Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

It takes more than a swig of ‘tussin …

August 17, 2017

There was a comedian on America’s Got Talent this week that reminded me of Chris Rock.

Chris Rock is a very funny guy.

His routine on the many uses of Robitussin (‘tussin, for short) is a comedy classic.

The ‘tussin skit sets the context for the rest of this post.

If you haven’t seen it – or want a refresher — click to view it now.



I always assumed that Rock was a naturally funny guy who just stoked up and unleashed a stream of top-of-mind consciousness on stage.

I was surprised to learn that Rock takes his craft very seriously and toils long and hard to test and fine-tune his material.

Here’s a glimpse at his recipe for success …


An Aussie, a Brit, a Scot and a Russian …

September 11, 2015

What’s up with America’s Got Talent?


For years, I’ve been ridiculed by my family for loyally watching America’s Got Talent.

This is the 10th anniversary of the show – and though Howard Stern repeatedly hypes the talent as “the best ever, the best in America … acts you won’t see anywhere else”, even I am starting to have my doubts.

Maybe my family has been right all along.



The AGT  “finals” are next week.

To make my point, let’s look at some of the 10 finalists ….


She’s back … like a virgin (of course).

October 24, 2014

I have been looking for a reason to reprise Sister Cristina, and I got it.

You know, Sister Cristina, the singing nun who went viral on her way to winning the Italian version of The Voice.

Well, she’s released. her first single.

Appropriately (?), it’s a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” … slower tempo with naughty parts cleaned up.

All profits go to the Vatican since Sister Cristina took the nun’s vow of poverty.  That’s a bummer.

.click to view


Need a pick-me-up? 

Here’s a stroll down memory lanes with #SisterAx’s path to victory and stardom.  Guaranteed to put a smile on your face … (more…)

Blame FoxNews … say, what?

October 9, 2014

Last week President Obama another shout-diss to FoxNews as the reason that roughly half of the country’s 300 million population think that he’s not doing such a great job.


Let’s think about that.

Qualitatively speaking, , no disputing that Fox leans right and pounce’s on the Administration’s frequent miscues.

Quantitatively speaking, the President’s concern seems unfounded.

Fox boasts – with merit – that it outdraws left-leaning CNN and MSNBC combined.

That’s true.




And, top dog O’Reilly draws almost 3.5 million viewers … more than 4 times what best competitor Rachel Maddow draws.

But, that’s only part of the story …


It takes more than a swig of ‘tussin …

August 13, 2014

Chris Rock is a very funny guy.

His routine on the many uses of Robitussin (‘tussin, for short) is a comedy classic.

The ‘tussin skit sets the context for the rest of this post.

If you haven’t seen it – or want a refresher — click to view it now.



I always assumed that Rock was a naturally funny guy who just stoked up and unleashed a stream of top-of-mind consciousness on stage.

I was surprised to learn that Rock takes his craft very seriously and toils long and hard to test and fine-tune his material.

Here’s a glimpse at his recipe for success …


Come closer … jump … adios.

August 4, 2014

Summertime means America’s Got Talent.

Every year I swear off the show, when my favorites get sent pack.

Heartbreak came early this season when my early fav act got eliminated by the judges.

The act is called Flight Crew Jump Rope.

Click below for 2 minutes of pure fun and “wow”.



Here’s what happened …


Undeniable Proof of God … #SisterAx

June 13, 2014

We’ve previously posted about Sister Cristina Scuccia, the nun whose performances on the Italian version of “The Voice” went viral.

Well, there by the grace of God, she won it all!


According to

During the finals broadcast , the nun — dressed in her traditional habit, crucifix and plain black shoes — appeared surprised when she advanced to the final two, along with Giacomo Voli.

Sister Cristina — who was coached by Italian rapper J-Ax was overjoyed when the show’s host announced that she was the winner, taking  62.3 percent of the vote.

In the audience, her fellow nuns applauded, and cheering supporters waved T-shirts bearing her image and the hashtag #SisterAx.

