Twenty Years Later – Oscars 1992

A president running for re-election in the midst of a recession. Billy Crystal. Some things don’t change much, I guess.

The Academy Awards are such a big deal every year, but the show themselves disappear from memory. The academy doesn’t release the shows on video or DVD, they don’t repeat on TV, and they patrol YouTube like you wouldn’t believe. Let’s take a look back 20 years ago and see what’s happened to the participants…and make fun of the production numbers.

Billy CrystalBilly Crystal – For his third year hosting the Oscars, Crystal announced there wouldn’t be a dumb opening production number, garnering an embarrassing amount of applause. But really, it was just a lead-in for his parody of the bad opening numbers, singing songs about the Best Picture nominees.

The monologue covered the big stories of the Oscars and some politics, since it was an election year. Some of the things he talked about include:

Warren Beatty had a great year. His film “Bugsy” had the most nominations (10) and was the likely best picture winner. His penis’ reign of terror over Hollywood had just been thwarted by Annette Benning, and they got married and had a kid.
Now: Has only made three movies since then. One (“Bullworth”) is excellent, two (“Love Affair” and “Town and Country”) are not.

Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas had bowed out of the race two weeks earlier, and won six states overall. Eventual nominee Bill Clinton and (then former) California governor Jerry Brown fought for another two weeks until the New York primary, where Brown’s considering Jesse Jackson for VP cost him Jewish voters. (Jackson has had a problem with anti-semitic remarks.)
Now: Tsongas died from lymphoma in 1997, and Jerry Brown is governor of California again.

OrionDespite having a strong record with Oscar, including having the night’s eventual best picture winner, Orion Pictures was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Despite big hits like “Dances With Wolves,” it had too many other expensive flops, like “The First Power” and “Cadillac Man.”
Now: Bankrupt that year. It was pretty much liquidated, with MGM now owning a lot of its catalog.

BarbraThere were two mini-scandals coming out of the nominations that year. Whether Anthony Hopkins was really more of a supporting role in “The Silence of the Lambs,” and that Barbra Streisand was shut out of the best director category for “The Prince of Tides.” There was talk she wouldn’t show up, but in the end, she did, with crimped hair for some reason.
Now: Has only directed one movie since, “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” and has only acted in that and (sigh) “Meet the Fockers” and its sequel.

John SingletonWho grabbed that spot away from Babs? John Singleton was the first minority best director nominee, as well as the youngest ever, for “Boyz n the Hood.” He was only 24! But while presenting the documentary awards, he and Spike Lee just would not stop slouching. Stand up straight, youngster!
Now: Makes well-made but slight actiony fare. His “Shaft” remake is surprisingly good, while “Abduction,” with Taylor Lautner, really, really isn’t.

Besides the dated jokes, watching old Oscar telecasts is fun for the odd combinations of presenters (see above – Spike Lee and John Singleton together is pretty damn cool, slouching or not). Some of them are, frankly, strange and random pairings. For instance:

Lloyd De MornayChristopher Lloyd and Rebecca De Mornay presenting Best Makeup. Seriously – I don’t know where they came up with this.
In 1992: she had been in “Backdraft” and “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle.” Around this time, she dated Leonard Cohen – bet you didn’t know that. Lloyd had just done “Addams Family” (in fact, a remote controlled Thing brings them the envelope.)
Now: She popped up in “Wedding Crashers,” but is basically not acting anymore. Lloyd has been doing two things – charming guest spots on shows like “Fringe” and “Chuck,” and terrible things that are beneath him, like “Santa Buddies” and “Knights of Bloodsteel.” And some voiceover work.

Banderas StoneAntonio Banderas and Sharon Stone presenting Best Sound Effects. Stone’s big break, “Basic Instinct” had opened the week before, so she was obviously quite the center of attention. He is introduced as “The Mambo Kings’ Antonio Banderas,” because no one knew who he was outside of Almodovar fans and Spanish people (which are usually the same thing). It was another three years before he got a lead role in an American movie.
Now: He’s goddamn “Puss in Boots”. She’s done nothing of note except some “Law and Order: SVU” since 2006, when she made the god-awful “Basic Instinct 2.”

KidmanNicole Kidman. I don’t really have a joke, I just miss Nicole Kidman’s old face.




