News of the Week: Fall TV, New Books, and This Weekend Is Your Last Chance to Eat Potato Salad

In the news for the week ending September 3, 2021, are hurricane stats, TV Guide, book recommendations, a Post artist documentary, Labor Day recipes, and more.

Boy watching TV

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Random Thoughts

It feels good now that the calendar has turned over from August to September. Now if we can only get the weather to cooperate.

One of the local meteorologists mentioned this week during Hurricane Ida coverage that out of all of the hurricane names that have been retired, names that begin with the letter I have been retired the most. I looked at the list of names and was stunned to discover that Bob has been retired too (after Hurricane Bob in 1991). So I guess I’ll never be the name of a storm again, unless they go with Robert.

Speaking of Hurricane Ida, this caught the eye of many people this week:

“Some other stat” is now going to be my go-to answer when I need to explain something.

I miss Jerry Lewis and his Labor Day telethon.

I don’t know much about football, so I don’t have anything to add to the news that the New England Patriots released Cam Newton in favor of Mac Jones. Except this: Mac is Cam spelled backward.

I’ve been hearing more and more people abbreviate years when they say the year out loud. For example, they’ll say “two-nineteen” instead of “twenty-nineteen.” Please stop doing this.

New This Fall!

In line at the supermarket the other day (and I will never use the phrase “on line” because it’s foreign to me), I noticed the fall preview issue of TV Guide. That was something I always bought when I was younger. I was actually excited when the issue came out every September. It was like Christmas morning for me. This was before the magazine changed to the larger format and stripped away much of what made the smaller, classic TV Guide so much fun, the columns and features and the detailed episode descriptions.

It also hasn’t helped that with streaming and the premium channels and YouTube in addition to broadcast and cable, TV is now overwhelming and something I’m not that into anymore, beyond the shows that I regularly watch. There’s no possible way to keep track of what’s on TV, let alone what new shows are coming up this fall. Bruce Springsteen was wrong; there are 500 channels and too much on.

But if you’re still interested in the new shows, the returning shows, and the canceled shows, here are some handy guides from Deadline, Time, The Wrap, and Entertainment Weekly.

Read This!

In the current issue of the Post, Amazon’s Al Woodworth picks 10 books you might want to read this fall. Here are a half dozen more.

  • Dark City by Eddie Muller. The host of Noir Alley on Turner Classic Movies has come out with a new edition of his ultimate guide to the world of film noir. Beautiful pictures and a fun read for the classic movie fan.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. This novel by the Pulitzer Prize winner is about people who find hope in a book, and the setting shifts from 15th-century Constantinople to present-day Idaho to a spaceship years in the future.
  • The Secret History of Food by Matt Siegel. Think you know the history of favorite foods like apple pie, olive oil, hot peppers, and ice cream? Siegel bets you don’t.
  • The Nature of Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien (edited by Carl F. Hostetter). After The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings books, Tolkien continued to write about his creation right up until his death in 1973, and this collects all of those writings in one place for the first time.
  • The 2022 Old Farmer’s Almanac. The Post isn’t the only old American publication. This new edition of the annual guide to food, weather, and trends is the 230th. By the way, it says that this winter is going to be one of the coldest in a long time.
  • Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe. The CNN anchor should know about the history of the Vanderbilt family. Gloria Vanderbilt was his mother. (Comes out on September 21.)


J.C. Leyendecker not only helped make the Post into the iconic magazine it became (he was a mentor to Norman Rockwell and actually did more covers, 322 in total, as well as illustrations inside the magazine), he was a major force in mid-century advertising as well. Now he’s the subject of a new documentary called Coded, and it sounds fantastic.

Quote of the Week

“Very well, June. But in my day, our parents told us what to think and what not to think!”

—Aunt Martha, about something Beaver did, on Leave It to Beaver

RIP Ed Asner, Kenny Malone, Don Poynter, Ruth Marx, Jeanne Robertson, and Eddie Paskey

Ed Asner won Emmy Awards for playing the same character, Lou Grant, on two different shows, the sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show and the more serious Lou Grant. He also won Emmys for roles in the miniseries Roots and Rich Man, Poor Man and appeared in movies like Elf, Up, El Dorado, JFK, and Change of Habit. He died Sunday at the age of 91.

Kenny Malone played drums on Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Crystal Gayle’s “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” as well as songs by Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, Emmylou Harris, and Dobie Gray. He died last week at the age of 83.

