Audiobooking 3 December 23, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Comedy, Film, History, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Pets, Politics, Radio, Sports, Technology, Theatre, TV, Video.
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Here is a list of the audiobooks I’ve listened to on Audible in the 13 months since my previous “audiobooking” post:
- Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America by Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes
- Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner by Rush Limbaugh and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh (read by Rush)
- Dirty Daddy: The Chronicles of a Family Man Turned Filthy Comedian by Bob Saget
- David Spade is Almost Interesting: The Memoir by David Spade
- My Seinfeld Year by Fred Stoller
- How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs by Kevin Pollak with Alan Goldscher (read by Kevin)
- So That Happened: A Memoir by Jon Cryer
- Love That Boy: What Two Presidents, Eight Road Trips, and My Son Taught Me About a Parent’s Expectations by Ron Fournier (read by Jonathan Yen)
- I Know What I’m Doing – and Other Lies I Tell Myself: Dispatches from a Life Under Construction* by Jen Kirkman
- Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction, and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway
- My Happy Days in Hollywood: A Memoir by Garry Marshall (1934-2016) with Lori Marshall (read by Garry; foreword read by Hector Elizondo)
- This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett
- I Remember Me* by Carl Reiner
- I Just Remembered* by Carl Reiner
- Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (read by Robert Petkoff, except for intro and chapter on Bill’s father)
- Melissa Explains It All: Tales from My Abnormally Normal Life by Melissa Joan Hart
- Settle for More by Megyn Kelly
- Lucky Bastard: My Life, My Dad, and the Things I’m Not Allowed to Say on TV by Joe Buck
- Let Me Tell You About Jasper…: How My Best Friend Became America’s Dog by Dana Perino (a few chapters read by Peter McMahon, Dana’s husband)
- In Such Good Company: Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox by Carol Burnett
* – Left-wing viewpoint occasionally expressed
As I noted in my previous post, these books get me through workouts, bedtime, and boredom, but mostly the first two. As long as there are audiobooks read by my favorite public figures, I will continue to listen on Audible and chronicle those books on this site. Until next time…
Jeff Dunham at Carnegie Hall October 22, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Hockey, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Politics, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
Tags: Achmed, Bubba J, Carnegie Hall, Jeff Dunham, Peanut, Walter
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(10/26 UPDATE: I have censored the few curse words that were in the recap.)
(10/23 NOTE: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said Jeff’s show ran “about 70 minutes.” I have corrected that to read “2 hours and 13 minutes.”)
I was in Manhattan for the second night in a row yesterday. Thursday, I was down in Greenwich Village to see the Chick Corea Elektric Band. Yesterday, I was uptown at Carnegie Hall to see ventriloquist and comedian Jeff Dunham. Pictures weren’t allowed during the show, which was part of Jeff’s Perfectly Unbalanced Tour, but I took my plenty before and after. I had to use my iPhone 6 because mobile devices were all that were allowed.
This was my fourth time at Carnegie Hall, but the first time in the Stern Auditorium. My previous three trips were to see pianist Lisa Hilton in the intimate Weill Recital Hall.
Jeff Dunham and his crew made their way to Carnegie at around 4:30. Jeff posted live video of the walk to Facebook:
About an hour after that streaming video, I left the house for the Wantagh LIRR station. It was the last day of a warm and humid air mass. Nonetheless, like Thursday night, I wore my green spring squall jacket in case of rain. There was nary a drop; only fog and mist when I returned six hours later. There had been rain earlier in the day, but while I waited for the 5:59 train for Penn Station, Wantagh was in between rain bands. The band to the east must have been intense because there were impressive cumulonimbus clouds:
Low cumulus clouds set in starting in Queens, appearing dark against the setting sun.
There were New York Islanders fans on the train through Jamaica. They changed there for the Atlantic Terminal train to Barclays Center where the Islanders went on to beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2.
The train arrived at Penn Station at 6:55. From there, I took the E train to West 53rd Street and walked four blocks to Carnegie Hall.
Once there, the crowd had to wait until 7:30 for the Stern Auditorium doors to open. After getting a bottle of water, I got to my balcony seat. Trivia, social media posts, and pictures were shown on the monitor:
There was a welcome announcement at 8:03 following by three intro videos at 8:06. Since they’re from Jeff’s YouTube channel, I’ve included them below:
After an auto-tune montage, the show officially began at 8:16. The voice of Achmed the Dead Terrorist announced Jeff and he walked on stage. I looked at him on the monitor most of the time since I was so high up.
