"Tom is talking too quietly to be heard over barking boxer puppies." -- Sarah in the FOT Chat on the inaudibility of Tom's "sick voice" over the din of the canines in her care
"I wonder how it is you have an ear for fake voices." -- Tom on Petey's expert detective work
"Give me back my sandwich!" -- Harrison Ford, chasing down his elusive lunch for two hours in the forthcoming Raiders of the Lost Hoagie
"Sounds like someone needs some Tums!" -- Philly Boy Roy, proposing an OTC remedy for Tom's kidney bean
"No, he's got blackberries -- it's like a little computer for your hand." -- Philly Boy Roy, explaining his son's new tech gadget
"You gotta be careful, though. You might get a shredded tongue along with your shorty with extra peppers." -- Philly Boy Roy on the perils of eating at Wawa
"Cows all over the place ... people lassoing each other. No thanks!" -- Philly Boy Roy, declining a trip to the Austin hospital/rodeo
"In all seriousness, thank God he's not alive to see this go down. He was a very proud man, and he would've been mortified to see that going on." -- Tom on Don Imus not being privy to the antics of the puppet that replaced him two years ago
"Come on, Kevin Smith. You can do better. Actually, you can't. What do I mean, you can do better?" -- Tom on Kevin Smith doing the best he can with his latest horror project
"Do you deliberately dial it down before these calls?" -- Tom on the thick air and slow-moving clouds of Owen's lethargy
"Jokes. I hates jokes." -- Tom, denoucing these not-so-funny statements
"I'd have more respect for you if you wore your blanket." -- Tom on the sartorial silliness of those who cover themselves with hockey jerseys
"I shall never taste another Coke Bläk as long as I live. NEVA! Sorry, Coke Bläk, I gotta move on." -- Tom, severing all ties with his once-beloved elixir
"Nice job, Blue Willie. Racism is alive and well. It's good to see the proud tradition still continues." -- Tom on Blue Willie's assault on grammar and cultural sensitivity
"I've been runnin' from the South my whole life. Risin' again is about the worst thing I can imagine happening." -- Supercaller Dave from Knoxville, hoping his homeland remains dormant
"I’m worse than America. I saw it." -- Tom on being one of the few people who paid to see Griiiindhouse
"It's good to see he paid tribute to those great grindhouse movies like My Dinner With Andre." -- Tom on QT's homage to the Louis Malle talkie
"Asterisk! I've had it with asterisks!" -- Tom, denouncing the silly splat
"You have a wit, but I'm not sure I'd call you funny." -- A caller, assessing Tom's brand of humor
"I don't believe this. This is like Peter Sellers. This guy's like Peter Sellers." -- Tom on The Best Show's resident character actor
"If you ever wondered what it would have been like if Kevin Smith directed Smokey and the Bandit, that's what it would have been like." -- Tom on Death Proof
"That will be the worst anything in the history of everything." -- Tom on Quentin Tarantino's $45 John Brown bio-pic, featuring slaves referencing Welcome Back, Carter
The National - "Mistaken For Strangers"
( Click here to pre-order Boxer)
The Spinanes - "Noel, (Other Cleveland) Jonah And Me"
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The Mary Timony Band - "Summer's Fawn"
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Beretta76 - "Pretty Baby"
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Feist - "I Feel It All"
Laura Veirs - "Phantom Mountain"
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April March - "Laisse Tomber Les Filles"
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Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich - "Hold Tight"
( Click here to buy The Best Of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
And just when you thought nothing couldn't get better
A news flash concealed in a bright yellow letter
The Kid ran up to the mic and said, "Alert, hear this"
Cleared his cloggy throat and then began to persist
He said, "Hallelujah, kids hear this,
The ruler’s back and he’s here to assist"
So off we go, let the trumpets blow
And hold on because the driver of the mission is a pro
The Ruler's back
-- Richard Walters (aka "Slick Rick"), "The Ruler's Back"
Tom returns after a three-week hiatus caused by the excruciating paingaea, surgical removal, and post-surgery complications of a not-so-rolling kidney stone. He’s beat up, his voice is very weak, and he admits to only being at about 70% of his full power. Tom thanks all the well-wishers who sent him messages, prayers, and good vibes for a speedy recovery. I know that Rev. Ken Miller held a special service at Newbridge Episcopalian in Tom’s honor, and Darren got a bunch of Consolidated Cardboard co-workers to chip in for a skywriter to emit “GET WELL SOON” above Newbridge Commons. Werner also left Tom a generous care package containing some “medicine” and “candy” under his pillow. Tom decides to ease his way back to the show with some open phones.
GOMP! Gonna tell Tom he's not ready to come back yet! Ha ha! Tom was faking it using the feeble sick voice of his youth! He was knocked down, but now he’s standing up. You can’t stop him. You can’t top or stop The Best Show. Tommy Tornado is out of the hospital and ready to spin his magic. While he was away, Tom's spirits were boosted by a medley of entertainments -- the new Sly & the Family Stone box set, Sarah Thyre's Dark At The Roots: A Memoir, and the ubiquitous Harrison Ford thriller Firewall, which Tom dares to call his best movie. Tom points out that the plot of every Harrison Ford movie involves something being taken away from Ford's character, followed by his quest to retrieve that which has been swiped. In this case, Ford pretends to want his family back, even though he's really just thinking about the stash of primo Wyoming crippler at his ranch.
