Aug 022010

Adrian is the hot one.

I understand that the number of citizens interested in this performance review will be small, but those among the interested deserve this. I sat 20 feet from the Adrian Zmed performing a song-and-dance retrospective of his career. The chicken-missus and I went on a cruise of Alaska. Skipped the comedian and the magician, but I was intent on having good seats for Zmed. He was on the ship for one night only. Unfortunately, the show was copywritten, so all photos and recording devices were prohibited.

I was hoping and expecting to see him in a state of physical decline that would pay off in huge laughs, but he disappointed. His hair is much thinner than his Dance Fever days, but dyed a robust midnight black. His man-girdle secured his gut into an age appropriate paunch, and his wind did not abandon him during the 40-minute show. He delivered healthy sweat stains on the body suit.

Highlights included his tribute to Broadway shows because, as you know, he was good enough for the stage production of Grease, but really only good enough for Grease 2 when they were making the movies. The choreography with the Island Princess Dancers was pretty tight, so I’m left to wonder: does Zmed fly to various cruise ships around the world, and then perform with a troupe that’s learned his act as if it were a football playbook, or does he actually live in remote Alaska and just gets on and off that one boat each week? That would explain his easy rapport with the Island Princess Dancers. (The previous night the Island Princess Dancers had performed a tribute to Motown that was instead called Motorcity. A singing and dancing troupe of 14 people prancing around to Motown, and not one black person among them. That’s how good they were.)

Midway through, he sat on a stool, and did an irreverent slide show of his various roles. He shared that when he and Shatner were filmed in the squad car on Hooker, they were filmed from the waist up, so usually didn’t wear pants. He did a cat growl at the slide of Heather. He received big applause for shots of Dance Fever and Bachelor Party.

Ended with a big Grease-attired ’50s song, Zmedley, that included dancing with an old lady in the audience, and many calls to give it up for the Island Princess Orchestra. Goodnight, and no opportunity for a quick photo with a fan.


  25 Responses to “Yo, Adrian!”

  1. sammymaudlin

    I just roped the longest, warmest one ever.

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    Chickenfrank, that was excellent. I especially appreciated the light touch in the area of actual rock content. A breath of fresh air around these parts!

    Can we *somehow* convince you to reprise your role as arbiter of tee vee-related opinion, i.e., as the author of “Pass the Scepter”? There are some choice offerings out there that require your insight.

  3. Mr. Moderator

    Thanks for reminding me how multi-untalented Zmed was! I got goosebumps while reading the section on the Hooker slides.

  4. HVB, thanks for the encouragement, but I’m no longer qualified as a TV critic. I watch relatively few GOOD shows (30 Rock), and no BAD shows (Dancing with the Snooki, et al), and currently no (good)Bad shows. Not much reason to review a GOOD show, and the BAD shows are impervious to snark or criticism. They are already self-referential parodies of themselves. It would be like trying to write a funny review of a car crash scene.

    Most qualified to pick up the scepter to review (good)BAD shows would be MIA Townsman Snyder who seems to watch a decent number of (good)BAD shows under the mistaken impression that they are actually GOOD shows.

    Next would be our unfortunately overtaxed Mr. Mod who seems to have a decent list of (good)Bad shows on his schedule. Burn Notice, anyone? He may single-handedly be keeping original programming alive on the USA network.

    I will certainly try to contribute to the hallowed Hall where I can, but TV has to meet me halfway.

  5. Mr. Moderator

    Just last night, while watching a particularly gripping scene from the most recent Burn Notice on DVR I looked over at my partner-in-USA appreciation, Mrs. Mod, and said, “Think of all the joy the USA network has brought to our lives!”

    “I know,” she said, “Silk Stalkings, La Femme Nikita, Pacific Blue, Monk, and now Burn Notice, Royal Pains, and White Collar!”

    The USA Network rules!

  6. The defense rests.

  7. I was bored to death with mrs. northvancoveman on vacation in Aruba a couple years ago. There was an ad on the wall of the casino for a dinner and show package featuring Mary Wilson of The Supremes. I think it was $59 or $79 for both. They were literally wheeling people in there, but it was a good time and a surprisingly good show. We met Mary afterward. While we were talking to her a PR guy came up to here and said something. She looked apologetic to interrupt our chat so I said to her “I think you are being handled, Mary”. Without missing a beat she says “Handle me some more, honey!”..

  8. Don’t forget about In Plain Sight and The Dead Zone. USA…characters welcome.


  9. Mr. Moderator

    For some reason we haven’t gotten around to seeing those shows yet, TB, although we just recorded the one with the young woman, Piper Perabo, or whatever. Psych isn’t bad either, although we never schedule our week around that show.

