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The Idiot Box

Posted by Jeff on July 18, 2012

In case you missed it, Saturday Night Live is losing two cast members (so far) that have, in their own ways, had a profound effect on the show over the past seven years.  Rumors continue that a third long time cast members may be leaving but no official word has come as of yet.  As most of you know I am a true SNL fan.  I have been since the mid eighties when Eddie Murphy was holding court.  Since then I have suffered through some stinker years but SNL also has good years, mediocre years, and great years.  While this past season has not been what I would classify as great, it was good (hopefully you saw the incredibly well-written and perfect SNL skewering of the Jeremy Lin press coverage) and it caps off the SNL run of the incredible Kristen Wiig and the game-changing Andy Samberg.  This edition of the Idiot Box will highlight these two and also cover those that remain (or might be leaving) but truly this will be my love letter to Kristen Wiig.  I admit this so… you were warned.

Note:  Most of these links are to SNL sketches featuring the performers or sketches described.  As SNL normally airs after kids go to bed, most are pretty much… NSFW.

Confirmed Leaving

Kristen Wiig (2005-2012)

Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig will go down as perhaps the greatest female performer on SNL ever.  Seventies purists will argue Gilda Radner or Jane Curtain but they just did not have the ability to create completely unforgettable and hilarious characters like Wiig.  I don’t recall any repertory player getting a sendoff like hers back in May.  A fitting tribute.  I can’t wait until her first time back as host.

Memorable characters:  the rabbit hunting A-Hole from the Two A-Holes sketches, the neurotic topper Penelope,  the hideous, baby-handed sister from the Lawrence Welk sketches, the Target Lady,  Michelle Bachman and Nancy Pelosi

Already miss:  Lawrence Welk sketches

I’ll never miss:  Gilly… The only character she ever did that I unequivocally cannot stand.

Andy Samberg (2005-2012)

Andy Samberg actually came to SNL as a package deal. Normally that would strike fear. (Ever had a new boss that brought a “trusted former

Andy Samberg as Mark Zuckerberg with Zuckerberg

colleague” with him?)  But in this case, Samberg came with his long time comedy partners, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.  Samberg became a featured player; the latter two were writers for the show.  Together they created the now legendary Digital Shorts which started with “Lazy Sunday” and then completely blew up with “D*ck in a Box.” (Unedited version – NSFW.)

While his Digital Shorts were clearly his best work, Samberg really come into his own with impersonations.  Towards the end of his tenure his impressions of Mark Zuckerberg and Nicolas Cage were spot-on hilarious.

Memorable characters:  singer from D*ck in a Box, T-Shane from Deep House Dish, Zuckerberg and Cage

Already Miss: Digital Shorts

I’ll never miss: Blizzard Man, his tragically bad R&B backup singer character.  Wasn’t funny.

Rumored Leaving

Jason Sudeikis (2005-present)

Jason Sudeikis (left as Pete Twinkle) with Will Forte

The rumors of Wiig and Samberg leaving that started back in April invariably included Jason Sudeikis.  Sudeikis actually started at SNL as a writer in 2003.  He made spot appearances but did not become a featured player until 2005 when he first made people howl as the male A-Hole in the aforementioned 2 A-Holes sketches with Kristen Wiig. Sudeikis’ characters are usually more straight man roles but his Pete Twinkle character has stood out as one of his best as he rambles through feminine hygiene ads during play-by-play for 80’s and 90’s fringe sports like women’s bowling on ESPN Classic.

Sudeikis has hinted recently of a departure but the reason that Lorne Michaels and company may be trying to keep him around is that he is currently portraying Mitt Romney in political sketches which usually serve as the cold open for the show.  For many people this is the only sketch they see before going to bed.  Sudeikis has honed his Romney pretty well and presidential election years are typically the best for SNL. He could be replaced of course (Darrell Hammond took over for Phil Hartman as Clinton) but I think this may be what’s holding him back from leaving.  Perhaps they can work out a deal like Tina Fey had when she left but still came back to do her diabolically funny Sarah Palin impression.

The Old Guard

Seth Meyers (2001-present)

Did you know that next year Seth Meyers will become the second longest tenured cast member ever? (Behind Darrell Hammond)  Meyers serves mostly as head writer but he still anchors Weekend Update as well. Current rumors also have him as a finalist to take Regis’ spot next to Kelly Ripa.  He says no. We’ll see.

Fred Armisen (2002-present)

Fred Armisen as Stuart from The Californians sketch

Fred Armisen burst onto SNL with a Show Biz Grande Explosión! character named Fericito.  Since then he has established a number of other memorable characters like Garth the woefully unprepared singer on Weekend Update, Nicholas Fehn, the news commentator that doesn’t really ever say anything and most recently as Stuart in the Californians, a Soap Net parody.  Armisen also does a serviceable job as President Obama.  He has the voice and look down but Obama does not provide the kind of opportunities that his predecessors did in terms of giving a satirist something to work with.

Kenan Thompson (2003-present)

Keenan Thompson as Tiger Woods

This former Nickelodeon kids show actor has grown up a lot on SNL. Kenan Thompson has gotten stronger in both characters and impressions over the years.  His Tiger Woods impression during the divorce year was funny enough to excuse his lack of physical similarities.  Thompson is not great with voices but his comedic timing is unmatched and the writers are giving him more and more good material to work with.

Bill Hader (2005-present)

Bill Hader as Stephon on Weekend Update

Now that Kristen Wiig is gone, Bill Hader is my new favorite on the show.  Hader started out mostly as an impressionist with James Carville and Clint Eastwood being two of his best.

