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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Remembering Carlin on the SNL Premiere
2008-06-23 10:17
by Jon Weisman

I posted a remembrance of George Carlin at Season Pass on Variety. It's not all-encompassing; it's just a moment that has stuck with me for the past 30 years or so. Alex Belth and Scott Long are also coming to terms with his passing.

Comments (179)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-23 10:29:54
1.   JJ42
302 - From the previous thread.

Fresno State's pitching coach should be a familiar name to Dodger fans.

2008-06-23 10:38:01
2.   ToyCannon
Nice, I'm sure I missed the debut as I didn't watch SNL until at least 1/2 way into the 1st season. He was probably my favorite comic and he kept it going all the way until the end.
I hope he was wrong in the end about life and that he got a big surprise about what it was all about.
2008-06-23 10:45:16
3.   LogikReader
353 , 355 from previous thread

Actually, I am pretty sure that stand up moment happened in 1988. It seems to add up. I think George wanting to know the scores was a product of his passion for the game itself, not as much the Dodgers.

The only other possibilities are 1977, 1978, or 1981.

2008-06-23 10:46:44
4.   Disabled List
Fresno State's head coach, Mike Batesole, is familiar to me. He was the coach at CSUN in the mid-90s when I was there. I had a chance to interview him once. He had a very stern, no-nonsense demeanor, but he was also very helpful and gracious. I couldn't be happier for his success, although I wish he was having it with Northridge instead of Fresno.
2008-06-23 10:48:31
5.   bhsportsguy
I recall seeing that first episode and it was only because of George Carlin that I tuned in that night.

The episode that forever made me a fan was with host Richard Pryor in Decemeber 1975. Pryor performed in sketches (Carlin did not appear in any sketches), most famously the word association skit with Chevy Chase and a Samurai sketch with John Belushi.

Carlin most famous routine is among the topics in this interview on Fresh Air that was recorded in 2004.

2008-06-23 10:50:49
6.   LogikReader

I remember George Carlin's entire story childhood baseball memories because he had an interview with Kiley and Booms (remember that show?) on Fox Sports Radio 8 years ago. That's my reference for my own anecdote in the last thread.

2008-06-23 11:06:05
7.   bhsportsguy
BTW regarding goofus comment on the last thread about hiring a manager under 50, the managers of the teams with the best record in the NL are Lou Pinellia and Tony LaRussa, who are both over 63, now the two managers in the AL with the best records are Terry Francona and Mike Scioscia, Mike will turn 50 later this year and Francona just turned 49.
2008-06-23 11:10:08
8.   Frip
I'm so glad Carlin had to wear a suit on that show, because left to his own tastes he was one of the worst dressed people around. He's probably buried in one of those skeleton t-shirts.

Jon: This man roughed up conventional wisdom in a way that was almost sweet, the way he brought you along for the ride.

True, well said.

Alex Belth and Scott Long are also coming to terms with his passing.

You "come to terms" with your daughter passing in a freak accident, not some comedian you've never met.

2008-06-23 11:12:42
9.   LogikReader
Jon, thank you for that great retrospective on George Carlin's SNL stint. I came into life after his hiatus from Stand Up. My first memory of him (obviously from a distance) was his standup routine about banning Toy Guns "but keeping the real ones!"

It wasn't until much later I got to hear his signature material on CDs: seven dirty words, baseball and football, and all the rest. He seemed more jovial then, and his voice wasn't even gravely yet. I'm glad I got to enjoy his work that spanned so many year.

Imagine. I'm 2 weeks away from boarding an airline flight to NY, and I'm thinking of his long, hilarious routine about the Airport. I will truly miss the genius of George Carlin.

2008-06-23 11:18:59
10.   bigcpa
I was fortunate enough to see a Q&A with Carlin at the Museum of TV & Radio- must have been 1993 or so. His wife and daughter were there, and he came across as a warm, engaging family man. Not what you'd expect from his stage persona of cranky anti-establishment drug abuser. I think he was really at the top of his game in the 90's, always putting as much craft into both his delivery and his material. After his wife died his act became a lot more preachy and less funny. There were a few HBO specials with painfully long stretches of silence. Then he got fired from his MGM show in Vegas for berating the audience. Even at rock bottom he was funnny:

People who go to Las Vegas, you've got to question their intellect to start with. Traveling hundreds and thousands of miles to essentially give your money to a large corporation is kind of moronic.

Thankfully his final HBO special this year "It's Bad for Ya" was a winner. He had some great bits about obsessive parenting that really hit home. Guy was really a genius.

2008-06-23 11:23:38
11.   underdog
Nice piece Jon. (And Alex and Scott.)
I again remind that today's Fresh Air dedicated to Carlin can be heard online, too. Check it out. Really interesting insight into his background and influences, too.


Off topic, but both Eric Enders and myself are among many to have contributed to this list o' Westerns:

(I could probably pick 5 different films and be just as happy.)

2008-06-23 11:23:54
12.   fanerman
I first heard of George Carlin from watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, when he played Rufus. Even that was pretty awesome.
2008-06-23 11:25:07
13.   dianagramr
Transcript of first SNL broadcast.

2008-06-23 11:26:47
14.   Bob Timmermann
RIP, Dody Goodman.
2008-06-23 11:29:16
15.   sporky

My dad is crushed - Tim Russert and George Carlin in 2 weeks.

2008-06-23 11:32:54
16.   cargill06
xavier paul in next year's BA top 100? he's .305/.373/.444 this year, and 14-17 in SB's
2008-06-23 11:35:18
17.   bhsportsguy
16 If Delwyn Young could not crack it with his solid hitting stats, I don't think Paul has a chance.
2008-06-23 11:37:07
18.   regfairfield
16 .139 isolated power from a corner outfielder in a hitters paradise is terrible. Paul was statistically the worst defensive centerfielder in AA, so I don't think he can stick there.

