Thursday, December 30, 2010

What I Got for Christmas

Hey everybody!  I hope you're still having a great yuletide season, even if we're in the home stretch of it.  I thought I would continue to blog throughout the week, but that didn't and won't happen.  I'm home with the family all week, so the blog is taking a back seat (as it should).  Still, I have a few minutes to pop in and let you know some of the cool stuff I got for Christmas.

A USB turntable that can convert vinyl records to mp3s.  I can't wait to start ripping some of the cool records I haven't listened to in ages!

Planet Hulk by Greg Pak.  I've been wanting to read this for a long time, and can't wait to read the major story that set the tone for Marvel Comics' Hulk franchise for the last few years and counting.

Come and Get It:  The Best of Apple Records.  The Beatles discovered from great talent during their brief stint as record moguls, and the cream of the crop is now available in remastered glory for the first time.

Peanuts: The 70s Collection Volume 2.  Do I really need to explain my love of Peanuts again?

3-in-1 Personal Trimmer:  'cause I'm hairy in certain places, OK?

Gift certificate for family portrait:  we've wanted to have a professional, traditional, family portrait for a long time now, and thanks to my wife's parents, we will!

What did you get for Christmas?  Let me know in the comments section.  Thanks!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010!

I totally meant to post yesterday, but the day got away from me.  The big day is here, and I hope it's a joyous one.  I've loved sharing all this great Christmas stuff with you this month, and I'm happy to tell you that I'll have a couple of leftover items for you this week, as well as a New Year's Day post or two.  Until then,

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Disney's The Little Match Girl

If you know the story of the Little Match Girl, and you love Disney animation, this is for you.

Warning:  YOU.  WILL.  CRY!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eva Cassidy, "It's Not The Presents Under The Tree"

A few years ago, I bought a budget copy of Time-Life's Christmas music collection at Target; it's a condensed version of the much longer classic compilation available directly from Time-Life.  One of the songs, and the artist, featured was unfamiliar to me.  The song was "It's Not The Presents Under The Tree" and the artist was Eva Cassidy.

The song has an early rock'n'roll, girl group sound to it, and I found the song pleasant enough.  So each Christmas I listened to this song, not giving much thought to who recorded it.  I've discovered, just this year, her bittersweet story.

I'll leave the details to this Wikipedia article about her, but her vocal range and song selection were more diverse than this record indicates.  Unfortunately, she didn't get the chance to show more of the world her talent; she lost her life to melanoma in 1996.

Here is the Christmas song that introduced me to her.

Here is work that better displays her versatility.

Finally, here is her version of a song I love, Fleetwood Mac's "Snowbird." It's featured in the quasi-Christmas film Love Actually.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Music Videos 2010 Edition


You're busy, I'm busy, but we're happy.  Let's sing along to some holiday hits, or in this case, mostly obscure songs, and really get into the Christmas spirit!

Ray Stevens, "Santa Claus is Watchin' You"

Slade, "Merry Xmas Everybody"

Henry Rollins, "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

The Beach Boys, "Little Saint Nick"

Finally, a song that requires some explanation. Back in the 80s here is the Philadelphia area, a local artist named Alan Mann released a song called "Christmas On The Block." The song is about a real-life home for the blind in suburban Philly where the residents, although they couldn't see, put on some of the greatest Christmas light displays you could imagine. It's a very touching story and song, made all the more poignant considering the tragic loss of Mann at a young age. Please enjoy "Christmas On The Block."

If you enjoyed my selections here, I'll be posting more Christmas music videos exclusively on my Facebook page, so if we're not friends, let's be friends--it's Christmas, after all.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Mr. Bill's Christmas Special

Today I'm attending my job's holiday party, so I'm feeling light-hearted and festive. Please join me in this spirit by enjoying Mr. Bill's Christmas Special, filled with fun, frivolity---and claymation calamity.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas Mr. Bean Clips

The title of the post says it all.  Here are two hilarious scenes from the British TV special Merry Christmas Mr. Bean, starring comic actor Rowan Atkinson.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Christmas Raccoons

Today I offer yet another semi-classic from the famed Nelvana animation studios.  I consider this special a bridge between the trippy, 70s-era style of animation to more traditional animation (at least slightly).  The Christmas Raccoons involve a family of sibling raccoons who team with a human park ranger and his children in protecting their forest from a Scrooge-like developer--who happens to be an aardvark.  Just go with it.  This special led to a short-lived series for the Raccoons.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Monkees Christmas Episode

Today's post involves two of My Favorite Things:  Christmas and the Monkees.  They're one of my alltime favorite bands, and I say that with no irony.  The Beatles, the Stones, the Monkees; I put them right up there.

