Friday, May 6, 2005

LET'S ALL GO TO THE LOBBY: Interesting enough article in the front of this week's Entertainment Weekly (not online) about the declining fate of movie theaters -- 10 straight weeks with lower box office than the previous week, sales down 6% overall from last year, and DVD sales/rentals now outgross theatrical runs, $24 billion to $9 billion.

Part of the blame, the article suggests, is that there's nothing special about going to the movies these days -- no new innovations since stadium seating and digital sound, both a decade old. In so many ways, the home experience is superior: no commercials, the ability to pause/rewind/fast forward, no screaming kids, availability of commentary tracks, etc. Want to see a trailer? No need to leave the house. And thanks to Netflix, there's no movie so obscure that it can't arrive at your door in a few days.

Which leads me to ask: what can movie theaters do to bring you back? About a decade ago, a dying multiplex near my home tries pairing second-run flics with unlimited popcorn and soda. I liked it, but the business model didn't last.

One thing I'll suggest is to focus on that which is unique to the movie theater: the ability to laugh in public with a large group of people. If I ran a multiplex, I'd reserve a screen or two on weekend nights (and not just at midnight) for the classic comedies of the past few decades -- Animal House, Caddyshack, Revenge of the Nerds, The Big Lebowski . . . you get the idea. Because laughing as a group -- and quoting a movie aloud as a group -- isn't something you can do by yourself. Even with first-run movies, why not have showings where talking back to the screen is encouraged?

One of my favorite places in Chicago was the Brew and View at the Vic -- an old-time theater that let you get drunk while watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with a couple hundred of your instantly closest friends.

Bottom line: to bring the masses back to the movies, make the movies a place where it's more fun to be part of that mass than watching alone at home.

Obvs, I'm quite interested in your take on this.
WHAT YOU NEED: Variety covers CBS's summer reality tv plans, including Tommy Hilfiger's Project Runway ripoff; a remake of the Beeb's Sack Race, in which people somehow comically compete to be fired; and Rock Star, Mark Burnett's take on the AmIdol genre, where singers compete to replace Terrence Trent D'Arby as the permanent new lead singer of INXS.

Yeah, it's looking like it's time to load up the Netflix queue.
NERF HERDING FOR FUN (AND PROFIT): The Hollywood Reporter -- a trade journal which does often discuss the commercial prospects for films -- has a lot to say about Star Wars III on the merits:
The first two episodes of Lucas' second trilogy -- "The Phantom Menace" (1999) and "Attack of the Clones" (2002) -- caused more than a few fans of the original trilogy to wonder whether this prequel was worth it. The answer is a qualified yes. It did take a lot of weighty expositions, stiffly played scenes and less-than-magical creatures to get to "Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith." But what a ride Lucas and Co. have in store! . . .

What seems like the biggest drawback to "Episode III" turns out to be its strongest element. Even casual moviegoers know what is in store for the characters, who will wind up at the point where the original "Star Wars" -- now dubbed "Episode IV -- A New Hope" -- began the whole saga nearly 30 years ago. We know how Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker will turn to the dark side of the Force, how his twin children will be separated at birth and how his former master Obi-Wan Kenobi and the tiny Jedi Master Yoda will turn into mortal enemies. Yet watching these fates unfold with such tragic inevitability, watching each piece fall into place, is genuinely thrilling. In fact, knowing that these strong characters cannot and will not escape their fate is what moves us.

All this, and a Tom Stoppard-doctored script?
BEYOND EMILY & JACOB: The 2004 Baby Name rankings are out, courtesy of your friendly Social Security Agency. The Little Earthling, Owen, had the 66th most popular boy's name.

