R.I.P. Scotty.

I guess I’ll be watching the Super Bowl tonight — confession: Sometimes I knock out Monday’s blog on Sunday afternoon — but I’ll be thinking about Philip Seymour Hoffman, whom I suspect was just Phil to his friends. (The three-name thing is probably a quirk of the Screen Actors Guild, because there was already a member named Phil Hoffman. Same with race horses.)

Anyway, I agreed with this observation by David Weigel, that what made Hoffman so great was his versatility:

He was the rare actor who could be cast in a key role without giving away what kind of character he was playing. …You see James Woods in a movie, you know he’s going to end up wearing the black hat. You saw Hoffman — and you had no clue.

That’s right. Lots of people mention “Capote,” but that one didn’t stick with me; it was so much about the voice. Truman Capote was sort of a human cartoon, and as with any cartoon, it’s mostly painted in primary colors.

My favorite Hoffman roles are far darker, with “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” at the top of the list; he plays a traitorous son who betrays his parents for money, a real train wreck of a guy, but as with all his roles, he half makes you root for him. There’s a scene in that one where he visits a high-end drug house — drug apartment, this being Manhattan — that serves as an oasis for well-to-do users. You pay not only for the dope, but for the shooting services and a room to nod in. We see him stretched out on the bed in his underwear (Hoffman had no vanity about his lumpy body), staring at the ceiling with dope eyes, and honestly, it’s all I could think of when I heard the news.

But there was also “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” and “The Big Lebowski.” He played a feckless WASP in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and a WASP-hater in “Charlie Wilson’s War” — see his big scene in the Dave Weigel link, above. Also, “The Savages” and “Moneyball,” and he was the only thing that made “Pirate Radio” worth two hours of your time. Like Chris Cooper, he brought authority to his parts. I saw Cooper play, in the course of a few years, an oil wildcatter, a horse trainer, an FBI agent and an orchid thief, and if I’d met him on the street outside the theater showing “Seabiscuit,” I’d have asked him how to get a horse to bend to the right. Put Hoffman in a baseball uniform, and oh, hey, I didn’t know you were manager of the Oakland A’s, Phil.

Goddamn fucking heroin.

Anyway: Twelve great Hoffman performances, with video clips. David Edelstein on the actor and the man. Feel free to add your own.

Remember when Super Bowl halftime shows were put on by Up With People? Deadspin remembers.

Meanwhile, it looks like another character-builder of a week. It snowed half the day Saturday, then switched to rain, a lot of it. The new wet snow, the melting of the old stuff and the rain left huge slushy puddles everywhere, and then what happened? The temperature dropped, and will stay low all week. Which means what we thought was icy lumpy fuck? This is icy lumpy fuck. It’s awful.

But every day, the days get longer. And now it’s February. Onward.

Posted at 12:30 am in Movies |

81 responses to “R.I.P. Scotty.”

  1. Bowditch said on February 3, 2014 at 1:25 am

    RIP, indeed. What a tragic loss, and how poignantly emphatic is Mr. Hoffman’s death as an example of the opportunity cost of opiate addiction. I have a recollection of an iconic quote, to the effect that some things are too good to try just once (Burroughs?), but I can’t find it. Anyone?

    The other words that crossed my mind were from Abbie Hoffman: “Avoid all needle drugs, the only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon.”

    I haven’t seen much of the body of Mr. Hoffman’s work, but of those films I recall, I was most impressed with Doubt, which left me emotionally exhausted. Reading laments offered by fellow actors, I find one of Father Flynn’s lines from that performance sadly resonant: “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone.”

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  2. Dexter said on February 3, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Same with William H. Macy, sometimes tagged as “Wm. H. Macy.” There already was a Bill Macy, an old actor who played on “All In the Family” and “Maude” and shit like that.

    I enjoyed most of PSHs roles, but his portrayal of Art Howe did not come close in any way. I used to see Howe play when his Charleston Charlies team played in Toledo back in 1975. There were small crowds there at the Maumee ballpark and we’d make small talk with the players sometimes and Art was a very nice guy who really seemed to be a leader and was quick with a smile and he had a sense of humor; a real level-headed guy. In the movie PSH played him as a fat, grudging asshole, which was totally off. Howe explains: http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2011/09/28/art-howe-livid-over-his-portrayal-in-moneyball/

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  3. Deborah said on February 3, 2014 at 5:54 am

    I wonder where PSH’s wife and kids were when he was using?

