Phillipe and Jorge were in their Wonder Years when they were introduced to Andy Griffith, who died last week. That's when we first heard the comedian's 45 (no time to explain this to the youngsters), "What it was, was football." This rube's take on the game went over gangbusters with P.'s farmer relatives in Ohio, who played it over and over again like we would later play Fresh Cream and Highway 61 Revisited.
All the obits of recent days have offered up plenty on The Andy Griffith Show and the actor's other exploits. But we have one singular, amusing memory of the man we'd like to share.
Griffith's last TV series Matlock was filmed, in part, in a little town called Southport, North Carolina outside Wilmington. P.'s late brother lived just a few miles up the road at the time. And for some reason, people thought P.'s stepfather — who would visit from time to time — looked like Griffith. (He actually looked more like Eddie Albert, star of Green Acres, but if you've seen one cornpone comedy show star you've seen them all.)
So P.'s father was constantly being accosted on the street, with people demanding stories about Don "Barney" Knotts, Jim "Gomer" Nabors and Frances "Aunt Bee" Bavier (if you don't know, don't ask). P.'s Dad got a kick out of it, but being a minister, he didn't have quite the flair P&J might for inventing stories about afterhours Mayberry drinking binges and orgies. Guess we'll let Opie handle those. Thanks for the memories, Andy.
As Phillipe used to write sports features for that well-known, peer-reviewed scientific journal TV Guide and Jorge had his own cable TV show, Club Genius, we believe we are experts when it comes to commenting on anything at all to do with television. (We also have donned trench coats and posed as personal injury attorneys on TV, but that's another story.)
And P&J were delighted to see Ann Curry unceremoniously dumped as co-anchor of NBC's Today show. On a morning gabfest that poses as a news telecast, whose talent (sic) would slit each other's throats to be able to grab the most airtime, Curry came across as the most desperate-for-attention person we have ever seen, and made the show unwatchable.
With a head seemingly bigger than even co-host Matt Lauer's — no small feat, given that Lauer needs to Vaseline his ears to squeeze through a doorway — Curry came across as one of the biggest phonies ever to appear on a medium that specializes in fakery. Unfortunately, her replacement, Savannah Guthrie, seems doomed to failure. She appears to have an IQ in the triple digits, after all, and she won't bite the head off a live rat to make sure the camera focuses on her at every moment.
Speaking of IQs, if you want yours to drop 60 points in 60 minutes, try tuning in to Snooki & JWOWW on MTV. Jersey Shore, which turned the two stars into cult figures for the braindead, had at least some appeal; there was something entertaining about figuring out at which level of the evolution of man to insert the actors.