Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscars, Shaq and Conan [The Weekend that Was]

Friends, it seems we've developed a bit of a pattern here at Schiff Happens:
  1. Blog a bunch of shit during the week
  2. Promise to self and/or SH Faithful to continue our unparalleled coverage and commentary over the weekend.
  3. Completely neglect weekend.
  4. Return Monday with too much to discuss and more empty promises to self and/or SH Faithful to improve weekend posting habits.
  5. ...............
  6. Profit.
On the one hand, I should have no excuse for basically ignoring this space over the weekends, especially since I have more than my share of free time during these freezing cold, winter-in -New-York lazy Sunday weekends. On the other hand, I don't get paid for this shit, so if you have a problem with my business model then step up and show me the money. Until then, Step 6 is 'Profit' and that's the story I'm sticking with. Right now, a few things that happened over the weekend.

Hail King Shaq, High King and Protector of Twitteronia I recently declared that I had joined Shaq Fu's legion of twitterputian followers in the hopes of connecting with the Big Fella whom I hold in such high esteem (shameless follow me plug). I tweeted his way a few times, not expecting any response, just to let him know that he had yet another admirer. Not two days later, the Big Tweet was reaching out to his people:

"Incredible!" I thought to myself. I replied, wanting to know how many people mob the Big Shaqtus when he posts his location like that, and moments later came another tweet:

If anyone were to doubt the realness of THE_REAL_SHAQ, clearly this post would offer definitive proof. Someone had to respond to this call to arms from the Twitter King himself, and sure enough, people did. Not long after that, Lord Shaq addressed the Twitterpeople one final time with an official decree:

To me, this is just one more example of how Shaq gets it. What other pro athlete puts himself out there like that and actually backs it up? I like to think that this is a response to my homage, albeit indirect. I reached out to the Diesel, and he reached out to the people. Of course, his most recent tweet should not be construed in any way as a response to yours truly.

Come on, Shaq! We all know that toilet texting (or twittering) is the quickest way to lose a phone. I guess it's true what has been said through the ages: For every king, a throne. Long live THE_REAL_SHAQ, King of Twitteronia.

The reports of Conan's death are greatly exaggerated On Friday night, the world bid farewell to Conan O'Brien...sort of. It was Conan's final show as host of Late Night before he takes over for Jay Leno in LA on The Tonight Show. As Conan tore apart his set to give to the crowd, welcomed back Andy Richter and reflected on his long, strange Late Night trip, I understood his emotion, but in the back of my mind I couldn't help but think, "This is effing stupid. He's not really going anywhere - he's just moving to a different time and coast. You don't even have to change the channel!" I do need to commend Conan for his heartfelt farewell, thanks-for-the-memories address toward the end of the show, during which he became obviously choked up and revealed a side of himself that fans generally don't get to see behind his zany antics. As I've been in the habit of wildly praising celebrities for doing so, I'd be sort of a hypocrite not to in this case. However, I'm glad I'm not the only one questioning the funeral of these last few shows. Conan deserves to and should reflect emotionally over the transition, but it just doesn't affect me all that much as a consumer.
The biggest impact I'll feel from the move is now I'll be getting the inside info from Smellson on Jimmy Fallon's musical guests instead of Conan's. Speaking of which, you can totally spot our boy in the big crew photo they showed toward the end of the broadcast. I'll post a screen grab later and you guys can play "Where's Pel?" Actually, Mr. Pel had a decent story of his first and only interaction with Conan. Having introduced himself and explained his role in music licensing to Conan, Pel looked on in wide-eyed wonder as the host of Late Night smiled and said, "Oh, so you're that dick!" Nobody deserves it more than you, my friend.
As far as the actual episode itself, a few quick thoughts. I thought Will Ferrell did a great job and contained all the things I usually hate about him. Ever since Bonnaroo '06, John Mayer has delightfully surprised me - awesome job by him on his "LA's Gonna Eat You Alive" send-off for Conan. I enjoyed the White Stripes and thought that their song choice and delivery was appropriate for what seemed to be a legitimately moving moment for them and Conan, even if we know that they could have rocked Studio 6A to the ground had they so chosen. Finally, Conan played our favorite clip of all time! Better still, he introduced it as his favorite thing he's ever done. Clearly we have great taste.

The White Stripes perform "We're Going to be Friends" on the Late Night with Conan O'Brien finale.

And the Oscar goes to...who cares, you haven't seen any of this shit Every year I get suckered into the Oscars thinking I'll find something new to enjoy despite not having seen any of the movies. Nope. Wrong again. Springsteen was snubbed for Best Original Song long before Sunday night, and there were obvious shenanigans afoot as his buddy Mickey Rourke was hosed for Best Actor. Yea, I formulate opinions without seeing the actual work. Wanna fight about it? The best moments were Ben Stiller having a go at Joaquin Phoenix and Seth Rogen and James Franco's Pineapple Express-inspired look back at the year in comedy. I always preferred them in Freaks and Geeks myself.
The one silver lining this year was that Twitter made the show bearable, specifically the hilarious running commentary of Kevin Pollak. If I didn't have his sardonic, bitterness-infused, 140-character jokes to keep me company, there's no way I'm staying up late enough to see the entire city of Mumbai accept the Best Picture award for Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog, incidentally, was the only "Oscar buzz" movie I saw this year - besides The Dark Knight, but, you know, that doesn't count because it's a superhero movie. FML - so maybe it's because I have no basis for comparison, but before last night, I hadn't considered that people might have actually not liked the movie. Yet there were my roommate and his girlfriend, returning from the theater as the awards were just beginning, telling me they weren't huge fans and trying to understand what the big deal was. While I enjoyed it, it's hard to read this and not find yourself agreeing with a whole bunch of it. But that's America - we're still gonna go for the underdog love story every time.

That's why you have to root for me, America. I may be sloppy on weekends, but with your support - Please make my day and weigh in on any of this stuff. I'd truly love to hear your opinions - my underdog story will have a happy ending that you saw coming miles away but gets you all choked up anyway. And then, on that glorious day....


1 comment:

Matthew said...

hey man, he told me he was kidding and then thanked me for all my hard work....leaving stuff out, yo.

it was a fun and exciting time to work on conan and the staff party was great. jack and meg white happen to be great people to talk to.

wheres the screen shot? i'm glad you spotted me...