Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Hello everyone! It's 9:30 on Christmas night as I write this. The gifts were opened long ago, and it's been a full day since Santa made his yearly ride around the globe. Everyone's bounty rests beneath the Christmas tree, and bellies are overfull with food and dessert. We're all tired, but happily so, basking in the afterglow of Christmas Day.

It's a great feeling, isn't it?

I'd been really worried that this Christmas was going to be a wash. Work and personal responsibilities were even more taxing than usual on my Christmas spirit this month. It seemed I couldn't listen to all the Christmas music I wanted, see all the Christmas TV I wanted, or simply devote my time and energy to enjoying this time of year. I stressed about getting the right gifts for my wife, both the quantity and quality of them (the only person I shop for--she takes care of everyone else, God bless her). On top of all that, last week our beloved dog Candy passed away after 14 wonderful years with her; her loss has hung heavily on our hearts since then. Even as recently as late last night I went to bed thinking "What kind of day is this going to be?"

I'm happy to say, I needn't have worried. We woke up (later than normal for Christmas Day, but even the kids welcomed the extra time in bed, oddly enough), had our annual Christmas pancake breakfast, then watched the kids delight in Santa Claus's presents. They loved every one of them! My daughter would later say to someone on the phone that she "got everything she wanted." Yes!

And yes, my wife was quite happy with the presents I gave her. Granted, she knew about half of them beforehand--and even bought one for herself on my behalf, but that's beside the point. And, as usual, I thoroughly enjoyed all of my gifts from her, my kids, and my in-laws. Afterwards, a few hours to simply decompress and lounge about, then a big Christmas dinner with my in-laws and some friends.

About an hour ago, I sat on my couch with my wife resting her legs on my lap and thought about the day, and I asked myself, "What was I worried about? This was a good Christmas!"

Today was a good Christmas. Good gifts, good food (lots of it), and everyone in good spirits. What more do you need?

It was a happy reminder that the quality of Christmas isn't about how many lights you have on your house, how many TV specials you've seen, or how many times you've heard "Snoopy's Christmas," as much as I love all of those things. It's about how much you love your life, your family and friends, and how much they love you. If those are solidly in place, your Christmas is set!

Next year, if I feel myself feeling holiday stress all over again, I'll read this post as a wake up call. I don't ever want to forget the valuable lesson I learned today. That lesson was possibly the best gift I received today, and that is a gift I wish you this Christmas and in the new year and beyond.

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Different Kind of Christmas Music Mix 2013!


Hey all! Christmas Day is exactly one week from today! Get into the home stretch of the holidays by grooving to this, my Christmas music playlist for 2013. I've always wanted to offer a Christmas mix CD or mp3 list, but I don't have the time and resources necessary, so I've looked to Ye Olde YouTube and combined some favorites into one of their playlists.

The title is "A Different Kind of Mix" for a reason. I've avoided the usual songs that, while great, we hear thousands of times on radio and streaming services. I'm attempting to offer something out of the ordinary. There is a good bit of novelty/comedy stuff here, but not exclusively. I may even expand the playlist if so inspired, so it may not be the same upon multiple listenings, so stay tuned throughout the season.

As always, I hope you enjoy. I'll even take requests. Thanks!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Classic Christmas TV Commercials 2013

This is the last full week before Christmas Day. That fact both thrills me and terrifies me--I still have shopping to do! Maybe some of these classic Christmas TV commercials will inspire me to find the right gifts.

You can always count on Hallmark for a great commercial--and a tear in your eye.



Rush over to K-Mart and pick up these "timely" music releases for the people on your Christmas list!



Yes, you too can give the gift of the Burger King that everyone is creeped out by!



Aw, I want the Flintstones Crazy Loco from Woolworth and Woolco!



Let yourself be creeped out again, this time by toys come to like to promote the Kodak Disk camera.



Finally, raise a mug of hot chocolate to the holidays--a cup of Nestle hot chocolate!

Friday, December 13, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, December 13th--Christmas Edition!


Hello gang! Although today is Friday the 13th, no need to fear of bad luck today, not during the holiday season! You can feel lucky as you click on these fun Christmas-themed links this weekend!

Chris Sims takes a look at the various Santa Claus action figures out there.

The Coca-Cola company reclaims a bit of their advertising history by discussing their involvement in the creation of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Making hot cocoa from a package is efficient, but not necessarily the best cocoa ever. Here's a recipe for creamy cocoa made in a crockpot. I want to try it!

Speaking of holiday beverages, here is a list (albeit a year old) of one reviewer's Top 10 Beers for Christmas. Chug, chug, chug, chug!

Finally, although I've mentioned this site before, it warrants repeating. Santa's Working Overtime is an awesome place to find out the latest Christmas music releases as well as a clearinghouse for other great Christmas finds on the 'net. Think of it as a full time Christmas List O' Links! They're awesome.

Have a great weekend! Get some shopping and decorating done! Don't drink and drive! Stay safe!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas Celebration


Our Christmas festivities continue with this awesomely animated special, Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas Celebration.

Will Vinton's Claymation studios made a big splash in the entertainment world in the late 80s thanks to his wildly popular advertising campaign for California Raisins and his unique method of stop-motion animation. In December 1987, CBS devoted a full hour to this Christmas special, which I fell in love with upon my first viewing. It includes an odd couple of dinosaurs, a bell who's lost his dinger, the Raisins (of course), and one of the best renditions of "Joy To The World" I've ever heard and seen.

This special wasn't rerun all that often after its first airing, and is hard to find. Enjoy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Christmas Carol, API Animation Studios

We get into double digit dates this week, so we need to get our Christmas celebration in high gear. I do that today by presenting this rare version of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.

