Monday, June 30, 2008

Shell Game

Magician Charlie Frye demonstrates the old shell game.
His cheap wig may be the real mystery here.

Rubik's Cube

Here's an online Rubik's cube.

Pretty nifty feat of programming - but kind of ridiculous, no? (It was designed to fit on an iPhone screen, but it's perfectly playable on any system).

Sykes living in Delco?

The next time you're driving through Media, Pa, and you see someone who looks like Wanda Sykes - it just might be Wanda Sykes.

According to a comment in Neal Zoren's TV column today - Wanda just purchased a house in my hometown of Delaware County. (Shouldn't she be buying a house in like, Hollywood or something?)

A simple Google reveals it's in Media. Here's hoping she brings her edgy brand of stand-up to the stodgy old Media Theatre sometime soon.

Origin of Phrases

Today, I needed to find the meaning of the phrase "feather in your cap". This is the site I used. By the way - "balls to the wall" doesn't mean what you think it does.

Ron Hunter

One of my favorite news anchors - Ron Hunter - died over the weekend.

He had a brief run at KYW many years ago, where he failed to catch on as the station's main anchor. He was moved to weekends, where he was actually quite entertaining. (He would predict the Sunday Eagles games by saying "Bet the ranch and the dog on...". Well, I guess you had to be there.)

The only reason I mention this here, is it turns out Hunter was a difficult, pompous ass (at least according to every source I've read which either compares him unfavorably to Ted Baxter, or cites him as the inspiration for Ron Burgundy).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Things I Hate - Steve Martin as Clouseau

If you go see WALL-E (and by all means don't) - you will be treated to a special WALL-E version of this trailer for Pink Panther 2 starring Steve Martin as Inspector Clouseau. (In the version I saw, Steve's trying to sneak into WALL-E; this is a generic version).

The trailer got absolutely ZERO reaction this afternoon from a mostly packed house of bemused moviegoers - who were infinitely more impressed by a cliched trailer for something called Chihuahua.

Let's not even get into the fact that Steve's weak Clouseau is an effrontery to the memory of the classic Peter Sellers version. (You'd think someone who writes books devoted to how sophisticated he is - would know better).

My real problem with all this is -- I mean, didn't Pink Panther 1 suck balls? Will they greenlight a sequel to just any old shit these days?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cheese and Onions

Cheese and Onions performed by The Rutles, from their film Yellow Submarine Sandwich.

It all seems terribly reminiscent of something - I just can't put my finger on it (insert winking icon here).

Orson Welles

For no reason other than I watched Touch of Evil last night, I find myself looking up Orson Welles on YouTube.

Two goodies - Orson is ridiculously drunk during the filming of a wine commercial. How they ever finished the session is anyone's guess. Next up - a brief parody of Welles from The Critic.

Rotten Neighbor allows the general public to write reviews about their neighbors. These can be positive (green) or negative (red) - but the site's name should be a tip-off on which approach is the more popular.

There is also a nice rundown on where the sex offenders are, as well as an attempt to list foreclosures (yellow).

Of course, all this is ripe for abuse and slander. Expect an inevitable flurry of lawsuits.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Not in honor of Larry Mendte (as rumored, by me) - Glad To See You Go (Ramones).

"Paul Is Dead"

Here's something that captivated my attention for a few weeks when I first discovered it earlier this year: Iamaphoney's "Paul is Dead" videos at YouTube.

To get you up to speed quickly - there are some people out there who believe Paul McCartney DIED sometime around 1966. He was replaced by the winner of a Paul McCartney look-alike contest (possibly named William Campbell, and possibly the guy from the White Album poster that looks like Paul McCartney with a mustache and glasses - see below). The new guy was so darned good at imitating Paul McCartney that he went on to write Hey Jude, Let It Be - and all that solo material (even Give My Regards To Broad Street).

Total bullshit? Of course. But once you sit through about a dozen or so of Iamaphoney's (what a name) collection - you might just start to believe it all.

The videos explore the William Campbell myth, but eventually evolve to propose the theory that McCartney might be a satanist (or at least a devotee/spawn of Sgt. Pepper cover-boy Aleister Crowley).

Did I mention the videos are extremely well done? Hypnotic, scary, and very, very compelling. (At least the first thirty or so are... the later ones get a bit repetitive. You'll know when to jump off).

If interested, start here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Absolutely Mad

I finally broke down and ordered Absolutely Mad - a reprint of just about everything that ever appeared in Mad Magazine - ever - on one DVD-ROM.

I can't begin to recommend this highly enough - especially if you were a fan of the magazine in the 60's and 70's (it's astounding how many of the jokes and parodies I remember by heart from this era).

