Thursday, March 14, 2019

Tucker Carlson takes a beatin

Based on the early Sunday morning political discussion panels ala "Crossfire", I had auditioned for and booked an on-camera TV spot that featured that exact set-up for a UPN parody promo. I was cast as the Tucker Carlson element..right down to the bygone bow tie.

Our four panel set resembled that Sunday political discussion look...except for a misplaced hulking figure known affectionately throughout the wrestling world as: Kane-the-Destroyer! Guess who's about to get a dose of good 'ole whupass. This could get ugly. They gave me a stunt double. But I still got grabbed, hoisted and shook like a rag-doll a full day till we made the switch.

Tom Clifford vo as Tucker Carlson

I had asked my stunt double, (spoiler alert) the guy being thrown thru the glass table, if he knew Jery Hewitt. Did he ever - with glowing reverence. Jery is a world renowned stunt-man and stunt coordinator. Knowing Jery, who I've mentioned in earlier blog posts as a friend of George Willig's, paved the way for me to be treated as One-of-the-Guys for the entire shoot. At the time a stunt coord. was required on set. Kane was this imposing mammoth 7' bear who wore a mask. But, a cool dude out of character.


Dig that appearance by fellow panelist who is none other than New York's WPIX' Magee Hickey. We actually auditioned together and maybe my being a fan played a part with the chemistry between us. Magee was a total delight and helped keep me centered with the ever changing sides. Just saw her on Showtime in the Pelican Brief doing her thing.

Below is the UPN promo link where we're featured as the Tuck-ster getting pummeled by WWE's 'Kane' for being well, Tucker Carlson.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Last...Last Call with Carson Daly - Tom Clifford voices John Kerry

Not much this month compares with the latest news-of-the-day...Carson Daly calls it quits as the host for Last Call w/Carson Daly.

The series began as a traditional talk show but changed formats in September 2013. At that time, shortly after Daly had been named as a host of “Today,” he began filming only the segments that aired at the opening and conclusion of each episode. The interview segments were then taken over by the show’s producers.

“Last Call” first launched in 2002 and will have aired 2000 episodes upon its conclusion.
Back in the early 2000's I got a call from my agent at Abrams Artist's to do a John Kerry imitation for Carson's show here in New York, before he left for L.A.

John Kerry at the time was running for president. I did a Kerry voice-over for a Post Run-for-President Tv spot. It went over a video montage of the worst crap Kerry could find on Tv. Got some nice laughs. Here's the sketch below:

Carson's team was 2nd to none with steppin up in the walk-the-talk department. Always thought that a good team is an extension of a good host. I remember asking one of the team if I might get an autographed head-shot of Carson. Sure - they fired back,  let us know your address. It's for my daughter and if he could make it out to her, that would be something else. Wham..Bam a week later Carson's head shot arrived with a cool sentiment inscribed to my daughter. We wish Carson all the very best as a home-dude with the F-A-M...and with his new digs at the Golf Channel.

This just in from (3/14/19):
The Peacock network announced last month that “Last Call with Carson Daly” would end its run after 17 years and 2000 episodes.
Before “Last Call,” the show was titled “Later,” hosted first by Bob Costas (starting in 1988), and later by Greg Kinnear, and then Cynthia Garrett.

Lilly Singh, who first amassed fame as a YouTube star, has been tapped to replace Carson Daly as the host of NBC’s 1:35 a.m. talk show.
The re-titled “A Little Late with Lilly Singh” will launch in September, and as noted by NBC, will make her the only female to currently host a late-night talk show on one of the Big 4 networks. “A Little Late” will feature Singh conducting in-studio interviews, as well as feature pre-taped comedy sketches and other “signature elements.”

“Lilly is truly a star and we’re thrilled to welcome her to our NBC family,” said Doug Vaughan, executive vice president, special programs and late night, NBC Entertainment. “She is a multi-talented performer who will surely have a great rapport with not only all her guests but also with our devoted late-night audience. We can’t wait to get started.”  