- Peter/Petey calls (starts at 28:23) to welcome Tom back and tell him that he knew he was employing a fake voice. Tom wonders how Petey has such a finely-tuned ear for detecting fake voices. Petey also wonders about this. He says he was just eating a salad with hot sauce and hot peppers. It didn’t taste too good. Tom suggests dressing the salad with salad dressing. The use of abnormal condiments is further proof that Petey does things differently than most people. He dances to the beat of a different drummer (Zach Hill to be specific). Petey thinks Tom also exhibits the unique qualities inherent to the individuals in the Friends of Tom worlds, but Tom is quick to disagree. He believes that he walks the party line in lock-step with Joe America, living the dream just like The Riches. Petey hasn't seen the new FX drama, but he does enjoy the British time-traveling police procedural Life on Mars.
Tom reports that he kept seeing the same episode of The Tyra Banks Show during his recovery. Petey says he heard that the show was good, and Tom speculates that they only filmed two episodes: one in which Ms. Banks goes after "lipstick lesbians" and one in which she promotes the episode in which she goes after "lipstick lesbians". I actually saw a third episode that featured a reunion of the Coyote Ugly cast. Kevin Smith couldn't be there, but he did call in to discuss his uncredited rewrite of the script. Tom doesn't like Tyra Banks because she's a union buster. She refused to step up and help out the America’s Next Top Model writers, who were striking to petition the producers to let them negotiate with the WGA to receive the health care coverage, pension benefits, and residuals afforded to writers on scripted shows. Petey urges Tom to look at Tyra's side of the story to get a different viewpoint of the issues. At this point, Tom makes a shocking request for Petey to return to his fake voice because his real voice sounds like a mix of Pudge and Jaws, the assassin in Moonraker. Petey is not familiar with Jaws, so he wants to know more about his personality. His real voice continues to make Tom uncomfortable, so he gently GOMPs Gen-Y's Richard Kiel. Tom says he likes Petey and didn't really mean to click eight buttons to terminate his call.
- CW, the Pride of Verona, calls (starts at 32:57) to chime in on the shortcomings of Firewall. He doesn't think Ford's character was built up enough to justify his third-act ass-kickery. Lacking any sort of background in the U.S. Army Special Forces, his griiiiindhouse beatdown was not believable. Tom compares the plot turn to your accountant flipping out and becoming an impromptu action hero. CW says he viewed some low-energy Ford interviews included in the extras in The Adventures of Indiana Jones DVD box set, so he assumed that Ford saves the juice for his performances. Tom says that Ford is possibly the worst interview in show business history. He thinks Ford should just stay home instead of appearing on Conan to painfully mumble and grimace his way through a studio-mandated promotional stop. Tom doesn't think answering questions about your work while an audience showers you with loving cheers is a bad way to spend some time. CW points out that Ford is able to pull it together for his movies, but Tom thinks the only thing he pulled from Firewall was a huge paycheck. CW believes that Paul Bettany's villain could have easily defeated Ford in the climactic battle. Tom congratulates Bettany on the new house (Firewall Mansion) and boat (The SS Firewall) that he purchased with the money he received for his role.
- Tom mentions (starts at 38:12) that he read a lot of magazines during his recovery because he had trouble concentrating on books. He just wanted to sleep until the nightmare was over. Tom noticed that all of the magazines are now proposing career fix-em-ups for various stars. Entertainment Weekly had some ideas for how Drew Barrymore can reinvent herself, and Premiere (a magazine that recently announced it was shutting down its hard copy edition) offered advice to the likes of Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lopez. Tom thinks Barrymore will be able to get by on the $110 million she's raked in over the last 25 years. He believes the writers of these pieces are in greater need of counseling. Tom enjoys the magazine scribblin’ he's done over the years, but he always aspired to more substantial endeavors. He was lucky enough to get the gig at Consolidated Cardboard, and now he only has to pay 95% of his recent medical expenses due to their generous health benefits.
Tom also detected a much nastier, weaselly tone seeping into the pages of EW. The rampant put-downs are part of a philosophy that dictates that you have to hate something to like it. Tom references Ken Tucker's review of the Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan DVD in which he lamented being bored with the Borat phenomenon. Tom suggests that maybe Mr. Tucker shouldn’t be thinking about it all the time. He got stuck living in the Borat hype machine. He was supposed to leave months ago, but he didn’t. He stayed on board. The bottom line: if you’re mad at it, it’s time to leave. Tom wants Entertainment Weekly to start having some fun with entertainment.
