Welcome back to the 2017 Sammy Awards. If you missed Part 1 of the show please take a few moments to go back & catch up. We’ll be right here waiting patiently for your return, and then we will continue taking a fun look back at the previous year.
After a few brief comments from our host Andy Cohen it’s time for our next award. Please give a warm welcome to a 70 year old man who still thinks an app is something one eats before the main meal. He’s a legendary comedian and star of films like The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, & City Slickers, as well as the nine time host of The Academy Awards and a former host of The Sammys. The man is a national treasure, and we are happy to welcome back Billy Crystal!! And the nominees are:
App of the Year
Words with Friends
Basically it is Scrabble, and I’ve always loved Scrabble. I’m all about word games rather than shooting/war type games. I almost always have three or four games going, and though my record isn’t as good as I’d prefer I enjoy it tremendously.
I always thought Pinterest was something thru which women traded recipes, but I was wrong. There are tons of “pins” available on a plethora of subjects…almost anything you can imagine (books, food, history, religion, humor, & a bunch of others). I’m not sure about how much people actually get out of the whole thing since it’s pretty easy to scroll thru stuff, pin something to one of your “boards”, and then move on. That describes my process anyway…others may actually take time to go back and study what they’ve saved. Pinterest atleast has the potential to be useful, and it’s pretty user friendly, which are two great qualities in an app.
HQ is the new kid on the block, and it’s a bit different than other games one might play on a smartphone. HQ is a live game show that offers its players the opportunity to win real cash. The game is played twice daily…3pm & 9pm EST, and is usually hosted by the self-proclaimed Quizz Daddy, Semitic Sajak, Woke Woolery, & Regis Trill-bin…comedian Scott Rogowsky, who refers to the audience as HQ-ties and seems familiar to me for some reason. There are twelve questions of increasing difficulty, and the prize is generally $1000-1500, which sounds awesome until you realize that there are a couple hundred thousand people playing, which means that even if you win the payout might not even be enough to buy a popcorn & soda to snack on during a matinee. Plus, you only have a very rapid ten seconds to choose the correct multiple choice answer, and the questions are pretty tricky. I love trivia and feel like I’m reasonably intelligent, but I don’t think I’ve gotten past Q6 or 7. HQ & I are on a break right now because the game is rather wonky, with noticeable lag time and occasional crashes. I became dismayed when I answered a question correctly but was nevertheless disqualified, so the app was deleted from my phone in a fit of irritation, but I kind of miss it and will resume playing soon.
In my world there’s not a much better combination than food & word games. The App Store describes Word Cookies as “a fun & exciting word puzzle game” in which the object is to “find hidden words” with the benefit that it will “improve vocabulary, concentration, & spelling skills.” It’s a modern spinoff of Boggle, and you aren’t playing against anyone but yourself. I can amuse myself for hours with Word Cookies, though what usually happens is that I play for a few minutes at a time at halftime of the game or during commercial breaks if I’m watching television.
And the Sammy goes to…..
Word Cookies. One of the reasons I’ve always enjoyed watching the game show Jeopardy! is that I feel like I might have learned a thing or two in that half hour. I’m not sure that Word Cookies improves vocabulary since most of the words you find are rather short & very basic, but I’m on board with the spelling & concentration benefits. It’d be unfair to call it mindless fun. However, it doesn’t feel like there’s unnecessary effort involved…I actually find playing it very soothing. Word Cookies is exactly the sort of time waster that’s not a complete waste of time that all phone apps should aspire to be.
Before we continue with the awards we have time for another exciting musical interlude. We are turnt to welcome to the stage a five time Grammy winner who has raised the roof during two Super Bowl halftime shows. Get up on your feet and show some love for Bruno Mars!!
That was da bomb diggity!! Thank you Bruno!!
