Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stephen Colbert


Perhaps feeling Stephen Colbert isn't overexposed enough, Marvel Comics has gone and written him into a Spider-Man comic. (The link also contains pictures from the time "Spidey" met the cast of SNL - the good cast from the 70's - and the time the Avengers met David Letterman. Sadly, it does not contain pictures from any of Johnny Carson's appearances in the 60's Spider-Man comics, but I have them around here somewhere. Stay tuned...)

Lyle the Intern


If you've watched Late Show with David Letterman lately, perhaps you've seen Lyle the Intern - a hilarious character played by comedian Jimmi Simpson.

Here's a clip - the guy's the funniest thing on Letterman since Larry "Bud" Melman.

Tommy Smothers


In case you missed it - Tommy Smothers was recently presented with a long-overdue Emmy for writing on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1968. (Why he didn't get the Emmy in 1968 is explained by presenter Steve Martin).

He got on stage to accept the award and then just basically spoke his mind - telling it like it is. Some thought he was too controversial, but I thought it was one of the more memorable and genuine moments on television in recent years.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stan Kann

Stan Kann is dead.

We will never again see his unique brand of - whatever it was he used to do with vacuum cleaners and such on the old Tonight Show.

This guy was on every talk show in the 70's, and I can't for the life of me remember what his act was. Perhaps this video will refresh my memory.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Public Service...


...for our friends up North.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Conan O'Brien


What's weirder - Conan O' Brien making a joke about trains colliding - just weeks after a horrific train collision in California... or KNBC's decision to cut away during the joke by informing viewers that Conan was about to make a joke about trains colliding..?

Watch and decide for yourself.

Little Britain U.S.A.


Little Britain U.S.A. debuts Sunday night at 10:30 EDT on HBO.

I have mixed feelings about the show. I've seen enough episodes of the original U.K. series to know that it can be very funny. It is also probably the worst offender of any sketch comedy - on either side of the pond - for running a joke into the ground. I bet most of the stuff they do on the first episode will be repeated (with only slight variation) on the second, and then the third, and so on.

Nonetheless, this clip is pretty funny; and I think that the "Fat Fighters" sketch at the end is probably the best thing Rosie O'Donnell has ever done.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Howard Stern


Since taking his act to satellite radio, Howard Stern no longer works Fridays.

Here's how he felt about the subject prior to the move.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Evernote


I've been meaning to recommend Evernote - a (mostly) free online notebook that has a few mind-blowing features worth recommending.

First, it has a feature-rich editor that let's you create anything from simple text notes to professional-looking documents.

Next, you can sync your notes on the web - and access them anywhere, from any PC, Mac, and/or iPhone. (Client freeware is available for any platform).

Now here's the great part: Evernote has incredible character recognition capability. When you search your documents, it will even find text in most images - with startling accuracy. (See the example above - where a search on the word "Amazing" finds it - amazingly - in a 1960's comic book cover image).

Evernote is free, but there is a limit to how much you can keep in your online account. I'm not exactly sure what the capacity is - but it's generous, and the limit is only on a per-month basis. Not a bad deal at all.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chris Rock


Here's a very funny clip of Chris Rock on Monday's Late Show with David Letterman.

The previous guest on the show was former President Bill Clinton - who gave a detailed explanation of the current state of the economy, and mentioned his wife Hillary while discussing ideas for fixing the mess we're currently in.

KISS


Here we have Gene Simmons from the band KISS, then unknown, visiting the Mike Douglas Show in 1974.

Mike's guest-host that week - Totie Fields - is not only thoroughly unimpressed, she even successfully reveals Gene's secret identity!

Stick around for the pasty-faced hippies who won some kind of "KISS" theme contest.

Sanford & Son


Here's a pretty hilarious scene from Sanford & Son.
TV Land, and many other stations, routinely edit material like this out these days - so it's somewhat rare to see.

Hard to believe now, but Channel 48 in Philadelphia (the one that went out of business in 1983) - used this very clip in one of their Sanford and Son promos that aired regularly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

CSI: Miami


Here we have a collection of David Caruso's corny one-liners from CSI: Miami.

The formula goes like this: 1) snappy one-liner, 2) sunglasses, 3) exit stage left, 4) "Won't Get Fooled Again"... Repeat (every damn episode).

Enjoy!

Laugh-In


Sunday's Emmy awards telecast featured an incredibly ill-advised reunion of former Laugh-In regulars attempting to do the "joke wall" schtick that was such a beloved part of the original show almost forty years ago.

