voice of Zoey on the cartoon The Proud Family from 2001-2005.

After suffering from gigantomastia as a teen, Frye underwent a breast reduction three months before her 16th birthday.

Frye married Jason Goldberg, a television producer and actor, on October 25, 1998 in Los Angeles. Their first child, daughter Poet Sienna Rose Goldberg, was born on August 24, 2005, in Los Angeles. On March 17, 2008 she gave birth to her second daughter, Jagger Joseph Blue Goldberg.

Now, Frye, along with two friends, opened The Little Seed, an environmentally-conscious children’s specialty boutique in Los Angeles.

Bret Michaels released from hospital

Bret Michaels has been released from a Phoenix hospital and is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a brain hemorrhage last month, his doctor said Tuesday.

Dr. Joseph Zabramski, chief of cerebrovascular surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, said he recommended that Michaels wait at least four to six weeks before resuming normal activity. He declined to say when Michaels could resume touring. Doctors will examine Michaels every two weeks until he’s recovered.

“This produces a great deal of stress on the body,” he said. “This is like being involved in an accident from inside.”

Zabramski said Michaels is fully conscious and aware and talking fine, but he has back spasms and headaches when he tries to walk. He could continue getting back pain and headaches, but Zabramski doesn’t expect any other long-term effects. He wouldn’t say when Michaels was released or whether he was sent home or to a rehabilitation facility.

There were two tests that showed that Michaels did not suffer an aneurysm after all. A thrid test is being planned so they can check once again for an aneurysm. The doctors do not think the appendectomy, that Michaels had on April 12, is related. They also do not believe the accident where he got hit in the head at the Tony awards last year is related. Zabramski said that hard hits to the head can cause hemorrhages, but not almost a year after the incident.

Michaels is still one of the final 5 contestants on this season’s Celebrity Apprentice. If he avoids being fired by Trump in upcoming episodes, Michaels’ prognosis means he could possibly attend “The Celebrity Apprentice” finale May 23 at New York University’s Skirball Center. The finale features the last two contestants performing a final task, typically organizing a charity event, then debating each other live in front of Trump.

Corey Haim died of natural causes

20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection
Corey Haim’s autopsy has been completed, and drug abuse was not the cause of death.
Haim’s death began as a “suspected prescription medication overdose,” but toxicology tests “revealed no significant contributing factors” from drugs, the coroner reported.
Corey died from pneumonia. There was an extremely large amount” of swelling in Haim’s lungs.

Toxicology tests showed that Haim’s blood did have “low levels” of a list of drugs, including an antidepressant (Prozac), an antipsychotic (Olanzapine), diazepam (Valium), a muscle relaxer (Carisoprodol), a tranquilizer (meprobamate) and THC (a chemical in marijuana).

Haim also was taking a cough suppressant, antihistamine and ibuprofen.

“These medications are present in low levels and are non-contributory to death,” the autopsy report said.

Poison: A little history and my top 5 Poison songs

Since our minds are on Bret Michaels right now, I will do a little article on Poison – one of the best glam rock bands of the ’80s.
Bret Michaels may be known for the reality shows such as the Rock of Love series as well as the current season of Celebrity Apprentice. But, his best work by far was being the front man for Poison.
Their first album was Look What the Cat Dragged In, and it peaked at #3 on the charts. There were 3 hit singles from that album: “Talk Dirty to Me”, “I Want Action”, and the ballad “I Won’t Forget You”.

On the heels of that albums success, they recorded their own version of Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Nite” for the soundtrack to Less Than Zero. I personally think they did a great job on that song, and the soundtrack is very good.

On May 21, 1988, Poison released their second studio album – Open Up and Say…Ahh!. This was their most successful album, selling over 10 million copies. It contained their only #1 hit “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”, as well as three other hit singles – “Nothin’ but a Good Time”, “Your Mama Don’t Dance”, “Fallen Angel”. The original front cover was controversial as it had a model dressed as a demon with an extremely long “Gene Simmons” tongue. The cover was later changed to only show the eyes.

On June 21, 1990, the band released their 3rd album, Flesh & Blood, which was also very successful. It peaked at #2 on the charts. The album spawned two top 10 singles: “Unskinny Bop” and “Something to Believe In”, as well as three other hit singles: “Ride The Wind”, “Life Goes On”, and “(Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice”. This was my personal favorite album by Poison.
This was another album with a cover controversy. The front cover of the album featured the Poison logo and album title as a tattoo on Rikki Rockett’s arm. The controversy was that it was a picture of the tattoo freshly inked, and the skin was inflamed and dripping with either blood or ink that looked like blood. The cover was pulled, and then released with the cleaned up tattoo.

