by John Walters

Long Twain Running

Jon Stewart recently received the Mark Twain Award for Humor. Not sure how recently, only that it was some time after the Oscars. There’s a few good clips that popped on the Second-PersonTube that I wanted to share with you. The first is from Stewart himself, who opens with kind words about his family but then brings down the axe in the last few minutes. Stick around ’til the end or just fast forward directly to the halfway point.

Then there’s Stephen Colbert, who in my opinion had the funniest of all the encomiums (encomia?).

And finally, here’s Dave Chappelle, being utterly Chappellian. One interesting note: Olivia Munn, who briefly worked on The Daily Show, spoke and she was funny. Her baby daddy, John Mulaney, did not.

Snell Game

For us, one of the more shocking sports moments of the past five years was when Rays manager Kevin Cash, his team having ALL of the momentum in the World Series, decided to pull Blake Snell with one out in the sixth inning of Game 6. Let’s look at the numbers: the Rays had pulled off an unlikely rally to win Game 5, staving off elimination and a Dodgers championship. Now, in Game 6, the Rays led 1-0 and Snell, who had struck out nine, was working on a two-hitter. He’d already struck out the Dodgers’ top three batters twice, and the top of the lineup was coming back up. He’d just allowed a one-out single, but he’d only thrown 73 pitches.

Cash pulled him. Analytics > Instincts. The next batter, Mookie Betts, doubled and the Dodgers would score two runs that inning en route to a 3-1 win.

This morning, for no particular reason, we decided to check up on Blake Snell. Now with the San Diego Padres (he never threw another pitch for Tampa Bay), Snell is 0-5 with a 5.60 ERA. This is a former Cy Young Award winner who went 21-5 in 2018. Can you say enigmatic? At least one smart publication decided to explore this bizarre funk in depth.

Jimmy, Jack & Lorne

It’s anecdotes such as this one that have long given reason for Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee to exist. We love that Fallon was smart enough to appreciate the moment and we also love that Seinfeld specifically calls out the “melancholy.” ‘s wonderful.

Losing? Your Religion

Came across this tweet over the weekend (there’s a whole thread here… go find it if interested) and found it enlightening. But also affirming what we’ve been thinking for quite some time. We thought of John Lennon’s lyrics, “Imagine there’s no countries/It isn’t hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for/And no religion, too.” Of course, being such a proponent of peace and pacifism, it was only fitting that Lennon met a violent death at the hands of his own fame. His price for giving the world so much joy was to be murdered. I wonder if you can think of anyone else in history who suffered a similar fate.

But this was not meant to be a John Lennon item. We digress. As America veers dangerously closer to a theocracy (kneeling on a football field in protest is bad but to do so in prayer is now federally protected), we notice how many good souls in our lives are either agnostic or atheistic and how so many Trumpian souls are overly fixated on religion or “the Bible.” While not really appreciating what the Bible is, in a historical context. I shared that video from the female news anchor last week, and now this thread. This coming from someone with 16 years of Catholic schooling.

The right’s implacable stance on all things, justified by “the Bible,” would be hilarious if so many of their hopes and wishes were not now being vetted by the Supreme Court. These people do not understand Jesus, nor do they want to. Jesus was a long-haired, homeless and unemployed hippie whom these Christians would surely not want to see within a mile of their multi-million dollar cathedrals. And Jesus was the ULTIMATE in accepting any man or woman for whom they were, and how they treated their fellow man. Does not sound like most Christians I know today.

I had this thought, too, over the weekend. I’m imagining an economics professor at my alma mater, a priest hopefully, explaining to his (it would be a he, for sure) students that cryptocurrency is a sham, that it’s all built upon the self-perpetuating faith of its denizens that crypto is real, but that there’s no real substance behind it. And that the only reason cryptocurrency exists is because those who’ve already profited from it or who hope to profit more are able to pull in true believers from the wilderness. And then I’m imagining this econ professor staring out the window of a golden dome as he says this, looking upon a statue up top dedicated to the only known virgin in history to have given birth.

Full Mental Jacket

We love this story from Vince D’Onofrio, telling Rich Eisen how he landed the part of Private Gomer Pyle in Full Metal Jacket. Also, here’s the Lon Chaney scene he’s talking about. Notice, by the way, what an excellent talk show guest that D’Onofrio is. He knows he’s on to tell stories, and he’s brought a full bag with him.

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