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.

July 19 – Floater

All the Balls

After last week’s look at the best sports movies geared towards a family audience, it’s time to turn up the vulgarity and venture into the world of adult-oriented films… well, not those types of films, but the sports type for teens and adults. Here are the Top 5 grown up sports movies:

#5: Baseketball

From the creators of South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), comes this farce about a world where sports superstars have become so overpaid and corporations dictate athletic competition. A universe where sportsmanship no longer exists and money is the root of all evil. Enter Cooper and Remer, who create a baseball-basketball-beer pong hybrid that eventually grows to become the next great sports phenomenon. Some of the team names from the movie are particularly clever, including the Dallas Felons, Miami Dealers, New Jersey Informants, and San Francisco Ferries (think about that one for a moment!).

baseketball

#4: DodgeBall

The underdog story of a ragtag group trying to save their gym (Average Joe’s), as they dodge, dip, dive, duck, and yes, dodge again versus the super-charged squad of Globo-Gym, which is looking to buy out the smaller competition. The entire cast is hilarious in this movie (particularly, my boy Stephen Root) and the surprise cameos from some judges of the competitions are great as well. A sequel to the movie is in the works and both Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller are expected to reprise their roles. Hopefully they remember that if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!

#3: Happy Gilmore

Adam Sandler kept his string of 90’s hit movies going with this entry. The film sees aspiring hockey star – despite his awful skillset – jump into the world of professional golf, when he’s discovered by a one-handed golf course pro. Things become more serious for Gilmore when his grandma’s house is to be taken away and the only way to get it back is Gilmore’s success on the PGA Tour. In my opinion, along with the success of Tiger Woods, the popularity of this film launched a whole new generation of golf players and fans. Gilmore’s brawl with The Price is Right host, Bob Barker, is one of the best cameo scenes in movie history.

Happy Gilmore

#2: Caddyshack

Times are changing at the Bushwood Country Club, as a new wave of members enter the fray, disrupting the once peaceful and pristine society. Bill Murray steals the show as groundskeeper Carl Spackler, particularly his improvised scene describing the Cinderella story of a hard luck golfer at Augusta, while teeing off on some of the club’s flowers. Others, such as Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight are perfect in their roles as combative members. It’s too bad that the sequel couldn’t live up to the original, but it’s still an okay romp. I especially enjoy it when the course is given miniature golf elements.

#1: Slap Shot

There are so many quotable lines in this classic. Paul Newman is awesome as the Charlestown Chief’s player-coach, Reggie Dunlop, and with other oddballs like the ultraviolent Hanson Brothers joining the squad, there’s plenty of characters to appreciate and enjoy. Many of the roles were based on real-life players. As a young kid growing up in hockey-mad Canada, this film was like a rite of passage, especially given its adult elements. I can’t say much for the two sequels that have come out in more recent years, but everyone out there, hockey fan or not, should give the original a viewing.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Floater

Floater Shot

  • 1 oz Vodka
  • Scoop of Peanut Butter
  • Dash of Chocolate Syrup

Who would have thought that two golf-themed films would crack this list? Even more surprising, not a single Will Ferrell sports movie made the Top 5… and I’m a huge Will Ferrell fan. Lastly, while they are made-for-TV documentaries, the Sip Advisor encourages everyone out there to check out ESPN’s 30-for-30 series and get your learn on!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
All I have to say about this shot is, think about the pool scene in Caddyshack… disgusting, indeed! You’re also supposed to garnish with shot with Corn, but I just couldn’t make that graphic leap. Given the shooter is straight vodka, it’s strong, but the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sauce tame it a little… just not enough.

August 17 – Jell-O Shot

Celebrity Endorsement

Much like Bill Cosby has been the face of Jell-O in the past, many celebrities have lent their name and likeness to liquor products. Even 90’s boy band Hanson has been linked to a beer called MmmHop… while that seems totally ridonkulous, here are some legit spirit-celebrity relationships:

Ron Jeremy – Ron de Jeremy Rum

That’s right, the well-hung porn legend has released his own brand of Rum. Sadly, this elixir was temporarily banned from Manitoba, Canada liquor store shelves, despite no objectionable writing or images on the label, just solely based on Jeremy’s former career. I expect better of my country!

