Saturday Odds & Sods: Behind The Lines

Characters Of The Night by Joan Miro.

It’s been a trying week for me. Stomach bugs not only mess with your innards, they wreak havoc on one’s schedule. It’s also weird being sick for the first time in three years. It lasted far too long. Oh well, what the hell.

It was such a beautiful day in my neck of the woods that fewer folks read my Friday afternoon posts than usual. Let’s take another crack at it, bullet point style.

I’m known for my shameless plugs. That might be the most shameless to date.

Let’s get on with it. I rambled enough in my last potpourri post, which grew like topsy if not kudzu. That’s the long and short of it. Mostly the long. Oops, I did it again.

Pitiful or shameless? You decide.

This week’s theme song was written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins, and Mike Rutherford in 1980 for the Duke album. Mike wrote the lyrics. He’s the tall one.

We have two versions of Behind The Lines for your listening pleasure: the Genesis original and Phil Collins covering himself in 1981.

Face Value is the only Phil Collins album I like. You’ll have to take that at face value. Ponder that while listening to the next song in line:

One more line song before we move on:

Before you call me an old goat, let’s begin our second act with a tribute to Richard Belzer who died in February at the age of 78.

Munching On Hecklers: Most of us knew Richard Belzer for playing Detective John Munch for a hundred years on Homicide and Law & Order SVU. He was excellent in that role, but his passion was stand up comedy.

Fellow comedian Ritch Shydner wrote a fine tribute to the Belz focusing on his facility for dealing with hecklers:

During any given show, he might talk to ten audience members and insult each one in a different way. By the time he finished mauling some heckler, the rest of the audience avoided his gaze like he was a gang of switchblade-flicking, leather-jacketed hoodlums entering their empty subway car at three in the morning. His New York speaking rhythm pulsed with New York phrases: “Yeah, right.” “What’re you gonna do?” “You know what I’m saying?” Sometimes that last one was a slam, and other times it was an admission he was on his own: “You know what I’m saying? … Apparently not.”

The last word of the segment goes to Richard Belzer in 1989:

Longtime readers know that I’m fascinated with and by fakes. This next phony is a doozy.

Fake Sherlock: There’s a jaw dropping investigative piece in New York Magazine by David Gauvey Herbert about Richard Walter. Walter is a self-proclaimed profiling genius out of Philly. He co-founded the Vidocq Society, ostensibly made up of fellow crime experts. There’s only one problem. Richard Walter is a fake.

Walter may be a repellant phony but he has a way with invective:

Walter knew how to give delicious, cinematic quotes, and he cultivated his eccentricities for journalists and producers. He boasted of subsisting on cigarettes and cheeseburgers. He said that when the time was right, he would “lie down to quite pleasant dreams” using sodium pentothal. He once yelled at a suspect, “I’ll chew your dick down so far you won’t have enough left to fuck roadkill.”

Where have you gone Don Rickles? Mr. Warmth, however, was the real deal. Richard Walter is a phony.

The last word of our second act goes to Sparks:

We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.

Separated At Birth Casting Edition: Recently, I had a dream in which Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy figured. It was a long dream; nothing involving Tolstoy was ever short.

There’s a 2009 movie about Tolstoy and his wife Sophia, The Last Station. Two great actors played them, Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren. Here they are side-by-side with the real deal.

The Movie List is on vacation with Pulp Fiction Thursday. I hope they stick to Bourbon and don’t imbibe any umbrella drinks.

FYI, Chris Plummer went to high school with Oscar Peterson. Plummer was intimidated by OP’s talent. Who wasn’t?

Your Weekly Oscar: After his hero Nat King Cole died, Oscar Peterson recorded a tribute album that could have been titled Oscar Sings. He hadn’t recorded his singing voice before because he felt he sounded too much like Nat.

Here’s a double dose of the same song. The great Jimmy McHugh composed the music.

Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?

Let’s make like Joe Biden and visit Ireland.

Saturday GIF Horse: Ever since I wrote a post about the Good Friday Agreement, I’ve had Derry Girls on my mind. If you’ve never seen it, treat yourself to this hilarious character driven comedy. It’s streaming on Netflix. It gets high marks from me: 4 stars and an Adrastos Grade of A-

Random Video Clip Of The Week: An ancient water main in Uptown New Orleans burst recently. A member of the Tulane Women’s swimming team decided to take a dip. It was a damnably dippy decision.

In a word: Gross.

I am speechless but the Boy Wonder is never at a loss for words:

Let’s close down this virtual honky tonk with some more music.

Saturday Classic: In an act of either folly or madness, this week’s Sunday Dozen will feature the music of The Beatles. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Here are two songs that just missed the cut.

That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Ned Beatty and Richard Belzer in Homicide:

2 thoughts on “Saturday Odds & Sods: Behind The Lines

  1. Richard Belzer had a show called “Hot Properties”. I don’t remember much about it except that Belzer was one funny guy.

  2. l listened to his show “Brink & Belzer” on WNBC new York every weekday morning in the 70s as i was getting ready for school. he was hilarious.

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