Sunday, June 10, 2018

Pheaturing Lou Ferrigno

Hey, kids, welcome to the Phile for a Sunday. How are you? The 25-year-old right-wing nightmare pundit Tomi Lahren is at it again, and by "it" I mean she's stirring the pot and the Internet is responding accordingly. In a tweet meant to criticize a perceived lack of patriotism from "The Left," and perhaps more specifically, to critique people defending the NFL National Anthem protests Lahren waxed poetic about the importance of the American flag.

Lahren continued her screed in a second tweet that manages to bash immigrants while claiming that liberals tacitly don't care about America. It's highly likely Lahren didn't consider her own social media history while writing about the sacred nature of the flag and National Anthem. I write this, because less than a year ago she fashioned an American flag into an outfit - thus violating the flag code. See?

Perhaps, next time Lahren decides to invoke the sacred nature of the flag, she'll check her own social media history first. I'm not holding my breath.
Designer Kate Spade was found dead on June 5th in what is reported to be a suicide. She was just 55 years old, and her death is shocking, not just to the public, but to her own family members. Kate married Andy Spade, the brother of the comedian and "SNL" alum David Spade, in 1994. Together in 1993, Kate and Andy created the successful (and much coveted) Kate Spade handbag brand, before her last name was actually Spade. They sold the company in 2007, so that Kate could be closer to her daughter with Andy, who is now 13. On Tuesday, David Spade posted on both Instagram and Twitter about his now deceased sister-in-law. The Instagram picture shows Kate and David standing together, and the caption reads: "Fuzzy picture but I love it. Kate and I during Christmas family photos. We had so much fun that day. She was so sharp and quick on her feet. She could make me laugh so hard. I still can't believe it. It's a rough world out there people, try to hang on." He posted a different picture on Twitter, where he wrote, "Katy at my book signing. I love this pic of her. So pretty. I don't think everyone knew how fucking funny she was... It's a rough world out there people. Try to hang on." Excuse me while I wipe a few tears from my eyes. Must be allergies. On Howard Stern's show in 2015, David Spade discussed his family a little, saying, "I love having family around. Love [that] Andy's around. He's a smart fucking guy. He knows his shit. And Katy's really, really smart and good... and she's hilarious." That's the best possible compliment from a comedian. The family issued a statement to the New York Times saying, "We are all devastated by today's tragedy. We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time."
Kellyanne Conway has said some pretty wacky things in the past. Remember when she totally fabricated a terrorist attack and called it the "Bowling Green Massacre"? Or that time she said our microwaves are spying on us? Or all those times she vehemently defended every single thing Donald Trump said or did no matter how harmful or untrue it was? But what Conway said Wednesday morning on CNN may just take the (cheese)cake. Ahem. Wednesday morning, on national television, Kellyanne Conway, advisor to the president, called Donald Trump "The Commander of Cheese." Yes, you heard that correctly. Presumably, Conway meant to say "Commander in Chief," but instead said "Commander of Cheese." Sounds like someone didn't eat breakfast before appearing on TV that morning. Does this mean she thinks Donald Trump is a big rat?
Melania Trump has returned, America! She hasn't been seen for 24 days, and public speculation was growing. Where was Melania? Was she okay? Did she leave Donald Trump? Was she ever coming back? On May 14th, the First Lady underwent surgery what her office said was "a benign kidney condition." She spent five days in the hospital, but when she failed to resurface after that, people began to wonder what the hell was going on. Well, the suspense is over, because on Monday night, Melania Trump was in attendance at a Gold Star Families reception. In response to her reappearance, a spokeswoman told @ABC that Mrs. Trump "puts her family, and certainly her health above all else, and that won't change over a rabid press corps. She's confident in what she is doing and in her role, and knows the rest is just speculation and nonsense." So now that she's been seen, everything is fine. There certainly won't be any questions about why she hadn't been seen in 24 days.
Known legal scholar Donald Trump Jr. had a lil' gaffe on Twitter on Monday when he failed to understand what "narrow" means in the context of court rulings. The Supreme Court sided with a Christian baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding... NOT in terms of saying that he has the right to discriminate, but agreeing with him that he didn't get a fair hearing from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Seven justices ruled in favor of the baker, Jack Phillips, and two (Ginsburg and Sotomayor) dissented. Don Jr. read the headline "Supreme Court rules narrowly for Colorado baker who wouldn’t make same-sex wedding cake," and assumed the Fake News Media was misrepresenting the facts.

