It was a year when most people had not seen any of the nominees and totally didn’t care about the Oscars. I had seen all the “Best Picture” nominees (and most of the others in other categories) and didn’t really love any of them. (Well, OK, I did love Mank, but I suppose that’s only because I’m a film nerd. My girlfriend just hated it, and her family gave up on it after ten minutes.) I suppose Nomadland was a fair choice – as good a choice as any of the others. Frankly, I liked News of the World better than the nominated films, and I liked Loren’s The Life Ahead better than any of the nominated “international” films. That probably says more about me than about the films. I did like the animated winner, Soul, but I haven’t seen the other animated films, since I have no intention of watching something called Farmageddon: A Shaun the Sheep Movie.

There was only one major award that I didn’t expect. The late Chad Boseman was expected to win the award for the best actor in a leading role, and was a prohibitive betting favorite. The actual winner was Tony Hopkins. As much as I love Boseman’s versatile body of work, I have to agree with this decision. Hopkins, that old goat, nailed that role shut and shipped it to Mt. Olympus. I also support the Oscar for the screenplay of that film, which was impressive in its ability to convey the main character’s confusion through his own POV (which was also confusing to the audience, but I guess that was the point).

Glenn Close tied Peter O’Toole’s record for the most nominations without a win, at eight.

During the COVID months I have always had some TV shows in the background while doing other things. For example, I watched every episode of The Big Bang Theory, and there are about a zillion of them. When I ran out of recent comedy shows like The Office (both versions), 30 Rock and Parks & Rec, I started to take a look at old-time classics.

Some are so awful I couldn’t get through more than two episodes. I tried to watch Gilligan, for example, and managed to get through only the pilot with the original cast and the first episode with the familiar cast. I love dumb stuff, but that was too dumb even for me.

I did somehow manage to get through all four seasons of Dobie Gillis, a pretty hip show for its time, but extremely repetitive after the first two seasons. In those days they would produce 36 or 39 episodes per year of the half-hour shows, which must have been quite an ordeal, and it’s not surprising that they got burned out. The writers of this series turned out 147 episodes in just four years, and got so desperate for ideas that they actually remade some of their own first-season scripts in later seasons.

Oh, well. The show gave us two things to remember. The first is one of the most memorable and beloved characters in TV history, the dumb but lovable Maynard G. Krebs, a clueless beatnik played by a pre-Gilligan Bob Denver – and played very well, indeed, with just the right combination of slapstick, pathos and clever wordplay. The second legacy of “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” was the women who played those many loves. You must certainly remember Tuesday Weld if you are of the age, because she was spectacularly sexy and appeared in many episodes as the unattainable Thalia Menninger. You may not remember some of the honest-to-god real actresses who spent part of their youth being pursued by Dobie and inevitably dumping him.

For example, there was Ellen Burstyn, at age 30, in episode five of season four:

And Sally Kellerman, then 25, in the penultimate episode (s4e35):

Timberlake “insisted on doing something bigger than their performance. He wanted a reveal. Janet was going to be in a Rocha dress, and [Justin] was going to step on the back of her dress to reveal her butt in this pearl G-string,” he told us. But “the outfit changed a couple of days before, and you saw the magic.”

In case you have forgotten, this is the aforementioned magic:

And in motion:

And who can forget when we saw every inch of Janet

Still capture of Dana Brooke’s wardrobe issue here

Carmella’s wardrobe malfunction is here

A nude performance in the Pantheon itself. Could there be a straight male born in the first quarter-century after the great war who does not remember this performance fondly? It was the early 80s, when mainstream theatrical movies could be made solely for the purpose of titillating entertainment. Oh, how innocent we were.

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Caren’s co-star in this pic was Matt Lattanzi, the Olivier of his time. Somehow that dweeb managed to marry Olivia Newton-John, so he must have had some kind of appeal. Acting talent was not part of it.

Olivia and Matt had a daughter, Chloe, who did some singing and acting, but never really got her career rolling. Her most recent credit was a tiny part in one of those Sharknado movies where careers go to die. She has managed to make the gossip mags from time to time, but for things she would not like publicized, like addiction and bad plastic surgery.

As for that great thespian father of hers, his last IMDb credit was in 1993, and the last I heard he was living off the grid somewhere.

The original subject of this post, Caren Kaye, kicked around in TV for a few years in non-recurring roles in the bottom-feeder shows like The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Love American Style. She finally realized that she may not have made the correct career choice, whereupon she became Dr. Kaye by earning a Ph.D. in Psychology.