Presenting our next award is a highly regarded comedian and occasional actor who has been known to go off the grid for long periods of time. But now he’s back with two brand new comedy specials on Netflix, which we are contractually obligated to mention as recompense for his appearance on this show. Please give a warm welcome to the allegedly funny Dave Chappelle!! And the nominees are:
The DB Cooper Award (For the Person Who Most Needs to Disappear)
Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, & Seth Meyers
It wasn’t that long ago when I adored late night television. There was nothing better than winding down after a long day with some funny jokes, amusing comedy bits, & vapid celebrity interviews. But things steadily began to change a few years ago. Letterman started going political, but I was willing to overlook it because he was a lifelong institution. And then he retired. After that the incomparable Craig Ferguson left the late night arena and was replaced with James Corden, who just doesn’t cut it. Letterman was replaced by Stephen Colbert, while Jimmy Fallon had been replaced at 12:30 with SNL alum Seth Meyers when Fallon took over The Tonight Show. Jimmy Kimmel has been hosting his show since 2003 and had been reasonably amusing. He was growing on me. And then Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Colbert’s show was straight up political propaganda from Day 1, which is why I’ve rarely watched. It didn’t take Meyers long to become a liberal hack, on occasion campaigning in such a way that one knows that he isn’t even trying to be funny. It’s like watching CNN or MSNBC. In 2017 Kimmel went completely off the rails, using his show to expound on issues like health care & gun control, complete with crocodile tears. Look, I’m sorry that his baby was born with a heart defect and sincerely hope the boy will be okay, but I don’t watch late night comedy shows for political discourse. If I’m in that kind of mood I’ll tune into one of the 24 hour news channels. Fallon was the last holdout…until Monday August 14, 2017. Following the tragic events in Charlottesville, VA The Tonight Show did a cold open in which Fallon went all in on the divisive rhetoric that has infested our nation. I haven’t watched his show since, and I don’t foresee that changing in 2018. These men killed late night TV with their sociopolitical agenda, and Johnny Carson must be doing somersaults in his grave.
The Ball Family
I’m sure Lonzo Ball is a talented enough basketball player, otherwise the Los Angeles Lakers wouldn’t have selected him with the #2 overall pick in the NBA Draft. But is he transcendent?? Is he on the same level with Magic, Bird, & Jordan?? Is he as good as Kobe, Lebron, & Durant?? I don’t believe he is, and if he’s not then is he worth the hassle since the entire family is a cancer?? Younger brothers LiAngelo & LaMelo have already been banished to Lithuania. LiAngelo was arrested back in November when he was a freshman for UCLA after shoplifting in China. He’d still be rotting in jail there if President Trump hadn’t bailed him out. LaMelo is only 16 years old but has already dropped out of school to play pro ball in Lithuania, and last summer used the “N Word” during an appearance on WWE Raw, although since he used the “street” version of the word ending in “a” instead of “er” perhaps it was socially acceptable. Who knows the rules nowadays?? And of course the patriarch of this clown show is LaVar Ball, a man that makes Darth Vader look like Father of the Year. It baffles me that outlets like ESPN continue to give that man any sort of coverage.
Bill Nye The Science Guy
Not only does this “scientist” think anyone who doesn’t buy the climate change hype should be put in jail, but a few months ago he produced a bizarre video promoting the transgender agenda, saying that “sexuality is a spectrum and everyone is on it”. The truth is that Nye has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, making him less of a “science guy” than Star Trek’s fictional Mr. Spock.
Steve Kerr & Gregg Popovich
Not only are actors & talk show hosts doing it, but now NBA coaches feel the need to contribute their wisdom to the political discourse. The issue I have with these people is that a) their fanbase consists of people of varied ideologies, so it makes zero sense to alienate a big chunk of them, & b) their opinions are full of ignorance. Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors, and Popovich, longtime coach of the San Antonio Spurs, clearly think they’re smarter than the average bear and enjoy lecturing those they feel are beneath them. Here’s the thing…both coaches are actually good at what they do for a living, and their teams will be amongst the heavily favored title contenders, but unfortunately I and many others will be rooting against them because they refused to keep their big mouths shut.
Maxine Waters & Sheila Jackson Lee
Waters has been representing California in Congress since 1991. Lee has been representing Texas in Congress since 1995. My question is…how?? Lee once said “I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen”, and complained that hurricane names were “too lily white”, opining that “all racial groups should be represented” while suggesting future natural disaster names like Keisha, Jamal, & Deshawn. Waters has plainly stated that “this liberal would be about socializing, basically taking over and the government running all of your companies”, a disturbing idea to say the least. She also called the 1992 race riots in Los Angeles “somewhat understandable”, and said that “calling it a riot sounds like it was just a bunch of crazy people who went out and did bad things for no reason…so I call it a rebellion”. These are just a few examples of the stupidity these two have exhibited. It seems like every time they’re in front of a microphone they say something that makes one legitimately question their sanity. Look, folks can elect who they want, but come on California & Texas…I’m pretty sure you can do better.