Click Here - for video of Lilly w/Jimmy Fallon & Seth Meyers:

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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

SHUTDOWN Anthem (TC & Co's Musical Parody of the longest Gov't Shutdown in history)

During the Martin Luther King weekend had a chance to have a little fun with what's been said and done about the recent Government ShutDown of partial services. Now in its 33rd day, it has become the longest Gov't ShutDown in history. And there doesn't seem to be any real end in sight. OR, it could be over in a fell its become the norm of late. With that in mind, whatever would be created needed to be done n-o-w. Or, it would be an obvious moot point to take aim at it once the ShutDown is o-v-e-r.

The idea hit me while tooling around in the kitchen to make lunch. For some reason the Beatles song Don't Let Me Down entered my head. Can't say why. Radio wasn't on...maybe social media flashed it for some sorta subliminal thing. But, it was one of those Dah-Ha moments. It had "don't SHUT me down" written all over it. Hey, this could be my ticket for the coolest video that goes viral. Yeah..yeah, especially with 6 followers! Went over to Utube. They had a piece of karaoke music of the song without vocals...or very suppressed as you can faintly hear at times. Keeping in mind that at any second the ShutDown could be resolved, I added just a few renditions of screeching DSMD without any time-intensive overdubbing or sweetening. The Rep. Senate Majority Leader (Mitch McConnell) was added, a smidgen of the real bloke's at the end and a ditty of John and voila, the soundtrack was done.

Added some shots from GooG of the ShutDown situation around the country and let Microsoft's default video editor 'Movie-Maker' do the sequencing. Done. But, Freakin Large. In the words of Charlton Heston "As god is my witness" the (58:00 sec) file was exactly 100 MB's. Blogger won't accept it. It has a 100 or larger MB max. So, I went into Movie-Maker again and made a few fades shorter at top & bottom and it came in at 99.7 MB's. AND Blogger took it. The original version is on Facebook

So, below video is a musical anthem to the quandary our country seems to be in. Forgive the strain in the voice without any benefit of harmony tracks, but it's kinda about the premise...and it sorta gives it a texture of Whining,  Painful, Anguish. Oh, The Pain (Dr. Smith). I did another pass of the music track with some enhanced (Flanged, echo delay, EQ and pitch), but it's coming in at 100 & 102 MB's for the same quality. Odd, insomuch as it's a second less than the original and an mp3 was used instead of wave for the soundtrax? So, here's an audio (only) link to the embellished ShutDown soundtrax.

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Monday, December 31, 2018

TC & Company's Year-End Roundup

With last years focus on M-O-R-E, 2018 found that we had to real-in the generosity a bit if only to retain the overall values of our services. Also, it was a time to unearth who are the serious clients...and who's just pullin your chain. Case-in-point, a client who was in desperate need to add a integral part to their media, finally asked to ...whip something up and they'll pay cash!

Then, the 'We're not In till you don't need us anymore' dropped by for a visit...a lovely Christmas present for the season. You might be familiar with the drill; a client you've been working with for 5 or so years puts in an order and you don't heed the 1st principle of business and ask for a deposit first. Then, they abandon their commitment with all sorts of avoidance's. They were almost funny. Funny a clown! It sucks. And it's my own fault for not asking for a deposit 'cause I thought it might be insulting to the Client. To boot, the area we developed had been absent. So, anything would be better than silence...and we covered all the bases. But, alas, it was falling on deaf ears.

Then the client finally surfaced and emailed us revealing they didn't have any time to come up with anything new and will leave things as they were for now. WTF! They didn't come up with anything. This was a page right outta Kelly-Ann's playbook! Alright, try and shake it off. Oh, what was a main-streeter business person do? Read that client the R-I-O-T act and burn a bridge? To make things even more sobering - this client was a referral. So, it's more than just one bridge burning. 

Is there any recourse to recoup the cost of all the work that was done?
We'll see what develops for the New Year. If nothing else, now that the client has tangible product, we have skin in the game as it were...whether we invoice for it or not.

