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G.H. Harding

FALLON MATTERS — Rolling Stone magazine, once the prima-donna-domain of all things music, now a hopelessly out-of-date rag, posted an article about about the so-called goings-on at NBC’s Tonight Show this week. Damning evidence about host Jimmy Fallon followed and quotes from 16 people who did work there, but no longer do.

I was with a PR-friend at the show in late-February, he had a client on the Tonight Show and I have to say right off, I was totally impressed by how professional everyone was there. From the runners to producers to Jimmy himself who came over and spent some time with the client … everything was working well.

If you’ve never been behind the stage at a TV show, it’s a rather fascinating turn as there are so many things, all going on at once, it’s a tad disorienting. That night at The Tonight Show, there was a rehearsal in progress; a sound check; jokes being re-written; and even Fallon himself joining in the rehearsal … but it all flowed perfectly.

Roger Friedman had an great column discussing these smash-and-grab pieces and how these so-called behind the scenes interviews are all the rage. There was one done in The Atlantic on Jeff Licht (CNN) and he was summarily dismissed the next day; those stories on actor Chris Noth were never proven and that Ellen Degeneres article essentially ended her show. And, off course, ones on Warners’ David Zaslav kind of come daily. Here Roger’s column:

In the Stone story there was a reference to when Jerry Seinfeld was on and asked Fallon to apologize to someone Fallon had yelled at. Per Seinfeld, that never happened. I don’t know the writer, but clearly there are many, many flaws there. If you’re not there, stories like these are a tease and supposedly a look behind the curtain, but how can you check the accuracy?

That said, I’m quite certain that there were serious matters at The Tonight Show that got out of hand, but the fact of the matter is that it’s his name Jimmy Fallon, on the marquee and if he’s not happy, then it should be fixed.

JIMMY BUFFET — (Via Deadline) The album Jimmy Buffet completed before the “Margaritaville” singer’s death on Sept. 1 will be released on the Sun label November 3, with three songs “Bubbles Up,” “My Gummie Just Kicked In” and “Like My Dog” available to hear now.

Equal Strain On All Parts marks Buffett’s first record of new music since 2020, and among its 14 songs are collaborations withPaul McCartney, Emmylou Harris, Angelique Kidjo and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Buffett died earlier this month of Merkel cell skin cancer.

The album’s tracks include a cover of Bob Dylan’s 1976 song “Mozambique,” with Emmylou Harris, who sang on the Dylan original, joining Buffett for the cover.

McCartney plays bass on “My Gummie Just Kicked In” and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band features on “University of Bourbon Street.” “Ti Punch Café” features Angelique Kidjo and “Portugul or PEI” features Lennie Gallant and Will Kimbrough.

The album was produced by Michael Utley and Mac McAnally of Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band.

There’s no question that Buffet was an acquired taste, but how can you not love his attitude. “Bubbles Up” is a testament to a lifestyle has chose, made and lived. Rest easy Jimmy!

Check out “Bubbles Up”: 

Olivia Rodrigo

SHORT TAKES — Disney-princess Olivia Rodridgo was the Today Show’s musical guest on Friday; drawing a huge crowd. Her band, all female, were great, but she was somewhat underwhelming. Today’s female pop-stars seems to relish these confessional type of songs. Her “Get Him Back” sounded like a letter to a bestie. In my day it was “A Horse With No Name,” “Don’t Stop The Dance” or “Hotel California.” Things have indeed changed …

Painted From Memory

Steve Walter’s Cutting Room in NYC hosts a Burt Bacharach tribute on Monday , September 18. Both Walter and I agree that the album Burt did with Elvis Costello, Painted From Memory (1998) is a classic. The Cutting Room show, titled Love Burt, The Songs of Burt Bacharach, should be great. WOR’s Tom Cuddy; Benny Harrison; and PR-pasha David Salidor will most certainly be in the house … Bruce Springsteen, felled by a peptic ulcer canceled a slew of shows, but will resume in October. Of all the things to sideline The Boss, an ulcer would have been my last guess. Still, his shows in Jersey last week were tremendous. 3 hours-plus …

Bernie Taupin

The forthcoming autobiography from Bernie Taupin, Scattershot, is out next week and from an interview in New York Magazine by the great Jim Farber, sounds like a must-read. Taupin, to me, is a somewhat unheralded music superstar. Check this interview out:

Here’s the cover of The Rolling Stones’ new album Hackney Diamonds. Right on the cutting edge, we love it! …

SIGHTING: Micky Dolenz at Crabby Jack’s in Ocean City … Happy Bday Randy Klein; Stephaneie Simon Claffey;  and Vinny Rich!