Commissioner Fidel Goodell
Roger Goodell became NFL Commissioner in 2006. In the ensuing decade+ we’ve seen his “personal conduct policy” issue a plethora of random fines & suspensions for off field issues, which is kind of like your boss holding you accountable for what you do with your free time off the clock. On the field the game has become a shell of itself, with what used to be perfectly legitimate tackles now resulting in penalties and even more fines & suspensions, and instant replay becoming an albatross that has redefined what used to be the fairly simple process of catching a football. Goodell has bungled things like DeflateGate and the Ray Rice investigation, among other things. In 2017 he lost total control of the league as a bunch of spoiled rich thugs decided that they hate the country that has given them the freedom & opportunity to make a fantastic living using their God given athletic skills. It is simply time for Goodell to go. He has become the story, and the league commissioner should never command that kind of spotlight.
The Hollywood Elite
I love television & movies. I always have & always will. But good Lord do they make it difficult. I’ve been aware for many years that morality is in short supply in Tinseltown and made my peace with it, but in 2017 the hypocrisy became too much to overlook. They lecture the masses about gun control while making a ton of violent movies and having armed security protect them at all times. They whine & cry about equality & respect for women, and then we find out that sexual harassment has been rampant in their “community” for decades. They promote the “LGBTQ” agenda while being totally dismissive of anyone who might believe in a book you may have heard of called The Bible. They allegedly stand up for the little guy, but live a life of opulence so out of touch with those in flyover country that it’d be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic. They make speeches about environmentalism & climate change but then hop on their private jets to go home to their mansions, in the process making a larger “carbon footprint” than any ten people. They want you & I to give up our rights & live without modern conveniences while they enjoy the high life and sacrifice nothing. They believe that we should open up the floodgates and welcome all kinds of criminals & miscreants from all over the world into our nation, but rest assured none of them would let a family of refugees sleep in one of their spare bedrooms. And then Donald Trump happened, and the entire Hollywood community has had a yearlong hissy fit that I assume will continue into the foreseeable future. Just like pro athletes that have expressed their strong opinions in the past twelve months these actors, actresses, directors, producers, etc. have every right to their beliefs, but given their hypocrisy and lack of ethics we have the right to not give a damn what they think.
And the Sammy goes to…..
All of them!! Y’all know the drill by now. These people just need to shut their pieholes. Go away. Get out. Good riddance. Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.
To present our next award it is our pleasure to introduce two of our favorite performers. She is the star of films like Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers, & The Family Stone, while he is an SNL alum who has hosted talk shows, been in a few movies, and has had a long & successful career as a stand-up comedian. Please welcome Rachel McAdams & Dennis Miller!! And the nominees are:
Most Entertaining Program (Radio or TV)
The Big Bang Theory
Is it showing its age after eleven seasons?? Yes. But is it still a well-written & funny show?? Absolutely. It’s odd to think that we’ve now spent over a decade watching this group of characters and all of their zany adventures.
The Young and the Restless
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but a year ago I did seriously ponder giving up my soap operas. Alas, I just can’t quit Y&R. My father watches it too, which makes me chuckle. The writing isn’t always as tight as I’d prefer, but the performances are mostly outstanding given the material with which the actors are working.
I knew when Designated Survivor premiered that it might have a limited shelf life. Once the initial mystery that was the entire foundation of the show was unraveled it had no choice but to morph into a 24/West Wing hybrid in which there’s a different crisis to resolve each week. That’s not necessarily bad, but it’s not as compelling as the original premise. I began to lose interest early on in the current second season and actually need to go back and stream the episodes I’ve missed.
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. A year ago the original host stepped down to pursue other opportunities, but the new guy has grown on me. I don’t listen to all three hours every day, but if I happen to be in my truck when the program is on I’ll usually listen. God knows it’s better than the garbage the music stations are playing.
Monday night is still wrestling night in The Manoverse. Sometimes I’ll flip back & forth to the Monday night game during football season, but generally I am all about my wrasslin’ for a few hours, although these days I actually doze off occasionally, mostly because my internal clock is jacked up for various reasons. WWE has 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.
Dan LeBatard & his Papi (along with whoever is co-hosting) have slowly risen up to become my favorite ESPN talk show. If I’m home I’ll watch, and if I’m not going to be home I utilize the DVR. It’s irreverant, occasionally silly, sometimes informative, & always easily palatable.
