The Origins and Future of McCracken Live!

You can trace the origins of cooking and DIY television programs back to 1963 with “The French Chef” starring Julia Child.  Not long after came Graham Kerr as the hysterical “Galloping Gourmet” in 1969. Filmed in front of a live audience, Graham’s series was filled with crazy antics, anecdotes, and of course, lots and lots of wine.  While not “live”, Julia Child’s program was unique as it was filmed in an actual kitchen at her home in Cambridge, which had been designed specially by her husband into a fully functioning television stage.

Julia Child’s Television/Personal Home Kitchen  – Cambridge

Julia Child filming “The French Chef”                                     Graham Kerr “The Galloping Gourmet” Live!

From 1979-1989 Bob Vila was the host of a home improvement show called “This Old House”, appearing with master carpenter Norm Abram as they, and others, renovated houses.  In September of 1991, new comedian Tim Allen launched one of America’s biggest sitcom hits, “Home Improvement” which was inspired by his stand-up material and his affinity for “This Old House” and all things D.I.Y.

Bob Vila of “This Old House”

Today, the world of cooking and D.I.Y. is bigger than ever with the growing interest in shows like “Trading Spaces”, “Curb Appeal”, “Yard Crashers”; cooking and decorating shows like “30 Minutes or Less”, “Semi-Homemade” and the continuing success of stars like Paula Dean, Emeril Lagasse, and of course Martha Stewart.

Paula Dean                                               Emeril Lagasse                                                    Martha Stewart

But it isn’t just cooks and handymen that have a need for D.I.Y nowadays.  Actors looking for, and not getting their “big break” have grabbed their “creative” and “producer” tools and are making some of today’s most entertaining media, bringing the names and faces of Hollywood’s newest stars to the forefront.  Prior to the emergence of alternative television networks like KoldCastTV, and Blip.TV, the market of New Media Entertainment had been driven solely by stalwart producers, writers and talent with a “take no prisoners” work ethic and a “do-it-yourself” attitude. So what could be a better fit for this varied landscape than a show about the madcap antics surrounding a D.I.Y television show?  Created and Produced by Brian Beacock and John Yelvingon, McCracken Live! is an original comedy series that is quickly on it’s way to becoming (as Carol Ann McCracken would put it) An Interweb Darling!  It’s “Tootsie” meets “Home Improvement” with a little bit of “30 Rock” thrown in for good measure.

McCracken Live! is outrageous!                                          McCracken Live! is explosive!

McCracken Live! has an outstanding and insane ensemble!

Brian Beacock as Carol Ann McCracken

The show centers around Tyler Hanson, a skilled handyman and cook with a crumbling family life, and his larger than life alter-ego, Carol Ann McCracken. What starts off as a joke at a drunken Halloween party quickly snowballs out of control, and the crafty DIY goddess that Tyler plays on television begins pushing him out of the most fabulously decorated proverbial closet and begrudgingly into the national spotlight. As tempers blow up and audiences explode, Carol Ann keeps a cool head with a sharp tongue. But Tyler is finding out the hard way that renovating his life can be a real drag.

WATCH THE PILOT THAT STARTED IT ALL 

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“This colorful web series mixes familiar sitcom elements – mouthy motherly melodrama, domestic doldrums, randy romantic relationships – expertly blended into a richly potent comedic cocktail, its flavor enhanced with a dash of show biz soap and garnished with a “Sex and the City”-ish sensibility replete with retro-lounge theme music and retro-centric set and site designs, all perfectly balanced on six inch high heels.”

-Will Viharo, Placeview Studios

The Cast of McCracken Live! on the first day of shooting “The Pilot Lit”

Director Andrew Moorman and Brian Beacock (Carol Ann McCracken)

WATCH SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF “McCRACKEN LIVE!” 

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With over a dozen episodes, a rapidly growing social media fan-base and the beginnings of a Film Festival pedigree under their belt, the McCracken Live! creators are a testament to the hectic pace and persistence it takes to make a successful show in this new market.