2008-06-23 11:37:45
19.   regfairfield
17 Paul is two years younger.
2008-06-23 11:39:01
20.   underdog
18 Doesn't he have a rep for having a superb arm though? (Or am I imagining that...)
2008-06-23 11:39:33
21.   bhsportsguy
19 I was addressing the stat line but its true Paul is younger than Young when he reached AAA.
2008-06-23 11:39:44
22.   Sushirabbit
11, good for Eric on Dances with Wolves. I just got my collectors edition of Once Upon a Time in the West. That is one great movie. I need to re-see McCabe & Mrs. Miller as it was never one I liked. I always find new stuff in Ford, though.

What to say about Carlin? I remember he seemed more like my friends and I than Belushi, or Cosby, or anybody else. We laughed and riffed off his stuff for days.

2008-06-23 11:41:39
23.   underdog
22 I'm one of the few with My Darling Clementine on my list, but I just love it so much. I cheated by putting two Leone and two Anthony Mann pictures together as one. Hard to choose!
2008-06-23 11:44:46
24.   bhsportsguy
22 How different would that film had been had Ford cast John Wayne as Wyatt Earp instead of Henry Fonda?

And tough guy Walter Brennan as the head of the Clanton family.

2008-06-23 11:47:07
25.   Marty
Keeping it to 5 westerns is tough. Mine would be:

1. My Darling Clementine
2. Red River
3. Unforgiven
4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
5. The Ox Bow Incident

2008-06-23 11:51:44
26.   ToyCannon
BA once had him listed as having the best arm in the organization. He has actually been very good now after a dreadful start and while he probably won't crack the BA top 100, having someone projected as a 4th outfielder is not a bad thing. He doesn't have to be a gold glove CF to be able to play all 3 positions as an extra outfielder.
2008-06-23 11:55:04
27.   silverwidow
On Dodger Talk, Colletti again implied that he'll trade one or two youngsters for a "definitive" upgrade that is under contract for longer than 2008.

I don't know who that refers to at all.

2008-06-23 11:57:11
28.   Jim Hitchcock
You "come to terms" with your daughter passing in a freak accident, not some comedian you've never met.

That is one silly statement.

2008-06-23 11:57:18
29.   bhsportsguy
25 1. Stagecoach, Wayne's breakthrough role, Ford's use of Monument Valley, and other great character turns by Thomas Mitchell, John Carradine, and Claire Trevor.

2. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, my favorite of the cavalry trilogy. Combined with Red River, this film gives Wayne a chance to develop his characters.

3. My Darling Clementine, Henry Fonda does a jig.

4. El Dorado, okay this was basically Rio Bravo with James Caan in the Ricky Nelson role, but I loved the interplay between Mitchum and Wayne.

5. The Man Who Shot Libery Valance, Wayne calls Jimmy Stewart pilgrim.

2008-06-23 11:57:55
30.   Bluebleeder87

She was really cute in grease...

2008-06-23 11:58:45
31.   fanerman
27 He will or he's open to?
2008-06-23 11:59:50
32.   silverwidow
31 Open to. Of course it depends on who's available.
2008-06-23 12:00:00
33.   Dodgers49
11 Off topic, but both Eric Enders and myself are among many to have contributed to this list o' Westerns:

I'm probably one of the few people here who is so old that one of his all time favorite movies is still a western. :-) But my all time favorite, Shane, didn't make the cut.

2008-06-23 12:00:18
34.   ToyCannon
Great lists, two that I didn't see mentioned that I liked off the top of my head are Big Jake and Little Big Man.
2008-06-23 12:00:37
35.   Sushirabbit
23-25, yeah supposedly Leone wanted Fonda to wear brown contacts. Have you ever heard that? And Fonda convinced him not to do it.

I don't know how I could do a top 5. I always like challenges like that, I just put in what's in my head at the moment. I've recently seen a bunch of these and I was on a Ford kick for the past year. I will have to check out some that I haven't seen. Sometimes I just see what my Tivo's recorded and watch whatever it is, like The Professionals.

2008-06-23 12:00:45
36.   regfairfield
27 No idea if that's sarcasm, but potentially he could be referring to Bedard, Beltre, Holliday, or Bay.
2008-06-23 12:01:09
37.   Bluebleeder87
She has been in a number of films I just remember her best in Grease [ ]
2008-06-23 12:01:27
38.   bhsportsguy
34 I almost wrote Big Jake (if only for the running gag, "I thought you waz dead. Not hardly."
2008-06-23 12:01:41
39.   Eric Stephen
On Dodger Talk, Colletti again implied that he'll trade one or two youngsters only for a "definitive" upgrade that is under contract for longer than 2008

Aren't you missing an "only" in there?

2008-06-23 12:01:42
40.   Jon Weisman
If "The Misfits" qualifies, that's obviously my No. 1.

But otherwise:

The Shootist
Fort Apache
My Darling Clementine

I haven't seen Fort Apache since I was a kid, so I don't know if I'd feel the same way today, but I might have watched it a dozen times back then.

Butch gets knocked down mainly because of those annoying ba-ba-ba-ba-ba singers.

2008-06-23 12:03:27
41.   Jon Weisman
29 - Ooh, BH's No. 2 is good.

8 - I appreciate the compliment on the one line. But I can come to terms with what I'm going to have for lunch today - I'm not sure that line is worth nitpicking.

2008-06-23 12:03:43
42.   bhsportsguy
36 He basically implied that he could have dealt for Texiera or Santanna during last season and off season (no names given) but those deals would have created more holes than solved problems.

He expanded upon what Bill Shaiken said in yesterday's LA Times.

2008-06-23 12:07:13
43.   Eric Enders
I have to admit I felt a little weird about putting Dances With Wolves on there, since it's a film that's so often disdained and poked fun at by the cool kids who prefer Johnny Guitar or McCabe and Mrs. Miller. But they're wrong. The film holds up beautifully, and it really was like nothing that had ever been made before. I don't particularly like Costner either, but this was a genuine achievement.

Some others I love but was unable to find room for on my list are Bad Day at Black Rock, The Ox-Bow Incident, and The Shootist.