Anne Beatts was an extremely important comedy voice from my generation, having written for the National Lampoon and the original cast of SNL, and later having created the Square Pegs series.

She also pulled off the nearly impossible task of having had a romantic relationship with the master of dark humor, Michael “Mr. Mike” O’Donoghue, a man about as difficult as any who ever lived. Her humor was almost as dark as his. She infamously created this famous Volkswagen ad, based on VW’s assertion that the bug could float:

In a site dedicated to crap, we have no choice but to worship Bill Shatner as a god. There is perhaps no man who has done more crappy acting and crappy singing than Shat.

As I see it, this makes him not only the greatest Canadian in history, but arguably the single greatest human being in the history of humanity.

(Possibly excepting Socrates and Randy Mantooth.)

All kidding aside, I think that Shatner has probably given my life more pleasure and laughter than anybody I know of. Granted, I was laughing AT him most of the time – but it still counts.

How he will celebrate

I don’t know whether Kirk was a better captain than Picard, but he was certainly more my kind of guy. Top arguments that Kirk is more manly than Picard:

13. Picard’s female officers think the captain’s “log” is some kind of wimpy electronic journal.

12. Sure, in their respective eras, they were both Presidents of the Hair Club for Men, but Kirk was also a client.

11. Quick query: what would Kirk have done if the chief of security showed up wearing a ponytail, or if the first officer ordered him off the bridge for his own safety.

10. How they react to cute, cuddly creatures on the bridge.

Picard: encourage science officer to adopt one.
Kirk: beam their cute, cuddly asses aboard Klingon ship.

9. How they would react to Deanna’s mother?

Picard: embarrassed tolerance.
Kirk: bribe Q to time-travel her butt to the Ceti-Alpha system, and let her read Kahn’s mind for a while.

8. How they spend their captain’s salary.

Picard: wise inter-galactic investments, and an occasional splurge on an ancient archeological artifact.
Kirk: blow it all on purple booze and green-skinned hookers.

7. Favorite character in 20th century Earth history.

Picard: Neville Chamberlain
Kirk: Wilt Chamberlain

6. What they do when Starfleet calls with unwanted directions.

Picard: Serious kissing of withered old admiral-butt.
Kirk: Leave communicator off the hook.

5. How would they relate to Counselor Troi’s mind-reading?

Picard: Purify thoughts with advanced Zen technique.
Kirk: Might as well get naked. She knows what’s coming.

4. How do they use the holodeck?

Picard: Wimpy 1930’s detective fantasies.
Kirk: Two words: virtual nookie.

3. How deal with primitive new civilizations.

Picard: Assist development within parameters of prime directive.
Kirk: Sleep with women, exploit men for cheap labor.

2. How they would react to Wesley.

Picard: Encourage development of mental and leadership skills.
Kirk: Use kid to get into mom’s drawers.

1. One Spanish word: cojones

Competing for best picture are “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Some “Snubs and Surprises”

I didn’t really have any horses in the race, but I liked “News of the World” and “Da 5 Bloods” better than many of the nominees. The one thing that really surprised me was the nomination of Thomas Vinterberg as the Best Director, but I can’t really say it was unfair since I haven’t seen that movie and don’t intend to. (It doesn’t appeal to me: “Four friends, all high school teachers, test a theory that they will improve their lives by maintaining a constant level of alcohol in their blood.”) With that disclaimer, I think there are some who could have deserved a nomination in that category. Spike Lee, for example, did a great job in “Da 5 Bloods,” which is an ambitious and sweeping story with many complicated scenes.

Complete lists

I have to disqualify this year’s entire competition by invoking the Pecker Rule.

In my senior year of college we had our traditional vote for the douchebag of the year. My roommate, the Pecker, who was one of the election officials, tore up one of the ballots because none of the voter’s top ten choices included Fat Joe Carlson. This voter was disqualified for his obvious and complete ignorance, given that Carlson was not just a big, fat, fucking douchebag, but was the biggest, fattest, fuckingest, douchebaggiest guy in the history of Fordham University, which was no small achievement, because Donald Trump had preceded us there.

Invoking that precedent, I have to invalidate the Razzie ballot for its failure to nominate James Corden.

“Apparently Lola Bunny wasn’t the only Looney Tunes character who got a major visual makeover for the upcoming Space Jam sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy. But at least Lola is still on the team! Pepe Le Pew’s makeover was a head-to-toe situation in that he was removed completely from the film.”

“Sources add that Warner Bros. planned to acknowledge Pepe’s reputation as a serial harasser and use it as a lesson about consent. The only problem is, the scene allegedly begins with Pepe sexually harassing a woman.”