BartCop Entertainment


19 December, 2018

(Updated Daily)

[145 days in a row]


M Is FOR MASHUP - December 19th, 2018

Christmas Mashups 2018

By DJ Useo

This Christmas mashup stuff is new to us at Audioboots ( ) , but the spirit motivated us, & so bob's your uncle, here's our new comp, 'Christmas Mashups 2018' ( ) .

After MashupKal & DJ Dumpz suggested we make a Christmas mashup album, the comp fell together very quickly.

The early response has been great! Not even one lump of coal!

Thanks so very much to the contributors for joining in. We're all stronger together.

Be sure & share this release with your dear ones.

Look! There's Santa now!!

Free zip file here
( )

May the spirit of the holiday bless y'all.



Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Paul Krugman: Conservatism's Monstrous Endgame (NY Times)
Apparatchiks are corroding the foundations of democracy.

Paul Waldman: Republicans still can't decide how to go about destroying the American health care system (Washington Post)
Can you recall a case in which a political party united to bring a lawsuit demanding that a law they bitterly opposed for the better part of a decade be struck down, they won a ruling in their favor, and then not only didn't they celebrate, but they seemed to desperately hope no one would notice? That's what's happening right now. Some months ago, Republicans filed a lawsuit demanding that the entire Affordable Care Act be struck down on some ludicrously tendentious grounds; the lawsuit was supported by 20 Republican-controlled states and the Trump administration.

Greg Sargent: The signs are mounting: Trump has been badly weakened. It will get worse for him. (Washington Post)
[Stephen] Miller suggested Democrats have the weaker position, claiming they must "choose to fight for America's working class, or to promote illegal immigration." Wow, what a powerful message! That must be the same message that carried Trump and House Republicans to a great midterms victory! Oh wait, the opposite happened. This has gone down the memory hole, but last spring, Miller vowed that precisely this same contrast on immigration would prove potent for Republicans. They ran the most virulently xenophobic nationalist campaign in memory - and lost the House by the largest raw-vote margin in midterm elections history.

Jonathan Chait: I Have Seen the Future of a Republican Party That Is No Longer Insane (NY Mag)
This week, the Niskanen Center, a libertarian-leaning Washington think tank, held a conference on the future of the Republican Party, called "Starting Over: The Center-Right After Trump." In my one opportunity to offer a comment, I helpfully suggested that the Republican Party as currently constituted needed (this is a direct quote) "to die in a fire." The surprising thing is that many of the attendees in the room, including people who work at the Niskanen Center itself, told me afterward that they agree.

Dylan Matthews: The case against billionaire philanthropy (Vox)
A philosopher explains how megadonors can undermine democracy.

Suzanne Moore: Why do we endlessly re-enact this ridiculous Victorian fantasy for Christmas? (The Guardian)
Every poxy advert on television features nuclear families and hilarity about socks. I don't live like this. I never have - so who are we trying to fool? Ourselves?

Written & performed by George J. Raymond.

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Michael Egan

Michael Egan


Russia If You're Listening: Cartoons from the Trump Presidency: Michael E Egan

Editorial and Political Cartoons


Trivia Question of the Day

     The sun is shining, the grass is green,
     The orange and palm trees sway.

are the opening lines of what Oscar-winning song?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

What is the second-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon?

       Venus                                                      Source

Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has the longest rotation period (243 days) of any planet in the Solar System and rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets (meaning the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east). It does not have any natural satellites. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It is the second-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon, reaching an apparent magnitude of -4.6 - bright enough to cast shadows at night and, rarely, visible to the naked eye in broad daylight. Orbiting within Earth's orbit, Venus is an inferior planet and never appears to venture far from the Sun; its maximum angular distance from the Sun (elongation) is 47.8.        Source

Randall was first, and correct, with:

Mark. wrote:
   The International Space Station (ISS) has surpassed Venus to become the second brightest object in the night sky after the moon.

Dave said:
   Venus. It was my guess and my exhaustive research of 20 seconds confirms it. The planets of Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury are also visible to the naked eye because of the sun's reflected light. Sirius and Canopus are the brightest stars, although at home in Michigan I'm too far north to view Canopus.

