By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
What are you wearing right now, big boy? Are there just a ton of MILFs in the audience? Big nose, big feet, is the rest of the saying true? But Full Frontal took the high road and tried to insult the big, purple dinosaur as little as possible. Barney, the hometown dino making his triumphant return (see page 44), deftly avoided and/or answered our questions in his signature baritone...and asked us out to coffee.
Are you looking forward to coming back to Dallas, or are you already in the city?
Actually, we're here. We're getting ready for the big show. I can't wait--it's going to be great.
Do you get lonely because all the other dinosaurs died?
Oh, no, not at all. I've got so many friends I can play with! And sing along with. I've got so many friends.
Where did you hatch? Was it in Dallas?
Oooh, well! Actually, from your imagination.
Do you think the hay fever season is going to be a problem, because we know you do have a large nose.
Oh, that is a large nose--very large schnoz. I don't think so--I keep myself in great shape by eating plenty of vegetables and fruit. And, of course, getting plenty of exercise, as you've probably seen. Though I can't explain that tummy of mine--I don't know. What's that all about?
Do you feel lucky--unlike others active in the children's community--to have the good rapport that you do?
Oh, well, that's...
For instance, you don't have a reputation like Michael Jackson.
Oh, no, I'm not even sure who that is.
Is Baby Bop in the show?
Oh, absolutely. And what's the skinny on her?
What's the skinny on Baby Bop? Well...
She pretty wild behind the scenes?
Oh, is that it? Well, she does like to play a lot, that's for sure. And she likes to jump up and down. She's caused quite a commotion. I think they wrote a song about that, didn't they? "Causing quite a commotion"...and she likes to play with her brother, B.J.
Doing research for this, I found a Web site made by people who aren't big fans, and then onSaturday Night Live, they had the whole basketball sketch with you getting pummeled.
Oh, I heard about that.How do you feel about negative feedback?
Maybe they just don't understand. I'm thinking maybe if I gave them a great big hug, they'd probably feel better. Was it Charles Barkley, was that the one [on SNL]? Well, maybe we should give each other a great big hug someday.
I think he needs one anyway.
I'd love to play basketball with him sometime.
Do you get groupies?
You know, people who want to follow you around from show to show?
Well, a lot of kids try to come up onstage when I'm doing my show. But the moms stop them, that's good.
Have you ever dated a mom?
No. Never done that. Oooh! Never had that question before, either.
I told my sister that I was interviewing you, and she sang the "I Love You" song.
Oh, really? How old is she?
See, there's my point exactly. It doesn't matter how old you are; as long as you use your imagination, you can do anything you want to do. Oh, everyone's a child inside.
That's true. Maybe Charles Barkley just needs to show it.
He sure does. What's he doing these days, by the way?
I have no idea.
Exactly! Oh ho!
According to studies conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, foods containing soy protein and included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may actually lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Soy is also being studied by other groups for its possibly cancer-fighting ingredients called isoflavones and its low glycemic index, which may help regulate blood sugar levels. In addition to being a source of vitamin E, lecithin, omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber, soy has a side effect that has thus far gone unstudied. Soy protein actually makes consumers more appreciative of puns. Therefore, really bad puns on the words "soy" and "tofu" sound like marketing genius. Just check out the names of the products below and find out how soy-riffic your tofu-tude is. Some are as real as Boca's ground round; others are as fake as the "meat" in a Tofu Pup. Fake answers below. --Shannon Sutlief
1. Soy Delicious (soy ice cream)
2. Tofurky (tofu turkey loaf)
3. Soyrizo (soy chorizo)
4. Soyr Cream (dairy-free sour cream)
5. Chick'n Patties ("chicken" sandwich patties)
6. Gratin' Seitan (grateable soy cheese)
7. Veat Vegetarian Breast ("chicken" breast)
8. SoyGurt (soy yogurt)
9. Chocolate Soyrup (ice cream topping)
10. Whitewave's Silk (soy milk)
11. Tofutti Cuties (tofu ice cream sandwiches)
12. PanFakes (milk-less pancakes)
13. GimmeLean! (soy sausage)
14. Fakin' Bacon (tempeh bacon strips)
15. Soy-Sation (soy cheese)
16. French Tofu-st (egg-less French toast)
17. New England Clam Soyder (cream-less and clam-less chowder)
18. Steaklet (fake steak)
19. Soy Fusion (soy beverage)
20. NotDogs (hot dogs)
Answers: 4, 6, 9, 12, 16, 17, 20
So subtle you might miss it at first glance, the immaculately groomed swatch of hair above his upper lip is as much a throwback to another era as his big-D game is. Specifically, to a time in the late 1980s and early '90s when men were definitely men, even if they were clad in retina-wrecking neon-purple suits and school-bus-yellow blazers, silk shirts with more dots than a measles ward and Arsenio-approved high-top fades. No. 11 in your programs, No. 1 in our hearts, Bell is such a man.
The style of Bell's quiet-storm moustache--the nickname we've given it around the office--remains virtually unaltered from the days when proud practitioners such as Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill (actually, pretty much anyone who was ever in New Edition), Keith Sweat, Al B. Sure! and Jodeci ruled the R&B charts.
("Quiet storm," by the way, derives from the once-popular brand of schmoove, late-night radio on K104. To be honest, most of the musicians we've just named would more accurately fit in the "new jack swing" subgenre, but it's our joke and we're sticking with it. We could have singled out Luther Vandross, who was and is a quiet-storm staple, but the dude just had a stroke, and it didn't feel right. Wait, where were we?)
We're not certain who first popularized the look (Billy Dee Williams? Smokey Robinson? John Waters?), and we're not entirely sure why we're such fans of the look. (Possibly because it reminds us of our teen years, when a barely there soup strainer was all we could manage. That's just a theory, mind you.)
Either way, its devotees have definitely diminished over the years; goatees, soul patches and even (gasp!) full beards are the facial-hair rule these days. But just as his selfless team play is the exception these days in a league ruled by numbers nuts such as the Cleveland Cavaliers' Steven Davis, so, too, is Bell's defiantly trimmed 'stache. On or off the court, he is a player. --Zac Crain