“I love it in there. I drag it out, leisurely punching the names I want as if sipping whiskey in front of a fire.”— Sarah Vowell, on the pleasures of the voting booth,
in The Partly Cloudy Patriot
Really, can we vote people off the Capitol? Well, despite the rain and an avowed sense of apathy, I voted. I have to say, I did experience a slight pang of appreciation for the very peaceful (read: boring?), orderly, and democratic (no Florida jokes, please) process of voting. The area surrounding the ballot machine was kept clear. I went to insert my completed ballot, and when the person behind me in line didn’t see the “stop here” marker on the floor and thus continued to walk up behind me, the clerk said to him, “Step back. Confidentiality, you know.” Ah, the sanctity of the ballot box.
Adam suggests this would’ve made a great SNL sketch. I’d turn around, ballot in hand: “Best step back, yo. Don’ choo be steppin’ to me.” Ha. And we’d get Maya Rudolph in there as the ballot clerk, reprising her big-haired Jersey girl role (in which she previously played an airport security screener and post office clerk). But I digress.
Schlock box. Al Gore is scheduled to host Saturday Night Live on December 14. Yikes. (Well, I suppose some good can come of it, if Darrell Hammond gets to do his spot-on Gore impression: “In my plan…”) The WSJ‘s Opinion Journal makes the point that other politicians, including Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson, John McCain, and Bob Dole, have appeared on SNL. All ran for President in either 1988 or 2000. And all lost to one George Bush or another. Cue the Twilight Zone theme, thanks. (Speaking of Dubya, there’s a HBO documentary on tonight called Journeys with George. Critics seem to like it.) But I suppose McCain and Gore prove there isn’t an SNL curse. They had already lost their election with neither the help nor hindrance of the venerable but cracked-and-peeling institution that is Saturday Night Live. I tell you, hosting SNL just ain’t the gig it used to be. Of course I say this as if I have Lorne Michaels on speed dial.
Last weekend’s episode with Eric McCormack was just all right. It’s maddening to see a great actor like him in less-than-great (okay, I’ll say it: crappy) sketches. The “boobies” song? And what was with the bullhorn in the courtroom? There were brief glimmers of something approaching comedy in the Bachelor and “celebrity game” sketches. The American Morning/Paula Zahn thing was okay, but as one message-boarder suggested, it might have been funnier if they spoofed a more widely known program like the Today show. Oh well. I’m just happy Eric is getting more screen time.
In related W&G cast-member news, Sean Hayes stars as Jerry Lewis (and Jeremy Northam as Dean Martin) in the CBS TV-movie Martin and Lewis, airing Sunday, November 24. Unlikely casting, eh? Both are great actors, though, so I’m sure they can pull it off. (Oh, shush.) Here’s a cute pic.
More TV notes. Tonight, 24. I know, I should take in Buffy or Gilmore Girls as well. Tomorrow, CBS will pre-empt The Amazing Race with the Country Music Awards. Grr. Ah well, I’ll console myself with The West Wing. And make note of the special forty-minute episodes for this Thursday’s Must-See TV: Friends (8 p.m.), Will and Grace (8:40), and Scrubs (9:20). Take that, Good Morning, Miami!
Streaming at the top of my bandwidth. Thanks to Real’s CD Listening Parties page, I’ve been listening to OK Go a lot lately. Pretty good. And right now I’m playing Diana Krall’s Live in Paris. Fabulous. There’s a DVD of the concert, and it’s on my wish list. (Check out the blurb for Laura Pasini. “Italy’s Celine Dion”? Is that supposed to make me want to listen to her? Okay, fine, in the interest of fairness, I did listen to a few tracks. They’re right. It’s the same middle-of-the-road easy-listening drivel.)
I also checked out Hostage (directed by John Woo), the latest short film in The Hire series at BMW Films. Good stuff. I do like Clive Owen, and while it has a well-crafted, tightly wound plot (like most good short stories), they all feature BMW cars, here the Z4 Roadster. I want one now. Like, really bad. But like, bloody likely. So I guess the film-as-advertisement angle worked. (It’s at least sleeker and less obnoxious looking than the Z3).