I took ten pages of notes in a 7 x 5 notebook. Below are some of those notes. I’ll try not to give too much away.
Jeff’s opening act:
- Informal election vote: Hillary – cheers, Donald – more cheers
- Why he’s a ventriloquist
- Family – daughters, Audrey, twin boys
- How Jeff and Audrey found out they were having twins, Jack and James
- The twins’ birth
- Changing diapers in NICU
- Baby pictures – meme photo (“I CAME OUT OF YOUR WHAT???”), then actual photos: their first birthday, Jeff holding them like dumbbells, at Disneyland
- Left stage, came back
- Videotaping show to include message to sons when they’re older
After the opening act, it was time to open the boxes and bring out the characters. Walter came first:
- “Oh, shut the hell up! (mocking laugh)”
- Joke about New Jersey
- How do you get to Carnegie Hall? “Uber.”
- Joke about auditorium appearance
- Sick of election garbage – doesn’t like either candidate – like going in for colonoscopy
- Cut to a video:
- Plug for Jeff’s YouTube channel – about to reach one million subscribers
- Another video:
- “You know, folks tell me that I should run for president”
- Life after death
- “If Trump becomes president, José’ll be out of the show” (a reference to José Jalapeño on a Stick)
- Being an older parent
- “Say good night, Walter.” “Thanks, everybody!”
Before bringing out the next character, Jeff announced that his next special will be taped in Dublin, Ireland, in May for Netflix. It will debut in August. The theme will be family. Jeff found out he is of Irish descent. To that end, a new character he tried out at Carnegie Hall was an Irish baby he was trying to get adopted:
- Big head
- Adult voice with brogue
- Influenced by the other characters (“I keel you” from Achmed)
- Much smarter than apparent age
- Cursing (from Peanut)
- Mother gave him up for adoption
- Vaccination/shots – “Gin, rum, vodka”
- Can’t walk, but can pub crawl
- “All the drunks just think I’m a leprechaun”
- “And that’s the new baby!”
- “I’m doin’ pretty good!”
- “…watchin’ NASCAR and drinkin’ beer”
- Running for president
- “Press the flesh”
- Debate/da bait, defense/da fence, Syria/Siri
- Fracking: “Me and the wife are down to once a month”
- “Say good night, Bubba J”
- “Dat’s goooooooooood!”
- (singing): “New York…..”
- “Two infants at your age, how the hell did that happen?!”
- Running gags (toward Jeff, into mic): “’cause you’re old”, “’cause you’re an a**h***”, “’cause I’m an a**h***”
- Porn riff (“chicka-chicka-wow-wow”) – baby-related dirty talk
- Caffeine zaniness – “It’s great!”, “Yes!”
- Coffee enema
- Lost a shoe – “No, dude, I found one”
- Peanut fell off and his mouth was stuck open – after a few minutes of incoherent speech (“ahh***”), Jeff closed it
- Spoke to two men in the front row
- Hearing aid joke (pretending to cut out)
Achmed the Dead Terrorist:
- “Most beloved terrorist throughout the world”
- Achmed’s origin story – tried out Dead Osama a year after 9/11, six blocks from Ground Zero – crowd loved act – retooled as Achmed starting in Spark of Insanity
- “Greetings, American infidels!”
- Usama Bin Laden is “dead dead”
- “Do you know me, infidels?!” – cheers – “Thank you, I keel you (2x)”
- “It’s not funny!”
- “Silence! I keel you!” – cheers – “Thank you, I keel you”
- Achmed’s many kids: “…and Steve”
- Life story: “Once upon a time, (boom!). The end.”
- Presidential election
- “Oh! Bomb! Ah!”
- Questions: “Dear Achmed…” – by my count, 19 questions – Favorite breakfast cereal: “Life” – Hugh Jorgen (huge organ): “I can’t believe you fell for that!” – Legs fell off, then arms, then ribcage
After one last joke, that was it. Since it was over, I resumed photography. There was one last bit of business for Jeff: a crowd selfie with his wife Audrey.
