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Review Geek http://www.reviewgeek.net A viewpoint on just about everything Sat, 22 Oct 2016 21:01:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 23403042 The Sexist Response To The Ghostbusters Reboot Makes Me Sad To Be A Man http://www.reviewgeek.net/2016/07/the-sexist-response-to-the-ghostbusters-reboot-makes-me-sad-to-a-man.html Sat, 16 Jul 2016 00:59:53 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1892 Related posts:
  1. In A Sea Of Comic Book Movies, Tammy Is An Island
  2. Trainwreck Is Good Description Of The Life Exposed In Amy Schumer’s New Movie
image with words Nerd Rage is comingThe Ghostbusters reboot opens in theaters this weekend. If you listen to the haters it will be the worst movie of all time, even worse than Heaven’s Gate released in 1980. Deep in the negative reaction is a sad case of entitlement with an ample dose of sexism.

The Bitter Script Reader wrote about the year long kvetch by nerds who hated an all women cast for Ghostbusters:

Here’s what perplexes me in all of this – we’re talking about Ghostbusters. GHOSTBUSTERS. How the hell did this become the geek line-in-the-sand? I grew up on the film too. I might have been about six when I saw it, and that was probably about the time that dueling Ghostbusters cartoons were out in the market. I taped the movie off of a TV viewing and watched it so many times I STILL expect Venkman’s line upon bursting out of the Sedgwick Hotel ballroom to be “What a knockabout of pure fun THAT was!” (Instead of “We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!”)

That’s not all. I still have a bunch of the action figures, including an ECTO-1 and a Ghostbusters blaster toy. Hell, I saw Ghostbusters II at the age of nine and not only enjoyed it a lot, I still think it’s a fun movie. And I bring up all of this to point out that it seems to me that I must have had largely the same childhoods as these man-babies who find this to be the greatest affront to their childhoods since Carrie Fisher dared to age. And I don’t get the hate. On any level.

That’s totally it. Think of the arrogance it takes to call this a “cash grab.” It presumes that this film is being made despite no artistic appeal at all… to them. It’s a complete discounting of the interests of anyone who doesn’t share their exact tastes. A fourteenth Marvel movie is celebrated as “what the fans want” but a third Ghostbusters is complete bullshit because “They didn’t make this for meeeeeeeee.”

“I don’t love this, so its merits are completely invalid!”

And this is just the reaction to a remake 30 years after the fact in a franchise that had long since gone fallow. Imagine if a future Marvel movie followed suit with a recent comic storyline recast Iron Man as a black teenager? (And with Robert Downey Jr’s ever-increasing paychecks, don’t be surprised if he becomes too expensive for Marvel to carry.)

“They didn’t make it for ME!” How the new Ghostbusters became the line in the sand for some fans

I plan on seeing the new Ghostbusters because it doesn’t have the same cast or storyline as the first two. I thought both trailers were funny and showed potential.

I’m a big fan of the cast. Melissa McCarthy is so funny as are the rest of the cast. I would never form a view of the film just based on the trailers. There have been films I skipped because I didn’t like the trailer that I ended up liking after actually watching it.

Besides, if I want to see the 80s version, of the film, I will put in the DVD and watch it.

Here’s the trailer:

Ghostbusters Official Trailer #2 (2016) – Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy
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Favorite Performances From The Tony Broadcasts http://www.reviewgeek.net/2016/03/favorite-performances-from-the-tony-broadcasts.html Sun, 27 Mar 2016 16:48:21 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1869 Related posts:
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screencap of Idina Menzel in Wicked
Idina Menzel in Wicked

Each year I look forward to the Tony awards on TV so I can see the best of Broadway. I may not get to see all the shows but these 12 selected performances are some of my favorites over the years.

At Number 1 is “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked but number 2 “Anything Goes” from the show of the same name is real close with an extended tap dance sequence and Sutton Foster has some pipes.

