Mixer Mania #11 – Like a Fine Wine

Often, when I think of grape mixers, I think of controversial hockey commentator Don Cherry, whose nickname is ‘Grapes’ (thought to be a reference to sour grapes). As the pundit turned 83 last month, let’s take a look at others who are getting older, but still rocking it:

Betty White

White has been a fixture of the entertainment industry since the late 1930s. At 95 years old, she has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts the last few years, even hosting an episode of Saturday Night Live, thanks to a Facebook fan movement. Best remembered for her role as Rose on The Golden Girls, this lady is the grandma everyone wishes they had.

betty-white

Stan Lee

Even those who don’t know much about Lee’s massive contributions to the comic book industry have come to appreciate the icon thanks to his cameo appearances in Marvel movies. The 94-year-old refuses to slow down and will make two more cameos this year, although rumours often persist that each appearance will be his last.

Clint Eastwood

The venerable tough guy is still an imposing figure – and still directing films – despite his advanced age of 86. My favourite Eastwood story involves George Clooney wanting a basketball court put in on the Warner Brothers Studio lot and imploring Eastwood to help with the effort. When asked if he even liked the game, Eastwood, in his understated growl, responded: “I guess I do.”

Adam West

While most of the 88-year-old West’s recent roles have come in the form of voiceover work, he’s still knocking it out of the park and gaining a whole new generation of fans while doing so. I absolutely love West’s lampooning of himself as the Mayor of Quahog on Family Guy, where his appearances are some of the best parts of the long-running series.

adam-west-real-batman

Hugh Hefner

At the age of 90, the Hef is married to a former Playboy Playmate of the Month that is 60 years his junior. Enough said! You also have to remember that into his late 80’s, Hefner was in an open relationship with three young models that each could have been his own granddaughter.

Rolling Stones

The band’s current lineup consists of Mick Jagger (73), Keith Richards (73), Charlie Watts (75), and Ronnie Wood (69), who are still rocking around the clock. Despite numerous retirement tours, the quartet continue to come back year after year with new music and worldwide tours.

Paul McCartney

Sticking with the British Invasion, Paul McCartney of The Beatles is still a prominent figure in the music world, even at 74 years old. Ironically, the artist once wrote and sang about still being needed “When I’m Sixty-Four”. Apparently, he never had anything to fear and he’s still adored around the globe, by fans young and old.

paul-mccartney

William Shatner

The soon-to-be 86-year-old Shatner has put together a fine career over numerous decades. Most recently, the former Captain Kirk was joined by fellow old timers Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman for the reality TV mini-series Better Late Than Never, which saw the foursome travel to parts of Asia together.

Queen Elizabeth II

Regardless of what you think about the monarchy, the fact her majesty is still such a prominent figure as she celebrates her Sapphire Jubilee is impressive. The Queen will turn 91 in April and although she has kin in place to take over her responsibilities, she has no plans to abdicate the thrown.

Mixer Mania #11: Wrath of Grapes

Wrath of Grapes.JPG

  • 1.5 oz Dark Rum
  • Top with Grape Juice
  • Splash of Sweet and Sour Mix
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Some honourable mentions include James Earl Jones (86) and Bob Newhart (87), who have guest starred on The Big Bang Theory in recent years. Dick Van Dyke (91) and Angela Lansbury (91) also deserve credit, as although their work schedules have decreased greatly in recent years, they are both set to make appearances in Mary Poppins Returns, due out in December 2018.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I really haven’t done much with Grape Juice before and I figured I had better like it, given the size of the container I had to buy. This drink is pretty good and I can see myself making it again, perhaps adding some Club Soda for a fizzier cocktail.

November 8 – The Incredible Hulk

As Themselves

You know you’ve really made it big when you can appear in a major production as yourself. There have been some amazing performances where someone basically accentuates their real-life persona and pokes a little fun at themselves. This list, of course, does not include reality TV and I’ve also decided not to include bands who may show up in a film or TV show for performance purposes. With that said, on with the article!

