It practically gallops!

Meta Guy

While preparing to interview comedian Mark Normand on the Classic Hits 93.1 Comedy Couch, I read two other interviews he did. One was on Laughspin, the other on America’s Comedy.

I leaned that Mark, like me, was influenced by the Marx Brothers. I was also interested in his thoughts on indie vs. mainstream comedy. He addresses those topics in our conversation. We talked a little about Bob Hope too. I mentioned visiting the Library of Congress exhibit about his joke catalog.

Mark Normand was recently on Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central’s The Half Hour. He is headlining at Side Splitters Comedy Club this weekend.


Bat Diamond

 Today was Batman Day, which celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Caped Crusader. While most of the attention is on the 1939 debut of the comic books, I enjoy reading about the 1966 TV series.

The big news for TV Bat-fans is the upcoming release of Batman on DVD. The Blu-ray edition costs $269.97 on Amazon. The regular DVD costs $179.74. Rather than owning a collection of discs, I would rather watch the episodes via Amazon Instant Video or Xfinity On Demand.


The World is Watching

Dr. Bill Bass provided some expert analysis when WBIR reporter Jim Matheny interviewed him about the victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

While watching news coverage at home, Dr. Bass noticed mistakes being made by the recovery team in the Ukraine. He told Matheny, “You hate to see people with hands full of passports. Those passports should still be on the bodies so you can identify them later.”

You can watch Matheny’s report by clicking here.



A cluster of Kardashians has crowded its way into a calm community close to my cardiac muscle. A better title for Kourtney and Khloe Take The Hamptons might be Kourtney and Khloe Break The Hamptons. The entertainment news sites have published stories about various problems the sisters’ show has caused.

My sister said the Kardashians were in a rented house near where she and my mother are spending the summer. She told me to look for an article on 27East.com that gave the address. When I did, I was surprised that it was even closer than I had imagined.

Back in the 1950s, my grandparents and some of their siblings bought summer cottages in the then-affordable neighborhoods between Southampton and Sag Harbor. As a child in the ’60s, I spent almost every summer in Noyac. The Hamptons became fashionable and overpriced but are still a beautiful spot and one of my favorite places in the world.

There may be some good news. Dan Rattiner wrote that he recently spotted some middle-class people in the Hamptons. He was certainly not referring to the Kardashians.


Folly Ball

 Jean Ash, president of the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, asked me to take on an additional duty at the Front Page Follies. I read the descriptions of the auction items before Bear Stephenson sold them. There were ten auction packages. Some of the items were a tour of WBIR, a case of moonshine paired with Fee/Hedrick show tickets and memorabilia from the late Senator Howard Baker and the Baker Center for Public Policy.

 Robin Wilhoit of WBIR was this year’s honoree. Her co-anchor, John Becker, sat next to her. I snapped a picture of her table from the stage while Bear was selling one of the packages. The proceeds from the evening help fund journalism scholarships at UT and Pellissippi State.

After the auction, I went backstage to change into my first costume for the show. I put my phone away too. There wasn’t time to take any pictures during the show, however my wife took a picture of me during a rehearsal on Saturday afternoon at the Convention Center.


Previewing Bass Seminar

 Dr. Bill Bass has granted me about a dozen interviews, most of which were for the radio. On Friday, we recorded an interview for an upcoming broadcast on East Tennessee PBS. I’ll have more details about the show in the next few weeks.

We sat in front of a portion of the William M. Bass Donated Skeletal Collection, which is located in South Stadium Hall in Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee. I could see Gate 26 through the window as we talked. In most cases, a person’s bones are in one of the cardboard boxes, although I did notice an individual whose skeleton was divided into two boxes.


Gold Bond

 Steve Hytner played the part of a bad comedian on Seinfeld but he’s actually a very good comedian and actor. When he performs, he has the emcee acknowledge that “no matter what he does, he’s always remembered as Bania from Seinfeld.”

Steve is headlining at Side Splitters Comedy Club this weekend. I had the pleasure of interviewing him on the Classic Hits 93.1 Comedy Couch, although for a few minutes, he started interviewing me.

We talked about much more than just his famous role but Steve did mention that Kenny Bania was recently ranked 17th in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Best Seinfeld Characters.”

The Wizard of Oz radio play - April 17, 1998 - (left to right): Mary Oppermann, Tom Mazur, Lisa Boisse, Jess Harnell, Alan Young, Sandra Gould, Robert Goulet, Dwight Yoakam, Peter Scolari, Brian Phelps, Sheena Easton, Mark Thompson, Frank Murphy Steve said Bania is like Gladys Kravitz in some ways. We both had a mental block trying to think of either of the actresses who played Gladys. I was trying to remember that it was the late  Sandra Gould who appeared in one of the Mark & Brian radio plays that I directed. You can see her in the center of the cast photo, between Alan Young and the late Robert Goulet.


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