Micki replied:

Alan J answered:

Mac Mac responded:
   Guessing Venus

mj wrote:
   Pretty sure
  That's Venus, followed by Jupitrter.

zorch said:
   The Planet Venus.

Jon L answered:
   Would that be Betelgeuse.

Roy "Yellow Dog" Adams, of Tyler, TX replied:
   I think it might be a toss-up between Venus and the International Space Station. I imagine it would depend on the time of day/night for the crew up there. What if they're all asleep and didn't leave the lights on?

Jim from CA, retired to ID responded:

Gene said:

Deborah wrote:
   I was thinking of planets or stars when it dawned on me that the International Space Station might be brighter than Venus or Mars, so that's my guess.
  Still plagued with racking coughing spasms, despite feeling good and not puny as this time last week. I need an effective OTC cough medicine so I don't sound like a one-woman tuberculin ward when I'm in public. I hate being sick.
  Meanwhile, we're a week from Christmas, I have nothing wrapped, half my cards are done and mailed, and I'm still enjoying the lights we've put up, indoors and out, at this darkest time of the year.

Kevin K. in Washington, DC, replied:
   The answer is Venus.

Adam answered:

Billy in Cypress responded:

BttbBob   wrote:
   That would be Venus... currently starring in (despite being planets)...

Starwatch: Mercury joins Jupiter and Venus in the pre-dawn sky

  Pretty cool, eh?


  'Did You Know?' Moment - That you can find your longitude using Jupiter's moons? - Who needs GPS, right?


  December 19 Birthdays - Celebrities Born December 19 | Famous Birthdays

Cal in Vermont said:
   Venus. It is frequently mistaken for the landing light of an approaching airplane. You may hear radio chatter from pilots making sure that nothing is amiss which is good to know.

George M. took the day off.

Dave in Tucson took the day off.

Michelle in AZ took the day off.

Joe S     took the day off.

Rosemary in Columbus took the day off.

Leo in Boise took the day off.

Daniel in The City took the day off.

DJ Useo took the day off.

Stephen F took the day off.

John I from Hawai`i took the day off.

Harry M. took the day off.

Barbara, of Peppy Tech fame, took the day off.

David of Moon Valley took the day off.

Marilyn of TC took the day off.

Ed K took the day off.

Paul of Seattle took the day off.

Noel S. took the day off.

Terry took the day off.

Steve in Wonderful Sacramento, CA, took the day off.

Tony K. took the day off.

G E Kelly took the day off.

The Other Dave took the day off.

Roy the Hoghead took the day off.

Casey in Traverse City, MI took the day off.

James of Alhambra took the day off.

Dale of Diamond Springs took the day off.

Sandra in Maine took the day off.

Sally has retired.

MAM     In memory.




Middle Class Political Economist



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

NC-09: Repubs reverse themselves, demand Harris be certified--and election fraud be hanged

You Better Watch Out, the Xians Are Gonna Get You If Your Holiday Decoration Violates Code

Ringing in 2019 with Christian Nationalist Blitzing

Monday Roundup: Stephen Miller's Hair and Other Lovecraftian Horrors
     Per usual; Showercap writes and descriptive language and mucho links appear.

Dylann Roof supporter arrested for stockpiling weapons and threatening domestic terrorism

Fleeing home alone: the migrant children blocked at Mexican border | World news | The Guardian

Why aren't we outraged by child poverty in Britain and the US? | Mary O'Hara | Society | The Guardian

Trump made the conservative dream of remaking the federal judiciary true | Andrew Gawthorpe | Opinion | The Guardian

Texas report says 'changing climate' intensifying disasters - SFGate

Republicans squash bill to pay for Vietnam vets' health care ... say they're worried about deficit

Set It and Forget It: How Better Contraception Could Be a Key to Reducing Poverty - The New York Times

Arizona Republican who lost 2018 Senate race gets appointed to state's other seat

Denver Mayor Moves To Ban Conversion Therapy For LGBTQ Minors | HuffPost

The Bible-Thumping Tech CEO Who's Proud Of Keeping Neo-Nazis Online | HuffPost

US Sportswear Traced To Internment Camps Holding Detained Chinese Muslims | HuffPost

The border wall will divide this Texas town, displacing or blocking homes - but where? - Los Angeles Times

In 'fake news' crackdown, Egypt is a world leader on jailing journalists, bloggers and social media users - Los Angeles Times

Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners is taking a bigger bet on TV - Los Angeles Times

Was It Something We Said? U.S. Border Towns Fret as Canadians Stay Home - The New York Times

If Trump does not run for reelection, what then? - The Washington Post

Is Mueller's investigation nearing the 'worst-case scenario'? Garrett Graff thinks so. - The Washington Post

These bats carry the lethal Marburg virus, and scientists are tracking them to try to stop its spread - The Washington Post

What we get wrong about the "poor huddled masses" - The Washington Post

Flynn sentencing: Trump's backers just had their anti-Mueller hopes and dreams dashed - The Washington Post

An Epidemic Is Killing Thousands Of Coal Miners. Regulators Could Have Stopped It : NPR

Martha McSally is appointed to U.S. Senate - and Democrats celebrate

Former National Enquirer editor implies the magazine hid Ivanka and Jared's 'criminal activity'

At least 12 advertisers flee Fox News hatred hour as Tucker Carlson digs in his xenophobic heels

GOP representative is only person blocking bill to address violence against Native American women

America's No.1! Republican tax cuts lead to a record $1,000,000,000,000 in stock buybacks

A holy mess: Churches, other nonprofits confront parking tax - POLITICO

Blind creature that buries head in sand named after Donald Trump | US news | The Guardian

Trump's power slips away, as Flynn faces possible jail time - The Washington Post

MSNBC babysits White House press briefing - The Washington Post

BREAKING! Chris Cuomo has the Trump Tower Moscow Letter with Trump's Signature!

White House insider: 'The staff is fed up; he's acting like a nut'

Tucker Carlson: Fox News host's immigration remarks cost support from SmileDirectClub, Nautilus and Nerd Wallet - The Washington Post

Thanks, Michelle!



David E Suggests


The History of Tea (Infographic)


Thanks, Dave!



Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

READ: Transcript of Comey's interview with House Republicans | TheHill

James Comey unloads on House Republicans and Fox News - Vox

Saudi women's rights activists tortured by MBS henchmen, officials report. | Slate

Crooked Trump Foundation Dissolves, Investigation Continues | NY Mag

Trump Foundation to liquidate remaining material assets, mainly schlocky portraits of Donald Trump. | Slate

Disgraced Trump Fundraiser Tried to Use GOP Contacts to Score "Billions" in Africa - Mother Jones

The death of 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin in Border Patrol custody isn't an isolated outrage - Vox

Zinke's exit won't end scandal probes - POLITICO

Trump endorses Jerome Corsi, alleged cancer scam participant. | Slate

The Justice Department should have prosecuted AMI. | Slate

Advertisers Ditch Fox News' Tucker Carlson for Saying Immigration Makes U.S. 'Dirtier' | The Daily Beast

McSally Will Join Sinema in Senate After Losing to Her - The Atlantic

School Contractor in Texas Denied Work Over Pro-Israel Loyalty Oath | The Intercept

Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Lost Her Job for Refusing to Sign Pro-Israel Oath | The Daily Beast

Judge rules cops, schools had no duty to shield students in Parkland shooting lawsuit | TheHill

Emergency room bills: what I learned from reading 1,182 ER bills - Vox

Trump knows his only legal hope is to win in the court of public opinion. | Slate

Dozens of complaints against Brett Kavanaugh are dismissed | CNBC

Former NASA Engineer Builds Impressive Glitter Bomb to Make Life Hell for Package Thieves | Gizmodo



from Bruce


Joseph Hoag of Vermont was a renowned Quaker preacher; his son, Lindley Murray Hoag, also became a renowned Quaker preacher. Mr. Hoag and his son, who was still a young man, attended a Quarterly Meeting where it was expected that the elder Hoag would speak. However, he didn't feel called by the Holy Spirit to speak, so he remained silent. He did, however, feel that his son was remaining silent because his son felt that the people present at the meeting were hoping to hear the elder Hoag speak. To encourage his son to speak, Mr. Hoag nudged his son with his foot, and his son stood up and gave a remarkable sermon. The nudge was seen by the elders of the meeting, who felt that no one should made to speak, but should speak only when moved by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the elders criticized the elder Mr. Hoag, who responded, "If you can kick a sermon like that out of any of your boys, you had better do it."

