Saturday, January 31, 2009


In case you missed it, something remarkable happened on David Letterman's Late Show last night.

Fifteen years ago, someone from either the show or the network (reports vary) cut a stand-up comedy performance by Bill Hicks from airing on that night's broadcast. Being cut from the show deeply effected Hicks, who tragically died several months later from pancreatic cancer.

Letterman obviously felt guilty about the incident. In addition to taking responsibility for originally cutting the segment, last night he personally apologized to Hicks' mother - and then finally aired the excised segment in its entirety.

Why was it cut in the first place? I suppose it might have been controversial in 1993 - but it doesn't seem even remotely so now. In any case, it was a class move by Letterman - and Mary Hicks, while accepting his apology, doesn't exactly let Dave off unscathed. Well worth watching.

Darkplace: Glasgow

From Darkplace, Garth Merenghi (Matthew Holness) recalls the nightmare of spending a night in Glasgow, Scotland.

I've been to Glasgow - he's being kind.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Macdade Boulevard

Once upon a time I ran a blog devoted to a nearby street named MacDade Boulevard.

One day, I accidentally erased that blog. Like the Collingdale Pretzel Factory, it was suddenly gone.

The pictures still exist, for those who wish to relive the magic.

A few things have changed on old MacDade in the past year - two pretzel stores are down, a Thai restaurant has been renamed, and what was the future site of Chick-Fil-A is now a Chick-Fil-A.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Drunken Negro Face" cookies

Currently on sale in Greenwich Village - the "Drunken Negro Face" cookie.

Wait, it gets worse...

Pekar on Letterman

Let's watch Harvey Pekar commit talk show suicide on David Letterman's old NBC show.

This scene was recreated in the film American Splendor featuring Paul Giamatti as Pekar. If you saw that film, you know Harvey essentially went on the show looking for trouble in the first place.

Dave gets legitimately angry here, and - according to Pekar's comic strip based on the appearance - reportedly told Pekar, "You f---ed up a good thing." when they went to commercial.

Pekar, who had been a regular guest prior to this appearance, never appeared again. Update: Harvey was banned from the show for a few years, but did return in the early '90s.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

22 Panels That Always Work

Here is a classic from an original Mad artist: Wally Wood's 22 Panels That Always Work!!

The theory here is that when you must draw a comic panel consisting of no action - just one or two characters talking - there are at least twenty-two proven ways you can make that panel visually interesting.

Rourke vs. Jericho?

It's beginning to look like Mickey Rourke might just be wrestling Chris Jericho at the upcoming Wrestlemania.

This is a disturbing turn of events, because despite the fact that it will help spike the pay-per-view's buy rate - it can invariably only hurt the careers of both men.

Rourke is just getting his respect back in Hollywood and doesn't particularly need to be involving himself with such an event (I guess the OSCAR vote is in, so it won't hurt him there, but still...). Jericho will inevitably "lose" any such encounter (celebs always come out on top at Wrestlemania - with the notable exception of Pete Rose) - which will just make him look weak in the eyes of wrestling fans.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hollywood's Wildest Love Duos

One of Drew Friedman's more alarming ones from National Lampoon circa late '80s.

(Note: Other than Borgnine and Merman - who really were married for a few days - I cannot confirm the veracity of the other couples depicted in this strip.) Click for the "big" version.

Monday, January 26, 2009

8 Films in Black and Red

Flickr user OilyMoss re-imagines eight movie posters in black and red (and white).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hulkamania at 25

This weekend marks the 25th Anniversary of both Macintosh computers and Hulkamania.

Hulk Hogan, known best these days as the creepy egotistical star of reality TV, won the WWF Title on January 23, 1984 - defeating future train wreck Iron Shiek in a carefully orchestrated squash match. For the next few years, Hulk rode a wave of popularity as the head cartoon character in a federation full of giants, snakes, and warriors.

