Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Golem Universe: A Retrospective

The people, places and events that shaped a blog.

Play me off, Keyboard Cat.

Farewell (Almost) from The Golem

I just want to thank everyone who has followed this site for the past year or so. It’s been great fun to do, and I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

I wanted to give this site a proper finish. I didn’t want it to just fade away due to boredom, or because I became "too busy" to update it. So I arbitrarily picked an end date (Super Bowl Sunday) - although I never realized that date would come so quickly!

Feel free to drop me a line, or check out my Twitter account.

Look for a special video tribute coming up later tonight.

Thanks again.

Squirrel Nut Zippers - "The Ghost of Stephen Foster"

Here's the fully-animated video for "The Ghost of Stephen Foster" by Squirrel Nut Zippers from their 1998 album Perennial Favorites.

Animators from The Simpsons did the video.

Bert Parks

Back when the Miss America Pageant still meant something (1976) - host (and old fraud) Bert Parks attempts "Let 'Em In" by Paul McCartney and Wings.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Old Logos

And now, for your amusement, we present a collection of old Golem Universe logos - suitable for framing (or wrapping fish).

The following prototypes were never used:
Eternity (wide)
Eternity (wide) minus Eternity
2001 Baby
2001 Baby (left)
2001 Baby (left; nicer font)
2001 Baby (left; nicer font and PBS logo)

The following logos were used, but have since been retired:
First Official Logo
Moon (Earth moved a bit)

The following are variations on the current logo:

The Blogs That Got Away

I was browsing my Picasa Web Albums tonight (that's where Blogger stores all the graphics uploaded for its sites), and uncovered a treasure trove of old graphics and folders devoted to this and other blogs I have attempted over the years.

Since it's getting very near the end (of this blog)... here is an overview of others I have considered, started, aborted and/or accidentally deleted.

Marvelous Mondays
Every Monday, I write about a different classic Marvel comic. Never got any further than the logo.

Paul is Dead / I Bury Paul (above)
I take a look back at all the "Paul is Dead" clues. This was the logo I finally settled on.

Superman: As Seen On TV
I write about each and every episode of The Adventures of Superman. I have the complete series on DVD, so why not? Got as far as this logo and an outline of the first episode. Surprisingly, it was not as much fun to do as you might think.

Golem's Incredible Hulk

I write about every issue of The Incredible Hulk. (Have them all on DVD-ROM). Here's the logo.

Golem's Amazing Spider-Man
Kind of like Golem's Incredible Hulk. Logos are here and here.

MacDade Boulevard
I write about a street near and dear to my heart. This was up and running for some time, and then I accidentally deleted it. In retrospect, it would probably make a better Facebook group. (Don't look at me to start one).

The Three Stooges Blog
I write about the Three Stooges. At one point, it was to be called "All the Blog's a Stooge". Actually, I still plan on doing this.

Golem and Company
One of those "me posing as a bunch of fake contributors" blogs. A lot of fun, but a lot of work. Early logos can be enjoyed here, here, here and here.

It's Golem Time
This actually exists (in fact, it's what the URL points to) - but I only update it about twice a year. Early logos can be seen here and here.

Here is a parody ad for Mickey Rooney's Tabas Hotel in Downingtown, and an aborted Spider-Man parody that I really must go back and finish. (I only wish these were bigger and more legible).

Go-Go Golem
Interestingly, this was the original version of The Golem Universe. I really like the logo, except the colors are fixed at red and black.

The New Golem Times

I think this was supposed to be a "funny" take on the news. Graphics indicate I wrote some things about Obama and Mike Huckabee before bailing on it. Here's the logo.

I also attempted two "geek" blogs with (IMHO) great names - "Hour of the Geek" and "Golem: Invasion Earth 2007". These were going to be devoted to computers, comic books and Doctor Who. Never got further than their titles, but here was a proposed graphic from the latter.

Joey Bishop - "Your Cheatin' Heart"

Here's a cut from comedian Joey Bishop's horribly ill-conceived country album Country Western - which I vaguely remember him plugging on 70's talk shows while the hosts looked on in horror.

Not sure if this was some kind of Andy Kaufman-esque joke (doubtful, this is Joey Bishop after all) - but isn't it amazing how many bad records were made in the 60s and 70s by non-singers like Leonard Nimoy, Jack Klugman, etc...? It's almost like they foresaw the Internet, and how much fun sarcastic bloggers would get from posting about them.

