Welcome to a Wednesday edition of the Everyday Hero report, your roundup of headlines from across the fanboy universe …
PATRICK MCGOOHAN DEAD AT 80: Some very sad news today that Patrick McGoohan, an actor who could be simultaneously suave and cryptic, has died. Just the other day we told you that there are plans by AMC to revive the late actor’s signature show, "The Prisoner," and if that moves forward as expected, it will only enhance the legacy of the actor and writer. Here’s an obituary written by Dennis McLellan: "Patrick McGoohan, an Emmy Award-winning actor who starred as a British spy in the 1960s TV series ‘Secret Agent’ and ‘The Prisoner’ and was known for playing various villainous roles in films and on television, has died. He was 80. McGoohan died peacefully Tuesday in St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica after a short illness, said Cleve Landsberg, McGoohan’s son-in-law. The family did not provide further details.It was the height of James Bond mania in 1965 when McGoohan showed up on American TV screens in ‘Secret Agent,’ a British-produced series in which he played John Drake, a special security agent working as a spy for the British government. The hour-long series, which ran on CBS until 1966, was an expanded version of ‘Danger Man,’ a short-lived, half-hour series on CBS in 1961 in which McGoohan played the same character. But it was McGoohan’s next British-produced series, ‘The Prisoner,’ on CBS in 1968 and 1969, that became a cult classic. Once described in The Times as an ‘espionage tale as crafted by Kafka,’ ‘The Prisoner’ starred McGoohan as a British agent who, after resigning his post, is abducted and held captive by unknown powers in a mysterious village, where he known only as No. 6. McGoohan created and executive-produced the series, which ran for only 17 episodes. He also wrote and directed several episodes." [Los Angeles Times]
STAN LEE INVENTS THE FIRST GAY SUPERHERO?: Um, well, that’s what the British press is breathlessly reporting today in several spots, such as this piece in the Daily Telegraph: "Lee has reportedly created a character called Thom Creed, a high-school basketball player who is forced to hide his sexuality as well as his superpowers. It is not known what kind of powers Creed will display. Lee, the former head of Marvel Comics — who also created the Hulk and the X-Men — will unveil Creed in an hour-long television special made in the US. If he proves popular with audiences, the programme will be shown in Britain. Lee developed the idea of a gay character from the award-winning novel Hero by Perry Moore, the Sun reports. A television industry source told the paper: ‘It was only a matter of time before we had our first gay superhero. And if there is one man who can make him a success it is Stan Lee.’" Wow, there are so many things wrong with this. The news is pretty old since I read about it in November and there’s the fact that Lee’s plan of taking Perry Moore’s pre-existing character and putting it on screen is not the same as "creating" that character. Also, there have been more than a few gay heroes in comics (Moore, in fact, chatted about some of them last summer) and I also hate when people don’t mention Jack Kirby as a co-creator of classic Marvel characters such as Hulk and X-Men…so, ugh, let’s move on …
TERMINATORS, WARMING UP: I’m headed over to see footage from "Terminator: Salvation" today and to say hi to director McG, who is doing the meet-and-greet "road show" to promote the film. He already did a stop in New York and Michael Avila had a nice (and detailed) summary of it. "Relaunching a franchise is never easy. When you’re following in the footsteps of James Cameron, it becomes an absurdly difficult challenge. That is just one of the many obstacles director McG faced when he signed on to reinvigorate the ‘Terminator’ franchise. The director took the mic to host a special presentation of early footage from ‘Terminator Salvation'; Monday at the Time Warner screening room in Manhattan. Most of the 15 minutes or so of clips shown were incomplete, with unfinished special effects and rough audio. However, the clips did provide a clear sense of the look and style of the film. Picture the grime and decay of ‘Mad Max’ or ‘Children of Men,’ and you have a pretty good idea of the aesthetic vision McG and his team have created for the movie. We also have answers to some of the key questions surrounding the storyline — including one major twist that frankly, I was surprised they showed us — so if you want to remain completely in the dark about the plot of ‘Terminator Salvation’….STOP READING NOW!!!" But if you want more, more, more, click here [Newsarama]
"TWILIGHT" MEETS "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL"?: Wow, here’s another one in the non-news department. There were great spasms of anger and fear among "Twilight" fans (or the "Twi-hards," as they are called because, well, uh, they try harder than other fans?) at the news that Vanessa Hudgens, she of "High School Musical" fame, might dare turn her brand of peppy, promise-ring style of teen romance into a franchise built around a much more somber, black-clothed brand of teen romance. Just look at some of the comments over at Entertainment Weekly, which broke the news of the "rumored audition." Turns out the character that Hudgens auditioned to play isn’t even in the sequel, "New Moon," so apparently everyone can put their torches and pitchforks down and return to study hall.
ON THIS DATE: It was 19 years ago today that the second episode of "The Simpsons," titled "Bart the Genius," aired and introduced one of the great recurring sight gags in television history: Bart Simpson standing at the class blackboard and writing punishment verses. On that 1990 broadcast, Bart wrote, ironically, "I will not waste chalk" on the board. The ritual has been repeated sporadically over the more than 400 epsiodes that followed and if you want to see my personal Top 20 funniest lines, go to the end of this post. To celebrate this great day, let’s all crank call an elementary school teacher.
The Top 20 blackboard sayings from "The Simpsons":
20. Global Warming did not eat my homework
19. Pearls are not oyster barf
18. We are not all naked under our clothes.
17. I will not speculate on how hot teacher used to be
16. Milhouse did not test cootie positive.
15. Je ne parle pas français.
14. Vampire is not a career choice.
13. Beer in a milk carton is not milk.
12. This school does not need a "regime change."
11. Frankincense is not a monster.
10. My pen is not a booger launcher.
9. There is no such month as Rocktober.
8. I will not laminate dog doo.
7. I will not bite the hand that feeds me Butterfingers.
6. A booger is not a bookmark.
5. SpongeBob is not a contraceptive.
4. Prosperity is just around the corner.
3. The Giving Tree is not a chump.
2. The art teacher is fat, not pregnant.
1. I am not Charlie Brown on acid.
Have a great day Springfield citizens and thanks for reading.
— Geoff Boucher
CREDITS: Stan Lee, in 2005, photo by William Aidasson For The Times. Vanessa Hudgens photo by Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times. "The Simpsons" image courtesy of Fox. "Terminator: Salvation" image courtesy of Warner Bros.