Otherwise, this year's tally's weren't half bad. Lots of different angles an opportunities...some gotten, some lost. 

We ended the year on a mournful note with the passing of George H W Bush (41). As a tribute to our past President we featured an animated cartoon of Tony Auth's I voiced while with the NBC Sunday Today Show. We voiced a number of cartoonists almost every Sunday from the likes of: Paul Conrad, Doug Marlette, Don Wright, Szep, Gahan Wilson, Oliphant, Mike Peters, MacNelly and a dozen or so more political cartoonists back in the late 1980's and early '90's.
We had our long time collaborator & friend George Willig (WTC human-fly) appear on the M @ the M show after the producer saw our video  "Unclimbable"  on Utube. Only hitch was...they never told us! To boot, we wound up having to pay for the privilege to watch the episode! It was a Mystery to us. Blog Post George, in his inimitable way, deferred to it as maybe being his fault. "You know how I can be...don't be too hard on 'em". Either way, no sense looking a gift horse in the mouth and we made the best of it from the SEO we garnered from the itunes link of the episode.
Phenomena Advertising chooses TC & Company to launch their branding company. They're half-way around the world so wanted to give it all I got...and be g-o-o-d. They wanted an authoritative, confident and middle-aged sound to market a shoestring amount of copy. So, the pressure was ON to make every word count and do something unique, or as the 'Thing' would's 'Brandin time! Blog Post

Was given the chance to work with a company based in the United Kingdom, called Brit Deals. Brit Deals Limited is an Amazon-like online retailer. BDL offers wholesale & closeout deals on merchandise in more than thirty different categories. This is not as easy as it sometimes sounds. And here's the rub; British pronouncements of key words can trip-up your delivery from sounding as though one is trying to do an accent to one that sounds authentic & believable. Blog Post

Another referral has been landed with the American Broadcast Employees Federal Credit Union. We were hired to voice their VOiP and multimedia with New York & California as initial starts points. With hopes that it'll catch on to their other satellite branches. Blog Post

Canobie Lake Screeemfest continues In-House with Tom Clifford as Halloween Season unfolds. What anyone in this business...or any business fears is the changing of the guard.
Changes are inevitable and will have little to do with your past performance. The best thing anyone in business can tell you after a new rank & file comes in... they STILL want you On-Board to continue representing their company image.


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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Many THANKS to ABE FCU for choosing Tc & Company

Another referral has been landed with the American Broadcast Employees Federal Credit Union. We were hired to voice their VOiP and multimedia. They're headquartered in Rockville Centre and is one of the top 100 credit unions in New York State. Established in 1967, ABE FCU has grown to 8,984 members with locations in several key states.

Membership in American Broadcast Employees Federal Credit Union is open to employees of the Walt Disney Company, ABC and its subsidiaries, Marvel Entertainment, ESPN and over 20 entertainment industry-related companies in New York, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Everything being equal, the job started out normal enough until three quarters of the way through
'the process' their tech-guys came in and said "hey, you do know that there's a maximum capacity for programs". W-H-A-T ! Ours had mushroomed into twice that capacity. Jeez, I was 3/4's ready to hand back their deposit check. It was one of those Do or Die moments. As it turns out, their particular system came complete with a computer that assigns out functions. It all came down to how it was laid out to both the client and the techs. Although we could actually have downloaded additional files to this system, it's gonna take a major learning curve every time they wanted to change programs. So, I offered Amazon to the rescue with a module that'll be up & running with no limits...and program changes are done via a plug-in USB thumbnail stick. We start off with New York & California as initial starts points. With hopes that it'll catch on to their other satellite branches.

Betcha didn't think 'Fantasy Sports Leagues' came about from a frustrated game developer who wanted to be a part of the Major Leagues no matter how insignificant. Harold Richman had no idea he was creating the Monopoly of Baseball in 1961 when he launched his board game: Strat-O-Matic.

