Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I'm sending off 2008 with the TV special Happy New Year, Charlie Brown. The Peanuts gang is assigned to read War and Peace during Christmas vacation, and Charlie Brown is having quite a hard time. I can't blame him; what kind of teacher assigns a bunch of 2nd graders War and Peace?
Enjoy, and Happy New Year! My blessings for you in the new year ahead.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Today I bring you the "reason for the season." Here is the telling of Christ's birth from the epic TV miniseries Jesus of Nazareth.
Here is the condensed version:
And so wraps another season of Christmas blogging. I don't think I had as high a number of posts this year compared to last year, but the quality was closely on par, if I do say so myself. I wish I had some Hanukkah programming this year, and I apologize for the lack of it (I have a nice Hanukkah post from last year still available); I'll do better next year.
I'll be taking a few days off from blogging to enjoy the holiday with my large family, and I hope you do the same. I will have a couple of posts next week to ring out 2008 and ring in 2009, so I will see you then. Until then,
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Hall & Oates, "Jingle Bell Rock."
Wham!, "Last Christmas."
Run-DMC, "Christmas in Hollis."
Band Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas."
The Kinks, "Father Christmas." Quality isn't great, but it's an awesome song, especially for you Grinches out there.
Here is the ultimate Christmas party song, and one of my absolute secular favorites, "Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You" by Billy Squier.
Finally, the most bizarrely beautiful duet you'll ever hear, Christmas or otherwise: Bing Crosby and David Bowie performing "Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth."
One more post before Christmas, then a couple of days off. See you then!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
1974 saw the release of Black Christmas. Starring Olivia Hussey and Margot Kidder, the film centers around a group of sorority sisters stuck at college for the holiday being stalked by a psychotic killer. Here is a trailer for the film's release on DVD.
A remake was released on Christmas day in 2006 with no fanfare or box office to speak of. Another note: the director of this film would go on to direct another Christmas-themed film--A Christmas Story. Yes, THAT A Christmas Story.
Another film released in the 1990s centers around a psychotic killer (is there any other kind?) being taken to prison until a freak chemical accident turns him into a killer snowman--Jack Frost. Killer. Snowman. Read it again. At least this film doesn't take itself seriously--at all. Here's the trailer, and please, don't get it confused with the family-friendly Michael Keaton film. The young woman getting in the bathtub is none other than Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie fame.
The biggest blockbuster of the films listed here is Gremlins. I don't really need to explain this one, do I?
Several other Christmas horror movies involve a killer Santa. The earliest example is probably You Better Watch Out, aka Christmas Evil, aka Terror in Toyland. This 1980 film involves a man, obsessed with Christmas, who decides to take on the mantle of Santa Claus and reward the good---and punish the bad. I've actually seen much of this film, but not all of it, and it's notable that the film is not so much a slasher film but rather a psychological thriller. At the same time, the film also has a humorous air about itself, without getting too silly or spoofish. This scene is a good example. The movie is available this month on the on demand cable service Fearnet. Also of note: the actor who plays the psycho Santa is, according to Internet sources, the father of musician/singer Fiona Apple.
One film that does take its humor over the top is Santa's Slay, which reveals that Santa is, in fact, the son of Satan, who loses a bet and must bring cheer to the world. He then decides to Hell with that--literally. Santa here is portrayed by former pro wrestler Goldberg.
But the most notorious Christmas horror film of all is undoubtedly Silent Night, Deadly Night. A young boy, traumatized by the murder of his parents by a man dressed as Santa, grows up to be a killer Santa himself. Here is the trailer that was banned from telelvision.
Here, film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert discuss the film on their 1980s series At The Movies. To put it mildly, they don't like the movie. The sound is extremely low on this clip, so you'll need to crank the volume to 11 to hear it.
That's just a small sampling of Christmas chillers; an Internet search will find you more. I'll get back to more cheery stuff in my next post, promise!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Here is another program that I looked for last year with no luck but am happy to present to you now. This Christmas episode of The Flintstones is one of the best Christmas episodes of a TV show I've ever seen.