He did have one good recurring character, Vinny Vedecci, the chain smoking Italian talk show host who struggled through interviews with the guest hosts that didn’t speak Italian.  But lately it has been 80 year old curmudgeon news reporter Herb Welch and Weekend Update’s City Correspondent, Stefon that leave me laughing.  Hader’s Stefon is the one charatcer/skit that has consistently made me laugh until I could not breathe.  It requires numerous pauses on the DVR.  Hader has incredible range too.  He is just as funny in satirical roles like the Jeremy Lin sketch referred to earlier.  To top it all off, Hader is notorious for cracking up in character. Much like Jimmy Fallon used to be, when the joke is great even Hader can’t stop himself which just makes the whole thing funnier.


The New Guard

Bobby Moynihan (2008-present)

If I wrote this in the summer of 2010, I would have predicted that Bobby Moynihan was gone.  His first two years were fairly unremarkable.  Then came Snooki.  Moynihan started portraying the over tanned Jersey Shore cast member on Weekend Update and people responded.  Now he has two more recurring W.U. characters, Anthony Crispino and Drunk Uncle.  He also did a nice job as Newt Gingrich and Guy Fieri.

Abby Elliot (2008-present)

Another cast member I was ready to write off.  The daughter of former cast member and David Letterman writer, Chris Elliot, Abby is more of an impressionist than a character player.  Lately her Zooey Deschanel impression has been fun.

Nasim Pedrad (2009-present)

Nasim Pedrad is falling into the same hole that so many other female performers on SNL have.  She plays tons of characters but none stands out so at the end of the season you wonder, “who is she again?”

Vanessa Bayer (2010-present)

Vanessa Bayer is similar to Pedrad in terms of not standing out except for her impression of Miley Cyrus.  It is dead on and funny.  Unfortunately unless Cyrus gets into a Lindsay Lohan lifestyle, there won’t be much opportunity for ripe satire. (See Armisen as Obama.)

Taran Killam (2010-present)

There are two heirs-apparent on SNL in my book.  Taran Killam is the first.  Killam stepped up big time this past season with great impressions of Piers Morgan, Tim Tebow, and Rush Limbaugh.  He also shows off some fancy dancing moves in the “Les Jeunes de Paris” sketches.  SNL is Killam’s second run at sketch comedy.  He starred on MADtv previously.

Jay Pharoah (2010-present)

The second heir-apparent might be Jay Pharoah.  When he was first cast last season the internet was buzzing based on his impression of Barack Obama which was popular on YouTube.  Since being cast, he has demonstrated dead-on versions of Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Jay Z.  Until Armisen leaves the show (and provided Obama is still president) we won’t get to see his work as the leader of the free world.  But until then we seems to be willing to stick to what he does and take on straight man roles in other sketches.

Kate McKinnon (2012-present)

Kate McKinnon joined the cast late in the 2011-2012 season after the departure of Paul Brittain.  She only appeared in one month’s worth of shows but she skewered Penelope Cruz in this hilarious sketch.

The loss of Wiig and Samberg is going to be hard on SNL at first.  Samberg will be missed but mostly in the loss of the digital shorts.  Wiig’s dependability, sheer comedic originality and energy will be hard to replace.  Longtime Executive Producer Lorne Michaels has done pretty well over the past 10 years in finding new talent and with two openings, I am sure he will be excited to find the next Not Ready For Primetime Players.  I’ll keep an open mind but I know I am going to miss Kristen Wiig.

I miss Kristen.
(Bumper Sticker Idea!)

Posted in Entertainment, Pop Culture | Comments Off on The Idiot Box

The Idiot Box – Emmy Preview

Posted by Jeff on September 14, 2011

It is almost Christmas time for TV Junkies…  Emmy Awards and Fall Premieres.  This week I am going to break down the Emmys.  Next week my annual column about what I am looking forward to in the fall.  Here we go!
Not a lot of surprises in the nominations this year.  Conan got one in its first year on TBS.  Conan is good but not as good as when he was on at 11:35 (CDT).  I think the Emmy voters just wanted Jay Leno to see who they really support.  (Like it was some secret.  Jay knows he’s hated.  He dries his eyes with the $100 bills he rakes up.)

An Emmy to top off a long, brilliant career?

Betty White got a Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy nod for TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland.  This is just a tip of the hat to White.  Her show’s jokes are as old as she is.  What a waste of talent.  This is a cast of very talented female comediennes.  HIC was as much a vehicle for the Snickers-Commercial-hot White as anything.  Jane Leeves (Frasier) and Wendie Malick (Dream On! And Just Shoot Me) have been so much funnier on TV.  Kristen Wiig got a surprising nomination here as well for SNL.  Most Saturday Night Live Actors are ignored by the Emmys.

Modern Family will dominate again this year. Seventeen nominations went out to the ABC sitcom – four of which are in the same category. Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill and Eric Stonestreet (who won this last year) are all nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy. Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen were also nominated in the Actress category. The fact that every actor and actress other than the kids was nominated ought to wrap up why Modern Family is the best comedy on television. The question is not if they win but who will win.

Lots of trophies going home with the cast of Modern Family.

I’ve never hidden my delight in the fact that SNL is having a great decade.  As I mentioned above, Kristen Wiig is nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.  On top of that, Zach Galifianakis and Justin Timberlake were both nominated for their guest roles as host.  Timberlake relishes his time on SNL.  He truly is amazing on the show.  I foresee him giving Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin runs for their money as long-serving hosts.  Wiig is by far the funniest cast member to come along since Will Ferrell.  Every character she creates (except the detestable Gilly) is unique and hilarious.  I would love to see her win an Emmy.  I’d also like to see SNL win but it won’t.  My money is on Jon Stewart but I’d be thrilled if Late Night with Jimmy Fallon won.  If you haven’t seen this show, you need to.  Fallon works.  He is getting better and better and Executive Producer Lorne Michaels has surrounded him with talent and genius writing.  Hit Hulu or YouTube to see either of his rapping sketches with Justin Timberlake or any of his Thank You Note bits.  Funny.