Steve Walter

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Bobby Bank; Jeff Smith; Paul Undersinger; George Vargas; Andrew Sandoval; Steve Leeds; Steve Walter; Terry Jastrow; Suan Hathaway; Deb Caponetta; Ed Steinberg; Patti Smith; Ken Sharp; Mike Greenblatt; Kent and Laura Denmark; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Daryl Estrea; Jane Blunkell; James Clash; Carol Ross; and CHIP!

G. H. Harding is a four decades insider to the entertainment world. He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production companies and several cable outlets. His anonymity is essential in bringing an unbiased view to his writings on pop culture. He is based in NYC.

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G.H. Harding

SUNDAY DEADLINE —  As we go to press, the AMPTP has submitted it’s last, best offer to the WGAto resolve this strike; now heading into 145+ days. Strikes are meant to be settled, but the damage may have already been too much. Governor Gavin Newsom estimates a 5 billion dollar take-down for Hollywood and the state in general. As we mentioned last time, thousands of below-the-line workers have already been let go or furloughed during the strike and even if it is resolved by later-today, it will take a full 10-12 weeks for everything to be up and running again.  By my count, that’s mid-December. Stay tuned … it can only get better.

Rick Wakeman

WAKEMAN’S OPUS —(via Prog) Rick Wakeman has announced that he has released a massive 32-disc box set entitled The Prog Years 1973-1977, which features his studio albums from 1973’s The Six Wives Of Henry VIII through to 1976’s No Earthly Connection, plus his film soundtracks for 1975’s Lisztomania and 1977’s White Rock. You can watch a video trailer for the box set here:

Each album is represented by four discs, either CD or DVD, featuring the original album plus rare live material, demos, alternative mixes and live film footage all from the era. These include live performances of Six Wives… and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth from Melbourne, a DVD of The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table performed on ice at Wembley, the full films of both. Lisztomania and White Rock, and more.

The Prog Years 1973-1977 also features a 60-page hardback scrapbook, 10 x postcards, 8 x full-size replica promotional photos and 4 x A3 posters, plus reproduction press kits for the relevant albums. The first 500 copies of this extremely limited box set will also come with a numbered certificate signed by Rick himself.

He may wear the cape and be a bit old school, but Rick Wakeman is the real deal. He rocked Yes and his solo albums were simply terrific. When Yes did The Apollo several years back, when Wakeman left the stage and went up and down the aisles with his keyboard strapped on, there was sheer joy. He’s amazing. Bravo!

SHORT TAKES — Robert DeNiro shilling for Uber? That’s what a divorce does to you. Actually, it should be great commercial, although it was filmed in London as opposed to NYC, which is odd. Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader was quoted in Deadline as saying: “Ouch,” he wrote. “Why Bob would do this is beyond my reckoning. But I haven’t seen it. If I’m lucky I never will” I’m sure he asked Driver-director Marty Scorsese …

Micky Dolenz, ACE Theatre

Micky Dolenz’s SRO show Friday night in LA (at the ACE Theatre)

ACE Theatre

was sensational and he debuted the live version of his new single, R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People.” Seen at the show were Randy Lewis; Roy Trakin; Tyrone Biljan; Ken Sharp and Nederlander’s Lisa White …

Savannah Guthrie

On Friday’s Today Show, Savannah Guthrie interviewed someone who told you how to pack during a move, quickly. They said to put all personal items in a lock box with a label saying to be moved by owner only. Savannah quipped that all the personal items in your nightstand belong there begging the question, what does she have in hers? … A report on NY1 about the ongoing migrant crisis in NYC called The Roosevelt Hotel – where the migrants have been housed – the new Ellis Island … Say what you will about NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen, but it’s been a key area in NYC for decades.

