Entertainment

An entertaining Christmas wish list for SLO County

The Chicago-based band Wilco last performed at the Avila Beach Golf Resort in 2012.
The Chicago-based band Wilco last performed at the Avila Beach Golf Resort in 2012.

DEAR SANTA:

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while, but I’ve been super busy the past few decades. Plus, when I was 8, this kid named Chuckie told me you weren’t real.

I assume Chuckie’s still on the “naughty” list, but I’ve been about as good as I could be this past year, except for one or two tall tales — which I swear were for the common good. So, I’d like to once again ask you for a few things. This time I won’t bug you about superhero toys, but I would really appreciate it if you could grant me these entertainment wishes:

Make the “Confederacy of Dunces” movie happen.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read the book, Santa, but this novel is a real hoot about a heavyset (no offense) slacker in New Orleans. It’s been proposed as a film for over 30 years, with the likes of John Belushi, John Candy, Will Ferrell, Zach Galifinakas and John Goodman listed as the possible leading man. But a “Dunces” movie seems jinxed. It did open as a play in Boston last month with Nick Offerman as Ignatius Reilly, so there’s hope. But I think it could use a little Santa magic to take Ignatius and his lute from the Big Easy to the big screen. Then if you could bring Offerman’s Ignatius to the PAC at Cal Poly ...

Rock and roll revival.

Sure, we still occasionally hear a good new rock song, but you know as well as I do, Santa, that it hasn’t been the same since pop star Jody Watley helped Dick Clark usher in 1988. After that so-called “rockin’” New Year’s Eve show, the top 100 chart that year was suddenly dominated by a slew of poppy dance hits, including songs by Rick Astley, Exposé, Bobby Brown, Pebbles, Taylor Dayne and Debbie Gibson. And rock and roll has slowly died ever since. You might have to bring back the dead for this one, Santa, but I’d like one last guitar-heavy top 100 list to renew my faith in music.

Bring Wilco back to Avila Beach.

These guys, Santa — they know how it’s done. I have all their albums, and I can tell you, they know how to r-o-c-k in the USA. But when the Chicago-based band performed at the Avila Beach Golf Resort in 2012, I was on a preplanned surf trip in Southern California. So, maybe you can use a little of that Jolly St. Nick charm — and the great Avila Beach scenery — to entice these boys back to town.

“The Simpsons” forever.

You’ll be happy to know that the first “The Simpsons” episode was actually a Christmas special — in 1989! Which means those funny yellow people have been a part of our lives for more than a quarter of a century. I once thought the show had passed its prime, but after binge watching it on FXX, I see now that the show has remained timely, provocative and funny. So, Santa, I’ll make you a deal: I will stop annoying people with bad Chief Wiggum impressions if you guarantee “The Simpsons” will never end while I’m still alive.

A good local movie.

Arachnophobia” was a good flick — even if you’re grossed out by spiders — but many of the other movies shot in San Luis Obispo County weren’t worth the coal you hopefully left in the directors’ stockings. So how about we get one defining SLO County film on the big screen that doesn’t get nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award? Perhaps you can have the elves pitch a script to Tom Hanks.

Bring Kelly Slater to Surf Nite.

The regular event at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival has always been a huge hit, thanks in part to the great guests the festival has been able to recruit. But one giant name that hasn’t appeared at a local Surf Nite event is the Michael Jordan of surfing: Kelly Slater. If you could bring Slater here, Santa, I’m sure he’d be willing to teach you his backside air reverse. And while you’re at it, Santa, are you friends with Francis Ford Coppola? Because I think he’d make a great candidate for the festival’s King Vidor award.

More Luke Skywalker.

I know the cast of the original films are getting long in the tooth. But, frankly, Santa, you aren’t exactly a spring chicken yourself, and you’re still traveling the world in a day. Of the six “Star Wars” films, the three original ones are memorable. And with Disney set to make several more “Star Wars” pics, I’d rather see a grandmotherly Princess Leia than a youthful Jar-Jar What’s His Name any day.

Help “The Daily Show.”

With a major election coming up, I can’t stress how important it is to have “The Daily Show” catch all the candidates in their hypocrisy and lies. But while the show is still funny, it lost its angry, frustrated, fed-up edge when Jon Stewart left. Chris Rock had offered to host the show until the presidential election, but Comedy Central nixed the idea of a temporary host. Any chance we can still get him involved?

More Ellie Kemper.

Usually, new cast members are a sure sign of a sitcom shark jump, but Kemper’s Erin Hannon helped breathe new life to “The Office” as it was winding down. Luckily, the end of that show didn’t spell the end of Kemper’s charmingly naïve persona. This year’s Netflix original “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” gave us more Kemper in a Hannon-like role. But we still haven’t had enough. So if there’s any way you can get that second season of “Kimmy” to us a little quicker, I’d make it worth your while in Christmas Eve cookies.

More SLO Brew concerts.

Through the years, the downtown San Luis Obispo establishment has provided an intimate forum to see well-known acts — everyone from Neil Young and Public Enemy to Jeff Bridges, Vampire Weekend and Sir Mix-a-Lot. But when plans were announced to relocate the downtown establishment, live music was de-emphasized. We need you to save the SLO Brew concerts, Santa. And if you can’t pull that off, maybe you can help former SLO Brew co-owners Korie and Todd Newman continue to bring in acts with their latest venture, Good Medicine Presents. But please let me know next time Neil Young is coming to town.

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