News of the Week: Stephen Colbert, Stonehenge, and the Spud Shake

This week in pop culture: Stephen Colbert’s late-night debut, new archaeological discovery, and a potato milkshake recipe.

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Actor George Clooney chats with Stephen on the premiere of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Sept. 8, 2015.  (JEFFREY R. STAAB/CBS)
Actor George Clooney chats with Stephen on the premiere of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Sept. 8, 2015.
(JEFFREY R. STAAB/CBS)

Only three episodes of Stephen Colbert’s new talk show have aired, so it’s way too early to give a review. Since the show will probably look remarkably different six months from now, it seems unfair to judge a show like this so early. But I can say that while Colbert fans were probably happy to see a lot of his Comedy Central antics make it over to CBS, I’m sure there were a lot of people watching who weren’t familiar with Colbert’s Comedy Central persona and wondered what the hell was going on. Here are the latest episodes.

I like the show so far, don’t love it (boy, did that part with the evil ancient amulet and the Sabra hummus drag on), but as I said we have to give it time. I do wish we saw more of the real Stephen Colbert though. Sure, he’s not wearing his conservative news guy persona anymore, but he’s still playing sort of a character. When he was downing that bag of Oreos while showing news clips of Donald Trump, that was a character he was playing. In those moments it’s like The Colbert Report all over again, and while that was obviously great on the old show, I want to see him play it 100 percent straight. I want to see Stephen Colbert, not “Stephen Colbert.” I want to see, well, a traditional talk show. Right now it’s an odd mix, and I’m not sure Colbert knows who he wants to be.

Whenever a new TV show/film/album/news event happens, publications take the opportunity to do a list to tie into it. Everybody loves lists! But if you needed anymore proof that lists are really overdone now (when everyone is doing a list, then no list can be the authority), take a look at Vulture’s list of the 32 Greatest Talk Show Hosts Ever. Actually, don’t. I can save you the trouble. It will only irritate you. Why? Not only did they put Howard Stern at #1, they didn’t list Steve Allen at all.

That’s like listing the 32 greatest baseball players ever and not including Babe Ruth.

Allen pretty much invented late night television and would be in the top 5 of any normal list. I guess that’s what you get when you have people of a certain age and/or mindset do a pop culture overview. Though oddly they did list Jack Paar.

Stonehenge II

They’ve found a second Stonehenge, just two miles away from the original Stonehenge. Now, you’re probably wondering, how could they miss another Stonehenge that was so close, and after so many years?

Turns out it’s underground. Researchers from the University of Bradford used remote sensor technology to discover 100 stones that make up a monument, near Durrington Walls, under a bank. They think it was built around 4,500 years ago, while Stonehenge was created 3,500 years ago. It’s a major discovery.

They’re calling it “archaeology on steroids.” Oh, sure, it’s fine for archaeologists to use steroids but not baseball players?

RIP, Martin Milner and Judy Carne

Last Sunday night, for some random reason, I was wondering what Adam-12 and Route 66 star Martin Milner was still alive. I found out online that he was, but then came the news the next morning that he had passed away on Sunday. He was 83.

The Los Angeles Police Department tweeted a tribute to Milner and his Adam-12 character, Pete Malloy:

Judy Carne will probably be best remembered as the “Sock it to me!” girl on the wild ’60s variety show Laugh-In. She passed away in Northamptonshire, England, at the age of 76. She was once married to Burt Reynolds.

Milner and Carne weren’t the only celebrities who passed away this month. We also lost actor Dean Jones, Our Gang child actress Jean Darling, and Warren Murphy, creator of The Destroyer (Remo Williams) series and screenwriter of movies like The Eiger Sanction.

It’s Not the Heat, it’s the Humidity … Actually It’s Both

Last year at this time I remember mentioning the tennis players that were dropping out of the U.S. Open because of the humidity and cramping. And it was only a few people. This year’s tournament, currently going on in Flushing Meadow, New York, has seen over a dozen people withdrawing. During some day matches the on-court temperatures can reach 140 degrees! American Jack Sock was so wiped out that he actually had to be helped off the court. And he was ahead in the match.

Eugenie Bouchard, the 25th seed, withdrew because of an injury, but not one she suffered on court. The Canadian fell in the locker room and got a concussion after hitting her head.