I am once again getting weary of most reality shows.  I watched Top Chef again this year but I am afraid it didn’t have the zing to win the Emmy again.  It was nice to see Richard Blais win though.  I just can’t get into drama right now.  Last year I shared my desire to start watching The Good Wife but I just didn’t.  The only drama I watch now is In Plain Sight on USA.  No nominations for them so…  I guess I’ll just be happy if some of my favorite actors win.

Well Adam and Brett have their Free Money.  Here’s mine.  Good luck in Vegas.

(I am only posting the biggies)

Outstanding Drama Series
Should Win: Boardwalk Empire
Will win: Mad Men

(BK loves Boardwalk.  That’s why I put them here.)

Outstanding Comedy Series
Should Win: Modern Family

Will win: Modern Family
(See above.)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama
Should Win: Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Will Win: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
(Bates is good but she’s becoming pretty predictable.)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama
Should Win: Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Will win:  John Hamm, Mad Men
(I don’t think Emmy voters watch dramas anymore either.)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy
Should Win:  Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Will Win:  Tina Fey, 30 Rock
(Fey must send $100 bills in her Christmas Cards.)

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy
Should Win:   Sofia Vergara, Modern Family or Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Will Win: Betty White, Hot In Cleveland
(White will be honored for decades of hilarity.)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy
Should Win: Steve Carrell, The Office
Will win: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

(Parsons was consistently funnier but Carrell has been nominated 6 times and never won.  That’s a travesty that the Emmys will fix.)

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy
Should Win:  Ed O’Neill, Modern Family  or  Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Will Win:  Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
(With too many choices from one show, lazy voters will go with last year’s winner.  O’Neill has never won an Emmy or a Golden Globe as an individual actor.)

Outstanding Variety, Comedy Or Musical Series
Should Win:  Late Night With Jimmy Fallon  or  Saturday Night Live

Will Win:  The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

(Did you know that SNL has the most Emmy Nominations (142) ever?  ER is second with 124.)

Outstanding Reality Show
Should Win: Top Chef

Will win:  The Amazing Race
(See above)

Want to play TV Scene It? I'll win.

Posted in Commentary, Entertainment | 18 Comments »

A Little Parking Perspective for Blog Lurkers

Posted by Jeff on September 9, 2011

Word has come out that Cary Arsaga is going to open a new shop on Dickson Street.  The newest Arsaga’s will be in the spot where a hookah lounge (whatever the heck that is) was.  It is in the old train depot right behind a brand new Chipotle.

This is interesting news for several reasons.  As many of you heard in previous NWC Reports, Fayetteville implemented paid parking just over a year ago.  Since then local blogs have been churning with doomsday predictions of business failures and idle, ridiculous threats:  (“I’ll never go to Dickson Street again!!”)  Well, the city recently analyzed revenue data from Dickson Street businesses and found that their tax collection was actually up by 6%.  Interesting.

The old Kosmos. The new one is in the former Arby's location on College.

Still, mostly anonymous blog comments point out the business closures on Dickson.  Their favorites are  Kosmos Greekafe and Geno’s Pizza.  First, let me be clear.  Neither of these businesses failed.  They both have reopened in new locations, off Dickson Street.  The lurkers (people who lurk about blogs and jab little drive-by comments in order to rouse rabble) also point to Feltner Brothers (who have also opened a location on College but have maintained their original location behind the Walton Arts Center lot) and Grubs (which opened a new location in the old O’Charley’s near Target.)  Not sure if the Feltner boys will keep their original doors open.  It’s wait and see for them.  Rick Reilly’s favorite sports bar must certainly have been spooked by the city’s proposal to expand the Walton Arts Center into their ground.  So they probably wanted to get ahead of anything the WAC or the city has in mind.

Grubs Uptown by Target

Let’s break this down.  Kosmos is great food.  Great.  Best Greek in Fayetteville in my opinion.  But their location was awful.  It was hard to find a reasonably close spot before paid parking.  And when the lot in front of Campus Book Store became a paid lot, well, you do the math.  Geno’s parking was even worse.  They had two or three parallels right in front but that’s it.  I’m not a huge fan of Geno’s pies.  I am sure if I was a 21 year old leaving Dickson late at night, it would be incredible but I’m over 40 and my taste buds require better.  I do certainly wish them well in their new location (Across from Walmart on MLK Blvd in the old Westside Liquor building) but I’m not going to travel out there to get pizza unless it’s Ye Olde King Pizza which is just past them by a block.

And what about this?  Chipotle is a hot, well-known, national chain.  They have lots of people being paid lots of money to research where to place new locations.  They opened well after the paid-parking started.  Apparently they are sure of their product and not worried about it.

Best coffee in NWA. Says ME. That's who!

But they are gigantic chain, you say?  They can take a risk like this? That brings me back to Cary Arsaga?  He’s a good, local businessman that was actually trying to downsize.  (He sold his two largest locations to an employee two years ago.)  And yet, he sees an opportunity to invest money in a beautiful, old building on a flagship street in Fayetteville?  Even though he’d be competing with the second most well-known Fayetteville coffee shop (Common Grounds)?  And his customers would have to pay to park after 2:00?

Maybe the paid parking is working.  Maybe the plan to build a parking deck is a good one (unless you own Grubs which is where it might land.)  It could be worse.  The last time I was in Little Rock, I paid $5 for two hours by the River Market.  Five bucks gets you all day and night on Dickson.
Perspective, friends.  Stop lurking and go eat on Dickson.  It’s not that bad.

Posted in Commentary, Entertainment | 7 Comments »


Posted by Jeff on February 10, 2011

At least there was no ice.

I’ve said this many times before but… this is why I don’t live in Iowa anymore.  Although in Iowa, the roads would be passable by today AND I’d get my MAIL!!  (Sorry…)

Yesterday broke two records in NWA.  Fayetteville had an official 18.5 inches of snow.  Benton County reports were 20 – 24 inches.  Last night it got to -16 F at Drake Field.   We took a few pictures.  Enjoy.

