Listen to me on KTRS/St. Louis every Friday, 3-6pm CT

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Showbiz Show 7/22/16



This week on the showbiz segment of my show, Colin Jeffrey and I reviewed five movies: "Lights Out," "Star Trek Beyond," "Ice Age: Collision Course," "Captain Fantastic," and "Hunt For The Wilderpeople." We also discussed the late Garry Marshall, and I recommended "Elvis and Nixon," which is now streaming on Netflix.

Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

During this show, I mentioned that Idris Elba, who plays the villain in "Star Trek Beyond," will appear next year in a movie based on Molly Bloom's book, "Molly's Game." It's about her exploits running high-stakes poker games in Los Angeles for celebrities like Tobey Maguire and Ben Affleck. The movie will be written and directed by Aaron Sorkin with Jessica Chastain in the lead. If you missed my conversation with Bloom about the book when it was released in June, 2014, you can listen to it here.

Harris Challenge 7/22/16

On this edition of my Harris Challenge -- the most fun you can have with your radio on -- the trivia categories include The Late Great Garry Marshall, This Day In History, and You Call That A Convention?. Listen and play along, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Harris Challenges? Click here.

Knuckleheads In The News® Pokemon Go Edition



It's an all-Pokemon-Go edition of Knuckleheads In The News® with stories from all across America and Bosnia, too. Listen, then click here to subscribe to these podcasts via iTunes!

Want more Knuckleheads In The News®Click here.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Magical Porta Potty

Here's another great stunt from Improv Everywhere, who set up at the Governor's Ball concert in New York to surprise people who opened the door to their porta potty...


They first did this stunt in 2015, with a mariachi band, a gospel choir, and a marching band...

KTRS Friday


I'll be back on my 3-6pm CT show at KTRS today. Along the way, Colin Jeffrey and I will review "Star Trek Beyond," "Lights Out," and other movie/showbiz news. Plus, you'll get another opportunity to play my Harris Challenge, and I'l have a brand new batch of Knuckleheads In The News®. Listen over the air, via the station's free smartphone app or via KTRS.com.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

As I Tweeted

All the cheering by Hillary Clinton fans about Roger Ailes' departure from Fox will stop the minute he joins Donald Trump's campaign. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

As I Tweeted

  • If Meredith McIver is a real person (not one of Trump's media-calling alter egos -- let's see her birth certificate!), I bet her next paycheck will include a nice big bonus.
  • The "party of law & order" wants Hillary Clinton executed for treason, but never mind a trial -- that's not their kind of law & order.
  • Here’s how Laura Benanti pulled off her perfect Melania Trump for Stephen Colbert last night.
  • Speaking of Colbert, here's an interesting profile of what's going on backstage at his show now –- including the decision to bring back his Comedy Central character on CBS Monday night.

Road Trip: Choctaw Casino

I've just wrapped up a visit to the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma (100 minutes north of Dallas), where there's a big tournament series going on that culminates in a World Poker Tour event in a couple of weeks. I got a really cheap Southwest flight and Priceline-d my way into good values on a rental car and a motel room (not at the Choctaw resort), and stayed for a few nights. I haven't been to Oklahoma in almost a decade, but I was told by friends in St. Louis who had been there in previous years that there would be a large number of players and lot of action. Unfortunately, that turned out not to be true -- at least in the few days I was there.

The Choctaw Casino is so large it took me 40 minutes to make a circuit and look around. The poker room was closed because they'd moved all the action up into the Grand Theater, an event space big enough to hold dozens of tables for the tournaments, with the cash games in a ballroom next door.

When I got there, I wanted to play $5/10 no-limit hold'em, but the biggest game was $2/5 -- although most players were adding what they call it a "Dallas straddle." That's a $10 bet on the button, but the blinds don't act first. Action starts under-the-gun, then goes around, skips the button, moves to the blinds, then all the way back around again, and if there are raises, keeps going until all other players have completed their action before the straddle has the ultimate last action pre-flop. Not sure if I liked it (most places when you button straddle, action starts in the small blind and the button simply acts in turn), but it did help build some pots.

On the sign-up board, they had a $1/2/5 game called "Congress." I asked what it was, and the supervisor explained it was five-card pot-limit Omaha hi-lo. I said that everywhere else I've seen it (including St. Louis and Vegas), that's called "Big O." She replied, "Yeah, I don't know why it's called Congress here. Maybe it's because the game is dysfunctional." Pretty good line!