Ron de Jeremy Rum

Dan Aykroyd – Crystal Head Vodka

You’d expect the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to support this Vodka, but instead you get funnyman Dan Aykroyd being responsible. My buddy got a bottle of this spirit for his 30th birthday and we have yet to crack it open… shame on us!

Marilyn Manson – Mansinthe

It’s a very interesting choice for a celebrity to lend their talents to an Absinthe creation, but nothing Marilyn Manson does in the world of business and entertainment could be considered normal. This Absinthe blend does in fact contain the hallucinogenic wormwood, which has me very intrigued.

Donald Trump – Trump Vodka

Unfortunately, The Donald’s alcohol endeavor is no more, as “the company failed to meet the threshold requirements”… whatever that means. When the liquor was released, Trump was so sure of its success that he gloated the Trump and Tonic and Trump Martini would be the next big things to hit the mixology world.

Trump Vodka

Danny DeVito – Danny DeVito Limoncello

Why Limoncello? Why not!? It goes along with DeVito’s Italian heritage, I suppose. I kind of wish DeVito had resurrected his Louie De Palma character from Taxi and released some filthy sewer water concoction, just looking to make a quick buck in this scheme.

George Clooney – Casamigos Tequila

As if George Clooney needs another thing that makes him look cool, suave, and sophisticated! This Tequila has a ton of hype built up around it, largely because of Clooney’s association with the brand. It has quickly shot up my list as a must-try. Warning: It will not make you the world’s sexiest man alive!

Justin Timberlake – 901 Tequila

As JT explains, the 901 stands for 9:01pm, when the evening ends and the night begins! The 901 moniker also doubles as the area code for the artist’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Either way, it’s a clever marketing tool.

901 Tequila

Willie Nelson – Old Whiskey River Bourbon

I’m surprised Willie Nelson’s endorsement power hasn’t been completely spent in the marijuana field (or even the tax evasion field), but here we are with a Bourbon product that bears the title of one of Willie’s classic cover tunes, ‘Whiskey River’… a song about getting blitzed on the booze.

Sammy Hagar – Cabo Wabo Tequila & Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum

The Van Halen rocker seriously likes his booze. Enough so that he started the Cabo Wabo bar chain and Tequila, later adding Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. The Cabo Wabo Tequila is one of the few products on this list that I’ve actually tried (and enjoyed!) in Cabo San Lucas, no less!

Cee Lo Green – Ty Ku Sake

Here’s an interesting pairing. You have singer and songwriter Cee Lo Green dabbling in the Japanese traditional spirit of Sake. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. A few other celebs also have stake in this company, including gossip blogger Perez Hilton. Good company to keep…

TY-KU-Sake

Billy Gibbons – Pura Vida Tequila

The ZZ Top front man joins a long list of musicians who have entered the liquor game. This Premium Tequila (don’t they all advertise themselves to be that!) is surely consumed by sharply dressed men with great legs, on their way to La Grange. I wonder if Gibbons’ famous beard ever gets matted and tangled by the Pura Vida Tequila

Bill Murray and Mikhail Baryshnikov – Slovenia Vodka

Can you imagine the board of director meetings that happen within this Vodka company, led by the odd couple of actor Bill Murray and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov? Between the jokes and choreography, I’m willing to bet that barely any work gets done at all at these offices.

