Saturday, September 30, 2006

The *&#@ Caddy

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis recorded a few radio spots for their movie The Caddy. They added a few extra special touches. Nowadays those touches are the only reason anyone remembers this movie. Even the fact that "That's Amore" debuted in this doesn't top the legendary status of these outtakes, nicely dubbed over an actual trailer here.

Enjoy this - it'll make you... well, just watch.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Da pain! Da pain!

Remember when Love Boat and Fantasy Island were on back to back? My folks wouldn't let us stay up for either one, so I never got the full impact, but the ads would always look so cool. I can still hear Ernie Anderson's voice saying, "Then the Loooove Boat saaails."

Of course, the most memorable character from either show has to be Tattoo, played by Herve Villechaize. He made the colossal mistake of thinking he was too big for the show and leaving, only to find there weren't too many roles out there for someone of his physical stature. This led to a downward spiral that ended in suicide in 1993.

But did you know he could sing?

Let's take a vote. Do you prefer his performance of "This Is All I Ask" on The Dinah Shore Show?

Or his performance of "Why Do People Have To Fight" on Mike Douglas?

'Stache or split screen? Either way, I like to think, we all win.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

And a hockey game broke out

Happy birthday dear Jim in Maine, the man who introduced me to Slap Shot my freshman year in college (and gleefully gave away the ending seconds before it happened). Here are a couple of hockey fights for you to enjoy.

The first is between the Bruins' Stan Jonathan and the Canadiens' Pierre Bouchard. Not only does Jonathan win handily, using both his right and his left quite well, the announcers treat it like it's a part of the game, not a disgrace. As the Slap Shot announcer says, "This is hockey!"

Or were you disappointed at how long the fight went on? Well, here's one that's considerably shorter.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Behind the scenes at MST3K

Mystery Science Theater 3000 has made me laugh for about a decade and a half now; I actually went to their 1996 convention in Minneapolis. One might well wonder, what made them laugh?

During the taping of the final episode, in which the movie Diabolik got riffed on, the editors sprung a montage of previous bad movie moments on the unsuspecting Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo.

You don't have to have seen the movies to enjoy the reactions (though this blog's readers might remember the Gumby episode). My favorite clip is at 2:35-2:39; I'm guessing it's Mike's favorite too, judging from his barely audible "Oh my gosh" and his contiuing laughter afterward.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Leslie Nielsen Toots His Own Horn

Leslie Nielsen, best known as Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun movies, is a bit of a prankster. He's been known to take a whoopie cushion on the sets of talk shows and set it off at... well, is there ever an appropriate moment to set off a whoopie cushion? Anyhow, here he is doing just that.

Confidential to the Scottish weather lass who comes up with a brilliant ad lib at :56 and delivers it in such a fetching accent: will you marry me?

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Leningrad Cowboys Sell Out *snort*

The Leningrad Cowboys, a Finnish polka-rock band immortalized in such films as Leningrad Cowboys Go America and Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses, may not be very well known in this country.

But they're huge in Japan.

If you're fascinated by those songs, those shoes, and those hairstyles, here they are performing ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin'" with the Soviet Red Army Choir.

Being one-quarter Finnish myself, I have to say, these guys have got sisu!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

'70s TV Show Action Figures RULE

Today's entry is a real treat, friends and neighbors. We have here an ad for the Starsky and Hutch Chase Set, complete with back-alley fence.

One thing I love about this is that the kids are actually in action here. You just don't see them throwing themselves off rooftops like this anymore.

Now, if you're looking for something a little more sedate, there's always the Waltons Country Home.

Nice to see John-Boy's mole isn't glossed over. And there's something so real about the action at :58 - 1:02, where a hand moves a character, whose legs are made to look like he's in full stride. For believability's sake, y'see.

Good night, Elizabeth...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

King of the Surf Guitar

The first time I heard about Dick Dale was when my friend John in LA, through means that would take longer than this blog to explain, awarded him the UC-Berkeley Pop Culture Lifetime Achievement award. (Also winning that year were Mick Fleetwood and Ice-T.) Two years later, the use of his song "Misirlou" during the opening credits of Pulp Fiction brought him back to the masses.

Here he's performing it in A Swingin' Affair, which turns out to be Teri Garr's first movie. But never mind her - check this out...

I think it's great that they built the whole band around the bass player like that.

Friday, September 22, 2006

All Liz Phair in love and 'warts

I was looking for some good Liz Phair footage on YouTube and found this:

A Brit in her early 20s took "Why Can't I?" from the unfairly maligned Liz Phair CD and used it as the score for a recutting of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She did a brilliant job, not only matching the lyrics to the images (particularly funny at 0:38), but giving absolutely no reason to think that Ron and Harry aren't as gay as a mirror ball wrapped in a feather boa.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

"I am completely in the wrong movie, I am so sorry"

Here's an outtake from X-Men in which an unexpected guest swings by.