Here’s how that selfie looked:
As you can see, balcony members weren’t in the picture, but I don’t mind.
In all, Jeff was on stage for 2 hours and 13 minutes, leaving the stage at 10:29.
Rather than walk back to West 53rd Street to take the E train again, I walked to 59th Street-Columbus Circle station.
I would have taken the 11:08 LIRR train to Wantagh, but there happened to be an 11:01 express train that didn’t make local stops until Wantagh. So, I boarded that one. There were some passengers that didn’t realize it was an express and had to change at Jamaica for the later, entirely-local train. It only took 43 minutes to get to Wantagh! Now that’s what I call express! I wouldn’t have arrived until 20 minutes later had I taken 11:08 train.
Thus ended my six-hour adventure. Jeff was hilarious, as always. I wish the show was available on video so I could watch it again and again. My notes and memories will have to do until then.
While I slept, Jeff was live on Facebook as his YouTube channel surpassed one million subscribers!
Congratulations, Jeff, and thank you to fans like me for getting the channel to a million and beyond.
Audiobooking 2: Listen Up! November 12, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Basketball, Blu-ray, Christmas, Comedy, Commentary, DVD, Film, News, Personal, Politics, Sports, TV, Video.
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Early last December, I listed all the audiobooks I had listened to while working out between June and the day I wrote the post. I said “there [would] be more audiobooks to come in the weeks ahead.” This follow-up post will list those books, all of which I listened to on Audible.
Since my misadventure with Dick Cavett’s left-leaning
book collection of New York Times blog posts, I’ve only listened to apolitical or right-leaning audiobooks.
From last December to now, here is what has guided me through workouts, bedtime, and boredom:
- Rush Revere and the American Revolution by Rush Limbaugh & Kathryn Adams Limbaugh (read by Rush) – This was the first fiction audiobook – historical fiction, to be exact – that I listened to. Rush Revere and his talking horse, Liberty, take a boy named Cam back to the year 1775.
- All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, and Me by Jeff Dunham – Last December, I immersed myself in all things Jeff Dunham. I bought DVDs of his first three comedy specials – Arguing with Myself, Spark of Insanity, and Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special – watched The Jeff Dunham Show on Amazon Prime, and bought Blu-rays of his next three specials – Controlled Chaos, Minding the Monsters, and All Over the Map. Those got me through the last week of 2014 and the first few days of 2015. It was a refreshing change of pace after watching
allmost episodes of Wings on DVD for seven weeks. All By My Selves took up half of January. It was written back in 2010 and chronicles Jeff’s life from birth to meeting his now-wife Audrey, and all my favorite characters: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, Jose, and Bubba J. For the record, I’ve pre-ordered Unhinged in Hollywood on Blu-ray. It comes out next Tuesday, my 34th birthday.
- 41: A Portrait of My Father by President George W. Bush – A biography of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, as told by the 43rd. It was quite a journey. I know more about the Walkers and Bushes than I knew before.
- Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography by Rob Lowe – The title speaks for itself
- The YES Factor: Get What You Want, Say What You Mean, The Secrets of Persuasive Communication by Tonya Reiman – I bought this back in 2010, but I felt like listening to it again.
- Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas – There was plenty of advice in this book, but one stands out in my mind: “Next play.” Toughness and The YES Factor were both published by Gildan Media, which meant the theme music was the same.
- End of Discussion: How the Left’s Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun) by Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson – As someone that can’t stand the outrage culture, this book really spoke to me. I found myself agreeing aloud and nodding my head several times.
- Getting Real by Gretchen Carlson – Another autobiography.
- Daddy, Stop Talking! And Other Things My Kids Want But Won’t Be Getting by Adam Carolla – Adam’s take on parenthood, and certain musicians, with a little help from Sonny and Natalia, his fraternal twin children.
- Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard – It was late September, which meant it was time for the latest “Killing” book from O’Reilly and Dugard. While John Hinckley did not kill President Ronald Reagan, the assassination attempt did accelerate his Alzheimer’s disease. The book isn’t a deification, which has irked people like George Will, but I loved it. I also liked actor Robert Petkoff’s narration. This was the first audiobook I listened to that wasn’t read by the author. Bill O’Reilly did, however, read the introduction and epilogue.
