Category Archives: Entertainment

60 Believe it or Not Facts for Bill Murray’s 60th Birthday


Who doesn’t love Bill Murray? Well, a recent poll of the world finds that nobody doesn’t love him. There was a 100% positive response. It was unbelievable, yet completely believable.

The legendary comedic actor turns 60 years old on September 21st. To celebrate, here are 60 facts, some well-known, others not-so-well-known, about him.

1. Bill was born on September 21st, 1950 in Wilmette, Illinois.

2. He is the fifth of nine children.

3. His father, Edward, was a lumber salesman.

4. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis wrote the first draft of Ghostbusters after witnessing Bill kill two actual ghosts with a rolled-up newspaper.

5. His sister, Nancy, is a genuine Sister (a nun). She plays St. Catherine of Siena in a one-woman show. Ain’t that nuts?

6. Bill was first offered Cary Grant’s eventual role in His Girl Friday, ten full years before Murray’s birth.

7. Murray owns a restaurant called the Caddy Shack with his brothers. He enjoys the crab cakes.

8. He does his own podcast, “Take a Chill Pill with Bill”. He has never released a single episode to the public.

9. Murray has never delivered a scripted line in any movie… ever. It’s all off the top of his head.

10. Dancing with the Stars has pursued Bill for years, but he refuses to dance with a partner.

11. He is co-owner of minor league baseball teams in St. Paul, Fort Myers, Husdon Valley, Brockton and Sioux Falls. He occasionally plays left field in disguise.

12. Stripes was a documentary. Murray and Harold Ramis changed their names during filming for reasons of national security.

13. Bill’s fridge is stocked with distilled water and baking soda. Nobody knows why.

14. One of his brothers, John (star of 1985’s Moving Violations), lives solely off the annual check that Bill sends his siblings for Christmas.

15. He attended Regis College in Denver before dropping out as a sophomore. He didn’t like the food.

16. Murray convinced Columbia Pictures to make The Razor’s Edge by agreeing to be in Ghostbusters. For Ghostbusters 3, it is believed that he will try to make a similar deal to get a Rip Taylor biopic made.

17. J.D. Salinger famously never sold the movie rights to The Catcher in the Rye, thinking only he himself could pull off the character of Holden Caulfield. He was wrong. Bill Murray could have pulled it off at any point in his career, even now. J.D. was a big phony in this regard.

18. The groundhog used in Groundhog Day bit Bill twice during filming. Not to be outdone, Murray bit the groundhog three times.

19. Bill Murray is hilarious.

20. His favorite baseball team is the Chicago Cubs. His least favorite team was the Montreal Expos. That’s the real reason why they moved and changed their name.

21. Bill played Hunter S. Thompson in Where the Buffalo Roam. It was the only thing that the curmudgeonly Thompson ever liked, besides booze, drugs and guns.

22. If you play the audio from Bill’s scenes in Kingpin backwards you find detailed instructions on how to bowl a perfect game.

23. The Mayan calendar ends on December 21st, 2012. Bill knows exactly why this is and will reveal it on December 20th, 2012.

24. A recent study showed that 97% of men try to emulate Bill Murray while flirting. The other 3% are dead.

25. Bill hates the number 26.

27. He doesn’t own a computer, but has a complete understanding of them.

28. When playing in pro-am golf events, Bill often hits bad shots on purpose. Playing good golf just isn’t funny.

29. He replaced Chevy Chase on the original cast of “Saturday Night Live”. Chevy Chase is a douche, but that’s really a fact for another list.

30. Murray places weekly, encouraging phone calls to all the players on his fantasy football team.

31. To get a rough estimate of the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, one can count the number of times a cricket chirps in 15 seconds and then add 37. Bill discovered this.

32. Murray bloodied his head during a recent stunt on “The Late Show”. Up until this point, the scientific community was unsure if Bill could actually bleed.

33. Contrary to news reports at the time, Murray did not skydive with the US Army Parachute Team Golden Knights in 2008. They jumped with him.

34. Bill was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Lost in Translation in 2003. Sean Penn won instead. To make amends, Penn punched out Murray’s least-favorite paparazzo.