- Philly Boy Roy (starts at 42:20) calls to recommend some Tums antacid tablets to soothe Tom's "tummy troubles". Tom informs him that his problems with a kidney stone were a little more severe than a simple upset stomach. PBR says that as a kid he had a similar upset stomach after he challenged his dog, Phillies Third Baseman Mike Schmidt, to a hoagie-eating contest. Tom wants to confirm that he actually named his dog Mike Schmidt, but PBR calls him a dummy because the dog's name was the slugger's full job title. PBR easily won because his dog did not like the bolona in the hoagies. PTBMS only ate a 1/4 of a hoagie, while PBR consumed 16. Tom wants to know why PBR kept going when he had the dog beat after just one hoagie. PBR says he wanted to prove that he was an "Iron Man", but he ended up in an iron lung for two weeks as a result of his binge on hoagies that were loaded with peppers and stuff. Tom reiterates that he did not have a comparable stomach ache. PBR thought Tom said he had "kidney beans" (those could presumably be easily zapped with some laser beans), so Tom tells him to do some research on kidney stones if he's interested in exploring Tom's actual ailment. PBR might look it up at the libary, or he may have Roy, Jr. retrieve some information on his blackberries, a little computer for your hand. Tom tells him that the device is called a BlackBerry. PBR writes it down because he sometimes enjoys talking to his son on his level. Tom takes this to mean that PBR likes to “rap” with Roy, Jr., but PBR says he just likes to talk to him. Tom points out that he was using "rap" as a slang term for friendly chatting, not the musical delivery of hip-hop artists. PBR says he doesn't do musical rapping so good.
Speaking of music, PBR was in Austin, Texas, a few weeks ago for SXSW, the biggest music conference ever been given. (I couldn't make it to SXSW this year, but I heard the hottest show was Larry Ferrari at Stubb's. He played the organ while being backed by Man Man.) Wawa sent PBR to the festival because he's the new head of their record label. Wawa management picked PBR to run Wawa Records because they knew that he's always playing his music tapes behind the hoagie counter. PBR says the company gave him "cart lunch" to sign any artists he wanted. Tom suspects he meant to use the term "carte blanche", but PBR says that he was referring to the scenario where the guy who runs the lunch cart at the factory gives you the best hot dog on the menu. Tom decides to move forward without delving further into PBR's latest terminology misfire. However, more confusion erupts when PBR reveals that Wawa gave him the official title of "key-o". Tom informs him that C.E.O. is an abbreviation that is not pronounced as a regular word. PBR writes it down so he won't make that mistake no more.
Wawa arranged for a SXSW showcase for their roster, and they have also been promoting their bands by inserting free CDs into hoagies. PBR warns that people should be careful because you might get a shredded tongue along with your shorty with extra peppers. PBR says that customers would ideally pull the disc out before eating, but it's possible that they might chomp into the sharp edges of the promo platter. Tom hopes that Wawa is informing customers about the marketing tie-in, and PBR says the stores post a little flier in the front window to alert people to the object embedded in their food. Tom concludes that if someone doesn't see the flier, there is a good chance they will end up biting into an actual compact disc. PBR appears to agree by reciting the phrase "caveat eruptor". Tom moves forward because he doesn't have time to assume the role of PBR's teacher. It's a radio program, not a school.
PBR says that Wawa Records has been signing a lot of great bands, including Hymzilian Brazyman, the latest project from Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian. Tom recognizes the musicians as being members of The Hooters, but PBR calls him a Philadummy for not realizing that they are The Hooters. He also calls Tom a dunce for saying "Brazillian". PBR explains that the name of their new project is the result of intertwining their names like a "weird hoagie mixture". He's trying to convince the duo to take on an image of intertwining hoagies as their official logo. Tom says it's the worst band name he's ever heard. PBR thinks Tom's nuts, and runs through the list of HB's labelmates:
1. Jeff Labar's Cinderella featuring Jeff Labar. Tom thinks it's a bit odd that they signed guitarist Labar instead of Tom Keifer, Cinderella's primary songwriter and lead vocalist. PBR says that Keifer stinks and has no scene going on no more.
2. The Heroes, Robert Hazard's old backing band. Tom correctly assumes that Wawa did not sign Hazard. PBR wonders what Hazard's ever done, and he admits to being a little mad at him for not wanting to record for Wawa. Hazard has apparently abandoned rock music in favor of playing the ukulele like Bob Dylban.
3. The Minions, a Dr. Dog spin-off band.
4. A project with ?uestlove that PBR describes as a cross between Lee “Stratch” Perry and Club Ninja-era Blue Öyster Cult. Tom's intrigued by this stylistic mash-up, and PBR says he's serving as their Richard Meltzer by penning some lyrics. He refuses to provide any sample lyrics because he fears Tom will totally hijack them, but he does say that they are inspired by Blade Runner.
All of the above bands played the Wawa SXSW showcase, but the problem was that PBR only made it through a couple of hours. He arrived in Austin on late Wednesday night to take in the festivities and prepare for the showcase on Saturday afternoon. However, by that time, he was completely dehydrated and malnourished because he couldn’t eat none of that terrible, disgusting Texas food. PBR asks Tom if he ever had something called a ... "taco". Tom is familiar with this exotic example of the local cuisine, so PBR wonders if he threw up when he ate one. Tom was able to keep it down, but PBR says he puked as soon as he smelled the darn thing. He thought he might like it because it looked kinda like a mini-hoagie in a hard shell. He experienced severe dehydration because he couldn't find any Yeunglings or Frank's sodas in Austin. Tom thinks that water might have been an effective hydration technique, but PBR says that none of the Ziegler clan drink water, a policy that dates back to the 1800s. The whole family tree avoids water in favor of sodas, Yeunglings, soup, coffee, and cupping their hands to secure rain. PBR says he's never consumed water of his own violation. When he was a kid, he drank out of the water fountain because he didn't know no better back then.