When the real Santa Claus is sick, it's up to Fred, who's been moonlighting as a department store Santa, to fill in. The usually grumpy Fred is shown the light when he takes on the role of Santa, leading to a very charming and surprisingly heartwarming program. An hour-long special with a similar premise was created in the late 80s/early 90s, but this episode from the original series is much better. And Fred sings, no less.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I can't let the holiday season go by without...a Pac-Man special!
Keeping the record of continuous months with at least one Pac-Man post intact (4, if you're counting), here everyone in Pacland learns the true meaning of the holiday. Well, the secular meaning, at least.
Here's a Pac-Man Christmas bonus. In Madrid, Spain, there is, no kidding, a Pac-Man Christmas tree. You think that's awesome? You would be right!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Next, the chipmunk pair make their presence known in "Pluto's Christmas."
This is a classic and delightful early Disney cartoon, an adaptation of "The Night Before Christmas."
Here we get a sneak peak of Santa in his workshop:
I hope no one minds too much that my Christmas programming this year is so animation-heavy. See you this weekend. The big day is only two weeks away!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Today I'm offering a great find, something I've been looking for the last couple of years with no luck until now. The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas is a charming animated story about a small bear (voiced by legendary comedian Tommy Smothers) who decides to forego hibernating for the winter so he can experience Christmas for the first time. I haven't seen this special since I was very young and I'm delighted to share it with you now. Enjoy!
The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas (1973) by DemonPreyer
Friday, December 5, 2008
Full Metal Christmas
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
First up, what would a TV commercial post at the blog be without a McDonald's commercial? Here, a young boy rewards Santa with a treat that trumps milk and cookies:
Another Mickey D's spot features Ronald and his friends and a shooting star:
Hallmark remains a mainstay for the holidays, between cards and gift wrap.
Here is an ad for the worst Atari game of all time, E.T. It's a long story as to why that is, but if you research it on the Web, you'll see for yourself. This commercial, however, has a nice charm to it.
Speaking of charm, here's a lovely ad from AT&T from 1987.
I featured a fine 7-Up ad last year, and this year is no exception.
You know what today's Christmas commercials need more of? VOLUME! As in LOUDNESS! Like in this Crazy Eddie's commercial from 1982. His prices were INSANE!!
The drinking glasses featured in this Taco Bell commercial from 1977 look very nice, but doesn't Santa sound a little creepy as he laughs at the end?
Here is a great commercial for a department store I've never heard of, Zayre's. It features none other than Batman and Robin, in 1960s camp mode, shopping at one of Zayre's 24-hour locations. The nameless actors do a great job playing the TV show versions of the heroes. A lot of fun!
Finally, here is an update of a Christmas commercial classic, the Norelco Santa riding on a razorhead through the snow.
I'll see you about midweek with another Christmas commercial post, this time devoted to one product and one theme. Thanks!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The last Thanksgiving cartoon for the year arrives courtesy of LadyTink, who found this gem from Warner Brothers entitled "Tom Turk and Daffy," starring Daffy Duck and Porkey Pig.
These next two clips go out to my readers from the various comic book blogs that I link to. Here is a clip from the 1987 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade featuring the Marvel Comics float, complete with living super heroes!
And a clip from the 1989 parade and that year's Marvel float.
Finally, here is a commercial from 1995 advertising some of the Black Friday doorbuster sales at the now-defunct Caldor department store chain. This is not a particularly unique or special commercial, to be honest. The only reason I'm posting it is because my wife and I used to work at a Caldor store in Philadelphia (it's where we met) and have been a part of some of these sales. If you're going out this Black Friday, good luck!
Well, that's a wrap for this year's Thanksgiving stuff. I hope you enjoyed it all; let me know in the comments section.
But wait, what's this?
Yes indeed. It's just about that time of year. And just like last year, I have some awesome stuff to show you. Ho ho ho!