Film Center Cafe

For me, when the Film Center Cafe disappeared, it was a tragedy. And, remember the fabulous restaurant Memphis?  Here’s a great look into images from there: … George Clooney selling his Lake Como retreat he’s had for 21 years? Could go for 100 million … SIGHTING: PR-pasha David Salidor at Shalom Japan in Williamsburg Sunday night … Usher headlining Super Bowl 2024? Wonder where that choice came from as he hasn’t had a hit in 20 years …

Jen Psaki

Watched Jean Psaki on MSNBC Sunday. She didn’t bowl me over, but was good. She had stories on Rupert Murdoch and FOX and an interview with Hillary Clinton, who bashed Trump and Putin again … and HAPPY BDAY Mark Bego and Cory Robbins!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Sara Gore; Andrew Sandoval; Pat Prince; Mark Bego; Jim Clash; Cynthia Rowley; Barry Zelman; Christopher Gilman; Barry Manilow; Joel Diamond; Nancy Ruth; Teresa Knox; Gary Gershoff; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Tony King; Donnie Kehr; Kimberly Cornell; Lush Ice; Barry Fisch; Eppy; and BELLA!

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G.H. Harding

STRIKE END LOOMS — (Via Showbiz 411/Roger Friedman) All the studio chiefs met Wedneday with the Writers Guild and will continue negotiating tomorrow, according to a WGA post.

The sudden seriousness of the studios is welcomed as the deadline looms for the 2023-24 TV season. If the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes aren’t resolved by early October, my sources say it will be impossible to put on a season.

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Disney’s Bob Iger, Universal’s Donna Langley and Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav were present today for the negotiations, a sure sign that the studios are finally in panic mode.

There are no daytime or nighttime talk shows, no new material on TV, and actors can’t promote the fall and winter movies. The actors have already missed the Telluride, Venice, and Toronto Film Festivals. Now the New York Film Festival looms, as does the premiere of Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

The so-called Fall TV Season has been decimated; the Emmy’s pushed back and just general chaos everywhere. The severity of the strike -142 days in- has hurt almost-every-single below-the-line sector, from caterers to limo drivers to costume houses. It’s reported that it will take up to 10-12 weeks to fully resume everything. That means early-November and let’s not forget come Thanksgiving, the holiday season officially starts. Stay tuned.

Burt Bacharach

LOVE, BURT AT THE CUTTING ROOM — Monday night at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room was the presentation of Love, Burt – celebrating the majesty and memory of Burt Bacharach’s music.

The show really moved me and reminded me of the reason I do what … the music!

The show was just sumptuous – with the assembled group -led by Mike Visceglia- honoring and doing proper justice to a host of Bacharach songs – everything from “Baby, It’s You” to “One Less Bell To Answer,” The Look Of Love” and “Alfie” were all dutifully done. Especially poignant was their rendition of “A House Is Not A Home.”

The fact of the matter is that when these songs were recorded, they were embedded into everyone’s consciousness. These versions were good, but the originals remain standout. You hear a lot about the Great American Songbook, but these songs are the “new” Great American Songbook. Just luscious.

They ended the show was one of my favorite-Bacharach songs, from the 1988 album Burt recorded with Elvis Costello, Painted From Memory. One of the album’s strongest cuts is “God Give Me Strength.” It was simply sensational.Spotted there were Benny Harrison and Maria Milito from Q1043.

The room was packed like never before; what a night! 

Micky Dolenz on KTLA

SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz headlines the ACE Theatre Friday night in LA, and was a guest on KTLA Wednesday. Here’s a shot of him on-set with Sam Rubin who interviewed him with the KTLA-gang. Sam’s the second from left. Industry stalwarts at the ACE Theatre show include legendary-LA Times writer Randy Lewis; LA Magazine’sRoy Trakin and Goldmine’s Ken Sharp … Roger Friedman reported Wednesday that the pre-sales of Jann Wenner’s upcoming book Masters have been severely impacted by his New York Times interview. Take a read here: And just last night his big presentation at NYC’s 92nd Y with Cameron Crowe was shuttered as well … SIGHTING: Alison Martino at NYC’s Algonquin Hotel

The Morning Show

When Apple TV’s The Morning  Show debuted years ago (November 2019), created and run by Kerry Ehrin, it was a first-rate series certainly of The Sopranos-like and Mad Men-like caliber. Billy Crudup was astonishingly good as were Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell. The second season was basically trash. Three episodes in on a third season -with a 4th already guaranteed- it’s kind of a mixed-bag. I did not care for the first two EPs, but the third was bordering on the edge of greatness – and Witherspoon wasn’t even in this one and there was no explanation why. Jon Hamm has joined the cast as sort of an Elon Musk-figure. To me, he’s still Don Draper, just with an updated wardrobe. Most of the production staff has been replaced and it seemed to me, they’re still finding their way. The trouble is, that with these 8 or so episode-runs, it gets really good at episode 6. Go figure …