- Yes, My Accent is Real, and Some Other Things I Haven’t Told You by Kunal Nayyar – How do you follow up a historical thriller? With a lighthearted autobiography, of course. Each chapter is an essay, working in chronological order from Kunal’s youth in New Delhi to his marriage to Neha Kapur. I just finished listening yesterday while peddling rapidly on my portable elliptical machine.
I have many more audiobooks I plan on listening to between now and the next post, whenever that will come. Just today, I started Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes’ book on Jack Kemp. It’s called Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America. After that, I’ll move on to the another Rush Revere book: Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner. Then, a series of autobiographies should keep me occupied through the summer. Until next time…
Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour at Westbury recap May 3, 2015Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Commentary, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Theatre, TV.
According to WordPress, this is my 350th post at MikeChimeri.com.
My dad and were seated in Section B, Row H.
The show was scheduled to begin at 8:00, but didn’t start until 8:09. At that time, Bill got on the P.A. system and directed the crowd to “please greet Dennis Miller!”
Dennis’ first joke was “Hi, #Hello #GoodEvening.” Here are some of the topics of his 35-minute set:
- Hillary Clinton
- James Carville
- Other potential Democratic presidential candidates
- Bill Ayers
- John Kerry
- Potential Republican presidential candidates
- John Boehner
- Green hotel
- Apple Watch
- Weird sports day – “Floyd Mayweather won the Kentucky Derby”
- Harry Reid
- Pope Francis
- Nancy Pelosi
After the last Pelosi joke, Bill walked toward the stage and exclaimed, “Dennis Miller, everybody!” Bill’s 35-minute set included:
- His hard scrabble upbringing in Levitttown
- Hillary Clinton
- President Barack Obama
- One poll on each of the two
- James Carville
- The previous two presidential campaigns (McCain, Romney)
- Romney’s 2012 primary opponents
- How Bill got the five living presidents to sign pictures of them to raise money for track chairs
Intermission was 15 minutes, after which Bill and Dennis returned to the stage for Q&A. Once again, they sat in chairs while the stage rotated. Highlights of this part were:
- A question from Barry in Syosset led Dennis to joke “Barry’s got Syosset?”
- Dennis’ nicknames for Vice President Joe Biden: “Jar Jar Biden,” “Plugs MacKenzie”
- The Saturday Night Live parody of Hillary Clinton’s campaign launch
- Bill and Dennis won’t endorse any candidates for 2016
- Dennis’ stories of traveling with Pres. George W. Bush
- Stories from Bill and Dennis’ trips to Iraq
- A plug for the Rockin’ the Boat benefit on May 21
- What is a pinhead?
- The Killing books (Dennis’ book: Killing Lincoln Logs)
- Bill’s infamous appearance on The View in October 2010
And with that, the night was over. Bill and Dennis left to a standing ovation. Dennis paraphrased Jackie Gleason by saying “Long Island audiences are the greatest audiences in the world.” It was certainly an entertaining two hours.
If you want to see the Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour, get your tickets fast because the shows sell out in a hurry. The next three shows in Cleveland and Memphis next month, and Atlantic City in August, are all sold out. I recommend watching the Miller Time segment every Wednesday on The O’Reilly Factor to see if new dates are added. So far, Atlantic City is it.
If any viewer e-mails from audience members are read on The Factor this week, I will update this post with those e-mails and Bill’s replies.
5/8 UPDATE: There weren’t any viewer e-mails from audience members this week, but dates were added to the tour this fall. You can find them here.
Audiobooking December 2, 2014Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Baseball, Basketball, Broadway, Comedy, Commentary, Film, Health, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Sports, Theatre, TV.
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While I may have indefinitely suspended photo album picture scanning, one constant since June has been audiobooks. What I’ve usually done is listen to a whole chapter while working out in the morning or on my portable elliptical machine in the afternoon. I only buy nonfiction and prefer that they are read by the author. I want to hear their words in their voice, not someone else’s, even if the author’s delivery is subpar.
This isn’t the first time I’ve listened to audiobooks. That goes back to a road trip with my parents and sister in January 1997, as we drove back from Florida. To show you how long ago that was, the audiobook was on cassettes. That book, The Hobbit, was the only time I’ve listened to fiction. It’s been all nonfiction since.
