by John Walters
Thanks, all, for the kind words yesterday. I’d like to think that Notre Dame postponing Saturday’s game may have also contributed to my saturnine disposition.
Anyway, late last night I cheered myself the way I so often do: by re-watching clips of awards show monologues (Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes never gets old). And lucky me, I found a couple featuring John Mulaney and Nick Kroll hosting the Independent Film Spirit Awards. These, I had never seen before and I share them with you.
So, you should know: When Mulaney was a freshman at Georgetown (not an independent spirit, both of his parents are alums), he signed up to be in an improv group. The senior who was in charge of the group was a kid named Nick Kroll. The rest is history.
I’ve interviewed Kroll and he readily acknowledges that Mulaney is a natural. There are good ballplayers and then there’s Willie Mays or Joe DiMaggio. They’re just built for it. Enjoy. I like the first one better, particularly the way they play off the chauvinistic “male gazing” at awards show red carpets when they tease Warren Beatty.
Girls Night Out
Of course, Mulaney and Kroll had a playbook to work from: a pair of ladies who preceded Mulaney (who was a writer) at SNL, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It helps that they’re both incredibly funny and smart, but like Mulaney and Kroll, true friends. It shows here. This was the first of three consecutive times they hosted the Golden Globes. We can see, if the Globes has an in-house audience this winter, Mulaney (or Mulaney and Kroll) hosting.
We’ve been on a little bit of an Aimee Mann, who turned 60 earlier this month, kick lately. You think about it, she was criminally overlooked in the Eighties. Til Tuesday, the band she fronted, had this one major hit in 1984 and at the time there were a slew of women, frankly, who mirrored Mann’s New Wave punk look: Madonna, all of the Go Go’s, the lead singer from Missing Persons, etc.
But, I’m sorry, Mann was the only one who literally could’ve walked off stage and directly into the pages of Vogue. She’s a timeless beauty. Saw her play in June of ’17. She was fantastic and still incandescently gorgeous but now looks more like a Malibu yoga teacher who probably eats twice a week at True Foods.
Aimee Mann always looked the way Madonna wished she could look—like a come-to-life version of Malcolm Garrett’s cover art from Duran Duran’s Rio album. And she wrote her own songs and even played the bass and guitar. My simple guess is that Mann never quite become as big as Madonna, or anywhere even close, because it was never her ambition to be.
Mann’s man would turn out to be Michael Penn, who had a hit with “No Myth” (a song that was absolute perfection and so not of its time) in 1989. They married eight years later. Yes, he is Sean Penn’s brother. And yes, Penn family get-togethers for years included Aimee Mann and Robin Wright. Holy smoke show.
The Gipper Got It
This is Ronald Reagan‘s—I’m sorry, Fox News viewers, “St. Reagan”—inaugural speech in January of 1980. You don’t have to listen long. Literally listen to the FIRST 90 SECONDS of this speech. If I were the DNC and Joe Biden’s campaign manager, I would buy ad time and simply play these 90 seconds on a loop.
OVER AND OVER AND OVER again.
I always liked Ronald Reagan, too. Not all Republicans are evil, avaricious fascists. And I’m pretty certain the Gipper was not, either. People worshipping both him and Trump should be ashamed of themselves.
And That’s, As A Bedecked Kate McKinnon Might Say, A Ginsburg
The Kansas Comet, Gale Sayers, has passed. His playing days were a little before our time, and all we really remembered about Sayers is that Billy Dee Williams played him in Brian’s Song (James Caan, who actually played collegiately at Michigan State, played the ill-fated Brian Piccolo)
Sayers, like the man who would succeed him in the Chicago Bears backfield, was an aesthetically pleasing back to watch run. He glided, as opposed to running people over. Even though he was a teammate of arguably the greatest, or at least most menacing, defensive player ever (Dick Butkus), or at least until Lawrence Taylor showed up, Sayers never appeared in a playoff game. The Bears were simply that awful.
Sayers, a Kansas alum, had a relatively brief NFL career (1965-1971). His best season came in 1966 when he led the NFL in rushing with 1,231 yards. He passed away on Monday at the age of 77 of complications from dementia, a likely result from his NFL career.
Honors: NFL Rookie of the Year, NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1969 when he returned from a knee injury and led the NFL in rushing again, and also, Sayers was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the age of 34, still the youngest man ever to be so honored.