The Rundown: Henry Winkler, Please Go On ‘Hot Ones’

The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.

ITEM NUMBER ONE – I need you to understand that I am serious about this

You know how sometimes a thought will come screeching into your head out of nowhere and kind of set up residence in there for a while? Maybe not. Maybe this is just how my dilapidated funhouse brain works and the rest of you are thinking about, like, important issues facing the nation or which supermarket has the best deal on paper products. I don’t know. What I do know is that it happened to me again this week when, while minding my own business and watching a Phillies game, this sentence popped in there fully formed: What if Henry Winkler goes on Hot Ones?

I need you to understand a couple of things here: One, I have been thinking about this a lot, so much, in the past few days, in part because I’ve been kind of watching a lot of old episodes of Hot Ones lately and in part because I think about Henry Winkler a lot. It’s the fish pictures, mostly. I have written about this and retweeted the tweets and even asked him about them when I had a chance to interview earlier this year, which is a lot of fun to explain to people when I try to tell them about my job and use “I interviewed Henry Winkler” as a reference point and they Google the interview and see like five questions about fishing. But, like, come on, look at this.

Which brings us back to the Hot Ones thing. Henry Winkler, if you are reading this, please go on Hot Ones. Please. For me. Henry. HENRY. Go on Hot Ones. Listen to me.

Hmm. I suspect a list of reasons will help. Let’s do that:

  • Henry Winkler has had a long career in Hollywood, dating way back to playing The Fonz on Happy Days and continuing all the way up through his work on Barry in the present
  • He seems by all accounts like a delightful man
  • I want to see what happens when Henry Winkler tries to answer a question after eating a very spicy wing

That’s it. That’s all I got, at least by way of logic. All of it really just boils down to “because I would like it,” which is probably not enough to get an idea in Hollywood greenlit, at least not yet. But still. I would really like it. And it’s not an unreasonable ask. We can have Henry Winkler on Hot Ones. That’s within the realm of possibilities. It would be like the time Paul Rudd showed up on the show and did this…

… but way more sincere. I really must stress that I am serious about this. I know I’ve said that a few times now but I worry some of you might think I’m funning around here. I am not. I simply would like to see Henry Winkler go on Hot Ones and I am using the fact that I have a silly Friday column where I can say almost whatever I want to put it out into the universe.

That’s all that’s happening. I feel okay about it.



It brings me great pleasure to report that I saw a good tweet. It was in response to my recap of this week’s episode of Better Call Saul, an episode in which a lot of things — important things! — happened, some of which involved Life Alert pendants and brown hair dye and signed affidavits. It was, again, a lot, and not something I’m going to spoil for any of you on the off-chance you have somehow not seen the show and are planning to get in there. But, that said, the good tweet.

Context will help, at least a little. In this week’s episode of Saul:

  • Kim Wexler was going through it
  • Rhea Seehorn put on a damn acting clinic
  • At one point near the episode, she was smoking a cigarette in the rain and just kind of processing a lot

Then, she did… well, this:


Which was maybe the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. And yet still maybe not the best bit of cigarette-related business on television this year because, in an episode of The Righteous Gemstones, for reasons I could explain but absolutely will not, Judy Gemstone, played by Edi Patterson, who has been putting on a different kind of acting clinic, did this:

gemstones JUDY

The takeaways here are as follows:

  • I love both of these moments very much and I refuse to choose between them
  • We are so blessed to have both of these women on our televisions just revolutionizing the genre of tobacco disposal
  • I think, when this is all over, the two of them should play mismatched cops in a Knives Out-style murder mystery, either episodic or feature-length, which is only slightly complicated by the fact that Edi Patterson was actually in the first Knives Out

This was an excellent conversation.

ITEM NUMBER THREE – Casa Bonita chaos

Casa Bonita South Park
Comedy Central

Hey, let’s check in with the South Park guys and their recent acquisition of the actual Casa Bonita restaurant that they once depicted on the sh-… aaaaaaand it’s chaos. Just madness straight through. We go now to the Denver Post for an update.

It’s been nearly a year since “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone purchased Lakewood’s iconic restaurant Casa Bonita, but they’re no closer to figuring out when it may open.

Not ideal. Could be better. Sounds kind of like an episode of that show Kitchen Nightma-…

“Have you ever seen ‘Kitchen Nightmares’? It’s the very, very worst one of those you could possibly ever imagine,” said Parker. “What we thought would be, ‘Oh this will be cool. We can buy this and open it and it’ll be around again,’ turned into ‘Oh this is going to be what we have to put all our money into and hope that it works.’”

Putting aside the obvious point that this is a joke and they have more money than one can possibly sink into a local Mexican restaurant, it would be really, really funny if two cartoon entrepreneurs run themselves bankrupt due to food-based calamities. Imagine explaining that to anyone. “Yeah, the South Park guys are broke now because they bought a real restaurant they depicted on the show and it was a disaster” is just a deeply wild collection of words.

As for other landmarks, such as the Coney Island Boardwalk hot dog stand, that have since hit the market, Parker and Stone said they’ve considered saving them.

“I told Les Claypool (of Primus) about the hot dog and he [expletive] flipped out. He was like, ‘You have to buy that hot dog,’” said Stone.

Is it weird that I think this might be a better show than another season of South Park? Like, we’ve seen plenty of that show. We will all be okay if they decide to close up shop and move on to a reality show where they buy famous food-related landmarks and attempt to save them, potentially with disastrous results. Get Guy Fieri in there to help. I don’t think the South Park guys would love that part but we’ve moved beyond that into the realm of goofus hypotheticals. Let’s just do the weirdest stuff we can think of here, just to see what happens.

Something to consider.

