Friday, April 28, 2006

Right Said Fred to Gilbert Gottfried: You're Too Unsexy

Today’s pod cast has a radio news theme… The big news this week…Opie and Anthony have just started on many of the former Howard Stern CBS affiliates delegating David Lee Roth to trivia status along with the Chevy Chase talk show and The Wilton North Report. O and A do 3 hours simulcast on regular radio and satellite and the last 2 hours only on satellite.. I guess they go for the big cliffhanger at 8:59 to get people to sign up with XM. Amazingly, they are beating Howard Stern at his own game.. They will now get a bigger audience.. And they have his old slot… and they get to stay on satellite too. This is kind of a bummer since I like Howard more than O and A. And interestingly enough, I hear that a big shot Catholic organization has issued a letter of forgiveness to O and A for the stunt a few years ago where a couple participating in an O and A stunt was caught doing the ol’ hocus mcpocus at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. That stunt got them canned from CBS Radio.. But in the quest for the almighty dollar.. CBS decided to forgive and forget… and now they’re back.

Speaking of religious controversies, the Head Rabbi of the Satmar Hasidim died this week at the age of 92.…. And his 2 sons are battling it out to see who gets to lead the crew.. Here’s my suggestion to take over the helm of the Satmars…… NJ Devils Coach/GM Lou Lamairello. That’s right.. Lou Lamairello… He took over the Devils in the 80s when the team stank and quickly turned it into a powerhouse franchise. Then, when the team was struggling along early this season… the coach quit,… and Lou stepped in to take over… and now for the last month, they appear to be the hottest team in the league! It doesn’t matter that he isn’t Jewish… he is THE American success story... more than Donald Trump! Lou turns everything he touches into gold and I think he would do a fine job leading the Satmars…..

By the way… the Devils score so often against the Rangers.. I worry that Garden PA announcer Joe Tolleson is going to get laryngitis from announcing so many Devil goals…

Anyway… there was one other story that made the news.. A New England publication announced that Gilbert Gottfried is the most unsexiest man in the world… beating out such luminaries as Andy Rooney, Mickey Rooney, Wilford Brimley, Hurley on Lost, Former Gov. Tom Kean, John Bobbitt, John Madden (the announcer, not the hat trick scoring Devil) and Billy Packer.

This brings to mind my radio days.. Gilbert was doing a standup gig at a club in Morris County and visited my radio station to hype his appearance. I was actually standing in the lobby when he quietly walked in and meekly asked me if I knew where he could find the afternoon dj. It took a couple of seconds for me to realize that this quiet little fellow was actually.. Gilbert. I went to his show that night and got to go backstage afterwards.. And as he left to say goodbye to his agent.. He said.. “zei gezunt’…a common Yiddish goodbye meaning be well... Sort of like a Jewish “May be the Force with You!” (Yes folks.. I have seen The Empire Strikes Back and my comments on that film will appear on this blog next week.) My non Jewish roommate (at the 65 a week house.. See the prior radio column for details) asked me what zei gezunt meant.. And from then on.. every time he left a room… he would say… zei gezunt.. A trait that I later picked up too….

Check out the pic... this was when I went through my bushy mustache phase.. Actually, the hair on my chest was taken off and used to form my goatee… or maybe I’m wearing a black T-shirt,… I really don’t recall.

Today's podcast is my lame attempt to deliver a newscast while Gilbert and his hysterical antics were lurking in the background…. Click play to hear yours truly.. and Mr. Unsexy…

Zei Gezunt..

Friday, April 21, 2006

Podcast Chat with Jacquie Jordan - Part II

Today we present Part II of our chat with Jacquie Jordan. As you know she wrote the book “Get on TV” and will be appearing Monday morning on Good Day NY. In Part I of our chat, you heard her refer to a show called “Soap Opera Softball” which we did in the early 90s… The actual tape is as antiquated as the New York City Tram system... which got stuck in mid-air last week. Did you hear the news coverage by the Wildwood newscasters? They kept saying.."Watch the tram car... Please watch the tram car". By the way, why not install bathrooms in those trams just in case they get stuck again for 12 hours? I was watching Bill Ritter and Liz Cho’s Channel 7’s lengthy coverage at about 1245 AM and the conversation looked like the newscasters on The Family Guy…

Bill: There seems to be water leaking out of the tram car..

