Monday, December 30, 2019

Night Court, "New Year's Leave"



Hello everyone! I hope you had a great Christmas Day or Hanukkah. We have one more holiday left in the season, and we celebrate it with an episode of the great sitcom Night Court.

In "New Year's Leave," the crew deal with an elderly man who escapes a hospital to spend New Year's Eve in Times Square in memory of his late wife, as well as a man dressed as the Baby New Year who claims to be the real thing.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year!




Thursday, December 12, 2019

Nutcracker Fantasy (1979)



Today's feature looks like a Rankin/Bass production, but it isn't (although it is obviously heavily inspired by them).

Nutcracker Fantasy is a Japanese-produced stop-motion animated film released in 1979 by the Japanese studio Sanrio. This adaptation is a loose one, but there are still nutcrackers, evil mice, swordplay, and the usual stuff you associate with the story. The Nutcracker has been adapted almost as much as A Christmas Carol has, and your mileage may vary regarding your interest in the story, but if you're a fan, this one is for you.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Pac-Man Christmas Album



The Pac-Man Christmas Album was released in 1982 by Kid Stuff Records, a children's record label that came and went in the 80s and was similar to Peter Pan Records. They did several Pac-Man related records including this Christmas one. 

I didn't have this record as a kid, but if I had, I would have loved it. I was deep into anything Pac-Man or Christmas, so put the two together and I was all in. I didn't listen to it until last week, and I have to say, even as a 45-year-old man, I enjoyed the record un-ironically. It's corny of course, but it's cute, earnest, and totally early 80s Christmas.

Plus, I really love the cover art.

Enjoy!


Monday, December 9, 2019

Caroll Spinney, 1933--2019



I couldn't let the death of legendary Muppeteer Caroll Spinney go by without mention here. As anyone who knows me personally or follows this blog with any regularity knows, I am as huge a Muppet fan as anyone, and Spinney was one of the all-time greats. Even moreso than Bert and Ernie, Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch were Sesame Street. The characters were the perfect yin and yang of Muppet personalities on the show, and their existence defined Sesame Street for three generations.

The great thing about the Muppets is that the characters will live on long after their creators and performers will, but a little bit of them will always be lost in translation without them.

Rest in peace, Caroll. Say hi to Mr. Hooper for us.



Thursday, December 5, 2019

Scrooge's Rock N' Roll Christmas



Today's Christmas find is just bizarre.

Today I present Scrooge's Rock N' Roll Christmas, a TV special that aired in 1984 by most accounts, but the copyright on the special is 1983. In this special, Ebeneezer Scrooge, played by Jack Elam, is visited in his counting house in 19th century England by a modern-day young woman who just so happens to have a magic snow globe. This globe allows her to show Scrooge 20th century rock acts performing famous Christmas songs. Acts include Three Dog Night, The Association, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Bobby Goldsboro, and others. His mean heart is warmed somewhat by the end of the special.

I can't find any indication as to what network showed this special; none of the sources I've come across mention it. What's also weird is that:

a) these acts were well past their prime by 1983/84
b) the performances are lackluster to say the least
c) the special had an accompanying album release about the same time
d) the special was available on VHS for a brief time in the early 90s

I can't honestly say this is a good special, but it's definitely interesting from a pop culture perspective. I don't think I'll watch it again anytime soon, but I'm glad I gave it a try just to see Jack Elam grunt after every song.

Enjoy!



Monday, December 2, 2019

Beavis and Butthead Do Christmas




Ho ho ho! Or is that huh huh huh? Decide for yourself at this, my first Christmas article of the year! I hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic. Now we go full on into the yuletide season, by far my favorite time of year.

Today I present MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head Do Christmas. Butt-head plays Santa to MTV's letter writers (who are almost certainly fake) as Beavis the reindeer comments in his own inimitable way.

I've posted many a cute, saccharine holiday program on the blog before, but not today. This one is strictly PG-13.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Dancin' On Air Thanksgiving Episode, November 25, 1982



Thanksgiving is a time for thoughtful reflection, to think solemnly about what we have to be grateful for in our lives.

It's also a time to party!

And party we will, 1980s style! I present an episode of the Philadelphia TV dance series Dancin' On Air, which aired on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1982 here in Philadelphia on WPHL-TV Channel 17. This show, a successor of sorts to that other Philly dance show, later aired nationwide later in the decade on the USA cable network as Dance Party USA. Dancin' On Air was a local cultural phenomenon here in the city and is remembered fondly today. There was a brief revival earlier this decade.