A parched PBR was set to introduce The Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum, who signed to Wawa to release his solo project called Butterfly Joe. PBR says that he was so dehydrated that he fainted, fell back, and snapped Talcum's guitar in half. He also snapped Talcum's tiny arm. Tom thinks this is a horrible turn of events, and PBR says it was also horrible when they tried to take him to the local hospital. He refused treatment because he imagined nem Texas hospitals being overrun with cows and people lassoing each other. Tom disputes this description of a modern Texas medical center, but PBR says it's not the 21st century out there. He had no interest in getting branded.
PBR told them to put him on the next plane back to Philadelphia, and Roy, Jr., 15, picked him up at the airport. His son illegally drove him straight to a Philadelphia "hospital" -- the Wawa on Patterson Avenue down by The Spectrum. PBR says the location qualifies as a hospital because he was able to pound five Frank's grape sodas, three Yeunglings, three KandyKakes, six Peanut Chews, and four cheesesteaks. After raiding Philly's medicine cabinet, he felt like the old Roy again. However, he threw up again because he still wasn't completely over smelling the foul odors of the offending Texas taco. Despite his unpleasant stay in Austin, PBR will take a Greyhound bus back to the scene of the culinary crime next week. Los Del Fuegos had a jar for business cards on the counter, and they pulled his card for a free lunch. PBR says that his card was actually a Wawa napkin with his name scrawled in red pencil. Tom wants to know why he would go back to a place that sickened him, and PBR says he can't resist the lure of a free lunch. He might try something called a ... "burrito". Tom doesn't understand why he would endure 4.5 days of bus travel to get a free lunch he'll probably hate. PBR says it's worth it because if he likes the burrito, he'll bring it back to Philadelphia and become the "King of the Burritos". Tom tells him that the city already has plenty of Mexican food. PBR wants to know where because he's never heard of Taco Bell in Roxboro. Tom thinks PBR lives a sheltered life. PBR counters by saying he lives a full life.
Last month, PBR pledged $1 so Tom could buy a new turntable for his high school station. He wants to know how the telethon ended up. Tom says that they raised all the money they needed, so the station is in the clear for the coming year's operating expenses. PBR translates this to mean that he raised a couple hundred bucks to keep the high school station running. Tom denies that WFMU is a high school station and apologizes for not being part of an operation as big as Wawa Records. PBR says it's also not as big of an operation as Roxboro's WROY, his new radio station. As C.E.O. (said correctly this time) and the head DJ, PBR is currently running his own telethon to raise money. The station doesn't have a frequency on the dial, but Roy, Jr. told PBR that they can pick their own number. PBR says that he wants to be 93.4, one little blip above WMMR 93.3. Tom tells him that the number after the decimal point cannot be even, but it doesn't matter because Roy, Jr. is very, very wrong about being able to select your own frequency.
PBR says they've already hooked up the old record player to their stereo, and Roy, Jr. got them a radio tower today. He said someone said they could have it, and the 20-foot high tower will be bolted on the roof of their row house tonight. PBR is loving making his playlists, which include The Hooters, Teddy Pendergrass, The Heroes (PBR erased Hazard's vocals), Hymzilian Brazyman, Nem Roots, Britny Fox, and John Oates (PBR erased Daryl Hall's vocals), who gave Wawa Records a tentative "yeah" to a solo release. PBR thinks he could duet with Oates, and he proves it by ably singing a snippet of "She's Gone". WROY will also offer a Morning Zoo show called "Cig Freak & Roy". Roy, Jr., the "cig freak", came up with the name, and Tom actually thinks it's kinda clever. PBR is already growing his double-handlebar mustache to match the striking appearance of legendary WMMR zookeeper John DiBella. Roy, Jr. is living up to his radio moniker by smoking 3.5 packs/day. PBR says that he sounds like Jimmy Durante. Tom thinks it's terrible for a 15-year-old to sound like the gravel-voiced "Schnozzola".
Tom wants to know what will transpire during a typical "Cig Freak & Roy" broadcast. PBR says they will probably set up on the front porch and try to get girls to pull their tops up. Tom concludes that it will be standard "shock jock" junk. PBR says it will be a tasteful program, but it will include stuff like getting girls to pull their tops up. PBR reveals the station's slogan: "WROY, we put the word 'rock' in the word 'Roxboro'." Tom thinks PBR could simplify it with the catchier, more streamlined, "We put the rock in Roxboro." PBR prefers the original because it rolls off the tongue better. PBR loves the slogan, and he's certain that Tom will love seeing him on the big screen soon. Tom is surprised that PBR is involved in so many projects. PBR summarizes his forays into music, radio, and film with his new personal slogan: “I got it going on, bro.” Trent L. Strauss is about to start shooting a movie in Philadelphia, and he’s looking for some great unknown talent in the Delaware Valley. The film is a remake of M. Night Shamiliananan's The Sixth Sense called The Sick Sense. The storyline involves a hott aerobics instructor who is too stacked to fit into normal clothes. As a result, she wears leotards and has the ability to sense when there's gonna be incredibly grotesque murders. The slogan: “I see slashins.” PBR says the poster depicts a guy getting his head squeezed in the crack in the liberty bell. Tom thinks it sounds really stupid, i.e., classic TLS.