This version was produced in Australia by animation studio API in 1969. I saw it only once when I was quite young, and I hadn't seen it since until now, when I stumbled across it by chance a month or two ago (I love when that happens!). Not necessarily the best animated telling I've seen, but a fine one. And I never get tired of this story ever.

Enjoy!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Night Dance Party--Christmas Edition!



It's the first Friday of December, and there's no better way to get into high gear for the holiday season than with a Friday Night Dance Party! Let's start it off with the best Christmas dance song ever!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas


Ho ho ho! Hello one and all to the holiday season at Me and You! I am beyond sorry that I haven't posted until now, but once again, Real Life rears its demanding head. But I don't want to put things off any longer. I'm getting started on spreading Internet Christmas cheer right now with this, the 1992 special Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas.

This time, the good Inspector is given his biggest task ever--save Christmas from that most terrible of grinches, Doctor Claw! Claw takes Santa's place and uses his workshop to create lousy toys and ruin Santa's reputation. Assisted (unbeknownst to him) by niece Penny and trusty dog Brain, Gadget makes his moves to stop Claw and rescue Santa!

The special aired on NBC December 4th, 1992. Here it is in its entirety. Enjoy!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Cornucopia: Leftovers Edition


Hello everyone! Here we are, about to start the best time of the year in my opinion, the holiday season! Usually by this time, I've served ample helpings of fun Thanksgiving programs to you, but personal and work responsibilities have kept me from doing that this year. Better luck next year, I hope!

However, after looking over Thanksgivings past, I see that there's some good stuff that you may have missed if you're a new reader. So why not serve some "leftovers" from the past for your enjoyment today?

Here is last year's tasty cornucopia.

The fun and forgotten animated specials B.C.: The First Thanksgiving  and Please Don't Eat The Planet: An Intergalactic Thanksgiving.

The educational Peanuts presentation of "The Mayflower Voyagers."

A "dramatization" of Thanksgiving from the turkeys' point of view, courtesy of Saturday Night Live.

Finally, one of my favorite Thanksgiving posts ever, a look at one family's Thanksgiving tradition discovered "On The Road with Charles Kuralt."

I wish all of you a healthy, safe, and Happy Thanksgiving! And also, Happy Chanukah!

But wait, what's this?




YAAAAAAAAY! CHRISTMAAAAAAAAAS! I love it! Get ready to ride Santa's sleigh all this month. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: The Mouse On The Mayflower


Hey folks! It's a short week, and for an excellent reason--Thanksgiving is here, and therefore, the holiday season! There's a lot to do before Thursday is here, so we'll get right to this week's Tuesday's Overlooked TV--the wonderful special The Mouse On The Mayflower.

The Mouse On The Mayflower is an animated special from the legendary (and delightful) Rankin/Bass studios about a mouse named Willum (voiced by Tennessee Ernie Ford) who travels with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower. Under harsh conditions, Willum assists the Pilgrims and Indians in working together to get the Pilgrims settled in the New World and celebrate the first Thanksgiving. The special first aired on November 23, 1968 on NBC.

Although it didn't quite become a perennial classic like Rankin/Bass's Christmas specials, Mayflower has all the charms you'd expect from the studio (including great voice work from the always excellent June Foray and Paul Frees). I've discussed this special once before several years ago, but I'm able to present it to you in full for the first time.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: 29th Street


Hey folks! Sorry for the lack of posting this month, but I've had quite a lot to catch up on, and posting may continue to be spotty the next couple of weeks, but I hope to crank things up throughout the holidays. Speaking of which, we get a small taste of the holidays with this week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film: the 1991 comedy 29th Street.

29th Street stars Anthony LaPaglia as real life New Yorker Frank Pesche, a young starry-eyed individual who doesn't know what he wants to do when he grows up, which is a problem considering he is a grown-up. Frank's drifting from one job to another while he finds his footing in life bothers his hard-working father (played by Danny Aiello), who has problems of his own due to running small jobs for the mob.

One unique thing about Frank: he seemingly has a lifelong string of good luck, literally from birth all the way to December 1976, when he becomes the first person to win the New York State Lottery. Yet in Frank's eyes, his good luck can sometimes appear to be a curse.

The film is a life-affirming, warm-hearted account of one man's true story (at least true by Hollywood standards) that also deals with the bonds between father and son. The real life Frank eventually became an actor. He appears in the film as his own brother, a police officer, and co-wrote the screenplay.

Unfortunately, the film is currently out of print, so you'll need to find a used copy or give your TV listings a search. Here is the film's trailer. Thanks!

Friday, November 8, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, November 8th, 2013


I was on the Internet this week. I found some links. Let's see them now, shall we?

Marvel and Netflix made a huge announcement yesterday, stating that Marvel will produce four separate but interweaving series for Netflix, one of which will star Daredevil, which will lead to a Defenders miniseries. This follows the model of Marvel's Avengers movies. I guess I'll have to get myself a Netflix subscription!

If you prefer your comics characters on the, well, comic side, you may enjoy DC Comics' Inferior Five; particularly, stereotypical dumb blonde character Dumb Bunny. It's as low-concept as you think it is.

Batman: The Brave and The Bold Season 1 was issued on DVD this week. Chris Sims points out the top 10 moments from the season.

Brianfall.com wants to know what Peanuts character are you? Unsurprisingly, I am Charlie Brown.

In retro video game happenings, you can download up to 120 retro game wallpapers.

Finally, if you appreciate a good bass line, and you also love dogs, good news! You can look at bass players playing dogs instead of basses! Isn't the Internet wonderful?

