Monday, November 30, 2009

Ramones - "Carbona Not Glue"

Many people assume the song "Carbona Not Glue" by the Ramones (performed here live) was pulled from their 1977 album Leave Home due to complaints from the Carbona stain removal company. (After all, the boys are singing about sniffing the company's product).

Not so, according to Wikipedia. "Carbona" was pulled because Tony Morris, the managing director of Sire Records' British distributor, felt the song was a little too pro substance abuse. (Oddly enough, "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue" from their previous album was spared controversy.)

The song was still too hot in 1992 when it appeared uncredited on the band's Loco Live CD

The song magically re-appeared - sans controversy - in Rhino's CD reissue of Leave Home.

Lynn Anderson - "I've Been Everywhere"

Many forget Lynn Anderson - one of the most successful Country artists of her day - actually got her big break as a regular on The Lawrence Welk Show.

Here she is in 1968 - about 20 years old - performing one of her biggest hits "I've Been Everywhere".

Here's a little known fact - the song was originally performed by Australian singer Lucky Starr in 1959 - and listed Australian towns.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Three Stooges - "Spooks!" (in 3-D)

Interesting fact - the first 3-D comic book was created by Joe Kubert, Leonard Maurer and Norman Maurer. Norman Maurer was the son-in-law of none other than Moe Howard of the Three Stooges.

This has absolutely nothing to do with today's clip - the 1953 Stooges short Spooks!, which was shot and presented here in 3-D.

3-D was so hot when this film was made, that Columbia planned on making all future Stooges shorts in that format. They made two - this one and Pardon My Backfire - before realizing the error of their ways.

Spooks! has aired for years on television in 2-D. It's always been kind of disconcerting to see Larry take a run at the screen for no apparent reason.

Am told you can watch the clip in 3-D with the proper glasses.

Van Dyke and Company

Here is the only clip I could find from my favorite prime-time TV show in 1976 - Van Dyke and Company.

In addition to host Dick Van Dyke, the show featured Andy Kaufman and "Super" Dave Osborne as regulars. What's not to like?

Yo Gabba Gabba

Here's SNL's Andy Samberg on Nickelodeon's Yo Gabba Gabba.

Yo Gabba Gabba is the latest kids show that hipsters can't just love from afar - they have to ruin it by appearing on it. It's the new Pete & Pete.

By the way - Samberg is the one with funny eyes and a big nose.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Al Alberts

Al Alberts leaves us today at 87.

Alberts was a member of the popular vocal quartet The Four Aces, but is probably best known (in his hometown of Philadelphia at least) as the host of Al Alberts Showcase - a kid's talent show.

Al had a way with kids. Just look at all the happy faces in this clip - which features Al singing "Little Man, You've Had a Busy Day". (As one of the commenters wisely points out, the kids are probably all crying because they know they're going to get their asses kicked at the playground the next day).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tracy Ullman - "They Don't Know"

I'll always have fond memories of Tracy Ullman's "They Don't Know", which was released during my Freshman year at college and around the same time I started learning to program computers. Don't ask me why I associate it with that memory, I just do.

The song was a Top 10 hit in America, and Ullman made her initial splash here as a pop singer (although it didn't take her long to establish herself primarily as a comedienne).

It was a cover of the similarly arranged original by Kirsty MacColl from 1979. In fact, that's Kirsty doing the backing vocals (and the "Bay-ay-bee" part).

I should tell you that at the end of this video we have a Beatle. Now, it's not the kind of Beatle you'd expect it to be, but it's the kind of Beatle you hoped it would be.

Vincent Price's Thanksgiving Special

Just before Saturday Night Live went permanently downhill, they did this very funny sketch.


Is nothing sacred?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Walter Brennan - "Ruby (Don't Take Your Love To Town)"

Walter Brennan - who's vocal chords were seriously damaged due to exposure to poison gas while serving in World War One - talk/sings "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town".

The Richard Pryor Show

The Richard Pryor Show was a short-lived variety series on NBC's fall schedule in 1977. The network had the bright idea to give Pryor his own series based on his classic hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, and a highly-rated special earlier in '77.

The show failed for a number of reasons. First, nobody watched it. It aired against Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley (both on ABC). Second, it was often painfully unfunny. Third, many stations either refused to air it - or rescheduled it during late-night hours. (The material was often very adult - even for what Saturday Night Live was doing at the time).

Here's one sketch I remember as being genuinely funny - Pryor as the "First Black President". There is an all-star cast of famous L.A. stand-up comics in the cast or reporters. See if you can spot: Robin Williams, Sandra Bernhard, Johnny Yune, John Witherspoon, Tim Reid, and Argus Hamilton.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sand Castle Festival

Interesting sand castles (mostly superheroes for some reason) at the Fiesa Sand Castle Festival in Portugal.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Somebody posted this in four-part entirety on YouTube.