Enjoy! Get your groove on! And Happy Thanksgiving!






But wait, what's this?




YES! IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME! THANK GOD!

Oh yes I need a lot of Christmas, right this very minute! And if you do too, my blog is the place to be. I'll be providing Christmas goodies all season long. Stay tuned, and Happy Holidays!


Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Most Comprehensive Listing of Christmas TV You'll Find This Year



After my article about new Christmas programming on Netflix this year, I had it in mind to do the same for other streaming services and TV channels. There's now no need for me to do so--someone has beaten me to it!

Tumblr user sleepykittypaws has created the most comprehensive catalog of Christmas programming you can imagine. Everything from streaming services to cable channels to broadcast networks and more are covered in this massive listing. This is one stop shopping for all your holiday viewing needs!

Click on this link and you're on your way to Christmas TV heaven. Ho ho ho!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Sesame Street's First Episode




Continuing my acknowledgment of the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street this past weekend, here is the very first episode to air on November 10, 1969 in its entirety. Matt Robinson stars as Gordon, introducing new neighbor Sally, and in turn viewers, to the street. In addition to Gordon, we meet Susan, Bob, Mr. Hooper, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch (he's orange!), and Bert and Ernie. The rest is history.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Happy 50th Anniversary Sesame Street!



Sunday November 10th marks the 50th anniversary of the debut of Sesame Street. Not only is it one of the most impactful TV series on my life, but one of the most impactful in the history of television. No other series has the biggest sense of mission than Sesame Street has. For half a century, the show has provided education and entertainment for millions of children in the US and around the world.

In celebration of this great milestone for this great program, here are some of my favorite moments from the series.

Happy Birthday, Sesame Street!


Monday, November 4, 2019

Netflix Holiday Preview 2019



We're less than a week into November, and already the holiday season is calling. While it may be too soon to celebrate the holidays, it's certainly not too soon to prepare for the holidays. Preparing and celebrating are two different things.

To get us into the holiday spirit, the showbiz industry is more than ready to put us in the mood for mistletoe and holly.  Netflix is no exception. Here are Netflix's new holiday offerings for 2019!

First up is something that is already available as of Friday November 1st. In Holiday In The Wild, Kristen Stewart stars as a elite socialite who winds up spending her Christmas season in the African wilderness. Rob Lowe costars as a bush pilot who may or may not be her love interest.

He is.



Friday, November 8th brings the romantic teen comedy Let It Snow.  Based on the best-selling young adult novel, several high school seniors in a small town explore their romantic feelings as Christmas Eve approaches.



Also on November 8th, the popular Great British Baking Show: Holidays presents expert bakers competing to make the best Christmas confections.

On Friday November 15th, the animated movie Klaus debuts. This is a Santa origin story detailing Klaus's first go-round at delivering toys to a small, poor village with the help of a snarky mail carrier. I'm especially looking forward to this one!




On Thursday, November 21st, The Knight Before Christmas bows. Vanessa Hudgens plays a high school science teacher who meets a 14th-century knight who is magically transported to modern day. A time-traveling Christmas romance ensues.




The next day, Friday, November 22nd, the second holiday-themed edition of the amateur baking series Nailed It graces our screens with feeble but well-intentioned attempts at elaborate holiday cakes.




Thursday November 28th, Thanksgiving Day, brings two new programs. Holiday Rush is a movie about a recently widowed father who makes up for the loss of his wife and mother of his children by spoiling his kids with gifts. The family learns that being together is the greatest gift. Merry Happy Whatever is a comedic series starring Dennis Quaid as an overbearing dad who hosts his daughter and her new boyfriend for Christmas.






Black Friday, November 29th, presents yet another baking series, Sugar Rush Christmas. If you can't get enough of holiday baking shows, this is for you.



Finally, the third installment in the enormously popular Christmas Prince movies debuts Thursday, December 5th, The Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby. The reporter who married the prince in the previous movies is now having his baby. That pretty much sums it up!



Not all of these programs have their own trailer yet, so here is a collective trailer for all of these programs and more premiering this holiday season on Netflix.

Enjoy!



Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween 2019!




And that's a wrap on the 2019 Countdown to Halloween! I thank every one of you for reading and supporting the blog all month long. I appreciate your comments, tweets, and shares so much! It's been a genuine pleasure to do this, and I already look forward to next year!

