November 30, 2005

Rock Band Names

First of all, I have to apologize. When I did funny/weird band names the other day, I don’t know what came over me to omit Toad the Wet Sprocket and They Might Be Giants. Criminal behavior on my part.

Today we have rock bands. I suppose punk bands put a lot of thought into their names, going for some kind of statement, as do the Garage bands who produce that certain sound. But if you think about it, there’s no genre where the name is more important than Rock bands. Much of popdom is marketing anyway, and the fringes like punk are often trying to be clever (which gets old fast). A Rock band, though: they’re looking for a good catchy, iconic, maybe even a little scary, name. Once again, I omitted eponymous, so don’t be writing me with your Bon Jovi love, ‘cause I don’t wanna hear it.

THE TOP TWELVE ROCK BAND NAMES

#11 Iron Maiden/Megadeath – Both of these names just sound hard. Even if you didn’t know the Iron Maiden was a medieval torture chamber, it sounds band, doesn’t it? And it’s not just one death, it’s not a few: it’s megadeath!!!

#10 Led Zeppelin – Named after those dirigibles, it just has a dignified name

#9 Urge Overkill – I have no idea what this name means, but it sounds menacing and sexy at the same time

#8 Stone Temple Pilots – Another one where I’m completely confused but intrigued.

#7 Lynard Skynard – It sounds like their name (which it’s not), but somehow the poetry comes across. Basically, it’s just fun to say!

#6 Metallica – Sounds like an element on the Periodic Table: known for its hard core and propensity to sue fans

#5 Red Hot Chili Peppers – I hate these guys, but even I have to admit the name is cool.

#4 The Sex Pistols – Everything you want: sex and death.

#3 AC/DC – Yes, we found out later it was simply all about the current that amped their guitars, but remember the hysteria when people were trying to figure out what their name really meant?

#2 Rolling Stones – Stolen from a famous old phrase, but can you blame them? The name is iconic and stands the test of time.

#1 Guns ‘N’ Roses – Again, this is everything you want in a band name. It’s sexy, it’s dangerous, it’s terrible, it’s beautiful. Forget what you think about the band personally. If you had to start a band and you’d never heard this name, you’d pick it, wouldn’t you?

Up next: A tribute to the music of 1991

November 29, 2005

Pop Band Names

Today we continue our look at band names. In the category of “pop,” I’m including any genre not covered yesterday or broached tomorrow with hard rock bands. Again, I tried to stay away from eponymous names if I could, so all you Captain and Tenile fans get over it. Enjoy

THE TOP TEN POP BAND NAMES

#10 Concrete Blonde – I’ve heard of ash blonde, bleach blonde and even four non-blondes, but these girls must be thick.

#9 Mamas and Papas – Kinda makes me think of a local Italian Restaurant, with Jr. on the accordion.

#8 Timex Social Club – Eventually Timex (haters that they are) sued the band, and they had to change their name, but while they were TSC they sounded like a swell gathering of slightly nerdy people.

#7 Crystal Method – No truth to the rumor that this group is a combo of country star Crystal Gayle and rapster Method Man, although I’d pay to see them in concert together

#6 Culture Club – Yet another club. If you just heard of this name, it sounds like some high-falutin’ society, huh? I bet they’d never have let their lead singer in the doors.

#5 Bananarama – I have no idea how they got their name, but this is one of the two most fun names to just say.

#4 Oingo Boingo – Along with this one. It sounds vaguely dirty, doesn’t it?

#3 Sonic Youth – I’m going to guess that there’s an entire generation that thinks this band has something to do with hedgehogs

#2 Velvet Underground – The name just slinks sexily toward you. It suggests, winks, sashays and dares you to follow.

And the number one pop band name is….

#1 Grand Funk Railroad – now that sounds like one swinging train. Putting them on the list also allows me to employ one of my favorite Homer Simpson quotes: “Grand Funk Railroad paved the way for Jefferson Airplane, which cleared the way for Jefferson Starship. The stage was now set for the Alan Parsons Project, which I believe was some sort of hovercraft.”

Selah.

Up next: Rock band names

November 28, 2005

Band Names

Today we begin a week-long salute to music by examining band names. I made lists of the best band names ever in several categories.

