5.31.2006

I WILL NOT BE THE "LAST COMIC STANDING"

Last night I watched the fourth season premiere of Last Comic Standing, NBC's standup comedy competition/reality show/American Idol rip-off.


I know what you're thinking.

"Will, you're funny. Why aren't you on Last Comic Standing?"

I guess if I had to come up with one reason it would be because I didn't audition for the show. I thought about trying out, but then I found out that you had to wait on line all night in the middle of the winter.

That's where they lost me.

Sure, I'd love to be on TV, and I'd love to be famous. But I don't want it badly enough to spend a cold winter's night on a New York sidewalk. Why does it have to be that way? Why does it have to be an endurance test, when it really should just be about how funny you are?

I thought about paying a guy to wait on line for me, but I decided against it. That wouldn't be fair to the other comics, most of whom are so broke they can barely afford subway fare to get to the audition.

I did my time as a broke standup comedian, counting pennies to buy hot dogs at Gray's Papaya. And now that I'm back at work, I've realized something: I'm funnier with money in my pocket.

When I'm broke I'm nervous, anxious and worried and the last thing I feel like doing when I'm nervous, anxious and worried is cracking jokes. Anxiety makes me tense, which is not good for the relaxed, confidant vibe that people expect from a comedian

But back to Last Comic Standing. My biggest problem with the show is the amount of airtime they give to bad comedians. I like to watch somebody fail as much as the next bitter cynic. But if this show is supposed to shine a light upon the under-appreciated art of standup comedy, why spend so much time on people who don't know what they're doing?

I refuse to believe that bad standup comedy is more entertaining than good, regardless of how much of a train wreck it is. And I should know, I've spent the last five years enduring comedy open mics in bars and basements all across New York City. Unfortunately, I've become something of an expert on bad standup comedy.

I will keep probably keep watching Last Comic Standing, because I know a number of the finalists from New York. But I wish that the show would spend more time on good comedy and less time on schadenfreude.

Then maybe I might consider breaking out my sleeping bag.

5.30.2006

WHY I LOVE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

The Memorial Day weekend is over and I am dreading going back to work.

But not for the same reasons that you are.

I dread the inevitable question that so many of my co-workers will ask me: So what did you do this weekend?

Nobody is happy about going back to work after a long weekend of fun and relaxation. But I don't really like to have fun, or to relax. So what I did for fun over the weekend will most likely differ from what my co-workers did.

There's this tendency in New York City to want to get out of town on long weekends, particularly in the summer. New Yorkers are obsessed with going somewhere green or sandy or wet to escape the sweaty, concrete monotony.

Not me. I never get out of town on long weekends. Holiday weekends like Memorial Day are the best times to be in the city.

You might not know this but, there are a lot of people in here in New York. Too many people. Somebody really should put a big NO VACANCY sign over the bridges and tunnels.

I think we should close off the island of Manhattan for a few years. Then, when some of the old people die, we can let in some new people. We could run it sort of like a dance club. We'll have a guy with a clipboard and a velvet rope standing in front of the Lincoln Tunnel.

And if you want to make sure you're going to get in, bring a hot girl with you. That always seems to do the trick.

Realistically, I don't think this idea will fly with the political bigwigs. So, for now, we're going to have to deal with an overcrowded city - except on holiday weekends.

This weekend I practically had the city to myself. There was nobody at my normally over-crowded gym. I easily got great seats at a popular movie theater. And my favorite Sunday morning coffee/bagel/read the newspaper cafe actually had an open table for me.

PLUS... The subways were full of empty seats. Cabs were easy to get. My Chinese takeout came in a lightning fast 14 minutes (vs. the normal, pokey 22 minutes) and there was no waiting at Tasti Delight!

For three glorious days, New York City was mine! All mine!

But when co-workers ask me about my weekend, I can't tell them all that. First of all, it makes me sound like a bad guy in an old Superfriends cartoon.

I can't tell people that I pretty much did all the things I would normally do on a weekend, only faster and with fewer people around to annoy me. It doesn't really sound like as much fun as it actually was.

