As it does every year at this time, summer has come to New Orleans. The dew point and humidity are on the rise and the highs are in the high-eighties and low nineties. It’s time for the big sweat. It’s one of the downsides of living in such an interesting and lively city. I won’t list the other downsides, but they involve infrastructure and incompetent city government. Oh well, what the hell.
This week’s theme song was written by John Wetton and Geoff Downes for the pop-prog supergroup Asia’s eponymous 1981 debut album. It was a smash hit reaching #1 on the Billboard charts when that really meant something.
We have three versions of Heat Of The Moment for your listening pleasure: the original video, Asia live in 2011, and Cartman serenading Congress in a 2001 episode of South Park. I am not making this up.
It’s got to be much hotter in New Orleans to qualify as a heat wave, but we’ll eventually have several so let’s be prepared:
Notice how the Holland-Dozier-Holland song title is one word whereas Irving Berlin used two. Both are correct. Language is a funny thing.
We begin our second act with a piece about the New Yorkiest New York politician who ever New Yorked.
Koch In The Closet: There’s an excellent piece by Matt Flegenheimer and in the NYT. It looks at 3-term NYC mayor Ed Koch who lived his life in denial despite all the rumors about his sexual orientation. His poor performance during the AIDS crisis resulted in his losing a bid for a fourth term.
This is the most sympathetic I’ve ever found Ed Koch. For the details, get thee to the Gray Lady.
The Broken Heart Of The Godfather: There’s a swell retrospective profile by Vanity Fair’s Yohana Desta of the remarkable life and career of John Cazale. He’s best known for playing Fredo Corleone, but he was just as good in The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter. He died of cancer in 1978 at the age of 42.
The last word of our second act goes to George Jones:
That George Jones song is also a segue to our third act, which begins, as always, with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: The Watergate teevee shows keep coming. Gaslit focuses on Tricky Dick’s Attorney General/Campaign manager John Mitchell and his wife Martha.
Martha did the talking for the couple. I think John kept a pipe in his mouth to avoid speaking at all. Martha’s mouth got her in trouble because she told the truth about the Nixon administration.
Like Martha Mitchell, Julia Roberts is from the South. It’s inspired casting:
While we’re Southbound, here’s an Allman Brothers song from the Watergate era:
The Movie List: I called Ed Koch the New Yorkiest New York politician who ever New Yorked. Change the word politician to actor and it’s Al Pacino.
My Top Ten Favorite Al Pacino Movies
- The Godfather Trilogy
- Dog Day Afternoon
- Donnie Brasco
- Glengarry Glen Ross
- Carlito’s Way
- Sea Of Love
Conspicuous by its absence is Pacino’s Oscar winning performance in Scent of a Woman. I’m not a fan of that flick. Pacino is almost as hammy in it as he is in And Justice For All. But he sure can tango, so can Boz Scaggs:
The Best Of Johnny: Two show biz icons for the price of one, Sean Connery and Johnny Carson.
Make that two show biz icons in two parts. I feel a musical interlude coming on:
Saturday GIF Horse: My obsession with The Shield continues. These two GIFs show CCH Pounder giving some of the dirtiest looks seen since the heyday of the late Della Street who I called the queen of dirty looks.
Tweet Of The Week: It involves an eccentric protest by fine actor and angry vegan James Cromwell:
“Babe” & “Succession” actor James Cromwell superglued himself to the counter of a Starbucks café in New York City on Tuesday to protest of the chain’s policy of charging extra for plant-based milk https://t.co/8ud32BWh0k pic.twitter.com/Zx0bb2LvMD
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 10, 2022
How could they forget that a young James Cromwell played Stretch Cunningham on All In The Family? Archie Bunker had a swell nickname for him:
Instead of Bob Hope performing his theme song, it’s time for A Little Touch of Schmilsson In The Night:
Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.
That’s all for this week. The last word goes to John Cazale and Al Pacino in the #2 film on the Pacino list, Dog Day Afternoon: