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Q: Favorite Batman Villain?

A: Gorshin’s Riddler. Cartoony but unquestionably malevolent. Very strong currents of rage, madness. Possibly more intelligent than the rest of the Bat-villains, even Bookworm. A laugh that could shatter glass (too bad for Cesar Romero, whose Joker debuted later and never found a chuckle as iconic).

Thank dog the ’66 Batman series is finally coming to home video this year. There just ain’t enough classic Gorsh on that YouTube.

Slingback Sunday

Here’s another classic from 2010: yours truly in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, hovering near that neighborhood’s somewhat infamous bootleg Ectomobile. Spotting this car would have been plenty of excitement for one afternoon, but since New York City is New York City that day I also met comedy star John Gemberling at a coffee shop, drank pea soup at a pea soup dispensary, was issued a police citation for being in the park after sunset, and attended a cookie bake-off where the dj played nothing but death metal.

Not that it matters now, but I wasn’t actually in the park after sunset, I was in the park during sunset. That stuck in my craw, so I contested the ticket in court. My case was sucked into this long line of vending citations; the judge got to me and I had barely confirmed my name when he quickly bellowed:

“Mr. Greene, do you know that you’re not supposed to be in the park after sundown? Great, dismissed.”

#justice

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Have you ever noticed how United States Forest Service Chief Thomas Tidwell looks like Jack McBrayer in old age makeup? Have you also ever noticed how Arnold Schwarzenegger is melting into a Tommy Lee Jones doppelgänger? And what of Smokey Bear’s “no eye contact” policy as of late? What’s that guy hiding?

Give Me Delta Or Give Me Death

Orlando Weekly let me go last week. They said it was a budget thing, but to be honest with you I think they were sick of me pitching Delta Burke stories every day. Hey, it’s not my fault the world’s most beautiful and talented actress hails from this corner of the universe. It’s like Plato said: you can either get on the Delta Burke train or you can get flattened by it.

Stay tuned for the soft launch of my new periodical, Burke Beat, where you’ll finally learn “the real deal” about Delta’s experiences overseas filming Where The Hell’s That Gold?

The Luxury Of My Name

I can close my eyes and pretend they’re talking to me.

On Erdélyi Tamás

Johnny may have been the General, the guy who made the trains run on time, but in a pinch he always deferred to Tommy. That’s because Tommy was smart as hell and could visualize this thing called the Ramones before it even existed. Necessity planted him behind the drums (no one else really grok’d this sound), and how lucky for us. Tommy worked like a dog behind the scenes but that percussive attack was so even and strong that some fans insist the Ramones stopped being the Ramones once he quit.

And only in a band like the Ramones could other members actually harass Tommy for being relatively normal. Witness: the interview snippet in End Of The Century where Dee Dee admits he gave Tommy so much shit back in the day because he was jealous the guy knew how to cook. Regardless of interpersonal dynamics, to fans Tom was Teflon Ramone, the Ramone you just couldn’t dislike for any reason. He drummed on the three best albums (Ramones, Leave Home, Rocket To Russia), produced the best two he didn’t play on (Road To Ruin, Too Tough To Die), wrote the lion’s share of their undying anthem “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and remained pleasantly normal as the years rolled on.

Once the Ramones were done, Tommy seemed like the peacekeeper. He wasn’t arguing with Joey on “Howard Stern.” He wasn’t writing books full of dubious claims against his Bruddahs. Tommy just wanted to preserve the legacy and love his fellow Ramone—or at least dispel the myth that they all openly prayed for each other’s death. “Believe it or not, we really loved each other,” he told the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame during the Ramones’ induction. “Even when we weren’t acting civil…we were truly brothers.”

Tommy spoke those words with conviction, clarity, and palpable emotion. Unfortunately, that portion of the ceremony was quickly eclipsed by Johnny announcing “God bless President Bush” as he cradled his statue and Dee Dee thanking himself for being so wonderful (a cute moment, admittedly). In that sense, the induction was typical Ramones: a fat chunk of heart smothered in patriotism and self-reference.

Despite what you may have heard or read (even by my own hand), the Ramones are my favorite musicians in the history of recorded sound. Nothing else fills me with the same joy and excitement, and I mourn the loss of the last surviving original architect.

Thanks for everything, Tommy.

“You Really Embarrassed Me Tonight At Red Lobster.”

Some generations have the JFK assassination. Others, the “it was all a dream!” episode of “Dallas.” For me, I’ll never forget where I was or what I was doing when Santino first broke out his devastating impression of Tim Gunn on “Project Runway.”

I don’t know why they didn’t spin Santino off into “The Fake-Ass Tim Gunn Hour.” That would have been quality programming right there.

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