    I did a stupid thing, I agreed to go back to Chicago in the middle of February. I hate Feb in Chicago, but my husband can’t come to New Mexico because of work/teaching then and we try to be together every 3 or 4 weeks, so it means I have to go there. I already have my plane ticket so I can’t get out of it either. It’s just for a week, but the weather will probably be awful as it usually is in February. I wasn’t planning on going back until late March when things start to get better there.

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  4. ROGirl said on February 3, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Synecdoche, New York is one of those aggressively quirky movies that I either love or hate. I did like it a lot, it stood up to a 2nd viewing. PSH was a big part of that.

    More snow forecast for tomorrow night and Wed. No rain here, but the snow was icy and heavy. Luckily, a neighbor buzzed through with his snow blower. My street doesn’t get cleared until well after the main roads are cleared.

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  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 3, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Deborah, they were separated.

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  6. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 3, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Oh, and hat tip, Sherri. 12 years, and I’ll bet today, too. God bless.

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  7. Alan Stamm said on February 3, 2014 at 7:23 am

    At the New Yorker, Richard Brody has four punchy paragraphs on Phil: http://nyr.kr/1n6kcJd

    “Genius, whether at its most constructive or destructive, its most sublime or its most repugnant, is unnatural; Hoffman lived for great art, and it’s impossible to escape the idea that he died for it. The complete price of his nearly superhuman ability has yet to be reckoned.”

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  8. beb said on February 3, 2014 at 8:18 am

    I hate being the cranky old man here. I never saw any of the movies Hoffman apparently was in. I never had any interest in seeing any of them either. When my wife mentioned that he had died last night my reaction was “who?” and a shrug.

    Basset — if you are unexpectedly losing weight you might want to check your blood sugar. I am type II diabetic and would have this inexplicable 20 pound weight swings which my doctor thought was being caused by my diabetes going out of control.

    We went to see a Chinese New Year’s celebration at the Detroit Institute of Art Sunday. It featured a local martial arts group giving a performance of the “Lion Dance” (?) I couldn’t quite hear what the announcer called it. Turns ouit what I always thought was a dragon’s head was how the Chinese thought a lion (which they’d never seen) looked. But it was fun. A lot of drumming. My ears were still ringing a half hour later. Then we went out for Chinese for supper.

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  9. Mindy said on February 3, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Up With People, yeah I remember. Every year at Super Bowl time I think of Thomas Boswell’s The First 99 Reasons Why Baseball is Better Than Football. 1. Bands. 2. Half time with bands. 3. Cheerleaders at half time with bands. 4. Up With People singing “The Impossible Dream” during a Blue Angels flyover at half time with bands.

    Google tells me that I’ve had this thought every year since 1987. Make it stop!

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  10. nancy said on February 3, 2014 at 8:31 am

    My junior-high choir director made us sing “Up With People” — that was their theme song — while being fronted by a former student who was a member. He (the choir director) was convinced the guy was on the verge of breaking out big, based on him being a semi-regular on the “The 50-50 Club” with Ruth Lyons and Bob Braun. (He looked like Bob Braun, in fact. A younger version.) There really was a generation gap then, and people like my choir teacher couldn’t understand why more kids couldn’t listen to wholesome stuff like Up With People.

    I can still do the hand gestures for the chorus.

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  11. nancy said on February 3, 2014 at 8:34 am

    OK. In fact, I remember the lyrics:

    It happened just this morning
    I was walking down the street
    A milkman, a postman and a policeman I did meet
    There at every window, and at every single door
    Why, I recognized people I never noticed before

    Up, up with people (bring hands up from elbows, thumbs up)
    You meet ’em wherever you go (mime shaking hands)
    Up, up with people (same as above)
    They’re the best kind of folks we know (wave)
    If more people were for people, all people everywhere (swinging from the shoulder, point left, center, left, center right, right)
    There’d be a lot less people to worry about, and a lot more people who’d care (reverse pointing, above)