Adam, as Adam will be happy to note, has stopped its 15 year slide and moved back to 58th place.
JUST $100 SHORT OF THE LONG-SLEEVED T: First of all, thank you to Adam, Matt, Bob, and Jenn for your generous donations yesterday. As for the rest of you, I wanted to give you one more chance to toss a few bucks toward a worthwhile cause by sponsoring me in this Sunday's Y-ME RACE Against Breast Cancer.
THERE'S A DARK ROAST ON THE EDGE OF TOWN: Starbucks is more than willing to posthumously revive the career of a smack addict, but you can't pick up Bruce Springsteen's Devils and Dust with your doppio because the coffee giant objected to some of the CD's lyrics.
"The song in question, 'Reno,' depicts an encounter at a Nevada Dunkin' Donuts, including a reference to its coffee and the line: 'Two dollars straight, two-fifty iced.' "
I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH UNNERVING: I stopped reading this review of Epsiode III when I read this sentence:
"Indeed, "Sith" looks likely to follow the commercial pattern of the initial trilogy, wherein the second edition, "Empire," dipped considerably from the first, only to see the third, "Return of the Jedi," bounce back closer to the level of "Star Wars.""

Uhmmm, what? Empire the weakest of the three? Weaker than Jedi? Let us instead talk about how the Wehrmacht was the weakest of the armies at Sedan, France.
THAT'S SO HOT: A week or so ago I blogged about the other uselessness of People's 50 Most Beautiful People List (and this was before I even knew it included former child abductee Elizabeth Smart). I fear I may have been a bit too harsh in judging the list an Ambien substitute, when I had yet to peruse Teen People's Hot List, which includes such under-publicized celebs as Lindsay Lohan, Alicia Keys, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Jake Gyllenhaal, Elijah Wood, Natalie Portman, Destiny's Child, and the cast of Fox's The O.C. (minus Benjamin McKenzie, who is 26).
ON THE SAME TOPIC: Forgot to mention another upcoming reality series that caught my eye -- the UK's winning combination of The Apprentice and Iron Chef -- Hell's Kitchen, "overseen by world-renowned but terrifying Head Chef Gordon Ramsay," a former Glasgow Ranger, is coming to FOX on May 30.
INDULGE ME: From a friend who works in the industry, I note the reality program "The Monastery" set at Worth Abbey, England:

The participants, none of whom was a Roman Catholic, shared meals with the monks, worked in the grounds and joined in the daily office, from early morning Matins to Compline. They were also obliged to follow the monks' rules of silence, obedience and humility.

At the start, the new arrivals were sceptical and discipline did not come easily - two of them were reprimanded for leaving the monastery "looking for virgins and cigarettes".

By the end, they all conceded that the experience had made a profound impression on them.

Read the rest of the Telegraph article here.
1.21 JIGGAWATTS OF HYPE: The MIT Time Traveler Convention folks can't complain about a lack of publicity -- the NYT has a nice piece on them today.
WHEREIN, AS INSTRUCTED BY THE PRINCIPAL, I CONTINUE TO SAY 'WHAT THE F***?,' EMPHASIS ON THE QUESTION MARK: I made fun of the Cruise-Holmes story before, then I put off linking to the (alleged! alleged!) herpes pictures, but I can't help but link to the following Wing Chun - Sars call transcript (always funny, if you must know), which has the last word on the unusual pairing:
Sarah: That she is in the arms of Cruise at all makes no sense. He's twice her age, half her height, gay, and in a cult.

Wing Chun: "And so it was that the Girls' Lawsuit Club was founded."
Thanks, Joanna, for the tip.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

PATERNITY WATCH FOR GUYS WHO LIKE GAMBLING TOWNS: Don't think we've stopped our round-the-clock coverage of Monegasque society, because it looks like Prince Albert may have an heir after all.

Back in the States, with no new daily content from Sports Guy Bill Simmons in about a week, you know what that means: the recently-alluded-to-impending Sports Baby has hopefully arrived. He's allowed two sappy columns, then it's back to business.
BUT TAKE A LOOK AT HIM NOW: More that two years ago, we covered the Corey Clark v. Frenchie Davis comparative eviction controversy.