I also included a controversial show as a pick. The musical “Contact” in 2000 was looked on by some as not a real musical since it contains no original music or live singing, but the “Girl in a Yellow Dress” number is great.

The final clip included is the show that sparked my interest in musical theater. Andrea McArdle and the cast of “Annie” blew me away on the Tonys in 1977.

Ziggy Stardust Is Gone http://www.reviewgeek.net/2016/01/ziggy-stardust-is-gone.html Tue, 12 Jan 2016 19:53:18 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1851 Related posts:
  1. The Corrs Are Back, Baby!!
image of David Bowie Black Tie White Noise Album coverDavid Bowie died on January 10th. I was a fan and particularly liked his New Wave/Pop period in the 80s and early 90s. Here are a couple of videos from that time.

I grew up on Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke but I also liked the albums from “Let’s Dance” to his stint with Tin Machine.

I read somewhere that Bowie ended up disliking the album “Never Let Me Down” but there are several songs on that album I wore out back in the late 80s and I also liked the next album “Black Tie White Noise”.

David Bowie – Too Dizzy (1987)
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David Bowie – Jump They Say (1992)
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Colony Should Occupy Your TV Time http://www.reviewgeek.net/2016/01/colony-should-occupy-your-tv-time.html Fri, 08 Jan 2016 18:18:48 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1848 No related posts. ]]> screencap of Josh Holloway in a scene from 'Colony'
Josh Holloway in a scene from ‘Colony’

On January 14th USA Network debuts its first Sci-fi TV drama ‘Colony’. While I’m suspicious of high concept TV shows, I plan on adding ‘Colony’ to my watch list.

From executive producers Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Ryan Condal (“Hercules”) comes USA’s newest, highly-anticipated drama COLONY. Set in the very near future, COLONY centers on one family’s struggle to survive and bring liberty back to the people of an occupied Los Angeles. SAG winner Josh Holloway (“Lost”) stars as former FBI agent Will Bowman and Satellite Award winner Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”) stars as his wife, Katie, in the series which takes place in a dangerous world of divided ideologies. While some choose to collaborate with the occupation and benefit from the new order, others rebel and suffer the consequences. After being separated from their son during the invasion, Will and Katie are willing to do whatever is necessary to be reunited with him. Thus, when the powerful Proxy Snyder (Peter Jacobson, “House”) offers Will a chance to get his son back if he will collaborate with the occupational government, Will and Katie find themselves faced with the toughest decision of their lives. They will have to go beyond whatever they thought possible, risking their lives and their relationship to protect their family.

Colony Cast & Info

I watched the pilot episode that was free online and I liked the start. It reminded me of the classic 80s version of “V” but not as cheesy. I like how the “big mystery” isn’t the focus of the show but on how the people in this world survive. It also looks like there will be a police procedural element as Holloway’s character, a former FBI agent tries to find and stop the resistance. The irony is his wife, Katie, works for the resistance. I also liked that the sci-fi elements weren’t way over the top – at least not yet.

In an interview, Carlton Cuse, tried to distance this show from similar shows like “Falling Skies” and “V”:

Speaking about Colony, Cuse is quick to point out—as did the stars of the series—that the drama, while it may seem extraordinary, is in a lot of ways grounded in reality. “One of the things that had always fascinated me was this incongruity of Nazi-occupied Paris,” he explains. “There were these incredible images of people sitting at sidewalk cafes leading normal lives, well-dressed [and] drinking espressos, while Nazi Storm Troopers went by on the street. I think it was something that Ryan and I connected to and we were wondering, ‘Is there a way to find a modern analog from that?'” Cuse continues, “That was kind of the core idea that we built the show from. Is it possible to do an alien invasion show, but to subvert all of the expectations of the genre? The last thing anyone needs is another version of the straight up invasion show like V or Falling Skies. So instead, we filtered it through the metaphor of, ‘What is occupation really like?'”