I hope your Halloween season has been a great one. Mine certainly has. Highlights include:

--writing the blog, of course!
--featuring my kids in the Mountain Dew VooDew video
--taking my kids to our local pumpkin patch on Columbus Day, where we picked our pumpkins, rode a hayride, walked through a corn maze, and bought apple cider
--creating my mood table
--watching cool Halloween movies and TV specials
--digging some groovy Halloween music
--sharing my season with you!

And with my pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, I made this!



Don't be sad that the season is ending--be glad it happened! It's all good, really. We have great times ahead, Halloween or not.

I'll leave the Halloween theme on the blog for a couple more days, but then Monday I wipe the slate clean and look ahead with enthusiasm. Today I'll leave some last-minute treats to close out the season.

Thank you once again for your support.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!





Wednesday, October 30, 2019

"The Monster of Frankenstein," Power Records



One day left! There's no time to waste!

Today I present an audio adaptation of Marvel Comics' origin story for The Monster Frankenstein. The Monster is a real character in the Marvel Comics universe, and his title was one of several successful horror titles for Marvel in the 70s.

At the same time, Power Records, a small kids record label, made an audio adaptation of Marvel's version of the character, with a matching comic to be read while listening to the story. I had other Power Records as a kid and absolutely loved them. These records are always a lot of fun.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Three Stooges, "Spook Louder"



On this next-to-next-to-last day of the Countdown, I present a fun short film starring my favorite numbskills, The Three Stooges. In "Spook Louder," the boys are door-to-door salesmen who wind up in a spooky mansion being scared silly by crooks disguised as monsters. It's the Stooges with a bit of a Scooby Doo vibe.

Enjoy, porcupines!


Monday, October 28, 2019

Best Halloween Commercials Ever!



It's the last week of the 2019 Countdown to Halloween! Let's cap off this great season with a last few fun items!

Today I present yet another set of Halloween TV commercials, but with a difference--these are my all-time favorite Halloween-themed commercials. All of the commercials in this YouTube playlist have been featured on the blog before, so there's nothing new here, but these are my personal favorites to have featured here. I hope you feel the same way. If you feel there are others that are worthy to appear in this set, please let me know and I'll include them.

Thanks!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Once Upon a Midnight Scary (1979)



And so we close out the last full week of the 2019 Countdown to Halloween! No more time to dilly-dally, we need to put our Frankenstein foot to the floor and go into Maximun Overdrive!

It's Friday, which means a long-form program, and this week it means the 1979 TV special Once Upon A Midnight Scary! Debuting on October 21, 1979 on CBS, the special is hosted by blog favorite Vincent Price, who introduces adaptations of three spooky children's classics: "The Ghost Belonged to Me" by Richard Peck, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving, and "The House With A Clock In Its Walls," by John Bellairs.

I was only 5 when this first aired, so I somehow missed it, but this is exactly the type of program I looked for at Halloween time, so I can't wait to check this out. We get another dose of Sleepy Hollow goodness with this adaptation (with Rene Auberjonois perfectly cast as Ichabod Crane) as a post-Sleepy Hollow Week treat, and we also get an early adaptation of "The House With A Clock In Its Walls" decades before the theatrical version starring Jack Black. And of course, the late great Price, who has appeared at least once in each of my Countdowns the past few years. I'm happy to continue the tradition!

Enjoy! Have a great last weekend before Halloween! Don't hold back, it's time for the big stuff!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Halloween Tunes!



Halloween Night is exactly one week away! No more pussyfooting around. Time get hardcore Halloweeny!

Today I offer a few Halloween songs to add to your playlist (or "slaylist," as the case may be). These are not the usual Halloween songs you hear over and over; I love "Monster Mash," but you can't put it on a continuous loop, not even for Halloween.

Enjoy!







VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED on this last one! A bit of gore and a lot of blood, hence the song title.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

ABC Weekend Special, "The Trouble With Miss Switch"



Most of the material I feature on the Countdown is collected weeks or even months beforehand. But once in awhile, I'll come across something during the season that is like a gift from the heavens.

This is one of those times.

Today I offer the animated special "The Trouble With Miss Switch," airing as an installment of the ABC Weekend Special. Based on the 1971 book of the same name, "Switch" is about a grade school substitute teacher, Miss Switch, who reveals herself as a witch to two precocious students. She enlists them to help her overthrow an evil witch who has taken control of a coven of benevolent witches.

