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May 19, 2006

Say Good-Night, Gracie — UPDATE

Wggang Malbug_17If you didn't watch last night's series finale of "Will & Grace," and you actually care to find out how things transpired on your own, then this post will be filled with spoilers aplenty.  But I will bury all of those after the jump.

It seems a little hard to find more than a handful of gays who are genuinely mourning the passing of W&G.  Many of the older ones feel, as I do, that its best years were long behind it; many of the younger ones simply ask, "Will and who?"

But even if we concede that W&G reinforced stereotypes or consigned gays to sexless, "nonthreatening" roles, it was still a groundbreaking series that brought needed messages to people who might not otherwise have heard them.  And for that, we should be thankful that Will, Grace, Karen and Jack came into our lives at all.

Continue reading "Say Good-Night, Gracie — UPDATE" »

May 16, 2006

Can't Take His Eyes Off of You

Malbug_17Morrison Most TV news anchors can't ad lib their way out of a crumpled up tissue.

But it can be fun to watch them try, because sometimes the unscripted banter will reveal the deepest thoughts of local news personalities.

Take WNBC's "Today in New York" co-anchor Rob Morrison.  He was at his tinfoil hat-wearing best this morning, convinced that his TV talks to him as he introduced a piece on today's Tony nominations.

Sure, his bio says he has a wife.  But it sounds like he might also be willing to carve out some conjugal space for "Jersey Boys" star John Lloyd Young.

[Watch video – 0:50, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 0:50, WMV format, low bandwidth]

May 15, 2006

SNL Hits It Out of the Park


With just one episode remaining in the season, "Saturday Night Live" is finishing strong.

Maybe it was the remaining Vlada vodka in my system as I watched it yesterday morning, but I laughed uproariously at several of the sketches.  Hosted by SNL and "Seinfeld" alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus, there was very little to criticize from start to finish.

Al_gore_1 I've included several of the sketches in a meaty highlight reel:

First, during the cold open, we are asked to imagine an alternate universe in which (the real) Al Gore was elected President in 2000 and re-elected in 2004, leading to a comically utopian America.  But President Gore is troubled by a host of new "problems" that he has helped create.  It's a great prelude to the real President's address to the nation tonight.

This sketch was priceless, and Gore's delivery was perfect.

Horatio_sanz Next, Kristin Wiig and Horatio Sanz are hosts of what looks like the worst TV morning show in history.  Everything that can go wrong, does, including Sanz's accidental grab of Julia Louis-Dreyfus's boobs.  It hearkened back to Elaine's own unintentional grope of Teri Hatcher on "Seinfeld."  ("They're real, and they're spectacular!")

I have watched that sketch three times, and I belly-laugh every time.

Andy_samberg Third, Andy Samberg plays a Learning Annex teacher of a class to teach people how to set up their own MySpace page.  Except that the class is filled almost entirely with pervy older men with ulterior motives.

I keep getting distressed when I watch something that proves that pedophilia – or at least the suggestion of it – can be funny.  But in this case, it's true.  Sanz again shines in this sketch.

Julia_louis_dreyfus And finally, while probably the weakest of the four (mainly because it dragged on a bit too long) was a '70s-era gameshow spoof called "Charades," with Chris Parnell as host Bert Convy and a panel of D-list celebrities.  Darrell Hammond was especially great as Rich Little, who incessantly interrupted with daft but hilarious non sequitur impressions.

The joke here was that all the charades Louis-Dreyfus's character had to act out were all part of a cruel, common theme.

The period costumes and wigs were terrific, as was Parnell's oversized microphone.

[Watch video – 23:24, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 23:24, WMV format, low bandwidth]

May 13, 2006

A Saturday 'Mo-saic


Reader Ken sends us this appealing set of imagery of soap hottie Adrian Bellani, giving me yet another reason to quit my job and stay home watching daytime television:


Enjoy your weekend, everyone.  It was supposed to be rainy and miserable here in NYC.  Instead, it is brilliantly sunny and 65.  Kinda puts a crimp in my indoor cleaning plans.

May 10, 2006

Will and Gracing Oprah's Couch

Oprahisatwat_1 The cast of Will & Grace kicked off their week-long farewell tour on this morning's Oprah, offering up interviews, favorite clips, and a host of banter and secret sharing that isn't nearly as revealing as some people might wish.

The most awkward moment is absolutely Oprah's question to Eric McCormack about being a straight man playing a gay character, as the crickets chirp and the camera pans to a Sean Hayes who has no intention of touching the topic with a stolen Cher wig.

