News of the Week: Star Trek Favorite Returns, There’s a New Hemingway Story, and Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?

Make It So (Again)

A friend of mine went to the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas last week. In addition to the speeches and autograph sessions and hobnobbing with fellow geeks … I mean dedicated fans … some big news was unveiled, and it concerns one of the franchise’s favorite characters.

Actor Patrick Stewart took the stage and announced that he will bring back his Star Trek: The Next Generation character Jean-Luc Picard for a new series that will air on the CBS All Access streaming service. The service currently airs another Trek show, Discovery, which takes place between the original series and The Next Generation.

There are no details on the plot or title of the show, but I’m going to assume that the new series won’t just feature a retired Picard reading books in a comfy chair while sipping Earl Grey tea. There has to be some action, some adventure involved, so I assume that Picard will either be an instructor at Starfleet Academy (which will give younger actors the chance to do all of the action) or maybe they’ll completely fool us and Picard will once again be captain of the Enterprise or a new ship.

Since I know what Starfleet is, and that Picard’s signature line is “Make it so,” and I know the history of all the shows, I guess I can lump myself into that “geek” category too, apparently.

New Hemingway

“A Room on the Garden Side” is a short story written by Ernest Hemingway in 1956, five years before his suicide. The narrator is an American writer, probably based on Hemingway himself, and the story is set days after the 1944 liberation of Paris. It’s one of five stories that Hemingway wrote that he didn’t want released until after his death, and now, 57 years later, it’s being published in The Strand Magazine.

The Strand should really release a new anthology of these recently discovered stories. Last year they published a new story by Raymond Chandler, and in 2015 they published one by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Pizza Guy Plays Piano

When you get a pizza delivered to your home, you don’t expect this:

I hope they gave him a good tip.

What Is a Hot Dog?

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg writes about politics and culture for a living, so he’s not a stranger to controversies and arguments. But nothing else he writes could ever be as controversial as his latest piece, where he declares that … are you sitting down? … a hot dog is not a sandwich!

It’s not a crazy assertion. After all, just because you have a filling and some sort of bread product doesn’t mean it automatically becomes a “sandwich.” But here’s why I hesitate on agreeing with him 100%.

A hot dog is just a hot dog. It doesn’t always go in a bun; it exists without anything else. It’s a “hot dog,” just like ham isn’t called a “ham sandwich” until you put it between two slices of bread. So I ask, if you slice the hot dog a certain way, so it fits between two slices of bread, why isn’t that a sandwich? You can argue that a hot dog put into a hot dog bun isn’t a sandwich, but if you put hot dogs in between two slices of Wonder Bread, why does that make it ineligible for sandwich status?

Goldberg says “a hot dog isn’t served between two slices of bread.” But … what if it is served that way? Doesn’t that change things? By that “one slice of bread vs. two slices of bread” logic, if you make a quick late night snack by taking some cheese or ham or even peanut butter and putting it on one slice of bread and then folding it, does that mean it’s not a sandwich? I would say no, of course it’s still a sandwich. And then there are open-face sandwiches …

But that’s not a hill I’m willing to die on. I’ve never really given any thought to the “sandwiches vs. hot dogs” debate. They (along with cheeseburgers) have always been naturally separate in my mind, and a case could be made either way. You can argue about it in the comments below.

The Winner of the Brady Bunch House Is … Not Lance Bass

Last week I told you that the Brady Bunch house was for sale. This week, *NSYNC member Lance Bass posted on social media that he had bought the house and was going to renovate the interior so it looked like the interior of the house on the show (which was just a studio set). But the next day, Bass posted a follow-up on Instagram which disclosed that his winning bid had been rejected and another buyer’s had been accepted.

The winning bidder? HGTV! The network says that they are going to renovate the house so it looks like it did in the early ’70s. I’m sure they’ll make a TV show out of the project, and if they’re smart, they’ll give it away as a prize in one of their “dream home” contests. I have no plans to move to North Hollywood, California, but if I win I’ll let you know.

RIP Charlotte Rae, Stan Mikita, Shelly Cohen, Joël Robuchon, and Robert Martin

Charlotte Rae was best known for her role as Mrs. Garrett on Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life, but she was a veteran actress who played a variety of parts on TV and movies since the early ’50s. She was nominated for several Tonys and an Emmy. She died Sunday at the age of 92.

Stan Mikita was a legendary member of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, who still holds the team record for goals scored. He was also an eight-time All-Star. He died Tuesday at the age of 78.