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch to retire per CNBC? More on this next column Meg Ryan and David Duchovny in What Happens Later – looks cute and Ryan directed it – check out the trailer: Roger Whitaker

David McCallum

and Happy Bday David McCallum; Curtis Urbina; and Bill Murray!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Glenn Gretlund; Jodi Ritzen; Leonard Nimoy; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Scott Shannon; Zach Martin; Michelle Grant; Art Rutter; Maria Milito; Joe Lynch; Melinda Newman; Mandy Naylor; Kimberly Cornell; Sam Rudin; Jim Clash; Terry Jastrow; Randy Alexander; Bob Merlis; Andrew Sandoval; Art Rutter; and CHIP!

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G.H. Harding

WENNER TAKES A DOWN —Jann Wenner always speaks his mind and this week he may have overstepped just a bit. In an interview that ran in the New York Times about his new book called Masters, he quite openly said that there were no black or R&B artists in it, because they were not able to articulate properly. I know, I felt the same way reading that. Minutes later, he was let go by the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which he helped start with Ahmet Ertegun way back in 1983.

Ahmet Ertegun

His Like A Rolling Stone autobiography book was quite an indulgent read last year, but Wenner has in the last several years suffered several health set backs and it was pointed out that he may not be in his right mind. Still, he should have spoken way more carefully. I’ve known Wenner for decades and trust me, he feels he’s way entitled, and that said, you can rest assured that there were dozens and dozens of people (and former employees) waiting to take him down.

The sad fact is that most of the accusations are true. That said, let’s face it Rolling Stone magazine in it’s heyday was a miraculous outlet for so much music and terrific journalism – from Ben Fong-Torres to Hunter Thompson and Jann himself .. it was distinguished. Now, he may have killed it all.

Rolling Stine magazine Monday posted this – essentially disowning his from the magazine: “Jann Wenner’s recent statements to the New York Times do not represent the values and practices of today’s Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner has not been directly involved in our operations since 2019. Our purpose, especially since his departure, has been to tell stories that reflect the diversity of voices and experiences that shape our world. At Rolling Stone’s core is the understanding that music above all can bring us together, not divide us.”

Here’s the report from Deadline:

FILE – Drew Barrymore attends the Time100 Gala, celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world, at Frederick P. Rose Hall, April 26, 2023, in New York. The National Book Awards dropped Barrymore as the host for this year’s ceremony, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, a day after her talk show taped its first episode since the Hollywood writers strike began. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

DREW’S BLUES — Boy, what did Drew Barrymore ever do to deserve the treatment she’s been through with the media. Sure, her ideas to bring back her daily-chat fest was a good one, for the right reasons, but everyone from Rosie O;’Donnell to the trade papers have bounced on her like madmen. I never met her, don’t hate her, but really … let’s get back to something real, like these Russell Brand-accusations!

SHORT TAKES — We finally caught David Bryne and Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love and absolutely loved it. I remember it well when it premiered at the Public Theater way back when and knew they were trying to get it to Broadway. Honestly, I never thought twice about the Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos story, but the play was riveting then and it remains now. They’ve outfitted NYC’s magnificent Broadway Theater with disco-balls galore and club-lighting and the immersive experience is terrific. Here’s a great re-cap of the play’s evolution from Theatre Guide:

Chris Carter and Micky Dolenz – Breakfast With The Beatles

Micky Dolenz appeared on Sunday’s Breakfast With The Beatles with Chris Carter (on KLOS) and talked about his new Dolenz Sings R.E.M. on Glenn Gretlund’s 7a Records. He also talked about his time with The Beatles and John Lennon. Carter also played a mash-up of Monkees and Beatle-songs which was done in England and it was superb. Here’s a shot from the event at LA’s Hard Rock Cafe on Highland and Hollywood Blvd. … SIGHTING: PR-pasha David Salidor and Benny Harrison at Monday’s Cutting Room tribute to Burt Bacharach … RIP Sammy Ash …

Jimmy Buffet

I’ve been thinking the best way to describe Jimmy Buffet and I saw this headline in LA Magazine: leisure evangelist– and it fits perfectly …

Happy Bday Donnie Kehr and Richard Branciforte.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Dan Mapp; Brad Auerbach; James Clash: Robbie Robertson; Carol Ruth Weber; Randy Alexander; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Andrew Gans; Kathy Brown; Roger Clark; Chris Boneau; Tricia Daniels; Dan Zelinski; Benny Harrison; Steve Walter; Gil Friesen; Donna Dolenz; Dan Mapp; Brad Auerbach; James Clash; and ZIGGY!