35. His favorite color is green.

36. He appeared in Space Jam with his friend Michael Jordan, but he refused to speak to Bugs Bunny off camera.

37. The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup. Unless you’re Bill Murray. Then the best part of waking up is remembering how rich, talented and enchanting you are.

38. Bill voiced Garfield the cat in two films, confirming the long-held belief that not even Bill Murray could make Garfield cool.

39. A priest, a rabbi, an imam and Bill Murray walk into a bar. Bill proceeds to charm the hell out of the group and everyone goes home without incident.

40. Murray doesn’t have any pet peeves.

41. Netflix started out as a small operation called BillFlix that mailed out copies of Murray’s films.

42. Bill was stopped in Sweden for operating a golf cart while under the influence of alcohol. He delivered some Caddyshack lines and the cops let him go.

43. It’s a very closely guarded secret that the Associated Press College Football Poll is actually just Bill’s personal rankings.

44. Murray started the current bedbug crisis in New York City as a goof. He feels terrible about it.

45. It’s widely known that Murray doesn’t have an agent or publicist, but he does have a butler just for his shoe closet.

46. He has six children, all boys. Bill considers that a complete success.

47. One of his sons, Luke Murray, is a basketball coach at Wagner College. Isn’t that nice?

48. Bill broke Robert De Niro’s nose while filming Mad Dog and Glory. When asked why he did it, Murray replied, “Why not?”

49. Bill isn’t buying the hype around Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. You shouldn’t either.

50. He married his first wife in Las Vegas on Super Bowl Sunday. Coolest. Wedding. Ever.

51. Murray was arrested at age 20 for attempting to smuggle 9 pounds of marijuana through an airport. There’s no joke here. That’s just a lot of weed.

52. It’s difficult to come up with 60 facts about anyone, let alone the reclusive Bill Murray.

53. He briefly studied philosophy in France. By philosophy I mean women, by France I mean everywhere, and by briefly I mean indefinitely.

54. Bill wrote a book, “Cinderella Story: My Life in Golf”. It has replaced The Bible in several forward-thinking churches.

55. He once called a Cubs game for WGN-TV. It was the first time in baseball history that an announcer, not a pitcher, was awarded the win.

56. Has been repeatedly asked to join Mensa, but refuses because he doesn’t want to get roped into working the pancake breakfast fundraiser.

57. Bill once FedEx-ed an entire truckload of Coca-Cola to the world headquarters of Pepsi just to mess with them.

58. Murray recently bartended for members of the Wu Tang Clan during the South by Southwest festival in Austin. So he’s got that going for him.

59. He has the world’s largest collection of vintage umbrellas. Has been quoted as saying he is “saving them for a rainy day.”

60. A shared admiration for Murray and his role in Meatballs almost got The Beatles back together in late 1979.

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Filed under Bill Murray, Entertainment, Film, Humor, TV

SBTB Clean-Up

OK, so half of today’s post will officially be the final installment of a supposed 3-part series looking into why Jimmy Fallon’s Saved by the Bell reunion idea will fail.  Part 1 and 2 were depressing, seeing childhood heroes in shambles.

Since the last post, Lark Voorhies officially committed to the idea, but I figured that would happen.  The final two cast members to weigh in on are Tiffany-Amber Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski) and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessica Myrtle “Jessie” Spano).  I will quickly fill you in as to why they won’t (probably) agree to appear.

Thiessen is going to have a full schedule this summer, as a sleazy photographer convinced her to go to Paris for the summer.  This seemed an odd move for an established actress, but the guy was really convincing and even shamed her boyfriend into supporting the idea.

Taking a break from cheerleading, volleyball, and swim practice.
Taking a break from cheerleading, volleyball, and swim practice.

Berkley, on the other hand, may actually want to be part of the reunion, but will definitely oversleep and miss the event.  Rumors around Tinsletown have Elizabeth again popping caffeine pills and staying awake for days, only to crash and throw tizzy fits about not having “enough time”.

She is so scared.

She is so scared.

In the absence of these two, a random butch chick in a leather jacket may suffice as a stand-in (and then mysteriously disappear if Tiffany and Elizabeth show up for the last several minutes of the show).