The clincher: Sister Cristina performed a high-energy version “What a Feeling” from of Flashdance, complete with Madonna-like back-up dancers on stage  … and her fellow nuns dancing in the aisles.

 click to view
sister kristina what a feeling


Sister Cristina said she was inspired to audition for “The Voice” by the words of Pope Francis who called upon clergy to “get out onto the streets.”

She told the judges and audience “I have been given a gift and I am giving it to you”.

Rock on Sister.


P.S. If you need an upper today, here’s a greatest hits compilation of Sister Cristina’s performances, including “Hero” and “Living on a Prayer”…


Thanks to MM for feeding the lead re: the win in the finals

#HomaFiles                #SisterAx             #SuorCristina

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Decisive action against disability fraud … not by the Feds, by Disney

September 25, 2013

During the recent economic  “recovery”, unemployment rates have started to recede, in part because many folks are leaving the labor force.

Some of the “leavers” are retiring … some are going to college … some are signing up to collect SSDI – Social security Disability Insurance..

There has been a sharp increase in SSDI applications over the past couple of years.


Most of the applications are probably legit, with some rise due to increasingly diagnosed bad backs and mental health issues..

But, any reasonable person knows that the rolls are also  increasing due to fraud – folks taking advantage of the program as a substitute for welfare.

What’s the government doing about that?

Nothing, as far as I can tell

But, there are other instances of disability fraud, and one victimized company  has had enough and is cracking down ….


America’s Got Talent … well, kinda.

September 20, 2013

Some loyal readers have asked why HomaFiles has been light on America’s Got Talent reviews this year.


Well, to be blunt, I thought it was an awful season. 

That’s bold revelation since I’ve been defending the show to family and friends for a couple of years.

The judges passed through a barrage of horrible acts … including one that consisted of a group of guys playing a fat man’s belly like a drum.

Gimme a break,

I boycotted the show for a couple of weeks, but got siren-called back for the last couple of rounds.

This week was the grand finale.

Here’s the good news: the best performer in the competition – by far – won the million bucks.

Here’s the rub …


Feel good: All American Girl on AGT…

July 11, 2013

It’s summer and I’m back to watching America’s Got Talent.

Finally, an act got me amped.

An 11-year old girl who channels Carrie Underwood … only better.

Guaranteed to make you to smile … and probably say “wow”.

Run-up is cute, but skip to the 2:15 mark if you just want to hear the song

Chloe Channel - AGT
click to view

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Lights out: Beyonce emerges as a “person of interest”

February 5, 2013

When the lights went out during the SuperBowl, I flashed back to the 1989 World Series pitting the Oakland As with the San Francisco Giants.


Remember game 3?

Just moments before the game was scheduled to start, a major earthquake shook Candlestick Park.

The stadium suffered only minor damage, but elsewhere the area suffered billions of dollars of damage, and dozens of people were killed.

Commissioner of Baseball Fay Vincent immediately postponed Game 3, and delayed announcing when, where, and even if the Series would be resumed.

Finally, after consulting with public officials, Vincent scheduled Game 3 at Candlestick Park on October 27, 10 days after the earthquake.


Now, that was an untimely disaster.

The SuperDome’s power outage occurred after two electrifying performances: One by Beyonce;  one by Jacoby Jones.

Jacoby electrified the place by opening the 2nd half with a 108 yard kick-off return for a TD.

Man, can that dude fly.

Nobody’s blaming Jacoby.

But, it seems that Beyonce has emerged as a person-of-interest.


Don’t call me “Dogg” … call me “Lion” … I’ve been reborn!

August 1, 2012

Breaking news …

Snoop Dogg wants you to know that he’s tired of hip-hop, is Bob Marley reincarnated and is embracing reggae instead of the culture of guns he once rapped about.


Also, he’s got a new name: Snoop Lion

Snoop says he was was “born again” during a visit to Jamaica and is ready to make music that his “kids and grandparents can listen to.”

Snoop didn’t explain why he was switching from “Dogg” to “Lion,” but it’s likely a reference to  a religious symbol popular in the Ethiopian culture.

Lion has new reggae album coming in the fall along  a coffee table book about his rebirth.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

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It’s the Super Bowl … you gotta play hurt !

