Ryan Welton

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Category Archives: television

SiriusXM’s Johnny Carson channel is the best thing they’ve created in years

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I’m a devotee of all-things SiriusXM, and even if I were considering dropping the subscription ($44.99 for two vehicles), my mind would have been changed at the beginning of October.

That’s when the Johnny Carson channel debuted on SiriusXM 105.

They’re playing 1970s and 1980s episodes of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for the entire month. We’re talking monologue, guests, comedians, the whole enchilada — 90 minutes in the ’70s, the greatest era of Carson.

It’s a joy.

I find myself listening to the interviews as if both Carson and the interviewee were still alive. Much of the time, neither are. Tim Conway told a story about being a Little League dad, and I sighed when I realized that Tim’s grown kids are likely older than I.

But also, it was much less politically correct back in the day. Carson every once in a while would say things that I don’t think folks could get away with in 2019.

I remember my folks watching Carson most every night, at least during the 70s. During the pre-cable era, that’s all that was on aside from a late movie.

Of course, as with many SiriusXM specialty channels, this one ends come Nov. 1. I sure wish they’d reconsider. I could listen to Johnny for hours upon hours. Such terrific nostalgia.

Big Brother 20: Tyler has been saved; Bayleigh blindsided in more ways than one

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If you’ve been watching Big Brother all season, you know that South Carolina native Tyler Crispen has been this year’s puppet-master although he’s infinitely more likable than Paul Abrahamian. Tyler’s like some 1970s teen-heartthrob throwback. He might also be the fourth Hanson brother.

And if not for what happened Monday, he might have been going home Thursday.

But I’ve got good news for you: Tyler Crispen is here to stay. For now.

I don’t typically look ahead in the Big Brother game. I wait for the television episodes to take me where they will. However, upon seeing Tyler get nominated as part of the Hacker @comp that Haleigh won, I knew I couldn’t wait until Wednesday.

I had to peek.

Angela won the veto, and tonight she pulled Tyler off.

And then Angela, who like Tyler is from Hilton Head, nominated Bayleigh for eviction, sitting alongside Rockstar.

So, let’s back up for a second.

Angela had won HoH and decided on Scottie and Rockstar for nomination, and part of the beauty of that move was that it kept Bayleigh placated. Bayleigh has a power app called ‘Identity Theft’ that will allow her, until there are eight people left in the game, to hijack the nominations and put up anybody she wants.

All along, Angela’s idea has been to backdoor Bayleigh. Angela’s nominations were innocent enough, in Bayleigh’s eyes, to keep her from using her power app. It lulled her to sleep.

And might usher her out the door.

I know I’ve given away a lot here, well, unless you’re already on Twitter or the live feeds. Then you know, too. And you might have heard that Bayleigh thinks she’s pregnant. There’s talk that she asked production for Plan B after a night with Swaggy C, and talk that she believes she’s with child. It stemmed from a dream, apparently.

That’s got to freak her suburban family the heck out.

Anyway, I’ll leave it at that, ready to watch an action-packed Wednesday night and then watch the houseguests send Bayleigh to the jury house Thursday night.

It could be a ‘double-eviction’ night, if you know what I mean.

In all seriousness though, what in the heck!?

Big Brother 20 is Sam Bledsoe’s, Tyler Crispen’s game to lose

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What a difference a few weeks make. In Week 1, Big Brother 20’s Sam was the country girl we all felt sorry for in robot form, and by Week 4, she’s turned into a powerhouse.

Love her.

This blog post does not contain spoilers past the eviction of July 26, which means I and many readers have no idea who won the Head of Household. Let’s not spoil it for each other, pretty please. And if you’re not caught up through Thursday, July 26, stop reading now!

Kristi and I fell way behind because of vacations and work and, well, just life. My ideal Big Brother viewing experience is to be caught up with the HOH proceedings on Thursday night and then start in with the live feeds on Friday. I wouldn’t watch all the time; I’d just pop in from home while cleaning house or catching up on bills.

When I used to blog about Big Brother more regularly, I’d be up at 2 or 3 in the morning watching the feeds, and I quickly realized that it wasn’t a habit compatible with professional goals and my old-man lifestyle. I’m definitely an early-to-bed, early-to-rise sort of dude.

Alas, there are no feeds for me as of the moment. Just can’t find the time and the right spot in the show’s proceedings to do it.

Have I rambled enough to keep the spoilers away?

Good.

It was truly a cringe-inducing moment to watch Kaitlyn struggle with the challenge Thursday night. She had 2.5 minutes to put the puzzle back together after her eviction, an insta-opportunity to return to the house. However, I think she went way too quickly. She should have slowed down and paid more attention to how the pieces fit together.

It was for the “highest good.” Hehe.

In my opinion, #BB20 Tyler has played the best pure Big Brother game so far, by a mile. #BB20 Sam has come on strong after a near-miss Week 1, but she ruffled feathers with her speech directed toward Kaitlyn and Haleigh, and by putting up Rockstar. It pained me to see Sam attempt to put up #BB20 J.C. Thursday night. I was like, “What are you thinking?”