Today's clip
is from the early days of Hulk's original WWF title run. Everyone's pretending Hulk got his physique from "vitamins", Vince McMahon is in his "I'm just an announcer" mode - making believe he's not really a tyrannical millionaire, and they all treat "Lord" Alfred Hayes like a red-headed stepchild.

Friday, January 23, 2009


For no particular reason, I invite you to watch Donovan on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

This was from the same show where George Harrison made a surprise cameo, so there is plenty of hippie "peace and love" in the air. (Dig the crazy audience that looks like senior class assembly at West Hollywood High).

Donovan was quite good - sort of a cross between Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney; well worth iTuning.

Mad Magazine

Mark Evanier reports the disturbing news that Mad Magazine is cutting back its circulation from monthly to quarterly.

He sees it as a way of keeping the brand alive (ala National Lampoon and Cracked, both of which ceased publication - but still exist on the web), but in a way that likely triggers the end is near for Mad - the magazine.


Since tomorrow is the 25th Anniversary of the Macintosh, let's all watch the Super Bowl ad that introduced it to an angry and confused audience of millions.

Old Devo

Hey look - Devo got old.

This is the classic lineup featuring the two sets of Mothersbaugh and Casale brothers. I read online somewhere that drummer Alan Myers is now working as an electrical contractor.

Mascarita Dorada

Now, you know I wouldn't ask you to watch two Mexican midgets wrestling, unless it was incredibly awesome.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Grandma's Graphics

Here's a site that offers a nice collection of vintage clip-art, including a complete set of Alice in Wonderland illustrations by Sir John Tenniel.

These are all in the public domain, which basically means you can use the illustrations however you like, without fear of copyright infringement.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I don't "get" Twitter.

I don't really care what anyone is doing, and most Twitter entries I have seen are of the "Who gives a shit?" variety.

Twitter is popular though, and shows no signs of going away. To help us all better understand its benefits - here's an article about everyday uses in the real world.

Warning: Article contains the example twitter "Dude, Kathy Griffin is coming to Portland March 4th."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Worst Presidents

There's been a lot of discussion about Presidential Approval Ratings lately; here's a list of all the Presidents and their ratings since Gallop started measuring them just after World War II.

There have been a lot of bad Presidents during my lifetime : LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush I and II, Clinton - not exactly Mount Rushmore.

Who was the worst? Not even close - we just got rid of him.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Electric Company

Am told there is a revival of The Electric Company on PBS.

I'll be sure to check it out, but I doubt it's as good as the original. That show, which ran from 1971 to 1977 on PBS (and then in repeats until 1985), featured the considerable talents of Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno (both above, and in today's clip), Bill Cosby, Jim Boyd, Judy Graubart (a sort of Gilda Radner for the pre-school set), and many others including Joan Rivers, Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, and Tom Lehrer all contributing material.

Even big names like Carol Burnett, Rowan and Martin, and Lily Tomlin would sometimes drop by. In fact, once you got the obligatory phonics lessons out of the way - the show seemed somewhat like a light-hearted version of a prime-time sketch comedy for kids.

There's more information about the original here.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bing Sings Wings

Bing Crosby (aka Stevie Riks) sings the music of Paul McCartney and Wings.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Beatles Off-White

Continuing with the all-Beatles theme...

I found this tonight while perusing Vinnie Rattolle's old record blog. It's a bootleg called Off White, and it consists mainly of demo versions of songs intended for what was to become The White Album.

The unreleased stuff here includes John's "Child of Nature" (the melody of which later turned up on his classic "Jealous Guy"), Paul's "Goodbye" (given to Mary Hopkin, but Paul's simple version is a classic), a shortened version of John's "What's the New Mary Jane?" (interesting, but never very good), and John's "Everyone Had a Hard Year" - which was eventually combined with Paul's "I've Got A Feeling"

There are also demos of "Revolution", "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "Hey Jude", and a handful of classics. You can download the whole shebang here.

Ding Dong (George Harrison)

I'm sorry I didn't discover this video in time for New Years (it was originally intended as a New Years song), but it kind of applies to what's going on in Washington this week if you think about it.

