June 2008

Episode 106: Monday, June 30, 2008

posted on Jun 30, 2008 | Comments (7)

The Paunch Stevenson Show episode 106

In this episode:

  • another trip to the Digital Press video game store in Clifton, NJ (www.digitpress.com),
  • meeting James Rolfe (the Angry Video Game Nerd) and trying to get him on the show,
  • the Nostalgia Critic,
  • celebrity deaths (Mel Ferrer, Bo Diddley, Harvey Korman, Jim McKay, Tim Russert, and George Carlin, thanks to www.deadoraliveinfo.com),
  • What Ever Happened To? (Jim J. Bullock),
  • a psycho in Union Square Park claiming NASA is going to blow up Jupiter on 7/7/08,
  • Project Lucifer,
  • a Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling update,
  • Sean Connery’s memoirs,
  • Kung Fu Panda (2008) starring Jack Black,
  • You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (2008) starring Adam Sandler,
  • Kevin Nealon’s horrible acting,
  • Dana Carvey’s new HBO comedy special Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies,
  • Mike Myers,
  • the upcoming movie Disaster Movie (2008),
  • Frank Darabont’s Indiana Jones and the City of Gods script,
  • the new Apple iPhone 3G and disposable gadgets,
  • The Kid from Brooklyn on Last Comic Standing (www.thekidfrombrooklyn.com),
  • Rob’s trip to California,
  • Los Angeles vs. New York City,
  • celebrity sightings (Lisa Bonet, Neil Patrick Harris, and Ryan Reynolds),
  • and our listener Joe from Belleville, NJ.

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George Carlin

posted on Jun 23, 2008 | Comments (4)

George Carlin

George Carlin
Born: May 12, 1937
Died: June 22, 2008 (age 71)

George Carlin was a Grammy-winning stand-up comedian, actor, and author noted for his political and dark humor. Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” comedy routine was central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which the judges ruled in favor of the government, granting it the right to regulate Carlin’s act on the TV and radio.

From 1963 to 2008, George Carlin had thirteen HBO comedy specials, starred in his own sitcom The George Carlin Show, wrote five books, and released twenty-three albums. He appeared in sixteen movies, including Car Wash (1976), Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991), Dogma (1999), and Jersey Girl (2004). He was also the first host of Saturday Night Live, which debuted in 1975.

On June 22, 2008, Carlin complained of chest pain and went to St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Carlin died of heart failure at the age of 71. He had a history of heart attacks, beginning in the late 1970s.

On a Paunch note, without George Carlin, there would probably not be a Paunch Stevenson Show. Our cynical wit we learned from the master.

discussed in episodes 48 and 106

Last of New Jersey Callahan’s hot dog restaurant closes

posted on Jun 22, 2008 | Comments (3)

Callahan's Logo

Callahan’s, a northern NJ institution in the realm of hot dog joints, has closed its last location this month, on Route 46 in Little Ferry. The small chain was begun by Artie Castrianni in 1950 in Fort Lee. That site and one in Hasbrouck Heights also closed. Really stinks for me, I used to get a burger and fries there for lunch. Leaves only places like the great Rutt’s Hutt in Clifton and a few Stewart’s locations and places similar as old time NJ eateries.

Callahan’s website while it lasts…. http://www.callahanshotdogs.com/main2.htm
Also reported on the Second Helpings blog http://njmg.typepad.com/foodblog/2008/06/bad-news-along.html

Callahan’s closed 1Callahan’s closed 2Callahan’s closed 3Callahan’s closed 4

Scott C. Clements Reviews Indiana Jones 4

posted on Jun 19, 2008 | Comments (7)

Scott C. Clements

As we mentioned in episode 104, we were interested to see what filmmaker and Paunch Stevenson Show guest Scott C. Clements thought about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He wrote to us:

“Regarding Indiana Jones 4, to be honest, I was so disappointed in it, it’s hard for me to even think about it. It was quite a bummer for me.