Roy, Jr. has PBR on a "health tonic" so he can go all out for the audition. PBR says the concoction, which tastes kinda like Diet Mr. Pibb with lemon and lettuce, is supposed to make him more intimidating and menacing. It appears to be working because he feels like he could pound anyone. However, one of the side effects is that his skin turned plaid. Since he's always in a rage, Rhoda put him in a cage suitable for a Great Dame two days ago. Tom thinks that PBR sounds very relaxed, and PBR says he's also doing some other stuff that Roy, Jr. gave him to balance things out. PBR has to go because Roy, Jr. is coming to clean his cage. He growls and hangs up. Tom is impressed by PBR's newfound entrepreneurial spirit, but he guarantees that all of his new ventures will fall through.
- Tom resumes (starts at 1:21) the Griiiindhouse-inspired Come On, Guys topic with his 898th rebuke of Kevin Smith. Tom read about Red State (what a surprise -- Smith posted a response), Smith's first foray into horror cinema. Tom thought he already made seven horror films. Smith's mewes for the film is Fred Phelps, Sr., a lunatic preacher who heads the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Smith thinks the notion of using a Phelps-like character as a villain will allow him to dig deep and explore societal issues in a big way. Tom thinks that sounds like a great horror movie. Tom never thought he'd say it, but he would prefer another round with Smith's roster of dumb characters. Tom is certain that after Red State sinks into the turlet, Jay and Silent Bob will strike back.
- Sam calls (starts at 1:23) to give some additional information on Fred Phelps, Sr. He mentions that Phelps is a character in The Laramie Project, a play and HBO movie that document the aftermath of the Matthew Shepard murder in Laramie, Wyoming. Sam confirms that Phelps is off his rocker for beliefs such as the notion that the 9/11 attack was God's method of punishing America for not sufficiently hating homosexuals. God also hates Sweden! Tom thinks we can all agree that Phelps is a horrible person. He also thinks that Dogma was Smith’s best horror film.
Boring Owen calls (starts at 1:25) with about the same amount of energy displayed by Harrison Ford in an EPK. Tom wants to know if he deliberately dials it down before he dials the show. Boring Owen says that the depressing nickname makes him drowsy, so Tom deletes the Boring from his name. Owen proposes an angrier alternative to Come On, Guys: Oh, Shut Up. He's compelled to yell this phrase after listening to 18 seconds of Lucinda Williams and the repeated choruses of other alt-country songs. Owen would also tell Kevin Smith to shut up. Tom thinks Owen is on track to redeeming himself.
- Brian checks in (starts at 1:27) from wintry-but-not-flooded Oregon to say he's glad that Tom is feeling better. He hopes that there is truth in the old saying about how the bad experiences that don't kill you ultimately make you stronger. Tom thinks it might be true, although it might make you a little weaker. Brian says Come On, Guys to people who attach SPOILERS to the trunks of their Honda Civics. He doesn't think small passenger vehicles require the added stability gained by using these devices.
- Jenna calls (starts at 1:29) to tell a funny, family-friendly joke:
Q. What do you call cheese that’s not yours?
A. Nacho cheese.
Tom inquires about the whereabouts of the funny joke and GOMPs her for trying to start an unauthorized Joke Zone segment with nursery school silliness. The bottom line: Tom hates jokes. He was recently perusing a Milton Berle joke book containing 10,000 supposed gems from his archives. Tom says that most of the "jokes", which were arranged by subject matter for easy reference, were just statements. The book contained seven woefully-dated statements about robots. In another statement, a mother complained that her son no longer called, wrote letters, or sent her faxes. Tom puts Milton Berle in the Unfunny Hall of Fame for being the Carlos Mencia of the 1950s. I'm also not a big fan of joke books, but I wouldn't mind having a good and thorough Orny Adams anthology.
- Rainer in Everett, Washington, calls (starts at 1:32) to issue a COG to radio stations that set up a tarp and saturate the sonic environment at used car lots and other shopping areas. Tom hears him, but he also feels bad for the DJ assigned the task of passing out t-shirts and coozies at the car lot. Tom GOMPs Rainer for using the term "plastic crap" to describe the multitude of items that this unlucky DJ could be forced to distribute. Tom’s like a viper -- he can turn on you at the drop of a hat. WROY is apparently planning several live remotes across the Delware Valley in the next few months. In addition to handing out free Wawa Records swag, Roy, Jr. will conduct meth lab demonstrations and PBR will teach people to do The Bristol Stomp.
- Tom vows (starts at 1:34) to do everything in his power to fight the urge to listen to the Kevin Smith SModcast. He wants to eliminate the profane blattherings of the hockey-jersey-clad filmmaker from his future. Tom says Come On, Guys to people who walk around looking like Jeff Beukeboom, draping themselves in a XXXXXL shirt (a "muumuu with a number on it," per Mike the Associate Producer) that flows down to their ankles. Tom says he would have more respect for these people if they just went all the way with it and applied buttons to a blanket. You wake up in the morning, wrap yourself in your blanket, button it up, put shoes on, and walk out the door.