Please note: this does not mean I like the bands. So don't be writing comments hating on how I skipped your favorite bands. For example: I love The Platters, but it's a terrible name for a band. (Not the least reason if because of all the copycats, like The Coasters and Put a Napkin Under It.) I generally tried to stay away from eponymous band names, unless it was done in a neato way.

Anyway, today we look at Back Up bands, Rap, and the just plain weird:




THE TOP FOUR BACK UP BANDS

#4 The New Power Generation (Prince) - By now Prince was getting weird, and not even pronounceable, but it's still a pretty sweet name for a band. Too bad they couldn't have made a TV show: Mighty Morphin Power Generation!

#3 The Pussycats (Josie) - It just sounds sexual, which is what you want in a teenage girl band, right?

#2 The Pips (Gladys Knight) - I believe Pips are the markings on dice, so I'm not entirely sure how that translates to a back up band. Sounds good, though.

#1 The New Bohemians (Edie Brickell) - Makes you wonder where the old Bohemians went. Are they hiding in a closet? Do they still hand out at the corner of Haight/Ashbury at the Moulin Rouge?



THE TOP FOUR RAP GROUP NAMES

#4 RUN DMC - Granted these were their names, but it still comes out all decked out.

#3 Sugar Hill Gang - How cool is it to sound sweet and menacing at the same time?

#2 Public Enemy - This was the beginning of the time when Rap was taking over from Rock as the official rebellion music, and what says that better than Public Enemy?

#1 N.W.A. - Possibly the best part was how by using an initial, kids could talk about the group without getting in trouble. N.W.A. was one of the first groups to use the N word (the group's name is Niggaz With Attitude) in a way that wasn't racist, or at least not in the conventional sense. This was a whole new world to suburbia. (Incidentally, one of the funniest mockumentaries of all time is the film FEAR OF A BLACK HAT, which follows the group N.W.H. Highly recommended if you like rap.)



THE TOP FOUR WEIRD BAND NAMES
[Note: There are thousands of strange band names, but I tried to stick to ones who'd had at least modest hits]

#4 Chumbawamba - These guys were professing communists, and actually told fans to steal their album. Now that they're all poor and nobodies I bet they wish a few more had actually bought it.

#3 Alien Ant Farm - Do you think this was a metaphor for public school?

#2 Dingoes Ate my Baby - Easily the second-best phrase in Australian history. (Does anyone know the first?)

#1 Betty Doesn't Have a Vitamin - I think the coolest part of this name is that you had to know the story. The Flintstones Vitamins had Fred, Wilma, Pebbles, Barney, Bam-Bam, Dino and even the freaking car. But since they thought people would get confused with Wilma, Betty didn't get a vitamin for like ten years. How does the car get one and not the best thing about the show? Huh??????/

Up next: Pop and Rock band names

November 25, 2005

Alternative Dwarves

Today’s top ten list is a little different, in that we have dwarf names. Disney practically ruined the metaphor of the Dwarves when he gave them personalities, but they did have cool names. Anyway, I hope you enjoy these, and feel free to send in your own if you think of some categories. The lists are meant to be read aloud 7-1 kinda fast, like you’d say the original dwarves.

ALTERNATIVE DWARVES


Old Dwarves
#7 Shrively
#6 Crinkly
#5 Pruney
#4 Crotchety
#3 Wrinkly
#2 Crusty
#1 In-My-Day (“In my day, we had to walk in the snow, up hill, both ways….”)


Whiter-than-white Dwarves
#7 Clubby
#6 Cliquey
#5 Caddy
#4 Honky
#3 WASPy
#2 Uptighty
#1 the “Man”


Ghetto Dwarves
#7 Nappy
#6 Rappy
#5 Shorty
#4 Snappy
#3 Jiggy
#2 Lil’ G
#1 Baby Pappy

November 22, 2005

Inspiring Movies

I got to thinking the other night about movies that inspired me. I eliminated fantasy from consideration: obviously any great movie, like a LOTR or something can inspire you, but I doubt you’re returning anything to Mordor soon. I stuck more to real-life movies, or at least real people. Characters that made you want to be like them, whether specifically, or just to follow their example in your own life. This list would be quite different for everyone, so unlike most of my lists, there are no “right” answers, but this is mine.

