Gore: Still Slaying ’Em in Florida

I’m Al Gore, and I used to be the next President of the United States.”


“I’m on step nine on the road to becoming a recovering politician.”

No, really. Stop!

But Al was just getting started as he addressed the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Media Conference in Florida. By Flash!’s count, the number of times Gore has wrung applause from those lines in the past five years is roughly double the margin of popular votes he won over George W. Bush in 2000. (We’re sure the jokes killed at the Jeddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia.)

Gore ostensibly returned to the scene of his political demise as a media mogul, proclaiming himself an “adjunct member” of the advertising community.

He promised he wouldn’t talk about his nascent Current TV cable channel (why not?) before touting its remarkably uncluttered ad environment.

But as Media Mogul Al Gore launched into another lecture on global warming (complete with slides), he reminded Flash! of Failed Presidential Candidate Al Gore: Sure, he was passionate, and we learned a thing or two, but did we really want to spend the next four years with him, let alone four minutes past his allotted speaking time?

Poor Al. Much as we admire his tech savvy (check out those PowerPoint skills!) and his adventures in new media, we look forward to the time when we can watch him speak and not think of SNL’s Darrell Hammond.

Faith, Values And Viagra

While the Oscars were gearing up to celebrate all things gay and Communist, MovieGuide held its 14th annual Faith & Values Awards Gala “to recognize the best in family-friendly movies and TV shows of the previous year.”

The entertainment guide, which rates films on a scale from “Exemplary” through “Wholesome” all the way down to “Abhorrent,” is published by the Christian Film & Television Commission.

The very wholesome Pat Boone was honored with a lifetime achievement award, apparently having been forgiven for his 1997 cover of Judas Priest’s “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” And several exemplary 7th Heaven types were on hand for the festivities.

But were the folks at MovieGuide aware that one of the evening’s presenters, cute, sweet Alexander Gould (the voice of Nemo and Bambi II), currently plays the son of a suburban pot dealer on Showtime’s decidedly unwholesome Weeds?

Or that Bill Paxton, honored for directing one of MovieGuide’s Top 10 Family-Friendly Films, will soon be known to HBO subscribers as a Viagra-popping, polygamous paterfamilias on Big Love?

Dr. Ted Baehr, founder and chairman of the commission, says through a spokesperson, “MovieGuide has no influence on the projects that directors, producers and actors choose over the course of their careers.”

In other words: Award the sinner, ignore the sin.

A Tribute He Can’t Refuse

Flash! noticed recently that episode info for the upcoming season of The Sopranos had been posted on the Internet Movie Database, so we perused the cast lists in search of any, um, conspicuous absences among the usual characters.

What caught our eye, though, was the name of a character that shows up in episode four, “The Fleshy Part of the Thigh”: one “Dr. Plepler.”

An HBO spokesman confirms that, yes, the name of the character (played by veteran actor Ron Leibman) is series creator David Chase’s tribute to HBO Executive VP Richard Plepler.

“Richard has known David from the very start of this series,” says the spokesman. “He’s actually become close to David, and I think this is just a fun, inside nod to Richard.”

So does “Dr. Plepler” get whacked?

The consigliere—er, spokesman—declined to let anyone outside the HBO family know what’s in store for “Dr. Plepler.”

But even if he had told us, Flash! does not wish to cross or otherwise show disrespect to the real Mr. Plepler by spilling any plot details about the show.

We wouldn’t want HBO to create a Sopranos Google Map entry for 360 Park Avenue South, which may be the last place that Flash! is seen before we mysteriously disappear.