It always warms my heart when laughter shows up where you least expect it...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stephen Colbert Loses It

I've rambled before about what a genius Stephen Colbert is. One of the best aspects to his character is how he maintains his strict face.

Except when he doesn't.

Here's a clip from his correspondent days for The Daily Show. He does his thing and gets some pretty good laughs. Then he starts to crack up. Soon it gets to the point where you can see the pain of him trying not to laugh, which of course makes it all the funnier. But by the end he's got it under control again. It's such a treat to watch.


On a smaller scale, here he is unable to keep his face straight the entire time as he presents "Stephen's Laws of Love."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Good for what ails ya

I'm a little steamed at the moment. Since August I've been planning a Columbus Day weekend getaway with a friend of mine who was 95% sure they could come with me. Well, the 5% shoe just dropped and it looks like I'll be going alone. It's very frustrating.

To improve my mood, here's a clip of Ronald Reagan getting punched in the face.

Hey. I feel better already.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Brass Bonanza

You don't have to speak French to enjoy this clip. Does it help if you do? I've no idea. But whether you're trilingual, bilingual, or American, you'll enjoy what our neighbors to the north have to share here...

It should also be noted that this was the greatest hockey arena song of all time. "Ladies and gentlemen, your Hartford Whalers!!"

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bugs Bunny, Racist

In the 1945 cartoon Hare Tonic, there's a moment where Bugs Bunny checks himself for B.O. and says, "Don't tell me I oh-fend." Well, he may not have in his day, but he had a few moments that make him one of the major offenders in animated cartoondom. I'm posting a couple here, but with Warner Bros. being quite vigilant about protecting their copyrights, I promise you that they won't be here long, so watch them while you can.

The first is a propaganda film from 1942 where Bugs encourages the audience to buy war bonds. An interesting curiousity, in that it's so short, it has Bugs, Elmer, and Porky altogether, and for fifteen seconds, it has Bugs in blackface.

But that's nothing compared to this. Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips was released in 1944, at the height of anti-Japan sentiment, and it finds Bugs doing battle on a deserted island. Here's a sampling. If you don't know what's coming, I'm going to warn you, this is not the Bugs Bunny you grew up with.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Tori Amos Sells Out *snort*

Time once again for yet another of a series of celebrities who couldn't resist the almighty dollar. Today, proof positive that in 1985, Tori Amos was indeed a cornflake girl.

She beat out Sarah Jessica Parker for the role because she could play the piano and SJP couldn't. See, kids? You never know when a talent might come in handy.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Voice of the Heavens

Harvey Sid Fisher is a performer who once recorded an album called Astrology Songs, describing the special qualities of each sign of the zodiac. The fact that the songs weren't, erm, quality mattered not a whit - there was something about them...

I had twelve choices for a clip here, and though part of me thought Virgo best, as that's this month's sign, and another part wanted Taurus, just for its opening lines ("Talk about the Taurus, talk about the bully bull bull"), I decided to put Pisces up, purely for the selfish reason of it being my own sign. (Just barely - a woman who did my chart said I'd be an Aquarius if I'd been born 23 minutes earlier.)

If you want to see what he has to sing about you, check out his MySpace page here. It doesn't mention his lifetime achievement award from UC-Berkeley, but you can't have everything...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Judy meets a punk

My freshman year at college, I was working on a paper on punk rock in the dorm lounge and had the Sex Pistols on as background noise/inspiration. Another freshman came down the hall and said, "Are those the strains of 'Anarchy in the UK' I hear?" This was Chris, who would go on to be my roommate and one of my best friends, and today is his birthday. This post is dedicated to him.

Back in 1998, vocalist John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, was a defendant on Judge Judy. I'll give away the suspense and tell you that he wins the case - the fun is in his being so unable to suppress himself in the presence of authority, as he himself notes to the camera with that bludgeoning stare of his.

NOTE: Due to me screwing up, any comments that were posted for the past two months or so only got posted last night. So don't think I've been ignoring your kind words; I've just been a touch ignorant of them. Anyway, the sluicegates are open once again - have at it...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Put on your red shoes & dance the blues

Happy birthday to my sister Rachel, who's not only an awesome writer, she's the biggest David Bowie fan I personally know. To celebrate, here's a video of one of his biggest hits.

And here's a cover version by M. Ward that reinterprets both the audio and the visual in arresting ways. (Buy his CD The Transfiguration of Vincent; you'll not be sorry.)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Never a dill moment

My friend Heather in Colorado was blogging about something she wanted to keep at least partially secret, so she referred to the [object] [matter] under discussion as "pickles." This caused a flurry of letters from people wondering if she was pregnant, which she is most emphatically not.