Between December 1997 – when I listened to The Big Show: A Tribute to ESPN’s SportsCenter – and June 2014, I would get an audiobook here and there, but I wasn’t a regular buyer. I didn’t exercise in the morning, either. That began in late March. It’s always best to get tough tasks out of the way early because your willpower drops as the day progresses. It helps to have something interesting to listen to while you’re working out, not something aggravating like politics and sports debate and discussion.
With all that in mind, I’ve listened to the following audiobooks, on CD or through Audible, since June:
- President Me: The America That’s In My Head by Adam Carolla (via CD) – an outline of all the things Adam would do to improve the United States if he were president
- Not Quite the Classics by Colin Mochrie (via Audible) – improvised stories based on the first and last lines of select novels and poems
- I’ll Be Back Right After This: My Memoir by Pat O’Brien (via Audible) – Pat’s memoir chronicled his early life, television career, and struggle with addiction. Knock on wood, Pat has been sober for six years and counting.
- Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard (via CD) – This is the latest in Bill and Martin’s “Killing” series that factually recounts the events of historical figures leading up to their tragic deaths. Their previous books focused on Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus of Nazareth, respectively.
- Still Foolin’ ‘Em: Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? by Billy Crystal (via Audible) – Billy’s memoir ran the gamut of emotions, from funny to heartbreaking, recalling major events in each decade of his life as of publication last year. I learned things I never knew and recalled fond memories of what I already knew. The only downside to the book is that Billy peppered his liberal ideology throughout it, outlining his liberal points of view and maligning right-leaning personalities and media. I’m not a lockstep conservative, but I do tend to take criticism of or jokes about people, places, and things that I like personally. But I didn’t let that completely ruin the listening experience.
- Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large by William Shatner with Chris Regan (via CD) – When I was searching for the next audiobook to listen to, as Still Foolin’ ‘Em was winding down, I recalled William Shatner had a memoir out called Up Till Now: The Autobiography. But then I noticed that Shatner Rules had come out later than Up Till Now. So, I opted for Shatner Rules instead. The big message I took from the book was to say “yes” to as many things as possible. “‘No’ closes doors,” William said. “‘Yes’ kicks them wide open.” Shatner briefly drifted into politics, too, but the environmental kind. His doomsday scenarios were frightening. I didn’t let that completely ruin the listening experience. (ding) Rule: I highly recommend Shatner Rules as either the written book or spoken audiobook.
- Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks by Dick Cavett (via Audible) – It was here that I did let politics completely ruin the listening experience. This is not a memoir. It is a compilation of Dick’s columns at The New York Times’ Opiniator blog. That structure is similar to that for Things That Matter, a compilation of Charles Krauthammer’s columns over his 30-year career to date. Charles is Dick’s polar opposite. But I didn’t know any of that until my second day of listening. And it was this rant of a column that Dick read for Brief Encounters – combined with frustration that the book was not what I expected – that led me to request a refund from Audible. Thankfully, they granted it. I did learn a few things, though, about Dick’s days writing for The Tonight Show. I also learned that Arthur Godfrey preferred to address only one member of the listening or viewing audience (“you”), not the entire audience (“everybody”).
- Scribe: My Life in Sports by Bob Ryan (via Audible) – I bought this in place of Brief Encounters. I’ve been listening for nearly a week and I’m enjoying it.
There will be more audiobooks to come in the weeks ahead as I continue to try to keep myself in shape.
Snowtober in Wantagh October 30, 2011Posted by Mike C. in Internet, News, Personal, Photography, Politics, TV, Weather.
What was billed as “Snowtober” was “Rain-and-snowtober” or “Wintry mix-tober” in Wantagh for much of yesterday and last night. Just to the north and west (within Nassau County), more wet snow fell. The precipitation changed to all wet snow after 11PM.
What fell at my house only stuck to the cars in the driveway and to parts of the grass. Any cold surface accumulated snow.
A bigger concern for me was the strong gusty winds. The National Weather Service issued a High Wind Warning for Nassau and Suffolk until 6:00 this morning. This was, after all, a Nor’easter. So between that and wet snow accumulating on tree limbs, I feared downed trees, limbs, and power lines. I simultaneously flashed back to the Nor’easter of March 2010 and Irene of nine weeks ago. But the worrying was for nothing. The winds died down early this morning and the power never went out. That’s not to say it didn’t go out elsewhere on Long Island, but it wasn’t on the scale of either storms I flashed back to. I wish I could say the same for people north and west of the Island (2/11/13 UPDATE: The page I linked to in the previous sentence no longer exists).