Thanks to April Winchell for the MP3, and all the great MP3's over the last few years.

Squirrel Nut Zippers - "Put a Lid On It"

I am reminded today of Squirrel Nut Zippers - one of my favorite bands of the 90's.

There was a "swing revival" in the middle of that decade, and although the Zippers denied being a retro act - they were at it's forefront. They looked and sounded like a swing band, and lead female vocalist Katherine Whalen (above) sang in a style similar to Billie Holiday.

They broke up in 2001 (numerous band departures, and a divorce for founding members Whalen and Jimbo Mathus) - but reunited in 2006, so we haven't heard the last of them.

Here's "Put a Lid On It" - one of their most successful songs from the album Hot.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Devo - "Jerkin' Back n Forth"

The first live concert I ever attended was Devo at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pa. They did an entire show similar to this 1981 appearance on Fridays - which is to say they did the entire show on moving treadmills.

They actually perform two songs here. The first, an instrumental, is called "(Theme from) Adventures of Smart Patrol" - at least that's what it's called these days. The second is "Jerkin' Back n Forth". Devo is wearing their "New Traditionalists" gear - which is basically a boy scout uniform and plastic hair based on John F. Kennedy's "pompadour".

For additional information on Fridays (the show that gave us Larry David and Michael Richards) - check out this informative article at TV Party.

Japanese Commercial (1978)

Here is a Japanese commercial for (??? - it looks like tuna, but it sounds like they're saying "cheese chicken").

It contains characters and themes clearly based on a rather popular movie of the time. See if you guess which movie I'm talking about.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Origin of the Golem (Short Version)

I’ve been the Red-Headed Golem since 2000.

In the early part of that year, I was obsessed with the word Golem. Probably influenced by its use in an episode of Batman Beyond - a favorite DVD at the time - and ignorant of it’s origins in jewish folklore; I assumed the word was synonymous with "boogeyman" or monster. I liked how it sounded.

Some people assume it’s a misspelling of Gollum - the character from Lord of the Rings. It doesn’t help matters that my original blog had Gollum in the header image. That was just a coincidence.

Anyway, in 2000 I was working as a project manager for a local I.T. consulting company. For complicated reasons (see the Long Version), the company thought it would be a good idea to dump their existing clients and replace a lot of their experienced employees with MBA types, most right out of college.

Some managers stayed on; I was one. But a lot of good people were let go. If you want a good idea of what the company soon became, check out the Simpsons episode "I am Furious Yellow". We were just like the fictional Better Than TV, with a lot of noisy slackers, and stock options dispensed like toilet paper.

There was some tension between the old guard and the next generation. Nothing serious, but a lot of mutual mistrust.

Anyway, a friend of mine - one of the employees that had been let go - sent me an e-mail asking how the company was doing. "Okay," I replied, "but the new kids stare at me like I’m some kind of red-headed golem."

So that’s where the name came from.

Yellow Submarine comic book

In 1968, Gold Key published a 60+ page Yellow Submarine comic book for the princely sum of 35 cents. Never reprinted, back issues - if you can find one - start at around $300.

What's most interesting about the comic is that its creators (writer Paul S. Newman and artist José Delbo) had to produce it without a finished script. So the story within the comic is quite different from the story in the movie. The artwork is impressive however - very much in keeping with the style of the film.

I've always wanted to see this Yellow Submarine comic. I'm not a collector - I'd be perfectly happy reading a good reprint. Lo and behold, a blog called Cartoon SNAP has made my dreams come true. You can read it here online (in some confounding tiny-window format) or download the whole thing as a PDF.

Lost: 5 Seasons in 10 minutes

I've never seen Lost. Not even for a few minutes between flipping channels. Besides the fact that it involves castaways on a deserted island, I know nothing about the storyline of the show.

I've avoided it for a reason. First, deliberately mysterious shows like this this almost never pay off (see Twin Peaks), and when they do (see Life on Mars, U.S. version, ) it's too literal, or terribly disappointing.

Second, I've avoided Lost because if and when I do decide to watch it on DVD - I don't want the story spoiled for me (see Battlestar Galactica, another show I've never seen, and probably won't because I know too much about what's going to happen.)