THE TOP FOUR INSPIRING MOVIES

Brother’s Honorable Mention: JERRY MAGUIRE – This one really isn’t mine, but I witnessed it, so I thought I’d share. I saw JERRY MAGUIRE with my brother Achmed. Afterwards, he couldn’t leave the theatre, overcome with emotion. (I love it, only it didn’t hit me quite that way.) What the movie inspired him to do was tell someone (a girl, natch) how he felt. To come clean, express emotion, to stand up and be a man. Very deck.

#4 HIGH FIDELITY – I’m not sure what made me think of this one. I guess I like how somehow John Cusack’s character Rob Gordon was able to pull his life together and do what he wanted. Not just the girl, but starting the record company (Top 5 Records, if I recall). I like how was able to get over his emotional crippleness and move on.

#3 FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL – This one might seem strange, but bear with me. What inspired me was the great friends Charles had. How they were there for each other, to laugh, to share, to just be there. I’ve never been a guy who had a lot of fiends, or even several close friends, but FOUR WEDDINGS made me want to try.

#2 STAND AND DELIVER – Jaime Escalante (James Edward Olmos) teaches a class in the projects of East L.A. He gets students who’ve known their whole lives they are trash to believe in themselves. Working harder than they ever have before—mornings and summer—Escalante takes them through Algebra, Geometry, Trig and even Calculus, all the way to the AP test. This film is a MUST-SEE for any family, with a fantastic cast, great message, and wonderful ending. I remember that every time I saw it I always got stoked about math, and outside of DONALD IN MATHEMATIC LAND, what film can say that?

#1 GOOD WILL HUNTING – This movie might not inspire others, but it sure did for me. Maybe I just related: a genius, but a crippled genius, unable to scale the walls of his own prison. Though I’ve never been abused, spoken with a Boston accent or (thankfully) been friends with Ben Affleck, I still felt like the film spoke to me. It made me want to rise out of the ashes, get back up, and try again. It made me realize that just because I haven’t accomplished anything yet doesn’t mean I can’t or won’t. Or, maybe I’m deluded, but that’s not the point, is it? A great movie makes you “think you can.”

November 19, 2005

Movie Beards

Today we look at Movie Beards. This is a potentially HUGE category, and I’ve wasted too much time as it is. Therefore, I don’t claim to have the exhaustive list, but I think it’s pretty good.

THE TOP TEN MOVIE BEARDS




#10 Tom Hanks (CASTAWAY) – Someday I’m going to do a top ten list of best inanimate objects, in honor of Wilson



#9 Pat Morita (KARATE KID) – To this day you’re unsure if he wanted to train Daniel or just get some cheap labor




#8 Kevin Smith (CLERKS) – “What you DON’T know about me can just about fill the Grand Canyon!”




#7 Harrison Ford (THE FUGITIVE) I live for the day I can ask for a “hard-target” search




#6 Clint Eastwood (THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, et al) – A movie I’d like to see would be THE OUTLAW JOSEY (AND THE PUSSYCATS). Clint could still star!



#5 Samuel Jackson (PULP FICTION) – Does anyone know how to stencil on a wallet?




#4 Ian McKellan (LORD OF THE RINGS) – I prefer the Grey slightly, but both are good.




#3 Brad Pitt (LEGENDS OF THE FALL) – It was his image in this movie that made me want to have long hair. Already had the beard.




#2 Charlton Heston (THE TEN COMMANDMENTS) – I heard if you become Episcopal you only have to follow 8 Commandments, and you get to choose which!

And the number one Movie Beard….




#1 Edmund Gwenn (MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET) – You think I’m going against Santa this close to Festivus? You’re nuts.

November 18, 2005

TV BEARDS

THE TOP TEN BEARDS ON TV




#10 ZZ TOP – Technically they didn’t have a show, but they did have music videos



#9 RUPERT (Survivor) – Doesn’t he look like that dude from REVENGE OF THE NERDS?




#8 STEVEN KEATON (Family Ties) – What would we do baby, without us? (Sha na na na)




#7 AL BORLAND (Home Improvement) – In real life he’s actually a good poker player, although it’d be hard not to be in those Celebrity fiascos.