11/3 UPDATE: Somehow, a link was made between this storm and climate change last night on NBC Nightly News:
BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Everybody out East said the same thing about this freak snowstorm, “This kind of thing didn’t used to happen. This never happened before.” And while that is true, it may also be true that we’ll all have to start getting used to this kind of thing over the long haul.
I didn’t hear that. What I heard is what is noted later in Noel Sheppard’s NewsBusters post:
Yet October snows in the northeast though infrequent do occur. As AccuWeather reported Monday:
The last time that Central Park recorded measurable snow was on Oct. 21, 1952 when 0.5 of an inch fell. Prior to that, 0.8 of an inch fell on Oct. 30, 1925. […]
A record snowfall of 6.0 inches was set at Bangor, Maine, on Sunday. This broke the old record of 5.0 inches set back in 1963.
The point being that it does snow in this region in October.
One can only imagine what kind of storms hit this region during the Little Ice Age of the 16th through 19th centuries. But since Williams and Thompson weren’t alive, and snowfall records began in 1869, weather events earlier than that seem unimportant.
This of course is common for climate alarmists, so we shouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised.
In their view, whatever is happening today couldn’t possibly have happened before records starting being kept, and therefore all weather events outside “the norm” are considered extreme and therefore proof of climate change.
You think those still without power in Connecticut, New Jersey, and other affected areas care about that? Of course not. They just want their power back.
12/30 UPDATE: This storm was the #2 tri-state area news story in WCBS 880’s countdown of the top 11 stories of 2011:
Nineteen inches of snow in October? Even WCBS 880’s cautious chief meteorologist Craig Allen couldn’t believe what he was seeing.
“There’s no way you can play this down based upon these weather maps. Almost everything is in agreement,” Allen reported.
And these flakes were falling on full foliage. All it took was a couple of inches of snow to start bringing branches down.
Hundred-year-old trees snapped like twigs. Mother Nature’s mischief night was the Halloween snowstorm of 2011.
Three million people lost electricity. …
You can read and listen to the rest here.
Bolder & Fresher Tour at Westbury recap August 21, 2011Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Commentary, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, TV, Weather.
(2/22/13 UPDATE: For those that found this post by search engine, this is a recap of the original Bolder-Fresher show at Westbury in August 2011. There will be another show there on June 1 of this year, but I won’t be attending that one.)
(12/6/14 UPDATE: On the other hand, I will be attending the Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour show at Westbury on May 2, 2015. The new name for the tour is the result of retooling.)
(Update at the bottom with viewer e-mails from audience members at 10/29 Mohegan Sun show, 11/2 Miller Time segment, my quick review of Killing Lincoln, and highlights from the 10/29 show.)
I went with my dad and we were joined later by family friend Joe Falco. Joe is a former FDNY firefighter who survived the collapse of the World Trade Center’s south tower on September 11, 2001. My college senior project was a documentary featuring his recollections and a return to Ground Zero where he retraced his steps.
The show was at 8:00, but since it was nearly sold out, Dad and I left the house at 6:45 to be safe. It took about fifteen minutes to arrive. Once in the theatre, we sat down for 50 minutes. Our seats were adjacent to the aisle where Bill and Dennis walked to and from the stage. A few minutes after 8:00, the lights dimmed, and Bill, via the public address system, introduced “the fresh part of the Bolder Fresher Tour, Miller!” My dad said he and Dennis made eye contact during his walk down to the stage.
