Quick Hits: February 13

  • The results of Bob Saget’s autopsy have been revealed. His cause of death was head trauma. In a statement, his family said “The authorities have determined that Bob passed from head trauma. They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep.”
  • Super Bowl LVI will be played tonight at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Scheduled to appear at the halftime show: Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30; coverage begins at noon on NBC and Peacock.
  • Starz has released the full trailer for Shining Vale, its upcoming horror-comedy series starring Courteney Cox. I’m super excited for this one.
  • Cabaret was released fifty years ago today. Directed by Bob Fosse and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey, Cabaret was based on the stage musical by Kander and Ebb (which itself was based on the autobiographical novel The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood). Cabaret opened to glowing reviews and was a box office success despite its X rating. Come Oscar time, the film received ten nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress for Minnelli and Best Supporting Actor for Grey. Cabaret won eight Oscars (Fosse, Minnelli and Grey all won) but lost Best Picture to The Godfather, making it the film with the most Academy Awards to not receive the Best Picture honor.
  • Ian McDonald, co-founder of King Crimson and Foreigner, has died of cancer at the age of seventy-five. King Crimson’s debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, is a prog-rock classic. McDonald left the band shortly thereafter, apparently due to disagreements with co-founder Robert Fripp over the direction of the band. After moving to New York City in the mid-70s, he co-founded Foreigner with fellow Brit Mick Jones and appeared on their first three albums. The trailer for an upcoming King Crimson documentary was released just a week before McDonald’s death.
  • Speaking of prog-rock classics, today is Peter Gabriel’s 72nd birthday. Gabriel began his career as lead singer and primary songwriter for Genesis. Gabriel was as much a performance artist as a singer; his outlandish costumes and makeup lent an air of theatricality to his concert performances. By the mid-70s, a disillusioned Gabriel departed Genesis to embark upon a solo career. His first solo album came out in 1977 and featured the single “Solsbury Hill”, which detailed his departure from Genesis (“I was feeling part of the scenery/I walked right out of the machinery”). Gabriel’s first four albums were top ten hits in the UK, but it was his fifth album, 1986’s So, that made him a superstar in the US. So‘s lead single, “Sledgehammer”, reached the top of the Billboard 100 and won a record nine MTV Video Music Awards. Gabriel has also composed music for films like Birdy and The Last Temptation of Christ, and earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing the song “Down to Earth” (from WALL-E) with Thomas Newman. He is simply one of the most inventive artists of all time, an activist and a humanitarian, and a personal favorite of mine.
  • And finally, the cast of Survivor season 42 has been revealed. The season premiere will air on CBS and Paramount Plus on March 9.


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