News of the Week: Bond 25, Woodstock 50, and the Brady Bunch/Measles Connection

In the news for the week ending May 3, 2019, are James Bond in the movies, measles on the TV, horses on the track, Grand Marnier in a mint julep, and much more.

The Woodstock logo

Weekly Newsletter

The best of The Saturday Evening Post in your inbox!

SUPPORT THE POST

The Name’s Bond. James Bond.

There aren’t many movie franchises I look forward to these days. Sure, I’ll see the final (ha ha!) Star Wars film in December because I’ve put so much time into them since 1977, but I dropped the Lord of the Rings movies after the first trilogy. I’ve only seen a couple of the Harry Potter films, I have no interest in the Transformers movies, and the Marvel universe lost me around the 89th film. But there are two movie franchises I’ll always be interested in: theMission: Impossible and James Bond.

Last week the makers of the 007 films held a special launch event for the next one — coming next April — at Goldeneye, writer Ian Fleming’s estate in Jamaica. Besides the news of returning cast members (Daniel Craig as Bond, Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, Lea Seydoux as Bond’s girlfriend Madeleine Swann, and Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter), it was also announced that Rami Malek (Oscar winner for Bohemian Rhapsody) will play the bad guy, an evil mastermind in control of dangerous new technology, so dangerous that Bond is called away from his semi-retirement to save the day. Filming has begun in Jamaica, and other locales for Bond 25 will include London, Norway, and Italy.

Fans are disappointed that the film’s title wasn’t announced at the event. Maybe the filmmakers haven’t thought of one yet. They’ve pretty much gone through all of Fleming’s titles, so may I suggest they call it … ThunderfingerYOLO? The Spy Who Loved Memes? License to Tweet?

The Name’s Holzhauer. James Holzhauer.

Or maybe we should call him Dr. Know-It-All. The current Jeopardy! champ — well, current as I type these words, but it’s a safe bet he’s still there as you read this — has so far amassed over $1.5 million dollars. That’s less than the $2.5 million Ken Jennings made in 2004, but it took him 74 games to get that much. Holzhauer has gotten to his amount in only 21 games.

Holzhauer has made Jeopardy! must-see TV. I think it’s always must-see, but he’s doing something truly special. He’s not just a “great” player, he’s amazing. He’s so quick on the buzzer (not as easy to do as it seems, because you can’t buzz in until host Alex Trebek finishes reading the clue, otherwise you’re locked out of the question) that he almost always has complete control of the game board, and when you have control of the board, you can jump to the big amounts and find the Daily Doubles. Since Holzhauer is a sports gambler by profession, he always bets big, and because he doesn’t seem to have any blind spots when it comes to trivia and information (he knows as much about Quantum Leap as quantum physics), he’s the perfect player. He already holds the record for the highest amount ever made in one game at $131,127. He also holds the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth spots. It has been really great to tune in to the show and see if Holzhauer can keep it going and if anyone can finally beat him.

Of course, because people have to overanalyze and suck the fun out of everything these days, even TV game shows, there are those who don’t like Holzhauer, his fun bet amounts, and his winning streak. Charles Lane at The Washington Post calls him “a menace,” while Variety’s Daniel D’Addario says that Holzhauer’s run is “bad TV.” Both of these people are wall-to-wall wrong and should have their televisions taken away.

Is Woodstock 50 Canceled?

Who knows! It depends on whom you choose to believe. Billboard and many other outlets are reporting that the August anniversary concert has been canceled because investors have pulled out. Concert organizers are insisting that the show, like Celine Dion’s heart, will go on. John Fogerty isn’t so sure about that, so if the show is off, he’s giving the salary he received in advance to military veterans.

Regardless of what happens, we’ll have a special issue of the Post in July that celebrates the concert’s 50th anniversary. That’s one thing you can count on.

Here’s the Story, of a Measles Outbreak

I had already had my measles immunization when The Brady Bunch premiered in September of 1969, so my mom didn’t have a chance to be influenced by the show’s depiction of the disease. It was a popular show in my house — I planned my Friday night around viewing it and The Partridge Family, with a big bag of candy in my lap — so maybe she would have seen it and thought twice about what shots I received.

Nah, that wouldn’t have happened. If she were going to take medical advice from anyone on TV, it would have been Marcus Welby.

But some people are pointing to a particular Brady Bunch episode, the one where all of the kids get the measles, as proof that you shouldn’t be vaccinated either. The “Is There a Doctor in the House? ” episode depicts the measles as no big deal — aside from having to stay home from school, stay in bed, and deal with the wacky chaos of two doctors making house calls — and features some of the kids afraid of the shots. Doctors in 2019 are telling people — and it’s astounding this even has to be said — to not pay attention to what happens in the now-50-year-old episode. Get your shots. (Side note: My God … this episode is half a century old?!?)

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia is horrified, horrified, horrified.

I think this illustrates the problem with looking to old sitcoms for professional medical guidance, particularly ones where a house with nine people living in it doesn’t even have a toilet. Mike Brady was an architect, right?

Did Harper Lee Have Another, Unfinished Book?