But back to Sam’s nomination speech. Here it is, below, as part of a compilation video that also shows Kaitlyn’s and Haleigh’s reactions:

I think America and especially red-state middle America probably loves the welder from Virginia. In her nomination speech, she railed against Kaitlyn and Haleigh and how they treat the “young men” of the house. She also spoke of true female empowerment and how neither one of them symbolized it.

And then 15 minutes later, we see Sam with Faysal all over her in the HOH room.

Is Sam’s nomination speech one of the best ever? Here’s another compilation clip from YouTube showing some of the best Big Brother speeches ever. Will Kirby’s is one of my all-time favorites from #BB7.

Oh, and don’t forget Andrew’s speech from #BB12I had forgotten that one.

Back to Big Brother 20:
Sam is playing the game, and she’s doing it with a personality I can’t remember in the Big Brother house — a fiercely independent conservative woman. I just presume the conservative part because of her proclamations of being old-fashioned and that thick Appalachian accent.

And make no mistake: I love her as a player. She’s refreshing.

Tyler has played more of the classic social-game-first strategy. Kristi put it best last night when she said Tyler’s genius is that his attempts to play dumb genuinely come off as an ability to listen well.

She nailed it.

There’s a third player who I think is doing really well and has a chance to win the whole enchilada: Scottie. Having grown up as a nerd, I can attest to being underrated over the years athletically and socially. I’m old now, so I’m merely slow and stubborn. And I doubt I was ever nearly as athletic as Scottie, who has proven himself to be fleet of foot and able to endure.

Quick side note: Sam’s HOH win after the Week 3 eviction reminded me a ton of Evel Dick’s Final 3 win in the rain. His victory in #BB8 was the most powerful competition win in the show’s history, in my opinion. Such grit. However, Sam’s win atop the logs last week impressed me greatly.

Except that Evel Dick *didn’t* win that endurance competition! I had forgotten that. I thought he had. He won the whole of the multi-part competition that netted him the victory. Anyway, the Big Brother endurance competitions are no joke.

Here’s Evel Dick from a few years back in that Final 3 HOH competition:

I digress. Back to Big Brother 20:
Maybe Sam is onto something in her proclamations about female empowerment because, at a brand level, I’m perceiving her to be very empowered, very independent and powerful — and as a viewer, it’s fun to watch.

If I were predicting the future right this second, which might not be so much a prediction as intution (h/t, Kaitlyn), I’d predict that Sam, J.C. and Tyler make it to the Final 3 and that Sam wins the last HOH and takes J.C. to the Final 2. That’s just playing out in my head.

#BB20 J.C. is not a strong player, in my opinion. He’s floating around on charisma and cuteness, although those could be strategies, too. His conversation with Baylee was painful to watch, not just because of what he said but because he’s not very good with language. Heck, I don’t even mean the English part of it, although the whole ‘yatus’ thing was a hoot.

And yet he’s still very likable.

We’ll see. I think this is Sam and Tyler’s game to lose. And I have to think there is no way Swaggy C isn’t coming back to Big Brother, some how some way. He might have annoyed you, but he was pretty good television.

Here’s who I think will be in the Celebrity Big Brother (U.S.) house

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What if I told you that I knew who was going to be in the Celebrity Big Brother house come February 7 on CBS? I’d be a liar, that’s what.

However, there is enough information and gossip out there to make an educated guess as to who will be starring in this first celebrity edition of the hit CBS show stateside. Celebrity Big Brother U.S. gets going on February 7 and will run through February 25, concurrently with the Winter Olympics.

It’s possible that the houseguests will be revealed Sunday night on or after the GRAMMYs, also on CBS. Typically, CBS reveals the Big Brother cast about a week to 10 days before the show.

As for the strongest rumors and speculation, and the biggest name, how about Lindsay Lohan? A recent appearance on the Wendy Williams show combined with her mother’s previous dalliances with Celebrity Big Brother U.K. have the former Disney starlet a popular choice to be one of the ten house guests.

And, yes, by all accounts, it looks like there will only be 10 house guests. See below:

The show’s run will only be three weeks, so that’s seven eliminations in about 15 days, I would imagine.

Other big names I’ve seen include Gary Busey, Dennis Rodman and Tonya Harding. The latter has been a particularly hot name among speculative types given that host Julie Chen promised both actors and athletes. Harding is riding quite the wave of ironic popularity these days with the Oscar-nominated movie, “I, Tonya,” which tells the story of the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan brouhaha from the early 90s, from Harding’s perspective.

However, most are not expecting more than one or two big names in the inaugural U.S. version of Celebrity Big Brother. First, it’s been widely reported that CBB Season 1 doesn’t exactly come with a big budget. Second, it’s been reported that casting producers have had a difficult time finding celebrities willing to join the cast.

I think after a season or two of this, that will change. Celebrity Big Brother is huge in the U.K., and I think it could do very well here in the States.

Another hot name in the rumor mill is Blac Chyna. While I’m a huge fan of all-things Big Brother, I’m not exactly on the cusp of all-things celebrity gossip. I’ve heard of Blac Chyna, but I had to look her up to have any clue as to who she is. Best I can tell, she’s loosely tied to the Kardashians via Rob and that she used to be a stripper. Great.