I'm not a beach person, or a woods person, or a park person. I'm a city person. I don't love the great outdoors. LIke the t-shirts say, I love New York. Leaving here depresses me. And I don't really need any more things in life depressing me right now.

So to all my co-workers I say, feel free to tell me in detail all about your 72 hour adventure out of town. And, while we're at it, feel free to leave again very soon!

I had a great time without you.

5.28.2006

WHY I HATE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Everybody loves the long Memorial Day holiday weekend, right?

Wrong.

I hate it. I don't hate the brave American soldiers whose memory we honor on Memorial Day. Thank God those guys keep things safe for lazy cowards like me.

No, I hate
not getting paid.

As a freelancer, if I don't work I don't get paid. That's why I hate Memorial Day - and all other national holidays. Taking a day off on Monday is costing me about $500.

Sure I need a day off. Who doesn't? But I need $500 a lot more.

I've been a freelancer for sixteen years, so I'm used to the financial hit that I take every Memorial Day. But this year, something was different.

The company for whom I have been a permanent freelancer (or permalancer) was officially closed on Friday. I say officially because a lot of people (including me) came to work.

Here's the way it broke down: anybody who is on-staff stayed home. Anybody who is freelance came to work .

The receptionists were not there. The tech department was not there. The guy who fixes the copiers when they break down was not there. The cleaning staff was not there. It was just us poor little freelancers, left to fend for ourselves, in a dirty office with phones ringing off the hook and broken copy machines.

Fun.

Maybe you are independently wealthy. Maybe you are fiscally responsible. Maybe you have a savings account, or a 401(k) or an IRA or mutual funds or a piggy bank that makes an "oink oink" sound every time you put a coin in.

I don't have any of those things. What I do have, however, is massive credit card debt.

At the end of the last millennium I left a seven-year permalance position as a producer of corporate video. I can't say I quit, because you can't really quit when you're not really employed. So I just sort of faded away, like an old soldier.

I spent the next year or so trying to establish myself a truly freelance producer; the kind that goes from client to client, like a rolling stone.

Turns out I'm not really a rolling stone. I'm more of a moss-gatherer.

I soon settled into another permalance arrangement, this time at American Express, where I wrote and produced employee communication videos. (sample script copy: This month we're going to talk about increasing productivity using the techniques and principals called Six Sigma!)

The high point of my tenure at American Express was a shoot at a corporate meeting in Bermuda. I stayed at a beautiful hotel on the beach and produced a video called The AmeX Files, based on the popular TV series The X Files.

The executive who played the character of "Agent Sculder" refused to learn the brilliant script I had written for him, so we had to shoot the whole thing with him reading off-camera cue cards.


The final product made him look autistic. Not exactly what I had in mind, but nobody really cared. And the check cleared, so I was happy.

My brilliant career at American Express Creative Media came to a screeching halt on September 11, 2001, when two planes made an unexpected landing across the street from our office.

Thankfully I wasn't at work that day. As it turned out, I would never work there again.

Around this same time I began to pursue my lifelong dream of standup comedy. In retrospect, it seems like an odd time in history to embark on a career of joke telling. But, laughter was a much-needed commodity in New York City back then, and I was just trying to do my bit for the cause.

And now that I no longer had paying work to distract me, I was able to pursue my dream full time.

For the next four years, I worked very little and spent most of my time telling jokes in basements and bars around New York City. This particular dream was financed by the fine folks at CitiBank, Chase, Capital One, MBNA, Discover and any (and every) credit card issuer who thought I was a good financial risk.

Turned out they were wrong.

Last summer, with a stack of threatening letters from law firms in hand and bankruptcy looming, I went back to work. Again, I wasn't on staff. I was once again permalance, but this time I was more perma.

Now, almost a year later, I am beginning to raise my financial Titanic. I still have a long way to go. Credit card debt tends to mutate and expand like a killer virus, infecting you and everything around you.

I don't love working as a mouthpiece for Corporate America, but I do love what Corporate America pays me for my efforts.