  10. hrrundivbakshi

    Psych is terrible! And I’m losing faith in Burn Notice, too. Used to love that show, but these days, I’d be happier watching an old re-run of “Switch.” Now *there* was a quality con-man program!

  11. Mr. Moderator

    What’s your problem with Burn Notice? If you’re expecting quality con-man plots from USA you’re barking up the wrong tree. You should be digging the new guy, Jesse, and the emotional depth he brings to the series. Jesse may be the best recurring character with tragic implications on a USA show since La Femme Nikita’s Davenport.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    “Switch” also had a killer theme song — and speaking of “Burn Notice,” the best thing about that show now is Michael’s mom, played by… “Switch” alumnus and young hottie Sharon Gless!

    “Switch” rules!


  13. sammymaudlin

    Count me in on team-Switch.

  14. BigSteve

    How do you guys have the time to watch so much bad TV? You seem to squeeze in bad movies too. Do you not sleep? Maybe you don’t have the rich, full social life that I have. And I guess your kids must be raising themselves.

  15. I like the Burn Notice. Is nice.

  16. mockcarr

    Silly BigSteve, TV raises American kids, not parents!

    I watch Nats games. That’s some REALLY bad tv.

  17. 2000 Man

    I’ve been a little bummed about this season of Burn Notice. Jesse doesn’t add much and he needs to find out Michael burned him so we can get back to blowing things up, with Jesse as the target this time. Psych is good, but needs a better show to hang with. Royal Pains is the same way, it’s a good enough show, but like Psych, it just needs something better before it to make just sitting there and not getting up worthwhile.

    In Plain Sight seems ot have less and less action with every show, and less and less Leslie Ann Warren and Nicole Hiltz. I swear they had one episode where neither of them were on it, but Nicole’s boyfriend was. WTF?

    I love USA. If I only had one channel, that would be it. The only thing I don’t like is when they start showing Dane Cook movies. Is that guy ever going to say or do something funny?

  18. Mr. Moderator

    Excellent question re: Dane Cook!

  19. mockcarr

    I have a story regarding that hoop. Years ago, I was sitting at a bar quietly destroying a few stray liver cells, when a girl very much younger than me strikes up a conversation, nattering on for quite a while about how she wants to write comedy and so forth, and she really didn’t seem to have bad taste in that area until she sort of mentioned Dane Cook. I kept drinking, but listened less, and she left the bar. I wasn’t trying to pick her up or anything, maybe she was trying to pick me up, although I doubt anyone could get that desperate, anyway, two guys a few stools over said, “hey, what happened, it looked like you were really doing great with that chick?”. I said “She likes Dane Cook”. They nodded back affirming my proper discretion.

  20. I love it, a glancing blow off of the mere idea of Dane Cook is so poisonous it’s a matter of conventional wisdom to avoid. There must be an anti-rock subculture that worships him. Does he always work clean, does he play a lot of church functions? You see where I’m going with this? I think it’s the only explanation.

    Or…is Dane Cook the “Burn Notice” of comedy? ZING

    P.S. Please tell me the word “Zmedley” was uttered by the man himself.

  21. BigSteve

    I really have no idea who Dane Cook is. All In know is that everyone seems to hate him. Weird career strategy.

  22. A “Zmedley” was his word, not mine. And it’s brilliant.

    Dane Cook seems to be the Carrot Top or Gallagher of his time. He does extremely well on comedy tours and Vegas, and yet seems to be universally reviled by all other comeddians and people with taste as a pure hack.

    I believe he achieved a great part of his popularity by being a very early professional adopter of MySpace and Facebook. He very aggressively “friended” hundreds of thousands of people who now consider themselves fans for the honor of being made a friend of a semi-famous person. Now, all performers utilize social media to make little people feel special, but Dane took advantage when it was still finding traction, and continues to benefit from his foresight.

  23. mockcarr

    I also believe he was featured in some really terrible commercials (There’s only ONE October) FOX ran for the World Series a few years ago. I’ve seen maybe two minutes of Cook on Comedy Central and his act seemed to be a lot like the daydream Venus Fly Trap had on WKRP where he’s a standup comedian and Johnny Fever heckles him mercilessly. Something like “How about those LA drivers?” Canned laughter. “What’s up with airline security?” More canned laughter. Etc.

    “You’re not funny”
    “Hey, do I tell you how to do your job?”
    “Probably because you can’t do that either.”

  24. mockcarr

    CF, I hope they gave you free Zmedical attention after watching that act.

  25. Yeah! Or a Zmedal of Honor.

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