The original pages reprint amazingly well in PDF format, especially the "comic-book" issues from the 50's. (For the uninitiated, Mad started life as a color comic book with a sublimely hilarious look and feel that was largely the influence of writer/layout artist Harvey Kurtzman and a handful of masterful cartoonists).

The reprints are complete - so you get the ads and everything. For the price ($33 at Amazon) - you can't go wrong.

Update: Forgot to mention a few other nice features. Al Jaffee's fold-ins have been reproduced so that they "fold" automatically with the click of a mouse. Also, much (all?) of the Super-Special material is included - so you get to see the controversial political posters from the Nixon/Vietnam years, and all those stickers ("Up with Miniskirts" and the like).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mendte Watch: Goose Cooked at CBS-3

Skorpion84 reports on the demise of Larry Mendte's career at Channel 3.

For those who wish to follow the trail of tears, here is Mendte reporting on the termination of Alycia Lane. For all we know, he may have been going through her e-mails at the time - we'll never know for sure.

Flash forward - here's Susan Barnett's report on Mendte's shit-canning last night. The report sounds suspiciously like it was carefully written by CBS lawyers.

A Mad Look at...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Devo

To celebrate Devo's show at Penn's Landing this coming Saturday (yes, they still make music) - here's their 1984 take on Are You Experienced?

The Jimi Hendrix estate liked this one so much they refused permission to allow it to be shown on Devo's video compilation DVD.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dody Goodman

Another legend of comedy bites the dust.

WTF? - Kaiser George and Company

This video has it all - Kaiser George, Los Straitjackets (the guys with the Mexican Wrestling masks), The Pontani Sisters (???) - all as seen through a casino security camera in Wisconsin.

George Carlin

Woke up this morning to the news that George Carlin died.

Carlin was very funny in the 70's. Back then, whenever a good stand-up appeared on television, you would stop whatever you were doing and watch. There were a number of very good ones: Richard Pryor, Robert Klein, Albert Brooks - but Carlin was probably the best.

Somewhere along the line, he adopted the persona of curmudgeon - and became less funny; very hit or miss.

I saw his act in Vegas in 2001. He was sometimes funny, but mostly just long-winded. Still, it was nice to see a legend in person - and the crowd loved him.

I watched his latest HBO special - it was excruciating.

In the next few days, you're going to hear about what a genius he was. It's absolutely true - he just hasn't displayed any of it in about twenty years.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Top News Bloopers

Nothing beats watching TV newsreaders screw up on the air.

Not sure if this video is old or not, but they left out the time CNN's Kyra Phillips (the one who says "Nice Melons" here) suggested that she, a blank anchor, and another white anchor - should get together and make a "reverse Oreo".

My favorite in this clip, however is Melanie Morales' (pictured above) comment. Pure class.

Things I Hate: Obama Girl

There are some things online that I merely hate, but then there are those things that make me regret being a member of the human race that spawned them.

Can you imagine the level of the mind that encouraged Obama Girl vs. McCain Girl?

Now, before you dismiss this as harmless fun - please note that a MILLION AND A HALF people have already watched this bullshit (at press time). This is what the people want.



One of my favorite sites - Dial B for Blog - has a nice article about the Monkees - specifically their occasional appearances on their TV show as would-be superheroes Monkeemen.

There is also a page devoted to the Monkeemobile, and the Monkees comic book.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dove - the Band of Love

If you went to a live Devo performance circa 1980, you were sometimes lucky enough to catch a rare opening act - Dove (The Band of Love).

Dove was just the members of Devo wearing leisure suits and green visors. They sometimes presented themselves as Fundamentalist Christians, but mostly just parodied the dopier aspects of the Reagan era.

Here, they do a pretty good job with the Kingston Trio's It Takes a Worried Man.

Electoral Vote

Click for

For now, I've added a handy link to on the sidebar (at right).

Similar sites predicted Kerry by a landslide in 2004, so proceed with caution.

Things I (Slightly) Hate, Vol 2

People who write "loose" when they mean "lose".

For some reason, these people tend to write "loose" a lot (loosely, if you will).
You might think they'd get it right after all that practice.

Don't Ask, Just Listen: Raymond Scott

Raymond Scott was a pioneer in the art of electronic music. Some of his better-known compositions can be heard in the backgrounds of Looney Tunes, and I believe the below track was a Tic Tac commercial not too long ago.

Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) cites him as a major influence, so let's click the Play button below and listen...

Raymond ScottIn the Hall of the Mountain Queen

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Things I Hate, Vol. 1

And now I'd like to change the tempo a bit... There are just as many things on the web that I absolutely HATE - and why shouldn't I share that hatred with you, my loyal readers?

The list of things I hate on YouTube which are not Jackie DeShannon videos is a long and tedious one; but Newsbusted is most certainly at the top of that list.