For those who've missed out on Lost, but wish to catch up - here are the first five seasons in ten minutes, courtesy of The Reduced Shakespeare Company.

I haven't watched this, so it might be complete bollocks.


The Joey Bishop Show

Between 1967-69, Joey Bishop hosted a 90-minute talk show on ABC, competing with Johnny Carson's Tonight Show on NBC.

Despite much publicity, and the occasional visit from fellow "Rat Pack" guests like Sammy Davis, Jr, Peter Lawford and Dean Martin (but never Frank Sinatra, interestingly enough) - Bishop flopped against Carson, and was replaced by Dick Cavett in 1969. (Who also flopped, as did Merv Griffin - who ran a competing show on CBS).

Bishop's sidekick was Regis Philbin. Yes, that Regis Philbin (above, left) - making his first big splash on national television. Regis actually walked off the show one night, in response to negative reviews from critics - citing that the network was against the idea of hiring him in the first place. (This was one of the only episodes to top Carson in the ratings.)

Here's a clip from the show on a night when Joey and Regis wore Nehru jackets - a gift from guest Sammy Davis, Jr.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Leeroy Jenkins

One of my all-time favorite YouTube videos is Leeroy Jenkins. There's nothing better than seeing super-serious Worlds of Warcraft gamers being upended by a clueless moron.

The video is spoofed - almost verbatim - in a deleted scene from the movie Year One. Since it's doubtful anyone is buying or renting that particular DVD - I present it to you here.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Keyboard Cat

Here is Keyboard Cat (above) "playing off" a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? who was unlucky enough to blow the first question.

The key to these "Keyboard Cat" videos being especially funny is to the show the cat in preparation for the pending failure.

Bob Dylan - "Things Have Changed"

One of my favorite "modern" Bob Dylan songs, "Things Have Changed" was from the soundtrack to the film Wonderboys - hence the cameos from Spider-Man, Michael Douglas and Downey, Jr.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pee Wee Herman's iPad

Pee Wee gets an iPad - while the Playhouse Gang recite the anti-IPad schtick we've all heard since the product was announced this week, including that its name sounds like a tampon. (Pee-Wee is back to working blue in his old age).

I guess Pee-Wee was keeping the puppets (Globey, Chairy, etc...) in storage all these years, hoping for a comeback?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

Adult Swim (aka Cartoon Network) has brought back Garth Marenghi's Darkplace to run during its late-Friday block of British comedies (which also includes The Mighty Boosh and The Office)

In this clip, Garth (Matthew Holness) defends against charges of racism in the episode "Scotch Mist", although actor Todd Rivers (Matt Berry) offers no apologies.

Scott Meets The Family Circus

Scott Gairdner meets The Family Circus - hilarity ensues. (I wonder if litigation will ensue? Stay tuned.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Selleck. Waterfall. Sandwich.

No explanation necessary.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beginning This Weekend...

J.D. Salinger (RIP)

When The Catcher in the Rye was first released, numerous offers were made to adapt it for the screen (with Sam Goldwyn, the producer of My Foolish Heart, among them.) In a letter written in the early fifties, Salinger spoke of mounting a play in which he would play the role of Holden Caulfield opposite Margaret O'Brien, and, if he couldn’t play the part himself, to “forget about it." Almost fifty years later, the writer Joyce Maynard definitively concluded, "The only person who might ever have played Holden Caulfield would have been J. D. Salinger." Despite this, Salinger told Maynard in the seventies, "Jerry Lewis tried for years to get his hands on the part of Holden," and luminaries ranging from Jack Nicholson to Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio have since made efforts to make a film of Catcher.

Source: Wikipedia (I think)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Devo - "Girl U Want"

"Girl U Want" is one of my favorite Devo songs, and one of their best (and strangest) videos.

The decision to shoot it in a nightmarish green/purple hue, and load up the audience with Plain Jane extras - borders on genius.

Hopefully, the Devovision channel on YouTube will contain more of their classic old video clips.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Nia Vardalos plays "The Larry King Game"

I promise this will be the last link to a clip from Kevin Pollak's talk show (for today, anyway).

Here, Nia Vardalos plays the "Larry King Game" (which we saw Dana Carvey play in a previous post).

Her entry is short, but sweet - and also terribly not safe for work.