I can’t seem to quit GH either. I’ve been watching since grade school. There are certainly better things I could be spending time on, but I suppose there are worse things as well.
The Rush Limbaugh Program
El Rushbo is still going strong after three decades on the radio. I’m not as into politics as I once was and don’t listen often, but always enjoy the show when I do. I understand that he doesn’t frost everyone’s cupcake, and that’s alright. It’s rather amusing to me that two decades ago he was thought to be so provocative, but these days, amongst the plethora of contentious sociopolitical rhetoric from so many media outlets, Rush Limbaugh has actually morphed into the “harmless loveable fuzzball” that he has always proclaimed himself to be.
Some may disagree, but I contend that Jeopardy! is the best game show of all time. It actually rewards people for being intelligent, and really, who could have an issue with that??
This Is Us
Entertainment Weekly calls This Is Us “a refreshing respite from the relational violence and pessimism that marks other buzz soaps that have bubbled forth from a culture of divisiveness”. In other words, it’s not about violence, sex, or a social agenda. The show is an old-fashioned family drama with a unique twist that is particularly well-written & performed.
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. It’s appointment TV for me, and I usually record it if I’m not going to be home. Every once in a great while Tony & Mike will go political (Wilbon loves to talk about “plantation mentality”), and sometimes I have to change the channel. However, thankfully that doesn’t happen too often so I’m willing to overlook it.
And the Sammy goes to…..
This Is Us. I rarely get excited about anything on television anymore. Perhaps that is indicative of age, maturity, & refined taste. Or maybe it’s just that Hollywood truly has gone to hell and rarely produces anything worth one’s time & effort. This Is Us is an exception. To call it a home run somehow feels inadequate. The cast is top notch, and the writing is unrivaled.
Our next award is a very special honor for a long time presence on our show. To make the presentation please welcome comedian & master impressionist Frank Caliendo!!
The Duffer-Herrell Lifetime Achievement Award
Mike & Mike in the Morning
November 17, 2017 was a gloomy day for sports fans. For 17 years many had spent atleast part of their weekday mornings with former NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic and nerdy sportscaster Mike Greenberg, as well as an immensely deep roster of in-studio & call-in guests. It began as a radio show and at its heart remained so, but from fairly early on in its run was simulcast on ESPN2. I was a little late to the Mike & Mike party, first becoming aware of it somewhere between 2006 & 2008 (my memory is a little fuzzy), but quickly became hooked. I’ve heaped plenty of praise on the program over the years, and offered some constructive criticism as well. Rumors of its demise began as far back as two or three years ago, but this past spring it became official. Whether it was ESPN’s decision to break up the duo and attempt to double their success with two shows instead of one, or Greeny felt compelled to spread his wings and do something different is unknown to the masses. Perhaps the truth is a concoction of those and other reasons. Greeny & Golic publicly put to rest any rumors of a rift between the two of them, and unless they are gifted actors on par with Al Pacino & Tom Hanks I have no reason to doubt that claim. I think they were more upset about how the situation was handled, which isn’t surprising given how poorly ESPN has dealt with various other matters recently. At any rate, Mike & Mike was nominated for six Sammys over the years, winning four straight at one point. I believe I once called it “comfort food television”, because watching two guys discuss sports (with a healthy dose of pop culture & general merriment on occasion) for four hours was a fantastic way to begin the morning. Golic is now doing essentially the same show with Trey Wingo, while Greeny will be getting a TV only program called Get Up beginning in April with co-hosts Michelle Beadle & Jalen Rose. I like Golic & Wingo just fine, though it is…thus far…a tepid reproduction of Mike & Mike, while I’m not at all excited about Get Up since neither Beadle nor Rose frost my cupcake. It’s all about chemistry, and Mike & Mike was lightning in a bottle. Greeny & Golic complemented one another spectacularly. There were times when the first thing I did when I woke up or returned home from my midnight shift was turn on Mike & Mike to get their take on the latest sports news. Since it ended a couple of months ago my television now usually stays off until much later in the morning. Kudos to all involved for creating great memories and producing something entertaining & informative enough to spend time on at 6am. Mike & Mike is greatly missed, and I feel like ESPN made a huge mistake.
Let’s take another break. Stay tuned for the sensational conclusion of the 2017 Sammy Awards…coming soon!!