Hats Off…

by Michael Schultz on November 26, 2014

Today’s heckling ‘incident’ comes from the football world. Minnesota Viking’s tackle Matt Kalil emerges from the stadium after a loss to the Green Bay Packers. He has phone to ear and approaches a fan who has obviously heckled him.

Kalil flips the fan’s hat off and walks on. Check it out….you be the judge.


Another fine example of how careful you have to be when launching your heckles. As Kalil walks away you can see a program being launched at him – it misses. Another fan heckles him with; ‘ why don’t you play that way on the field?’

Here’s Kalil repenting after the incident.

Fine line – mouthy fan too close to the athlete… I’d say the fan deserved it. Perhaps the fan should be glad it wasn’t something more physical.

They paved paradise…and ruined attention spans…..

by Michael Schultz on November 24, 2014

Macleans magazine (Elio Iannacci) has a good interview with musician/artist Joni Mitchell this past week. It’s quite revealing.

Among other things, she comments from her home in LA on the intrusion of technology into our lives and particularly the effect it has on the younger generation:

Q: You’ve voiced concern over what you call the “push-button generation of today.” What is impairing us the most?

A: Everything is about channel changing. It has ruined attention spans. I spaced out in school but I didn’t develop attention-deficit issues because I placed attention on my imagination and ignored the curriculum. I didn’t have a million newsfeeds to contend with. It is just like when I have people over to my house to watch a film—it’s like living in a Robert Altman movie! They are always talking over each other. We are all losing the plot. It’s an addiction to phones and too much information.

Q: What repercussions do you think future generations will feel now that everyone is on their phone during concerts, etc.?

A: Here’s an example. My grandson and I were sailing on a boat and he said, “It’s boring.” I asked, “How can you say it’s boring? The sun is shining, we’re going across the water so fast . . . ” And he said, “Not fast enough.” Technology has given him this appetite.

I like the way she ends her interview: ” I don’t belong to this modern world and I’m out of it, but, I don’t want in.” She only uses her cellphone to take pictures… I got rid of mine entirely.

One for the Cos…

by Michael Schultz on November 23, 2014

Oh my, Bill Cosby is back in the news – at 77 he is still actively performing and allegations of sexual assault are still haunting him.

A couple of radio folks in Melbourne, Florida, offered fans $1000.00 if they would heckle allegations and confront him during a recent performance in the U.S.


Kinda takes protest to a whole new level…..who knew…..money for heckling….maybe it is a future profession afterall!

Included in the link is a video snippet of comic Hannibal Buress who is taking pokes at Bill Cosby. For example, he’s touting the idea that Cosby thought he was above the law because he had produced a successful sitcom etc.


Shirt Off Their Back

by Michael Schultz on November 20, 2014

Toronto fans have lots to cheer and jeer about these days. The Raptors are doing well – off to a great start. But the Leafs continue their inconsistent ways. This past week they lost to Nashville 9-2. Ouch.

Apparently fans are starting to throw their rather expensive Leaf sweaters on the ice. This has happened a few times this season. Leaf player Phil Kessel replied to Toronto fans by saying:

” If you want to boo us that’s fine – but you’re disrespecting all of the great players and the great teams that they’ve had before us….I think that’s pretty classless to throw your jersey on the ice like that.”

Here’s an episode from an October game against Pittsburg:

I remember being part of a high school baseball coach clinic back in the 1990s. ( the Jays were doing well) A Mississippi State (MS – my initials) coach was putting on a clinic. He wore his team uniform. The hat said “MS”, my initials. I went to him after the clinic and said ‘thanks’ and asked him how I could get a Mississippi State (MS) hat. ” You can’t”, he replied, ” for the players only”.

So there’s the first mistake the Leafs made. Don’t sell the jerseys to fans. Sacrilege.

Apparently the sweaters thrown on the ice go to charity.

Gives a whole new twist on Roch Carrier’s The Sweater. Here is the fabulous NFB animated version:


Harper’s Genius Jab

by Michael Schultz on November 17, 2014

Our Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in Australia for a G20 meeting after a business swoop through China. He’s been a busy boy.