I also love their TV show.  Here, the boys babysit a precocious Butch Patrick and teach him the meaning of Christmas in the appropriately named "Monkees Christmas Episode."  Enjoy!

For more great Monkeeing around at Christmastime, go here and here.  Thanks!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Family Circus Christmas

Today I present a program I've wanted to find again for years but couldn't until now. This is A Family Circus Christmas, based on the popular newspaper strip starring a fictional version of creator Bill Keane's family, especially the children:  Billy, Dolly, Jeffy, and PJ.  I've only seen this once or twice but it has stayed in my memory since I first saw it.

It has particular resonance for me this year.  This is my first Christmas without my father, whom I lost earlier this year.  I hope-- in fact, I know--he will be around for his grandchildren the way Grandfather Keane is here (I still miss you, Dad).


Friday, December 10, 2010

TV Funhouse, "Christmas With Tingles"

Although Christmas is supposed to be a joyful, fun time of year, it also has more than its share of stress and, well, tension. Where does this come from? Tingles, the Christmas Tension! Learn more about Tingles courtesy of Robert Smigel's Comedy Central series TV Funhouse.

A word of warning: despite the animation, this is not for kids--at all.  Enjoy this PG-13 post!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Famous Studios, "Snow Foolin: A Screen Song"

Today I offer a delightful "Screen Song" cartoon from the extinct animation studio Famous Studios, a division of Paramount Pictures.  They created many great cartoons starring Popeye and Casper, among others.  Another series of cartoons they made featured a Mitch Miller-like singalong to which the audience could "follow the bouncing ball."  This charming one is set on the first day of winter.  Sing along to Jingle Bells!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

John Lennon 1940-1980

I'm taking a break from the Christmas folly to commemorate a very sad anniversary, and of course I won't be the only one doing so.  I won't bother detailing John Lennon's impact on the world, as there are plenty of other testimonials out there that will do that much better than me.  What I will say is this:  it's not so much the fact that John is no longer with us, but the way he left us.

It shouldn't have happened.

If he had passed due to an illness, that's one thing.  Even if it came about by an unfortunate accident, that's another.

He was murdered.  A man you preached peace and love was taken by one of the very instruments he spoke out against.

It shouldn't have happend.

He should be with us now.  He should be making music now.  He should be engaging with fans young and old now.  But he can't do that because of one disturbed person.  That, ulitmately, is what makes his loss so sorrowful, so tragic, so stupid.

The only way to make peace with his death is to act on his belief in the sanctity of humanity, the need for love, for peace, for being in harmony with one another.  Far easier said than done, believe me, I know.  But damn, we better try.  Every single day.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gumby, "Scrooge Loose"

Today, the clay-animated favorite Gumby and his donkey friend Pokey (the original Shrek and Donkey?) deal with Ebeneezer Scrooge, who has escaped from the book A Christmas Carol to wreck havoc in Gumby's world. Bah Humbug indeed!  Enjoy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Re-post: Gift of Ages

I rarely re-post material I've already featured, but this video is so special I think it's worth repeating. I first posted this right before Christmas Day last year, so many people might not have seen it then, so I'd like to present it again.

