American Idol Didn’t Like This Website… Pop. Culture. History.

From Arlene O – Mr. Pop – Back in the early days of “American Idol” – there was a website – an independent site, that predicted contest outcome – and it was quite accurate. Do you remember?

Mr. Pop History – Yes, something called dialidol dot com predicted (quite well) which singers would get voted off in a given week. It did this with an auto-dialing program it provided to phone-in voters and then analyzed which of the contestants’ numbers yielded the most busy signals. That gave a high-calling volume algorithm. Interesting – isn’t it?

The folks at “American Idol” got wind and had content removed. But – this was an interesting chapter in the life of “American Idol” and a great trivia question.

Caught CNN Headline News (HLN) Today…. They Were Obsessed With Charlie Sheen.

I have to admit, I haven’t watched this service for a long time, but I was between meetings and caught it today – around 1p eastern. Boy – has it gone to pot.

Two anchors or sub-anchors within 10 minutes of each other could not stop talking about how bad a guy Charlie Sheen was. Jane (Exxon) Valdez (insert real surname) has this gimmick – something about her issues. I remember her as a straight anchorwoman in Los Angeles – and she was good. The Jane I saw today was totally contrived. A phony. But, she waves a mean gabble: you know – those things judges use to get “order in the court.” All to make her “issues” point. Now I know – Jane has issues. Zero credibility. She’s now a clown.

The other one was Mike-something. I guess he takes phone calls from viewers after his rants. His subject – yup… Charlie Sheen. He urged his viewers to call CBS – and to stop watching Sheen’s “2 1/2 Men.” OMG! And – he kept playing one viewer phone call – over and over. It must have been the only decent call (which was sophomoric at best). He then listed all of Sheen’s “bads” – from 1990 through this latest incident. Oh boy! Thanks Mike.

He must have thought they were compelling. Like Jane baby, his rant looked totally contrived. But, no gabble because it’s probably in Jane’s contract that she’s the gabble-keeper at/on HLN.

So today – Charlie Sheen took over HLN.

No more HLN for me.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – October 26… Madonna’s Fitness… 2 1/2 Pieces of Furniture… Jon Stewart Most Inflentual Man? – You’re Joking!… Kevin Costner Is Doing What??

Pop singer Madonna is opening a chain of fitness centers around the world to be known as Hard Candy Fitness global gyms. A partnership between Madonna, her manager and New Evolution Ventures plans to open the first gym in a posh neighborhood in Mexico City on Nov. 29. Madonna will attend the Mexico City opening. A statement by Hard Candy Fitness says gyms “will open in major cities around the world,” including 10 more locations in Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Europe and Asia. No gyms are immediately planned for the United States, but the statement noted that more locations are possible in the future.

Charlie Sheen was briefly hospitalized Tuesday after security at the Plaza Hotel called police to report he was disorderly and had broken furniture in his room, police said. His publicist blamed an allergic reaction to medication, and said the actor was discharged Tuesday evening and on his way back to Los Angeles. Another report says it straight – he was in a suite with a hooker doing cocaine. Like furniture polish -Sheene left a shine.

We now live in a world where Jon Stewart gets voted most influential man. Don’t take it from me – ask “AskMen” dot com.  OK, say it three times – Jon Stewart is the most influential man of the year…

Kevin Costner – who’s acting days are pretty much behind him – somehow – lands the hosting gig for this year’s “CMT Artist’s of the Year.” CMT as in country. Costner’s claim to country fame – well, he has a band that plays country music – Modern West. Really though – Kevin will keep good company with the likes of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift. It happens Dec. 3.


Those Annoying Drug Ads On TV… Pop. Culture. History.

From Michella H – TV is full of drug advertisements… and they all look the same. Purple pills, yellow pills, blue pills – and they seem to do more harm then good. My mom tells me that drug advertising is relatively new.

Mr. Pop History – Well, it’s been a while. The FDA in 1997 said that prescription drug companies could advertise directly to consumers on television – and it worked. Almost immediately – patients were asking their doctors for this and that. All the new stuff.

The drug companies love it. They have all kinds of money to spend on television. And the TV folks love it – it’s a great advertisement stream.

“Walkman” Was A Pivital Appliance In Pop Culture History – Make No Mistake. Pop. Culture. History. Trivia.

Mr. Pop History – And so, we say goodbye to new cassette Walkman’s as Sony announces no more will be made.

Some of you thought it went away quite a while ago.

Make no mistake – The cassette “Walkman” – was the first of its kind and like any other successful product, spawned imitators and began a whole new genre of “taking music with you.” Up until 1979 – it was never that close and personal. As the cassette created a new format for tape, “Walkman” created a new format for cassettes. It was really cool to dub a record album to cassette – then listen to it on the run, on the walk or whatever.

Before the iPod, there was the Sony Walkman. It set the trend of taking it with you – your way – much like smart phones are doing today.