ITEM NUMBER FOUR – I must have this immediately

Jason Momoa
Getty Image

A couple of things are important to note before we get to a pretty incredible quote, so let’s do that in the name of professionalism. The first thing is that Jason Momoa is going to appear in Fast X, the tenth Fast & Furious movie. Good for him. Good for all of us, really. “Jason Momoa appearing in a Fast & Furious movie” is one of those things that is so perfect and obvious in hindsight that the most notable aspect of it all is that it had somehow not happened already. It’s great. It makes me very happy. I’m still a lot upset that they’re calling it Fast X instead of FasTen Your Seatbelts, but I’ll get over it. I can deal. Probably.

The second important thing is that Jason Momoa spoke to British GQ about it all a little bit this week. Look at this blockquote.

In the tenth Fast and Furious film, Momoa plays a villain whose toenails are painted purple and pink, with a lavender car to match, and who enjoys laughing maniacally as he blows up co-star Ludacris’s car. “I’m a peacock at the highest level and I’m having the time of my life,” he grins.

This is fascinating to me. What could possibly be a better development for this franchise than “Jason Momoa as a pastel aficionado and madman who blows up a car belonging to Ludacris, who went to outer space in a NoS-powered Pontiac in the previous movie”? I honestly do not know. I keep wondering where the franchise can go from the absurd lengths it reaches each movie and then, pow, here we are. It’s thrilling, in a way. I hope Jason Momoa’s character drives a hovercraft through the streets of Paris.

The best part is that we really can’t rule this one out. We can’t rule anything out. There is almost nothing that could happen in these movies that would shock me at this point. Again, thrilling.

ITEM NUMBER FIVE – Fargo… still good


The television version of Fargo is better than it has any right to be and has been since the very first season, thanks in large part to Billy Bob Thornton playing a hitman named Lorne Malvo and the guy in the screencap up there whose name was Calamity Joe and sold various forms of illicit paraphernalia out of the back of his van, including bags of clean urine. Every season has told a new story with all new characters and almost everything has been a blast. It’s a good show.

I think my favorite part of the show, because I am an idiot first and foremost, is the thing where it takes pleasure in casting an impressive group of actors and giving their characters the silliest names you can imagine. Allison Tolman played a cop named Molly Solverson. Mary Elizabeth Winstead played a hustler named Nikki Swango. I’m still not over that last one. And, because sometimes things can be pretty okay out there, the new season appears to be pressing forward with this strategy.

Fargo has rounded out the main cast of its upcoming fifth installment, with Joe Keery (Stranger Things, Free Guy), Lamorne Morris (New Girl, Barbershop: The Next Cut) and Richa Moorjani (Never Have I Ever) joining the previously announced Juno Temple, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

This is good. This is very good. But tell me some names.



Set in 2019, Season 5 of the Noah Hawley-created anthology series answers the question, when is a kidnapping not a kidnapping, and what if your wife isn’t yours?

Joe Keery will play Gator Tillman; Morris will play Witt Farr; Moorjani will play Indira Olmstead.

Gator Tillman.


Yes, this will do just fine.

Fargo is still a good show.


If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.

From John:

Why does Bosch write with his left hand but shoot with his right? His daughter also does this.

This is a wonderful email that I do not have anything approaching an actual response for. I include it here for three important reasons:

  • I am so jealous of John for noticing this and for the rush he must have felt upon putting it together
  • I am honestly kind of honored/touched that anyone would have this realization and think “I should email Brian about this,” in a way that somehow validates every career-based decision I’ve made to this point
  • I am going to post some screencaps of Lance Reddick grumbling Bosch’s name

Yes, again.


And that was not the only objectively perfect email I received this week. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, we have a TWO EMAIL SITUATION. Look at this.

From Joe:

Do you ever think about how the Fast and Furious movies are our generation’s version of the Beatles? They both came onto the scene when we were teens or young adults and grew/matured with us as we got older. Both introduced western audiences to eastern culture, the Beatles with religion and philosophy, and Fast and Furious with the concept of Tokyo Drifting. Both were super popular, but also had groups of people who will say they never “got them.” Obviously Paul Walker is the John Lennon of this analogy, each dying much younger than anyone expected. Lastly, both the Beatles and Fast and Furious will cause men of certain ages to go on long rants, much like this email I sending to you. Not sure how fleshed out this idea is, but somehow it makes sense to me and I knew I had to send it to you.

The thing I enjoy about this, in addition to, like, all of it, is that this analogy almost certainly means Ludacris is Ringo. That was a fun thing to get to think and type. I do not take any of this for granted.


To Texas!

An unknown suspect reportedly stole “thousands of dollars worth of briskets” from an Austin favorite, la Barbecue, early Thursday morning.




According to the restaurant, the unknown suspect allegedly broke into the restaurant on East Cesar Chavez Street in East Austin shortly after 4 a.m. The restaurant said he jumped over the side fence, cut off barbecue pit locks and loaded more than twenty whole briskets into an SUV before driving off.

There’s a lot going on here in a lot of ways but I want you to stop and take a second and think about this guy’s entire day leading up to the moment he decided to hop a fence and steal 20 whole briskets. That is so much brisket. What is he even doing with it all? I need a six-episode docuseries about it as soon as anyone can get one shot and edited.

The restaurant is asking for help in identifying the suspect and asks that anyone with information call the Austin Police Department. The incident is reportedly la Barbecue’s fifth break-in.

I changed my mind. I want a 10-episode docuseries now. There is too much to get to in six. Especially now that we might have a meat heist epidemic on our hands. I like to think it’s all the same guy and he has a walk-in cooler full of slow-cooked meats the way an art thief has a room full of paintings he stole. I hope he just sits there and admires them sometimes, like how Thomas Crown stole a painting just for the rush and kept it in his house hidden in a wall.

But with brisket.

I cannot stress this last part enough.

The meat bandit rides again.