Don Poynter had quite the interesting life. Besides being the inventor of a line of novelty items (everything from whiskey toothpaste and talking toilets to walking golf balls and Jayne Mansfield dolls), he was a child actor on Father Flanagan’s Boys Town radio show, a magician and ventriloquist and puppeteer, directed the very first Easy-Bake Oven commercial, and even toured with the Harlem Globetrotters as the halftime act. He died last month at the age of 96.

Here he is on What’s My Line? in 1956.

Uploaded to YouTube by What’s My Line?

Ruth Marx was a big band singer and sang many commercial jingles, including this one for Chicken of the Sea tuna. (Her husband Dick wrote many of the jingles, including “Double your pleasure, double your fun” for Doublemint, “You’ve come a long way, baby” for Virginia Slims, and “Two scoops of raisins in a package of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran.”) She was also the voice in Quasar ads. She was the mother of singer Richard Marx. She died last month at the age of 85.

Jeanne Robertson was a beloved humorist known for her stories about everyday life. She died last month at the age of 77.

Eddie Paskey was in almost every episode of the original Star Trek, usually playing Lt. Leslie and sometimes other crew members. He died earlier last month at the age of 81.

This Week in History

Wreck of the Titanic Discovered (September 1, 1985)

It wasn’t the first search for the ship, which hit an iceberg and sank in 1912, but the wreckage was finally found on an expedition led by Robert Ballard and Jean-Louis Michel.

Beetle Bailey Comic Strip Debuts (September 3, 1950)

Artist Mort Walker’s Army character actually originated in the pages of the Post, as a slacker college kid named Spider.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Traffic Cop” (September 3, 1949)

Policeman stopping traffic for schoolboy

The three people on this George Hughes cover were real. The truck driver’s name was Perley Brice of Bennington, Vermont; the traffic cop was Officer Brice, also of Bennington; and the little boy was Lewis Bowman of Arlington, Vermont. He passed away last year at the age of 78.

Labor Day Recipes

When I mentioned in the above headline that this weekend is your last chance to eat potato salad, I really wasn’t trying to make any assumptions about your eating habits (or your mortality). I just meant that this weekend is Labor Day weekend, and that’s usually the last time that we have cookouts and picnics and the foods we associate with summer. Your mileage may vary.

But continuing with that theme, here’s Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for Spiced Buffalo Burgers. The Mid-century Menu has this Overnight Night Hot Dog Sandwich, while AllRecipes has Parmesan Roasted Corn on the Cob. And if you like the coleslaw at KFC, Insanely Good has a copycat recipe.

As for that potato salad, NBC’s Today has a slightly different take on it, a Grilled Potato Salad. There are three reasons why this looks great:

  • It includes blueberries
  • It uses fingerling potatoes, which you don’t usually see in a potato salad
  • Some other stat

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Pet Rock Day (September 5)

Yup, it’s still around.

NFL Season Begins (September 9)

The first game of the season airs at 8 p.m. Eastern on NBC and features the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

Featured image: Shutterstock

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  1. Fortunately I haven’t heard the “two nineteen” said out loud. I do still hear “two thousand and ?” though, and I hate that at this late date. STOP IT! Say “Twenty” then the year. I agree with you on TV Guide. I miss the beautiful Fall Preview issues of the 1970’s and 80’s, and how it and most things were then then over now.

    We can’t live in the past, but can still enjoy some aspects in a healthy way. The large TV Guide of 2005 (POST size) has been gradually shrinking down to about National Geographic dimensions. I got an attractive online offer, but mainly just watch YouTube and Hulu on the computer.

    It’s weird how I’ll think of a particular show, and soon after it shows up on Hulu. I’ve been re-watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show on it since early ’21. Cloris Leachman, Gavin McLeod and now Ed Asner, all gone within 7 months of each other this year. Betty White’s the only member left. Betty Garrett was one of my (attorney) Dad’s clients, so he also knew Ed. They worked together on various stage productions at the Cahuenga Theater West in the 90’s, my family got invited to. I met both of them a few times. Really nice, down-to-earth people; very much so.

    Robert Dawson, thanks for the International Talk Like a Pirate Day notification. I know a lady totally into the whole pirate scene, and will let her know in case she doesn’t. Arrrgh!

  2. I’m always up for celebrating pet rocks, but don’t forget September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrrgh, matey.


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