Tori is now a lesbian photgrapher.  That is not a joke.
Tori is now a lesbian photgrapher. That is not a joke.

Alrighty, enough SBTB.

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Filed under Entertainment, Humor, Late Night TV, Mystery, Running, Saved By The Bell, TV, Uncategorized

Honeymoon in Blog Vegas: Part Two (Revenge of the Hunks)

 

Hey hey, party people. It’s time for Part Two of my examination into why Jimmy Fallon’s plan to reunite the cast of Saved by the Bell will fail.

Before I dive in, allow me to set the record straight about some things. After the last post, I received some flak for the way I demeaned Fallon and his idea. While I may have been purposely knocking on Jimmy the (non)Wonder Boy, I would never do anything to deface the image of SBTB. As an almost lifelong fan of the series (I was two when “Good Morning Miss Bliss” started), I was merely making light of the situation.

Believe me, Saturday mornings of the early 90’s saw a young me plunked down in front of the family television, believing that destiny would someday unite me and Tiffany Amber-Thiessen. My older sister, the SBTB patriarch of the family, would be there too (in her Guess jeans and ESPRIT sweatshirt) hoping that Mark Paul or Mario would freeze time, jump out of the TV and sweep her off her feet.

SBTB watching attire.

SBTB watching attire.

 

Personally, I would love to see the gang get back together after all these years. My preference would be some sort of cheesy “Big Brother”esque series in which the cast members are locked together for a couple of weeks on the old set of the Max.

We could throw Haskins a bone and let him host, the cast would have to re-enact scenes from the show, and who knows, maybe Casey Kasem shows up for the finale and throws a friggin’ dance contest. Maybe this time Slater and Kelly will rightfully be named the victors (don’t even get me started on the logical fallacy of awarding 1st place in a dance contest to someone for hopping on one leg, no matter how fetching Lisa was while doing so).

Anyways, “on with the countdown”. Last time I explained why Dustin Diamond and Lark Voorhies are the most likely to appear on Jimmy Fallon’s theoretical reunion show. While still long shots, we have the best chance of seeing them due, mainly, to financial problems they may or may not have.

Today we visit with two more members of the cast. The remaining four are less and less likely to materialize as they actually have jobs, but perhaps Fallon can pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat (as Max used to do with regularity before everyone abandoned his café).

Here we go (Bayside, here we go):

3. Mario Lopez a.k.a. Albert Clifford (A.C.) Slater

slater

 

Since Bayside High closed its doors (at least to the “old class”), Mario has actually been the busiest of the bunch. He was a bicycle cop, Greg Louganis, a couple of sleazy boyfriends, a soap opera doctor, another police officer, a doctor again, and danced with stars. He has also hosted more game/talk shows than anyone in cable TV history, surpassing Wink Martindale.

I’m giving Mario the third best chance of appearing, mainly due to his apparent desire to be seen, in some shape or form, on TV everyday for the rest of history. Possible re-runs of Fallon’s show would bolster that campaign, if only slightly.

I will warn Jimmy that in order to get Lopez to show up, he must be willing to turn around at least one chair on his set so it can be rocked “Slater Style”.

The only to sit in pleated jeans.

The only way to sit in pleated jeans.

 

4. Mark-Paul Gosselaar a.k.a. Zack Morris

zack

 

The heart-throb. The smooth operator. The scam artist. The leader of the pack. The guy that can call a time-out and freeze the world.

Mark-Paul’s legendary character served as the subject of many dreams for teenage girls in the 90’s, and gave a high watermark of coolness for young men to try and match. Yours truly once went to the trouble of tearing out a picture of Gosselaar from his aforementioned sister’s Teen Beat magazine, in hopes that the barber could cut and style his hair in an identical fashion. I was crushed to find out that my hair was too short and had to leave with the only thing I could otherwise accept as “radical”, a Chris Mullen flattop.

“The Goss” has also worked a lot since his time as a Tiger, having appeared on many short-lived cable dramas (short-lived through no fault of his own!) and a couple of semi-mainstream films. He has a cable television record of his own, having been the abusive college boyfriend in no less than 36 Lifetime movies.