This video was made by a DeviantArt member, and it's touching and beautiful. I almost cried the first time I saw it. If you celebrate the traditionally spiritual aspect of the holiday, you will likely love this. Thanks!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Recession Santa

The economy's so bad, even Santa has hit the skids! From the comedy troupe The Wookcreek Faction, please enjoy "Recession Santa." Thanks!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sesame Street, "Chanukah with Veronica Monica"

As tonight starts the celebration of Chanukah, here is a brief history lesson for young and old alike, courtesy of TV mainstay Sesame Street.  Host Veronica Monica (voiced by SCTV alum Andrea Martin) teaches the origin of the holiday.  Please excuse the brief appearances of Elmo.  Happy Chanukah!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Links to Christmas Web Sites

If you're reading the blog this week, it means two thing:  you like Christmas, and you like the Internet.  And you know what?  They're two great tastes that go great together!  Here are some awesome Web sites to get you in the Christmas spirit.

First and foremost, I must give a shout-out to Santa's Working Overtime.  It is the first place to go for all your Christmas needs.  This blog does an amazing job combing through the finest holiday items on the 'Net and putting them in one place for your amusement and edification.  Whether it's Christmas music, recipes, articles, videos, or anything else you're looking for, you're sure to find something you'll like here.  This very blog is often cited there, and I'm extremely grateful and flattered to be featured there.  It won't disappoint!

Also at the top of the list is, hosted by the King of Jingaling (a fantastic name!).  This blog deals primarily in the discussion of Xmas music, but features other sugar plums as well.  Like Santa's Working Overtime, this one is featured in my blog list to the right, and I'm linked there as well.

I'd be shocked if you're not already familiar with Ernie (Not Bert), but this blog is one of the finest and longest running sites for Christmas material.  Although not exclusively Christmas themed, the depth of Christmas stuff here is virtually unmatched anywhere else.

Another great site specifically for music is Stubby's House of Christmas, a brand new blog that covers almost every new Christmas music release out there.  You don't need to search endlessly by yourself to find the latest and obscure Christmas releases--Stubby's done the work for you.  A great site!

Speaking of new music releases, add Mistletunes to your list of must-see sites.  They specialize in what they define as "rock'n'roll Christmas music," meaning music by contemporary artists rather than the usual Bing Crosby/Johnny Mathis/Perry Como stuff.  Again, this is another great site to find Christmas music that's off the beaten path.

A time-honored holiday tradition is the tracking of Santa's Christmas Eve ride by the government organization NORAD.  Keep dibs on ol' St. Nick here.

A site that I've enjoyed for almost a decade is  There are plenty of articles, games, and free downloads for the whole family to enjoy.  I especially like the Christmas Lights computer program that puts festive lights on your computer desktop, even in front of other programs you're using.  Try it out!

Finally, if you're a member of Generation X (like me), you have to check out  Operated by a hardcore Gen-Xer, you'll find plenty of post-Boomer Christmas fun there.

If you know of any other great Christmas sites, please let me know in the comment section.  Merry Clicksmas, er, Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas TV Commercials 2010 Edition

Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah! Happy Kwanzaa! Yes, it is, indeed, the most wonderful time of the year again, and that means wall-to-wall holiday fare here at the blog. If you love the holidays as much as I do, you're in for a treat! If the holidays aren't your thing--well, please bare with me until after the new year when I get back to non-holiday shenanigans. The blog is decorated (moreso than my house right now, unfortunately), and it's time to bring on the good stuff. First up, as is traditional here for the holidays, are fun TV commercials of the season.

Do your Christmas shopping at the Mall of America.

Enjoy some delicious Carvel ice cream cakes (you know how much I love these commercials).

Here is a classic one for the late toy store chain Lionel Kiddie City.

Here's one for a sister store to Kiddie City, Lionel Playworld, starring a young Seth Green!

The best part of waking up Christmas morning is Folger's in your cup.

These precocious youngsters try to snap a shot of Santa with a Polaroid camera.

Time to make the Christmas donuts!

Remember 976 and 1-900 numbers? Many were not as family-friendly as this one, but this seems kind of creepy in its own way.

Finally, another of the Rice Krispy Treats commercials I love so much.

And so it begins.  Stay tuned for more reindeer games now through the end of the year.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Creative Candle Holders, "The First Thanksgiving"

And so we find ourselves at the day before the holiday season! Despite all the stress and the craziness and running around, this is still my favorite time of the year by far. I can't help it! And I dont' want to help it :) One of the many things I'm thankful for are my great readers. Thank you very much for taking the time to enjoy the blog.

