News of the Week: Cheese Challenges, Game of Thrones, and It’s Time to Turn Your Clocks Ahead

In the news for the week ending March 8, 2019, are cheesy faces, iron thrones, pillow guys, unwanted tattoos, and much more.

Slices of American cheese

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What Does Kraft Think?

There are a lot of general rules that I think we all agree on even if we don’t think about them on a daily basis. Don’t kick puppies, do hold doors open for people, give your seat on the subway to seniors and those with child, tip your server, and always say “please” and “thank you.” Oh, and there’s another rule we should all live by: Don’t throw cheese at babies.

Yup, that’s the new meme that’s going around online. Parents are throwing slices of cheese at their kids’ heads and posting the video online. (This is where I would ordinarily include a link to an example, but I try not to encourage memes, and you know how to Google.) It’s called the “Cheesed Challenge,” and it was started by a mom on Facebook before going viral after someone else reposted the video on Twitter.

Plenty of people will dismiss this as innocuous fun and accuse me of being an old fuddy-duddy (side note: we should bring back the phrase “fuddy-duddy”). I have to admit that the very first time I saw a video of a baby with a slice of cheese stuck to his head — it looks like Kraft American individually-wrapped slices are a favorite of the parents — I did laugh. But these online challenges are getting out of hand, and who knows what this could lead to. A lot of the kids don’t seem to enjoy being hit with cheese, even if they do end up enjoying the cheese itself. Hey, maybe this is just a clever way to make American cheese popular again.

It makes me long for the days of planking.

Winter Is Coming (This Spring)

I don’t watch Game of Thrones — I swear to God that for the entire first season I thought the title was Game of Thorns — but the trailer for the final season debuted this week, and people seem really excited about it. It starts April 14.

Will AT&T Get Rid of Turner Classic Movies?

Goodbye, Turner Broadcasting.

As part of a restructuring plan, AT&T is going to absorb the Atlanta-based broadcasting company, which includes networks like CNN, TBS, and TNT, into three new WarnerMedia divisions. It’s all very inside-media-ish, and if you want, you can read all of the nitty-gritty details on what’s going to happen to certain networks and who’s going to run the sports division and why they’re doing this and that, but I want to focus on just one network: Turner Classic Movies.

TCM is now going to be under a new Warner Bros. umbrella, described as a “new global kids and young adults business,” along with Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Boomerang. If you immediately noticed that TCM doesn’t really fit in with those other networks, you’re correct, and that has me a little worried.

If they decide to get rid of TCM or blend it into another network or make any major changes to the classic film channel, to make it friendlier to an age group that doesn’t even like black-and-white movies, you’re going to make me and millions of other dedicated fans very, very unhappy. I’m talking torch-wielding-villagers-storming-Frankenstein’s-castle-level unhappy. It will not be pretty.

If a law were passed declaring that each home in the U.S. could watch only one TV network, I’d choose TCM. You can have ABC and CBS and CNN and HBO and that channel in the upper reaches of my cable system that seems to show only international cricket matches all day and night. Just don’t mess with TCM. It’s one of the few things that still make sense in this crazy, intense world.

If a television network can be considered comfort food, that network is TCM.

Update: New Year’s Resolutions

So here we are, close to the middle of March, and it’s probably a good time to figure out how we’re doing on our New Year’s resolutions. Have you lost weight? Found a new job? Is that closet finally cleaned out? Have you stopped swearing like a sailor in front of your kids?

Let me know in the comments below how you’re doing on your resolutions (if you made any, that is).

RIP Luke Perry, André Previn, Katherine Helmond, Keith Flint, and King Kong Bundy

Luke Perry was best known for his role as bad boy Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210. He also had roles on the TV shows Oz, John from Cincinnati, Jeremiah, and Another World, as well as movies like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and 8 Seconds. He was currently starring as Archie’s dad on Riverdale. He died Monday at the age of 52.

André Previn was a famed composer and pianist, adept at every genre of music from jazz to pop to classical. He was an Oscar- and Grammy-winning musical director or conductor on many films, including My Fair Lady, Kiss Me Kate, Elmer Gantry, and Gigi, and also was the conductor and musical director for many orchestras. Among the many songs he wrote is the classic standard “Like Young.” Previn died last week at the age of 89.

Katherine Helmond had roles on such sitcoms as Who’s the Boss?, Soap, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Coach, and appeared in such movies as Brazil, Time Bandits, and the Cars trilogy. She died last weekend at the age of 89.