Shelly Cohen was the assistant musical director for every single episode of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. He died last month at the age of 84.

Joël Robuchon was an award-winning French chef whose influence can be felt throughout the restaurant world. He died Monday at the age of 73.

Robert Martin flew dozens of missions during World War II as one of the Tuskegee Airmen. He died last month at the age of 99.

This Week in History

DuMont TV Network’s Final Broadcast (August 6, 1956)

Even though a lot of people might not remember it, DuMont was one of the big TV networks from 1946 until its end in 1956. Many of the shows aired on the network are gone forever, but several still exist. Here’s a list.

Hiroshima Bombed (August 6, 1945)

The Enola Gay dropped the first of two atomic bombs at 8:15 a.m., instantly killing over 50,000 people and eventually killing over 100,000. The second bomb was dropped three days later over Nagasaki.

If you haven’t read John Hersey’s classic New Yorker article “Hiroshima,” you should. Some people have called the 1946 piece the best magazine article ever written.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Eighteenth Hole (August 6, 1955)

Eighteenth Hole from August 6, 1955
Eighteenth Hole from August 6, 1955

I’ve played golf around 20 times in my life, but I don’t understand this John Falter cover. Where’s the windmill and the clown’s mouth and the little bridge you putt the ball over?

Quote of the Week

“I won’t comment on that.”

—actress Kathleen Turner, on what she thinks of the acting abilities of the Friends cast, in a wide-ranging, controversial interview at Vulture. She also had choice words for Burt Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor, and a “very famous Hollywood actress” who has “played the same role for 20 years” that I’m going to assume is Julia Roberts.

August Is National Sandwich Month

I’m not sure what I can possibly link to when it comes to sandwiches. The possibilities are endless, right? So I’ve decided to point you to some sandwiches you may not have heard of before, sandwiches you probably never thought of making yourself.

You can try this Baked Bean French Toast Sandwich, this Grilled Macaroni and Cheese Sandwich, or maybe you can travel to Treylor Park restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, where you can order this Grilled Apple Pie Sandwich. That actually sounds pretty fantastic. I’ve put apples into sandwiches before and they always seem to make things better.

And let’s not forget Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich, peanut butter, bacon, and bananas on white bread. The King also liked the Fool’s Gold Loaf, which is a loaf of Italian bread stuffed with an entire jar of peanut butter, a jar of grape jelly, and a pound of bacon.

Should you include hot dogs in your sandwich? That’s entirely up to you. Perhaps you can try them with some potato salad, graham crackers, and maple syrup on white bread.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Tell a Joke Day (August 16)

How do you catch a unique rabbit?

U nique up on him.

How do you catch a tame one?

The tame way!

Hey, I didn’t say it was called National Tell a Good Joke Day.

Your Weekly Checkup: The Benefits of Eating Nuts

We are pleased to bring you “Your Weekly Checkup,” a regular online column by Dr. Douglas Zipes, an internationally acclaimed cardiologist, professor, author, inventor, and authority on pacing and electrophysiology. Dr. Zipes is also a contributor to The Saturday Evening Post print magazine.  Subscribe to receive thoughtful articles, new fiction, health and wellness advice, and gems from our archive.

Diet is important for general health, and in particular, cardiovascular health. The Mediterranean diet — which has been shown to reduce adverse cardiovascular events — emphasizes eating primarily plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes (like peas and beans), nuts, olive and canola oil, fish and poultry, and (some) red wine. A recent study showed that only around ten percent of Americans eat enough fruits (1.5–2.0 cup equivalents) and vegetables (2.0–3.0 cups) per day. Women and people in higher socioeconomic classes appeared to eat more than the rest of the population.

Several studies have shown that eating nuts reduces cardiovascular risk, in particular by lessening coronary heart disease. In one study, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts resulted in almost a 30 percent reduction in the incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events after five years of follow up. Three large prospective trials showed that a higher consumption of total and specific types of nuts was inversely associated with total cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

This means that the more nuts you eat, the lower your mortality. Tree nuts like almonds, pecans, and walnuts are especially beneficial, because they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fats.

But even peanuts and peanut butter are beneficial. Technically, peanuts aren’t nuts but are actually legumes, more closely related to soybeans and lentils than to almonds and walnuts. Nevertheless, the evidence shows eating peanuts and peanut butter is still beneficial. I guess all those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I ate as a kid had some benefit — at least the peanut butter did!