- Since the Come On, Guys topic is stalled on the runway, Tom dips into his mailbag (starts at 1:57) and plucks out an envelope with no return address. There's just a name in the top corner: Blue Willie. Tom fears that it may be an act of bio-terror, but the envelope contains no anthrax. It does contain a sic (and old-fashioned racist) letter written on 4" x 6" notebook paper:
I herd you ain't feelin' to cool. Wishing you a miraculous heelin'. We shure miss da show, me, Peaches, and Lil' Chittlin loves to huddle round da radio in da kitchen. We laffs and laffs and laffs. Youse always gotsk a job with Ace Organization should the station not takes you back. Dat goes for dat British cat Jason to. I suppose to go on Imus show but he ain't gotsk no show no mo. Maybe I can visit youse show. Youse a real homeboy, Chommy.
(UPDATE: WFAN fired Bernard McGuirk late last week after a Media Matters operative fingered him as the co-author of the above letter.)
- Dave from Knoxville calls (starts at 2:02) to apologize for missing the marathon. He promises to make it up to Tom by donating some money to WFMU in memory of the kidney stone. Dave has had a stone, so he joins Tom in a new subset of the Friends of Tom collective called the Enemies of Kidney Stones. Dave is using The Best Show as fuel to keep going as he tries to plan an academic presentation that he will give on Thursday in Music City. He disputes the notion that the show is tilting towards an "L". Tom asks Dave about the current Supercaller roster. Dave's not sure if there's one, two, three, or 80 Supercallers, so Tom tells him that there is only one: Paycheck in Toronto. And now there are two: Dave from Knoxville becomes the first American Supercaller Wow! Dave is knocked out by having cart lunch to call whenever he wants about any topic. The distinction is also transferable to his family members. Tom asks Dave if the South will rise again, and Dave says he hopes not. He's been trying to escape the South his entire life, so the region's resurrection is about the worst turn of events he could imagine. Tom wants to know how many Rossington-Collins Band concerts Dave's attended, but he hasn't even heard of the Lynyrd Skynyrd offshoot. Dave says he was unable to attend a recent Yo La Tengo show because his teacher's salary doesn't allow for much extra-curricular spending. His supercall provides a shot of bee pollen into Tom's arm.
- Tom discusses (starts at 2:08) the two theatrical moviefilms he saw during his hiatus: Blades of Glory and Griiiiiindhouse. He thought the ice laffer got the job done, even if it won't be cited on any of the participants' tombstones. Will Ferrell strapped the vehicle to his back and took it over the comedy hump. I'm glad Will finally had a hit. Dude's gotta pay the rent. Tom was less pleased with the Griiiiiindhouse double feature, having already issued a COG to Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodgriguez, who appeared to be slumming it based on the trailer. He puts the film on his list of top 10 worst moviegoing experiences and commends America for its rare show of taste in rejecting Griiiiiindhouse. Tom is worse than America because he paid to see the film. Score one for the slobs! Tom could only locate eight good minutes in its bloated, 191-minute running time. It wasn't even fun bad. It was bad bad. Tom did find Rodriguez's Planet Terror somewhat successful because he aimed low and hit his target -- a gory, gross, hunk of garbage.
- Jess from The Shamblers calls (starts at 2:11) to say that she had enough sense to stay away from Griiiiiindhouse. Tom gets a bit upset at the dig, but he thanks Jess for the nice e-mail she sent him while he was sick. Jess tries and succeeds at being a kind person. Jess knew that Griiiiiindhouse was bad news from seeing Rose McGowan's makeshift leg artillery. Tom points out that it took forever for Cherry Darling to get the gun attached to her stump, and then when she did, he realized that he'd already seen it in every trailer. Jess puts QT and RR in the same category as Kevin Smith. The directors are going down on the Good List and up on the Bad List.
She also has a Come On, Guys for the USPS because she's receiving mail that's been torn, and half of it is misdelivered. Jess fears that she is not getting all of her bills. She thinks the whole system is flawed -- from the sorting at her post office branch to her specific mail carrier. Her taxes got sent back to her accountants because the USPS claimed that she moved and didn't change her address. This claim was false. Jess was able to send the tax forms back in time, so she's clear with the Feds. Sounds like somebody at Shamblers HQ crossed Keith Garfinkle! The same thing happened to me a few months ago -- all my stroke books and vitamin supplements were diverted to some P.O. box in North Westbridge -- so I had to call the Edmond T. Garfinkle">PG to straighten things out. Jess alerts Tom to a package she sent him. I bet he'll enjoy it more than the Blue Willie missive.
- Eric from fancy Somerville calls (starts at 2:14) to give a COG to people who spread false information about news events such as the Virginia Tech tragedy and a recent bank robbery. Tom gets sad and loses his momentum after this call.
- Tom was exhausted after Planet Terror, but he was only halfway done. The fake trailers served as a brief intermission. Tom thought they were a whole lotta who cares aside from Edgar Wright's Don't. Tom did like the use of the original Coming Attractions and Feature Presentation introduction clips, proving that QT and RR managed to successfully purchase an old film reel. He gives RR a Come On, Guy for focusing on the low budget of his films instead of their quality. Tom doesn't care because he's not employed as RR's accountant and still has to pay $10 regardless of whether the film cost $19 million or $199 million. Exhibitors have been completely unwilling to offer $3 discount tickets due to RR's frugal, homebrewed approach to filmmaking. Tom wasn't impressed by RR's horrible CGI, and he predicts that 10 years from now Planet Terror will become the special effects equivalent of those clips of some kind of aircraft flying over a computerized valley or the primitive Tron.
