Not to be confused with “Bing!”, although I’ve joined my grandparents for dinner
the last couple of nights.
On Wednesday, Grandmom and I spoke about Lost. I’m taking a break from that subject for at least one post, however, since the coming weeks will be full of it.
Last night, we enjoyed a function at the grandparents’ residence with better food
than the ballyhooed event two months back featuring uninspired cuisine from local restaurants. The offerings last night included scallops wrapped in bacon with a barbecue glaze that was amazing. We uncharacteristically had no ice cream, but my diabetic grandfather downed most of three miniature cups of crème brûlée; at 95,
he's entitled to cheat a bit if it makes him happy and he puts on some weight.
While food was not a subject of this medley before I began to type, that's part of the “Boing!” — it's going to be all over the place.
It was last night's Late Show with David Letterman that prompted the title
and tangents herein. Only clips of the show are online via the CBS website at this writing, but the entire thing should be up by next week.
Alec Baldwin was the first guest yesterday, promoting 30 Rock and his gig hosting tomorrow night's season finale of Saturday Night Live. I've had a hard time taking Baldwin in dramatic roles since he revealed tricks from his soap-opera days to Dave several years ago — his earnest, ridiculously serious comportment made it nearly impossible to watch him wear a straight face with a straight face. Luckily, his comedy work plays off of exactly that ability to deliver seriously ridiculous material, say as Jack Donaghy or SNL's Delicious Dish guest Pete Schweddy, with absolute conviction.
This will be Baldwin's 15th go at hosting SNL, tying him with his recent Oscar co-
host Steve Martin. When Baldwin made his 12th appearance as host a few seasons back in 2006, Martin welcomed him into the Platinum Lounge; he'd rehearsed the bit, of course — minus the surprise appearance from Paul McCartney, as was obvious from
his awestruck reaction. It echoed what, me being an in-joke maven, is one my favorite SNL moments: Upon Tom Hanks' 5th hosting gig — a mind-boggling 20 years ago — he was ushered into The Five-Timers' Club, where he was joined by Martin, Elliot Gould, and Paul Simon (“There was some concern after Joe Versus the Volcano, but…”). Conan O'Brien had a small role in the sketch, being a staff writer on SNL before he took over NBC's post-Tonight show from Dave. It was actually Hanks' second hosting gig of 1990 and featured as musical guests one of my absolute favorite bands, Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, in support of their second album, Ghost of a Dog.
At Borders recently, I was in the checkout line and overheard a family trying to find
a book with the aid of a sales associate at the nearby Information desk. Pretty quickly,
I realized that what the party — led I think by a mother looking for the book for her child — was not very successfully describing to the associate was in fact D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths, not only one my favorite books on Greek mythology but one of my favorite books ever. As mentioned in my recent post on Supernatural, I was a mythology junkie as a kid and racked up books on the subject good, bad, and ugly; I didn’t care much for Thomas Bulfinch, liked Robert Graves early on, and while I went back to Edith Hamilton repeatedly when I got older the D'Aulaires' entry was perfect
for a budding reader and remains a delight.
So I stepped out of line and mentioned the title to the group. The mother instantly lit
up with recognition, after which the associate simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief and practically smacked himself in the forehead. All of them thanked me, including what I took to be the mother's parents, which led to one of them asking me to show them where the book was and the mother explaining that I didn't work there.
A cousin’s son recently became enamored with Greek mythology, due in large part to the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and I picked him up D'Aulaires' Book. When I started to explain that although it had lots of illustrations it wasn't meant as solely for children, Jack told me that he’d in fact been wanting it. He’s a really smart kid with a mind for characters and organization who, as I'd predicted, went straight for the family tree like I had once upon a time.
The above story, in a roundabout way, ties into the highlight of last night's Late Show episode, a return to Dropping Things Off the Roof of The Ed Sullivan Theater. Now, Dave said that he’d fielded complaints from the audience that he never does this anymore, which isn't true, but I'm glad that the remark prompted him to order up another installment. As I get older, the wastefulness of it bothers me to distraction, yet it's so darned much fun to watch — in slo-mo and backwards, especially. My absolute favorite roof-dropping scene dates back to the days when Dave himself would get up on the roof. He grabbed a long, cylindrical fluorescent light bulb, perched one leg on the ledge of the building, and proclaimed himself to be Zeus, God of the Sky, Lord of the Thunderbolts.
First off the roof last night, at the direction of head stagehand Pat Farmer, were magnums of what was apparently cheap yet still legally champagne. He then launched bags of flour, and last came a bunch of melons plus big jugs of water. For me, however, the pièce de résistance came next-to-last, as my prayers were answered and Dave once again went to the Zectron Super Balls, also known as High-Bounce Balls and, during my childhood, Super-Hi Bouncing Balls. I just loves me the Super-Hi Bouncing Balls; let them babies loose and your humble blogger is practically, as Dave would say, hyp-mo-tized by the strangely calming nature of their very franticness.
Related: SNL, &c. • Myth and Fingerprints •
Twitter-Pated • Stocking Stuff • Dans la Nuit