Remembering Mary

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In the past couple of days, after Mary Tyler Moore’s death, I have been hearing about how much she influenced the women and girls at the time. I feel as if it’s some inside joke that I wasn’t a part of, but it’s  not a joke, she affected women deeply, being a guy, I didn’t know. I’ve watched so many women tv reporters and anchors speak of how she showed them how they could make it on their own. How they would be strong and single and do their own thing. Even Oprah Winfrey, the queen of it all was influenced by Mary.

A friend wrote on Facebook of how she felt the first time she moved from Queens to Manhattan on her own, as she drove over the 59th Street Bridge, she was crying, tears of emotion and joy, and she had Mary on her mind as she made her way to her new life! Amazing.

I enjoyed the show, I don’t think I missed an episode. Saturday night was Mary Tyler Moore night along with Bob Newhart, Carol Burnett and All in the Family and of course I have always enjoyed the Dick Van Dyke reruns. I enjoyed Mary because she was funny and her shows were well written and funny, but I admire her so much more now for seeing how she influenced so many women over the years. I didn’t even know it. I didn’t know how important she was to young women everywhere.

I always had her up there with Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, but now I see her in a different light.

Criminals on Canvas

December 22, is the last day of a three-day “Criminals on Canvas”exhibit in Sun Valley, Idaho. The great part is that the art is by TV’s 1960s Batman, Adam West, who lives in Idaho. The exhibit is at the Gilman Contemporary Gallery, where they describe the exhibit: “Gilman Contemporary is thrilled to present “Criminals on Canvas” and other works by Adam West. This three-day guest exhibition will feature original works along with newly created prints of the villains and characters from the original classic Batman Television show that rose to popularity in the 60s. Join us for an artist reception with the man himself December 21st.”

Love the work, this should possibly be a traveling show, maybe at ComicCons’ things like that. I think it would be cool to have certain characters, say from Star Trek, draw Star Trek criminals or characters from the show, same with other shows like Game Of Thrones, etc.

88-year-old Adam West’s work goes from about $6000 up to $10,000 per piece.

My favorite Publix commercials

These are two of my favorite Publix commercials. My all time favorite is the Last Train Home commercial which they showed for many years in the 1980s and 190s. While it reminds me of that time in my life now, I remember loving it when it was new.

The music in Last Train Home is from Still Life (Talking) an album by Pat Metheny Group, released in 1987. This Publix commercial ran from 1987 to 1996.

To this day, when Pat Metheny is performing, he’ll refer to the song as, “The Publix song.”

And this year, I love this one below, which I think is from 2015, but they’ve been showing it a lot this year. Sorry about the Lovely Legs commercial on top of it, guess they feel they can steal the Publix commercials and make them theirs.

Remembering friends from my youth

A friend sent me a  notice that it’s the anniversary of Tom & Jerry. I’m not sure why, maybe because my name is Tom, but I never really watched Tom & Jerry growing up. I was a big Hanna-Barbera fan and that was one of their first cartoons, created in 1940, but I was a big Hanna-Barbera fan of the 1960s cartoons like Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear.

I’m wondering what makes a kid a fan of certain cartoons or cartoon studios. I’ve never been into Warner-Brothers cartoons or Disney. Not sure why, but most Hanna-Barbera stuff I loved and grew up with. I loved Fractured Fairy Tales, too. I had forgotten about them but a friend recently has been posting episodes on Facebook and it all came back to me. And I loved Rocky and Bullwinkle, which I think featured Fractured Fairy Tales and Sherman and Mr. Peabody, they were by Jay Ward Productions.

This is true: my earliest memory is me at age two or three, running around our Brooklyn apartment, with my mother chasing me, trying to get me into the bath and Huckleberry Hound was on the tv. The show was just coming on, I could hear the theme music in my head as I ran around trying to avoid bath time. That’s it above.

And the first character I can remember drawing is Fred Flintstone. I used to draw Fred daily I remember, from when I could first hold a pencil. So along with Huckleberry Hound, I loved The Flintstones and The Jetsons.

I loved Magilla Gorilla and Yogi Bear, Quickdraw McGraw, Wally Gator, Peter Potamus, Jinxie and Pixie and Dixie, Touché Turtle and Dum Dum, etc.