#6 B.A. BARACUS (A-Team) – My favorite moment of the Mr. T era (that doesn’t include an Eddie Murphy routine I can’t repeat here) is the Saturday morning cartoon where Mr. T and some gymnasts went around and solved crimes.




#5 GRIZZLY ADAMS - He’s the one on the right




#4 GRISSOM – We definitely need to do a sexiest guys on TV list soon




#3 UNCLE JESSE (Dukes of Hazard) – probably the closes John Stamos will ever come to making one of my lists.




#2 SONNY CROCKETT – Kind of hard to see with the picture, but Johnson perfected this five day beard that drove the girls wild.



And the number one beard on TV




#1 EVIL SPOCK/EVIL CARTMAN – “Best Friends are we!” (I love you guys)


November 16, 2005

Movie Mustaches

Continuing our look at great Mustaches, we turn to movies. This was a much harder one, ad I don’t claim to have the definitive list here, but I think it’s pretty good. The parameters I set was that it couldn’t have been part of a beard, and no real people (which excludes the immortal mustache of Sam Elliott).

THE TOP TEN MOVIE MUSTACHES




#10 Cheech Marin (UP IN SMOKE, et al) – My favorite moment of his is still that monologue outside the club in FROM DUSK ‘TIL DAWN



#9 David Niven (AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, et al) – The quintessential sophisticated mustache



#8 Carey Ewles (THE PRINCESS BRIDE) – The Dread Pirate Roberts rules!




#7 Billy Dee Williams (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) – Wouldn’t you love to see Lando Calrissian and Han Solo in a Manhattan bar having a ho-off?




#6 Charlie Chaplin (THE LITTLE TRAMP, et al) – Didn’t this dude marry a 15 year old? Had to be the ‘stache.




#5 Marlon Brando (THE GODFATHER) – I think people could have refused the offer, if it weren’t for….you know. (Wouldn’t it have been deck if the horse head had a ‘stache too?)




#4 Groucho Marx (DUCK SOUP, et al) – It’s hard to believe that caterpillar was real, but it was. So virile!




#3 Burt Reynolds (SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT, et al) – There’s a reason Burt was the #1 box office star for five years in a row




#2 Clark Gable (GONE WITH THE WIND) – “Frankly my dear, I refuse to shave.”


And the number one Movie Mustache is….


#1 Errol Flynn (CAPTAIN BLOOD, et al) – I know for a fact Errol was with every teenage girl he could find. In fact, he’s the origin of the term “In like Flynn.” Can there be any doubt it was the ‘stache? Thought not.

Up Next: Beards

November 15, 2005

TV Mustaches


THE TOP TEN MUSTACHES ON TV



#10 GERALDO – I would pay money to see him run for something



#9 SGT. SLAUGHTER – in a close race over Hulk’s Fu Man Chu


#8 DICK VAN DYKE – Doing research I found this great story about the answering machine message they had to leave on the show “Diagnosis Murder” for some old woman. Take my advice and read it here.



#7 YOSEMITE SAM – I bet the combo of his mustache and his mumbling turned a lot of women on


#6 GORDON – You just know Big Bird had the hots for him



#5 EARL – TV’s newest star




#4 ANDY SIPOWICZ – How else do you explain how he got Charlotte Ross?




#3 NED FLANDERS – My favorite mustache expression of his would be the “ol’ push broom” or the “ol soup strainer”



#2 BJ HUNNICUT – If Trapper could have grown one they wouldn’t have gotten rid of him.

and the number one mustache in TV history…..



#1 MAGNUM, P.I. - Probably the manliest mustache there ever was.

Up next: Movie mustaches



November 14, 2005

Aces of the Deck

I’m a man and willing to admit when I make a mistake. Attempting to get all the deck guys into one list was foolhardy. Or maybe I just didn’t spend enough time on it. Of course, over the weekend, I thought of two additional that simply HAD to go in my top ten. This is a big problem because 11-20 is already a done deal, and I can’t go back and fix it. What’s a guy to do? Cheat, I guess.

THE TOP TEN DECK TV GUYS

Honorable Mention: Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon (PTI) – These guys just argue for half an hour over sports, but I think it’s my favorite show. They make it so entertaining, so much so that my sister even watches with me from time to time. If there was any justice in the world they’d be on the actual list.

