Thursday, July 31, 2008

What Goes On

Did you ever hear bits of chatter, background noise, coughing and such - while listening to old Beatles records?

What Goes On has a list of these types of anomalies heard on Beatles records - including the infamous Lennon F-bomb during "Hey Jude".

Everybody knows Lennon sang "cranberry sauce" (or was it "I bury Paul") at the end of "Strawberry Fields Forever"... but did you know somebody sings "Hit me with a pizza" during "Across The Universe"...?

Austin Powers 4

Mike Myers is writing Austin Powers 4. Wait, it gets worse - the film is described as a "tribute" to his late father, and will concentrate on the relationship between Doctor Evil and his son Scott Evil.

The good news is that this cannot possibly be worse than The Love Guru. The bad news is we'll have to sit through him telling the Gilda Radner story on every talk show again when he promotes it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Siskel and Ebert

Here's a funny video of Siskel and Ebert arguing.

If you hang in there for two minutes or so, you get to hear Siskel launch into a half-serious tirade against Protestants. Despite coming across as a bit of a tool in this clip, ever-cool Ebert posted it on his website last week.

Judge Judy / Earthquake

Let's all watch with schadenfreude as yesterday's Los Angeles earthquake throws the set of Judge Judy into chaos.

Note: Judy is the first one outta there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Plastic Ono Band

If you can find the VH1 Classic channel on your cable box, they are airing a one-hour special tomorrow night at 7:00 PM EDT devoted to one of my favorite albums - John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band.

This was Lennon's first solo studio album (I'm not counting the avant-garde stuff he did with Yoko - she was wisely kept to a minimum here). It was very edgy stuff for a Beatle - with angry songs like "God", "Working Class Hero" and "Mother", I think it really redefined how Lennon would be regarded for the rest of his career.

Interestingly - the lineup of musicians on this record was once floated by Lennon as a possible "New Beatles", with Ringo on drums, Klaus Voorman replacing Paul on bass, and Billy Preston reprising his "Get Back" role on piano. (George Harrison is absent, but he appears on Lennon's follow-up Imagine).

The great (at the time) Phil Spector produced it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mitchell and Webb - The Identity Killer

Continuing this site's support of all things Mitchell and Webb - here (in two parts) is the "Identity Killer" sketch...

Part 1 and Part 2.

You'll laugh until you stop.

Philadelphia Soul

The Philadelphia Soul has won the Arena League Football championship.

To underscore that nobody in Philadelphia really cares, today's Delco Times interviews a handful of people in a bar who don't really care.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Action Family

For a brief time in the 1980's, the Cinemax pay-channel had a reputation for showcasing cutting-edge comedy; they had new episodes of SCTV, as well as specials by Harry Shearer, Merrill Markoe, Gilbert Gottfried, and Chris Elliott.

Elliott did two such specials for the network's Comedy Experiment series. The philosophy behind Comedy Experiment seemed to be "We're not sure if this is funny or not - you be the judge."

Today, I'm linking to Elliott's first Cinemax special - Action Family. If you're a fan of Elliott's comedy, you'll get it - and love it.

If you're not... well, you were warned.

Arby's Big Hat Signs

Pictured above is an Arby's Big Hat Sign. I snapped that picture myself for a blog I worked on last year and later accidentally deleted. (All three of my regular readers were terribly upset).

Would you believe that there are entire websites devoted to Arby's Big Hat Signs? Oh, it's true.

Friday, July 25, 2008

919

"Bowzer" from Put Up Your Dukes (?) makes the convincing argument for updating the 1-10 system of ranking women - to a more descriptive "area code" system.

For example - Kate Hudson (above) would be a "919", and Sarah Jessica Parker a "518".

Without even looking at the article, you might be able to figure out why Rosie O' Donnell is a "000".

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Virginia O'Brien

Here's Virginia O'Brien singing Lullaby (Rock-a-bye-Baby) from The Big Store.

She had loads of talent, but only one facial expression (see picture). The result was always entertaining and frequently hilarious.

According to Wikipedia, the act was borne from stage fright - which proves that social anxiety sometimes can be a wonderful thing. Enjoy!