Drink #229: Jell-O Shot

Jell-o Shooter

  • 1/2 Cup of Vodka/Spiced Rum/Tequila
  • Mix Liquors with 1/2 Cup Water and Cool in Fridge
  • 1 Cup Water, Boiled
  • 1 Pack of Jell-O (Watermelon, Berry Blue, Lime)

If I could have a celebrity endorsement for this site, I’d pick some of the finest alcoholics known to fame: I’m talking the Mel Gibson’s or David Hasselhoff’s of the world. As for myself, in the not-too-distant future, I will be a dot.com celeb and will have to be careful when choosing products to attach my name to. Look out for a future article regarding my selective process!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I figured Jell-O Shots had to be done at some point in this project and why not combine them with Frozen Cocktail Week, since there’s really no point in making a frozen shooter (you might as well just go ahead and entitle it Brain Freeze… light bulb!). Making Jell-O shots made me feel like a kid again… except this time I was getting ripped throughout the entire process. I want to thank Ma Sip and Cousin Sip for their help throughout the project. I decided to do three different versions of the shooters (lime with tequila, berry blue with spiced rum, and watermelon with raspberry vodka) with my favourite being the vodka-watermelon combo. I never really liked Jell-O Shots until I made them myself!

February 3 – Bill Murray

On the Rocks

Groundhog

As a bit of a carryover from yesterday’s post, in the movie Groundhog Day, Phil Connors (Bill Murray) orders “sweet vermouth on the rocks, with a twist,” his producer Rita’s (Andie MacDowell) favourite drink, in a bid to get closer to her. He learns this on the first day of his Groundhog Day loop and tries to exploit it on subsequent repeated days. Apparently this is the actual favourite drink of director Harold Ramis’ wife. So, given that I’m doing this challenge and I’m always open to new recipes, I thought I’d give it a shot. First though, here are some other drinks that are enjoyed on the rocks:

Scotch

I’ve only got into Scotch over the last few years, but I really enjoy it. In that time, I’ve been lucky to sample some really good stuff (thanks to some very generous friends and family) and most recently I met the pinnacle of drinking when I was able to have a glass of Ron Swanson’s (Parks and Recreation) favourite libation Lagavulin 16 Year Old. Imagine me, a mild-mannered drink jockey getting to enjoy this fine substance… let the good times roll! (See January 8 – Scotch on the Rocks for further reading)

Disaronno (Amaretto)

This is one of my favourite end-of-night, unwinding drinks. A couple cubes and a splash of Disaronno is all I need before bedtime. Call it nappy time juice! It used to be that cookies and milk were all I needed but then I entered my 30’s! Okay, I’m not there yet, but cookies and milk have been pushed aside for liqueurs and whatever is lying around the house that resembles food. It doesn’t really matter, I’ll eat anything.

Southern Comfort

I first tried Southern Comfort on the rocks on my honeymoon cruise and enjoyed it enough to buy a bottle. I’m curious to try some of the other Southern Comfort flavours out there, such as Fiery Pepper, Bold Black Cherry, plus one mama Sip Advisor told me about (this drinking is a family thing, after all), Lime. So, I have the perfect evening planned: southern BBQ, washed down by SoCo!

Southern Comfort

Courvoisier (Cognac)

Now, I’ve only had this once before, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Perhaps it holds a place in my heart because it helped me fall asleep on a flight, which I’m rarely able to do. I also love how it was regularly featured in the Ladies Man skits on Saturday Night Live. Great choice, Leon!

Ladies Man

Bailey’s Irish Crème

This last one is geared a little more towards the ladies, I suppose. I personally like drinks that have a little bit more of an edge, but I know there are a lot of folks out there that love their Irish Crèmes and anything that’s easier to down. It’s a smooth ride for these alcohols and there’s also an array of intriguing flavours (mint chocolate, crème caramel, hazelnut, biscotti) coming out from the Bailey’s people and other similar companies.

Drink #34: Bill Murray

Sweet Vermouth with Twist Drink

  • 2 oz Sweet Vermouth (I used Martini brand)
  • Splash of Lemon Juice
  • Garnish with lemon twist

In honour of the legendary Bill Murray, I’ve gone ahead and named this concoction after him. I mean, Andie MacDowell is okay, but Bill Murray is Dr. Peter Venkman… groundskeeper Carl Spackler… hell, he’s even Garfield! This was the first time I ever had sweet vermouth on the rocks, as I usually only use it when making Manhattans. This is the type of experimenting I enjoy best and I thought the drink was great, especially with the addition of lemon.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3 Sips out of 5):
Shockingly, no one has ever given this drink a name before, which is a shame because I believe that we should salute Bill Murray whenever the opportunity arises. I thought Sweet Vermouth on the rocks was actually a tasty drink and something you might have when unwinding after dinner, as a dessert aperitif.