Carlton Cuse Talks His New Science Fiction Series COLONY

As much as Cuse claims this show isn’t another “V”, there are too many elements that mirror the old show. I don’t have a problem with that since I loved the 80s version of “V”.

I tend to be suspicious of high concept TV shows. Many times what starts out as a great idea peters out by the end of the first season. I think Colony might be different. I will add “Colony” to my list of shows I watch or DVR for later.

Colony (2016) Trailer
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Trainwreck Is Good Description Of The Life Exposed In Amy Schumer’s New Movie http://www.reviewgeek.net/2015/12/trainwreck-is-good-description-of-the-life-exposed-in-amy-schumers-new-movie.html Tue, 01 Dec 2015 19:15:14 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1834 Related posts:
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poster for Trainwreck (2015)The movie ‘Trainwreck‘ written by and staring comedian Amy Schumer had a good mixture of raunch and pathos one expects when viewing Schumer’s comedic exploits. Under the apt direction of Judd Apatow we get a more adult version of his film ‘Superbad‘ that flirts with a dark side not seen much in comedy films. While a bit uneven at times I think the film pulls off a nice balance of bathroom humor and heart.

Amy Schumer plays a magazine writer who fears commitment and growing up. He life starts to unravel when she finally meets a good guy, Aaron, played by Bill Hader.

Much of the film plays like an episode of Schumer’s Comedy Central sketch show with several different sketch like scenes where there is a setup then a payoff before moving to the next scene. Sometimes these scenes have nothing to do with the overall arc of the story like when Amy’s boss Dianna, played by the great Tilda Swinton, chastises Amy’s friend Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) for smiling too often.

Another funny sketch is the movie within the movie titled “The Dog Walker” staring the real Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei.

A lot of the comedy comes from the location of New York. One of the men “Amy” sleeps with at the beginning of the film is a dude bro stereotype from Staten Island. I’m sure there were many more NYC in-jokes that went over my head.

Some people who I thought did a good job in the film include John Cena, who plays Amy’s boyfriend at the start who might be confused about his sexuality, and I thought Colin Quinn, who played Amy’s Dad, was good in his few scenes.

There are many celebrity cameos in the film including one that plays a large role in the story of the film. LeBron James just doesn’t show up to read lines and collect a check he is actually funny and gets the tone of the film. His scenes with Bill Hader are great.

And it was great to see TV, film, and stage icon Norman Lloyd chewing up his scenes with Colin Quinn and Schumer. At 101 years of age, Lloyd showed off his comedy skills.

The film also gave some excellent quotes to use in the future like when Dianna tells Amy she can sleep with the underage intern or beat him up but she can’t do both, that is crossing the line.

Of course the reason I like Judd Apatow movies is because it isn’t just an extended ‘dick’ joke but at the core has heart. The story in ‘Trainwreck’ showed us a woman who doesn’t think she can have a good life because she comes from a broken family. Meeting a good guy who accepts her, warts and all, scares her and she ends up sabotaging the relationship. At her lowest point, it’s heartbreaking to watch.

The tone reminded me so much of the classic Bobcat Goldthwait film “Shakes the Clown” (1991). Even though Trainwreck didn’t go as dark as Shakes, I could see the pathos and the humor coming from that.

I liked this movie and would recommend it to anyone.

‘Trainwreck’ Official Red Band Trailer
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‘Spectre’ Dives Into The Legend But Falls Short On Plot And Action http://www.reviewgeek.net/2015/11/spectre-dives-into-the-legend-but-falls-short-on-plot-and-action.html Mon, 09 Nov 2015 18:02:49 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1825 Related posts:
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poster for the film SpectreThe new James Bond film, ‘Spectre’, wasn’t as good as 2012’s Skyfall, but it was not bad. It was more a sequel to the last film rather than a stand alone movie with a new story. It touches on some of the classic Bond tropes found in all the films and even brings back a long lost classic villain but drops the ball on some of the plot, the romance, and the gadgets. It might not be the best film of 2015 but it does continue the renaissance of the Bond films with Daniel Craig.