For my last Thanksgiving post of the year, I present yet another retelling of the first Thanksgiving, but unlike the animated versions I've presented this year, this version is not a cartoon. It's a sober narration of the first Thanksgiving matched with fine artwork. The video was created by Creative Candle Holders as a promotion for the company, and it's a fine one (although their statement of turkey being served at the first Thanksgiving is erroneous). Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed my Thanksgiving programming, and I sincerely wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and reflective Thanksgiving.

But wait--what's this?

YES!! CHRISTMAS!! It's coming, and I'm preparing fantastic stuff for you just as I do every year. Please stay tuned--the best is yet to come!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Disney's House of Mouse: Turkey Catchers

Here is a cartoon from the 1990s ABC Saturday morning cartoon Disney's House of Mouse. Mickey and Co. employ themselves as the world's worst "Turkey Catchers." Enjoy!

I've updated a lot of dead links and missing videos in Thanksgiving posts in the archives, so if you're enjoying my Thanksgiving programming this year, please take some time to check posts from years past. Go to the "May I Help You Find Something" section at the right of the screen and click on the Thanksgiving label. Thanks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rankin-Bass's The Mouse On The Mayflower Clips

Three days left until Turkey Day! Time to finish up at work for a smooth transition into the holiday season.

Today I feature clips from the Rankin-Bass special The Mouse On The Mayflower. This is yet another animated telling of the first Thanksgiving, this time with musical numbers. This is the only Thanksgiving special from the legendary animation studio that I'm aware of. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the entire special online, and the only copies you'll find on video are old VHS tapes and DVD transfers. I would be eternally thankful for a reissue. Enjoy!


If you haven't already, please take my reader survey (see link at right) so I can improve the blog.  Don't be shy, be honest, and you won't get any spam or other terribleness by taking it.  Thanks!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Please Don't Eat The Planet: An Intergalactic Thanksgiving

If you're a devoted fan of animation, you're likely familiar with Nelvana, a huge animation studio based in Canada.  Their list of animation credits is far too lengthy to mention here, but they started in the late 70s by creating some unusual TV specials, unusual both in animation design and storyline.  I've featured two of these specials before, and today's find is yet another example.

Please Don't Eat the Planet: An Intergalactic Thanksgiving involves a family of--ahem--space farmers, who find a planet on which humor is the most valued thing in life.  The locals find the farmers very funny, much to the farmers' dismay,, this already sounds weird and I've just scratched the surface of what it's about.  But trust me, it's about Thanksgiving.  I'll let the special speak for itself.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On The Road with Charles Kuralt: Chandler Family Reunion, Thanksgiving 1978

Today is a special post here at the blog.  Instead of showing a cartoon or commercial, I have something much more poignant.

I've previously featured a segment of On The Road with Charles Kuralt and stated my love for his reporting there.  This is an even better example of his amazing work--and an example of an amazing family.  Please take a few moments to watch this closely and learn about the Chandler family of Prairie, Mississippi. First see their Thanksgiving reunion from 1978, followed by a recent update on the Chandlers. They're a very special family sharing a very special Thanksgiving.  I wish their blessings not only for my own family, but yours as well.  Enjoy!

If you like what you see here, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter (see links at right). I sometimes feature bonus material you won't necessarily see here. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Chipmunks, "Food For Thought"

Today I offer another animated version of the first Thanksgiving, this time courtesty of the Chipmunks, Alvin, Simon, and Theodore.  The Chipettes are also featured.  The Chipmunks have experienced a big revival the last few years thanks to the live action films, so bring the kids around the computer for this one.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving TV Commericals 2010 Edition

Moving on in our countdown to Thanksgiving, I have yet another post with TV commercials.  Everyone complains about too many commercials on TV, yet articles about commercials are some of my highest rated on the blog.

First up, another fun commercial for Carvel ice cream cakes.  This one lacks the muffled yet charming voice of the late company founder Frank Carvel, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.

Next, three great ones for Jennie-O turkey products.  In this first one, it may be a turkey, but you better learn to duck!