In addition to acting, Mark-Paul has a part-time auto racing career, but has yet to fulfill the prediction made by one SBTB episode that he would become a Vanilla Ice lookalike, only coming down from his hip-hop cloud to visit friends in hospitals.

Fallon has an outside chance of landing him, but only if he is kept completely separate from Dustin Diamond. While horsing around on set with the robot “Kevin” one time, Diamond spilled a glass of grape juice all over guest star Leah Remini, shortening her workday and blowing Gosselaar’s chance of hooking-up. This has never been forgiven.

 

Next post: Tiffany and Elizabeth, the two very vanilla parts of “Hot Sundae”.

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Saved By The Bell: Honeymoon in Blog Vegas

Some of the best ideas are formulated in the midst of desperation, and there isn’t a more desperate man alive right now than Jimmy Fallon.  Since taking the reigns from Conan O’Brien, Fallon has been working on formulating a late night identity all of his own.

He has The Roots as a house band (they must have lost the worst bet in history) and apparently he Twitters a lot.  Beyond that, Jimmy needs some help.


Sorry, going to take more than a couple of tweets.

Sorry, going to take more than a couple of tweets.

I will say that I haven’t personally watched more than short clips of Fallon’s show, having gone on a self-imposed NBC embargo since last year.  This started upon receiving the world’s shortest “Thanks, but no thanks” letter from them following a costly trip/interview.  But this is all secondary to my point that Fallon kinda blows.


However, a recent move may pay dividends for the sweatiest young man on TV.  On Friday’s show, Jimmy introduced an idea that I myself have kicked around for several years (unfortunately I’ve had no access to a major network television show to throw it out there).  Mr. Fallon is going to attempt to reunite, on his show, for the first time since the end of the series’ run, the cast of ….


…SAVED BY THE BELL


In the video clip seen here, Jimmy implores the audience to rally around the idea by signing an online petition (apparently television actors are obligated to follow the demands of web-goers with cheeto-stained fingers, as long as they have a petition). He tries to start the movement off with a bang, by introducing the first (and most bloated) piece of the puzzle, Mr. Dennis Haskins, a.k.a. Principal Richard Belding.


While a positive first step, the support of The Big Bopper (Belding’s KKTY DJ moniker for those of you not well-versed in SBTB lore) isn’t going to excite any dyed-in-the-wool fans. Haskins is seemingly strapped for cash and would be willing to appear for any late night TV stunt/Payless shoe store grand opening if the price is right.


The real trick will be convincing the (worthwhile) actors who portrayed the students of Bayside. I’ve painstakingly (randomly) researched (made-up) the reasons why they will be tough sells for Fallon, and rated their chances of appearing. In today’s Part One of a two or three part series, I catch-up with several of our favorite Tigers.


  1. Dustin Diamond a.k.a. Samuel Screech Powers

screech2


Mr. Diamond has had a rough go of it since the end of SBTB. He has tried and failed to find another venue to display his God-given talents (term used loosely). He appeared in some movies you’ve never seen, was cast on several “reality” shows you couldn’t have found with a TV Guide subscription and a private investigator, made a sex tape, and even put out an instructional chess video.


His main passion now, and biggest road block to an appearance on Fallon’s show, is stand-up comedy. Having been unable to find a spot on the national scene, Diamond somehow coerced his way into a permanent emcee spot at Milwaukee’s one and only GiggleHut comedy club. Unless he can find a replacement for an evening, he is booked.


I’m still giving him the best odds to appear though, as the appearance fee would allow him to take a chunk out of the back taxes and utility bills he currently owes. Also, the spread at the craft services table would be his heartiest meal in months.


  1. Lark Voorhies a.k.a. Lisa Turtle


lisa1

Oh Lark, sweet sweet Lark – my wild-card of the group. The only reason I rate her as the second most likely to appear is her lack of recent work. Initially, after SBTB’s run was over she appeared on Family Matters, Fresh Prince, a shampoo commercial, a soap opera, and more R&B videos than you can shake a stick at. Incidentally, one of the videos was Bobby Brown’s “Stick Shaker”. The TV work has recently fizzled out though.