Brian and John recently sat down with the hosts of the popular web series review show “Those Video Guys” for an exclusive interview, and from the sound of things this plucky and hilarious show is only getting started with their pushing of the comedy envelope as it readies itself for a new season of material.

Left to Right (Brian Beacock (Creator/writer/Actor – Carol Ann McCracken/Tyler Hansen) Director Andrew Moorman and John Yelvington (Creator/Writer/Actor – Jack Pierce)

WATCH IT HERE

But perhaps some of the most exciting news for McCracken Live! is their recent trip to France for the Marseille Webfest 2011. One of only twenty-two shows hand-picked from around the globe to participate in this esteemed international event, the shows stars and creators have prepared an exclusive new trailer in honor of Europe’s first ever webseries festival.

WATCH IT HERE

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“La Vie en Ruse” starring  Carol Ann McCracken

Shooting “La Vie en Ruse”                                             Carol Ann McCracken and the magic of greenscreen

Newsflash! The team of Brian Beacock and John Yelvington (Creators and Producers of McCracken Live!) have recently inked a deal with Tony Award winning producers, Heather Provost and Aldo Scrofani – Theatre Management Associates.  The revered Broadway producers will be joining the McCracken Live! family as Executive Producers with a goal of pushing Carol Ann McCracken into as many homes, theaters, book stores and computers as possible. Here’s hoping her hair fits through the door!

Brian Beacock and John Yelvington – Creators, Writer and Producers of “McCracken Live!”

McCracken Live! – Marseille Web Fest 2011

I just returned from Marseille, France where McCracken Live! was one of only 22 webseries chosen as Official Selections of  Europe’s first ever webseries festival, The Marseille Web Fest 2011.  An incredible honor and an even more incredible experience.  (An experience that has happily required me to step up my cardio workout.  France = bread and cheese).

Joined by fellow McCracken Live! cast member Paul Nygro, we arrived in Marseille and were quickly whisked away and treated to an opening night party and dinner at the Pullman Hotel where we mingled with fellow webseries participants from The Jim, Asylum, The Big Dick Mike Show, My Bitchy Witchy Paris Vacation, Who, Bollywood to Hollywood, Party Girl Plus One, Script Cops and Big Country Blues.

Cast member Paul Nygro and Co-Creator/Co-Writer/Actor Brian Beacock of “McCracken Live!”

Opening Night Party and Dinner at Marseille’s Pullman Hotel

We quickly became a tight knit group and spent a lot of time together laughing, eating, drinking and dancing.  And unfortunately pulverizing the French language.  Can’t say we didn’t try.

At first we flashed the “peace” sign.  Soon, after the “10-minute walk” to the festival, we wished we had flashed the ol’ hitchhiker’s thumb.

Held at Pole Media – a local television studio complex, the two day festival was jam packed with creative and entertaining screenings, informative panel discussions (translated both in English and French) with such speakers as Deborah Todd, Andy Hoffman and Kathie Fong Yoneda and Michel Reilhac – Director of Cinema at Arte France, who also helped award the Jury Prize during the festival’s closing ceremony to Paul Jerome & Jermaine Jevon for their series The Big Dick Mike Show.   Michael Ajakwe,  Director of the websweries Who and  founder of LA Web Fest, who helped launch the festival in Marseille was given a medal from the city.

Jean Michel Albert and Michael Ajakwe

Party at The Docks de la Joliette, Marseille.

One of the many New Media panels on writing, marketing, financing, and pitching.

McCracken Live! was so thrilled to be a part of the festival that prior to attending we produced a very special episode in honor of the event.

WATCH IT HERE

“La Vie en Ruse” with Carol Ann McCracken

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             Brian Beacock as Carol Ann McCracken             John Yelvington, Brian Beacock and Paul Nygro

During the two day festival we were lucky enough to get a tour of the soundstage where they shoot Marseille’s hit soap opera Plus Belle La Vie which has been airing since August 2004.  The series deals with the daily life of the inhabitants of an imaginary neighbourhood of Marseille, “Le Mistral”, where rich families cross paths with the less than rich.

The beautiful street set of Plus Belle La Vie

Note: Carol Ann would love to appear on the show and is eagerly awaiting her phone call!

