Posts Tagged ‘matthew ross’

Top 10 things I will miss about the Late Show with David Letterman

May 20, 2015
Letterman

credit: CBS News

At 12:35 a.m. tonight, it’s the end of an era. David Letterman will turn out the lights on what has been a legendary career. While the show’s last couple of years haven’t been as zany or unpredictable as it was in its heyday, Letterman’s departure is a void from late night television, nonetheless.

10. The Top 10 List home offices. Remember Wahoo, Nebraska? For whatever reason, the show stopped naming a city where the Top 10 Lists supposedly originated from. I’m not sure why, but I miss that. I like random, oddball stuff like that.

 9. Biff/Rubert Gee. Letterman had a knack for anointing Average Joes as comedic stars. From Mujibar and Sirajul to stagehand Pat Farmer, they were all great.

8. The suits. He took heat year after year. Yet, he stuck to them. Letterman loved his double-breasted suits – and they loved him.

7. Dave’s Mom. Every once in a while, Dave would put a camera in the Indiana kitchen of his mom and put her on the show. She had great deadpan delivery, as well as the same gap-toothed smile as her famous son.

6. The way he spoke to kids. When Dave would invite young students on to show off their science tricks, he always found a way to make them feel comfortable on stage. “Are you married?”

5. The Christmas tree meatball. It became an annual tradition. The meatball ornament on top of the tree. It was ridiculous. It was Letterman.

4. Outdoor comedy. Every gag and sketch performed on the streets of New York City elicited genuine, spontaneous comedic results. From turning a hose on the crowd to cutting people’s pants into shorts, it was always great.

3. Paul Shaffer. No one loved his job more than Paul Shaffer. After more than 30 years with Letterman, Shaffer’s comedic timing and second banana chops were legendary. He was the best complimentary character a host ever had. Oh, and he was a pretty great musician, too.

2. Self-deprecation. You always felt like Dave was insecure. Why? Because he constantly took shots at himself. Dave’s regular poking fun at himself gave him an endearing quality. How can you not like a guy who may or may not like himself?

1. Quick wit + camera look-in. Whether it was the guest saying something outlandish or Dave himself striking with a comedic dagger, it was Dave’s unique facial expressions and peer into our living rooms that we never got tired of. No one did it better.

I know you gave them up, but you’ve earned one more cigar, Dave.

@MatthewWords

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My response for Option Nationale, Sol Zanetti, Quebec and Scotland

September 12, 2014

solRecently, I came across a video message by Option Nationale Leader Sol Zanetti, directed at the citizens of Scotland. With Scots voting on independence, Zanetti decided to take the position of Savant on the subject, and tell the Scottish how Quebec has screwed things up by staying a part of Canada. Personally, I found the video repugnant, self-serving and full of inaccuracies. While I have no illusions of how my sparsely updated blog is irrelevant on the Canadian political landscape, I have to say something. In fact, I feel my angst over the video subsiding with every keystroke.

To start, as a communications professional, I should know better. When a political party is a non-factor, you shouldn’t give it the light of day. Option Nationale is a party that is trailing even other niche provincial parties. But when the message pretends to represent all of Quebec, it strikes me at my core.

To begin with, Zanetti and his propaganda pals title the video An important message from Quebec for the Scottish, which, unless he is producing a satire video, he can’t get away with. There are literally 250 other public figures in Quebec that are more qualified to represent Quebec in such a message than Sol Zanetti.

Although, I will give him credit, his English is good. His work with a razor? Not so much.

So let’s tackle some of the elements in his message to Scotland.

– Zanetti references the 1980 and 1995 Quebec referendums, and says “Based on our experience, you will be worse off if you vote No.” How, exactly? Prior to 1980, Quebec was an English bastion for big business. While I am against anything that breaks up Canada, I will admit that the two referendums did serve a very valid purpose – they brought the majority French-speaking population of Quebec more respect and more laws. I refer you to how minority languages today are deemed a threat to French Quebec if their menus aren’t French.

-He talks about how Quebeckers were promised so much prior to the referendums, and that they were lied to. He references how healthcare funding hasn’t kept pace with the Quebec population. There’s only one problem with that latter point – an independent Quebec wouldn’t be able to pay for healthcare anyway!

-Conveniently, this video omits the incredible and disproportionate power that Quebec has held within Canada, essentially electing the country’s opposition party in the early 1990’s and then again in the last federal election.

-Sol Zanetti threatens the Scots by saying that they were will the laughing stock of the world, like Quebec has become. The issue with that? Quebec has made embarrassing headlines SOLELY for enforcing language and other laws that target non mother tongue Francophones. In what universe was this because Quebec is a part of Canada? He takes it a step further, saying that they will be the laughing stock according to him as well. Another problem – who is Sol Zanetti? Until CJAD gave him the greatest gift he could have ever asked for by mentioning this video, the man was as anonymous as the good ideas in his party’s platform.

-Finally, by uttering the phrase Mind your own business towards the end of the video, Zanetti implies that the majority of Quebeckers want to separate, and anyone who disagrees should go away. Here’s the reality – when your party polls at less than one percent (down a percentage point from the previous election), it means that whatever you say isn’t the business of 99 percent of the population, literally.

As a proud Montrealer, Quebecker and Canadian, and one of the MAJORITY in the province that has ZERO interest in leaving Canada, if Mr. Zanetti is so insistent on speaking for everyone, I have an idea. I’d like to recommend that he find an uninhabited island and start his own new sovereign nation. Who knows, maybe some of his one percent will join him.

Follow @MatthewWords

My quick take on parenting and marriage

January 22, 2013

On the January 15th episode of my sports radio show on TSN 690 in Montreal, I pontificated on marriage and parenting a little, and how we men can cope and survive.

Unfriending Parti Quebecois supporters

August 20, 2012

I recently posted a status message on my Facebook profile, explaining the fact that I ‘unfriended’ a couple of individuals who went ahead and ‘liked’ the Pauline Marois Facebook page. Now, to some this would seem like an act of intolerance and exclusionary behaviour. But the truth is, it’s actually a gesture of pure Federalism, pure and simple, nothing more.

We all use the term ‘friend’ loosely on Facebook. Many of us have throngs of acquaintances we don’t really know. Due to my radio program in Montreal, I have a lot of listeners and fans of the show that have found and added me on Facebook. I accept most of the friend requests because I want to be grateful that they are faithful to my show, and also to let them feel like they have access to me.

It’s also worth noting that I generally don’t post any pictures of my kids or family on there, and don’t give out too many details of my private life. To me, Facebook is a social networking tool, designed to better seek out and reach people with whom you are interested in communicating and monitoring.

So when a couple of people decide to celebrate a politician whose only goal in public life is to break up the country that I live in, well, I took great exception. As a result, I HAD to delete those that encouraged the dissolution of the only nation that I have ever lived in.

If I don’t stick up for what I believe in, how could I look my kids in the eye. Sure, it would be the politically correct decision to ignore the Parti Quebecois support of a couple of Facebook friends for the broader appeal of me and my public dealings. But I am not wired like that.

Any party that encourages the limiting of religious freedoms, the separation of Quebec from Canada and the crackdown on the English language in every facet, cannot be something that I act indifferent towards.

Don’t get me wrong, I know my actions don’t amount to a major ripple in the political waters of this country. But it’s a way to vent and to have a non-destructive outlet. I had a satisfactory exhale upon my ‘unfriending’ exercise and was able to move on with my day. Non-Quebecers don’t understand how emotional and anxiety-causing the Quebec separation issue really is to some La Belle Province natives.

It’s definitely a cathartic activity for frustrated English-speaking Quebec citizens. Simply visit the Marois Facebook page and see what common friends of yours have liked it. You will then know who to delete right away from your friends list.

I am sure these guys will never notice that I am no longer friends with them. I have no illusions about my at-best “E level” celebrity status in this town. But, if they were thinking of sharing the Pauline Marois Facebook fan page with me at some point, they have another thing coming.

Matthew Ross is a communications professional and freelance journalist. His sports radio show has been on TSN 990 since 2004. 

One Word – Passion

October 30, 2008

Matthew Ross is the founder of ContentServicing.com, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada.

Passion. It’s something that helps to drive me in anything I undertake. I have to have passion about something in order to really push myself to succeed. But, passion can also get me into trouble if I want it too much. Passion. One word – and yet it’s says so much about me.

Being a sports nut, passion has always fueled me to give it my all (no matter how insufficient that may sometimes be) all the time. It doesn’t matter if I am playing in a softball league or in a pick-up game of ball hockey. I play to have fun and I have fun when I am competing hard to win. I don’t necessarily need to win. But, I do need to feel as though I and my teammates are playing our hardest. Unfortunately, when you are playing a meaningless game of ball hockey at 10pm on a Friday night in a local gym, it’s kind of hard not to look like a jackass when you are hollering and howling.

Having passion means I can’t stand it when others don’t try. Indifference is a turn-off. So is laziness. I have always battled for everything I have ever gotten, so it pisses me off to see someone doggin’ it. I was once playing ball hockey with this goofy big guy (playing forward) who would never come back and help on defence. His explanation made me want to punch him square in his ridiculous chicklets. He said “I don’t run that hard. I have an office job now.” What? Are you kidding me? Exactly what is the point in competing if you are not going all out? Do you enjoy embarassing yourself by looking like you don’t care? Do you like appearing incompetent?

Passion is also what excites me about my work. The notion that I can cleverly craft content and make it intriguing and attractive to others gets me hyped. My passion for this high lets me step on the gas and get the job done. Whether it’s entertaining listeners on my radio show or completing a marketing project for a client – if I don’t have passion driving me, the project is going to just plain suck.

And so it really is a double-edged sword wearing my passion on my sleeve. My highs are sometimes too high and my lows are pretty low. The key is to put things in perspective and maintain an even keel. For the most part, I tend to stay grounded and keep the big picture in mind. And what is my big picture? Well, it’s providing for my family, advancing my career in various disciplines and seeking out the next great passion in life.

Passion. One word – and yet it says so much about me.

Matthew Ross is the founder of ContentServicing.com, a content and communications provider. You can view/join its Facebook group. He is also the host of Game Points on THE TEAM 990AM in Montreal, Canada.