Bruce Springsteen, Backstreets
It’s another one of those fantasy camping trip days, with Ray Charles, Julio Iglesias, John Coltrane, and Jason Alexander – who played George Costanza in Seinfeld – all celebrating their birthdays today. But we had to ignore them, because Bruce Springsteen is having one of the big landmark birthdays. He’s 60, damn it. 60. Hence we thought we’d get him a gift, so we sent back and forth emails suggesting presents, until it boiled down to a toss up between a rag to clean his feet with, or a clip of our favourite Springsteen song being performed live. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday, boss!
Two great shows set to merge
Without a doubt, Seinfeld is the greatest sitcom ever made. Many moons ago, we rated it our number one. So it was with an excited quivering hand and a strange sick/elated feeling deep within our loins that we heard news of an intriguing reunion, all set to take place during series seven of Curb Your Enthusiasm – which, by the way, would probably rank around five or six in our favourite comedy shows ever. Hence this is astonishingly good news indeed, and we’ve pretty much been squealing with delight ever since we first caught wind. The premise appears to be that Larry David will spend a big portion of the next season attempting to get the cast to agree to a reunion, which, of course, would be great. Especially for Jason Alexander – the little man who played the wonderful George Costanza – and Michael Richards (Kramer), both of whom have enjoyed little success since the show finished over ten years ago. Richards did enjoy a brief moment in the sunshine when he decided to stop telling jokes and started shouting racist insults at a couple of confused black gentlemen in the middle of a comedy routine, but Alexander hasn’t been quite so fortunate. Meanwhile, Jerry and Julia Louis Dreyfus have kind of been okay, despite the so-called Seinfeld Curse.
The show airs in September in America, which means we’ll probably get it next year or something. Can’t wait.
The McDonalds McDLT
It was always going to happen, George Michael was going to turn 46 eventually. He’s tried to fight it for the last 45 years or so, but today he couldn’t fight it any more. And what a 46 years. He’s been part of a brilliant pop group, he’s enjoyed tremendous solo success, he’s been caught feverishly caressing himself in the bogs. What left is there to achieve? We’d like to say that he could fall asleep in his car in the middle of the road, but he’s even managed that. Amazing. Hence, we decided to get him a gift, so we all put on flowing white shirts and wandered the evening streets in the rain discussing ideas, our shirts becoming see-through and showing our nips. Eventually it boiled down to a toss up between some grapes or a clip of the man who played George Constanza in Seinfeld doing a McDonalds advert from years back. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday George Michael!
Garry Shandling, Stand Up
Jerry Stiller, father of Ben, turns a whopping 82 today. He’s had quite a life. As mentioned, he sired Ben Stiller – a man who still has it in him to be funny, he just needs to step away from the Gervais – he’s also played Frank to George Constanza in Seinfeld, making up probably the best sitcom father/son pairing of all time. And that includes David Schwimmer and Elliott Gould in Friends. Hence, we knew we simply had to buy him a gift. We sat on a tube, talking loudly across a carriage, discussing what to get the man who has everything, before it boiled down to a toss up between a DVD of Ricky Gervais delivering a very boring lecture about animals, or a clip of an actual stand up comic being funny, even though he’s not Ricky Gervais. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Jerry!
It’s a strong, valiant name
We’ve already tackled the greatest Roberts to ever light up the silver screen, now it’s the turn of the Georges. Only, in this case, we’re not just limiting ourselves to the actors. We cast an astonishing magnifying glass over the history books, searching, scouring, foraging. Occasionally all at the same time. And there are many great Georges who didn’t even make the cut – Costanza, Michael, Washington, Clooney, Harrison. Plus, of course, “Boy”. These are the four that kept them out…
1. George Carlin
Our love for George Carlin literally knows no bounds. Huge in America, he was barely known in Britain, probably most recognised for being in Bill and Ted – which is ridiculous, because he was a totally brilliant stand up comic. He was also the first man ever to host Saturday Night Live.
2. George Foreman
Popstars-turned-actors – or the other way round – think they’re so clever. Look, we’re doing two jobs! But they pale in comparison to George Foreman. Completely pale. First he was a brilliant heavyweight boxer – famous for being the most feared and brutal puncher on the planet. Now he’s a cheerful father-of-ten, with a fantastic portable grill business. Amazing.
3. George “Van” Morrison
Better known as Van Morrison, why he struck off the George bit we will never understand. Even so, all is forgiven, because his Irish brand of folk/soul is too great to ignore. Don’t believe us, then listen to this…
4. Saint George
Despite his flag now being synonymous with sneering racists – ironically, given that he is also the patron saint of Ethiopia, Greece, Palestine and Lithuania – you have to doff a small cap to Saint George. After all, he did go to battle with a dragon. Granted, over the years that may have been exaggerated a touch – he probably just trod on a toad. Still, he’s a saint.