This is the snowman we built last week. It is four feet tall.

The sad path up to my Explorer. It took me 45 minutes to shovel that. Because I am so smart, I had left the Ice Melt in the vehicle.

Posted in Entertainment, News | 1 Comment »

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Posted by Jeff on January 28, 2011

The Jon & Deek Show is back. 

Sorry I don't have a new picture. Forgot the camera. I was there though, I promise. I got the Swag Bag and everything.

Jon Williams and Derek “Deek” Kastner are together again and will soon be broadcasting their show to a new audience that may eventually become statewide.  At a press conference on Friday, January 27th, Jon and Deek announced their partnership with Vertical Media to present the J&D Show on the Hog Sports Radio Network.  Their show will be broadcast in Northwest Arkansas on The Hog Sports Radio on 99.5 and 105.3 FM.  It will be on 97.9 FM and 1290 AM in Siloam Springs and on 1480 AM in Berryville.

Jon and Deek first worked together back on the heritage rock station, 92.1 the Keg.  Jon was doing the morning show and Derek worked as Jon’s stunt boy, Kid K.  Many hilarious things happened including Deek bursting into a lecture hall on campus at the UofA and starting a Hog Call.  Later Jon left for 93.3 the Eagle and Deek took over nights.  Deek has worked on rock stations in Tulsa and northwest Arkansas mostly on 104.9 the X but also including a four year stint with Jon on the Eagle. In 2009, however, he was let go due to the economy and he returned to the X.

Wanting a change in both format and venue, Jon and Deek started working on the possibility of bringing the show back.  Their trail led to Ryan Hughes, CEO and publisher of Vertical Magazine.  Vertical is a free periodical geared towards a male audience.  After much legwork, Jon and Derek created what will be known as the Jon & Deek Show Presented by Vertical Magazine.  The partnership will also include other media through Vertical Media including a website for the show and podcasts.  Dan Storrs the General Manager of Hog Sports Radio indicated that their show will also be streamed and the podcasts will be available on

Plans to syndicate the show statewide are in the works.  The Hog Sports Radio Network is based out of DeQueen which along with Mena will be the first two cities outside of NWA to get the J&D Show.  Next stop… Little Rock?

From the press conference. Photo Credit: Julia Williams Photography

When asked about content, Jon replied that the show will be slightly more than 50/50 sports.  The rest will be their usual topics of discussion.  They also indicated that they will continue their work for both the University of Arkansas (as P.A. announcers for both the GymBacks and Lady Hog Basketball) and with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.   Jon also stated that they would continue to work with all of the charitable organizations with which they have served in the past.

Jon and Deek are both old friends of us here at Blog Hawgs and we wish them well and good luck in this venture.  The new Jon and Deek Show starts February 14th.

Posted in Entertainment, News | 4 Comments »

Jon Williams On The Move

Posted by Jeff on January 20, 2011

Bye Bye Eagle... Hellooooo...... ??

For those of you in Northwest Arkansas, you might have noticed that Jon Williams, a longtime fixture on the radio in Fayetteville was not on the air to read the school closings this morning. 

For 18 years, Jon has been people’s in-car buddy for the commute to work. Jon started on Q-102 when he first moved to Fayetteville to attend the U of A but shortly left that station for KKEG, a heritage rock and roll station.  It was there that Jon made his name in radio.  He started by himself with producer, Bill Nevin and newscaster, Zach Arns.  Nevin left and Zach took a greater role and the show morphed into the Jon and Zach Show.  Ratings continued to grow and in 1997, J&Z left KKEG and started on 93.3 the Eagle.  Again ratings climbed and while Jon’s partners on-air changed (Jennifer Colonna, Derek “Deek” Kastner) and they even experimented with a Top-40 station (Hot Mix 101.9), Jon stayed at or near the top for 13 years with Clear Channel Radio of Northwest Arkansas.

On Wednesday though, Jon put in his two-weeks notice.  As per radio tradition, that means you are off-air.  Radio station managers tend to dislike the thought that they might be paying a DJ to broadcast what they will be doing next and where.  It makes sense but creates a lot of confusion for listeners.

Jon’s future will be on air in Arkansas.  The details are still being ironed out but one hint that perceptive radiophiles should pick up on is that another rock station jock is also no longer on air.  (Think about it.)

I will post more details as they become available.  Jon has always been a close friend of ours here at Blog Hawgs and we wish him the very best in this exciting new venture.

Posted in Entertainment, News | 30 Comments »

The Idiot Box

Posted by Jeff on January 18, 2011

The Return of American Idol




It’s back but he is not.  Tomorrow, American Idol returns for its 10th season.  But unless you’re just now emerging from that rock, you know that Simon Cowell is not returning.  Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi are not returning either.  They will be replaced by two music industry heavyweights, Aerosmith frontman, Steven Tyler and pop legend, Jennifer Lopez.  More on them later but first… Simon.

Simon Cowell defined the show.  It was his acerbic, brutally honest comments on the contestants’ performances that drove the show and more importantly the water cooler comments the next day at work.  Cowell is a record producer.  He had the credibility to give honest assessments but more importantly he lacked the fear of being labeled a “meanie” or being reviled by viewers and contestants alike.  As much as it might bother host Ryan “Dim the Lights” Seacrest, Cowell was the face of Idol.  No matter how good Tyler and Lopez are, they will always be compared to Cowell or at the least will cause long time viewers to pine for the days when Simon would skewer an off-putting performance.

The credibility that Cowell had was what put Ellen DeGeneres behind the eight ball from the start.  DeGeneres is a comedian, actress and talk show host.  From the get-go she was questioned as to why she was even there. Kara DioGuardi was most known for her work as a songwriter and record producer but she struggled trying to find her role. She eventually replaced Paula Abdul after Abdul left due to a contract dispute but DioGuardi could not decide if she wanted to be the sweet, “nice try” judge or if she wanted to take the line that her record producer colleague Simon Cowell had drawn.  Either way, she never really found her way.  The only returning judge is Randy “Dawg” Jackson.  He and Seacrest will try to maintain the continuity of the show but it’s the chemistry between Jackson and the new judges that will be immediately critiqued.