Ethnic Slurs

Here's an interesting list of ethnic slurs from Wikipedia.

I was particularly interested in the various terms of endearment for the Irish through the centuries.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Here's an interesting article that claims if you tune a radio to static, and then tape halved ping-pong balls over your eyelids, you will start hallucinating within minutes.

So now you know what I'll be trying this weekend.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stevie Riks

I've spent the better part of this past week watching comic/musician Stevie Riks impersonate Paul McCartney on YouTube. He does John, George, and Ringo too - sometimes all at once. In fact, he imitates just about every famous British rock star from the '60s and '70s on his hilarious (and highly recommended) YouTube channel.

Marvel Bullpen 1969

For comic book geeks only - here's a four-page insert from Fantastic Four Annual #7 (1969) - featuring photographs of many of the Marvel artists, writers, and creators of the time.

There are a number of my favorite artists here - John Romita, John Buscema, Neal Adams, Steranko, Herb Trimpe, Dick Ayers, Gene Colan... one of my all-time favorites John Severin, Bill Everett (who created Sub-Mariner), and Jack Kirby (who, along with Stan Lee, created just about everything else). Sadly, this was well after Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spider-Man, and the comics equivalent of J.D. Salinger) left the company.

As always, click to see bigger versions.

Patrick McGoohan, RIP

Patrick McGoohan is dead at age 80.

McGoohan co-created and starred in a revolutionary TV series in 1967 called The Prisoner - every episode of which is viewable online. The show, which was one of the best you're likely to ever see (in my opinion) started off odd, got progressively crazier, and culminated in a finale that was totally bizarre and somewhat subversive for network TV.

If interested, all the episodes are here.

Ricardo Montalban, RIP

I became a big fan of Ricardo Montalban while watching Fantasy Island repeats on Comcast last year. The show could be kind of cheesy, but Montalban, (above left with Herve Villechaize) who played his role - Mister Rourke - as a kind of sinister demigod, always raised the level of quality whenever he was onscreen.

I even considered writing a fan letter after watching him in Escape from the Planet of the Apes, where he uttered the immortal line: "You're asking me to risk imprisonment for the sake of two fugitive apes? The answer is- a thousand times- YES!..."

In retrospect, I kind of wish I'd written him - he died today at age 88.

Montalban was good in a lot of things - Star Trek (the series and the movie he was in), a handful of TV shows, movies, and even (perhaps especially) The Naked Gun.

Seacrest's "Blind Man's High Five"

Last night on American Idol, host Ryan Seacrest attempted to high-five blind contestant Scott MacIntyre.

As expected, MacIntyre left him hanging.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Starship Size Comparison Chart

Calling all geeks - here's a nifty Starship Size Comparison Chart featuring all your favorites such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and the rest.

Wow - who knew the Galactic Empire Executor Class was almost eleven miles long?

Mickey Rourke / Guy Fawkes

Mickey Rourke's face looks like a Guy Fawkes mask.

But the guy has had a lot of problems lately - problems that he is only recently starting to dig himself out from under. So if you were hoping I'd do a "Celebrity Math" about it - forget it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Fab-tastic Four

A cartoon from - John, Paul, George, and Thingo... The Fab-tastic Four!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ringo again.

Ringo is still warning us with peace and love, only this time he's singing it.


When it comes to video game consoles, why settle for a Wii when you can have a Swii?

It's a terribly cheap knock-off, but you must admit the names are similar,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I Love Lucy (In Color)

In October, 1951 - someone attending a taping of I Love Lucy brought along a color 16mm camera. (I guess studios were a lot more relaxed about such things back then).

The resulting footage, shot from the audience, is a fascinating artifact of what it must have been like to attend a TV taping back then. And today's video intersperses the 16mm footage with the actual broadcast episode. It's amazing.

For more details, the whole story is here.