Thank you to Jean Michel Albert and Stephane Rizzo, Gerard Rossignol, Athina Tsakyrellis, and Michael Ajakwe for all their support of McCracken Live! and for producing such an amazing festival!  And congratulations and much luck to all the participants and our new friends.

*Carol Ann McCracken was scheduled to appear but missed her flight due to a long line at the airport bar.

-Written by Brian Beacock – Co-Creator/Co-Writer and star of McCracken Live!  www.mccrackenlive.com

It’s Halloween at McCracken Live!

 

The time-honored traditions of HALLOWEEN originated from an ancient Celtic myth that the worlds of the living and dead could blur at this time of year. It was believed that in order to protect yourself from harmful spirits that you could disguise yourself as one and therefore fool them into staying away… stupid spirits! Well, as with all holiday celebrations, they become somewhat watered down and what we’re left with today is merely an excuse to gorge ourselves on candy, get our homes egged by teenagers and attend gatherings in slutty costumes normally reserved for frat parties.

We don’t know about you, but we personally long for a time when it was just about trick-or-treating with neighborhood kids then returning home with the family to watch our favorite scary movies and specials on television. But whereas Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter all have tons of special programming available, we’ve noticed a disturbing lack of “new” Halloween material on the airwaves. And we’re not talking about Halloween themed episodes of our favorite shows…even though we always looked forward to Home Improvement and Roseanne to see what disastrous deeds the Taylor and Connor families had in store. But we’re talking about bonafide made for television movies and specials. Things you could only find once a year and often taped onto VHS for posterity.

Perhaps it’s due to the high cost of producing television or the risks of maintaining an audience, but this year the only things that seem to be getting any buzz are FX’s American Horror Story and the highly anticipated Season 2 of AMC’s new zombie series The Walking Dead. So as time rolls on and the mother of invention is necessity, we might find ourselves turning to the Internet for some spooktacular fun. Since web-series are all about staying current and topical, there is quite a bit of Internet content dedicated to this special time of year. While McCracken Live! on usually focuses on the mishaps of a disastrous D.I.Y. show, we’ve produced a special episode in honor of All Hallows Eve.

WATCH IT HERE

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But just like those old VHS tapes, for posterity sake we’ve decided to share some of our favorite Halloween specials… for both good and bad reasons.

 

1. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

A perennial favorite for this time of year, it’s been playing non-stop since it’s original release in 1966. Often parodied and never replicated, this year we can look forward to pop-culture aficionado Seth MacFarlane’s It’s The Great Pancake, Cleveland Brown.

2. Mr Boogedy

Originally aired in 1986 on ABC as part of the Disney Sunday Movie Series, this made-for-tv movie was about a family moving to New England, only to discover that their house is haunted by spirits of the colonial past. Despite being dated now, it was pretty spooky for it’s time and featured Richard Masur, David Faustino, Kristy Swanson and the original Gomez Addams John Astin. Popuar enough to spawn a sequel “Bride of Boogedy.”

3. The Worst Witch

Based on the children’s books by Jim Murphy, this delightfully tacky movie debuted in 1986 on HBO and featured Diana Rigg, Charlotte Rae, Fairuza Balk, and Tim Curry. Curry steals the show with his musical rendition of “Anything Can Happen on Halloween” complete with state of the art green screen effects straight out of your 8th grade audio/visual club.

4. The Paul Lynde Halloween Special

Paul Lynde put together a ridiculous list of guest stars for this variety show comedy special, including Margaret Hamilton (The Original Wicked Witch) Tim Conway, Florence Henderson, Betty White, Donny and Marie Osmond and musical guest KISS… wait a minute… KISS? This classic makes me long for someone to successfully revive the variety show format. Where else can Betty White share the same stage as KISS?  — Original Air Date October, 1976 on ABC.

5. Disney’s Halloween Treat

Not really a “made for television” special, this conglomeration of Disney short cartoons and excerpts, was a one of my favorite ways to relax on Halloween Night. Narrated by the Magic Mirror from Snow White, it featured some classic Silly Symphonies like the “Skeleton Dance” and “Lonesome Ghosts” and was also the first time I witnessed the glory of Disney’s Sleepy Hallow.  — Original Air Date October, 1983 on ABC.