If I had it my way I would sit in my beloved vegetarian coffee shop every day and write these charming little missives for your enjoyment. But I'm pretty sure that none of you will be sending me $500 checks in return for my efforts, so to the salt mines I must return.

So enjoy your barbeques this Memorial Day. I hope that hot dog tastes good, because it's costing me $500.

5.26.2006

BITE YOUR TONGUE RITA COSBY!

I bit my tongue last night.

I was eating a bowl of Dole Very Veggie Salad (the bagged one, with the sugar snap snow peas - yum!) And I was watching cable news, which I do just about every night of my life.

At 8 PM I watched my favorite cable news show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

The best news program on cable.

I flipped around from 9-10 PM. Then, a little bit before 10 PM, I made some of my homemade Russian dressing. Would you like to know how to make your own homemade Russian dressing?

Of course
you would.


WILL McKINLEY's HOMEMADE RUSSIAN DRESSING
1) Place 1 tbsp of a Hellmann's Mayonnaise in a bowlshevik.
2) Add a squirt of Heinz Ketchup.
3) Stir vigorously (while proclaiming your devotion to Communism).
4) Add some Heinz Malt Vinegar (enough so that the content of the mixture is doubled)
5) Add some salt and spicy black pepper (like Trotsky's beard)
6) add A LOT of paprika (this makes it red, which is appropriate for something Russian)
7) Serve chilled, preferably in a matryoshka (nesting) doll.
8) Enjoy, Comrade!

At 10 PM I sat down with a huge bowl of salad and my spicy, vinegary homemade Russian dressing. I was so excited! I love salad. But who doesn't?

Actually, there's a homeless woman who hangs out outside my office who doesn't like salad. I walked out of my building late one night carrying leftovers to bring home. She asked me if I had any food that I could share with her, and I offered her my leftover salad.

"I'm sorry," she said. "I don't eat salad."

Are hungry homeless people really allowed to turn down food? How much must she hate salad to be homeless and hungry and broke, yet turn down free food?

Sleeping behind a dumpster on 15th Street? No problem!

Eating a leftover Chicken Caesar from Chop't Creative Salad Company? No thanks!

Anyway, back to the story.

So there I am sitting there enjoying my salad and I flip to Rita Cosby: Live & Direct on MSNBC.

Who is this idiot and why does she have her own show?

If you ever come across this show, turn the channel immediately.

Rita Cosby: Live & Direct
should be pulled off the air and all the tapes should be burned. There should be no proof that the show every existed and Rita Cosby should be sent to live on a deserted desert island where nobody can hear her stupid, retarded voice ever again.

So there is Rita Cosby talking for the ONE MILLIONTH TIME about Natalee Holloway, the poor high school girl who disappeared in Aruba about a year ago. And Rita has some sort of breaking news to tell the world, like maybe they found a guy who knows a girl who once dated a guy who heard second-hand from a cocktail waitress that Natalee Holloway was really drunk the night she disappeared.

Or something like that.

I don't know if you noticed this, but there's a lot of serious news going on in the world right now. I think it would be nice if a cable news show covered those stories a little bit more, and FUCKING NONSENSE a little bit less.

So the minute I hear Rita Cosby's raspy, nasal, assaultive voice I take a bite of my Dole Very Veggie salad. And I am so disturbed by what is on my TV set I bite into my tongue. Hard.

Soon, blood is gushing out of my tongue. Now I don't know if you paid attention to my Russian Dressing recipe (see above) but it is chock full of vinegar and spices. Vinegar and spices do not mix well with an open wound in your mouth.

"Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow !" I yelled. "Damn you Rita Cosby! Damn you to HELL!"

THE END

5.25.2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY "STAR WARS"

Twenty-nine years ago today, Star Wars premiered in movie theaters across the United States.

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was not there on opening night on May 25, 1977, but I did see Star Wars six times during its initial theatrical release that summer and fall, and many more times in subsequent re-releases over the next twenty years.

I was seven years old when I first saw
Star Wars, and the movie (and its first two sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) played a huge role in my life until high school.

