Someone speculated in a tweet today that Buzzfeed may be more influential than the WaPo or the NYT. Hmm. Possibly. I have a love-hate thing with Buzzfeed, mostly because it’s an utterly unserious enterprise that tries to do serious things, and usually misunderstands some crucial detail or emphasizes something trivial about a serious thing for the sake of Buzz! and LOLs! and WIN! and all the other inane internet value judgments. There’s a lot of people writing over there in the standard watered-down Gawker tone - breathless, sarcastic, thin rote snark, with an underlying horror about having a genuine emotional reaction to anything that isn’t an Adorable Hedgehog or an Awesome Letter a 7-year-old wrote to reinforce their preconceptions about a social issue. (Social issues are all that matter to Buzzfeed writers, and there’s no dissent from received wisdom about these things.)
When the site was down the other day for several seconds, I saw this:
Because they are children, really. You have males in their 20s issuing squee over cute animals, using toddler-talk - ironically, of course! Whatever that means. Who knows what anything means, really? Anyway oopsie. Here's 21 pictures of dogs that look like Nic Cage!
As I updated the tumblr today I realized I didn’t know if I had Mel Cooley’s name spelled correctly. You know, the bald guy in the Dick Van Dyke show. The yes-man. The company man. Well, upon reading the entry for the page, I learned things. Many things. For example: the Dick Van Dyke theme song had lyrics.
So you think that you've got troubles?
Well, trouble's a bubble
So tell old Mr. Trouble to get lost!
Why not hold your head up high and
Stop cryin', start tryin'
And don't forget to keep your fingers crossed.
When you find the joy of livin'
Is lovin' and givin'
You'll be there when the winning dice are tossed.
A smile is just a frown that's turned upside down
So smile, and that frown will defrost.
And don't forget to keep your fingers crossed
Of course it had lyrics. If there were lyrics, then someone got residuals. There are lyrics to Hawaii 5-0. Lyrics to the Star Trek theme.
The page also says this:
In 1969, Van Dyke and Moore reunited for a one-hour variety special called Dick Van Dyke and the Other Woman which included a never before seen alternative take from one of the show's episodes in which Van Dyke breaks down and cries after being dismissed from a film role instead of just being disappointed. A 1979 episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Hour featured Van Dyke and Moore reprising their roles as the Petries in a short sketch presented as the brainstorming of Van Dyke (guest-starring as himself) and the writers of Mary McKinnon's (Moore) variety series, who noted McKinnon's resemblance to "the gal who played Laura Petrie".
The “Mary Tyler Moore Hour”? I had no idea. Lasted three shows. It was preceded by “Mary,” a variety show that lasted three episodes. There’s a real Tim-Conway / McClain Stevenson thing going here, you might think. Well, she came back in in 1985 with another sitcom called . . . “Mary,” in which she played a reporter at a newspaper. It lasted 13 episodes.
Gosh, wonder if the internet has any evidence of these things? In video form?
This might be the worst opening credit sequence I’ve seen in years. I love the 80s music and typeface - it makes me feel young just to look at it - but man, what a dud:
The bum using the newspaper as a blanket is probably a nod to the “Lou Grant” opening, where we see a newspaper go from tree to birdcage liner. As for the rest - are they selling Mary, or Chicago? Why does something always go in front of whatever you’re looking at?
Stick around for the commercials: Robin Williams and Kurt Russell, together at last. Preppy Robin! Then there’s one of those L’Oreal women who were worth it. Everyone hated them.
Here’s the opening for the 1978 variety show. Yes: David Letterman and Michael Keaton together at last.
Then they tried again, with the Mary Tyler Moore Hour. The logo has a cat.
They dumped the confusing opening for something that said “it’s a sitcom! Really, it is.” Here’s the Dick Van Dyke bit; starts around 3:15.
The logo has a cat, by the way, because the MTM shows ended with a parody of the Leo-the-Lion roaring on behalf of MGM. The cat was named Mimsie; it has its own wikipedia entry. It lived for two decades and outlasted Ms. Moore’s TV career by three years, perishing in 1988. The typeface is that penultimate 70s font, Penultimate.
This is a rather substantial week of Bleats, eh? I don't look forward to converting it to print. Yes, I do that, every Friday morning. Dump it into Pages, change the type to 9 point to conserve space, and print it out. They go into a plastic envelope, which goes into a box under the stairs.
I don't trust paper, but I trust everything else even less.
Have a fine day: see you in all the usual spaces. Oh - new Motels! Just five, but that Stardust one is worth the trip.