A Boy and His Beard

I used to have a beard.

It took me THREE MONTHS to grow.

It was my greatest accomplishment of 2011.

It wasn’t a great beard.

The mustache and beard didn’t quite connect.

And it was a bit patchy.

But it was my beard.

And I was proud of it.

I had to shave it to look “presentable.”

I miss my beard.

Fifth Grade Nostalgia

Today I was looking through my fifth grade yearbook, when two pieces of loose leaf fell out.

As I vaguely remember, in fifth grade we had to pass around a piece of paper with our names on it and every classmate had to write something nice about said person.  That’s twenty-one people who were forced to show me love.  Talk about a retroactive Ego-Boost.

Full disclosure, in terms of athletics, academics and popularity, I totally peaked in fifth grade (see graph below).  I had made my little league all-star game for the third straight year, was chosen to give a speech at the fifth grade graduation and at least three different chicks wanted it.

Back to the subject at hand…

What They Said

To Greg you are a great friend, your fun, kind and good at baseball, from your pal Steven… My best friend in fifth grade, we stopped talking by seventh grade.

You are nice to other people. -Choyi-  

Your funny and nice to others. -Kristine-

Greg you are fun to be with -Christina … I see her in the city all the time.  We pretend we don’t know each other.

Your nice and funny! Elana … Found out at the eighth grade dance she had a crush on me for three years.  Swag.

Dear Greg, Your a really nice person to be with!  See you next year!  Good luck with the trumpet  From SallyO… Two exclamation points.  She wanted it.

Dear greg, your one of the nicest friends I’ve ever had this year, From Joesph … 60% of the time it works every time.

 Dear Greg, You have been very polite to me during the fifth Grade year.  Amanda S.

Dear Greg, You have been a real nice kid.  Chris B.

Greg, Have a nice summer! Paul …That’s not a compliment at all, I never liked Paul Choe.

Dear Greg, your a great friend, I think you should work on your layups too.  P.S. Don’t shoot airballs!  Nooot. Chip… I was totally better than him at basketball.

Dear greg, your awesome at baseball – Dan

Hi best friend your great at sports Alex Z.  Don’t be a stranger… We were never best friends, but I’m flattered.

You are very weird and funny.  Charles … “Very weird” ?  This is one of the weirdest kids I know, according to Facebook he’s working on his memoir (mind you he still lives with his mother). 

You are very nice and funny you are also good in baseball – Brittany … She totally had a crush on me. 

You are a good writer.  You are also a good friend to Steven – Dayna … I totally had a crush on her.  

You are very funny and helpful – Jen

You are just funny – Sabah – Just funny? Go fuck yourself Sabah.

Your a great baseball player –  Alex G… That’s the forth baseball compliment.  What, What!!

Sweeeet it’s summer.  I hope you have a great one. Chris Quinn

You are a good friend since 4th grade.  Henry… Now calls himself “Hanky Panky,” not making that up.

The Class of 98-99…

 

An Open Letter to the Creator of Boy Meets World

Dear Michael Jacobs,

I’ve watched Boy Meets World since its original run on ABC.  I watched the reruns on the Disney Channel, and ABC family.  Now I watch the reruns on MTV2.  That’s nearly twenty years of Boy Meets World, and I only have one thing to say.

Mr. Jacobs, it’s time for a Boy Meets World reunion.

I have so many questions.  Are Corey and Topanga still together?  How do they like New York?  Do they have any kids?  Did Feeney ever “conveniently” pop up in Central Park to teach them a few more life lessons?  Did Angela ever come back for Shawn?  Does Shawn still have a horrible goatee? Is Rider Strong still a terrible actor?  Who will play Morgan, Lily Nicksay or Lindsay Ridgway?  Does Eric need to wear a helmet in everyday life?    Are Rachel and Jack together?  Did Alan go through a mid-life crisis and cheat on Amy yet?

These questions need answering.  Michael  Jacobs answer these questions.  It’s been over ten years, bring the gang back to Philly for one last time, maybe for a high school reunion, college reunion, or – if you really want me to ball my eyes out – Feeny’s funeral (my heart dropped just writing the words “Feeny’s funeral”).