I've looked for this special for years to no avail; out of the blue, without me even trying, the special fell into my lap by showing up on my YouTube front page. Thank you, Halloween blogging gods!

Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, "Great Pumpkin"



Tonight is the first of two airings of It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on ABC this year (8pm/7pm ET/CT), and in blog tradition, I offer a Peanuts-related post. This year, it's a truncated version of a story from the Saturday morning cartoon series The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.

In this episode, Linus once again is committed to spending Halloween night in the pumpkin patch to wait for the Great Pumpkin, with Sally once again in tow (what is she thinking?). Charlie Brown and  Peppermint Pattie, however, forego trick or treating on Halloween night to take part in a kids bowling tournament (what are they thinking?). When the two plotlines intersect, you'll be bowled over with laughter!

Sorry. 

Unfortunately, this YouTube video, recorded by pointing a video camera at a TV screen, only contains a few scenes from the cartoon, but you'll get the gist of the story. Enjoy!



Monday, October 21, 2019

Halloween TV Commercials 2019 Edition Part 2



Welcome to Week 4 of the Countdown to Halloween! I hope your season is going great!

Today I offer another round of Halloween TV commercials. This batch is even better than the last one!

First up, a McDonald's commercial debuting the inaugural edition of the Halloween Happy Pails! I wish I still had mine!



Next, the Frankenstein monster is revived not by lighting, but by a cold Heineken beer!



This is a cute, low budget commercial for Taco Bell, offering glow sticks with food purchases. I don't remember this commercial, but this is right from my era of childhood.



Going without chocolate Pop-Tarts for too long can turn anyone into a monster!



Frankenstein can use that Heineken he got in his last commercial to wash down a pack of Twix.



You should always be on guard when camping. You never know when an unknown creature may steal your Watchamacallit!



But you don't need to go camping to run into Creepy Crawlers--you can make your own!



Finally, Dracula "vants" to bite your finger--even if it's just with red markers like in this classic game!


Thanks!

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Headless Horseman Silent Movie Starring Will Rogers (1922)



Sleepy Hollow Week draws to a close with a longform program (as I do every Friday of the Countdown).

Today I offer what may be the first film adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Headless Horseman starring legendary humorist Will Rogers. Another unique aspect of this film is that it's a silent movie. The YouTube user who uploaded this version added music of his or her choosing to the film, and it works beautifully.

I know a lot of people have difficulty watching silent films since they're quite different from what we're used to, but I think this is interesting to watch for historical purposes if nothing else. I'll understand if you skip ahead here and there.

Enjoy! Have a spooky weekend! The big night is less than two weeks away!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Scooby Doo Show, "The Headless Horseman of Halloween"



Day 4 of Sleepy Hollow Week brings you another animated offering, and a familiar one--Scooby Doo!

In this episode of The Scooby Doo Show, the gang crosses path with the legendary Headless Horseman at a swanky Halloween party. Will the Horseman get away with his crimes--or will he be thwarted by Scooby and the "meddling kids?"

Spoiler alert: they stop him.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Sleepy Hollow 1972 Rock Band



Day 3 of Sleepy Hollow Week presents a music album by a band named Sleepy Hollow.

Not to be confused with the current heavy metal band of the same name, Sleepy Hollow was the name of a pop/rock trio from my hometown of Philadelphia. This eponymous album from 1972 was the band's only release. 

I expected a spooky, psychedelic sound from a band named Sleepy Hollow, but they actually sound quite Beatles-esque. I was pleasantly surprised! It's fun without being trite. It's a cool listen on a light, carefree day.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Animated Short Film (1972)



On Day 2 of Sleepy Hollow Week, I present a very unusual animated version from 1972.

Narrated by horror movie legend John Carradine, this cartoon is trippy both in its animation style and use of music. It's very much a product of its time, when independent animation took more chances compared to mainstream movie and TV animation.

It's appropriately creepy, as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow should be.

Enjoy!

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Starring Jeff Goldblum (1980)



Welcome to Week 3 of the Countdown to Halloween, which also happens to be--Sleepy Hollow Week! Every day Monday through Friday, I will have an article related to the classic Washington Irving story in some fashion. 

Today, I present a TV-movie version of the story that aired on NBC in October of 1980. It stars Jeff Goldblum as Ichabod Crane, Dick Butkis as Bram Bones, and Meg Foster as Katrina van Tassel. The story is largely played for comedy in this version, but there are still spooky scenes here and there. This is also the earliest movie adaptation of the story I remember besides the classic Disney animated version.

