August 20, 2001
EVERY DAY, Monday through Friday, I make a point of visiting Comic
Book Resources, a fine website that covers the funnybook biz. There, you'll find some fine columnists, including Steven Grant and "Gail,"
and you'll also find the daily column of my long-time pal, Scott Shaw! It's called Oddball Comics and it's an outgrowth of a slide show Scott
has been presenting for years at conventions, always to capacity (and delighted) audiences. In the show and on the site, Scott presents some of
the weirder comic books ever published — the kind that makes you wonder what, if anything, the editors were thinking that day. And no
comics were ever odder than the ones that appeared on the comic called Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane. This week, Scott presents five
thoroughly-bizarre Lois Lane covers, including the two above. Rush to Scott's website by clicking here and enjoy his witty, informative commentary on this cover and others.
NBC has been running and rerunning a limited number of vintage SCTV episodes in the Later slot, every night after
Conan O'Brien. I'm told that they're not airing a wider array of episodes because, being up in Canada and all, the original series was very lax
about clearing rights to the songs they used. Ergo, to broadcast certain episodes these days would require skillful negotiation and some hefty
fees, so we get the same ones, over and over. Some (not all) of them are actually worth it...though you won't be enjoying them for long.
NBC has decided to take Later back to the talk show format and to bring in Carson Daly to sit behind the desk, commencing early next year.
This is an interesting move and I can't say I really understand it. Before they began running SCTV, NBC was trying out
different hosts in the job, reportedly to try and find the perfect one. What they wound up discovering was that it really didn't matter who
hosted the thing. The show got a 1.5 rating no matter who sat in the big chair. It would have gotten a 1.5 if you'd hosted it or I'd
hosted it or your Aunt Tillie had hosted it. Didn't make any difference. The ratings only fluctuated when a superstar guest appeared or
when Mr. O'Brien provided an unusually strong lead-in. After a year or three of immaterial host tryouts, NBC announced they would use the time
slot to test out new concepts and innovative programming...and they promptly came up with the new and innovative notion of airing reruns of an old
show they already owned and had on the shelf. The SCTV reruns, by the way, have been pretty consistently getting a 1.5 rating, what a
So why dump free (or almost free) programming that gets a 1.5 rating to bring in a show they'll have to spend money to produce and
which will get a 1.5 rating? The only explanation that makes any sense to me is that they have bigger plans for Mr. Daly...as they once did for
Greg Kinnear and a few of the temps who replaced him. In any case, you won't be without access to SCTV for long. They're finally
about to release some episodes on VHS and DVD — and we can only hope they haul out some that haven't been repeated into oblivion lately.
The Godfather parody with Guy Caballero as the Don was brilliant but it loses a little something the nineteenth time you see it. Except
for the part where Eugene Levy plays Floyd the Barber.
WANT TO KNOW my problem with the press? A lot of it is demonstrated by a commentary piece that ran recently in The Wall
Street Journal lambasting Hillary Clinton and apparently misrepresenting a lot of facts in order to do so. Over on a website called ConWebWatch, an author named Joe Moran laid down a pretty strong case that the editorial was,
to put it politely, full of manure. Here's a direct
link to his article. Please let me know if you ever come across anything that proves Moran is wrong orif you spot anyone other than
Hillary-partisans finding fault with this piece. I think a lot of absolute nonsense has been printed about just about everyone in public life,
be they Democratic, Republican or None of the Above. And you so rarely see (a) the source correct the error and/or (b)
anyone rise to object unless it's consistent with their political agenda. If it slams the guy you're against, it's true, end of story.
I also think that any reporter or pundit who spends more than ten seconds on Al Gore's beard, or who reads any deep character or
political insight into it, should be fired immediately.
Good editorial in the New York Daily News about our alleged president's
financial planning. Here's the
OKAY...not that anyone asked for one but here's an up-to-date (as of last night) list of websites devoted to Groo the Wanderer. If you know of one I've omitted, drop me a note...
Click here to read the previous NEWS FROM ME