Tag Archives: tv

how fucking old is wilford brimley anyway?

11 Jun , 2009,
Chip Street
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2 comments

wilfred-brimleySo I’m watching TV tonight and there’s Wilford Brimley (again…always…forever) pimping the medical supplies services he’s been pimping for what seems like an eternity, and I turn to my wife and I say “How fucking old is Wilford Brimley anyway? He was an old man twenty-five years ago!”

I’m thinking, of course, of the Wilford Brimley of “Cocoon” (1985), and “Our House” (1986), either of which starred a 97-year-old Wilfred Brimley, right?

In Cocoon he’s an OLD man in a retirement village. And in Our House he takes in his teenage grandkids… I mean Shannon Doherty is like 14 in that series.

So I check out his IMDB. The man was born in 1934, which makes him about 75 today. Which means that 25 years ago, when he made Cocoon and Our House, he was about 51 or 52 years old.*

WTF? I’m 49! You mean the Wilford Brimley doddering around in Cocoon was two years older than me? The cranky old man in Our House, and shortly after selling America instant oatmeal from behind that grandfatherly mustache, was two years older than me? Holy crap on a stick!

So I got two choices… either I’m way the fuck older than I like to think I am, or Wilford Brimley has made a career out of playing really old dudes when he could have been playing leading men. I mean seriously, Bruce Willis is 55 and he’s still kicking ass and taking names.

Dude, which 50-something guy do I want to be? Which one do you want to be? The Bruce Willis or the Wilford Brimley**? No offense, Wilford, but I’m going with Bruce.

Hey, when I’m 75 I’ll be happy to be the cranky cantankerous old coot. But not before I have to, okay?

*Which means he was 38 when his granddaughter was born… which means he was 20 when his kid was born… which isn’t impossible, I guess, but still… **Okay, maybe with a name like Wilford Brimley you’re simply predestined to be an old man from birth. I mean, really. Wilford Brimley is no action hero name, right?

Daily (Talk) Show with Jon Stewart

14 Apr , 2009,
Chip Street
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Cruising through the onscreen guide for my Comcast cable… noticed that “The Daily Show” is listed as (talk) while “The Colbert Report” is listed as (comedy). Is this a recent change? Does this mean that “The Daily Show” is legitimized as an actual talk show rather than comedy? Hmmm. Was that before or after he tore Jim Cramer a new asshole?

The Daily Show — best news show ever!

According to who?

5 Apr , 2009,
Chip Street
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Acting class today. Had a scene from According to Jim. I played the electronics store clerk.

The store was called “Lazy Al’s”. The script said I was wearing a bathrobe over my clothes, hands in pockets. My dialogue is clearly “scripted customer service” — stuff like “Welcome to Lazy Al’s where we’re too lazy to raise our prices.”

I figured the guy was lazy. Bored. Hated his job. So I played it lazy, slow, and understated.

Clearly I made the wrong choice.

Ralph asked me to try it again, with his notes. Play it up. Which I did.

Then we watched it back in front of the class. Both ways.

His comment?

“You do know this is a comedy, right?”

Um, ouch.

It’s tough enough if you don’t get the tone right. But shit, when you don’t even hit the right genre? How hard do you have to suck?

But then, I’ve seen a couple of minutes of According To Jim. I may not be the only one who doesn’t know it’s a comedy.

Ew, sour grapes. They’re tart.

My neighbors are moving.

2 Jan , 2009,
Chip Street
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I’m very disappointed to announce that my neighbors are moving. Not just one set of neighbors, mind you, but both neighbors. The folks on the left, and the folks on the right.

Now, contrary to what you might think, this really has nothing to do with my quality as a neighbor. In fact, I’ve been told that I’m a damn fine neighbor. I’m always fast to accept cookies promptly as they exit the oven, on a number of occasions I’ve been kind enough to return most of the magazines that were accidentally delivered to my box, and it’s been my pleasure for several years to make my front patio available to anyone that wants to nurture flowers, trees, bushes, or anything else that’s green that I might neglect to death. And just the other day I graciously accepted a donation of a spanking used piece of exercise equipment, that would otherwise be sitting in my neighbor’s home, the source of guilt and anxiety simply by virtue of its disuse and a symbol of a poor investment.

I was doing her a favor.

And I needed another place to hang dirty clothes. The stationary bike, the Nordic track and the weight bench are all full.

My neighbor turned this stair stepper over to me the other day before she even knew for sure she was moving. She claimed she didn’t have room for it, and never used it. I’m convinced it has nothing to do with her concern over the growing spare tire I’ve been sporting, after this, our winter of inactivity.

I know this, because my wardrobe has been carefully selected to hide this new addition to the family. Sweatpants and shirts that don’t tuck. A closet full of ‘em.

