It's..... The happiest blog on earth

Wednesday, April 23

Thursday, July 27

Steely Dan's letter to Luke Wilson is amazing.

12:00 PM

Saturday, July 22

It's the most notorious moment in the history of The Brady Bunch. It's the scene where the 17-year-old actor playing Greg is actually stoned.

Now you can watch the scene online.

Former child star Barry Williams remembers this moment in his biography I was a teenaged Greg. (Chapter 17 - "One toke over the line.") He'd been given a day off, when some friends of his older brother visited. "I was introduced to a thin, hand-rolled, yellow joint. 'Listen, man' said one of the buds, 'toke slow -- this is some real heavy shit.'"

"'Cooool,' I thought... Several drags later, the stuff had kicked in hard." Which is when the Brady Bunch's assistant director called him back to the studio "to shoot the driveway scene"...

The makeup man helpfully handed him a bottle of visine - and then Barry strutted onto the set, "thinking to myself that my now-heightened sense of consciousness and intensity might give me a chance to completely recreate my role..." Williams high-fived the crew, "feeling very cool."

When they'd gathered on the set, Williams "saw it as crying out for innovation and improvisation." His biography's confession includes detailed memories of the minutes that followed.

  • "In my mind, I made up a history for the bike; why it needed air, what happened to the tire, where I had been riding it at the time. When rehearsal began, I proceeded to get involved with the spokes of the wheel, forming a relationship with each individual spoke, and then trying to come up with a more aerodynamic design for them."

  • "Instead of merely crossing over to the car and standing there as expected, I invented a new saunter..."

  • "Instead of just standing and listening to [Mr. and Mrs. Brady] while they were talking, I opened the car door and stood on its threshold to reach boat height and worked on loosening the straps."

  • "I experimented with my speaking patterns and inflections, giving each individual word undue weight and significance:

    YOU didn't SAY anything ABOUT getting a boat, Dad
    You DIDn"T say ANYTHING about GETTING a boat, Dad.
    YOU didn't SAY ANYTHING ABOUT getting a BOAT, DAD!

  • "In subsequent rehearsals I changed my lines altogether, or simply made up new ones as we went along."

But when the filming actually started, Williams suddenly became paranoid. "I was now second- and third-guessing my every move, my every word, my every action." And then - the cameras rolled.
(Brady calliope music)
Williams waves, trips over the bike pump.
Mrs. Brady opens the sliding door.
Greg: Hi dad!
Mr. Brady: Hi!
Greg: (pause) Uh (laughs) you didn't say anything about getting a boat!

Mr. Brady: ...I thought with a little work, we could fix it up!

Greg: Far out!!

To this day you can still see Greg sleepily waving 'hi" to his dad in the clip - and then tripping over the bike pump. "I pretended not to notice my stumble...I continued on like nothing happened and hoped somebody else would mess up."

How does Williams sum up the experience?

"Getting stoned instead left me...feeling as phony as the turf in the Brady's backyard.

"Maybe I should've just smoked that."

Ironically, the name of this episode is "Law and Disorder."

Bobby is appointed the school's safety monitor, but misses obvious reckless behavior...

Which is ironic, since it real life, the actor who played Bobby later became a Grateful Dead-head

*                           *                           *

See also: Greg singing You've got to be in love (to sing a love song) from the Brady Bunch episode "Johnny Bravo"

Jamie Foxx's incredible version of the Brady Bunch theme (including impersonations of Babyface Luther Vandross, and Prince)

The Brady Bunch variety hour: Disco Greg and the family perform Attitude Dancing and The Hustle.

Plus showtunes! One from a Chorus Line and Corner of the Sky from Pippin

Peter Gabriel's 2002 music video, The Barry Williams Show

12:01 PM

UPDATE: How do you take a song about irrational, fatal desire, and change its lead singer from a 32-year-old male to a 13-year-old girl?

That was the task Devo faced when they handed off "Girl U Want" to the all-kid band they'd assembled for Disney's "Devo 2.0".

Though Disney's web site shows Nicole Stoehr singing a neutered version of "Girl U Want," the album has her singing "Boy U Want," a song where nearly every lyric has been changed.