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  12. alex said on February 3, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Didn’t even realize PSH was in “Scent of a Woman,” in which Al Pacino gave a memorable performance as a blind military veteran and crazy man who manages to evade his caretakers and run off with a teen-aged boy to go screw whores and test-drive a Ferrari. The first role in which I took note of PSH was as a perv yanking off to phone sex in “Happiness,” a Todd Solondz effort that briefly revived the career of Louise Lasser in a supporting role. (I was surprised to see her name in the opening credits and watched for her throughout the film, but it didn’t dawn on me which character she played until the show was almost over. She was so hagged out from her life of boozing and drugging that she was nearly unrecognizable.) When I saw him in “Capote” and a few other films I began to appreciate his acting chops. His Capote at first struck me as over the top, a lampoon of simpering, infantilized femininity that outdid Marilyn Monroe at her own schtick. Then I saw actual footage of Miss Thing from the ’60s. Al Pacino couldn’t have carried that one off.


    As for Up with People, they performed at my grade school back in the late ’60s or early ’70s. They were treaclier than a Disney flick, whiter than a John Birch convention and gayer than a goose. Gayer than Truman Capote even. It doesn’t surprise me that they were the featured entertainment at the Super Bowl and not some pop musical act, when you consider how wide the generation gap was at the time. The Lovin’ Spoonful or the Cowsills would probably have caused a bigger hissy than Janet Jackson flashing a pastie.

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  13. Kim said on February 3, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Beat me to it, Nance. My elementary school choir director was big on Up w/People and made us do the song-and-dance schtick, which is branded on my brain. Some days I can’t remember what time of day my kids were born but the choreography, to the hand flick, of that stupid-ass song abides.

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  14. coozledad said on February 3, 2014 at 9:11 am

    t happened just this morning
    I was walking down the street
    A milkman, a postman and a policeman I did meet
    There at every window, and at every single door
    Why, I recognized people I never noticed before

    And when they took me in for questioning
    they paused between the floors
    and the guy who held the switch said
    “You reckon this is that panty sniffer that’s stealing milk and going through people’s mail?”

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  15. Kim said on February 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Up w/People: the subversive version to the rescue. You are a dependable one, Cooz!

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  16. Scout said on February 3, 2014 at 9:16 am

    I am actually pissed that PSH died. Fucking heroin.

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  17. Kirk said on February 3, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Rob Reider, Nance?

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    • nancy said on February 3, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Yes! I couldn’t quite summon the name. I kept thinking of Rob Reiner. I just looked him up; he was in “The Shawshank Redemption,” along with Clancy Brown, another Ohioan with famous patrons. His role was “duty guard,” which suggests showbiz wasn’t kind to him, before or since.

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  18. jcburns said on February 3, 2014 at 9:49 am

    You must not teach Kate that Up With People song, Nancy. That horror must die with our generation. By the way, enjoy this fine snapshot of Mr. Braun, who was on a first-name basis with his adoring audience. (You know, by the way, his son anchors the news in Cincy on WKRC now?)

    Oh, and Rob Reider is apparently “the number one air show announcer in North America.”

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  19. Deborah said on February 3, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I went to an Up With People concert with a friend who was really into them, I think I was in high school. There must have been more than one group, they were all over the place.

    The lyrics and the hand gestures cracked me up.

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  20. Bitter Scribe said on February 3, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I never knew that the guys in Up with People were mostly gay, but it doesn’t surprise me.

    To go from that to Anita Bryant. Sheesh.

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  21. Basset said on February 3, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Beb, being borderline type 2 I check my sugar daily – has been higher than I’d like but we’re working on that.

    Don’t think Up with People ever came to my high school, too small and rural, but I did call lights for the Singing Hoosiers once, if that counts.

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  22. Basset said on February 3, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Movie night at the house on Saturday – Jr’s girlfriend came over & they watched “The Butler” with Mrs. B, I couldn’t get interested in it and was cooking anyway. Then “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan,” which may be the worst Hollywood movie I have ever seen. By the time that finally got done it was ten at night, I was about a sheet and a half to the wind and had to put in “Hard Day’s Night” just to end on something decent.

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  23. Kirk said on February 3, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Do you suppose Rob R. has a patented stunt-crash call, much as baseball announcers have a standard home-run call?