Prior to Death Proof Tom noticed that several people exited the theater. He disputes the excuse that some people were unaware that they had paid for a double feature. Tom is certain that people grasp the concept of going to the movies and remaining in their seat until it's over. He puts a different spin on these early departures: they had enough. They were fleeing the theater. Tom thought Planet Terror was bad, but, oh brother, Death Proof was worse. He didn't care for the pace of the picture. The film started with 50 minutes of people talking, took a break for a four-minute kill scene, went back to 25 minutes of talking, and concluded with a good five-minute car chase and a really boring car chase. Tom is glad that QT was able to pay tribute to griiiindhouse classics like My Dinner With Andre. He agrees with his friend Phil, who commented that if RR and QT had any guts, they would have released the features as standalone works instead of insulating them by applying the "griiiindhouse" asterisk. Tom's had it with asterisks. He got stuck with one the other day, and he didn't like it. Tom is not an animule. He is not Barry Bonds. Tom was bored by the incessant pop culture chattering of Death Proof's unlikable characters, making it largely indistinguishable from a View Askew production.
Tom did find one positive development in Griiiindhouse: QT's much-anticipated return to screen acting. He had roles in both features, and Tom welcomed the opportunity to have debates about whether the worst example of the profession was QT's performance as an Ava Gardner-obsessed cretin in Planet Terror or QT's performance as a bartender in Death Proof. He also rejects the oft-cited "girl power" undercurrent to the films. Tom didn't think it was particularly empowering to leave a young girl clad in a cheerlead outfit to get sexually molested by a hillbilly so her trio of friends could go for a spin.
- Don Imus calls (starts at 2:24) to say "howdy" and agree that Griiiindhouse was not so great. He got tired of the cute, digital gimmicks RR used to degrade the film stock. Tom got mad at that, too, but he also got mad at QT for abandoning the grain and scratches halfway through his film. Don and Tom agree that the four boring characters who died in the first half of Death Proof were replaced by four more boring characters in the second half.
- A caller expresses (starts at 2:26) disbelief at Tom's failure to enjoy Griiiindhouse, especially Planet Terror. He thought RR's effort was a hilarious laff riot. Despite not drinking until after the screening, he and his friend hooted and hollored for its entire running time. Tom tells the caller that he is completely wrong. The caller wants Tom to back up his argument with some content. Tom says that RR pulled out all the stops to make the worst movie he could. The caller embraces this approach, suggesting that it was an effective send-up of the horror genre. He wants to view the film again so he can takes notes. Tom wishes him good luck in finding it. Tom starts to make a Best Show analogy, but he pauses to GOMP the caller for daring to compare him to the wit of quip-happy Robert Benchley instead of a legit funnyman. Tom says that Griiiindhouse would be like him climbing down from the Everest-like heights of The Best Show to pay tribute to the crazed guy in the dunk tank cage because he thought that was funny when he was nine years old. Tom would throw out everything he's ever learned about anything just so he could replicate his childhood hero, who, in retrospect, was terrible. Tom will no do this.
- Colleen from Brooklyn calls (starts at 2:29) to say she loved Griiiindhouse. She assures Tom that she was not drunk or high while watching the film on a Sunday afternoon. Colleen admits to being "bored to tears" with the extended dialogue sequences in Death Proof, so Tom begins to doubt that she really loved the film. She says the ending and Kurt Russell's awesomeness made up for all of the dull rapping. Tom thinks Russell should be ashamed of himself for appearing in the film. He agrees that the initial chase with Zoe Bell (the lone bright spot for Tom) strapped to the hood of the car was great, but then it devolved into 20 minutes of boring roadwork as Stuntman Mike apparently forgot that his vehicle possessed the film's titular enhancements. Tom thinks that Stuntman Mike should have used his car to ram the girls' regular car instead of whimpering alongside of them. Colleen argues that these kinds of plot inconsistencies are in line with the griiiindhouse tradition. Tom laments that QT no longer absorbs his influences and weaves them into something different. Now he just weaves them into something (a cinematic hockey jersey?) he puts his name on. Colleen thinks Tom may have been predisposed to hate the film due to his COG atttitude. Tom doesn't dispute it, but he reminds her that he sat there for all three hours.
Colleen says that Griiiindhouse delivered the same jolt of entertainment that she gets from MST3K and a million other B-movie trifles she's enjoyed in the past. Tom's glad she had fun seeing a deliberately crappy movie. She wishes that Tom could have fun, too. Colleen thought Rose McGowan was awesome at being a bad-ass heroine in Planet Terror. Tom thought she was awesome at being an awesomely-bad actress. Colleen was less enthused by McGowan's turn in Death Proof, and she didn't understand why she appeared in it. Tom explains that she was in it because it's griiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiindhouse. No rules! Anything goes! Tom thinks QT has gone nuts, and he hopes he goes bankrupt from the financial losses of Floooophouse. Tom also has some bad news for Mr. Rodriguez: he will not be making a feature-length version of his Machete trailer. Colleen also liked the Don't trailer, but she didn't like Rob Zombie's Werewolf Women of the SS that much. Tom is surprised that she doesn't consider Zombie (aka the Gen-Y Orson Welles) to be a great director. He thinks it's time to send Zombie packing and points out that only 15-year-olds (Roy, Jr.?) enjoy his work.