Nice quality; looks like they took it right off the DVD.

As the poster writes in the video's description - "Enjoy it while it lasts".

Skeeter Davis

Am a fan of the song "End of the World" as performed by Herman's Hermits. Did not know the original was done by Skeeter Davis (above; for some reason I always thought it was Leslie Gore).

Skeeter (Mary Frances Penick) released the record in March, 1963. It went to #2 on both the Country and Pop charts, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

I have two clips of Skeeter performing the song for you... "Classic" Skeeter from 1965 on an old Country-Western show featuring Stringbean from Hee-Haw. And my favorite - "70's Skeeter" on the Midnight Special in 1973 (or thereabouts).

And I vote NBC bring The Midnight Special back immediately.

Sponge - "Speed Racer"

Here's a video I did a year ago for the "Speed Racer" theme song (as performed by the band Sponge) originally appearing on the album Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits.

This was really just an exercise in seeing if I could do such a thing - using clips from a DVD, the song, and Apple iMovie software. (All the clips are from a single episode - that's why there's an over-reliance on "The Car Acrobatic Team")

I did another one after this; using clips from various episodes of The Monkees TV series to do a video for their song "For Pete's Sake" - but YouTube won't let me post it.

Black Friday

Dear Black Friday Shoppers:

Why not try not acting like a bunch of idiots this year? Just a thought.

There's a thing called the Internet now. You don't even have to get off your ass to shop on it.

-The Golem

Dean Martin - "Memories Are Made Of This"

Here's Dean performing one of his biggest hit songs - "Memories Are Made Of This" around the time it was the #1 song in America for six weeks.

The back-up group, known as "The Easy Riders", composed the song.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who debuted in Britain the day after JFK's assassination, so that makes today the program's forty-sixth anniversary.

Let's celebrate with a clip from a completely different show. It's Jon Culshaw from Dead Ringers badgering passengers on the Eurostar train as the "Fourth Doctor" (Tom Baker).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

JFK assassination

The assassination of John F. Kennedy took place forty-six years ago today.

Spy magazine once did an article examining the perceived cliche that America "lost its innocence" on that day - and presented strong evidence that it, in fact, had.

Watch this clip - as the women's mundane fashion discussion is interrupted by news of the tragedy in Dallas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

SNL Trivia

Nasim Pedrad (above, who is quite funny by the way) is only the fifth Saturday Night Live cast member born outside of North America. She's from Tehran, Iran.

Can you name the other four? Hint: This one and this one were born in Europe, this one is from South America, and this one is from a rather large island in the South-West Pacific.

To get these, it helps to be a long-time fan.

Gerald Casale and V. Vale - "Mongoloid"

Here's Devo's Gerald V. Casale and a pianist identified only as "V. Vale" performing the Devo song "Mongoloid" from something called The Counter Culture Hour.

And while we're at it - here's the original arrangement.

Miracle on 34th Street (Trailer)

I'm guessing Miracle on 34th Street will probably air on TV this Thanksgiving, and a dozen more times between then and Christmas.

It was a good movie, but also a very good trailer.

If you watch the whole thing, perhaps you can explain to me why 31 year-old Dick Haymes is clearly hiding in the backseat of teenager Peggy Ann's car?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dictionary in Limerick Form

What a pterrible pthing it would be:
I'd look up at pthe branch of a ptree,
Where arrayed by pthe dozens,
Pterodacytlish cousins
Hunt poor archaeopteryx—me.

OEDILF: The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form

"O Mio Babbino Caro"

I don't post Opera much, but this is a good one.

You've probably heard "O Mio Babbino Caro" before - it's a favorite of many dramatic female singers, operatic or otherwise. It was also featured in the TV commercials for the video game Grand Theft Auto 3.

You don't often get to see it performed in its original context, however - as part of the 1918 opera Gianni Schicchi.

Today's clip
is from a televised performance of that opera. The soprano's name is Olga Mykytenko, and she is magnificent. It's one of those live theater moments that really grabs you.

(Feel free to bail after 2:25.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Star Trek Parody

Here's all three pages of a Star Trek parody comic that a good friend of mine named Matt Killeen and I wrote a few years ago.

Believed lost, these were recently discovered filed under an obsolete user account, buried deep within a Windows file system.

You know - Doctor McCoy kind of did look like Gary Sinise when you think about it. (Click each image to make it bigger)

Devo - "Uncontrollable Urge"

I was reminded by a recent post on TCM's website of a 1981 film called Urgh! A Music War.

Being a huge Devo fan, and fan of "new wave" (aka sanitized "punk") music in general - I desperately wanted to see Urgh!, but never did. These were the days when offbeat movies like Urgh! never played in theaters near me. It's frequent airings on cable in the '80s also went unseen, since our house wasn't wired-up until 1987.