John Salkeld was a street preacher. Once, he was setting out to preach when a man named James Gibbons asked where he was going. Mr. Salkeld replied, "I am going to the Common to preach to the sailors near the Delaware River in Philadelphia." However, Mr. Gibbons argued against street preaching and said that it didn't do any good, so Mr. Salkeld went back home. A week later, Mr. Salkeld and Mr. Gibbons again met, and Mr. Gibbons again asked Mr. Salkeld where he was going. Mr. Salkeld replied, "I am going to the Common to preach to the sailors. I started out last week but the Devil stopped me."

In York, England, Quakers sometimes passed through a Toll Bar on their way to the Friends Meeting House to worship. The Toll Bar was free to preachers going to church to preach, but the Quakers do not preach unless called by the spirit to preach. Whenever the Toll Bar attendant asked the Quakers if they were going to preach, they replied, "We are going to hold a Quaker Meeting; it is likely that we shall preach, but if we do not we will tell thee on our return and pay toll both ways."

Scottish preachers can be outspoken. The Reverend Mr. Scott, of the Cowgate in Edinburgh, once told his congregation, "My brethren, Job, in the first place, was a sorely tried man. Job, in the second place, was an uncommonly patient man. Job, in the third place, never preached here at the Cowgate. Fourthly, and lastly, if Job had preached here, God help his patience."

The very young and very tired daughter of a Salvation Army church-goer disrupted one sermon by crying out "Amen! Amen!" over and over again, despite being hushed by her mother. Later, the daughter told her mother, "I kept saying, 'Amen,' but that man would notstop talking."

George Canning (1770-1827) was blunt. Once a clergyman asked how Mr. Canning had liked his sermon. Mr. Canning said, "You were brief." The clergyman responded, "Yes, you know I avoid being tedious." Mr. Canning replied, "But you were tedious."

According to Quaker pastor Stan Banker, there are three rules for effective preaching: "1) Preach about God; 2) Preach about 20 minutes; and 3) If you forget one of the first two parts, make sure it is not the second part."

Isaac Meir Rothenburg, also known as the Hiddushe Harim, once visited Rabbi Moses Eliakim Briah, who kissed him. But the Hiddushe Harim told him, "I do not want a rabbi who embraces but one who chastises and rebukes."

A Scotswoman was asked what she thought of the minister's sermon that morning. She replied, "How did he get on? Ah, he just stood there and threw stones at us, and never missed with any of them. Now that was preaching!"

© Copyright Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

David Bruce's Smashwords Bookstore: Retellings of Classic Literature, Anecdote Collections, Discussion Guides for Teachers of Literature, Collections of Good Deed Accounts, etc. Some eBooks are free.





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD

JD is on vacation.

Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Yep, gonna need a plumber for the hot water heater. Again.

Tonight, Wednesday:

CBS fills the night with FRESH 'Survivor'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Steve Carell and KiKi Layne.
Scheduled on a FRESH James Corden, OBE, are Jennifer Lopez, Leah Remini, and the Black Eyed Peas.

NBC opens the night with a RERUN 'Pentatonix: A Not So Silent Night', followed by a RERUN 'Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas', then a RERUN 'Ellen's Game Of Games'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Willem Dafoe and Hailee Steinfeld.
Scheduled on a FRESH Seth Meyers are John Cena, Rachel Brosnahan, Brian Posehn, and Richard Danielson.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 10/23/18) are Cynthia Erivo, Barns Courtney, and Tyler Alvarez.

ABC begins the night with the self-promoting 'Olaf's Frozen Adventure', followed by 'Shrek The Halls', then a RERUN 'Modern Family', followed by a RERUN 'Single Parents', then a RERUN 'The Goldbergs', followed by a RERUN 'American Housewife'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Ben Stiller, Marina de Tavira, Yalitza Aparicio, and Gryffin featuring Elley Duhe.

The CW offers 'Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer', followed by a RERUN 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us'.

Faux has a RERUN 'Empire', followed by a RERUN 'Star'.

MY recycles an old 'Dateline', followed by another old 'Dateline'.

A&E has 'Live PD' and another 'Live PD'.

AMC offers the movie 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation', followed by the movie 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation', again.