I need to watch My Darling Clementine again. I've only seen it once, a long time ago, and my reaction might be different now. At the time I thought it was the most visually stunning of Ford's films, but story-wise there's no there there.

2008-06-23 12:07:17
44.   silverwidow
36 It wasn't sarcasm. There is virtually zero chance that Colorado will trade Holliday to the Dodgers for only one or two players.

The other names mentioned don't strike me as being worth sacrificing long term potential in exchange for short term need.

2008-06-23 12:07:26
45.   Sushirabbit
Butch Cassidy &Sundance Kid, Stagecoach, Blazing Saddles, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Searchers. Outlaw Jose Wales as honorable mention. That list would change tomorrow. :-)
2008-06-23 12:07:32
46.   ToyCannon
Boone was great, I almost put that line in my comment so I find it awesome that you did so.

I have to admit I don't think I've seen "My Darling Clementine".

2008-06-23 12:07:53
47.   Marty
Thats why 5 is tough. Shane deserves to be on the list, yet I forgot it. The Wild Bunch is a terrific movie. McCabe and Mrs. Miller is astounding, but I never think of it as a western when it obviously is.
2008-06-23 12:08:54
48.   silverwidow
39 Correct. Two players seems to be his max.
2008-06-23 12:09:43
49.   Marty
I have to admit I don't think I've seen "My Darling Clementine".

When you pull a gun, kill a man.

2008-06-23 12:09:49
50.   dzzrtRatt
Not to dislodge any movies from the lists, because I can't come up with just five, but of those not yet mentioned:

Red River
Lonely are the Brave
The Cowboys
The Searchers
Rio Bravo
Cat Ballou
Gunfight at the OK Corral
Broken Arrow
and I really liked the remake of 3:10 to Yuma from last year.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-23 12:10:10
51.   Disabled List
Nobody's metioned either The Wild Bunch, or The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Shame on all of you.

2008-06-23 12:10:19
52.   ToyCannon
No nominations for The Magnificent Seven ?
2008-06-23 12:11:17
53.   ToyCannon
They are listed many times on the list that Underdog linked to.
2008-06-23 12:11:49
54.   bhsportsguy
52 Is "The Seven Samurai" a western? I would make a special category and put The Seven Samurai and Yojimbo on my list.
2008-06-23 12:11:52
55.   Sushirabbit
The Shootist!

Eric, yeah I really agree on your "Dances" take, the only other movie I liked Costner in was the one where he's an ex-ball player radio talkie that falls in with a widow. I'll definitely check out some of everybody's recommendations. I really need a new TV. :-)

2008-06-23 12:12:05
56.   dzzrtRatt
or that weren't mentioned yet when I started writing the post.

Someone mentioned Outlaw Josie Wales. That one slipped my mind; it's great.

Also I forgot The Wild Bunch.

2008-06-23 12:13:17
57.   underdog
I love Shane and Butch Cassidy (except, yeah, for that Bicycle/music video sequence, pleh) and McCabe and Yellow Ribbon and on and on.

43 I hadn't thought of Bad Day at Black Rock as a Western because it's set in present day, as it were, but now that you mention it, it really does fit the mold in many other respects. Such a great script, regardless.

2008-06-23 12:13:34
58.   ToyCannon
Cat Ballou, young Jane was hot and Lee was the best western drunk ever if you are looking for comedic effect.
2008-06-23 12:14:24
59.   Jon Weisman
50 - Oh, Lonely Are the Brave is tremendous. Dang.

And of course, Blazing Saddles speaks for itself.

2008-06-23 12:14:46
60.   underdog
54 Magnificent Seven is a Western, but Seven Samurai and Yojimbo aren't, even though they obviously directly influenced at least two classic Westerns (and many more less directly). How about calling them an Eastern? ;-)
2008-06-23 12:14:52
61.   Sushirabbit
I also loved Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in Tombstone.
2008-06-23 12:14:58
62.   Jon Weisman
57 - It's not the Raindrops song that bothers me. It's those singers when they're transitioning to Bolivia.
2008-06-23 12:15:18
63.   Jon Weisman
61 - "I'm your huckleberry." Best part of the movie.
2008-06-23 12:15:29
64.   underdog
Heck I'd vote for Support Your Local Sheriff if I could do a Top Ten, at least as a beloved personal favorite even if not cinematically/historically as important.
2008-06-23 12:16:15
65.   underdog
62 Oh my, yes, that was awkward, too. Cut those two bits out and you have a masterpiece.
2008-06-23 12:17:10
66.   cargill06
toy, i asked this before and i don't know if you saw the post. but do you play in a flag football league on sunday nights? a team we played last night had a player under the name of t. cannon
2008-06-23 12:18:23
67.   Kevin Lewis
Back to the Future III?

Just kidding

2008-06-23 12:20:55
68.   Bob Timmermann
That's the best part of the movie!

That music is the soundtrack to my life!

At least when I'm fleeing the law.

2008-06-23 12:21:05
69.   Eric Enders
Here's another vote for Lonely Are the Brave.

One of John Ford's better unheralded westerns is "Sgt. Rutledge," starring Jackie Robinson's UCLA teammate Woody Strode in the leading role.

I grew up watching a lot of westerns since my dad was obsessed with them. "The Searchers" was revered in our house, and when VCRs first came out I remember him spending like $75 on a videotape of it. (Yes, kids, VHS movies used to cost seventy-five bucks.) In fact, I was almost named Ethan instead of Eric but my mother nixed that at the last minute.

2008-06-23 12:23:01
70.   ToyCannon
I'll watch the movie just to hear Val Kilmer deliver that line.

No, everything I did in sports was under the name of Go Deep and at 49 I don't think I'd be playing in a flag football league as much as I'd like to:)

2008-06-23 12:24:33
71.   fanerman
I haven't seen enough Westerns, though I did borrow "Unforgiven" from my brother.
2008-06-23 12:25:16
72.   Wilbert Robinson
A Fistful of Dynamite is amazing....