Dennis’ material was toned down a bit. In TV ratings terms, he was TV-14-DL; no s- or f-words but suggestive dialogue. His 35-minute set touched on many topics, including:
- Global warming
- The southern U.S. border
- Michael Moore
- Getting old
- What he likes and dislikes about President Obama
- Barney Frank
- Nancy Pelosi
- Pope Benedict XVI
Then, it was Bill’s turn. Among his topics were:
- President Obama
- The Republican presidential candidate field
- Who has the best chance to be the Republican nominee
- The split in the Republican Party between the Tea Party and the establishment
- His upcoming appearance in an episode of Rizzoli & Isles
- His upcoming book, Killing Lincoln
- Recounting his previous appearance on The View
After a 15-minute intermission, Bill and Dennis returned for 35 minutes of Q&A. At this point, the two sat in stools while the stage rotated. It took Dennis a few minutes to notice that and then he acknowledged it to the audience. They each had stories to tell. Dennis talked about:
- How he moved from the left to center-right politically
- His old CNBC show and how things fell apart between him and his monkey sidekick Mowgli
- His work in Bordello of Blood and on Monday Night Football
- Meeting Frank Sinatra
- Checking out the room Elvis Presley stayed in at the Vegas Hilton
- A story Billy Crystal told him about Redd Foxx
Bill talked about his upbringing, from Levittown to The O’Reilly Factor, and everything in between: working as a lifeguard for the Town of Babylon, going to St. Brigid’s, Chaminade High School, Marist (to which Dennis made a Marist/Roger Maris joke), working his way up in TV news.
It was a great show. Bill and Dennis both entered and exited to standing ovations. To be honest, I enjoyed this more than the Bold & Fresh Tour show last year.
If you’d like to see Bolder Fresher for yourself, check the tour’s website for upcoming dates and venues. You’ll be glad you went.
8/23 UPDATE: Three e-mails from audience members were read tonight on The O’Reilly Factor:
Keith Warhola, Mineola, NY: “Bill, you and Miller killed at Westbury. Loved the show.”
Bill’s response: “We didn’t actually kill anybody. It means that–[in] show biz–we were good.”
Gina Serra, Syosset, NY: “Bill, the Bolder-Fresher show was great! You were charming and Miller was a riot.”
Caryl Taylor, Briarcliff, NY: “Officer O’Reilly, we salute you and Dennis Miller. We were fully entertained by your observations and Miller’s stories.”
Bill’s response: “Well, thank you for all the nice mail, guys; got tons of letters. Clips from the show are now posted on BillOReilly.com for premium members. Next week, we’re gonna open ’em up to everybody. So you can see about 15 minutes of the Bolder Fresher show on BillOReilly.com. Info on upcoming shows in Connecticut; Richmond, Virginia; and Atlantic City available on BolderFresher.com. BolderFresher.com.”
In addition to those e-mails, a few clips were shown last night in the Reality Check segment. I compiled that and tonight’s e-mails into this video:
9/9 UPDATE: The latter half of August 24’s Miller Time segment was devoted to the Westbury show:
I would have posted this sooner, but Irene set me back and then I forgot.
11/1 UPDATE: Saturday night, the Bolder Fresher Tour came to Mohegan Sun. As the winds howled and snow mixed with rain here in southeast Nassau, I wondered if the show would even happen, but this tweet confirmed it did:
Dennis Miller & Bill O’Reilly – Bold[er & Fresh[er] Tour (@ Mohegan Sun Arena) http://t.co/UJ475ItU
O’Reilly and Miller weren’t going to let a pesky snowstorm/Nor’easter stop them. I’m sure everyone got back home, or home away from home (i.e. hotel room), safely.
One viewer e-mail from an audience member was read tonight on The O’Reilly Factor:
Lynda Hanratty, Selden, NY: “Hey, Mr. O, we drove five hours to Connecticut in that snowstorm to see you and Miller. And it was worth the white knuckle ride! You two were hysterical! Was that your limo that passed us on the ride home?”
Bill’s response: “No limo for me, Lynda. I drove up there, just like you did, from Long Island. Glad you liked the Bolder Fresher show. Watch out, Richmond, Virginia; and Atlantic City. We’re comin’ to you Thanksgiving weekend. Details on BillOReilly.com.”
11/2 UPDATE: Tonight’s Miller Time only made a passing reference to Saturday’s show at Mohegan Sun. Here’s the video, anyway. And here’s another viewer e-mail:
Mark Underhill, East Aurora, NY: “Bill, my wife and I drove seven hours to see you and Miller in that snowstorm on Saturday. To make the trip go faster, we tried to buy the Killing Lincoln audio. It was sold out everywhere. So we bought the book and my wife read it to me. Excellent.”
Bill’s response: “Your wife’s a trooper, Mark, and I’m sending you the audio for your ordeal. Killing Lincoln is selling out everywhere, but we are printing them as fast as we can get ’em out to you. More than 900,000 copies of ‘Killing Lincoln’ in print right now. Thank you all.”