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  24. Dave said on February 3, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Rob Reider, Ruth Lyons, 50/50 Club. I remember Rob Reider, too but wasn’t there another wholesome youth group touring and making TV appearances besides Up With People? I’m stuck for a name. Perhaps it was one of those groups that my mother would say, “Why don’t you like something like that?”

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  25. Sherri said on February 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Jeff @6, next month actually, but thanks anyway!

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  26. coozledad said on February 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Perhaps it was one of those groups that my mother would say, “Why don’t you like something like that?”
    The Mike Curb Congregation? My older brother bought the 45 of their title song for “Kelly’s Heroes”. That was one of the key pieces of evidence that helped me establish he was a hopeless dweeb, and I was free to ignore him.

    Then there’s The Carpenters, who are impossible to listen to unironically unless you’ve just given up and are planning to blow your head off anyway. I still can’t believe they were a pop act. Even “Sing a Song” sounds like something someone is singing as they climb a few dozen flights of stairs to hurl themselves off the Brill building.

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  27. coozledad said on February 3, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    You’ve got to fight for your right to whiplash.

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  28. Dexter said on February 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I am disappointed that we’re not discussing the kick-ass show Bruno Mars put on last night feat. Red Hot Chili Peppers. Best show since Prince in Miami , singing “Purple Rain” in the rain. Bruno was the most live-wire, energetic entertainer ever to do the halftime SuperBowl show.
    “Up With People”? I remember the name but I am quite sure I ignored them as best I could…I cannot recall a thing about them, it, or whatever they were and did.

    This ice is just getting worse. It’s really difficult to walk anywhere but a perfectly scrapped sidewalk, and there aren’t any in my neighborhood. I can barely get to my parking spot. I can’t remember a worse walking winter, but I am old now, too. Without my walking poles I would be stuck here in the house. Icy. Lumpy. FUCK!

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  29. Bitter Scribe said on February 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Dexter, thanks…glad to know I’m not the only one who liked Bruno’s show. I’d barely heard of the kid, but he has a lot of talent. And nerve, opening with a drum solo.

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  30. Dexter said on February 3, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Bitter Scribe: Here’s my favorite Bruno video; it is pure joy.
    Bruno has been around since he was a wee tyke. He was a “Baby Elvis” impersonator. He was really good at it. Now, all grown up.

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  31. Charlotte said on February 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Dex and Bitter — I don’t get the Bruno Mars thing. He seemed entirely deriviative to me. If you’re going to do Motown dancing with guys in matching jackets, then it seems you have a duty to do it *better* than the original guys — and that wasn’t even as good as the Jackson 5. His voice is nothing to write home about either. He’s cute as a little button, but to us, it just looked like he was making lazy references to other, more innovative and exciting acts of the past.
    Can you explain why we’re wrong? Don’t get it.

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  32. MichaelG said on February 3, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I’d never heard of Bruno Mars which sounds like a made up name. Half time came at 5:00 so I switched to the news. I’ve never seen a super bowl half time show that I liked. I do, however, like the $131.25 that I won in an office super bowl pool.

    Slate has a good write up on the commercials and they have about a dozen of them available for your viewing pleasure including that Jaime Casino one that Cooz links to. According to Josh Marshall’s TPM, the Coke America commercial pissed off the right wing nut jobs. No surprise there.

    The one I couldn’t follow was the one that used a little black girl to sell Maseratis. It was a real “Huh?” moment.

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  33. Jeff Borden said on February 3, 2014 at 1:17 pm


    I also saw several reports of right-wing outrage over the Coca-Cola commercial with social media exploding over the use of foreign languages singing about America. Naturally, some of the doofuses are calling for a boycott of Coke for its “anti-American” commercials and some of the lesser lights of Faux News were all over it on Twitter. I mentioned this in a Facebook comment, but don’t conservatives have a clue as to how business works? They like to pass themselves off as living in the real world, taking care of business, etc., but they don’t recognize an enormous global enterprise like Coca-Cola and its need to speak in many languages to further its business?

    Are conservatives out to prove every liberal trope about being dumb, xenophobic and racist to the point of trashing a freaking TV commercial?