#5: Bill Murray – Zombieland/Space Jam

Bill Murray has appeared a few movies playing himself, some more notable than others. First, in the Looney Tunes-Michael Jordan crossover Space Jam, Murray and Jordan are golfing buddies, causing the former Ghostbuster to get dragged into the intergalactic basketball battle between the Tune Squad and the Monstars. Years later, Murray made a surprise cameo in the horror-comedy Zombieland. Unfortunately, that appearance didn’t end too well for the comedic legend, as his living dead costume was a little too convincing for his newfound friends.

#4: Wil Wheaton – Big Bang Theory

The former Star Trek child star has appeared in a number of Big Bang Theory episodes, first as a nemesis to Sheldon Cooper and later, a friend. His early battles with Sheldon included a fantasy card game tournament (which Sheldon only entered to extract some revenge against Wheaton for no-showing a personal appearance years earlier), as well as a bowling challenge. Wheaton has also shared screen time with aspiring actress Penny (whose last name has never been divulged) on a low-budget production. For being able to poke fun at himself, Wheaton has found himself embraced by geeks everywhere, whether Star Trek fans or not.

#3: Stan Lee – Mallrats/The Simpsons/Big Bang Theory

The king of the cameo, Lee is known to appear briefly in the movies of all his comic creations, usually as a security guard, hot dog vendor, or other minor character. He has also shown up as himself in a number of TV shows and films. Most notably was his turn in the comedy Mallrats, where he provides main character Brodie with some sage advice about love and romance, prior to a book signing appearance. Similar to his appearance in Mallrats, he has guest-starred on episodes of The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory as appearing at the comic book stores featured on each show. He even officiated Comic Book Guy’s wedding!

#2: Neil Patrick Harris – Harold and Kumar Franchise

When the former Doogie Howser M.D., Neil Patrick Harris, appeared in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle as a drug-addled sex fiend, he virtually re-launched his career, leading to being cast as womanizer Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother. NPH’s random appearances in all three of the Harold and Kumar movies have always been loaded with laughs, as he plays an out-of-control former child star who always seems to meddle with the main journey. Funnily, he’s actually credited as Neil Patrick Harris in each Harold and Kumar film and not with the typical “As Himself” acknowledgment.

#1: Adam West – Family Guy

The former Caped Crusader has proven before that he doesn’t mind poking fun at himself. Hell, how else could he get through the campy 1960’s Batman TV series!? Still, as the Mayor of Quahog, Adam West is lampooned as an out-of-his-mind dignitary who is more likely to erect unnecessary statues, than properly run the town. West has even gone on to marry Peter Griffin’s sister-in-law (he also dated Peter’s daughter, Meg, briefly), thus making him a member of the family. The one-time Bruce Wayne has also parodied himself on other cartoons, including The Simpson and The Fairly OddParents.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Incredible Hulk

Incredible Hulk Shot

  • 0.5 oz Absinthe
  • 0.25 oz Melon Liqueur
  • Top with Mountain Dew
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

I also have to give honourable mentions to Dennis Rodman (3rd Rock from the Sun), Bob Barker (Happy Gilmore), Alice Cooper (Wayne’s World), Al Gore (Futurama), and Lou Ferrigno (King of Queens). One day, the Sip Advisor hopes to appear as himself in some form of media… other than Cops, that is!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
I went with this shooter recipe because Stan Lee created the character and Lou Ferrigno, who I included in the honourable mentions, played the big guy. After downing the shot, I blacked out and went into a rage, destroying everything in my path. When I awoke, my clothes were tattered and there was green make-up everywhere. In all seriousness, this recipe is kind of neat, with Absinthe actually coming across nice, thanks to the Melon Liqueur and Mountain Dew.