Olmos HannahEdward James Olmos and Daryl Hannah presenting Best Sound. I think they just put names in a hat, because these two really, really, REALLY have nothing to do with each other (note: OK, they’re both in “Blade Runner,” but not together.) In fact, it’s kind of mean, because she just makes him look shorter and lumpier. I actually wonder if she was a replacement for somebody, because she hadn’t done anything of note since “Steel Magnolias” two years earlier. But she looked good. He was promoting his film directorial debut, “American Me.”
Now: Daryl’s been doing character-actor stuff here and there, plus “Kill Bill” back in 2006. Olmos moved back to TV with “Battlestar Galactica” and “Dexter.”

Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey presenting Best Live Action Short Subject. Really Academy? Really? They were backstage with Audrey Hepburn and Liz Taylor?

Up Next: The Winners! The Dumb Dance Numbers!

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American Idyll ’12 Part 2

Aspen, CO, but actually Denver, no Aspen, really:

Finally, some crazy people with stupid names – what reality shows are all about. (Right? Er…) Mathenee over-danced to “Hey Jude” of all things.

Tealana started by making me grumble with her hipster glasses and septum piercing, which has never looked good on anyone, ever. They make you look like you’re constantly flaring your nostrils, because you sort of are.Then she moved me into annoyance when she cried about being jealous of her really boring twin sister, then back to rage when I found out her name is pronounced tah-LAY-nah, which is the opposite of every vowel in that name. She is the Los Feliz of names.

Jairon sang an original song – thankfully not one pleading to be on the show – which was so random I think it’s actually libretto from his opera about Shelby, the saddest girl in the world. The name isn’t what bothers me there as much as her saying ‘American Idol’ gave her a reason to take her bi-polar meds, which just…..oh dear.

Then my DVR decided ’30 Rock’ is way more important than these posts and ate an episode, and I don’t care, because it’s right.

In Portland, OR, there was Britnee, who asked J.Lo how she balances work, fame, and motherhood. Millions of dollars and a retinue of flunkies. Duh. They showed home movies of her little boys in the bathtub, with possibly poop around them? STFU, Parents joins in my disapproval of publicized diaper blowouts. And pretty much everything else.

And I’ll only mention Romeo, even though he’s from Liberia and I give foreign-originated names some leeway, is because after talking about Liberia, the civil war, his family, Liberia, and his Liberian family in the civil war, the only folks waiting for him outside the audition room were his huge Polynesian friends. I would rather watch a show about them.

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American Idyll ’12

There’s an incredible shortage of bad names on this season on American Idol. I can only blame this on Simon Cowell leaving, which means they let through few-to-no crazy people in the auditions because no one’s there to be mean to them. Overall, this is a good thing for the human race – not letting mentally ill or deluded people on TV – but it’s bad for comedy. And I’m not going to watch X-Factor to make up for it.

Savannah: The only really bad name we meet is Neco Starr, who we see briefly in a montage. We get to re-meet brother and sister Colton and Schyler, who both tried out last year and were both good. Individually I could almost live with those names, but together their whiteness becomes 1,000 times brighter somehow. Ashlee is one letter away from a real name, but, more importantly, history’s greatest monster is a man named Phillip Phillips Sr., because he named his poor kid Phillip Phillips Jr. He just couldn’t keep all the suffering to himself – he had to spread it around.

Pittsburgh: A run of not-great names, but none so horrible you want to punch somebody – Reed, Chase, and Hallie are not good picks for me, but are pretty much actual names. Only standouts were Creighton and Eben, which sounds like Evan right after a dentist’s appointment.)

San Diego: Jayrah is one of those doofuses who performs a song he wrote himself. God I hate that. He is also convinced Outkast speak to him directly through song titles.

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Just in Time for the Outage

Welcome LaserTime fans! I hope you enjoyed my visit to the podcast to talk (and talk) about the atrocious “Supergirl: The Movie.”

You’re here just in time for our outage tomorrow, as we go on strike to protest the internet killing bills SOPA and PIPA. The site will be offline Jan. 18, 2012.

And if you haven’t checked out LaserTime, you should.

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Nicest Spam Ever

We just got hit by a couple hundred spam comments, which were all stopped before they clogged up the site. That’s not news. What is news is all the comments were extremely nice and encouraging and had nothing to do with any of the posts. They also had at least one word spelled strangely, and range from wonderfully complimentary to…well….

