Paul McCartney, Coming Up

Posted in Paul McCartney on June 27th, 2012 by Willie

This is my all time favorite solo Paul McCartney music video.  It would have been on the site years ago, but I could never find a version of it on youtube that I was able to embed on my website.  Those days are over, so, at long last, I can proudly paste “Coming Up,” on  The song, which kicked off the otherwise disappointing McCartney II, is one of solo Paul’s best ever.  Its a bubbling psychedelic techno folk anthem of positivity.  The song, and its genius accompanying video which debuted on Saturday Night Live, was so good, that it kicked a then retired John Lennon in the balls to start making pop music again.  John famously claimed that he couldn’t get the song out of his head, and also thought that he could do exactly what Paul was doing, saturating the pop music scene with delicious little throwaway pop numbers.  Personally, I believe it was the first ember that would spark the eventual reunion that never happened in the late 80s/early 90s.  I’ve posted about it before, but what people don’t really understand about the Beatles Anthology, was that it was decades in the making, with John having a firm hand in its creation, all with the idea that some sort of reunion would happen one day on an important anniversary.  Despite John’s needing to distance himself from the whole Beatle circus, he knew deep down that it was a special achievement in his life, and that one day, he’d have to take the effort to put the Beatle thing its place and history, from his, and the other Beatles’ perspectives.  Anyway, that is stuff that has little to do with “Coming Up,” and its hilarious music video that you should watch right now.  “Feel it in my bones!”

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Eddie Vedder, Emilio Estevez, Adam Sandler Shooting SNL Promos in 1994

Posted in Fun and Crazy, SNL, Youtube Favs on December 6th, 2011 by Willie

Making a television show is difficult, especially one like Saturday Night Live where all the content is written and produced a week in advance before live airing.  From the looks of this video, making an SNL is a long an tedious process.  Here, they are just making a promo spot, and even though this video is edited to 9 minutes, it probably took well over an hour.  It’s fantastic to watch though.  First you have Eddie Vedder, appearing in April of 1994, a few days after Kurt Cobain killed himself.  Eddie and Pearl Jam did a nice little tribute to Kurt as you can see in the picture above with the “K” on Eddie’s chest.  That’s just a bit of rock and roll history, but in this clip you get to see a nervous and very young Adam Sandler yuck it up with Eddie, whom Adam is clearly enamored with.  You also get to see the oddly detached Emilio Estevez, famous brother of Charlie Sheen, and son of Martin Sheen, interact with these other two icons of film and music.  At one point Eddie asks Emilio, how’s it been this week, to which Emilio replies, “I believe everything’s been good, just fine.”  It was awkward, and Emilio looks like he’d rather be anywhere else then with some long haired grunge rocker and with the jittery nutbar Adam Sandler.  This video is fascinating and revealing, and an awesome time capsule of one of SNL’s golden eras.  Check it out!

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The Doors, Kids in the Hall, Waiting for the Sun

Posted in Kids in the Hall, The Doors on November 8th, 2011 by Willie

The Kids in the Hall were a sketch comedy team formed in the 1980s by a group of talented and semi-demented Canadian geniuses.   SNL guru, and fellow Canadian Lorne Michaels gave them a show that pushed the limits of comedy to frightening new edges of hilarity.  Playing out like an uncensored SNL, the Kids in the Hall tackled drugs, homosexuality, counter-culture ideas, religion, and raving lunacy with breathless confidence, finding humor in very dark places.  In many ways, its no surprise they were Doors fans.  The Doors were a group who too were unafraid to push boundaries, and they did both musically and socially with their manic psychedelic rock and with the outrageous behavior of lead singer Jim Morrison.  So, Kids and the Hall and the Doors?  Match made in heaven.  Check out the hilarious clip below where the Kids in the Hall teach you exactly how to be a Doors fan, and then watch the clip of “Waiting For the Sun,” preferably at dusk.