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

6-Year Blogiversary and How Are You

Hey gang, welcome back! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend, perhaps even getting in some late Halloween fun before starting November in earnest. The decorations are down, but they'll be back next year. I had a great Halloween season, and I hope you did too.

Now it's time to move on, and this time of year, I like to acknowledge the anniversary of this here blog! It launched on October 30th, 2007, but now that I'm deep in the Countdown at that time, I don't mention it until it's over. I like to look back at what I've written over the years, and if you'll permit me to toot my own horn, I'm very happy with what I've done with it all these years. It's not flashy, and I'm not as prolific as other blogs, but I do my best. I try to maintain a blog that I myself would be interested in reading. Whether or not the blog is entertaining for others is up to you.

You can always let me know what you like and don't like by leaving a comment, emailing me at phillyradiogeek@gmail.com, or completing my reader survey along the right of the blog.  Don't be shy; feel free to praise or disparage at will!

Here's to more fun and frivolity as we enter year 7 together. Thanks as always for reading. You're the best!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween 2013!


And here we are...

I want to thank everyone who has read and commented on the blog throughout the Countdown to Halloween. I am so happy I agreed to be a part of this five years ago, as it's allowed me to not only share some great stuff with you, but also see great stuff from you guys (and gals). Blogging the rest of the year has become increasingly challenging, but I always make time for the Countdown, and I'll keep doing so as long as I'm able.

I'll leave the blog  "decorations" up for a couple of days and save new posts until next week to allow the Halloween goodness to breathe a bit before moving on.  All Saints Day is tomorrow, and Dia de Muertos is this weekend, so it's still appropriate. Besides, with the weekend almost here, I suspect many will keep the spooky fun going for a little longer.

Have fun, be safe, and most of all...Happy Halloween!




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

One More Halloween Dance Party!


Music has been such a big part of my Halloween celebrations the past few years that I can't help but throw in one more Halloween dance party here on the blog before the Countdown is over. Here are some last few creepy tunes to keep you in the spirit in the season's final days. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein


Today is the last Tuesday's Overlooked Film for this year's Countdown to Halloween, and we visit one of my absolute favorite monster movies--Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein!

I frickin' love this movie!

Bud and Lou are railroad baggage claim clerks who receive some scary cargo--the bodies of Dracula and Frankenstein, sent to be featured in a Miami house of horrors attraction. Drac's goal--to take control of the Frankenstein monster by replacing the monster's brain with a dim-witted person whose easy to control.  The intended victim is Lou, naturally. Larry Talbot, aka The Wolf Man, learns of Dracula's plot and goes to Miami to stop Dracula. Lon Chaney Jr once again plays the Wolf Man, the role that made him famous, with Glenn Strange playing the Frankenstein monster and the great Bela Lugosi as Dracula. Surprisingly, as famous as Lugosi is for playing the evil count, this movie is only the second and last time he played the character on screen.

The movie has very funny moments (at least if you find their style of comedy funny--and I do), but the monsters are, wisely, the straight men to the antics of Abbott and Costello, allowing the comedy and spookiness to play out equally without drowning each other out. The climax of the film is quite satisfying and exciting, and the movie turns into an all-out monsterpalooza. The whole film is just great fun--what more can you ask from a classic monster movie?

Here is the film's trailer. I highly recommend you check the movie out. It's available at the usual outlets. Thanks!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Monsters Cereals TV Commercials from Four Decades


Only four days left of the Countdown to Halloween! It is amazingly how quickly it goes by every year. Only thing we can do is to enjoy the ride. We take on the beginning of the end is sweet style.

This Halloween season has been dominated by the existence of all five General Mills Monster Cereals at one time, as you well know, so let's take our second look at the cereals this season (here is the first) by enjoying 25 minutes of compiled TV commercials for the cereals in one sitting! It's fun to see the evolution of both the characters and the commercial production over the last 40-plus decades.

40-plus decades--wow!

Enjoy!

Friday, October 25, 2013

List O' Links Halloween Edition Part 2


Holy crap--Halloween is less than a week away! Plus, this is the last weekend before the big day (unless you plan on extending your Halloween celebration into next weekend after the big day, which many of you might). We really need to crank it up several notches. Let's do that with the help of some more awesome Halloween links!

If you haven't heard, some independent filmmakers created a fun but scary movie about two of the most non-scariest places in the world--Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Or are those places so innocent? Learn more about the indie film that's getting so much attention--Escape From Tomorrow!

When handing out treats next Thursday, don't be cruel. Do NOT hand out these Top 10 Worst Things to Give Trick-or-Treaters!

A large part of my Halloween horror film watching this season has been spent on the classic Universal Studios Frankenstein films. Here's a handy guide.

If you were a kid in the 1990s, chances are you enjoyed the Goosebumps series of young adults horror books by R. L. Stein. Here is a look at classic horror movies on the covers of fake Goosebumps books.

Surely you're familiar with the famous radio broadcast of War of the Worlds by Orson Welles and the panic it caused, but perhaps you've never actually heard it. Fear not--you can listen to it (and several other Welles broadcasts) right here!

Finally, here is a fun music EP from "geek musician" John Anealio with four songs all about Halloween or horror in some way. John has been doing his thing for some time now as both a musician and as a blogger and podcaster. You can download his EP for free or, if you can, pay what you can--you name your price.