What’s so great about nuts? They contain lots of protein, unsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 (found in fish oil), fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They improve blood lipids (lower “bad” cholesterol), reduce inflammation, generate better blood vessel wall function and reduce insulin resistance. Not bad for something that also tastes good.

What are the downsides? Eighty percent of a nut is fat, albeit healthy fat, but it still carries a lot of calories. So be careful not to overindulge and start gaining weight. That would defeat the benefits. I find that a handful of almonds reduces my appetite way out of proportion to the amount I ingest.

What type of nuts should you eat? Some, like walnuts, have more heart-healthy nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, but it probably doesn’t matter that much since most nuts appear to be generally healthy. The American Heart Association recommends eating about four servings of unsalted nuts a week. Choose raw or dry-roasted nuts rather than those cooked in oil, and avoid those covered with chocolate, sugar or salt. If you choose the kind you like, you’re more apt to include them as a regular part of your daily diet.

So, nuts to you! Enjoy!

News of the Week: 86 Candies, 50 Years of ‘On the Road,’ and Norman Lloyd at 103

No Zagnut?

It’s four days after Halloween and you probably have some candy left over. I bought Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Almond Joys this year, even though trick-or-treaters haven’t come to my place since the late ’90s.

The former just happens to be the No. 1 Halloween candy, according to this list compiled by the website FiveThirtyEight, known for their election polls and political analysis. No. 2 was the miniature version of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, which seems like a rather unfair advantage for Reese’s. Twix, Kit Kat, and Snickers round out the top five. Junior Mints are at No. 25, Baby Ruth is at No. 27, and a quarter (thrown into the mix just to see if money is more important than candy) beat out Twizzlers and Werther’s Originals. Coming in dead last? Good & Plenty. Kids today just don’t appreciate pill-shaped licorice candy from the 1890s.

Maybe Twix would have won if it had visited Wisconsin and Michigan.

On the Road

No, not the Jack Kerouac novel — the CBS News segment started by Charles Kuralt in 1967. Steve Hartman does it now, and he did this 50th-anniversary tribute to Kuralt and the big van he used to travel around the country.

The Dickinson Pumpkin

Every now and then, a big food controversy arises. We’ve seen the yams vs. sweet potato debatethe Great Green Pea Scandal of 2015, and this year we have CheeseburgerGate. Now comes another one, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

It seems that the cans of “100% pumpkin” you see on supermarket shelves may, in fact, include meat from something called a Dickinson pumpkin, which is really a type of squash. That’s right, all these years you’ve probably been making your pumpkin pie with squash. But wait! It might not be as much of a scandal as people think, because the FDA says that it’s actually okay if cans of pumpkin are sometimes made with squash or a mixture of pumpkin and squash.

Which is a relief, because “squash pie” just doesn’t sound as appetizing.

Katie Who?

Everybody knows the lyrics to the baseball song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” often sung during the seventh-inning stretch, right? But you probably don’t know all the lyrics.

The song, written by Jack Norworth in 1908, was actually about a young woman named Katie who wants to go to a baseball game, even though it was mostly men who went to games back then. There’s actually an opening line from the song that nobody ever sings and most people don’t even know about, but CBS News has all the details.

The next time you go to a ball game you can sing the line and confuse your friends and all the strangers around you. Hey, did you say Katie? Whos Katie?

Happy 103rd Birthday, Norman Lloyd!

Norman Lloyd is an actor and director you may know from St. Elsewhere (he played Dr. Auschlander) and as the bad guy who falls from the Statue of Liberty in Alfred Hitchcock’s terrific 1942 thriller Saboteur. He’s also a big baseball fan. When he was 11 he saw Babe Ruth play in the 1926 World Series and, amazingly, he also went to this year’s World Series to see the Dodgers play the Astros!

He turns 103 next Wednesday, and his new TV series, Fly, premieres next year.

Dead Celebrities Make More Money Than You Do

You could probably have guessed that Michael Jackson made a lot of money this past year ($75 million), but I bet you can’t guess who No. 2 on the list is. Come on, guess. Forbes has the 2017 list of the celebrities no longer with us who still make a lot of money, and No. 2 genuinely surprised me.

No, it’s not Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, nor is it Elvis Presley. They come in at No. 3 and 4, respectively. Musician Bob Marley is No. 5, and Tom Petty, who just passed away a few weeks ago, is No. 6.