Make sure you don't leave your wristwatch in there.

Do not, and I mean in the name of all that's holy, do NOT thaw your turkey this way!

Finally, another charming ad for Rice Krispy Treats, much like the Halloween one I love so much. Unfortunately, this one is mislabeled on YouTube as a Christmas commercial.

Thanks! And please take a minute to take my reader survey.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This is America, Charlie Brown, "The Mayflower Voyagers"

Welcome back from the weekend everyone!  Today I start my Thanksgiving programming in earnest, and I start with what I thought would be an obscure find.  I'll tell you why it isn't momentarily.

This is America, Charlie Brown was an 8-part animated miniseries that aired on CBS in 1988 demonstrating certain moments in American history through the eyes of the Peanuts gang.  The first of these episodes was "The Mayflower Voyagers," in which the gang retell the story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving.

I was happy to have found this on YouTube as I thought it hadn't aired on TV since 1988 and would make a nice treat for Peanuts fans who were only familiar with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  However, I discovered that since 2008, ABC has paired this episode of the series with the Thanksgiving special, and they will do the same this Thursday night from 8 to 9pm.  Good grief!

Oh well, so it's not the rarity I thought it was, but it's still highly enjoyable.  Enjoy!  Or see it this Thursday on ABC!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Tribute

There are countless Christmas-themed movies out there, but very few related to Thanksgiving.  One notable, and very funny exception, is Planes, Trains and Automobiles, starring Steve Martin and the late John Candy.  For those unfamiliar with it, Martin is a straight-laced ad exec, travelling from New York City to his home in Chicago for Thanskgiving, who gets stranded along the way with a goofy and hapless character played by Candy.  This is on my list of favorite comedies of all time, it's that damn funny!

Here is the film's trailer.

Here is a taste, or rather smell, of Candy's character.

Although Martin's character gets the brunt of the mishaps, sometimes they're both the victims of circumstance.

Finally, quite possibly the most infamous scene in the film after the "between two pillows" incident.  It's rumored that this scene alone garnered the film an "R" rating.  WARNING: LANGUAGE NSFW!

Here is a fun article about the film discussing the cool soundtrack.  How cool is it?  THIS cool!

I just checked a DVD copy of the film out from my public library and look forward to watching it this weekend.  I highly recommend you give this film a shot as well.  You'll love it.  Thanks!

Don't forget to take the reader survey!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Goofy, "How to Play Football"

I hate to break it to you, but guess what?  Thanksgiving is exactly two weeks from today.  Where did the time go?  As crazy and busy a time as it is, let's admit it:  this is the best time of the year.  And this is also the best time of the year for the blog, as this is when I bring out the best holiday-related stuff I can find.  I'm starting my Thanksgiving programming officially Monday Nov. 15th.  But today and tomorrow, I have two fun precursors to that.

Football has long been a staple of Thanksgiving fun, but no one has more fun playing the game than Disney's Goofy--or better yet, an entire stadium full of Goofys!  Here he is (they are?) in the cartoon great "How to Play Football."  Enjoy!

Again, I want to stress the opinion survey that is available.  Please respond, as it only takes a minute, and I've only received a couple of responses so far.  It is along the right side of the blog under the heading "Help Make the Blog Better."  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Doonesbury Special

Today I offer yet another animated TV special based on a popular comic strip.  A Doonesbury Special first aired on NBC on November 27, 1977, and would be nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated short the next year.  It hits the major themes of the strip at the time and, like the strip itself, is quite different from other comic strip specials before or since.  Sit back, click on the link below, and enjoy the 25-minute ride.  Thanks!

A Doonesbury Special

Also, please click on the survey link at the right of the blog.  Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Blog's 3-Year Anniversary and Survey for Your Feedback

On October 30th, the blog celebrated it's 3-year anniversary!  As with every new anniversary, I go back over the year's posts and apply the label "Best of Me and You" to those articles that either were most popular or were a personal favorite of mine.  Click here and you will have access to all of those posts.  This is especially great for those who are new to the blog and wish to get a greater sense of what the blog is about.