I remember when I was interviewed on your show, I expressed how skeptical I was about Indy 4 because I had lost faith in George Lucas and I was wary of Harrison Ford’s age and the 1950s setting.

As reports came in about Steven Spielberg’s attempts to refrain from the Lucas school of film making by sticking with old school action techniques instead of relying heavily on computer graphics, I started to think the project could actually be good. Also, the publicity photos of Harrison Ford and Karen Allen were incredibly flattering and the 1950s setting started to appeal to me because of its roots in George Lucas’s early work, American Graffiti.

However, my hope turned to dread as I sat through the movie. My biggest problem was with the villains. They didn’t do anything particularly horrible, so it was difficult for me to fear them. It took a second viewing to even figure out that they wanted to rule America with the crystal skull’s mind control powers. If I don’t fear the villain, there isn’t much drama. For example, when Nazi henchman Toht is about to burn Marion’s face off with a red hot poker in Raiders of the Lost Ark, my adrenaline starts pumping like crazy. He’s going to disfigure her, for God’s sake! Same when the Thugee priest Mola Ram, from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, rips the heart out of a poor villager and laughs with glee as the man’s heart ignites into a ball of flames in his hand! This is one sick bastard and I’m terrified just thinking of what he’ll do to our heroes if he gets his hands on them.

This sort of danger was lacking a bit from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which was why that was the weakest film for me…until Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Cate Blanchett and her Russian henchman did little to make me take them seriously as a threat to Indy or the world. Cate had a rapier, but she didn’t stab or torture anyone with it so it was a pointless prop, in a character building sense. I have a strong suspicion that Lucas and Spielberg felt they had to play down the villainy of the Russians for political correctness’s sake. We all know the Russians were no Nazis. The Nazis were undeniably evil, so it was quite fitting for Indy to bash the living heck out of them in his previous adventures. But, he did little of that in this film, which really took away from the grittiness a true action film needs. Instead, this played as a mostly comedic Jones family reunion special. Put most simply, this “action” film had no spine.

And don’t even get me started on the fact that Indy almost never used his whip or gun! That was absurd! I also hated the lame comedy, including the ridiculously cartoonish-looking CGI gophers and pompadour-sporting monkeys. And what was with the friggin’ fridge scene? LAME!!!

I could go on and on bashing this piece of garbage; I am shocked that the critics have been so kind to it. I think they expect so little from Lucasfilm these days, that they’ve just thrown their hands up in surrender and said, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

Spielberg and Lucas have become too diplomatic in their old age. They’ve lost the rebellious edge they had in their younger years. I really think they should leave the action blockbusters up to the next generation. Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean (Gore Verbinski) and Spider-Man (Sam Raimi) leave Indy 4 and the Star Wars prequels in the dust. It’s a sign of the changing of the guard.”

– Scott C. Clements

Thanks for your review, Scott! Even though we enjoyed the movie, we know a lot of fans didn’t.

We’d like to know how our other listeners feel about the movie, too. Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Episode 105: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

posted on Jun 11, 2008 | Comments (2)

The Paunch Stevenson Show episode 105

In this episode:

  • Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling on CMT,
  • potential celebrity wrestlers (Bill Cosby, Louie Anderson, Dr. Phil, etc.),
  • Slim Goodbody,
  • I’m with Busey starring Gary Busey,
  • Branded in the 80s (www.brandedinthe80s.com),
  • issues of TV Guide from the late 1970s and early 1980s,
  • Vivarin caffeine tablets,
  • Colorforms Lazer Blazers 3-D holographic stickers,
  • The New Body Boutique’s Second Skin space age slenderizer,
  • Once Upon a Spy (1980) starring Ted Danson,
  • an $800 Sears Beta VCR,
  • an old photo of Larry David,
  • Transformers Classics 2.0,
  • the horrible original Ironhide and Ratchet Transformers,
  • and a cool computer animated Transformers video on Transformers Universe (www.hasbro.com/transformers/universe).

Download this episode:
31 minute MP3 file – 14.2 MB (right-click to save)

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