Thursday, December 30, 2010

Try Canadian Comics On New Year's Eve

CBC has a three hour laugh marathon scheduled for New Year's Eve: Just For Laughs at 7 p.m. followed by RCAF at 8 and Ron James at 9.
James is revving up his fifth straight New Year's Eve hour and I can say it is the one to watch because it's the only one I've previewed.
First up I'm noticing how much better he seems in the hour format (which after all is only 46 minutes). His show has been up and down in the ratings all year and that's because Fridays is the least watched night for TV fans.
But the show this season has truly improved in content. The monologues are more focused, the sketches sharper. And maybe I'm thinking James deserves a weekly hour next season?
James' guests are Ed Robertson from Barenaked Ladies, Kim Mitchell and Scott Thompson from Kids In The Hall.
What else is on tonight?
Glad you asked. I'd pick the wonderfully talented Tracy Morgan whose Black And Blue special is on HBO Canada at 12:40 a.m. following Bette Midler's Las Vegas shtick called The Showgirl Must Go On at 9 p.m.
Sketches that work include Aunt Vivien getting her New Year's message to the queen, The Newfie Vampire, Buddy, searching for the gal who lit his flame a mere 118 New Year's ago and Larry Garibaldi going up against a shopper who wants all foreigners shipped home.
Canadian Content fans will be glued to the Corner Gas marathon going all night on the Comedy Network. Unfortunately, Brett Butt's next sitcom effort will never make it to marathon status --it plays not as comedy but as an irritant.
Turner Classic Movies retorts with a night of the Marx Brothers at 8 p.m. The guys were really funny when there were four of them but even side splitting during their MGM tenure.
Which means I'll watch early for Animal Crackers at 8, Monkey Business at 9:45, Horse Feathers at 11:15, Duck Soup at 12:30. But just one question: What about The Coconuts (1929)? Or The Big Store (1941)?
Look, I'm not being crazy but there even is going to be a Three Stooges marathon if you're lucky enough to get the Boston superstation WSBK.
House Hunters runs until the wee hours on HGVT --it's a fav of mine.
Space has a bunch of Star Trek flickers but I'd rather watch the old Star Trek TV episodes wouldn't you?
A&E counters with a night of reruns of Criminal Minds.
At 9 PBS offers us staid quality with The Nutcracker and the New York Philharmonic.
Global has ET Canada's New Year's Eve with Barenaked Ladies and Great Big Sea.
Now we get to the witching hour of midnight. For Torontonians that can only mean the Citytv Bash with a live concert starring Shawn Desman, Danny Fernandes, Those Kids wear Crows and Divine Brown and Blake McGrath.
Dick Clark no less will be around for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' but Ryan Seacrest will front it from Times Square starting at 10 p.m.
New Year's Eve With Carson Daly on NBC has U2's Bono and The Edge in Times Square plus Spider-Man survivors from that ill fated Broadway smash-up.
CNN retorts with New Year's Eve with a decidedly Odd Couple Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin who are together again for the second time and naturally coming from guess which square in New York city.
Or take my other suggestion. Read a good old fashioned book. You know --with actual pages. Currently I'm reading Churchill Defiant by Barbara Leaming, a look at the old statesman who got turfed out of office in 1945 only to rise again as the western world's elder statesman.-30-

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