We begin with an announcement. After 12 1/2 years and 784 posts, Michael F is leaving First Draft. Thursdays won’t be the same without him, but we’ll soldier on. His images will live on in our archives and will continue to pop up on new posts as well. He didn’t want a farewell post so this will have to do. He will be missed.
I’m proud to say that, since I’ve been aboard, there’s never been an acrimonious exit from First Draft. Michael is the latest in that tradition. I would welcome back any of the writers who wrote for First Draft during my time here. Y’all know where to find me.
Best wishes to Michael. Thanks for your wit and insight, mon ami. See you in the funny papers.
This week’s theme song was written in 1974 by George Harrison and Ringo Starr for the latter’s smash hit album, Ringo. It’s a wistful song with a gorgeous melody and heartfelt lyrics. It’s one of the best songs George ever wrote and it’s easily the best song Ringo ever recorded.
We have four versions of Photograph for your listening pleasure: the studio original, Ringo live at the Concert For George, Camper van Beethoven, and Colin Hay.
There are, of course, other songs called Photograph. Here are two of them:
Before kicking our second act into high gear, another swell early Ringo song:
It’s an ice people song? Who knew?
How can I resist posting the Reens doing Ringo?
We finally begin our second act in earnest with a true crime history segment.
The Bloody Benders: I had never heard of these Wild West era serial killers until Colin Dickey wrote about them in Slate. You know what they say, the family that slays together stays together or some such shit.
It’s an awesome and weird story. Check it out.
Is Bender of Futurama fame related?
Shall we dance with Bender and Ella?
Let’s dance over to Gum Springs, Virginia then to Mount Vernon.
West Ford: Son Of GW? There’s a swell piece in the New Yorker by Jill Abramson in which the former NYT editor ponders the segment title. Instead of going west, West Ford founded Gum Springs. It’s unclear if he was really George Washington’s son but it makes for a helluva article. Get thee to the New Yorker for the details.
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: I was a huge fan of the great 1980’s Los Angeles Lakers teams. That’s right, I rooted for Goliath aka Kareen Abdul-Jabbar. I was in exile in Baton Rouge at that point where all the conservative white people rooted for the Celtics and Black folks for the Lakers. I chose my team accordingly.
There’s a mini-series about that Lakers team on HBO right now. I should have been the target audience for Winning Time, but I slogged through one episode and couldn’t take anymore. It was too damn cartoony for my taste. Besides, it’s confusing that a series about the Showtime Lakers is on HBO.
Below are two Pat Rileys. The real guy as he looked during his peak years as Lakers head coach side-by-side with Adrien Brody made up to resemble Riley during his time as a Lakers broadcaster. I’m not sure what I think of the casting, but I already told you it was a live action cartoon, so I don’t care. I do, however, dig Brody’s tie.
The Movie List: William Hurt died last weekend at the age of 71. After a decade as an unlikely movie star, Hurt moved into character roles as his hairline receded. I identify with said recession.
Some of Hurt’s best later work was on teevee so I’m using the Spike Lee word joint in lieu of movie.
My Top Ten Favorite William Hurt Joints
- Broadcast News
- The Accidental Tourist
- Body Heat
- Gorky Park
- The Big Chill
- One True Thing
- An Act Of Violence
- Kiss Of The Spider Woman
Try as I might, I couldn’t get the Spider Woman to line up properly. It seems to be a downside of the new format, so I just had to kiss it off…
Born On This Day: There are many distinguished March 19th babies. It was hard to winnow the list down to five. But winnow I must and winnow I did. I felt like Winnow the Pooh when I was finished winnowing…
Here’s this week’s photo array: lawman Wyatt Earp, Chief Justice Earl Warren, funny woman Moms Mabley, novelist Philip Roth, and actress Glenn Close who co-starred in two of the Hurt joints. Cute dog, eh?
The first two March 19th babies had something to do with the law and Glenn Close played a feral lawyer in Damages, #9 on the Hurt list. That’s why the last word of the segment goes to Jefferson Airplane with a Grace Slick song.
The Best Of Johnny: Jonathan Winters week continues with two Tonight Show segments. See Jonathan crack up Johnny with his deadpan delivery and zany storytelling. Laugh, Johnny, laugh.
Johnny Carson smoked like a chimney for much of his life. I haven’t seen any cigarette ads featuring him, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if I did.
Coffin Nail Corner: It’s a Lucky Strike sign circa 1920 featuring Detroit Tigers great Harry Heilmann. Harry was indeed lucky and rarely struck out. Get it?
Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with the GIFs that keep on giving.
Saturday GIF Horse: Some real Showtime Lakers, not the fake HBO ones. First, Magic Johnson to James Worthy for a score then a classic Kareem skyhook.
That’s all for this week, The last word goes to First Draft writers at Rising Tide 6 in New Orleans: Adrastos, Athenae, and Michael F.