I played with the toys, read the comic books, collected the trading cards, read the books, wore the t-shirts, hung the posters on my wall. I was all over anything that had anything to do with
Star Wars.

I was even a charter member of The Official Star Wars Fan Club. I still have all my copies of the fan club newsletter, Bantha Tracks. (Actually, I'm missing issues 1 and 17 if anybody can hook me up!)

I have mixed feelings about the three recent sequels. I'm glad that a new generation of kids has been exposed to something that played such an important role in my childhood. In technological terms, the new films are pitch perfect, but in human terms, they are sorely lacking the magic of the original Star Wars.

There's a soulless perfection to Episodes I-III, only mitigated by the inspired casting of Ewan McGregor as the young Ob-Wan Kenobi.


After nearly three decades as a Star Wars fan, last May I was hired to cover the New York City premiere of
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith as an entertainment reporter. From my position on the red carpet at the historic Ziegfeld Theater, I met and interviewed Star Wars cast members Samuel L. Jackson, Liam Neeson and Frank Oz (the creator and voice of Yoda), as well as the actors who portrayed Darth Maul and Boba Fett.

It was an exciting night. I had to do my best to maintain my composure, as the inner seven year-old child battled the outer 36 year-old professional for control.

The high point of the evening was my interview with Frank Oz. George Lucas has said that Episode III will be the final Star Wars film, so I asked Frank Oz if we had seen the last of Yoda.

"I doubt it," he answered. "George really loves Yoda."

"So do I," I replied. "May the Force be with you!"

"May the Force be with you, too," the creator of Yoda said, as he smiled and walked away.

And for a few moments, I was seven years old again.


5.24.2006

EXTRA INNING$

Last night, the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the bottom of the 16th inning on a solo home run by center fielder Carlos Beltran.

The end of a long night.

Most baseball games last between two and three hours. This game went on for more than five hours.

As the game dragged on, announcers Gary Cohen and former Met (and Seinfeld guest star) Keith Hernandez emphasized how exhausting it was for the players to play in such a long game.

Boo-hoo. I feel so bad for them!

Before the 2005 season, Carlos Beltran signed a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets. That's $17 million to play in a full season of 162 games, which works out to $104,938 per game.

For a five-hour game, Beltran made about $21,000 per hour.

You'll excuse me if I don't feel too much sympathy for Carlos and his teammates, for their long night at the office. There are plenty of nights when I have to work late. I do it, but I'm not happy about it.

If my day rate was $105,000 I think I'd be okay with a little bit of O.T.

When I was a kid, I would play baseball all day long in the summer (and the fall, and the spring, and one time in the snow on Christmas Day when I wanted to try out one of my presents).

I lived for playing baseball. Playing baseball is fun. Doing something you love for five hours is fun. Doing something you love AND making $21,000 per hour to do it is an incredible opportunity.

If the announcers are going to feel bad for somebody, how about me? I watched that whole game for free.


Or my ex-girlfriend Maggie. I made her watch the last hour of the game with me - and she doesn't even like baseball.

Where's her standing ovation?
Where's her kudos? Where's her $21,000?

I think if the fans got paid, more people would watch baseball games. Then baseball would truly be our national pastime once again!

After all, what's more American than bribery?

5.23.2006

OUR EARS ARE SEALED

Friday night I went to see the Go-Go's in concert at the Nokia Theater in Times Square.

I love the Go-Go's.

Okay, maybe I don't have the hippest taste in music. But I love the Go-Go's and I'm not going to apologize for it. And no, I'm not gay. We've been through this before. My taste in music might be considered by some ignorant and uninformed people to be gay-ish. But that does not make me gay.

I don't even like to talk to other guys, let alone have sex with them.

There were a lot of gay guys at this show, though. There were also a number of women that might be considered Rubinesque. I'm no stranger to concerts with gay guys and fat women. I've seen Morrissey live a few times.

By the way, if you ever have the opportunity to go to a Morrissey concert, you should really go. You'll finally get a chance to hang out with all those people who skipped the prom.

Like me, for example.

