This reminds me, though, of a likely injustice: Years ago, when my friend Ali Kokmen was in the habit of leading several of us to a West Village bar for Bingo, that bar also had such contests as inviting people to imagine the best possible title for an Ernest Borgnine comeback project. Ali suggested Ernest: Deep Borg Nine.
And here’s the thing: I contend that Ernest: Deep Borg Nine — which puns not only on (a) Borgnine’s name but simultaneously on a Star Trek (b) title, (c) race, and (d) female character (e) known for being considerably better looking than Ernest Borgnine — is the best Borgnine comeback project joke title logically possible.
We never found out who won the contest or what their title was, but it wasn’t Ali — and even without knowing who won, I call shenanigans on this no doubt unjust verdict, and not just because Ali is one of the finest men who ever lived, and a noble Bingo team leader to boot. A curse be upon anyone who would rob him of his rightful joke-contest glory, Bingo winnings, or margarita money.
On the bright side, one of those Bingo outings was the site of one of my musical-good-ear detective triumphs. I can often guess from listening that, say, No Doubt has some connection to the Cars and that sort of thing — and I first heard the band Television on one of those Bingo outings, guessing it was them based solely on the fact that it sounded like an authentically proto-punk 70s band and there simply weren’t that many of them, so by process of elimination… And that’s how I first heard what indeed turned out to be the excellent album Marquee Moon.
In grimmer entertainment news, I see the trial of the suspected murderer of former Ramones manager Linda Stein is set to begin today (not to be confused with the trial for murder of former Ramones producer Phil Spector). Rest assured the suspect is not invited to our Debate at Lolita Bar next week (Feb. 3) between ex-Misfits members Bobby Steele and Michale Graves. Perhaps, though, since the accused was an employee of Stein, we should mention the case at our planned April debate on the question “Are Bosses Usually Jerks?”