FYI, Frenchie's back on Broadway.
18 YEARS OF GIVING AMERICA THE KIND OF LAUGHTER THAT COMES FROM A DARK PLACE, TEACHES YOU ABOUT LIFE, GETS ITS HAIR STUCK IN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL, FALLS DOWN AT ITS WEDDING, AND OCCASIONALLY HITS YOU IN THE CROTCH: Great article in The Observer today about the 16.7%-Official Comedian of ALOTT5MA (I can't speak for anybody else). A hint: some of the things he says (including a story repeated in the article) are almost unspeakably vile -- not just inappropriate, but bordering on unimaginable. Another hint: you know him as the fictional lovable widowed father of real-life twin moguls.

Three thoughts: (1) Do not google "danny tanner." The first hit is NSFW. (2) I need to be absolutely honest here and say that I occasionally watch and enjoy "America's Funniest Home Videos." Not that it's appointment TV, but if it's on and I'm not doing anything, I just do, okay? I mean, I love a good cat falling off the TV. (3) I'm having a hard time figuring out which of the brothers is shadier -- the guy described above, the guy who spends all of his free time freeloading off Hugh Hefner, or the dirty old man about whom Alanis maybe wrote 'You Oughta Know.'
THE FIGHTING MEN OF THE 303: Perhaps this has already been blogged here, but if you aren't reading the Manolo Shoe Blog, you aren't reading some of the finest work on the 'net, including this comment about the runaway bride:

This it is not to say that the big wedding it is in itself bad, but rather it is to say that for the bride who demands the perfect day of the wedding, to the point of either inciting the hatred of those around them, or to the point of wanting to runaway and leave the poor parents thinking she has been murdered, something it is wrong.

The wedding day it is to be the day of joy, and its approach should be greeted with the gladness and the earnest longing for its arrival. If the planning of the wedding has become the ordeal to be endured one must step back and reconsider the necessity of the fourteen maids of the brides.

Also, plenty of talk about shoes.
BAD SIMILE OF THE DAY: I thought I had a winner when I heard John Buccigross with this gem this morning on ESPN News: "What Conor Oberst is to Bright Eyes, Cliff Floyd is the Mets."

But then I read this exchange in this morning's Chicago Tribune with Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith producer Rick McCallum:
Q: Do you think some audiences are going to have a problem with Anakin mowing down a bunch of kids?

A: He has to kill those kids because that's the only way he can get that power to be able to eventually work with Palpatine [the dark lord] to figure out a way to save his wife. He does it for kind of the right reasons, but if you put it in perspective, I always think of it as like watching Ben Affleck and Matt [Damon]. They wrote this thing ["Good Will Hunting"], they have this background together, they grew up together, they're best friends, and they're two totally different human beings right now. One is laid back, cool, does his work, works as best as he can, tries to be a good actor. The other one has taken the Dark Side, the dark route. It's just amazing.

Q: Because Ben Affleck has embraced the whole celebrity aspect?

A: Yeah, the power thing.

Q: He hasn't killed little kids, though.

A: No, but, can we take this out of [real] Ben? Take the hypothetical Ben in three or four years . . . career down the slide . . . and he's given a choice to be able to resurrect his career, which is probably the most important thing to him, the fame aspect of it. Would he do anything? Who knows?

WELCOME TO THE TRAILER PARK: In addition to announcement of the MTV Movie Award nominees, today (as NPR's Marketplace reminded me this morning) is the date for the Key Art Awards, which recognize excellence in movie marketing in every way--posters, trailers, TV spots, web sites, and even adventures in co-branding. A complete list of nominees is available here. Suffice it to say that this is perhaps the only awards show where Anacondas has more nominations than Million Dollar Baby, and where Showgirls: VIP Edition (the one with the "pin the pasties on the dancer" game included) is nominated as well.

The Key Art Awards are the serious ones, but this week will also mark announcement of Golden Trailer nominees. Discuss your favorite current, recent, or older movie trailers below.
CHEATING ON EL GRANDELIGA? If the Phillies' Bobby Abreu seems a little distracted, there's a good reason.