When we spoke with Hal there was an immediate bond... due largely to the world of comics. In particular Marvel Comics. Yep, that Marvel as in -  ABE FCU. The very same who's creator we mourn with the passing of the comic book legend Stan Lee last week. Hal went on to say that without advertising in the pages of comic books, Strat-O-Matic would never have gotten off the ground level. He particularly enjoyed Stan's Soapbox, where Stan would sound off about bigotry, bullying, anti this & that and that acceptance and tolerance were king. Excelsior!

In February 2011, Strat-O-Matic celebrated its 50th anniversary with an opening day event at the Community Church of New York. This was a change from the normal opening day festivities of fans lining up outside the company's headquarters in Glen Head to pick up their new baseball products. At this event, over 500 people attended and heard from panelists including Doug Glanville, Rick Peterson and STATS, Inc. founder John Dewan.

In a Strat-O-Matic game, each athlete is represented by a player card, on which are printed various ratings and result tables for dice rolls. A player, who may play solitaire or against another player, is in charge of making strategic and personnel decisions for his/her team, while determining the results of his/her decisions by cross-referencing dice rolls with a system of printed charts and tables. (The basic scheme may be understood in connection with the adjoining images, representing the baseball game. One die selects which column is used on either the batter or the pitcher card, while the other two dice specify the outcome within the column.)

Over decades, Strat-O-Matic has segued into other sports as well - Football, basketball and hockey came into play in their own rights to form new Strat-O-Matic fans.

BTW, we've been honored to have Stan's signature and dated ('91) comment framed and hanging in our foyer. Not that there's anything wrong with that - Excelsior!

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Phenomena Advertising chooses TC & Company to launch Promofix' PFX brand

Got a call from the folks at Phenomena Advertising for an international client PromoFix, a branding company. This takes the count to four agencies that have used our services thanks to Plan-A Advertising. The people over at Phenomena are gearing-up to reach a greater international audience. Consequently, there's need for  North American sounding voice-overs in their media. It's quite a distance (5,600 miles) so wanted to give it all I got...and be g-o-o-d. They wanted an authoritative, confident and middle-aged sound to market a shoestring amount of copy (36 words). So, the pressure was ON to make every word count and do something unique, or as the 'Thing' would say...
it's 'Branding' time!

At some point Skype will be charging for what we now get for free. We used it exclusively to communicate not just for recordings but to take direction and bounce a few pronunciations back & forth. I try and keep the recording platform on a separate computer. Then, I will Skype with a laptop as the internet connection - set for 'phone' . It's more stable than if we added video to the mix and no one has to feel like they need to dress up (Make Up) for a creative or recording session. Add-on desktop hardware & programs allow for an optical digital AD/DA interface of the mic & mixing board for true digital recordings. We can feed that signal directly into the laptops input feed for the client's immediate retrieval. Or use a cloud app (Wetransfer) to upload the session for client retrieval as an Aiff file. As of this writing we received another assignment for a presentation video voice-over called - Voyage..Voyage. There, we had to attraper with French!

Promofix had established itself in 2005 as a leading media representative and is the digital media arm of JGROUP. They have since expanded by building its core business around the media industry. They represent today some of the most prominent and influential digital clients such as: SNAPCHAT, SHAZAM, DV.DSP powered by BUCKSENSE and SIZMEK.
These folks are the are the real-deal - bringing your brand to market, revving up a good strategy and then implementing it with all the Prime & Peripheral and otherwise.

Type William Gottlieb into Wikipedia and you'll be featured to the life of a newspaper columnist, film strip producer and a guy who took up photography because his job was on the line if he didn't.
But what you won't find, is anything that really defines him as an eclectic fly-on-the-wall shutter bug to the jazz world...who's singular captures of jazz greats are among some of the most widely reproduced images of the jazz era.

When we had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Gottlieb, he thrilled us with mounds of anecdotes & stories about his close association with the Jazz world. They trusted Bill and he was allowed to be that "fly-on-the-wall" to get just the right shot. Notably, with his prowess for capturing the effervescence of the performers intimate golden moments.

When Bill spoke about some of his photos that were actually used as album covers it was astounding to learn that he was the guy who took those very recognizable 'shots'.