New Idol judges, Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, some random zombie

Steven Tyler has probably taken the most heat for this career move. His own band mates are not thrilled with it.  Joe Perry even went so far as to state that he did not want the name “Aerosmith” associated with the show.  He has a problem with the fact that it is reality TV designed to sell ads.  In an ironic twist though, Perry said that he was still OK with contestants singing Aerosmith songs… from which he earns royalties.  Actress, dancer and recording artist Jennifer Lopez seems to be a less surprising but also less interesting.  She certainly has the cred they were looking for.  Jenny From the Block has been on the stage since her time as a “Fly Girl” on In Living Color.  Since then she has recorded seven albums and acted in numerous movies and TV shows. She has won AMA’s, Latin Grammys and numerous other awards.  She is certainly qualified but will people watch?

There are several other changes for this year’s edition of Idol.  The head of the Interscope Geffen and A&M label, Jimmy Iovine will serve as an in-house mentor to the contestants.  There will not be celebrity mentors as in years past.  They also plan to extend Hollywood Week which will cut the field of semi-finalists down to 20.  Executive Producer Simon Lythgoe also said that theme weeks will be broader to allow contestants a wider variety of song choices.

While American Idol’s ratings were down last year, it is still the juggernaut that all other show producers respect and fear.  Time will tell if the new faces and changes will change that or if Idol will continue its phenomenal dominance.

Randy says I am "pitchy."

Posted in Entertainment, Pop Culture | 2 Comments »

Comic Film Icon Blake Edwards Dies

Posted by Jeff on December 16, 2010

Edwards with wife, Julie Andrews (of Sound of Music fame)

Blake Edwards passed away yesterday. Edwards was best know for his collaboration with Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movies (before Steve Martin came in and ruined them for a generation of people.) 

Edwards was a genious filmmaker.  If you have not seen them I want to recommend two of his films.  The first is Skin Deep starring John Ritter. Besides co-starring “Zapp” from American Gladiators, Skin Deep has one of the funniest scenes from 80’s comedies: a glow-in-the-dark “sword fight.”  The other is called, The Party.  This is another movie with Peter Sellers as a bumbling movie extra that accidentally gets invited to an upper crust party.  Sellers is spot-on hilarious.  Rent it.

Posted in Entertainment, News | Comments Off on Comic Film Icon Blake Edwards Dies

The BlogHawg Dictionary

Posted by Jeff on December 16, 2010

Dear BlogHawg Nation: We here at BlogHawgs tend to crack some inside jokes and use some cryptic terminology.  For months now we have promised to create a dictionary for those of you who did not drink beer and play poker go to college with us.  Well, here it is.

Thanks to all of you who contributed.   From the boys in LA to those of us up here on The Hill, we all contributed.  I hope I don’t Boise State myself but I am the BlogHawgs Dictionary Frontman. So if you see an error, don’t get all Shakeweight.  Just Maukavelli me.



The BlogHawgs Dictionary

180,000: The amount necessary to purchase something important.

AHF: Average Hog Fan

At the BlogHawgs Offices: Animated Series by part-time lawyer, full time blog contributor Kris Boyd. Boyd has a lot of free time. (See Kris (Fill In The Blank) below)

Bad Announcing Hall of Fame: A list of sports or news announcers that are either bad or just had a bad moment. Usually both.

Bama Fan: Bama Fans are slovenly mouth-breathers that never think they lose a game. They always have an excuse for losing, even if the score is 42-6 and they have a ratio of about 3.5:1 of claimed National Championships versus real.

BlogHawg Nation: You, the readers of our little blog.  See? You have your own entry in the dictionary.

Blythe-Vegas: Reference to the metropolis of Blytheville (pronounced “blah-ville) Arkansas.

Boise State: To say that someone or something is ‘Boise State’ is to say that they think they deserve respect for not doing that much. Although Brett gives them respect no matter what.

The Butler Did It: When Adam has something to say, he compiles it in this as-needed column. Adam will usually go off on something that angers him but sometimes he posts about his hope for Razorback dominance (and world peace.)

BWOT: Bret With One T, a frequent poster to BlogHawgs who for some reason is missing a T. The BWOT handle is to differentiate himself from BWTT, Brett With Two T’s, BlogHawg co-founder, Brett Kincaid.  Apparently this is fodder for spirited debate over which spelling is wrong. Some think that Brett’s name shows a gluttonous use of the letter, T.  (Yep. These are the things we argue about.)

College Football Baby Jesus: Former Florida quarterback and now Denver Broncos first round benchwarmer, Tim Tebow.

COY: Comment of the year (used only to save us lots of typing when suggesting nominees for the award)

Euless Trinity: The Texas football team that annihilated Shiloh Christian on national TV in August, 2010. To get the Euless Trinity treatment is to think you’re big and bad OR to be called “the best” at something and then to be shown otherwise.

Foul Pole: Our loving nickname for BH regular, JUJU.  What can we say?  He looks like one and he has the same range of motion and vertical ability.

Fourth Meal: Yes, the same one you’ve heard of.  For some reason when the BlogHawgs have their semi-annual executive session it always ends at Taco Bell.  There’s no explaining it but Adam is usually the instigator.

Frontman: Any person who takes the lead in any event. Usually a spokesperson.  For example, Vince Neil is the Motley Crue frontman.

The Hill: 1) The campus of the University of Arkansas, as it is situated on an actual hill with Old Main on top
2) The city of Fayetteville, as you have to go “up” 540 or 412 to get there from any other part of the state.
3) A quick reference to DWR Razorback stadium:

A Hypocrite’s Hypocrite: Former USCW Head Coach, Pete Carroll. His only redeeming quality is third-stringing Mitch Mustain after he transferred from Arkansas.