Turns out his fiancee, Alicia Machado, a Venezuelan former Miss Universe, has been appearing on a Latin American reality show called "La Granja" -- basically, Big Brother On A Farm where famous people have to coexist without modern comforts.

Except, it turns out, Alicia found one modern comfort. As translated from the Spanish:
It was in this house, in which the Miss and the Spanish conductor Fernando Perhaps, of 28 years, were filmed making the love.

In the video, Alicia and Acaso appear one upon the other under the sheets, that move at great speed.

The camera did not intimidate to the Machado, that commented out like: "This morning is going to leave just a little bit in all the Television newscasts" or "Dame more". But at night, all the cats are brown, and when it left the sun in the Farm, the gallita regreted, asking excuses publicly its fiancè, the beisbolista Bob Abreu.

Let's hope he takes out his frustration on the plate.
BASICALLY, IT'S JUST THIS AND THE TONYS FOR A FEW MONTHS: Hot off the wire -- the 2005 MTV Movie Awards Nominees, the award show where, if you show up, you'll win something. (Janet Jackson, Best Actress for Poetic Justice, anyone?)

Two categories of note:

The Battle of the News Teams -- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Daryl Hannah vs. Uma Thurman -- Kill Bill Vol. 2
Brad Pitt vs. Eric Bana -- Troy
Ziyi Zhang vs. The Emperor's Guards -- House of Flying Daggers

Jennifer Garner & Mark Ruffalo -- 13 Going On 30 --"Thriller Dance"
Will Ferrell/Paul Rudd/Fred Armisen/Steve Carell -- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy -- "Afternoon Delight"
John Cho & Kal Penn -- Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle -- "Hold On"
Jon Heder -- Napoleon Dynamite -- "Election Dance"

The show will be hosted by ALOTT5MA un-fave Jimmy Fallon, who according to the press release, has delivered "memorable impressions of Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and John Lennon" and "laid the groundwork for his transition to movies with supporting roles in the Oscar-Award winning feature film, Almost Famous, HBO's highly anticipated miniseries Band of Brothers, and Woody Allen's comedy, Anything Else."

I blocked out all memory of the last one, and had no idea about the middle one -- tell me he got killed as soon as he landed in Europe, or I'll never rent that DVD.
AT LEAST HELP ME GET THE T-SHIRT: This Sunday I'll be joining my sister Mindy and the rest of my family in the Chicago Y-ME Race Against Breast Cancer. Three years ago Mindy was diagnosed with the disease and I happy to report that she is doing great today and is 100% cancer-free. Others, as I'm sure all of you know, have not been so lucky. Y-Me is a phenomenal organization which ensures that no one faces breast
cancer alone.

We don't ask for much here at ALOTT5MA, so why not click on the this link and drop a dollar or two in the hat? And yes, I know three miles is hardly an arduous trek, but when my son begins to complain an eighth of a mile in because my daughter gets to ride in the stroller and he doesn't meaning I have to hoist him on my shoulders for the rest of the walk, well...

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

HAVE THE YANKEES THOUGHT ABOUT DOING THIS? For those of you who've always wondered if you could play minor league baseball, and have some money burning a hole in your pocket, have I got a deal for you. Yep, for a mere $3,750 (and increasing), you can be guaranteed a contract for a day with the River City Rascals, and are guaranteed at least one at bat in the game and a half inning in the outfield. Not included are glove, shoes, housing, food, and tickets to "beautiful O'Fallon, MO," where you'll be playing.
AREN'T YOU A LITTLE SHORT FOR A STORMTROOPER? Check out this fine photograph. Worthy of National Geographic, in my book.
IT'S VERY ALLY MCBEAL: There are places that do far better than I could ever do at lampooning the ridiculous of NYT restaurant critic Frank Bruni's reviews, and given how rarely I eat at the sort of places Bruni reviews, I'm not in much of a position to ridicule him. But today's Critic's Notebook piece, an Andy Rooney-esque rant that could be titled "What's The Deal With Restaurant Bathrooms?," perhaps demonstrates that the Times has a few too many column inches in the Dining section to fill.
INDUBITABLY MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN AOLTIMEWARNERTURNER: One year ago yesterday, I hoodwinked Alex Gordon and Matt Marcotte into joining this blog.

