News of the Week: Longer Days, Top Dogs, and Just How Dad Are You?

In the news for the week ending March 19, 2021, are sadly springing ahead, weirdly renaming a team, amazingly soaring through a bowling alley, and much more.

An old fashioned alarm clock on a wooden table outside in the morning sun.
Casezy idea / Shutterstock

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The Light and the Dark

The days are getting longer now, and people are acting as if this is a good thing.

I’ve never liked 8 p.m. sundowns. Or 6 p.m. sundowns for that matter. Give me darkness at 4 p.m. and I’m happy. I’m not a farmer and I hate the beach, so it has never held any appeal for me. I find myself letting out a heavy sigh early in the evening instead of embracing the extended warmth and light.

I know this puts me in the minority. I also prefer cold apple pie to hot and fake Christmas trees to real, and I think Shemp was funnier than Curly.

But there are a lot of people who look forward to the time when the days get longer the same way I’m looking forward to November 7, when we turn our clocks back an hour again. There’s even a campaign to make Daylight Saving Time a permanent, year-round thing. If that happens I’ll just set my clock to whenever I want and live in my own time.

This is The Saturday Evening Post’s News of the Week, Presented by Pringles

This seems like something out of the movie Idiocracy or a satirical novel about a weird future, but the Michigan State University basketball team will now be called the MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage (at least during home games).

I guess it’s not that weird. In the ’40s and ’50s we had TV shows with titles like Goodyear Television Playhouse, Kraft Television Theatre, and The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, so corporate sponsors have already had a hand in pop culture. It’s a little odd with sports teams though. I guess after corporations having stadiums and parks named for them, this was the next logical step.

What I’m looking forward to is seeing if the announcers actually say the entire name of the team during the games. Of course, I’d have to start watching college basketball first, so I guess I’ll never know.

Poodles and Bulldogs and Beagles, Oh My!

Here’s the annual list from the American Kennel Club of the most popular dog breeds. For the 30th year in a row (!), Labrador retrievers take the number one slot, followed by French bulldogs, German shepherd dogs, golden retrievers, bulldogs, poodles, beagles, and rottweilers.

And no, I have no idea why they have to add “dogs” to “German shepherd” since this is already a list of dogs and not chickens.

The least popular breed? Norwegian Lundehunds. Sorry, Norwegian Lundehund owners.

I’m Pretty Dad for Someone Who’s Not a Dad

Podcast You Should Listen To

Rob Long is the producer and writer of terrific shows you know well (Cheers) and some that were criminally underrated (Good Company and George & Leo, the latter starring Bob Newhart and Judd Hirsch), but he’s also the creator and host of one of my favorite podcasts, Martini Shot. It’s named after the last shot of the day on a movie or TV set, and it ran on KCRW for a number of years. And now it’s back with its own website, and if you like funny observations and insider stories about Hollywood and life in general, you should subscribe.

Long is also a funny writer of books. His novels Conversations with My Agent and Set Up, Joke, Set Up, Joke are must-reads for the same reason his podcast is a must-hear.

Video of the Week

Here’s the video everyone’s talking about, and or good reason. It was shot via drone in a Minneapolis bowling alley.

Right Up Our Alley,” uploaded to YouTube by jaybyrdfilms

RIP Marvin Hagler, Yaphet Kotto, James Levine, Henry Darrow, Carmel Quinn, Rheal Cormier, and Lou Ottens

Marvin Hagler was a former middleweight boxing champion, with a lifetime record of 63-3-2. He eventually lost to Sugar Ray Leonard in a 1987 fight (that many still think Hagler won) and never fought again. He died Saturday at the age of 66.

Yaphet Kotto was in the critically acclaimed TV drama Homicide: Life on the Street, as well as such movies as Live and Let Die, Alien, Midnight Run, Raid on Entebbe, Across 110th St., and Blue Collar. He died Saturday at the age of 81.

James Levine led the Metropolitan Opera for 40 years until sex abuse allegations ended his run. He also had stints as the leader of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic, and was involved with other orchestras and festivals. He died earlier this month at the age of 77.