Instead we're treated to thoughts on defecation and other assorted things. While Will & Grace broke many barriers when it originally aired, I admit to have gone off the show as soon as the idea of Grace having a baby took over the running plot. The introduction of Leo and the increased pseudo-seriousness eroded the show's humor, tenor, and characters until I began to forget it was even on. Over the past four years, I might have seen three full episodes.

Still, it is worth remembering what the television climate was like when Will & Grace premiered. Ellen had gone off the air because of the concentration on her sexuality. We were living in the age before Queer As Folk and the L-Word.

If Will & Grace is stale and has run its course, the cast and crew still deserve to take their bows. When people are looking back at the age of the gay rights movement and how open gay culture finally entered the mainstream of American society, this is a show that will rightly belong on our little pink wall of fame.

Video clips deleted at demand of Jeffrey Friedman, attorney for Oprah Winfrey

May 09, 2006

Battle of the Religious Wacko Summer Movies

Hanks1 Malbug_17

Seems the Scientologists have had more luck shutting down unflattering portrayals of their cult "religion" lately than have the Catholics.

Tom Cruise got the infamous "South Park" episode yanked, but thus far, the steamroller of PR for The Da Vinci Code rolls on, despite the best efforts of the Catholic hierarchy.

Eight-time host of "Saturday Night Live" Tom Hanks returned to the late-night show this weekend to promote his impending summer blockbuster, and once again he showed his comedic roots.

In these two sketches, he is featured as the world's grossest yoga partner, and also in a group of four tennis snobs who happened to have 13 arms among them.

[Watch video – 9:09, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 9:09, WMV format, low bandwidth]

May 08, 2006

Cruise Gets Bruised


Cruise-azy Poor Tom Cruise.  His movie made only a paltry $48 million at the box office this weekend.

That might sound like a lot, but for a film that cost more than three times that much to make, and which had been predicted to earn much more, everybody's favorite vitamin-taking cult member might want to threaten to eat a few less placentas.  ("Placentii"?)

NBC's "Dateline" show decided to take a far less ass-sucking route than Diane Sawyer on the publicity parade, opting for plenty of Scientology hijinks rather than Cruise's boyhood sob story.

You know when bloggers like Jessica Coen and Perez are featured in the piece that the claws are bound to come out.

By the way, who's the guy next to Cruise in the picture, anyway?  Is it, you know — "him"?

[Watch video – 11:30, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 11:30, WMV format, low bandwidth]

April 30, 2006

Non-Ambiguously Funny





It may have been the equivalent of a clip show, but "Saturday Night Live" is always at its best when it features Rob Smigel's "Saturday TV Funhouse," and even better when the old clips are hosted by those ambiguously gay crime-fighters, Ace and Gary.

Two dozen of Smigel's most brilliant cartoons and films were shown on this weekend's SNL, sticking the shiv deep into everybody from Michael Jackson and Tara Reid to Disney, politicians and the Smurfs.

When Ace and Gary are picking the clips, you know there's bound to be some, uh, attention-grabbing content, such as Tom Brady in his underwear in a sexual-harassment training video or a naked Andy Samberg (with unfortunate pixelation).

I didn't bother including the clip with Samberg.  The screen grab is probably all you need to know anyway.

Genre_and_gary A couple of bits of trivia: First, Ace and Gary are voiced by "The Daily Show" alums Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, respectively.  And second, last night I noticed for the first time that the "G" on Gary's chest resembles the "G" from Genre magazine, which is also a play on the "male" symbol: ♂.  Maybe it's coincidence, maybe not.

Enjoy the clips.

[Watch video – 17:04, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 17:04, WMV format, low bandwidth]

April 28, 2006

Quote of Last Night

"Donald Trump donated 436 acres of wilderness to the state of New York but asked that the land be named after him. It's true, yeah, the park consists of 400 acres of trees, all combed over to one side."

— Conan O'Brien, last night on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien"

April 16, 2006

SNL: Suddenly Not Lame

Malbug_13Lindsay Lohan, of all people, helped bring a spark of energy to the sliding "Saturday Night Live."  Although smoking has made her voice so weak and raspy that she'll probably soon be making movies in sign language, the episode wasn't at all bad, by recent standards.

This week there are a trio of clips:

First, the fake commercial for a rather specific moisturing product.  Then, an excellent "Saturday TV Funhouse" about the sinister truth inside the Disney Vault.  And finally, the SNL Digital Short "Lasercats."