I hope it's been as enjoyable for you readers as it has been for us. I believe we are fulfilling our mission of expanding beyond "the cultural tastes of overeducated urban liberal males in their early 30s [to] provide the much-needed perspective of groups previously underrepresented in the blogosphere: overeducated urban liberal males in their mid 20s and mid 30s," and to continue to make this a place worth visiting and telling your friends about.

Obviously, this place doesn't work as well as it does without the community that has emerged around it, so thank you for your contributions in the Comments and elsewhere.

By the way, it's official, in case you haven't noticed: we are, in fact, keeping our ridiculously unwieldy intended-to-be-temporary name on a permanent basis. ALOTT5MA today, ALOTT5MA tomorrow, ALOTT5MA forever!
I MET A GIRL THERE AND SHE ALMOST KNOCKED ME DEAD: No, this ain't right: Philadelphia's famed punk boutique Zipperhead is closing in a month?

edited to add: In other Philadelphia Institutions news, the owners of Rita's Water Ice are selling the business.
A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N: We're now a month out from the National Spelling Bee, which is to ALOTT5MA what the start of a war is to Glenn Reynolds, and while most eyes are focused on Broadway, the Inq has already scouted Philadelphia's entry, Tricia Powles.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

IT'S! THE! A-MAZ-ING RACE! YOU'VE! GOT! TO! FOLLOW CLUES! I'm going to be out playing Quizzo tonight, so feel free to use this as your weekly Amazing Race open thread.

(Okay, but I have to add this: I love that in the Istanbul Airport, Rahb and Ambuh were pretty clearly using the not-spending-millions-to-advertise-on-the-show travel website to book their travel. I have no idea as of the time of this posting whether or not it bites them in the ass.)

updated: There ought to be some good debate about the use of the Yield in this episode, since I don't think anyone could have reasonably expected to work out this way. Otherwise, some Darn Good Racing by one team (even if the logic behind it was wrong -- risk-taking is for the last stage only, IMHO), and more whining by Gretchen while Meredith proves himself more admirable.

By the way, any thoughts on this not-going-around-the-world course? Kinda interesting. I had thought in the past about a course that stayed in the Americas -- down through Central America, down the Andes to Tierra del Fuego, then up the Atlantic Coast and through the Caribbean Islands and Maritime Provinces until ending back in States. But this'll be interesting -- does racing in this direction cause more potential for Killer Fatigue?
THEY SAY THAT I WON'T LAST TOO LONG ON BROADWAY: If Scott Savol can say he's already thinking about what he's singing next week, I can open up this thread even before I'm done watching the show.

edited to add: Okay, I watched it. Wasn't terribly moved in any direction. Scott was better than I've ever seen him, but I still don't like him. Carrie's bleating a bit too much. Bo does his thing well, but it's not what (I thought) this competition is about. Federov is twee, and Vonzell is solid, but, I mean, a winner? Bottom line: I miss Constantine.
MEAN . . . WHOO! BY GOD, GENE . . . WHOO! Those readers who get the reference in the title will enjoy this link to find out what happened to 17-year-old Reid Fliehr when someone beat the man and tried to style and profile like The Man.

Everyone else: if Nixon can go to China, then, by God, Bill Clinton can denounce junk food.
TED HITLER GETS PROMOTED: Comedy Central is giving The Daily Show's Stephen Colbert his own nightly show:
"It's as if my character on `The Daily Show' got promoted," Colbert told The Associated Press.

He'll be a "very well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot, not unlike some people who have these shows in the real world," he said.

Besides lampooning O'Reilly, the king of the cable TV opinion shows, he's sending up people such as Sean Hannity, Joe Scarborough and Anderson Cooper, he said.

One segment of his show, "Worthy Opponent," will feature Colbert debating Colbert.