6. The Halloween The Almost Wasn’t

Originally airing in 1979, with repeated viewings on the Disney Channel all the way up through the 1990’s, this telefilm was based on the premise that Halloween was mysterious coming to an end and an angered Dracula was going to have to assemble a who’s who of monsters to save the day. Only problem, the monsters are no longer scary and he must get them to reclaimed their roots… And get this, Judd Hirsch played Dracula and they eventually changed the title to “The Night Dracula Saved the World.”

7. The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror

By far the longest running and most successful series of Halloween specials, The Simpsons have been at it for 21 years and we look forward to this year’s episode set to air on FOX on October 30th.

McCracken Live! is proud to be a part of Halloween history with their scary, bloody and raucous holiday special.  A fan of all holiday specials, Carol Ann is eager to continue the tradition with some of her favorite “days” : Flag, Bastille, and Groundhog.

Written by John Yelvington
McCracken Live! is created and produced by Brian Beacock and John Yelvington

FROM THE PRODUCERS – Behind the Scenes – The Making of of “La Vie en Ruse”

Behind the Scenes – The Making of “La Vie en Ruse”

This year at LA WebFest, McCracken Live! was fortunate enough to have been seen by the founders of Europe’s first web festival The Marseille Web Fest, and won the auspicious title of “Official Selection Marseille Web Fest 2011”.  It was an amazing night and we couldn’t have been more excited.  Here was our little show that started a few years back, getting noticed and winning awards.  We’ve since gone on to screening in many more festivals and have been lucky enough to garner more laurels for our “little D.I.Y. show that could.” But the Marseille Web Fest was truly an exciting one!  Imagine, Carol Ann McCracken screening in France!  What would they think of her?  Would they love her?  And what would she do to them if they didn’t?!

As the festival drew nearer we knew we needed to keep our show fresh and active on the social media front, but we weren’t really in the position to start shooting Season Two just yet, so our next option was some glamorous new photos for Carol Ann.  After all, she is a fashion diva!  Our fabulous costume designer, Jeanine Campi, took Carol Ann on a shopping spree and after finding her a whole new wardrobe we  scheduled a huge photo shoot in a downtown Los Angeles loft.

The photos were a hit but we felt we still needed something more to show our excitement and gratitude to The Marseille Web Fest. And who better to express our joy that the woman herself, Carol Ann McCracken. Thus the idea for “La Vie en Ruse” was born.  We’d shoot a tribute to classic French style cinema.  Beautiful black and white, large supertitles, and a romantic French voice over. A simple concept:  Carol Ann enters a Parisian café, hosted by a charming waiter.  She orders an espresso and zips away on her vespa as the supertitles announce the upcoming festival.  The end… But, we aren’t usually satisfied with “simple.”  During our second meeting it wasn’t long before we were discussing the inclusion of a badgering mime, a queasy foppish waiter, drunk pratfalls, zombies, gunfire, manic chases and green screens.

Now, that’s the McCracken Live! we know and love!

The Vespa Shot – A few days before principal photography Brian set out with the new McCracken Live! cinematographer, Nathan Haughaard, to Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. Nathan strapped himself into the flatbed of a rented U-haul truck, as Brian drove slowly along Mulholland Drive.  The road served as a perfect background for Carol Ann’s scooter scene along the French countryside.  Cast member Paul Nygro drove a mile behind us essentially stopping traffic so our background plate was clear of any cars.  The honking…was deafening.  Paul loved it and we didn’t even need to persuade him to do the job, he was gung-ho from the beginning.

The Scooter –  Now neither of us own a scooter, but McCracken Live! composer Jamie Forsyth does, so it was off to rent yet another truck, this one with a ramp. Brian drove to Santa Monica to pick up Carol Ann’s hot red vespa!  (Brian: I almost dumped it riding it up the ramp into the truck on the first try and I wasn’t even in heels yet).  This shoot was already getting expensive and all we’d done is rent trucks!  It was decided that craft services would consist of red vines and water.  Well, maybe the water.