The film begins with a fantastic single shot opening sequence that finds Bond in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead. It reminded me of the long shot Quentin Tarratino used in Kill Bill Volume 1 before the fight scene at the House of Blue Leaves against the Crazy 88s.

The opening sequence then ends with a fight on a helicopter and then the screen fades into the titles with the theme song sung by pop star Sam Smith. I wasn’t impressed with the song. They seemed to try to repeat the vibe of Adele’s Oscar winning song for Skyfall and Smith’s voice just seemed to make the song sound closer to Sheryl Crow’s Tomorrow Never Dies or Duran Duran’s theme to ‘A View To A Kill‘.

I also thought the titles were kind of creepy with a shirtless Daniel Craig being pawed by the dancers. I think this is the first time James Bond has shown up in the title sequence like the dancers.

The main plot has Bond going off book, again, causing international incidents, again, being suspended, again, then winning ‘M’ and the rest of the crew to his side, again. It seems like a broken record but it is the Bond formula. It can get repetitive but I don’t mind it too much.

One big difference was the return of ‘Spectre‘ as the main evil enemy after a long term copyright problem was resolved in 2013. This then made the other evil enemy groups in recent films like Quantum, for example, are now linked to ‘Spectre’.

That was a change I liked. It returned the villain story line to the classic Ian Fleming vision.

I liked Léa Seydoux as the main Bond girl for this film. Seydoux played a villain in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” and she holds her own with Bond in this film. Her character was not the typical damsel in distress, she was closer to Halle Berry’s ‘Jinx’ in 2002’s ‘Die Another Day’ but without the obvious deadly skills.

Christoph Waltz brought his ‘A’ game to the worst kept secret in Spectre as the leader of the group, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. I really believed he could be an evil human being who would kill his own father due to jealously of the orphan his father took in. Very creepy guy.

Where I did see some shortcomings was in the plot, the romance, and the gadgets.

I noticed long stretches of no action scenes. After the explosive opening scene I thought the action would get more intense but it really didn’t at least not consistently.

If you have a car chase and have time to have a phone conversation with Moneypenny and have a couple of funny bits included then the car chase is missing something. Not even an ejection seat climax could save it.

The fight on the train in Morocco wasn’t very creative either. It was like a series of crashing through wood panel walls. Dave Bautista, who was the bad guy for that fight, is a former wrestler but he does know mixed martial arts so it would have been different to see some of that style of fighting.

One of the main plots of national intelligence being taken over by the ‘Nine Eyes’ program came off as a rehash of an episode of the CBS TV show ‘Person of Interest‘. It seemed like Bond’s job was on the line but like when trying to kill him, that plan failed like they usually do. I don’t really think they explored that part of the plot as much as needed for the film.

Another problem I had was Bond’s interactions with the women in the film. I love Monica Bellucci, who played the widow of Marco Sciarra and her bedroom scene with Bond was hot but just as they are about to move to the bed there is a cut to Bond getting dressed to leave. The same thing happened when Bond and Dr. Swann finally hooked up. They start to tear each other’s clothes off then *Boom* cut to the next day.

I miss the classic Post-coital chit chat in bed and with it missing Spectre’s “love” scenes seemed a bit off. The film didn’t lack time to show those scenes so I’m not sure why it didn’t.

Finally I noticed that except for the new car and a watch, there was little gadget action in the film. They even took the time to return Q to his classic hidden underground environment but he had little to contribute from his shop. As much as they try, computer hacking just isn’t as visually compelling as a watch that explodes or the Ballpoint Pen grenade seen in ‘GoldenEye‘.

Even with the issues in the film noted previously I did like it. It wasn’t as good as the Skyfall but was entertaining enough to be a good entry in the film series.

Now that Spectre and Blofeld are back I hope the next film, with or without Daniel Craig, offers a new story and one not so tied to recent films.