Today's clip - Devo performing "Uncontrollable Urge" during that brief period ('80-81) when they were arguably quite popular. Yes, I often did the synchronized hopping bit at the end while listening to the record at home.

Willy Wonka Remix

Every year around this time (Thanksgiving, for those reading this is the far-flung future) - I am reminded of NBC's annual airing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Why did they air Wonka on Thanksgiving? I guess they figured kids would be allowed to stay up and watch, since most of them had the next day off. In any case, I always watched and loved it.

There are lots of sequences in the film worth obsessing about, but none has captured the imagination of the general public quite like Wonka's angry spiel at the end toward Charlie and "Grandpa Joe" ("You get nothing!..."You Lose!"..."Good Day, Sir!").

Here's a remix of the scene. I, for one, can't take my eyes off it.

Rocky and Bullwinkle

On this date, fifty years ago, Rocky and His Friends debuted on ABC. It ran for decades - in primetime, Saturday mornings, Sunday mornings, syndication... sometimes known as Rocky and Bullwinkle or just plain Bullwinkle.

One of my earliest memories is of Rocky and Bullwinkle airing on Sunday mornings. I thought it was great because it was a cartoon - I had no idea there was any deep satire going on. To this day, the closing theme to the show reminds me of eating Cheerios and the smell of bacon being cooked in the kitchen.

Today's clip
is a timely Thanksgiving edition of one of the "Mr. Know-it-All" segments. Bullwinkle needs to catch a turkey. You can probably figure out how that's going to go.

By the way, the voice of Rocky - June Foray - is still going strong at age 92.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Algonquin Round Table Experience

For those who've asked - this is what the Golem wants for Christmas.

Jerry Seinfeld meets Superman

A few years ago, Jerry Seinfeld teamed up with an animated Superman (voiced by Patrick Warburton) for a series of American Express TV commercials.

This site has all the commercials, plus some behind-the-scenes material.

I do not remember ever seeing the one with the car trip and references to Green Lantern.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Star Wars Holiday Special

Am told today is the 31st Anniversary of the Star Wars Holiday Special. It aired on CBS in America once - and was SUCH a Death Star-sized bomb, George Lucas has forever since attempted a Jedi mind trick on the general public by pretending it never existed.

I was as big a Star Wars mark as any when this originally aired - and yet not only did I definitely not watch it, I didn't even know it existed until I first read about it on the internet. Must have been extraordinarily busy on November 17, 1978.

The cast from the original film was joined by such celebs as Bea Arthur, Harvey Korman, Art Carney, Diahann Carroll, and Jefferson Starship. The show was mostly about Wookiees, and Princess Leia sang. The segment that generally receives some praise was an animated piece that introduced Boba Fett.

This clip pretty much sums it up - and yes, you will see Princess Leia sing.

Exit Strategy

This site will end on Superbowl Sunday - 2/7/2010.

Don't feel bad. It's been a good run. I'm sure we'll have had over 1000 posts by then (we're at 904 now). Also - I'm not deleting the site, so we'll always have it around for posterity.

In the meantime - business as usual. I think I'll add a "Doomsday Clock" over on the right at some point. (Update: There should be one over there now...)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Beatles - "Hello Goodbye"

Let's see - which Beatles video haven't I linked to yet? How about "Hello Goodbye"?

It came in two variations - original and slightly different. It was the only time we got to see the band wearing their "Sgt. Pepper" uniforms in action.

Pay careful attention to Ringo's drum kit. They had to use a toy drum set because the real thing obscured him too much. Watch as he tries to look busy during certain shots.

Edward Woodward

Edward Woodward also died today.

He was the star of The Equalizer (above) - a show I video-taped regularly for my Dad to watch on weekend mornings. Other than Magnum, P.I., I think Equalizer was probably his favorite show at the time.

He was also the star of The Wicker Man (the '70s original) - a movie my Scottish brother-in-law thinks is the scariest ever made.

Here's Woodward as "The Equalizer".

Ken Ober

Ken Ober passed away.

He was the host of Remote Control - one of the last things I watched with any regularity on MTV.

The show gave the world Colin Quinn, Adam Sandler and Kari Wuhrer.

Here's a clip - Adam Sandler as "Stud Boy" and a trio of celebrity panelists who were probably popular at the time.

Raquel Welch

See if you can spot all the ways the world has changed since 1966/67 or thereabouts - when this appearance of Raquel Welch on What's My Line? was originally broadcast.