Note: You shouldn't feel dumb if you didn't understand the particulars of legal lingo right off the bat, but you should definitely feel dumb if you're so convinced you're brilliant you tweet out a sassy hot take to millions of followers. It was a bad day for people named Donald Trump demonstrating understanding the law, as Trump Sr. insisted that he was fully above it.

You know, some people are assholes...

Some people just have the worst luck ever... like this young lady...

Damn. Haha. I've never been arrested but if I ever do I hope I am not wearing this t-shirt...

Hahaha. If I had a TARDIS I would go back in time to meet Anthony Bourdain, he seemed like an interesting guy. Knowing my luck though I'll end up seeing him when he was just 19-years-old.

I bet he was a Foghat fan. Have you seen those "stop weight bigotry" posters? This is real...

Ever go to Walmart and see an odd sight? I always think I won't... but then I do.

I mentioned this in the past, but ever go to the website Some students are really harsh on their professors. This one is not too bad, I don't think...

Ummm... maybe it is. Man, those Marvel movies sure do a good job with finding stunt doubles... check it out...

Did you see the poster for the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie? It looks sad...

Alright, so there's still some Royal Wedding souvenirs out there if you're interested. Like these Royal salad spoons...

Admit it: you want to spoon them. High school seniors are killing it this year with their year book quotes.

Hmmm... Okay, so, least week I asked you to send some of your crazy first date stories and the 5 best ones I will put in the Top Phive list. Next week's topic is about fights... what is your fight story? Send them to and the 5 best will be in the list. Alright, now for...

Top Phive Phile Reader Crazy Phirst Date Stories
5. Have had 3 separate dates, with 3 separate women that all turned out to either be Christian revival meetings or younglife. C'mon.
4. Had a good friend in university who disappeared overseas for a year after we graduated. I stayed there to study and teach, and one day I got a text from a number I didn't recognize saying "Hey, it's Joe from business school, want to catch up for a coffee?" Hadn't seen him in ages so I said yes, very enthusiastically. I walked into the coffee shop at the right time, look around for Joe, and there's Joe from business school. A different Joe from business school. I couldn't walk out because he'd already seen me, so we chatted politely for an hour and we've never talked since.
3. I met a guy from OKCupid. The first time we met up in a public place and just had a casual chat. It wasn't a horrible date, but it wasn't very memorable either. I decided to give him another try because it could have just been nerves. The second date he invited me over to his place... I knew he lived with his parents, but I kind of assumed they'd be away. They weren't away. They kept coming into the lounge room and giving us iced tea and chips whilst he played XBox in his trackpants (no shirt) and I sat there awkwardly watching. He didn't really speak much to me. It was 11 p.m., and he was in his 30s.
2. Hot girl from class randomly walked into my dorm room, the door was normally open during the day. She was in the building visiting a friend and saw me playing guitar so she came in and started flirting. She asked me to meet her at a near by bar that night at 10 so I agreed. I get there at 10 and she introduces me to her boyfriend. I finished my beer and went to the bar my friends were at.
And the number one Phile reader crazy date story is...
1. Internet date; at a bar; first time meeting the guy. He tells me over a bowl of eggplant chips that he's so good in bed that the last woman he boned spontaneously lactated from the mind-blowing pleasure of it all.

If you spot the Mindphuck let me know. Now for the pheature called for some unknown reason...

When the last woolly mammoths died out, the pyramids of Giza were already a thousand years old.

Hahaha. I get it. In her profile pic she has sunglasses on. And now for a pheature where you don't have to be British to laugh at, but it will bloody well help.

I loved Brum when I was a kid. I used to call cars "brums."

Now for some sad news...

Anthony Bourdain 
June 25th, 1956 — June 8th, 2018
Reservations for one, actually.

Red Schoendienst 
February 2nd, 1923 — June 6th, 2018
"Mr. Cardinal" ended up working for the Cards for 74 years... right up until the day he died. That's quite a retirement plan there, Red.