The Idiot Box: A (usually) weekly column by Jeff about TV.  When it does not appear, you may assume it is because Jeff is too busy watching TV.

It Is What It Is: A useless waste of e-ink and/or speech that bloggers, athletes, and just about everyone else use when they cannot think of a creative or more descriptive way to say something. Particularly despised by Jeff so thereby commonly used by Brett and Adam.

Jim Gooch: Gooch is a frequent commenter and sometimes contributor to BlogHawgs that makes Brett and Adam look like Rush Limbaugh. If that’s possible.  He is also the only regular who has been censored by Adam.  He wears that like a badge of honor. Unlike the rest of us, Gooch seems to need to work more than contribute. We miss him dearly.

John Boozman: The newly-elected U.S. Senator from Arkansas who PLAYED FOR THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS.  Did you know that?

Kris (Fill In The Blank) or, The Changing Names of Kris:  Kris Boyd, an LA (not Lowell, see below) attorney with three kids but still a whole lot of free time.  We think he is a lawyer.  His link is on the BH page but…  let’s just say he seems to have time to make At The BlogHawg Office videos and change his name on here. A lot.

LA: Lowell Arkansas or Lower Arkansas (south of Little Rock) depending on context. Examples:  “I got pulled over in LA!” – Lowell.  “I have another stupid meeting in LA.” – Lower.

Maukavelli: Another frequent commenter to BH. To get Maukavellied means get ready to be corrected.

Memphis Wrestling (also Mid-South Wrestling): Referring to the Saturday-morning broadcast of wrestling on Memphis’ Channel 5 in the early to mid-1980’s. Hosted by weatherman Dave Brown and Lance “Banana Nose” Russell, it was the premier form of wrestling entertainment, the likes of which have never been seen before or since. In the BlogHawg vernacular, references to Jerry “the King” Lawler, “Dirty” Dutch Mantell, The Fabulous Ones, Superstar Bill Dundee and The Rock ‘n Roll Express are all made in respect to this brand of wrestling.
Example: “I once saw Superstar Bill Dundee at Dodge’s Store in P-Town. He bought a Dodger Dog and a nudie mag. It was the best day of my life.”

Methinks or Milady: Old English verbiage used by bloggers and other internet users in an effort to seem creative while posting a rather tepid or obvious thought.  Seriously, if it’s commonly used by either Michael or Dwight on TV’s The Office, they are making fun of it and it should not be used in any way that your name is associated.

The Mississippi Coach: Houston Dale Nutt, former coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. The BlogHawgs intentionally refuse to call him by his name so that there is ultimately less said about him.  Or maybe they think he is like Beetlejuice.  If you say his name three times, he’ll reappear and destroy the Hog quarterback.

Mississippi Rebel Land Shark & Mississippi Rebel Black Bear: The BlogHawg Nation had a grand old time trying to “help” Ole Miss decide on a new mascot.  Yet another thread that was inspired more by interest in hammering The Mississippi Coach (see above) than by actual events.

NWC Report: The Northwest Corridor Report. A weekly summation of news and other items of note from up on The Hill posted on Fridays. If nothing else it gives the LA folks a reason to talk smack about things they covet such as the Streets of Gold and lack of violent crime and such.

P-Town: Reference to Paragould, Arkansas, Adam’s hometown. Also known as, Methagould.

Paragould Bathtub Meth: Not your garden-variety Northeast Arkansas meth with ingredients like muriatic acid (an acid that is commonly used for cleaning bricks and pavement, and not much else other than making meth). P-Town bathtub meth–aka–“Ice” or “Funk” or “The Sh*t” has stuff in it that is REALLY bad for you.

Patently Absurd: How Brett feels about most things he hears on Fox News.

People with Too Many Cats Who Watch Fox News All Day: Brett’s off-the-cuff way to describe… well… people who have too many cats and watch Fox News all day and believe it all to be true.

Random Act of Unkindness: Adam’s a bitter guy. He’ll be the first to tell you. Now that he has some free time, he seems to be interested in paying it forward. My advice to all of you is to not show team spirit for any other SEC school.  Especially if you’re waiting for Adam’s parking space.

Remembering HawgBall Series: Adam’s series of posts and videos pining away for the days of 40 minutes of hell and well… success on the hard court.

The Rock: Referring to either War Memorial Stadium or the city of Little Rock.

Shakeweight: The incredibly awkward looking workout tool whose commercials have inexplicably made it past television censors for a year now. To go “shakeweight” is to… well… to get really, REALLY, REALLY excited about something. For eample: “ESPN is going shakeweight on Tebow.”  We can’t do it justice here.  Watch this clip:

That Running Back That Likes Body Mass Index Challenged Girls: Michael Dyer, an Arkansas native that followed That Shiloh Coach to Auburn. He was videotaped enjoying some nightlife with some “weighty” girls.

That Shiloh Coach: Gus Malzahn, former head football coach at Shiloh Christian University High School and Springdale High School. He is now the O.C. at Auburn.

Streets of Gold: According to non-NWA residents, where the truly blessed residents of Northwest Arkansas drive their expensive cars.

The Two Affliction Rule: Adam’s awesome belief that no human can ever have more than one incurable disease.  This was his excuse for smoking in college (he has Cerebral Palsy) and Jeff’s for eating lots of fatty foods (he has Multiple Sclerosis.) Brett has not earned the privilege of taking advantage of the Two Affliction Rule.  And Adam and Jeff hope he never does.

Urb: Former, Current, Former Florida Head Football Coach, Urban Meyer.  TebowSpeed, Urb.

Vintage Razorback Gear: Any item of Razorback clothing or paraphernalia owned by Adam Butler regardless of when it was purchased. This includes the Razorback loafers he bought at Wal-Mart before the Alabama game which created new holes in his skin. They are Vintage.