Then the band began to fall apart after that. Lead guitarist C.C. DeVille was addicted to cocaine and alcohol. He and Bret Michaels got in a backstage fistfight at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. DeVille was fired and replaced by guitarist Richie Kotzen.

Then the fun party rock was disappearing – thanks to grunge music rise in the early ’90s. Poison released the album Native Tongue on April 21, 1993. It was more blues and funk than Rock & Roll. “Stand” was about the only song that I liked from that album.

They began working on another album called Crack a Smile. But they had to stop when Michaels was involved in a car accident where he lost control of his Ferrari. He suffered a broken nose, ribs, jaw, and fingers and lost four teeth. After he recovered, the band got back to work, but their label, Capitol Records, offered little support for it since hair metal was almost completely gone. Instead, they had to release a Greatest Hits album, which was released on November 26, 1996.

Poison celebrated their 20th anniversary with a “20 Years Of Rock” tour in the summer of 2006, with fellow rockers Cinderella and Endeverafter opening. The tour swiftly became one of the most successful tours of 2006 in the U.S., averaging about 10,000 people per night.

Here is my list of favorite Poison songs:

5. “Talk Dirty to Me” – Where it all began. This was their first hit, and is a fun rock song.

4. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – This was their biggest hit. It was a great ballad. It would probably by higher on my list, but it kind of got a little too overplayed for me.

3. “Unskinny Bop” – This was the first song off of Flesh & Blood. What a great start. It seemed silly at first, but it is a fun song that grows on you.

2. “(Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice” – I could probably pick any song from Flesh & Blood, and insert it here. This one is just a great hard rock song.

1. “Fallen Angel” – This has been my favorite Poison song since I first heard it. Great video and great song. The vocals and instruments are awesome.

What is your list of favorite Poison songs or albums? Do you have any memories of the band or music that you would like to share?

Bon Jovi to Release Special Editions of Their Catalog

Bon Jovi has just announced on their Facebook page and web site that on May 11, they will release special editions of all the albums they have had up to this point. Each album will also contain new bonus tracks and special packaging. The following is from their web site:

Each of the band’s 11 studio albums – Bon Jovi, 7800° Fahrenheit, Slippery When Wet, New Jersey, Keep The Faith, These Days, Crush, Bounce, Have A Nice Day and Lost Highway and The Circle – will feature the original studio album tracks plus era-specific live recordings included as bonus tracks. The bonus live tracks include songs taken from sound checks and concerts held in venues from all over the world, ranging from 500 seat theatres to massive football stadiums. Many of the live versions are extended, including “Get Ready” (Bon Jovi), “In and Out Of Love” (7800° Fahrenheit), “Blood on Blood” (New Jersey), “Keep The Faith” (Keep The Faith), and a duet featuring Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland performing “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” (Have A Nice Day) with the band.

These albums be available as a physical release and as a digital download.

April 29, 1986: Roger Clemens has first 20 strikeout game

Today in 1986, Roger Clemens struck out 20 Seattle Mariners for a 3-1 victory. Going into that evening, Boston fans were focusing more on the Larry Bird and the Celtics, who were on their way to their 16th NBA title, and facing the “Human Highlight Film” Dominique Wilkins and the Atlanta Hawks.
But, Clemens struck out the first 3 batters he faced. Then he struck out 2 in the next inning. He went on to be the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game. He broke Steve Carlton, of the St. Louis Cardinals, record of 19 strikeouts in a nine-inning game, which was set in 1969 and duplicated by the Mets’ Tom Seaver in 1970 and the California Angels’ Nolan Ryan in 1974.
Future Red Sox player, Spike Owen was strikeout victim number nineteen and Phil Bradley was number twenty. Boston Red Sox trainer Charlie Moss said in the dugout after those two historic Ks to starter Bruce Hurst, “We should get the ball to save it.” Hurst replied, “You don’t have to, that ball ain’t going anywhere” and he was correct as Ken Phelps grounded out to end this legendary game. Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson each recorded 20-strikeout games after Clemens. However, Clemens repeated the feat 10 years later on September 18, 1996, in a game against the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium.

However, Roger Clemens’ reputation is now tainted since his name came up in the Mitchell Report, which alleged he used performance-enhancing drugs during the 1998-2001 seasons.

Reference: Baseball Almanac

80's Pop Culture and News

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