Dana Carvey plays "The Larry King Game"

Guests on Kevin Pollack's internet show are invited to play "The Larry King Game" - which is doing an impression of Larry King casually making an embarrassing revelation about himself.

There are a number of these on YouTube, but I laughed out loud at Dana Carvey's.

: It's probably too late now, but I probably should warn you that the above clip is incredibly not safe for work.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kevin Pollak and Dave Coulier

From Kevin Pollak's internet talk show, Pollak and guest Dave Coulier do two impressions you just don't hear often enough - Albert Brooks and Super Dave Osborne.

"Baby Mine" (Dumbo)

One of the classic movie scenes the Golem is unable to watch without crying.

Make sure you bring a hanky.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Beach Boys - "Good Vibrations"

Am wondering when you see "The Beach Boys" perform live these days, who exactly shows up?

Assuming we can rule out anyone with the last name "Wilson" appearing on stage - who do you get? The "David Spade" looking guy (Al Jardine) or Mike Love? I believe I read somewhere that they were both doing rival "Beach Boys" shows. (This would indicate Mike Love has the rights to the name, but the conclusion is somewhat vague).

And where does Bruce Johnston figure into all of this? He tours with something called "The Beach Boys Band".

Anyway - here's to happier times. The band, with two Wilsons out front, and a third behind the curtains - performing one of their greatest songs on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1968.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Unlikely Guest Stars™

Today's unlikely guest stars are Richard Pryor and Lou Gossett, Jr. who made a very unlikely appearance on a popular sitcom in 1971.

Jay Leno is...

I saw this today on Facebook, and had to check it out for myself. [Click image to enlarge]

The best analogy I saw about Leno returning to The Tonight Show is that it is like putting toothpaste back into the tube. Whether you're "with Coco" or not - the prospect of Leno getting 11:30 back just seems horribly wrong to me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Golem the Psychic

Sometimes the Golem's uncanny psychic powers stagger even the Golem himself.

Kook's Tour

Kook's Tour was the very last thing the Three Stooges ever did as a team. It was a pilot for a travel-themed television series that never sold (and was never really completed) due in large part to Larry Fine's stroke in 1970. (The pilot was shot between '69 and '70).

A finished Kook's Tour was eventually released in the Cartrivision format (a pricey home video format that came and went in the early '70s), and on 8mm film. It is also available on DVD.

Kook's Tour was designed to give the Stooges something a bit more dignified to do in their golden years. As you can see (if you watch this clip) - Moe and Larry wear their "regular" hairstyles, and there is no slapping or eye-poking to be found. Since Moe was about 72 when this was shot, and Larry not much younger, it was probably a good idea.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mad 411

One of things I remember most about the weeks following 9-11 was the surprisingly touching and patriotic cover of Mad #411 (above).

Turns out this was a last-minute replacement for the original cover, which was deemed inappropriate in light of the tragedy.

According to Mad artist Tom Richmond's blog - this was not the first time the magazine had to substitute a cover to avoid controversy.

Jay Leno's New Tonight Show

Here we see a promo for the new Jay Leno Tonight Show courtesy of Jay's old friend David Letterman.

The announcer is Edd Hall - Jay's original announcer.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Donovan and The Smothers Brothers - "I Love My Shirt"

Continuing the Smothers Brothers kick - here, they perform "I Love My Shirt" with the song's composer - Donovan.

According to the book Dangerously Funny, Donovan had agreed to appear as a regular on a horoscope-themed summer series that would have run between the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour's third and fourth seasons. Alas, the show was canceled by CBS before the summer series or the fourth season could be produced.

Jimmy Fallon

I was critical of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon when it debuted, however I had the chance to watch it every night last week (I stayed up to watch Conan every night, and then just stuck around) - and I must say the show is noticeably looser and funnier.

I saw two things that especially made me laugh - Head Swap (which I understand is a recurring bit), and Neil Young performing "Pants on the Ground" (above; a song made famous on American Idol last week).

Even Fallon's monologues - which are sometimes devoid of laughs - don't bother me as much anymore.

The Smothers Brothers - "My Old Man"

Well, I actually came away from reading Dangerously Funny with the opinion that the Smothers Brothers deserved to be fired by CBS.

Even though the brothers successfully won a breach of contract suit against the network, they did (or more specifically, Tommy did) deliberately withhold master tapes so CBS couldn't preview (and edit) them in time before air. CBS really didn't need that aggravation, so it was bye-bye Tom and Dick.