Why? Let me count the ways it annoys me:
1. The fake laugh track.
2. The (same) fake audience shot at the beginning of every video.
3. The failed stand-up/soccer mom's 1977-era ironic delivery.
4. The lamer-than-lame attempts at humor.
5. The sad fact that a decent conservative news parody would be a welcome thing - and THIS AIN'T IT.

I'd say Enjoy! - but that's not appropriate in this case. How about...


Japan's robot for lonely men

Well they've gone and done it - the Japanese have finally invented a robot that makes women obsolete.

If you've always thought the woman of your dreams should be plain, kiss your cheek on command, and dance the hula - this is your lucky day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mmmm... Pizza!

Did you ever wish there was a convenient list of foods that cause anal leakage?

Anal leakage.

Toynbee Tiles

When I worked in downtown Philadelphia, I used to notice this strange engraving in the sidewalk which mentioned "Toynbee", "Kubrick" and "2001".

At first, I assumed it was just one of the million or so garage bands in the area promoting itself. When I started seeing them all over the city, I thought it might be a street art campaign like "Obey the Giant" or something like that.

Turns out nobody knows what it is - but the speculation is fascinating.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Wing is an exciting new singer with a remarkable voice. Her range is worthy of a young Yma Sumac - only far more accessible to modern audiences.

But don't just take my word for it. Listen to some samples here, and then just try not to rush over to iTunes (link requires iTunes - not sure what happens otherwise) and download a few of her songs!


Jimmy Durante and Mrs. Miller perform Inka Dinka Doo.

This is what is currently playing on TV - in Hell.

Bic Banana

Here's a TV ad for Bic Banana Ink Crayons - markers that were quite popular in the 1970's.

That's Charles Nelson Reilly (of course) as the head banana.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Can't Stop Eating

I struggled all weekend about whether to link to this clip about 21-year-old Joe Blackburn - who suffers from Prader-Willi syndrome.

Prader-Willi is - roughly - the "can't stop eating" disease, but it also seems to be causing a whole lot of other problems for Joe - enough to make him the primary subject of the ITV documentary from where these clips were taken.

OK, so long as we all agree that although this clip is called "Funny Bits", and that you'll probably laugh throughout it at Joe's antics, and you'll probably want to watch the full 45-minute version almost immediately... as long as we agree that deep down there is nothing funny about it whatsoever...

Oh, just watch it.

Updated Link: You can view Part 1 of the special here.

Batman and Robin

This clip from an old episode of Superfriends makes me laugh every time I see it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Charlie Jones

Charlie Jones had the unfortunate luck to die within hours of the much more famous Tim Russert.

Charlie was the voice of the AFC - which was before my time, and the host of Pro-Fan and Almost Anything Goes - which weren't.

Almost Anything Goes - if I recall correctly - was a competition featuring contestants from cities across the U.S. doing wacky stunts. It was right up my alley in 1975, and I think I might even have had the home game.

Pro-Fan was one of those syndicated sports shows that Channel 17 played whenever there was a rain delay in the Phillies game. Athletes teamed up with fans to compete in trivia and wacky stunts. I didn't have the home game. It's one of those important shows from my youth, like Can You Top This? - that has probably been completely wiped from existence.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert

I'd love to have had an appropriate tribute to Tim Russert here, but sadly no one has posted his guest-shot on Homicide - as Megan Russert's cousin - to YouTube yet.

In the meantime, enjoy CNN's 24/7 coverage of the topic.

Tim deserves respect for being one of the few Catholics I know besides the Pope - to not be deserving of automatic excommunication (latae sententiae).

Expect Meet The Press to be renamed Meet Depressed for the time being - at least until the standard period of mourning is over.

Jackie DeShannon

Here's Jackie DeShannon on Hullabaloo.

She was a great performer with a talent for writing hit songs (Put a Little Love in Your Heart) and creating hits for others (Needles and Pins, What the World Needs Now Is Love).

This is my favorite of hers.

Wacky Packages

Time to look back at the Wacky Packages phenomenon.

Wacky Packages were stickers made by Topps in the 1970's. They contained spoofs of commercial products that - in retrospect - weren't very imaginative (Quacker Oats..?) - but were HI-LARIOUS when I was nine.

These things were huge - kids stuck them everywhere. And Topps deliberately staggered the way they were released so that it cost a small fortune to "collect 'em all". (I was up to my ass in "Weakies", but never was able to get "Band-Ache").

According to the site, Topps has been making new cards since 2004. Who knew?

Stupid Headlines, Dept.

"Dead at NBC...?"
You might assume he was fired.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


It's high time we had another WTF here on the site. This one is chock-full of nudity, but sanitized for your enjoyment.

The weird thing is I think this is a David Byrne video.