After learning that his photo op was likely to be poorly attended, Donald Trump canceled a White House event with the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles and is trying to cover his ass by making it about the national anthem culture war. Let's back it up a bit. Monday night, a mere hours before the Super Bowl champs were slated to meet the president (which sounds more like a punishment at this point than it does a prize), the White House uninvited them, insisting that the jocks have been mean to poor Donald. According to a statement from press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Eagles submitted 81 names of players planning to visit the White House. "But on Monday," explains Politico, "the White House was informed that the delegation had been reduced to just two or three players, the owner, and the team's beloved mascot, Swoop." While that is undoubtedly hilarious, Trump didn't find it funny, and has said that the Eagles are no longer invited to the people's house, because of national anthem protests the team didn't even participate in. Football players were not afraid to call out Trump for his cowardice. Torrey Smith, Carolina Panthers wide receiver who won with the Eagles last season, called the scheme to make this about the anthem "foolish." Former Eagle Cris Carter jokes that Obama should invite the team for a barbecue. Philly's mayor, Jim Kenney, put out a statement, calling Trump "a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend." The White House is turning up to propaganda machine. Their communications shop, also known as Fox News, played footage of Eagles kneeling in prayer and insisting that they were kneeling in protest. Zach Ertz, a tight end for the Eagles and a devout Christian, called out Fox News' flagrant lie. Philly fans are proud of their team, tweeting that Trump wasn't even worthy of their presence to begin with.

The 81st book to be pheatured in the Phile's Book Club is...

Martin will be the guest on the Phile tomorrow. Now for some Avengers: Infinity War...

Phact 1. Tom Holland was not allowed to read the script of Avengers: Infinity War since he revealed too many secrets for Spider-Man Homecoming.

Phact 2. The Wakandan war cry “Yibambe” is Xhosa for “hold strong.”

Phact 3. Security for the filming of Avengers: Infinity War at Durham Cathedral was so tight that not even the Cathedral wardens were allowed access inside.

Phact 4. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) had a new look for Avengers: Infinity War film. At the end of Captain America: Civil War, Steve Rogers quit as Captain America, something which occurred several times in the comic book. For the first time, he assumed the identity of Nomad. Rogers’ costume in this film captured basic elements of the Nomad character, in that it is primarily blue and features yellow, disk-like objects attached at the collar. For the second time Steve Rogers quit, he was featured to have grown scraggly with a beard, and he would eventually shave the beard and create a new identity as The Captain. Consequently, the physical appearance and costume for Steve Rogers is a combination of the two most popular times he quit being Captain America.

Phact 5. Loki says “we have a Hulk” to Thanos. This is exactly what Tony said to Loki in The Avengers.

Today's pheatured guest is an American actor, fitness trainer, fitness consultant and retired professional bodybuilder. As a bodybuilder, Ferrigno won an IFBB Mr. America title and two consecutive IFBB Mr. Universe titles, and appeared in the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron. As an actor, he is best known for his title role in the CBS television series "The Incredible Hulk." This is so cool... please welcome to the Phile... Lou Ferrigno.

Me: Hey, there, Lou, welcome to the Phile, sir. How are you?

Lou: Thank you. How are you? How's everything? 

Me: Not too bad. So, where are you from, sir?

Lou: I was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Me: Oh, cool. I never knew you were from New York. Alright, so, Lou, I met you once briefly at MegaCon here in Orlando. You do a lot of conventions, right? Do you like doing those?

Lou: Yeah, the fans get to meet the celebrities. It's kind of hard when you do a TV show sometimes and I do a red carpet. It's the only chance the fans can meet me in person because I have my pictures and my memorabilia, and posters. Also they get a photo op. When I was a kid I didn't have anything like this to go to so it's cool to be big part of it. Also it helped with my films and my career.

Me: Lou, were you a comic book reader when you were a kid?

Lou: Well, I did and I discovered comic books because I was a real life Walter Mitty when I was young. What fascinated me about comic books was about power. Hulk, Superman, Batman, Spider-Man was all about power, and about being a hero. That led me into fitness because it goes hand in and, it's all about personal identity. I could relate to it because back then I didn't have computers and phones. I didn't have anybody to talk to because I live in a silent world. I lost my hearing when I was young and didn't have the best hearing and speech. So with comics I was relating to my life and fantascing. I always wanted to be a hero.

Me: How did you first realize you wanted to be a fitness guy, Lou? Did you just start working out? 

Lou: I found Muscle Power Magazine which was body building magazine that not only really changed my life but reshaped me as a person.

Me: How old were you when you first did your fitness competition and how did that expire you for the rest of your life?

Lou: I was 19-years-old, and from the magazine I learnt how the Hulk was built and everything. When I read the magazine I discovered there was a Mr. Universe competition. I learned about body building routines, I learnt about weight training, how to build muscles and look like the guys in the magazines.

Me: When you won your first competition what was that like?

Lou: It was a like a dream come true because I was by myself on stage posing and flexing. I was getting a lot of resect and notoriety but even I was young I was laughed at. It changed my life and allowed me to go on a path to succeed and survive.