The Day of the Shoot – Mon Dieu – Our location was in the Hollywood Hills and the roads were frankly too tight to comfortably drive the rental truck up there without taking out a few Mercedes.  So once again, Brian came to the rescue as he fearlessly parked down below and  drove the vespa up to the location.

Now, it’s always a mad dash with McCracken Live!  Always. Aside from being the writer/creators, we are usually both acting as well.  Not to mention being in charge of craft service, props, makeup and hair for Carol Ann, etc.  Thankfully fellow actor Joan Rizza was there to help along with Jillian Clare (star of) and Susan Bernhardt (creator of) hit teen soap “Miss Behave.” So we had great support for the day, helping to do whatever needed to be done, including cleaning up glass anytime Carol Ann got out of control and broke another prop.  But, still crazy.

And then John arrived in his mime costume.  Now, John has a knack for coming up with the oddest, most perfect costumes, out of nowhere!  But there’s always something just a little off about them. (John: Usually when I know that I’m going to be utterly mortified to wear something, I’ve done my job right.)

Paul Nygro as the French waiter couldn’t have been more perfect.  His attention to detail in his characterization is dwarfed only by his constant need to photograph himself throughout the day while no one is watching.  Seriously. we often look on facebook and see pictures from the set we had no idea were taken.  …Weird ones.

We worked quickly to get each scene blocked, shot, got coverage, and moved on.  We were chasing light from the start and the green screen scene was our “martini” shot.  If we didn’t have enough light, we were in deep fromage.

One fatal flaw of the day was using the shoot as a first test for some of Carol Ann’s new wardrobe pieces.

Brian: My feet were killing me all day.

John: Yeah but I had clown make-up and sweat dripping in my eyes!

Brian: You do remember the corset I wear right?

Needless to say, none of us were particularly comfortable. (Except Paul probably) It’s a funny thing, when you’re uncomfortable on set you always think of Jim Carey in that horrible Grinch makeup (Brian: a makeup design I’ve actually worn when I worked at Universal Studios) and you think to yourself, “How did he do that every day for months at a time? How could he perform and be so uncomfortable?” And then you remember his salary.   And then you limp off to shoot your next scene and cry a little.

The Vespa – Brian: The shot of Carol Ann escaping to the vespa was shot on a very steep grade driveway that I had to run up in heels, do some business with the helmet, maneuver my way in a short skirt on to the scooter seat, start it, and actually drive away before The Mime and The Waiter, now zombies (uh…yep) reached me.  Starting the vespa was a learning curve and one time I think I may have rolled back, missing John’s face by millimeters.  (European measurement).

Moving on to the final vespa shot, the green screen, we didn’t really have enough lighting to blow out the screen in the space we had set aside to shoot it.  So, we decided to move to the street.  Our 10×10 green screen came equipped with handles so John and a camera assistant stood in the street dodging cars as Carol Ann scooted the scooter back and forth to her mark each time the street cleared.

Brian: Now, keep in mind I’m dressed as Carol Ann.  On a scooter.  In front of a 10×10 green screen.  In the windy small streets of the Hollywood Hills…..Actually now that I think about it, I’m sure the neighbor’s didn’t give it a second thought.   It’s Hollywood after all.

Ultimately, the shoot was a success and thanks to Nathan Haugaard’s brilliant editing and the fantastic work of our French voice over actor JB Blanc,  we are proud of the exciting addition to our McCracken Live! library, “La Vie en Ruse” starring Carol Ann McCracken.  We hope the French like it.

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UPDATE! – FROM VACATION TO DISTRIBUTION DEAL?

Hello my darling readers, I am back in the Big Apple and I hate to break the news to you, but I’ve put on weight!!  Yes, close your gaping mouths, (someone should’ve said that to me) I put on 1 1/4 pounds over the past several weeks!  That’s what I get for going on a culinary escapade across America.

