by John Walters

How YOU Doin’?

The Friends reunion is now streaming on HBO Max. We haven’t seen it. It’s not actually a scripted show, but apparently more than 90 minutes of chatter and replaying of scenes and even a game or two. Could I beeeeee any more disinterested?

The Friends sextet (pun intended) are essentially the MH staff’s age and the show was set in the city in which I was living at the time. So it was always fun to compare reality versus a Burbank or Studio City soundstage. It’s impossible to capture the oft-gray and windy and chilly life of New York City from a writer’s room no more than 45 minutes from Malibu. Not even Seinfeld did it.

Anyway, I remember hitting a very dimly lit bar on Columbus Ave. and 84th with two SI friends of mine after the first season of Friends aired. And there, sitting together that May (it must have been during upfronts week) were, I believe, Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston. They could still go out in public then without too much fanfare. The three of us should get together again and see how things have gone the past 28 years.

If you had to rank the Friends’ post-show careers, what would your order be? For instance, if we did Seinfeld it would be Julia Louis-Dreyfus clearly in first place, then Jerry, then a tie for last between Jason Alexander and Michael Richards (and Larry David, who never really appeared on the show, might be ranked ahead of all of them). But for Friends?

I dunno. I mean Matt LeBlanc, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow have all had their own TV series, but none of them were zeitgeist-type shows. Jennifer Aniston may have had the most prolific career. David Schwimmer was great as Robert Kardashian in the O.J. series and Matthew Perry gave it a go in Studio 60 (Aaron Sorkin’s biggest, if not only, bomb). We’re going to put them in a six-way tie unless you feel differently.

Ja Rules

The Grizzlies lost Game 2 in Utah last night, but second-year guard Ja Morant scored a franchise playoff-record 47 points. In only is second postseason game (if you want to quibble about his two previous play-in appearances last week, feel free). Coupled with his 24 points in Game 1, that puts the former Rookie of the Year at 71 points after two career playoff games. You know how many NBA players have outscored Morant after the first two playoff games of their careers?


Not George Mikan, not Wilt Chamberlain, not Jerry West, not Oscar Robertson, not Larry Bird, not Kareem, not MJ, not LeBron, not Steph. This is not an argument to say Morant is better than any of them, or will be. Just a point to say, Keep an eye on the kid.

A Swing and An Ole Miss

Yesterday at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., the University of Mississippi won its first NCAA championship (non-football where it was with votes) in school history. The Rebels’ women’s golf team prevailed over Oklahoma State. If you’re wondering, Wasn’t the women’s NCAA golf championship canceled a couple weeks back due to mansplaining?, you’re partially right.

An NCAA women’s regional was canceled in Baton Rouge due to an unplayable course (heavy rains), even though the LSU men’s team for some reason practiced on that very course that very day. Hmm.

Anyway, the top schools in that regional automatically advanced, one of which was Ole Miss. And yesterday the young misses from Ole Miss brought home the school’s first national title.

The Hardy Boy

The other night The Revenant aired on AMC (again), and I’ve seen it a few times, as have you. What strikes me on repeated airings is that Leo DiCaprio won an Oscar for his work in this but Tom Hardy did not. Hardy’s character and portrayal are less like acting than they are being possessed by an alien being. I’m not ripping on Leo for his not having to speak all that many lines—I know his actor was a make-good for all the worthy parts he’s played in the past… and when is Tom Cruise going to receive his long overdue statue?—but Hardy is simply fantastic in this film.

And I can’t even decipher half the sentences he speaks.

2015 was actually a very good year for films: The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road (Hardy starred in this), The Big Short (shoulda won Best Picture), The Martian and Brooklyn all released. And Spotlight, a good-but-not-great film, won Best Picture. Hardy was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Revenant, but lost out to Mark Rylance in Bridge Of Spies (I’ve never seen this so I’ll leave it up to you).

Also, next time you watch Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, that’s a younger Tom Hardy as Ricki Tarr. He’s terrific in that role, too.

San Jose: 9 Shot And Killed


Please share with a wackadoo gun nut you know.

The Kid

…won again last night as Utah evened the series with the Grizz.

So he’s now 8-4 and has $1,240 in the bank.

We’re waiting for today’s wager, but right now he’s at 66.67%, which is good.

Tonight he likes LAKERS minus-270 versus Suns in Game 2 of their series from Staples. Wins $100, or loses $270. A money-line wager.

4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. How many stars in a blockbuster sitcom had subsequent acting careers that were bigger and better, or even the equivalent, of their sitcom success? Michael J. Fox and Will Smith come to mind. Other possibilities: Steve Carell, Alan Alda (although most of his most prominent roles had already occurred by the time MASH ended), Kelsey Grammer, Ted Danson, Jackie Gleason, Danny DeVito, John Goodman, Dick van Dyke. Any women? If the criteria is having a “zeitgeist-type” TV or movie career after the sitcom, I don’t think Julia Louis-Dreyfus qualifies, because Veep never reached that level.

    • It may not have been a blockbuster sitcom, but… Tom Hanks.

      And Robin Williams

      Those 2 Oscar winners come immediately to mind.

      If we are talking top-level sitcoms, i dunno. Ron Howard and Rob Reinser have done very well behind the camera.

      Cloris Leadhman is the only person I can think of who won an Oscar and then joined a sitcom.

  2. Re the gambling feature: I think your guy would tell you that picking a winner 66.67% of the time may or may not be a good result when betting moneylines. If you had bet $100 on each of his 12 picks so far, you would be in the red (because he is mostly betting favorites, and not winning much when those come in). When you bet mostly favorites, you have to a very high percentage of bets to end up in the black.

    He is in the black, as you note, based on the wagering system you are using, where when he bets underdogs, he always bets $100, and when he bets favorites, he bets whatever amount is necessary to win him $100.

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