EVEN BETTER THAN I IMAGINED!!! (part 2)

Posted in animals on October 17th, 2010 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

(This is a continuation of my previous post of the same title which can be found here in case you missed it.)

(This is us with Jack Hanna!  In case you don’t know who he is,  I included a brief description of him in my previous blog post about the show!)

Before we went into the theater to see Jack Hanna’s live stage show, we were just standing there gawking at Jack Hanna signing autographs.  Suddenly, a group of young people came up to him, and he was so thrilled to see them that he quickly grabbed his cell phone and called his wife backstage, telling her that their ‘special friends’ would be coming backstage to see her.  The friends are then ushered away, and Jack announced during the show that they are the Von Trapp Children, a singing quartet of descendants from the family who inspired the infamous memoir, stage musical, and movie The Sound of Music.  Apparently they had been in the Chicago area to tape an episode of Oprah (which will air on October 29), and they’re family friends of Jack’s and stopped by his show to surprise him.

(Me waiting patiently while Jack signs just one of my many books that I brought!!)

Back to the show…  we are seated in the Paramount, and Jack Hanna comes out!!  The show itself was a mix of live animals being brought out on the stage and video clips shown on a large screen, all narrated by Jack with his trademark anecdotes and sense of humor.  In fact, at one point near the beginning of show, Jack Hanna began to tell a story, and all of a sudden he stops and looks off to the wings of the stage.  “Do I have time to tell this story?”  He asked  (presumably the producer backstage), but then he didn’t wait for an answer and replied to himself: “Of course I have time to tell it – it’s my show!”  It was not said in an arrogant fashion, but rather it seemed as if he were almost reminding himself that he is in charge.  It was glimpses of genuineness like this that made his show so special.  Jack Hanna is very real and down-to-earth (when it comes to being a celebrity anyway – often he is dreaming about ways to help animals with his head on  the clouds!), and these traits take precedent in his live appearances.

So the story he told was hilarious!  It was about his appearance on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader”, and…  well, you can listen to it if you’d like:

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So between video clips of a few animal causes that are near and dear to Jack Hanna’s heart (Rolling Dog Ranch and  Mountain Gorilla Conservation, among others), the following live animals were brought out on the stage for Jack to tell us about: a Red-Ruffed Lemur, blind Barn Owl, Flamingo, 2-Toed Sloth (did you know that there is a bed and breakfast in South America where you get to take care of a baby sloth in your room overnight?  I just might get over this fear of flying thing quicker than I thought I would!!), 3-Banded Armadillo, Siberian Lynx, baby Coatamundi, baby Bennet’s Wallaby (got to meet him earlier at the Jamboree Lunch), Grey fox, Fennec Fox (got to meet him at lunch also), Lesser Anteater, an albino Python, and the finale – a full grown Cheetah!  Seeing the animals was great of course, and hearing live ‘Jack facts’ about them was even better.  But I think my favorite part of the show was the end – we watched a blooper reel of Jack getting licked, bitten, squirted, tossed around, etc. by animals, and one clip was of Jack Hanna making an appearance on David Letterman’s show in the ’80s.  Jack is showing Dave how to milk a goat, and as usual, Dave is cracking jokes.  Jack Hanna (the live version) cuts in, saying, “I didn’t even mean to do this!” and the video clip shows him accidentally squirting Letterman with a spray of milk from the goat’s udder!  There is only one more thing that can make watching Jack Hanna on Letterman even  more entertaining, and that is watching Jack Hanna on Letterman WITH Jack Hanna while he narrates it!!

We laughed (plenty of laughs when Jack and animals are involved!), we cried (that video clip of the Rolling Dog ranch was so heartwarming – the ranch takes dogs who are seriously ill, and many of them have extreme physical ailments), and then it was time to go.  But not before we got to hear Jack’s bear spray story again, and he even called on one of his assistants to act it out.  He told this story during his previous appearance on Letterman, and it was hilarious then as it was hearing it and seeing it live.  Funny, that is, until we found out during the live show what really happened during that previous Letterman appearance.  Apparently it wasn’t demonstration-style bear spray, but the real thing, and Jack got sprayed in the face, causing loss of vision for over 10 minutes and some minor facial burns.  Jack warned us (and David Letterman!) that he is planning revenge for his next appearance on the show in December, so stay tuned!!!

A sloth relaxing at a sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica.  While we were on the subject of sloths, this picture was too cute to pass up!!

He Said WHAT?

Posted in Current Events on January 27th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The continuing saga of Illinois’ embattled governor just keeps getting more and more interesting.  As his impeachment trial opened yesterday, Rod Blagojevich took to the tv airwaves to defend (?) himself.  I saw clips of a few of his tv appearances, and that’s why I included the little question mark above.  It didn’t seem to me that he was doing a good job of defending himself.  In fact, the ladies on The View noticed the same thing, with them noting, “Seems like you’re doing yourself more harm than good.”  The View ladies then hilariously chided the governor, asking him to say “I’m not a crook” – Richard Nixon-style.  Blago refused.

And of course by now you’ve heard about the Oprah for Senator announcement he made on Good Morning America – Blago has admitted that he actually considered Oprah Winfrey to fill Obama’s old Senate seat.  I’m not even going to go there – there were too many other gems that came out of Blago’s mouth yesterday.  Among them:

On his Larry King Live appearance, Blagojevich launched into a bizarre analogy involving cowboys and steer to describe his situation…  I’m not going to go into detail; it was quite lengthy, but it’s worth looking up on youtube or somewhere if you’re so inclined.  WHAT was he TALKING about?!?

Back to Oprah for a minute.  According to Blagojevich, Oprah has more influence than all 100 United States senators combined.  She does have lots of dough; as well as an uncanny ability to get women to diet and save money.  But she doesn’t have the power to declare war or pass legislation that changes lives…  so no, Blago, not even close on that one.

Also on Larry King Live, Blago was shown clips of Saturday Night Live where they make fun of him, namely his thick mane of hair.  “He looks like one of those Fisher Price toy people with its hair on backwards!”  Too funny!  But Blago didn’t think so.   “What show was that?”  he asked.  But a few sentences later, he talked about how they can make fun of him during skits or whatever and that he didn’t care.  But if he had never heard of Saturday Night Live as he acted, how would he know it was a show comprised of skits?  He was just trying to insult Saturday Night Live by acting as though he had never heard of it!

And throughout the governor’s press junket yesterday, he kept repeating – “The fix is in” referring to the “fact” that the Illinois House is impeaching him because they’re out to get him – not because he did anything wrong.  I agree with Blago on one aspect – his impeachment in inevitable.  In the mean time, I have to admit how fun it is to watch this guy in action and marvel at the fact that he was ever elected to such a major public office.  I think he might be certifiably nuts!