Saturday, November 1, 2014

I think my whore is dead: Garth Brooks on SNL 15 years later

I hadn't planned on blogging today, but I had a spark of inspiration thinking about Garth Brooks performing at Rupp Arena this weekend. He and his wife Trisha Yearwood (one of my all-time favorite performers) are playing four sold-out shows, which means that roughly 80,000 concert-goers are expected to flood downtown this weekend. So many were expected, LFUCG had to issue a traffic warning, urging all who didn't have a reason to come downtown to stay away.

From what I can tell, Garth Brooks appeared on SNL as host twice in the last 15 years. The first time he hosted, Robert Duvall made a special guest appearance and the second time he was around with Chris Gaines as the musical guest. I've scoured the Internet trying to find clips of both of those episodes, because I really think that there are some strong sketches. Garth is a really funny guy and I think that during that particular era, he had some good material to work with. Tina Fey was writer and there were cast members like Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer, and that crew who supported Brooks in the best way.

My absolute favorite of Garth's sketches from his two appearances is a parody game show titled "Old French Whore!" where Cheri O'Teri and Molly Shannon play French prostitutes paired up against high school honor students. Brooks plays a prostitute named Coco, who was apparently personal concubine to Ravel, who knows a lot about Chemistry. Chris Katan, Tim Meadows, and Ana Gasteyer play the high school students with Will Ferrell as the host. Coco shares a tragic story of how she wanted to study chemistry, but it wasn't proper for a young lady to do that back when. Sadly, I can't embed the full video here, but here's a small clip. You can find the full sketch at this link.

In Brooks's first monologue, he talks about this life before country music and shares that he was actually a member of a psychedelic rock revival that had appeared on SNL in the early 80s. Garth also had some interaction with Mango, Chris Katan's biggest character, who drove male guests crazy every week. I can't find the clip of the first sketch that featured the two together, but it's mentioned in Brooks's second monologue where Mango makes an appearance and says that he's excited to meet Chris Gaines, Brooks's rock singing alter ego.

Garth Brooks also appears in a sketch with the Boston Teens, played by Rachel Dratch and Jimmy Fallon. The two visit the mall and encounter Brooks in Hickory Farm where his character is an Assistant Manager. As per usual, the two get pretty touchy-feely and Brooks's character speaks out against kids today.

And, of course, who can forget Nadine, the Simmah Down lady? Garth is actually in the first sketch which features Nadine, whose only response to anyone is to tell them to Simmah Down Now. I say, Sih-muh Dahn Nah. In this sketch, Brooks plays Nadine's superior at a department store who tries to defuse problems between her and her customers. The sketch is repetitive, but hilarious all the same.

Here are the only two actual videos I was able to pull. I'm not terribly impressed with this sketch where Will Ferrell plays the Devil. I honestly thought that Jim Lovitz did a better job in the early 90s.

Saturday Night Live - Garth Brooks - Will Farrell - Deal with the Devil from Illogically Sound on Vimeo.

Silly, but still fun is this NBC take on The Smurfs. 98-99 was still the time in which NBC was producing epic mini-series events. I absolutely loved The Odyssey, Gulliver's Travels, and Merlin. Rachel Dratch as Helena Bonham Carter was a bit random and there wasn't really even any sort of reason for Horatio Sanz as Meatloaf. Regardless, I really liked Garth in this one.

SNL "Smurfs" from John Young on Vimeo.

What was your favorite sketch with Garth  Brooks? Should he host SNL again with one of today's stable of characters?

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dare to Be Bold Next Saturday

I've made it a mission of mine since returning to Lexington to become connected with as many people as I can be. Getting out into the community, talking to people, and finding out what I can do to help make Lexington a better place just comes second nature to me now and I find myself becoming involved with more and more all the time. From food festivals, to local workshops, and of course historical organizations, I am busier than ever before. It's awesome.

When I was working for a local after-school program a few years ago, I learned of Girls on the Run and other after-school programs which work to empower girls and promote self-esteem. I was in Girl Scouts and was super involved in many clubs and activities which gave me leadership positions. And now, as an adult, it makes me very glad to see so many stepping up to make sure that no girls are left behind in this media-driven, male-dominated world, especially in light of controversies like Gamer Gate, #notallmen, and the like. It's imperative to teach the next generation of women that they are strong, that they are equal, and that they deserve respect.

The founders of Be Bold, Inc. have a mission to achieve just that, "to empower girls by partnering with them to set and achieve tangible goals for themselves through entertainment, education, and above all inspiration." For just $5, girls will be able to attend the workshop which will feature a number of inspirational speakers talking on topics such as self-esteem, empowerment, and entrepreneurship. A step team performance, a fashion show, and art projects are just a few of the activities that girls 9-18 will be able to take part in.

By instilling in them the ability to dream, to think of something greater than their poverty-stricken neighborhoods (or better yet, come back and do something to help them), and to share their goals with others, Be Bold is a program which will help young girls find their strength and bring to light the necessity to nurture those growing up in areas of Lexington like the East End, which are rich in history and tradition, but lose the attention to the more affluent neighborhoods.

Sponsors for Be Bold include University of Kentucky, Partners for Youth, and Third Street Stuff. There is still time to show your support for this initiative. Volunteer your time, make a donation, or just spread the word about the amazing work that is being done in Lexington.

If you know of a girl who would benefit from Dare to be Bold, registration has been extended to October 29. I'm excited to volunteer for Dare to Be Bold!

Dare to Be Bold
University of Kentucky, Student Center

November 1, 2014
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Facebook | Website | Twitter

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

The best laid plans - An Update

There comes a time when one must take a step back and evaluate the importance of something in one's life. Is what I am doing successful? Is it meaningful to me and to other people? Is this something that I want to continue to do? I find myself looking at Kentucky Geek Girl in this way, and that's not a bad thing.

I started KGG in 2010 as an outlet to talk about gaming. I looked at a couple of apps that year and then started writing about pop culture in an expanded sense. It was then I started reviewing movies here and there and things pretty much took off. In 2011, I introduced and started attended conventions on behalf of the site.

I've really enjoyed attending conventions, talking to people, hosting a table. I had plans to attend more conventions in 2014, but other responsibilities got in the way. Ah, responsibilities, professional, social, and the like. I've been so incredibly busy with work, volunteerism, and trying to keep up with everything there is to do, that I've neglected my blogging responsibilities. Truth be told, I have felt rather uninspired as of late. This has left me thinking about where to go with Kentucky Geek Girl.

Lately, when I have prepared to write, the words haven't quite flowed as well as I would have liked. I'm sure I'll work through it, as I have before, but I wanted to be completely honest with everyone as to why you haven't seen a lot from me lately. It's mostly not having time for blogging, but definitely a bit of the writer's block.

I'm always looking for story ideas and I'm brainstorming ways to keep KGG alive as a place for Kentuckians to get their geek news. Living in Lexington, I'll of course be focusing on Central KY, but I would like to also feature what's going on in other parts of the Commonwealth. I'm going to spend the remainder of 2014 really thinking about what to do with KGG and in 2015, I hope to celebrate the site's 5th anniversary with a bang.

Thanks to everyone for sticking out this dry spell. I really appreciate everyone's support!

Be sure to like Kentucky Geek Girl on Facebook and follow my daily updates on Twitter! If you have any questions or want to discuss partnership opportunities, be sure to send me an email.