Friday, April 01, 2005

No foolish day for me...

Four years since my grandmother's funeral. April Fool's Day has no meaning to me with regards to pranking and I realize I am a comedian. But I just can't find myself joking about death. That's all I'm gonna say about that.

Now, on to some political news and other news...

A few announced or prospective Massachusetts gubernatorial candidates are colliding over the Big Dig project in Boston. The candidates include Attorney General Tom Reilly, Governor Mitt Romney, Secretary of State William Galvin, U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan. So that is five investigations being looked into by four potential candidates. One word: ambition.

Former California Governor Jerry Brown has been engaged.
Brown, a lifelong bachelor, will wed Anne Gust, an executive with Gap Inc., in a ceremony at which Sen. Dianne Feinstein will officiate.
They've been together for 15 years and she is 20 years younger then the 67-year-old.

Steve Gold at has endorsed David Tandy for the 4th District seat in the Louisville Metro Council That said, so do I.

The Temple Mount is closed to any Jew that visits during Pesach.
Jerusalem Police Commissioner Ilan Franco announced that Jews will not be permitted to visit the Temple Mount during the Pesah or Passover festival, starting in the middle of the Jewish month of Nissan at the end of April and beginning of May.

Jewish groups condemned the police decision, citing unlawful discrimination between Jews and Arabs in regard to access to the Temple Mount.

Police have expressed concern that Jewish worshippers might use a visit to the Mount to incite Arab-Jewish tensions.
I had the chance to see Lewis Black. Coulda, woulda, shoulda...but didn't!
Black, in his first trip to Huntington since he was a child, said he enjoys doing his act for college audiences.

His style of ranting against stupidity and authority was brought to the Huntington show full force.

"It's fun because they get it," Black said. "Comedy Central basically guided college students in my direction and I'm lucky enough to have them as an audience. They're the ones who make their parents watch me."[...]

Rebecca K. Hensley, senior French major from Clay County, said she thought the audience was disrespectful.

"I was embarrassed," she said. "People got up and left, people were leaving the whole time. People were talking. Phones were going off. This guy's one of the best comedians out there right now, he's fantastic. This auditorium should have been packed, and it should have been packed with people who had respect for the kind of talent we have."[...]

"Six years ago I would have played Charleston and the comedy club and now I'm playing the Field House so I've been lucky in the sense that it's grown and the audience has grown," Black said. "You're very lucky when that happens. I know a lot of great comics who don't have that, who deserve a larger audience and they don't have it."

Black closed his set with a message for the Marshall community.

"Enjoy the four years you got here because this is a gift," he said.
Late Night with Who? I say Jon Stewart goes to ABC. He'll get more viewers!
The next most logical name is Jon Stewart, host of the widely acclaimed Daily Show on the Comedy Central cable channel. But Mr. Stewart signed a new four-year deal with that channel a year ago.

Because both Comedy Central and CBS are owned by Viacom, Mr. Stewart is already in line to be an 11:35 host at some point if Mr. Letterman were to step down. When Mr. Letterman was close to jumping to ABC, Leslie Moonves, the chairman of CBS, was prepared to name Mr. Stewart his new host instantly.

Mr. Moonves and the other Viacom executives would have no incentive to allow Mr. Stewart out of his contract to become a late-night competitor on ABC, even if he were inclined to take the job. Close associates of Mr. Stewart said yesterday that they believed that he would not be, because he enjoys his current job so much.

Mr. Stewart was also passed over by ABC three years ago when the network selected Jimmy Kimmel as host of a late-night entertainment show for the midnight hour. Mr. Kimmel himself could be a potential selection for an 11:35 show, if ABC began to feel more confident he could grow in the ratings.

His show has been producing steady but unspectacular audiences, and continues to lose money for ABC.[...]

Another alternative, and possibly the best one for ABC, is Ellen DeGeneres, who has impressed viewers and critics with her daytime talk show, which has as its format a comedy monologue followed by guest interviews, like most late-night shows.

A woman might be the ideal way to compete against the two male stars in late night, and Ms. DeGeneres is considered clearly the best female comic working in television.[...]

But several executives noted that in one way ABC's timing is not bad. It may find itself looking for a late-night comedy star at the same time few comedies are working anywhere on television.

As one longtime late-night producer put it: "Sitcoms are not occupying very many stars anymore. Lots of them are available."

The late-night option has already piqued the interest of several less obvious potential hosts. When CBS was looking last year for someone to star in the show that follows Mr. Letterman's, producers approached Matthew Perry, one of the stars of Friends.

He was genuinely interested, they reported, though he was concerned about how it might affect his film career.

Of course, it would end that. Being a late-night host leaves no time for almost anything else.

The same issue was a stumbling block for David Duchovny, the star of The X-Files who has been a consistently funny guest on late-night shows and made a strong impression filling in for CBS last year on the network's 12:35 show. He also expressed serious interest in a late-night assignment.

Whether either of those stars, or some other suddenly free sit-com star, like Ray Romano, would want to try his hand at 11:35 stardom, is likely to be grist for ABC's long-term strategizing.

But any choice the network makes to replace Mr. Koppel, in news or entertainment, entails risk. The wrong choice could be disastrous for ABC. A failing show at 11:35 might leave the network vulnerable to losing the time to affiliated stations, which could make more money with syndicated programming in that hour.

ABC has no interest in that possibility.
From the DCCC: "Two weeks ago, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA/VA) voted in Washington against funding Amtrak. A week later, he told Pennsylvania how big a mistake it would be to stop funding it."

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