April 8 – Grumpy Old Man

Oldies, but Goodies

We’re supposed to honour and respect our elders, but the funniest ones are incoherent, maniacal, and out of touch with today’s world. That’s just the way we like them, though. From animation, to live action, to even puppets, here are the best angry octogenarians:

Grandpa Simpson – The Simpsons

Grandpa “Abe” Simpson is senile and irritable, but always lovable. In flashbacks, we learn that Abe was never really in touch with the world around him. In his senior years and angry that his family never wants to visit him, he has been known to write ranting letters to any business with an address and even yell at a cloud. I can’t really blame him though as I hate clouds with a passion, too.

Grandpa Simpson

Statler & Waldorf – The Muppet Show

These two curmudgeons spend all their time attending shows they intend to pan. When they attack, they rip into their prey with such veteran venom that it’s a modern science miracle that said victim can walk away after the lashing he or she has received. An antidote has yet to be formulated, but using the DNA of one Fozzy Bear, we hope to have a vaccine ready for distribution by 2015.

Frank Costanza/Arthur Spooner – Seinfeld/King of Queens

Jerry Stiller has proven over the years that his old man act is pure comedy gold. From the cantankerous Frank Costanza, to the petulant ever-scheming Arthur Spooner, Stiller has thrived as an old age performer. Perhaps his greatest moments came in the episode of Seinfeld “The Strike”, where Frank Costanza brings back the holiday of Festivus; including the feats of strength, airing of grievances, and let’s not forget those Festivus miracles!

Grumpy Old Men2

Mayor Adam West – Family Guy

Mayor West is the perfect candidate to lead Quahog. He erected a statue of cereal mascot Dig Em’, sent the town’s police force across the world to search for a fictional character, and legalized then quickly illegalized marijuana, as his many works in office. Sounds like your typical politician to me.

Pierce Hawthorne & Leonard Briggs – Community

Pierce Hawthorne is a sexist, racist, homophobic psychopath – all the ingredients for a wonderful character! He spends most of his time disrupting the activities of his study group, who often want him gone from the gang. Leonard Briggs is a reoccurring character on the show, who heads up a crew of other oldies-but-baddies called The Hipsters (because each member has had hip replacement surgery). Briggs also ran for student body president, changing his last name to Rodriguez to capitalize on the Latino voters.

Leonard Rodriguez

Ken Titus – Titus

Ken Titus is as nasty as they come, with his penchant for alcohol, tobacco, women, gambling and mean-spirited fun. He’s the furthest from having a heart of gold – in fact he’s had numerous heart attacks and other health issues, thus making his core as black as his soul – but that doesn’t make him any less funny. In reality, Papa Titus was just trying to raise his kids right and hoping they didn’t turn out to be ‘wussies’, as he often called them when they weren’t living up to his expectations.

Professor Farnsworth – Futurama

Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth is as dementia-ridden as they come. The owner and operator of Planet Express, he sends his crew off on missions that are doomed to fail, while inventing the most insane and useless items known to future-kind. And you can’t really blame him for losing all his marbles. At the age of 29, I feel like I’m slowly starting to lose mine and Farnsworth is somewhere between 150 and 170 years old.

Professor-Farnsworth-Thug-Life

John Gustafson & Max Goldman – Grumpy/Grumpier Old Men

Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau have appeared in numerous movies together, but nothing compares to their two entries as Grumpy Old Men. As they compete with one another and often prank each other, the laughs pile up. Along with Burgess Meredith (playing Grandpa Gustafson), the amount of old man comedy in these flicks is high and hilarious. The gag reel for these movies, shown at the end of the films are hysterical, particularly when Meredith tries a number of different lines to relay various sexual euphemisms.

Mr. Burns – The Simpsons

Monty Burns has done nearly every horrible act listed in the How to be Dastardly Handbook. He’s so evil, he even tried to block out the sun so the town would have to rely solely on his nuclear power. Nearly every person in Springfield has had a run-in with Mr. Burns, whose love of power and money come before any other feelings he may have. I still think there’s a softy buried underneath all that audacity though.