Enjoy! Stay tuned for more Sleepy Hollow goodness all week!


Friday, October 11, 2019

Desire, The Vampire (1982 TV-Movie)



Today is Friday, which means it's time for a longform program for you. This week, I present the 1982 TV-movie Desire, The Vampire.

Desire, The Vampire (aka I, Desire) stars David Naughton (An America Werewolf in London) as a hospital worker who gets in the way of a female vampire making her way through her victims one by one in downtown Los Angeles. He is assisted by a disbelieving police detective and an intense ex-priest (played with scene-stealing glee by Brad Dourif) who has chased the vampire across the country.

The movie is naturally more tame than a theatrical film, but it does a decent job of being suspenseful within the constraints of 1980s network television. Plus, I always find network TV horror a curiosity because of those same constraints.

Enjoy! Have a great weekend! If you are off for the Columbus Day holiday, make it a great day! Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

And come back Monday, October 14th for the start of Sleepy Hollow Week here on the Countdown! Five days of Headless Horseman goodness! See you then!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

My 2019 Halloween Mood Table



For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of the Halloween Mood Table, it was started in 2007 by Matt, author of the great Web site Dinosaur Dracula. For that special dose of Halloween spirit when you need it, cover a table (or TV tray, or chair, or what have you) with all the things that make you love Halloween. Add a candy dish for the ability to trick or treat, include a lighting element, debut it all on October 1st, and voila! You have yourself a Halloween mood table!

Check out my mood table for Halloween 2019 in the video below! Included are the cutest ghosts, Frankensteins, Peanuts gang characters, and even Batman (because even though he's not a Halloween character, he so totally is).

Enjoy! And I hope you're inspired to make your own mood table! If so, let me know in the comments!



Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Addams Family 1992 Cartoon Series



As you all know, The Addams Family is appearing in their first animated feature film this Friday, October 11th. One thing I didn't know until this week, however, is that they appeared in their own Saturday morning cartoon series in the fall of 1992.

In this version, the Addams lived in the idyllic suburb of Happydale Heights, and as you can imagine, they stuck out like a sore thumb (not that they would care). Judging by the design of the series, I thought it might have been a Fox series, as Fox featured several series with outrageous animation styles. However, this appeared on ABC from September of 1992 to November of 1993.

Notable voice actors on the series include legendary star of the 60s live action sitcom John Astin reprising his role as Gomez, and outlandish comic Rip Taylor as Uncle Fester. We just lost Taylor this week, so rest in peace and confetti, sir!

I had known that there was an Addams Family cartoon series in the early 70s, but this 90s series is brand new to me. Whether it's new to you or not, enjoy!

If you see the new movie this weekend, please let me know what you thought of it in the comments of this article.

Thanks!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Return of the Revenge of the B-Movie Trailers!



Halloween is a great time to enjoy the finest, most well-crafted horror movies ever made.

It's also a great time to enjoy the low budget b-level stuff too.

Here are a select sample of the forgotten b-movies of yore--yore being the past forty years or so.

Enjoy!



Monday, October 7, 2019

Gilligan's Island, "The Pigeon" (Or As I Call It, The One With the Giant Spider)



Welcome to Week 2 of the Countdown to Halloween 2019! We're just getting started!

Today I offer an episode of Gilligan's Island titled "The Pigeon." The castaways develop a pen pal relationship with a prisoner back in the States via carrier pigeon.

What does that have to do with Halloween?

Nothing--except that Gilligan and company also get trapped in a cave with a giant poisonous spider. It's a tenuous connection at best, but it's good enough for me!

Enjoy!


Friday, October 4, 2019

Ghost Performing at MMRBQ, BB&T Pavilion, Camden, New Jersey, May 19, 2018



To close out Week 1 of the 2019 Countdown to Halloween (already?), I present something a bit more longform for the weekend, as I plan to do most Fridays of the Countdown. Whereas in the past I've usually shown a movie for the weekend, I'm going in a different direction this week--I'm featuring a concert!

In my introduction to the Countdown this past Tuesday, the first video I shared was a music video of the rock band Ghost. They're a band from Sweden that deals in a lot of gothic, supernatural, and dark themes, and they've been catching on here in the States the last few years. On May 19, 2018, they performed in my local area as part of a multi-band concert event called the MMRBQ, sponsored by radio station WMMR in Philadelphia.