Liz:. Uh Bill… there are no bathrooms there…

Speaking of the news…. Jacquie's book would be good for people familiar with the situation in Darfur… It would be a good idea hear them talk about the horrible genocide going on there.. or even Holocaust survivors could speak about it since they have seen this kind of tragedy firsthand. It’s about time we put this story on the TV news talk shows and toss away the silly daily dose of Natalee Holloway and the Duke Lacrosse Team!

Click play or the logo at the top to hear the interview… You can also access it through My Yahoo or through

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Podcast Chat with Jacquie Jordan - Part I

Last Saturday night I meandered over to Shop Rite for a late night macaroon and Kosher for Passover yellow cap Diet Coke run. As I waited on line and checked out the usual tabloid headlines, the cover of Woman’s World jumped out at me! There was my ol pal Jacquie Jordan!! Wow.. I bought the magazine.. actually mumbling something to the cashier about buying the magazine for my aunt who was visiting from out of town. How else does a he-man buy a woman’s magazine?

As many of you may know… back in the early 90s when I used to work as a radio newscaster for a Northwest NJ AM-FM Radio combo… I became friends with Jacquie. She used to work at the competing station…and we used to make prank calls to her! Ultimately, she came to work for my station… and we went on to also work on a few video projects together. She just wrote a great new book called “Get on TV”. It's a tutorial for people who want to promote themselves not only as a TV or radio expert, but also through other methods... such as a website. Jacquie's website is and she joins us on today’s Podcast.

Here is her book:

And her cover on the current issue of Woman’s World...

Click play to hear the interview… Part II will air later this week, after I get the macaroon crumbs out of my keyboard. By the way, you can also get the Podcast through Clickcaster.. It will automatically download it to your mp3 player.

You can also get the Podcast on you’re My Yahoo Page by doing this:

1. At My Yahoo click "add content"

2. Click "Add RSS by URL" and type in

3. Click on "add to my yahoo"

4. Click on the edit it link (edit to show content), to allow for headline and short summary. Now a little button will automatically show up on your "my yahoo" page next to the summary that you can click to play audio and video files.

You can then put it in your mp3 player and listen to it anytime you want!

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Couric Shuffle

Here are some random quotes in connection with the big Katie Couric announcement last Wed.

Overheard at a local eatery:

Guy to cute babe: "Hey did you hear Katie Couric is going to CBS?"
Cute Babe: "What? She's leaving Regis?"

Larry King to former CBS Legend Walter Cronkite:

Larry: What do you think are the qualities a news anchor should have?
Cronkite: They should be like me.

Overheard when Dangerspouse heard the big news:

"Who cares?"

Dangerspouse's actual reaction to the Katie Couric news:


The big news shuffle continues as networks try to fill their bank accounts and also those of the people who tell us what is going on in the world. Later this summer, Katie will bid adios to Matt and Al Roker and jump ship over to CBS where she will try as best she can to fill the chair once held by the legend himself.. the aforementioned Mr. Cronkite. The View and Millionaire host Meredith Viera who still has it at 50-something will replace her…

Channel 2 is also shuffling its lineup. Roz Abrams who looks so much better than her days at Eyewitness News with the “hair like Ken, Channel 7 Weathermen” is moving out of the 11pm slot to be replaced by Dana Tyler who looks EXACTLY the same as she did when she first came to Channel 2 many many years ago.

2 is actually shuffling all of their casts.. Weekend anchor Mary Calvi who is too hot to be a news woman now gets a weekday shift... and the whole morning crew is being re-done...jettisoning anchors Mario Bosquez and Jim Ryan plus weatherman Dave Price... thus ending the experiment to clone the old Channel 5 Good Day New York show.

In reality the whole Today show news doesn’t faze me... since on the rare occasions I am home watching TV at that hour I will usually watch the locally produced morning shows on Channel 5 or 11. If I were to watch a network show it would probably be Good Morning America because I like Diane Sawyer... or the Imus simulcast on MSNBC. As a matter of fact I truly cannot recall the last time I saw the Today show.