2008-06-23 12:25:26
73.   Dodgers49
When some folks mention western movie "showdowns" Gunfight at the OK Corral and High Noon often get mentioned first. But I've always considered the greatest showdown in western movie history to be this one:

"So you're Jack Wilson."
"And what does that mean to you, Shane?'
"I've heard about you."
"And what have you heard, Shane?"
"I've heard that you're a low down Yankee liar."
"Prove it."

2008-06-23 12:25:44
74.   Jim Hitchcock
58 The horse was no slouch in the drunken acting category, either.
2008-06-23 12:26:02
75.   Eric Enders
66 There is a different T. Cannon who is head of The Baseball Reliquary.
2008-06-23 12:26:10
76.   Wilbert Robinson
73 +1
2008-06-23 12:27:39
77.   Bob Timmermann
Rafer Johnson is also in "Sgt. Rutledge."
2008-06-23 12:27:42
78.   Eric Enders
The conversation in 73 took place just last week when Shane Victorino tried to break up a double play against Pittsburgh.
2008-06-23 12:27:52
79.   ToyCannon
The original Toy Cannon probably would have been one heck of a running back with his massive thighs, speed, and low profile.
2008-06-23 12:29:11
80.   ToyCannon
Whenever a stump gets in my way in life I think back to Shane and then get out the dynamite.
2008-06-23 12:33:03
81.   underdog
67 That and Westworld can be on a Sci-Fi Westerns list. ;-)
2008-06-23 12:36:15
82.   ToyCannon
81 That was a good popcorn movie.
2008-06-23 12:37:33
83.   Bob Timmermann
Someone, not me, is going to come by here and wonder why no one has mentioned "Rio Bravo."

Let's just hope Quentin Tarantino doesn't read this thread.

2008-06-23 12:39:19
84.   Eric Enders
83 Only if they missed post 50.
2008-06-23 12:40:17
85.   ToyCannon
I'm with BH on this one. I liked the Mitchum/Caan combo better.
2008-06-23 12:40:35
86.   Eric Enders
81 A lot of sci-fi flicks are essentially Westerns anyway. Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, and Forbidden Planet come to mind.
2008-06-23 12:42:33
87.   Bob Timmermann
Just one comment. Back at #50.

Is that all you got?

2008-06-23 12:43:57
88.   bhsportsguy
86 And really, those 70's and 80's Eastwood and Bronson movies (Dirty Harry, etc.) were westerns in suits and cars instead of hats and horses.
2008-06-23 12:44:57
89.   Marty
Yojimbo is one of my favorite movies. It's actually from a Dashiell Hammet story, Red Harvest.
2008-06-23 12:46:21
90.   Jon Weisman
Like Eric, I was raised in a Western-loving household in which my Dad poured money into expensive videotapes that were watched over and over again.

But when I watched The Searchers, I just thought it was remarkably racist. I could see the appeal outside of that rather major issue, but I just didn't get how I was supposed to get past it. I never revisited it after my first viewing, though I've always suspected I misjudged it.

Eric, what year do you think the song "Black Cowboys" takes place in? What was the channel that showed a Western movie every day?

2008-06-23 12:47:51
91.   Marty
Hour of the Gun is also a very good Western.
2008-06-23 12:50:29
92.   bhsportsguy
85 Reasons why El Dorado is better than Rio Bravo.

1. James Caan vs. Ricky Nelson
2. No forced relationship (Angie Dickinson)
3. I liked Dean Martin in his role as the drunk deputy but it just works better with Robert Mitchum as a drunk town marshall.

Now it must be said that the original idea behind Rio Bravo was to counter High Noon's theme of a town not willing to help their marshall (Gary Cooper) in his fight whereas Wayne's friend offers to help and gets killed in Rio Bravo. That element is completely gone in El Dorado.

My final reason on why El Dorado is better, there is a scene where Wayne and Mitchum and company are looking for the men who shot one of the sons of the family whose land the "bad guy" wants and the background music sounds like it is from a "Batman" episode.

2008-06-23 12:51:52
93.   Marty
Westerns that should be mentioned:

The Left-Handed Gun
Chato's Land
Valdez is Coming
Bite The Bullet
Destry Rides Again

2008-06-23 12:56:13
94.   underdog
Ah! I love Destry Rides Again, too. So underrated.

No love for Dead Man? (as neo-Westerns go...)

2008-06-23 12:57:25
95.   bhsportsguy
"The Gunfighter" with Gregory Peck is another western that I enjoyed watching. Of course most of the action in that film is confined to a bar and spare room.
2008-06-23 12:57:42
96.   Marty
94 Never saw it. My brother loved it.
2008-06-23 13:03:44
97.   Bob Hendley
Something that I would always laughed at as a kid was his "Que pasa?" riff. I obviously didn't understand it at the time, nor did the censors.
2008-06-23 13:10:10
98.   Eric Enders
90 "Eric, what year do you think the song "Black Cowboys" takes place in? What was the channel that showed a Western movie every day?"

Good questions both, and I have no idea. I've always pictured the song as taking place in the fifties, but I have no concrete reasons for believing that.

The racism of "The Searchers" is a topic that could be discussed endlessly. When I was in college and we watched it in film class, the first question the professor asked afterward was, "Do you think this film is racist, or is it a criticism of racism?" The answers were about evenly split but it seems to me that the obvious answer is "both." Really the only way one can draw the conclusion that the film is blatantly racist is if you believe the film is portraying its protagonist in a positive light. IMO the film's attitude toward the Wayne character is ambivalent at best, and by portraying him as such an oaf, Ford is condemning the character's views on race and his outlook on life in general.

On the other hand, even if you buy that theory, you must still deal with the racism of the scenes involving Look, the Native American wife, which are not so easily explained away.

2008-06-23 13:10:30
99.   Sammy Maudlin
I am quite fond of the flim "Go West".
2008-06-23 13:12:15
100.   bigcpa
I'll try to swing this back to Carlin Thoughts...

little Dodger mention in a 1999 interview with The Onion:

O: Well, you more or less hate society anyway, don't you?

