Reader John Bredehoft brings to our attention one of Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent skits from the “Tonight Show” with a local angle. For the uninitiated, Carson would pose as a great seer who would accept a sealed envelope from sidekick Ed McMahon, hold it to his forehead and offer up the answer. Then, “Jeopardy”-style, he would open the envelope and read the question or lead-in.
In this May 21, 1974 segment (see the clip here), one joke involves Mount Baldy and starts about 3:15 in, but the whole thing, at 7 minutes, is fun to watch.
Question: “What happens when there isn’t any smog.”
In the latest “Californians” sketch on Saturday Night Live, the character Stuart says of an old friend: “We used to go sandsailing together. I’d get up at 6 a.m., take the 118 east to the 405 north, get on the 5 and then take that to the 210 all the way out to Ranchooo Cuuucamonga.” SNL has been good about including us in this geographic survey of SoCal; a previous sketch cited Chino. Watch the whole sketch here. Thanks to reader Alicia Keetle for bringing this to my attention.
The iconic TV host, who died Sunday night at age 67, made many stops in the Inland Valley in his travels. I chatted up some who met him for Wednesday’s column.
His archives are online at Chapman University’s website, where you can search by topic or city or watch clips.
Two local stops that didn’t make my column were at the Pomona Public Library, where he did a well-remembered segment on the Goddess of Pomona statue circa 1989, and Glendora’s Donut Man, a 1999 episode set to air again at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on KCET.
Share your memories or comments about Howser below.
“Saturday Night Live’s” soap opera parody, “The Californians,” mentioned Rancho Cucamonga this past week. Says one character:
“You’ve got to stay away from Devon. He’s no good for you. He’s broken hearts in Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Santa Clarita and Redondo Beach. I don’t want him to go to your apartment in Angelino Heights.”
Every episode is like a geography lesson. And a driving lesson, what with characters discussing their exact route to get anywhere. Watch the episode here. Thanks to reader Robert Garcia for the link.
Wednesday’s column begins with an item about the Comedy Central show “Workaholics,” which is about three friends who work for the fictional telemarketing firm TelAmeriCorp in Rancho Cucamonga. Here’s the show’s official site. As a reader points out, Cucamonga references aren’t just in Looney Tunes and Jack Benny. Read the column here.
ABC’s “Celebrity Wife Swap” isn’t my typical TV viewing (my typical TV viewing is to leave the set off) but Tuesday’s episode involved Ontario, so why not?
Former child actress Tina Yothers, who played Jennifer Keaton on “Family Ties,” lives in south Ontario. She swapped households with actress Niecy Nash of “Reno 911,” “Dancing With the Stars” and “Clean House,” who lives in Northridge.
I’d never heard of either of them or watched either series, so some of the voyeur factor was lost on me. Anyway, the alleged “country” aspects of Ontario (!) are played up, and life in similarly suburban Northridge is presented as glamorous.
Nash thinks she’s a diva, Yothers thinks she’s normal, and hijinx ensue. Somehow, though, Nash comes off as a better mother. She’s more open-minded than Yothers, willing to take a different approach to parenting based on Yothers’ suggestions, whereas Yothers didn’t want to hear it about her own kids. Kind of interesting.
If you’ve got 43 minutes to kill, you can watch the episode here.
Reader Nancy Bumstead said she was watching “Oprah” on Wednesday when a viewer from Ontario — our Ontario — named Christina asked a question of guest Brad Pitt via Skype video about his tattoos, with which the fan seemed, um, rather strangely interested. And knowledgeable.
Christina describes herself as a “forever fan” of Pitt’s of “about 17 years.” I love how “Oprah” shows Ontario on a map next to Christina’s face. It should be helpful when the restraining order comes through.
When the downtown Pomona restaurant Lela’s closed last summer, the fate of the “Kitchen Nightmares” reality show taped at the restaurant also seemed to be in question. After all, the premise is that brash TV chef Gordon Ramsay would visit a failing restaurant and try to turn it around. Lela’s obviously wasn’t going to be a success story. Would the episode air even though the restaurant was gone?
That question has been answered. The episode about Lela’s is scheduled to air Wednesday. The synopsis, from the “Nightmares” website:
“Chef Ramsay tries to rev up business for Lela’s, an upscale restaurant in desperate need of clientele. When Gordon gets in the kitchen and starts criticizing the menu items, the executive chef is less than thrilled and they have a showdown in front of the entire staff. Find out if the changes stick and if the owner Lela will withstand this type of behavior in her restaurant.”
That’s at 9 p.m. on Fox.
* Update: A blow-by-blow account of the episode can be read, and marveled at, here, and the episode in all its, um, glory can be watched here.