Spectre (2015)Official Trailer
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The Corrs Are Back, Baby!! http://www.reviewgeek.net/2015/09/the-corrs-are-back-baby.html Tue, 15 Sep 2015 19:02:08 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1810 Related posts:
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screencap of The Corrs performing 9-13-15One of my favorite bands, The Corrs, are back together. Their first live performance in 10 years took place on Sunday in Hyde Park London UK, in front of thousands, during an all day festival hosted by BBC Radio 2.

They played the biggest hits of course and one of my favorites if not a big hit in “Radio”. Word on the street is their new album will be coming out in November.

The Corrs Live at Hyde Park 2015
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Here are some images screencapped from the video:

cadfile's Return 2015 album on Photobucket
Copilots Are Musical Friends For The Ear http://www.reviewgeek.net/2015/08/copilots-are-musical-friends-for-the-ear.html Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:00:48 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1798 Related posts:
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image of the Members of Copilots in their native habitat
Members of Copilots in their native habitat

I had the opportunity to listen to the latest album from the Canadian group Copilots. Sunstroke is an odd title for an album because none of the songs are painful to the touch but might make you delirious as some jangly trippy music washes over you.

All but one of the tracks go way past radio friendly time with one clocking in at 11 minutes. It wasn’t a problem for me. In fact in a couple of cases like “Defences” and “The Possible” the extended length seem to to give the listener two different songs in one package. It was a treat to hear the song evolve into a different tone and direction.

One of my favorites, “Mountain of Time”, does clock in at a typical amount of time for a song. I liked how it sounded like the pop songs I loved back in the 80s by bands like “The Cure” while the rest of the album had a “King Crimson” feel. That isn’t a bad thing because that classic style brings back fond memories.

Overall it sounds like the band has fun playing together and I bet they are a blast live since many of the songs seem like they could be jam band songs – going on forever if they want.

Besides “Mountain of Time”, my other favorite tracks were “When It’s New” because I loved the harmonies in the chorus and “Come to Life” because it starts out pop then evolves half way through to a trippy song.

There isn’t a bad tune on this record and I love when a listener gets their money’s worth.

Support indie music and this band and buy the album. You can’t go wrong.

Copilots are:

Skye Brooks – vocals, guitar
Pete Schmitt – bass
Dylan Smith – drums
Cole Schmidt – guitar
Karma Sohn – keyboards, vocals
Jesse Zubot – violin, electronics

Official website

Copilots – Mountain Of Time
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Once More Into The Breech In Azeroth http://www.reviewgeek.net/2015/07/once-more-into-the-breech-in-azeroth.html Tue, 07 Jul 2015 17:01:59 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1785 No related posts. ]]> screencap of My main WOW toon Plondorenigh
My main WOW toon Plondorenigh

I had been a lapsed World of Warcraft (WOW) player when I saw an article a few weeks ago saying that the game would be reclaiming player names from inactive players. What started as an effort to prevent the loss of my player name became a renewal of my love for WOW. There have been some good changes.

I first started playing WOW in 2007 and played for two years straight. I got my main toon, Plondorenigh, up to the level cap at the time (80) and then I stopped liking the game. Once the questing was done, all that was left was raiding and farming materials to make new gear and level my professions. It was too much like work.

I needed raiding gear but by the end game time I had trouble getting help from members of my guild to get the gear I needed to do well in the raids. Farming the materials (mats) was a pain – almost as much fun as fishing in real life *ugh*.

That’s when I walked away.

There had been three major content updates in the time I was gone with the newest Warlords of Draenor going live back in November of 2014.

Coming back I basically had to relearn the game. Much was the same but the button rotation, talents, and abilities were different.

Much of the game mechanics was simplified. During my first experience I had sheets of paper with different formulas trying to track my equipment “stats” and I was reading several websites who had the best character “builds” so I could tweak my character for the best raiding configuration.

I had several spreadsheets for my professions like mining and skinning to track my progress there.