Here is their one-hour set the band performed near the end of the event. Enjoy!

Have a great first weekend of October! Do spooky stuff! Go to the pumpkin patch! Eat Addams Family pancakes! Watch b-level horror movies! Wear a sweater!


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Mountain Dew VooDew Review


On Day 3 of the Countdown, and in my second-ever blog video, my kids Megan and Brian and I try the new Halloween soda Mountain Dew VooDew. Word of this soda has spread like wildfire across the 'Net for weeks now. What do we think? Check out the video below!




We hope you enjoyed our video. Stay tuned for more!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Halloween TV Commercials 2019 Edition



Welcome to Day 2 of the 2019 Countdown to Halloween. Today I present one of my favorite articles to post, Halloween TV commercials. I have a great collection this year, so let's get to it!

Seeing a horror movie at the theater with your significant other can be a surprisingly romantic experience, as this Reese's Cup commercial attests.





Next, a surprisingly cost-conscious Frankenstein monster is overjoyed about the bargains he got on Nestle chocolate. Not only does he benefit, so do his trick-or-treaters!




This quick one for Kit-Kats simply show how much everyone loves them. Count me in on that group!




This next one, also for Kit-Kats, debuted just last year. A haphazardly carved jack o' lantern demonstrates his understanding of his situation with his carver by offering her some Kit-Kats. That jack is a trooper!





I have to admit, this next one for Taco Bell from 1997 is kinda gross, but hey, that's part of Halloween!




This next one for Pillsbury Halloween-shaped Cookies will cleanse the pallet with its sweetness. If you bake them, however, don't leave them in the oven for too long or they'll burn quickly. I know from personal experience!





Finally, this last one is brand new this year! As you probably know, IHOP is having a promotion for the upcoming Addams Family movie with a special menu. Here is IHOP's commercial to tell you all about it!





I have so much fun creating these articles, I may do another one later this month. Keep an eye out--ew, that reminds me of the Taco Bell commercial!

Thanks!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Welcome to the 2019 Countdown to Halloween!



BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome one and all to the 2019 Countdown to Halloween! I'm very happy to have you here for another month of screams, tricks, and treats! Please enjoy everything I have to offer this year, from spooky TV commercials to horror movie trailers to cartoons to...well, who knows WHAT may arise from the grave!

For you newcomers out there, the Countdown isn't just about me, it's about dozens (hundreds?) of bloggers who do their best to blog awesome Halloween content all October long. Please visit as many blogs as you can, and let the bloggers know you appreciate them by leaving a comment, or even better, share their blogs to as many people as you can via social media, email, or whatever! We do appreciate it.

Before going any further, I must acknowledge John Rozum for all his hard work he puts into every Countdown. It's not easy to coordinate all the bloggers and their sites, plus create the badges, so a tip of the hat to you, John!

One thing I will clue you in on as to what you can expect this year: the week of Monday, October 14th through Friday, October 18th will be--Sleepy Hollow Week! Every day that week, I will feature programming related to Washington Irving's literary classic. Why? No reason, I just want to!



Of course, I'll have plenty of other spooky content all month long, so don't lose your head!

Today I offer a few quick warm-ups to get things started. Enjoy, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



Thursday, September 26, 2019

CBS Saturday Morning Cartoon Preview Special 1984



I received a pretty decent response regarding this week's earlier post about the CBS Saturday Morning Preview Special from 1983, so I'm going to that well again for today's article.

This time, I present CBS's preview special from the very next year, 1984. In this one, Joyce DeWitt is a reporter covering the animation process at a studio headed by Ted Knight (gotta love the 80s). Knight and DeWitt go through drawing, painting, voice acting, and all the other components of what makes a great cartoon--using the latest offerings from CBS's 1984 Saturday morning lineup as examples, of course.

Like the 1983 special I featured, I distinctly remember watching this special with glee, anxiously awaiting what CBS had in store for me that season. And the network didn't disappoint--this was the season that the highly revered and loved Muppet Babies cartoon debuted!

Enjoy! And stay tuned, for next week, the biggest event of the year for the blog begins--the Countdown to Halloween! See you there!


Monday, September 23, 2019

CBS Saturday Morning Cartoon Preview Special (1983)



Happy Autumn everyone! That's right, today is officially the first day of fall. According to the cosmos, the Tuesday after Labor Day doesn't count.