Laugh-In, for the uninitiated, was a sketch comedy that aired on NBC in the late sixties/early seventies. Actually, the "sketches" were typically no longer than 15-30 seconds in length, and relied heavily on old jokes and double entendre. It was such a product of its pre-ERA times, that it regularly featured bikini-clad go-go dancers - and nobody was offended.

Getting back to the Emmys - I found the reunion too painful to watch. Was it really a good idea to trot out an 82 year-old, half-dead Alan Sues? At least Goldie Hawn (above - who curiously played "stupid" on the old show) had the good sense not to show up - which is more than we can say for Lily Tomlin, who really should know better.

Here's Laugh-In in happier times.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Brian Wilson


A few weeks go, I told you about the impending release of Brian Wilson's new album That Lucky Old Sun. It's a great album - similar in style to 2004's SMiLE, but with a more contemporary sound.

My favorite track from the album is a collaboration with SMiLE composer Van Dyke Parks called "Live Let Live". It has a classic sound I think you'll enjoy a lot (Why not click here, download it, and give Steve Jobs ninety-nine more cents).

Today's video is a classic - it's Brian and his band singing "That Lucky Old Sun" in the backseat of a British taxi. The performance is surprisingly great considering the band is hurtling through London traffic.

Stick around at the end for a surprise Beach Boys song.

Misogyny


From a May 15 Washington Post article I somehow missed the first time round - here's "Misogyny I Won't Miss" by Marie Cocco.

Not surprisingly, the Hillary nutcracker (above) makes the list.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Political Ads

Here is a nice collection of political TV ads from U.S. Presidential campaigns dating back to 1952. Notice how the "attack" ads from the pre-Kennedy years were a lot less venomous.

To skip right to the good ones, including LBJ's classic "Daisy" ad - click here.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

WTF - Impressions


Hey - Let's watch a guy with Asperger's Syndrome do Futurama impressions. And look - here's another guy with Asperger's Syndrome doing Futurama impressions.

It must go with the territory, huh?

Beatles Rooftop Concert


The Beatles album and film Let It Be (yes it was also a movie, although they never show it anywhere these days due to copyright problems) began life as Get Back - a filmed documentary of the band rehearsing for a proposed live performance.

The live performance turned out to be an unplanned and unannounced concert on the rooftop of Apple Records in central London.

The songs performed made it onto the eventual album Let It Be more or less as heard live, and you can see the concert here (by clicking below) as it was depicted at the end of the movie...

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

The reactions from the people on the streets are priceless, and somewhat touching.

The Fastest Guitar Alive


In 1967, someone thought it was a good idea to cast Roy Orbison in a Civil War-era Western about gold robbers as a guy with a rifle built into his guitar.

The movie - The Fastest Guitar Alive - played on TCM yesterday. If you missed it, this clip should give you a pretty good idea what it was like.

Roy didn't so much act - as stare at the cue cards and read them monotonously. The film only comes alive when Roy sings, and even then falls back down to Earth when he's expected to dance (an activity for which he has no obvious talent).

I guess Roy was still a few years away from his "wear sunglasses and act like a robot" phase - which, had they gone in that direction here, probably would have at least helped the movie achieve cult status.

Bonus: Here's a great site devoted to the film.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gorgeous Tiny Chicken Machine Show


...starring Kiko and Lick Poop.

Pretty much what it sounds like is what it is.

Bob Dylan

Here's Bob Dylan singing one of my favorites of his - "Dignity" - on some kind of VH-1 show or another.

It's worth checking out the lyrics on this one.

Microsoft drops "Seinfeld" ads...


Hey - What's the deal with Microsoft dropping those incomprehensible, unfunny ads - and then claiming it was always part of their plan?!

SNL


Saturday Night Live has set up a site where fans can vote for their favorite political impersonations from the show's history. (The fact that Fred Armisen's abysmal Barack Obama impression is leading Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton leads me to believe that people just might be thinking this is an actual election).

If there is any way that Tim Calhoun (above) could win this thing, I would be a happy person indeed.

Kids in the Hall

Quick - name the funniest sketch comedy show of all-time.
Saturday Night Live
?
OK - name the funniest Canadian sketch comedy show of all-time.
SCTV?
OK - name the second funniest Canadian sketch comedy show of all-time.
Kids in the Hall? Correct!

Although this show always had a cult following, it deserved to be much bigger than it was; some of the sketches were all-time classics, and the cast was solidly funny. (Too bad you rarely see any of them doing much these days).

In America, they aired originally (uncut) on HBO. For some time, they were on CBS (Friday nights, in the days before Letterman arrived) - but most people remember the show being on Comedy Central.

Get ready to laugh - here is one of their funniest sketches.