1) The panelists are dressed formally - and it's not even New Year's Eve.
2) Raquel "signs in" using cursive. Does the human race even know cursive any more?
3) "Have you appeared in the New York theater?" Would a Broadway star be caught dead on a modern game show?
4) Notice how, on Raquel's exit, the men stand and the ladies remain seated. Is that still accepted behavior?

Mocked by Big Bird

Here's a clip of an adult who can't read being mocked about it by Big Bird.

I think this is an actor (identified here only as "Steven Schub of The Fenwicks") playing a fictional chracter - but with Sesame Street it's hard to tell.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Delicious Library

Here's a recommended tech for you - a Mac application called Delicious Library.

I've been struggling for a few years to perfect a DVD database of my own (first using MS-Access, and lately MySQL). Making a DB of the titles was easy, but adding details like extras, episodes, and actors can be a real pain.

Delicious Library makes it ridiculously simple to enter all this data. In fact, you don't even have to touch the keyboard. Just hold the UPC symbol from the DVD box up to your webcam and the software does the rest. It recognizes the bar-code, and pulls everything you need from various web sources... amazing.

You can also print reports and publish the results to a web site.

It's not free ($40) - but the price is worth it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dock Ellis

In Dock's own words - an animated version of his legendary big-league no-hitter on June 12, 1970 against the Padres.

A no-hitter thrown, lest we forget, while on LSD.

Top 50 Worst Video Game Voice-Overs

You'll love #46... but do stay for #3. You'll be glad you did.

The Funny Side

Here is a forgotten sketch comedy show called The Funny Side. I'm guessing that even a few of the people who worked on the show might forget it existed.

I remember it for two reasons - it was a favorite of mine, and it was on around the time I started grade school.

In case you missed the subtle casting of The Funny Side from this clip - it consisted of "couples" that hit every age/race demographic (at the time) - 20's, 30's, 40's, decrepit, and black. All hosted by Hollywood legend Gene Kelly. (Television was crawling with shows like this in the early '70s).

A few comments about the cast. John Amos and Cindy Williams went on to successful careers in sitcoms. (Good Times and Laverne and Shirley - respectively). Dick Clair passed away during the '80s, but was cryogenically frozen - so look for a comeback any day now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Larry King / Carrie Prejean

Carrie Prejean accuses Larry King of acting inappropriately. She then removes her microphone and strikes up a conversation with someone off-camera mid-interview.

Bob Einstein as Super Dave Osborne

Above, we have Super Dave Osborne's appearance this week on The Tonight Show. Funny stuff, as usual.

Comic Bob Einstein (aka Albert Brooks' older brother) has gotten a lot of mileage out of this character - which he has been performing since 1972. Take a look at this clip from a 1990 appearance on David Letterman's Late Night. It's essentially the same act he did on Conan - in each case, the host is "in" on the pre-scripted comedy.

You may also recognize Einstein as "Marty Funkhouser" on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I had a good time looking through his official site today - especially the photo gallery, which contains pictures from his long-forgotten 1970 paperback.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street - Ma Nah Ma Na

Because good things come in fives - we finish our mini-tribute to Sesame Street with a little something called "Ma Nah Ma Na".

Sesame Street - The Death of Mr. Hooper

More pathos on Sesame Street.

"Mister Hooper" actor Will Lee passed away some time before this scene was shot, so producers decided to incorporate his death into the storyline. Now the "adults" have to break the news to eternally child-like Big Bird.

One question remains - why did Mister Hooper will his store to David?

Sesame Street - Snuffleupagus

For fourteen years the Sesame Street character of Snuffleupagus was only ever seen on-screen in the company of Big Bird (and a select few other muppets like Elmo). Whenever an "adult" walked into the shot, Snuffleupagus would conveniently exit - leading some to believe he was just a figment of Big Bird's fevered imagination.

Today's clip documents that momentous occasion when the "human" cast finally met the elusive muppet. Please note that all three muppets in the scene lay a massive guilt trip on stammering David. And I dare you not to be touched by Susan's heartfelt apology to Big Bird.

Sesame Street - Big Bird

Another subtle difference from the early days of Sesame Street - Big Bird had less feathers on his head, and talked like a stoner.

Sesame Street - Oscar the Grouch

Sesame Street is forty years old today.

I'm old enough to remember when the show debuted. In fact, I seem to remember watching a special on broadcast TV informing kids and parents that the show was about to start up on PBS. (I probably even remember the brief time when it ran solely in Philadelphia before going national).

It was my favorite show during its first few years. I couldn't stand the educational aspects of course (I could see right through them) - like most kids, I preferred the segments with the muppets.

So time again, I think, to point out that I remember when Oscar the Grouch was orange. Here's video proof.

Monday, November 9, 2009

London, 1927... (in Color)

Here is some fascinating footage of London made in 1927.

The color film process (Biocolor - the invention of Claude Friese-Greene) was experimental for the times.