I wouldn’t normally link to this playlist because we’ve been through this discussion so many times, but I was startled to see, in the middle of the familiar earworms, a real surprise. You probably know that there have been many versions of Try a Little Tenderness. Bing Crosby crooned it back in the 1930s, and Otis Redding totally nailed an R&B version in the 1960s.

But I think you’ve never heard the song until you hear it performed by Dragnet’s Jack Webb, from his never-to-be-forgotten album, “Just the Tracks, Ma’am.” (I did not make that up.) Perhaps you thought Otis Redding had some soul? Amateur! It’s Webb that really brought the downtown funk! This will remain the definitive version unless we can coax one out of Shatner.

While we’re on the topic – have you ever heard Donald Trump singing the theme to Green Acres? This could make your day.

Netflix noted that the series has ranked as its No. 1 show in 94 countries including the U.S. and said that it had “pierced the cultural zeitgeist” with skits on Saturday Night Live and memes on TikTok gathering more than 42 billion views.”

Footnote: The population of earth is a bit less than 8 billion. Only 4.7 billion of them have access to the internet, and only about one billion use TikTok. So on the average, every TikTok user has viewed 42 memes from the ol’ Calamari Game.

I have some catching up to do.

Gwyneth Paltrow Reveals the Sex Advice She Gave Her Teenage Kids

I know it sounds boring, but I was surprised to see that it was:

“I tell you this my children: Light one of my vagina scented-candles and put on some Black Sabbath. Then fuck like there’s no tomorrow; devour like a beast; wail like a banshee.”

Nah, I’m just fuckin’ witcha. That was the sex advice of either Pope Francis or Mickey Rourke. I forget which. Gwyn just offered some cliches so tedious that they would have bored Polonius. In fact Polonius actually offered Laertes a more eloquent version of the very same advice:

Polonius: “This above all: to thine own self be true”

Paltrow: “You have to stay really close to your own truth.”

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This reminds me of a funny story that Martin Short tells on his pal Steve Martin. “It’s amazing how Steve’s appeal is so universal that it reaches across the generations. As we met some people after one of our shows, a small child said to her mom, pointing to Steve, ‘Mommy, look – the jerk.’ She later found out that Steve was also in a movie by that name.”

Which is basically another spin on this Ricky Gervais joke: “And this year we saw James Corden as a fat pussy. And he was also in the movie Cats.”

“Unless these unprecedented scarcities are reversed soon, hundreds of thousands of Americans could be forced to learn that there is more to life than material objects,’ said White House press secretary Jen Psaki, cautioning that delays in shipping of clothing, toys, and other common gifts had the potential to make this Christmas the most communal and brotherly of any on record.”

Council to stop paying The Wizard $16,000 a year after 23 years on the payroll

“The Christchurch City Council will stop paying The Wizard $16,000 a year after more than two decades on the public payroll to “provide acts of wizardry” for the city. The Wizard of New Zealand said the council had decided to stop paying him because he did not fit with the modern image of the city. Over his 23 years on the payroll, the council has paid him a total of $368,000. ‘They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination,’ he said.”

Follow-up: all members of the council have been turned into newts.

“Millennial mafiosos in New York have been accused by veteran mobsters of going soft, becoming obsessed with their phones and using text messages rather than fists to intimidate victims. Growing up in wealthy suburbs as social media exploded, the new generation is said to have become less brutal, and less versed in traditional face-to-face tactics like pistol-whipping.”

The Idaho constitution gives the Lt. Governor all gubernatorial powers as Acting Governor while the governor is out of state. That’s nutty enough to begin with, since it means that the governor can’t really go fishing in Montana unless he trusts his Lt.

Idaho legalities are not today’s discussion, however, but rather the executive orders that the Lt. chose to issue.

  • Silly: banning all schools from imposing vaccine or testing requirements. That was merely silly because the governor was able to reverse the orders as soon as he returned.
  • Extremely silly: trying to call out the Idaho National Guard for deployment to the Mexican border.

The Lt Governor did something similar the last time the governor left the state, and the governor had to roll that action back as well.

“We got a fresh batch of inside info about Donald Trump in a new bombshell book from former Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham. Trump got a colonoscopy without anesthesia so late night hosts wouldn’t make fun of him, so Jimmy does all of the Trump colonoscopy jokes we were deprived of.”

The two Jimmys had a slightly different take about what was up Trump’s ass:

Fallon: “Yeah, the colonoscopy was no big deal — the only things they found up there were three polyps and Rudy Giuliani.”

Kimmel: “The doctors said the hardest thing about giving Trump a colonoscopy was getting the camera around Mike Pence’s nose.”

Here’s a summary of the late-night reaction

Slower than a dawdling turtle. Less powerful than a kitten. Look, on the ground! It’s a squirrel. It’s an old sock. No, it’s Wussyman. Wussyman, who can view the course of mighty rivers (with bifocals), hold steel in his gloved hands, and who, disguised as a mild-mannered peanut farmer, fights a never-ending battle against his mortal enemy – the swimming bunny!