I hope to begin the holiday festivities later this weekend. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
This is an early installment of the Gumby TV series featuring creator Art Clokey's clay characters. In this segment, Gumby and Pokey help an American Indian hoping to summon the Rain Spirits to help corn grow for his tribe. The clay animation seems at once both crude and innovative. It lacks the slickness of Wil Vinton's Claymation characters, such as the California Raisins, but also uses the tools and effects of the time quite impressively. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Frequent commentator LadyTink sent me a great commercial for Jennie-O turkey, the same company that created the turkey-in-a-dryer commerical in one of my previous posts. It was an amazing coincidence that she brought this to my attention when she did, as I had just seen this commercial for the first time two days before. Thanks Tink!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Today I just have a few TV commercials, but they're good ones. This first one is a Carvel ice cream cake spot for Tom the Turkey. If you're familiar with Carvel cakes at all, you know it simply means a picture of a turkey made of icing on one of the same two molds Carvel used for all of their cakes. But I have to admit, their cakes are delicious!
If youv'e ever made Thanksgiving dinner, you know what a pain in the arse it is to thaw a turkey. This commercial for Jennie-O turkeys demonstrates how not to thaw it!
Finally, here is a commercial that wasn't exactly created for Thanksgiving. In fact, it debuted during this year's Super Bowl back in January. Two balloons in the Macy's Thansgiving Day Parade, Underdog and Stewie from Family Guy, battle it out in the New York City sky over a Coke bottle balloon. Who wins out? You may be surprised!
I'll have more Thanksgiving fun in a day or two. See you then!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
In honor of the blog, I've decided to steal an idea from the Secret Fun Blog (sorry Kirk, I hope you don't mind), available in my blog list to the right, and label several of my past posts as the Best of Me and You. These are posts that have attracted the most attention according to my stats, or posts that I personally think define the reason for this blog's existence. Some of the posts included are the "Hey Ya, Charlie Brown" post from last November, the He-Man/She-Ra Christmas special, various fast food TV commercials posts, my article of the late and lamented TV Channel 48 here in Philadelphia, and more.
You can check out all of these posts under the "Best of Me and You" label. I will make additions as warranted going forward, so if you'd like to tell me what your favorite posts are, let me know in the comments section of this post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
This week I have a 10-minute montage of various interstititial films that would air before, between, and after features, sometimes advertising the concession stand fare, sometimes asking you to behave at the theater, and some are public service announcements that were commonly featured at theaters back in the day. Most of these were designed for drive-in theaters, which never featured a matinee of anything, being only able to show movies at night, but what the hey. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
And so we move on. In case you haven't noticed from my last two posts, I'm very happy that the Philadelphia Phillies have won the World Series.
Ahem, let me say that again...
THE PHILLIES HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's been 25 years since the city won a major sports championship, so I had to exude some glee these few days. Below is a fan's footage (not taken by me) of the last out in Game 5 last Wednesday night:
The victory parade was Friday, travelling through downtown Philly right to the city's sports complex. My workplace is just a block away from the start of the parade, so I managed to get some footage with my video camera.
Here is a large crowd in Philly's famous Love Park anxiously awaiting their World Series Champions:
Here is a (admittedly shaky) clip of the Phils making their way along Market Street:
Finally, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley gave a very, shall we say, enthusiastic speech at the victory celebration. NOT SAFE FOR WORK!
Obviously, it was a joyous and wild day for Phillies fans everywhere. Thank you Phillies!
I'll get back to my usual fare from now on, I promise!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Here are two TV commercials that aired for the castle continuously in the summer months. They scared the pants off me when I was a kid!
Oh, two off-topic things I should mention. One, today is the one year anniversary of this blog! I plan to have a more formal post about this after the Halloween stuff is over, so stay tuned!
THE PHILLIES ARE THE 2008 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This city hasn't had a major sports championship in 25 years! Thank you Phillies for an awesome season!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Today I offer a segment of the classic 1960s cartoon series Spider-Man entitled "The Witching Hour." Spidey battles his archnemesis the Green Goblin, who is trying to obtain the powers of mystical spirits to aid him in his crimes. Peter Parker's cantankerous boss J. Jonah Jameson becomes an unwitting pawn in the Goblin's scheme. Enjoy!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Today I offer an episode of Tales From The Darkside, a horror anthology TV series syndicated in the 1980s. Each week this series presented a horror tale with a different cast of characters. One of the executive producers was George Romero, creator of the flesh-eating zombie subgenre of horror.
In this episode, "A Case of the Stubborns," a woman and her son deal with the death of their father/grandfather. Only thing is, the stubborn old coot refuses to believe he's dead and continues to walk around as if nothing is wrong! The mother and son takes measures to prove to the old man that he's deader than a doornail--and boy do they give it to him!
