Before we get too far into the new year we like to take a look back at all the highs & lows of the previous year. Welcome back to the show, and if you haven’t checked out Part 1 please do so. Really, it’s okay…we’ll wait.
After another amusing anecdote from our host Steve Harvey it is time to present our next award. He’s been waiting patiently on a bus outside…alone & without a live microphone. Please welcome the former host of Access Hollywood, a refugee from NBC’s Today Show, & the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush. Give a warm welcome to Billy Bush!! And the nominees are:
The Twitter Award for Most Interesting Water Cooler Topic
The Walking Dead
Am I the only person in America that has never seen one single second of this show?? More importantly, is it weird that I couldn’t possibly care less??
In 21st Century America we don’t even know the difference between a male & female. It’s all about how a person “feels”. I think every science teacher I ever had would likely disagree. I don’t follow the crowd. I know what I know and facts are facts. If you disagree that’s alright, but just know that you’re part of the problem.
Back in the summer of 2016 this was a big thing for about five minutes. I’m not sure how it works, but I guess people download something on their phones and then seek out imaginary ghosts or something. Are their points?? Does anyone eventually win or lose the game?? I don’t know. I’m old & lazy. This game sounds like too much work with not enough reward.
The $20 Bill
Since 1928 the $20 bill has featured the face of Andrew Jackson, who was the 7th President of the United States. But a movement arose to change that for some unknown reason. Folks decided to find a woman’s face…any woman…to put on the bill. I don’t know…equality, inclusiveness, fairness…some politically correct crap like that is to blame. Names that were suggested included Eleanor Roosevelt & Rosa Parks, but a poll that I never even knew existed was apparently voted on by over a half million people and won by Civil War heroine Harriet Tubman. Those new $20 bills will go into circulation in a few years.
I suppose I should tread rather carefully thru this minefield. Suffice to say that I believe it is pathetic that we are still dealing with racism in 21st Century America. However, I think it is worth debating what the bigger issue may be. Is it the fact that racism does undeniably exist?? Or is the idea that, despite tremendous strides in race relations that have seen minorities gain the legal equality that they were denied up until a few decades ago, a portion of the population…both black & white…persists in painting minorities as perpetual victims?? What I find especially disturbing is that this hornet’s nest really got stirred up AFTER the United States took a groundbreaking step by electing our first black President. Whether or not one agrees with President Obama politically the fact is that his election eight years ago was an historic moment that should have cemented the idea of racial equality & harmony, yet things have only gotten worse. I also think it is sad that the law enforcement community has been demonized in the process. I am sure that bad cops have always existed. They always will because there are evil forces in all walks of life. But the Black Lives Matter movement has been all too successful in painting the entire profession in a bad light. I am a proponent of the idea that all lives matter, but some even deem that idea racist. It’s a no-win situation for everybody.
Back in May 2016 a three year old boy climbed into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Patrons looked on in horror as a gorilla named Harambe grabbed the child and dragged him away. Some believe that the animal was trying to be protective of the boy, but obviously gorillas & humans tend to think differently about such things. Zoo employees saw no other solution than to shoot & kill Harambe. Video of the situation quickly went viral, and of course everybody just had to chime in with an opinion. While it is sad that the gorilla had to lose his life, the more important thing is that the young boy was unharmed.
No Nudity in Playboy
After a half century as America’s preeminent “gentlemen’s magazine” Playboy decided to no longer show full frontal nudity in its photographs in 2016. I am surprised they still publish magazines at all. Any magazine, let alone a nudie magazine. I haven’t picked up a Playboy in atleast 25 years. If a guy needs that kind of…entertainment…I think The Internet & video streaming is probably a more popular choice these days.
Another year, more mass shootings. Five police officers shot in Dallas in July. Six people killed in random shootings on a single February night in Kalamazoo, MI. 49 people killed & 53 others injured by a gunman at a nightclub in Orlando, FL in June. There are other examples I could cite. No one is arguing that these events aren’t tragic. Everyone would love for it to never happen again. The disagreement comes when discussing possible solutions. Gun control advocates would like to see guns banned and the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment altered or abolished. Many others understand that more laws and/or prohibiting responsible gun ownership will not solve the problem. It’s a debate that has been raging my entire adult life and probably won’t go away anytime soon. Sadly there will be more shootings. We have issues in our nation that run deep and cannot be solved easily. I don’t know the right answer.
