– Are you wondering what I’m listening to this week as I write? Probably not, but I’m going to tell you anyway. “A Christmas Together” by John Denver and The Muppets is this week’s choice. It’s pretty perfect.

– Can I tell you how excited I am to learn that one of the most powerful people in showbiz reads this blog? I mean he hasn’t contacted me personally yet, but I’m pretty sure that Saturday Night Live creator/producer Lorne Michaels is now looking to me for advice regarding the legendary late night program.

You want proof?

Well, a few weeks ago I wrote a column with a bunch of “hot takes”… opinions most people don’t agree with. Here is an edited version of what I had at #1 on that list on November 24th….

“I don’t like how Saturday Night Live has been celebrity stunt casting major recurring characters with famous people who aren’t cast members.

Sure, Alec Baldwin was very funny as Donald Trump. Yeah, Melissa McCarthy made me laugh as Sean Spicer. It’s also been fun seeing Jim Carrey get ready for the next four years as Joe Biden.

But…

SNL currently has something like twenty cast members, compared to only seven in that first season in 1975. There are a couple dozen talented people wandering around studio 8H every Saturday night hoping for that one sketch to make them a TV sensation, so I’m guessing that at least a few can work up a really good Biden impression. C’mon Lorne, let Mikey Day, Alex Moffat, and Beck Bennett show us what they got.”

Well, this past Saturday night Jim Carrey wasn’t the one playing President Elect Biden. It was current Not Ready For Prime Time Player Alex Moffat, who I suggested a month ago. The only explanation I can come up for this change is….. ME!!!

Thank you Mr. Michaels. You’re welcome Alex. Now may I suggest that filmmaker/podcaster Kevin Smith host the show someday.

– I’m going to keep it short (for me) this week and leave you with a podcast recommendation.

I am a big fan of music from the 90’s, and recently found a show hosted by Rob Harville from The Ringer called “60 Songs That Explain The 90’s”. For thirty minutes each Thursday Harville and a guest dissect that week’s song choice, examining the history of the song, it’s writer(s), the artist, etc… with the perfect combination of knowledge, passion for the music, and humor. It’s exclusively on Spotify, so you’ll need to get a free account from them to listen to it if you are interested. Here is the link.

So far the selected tunes have been:
You Oughtta Know – Alanis Morissette
Hey Jealousy – Gin Blossoms
C.R.E.A.M – Wu-Tang Clan
The Rain – Missy Elliott
November Rain – Guns N’ Roses
Mind Playing Tricks On Me – Geto Boys
All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Mayonnaise – Smashing Pumpkins
I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys

There are probably some songs on that list you like, some you don’t, and maybe a couple you’ve never heard of. That was the case with me. I’ve learned to not skip the ones that fit into those second two categories. Sometimes the best ones have been about the artists and hits I wasn’t that familiar with. My favorite episode of “60 Songs That Explain The 90’s” is the one about The Geto Boys, who I knew nothing about. It’s almost as messed up as the Motley Crue “Behind The Music” on VH1.

Nine episodes down, fifty one to go. I’m hoping for future ones about Barenaked Ladies, Counting Crows, The Refreshments, Smash Mouth, En Vogue, and more.

Merry Christmas everyone. Stay safe, stay healthy, and wear a mask.

Billy

P.S. “When The River Meets The Sea” by John Denver and Robin the Frog (Kermit’s nephew) might be one of the prettiest Christmas songs ever. You can watch it HERE.

P.S.S. Hey Lorne, get in touch if you need another writer for SNL. I have ideas and free time.

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