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  34. Dave said on February 3, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    What percentage of the viewing audience is in the Maserati demographic? That’s what I was thinking when I finally discovered at the end of the commercial that it was a Maserati ad. I’m certain that I’ve never seen a Maserati TV ad before.

    I confess to liking the Radio Shack ad, “The eighties called and want their stuff back”, although I think Radio Shack’s time has passed. My youngest sister went off on the Coke commercial on Facebook notes and her adult son went right after her, good for him. When she started in, I couldn’t help but think of Deborah’s sister, my apologies to Deborah.

    Cooze, Mike Curb Congregation might be it. Wasn’t he also a record producer in LA? It seems like I remember a Rolling Stone article on him, circa mid-seventies, when I was a regular reader, where he thought he was all-powerful and should run for the Senate or maybe governor of California. As for The Carpenters, for some reason, I always liked their “Ticket to Ride”, but then, there’s no accounting for taste. Oh, and “Close to You”. No, I didn’t buy their records.

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  35. Deborah said on February 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Bruno Mars sounds like a name that Wim Wenders would use for one of the characters in a movie of his. I have no idea who Mars is, didn’t watch the Super Bowl either.

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  36. Sue said on February 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Poor Coke. Criticized for sponsoring the anti-gay venue Sochi Olympics AND for being a bunch of liberal hippie-freaks in the Super Bowl. They can’t catch a break.
    Perhaps the excessive backlash against the Coke commercial is because everyone knew the Cheerios commercial was off-limits.

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  37. LAMary said on February 3, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    In New Jersey we had Up Yours, People.

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  38. Charlotte said on February 3, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Dave — we have a *great* local Radio Shak — very small town, with a sideline in fixing computers for our local, mostly rural, not very computer-savvy population. Run by an old hippie. And they’ll take anything back if it doesn’t work. I don’t care about the franchise, but I’d hate to lose those guys …

    And have to say, the PSH death hit me in the gut. A little younger than I am, so talented, so interesting — three little kids (thank god they weren’t there). Good piece on Slate: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/2014/02/philip_seymour_hoffman_death_remembering_an_actor_who_could_do_everything.html

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  39. nancy said on February 3, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Oh, just in case anyone, after reading all this talk of addiction, thinks they might want to watch an addiction movie? DON’T make it “Thanks for Sharing.” It sucked audibly start to finish.

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  40. MarkH said on February 3, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Michael G – It is a made-up name. His real name is Peter Gene Hernandez, born and raised in Hawaii (no kidding). I liked the show as well. Nothing wrong with being derivative as long as you can pull it off, Charlotte. Which he/they did. Just a matter of taste. Anyway it was much better than the game where the Tampa Bay Bucaneers showed up dressed as the Denver Broncos.


    Three degrees of separation here: I was wondering if Nancy was talking about Reider, or the other singer who appeared regularly on Braun’s show, more studly but not nearly as talented, Randy Wiedner. In the early ’70s I dated an attractive blonde in Cincy for a brief time. One night after dinner we went to a hipster tavern in Mt. Adams called the Blind Lemon. Sometimes they had live music, and unbeknownst to us, on this night it was…Rob Reider. Stayed for one drink, where Marilyn informed me that the guy she just broke up with was…the aforementioned Randy. Two weeks later, we broke up because Randy came calling again. Oh, well. BTW, Ruth Lyons was gone by ’67 due to bad health and the show became Braun’s alone. In the early ’60s, Cincinnati’s Frisch’s Big Boy restaurants actually named one of their sandwiches after Braun due to his buff physique, the Brawny Lad. Braun died of Parkinson’s complications in 2001.

    Further trivia: If I’m not mistaken, during a previous discussion of Braun a couple of years ago, our very own Julie Robinson acknowledged on this site that she appeared on Braun’s show singing in one of these UWP-type groups. Julie, am I wrong?

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  41. Maggie Jochild said on February 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    What is enjoyable about the white-supremacists freaking out about the BLASPHEMY of our NATIONAL ANTHEM being sung in NON-ENGLISH by BROWN PEOPLE is (a) it is not, in fact, our national anthem, and (b) it was written by a lesbian.