This is more than just a letter.  It’s a call to greatness.  I beg you Michael Jacobs, give me us one last Hoo-Rah.

Sincerely,

 

Gregory A. Massaro

P.S.  Can I get some Mr. Turner closure?

Jimmy, We Made It

It was May 2008, like I’ve been prone to do from time to time, I was thinking about the landscape of Late Night television.  Conan O’Brien was set to replace Jay Leno at the Tonight Show in 2009, leaving a vacancy at the 12:37 time slot.

I figured NBC would tap Jon Stewart as Conan’s successor, given Stewart’s immense success on The Daily Show.  Which, in turn, would leave a vacancy at The Daily Show desk.

Jimmy Fallon had flamed out in Hollywood (I still maintain Taxi is underrated) and although he had a fantastic SNL career, he’s SNL stint had been overshadowed by his propensity to break on stage.  He became a favorite target of Family Guy, snarky bloggers and comedy nerds.  Even with the lull in his career I maintained faith.

After Will Ferrell left, Fallon carried SNL on his shoulders appearing in seemingly every sketch, while also exchanging sexual chemistry with Tina Fey on Weekend Update.   He did one of the best VMA hosting jobs of all-time.  Plus he had a real arsenal of comedy talent; he did spot on impressions, studied improv at the Groundlings, could strap on a guitar and do song parodies and had a background in stand-up.

Jimmy Fallon was my pick to succeed Jon Stewart as the most trusted man in fake news.  He wouldn’t be as cutting as Stewart, but I felt he could bring his own unique brand of irreverence to the news parody game.

I started thinking about what The Daily Show with Jimmy Fallon would look like, then NBC made an announcement.  Jimmy Fallon would follow in the footsteps of David Letterman and Conan O’Brien and take over Late Night.  Now it was time to start thinking about what Late Night with Jimmy Fallon would look like.

As I recall the Jimmy Fallon pick was met with some considerable backlash.  Comedy nerds were slow to embrace Jimmy Fallon’s boy next door -aw shucks – brand of comedy (especially considering Conan was one of their own).  Blogs were quick to point out, The Bathroom Wall, Fever Pitch and Taxi as failed projects from the SNL alum.  While Family Guy disciples followed Seth Macfarlane’s word as gospel.  I didn’t cower though.  I went to bat for Jimmy, pointing out the Barry Gibb talk show, Nick Burns computer guy, and his VMA performance as proof that he had what it took.

On March 2, 2009, my roommate (a Jimmy Fallon doubter) and I watched the first episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  Jimmy came out and was clearly nervous.  He ran through his monologue which was weak and alarmingly short.  He introduced a new game called, “Lick it for Ten.”  The premise,  three audience member would come down and lick random items (a printer, a bowling ball, ect.) and Jimmy would pay them ten bucks.  It was terrible.  Then he interviewed screen legend Robert Deniro, an odd pick for a first guest considering his utter lack of personalty.  In the mist of a truly awkward interview Jimmy had a sudden attack of flop sweat ala Albert Brooks in Broadcast News.  Next he had on Justin Timberlake and while Jimmy seemed more comfortable, Justin also did a bit of overshadowing.  When it was all over my roommate gave me an impish smile and asked, “What did you think?”

All late night hosts go through a pretty tough learning curve.  When Leno first took over the Tonight Show he was nearly canned nine months in (he was saved by hiding in a closet and eavesdropping on executives, true story), when Conan took over Late Night he was so bad they gave him a week by week contract (insulting to say the least), and when Kimmel started at ABC he was basically unwatchable for the first year and a half.  I knew Fallon would most likely stumble out the blocks, and he did, but I definitely enjoyed the first show.  Maybe it was me blindly standing by my guy, but I thought Jimmy did a pretty solid job considering it was his first time.  He had an infectious energy, got the crowd involved and it was all sort of weird (in a good way).