Seriously, before you click this link to see the whole list, try to guess who No. 2 is. Betcha a Zagnut you can’t.

This Week in History

Stock Market Crashes (October 29, 1929)

It’s referred to as “Black Tuesday,” but it actually started a week before on “Black Thursday.” The financial disaster, of course, led to the Great Depression.

Assassination Attempt on President Truman (November 1, 1950)

Two members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party tried to shoot Truman at the Blair House, where the Truman family was staying while the White House was being renovated.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Clock Repairman (November 3, 1945)

Man fixing a giant clock
“Clock Repairman”
Norman Rockwell
November 3, 1945

Maybe this cover by Norman Rockwell can serve as a reminder that you have to turn back your clocks one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.

Today Is National Sandwich Day

Parade has a list of the sandwich places that have special deals today, including Subway, Capriotti, QuickChek, and Firehouse. I’d like to highlight one particular sandwich. It was the favorite of writer and actress Peg Lynch, the woman who pretty much created the sitcom with shows like Ethel and Albert and The Couple Next Door. I don’t know if it’s something I’d want to try (I’m not a big mayo guy), but I think you should test it and report back to us.

Put sandwich together, cut off crusts, cut into four triangles, and enjoy!

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Guy Fawkes Day (November 5)

Fawkes is known as one of the biggest villains in British history. You may know his face as the mask many people wear when they’re doing something they don’t to be known for, as seen in the graphic novel and film version of for Vendetta.

General Election Day (November 7)

Here’s a list of some of the important federal, state, and local elections that are happening on Tuesday.

News of the Week: Who Took the Bard’s Skull, What We Did Before Google, and How the PB&J Was Invented

Hey, Has Anybody Seen Shakespeare’s Skull?

This sounds like the plot of a Syfy TV movie — where a stolen skull seeks revenge on those who took it and tries to reunite with the rest of the body — but it really appears that playwright William Shakespeare’s noggin is missing!

According to archaeologists and a radar scan, the skull isn’t where it should be, 400 years after the Bard died and was buried in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It seems some sort of vandalism occurred at some point, and now the skull is missing.

The whole history of the grave is rather odd. It’s not even marked with his name, there was a rumor that the skull was buried at another church several miles away (it wasn’t), and news of the missing skull was actually already published 137 years ago in an 1879 issue of Argosy. Findings of this investigation were part of a new TV special that aired on Channel 4 in Britain last weekend.

If Syfy does make a movie, they can call it Skullnado.

Before Google, People Asked Librarians Things

A few weeks ago, I was watching Desk Set, the 1957 Spencer Tracy/Katherine Hepburn movie in which Tracy plays an efficiency expert hired by a TV network to replace the fact-checkers in the network’s research department. People call the fact-checkers on the phone, and they go to their books to find out the answers for them. It seems quaint in this age of Google, when every piece of information (or misinformation) you could ever want is just a few clicks away, but this is how people used to find out things. You either called someone or looked it up in a book.

I thought of that movie after seeing this tweet from former New Yorker writer Nancy Franklin, a bunch of questions that people typed or wrote up and submitted to librarians at the New York Public Library so they could look up the answer:


The Telegraph has a lot more examples of questions curious library-goers had years ago for the New York Public Library. Is there a book that dramatizes bedbugs? Why are there so many squirrels in 18th-century paintings? Who kisses first, a house guest or the host? What time does a bluebird sing?

Like Nicholas Carr, I sometimes wonder if having a resource like Google and the Web is hurting our memories and our brains in general.

RIP Patty Duke, Earl Hamner Jr., and Jim Harrison

14-year-old Patty Duke
A 14-year-old Duke on her rise to stardom in 1961 (Photo by Eugene Cook, © SEPS)

Patty Duke is probably best known to fans of a certain age for her role as identical cousins Cathy and Patty Lane on the sitcom The Patty Duke Show. But before that she won a Best Supporting Oscar at 16 for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. She appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies since the mid-1950s, most recently in Glee, Liv & Maddie, and the 2017 movie Power of the Air. Off-screen she was a big supporter of charities and an advocate for mental health. Duke passed away Tuesday at the age of 69. Her son actor Sean Astin broke the news.