If they had just lasted a few seasons longer, they probably would have fit right in with the "new CBS" of the '70s - and all those deliberately controversial Norman Lear shows.

The saddest part about the whole Smothers controversy is the knowledge that the censored shows aired uncut in Canada. As Michael Palin once said, "so much for America being the land of the free"

Still, they were funny - and here's "My Old Man" to prove it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Jay Leno Special

Even in 1986, Jay Leno was a hot property at NBC. Frequent funny appearances as a guest on David Letterman's Late Night earned him a long-term development deal with the network that eventually evolved into the full-time hosting gig on the Tonight Show.

When The Jay Leno Special aired in 1986 - NBC probably hoped the show would spawn a series - possibly even replacing Saturday Night Live, which it pre-empted for one night. This was back when NBC allegedly offered the SNL slot to David Letterman - who wasn't interested.

Turns out the Leno special was disastrously unfunny (the New York Times called it a "clumpy mess"), and nothing ever became of it. For some bizarre reason, it was taped at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia - an outdoor venue. The audience was DEAD throughout, and I'm pretty sure it rained during the taping.

What I find most interesting about the special is that there is almost no evidence that it ever existed. There are no clips of it on YouTube, or mention of it on anybody's resumes at (And the show featured David Letterman and Vanna White as guest stars).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rajah's Bollywood: "Chaiyya Chaiyya" (Dil Se)

Note: The Golem is still on hiatus from the site (...although he is expected back tomorrow). In the meantime, good friend Rajah Ebert is filling in with essays about his favorite Indian films...

In 2003, BBC World Service conducted a poll to choose the ten most popular songs of all time. The song from today’s clip - "Chaiyya Chaiyya", from the 1996 film Dil Se - was voted ninth.

Shahrukh Khan dances here, atop a moving train, with model/dancer Malaika Arora (above). That’s her only scene in the film - but it’s a memorable one, and a memorable film (especially the ending).

Khan is certainly the biggest star in India, and may well be the biggest star in the world (depending on how you measure such things).

Both the film and song were big hits in the U.K., demonstrating the crossover potential of some of the better Indian musicals.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rajah's Bollywood: "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" (Caravan)

Note: The Golem is still on hiatus from the site. In the meantime, good friend Rajah Ebert is filling in with essays about his favorite Indian films...

Helen (above) celebrates the joys of alcoholism in today’s clip - "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" from 1967’s Caravan.

This is a beloved scene in Bollywood circles, with the “Monica - oh, my darling!” line considered a classic.

The reason the woman in the audience looks scared to death is not because she’s trapped in a bizarre cabaret that looks like the Country Squire Diner - she thinks Helen is trying to kill her.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rajah's Bollywood: "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai" (Khal Nayak)

Note: The Golem is still on hiatus from the site. In the meantime, good friend Rajah Ebert is filling in with essays about his favorite Indian films...

Another favorite of mine is "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai" from Khal Nayak. This scene caused quite a stir when the film was first released due to its opening line - "What’s behind the blouse?". The answer was a beating heart, of course - but some of the more prurient minds in the audience looked at lovely Madhuri Dixit (above) and thought otherwise.

Madhuri, by the way, is probably the most popular actress of all-time in Bollywood. She's in semi-retirement now, living in America. Maybe she should appear in an episode of 24, or on House as a sexy oncologist.

The song
is dynamite, and the melody is unforgettable (bordering on hypnotic) - as is the dancing, which is to be expected whenever Madhuri is on screen.

The guy dressed like a pirate is Sanjay Dutt.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rajah's Bollywood: "Teri Ore" (Singh is Kinngh)

When I first laid eyes on Katrina Kaif (above) performing Teri Ore in Singh is Kinngh - I thought I had discovered the total package - a world-class beauty that can sing and dance with the best of them. This was before I learned that Bollywood actors use “playback singers” to do their singing for them. (The actual singer is Shreya Ghoshal, who is also no slouch in the looks department). Also, after witnessing some really good dancers (Madhuri Dixit and Aishwarya Rai come to mind) - it becomes evident Katrina’s actually no great shakes in that department, either.

But she’s still a world-class beauty. (She was voted Asia's sexiest woman in 2008 and 2009, and was Google India's most-searched celebrity both of those years as well).