February 2 – Groundhog’s Shadow

My Nightmare

Nightmare

In the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray is forced to repeat the same day over and over again until he gets it right. Here’s a version of that same premise starring everybody’s favourite superhero, The Sip Advisor.

I’m awoken abruptly, voices coming through the thin walls of our resort hotel (I know, a resort hotel isn’t the best setting for a nightmare, but just wait, all will be explained). The clock reads 7:30am and I can never understand why people feel the need to have loud conversations that early in the morning. Seriously, when my wife and I wake up that early on the very rare occasion that we have to, it’s like we communicate in sign language. I motion that I’d like a little morning action, she shoots me down swiftly with a wave of her hand and I’m off to the bathroom to get ready for the day!

Next part of the nightmare: We get to the 24-hour buffet and every food item is out and the staff has no plans to replace them. There are rumours of a revolt, guests storming the kitchens to take whatever they can find. One basket of tortilla chips is brought out and the server is ambushed. I try to get my hands on at least one chip, but my efforts are fruitless. I walk away with multiple chips cuts and the salt stings my wounds. I suffer a black eye as well, as Mrs. Sip Advisor takes the opportunity to get a shot in, probably for all the attempts at morning fun over the years. She doesn’t understand that I would have shared the chip I was fighting for with her.

A news brief comes on the TV informing us that all kittens in the world have been eliminated, thanks to a new worldwide law passed by the pro-dog lobby (actually made up of famous dogs, including Lassie, the ghost of Old Yeller and Eddie from Frasier). I shed a tear, but the worst is yet to come. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: there could be something worse than no more kitties!?!?

Kitty

So, no sleeping in, no food, and no kitties, but I’m still not panicking yet. I head over to the bar and, you guessed it, they are all out of liquor!!! There’s not a drop in the house. My pupils dilate, blood pressure rises and I go into fight or flight mode. I’m throwing bartenders into the nearby pool, smashing bottles over my  head and squirting lemon and lime juice into guest’s eyes. It’s complete chaos as I go on my rampage.

Finally, I am subdued, thanks to a clubbing blow to the back of the head. When I wake up, it’s 7:30am again and the neighbours are yelling… or are they just having a normal conversation. It’s so hard to tell when you can’t understand what they’re saying.

I am released from the Groundhog Day cycle when I learn to embrace a world with no liquor, early wake-ups, a lack of buffet food and a kitten-less existence. That’s the real nightmare!

Drink #33: Groundhog’s Shadow Shot (a Sip Advisor original creation)

Groundhog's Shadow Shooter

  • Pour a dollop of chocolate syrup at the bottom of the glass
  • Stick gummy bear (acting as gummy groundhog) in syrup
  • 1.5 oz Galliano to fill glass

I tried finding a Groundhog Day-themed drink that already existed, but when none satisfied me, I made my own. Sounds like a euphemism for most people’s sex lives. The chocolate syrup is the earth, the groundhog’s home and the Galliano is the sun greeting the little critter, encouraging him to rise to the surface. The gummy bear is the tiny fella sticking his nose above ground to meet the brand new day.

Did he see his shadow, causing him to retreat to his underground dwelling and making humans believe they will have to suffer through six more weeks of winter? Or did he stay above the surface, signaling an early spring to come. With this shot, we’ll never really find out, so that means eternal winter… kind of like Game of Thrones! Awesome, drinking with Tyrion Lannister!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
Where to begin with breaking down this drink? I tried a couple different mixes and ways to get that damn gummy bear to look decent and kept on getting tripped up by various issues. The Galliano make-up of the shooter might have completely saved it.