#10 WARRICK BROWN (CSI) – It ain’t just cause he’s black, although everyone knows black people are cooler than white people. Warrick has this vibe about him. Even when he had a gambling problem, or when he fell for that heroin junkie, Warrick keeps it real.

#9 JACK BRISTOW (Alias) – Sydney’s dad is a good guy, and still scares me. There is no way this dude would ever be caught off guard, and nothing he’d stop at to help those he cares about.

#8 GRISSOM (CSI) – He’s weird. He collects bugs, licks bones, and generally ignores the world around him. Yet in his own way Grissom is even decker than Warrick and Greg, a real feat. He ignores the politics and does what he wants. Now if he’d just get down with that blonde hottie cop, and then make Sarah stay in the lab. Better yet, have her killed and declare the case unsolvable.

#7 AL SWEARENGEN (Deadwood) – I’ve recently come to see how deck Al is. The main reason is how much smarter he is than the others around him. Once you get into DEADWOOD you’ll see what I mean.

#6 JOHN LOCKE (Lost) – When I first thought of this list I thought Locke might be #1. That in the final analysis he falls to #6 is a testament to how tough this list is. (I want you punks to know I spent a lot of time thinking it over). Locke is the heart and soul of Lost Island (I wish I had a better name, but my readers let me down there). He had faith, he’s tough, he’s overcome so much, and he doesn’t even try to take the leadership from that punk and all around nancy boy Jack. That’s deck.

#5 TOMMY GAVIN (Rescue Me) – We all know how deck Denis Leary is. On RESCUE ME, his Tommy Gavin is even cooler. Playing an alcoholic cheating brawling lying, ghost-seeing and ghost-fighting, miserable SOB fire fighter, Gavin makes me want to run into a burning building.

#4 VICK MACKEY ( The Shield) – Again, how does Mackey not come out at #1? Regardless, he’s the bad ass cop with the cool leather jacket. Is he a good cop who does very bad things? Or a good cop who’s lost his way horribly? Who knows? As long as he looks good doing it.

#3 TONY SOPRANO (The Sopranos) – My ex girlfriend and my sister find this guy uber-hot (giving hope to fat guys everywhere). Is it the pot belly or the thinning hair? No, it’s the alpha-maleness. It’s the way he does something immediate when action is called for. He da man.

#2 JACK BAUER (24) – Speaking of Alpha Males, is there any doubt that Jack is the greatest law enforcement officer in history? Is there ANYTHING he won’t do to get the job done? Where’s James Bond? Bauer would rip him up while teaching MoneyPenny and M a thing or two.

#1 GREG HOUSE (HOUSE) – He’s miserable. He’s a drug addict. He’s a cripple. Everyone hates him. And yet, he’s the deckest guy around. Everyone cares about his opinion. His boss is still in love with him. His hot subordinate is in love with him. He Ex is freaking Sela Ward, Hyperion’s future wife. House is so deck he needs a new word. You know, there’s song that once had a DJ line that went, Jack-night and Dakota House….Maybe they were talking about him.

#0 HOMER SIMPSON – As if there’s any doubt.

Up next: who knows? I have several lists formulated. I guess we’ll see which one I go with.

November 10, 2005

One eyed Kings (part 1)

So, I’m not entirely sure if Women on TV are going through a dry patch, or they’ve always had their deck quotient underrepresented. All I know is that if you take CURRENT TV characters (meaning on TV now, Ajax, you dolt), there weren’t a lot of women to choose from. Some asked why none of the Gilmore Girls were chosen. Have you seen this season? Rory has gone off the freaking deep end. ‘Nuff said.

Just the opposite problem when it came to the men. I initially whittled it down to 28, to cut to 10. Then I thought of 17 more, and the most I could cut down to was 21. So, with apologies to Bradley Cooper (next year, big guy), I am able to bring you the top twenty, split today and tomorrow

THE TOP 20 DECK TV MEN (11-20)

#20 JEFF PROBST (Survivor) – This may seem like a weird entry, but try running Survivor without him. I predict that as soon as he leaves the whole thing will go downhill immediately. He makes it look easy, and it ain’t. Plus, he scored with that one hot Survivor chick. Very deck.