This morning’s paper ( article by Campbell Clark) lauds him for his ‘political genius’ in a face to face showdown with evil guy Vlad Putin. Mr. Putin has been the global ‘bad guy’ since his intervention in the Ukraine…kinda like ‘Mr. Ebola’. ( could be a WWF character….)


Apparently our guy told Putin amid a group of leaders: “Well, I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: You need to get out of Ukraine.”

This may be behaviour unbecoming of Harper who does not tend to be confrontational face-to-face but who is known to be blunt in his criticism in public.

There is no actual ‘audio’ or ‘visual’ proof of the encounter but this news cover (with what sounds like a computerized voice – think ” I  am Stephen Hawking”) seems to validate it.

Harper’s heckle will go a long way at the polls with Ukranian Canadians. Frankly, I’d rather see him more constructive on the environment. Why wouldn’t he also show his distaste and be more outspoken for the pollution or inferior goods that China is pumping out during this trip to make headlines? I think the G20 should show more unity in confronting Putin not just Harper. I get the feeling that he did this not to soothe his own conscience but to speak on behalf of Ukranian Canadians – in other words, ‘they made me do it’.

Legoland Heckling

by Michael Schultz on November 15, 2014

My six year old grandson is a fan of Lego ( for me it was mini bricks). He’s also morphing into Playstation thanks to his uncle( aka Staystationary – but he’s an active lad so I’m not too concerned).

So it is that I noticed that the Muppets – and even Statler and Waldorf ( who I’ve covered before due to their exemplary heckling platform in the balcony) – have been “legoized”.

The Muppet Show of the 1970s was a true classic. This spot might be seen as crassly commercial but if it gets kids watching the old series or loving Kermit and Co., then it’s a good thing.

I Must Say

by Michael Schultz on November 12, 2014

Entertainer Martin Short is out with a highly readable book on his life called I MUST SAY – My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. I am enjoying it and came across a heckling piece extraordinaire.

We tend to think that because a person is funny has been on SNL and SCTV that they must have a stand-up comedy background…not so. Marty was, from his performing origins, bent on singing and performing and being funny. It’s a powerful ‘triple play’. But he didn’t do a lot of stand-up in clubs.

However, back in the late 1970s, Carole Pope from the band Rough Trade asked him to put together some schtick and open for them. Marty agreed and showed up with some humorous observational material. The crowd was very “Goth” and very hostile. He faced a flurry of snide comments. Then he got a beer in the face. All he could say was …”ah…it’s a light beer” and left the stage.

Pope apologized for the rowdy and heckling audience and said she was sorry and that the crowd the next night wouldn’t be bad. Marty said, “that’s OK because I won’t be there.” Short was wise to follow the path he did – more music, more skits, more success.

A favorite of mine is this Martin Short Special from 1985. It’s Marty doing what he does best – singing, dancing, acting, being funny with his own characters and impersonating a few celebs.

Based on the reviews, I wish I had ordered the audio book since Short narrates it himself!


Mr. Short and I share a few similarities….we are both “M S”,we are both in our 64th year, we both love to laugh, and we are both Canadian. He actually was in Godspell with a distant cousin of mine – Jane Eastwood in 1970 ( who ,like my mom, went to Northern Secondary in Toronto) ….we share the same great great grandfather ( John Eastwood). She was excellent in Goin’ Down the Road.


Gordie Howe IS the greatest of them all…..

by Michael Schultz on November 4, 2014

When I was a lad, my dad and Uncle Bill used to take us to the Leaf games – in the late 50s….I remember Gordie Howe playing with Delvecchio and Lindsey and guys like that. We’d usually sit in the ‘Blues’ about centre ice at Maple Leaf Gardens.

In the early 60s, I was playing in the Marlie chain and used to practice at the Gardens. Great times. I do remember having an exhibition game against a team from Detroit one early Saturday morning. I also remember a couple of really young guys ( they would have been 7,8 or 9) Mark and Marty Howe playing on that team. They were pretty good but I think we won the match.

