Tagged: Seth McFarlane

Mike Gold, In Praise Of Bad Taste

Gold Art 130306Solidly castigated for being in bad taste, Seth MacFarlane announced he was not interested in hosting the Oscars again. Watching his reception in horror, Tina Fey said “Hell, no.” So producers announced next year’s host will be Gilbert Gottfried.

To be fair, when it comes to MacFarlane I’m not necessarily your go-to guy. I thought Ted was good fun, but I have a hard time watching an entire episode of Family Guy. If I surf past it ten minutes in, I’m fine. If I watch it from the beginning but the phone rings and I actually decide to take the call, I don’t hit the TiVo button. American Dad doesn’t work for me, but it’s better than The Cleveland Show. Robot Chicken might be the finest show in the history of the medium. I loved him on Star Trek: Enterprise.

But I really enjoy MacFarlane when he’s on a talk show like Craig Ferguson or Jimmy Kimmel. Humor is in the eye of the beholder and I never, ever use the phrase “that’s not funny” without the tag “to me.” I think he’s funny, I think he’s clever, I think he might be the closest thing we’ve got in America to Ricky Gervais – except, of course, for Ricky Gervais. Who I also like. Who also was chastised for bad taste humor while hosting an awards show.

But here’s the thing. If you don’t want some bad taste on your teevee plate, don’t hire Seth MacFarlane. He’s not going to bow before the great Oscar god. That’s not what he does. He’s not Bob Hope, he’s not Johnny Carson. He’s not Billy Crystal either, although his Oscar ratings last month were 10% higher than Crystal’s the year before.

I don’t always watch the Oscars. I enjoy watching the show with my daughter because she does a fashion commentary that would make MacFarlane sound like Loretta Young. Come to think of it, that’s true of every woman with whom I’ve watched the show. Adriane wasn’t around this year, but I watched it because I like MacFarlane and, mostly, because I was hoping Ben Affleck would knock it out of the park. I might have wandered away had Christoph Waltz not copped the first award and, no, don’t blame MacFarlane or the show’s producers for Waltz’s nomination in the supporting actor category. They didn’t have anything to do with it. Grow up.

Hmmm. “Grow up.” Isn’t that Joan Rivers’ catch-phrase? Maybe she can be Gottfried’s co-host next year.

Hell, I’d watch that.

THURSDAY: Dennis O’Neil

FRIDAY: Martha Thomases


Mindy Newell: Take A Lesson

Newell Art 130304Are you sick and tired of all the crap that’s going on down in D.C?  As in Washington, D.C., not DC Comics.

Believe it or not, me, too. Here is a breakdown of the last 4½ years of political discourse between our political leaders:

“You did it.”

“No, you did it.”

“I’m telling.”

“No, I’m telling.”

“That’s my ball.”

“No, it’s not, it’s my ball.”

“You cheated.”

“So did you.”

“I dare you.”

“I double-dare you.”

For Christ’s sake, grow the fuck up, children!!!!! Or take a lesson from The Avengers – beat the shit out of each other a la Iron Man and Thor, then realize you made a mistake and come together as a team to fight the real bad guy!

I missed the Oscars this year because I watched Tootsie and Kramer Vs. Kramer on Turner Classic Movies, part of their “31 Days of Oscar” routine. I did read and hear about them, though, especially McFarlane’s performance as host, and watched YouTube to form my own opinion. McFarlane’s comments about Jews really offended me. In fact, most of his spiel offended me. Although I do think he’s very smart, and I tend to agree with him when he’s on Bill Maher…to tell you the truth, I’d rather he’d stick to political commentary – I just don’t find him funny.

Reading Lawrence Wright’s latest book, which is about Scientology (Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & The Prison Of Belief). Picked it up because I was so impressed with Wright’s The Looming Tower, which is about the radicalization of Bin Laden, the birth and growth of Al Quada, and 9/11. The later is highly recommended to understand what happened and to help put today’s politics in context – I believe we are still politically paying for the attack on the World Trade Center, and in that way, Bin Laden – may he roast in hellfire for eternity – was successful. The former book, however, is not as eye opening for me; I’ve always known that Scientology is nothing but a big scam set up by a hack science fiction writer who wanted to “get rich quick.”

Scientology is L. Ron Hubbard’s definition of “there’s a sucker born every minute.”  Scientology is a Seduction Of The Innocents and its victims need a good lawyer. Matt Murdock, where are you? Take these Kingpins on. Challenge the organization’s “church” status in court and get their tax-exempt status revoked. That would help a lot of the poor schnooks who have been taken in by the scam.