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  42. Dexter said on February 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Bruno…his dad nicknamed him for Bruno Sammartino, an old Italian “rassler”. He made up “Mars” himself, referring to his own perceived “other-worldly” greatness…just riffin’ and goofin’, in other words.
    Charlotte, my brother is almost eight years younger than me and he called and began ranting “who were those [****ers] at halftime? Terrible. I had to mute that noise.” He said they should bring back “people like Paul McCartney…” and I just said, “sure, OK…”, cuz I can’t convince people to like what I like. To me, Bruno is much more fun to watch than Michael, but I had a real bad ‘tude about than that fucking child molesting perverted damn weirdo anyway.

    Back to the even less agreeable topic of heroin: Here’s a brand new story from The Atlantic:

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  43. mark said on February 3, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Thank you for the link, Dexter. A more reasonable, less romanticized approach than in the New Yorker.

    “80 milligram OxyContin pill will cost you $40. “Oxys” are safe in that the potency is predictable. Pills usually trade in safer parts of town than the North Philadelphia heroin corners where bullets can fly at any moment and the Narc Squad is always on the prowl. You pay a premium for upscale product, though; for the same amount of money, you could get four bags of heroin that are just as potent. Eventually, heavy users run out of money for pills and seek out cheaper powders. These new users are fueling a surge in heroin purchases in locations as remote as Vermont. Hoffman himself reportedly first relapsed on pills before moving into heroin use.”

    Renewed interest in heroin is just one of the consequences of the deluge of prescription opiates. More to come.

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  44. Dexter said on February 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Mark H…I was brought up in a nuclear family and Mom loved to listen to Ruth Lyons, so I listened too when I was near her radio. Pity, I don’t remember any of her radio partners or sidekicks. But I loved Brawny Lads. We had an Azar’s Big Boy near us and we ate there and later when my pals began getting licenses to drive the family heaps, we’d end up at Big Boy and I’d get my Brawny Lad. Thanks for the information; I never would have guessed it was named for a beefy fella! Shee-itt!

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  45. MarkH said on February 3, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Nancy, Kirk, Dave, others from WLW-TVland in the ’70s, you can satisfy your curiosity about Reider by being in Covington, KY on Feb. 28th for this:


    Just sayin’.

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  46. brian stouder said on February 3, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    If our 15 year old reads this blog, she’s certain to think we’re a bunch of old fogies.

    I know about Bruno because she loves that guy, and indeed, at last year’s Grammys he put on a whale of a show, and did a duet with Sting which I enjoyed tremendously.

    And for the record, the year that McCartney did the Super Bowl, I sincerely believed he was lyp synching like a sonofabitch

    Regarding drugs and untimely deaths, let me say one inappropriate thing: Why couldn’t it be Oxy-Rush found dead atop his john, for once?

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  47. brian stouder said on February 3, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    make that ‘lip synching’!

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  48. MarkH said on February 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Dexter, we’re about the same age, and my family was similar. I would go home for lunch from school sometimes and my mom would have either Braun’s show on, or Nick Clooney’s competing WCPO show, where he did essentially the same thing. Only Clooney was a better singer. Another degree of separation is that Braun’s son, Rob, succeeded Clooney as evening news anchor at WKRC-TV.

    For a time we lived near the original Frisch’s Mainliner in eastern Cincy, and until they closed the drive-in part due to loud hot rods and rowdy behavior, it was a regular hang out for high schoolers, and all those sandwiches were a diet staple.

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  49. MichaelG said on February 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    That’s hilarious, Mary. I think with Christy they still have up yours, people.

    I remember Radio Shack from when I was a kid way back in the ‘50s. At that time it was a mostly mail order place in Boston, I think. They used to send out a catalogue in the form of a black and white tabloid. I would paw through it in wide eyed wonder gazing at tubes and resistors and switches and ham radios and all the electronic stuff that existed in the world in those days. I really wanted a ham radio but they cost real money,

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  50. MichaelG said on February 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    Lip synching. I remember years ago reading a review of some singer in the SF Chron in which the critic took the singer to task for lip synching, commenting that he probably even lip synchs in the shower.

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  51. Julie Robinson said on February 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    MarkH, you remember correctly, but I’d like to think we were way hipper than UWP. We wore halter-top dresses and there were no jazz hands.