The Wamper: Former Conway Wampus Cat, Arkansas Razorback and current Cleveland Brown, Peyton Hillis. Adam gave him this nickname because he’s a Wampus Cat and because he “whomps” people in the NFL.

War Damn Eagle Tigers: See WDET below.

WDET: War Damn Eagle Tigers.  Never has the disdain for Auburn been greater than since That Shiloh Coach moved there and he ran That Shiloh Running Back That Likes Body Mass Index Challenged Girls at the end of the game to score an unnecessary TD even though he was injured.

Weekly College Football Pick ’em: Adam and Brett’s weekly attempt to get all “Jimmy the Greek” on the BH Nation.  Adam and Brett do not allow Jeff to contribute because he knows nothing about college football and they are afraid he will out-pick them.

Wrands: Similar to cankles, only they are wrists that are indistinguishable from the hands. See:

Zinger! or Zing!: A comment that takes a slap at another person or organization. Old school Internet folks call it a Flame.

Posted in Entertainment | 55 Comments »

At the BlogHawgs Office V

Posted by Adam Butler on December 15, 2010

Special to BlogHawgs from Kris Boyd

I was going to take issue with this until I saw how many people HAVEN’T signed up for BlogHawgs Bowl Mania. Is it better to “Blog in the Dark” or “Make inside-joke-filled cartoons in the Dark”? That is the question.

Posted in Entertainment | 2 Comments »

How ‘Bout Some Culture, Y’all?

Posted by Brett Kincaid on December 13, 2010

Congratulations to my friend Warwick Sabin and the Oxford American for making a pretty heady list of magazines this year.  According to the Oxford American ranks as the #5 magazine of 2010, ranking a slot higher than New Yorker and just below Esquire.  That is great company to keep, especially given the magazine’s regional focus.

From the Paste writers:

As we toil away down here in Decatur, Georgia, it’s nice to be reminded that all great magazines don’t come from New York City. Marc Smirnoff’s Oxford American has been through its share of publishing turmoil, but its uniquely Southern voice hasn’t wavered once.

If you are not a regular reader of OA, I highly recommend it.  It’s yet another reason to be proud of living in The South.

Posted in Entertainment, Pop Culture | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

At the BlogHawgs Office III

Posted by Adam Butler on December 2, 2010

Special to from Kris Boyd

This one hurts. I spent a lot of time writing the latest bullet-point column that no one read–especially the Mustain/That Shiloh Coach/The Mississippi Coach bullet.

And, it received as many crickets as the BlogHawgs Heisman 5+1 does  every week. Sad.

Kris Boyd is a local attorney and guest contributor to

Posted in Entertainment | 7 Comments »

TV and Movie Legend Leslie Nielsen… a Tribute

Posted by Jeff on November 29, 2010

"Nice beaver."

As you’ve likely already heard, actor Leslie Nielsen passed away yesterday at the age of 84. Nielsen started his career in live television and dramatic roles but he became best known to our generation with his breakout comedic turn in 1980 in the disaster movie spoof, Airplane!

Nielsen once had a guest role on M*A*S*H.  He played a gung-ho colonel in an episode called The Ringbanger.  Some of you may not know that I have seen every episode of M*A*S*H at least twice. This one is one of the best and, filmed in 1973, it shows Nielsen exploring some of the comedic timing that he would soon perfect in Airplane!, the TV Series Police Squad, and the subsequent Naked Gun movies.  (Want to see The Ringbanger episode?  It will air on TV Land Thursday the 9th at 5:30 a.m. Set your DVR. (Yes, I knew it was coming up. TV Land is rotating into year one of the iconic Korean War dramedy.))

In the spirit of remembrance, it just seems fit to rattle off some great Airplane! and/or Naked Gun quotes.  I’ll start with perhaps his most memorable:

Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can’t be serious.
Rumack: I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley.

Posted in Entertainment, Pop Culture | 5 Comments »

The Irony Bowl 2010.

Posted by Adam Butler on November 23, 2010


Posted in Commentary, Entertainment, Sports | 7 Comments »

At The BlogHawgs Office II

Posted by Adam Butler on November 22, 2010

Special to BlogHawgs (and YouTube) by Kris Boyd.

I am developing a complex.

Posted in Entertainment | 3 Comments »

Arkansas Auto Repair

Posted by Jeff on November 17, 2010

Duct tape, Bondo and a case of Busch fixes all.

Yes.  This photo is real.  I took it with my Blackberry tonight at 7:15 in the parking lot outside of a Chinese restaurant and a Wal-Mart in Fayetteville.  I did not doctor it.  No clue how to do that.  I still can’t embed videos here. 

I get on to Arkansans once in a while. Not as much as I used to but once in a while.  I’d love to say that in Iowa this wouldn’t happen but it would. It’d just be Busch Light not Busch Heavy.

Just felt the need to share.  Enjoy.

Posted in Commentary, Entertainment | 10 Comments »

Jon Stewart Sums It Up

Posted by Jeff on November 12, 2010

Jon Stewart stole my talking points!

A few weeks ago, I tilted at Cable News Punditry.  I spent a few hours on that column and I thought I had summed up what’s wrong with television news broadcasts pretty well.  Then Jon Stewart decided to give a rare interview to Rachel Maddow.  Now, in my defense, this is Jon Stewart’s job.  I’m just a semi-regular, part-time blogger.  But in this segment, he knocks it out of the park.

Posted in Entertainment | Comments Off on Jon Stewart Sums It Up

We Have a New Worst Person in the World

Posted by Jeff on November 5, 2010


Uber-Left political pundit, Keith Olbermann has been suspended without pay by MSNBC for violating his work contract. It seems Olbermann has donated money to at least three Democratic political candidates.

I could make an argument that MSNBC shouldn’t bother trying to take a “fair and balanced” stance.  They shouldn’t. 