Marnin and Morgan



Throughout the 80's, cartoonist Drew Friedman and brother/writer Josh Alan Friedman contributed many hilarious cartoons to publications like Heavy Metal and National Lampoon.

Drew is one of my favorite artists. He uses a technique called stippling, or pointillism; he shades his illustrations using little tiny dots - all done by hand. The result - as you can see in today's attachments - was often amazingly realistic, but just off-center enough to be hilarious and slightly surreal.

Most of the Friedman Brothers' comics from this era worked old Hollywood icons into the mix, especially Tor Johnson, Abbott & Costello, and Larry Fine. Today's attachment features Morgan Fairchild - a popular TV sex-symbol from the 80's, and Marnin Rosenberg - a real-life childhood friend of the Friedman Brothers from Long Island.

For some reason, I always remembered this particular strip - especially the "there's farts underneath" line. Very funny stuff.

(Click to enlarge).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sha Na Na

Sha Na Na was a nostalgia act that, from 1977-1982, also had a very entertaining syndicated TV variety show.

Recently, I happened to catch "Bowzer" (real name Jon Bauman, above) on a Time-Life infomercial currently airing on cable. He's a little stockier now - and looks kind of like a fat version of Angelo Cataldi. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed the band back in it's TV heyday.

I was always blown away by Sha Na Na's version of "Summertime", which you can see here. The performance is marred only by late seventies syndication's insistence on inserting fake applause after each and every guitar solo, and the undeniable fact that it's lip-synched.

Other than that, it's pretty great, no?

Water Effect


If you want to add one of these amazing circa-1995 water ripple effects to any picture - just visit this site.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Arabian Knights

When I was a kid, my favorite show was, by far, The Banana Splits - a Saturday morning mix of cartoons, music, and guys in furry animal costumes.

I loved the Splits so much, I begged my parents to take me to see "Fleagle" (my least favorite) when he did a meet-and-greet at "Two Guys" (a defunct 60's variation on Target) in Glenolden (circa '69).

In retrospect, the segments from the show featuring the actual Banana Splits were pretty dismal - just actors horsing around in Phanatic costumes, with dubbed-over voices from Paul Winchell, Alan Melvin, and such. But the cartoons - such as today's YouTube of the very first Arabian Knights episode - were the proverbial cat's ass.

The premise of Arabian Knights is simple - boy, girl, donkey, magician, strongman, and a guy who shouts "Size of an Elephant!" That's pretty much it. If you pull the donkey's tail - he turns into a tornado. Oh, and there are flying carpets.

All the characters are good, but the "Size of an Elephant!" guy is where it's at. He can turn into any animal just by saying the magic words - "Size of an Ostrich!", "Size of a Alpaca!" You get the idea. I occasionally still shout "Size of an Elephant!" to this day for no apparent reason.

I defy you not to enjoy it.

Jack Kerouac

I must confess I have never been able to get through Jack Kerouac's On The Road; all that beatnik-speak and bop-talk gets to me after prolonged exposure.

I once had a week of daily five hour commutes (roughly 2 1/2 hours up and back between Philly and North Jersey); I somehow thought it would be a good idea to pass the time by listening to a recording of actor Matt Dillon reading an unabridged transcript of the book - on several CDs. I made it through one CD before returning control to my regularly scheduled classic rock station.

Anyway, here is a fascinating clip of the man himself, reading from his own book ("Visions of Cody") on an old Steve Allen show. That's Steve on piano. Enjoy!

Shirley Ghostman

Britain's foremost psychic - Shirley Ghostman - channels the spirit of Lady Di. I dare say this clip should make a believer out of even the harshest skeptic.

Friday, September 12, 2008

John Lennon

According to a forthcoming book, John Lennon was a homosexual with an oedipal complex.

Supposedly, there is audio evidence of the latter.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More Cowbell

Here's a site that lets you add more cowbell to any song (MP3) you upload. I can't begin to count all the copyrights this thing violates, so you might want to act fast.

This is, of course, an homage to the beloved SNL skit featuring Christopher Walken.

I tried this last night and got a message explaining how the site was too busy to "render" my submitted song. (It promised to finish offline, but I never did hear the finished product). There are plenty of archived examples if you want to get the general idea.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WikiHow

I subscribe to something on my Google homepage called WikiHow - which today tells us how to make a wallet out of duct tape.

Other articles that will help you look like a complete dork include How to make a Belt out of Construction Paper and How to make a Shirt out of Garbage Bags.

Hadron Collider

Has the Large Hadron Collider destroyed the world yet?

Try and guess what this site has to say about it.