On a more serious note, Jimmy Carter is arguably the greatest American ex-President among the post-WW2 group. He does have some competition among the exes of older vintage. William Howard Taft became a respected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. John Quincy Adams became a lion in the House of Representatives, where he roared tirelessly against slavery and helped to create the Smithsonian. Herbert Hoover redeemed some of his earlier missteps by helping greatly in the efforts to rebuild Europe after the Nazi calamity.

None of those great ex-Presidents were ranked among the top sixteen Presidents in the latest C-Span poll of historians. Curiously, great Presidents rarely become great ex-Presidents. Consider the top ten in that latest C-Span poll. (This is not MY top ten, but I used it just to have a starting point.) Lincoln, JFK and FDR died in office. Teddy Roosevelt should have, because he become a complete ass. Reagan was senile. Washington lived only two years, and spent most of it trying to restore a dilapidated and forlorn Mount Vernon. Ike went gentle into that good night, and was rarely seen. Truman wrote his memoirs and whined about being poor (I guess he should have kept some of those bucks he never passed). Obama is just trying to enjoy life. That leaves Jefferson as the only one of the ten who really continued to make a meaningful contribution to the world or the country.

You’re gonna love Muskrat Love, the musical.

If “Muskrat Love: A Celebration of the Songs We Hate to Love” ever goes on the road, I will buy a ticket!

I was disappointed that they failed to include: “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo,” “Feelings,” and of course my all-time favorite, “Seasons in the Sun.”

Gang members are caught smuggling KFC into locked-down Auckland

I once felt that the members of the “Biden Crime Family” were the least intimidating mobsters ever, but they have some serious competition from the KFC Smuggling “Gang.” The street value of the chicken was a whopping hundred bucks.

(They also had $100 grand in cash, so I’m guessing that chicken-smuggling wasn’t their only racket.)

I had subscribed to HULU to watch Arli$$, but I soon got hooked on watching TV classics. One thing I watched today was the very first episode of SNL (they have every episode since season 30, plus the first five seasons).

Some things I had forgotten, or never knew:

  • Michael O’Donoghue was the first person ever to appear on camera on SNL, and his was the first voice to be heard. John Belushi and Chevy Chase were also in the cold open. O’Donoghue and Belushi did the skit, while Chevy basically just came in at the end to say “live from NY …”
  • Announcer Don Pardo flubbed the cast intros, calling them the “not for ready prime time players.” There was nothing to do about it because it was live TV, so he pushed forward.
  • The first episode credited nine members of the players. In addition to the familiar seven, the list included George Coe (!!) and Michael O’Donoghue, who was also the head writer. I remember O’Donoghue vividly, not only from this show, but also from his work at the National Lampoon, but I didn’t know he was credited as a player in the first show. I didn’t remember Coe having been in the show at all, let alone credited among the original NRFPTP.
  • The friggin’ bees were there from the very beginning.

The first show featured two musical guests (Billy Preston and Janis Ian) who did two numbers each. It also featured four stand-up comics: host George Carlin, Valri Bromfield, Albert Brooks and Andy Kaufman. Carlin did several live monologues; Bromfield did one; Brooks provided a short film but did not appear live; Kaufman did his Mighty Mouse bit live – which means he never said a word. There was also a live performance by the Muppets, and it sucked mightily.

That episode was so fully packed with performances that, in contrast to the modern shows, there wasn’t much screen time for the players, and they were credited only on a single typed list, meaning Pardo did not read their names individually. Thanks to Weekend Update, Chevy was an exception. That feature gave him both substantial face time and a chance to identify himself by name. Not only were the “not ready players” shunted aside, but Billy Crystal’s appearance was cut, even though he had killed at dress rehearsal. (And Bromfield was told to cut her five minutes to a tight two.)

The second episode offered the players even less screen time – basically none at all, except for Chevy. Paul Simon was the host and sang about a thousand songs: by himself; with Garfunkel; with a chorus. His two musical guests sang more songs. Garfunkel sang a solo. Simon also played basketball against Connie Hawkins, winning despite the Hawk’s 16-inch height advantage. Given all of that plus the Muppets, Weekend Update, and the Albert Brooks film, there was nothing for the repertory players to do. They came out in their dumb bee costumes, and Simon told them to get lost. That was it. Marv Albert, hosting the one-on-one hoops competition, got more time than all of the players added together. In fact, Bill Bradley of the Knicks, presenting Simon a huge basketball trophy, also got more lines than the “not ready players” – and that wasn’t many lines!

Here’s the official explanation.

Reading between the lines, the reason is this: posting social media pictures and videos of herself in which she is waving her bare ass at the camera is not particularly helpful to support her case that she is a fully mature adult and can behave responsibly without a conservator.

This is bad news for those of us who support this behavior and encourage her to act as immaturely as possible, in the hope of seeing those pictures of her jiggling bare ass. I think, however, that her strategy will only be disappointing to perverts in the short run. If she gains total autonomy, we should soon see her acting totally irresponsibly.

As the good lord intended.