But back to the Go-Go's concert. I'm fine with gay guys and big girls. But there were children at this concert. I'm not talking about 16 year-olds. I'm talking about little kids. And they were in the mosh pit.

When did it become okay to bring seven year-olds to a rock concert? I haven't been to a concert with little kids since I took my niece to see Carole and Paula from The Magic Garden.

I understand that most of the people who were fans of the Go-Go's in the 1980's grew up, got married and had kids.

But I didn't. I know that's not their problem. But it becomes my problem when I have to go to a concert with them - and their children.

I'm not the kind of person who lets loose often. That's why I love going to concerts. I get to sing and dance and otherwise act like an idiot and I'm perfectly okay with it, because everybody else is doing the exact same thing.

Of course, acting stupid is easier to do when there are intoxicants involved. But how am I supposed to get fucked up when there's a second-grader next to me, rocking out to We Got the Beat?

I went to the show with my ex-girlfriend Maggie. Maggie and I have been to many concerts over the years, and we always like to bring along these special cigarettes that, when smoked, make the concert-going experience considerably more enjoyable.

When it became obvious that we would not be able to engage in this activity from our standing-room location in the kid-friendly mosh pit, Maggie and I each headed to the bathroom.

When I returned from the bathroom, I was nicely buzzed and ready for the concert to begin.

A few moments later, a forty-something woman dressed all in black appeared on stage. I figured she was the opening act, but she didn't have a musical instrument or even a microphone.

She started dancing and making gestures with her hands, and a bunch of people standing near me began to applaud.

"Maybe she's a famous mime," I said to Maggie.

But she wasn't a mime. She was signing. She was warming up the crowd - with sign language.

Moments later the Go-Go's took the stage, opening the show with their biggest hit, Vacation.

There are five members of the Go-Go's, but there were six women on stage. Five of them were singing. One of them was signing.

From where I was standing, I could not avoid looking right at the sign-language lady. It was fascinating. Her performance of Vacation was a combination of sign language and performance art. I've never seen anybody simultaneously signing and doing The Swim.

Her performance continued throughout the entire show. It was a good concert, and I was excited to see the Go-Go's. But for the entire show I sat there transfixed, staring at the sign language lady acting out each song with her hands and her body.

I don't know who this sign language rock star is, but she deserves a Grammy.

After the final encore I yelled out "the sign language lady rules!"

I just hope she could hear me.

5.22.2006

PICTURES FROM BREAST CANCER BENEFIT

Last night I produced and hosted a benefit show for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. It was a great show, with great performers and a great audience.

I look like I'm about to spit out a ping pong ball.

The audience loved me. But how could they not?

Debbie Shea talked about panty liners for thongs.

Dan Allen told anti-vegan jokes in a vegan cafe.
It was awkward, but in an organic way
.

Rachel Parenta knows how to sell a bit!

The puppet version of Keith Richards tells ventriloquist Carla Rhodes
all about falling out of that coconut tree.

Danny Cohen is going to the Marquis de Sade's barber.

Singer Terez belts out a soulful rendition of "At Last."

The Rob and Mark show sing about blogs.
Apparently nobody wants to read them.

Me with Tresa Martinez, who is doing the Avon Walk
in tribute to her aunt, a survivor of breast cancer.


We raised more than $600 for a very worthy cause.

And we had a great time.

Thanks to all the performers, and to everyone who came out to support the show!

5.18.2006

MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM THE RED CARPET

On Wednesday night I worked as an entertainment reporter, interviewing celebrities on the red carpet at a charity benefit in New York City.

Here are some of the memorable moments:

MEMORABLE MOMENT #1
I asked Elvis Costello what he would be if he weren't a musician.

"I'd probably be a landscape gardener," he answered.


I can hear it now. What's so funny about peace, love and underbrush?

Sounds like a hit to me.

Elvis Costello really wants to mow your lawn.

MEMORABLE MOMENT #2
I asked Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, if she had an iPod.

"Yes!" she answered, surprised at my question. "As a matter of fact I do."

"What's on the Duchess of York's iPod?" I followed up.

