Wednesday, January 31

Syndicated columnist Molly Ivins dies at 62

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, 'Stop it, now!'"

Tuesday, January 30

Synchronicity III

Crowded House, Van Halen ... now the Police are reuniting. They'll play the Grammys on Feb. 11.

DULLARD TAKE: Sure. Just bring in guest vocalist Stan Ridgway for a mini-reunion with Stewart Copeland on "Don't Box Me In." (Watch the video.)

The The shills for M&Ms

"This Is The Day" to eat candy (as seen here). At least it's a better choice than when Mazda borrowed "88 Lines About 44 Women" by The Nails to sell cars.

Friday, January 26

Pranks Jim has pulled on Dwight


Fair warning

Van Halen to reunite — with Diamond Dave. While you are waiting for that, enjoy the bluegrass "Jump" at the same link. Aztec Camera still does the best version, though.

Hollywood is the new Times Square

The New York Times reports in this article that Hollywood and Vine is actually a good place to visit nowadays, or soon will be. You can even get there by subway.

Thursday, January 25

It's time for Big Air to straighten up, fly right

Airline travelers have had enough. Join the fight for the Passenger Bill of Rights. This comment says it all:
The purchase of an airline ticket is a binding contract between a consumer and a business, and yet airlines are NEVER held accountable for their lies, their mistakes or their business practices.

Read about the miserable incident that started this movement.

Tuesday, January 23

Don't dream it's over

Crowded House to reunite.

Radio songs

You tried to sing along. Damn that radio song. See what's playing where by clicking here.

Saturday, January 20

Women are funny

Christopher Hitchens raised a ruckus recently on the pages of Vanity Fair, proposing that men are inherently more humorous than women. The author grudgingly offered a few counter-examples of funny gals, but his picks — Nora Ephron, Fran Lebowitz, among others — aren't exactly titans of today's comedy. Perhaps Hitchens offered such feeble examples to buttress his own argument that men are vastly superior when it comes to a good joke. Or maybe he's not funny either.

We're not buying his argument. We've known plenty of gals who are a "laff riot." And we don't know the gals listed here, but here are four famous funny women who are much more amusing than many men who are considered hilarious. Stack these ladies up against Dane Cook, Adam Carolla or Carrot Top and see whether you agree:

SAMANTHA BEE: As one of the "reporters" on "The Daily Show," Bee consistently comes up with the most memorable and, yes, funny material. Given the strength of the male-dominuated cast both past and present, that's no small thing. Along with Stephen Colbert, Bee is among the best at keeping a straight face and evoking the degree of sincerity necessary to make a "Daily Show" segment work. Bee's visit to a Hooters restaurant in Ohio showed her daring side — yes, she wore the outfit. And she even successfully made light of al-Jazeera in a story about the network's nascent U.S. operation.

AMY SEDARIS: The younger sister of writer David Sedaris, Amy is proving herself a renaissance woman of comedy. Although her "Strangers with Candy" TV show was a taste many of us never acquired, it's something to admire — and just consider how it would have been simply unwatchable without Sedaris. More recently, Sedaris has branched out into books with the half-mocking "I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence." Written in the form of a Martha Stewart book, "I Like You" has real recipes and absurd tips on entertaining guests. The book in itself is so entertaining that there's no need to invite anyone to dinner. Just read "I Like You" over your mac and cheese.

SARAH SILVERMAN: The foul-mouthed comic first came to our attention as the annoying girlfriend in "School of Rock." Now we know her for her profane and uproarious comedy. Silverman filters the cruel sensibilities of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog through her "not so nice Jewish girl" persona. She's known for touching on taboo topics such as rape and religion. Her new show debuts on Comedy Central next month, and for once, the adjective "long-awaited" is actually applicable. We can't wait to see what she will try to get away with.

WANDA SYKES: It's no coincidence that "Curb Your Enthusiasm" clicked when Sykes began showing up, challenging Larry David's mannerisms and social skills (or lack thereof). The scene in which she accuses Larry of being an "ass man" is still one of the finest and funniest moments in the series. Given the improvisatory nature of "Curb," Sykes can't rely on scripts or routines to make her funny. She just is. Indeed, she is less amusing in carefully planned and written situations. Let Wanda be Wanda.

Friday, January 19

Colbert is everywhere

Some video links on Stephen Colbert:

  • His successor at the White House Correspondents dinner, impressionist Rich Little, who is apparently still with us. Who knew?

Tuesday, January 16

'Lost' tries to find its way

The masterminds of TV's "Lost" discuss the moribund third season and a possible series wrapup in a year or two. The mid-season hiatus ends Feb. 7.

DULLARD TAKE: It would have been great for the story arc to play out over three seasons, sort of like the original "Star Wars" trilogy. There's still hope that this won't end in a pathetic sputter the way "The X-Files" did, however.

Monday, January 15

Wii death

The contest: Drink large amounts of water but don't urinate.
The prize: A Wii game system.
The result: A 28-year-old woman, the runner-up, dies of water intoxication.
The reaction from the radio station sponsoring the contest: "We are awaiting information that will help explain how this tragic event occurred."
The whole story: Here.

UPDATE: The station fires DJs and other staffers.

Just press play

Friday, January 12

Gas up your TiVos

Season two of Ricky Gervais's Extras debuts this Sunday on HBO. Or, if you don't feel like waiting, you can download it from iTunes for free.

This joke isn't funny anymore

Former Smiths singer Morrissey says he may join the famed Eurovision song contest — the cheesy competition that the Gwar-like Lordi won last year.

Thursday, January 11

War with Syria & Iran?

I haven't been blogging much lately due to holiday travels and and an inexplicable post-holiday funk. This isn't helping my mood any.

Monday, January 8

R.E.M., VH in HOF

R.E.M. and Van Halen will be among this year's inductees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with the ceremony taking place in March. Two thoughts:

  • During the performance segments, we could see some kinship among the follically challenged frontmen: Michael Stipe can chime in on "Jump," and Diamond Dave can reciprocate on "Stand."
  • In the battle of the basses, let the Mike Mills vs. Michael Anthony debate begin! Anthony is at a slight disadvantage since he was recently replaced by Eddie Van Halen's 15-year-old son amid rumors of a VH reunion tour.

Happy birthday, David Bowie!

He turns 60 today.

Friday, January 5

Pazz & Jop falling silent

The vaunted Village Voice music poll known as Pazz & Jop is in decline. Some critics are defecting over the Voice's dismissal of colleague Robert Christgau, and the Internet has plenty of surveys and lists. This one even mimics the methodology of Pazz & Jop.

Tuesday, January 2

Is it getting hot in here?

Join the virtual march against global warming. It's something former CIA chief James Woolsey, aging supermodel Christie Brinkley and Larry David of TV's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" can agree on. See their testimonials and others here.