Saturday Cartoons At Night!
I just wrote what is unquestionably the toughest (and longest) Baseball 100 essay yet. If you’ve been following along, you can probably guess why. If not, well, it runs tomorrow.
Tomorrow is Wednesday. I think.
This whole Baseball 100 experience has been so much more emotional and far-reaching than I ever expected. I have heard from so many people about what this crazy thing has meant in their lives. And that has been overwhelming. And humbling. And inspiring. I know that all of the comments, all of the stories, all of the arguments have been a big reason why I’m actually going to finish the Baseball 100.
I am going to finish it.
I am going to finish it.
I will keep telling myself that. Two more to go after tomorrow.
What will I do when it’s finished? I’m still pondering that. Buy an island? It doesn’t seem the right time. One suggestion that I’ve gotten has been to start at 101 and count upward until the baseball season starts. There are pros and cons to this. The big pro is that, as Tom Tango says, I could call it the Baseball 100 prequel, which is very funny and quite delightful.
The big con is @N#$*W$ $#$^B$*(& #%^%&* &H((^%H ((*&J%^$.
So I’ll put both those on a yellow notepad and see which way it goes.
I am growing a beard. This wasn’t a conscious decision. I was very good for a while about shaving but lately it just hasn’t seemed worth the time or effort and at some point I looked at the convict that stared back at me from the mirror and said, “Buddy, you’re growing a beard!”
I mention this to you because today I asked the best beard grower I know, the incomparable Nick Offerman, for some tips on beard growing. The exchange went like so.
Me: It looks like I’m growing a beard. Any tips?
Nick: … don’t shave.
Nick: That’s really all there is to it.
Me: I do seem have that part down so far.
Nick: You’re a natural!
There’s a new PosCast is up with Brandon McCarthy and Washington Nationals reliever and all-around wonderful guy Sean Doolittle. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would come on the PosCast and let us ask these incredibly pointless questions, but we got Sean talking about how much he checks out his own Baseball Reference page (spoiler: not enough), about how he will react if he hates the look of the Nats’ World Series ring and, in a bit of journalistic breaking news, we might have gotten him to reveal what his walk-up song will be when (when??) baseball comes back.
Anyway, here it is on The Athletic. It’s also on all the other podcasting things.
I want to know how weird it is for Seth Meyers to do his show in complete silence. I realize that all of the hosts are doing that — all of everybody is doing that — but Seth is my favorite and there’s a specific reason I think about it with him.
See, Seth is a writer. And I have long had this fascination with the difference between trying to write something funny and trying to perform something funny.
When you perform, you get a “funny/not funny” answer right then and there.
But when you write it, for a story or a book or a blog post or a weekly newsletter, you never really know if it made anybody laugh. You send it it out and pretty much the only reaction you might get is an email or a tweet saying:
The first reaction is fairly straightforward. But the second one is unfulfilling; did they really laugh out loud? Probably not. Let’s be honest. No, best case scenario, they read it and thought, “that was mildly humorous,” which isn’t an especially kind thing to send to someone via email or Tweet — especially when they’re trying to offer a moderate compliment — so they send the more polite LOL! instead.
Anyway, Seth is one of the great comedy writers anywhere and he has this brilliant staff and they’re used to getting real and immediate and indisputable feedback on the jokes. And now, he performs into silence. I’m just curious how weird that is for him.
I have no idea why I’m sharing this with you.
OK, we did something different this week! As you might know, we’ve done Bad Movie Night as a family the last couple of weeks — seeing the putrid “Bewitched,” and the even worse “Wild Wild West” — and this week we were all set to watch the Baywatch movie.
But then someone — I’ll credit my wife Margo — came up with a brilliant idea.
What about a Saturday Cartoon Night?
So we made pancakes and turkey bacon (Elizabeth scrambled eggs for the first time in her life; she’s got a future) and we watched Saturday Morning Cartoons!
The Jetsons (Miss Solar System): Jane signs up for a beauty pageant and finds that George is the judge!
Family review: Wow, The Jetsons was totally sexist.
Super Friends (Journey Into Blackness / Cycle Gang / Dive to Disaster): The Super Friends pull the Earth out of a black hole, which probably isn’t based on a true story. The Wonder Twins try to save a father and son from a motorcycle gang and almost kill them instead.
Family review: The Wonder Twins’ uselessness is something to behold. Shape of an ice crane! Form of a python! That was their plan for pulling a car out of danger?
Bugs Bunny (Bugs and Thugs): Bugs picks the wrong cab and finds himself caught up in a bank robbery.
Family review: Hilarious. Girls have not stopped saying “Shaddup Shutting Up” ever since.
The New Scooby Doo Movies (The Ghostly Creep from the Deep): The Scooby Doo gang and the Harlem Globetrotters take on ghost pirates.
Family review: Way too long. But the Harlem Globetrotters were outstanding!
Josie and the Pussycats (X Marks The Spot): A professor’s invisibility potion is stolen and … no, that’s pretty much it.
Family review: Shocked how similar Josie and the Pussycats was to Scooby Doo. Josie and the Pussycats have a character with Shaggy’s/Casey Kasem’s voice. But everyone agrees the music was groovy and the clothes were stylish.
Mighty Hercules (54): A guy is shooting fireballs at the town. Mighty Hercules stops him.
Family review: All thumbs up, particularly for Johnny' Nash’s classic song:
Hercules, hero of song and story.
Hercules, winner of ancient glory.
Fighting for the right,
Fighting with his might,
With the strength of ten, ordinary men.
Hercules, people are safe when near him.
Hercules, only the evil fear him.
Softness in his eyes,
Iron in his thighs,
Virtue in his heart,
Fire in every part,
Of the Mighty Hercules.
We all agree the the second verse kind of goes off the rails a bit. Softness in his eyes? Iron in his thighs? Fire in every part? What?
Road Runner (Fast and Furry-ous): A coyote tries to catch a road runner.
Family review: Look, it never gets old. Ever. There were two things that stood out in (we actually watched two episodes, but I don’t remember the name of the first one).
One is just how confident Wile E. Coyote is at the beginning of each episode. In one of them, he heard the Road Runner’s Mee-Meep (which is for some reason always spelled Beep Beep on the show) and he immediately got out a knife and fork and napkin, like it was dinner time. And then he just took off running. I mean you have to admire that sort of self assurance.
Second is how awesome Coyote’s schematics are. He is always careful to label himself in the blueprint (Me!) and then there’s an intricate plan (Boulder falls on Road Runner) but the best part is that they don’t just end with him catching Road Runner. No, there’s a final step which reads: “Ha ha!” He’s actually planning his bat toss afterward.
The Flintstones (Shinrock-a-Go-Go). Fred drops a bowling ball on his foot and creates a new dance craze.
Family review: I’m not going to lie to you, I think all three of them fell asleep. But I love this one. Yabba-Dabba-Dai Ai Ai Ai!
I second you picking up shadow ball again. Loved those slightly- or more- off beat stories. I think at the beginning of that series you said there was some rhyme or reason between shadow ball stories and your top 100 stories - version 2. I don’t think any of us ever figured it out.
Joe, if doing 150 or 200 seems overwhelming, you could stop at 108. There are 108 stitches on a baseball.