Also, this year I'm finally implementing something I've been meaning to do for a really long time.  I now have a survey to get your feedback on the blog!  There are only a few questions.  Please answer honestly; I can't improve the blog if I don't know what you like and don't like.

I really appreciate every single reader I have.  You guys are the best!

Click here to take survey

Friday, November 5, 2010

eToys TV Commercials From the Late 1990s

As I write this, Christmas is only 49 days away.  Trust me, those days will go by fast!  Now is the time to start your holiday shopping, if you haven't started already (I haven't).  If you have children, one place you may want to check out is  Remember them?

They first started in the late 90s during the Internet boom at the time--only to go into bankruptcy during the Internet bust of the early 2000s.  Today they exist as an Internet subsidiary of Toys R Us.  However, when they first debuted, they had very memorable and charming TV commercials, using the version of "Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" by the late Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo`ole.  I love the warmth portrayed in each of these commercials.  They're moments every parent strives to create for their children.  I hope you feel the same way about these commercials whether you have children or not.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And Now, A Public Service Announcement...

...from The Society to Let Everyone Know That God Hates Mopes.

God Hates Mopes!

Don’t support the lifestyle choice that depressives and sad-sacks choose to choose for their lifestyles!

Sad people wilt our crops!

Their tears deplete our precious bodily fluids, and lead to unnecessary shortages of the sports drinks WE ALL NEED to keep those fluids topped off!

Their medicines and headshrinking deplete our pocketbooks and wallets, if we’re men who don’t carry purses…the way mopey men sometimes do!

Look at them just moping over there! God Hates Mopes!

Don’t Mope!

The Society to Let Everyone Know That God Hates Mopes Approves of This Message.

Courtesy of Todd Mason and the Sweet Freedom blog.  Read about this PSA there.
The public service announcement you just read is an act of satire.  In the event of an actual PSA, stay tuned to this frequency for official information, news, or instructions.  This was only a test.  God really does hate mopes, though.  So don't be one.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Further Adventures of La Linea

Today I have a few of the La Linea cartoon shorts I love so much.  If you don't know what these are, you can read about them here and here.  Enjoy!

My daughter has her own name for him--"Pencil Baby." I love it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tales of the Wizard of Oz, "Get Out The Vote"

Hello everyone.  I hope you all had a fantastic Halloween and that you thoroughly enjoyed my offerings for the Countdown to Halloween.  Although the Countdown is over, the blog rolls on right now.

Every year, another creepy day follows right after Halloween:  Election Day.  It can't be a coincidence that they're always so close together, which brings me to today's post.  It's another installment of the early 60s Rankin-Bass cartoon Tales of the Wizard of OzI posted one of these during the Countdown recently, and you can see my comments on the series there.

Today, Rusty (the series' name for the tin man) runs for political office in Oz, and appears about as dirty as any real life pol.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Spider-Man: Magic Malice

Today at the blog I continue a small Halloween tradition: a cartoon featuring Spider-Man battling his arch nemesis, the Green Goblin. Here, Spidey stops the Goblin from obtaining a magician's powers in "Magic Malice." Enjoy!

Guess what, folks: unless I get a small window of opportunity over the weekend, which isn't likely--this is it for me for this year's Countdown to Halloween. As always, I had a great time showcasing all this cool stuff, and I sincerely wish you'll stick around after Halloween. There's more great stuff the rest of the year and beyond. Thank you for visiting, please come back. Most importantly,


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park Promo

We've almost come to a full stop here for the Countdown, so hang on tight. Today I feature a montage from the 1978 TV-movie Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park.  The legendary rock band, here portrayed as superpowered beings (!) perform at an amusement park, where a curmudgeonly engineer (who looks like Don Imus to me) tries to ruin the fun for the band and their fans.  Hey, it's Kiss in the 70s, what do you expect?  It's goofy, but it was fun when I was five.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Casper The Friendly Ghost: Peekaboo/Twin Trouble

It's not a good Halloween without a good ghost, and whose a better ghost to be around than Casper? Here, he befriends a young kitten, then he meets his not-so-friendly clone, as does Wendy the Good Witch, in "Peekabo/Twin Trouble." Bring the kids to the computer for these. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Moon/The 13th Kitten

Today I have two promotional clips for two intertwined TV specials from the UK that, unfortunately, I know very little about.  Pumpkin Moon involves a league of tiny evil witches that try to take over the world one Halloween night, with only a small team of friendly enchanted jack'o'lanterns and a black house cat to stop them.  The 13th Kitten is a sequel to Pumpkin Moon, but I know virtually nothing about it.