The Who have it right. Hope I die before I get old.

Wolverine is lucky to have an adamantium skeleton and regenerative powers…my dad had another seizure/stroke a month ago. He’s not coming back from this one. Not really. My mother is physically and emotionally a wreck, on the verge of stroking out herself. The delivery of health care in this country is a disgrace. It’s in the control of the banksters and the insurance companies and price gougers, who get rich off of the sick while reimbursements from Medicare are being cut down to nothing, and since staffing is the biggest expense that medical organizations face, hospitals and nursing homes are forced to use the axe, the result being that patient care is dangerously compromised.

I can’t think of a super-hero from whom we can take a lesson on this one, who can fight this.

Can you?




John Ostrander: Sweet Jesus!

The thing about a great story is that it can be told so many different ways. That includes the Greatest Story Ever Told and, at this festive time of year, my mind turns to the Christmas Story. I recently had a flash of (possibly divine) inspiration: how would it work as a sitcom?

Hear me out.

It would focus on a middle-aged Jewish carpenter named Joseph back in Roman times. I’m thinking Tim Allen for the part. He’s got this hot young fiancée named Mary (Megan Fox?) who is saving herself for marriage but then winds up pregnant – and not by Joseph. Well, Joseph’s all set to break off the wedding when he gets visited by the Angel Gabriel. I’m thinking Morgan Freeman or possibly Chi McBride (who was so good in being the smart butler to a daffy, horny Abraham Lincoln in “The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer” that aired for about three heartbeats back in 1998).

Not only is it God’s will that Joseph take Mary as his wife but, according to the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, Joseph can never have sex with her. At all. This would be a recurring gag. Joseph gets hot and horny and has to leap into a barrel of cold water to cool down. Maybe steam rises from the barrel. Trust me, this joke will never get old.

So the Romans order a census and Joseph has to go to Bethlehem, the city of David (because he’s descended from David) and get counted. Mary’s “great with child” which means she’s about to give birth at any moment. Maybe they got a late start, maybe Mary can’t move so fast or has to stop often, but by the time they get to Nazareth, everything is booked up. Lots of room for comedy there. One innkeeper (I’m thinking Richard Lewis, although Richard Karn who was in Home Improvement with Tim Allen could do it and audiences might like that) agrees to let them sleep in the barn out back.

Nowhere in any of the gospels or anything else I could find mentions a midwife. You think you would. Mary’s midwife would be a pretty important role. No mention. So – who has to do it? That’s right – Joseph. Tim Allen as Joseph. Can you see it? Alpha male having to deal with childbirth? Tons of humor to be mined there.

So while Mary is screaming and Joseph is ready to faint, Gabriel shows back up. He waves his fingers, Mary’s labor pain goes away (Gabriel claims it’s a divine epidural) and then – lo! – a great light shines ‘round about them coming from Mary’s womb. Enter Jesus.

I’m going to take a little artistic license here and suggest that he’s like the eTrade baby or the babies in the Guess Who’s Talking movies. The adults don’t react but it lets Baby Jesus comment on what’s going on. I always found young Jesus to be a little snarky, what with the “Don’t you know I’m supposed to be about my father’s business?” Jesus can play all sorts of tricks on Joseph, too, like change his wine into water.

In addition to the Innkeeper, there’s all sorts of wacky characters who can be brought in – shepherds wandering the fields at night, three Wise Men bearing gifts (maybe Joseph has to convince them that Jesus is the child they are seeking), and Mary’s Cousin Elizabeth can come for a visit (is it too much to hope for Carol Burnett? And maybe Tim Conway could play Elizabeth’s husband, Zachariah.).

I was contemplating the title. Modern Family is a popular show so I was thinking Ancient Family or Holy Family, but that doesn’t catch the flavor. I think Sweet Jesus! works. It could be pitched to the networks but HBO or Showtime might be looking for an edgy comedy. Or we could get Seth McFarlane interested and take it over to Fox. He’d animate it. Bill O’Reilly could denounce it on his show and when he cuts away for a commercial, there’s an ad for Sweet Jesus! I love it.

So, what do you think, Hollywood? I think we have a winner here. Have your people call my people. Wait. I don’t have people. Maybe Michael Davis could be my people; he’s always putting together deals. Hey, Michael – want to be my people?

And as Tiny Tim was heard to say, “God bless us everyone!”

MONDAY: Mindy Newell

The Point Radio: What Will You Miss About FRINGE?