Have a great spooky weekend! Be safe and have fun!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

HELL NO: The Sensible Horror Film

Tired of characters in horror films doing obviously stupid things? Then this is the movie for you!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vincent Price and Elvira on The Tonight Show, Halloween Night 1984


Today is, of all things, TV Talk Show Host Day, a day set aside to to honor--well, TV talk show hosts. I have no idea who created this, but at least they chose a fitful day; October 23rd is the birthday of Johnny Carson. However, the day is meant to honor all talk hosts, not just Carson. This gives me the opportunity to feature today's clip that I discovered just a week or two ago.

Here is a nearly 20-minute clip from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson from Halloween night 1984. David Brenner is guest hosting for Johnny, but his guests are two people perfect for Halloween conversation--Vincent Price and Elvira. TV nostalgia at its finest!

Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: The People Under the Stairs


Our next to last Halloween-themed Tuesday's Overlooked Film is the 1991 Wes Craven film The People Under the Stairs.

The titular People reside at a house inhabited by the Robesons, an eccentric couple who refer to each other as "Mommy" and "Daddy." They're also slumlords who have no shame in taking advantage of their poor tenants. When a couple of them decide to steal from the house for both revenge and the care of a loved one, they discover zombie-like people, mostly young, revealing just how demented Mommy and Daddy are.

Like all the films featured during the Countdown, this is as much a comedy as a horror, most of the comedy coming through the antics of the still-creepy Robesons (played with panache by Wendy Robie and Everett McGill, who also played a married couple in Twin Peaks). There is also a strong undercurrent of social commentary regarding race and class (I've heard it said that the Robesons are spoofs of Ronald and Nancy Reagan).

The film also features Ving Rhames in an early role. This is the second film featured in the Countdown directed by Wes Craven (the first being Vampire in Brooklyn).

Here is the film's trailer. Enjoy!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mickey's Halloween Treat in the Street at Disneyland Paris


Welcome to week 4--4!--of the Countdown to Halloween. I am amazed that we are this far into it already. I feel like we just got started!

Anywho, I've got a fun family-oriented presentation for you today. Here is a full 23-minute production from Disneyland Paris back in 2011 called Mickey's Halloween Treat in the Street. Disney theme parks always have cool holiday-themed productions, so if you can't get to one this Halloween, here's the next best thing.

Enjoy!



Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Night Dance Party, Halloween Edition Part 2


I had a good response to my last Halloween edition of the Friday Night Dance Party, so like any good horror show, I had to have a sequel!  Enjoy these terrifying tunes, these scary songs, these--well, you get the point. Put down that chainsaw and boogie!



Finally, here is a brand new song that was sent to me via my Zombie Sophia Twitter account directly from the band. It's has a great cool but dark tone that fits the season and its subject matter perfectly. Here is the band I Hate Todd with their latest single "Zombie Love." Enjoy!




Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Universal Pictures Short Film "BOO!"



Today I present a short film from way back in 1932 by Universal Studio called BOO! It's a comedic take on footage from classic horror films Frankenstein, Nosferatu, and a rare film called The Cat Creeps. Some of the jokes fall a bit flat, but most are pretty funny. Think of it as an early example of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I especially appreciate the jokes made about Congress at the time. Some things never change.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mighty Mouse Meets Jekyll and Hyde Cat


It's time for another cartoon in the Countdown. In the tradition of "Frankenstein's Cat," today I present another feline felon, Jekyll and Hyde Cat, facing off against the world's most heroic rodent, Mighty Mouse. Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked TV-Movie: Poor Devil


Sorry for missing a post yesterday, but I took the day off with my family for a recent tradition. On Columbus Day, we go to our local pumpkin patch and pick our Halloween pumpkins for the year. The kids also took a hayride, walked through a corn maze, and then we all went to lunch afterwards. A great time was had by all!

But now it's time to get back to business with this week's Tuesday's Overlooked--the TV-movie Poor Devil.

The devil in question is played by Sammy Davis Jr, who is trying to get in good with his boss Lucifer (played by Christopher Lee) by attempting to corrupt the soul of a straight-laced accountant played by Jack Klugman. The film was meant to be a pilot for an ongoing sitcom, but lack of interest killed the project. Davis was no stranger to devilish goings-on, as he was briefly involved with an L.A. satanist cult. Weird, but true. Read about it here.

And right here is where you can check out the entire film. Thanks!


Friday, October 11, 2013

List O' Links--Halloween Edition!


Hey there, Halloweenies! It's the second Friday of the Halloween season, and on most Fridays here at the blog, I offer some fun links I've come across the 'Net. Today, every link has a Halloween or spooky theme. So if you're not getting enough Halloween from the main Countdown site--and really, how is that possible?--here is some more Halloween mirth and merriment!

For marathon TV viewing, here are guides for ABC Family's 13 Night of Halloween and AMC's Fearfest.

Speaking of Fearfest, AMC uses this annual event to debut each new season of their hit series The Walking Dead (Season 4 starts this Sunday--yay!). As a fan of the series, I've kept alive (sort of) one of the show's zombified characters, the young girl Sophia, on Twitter as a satirical account. Give her, um, I mean me, a try!

As the autumn nights get cooler, you may want to warm yourself with a refreshing beer. Foodie site Endless Simmer recommends their Top 10 Beers to Drink on Halloween. I'd be interested to know your choices.

Chris Sims of Comics Alliance asks the question on everyone's mind: what makes a proper Halloween monster? As always, Sims has the correct answer.

If that discussion isn't enough to scare you, take a look at 18 Terrifying Old Costumes You Can't Unsee. Augh!

With October almost halfway over (how did that happen?), if you haven't decorated for Halloween already, you better get a move on. Help yourself out by getting your decor from Vintage Beistle, featuring famous and infamous Halloween decorations from back in the day!