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STRIKE UPDATE— (Via TV Line) “9-1-1, what’s your TV emergency?” The dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes need to be resolved by the end of this month if scripted primetime fare such as 9-1-1: Lone Star and The Cleaning Lady are to return with new episodes in the 2023-24 TV season, says Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn.

When last we tuned in, 29 days ago, the WGA had countered the AMPTP’s latest offer; no next meeting has been scheduled. Things are proceeding even slower on the SAG-AFTRA front. Sources tell TVLine that it will take scripted shows roughly eight weeks to get back into production once the strikes are resolved.

 “You’re going get to a point in the fall, in the late fall, where it’s going to be very hard to launch [scripted shows] within the traditional TV viewing season,” Thorn told our sister site Deadline.

If the strikes are resolved later than October 1, that’s where difficult scheduling decisions will have to be made.

“If that means the [delayed scripted] show could work and succeed in the summer [of 2024], great,” Thorn said. Or, “If it’s better to wait for the fall and use football and sports” to promote/launch scripted seasons, “we’ll do that.

“You could use October 1 as the date” by which the writer and actor strikes need to be settled,” Thorn added. “Every show is different but sometimes when you’re staring at a May launch date, you always wonder, ‘Is that the best time?’” to premiere a season/series

Fox’s fall TV slate features one full night of scripted animated fare (on Sundays), while the rest of the week is rife with multiple Gordon Ramsay cooking competitions, new seasons of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, Name That Tune and The Masked Singer, 9-1-1: Lone Star reruns, the new, David Spade-hosted Snake Oil game show, and, of course, Friday Night SmackDown.

But whenever the magical day comes for live-action scripted fare to return to our screens, “we’re going to return those shows with vigor,” Thorn avowed. “We really pride ourselves on ‘less is more’ and we were fortunate to be able to really put our money where our mouth is in that regard. When we return, Animal Control is going to get the full backing of this far-reaching platform [as will] John Wells’ new show, Rescue: Hi-Surf, when we launch it.”

Several columns back we posited that the strike might just be settled by Labor Day .. and we were lambasted with emails from a scattering of actors, writers and below-the-line talent that it would not be. They were right. As Gordon Gekko said, greed is good. Is it? Let’s all make nice and good back to work.

SHORT TAKES — As you may know the Toronto Film Festival has been going on and the two films that have received the most buzz are the Paul-Simon/Alex Gibey doc,

Michael Keaton

In Restless Dreams and Knox Goes Away starring Michael Keaton, who also directs, with Al Pacino, can’t wait to see both. Bravo! …The latest episode of Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building was just OK. So far, this third season has totally underwhelmed us. We said a few columns back it was most likely due to the fact that Martin hasn’t written any of the episodes so far. Why? I have no idea. Matthew Broderick played himself, but with a little more anxiety than usual, but the real highlight of this episode was a video-phone call between Martin Short and Mel Brooks. Irresistibly funny … Hard to believe that it’s the 25th anniversary of MTV’s ground-breaking TRL Live (Total Request Live).

Carson Daly

Carson Daly did a nice remembrance on Thursday’s Today Show, even citing John Norris and Kurt Loder, who were key correspondents. They taped many of the shows at NYC’s long-gone Palladium (now an NYU dorm), but many, many memories come to mind; Hall & Oates rehearsing in their dressing room

Debbie Gibson at Z100 on The Morning Zoo

and running into Debbie Gibson is one. Daly pointed out -and rightly so- TRL was a fan-driven show, where viewers had to request what to hear. These days I guess it’s just a download. Much missed for sure …

Carrie Underwood

Funny watching Carrie Underwood this morning; as she she reminded me so much of Shania Twain. from the music, to her visuals. As always, her “Before He Cheats” is tremendous and a big crowd pleaser … It’s a funny world for sure.