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Remodel! (update 1)

Baby name uploading is continuing smoothly – it’s more time consuming because I have to write headlines for all the original BNaBBT posts (but, you know, new material!)

Comments are now OPEN everywhere!

Thanks, Diana

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Everything’s Bigger in Texas

From the Houston Press:

Every now and then, Hair Balls reports the oddest, funniest, and most puzzling names we come across in Harris County official records — usually but not always the crime reports.

As always, a couple of disclaimers are in order. Not all, indeed not necessarily any, of these people were convicted of a crime. Additionally, the crimes they are accused of — those that have been accused, that is — are in some cases as minor as driving on a suspended license or possession of small amounts of pot.

And so, without further ado:

Patronne Dextrexxe Brooks: Puts us in mind of both tequila and porn.

Pearlie Mae Cobbins: Now this is just a classic — if I still had my 1976 Caddy Coupe de Ville, this would be her name.

Anal Exceus: Oy.

Tito Kunta Hunt: Someone like both Roots and Yugoslavian strongmen, but the resulting name comes across as naughty.

Whithworth Treasure: Sounds like the leading man in a romance novel written by a sixth grader.

Willie Nelson de Ochoa: Only in Texas.

Shi’tia Alford: Might as well have alerted CPS the day they put this on the birth certificate. That name is child abuse, pure and simple.

Heavenleigh Flores: Not super classy, but I kind of like it.

Dacodunn Ahito Dante Antoine: Wow. Read it out loud. It sounds like some awesome foreign language. Fun name.

Stylz Montavian Murry: I got stylz, baby, Montavian stylzzzzzz

Aristotle Onassis Harris: Who knew some Houston mom would find a Greek shipping magnate so inspiring?

Chastity Spotts: I learned about those in health class.

Charmin Crew: No squares in stall two. Send in the Charmin Crew.

Petrono Tum Pu: Sounds like stomach medicine you’d find in Indonesia.

Joey Perfecto: Sounds like someone Eugene Levy would have played on SCTV.

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Prince CalTech

There’s a kid in my class at school whose name is Harvmit, aka Harvard-MIT. Guess what his parents wanted his college options to be? Too bad he became a rebel, slacked off in school and has no hope of going to either place. Serves his parents right, I guess, but too bad for him.


Web searches for ‘Harvmit’ turn up (perhaps) another guy named Harvmit, who appears to be a teenager. So maybe there’s hope for a Harvmit after all.

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American Idyll ’10

American Idol is back, and they’ve brought bad names with them as usual.

First night: Boston.

Surprisingly few bad names. Just one, really: Mere. Pronounced “Mary.” She’s an anime otaku, and that’s the least of her problems.

On the plus side, there’s a 16-year-old girl who knows “Hallelujah” is by Leonard Cohen. On a show that has had people say they were singing, “‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ by Beyonce,” that’s a damn miracle.

Second night: Atlanta.

Dewone– Does a squeaky falsetto and froggy low voice on a song he wrote. It was NO “I am Your Brother,” I tell you that much.

Keia– “KEY-ah” Mary J. Blige reads off that she was “Miss Congealiality” somewhere. Her fluorescent yellow pants made my head congeal, despite her being able to sing.

Lathan – sounds like he’s being shaken by an invisible pain mixer.

Hansel Enriquez – I’m very curious where that combination came from. Sadly for him, hand gestures so not equal singing.

Mallorie – From South Dakota, but with carefully tousselled O.C. hair.

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He’s Always Been Trouble

Sometimes urban legends come true:

Murder Trial Begins
By Dewayne Patterson
The Daily Sentinel (Ala.)

Jury selection began Monday in the capital murder trial of a Bridgeport man accused of killing two people in 2006.

Braxton Lynn Hicks has remained in the Jackson County Jail since being charged in the October 2006 deaths of Benny Cameron, 73, and Mary Ann Allison, 71.

Cameron and Allison were found dead in the Alabama Barbershop on Seventh Street in downtown Bridgeport, where they had an apartment in the back.

When the couple was found, they appeared to have been dead for several days, according to reports.

Autopsy reports showed they both died from blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators have said robbery was the apparent motive in the slayings. Hicks was indicted by a grand jury in December 2006 for capital murder. Jury selection is expected to last most of the week, with opening statements possible by Friday.

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