Me: Was it the first competition you were in where you won, Lou?

Lou: No, it was my third.

Me: Okay, let's talk about "The Incredible Hulk," Lou. I loved that show when I was a kid, and the Hulk was always one of my favorite Marvel characters. Were you the first person chosen to be that character?

Lou: Well, they filmed with Richard Kiel who was Jaws in the James Bond movies and shot the pilot, and realized he did not look like the Hulk and they decided to go with someone who looked like the Hulk.

Me: Ahhh... so, how did you get the part, Lou?

Lou: They did a nationwide casting call and I went there and was hired the next day and they reshot the whole pilot with me. I was much more believable.

Me: Yeah, you definitely made a better Hulk than he would've. So, what was it like wearing all that green make-up for the first time?

Lou: That's a good question because I was so excited because it was my first TV movie and I knew it was going to be very successful. I was excited to be made up as the character and I was dying to see the finished product. The guy who did the make-up, his name was Werner Keppler, he did all the famous monsters and the other make-up people were excited to be part of a new hero so the whole process was phenomenal.

Me: Was the make-up comfortable? I would think it wouldn't be.

Lou: During the day I would stay in an air conditioned mobile home and relax, that wouldn't be a problem but if I had to shoot a scene in the rain they had to use grease make-up on the whole body. That was the most uncomfortable feeling in the world.

Me: I'm sure there are more uncomfortable feelings, Lou. Haha. So, what was it like working with Bill Bixby, Lou? I always liked him as an actor, even before he was on the Hulk show.

Lou: Working with Bill was great, he was my mentor. I was a big fan of his as well, even before we did the series. He's an actor, director, and producer so working with him I learnt a lot because the Hulk series I never acted before and I had to do pantomime, which is acting without speaking. It was a great training platform for now and I was excited because it laid all the groundwork for all the heroes that you see today. At the time when I was the Hulk pilot there was the Captain American film, Spider-Man, but the Hulk at th time was the only one that was successful, even though they had Wonder Woman too. But now, forty years later, the Hulk is still the biggest franchise out there.

Me:  Okay, so, like I said I love the Hulk character. Why did you like him so much?

Lou: He was like King Kong, misunderstood and really feel disconnected from this world.

Me: How would you describe the Hulk to someone that never seen him before?

Lou: Very sensitive, tentative, he fights against his own demons and stuff. He knew he was a threat to anybody that looked at him. He's a good guy.

Me: You have done a lot of voiceover work for the Hulk, Lou. What's it like for you when someone calls you and says they want you to voice the character?

Lou: Well, it's like icing on the cake, the whole package because with the TV series I would love to have done the voice but when they used Richard Kiel and my first few seasons they used Theodore Cassidy, who played Lurch in "The Addams Family." Later in life my voice got deeper so when they use my voice I'm still connected to the character today in the Avengers movies, which makes me excited because I know how the Hulk thinks and feels.

Me: Yeah, that's great seeing and hearing you in those movies. Do you ever feel, Lou, you were typecast as the Hulk?

Lou: Yes, because many people thought all I can do is flex and be the Hulk so I changed that over the years. I did over forty films, and comedies so slowly it helped me breakaway from the typecast. I have a problem because I love being the Hulk because it made me famous. Other actors from other TV series are forgotten so it's good to have a TV series that was successful. Especially I like to see it continue 40 years later.

Me: Does if feel great that from now to the end of this planet when people think of the Hulk they are gonna think of you?

Lou: Yes, wonderful.

Me: You have been in some non-Marvel movies as well recently, right? You even plat the lead in a movie called Instant Death. What is that about?

Lou: Yeah, it was filmed in Bristol, England and is about a guy in the Special Forces who kind of retired and is trying to settle back into society. He flies to England to try snd rekindle his relationship with his daughter and granddaughter. This vicious gang gets ahold of my daughter and they kill my granddaughter. You see me on revenge. It's a great action film, very heartbreaking, very emotional. It's probably one of my best acting roles. If you get a chance check it out.

Me: You were in Pumping Iron with Arnold Schwarzenegger... are you still friends with him? Do you see him quite a bit?

Lou: Yeah, I tease him all the time, he rides his bicycle and always has his entourage with him, his stooges. I say, "Hi, Arnold, how're you doing?" He was my hero growing up as a body builder. He's phenomenal, especially what he's done with the sport. I have my own competition now and I see him from time to time. I see him at her gym and the guy is over 70-years-old, and he's always working out. The two of us are the only ones that made it into the mainstream because the time we competed no one knew what body building was. So when Pumping Iron came out in my opinion it's the best documentary ever made. Sometimes I'll be on the machine and he'll yell for four more or two more. I'm like wait a minute, I'm 65-years-old, I'm not going to break my shoulder. We get in that competitive mode.

