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Dear NBC: I'm not buying what you're selling.

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Someone's bs'ing here, and it ain't me. Here's the story:

Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch were to be the co-stars of Fey's upcoming series, "30 Rock," which looked behind the scenes of an SNL-like sketch comedy show, originally titled, "Friday Night Bits." Sounds great, right? I certainly thought so, especially after reading a strong pilot script. Tracy Morgan was to play a crazy star, and in a late casting coup, Alec Baldwin was picked up to play the network boss.

Also, at some point, the name of the show-within-the-show changed to "The Girlie Show." Hmm.

Now, after very positive advance word on the show and a semi-surprise pickup (a lot of folks figured NBC wouldn't pick up both Fey's series and Aaron Sorkin's dramatic take on the same general idea, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"), something's going down with Dratch's role.

Variety reported that her role, as one of the stars of "The Girlie Show," had been "scrapped." To wit:

Rachel Dratch no longer has a role on the upcoming NBC laffer "30 Rock." Instead, she'll have many, many roles.

Dratch was originally tapped to play Jenna DeCarlo, an actress on "The Girlie Show" -- the show-within-a-show on "30 Rock."

But with the focus of "30 Rock" moving away from "The Girlie Show" and more toward the interaction among stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, the show's exec producers decided to scrap Dratch's character.

Instead, Dratch will appear in several episodes in a wide variety of roles. In the "30 Rock" opener, for example, she'll now appear as a cat wrangler (whose felines are needed for a sketch).

This already feels fishy, right? Multiple roles to play to her strength? What is she, Dana Carvey in that movie with the turtle suit? Feels like the other shoe's about to drop, right?
And get a load of this, from TV Week:

Former "Ally McBeal" series regular Jane Krakowski is joining the cast of NBC's new fall comedy "30 Rock."

She has been hired to play the star of "The Girlie Show," a network variety show that serves as the backdrop for the workplace comedy.

Ms. Krakowski replaces Rachel Dratch, who played the role in the "30 Rock" pilot. Ms. Dratch, a fellow cast mate on "Saturday Night Live" with "30 Rock" creator Tina Fey, will have a smaller role on the series by playing a variety of characters in multiple episodes.

So what the hell is going on? Sounds like a load of "not too many funny women, please" crap to me. Here's a program lucky enough to have two of the funniest women in showbiz, and all of a sudden they're dropping one into some recurring cat wrangler BS?

Rachel Dratch is a really wonderful, brilliant performer. Getting to see her work in a meaty role every week was one of the biggest reasons I was excited about this program. Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch are purportedly pals, and maybe I'm misreading the whole situation. That said, I can tell you that what I smell stinks.

Updates: The Defamer has picked up on this story... it's got legs!

Todd at Dead-Frog.com rightfully points out the irony -- the show's theme is a meddling network exec pushing for a less female-centric show.

The Man Who Invented Rock & Roll

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Where's the love for Louie Jordan?

Here's the man who represents the bridge between big band music and R&B. Jordan's downsized big band played jazzy instruments in an R&B style, with a lot of saxophone. In other words, they helped create the sound of early rock & roll, particularly the boogie-woogie variety.

Films like this one were shown in nickelodeons, and helped make Jordan the biggest recording star of the 1940s. In fact... he was arguably the first great inter-racial pop music star in the US.

Watch this video and see where Little Richard (openly and admittedly) copped his steez.

Are you subscribed to the TSOYA blog?

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Sometimes I'm so busy trying to get people to subscribe to The College Years in iTunes, or to The Sound of Young America podcast in iTunes that I forget we have a blog!

If you read and enjoy The Sound of Young America blog, why not subscribe? Whether you use an web-based reader like My Yahoo, Bloglines or Google, a standalone reader, or anything else, you'll get the blog delivered to you as soon as there's something new to read.

Beyonce's new album.

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I guess she didn't really consider alternate pronounciations of "B'Day."

