Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday morning coffee

- John Mayer redux: For those seeing Mayer next month at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, don't expect the John Mayer Trio to perform. Drummer Steve Jordan is part of Mayer's current touring band but bassist Pino Palladino is not. (Palladino was part of The Who's band last Sunday on the Super Bowl halftime show.) Mayer's tour is getting reasonable reviews but is apparently hampered by the overabundance of songs played from the latest album, Battle Studies, which is more pop-like than some of Mayer's earlier, and better, work.

- If you're a fan of Alfred Hitchcock, the actress from one of his most famous movies, Kim Novak, turns 77 today. Novak starred in the 1958 romantic suspense classic, Vertigo, alongside Jimmy Stewart. Said Hitchcock of Novak, "You think you're getting a lot, but you're not." Hitchcock never seemed to say anything positive about his actors and actresses but he clearly was not high on Novak's performance.

Here's the trailer for the movie. (And, yes, that's a very young Barbara Bel Geddes in the movie as well. Bel Geddes played Ellie Ewing--mother of J.R. and Bobby--in the 1980's prime-time soap, Dallas.)

- The continuing story out of Vancouver and the Winter Olympics is that it doesn't feel much like winter. The outdoor venues are in desperate need of snow and don't stand to get any in the immediate future. The forecast calls for temperatures in the 40's and even 50's in the week ahead. Why is it that the rest of North America seems pummeled by snow and the place that really needs it has none?

- Is there anyone out there who isn't supportive of the movement to get NBC to sign Betty White to guest host Saturday Night Live? What a hoot...

- Back on the Winter Olympics--last night's Opening Ceremonies were impressive, even with the mechanical snafu during the Olympic flame-lighting ceremony. But, the best part of the telecast, for me, were the beauty shots of one of the most photogenic cities in the world--Vancouver.

- There was an article this week in The New York Times which suggested that Ellen DeGeneres was on the verge of eclipsing Oprah Winfrey in daytime popularity. Researchers from Smith Geiger, a firm hired to assess talk shows, found that The Ellen DeGeneres Show was on par recently with The Oprah Winfrey Show in the minds of viewers. This research was the impetus for NBC announcing, on Wednesday, that their owned-and-operated stations would keep broadcasting DeGeneres through 2014. According to the research, DeGeneres' show is seen as upbeat and inspirational, she is relaxed and relatable, and DeGeneres is now seen as more likable than Winfrey. No argument here...

- The "Great American Race" takes place tomorrow in Daytona. My prediction? I think Tony Stewart wins his first Daytona 500 in a duel with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. It would be a great story for NASCAR to have "Smoke" win.

- And, speaking of Daytona, what will be especially interesting is to see the television ratings for today's telecast (ESPN2) of the Nationwide Series race from the Speedway. Danica Patrick, who debuted last week, gets her first real immersion into the sport, racing today against the likes of Earnhardt, Stewart, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne.

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