Monday, June 10, 2019

Long Live The Bat: Late Night with David Letterman, June 22, 1989, Guest Starring Michael Keaton


As the exact date of the 30th anniversary of the release of the 1989 Batman film is a mere two weeks away, it's time to ramp up the celebration quickly with some great material I've found.

In this clip, Michael Keaton appears on NBC's Late Night with David Letterman the night before the release to promote the film and shoot the breeze with Dave. You can tell that Keaton and Letterman are old friends having a good time. I watched this episode the night it aired and distinctly remember the story Keaton tells about himself and Jack Nicholson checking out each other's costumes for the first time.

Enjoy!





Also do yourself a favor and watch the guys' cringe-worthy performance back when they were cast members of Mary Tyler Moore's variety show from the late 70s.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Swamp Thing 1991 Fox Kids Animated Series, "The Un-man Unleashed"



I'm excited to see the new Swamp Thing horror series debuting tomorrow on the DC Universe streaming service. In preparation, I watched the original 1982 theatrical movie directed by Wes Craven and starring Adrienne Barbeau yesterday. After doing a little IMDB-ing on ol' Swampy, I came across something I didn't know existed.

Back in the fall of 1991, a Swamp Thing animated series appeared on the Fox network. I was in high school at the time and wasn't paying much attention to Saturday morning TV at that point, so I shouldn't be surprised I missed it. Still, I'm surprised I don't hear other geeky-minded folks bring it up.

Admittedly, it's not a great series, but for a comic book fan, it's an odd curiosity worth checking out. It fits right in with what I remember Fox Saturday morning programming being: irreverent and obsessed with wacky, gross-out kinds of characters.

See the first episode for yourself and let me know what you think. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Long Live The Bat: Batman 1989 Movie Trailer


When I wrote my article announcing my focus on Batman's 80th anniverary, I also mentioned the 30th anniversary of the Batman film from 1989. I'll write the majority of articles about the movie closer to the June 23rd anniversary date, but today I'll feature the trailer for the film. This was the first glimpse the public got of any of the Bat craziness that was before them, and it's fun to look back on it 30 years later.

Enjoy! Also, I learned the next morning after writing this that April 22nd is Jack Nicholson's birthday, so...Happy Birthday Jack!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Joker Starring Joaquin Phoenix Movie Trailer



Two days after I published my article looking at the several incarnations of the Joker in other media, the first official trailer for the movie Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix was released. I had totally forgotten about the movie when writing my article, but I had originally planned to feature the 30 second makeup test Joker director Todd Phillips had released on Instagram last October.





Shortly after that video was released, amateur footage of some scenes surfaced on the 'Net, something highly unusual for a major studio picture.





And now we finally have the official trailer. Roll it!





I don't know what to make of the idea of a standalone Joker origin story. Will it feel like we're seeing the Joker we know and love to hate from the comics, or will it simply feel like a crazy guy in clown makeup who coincidentally calls himself the Joker? Projects in the past that separate themselves too much from the source material have not been great artistic successes (I'm looking at you, Catwoman), but with creative bigwigs like director Todd Phillips (the Hangover films), executive producer Bradley Cooper (and former EP Martin Scorsese) and stars Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro in tow, will this movie beat the odds? I guess we'll find out when the movie opens October 4th.

Until then, put on a happy face!



Monday, April 1, 2019

Long Live The Bat: The Joker



It may seem weird that my first official post of my yearlong Batman tribute would be dedicated to his greatest foe instead, but one of Batman's defining characteristics has been his rogues gallery of villains, most of all the Joker. And besides, who better to feature on April Fool's Day?

Like Batman, the Joker has had several incarnations the last 80s years. Sometimes he's a psychopathic killer who will do anything depraved; other times, he's simply a laughing crook who likes to wear clown makeup and challenge Batman to surfing contests. Either way, the Joker has captivated audiences unlike any other supervillain. Here he is in some of his various personas.

Here's six minutes of Cesar Romero's Joker laughing his head off!.





Not to be outdone, Mark Hamill's Joker is no slouch in the maniacal laughter department.




Jack Nicholson's Joker is basically that: Jack being Jack but in clown makeup. And audiences loved it!




Heath Ledger's Joker was a bit less histrionic that otber portrayals, but his was no less menacing. Far from it!




OK, Jared Leto's Joker was not so well received by the public at large, but I found him surprisingly effective, even if we didn't see too much of him in Suicide Squad.




Of course, for many comic book devotees, no version of the Joker in other media will ever top the Joker in his natural habit, the printed page. In any format he appears in, he will always be the one true Clown Prince of Crime.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Long Live The Bat: Batman's 80th Anniversary


Holy Anniversary! This Saturday, March 30th commemorates the 80th anniversary of the first appearance of perhaps the most popular superhero of all time, Batman!

