Florence Agnes Henderson, America's Other Mom, has a birthday today. You should give her a call. (Above, perhaps her most underrated performance.)
In some alternate universe Vice President Sarah Palin is celebrating her 50th birthday today while former Senator Barack Obama stands out on the balcony of his corporate office, takes a long drag on a cigarette and thanks the Lord God above for letting him lose the 2008 election. "I'm the luckiest son-of-a-bitch alive," he thinks as he exhales. In this universe, Sarah Palin is 50 today and Barack Obama is still stuck with his terrible job. It's funny the way things work out.
Happy 70th birthday to Rutger Oelsen Hauer, who has hopefully made peace with the fact that this is going to be what people remember him for, which, given some of his other choices, is probably all for the best. Anyway, enjoy your birthday, Rutger. For you it is time to live! (Get it? Because of what he says in the movie? Ugh, I didn't sleep much last night, I'm sorry.)
Journalist Nina Totenberg turns 70 today, which still puts her on the younger side of the NPR demographic.
A very happy 50th to Nicolas Kim Coppola, an actor so idiosyncratic that you might assume YouTube was invented solely to host video compilations like the one above. While I have you: Is Birdy one of the most underrated movies of the last 30 years? It says here yes.
It is a mystery to me how this film is not seen as a modern classic, but then again I have not been back to watch it since I first saw it about a quarter of a century ago, so maybe it sucks. But I doubt it. Anyway, happy birthday Thomas Edward Hulce! Most people know you from Animal House or Parenthood or the Mozart movie but I don't think you were ever better than you were here.
Not than any excuse is ever needed but were there some sort of relevancy requirement for sharing this video I think the fact that Robert Peter Williams celebrates his 40th birthday today would probably exceed any and all requisite criteria. Also, wow does this all seem like a lifetime ago.
You know how every town has that one band that is super-popular locally but completely unknown anywhere else, and residents of the town are always like, "You have to hear [BAND], they are just the best," or "While you're here you need to go see [BAND], they'll change your life," or "I'm sending you the new album from [BAND], I really think this is going to be the record that wakes everyone else up to just how good they are," and you nod politely and pretend to pay attention for as long as they are still talking and then move on with your life because bands like that are [...]
Whatever crimes against music Stephen Ray Perry may have committed in his long career—and I am thinking, in particular, of the song that ended that show, you know what I'm talking about—he will always have this piece of work on the credit side of his ledger, which is more than so many of us can say about our own accomplishments. This is a pretty perfect song; I suspect it has something to do with the rising action in the chorus. It is also somewhat embarrassing to like, but that is true of so many things in life that we all secretly enjoy. Anyway, happy birthday Steve Perry. You are [...]
Seventy. Seventy. Three score and ten, this guy. It's a funny old world.
Happy birthday to John Michael Osbourne. There are so many groundbreaking performances to choose from it seems almost comical that we're going with this one, and yet here we are. Anyway, authorities in whom I have the greatest trust on the matter assure me that 13, Black Sabbath's most recent record, is actually quite good, so if that's the sort of thing you've been waiting to hear consider it vouched for.
It seems hard to remember now that we live in an age where you can pop into any given Starbucks of a Wednesday afternoon and find "Free Man In Paris" playing on the speakers but Roberta Joan Anderson is one of the most groundbreaking and important creative figures of the last fifty years, and not just for Blue, although that album is indeed one of the "turning points and pinnacles in 20th-century popular music." Mitchell's unpredictability and unwillingness to play the proscribed roles of her era would have made her a beacon of inspiration even [...]
William Felton Russell, the first African American coach in American professional sports and indisputably one of basketball's greatest all-time players, an "impassioned advocate of human rights" and "a consistent advocate of equality," as the White House put it when awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010, turns 80 today.
I don't know if it's simply another part of the package of magical powers she wields over the perception of us all or some deeper fissure in the system of linear events but there is a weird thing where whatever age Oprah Winfrey is seems to be the exact age you would assume Oprah Winfrey to be. Today that age is 60, which sounds just right.
Katherine Anne Moss turns 40 today, which means if you are not yet 40 yourself you can still vaguely make yourself feel better about things by saying, "Well, at least I'm younger than Kate Moss," and if you have already reached that age it doesn't really make a difference to you anyway because your life is for all intents and purposes over and no matter how long or short your remaining time on this earth is you are basically spending it enduring agonies of existence that only increase as you trudge toward the tomb while your relevance diminishes with each passing year until you reach the point where if anyone [...]
I have heard an argument made that Ron Moody's portrayal of Fagin in Oliver! takes a character who is an anti-Semitic stereotype to begin with and blows the big-nosed doors off, but I have to say that I cannot keep from loving this money-grubbing Jewy jig and the performance behind it. He was also amazing in Mel Brooks' third-greatest film. Anyway, the man is 90 today, and good for him.
Forrest Richard Betts turns 70 today. "Ramblin' Man" is one of those songs we have all heard too many times to have any kind of valid opinion on (I have finally come around, but I can see the thinking behind all the other opinions, although in the end what does it matter? Dickey Betts don't care what you think and we are all gonna wind up in the ground regardless of our postion on "Ramblin' Man" anyway.)—"No matter how you feel about the song 'Ramblin' Man,' remember that nobody else is interested and someday you will die" is a good approximation of my philosophy of life at this point; [...]
Happy birthday to Facebook co-founder/New Republic owner/publisher/editor-in-chief/cover-chooser Chris Hughes. Even though he has more money than you'd ever see if you somehow lived three lifetimes and he is only turning thirty today that doesn't make you a failure. Or, you know, at least not a huge one. There are bigger failures than you. It is silly to measure yourself against people who until just this morning were still in their 20s, no matter how much more successful their accomplishments are, particularly when compared with the pathetic hopes and dreams upon which you have thus far wasted your time. Anyway, Chris Hughes is 30, and you suck.