Nonetheless, its a gutsy move for Katie to bolt out of there.. but now she won’t have to get up early anymore, and instead of holding down 2 hours a day... she only has to worry about half an hour. I really doubt she will go the ABC Vargas route and anchor extra editions for the different time zones AND a late afternoon podcast.. (ABC dropped the live west coast newscast shortly after Bob Woodruff's injury). Heck, for the money she is getting paid... Couric should mop the floors and give eyebrow trims to Andy Rooney and Walter Cronkite...

Katie kind of slipped into the Today Show chair at just the right time.. Jane Pauley was incredibly popular and left to get a lot less face time on Dateline NBC and later her short lived talk show. Deborah Norville... the Mary Calvi of the 90s replaced her... but was basically the David Lee Roth of that time... forced to replace a very popular morning personality. I actually like Deborah Norville, and she is quite talented. If I’m not mistaken, she went on maternity leave and NBC basically told her to keep taking care of her baby! With her popularity.. The NBC bigshots were probably digging through the NBC ladies room trash trying to find the pregnancy test so they could finally get rid of her...

So it was Norville out.. and Katie in.. (she was then called Katharine Couric),.. but as she cooed to Gumbel on her first day... should I be Katharine or Katie?? Then Gumbel departed also for CBS where he did a shortlived magazine show and then went back to mornings with a woman named Jane.. not Pauley... who was a Mormon and refused to drink caffeine. So much for that Today host’s defection to CBS. He left the network a few years ago and now does a show on HBO. Jane was replaced by CBS President Les Moonves girlfriend - now wife Julie Chen who he plucked from obscurity as a weekend reporter at Channel 2.

Matt Lauer replaced Gumbel taking an odd route to stardom... He used to host PM magazine in the 80s and then after hosting a talk show on Channel 9 (9 Broadcast Plaza) which was the precursor to the Richard Bey Show (which begat the Jerry Springer show).. he packed it all in and was working as a tree surgeon. One day Channel 4 called and asked him to anchor the early morning local news show.. and then he started staying late and co hosted Live at Five with Sue Simmons. Eventually NBC started to like him and he started reading the newscasts on Today.. and as soon as Gumbel made HIS big move to CBS.. Lauer took over as the host.

Why is Katie so popular? I dont know... but I think it is probably because she is part of the very popular long running show. Its actually the sum of all the Today Shows parts that makes it so popular... and not necessarily one person. It may have been kind of arrogant for her to mark her 15th anniversary on that show by saying adios. That may be why in the post Tom Brokaw era...(the host that Gumbel replaced) the departed host who gets the most on air TV face time is actually Deborah Norville. Will this work out for Katie? Maybe... but I don’t think the 630 newscasts are as relevant as they used to be when they were anchored by legends like Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley and subsequently by stars like Rather, Brokaw and Jennings.

One other thing: One of the Star Ledger critics took a break from his endless Sopranos columns and speculated that Katie will ultimately host.... The CBS Morning Show... And, if it comes to that,... it will prove exactly what we saw when CBS moved Gumbel to the morning slot... that the Today show's success over the years has not been due to any one person.

Or perhaps they may want to put her on at 1130 when Letterman retires?

Now to recap… Katie goes to anchor the CBS Evening News… Meredith Viera goes from the View to Today… and who is gonna replace Meredith on The View? How about going full circle and hiring former CBS Evening News Anchorman.. Dan Rather? I can just see the exchange with Star Jones… “Star.. You almost bled to death when you had your boobies done… you have such… Courage”.

And then they can bring back Regis to host daytime Millionaire…

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

TV 2006 - The First Quarter - Must CC TV

Well folks.. 2006 has just passed the quarter mark.. Baseball season is here.. The rotiserrie drafts are done… and it only took 3 innings for my rotis pitcher CC Sabathia to get injured!! (This is the 2nd earliest injury to one of my players… On Opening Day a few years back Desi Relaford injured himself running out a hit in the first inning and promptly made a beeline right to the DL!) By the way that CC Sabathia Indians-White Sox game Sunday Night didn’t end till after 2 am eastern time.. And poor Jon Miller and Joe Morgan had to hop a plane to San Diego for a late Monday afternoon Opener against the Giants. That was the game where the fan tossed a syringe at accused steroid user Barry Bonds. Good thing Bonds wasn’t accused in an artificial insemination controversy… I cringe to think what would have been tossed at him.