Scary Logos revisited

In my zeal to wax nostalgic about the "S From Hell" yesterday - I neglected to mention the creepiest television logo of all time. I'm referring of course to the Dic - "Kid in Bed" ident from the 1980's.

We have a kid - in bed - and he's sleeping under an open window while sinister music is playing. Not creepy enough for you? OK - we slowly zoom out through the window, and everybody naturally expects Freddy Krueger and/or The Wolf-Man to be standing outside. Instead we get the Dic (Dic? WTF?) logo, and a WEIRD little voice pronouncing it.

Get ready to wet your pants, here it is.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Celebrity Family Feud, again.

I'm recommending Celebrity Family Feud again - which this week gives us the battle we've all been waiting for - Tiki Barber vs. Ed McMahon.

Ed has a broken neck, and desperately needs money - so the fact that he slumps through this episode like he's half-dead is especially touching.

The S From Hell (and others)

Today we consider the "S From Hell" - a creepy logo used by Screen Gems television in the 60's and 70's. The video is here - if you dare watch it.

It appeared at the tail-end of The Monkees, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and just about everything else I watched as a kid. It didn't quite scare me, as it did others - but there was no denying the music had an other-worldly, slightly malevolent feel to it.

Here is an approximation of the typical viewer reaction when the "S From Hell" would appear on the screen.

I was of a similar opinion on the NBC Peacock - whose fevered soundtrack could certainly not have been composed by a normal brain. (By the way - the 1950's Peacock ident -with its opening gong - is the only one I would describe as "scary").

Since good things come in threes - I have also included the old PBS ident. Nothing says "get ready for a pledge drive" quite like it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Dangers of Live Television News

Television news is a dangerous business - in addition to having a co-anchor snoop through your e-mail 7000 times, you can be also slapped by a redneck, set on fire, stomped by a horse, and/or hit with a cake; all while the cameras are rolling.

If you're not one of the 429,000 people who already viewed this video, consider this your lucky day - it's consistently hilarious.

My favorite is the woman who gets bitch-slapped by the cat - then pouts like Jane Krakowski. Enjoy!

Celebrity Math

Today's Celebrity Math is fairly straight-forward: Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadžić minus The Heat Miser equals... Father Ted. Simple arithmetic, really.

Celebrity Math was a regular feature of Spy Magazine, which has not been around for years - so why shouldn't I swipe the idea?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mendte Watch

Former KYW anchor Larry Mendte was charged by federal prosecutors today for hacking into (equally former) co-anchor Alycia Lane's e-mail account (reportedly over 7000 times according to FOX-29).

Speaking of FOX-29, they reported the story on their 10 O'clock newscast tonight. In one of those incredibly awkward television moments, Mrs. Mendte (Dawn Stensland) was co-anchoring, sitting silently while other reporters more or less painted Mendte as a stalker and a criminal.

In the meantime, let's enjoy the black-and-white photo of a young Mendte from his Access Hollywood salad days.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The "Make the Web Editable" code

I bet you thought we would NEVER have another recommended tech here at the Universe, didn't you?

Well, today's tip is a barrel of laughs - it lets you edit any web page by just entering a single line of code in the address bar of your browser.

Any text you edit will automatically adapt to the style of the web page - so you can make your own phony screen-shots like the one above. Some fun, eh?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Spider-Man's Greatest Bible Stories


Found here. Click to enlarge.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kinks

The Kinks perform "Days" - a song that would not be out of place in a Wes Andersen movie.

Superman is a Dick

Finally - a website brave enough to tell the truth - Superman is a Dick!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Circle Sky

video

Here we see The Monkees performing "Circle Sky" from their 1968 film Head.

Interesting fact about Head - it is often erroneously reported as having been R-rated, when it was in fact originally rated "G" (one of the earliest films to receive an MPAA rating). Note that it was rated "G" despite the Vietnam sequences in the attached video - including the depiction of a REAL summary execution.

Interesting fact about "Circle Sky" - it features the band playing their own instruments live. Most of the songs the Monkees did on their TV show, and all of the other songs performed in Head - used session musicians.