"Jay Z!" she replied.

Then I asked the Duchess if her nephew, Prince William, would soon be marrying his girlfriend Kate Middleton.

"Oh behave!" the Duchess reprimanded me as she walked away.

End of interview.


When I thought the Duchess was safely out of earshot, I turned around to repeat her answer to the executive producer, who was standing behind our cameraman.

A moment later I felt someone tapping me on the shoulder. I turned around. It was the Duchess.

"Are you saying bad things about me?" the Duchess asked me, with mock indignation.

"Never!" I replied. "I was just, um, remarking on how lovely you look tonight."

A few hundred years ago I would have been beheaded for such insolence.

The Duchess of York likes hip-hop.

MEMORABLE MOMENT #3
By far the high point of the evening was my conversation with Regis Philbin. I don't often get star struck, but when I was introduced to Regis I felt as if I was in the presence of royalty (with all due respect to the Duchess).

I asked Regis a few questions about the event, and the charity, and he gave me the expected replies. Then I decided to have some fun.

ME: Now, I understand that you are somewhat of a Luddite. Is that correct?
REGIS: A what?
ME: You’re not a fan of technology.
REGIS: A Luddite?
ME: Yes, a Luddite. That’s the term for someone who is anti-technology.
REGIS: Did you just call me a freaking Luddite? (to everyone on the red carpet) This guy just called me a freaking Luddite!

At this point, Regis broke into his Angry Regis routine and everyone started laughing.

REGIS: Let’s put it this way, okay Will? I’m computer-free. Got a problem with that? Is there something wrong with being computer-free?
ME: (shaking my head no)
REGIS: I’ll tell you what I got here, Willie. (he reaches into his pocket and fumbles around) Let me show you, babe. (pulls out a cell phone) I carry Joy’s cell phone. I don’t know how to use it. I don’t wanna know. But I carry it.
ME: (silent laughter)
REGIS: I'll tell you, it just got by me Will. I find myself unencumbered. She's on the computer all day and night, answering email and whatever that stuff is. I don’t want to do that.
ME: And is it true that you are in the Guinness Book of World Records?
REGIS: Did you call me a Luddite again? What’s wrong with you? Yes I am Will. I’ve been on television more than anyone else – nearly 16,000 hours.
ME: And how much longer is that gonna go on, Regis? (now I got a laugh)
REGIS: After I get through with you? Never! I’m all done Willie.

At this point Regis extended his arm and gave me a warm handshake.

REGIS: I’m gonna hang around as long as somebody like you will stop and ask me a question.
ME: Thank you Regis. It’s a great pleasure to meet you.
REGIS: Thanks a lot. Good luck to you.

I don't know what's going to happen in my career, or in my life. But no matter what happens, I can say that I did shtick with Regis Philbin.

That is pretty cool.

Me and my new best friend.

If, like Regis, you do not know what a Luddite is click here.

5.17.2006

HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW

Somebody at work described me as "bald."

Let me offer some clarification on this. I am not "bald." I have a shaved head. There is a big difference.

Not bald.

Bald guys are helpless victims of genetics. Their hair is falling out and there is nothing they can do about it.

Sure, they can get a toupee, or a "hair system" or a transplant. But we've all seen those guys. They're not fooling anyone except themselves.

I am not a victim. I have taken a pro-active approach to the issue of hair loss. My hair started falling out, and I did something about it.

I said to my hair, "You can't quit. You're fired!"

I am the Donald Trump of Hair Loss.

As an adopted kid, I really wanted to look like my father. So I styled my hair just like he did. I was the only six year-old with a comb-over.

Now, thirty years later, we once again have the same hair: None.

Somehow, I managed to inherit male pattern baldness from my adopted father. I think this is some kind of medical miracle. Somebody should call The New England Journal of Medicine, or the The National Enquirer or Teen People.

I actually started to lose my hair when I was 18 years old. Mary, my girlfriend at the time, realized what was happening and brought it to my attention.

She didn't mind, though. She was ten years older than me. I think she was happy that I was going to look closer in age to her.