I wondered if it might empower a generation of girls, with an animated male floating through the video as the object of desire. But in the song's lyrics, it's still the woman who's driving the man crazy.

You've got him thinking that he's out of his mind.
This kind of feeling isn't easy to find.
But then, look how strongly the song's writers (and re-writers) had felt about its original message. (Below is my original post about the song...)

*                           *                           *

Sunday night, somewhere in England, a mysterious post-industrial figure types into Google U.K.

song meaning girl u want devo

Since I'm now the #2 match, I felt compelled to find the answer...

"It's about the essence of desire," says co-author Gerald Casale. "...aching desire. She sings from somewhere you can't see, like the famous myth of the sirens that used to lure the sailors to their deaths by singing to them in the night.

"They'd go try to find these girls that didn't really exist, and the boat would crash on the rocks and they'd die."

Thanks to YouTube, we can watch Devo performing this song (live in 1982) as well as many others!

See also: altered lyrics for Jerkin' Back and Forth and Through Being Cool
More Devo 2.0 lyric changes

8:12 PM


Last night Jon Stewart's The Daily Show did a segment about bloggers.

The highlight was its interview with Stephen Colbert...

JON: With more on the role of blogger's in today's media, I'm joined by Daily Show senior media correspondent, Stephen Colbert.

STEPHEN: Jon, before we begin, I'd like to get something off my chest, before I get 'outed' by the bloggers.

My real name isn't Stephen Colbert. It's Ted Hitler. No relation. Well, distant relation, two generations back. Directly. I'm Adolf Hitler's grandson. Anyways, it's out there. It's no longer news.

JON: Uh, uh, wow. First of all, thank you for your honesty, Stephen...

STEPHEN: It's Ted. It's Ted Hitler.

JON: Ted, you're sort of 'old media,' you're an old media reporter. What are your thoughts on, in your mind, the role of these new media figures?

STEPHEN: Jon, the vast majority of bloggers out there are responsible correspondents doing fine work in niche reporting fields like Gilmore Girl fan fiction, or cute things their cats do or photoshopped images of the Gilmore Girls as cats. That's great. Where I draw the line is with these "attack bloggers," just someone with a computer who gathers, collates and publishes accurate information that is then read by the general public. They have no credibility. All they have is facts. Spare me...

JON: But, Stephen, I mean, to be perfectly...

STEPHEN: Okay, I put myself through school as a Colombian drug mule. I put heroin in condoms and I smuggled them into the country in my colon. Okay? Fine. Post away,

JON: Um -- getting back to the story, Stephen, the medium of the internet may be new but what bloggers do, as you just described it, is really in many respects what journalists do.

STEPHEN: 'What journalists do', Jon? As a journalist, I think I know what I do. I'm not sitting at home in front of my computer. I'm out there busting my hump every day at the White House, transcribing their press releases, repeating their talking points. That's how you earn your nickname from President Bush. And when he stands at the podium, points at me and says 'You, Chowderneck - question?' Everyone knows its me. Ted Hitler.

JON: But as long -- as long as the blogs fact-check, as long as these bloggers check their facts, why would you even object to this kind of political coverage?

STEPHEN: Because it's not political coverage, Jon. They're reporting on the reporters. The first rule of journalism is 'Don't talk about journalism'. Or maybe that's Fight Club, but my point is this. These guys need to learn: you don't report on reporters. Nobody likes a snitch! If they've got to report on something, why don't they take some of that youthful moxie of theirs and investigate this administration. Somebody ought to! You would not believe the things they're getting away with!

JON: But Stephen...

STEPHEN: Fine, Jon. Three years ago I killed a panda. Ling-Ling! Or the other one. I can't tell them apart. In my own defense, in my own defense Jon, it was dark, I was drunk, and it was delicious. Sorry to ruin your scoop,

JON: Now Stephen, like it or not, these bloggers have already gained a certain legitimacy.

STEPHEN: Yes, Jon, and therein lies our only hope. For with legitimacy, the bloggers will gain a seat at the table, and with that comes access, status, money, power. And if we've learned anything about the mainstream media, that breeds complacency.

Or, whatever.

4:35 PM