MeTV started running a promo in January for The Patty Duke Show featuring Duke and co-star William Schallert. Yup, he’s still acting at age 93:

Earl Hamner Jr. was probably best known as the creator of The Waltons (did you know he was also the narrator of the series?), but he had a long, varied career in film, TV, and books. Besides The Waltons, Hamner wrote for The Twilight Zone, Falcon Crest, Gentle Ben, The Invaders, and many other shows. He also wrote the screenplays for the 1973 version of Charlotte’s Web, Where The Lillies Bloom, Spencer’s Mountain, and the TV movie Heidi, which we’ve mentioned here before. He also wrote several novels and nonfiction books. Hamner died at the age of 92 in Los Angeles.

I could write a lot about Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall and many other novels, stories, and poems. He passed away last Saturday in Arizona at the age of 78, but I think this tweet from writer Walter Kirn sums it up quite nicely:

Three New Books Worth the Read

Wind Sprints, by Joseph Epstein. Epstein is one of the great essayists, and this is his latest collection. It’ contains shorter works from the past 20 years, focusing on everything from aging and pop culture and technology to politics and sports and everything in between. Basically it’s about life, and a fine read. (Wind Sprints will be released on April 7.)

Approval Junkie, by Faith Salie. This is the CBS Sunday Morning contributor’s collection of essays on “her lifelong quest for approval.” Her segments on the show are quite good, and this promises to be a fun read. (Approval Junkie will be released on April 19.)

Slow Burn, by Ace Atkins. This is the next book in the Spenser series created by the late Robert B. Parker. Atkins, whose other books include the Quinn Colson series and the Nick Travers books, took over for Parker in 2012. It’s his fifth Spenser book, and fans won’t be disappointed with his take on the Boston private investigator. (Slow Burn will be released on May 3.)

Catch The Catch

Sometimes a TV show catches you off guard. You’ve seen the commercials for it, but it’s not getting a lot of buzz. And besides, you’re behind on 27 other shows. I almost decided not to watch ABC’s The Catch (I still have two seasons of Agent Carter to watch), and that would have been a big mistake.

The Catch stars Mireille Enos (from The Killing) and Peter Krause (from Sports Night and Six Feet Under). It’s hard to explain the plot without giving away the many twists and other pleasures of the show, but let’s just say it’s about a private investigation firm trying to find a notorious thief they’ve nicknamed Mr. X. It’s really well done and entertaining, with good-looking stars and a lot of style. It’s a breath of fresh air in a TV landscape filled with superheroes, serial killers, and zombies.

It reminds me of a cross between The Thomas Crown Affair and Eyes, the terrific Tim Daly show that also aired on ABC in 2005 but was canceled after only a handful of episodes.

The Catch airs on Thursdays at 10 p.m. Eastern time, and you can watch the episodes you missed at the ABC site.

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

In January, I showed you how to make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but tomorrow there’s an entire day devoted to it. I can’t really give you that many recipes for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — beyond trying different styles of peanut butter or flavors of jelly — so I thought I’d do a little digging to find out how it was invented.

Believe it or not, we have actor Humphrey Bogart to thank for the sandwich. While having lunch at Fox Films (later 20th Century Fox) in 1930, where he was filming Up the River with the aforementioned Spencer Tracy, Bogart realized that the studio commissary was out of ketchup, which is what he usually had with his peanut butter in a sandwich. Bogart tried mustard, mashed potatoes, even tomatoes, but nothing tasted right. He noticed the jelly that was sitting on a tray of condiments, left over from breakfast, and decided to give it a shot. He loved it and told other people about it, and it quickly caught on. The rest, as they say, is history.

And if you believe that story, please note what day today is.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Jesse James killed (April 3, 1882)

Here’s a nice remembrance of someone depicted on a 1948 John Falter cover of The Saturday Evening Post as a boy, playing in the same area where people like Jesse James and the Pony Express riders once traveled.

President Truman signs the Marshall Plan (April 3, 1948)

Also called the European Recovery Program, the Marshall Plan gave $13 billion in aid to help Europe rebuild after World War II.

Washington Irving born (April 3, 1783)

Irving’s story The Devil and Tom Walker was the inspiration for Stephen Vincent Benét’s short story The Devil and Daniel Webster, which first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in October 1936.

First female mayor elected (April 4, 1887)

Her name was Susanna M. Salter, and she was the mayor of Argonia, Kansas, in 1887 and ’88.

President William Henry Harrison dies (April 4, 1841)

Harrison spoke for more than three hours at his rainy, cold inauguration and died of pneumonia a month later.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints established (April 6, 1830)

The Supreme Court ruled 49 years later that America’s civil rights laws trumped the Mormon Church’s polygamy practice.

