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PCR #358. (Vol. 8, No. 5) This edition is for the week of January 29--February 4, 2007.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! One more week until I head to Texas so I have been cramming more and more useless info into my brain. Thought I'd share some now. Shall we begin?

"Because I Said So"  by Mike Smith
FX Show 2007 - Quick Report  by Andy Lalino
Congratulations--Never Mind....Speaking of Death....What The Hell Was He Taking?...Who Reads The PCR....Go Colts....Passing On....Whatever Happened To...? Chapter 5: William Smith  by Mike Smith
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Sad to report the passing of Emma Faust Tillman, who last week was declared the oldest living person in the world. No word yet on whose unlucky head the crown will now rest.

I was shocked to hear that the City of Miami has plans for an official celebration once Cuban president Fidel Castro heads to the great cigar factory in the sky (or the burning fires of hell, depending on who you ask). Perhaps they could just hand out coupons for free flan at the local Baskin Robbins.

Last week a veterinarian in Belgium had to amputate the penis of Mozart, someone's pet iguana. The surgery was necessary because Mozart had obtained an erection that had lasted for more than a week. Good news for the reptile: iguanas have two penises (or is that peni?)

Apparently, Stephen Macht. I was shocked (and pleased) to receive his note (see the Letters column) and SO glad I didn't give his son's performance a bad review!

This Sunday brings Super Bowl XLI (or 41 for those of you who don't speak Roman). For all that he did to bring my Tampa Bay Buccaneers to respectability, my hope is that Coach Tony Dungy and the Indianapolis Colts prevail. Of course the media has bombarded us with any and all images,questions, etc. Dumbest question I've heard was directed at the Colt's Dallas Clark who was asked, "What is it like to get patted on the butt by Peyton Manning?" My guess would be tingly!

Denny Doherty
, singer and guitarist for the Mamas and the Papas, died this week at his home outside of Toronto after a short illness. He was 66. Along with John Phillips, Michelle Phillips and Cass Elliot, Doherty was a part of one of the most influential singing groups of the 1960s. While most groups at that time were either all boy or all girl, the Mamas and the Papas were the first major unisex band. Their hits included "Monday, Monday," "California Dreaming" and "I Saw Her Again Last Night," which John Phillips wrote to let Doherty know about his affair with his wife, Michelle. With Doherty's passing, Michelle Phillips becomes the last surviving original member of the group. Cass Elliot died of a heart attack (that's right, she didn't choke to death on a ham sandwich) in 1974 while Papa John passed away in 2001.
Bob Carroll, Jr., one of the original writers for the "I Love Lucy" television program, died this week of natural causes. He was 87. Carroll wrote many of the episodes of the classic series, and then continued writing for Lucille Ball in her subsequent television shows, including "The Lucy Show" and "Here's Lucy." He also wrote for other series including "The Mother's-In-Law," "The Paul Lynde Show" and "Alice. The 2005 remake "Yours, Mine and Ours" was based on his original story for the 1968 film of the same name, which also starred Ball.


WHERE YOU MIGHT KNOW HIM FROM: "Conan the Barbarian," "Red Dawn"

With a fact that looks like it was chiseled out of stone, William Smith is probably one of the most recognizable character actor in film history, having appeared in more then 250 film and television productions. Born in Columbia, Missouri (about a 2 hour drive east from me), Smith moved with his family to California when he was eight. He appeared in several films as a young man, mostly as an uncredited day player, including "The Ghost of Frankenstein," "The Song of Bernadette," "Going My Way" and "Gilda." Smith joined the Air Force after high school and received the Purple Heart for wounds he incurred during action in the Korean War. After his discharge he resumed his acting career only now he had lines! Because of his interest in body building, Smith was soon cast as hulking cowboys or soldiers in television series like "Combat," "Wagon Train" and "Laredo." He appeared as Adonis in the final episode of "Batman" and was the Marlboro Man in the last cigarette commercial ever aired. He found his niche in the early 1970s with a string of "biker" films including "Angels Die Hard," "Nam's Angels" and "C.C. and Company." Originally considered for the lead in "Kung Fu," Smith later appeared in the series as well as many others in the 70s. Shows like "The Mod Squad," "Longstreet" and "Mission: Impossible" cast Smith in the role he was most noted for, the heavy. In 1976 he played the sadistic sailor Falconetti in "Rich Man, Poor Man" and then took a recurring role as "Kimo" Carew on "Hawaii Five-O." In 1980 he starred alongside Clint Eastwood in "Any Which Way You Can," playing a legendary bare knuckles fighter named Jack Wilson. His other two best known roles were as the father of "Conan the Barbarian" and the Russian soldier Colonel Strelnikov in John Milius' "Red Dawn." He has continued to work steadily in television ("Nash Bridges," "Justice League") and "B" movies ("The Vampire Hunters Club," "Grave Tales") right up to today. He has also worked behind the camera as a director, screenwriter and producer.

Next week I'll fill you in on another member of the "Any Which Way You Can" cast, Geoffrey Lewis.

Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya!

"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.