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  52. Sherri said on February 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    MarkH@40, Tampa Bay gave Seattle a better game than Denver did; they lost in OT in Seattle. For that matter, everybody they played gave Seattle a better game than Denver did. Seattle was a particularly bad matchup for Denver. When you have a quarterback who can’t challenge them deep, no matter that he’s a presumptive Hall of Famer, that defense is going to eat you alive.

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  53. Charlotte said on February 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Brian @46 — every time I see McCartney now, all I can see is Craig Fergeson’s joke about how much he looks like Angela Landsbury ….

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  54. Sue said on February 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    Good thing the English language is flexible and accepting, otherwise how do you explain a good-old-English song title that starts with an Italian word?
    And re Bruno: Derivative or not, that young man was the hardest working man in show business on a few levels last night. Talent and showmanship and not a tongue in sight.

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  55. brian stouder said on February 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    What Sue said!!

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  56. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 3, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Energy and showmanship, yes, but I kept thinking “Morris Day and the Time”! And the fact that it was the first since Prince to have that sort of legitimate “on your feet” vibe…. fun. But then I went to the Carson & Hughes Newshour on PBS.

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  57. Dave said on February 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    My mother never watched Ruth Lyons, I believe she was on the (was it?) four station Crosley network, being WLW-C, WLW-D, WLW-T, and WLW-I, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, and Indy, as well as the simulcast on WLW radio. My aunt, however, was a big fan and would go with a group every year from her home in Chillicothe to Cincinnati to be in the audience. They always showed the audience on the show and Mom would always watch to look for her sister. Since this was well before VCR’s, even, we kids never got to see our aunt on TV.

    Yes, those stations were hyphenated in those days.

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  58. Sue said on February 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    And MMJeff, your comment made me think of Otis Day and the Knights. Now I want to watch Animal House.
    Such a wide-ranging discussion today.

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  59. Dorothy said on February 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Hey y’all I read the first 6 or 7 comments earlier this morning and just skipped all the way to the end because I was so excited to share my news with y’all. I’ll read the other comments later tonight – but my news is I got a job offer today! It’s been 12 days since the interview – it’s at the University of Dayton in the Business School. I’m so excited! I start two weeks from today. Just a few days before that we expect our son to be home. This month couldn’t get any better if it tried! I take that back – I might run out and buy some lottery tickets tomorrow. I can’t today – my car is out getting an oil change. But I hope my luck continues for some $$$ on a scratch off ticket!!

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  60. brian stouder said on February 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Congratulations, Dorothy; and, I admire your bravery in the face of a whole new set of challenges

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  61. Bob (not Greene) said on February 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Sue, Bruno actually did an “Otis Day and the Knights” bit (little bit softer now, little bit louder now) during his set. I thought Bruno was fun, but, yes, way more derivative than I expected. The guy that kept popping into my head was Jackie Wilson.

    Speaking of Jackie Wilson, one of my favorite renditions of one of his tunes, a bilingual version of “Lonely Teardrops”


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  62. Deborah said on February 3, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Good news Dorothy! Congratulations on all fronts.

    I’m at the airport in Albuquerque waiting for Liitle Bird’s return after the funeral. I’m sure she’ll have lots of stories to share.

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  63. DellaDash said on February 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Congrats, Dorothy!

    I’m in the Bruno Mars camp. He’s got a good voice, and he can throw down on the dance floor!

    Gobsmacked for a NY minute about PSH. Another celebrity bites the OD dust. Mostly, the news just invokes a mantra that keeps occurring when I visit here: ‘wwpsai?’ (what would Prospero say about it?)

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  64. Julie Robinson said on February 3, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Double good news, Dorothy! You’ve been rather quiet lately and I wondered if things were okay. I’m so happy for you.

