janradder: (Default)
Top Five Chee-Z TeeVee Ads

Yeah, there's been lots of cheesy ads on TV, but these are the ultra-low budget "As Seen On TV" ones that that you got to see over and over and over again until they'd wormed their way into all of our collective brains.

1. The Ginsu Knife
Timex may have taken a licking but kept on ticking, but could it also make decorative vegetables? If you were looking for a knife that could slice through a tin can and chop wood without ever losing its razor sharp edge, this was it. "Now how much would you pay for it?"

2. Mr. Microphone
My sister wanted this gift more than anything in the world. Unfortunately, when she finally got it there were no parties to liven up, no good lookin' girls to pick up, and no professional musicians to amplify, so it quickly found a spot in her closet where it slowly gathered dust.

3. The Chia Pet
Did you ever get one of these? If you did, you'd have seen that due to non-uniform seed germination, every Chia Pet in existence had mange. Sad, yet slightly disgusting.

4. The Clapper
Go ahead -- try to get that damn song out of your head now. I dare you.

5, Life Call
Possibly the most unintentionally funny ad ever.
janradder: (godzilla)
Why is it the only time I ever see the local news in our neighborhood is when there's been a crime committed, yet whenever we have the May Day Parade or the Powderhorn Art Fair or Fourth of July fireworks they're suspiciously absent?
janradder: (Default)


In case you're unfamiliar with it, the show aired in syndication during the mid to late 80's and was about a guy who builds a robot girl who he tries to pass off as his real daughter.

I had a six year old step-brother at the time who was obsessed with the show, though I had no idea why. Over twenty years later, though, I still sometimes get that stupid theme song stuck in my head.
janradder: (dork)
We have a television that is literally 32 years old and it still works. So, not wanting to buy a new one when we didn't have to, and because we do not have any form of cable, we had to get one of those converter boxes to switch the signal from digital to analog. I've been kind of dreading it, thinking that because our reception is kind of lousy, we'd be wasting our money, even if it was just five bucks once we used the government coupon. Surprisingly, though, we get all but two stations now (CBS and ABC, and I think I can get theose if I just fiddle with the antennae and/or the stations boost their signals like they say they will). More surprising, PBS, which previously was only viewable through snow, rolling lines and ghost images, looks spectacular. So I'm pretty happy.
janradder: (axe man)
This is really dumb, but it did make me laugh.

janradder: (Default)
This has got to be my favorite Powerpuff Girls episode. My only complaint is that the out of all the Beatles references, they writers inexplicably passed on working "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" into the script. Still, it's good stuff.


janradder: (Default)
So , instead, here's a Chris Elliot Guy Under the Seats routine.  To me, they were always one of the highlights of the old Letterman show.

janradder: (Default)
I finally finished watching the failed 1978 Dr. Strange TV pilot I talked about in a previous post.  Though, at times hokey, I would have loved it when I was a kid.  That said, even then I would have taken umbrage with the movies inconsistencies in relation to the comic book version, namely the lousy costume at the end (Purple and a yellow cape with a big star on the front of his shirt, and no Eye of Agamatto).  The Ancient One isn't called that until the end of the movie (before that he's just "the old man") and is not some centuries old Chinese mystic, but an old white dude.  Clea has brown hair and is a mere Earth mortal, rather than the niece of the Dread Dormammu.  Dr. Strange's enemy is Morgan le Fay (rather than any from his stable of usual villains), though there are a couple of baddies who appear that slightly resemble Dormammu and Nightmare (alas, no Baron Mordo, however, and Morgan's worst fear is looking old -- seriously).  There is a horrible (and I do mean horrible) love scene between Strange and Morgan which is pretty much a product of the 70's, I think, though I wouldn't have noticed that when I was a kid.

In spite of that, the movie is kind of dark and a little creepy, like the comic book and Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum is kind of cool (and there is one scene of astral projection).  It's also got a soundtrack that alternates between a late seventies scary synth sound which would make John Carpenter proud and a funky guitar bit that sounds a little like The Goblins and would fit well into any Dario Argento film (if you've seen an Argento film, you know what I'm talking about).  Yeah, it's cheesey, but so is the movie.  Unfortunately, we don't really see much of Dr. Strange as Dr. Strange since the film is an origin story.  It would have been neat to see what the makers would have done with this had it been picked up as a series.
janradder: (dork)


What can I say about Fat Albert except that this was my absolute favorite Saturday morning cartoon for years.  Just hearing that theme brings me back to six or seven years old and sitting in front of that TV just waiting for Bill Cosby and the Cosby kids.

Favorite Russell put down?  "Rudy?  You're like school on a summer day -- no class!"
janradder: (dork)
I have been a huge Dr. Strange fan since I was about six and I picked up a Giant Size collection of Dr. Strange stories from a newsstand in Milford, CT when my family was visiting friends.  The only reason I'd gotten it was because my mother had told me I could buy a comic book and this was one of the few places that carried the Giant Size comics.  That day there were only two -- a Captain America I already had and a Dr. Strange.  Reluctantly, I got the comic and let it sit for about a year.  Every now and then I'd look into it but the pictures were usually too frightening (especially Nightmare) or the stories to weird to follow.  Eventually, though, I overcame my fear and figured out what was going on and Dr. Strange became my absolute favorite comic book hero.