Voorhies did have some success with a music career and apparently she is still pursuing it. Here’s hoping the 2009 holiday season brings “Hark Lark! Voorhies Sings the Xmas Classics” to a Big Lots! shelf near you.

Again, our best hope for her to appear is financial stress, as she has a gargantuan plastic hoop earring collection to maintain and expand.


Check back this week for Part Two of the most depressing look at former child stars ever.

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Filed under Entertainment, Humor, Late Night TV, Saved By The Bell, TV, Uncategorized

Where Are They Now?

Welcome to the first in a series of segments where we here at the blog invite a down-and-out individual to tell their own story. They’ll expand on what caused their fall from grace, what was their rock-bottom, and what, if anything, they’re doing to rebound.      

            

This week, DoAsIWrite welcomes Pluto to our page. Pluto, long-time 9th planet from the Sun, has suffered a series of setbacks, stemming from the 2006 decision by a council of peers that it was no longer to be considered a true planet.   Pluto now tells the tale: 

It all started about two years ago with a call from Neptune.  We’ve been friends for eons and I’ve come to trust her on all matters concerning The Nine, or what I should be calling now The Eight, I guess. Through the years there have been strong friendships bordering on gravity-like bonds, and torrid love affairs amongst the various members of the group.  But no matter the intensity, we all always knew that time and space would soon separate us for centuries while we stuck to our agreed upon paths.          

This was just an accepted fact amongst us all.  Being the closest in proximity, Neptune and I have kept the most meaningful, albeit plutonic (as I’m predestined, alas), relationship. So it probably hurt the most getting the news from her first. Her approach was careful, giving me the impression she had practiced before picking up the phone.  

“I’m sorry, it’s just over,” was the bottom line.  I was out.  Too small.  Too distant.  Too unorthodox of a path.  

I guess that I had a pretty good run.  For more than 60 years I was part of the most intriguing club this side of Orion’s Belt. Being a planet is a good life, a very good life.  The royalties from text books alone pays the mortgage and then some. I was set.

And those trysts I mentioned? I had a long-distance thing going with Mercury for a while.  We both knew we weren’t right for each other, she being a flaming ball of gas, and me mostly ice, but we had fun while it lasted. That’s just the type of thing planets did back then, fun for fun’s sake.

Despite being the farthest away, I still enjoyed my share of attention.  Disney named a dog after me, and I didn’t even care that it was the non-talking one. I was popular enough to turn down opportunities that I thought would reflect me in a bad light, even though Eddie Murphy did slip this one past me.  

Things have obviously changed. I was confused at first, but anger soon followed. I even considered going all asteroid on Earth, where the “astronomers” live.  Seriously, those pencil necks wouldn’t know a planet if it bit them.

But I cooled off, as I tend to do being this far from the sun. My immediate problem was lack of funds now that the big-time education money was drying-up. I even lived with my mom for a bit. That was probably my low-point. I went from circling our star with purpose and determination one day, to sitting in my boxers, eating pizza rolls and watching “Mr. Belvedere” re-runs in the den the next.

I think that I’ve come a long way though in just under two years. And when you consider that I really only rotate around the Sun every 248 years, well I’m just saying… 

But honestly, I’m working to improve myself. I’m back in my own place again.  I’m working, not full-time, but doing what I can to pay the bills, maybe treat myself occasionally. I’m basically doing telemarketing, but it’s legit work and I’m not ashamed.

I have also done a little bit of temp work for different moons when they need some time off. It isn’t quite my own gig, but I still feel like I’m mixing it up with the old gang.

I even have an offer on the table from VH1, but I’m not so sure about jumping on-board. They want me to lose weight alongside the dorky guy from “Perfect Strangers”, or I guess the dorkier one, though I’m still not sure which is which. I don’t think this would be the right thing for me. If I ever want a shot at being reinstated, I don’t think I can afford to be any smaller.

That’s about it really. When it comes down to it, I’m just a former planet, or “dwarf” planet as they want to call me now (can’t begin to explain what that does to the ego), who is trying to get by the best way he knows how. 

 

We want to thank Pluto for his openness. We can’t help but wonder if the Sun ever truly sets on an ex-planet.

           

 

 

 

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