Civil Rights Act of 1866 enacted (April 9, 1866)

The bill that granted all citizens the same rights regardless of color, even if they were former slaves, was passed by Congress over the veto of President Johnson.

News of the Week: Glenn Frey, the Lost Art of Handwriting, and the Perfect Peanut Butter and Jelly


Glenn Frey
By Steve Alexander (originally posted to Flickr as Glenn Frey) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
January is turning out to be a bad month for classic rock. First we had the passing of David Bowie, and this week came the death of Glenn Frey of the Eagles.

Besides his work with that iconic band, Frey had a lot of solo success too, with songs like “Smuggler’s Blues” and “You Belong to the City,” both of which were used on a show Frey appeared on as an actor, Miami Vice (and yes, the city Sonny Crockett is walking in is New York City and not Miami).

Frey had been ill for the past year and a half, and passed away from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. He was 67. Here’s Don Henley on the passing of his friend and band mate.

National Handwriting Day

How’s your handwriting these days? (Note to younger readers: Handwriting is what everyone did before iPads and clicking things.) When I started writing my monthly letter for readers, I found that my handwriting needed a lot of work. While I take a lot of notes by hand, those notes aren’t usually in cursive, so the only cursive I regularly have practice with is my signature. That’s not enough to keep your handwriting up to date. I actually had to learn again how to write certain letters, like q and the dreaded z.

There’s a lot of talk these days about schools no longer teaching handwriting because younger students are growing up in a digital world and that’s all they know. Maybe these kids won’t need handwriting by the time they’re adults. Everything will be done on tablets and even a signature can be done with the click of a button (I’ve noticed that even on some contracts I’ve signed online). But tomorrow is National Handwriting Day, and maybe we can help bring back this lost art. A lot of experts believe it could help with memory, and wouldn’t it be nice to write an actual letter to people once in a while instead of a quick email, text, or Facebook post?

Is Charles Osgood Leaving CBS Sunday Morning?

I certainly hope not. CBS Sunday Morning without Charles Osgood would be like The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson without Johnny Carson. Of course, if he wants to make the decision to retire, while that’s sad, if he wants to then that’s his decision.

But The New York Daily News is reporting that it might not be his decision. Citing sources, the paper says that Osgood is undergoing contract negotiations with CBS and that the network might want to replace him later this year. That same source says the network wants to “kick him to the curb,” which is a rather nasty way of putting it. CBS hasn’t commented on the matter, so I think we have to take any talk of curb kicking with a grain of salt.

People who could take over as host include three who often guest host for Osgood (currently taking a few weeks off for knee surgery), Jane Pauley, Anthony Mason, and Lee Cowan. All three are fine fill-ins, but if the choice is one of those three I’d go with Pauley. It would be nice to see her regularly on morning TV again.

This Is Jeopardy!?

It’s not every day that all three Jeopardy! contestants get the Final Jeopardy! question wrong, but all three of them also bet all of their money. Usually when there’s a tie, both winners come back the next day. So who gets to come back the next day as the champion when all three have no money? Here’s the clip, and to be fair it’s not an easy question:

Read Jeanne Wolf’s interview with Alex Trebek from the Jan/Feb 2016 issue.

Playboy Mansion for Sale (but Hef Gets to Stay!)

Czar of the Bunny Empire, April 28, 1962

How would you like to own the Playboy Mansion? It’s five acres in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles, and if you have $200 million dollars, it’s yours! There’s one catch though: If you buy it, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner gets to stay! I don’t know how that would work out, but maybe you and Hef could be roommates. As a guy, something tells me Hef would be an excellent roommate to have.

If you have the money, it might be a great purchase. Also, if you indeed have that much money, I’d also spend a bunch on cleaning the place, including the grotto and hot tubs. Especially the grotto and hot tubs.

Click here to read 1962’s “Czar of the Bunny Empire” by Bill Davidson from the Post archive.

There’s a Cloverfield 2?!?

Did you know that producer J.J. Abrams made a sequel to his 2008 monster movie Cloverfield? I don’t think anyone did (well, except Abrams and the stars and probably the studio). The official title is 10 Cloverfield Lane. Here’s the trailer:

Looks like fun, and this trailer also looks a lot like the season two opener of another J.J. Abrams project, Lost, only with “I Think We’re Alone Now” instead of “Make Your Own Kind of Music”:

The Perfect Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

This Sunday is National Peanut Butter Day. Let’s talk about one of God’s perfect meals, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This is how you make the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It starts with the bread. You can’t use a bread that rips and tears easily, like Wonder, because that just makes a mess. You need a hearty bread, like Canadian white. You put peanut butter (smooth or chunky, it’s your call) on one slice of bread and then you put the jelly on the other side of the bread. Don’t put too much jelly or it throws the peanut butter to jelly flavor ratio out of whack.