Ep 109- A Case Of The Stubborns
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Friday, October 24, 2008
S'more scary trailers!
OK, maybe not so scary.
I hope you enjoyed the first go-round for the Saturday Matinee. Please leave feedback, good or bad, in the comments section or email@example.com. I'm likely going to give it a week off next week, followed by a truncated version throughout November, as December will be reserved exclusively for holiday programming. If feedback is positive, it will make a full return in the new year. Thanks!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Today I offer a Halloween episode of the early 80s Saturday morning cartoon series Pac-Man, based, of course, on the hugely successful video game. I first mentioned the existence of this series back in September and teased that you would see it again soon. Well, here it is! Enjoy.
UPDATE AS OF 10/21/08: I didn't realize until after posting this that the Pop Culture Holiday Blog has also posted a spooky themed episode of Pac-Man, titled "Pacula." I'll definitely check it out, and so should you, right here:
Friday, October 17, 2008
And in keeping with the spooky season, here are more terrifying (?) films playing in the theater of your mind:
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Here in 8 parts is The Worst Witch. Enjoy!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The first horror movie host as Los Angeles' Vampira. She set the standard for the phenomenon. The actress who portrayed her, Maila Nurmi, passed away earlier this year. See her here.
In my beloved hometown of Philadelphia, the earliest horror host was Roland, aka John Zacherle, who wore an undertaker's coat and gray ghoulish makeup. He would go on to greater fame in New York City under his own name of Zacherley (with a Y added), but Philly had him first.
Here Zacherle makes a 1970s appearance with another Philly broadcasting star, Mike Douglas.
Zacherle would host Chiller Theater in New York on WPIX Channel 11 for a brief time before bouncing around other NYC stations. Chiller Theater continued on after his departure from Channel 11 with this early opening montage.
This in turn was replaced years later with a very creepy color opening that I won't try to describe. I'm surprised this aired on broadcast TV back then. Chiller indeed!
Back in Philadelphia, a new host inspired by Zacherle was born, Dr. Shock. His particular spin on the format was his magic tricks that he would perform between film segments. Sadly, he passed away at the young age of 42.
In the Sacramento area in the late 60s and early 70s, Creature Features was hosted by Bob Wilkins, who didn't wear the garish costumes of other horror hosts, but still retained the wry wit often employed by same.
Back in Philly (I can't help it, I'm a homer), KYW Channel 3 featured Saturday Night Dead (right after Saturday Night Live, get it?), hosted by Stella, the vampy "Maneater from Manayunk," a posh section of the city.
Finally, the most famous of these hosts is Elvira, "Mistress of the Dark." Here, Elvira's real life counterpart, Cassandra Peterson, discusses how her macabre career got started.
There are so many more of these hosts that I simply can't list here. If you care to mention a favorite of yours, please leave a comment. Thanks!
Friday, October 10, 2008
And in the spirit of the holiday, here are some terrifying trailers playing in the theater of your mind!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Next, Bugs is in double trouble when he meets Dr. Jeckyl and his fiendish alter ego in "Hyde and Hare."
Monday, October 6, 2008
Hallmark wants you to get in the Halloween spirit:
I loves me some Pillsbury Halloween cookies (I had some Tollhouse Halloween cookies just earlier this evening-yummy!):
Need a one-stop shop for all your Halloween needs? Go to your local Woolworth or Woolco!
More tasty Halloween treats, courtesy of Dunkin' Donuts!
This commercial shows that even Frankenstein is henpecked at home. I hear ya, brother!
Frank showing his stuff for Doritos once again:
It's been a long time since I've featured a McDonald's commercial--too long!
So many of these commercials involve food. Here is one of my favorite of these commericals, for Carvel ice cream cakes. Seeing one of these commercials was as tasty a treat as eating the cakes themselves!