Drink #98: Grumpy Old Man

Grump Old Man Cocktail

The original recipe calls for plain Bourbon, but I used Black Cherry and must admit the result was quite fantastic (if I don’t say so myself). We must learn from those who have come before us. Unfortunately, these folks aren’t the best example of people you’d want to take notes on. Meh, we drink in their honour, anyway!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
A great drink that I wasn’t able to completely enjoy as I battled a bad flu. I ask the rhetorical question: Is there anything Black Cherry Bourbon can’t do? The combo of Ginger Ale and Sour Mix may quickly become a favourite of mine.

March 11 – Death in the Afternoon

The Green Fairy

Legend has it that Death in the Afternoon was Ernest Hemingway’s preferred absinthe cocktail. So, I decided to give the recipe a try and sure enough, I was transported into a hazy world of absinthe-induced imagery. The infamous Green Fairy was my guide and like Dorothy Gale, I was no longer in Kansas.

It all started with the harsh ringing of an alarm. Was I in danger? My eyes slowly popped open and I realized for the first time that I was in bed… with Adam West (TV’s Batman) standing over me. He explained that the time had come for me to begin my hero life… that dark forces were gathering and that my help would soon be needed to save the world. My first instinct was to go back to bed, but West picked me up by the scruff of my neck (apparently I’m a puppy in this hallucination) and tossed me from the comfort of my blankies.

I could wake up to this, any day!

I could wake up to this, any day!

I followed him into a large boardroom where a buffet breakfast of all my favourites was being served. There was a make-your-own potato chip platter station, prime rib burgers on a nearby barbecue, and a full service bar. I ordered a Death in the Afternoon for some reason… as if I needed delusional Sip Advisor to go into a delirious state, thus enacting some form of inception.

In the boardroom were all my heroes from childhood: Cookie Monster, 1960’s Batman (Adam West had changed during the opening credits – yes, my fantasy had credits, all set to Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’, naturally) and Robin, Vancouver Canucks legend Trevor Linden, Willy Wonka, Optimus Prime, the professor and Mary Ann, all here on Sip Advisor’s Isle.

Morgan Freeman narrated the entire meeting, where it was revealed that all the baddies in fictional history had pooled their resources in a last ditch attempt to take over the world. I was summoned to defend the planet Inebriatopia, as I had the most experience there.

Upon being teleported to the land, I was immediately attacked by Ben Stiller and his Globo-Gym thugs. As they hurled dodge balls at my precious face, I dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged, but the onslaught kept coming. That is, until Dikembe Mutombo came to my rescue, smacking down every ball thrown our way.

Sure, Mutombo should have been ruled out, according to Rule 9(a) of the Dodgeball Handbook, but this was life or death and I was happy to have the giant on my side. When we were ready, Mutombo and I returned fire of all the balls, one by one eliminating Stiller and his goons. As we celebrated, Mutombo was hit in the face by a ball meant for me. He crumpled to the ground and I tearfully said goodbye to my new friend. The question remained: who had thrown the ball.

After an 18-month investigation headed up by Lt. Columbo, Perry Mason, Matlock and myself, we were informed that the good guys had won and our services were no longer needed. Before snapping out of my delirious state, Mutombo’s assassin was revealed to me by an informant. I bet you’re wondering who it was. Well, I’ll never tell. Or you could scroll down after today’s drink and find the answer…

Drink #70: Death in the Afternoon

Death in the Afternoon

  • 1 oz Absinthe
  • Top with Champagne
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge

The man who balled (sounds kind of dirty) my good friend Dikembe Mutombo was none other than (spoiler alert)… New World Order Hulk Hogan, complete with air guitar, leather weightlifting belt, and black spray paint. Damn you Hogan, damn you!

Hollywood Hogan

 

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Ernest Hemingway’s favourite drink was a decent treat. It’s a pretty simple recipe and my favourite element of it was probably the Lemon Juice, as it added a sweetness to the bitter Absinthe and Champagne.