I remember Huckleberry and Magilla and Yogi and the others being on certain nights at about 7 or 7:30 pm on New York tv. They were reruns at the time and for instance, Huckleberry Hound was on Monday night and he had three parts – his own adventures, and Pixie and Dixie and Hokey Wolf, then Quickdraw McGraw might have been on Tuesday nights and he had his adventure and then showed Auggie Doggie and Doggie Daddy and Snooper and Blabber.

The Flintstones were on in prime time, so were the Jetsons and also Top Cat, I remember.

I remember watching the Wacky Races on Saturday mornings with one of my brothers. We would watch each week, cheering on our favorite character. I don’t think the show was on very long, maybe two years, but we watched the reruns over and over again.

Here’s a list of all the Hanna-Barbera shows.

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Some of my favorites: Yogi, Huckleberry, Snagglepuss, Pixie & Dixie, etc. Friends from my youth.

10 things you didn’t know about The Vamipre Diaries’ Daniel Newman

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

daniel-newmanDaniel Newman is best known for his TV roles on The Vampire Diaries, Heroes, Homeland, One Tree Hill, Drop Dead Diva7th Heaven and soon The Walking Dead. He was a Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Louis Vuitton model when photographer Bruce Weber discovered him. His musical work appeared on the Twilight soundtrack. The seventh season of The Walking Dead TV series hinted at Daniel playing the part of Richard, working security with The Kingdom’s leader, Ezekiel. Fans are excited for the series’ season 7 premier on October 28, 2016.

I had the chance to ask Daniel the 10 With Tom questions. He has an excellent sense of humor and loves his fans friends.

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TOM: Which show did you have the most fun on – The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead or Heroes.
DANIEL: Is this a yes or no only interview? Rapid fire? Lol.. well I’m gonna fuckin fail this then. Ha. Vampire Diaries was awesome in the fact that my Twitter jumped up 300,000 fans after it, with the most amazing kids from all over the world. And they all bought my album on iTunes and sold out all my concerts so to go from a broke waiter bartender to selling out places was mind boggling. That wouldn’t have happened without it. To still get so many messages daily from kids in Europe, Egypt, Russia, Dubai, Japan, USA, Philippines, and hardcore in South America. They just love that show so it was a privilege.

But joining Walking Dead has been a whole new level. My role’s only barely been revealed so far, but the network used my character’s images for so much press and publicity for this new season, so a ton of people on the streets here in the US have come up to me to talk and on airplanes. I’ve never had that before. I was just trying to build my tech company this year, so a couple random lucky breaks and tons and tons of hard work have been a huge blessing this year. I was amazed after I was revealed on the finale half a million new people followed me on Twitter and Instagram, and all write to me about their families and lives and cool stuff. Blown away by all the love and excitement they have for my character and the plot this season.

The show is Iconic, and the cast and creators have created such a worshiped legendary series that people are so invested in and love, it’s really an honor to be able to be a part of it.

TOM: You are great about following fans back on social media. Why do that? Isn’t that a lot of “voices” coming at you at once when you follow almost 600,000 on Twitter alone?
DANIEL: I don’t have any fans. They’re friends. We’re all equal people. The reason I try my best to follow so many people back is, a couple of my heroes I admire followed me on Twitter and I got the biggest thrill out of it. I know it’s so stupid and silly but for some reason I just felt like I was “connected” to them, and mattered to them. It’s the smallest little gesture of respect and connection. I realized how special and powerful it is. And it only takes a second to acknowledge someone in real life. Smile at them or shake a hand and listen. And sometimes it means the world to people. Inspires people. Or just makes them have a happy moment they’ll manifest positivity that day to other people. It was so simple and silly, but really meant a lot to me. So that left an impression with me and I wanted to give that feeling to everyone that follows me. So whenever someone that’s following me writes to me, I just click the follow button back.

TOM: You went to Yale for a bit, what did you major in?
DANIEL: Trouble.

TOM: Who would you rather be, Batman or Superman. Why?
DANIEL: Method man. Or Ginger man. Uber man. Venmo man. Elon Muskman. There’s so many legendary people right now reinventing life, industries, societies. I’m far more fascinated with modern revolutionaries changing the political and socioeconomic landscapes. It’s magical to be able to steal glimpses into the hidden secret worlds of our generation’s leaders. Especially the ones that think they’re incognito with no one the wiser as they puppet master global change. So much is happening right now, and with the internet, everything is right under your nose, you just have to know where to look and what you’re searching for, and it’s all exposed. I’m kind of a fin-tech nerd.