Now most of that isn’t needed. The stats are more streamlined and the talent tress have less items on it to track. Now you have three talents per level to pick instead of so many points to use. You also don’t need to work as hard on professions since those have seen a reduced focused.

The game play now seems easier. I remember walking through areas and worrying about triggering a fight with some bad guy. Today in some cases I can walk a few feet close to a bad guy and they won’t notice. You almost have to touch them to “aggro” them.

There are also more flight points in the leveling zones so one doesn’t have to risk so many fights to get back to a questing area or dying while trying to get back to turn in a quest.

Some quests now have non-playing characters (NPC) help you fight when needed so there is a better chance to beating the “boss” at the end of a quest line without multiple deaths. The new content “Warlords of Draenor” has special buttons to use in some zones to call in help for a fight.

I boosted my main to level 90 when I came back and after 15 days of playing I am now level 98 with the goal of the cap of 100. To make that kind of progress before I would have had to play for a month or more.

I know hardcore gamers probably hate how the game seemed to be “nerfed” but the game makers know how to keep people like me playing – make questing get progressively harder but not making it so hard that you give up on a quest like I use to do before and stroking the ego with achievement announcements on a regular basis.

screencap from a recent raid
Just call me Target Head

I also like the token for gold program. You buy a token on the WOW website for real money and you can auction it off in the game and get a set amount of gold – about 25,000 gold. That way I don’t need to farm materials to make stuff to sell or “grind” mobs for gear to auction. Selling one token pretty much sets my main up for awhile and I was able to pass on some gold to my other characters (alts).

I didn’t know if I would meet any new people but within a few days of returning I got invited to an active guild who included me in some raids. I miss my old guild and friends from my first tour but my new guild might make up for that.

So far I am liking my WOW experience and plan to stay for awhile. I will be paying on a month to month basis so I can walk away if it stops being fun for me but I think I will stick with it through the summer.

If you are a lapsed player like me, check out the game. You might fall in love again.

Thanks, Dave! http://www.reviewgeek.net/2015/05/thanks-dave.html Thu, 21 May 2015 17:00:56 +0000 http://www.reviewgeek.net/?p=1770 No related posts. ]]> screencap of David Letterman's Last Show May 20th 2015
David Letterman’s Last Show May 20th 2015

David Letterman ended his 33 year run as a late night host Wednesday night. Although I feel Dave has been ‘phoning-it-in’ the past few years, there is no mistake all the other hosts in late night owe a big thanks to Dave for opening the talk show genre to just about any creative wild idea. Thanks, Dave for all of the fun.

I’ve been a fan of David Letterman long before he became a talk show host. He was a stand up comic who appeared many times on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and he had guest hosted the show. Dave also appeared on the various game shows on daytime TV in the 70s like The $25,000 Pyramid and The Hollywood Squares. He also was a cast member on “The Starland Vocal Band Show” in the summer of 1977.

Then came his proto late night show “The David Letterman Show” which debuted in daytime in June of 1980. It was canceled in October of the same year but it gave birth to some of the bits Letterman would make famous in his late night shows – Stupid Pet Tricks is one that comes to mind.

The show was edgy for a time period known for soap operas and game shows so no wonder it failed.

My favorite bit was always a visit from Mrs. Marv Mendenhall, played by show writer Edie McClurg, who would show up six years later in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Two years later NBC gave David a proper late night slot at 12:30 am and the rest is history.

Although I feel Dave has been “phoning-it-in” for the past few years, he still gets props for being a pioneer for all the other late night hosts. I also wanted to note that his show has been great for debuting new bands on a regular basis. I’ve discovered some new music while watching Late Night over the years.

I will especially miss the show before Christmas break when he had Jay Thomas on telling his Lone Ranger story and throwing a football to knock off a meatball on the show’s Christmas tree. The show would wrap with Darlene Love performing “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”.

You will be missed Dave.

[This blog post brought to you by Toast on a Stick]

The David Letterman Show (1980)
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