September Is National Potato Month

(Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

Do you take vegetables for granted? If you do, it’s probably the potato. It’s always there, in its many forms, and while we deeply love it, we take it for granted. Most potatoes aren’t colorful, and they’re certainly not as hip as kale. But name another vegetable that’s as versatile as the potato. Seriously, name one. Think about it and come back to this column in a few hours.

Hello again. Hope you spent the past few hours wisely. Now let’s get to some potato recipes. Country Living has 18 simple ideas for cooking potatoes. Allrecipes has some great potato side dishes. And since it seems like the heat and humidity is never going away, how about you make a Spud Shake? It’s a refreshing milkshake made from (yes) potatoes.

Notice I said you make, because it’s certainly not something I’m going to try.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Luna 2 crashes into moon (September 14, 1959)
The Soviet space probe was the first object from Earth to reach another celestial body, and it concerned the U.S. so much that we ramped up our own space program.

Grace Kelly dies (September 14, 1982)
Here is the last interview with the movie star and Princess of Monaco, two months before her death.

First photocopier debuts (September 16, 1959)
It was called the Xerox 914, and its debut aired on live television.

The Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862)
The Saturday Evening Post has been around so long that we had a report from the battle in our September 27, 1862 issue.

The first space shuttle Enterprise debuts (September 17, 1976)
And who was there to mark the occasion? The cast of Star Trek, of course.

President Garfield dies (September 19, 1881)
The 20th President of the United States died from infection and blood poisoning after being shot by Charles Guiteau on July 2. Some historians believe the president would have lived if doctors had treated him better.

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Comments

  1. Well, tonight I watched ‘The Late Show’ with Colbert, and really enjoyed it. Your response prompted tonight’s viewing. In the earlier comments when I said the ‘Laugh-In’ link worked, it’s because the ‘Late Show’ one didn’t, which I failed to mention. If it had, I might not have watched tonight’s which would have been too bad.

    Carol Burnett was on with Kevin Spacey charming her as Jimmy Stewart. He has a warm charm that surprised me. I also must say it did feel like ‘The Late Show’ and what it should be like, even though it’s still brand new. I enjoyed the musical guests also. The pacing is good too. There isn’t much to his band, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    I agree with your expanding on the less than kind door I opened regarding Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’. It almost has a schizophrenic quality that I don’t care for, yet he does have quality guests. His band is the worst in late night history, and I’ll leave it at that.

    Jimmy Kimmel’s show falls somewhere in between, but his personality leaves something to be desired. I’ll watch if he has a guest on I really like, but otherwise not so much. In closing, we all need to get to sleep by the time these shows even start; NOT like tonight. It’s all your fault Bob. You’re bad, b-b-b-bad.

  2. Yeah, Colbert probably wants to make things his own but at the same time he has a real love for the history of late night TV and Letterman in particular. It’s going to be great when Letterman appears as a guest at some point, which I’m sure he will.

    I like Fallon, but I think his interviews are too giggly and he plays too many games. But he has on people like Dick Cavett and Fran Lebowitz, people I’m sure 60% of his audience don’t know, and I appreciate that.

  3. It shouldn’t be asking too much for the new Late Show host to try and incorporate comparable things his predecessor did that worked and were popular and still have the show “be his”.

    I love Jimmy Fallon as a comedian and his impressions are fantastic, but the show just doesn’t “feel” like The Tonight Show anymore. I get the feeling we’re never going to see Jack Hanna and his amazing animals on either of these shows. Do you also Bob?

    I’m so sorry we lost Martin Milner. He did a lot more than ‘Adam-12’ but it’s great to have a signature series like that to be best remembered for.

    Judy Carne was in a class by herself also, greatly making the fun side of the ’60s even more so. Although she never went on to the big stardom Goldie Hawn did, she really was the single greatest female star on ‘Laugh-In’ with Goldie, Ruth Buzzi and Joanne Worley close behind her.

    She also made the cover of The Saturday Evening Post about 4 issues before the temporary hiatus in that yellow bikini and ‘flower power’ body paint. Thank you POST editors for that fantastic issue back in ’68. It’s still a favorite of mine, and I hope yours too!! Bob, thank YOU for the ‘Laugh-In’ link which did work. I’m going to buy the series on DVD for Christmas. ‘Laugh-In’s still great, no question about it, and a great antidote to the 21st century.

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