My strongest memory of Robert Forster is specific to our common hometown. When I was in high school, and then a few years later when I returned briefly to Rochester (NY), the local newspapers inevitably attached a special prefix to his name until it became automatic for my friends and me to refer to him light-heartedly as “Rochester’s own Robert Forster” in our everyday speech.

I’m not sure why he qualified for this specialized sobriquet because other, more famous, people did not. The papers didn’t always refer to “Rochester’s own Mitch Miller” or Old Hoss Radbourn, Gorilla Monsoon, William Warfield, Cab Calloway, or Susan B Anthony, but every single mention of Forster came with his universal prefix, until it became part of his name.

Part of the reason, I guess, is that Forster was not just passing through. He was born and raised in Rochester and then graduated from the University of Rochester. But his deep roots are not the whole enchilada. Other celebrities had similar backgrounds, but only Forster was always “Rochester’s own.”

I have a theory about the real reason. I speak occasionally with another old Rochester friend who, like me, wandered far from the city, and we once discussed how we always enjoyed watching Forster, but not because of his performances. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. Forster was not really one of those trained, cultured actors who can assume any personality, or hide his origins inside of perfect diction or a pitch-perfect impersonation of some obscure regional dialect. He didn’t play Hamlet or ancient kings or European counts. He was always just a regular schlub with a heavy Rochester accent. Maybe that’s why Forster earned that permanent “Rochester’s own.” Those other people I mentioned above could have been from anywhere, but when any Rochesterian hears Robert Forster’s voice, we hear our own uncles. When we are far away, we hear home.

He was one of ours.

We’ve lost a part of us.

“The most recent episode of South Park, ‘Band in China,’ has been generating loads of media attention for its sharp critique of the way Hollywood tends to shape its content to avoid offending Chinese government censors in any way whatsoever.

Now, those very same government censors, in the real world, have lashed back at South Park by deleting virtually every clip, episode and online discussion of the show from Chinese streaming services, social media and even fan pages.”

Franco actually ran classes in how to do sex scenes and nude scenes, and it has been well known that he crossed the customary boundaries with his female students. One of the actresses suing him had already made all these same allegations in May of 2018.

Since the activities were already public knowledge and Franco showed no sign of contrition, it was only a matter of time before legal action.

Man, we should put living people on U.S. stamps. I’d like to see a handsome/ugly Americans series. One stamp would include The Hoff and Martin Van Buren. The one above was part of a series on great “humoristes Canadiens,” which also included Jim Carrey, Catherine O’Hara, Mike Myers, and some Canadian dude who actually chose to stay in Canada, thus avoiding human audiences, choosing instead to entertain polar bears with his wacky hijinks.

My dad’s favorite dumb stamp was this one, featuring the two greatest figures in modern music:

Scoop’s note: I brought this excellent post up from the comment section to here.

As someone that went to high school with Jon Cryer, I can definitively state that I was NOT the one that took his virginity. I can say the same thing about Jon Favreau (who also went to high school with him), mainly because I didn’t actually know either of them at the time. For the record, the Bronx High School of Science has a a student body of about 3200 students. Cryer was a senior my freshman year and Favreau a junior so it’s not too surprising I didn’t know them. I learned about Jon Cryer when his film with Demi Moore, No Small Affair, was released because it was a big deal a just graduated student was starring in a movie. I have not however ever seen it.

I had no idea Favreau went to Bronx Science until reading it somewhere about a decade ago. Interestingly, Tom Holland spent a day attending classes at Bronx Science, prior to playing Peter Parker/Spider-man. That was because, in the film, Peter Parker attends an elite high school focused on science. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was arranged by Favreau, who of course costarred in both Marvel Spider-Man films.

There are three specialized science high schools in NYC whose admissions are entirely based on a competitive admissions exam. They are Stuyvesant HS, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech. Despite his son attending Brooklyn Tech, former presidential candidate and part time Mayor Bill DiBlasio has called for abolishing the examinations because too few black and Latino students are admitted to these schools. There were a significantly larger percentage of such students admitted when I was in high school (though they were still under represented as compared to the NYC population). Columbia University Professor John McWhorter has speculated that fewer black and Latino do well on the exam today because gifted students are no longer “tracked” into honors classes in lower grades and thus prepared to do well on the exam.

I bring this up because I think it’s quite amusing to cite John McWhorter in a discussion of Jon Cryer’s virginity.

Billboard really cares about this stuff. They watch these records like I follow baseball records.

There are so many shows on TV or streaming service now that I don’t even recognize the names of some of the award winners (e.g. Bandersnatch). In other cases, I have heard that the shows are good (e.g. Fleabag), but either the premise doesn’t interest me or I just don’t have enough hours in the day to watch them and do everything else I want to do.

Julie Newmar in Mackenna’s Gold (1969)

Mackenna’s Gold has not aged well. It comes from an era when Native Americans were played by Italians, Mexicans, and even extremely white people in make-up. In this case, two of the Apaches were played by Julie Newmar and Lurch from the Addams family, who are about as white as you can get.

In the larger picture, however, it doesn’t matter that the film aged poorly, because it was kinda bad to begin with.

This is an old-fashioned Hollywood Western, starrin’ that ornery rootin’-tootin sidewinder, Omar Sharif, who established his place alongside Leonard Nimoy as one of the all-time least likely members of a Western cast. Omar never did get any of McKenna’s Gold, but he did manage to bid and make a grand slam without a good trump fit, and therefore gained plenty of master points. No question about it, he absolutely schooled the other desperadoes in their nightly bridge games.