I'd forgotten that dice are illegal in Oklahoma, but they still play craps -- with cards. There are twelve of them split into two colors with 1-6 on the face. An automatic shuffler mixes them up and the box person spreads them out and turns over the first card of each color to determine the number. So, if you're the "shooter" you don't actually do anything. Just put down your bet and they handle the "roll." Oh, and they charge you a $1 "ante" on every come out! Nice edge for the house.

Oklahoma is even more of a red state than Missouri, so when the table talk inevitably turned to politics, several players espoused pro-Trump opinions, including "He'll run this country like a business." I kept my mouth shut, but I wanted to ask, "You mean like his bankrupt casinos, his rip-off university, or his failed steaks, wine, bottled water, and airline?"

There are signs at the entrances to the Choctaw Casino warning that no weapons are allowed inside, but I don't think the two guys at my table were lying when they said they were carrying. I could hear the news report: "Innocent bystander from St. Louis wounded when shots were exchanged after a poker player took a one-out bad beat."

At the end of my trip, I had won a nice amount of money (which was the primary mission), but was disappointed there weren't more cash games and higher stakes. In fact, on my last day, I was only at the casino for 90 minutes before leaving because the tables were so terrible and the options so few. Worse, there's absolutely nothing else to do in Durant, Oklahoma, so the boredom factor was off the scale. I should have gone home a day earlier.

Sorry, Choctaw Nation, but I won't be back.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

We've Seen That Before

Wow, it didn't take long for media outlets to discover that portions of Melania Trump's speech tonight were plagiarized from Michele Obama's speech at the 2008 Democrat convention. That's probably not what her husband intended when he made his WWE-like smoke-and-lights entrance to introduce her. By the way, Melania is on the record with Matt Lauer saying that she wrote the speech. If that's the case -- and there was no professional speechwriter helping her -- then she's been caught like a sixth-grader copying paragraphs from Wikipedia to finish an essay.

The irony is that the portions of the speech Melania lifted from Michelle have to do with living up to your promises (as Trump did with his wedding vows with his first two wives), how you have to work hard to be successful (especially if your multi-millionaire father sets you up), and to respect other people (like her husband constantly does with name-calling, race-baiting, and personal attacks).

I'd bet that, like him, she has convinced herself that she originated everything and has done nothing wrong. That's the mark of class that the Trumps stand for. They live a lie.

There's a must-read in The New Yorker about Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for "The Art Of The Deal," the book that set up the false image of a mega-successful businessman that Trump has lived on for so many years. In the piece, Schwartz explains how he created that vision of Trump and how much he regrets it. He says that if he were writing the book today, it would be called "The Sociopath."

The Colbert Return

Stephen Colbert is doing his show live this week and next to cover the conventions in a way he couldn't if they taped the show before each evening's festivities took place. On tonight's show, Jon Stewart appeared and did nothing more than a couple of spit takes, which served as a buildup to Colbert appearing as his old Comedy Central alter ego, complete with slicked-back hair. Considering Colbert said he'd never go back to that character again, I wonder who convinced him to do it.

There's no doubt the re-emergence of "Stephen Colbert" was a hit -- particularly when he did "The Word" segment that was so popular on his old show -- but once that was over, it was back to the boring modern-day Colbert, forced to interview Zoë Saldana about the new "Star Trek" movie. You could feel the energy drain from the Ed Sullivan theater.

I won't be surprised if the character shows up again during Colbert's convention coverage. If Jon Stewart re-appears, let's hope he can make a better contribution that simply spitting on cue.

As for doing the show live, not only does it give Colbert an opportunity to be the first host each night to comment on what happened earlier at the convention, it also creates more excitement -- both in the audience and on the stage. Unlike taped shows, which can be edited when something goes wrong or a segment runs too long, the live broadcast forces everyone to be on their toes.

It's not like they're doing anything dangerous, but life is different at 11:30pm in New York than it is at five in the afternoon. Just one example: the later time could mean guests who have had a few drinks in the evening and show up in a much looser mood, leading to the kind of spontaneity that's so drastically missing from all modern late night shows.

It remains to be seen whether Colbert can harness that adrenaline rush into something positive. If so, don't be surprised if his "Late Show" becomes the first network late night show in decades to return to going live every night.