TOM: Last shows you binge watched?
DANIEL: House of Cards, Homeland, Narcos, Queen of the South, Golden Girls

TOM: Favorite season
DANIEL: The other one

TOM: What did you have for breakfast?
DANIEL: Peanut butter and banana sandwich with mayonnaise and a Redbull

TOM: Favorite beer/cocktail
DANIEL: Sober for years. I mastered that class. Was everything, then just tequila in the end. But I died in 2009 when I was walking through an intersection and a drunk driver ran a red light and ran over me at about 50 mph and left me dead. Fortunately I was right by a hospital and witnesses got the ambulance there in minutes to revive me and after a coma and years of surgeries and physical therapy they got me back to brand new. I feel incredible with only a couple tiny scars on my knee and elbow. Huge miracle. Gave me a clear focus and purpose and passion for people and great hard work.

TOM: I see you’re the only Walking Dead cast member who’s been featured nude before. You’re on the cover of the international hit art campaign REDHOT100 absolutely naked. After they featured Olympic athletes and the top 100 celebrity redheads, and you were featured on Connan Obrien, GQ, vogue, BBC, and pretty much all the press and news worldwide. Congrats. How did that happen?
DANIEL: I was honored to be picked. I love how they fight against bullying and teach people to love themselves the way they are. It’s a cool cause all going to the Anti Bullying Alliance, and I was amazed to get the cover and be in all the art galleries. Besides, it’s pretty humbling being in the company of Olympians and this group. I’m definitely proud of it.

TOM: If you could remake a classic movie, which would it be?
DANIEL: Goonies? Indian Jones? Porkies? Flashdance? Haha ok maybe not.

Thanks, Daniel! Good sport. We’ll be watching for you in The Walking Dead!

For more in the 10 With Tom series, follow along by subscribing to Tomversation here.

The queen of reality tv

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

Glenda Hersh 1Glenda Hersh shown here, is an Emmy award winning producer and co-president and CEO of True Entertainment and Original Media, two leading producers of reality tv. True was taken over by Endemol which makes me laugh because I had a friend who worked for Endemol in Miami and he would always tell me to come and pitch some of my reality show ideas that I had. I never did, but it’s almost coming full circle with Glenda doing 10 With Tom today.

TOM: You produce the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of Potomac, but not the others (NY, NJ, OC, Beverly Hills, Melbourne, etc.). How do they have that same flavor and look if they are done by different production companies?
GLENDA: What makes the franchise so great is that each location has its own distinctive personality, but they all share a similar grammar and feel.

TOM: Of all the housewife shows, which would you like to be a part of if you had to, not including your own?
GLENDA: I would love to be a part of my own [RHOA and RHOP], because I am so proud of them. However, if I had to choose another location it would Beverly Hills because the weather is better.

TOM: What would be your housewife opening tagline?
GLENDA: “You can sleep when you’re dead.”

TOM: You also produce Don’t Be Tardy, Vanity Fair Confidential, Hack My Life, A Baby Story and Trauma: Life in the ER, and Mystery Diagnosis. Original Media’s series include renowned Ink Master and spin-off Ink Master: Redemption, Swamp People, Dual Survival, Comic Book Men, and I Love You…But I Lied. That is some lineup, when do you sleep and what do you do for relaxation?
GLENDA: I am also married with a 7-year-old son, so sleep is not a huge part of my life. But I do run off to my lake house for relaxation when I can.

TOM: Ink Master is back for its 8th season on August 23 on Spike TV. Do you have any tattoos yourself?
GLENDA: I don’t have any tattoos personally, but I am a huge fan of the art.

TOM: Last show you binge-watched?
GLENDA: House of Cards

TOM: Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul?
GLENDA: Breaking Bad

TOM: Favorite city you have lived in?
GLENDA: New York City

TOM: Last song you listened to?
GLENDA: “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” by Mike Posner.

TOM: Glenda, interesting name. Were you named after someone?
GLENDA: I don’t know what my mother was thinking. I can’t say that it was easy as a kid, but as an adult I love it. I rarely have to use my last name; how many Glendas do you know?

Thanks Glenda! Check out some of Glenda’s work when Ink Master returns to Spike TV with a new season on Tuesday, August 23 at 10 pm eastern time.

