Now, this is funny

Reddit to ban exactly half of the ‘ThanosDidNothingWrong’ community

However you felt about Thanos’ actions in Avengers: Infinity War, you’ve got to admit that the last few minutes (wherein half the universe disintegrated into ashes at the behest of the purple tyrant) were great. The ThanosDidNothingWrong subreddit (sporting over 630,000 members) served as a hub for people to crack jokes about the mad Titan and discuss how the villain was effectively in the right by indiscriminately wiping out half of all life. But after a campaign by the subreddit’s members to ban exactly half of all users, it looks like they finally got their wish.

How to Save Star Wars

I don’t know if this idea will fly, but something needs to be done…

Love it, hate it, or somewhere in between, “Solo: A Star War Story” is not doing well at the box office. Word is that it’s performing poorly enough that Disney (owner of Lucasfilm) might be rethinking its All-Star-Wars-All-the-Time strategy…

…Disney seems to think that the secret to Star Wars is big budgets, big marketing, big releases, big special effects, and big toy sales. But there’s only so much big to go around, and it’s clear that Disney doesn’t understand that. Did they learn nothing from the prequels?

Read the whole thing, of course.

Today in history

May 25, 1977–Star Wars: Episode IV–A New Hope is released. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew, the film was written and directed by George Lucas. A film empire is born, though the quality went down with time.

Goodbye to Gomer Pyle

Jim Nabors, whose name is synonymous with the genial bumpkin Gomer Pyle, whom he played on TV, has died. He was 87.

He brought the words “golly” and “shazam” into the vernacular as the naive, well-intentioned Pyle, a regular character on “The Andy Griffith Show” that was later the focus of spinoff “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” Pyle was a loving caricature of a Southern rube, completely out of step with the ’60s and all the more lovable for it. The series ran for four seasons, and Nabors’ 20% cut of the syndication revenue for the popular series made him financially secure thereafter and able to pursue broader interests as a singer and comic raconteur.

Goodbye to Benson

Robert Guillaume, the urbane actor who received two Emmy Awards for portraying the acidic butler Benson on a pair of ABC sitcoms, died Tuesday. He was 89.

Guillaume’s polished portrayal of the imperious family retainer Benson DuBois endured for nine years, first in three seasons on “Soap” (1977-80) and then on the spinoff “Benson”, which ran until April 1986.

Benson’s personal arc went from butler/cook to state budget director and finally to lieutenant governor. He even ran for governor against his former boss, Eugene X. Gatling (John Noble), but that race — a season-ending cliff-hanger — went undecided because the show went off the air.

Guillame also was the voice for Rafiki in The Lion King movie, and was the first African-American to play the title role in The Phantom of the Opera.

It’s back! “Stranger Things” Season 2 is here

The second season of my favorite Netflix adventure, “Stranger Things”, will debut next Friday, October 27, just in time for Halloween.

The geeky crew of Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, and yes, Eleven (with hair!) return to battle whatever is out there in the Upside Down, with the quirky denizens of Hawkins, Indiana. Lots of 80’s references, including movies like Ghostbusters (where did the boys get those cool uniforms?), Chucky, Karate Kid, Carrie, and Star Wars. If you liked The X Files, Twin Peaks, and The Goonies, you will love Stranger Things.

Netflix will release the entire “season” at once, so you can binge-watch the whole thing, or spread it out. If you didn’t catch the first season, there are only eight 42-minute episodes, so it won’t take long to catch up.

Television is a vast wasteland of reality shows and poorly written comedies, but there are gems out there to mine. The Duff brothers have created a 5-carat diamond in Stranger Things; I highly recommend it.

Today in history

August 8, 1966–Star Trek (now known as The Original Series, or TOS, by its geek fandom). The series only lasted 3 seasons, in spite of Lucille Ball’s efforts to keep it going. The show developed a cult following in reruns, and spawned 6 feature films and 4 spin-off television series. The Next Generation produced an additional four feature films.

Star Trek made stars of its cast, including William Shatner (Captain James T Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Deforest Kelly, James Doohan, George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and Walter Koenig.

In 2009, the film franchise underwent a “reboot” set in an alternate timeline, or “Kelvin Timeline,” entitled simply Star Trek. This film featured a new cast portraying younger versions of the crew from the original show; their adventures were continued in the sequel film, Star Trek Into Darkness (2013).

To Trekkies everywhere, “Live long, and prosper.”

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Good-bye to Princess Leia

Carrie Fisher, best known as the iconic double-bun hairdo-wearing Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, died Tuesday following a heart attack. She was 60.

Fisher – who also starred in a host of popular 1980s movies, was married or engaged to famous singers and actors, suffered from bipolar disorder and drug addiction and eventually became a mental health advocate. She had a medical emergency while on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Dec. 23, during which she stopped breathing.

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