Aretha Franklin Live in 1971

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At the Montreux Jazz Festival. Looking beautiful in a short natural, and singing her ass off.

Sometimes I get annoyed by Aretha's omnipresence, and her universal acclaim, but then I listen to "Live at the Fillmore West," or "Amazing Grace" and I remember that the reason she's so fat and famous is because she really is a genius.

Live! In Snoop's backyard!

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I don't watch a lot of regular TV, because I don't have cable. Most of what I see are things that I cared enough about to steal from the internet. I was watching regular TV the other day, slumped on my mother's sofa after moving furniture for a few hours, and I saw something amazing. I guess this is like five or six years old, and everyone else has already seen it, but it blew my mind. I'm talking about Snoop Dogg's episode of Cribs.

Now, please understand that it came on after an hour of "Rock Gods" Cribs, which made me hate "Rock Gods" forever. (Except Sebastian Bach, who showed off his comic book collection, which I thought was hilarious).

There are a lot of amazing moments in this.

* Right off the bat, he describes his "Players Rooms," including his "Untouchable Room," where he "touch on bases of untouchablism, you know."

* He says his favorite award is his American Music Award, "with Dick Clark. Dick Clark a real playa. What's up Dick?!"

Some other choice quotes...

Snoop on his favorite singers

* "This is me and Anita Baker after I won the Soul Train Awards. She like one of my favorite singers."

Snoop on his refrigerator

* "We keep it gangsta up in here... popsicles... leggo my eggo."

Snoop on swimming

* "Right now, I'm the best swimmer, but my uncle Junebug think he could out swim me. He 60 years old."

Snoop on fun

* "That neighbor over there used to bother me. He used to call the police and say I made loud noise and party hearty. I'm a young man, I was born to party, y'dig?"

And finally, most delightfully of all, Snoop on his basketball companions

The most amazing thing in the whole film is when he's showing his basketball court, which he clearly loves. "Man... we done had a whole mess of celebrities. Chris Tucker... Jodeci... we even had BBD out here."

Chris Tucker is about who you'd think would be playing basketball with the Dogg, right? But then he goes straight to JODECI and BELL BIV DEVOE. "I'm out here with Soopafly and Daz Dillinger," or "I'm out here with Master P and Dre." He's bragging that he plays basketball with JODECI and BELL BIV DEVOE. Those are the "signature celebrities" of the Snoop Dogg basketball court. Snoop Dogg is AWESOME. Dogghouse is INDEED major.

Jack Black, Blackjack

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Who's that on TELEVISION? Could it be Jordan Morris, "Boy Detective"? I do believe it is!

The Dana Carvey Show "Skinheads From Maine" (featuring Stephen Colbert)

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"Lilacs are blooming early this year."

"Yuh."

"Holocaust didn't happen you know."

"Yuh."

I remember watching this sketch when it aired, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. There was some really wonderful stuff on The Dana Carvey Show, and I'm glad the internet is bringing it back to us.

Andy Kaufman on Letterman Again

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"Tommorow... comedian Pee-Wee Herman and Devo, plus some weird dogs!"

And today, Andy Kaufman, candidly discussing how terrible his film "Heartbeeps" was. Includes the same footage as the one I posted a couple months ago, as well as much, much more from the same appearance.

Hate Mail Roundup

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It's been a long time since I've gotten any hate mail - largely because there isn't much casual listenership in the world of podcasting. But I got a great one tonight!

I just listened to an MP3 from the interview conducted with the guest being Brendon Small from Dethklok. I am a 30 year old software developer from Salt Lake City. I loved Brendon, but the guy interviewing him was an idiot. DJ's across America need to realize, especially your DJ conducting this interview, that they are not the focal point of these celebrity interviews. I can never listen to your show because that guy was utterly annoying. Good thing Brendon was so good and I got to listen to some Dethklok.

just thought you should know,

Mike Benedict
mbenedict26@gmail.com

Want to hear the chat between Brendon Small and idiot DJ Jesse Thorn? Here's the MP3!

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