I live in West Virginia. Culture here is severely lacking. I’d like to think that if I lived in New York City I’d enjoy the occasional theater production. In 2016 Hamilton was apparently THE hottest ticket on Broadway. If my information is correct it is a musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s Founding Fathers and the first Treasury Secretary who infamously died in a duel at the hands of our third Vice President Aaron Burr. Because we are absolutely obsessed with political correctness in 21st Century America the entire cast of Hamilton…who are portraying historically real people that were white…is black & Hispanic. I am sure this “inclusiveness” is a major reason that the show has received so much praise, although I suppose it is entirely possible that it is legitimately a well-written play with fantastic acting & singing. It received an added level of notoriety a couple of months ago when Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance and one of the actors thought it was proper to address him from the stage, noting how “alarmed & anxious” he & his castmates are about the incoming Trump Administration. Newsflash: it was grossly inappropriate.
In the fall of 2016 various sightings of creepy clowns became a nationwide story. Some of these clowns just stood around looking scary. A few actually attacked people. I have no idea what the heck the deal is with all of it. Don’t we have enough problems to deal with??
This is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in recent memory. It’s not even worthy of my time & energy. Atleast there was a point to the Ice Bucket Challenge.
Angelina Jolie has never frosted my cupcake. She’s not been in a single movie that I enjoyed, and I don’t find her particularly attractive. Brad Pitt has actually been in a few films I like. The two infamously got together back in 2005 when he cheated on wife Jennifer Aniston with Jolie. I was a big fan of Friends. Aniston was one of my favorite celebrity crushes. This made me dislike Brangelina tremendously. In 2014, after eight years of living in sin and adopting a couple dozen babies from Third World countries, the couple finally got married. Then, just two years later, they announced their divorce. Somehow I have found the strength to go on.
And the Sammy goes to…..
To present our next award please welcome the man who dealt a fatal blow to late night television with his 2015 retirement. He’s a living legend who hosted NBC’s Late Night and CBS’s Late Show for over three decades. We’re not sure what he’s been up to for the past year & a half but we are happy to have him at the Sammy Awards. Please give a well-earned ovation to David Letterman!! And the nominees are:
Favorite Television Event
The People vs. O.J. Simpson
I lived thru the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial back in the mid-90’s. I’m actually very surprised that it took two decades for it to be made into a movie…or in this case a mini-series. I had really low expectations and assumed it would be…at best…kind of tacky. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of acting & writing. In fact, the show received 22 Emmy nominations and won 9 trophies. Cuba Gooding Jr. hasn’t been this good since winning an Oscar for Jerry Maguire in 1996, and both Sterling K. Brown & Courtney B. Vance were tremendous. John Travolta…well hey, we’ll always have Grease & Saturday Night Fever, right??
I’m not really a big Stephen King aficionado, but about five years ago he wrote a novel about a guy who goes back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination. Time travel?? JFK’s assassination? Yes please. I gave the book a whirl and was so glad that I did. Just an awesome read. I knew that it’d eventually be put on film, but even I am aware that King’s works are notoriously difficult to translate into movies and the results have been mixed over the years. After a big screen adaptation was scrapped eventually the decision was made to make a miniseries for Hulu, which was a good call. More questionable was casting James Franco in the lead role. Is it a good show?? Yes. Could it have been better?? Yes. I’d recommend it, but I’d also suggest not skipping the novel.
I include this only as a courtesy. I have not watched it yet, though I intend to. Friends have told me they think I’d enjoy it. Netflix has already greenlit a second season so I suppose I better catch up ASAP.
The original Full House was cheesy fun back in the 90’s. I wasn’t the target demo then, and I am certainly not the viewer this follow up is seeking, but I’m a little bit of a rebel like that. Season 1 premiered on Netflix back in February before I began my new job, and I binged it all in one day. Season 2 became available not long before Christmas and it took me a few days to finish. Fuller House isn’t going to win any awards and critics haven’t been kind, but Netflix has already ordered a third season so I guess enough people are watching. Nostalgia can carry something further than one would think, and older fans of the original show seemingly enjoy its “sequel”.
ABC Fun & Games
When I was a kid my Grandma Pigott loved game shows. She’d watch them all morning long, and then watch the ones that were on in the evening. Sadly game shows have become passé in the ensuing decades, with the exception of the continued success of Jeopardy! & Wheel of Fortune. Occasionally something will pop up for a brief moment in the spotlight, like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire hosted by Regis Philbin back about 15 years ago. In 2016 ABC decided to revive a few old favorites. Family Feud, hosted by our very own Sammy Awards emcee Steve Harvey, has been successful in syndication for about six years. A celebrity version aired this summer for six weeks in prime time. Also part of the fun was a reboot of Match Game, hosted by Alec Baldwin, who is detestable in real life but admittedly very funny when he’s acting. The weakest link in the chain is a revival of The 100,000 Pyramid, which was originally hosted by the late great Dick Clark back in the day and is now helmed by former football player Michael Strahan. All three of these shows are mindless, kitschy fun, and that’s okay with me. Small doses…a month or two once or twice a year…is probably a smart way to go with the idea.
And the Sammy goes to…..