Finally, no Halloween is complete without some great holiday tunes to groove by. A great new Tumblr site, 31 Days of Halloween Mixtapes, has a daily supply of great haunted tunes by category. Download and dance the night away!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Young Frankenstein Outtakes


Young Frankenstein is a great movie, possibly Mel Brooks' best. It's hysterically funny and has beautiful cinematography. Making it that way wasn't easy, as the following clips from AMC network's documentary show Backstory will attest. These clips also feature some fun outtakes from the cast, who often had a difficult time keeping a straight face, especially Gene Wilder.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Inspector Gadget, "Ghost Catchers"


We're a week and a half into the Countdown to Halloween, and I haven't posted a cartoon yet. It's time I rectify that now. Cartoons with a spooky theme are a staple of my Countdowns, and today I have a fun one.

It's an episode of everyone's favorite inept bionic detective, Inspector Gadget. Here, Gadget looks into a plot by MAD to bilk millionaires out of their fortunes by implanting fake ghosts in their homes, then charging the millionaires to bust them out. As usual, it's up to Gadget's niece Penny and dog Brain to help him out.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Vampire in Brooklyn


It's Tuesday, and that means Tuesday's Overlooked Film. In the midst of the Countdown to Halloween, we have this week's entry, Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn.

Vampire in Brooklyn stars Eddie Murphy as Maximillian, a suave vampire from the Carribean who has come to Brooklyn searching for the daughter of a fellow vampire. He believes he has found her in police detective Rita (Angela Bassett), who, it is revealed, has vampire ancestry. Maximillian gradually pulls Rita under his influence and bites her. Rita's partner sees Maximillian for what he is and works to save Rita from Max's power.

The film was not well received by either critics or at the box office, but there are fine performances here, even if the film does contain moments of Murphy's crude humor, which may turn off some viewers. Murphy also continues his habit of disguising himself under heavy makeup to portray multiple characters, such as a preacher and petty criminal. The movie still delivers some decent laughs as well as thrilling moments. Bassett is particularly intriguing to watch.

The film is available on DVD (quite cheaply, at that) as well as various streaming services. Below is the film's trailer. Thanks!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Jerry G. Bishop, the Original Svengoolie, 1935-2013


Welcome back for Week 2 of the Countdown to Halloween at Me and You and a Blog Named Boo. I hate to start the week on a down note, but I thought it appropriate to acknowledge the passing of a legendary broadcaster in the Cleveland, Chicago, and San Diego markets, Jerry G. Bishop. What makes this retrospective a candidate for the Countdown is because of one of his many jobs, that of horror movie TV host.

Bishop originated the character Svengoolie, a horror host for a new generation, for the local Chicago horror movie program Screaming Yellow Theater. Although Svengoolie had the usual corny jokes and creepy stage sets of your standard horror host, he also had the guise of a hippie (albeit a ghoulish one), with long hair and relaxed attire, a departure from the more traditional adorned host. He also sang song parodies related to the movies he screened, written by Bishop himself.

His show lasted only three years, but he proved popular, and inspired one of his writers to take on the role himself. Bishop encouraged underling Rick Koz to resurrect the character, named Son of Svengoolie, and continues in the role today both locally on Chicago station WCIU-TV and nationally on the ME TV retro television network.

Bishop would later become a broadcasting fixture in the San Diego area but had left his horror hosting duties behind him. Bishop past away on September 15th at the age of 77.

Here are some clips of Bishop as Svengoolie. Thanks!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday Night Dance Party--Halloween Edition!


What do you know--we're at the end of the first week of the Countdown to Halloween! Fortunately, we have four more weeks to go, so we still have plenty of time to get our Halloween on. We also find ourselves at the first weekend of the Halloween season, and I can't think of a better way to kick it off than with a Friday Night Dance Party!

This is something I did a couple of times this past summer which was a lot of fun, so I thought why not do a Halloween version? If all goes well, I may have one or two more this month.

So get out of your coffin and dance the night away with these awesome Halloween hits! Have a great weekend!



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Halloween TV Commercials 2013 Edition

And here we are at Day 3 of the Countdown to Halloween already (as far as the official site goes, anyway; for this blog alone, it's Day 4). We're just getting started, and already time is flying by. October 31st will be here before we know it!

Today I bring you a time-honored tradition of my Countdown--a set of fun Halloween or spooky-related TV commercials, usually the first sign that a holiday is upon us. Some are older, several are quite new, but they're all good ones.

First up--Fred the Baker and friend create some tasty Dunkin' Donuts Halloween Mini Donuts for a horde of monsters on the march. I'm in line right with them!



Next, this surprising take on the famous shower scene from Psycho proves a radio station's message that "Music Changes the Mood." Embedding is blocked for this video unfortunately, so check it out here.

I never knew Micro Machines had a Halloween commercial, yet here we are. If it doesn't say Micro Machines, it's not the real thing!



Staying with the automobile theme for a second, here is a commercial for Meineke Discount Mufflers I totally forgot existed until today. The Invisible Man and the Mummy will NOT pay a lot for their mufflers!



Having some special friends is a great way to score Mars candy when trick or treating!



For some more recent commercials, here Dracula feels like a kid in a candy store, thanks to Geico.



A great commercial that debuted last year and is airing again this year is this fun one from Snickers, starring the "Horseless Headsman." You'll have to excuse him; he gets confused when he's hungry.



Finally, a great one that just debuted last month. Sprint launches their Unlimited for Life plan, perhaps even for those who are "not alive." But don't call him a zombie.