BBC  -   
 [7:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 17-Sins of the Father
 [9:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 19-Captain's Holiday
 [11:00AM]    GRUDGE MATCH (2013)
 [1:30PM]    COP LAND (1997)
 [4:00PM]    FIRST BLOOD (1982)
 [6:00PM]    RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (1985)
 [8:00PM]    FIRST BLOOD (1982)
 [10:00PM]    RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II (1985)
 [12:00AM]    RAMBO III (1988)
 [2:15AM]    RAMBO III (1988)
 [4:30AM]    HIDDEN HABITATS - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 1-Galapagos
 [5:00AM]    HIDDEN HABITATS - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 2-Serengeti
 [5:30AM]    HIDDEN HABITATS - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 3-Namib Desert     (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of NJ', another 'Real Housewives Of NJ', followed by a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of NJ', another 'Real Housewives Of NJ', then a FRESH 'Watch What Happens Live'.

Comedy Central has 3 hours of old 'South Park', then 'BoJack Horseman'.
Scheduled on a FRESH The Daily Show is Charlamagne Tha God.

FX has the movie '21 Jump Street', followed by the movie '22 Jump Street', then the movie '22 Jump Street', again.

History has 'Forged In Fire', 'Vikings', followed by a FRESH 'Vikings', and 'Forged In Fire'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00A]    Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
 [8:00A]    Pineapple Express
 [10:30A]    Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
 [12:30P]    The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
 [3:00P]    Unstoppable
 [5:00P]    Fury
 [8:00P]    Mr. & Mrs. Smith
 [10:30P]    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
 [1:30A]    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
 [4:30A]    Stan Against Evil-The Demon Who Came in From the Heat
 [5:00A]    Stan Against Evil-Vampire Creek
 [5:30A]    Stan Against Evil-Intensive Scare Unit    (ALL TIMES EST)

Sundance  -   
 [6:00am]    barney miller
 [6:30am]    barney miller
 [7:00am]    rear window
 [9:30am]    the birds
 [12:30pm]    psycho
 [3:00pm]    criminal minds
 [4:00pm]    criminal minds
 [5:00pm]    criminal minds
 [6:00pm]    criminal minds
 [7:00pm]    criminal minds
 [8:00pm]    criminal minds
 [9:00pm]    criminal minds
 [10:00pm]    criminal minds
 [11:00pm]    criminal minds
 [12:00am]    criminal minds
 [1:00am]    criminal minds
 [2:00am]    criminal minds
 [3:00am]    all in the family
 [3:35am]    all in the family
 [4:10am]    all in the family
 [4:45am]    all in the family
 [5:20am]    all in the family
 [5:55am]    all in the family     (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'I Am Number Four', followed by the movie 'Limitless'.

FRESH 'Samantha Bee', followed by a RERUN 'Samantha Bee'.

 [6:00 AM]      Private Lives (1931)
 [7:30 AM]      The Rich Are Always with Us (1932)
 [9:00 AM]      The Keyhole (1933)
 [10:15 AM]      The Goose and the Gander (1935)
 [11:30 AM]      The Merry Wives Of Reno (1934)
 [12:45 PM]      Woman Against Woman (1938)
 [2:00 PM]      In Name Only (1939)
 [3:45 PM]      Affectionately Yours (1941)
 [5:30 PM]      Never Say Goodbye (1946)
 [7:15 PM]      MGM Parade Show #18 (1955)
 [8:00 PM]      Bachelor Mother (1939)
 [9:45 PM]      Oliver Twist (1948)
 [12:00 AM]      All Mine to Give (1957)
 [2:00 AM]      Lili (1953)
 [3:30 AM]      Anne of Green Gables (1934)
 [5:00 AM]      Meet the Missus (1937)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Thursday   -  12/20/18

 [6:00 AM]      Stingaree (1934)
 [7:30 AM]      Show Boat (1936)
 [9:30 AM]      No Other Woman (1933)
 [10:30 AM]      My Favorite Wife (1940)
 [12:00 PM]      A Guy Named Joe (1943)
 [2:15 PM]      Anna and the King of Siam (1946)
 [4:30 PM]      Hard to Get (1938)
 [6:00 PM]      Hollywood Hotel (1937)
 [8:00 PM]      Christmas in July (1940)
 [9:30 PM]      You Never Can Tell (1951)
 [11:15 PM]      The Singing Marine (1937)
 [1:15 AM]      Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938)
 [2:45 AM]      Varsity Show (1937)
 [4:15 AM]      Going Places (1938)
 [5:45 AM]      Naughty But Nice (1939)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from 12/07/89) - Argus Hamilton, Paul Reiser, and Maggie Wheeler.