So how have the TV powers that be done so far this year? The true test comes now for me… since any non baseball programming will have to really really grab my attention between now and the end of October when The Mets win the World Series. So, lets revisit the world of TV and see what looks good.. And what has changed since my last TV column at the end of December.

CABLE - ESPN gets a lot of eyeball time now with Sports Center and Baseball Tonight. I will also renew my friendship with TBS and make a new friend with SNY.. and maybe catch a Yankee game on YES… Watching SNY is cool; I finally saw Gary Cohen … after hearing him for so many years on the radio.. Plus the old games from ‘86 are fun to watch Boy was SNY embarrassed on Opening Day when their signal went out in the early innings and they had to put the 9-17-86 clinching game on again! Not an auspicious way for a network to show its first ever game although it wasn’t their fault due to a power outage at Shea! Too bad the power didn’t go out when Jorge Julio took the mound in the 10th inning of the 2nd game!

The only other cable network I regularly watch is GSN… and most of that are the Match Game hours at 11pm at night and weekends at 3pm. with a little Password sprinkled in. I also catch the late night repeats of Larry King and Rita Cosby. King is a legend.. Rita is not.. It amazes me how her daily Holloway-Newlywed Cruiser show manages to get her soooo excited. Nonetheless the 1AM broadcast might be the unintentionally funniest late night program. I still can’t quite figure out her appeal..

SUNDAY - Not much has changed here… I still watch Desperate Housewives at 9pm and tape The Family Guy for later viewing. Although I miss American Dad which was just starting to hit its stride this season. Whatever did happen to Betty Applewhite and the son she had locked in her basement? Do they EVER do anything with that storyline or have they quietly moved them out of town? 10pm is Grey’s Anatomy for me.. A program that in the last few months has gotten better than DH. Some of those women… especially Dr. McDreamy’s wife (Kate Walsh) are freaking gorgeous.. But the story line with the blonde doctor flirting with the patient awaiting a new heart is just a tad bizarre… as are most of the things that go on there… like a Dr. living in the hospital. Why don’t they just put her in a trailer in the parking lot like the guy who used to be on Trapper John, MD another Sunday at 10 pm hospital show from yesteryear? Nonetheless the show just has a certain charm. Maybe because all the characters are weirdos?

And how about the Sopranos? My free month of HBO ends soon.. And after seeing the first four episodes.. I am just not impressed. The storyline is ok…..but I have zero interest in the characters. Sunday‘s episode was actually entertaining… but having this Paulie guy beat the hell out of this poor kid because he is jealous of his relationship with his mom shows how incredibly unlikable these characters can get. Tony Soprano’s thoughts about the deeper things in life were interesting with Hal Holbrook’s character and the Born again minister leading him to question science vs. religion. The religious dude’s comments about dinosaurs coexisting with humans because the Bible says Earth was created 5700 years ago was so bizarre.. and amazingly there are those that believe it. And finally, Tony’s frustration with the whole health insurance process, his concern with staying on the payroll for job he is rarely at.. (kind of like CC Sabathia on Opening Day), and his choice words for the insurance woman who tried to speed up his discharge were quite entertaining ..

Maybe at some point, I will watch the first season on DVD and see if I can grow to care for these unlikable characters. But so far.. Im pretty lukewarm to the whole show.. I do like Paulie Walnuts’s hair… and its cool to see the guy who played the buddy on Doogie Howser.

MONDAY - Speaking of Doogie.. “How I Met Your Mother” while a good show from late ‘05 just hasn’t made its way to my eyeballs this year. Ive kind of gotten into that train wreck of a show called “Deal or no Deal”…. I call it a train wreck because its hard to look away. The show involves zero skill, but its cool to watch people’s greed take over their knowledge of statistics and watch them kiss away a ton of money as the wacky studio audience eggs them on. Most impressive to me is how Howie Mandel knows the names of all of the models when he asks them to open the suitcase. Its also a good warm up for 9pm and 24... THE best show on TV..

I’ve seen some of the D or N D episodes that run in the UK and Australia. The British version is a cooler less dragged out version. Instead of hot models, the 22 contestants stand on stage facing each other at Family Feud type tables for as many shows as it takes to get randomly picked for the game… Each show has a different contestant randomly picked from that pool, and the remaining contestants each have a box. Its obvious the contestants bond during the shows and really take a vested interest in the pound amounts…(they sometimes hold hands and pray, and even stay at the same hotel) In one episode, a woman actually cried at the end of one game when her box had a huge dollar uh I mean pound (or euro?) amount for a contestant who ultimately won a measly penny.. The Australian version by the way has the wacky loud audience like the Howie Mandel version, except the banker doesn’t call in, they just use a graphic. The Australians also use suitcases like our version, but they are opened by regular people who actually win money if they accurately predict the dollar amount inside their case.