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Ben Stiller and Bruce Springsteen, SNL and the Ben Stiller Show

Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Fun and Crazy, SNL, Youtube Favs on October 10th, 2011 by Willie

Saturday Night Live is really hit or miss this days, mostly miss, but sometimes, when they get a guy in there who knows sketch comedy, like Ben Stiller, they can hit a few home runs.  That was case the other night when Ben revived his classic impression of Bruce Springsteen from his cult hit “The Ben Stiller Show.”  The bit was a clever, almost throwback comedy parody that reminded me of the golden age of sketch comedy found in the 90s.  In the sketch, Ben is Bruce selling you nothing but the stories he tells in between songs, and it’s pretty damned funny.  It was nothing revolutionary, but it really evoked that spirit of classic grunge era sketch comedy.  The next clip is a collection of all the Ben as Bruce bits from the “Ben Stiller Show.”  You get to see Bruce teaching kids how to count, delivering a baby, fighting in a bar, and warding off aliens.  You even get to see Bruce travel through time and help out old Abe Lincoln, (awesomely played by Stiller Show alum Bob Odenkirk.)  Speaking of Bob, if you catch a hint of Mr. Show whilst watching the Springsteen compilation, you’re not smellings things because both Bob and David were head writers there, and went on to make their own masterpiece of sketch comedy shortly following the Stiller Show’s brief run.  So get ready to laugh in UHN, TWO, HEE, HOOR!


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Paul Simon, Kodachrome, Coneheads Highlights!

Posted in Paul Simon, SNL, Youtube Favs on October 1st, 2011 by Willie

I was sitting around in Portland, Maine yesterday with nothing better to do, when on came the “Coneheads” movie.  I haven’t seen in quite sometime, but its one of those movies where you just have to sit through the whole thing.  I was amazed at the parade of 90s comedy superstars appearing in one scene after another.  Not only did you have original SNL stars Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin in their iconic roles, you had Seinfeld stars Jason Alexander and Michael Richards, mega comedy stars Adam Sandler, Phil Hartman, and Drew Carey, and even film indie stars like Parker Posey and Joey Lauren Adams.  When the film was released, it was a commercial dud, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t a cult classic. It contains Chris Farley’s best supporting role ever caught on film, where he plays the unlikely love interest Ronnie, and its riffs on the US immigration experience and laws are spot on and brilliant.  Anyway, I couldn’t get enough of the film, especially the scene where Beldar Conehead gets a 35 mm Kodak camera filled with glorious Kodachrome color film, and shoots his life on Earth with his family in the late seventies and eighties.  It’s a brilliant sequence set to Paul Simon’s classic hit song, “Kodachrome,” from his 1973 There Goes Rhymin’ Simon record.  Bit of trivia, the song was banned by the BBC in England for its use of a trademarked commercial item in the lyrics…kinda unfair considering how much commercialism is imprinted on our lives…just ask Andy Warhol.  So below, check out a sweet homemade “Kodachrome” video someone made, as well as the trailer for the legendary “Coneheads” film….See you next zearl!

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The Blues Brothers, Ray Charles, Twist it (Shake Your Tail Feather)

Posted in Ray Charles, The Blues Brothers, Youtube Favs on July 27th, 2011 by Willie

How about that keyboard reflecting in Ray Charles’s sunglasses?  That’s rock and roll, or more specifically, the blues.  This legendary scene, from the “Blues Brothers” movie, is and irreplaceable document of blues rock awesomeness.  The Blues Brothers were a group formed by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, two SNL geniuses who loved the blues and came up with this brilliant concept for a Chicago based blues group.  The dark suits, hats, and shades are icons of TV and movie magic.  It’s just another example of the insane role that the likes of Aykroyd and Belushi were on in the late 70s/early 80s when it came to dominating the coolest ideas of global comedy.  The original Blues Brothers band consists mostly of the first SNL band, and they really cook.  It’s a reminder of how huge SNL was in the late 70s that even the band members got starring roles in a blockbuster feature film.  The movie, directed by hot 80s director John Landis, is a crazy car crashing romp of great music and fantastic dance sequences, evidenced below.  Check it out.