Bounce TV


Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

FNX - First Nations Experience

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

ION Television - Positively Entertaining

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

Quest Television Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

Start TV

TBD - Schedule

the works

This TV

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The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


'Like A Nightmare That You Remember'

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro has lampooned Donald Trump (R-Buffoon) once again, labelling the President of the United States a "nightmare".

The two-time Oscar winner reignited tensions between himself and Trump while appearing on CNN on Monday (17 December).

"I never thought in my lifetime, and I have seen a lot in my lifetime, I never thought - I was working out with my trainer the other day, we have seen horrible things over the years, but this is one of the worst I have ever seen and ever thought I would see, but it's real," he said.

"As we all know now, there's nothing new. It's disgraceful but we'll get past it. It will be like a nightmare that you remember. I will be with my trainer five years from now saying, remember all that stuff, how terrible it was. And at least I lived to see the time when this will all pass, like any nightmare."

After being asked whether he thought he was playing into Trump's hands by responding to him, De Niro replied: "No, because even his responses, his retorts if you will, are inane. And they are kind of stupid. He does not say anything that's even witty or smart, so it doesn't bother me. It's ridiculous."

Robert De Niro



TBS Sets Premiere Date


TBS has a set a premiere date for the new 30-minute format of its late-night series with Conan O'Brien.

"Conan," which has been off the air since October, has O'Brien and Turner retool the show into its new format, will make its half-hour debut on Monday, Jan. 22, where it will now air from 11 to 11:30 p.m. ET/PT. The show's new format will continue to feature celebrity guests and Conan's "signature brand of comedy," per TBS.

"My three-month absence can only mean one thing - radical cosmetic surgery. Tune in January 22nd for a true freak show," O'Brien said.

TBS decided earlier this year to scale back "Conan" just a year after the longest-tenured late-night host signed a four-year deal to remain with the Turner network. At the time, O'Brien even mentioned that the show would undergo changes to be "leaner, more agile." TBS contemplated tinkering with the format for more than a year, as the late-night space has become more crowded.

"Since I inherited my 'Late Night' show in 1993, TV has changed exponentially. I'd like to think I have evolved with many of these changes, but now it's time to take the next leap. A half-hour show will give me the time to do a higher percentage of the comedy in, and out, of the studio that I love and that seems to resonate in this new digital world," O'Brien said about the changes. "It's still going to be me hosting a very silly show, but I want segments on my half-hour program to link to digital content, deepening the experience for my younger fans, and confusing my older ones."



Newhead News


Original Woody Guthrie Tape Found

Wilco's 'Mermaid'

Among the many reasons to celebrate Jeff Tweedy right now - including his first real solo album, "Warm," and a new memoir, "Let's Go (So We Can Get Back)" - it's worth throwing a 20th anniversary party for "Mermaid Avenue," the landmark album he and his band Wilco recorded with Billy Bragg in 1998. There was a third partner in the collaboration, of course: the late folk hero Woody Guthrie, who left behind a batch of lyrics and unfinished prose sketches that Wilco and Bragg turned into full-blown songs more than 40 years after his death.

It was assumed that Guthrie never set these words to music himself, or if he did, he never got around to recording them. But even with the folk legend being gone for more than a half-century, there are still discoveries to be made. Wouldn't it make a grand 20th anniversary gift for "Mermaid Avenue" if we were to discover that Guthrie did record a version of one of those songs that Wilco and Bragg thought they were the first to set music to, after all?

That's exactly what's happened. One reason for reconsidering "Mermaid Avenue" here is that I recently discovered some old tapes of rare Woody Guthrie material while working at the Shel Silverstein Archive. One of the songs happened to be "Hoodoo Voodoo" - an exciting find since until now there weren't any known performances of Woody doing any "Mermaid Avenue" material. The Woody Guthrie Archive has verified it. So what we have is what might sound to some young ears like a very offbeat cover of a Wilco song, although the limitations of time travel tell us that this is very much Guthrie's alone.

