End Notes

Well, America got it right in voting Pentatonix winners of this year's edition of NBC's The Sing-Off. I was a bit bummed that just about everybody turned in sub-standard performances on Monday night's live finale, when presumably viewership would get a bump from Dancing with the Stars' absence; maybe it was the lack of pressure, since voting was already closed, but more likely the crazy rehearsal schedule and holiday weekend are to blame. Friends who finally tuned in after hearing me rhapsodize about Pentatonix, Afro-Blue, and Urban Method have my apologies.

Photo © 2011 NBCUniversal Media LLC.

I complained in a post last month about the judges' inexplicable preference for certain groups over others — on the whole, traditional large university-based ensembles beating out more inventive, idiosyncratic but clearly cooler combos. Not that a cappella is all about being "cool", nor that I have an inherent dislike of the collegiate model; quite the opposite, in fact.

Muppet Monday

Since my review of the new Muppets film isn't done, I offer some snippets of songs from the movie

The scene in which Camilla the Chicken and friends sing — well, bwawk — the hit single known politely as "Forget You" is a showstopper. I lie not; in the theater, the audience was laughing raucously the entire length of the number. While the clip on DisneyMusic's YouTube channel incorporates other footage (and inserted audio) from the film, in the movie itself the scene is center-stage, uncut, and much the funnier for it.

Siteseeing: Quick Hits

I saw The Muppets last night. You could find a worse way to spend a couple of hours — depending on how dearly you hold the characters and how much leeway you're willing to give newer creative hands in them, metaphorically and otherwise. A review might be on the way, but for now I present one more movie-related video to add to the onslaught from Muppet Tuesday last week: a pre-film policy trailer for AMC Theaters that advertised the gang's return to the big screen.

More Muppets after we break for some timely comics-related stuff — the first of which is actually related to Timely Comics...

The Old Soft Sell

I'll be spiffing up the blog in the coming months — re-sizing graphics that are too
big since the recent template change and making other long overdue corrections to older posts to the extent possible. One noticeable change will be the addition of links
in relevant posts to items mentioned therein sold on Amazon, just as you'll find in some newer posts. Why?

'amazon.com' logo: the website name in black sans-serif type, 'amazon' boldfaced, with a curved gold line running from under the 'a' to the 'z' where it concluded with an arrowhead

Cue the boilerplate: Blam's Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon websites. [Adventures in Comicology, the site I've established to archive my writing on
comics, will be too.]

Muppet Monday

Jason Segel was joined by the Muppets in his monologue this weekend on Saturday Night Live. The real highlight, though, was Kermit the Frog showing up during Weekend Update to join anchor Seth Meyers in one of my favorite recurring segments in all of SNL. Ladies and gentlemen: Really!?! with Seth & Kermit. Yaaayyy!!!

Screencap © 2011 NBCUniversal Media LLC.

I must say that Kermit oversold it at times, but at least they let the follow-up to the "sausage casings" line go with relative subtlety.

If You Meta the Batman, Kill the Batman

The seemingly paradoxical nature of the Zen koan that was adapted for this post's title is reflected in its subject: Friday night's series finale of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Bat-Mite sitting at a laptop with 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold' on the screen
Screencap © 2011 and characters TM/® DC Comics.

I expect that fans who loved the series loved the episode, whose title "Mitefall" is a reference to Bat-Mite, the magical imp who appeared regularly in the often-goofy Batman comics of the early 1960s, and to Knightfall, the grim-'n'-gritty Batman storyline of the early 1990s. It references many of the show's most popular traits and co-stars B:TBATB's breakout incarnation of Aquaman — less rooted in past versions of DC's sea king than in his pompous Marvel counterpart Namor the Sub-Mariner and Gaston from Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Muppet Thursday

Despite the almost reverently expectant note on which my last post ended, I carry a small amount of dread that The Muppets will be unfulfilling or, worse, offensive in some way to its heritage — and moreover I understand that no matter how satisfying it may be on the whole it can't help but lack an essential ingredient.

Promotional photo for The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson © 1990 Muppets Studio LLC.

I'm speaking, of course, about Jim Henson, who invented the Muppets, performed Kermit the Frog (among many others — including Rowlf the Dog, as much his alter ego as the little green dude), and guided a sublimely creative, colorful enterprise for decades.

Muppet Tuesday

Next Wednesday The Muppets will be released by Walt Disney Pictures. Since the countdown to the film was the impetus for these Muppet Mostly-Mondays, I figured that now would be a good time to share the numerous posters and links to the various trailers that have been produced to date.

The Muppets' first trailer debuted May 20th online and in theaters with Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Muppet Monday

I'm very sorry that this post is going up late. And I realize that there was no Muppet Monday installment at all last week, although I'll try to make it right by doubling up one week soon.

What can I say? Accidents happen. Things fall apart.

If you don't believe me, ask the cast of that hit musical Spider-Monster...

Screencap © 2011 Sesame Workshop.

Jobs Report

I hadn't submitted any entries to the online Late Show with David Letterman Top Ten Contest in several months until doing so this week — and coming up with a winner.

As usual, I threw in a couple of options that weren't stellar along with my personal favorite(s), because you never know what will ring the bell of whomever makes the selections. 

Here are my...

Top Five Surprises in the Steve Jobs Biography

5. He slipped Bill Gates' barber a fifty every month for 30 years.

4. But for the flip of a coin, he'd have been wearing black pants and a denim turtleneck every day.

3. His kids had to show him how to program the VCR.

2. Ironically, he got the idea for the Apple when a book about Isaac Newton hit him on the head. (Think about it, people!)

And the Number One Surprise in the Steve Jobs Biography...