In 1978, I saw in the TV guide that there was going to be a movie on Friday night (CBS, maybe?) called Dr. Strange.  I would hunt the weekly TV guide regularly to find anything that resembled a super hero movie.  Often, I'd be burned (I still remember seeing Letterman and being brutally disappointed that it was a talk show -- this was when Dave was on in the morning) but sometimes, I'd hit the jackpot.  There was no description with Dr. Strange and for all I knew it was a hospital drama but I asked my mother if I could stay up to watch it (it was late) on the off chance that this was the Dr. Strange.  She said no and I badgered here for the next few days.  Friday came and still the answer was no.  I remember sitting in front of the TV as the beginning started and then being sent off to bed.

"It'll be on again," my mother said.

The next day at baseball practice, I asked my comics friend, John Lucas, if he'd seen it.  He said yes and then he told me it was actually the comic book Dr. Strange and it was cool and awesome and spectacular and he'd loved it a lot.  I scoured the TV guide looking for a rerun of that movie for years but it was never on again.  And I've scoured the internet looking for anything about it but came up with nothing but a short scene posted on YouTube until today.

Today I found out that someone has recently posted the entire movie to YouTube.  I am in disbelief.  Finally, after all these years, I have found my Dr. Strange Holy Grail!  But that's not all, because I also found that a Dr. Strange feature film has been announced for 2010 directed by Guillermo del Toro and written by Neil Gaiman.  I feel like I've hit the jackpot!
janradder: (scared)
I got an Underdog DVD (of the original show) from the library today and let Arie and Éiden watch.  In the half hour since they've seen it Arie has been wandering the house speaking like Simon Bar-Sinister:  "Simon says: Pick up!  Simon says:  Put it down!  Simon says:  Go drive!" He then follows each directive with an evil laugh, "Heh-heh-heh-heh."  I'm a little afraid of what bedtime might bring.
janradder: (Default)



My sister just sent me this in an email.

Ahh, what memories it brings back.  I woud watch it faithfully each Thursday night after coming home from swimming practice, the smell of chlorine filling the living room, my hair still wet and brittle (from said chlorine).  I really don't know why I watched the show again and again, week after week.  I hated it.  I was, however, obsessed with superheroes and this was a show about a superhero, albeit a lousy one.  Each week, I would hope, nearly pray that William Katt would finally learn how to use his suit and become a regular superhero.  But he never did.  The show was a one note joke, banged over and over endlessly -- here was this guy who was given a suit with super powers but he didn't have the instruction manual (I can't remember why) and so he was doomed to endlessly fly like a cat flung by its tail trough space, legs and arms flailing helplessly as he tries to keep from crashing into the ground or a wall or a building or people which he invariably always did.  Needless to say, for those who have not seen The Greatest American Hero, the joke became stale somewhere in the middle of the first episode.  And, still, I watched faithfully, hoping for a different outcome.

My disappointment and dissatisfaction with The Greatest American Hero was only matched by my equal displeasure in the John Ritter vehicle, Hero At Large.  Yet, as with GAH, I would inevitably watch HAL each time I saw it was on HBO at my grandparents' house.  I don't know what I thought would happen.  Maybe I thought that this time I'd like the movie.  Maybe I thought it would end differently.  Neither ever happened.  The movie always ended the same way it always did and I hated it just as much as the first time I saw it (but really, what should I have expected from a film that starred an actor who would later go on to star in both Problem Child 1 and 2?).

(And yes, I must admit, I knew the words to and loved the theme song, Believe It or Not.  Sadly, I also liked Christopher Cross.)
janradder: (Default)
    Yes, the Taco Bell ad for Nachos bel Grande has replaced last year's John Mellencamp "This is Our Country" ad as TV spot most likely to make me go out and hurt people.

    It's not just that I've had to watch it at least 127 times over the last two weeks as I watched the ALCS and World Series (and we're only into the first game of that.  Lord help me, if this series goes a full seven I can not be held responsible for my actions) though that certainly hasn't helped.  It's one of those ads that annoys the hell out of you the very first time you see it.  With each repeated viewing it only grates further upon your nerves so that it becomes like that guest at the party who you can't get out the door and it's two in the morning and every one else has left and they keep telling you they really should get going but then they don't and you just smile.

    Where to start?  First there's the full of himself actor who plays the older brother who thinks that he has to deliver his lines in a full frenzied top of his voice manner because that's what makes it funny (punctuated by his "Yah?!" in response to his brother's question.  Of course in an alternate version -- because it was such a great idea, they made two -- he doesn't say "Yah?!" but "Cha?!").  Then there's the younger brother trying the nachos (with chili) and nodding his head approvingly (which is annoying in itself) but because of the cutting, it looks like his older brother is romantically feeding him those nachos and that is just ooky.  And then there's the mimed whip crack by the younger brother as the soundtrack plays Devo's "Whip It" to imply that the older brother is whipped when in fact, he's merely a hypocrite because he's violated two of his three "Rules to Live By" ("Yah?!") -- real men don't own lap dogs and never date a girl with dragon tattoos (it really is pathetic that I know these rules and, unfortunately, I will probably go to my grave knowing them).

    I swear that if I see this ad one more time I'm going to Taco Bell  where I will "always get chili on my Nachos bel Grande" (rule number 3 for those who don't know) and then I am going to go out and hunt down each and every one of the people responsible for making this ad.  When I find every last one of them, I will sit them all in a small room and force feed them nachos while I repeatedly say "Yah?!" and mime a whipping motion to the beat of Devo's "Whip It"  until they either pass out or die.  Is this extreme?  Yah?!

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janradder

March 2012

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