It was quite a surprise when I stumbled upon the recording of Woody singing this cute little children's song - a far cry from Wilco's frantic version, to be sure. The performance is rougher than we might wish, as Guthrie and his cohorts, bluesman Sonny Terry and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, had been doing a fair amount of drinking when they made the informal recordings in 1954. Be that as it may, Variety can now present, for the first time, Woody Guthrie singing "Hoodoo Voodoo."

"Mermaid" was created at the behest of Woody's daughter Nora Guthrie, then-director of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archive. Her father had left behind a trove of song lyrics with no real music to speak of, and it was her hope to share them with musicians who'd help make Woody's spirited lifework more relevant to a fresh generation of listeners.

Wilco's 'Mermaid'



Tops Pollstar's 2018 Touring Chart

Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran topped Pollstar's 2018 year-end global touring chart with a record $432 million gross on 4,860,482 tickets sold, the publication announced today, with Taylor Swift's "Reputation" tour leading the U.S. tours chart with $277.3 million and came in second globally with $345.1 million on 2,888,892 tickets sold.

Jay-Z and Beyonce's "OTRII" tour of North America and Europe came in third globally, with $254.1 million on 2,169,050 tickets sold.

In the announcement, the longtime live-entertainment touring publication said its Top 100 World Wide tours totaled $5.6 billion, with 59.8 million tickets sold, compiled from 3,691 event records. Its Top 100 North American tours totaled $3.7 billion U.S. dollars with 40.0 million tickets sold compiled from 3,025 event records.

Among other highlights, it noted that Sheeran's 2018 tour numbers, when combined with 2017, is already the third highest-grossing tour in Pollstar's history ($554.6 million) behind U2's "360" ($735 million) and the Rolling Stones' "A Bigger Bang" ($558 million) tours.

Swift's "Reputation" tour is No. 2 on the Top 100 Worldwide tours chart, with grossing $345 million; that puts her career history within $74.3 million of a $1 billion total, the publication noted.

Ed Sheeran


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Most Dangerous Countries

Reporters Without Borders

The murder of the Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi - in a year when more than half of all journalists who were killed around the world were targeted deliberately - reflects a hatred of the media in many areas of society, a free-press advocacy group said Tuesday.

At least 63 professional journalists were killed doing their jobs in 2018, a 15 percent increase over last year, said the group, Reporters Without Borders. The number of deaths rises to 80 when all media workers and people classified as citizen journalists are included, it said in its annual report (PDF).

The world's five deadliest countries for journalists include three - India, Mexico and, for the first time, the United States - where journalists were killed in cold blood, even though those countries weren't at war or in conflict, the group said.

"The hatred of journalists that is voiced ... by unscrupulous politicians, religious leaders and businessmen has tragic consequences on the ground, and has been reflected in this disturbing increase in violations against journalists," Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said in a statement.

Reporters Without Borders said 348 journalists were being detained worldwide, compared with 326 at this time in 2017. China, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt hold more than half of the world's imprisoned journalists, it said.

Reporters Without Borders



1st State With Female-Majority Legislature


Nevada became the first state in the U.S. with an overall female majority in the Legislature on Tuesday when county officials in Las Vegas appointed two women to fill vacancies in the state Assembly.

The appointments of Democrats Rochelle Thuy Nguyen and Beatrice "Bea" Angela Duran to two Las Vegas-area legislative seats give women 51 percent of the 63 seats in the Legislature.

Women will hold nine of 21 seats in the state Senate, falling short of a majority in that chamber. But they will hold 23 of 42 seats in the Assembly, comprising 55 percent in that chamber and giving women enough numbers to make the two chambers an overall female majority.

No state has previously had a female-majority or even a 50 percent-female Legislature, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, which tracks women's political representation.

Women picked up seats in the Nevada Assembly and Senate during the 2018 November election but fell short of an overall majority. Vacancies created by lawmakers who won election to other offices in November, along with one sitting female lawmaker then allowed women to gain additional seats.




Prime-Time Nielsens


Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Dec. 10-16. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.