Gary West –

Mr. Pop Culture Report … October 23… Yea Texas… Shales Going… They Get Married… Mobile Is Taking Over…

Sports – The Texas Rangers best the Yankees – and for the first time – will be in the World Series.  Vladimir Guerrero drove in three runs before Nelson Cruz hit a towering, two-run homer and the Rangers beat New York 6-1 Friday night in Game 6 of the AL championship series, the biggest victory in the franchise’s 50 seasons.

Tom Shales, the Washington Post‘s Pulitzer-prize winning television writer, says he’s probably going to leave the paper when his contract expires at the end of December. “It’s been a long process,” he says. Shales took the paper’s buyout offer in 2006. “I hate that expression, ‘took the buyout,’” he says. It reminds him of an old Gregory Peck movie that ends with a boy killing his pet deer.  Shales went on contract immediately after, remaining the paper’s TV critic until last summer, when Hank Stuever was named lead critic; Shales, the Post announced, would become an at-large culture critic with a mission to Illuminate, pontificate and eviscerate, on TV and other subjects.”

They Get Married – British comedian Russell Brand and U.S. pop singer Katy Perry married on Saturday in a closely guarded traditional Hindu ceremony at an exclusive hotel resort in India’s Rajasthan. Pop star Rihanna played the maid of honor as a priest chanted Hindu hymns around a sacred fire.

Technology – A September study conducted by Forrester Research found that 37 percent of 18- to 30-year-old Americans access the internet with their mobile phones and 15 percent use their phones to watch videos or TV. “Mobile data traffic is up 5,000 percent over a 3-year period,” said Dawn Benton, the director of corporate communications at AT&T. That growth is a perfect example of the fact that more people are choosing to use smartphones and “emerging devices,” like tablets and notebooks, she added.

Reality Show Audition Website… Pop. Culture. History.

From Maryla – There was once a website – independent from any TV networks or show, that let you – audition for reality shows.

Mr. Pop History – Yes, a site called RTVstar was getting a ton of publicity back in 2006. It was created by Brian Ostrovsky, who was supposed to appear on “Apprentice 2″ back then, but – missed it all for personal reasons – so he began this site. The site simplified the tedious reality show application process. Members posted their profiles and personal videos to a database seen by reality show producers.

Mr. Pop Culture Report For October 19… Keith Richards Doesn’t Like Mick Jagger… Goodbye Mr. C… A “10″ On The Andy Richter Scale… There’s No Stopping That Thing You’re On…

Yes, the worst Saturday Night Live TV season was 1980-1981. Looks like Joe Piscopo was the only one retained. See Ask Mr. Pop History.

New Keith Richards Book Out Later This Month…In it, Richards describes Mick Jagger as ‘unbearable’ in his autobiography titled, “Life,” in entries which lay bare their fraught relationship. The 66-year-old reveals his nicknames for Jagger are ‘Brenda’ and ‘Your Majesty’. Richards writes of the distance between the pair, saying: ‘I used to love Mick, but I haven’t been to his dressing room in 20 years. ‘Sometimes I think, “I miss my friend’. I wonder, ‘Where did he go?”‘ ‘It was the beginning of the Eighties when Mick started to become unbearable.’

Goodbye Mr. Cunningham – Passing – Tom Bosley, best known as Howard Cunningham on ‘Happy Days,’ has died at the age of 83. Bosley died in his home in Palm Springs after battling a staph infection.

Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band will be the house band for Conan O’Brien’s upcoming TBS show, the network announced Tuesday. Andy Richter re-teams with Conan O’Brien Vivino, the former associate music director, arranger, guitarist and vocalist for Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, replaces Max Weinberg as bandleader for Conan. Weinberg, who served as bandleader on both of O’Brien’s previous shows for a total of 17 years, opted not to join Conan. Vivino’s brother is Floyd Vivino – New Jersey comedian.

According to a report out Tuesday, there will be 2 billion Web dwellers by the end of this year. The number of internet users worldwide has doubled in the past five years according to the report from the International Telecommunication Union. Much of the big number can be attributed to internet growth in developing countries. The report said 162 million of the 226 million new Internet users in 2010 will live in those countries, where Web access is still growing.

When Saturday Night Live Was In The Dumps… Pop. Culture. Trivia.

From Gloria N – “Saturday Night Live” has had its ups and downs – but when was the show really hurting? Thank you.

Mr. Pop History – The worst I believe was back in March of 1981. With eight shows remaining in its season, “Saturday Night Live” had lost nearly half its viewing audience. Four writers and three cast members, including Charles Rocket (remember him?) were let go.

Also, SNL had new competition – “Fridays” at ABC-TV. They tried damage control and brought in new improv players such as Tim Karzurinksy (remember him?)

Dick Ebersol was in charge of SNL back then, and he laid blame by billing his cast – all newcomers as, “The New Generation.” Yes, this was just after the original cast had disappeared.