#19 SANDY COHEN (The O.C.) – Seth may get most of the funny lines, but it’s Sandy who’s dealing off the top of the deck. First of all, his wife is the hottest woman on that show, and that’s saying something. (And don’t even think about arguing; it’s true.) Secondly, every other girl wants him; I’m sure Summer’s not to far behind. But perhaps the coolest thing Sandy is able to do is care about his family while not seeming like he’s on Touched by a Seventh Heaven or something.

#18 LEO McGARRY (West Wing) – A few years ago Leo would have cracked the top five. The show’s gone too far downhill for that, but Leo still brings the swagger, even after his heart attack. Did you check that blonde chick with the annoying voice (she does the Old Navy commercials now)? She wants him. That’s firepower.

#17 TURK (Scrubs) – I realize Scrubs isn’t on right now, but it’s coming back eventually, right? On a underrated show with funny people, Turk’s the deckest, and not because he’s black. Well, okay, not JUST because he’s black. The brother sang “Jimmy Crack Corn and I don’t Care” in a Neil Diamond voice. That merits making my list.

#16 GREG (CSI) – You know what pisses me off? Sarah always rejects Greg, and why is that? Sarah is damaged goods, a total basket case. Greg, on the other hand, even impresses Grissom sometimes. Greg’s my boy, and should be on every CSI, even if they have to fly him in.

#15 EARL (My Name is Earl) – Only Jason Lee could pull off that great porn mustache and white-trash ethos and still be so deck. Have you checked out this show? You need to.

#14 MICHAEL SCOFIELD (Prison Break) – Here’s what I like about Michael: not only is he a genius, but he’s so cool under fire. Whenever guards or other inmates try to front him Michael refuses to back down. He’s one cool customer, which makes him very deck.

#13 STEWIE (Family Guy) – Anyone who can beat up Osama bin Laden and his henchmen with a rubber chicken gets my vote. I could write three paragraphs about Stewie, but see my review of the new FAMILY GUY movie

#12 JACK MALONE (Without a Trace) – When the show started Jack had just ended an affair with the scrumptious Poppy Montgomery. And even though she’s moved on, you know she still has the hots for him. But that’s beside the point. Malone just brings it. He has that quiet intensity about him, and a willingness to break the rules when it’s important to saving a kids’ life. Sounds like another Jack we may see later on.

#11 HURLEY (Lost) – Who doesn’t love this dude? He’s the epitome of cool. He never seems to get too frustrated, and when he does, it’s for a good reason. Everyone in camp loves him, as they should. The best fat guy since…hmm…that’s a good question. Sounds like I have another top ten list in the making.

Up next: 10-1 of the deckest TV guys. [Also: try not to bitch about my omissions until you see tomorrow’s conclusion, okay?]

November 9, 2005

Queens of the TV Deck

I was trying to come up with a top ten list for today and I thought of cool TV characters. That seemed all right. In fact, these characters should be so cool, they’re deck. (Deck is much cooler than cool, or put another way, much decker than cool.) I split it up into male and female, but I had a very hard time finding cool female characters, which is not because I’m a hater toward the sneakier sex, but because current TV doesn’t have a whole lot to offer. (I only did current although it might be a deck list to do all time as well. Maybe later.) Anyway, today are the girls and tomorrow the much harder to narrow down list of the guys.

THE TOP TEN CURRENT DECK FEMALE TV CHARACTERS

#10 VERONICA (Veronica Mars) – I haven’t watched an episode yet, but I have it on the highest authority that she is way cool. Until I see the show, though, I can put her no higher than this.

#9 DR. BAILEY (Grey’s Anatomy) – They call her the Nazi, but I like how calm and collected she always is, and how Bailey seems to always have the up hand, no only on her interns, but on the attending surgeons as well.

#8 TEMPERANCE “BONES” BRENNAN (Bones) – She doesn’t handle people at all, but this girl is smart enough to make up for it. Based on real-life forensic anthropologist and famous author Kathy Reichs, Bones seems to know everything about science. And smart girls are hot and very deck.

#7 CALAMITY JANE (Deadwood) – Ajax just got me into this show, and I picked Calamity Jane because anyone who can get so drunk every night that she falls asleep leaning against buildings and swearing every other word has my vote.

#6 OLIVIA BENSON (SVU) – Anytime you’re cooler than Ice-T you’re doing something right. Olivia Benson is the heartbeat of the best Law & Order show. She’s intense and tough, and manages to look good doing it.