When I last checked in I was headed out for a little network suggested hiatus from the show.  My plan was to trek around the New York Tri-State area and immerse myself in the sights, sounds and smells of this wonderful state. I started at the S’barro in our lobby. They have an all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta special but I always go for their “Chicken Portofino” with a side of baked ziti. Their menu describes the dish as “a tender chicken breast, dipped in egg batter, sautéed with sherry wine, green zucchini and yellow squash.” And while it’s quite tasty, I think they could skimp on the squash and add more of the sherry!

With my Dolce bags in tow and my segment producer Heather (I wouldn’t say she’s always complaining, but she’s certainly got an “edge”) doing the “towing”, we climbed into the company limo, (a Ford Gremlin) and were on our way!

Now I know what you’re thinking… Why would anyone drive in New York?…Oh, and why were we in a Ford Gremlin?! Well I suspected The Applause Network might be having some financial troubles but they didn’t want to burden me with them. Frown lines you know. So I turned a blind eye (my left one) which you should never do when you’re driving.  Heather’s voice reached uncharted decibels as she screamed “WENDY’S!!!!!!!”.  As we gently screeched to a halt. I went inside the restaurant and left Heather to deal with the mangled spokes and handlebars under the front grill. Who parks a 10-speed in a handicapped spot?

While I’ve never been a fan of this place, because I’m scared of red-headed step-children… all children really, I was surprised to find a delightful chili on their menu. Now my mother’s chili was nothing more than Big Macs, ketchup and tortillas in a blender, but this girl Wendy packs a punch with her special sauce! If I had to break it down, I’d say the ingredients were oregano, cayenne pepper and something else I’m allergic to… cumin, I think… My swelling tongue says “yes”.

Exhausted from a 12 hour day of driving we couldn’t be more pleased to see the signs welcoming us to the Garden State.  New Jersey.  How lovely!  My stomach was telling me it was time for a snack, or that I needed to throw up.  But, the sign on the horizon made my decision for me.  DENNYS!  I couldn’t wait to get my lips on a “Banana Rama Berry Iced Tea” (doctored up with a little airport bottle of gin from my trip to Atlantic City). Legendary for their heavenly concoctions, I found a new menu item that takes the cake, covers it in cheese and makes me hungry for more! This deep fried grilled cheese sandwich is not for the lactose intolerant or people with a will to live, but it is better than it looks and the marinara has a nice zing to it!

Happy and content, and not at all worried about my increasing heart rate, (Heather promised it was just indigestion and pleaded with me not to call the hospital), we settled into our cute little motel room. And it was just as my head hit the plank disguised as a pillow that I remembered the Applause Network’s shaky financial future.  Perhaps after a night of beauty rest, I could re-address the issue, but for now,  I was off to the bathroom for 3 hours.  And then, sleep.

Having never made it back to the comfort of my polyester (wool? burlap?) sheets, I found myself facedown on the bathroom floor.  For as rough and provincial as the rest of my accommodations were, the bathroom tiles were perfectly laid.  With half my makeup still holding strong from yesterday and the rest holding strong to the floor, staring up at me like a Monet, I was ready in half the time and we were off to breakfast.  We were in the mood for some down home cookin’, a real taste of the south in the north east.  Luckily we found it!  KFC!!!

While wiping bacon grease from my mouth Heather received a facebreak-twatter, message from her second cousin in Los Angeles.  Suddenly, it occurred to me!  I couldn’t feel the left side of my body!  PLUS, I realized that in order to keep  “McCracken Live!” on America’s radar, we needed to go full-blown viral!  (Which, I suspected had already happened last night at the Bit O’ Paris Motel), but more to the point, I decided that the interweb could help the Applause Network reach  a newer, bigger, hipper audience!  And in turn, the next time they send me on a vacation I could eat a little better? Like T.G.I.Fridays?

I called a lovely contact on the West Coast and was immediately whisked out to Los Angeles to appear on the hottest new web series “Miss Behave”, broadcast on an absolutely fabulous website called KoldCastTV! They have shows about aliens, superheroes, and teenagers! (I asked if all the shows were all horror based but apparently they’re not). More updates on McCracken Live! and Kold Cast TV coming soon! I’m so pleased, and I learned something…  Sometimes in order to get something good, you have to eat something bad.   So, I’m expecting greatness.

