Monday, November 30, 2009

Odd Christmas TV Commercials

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend this year. With that behind us, we now go full throttle into the holiday season. For those who are new to the blog, I am one of the biggest Christmas fans you will ever meet. I looooove Christmas! This is also my favorite time of year to blog. I basically keep the blog going the other 11 months of the year just to ahve an excuse to blog at Christmas. With that said, let's get right to it!

I always start off with some cool Christmas commercials, and this year is no exception. However, today's batch of commercials is a bit on the weird side. What do I mean? Take a look!

This young man is doing his best to have a romantic Christmas with his girl, but things go a bit awry. Thank Bud Light for this one.



What do you expect me to follow up with, a Swatch Watch commercial featuring the Fat Boys? OK!



I suppose now you want to see a Hawaiian Punch commercial with Donny and Marie Osmond, don't you? Fine, BE that way!



Finally, a commercial which proves that things aren't always what they appear.



Yes, a strange way to kick off the holidays, but entertaining none the less. Tomorrow I'll have more commercials with a more heartwarming tone. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Cornucopia 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone enjoys the long holiday, and if you're traveling, please be safe. Before the weekend, I have a few last clips for your enjoyment.

Here Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro debate who best can play a pilgrim versus a turkey. I agree with Bobby--he's more of a pilgrim type.



Tomorrow night at 8pm, ABC presents A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Here is a clip of someone playing the music from the special by the late great Vince Guaraldi. Very nice!



Back in the day, networks used to play children's programming on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving, as kids were home that day. Here is an old promo from the early 70s boasting ABC's After Turkey Day fare.



Here is a short narrative of the first Thanksgiving created and aired on WCAU-TV Philadelphia in the early 90s. Most TV stations don't make educational/seasonal clips like this anymore, which is a shame.



Finally, I have two audio presentations for you. First, the classic "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie, as he recants one of the most unusual Thanksgivings you'll hear about.



Lastly, a solemn, sweet way to remember that the day is truly a day to be thankful for what we have. "We Gather Together."



Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

But wait, what's this?



Yes! My favorite time of the year is finally here! In case you're new to the blog, I live for the oliday season, and it shows in the blog. Please stay tuned; I have fantastic Christmas stuff on the way!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saturday Night Live, "Turkey Day"

As much as I love eating turkey on Thanksgiving, I do feel sorry for turkeys everywhere. They don't ask to be dinner; they just want to live and love like any one of us. Can you imagine what it must be like to be a turkey on the run from the barrel of a gun?

Now you don't have to imagine. Simply watch this "dramatization" from Saturday Night Live. Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mama's Family, "An Ill Wind"

Welcome to a short week! I'm continuing my annual Thanksgiving feast with an episode of the mid-80s sitcom Mama's Family. Mama and her family spend Thanksgiving together while trapped in the basement due to a tornado; the usual downhome hilarity ensues. Enjoy!




Friday, November 20, 2009

Q*Bert, "Thanksgiving for the Memories"

Way back in my beloved decade known as the 80s, there was a tendency by TV networks to give any pop culture phenomenon possible an animated series, no matter how weird. Video games were no exception. This led to such things as cartoon versions of Pac-Man, Pole Position, and others.

This is related to Thanskgiving, so stay with me for a second.

One of these programs was Saturday Supercade, an hourlong multi-story show featuring Donkey Kong, his son Junior, Frogger, and Pitfall. As bad an idea as this seems, I watched every week. My favorite segment was Q*Bert. For those youngsters out there who aren't familiar with him, here is what the game looked like:



How to turn this character into a cartoon star? Make him a high school student dressed in late 50s garb along with his friends and enemies, of course! For whatever reason, I enjoyed this cartoon quite a bit. One episode that vaguely stayed in my memory all these years is the Thanksgiving episode.

Told ya I'd bring it back to Thanksgiving!

In this presentation by the Minisode Network, Q*Bert and his pals learn about the first Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Real Ghostbusters: The Revenge of Murray The Mantis

Today, I present a Thanskgiving episode of--The Real Ghostbusters? Yes indeed. This time, the boys take on a possessed Thanksgiving parade balloon, the titular Murray The Mantis. Plus, the return of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Enjoy!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Popeye, "Wigwam Whoopee"

Hello everyone, and sorry for the lack of posting the last few days. It's been crazy busy this week, but I'm back, and just in time to kick off some cool Thanksgiving stuff! God, it's hard to believe Turkey Day is just a week away. Let's get right to it!

Today I offer a Popeye cartoon that I don't remember seeing when I was a kid. Here, Popeye is an explorer off of the Mayflower who falls in love with, you guessed it, an Indian version of Olive Oyl. Complications ensioux (get it?) when the chief of the tribe takes on Popeye. Cue the spinach!