Happy Haunting, comsumers!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Monster Cereals Records from 1979


Welcome back for Day 2 of the Countdown to Halloween. Today I feature two tasty treats: recordings starring the Monster Cereal characters!

As I'm sure you know by now (as the news has taken the Halloween online community by storm since August), General Mills has not only brought back cereals Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry for another Halloween season, they've also resurrected two previous monster cereals that have been entombed for years--Frute Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy. In addition, there are two different box designs for each cereal, a regular one available everywhere and retro-style boxes available exclusively at Target stores.

Unfortunately, what you won't find are these two cool records that were available on select boxes of Monster Cereals in 1979. In the first story, Chocula goes to Hollywood to become a movie star, and in the second record, the Count, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry go into space.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: The Stuff


Welcome one and all to the Countdown to Halloween at Me and You and a Blog Named Boo! I'm sure many of you are checking out the blog for the first time, and I thank you. I hope you'll return again and again. I cheated a bit this year, as I started my Countdown yesterday with a few clips to get you in the Halloween mood, but today I start the Countdown in earnest.

I do so with a feature called Tuesday's Overlooked, in which I and other blogs present a look at a film or TV program that may be forgotten or unfairly ignored. This week, I discuss the 1985 satirical horror film The Stuff.

The Stuff in question is marketed to consumers as a highly popular dessert and becomes a commercial sensation. What the public doesn't realize is that the Stuff is in fact a sentient organism that controls the minds of those who eat it until it no longer has use for the person and destroys the consumer. The deadly details are realized by a young boy, who witnesses the Stuff's affect on his family, as well as an industrial espionage expert (Michael Moriarty) and a Famous Amos stand-in played by former Saturday Night Live cast member Garrett Morris. The three of them team up with a zealot-like military officer (Paul Sorvino) to combat the parasite.

Like all the films I'll feature throughout the Countdown, the film is equal parts comedy and horror, but neither aspect undermines the other. The Stuff is funny, but no less creepy. Like many other horror films, it has an undercurrent of social commentary about America's consumer culture. A film that successfully balances chills, laughs, and thought provocation is certainly both a closer look.

Unfortunately, The Stuff is currently out of print, so your best bet to find it is through the secondary market. No, I'm happily wrong! The movie is available at Amazon both on DVD and streaming.

For a taste of The Stuff (see what I did there?), check out the film's trailer.

Thanks, and enjoy the Countdown to Halloween!


Monday, September 30, 2013

Countdown to Halloween 2013 Opening Ceremonies

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

After 11 months in hibernation, it begins again. Welcome one and all to the Countdown to Halloween at Me and You and a Blog Named Boo!  OK, I admit I'm cheating, the Countdown officially starts tomorrow, but I just couldn't wait to begin sharing some awesome Halloween stuff with you. Plus, as tomorrow is Tuesday, that means a new Tuesday's Overlooked movie or TV program, and I have a great spooky-related one planned for that day. Also, tomorrow will be the day when the main site posts a list of all the participating blogs. Please try to check out as many as you can throughout the season, as everyone posts great stuff all month long.

So let me kick off the festivities with some great clips to warm you up for the season.

Let the Countdown to Halloween begin!


Friday, September 27, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, September 27, 2013


This is the last weekend of September. It's been a busy month for all, I'm sure (it certainly has been for me), so we've all earned a fun, relaxing weekend. Especially since the rest of the year is going to be even busier, but also a lot of fun. The last three months are my favorite of the year: we've got Halloween (and the Countdown to it), Thanksgiving, and my favorite holiday of the year, Christmas!

And appropriately enough, my favorite time of the year kicks off Saturday, which is my birthday! Happy Birthday to me! :)

OK, enough on the passage of time, let's get right to the links!

Check out an actor dressed as Superman at the 1939 World's Fair. This unnamed actor is likely the first live action representation of the hero.

I'd love to hear what the grammar police would say about this author's punctuation proclamation--"Kill the Apostrophe!"

I know it's early, but new Christmas music releases start coming out strong in October. Keep track with Amazon's list of new Christmas music releases here.

Remember Freedom Rock, man? Here's an update on what one of the actors in that famous commercial is doing these days.

The TV series Marvel's Agents of SHIELD debuted this week (and I thought it was awesome!) and Iron Man 3 was released on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital HD download this week as well. But did you know that prose novels starring the Avengers were available way back when? Check out their nice cover art here.

Finally, this wouldn't be a decent geek-related blog without some Star Wars cosplay. Here is a video featuring an awesome wookie outfit!

Have a great weekend, and please come back Monday, as next week kicks off--the COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN! See you then!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked: I Got Nothin'


I'm afraid the title says it all. The Overlooked well is running dry this week, and I'm sorry about that. I do, however, encourage you to check out Overlooked treasures of the past by clicking on the Tuesday's Forgotten keyword in the "May I Help You Find Something" section along the right of the blog. I really need to update that label, as I no longer call the feature "Forgotten." Still, you'll find some goodies there you may have missed previously.

As for the future, I have some good news there.

As you may know, the Countdown to Halloween starts next week! My Overlooked selections will reflect that, as they are all horror-related, or at least connected to the spooky and weird in some way or another. There are five Tuesday's this October, so I've already selected five fun films.

As I was thinking of them this morning, I realized that, purely by coincidence, the selections I've made, while still spooky-related, also have strong elements of comedy to them. Also, two of the five films have the same director.

Oooh, teasers!

I hope you'll stay with me as we look at creepy (sort of) Overlooked films all through October. Thanks!

Friday, September 20, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, September 20, 2013


It's another weekend! Time to kick back and relax with some links. Here we go!

