by John Walters
1. Garry Shandling
It’s R.I.P. City this week (this year?) with the deaths of Ken Howard, soccer legend Johann Cruyff, Phife Dawg, Rob Ford, Joe Garagiola and of course, comedian Garry Shandling, who was 66 and suffered a massive heart attack yesterday.
Loved The Larry Sanders Show, a staple of Sunday night viewing on HBO in the mid-90s’. “No Flipping” is Garry’s trademark and Hank Kingsley’s “Hey Now!” , especially, has long outlived the show (1992-1998).
A few clips from the life of Shandling, a University of Arizona graduate: His debut on The Tonight Show in 1981; A “What I’ve Learned” piece in Esquire; and an appearance earlier this year on “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.”
Shandling will best be remembered for how original The Larry Sanders Show was. While Fernwood 2 Night (Martin Mull as the host) broke the seal of the faux late night talks show, and Buffalo Bill (Dabney Coleman) did the lovable host/miserable creature in real life bit, his show took both ideas to a new level. Also, when you see celebrities lampooning themselves on shows such as Extras, that comes from TLSS. Also, actors such as Jeremy Piven and Janeane Garofalo and Bob Odenkirk got their starts there, while others such as Jeffrey Tambor and Rip Torn did some of their best work on that show.
Garry Shandling was the star of that show, but he let most of the supporting cast be the freaks and funny ones. Rip Torn was tremendous.
This, from Conan O’Brien, last night, is marvelous:
2. A Whole Lotta Rose, See?
Is it true? Is Axl Rose joining AC/DC? Whither Brian Johsnon? Whither Guns ‘n Roses show at Coachella? Whither people every using the word “whither” in everyday speech?
Anyway, Johnson has hearing problems (whereas Rose always had listening problems) and he has been scrapped for the Aussie band’s 10 remaining U.S. shows. It appears that AC/DC would use him for those shows and they’ll figure out how to work in Rose for the Coachella shows in April.
What I don’t understand: Wasn’t Chris “Izzy” Cole available?
3. Chalk, Chalk, Jayhawk, etc.
In the NCAA tournament, all four favorites won last night, and each by at least 14 points: Kansas and Villanova move on in the South, while Oklahoma and Oregon (OU versus UofO) move on in the West. Observation: No. 2 seed Villanova, the lowest-seeded 2-seed, is very, very dangerous, and currently shooting out the lights. The Canes shot 53% and still lost by 23.
4. Chalk, Chalk, Emory Students Need To Grow a Pair
“We are in pain,” one Emory student said at a rally/protest after someone chalked “Trump” on campus. Another, “I don’t deserve to feel afraid at my school.”
Listen, punk: there are SO MANY things that you don’t deserve, but “to feel afraid at my school” is not in the top 100. I’m sorry. I think we need a mandatory draft again. Maybe even a land war in southeastern Asia. Just how poor a job did these students’ parents do?
And, yeah, overreactions such as these incite overreactions to the opposite extreme that are part of the reason the name that was chalked is leading in the GOP race. Figure it out, kids.
5. Apologies: Domer Homer Item
So, both the Notre Dame men’s and women’s basketball teams play tonight in the NCAA tournament. The men have reached the Sweet 16 for the second straight season and the women are 33-1, their lone loss coming to No. 1 Connecticut (they’ll face Stanford tonight).
Also tonight, in men’s hockey, No. 2 Notre Dame faces No. 3 Michigan in the NCAA Midwest Regional.
Two weekends ago distance runner Molly Seidel won NCAA Indoor Championships in BOTH the 3,000 and 5,000, to tack onto last autumn’s NCAA Cross Country Championship. That’s THREE individual national titles in one academic year, which means that hopefully I will no longer mistakenly refer to her as Molly Huddle.
The women’s fencing team is ranked first in the nation. The men’s lacrosse team is ranked second in the nation.
The football team came two plays away from being 12-0 last season (before being crushed in the Fiesta Bowl by Ohio State).
Jack Swarbrick, a Notre Dame alum, can take a bow. He’s earned it.
In the early 1970s, Elton John was the world’s biggest solo act, and deservedly so. He wrote an actual slew of classics, not all of which later were featured in films. This is one of my favorites. The song was released in 1971, off the “Madman Across The Water” album, and rose as high as No. 24 on the Billboard chart. Bernie Taupin, Elton’s muse and co-writer, has said that “Alvin Tostig” is a fictional character and that Levon is not taken from Levon Helm, the drummer for The Band (I don’t fully believe him).
Iowa State-Virginia; Gonzaga-Syracuse
Wisconsin-Notre Dame; Indiana-Notre Dame
Why are tonight’s two marquee games on TBS? Because Turner is hoping to wean you off CBS to prepare you for next weekend’s Final Four (and the following Monday night’s championship game) that will be aired on TBS. So that next Saturday someone in Little Rock isn’t screaming, “AGNES, WHERE’S MY FREAKING BASKETBALL GAME?!?!” I can see this curbing domestic violence by at least 40%. Related: domestic violence isn’t funny. Anyway, I like the Cavs, the Zags, the Irish and the Hoosiers tonight. Let’s just hope some game is closer than 14 points.