10 things you didn’t know about ‘Naked & Afraid’s’ Ryan Holt

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes

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RYAN HOLT (Photo by Mark Fleming)

You probably know Ryan Holt, a favorite survivalist, from the Discovery Channel’s hit, “Naked and Afraid” and “Naked and Afraid XL – “Survivor” on steroids. Ryan is a friend in my head, that’s why I reached out to him.

“Naked and Afraid,” now in its 5th season is about a random couple – a man and woman, dumped somewhere remote, exotic and dangerous in the world and they have to survive for 21 days. They have no food, water or shelter and they are on their own. No one wins anything at the end of the show, the prize is the knowledge that you survived the wilderness. Each hour episode each week consists of a different man and woman.

 

“Naked and Afraid XL” has 12 survivors from past shows, dumped in a remote place with the same premise, but they are in groups of three and they have to last 40 days. No one is voted off but they disappear little by little due to sickness or just leaving, which they call “tapping out.” XL is interesting in that the intensity is different with each episode as the teams randomly come upon each other and one group of three that soon becomes five or six, totally mixes up the dynamic. XL has the same “characters” on all season, so each week you see the same people unless they’ve left (tapped out).

Ryan is home now in Maine. He runs the Human Nature Hostel and the Wilderness Warrior Project, which he created to assist returning Veterans who may be struggling with PTSD, like he was when he returned. He served eight years in the US Marine Corp Infantry and by his own admission was lost when he returned home. He explored the Appalachian Trail after an honorable discharge and “walked off the war.” Now he wants to do the same for other returning vets. 

Ryan is a good sport, he agreed to participate in “10 With Tom.” What I find funny is that I picture him as being a primitive man in the forest, but according to his answers, I can see he lives with all the comforts of home in Maine.

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RYAN HOLT (photo courtesy Discovery Channel)

I asked him the following questions:

Tom: Are you recognized on the street?
Ryan: I live in a very mountainous and rural part of Maine (Roxbury: population 370). Not many people to be recognized by, although the other day I was at a local swimming hole and a family of “flat landers” approached me and said, “Hey! Are you famous!? The guy from Naked and Afraid?” I said, “Ayah, that’s me.”

Tom: If you were able to vote off members of the XL cast, who would you have voted out of Africa first?
Ryan: Since I was only paired with two other survivalist (Angel and Steve) for the first few weeks, I would have voted off Steve because, well, we all know “he’s kind of a big deal” and there is no room for such an arrogant ego and no existent humility. 

Tom: You live in Maine, you’ve “lived” in the Everglades and Africa. What’s the perfect outdoor temperature for you?
Ryan: Having been born and raised in Maine might make me a little biased but there truly is something unique and special about my homeland. It is the perfect temperature in the summer and offers four seasons to ensure a wide range of every single outdoor activity. Not the best state for couch potatoes, Maine is for the adventure and nature lover.

Tom: Name 3 things in nature you find most beautiful?
Ryan: I find everything in nature to be beautiful, but if I had to pick three things that really resonate with me… Mountain Summits, Trees/Plants, Observing Wildlife.

“Anyone can love a rose, but it takes a great deal to love a leaf. Its ordinary to love the beautiful, but its beautiful to love the ordinary.”  -Unknown

Tom: Last place you visited outside US
Ryan: My last trip outside the US was South Africa. This Fall I plan to explore Iceland.

Tom: What do you usually order at Starbucks?
Ryan: If you were searching for me inside a Starbucks, you would NEVER find me. I don’t drink caffeine or pay extra for name brands. 

Tom: Other than Naked and Afraid, favorite tv show
Ryan: Other than Naked and Afraid, my favorite TV show is Alone

Tom: What scares you the most, and why?
Ryan: Other people. They are the most unpredictable. 

Tom: What are your three favorite foods (other than alligator and snake).
Ryan: Other than alligator, lizard and snake, my favorite foods are Sushi, BBQ, Fresh local cafes.

Tom: Tell me about someone you really admire?
Ryan: I really admire my Girlfriend Dani Beau. Not only is she beautiful, skilled and passionate about nature and all living beings, she completed 21 days and the first 40 day challenge of Naked & Afraid as a Vegan. You have to be driven and dedicated to your morals & beliefs to accomplish such a challenge as a Vegan and to be doing it with laughter and a smile!? She’s a total badass! I will always admire her for her accomplishments, how she cares for the Earth and for putting up with me, haha.  

Thanks, Ryan!

Naked and Afraid XL is on Sunday nights, 9 pm, on the Discovery Channel, you can see Ryan and gang in action, there.