RL Stine

When RL Stine’s Goosebumpsfirst debuted in 1992, it was heralded as refreshingly new, both for the kid-demo and its brilliance. There were a few attempts at a series (even with Stine introducing them) and even a movie in 2015 that did just so-so. Now, with Netflix’s Stranger Things having hit a home run, Disney+ is starting a series, with Justin Long, that appears to veer dangerously close to Stranger Things. Also, oddly enough, Stine does not appear to be involved with it. He says: “I wish I knew something about it. I’m not in the loop. It looked to me like they weren’t going to do an anthology show. They were going to do something different that was some kind of continuing story. That’s what it appeared. But I have no information about it.” It begins on October 31. Have a look at the trailer:

Seeing Here Lies Love Saturday night, can’t wait …

Mary Wilson and Bernie Taupin

Great Bernie Taupin interview on NY Live with Sara Gore. They’re friends, so the interview as sensational. Check it out:

Love Bernie and Sara! …Happy Bday Randy Jones and Amy Billings!

NAMES IN THE NEWS —Andrew Sandoval; Jacqueline Boyd; Alison Martino; Robert Funaro; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Roy Trakin; Daryl Estrea; Glenn Gretlund; Jane Blunkell; Roger Friedman; Felix Cavaliere; Dan Mapp; Jim Kerr; Sam Rubin; Liz White; Grace Mendoza; Roy Trakin; and ZIGGY!

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G.H. Harding

SAJAK’S WHEEL –— (Via TV Insider) Pat Sajak returned Monday, September 11, for what is sure to be a momentous and emotional season, as long-time host Pat Sajak takes center stage for one last time.

Sajak announced his retirement back in June, stating that the upcoming 41st season would be his last, with his final episode set to air in June 2024. He will be replaced by American Idol’s  Ryan Seacrest, who will take over hosting duties from Season 42 onward.

The future of Sajak’s long-time co-host, Vanna White, is still up in the air. While she will be part of Season 41, there have been reports of contract disputes in recent months, with White said to be looking for her first pay raise in 18 years. Whether she sticks with the show after Sajak’s departure remains to be seen.

We do know that White will miss an entire week’s worth of episodes next month. The famous letter-turner missed the Teachers Week block of tapings in late July after she caught COVID-19. Instead of postponing, the show continued with California-based “Teacher of the Year” recipient Bridgette Donald-Blue filling in as letter-turner.

Regardless of what happens next, it has been a heck of a ride over the past 40 years with Sajak and White at the helm.

Sajak took over Wheel from Chuck Woolery in 1981, and White came on board a year later. Things got off to an awkward start, with the pair not yet having the fantastic chemistry they would develop in later years.

“My knees were shaking, my mouth was quivering, I could barely talk,” White told the  Grand Forks Herald in a 2007 interview.

Sajak thought White’s nerves would doom the show, saying in a 2020 interview with  CBS News Sunday Morning, “I didn’t recommend Vanna, and Vanna knows this. Not that she wasn’t lovely and wonderful and personable and all that, but she was the most nervous, by far, of any of [the auditonees].”

Once the initial nerves faded, the duo developed an incredible rapport that viewers loved. In fact, the pair’s on-screen chemistry led to plenty of rumors that they were a romantic couple, something that both White and Sajak have poked fun at over the years.

The iconic game show duo even pulled off a prank, pretending they’d gotten into a relationship together.

“Years and years ago, we did an April Fool’s joke, I don’t know if we said we were married, but we said something about being together, and we received toasters,” White recalled in a 2007 interview with the Television Academy Foundation.

As for Sajak, he shared his thoughts on whether they could have made it as a real-life couple.

“I don’t know how we would’ve done as a couple,” he shared. “We’re together a lot when we are together, and even if you did get on each other’s nerves, and I don’t know that we do, but even if you did, we go our separate ways, and we don’t see each other for two weeks. Every marriage in America would be successful if it were lived that way.”

But by all accounts, Sajak and White have never had a falling out or even a major argument. In an interview with Fox News Digital in 2019, White said, “Believe it or not, Pat Sajak and I have only had one argument in 36 years, and that was over putting ketchup on a hotdog,” adding that she likes ketchup and mustard while Sajak is a mustard only kind of guy.