[Watch video – 8:18, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 8:18, WMV format, low bandwidth]




April 11, 2006

Paula Abdul: Career Suic-idol

Paula_hat Malbug_13America's favorite toxicomaniac, Paula Abdul, made an especially bizarre appearance on "The Tonight Show" last night.  And for her, that is saying a lot.

Abdul entered in the get-up pictured on the right and tried to defuse Jay Leno's previous jokes about her chemically enhanced state by claiming (jokingly?) to be an alcoholic.

Of course, anyone who pays even fleeting attention to Paula on "American Idol" probably suspects her substance of choice is a bit stronger than hooch.  As my co-blogger told me, it's like "watching a high woman pretending to be a sober person pretending to be a serial drunk."

As a pre-emptive strike against David Letterman's attorneys, she slurred her way through a "Top Five" list of reasons why "drinks" too much.  The audience tried to choke out a few mercy laughs, but you could literally hear the douche chillsBRRrrrrr ...

Jay also asked her about her "rough week," an allusion to her having suffered an alleged assault, but she wasn't forthcoming on details.  According to UPI:

US Weekly ... said Abdul and her former boyfriend, Dante Spencer, got into an altercation with former CAA agent Jim Lefkowitz at a party Saturday night.

Is that the drug addict's version of "she fell down the stairs"?

[Watch video – 10:52, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 10:52, WMV format, low bandwidth]

April 05, 2006


Malbug_13Katie Couric makes the least surprising announcement of the week:


[Watch video – 5:05, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:05, WMV ormat, low bandwidth]

April 04, 2006

Everything's Coming Up Rosie

Malbug_13Rosie_odonnell The four years that have elapsed since Rosie O'Donnell's talk show left the air haven't been too kind to the woman known as the "Queen of Nice."

During that time, her magazine imploded, her stand-up career became basically a carbon copy of Kathy Griffin's, she starred in an extremely grating TV movie, she got a really bad haircut, and she took a $10 million bath when her Broadway show was hooted off West 45th Street.

But last night on The Tonight Show, as she plugged an HBO special premiering Thursday night about her "R Family Vacations" venture, I began to feel a pang of remorse.

Rosie has been awfully easy to kick around for reasons including some of her more outlandish public statements and reports about the way she treats staff and her rivals in private.  But there is something refreshing about someone who is so unapologetically gay in mainstream media and entertainment that is lacking even in people like Ellen DeGeneres, who is generally gay only for the occasional gay-press article.  (Before the flamers arrive, let it be known that I love Ellen DeGeneres.)

Few people have the courage to go on a show like Jay Leno's and even-headedly talk about the merits of gay adoption.  I'm not exactly a disinterested third party in terms of these issues, but I have to think that she is a great spokeswoman for these causes when she wants to be.

(There was also a nice moment when she bantered with her blog-pal, "Ross, the Tonight Show Intern," that was sure to warm bloggers' hearts everywhere.  LOL!)

So mark us down with Queerty on this one:

We think it's time for Rosie to come back in style, we love her and she's been away for long enough.

It's probably long past time for Rosie's penance to end.

[Watch video – 13:10, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 13:10, WMV format, low bandwidth]

March 31, 2006

For the Love of God, Please Hide Your Freak Flag


Those of you who are upset that you didn't get to see Britney Spears last night on "Will & Grace" weren't missing much, except maybe for your chance to savage her thespian-lesbian act.

Surprise, surprise, the ultra-conservative co-host of "Jack Talk" was a dyke.  But her acting chops were so weak that I wouldn't have believed Britney as a lesbian, even if she had given Karen Walker's carpet the ol' steam-cleaning.

On the other hand, the character Britney was reportedly supposed to play might have been infinitely more entertaining.

The overnight rating (5.6) was a bit above the 4.0 average "Will & Grace" had been pulling in January, but the episode was a cringe-fest.  I think I laughed once, and that was probably at something Wanda Sykes said.  (I didn't include her in this clip, though.  Gotta cut somewhere.)

I know there are only a few episodes left, but can they drag this thing out behind the barn with a shotgun now?

[Watch video – 9:56, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 9:56, WMV format, low bandwidth]

March 29, 2006




Answer: Crossroads.

March 24, 2006

Is That a Saddlehorn in Your Pocket ...

Malbug_13Will What is it with you people and cowboys?  Apparently the thought of a hot buckaroo and a little two-stepping made a few of you wish you had tuned in to last night's "Will & Grace."  (Seems a lot of you aren't doing that lately.)  That's where MalcoVision comes in.