As Fox airs the final episodes of FRINGE, we talk to series John Noble about what he loved most about the show, the characters and in particular, Walter Bishop and J.J. Wyman gives us some hints on how it will all play out up to the finale. Plus more on why WAREHOUSE 13 works so well, Stan Lee is on the mend and The 2013 Oscars, ala Seth McFarlane.

Don’t miss a minute of pop culture news – The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Martha Thomases and Seth and Ted and Flash

Pop culture can be a funny thing. I don’t mean “Ha ha” funny, although that is also sometimes true. I mean funny as in a head-shaking “Ain’t that a bitch,” kind of way.

For example, yesterday I went to see Ted. I didn’t want to, but it was the Number One box office hit this weekend and my son, the genius, is doing a blog on the subject, and he was in town for the Del Close Marathon. It’s not a very good movie, in my opinion, but I’m not a huge fan of Seth McFarlane. He’s okay, and I will always support him because his work points out the blistering hypocrisy of our shared alma mater . And I like fart jokes more than the average little old Jewish lady.

Still, I found myself tearing up. Did the film have unexpected emotional depth? No. What it had was a million references to Flash Gordon. Flash Gordon is a terrible movie I saw in 1980 when it was released, with co-columnist Denny O’Neil. It was so deliberately and hilariously bad that I dragged my husband to see it immediately. We own it in at least two different formats. I got him a signed photo of Melody Anderson for an anniversary present. Over the years, we found more opportunities to exclaim “Not the bore worms!” than you would think could credibly arise.

We find each other through shared interests. I met my husband because we both admired Paul Krassner. We laughed at a lot of the same things. He wasn’t into comics, but we found common ground in our appreciation of R. Crumb and Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Our tastes weren’t the same, but I was not surprised when he liked Scott McCloud’s Zot! at least as much as I did.

What really bonded us, however, was seeing Pinocchio together at the Annecy Animation Festival. It was 1979, our first trip to Europe together. Annecy is a lovely little town in the French Alps. We were staying in a room in a charming small hotel that, when we went to take a nap with the window open, filled with cats.

Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson were guests of the festival, and we got to hang out with them. I hadn’t seen Pinocchio since I was a child, and couldn’t remember the way it ended at all (too frightening). Watching it with John, seeing what a perfect film it was, made me love him even more.

Love is about a lot of things, but if you can’t share pleasure, there’s not much point to it.

Thank you, Seth McFarlane, for reminding me of those fun times. And also, the Ryan Reynolds cameo. That was great.

Saturday: Marc Alan Fishman Flames On!


I’ve seen the light.

I’ve seen the future of comics.

I had a meeting yesterday with a company that is going to change the game on the net and can change for comics and creators. I’ve haven’t been this excited since I was 17 and my very first real girlfriend Yvonne Stallworth said, “My parents won’t be home until the morning.”

At 17you know what that means, right fellas?

Poon tang…yeah.

Or in my case spending the night saying; “Please…please…please.”  Before you think I was begging for poon tang; “Please, Please, Please” is the title of a James Brown song I was singing… as I was begging for poon tang.

I can’t talk about the company or what they are doing…no that’s not true, I can talk about it but I’m hedging my bets just in case I’m wrong…which, by the way, I’m not.

That way if they crash and burn I’m protected and if they succeed I’m golden!

All the above said, I’m at a lost as to what was the last game changing moment in comics.

I guess it was the New 52 from DC.

I guess.

I’m not sure because to say something is a game changer is a big deal. Because it’s such a big deal I started thinking, what does it take to be a real game changer?

This is what I came up with. Areal game changer is a person or event that creates a new way of looking at things and years later that way has become the way.

So, with my personal criteria noted what follows are what I consider the most important game change decisions or people who have done so since I’ve been reading comics. You may disagree and if so feel free to amend, add or challenge some or all of my choices.

This list is in NO particular order.

  • Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man
  • Image Comics
  • Jack Kirby
  • Stan Lee
  • Dwayne McDuffie
  • First Comics
  • Mike Gold
  • Milestone Media
  • Death of Captain Marvel
  • Death of Superman
  • The New 52
  • The iPad
  • The Killing Joke
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
  • Secret Wars
  • Death of Barry Allen
  • Neil Gaiman’s Sandman
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Kirby’s fourth world
  • Death of Gwen Stacy
  • Dave McKean
  • Bill Sienkiewicz
  • San Diego Comic Con International
  • Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles
  • Alan Speiegal
  • Arkham Asylum
  • Paul Levitz
  • Jenette Kahn
  • Axel Alonzo
  • Howard Chaykin
  • Dark Horse
  • Mike Richardson
  • Len Wein
  • Marv Wolfman
  • The A.P.E convention
  • John Jennings

Like I said the above list is in no particular order. Don’t send me comments about McFarlane being before Stan Lee, the list is in no particular order.