#5 BREE VAN DE KAMP (Desperate Housewives) – If you had to pick one of the girls, who would it be? My choice would be easy. Bree. Though at first she came off merely obsessive compulsive, Bree soon showed there was a lot more going on in her brain. She’s smart, hot, and can cook! How deck is that?

#4 MANDY (24) – How many seasons has this chick shown up and assassinated someone? Even when caught she’s deck enough to get out of trouble. That’s a hot gurl, and I loves me the hot gurl.

#3 CRISTINA YANG (Grey’s Anatomy) – She’s ambitious to the point of thuggery, stealing patience without a thought to what’s right. She gets off on surgery, the more hard-core, the better. She has a relationship with another doctor, but hates talking about her feelings. Gotta love that.

#2 MAYBE (Arrested Development) – She’s only 15. Her mom is a complete loser, and her dad doesn’t realize how gay he is. Two of her cousins are in love with her. Despite all that, somehow Maybe managed to get a job as a studio head, green lighting movie projects. Can I marry this girl?

and the number one Deck Female character is….

#1 KATE (Lost) – Jack, Sawyer, and maybe even Sayid have a thing for her. She’s one of the leaders, depended on, makes decisions. Oh yeah; she’s a hardened criminal who’s killed more than one person, and robbed a bank just to get a toy airplane. As my friend Carlos would say, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!”

Up next: I realize this list sucked, but it’s TV’s fault, not mine. Tomorrow’s will be better, as I have 28 male candidates to sift through. I’m sure you’ll disagree with what I decide.

November 8, 2005

Voice Performances

Animated voices don’t get enough credit. I almost feel there should be an Oscar category for them. The right voice lends subtext and nuance to the character, bringing them to life, while the wrong voice makes the whole thing fall flat. I’m not saying these are the best animated characters of all time (that would be another list), but these actors did the best job. Anyway, enjoy the list. [NOTE: If we added Japanese films, by my count 6 of the top ten spots would go to performances in those movies. But most of you don’t have any knowledge of that, so I’m omitting them for now. I’ll make it up to them later with a Miyazaki film column or something.]

THE TOP TEN ANIMATED PERFORMANCES (American films)

#10 JERRY ORBACH (Lumiere) – You hated him (or at least growled) in DIRTY DANCING, then you fell in love with him on LAW & ORDER, but did you know that Jerry Orbach used to be a Broadway performer? This is beautifully illustrated with the French rogue Lumiere, who beats the hell out of Angela Lansbury’s tea pot. (And now since I swore my mom is going to yell at me. Great. See what you people make me do?)

#9 TIM ALLEN (Buzz Lightyear) – Tom Hanks’s Woody may have had the heart, but it was Buzz Lightyear who stole the show. “To Infinity and Beyond!”

#8 ELLEN DeGENERES (Dory) – Easily the best part of FINDING NEMO, Dory just cracked me up again and again. Making her have no short-term memory was inspired, but it wouldn’t have worked without Ellen’s warmth.

#7 PAT CARROLL (Ursula) – a life-long voice actor, Carroll hit it out of the park with Ursula. She’s a very scary witch! I was creeped out. And, I loved her song.

#6 JEREMY IRONS (Scar) – The best decision Irons could have made was to underplay this part and let the sarcastic cunning of Scar show through. Scar wasn’t a big tough guy like other villains, but I appreciated his droll wit and put-upon nature.

#5 SAMUEL E. WRIGHT (Sebastian) – THE LITTLE MERMAID herself is boring (if hot). And Flounder was a moron. But the whole thing works because Sebastian is so cool. Never has nervousness been portrayed so greatly on screen. Because of him, I never eat lobsters.

#4 MIGUEL FERRER (Shan-Yu) – I just found out this is the dude from TRAFFIC and CROSSING JORDAN. Who knew? Regardless, this is the best animated bad guy of all time. No question, and about the most underrated. Shan-Yu added real menace to what could have been just a muscle-head part. I was almost rooting for him to conquer the Chinese and make Mulan his wife. How many scouts does it take to deliver a message?