GC: Um, I'm very disrespectful of it, and I'm contemptuous of it, but I don't think hate is in me, although we use that word the same way we use love: "Oh, boy, I love ice cream and I hate the Dodgers." But it is a distaste, a contempt, a dissatisfaction, a disillusionment, and a lot of qualities and feelings that come together and appear as anger on stage. I don't experience them as anger; I experience them as a deep distaste.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-06-23 13:17:10
101.   Brent Knapp
Does anyone know if it is possible to and if so, how to transfer videos from a DVR to a laptop or other computer? I think it's gotta be possible because there are USB ports on the back of DVRs.
2008-06-23 13:21:35
102.   Eric Enders
If you have a DVR issued by Time Warner, the USB port is non-functional and there's no way to get output to a computer.
2008-06-23 13:26:42
103.   Brent Knapp
102 The DVR is from Direct TV. Even on Time warner DVRs, though, would the HDMI or ethernet port work?
2008-06-23 13:29:06
104.   DeucesWild
I've used this device and it's worked well when recording from my Time Warner DVR.

2008-06-23 13:30:00
105.   Sushirabbit
101 turn back now! ... I have two hacked DirecTivo's. My advice: don't get started. Unless you are 15 and have more time than you know what to do with and you want to learn about Linux Kernels and such. And spend untold hours of your life on it. Otherwise forget it.
2008-06-23 13:39:16
106.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I think my favorite western, although I've never actually seen it, is Young Guns 2. I've been intending to see it since I was eight (my mom would not let me at the time), but now I can't bring myself to see it for fear of disappointment.
2008-06-23 13:46:36
107.   Eric Enders
I will admit to loving the original "Young Guns" when I was thirteen or so.

The second one... well, when the absolute best thing about a movie is the Bon Jovi song, you know it's a pretty forgettable movie.

2008-06-23 13:50:42
108.   Fallout
15 sporky
Those 2 eggs do not belong in the same basket.
2008-06-23 13:52:35
109.   scareduck
101 , 105 - IMO the FCC ought to be mandating standardization for cable delivery systems. There is absolutely no reason why, in this age, we can't use off-the-shelf DVRs and hardware subsystems using something a little less user-hostile, like maybe MythTV. As it is, you can only use the garbage your cable company decides to stiff you with. Scientific Atlanta is just garbage. What makes it more galling is that they're a Cisco company, f'r chrissakes, so it's not like they have no technical expertise they could tap on. My laundry list of gripes about their DVR:

1) Navigation is slow and disorganized. Want to find a baseball game? Great! Once you've brought up the main menu, you need to shift to programming by category, select Sports, and select Baseball. But once there, your choices are not arranged by airtime, but apparently randomly. Since you don't get to see when the program airtimes are, and if there are multiple instances of the same show/game (as when the Dodgers are playing on both NTSC and HD, for instance), all you get is that there is a baseball game at a certain time but nothing beyond that. Because of this inconsistency, if you click on an intermediate menu item for a program with only one instance (instead of one with two or more), you get transported out of that deep menu you were just in and to that channel. If this was a mistake, you have to go through the whole ridiculous process all over again FROM THE TOP.
2) Picture-in-picture is needlessly large and covers too much of the screen. This is really annoying when I'm trying to watch two baseball games at once; the PIP almost inevitably covers the catcher, or the scoreboard strip at the top, or some other vital part of the game.
3) No mute. Really! The remote that comes with it doesn't allow you to mute the audio stream as it goes through the cable box (it did on our other Time-Warner DVR, one which is becoming more and more fondly remembered with time).
4) HD recording tics. We haven't seen them lately, but there have been significant problems recording HD programming (skipped content, etc.).

I would love to get my own gear and replace the lot of it. Unfortunately, because the hardware is all proprietary, I'm stuck with whatever garbage Time-Warner wants to stiff me with. The same is true on every other maker's hardware, whether it's DirecTV or Verizon's FIOS.

2008-06-23 13:52:37
110.   Ghost of Carlos Perez
I don't like that you've called my favorite western "pretty forgettable," but I will say that the soundtrack was one of the main reasons I wanted to see the movie.

I loved the part when (somebody) says, "Yoo-hoo, I'll make you famous." BLAM!

I've always pictured that as being an awesome scene.

2008-06-23 13:58:42
111.   JoeyP
Does anyone believe that in this era of HD sports on TV, that there will be an option to mute the announcers of the game, but to otherwise hear just the sounds?

I think that would be a great TV viewing experience.

Would MLB allow it?

2008-06-23 13:59:19
112.   underdog
It's your favorite Western though you've never actually seen it? Hrmmm. It will probably only be that for as long as you keep yourself from watching it.

I should write a sequel to a Western... "Shane II: The Return"? The boy as dottering senior citizen still pining for Shane. Nah...

2008-06-23 13:59:44
113.   bhsportsguy
I wonder how he felt about the name Jason?

George Carlin on names.

"I'm getting really sick of guys named Todd. ... Where are all these goofy boys' names coming from? Taylor, Tyler, Jordan, Flynn — these are not real names. You wanna hear a real name? Eddie."

2008-06-23 14:00:18
114.   scareduck
109 - adding to that list --

1a) The SELECT button is frequently used where the arrow buttons should be, and vice versa. I can't tell you how many times I've ended up having to restart from the top because of this.

2a) ... and there is no way to alter this. Our old DVR offered two sizes for PIP.

5) Boot times measured in MINUTES. Heaven help you if you need to start your DVR from a power outage, or if tech support requests you reboot it. My Mac doesn't take this long.

In general, Scientific Atlanta is producing junk.

2008-06-23 14:02:20
115.   scareduck
111 - Does anyone believe that in this era of HD sports on TV, that there will be an option to mute the announcers of the game, but to otherwise hear just the sounds?

Considering MLB Gameday Audio allows you to listen to either home or away radio broadcast teams, and SAP allows for multilingual audio channels right now, I have to believe that home or away feeds are coming.

If I were a White Sox fan, I might be tempted to just turn off all broadcasters and listen to the crowd.