And quite a nice performance it is, too. Mike Nesmith wrote a few very good pop songs that attempted to steer the band in a unique direction; this was definitely one of better tries.

Helen Helper

...courtesy of National Lampoon (click to enlarge).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Other People's Blogs

Red-Headed Golems are now writing material for other people's blogs. (Near the bottom. Kind of inside, but clearly the "funniest e-mail of the week", and it's still only Wednesday..!)

Yahoo!

While Google and Microsoft battle over Yahoo!, I only just now discover that when you click the exclamation point on Yahoo's logo - you get a nice little (audio) easter egg.

All joking aside...

Lots of interesting entertainment news today - Jay Leno hinted that he might jump to ABC (continuing Jimmy Kimmel's "death by a thousand cuts" week of bad news), Amy Poehler will star in The Office spinoff (and is presumably leaving SNL), and nobody in their right mind would be suggesting Heath Ledger deserves an Oscar for playing the Joker if he hadn't died.

Oh, and that guy from CSI is leaving the show.

BTW - new logo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Intellivision

Back in the early 80's - our family owned an Intellivision video game console, and I occasionally took breaks from playing it to eat meals and grab a few hours sleep.

There were really only two video game systems back then - Atari and Intellivision (followed in 1982 by Colecovision, followed in 1983 by the bottom dropping out of the whole industry. But I digress...)

In those days - unlike the way things work today - games made for one system weren't available for the other, and vice-versa. Atari had the more popular games (Asteroids, Space Invaders), but Intellivision had (arguably) the better game system.

Loyalty between the two camps was fierce. Claims made against the other in TV ads were taken very personally - which brings us to today's link.

Feeling the heat from Intellivision, Atari aired an ad with an annoying kid (not unlike the annoying kid in today's video - only different) comparing all Atari's popular space games to the "competition". Of course, the competition - Intellivision - didn't have any popular space games, so the "comparison" was a blank screen. Ouch.

Intellivision responded almost immediately with this ad - which not only pointed out that they had recently released several fine knockoffs of the Atari games (I had 'em all - and can attest to their unqualified awesomeness), but then proceeded to make fun of the obnoxious Atari kid with a knockoff of HIM as well.

All this, and the late George Plimpton. How can you go wrong?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Clint

My new favorite blog - Is Mark Evanier Mentally Ill? shows us why comic books should avoid characters with the name "Clint".

Silverman/Kimmel

The answer to the age-old question "Is there a more overrated couple than Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman?" - just got a whole lot simpler.

Adam West

If you've been looking to buy a ridiculously expensive bust of Adam West as Bruce Wayne, then you're dream has finally come true.

You get your choice of tweed jacket or whatever it is he's wearing in the above picture (smoking jacket?). Decisions, decisions - old chum.

Amazon.com invents new word...

Sadly, "grillionaire" is only applicable to one person.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Michael Jackson/David Letterman

Here's Michael Jackson and David Letterman doing sketch comedy from a Jackson 5 variety series in the 70's.

Letterman did a lot of this kind of nonsense when he was just starting out - The Gong Show, Mork & Mindy, dancing and singing on a Mary Tyler Moore variety show. I remember the first time I noticed him he was the announcer on The Starland Vocal Band show. Then, one day he guest-hosted the Tonight show, and was almost immediately the heir-apparent to Johnny Carson.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Beatles


...or is it?

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Mamas and the Papas

...or is it?

Don't Ask, Just Listen: Liberace

From AprilWinchell.com - Liberace "interprets" You Don't Bring Me Flowers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

100th Post

Black Hole

Add "black hole" to the growing list of racially-insensitive terms.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Metamorphosis

Here's a magic trick from an act known as "The Pendragons". It's called Metamorphosis - and even if I knew how it was done (I don't, but some comments on the YouTube page claim they do), I would still be in awe of the part where she vanishes and he appears.

Celebrity Family Feud

Today, I'm recommending you watch something called Celebrity Family Feud - a bizarre bit of nonsense I endured on NBC last night.

Where else can you see the cast of The Office (The B-Team, of course) play American Gladiators at Family Feud?