The Internet is rather sparse with any futher information about it.  The specials' director, Hilary Audus, has a long career in British animation according to IMDB, but it makes no mention of her involvement with these specials.  They both look really cool, but I find no mention of them ever being released on DVD or home video here or in the UK.  If anyone can shed any light on these specials, please leave a comment.  Thanks!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Count Duckula, "No Sax Please, We're Egyptian"

Well, the last week of the Countdown to Halloween is here already.  I better make it a good one.  Today I present the first episode of the British 80s cartoon series Count Duckula.  It aired in the US on Nickeolodeon, and I fell in love with it.  It is filled with sophisticated humor that most American cartoons at the time wouldn't dare attempt.  Just look at the title of the inaugural episode.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Frankenstein as Pitchman

Today I have four appearances of the Frankenstein monster plugging various products.  I've featured Frankie in commercials before, but never in a post devoted specifically to him.  On to it!

You know why you always see him moaning and groaning?  Stiff, achey joints!  But steady use of Osteo-Biflex clears it right up.

Here is one for Twix candy bars. Don't ever ask him to share them.

Next, here is Frankie alias Herman Munster in a commercial for Cheerios.  This has appeared in many Halloween-themed blogs in the past, so why not here?

Finally, Frank arises from his artic slumber--and writes a note thanking Bic pens for the help!

Although my post today is not a part of it, today is Frightful Frankenstein Friday at 17 other great blogs.  This is in celebration of the new collection of Dick Briefer's Frankenstein comics of the Golden Age.  Read more about it here.  Thanks!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling, "Ghost Wrestlers"

Going back to 80s Saturday morning cartoons, today I offer an episode of the infamous series Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling, which aired on CBS from 1985 to 1987.  The Hulkster and his rasslin' buddies become amateur ghostbusters (you even hear the Ray Parker Jr. tune!) when they try to clear spectres from a supposedly haunted retirement home.  Enjoy!  And if you do, you can sample another spooky-themed episode I posted last year.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Munsters Unaired Pilot in Color

Here is a fun treat I didn't know existed until this morning. This is the unaired pilot episode of the Munsters. It's notable for two reasons: the cast features actress Joan Marshall as Lily (named Phoebe in the pilot) and youngster Happy Derman (whoever he is) as a more maniacal Eddie, rather than series mainstays Yvonne DeCarlo and Butch Patrick. Also, it's in full color. I'm really happy to have found this. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Q-Bert: Monster Mix-Up

Today's feautre has Halloween, 80s, and video games all rolled into one.  It's a Crackle Minisode version of the 80s Saturday cartoon series Q-Bert, based on the classic video game.  One of Q-Bert's friends turns into a Frankenstein monster (happens all the time), and Q-Bert's enemies try to capitalize on it.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Charlie Winston, "Kick The Bucket"

Today I have a music video from English musician Charlie Winston for a song called "Kick The Bucket." It's a song speaking of the importance of using our time on Earth wisely before we, well you know.

What's this have to do with Halloween? Nothing really, but look at these cool skeletons! Thanks!

CHARLIE WINSTON "Kick The Bucket" Music Video
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Tales of the Wizard of Oz: The Reunion

Today is a short cartoon from what I consider to be a strange TV series.  Tales of The Wizard of Oz was a series that aired in 1961 (I don't know which network or if in syndication) that had its own take on the classic Oz characters.  The character design was simple and almost grotesque in some places, and the characters' personalities were a departure from what we're familiar with in the classic film.  The series seems to go more for pure comedy rather than charm or heart that other incarnations of the story do.  See for yourself here, as the Wicked Witch pays a visit to her witch school reunion.  I must say, the Witch has quite a menacing laugh here!