Anyway, I get my exercise kicking out the footrest on my recliner, and hollering at the television. I’m angry at the crappy quality of American game shows, and the crappy quality of British game show hosts. Have you seen this Weakest Link? “Scariest Woman on Television” my ass.

“Whose intelligence has no beginning? Where is the village that is missing its idiot? Who’s one eggroll short of a poo-poo platter?”

Ooh, I’m so scared. Give me a break. You want a scary host, give that show to Denis Leary. Give it to Dennis Miller. Hell, give it to Dennis Franz. But please, this broad is about as scary as a cranky small time bureaucrat who just got passed over for an annual COLA. Dumb as dirt, but still holding you by the short-hairs ‘cuz she’s the only one who can sign off your Jury Duty.

Since I’m on the subject, by the way, I have to say that this new show, Fear Factor, is really bringing me down. This is like Jackass with lovely prizes. [can I say 'jackass' on the air? 'jackass' is the name of the show. if I'm not allowed to say 'jackass', let me know.] American game shows have always been about skill and knowledge. You got your Jeopardy, your $64,000 Question (scandal notwithstanding), your Millionaire and your Win Ben Stein’s Money. You win prizes here in America by knowing which philosopher studied with Pliny, the name of the guy who discovered the source of the Nile, or the price of a beautiful dining room set and a lifetime of free rentals from RugDoctor. Now, all of a sudden, not only do I have to watch some idiot on MTV volunteer to get kicked in the naughty bits by a mule in the name of cutting edge entertainment, but I got a whole new show where I watch people win money being the one who can handle getting kicked the most times.

I might as well move to Japan, where skinny guys win money trying to knock fat guys off a greased balance beam into a wading pool full of scorpions with the bumper from an Isuzu in an effort to win a can of chocolate flavored cheezwhiz.

I might as well move, because I’m losing my damn neighbors and I’ve hardly got any reason to stay here any more. Hell, I work for a dot-com, so my career’s wildly stable, and my kids are old enough to fend for themselves.

I was born and raised in this lovely little bedroom community of the Silicon Valley. So was my Father. My children’s family, on their Mother’s side, goes back to the original Mexican land grants. And I’m renting my home, because I’ve never been able to afford to purchase a home here. And I’ve watched my rent go up 47 percent in the past 5 years. 47 freaking percent. And now, I watch my neighbors priced right out of being able to justify paying $1400 bucks for a 30 year old apartment that has an ocean view if you climb out the bedroom window and stand on the dumpster.

I’ve grown up listening to Johnny-come-lately residents, folks commuting the forty minutes from the fog to the smog, complain about traffic and crowding and tourists and prices. People who claim “I’ve lived here ten years, and I’ve watched this place go to hell with all these new people moving here. I’ve got mine, close the damn floodgates!”

If anybody ought to be able to say “close the damn floodgates” it’s me.

So I’m losing my neighbors. That’s the important point in all this. They’ll move away to Oregon, or Idaho, or Utah, or wherever a person can still afford to make a home for two, three or four spouses and a passel of kissing cousins. I hate to see them go, because they’ve been fast and loose with the cookies and casseroles, and because God knows what kind of freak show is going to end up moving in after them. It’s a slim chance I’ll get another neighbor that will quietly put up with me screaming and yelling while watching America’s Funniest Home Rescues or Nordic Strong Man Alligator Wrestling. I’ll probably have to start watering my own plants, and I may have to learn how to make something besides frozen potstickers.

So I’m going to abuse this on-air privelage to say so long to David, Stephanie, Terri and Richard, Tessie, Hannah, Paisley and Lincoln. I’ll miss you, and I’ll never forgive you all for leaving me.

Now, if anybody knows of any hot young co-ed lesbians looking for a place to live, have I got a place for you.

One on the left, and one on the right.

That’s it. That’s all I got.

FOOTNOTE: Original publication date – sometime in 2002. Who moved in? The woman who became my lovely wife (she’s the one in the green). Things worked out pretty good, eh?

RIP Bob Wilkins

1 Jan , 2009,
Chip Street
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Rest In Peace.

Bob Wilkins, the cigar-wielding host of “Creature Features,” the late-night movie show that aired on KTVU’s Channel 2 through the 1970s, died Wednesday in Reno from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, his family said. He was 76.

For a generation of science fiction and B-movie enthusiasts, Mr. Wilkins was the bespectacled TV host who drolly introduced underground flicks with titles such as “Attack of the Mushroom People.”

“Don’t stay up tonight,” Mr. Wilkins sometimes told viewers. “It’s not worth it.”

I grew up on Bob’s shows, was baptised by monster slime, had night terrors seeded by the images from his movies.

I had the privilege of meeting Bob once… at 15 I entered a local sand sculpture contest, of which Bob was a judge. He walked past, gave an approving nod, and shook my hand.

He’ll be missed.