Fuller House. I said it wasn’t going to win any awards. I was wrong. Look, I realize that it’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea. Many people seek edgier or more intellectually stimulating entertainment, and that’s fine. Sometimes I crave something provocative or profound as well. But I think there’s room for a wide spectrum of choices on which to spend our down time. Fuller House probably won’t make it past 3 or 4 seasons, but for a brief period of time we can atleast appreciate it for the amusing trip down memory lane that it is meant to be.
To present our next award we are happy to welcome to the stage one of the preeminent actors of his generation. He has starred in modern classics like The Shawshank Redemption, Deep Impact, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, Ted 2, & Last Vegas. Please give some love to Morgan Freeman!!
The DB Cooper Award (For the Person Who Most Needs to Disappear)
Senator Joe Manchin
He’s the former Governor and a current United States Senator from my home state, but I’m never quite sure where he stands. Some have opined that he is a rather conservative Democrat, but he sure has seemed to kiss President Obama’s…ring…a lot the past several years. Then, this past summer, Senator Manchin made comments in a conversation about gun control whining about the Fifth Amendment right to due process being an inconvenient impediment. I’m never a fan of politicians complaining about our Constitution. The fact is that America’s Founding Fathers had more common sense & foresight in their pinkies than our entire legislative branch collectively shows in 21st Century America.
Wow, is this guy a clown. I’m not sure why football fans or the powers-that-be at ESPN think he’s entertaining. He makes John Madden seem like Albert Einstein. Please…for the love of God…will some football team out there offer the dude a coaching job and get him off my TV??
She’s still around, though I think her star is fading. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Barack & Michelle Obama
Theoretically this will happen with the transfer of power to a new President in a few weeks. However, I have a bad feeling that, unlike other former Presidents who fade into the background and enjoy their retirement, ol’ Barack Hussein & his wife Aunt Esther aren’t really going away. The media loves them and will undoubtedly seek them out at every opportunity to comment on whatever is going on. I have predicted for several years that Obama would someday be the Secretary General of the United Nations, so look for movement on that front in the coming years.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear…Bruce Jenner is a man. Always has been, always will be. “Caitlynn” is a fictional character, not unlike Mrs. Doubtfire, Madea, or Big Momma. Unfortunately, instead of getting Mr. Jenner the help he so desperately needs to treat his mental illness the media & Hollywood has spent the past few years enabling his delusion.
After a decade hosting a program on Comedy Central that I watched maybe 2 or 3 times Colbert was the inexplicable choice to replace David Letterman on CBS’s Late Show in 2015. I gave the man a chance…I really did. I still flip on over to that channel every once in a great while. But Colbert is just too damn political for a late night network television show. I suppose if you agree with his hateful leftist ideology you might find the guy funny. To each their own. I simply can’t stand the man or his little show, and I think CBS will tire of his shtick soon enough.
Bill & Hillary Clinton
They’ve written the blueprint for the Obamas. A decade & a half after Slick Willie left the White House these idiots are still around casting a dark shadow on America. Hillary even served in the U.S. Senate & as Secretary of State. Then, as we all know, she ran for President a couple of times, failing miserably on both attempts. Think about it…a majority of Americans outside the Lands of Liberal Make Believe in New York City, Hollywood, & Chicago chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. That’s rejection with a capital R. I’d like to think the latest humiliating defeat would persuade these two to retire from public life permanently, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she runs again in four years.
I’m so over her. One would assume certain things about Ms. Kelly since she works for Fox News, but appearances can be deceiving. I’m pretty tired of most of the media, but she especially has tended to make it all about herself this past year. I just want my newscasters to read the news. I don’t need their perspective. I don’t need their personality. I just want honesty & facts. I’d be willing to bet that she will eventually defect to CNN or MSNBC for big money, and that’s well within her rights. Go for it. Pad that bank account. Fancy yourself a star. And while Megyn Kelly is living that dream those of us who want to know what’s really going on in the world will know where to look, which won’t be wherever she is.
And the Sammy goes to…..
Presenting our next award are two of the smartest people in the world…individuals who aren’t usually thought of as entertaining but, like the rest of us, like to let their hair down & relax every once in awhile. She is a former National Security Advisor and served as Secretary of State from 2005-2009. Please welcome Condoleeza Rice!! He is an astrophysicist & author and is the current Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Give a round of applause to Neil deGrasse Tyson!! And the nominees are:
Most Entertaining Program (Radio or TV)
Mike & Mike in the Morning
Once again my morning routine changed a bit in 2016, so watching Greeny & Golic from 6-10am every weekday isn’t really a priority. I still catch the show occasionally and enjoy it almost as much as I ever did, but admittedly the shine has worn off just a little.