Oh, and another thing...


Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Diamonds, "Batman, Wolfman, Frankenstein, or Dracula"

Today I have a sample of the very many songs from the 50s and early 60s that combined rock'n'roll with horror themes.  I'm sure you own or at least have heard many of these from other blogs just by the fact that you're reading this, but this is one I hadn't heard until earlier this year. 

The group is The Diamonds, most famous for their cover of "Little Darlin'" and "The Stroll."  This song is about the singer's girlfriend, who can only be moved to make the moves on him by watching horror movies, namely featuring the Batman (no, not that Batman), Wolfman, etc.  It's a cute song, total fluff, but a lot of fun.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Animaniacs: Draculee, Draculaa

It's back to cartoons today for a show I loved in college and am glad to finally feature here:  Animaniacs!  Today, the Warner brothers (and the Warner sister) go fang to fang with Dracula.  My money's on the Warners.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On The Road With Charles Kuralt: Venetucci Farm, Colorado Springs, CO

Sorry for my lack of posting yesterday, but I have a good excuse. I took the day off (both from the blog and work) to spend the day with my family at our local pumpkin patch, where the kids and I picked our Halloween pumpkins, walked through the corn maze, and enjoyed the sunshine and unseasonably warm day. We had a great time!

This is a long-standing tradition for so many Americans this time of year, of course. No one documented such poignant moments so well as the late news journalist Charles Kuralt. I've been a huge fan of Kuralt's for many years, and I bring you today a sample of his great work. Here he tells us of the Venetucci Farm, located in Colorado Springs, CO, where the Venetucci brothers provide a huge pumpkin patch for the area's children completely free of charge.  This story documents the wonder and amazement of children as they look for that perfect pumpkin, just like my kids did yesterday.  If you have any heart at all, you are sure to be touched and reminded of why we love this holiday so much.

Happy Halloween indeed!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Super Friends Meet Frankenstein

It really happened!  Everyone's favorite Saturday morning heroes, the Super Friends, battled the Frankenstein monster.  He was a pretty diabolical cat, too.  Check it out!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Siskel & Ebert and the (Horror) Movies

Whether you agreed or disagreed with them, movie critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert have had a definite impact on looking at movies since they first appeared on TV in the late 70s. They each had their own perspective, and horror movies are no exception.

Below are clips from various incarnations of their TV show in which they examine horror classics Halloween, Poltergeist, and Ghostbusters. I apologize for the less than stellar quality of the clips, especially regarding the audio, but I find their opinions interesting and worth debate. Do you agree or disagree with them on these films? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's the Great Parody, Charlie Brown

Here are two clips spoofing and repurposing footage from the classic Halloween special It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  The first one was created for some unknown purpose by unknown people, and the clip seems to contain a few in-jokes only the creators are in on, but it's funny nevertheless.

The next clip uses footage from the special and makes a music video to the 80s rap classic "Nightmare On My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.  Good stuff!

For those with several social media sites, don't forget about the contest sponsored by the Peanuts estate.  I'm participating, and you can too.  Learn more here.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Schlocky B-Movie Trailers

More than anything else, Halloween should be fun, and what Halloween activity is more fun than watching goofy b-movie trailers?  Just don't eat your candy while watching these, you might choke from either fright or laughter, whichever is your style.  Enjoy!  If you've seen any of these movies, please let me knwo what you think of them in the comments section.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween TV Commercials 2010 Edition

Today the blog gets into the Countdown full swing with our annual look at cool TV commercials with a Halloween or just plain spooky vibe.

First up: a commercial for Banquet frozen dinners. This lady has an unhealthy obsession with them!

Here is a spot for Goodwill promoting them as a great place for Halloween items, which is true. A location near me has a big window display of all their cool offerings. If you live near one, do yourself a favor and check them out.

I love Carvel ice cream cake commericals, and here's a great Halloween one!

You know what kind of man scores a chick on Halloween? Find out here.

They might do well to try here too.

Get great deals at the Mall of America and Target.

That's it for this year's batch. Stay tuned tomorrow as the Countdown is just beginning. Thanks!