The next night Jimmy had Tina Fey on, and he was locked in.  My roommate, who only the night before was reveling in Jimmy’s failures, looked over to me and said, “he was good tonight…but he still needs a better monologue.”  Over the next few months the comedy nerds converted, the blogs started singing his praises and the Family Guy disciples evaporated.  In a remarkably fast time (relatively speaking) he had picked up the craft of late night host and was winning over insomniacs and scoring on the internet.

Then Jimmy got a shot at prime time.  He was chosen to host the 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards.  He opened the show like only he could.  He enlisted a ton of celebrity cohorts, parodied Glee and rocked out to some Bruce.  His hosting job was met with rave reviews and the audience loved it.

Today the Daily Beast ranked the “Most Valuable Late Night Hosts”, by seeing who get’s the most “bang for their buck.”  The winner, you guessed it, Jimmy Fallon.  I feel like a proud parent right now.


My Favorite Albums from 1996-2011

To see the full list of my Favorite Albums from 1996-2011, click HERE.

Comments/Observations:

1)  Picking My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy number one is absolutely the easiest decision I’ve ever made in my life.

2)  I really like Jack White.

3)  2003 Fiddy would end 2012 Fiddy’s career (ala Ja Rule).

4)  Thom Yorke is a genius.

5)  I can’t believe I put The Blueprint behind Get Rich or Die Tryin’, but I stand by it.

6)  I’m saying this in the most heterosexual way possible,  Justin, can you please bring Sexy Back again?

7)  Jay’s second appearance, see I got love for you Hov.

8)  The prefect double album.

9)  A lot of people think 808s and Heartbreak  is Ye’s weakest album.  I don’t.

10)  I thought I told you, I really like Jack White.

11)  Pre-Young Money Drake > Young Money Drake.

12)  So Loud. So Good.

13)  More Kanye.

14)  One of my first favorite albums.

15)  Just look at my Facebook cover photo.  Similarities?           

16)  Still more Kanye.

17)  I mean it features my favorite rap song of all-time, what did you expect?

18)  Getting a little hipsterish.

19)  All you have to do is watch this, and you’ll understand.

20)  I don’t smoke weed, but this kind of makes me want to.

21)  Is it becoming apparent who my favorite artist is?

22)  I can listen to this until I die.  No exaggeration.

23)  Thank Me Later.  And no the album cover is not 3D.

24)  Greatest female rapper of all-time.

25)  My hipster undertones are coming out again.

26)  Thom Yorke is a genius.

27)  Doesn’t hold up great, but it’s still pretty solid.

28)  But really, what happened Fiddy?

29)  *Unpopular Opinion Alert* Nostalgia, Ultra. > channel ORANGE.

30)  Side note, The Roots are the greatest live hip hop act on the planet. (Sorry Jay)

31)  I never thought I’d like an album like this.  I was wrong.

32)  I’m only about four years late to the LCD Soundsystem party.

33)  These guys played at Fordham my senior year.  So glad they did.

34)  Who cares if it sounds like he’s castrated?  I just need synths.

35)  Jay’s third appearance (P.S. Jay’s American Gangster should be on this list, totally forgot).  Kanye’s sixth.

36) Wayne’s first and only appearance.

37)  I’ve dedicated over 7,000 words to this guy.

38)  The U2 of our generation?  I don’t know how to feel about that.  I don’t even know if that’s a compliment anymore.

39)  More hipster undertones.

40)  Black Thought, the most overlooked rapper out right now.

41)  Surprising really good live.

42)  This chick has pipes.

43)  Lived off this album in High School.

44,45) Lasers’ Lupe, (Chief Keef voice) That’s that shit I don’t like!

46)  But really, what’s wrong with just making easily digestible songs for the masses?  (Only said sort of facetiously)

47)  I think I get too excited whenever something from Inside In/Inside Out comes on my Pandora.

48, 49)  Funk. Rock. City.

50) “And Moby, you can get stomped by Obie, You 36 year old bald headed fag blow me. You don’t know me, you’re too old.  Let go, it’s over, nobody listens to techno,” boy was Em wrong on that one.