Strange New Worlds

STRANGE NEW TREK –— The Tiffany-network CBS (and, am I the only one still calling it that I wonder?) pulled a fast one last week in celebration of Star Trek Day on September 8 – it being 57 years since the original series first launched on the network for two seasons – by showing the first two episodes of Paramount+’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on linear TV. It’s ironic that the TV-pundits cited two distinct reasons for the event, firstly, that the networks are running out of shows, and, it was akin to what CBS did several years back during the pandemic when they ran the full-series of Star Trek: Discovery – which was a pretty good show itself. The sudden crenelation of the show was abrupt and caused much speculation as to why. It was, for the record, never really answered.

As a true-Trekker (not Trekkie), there have been so many iterations of Star Trek and the various Star Trek universes, I’m even a bit confused by how they keep coming up with these shows. I guess it just goes to show… a good idea, is a good idea.

Worlds is suppose to occur even before the original series, but the look, the graphics, the CGI is quite amazing. Anson Mount essays Christopher Pike who we know was the original captain of The Enterprise, but was severely wounded. His character lived on in the series, and the character again has factored into several of the Trek-movies J.J .Abrams did. Mount is actually superb and embodies the spirit of Kirk. There’s a new Spock  too (Ethan Peck) and one by one, the characters we’ve known for decades come into play.

The pilot episode was quite good and the second one reminded me of the original Trek-episode in 1968, A Piece Of The Action. The two-shows actually captured the heart-and-soul of the original … and that ain’t an easy thing to do. I’m already overloaded with streaming channels and unfortunately won’t be getting Paramount+. I would have loved to have watched the rest of the shows.

Here’s what the Hollywood Reporter had to say:

Benny Harrison

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT BENNY — We’ve referenced keyboardist-extraordinaire Benny Harrison before in these pages, but we wanted to highlight his forthcoming solo effort, PAGES. We’ve heard it and it’s a terrific effort, rich in lyrical and musical content.

Benny, who’s performed with top caliber artists like Felix Cavaliere, Tommy James, Michael McDonald, Vernon Reid, and, Todd Rundgren, among others, just finished the album, co-produced by Mike Ciro (Alicia Keyes and Alejandro Sanz). The first single “Soon,” will be available shortly.

Benny, whose roots go back, played in The Spyders who had a regular run at the late-great and much-missed China Club. There he met bassist Will Lee, who introduced him to Paul Shaffer and things began to click. In fact, in-session-circles, Harrison is often referred to as “The Legend,” Not a bad nickname to have. One other good nickname is “The Boss.”

Felix Cavaliere said of Harrison: Benny Harrison is an amazing talent. His love for music , his energy and enthusiasm separates him from all the rest. He is not just a musician he is family.”

We’ll have an exclusive interview with Harrison coming up.

Micky Dolenz guests on Chris Carter’s Breakfast With The Beatles this Sunday, September 17, broadcast live from LA’s Hard Rock Cafe on Highland and Hollywood. He’ll talk about his new EP Dolenz Sings R.E.M. (via 7a Records); his forthcoming book I’m Told I Had A Good Time and his show at  L.A.’s  Ace Theatre on September 22. Chris’ show is broadcast on KLOS and SiriusXM … New Van Morrison album titled Accentuate The Positive. A collection of Van’s favorites. Here’s the first track: “Shakin’ All Over” –

Since I’ve been viewing The Band’s Last Waltz of late, no doubt one of the best highlights of the show is Morrison’s “Caravan.” Simply magnificent. Also, the last number of the show, Dylan’s “I Shall be Released” with The Band; Neil Young, Ronnie Wood; Ringo Starr; Eric Clapton; Dr. John; Ronnie Hawkins; Neil Diamond and Morrison. Amazing! … The Alex Gibney/Paul Simon doc In Restless Dreams, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this week to rave revives. It’s long – almost three hours – but Screen Daily said: On the one hand, In Restless Dreams benefits from not being forced to justify some laboured thematic conceit, but on the other, the straightforward career recounting can become pedestrian. Then again, this is where the catalogue of hits helps: audiences will be happily humming along from start to finish. I can’t wait to see it . Simon’s a master ...
RIP Ruschell Boone and Happy BDay Marsha Stern and Joyce Moore!

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