Years later I took my son to see a Toronto-Red Wings Oldtimers game in Georgetown. Guys like Carl Brewer laced them up. There was Gordie Howe slightly retired and probably in his mid-fifties. After the game, he signed autographs. My son’s head ( the back of it) made it into picture in the local paper. We decided to get a black and white copy from the Independent….afterall, this was Gordie Howe. Then, a few years later we were at a card show and Gordie was scheduled to appear. So we took the picture. My son lined up and got the old picture signed. Gordie – aka Mr. Hockey – had a very recognizable signature.

Now in 2014 Gordie is still with us despite some health challenges. He has a new book out called Mr. Hockey. Bobby Orr writes the Intro. In the sample I read, I discovered that Mr. Howe’s mother came from Stuttgart, Germany. Her name maiden surname was Schultz. Bit of a namesake.

Howe is right up there with Ruth, Gehrig, and Williams when it comes to fan recognition and adulation. Check out the fan response at the 1980 All-Star game in Detroit. Gordie is in his 50s here and still playing. No discouraging words for such a great player. Notice a few of the guys still aren’t wearing helmets – Howe included.


Common Ground

by Michael Schultz on November 1, 2014

I am reading Justin Trudeau’s autobiography…COMMON GROUND.  It’s highly readable and has lots of ‘fly on the wall’ moments.

Justin tells the story of when, in the 70s,  dad Pierre has a reunion party at 24 Sussex for alumni (staff and students) from his high school days. ( Justin attended the same alma mater) Pierre’s crusty old science teacher greets him at the PM’s residence by telling him he would have made a better physicist than prime minister. Gutsy – heckling.

It is a revealing book and timely. Justin weighs in with the emphasis and importance of debating. Canadians can be confident Trudeau ( the younger) has the skills of debating and the chops for international relations. He’ll never use attack ads – comforting ( dad would tell him you can attack your opponents’ policies but never their personality….another reason I have trouble voting Conservative).

As for debating, Trudeau has this to say about the art of debating:

” I also learned that debating at the college level is as much about the quick-witted ability of a stand-up comic as it is about logic and fine rhetoric. This was especially true whenever the resolution being debated was some frivolous subject as whether baths were better than showers or whether winter is better than summer. Given those kinds of topics, the most successful debaters are gifted comedians. It took me a while to fully appreciate this, because my sense of humour is more on the wry side than the kind that generates belly laughs. Eventually, though, I learned the ropes and adjusted my delivery.” – COMMON GROUND, Harper Collins, 2014.

As a teacher, two things that really got students engaged were spelling bees and debates. Even if they were on the sidelines of a debate, students would be totally fixated on  their fellow students going at it. Loved it.

Here’s Trudeau – still a backbencher – going after the PM – Harper.

Check out the tin can Pierre and Justin chart down a spring run down a river…Paul Wells from Macleans:


Hey Bud…the government is a pest….!

by Michael Schultz on October 31, 2014

I came across an interesting photo of a protest in the paper this morning. It shows thousands of Hungarians marching across the Elizabeth Bridge in Budapest protesting against a new government ( Prime Minister Viktor Orban) Internet tax. The tax proposes to charge Hungarians 150 forints (69 cents) for every gigabyte of data used. Hungary boasts ( not too loudly) an average monthly wage of only $950.00.

One protestor comments to the microphone saying that the Internet is free and there should not be a charge to use it etc. I think days ahead will be very different for travellers on the information highway. The days of freeloading and no advertising and downloading at random may be over. I found two things to be interesting about the clip – one, they all brandish their lit up cellphones like they are candles at a rock concert…..surely the light will shine through etc….and two, most of these folks are clearly the under 40 crowd. Perhaps it might be more effective to park all the cellphones and make all the producers buckle to their knees. But this won’t happen…I have seen the future and it clearly has communication devices that will ensure freedom and democracy.

I do remember walking across the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls as a university student in 1969-70….protesting U.S. atomic blasts. Our mission that day – a few busloads of us…..was to cross the bridge on foot, carrying a rather dented globe of the world to present to officials on the other side ( like they had a direct line to President Nixon)…on the way back across the bridge after delivering our globe…someone decided to bring down the U.S. flag at the halfway point. That little insurrection prompted a mad dash to safety in the bus and departure home. Not exactly an international incident but hey, it was the sixties afterall.