The spring has brought with it summery weather and with the end of the endless winter comes cries of celebrating the outdoors. But why would I go outside? Is there TV outside? Nope. No TV at the “lake”. No TV at the worthy causes walk-a-thon or worse yet marathon. So, I stay inside to honour (if not worship) my 22 inch Sanyo sanctuary. So let’s see what I have been up to as you have been getting skin cancer and adding to the weather beating of your decks.
Of course, sports. Spring and summer can only put you in the mood for hockey playoffs. These days I follow the Twitterverse during the titanic hockey sport matches. Bob Cole is always a trending topic whenever he announces a game. He is the most polarizing figure in Canadian sports. More than Don Cherry, Pierre McGuire or Josie Chouinard. Cole has been in the business for decades. Cole called the 1972 Summit Series on the Radio and has been the voice of hockey my whole life. The Twitterverse rags on him for mispronunciation and for generally being an old man – while others thank him for opening up the portal to their youth. He has a distinct voice. A mixture of nasally and Newfie and talks like your Grandpa. What I like about him has little to do with hockey and more to do with TV in general; as he has to read hype copy about upcoming CBC shows. He does so with a lack of enthusiasm that tells you he does not want to watch these shows and barely understands their concepts. The hype for Canada’s Smartest Person, is itself stupid. The show covers such topics as building a book-case or being able to dance and taking a selfie. Cole doesn’t know what a selfie is and he shouldn’t. He has mentioned that his daughters’ tell him he is heavy on the “tweeter machine” in his endearing avuncular manner. I love old men announcing sports. Words like “golly” are peppered about the telecast, and they still use words like “telecast.” So Bob Cole is a merry old soul in my books. He should keep announcing until he says, “I won’t be back after this word from Budweiser” and his head thuds on the broadcast booth counter.
My other binge watching show is Inside Amy Schumer. I’ll have you know I was into Amy Schumer in ’08 when she would do stints on the Fox News panel show I wrote a blog about back in the day. She has a deft voice making her a preeminent comic. Comparing her to other women is not fair. But life isn’t fair. She is not as entitled as the women of Girls, not as whiny as Jeanine Garofalo and just a bit more raw and honest than Whitney Cummings. Her show is often versions of herself struggling through a New York existence in sketches where she is pretty much an awful person. Not Nazi pedophile awful but playful adorable awful. A self-absorbed slutty-ish racist. The show is spun around her stand up set and woman on the street segments. She is the needy girlfriend, the terrible friend all soaked in booze, pills, and caramel macchiatos. Yet we still cheer for her, because while she is an asshole, she’s our asshole. My favorite sketch is the Pharmacist 3-way – when her dude, her and her pharmacist Phil engage in a 3-way sex act, where she is not featured or even touched. “Why did you penetrate Phil and say this feels so right?” she bemoans to her partner. I like how Amy weaves her persona as her ultra ego and as a reflection of the modern woman. And Amy goes to great lengths to avoid being “important”, to my delight. As with most sketch shows she has hits and misses, but her stand-up pieces and street bits are all very strong. In particular, Amy being pleasantly confused while trying to quiz passers-by about various Tyler Perry movie titles. All in all it makes for a fine frittering away of a sunny Saturday afternoon.
Raphael Saray is a writer slash broadcaster based in Flin Flon, Manitoba. He recently found a full can of energy drink, a pair socks with sharks on them, and can of foot deodorant under his bed.