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Classic Larry David

Posted in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fun and Crazy, Larry David, Seinfeld on July 18th, 2011 by Willie

Larry David’s rise to full on stardom was a long an interesting road.  He started off as a standup but got his first big break as a writer and performer on ABC’s answer to SNL, “Fridays.”  After “Fridays,” Larry made it to SNL as a writer for the 84-85 season.  He only ever got one sketch on the show, and it aired in the show’s last spot.  Right around the time “Seinfeld” got going in 1989, Larry had a bit part in Woody Allen’s “New York Stories.”  As”Seinfeld” grew in popularity, Larry could be seen and heard in bit roles throughout the show’s run, all in relative complete anonymity.  “Seinfeld” gave Larry massive showbiz and financial clout, but he was still not a star by any means.  When he launched his hugely successful HBO show “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Larry the performer really took off.  As “Curb” enters its eighth groundbreaking season, Larry has also officially taken his place as a pop culture icon; an anti-hero waging a war against awkward social moments, instances of perceived unfairness, and sleights against himself.  With Larry being such a big star now, it’s fun to look back at his more forgotten moments when he was still finding his comedic voice, and when he had much much crazier hair.  Below I’ve assembled some clips from “Fridays” and from his appearance in the Woody Allen movie for all you Larry fans out there.  Enjoy.

Clip #1 showcases Larry’s recurring character, Saully Mullens, from “Fridays” where he plays a hapless temp worker sent in for assignments way outside his realm of expertise. In this clip, Larry fills in for the US Secretary of State.

Clip #2 again finds Larry in a temp role, this time filling in for Gloria Steinham at an E.R.A. rally. I don’t know about you, but to me, Larry seems to be a cross between Woody Allen and Harold Ramis, all with a tough guy NY accent.

Clip#3 features Larry and Michael Richards in a sketch where a group of friends remember how much they tormented and teased each other. In the early days, its clear to see Larry’s natural nervousness and unease with performing, but also the enthusiasm and joy he was experiencing doing it.

Clip #4 is Larry’s small role in “New York Stories.” I’ve never seen this movie, and have no idea what is going on, but it’s clear that this scene probably inspired the “Seinfeld” episode where Kramer scores a line in a Woody Allen movie. “These Pretzels are Making me Thirsty!”

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George Harrison, Paul Simon, Here Comes the Sun

Posted in George Harrison, Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, SNL, Youtube Favs on April 18th, 2011 by Willie

For part 38 of my youtube countdown, I have another fantastic George Harrison duet.  This time its with Paul.  No not McCartney, but SIMON!  This version of George and Paul tackle George’s incomprehensible 1969 stunner, “Here Comes the Sun.”  The occasion was Saturday Night Live and the results were breathtaking.  George hits all his acoustic marks with perfection, and Paul Simon’s voice just melts perfectly into George’s harmony.  The freaky thing about the video is how Paul Simon keeps looking at George like he wants to take him to bed, or more likely, create a new group called “Simon and Harrison.”  But George wasn’t about to be stuck with another Paul telling him what type of guitar solo to play on “Still Crazy After All These Years.”  So, instead, like with most of rock and roll history, we just have singular moments, and here’s a good one, enjoy.

UPDATE 10.20.13- YouTube/Google disabled embedding this video but you can click here to watch the performance! (Willie)

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The Liberal, SNL

Posted in Fun and Crazy, SNL, Youtube Favs on March 15th, 2011 by Willie

Woohoo, another comedy video sets off part 19 of my youtube countdown.  This one, “The Liberal,” is from the height of the Reagan universe in the mid 1980s.  It starts off with one of SNL’s greatest dopey theme songs sung by what sounds a chorus of Phil Hartmans.  Anyway, the political themes and jokes expressed in this sketch are utterly timeless.  Conservatives still think poor people are lazy, liberals still believe in birth control, conservatives still accidentally shoot themselves, or their friends, hunting (see Cheney), and liberals are still on the run, abused, and shamefully hiding their core beliefs so as not to offend their conservative opposition.  This all adds up to an insanely genius sketch.  Enjoy.

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Eternity, the Game Show!

Posted in Fun and Crazy, SNL, Youtube Favs on March 1st, 2011 by Willie

Christopher Walken once claimed that he speaks the way he does because he constantly keeps waltz time in his head.  It explains a lot.  But perhaps nothing can explain this incredible sketch from SNL, which is also part 12 of my youtube countdown.  Written in SNL’s golden age, this sketch is what happens when you turn Calvin Klein’s “Eternity,” into a game show.  I really don’t have much to say about this video other then watch it, watch it hard.


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