What's especially odd about this show is that although Steve Carell, Rain Wilson et al - had the good sense not to show up, the entire cast of My Name Is Earl apparently did not - they're all here.

Also - the Earl cast plays the entire game in character. Whereas the Office cast gets to use their real names, Jason Lee is referred to as "Earl" throughout this.

Another thing - apparently unable to persuade a fourth series to participate in this debacle, the Earl cast plays against a team called The Camden County All-Stars - which as far as I can tell is a group of bit players from various episodes of Earl - also in character.

Still not interested? - well apparently Tim Stack (Son of the Beach's Notch Johnson) is playing himself here as a raging alcoholic. (By the way - should I be watching My Name Is Earl, or was I correct in prejudging it as low-brow nonsense?)

OK, one last thing - is Al Roker the host of the real Family Feud? I must say he is incredibly unmemorable here, which probably makes him the ideal choice for such an embarrassing excuse for a show.

Enjoy!

Fattest U.S. States

Which U.S. states are the fattest? The answer lies here. (And in the above image, if you can't be bothered to read the article!)

Hang your heavy head in shame, deep South.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Surf The Channel

I only recently discovered this site - which features lots and lots of copyrighted material like movies currently playing in theaters and such.

I wouldn't even sully the fine reputation this website has slowly built over the past 90-odd posts, except that it also contains many TV shows that I highly recommend - some of which are unavailable elsewhere in the U.S.

So I recommend you check out the following TV shows: Car 54, Where Are You?, The Fast Show, Father Ted, Garth Merenghi's Darkplace (above), I'm Alan Partridge, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (video links broken at press time), Rutland Weekend Television, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Spaced, That Mitchell and Webb Look, The Venture Bros., and the greatest show ever - The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour. (Just kidding - or am I?)

There are many other fine TV shows on this site - but these are the ones which I most recommend which you may have missed.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Moe's Death Scream

Again, pretty much what it sounds like is what it is.

Dickhead Owns Himself

You heard me.

And while we're at it - here's a little girl falling off a stage.

Note: I'm not sure what the YouTube obsession with rerunning the same video in increasingly slow motion is all about, but it seems to be the way to go with these type of vids.

The 25 Best High-Tech Pranks

Here's great fun - 25 ways to mess around with a co-worker's (mostly Windows) computer and make their lives a living hell.

Proceed with caution - it's probably a good way to get fired if you get caught.

Fallon on FOX

Comedy genius Jimmy Fallon does a "funny" weather forecast on FOX-29.

He's about as funny here as he was on SNL - so take that for what it's worth.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Garfield (minus the cat)

Did you ever wonder what Garfield would be like without Garfield?

Terribly depressing, it turns out.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Faceless Aliens in Wimbledon

"Aliens" without faces attended Wimbledon this year.

Everyone seems to agree it's a stunt, but nobody knows who/what's behind it.

Smothers Brothers

One of my favorite clips on YouTube, from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Tommy informs the audience he has a special guest - "a Beatle". Dick (brilliantly) sets it up like it might just be another joke, but then....

Bozo, R.I.P.

Larry Harmon, who popularized Bozo the Clown - but didn't invent him (as Mark Evanier is quick to point out) - is dead.

According to Evanier, Harmon was also cheap.

Today, I'm linking to a special YouTube in Bozo's honor. Goodnight, you funny, funny, cheap man.

The Ben Franklin/Betsy Ross Wedding

In Philadelphia, Ben Franklin married Betsy Ross last night.

Now, I know this sounds like an incredibly dumb publicity stunt - and it is - but it was also a real live wedding between the actors who portray Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross at tourist attractions.

Yes, Philly has a guy who looks like Ben Franklin - and he is about as ubiquitous as the Phillie Phanatic in this town. I've never seen the Betsy Ross look-a-like before, but I'll assume she hangs out near the Betsy Ross House - a tourist site that people mainly visit when Independence Hall is crowded.

I'd suggest next Independence Day would be perfect for the Betsy Ross Divorce party - but that would be in questionable taste.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A Mad Look At...

...Independence Day (courtesy Mad Magazine and Al Jaffee)