Hint:
I guess we'll never live to see it say otherwise. However - wouldn't it be cool if the universe was sucked into a man-made black hole? I think we can all say we never saw that one coming!

Matt Damon

Noted actuary Matt Damon jumps on the bandwagon of panicking liberals.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Belief-O-Matic

Looking for a new religion? Having trouble deciding which one is for you? Well why not let the Belief-O-Matic make that decision for you? Just answer twenty philosophical questions, and find out which major religion (including Scientology) your beliefs are most in tune with.

Interestingly, I only matched 35% with my religion-of-record (Catholicism), but scored 100% with Reformed Judaism. A bi gezunt!

Top 15 (Unintentionally) Funny Comics

Here's a collection of comic panels - mainly from yesteryear - that are unintentionally funny.

The "Joker's Boner" story is even funnier in its entirety; he uses the word all through the comic.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Unbrella Today?

For people who like to keep their weather simple, there's Umbrella Today?

Try to guess how it works.

Adam McKay

A few outspoken liberals - like the guy who directed Step Brothers - are starting to panic.

Venture Bros.

video

Cartoon Network is airing repeats of my current favorite TV show - Venture Bros. - every night at 12:30 am. (The recently-completed third season is on Saturdays around the same time.)

I'm embedding this short clip because the version on YouTube doesn't quite do it justice. Here we have 21 and 24 - two minor, but hilarious characters; they're the main "henchmen" for The Monarch (the guy at 1:05 with the long eyebrows.)

See if you can guess what beloved TV star they based the voice of #24 on.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sparks

Whenever anybody asks me what my all-time favorite musical performance from Saturday Night Live is - (actually nobody ever asks me, I just volunteer the information and they nod politely) - I always say this performance by Sparks from 1981/82 or so.

It's got Danny DeVito in it, but don't let that stop you from enjoying it.

What If - Lawrence Welk was a Hippie?

What if Lawrence Welk got fed up with playing polka music, and starting playing acid rock?

Well it REALLY happened, folks (in 1969) - and we've got the YouTube to prove it!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bill Gates meets Seinfeld

When they get around to doing the "Whatever Happened to Microsoft" documentary - this will be on near the end.

Chad Ocho-Cinco

Here's Chad Ocho-Cinco.

He used to be just plain "Chad Johnson" - #85 for the Cincinnati Bengals - until he recently had his surname legally changed to match his uniform number. I guess "Chad Eighty-Five" sounded pretentious, so he went with the Spanish equivalent.

The whole thing is un pequeno loco, no?

Convention Words

Someone at The New York Times counted all the words spoken at the Democratic and Republican conventions. (Well, they claim to have done this - who's going to check?)

Guess which word the Democrats used more than any other. No surprise there. Now guess which word the Republicans are selling...

Lily Allen vs. Elton John

Here we have a boozed-up Lily Allen and bitter old queen Elton John appearing together at some kind of GQ awards show.

Elton makes a bitchy remark (there's a shocker) - and you get yourself a big ol' (verbal) catfight. Meeeeow!

Enjoy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Things I Hate: Idiotic Wavers on Cell Phones

Sorry I couldn't find a YouTube example of this, but I'm starting to get fed up with these idiots at the convention who stand behind the CNN crew staring into the camera, yakking into their cell phones. I guess they're saying, "Hey Marge - turn on CNN... it's me!" Big deal, can't CNN control these morons?

It's not a baseball game for chrissakes.

Savage Dragon

In what has got to be viewed as a serious blow to the Republicans, Savage Dragon is endorsing Barack Obama for President.

Not sure if you turn the comic over and he's endorsing McCain on the back cover (the old Mad Magazine trick), but given that it's de rigueur to publicly worship at the feet of Obama these days, I doubt it.

According to the press release:
Savage Dragon made his initial play for the Presidential election in the 2004 campaign, but rescinded once the man claiming to be his running mate turned out to be Dreadknight, a supervillain bent on world domination.
And they say John McCain is lousy at vetting!

NFL TV Distribution Maps

The 2008 NFL Season kicks off tonight in New Jersey (Redskins at Giants on NBC).

Did you ever wonder, while you were watching your local team play on Sunday afternoon, which games play in different areas of the country? Of course you did! And now, thanks to the miracle of Google Maps and this mildly interesting site - you need never wonder again.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Chrome

There is much buzz these days about Chrome - Google's forthcoming browser. It's supposed to revolutionize the way we look at the web.

Google hired noted artist Scott McCloud to do a comic strip introduction - which gives you some idea what the browser is all about. You can view it here.

You can download a beta version of Chrome from Google, although I wouldn't recommend it. Wait for the real thing.