February 7, 2012

No, I’m not talking about the Pats’ Rob Gronkowski.

I’m talking about Madonna !

According to the Daily Mail:

The Material Girl was suffering from a hamstring injury that  could have jeopardized her big moment.

The singer had a mishap while rehearsing and as well as hurting her leg, she also suffered a knock to her nose.

In our family, a nose knock is a big deal.

I guess for Madonna, the hamstring could have hampered her dancing and jumping.

But, she sucked it up and played through the pain … at age 53!

After all, it was the Super Bowl.

P.S. Here’s the link to the new song she did …

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What do b-school profs and Lady Gaga have in common?

November 3, 2011

Earlier this week we posted about the high – and increasing — cost of college.

As a throwaway point, we mentioned that the annual tuition in Georgetown’s MBA program is about $50,000 … $49,638 to be precise.

That caught some attention, so let’s put the number in perspective.

A Gtown MBA student takes 18 module-courses per year … so. the tuition works out to about $2,750 per module-course.

Each module-course is two classes per week for 7 weeks … so, the tuition works out to about $200 for each of the 14 class sessions.

Let’s put that number in perspective.

According to, Lady Gaga ticket prices averaged $182.43 on last year’s Monster Ball Tour … about the same as an MBA class session.



A couple of hours of Lady Gaga or 75 minutes soaking in some b-school wisdom … bring your wallet and take your pick.


P.S. For the record, I think of that $200 number every time I walk into a classroom. Move over Gaga.

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Does anybody miss Beck or Olbermann?

September 16, 2011

Flamethrowers from the right and left respectively (not respectfully)

Glenn Beck is running promos for his new vid show via his internet site.

Big step down from early prime on Fox and thousands of followers on the DC mall.

Olbermann has set up shop at Current TV – whatever that is.

Step-down from MSNBC … though viewership there was pretty low, too.

Question of the day: anybody miss either of them?

I sure don’t …

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Ending with a thud …

September 15, 2011

Talking AGT, of course.

What a disappointment.

First, the 2-hour results funale show.

Boring.  Filled with real celebs performing with each of the final acts. Had a certain thrown-together-in-a-day look to it. I guess that’s because it was thrown together in a day.

And then, the results …

The guy does a nice job crooning Sinatra, but get serious.  There are already at least a dozen Sinatra impersonators in Vegas. He’ll fade fast.

Silhouettes will get some great gigs … and will inspire many copycat acts.

Team iLuminate will be big in Vegas — most unique act since the Blue Men.

Enough on  AGT …

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Team iLuminate will win … but NBC has a problem.

September 13, 2011

Team iLuminate will win, but  there’s going to be controversy.

First, Team iLuminate — one of my favs — knocked it out ot the park with their techno dance routine.  Unbelievably clutch performance.

But, Silhouettes– the artsy shadow dancers — didn’t get a a fair shot.

There were tech problems on the live show, so their act was delayed — while techies fixed the problem.

It’s reported that the large back doors of the stage wouldn’t open, so the crew couldn’t get Poplyfe’s set off the stage.

Silhouettes didn’t get the emotive run-up that other acts got — no poor neighborhood, no disease, no nothin’.

Finally they got hustled to the stage,

But, on my cable system, about 30 seconds of their 90 second act was blacked out.

Great beginning and GREAT ending, but no middle … not their fault — NBC’s.


Update: The plot thickens.

Apparently the blackout isse was localized and only indirectly lrelated to the tech set-up problem.

I was watching a Baltimore NBC affiliate via Comcast-Annapolis.  Part of Silouettes’ performance was blacked out.

I’ve gotten reports that the full performance was visible on DirecTV.

My hypothesis: I didn’t realize it at the time, but  NBC let the show run into the 10 o’clock time slot.

I’m betting some local affiliates didn’t get the word and tried to switch to local commercial content … causing a temporary disconnect … a blackout.

Quickly corrected … but still part of the performance was blacked out.

Raises another issue: for folks DVR’ing the show — rather than watching live — most or all of Silouhettes’ performance wasn’t recorded — since the show ran unexpectedly long.

