IT’S ALL HAPPENING! “That’s &$*% Matt Damon Hosting” edition, 1/25

Starting Five

1. If you never saw the 1983 film “The King of Comedy”, you should. It’s terrific. Robert Deniro kidnaps a talk show host (played by Jerry Lewis), then demands as his ransom the first guest spot on a broadcast. Jimmy Kimmel Live took that idea to a reality extreme last night, as the host was duct-taped to a chair and gagged with his own tie. Who stepped in to host: Matt Damon! (as Kimmel sat about 20 feet upstage).

Damon hijacked the program, and the idea was executed to perfection. Sheryl Crow stepped in as teh bandleader and debuted a song (“I don’t know if I’d do this if Jimmy were hosting, but for you…”).  Guillermo was replaced by Andy Garcia. Kimmel’s ex, Sarah Silverman, took part in the prank as well, sitting on the couch and explaining to Damon what it was like to date Kimmel for five years (“It’s like when you eat one of those street vendor hot dogs and afterward think, Why did I let that thing inside of me?”).


It’s not quite Oceans 11, but it’ll do.


Kimmel’s regular array of B-list guests were replaced by  by Nicole Kidman, Demi Moore, Reese Witherspoon (who brought booze), Gary Oldman, John Krasinski and his wife, Emily Blunt.

Inspired idea, carried off to perfection. And all we kept thinking was, Jay Leno could never pull this off without it seeming phony. The thing about Kimmel is, these people really are his friends. As for Dave, it was telling that we switched over to a repeat of recent vintage in which he tells Denzel Washington, “I can’t figure out why we’re not better friends” and Denzel repeats, “Well, that’s up to you, Dave.”  Letterman could be Kimmel in the celeb buddies dept. if he ever wanted to be. But to this point in his life, he’s been famously reclusive. Maybe he is beginning to figure out that he DOES belong with that crowd, at least in an “Am I good enough?” way.

2. Manti Te’o appears on Katie Couric and we agree 100% with Gregg Doyel: “Make. It. Stop.” We feel a little like Jerry Seinfeld when he is asked if Timothy Watley’s jokes offend him as a Jew and he replies, “No, they offend me as a comedian.” We’re (and “we’re” is obviously “I’m”) offended not as a fellow Domer but as a fellow former Dillon Hall resident. Is it a coincidence that Manti moved off campus senior year and then all of this stuff began happening?

Whether he is complicit or just plain painfully naive (and, then, just duplicitous enough to make people question his true motives), Te’o might’ve been saved if he’d remained around classmates who might’ve counseled him (and by “counseled him”, I mean “teased him unmercifully”) during this time. Back in the pre-cellphone days in Dillon, you knew the guy who had the Hometown Honey because he sat in the hallway outside his door (as far as the phone cord would stretch) talking to his girl late at night as his roomie tried to study or sleep or watch Letterman.

But this is what happens when everyone has a cell phone and lives off-campus. There’s no one around to tell you what a fool  you are being. Technology… BAH!

A week ago we said that we’d ask Te’o if he is gay, because it goes to motive and is hence relevant. Apparently, Katie agreed, as she did ask. Manti’s reply: “No.”

3. Don’t ever change, Carl Pavano. Don’t. Ever. Change.

4. We need to say this, and not just because we’ve lost our shirt (and trousers) on AAPL in the past few months. Yes, the company’s future is not as bright and rosy –or at least at this moment it does not appear so– as it was five months ago. But here’s the thing. Apple, which is now down 1% over the past 12 months (it was up more than 40% for the year just four months ago), sells at just ten times earnings. That means the following (please correct me if I’m wrong): If you divide the total revenue of Apple by its number of shares, each share should have a value of around $45. But it’s selling at $450.

Meanwhile, Netflix (NFLX) is up 77% for the year but it trades at 583 times earnings. Amazon (AMZN) is up 49% for the year but it trades at 3,700 times earnings. 3,700 TIMES!

So, yes, Apple has had some bad press lately. And here are the respective stock prices of the three companies as I type this:

AAPL:  $440

NFLX: $167

AMZN: $282

Granted, a huge aspect of a stock’s price is what investors believe the company will do in the future (industry term: guidance). However, a huge misunderstanding among Average Joe investors is that Apple is expensive. It’s not. If AAPL sold at the same multiple (i.e., “times earnings”) as even Netflix, a single share would cost $26,235. If it sold at Amazon’s multiple, a single share would cost $166,500. Now THAT is expensive.

The point is this: a stock’s price is not an ABSOLUTE value, while a stock’s price relative to its multiple is. That’s the more salient way to compare one stock’s value to another.

5. So, our colleague on, Bill Hubbell, is a wonderful (albeit reclusive) friend for many reasons, one of them being that he sends friends “Best of (Year)” discs each year. And not just one. A single year may fill up as many as 20 discs. In truth, anything we know about pop music since 2005 is directly related to Billy’s “Best of…” discs. So we thought it might be a good idea to begin sharing the songs that he sends us, at least our favorites, with you. Today’s choice is a country tune by Lee Brice, from 2012, titled “Hard To Love.” And we think that Tom Petty may want to contact Mr. Brice about that opening riff and consider asking for a share of the royalties, as it sounds conspicuously similar to the lead-in to “Learning to Fly.”

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