For more Thanksgiving fun starring Popeye, click here. Thanks!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Twenty Something Normal Turtle

In case you haven't heard, cable channel Nickelodeon purchased the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles for $60 million last month. That's a lot of cash, making them four very rich turtles. There is one turtle, however, who will miss out. Why?

Because he's only a Twenty Something Normal Turtle.



Poor bastard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street Turns 40

Yes it does! And in honor of this achievement, I present some old school songs from the series. My era of Sesame Street watching was the late 70s/early 80s, but these songs were a part of the show even before that.

Take a Breath!



If I Could Only Paddle Like a Doggie Oughta Paddle


There's a Bird On Me


Imagination (love this one!)
That's About the Size of It (really love this one!)


Somebody Come and Play


I Love Trash (an orange Oscar? Yep)


Milk (yet another favorite!)


The Alligator King


It's Not Easy Being Green (can't have a Sesame Street retrospective without Kermit)


And finally, quite possibly the most famous Sesame Street song of all, Sing.


This post is brought to you by the letter B and the number 8.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Prediction of the Internet From 1969

In the 1960s, The US military created ARPANET, the predecessor to today's Internet. It was originally conceived to be used for military and university applications. However, a forward thinker was able to see the potential for use of the 'Net by everyone. Here is how the Internet was envisioned back in 1969. Not too far off the mark, although a little sexist.



If only I could watch this clip, or any YouTube clip for that manner. A new Flash player came out last week, but my workplace hasn't updated it yet. Me sad :(

Friday, November 6, 2009

Starcrash Film Trailer from 1979

Strange things wind up in my "Recommended For You" section of my YouTube account all the time. Some I wish never popped in there, and others I'm thrilled to discover. The following is an example of the latter.

This is the trailer for a movie from 1979 called Starcrash. Wow. This is a blatant ripoff of Star Wars, except it features two things the first Star Wars film doesn't have. A series of scantilly clad women...

...and David Hasselhoff.

I must see this movie.



Yes, I must see this movie!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who the Hell is Charlotte Braun?


That's exactly what I asked when I read a tweet from Chris Sims of the Invincible Super Blog the other day about this situation.

In case you haven't noticed, I'm one of the world's biggest Peanuts fans, and I consider myself a near-expert on the history of the strip and the animated TV specials. So it came as quite a surprise when I learned of a character that only appeared in ten strips from November 1954 to February 1955. Her name was Charlotte Braun, and she was supposed to be a female analog to Charlie Brown (hence her name). However, the character would become angry upon hearing someone say this, as she hated Charlie Brown. Her personality was very abrasive, and in fact she was a sort of predecessor to how Lucy and Sally would behave later on in the strip.

However, creator Charles Schulz became disenchanted with the character and decided to drop her quickly. His decision may have been influenced by a letter he received from an Elizabeth Swain, who complained about Charlotte. Schulz's acerbic response can be seen here.

I'm more surprised that I hadn't heard about this sooner than the dark humor Schulz applies to his letter. Although it wasn't always apparent in his strips, her certainly had a snarky sense of humor, especially for a Midwestern boy. I personally find the letter very funny.

Here's hoping none of you readers ever give me "The Ax!"

Oh, one more thing:

DAMN YANKEES!





Thanks, Phillies, for a fantastic season. See you at spring training!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Holy crap! I got mentioned in the Guardian!

I was checking my blog stats yesterday and noticed that I had over 120 hits on Halloween, much to my surprise. I thought people would be much too busy to read many blogs on that day. I then noticed that I had quite a number of hits from England on this one day, which I also found odd. Then I noticed why.

The Guardian is a long running and well established newspaper and Web site in the UK. In their Technology section, they gave a shout-out to my blog in an Internet reviews column. Awesome! Thanks to column author Johnny Dee for highlighting my site. Read the column here!

On, one more thing:

GO PHILLIES!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Welcome, New Readers, to my 2-Year Anniversary!

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed my contributions to the Countdown to Halloween. I'm sure many of you are sad to see the season go, but cheer up kitten! November is a great month. The crisp autumn air, walks through the fallen leaves--it's a nice month to take a breather and experience some serentiy before the holiday rush. And a great way to do that--read my blog! And if it's not so serene, read my blog anyway :)

Friday, October 30th marked my 2-year anniversary as a blogger. I've been thrilled to write it since then, and I like to take a few moments to look back at the previous year to see how the blog shapes up. Last year I started highlighting posts that I thought represented most clearly the goal of the blog, which posts were more popular, and which posts I simply like as my favorites. I label these posts "The Best of Me and You." My latest entries into this category for 2009 include:

The Flintstones Christmas Episode
Saturday Supercade
My Saturday Morning Recreated feature
And Now a Public Service Announcement---From Superman!
Commercials for Zeller's Department Stores Starring Batman

There will be others as well. This feature should be especially helpful for new readers who have just discovered my blog this past month. Please also feel free to check out all of my archives via the labels to the right. If you are a new reader, please stick around! I'm delighted to have you here.

Thanks!

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