2008-06-23 14:04:47
116.   scareduck
115 - of course, you would also have to get past the idiotic "exclusive market" rules currently set up that define blackout areas.
2008-06-23 14:06:23
117.   underdog
I love DT chats when the Dodgers are off. :-)
2008-06-23 14:09:01
118.   bhsportsguy
Lewis Black is talking about George Carlin on KPCC right now.
2008-06-23 14:10:10
119.   Im So Blue
101 I saw this for $50 at Costco today-- VHS To DVD 3.0 Deluxe Software by Honestech:
2008-06-23 14:10:33
120.   OaklandAs
101 On the DVR boxes from Cox Cable (Motorola 6412), you can output content to a computer through the Firewire port.
2008-06-23 14:11:46
121.   Brent Knapp
109 I feel your pain about menu inconsistencies and poor user-friendliness. I have lived with and used time warner, adelphia, direcTV and Cox all in different parts of LA recently and by far Cox has the best DVR software. If you ever have the chance to try it is actually really good.
2008-06-23 14:12:35
122.   sporky
101 I'm using a TV tuner for my desktop, and it functions pretty well as a recorder. No DVR subscription fee, either!
2008-06-23 14:13:32
123.   Kevin Lewis

Do you mean transfer the files, or display the video?

2008-06-23 14:15:00
124.   berkowit28
121 Yes, I have Cox Cable DVR (in Santa Barbara) and it's really pretty good.
2008-06-23 14:15:48
125.   Kevin Lewis
This is why I eventually built my own HTPC. It is not without its problems, but I have complete control.
2008-06-23 14:28:01
126.   Brent Knapp
123 I mean transfer the files, there's a concert on my girlfriend's box that I want on my laptop. What's an HTPC?
2008-06-23 14:44:24
127.   underdog is now doing team-by-team minor league updates. Here's the new one for the Dodgers:

2008-06-23 14:53:12
128.   Bob Timmermann
If the mute button doesn't work, why don't you just turn the volume all the way down instead?

That can't take that much more time.

2008-06-23 14:56:19
129.   scareduck
127 - yeah, I know. The problem I have with those is that they very often aren't available at the end of the day. Also, they generally point to one large roundup page for all major league teams without giving any indication whether the individual teams' wraps have been updated. I stopped looking at those a while ago for those reasons.
2008-06-23 14:57:31
130.   fanerman
In case nobody's mentioned it just yet, happy birthday Mark Hendrickson!
2008-06-23 14:59:19
131.   scareduck
128 - The real problem is that if you mute at the DVR level, the remote wants to forward the command to the TV. The problem with this approach is that the TV has no control over the audio, it being downstream of the amp/video switcher. So you always have to first switch to the amp on the remote, which if you change to a channel where the programming IS VERY LOUD, and your first instinct is to hit the mute button, you get stiffed and have to hunt for the amp. If they're going to provide passthrough on the remote, they should do it to the device that should, in theory, always work, rather than assuming the TV is the right place.
2008-06-23 15:01:16
132.   KingKopitar
It's not top 5 but I enjoyed Open Range quite a bit.
2008-06-23 15:08:24
133.   Dodgers49
112 I should write a sequel to a Western... "Shane II: The Return"? The boy as dottering senior citizen still pining for Shane. Nah...

There was no Shane II but several years ago I was watching cable when Alan Ladd appeared in a movie that began with him wearing the same outfit he had on when he rode off at the end of Shane. So there's that. :-) He was in Canada so it may have been Saskatchewan. When he arrived at the ranch at the beginning of Shane he said he was "heading north" but I wasn't expecting him to ride that far. :-)

2008-06-23 15:12:30
134.   underdog
133 Hah. (Ironically, the movie Saskatchewan was filmed in Alberta!)

129 Ah, I see. I just found that direct link via the ItD blog.

2008-06-23 15:16:20
135.   scareduck
126 - via the magic of Google, an HTPC is apparently a Home Theater PC:

2008-06-23 15:19:08
136.   fanerman
135 Yeah. Often they have TV tuners built in so you can record shows directly onto your computer (or watch them live). Then you can play them back, along with ripped DVD's, music, pictures, etc. onto your TV.

I've contemplated building one but I just stream ripped music and DVD's from my computer through other devices. I don't watch enough TV to want to record shows.

2008-06-23 15:22:21
137.   Sushirabbit
is Jeremiah Johnson a western? I'm guessin' Liver Eatin' would agree so.
2008-06-23 15:23:39
138.   Lexinthedena
What did folks think of 3:10 to Yuma?
2008-06-23 15:26:12
139.   Bob Timmermann
I got bumped from the 3:10 to Yuma and instead took the 4:30 to Nogales and then transfered.
2008-06-23 15:30:12
140.   MJW101
I noticed no one mentioned Silverado or the Professionals two of my favorites.

My favorite John Wayne western is the Searchers for many of the reasons stated in past comments. Indeed, I felt it was showing the futility of racism. It is easier for someone to be racist against a certain anonymous segment of a population than it is to be racist against someone you have a vested interest in and knowledge of.

One of the easiest ways to pick out your favorite western movies is to pick your favorite western star and list his movies. I also noticed nobody mentioned a Jimmie Stewart western. Kirk Douglas & Burt Lancaster were two of the most athletic of western heroes.

2008-06-23 15:31:51
141.   Dodgers49
134 133 Hah. (Ironically, the movie Saskatchewan was filmed in Alberta!)

Okay, so he wasn't as far from Wyoming as I thought. :-)

2008-06-23 15:45:16
142.   Bob Hendley
128 - Bob Brenly has been know to make my ears bleed.
2008-06-23 15:46:38
143.   Bob Hendley
117 - "I love DT chats when the Dodgers are off. :-)"


2008-06-23 15:48:26
144.   underdog
138 I liked the remake a lot. The original's a classic in many ways, but is pretty stuffy. I liked how they opened it up and thought Crowe was great. (So was Ben Foster.)

143 Okay, okay, I know -- the Dodgers are always off.

No, I love DT all the time, but it's fun when we're less fixated on the team and talking about other stuff. Like movies!