Brilliant expansion of the franchise, or Hello, Larry?
RANDOM TRIVIA: Name the Nicole Kidman movie with the highest opening weekend box office. Betcha didn't remember it was this one.
EVEN MORE COWBELL: Will Ferrell to return to 'SNL' on May 14.

Okay, people: what characters do you most want to see him bring back?
TIME TO KILL? TIME TO KILL! Just in time to keep new law school graduates from studying properly for bar exams nationwide, EA has scheduled the release of BF2 for June 23rd.

Notable advancements over Battlefield 1942 include "[a]n all-new game engine and physics system [that] brings the modern battlefield to life like never before. The new material penetration feature measures weapons' ability to fire through barriers based on their composition and players will need to know the difference between concealment and cover in order to survive."

And they say gaming doesn't teach any valuable life lessons!
WOLFGANG OR HOCKEY? Two of life's great pleasures are eating and watching sports on TV, so with that in mind I present this little quiz. From last night's lists of winners from two big award ceremonies, can you guess which of the following won a James Beard Foundation Award and which won a Sports Emmy?
  1. Joe Morgan
  2. Mario Batali
  3. SportsCenter
  4. Spago
  5. Galatoire's
  6. Great Outdoor Games
  7. Per Se
  8. NASCAR on FOX
  9. Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
  10. ABC's NFL Monday Night Football
SPEND IT LIKE BECKHAM: Admittedly I am linking to this story about the list of the world's richest soccer players, which David Beckham tops with an annual income of $37.4 million, in order to make the pun in the title.
MC SKAT KAT IS SHOCKED AND APPALLED: Whatever ABCNews has on Paula Abdul, Drudge says there's audio to back it up.

Anyone care to speculate what it says? All I know is this: if you asked me to guess as to which former American Idol contestant was most likely to advance tawdry rumors about his/her experience on the show in order to resurrect a dismal post-Idol career, Corey Clark would've been my first pick, and I will not be shocked if Matthew Rogers ends up backing up the allegations somehow.

Monday, May 2, 2005

WHY I LOVE THE MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: Sure, the normal hacks are great, but when they're serious (I think), they're even better.

This Saturday, May 7, MIT hosts The (first and only) Time Traveler Convention:
Why do you need my help?
We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time travelers will know about the convention and attend. This web page is insufficient; in less than a year it will be taken down when I graduate, and futhermore, the World Wide Web is unlikely to remain in its present form permanently. We need volunteers to publish the details of the convention in enduring forms, so that the time travelers of future millennia will be aware of the convention. This convention can never be forgotten! We need publicity in MAJOR outlets, not just Internet news. Think New York Times, Washington Post, books, that sort of thing. If you have any strings, please pull them.

Great idea, I'd love to help! What should I do?
Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and slip them into obscure books in academic libraries! Carve them into a clay tablet! If you write for a newspaper, insert a few details about the convention! Tell your friends, so that word of the convention will be preserved in our oral history! A note: Time travel is a hard problem, and it may not be invented until long after MIT has faded into oblivion. Thus, we ask that you include the latitude/longitude information when you publicize the convention.

Can't the time travelers just hear about it from the attendees, and travel back in time to attend?

Yes, they can! In fact, we think this will happen, and the small number of adventurous time travelers who do attend will go back to their "home times" and tell all their friends to come, causing the convention to become a Woodstock-like event that defines humanity forever.

I'm from the future, and I'd like to attend!
We're not sure how you're emailing us from the future, but we'd love to have you! Come as you are! No dress code whatsoever. We do request that you bring some sort of proof that you do indeed come from the future, and haven't just dressed like you do. We welcome any sort of proof, but things like a cure for AIDS or cancer, a solution for global poverty, or a cold fusion reactor would be particularly convincing as well as greatly appreciated.