Of course, I was horrified. I started watching late-night hair loss infomercials. I tried Rogaine. I tried Propecia. I tried prayer.

I was like, "My hair, my hair! Why hast thou forsaken me?"

For ten years, I was a victim of hair loss. Then I ended my relationship with the older woman and started dating Maggie, the college intern at work.

Maggie was the one who finally convinced me to shave my head. It was a tough decision to make. But when a hot, 22 year-old blond tells me to do something, I listen.

It was hard saying goodbye to my hair. I loved my hair, even though it deserted me.

I feel sort of the same way about my birth mother.

And if either one of them comes back some day, all will be forgiven.

5.16.2006

KEYS TO MY KINGDOM

I have a lot of keys on my keychain. I have so many keys that sometimes I am mistaken for a lesbian.

I have keys and I have absolutely no idea where they came from.

For example, I have a key with the number 10 written on it in black Sharpie marker.

This is the key.

I've had this key on my keychain for as long as I can remember. I have no idea where it came from. I've never lived in apartment #10, or building #10 or 10th Street or 10th Avenue or anything that has to do with the number 10.

Yet I still cannot throw this key away.

I'm convinced that someday I'm going to die and go to Heaven and see a door with a big number 10 on it. And a guy with a white beard is going to say, "What do you mean you 'threw away the key?'"

Call me superstitious, but I cannot throw away any kind of key.

I still have keys to the house I grew up in. That's not really unusual, except for the fact that my parents sold the house last summer.

Apparently I'm having problems "letting go." At least that's what the new owners said when they filed that police report. Thank God my uncle is a cop. We covered that up like Kennedys. I just blamed it on the Ambien.

Here's my point: if you buy a house and you don't change the locks you are just asking for uninvited guests. And those uninvited guests are going to be pissed if you took down the fingerpaintings they left hanging in the basement.

5.15.2006

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, DAD

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I hope you knew that.

If you're just realizing it now, let me suggest that you act quickly, and come up with a good excuse.

God have mercy on the person who calls his mother a day late. You can't exactly wish your mom a Happy Belated Mother's Day, at least not if you want to still be in the will.

But on the chance that you did forget - or spent all day on Sunday sleeping off a hangover - remember The Three A's: arrest, assault and amnesia. When it comes to a last-ditch, desperate excuse for forgetting an important day, one of these three will usually do the trick.

You may need to provide paperwork to back up your story, but arrest warrants and hospital reports are easy to forge! Trust me, I know.

I called my Mom yesterday afternoon. Many of you reading this are saying, "Will, you're adopted. Which Mom did you call?"

I've never met my birth mother, so I can't really call her. And she didn't leave a forwarding address when she gave me up for adoption back in 1969. I was hoping that she had left one of those Open When You're 18 letters tacked to my crib. But I made it to 18 and I never got one. Maybe she did leave a letter, but nobody knows where it is. Or it got lost. Maybe it fell behind the couch.

Anyway, even if I did reunite with my birth mother, I don't think I'd call her on Mother's Day. If you hire a secretary, and she quits the next day, you don't send her flowers on Secretary's Day thirty-seven years later.

I'm sorry, that's Administrative Professionals Day. I hope I didn't offend anyone.

So I called my Mom on Sunday and I spoke with her for a few minutes. Then she put my father on the phone. I asked him what they were doing to celebrate the day.

"It's my birthday this week," he proclaimed, ignoring my question.

And before I could even respond he added, "Thank you!"

I can't believe that my father interrupted my Mother's Day call to plug his birthday!

And I'm not exactly sure what he was thanking me for. I didn't even have a chance to acknowledge what he had said.

"I'm gonna be 77!" he added, awaiting congratulations.

"You don't look a day over 76," I replied. "Hey, would you put Mom back on? You remember her, right? She's the one they named this day after."

"That's so funny it makes me want to spend the rest of your inheritance," my Dad said.

Apparently Dad felt left out yesterday.