2008-06-23 15:49:16
145.   Kevin Lewis

Home Theater PC

And, now that Netflix streams tv and movies, I pay 8.95 a month and I get to watch quite a bit on my tv. The quality is surprisingly good

2008-06-23 15:51:07
146.   sporky
If I've never seen a Western, what's a good one to get my feet wet?


2008-06-23 15:51:42
147.   underdog
140 My list had a couple of Jimmy Stewart Westerns on it (If you go to that link I posted earlier): Bend of the River (Anthony Mann, 1952) and The Man from Laramie (Anthony Mann, 1953). Plus, I think a few people mentioned Liberty Valance here.

And Destry Rides Again!

2008-06-23 15:53:42
148.   Daniel Zappala
My wife is the film major, and she's seen nearly every western, so here are her top five:

1. Unforgiven
2, The Searchers
3. Shane
4. The Wild Bunch
5. For a Fistful of Dollars

2008-06-23 15:55:17
149.   underdog
146 My Darling Clementine, Rio Bravo, High Noon, Shane, Red River... Maybe Once Upon a Time in the West, though that and any of Leone's films may not be the best for, er, Western virgins to start off with.
2008-06-23 15:58:05
150.   underdog
Speaking of Anthony Mann Westerns, his "The Furies" is finally out on DVD, via Criterion, tomorrow! I've never seen it so I'm excited.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-06-23 16:00:33
151.   Icaros
I don't see a reason to watch any Western not made by Leone.
2008-06-23 16:02:06
152.   scareduck
146 - Star Wars.
2008-06-23 16:06:50
153.   Xeifrank
144. Movie chat.

I miss the old Screen Jam movie/tv chat days. :)
vr, Xei

2008-06-23 16:09:45
154.   Marty
I like The Professionals.

I dislike Silverado

2008-06-23 16:21:38
155.   Indiana Jon
146 152
I though for a minute that I had never seen a western either until I read 152 . I've never seen a John Wayne movie though. I still have that, unless he was really Luke's father.
2008-06-23 16:25:56
156.   ToyCannon
Nobody else liked Little Big Man? I remember watching it at a drive in with about 10 of us jammed into a station wagon as a kid and being shocked that it went from comedy to trajedy while totally falling for Faye Dunaway.
2008-06-23 16:27:17
157.   Marty
Sorry Toy, yes I do love Little Big Man. I've seen it probably 10 times at the theater.
2008-06-23 16:29:55
158.   Marty
Speaking of Arthur Penn, no one has mentioned The Missouri Breaks. Or One-eyed Jacks. Two of my favorite Brando performances.

When Brando says "Get up you fat tub o guts" I always think of Terry Forster.

2008-06-23 16:30:17
159.   Lexinthedena
Little Big Man is a great movie. I guess I never really thought of it as a western, but I guess it is.
2008-06-23 16:30:56
160.   Lexinthedena
158 Didn't Brando direct One-eyed Jacks?
2008-06-23 16:32:04
161.   sporky
149 Thanks for the recs.

152 I've only seen the one with Jar Jar Binks.

With that abomination aside, I wonder if I would enjoy the original Star Wars any more or less as a first-time viewer in 2008.

2008-06-23 16:33:21
162.   Marty
160 From what I've read, only about half of it. After Penn got fired from the movie.
2008-06-23 16:34:56
163.   underdog
160 Indeed!

And I'm sorry, Star Wars borrows from Westerns, but I don't see it as a Western. Thankyoucomeagain.

I love Little Big Man, too.


I wonder if the Dodgers players have a list of their favorite Westerns.

2008-06-23 16:35:21
164.   Marty
But looking it up on Wikipedia (which is neverwrong) apparently I'm wrong.
2008-06-23 16:36:26
165.   Alex41592
I drew the D'Backs and Red Sox at FSR tonight. So I get to watch from a personal and professional level tonight.
2008-06-23 16:36:59
166.   Jon Weisman
2008-06-23 16:37:09
167.   underdog
162 I believe Stanley Kubrick was actually originally slated to direct that one. That movie had a very troubled history and production. But it's definitely worth a watch.
2008-06-23 16:38:42
168.   bhsportsguy
161 Since you have only seen the first/fourth Star Wars film, I would suggest that you forget you ever saw that one and enjoy the original trilogy.
2008-06-23 16:39:16
169.   Jim Hitchcock
139 Was the Climax Blues Band playing `Nogales' at the station?
2008-06-23 16:45:45
170.   Eric Enders
I liked Little Big Man.

Speaking of Arthur Penn, there are all sorts of great quasi-westerns that may or may not qualify:

Bonnie and Clyde
Lone Star
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Bad Day at Black Rock
The Last Picture Show
The Milagro Beanfield War
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
etc etc

So, what defines a western?

Is it the time period? Westerns can't have cars in them, is one definition I've heard, but that eliminates the Wild Bunch and Butch Cassidy.

Another definition I've heard: A western is any movie in which the protagonist wears a cowboy hat. Of course, this would mean that Midnight Cowboy is a western, and that She Wore a Yellow Ribbon isn't.

Is it the location? The movie has to take place somewhere in the American west? This means that "Boyz n the Hood" qualifies but "The Man From Snowy River," a quintessential western, doesn't.

2008-06-23 16:46:32
171.   Eric Enders
Shoulda known.
2008-06-23 16:53:21
172.   ToyCannon
Has to have a horse as the main transportation?
Liked Man From Snowy River, always been a big Kirk Douglas fan.
2008-06-23 17:24:17
173.   Daniel Zappala
156 That was sixth on the list.
2008-06-23 17:35:23
174.   skybluestoday
1) The Wild Bunch
2) Once Upon A Time in the West
3) Red River
4) McCabe and Mrs. Miller
5) Stagecoach
Ride the High Country
2008-06-23 17:41:20
175.   skybluestoday
1) The Wild Bunch

In one supreme starburst of energy, commitment, and focus, Peckinpah captures the decidedly dark, dark heart of 1968-1969 in a genre picture. Raw, chaotic, and brutal, but also shot through with romantic fatalism, this is not only to my mind the greatest Western of all time, but also one of the two or three greatest American films, period.