WORKING FOR A LIVING ISN’T ALL IT’S McCRACKED UP TO BE

As if you weren’t stressed enough about the finale of “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Food Network Star”, now I have to break THIS news to you!  I’m on hiatus!  (I know, I used to think it meant I needed a prescription as well) But turns out it just means The Applause Network thinks I need time away from the limelight.  Can you imagine?  Don’t they know I have a travel limelight? I bring it everywhere, Gucci, Dolce, Denny’s.

So, I hit the road, literally…but a very nice man picked me up.  He was quite lovely and very helpful. (although one of my favorite pearl earrings is missing…) So despite my stumble out of town, I’m off for a few days to see this beautiful country of ours.  Granted I’m in heels so if I make it to Washington Heights I’ll be lucky.   But I’ve got my instant camera (with FLASH!) and I’m eager to flash right in your face!

(My editor has since read this back to me and asked me to clarify) My camera has a flash and if I run into you on the streets I’m just going to just snap my shutter right before your eyes….Better?  (Now it just sounds mean).  Anyway, it’s taken me three martinis and 2 1/2 hours to write this, and the people at Starbucks are beginning to stare, so stay tuned for pictures, anecdotes, and cocktail receipts from some of the loveliest places in the country!

(Again, possibly just Astoria and the East Village.  I’m still sore from that fall)

In the meantime, you should enjoy this retrospective glance into how I came to be a household name.

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FASHION DO’S AND FASHION DO NOT DO’S

When I was a little-r girl I got my first sewing machine operated by feet!  (Not MY feet certainly, I had a heart murmur.  Since the day I sewed my first pair of gauchos I knew I would be a slave to fashion.  And…here we are.

Ever since the rise of Lady Gogo, (or whatever that man’s name is) I’ve noticed a disturbing fashion trend where it seems that everyone is just trying to out-do each other’s “crazy.” Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been one to turn down a grand entrance in a stunning ensemble. But really Miss GooGoo, must you always look like a Michael’s Craft Store and a Home Depot humped like rabid squirrels in a dumpster full of glitter?

Remember that old adage about “clothes making the man”? Well it goes both ways girls… as does Lady Yaya, I’m sure. We ladies could take a page from our more demure ancestors and start letting our personalities speak louder than our outfits. I know my personalities (all twelve of them) are constantly screaming for attention and all I’m wearing is an apron and lovely jumper. As the year draws to a frenetic fashion-close, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to take a look at this year’s hottest trends and reflect on some of my ideas for what to do with those “disco sticks.”

ANNA SUI – Now some of this I actually like. But when put together it kind of cancels everything out into a sort of Swiss Miss nightmare. But I do love her hot chocolate.

KINDER AGGUGINI – Finally some headgear that will fit over my voluptuous curls! As far the outfit goes…not too bad for Minnie Mouse.

MARK FAST – I’m actually working on something like the one on the left for my upcoming live stage show.  A sort of Judy Garland Tribute. The poor unfortunate girl on the right looks like she’s covered in skin tight barcodes.

LOUIS VUTTON – Now these girls could’ve used a hat fashioned by Kinder Aggugini!

SONIA RYKEIL – From Left to Right:  I still think shoulder pads are “in”!    My butcher has an apron like that. Maybe hers would be better if covered in blood? – Now is this lingerie? OVERALL OPINION:  I never thought of using old 45’s as an accessory, but I think I just found my next craft project.  Excited!

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD – Now I sympathize with these girls because I’ve often forgotten to take off my clay mask before going out into public. The guys at the deli just love my pore treatment!  I realized this one day when they couldn’t stop laughing and a fellow customer pointed out my faux pas.  We enjoyed it.  Clothing Assessment: I’m not really into the whole Bohemian movement or M Butterfly for that matter.  Besides, they don’t look like they would fold into a drawer well.

Now I didn’t forget about the men out there, and as far as I’m concerned you really only need one good suit and something for the pool. Here are my favorite options. But be careful, not every fellow can pull off either the speedo…or the sequins.