And even though this song is the best thing about an otherwise frivolous movie, it's a great song that - should you choose to actually watch it - you won't soon forget.

The guy with Katrina (as if you'd notice) is Akshay Khanna.

Rajah Ebert

Hi, I'm Rajah Ebert - film critic for the Hindustani Sun-Times.

The Golem is busy for the next few days attending to various worldwide humanitarian efforts, so I've offered to help out by pinch hitting for him. The next few posts will be written by yours truly - and if you're not down with that, you might want to just check out NewsFromMe for the next couple of days. I'm sure they've got lots and lots of links to Fred Kaplan for you to read.

El Santo

El Santo (above) was a masked wrestler, film star and Mexican folk hero. He wrestled professionally for six decades (from the '30s to the '80s).

In addition to popularizing wrestling in Mexico, a comic book series with his name ran continuously for 35 years, and he starred in 52 films.

This clip is from Santo Contra el rey del Crimen (Santo vs. The King of Crime) - which is indicative of Santo's '60s films.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

American Red Cross

To make a donation, click here.

Monty Python - "Lumberjack Song" (in German)

The Monty Python team did two 45-minute specials for German television in 1971 and 1972; both called Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus.

The specials consisted almost entirely of new material, some of which (a parody of the olympics, and a fairy-tale sketch come to mind) were good enough to be recycled later.

Interestingly, the first of these was done entirely in German - with the Pythons reciting their lines phonetically. The second was done in English (dubbed in German) - and as such can be enjoyed by English-speaking audiences as a pretty good "lost" episode. (The German specials were released on DVD, but rarely ever play on British or American TV).

Today's clip is from the first special. It is one of the few (only?) non-original bits - a German-language version of the "Lumberjack Song". Note how the words "bra" and "pa pa" are replaced by "Büstenhalter" and "Uncle Walter".

For those who are interested, the entire first German special is available on YouTube starting here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Conan's statement

I cheered today when I read Conan O'Brien's statement with regards to NBC moving The Tonight Show to 12:05 to make room for The Jay Leno Show.

He's a class guy, and should distance himself immediately from the network that disrespected him so publicly.

Personally, I would rather have had Jay do the honorable thing and step down from this fiasco (instead of acting like he's the "victim" being moved to 11:35).

There's still hope that this could work out Conan's way - but not much.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Who - "My Generation"

Here's the (in)famous performance of "My Generation" by The Who on the second season of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967. I believe the clip is from the film The Kids are Alright, and not the actual broadcast - but it's footage from the original show.

A few things you may or may not know about this performance:

The explosion (at 4:06) was considerably more powerful on the air than it had been in rehearsal due - reportedly - to drummer Keith Moon's encouragement of the pyrotechnics expert. It probably contributed to Pete Townshend's partial deafness and tinnitus, and reportedly caused Bette Davis (who was watching in the wings with fellow guest star Mickey Rooney) to faint.

The bit at the end where Townshend smashes Tommy Smothers' acoustic guitar was planned.

The Singing Midget

Perhaps you saw The Singing Midget in our "Found on Facebook" post the other day and wondered what he sounded like.

Wonder no longer. Here he is (Lowell Mason - now getting top-billing above The Crusaders) singing Our National Anthem.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Funny Manns

Proof-positive that everything will eventually find its way onto YouTube - here's a clip from The Funny Manns, one of my earliest memories of television.

All I remember about the show is the title, the premise (silent movie clips) and - for some reason - its host, Cliff Norton.

The show originally aired in syndication in 1961, but must have kicked around for quite some time. I wouldn't have seen it until at least '67 - probably later.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Jay back at 11:30, Conan Out NBC?

According to TMZ, Jay Leno will get the 11:30 p.m. slot back, Conan O'Brien will either move to midnight, or get the axe.

Moving Leno to 10:00 p.m. has been a huge disaster for NBC.

Artie Lange

It was revealed today that Howard Stern sidekick Artie Lange attempted suicide over the weekend.

Today, Stern struggled with speaking about it on the air. Very honest and emotional stuff.

I was a big fan and supporter of Lange's when he first started on the show as a regular (in 2001..?). His personal problems have been more of a distraction to the show lately (including a few ill-advised public appearances). I can only hope he's able to pick up the pieces and get back to doing what he does best.