''I learned to shoot very carefully,'' he said. ''I knew the music. I knew the musicians. I knew in advance when the right moment would arrive. It was purposeful shooting.''

Bill went on about how at first he wasn't paid for some of his now-celebrated photographs of the great names of jazz. He took only a few pictures at a time because he couldn't afford flashbulbs. And then Mr Gottlieb walked away from the jazz scene and had a successful career writing children's books and filmstrips. Thirty years had come & gone and part of Bill's former artistic-self caught up with him after the owner of the Strand bookstore persuaded him to publish a book of his jazz photos. The result was ''The Golden Age of Jazz'' (1979).

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Canobie Lake Screeemfest continues In-House with Tom Clifford as Halloween Season unfolds

What anyone in this business...or any business fears is the changing of the guard. Things happen to those brothers from another mother as they say when the company you've been working for either gets taken over. Or you loose your connection to a company as result of that company going In-House with their advertising. Changes are inevitable and will have little to do with your past performance. It's usually just a matter of bringing in their own people to replace the present crew. Just happened with a company after 15 years where they were gobbled up by a mega-brand. Even though I was told there would be no changes regarding their VoIP, sometimes it can't be helped. And it's completely understandable. They bring with them their own ideas of company image along with established relationships. 

The best thing anyone in business can tell you after a new rank & file comes in... they STILL want you On-Board to continue representing their company image.

Click to Play Tv Spot

Canobie Lake Park's Screeemfest division, whom I've supplied the Creepy-Guy voice for almost a decade via Collage Advertising, is continuing In-House with us this year with a full round of announcements. Now the next thing someone in business will tell you is 'Don't screw it up' .

Lot of things to consider startin' out fresh and all. Couldn't be happier that they like the product, but the ground rules may have changed. Top-of-the-Chart is Money. Not my favorite part. There's a client or two that has gone yonder 'cause of misunderstandings. So far the folks at Canobie have already shown their generosity. So, the bar is set for what I hope is the beginning of a mutual friendship...ain't that right. Louie!

Correction: November 2, 2008
An obituary last Sunday about Lou Dorfsman, chief of design at the Columbia Broadcasting Company, referred incorrectly to the design of the artwork for the CBS headquarters’ cafeteria wall, “Gastrotypographicalassemblage.” Although Mr. Dorfsman developed the overall design, the typography was by Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnase under Mr. Dorfsman’s direction.

In 2007 we had the pleasure of Lou's company and he mentioned to our staff that he was responsible for the development of the famous CBS Didot typeface that followed the archetypal CBS eye logo graphic. William Golden in 1951 designed the emblematic CBS eye, amid the most identifiable logos in the world.

After Mr. Golden’s sudden death in 1959 at 48, Mr. Dorfsman was named creative director of CBS television, and in 1964 he became the director of design for the entire Columbia Broadcasting System. A few years later his title became senior vice president and creative director for marketing communications and design. The cleverness and subtle beauty of his advertisements were credited with winning over many viewers to both news and entertainment programs on the network.

Lou studied at the Cooper Union, where he received a four-year scholarship, and it was not long after his graduation that he began working for CBS. In 1964 he became the design director for all of CBS. As the design director he oversaw the use of the famous CBS eye logo and proprietary typeface, called CBS Didot. Lou also designed the interior signage and graphics of the entire CBS building, designed by architect Eero Saarinen. One of his most revered works was the Gastrotypographicalassemblage, a 35-foot long wall of carved wooden words, created for the dining area in the building. It now resides at the CIA. Remember, it was Herb Lubalin & Tom Carnase who designed the typography.

Mr. Dorfsman remained with CBS shortly after Laurence Tisch assumed control of the company in the mid-1980s and instituted cost-cutting programs. Somewhat rebellious to such programs, Mr. Dorfsman designed an annual report that lacked any visuals or typographic flourishes. After Mr. Dorfsman left in 1991, William S. Paley, the former chairman of CBS, asked him to become creative director for the Museum of Broadcasting, now the Paley Center for Media.

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