One article I stumbled upon noted that two-time Big Brother runner-up Paul Abrahamian was seen at a Lakers game recently with Mr. Belding from “Saved By The Bell,” Dennis Haskins. Not kidding. How great would it be if Haskins and Dustin Diamond (“Screech”) were both in the house? So awkward.

A pure cross-promotional hunch from me, but I suspect we could see Sharon Osbourne in the house. Osbourne is one of Chen’s desk-mates on “The Talk,” the daily talk show on CBS. Also, I wouldn’t be shocked if James Corden were part of the cast. I’m debating in my brain how that would work exactly with his talk show. Perhaps he could go on hiatus for a couple weeks.

Other possible house guests I’ve read about include transgender personality Gigi Gorgeous, Dr. Matt Iseman, MTV personality Johnny Bananas, Dog The Bounty Hunter’s wife, Beth, and Lance Bass. I’ll have to Wikipedia three of those five. You can guess which two I’ve heard of.

So, based on everything I’ve seen so far, here’s my predicted 10 house guests:

Lindsay Lohan
Tonya Harding
Blac Chyna
Sharon Osbourne
Beth Chapman (from “Dog The Bounty Hunter”)
Dennis Haskins
Lance Bass
Gigi Gorgeous
Dr. Matt Iseman
Johnny Bananas (from MTV)

We’ll find out soon enough, and then everybody’s favorite summer addiction will be everybody’s favorite winter pastime, at least for 18 days. If you’re a Big Brother nerd like me, give me a follow here. I’ll write about the series during its Celebrity run and then again this summer once our usual shenanigans begin.

 

 

Mary Tyler Moore statue nowhere to be found in Minneapolis

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I’m fortunate to be able to travel some for work, and last summer I had a conference in St. Paul, Minnesota. So, I spent the weekend prior to that event in Minneapolis, two months after Prince died.

Big fan of Prince, but I figured out early on that Paisley Park was a bit out of the way for this tourist. Besides, with limited time on my hands, I wanted to explore all I could in downtown Minneapolis and see Mary.

That’s right. I’m talking about the famed Mary Tyler Moore statue somewhere in downtown Minneapolis. It’s the one where she’s tossing her hat into the air, just as she did in the opening credits to her iconic 1970s television series, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

However, the city apparently had decided to move the statue indoors, and while it was possible to see it, it was damned near impossible to find it. Trust me. I walked across every street in downtown Minneapolis the third weekend of June last year. It was muggy and hot, and I even went to a baseball game.

target-field-minneapolis

Enjoyed getting to see Target Field although all the concrete and metal combined with the lack of ballpark shade at 1 p.m. made the experience super uncomfortable because it was a billion degrees. I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed a night game there or to see the Twins in April or September.

And I enjoyed the hotel where I stayed, the W Minneapolis – The Foshay. Very posh and pink, at least in the lobby.

w-minneapolis-the-foshay

The staff was extraordinarily helpful and courteous, and whoever programs their lobby music introduced me to a bunch of new artists I had never heard before. Plus, there is a bar called The Prohibition Bar at the top of the hotel where they serve 1920s-era cocktails. I had one drink, and it put me to sleep.

I’m 46. My party days are long past.

But I love good food and first experiences at great restaurants. For example, one of our business dinners was at the Butcher & The Boar, and dare I say it had better Southern cuisine than I can find in Oklahoma. Not that we’re true South, but c’mon. This is Minnesota!

Alas, my favorite foodie find was the best French Toast I have ever had and probably ever will have. It was the Cinnamon French Toast at the Keys Cafe, which happened to be right next to my hotel. Of course, I snapped a photo of it. The waiter even told me in advance that I’d want that keepsake. It was that good.

minneapolis-keys-cafe

OMG.

But it was after this feast that I went on my quest to find the Mary Tyler Moore statue. All I wanted was a photo of it and to say I had seen it. As a fan of 1970s culture and as somebody who worked for eight years in a television newsroom, I loved the Mary Tyler Moore Show. My sleuthing led me to Nicollet Mall, a shopping district that looked like merely a street and definitely not like a mall. Add unto all of this that Minneapolis was disassembling and reconstructing every sidewalk and street throughout the downtown area, and I was never able to figure out where the statue resided.

Most of Minneapolis downtown was pretty much abandoned the entire weekend, surprising because the weather was nice but not so surprising given all the construction. Of course, that’s not to say downtown Minneapolis wasn’t delightful. Just under construction with no sign of Mary.

This website indicates that the city decided to put the statue in storage.

Hoping the recent death of Mary Tyler Moore and the outpouring of love for her helps the city understand the significance of her and her TV character on Minneapolis. I guarantee I’m not the only person who’s visited Minneapolis in the past year, who hoped to see the statue but who left without getting to do so.

As a footnote, because I’m a musician, I took a few minutes this Saturday morning and did a quick cover of the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Written by Sonny Curtis, this is “Love Is All Around.”

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