I learned many valuable historical, cultural and even scientific lessons from this movie:

  • Apaches were some seriously tall indians. Julie Newmar is about six feet tall, and Ted Cassidy (Lurch) is something like six feet eight.
  • The frontier women were never too busy to keep their make-up perfect and their hair washed and under control, even under torture or after weeks of riding in the desert without water.
  • The Apaches always kept their vests and loincloths perfectly ironed and tailored.
  • A man can scale about 1000 feet of sheer canyon wall in about two or three minutes, without a rope or piton, wearing high-heeled cowboy boots, while shooting his gun with one of his hands.

The plot: various fortune-seeking buccaroos seek a hidden canyon where the walls are lined with gold. It is said that the Apache gods guard the canyon. According to legend, the entrance to said canyon can only be seen when the moon is in the seventh house, and the shadow of …. well, you get the idea.

When they get in the canyon, the adventurers all start killing each other in order to get 100% of the gold. There are only about a half-dozen survivors and as many horses to carry the gold away, yet there is roughly enough gold to pave Russia – possibly more gold than actually exists in all the real world. And that’s just the stuff you can pick up without digging any mines! So you’d think that sharing it six ways might have been somewhat more sensible.

Anyway, when there are only three of the fortune hunters left, the aforementioned ancient Apache gods finally enter the fray, and cause the canyon to collapse, as pictured with miniatures that are obviously miniatures, many of which appear to be liquid rather than solid!

There were a few things I enjoyed about the film. For one, it features cameos from just about every famous character actor alive at the time and that’s fun to watch. Among those who appear: Lee J. Cobb, Raymond Massey, Edward G Robinson, Eli Wallach, The Penguin, Kojak, Lurch, etc.

But I suppose the most memorable element of this movie, except for Jose Feliciano singing the haunting yet hummable “Vulture Song,” was the famous Julie Newmar skinny dip, and that’s what we came to see, isn’t it?

Shimmying to a Spice Girls song in a neon-green ruffled shirt

Spicer’s dance partner, Lindsay Arnold, said his skills were “pre-preschool-level.”

Mike Huckabee sent a Tweet to his followers suggesting that they send atheist Hollywood a message with a vote for Spicer.

I kind of like the idea. That’s actually a pretty good goof, ala Sanjaya or William Hung.

Although I have to think William Hung could have moved his hips more than Spicer.

Based on Spicer’s response to that Tweet, I gather that a vote for Spicer is a vote for Jesus.

Although I have to think Jesus also could have moved his hips more.

Even while he was nailed down.

Lea Thompson’s scene in All The Right Moves had the same impact in its day as Katie Holmes’s in The Gift.

Tom Cruise really broke out in 1983. In addition to this film, three other starring vehicles were also released that year: Risky Business, The Outsiders, and the more obscure Losin’ It, which was an early directorial effort from Curtis Hanson.

An old friend that I have not seen in years claimed that Hollywood stole his script for Losin’ It. I believed him. He was a professional writer, and showed me a script he had written called Tequila Sunrise. I could see that it was almost identical to Losin’ It, which I had seen. (And I enjoyed it, although I seem to have been one of the very few who did.) I believed him because he showed me that script right around when Losin’ It was released, so it’s not like he would have watched an unsuccessful movie, then went to the trouble of typing the entire script with a few modifications. He ultimately decided to drop legal action when his lawyer and agent advised him that there was nothing to sue for except a name on the credits of possible future home releases of a failed movie. (It finished in 15th place on its opening weekend.)

After all, even if his story was true and provable, the fact remained that Curtis Hanson had essentially directed his script and Tom Cruise starred in it, and the movie still bombed, so those bragging rights weren’t worth a lot.

To add insult to injury, five years later somebody also used his title to make another mediocre movie (but that might have been a coincidence).

TV Line’s summary.

“Alec almost got the role of Batman in 1989 but the part went to Michael Keaton because he actually had chemistry with Kim Basinger.”

Nikki Glaser to Robert DeNiro: ” “I can’t believe I get to share this stage with you. And by this stage, I mean the final stage of your life.”

Alec Baldwin to Blake Griffin: “You’re a remarkable man, Blake. I wish we were as close as your eyes are.”

Blake Griffin to Caitlyn Jenner: “Your gender reassignment surgery proved that no one in that family wants a white dick.”

We’re not saying the trend in the UK is any more pronounced than in any other English-speaking nation. The article just references the UK because it’s from one of their tabloids. I’ll bet the percentage would be even higher in the USA.

Most popular: Jasmine, Rex, Belle

  • I believe Jasmine and Belle, but …. Rex??? Sounds like a Brit thing.

Least popular: Dopey, Goofy, Donald

Just out of curiosity, I looked this up in the Social Security database:

  • Jasmine experienced a surge in the 70s and was a top-50 girl’s name for two decades (1989-2008), but has steadily been dropping in popularity since then. It is now at 136 and has fallen in each of the last four years.
  • Rex has never been popular, but has experienced a very slight uptick since 1996. It is still unpopular, and is not among the top 500 male baby names.
  • Belle was essentially non-existent for eight decades (1935-2015), but has experienced a slight resurgence in the past three years. It’s important to recognize, however, that the name is still profoundly unpopular and has not yet cracked the top 800 female baby names.

In general, Americans are not naming their children after Disney characters. There was one exception about a quarter of a century ago, as far as I could see. The name Ariel experienced a tremendous surge in 1990 and 1991. The Little Mermaid came out in 1989, so that seems directly correlated.