Here is the last one for today, and it's not really Halloween-related, but it is frightening until the last few seconds. This commercial aired only one night during the 2004 Summer Olympics. It features a typical horror movie-style scene of a young woman running for her life from a crazed, masked killer. The twist, however, is that the woman runs to safety, with her killer reluctantly giving up--thanks to her Nike running shoes. Nike came under fire from women's groups who claimed the commercial was misogynistic and in poor taste. Whether that's true or not, it definitely is a very unusual way to sell sneakers. Take a look!
Who knew there were so many Halloween commercials? If you know of any more, let me know and I'll post them here. Thanks!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Without further ado, I hereby officially begin Halloween at Me and You!
Friday, October 3, 2008
But first, apparently drive-in theaters were not too keen on daylight savings time. Movie times were too late thanks to the sun.
Time for yet another stop at our refreshment...planet?
I notice things are starting to get a bit---spooky around here. There's a certain chill in the air, and with the sky getting darker earlier, it's looking kinda eerie. It must mean one thing--see you this Sunday for the launch of Halloween at Me and You and a Blog Named "BOO!"
Sunday, September 28, 2008
--Happy Birthday to me! Yep, today's my birthday, 34 years and counting, and I'm having a great day thanks to my family, who of course are the best gift of all!
--I'd like to thank all of my regular readers out there who are kind enough to link me on their own sites. Thanks to Todd Mason of the Sweet Freedom blog, Karswell at The Horrors of It All, Rich Dart of Dartman's World of Wonder, Dave at the Mostly Ghostly and Children's Records blogs, Rokk Krinn at the Comic Book Revolution, Lady Tink at Up Close and Personal, the King of Jingaling at Fa La La La La, and to anyone else who I may have missed. I appreciate the traffic that comes my way thanks to you guys!
--Speaking of blogs that link to mine, The Pop Culture Holiday Blog is back! Not that it ever went away, but it hasn't had a new post since St. Patrick's Day. It's back as of September 22nd, and it's already started featuring Halloween posts. Do yourself a favor and check it out in my blog list. And speaking of Halloween...
--I begin my Halloween programming next Sunday! Starting October 5th, this blog will be wall to wall Halloween, except for the Saturday Matinee, which will wrap up the Batman serial (Batman's kinda Halloween-like anyway, so it fits). I've been gathering clips since August, and I can't wait to share them all with you. I hope to increase the number of posts here in order to showcase all the fun, so please stay tuned throughout the month for awesome Halloween goodness!
In fact, this blog is going to be feature almost nothing but holiday fare for the rest of the year. I may take a break for more general post topics the first week or two of November, then get back into the holiday swing of things with Thanksgiving and then, of course, Christmas. It's going to be great!
Thanks again to everyone who enjoys this blog. Please, please, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on any post. See you later!
Friday, September 26, 2008
But first, enjoy another Rocket Man trailer:
And now---Batman and Robin!
Wow, that was great, but now I'm parched. Time to refresh ourselves with a nice cold Orange Crush!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown premiered on CBS Monday, October 24th, 1977. Charlie Brown is an escort for his school's homecoming queen, who turns out to be none other than his lifelong love, the little red-haired girl. Terrified of the prospect of making a bad impression on the girl he loves, especially after being erroneously blamed for losing the homecoming game, Charlie Brown soldiers on anyway in his duties as escort with surprising results.
I've only seen this special a few times when it first began airing, but I had a read-along book and record set of the special that I listened to hundreds of times, so this special is a particular favorite of mine (although I can say that about a lot of these specials, being the huge Peanuts fan I am).
Monday, September 22, 2008
If you're lucky enough to live in proximity to a forest or state park, do yourself a favor and take full advantage of the view of the leaves changing color. It's always a specatular sight that connects you to nature and helps you appreciate our physical world.
Which brings us to today's clip. This is an animated version of author Shel Silverstein's classic story The Giving Tree, about a boy's relationship to a particular tree. It's a bittersweet story that has more than a tinge of meloncholy to it. You'll feel sorry for the tree and spiteful towards the boy/man at the end, or at least I do. I first saw this as a film strip way back in grade school (first or second grade?) in the early 80s, but it's much older than that. My friend and former coworker Todd Mason brought this to my attention several months ago, and I saved it for when the time seemed right. Why not now? Enjoy!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Now, wernt that a mighty thrillin' adventure? Now go mosey on over to that there snack bar and git yerself some grub!