The Young & The Restless
I keep saying I am going to give up my soap operas, but for some reason I don’t follow thru. Even my Dad is hooked on Y&R, which is really amusing to me. The show went thru some behind-the-scenes changes in 2016, but the storylines remain strong & the characters are interesting for the most part.
From 3-6pm each weekday afternoon here in WV we have the opportunity to listen to a statewide radio talk show that covers everything from current events & sports to pop culture & the financial markets. It’s comfort food radio, which in my book is a great thing. The program’s original host stepped down a few months ago and I haven’t totally decided how I feel about the new guy, but if I happen to be in my truck when it is on I’ll usually listen. God knows it’s better than the garbage the music stations are playing.
ESPN finally settled on a time slot for this show in 2016, and if I’m home I’ll watch. If I’m not going to be home I’ll almost always DVR it. It’s irreverant, occasionally silly, sometimes informative, & always easily palatable. I’ve even become accustomed to co-host Bomani Jones, who I wasn’t quite sold on a year ago.
The Rush Limbaugh Show
El Rushbo is still going strong after nearly three decades on the radio. With 2016 being an election year Rush was in his element. I don’t listen often, but always enjoy it when I do. I understand that he doesn’t frost everyone’s cupcake, and that’s alright. I like the show and that’s what matters.
I’ve been watching GH since grade school. I always say I’m going to stop, but I don’t. There are certainly better things I could be spending time on, but I suppose there are worse things as well.
I never watched a single second of Kiefer Sutherland’s popular show 24, but as soon as I first saw teasers of this new program online several months ago I knew I had to check it out, and after the first episode I was hooked. I rarely even bother with new prime time shows, but this one is a winner. Thru the first half of the season they have constructed a web of suspense & intrigue that rivals any drama I’ve ever seen. It’s a well written show with great performances. I’m not sure if it’ll have legs for more than a couple of years, but I’d be happy to be wrong about that.
Monday night is wrestling night. I don’t answer the phone. I don’t make other plans if possible. Maybe I’ll flip back & forth to the Monday night NFL game, but generally my eyes are glued to my wrasslin’ for a few hours. Or atleast that’s how it used to be. I have noticed in the past year I do a bit more channel surfing during Raw, or sometimes I’ll actually doze off. After the demise of WCW and with no viable competition remaining it seems like Vince McMahon has taken his foot off the gas just a bit. WWE has also made a concerted effort to become more family friendly in recent years, which is a blessing & a curse. Pro wrestling has always had its ebbs & tides, and right now seems to be a bit of a lull. Still though, there are weeks when it’s really fun to be a wrestling fan.
I love my game shows, and this is the best one around. It actually rewards people for being intelligent, and really, who could have an issue with that??
Pardon the Interruption
In contrast to its ESPN brethren Highly Questionable, PTI is proudly & audaciously cantankerous. Hosts Tony Kornheiser & Michael Wilbon like to shout at each other for no apparent reason, but it kind of works. This is another show that I’ll usually record if I’m not going to be home. ESPN has perfected the argumentative sports talk show blueprint and probably ran it into the ground at this point, but after 15 years PTI is still at the top of the food chain with no signs of fading away anytime soon.
Days of Our Lives
Of the three soaps that I watch this is probably the weakest. There just seems to be something…subpar…about its production. Having said that, after over three decades of viewership the Horton, Brady, DiMera, & Kiriakis clans are fictional families that I have grown fond of, atleast as much as one can care about imaginary characters on TV.
This Is Us
2016 not only hooked me on one new show…it made me a fan of TWO. I decided to check out This Is Us because of actor Justin Hartley, who left his role on Y&R to star in the new NBC prime time drama. Hartley is a really good actor, and on This Is Us he is surrounded by a talented ensemble cast. The show has a really interesting hook, going back & forth between the current lives of three siblings and influential events in their childhood. Mandy Moore has always been a guilty pleasure (I love A Walk to Remember), and in this show she plays the same character in two eras separated by nearly forty years. The acting is stupendous and the writing is amazing. I expect this show to rack up the awards for however many years it lasts.
There is nothing that I enjoy more than coming home from church on Sunday and settling in to watch seven straight hours of NFL football. No commercials, no timeouts, no halftimes…just football. Every meaningful moment of every game…atleast the ones played on Sunday afternoon. Someone needs to apply this same concept to college football on Saturdays.
And the Sammy goes to…..
This Is Us & Designated Survivor. It’s a tie!! I wasn’t sure if the creative types in Hollywood were capable of creating new & interesting television shows anymore, but they sure hit a two run homer with these. I can’t remember the last time I was actually excited about anything on TV outside of ball games. If you haven’t checked them out yet you’ve only missed one half of one season so it’d be really easy to catch up. Thank you to the creators of these two shows for making me believe in the power of originality again. Kudos.
Let’s pause one more time. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!!