Did you ever wish you could look like an A-list celebrity? Well, chances are, you can't. But you can enjoy A-list celebrities looking like "normal" people.


The Fall TV season officially kicks off this upcoming Monday (the Fox network and most syndicated programs have already started this week). It will be interesting to see what new shows won't make it to a second season. You know what else is interesting? Eleven ill-conceived TV spin-offs that almost made it to air. A M*A*S*H spin-off starring Radar, anyone?

If I have my way, I may need to take advantage of this article. How to play your Atari 2600 on a modern television. I have two Ataris, and I hope to get one of them up and running in the coming weeks.

I'm happy to say that reruns of Gilligan's Island are now playing on retro TV network Me TV! This begs the age-old question: Ginger or Mary Ann? The correct answer is Mary Ann, by the way.

Finally, watching Adventure Time is the most fun thing you can do these days, but did you know it can also make you a better person? Really, it can. Give it a try!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Monkees, "Hitting the High Seas"


Avast, ye hearties! Today 'tis Talk Like A Pirate Day, and we celebrate this day with a look at the one of the most famous and beloved episodes of The Monkees, "Hitting the High Seas." The boys are hired to work on what they think is a simple cargo ship, but instead turns out to be a modern-day pirate ship trying to rob the Queen Anne cruise ship!

That's a lot of uses of the word "ship!"

Enjoy, landlubbers!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: The Invisible Man



Before I get to this week's Tuesday's Overlooked, I want to let you know that the Countdown to Halloween is coming back! For the fifth year in a row, I, along with dozens of other blogs, will be spending the entire month of October showcasing Halloween and horror- or spooky-related material. It's one of the biggest, if not thee biggest, event here at the blog all year. The official start is Tuesday, October 1st, exactly two weeks from today, but I'm going to start a day early, Monday. September 30th. Mark your calendars, it's going to be spooktacular! For more information, click on the Frankenberry badge along the right side of the blog or simply click here.

With that said, I now return you to your regularly scheduled Tuesday's Overlooked TV--the science fiction series The Invisible Man.

The man in question is Darien Fawkes, an expert thief who is pulled out of prison by The Agency, a clandestine organization which implants into him the Quicksilver gland, which allows him to secrete a light-bending substance that renders him invisible. The Agency sends him on various missions to stop evil threats to society. However, one of the makers of the gland is an evil scientist (of course), who intentionally creates a defect in the gland; it induces pain and psychosis in the user after he's been invisible for a certain period of time. This requires the Agency to stop Fawkes from remaining invisible for too long or else he'll lose his mind completely.

The premise is as wacky as it sounds, but the show had a cheesy charm to it, as long as you didn't take it seriously. During its first of two seasons (2000-2002), the series aired simultaneously on both first-run broadcast syndication and cable TV's Sci Fi Network (now SyFy).

Here for your enjoyment is the series' movie-length pilot. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: The New People


A day late and a dollar short, here is this week's Tuesday's Overlooked TV--the short-lived ABC TV series The New People.

The New People involved a group of young college students who crash in a plane on their way home from a trip to Southeast Asia. They land on an island that, although uninhabited, is littered with ghost towns and mannequins made to look like a real American town. It's determined that the town was created by the American government for possible nuclear bomb testing. The students, with no adults over 30 as they died in the crash, use the town to create their own civilization, leading to several Lord of the Flies-type culture clashes and leadership contests.

The series, with a pilot scripted by Rod Serling, was intended to be an examination of issues presented by the counterculture of the time, and demonstrate the challenges that a youth-oriented control of society would face. However, the series did not receive either good criticism or ratings and only lasted four months. When Lost became a success, comparisons were made to this series, reintroducing the old series to the public.

There is scant footage of the series available, but what I could find is shown here. Thanks!


Friday, September 6, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, September 6, 2013


After a long hiatus, List O' Links is back! Spend the first weekend of the new school year with these links!

Vocals by famous singers isolated from musical tracks have become common thanks to the Internet the last couple of years. If you're a Beatles fan like I am, you'll enjoy these isolated vocal tracks from Abbey Road.

This article is a year old, but I share it's sentiment. The author pontificates on the autumn tradition of reading the Fall Preview issue of my former employer, TV Guide!

Speaking of autumn traditions, here is a list of notable observances throughout the month of September.

August 28th was legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby's birthday. Here is a list of virtues Kirby lived by that helped him create his work throughout his long career.

As long as I'm posting a list o' links about lists, here's another: Salon.com's 23 signs you're a secret narcissist.

Finally, the Countdown to Halloween that I participate in begins October 1st as usual, but one eager blogger is already counting down on his own! His blog is Dinosaur Dracula, and a couple of weeks ago, he sampled the newly returned Monster cereals Frute Brute and Yummy Mummy. Check out his hilarious review here.

Have a great September!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Michael Nesmith in Elephant Parts


Hi everybody! If there's a bookshelf in the background of my blog, it means that Labor Day has passed and summer is unofficially over. For me, between the soggy, rainy weather, my daughter's broken arm in the month of July, and a lot of running around during August, summer was pretty much a bust for my household. But no use in complaining. The best thing to do is welcome autumn with open arms and appreciate its splendor. Cool weather, changing color of the leaves, and a certain countdown in the month of October ;)

But first things first. We have this week's Tuesday's Overlooked TV: the 1981 TV special Elephant Parts, created by and starring former Monkee Michael Nesmith.

Elephant Parts is a bit hard to describe, but it's basically an hour of weird comedy sketches, some a parody of Nesmith's previous post-Monkees projects, accompanied by five music videos of Nesmith songs (my favorite being "Rio"). While not exactly groundbreaking, it is amusing, and it definitely shows Nesmith's influence on the creation of visual-dependent media such as MTV. See for yourself below and enjoy the entire hour.