I wonder if Audrey Niffenegger will make it there.
ALSO REQUESTED -- DEL SHANNON'S GREATEST HITS: What does one get for the bride who wants nothing? Among other things, runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks' wedding registry includes this Cuisinart Belgian Waffle Maker, and if there's anyone who knows about waffling, it's her.
ROAD TRIP! Well, it's Spring Break Week for the NYT's music critics: Pareles goes to London to see Cream reunited; ALOTT5MA fave Kelefa Sanneh (no stranger to rock's gerontocracy) travels to Coachella where elder statesmen like New Order and Nine Inch Nails ruled the day.
JUST SAYING, IS ALL: I've been thinking about the blogging lawprofs -- Eugene Volokh, Ann Althouse, Glenn Reynolds, Stephen Bainbridge, Tung Yin, etc. -- and it's weird: why is it that so many of them (with the exception of Larry Lessig and Jack Balkin) teach at public universities?

Where are the Harvard Law bloggers? Fair Chicago? NYU and Columbia? Can I get a theory?

Sunday, May 1, 2005

ALL THE THINGS THAT MAKE US LAUGH AND CRY: How does Family Guy return to us? With a bang:
Peter: Everybody, I've got bad news. We've been canceled.

Lois: Oh no, Peter, how could they do that?

Peter: Well, unfortunately Lois, there's no more room on the schedule. We've just got to accept the fact that FOX has to make room for terrific shows like 'Dark Angel,' 'Titus,' 'Undeclared,' 'Action,' 'That '80s Show,' 'Wonderfalls,' 'Fastlane,' 'Andy Richter Controls the Universe,' 'Skin,' 'Girls Club,' 'Cracking Up,' 'The Pitts,' 'Firefly,' 'Get Real,' 'Freakylinks,' 'Wanda at Large,' 'Costello,' 'The Lone Gunmen,' 'A Minute with Stan Hooper,' 'Normal, Ohio,' 'Pasadena,' 'Harsh Realm,' 'Keen Eddie,' 'The Street,' 'American Embassy,' 'Cedric the Entertainer,' 'The Tick,' 'Luis' and 'Greg the Bunny'.

Lois: Is there no hope?

Peter: Well, I suppose if all those shows go down the tubes, we might have a shot.

Of course, leave it to the Inquirer's Jonathan ("infantile sleaze-a-thon") Storm to ruin all our fun . . .
THEY STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR? ALOTT5MA fave Jim DeRogatis talks with U2's Larry Mullen Jr.:
DeRo: But U2 never wanted to be a band like Pink Floyd or the Rolling Stones, which basically became massive money-making oldies shows.

Mullen: And we won't! With respect to you and your colleagues, when it's time for U2 to get the bullet in the head, we'll do it ourselves, thank you very much! But we're greedy, and we want to push boundaries. We want to do things that nobody else has done before, and we will do whatever we have to do to achieve that. We're never satisfied. We never feel like we've made our greatest record. We always feel we can do better, we can be better, and that's constant. After every record, we sit down and go, 'OK, what was wrong with that? What was right with it?' And next time around, we fix it. We constantly do that, and that's why U2 survives.

There's a very deep unhappiness in U2, because there's a sense that we achieved great success and became a really big band, but we were never a really great band. There was always that thing that we were given all these accolades, but we didn't really deserve it. We got it because we managed to do very well live, and it was all about being big. Being big means s--- to us. It's being great that we want, and that's what we strive for.

Okay, people, it's May 1, 2005. On what date will U2 perform its last live concert?
DEAD WRESTLER OF THE MONTH: I hate this feature, but Vince, it's your industry: former WWE superstar Chris Candido dead at 33.

According to USA Today, "Wrestlers have death rates about seven times higher than the general U.S. population, says Keith Pinckard, a medical examiner in Dallas who has followed wrestling fatalities. They are 12 times more likely to die from heart disease than other Americans 25 to 44, he adds. And USA TODAY research shows that wrestlers are about 20 times more likely to die before 45 than are pro football players, another profession that's exceptionally hard on the body."
PAGING KATHRYN MORRIS: While we're glad to see the runaway bride found and Christa Worthington's murderer found, it's worth remembering that Chandra Levy was last seen alive four years ago today.