Me: In the 70s I didn't know body building was that popular, Lou? How popular was it?

Lou: In the 70s you never saw women working out. It was unheard of a woman working out at the gym. It changed over the years, now you have men and wives working out, young kids and family's... all that changed. "Pumping Iron" laid the groundwork to change all that.

Me: When you were young you lost a lot of your hearing which must of been rough. How much did you lose and how did it affect you?

Lou: I lost about 75% to 80% of my hearing. That made me extremely introverted as a child. I had to work very hard to work on my speech. That's why I got into body building because I was bullied my whole life. Kids would make fun of me calling me deaf mute, deaf Louie because I had this hearing aid and everything. That was my biggest challenge. I learnt to overcome all that, becoming a stage actor and becoming a film actor, body building champion. I'm also a deputy sheriff now so all these dreams I had come true even though I was told years I ago I can't, I can't, I can't, I can't.

Me: In the 90s they made a few new Hulk movies and introduced other Marvel characters like Thor and Daredevil. What did you think of that time and are you amazed it works now with the MCU? 

Lou: The reason they did it was because they hoped to create a series with Daredevil and Thor. Those guys were iconic characters and were great. It was still the Hulk show. I think today it's great because of CGI they could get A-list actors today, it's working better than before.

Me: Yeah, what did you think of Thor: Ragnovok? You got to play the Hulk in that, right?

Lou: It's just a huge film. In my time when we did "Return of the Hulk" with Thor I loved, because Stan Lee was involved too. They were going to do other Marvel characters but I don't think they were ready at the time. I'm lucky that the Hulk got to sustain after all these years. The last Thor movie was such a huge budget, especially seeing the Hulk in the arena, with the helmet and sword. It's funny, before you saw it with the comic characters and I laugh when I see the Hulk, it just stands out. There's no competition especially in the coliseum. As a matter of fact I have that statue at home, I bought it about a year ago with the sword and the helmet and now seeing it I'm like oh my God, it's in the film.

Me: They killed the Hulk in the TV movie "Death of the Hulk." What did you think of that? Do you think he really died?

Lou: Well, after the TV movie "Death of the Hulk" he would of came back in "Revenge of the Hulk." I could see that in the future. See the Hulk being much more sophisticated. In "Revenge of the Hulk" they would find one blood cell and bring him back to life. They had big plans, hush hush. Bill had prostate cancer and passed away and that was it. I didn't like the name "Death of the Hulk." I thought it put a jinx on one of us. When he directed the last two it was fabulous, because I couldn't have a better teacher or better director. I thought Bill Bixby is directing me and directing himself in the show instead of other directors bought more flavor to the show.

Me: Why did they change the name from Bruce Banner in the comics to David Banner in the TV show? Do you know why?

Lou: They changed it to David because CBS said Bruce sounded gay. Would you believe that? And now we're back to Bruce and he's wearing spandex. When I did the series when the Hulk changed back to Bill Bixby there was only one button opened on the jeans. Then you'd see me as the Hulk and I'm three times the size of him and you still see one button open.

Me: Bullying I think is a lot worse now than it has ever been, thanks to social media I think. Is there any advice you can give to someone that is being bullied?

Lou: I think people that feel that they are being bullied could be online, could be a teacher, could be a brother, a sister, a neighbor. The most important thing is don't internalize it. Go to someone. The bullies are the ones with the problem not the victim. They're thrones who are expressing their anger, taking their frustrations out. The problem is if these people don't take action it could cause suicide, harming yourself, harming affecting different family members. I see that situation because I talk a lot about bullying. If you don't take action yourself no one is going to.

Me: Cool. Okay, then, Lou. Thanks so much foe being on the Phile. I hope this was fun. Take care and continued success.

Lou: Thank you, Jason.

That about does it for this entry of the Phile. Thanks to Lou for a great interview. The Phile will be back tomorrow with author Martin Grams Jr. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Not if it pleases me. No, you can't stop me, not if it pleases me. - Graham Parker

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good Phile, Jason. Jackhammered woman with cig. Lol.
Jason, I've often wondered if you have your Dad's guitars and if you play guitar? Just curious.
Danny Broome (FB Friend)