KELLY FLOP — So, just what the heck happened on Megyn Kelly Today last week? After a poorly chosen topic, where Kelly did indeed misspeak, the uproar was almost feral; none more so than from Today’s own Al Roker. But, before you get too fired up, remember that when Kelly’s show debuted, it took the place of Roker’s own show (with Tamron Hall-now pegged to do a talk show for Disney) which was rather awful and insipid. Again, Roker is not a nice man. He may seem like the picture of innocence on screen every morning, but it is just an act. I’m quite sure, after the Lauer-affair, Roker thought he’d be in essence running the show there. Wrong!
True, Kelly was always a strange fit for NBC and Today. The size of her contract was rather amazing, but NBC took a chance and after Lauer, it had to do something dramatic. Right out of the box, Kelly’s show was fraught with missteps; from one with Jane Fonda and another with the cast of Will & Grace. I won’t go into the details again, as they’ve been too well documented, but suffice to say, the show couldn’t decide if it was hard news or not.
I didn’t watch her on Fox, but after her antics with Trump, she was hot, hot, national news. I watched her first few shows and began to really enjoy her. I thought her topics were uniformly off-the-mark and that may well have to do with the selection of NBC’s Jaclyn Levin to guide the show. Levin had been the go-to-person for authors and their books, clearly, she was a left-field choice and the destruction of the show how has got to rest of her shoulders. The constant chaos and confusion clearly showed. An inside source said it was not a happy place to work at.
No one sets out to fail; but, sometimes you just don’t get lighting in a bottle. Kelly is talented … no question. I have to say that after all this, I think I liked her doing the hard news. After a proper break … don’t doubt that Megyn will be back. She’s too good not to be back.
SHAT’S XMAS —William Shatner is boldly going where many celebrities have gone before. The Star Trek legend is the latest household name to release a Christmas album, and he’s bringing some of music’s biggest stars along for the ride.
Shatner Claus: The Christmas Album features the actor performing holiday standards alongside a litany of famous musicians. Collaborators include Henry Rollins on “Jingle Bells,” ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons on “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and Iggy Pop on “Silent Night.”
Members of the Cars, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jethro Tull are also included on the album, which came out last week today. The LP boasts one original song, “One for You, One for Me”.
Even though Shatner made a name for himself as an actor, he actually has a 50-year history as a recording artist. His distinct, spoken-word style of delivery has been parodied on many occasions, including an episode of Family Guy.
Shatner has frequently collaborated with artists from the rock world. In 2013, Yes bassist Billy Sherwood produced his LP, Ponder the Mystery, which featured guest spots from Steve Vai and the Doors’ Robby Krieger.
Shatner Claus is the 10th album of the actor’s career and his second LP of 2018. Earlier this year, he teamed with Alabama’s Jeff Cook for Why Not Me?, a collection of country songs.
For me, Shat’s The Tranformed Man (1968) is still pure gold.
Here’s the track listing for the Christmas album below.
William Shatner, ‘Shatner Claus: The Christmas Album’ Track Listing
1. “Jingle Bells” (featuring Henry Rollins)
2. “Blue Christmas” (featuring Brad Paisley)
3. “Little Drummer Boy” (featuring Joe Louis Walker)
4. “Winter Wonderland” (featuring Todd Rundgren, Artimus Pyle)
5. “Twas The Night Before Christmas” (featuring Mel Collins)
6. “Run Rudolph Run” (featuring Elliot Easton)
7. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” (featuring Rick Wakeman)
8. “Silver Bells” (featuring Ian Anderson)
9. “One for You, One For Me”
10. “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (featuring Billy Gibbons)
11. “Silent Night” (featuring Iggy Pop)
12. “White Christmas” (featuring Judy Collins)
13. “Feliz Navidad” (featuring Dani Bander)
14. “Jingle Bells” (featuring Henry Rollins) (Punk Rock Version) (Bonus Track)
SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz met up with Mary Wilson of The Supremes at the Hollywood Autograph Show last weekend in L.A. and PR-pasha Randy Alexander escorted the LA Law cast at Chiller this past weekend in Parsippany, New Jersey … Eagle-eye listeners heard Jose Gonzalez’s “Cycling Trivialities” on the Cavitation-episode this past Friday evening on NBC’s brilliant New Amsterdam show with Ryan Eggold … Also, the latest episode of NBC’s Blindspotwas pretty compelling. So far, so good on this show which started off with some of the worst-posts I’ve ever seen by viewers … We started watching Matthew Weiner’s highly-hyped The Romanoffs-series on Amazon Prime and while we found it mildly compelling, the first two episodes we watched featured the main characters both in a rather duplicitous mode with their respective mates; the first one with Aaron Eckhart and the second with Corey Stoll. What made this mildly creepy was the fact that Weiner himself has been involved in some shady behind-the-scenes antics, including one where he fired the writer of a Mad Men episode, the day after the Emmy awards many years back when that show was at its peak. He’s also been routinely involved in a series of bad-mouthing from former co-workers. While the content is just a bit weird; the execution, the photography and direction is just sumptuous. The
first episode in Paris, just sublime. We’ll continue to watch the 8-episode series, but it’s a tad odd at times … I did make it down to Tortilla Flats, which closed this past weekend in New York, but the spot was just too packed for entry. The local-media jumped on this story, but it didn’t seem to do any good. If the owner had any sense of drama, he’d reverse his decision immediately. Think of all the media he’d get. Again, we wish nothing but the worst for him … maybe a forensic audit. Sad … Author Mark Bego fronts an in-store at Barnes & Noble in his Tucson-area on Black Friday in November for his Aretha Franklin: The Tribute Edition … Speaking of Mary Wilson, she’s performing at The Carlyle Hotel in NYC, November 20-24; and, this Thursday night is Head night at The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith will be on hand for a Q&A after the 1968 film unspools.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Randy Alexander; Robert Miller; Peter Abraham; Vinny Rich; Adam Pollock; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; William Schill; Tyrone Biljan; Barry Zellman; Harrison Jordon; Bruce Bozzi, Jr., Sandy Gallin; Tony King; David Nutter; and, CFS.