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  65. Kirk said on February 3, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    My mother said the same thing about Paul McC. 50 years ago, when the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

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  66. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Morris Day and the Time in “Purple Rain”: https://myspace.com/jimandkris/video/morris-day-and-the-time-jungle-love-from-purple-rain-/11138292

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  67. alex said on February 3, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    A Morris Day song I like better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX1o-os-TMs

    And a Vanity 6 song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfLZfyphg0M

    I’m having an ’80s nostalgia trip. Thanks Jeff. I have a particular recollection of a bar fight (if you could call a catty queen encounter like this one such a thing) down at IU Bloomington. I got into it with a j-school student over the relative merits of Purple Rain (the movie). I thought it was mediocre and had no compunction about saying so, but Miss Thing (whose initials were WB) took it as badly as if I’d kicked a kitten and insulted his dead mother.

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  68. Scout said on February 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Great news, Dorothy! Congrats!

    One more thing… LAMary @ 37 FTW.

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  69. Suzanne said on February 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    First off, let me say that football game was mighty dull. I didn’t think the commercials were dull, too. Renee Fleming rocked it with the National Anthem (live and in person), although her dress was a bit much. Diva all the way!

    I didn’t know who Bruno Mars was either. He seemed pretty good and it was nice to not have to watch somebody twerk and bump and grind while lip synching.

    I love Hoffman in Doubt. His performance was so spot on that I still can’t decide if his character was a rat or a victim. Sad all the way around.

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  70. Suzanne said on February 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Oops! I meant the commercials were dull. Very dull.

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  71. alex said on February 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Congrats Dorothy!

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  72. basset said on February 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    If you happen to see a plane crash in Nashville on CNN or wherever… that was 1.3 miles from the house according to Google Earth, right across the street from the Publix where Mrs. B and I get our meds. Far as we can tell from various reports it was a twin-engine turboprop with four on board, missed an approach at a nearby airport (Joe, it was JWN), tried to come back around and never got there. Hit in the back yard of a YMCA, right in the middle of a heavily populated area.

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  73. basset said on February 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    And… I will join the chorus of positive reinforcement for Dorothy. Way to go!

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  74. MarkH said on February 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Basset, I just read the story and was here to ask you about it and of you and the Mrs. were safe. Looks like the pilot died a hero as he was successful in missing the populated buildings. Glad you’re OK.

    And, yes, belated congrats to Dorothy on the new job! They must know you’re really something!

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  75. Kirk said on February 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Job-clinching line in Dorothy’s resume:

    * Regular poster on nancynall.com

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  76. beb said on February 3, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    After I read who it was that was complaining about the Coke commercial – Allen West, Breidbart.com… I could only laugh. These are professional out-rage mongers. If they weren’t outraged by the Coke ad, maybe it would be the Dylan ad or how Gov. Christie had been all but erased from Superbowl coverage. Or maybe they’d demand that Pres. should have come out during the halftime to apologize for Benghazi.

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  77. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 4, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Certainement, I’m told that some had a visceral bout of quelle horreur to the Coca-Cola ad. That reaction can trigger a bout of schadenfreude for me, a sort of deja-vu, even a frisson of angst. I totally understand why Anglophiles would have pantophobia about needing to erect a cordon-sanitaire, a sort of ghetto around their lingua franca.

    Pardonnez-moi (sic).

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  78. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 4, 2014 at 12:12 am

    English is a veritable smorgasbord of linguistic inclusion, ne c’est pas?

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  79. Dexter said on February 4, 2014 at 12:15 am

    My high school pal Larry has had Ham radios since he was about eleven years old. He was friends with Bob Sievers through the Ham radio, the WOWO radio legend from Fort Wayne . He had spoken and made friends with many celebs over the years. Joe Walsh (the rock and roller) travelled far to buy analog tubes for his old model radios. That is what his song “Analog Man” was about, partially. Larry designed and supervised installation of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department land radio network a few years ago. Did you know Marlon Brando was a Ham radio enthusiast? Larry called him up on his mobile unit and Marlo Brando invited Larry to come to his home for a meet and greet. Larry went and checked out Brando’s set-up, drank a Pepsi and left. How fucking cool is THAT? 🙂

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  80. beb said on February 4, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Kids have hated the Arabs for over a thousand years since the bete noir in school is al-gebra, the Arabic school of numbers.

    Just kidding. Jeff worked in French, German and Latin into his comment but that barely begins the ocean of loan words adopted into English. Berzerk (norse) Kamikaze (Japanese) and amok (Filipino) are all words that mean variations of killing while crazy.

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