Update: Link fixed, Friday 6/13.

Abe Vigoda

Here's a handy little site that tells you whether Abe Vigoda is still alive or not.

The problem with sites like these is that we won't know if it's working until we confirm that Vigoda is dead by checking other sites - thus rendering this one unnecessary.

This is what is known as the "Fish Conundrum" (aka "The Vigoda Paradox").

Gordon Solie

Well you have to give me some credit, I went forty posts without linking to a Pro Wrestling video. (And since this one is a whopping nine minutes, you might say I am making up for lost time).

If you grew up in Philadelphia, like I did, you probably didn't get to see very much of Gordon Solie - an announcer for the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) usually referred to as the "Walter Cronkite of Wrestling". Gordon ended his career calling WCW matches on TBS - but he was best known for his work with the Georgia and Florida territories.

Gordon's announce-style lent the sport an unprecedented gravitas; he could call a match between two midgets dressed as cowboys with the same degree of respect usually reserved for an Ali-Frazier bout.

Today's video has everything - deranged satanists (Kevin Sullivan and Bob Roop), a mock award ceremony featuring the world's skinniest heavyweight (Kendell Windham), a wrestler pretending to be a reporter (Luna Vachon, masquerading as 'Trudy Herd'), Kevin Sullivan punching a woman in the face, and best of all - Gordon, on the phone with the "Championship Wrestling from Florida" committee - as serious as a heart attack.

I realize nine minutes is a lot to ask, so if you want to cut through some of the bullshit, skip the first three (It's mostly just Kevin Sullivan doing his crazy satan-worshiper schtick - which gets old fast).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mendte at the Dentist

When we last checked with Larry Mendte, he was being grilled by the FBI.

In today's video he is being drilled by the DDS - in a little bit of comedy magic we like to call How Come... at the Dentist.


You're going to be seeing a lot of these between now and November - maps that predict how the electoral votes will go in the upcoming Presidential election.

This one is based on the Intrade Prediction Market. I never heard of them, either - but supposedly they make their forecasters put up money, then reward the ones who predict correctly.

Anyway, I'm amazed at how influential the handful of coastal states are at selecting the President. To look at this map, you might assume Red is trouncing Blue - but look at the totals.

Seems to me like the Midwest might as well just stay home.

Eve of Destruction

Here's Barry McGuire singing Eve of Destruction on Hullaboo or some such show.

The song warns of imminent apocalypse - pretty sophisticated stuff for 1965. It was so controversial that the Byrds refused to record it, and the conservative media often cited it as an example of everything that was wrong with the youth of the day.

It contains one of my favorite lyrics of all-time:
Hate your next-door neighbor... but don't forget to say grace.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

By popular demand...

Feel free to throw tomatoes at me.

Horse Quartet

Pretty much what it looks like is what it is.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Mendte Watch

The local papers are predicting Larry Mendte will soon be history at CBS-3.

If you recall, Mendte is in hot water with the feds (and currently suspended from his job as KYW anchor) for snooping through a co-worker's private e-mails.

Here at the site, we like to celebrate Mendte's happier times - like his days as a would-be comedian doing tired schtick in a San Diego grocery store. Give 'em hell, Larry!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

YouTube Hack

Am told that if you append &fmt=6 or &fmt=18 to the end of a YouTube URL, you get to watch the video in much higher quality. Am not sure if this applies to all videos, or just the ones that already have a perfectly good "watch in high quality" button.

Here is a good example - and here is the same video with the hack.

And here - probably a joke - are special glasses that make DVD and HDTV look just a crappy as YouTube usually does.

Velvet Underground and Nico

Here's Femme Fatale - just a beautiful song written (about Edie Sedgwick) by Lou Reed, and sung by Nico.

Dean vs. The Stones

Here are the Rolling Stones - making their U.S. network television debut on ABC's Hollywood Palace in 1964.

What makes this unique from other rock 'n' roll clips of the sixties, is that host Dean Martin didn't "get" The Stones, and makes it very clear in his reaction and comments after their performance.

The perceived slight by Dean was bad enough that Bob Dylan demanded an apology in the liner notes of his Another Side of Bob Dylan album, and ABC edited Dean from all subsequent repeats of the telecast.

Was it really that bad? See for yourself.

Friday, June 6, 2008

What If...?

Today we examine the nightmare scenario of what 1960's television would have been like in America if the Nazis had won World War II.

I think it would have sounded something like this.

In case there is any confusion - the above photo is a Photoshop, and a bad one at that. There was no actual Nazism on the otherwise wholesome Mister Ed television series. Also, I realize that not all Germans are Nazis. (Although most Nazis were German - at least during the time the original photo was taken... so take that for what you will).

(MP3 courtesy of