#3 ANDY SERKIS (Gollum) – Since technically Gollum was an animated character I’m giving Serkis a nod. He made Gollum into the character he was. Gollum works not because he’s evil, but because he’s pathetic and sniveling, but somehow still crafty and clever. Bravo, Andy.

#2 EDDIE MURPHY (Mu Shu; Donkey) – These performances are so good they probably each deserve a spot on the list, but put together lands Murphy at #2. My Shu is the most underrated character in animated history and Donkey stole both SHREK films.

and the number one animated performance of all time…..

#1 ROBIN WILLIAMS (Genie) – I refuse to argue about this. It might be Williams’s single greatest performance. They let him go wild, and then animated around what he’d said. How cool is that? I think we can all agree that when Williams is on, there is no one funnier on the planet. When it came to genie, Robin was all the way on. And I salute him.

November 7, 2005

Candy Bars

I know I said I wasn’t posting another list until I got all the work on my websites done, but I just missed you guys a lot. That and no one else sent in any more lists. So I thought I’d post one for old times’ sake.

THE TOP TEN CANDY BARS

#10 BIG HUNK – Let’s start with the greatest name a candy bar could aspire to. I was going to go with Milky Way, but Big Hunk is so different. It’s nougat, but it’s white? What’s up with that? If you’ve never had one, give it a try.

#9 SKOR – There was a time when Bryan Yutzie and I would have a Skor bar every single day. We called it “the daily Skor bar.” Pretty clever, no? I’m not normally a toffee guy, but maybe because Skor is so think it just hits the spot.

#8 KRACKLE – a Krackle big block used to be my dream every Easter. I loved these things. The only reason I don’t rate it higher is because you can’t eat one every day, but were they great when you did.

#7 ROLOS – You need some caramel. You need some chocolate, but you want it in a tetrahedronal shape, or whatever that dumb thing was. Rolos ruled!

#6 HERSHEY (w/ ALMONDS) – Sadly, most Canadians would disagree because for some strange reason, Hershey’s chocolate has a different flavor up here! I’m not kidding. (Also true: Mountain Dew is not allowed to have caffeine! Like anyone would drink it otherwise.) I wonder if Canadians ever feel like the world is just playing a cruel joke on them?

#5 MARS – I’m talking the cream colored wrapper, not the new dark one. How can you make Mars bars without the almonds? It’s criminal! I only wish they were bigger.

[I just realized I forgot all about Watchamacallits. I’m too far into the list to change now. Sigh.]

#4 CHARLESTON CHEW - I think I speak for everyone when I say that Charleston Chews are about the only good thing South Carolina has ever given us. But these things freaking rule. All three flavors—chocolate, vanilla and strawberry—absolutely rule, and sometimes they taste even better frozen, as long as you don’t break your teeth. I have to wonder why Dairy Queen hasn’t added a Charleston Chew Blizzard. How about it, DQ?

#3 BUTTERFINGERS – one of my best memories was going to summer camp and having a package from my mother for gifts to open; one a day. Of course I usually opened them all within half an hour of arriving. Good thing too, because Butterfinger wasn’t usually until Wednesday, and would have melted by then. I love these things. If they made Butterfingers after-dinner mints…I think I could die happy.

#2 REECE’S PEANUT-BUTTER CUPS – Technically, this isn’t a candy BAR, but Reece’s are so freaking good we’ll let it slide. Has there ever been a more classic flavor combination than peanut butter and chocolate? I think not. One caveat, though: there is a wrong way to eat a Reece’s. I was talking to Scapedragon the other night, and her way is just sick!

And the number one candy bar is…..

#1 SNICKERS – There’s nothing super flashy about Snickers. It doesn’t knock you out of the park. The thing is, you never get tired of them. Like I said: I can’t eat a Krackle every day, and I don’t think I’d want to even try a Big Hunk. After a bag or two even the Reece’s would get a little old. But Snickers doesn’t ever change. It’s always a good idea. Well, almost always. I guess I have to tell the story of when I got hit in the balls with a frozen Snickers bar. It was the worst pain of all time. I was talking about this once with my brother, and my mom chimed in that childbirth was a far worse pain. I scoffed at her and asked her, “Mom. After you had me, you wanted to have more kids, right?” “Of course.” She answered. “Well mom, I NEVER want to get hit in the balls again with a frozen Snickers bar.” Case close. Good eatin’, though.




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