Now. Have at it!



The Point Radio: Behind The Scenes At ‘COUGARTOWN’ and ‘FAMILY GUY’

The Point Radio: Behind The Scenes At ‘COUGARTOWN’ and ‘FAMILY GUY’

They are the architects of some of the funniest moments on TV from COUGAR TOWN and SCRUBS to FAMILY GUY and THE CLEVELAND SHOW Bill Lawrence and Seth McFarlane share a look into their creative process plus DC digs back again, GLEE goes out with a bang and Nic Cage stars as Mickey Mouse!

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The Point Radio: Backstage At ‘The Cleveland Show’

The Point Radio: Backstage At ‘The Cleveland Show’

Love it or hate it, fans of FAMILY GUY seem to be equally divided on Seth McFarlane’s spin off, THE CLEVELAND SHOW. This week, we go backstage of the show Fox has renewed for TWO seasons. Plus another classic weekend at the Box Office and can you imagine The Nutcracker as an action hero?

PRESS THE BUTTON to Get The Point!

And be sure to stay on The Point via iTunes - ComicMix, RSS, MyPodcast.Com or Podbean!

Follow us now on and !

Don’t forget that you can now enjoy THE POINT 24 hours a Day – 7 Days a week!. Updates on all parts of pop culture, special programming by some of your favorite personalities and the biggest variety of contemporary music on the net – plus there is a great round of new programs on the air including classic radio each night at 12mid (Eastern) on RETRO RADIO and COMICMIX’s Mark Wheatley hitting the FREQUENCY every Saturday ay 9pm.

FOR FREE or go to GetThePointRadio for more including a connection for mobile phones including iPhone & Blackberrys



Review: ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’

Review: ‘Hellboy II: The Golden Army’

If there is one absolute statement that can be made about [[[Hellboy II: The Golden Army]]], it is that this is easily director Guillermo del Toro’s lightest and funniest film — which may just be its greatest downfall. If the first film were to be classified as a “horror/action with comedic relief”, this film is most definitely a “horror/comedy with action sequences,” and that could be what hurts the film the most.

The story picks up about a year from where the first film leaves off: the [[[B.P.R.D.]]] has grown, with the addition of Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), who is now Hellboy’s live-in girlfriend. Tom Manning (Jeff Tambor) is still in charge of the team and is trying his hardest (“trying” being the operative word) to keep it all a secret from the public. There’s all of this, and then there’s also an epic war being forged between a renegade elf prince and mankind.

The film starts off sweet enough, on a military base on Christmas during one of Hellboy’s adolescent years.  A cameo from John Hurt gets the audience excited right off the bat. Hurt then tells a young Hellboy the story of the first Human/Elf war. This is where we set the mood for the rest of the film. The story is told using computer-generated wooden dolls, rather than actual elves or humans. While Guillermo is known for his imagination with monsters and/or children, this may have been a bit much in the direction of puerility. Instead of giving the impression of a childhood story, the CGI comes across as sloppy and unfinished.


Worst Album Covers by Comic Book Artists

Worst Album Covers by Comic Book Artists

Over at LA Weekly’s geek culture blog, Topless Robot, they’ve put together a list of the worst album covers designed by artists from the comics industry.

Among the examples on their list is Canadian hip-hop group Swollen Members’ 2003 album Heavy, featuring a cover by Todd McFarlane.

McFarlane has at least one respectable album-cover credit: the five-times platinum Follow the Leader by Korn. (Oh, c’mon, don’t act like you didn’t own it, or at least headbang to “Freak on a Leash.”) That was in 1998, and five years later the Spawn creator/lawsuit magnet/frivolous spender agreed to pencil a cover for a—wait for it—Canadian hip-hop group that dubbed themselves the Swollen Members. From what we REAL North Americans can tell, these guys’ only notoriety comes from this album cover and an appearance in National Lampoon’s Going the Distance, whatever the hell that is. Heavy just reinforces what a great idea it was for McFarlane to quit drawing.

According to Spawn.com, McFarlane also directed one of the group’s videos, too. I feel obligated to mention, however, that the Swollen Members’ Wikipedia page actually makes them seem like a decent band… as far as Canadian music goes.

Head over to Topless Robot for the full list.

(Oh, and just kidding about the "as far as Canadian music" thing, folks… I promise.)