I hope you had a great summer; here's to a wonderful fall!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown


As the summer of 2013 winds down, I'm featuring a summertime family adventure for Tuesday's Overlooked Film--the 1977 animated movie Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown.

In this, the fourth theatrical film featuring Charles Schulz's Peanuts gang, the kids are off to summer camp where they face a small band of bullies in various competitions, the most grueling of which is a days-long river raft race, complete with construction zones, thunderstorms, cheating on the part of the villainous bullies, and the gang's own ineptitude. Will they overcome these obstacles to come through in the end, or will good ol' Charlie Brown let his friends down yet again?

Spoiler alert: they win.

As a lifelong Peanuts fan, this was always one of my favorite kids movies. I had a VHS copy that was worn out that I haven't had in at least twenty years. Just the other day, I was helping my wife, a schoolteacher, prepare her classroom for the new year and came across the film on a much better VHS copy she inherited from a retired teacher. Like manna from Heaven! I was thrilled to find it and share it with my kids this weekend.

You can share the film with your kids too--or just yourself!--by watching the film in its entirety on YouTube. Enjoy!




Just for gits and shiggles, here are a couple of fun images related to the film.

A photo of the original videodisc version of the film from the early 80s. Remember those?


Up next, a poster for the film created and released in Poland with original artwork based on Schulz's character design. It almost looks expressionist or something. I like it!


Finally, a poster from Japan, featuring artwork taken directly from the film, but with its own special design. Very cool!


Thanks!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine


This week's Tuesday's Overlooked TV is an obscure choice, but a fun one--the late 70s children's series Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine.

The character Marlo was a man who worked in the basement of a computer company, banished there after falling out of favor with the gruff owner of the company. Marlo would be bossed around during the day, but after hours, Marlo would sneak off to his secret area where he would interact with the Movie Machine, which Marlo built from the company's spare parts. In addition to sharing conversation with the machine, it would display short clips and features from various sources and play different games with Marlo and the viewing audience.

Marlo was a production of CBS affiliate WFSB in Hartford, CT, then picked up by a handful of other stations across the country. The series only lasted from 1977 to 1980 and wasn't exactly a pop culture phenomenon, but it has a small group of fans. For years I remembered Marlo himself and the Machine, even if I couldn't remember the actual clips or even the title of the series. As the series was the production of a CBS affiliate, I probably saw it on WCAU Channel 10 here in Philadelphia, likely paired with the channel's local production The Candy Apple News Company.

Here is the series intro. Enjoy!


Sunday, August 18, 2013

I'm all over the flippin' Internets!

Not only can you find me at the blog, I'm everywhere on the Internet! In case you're keeping score, here's the rundown of the Me and You Internet Empire!

Of course, I'm on Facebook, but then again, isn't everybody? To friend me, click on the banner to the right or simply click here!

If you're the tweeting type, you can follow on me Twitter by clicking the button on the right or right here.

For those of you who have a Google+ account--which, I can attest to, is a small number--you can add me in your circles here.

You may remember a site called Formspring, in which you could solicit questions from your social media followers or ask them questions. They almost became extinct earlier this year but got a last-minute reprieve. They have now renamed themselves Spring, and you can ask me a question here.

And the biggest news of all--I'm now on Instagram! The picture sharing site has taken the virtual world by storm, and you can follow me here.

See you on the Internet!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: The Incredible Mr. Limpet


For the third week in a row, Tuesday's Overlooked Film in an aquatic one. This week, it's the 1964 Don Knotts vehicle The Incredible Mr. Limpet.

Knotts plays the titular Henry Limpet, who attempts to enlist in the Navy, along with his buddy, days before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Declared 4-F, a despondent Henry stares into the ocean below a pier and says "I wish, I wish, I were a fish," then suddenly falls overboard into the sea, finding himself turned into a fish.

As a fish, Henry befriends a female fish who he uncreatively names Ladyfish, and a crab whose personality lives up to his name. Together, they discover Henry's ability to propel large objects with a sonic sound he generates, which proves useful against Nazi U-boats.

Yes: it's fish vs Nazi U-boats. And that is awesome.

The film was a perennial on TV when I was a kid, and I always looked forward to it. I found it's blending of animation and live action ahead of its time, even though it really wasn't. Still, the film is a lot of fun and a fine choice for family viewing. It's not only available on DVD, but in Blu-Ray as well.

Here is the film's trailer. Thanks!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Blue Water, White Death


As I'm sure Discovery Channel has let you know, this week is Shark Week, their annual week-long marathon of shark-related programs. As a big fan of sharks myself, I have no qualms about riding the shark zeitgeist. Therefore, Tuesday's Overlooked Film is the 1971 documentary Blue Water, White Death.

The film tracks the efforts of underwater photographers Peter Gimbel and the legendary Ron and Valerie Taylor to film the great white shark, one of the first attempts to do so. Audiences were amazed at the sight of these creatues up close, making stars of the Taylors. They would later go on to film the live action footage for Jaws and other films. Even with all the seemingly thousands of shark films available today, Blue Water, White Death remains a landmark of nature filmmaking.

You can enjoy the film in its entirety here. Thanks!


Friday, August 2, 2013

Another Friday Night Dance Party!

Hey all! Last week's Friday Night Dance Party was such a success that we're bringin' it back this week. 1, 2, 3, 4, get your woman (or guy) on the floor and get down with your bad self. HOOOOOOOOOOOO!



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