DC Comics is celebrating this momentous occasion all year long with various events, starting this week with the publication of the 1000th issue of the comic book that started it all, Detective Comics. Further events will be announced at a special Web site DC has created, Batman80.com. Stay tuned there for more announcements all year long.

But that's not the only Web site celebrating the Year of the Bat. I will feature occasional articles honoring the Caped Crusader right here at Me and You. There are many aspects of Batman to focus on, and I hope to shine a bat signal on some of my favorite facets of him here.

Not only is 2019 the 80th anniversary of Batman's first appearance, it's also the 30th anniversary of the Batman movie starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson and directed by Tim Burton. That movie is a big reason why Batman has been such a prominent part of pop culture these past 30 years, so in addition to the general bat-tastic fun I'll be posting this year, I'll place special emphasis on the 1989 film.


Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed--get ready to roll out with me all year long in celebration of Batman. Stay tuned to this blog--same Bat Time, same Bat Channel!



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Peter Tork, 1942--2019


It's always sad to note the passing of a musician/actor/artist you've admired all your life, and this is no different.

I've been a Monkees fan since I saw reruns of the series on UHF TV as a very young child, and my love for them was solidified when they reunited in 1986. I was fortunate to attend their tour date at Veterans Stadium here in Philadelphia, and my friends and I were inspired to dive deep into their albums that were reissued at that time. We were forever hooked. And it was clear to me even then that Peter Tork, despite being the quiet "dummy" of the band, was the most talented musician.

My respect for him grew as I matured, and I was blown away by his talent back in 2011 when I saw the band on tour again. I'm glad I got to see him again one more time. Now that he is gone, I will hold those memories even closer than before.

Here is a small sample of his best work, both as a singer and songwriter. Rest in peace, Peter.



Thursday, February 14, 2019

The Muppet Valentine Show on the Advent Calendar House Podcast!


Hello everyone, Happy Valentine's Day!

I have a great way for you to celebrate this lovely day--by listening to me and two other fine folks discuss an obscure Muppets special!

Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in an episode of the Advent Calendar House podcast, which discusses classic Christmas TV specials and movies, with occasional forays into other holidays. This time, Valentine's Day is a foray!

Podcast host Mike Westfall and guest Joey O and I discuss 1974's The Muppet Valentine Show, a special that doubled as a pilot for The Muppet Show. The special is quite different from the celebrational, Muppetational program we all know and love. You can check out the special on YouTube here, and listen to the podcast below!



Enjoy! And thanks once again to Mike for allowing me on the show. Thanks Mike! Happy Back to the Future Day!




Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Goffin/King Demos of Monkees Songs



This past weekend, my daughter and I enjoyed seeing the touring version of the Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. One of the many great songs co-written by King featured in the show is "Pleasant Valley Sunday," made famous by the Monkees. However, although that's the biggest hit written by the duo to be performed by the band, the Monkees recorded several other great songs by Gerry Goffin and King. Here are a few examples, with demos recorded by King featured first, followed by the Monkees' final version.

From the band's debut album, here is "Take a Giant Step." First is a country/western style demo by King, followed by a psychedelic folk fusion by the Monkees.





Next is "Sometime in the Morning," featured on the band's sophomore album More of the Monkees. Due to the swiftness in which the album was released and the impressiveness of King's demo, producers simply added Mickey Dolenz's vocal over King's recording.




Finally, a departure from the usual Goffin/King style, the heavily psychedelic ode "The Porpoise Song," written and recorded for the Monkees' movie Head. I love the Latin phrase King throws on at the beginning and end of her demo.




This isn't the first time I shared a Goffin/King demo of a Monkees song. You can check out King's demo for Pleasant Valley Sunday here.

Demos like this help music fans really appreciate the evolution of a song from first writing to final production. The twists and turns a song takes during this process is fascinating to me. I hope it is for you too.

Thanks!


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Dick Van Dyke and the Peanuts Gang, CBS On The Air (1978)



Hello everyone, Happy New Year!

After a couple weeks' break for the holidays, I'm back, at least for this post. Things may be slow this month as I continue to get back into the swing of things, but I will be back full time soon.

Today I offer a brief clip of two of my favorite performers: Dick Van Dyke, and the Peanuts gang. This momentous occasion occurred on the five-night special CBS On The Air, which aired during 1978 for CBS' 50th anniversary. Here, Van Dyke dances with the Peanuts characters similarly to the way he did with the animated characters in Mary Poppins. A cute treat I was happy to find by accident without knowing it existed.

Enjoy!


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