Henry Darrow appeared in the TV Western The High Chaparral as well as shows like Harry O, Santa Barbara (for which he won an Emmy), The Outer Limits, Mission: Impossible, and three different Zorro series. He also appeared in several movies and on stage. He died Sunday at the age of 87.

Carmel Quinn was an Irish singer who was popular in the 1950s and ’60s on such shows as Arthur Godfrey and His Friends, The Ed Sullivan Show, and the aforementioned The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom. She was also known for her many performances at Carnegie Hall. She died earlier this month at the age of 95.

Here she is performing with Godfrey on To Tell the Truth.

Rheal Cormier was a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Montreal Expos, and Cincinnati Reds. He’s also a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and pitched in the Olympics twice. He died last week at the age of 53.

Are you old enough to have made mixed tapes? You can thank Lou Ottens for that. He invented the cassette tape. He died Saturday at the age of 94.

This Week in History

Grover Cleveland Born (March 18, 1837)

He’s the only president to hold office in two non-consecutive terms. He’s also the only one to get married while in office.

American Express Founded (March 18, 1850)

For decades, the financial company has used the name “C.F. Frost” on fake versions of their credit card used in advertisements. He was actually a real person.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Bowling Strike (March 15, 1941)

Saturday Evening Post cover of a woman bowling a strike
Bowling Strike
Lonie Bee
March 15, 1941

This Lonie Bee cover is one of my favorites. It also reminds me I haven’t been bowling in 30 years.

Spring Recipes

If we’re going to suffer because of Daylight Saving Time and the start of spring on Saturday, then we might as well have some good meals to eat.

Curtis Stone has a recipe for Grilled Scallops with Fava Beans and Roasted Tomatoes. Bon Appétit has something called a Soft Scramble Sandwich, while Food Network has ideas for Antipasto Platters. Doing brunch? Here are several egg recipes to try. Cocktails? Town & Country has several, including a Cherry Blossom, a Bourbini, and the Lizzy Lake.

And if you like spring but want to party the way they partied in 1943, try these recipes from our sister publication, The Country Gentleman.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Proposal Day (March 20)

No pressure guys!

Live Long and Prosper Day (March 26)

If you don’t want to shake hands with people anymore because of the pandemic, maybe we can greet each other with the Vulcan greeting instead.

Featured image: Casezy idea / Shutterstock

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  1. If there was a season where I (personally) could make it dark as early as November and December, it would be between June and early October, covering all the months of overly hot evenings in Ca. Probably Az. too for that matter. We’re controlled in this nation by a terrifying, greedy and stupid government, Bob. Sad but true.

    I like fake Christmas trees too. The Post did an ad feature on the site here a few years ago about mid-century Christmas products including this fake snow you could blow onto a Christmas tree with putting the vacuum cleaner in ‘reverse’. This was Christmas 1960, I was 3 1/2, and made a real mess. I’d basically just gotten out of the playing with electrical plugs and light sockets phase (getting shocked once) but hadn’t started playing with matches yet. My mother couldn’t even trust me with phony snow. What was she to do with such a child?!

    I like Shemp also, I do, but love Curly. Shemp had tough shoes to fill (when Curly became ill) after World War II and did a great job. Joe Besser in 1955-’58 not so much, but they should have retired by then. Did you see the 2012 film, ‘The Three Stooges’? It’s really good!!

    I love the ‘How Dad Are You?’ questions. I actually do use quite a few. My son has 4 legs as I’m a dog Dad. I like that question about the left and the right. From the back end of the car the right and left sides are reversed from the front end, right?

    I listened to the Martini Shot podcast about cannabis. For a guy that can’t stand regular cigarette smoke, I do like the scent of pot. The Post’s new article on it suggests I’m on the right track just sniffin’ it here and there. I could use a sniff right now truthfully. Gas is now $4 again out here, damn it. Yes!

    Everything’s going to the dogs, except the dogs. I picked out my top 8 favorite dogs: Boxers, Great Danes, Standard Poodles, Boston Terriers, Weimaraners, Bassett Hounds and BULL TERRIERS. My most favorite is like Spuds MacKenzie and the Target dog.

    Love that wild drone bowling alley video. I want to go bowling again, but to the one with all the neon—like Tokyo. What a fantastic bowling cover, all lit up. That was a lucky strike, the story and that cover matching up this week.


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