Despite my seeming fixation on Brokeback Mountain, I usually go to country bars only to ensure continued "domestic tranquility."  Which is where beef No. 1 with "Will & Grace" comes in: Not only is there no bar called "Cowpoke" in Manhattan, but there are no good gay C&W bars at all.  (My second beef is the way they unceremoniously disposed of Taye Diggs' character, James.)

In last night's episode, Jack takes Will to the Cowpoke to meet his new boyfriend.  The hot cowboy was played by actor Shawn Christian, who started his career on "As the World Turns" from 1994 to 1997 and has bounced around various TV gigs since then.

[Watch video – 8:24, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 8:24, WMV format, low bandwidth]

March 13, 2006

Uncanny Resemblances


TophatFinding anything to laugh about on Saturday Night Live these days has been like looking for a straight girl at Oberlin College.

But one thing that is creating buzz for the creaky late-night staple is the "SNL Digital Short," the first of which, the Narnia-inspired rap "Lazy Sunday," caused a sensation.

I'd link you to it, but once NBC found out that SNL was producing anything that anyone actually cared about, they sicced their lawyers on the video sites that were carrying it.  (That should teach you people to rely on us for your video needs, and not the pussies at YouTube and Google!)

We here at The Malcontent have been operating for 231 days without a cease-and-desist-related work stoppage.  Let us see how much longer we can extend that streak with this little gem about identical twins, which aired this past Saturday.

[Watch video – 2:33, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 2:33, WMV format, low bandwidth]

March 07, 2006

Two Kings: Drag and Larry



Malbug_13Felicity Huffman is probably still wiping away the tears from her plunging Zac Posen neckline, but her Oscar-nominated portrayal of Bree Osbourne nevertheless inspired a clueless "Larry King" on Saturday Night Live to delve into the world of the transgendered.

The sketch was worth watching if for no other reason than to see host Natalie Portman as a drag king and looking more Vulcan than male.

[Watch video – 5:11, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:11, WMV format, low bandwidth]



And seeing how this is a belated post about Saturday Night Live, it's appropriate that I should also include Rob Smigel's "Belated Black History Moment."

Host Dennis Haysbert takes us back to some of the seminal, if short-lived, moments of empowerment for African-American cartoon characters.

The sketch was worth watching if for no other reason than to hear Haysbert say: "humongous, steaming bowl of elephant piss."

[Watch video – 5:48, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 5:48, WMV format, low bandwidth]

February 23, 2006

Bad Hair vs Bad Attitude

The conflict between two of the most vain-glorious personalities on television escalates as The Donald and Martha Stewart put down their poison pens and take to the airwaves to do battle - she threatening to claw off his toupee for use as a decorative throw rug, he seeking the satisfaction of slammering her face repeatedly between his golden toilet seat.

Howard Stern stands as giddy referee, combing the radio for every delicious drop of celebrity bile. On his Sirius program, he offers up the latest interviews, including an exclusive clip of Stewart ranting on daughter Alexis' own show.

[Listen – 15:42, 7.19mb, MP3 format]

February 17, 2006

13th on the Podium, First in Our Groins

EmanuelMalbug_13(UPDATE: Sorry the pictures disappeared for a while.  They are back now, after the jump.)  Robbie is helping prove today why more eyes and ears are better than less when it comes to MalcoVision, as he pointed me toward this little gem:

Canadian (by way of Italy) skater Emanuel Sandhu won't long be remembered for finishing 13th in men's figure skating at the 2006 Winter Olympics.  But thanks to the high-definition cameras of NBC, he wins immortality in our hearts – and in other places on our body.

The purple-clad cutie had a mishap-strewn performance that seemed to have him more on his ass than on his blades.

But as he left the ice, NBC cut away to a super slo-mo shot of Sandhu than answers the age-old question: "What do figure skaters wear under their spandex?"  It might also answer the question of what Sandhu's religion is.  Ba-DUM-bum!

Yes, Sandhu's Lycra-gripped man-parts flopped all to and fro as he fell down, and were broadcast to a potential 3.7 billion viewers worldwide – and to a lucky few of us, in all their 1080i glory.

As Robbie said, Johnny Weir didn't actually skate all that badly yesterday.  He was just distracted.

Stills images follow after the jump, but first there are a couple of videos.  The first is what I would term "the good part," and the rest is his entire performance for the ice queens who would scream if I neglected to include it.

[Watch video "Good Parts" – 1:19, WMV format, very high bandwidth]  (Why bother with low-bandwidth??)

[Watch video – 6:25, WMV format, high bandwidth]

[Watch video – 6:25, WMV format, low bandwidth]

Continue reading "13th on the Podium, First in Our Groins" »