That’s a problem, too.

Some part of AGT’s regular audience might not of even seen Silouhettes’ performance.

What a mess.

Biggest TV problem for NBC since they swithced from a close football game to Heidi-the-movie in 1968.)

My opinion: other 2 acts weren’t close to iLuminate (video) or Silhouettes (video).

So, what’s NBC going to do?

Fair thing: name co-winners: Team iLuminate & Silhouettes.

But, NBC will just go with the vote, and Team iLuminate wins.

You heard it on the Homa Files first,

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Perfect !

September 7, 2011

Exactly as we called it:

AGT Final Four

  • Team iLuminate … techo dance group
  • Silhouettes … artsy shadow dancers
  • POPLYFE … young, high energy band
  • Landau Murphy … Sinatra crooner

Longshot: Landon Swank … illusionist

They said that 1% separated Landon from POPLYFE (for the 5th slot).

Finals are next Tuesday.

My early pick: Team iLuminate

* * * * *
P.S. We may change the header to News & Views on Marketing, Economics, Politics and Pop Culture …

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Ken’s AGT Final 4 Picks …

September 7, 2011

Cutting to the chase, here’s my take:

Final Four

  • Team iLuminate … techo dance group
  • Silhouettes … artsy shadow dancers
  • POPLYFE … young, high energy band
  • Landau Murphy … Sinatra crooner

Longshot: Landon Swank … illusionist

Breaks my heart, but little Anna Graceman won’t make it … she’s the charming kid with wide vocal range … she came dressed like a woman and sang a bland song … whose idea was that ???

Hat tip to the Smage Brother who got smashed in the head by a motor bike and never stopped smiling.

Results show is tonite …

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Woulda been perfect if the prof had gotten tenure …

September 1, 2011

Yesterday, I went on the limb and predicted the 5 AGT finalists …

4 of my 5 picks made it … Anna the superkid, Landon the magician, Eugene the crooner, and the daredevil Smage brothers. Videos

Only miss: Prof Splash — who learned what life is like without tenure.

The good news is that Silhouettes – the artsy shadow dancers – got Splash’s spot.  They’re fun to watch, too.

Finals are next Tuesday … stay tuned

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For the record: Ken’s AGT picks

August 31, 2011

To my family’s dismay, I’ve become an America’s Got Talent junkie.

Last nite was the second of 2 semi-final shows.  Five of the 12 acts move on to the finals.

Here’s my call:

  • Anna Graceman …. an 11 year old Alaskan singer who knocked a Motley Crue song out of the park … disclaimer: students know that I’m biased towards girls named Anna View video of Anna performing
  • Landon Swank … best illusionist since David Copperfield … I thought he was going to blow himself up tonite … ok, he fooled me and survived … hmmm  View Landon’s bang-bang
  • Smage Bros. … two brothers who do amazing (and dangerous) stuff on motor bikes … finale was a jump over their grandmother – really ! —  followed by a high aerial 360 … wow !  Watch ’em jump over Grandma
  • Eugene Landau Murphy … a guy from West Virginia who sings Frank Sinatra … not one of my favorites but audience and judges seemed to like him … note: yes: the “E” in KEH is for Eugene
  • Professor Splash … again, I plead guilty to collegial bias … this overweight dude jumped off a 70 foot platform, through fire, to land in a shallow swimming pool … insane  View Prof Splash’s splash

Biggest disappointments:

  • Gymkana … a gymnastics troop from Univ. of Maryland … great act … they took some risk, jumping through fire … one dude crashed the fire ring  and almost literally burned … that wasn’t part of the act, so they won’t be back
  • Silhouettes … a unique dance troop that forms shapes to tell a story behind a screen … very artsy … likable kids – youngest is only 4 years old … lacked wow tonite … too bad

Possible upset:

  • Kinetic King … a goofy guy who sets up elaborate Rube Goldberg falling dominoes sets … admire the design of the skits and the judges love him … but, I wouldn’t pay to see him … he’ll get the geek vote

Results show is tonite …

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