Ringo: Peace and Love

Ringo warns us - with "peace and love" to stop sending him objects to sign.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Dark Knight

Hey - guess what movie I finally got around to seeing this week? It's the same movie everyone else in the universe loved, and I didn't. In fact, I found it to be 152 minutes of mind-numbing nonsense. (And my tolerance for mind-numbing nonsense is unusually high - for example, I seem to be the only person who loved the recent Incredible Hulk movie).

If you guessed The Dark Knight - you are absolutely correct! But don't feel bad if you liked it - 328,000 users of IMDB say it's the fifth greatest movie of all-time. $500 million dollars worth of ticket sales can't be wrong, and the late, great Heath (above) is a shoe-in to win an Academy Award (Marlon Brando is spinning in his grave) for basically doing a cheap Johnny Depp impression.

Obviously, I'm the crazy one here.

After enduring this noisy, disjointed mess-terpiece, I found this page quite helpful. It provides answers to lingering questions from the film such as "Wouldn't getting half your face burned off - hurt?" (Yes, it would), and "How could Batman and Rachael survive a 1,000 foot drop off a skyscraper and into a parked car?"

Hardcore Holly

A beloved wrestling classic from a few years ago - "Hardcore" Bob Holly is in an extremely bad mood during an interview with Michael Cole.

Holly's ad-lib at the end is especially entertaining, as this was broadcast live on national television.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2008's Sexiest Magazine Covers

January 7, 2009 - the date this site resorted to prurience.

Here's a site that's incredibly useful.

Do you ever get those repeated calls where you can't determine who's on the other line from the Caller-ID; the ones that say "OUT OF AREA" or "UNLISTED CALLER"...? Did you ever wonder who or what is repeatedly trying to contact you?

This site does a pretty good job of telling you who is on the other end of the line, and what they want from you.

Just enter the number (from Caller ID - you need Caller ID for this), and will list any user-submitted experiences with it. For me, it correctly identified a persistent Verizon sales call, and a B.S. collection agency scam.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dean Learner (Richard Ayoade)

Richard Ayoade is a funny guy. He was one of the brains behind Garth Merenghi's Darkplace (an edited version of which ran on Sci-Fi last year), and can currently be seen on The IT Crowd (IFC, Tuesdays).

Today's clip is from Man to Man with Dean Learner - a show which has yet to air here in the U.S. It's another collaboration with Garth Merenghi himself - Matthew Holness - so it's probably hilarious; the clip certainly is.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wilford Brimley for Diabetes

Wilford Brimley delivers a very informative message about diabetes.

E-mail this video to your friends - no explanation given.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year from CNN...

In the interest of equal time, here's the CNN New Year's gaffe. That rumbling you hear in the distance is Edward R. Murrow spinning in his grave.

Happy New Year from FOX News...

...and let's hope the magic negro does a good job!

TV Squad discusses the incident here.

For Geeks Only

The BBC has announced the actor who will be the next Doctor Who.

Spider-Man Zaps Mr. Zodiac

Above is a "Big Little Book" I owned as a child called Spider-Man Zaps Mr. Zodiac.

What is a "Big Little Book" I hear you ask? Well, it was a once-popular comic publishing format for children; too sleight to be considered as a proper book, but too book-like to be considered a comic. You could usually find them in 5&10-type stores near the color-forms. If you think the whole concept sounds dated and depressing, perhaps that's why "Big Little Books" went the way of the dinosaurs shortly after Spider-Man zapped Mr. Zodiac.

Today's link
is an old favorite of mine. James Lileks pokes fun at the book's crazy pizza-obsessed plot and absurdist artwork.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cookie Monster / WTC

Found on Cookie Monster destroys the World Trade Center (and much of the NYC skyline from the looks of things).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Charles Barkley

Hoops legend Charles Barkley's DUI arrest isn't that funny, but his reason for speeding is downright hilarious.

Calculate Calories Needed to Lose Weight

To help with your New Year's resolutions - here is How to Calculate How Many Calories You Need to Eat to Lose Weight, featuring a video hosted by a woman with arms like Ted Kluszewski.