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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Crystal Pepsi Mixed Drinks

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Does Crystal Pepsi make a good mix with alcohol?  Jersey Joe heads to O’Hara’s Downtown in Jersey City, New Jersey with a taste test challenge!

Crystal Pepsi was originally released after a flashy Super Bowl ad in 1993.  Sales were poor and the beverage was gone in less than a year.  Since then, it has almost gained cult status, and after a social media campaign returned to stores in August for an 8 week run.

THE 411

Name: Crystal Pepsi

What: clear cola reintroduced for a limited time only

Mixed with: rum, vodka, orange vodka

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

It’s really great that the Pepsi corporation has brought this classic soft drink back.  Let me know if you find any other great mixes with Crystal Pepsi.  However, you have to act fast… it’s only back on shelves for a limited time only.  It could go back into the vault for another 20 years!

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[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Judge Joe Brown: Retired & Liquored Up

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For 15 seasons, Judge Joe Brown’s court kept law and order on daytime television.  His clean cut, down home approach had zero tolerance for thugs and low lifes.  After decades holding court both on and off television, Judge Joe has retired and a video you’re about to see is quite the change from his clean cut image.

 

Judge Joe Brown was born in 1947 and is a retired Shelby County, Tennessee judge.  After years of holding court, he was thrown into the national spotlight after presiding over James Earl Ray’s last appeal in the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  He was removed from the case after making comments about the murder weapon to a local congresswoman.  It was then; he caught the eye of producers of the hottest court show on television, Judge Judy.

 

 

Judy’s producers noticed the unique way Joe operated his court room. He would listen intently for the facts of the case, picking up on subtitle facts, facial expressions, and mannerisms from the litigants.  Once he was sure he found the guilty party, he would zero in with his down home, no-nonsense approach, and often try to instruct them on where they’ve gone wrong and what to do to put economy in the community instead of being, what he would often say, “a damn fool.”

 

 

Judge Joe Brown’s television series was launched as a companion show to Judge Judy on September 14, 1998.  His main tagline: “protecting womanhood and promoting manhood.”  The show was a ratings success and was recorded in the same studio, with a set located directly behind the back wall of Judge Judy’s, at the Sunset-Bronson Studios in Hollywood.

 

While Judge Joe scored moderate ratings in daytime syndicated television, during the 15th season, his ratings took a slide, and he was informed by CBS, the show’s distribution company, that he would be taking a pay cut.  (He was the second highest paid TV judge, earning $20 million per year.)

 

Judge Joe was not satisfied with this (and reported pay cut down to $5 million per year) and his show was cancelled in spring 2012, with new episodes airing until June and reruns until September.

 

Since leaving TV, it looks like Judge Joe has been living the good life and enjoying his much deserved retirement.  But, in the day of cell phone cameras, people still know his as a celebrity and a video that’s turned up on YouTube, shows a much different version of the clean cut Judge.

 

Take a look at him having one too many double Bombay Sapphires resulting in some slurred speech, posing for photos with women, and having a few foul mouth words about his former TV show.  Note: Viewer discretion advised.

 

 

Is Judge Joe done being on television.  “I don’t do that bullshit, anymore…” seems to answer that question.

 

THE 411

 

Who: Judge Joe Brown

 

What: former television judge

 

Number of seasons on television: 15

 

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS:

 

As long as he’s not getting behind the wheel drinking and driving, let him enjoy his retirement.  Everyone loses control when they’ve had a few too many (I’m not judging), just most of us are not on national television.  Video like that is gold to the paparazzi.  But hey, Judge Joe Brown is retired and doesn’t seem to care!

 

I also got a laugh at this parody of the Judge Joe video:

 

[Kicking Back with Jersey Joe] Is This Broadway or a Seat in Coach?

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Love that feeling being crammed in coach on a long flight?  Now, you can have that same feeling on Broadway!

 

My seat for No Man's Land on Broadway.

My seat for No Man’s Land at the Cort Theatre on Broadway.

Broadway – dozens of shows and thousands of butts pack the seats every night.  But, it seems like the theater owners are taking a page from the airlines and jam packing more and more people in.

 

A few weeks ago, I went to see No Man’s Land with two friends, starring Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.  We had $150 tickets, which put us in the front row of the upper balcony of the Cort Theater on West 48th Street.  Thankfully, being in the front row allowed us for a few precious inches of leg room.  I looked back and the people sitting behind me, who basically had their knees in their chests.   While the entire play was good, the first act of the show was a little long and dry.  It was becoming harder and harder to sit as the act drug on, with my legs falling asleep and fighting for possession of the narrow arm rest. Not to mention, the air conditioning was off and it really started to heat up in there.  I actually heard someone snoring behind me and saw several people nodding off all around.

 

Quite frankly, it was just flat out uncomfortable.

 

Sitting there that long reminded me of being on a long flight.  The seats are expensive, there’s little room, and you’re crammed in there for hours at a time.

 

Space in New York is at a premium, but have the Broadway theaters have gone too far?

broadway sign

Take a trip to the restroom, you’ll always find a line.  At the Foxwoods Theatre where I saw Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark (read my original review, here), men actually had to turn to the side to use the urinal.  They may be the smallest bathrooms – I’ve ever seen!

 

Being local, I usually see at least one show a year.  To me, I love the magic of the live stage performance, but the way they pack you in, I feel like a piece of cattle… just like on an airplane.

 

I get it.  The shows are expensive to produce, with actors, stage hands, advertising, story rights, and theater rent all adding up to big bucks.  So, the shows and venues are looking to maximize every dollar they can – and one way of doing so is by packing more people into the house.

 

Same deal with the airlines, the more fuel costs go up, the more seats they are adding to planes.

 

Sadly, the result for both is an uncomfortable experience for customers.

 

Another way both Broadway and the airlines are looking to cash in is the sale of alcohol.  Up until a few years ago, only a few Broadway shows sold liquor, now almost all of them have multiple bars and allow patrons to carry a cocktail to their seats.

 

At No Man’s Land, they had a guy walking up and down through the lower seats selling candy!

flight attendant

Where else have I seen that?  Oh yeah, on an airline!  $6 for a giant box of Milk Duds or a half canister of Pringles!

 

Around 1850, theaters first began opening in their current Times Square location on Broadway.  As smaller shows began closing downtown, the area was saturated with new auditoriums to satisfy New Yorkers and tourist demand for the shows.  In order to be classified as a full Broadway theater, the venue must seat at least 500.  (the same classification for a production to win a Tony Award.)

 

THE 411

 

What: Broadway Theaters

 

Location: Times Square Area, New York City

 

Number of seats: 500+

 

JERSEY JOE RECOMMENDS

 

So, where is the best seat in the house for a Broadway show?  Take the advice of Ryan Dixon, who taught me years ago to always sit in the front row of the middle or upper mezzanine.  You will get to see the whole stage and you’ll get a little more room!

 

Coincidentally, I now also find myself sitting there at Yankees games!

 

Image credits – Willem van Bergen, Peter Bellis, David Lytle