This is actually controversial, one of those age-old debates. A lot of people put the peanut butter and jelly on the same slice and then simply put the other slice on top. I don’t think this is as visually appealing and just makes the knife a sloppy mix of peanut butter and jelly remnants. I also don’t cut mine in half because I’m no longer 7 years old and can actually handle a whole sandwich.

How do you make yours? However you make it, make sure you wash it down with milk. One time I didn’t have any milk and had to wash it down with Diet Pepsi. I’ll never make that mistake again.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Founding of the National Geographic Society (January 27, 1888)

The Society’s website is a lot of fun, and you can become a member just like young George Bailey.

J.D. Salinger dies (January 27, 2010)

Yup, the Catcher in the Rye author wrote several short stories for The Saturday Evening Post.

Space Shuttle Challenger explodes (January 28, 1986)

It’s the 30th anniversary of that horrible day. Here’s CNN’s live coverage of the event.

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven published (January 29, 1845)

Poe’s famous short story The Black Cat first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in August 1843, and we also printed several poems by him.

Jackie Robinson born (January 31, 1919)

Here’s SEP Archives Director Jeff Nilsson on the baseball player’s “grace under pressure”. Jackie Robinson’s groundbreaking interview with Branch Rickey is featured in our Baseball Special Collector’s Edition, now in its third printing.

The Gift of Fudge

Did you know?

This divine all-American dessert was the result of a fudged-up batch of caramels in the 1800s. Nevertheless, these fudge-proof recipes are easy holiday gifts for your friends and neighbors.

Peeeanut … Peanut Butter, Fudge!

Peanut Butter Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge

In saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugars, milk, and corn syrup to boil, about 3 minutes or until candy temperature reaches 240 F or soft ball stage. Add marshmallow creme, peanut butter, and butter; mix quickly and remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour into a greased 8-by-8-inch pan. Let cool completely. Cut into bite-size pieces and store in airtight container.

Tip: When boiling sugars, milk, and syrup, use candy thermometer to bring mixture to 240 F. If you do not have thermometer, place bowl of cold water near cooking station. To determine if it has reached soft ball stage, drop tiny bit of mixture into cold water. You should be able to form candy into tiny, soft ball.

Walnut Pumpkin Fudge

Walnut Pumpkin Fudge
Walnut Pumpkin Fudge

A seasonal twist on a holiday treat!

Prepare peanut butter fudge as directed, substituting 1/2 cup pumpkin puree for peanut butter. Add spice and walnuts with vanilla.

Gimme S’More Low-Fat Fudge

Melt chocolate and milk in saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and let cool (for 1 to 2 minutes only). Stir in vanilla and 1 cup marshmallows. Pour into greased parchment paper-lined 8-by-8-inch pan. Break graham crackers into small pieces. Stick crackers and remaining marshmallows into fudge. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours until hard. Invert pan and remove parchment paper. Cut into serving sizes and store in airtight container.

* We also tested this recipe with fat-free evaporated milk, which produces a sticky fudge that’s difficult to cut.

Recipe for Weeknight Pancakes

Some nights, whether you are getting home late or you are just feeling lazy, the idea of making dinner is exhausting. Last night was one of those nights for me. And while takeout is always the easy (though not necessarily healthy) option, we are trying to stick to a budget.

What do you make when time is tight?

My family’s go-to easy meal is pancakes. Quick, simple, and healthy, especially if you replace some of the flour with whole-wheat and add fruits or vegetables. I mash up a banana, spoon in some applesauce, mix a heaping scoop of peanut butter, or shred some zucchini or carrots for added flavor and nutrients. Below is my base recipe.

Alyssa’s Famous Pancakes


1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add wet ingredients. Mix until smooth. Stir in any additional mix-ins.
2. Heat nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. Spoon about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter into pan, depending on size you prefer, and allow to cook for a couple of minutes without touching. When the top of the pancake begins to bubble, flip pancake. Cook a couple of more minutes until lightly golden. Serve with syrup or any other topping you like.