Sideshow: Bird booster from way back

Fred Rogers, dead 9 years, is a new viral darling, in footage of his 1969 appearance before the Senate defending PBS; last week, Mitt Romney said in his debate with President Obama that he liked Big Bird but would defund PBS.
Fred Rogers, dead 9 years, is a new viral darling, in footage of his 1969 appearance before the Senate defending PBS; last week, Mitt Romney said in his debate with President Obama that he liked Big Bird but would defund PBS. (Associated Press)
Posted: October 09, 2012

We at "SideShow" love, love, wuvvvv the Internets! They supply us with lovely fun for moments at a time. Guess who's the new viral hero of the Web! If you answered Mr. Rogers, you . . . read ahead! Fred McFeely Rogers, whose show Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood went from 1968 to 2001 and whose life went from 1928 to 2003, is now a viral bomb, yo. Back in May 1969, he appeared before the U.S. Senate to defend PBS; President Richard M. Nixon wanted to cut its $20 million grant in half. Wow: 1969 was the first year of Sesame Street. Somebody found the tape, and now it's everyplace. Recall that Mitt Romney, in mid-scathe of President Obama in the first prez debate, said he'd stop funding PBS. He said he liked Big Bird, but not enough to keep subsidizing the Birdster. BB became a big-time Twitter trend! Even appeared on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update Saturday, in which Bird reported getting "a million tweets!" Just goes to show: Big Bird has always been a controversial figure on Capitol Hill.

Esquire, world flop for Mila Kunis

The November Esquire is out, and it, correctly, names big-eyed Mila Kunis as the World's Sexiest Woman. Girl's on a roll, and we don't mean bagel. She's now dating serial photographer Ashton Kutcher, she's on covers everywhere, and there's also a brushfire rumor she'll be picked to star in Fifty Shades of Grey. The last three Esquire most sexiest lady-types before her, also correctly: Rihanna, Minka Kelly, and Kate Beckinsale. Shiver in the deliciousness!!

CNN starts new docu-flick joint

Interesting. CNN has started a new documentary filmmaking unit, for show on both TV and in theaters. The first film, Girl Rising, will have voiceovers by Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, and Selena Gomez. Richard Robbins, who made the wartime doc Operation Homecoming, directs. It premieres next spring.

Music news from over and under

This very cool website, Small Demons, tracks everything mentioned in books. They've only just-just-just started, only "several thousand" books so far out of the millions. Still. What, you ask, is the most oft-mentioned tune? "Hey Jude," by some outfit called the Beatles. The following nine, announced over the weekend: (2) "Heartbreak Hotel," by Elvis Presley; (3) "Stairway to Heaven," by Led Zeppelin; (4) "We Are the World," by USA for Africa; (5) "Dancing Queen," by Abba; (6) "Blue Suede Shoes," by Carl Perkins; (7) "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," by the Beatles; (8) "Eleanor Rigby," by, um, wait, we had it here a minute ago . . . (9) "Smells Like Teen Spirit," by Nirvana; (10) "Bohemian Rhapsody," by Queen; and we had to mention (11) "The Macarena," by Los Del Rio. Wow. It's a dang WMGK playlist! Heavily skewed to over-45 white Western males. Most mentioned musician: Elvis!!! He's followed by such as Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and John Lennon.

Speaking of Beatles stuff, last week was the 50th anniversary of the release of their first single, the execrable "Love Me Do." So EMI put out this commemorative 7-inch vinyl single. Hahahaha, they messed up, though. See, the youthful Fabs made two versions in 1962, the first with session drummer Andy White (because producer George Martin thought Ringo Starr stank) and a second one with our Ringo. The new single was supposed to be Ringo's version, but, hahahaha, the Andy version went out. It's easy to see, or hear, why: Frankly, they're all but identical. EMI has recalled it, and probably it'll release nothing.

An anguished appeal from 'SideShow'

It's none of our business. Adults making decisions for themselves. Lord knows, we have no standing. Play no role. Still, we say: Don't do it, Hulk Hogan ! For the love of Mike, please do not accept this "open checkbook" offer from Sex.com to buy the rights to that porn tape of yours. Please, Hulk, no. Yes, we know, the diddly-vid was leaked on Gawker, and now, well, ugh, there's a market. We hear your costar is Heather Clem, wife of your best buddy, DJ Bubba the Love Sponge. And, no matter what the arrangement, that is just icky!! Please, Hulk, just say no.

And now we interrupt ourselves . . .

Maria Shriver was seen leaving a Brentwood, Calif., greasy spoon - and she had her wedding ring on!!! Does this mean she's having Arnold Schwarzenegger back? No. But it's fun to ask. . . . Madonna survivor and incredibly fertile person Guy Ritchie is engaged to his gf Jacqui Ainsley. They have a son together and are expecting their second child, and he had two with Madge. . . . After an intense bidding war, Lena Dunham, creator/star of HBO's Girls, has inked a deal with Random House for an essay collection. She's getting paid . . . whatwhatwhat? . . . $3.5 million!! . . . Former Philadelphia Eagles fan-blogger Kendra Wilkinson's 2-year-old son, Hank Baskett IV, lost consciousness at the Wilkinson/Baskett manse in L.A. Cops came, HB4 went to the hospital, just kid overheating, he's fine. . . . Jack Osbourne married Lisa Stelly on Sunday on the Big Island out in Hawaii. . . . Katy Perry and John Mayer hooked up in June, took a break in August, reassembled in September, and now have jettisoned each other, according to RadarOnline. . . . It's cool that Jay-Z, gigging all week at the resplendent new Barclays Center in his native Brooklyn, took the R subway to his final show Saturday night. We are forced to note that, as she did not do at Philly's Made in America fest, Beyoncé showed up to shake it onstage with J in Brooklyn. . . . If you haven't seen the tape of Richard Belzer's recent interview on the N.Y.C. local Fox channel, in which he gave the Nazi salute and otherwise insulted his hosts at Fox, well, it's a breathtaker. . . . "SideShow" favorite Amber Tamblyn, 29, has for some reason married crazy lunatic mess-head David Cross, 48. They had quite the wedding, with indie-rock trio Yo La Tengo providing the dance moozik, and Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson of the Roots as DJ. . . . Weather guy Sam Champion of ABC's Good Morning America has announced his engagement to photographer and fellow male Rubem Robierb. . . . Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman, married since 1982, have announced they are separating. Sad. . . . In what's becoming a true entertainment trend, Lady Gaga, laboring under the flu, shouted Ralph/made the rainbow smile/barfed three times in rapid succession onstage in Barcelona Saturday. She joins Justin Bieber, who, as so often, set the trend last week. . . . Not to be outdisastered, Madonna bonked and bloodied her head with a wayward guitar during her show in San Francisco.
This article includes information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.

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