- Swisss Misss makes (starts at 2:34) her debut call after some prompting by the FOT Chat. She tells Tom that she's a huge, longtime fan of the show, which helps her as she battles several illnesses. She saw Griiiindhouse in its opening weekend, and despite having fibromyalgia, which makes it difficult to sit in one place for three hours, she had a smile on her face for the entire film. Since Swisss Misss had so much fun with it, Tom thinks he might be wrong on Griiiindhuis. Swisss Misss says that Tom's expectations might have been too high. Tom says he went into it expecting something entertaining and creative, but he just got a really long junky movie. Swisss Misss agrees about Death Proof's excessive length, and even she can't imagine the longer cut that is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. She says that the females in the audience really enjoyed the beatdown finale and Kurt Russell's amusing transformation into a scared wimp. Tom wishes he could have enjoyed the film instead of feeling like he was getting knocked around in the passenger seat of the death proof car for three hours. Swisss Misss also points out that McGowan's striptease at the beginning of Planet Terror had enough juice to turn any straight woman into a lesbian. Tom was offended by the scene, and he almost complained to the theater manager about the preverted content. Swisss Misss concludes by noting that Grindhouse makes it abundantly clear that QT Loves Ladies. Tom likes Swisss Misss. Who doesn't? 5-STAR A WISH FOR SWISS MISS!!!!
- Willis from Bayonne calls (starts at 2:38) to say that he's glad that Tom is doing better. He got word that Tom was in bad shape, and he panicked. Willis also mentions that he saw a billboard for Groundhouse. He says he just returned from Outer Guacamola with a homeopathic remedy for kidney stones: a barium enema. He claims that when used with a few leeches, it will blast them "homeopathic hemoglobins" right to hell. Tom compares the character skills of the man behind "Willis" to the great Peter Sellers. Willis has to return to the stage for a gig, and he requests that Tom put the Wurlitzizer guy back on for a while because he has to go down below and "pump out the bills". He tells Tom to have his secretary call his secretary to arrange for a lunch meeting. Willis signs off by calling Tom a "down boy". I guess Willis is a Warrant fan. Tom's not sure how this guy does it. He thinks he's like Mike Myers, and by that he means horribly unfunny. Oh, Tom.
Tom was so turned off by Death Proof that he's ready to re-evaluate the entire QT oeuvre. He thinks he might have been bamboozled 15 years ago into thinking Reservoir Dogs was a good film. Tom is ready to retroactively revoke stuff from QT. Tom is less conflicted when it comes to Rodriguez because he knows that he will never make a good movie. In the case of Once Upon A Time In Mexico, RR did everything and it was all terrible. Tom says that OUATIM would be like if he cooked a bunch of food for paying diners despite having zero cooking skills. It would cost the same amount as food cooked by an experienced chef. The bottom line: Quentin Tarantino made a Kevin Smith car movie: Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed talking for 40 minutes about other movies. Tom calls QT out for the KS move of referencing the movie he's about to rip off.
After three weeks of N/A, The Kid gets a much-needed W in his dramatic return.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Quentin Tarantino checks in to discuss the Oscar buzz surrounding his performance as RAPIST #1 in Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror and chat about some upcoming projects, alright:
1. An homage to Italian neorealism called The One and Olmi, But Not From Olney (Spring 2014)
2. Foot: The Movie ("Warm and mandatory," per Viority)
3. The bio-pic Jefferson starring Tracey Morgan (multiple roles), Jack McBrayer, Michael Parks (multiple roles), Misty Mundae, Alan Garkel, and QT as Aaron Burr. Claymation sex scenes! Christmas 2008!
4. The TLS/Christopher Moltisanti co-production of an untitled "extreme" pot thriller. The titles being discussed include The Sacred and the Propane, The Dark Crusaders, and Dirty Rutager, Crazy Werner. Tagline: "Get crippled this summer!"
5. Goner In 60 Seconds. A supercharged 1970 Dodge Challenger racing through Memphis. The driver? Andrew Earles. Henry Owings from Chunkgoria rides shotgun. Jay Lindsay and Elvis Presley (Val Kilmer) are holding things down in the back. Alicja Trout desperately clings to the car's hood while wielding a Whirlyball scoop to repel their pursuer: Madman Mick Collins, ramming into them with his custom-built Orange County Chopper. Featuring a soundtrack of wham-bam, zoom-boom wake-up music from the likes of the Gore Gore Girls, Big Mama Thornton, and I-ron's Reggae Challenge.
And Wayne Skylar as FU MANCHU!
Since it exceeded expectations at the box office, the Weinsteins are reportedly ready to roll the thunder on Grindhouse 2. Rodriguez will sit this one out so he can work on his new family film, Spy Kids 4: We're Getting A Divorce!. He'll be replaced by the Broken Lizard troupe's "nunsploitation" comedy called 7*7*7*7*7*7*7* Deadly Sins. Expect faux trailers from Mike Leigh, Takashi Miike, and Nancy Meyers.
Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Rock is dead. Long live Tom.