As for 24, although the show has kind of dropped it a notch since they killed off Edgar a few weeks ago. They have also altered the format this season so the episodes are sort of self contained. I think 24 hours are too long and they should just focus on a shorter work day… maybe condense it to 16 hours and call it “Double Shift”… Notice how the characters work such a long shift and never inquire if they are getting overtime? I must admit that turning the President into a bad guy involved with terrorists was quite a twist. CSI Miami wraps things up at 10pm as David Caruso continues to show us on a weekly basis that he is indeed the worst actor since Flipper.

TUESDAY - The only show I watch is Law and Order SVU. How much money does Richard Belzer get paid to really do nothing on this show every week?

WEDNESDAY - More Deal or No Deal.. Then at 9pm its Lost. Kudos to the Jersey guy who wrote to Entertainment Weekly and offered what I think is the best theory on the shenanigans over at Mystery Island. All of the castaways are willing participants in the Dharma (and Greg) experiment and have had new memories implanted. Therefore the “flashbacks”: are really non existent memories… I kind of like that theory and it works for me.. especially now that Hurley is questioning his sanity and the resident shrink may have actually been a patient with Hurley at a mental hospital. And that whole Henry Gale character who is a prisoner in the hatch.. Is that actor creepy or what? He also played a looney tune on The Practice a few years back.

10pm is CSI:NY which in my opinion is the best of the CSIs.. It has a certain attitude to it.. Which makes it quite entertaining. I kind of like Gary Sinise.. He has just the right amount of intensity without going over the top…yet balances his character out with a sense of humor!

THURSDAY - I just haven’t gotten into Survivor this season.. And big change in my weekly viewing .. I also haven’t been watching CSI. Instead I’ve jumped on the My Name is Earl bandwagon. I like the show and Jamie Pressley is hysterical as the ex-wife of the title character who is on a lifelong crusade of redemption. I wonder if the Born Again Guy from The Sopranos got to him. I also try to catch The Office at 9:30 since I get a kick out of watching incompetent buffoons in the workplace. I have been working for more than 20 years, and none of these crackpots really surprise me. 10 PM is Without A Trace.

FRIDAY - I think Ghost Whisperer has jumped the dead shark.. But Close to Home with Jennifer Finnegan has now caught my attention…. mainly because she played Marnie on Committed… (The guy that played Nate is on an NBC sitcom on Thursdays that I have never seen)

SATURDAY - No Must CC TV after the Sabathia although I occasionally catch the first 15 minutes of SNL. The recent bit with Steve Martin explaining managing credit by not spending money you don’t have , was absolutely hilarious and should be must see TV for any credit card applicant!

One other show I really like that I catch in reruns is Law and Order: Criminal Intent… but only the weeks that Vincent D’Onofrio is on.. Another show I will be watching this spring is Game Show Marathon, a retro game show right up my alley with Ricki Lake hopping in the time machine and hosting old favorites using the old retro sets with celebrities as contestants. Match Game will be on too.. And I am sure it will draw the inevitable comparisons to the unmatchable legendary 70s version. One odd note.. They are doing The Price is Right. My question… Why? it’s a Bob Barker show.. and as long as Bob is walking and breathing and fooling around with the models.. It shouldn’t be hosted by somebody else.

However, now that baseball is back and I have rotisserie teams to follow.. a blog to write.. and a Trophy Wife to give kisses to…it looks like my TV time is going to decrease. Also with Passover and the tax deadline coming up.. the postings on Nate’s World of Words will slow down a bit for the next couple of weeks.. Nonetheless, we will revisit the TV season at the end of May after all the shows wrap up for the season. And by the way... Mark my words.. assuming he can stay away from any major injuries… CC Sabathia who at 25 has already won 69 games… will one day reach the magical 300 win mark…It will probably be about 13 years and 5 Katie Couric facelifts from now… but I think its gonna happen…