Today is also, appropriately enough, the first day of the fall broadcast TV season in the US. Get your DVRs ready for your favorite new and returning TV series. But before you do that, check out this blast from the past regarding that long lost institution of broadcast TV, Saturday morning cartoons.

Once upon a time, networks used to have primetime specials promoting their new Saturday morning TV lineups debuting in the fall. I've featured one of these before, and they were a lot of fun. When those of my generation were kids, we got excited for these shows a lot.

Today I present CBS's Saturday morning preview special from the fall of 1983, hosted by Scott Baio, and guest starring Sorrell Booke and James Best reprising their roles as Boss Hogg and Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane from The Dukes of Hazzard. Why is this special set in Hazzard County? Because CBS unveiled a Dukes animated series that season. It was a popular trend at the time to create cartoons based on popular primetime shows. We kids of the time didn't know why, but we weren't complaining!

I distinctly remember watching this special when it aired, so it was a delight to see it again, despite how corny it is.

The hillbilly puppets that appear in this special were also on Hee Haw I think, but don't quote me on that.

Enjoy!


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Long Live the Bat: Batman Day 2019



Earlier this year, I wrote a series of articles related to Batman due to the character celebrating his 80th anniversary this year as well as the 30th anniversary of the Batman movie starring Michael Keaton. With the blog about to go into almost-full holiday mode the rest of the year, this will be the last of those articles to give the feature some closure, and we end our celebration of all things Bat with this year's Batman Day.

For the past five years, DC Comics has celebrated Batman Day, the first in the summer of 2014 and subsequent celebrations being in a Saturday in September. This Saturday, September 21st is the big day this year, and comic shops and book stores across the country will be acknowledging the day with select free comics, events, and more. For full details, try the following links:

DC Comics official Batman Day site, the best place to get details: https://www.dccomics.com/blog/2019/09/09/celebrate-batman-day-on-september-21

A downloadable Batman Day celebration kit with coloring pages, games, and fun ideas: https://www.dccomics.com/sites/default/files/imce/2019/09-SEP/BatmanDayActivityKit.pdf

Select Barnes & Noble locations are having local Batman Day events. Check your nearest location here: https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/

You may be able to get free Batman comics at your local comic shop. To find out, try here: https://www.freecomicbookday.com/Article/232558-Celebrate-Batman-Day-At-Comic-Shops-September-21st

I also recommend checking your local library, as they may also be participating. I recommend checking out your local library any day for any reason, because libraries rock!

And with that, I officially bring my year(ish)-long Batman celebration to a close. But who am I kidding, I blog about Batman a lot anyway!



The only other thing I have to offer Batman-wise right now is this:


Thanks! Have a great weekend! Long Live The Bat!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Keystone Comic Con 2019 Review


On Friday, August 23rd, I had the privilege of attending Keystone Comic Con, an entertainment convention presented by ReedPOP, one of the largest comic convention organizers in the world. In its second year, Keystone continued to prove itself as a major event for the comics community of the Philadelphia area.

Keystone had a wide array of retailers and dealers for attendees to indulge in. There were plenty of toys, games, clothes, and yes, comics for fans to take home and add to their collection. There was also a long and well attended Artists' Alley where fans could meet and greet a variety of artists and writers, from industry veterans such as Jim Steranko to up and coming artists of tomorrow!

Keystone Comic Con isn't just exclusively for comic book fans. Other interests indulged there include favorite movies and TV series. Keystone even hosted a pro wrestling event!





There were also a great number of cosplayers in attendance. It was almost like having your favorite characters right by your side in the flesh!



Of course, the major attraction were the many stars of film and television in attendance, including Star Trek stalwarts Levar Burton, Marina Sirtis, and Michael Dorn, legendary horror director John Carpenter, fan-favorite voice actors Jeremy Shada and Fred Tatasciore, and the biggest attraction this year, Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, who attended Keystone on Sunday, August 25th.


A personal highlight for me was meeting Scott Patterson, who is best known for playing gruff but lovable Luke on the long-running series Gilmore Girls. Scott was gracious, funny, and welcoming--and a local boy to boot, having been born and raised in nearby Haddonfield, New Jersey!


Keystone Comic Con 2019 was clearly a big success just like its inaugural event last year. As a big-time comics fan, I'm thrilled that Philly has a great opportunity like Keystone for local fans to come together and celebrate the comics, games, and movies that mean so much to us.

Next year's Keystone Comic Con will be Friday, August 28th through Sunday, August 30th. See you there!

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