Friday, May 29, 2009

Random Comments III

While I was watching the Yankees game this evening, they ran a commercial for an upcoming promotion: Yankee Passport Holder Night. My first thought was, are they going to give them to everyone who shows up with a passport? Turns out that is not the case; it appears to be some kind of a plastic wallet you can put your passport in. Once upon a time they had Cap Day, Bat Day, and Ball Day. But in more recent years teams have been giving away pins, bobble-heads, refrigerator magnets, and all sorts of other things that you used to be able to find only in a Lillian Vernon catalog. It reminded me of a Seinfeld episode in which George suggests something like Snowblower Appreciation Night.

What I also found interesting about this giveaway is that only "the first 18,000 fans" will be receiving these passport covers. According to The Sporting News, the Yankees' average attendance this year is more than 44,600. So why aren't there enough passport covers for everybody? I could understand if they had 45,000 and then ran out, but why not at least try have enough for everybody?


Jay Leno wraps up 17 years as host of The Tonight Show tonight. One of the promos that I've seen for Conan O'Brien's debut next week mentions the show's "tradition" and hosts Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, and, of course, Leno. Considering that the program had only one other regular host, I was surprised that the promo omitted Jack Paar, who was its host from 1957 till 1962. I don't recall seeing much of the Paar version of the program; after all, I was only 11 when he left. But what I do remember was it being much more sedate.

Speaking of Leno, much ado is being made of NBC's decision to give him the 10:00 p.m. weeknight slot in place of running scripted programs. Back when there were only three networks and not much more for people to watch, this might have been a valid argument. But there are so many channels available now, does it really make a difference? If you can't find something on the dozens (or hundreds) of channels available, rent an old TV series on DVD...or read a book.


For those who might be wondering about the pool update, the water reached about 84 degrees last weekend. Laurie took her first swim on Sunday, a full four weeks after my first dunk. Our quartet of thermometers continued to show varied temperatures, though Ducky, Swanee and Snorkel Duck were all within a degree of one another. Alas, poor Tommy Turtle remains slow in catching up, reporting the water at only 72 degrees.


  1. Iron Man show off. I like the pool to be at least 80* -- preferably even warmer.

  2. RE: The Tonight Show and Jay, Conan, and even David Letterman.

    They're going on momentum. At one point, I thought Conan was in a hell of a situation, because he's no Jay Leno and CERTAINLY no Johnny.

    But I don't watch him much (as in, maybe once?) so first of all, as long as he's not barbecuing kittens more than once a month, he should be adequate.

    And really, can't all of these shows be done by script, and practically by phone now?

    Opening theme.
    Opening monologue.
    First commercial.
    Funny interactive scene or funny "man-on-the-street" sequence.
    Second commercial.
    First interview - "How's the new book/movie/TV show? What happened from this previous book/movie/TV show? What's coming up next for you? Great to see you again, stop by whenever you're in town!"
    And so on...

    I mean, any chimp could do this. And from the history of late night talk show television, some do.

    I remain,
    Eric L. Sofer
    The Silver Age Fogey

  3. I was underwhelmed by Conan's debut last night. His humor has always struck me as more "juvenile" than that of Leno. Presuming that NBC is trying to get a younger audience for The Tonight Show, I suppose putting him there makes sense.
    And we aging Baby Boomers can watch Leno at 10:00 before going to bed!