Heather, your pickle problems are nothing compared to this.

This is well nigh incomprehensible to me, but I can promise you that if I learned someone was afraid of pickles, I wouldn't have people approach with a heaping plateful. That would just be gherkin them around. Thank you! Tip your waitresses!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Young Adult Book of Exodus

This one's been around for a long time, but I wanted to fit it in the ol' MeTube repository and I didn't want to wait until Easter.

The beauty of this is in the details - the perfectly timed handclap at :06, the sight gag at :35, the choice of song at :37, and That Man's voice at 1:01. Not to mention the voice-over for the entire thing.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Haw haw

For your Saturday morning, here's an old Levi's ad. How old? Let's just say that it's back from when special effects weren't what they would become, when ads used jingles instead of songs, and when red jeans were pretty damn fashionable.

My brother pointed out that this was also the era where the pairing of fire hydrants 'n' dogs was considered the height of hilarity.

Friday, September 08, 2006


Thanks due once again to The Sports Guy for introducing me to this...

Tommy Seebach was a mainstay at the Eurovision Song Contest, proudly representing Denmark throughout the '70s and '80s. Here he and his cohorts raise the one and only question anyone watching can possibly have - namely, is this for real?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tom Waits Sells Out *snort*

If Michael Jackson wants to work for Pepsi, why doesn't he just get himself a suit and an office in their headquarters and be done with it. -- Tom Waits

He was between labels, he'd just gotten married, and he needed the money. So Tom Waits decided that just this one time, he'd do a voice-over for a commercial.

He also vowed he'd never do it again. To my knowledge, he hasn't - in fact, he's sued and won more than once when companies used soundalikes.

Incidentally, the ad won several awards. So if he's going to slum, it's nice to know he's terrific at it.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mister Magnificent One

Jerome Aniton was a roadie for Steely Dan back in their touring days. He was constantly drunk, so naturally he was usually the driver (hey, this was the '70s). He was also under the impression that Steely Dan was the name of the lead singer, not the band, and couldn't be dissuaded from that view.

One 1974 night in Santa Monica, he gave the band a drawn-out, slurred intro that was captured on tape, released on the b-side of "Hey Nineteen," and later appeared on the Citizen box set.

Here we have a fan lip-synching to it.

It takes talent to look that drunk and still time all the laughs perfectly. And the night vision camera's a real nice touch.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Dan

I've got friends who love Steely Dan, and I've got friends who despise them. I genuinely can't understand how anyone who shares a lot of my tastes could find nothing more satisfying than punching Donald Fagen (except maybe punching Walter Becker). Me, I enjoy the subversive lyrics, the complex melodies, and the edge that no amount of slickness can cover up.

They didn't do an awful lot of live performances in their '70s heyday, but here's a version of "Reelin' in the Years" from one of them.

The guitarist we see at the beginning is Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, future Doobie Brother and Pentagon employee. The heavy, bearded guitarist is Denny Dias, looking for all the world like an Arkansas mechanic. The hyper tambourine man is David Palmer, who was the lead vocalist at the beginning as Fagen didn't have the confidence in his voice. Fortunately, he found it, and Palmer, who in critic Robert Christgau's great phrase "fit in like a cheerleader at a crap game," was gone before the second album's release.

If you're a Dan fan, you should enjoy this. If not... well, maybe you'll like tomorrow's entry anyway.

Monday, September 04, 2006

35 Years Ago Today

Talk about serendipity: I ran across this clip just in time to post it on its anniversary. It's a trailer for Black Rodeo, a documentary about a rodeo held in Harlem. And what a soundtrack!

Wait, it gets better - the director, Jeff Kanew, 27 when this was released, went on to edit Ordinary People and direct Revenge of the Nerds.

I'd never heard of this before, but anything that has both "wokka-chicka-wokka-chicka" and Muhammad Ali on a horse has got to be worth the while.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Crazy Rhythms

My first weekend at college, there was a band playing named the Feelies. I had never heard of them, and as I wasn't the outgoing sort to begin with, I chose not to attend. This went on to be one of the five greatest regrets in my life, as they are now one of my favorite bands. The fact that they rarely played live outside of the New Jersey area just adds to the pain.

But now, thanks to YouTube, I can see them live, at the beginning of their careers, just as much as I want to. Here they are circa 1979, playing what would go on to be the title track from what would be their first album.

If you like this and want more, rent the movie Something Wild - they're the band at the high school reunion.

You know, I used to be that thin once...

Friday, September 01, 2006

For the first dance

Tomorrow I'm going to my cousin's wedding on the Cape, so I'll be taking that day off (my first since starting this blog, I'd like to note). Besides, it'll allow this clip to resonate an extra day.

This is Paul Williams and the Temptations performing "For Once In My Life."

I want this to be the first song I dance to at my own wedding.