    1. NFL Football: Philadelphia at L.A. Rams, NBC, 18.12 million.
    2. NFL Football: L.A. Chargers at Kansas City, Fox, 17.41 million.
    3. "60 Minutes," CBS, 14.55 million.
    4. "NCIS," CBS, 12.28 million.
    5. "NFL Pregame," NBC, 11.66 million.
    6. NFL Football: Minnesota at Seattle, ESPN, 11.63 million.
    7. "NFL Pregame," Fox, 10.34 million.
    8. "Football Night in America," NBC, 9.22 million.
    9. "FBI," CBS, 9.04 million.
   10. "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 8.97 million.
   11. "God Friended Me," CBS, 8.53 million.
   12. "The Voice" (Monday), NBC, 8.43 million.
   13. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 8.08 million.
   14. "Survivor," CBS, 7.78 million.
   15. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 7.76 million.
   16. "Mom," CBS, 7.71 million.
   17. "Young Sheldon," CBS, 7.7 million.
   18. "Bull," CBS, 7.4 million.
   19. NFL Football: Cleveland at Denver, NFL Network, 7.29 million.
   20. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 7.21 million.




In Memory

Penny Marshall

Penny Marshall, who rose to fame on TV's Laverne & Shirley and enjoyed an unexpected second act as the bankable Hollywood director of Big and A League of Their Own, died Monday of complications from diabetes. She was 75.

As an actress, Marshall was best known as the "L"-branded, Pepsi-and-milk-swilling Laverne DeFazio opposite Cindy Williams's somewhat more refined Shirley Feeney on Laverne & Shirley, the 1950s/'60s-set ABC sitcom that was one of the top-rated shows of the 1970s.

She was the sister of director-producer Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, Happy Days), who cast her as Laverne. He died in 2016.

Born Oct. 15, 1943, in New York City's the Bronx - as if her nasally whine could have been produced anywhere else - Marshall was a divorced single mom by the time she came to Hollywood in the late 1960s.

In 1972, she won a recurring role on Garry Marshall's primetime version of The Odd Couple. Three years later, she and Williams appeared on Garry's Happy Days as two "loose girls," as Williams would put it, who go on a double date with Fonzie (Henry Winkler) and Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard). Their characters' names: Laverne and Shirley.

The Milwaukee single ladies were granted a spinoff series in 1976. By the 1977-78 season, Laverne & Shirley surpassed Happy Days to reign as TV's No. 1 show. Laverne & Shirley ended in 1983, or one season longer than Shirley lasted. (Williams departed the series in 1982.) Marshall never received an Emmy nomination for her Laverne work; she did earn three Golden Globe nominations, however.

Despite having directed a handful of Laverne & Shirley episodes, Marshall was best known as a sitcom star when she was hired, midshoot, to replace director Howard Zieff (Private Benjamin) on the 1986 Whoopi Goldberg comedy Jumpin' Jack Flash. The story goes that a producer, having seen real-life friends Goldberg and Marshall at dinner, bet that Marshall could right the troubled production.

Marshall wasn't the first choice to direct her next film. But then, Tom Hanks wasn't the first choice to star in the film, either. Together, the two made 1988's Big - the classic that the body-swapping genre didn't necessarily deserve. The movie grossed more than $100 million and altered both of their careers: Hanks got his first career Academy Award nomination; Marshall became a brand-name filmmaker.

Awakenings, released in 1990, saw Marshall handed a dramatic plotline about a doctor (Robin Williams) who refuses to give up on a ward of comatose patients (among them, Robert De Niro). It became only the second film by a female director to score an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. At the Oscars, the film lost out to Dances With Wolvesfor Best Picture. Marshall herself was not nominated.

Marshall reunited with Hanks on 1992's A League of Their Own. The comedy about a World War II-era women's baseball team was her last big box-office hit. She went on to work with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston (The Preacher's Wife), Drew Barrymore (Riding in Cars With Boys) and Mark Wahlberg, whom she gave his big-screen break with the military comedy Renaissance Man.

Marshall was married and divorced twice. During the 1970s, she and second husband Rob Reiner, then a star of TV's All in the Family, were the de facto first couple of primetime. The two split in 1979. As news of Marshall's death broke, Reiner tweeted out his condolences.

At the time of her death, Penny Marshall was in postproduction on a documentary profiling eccentric ex-basketball star Dennis Rodman, which is slated for release in 2019, according to IMDb.

Penny Marshall






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