I pre-ordered the audio of Killing Lincoln before it came out and began listening to it September 28, the day after it was released. It got me through my daily walks and I finished it in two weeks. It reads (or is read by Bill) like a thriller. I vividly remember where I was walking while listening to key passages.
11/3 UPDATE: Highlights from Saturday can be seen on the BillOReilly.com video page. Look for “Bolder & Fresher Tour at Mohegan Sun” and click to play.
For the third night in a row, a viewer e-mail from an audience member was read:
Kathleen O’Gorman, Meriden, CT: “Mr. O, we lost power in the storm and it’s been rough. You and Miller were the only bright spots as we caught the Bolder Fresher show.”
Bill’s response: “[I] appreciate that, Kathleen. The power situation in the Northeast is gettin’ desperate. A clip from the Bolder Fresher show on Saturday [is] posted on BillOReilly.com. And Miller and I will see everybody in Richmond, Virginia; and Atlantic City at the end of November.”
Hi Dennis, Dr Karen Ruskin here, mental health expert- appeared on O’Reilly. Great show w Bill Sat! Will never see ED the same
An audience member viewer e-mail all the way from Montana!:
Margot Belden, Missoula, MT: “Bill, I came from Montana to see you and Miller in Connecticut! It was worth the ordeal. You were so funny, I had tears in my eyes.”
Bill’s response: “I hope from laughing with me, Margot, and not at me. Signed copy of Killing Lincoln coming your way for that big trip. …” That was followed by another reminder about the Richmond and Atlantic City shows in a few weeks.
Bolder & Fresher Tour at Westbury August 10, 2011Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Commentary, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, TV.
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The Tour is billed this way on its website:
Bolder and fresher than ever before… Bill O’Reilly, godfather of “no spin” and in-your-face television, and Dennis Miller, the king of references and rants, are teaming up to take the country by storm! Your town may never be the same.
So far, three other shows have been booked after Westbury:
- 10/29: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
- 11/25: Landmark Theatre, Richmond, VA
- 11/26: Borgata Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, NJ
I will be in the audience next Saturday. I can’t wait.
8/21 UPDATE: Here’s my recap of the show.
Tim McCarver auto-tuned July 19, 2011Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Commentary, Media, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Sports, Technology, TV.
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During the last commercial break for the 8PM Eastern airing of last Friday’s The O’Reilly Factor, there was a promo for the MLB on Fox. In the promo, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are to be auto-tuned during their broadcasts to appeal to a younger demographic. Tim follows through, but Joe refuses:
This promo has been running since the start of the season, but Friday was the first time I saw it. I initially posted it to my Facebook wall, but decided to post it here, too. As I said in my previous post, I find auto-tune hilarious and always get a kick out of it, especially if spoken word gets the auto-tune treatment.
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I was Googling my name just now and came across this page. It’s the website Dave’s Gone By, a weekly radio show hosted by Dave Lefkowitz. There I found an interview I did–in which I was the interviewee–for the Dave’s Gone By New Year’s Craptacular special on New Year’s Eve 2006. You can hear that interview here. It starts at the 8:11 mark.
I was returning the favor after interviewing Dave a handful of times for The Mike Chimeri Show, which was days from its last show. Here are all those interviews (with air dates in parentheses):
Dave Lefkowitz Interview, Part 1 (August 17, 2005)
Dave Lefkowitz Interview, Part 2 (August 17, 2005)
Dave Lefkowitz Interview II (November 23, 2005) (In this one, I accidentally refer to Dave by his show title at one point. I had to rush down to Rockville Centre after I recorded the interview and my mind was all over the place.)
Dave Lefkowitz Interview III (March 29, 2006) (This was the first of three interviews I recorded in one day. After Dave came Nick Colionne and Mindi Abair. For all my Mike Chimeri Show interviews, which I self-consciously haven’t listened to since I edited them, click here.)
Dave Lefkowitz Interview IV, Part 1 (December 22, 2006)
Dave Lefkowitz Interview IV, Part 2 (December 22, 2006) (This was the last interview I recorded for The Mike Chimeri Show.)
About four years later, I was the interviewee again during the Fan Phone Call segment of Alison Rosen’s UStream show, Alison Rosen is Your New Best Friend. You can hear that here.