2) Once Upon a Time in the West

The yin to Peckinpah's Wild Bunch yang, this is a profoundly langorous and poetic statement from a maestro filmmaker who had never even spent any time in the West. Absolutely impossible to describe, it boasts some of the finest casting in the history of the genre a for-the-ages soundtrack -- it doesn't look like any other Leone movie ever made -- hell, it doesn't look like any other movie ever made

2008-06-23 17:45:41
176.   skybluestoday
3) Red River

Wow! John Wayne vs. Montgomery Clift in what is quite possibly the greatest of all classical Westerns! (I have always preferred it to the John Ford films, with the possible exception of Stagecoach.) John Wayne plays as unsympathetic a bastard as he plays in The Searchers (thank goodness John Wayne was generally a Good Guy, because grungier roles like these suggest that he would have been a truly terrifying Bad Guy.) His antagonist is Montgomery Clift, in his audacious and ultracool screen debut -- it's like the Old Guard of Hollywood Acting is meeting the New Guard (with the conflict deeply rooted in the film's story as well) and is certainly one of the great matchups in the history of Hollywood movies. Clift really holds his own against the icon, Wayne – and the result is pretty much a masterpiece. The script is jaw-droppingly quotable, with one classic sequence after another (watch closely as Coleen Gray almost manages to steal the whole show in her three minutes of screen time at the beginning of the movie); the B&W cinematography is unbelievably lustrous and beautiful; and the sparks that fly between Clift and Wayne need to be seen to be believed.

4) McCabe and Mrs. Miller

Some people think it's the worst Western ever made, many people think it's one of the very greatest American films of all, but I don't think anybody who has seen McCabe & Mrs. Miller has really ever forgotten it. Robert Altman's singular masterpiece is truly like no other movie you have ever seen. It's a passionate, timeless reverie about what the West was like precisely at the moment that it was becoming civilization as we know it – it occupies an exalted, unique crossroads position in America's history (and in film history). As a dense, elliptical, hard-to-hear work of frontier poetry that nonetheless tells a deceptively straightforward story, it is unparalleled. Every element of the production works toward a common goal, and it is all of a piece. Even catching a chopped-up, censored, pan-and-scan version of it on television as a teenager, I knew immediately that this film was something special – something pulled deeply from the troubled, mystical, mythical subconscious of the American experience for all of those who have chosen to go west to make our fortune.

Altman was on a tremendous roll between 1970 and 1975, cranking out no fewer than eight fascinating films from M*A*S*H to Nashville in that short span of time – a run that represents an amazing gambler's winning streak in American movies. McCabe & Mrs. Miller may well be the best of these great works. The early 1970's were indisputably one of the golden ages of American cinema, and you would be hard-pressed to find too many more films from that bygone era that are more perfectly conceived and executed than this one.

2008-06-23 17:55:03
177.   skybluestoday
5) Stagecoach (TIE)

I am generally shaded several degrees cooler towards Ford's work than Howard Hawks's, for example. I'm no particular fan of the much-beloved Searchers, for examples -- not so much because of the cloudy, ambiguous racial attitudes, but rather because so much of the film is clumsy and ham-fisted.

I do think that Stagecoach, however, is one of the all-time greats -- a genre picture that clicks right into place at every turn. I can see why Welles (claimed to have) watched it 40 times while prepping Citizen Kane. The push-in to John Wayne as he wields his rifle and stops the stagecoach is one of my all-time favority movie intros -- right up there with the aforementioned Welles's snap-CU as Harry Lime when Joseph Cotten yells at him outside Alida Valle's apartment in The Third Man.

2008-06-23 18:02:08
178.   skybluestoday
5) Ride the High Country (TIE)

I know, another Peckinpah. But while The Wild Bunch is assuredly the First Great Modern Western, this small flick might have been the last of the Great Classic Westerns. Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea may give the best performances of their careers as two aging former gunslingers trekking a cash payload across the Sierras, and the whole thing comes across as achingly poignant. Really great stuff.

Honorable Mention: Shane (of course), Winchester '73, GBU and also For A Few Dollars More, Unforgiven, Man of the West, The Tall T -- heck, any of those Budd Boetticher or Anthony Mann classics from the 1950s. How about Johnny Guitar?

So many riches -- an endless adaptable genre.

2008-06-23 22:06:42
179.   herchyzer
I was about to mention Winchester '73, but I missed-it-by-THAT-much!
43 . A Man Called Horse.

What defines a Western? I was thinking about plot. Strong, independent, but existentially lonely hero, alone or with a few equally gruff buddies saves a town of folk tamed and civilized, but weakened in the process and vulnerable to barbaric attack. That's ONE plot. Is Shane one of those? I can't quite remember. 7 Sam/Mag 7, El Dorado, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, High Noon, uh, My Daughter Clementine. It seems in most of the "classic" versions, all made before 1968, I THINK, the civilizing effect of law and order, while somewhat effeminating, is regarded as both good and inevitable. Children are safe and go to tiny schoolhouses, people go to worship God on Sundays in small, wooden churches with steeples, and meet during the week in stores where they flirt and gossip innocently while purchasing dry goods.

Then come the late '60's, early '70's and the questioning of not only the moral consistency and validity of our previously more-or-less secure values, but also the historical accuracy of the myths that we had erected to exemplify them. McCabe and Mrs. Miller has a horrifyingly realistic sense as he fights a death-battle with the truly vicious killers (who have demonstrated graphically their depravity earlier) while she puffs herself into oblivion. What's he giving his life for? Is that meant to fictionally parallel in any way the experience of the returning Viet Nam vets who were spit upon by their partially debauched young compatriots, while we watched on Cronkite a slightly more real depiction of war than we had gotten previously from movies and journalistic accounts, one that amounted mostly to a bunch of killing and suffering?

I'm done for now. Got to go to bed. Thanks.

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