Finally, here’s a few of my favorites.  Oldies but good-enough’ies that have catapulted me to my fashion icon status.

If it’s a picnic or even a PTA meeting, (I know, I wouldn’t be caught dead at one but I’m speaking to the everywoman), this ensemble will get people talking and keep them talking.  Their distraction is a perfect opportunity to get to the buffet before all the shrimp is gone.

I call this my Happy Dress! For weddings or funerals, this lovely frock is easy, lightweight, (fits in a gym bag) and is multi-use.  While dodging fans at the Museum of Contemporary Art last week, I stood next to a garish piece of work by Franz Heindriech and blended right in!  What a relief.  Thank you Happy Dress!!

Stylish, trendy, and with good ventilation, this all-star power dress takes me back.  While I don’t sew anymore, (I pay people),  I keep this pattern as a fond memory of the days when I had others make my clothes and I didn’t pay them.  Fond, fond memories.

Well that’s it my fashion divas!!  I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into my world of “Carol’s Do’s And Better Not Do’s!  I hope someday you’ll enjoy a figure that would allow you all the fashion benefits I’ve received over the years.  And here’s one final tip.  A time saving trick I developed years ago.

“Take a Whiff – if it’s ‘What’s the Diff?’,  then you’re Dressed in a Jiff!”

Isn’t that delightful?  And it works with everything, food expiration, shoes, trash cans.  Trust me, when your clothes tell you “they’re through”, you’ll know.  Why spend time fixing something that isn’t broken until tomorrow, or perhaps later in the evening? That’s all for now, and remember, fabulous fashion is in the eye of the beholder.  So get lasik and dress to impress!

McCRACKEN DEAD – A SPOOKTACULAR McHALLOWEEN SPECIAL!

Despite the fact that Halloween has become a day for women to dress like prostitutes and teenagers to toilet paper my herb garden, it is still one of my favorite Holidays. What other time of year can my natural disdain for children manifest into a socially acceptable excuse to scare the bejesus out of them. Unfortunately, my new co-op doesn’t have a lot of kids to frighten, so in the spirit of those classy old Hallows Eve Television Specials, I decided to bring my scare tactics to work. Of course in traditional “Carol Ann Fashion” things never quite go according to plan and now I’m too tipsy on rum soaked candy corn to even tell you what happened… So here’s what they’re saying…

Following an unfortunately timed laser tag trauma, special guest Justin Bieber yanks his appearance on the show, leaving Carol Ann to turn to the next best thing. She conjures up some spooky treats you can really sink your teeth into, and leaves you wondering, is it a cooking segment or a crime scene? Tune in for an extra dangerous, bloody good time on “McCracken Live!”

WATCH IT NOW!

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ANNOUNCING OUR NEW DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS

Well I am absolutely busting at the seams to tell you the big news.  In addition to going on a diet before Season Two of “McCracken Live!” starts shooting, we have been picked up by the Internet Television Sensation KOLDCAST TV!

Now you may be asking yourself, “What is internet television?”  “What is KoldCast TV?”  Well!….I have no idea.  BUT there are people on my team that do know and apparently it’s one of the top places for quality web based television programs.  Shows like the uber popular with the kids web based soap, “Miss Behave”, and the behind the scenes in the allen wrench world of IKEA, “Easy To Assemble”, starring Illeana Douglas, Justine Bateman, and Tom Arnold.

And now, “McCracken Live!” joins the team!  Each Wednesday will explode with a delightful new episode.  Cooking demos, Red Carpet Premieres, Viewer Mail and behind the scenes meetings at The Applause Network’s biggest hit…ME!  It’s just too much for a simple small town girl like me to handle.  (Which is why I authorized a Happy Hour at the studio).

Tell your friends and be sure to join us every week on Koldcast TV.

McWEBBIE #7 – THE INTERVIEW WITH CAROL ANN

Another one of my favorite treats, being the household name that I am, is the time I get to share with the press. But when a brash young reporter from “Family Circle” comes to do an expose on me, everyone gets a little more than they bargained for. For the first time ever, you may see Carol Ann McCracken and Tyler Hanson in the same room!

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