Keith Flint was the lead singer of the British electronica band the Prodigy, known for such songs as “Firestarter” and “Everybody in the Place.” He died earlier this week at the age of 49.

King Kong Bundy — whose real name was Christopher Pallies — was a popular WWE wrestler in the ’80s and ’90s. He died Monday at the age of 61.

Picture of the Week

I can identify with this story because I did the same thing a couple of months ago. I was at the supermarket and noticed a man in line at the register … only it was a giant cutout of this guy.

This Week in History

Watch Mr. Wizard Premieres (March 3, 1951)

Don Herbert’s original science-for-kids show ran until 1965. In 1971-72, he did a version for NBC that was produced by Canadian TV. Herbert then came back in 1983 and hosted Mr. Wizard’s World on Nickelodeon until 1990.

Here’s an episode from 1954:

Aspirin Patented (March 6, 1899)

Thanks to this terrific piece by Post Archive Director Jeff Nilsson, I now know that “aspirin” is actually a brand name created by Bayer and not a general scientific term.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Tattoo Artist (March 4, 1944)

Back when Norman Rockwell created this cover, the only people (and by people, I mean men) who got tattoos were those in the military. Now everyone from the sullen teen at the skate park to your grandmother has them. Thankfully, we also now have laser removal for names we no longer want on our bodies.

National Ranch Dressing Day

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the woman at Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s bar rally who was just trying to find some ranch dressing. That woman will be happy to know that this Sunday, March 10, is National Ranch Dressing Day.

Hidden Valley is great, but if you want to make your own at home, you can try this recipe from Epicurious. Here’s a recipe for a Veggie Pizza that features ranch dressing, and here’s one for Chicken Bacon Ranch Loaded Potato Skins.

I’m partial to peppercorn ranch myself. I once bought regular ranch dressing by mistake and attempted to just add a bunch of pepper to it. It wasn’t the same.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Daylight Saving Time begins (March 10)

Don’t forget to “spring forward” by turning your clock ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night. I’ve already begun the countdown for the “fall back” on November 3.

The Ides of March (March 15)

Beware them!

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Comments

  1. As far as I can tell the station scanning thing is only for people who use antenna television. I’m sure we’ll hear more about it as April approaches.

  2. I wasn’t aware of the above info on having to scan all the regular tv stations or lose them before April 12th. There is absolutely nothing worth while to watch except re-runs of older programs. There are too many reality shows, food shows, decorating shows..Violence is an everyday thing on tv now a days..and those commercials are stupid.. For what we pay for cable and what we get is sickening..Others in command decide what we will view and we seem to be stuck with it or just simply don’t view anything..

  3. TCM is in trouble, that is a shame. I am a veteran TV watcher – I grew up in the 1950’s so I remember TV almost from the beginning. Maybe because I am older but when I watch TV now almost never is it ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX (I do watch a couple shows on Fox). I watch MLB, TCM, Hallmark Mysteries plus networks that show old series like METV. It would be a shame should they change TCM like they did AMC. Also, that my pillow guy is everywhere.

  4. Paragraph one is disgusting, Bob. Trying to get babies to eat unhealthy cheese from the get-go? Hey, parents, leave those kids alone! Click on the link provided for more on this from October. The last 3 paragraphs have my comments on cheese. The only Kraft I’m interested in reading about is Robert Kraft, and why didn’t he just call a call girl?!

    I agree with you on being worried about the future of TCM. From what I read here, the alarm bells point to its being a goner. I know a lady that works for AT&T, and the money to pay for their semi-recent Christmas party was deducted out of their paychecks. Oh yes.

    Meanwhile I agree on the other networks you mentioned and didn’t (Nothing But Crap) thank you. What’s going on with regular TV where you have to scan all the stations on or before April 12th, or you won’t get the basic stations anymore, or is this just in weird L.A.? Please review and advise Bob. I hardly watch TV as it is, but still don’t want to lose CBS and ABC.

    Spring forward is a nightmare with everything being pushed ahead by an hour, throwing everything off for weeks.

    In other news of the week, thank God the Santa Anita racetrack has been closed down. 21 horses dying in 10 weeks??! This is EXTREMELY serious, and they better find out why these beautiful animals have perished like this. It’s more than the rain. I suspect it’s intentional unfortunately, with this racetrack now a crime scene.

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