I could make an argument that Keith is not really a newscaster and thereby should not be bound to contract requirements that prohibit campaign donations.  He shouldn’t.

Instead I will simply say that Keith Olbermann (who I love) did the most hypocritical, bone-headed thing he could possibly do. He has spent the past six months or so bashing Rupert Murdoch for donating to right-leaning organizations while maintaining the pretense that Fox News does not lean heavily towards John Boehner’s office.  And now, Olbermann has basically done the same thing.  While he will be the first to tell you that he’s not balanced politically (he even joked about it after he was pulled from election coverage in 2008), he still should have known that this was dumb.  He’s too smart to not know how to get around things like this.  Dumb.

Better article.

Posted in Entertainment, News, Politics | 9 Comments »

When I’m Sad I Listen to a Ferrell/Pacquiao Duet.

Posted by Adam Butler on November 3, 2010

Posted in Entertainment | Comments Off on When I’m Sad I Listen to a Ferrell/Pacquiao Duet.

A Blog Hawg View of Bobby Petrino Live

Posted by Jeff on October 21, 2010

Last night a friend of mine and I decided to attend a broadcast of BPL at the Catfish Hole in Fayetteville. $20 gets you a seat and all you can eat. I’m no Bill Simmons, but here’s my Running Journal:

Not from BPL. Even though it says BPL.

6:25 – Show up at Catfish Hole. Parking bad but it almost always is.  People love the Hole. Waiting for buddy to show.  Nice mixture of age groups. Lots of kids, lots of seniors.

6:30 – Buddy shows up. We get seated. The hostess mercilessly marches us past the lovely and very full buffet on way to seats. The chafing dish with hushpuppies is only ¼ full. Panic sets in. This could be the worst night of my life. Catfish Hole with no puppies…

6:31 – We don’t sit down. We turn around and head to the buffet. Drinks? Who needs drinks?

6:32 – At the buffet with plate in hand, kitchen dude brings hot, fresh pan of hush puppies. This could be the best night of my life. I load up with coleslaw, boiled shrimp, chicken tenders, and of course an embarrassingly large pile of hushpuppies.

6:33 – I say to buddy, “Tell me when you get embarrassed by my pile of food.”  He, holding an equally impressive plateful, says, “No Shame in My Game.”  Awesome.

6:35 – Start embarrassing myself in front of complete strangers. It’s family style seating so we don’t know anyone. Later found out we were at Chuck Barrett’s guest table. Not sure if they were relatives or friends.  But they got to watch a gorging.  Now we need drinks.  Iced tea it is.

6:50 – A wave of applause starts up and we realize that Coach Petrino has entered the room. Knile Davis and Tyler Wilson are the players with him this week.  Jim Lindsey also comes in.

6:55 – Some scurrying by producers and the business owner. Kids congregating around Petrino and the players to get autographs.

6:59 – People start calling the Hogs. I can’t break away from my chicken strip to raise both hands. Fair weather Hog fan.

7:00 – Chuck Barrett starts the show with Coach Petrino. They talk about the Auburn loss and about the players’ reaction. Typical coach speak minus any personality as is Petrino’s M.O.

7:08 – First commercial break. We contemplate going back for seconds but do not do so until it’s almost time to come back from commercial.  The plan is in place to go at next break.

7:10 – Owner of Catfish Hole brings out a filet mignon and delivers it to Jim Lindsey. If you’ve never been to the Hole, they have the second best filet in all of Northwest Arkansas. Seriously it is incredible.  For a fleeting moment I was jealous of Mr. Lindsey.

7:12 – Twelve year old next to me is playing some video game on his iPhone. Yep. A twelve year old is paying a video game on a device that I can’t afford.

7:18 – Commercial break.  Buddy and I break for the buffet.  Bad news: No more shrimp. Good news: Plenty o’ hushpuppies left.

Tyler does not look this goofy anymore.

7:22 – Chuck interviews Tyler and Knile. Pretty standard material again. Davis is funny. Chuck asks him how he likes Fayetteville. Davis, “Well I’m pretty young. I just stay in the dorm and out of trouble.” He just turned 18 last week. Unreal.

7:23 – Also unreal? The size of my distended stomach. Hushpuppy #32 did it.

7:37 – Chuck finishes up with the players. Wilson talked about how disciplined practices and leaning in when Coach Petrino talks to Mallett one-on-one helps him get better despite less playing time. Wilson is huge – both physically and mentally. He clearly will turn more heads when the gig is his.

7:40 – Chuck lofts a few more softballs from fans both online and in the room. He’s clearly excising questions like, “How ‘bout those SEC refs?” and “How are the players preparing to take on Houston Nutt?” and “What do you expect out of Ole Miss?”  Oh and how about, “WILL RYAN MALLETT BE PLAYING ON SATURDAY?”  I get it. This is Petrino’s gig. I’m sure he and Chuck have an agreement on what can and cannot be asked but this is getting as old as the fish is getting cold.

Seriously. This kid just turned 18. Awesome.

7:45 – Petrino shows signs of life. On Davis: “He is young. He wanted come to school early. He said he didn’t care about prom. So he came up early and later we had to send him back to Texas for prom.” Big laugh.

7:47 – Finally a decent question: “What do you expect facing another running quarterback?” Petrino’s response get a moderate chuckle, “Well, he’s shorter.” Zing! 

7:50 – Buddy and I deduce that 200 people leaving at the same time will cause a traffic jam at a restaurant with only two exits.

7:55 – Last commercial break. Buddy and I leave out fire exit. (No alarm. It was unlocked.)

7:57 – Tune to ending on radio. Finally hear Chuck ask some pertinent questions about Ole Miss.

8:07 – Arrive home and put on pants that fit better around distension.

It was fun. Glad I did it but without an all-you-can-eat buffet, I’d have been less excited.

Posted in Entertainment, Sports | 12 Comments »

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