News of the Week: The Last Netflix DVD, Sphere, and the Joys of the Fluffernutter

In the news for the week ending October 6, 2023, are fake celebrity endorsements, fantastic spheres, and flavorsome fluffernutter.


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From Beetlejuice to True Grit 

I still buy DVDs. Not only because I like having a physical copy of something that I can hold and look at, I like actually owning things. Who knows if a movie or TV show will suddenly vanish from a streaming service? Remember that episode of The Simpsons with Michael Jackson? It’s no longer shown on television (or included in new DVD sets).

Do you stream music? You don’t actually own the music. Albums and songs can actually be deleted from your account without you knowing it if the musician or record label no longer owns the rights, or if they want to make it unavailable for some reason (I’ve had albums deleted suddenly when a performer has a new version of an album coming out).

Until last week, Netflix, mostly known as a streaming service, still sent out physical DVDs to customers, something they had been doing since 1998. But I guess it wasn’t worth it to them anymore (I bet you didn’t know they still sent out DVDs) so they stopped that part of the business.

The very first DVD that Netflix sent out in 1998 was Beetlejuice. The last one sent out last week was the remake of True Grit (you don’t have to return it).

If you still want to rent DVDs and want to get them the old-fashioned way, you can always take a trip to the last Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon.

A.I. Problems

Just so you know, Tom Hanks is not endorsing a dental plan and Robin Williams has not come back.

This should probably be a regular feature because these things are going to keep happening (and they’re only going to get worse).

Las Vegas Sphere

Have you seen the latest concert venue in Las Vegas?

It’s called Sphere (no “the,” even though that article calls it that) and it’s a giant round building that can display just about anything on its outside and inside. U2 played the first concert at the new place (they’re doing a 25-show residency there).

Melissa Ruggieri at USA Today described it as “IMAX meets the Death Star,” and that’s a pretty good description. They can make it look like anything, including that giant pumpkin above. The building must look incredible in person and completely changes the Vegas skyline.

Post Writers You Should Read

Interesting piece in the New York Times last week, about the critically acclaimed but somewhat-unknown writer Dawn Powell, who died in 1965 and was buried on Hart Island, in an unmarked grave like most everyone else buried there. A fire many years ago destroyed records for the burials, and her body will probably never be found. Fans would like to have some sort of gravestone or marker for her, either on Hart Island or someplace else in New York City.

I read her diaries and she was quite good. She also wrote for the Post. Here’s her story “Weekend in Town,” which appeared in the July 25, 1964, issue. Her story “The Elopers” appeared in the August 24, 1963 issue.

Headline of the Week

“28 Years Ago, A Book Club Began Reading One Novel. It’s Finally Reached The End.”

RIP Tim Wakefield, Ed Fancher, Russ Francis, and Jim Caple

Tim Wakefield was the knuckleball expert who helped the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years in 2004. He died last weekend at the age of 57.

Ed Fancher was cofounder of The Village Voice. He died last week at the age of 100.

Russ Francis was a former tight end for the New England Patriots and won a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers in 1985. He died last Sunday at the age of 70.

Jim Caple was a veteran sportswriter for, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and other outlets. He died Sunday at the age of 61.

This Week in History

The Mickey Mouse Club and Captain Kangaroo Premiere (October 3, 1955)

Yup, the two classic kid shows debuted on the very same day, The Mickey Mouse Club on ABC and Captain Kangaroo on CBS.

Rutherford B. Hayes Born (October 4, 1822)

Hayes became the 19th president after the worst election in U.S. history. He declined to seek a second term. He died in 1893.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Gold Medal Flour (October 1, 1910)

Those are big loaves of bread.

Sunday Is Fluffernutter Day

You can use that bread to make a fluffernutter, the classic New England sandwich of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. The delicious white stuff was invented around 1917 by Archibald Query of Somerville, Massachusetts, who sold it door to door until he had to stop because of shortages during World War I. He later sold the recipe to the Durkee-Mower company.

So how do you make the fluffernutter? It’s pretty simple: you put peanut butter on one side of white bread and fluff on the other side. The controversy lies in whether to use creamy or crunchy peanut butter. Traditionalists say it should be creamy, but I say go with what you like.

In fact, you don’t even need to make a fluffernutter. You can use fluff in other recipes too, including cheesecakepies, and even salads and side dishes.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Columbus Day (October 9)

In some states and counties, the name has been changed to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

NHL Season Begins (October 10)

The first game will be Nashville vs. Tampa Bay and will air on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. ET. Here’s the full schedule.

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  1. You have a point in the ownership of DVDs. In fact, I don’t believe you can even own a full series of the original Hawaii 5-0, first season without Episode 7 “Bored, She Hung Herself” being omitted. The same goes for WWE with classic matches featuring the late Chris Benoit including where he won the WWE Championship from Triple H. I have the videos. I know they are collector items now.

  2. Bob, have you read the latest comments from Jessica Lange on the film industry? Ouch!!

    I don’t blame Robin Williams daughter for being upset over his name/image being used via A.I. without her or the family’s permission. This is what attorneys are for! Sue them or agree on a nice zinger of a settlement amount. As for Tom Hanks, the same thing applies although he should at least be flattered at the A.I. image of himself circa 1984. He’s not aging well. It could be worse though. Look at Ron Howard and try not to gasp.

    I want to read those stories by Dawn Powell from 1963 and ’64 per the links. I just read one on the 1963 suburb situation that’s quite interesting. Love the 1910 Gold Medal Flour ad; when the BASIC skill of penmanship was paramount and used daily.


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