5.14.2006

'SNICE & FUNNY - A BENEFIT FOR THE AVON WALK FOR BREAST CANCER

On Sunday, May 21 I will be hosting a great show for a great cause!


5.13.2006

TWICE THE VICE IS TWICE AS NICE

Right now on TV Land I'm watching Miami Vice.

Don Johnson as Sonny Crockett on TV Land.

Episode 74, entitled God's Work, originally aired on November 6, 1987 during the show's fourth season and features a guest appearance by Esai Morales (better-known known today as the voice of Dora the Explorer's Papi).

AND right now on The Sleuth Channel I am ALSO watching Miami Vice!

Phillip Michael Thomas as Ricardo Tubbs on The Sleuth Channel.

Episode 58, entitled Cuba Libre, originally aired on January 23, 1987 during the show's third season and features an appearance by salsa pioneer Willie Colon.

How is it possible that two separate channels could be running two different episodes of the same show at the same time??

I have no idea. But I do know that I've watched more
Miami Vice tonight than I did during the entire decade of the 1980's!

I'm just sorry I missed the 20th Anniversary convention back in 2004!

This actually happened.

On Saturday October 1, 2004 there was apparently a Miami Vice Dress-Up Dinner for all paying attendees at the 20th Anniversary Miami Vice Convention.

The guy on the left was the hit of the party.

I've been to plenty of fan conventions in my life and I can guarantee you of one thing: nobody at that party got laid.

5.12.2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOGI BERRA!

Today is the 81st birthday of one of the most memorable figures in the history of American sports - Yogi Berra!

Yogi Berra's 1956 baseball card.

Born Lawrence Peter Berra in St. Louis in 1924, Yogi enlisted in the Navy at 18 and participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy.


Following his distinguished service during World War II, Yogi
resumed his baseball career and went on to become a fifteen-time All Star catcher as a member of the New York Yankees, winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award three times, in 1951, 1954 and 1955. He played in fourteen World Series and went on to manage both the Yankees and the New York Mets, leading both teams to the Fall Classic.

Yogi Berra was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972 and concluded his career as a coach with the Houston Astros, retiring after the 1992 season.

He's the only "Yogi" in the Baseball Hall of Fame!

In addition to his many accomplishments on and off the baseball field, Yogi Berra is perhaps best loved as a philosopher and accidental humorist. Yogi has been a favorite source of quotes for American presidents, such as Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Yogi would make an excellent Secretary of Defense.
After all he was a catcher!


Here are a few of the famous quotes - or
Yogisms - attributed to Yogi Berra:

It ain't over 'til it's over.

It's deja vu all over again.

You can observe a lot by watching.

It gets late early out here.


When you come to a fork in the road....Take it
.

I didn't really say everything I said.

The future ain't what it used to be.

Yogi was even the inspiration for a famous TV cartoon character. Can you guess the name of that character?

If you guessed Yogi Bear you are bear-y smart!

If - like me - you love baseball and the classic radio shows of the 1930s and 1940s, Radio Spirits is offering a 10 CD compilation called Yogi Berra's Favorite Baseball Radio Shows for $19.99.

The collection includes baseball-themed episodes of The Jack Benny Program, The Bob Hope Show, Abbott & Costello's famous Who's on First? routine and a ton of other cool shows that are funnier than anything that passes for "comedy" nowadays.

I love to listen to classic radio shows like these on my iPod at the gym. If you like to laugh, you should do the same, Then you can start cracking up on the cross trainer and people will look at you like you are weird!

At least, that's what happens to me.

Cary Grant with Yogi in 1960 (photo by Leo Fuchs)

For those in the New York/New Jersey area, you can visit the Yogi Berra Museum on the campus of Montclair State University in Little Falls, New Jersey. You can even check out a New Jersey Jackals game at neighboring Yogi Berra Stadium.
Why not pack a lunch and make a day trip of it?

Of course, you can always visit Yogi Berra's official website by clicking here. There you will find many exciting, official Yogi Berra products - many of them personally autographed by Yogi himself!

Join me today in honoring a great American who has brought joy to millions of people.

Happy birthday Yogi Berra!

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