Everyone knows about Harper Lee’s classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird and its sequel Go Set a Watchman, but did she also work on a nonfiction crime book that was never finished? CBS Sunday Morning investigates.

RIP John Singleton, Ken Kercheval, John Havlicek, Richard Lugar, Grand Duke Jean, Frank Henson, Tom Ellis, and Ruben Rueda

John Singleton was the acclaimed director of such movies as Boyz N the Hood, Poetic Justice2 Fast 2 Furious, Shaft, and Higher Learning. He died Monday at the age of 51.

Ken Kercheval was probably best known for his role as Cliff Barnes on the original Dallas, as well as the recent reboot. He also appeared on shows such as Kojak and Starsky & Hutch, as well as movies like Network and Rabbit, Run. He died last week at the age of 83.

John Havlicek “stole the ball” and did many other things to help the Boston Celtics win eight championships over his 16-season career. He died last week at the age of 79.

Richard Lugar was a six-time Republican senator from Indiana and an influential force on U.S. foreign policy. He died Sunday at the age of 87.

Grand Duke Jean was a World War II veteran and the leader of Luxembourg from 1964 to 2000. His son took over for him and is still the head of state. Jean died last week at the age of 98.

Frank Henson was a stuntman who worked on many classic movies, including Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (that’s him fighting with Harrison Ford on the dangling bridge), Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Brazil, and several James Bond films. He died last week at the age of 83.

Tom Ellis was a veteran anchor at just about every single Boston television station (with a couple of stops in New York) from the ’60s until 2009. He also dabbled in acting, appearing in movies like Marathon Man and soaps like All My Children and One Life to Live. He died this week at the age of 86.

Ruben Rueda was a bartender at the historic Musso & Frank restaurant in Hollywood, who, starting as a teenager, served drinks to famous celebrities and the general public for 52 years. He died last month at the age of 67.

Quote of the Week

“For every Martin Short, there are ten Shatners!”

—Canadian guy, admitting to Lisa that most Canadians are indeed jerks, on The Simpsons.

This Week in History

William Randolph Hearst Born (May 1, 1863)

It couldn’t have been a coincidence that Citizen Kane opened on May 1, 1941, the birthday of Hearst, since the character of Charles Foster Kane was based partly on the controversial publisher (and he wasn’t happy about it).

Good Housekeeping Launches (May 2, 1885)

The woman’s magazine originally came out every two weeks but changed to a monthly in 1891. And yes, it’s a Hearst publication!

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Painting the Patio Green (May 2, 1953)

Painting the Patio Green

While I love this Thornton Utz cover — you might as well paint your patio for the summer, particularly if your yard is made of cement — I’m also intrigued by the story on the cover, which talks about the upcoming coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

And she’s still going strong. She celebrated her 93rd birthday on April 21.

Mint Juleps

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday (starting at approximately 6:50 p.m. on ABC), and the Mint Julep is the official drink of the annual Louisville horse race. You could go there and buy one (including a super-fancy version that costs $2,500), or you could just stay at home in your sweatpants and make your own. Here’s Emeril Lagasse’s recipe.

I’m not sure if Grand Marnier is a typical ingredient in a classic Mint Julep, so you might want to try this version from The Spruce Eats. Or just make both. You’re not going anywhere in those sweatpants.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Free Comic Day (May 4)

If you’re a fan of the Marvel movie franchise, you could go to a comic book store and pick up the latest Avengers or Iron Man or Spider-Man (yup, Marvel still makes comics too). Or you could be an outlier and pick up Superman or Batman (full disclosure: I was a DC kid).

Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be with You)

I wonder what day we’d celebrate this on if nobody ever said “May the force be with you.”

Featured image: Shutterstock.com

Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now

Comments

  1. The launch party at the Jamaican estate, Goldeneye, sounds like something I would have enjoyed attending. If I was forced to see any aimed-at-the-masses ‘action’ film, it would ONLY be a ‘Bond’ film.

    I agree with you on the other films you mentioned. ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Lord of the Rings’ ‘Avengers’ this or that, ‘Ironman’, ‘Spider Man’ are all the same reshuffling the same look-a-like deck of cards of CGI overstimulation saturation. ‘Transformers’ (the trailers were even too long) are probably the worst of the worst in the brain dead, aimed-at-the-masses films. The are MANY others, too long to list, using the same ingredients as we all know…

    I’ll subject myself to any one of them, however: pay me $500, and provide me with ear plugs and an eye mask!

    Woodstock 50 should be cancelled, Bob. I DO look forward to my July/August Post on the one and only ORIGINAL Woodstock. It seemed like a neat thing to me at the time, having turned 12 3 months earlier. Now (with all due respect) I prefer a civilized, single evening rock concert at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, Bob.

    Any adult using a 50 year old episode of ‘The Brady Brunch’ as a guide in 2019 as to whether or not to vaccinate their children against the measles, should have those kids taken away by Child Welfare/Protective Services for child endangerment. That’s ridiculous.

    Thanks for running the 1953 Thornton Utz cover. This man absolutely had the right idea. I figure this pre-dates artificial lawns. so he did the next best thing. Keep the tradition of running those covers for ‘This Week in Saturday Evening Post History’ too, definitely.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *