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It is a momentous day. Not only will Hugo be held over for another week, but today marks Marks' (with the estimable help of Lickona) first Reader cover story!


It's one thing to see it on line and another to hold it in your hand. Walking home with ten copies of the Reader tucked under my arms, people either thought I was a vested advertiser or that I bought a new bird. I sure wish my parents were around to see this, but then again if they were alive today they'd no doubt be desperately clawing and scratching at the inside of their coffins to get out.


With solidarity like this, the six-day war would have lasted a week.

Thanks go out to my editor, Ernie "I'm Not" Grimm, Howie Rosen, the Reader's Skrebneski, Jr., and the merry gentleman who not only came up with the warm and fuzzy cover art, but had the good sense to photograph Matt and I from behind, and everyone at the paper who managed to make our incoherent ramblings all look so presentable.

Lest we forget Christopher "Chris" Principio (yes, I dared to commit His name to print), Landmark's Senior Regional Publicist who gave us the green light to "borrow" the Ken Theatre's marquee, and our letter-handler extraordinaire, assistant manager/projectionist, Sophia Verbiscar. You don't see Vanna White climbing a ladder, do you?


San Diego's reigning Queen of Focus/Preeminent E-Blocker, Sophia Verbiscar. Note the way Ms. Verbiscar tucks her hands in her pockets, so as to keep them warm and nimble when the time comes for her to press the play button.

As for Scarecrow Lickona, I like you most of all. To quote the great Roy (or was it Sigfried?), "Siegfried without Roy is not enough. Roy without Siegfried is too much. That is why there is Siegfried and Roy." I'm proud to be your partner, pardner. We do grate things. Merry Christmas to you, Deidre, and your "cheaper by the half-dozen" clan. Thanks!

Here are a few items that for obvious reasons didn't make the final cut:

Director Frank Tashlin's great and glorious Silver Bells number from The Lemon Drop Kid.


The Dream Factory at work in Holiday Inn.



"Scooter," age 5, lighting the Hanukkah candles.

And thank you, our loyal readers, for putting up with this nonsense. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish customers.


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Colonna Dec. 23, 2011 @ 3:48 p.m.

What? No shots of Der Bingle in blackface in "Holiday Inn"? I demand a hearing!

And is there an online version of the cover story? Need something to read while sitting on the throne!


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