Thursday, March 17, 2005

A Couple Of Short Takes

It's been a rather quiet Wednesday, which coupled with the fact that I've currently got a raging headache means that I don't have much for you. There are a couple of interesting items though.

Apparently the people who gave us Dr. Who as a children's program are wimping out. Marmite is a thick brown substance, made from yeast extract, vegetable extract, celery extract and an assortment of added vitamins (pronounced with the short "i" sound if you please) that the health conscious British man and woman have on their toast in the morning. Well the British are well known for their distinctive breakfasts - the fry up smoked herring to eat in the morning too. The advertising slogan for Marmite is "You either love it or hate it." Marmite recently released two new commercials (click yes when asked if you are in the UK otherwise you can't see the one that is available online) which have caused a lot of controversy. According to a report from Reuters, the Marmite ads have been banned from children's programming in Britain because six people complained that their toddlers had been terrified by the ad - four of the children refused to watch the telly after seeing them and the other two had nightmares. Unilever Bestfoods, the manufacturer of Marmite were able to avoid an "ex-kids restriction" which would have kept the commercial from airing on shows like Pop Idol (the British original of American Idol and Canadian Idol) that attract younger viewers. While most commentators describe the ad as resembling the movie The Blob, to me it bears a greater resemblance to the "Blanc Mange" sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

The other interesting thing comes from the blog-like portion of Tom Snyder's Colortini.com. Skipping past his comments on Million Dollar Baby and Chris Rock at the Oscars, we come upon his comments on the departure of Dan Rather from the CBS News and Snyder's reaction to Walter Cronkite's comment that Rather should have been replaced by Bob Schieffer long ago. Snyder was not impressed saying that "Cronkite was a prima donna when he was anchoring the Evening News, and apparently as he aged has turned into a nasty old man." The fact is that the relationship between Rather and Cronkite was rarely good, particularly after Rather took over the anchor chair - Cronkite apparently thought that even though he was retired he should still have a major role at CBS News, and Rather basically cut him out of the loop starting with the 1984 presidential elections if not earlier.

The really interesting thing however is Snyder's comments on the trials of Michael Jackson and Robert Blake. Jackson gets a sentence, but Blake gets the rest of the paragraph. Robert Blake was a frequent guest on The Late Late Show With Tom Snyder. If you remember those appearances you'll recall that Blake was frequently a nut. Sorry, but there's no other way to put it. He come out, sit in the chair, usually with a cigarette in his mouth or hand although it was usually unlit, and ramble on about whatever Snyder prompted him on, whether it was the Our Gang movies, getting high with Steve McQueen, or Blake's personal life. If you ever saw these segments you'll remember that it was entertaining in the sort of way that watching two trains crash into each other can be entertaining in a horrible sort of way. On one memorable occasion (years before Bonny Lee Bakely ever crossed his path) Blake spent an entire twenty minute interview begging a woman with whom he'd recently been involved to come back with him. At the end of the segment I was praying that she would get very far away from him. I think Snyder probably agreed - in his blog he mentions discussing Blake with the crew on the show and everyone would comment about how angry Blake always seemed. Snyder concludes that while the evidence against Blake is all circumstantial, he thinks that Blake did it. If you saw those segments on The Late Late Show, you'd probably agree.

1 comment:

Sam said...

It's nice to see Mr. Snyder once again. I thought that once The Late, Late Show was over, we'd never see him again, so he's going on my blogroll. It does help that he actually started his career here in Savannah, to which I remember talking to a couple of old time broadcasters about Tom. Let's just say they were glad to see him go. (smirk)